Monday, December 28, 2009

Robert Doyle

I'm going to assume Robert Doyle is another Premier. I have no idea which state he might be from.

Let's go see.....

Lord Wiki says Robert Doyle is NOT a Premier. He's the Lord Mayor of Melbourne.

Sometimes, Melbourne has a mayor, and sometimes it has a lord mayor. I'm really not sure what the difference might be.

From 1842 until 1902, Melbourne had mayors.

From 1902 until 1980, it has lord mayors.

From 1981 until 1982 it had commissioners.

From 1982 t0 1993, it was back to lord mayors.

It switched back to commissioners for a few years after that.

Then, In 1996, Melbourne went back to having lord mayors.


Baby Robert was born in Melbourne, on 20 May 1953. When he was born, Melbourne had a lord mayor. That would have been either William John Brens, or Robert Henry Solly. Well, there was a switch during that year. I'm not sure when Brens was replaced by Solly.

Lord Wiki says that Doyle attended Geelong college. I wonder if the family moved to Geelong...or perhaps he went to boarding school. Doyle later went to Monash University, and got a degree in education. Then he returned to Geelong College as a teacher. That's cute.

Doyle spent a few years working at Geelong College. Then in 1982, he moved back to Melbourne. There he worked at Lauriston Girl's School. I don't think I've ever heard of that school before. Lord Wiki says Doyle was a departmental head there, but he doesn't say specify which department. It might have been English, because next Doyle worked at Scotch College as an English Teacher. Maybe English was his thing.

For some reason, Doyle decided to jump into politics. Lord Wiki doesn't much explain the transition, or the reasoning behind it. I'm also not sure if he stayed in the education field while pursuing politics.

Anyway, in 1992 Doyle got himself into the Victorian Legislative Assembly via the seat of Malvern. Malvern is a suburb in the south-east of Melbourne. It looks it has always been Liberal. I guess it's a fairly conservative area.

The Premier at the time was Jeff Kennett. Remember, he's the guy who embarrassed himself by having a phone conversation with Andrew Peacock regarding John Howard.

Once he was in Victorian Parliament, Doyle was put on various task forces. By 1996, he was promoted to Parliamentary Secretary of Health Services. I'm not sure what the difference is between being a minister of something, and a parliamentary secretary of something.

Ah, good! Lord Wiki explains. The parliamentary secretary assists the minister. So the minister would be higher up on the job ladder than the parliamentary secretary.

In 1999, Kennett stopped being Premier. Bracks took over. Kennett resigned from Parliament. The Deputy Premier (Denis Napthine) became Leader of the Opposition. In doing that, he gave up his role of being Minister of Health. Doyle took his place, and became the oppositional health person.

In 2002, Napthine didn't seem to be helping the Liberal Party's chance of getting into power. Doyle challenged his leadership, and won. He became Leader of the Opposition.

It turns out though that Doyle wasn't much help to the Liberal Party either. They lost the 2002 election. Wow. It was a big loss. They ended up having only seventeen out of eighty-eight lower house seats. That sounds pretty bad.

Since there were no worthy-seeming alternate candidates for leader, Doyle was able to keep that job for a little while. Well, I thought Lord Wiki was going to say he kept the most for several months. It was much more than that. He had the job until he resigned in 2006. Wow. It's hard to imagine that the party couldn't find anyone to replace him.

He resigned as leader in May 2006. Six months later, he resigned from Parliament all together.

In 2007, he became Chairman of Melbourne Health. He still had that job today. This is a government health provider.

So....if you're an Australian, and you get the free government health care, are there different programs you can choose from? Does everyone in Melbourne use Melbourne Health? I mean besides the people who have private insurance......

Here's something I didn't know. The previous Lord Mayor of Melbourne was Chinese....John So. He decided not to do a third term as Lord Mayor. He stepped out. Doyle stepped in. Actually, he was elected.

Oh, and now Lord Wiki tells me that Doyle's great-great grandfather had been a lord mayor. That was back in 1861.

As Lord Mayor, Doyle has had some controversy. There's a street in Melbourne....Swanston Street. It has been lately closed to private vehicles. Doyle wants to open it back up to private vehicles. The Australian Greens weren't happy with that...neither were Bicycle Victoria and Public Transport Users Association. I can see their point. The world would probably be much better off if we had more roads closed to cars. Maybe people would walk and bike more...or take public transportation. It's better for the environment, and better for our bodies.

The Bike people have information about Swanston Street, and what's going on with all that. It looks like things are going fairly well. The latest article is from October 2009. It sounds like Doyle is working with the bicyclists, and other people who want the area to be bike/pedestrian friendly. The article says, A full assessment of the options and the role bikes will have in the street must await a detailed evaluation, but a quick review shows that Option C, called the 'Orleans' option, is highly promising. Well, hopefully they'll go with this option c. In option c, there will be designated spots for walkers, bikers, and tram riders. Hopefully, I'm understanding this right.

Now I'm looking at The Public Transport Users Association Site. I think I recognize the president....Daniel Bowen. I'm pretty sure I've read his blog in the past. Anyway, the site says that hopeful that one day he won’t need his car at all anymore, and will no longer have to check timetables to avoid long waits. I echo his sentiments. I would love to live in a world with no cars, and very good public transportation. It's not just because cars are bad for the environment, and they cause us to walk much less. I'm very scared of driving. I've always been scared, and avoided driving until I was close to thirty. Sadly, Fort Worth is very much a car town. I can't say honestly that I've tried to use public transportation here. But from what I see, it doesn't look impressive. I should at least try to use it though. It's just one of those cases where bus stops are very far apart. As for walking....In our neighborhood there are no sidewalks. We walk near the curb. I guess that's okay. Sidewalks though would make me feel walking is more welcomed and encouraged.

I should stop complaining and making excuses. I should try the bus thing. It might not be as bad as I imagine. Maybe I'll make that an upcoming project/adventure.

The problem is figuring out the bus routes. I'm looking at the Fort Worth Site now. I'm TOTALLY lost. I'm horrible with buses. I wish we had a train system. I think I'm better at figuring those out.

I think I'm just going to forget least for now. It's making me way too frustrated. Public transportation is somewhat inconvenient in the big cities....Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, San Francisco, NYC, etc. It's even worse in the smaller cities.

Oh! Here's good news. There is going to maybe be a train in Fort Worth. That's cool. I wonder if will be convenient for me to get to. I mean I hope I don't have to walk two miles to get to a stop....or take two buses to get there. Well, I'm looking, and it doesn't look like there's going to be train stops anywhere near us.

The sad thing is it's so much more convenient, most of the time, to use a car...even though it's very bad and very terrifying. Well, I mean in towns like Fort Worth, it's easier to do the car thing. In big cities, I think it's often easier to use public transportation. Besides the health and environmental factors, there's also the horrific traffic issue and the issue of parking. In Fort Worth, the traffic is pretty okay, and it's usually fairly easy to find parking.

Anyway, back to Doyle.....

He has acted a bit snobby at times. Lord Wiki said he wanted to rid Melbourne of bogans and untalented buskers. This article talks about that. Apparently, Doyle said on a radio station that he didn't want Melbourne to become a bogan magnet. Yikes. This editorial defends bogans. They saw bogans should not be confused with the yobbos. Bogans are uncultured...prefer sport to opera and books. Yobbos are the ones who are loud, obnoxious, and sometimes violent. I personally don't like being in places that are dominated by the bogan or redneck culture. It's not my personal cup of tea. But I don't see why a city would try to exclude a certain type of people. As Helen Reddy sang in Pete's Dragon....There's room for everyone in this world, if everyone makes some room.
Big cities are great because there's such a huge variety of people. It's easier to find people you can relate well as finding people different enough to open your eyess and mind. Well, the good news is almost ALL of us now live in a sort of big city. We live in the Internet world. Here we get to encounter a huge variety of people.

I just found an editorial about Doyle. From first glance, it looks annoying to me. It's written in a way that's just very insulting. I know some people get all their laughs by insulting others, and some people greatly enjoy that humor. I personally do not.

The author, Catherine Deveny, MIGHT have some valid points. I can't deny that. She says here, Becoming lord mayor is the consolation prize for power-trippers with ambition but no talent. The gig's made all the more cushy by virtue of the fact that you have no real responsibility whatsoever. That's pretty harsh, but may be true. I'm not sure.

She goes on to insult Doyle in various ways. He's an idiot. He has no warmth. He has no original ideas. But he's not her only victim. Deveny says that buskers are all bad. That's their charm. If they were any good, they wouldn't be busking. That is SO not true. I mean maybe she's just being over the top. But it offends me. People (including musicians) have to start SOMEWHERE. And sometimes the very talented and successful begin with busking. This busker website has a list of famous people who were once buskers.

As for bogans, she says....As far as stopping the city being a bogan magnet, what's your plan? Bogans have to get out and about. If they don't, they'll breed.

Maybe she's just being sarcastic. I just personally don't like that type of humor. I mean I can't say I dislike all insults. Sometimes (in moderate doses) they're hilarious. I get annoyed though when people depend on that humor too much. I know people like that in real life. The majority of what comes out of their mouth is putting down others....their clothes, their personality, the way they wear their hair, their weight, the way they talk, their personal decisions, etc.

Anyway, Doyle and Deveny have something in common. They're both snobs.

I think all people are snobs to some degree. But Doyle and Deveny seem snobbier to a higher degree than average. Or maybe they're just more open about it. I don't know.


  1. Let me tell you a secret Dina.. I may not share your love of Australia (they are our rivals in cricket.. with a very good team ;) ) but I too worship Lord Wiki...

  2. Farila,

    What do you mean you don't share my love of Australia????? WHAT!!!!!!

    Oh okay. The cricket thing. I guess that's a good excuse.

    I love that you're a fan of Lord Wiki too. He and I are VERY close. We got a thing going on. But yeah. I don't like to kiss and tell. So I'll shut up. Anyway, I HAVE to like Australia. Australia is what brought me and Lord Wiki together.

  3. Catherine Deveny is marvellous. She does set out to deliberately offend though. But she is smart and actually quite kind. I think Melbourne Health covers a certain area of Melbourne and oversees the public hospitals in its area.

  4. WOW ... Thanks Darls interesting post as always. Thank You too for giving me a tip about this dreaded blog moving - still bamboozled! Hey love your interpretation of dumbing down - spot on - we're on the same page with that one. xo

  5. Andrew: Glad to hear Deveny has a nice side. I'm definitely not doubting her intelligence. It's just for me kindness is more important than smartness. I know a lot of people like these highly intelligent and creative people who can come up with frequent witty insults. I'm personally not a fan. Although I can't fully judge Deveny on one editorial she's written. As a whole, she might be someone I'd like. Sometimes people's writing personalities are completely different from their in-person personalities.

    Cherie: Thank you! I hope you're enjoying your new blog. Were you able to change the title? Well, I'll go check and see. I actually just went over there a minute ago, but forgot to check!!!!

  6. I used to be editor of the Myrtleford Times. Doyle spent much of his childhood in Myrtleford. His mother moved there with the children after she separated from Doyle's father.

    Here's a good description of his early life:

    He never appealed to me as opposition leader, seemed remote and lacking compassion. But he's generally regarded as a successful Lord Mayor.

    Happy new year!

  7. Michael,

    Thanks for the link. It's a great article. I wish I had seen it when writing this post!