Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"The legislation that stops a nation"

While Melburnians are enjoying a day off, and up to half of the rest of the country are taking a 'sickie', our politicians will be debating legislation that threatens to give police unprecedented 'shoot-to-kill' powers and that could see journalists locked up for anti-government statements and stories, not to mention the erosion of our personal freedoms.

"[Prime Minister] John Howard's trying to treat the Australian people like mugs, hoping that they're all watching the Melbourne Cup while he stampedes his anti-terrorism laws through the Parliament."

- Opposition spokesman for homeland security, Arch Bevis (Full story here).

The Federal Opposition has accused the Government of being "drunk with power" after announcing it will present two major pieces of legislation into Parliament on consecutive days.

The Government plans to introduce the anti-terrorism laws on Melbourne Cup day and the workplace relations package the day after.

"This whole process angers me because what we find is a Government drunk with power, arrogantly ramming things through the Parliament."

- Labor's Stephen Smith (Full story here).

This particular mug looks forward to the race for the Melbourne Cup every year, and while the government may be drunk with power, by the end of Tuesday's Parliamentary debate, I'll be drunk on champagne. And there's a fair chance I won't be alone. He's a sneaky bugger that John Howard...

UPDATE - It seems Howard has had an attack of conscience; the counter-terrorism bill is now a 'doubtful starter' on cup day. I can drink happily, knowing that I won't get shot on the way home for looking 'a bit whatsit'.

On to the Cup:

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One day I'll actually make it to Flemington for Cup Day, it's always been a bit of a dream of mine. In the meantime I'll have to make do with a day at Perth's premier racing venue, Ascot.

Cup Day is always a fantastic day at Ascot. My theory is that most of the people there have taken the day off work, so they're all in high spirits before they even get in the gate.

My punting record on Melbourne Cups has been quite good over the years too, which always helps make the day even more enjoyable and bubbly-soaked. My more memorable Cup Day wins include Might and Power (1997), Rogan Josh (1999), and a big trifecta win when Damien Oliver won aboard Media Puzzle (2002).

My earliest Melbourne Cup memory was watching Jim 'The Pumper' Cassidy bring the flashy chestnut Kiwi, form last at the turn, around the entire field to take the 1983 Cup... I was nine.

Although it's early days yet, I'm keeping a close eye on kiwi-trained mare Bazelle:

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I saw her win the Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on New Years Day when she came from well back to blitz them in the straight, and she ran a good second at Moonee Valley on Saturday, so she's finding form at the right time. She's at juicy odds too, about 40/1 at the moment. Get on board...

Roll on Tuesday!

Listening to: Decoder Ring - Fractions


At 7:05 am, Blogger sikamikanico said...

It was a relief when I heard that Howard had changed the date for the legislation. And a suprise, because I've almost gotten used to my feelings on the Government of "do these people have no shame?"

At 8:44 am, Blogger Blondie said...

my horses always seem to run dead last :S you could mow the grass in front of them!


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