Les Murray now – who next

For heavens sake – a state funeral for Les Murray!! I know he was a very good sports commentator (on Soccer) but that was what he was – a “sports commentator” of a sport that is far from being the Australian national game.
I am sure there would be someone who would qualify better to represent the real Australian game – started here in Australia and played and watched by many, many people every week….or in many other sports.
The “rot” started for the granting of state funerals with Kerry Packer, a businessman who worked for himself and when a state funeral was given to him, as far as I am concerned, it debased the value of a state funeral.
What next? The men who work on removing garbage in our streets, keep us healthy, do it cheerfully – they do it for us much more than most of others whose names come up in the papers.
Bill Shorten – I am surprised at you – and disappointed.

Freedom of the Press????

Is this what “Freedom of the Press” means – and I refer to the disgusting exhibition of media frenzy surrounding the arrival of Cardinal George Pell at the Court in Melbourne. He at least behaved with dignity but I can’t castigate enough the behaviour of the media. Surely there should be some protection against the harassing of people attending courts. Surely the owners of the media are ashamed at the way their people behave – pushing their microphones into the face of the person, asking silly questions (What did you think when you saw the body), chasing after cars running down the street asking the same silly questions at the car windows (unfortunately this seems to be the prerogative of young – usually blonde – women in high heels .
Do they really expect that they will be answered? Is there any law that could keep these awful people back, like an AVO to operate at say 10 ft.
Unfortunately this isn’t the only instance of vulture-feeding at a media frenzy – it happens at any outside-court appearance of notables.
Was the effort worth it if this is what we achieved?  It makes me so ashamed.

Different laws for Indigenous

“Different laws for Indigenous will make matters worse”. I heartily agree with the writer in Letters SMH 25 July. What next – different laws for, say, my ancestors who when they “arrived” would have outnumbered the locals and now when you see the names of those claiming aboriginality they must now outnumber them even more (look for the number of Mc, Mac, O’ etc)  and have a culture and heritage of many, many years..
When all the talk about the Referendum started it was about “recognition” and even then I didn’t know what it meant because we all know (unless we never went to school or read anything) that the original people were here from about 65,000 years ago – so what did “recognition” actually mean.
And the demands expand daily until now I hear claims for areas of land to be recognised and separate to the rest of Australia. If this continues if/when we have the referendum I will definitely vote “NO”….  I wait for the day when I hear an Indigenous person say “I am Australian”.    I am six or seven generations Australian and my g-g-children then are 9-10 generations and came from Irish stock.  However I do not call myself Irish Australian – I am Australian and that’s it.  And I look forward to the day Indigenous people do not claim tribal names but simply Australian.

Water, Water everywhere and not a drop to drink

“4 Corners” 25/7 showed us just is wrong with the Murray/Darling/Barwon River systems in the Far West but there is one question not tackled in this excellent programme: Will the pirates taking and using millions (? billions) of litres of river water illegally pay tax on their ill-gotten gains?
After all we are all behind the ATO in clawing back taxes from overseas companies for taking profits in this country and not paying appropriate tax, just don’t forget the illegal users of water in this country – what would the illegal “take” amount to in dollars?
Does anyone worry about, say, the people of Broken Hill left without water last year, and people and communities down river as far as Victoria and South Australia?
Now we will wait…wait… to see what our elected representatives do when the question is their top-end mates.


News of the proposed super Ministry could perhaps get a qualified approval from me (not that this matters – I am just a voter) but to put Peter Dutton in charge…no…no…no. Right or wrong he comes over to me as an authoritarian, humourless, my way or no way person and I cannot go along with him (Colonel Klink or perhaps El Supremo – I hesitate to say “heil…”?) being given such amazing powers in this country. It’s too much Malcolm.


There IS an answer to the Bank Levy furore. If a percentage of top executive/s salaries and bonuses were levied, that would relieve the pressure on banks, be a big plus publicity-wise for the banks and perhaps bring those executives down to an earth the rest of we mortals live on.
After all, those bonuses are supposedly paid on the basis of service and customer satisfaction – need I say more.


So, finally, there may be some light let into the fog that has blocked off the RSL and its activities for many years.
I have no knowledge of the alleged financial problems but I am well aware of the stuck-in-the-past (WW1) attitude of the RSL as we know it. I have accumulated a file inches thick over the past few years asking for recognition of WW2 servicemen and particularly New Guinea but – alas RSL thoughts start and end with The Western Front and Gallipoli and the March. To my requests that more recognition be given to activities in WW2 such as a Day for those activities especially in New Guinea, I have had a standard reply:   Änzac Day covers all servicemen, to which I have replied “ask any child in the street what Anzac (Day) means and they will   tell you Gallipoli”. They don’t even think about North Africa, Greece, Crete, Syria and finally, and so importantly regarding the possible invasion of Australia – New Guinea.
It was salt on the wounds to hear an American Admiral on ship celebrating The Battle of the Coral Sea refer to heading off the invasion of Australia…a history that local historians and the RSL have been trying to re-write for over 65 years selling the fact that there was no suggestion of a possible invasion.. Amazing – the Japanese had fought from their islands right down through SE Asia and then New Guinea – up and down the Owen Stanley Ranges – to….what? sit in Port Moresby – well that’s what the RSL and local historians would have us believe but obviously the American Navy doesn’t think that.
So – good on the investigators – they may bring the RSL up to date and into the 21st century.