Australia Day

Why all the argument about a date for Australia Day?  Isn’t it obvious that no matter what date is chosen or suggested, there will be some (minority) group to object, as now. It appears obvious that Australia Day should be in the post Christmas period – people visiting, summer, people on holidays, tourists coming for the beach, etc. etc. and so far the majority of Australians appear to favour the late January date.  All of the aforementioned limits the date to summer post-Christmas. So do we change the date with the almost certainty that another minority group will object… or do we stay with a day with some meaning for most Australians – if they think about it at all.

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Free Speech

Reading Letters to the Editor SMH 16 Jan about the Margaret Court episode…What comes through to me is that most contributors and Margaret Court should, indeed are entitled to, right to free speech – BUT only when it conforms to their requirements/views in public speeches.  Raises the question- is this free speech.

ROAD DEATHS

Minister Pavey,

Stop road deaths with truck rules: Toll – SMH 16 Jan. Does anyone really think that the proposal by trucking giant Toll to have more rules, etc. will stop road deaths – perhaps a suggestion dictated by the bottom line. The real answer of course, is to take trucks off the road but these trucks are a small business for the drivers and their future super. So…open up the railway lines to freight – remember when you could put something on the train at night and tomorrow morning it was at its destination. Return the main stations (Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange, etc. etc) to activity. Franchise out each station and environs to an owner/driver with an assured area to service from the station. This franchisee would live in the serviced area – his family would move to their area; the owner/driver would employ people as his freight expanded; the district would acquire new families/drivers – AND many trucks would be off the road and owners would not be working to impossible time schedules. You say that you are disturbed by the road deaths – I am sure that the people killed since Christmas and their families are also disturbed.

 

Billie Jean King and opinions

So it has already come to this – King urges renaming of Margaret Court Arena – SMH 13 Jan.   Apparently King feels that if you are not with “them” you are against them and should be stripped of any honours you were awarded for your previous (tennis) skills.
Billie Jean King, I would remind you that this is Australia, not USA, and so far we have the right to express an opinion even if it goes against the common grain. Captains of Commerce, Sport, etc. should have  expressed THEIR opinions on the recent same-sex plebiscite as just that – THEIR opinions fuelled often by their own sexual orientation (as with King) and not presumed to speak for their constituencies.
I did point this out in contributions to the media at the time but where did my views go against the highly emotional tide of the moment and the best advertising campaign I have ever seen…nowhere.

BETRAYAL – AND WINSTON CHURCHILL

The new film “Darkest Hour” starring Gary Oldman is gathering plaudits, acclaim and awards for its story and acting but will it really tell all of the truth? People from that era, WW2, will remember that it may have been the darkest hour for the UK but for Australia – brutally abandoned by Winston Churchill, looking at imminent invasion – will we ever forget that “we’ll get them (Australia) back at the end of the war” .
It
was indeed our darkest hour.   For all the years of the colony from the Maori Wars to WW2 we had stuck with Britain and believed in her and her attachment to Australia, fought in all of her wars and were then told that we were expendable.
Will this film, in the cause of honesty and transparency include THAT part of Winston Churchill’s story? I doubt it.
Will those of that era ever forget that “betrayal”?  I doubt it.

Harrassment

Why is it men’s bums went unsmacked?. A man asks the question (Damon Young – SMH 12 Jan) and a man thinks he has the answer in a piece of many, many, many words. Damon the answer comes down to simply one word “power”.   Smacking a female on the bum shows he is more powerful than she is. And should she retaliate? No, of course not .He just might retaliate and he is definitely more powerful, physically, that she is.  He knows it… She knows it.
Education may help but we would need to overcome generations of power-play.

The International Baccalaureate

For heavens sake much angst because of the results of the BT recently.  Before feeling disgruntled by being shortchanged in the public school sector by those dreadful, money-hungry “elite” private schools take your mind back to earlier ABC days when British comedies and often British dramas were seldom shown on commercial TV because of the perceived loss of ratings.
After appearing on ABC and the public liking the genre, what happened?  The commercials adopted them too.
Similarly with the International Baccalaureate (IB) which has been pioneered among non-public schools; there are now calls for it to be “given” to public schools.  Why?  Because it has been shown to be interesting, advantageous to students, etc. But the ground work needed to be done by those awful private schools who took the risk with it and could make their own decisions.
Can you imagine the furore if the IB had been introduced BEFORE  coming out in the non PS sector?  P&Fs and P&Cs would have been ringing, writing, emailing, facebooking their MPs about this dreadful suggestion.
And I’ll throw in for your consideration – for how many years have those “elite”  schools been educating indigenous youth without fanfare?  And how many a year?