Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cheryl Kernot (Thanks, Dave)

Cheryl Kernot was suggested to me by the same friend who suggested Natasha Stott Despoja and Bob Brown. Those two were interesting. Hopefully, I'll find Kernot to be interesting too.

She was a Democrat. I kind of hoped to be done with those people.

Oh well. She was on my list.

I feel weird taking people off my list. I don't know why. I've done it only once before.

Speaking of the list......

I have my new celebrity crush up there. I look forward to that day of research.

Okay......back to Cheryl Kernot.

She was born on 5 December 1948. She's a few months younger than my mom. Oh, and she shares a birthday with Harold Holt!

Birthday website time!

She's a Sagittarius and a 3 in numerology. I imagine that type of person would be fun, flighty, and social.

Lord Wiki doesn't have a huge amount of information about her. He doesn't even say where she's born; nor does he have anything about her childhood.

She was a school teacher and a political activist. She became a senator for Queensland in 1990 as part of the Australian Democrats. Kernot was a bit of a rabble-rouser. As soon as she got into government, she tried to change it. She worked to get rid of the current leader, Janet Powell. John Coulter took Powell's place. If I'm reading this right, that happened in 1991. Soon after (1993) Kernot herself became the leader. Meg Lees became her deputy.

Within the party, Kernot was not very popular. Out of protest, some members of the party resigned. Yikes. Lord Wiki says she was a good spokesperson though, and for awhile she made the party popular.

Some people have a lot of charm. They make an excellent impression on those who don't get too close. It's easier to like these people when you're looking in from the outside.

In 1997, Kernot swam over to a new political party. She joined the ALP (Australian Labor Party). This is how Meg Lees became leader. Interesting.

While still a Democrat, Kernot had an extramarital affair with someone in the Labor Party. Is that part of the reason she switched sides? I'm guessing the main reason was the fact that she wasn't popular within the other party.

Kernot is now out of politics and working at the Centre for Social Impact. I'm trying to figure out what exactly this group does. They say their goal is supporting and strengthening the social enterprises of today. Educating and inspiring the social entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

I don't really understand that. I think it's something to do with charitable organizations. Maybe it teaches people how to have a better charitable organization? Yeah, I think I might be right. They have a course regarding not-for-profit management.

Tim will be working for a nonprofit company for the first time. Maybe he could benefit from the course. It would be an excuse for us to return to Australia.

This Britannica website has some information that Lord Wiki was missing.

In 1995, she created a calender about successful woman. She used herself for one of the months. That's pretty bold. Kernot said the message she wanted to emphasize, with the calender, was that success for women did not have to be about being famous, wealthy, fashionable or thin.

Kernot's birthplace was Maitland New South Wales. That sounds familiar to me. I don't know why. Maybe it was on one of those Australia map quiz things. Anyway....Google Maps says it's near Newcastle.

She studied education in school and then was a secondary teacher for ten years. She also worked as a freelance radio producer. Really? I wonder how she got involved with that.

This ABC website said her switch of political parties was very hard on the Democrats and might have been the beginning of the end. I guess we could say it's when the Australian Democrats jumped the shark.

Kernot lost her ALP seat. That was bad, but things only got worse for the woman when she published her memoirs. She revealed a lot, but failed to mention her little illicit romance.

Oh! Cool. After the biographical information, there's an actual interview with Kernot.
It seems she ran away to the UK for awhile.

Okay. I'm not the only dumb one out there. The person doing the interview mentions that many people don't know what a social entrepreneur is. Good. See. I kind of thought it was one of those fancy words that people use to make other people feel dumb. But here Kernot says that she thinks it's a horrible term. THANK YOU!

To try to illustrate what this social entrepreneur thing is, Kernot talks about a bottle of water. She says this certain company uses local water, and the bottle itself is made out of cornstarch. The proceeds from the bottle goes towards helping people( in less fortunate situations) get water. One bottle of water buys a month of clean water for others. 

Kernot says, here are people who are entrepreneurial in spirit who don't want to use that entrepreneurialism simply to maximize their own wealth. Ah! Now that's putting it into a language I can understand. And I like that.

I think this goes along with Kernot's calender. What else besides wealth, fame, and physical beauty could make someone feel successful? Here we have it. You can succeed by helping others.

There's talk in the interview of whether it was the GST issues or Kernot's switching parties that was the beginning of the end. I don't know. Maybe we can blame Kernot either way because when she left, Meg Lees took over, and it's with Lees that the whole GST thing happened.

This website has a photo of Kernot. It seems she joined the Centre for Social Impact rather recently. She's an associate professor with them. Her five years in London probably helped her get ready for the role. She worked as a Programme Director at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurs, and at Oxford University she was Director of Learning at the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

I'm getting bored.

I don't know if I should just end soon, or keep going and see if anything exciting comes up. I'm tired of the Australian Democrats. Or maybe I'm just in a blah mood.

Maybe if I think of her as part of the Labor party, I'll have a better attitude about this.

All right. Actually, I just took a thirty minute break. Sometimes that helps. Jack and I watched Arthur together. One of the episodes sparked me to ask Jack, what's more important...winning or helping someone? He gave the answer I wanted to hear. But then I started thinking, why can't it be both? Why can't we win BY helping someone?

This made me think of the whole social entrepreneur thing. Human beings are competitive by nature. Instead of suppressing this or denying it, why not use it to better the world? Instead of trying to be the richest, the most famous, the best at sports, get the best grades, etc. how about trying to be the one who donates the highest percentage of our disposable income? Or we could try to be the person with the greenest home.

Of course, mild competition is lovely. Anything beyond that can get nasty. Oh, you think you're so great because you adopted three girls from China? We've adopted twenty kids and they all have Down Syndrome. You have a Hybrid car? Who cares? We don't have any car. We ride our bikes everywhere.

A utopia, where no one felt the need to compete and everyone was cooperative, would be ideal. But I doubt that's ever going to happen, so we might as direct our competitive nature to something more righteous.

This SMH article talks about Kernot's move to London. It says she doesn't like the suggestion that she moved to London to run away. She said she moved to heal her soul. Uh....yeah. I don't really see that much of a difference. I don't see what's so shameful about escaping for awhile. I mean if you're a fugitive that's one thing. But I think if you're getting bad press, there's nothing wrong with taking a breather and using that time to do something productive. We all need a change now and then.

The article says she was married to a guy named Gavin for twenty years. That ended. They had one child together. Sian. She took time away from her studies and came to be with her mom in London.

She has a therapist.

I almost went to a therapist this summer. I made contact with two and then they never contacted me back. I felt rejected. My feeling then was that a therapist would not solve my problems. They'd just be another person with the potential to hurt and reject me. I'm not trying to sound pathetic and dramatic. But a therapist is just another human being. Besides, I don't think I really want someone to help me. I think I just want someone to listen to me. And friends are perfect for that. I feel if I went to a therapist, when they said what I wanted to hear I would feel all high and mighty. I would think Ha! She's a therapist and she agrees with me. I'm SO right. When she disagreed with me, I'd scoff at her degrees. Yeah. What does she know?

I probably DO need therapy. I also need a haircut. I might need an Exorcism. Okay. The truth is I'm really bad at making appointments. I have some kind of weird aversion to it. The other stuff above is true as well though. Let's just say it's complicated.

In the meantime, this blog is pretty therapeutic.

Finally! I have found something fun and interesting! There was a musical called Keating! the Musical Have any of you seen it? It started in Melbourne, but has toured around Australia. There's a song in it about Kernot and her lover, Gareth Evans. It talks about them being married. Adultery is a very crazy and painful thing. But I personally have more sympathy for two unhappily married people finding comfort in each other than I do with a single person getting in the middle of a marriage. I think the former is usually about being unsatisfied and desperate for attention. I think the latter is usually about being selfish and competitive. He likes me better than his wife! She's married, but it's me that she wants. Ha! Her husband is such a loser. His wife is a controlling bitch. He's so much happier with me.

As for politics and adultery..... I really don't care who sleeps with who or who gets a blow job from who. You can be a great spouse and a horrible politician. You can be a great leader and a horrible spouse. Should Kernot have revealed her indiscretions in her book? I don't really know. I guess it would depend on the nature of the book. If she's pointing fingers at other people's PERSONAL issues and not revealing her own....well, that's tacky. But if the book wasn't like that, I don't think she's obligated to say anything. I DO think she's obligated not to lie. If she said something in the book like I have never cheated on my husband....well, that's fraud. Did she do that? Or did she just avoid mentioning a certain aspect of her life?

I mean I'm not obligated to tell you guys everything. You don't know that I have a cat that pees all over the place; that our house almost always smells like urine. That's really none of your business. Nor is it any of your business that I read when I'm on the toilet. Okay? I do NOT have to tell you guys everything.

All right. Here we go. I found an article about the love affair. Well, it doesn't really answer my questions. The person who revealed the whole thing (Laurie Oakes) felt the affair had an impact on why Kernot switched parties. I'm less surprised about adultery in politics than I am at the fact that Laurie Oakes has boy parts instead of girl parts. I think of Laurie as a girl's name. It's my mom's name. Although isn't there a famous literary character named Laurie?

Anyway, MR. Oakes said ....aspersions were cast on a whole lot of other people, blame was cast as to what happened to her, when obviously this underlying thing, this steamy affair, was crucial to what happened to her, crucial to her lapses of judgment.

I don't know. I might agree with him. I might not. Is he right? Did the affair have a huge effect on her politics? Did she switch parties because she was madly in love? Or is Laurie just defending his intrusive reporting?

You, know I'm a little less bored now. Adultery and media ethics has the tendency to spice things up a bit.

But I think I'm going to end here because we're going out to dinner. I need to put some decent clothes on.

Note: Something a bit strange just happened. I wrote all of the above yesterday. Okay. Anyway, I went to sleep. Sometimes, I have these very "random" things pop into my brain. Sometimes it's an image. Sometimes it's a number. Sometimes it's a name. I'll google it later, and in most cases I never figure anything out. This morning the name Charles Mott popped into my head. It was a very strong and persistent thought.

 After doing my morning ritual of writing down my dreams, I googled Charles Mott. At first, I came up with an American Philanthropist. I figured I'd look at that later...if needed. I thought it would be best to find an Australian Mott, so I googled that. I found this. My heart skipped a couple of beats because the article mentioned Charles Mott in relation to Gareth Evans. Evans appointed Mott to be Ambassador to Brazil.

I was 80% sure that I had NOT seen Mott's name yesterday while doing research. Outside of his romantic connection to Kernot, I didn't really read much about Evans. After doing some more digging on this Charles Mott, I'm now 99.9% sure I didn't read about him. It was hard to find his name. I mean there are a LOT of Charles Mott's out there, but not much about this particular Mott. The most I could find out about him was that he had been the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, a foreign service officer in Pakistan and the Australian Ambassador to Brazil, Spain and UNESCO. After that he became a professor at La Trobe University. I'm not sure if he's still there or not.

I feel this is some kind of weird psychic thing. I have these every so often. The thing is they never turn out to be exciting or meaningful. I never stop a murder or find a missing child. Once I had a psychic thing and all it did was allow me to remind Tim that the new season of 24 was coming on (I think that night?); and he should remember to tape it.


  1. And did you come across a magazine cover with Cheryl wearing a long red dress. Controversial at the time, but I can't recall why.

  2. Andrew,

    Hi! I didn't come across the magazine cover thing. I end up missing so much. I think that's why I love doing a blog for research. It's kind of a back and forth learning experience.

    Anyway, after you mentioned it...I googled the thing. I think it had something to do with the dress being scarlet and scarlet is a symbol for adultery. At least, that's what I got out of what I saw.

  3. Cheryl was a good politician, but her defection to Labor effectively killed the Democrats.

    Sounds like your cat is house trained as well as our dog!

  4. In this case it was an issue because the democrats vote in the senate can make such a difference.
    Traditionally they are seen as the party that is there 'to keep the bastards honest' and put up a good fight in the senate on new legislation, but when the leader of one party is sleeping with someone high up in the opposing, governing party... so laurie probably did the right thing.

  5. Louise,

    Yeah. I guess sleeping with a member of another party is NOT keeping the bastards honest ; )

  6. Keating! The Musical was brilliant. I saw it as part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival last year, and although Keating went out when I was 14, I could remember most of the events that they lampooned. Gareth and Cheryl's love song was marvellous, but my personal favourites were Keating singing 'I want to do you slowly' to John Hewson and Alexnader Downer's 'Freaky'. Now there's one for you - a pollie who wears fishnets and heels on the front page of the paper!

  7. miss diarist,

    I'm watching some of the clips of YouTube. I meant to do that, but forgot. Your comment reminded me. Thanks!

    Right now...I'm watching some kind of rap song.

    Oh! But he just started doing your "Do you slowly part."

  8. Hehe - hope you enjoyed it!

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.