The moderate majority

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Unless the moderate majority organises itself into an organised, aggressive and verbal lobby, the angry minority will win (this) argument.

— Analysis, Anne Applebaum, Washington Post. Brexit paralysis will feed witch hunts, published in The Age, Saturday, December 3, 2016, p18

Let us remember that the moderates are in the majority (not just relating to Brexit).

Let’s be heard above the rants of the radical minority.

Refugees are human beings

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Sadly, the word refugee today has become so politicised and the narrative so polarised, it’s been stripped of all its tragedy and the human suffering and sorrow it carries. It is heartbreaking to see something so fundamentally humanitarian transformed into something political, and exploited to garner popularity and votes. At the core of the refugee crisis are human beings who have lost everything through no fault of their own.

— Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Interview Being a Queen is a job like any other published in stellar, Sunday, December 4, 2016, p13

Let us not exploit refugees for political gain.

Let’s be humane and compassionate.

The Cult Of The Celebrity Chef – Good or Bad?

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I’ve recently written about my restaurant gripes. Only three so far!

These are: The No Bookings Policy, The Two (or more) Sittings Policy,
and The Need To Plan Your Outings Weeks In Advance.

Admittedly, these gripes apply to the better, more popular, and most lauded restaurants. But are these policies and practices what we have to put up with to get a quality dining experience?

And am I alone in thinking that these policies have become more entrenched with the rise of the celebrity chef?

For A Good Cause

But credit where credit is due…

The cult of the celebrity chef has resulted in a heightened interest in the profession as a career choice.

Interest is so high that some of these chefs are harnessing this momentum to support worthwhile causes.

We watched Jamie Oliver establish Fifteen, the training restaurants, taking unemployed young people and offering them an intensive introduction to the hospitality industry.

And earlier this week I caught a show on ABC 1 TV that brought me to tears.

Inspired by Celebrity Chefs?

110912tod_tv_pohs_kitchen_2_184t5gf-184t5gsPoh’s Kitchen Lends A Hand focussed on Aaron and Ben, two previously homeless young men (in the program they show us where they lived rough), who had the courage to take control of their lives.

They left the world that they knew, and connected with a support program that introduced them to STREAT*. STREAT is a social enterprise that provides hospitality training in their Streat cafes for at risk young people.

Aaron and Ben have completed the six-month training program learning to cook. They both want to be chefs—Aaron wants to run his own restaurant by the time he is 26.

If the ‘celebrity chef’ pull is such that it can take homeless young people off the streets long enough for them to have some chance of getting their lives back on track, then I’m all for it.

Follow your dreams, Aaron and Ben.

What do you think has been the impact of the ‘celebrity chef’?

* STREAT is a social enterprise providing homeless youth with a supported pathway to long-term careers in the hospitality industry.
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Image Credits:
Celebrity Chef photo montage – images sourced from Master Chef Guest Chefs except for Pete Evans, Manu Feildel, Karen Martini, and Guy Grossi, sourced from My Kitchen Rules Judges

Poh with Aaron and Ben at Streat cafe – Picture: Alexandre Schoelcher, sourced from thewest.com.au

Julian Assange—Where do you stand?

I’m not sure where I stand with the whole Julian Assange situation (WikiLeaks, his attempt to avoid returning to Sweden for questioning).

But I do have a two nagging questions about his seeking asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy:
bbc co uk Julian Assange at Ecudorean embassy
Ecuador was not compelled to grant political asylum to Assange.
If they felt it was a spurious claim, they could have politely said, “Not this time,” and handed him back. So I am taking it that the Ecuadorean government have done their research and decided that Assange has a reasonable enough claim.

Would the British government be suggesting they could take Assange if he had sought (and been granted) asylum in the United States embassy (hypothetically speaking)?
The British swagger over their claim that they have legislation that allows them to override the protection of a foreign embassy sounds a bit like bullying to me. I think they are doing it because they can, given that Ecuador does not sit highly on the scale of world powers. Could you see them trying this with the United States?

Just saying …

Image credit: AAP (sourced from SBS World News Australia)

London 2012 and our ‘Aussies’

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London 2012. One week in and while Australia’s total medal tally is respectable, it is unexpected for us to have only one gold medal at the end of the swimming events.

If any time is a good time for the chant, it must be now…

“Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi !”

I never thought I would say that out loud. But thanks to Germaine Greer, I have a better appreciation of this call to nationalism. Continue reading