All posts by Noel Turnbull

A kick in the backside for Howard and Abbott?

Now what on earth will those staunch monarchists and climate denialists – John Howard and Tony Abbott – say about their new king, Charles III, and his very strongly held environmental views?

Charles may or may not be terribly bright (well smarter than his brother anyway) and rather pompous but that tends to go with the job. He has the requisite royal small talk – have you come far etc etc – but to the discomfort of UK PM, Rishi Sunak, he also has strong opinions on the environment at a time when Sunak is desperately trying to hold on to power by reversing his previous support for climate action and other environmental policies. read more

I wonder about our commemorations

Keen readers know how it works. You are in a bookshop. You see something you would like to read. You have a quick look at the introduction. Then you buy it, take it home and put it on a shelf in your library.

There it sits until…..

In this case the ‘until’ was the launch of the Defending Country Memorial Project which grew out of David Stephens long-running campaign to ensure the Frontier Wars were represented in the Australian War Memorial. read more

Evidence of rationality on US climate policy

Given the daily diet of extremism and irrationality demonstrated in US politics it is re-assuring to see research that, on the issue of global warming at least, the majority of Americans understand the problems and are supportive of action.

The latest report from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication shows that 57% of US registered voters would prefer to vote for a candidate who supports action on global warning. read more

What on earth were they doing the day Earth boiled?

On the day on which the Earth recorded a global average surface temperature of more than 2 Centigrade for the first time since records began what was the Australian Parliament and media doing?

While the Australian Parliament and the media were obsessed by whether or not the Prime Minister did or did not say something or other to Xi about sonar or how we would fit ankle monitors to refugees much of the rest of the world was looking towards the forthcoming COP28 with alarm and Australian politicians seemed oblivious. read more

A particularly satisfying cricket win – and not just for sporting reasons

For a former cricketer (one time Port Melbourne Cricket Club thirds all-rounder) and keen participant in politics it was immensely satisfying to see Australia winning the ICC World Cup while the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was there in the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad to witness it.

In case you were wondering of the significance of Modi’s presence the Indian media made it clear. Unlike in Australia – where it is impossible to imagine an Australian media outlet starting its report on a cricket match by mentioning the PM’s presence – it’s not the case in India. read more

Defending Country Memorial Project launched

For decades the Australian War Memorial Council denied the need for the full recognition of Australia’s first wars – the Frontier Wars – despite the overwhelming evidence of actions which today would be regarded not only as war but also in many cases war crimes.

Now the Defending Country Memorial Project has launched a website and a campaign to rectify that glaring omission. The Defending Country Memorial Project website details the overwhelming evidence that the War Memorial is wrong – evidence in books, colonial records, official reports and oral histories. read more

The best indicator of US voting intentions

There are many factors influencing voting behaviour but in the US one of the most powerful is religious affiliation.

The 2023 PRRI American Values Survey (see the recent blog post on American fears about democracy being at stake for more PRRI findings) demonstrates dramatic differences in various religious groups intention to vote in a Presidential election between Trump and Biden. The survey sample size was 101,000 from all US states. read more

Whittaker 2023 Memorial event Address

For many years a group of Port Melbourne people have been organising an annual commemoration of the 1928 dock strike and the death of Alan Whittaker, shot by police, during the dispute.

Now the committee which established the event is down to the last three members and we are wondering what will happen to the event in the future. Fortunately, a local historian, Janet Bolitho, has obtained a grant to make a film about Whittaker, the 1928 events and their commemoration. read more