SMH: Ideology Runs Over Logic in the Drive to Build WestConnex

We hear of traffic issues in other major cities and believe that it’s normal to have these same issues in Sydney. However have you ever thought whether for our population and spread of our city’s expanse, that the same should apply for us?

It’s a shame that we have allowed private interests to funnel us into traffic behaviours, instead of incorporating their interests in with the interests of the city and its inhabitants.

“Research shows us that in most industrialised cities, including Sydney, car use is declining due to fuel prices and other living pressures, while demand for public transport continues to grow. Sydney is a model example of this shift. So while Prime Minister Tony Abbott believes the ”humblest person is king in his own car”, the evidence says many of us are opting out of this 1950s mindset.”

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SMH: Tony Abbott: here are your 10 commandments

I liked this article and found it quite entertaining. If you want to be a leader that tries to promote your beliefs in the way you want to govern, then you need to be acting within the realms of your belief system. Otherwise, what do you really stand for?

“How might Jesus have governed Australia? As a greenie, leftie, pinko atheist, it strikes me that being a Liberal Prime Minister and a devout Christian is a hard ask, so here’s some free advice to Tony Abbott.”

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Business Insider Australia: Greek Member of Parliament Yelling “Heil Hitler”

Business Insider Australia: Greek Member of Parliament Yelling “Heil Hitler”

As the few words of the post note, a Χρυσή Αυγή or Golden Dawn member of parliament gets themselves into some trouble.

The rise of far-right sentiments in Greece is no longer something that Greek parliament can simply spectate. It needs to educate and remind Greeks everywhere why the notion of nazism is just not acceptable to a nation that suffered immensely from its effects. People endured poverty, famine and in its extremes there were many deaths.

Nationalistic and true Hellenic passion is acceptable and should be promoted, however this is far from being anything about being a true Hellene.

Football NSW: Special Feature – Olympic’s Dynamic Duo

A good article on the footballing chemistry between Sydney Olympic’s coach Peter Tsekenis and assistant coach Peter Papoythis. We wish both of them every success in their careers and hopefully we can watch them work their magic in the A-League as well.

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Football and … Immigration??

It seems that the success of the Western Sydney Wanderers has made the news again. I am not sure if we can say that it’s for a good or bad reason. It has however sparked a debate again amongst the followers of the football codes. This time it’s australian rules football versus football.

The Giants from western sydney had a very low attendance at their last home game. As the article notes, it’s the lowest since attendance at any AFL game since 1996.

When the Giant’s coach Kevin Sheedy was questioned about it, he responded:

“We don’t have the recruiting officer called the immigration department, recruiting fans for Western Sydney Wanderers. We don’t have that on our side,” Sheedy said.

“We’ve got to actually start a whole new ballpark and go and find fans.

“Because that’s what happens when you bring a lot of people through, channel into a country and put them in the west of Sydney and all of a sudden they build a club like that in one year and all of a sudden they’ve got probably 10,000 fans and 20,000 going to a game.”

This of course sparked some controversy in the football circles. Craig Foster wrote a “reply” on The World Game website, and as the article states, a player felt compelled to twitter his feelings publicly.

Personally, I think I do understand where Sheedy is coming from. I don’t want to represent or misrepresent him, nor do I want to defend his statement.

I think he was implying that for most immigrants their love for football is already there and it is possibly already part of their culture. Therefore it would be easier to attract crowds to football games. An immigrant is less likely to adopt aussie rules football.

The fact remains though that the Western Sydney Wanderers has been used an example of a success story. Whether the fan base is made up of immigrants along with the locals has no bearing on the club’s popularity.

As for Kevin Sheedy and the Giants, I think finding a way to win could potentially change their attendances and remove any doubt as to their longevity in the AFL.

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Financial Times: Merkel faces scrutiny over Communist past

Probing into the past of politicians’ lives is nothing new but it is interesting that this took a while to become newsworthy. The austerity being imposed in a few areas of the Euro and an opposition looking for anything to help them, perhaps has made this more important than it probably really is.

In the article Merkel claims that she joined certain groups purely for social reasons rather than for political reasons. Either way it seems that in trying to keep it as less interesting as possible she seems to also distance herself from her current political standing.

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eKathimerini: Potential Three-Party Coalition Emerges

eKathimerini has an interesting article on the potential of the three political parties, New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left, joining to to make a coalition government. The election result has again not given any party outright control and as such only a coalition can result in a ruling entity in Greece.

The Greek election result shouldn’t have surprised anyone.

Why anyone would expect that the people’s choice would have changed significantly in just over a month baffles me. The results did vary but not enough to give anyone an outright majority.

New Democracy and its leader Mr Samaras, increased its overall percentage of voters, enough to give it the numbers to form a coalition government. However still, the only way it acheive this is if the two major opposing political forces work out a very strange political marriage. Old and bitter foes joining forces for the “good of the country”.

A lot of us will call it for what it really is.  A marriage of convenience.

Many will concur that the New Democracy and PASOK marriage was inevitable due to the drop of support for both parties. PASOK in particular has been reduced to a “small party” and only has some life in it because New Democracy doesn’t have enough seats to rule on its own. Also because there are only three parties willing to form a coalition.

The eKathimerini article goes into some detail about these negotiations between the three parties.

I would like to highlight one key point in the article. PASOK’s leader Mr Venizelos has agreed to discuss a coalition government but insists that SYRIZA needs to partake in order to form a united political force to front up to Europe.

SYRIZA managed a historical electoral swing and gained the second highest percentage of votes both in the May and June elections. Its leader Mr Tsipras has been a strong advocate for renegotiation with Europe on the memorandum and the austerity measures that have been put in place in order to appease Europe to receive an economic bailout. Although at one point many thought he would win enough of the votes to form his own coalition and leading Greece in its next phase, he now wants to be a strong opposition force to keep Mr Samaras to his election campaign promises.

Personally I see this as the easy way out for Mr Tsipras.

If he truly had a vision and an agenda then why wouldn’t he accept to join this “bi-partisan” government and force his opinions and ideals within a governing coalition? To potentially have enough political weight to make the government take actions now while he has stirred the political pot domestically and across Europe.

Why accept to fight as an opposition force?

The one explanation is that he may want to see Mr Samaras fail to impress the Greek people and potentially win the next elections. One could argue that this is the stance of someone simply wanting to fulfill his personal aspirations rather than for the best of his troubled citizens. If this his strategy, and he believes that Mr Samaras will not serve the people well, then is he not sitting back to watch the Greek people suffer more in order to gain his political victory?

Please feel free to comment and contribute.

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