Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Thank you, Everyone !

Hi there Every Voter !

The election has come and gone. Nick did not win a Senate seat :-( Yet we are absolutely thrilled at your support for our campaign !

Nick was surprised at the thousands of people who voted HEMP [1]. Yes, we have a simple and sensible policy. We are so glad that so many people supported us.

And Nick  is extra thrilled -- so am I ! -- at the number of "first preferences"! More than 700 first preferences for Nick, and still counting !

It was an exciting campaign, we both learned a lot. For example, I returned to Stormwind to find that we have a new ruler -- and I learned that I prefer the more democratic Australian election process.

HEMP may not have won the election. Yet we are both thrilled at the support from you, the voters of Western Australia.

Thank you, thank you, thank you !! Thank you all.

With lots of Love,
… Aeglira

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Thursday, 9 May 2019

HEMP and hemp, Protest and Alternative

Hi there WA voters!

I do hope that you are well, and looking forward to the election. Is it really just seven sleeps away? I'm so excited!

Back home in Stormwind we don't have elections, that's so sad, elections are fun, with lots of people saying how good they are and how they will throw gold at people, lots of gold, if only they get elected and can get their hands on the gold.

And then we get to vote for people! Well, you get to vote, I'm not a citizen of WA and I might be too young, too. Of course I would vote for Nick, if I could vote. I hope that you will vote for Nick, for me.

But Nick says that I really need to write about his topic for today. Nick calls it, HEMP and hemp, Protest and Alternative.

So remember to vote for HEMP and for Nick. Just seven sleeps away!

Lots of love,
... Aeglira


This is still Aeglira. Now, though, I'm telling you what Nick says. So I must be more serious, says Nick. (Yay Nick! Vote One HEMP!)

Do you realise, says Nick, that there are a lot of ways to vote? Rather, there are a lot of "statements" that you can make, just by voting correctly. (Nick didn't really say, quote statement quote. He just emphasised the word statement.)

You vote -- with numbers -- for the people and parties you prefer. The way that you use those numbers also makes a statement about your "preferences", even after your number one candidate has been elected.

Nick says, the easiest way to vote is "above the line".

Of course your number [1] vote is for HEMP. (It is, isn't it? Please?) The HEMP Party has one clear objective, to legalise hemp. There are a lot of good reasons for this, Nick starts to explain them. (I listen for a while and then type, that's the HEMP website, they are really good at explaining all the reasons.)

Nick has his own reasons for supporting legalisation of hemp, we wrote about them when we were starting this campaign blog.

When you vote above the line, says Nick, you start with the number [1] next to HEMP. That's column J. (You'll see Mark and Nick's names there but "below the line". So exciting! I do hope that they win!)

You vote One for HEMP and the HEMP Party wins the election and they will make hemp legal! Democracy and voting are so good!

Oh, but, what if HEMP does not win? Did you waste your vote? That would be so sad :-(

Don't worry Aeglira, says Nick, your vote is not wasted.

Don't forget to number up to six!! says Nick. Then your vote has all sorts of extra meaning.

Vote One for HEMP can be a "protest" vote. You "protest" against the prohibition of hemp. Then your numbers Two to Six give votes to other parties that have policies that you also support.

Or you could protest (Nick continues) by numbering any other groups with your Two to Six. Isn't that a bit silly? I ask. (See, I'm here to ask the difficult questions. Did you like that question?) Well, yes, it's a bit silly, says Nick. But a random count can be a protest against the entire preferential voting system.(Oh, yes, that is a bit silly.)

Your vote (Nick again) also lets you vote for an "alternative".

Do you want to legalise hemp? And you also support a lot of the policies of other parties? You can vote One HEMP -- and give your next numbers to your *alternative* parties. That way you support hemp -- as well as your other parties.

But then HEMP [1] has an even better alternative:

HEMP has a single policy. Mark and Nick support that policy. Nick also has a whole lot more policies -- and ideas --that he supports!

When you vote for HEMP you get HEMP and hemp and Mark and hemp and Nick and hemp -- and Nick and a whole lot more!

If you are tired of other politicians and their one-eyed views (says Nick) then HEMP -- with Nick -- offers an "alternative". A protest in favour of hemp -- and a whole lot of independent, alternative, good ideas.

Your vote is your part of democracy (Nick explains). Just make sure that your vote is valid (you know, at least 1 to 6) and you support hemp. You protest in favour of hemp. You protest against the narrow views of established politicians. You give "preferences" to other policies that you support. And you support independent alternative ideas from Nick.

Oh goodness, that's a lot of good things from one election. HEMP and hemp and Nick and Mark and protests and alternatives... I wonder if we will ever have elections in Stormwind, they are so good.

Just seven more sleeps!

Lots of love,
... Aeglira

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

AFDO: threats and bias

This is Nick. Normally Aeglira writes my blog posts. She says, No she will not write the response to the AFDO email. They are just too nasty and too self-centred, it makes Aeglira sad and a bit scared.

So these are entirely my own words:

AFDO writes, "We intend to publish as received, all responses on our website and in our broader communications to the disability sector." Okay, that's why I respond. The AFDO email is just not as polite as the emails that I usually receive.

"If we receive no response from you we will take this to mean you are not supporting the issues raised and we will record this on our website and in our updates." Yes, in bold font. A very loud voice from AFDO saying, There is no undecided, there is no open for consideration, there is no, I need more time and information. I am either shouting in favour of AFDO -- or I am the enemy.

What a bugger of an attitude.

They demand answers to six questions. Legitimate questions, though complex. Is yes or no an adequate response?

Q1: "Commitment to a Royal Commission..." Yes, I support that. There seems to have been abuse etc. That is bad, a royal commission can get to the facts.

Then there are the "conflict of interest issues with two of the appointed Commissioners", their words. Conflict of interest? Or do they mean, Failure to offer demonstrated bias in favour of the AFDO-expected results of the enquiry? Does a Commissioner really need to be in a wheelchair in order to have *fairness* and sympathy for the difficulties of a person in a wheelchair?

Let's see now. Is every Aged Care Commissioner a resident in an aged care facility? Has the Banking Commissioner been ripped off by a bank? Were Child Protection Commissioners all direct from serving time in youth detention centres?

Is it not possible for a commissioner who *knows* how the system works -- but who is not disabled -- is that person unable to be fair? AFDO say so. What a self-centred view of the world.

Q2: "Commitment to funding the National Disability Strategy..." Yes, that sounds worthwhile. The points quoted later in that email are sound, worth supporting.

Q3: "... set aside, as a clearly defined reserve fund, the full and ongoing funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme..." I can't find an actual amount for this demand but okay, it's just a political statement.

News reports seem to say that the NDIS is already *under* spending the money that it has. Why demand more when there is already too much to adequately manage? Is something wrong with the current scheme? Fix that, estimate the actual "total" cost then come back with realistic demands.

Mind you, my own view is that a "national" scheme will fail, no matter what. I prefer to see local action by people who are close to -- and who understand -- the real problems.

Q4: "Commitment to people with disability who are not part of the NDIS..." I'm sorry, I thought NDIS was for everyone? Is this a demand for funding for NDIS-refusers?

Q5: "Commitment to equitable and sufficient funding of all national Disability Representative Organisations..." Funding for *all* organisations?

A bit down the page is a list of seventeen ADFO members. Are they not able to work together? Are the Deaf and the Blind and the Deafblind incapable of advocating through a single advocacy group?

What is the actual role of AFDO? Other than writing threatening emails, that is. Are they incapable of advocating -- fairly -- for their member organisations? Why?

Q6: "Commitment to equitable and sufficient funding of disability advocacy agencies and its national Peak body..." Oh, yes. AFDO wants money for innumerable pressure groups. And -- definitely -- more money for itself.

And you know, it's funny.

Nowhere in that email can I find any demand -- not even a vague request -- for *better services* for people with disabilities.

Aeglira is too upset... scared... to write this post. These are my own views, as a thinking candidate who would like to see Australia improving, across the board.

Yes, I am running as a HEMP candidate, these are not HEMP views. If asked, HEMP leaders would possibly say, Smoke some weed, relax, come down off your high horse. Life can be more than a fight for me, me, me...

But I am just not that relaxed.


… Nick Lethbridge

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

hey google: transaction tax !

Major companies avoid paying Australian taxes by shifting payments and exaggerating costs, says Nick... Not that he knows, he passed some economics units but didn't really understand them. That's what he tells me, I have to believe him, I didn't study any economics at all.

Hi there Voters of WA !

This is Aeglira Priest, Campaign Communicator for Nick, in his campaign for the Senate. This will be a funny post, funny peculiar, that is, neither of us understand the topic -- but Nick's ideas do seem to make sense !  I'll try to understand enough to explain what he's saying:

Google (and other overseas companies) get paid a lot of money from Australia. They get paid for advertisements on websites. Then they say, that money was paid overseas, for overseas advertisements, so we don't pay tax in Australia. Does that seem fair? Does that seem right? Well, neither Nick nor I understand it -- it all seems economic, and accounting -- but we have both read that Google only pays a fraction of the tax that would seem fair.

So (says Nick) Why not tax every payment? An Australian pays Google $1000 for advertising -- and pays the Australian Tax Office say 2% of that amount. A small tax on each transaction, a fair proportion of each payment being paid as tax. And that -- the transaction tax -- is just as fair when applied to an Australian business.

Are there problems? Of course there are! (Nick says) So find solutions! Get a fair -- and simple -- tax system -- and make it work.

But what, say Google, about the terrible expense of doing business? The exorbitant interest rates, for example, that we pay to borrow money? To borrow money from another Google company. Money which we probably didn't need anyway.

Deductions? exclaims Nick. Why?

Business related deductions are a reward for an *in*efficient business! Why should our government reward a company for being inefficient? (I can understand what Nick means, I think. If a business wants to make money, they can work better. If they can't work any better, perhaps they should not be in business.)

Exactly! says Nick. (I'm so pleased :-)  There are plenty of books and courses and advisors to help you run an efficient business, to make a profit. There seem to be even more books and courses and advisors *selling* advice on how to run a very *bad* business! And the cost of this advice on how to be bad -- becomes a tax deduction!

Goodness, Nick does seem to be steamed up! I'll try to cool him down... Or at least to get him to finish, quickly.

Won't people resist any change?

Of course they will... An employee will get their pay less 2% tax. End of story, no tax return to complete. Tax accountants will have no more work, tax advisors will have no more shonky offers, accountants will no longer work overtime... All -- except the employee -- will be angry, they will resist the change. Fair enough (Nick says), fair enough that people making huge profits from overly-complicated tax laws, they will resist any simplification.

Good luck to them! (says Nick) But they won't get my support. What I want (he says) is simplification. And solutions to make it work.

Phew! Sorry about that, Nick just wants to get it off his chest. He so dislikes people who want laws which just protect their own interests. That's what he says, though how he can even pretend to understand those laws is beyond me :-(

Exactly! says Nick. And that's why the big companies with big lawyers, big tax avoidance advisors and big deep pockets, want the laws to be more complex. Because more complex means, more loopholes. And that is all in favour of the big companies.

Phew!! I think I need a bit of a rest! I hope that Nick's next topic is a little easier to understand. And a little more, well, friendly.

Lots of love always,
… Aeglira

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Monday, 6 May 2019

a lamb for a vegan

Hi there Country (oh, and other) voters in WA !

Nick has asked me to ask you to help unfortunate vegans in WA. They are so sad :-(

But, well, I'm not really sure if Nick is serious. I mean, sometimes it's hard to tell. He's smiling. But is that because this is another of his very clever ideas? Or... well, or what :-( It's not always easy being Campaign Reporter for Nick. But I still enjoy it :-)

Nick says, There are vegans who want to avoid all animal things. That's good, says Nick, what you wear and what you eat and use are very personal choices. But some of these vegans are really unhappy. Says Nick.

They are so unhappy that they sneak onto farms just so that they can cuddle a lamb. Or a pig, or a calf. Nick says, that's mean, it's so sad that vegans don't have lambs of their own. It's so sweet to be able to cuddle a lamb, it makes people so happy.

So here is Nick's idea:

Every farmer should take a cute little lamb -- and send it to a sad vegan!

Isn't that so very sweet :-) Nick is soooo nice, to everyone!

Nick says, if every farmer sends just one cutesy little lamb to a vegan -- just to the ones who are so sad that they sneak onto lamb farms -- every sad vegan could have dozens and dozens of little lambs to cuddle! Think how happy they would be then! 

The happy vegans could feed their lambs and watch them grow up and cuddle them, whenever the vegan -- or the lamb -- needs to be happy.

Just one little lambie per farmer. To make a sad vegan happy.

Can you help a sad vegan?

With Love and lots of Cuddles,
… Aegliera

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

post-secondary -- TAFE -- education

Hi there Voters !
This is Aeglira Priest, Campaign Supporter for Nick Lethbridge for HEMP for the WA Senate !

Linda of the TAFE Community Alliance sent a lovely email the other day, asking about TAFE, and whether Nick would support the "pre-eminent..." … well, would Nick support more funding for TAFE and more restrictions on commercial providers of education.  Nick asked me to reply and he also suggested that our reply could be posted to this blog.

So here goes! Though I'm not sure of it makes sense without the letter from the TAFE supporters. But that's a letter to Nick, so "private". If the TAFE supporters want to add it to this blog as a comment, I'm sure that would be fine !

In Nick's reply -- written by me :-)

Nick says (rather rudely, I think) that no, TAFE is *not* the "pre-eminent etc etc." It is one of a *range* of educational systems available in Australia. That said, Nick does agree that TAFE is important for vocational training. Nick is a strong supporter of "public" education. He prefers education to be from an educational institution rather than from a profit-making business.

I then asked Nick about your (that's the TAFE Community Alliance who sent the letter!) three questions.

1. (he says) he is not sure. If TAFE funding has been steadily reduced then YES, it should be increased. TAFE may not be pre-eminent but it is vital.

2. Rather than "wind back"... Nick did ask, By "contestable" does Linda mean, "commercial"? Nick says that he supports government funding for TAFE. If commercial organisations are given government funding -- that should stop. A commercial organisation must run on commercial lines. It may still be necessary for government to licence self-funding commercial "educational" organisations, to ensure quality.

Nick does add, If they are as good as TAFE -- and make an unsubsidised profit -- then there is no need to wind them back.

3. A qualified YES, says Nick. (Sorry, he does tend to be honest rather than compromising for favours.) All government education should be provided by good quality teachers. Where "quality" means, suited to the requirements of the courses. Nick has lectured at university, he saw several "measures of lecturer quality" which were worthless. As a Senator Nick will support measures of quality which are relevant and practical.

Good luck TAFE and thank you for getting in touch !

Lots of love,
… Aeglira

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Ramble round the Landcare

I'm in the cancer treatment clinic with an IV tube dripping deadly cancer-killing chemicals into my veins. The bloke getting the IV drip next to me is there for as long as I am, a bit over three hours. I think, what's that poor bugger doing in here, he's just half my age. Message to the medical researchers: keep looking for better cancer treatments, cures, causes -- and preventions.

Oh, um, Hi there Voters, This is Aeglira reporting for Nick Lethbridge. Today's topic is "Landcare". I'm not sure where Nick is going with this... Sorry.

Nick explains... For me it's been a week of daily chemo: many hours spent lying down with an IV drip, many more hours at home, sleeping off the effects. Not giving Aeglira as much to report as I would have liked! My apologies.

The man on the next drip line (Nick continues) is a farmer. And that (Nick explains) reminds me of a topic which I meant to cover a week ago... Again, my apologies!


(At last, Nick is back to his topic.)

Farmers (says Nick) are a major cause of land degradation. After all, clearing land is an essential part of their work. Farmers also -- along with farming communities --  are often involved in land restoration. Landcare is a simple name for communities working together to restore the environment. I (says Nick) am very much in favour of Landcare. But please, don't get your hopes too high just yet.

The hot environmental topic for the world's keyboard warriors is "climate change". Doesn't matter which side you argue, you get lots of likes and hits. Better yet, climate change is so large that there will never be agreement -- which means that there will never be any agreed action -- which means that the keyboard warriors look good without doing any good at all.

The motto, Think global, act local, has fallen out of favour. The emphasis on "act" requires something to be done. It's a lot easier -- and cheaper -- to argue, to disagree, to deny the need to do anything at all... to score points without solving any problems.

Landcare is -- to be successful -- about local action. Yes, I support Landcare. I can't yet promise to support specific Landcare projects.

First, I will need to get more detail on projects. More than the general directions in a recent Policy roadmap" -- though I like most of the policies. I also like...

(Oh dear, I hope he's not going off-topic again.)

Yes, yes, a bit off-topic. But I do like the 1989 Bob Hawke quote: "I give my commitment to you, kids, that my generation will hand on to you a better country, a brighter future." Not to mention that none of these kids will live in poverty, either.

(Pleeease, Nick...)


What I would also like to see -- when the Landcare groups are planning specific projects -- is a "mission". My local mission, for example, would be, "To bring swans back to breed on our local lake." Every project would -- in some clear way -- support that mission, that ultimate objective. When the objective is complete, pick another.

Breeding swans? I ask.

Yes. Thirty years ago we lived at the edge of a partly-reclaimed swamp. Dozens of swan families added thrill and terror to toddlers walking by the lake. Now -- without moving house -- we live next to a permanent lake. The sight of a single cygnet is all the swan excitement that we get. Where are the swan families? Driven away by buildings, cats, dogs and people.

Can we bring back the breeding swans? That would be my mission, to bring them back.

Choose a long-term mission -- is my advice to each Landcare group -- and work towards that mission. That will make it easier to argue for support for each project.

Meanwhile... Good luck. And thank you for your efforts so far. Not a promise for specific funding. But definite support for the local efforts of Landcare groups.

Thanks Nick! Not too badly off topic, really...

And to my readers:

Lots of love from,
… Aeglira,
political reporter for Nick Lethbridge, candidate for the Senate in WA.

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Friday, 3 May 2019

Innovate EVs for WA Profit

Hi there West Australian Voters!

Aeglira here, to report on another great idea from Nick Lethbridge, WA HEMP candidate -- and independent thinker -- for the Senate. Vote [1] HEMP for more than hemp!

Do you remember (says Nick) when mobile phones were new? (Well I don't, I'm far too young.) The first mobile phones (Nick continues) were big, blocky and inefficient. All they did was to make and take phone calls. Even so, the batteries would often be flat within half a day.

So, I ask, What did you do for the rest of the day? (I know Nick wants me to ask.)

Smart people, says Nick, Would carry a spare, fully charged battery. Battery goes flat, click, click, click, new battery inserted and the phone is working again. Just a minute to "recharge" the phone, then the rest of the day to recharge the spare battery.

Sooo, I ask, What does that have to do with EVs? And what's an EV?

Glad you asked, Nick replies. (Yes, I'm learning what Nick means when he stops talking and looks at me, meaningfully.) Glad you asked...

An EV is an electric vehicle. Powered by batteries rather than by petrol. When it's being driven an EV doesn't pollute, so there's less smoke and fumes on the road.

Ah! I can see where this is going: What happens when the EV battery goes flat? Do you carry a spare battery?

Very good, Aeglira, but not quite right.

An EV "battery" is really a collection of batteries. Enough to power the car. Quite heavy, really. Too heavy to carry a spare. When the battery goes flat -- you connect to a power-point, start to recharge and wait. So you need to find somewhere to plug in... And you have to wait. But...

Aha, I think, this is Nick's significant pause before he provides a solution. And I'm right :-)

My solution (says Nick) is to design EVs with replaceable batteries. Easily replaceable batteries. Replaceable battery packs, in fact.

Like those old mobile phones: click, click, click, flat battery out, fresh battery in, drive away. Good to go.

Where do you go to exchange your battery pack?

Any garage... or roadhouse... or shop with room to stock and swap the PWbattpack. That's what I call it, says Nick, the PWbattpack. Standard size, fits any EV, click out, click in. Ten minutes -- max -- to exchange. You drive on, the garage keeps its stock of PWbattpacks fully charged, ready for the next customer.

Nick really is quite clever! Though he does seem to have missed an important point. Do any of these EVs use the PWbattpack?

Not yet! Nick replies. And that's where Western Australia is ready to make a lot of money!

?? (That's me, looking questioningly at Nick.)

WA will design the PWbattpack. Adapt some existing EVs to demonstrate the concept. Show the benefits to EV manufacturers... And be paid for every EV which uses a PWbattpack. Western Australian innovation, used around the world!

I can see that Nick is excited. I hate to tell him but I have to ask the question: Will there be enough EVs to make it all worthwhile?

Nick smiles happily. (I'm glad he's not worried by my question.)

There's a chance, he says, that the next federal government will be insisting that more and more people buy EVs! The federal government will subsidise overseas EV manufacturers. WA gets a commission on each EV using a PWbattpack.

More EVs, less pollution, a great reward for Western Australian innovation.

What do you think?

Brilliant, I say :-)

I just hope those pesky South Australians don't get hold of the idea before WA can get started.

Good point, says Nick. Aeglira, can you get in touch with the WA premier, get him involved in developing the PWbattpack?

Of course, I reply. I'll start by sending him a link to this post. So I'll finish here and find out how to contact the premier. So exciting!

Lots of love and excitement,
... Aeglira

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Can you Help ?

Hi there Voters of Western Australia !

This is Aeglira, Political Commentator and Campaign Supporter for Nick Lethbridge. Nick is running with Mark Rayner, for the HEMP Party.

Nick has lots of great ideas, ideas which will improve the quality of life for West Australians. Great ideas, campaign funds of close to zero, a campaign team of two: Nick and me.

Nick is honest. Independent. A real alternative! As a senator he will do his best for Western Australia. And he refuses to stay in politics for so long that he grows old or stale or corrupt.

Nick has policies, I post them to this blog. Please -- help me to tell as many people as possible: to support Nick, to get his policies into the Senate. Ask your friends and family to vote for HEMP and Nick and Mark !

Can you join our campaign team ? It's simple:
Add the address for this blog -- to your emails. 
Print a few copies of the leaflet which is linked to from here. Give copies to friends and family.

I will be so very grateful !

As ever, with lots of love
… Aeglira

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Monday, 29 April 2019

Climate -- change ?

Hi there WA Electors !

This is Aeglira for Nick Lethbridge for HEMP...
with Nick's independent views on climate change. Here we go !

Me (with a very "open" question): What do you think about climate change ?
Nick: I believe it's happening. I believe that it's a mistake to use climate change as a reason for "climate change action".

Me: Wait ?! Do you mean, People are causing climate change but they should not attempt to make changes to prevent climate change ?!
Nick: Not quite.

Yes (Nick says), I believe that people -- and their actions -- are changing the world's climate. Trees, for example, can transport water from the ground to the air to help develop rain. The Amazon Forest -- with all its trees -- is disappearing fast. Massive forests up and down the coast of USA have, over the last 200 years, been destroyed, to be replaced by roads and cities and monoculture farms. Here in WA we are doing our best to replace trees with suburbs, industry and mines.

Destroy all those trees and the climate *will* change. Has changed. It will get worse.

Me: But... umm... but if you agree that people cause climate change... Why not support climate change action ?

Because (says Nick) there is no agreed link. There are climate change believers, climate change deniers, shades of belief and disbelief in between.

Have you heard (Nick asks me) of the old adage, If a master swordsman challenges you to a duel -- choose to fight with pistols.

One side of the climate change argument is a lot of scientists publishing scientific studies in their fields of expertise and being supported by masses of people who have never read the original studies but who form their opinions based on hearsay and unqualified bias. (Woooo… I wish Nick would use shorter sentences. I hope I have that as he said it. Oh, sorry, he hasn't finished...)

The other side (Nick continues) is a lot of scientists publishing scientific studies in their fields of expertise and being supported by masses of people who have never read the original studies but who form their opinions based on hearsay and unqualified bias.

Me: But... isn't that the same as you said before ? Are you saying that both sides of the argument are... well... being silly ? Too far removed from the scientific facts ?

Nick: Yes.

Me: Oh.

Me: What does that have to do with duelling ?

Nick: Winston Churchill said something like, You can't reason a person out of something that they have not been reasoned into.

In the public name-calling space (says Nick) there is very little "reason". Perhaps reason as in, I have a hidden reason to support this view. But no reason as in, This is the logical reason for my view. Logical reason has very little to do with social media debate.

Neither side can win the climate change debate. Pick a new battle-ground: Support a more visible negative effect of people on the environment. Gain support for fixing a problem which is visible, provable, something which may be visibly improved within our own lifetimes. Fix it.

Then move on to the next problem.

For example (Nick continues), do you remember London smog ? No, you wouldn't you are far too young. Well, London was "famous" for it's smog. So Londoners agreed to take action to reduce smog... and succeeded. Everyone could see the smog. No-one liked the smog. Smog is caused by *people*, people agreed... with the majority view... that smog should be reduced. And it was.

Perth has smog (says Nick, getting warmed up). It is visibly worse than it was in my childhood. Can we reduce it ? I don't know... but it may be possible to agree to try. Western Australia loses natural vegetation to mine sites and farm clearing. Both caused by people's actions. Can we agree that loss of natural vegetation is a problem ? Can we agree to try to fix the problem ? I don't know. But it is worth trying.

If we can agree to try to fix "smaller" environmental problems -- we will have made a start. If we continue to argue over global climate change -- we get nowhere.

Nick finally winds down. Almost.

I want a better environment (Nick says). I want bush, I want parks, I want clean rivers and space for wildlife. (He sighs.) It's a losing battle but there are some small wins. The push to avert "global climate change" is still at the stage of, My unthinking opinion is louder and nastier that yours.

We need to choose a better -- but related -- battle-ground.

Me: Do you have any more suggestions ?

Nick: Yes. But not now, not this post.

So for now:

Lots of love,
Food for thought,
… Aeglira.

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Middle East do-gooders

Hi there, Electors of WA !
Aeglira Priest here, for Nick Lethbridge, for HEMP, for the Senate, in WA !

Oh, Nick wonders if that will offend anyone. Offend anyone, what ? I ask. Your name... Priest. But it's just my name, Aeglira Priest ! But it sounds religious, says Nick. And religious means worth fighting wars over. Oh dear. But it's just my *name* :-(

I'm a "Priest" by name and occupation but... well... it means that I'm a healer. Using potions and plants and incantations. It's not religious, it's a healing profession.

The views in this blog are Nick's. Not affected by the usual profession of Aeglira, his Political Reporter.

Hi there, Electors !
This is Aeglira... for Nick !

Me: Earlier, you told me about ten emails that you received today... (Implied question, clever, isn't it :-)
Nick: Yes, I received ten emails -- all... almost... exactly the same. Each email tells me that, "This voter wants you to stand up for Palestine".

Me: is that good ? bad ? interesting ?

Nick: I read the first. Interesting, I (this is Nick speaking), interesting, I think. Then another nine arrive. Very good, I think, ten people (or couples, or groups) want me to support their cause. That's good.

What's bad, though (Nick continues) is that not all emails are the same. I almost miss the one that says, "I am a former Palestinian refugee". That one has slightly more impact than the standard, "I am … deeply concerned...". This is my emotional rather than logical response. The one different email is almost lost in the nine, rubber stamp, emails.

The emails are generated by a "Do-Gooder" (yes, that's its name) website. The site allows people to send a rubber stamp message to a group of email addresses. What a pity that they do not use "blind copy" ! When one Senate candidate replies to the email -- it goes to the complete distribution list. Instant spam :-(

I'm still not sure (Nick says as an aside) whether I shall use Reply or Reply All...

Me: What will you reply ? (or reply all ?) I ask.
Nick: In my opinion (says Nick) both sides are wrong. (Uh oh ! says Nick. Why ? I ask. See the "late correction" at the end of this post...) Both sides are too willing to fight and kill and ignore basic human rights. Neither side is looking for a solution -- unless the solution strongly favours their own side.

One or two states ? I don't care (says Nick). Actually... I don't know. I have very little knowledge of the situation. A rubber stamp email gives me no confidence that I have "facts" let alone enough facts to form a valid opinion.

When one side or the other (says Nick, standing tall, looking stern, being honest), When one side or the other offers peace -- long-term peace -- in a solution that both (all ?) sides are willing to at least consider -- then I will support it.

Good luck, he says. I wish you all a *peaceful* solution. When that is what you really want.

Wow ! No, not "peace in our time". What Nick wants is *real* peace. Peace into the future. Peace that satisfies all parties... at least enough to allow them to live together (or not) but in peace.

While A and B (and C and D...) prefer to kill each other... Nick has no reason -- no real knowledge to support a reason -- to encourage him to support A. Or B. Or C or D...

Nick sums up: Do-Gooder allows people to let me know their (rubber stamp) opinions. That's good. If you *talk* with other people -- and don't call them, "the enemy" -- then perhaps, just perhaps... you may really be able to "Do Good".

That (Nick says), I definitely support. Do your best to, do real good. And I wish you, Good luck.

Lots of love,
in a difficult area,

Late correction: Nick says, Sorry to wake you up, Aeglira. I made a mistake, missed an important point. Can you add it as a late correction ? Please ?

Me: You said that -- in your opinion -- both sides are wrong. Have you realised that your opinion is wrong ?
Nick: Oh, no, I am never wrong. In this Palestine / Israel situation, both sides -- all sides -- are wrong. Yet at the very same time... All sides are right.

Me: I beg your pardon ?
Nick: Yes, that's right. All sides are wrong -- because they are not reaching a peaceful solution. All sides are right -- because their beliefs, knowledge, backgrounds, support for friends... and lots more... all lead them to a perfectly reasonable opinion. A reasonable -- and absolutely right -- opinion for themselves.

What would help (Nick continues) is if the various "right" opinions were extended to include the possibility that other people's opinions are also right. Or, at least, that other people's opinions could be considered -- seriously and sympathetically -- in forming your own opinion.

All this Israel / Palestine / Middle East stuff  (says Nick, with a sigh) is well beyond my area of experience. Not, however (he adds with a cheery smile :-)) not beyond my skills as a Consulting Dexitroboper. Just let me know when everyone is ready to seriously search for a peaceful solution. I'll be happy to help.

With love,
… Aeglira

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

important political promises

Hi there Nick, Is this a good time to ask you a few questions ?
Okay, says Nick, It is, in fact, a very good time...

Hi there Voters !

This is Aeglira, reporting on the election in WA for the federal Senate ! Yes, I'm reporting from the very headquarters of Nick Lethbridge, Senate candidate for the HEMP Party ! Nick is pleased to be running for HEMP, he asks me to repeat that his first policy is that hemp should be legal.

Remember, Nick Lethbridge supports the legalisation of hemp ! He believes, he says, that this will allow legitimate businesses to make a successful business of hemp. And when hemp is legal -- its various properties can be tested. Properly. Scientifically.

Is hemp as good a cure-all as HEMP says? asks Nick. Make hemp legal, says Nick. Then hemp -- including its possible medical qualities -- can be tested. Tested and trusted, Nick says, however the evidence indicates.

Me, first question, allowing Nick's human side to come through. (That's the way it's done by us experienced yet one-sided political reporters.): What have you been doing today? I ask Nick.

I've spent all afternoon attached to an IV, an intravenous drip, says Nick. Ooohhh, I say, I hope you are okay ? (See, human interest with sympathy !)

Long-term, says Nick, my cancer will kill me. This week's treatment may stave that off. Today, though, I'm just tired. The chemicals help my body to fight the cancer. The fight may be worthwhile but it is very tiring. So, please, just some simple questions ?

Poor Nick :-( Okay, I'll just ask him a couple of simple questions.

Me: Did you watch today's tv Leaders' Debate?
Nick: Oh, please ! It was starting at 5pm, just as I was being disconnected from my IV. Just as other people were leaving work. Who had time to watch ?!

Me: I think that may be a rhetorical question ?

Nick: No need to answer my last question. Anyway, the real question is, Why was the debate at such a difficult time ? (I have no time to say, Rhetorical...?) Nick carries on: The debate is in WA. The prime-time paying consumer audience is in "the Eastern States". WA ? Who cares :-(

Me: I don't have time to answer that. At least, I don't think I'll try. I'll just leave that as a series of rhetorical questions. I'll speak to Nick later, ask him if he really needs all those rhetorical questions.

Me, next question: Can you give me -- for your Voters -- some of your political policies ?
Nick: Certainly. But. (Always "but". Nick is getting better (or worse) at political ducking and weaving.)

Nick: I will state some of my "political policies". Remember what I said for a previous post. (That would be the great... yawn... debate. I do remember that it seemed to make sense. Though perhaps not to real politicians.)

Nick continues: These "policies" are just promises of cash. Vote me in, I promise(*) you this money. (What's that asterisk mean? I ask. Later, replies Nick.)

Political promise (promises Nick): When I am elected to the Senate I will press for(*) (another asterisk?! Later) I will press for the spending of... (Nick pauses, a deeply significant pause, I think. We're all hanging on Nick's words... Very well done !)

What has been promised by any other politician ? asks Nick. (Are you changing the subject, I ask Nick.) Whatever you are promised -- continues Nick -- I promise the same ! *Plus* (he raises his voice) *plus* ten percent More !! Or less, if that is what you want.

Ooooohh ! that is just so amazing ! Doesn't it show just how much Nick Lethbridge -- for HEMP, and an independent thinker, too -- cares for each and every Voter ?! Isn't he marvellous ! Whatever you want -- plus ten percent ! (Or less ten percent... You choose !) Nick really does care.

Vote HEMP -- Nick and Mark -- [1] for the Senate. For hemp and everything else that will buy your vote. None of the other parties are offering promises *plus* ten percent. Other parties are so cheap. Sooo… mean :-(

Me: You said that you would explain that asterisk, "later". Is now, later ?
Nick: Yes, now is the "later" that I mentioned above.

(*) My (yes, Nick's, this is Nick's answer) My "policies" are not really policies, they are -- as with nearly all political party "policies" just political promises of cash. I "promise" cash, you vote for me. Standard political exchange. Says Nick.

Once I am elected I will... remember that other asterisk... I will "press for" … whatever you think that I promised. Yes, I will try. Do you think I can press successfully ? Against the combined might of "real" politicians ? Politicians who are only (and I'm afraid I rather lose the thread of what Nick is saying. He does go on a bit.)

Later... later...

Me: So, to summarise: You offer whatever cash "promise" a voter likes. (If it has already been put forward by another Senate candidate, says Nick.) So you offer -- with suitable weasel words... Yes, says Nick with a smile :-) You are getting good at this, he says. You offer the same cash *but* plus 10% ? Yes! says Nick. Or *less* 10%, if that is what the voter wants.

Me: And you expect that you will have no hope of following through with that promise ?
Nick: I will try. I expect most will fail but yes, I will try. Or, well, at least I will consider trying. It's not possible to please everyone, many ideas -- promises -- will be directly contradictory.

Nick: Whatever you believe that I have promised... if you let me know... I will consider it. Your ideas will influence my thinking, my opinions (says Nick). Whether I agree with you or not, your opinions are important. To me.

Nick: Thank you, Aeglira.

Me: Thank you, Nick !

Me: And what are your campaign plans for tomorrow ?
Nick: More IV drip, I'm afraid.

A day of terrific "political policies" from Nick Lethbridge, for HEMP, in the Senate for WA. If the other parties are working as hard as Nick (when he can) -- then Nick has now covered all essential "cash policy" areas. Terrific effort, Nick Thank you !

And for all the Voters in WA who support... are considering... are reading about Nick:

Lots of love, Thank you,

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick

Sunday, 28 April 2019


Nick says, Here is a real policy: I support the legalisation of euthanasia.

Hi there ! This is Aeglira, reporting a policy statement from Nick Lethbridge, WA Senate candidate for HEMP.

Nick wants to legalise hemp, I explained his reasons in a very early post. (I hope you all read it ! I'm still learning how to be a Political Reporter, I'd love to hear your comments. It's not always easy to explain what Nick is saying, even if I use exactly what he says !)

Now, Nick says, Here is another really important policy: euthanasia.

Is euthanasia a HEMP policy ? I ask. No, says Nick. I support HEMP and their single policy. Anything else is my own.

Me: Oh, okay. So, why do you support euthanasia ? (Another hard hitting question ! I think I'm getting good at this.)

Nick: A lot of people believe that suicide in evil, it is against their moral code. That's fine. For them. They have no right to force their personal moral code onto other people.

Me: So you think that anyone should be allowed to commit suicide -- or euthanasia -- if they want to ?

Nick: Not while it is illegal. No. While euthanasia is illegal -- against the law -- people should not do it. What they *can* do (Nick says, even before I can ask a question :-( is to try to get the government to change the laws. To allow euthanasia.

When euthanasia is legal, Nick continues, then it is legal. While it is *not* legal -- don't do it. That's "democracy: " The majority of people can force the minority to do what the majority want." (That sounds a bit odd, I think. It's not quite the way that I thought democracy works. Still, Nick is not smiling while he says it.)

Me (getting control of the interview): So you think that people who are ill, in pain, likely to die quite soon, they should be allowed euthanasia ?

More than that, says Nick. (And I thought that he had finished with his policy. It's very simple, so far. But Nick does seem to think quite deeply about his ideas.)

What more could there be ? I ask.

Nick: Anyone -- anyone at all -- should be able to request euthanasia. And before I can ask, But wouldn't that mean that people would be getting themselves killed all over the place ? Nick continues... Of course it needs controls.

Nick: Not just the walk in, press the button, be killed, form of Futurama euthanasia. We need controls. First, a cooling off period. Perhaps a month, from saying, I want euthanasia to actual dying. Euthanasia "intent" to be registered with a government agency.

Then a month (Nick continues) in which nearest and dearest can try to talk them out of it -- or offer their care and support. Time to adjust. To accept. To learn to live with a person who would rather be dead. If the person changes their mind -- perhaps their friends and family lighten the burden which is driving the person to choose euthanasia, that's good. If the person still wants euthanasia -- they may die with friends and family able to say goodbye. Rather than the current situation where people die in miserable isolation, having to keep a deadly secret to protect both themselves and their family.

What about (I ask) the people who think that euthanasia is evil ? The people who believe that it is okay to force their own morals onto other people ?

They can send pamphlets -- says Nick -- via the government registrar of euthanasia. No screaming insults on the doorstep. No hurling abuse at people who just want to die in peace. Just a fair chance to present their arguments. No more. No less.

Well, it all sounds reasonable to me. I mean, I'm a healer. Death doesn't mean much in Azeroth, we have a lot of plants and potions which are not available in Western Australia. Even so, some people die. Some people chose to die. It's all a part of life.

So in summary... Nick has two clear policies:
1. He supports the legalisation of hemp
2. He supports the legalisation of euthanasia
… both -- once legalised -- with management and controls so that they are not easily abused.

It does make me think of one more question:

Nick (I ask) do you want euthanasia for yourself ?

Not really, Nick replies. It's just something which I have believed in for quite a few years.

Yes, I do have terminal cancer (he continues) but that has not changed my thinking. So far my cancer has been painless (though the treatment is awful !). But I have no interest in dying before the cancer kills me.

Wow ! Shock revelation !

Of course that may change (Nick says), if the cancer symptoms become unbearable. For now, no. Euthanasia -- like hemp -- is something that I support. For people who want it. Not for my own use.

Okay, I knew about Nick's cancer. Do you like the way I just threw it in at the end of this interview ?

Nick's cancer is terminal but with no definite end date. He does expect to outlive the election campaign. (And he says, to have a good laugh during the campaign. Because Australian politics is such a great joke.) I won't be saying much more about Nick's cancer in this blog. If you are interested -- there is an address at the top of the blog page, for an almost day-by-day story of Nick, his cancer, the treatment and his enjoyment of life.)

Sometimes it's sad, sometimes it's funny. I'm just glad it's not me that has cancer ! Though as Nick likes to say; He's glad it's him, and not his wife or children.

But that's enough of that ! Next post, it's back to politics ! And for now...

Lots of love & long life !
from Aeglira, for Nick Lethbridge and for HEMP.

In WA vote 1 for HEMP and Nick Lethbridge !

campaign news at
authorised by Nick Lethbridge, Churchlands
for the HEMP Party and Nick