2018 has been the most pointless of my 87 years.
Nothing dreadful happened to me or Australia. It was just a boring time of decadent politics and absent ethics in which not one inspiring thing happened and there was much to lament.
There are many regrettable issues that deserve a mention, but I will talk about just three.
The Royal Commissions on Child Abuse and Aged Care.
The Royal Commission on Banking
The demise of Malcolm Turnbull.
I write, not as a lament, but in the hope of working out how we can make sure they are never repeated. There simply has to be a better way to run our country.
Looking first at Child Abuse, the year has revealed that we have learned little from this huge human tragedy.
Every effort has been made to pay the smallest possible number of dollars to the victims and to avoid having the perpetrators punished. Churches in particular still insist on the confidentiality of confessions and the need to forgive sinners, rather than spending time restoring the shattered lives of victims. As an Elder of my Church of 60 years service, I am disgusted, but I know that I should have been more vigilant during those six decades and taken action much earlier.
And it is not over for my Church. The new Royal Commission into Aged Care will find that Nursing Homes run by my Church have too often abused the elderly in their care. They have been a source of revenue, not human beings who still have potential to enjoy life and help others.
When it is all over, it will be a wonder if anyone will go through a Church door anywhere. I will turn up every Sunday to try to work out how we strayed so far from the path trod by Jesus of Nazareth when he went about doing good.
Australia’s Banks are another lamentable tragedy.
When I was growing up, our local bank manager was a trusted and revered pillar of society. Now, its almost impossible to find a bank manager, let alone an honest one. You have to phone someone in a far away head office and the sad fact is that whoever you finally speak to is not there to help you but to find some way to charge you unjustifiable fees.
The sheer depravity of our financial institutions, as discovered by the Royal Commission, is hard to believe, as is their ability to pay their executives such huge bonuses that a sheer robbery of the funds of shareholders and customers.
I do know some bankers who are trustworthy people, but it is sad to live in a society where it is actually naive to trust a bank.
Then, to cap it off, Australia once more proved how expertly amateurish we are at knocking off our Prime Ministers.
The demise of Malcolm Turnbull was hugely disturbing because it was done in such a ham-fisted way that bordered on insanity.
Firstly, we must acknowledge that Turnbull had no political nous whatsoever and caused his own downfall by opening up his leadership to a challenge when there was absolutely no need to do so. If he had not done that, he would still be Prime Minister today.
However, when he let the vultures loose, the callous and bloodthirsty manner in which he was cut down was horribly disgraceful and cruelly nasty.
And the fact that 45 Liberals, some of whom are grossly incompetent politicians, were able to decide alone who should be our Prime Minister is fundamentally wrong. Their decision to do so was a desecration of democracy as were the plots that removed Rudd, Gillard and Abbott.
There are other depressing issues we could talk about such as Australia’s appallingly inept Energy policies and our childish denial of climate change as well as international matters like the Brexit farce. Then there is the gross embarrassment of having Trump as the leader of the Western World, as well as our regret of the sad demise of Angela Merkel who has been a great leader of Europe.
But, before I get too downhearted, let me say that my faith in the huge potential of Australia has not diminished. All that we need is a Parliament of quality to give us inspired leadership.
The current one will see huge changes at the next election. No matter which Party wins, there will be a lot of new faces in the new Parliament replacing many who should never have been elected in the first place.
My hope is that, over the next decade, we will see the demise of the Liberals, Labor Nationals and Greens and their replacement by two new Parties.
One must be CENTRE RIGHT, without any arch conservatives and without the support of corrupt public companies and those who are wealthy enough to buy favours.
The other must be CENTRE LEFT, without Trade Union involvement.
Both must have no ideologues in their ranks, just efficient managers of the economy and compassionate leaders of a cohesive society.
Let us bring on 2019 and let it be a year of visionary achievement that will fill us with hope that will inspire us all to achieve our full potential as responsible citizens.
Yours with real enthusiasm,
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