Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 18, 2011

Monday, 18th July – Prime Minister’s standing sinks further and Japan wins Women’s World Football Title.

While over in the UK at present, the media, the police and even some politicians are getting involved in the ‘phone tapping’ scandals, here in Australia, our Prime Minister’s standing in the Polls and her Labor Party have apparently reached record lows. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Michelle Grattan, political columnist says:

“In results that will send waves of fear through the government, approval for Ms Gillard’s performance has tumbled another 3 points to 34 per cent, while her disapproval rating has jumped 3 to 62 per cent. The carbon plan has been given an unequivocal thumbs down, with 56 per cent of respondents opposed to a carbon price, 52 per cent rejecting the government’s carbon price and compensation package, and 53 per cent believing it will leave them worse off. More than half (56 per cent) say Ms Gillard has no mandate for her plan, and the same proportion want an early poll before the plan is introduced. Nearly half (47 per cent) think Bob Brown and the Greens are mainly responsible for the government’s package. More than half (52 per cent) say an Abbott government should repeal the package while 43 per cent believe it should be left in place under a new government. Ms Gillard yesterday denied she had been ringing around to gauge backbench support for her failing leadership. The Coalition’s primary vote is up 2 points to 51 per cent, while the Greens’ is down 1 point to 11 per cent. Approval of Mr Abbott has risen a point to 47 per cent. His disapproval is down 2 points to 48 per cent … Ms Gillard’s approval rating is her worst so far and the lowest for a PM since Paul Keating’s 34 per cent in March 1995” .

Amazingly, the Opposition leader, Tony Abbott is the preferred prime minister on poll figures, and if an election were to be held this weekend, the Labor Government would be thrown out!!! However that will not happen, and with an election more than 18 months away, the current political situation will no doubt be much changed by then!! Will be interesting to see if the same two leaders are still in those roles, when that time comes.

This morning, I woke in time to see the second half, extra time & penalties, of the Women’s World Football Cup Final between Japan and the USA.  I must admit I was barracking for Japan – I think the USA have won the Title 3 times, this was Japan’s first appearance in the Final, and they had to come from behind on two occasions – near the end of fulltime, and then again, just on the end of extra time, to force as penalty shoot out between the two teams. It almost looked as though the Americans cracked under pressure by the time the match got to that point.   Japan went on to win the Final on that penalty shoot-out, after been 2-2 at the conclusion of extra time. They therefore became the first Asian football [soccer] team to win the FIFA World Cup. As one journalist reported soon afterwards:-

“Amid the sorrow that lingers throughout Japan, perhaps a little joy—courtesy of the determined women on its World Cup team. They beat the Americans for the title in a riveting final Sunday night, 3-1 on penalty kicks, after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie. The star of the shootout was feisty goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, who made two brilliant saves in the shootout. All tournament long the teammates poignantly reminded the world they were playing for their battered country, still reeling from the devastation of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Did they ever.  They held the gleaming trophy high above their smiling faces as confetti swirled around the podium, flecking their hair with gold. “Before we went to the match tonight we had some commentary on television and we heard comments on the situation in Japan,” coach Norio Sasaki said. “We wanted to use this opportunity to thank the people back home for the support that has been given.” This was Japan’s first appearance in the final of a major tournament, and they had not beaten the Americans in their first 25 meetings, including a pair of 2-0 losses in warm-up games a month before the World Cup. But the Nadeshiko pushed ahead, playing inspired soccer and hoping their success could provide even a small emotional lift to their nation, where nearly 23,000 people died or were reported missing. After each game, the team unfurled a banner saying, “To our Friends Around the World—Thank You for Your Support.” On Sunday, they did it before the match and afterward they had a new sign to display: Champion—the first Asian country to win this title. [Meanwhile] The Americans found it all too hard to grasp. They believed they were meant to be World Cup champions after their rocky year—needing a playoff to qualify, a loss in group play to Sweden, the epic comeback against Brazil. They simply couldn’t pull off one last thriller”.[Nancy Amour, AP National Reporter]

Winning goalie Ayumi Kaihori of Japan made two saves in the shootout.
(Getty Images)

This evening, I was at a medical clinic in Sunbury awaiting an appointment. In the waiting area, apart from the usual television set blaring away, there was a magnificent large scale photograph on the wall –  the photo, hopefully appearing below, was of the Australian  World War One 11th Battalion [3rd Infantry Brigade] posing on the Great Pyramid of Giza, on the 10 January 1915. This Battalion did much of their war training in Egypt, and were amongst the first to land at Anzac Cove on April 25th, 1915. In the five days following the landing, over one third [one estimate I read put it at 80%] of  those from the battalion pictured, were casualties.  Apparently, it is said, the original photo was intended to be just of the officers, who are seated or squatting along the bottom of the picture. But Australians being Australians, the rest of the Battalion joined in, and this photo was the outcome. A couple of particular points about the photo –  in the front row of soldiers standing behind the seated officers,  slightly to the right of centre, there are four men standing with their entwined – a father and his three sons, who would all die during that first landing attempt at Gallipoli. There is also another figure [somewhere in the picture] – one of the Battalion soldiers had died a day or so before the photo was taken, but his mates wanted to include their ‘dead’ fellow soldier in the photo  – I couldn’t find him, and was told that unless he was specifically pointed out by someone who knew of his whereabouts, you would be able to distinguish him from the others.

File:Australian 11th Battalion group photo.jpg
Size of this preview: 613 × 600 pixels
Full resolution‎ (800 × 783 pixels, file

 Anyway, as I stood there examining this huge framed photograph, I couldn’t help thinking what a wonderful acquisition, this piece of Australian history, it would be to have a copy. That would be especially the case, if for eg, you were aware that your ancestor was in that Battalion at the time, and is most likely, somewhere in that picture.  Today, I would imagine that possession of a copy is probably possible – the image is of Australian origin, but is now in the public domain because it’s term of copyright has expired.  The 11th Battalion was one of the first infantry units raised for the 1st AIF [Australian Infantry Forces] during the First World War, and was the first such unit recruited in Western Australia. After some brief training in Perth, it sailed to Egypt, where it undertook four months of intense training before taking part in the landing at Anzac Cove.

 

 

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