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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Sunday Sanity Break, 19 November 2017 - the will of the people

Australia has been warned. Existential threats abound as we look north. Are we doing all we could to equip ourselves just in case some other peoples come to believe they could do a better job running this wide brown land? When are the used nuclear submarines going to slide into our defence system? How quickly are new frigates coming off the production line? How are we going replacing the F111s that served us so well? Where are those stealthy jet fighters?

Of course, no one wants to be fighting a hot war with nuclear weapons but a sensible hypothesis is that Australia needs to have such a threatening capacity for war that no-one will bother us. While we are at it, what about nuclear power for base load power generation? That is the solution in many other advanced nations, and we do have large supplies of uranium. What do those other uranium-using people know that we do not?

The people have spoken. Any human can marry any other human. The irony is that traditional married couples are getting unmarried at a great rate, but good luck to the non-heterosexual people who wish so fervently to be married. The plebiscite has been so successful that it is a clear alternative way for democracy to be run, at least once we have found a less expensive way to record and count votes. Did someone mention the internet?

Another trivial issue to resolve concerns the 'dual nationality' issue for members of parliament. This has been debated in Henry's household - currently a women (the boss), a bloke and a dog named Jack, the three babies having flown the nest.

Easiest is allow anyone who was born here, the Obama solution. Or anyone with all four grandparents born here. Or anyone who is an Aussie citizen and, if we wish, we could change the rule on that matter to include a compulsory renunciation of all other citizenships, and if we catch them favouring any other nation we send them to Manus Island. Or we could follow the existing constitution and make the pollies get off their bums and actually finding out whether they are qualified.

As a matter of historical interest, did the fathers of federation ponder the irony in section 44 of their constitution? One presumes that many, perhaps a majority, had come from afar and had some sort of warm thoughts about the place from whence they came. Most were British citizens, and even after 116 years, how can someone who is also a British citizen, or NZ, or Canadian, be deemed have commitment to a hostile power? Obviously Henry is no lawyer, but was this point considered by the High Court worthies?

The sporting world.

Henry's international alarm clock woke him at 1.50 AM so he could go to the TV to cheer on our Wallabies as they played and fought the Pommie bastards. Luckily he turned over and went back to sleep, but from the morning news this was just as well. As he heard it, Australia was in there fighting until a Kurtly Beale try was disallowed, unfairly one assumes, and our lads dropped their intensity and got smashed by rampaging Lions. Lions are protected species in England, wallabies are regarded as vermin.

Good news, however, the Aussie wimmin cricketers smashed the pommie shielas in the first T10, or 20, or whatever strange type of cricket it was, to regain the Ashes. In the 4 day test, our favourite cricket shiela took wickets and made a record 213 not out. I briefly thought this might be the answer to the Aussie blokes 'number six' problem, but liberation has not gone so far that such an horrendous spectacle can be allowed. (Imagine the howls of protest from the old blokes in the gentlemen's clubs of Melbourne.) Let it be known that would have been Henry's solution.

Henry does wish Mr Marsh's eighth attempt to cement a spot in the test team succeeds . (Was it Einstein who said attempts to do the same thing the same way was a definition of insanity? Eight times looks like utter madness.) And how does Tasmania's number 3 or 4 wicket-keeper who in the past year or so has hardly kept wickets make sense. Perhaps the gentlemen of the selection panel are trying to right a long festering wrong, but if Mr Paine makes one tiny mistake he will be vilified, and he'd wish he was standing at first slip for Tassie.

Of course, if cricket had used the plebiscite method of making decisions there is doubt there would be a better test team, so if we fail to achieve the five nil result we so desire, we obviously need a new selection committee, or a plebiscite system of selection. Memo Roy Morgan - here is a great opportunity for one of your fine surveys.

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