The aftermath of the Libspill by Cameron Gosley

Cameron has shared his post and this link with us. Thank you, Cameron, for adding a political perspective to our blog.

The aftermath of the Libspill – Cameron Gosley (guest blogger)

Now that most of the fuss has died down over the loss of our 28th Prime Minister, it might be worth seeing what changes Turnbull can implement, or whether it is a case of “Same shit different smell”, if you’ll mind the turn of phrase. Two of the main constraints after the change of leadership will be how much Turnbull will be able to shift the policies of the Government, as well as how far the coalition parties will bend to accommodate him.

Turnbull would be wise to pick his battles, as although he’s seen more favourably in the eyes of the Australian people, he still has to rely on the support of the party. We’re already seen him bite the bullet on issues such as climate change, sticking to the Direct Action policy (despite previously saying that he “wouldn’t lead a government that’s not as committed to effective action on climate change as [he] is”), gay marriage, as well as the newly dredged-up republic issue. The Labor party was quick to show this supposed selling out from the get go at the first question time of the new Prime Minister, however Turnbull is probably well aware that he has very limited political capital, especially among the right faction with players mainly in the Senate, such as Cory Bernardi and Eric Abetz, as well as the Nationals, who despite being initially reluctant to jump back into a coalition agreement, were seemingly placated by a new ministry. The effect of this limitation of capital means that it is more difficult for Turnbull, to make moves on issues on which he is more progressive.

With the new agreement, the Nationals may be able to be the tail wagging the dog for the first time in a long time. The air of illegitimacy that surrounded the Gillard and Rudd II Prime Ministerships has given the Nationals a bit of bargaining power, especially since their favoured candidate lost out. The Nationals are looking to remain relevant in an increasingly more cosmopolitan Australia. While heartlands still remain, they’re increasingly at risk of being knocked out by Liberals and Greens. Barnaby Joyce, one of the most charismatic Nationals, is one of the driving factors of the party in the current political environment, however, with his inevitable takeover of the party once again stopped by Warren Truss’ decision to contest the next election, The Nats are going to be trying to co-operate while providing a point of difference from the Liberals once again.

Leadership challenging is a fairly new trend in Australian politics. Billy Hughes kicked it off, when he challenged the larrikin Gorton in ’71, and even though Gorton was an average prime minister, Hughes was a shocker. Challengers have never succeeded their predecessors’ popularity, with none in history yet being able to win a second election. However, Turnbull may be able to turn this around yet. With a stunning opinion poll, Turnbull has appeared to have turned the party around in a way that history would not have thought possible. With Labor’s tactic of cheap shots, as well as Bill Shorten seemingly not being able to adjust to Turnbull’s snappier pace, the public opinion of Labor may now be irreparable before the election next year. Labor also has the issue of the Greens to deal with: providing a point of difference as well as trying to capture the centre as well as avoid leakage to the left.

This is the most unstable time in Australian Political History. Even the short-lived Prime-Ministers of the post-federation era had longer political lifespans than Prime Ministers in the last five years. John Howard was the last Prime Minster to serve a full term. Hopefully Turnbull will be able to retake control of the country and deliver a stable leadership, as well as trying to put an end to the current knifing culture in Australian politics for the long-term sake of the country.

Terror in the woods (incomplete)

“Penny! Where are you? Come back please. I’m sorry, it was a joke!” Me and my friends were camping out for the weekend in the forest, and it was the first time for my girlfriend. It was usually the three of us, me, Jack, 

and Jenny. But today was supposed to be different, this was the first times had confined my girlfriend, Penny 

to come along. 

I know right? So weird, Jenny, my sister, and Penny, my girlfriend. 

I loved the smell of the wet ground and trees. It’s just something about the freedom and the freshness that gets

to me. I just can’t help it, I would take my chance to camp out, any excuse.

Living in the city, crawling through the streets at a snail’s pace, putting up with the noise, that just wasn’t living. 

Well anyway, it had taken ages for the four of us to gather enough firewood to build a small, fire to keep us 

warm throughout the fire, and just like anyone would, we started telling scary stories through the night.

Because my sister and I had been doing this so much more than the others, we had many horrifying stories 

stored up over the years. My favourite was the one where four best friends camping out over night slowly start 

disappearing without anyone knowing who or what was taking them. 

Before long, we got to one we had heard so many times over the years, the hunt for the witch man. It was said 

that in the 1700s he was head of the witch hunters committee but that then one day as he accused a witch and

burnt her, she managed to curse him just before she died. That he would forever be on he hunt for witches, 

even after his body cripples and weakens, he would live on, hunting for witches but never being able to kill 

them. It’s said the he still roams these forests looking for unaware witches and locking them away in his secret 

dungeon. 

At those times people were suspected of being witches if they had shoulder length black hair and noses longer

than average. 

Funnily enough, we always changed the story, depending on who we were trying to scare. For example, that 

day I’d matched Penny’s description to the witches.

Once I finished telling she story we all looked to see how Penny was coping with the story. I knew that Penny 

was very aware of having a slightly abnormal nose and the length of her black hair. I just hoped that she 

actually listened properly to what I said. She does have low concentration, especially when it comes to 

listening to someone telling a story.   

It seems she was listening because her wides were pretty wide, or well, wider than usual when hanging out 

with us.

Jack just looked at Penny and solemnly nodded, trying to keep the straightest face, as he said to Penny, “You 

know it’s true right, there have been sightings of a crippled old man walking around these areas muttering 

about must find witch.” 

Oh man, I was so close to passing out from holding in my laughter. This was working out perfectly! She was 

hooked on like a fish on well, a hook.

“Well, I think that’s enough nightmares for one night.” And with that, we all crawled back into the two tents. I 

was sharing with Penny (of course), and Jack was sharing with Jenny(I think they really like each other but are

trying to keep it secret, meh, who am I to intrude? As long as he doesn’t hurt her…)

I didn’t ate me long to fall asleep, after all, if there as a competition for allying asleep on time, I think I would be

world champion. Without even opening my eyes… (Hah, see what I did there?)

Sometime in the night, I felt an empty space to my right, a cold daft had blown in through e gap in the tent. Oh 

no, Penny! 

I jumped out the tent, not caring that I didn’t have a short on in this cold, and ran across to my friend’s tent and 

shook them awake. They were cuddled up. Ugh, but I pushed that thought aside as I was more worried about 

Penny. 

“Guys! Wake up. Jenny! Jack! I can’t find Penny!” That’s all it took for them to wake up. Both were startled by 

finding me in their tent. They looked sheepishly at me, with pink faces, embarrassed at being caught.

“We’ll talk about this later. But first, Penny.” 

Hypothetical letter from Francois Pieenar to Nelson Mandela.

November 1995

Dear Mr Mandela,

We did it! On the behalf of the Springboks I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in us. Never in my wildest dream would have I expected you to wear our colours let alone support us and remember our names.At first, when you asked me to join you I was apprehensive and nervous, I though to myself what could the president possibly want from me?But now it has become clear to why you wanted to see me. Me and the team have realised that rugby is bigger than just a game.It is a symbol for uniting our nation. What before separated our nation has now brought us closer. Closer to the the potential of our beautiful rainbow nation.
Because of you, everyone one in South Africa was supporting the Springboks.For the first time in my career, I have truly felt my whole country behind me. No longer do I see citizens of our country support the other team out of hate. We have all made mistakes in the past but thank you for showing the whole country how to forgive by example even when you were imprisoned wrongfully, you showed the country how to forgive. You said a leader must lead by example and that is exactly what I did , I was always the first to go and the last to leave at training and now it has paid off. I now know that to get the best out of people you must give them something to stride for.

Something was eating away at me during the World Cup. I wanted to know how you managed to spend 18 years on Robben Island. 18 years in a room no bigger than a bathroom.So I scheduled a trip to Robben Island with the team. To also give them inspiration on how to overcame adversities and hardships.Like how you showed by giving me that poem Invictuis. I want to teach them no matter how hard things get one must never give up, to never wince or cry aloud in the in the fell clutch of circumstance and that is exactly what the boys did when facing defeat against New Zealand. Like how you taught our country no matter how wrong they have been in the past, we must face our hardships and move past from it.

The future of our country is truly bright. Rugby for the first time in the history of our country has brought everyone together, everyone has laughed together, cried together and cheered together. I think that this is just the beginning, we have shown that if a whole country can unite and put aside their differences for even 80 minutes then it is possible for us to do it in the future. As we are the masters of our fate and the captains of our soul.

Yours sincerely,
Francois Pienaar

Monday

Bleary warm dark, soft breathing in the stilness and beautiful silence, wonderful in its thickness and depth like falling into a velvet curtain and slowly drowning in its heavy folds but the breaths just come in and out slowly in a rhythm, drifting further into the syrupy darkness never seeming to find the bottom, but the fall isn’t a fall any more, just spinning slowly in a graceful arc in an empty space, black and devoid of light but watching small pinpoints of brightness appear until the void is shining like the night sky, full of light and colour but eerily silent and beautiful like a muted explosion of life frozen midway and left there to grow old in the void which seems to be eternal but looking now one of the lights is growing brighter and brighter until it smothers the others under its glow, absorbing them into its mass like a sponge sucks up water but now the sponge is full and needs to be wrung out and the trickles of watery light ooze out in a kaleidescope of patterns on the canvas of the world, wonderful and rich with a depth which never seems to end as you gaze into it more sides appear and the three-dimensional maze of thoughts organises itself into flat lines amd edges all shifting into posistion as the matrix of connections all fire together to bring everything up and your eyes open to the shrill scream of your alarm.

Finding the inspiration to continue

There are many reasons that we start writing something. But personally, what I really want to be able to do is continue stories. Having an elaborate story that you can build, up follow through, and develop characters and plot in a slower manner is personally an important ability as well. Honestly, the real reason I want to be able to do it is so I can remember my dreams, which might silly, but most of my longer dreams are nightmares and I find it relaxing to write out what happened. Along with this, when I think back to the dreams I can remember, I think they had some seriously epic story lines. Dreams that came and left on a whim, so when I do remember them, a sense of nostalgia passes by, with a shock going through my body. I find that to be my greatest inspiration to write, that is, to write away fear. And nowadays when I think back to those that I started, they remind me of a cool story, and it’s one that I wish I could finish, to clear up my thoughts.