Thursday, November 24, 2011

Human rights - a quite serious post with no flippancy for a change

Some of you might be interested to hear that the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 passed Parliament today. It was introduced into the House of Representatives in September 2010.

If you read Hansard, you will see that the Opposition tried to move amendments so that 'human rights' was defined as rights in the Constitution and common law rights.  I would interpret this myself as trying to make sure that certain sorts of humans could protect their property rights, rather than an interest in human rights as universal and indivisible and as found in international human rights covenants that Australia has signed up to, but that is my personal view only and one not shared by, say, George Brandis.

If you read Hansard you will also find some fairly vitriolic personal attacks, but I guess that's to be expected.

Anyway, the new legislation (once it receives Royal Assent) means that any new bills or legislative instruments introduced into Parliament must be accompanied by a statement of compatibility, which tells Parliament (and the world at large because they will be publicly available documents) if a bill is consistent with the human rights obligations under 7 key human rights treaties. Or not. The Bill also establishes a new parliamentary committee to look at bills and the statements and to have a good think about it all.

I understand that the Opposition also tried to make an amendment to remove the requirement for statements of compatibility, but perhaps I am wrong about that. 

I am looking forward to seeing what the statements are like, and what the new committee says about them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I realise that I have nothing to blog about because stuff is just happening without much need of comment or analysis from me.  Knockonwoodetc.

I read my way through the Booker shortlist for the first time. Back in the day when I was a bookseller (and when the husband who was a bookseller but is no longer a bookseller was still a bookseller), I just used to read a lot of new releases and generally I would have read most of the shortlisted books that looked vaguely interesting to me anyway.  And in recent years I have not paid much attention because I am always tired because I am a Career Lady now. So this year I read them all and I liked them all pretty much and I reckon the winner was probably the best book to win the prize and all, but I really enjoyed Jamrach's Menagerie and The Sisters Brothers most of all. Which may tell us one or two things, which includes that I have form for liking stories with 'menagerie' in the title, and also I seem to like chatty first-person books set in the 19th century with quite a lot of violence, provided it's violence that is excused one way or another by the narrator. Because I really adjectivally much like A True History of the Kelly Gang as well.

No doubt it exposes a terrible character flaw.  I never think of myself as a person who enjoys violence in any form, but there it is, there it is.

The Junior has been re-reading Garth Nix books and the Ranger's Apprentice series.  He doesn't seem to feel the need for any new books by authors he hasn't read before at the moment.  I am not quite sure what to think about this. On the one hand I think it's pretty bad to exclusively comfort read, but on the other hand I think he's already read more books than some people read in their entire lifetimes, so perhaps he deserves time to digest it all a bit.

The husband is doing marking, which is a completely different kind of reading and may result in violence, but less in a textual way and more in a storming about exasperatedly kind of way.

In worse news, when I was reading some words at work I read a word I wish I'd never read which was 'reablement'.  I thought they meant rehabilitation, but when you google it, it turns out to be a real word, or at least a frequently used one.  I guess I need to reable my brain to think a bit more flexibly or some such, but I found it very ugly indeed, although representing a most desirable principle, of course. It's no worse than rehabilitation really I suppose, but it's not what I'm used to, you see.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Evidence of the Presidents

I will continue to believe in the existence of the President of the USA, because even though I have not seen him, I believe I have seen evidence. Today, driving between Garran and Civic we saw lots of police people standing along the road, and a police car parked in the middle of the road. Many other cars were waiting with the engines turned off, but no one was tooting or making rude gestures.  Surely this is evidence of the President's existence. No one else could cause delays without causing ill feeling as well. Surely.

Also, there were many noisy planes flying above the Parliamentary Regions. And they did claim that it was to prevent air strikes.

No public servants were allowed into Parliament House today.  I didn't see that with my own eyes, though, so I'm not sure if I can use it as evidence for my belief.  I was advised by email. I didn't mind, I had no ill feeling.  Like most other days of my life I didn't have any need to go to Parliament House.

Ah well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The experiment with the bronzer left us with a son and a bathroom basin the colour of a slightly overcooked fashion designer.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Should or could or must

Things that must be done today
Food and grocery shopping
Washing of clothes and dishes
Water the herbs and the lemon tree
Put out the rubbish

Things that should be done today
Baking of chocolate biscuits to say thank you to all the coworkers for sponsoring Junior in the walkathon

Things that could be done today
Trimming the rosemary, the mysterious hedgey plant and the other mysterious creepy plant
Thinking about Diana Wynne Jones
Moving the old desk out of the study

Things that have been done today
Shopping at Fyshwick markets and the supermarket
Clothes and dishes cleaned
Plants both watered and trimmed (hands with pleasantly resiny feeling after snipping off lots of rosemary)
Rubbish is out
Had a nice nap

Must be time to read and/or eat.