How to keep a stable government in Australia

Malcolm Turnbull has beaten Peter Dutton 48-35 in a snap Liberal leadership spill.

The Prime Minister forced his rival to show his hand by declaring all leadership positions vacant as soon as the party room meeting started this morning.
Mr Turnbull won the vote and his deputy Julie Bishop was the only candidate for her role.
But the result is so narrow it is set to create ongoing problems for the Government.
Mr Dutton has now resigned from the frontbench creating a big gap in Cabinet that Mr Turnbull will have to fill.
However the ABC understands that despite Mr Dutton challenging him for the leadership, Mr Turnbull later offered that his rival could stay on in the Home Affairs ministry.

Politics in Australia is all about winning the next election, however, if a leader does not have the whole backing of his party the party can change leaders. This creates a reasonable stable political environment for the country. From an outsiders view this may seem chaotic, but it is better than other systems where they find themselves with a leader whom cannot be controlled by the party who elected him.

Book “The Troubles keeper”

I have to admit I have not read any fantasy books before, but within keeping with my idea of reading Western Australian authors and promoting them when I can. I tried this one. Susan May is well known for those who read e-books and she has a large following. I like books and had to find this one in book form. The story starts a bit slow and I found myself wondering if I would keep reading. However, it builds up to a delightfully quirky crescendo. It gave me a sense of the author’s freedom to explore a story without the limits of a factual styled book. The descriptive picture she paints lets the reader inside the head of the main character in a way that suggests he believes he is just an ordinary bloke with an extra gift. As the book develops he realises he is much more than he originally thought. The ending took the story around a full circle to the first revelation of his gifts. In a way I was a bit disappointed at the end when she describes where she found her ideas as I think I woulds rather have believed it all came from her creative mind.

about me

I was born and raised in Western Australia.
I am now retired from my job as an advocate. I as many people on the age pension, I have trouble paying the bills. There are those who complain about the lack of money, and there are those who try to improve their lot by being creative with their time to produce something that may make enough money to pay the bills. I am always seeking new ways to engage my mind, so I decided to write a book. I have spent a lot of time writing academic papers, have several degrees finishing with Masters in Theology. However, psychology had always been of interest to me as I like to learn what makes people tick. But I have never done any creative writing. I have found this an interesting if not scary experience. Writing a book was one thing getting it published is another. It is a whole world I know little about, but I am learning. Having a book published is a big thing for me because of my background. in the books.
My early life was shaped by several factors. I have a very retentive memory and once I have read something I can usually remember it. This was a problem when I was younger as I remembered my reading. Everyone thought I was a good reader where in fact I could not read. I became ill and had to be home schooled. My teacher one day noticed that my eyes were not following the words and realised I could not read them. The teacher tried Dick and Dora books, but I thought that was an insult to my intelligence and would not do it. Frustrated she asked what I would read, and I told her I had a book that my mother had thrown out and wanted to know it. It was the collective works of William Shakespeare thus the first thing I read at 9 years was Macbeth. This started a love of learning both formal and informal that I have kept up all my life. I am also dyslectic, although I read a lot and have overcome most parts I still don’t like to read out loud as my eyes can miss a line. I believe this means, that for many people who think they can’t, I can prove that it is possible to reach a high standard of education even if there are some barriers. “If you think you can’t-you can’t; but if you think you can, then you can.” I have a strong sense of family, and I love each person in my family and will do all I can to help them. I am basically a sole parent as I am raising my granddaughter and we have many happy hours talking as she talks with her right brain and I listen with my left brain. We have a mad cat called whiskers who seems to think it is OK to bite me for some unknown reason. And fish in a rather big pond in the back yard. As a counsellor and advocate, I have learned to listen carefully to people say, and I perceive it as one of my skills. My reading covers a wide area of history, religion and politics. I also like to read science fiction from time to time. I love Facebook as a way of keeping up with friends and family. I also like to do art, and when I am not writing, I paint. My first novel ‘Pathways in the mind’ is a psychological thriller. Although it is a novel, it is based on fact. “Pathways in the mind.” examine one person’s world view after a traumatic event that causes Retro Amnesia. Although the novel is a story, it is based on fact. Since the launch of “Pathways in the mind.” I have followed it up with “Metamorphosis.” and now “Juncture.”
AUGUST 1, 2017 EDIT

“Juncture” Pacific book review

Make sure to eat a stout and filling breakfast before starting on M. Kelly’s novel, Juncture. This story will definitely put your brain through some mental challenges as you try to figure out the interconnectedness of randomly seemingly unrelated events and characters.
The story opens with the main character of Marion, who is upset to be defending herself in a lawsuit for song lyrics. When Marion loses the case (not a spoiler, so settle back), she despairs at the financial burden to her family, but takes comfort in the fact they have such faith in her. A tragic accident on her way home leaves her a childless widow. Marion wanders around in shock. She soon loses her money, her proof of identity and, apparently, her mind. Eventually, she simply walks away from her old life and people believe she also perished in the accident.
Now, get ready for some brainwork. The book introduces Katrina. Katrina is a widow who is lost and afloat after the death of her husband Flynn. She struggles to put her life together and doesn’t quite understand the full circumstances of his death. Certainly, it’s suspicious to say the least. Desperate, a friend recommends Katrina see a paranormal advisor to make a connection to the husband. The paranormal? She’s new at this game. She’s not a charlatan, as you might expect, but has genuine powers to see things and know things that others just can’t.
Now, Ricardo. Quite frankly, he’s an unfortunate piece of work. He has few redeeming characteristics. A misogynistic tough guy, Ricardo is a difficult character to like— at first. However, he starts to grow on the reader. He’s rich, but very lonely because his first wife, the love of his life, died unexpectedly. Are you confused yet? It’s several chapters in before the reader sees how each of these oddball characters knows one another. Reading the book is a bit like unravelling a tapestry. When you see a loose thread sticking out, it’s a true, “Ah, ha!” moment. These characters are intricately woven together and their stories intertwine, connect, and reconnect in ways the brain simply couldn’t guess at.
While Juncture isn’t exactly a mystery, it’s still great fun to figure out how the whole story fits together. You’ll switch sides (first, you’ll like Ricardo, then hate, then probably like him again) for the characters and their motivations. You’ll reread to see what you simply didn’t notice the first time. You’ll finally get closure when you see how it all fits into a pretty neatly arranged story. The fast pace is to find the underlying cause of things in M.Kelly’s Juncture. This book is a must-read. It has a uniqueness that makes it refreshingly different. I look forward to more novels by this author.

juncture header

“Metamorphosis” Blue ink review

M. Kelly’s new novel, a sequel to her Pathways in the Mind, follows three men as they try to build meaningful lives and cope with memories of a dead woman they all loved.

Riccardo Rodregious, a Greek shipping tycoon, is mourning the death of his wife, Marion. Marion, an empath, was a calm, intelligent presence in Riccardo’s life, a woman who refused to let his sometimes abusive behavior faze her.

Marion’s two bodyguards, Flynn and George, were also deeply attached to her. But, unbeknownst to Riccardo, the two men are British military intelligence operatives who work security during breaks between missions. Some of Riccardo’s business associates are international criminals, and when Riccardo re-­hires Flynn and George two years after Marion’s death, their higher-­ups enlist them to spy on him while in his employ. Meanwhile, Riccardo is wooing a young American heiress, Selina. As Flynn and George reintegrate themselves into his household, all four characters find themselves haunted by memories of Marion. Flynn, in particular, senses that she may be reaching out to them from beyond the grave.

Kelly creates fundamentally strong, archetypal characters, and readers will easily find themselves invested in their fates. But rather than simply allowing their words and deeds to speak for themselves, Kelly frequently stops to explain how their personalities and past experiences inform their actions. These passages slow the book’s momentum.

Metamorphosis also suffers from some unbelievable plot points. For instance, it is unlikely that a child of privilege, however sheltered, would demonstrate Selina’s complete lack of knowledge of how a computer works or of the existence of online shopping. It also strains credulity that control freak Riccardo would fail to notice Flynn’s and George’s snooping.

Kelly has created three compelling protagonists, and her blend of espionage and the paranormal is potentially intriguing. But the novel requires streamlining and revision with an eye toward credibility in order to appeal to a wide audience.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Book. Conflict on Kangaroo Island

This is the second book by Stephen Crabbe.
The story is set in 1913 a year before the first world war. Kangaroo Island is s small island just off the coast of South Australia with the nearest port being Adelaide. In this small community, gosip is rife and it seems that the only policeman takes the side of the prevailing winds as the truth.

The main character is Pansy Pearce. A tall, athletic and strong willed young lady. She has her own ideas about how things should work. Sadly they did not fit in with the society of the time. The mystery seems to be about her next door neighbours who appear to have darker skin than was acceptable at the time. There are other side plots such possible German Spies who were buying gum from the “Yacca” trees.” In spite of the pictures on the front of the book, it took me some time to realise they are what I have always called “Blackboys.”

The story seemed to lack depth in character development. It took me three tries at the first two chapters to get the people set in my mind. All the main action seemed to happen in the last two chapters. There were also obscure pages devoted to another story.

Stephen’s description of the scenery seems to show the soul of a poet and added to the class of the book. In my mind, it is a story that could have been developed further so the reader does not get lost in side issues that appear to go nowhere. Never-the-less, I hope Stephen continues to gain strength in his writing and I am looking forward to more books from him.

Same-sex marriage

One of the big issues facing Australia at the moment is whether to legalise same-sex marriage.
If you had asked me to vote on legalising same-sex marriage 20 years ago, I would have said deferentially NO. I considered marriage a sacred institution for the safety of women and children. Now on reflection and a little research, I am ambivalent.
A quick pursual at the history of homosexual laws in Australia, one can see that it is just about 23 years since “sodomy” was considered a criminal offence to now where we are considering legalising same-sex marriage.
In the early years of settlement 1788-1994, Australia followed English law. The same-sex conduct was punishable by death or life imprisonment. It was considered a moral imperative as well as a legal one. In 1994 “sodomy” was still a criminal pursuit but was seldom used. 1951 the law was changed to ensure that “Buggery.” remained a criminal Act. It was then considered a pursuit mainly of men. Gay and Lesbian rights movement were not really organised in Australia until the late 1960’s. June 1970 a group called “CAMP.” started in Sydney and quickly spread across Australia. This was the age of sexual freedom with the introduction of condoms, the pill, and quickie divorce. It was to change the face of Australian law. Forever taking away the rights of the churches to speak only about morals. In 1970’s the Dustin Labour Government of South Australia introduced the consenting adult’s act and was the first state to do so. It was followed by the Commonwealth in 1994 who de-criminalised same-sex relationships between consenting adults. 2002 WA followed the other States.
Another significant shift in the way we perceived marriage was the change in the Family Law act of 1975. The Government established the principle of the no fault divorce. This meant that a couple only needs to express irretrievable breakdown of the marriage by a 12-month separation. This gave rise to a new phenomenon of the single parent family. It is the offspring of those parents that question the authenticity of marriage. As the divorce rate climbed, young people saw that the institution of marriage had been in decline for some time. It was obsolete so why marry at all? Is it assumed that if same-sex couples once gaining the right to marry will remain more faithful than heterosexual couples?
One could say the purpose of marriage is a commitment to each other for life. It offers stability, a psychological adjustment to adulthood, a gaining of economic attainment such as joining forces to get a house and for the raising of children in a stable environment. It could be said it is where boys learn to be men and girls learn to be women. But is that enough?
In December 2016 Australian Law recognised de-facto relationships as equal to marriage. Couples needed to have lived together for 2 years or less if there is a child. Thus the question of marriage is now not a social one but a moral one.
Here we see that Christian churches are divided. Anglican Churches openly hold services for same-sex couples. Whereas the Catholic church will never agree with homosexuality. That does not mean you can’t be homosexual you just have to abstain from intimacy. It is the same as a divorced person who has married in the Catholic Church they cannot have another relationship and remain faithful in the Church.
With 52% of Australians claiming to be Christian I think It may take a few more years to adjust to the notion of same sex marriage.

The changing face of Australia

The changing demographics in Australia over the past 16 years have brought about major shifts in the social fabric of our society. Past images of a white lazy sport mad society have given away to a hard working and culturally diverse community.
We have grown to 23,401,892 Australian residence. That is up 24.4 million. Melbourne is taking over from Sydney as the largest city. Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) is the fastest growing adding 40,000 new residence which is up 11%. Perth population is 1,943,858.
Australia is more culturally diverse now with more people coming not from Europe as before but from China, India and the Philippines. About half of Australian residents were born overseas of have or have one or both parents coming from overseas. 6 million arrived since 2012 that is up 200% Only 72% speak English. Mandarin is the second most common language. They bring with them traditions and colour adding to the experiences Australian can enjoy such as a wider variety of food. People who identify themselves as aboriginal is grown to 2.8% of the population which is higher than 16 years ago. They have come a long way in education and integration than before.

This has had a big impact on the way we see ourselves both socially and morally. 16 years ago most of the population saw themselves as Christian. Now even though 52% still identify themselves as Christian. 29% state they have no religion. Of the other religions 8.2% comprising of Buddhists from Vietnam 26%, Muslims from Pakistan 14%, Muslims from Afigsastine 11%.
As a country, we are getting older. The baby boomers have come of age. The number of people over 65 has grown by 665,000 since 2011. This has put a strain on our universal health system. However, Australians firmly believe in health care for everybody. The average age is 38 years and housing affordability is a challenge for most families. Often the older generation cares for the children while the parents work. The average wage is a $662 per week. Most Australians see themselves as the lucky country with a fairly stable government and freedom to say and do what you want without interference.

Syria

My heart goes out to the people of Syria. What started out as an insurrection against President Assad lead by the Free Syrian Army turned nasty when ISIS decided to join in. Assad would not step down and instead unleashed chemical weapons upon his own people. Now we know where the supposed weapons of mass destruction went to from Iraq. At first, the world ignored this civil war, now it seems a free for all with all sides offering weapons and advice from all countries. Beautiful towns like Aleppo now destroyed and thousands of people are displaced. One has to ask for what? My second book “Metamorphosis” was written at the beginning of the war. And what the characters said at the time turned out to be tragically true(see M.Kelly@infoinbooks). In fact, it is a horror story of biblical proportions.I cannot help thinking that all the nations now involved should just get out of the area and let the people who are left there to sort it out for themselves. It is no longer about ideology nor is it about religion. A holy Muslim is still a good person. If they follow the Qur’an all this killing is still wrong. Just as the line came from Abraham, the ten commandments still apply. How can you pray to Allah to be merciful and then not show mercy? As for the allies including Russia, I get the notion it is a game of one-up-manship. War is good for making money. It creates wealth for the makers of weapons. It creates jobs and gives the big boys a reason to play with their toy’s. The real losers are the starving people from Syria and the traumatised children who may never recover.

Book

NEW WAYS of SEEING  by Mark Tyrrell

This book is designed for clinicians and counsellors, however, I believe there is a message in it for all of us. It is about the art of reframing – challenge meaning – is essential to effective therapy and good communication.

Communication between us appears to be diminishing as our lives get busier. There are times when family members or friends tell you about their inadequacies. Often we listen with half an ear and then offer platitudes that make us feel better, but do they help? By reframing back to them what they said and add some positive feedback they not only feel listened to but they may have a new way of looking at things.

Metaphorical reframes can be more powerful than direct quotes because it bypasses the analytical resistance in the mind. This means it as not directly connected with the issue the person has expressed. One reason the direct approach may not work is that the person may have already tried to sort it out themselves. They may have heard it all before.

For example, many people express fear of going out in a crowd.  A response could be to liken it to a faulty car alarm. Instead of going off on a rare occasion. It becomes sensitive and goes off all the time. We need the car alarm to alert us when someone is trying to break in. The car alarm is important, but it needs to be reset so it will not go off every time the car is rocked by the wind. Thus the person is not crazy or helpless. This is a very different way of communicating to someone about his panic rather than say get over it.

There are all sorts of ways we can use imaginative tools to improve our communication, especially with our children. A bad grade at school could be understood as there is only one way and that is up. the most important part is to really listen to what people are saying and use creative ways to help them to think their own way out of their issues.

I liked this book as it gave me so many ideas to improve my communication.