Senator for South Australia
Next month it will be eleven years since I first wrote my Weekly Dose of Common Sense.
That time has seen the distribution list grow from a couple of dozen people to a six-figure email list. Every column prompts hundreds of comments and responses ranging from the congratulatory to the apoplectic. It has always fascinated me how different individuals will consider the same words and draw vastly different conclusions from them.
I love Spring. It’s when nature wakens from her slumber and the sun begins to peek through the dark winter clouds.
Last week I got to enjoy the full majesty of spring as I drove through regional South Australia admiring the winter crops. Fields of golden Canola contrasted with those of green wheat to provide a picture postcard setting. It was simply wonderful but also made me think of those places where the agricultural sector isn’t so bright.
Some days, reading the news only leads to more frustration. I have had a few such days in recent weeks.
The frustration isn’t borne by the actual content of the news but at the length of time it has taken to get past the mainstream media gatekeepers. Like most politicians, the media need a crisis to have developed before they will highlight a growing problem.
The stock market seems to be confirming my fears about a slowing economy with hefty falls in recent days.
The warning signs were there as interest rates were cut to record lows and expectations of more to come. Coupled with the uncertainty over global trade and the internal tensions in China, our economy could be in for a very rocky ride.
With so many domestic and international issues at play, it is difficult to pick the most pressing.
Internationally, the UK has a new Prime Minister who will be charged with leading his nation out of the socialistic and bureaucratic European Union. He will also need to frame a suitable response to the war-like provocations of Iran, who recently pirated a UK ship.
Even though it is the middle of Winter, I have been doing a bit of ‘Spring’ cleaning around the office. It is amazing how much stuff accumulates over thirteen years of parliamentary life.
There are thousands of papers and constituent files and hundreds of books on all manner of subjects. Whilst almost everything provokes memories of battles fought in times past, the books have been the most interesting.