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Australia by Night with Stephen Cenatiempo

10pm-midnight
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Australia by Night with Stephen Cenatiempo

Kick back and relax with Stephen Cenatiempo until midnight...

Barnaby’s latest stunt is tantamount to an admission that his time is up.

Barnaby’s latest stunt is tantamount to an admission that his time is up.

When Barnaby Joyce first appeared on the scene as a maverick Nationals senator from Queensland, I wasn’t a fan. During the Howard years he was deliberately disruptive and belligerent. He was distraction. Over the years, he mellowed and as I got to know him better, I became a fan. He was a straight shooter who genuinely cared about rural and regional Australia. He was prepared to say the things others were afraid to say. I always admired his refusal to get involved in the “distractions” of politics, instead choosing to focus on the substance. However, he soon became the distraction again. He continues to be the distraction. Worse still, his ego has gotten the better pf him and everything is all about him. We can’t afford politicians like him sucking the oxygen out of important debates. We have Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer dancing on the fringes for that. It’s no place for a mainstream MP. Barnaby’s latest stunt is tantamount to an admission that his time is up. He’s threatened to resign from the Nationals and sit on the cross benches if four of his colleagues publicly state that they’ve lost faith in him. Here’s hoping they do! But Barnaby, sitting on the cross benches and being a pain in the arse is not the answer. Time to get out of the way altogether. Stop distracting us from the real issues.

When Barnaby Joyce first appeared on the scene as a maverick Nationals senator from Queensland, I wasn’t a fan. During the Howard years he was deliberately disruptive and belligerent. He was distraction. Over the years, he mellowed and as I got to know him better, I became a fan. He was a straight shooter who genuinely cared about rural and regional Australia. He was prepared to say the things others were afraid to say. I always admired his refusal to get involved in the “distractions” of politics, instead choosing to focus on the substance. However, he soon became the distraction again. He continues to be the distraction. Worse still, his ego has gotten the better pf him and everything is all about him. We can’t afford politicians like him sucking the oxygen out of important debates. We have Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer dancing on the fringes for that. It’s no place for a mainstream MP. Barnaby’s latest stunt is tantamount to an admission that his time is up. He’s threatened to resign from the Nationals and sit on the cross benches if four of his colleagues publicly state that they’ve lost faith in him. Here’s hoping they do! But Barnaby, sitting on the cross benches and being a pain in the arse is not the answer. Time to get out of the way altogether. Stop distracting us from the real issues.1 min
Rest In Peace Tim Fischer

Rest In Peace Tim Fischer

Today we received the sad news that former Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Tim Fischer passed away at the age of 73. I had the opportunity to meet Mr Fischer on a number of occasions when he was in Parliament and a more decent, honourable, straight-forward man you’d never meet. He was a conviction politician in an era where such men were becoming few and far between. Like many great men he was pilloried by his opponents for a few peccadilloes, but as always history has the final say and it will judge Tim Fischer fondly. It can never be forgotten that in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre, it was Tim Fischer as much as his great friend and colleague John Howard that brought about gun law reform in the face of great opposition and personal cost. Fischer stood to lose more than Howard ever did, but he stuck to his guns, pardon the pun, because it was the right thing to do. As we remember a politician who was a leader in every sense of the word, a man of integrity, we’re left with only one question. Where has his kind gone? Why have such leaders disappeared? Rest In Peace Tim Fischer.

Today we received the sad news that former Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Tim Fischer passed away at the age of 73. I had the opportunity to meet Mr Fischer on a number of occasions when he was in Parliament and a more decent, honourable, straight-forward man you’d never meet. He was a conviction politician in an era where such men were becoming few and far between. Like many great men he was pilloried by his opponents for a few peccadilloes, but as always history has the final say and it will judge Tim Fischer fondly. It can never be forgotten that in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre, it was Tim Fischer as much as his great friend and colleague John Howard that brought about gun law reform in the face of great opposition and personal cost. Fischer stood to lose more than Howard ever did, but he stuck to his guns, pardon the pun, because it was the right thing to do. As we remember a politician who was a leader in every sense of the word, a man of integrity, we’re left with only one question. Where has his kind gone? Why have such leaders disappeared? Rest In Peace Tim Fischer.1 min
George Pell's Appeal Has Been Dismissed

George Pell's Appeal Has Been Dismissed

George Pell’s appeal of his child sex abuse conviction was today dismissed by the Victorian Court of appeals. He was convicted last year of abusing two choir boys in the mid-nineties. The appeal court voted 2 to 1 to uphold that conviction and he will serve the remainder of his manifestly inadequate sentence in a facility used to house fellow child abusers. He remains a convicted paedophile and should be reviled accordingly. But can we now move on and stop treating this whole affair like we were barracking for football teams?

George Pell’s appeal of his child sex abuse conviction was today dismissed by the Victorian Court of appeals. He was convicted last year of abusing two choir boys in the mid-nineties. The appeal court voted 2 to 1 to uphold that conviction and he will serve the remainder of his manifestly inadequate sentence in a facility used to house fellow child abusers. He remains a convicted paedophile and should be reviled accordingly. But can we now move on and stop treating this whole affair like we were barracking for football teams?0 min
Why is it harder than ever to get in touch with someone?

Why is it harder than ever to get in touch with someone?

I want to kick off tonight with a bit of a rant about communication. We live in a world where ironically, we have greater access to myriad streams of communication than ever before, yet communication is a dying art. Remember the days of the rotary dial telephone? Most homes had one and one only. It was usually on a bench in the hallway or on the wall in the kitchen. Apart from writing and posting a letter, sending a telegram or knocking on the door, it was the only way to get in touch with each other. Yet we managed. Nowadays, we have a computer that would put the moon landing to shame in our pockets. This computer we call a smartphone has several modes of communication built in. You CAN still make a phone call on it, but most won’t. You can make a video call. You can text. You can send a message via one of many social media platforms or equally as many messaging apps. Yet, for some reason, it’s harder than ever to get in touch with someone. Why am I ranting about this tonight, you might ask? Well because I think we’ve lost the ability to communicate. I came across an article today talking about people who wear headphones in the office to stop people talking to them! Is that what we’ve come to? Technology was supposed to make us smarter. I think it has failed.

I want to kick off tonight with a bit of a rant about communication. We live in a world where ironically, we have greater access to myriad streams of communication than ever before, yet communication is a dying art. Remember the days of the rotary dial telephone? Most homes had one and one only. It was usually on a bench in the hallway or on the wall in the kitchen. Apart from writing and posting a letter, sending a telegram or knocking on the door, it was the only way to get in touch with each other. Yet we managed. Nowadays, we have a computer that would put the moon landing to shame in our pockets. This computer we call a smartphone has several modes of communication built in. You CAN still make a phone call on it, but most won’t. You can make a video call. You can text. You can send a message via one of many social media platforms or equally as many messaging apps. Yet, for some reason, it’s harder than ever to get in touch with someone. Why am I ranting about this tonight, you might ask? Well because I think we’ve lost the ability to communicate. I came across an article today talking about people who wear headphones in the office to stop people talking to them! Is that what we’ve come to? Technology was supposed to make us smarter. I think it has failed.2 min
Who do these Pacific Nations think they are?

Who do these Pacific Nations think they are?

You know, you could act surprised that Pacific Island nations have mustered the courage to openly criticise Australia and its coal industry particularly given how reliant they are on us for, well…everything. But we shouldn’t be surprised because Australia has a habit of kowtowing to all and sundry over even the slightest conflict. We don’t take ourselves seriously and we don’t value our culture, and as such, we bend over backwards not to “offend” anyone else but don’t bat an eyelid when they openly offend us. The latest threat from our island neighbours is that they’ll pull their seasonal labour forces. Sadly, we’ll acquiesce to this threat too because a seasonal labour force is so desperately needed by our agricultural sector. All the while, we’ll forget that these seasonal workers are equally desperate for Aussie dollars. But we’ll pretend they’re doing us a favour. What we should see from this threat is an opportunity. Several opportunities in fact. Firstly, an opportunity to redirect the $300 odd million of annual foreign aid designed to stabilise our region. It’s clearly not appreciated and clearly not stabilising the region if these minnows are prepared to throw threats around. Secondly, it’s an opportunity to take a stand against Australian workers who won’t do the jobs these imported labourers will. Things like cotton chipping, fruit picking and the like. And thirdly it’s an opportunity to send a message to the Asia-Pacific region that we won’t be pushed around anymore. None of these things will happen.

You know, you could act surprised that Pacific Island nations have mustered the courage to openly criticise Australia and its coal industry particularly given how reliant they are on us for, well…everything. But we shouldn’t be surprised because Australia has a habit of kowtowing to all and sundry over even the slightest conflict. We don’t take ourselves seriously and we don’t value our culture, and as such, we bend over backwards not to “offend” anyone else but don’t bat an eyelid when they openly offend us. The latest threat from our island neighbours is that they’ll pull their seasonal labour forces. Sadly, we’ll acquiesce to this threat too because a seasonal labour force is so desperately needed by our agricultural sector. All the while, we’ll forget that these seasonal workers are equally desperate for Aussie dollars. But we’ll pretend they’re doing us a favour. What we should see from this threat is an opportunity. Several opportunities in fact. Firstly, an opportunity to redirect the $300 odd million of annual foreign aid designed to stabilise our region. It’s clearly not appreciated and clearly not stabilising the region if these minnows are prepared to throw threats around. Secondly, it’s an opportunity to take a stand against Australian workers who won’t do the jobs these imported labourers will. Things like cotton chipping, fruit picking and the like. And thirdly it’s an opportunity to send a message to the Asia-Pacific region that we won’t be pushed around anymore. None of these things will happen.1 min