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Isobel Blackthorn musing on...

  1. Abbott’s barrow of inhumanity

    I realise I have a number of Liberal supporters in my friendship network. I am not Liberal in a political sense, but I understand and respect those who are. If I didn’t, then I couldn’t in the next breath champion social democracy. A pluralistic society includes a wide range of views/beliefs/party affiliations and so on.

    Having said that, I cannot condone our current leadership. Yes, all politicians are apt to be very one-sided, to push their own barrows and in so doing make all the other barrows seem full of falsehoods and bad policies.

    Abbott, however, is beyond the pale.

    And he’s back to his old self.
  2. Writers for social justice

    I missed out on modern history at school and confess that for decades I shied away from gaining much knowledge of the rise of fascism as it all seemed too ugly, too horrific, to delve into.

    Now I’m finding it hard to put down Anna Funder’s All That I Am, a novel based on real events in the period between WWI and II, when Hitler rose to power and those on the Left, the communists and socialists of all stripes, were purged. The captured were rounded up and put in prisons until there were so many that concentration camps were created to house them. Thousands of journalists, writers, poets, activists and intellectuals fled Germany ...
  3. ASYLUM - a novel in weekly parts!!!

    Check out the 4th instalment of my serialised novel, Asylum.

    Seeking asylum from the wreckage of her life, Yvette Grimm arrives in Australia on a holiday visa. She applies for permanent residency with no hope of success. Resisting advice that she marry to stay in the country, Yvette invests her hopes in a palm-reader’s prophecy that she would meet the father of her children before she’s thirty. She’s twenty-nine.

    Set in the excoriating heat of an endless Perth summer, Asylum is a gripping tale of one woman’s struggle to stay in Australia. Dark, absurd and hilarious by turns.

    In which Yvette battles on in her dismal Maylands flat and makes an unexpected discovery…


    Updated 18th November 2014 at 04:21 AM by Mick Pacholli

    isobelblackthorn , Politics
  4. I should have done something sooner - a short short story on bullying

    Here's a true and very short story on bullying. I guess this might resonate with some. If you want to read more of my stuff go to

    I should have done something sooner. That’s what my neighbour said. Best nipped in the bud. A good hard slap across the face will shut her up. Said she never had any trouble in the playground after that. But my best friend’s husband was right about me. I’m a coward. And cowards cower. They don’t punch or slap. I found that out about myself in my old school playground. Now I was a teacher with a demon of a boss who had never outgrown the playground thug.
    I was working at
  5. Free Novel!!!! Asylum - Part Two


    …in which Yvette confronts the squalor of her friend Thomas’ flat…

    Yvette stood in the aisle beside her back-row seat. Behind her the other passengers jostled for a place in the tightly-packed queue. After a ten-hour bus ride, another hour in transit to Tullamarine airport, and a tedious three hour wait for a smooth four-hour flight across the desert guts of Australia, her skin felt dirty and Special and she hankered for somewhere, anywhere, quiet, cool and still.

    Instead, the steward opened the plane’s rear door and Perth greeted Yvette with a gust of hot, dry air. November, and it must have been a hundred degrees.

    The heat was at once exotic and familiar, the heat Yvette ...

    Updated 18th November 2014 at 04:23 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , isobelblackthorn , Novel Collective , Politics
  6. ASYLUM - a novel in weekly parts

    Not every day an author gives away a whole novel. I had been asked and asked again if I would blog a book-length story and I'm glad I'm doing it. Feedback so far is encouraging. Some readers have formed a reading group to discuss weekly instalments. Start reading the story here and for this week's instalment follow this link.
    Here's what people are saying:
    ”Asylum has all my favourite elements: politics, social justice, strong women characters, and an unexpected ending. Impeccably written in clear, succinct, yet sophisticated prose, Asylum is a thoroughly enjoyable read.” – Jasmina Brankovich.
    ”Hurry up with instalment two – I am totally hooked and need ...
  7. Heeding the Jihad Call

    Hearing Obama outline his latest plan for the curtailment of ISIS it would be easy to believe that this group emerged spontaneously and entirely of its own accord out of the desert country of Syria and Iraq, filling a vacuum in the power shenanigans left when the US military pulled out of Iraq. That’s the propaganda. That is what the US and its allies would have us believe. And it isn’t true.

    An elite of concentrated power bent on expansionism, such as found in Empire America today, will inevitably spawn its nemesis; groups of the disenfranchised, the alienated or the diametrically opposed in belief and ideology, those who contest both the

    Updated 15th September 2014 at 11:33 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , isobelblackthorn , Politics
  8. Saying it with flowers

    The Pope now reckons WWIII is already being fought in piecemeal fashion. Well spotted. I agree. It was always going to be fought in the Middle East.
    Definition of a world war: A war involving many large nations.
    I watched Anzac Girls last night (I fell asleep at the point when Uncle Sam saved the day which when I woke as the credits rolled I thought rather ironic).
    Then I thought of where the battles of WWI were fought. I don’t like war and haven’t studied it so I’m hazy. But I suspect if you got some maps and superimposed the countries in battles fought now on top of those back then, you would have a similar geographical area. I understand ...

    Updated 15th September 2014 at 11:14 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , isobelblackthorn , Politics
  9. On Air

    I’ll be on Ann Creber’s The Good Life this Monday (8th September) at 4.10 pm, talking about the home hospitality respite program for asylum seekers that I coordinate for the Bega Valley under the auspices of
    Home among the Gum Trees, Rural Australians for Refugees.

    Tune in to 3MDR, 97.1FM or go to their website for live streaming.
  10. It’s unequivocal – Uranium is our salvation!

    It pleases me to announce that Australia will be selling uranium to India. They are a stable democracy with a growing economy and much need for power. This government is happy to expand into the vibrant market of India with this valuable resource, giving a timely boost to our own economy. Our nation stands to gain many benefits from this gesture of goodwill. Profits all round. It’s a win win win. Yes, I’ll chink flutes with you.

    Tailing ponds? Oh, don’t worry about them. They are perfectly safe. Deformities in local populations? You mustn’t take notice of the propaganda on this one. There is no evidence whatsoever

    Updated 4th September 2014 at 01:07 PM by Mick Pacholli

    isobelblackthorn , Politics
  11. Calling on the sickle to save us

    In Ancient Greek mythology it was the Titan Cronus who overthrew Uranus by castrating him with a sickle. A sickle given him by his mother Gaia to rescue his youngest brothers who had been kept in darkness. Cronus then ruled the world instead, his reign the so-called Golden Age. Nevertheless it was an age of dictatorship, of total rule, one reflected today in the emergence of an insidioustotalitarianism at root in corporate globalisation, in which democracies are managed by power elites with corporate interests at heart. Where far-right religions, corporations and governments merge to form a single power elite. Where all social and welfare

    Updated 1st September 2014 at 09:08 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , isobelblackthorn , Politics
  12. Downhill to Galilee

    BREAKING NEWS FROM THE GREENS: The Abbott Government has just approved Australia’s LARGEST coal mine, two weeks after abolishing the country’s first climate laws. They just don’t get climate change. The coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine would be equivalent to almost one quarter of Australia’s total emissions – a climate disaster! This mega mine would also destroy 20,000 ha of native bushland, use 12 billion litres of Queensland’s groundwater per year and threaten the endangered black-throated finch with extinction. No vision, no heart, definitely no science.

    My response is of course Abbott ...

    Updated 1st September 2014 at 01:08 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , isobelblackthorn , Politics , World Issues
  13. Waking up to the Third World

    Back in the 1980s I enrolled in a course as part of my undergraduate degree with the Open University (UK) entitled Third World Studies. I was twenty-four and full of awe and amazement and outrage as I learnt about India’s Green Revolution, issues for the Tuareg of Niger, and of the economies of the newly-industrialised countries (NICs) of south-east Asia. I learnt about the problems created for poor economies by big business. I learnt about the IMF and the World Bank. I studied the socialism of government’s in Tanzania and Mozambique. I read novels by Buchi Emechetaand the poetry of Louise Bennett. The course was multi-disciplinary (perhaps the first

    Updated 19th August 2014 at 06:39 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , isobelblackthorn , Politics
  14. War on Feminism – Women’s Refuges under attack

    It has come as no surprise that women’s refuges are under corporate attack. It was only a matter of time before the ideological warriors of the new corporate regime would put in their sights frontline services catering for women fleeing domestic violence. Currently in the UK we witness the broadscale closure of women’s refuges that have been providing women and their children an essential service for decades. It also came as no surprise to read in her piece, There Is No Such Thing as a ”More Efficient Alternative” to Refuges Polly Neate’s insightful critique of that great universal leveller ”efficiency” as the declared motive for the closure ...

    Updated 18th November 2014 at 04:26 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , isobelblackthorn , Politics
  15. Changing the whole system

    I might have titled this piece Big Brother. It would have been in keeping with last night’s 7.30 Report on the ABC. A title that would have mocked Tony Abbott’s, ”Team Australia,” his speech masters clearly seeing merit in the co-opting of the language of sport for the purposes of reinforcing a Nationalist ideology. And in Strengthening the Surveillance State, Louise O’Shea certainly supports the observation that the most recent amendments proposed by the Australian government do indeed carry the big brother connotation. According to O’Shea, ”The National Security Amendment Bill (No. 1), introduced into Parliament in July, has so far caused ...
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