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The haul fell out of the jumper right in front of the shopkeeper.
Choo-Choo bars, Redskins, musk sticks, licorice allsorts, Jaffas, a Sunnyboy and a chocolate milk scattered all over the floor.
Caught red-handed and red-faced, and with no reasonable excuse, there was nothing left to do but to apologise and vow never to shoplift again.
It was an embarrassing, life-shaping moment.
Although it happened 50-odd years ago, it bubbled back up to the surface with painful clarity yesterday as I watched Scott Morrison in Parliament perform moral and logical gymnastics to avoid apologising for secretly amassing numerous portfolios while he was PM.
There was no hint of the shame I felt when caught doing the wrong thing. Not a bit of it. I'd been caught stealing lollies and to this day the memory still brings a burn to the cheeks and a deep sense of remorse, even though the shopkeeper would have long forgotten the incident.
For Morrison, addressing the parliamentary censure over the much worse offence - of corroding trust in government by swearing himself in a secret minister of multiple portfolios - seemed little more than an opportunity for self-adulation mixed with self-pity.
Not even sorry, not sorry. Simply not sorry at all. No remorse. No contrition. The obstinate bulldozer in full fettle, seemingly enjoying the fact the cameras were back on him.
His speech was almost too painful to watch but it raised a fundamental question: why is it so hard to say sorry when you've done the wrong thing, especially if you're a man?
We saw similar contortions earlier in the week when Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe apologised in a Senate estimates hearing for statements made through 2021 that interest rates would remain at record lows until 2024.
"I'm sorry that people listened to what we've said and acted on that, and now find themselves in a position they don't want to be in," Dr Lowe said.
He admitted the caveats in his statements had not been made clearly enough but the underlying message was while he was sorry for that it was actually the fault of borrowers who had taken his word as gospel.
"People did not hear the caveats in what we said. We didn't get across the caveats clearly enough, and the community heard 2024. They didn't hear the conditionality."
Still, Lowe's strange mea culpa was infinitely more palatable than Morrison's clumsy vocal dodgeball, peppered as it was with "Mr Speaker" and the obligatory reference to Jen and the girls.
Censured now, the Member for Cook's political career is confirmed as kaput but his continued presence in the Parliament sticks like gum to the opposition's shoe.
Their refusal - with the notable exception of Bridget Archer - to support the censure motion was tactically silly. It allowed the government to press home with surgical precision all that was wrong with the secret ministerial appointments.
It would be better for all of us, the Liberal Party included, if the former PM rode quietly into the sunset.
Perhaps Morrison's own words from October 2020, when he was unfairly and outrageously ripping into then Australia Post boss Christine Holgate could be tweaked for the present day:
"If he can't see fault with his own actions, Mr Speaker, he can go."
HAVE YOUR SAY: Should Scott Morrison resign from Parliament? Was the censure motion necessary or political payback, as claimed by the opposition? Why is it so hard for so many men to say sorry? Email us: email@example.com
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- Federal politicians and public servants will soon be subject to an anti-corruption watchdog after the Labor government's proposed federal ICAC model passed Parliament. The oversight body, which is expected to be up and running by mid-next year, will be able to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and systemic corruption and will have the ability to hold public hearings in "exceptional circumstances". Crossbenchers and minor parties welcomed the bill's passing but share concerns with legal and integrity experts, who say it still needs tweaks to address "serious flaws". But Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said he was proud to see the bills pass with some amendments, saying it showed the government's "willingness to work with all sides of the Parliament and stakeholders".
- Star Entertainment faces more civil penalties for allegedly allowing customers to move cash through risky back channels and continuing business with "higher-risk customers" in breach of federal anti-money laundering laws. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre lodged a case against the ASX-listed gambling giant in the Federal Court after wrapping up a joint probe with police and regulators in NSW and Queensland, which began in September 2019.
- Cases of vaccine-resistant pneumonia are increasing despite the jab being included in routine childhood immunisations. A national study by the University of NSW and other research centres found the majority of 779 children admitted to hospital with pneumonia had been fully vaccinated. Data from children hospitalised was collected from 11 tertiary paediatric hospitals across Australia between 2015 and 2018. UNSW's Dr Nusrat Homaira said the current vaccine should provide optimal protection against 13 different variations of bacterial pneumonia. But two serotypes, a group of similar microorganisms like bacteria or viruses, called serotypes 3 and 19A are bypassing the effects of the vaccine.
THEY SAID IT: "The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse." - Edmund Burke
YOU SAID IT: Apollo and Artemis. Humans set to return to the moon and the Echidna is excited by that.
Trevor says: "We humans have always had to explore, go further. As children, parents would restrain us from whatever endeavour until we were deemed mature enough to deal with and respect our objectives. We are trashing this planet while wasting billions on space exploration. Please folks, we need to concentrate our minds and all those dollars on fixing this planet. That done, we'll then have proven ourselves and prepared ourselves as suitable to go exploring the universe."
Arthur remembers the moon landing: "I remember the landing very well. Little work got done that day. I still have an LP record of the conversations of the landing and a Super 8 film of it. The problem is my player for LP records has long since died and bulbs for my projector are nigh impossible to purchase. Such is the price of the advantages such a program brings but those advances justify the cost."
Likewise Gary: "I was on the doorsteps of OTC house in Martin Place, Sydney when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. When people asked, 'What did he say?' my wife shouted out the famous words (she has a good school teacher voice). And yes, it was in colour."
Donald recalls those little extras in cereal packets: "But there ain't no coupe de ville hidin' in the bottom of a crackerjack box... We knew what Meatloaf meant when he sang that famous Steinman line, didn't we? My first was a set of cricketers (I'm older than you) with our own local, Arthur Morris, the first I ever found. An Invincible. Then one K R Miller. Named after the two fliers. Stories of Arthur are legend. His pic was on the NBHS wall. He allowed a young Neil Harvey to run him out when he was 99 and Harvey went on to a huge score. From all accounts (including his niece whom I taught at Newcastle then-CAE) he was a lovely guy. And of course, once asked where he was when Eric Hollies bowled Bradman second ball in THAT innings, he quietly responded "Oh I was at the other end... I made 196..." Arthur himself didn't fall far short of the century. Yes my first-ever card! Vita Brits. And later The Wonder Book of General Knowledge and of course Stamina Cards! Men of Stamina...Thanks for the memories."
John says: "I was nine when the moon landing happened and it did seem magical at the time. Looking back it also seems to represent a closing of the frontier. In this time of post-colonialism and environmentalism, Western exploration is often portrayed as virus-like. It's hard to say if Artemis will conjure up the same magic."
Steve remembers: "I can still remember that first moon landing. I was sitting in a car in the main street of Cummins, SA, about midday. It sticks because it was my 27th birthday - 22 July. For someone living in the middle of nowhere it seemed impossible."
Graham says: "I am more concerned with the proper management of Spaceship Earth at the moment. The current program is yet another milestone in science and engineering, but it is at the cost of an ever-warming planet. Let's refocus."
Bob has his own story: "July 1969. How the years roll away; I was at the start of my teaching career, with my adored grade 3 and 600 other kids at Middle Park State in Melbourne, huddled around the only TV set in the school to watch Neil utter those immortal words. We all broke into a cheer so loud he nearly fell off the ladder. July 1989. At a 20-year celebration, I was sharing a Where Were You with a young teacher. I said I was with my grade 3. He said, 'So was I, but I was in grade 3.' As a sidelight, have you heard the story of Armstrong's cryptic utterance 'Good luck, Mr Kowalski?' He kept it to himself for 35 years, then let it out at a conference. Seems when he was 10 in Ohio, he was playing outside his neighbour's house. He heard Mrs Kowalski say 'You want sex? You'll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon.' Nobody could breathe for five minutes. I look forward to seeing the Echidna's burrow on the moon."