Inner West Archive

Heritage Unthinking

All sense of balance in the heritage argument is gone. It has reached that point where where its concepts and application, and the exercise of power associated with it, have well exceeded usefulness or reason. Our built environment isn't an opportunity for monomaniacs to create a frozen theme park corresponding to their passions, funded by the taxes of people who share neither the location nor the ideology behind it.

Embarrassing Overstatement

So Ciao Mag have, unfortunately, named me as Mr Inner West 2012. While I have always appreciated their tongue-in-cheek tone, this, perhaps, is taking it too far. In particular I have to take them to task for four major errors.

Greens, Temperance & Calvinist Self-Hatred

Anyone interested in history cannot fail to notice the recurrent enthusiasms of those fixated on sin, pleasure, comfort and their associated punishment and (occasional) redemption. Whether it is asceticism or just reforming censoriousness, the Hebrew Prophets, Desert Fathers, Essenes, Zwingli and Calvin and now, Carson-inspired Gaia worshippers have much in common.

Leichhardt Chamber Follies

Chamber-time in Leichhardt Council was interesting on Tuesday night. I’ve already written about the ALP-Greens deal and Cr Byrne. But the speeches, tone and behaviours on the night were, well, entertaining if intellectually depressing. First, we had continual rank politicking in every speech from the Greens. The opening address from Councillor 11%, aside from a […]

Fear, Loathing and Bigotry at Leichhardt

So Leichhardt was spared the ignominy of following Julia Gillard and Bob Brown into the cesspit of signed ALP-Green agreements. Thus Rochelle Porteous’ last act as Mayor was her best. Her intransigence and undergraduate politicking ensured her own demise. Seriously, read the email chain Darcy Byrne has distributed and you’d swear Councillor 11% was a […]

Decay of the Fashionable Left

Nothing explains the decay of the fashionable left better than this. Juvenile, permanently oppositional, trashing every truly radical, liberating change for the better from the past 500 years, medievalist at heart. I hesitate to use the terms Left and Right anymore – alignments and beliefs have clearly changed. Cassandra Wilkinson talks about free and unfree, […]

Councillor 11% Stays Very Quiet

Leichhardt’s Councillor 11% – vote-losing machine Mayor Rochelle Porteous –    hasn’t popped up yet to discuss Saturday’s election. When your most notable achievement in a couple of years of Mayoralty is to lose your party more than 10% of the vote, it’s understandable if you take your time. Nothing on the Greens site. Nothing […]

So, Hope For Councils

Big day for local Liberals across NSW yesterday. Some notable results in Waverley, Parramatta, Strathfield and elsewhere. Marrickville may well have voted in its first Liberal councillor. THE Greens suffered a voter backlash across the state yesterday, with swings of between 10 and 15 per cent against the party in most parts of NSW. But […]

Excise The Tumour

Encouraging sounds from the Federal seat of Melbourne. It may not be ‘good politics’ in every electorate, but it’s time the Liberals deliberately put The Greens last on every How-to-Vote. Across the board, from local to state to federal. At every election, every time. Preferencing the Greens in seats like Melbourne or Grayndler may damage […]

Basket Weavers Bow Out

A bizarre generational divide has emerged while I’ve been working the streets for the current local council elections. When you’re handing out for a centre-right party in the Sydney’s Inner West, you expect abuse. When I started a few years ago, old timers told me to take tissues to deal with the spit. The young […]

Competition And Local Press Freedom

I’m all for a competitive media sector offering a range of choices to media consumers. But in one case media competition can actually make it harder for media outlets to publish fearlessly. Regional and suburban newspapers, local radio and website directories all rely heavily on local Council advertising. And, on occasion, on grants. All Councils […]

Housing and Consolidation: Challenging New Paper

So, having just written I am unabashedly in favour of increasing population densities in the Inner West, in my usual read-like-a-crazy-man way I stumbled across a quasi-counterpaper  from  Journal of the American Planning Association. Download the pdf here  (1Mb) . I include it here in interests of balanced debate. The study’s no knockdown – it’s […]

Housing: Look First At Councils

Michael Koziol has called out both Leichhardt Council and its minority of nay-saying residents in a long overdue Sydney Morning Herald article. God knows how the only paying reader of the SMH will take this: Sydney’s housing crisis is substantially the fault of “narrow-minded, self-interested individuals who oppose the building of any new homes in […]

Darcy Byrne Opposes Himself, Screws Everyone Else

Leichhardt Labor Councillor Darcy Byrne has a knack at getting media. Admittedly, it seems to be in Fairfax press, the ABC and the Inner West Courier, which are very welcoming to a certain political view. So he has used all the time he has while working for Federal Minister Anthony Albanese to promote a 30 […]

Yes, There’s a Left Wing In The Greens – And They Want To Run Leichhardt

As hard as it is to conceive for those of us labouring under the Green yoke, we’re probably lucky. Because as Hall Greenland recently wrote, […]   the federal Greens leadership, not to mention the Greens membership as a whole, are veering to the right, driven by electoralism and an attachment to neoliberalism. They are, […]