Something for Cate

Loki here, speaking on behalf of myself and Maz.

We miss Catherine terribly. She was an amazing person, thoughtful, kind and good-humoured, and the world is a poorer place for her absence.

Catherine did important work on this site, and we felt that it was too important a thing to allow it to fall aside. But by the same token, we felt it would be disrespectful to her memory to continue her work on this site. This was her place, and it should remain that way.

We’ve discussed this at length with Andrew (who kindly agreed to post this message here), and between the three of us, have hit upon a solution.

Therefore, we invite you all to join us on the newly created <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Something for Cate</a> site, on which Loki and Maz will be carrying on the good work upon which Catherine laboured so long and so hard, and hopefully making the world a slightly less poor place, despite the Catherine-shaped hole in it.

We hope to see you there.

Sad news from Melbourne

This is Andrew posting. I have some devastating news. Catherine died suddenly last night in Williamstown from a heart attack. She was having a cycling holiday. We don’t have much more information at the moment, and we’ll let you know when we have more details, and when arrangements are being made.

If you have a special offer of help (eg knowledge of legal requirements, etc), please let Gillian Brent, Geoffrey Brent or me know.

No flowers please. There will be other ways to remember her, and I’ll post when we know what’s happening. Also no visitors for the meantime please unless specifically asked, or if one of us spoke with you earlier.

She was the most wonderful, vibrant, beautiful, thoughtful, caring, passionate person and I cannot believe she is gone

Western Australian Election 2021

Hello! I haven’t had the heart to blog much in this past year, and I’m sorry for that, but a friend of mine has been doing analyses of all the political parties and independents contesting the WA State Election this year, and they are very good.

Of particular note, my friend spotted that there are a handful of grouped independents in each Upper House seat with no online presence whatsoever, and in many cases, registered by the same person and the same email address. They appear to exist solely to funnel votes to specific microparties (Health Australia in Agricultural, WA Party in Eastern Metropolitan, Daylight Saving Party in Mining and Pastoral, Liberals for Climate – AKA Flux – in Northern Metropolitan, Liberal Democrats in South Metropolitan, Sustainable Australia in South West), which is apparently legal but is decidedly unethical in my book. Glenn Druery has been a busy boy… though to be fair, it looks like the Artists Formerly Known as Flux have also been significantly dodgy in their own right.

Anyway. You can find the index page for all the blog posts here:, and if you are planning to vote in WA, I recommend it to your attention as an excellent resource. Especially if you don’t want to accidentally vote for a fake independent.

(Yes, I am personally offended by the fake independents! I am extremely fond of our weird and whacky and passionate independent candidates and I feel that they break up our otherwise dreary parliamentary monoculture nicely. Like wildflowers in a field of grass. Don’t give me fake wildflowers, Mr Druery. They make me sad.)

PS – The next exciting question will be whether or not I can post this to Facebook, since Zuckerberg and co apparently mistook me for a Proper Journalist and included me in their cull of useful websites last week. I would feel more special about this if they hadn’t also mistaken all sorts of other organisations, including a vintage clothing website and most of Australia’s Medical Research Institutes, for Proper Journalists too, suggesting that their bar for this isn’t very far. Don’t get me wrong – it’s an excellent vintage clothing website and our MRIs are doing fantastic work, but journalism isn’t exactly their raison d’être, any more than it is mine…

Victorian State Election 2018 – Meet the Aussie Battler Party!

Update, November 15, 2018: Well, they certainly have developed.  I don’t know when it happened, but the Aussie Battlers have made sweeping changes to their policies.  No longer do they want to feed roosters to the starving and house the homeless in shipping containers, and now it appears that they are Tough On Crime and don’t like Immigrants.  I haven’t had a chance to look at them again properly, but will do my best to review them before the election.  In the meantime, you can read an article about the new policies here. But be wary.  This is definitely a bait-and-switch, and I’m wondering how many of their candidates were aware that this would happen. 

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

Facebook page:
Current leader: Stuart O’Neill
Themes: Common sense, Aussie Battlers, affordable housing and homelessness, ‘the real Australia’.  Patriotic and focused on regional Victoria.  Pro mouthguards!

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

Oh, this is one hot mess of a party.  They have completely different tickets in each region, and the only real common ground is that they always put Labor, Liberals and the Greens last.  But always in a different order.  Their top five varies wildly with the Animal Justice Party taking top billing in Northern Metropolitan, and the Shooters and Fishers getting it in Western Metropolitan.  In South-Eastern Metropolitan, alternate anti-family-violence candidates with the LDP and the Shooters and Fishers.

Their favourite party to support is Sustainable Australia (another party who I find very hard to read), which makes their top five on 7 out of 8 tickets. Derryn Hinch gets into the top five in 6 out of 8, and the Shooters and Fishers and Liberal Democratic Party both get there 5 times.  Transport is also important.  But honestly, everyone seems to turn up in their top five at least once, except for the Voluntary Euthanasia Party and the Victorian Socialists.  Even the Australian Liberty Alliance is in there.

It feels to me like the pro-gun parties are getting a higher than statistically-probable level of top billing, if this were all random, but there are kind of a lot of pro-gun parties this year, and I don’t know how to do statistical analysis, so take that for what it’s worth.

There is some evidence that they might be preferencing the small parties that they expect to be popular in that region – the Shooters and Fishers or the ACP in regional areas, Hudson for Northern Victoria in the north, the Animal Justice Party in the vegan-friendly northern metropolitan region.  But it could also be that they have no clue what they are doing, and I find it unsettling that I can’t tell.

Basically, if you are going to vote for this party, do it below the line.  You don’t know where your vote might end up otherwise.

The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations

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When I wrote my previous post in December, I really didn’t expect to be away from this blog for so long. Unfortunately, a combination of a wrist injury, work commitments, and a sort of dullness of heart that made even the idea of writing exhausting took their toll. Also, it’s very hard to pick just one political topic at present. There seems to be a constant barrage of new, most of it either infuriating or depressing.

And I’m not going to write about any of that today, either, though I do hope to be back here more soon.

Today, I want to celebrate the life of a most excellent cat.

Nothing bad ever came of scratching a fluffy tummy like this one.

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This is not a post about politics.  It is not a post about poetry, either, not that I’ve done one of those for a while.

You see, our beautiful, beloved, black and white cat, Mystery, slipped out of the house a few days before Christmas, and we have not seen her since.  Given her age, her health (she was on medication for thyroid issues), and her deep affection for my husband (there is no way that Mystery wouldn’t have come back to her daddy if she had been able to do so), we have to presume that she is dead.  We have, of course, letterboxed, and put up posters, and rung vets and visited shelters, and done all the things that one does when a pet goes missing, and we will continue doing so for a little longer, but realistically, we know her chances were never high.  If she hasn’t turned up by now, she isn’t going to.

I realise that it is self-indulgent to write Mystery’s obituary here, bracketed by my thoughts on microparties and asylum seekers and the current government, but I figure that thanks to the National Library Archive, this blog is the one thing in my life that I know will survive me.  Mystery was an excellent cat, and deserves to be remembered for posterity.  Also, I kind of like the idea that some future student, diligently researching The Role of Microparties in Australian Government in the 21st Century, or the Decade of The Seven Prime Ministers, or The Rise and Fall of Blogging in the Early 21st Century will run across this post and be bemused by it.

(To that future student: looking at pictures of cats on the internet is a traditional method of procrastinating in the early 21st Century, so you should definitely read on – this is an important opportunity to connect with the past through re-enacting its cultural rituals.)

(To anyone else reading this, it’s OK.  I know you are here for the politics, and I won’t be offended if you don’t read this post.)

Mystery, with her Daddy.

Mystery, with her Daddy.

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