Everybody’s changing

Sometimes there’s a real synergy between a number of different topics that fits nicely under the one blog heading. In a brief synopsis today’s blog will feature a mention of my trip to Brisbane, the Labor Leadership change, the Ashes, and whatever else occurs to me in the course of penning – or typing – this entry. Oh, and I recently became the proud owner of Liberia.

I’ll start with the known knowns – and move towards the known unknowns, ignoring completely the unknown unknowns.

I spent a few days in Brisbane last week. That was weird. It was a work trip and I was doing all sorts of official things demonstrating my competency and learning lots about tourism in the process. I’ll start the account from the beginning, which is, as we know courtesy of Rodgers and Hammerstein, a very good place to start.

I flew into Brisbane on Wednesday night, having spent most of the plane trip playing “eye spy” with the inquisitive six year old seated across the aisle I was ready to collect my bags and make a mad dash to the front of the taxi queue when suddenly there was a loud bang (well more a muffled whrrrr sound) and the lights went out. The baggage carousel shuddered to a stop and I was stranded waiting for my rather large, brown, antique suitcase to appear. It did. I got a cab. It drove me to my parents house. I disembarked (got out). I had dinner (cold steak). Wrote some of my sermon (which I will be preaching at church up here this Sunday night). And went to bed. I’m now tired of the blow by blow account – no doubt you are too.

Thursday was a day filled with meetings – well there were two – I met with our two PR companies who are largely responsible for sourcing the travel journalists I host in the region – and thus largely responsible for my free steak tally. It pays to be nice to the people who provide you with free steak so I duly told them what a wonderful job they were doing sourcing (and saucing) my free steaks. We established the parameters of our working relationship for the next year (with a steak quota now firmly entrenched in their contractual obligations) and moved on. Thursday was also my pseudo birthday – the day my family arbitrarily sets aside to endow me with gifts. So we celebrated in splendid fashion with noodles, waffles, and friends.

I also used my time in Brisbane to walk past the new State Library and its infamous balls of steel – which I’ll admit to finding mildly aesthetically appealing, while also admiring the skyscrapers which have been added to the CBD’s skyline since I left in March. I didn’t get to check out GoMA but I’ll save that for my next trip south. I did however, manage to visit JB Hifi, where I spent way too much of my hard earned wage purchasing a number of CDs I’ve been unable to locate in Townsville to date. Gotye, Bob Evans, and a few other JJJ favourites including Keane have now taken their rightful place in my CD collection. Keane segues nicely into my next topic – the lyrics from their song “Everybody’s changing” are quite apt when considering the Rudd takeover of the Australian Labor party.

So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel the same

Queensland’s second most famous Dr Death, Kevin Rudd, managed to wrest control of the party from the grasp of Kim Beazley, taking a caucus majority of 49-39 and “uniting” the party room behind his partnership with Julia Gillard. The more things change, the more they stay the same – Rudd’s Labor party will face the same challenges the Beazley party faced. He still needs to convince the public that he’s not too academic for the top job – with criticism of his extensive vocabulary already airing. I like Rudd – and he’s got a solid base of experience and expertise behind him. Solid enough to convince me that he’d be a suitable Prime Minister – I’m just not sure I prefer him to Howard or Costello. They all look like politicians to me.

It strikes me that 10 months out from an election is not an ideal time to be changing leadership – it also strikes me that with Labor polling ahead of the government this change was fairly unnecessary. Although I’m not sure anyone really wants Beazley to be prime minister – it’s more a case of public sentiment turning against Howard following the IR laws. I’m yet to be convinced the IR laws are a bad thing – but equally – I’m yet to be convinced they’re a good thing. There have been a number of issues that just haven’t registered with me as anything more than standard bureucratic incompetence – the AWB scandal, Children overboard – and in fact anything that has gone wrong in the last 10 years – seem to me to be the cost of the democratic process and not a compelling reason for governmental change. My biggest issues are with things like health, education and water – which all seem to be state government babies.

By the time you read this post Australia’s fate in the second Ashes test will be well and truly sealed, I’m predicting a win for the Aussies – and have been a believer all day.


DanielS says:

I don’t think my geography is that bad – have you taken possession of Liberia yet?

Anonymous says:


Sara says:

Why do you call Kevin Rudd Dr Death?

AndrewF says:

“Nathan in Townsville – the place to turn for the latest in breaking news”
No really – I had no idea about the Rudd thing… Even after reading it here, I had to look hard on the SMH page… strange.

Nathan says:

When Kevin Rudd was Wayne Goss’s chief of staff he earned the nickname Dr Death because of his icy disposition.

This is a piece of a story in the Australian:

“When Goss was elected, Rudd remained as chief-of-staff before setting up the cabinet office in early 1991 to work policy – his true love – through the public service. The Queensland public service at the time had only worked for one party, that of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and Rudd’s direct approach was a shock.

His nickname of the time, “Dr Death”, summed up how a lot of Queensland bureaucrats viewed their hard-headed boss. Others recall a man who pushed himself very hard and who expected those around him to follow. Certainly, there was a high turnover of staff in the cabinet office. “

miriam says:

did you not think my lovebite comment (see previous post), was funny??

it’s hilarious!

Nathan says:

no – it was pre-empted by the “not a hickey” heading

Pete says:

You grew up in Maclean? My family used to holiday at Woody and church at Maclean Baps for 3 weeks every year up until… 1999. The Pressies at Yamba were good. Mark someone was the pastor. Do you know the Stanmores, the Collins or the Reeves? Rick Reeves? Do you know the Brisbies?

In Townsville did you know Geoff Bishop… or was it John Bishop? He was old and died a couple of years ago. I stayed him and his wife one time.

As for Rudd, he seems like a nicer guy that Beazely, but probably because he doesn’t look and act like a toad. If you’re ever home from 2pm-3pm (I think) on a week day, the ABC air question time in parliament. That’s helped me decide who I like, politically. Some of the politicians are reasonable, others are irrational. Howard always gives good answers to questions, as does his team. Labor just yell accusations which Libs generally find easy to rebut. I never watched parliament when Labor was in power, so I wonder how the dynamic changes. Do the Liberals equally become barking dogs?

Did you get the skirmish trophy at Nick Silva’s bucks?

Nathan says:

I’ll work from bottom to top:

the bruise – no, I got it playing indoor paintball with the WIN news team in Townsville – sports journalist Jesse Platz is a good shot. I’ll leave it at that.

My favourite question time performer is Peter Costello. He’s good.

I didn’t know Geoff Bishop, I only moved to Townsville in March.

Dad’s a minister so I knew the Brisbies vaguely through combined churches stuff (I was quite young when they left Maclean, and they were Baptists). If the Collins were from Iluka and involved in scouts then yes. I did know them. I don’t think I knew the others.

Mark Cooper-White is the pressy minister in Yamba, he was dad’s assistant. He’s cool.

Anonymous says:

Pete – you are a champion!
I like you a lot. You are almost as HOT as Nathan.

miriam says:

i may have overlooked that minor detail…