Monthly Archives: November 2012

Low Ryder

The cost of sending a delegation led by First Minister Alex Salmond to the Ryder Cup golf tournament in America was almost £470,000, the Scottish government has said. The trip in September was part of a plan to “maximise the economic benefits” of hosting the cup in Scotland in 2014. The government estimates the event […]

Weather With You

It is striking, sometimes, how one loses touch with bits of one’s past. I was reminded of this, last week, when I learnt that the Queensland Supreme Court has been completely rebuilt. The dingy piece of 70s ugliness where I did the Brisbane bits of my pupillage is, from what I can gather, no more […]

Hard Time

Prisoners in relationships will be prevented from sharing jail cells in a crackdown on sex in prison by the new Justice Secretary. Chris Grayling, who took over the role in the September re-shuffle, is understood to be looking at banning prisoners from setting up “cosy, domestic” living arrangements as part of his drive to make […]

Student loses case against Geelong Grammar

In May this year, I wrote a post about the case of Rose Ashton-Weir, who, with her mother, Elizabeth Weir, was suing Geelong Grammar because she alleged it did not support her to a sufficient degree to allow her to get into Law at Sydney University. Judgment has been handed down (Weir v Geelong Grammar […]

Calendars for all occasions

One of the more surprising entries to the calendar business is a sexy priests calendar. The declared celibates pictured are samples of what has been on offer, so to speak. We do live in surprising times. Though it does make you wonder about Catholic families steering gay sons into the priesthood. Gay Irish writer Colm Toibin […]

On going in aid

Few people like to think of themselves as bystanders to crimes of violence. We fondly imagine we will intervene if we see someone being mugged or assaulted, will defend our property from burglars, and generally protect those unable to defend themselves. This widespread but mistaken belief has been in evidence since this appalling incident on a […]

Breach of the Peace

Passengers on Edinburgh’s new tram system will face fines of up to £1,000 and year-long bans if they break any of the rules on a new list. A set of bylaws including drinking alcohol, playing music too loudly and wearing offensive T-shirts are to go before councillors on Thursday. Under the rules explosives are banned […]

How things look depend on where you stand

This post from Stratfor points out that the US faces much less stressful challenges than the EU or China or Iran. So, the re-elected President Obama faces a world where the US’s hand, vis-a-vis other Powers, is strengthening rather than weakening. I really don’t get the angst about President Obama’s foreign policy. Yes, he has […]

The invented past

In Melbourne’s Royal Arcade, originally built in 1869, stands the statues of the giants Gog and Magog.  Carved in 1892 they replicated statues erected in 1708 in London’s Guildhall. The legend being invoked is that Gog and Magog were giants defeated by the invading Trojans and made to guard a palace that stood where the […]

Righteousness trumps morality (and civility)

It is a persistent feature of religious systems that they create outcasts. At its most extreme, such outcasts are deemed worthy of being put to death, as is the case for Jewish apostates under Deuteronomy 13 or Islamic apostates under the traditional interpretation of Sharia. Even if outcasts are not deemed as marked for slaughter, […]