Politics and activism, PTUA, Retrospectives, transport

How I became a transport activist

...and how pictures make a story real. If there was a Daniel FAQ, these questions would feature in it: Why are you involved in the Public Transport Users Association? What's in it for you? And can I tell you about how late my train was this morning? Perhaps another long rambling retrospective is in order. Prehistory Why sustainable transport? And so... The New Year's Eve story Prehisto

Politics and activism

Nobbled

Remember these old things? Sold by a real human, as I recall. I found this one in a book I dipped into last week. A book I never finished. Must have been there for six or seven years. The government announcement the other day of the board for the Public Transport Industry Ombudsman should have been greeted with delight. It's certainly been a long time coming. But delight has given way to cynici

Politics and activism

Outrage!

I've never been on a Critical Mass ride. Frankly my bike comes out rather too occasionally, and I think I'd be struggling to maintain the pace. But I was amused on Friday to hear that they were planning another ride on the tollway -- this time over the Bolte Bridge. Some talkback radio hosts began foaming at the mouth, and state opposition leader Robert Doyle demanded that action be taken. Not

Politics and activism

John Howard and state schools

John Howard commented over the weekend that he thought parents were taking their kids out of government schools and moving to the independents because state schools are "too politically correct and too values-neutral". What a crock of shit. Too politically correct? Values-neutral? What does that mean? That schools that don't conform to Howard's nostalgic vision of fifties Australia are too P

Melbourne, Politics and activism, PTUA

Get involved

I think it was Alexei Sayle who described people who regularly protested outside the South African embassy in London against the Apartheid regime. When Apartheid finally crumbled, they were shocked that they'd actually won, and didn't know what to do anymore. Over in my little corner of activism land, three of us slogged our guts out during the holiday break on the issue of New Years Eve transp

Health, Politics and activism

Health of the health system

Tony Abbott has beenappointed the new head-kicking Minister for Health, and is getting a baptism of fire with the current debate over hospital funding and medical indemnity. So with that in mind, here is a short rant about health insurance from Daniel Bowen, private citizen. I have private health insurance. Government policy practically makes it unavoidable for someone with my dizzying income lev

Net, Politics and activism

Send ’em back

Got an e-mail from an irate Net user who came across my diary pages and was outraged that my opinions are headlined as "Diary of an Average Australian". Apparently only people the only people with the right to call themselves Australian are those who believe all the immigrants (oh, only the recent ones - eg less then six generations) should be sent back because they're the cause of all t

Net, Politics and activism

Censored for your protection

Well, there you go, the government's done it. They have descended into complete stupidity. No, not the GST, I mean the way that somehow, some way, the Australian government has passed a bill through the Senate that suddenly magically makes the Internet for your grandmother to surf, without fear of wobbling fleshy images being thrust in her face. This marvellous system will apparently involve the