All posts by Noel Turnbull

We need to talk about Scott – just as we needed to talk about Kevin

It’s probably too early to indicate a trend but it appears from recent polls possible that the more the Australian public sees of our new Prime Minister the less they like him. Nevertheless it may not be too early to start deconstructing why that might be.

Now the blog has an inbuilt concern about a Pentecostal like our PM. Having been to Oberammergau to see the new production, stripped of its anti-Semitism partly due to the scholarly deconstruction by James Shapiro of the old version but with a lot of help from others, the blog in one of the meal breaks sat with some families who had children working in Sydney at Hillsong and other evangelicals. read more

The pause in the commemoration thriller story

There is an oft-used technique in thriller films – after what seems like a shattering climax there is an almost pastoral passage in which your blood pressure drops back down and your pulse rate returns to normal only to be forced back up again as a new climactic event bursts across the screen. Clint Eastwood in Play Misty for Me is probably the best example of the phenomena. read more

Pontifical postscript

Friends have been busily giving the blog further examples of dumb/erroneous statements by conservatives which have been sadly (sorry that’s a joke which doesn’t remotely qualify as irony) exposed as nonsense.

The most frequent example cited was The Australian’s pontifical Paul Kelly who greeted Julia Gillard’s announcement of a Royal Commission into child abuse as “a serial exercise in populist policies and policy ignorance” saying the exercise was also “a moral crusade (aimed at) systematic dismantling of the Catholic Church.” “If only” would cry the victims of 2000 years of persecution and abuse cry from their graves, torture chambers and auto da fes. read more

Rewards for being stupid

One of the quickest way for advancement in conservative parties is to perfect the sneering and/or smearing put down when someone on the other side comes up with a new and different policy.

In Australia the greatest recent example is then Treasurer, Scott Morrison, saying “It’s nothing more than a populist whinge” in response to a call for a Royal Commission into the banks. read more

Pestilential postscript

Why do we remember and commemorate wars but not epidemics? The blog asked that in its last post focussing on the differences between commemorating Australia’s WWI dead and those many more who died in the world flu epidemic immediately after the war.

Yet in one of those serendipitous events the blog came across some significant work on just how prevalent epidemics have been in history, how they have been forgotten and some lessons for today. read more

Commemorating Australia’s most deadly disaster?

Australia is gearing up for its last hurrah of World War One commemoration with a fair amount of emphasis on how ‘we’ won the war with the decisive breakthroughs in the lead up to November 11.

The Canadians and the Brits think the same, as the blog has remarked before, but there’s lots of credit to go around and at least News Corp won’t be detracting from our glory by echoing Keith Murdoch’s condemnation of Monash. read more

Political campaigning – it can be different

Given the state of politics in the USA, the UK and Australia it would be easy to think that it had become partisan beyond repair.

Indeed, given also the extent of the influence of various fundamentalist Christians and other fundamentalist ideologues it might even by judged as Manichean with the good and/or evil being determined by who is speaking when and about what. read more

What have they got in common?

While all Australians are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the release of the Ruddock report on freedom of religion, and for information about our Pentecostal PM’s plan to protect freedom of religion, here’s a little quiz for blog readers.

What have the following got in common: Ovid, Erasmus, Copernicus, Montesquieu, Spinoza, David Hume, Sartre, Milton, Lawrence, Zola, Kepler and Gide? read more

No more team building and no more Myers-Briggs

One of the great benefits of being retired is the fact that you need never attend a corporate team-building exercise again. The other – if you are an employee – is not having to be subjected to various personality testing tools such as Myers-Briggs.

The blog’s old firm had regular – well annual anyway – team building exercises which doubled as strategy and training sessions. Like most such efforts they were held off-site and usually employed some form of facilitator – chosen by the management team and not the blog – and dinners and socialising at nights. read more

Crisis management – it’s kids stuff and other odds and sods

Crisis management is not that hard – just ask children in a UK school – as the blog discovered reading an article by Lucy Kellaway a former Financial Times management editor (a post she described as FT bullshit correspondent). Kellaway left full time journalism to become a teacher and founder of an organisation which encouraged business boys and girls to turn to teaching as a second late career life. read more