I have written an novel called A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET.
Its growing number of readers tell me it is inspirational.
Based on final three months of life of a terminally ill man who decides to make them the most creative, meaningful and productive of all his days before he peacefully departs by Voluntary Assisted Dying.
You will enjoy it, especially the very last day, when he invites 25 of his family and friends to share a final drink with him in the happiest of ways. Indeed, the most wonderful party of his entire life.
I took great care in writing it as it depicts the same joyful way I intend to happily depart if my circumstances are likewise.
I will sign and post it to you for 25 dollars plus 10 dollars postage.
You and I have the democratic right to place a Petition before Parliament asking them to consider and act upon any matter of public interest that concerns us.
All that is required is that we go to the website of the Australian Parliament, click on PETITIONS, and follow the guidelines on how to submit a request in not more than 250 words.
Our document goes to the Petitions Committee of Parliament for consideration. If they agree that it is a suitable petition, they invite us to submit evidence of community support for our request. This means that we invite supporters to log on to the Parliament website and follow the prompts to register as a supporter.
The Petitions Committee will then study our supporter base and, if they believe it is sufficient, they forward our Petition to the relevant Minister whose portfolio of responsibilities cover the domain of our request.
We are then free to contact the Minister to advocate our cause before, as required by law, he or she replies to us.
Because of this democratic privilege we have here in Australia, I decided to submit a Petition asking Parliament to set up a Committee to investigate the establishment of UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME in Australia.
As I want to achieve the best possible result, I invited my friend, Dr Karen Stenner, an eminent political scientist, to draft the petition and submit it to Parliament. She has done this splendidly and successfully as the Petitions Committee has now asked us submit evidence of community support.
So we need your help right now and invite you to click on the link below to register your support.
Please do it TODAY as our deadline set by the Committee is 31 August.
Ignore the survey on the website. Just click ‘Continue’.
I will not bore you here with a detailed description of the huge benefits of Universal Basic Income. Just type it into Google and you will find many descriptions of where and how it has been trialed around the world.
I will just give you these few dot points as an indication of key elements of its value.
*Replaces all welfare, and there is no Centrelink, as all over 18 are eligible to receive UBI.
*Removes the stigma of welfare.
*Financed by the removal of a huge bureaucracy & the imposition of a levy on all of the many tax evaders in Australia.
*Gives people the financial backing to survive while they start up a small business or undergo skills training to change occupations.
*Unlike the age pension, it enables everyone to earn as much as they want to without penalty other than normal income tax.
*Significantly increases participation in the work force.
*Reduces mental stress from daily life.
Just be reminded that we are not asking Parliament to implement Universal Basic Income. We are just inviting them to investigate it. Hopefully, we live in a world of open minds where we constantly seek to find better ways of doing everything.
Here is the link for you to use to sign up as a supporter of UBI. You will note that the Petition has been submitted by Dr Karen Stenner.
Please do it TODAY and also send it on to your friends inviting them to do likewise.
‘I confirm that if the VOICE referendum is successful, a resolution will be passed in Parliament requiring every Member of the House of Representatives to hold at least one public meeting in their Electorate to review and comment on the proposed legislation to establish VOICE and convey the views of those meetings to Parliament before it votes on the matter.’
I am voting YES to VOICE.
More importantly, after the Referendum is successful, I intend to campaign aggressively and persistently to ensure that Voice does not ever have power to do anything other than advise our Parliament and is denied access to the Courts of Australia for any endeavour it may subsequently make to achieve an upgrade to its advisory role.
If Albo makes this commitment to Parliament, I am of the view that he will turn the tide of voters who are currently moving into the NO camp with steadily increasing numbers..
To be certain it does win, the YES campaign must stop declaring publicly that their opponents are racist, stupid and irresponsible. Right now, they alienate undecided voters every day.
The blunt truth is that YES is running the most amateur campaign of insults I have ever witnessed in my life of 9 decades, thereby lowering themselves to the same dark depths of fear and lies to which the NO campaign has woefully descended.
May I beg the current leaders of both the YES and NO campaigns to please resign, shut up and allow sensible people to debate the crucial issues of this vital Referendum which simply corrects an omission that occurred in 1901 when Australia became a nation and failed to acknowledge our indigenous heritage in our Constitution.
With a commitment to correcting a mistake of history.
I will be at Linville on Thursday of this week, 20 July, doing a local launch of my book CATCHING THE LINVILLE TRAIN at a lunch at the Linville Hotel.
Decided to call the School and arrange to give them a signed copy of my book to put in the School Library. The Principal is a friendly person who was more than a bit surprised to be taking a call from a past student who first enrolled 86 years ago.
So it is that I will be at the School at 2.30pm on Thursday and I am looking forward to it.
The school was smaller when I was there, but it has an unforgettable memory for me as the school teacher at the time forced me to change from writing left handed. Now I do everything in life with my left hand except to write.
But they were happy days. Made many life long friends. Now, I am the only survivor.
With much nostalgia.
PS. Linville is in the Brisbane River Valley. Its a pleasant little village with a superb pub that serves great meals. You will be able to buy my book in the bar with 5 dollars per sale going to a great cause ARE YOU IN A PUDDLE MATE?
Most governments around the world have welfare programs that attempt to provide for the basic needs of its citizens who are old, ill, poor, unemployed, disabled etc.
Those programs are far from ideal and are as narrowly targeted as is possible. A huge amount of paperwork is needed to apply for welfare and if you qualify you are constantly required to prove that you remain eligible.
If you are fortunate enough to qualify for it, usually after a long waiting period, you find that it places you on or below the poverty line and this means you live under constant financial and emotional pressure.
There is also a stigma attached to anyone who applies for welfare. You are regarded as a lesser being when you receive it. Indeed, many in your community will regard you as lazy, an undeserving burden for your fellow citizens to carry.
In addition, taxpayers pay excessively for their government to employ many thousands of public servants to manage a huge bureaucratic welfare system. In Australia, we call it Centrelink and it can justly be proclaimed as the most hated, inefficient and ineffective institution in the nation.
Far too many nations, especially Australia, have far too often had governments whose ideology has led them to want to punish welfare recipients, regarding them as sinners in need of repentance. The criminal application of ROBODEBT in Australia is a prime example of welfare persecution that caused people to suicide.
There just has to be a better way to create a just and decent society.
Indeed there is and it is called UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME (UBI), an enlightened alternative that a few nations have experimented with regionally and the results show noteworthy promise. The Province of Manitoba in Canada is a good example.
The basic plan is this.
*Every registered voter, who actually votes so as to prove their identity, will receive an unconditional monthly payment from government without applying for it. It should be at least the size of the current age pension and you will receive it until the day you die.
*If you also earn wages for work, or income from enterprise or investment, the UBI you receive will be counted as taxable income but you are not punished for working as currently happens with the age pension in Australia.
*If you choose not to receive UBI, you instruct government to pay it into a sovereign fund that is established for this purpose and is used for nation building projects.
*The cost to government of providing funds to pay for UBI is partially offset by the savings generated from closing Centrelink. The remainder is covered by ensuring that all tax evaders pay a minimum tax on revenue no matter how much they claim as losses.
*A prime benefit of UBI in social terms is that there is no such person as a welfare recipient. All stigma is removed as no one can tell what your personal position actually is.
*The existence of UBI means that there is never any need for governments to make relief payments to people when crises occur such as floods fires droughts etc. Everyone is receiving their UBI payment every month no matter what tragedies hit them.
*Mental health improves dramatically and its economic cost is reduced as UBI removes financial tension from millions of lives.
*More people will become self employed as they start small businesses knowing that if they fail they have their UBI to sustain the basics of life while they have another try.
As always, with every social initiative, special attention will need to be given to people who are in very special situations where they usually fall through the cracks.
The first step in introducing UBI into Australia will be for the Prime Minister to establish a Committee of Parliament to study it in depth and determine whether or not it can be designed to work effectively in Australia. If it reports positively, then legislation can be introduced to implement it.
If you agree in principle with UBI, please send this article to your local Federal MP asking him or her to advocate the establishment of a Committee of Parliament right now. It will take a courageous government to implement UBI but I think that our current Prime Minister and Treasurer may be the leaders to pioneer it.
UBI is not an idea that I have thought up. Far from it. I have simply been following its slow but purposeful introduction overseas, especially in Scandinavia and Canada.
The prime advocate here in Australia is a long standing friend of mine, Dr Karen Stenner, who is a highly experienced political scientist of excellent international repute. I am an enthusiastic volunteer on her team who, in my twilight years, wants to be part of the huge social and financial revolution that UBI will create.
You can follow Karen on Twitter @karen_stenner.
Join us in a journey to a safer and better future for all Australians.
Some people on social media regularly accuse me of being a WOKE and they do not mean it as a compliment.
So, I typed WOKE into Google recently and it instantly came up with this description.
Woke is a name given to people who are –
‘AWAKE TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS, WELL INFORMED, THOUGHTFUL, COMPASSIONATE, HUMBLE, KIND, AND EAGER TO MAKE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL PEOPLE.
Even though I have a healthy self ego, I can’t claim that I qualify for this accolade, but I proudly proclaim that I am trying to do so as a REFORMING CONSERVATIVE.
I live and move and have my being from a basic set of values and ethics, but I am a reformer who acknowledges that we live in an ever changing world and have a responsibility to ensure that the inevitable changes meet the needs and aspirations of humanity.
I hold the view that to achieve this I am more likely to do so as a WOKE.
Sadly, whatever I try to achieve as a reformer is declared by the Christian Right to be socialist. In their view, it is not possible to have a conscience and also remain a conservative. They declare me to be a ‘leftie’.
Fact is that I have never ever joined a political party and never will. I have been a swinging voter all my life and vote for candidates of quality, never a political party.
However, when I study the lives of people who claim to be WOKES, I do find that far too many are extremists who forget that a WOKE is someone who is thoughtful, but we can’t be this if we have closed minds that takes us out to the extremes. This is not at all smart.
I find that WOKES who move to extremes are actually addicts to the CANCEL CULTURE, people who are destroyers of any form of enlightened thought. They declare themselves themselves to be God and sit in judgement of the world when their own lives and deeds would not stand any genuine scrutiny.
They fill me with disgust when they want to take down statues of Captain Cook, an explorer of extraordinary achievement, who simply carried out the written orders from his King to claim the great south land as part of his empire.
I am even more disgusted when the CANCEL CULTURE guys want to rewrite all the children’s books I loved reading at school just because their closed minds declare them to to racist or sexist.
But let me calm down and move on as I declare myself to be a REFORMING CONSERVATIVE WOKE who is proud to be identified by this title forever.
If you have never met me and want to check me out so you can decide whether or not I am a nutter, please buy my book CATCHING THE LINVILLE TRAIN. It sets out my views on 30 significant historical events that I have experienced in my 90 years on our planet, plus 20 influential people I have worked with and 20 historic places I have visited that influenced my thinking. Also a chat about what I think have been the main achievements of my life. All of this began 85 years ago when I took my first journey away from my home village of Linville on the train going to Toogoolawah.
I think you will find that I qualify as a REFORMING CONSERVATIVE WOKE but, if you decide otherwise, then please tell me where I went wrong,
But, whatever you decide, please join me in giving the CANCEL CULTURE guys a solid kick in the butt.
A signed copy of CATCHING THE LINVILLE TRAIN will cost you 35 dollars. Just go to my website
I shed a tear this week when I learned of the death of Father Bob Maguire, then I revived my soul to give thanks for the inspiration he has given me.
Father Bob was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church who lived in Melbourne and believed that his prime task was, not to give priority to the conduct of Mass, but to have an unwavering commitment to feeding and housing the poor, hungry and homeless.
He did this so splendidly that he became a legend in his own lifetime and a role model for many people like me as we strive to care and share.
His passing has come at a crucial time in the history of Churches and religion. Never before in my lifetime have Churches been held in such poor esteem or been in such a state of decline. Their appalling tolerance of child abuse has been absolutely shameful and their stance against abortion reform, same sex marriage and voluntary assisted dying was lamentable.
However, Father Bob was not a Churchman. He was a Christian, a committed working partner of Jesus of Nazareth, a follower of Jesus the Man, who did his utmost to walk with him to create a world of compassion.
He believed that what you did in life was far more important than what you said. In this belief, he was spot on.
This put him at odds with the hierarchy of his Church who condemned him for ‘not effectively carrying out his spiritual responsibilities as a priest.’ They actually hounded him out of his South Melbourne Parish at age 77 despite him wanting to remain at his ministry until he died, just as Popes are allowed to do. This humiliation of him was grossly vindictive as 77 is nowhere near old age.
I am not old at 91 and I am still able to conduct Church Services and lead the community care activities of my local Church. I plan to do so for another ten years.
But, lets get back to Father Bob’s total commitment to humanity.
He had deep personal experience of poverty. His father was a drunk and a wife basher who often left his family without food for days. He became an orphan at fifteen with no home and rags for clothing. He understood poverty. He had lived it.
So, he spent his life, trying ceaselessly to ensure that he personally helped people out of the gutter and the depths of despair to get a fresh start. Most people in South Melbourne knew that, if you were in strife of any kind, you could go to Father Bob’s home in the depths of the night. He would answer, you would be welcome and he would do something practical to help, especially if you were unloved and unlovely.
Such was his commitment that, when his Church kicked him out, he set up the Father Bob Foundation so that he could could continue his work in the community for another eleven years. Love was in his blood and, even though he was a powerful communicator who terrorised governments to do better, his actions far exceeded his words. Always.
Like all of us, he had his faults, but the good exceeded the bad by a huge margin.
As we say goodbye to him, the best way to give thanks is for you and I to decide to become the Father Bob of our street and create a caring society that is powered by compassion and justice.
VALE FATHER BOB.
PS. My book, A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET, is about a guy who has a terminal illness, has only three months to live and tries to spend them helping people around him who are in trouble, making his last days the most meaningful of his life. Father Bob was still doing this in his final days of grave illness.
At age 91, I do a lot of reflecting about the 9 decades in which I have been around and about.
I constantly ponder the meaning of the fact that most of my reflections are about stupid things I have done and people I have hurt because my sense of commonsense and compassion has lapsed too often.
I try to make up for it, not just by striving to right those wrongs, but by making sure I don’t do them again and by concentrating on achieving better things for humanity right now that avoid my errors of the past.
While I am very active as Chair of ACTS, a charity that gives direct financial aid to people in crisis situations, and as Chair of the Everald Compton Charitable Trust that funds good causes such as dementia research, I also spend time helping to get new civic projects underway and endeavouring to mould public opinion on politics, religion, money, values and ethics.
I do a lot of public speaking on these issues but my main thrust is through my personal website and its links to Twitter and Facebook.
This week I decided that my website needed a facelift as it is looked as if it was as old as me. So with the experienced help of a good mate, Dylan Bell, who has huge computer skills that I don’t have, I revived the masthead by removing it and showing –
*The Railway Station and Pub at Linville where I was born and bred.
*A recent portrait of me.
*A photo taken at Government House Brisbane last year when I received an Order of Australia for a second time.
*The covers of my four books currently on sale –
CATCHING THE LINVILLE TRAIN – my account of the world history of my era.
A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET – the story of a man with a terminal illness who makes the last three months of his life the greatest and best.
DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS – a dynamic account of how the nation of Australia was founded in 1901 without its Constitution mentioning the heritage of Indigenous People.
THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES. – the gripping drama of how John Flynn created The Flying Doctor, the Pedal Radio and the School of the Air.
In 2024, I will add another one to my website – WALKING WITH THE GREAT SPIRIT – a challenging and meaningful account of the rise and decline of Christianity in my lifetime, with 50 chapters describing people who were giants of the faith as well as a few of those who sought to destroy it.
So my website is an important statement as to who I am – a boy from the bush who has tried to make a difference and will continue to do so until the day I die.
People who visit my website usually go on to read what I say on Twitter and Facebook.
12000 have registered to follow me on Twitter and 5000 on Facebook. Many of those share my social media posts on to their own followers who do likewise and statistics show that at least 100,000 people read what I say every day and many respond with comments. This enables me to help keep politicians on the ball as most of them have chosen to read what I say from time to time.
May I say as an aside that there are too many people who abuse me on social media so I instantly block them and move on, We all should debate. There must be no hate.
So, who am I and what am I trying to achieve?
I am a person who firmly believes that the world is run by those who turn up.
So I turn up and I create, challenge, debate, share and care while trying to practice a bit of humility.
But I know I can do better, much better, and I plan to keep trying.
On the back cover of my new book, CATCHING THE LINVILLE TRAIN, there is a splendid painting that depicts the scene.
My friend, Noela Lowien, a talented painter who lives at Kilcoy in Queensland, not far from Linville, has captured the moment.
Never before had I ever travelled beyond Linville, a tiny village in which a timber mill was the focal point. My dad worked as a labourer at the mill earning 3 pounds a week (six dollars).
This day was a huge adventure for me. It took me to Toogoolawah, a distance of 20 miles, to spend a day at the rural school where they tried unsuccessfully to teach me wood work. It took a long time for the world to work out that my only skill was talking.
That first journey turned out to be the first of many thousands that followed to every continent on the globe. The book chats about the significant world events that impacted my life, famous people I worked with, historic places I visited and nostalgia about books, films, theatre, sport and the important things I believe I have achieved, concluding with a memorable journey back to Linville on my 90th birthday to walk for 14 kilometres along the now disused railway track and raise 35000 dollars for ACTS.
Well, the book is being launched on Thursday evening of the coming week, 16 March, at 6.00pm at All Saints Anglican Church in Hamilton Road at Chermside in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, 140 kilometres from Linville.
You are welcome to join me there to share a red wine and a chat. Its a fundraiser for a Uniting Church charity that I chair called ACTS that gives direct cash grants to people in crisis situations. It will cost you a few dollars, but you will enjoy a happy evening.
All of the royalties that I would normally earn from book sales that night go to ACTS
SEND ME A MESSAGE AND I WILL BE IN TOUCH.TO ORGANISE A PLACE FOR YOU.
So far, 112 people have registered to attend and have paid up in advance, but I can fit you in for sure.
PS. Noela Lowien has also done a flattering portrait of me which is on the front cover of the book. Noela will be at the launch. You can sign her up to do a portrait of you.
On 1 January this year, as I do every year, I poured a wee dram of my finest scotch whisky (Lagavulin from Isle of Islay) and quietly proposed a proud toast to Australia and the Founding Fathers who brought our nation into being on I January, 1901.
I do this in acknowledgement of the undeniable fact that until the first day of 1901 there was no nation of Australia. That’s the day that 6 independent colonies came together to create our nation. It is the only day on which we can celebrate Australia Day. All other possible days that are suggested from time to time are cosmetic attempts to pretend to celebrate our nationhood.
26 January is quite clearly the wrong day for several valid reasons.
It is the day when the British created a jail for several shiploads of their convicts, plus the many shiploads that followed. They treated all of them brutally. I am descended from a convict (and proud of it). Why should I celebrate anything to do with the British inflicting agony upon him?
May I also ask why I should celebrate a day in which the British invaded a continent and began to steal it from its indigenous owners who had been here for 65000 years?
This totally unjustifiable invasion led to a war of occupation that lasted 100 years during which 30000 aborigines were shot defending the land that was theirs and another 100,000 died from diseases of civilisation brought by the invaders.
Do we really want to celebrate theft, murder and brutality? Fact is we have done so by accident. We simply started celebrating 26 January without giving any real thought as to what the day actually represents.
I cannot understand why we have any need to celebrate on 26 January when we all know that the rightful and only day to celebrate Australia Day is 1 January. It is a fact of history we have chosen to deny.
People who love public holidays say to me that if we celebrate on 1 January it will deprive them of the public holiday we are used to having on 26 January. They oppose any change because of that gross deprivation alone. Aborigines and convicts and the nation building of the Founding Fathers pale into insignificance for them compared with the loss of a public holiday.
However, we should all note that it will be no problem at all for our federal government to declare a replacement public holiday later in the year, hopefully to celebrate ENVIRONMENT DAY when we can plant trees and commit ourselves to stop polluting Australia.
Celebrating Australia Day correctly on New Years Day will also highlight positively our need to sadly note that our Founding Fathers did not acknowledge our Indigenous Heritage in our Constitution. Actually, they had no option as our State Governments insisted on retaining control of Aborigines and threatened to call off the Federation Movement had Aborigines been mentioned. Indeed, New Zealand withdrew from the proposed Federation because they wanted the status of Maoris recorded in the Constitution and their request was bluntly rejected by all 6 States.
However, we can do something positive towards correcting this huge error later this year by voting YES in the Voice Referendum.
May I say in closing that the dumbest thing about 26 January is that it occurs just at the time when our schools begin their year. We give students another holiday when they have just completed 6 weeks of holidays. Unbelievable really.
My regular readers will note that I hammer away about the disaster of 26 January every year. May I say that I will continue to do so until I take my last breath.
It is simply wrong (and stupid).
Which reminds me of another fact. 26 January is only New South Wales Day. The other five States were founded on different dates and treasure their first settlement just as proudly as NSW.
Your fair dinkum Aussie Mate
PS. You will note that I have featured below a great book by a fine Australian author Thomas Keneally. It is called A BLOODY GOOD RANT. This is a splendid description of my words above. It is also a great read that stimulates the mind. You will come across a number of chapters in which he makes very thought provoking comments about our image of Australia and our unintentional denial of our history.
Christianity has not had a good year. Nor have some of its Churches.
Quite clearly, its time for all genuine believers to do something positive to reverse the negative trend that is diminishing an important cornerstone of our society.
Let me outline a few of the high profile religious negatives that have occurred and note that every one of them was avoidable.
*Just a few days ago, 3 demented people who convinced themselves that they were carrying out God’s will, murdered two police officers and a neighbour at a rural property in Queensland in a cold blooded manner that chilled us to the depth of our souls and shook Australia to the core.
*A few months earlier, several irresponsible members of an ultra religious family in Toowoomba were charged with murder for failing to give medication to a very ill child who ultimately died. They declared that their reading of the Bible assured them that the use of such medication was against the will of God.
*Recently, a leading Churchman was reported by Murdoch media as saying that it was very difficult for a priest to give the last rites to anyone who chose Voluntary Assisted Dying. Hard to understand why it was worth a comment as the fact is that believers who pray regularly know that God hears our prayers with or without a priest being present.
*The Russian Orthodox Church has formally approved the invasion of Ukraine and blessed Putin. Their aim is to regain control the Ukraine Orthodox Church which broke away from them when the Soviet Union broke up. The fact that many people will die while they make their takeover bid is apparently God’s will.
*More paedophile priests have been discovered throughout 2022 & more will be discovered in 2023. The recent Royal Commission on Child Abuse has had little effect.
*The so called Christian Right has been highly active in demeaning the faith within the Parliaments of Australia, making appalling decisions at prayer meetings where they said they acted on God’s will. They have crippled the once great Party founded by Robert Menzies, a committed Presbyterian who did not ever use his faith to gain political advantage.
*A powerful Christian Lobby will have a leadership role in a campaign to defeat the Voice Referendum for reasons that appear to be racist. They are entitled to vote in whatever way they want to, but it is difficult to understand why they need to publicise it as a Christian act when many traditional Christians may quietly vote Yes,
*Some Churches have gained government grants with the stated aim of helping the poor, but have used the grants solely to promote their brand of Christianity. Law breaking is not a Christian vocation.
I could list more but those are enough to highlight the fact that the stature and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth is being demeaned for no valid reasons.
May I just say this?
From the day when my mother first took me to Church 90 years ago, I have been a committed working partner of Jesus of Nazareth, a great person who is worth following.
At no point in my life have I ever experienced a conversion event. I simply grew in the faith year by year and have never regretted it.
My faith journey reminds me there is not much that you and I can do to fix any of the religious outrages I have listed above. Hopefully, we can safely leave most of it to be handled by the lawmakers of our nation.
However, I know I have one clear calling and that is to walk daily with my role model, Jesus of Nazareth, to help Him create a better and more compassionate world.
In doing so, a clear challenge of my calling is to invite others to join me on my walk and share in the privilege of serving humanity as an article of faith.
In this way, it may well be that distortions of the faith made in the Name of the Father will steadily fade away.
Grace and Peace
Pictured below is the Aspley Uniting Church at which I have been a long time Member and Elder. Like Churches everywhere we face the challenge of reaching out to the community in new ways to share the many difficult issues we all face daily.
I grew up in a conservative family during The Great Depression of the 1930’s.
My mother was the granddaughter of a Lutheran Missionary and the daughter of a devout Presbyterian Elder.
My Dad was a hard working and very reliable labourer who was a faithful member of the right wing Australian Workers Union and a devoted follower of Edward Theodore, the most financially conservative Treasurer the Labor Party has ever produced.
With the benefit of their example, I grew up with a set of values that have been a cornerstone of my life and remain with me to this day.
Those values are not based on any ideology or theology.
They are basic and clear.
Let me list a few of them.
*Work hard and always do more than you are paid for.
*Save hard and be ready for tough times.
*Give away all you can. It puts power into your life.
*Learn skills and use them to find better ways to do your work.
*Never look backwards.
*When you are down, get up and start again.
*Dream visionary dreams and reach for the stars, always taking careful steps forward.
*Never leave your mates behind. Always pick them up when they are down.
*Be a committed working partner of Jesus of Nazareth and walk with him to create a better world.
*Treat everyone the same, no matter what their race or religion or social status may be.
*Foster the politics of commonsense.
*Apologise when you are wrong.
*Never end a day with harsh words.
*In all your dealings, make sure both sides win.
So, I look at the world of today, which is far different to my world of 9 decades ago, and ask if most people still live by these values. I find that the answer is NO. I reckon this is so because few leaders – political, financial or religious – are committed to those values.
Certainly, no political parties spell them out as their basic policies.
So called Conservative Parties are guilty of persistently promoting greed and power and privilege. They have no fundamental core of values and are mostly controlled by those who call themselves the Christian Right but are not Christian. They are more like bigots.
Parties that can be identified as being in the socialist realm go to extremes in trying to change the world by replacing traditional values with short term trends towards progress and rewriting history without putting anything solid in its place.
The only home where traditional conservatives like me can find a meaningful place is in the political centre where the ideology of commonsense prevails. From there, we will always be able to look at every issue and ask,
What is the commonsense way to fix this?
And to hell with the stupidity of both capitalism and socialism.
At this moment, Independents are the only politicians who are trying to occupy the centre ground and move forward with commonsense. The others are hide bound by the rules and ancient dogmas of their Parties and the primitive beliefs that they cling to.
My valued friend, Tony Windsor, was a fine example of how a quality Independent works. Still is.
History records that he, as an Independent, held the casting vote in the New South Wales Parliament during the term of a Liberal minority government led by Nick Greiner, and in the Federal Parliament when Julia Gillard’s Labor Government survived in the minority.
If you ask both Gillard and Greiner, they will affirm that, with every piece of legislation they put forward, Tony Windsor would put it through the COMMONSENSE TEST. If it did not stack up, he would refuse to vote for it and they would have to go back to the drawing boards.
Read his book, WINDSOR’S WAY and be inspired by the story. It is a great read. I know because I wrote the Foreword.
So, I invite you to join me as a TRADITIONAL CONSERVATIVE who is an enthusiastic REFORMER. Indeed, it is not possible to be a genuine conservative without being a progressive reformer. If you don’t want to be a reformer, it means that you may be a fascist.
We will be grounded in our values and use them as our cornerstone on which we will significantly reform and enhance the world by using by using the most powerful weapon on the planet. COMMONSENSE.
Descendant of a convict sent out to Australia from England in 1831 for stealing a bed.
He used COMMONSENSE to eventually earn a pardon.
Then he worked hard and saved hard as a solid, middle of the road Conservative. When he died, he owned 5 workers cottages in Maitland obtained by investing with COMMONSENSE.
Sometime during the second half of 2023, we will be given the opportunity to vote YES or NO in what will be known as the VOICE REFERENDUM that arises from the ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART.
As announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year, a YES vote in the Referendum will create an amendment to the Australian Constitution that will enable Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to participate in a democratic election to establish a VOICE which will meet regularly to recommend policies to the Australian Parliament which will have the total authority to accept or reject them.
After the Referendum, Parliament will debate and enact a Bill that creates the rules that will apply to the way in which the VOICE is elected and operates.
In reality it is quite simply a positive step forward in integrating 65000 years of heritage into our Constitution and our life as a nation.
I will vote YES and actively campaign for a Yes vote.
In doing this, I am well aware that a significant number of my friends intend to vote NO and have carefully considered reasons for doing so. I respect their right to vote according to their conscience.
Here are some of their reasons for voting NO.
*Australia is a nation that already has a voice – our Federal Parliament – to which we have elected a significant number of indigenous parliamentarians.
*The Voice will create apartheid.
*Australia provides billions of dollars to Indigenous people every year and this has been wasted. No matter what is done for them, they are ungrateful and will always want more.
*The establishment of a Voice will not solve the problems that are ingrained in indigenous society such as crime, unemployment, alcohol, drugs, health, housing, domestic violence, poor education and lack of skills.
*It is only city aborigines who want a Voice. Country aborigines have no interest in it.
*A Treaty, based on the Waitangi Treaty of New Zealand, would achieve more.
In response to these concerns and beliefs, I tell my friends the reasons why I will vote YES.
*Indigenous people were excluded from the Australian Constitution in 1901. This was an insult and a mistake which must be rectified now.
*When Britain, in 1788, invaded the continent we now call Australia, they stole land which had been occupied by indigenous people for 65000 years. The welfare that is now given to them is a tiny fraction of the value of their land that they have never ceded.
*100 tribes of Indigenous people have never been able to speak to the Australian Parliament with one democratically elected Voice. Previous institutions have been comprised of political appointees who did the will of the governments that appointed them.
*White people have always decided what is best for aborigines, never the reverse.
*Defeating the referendum will achieve nothing. This issue will never go away. We will just irresponsibly kick the can down the road so our children and grandchildren will eventually have to do what we failed to do.
*It is quite simply the right and decent thing to do.
I am certain there are other important reasons why people will vote YES or NO and these will emerge during the referendum campaign. However, the ones I have outlined give an indication of the general scope of the forthcoming debate.
The Albanese Government will not provide funding for either the YES or NO campaigns. Both sides are required to set up there own organising teams and raise their own funds. This is a good thing as it would be wrong for the government to be seen to be promoting YES even though it is a clear policy of the Labor Party. So, it must promote neither.
I have joined, as a volunteer, a significant group called FROM THE HEART and my role is to help organise a strong YES vote from the Senior Australians. My plan is to enlist as many older Aussies as possible to visit everyone in the streets around their own home to chat about the absolute common sense of having a VOICE. We won’t waste money on advertising. Face to face talking is the powerful way to sell this historic strengthening of our national life.
My gut feeling is that there is a significant task ahead.
Right now, my private polling of public opinion tells me that Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania are likely to vote NO and this will create a national defeat of VOICE as our Constitution says that a referendum cannot pass unless a majority of States vote YES.
I also suspect that Senior Australians will vote NO by a margin of 60/40 because of ingrained negativity about all indigenous issues generated over many decades, but I think that a positive campaign could make it 50/50. Young voters will then take it over the victory line.
Overall, I reckon that with sincere and courteous campaigning the cause for YES can achieve a positive victory and I intend do my best to make it happen. My experience is that most older Australians are responsible people who will try to do the right thing for the good of Australia once they understand the issues at stake.
Creating a VOICE is clearly a nation building exercise that will benefit us all.
Nevertheless, I have an open mind to debate any better alternatives that sincere advocates put forward as this issue will never go away. Defeating it will achieve nil.
Grace and Peace in the spirit of ULURU. It is a symbol of unity.
These friendly words of welcome were made last Wednesday by Hon. Milton Dick MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament.
I was visiting Parliament, negotiating on behalf of community projects in which I am personally involved, for the 121st time since my first visit there 66 years ago, covering an era in which 14 Prime Ministers have held office.
Milton had invited me to be his guest in the front row of the Speakers Gallery at Question Time, so I relaxed there as I took in the spectacle of Parliamentarians tearing one another apart – verbally – as usual.
During the proceedings, he announced my presence and the Members greeted me with warm applause. I was not expecting this, so I instantly decided that I better stand up and nod my thanks. This caused a bit more applause. I was quite moved by the honour, especially as the response came from all Parties in the Parliament, something that does not often happen in a Parliament that is constantly becoming more divided.
That same evening, Milton invited me to share an upmarket whisky with him and other MP’s in the Speakers Office as we chatted about political people and events over my six and a half decades as a visitor to Parliament. As we enjoyed our drinks, he asked me to express an opinion as to who were the best and worst Prime Ministers in my era. I responded that I have no doubt that Julia Gillard was the best and Scott Morrison the worst.
The visit to Parliament in this past week enabled me to have private meetings with 29 politicians and bureaucrats. I made sure that I covered Labor, Liberals, Nationals, Greens. Independents. This is a practice I have followed over all the years as I learned long ago that, to achieve anything significant at Parliament, it is vital to get as many people and parties onside as is possible.
On this occasion, at the conclusion of my three days there, I can say with confidence that I am pleased with the progress made with my projects, but am always aware that I should have done better,
I must mention that I found this Parliament, led by Anthony Albanese, to be a much more progressive place on sound government than those run by Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison. They were consumed by the exercise of power whereas this one shows clear evidence of genuinely trying to achieve results in an ever changing and challenging world of huge social, economic and religious divisions. A totally different attitude prevails at this moment and I found it to be refreshing. My hope is that it will continue to be so.
Right now, the major political battlegrounds are in the fields of industrial relations, anti-corruption, robodebt, voluntary assisted dying, child care, climate, environment, voice referendum, aged care and skills shortage, with many other initiatives in the pipeline. It will be good for Australia if most are successful
A few matters are obvious headline gatherers that are worthy of special comment right now.
*The Voice Referendum is currently in trouble. I found only a few MP’s who are confident that it will pass as most of them feel that Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania will vote No. The Australian Constitution clearly states that a majority of States must vote Yes for any Referendum to pass on the issue of constitutional change. I will vote Yes and will campaign strongly to secure an overall Yes vote as it is fundamentally wrong for Australia to have a Constitution that does recognise 65000 years of indigenous heritage. However, it will require a a well planned and very positive campaign to secure a Voice to that heritage.
*Along with the political demise of Scott Morrison, the power of the Christian Right has faded considerably in the current Parliament. I doubt that it will ever regain its influence as most Christians are in the centre ground of politics, not out on the extremes of the right.
*Many veteran Nationals and Liberals in Parliament intend to retire at the 2025 Election. They are resigned to the inevitability that Anthony Albanese will enjoy two terms as Prime Minister and Jim Chalmers will follow him for at least another 2 terms. They do not want to be in the political wilderness for so many long years. I can understand their feelings on this matter but the key issue is this. Can they find replacements who are Prime Minister material? This task is of great importance as they do not have anyone in their ranks at this moment who is electable as Leader of our nation. As matters stand at present, they are obviously very weak as the official Opposition. This is shown by their consistently poor performances at Question Time. Too many of their questions are embarrassingly ridiculous.
*The TEALS and other Independents are not political amateurs. They are preforming with positive credibility and getting results. One example of this is the humble but powerful performance of David Pocock in gaining amendments to Industrial Relations legislation.
So there it is for now.
Many things can change in a hurry in politics, so nothing is certain. But, for now, the new Labor government is doing better than most people expected.
I will be back there in Canberra in February. It may be a different world by then. Who knows.
But let me close by saying that I will never ever forget my first meeting with Sir Robert Menzies way back in 1956. He had a commanding presence and looked and acted like a Prime Minister of huge distinction. The key issue to remember is that he clearly occupied the centre ground of politics. It was obvious that he was a genuine Liberal. He was not a Conservative. The future of Australian politics will always be in the Centre. The LNP must get back there in a hurry or remain in the lonely wilderness for decades.
Yours with an open mind.
My book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS is enjoying increasing sales. Many Australians are realising that to vote in the voice referendum, they must have some knowledge of what our Founding Fathers put into the Constitution. My book is written as a thriller in which Barton, Deakin, Griffith, Kingston, Forrest etc are the very credible heroes.
Go to my books website, EveraldBooks.com, to place an order for it (and my other books).
Exactly 100 years ago this month, a passionate aviator, Hudson Fysh, flew a light plane that carried just one passenger out of a rough airfield at Cloncurry in north western Queensland to launch a new airline that he had just founded. He called his pioneering venture Queensland and Northern Territory Air Services. To keep it simple, the locals called it QANTAS, a revered name that will carry it into its second century.
While Fysh had a vision for it to become the finest bush airline in Australia, little did he realise that it would one day become an international airline of considerable significance and longevity.
Fact is that Fysh was a World War 1 veteran who had returned home after serving in the fledgling Royal Australian Air Force, mainly in Palestine. He had no money, but had managed to convince some eminent Western Queensland cattle men to back him as the initial investors. He went very close to bankruptcy several times in the early years of QANTAS, but battled on tenaciously to bring his dream to reality and success.
Even in those early tough years, he also provided a great community service to Inland Australia by joining with John Flynn, Flynn of the Inland, to create the Flying Doctor Service. He and Flynn fostered a partnership that flew doctors and nurses to very remote places to save lives, often in dramatic circumstances. For 90% of those flights there was no airstrips in places where people were injured or ill. So they landed valiantly on either unpaved roads or in large paddocks, but did not ever damage a plane or kill a patient. It was an incredible achievement.
Now, an eminent Australian historian, Grantlee Kieza, has written a superb book about Hudson Fysh that has just reached the book shops. Grantlee has given me an advance copy and I can tell you that it is a splendid read about an inspirational human being. I strongly recommend that you buy and enjoy it.
I especially recommend it as I want you to discover that Grantlee has generously dedicated the book to me. The citation, that I have photographed below, reads,
‘For Everald Compton, a nation builder who like Hudson Fysh has encouraged so many Australians to soar.’
I am enormously proud of those words and I gratefully thank Grantlee for them, even though I know that I don’t deserve his accolade.
But any mention of nation builders anywhere reminds us that the noble building a nation is not of much interest to most Aussies. Our nation has too many people who are capitalists with a goal of plundering the economy and there are too many socialists who are convinced that Australia owes them a living permanently. Only a few believe in a society that fosters the ideal of a SHARED GOOD in which we seek to excel.
Grantlee has, during his distinguished career as an author, written several fine books about great Australians who contributed mightily to our nation. I have read many of them and particularly enjoyed four of them. MACQUARIE tells us about our finest Governor who changed our country from being a penal colony to become a prosperous civilisation. HENRY LAWSON and BANJO PATTERSON tell us of how Australia produced literary giants who ranked highly internationally, while MONASH tells us how valiant Australian leadership hastened the end of World War 1 by winning a famous victory against Germany at the battle of Villiers Bretonneux in northern France. He has several more books such as those four in the pipeline.
My own books pale into insignificance in comparison to Grantlee’s literary skills even though THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES (about Flynn of the Inland) and DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS (about the creators of the Australian nation, Barton and Deakin, and their eminent team) have sold well and are steadily growing in popularity.
Sadly, QANTAS today would bring tears to the eyes of Hudson Fysh. It is a pale shadow of its former greatness, having alienated far too many of its loyal passengers with very ordinary and unreliable service. I have been flying with them for 70 years now but they cancelled my membership of their Chairman’s Lounge because I am ‘too old’ to be a regular passenger. Fysh would never have done that to me.
This insult, however, does not deter me from flying with them on most occasions that I travel as I want to continue to show my respect to their gallant founder, HUDSON FYSH, a very great Australian. Indeed, one of the very greatest.
Three weeks ago, a young Indigenous Aussie, just 15 years old, was peacefully walking home with his friends from the school they attended at Middle Swan in Western Australia.
His name was CASSIUS TURVEY.
They were attacked by a 21 year old man who hit him, and some of his friends, with an iron pole. He died two weeks later and his attacker has been charged with murder.
When he was laid to rest this week in the ancient and splendidly spiritual traditions of his ancestors, there was a genuine outpouring of grief across Australia as people of many cultures and religions met to light candles of remembrance. These gatherings were not organised as a part of any campaign against racists. They just happened. Indeed, the family of Cassius asked that his death not be used in any way as part of a political campaign.
Certainly, most of us do not want a nationwide crusade similar to that which happened when George Floyd was murdered by 4 police in USA. That incident was not a show of grief. It was as close to anarchy as it was possible to get. Simply, it was naked political unrest fostered by extremists who capitalised on the sincere feelings of many peace loving Americans who were appalled at Floyd’s death.
The death of Cassius is a stark reminder to all of us that we live in a violent society that is growing in its incidence of brutality for no valid reason.
This has been fostered by the ever growing use of hostile and insulting words that millions of us use every day in the normal course of our lives.
I cringe when politicians abuse one another in Parliament on every occasion they can. They set a dreadful example to the nation of disrespect and intolerance.
Media stirs divisions among us every minute of every hour of every day by creating controversial headlines that are blatant lies designed to divide society into warring factions that will support whatever sick ideology they are fostering at the time.
Social media is the worst centre of abuse by far. The bitterness, nastiness and lies that are spewed out every day are hugely disgraceful. So much so that I have recently taken up the practice of instantly blocking any follower or reader who is even slightly abusive, vulgar or hypocritical. We do not need them in our society in any shape or form.
We can commence our crusade against abuse by the way in which we participate in the debate during the forthcoming Referendum which will be held in Australia sometime during 2023 on the creation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander VOICE.
This referendum has the capacity to create huge social divisions across the nation, not because there is anything illegal or divisive or dishonorable about it, but simply because it will give racists and bullies a respectable platform to vent their appalling spleen across our society and try their very best to divide us into warring factions.
I intend to campaign strongly for a YES Vote simply because I passionately believe it is time to recognise in the Australian Constitution the 65000 years of Indigenous heritage of our nation. This was deliberately omitted when our Constitution was written and voted on in 1901.
However, I will use no nasty language and I will respect the right of opponents to express their differing views as citizens of a democratic nation. If ever I overstep the mark, I will apologise sincerely.
My profound hope is that Australia will grow as a nation that has a predominantly cohesive society and that, in the years ahead, young Aussies like CASSIUS will be able to live with an expectation of security in a peaceful community, no matter whether they are black or white or of any other ethnic group or religion or culture.
May I say this in closing.
I did not attend a public gathering for CASSIUS. I paused for a few moments at my home to quietly shed a tear for him. He died before he had the opportunity to play the music that was in his soul. There and then, I made a quiet commitment to work relentlessly to foster a nation of peace.
And I now remember the words of the great English poet, John Donne, (amended to remove the word Man).
‘The death of any person diminishes me as I am involved in humankind. Therefore, never ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for you.’
The first time I took an interest in a Federal Government Budget was 77 years ago when I had to write an essay about it at High School in Toowoomba. I knew so little about Budgets of any kind that I barely scraped a pass.
Since then, I must report that I have never ever seen a Government Budget that everyone thought was the right one. Indeed, voters are usually split somewhere around 50/50 in their opinions of its worthiness, no matter what type of government is in power.
This year has been no different.
I have known Jim Chalmers for 15 years having first met him when he was the key economic adviser to Wayne Swan and played a considerable role in deciding Australia’s response to the Great Financial Crisis. We have kept in regular contact down the years and I was greatly honoured when he launched my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS at a function in Brisbane two years ago.
He has put an enormous amount of work into this current Budget Update and I know that he firmly believes in its capacity to work for Australia. I also know that he a person of honesty and integrity who will readily admit to any errors of judgement that he may have made and do something about fixing them if he believes that criticisms are valid.
The main criticism in the public arena has been that there is little of obvious significance in the Budget to directly help pensioners, people on fixed incomes, and those who have not had a wage rise, to handle the widespread ravages of inflation and huge rises in energy bills. I feel for them mightily but I can’t see a way to solve that problem until inflation comes under control. The key issue for us to understand is that inflation is not a domestic issue for Australia alone. Every nation in the world has been hit with it and it already has caused some political casualties, eg, former British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, who totally misjudged it.
My view is that, while the Ukraine War initially created some inflation, it has been grossly fuelled by far too many businesses using inflation as an excuse to unjustifiably put up prices and lie to us that inflation was the cause. It is one of the purest examples of greed I have ever seen. Quite disgusting.
Nevertheless, there were many good things in the Chalmers Budget such as in the area of child care and paid parental leave, flood relief etc.
This brings us to an important point for debate.
Must governments do everything for us. Do they need to control and dictate our lives and how much should we determine for ourselves? And in what ways are we personally responsible for our neighbours. If there are struggling pensioners in my street, should I take them some food as often as I can? The answer is YES.
I remember the dark days of the Great Depression of the 1930’s when my mother took meals to friends who were unemployed and there was no dole to sustain them. I was her helper in cooking and delivering, even though I am certain she would have done much better without my amateur efforts.
So it is that Australia’s most urgent need is to have strong caring communities and it is our calling to create them wherever we live. And to ask Jim Chalmers to back us in every way that he can when the next Budget arises in May 2023. State and Local Governments must do likewise. They share responsibility with the Feds and ourselves.
I hope you will find time to enjoy reading my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS. It tells the story of how the Australian Constitution was written in the 1890’s and implemented in 1901. It forecasts that we now need many changes to it that will enable us to adapt to a totally different world 120 years later. For example, if we had only two levels of government instead of 3, Australia would have much more money to provide for the needs of pensioners. If we had a UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME embedded in the Constitution, then no one would ever be in need or left behind.
We face a challenge right now. We know that we live in a world of huge change and I reckon that Jim Chalmers has the ability and humility and decency to help us face those changes and lead us to a better quality of life that gives us the opportunity to shine as good citizens. Let’s keep him on his toes while he walks with us towards the light on the hill.
Life is tougher at this point in time than it usually is.
There are many reasons for this, but four stand out as cornerstones of perils that impact our lives.
First of all, we have COVID.
It hit us without warning and dominated our lives for two years. We had no previous experience upon which to base our response. After all, the last great killer virus was the Spanish Flu of 1920. That’s a century ago and there are no survivors to tell us of their experience. So we battled valiantly to curb it, made some mistakes, suffered prolonged isolation & economic hardship and watched it foster divisions in our society, particularly when State Governments severely criticised one another while all had a bad relationship with the Federal Government. But, in the end, we won and we express gratitude to all who led us to a place of general safety as we now plan how to better handle the next virus that will inevitably hit us soon and for which we are not adequately prepared.
Our second crisis is the war in UKRAINE.
The most pointless conflict in the history of humanity. Created by Putin, a psychopath, who hugely underestimated Ukraine’s Zelensky, the world’s most revered leader. We mourn for the people of Ukraine who are suffering enormously. We share their pain as the war has severely diminished the world’s food and energy supplies and contributed to the curse of inflation. It has also revealed to us the weakness of world leaders who sit gutlessly on the sidelines, pointlessly wringing their hands, because they tremble in fear of a nuclear World War 3. That’s a carbon copy of the scenario that caused World War 2.
Number 3 is INFLATION.
This continues to rise and have a huge impact on our cost of living, particularly for those on fixed incomes. It seems to be out of control internationally and this is only partially attributable to Ukraine. Its major cause is unrestrained capitalism where far too many in the arena of business are raising prices for no reason other than to make huge profits and take the heaven sent opportunity to blame it on inflation. It is as huge a fraud as I have ever seen and it has been made even worse by wealthy people and their political clones implementing policies that claim it can be fixed by tax cuts for the rich which will ‘trickle down’ to the poor. Never in history has wealth ever trickled down to help the needy. It is simply a myth that is intended to make its greedy proponents look like good citizens. Tax cuts are undeniably a welfare hand out to the upper crust. Corrupt in the very extreme.
Last, but by no means least, are FLOODS.
They are frequent and more severe than we have usually experienced. And they are again hitting us hard right at this moment. Climate Change is a contributing factor but necessary action on it is not the complete answer as it will take decades of world wide cooperation before it will reduce the impact of climate on our weather. Our immediate aim must be for our entire community to be better prepared in every possible way. Very important must be to have decisive action taken by governments to financially help people have their homes demolished or moved from flood plains to higher places. Right now, it is almost impossible to insure a home that has been flooded and this, cruelly, makes the home unsaleable. The same applies to farmers and their herds and crops. It is a task we cannot avoid.
So, what is our overall challenge in finding solutions to all four challenges.
Firstly, we must be rid of the ancient and stupid ideologies that plague the closed political minds of both Right and Left. We need to foster an open minded implementation of a belief in THE SHARED GOOD. It is quite simple really as it is based solely on commonsense.
Secondly, let us never ever lose HOPE.
Lastly, let’s rejoice that, whenever there is a crisis, many good people get together to help one another. This is shown by the wonderful community spirit that is prevailing in the current floods. It is heart warming to witness the generosity and goodwill that is being shown all over Australia right now.
May it continue in better times as the future of the world is in the hands of those who turn up.
And please help me to remain solvent by buying all 3 of my books on nation building that you will find right here on my website. They make wonderful Christmas gifts.
THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES is about the life of Australia’s greatest nation builder, Flynn of the Inland.
DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS tells the compelling history of the giants who founded Australia in 1901 by leading 6 very independent States into Federation.
A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET which is a challenging novel about a Christian who handles terminal illness positively, a very topical subject now that all States have passed legislation to make Voluntary Assisted Dying legally available to all who choose to use it.
Half of the royalties of my books go to ACTS, the community service arm of the Aspley Uniting Church, of which I am Chairman. We send cash gifts to needy people who usually are not members of our congregation and are hit by floods, droughts, fires, domestic violence and elder abuse, all of which are huge national challenges in which we can all participate.
It is the finest speech I have ever heard in an Australian Parliament.
Julia Gillard is not a naturally gifted public speaker, mainly because she is formal and responsible in her manner of making a speech. But on this day of 9 October, 2012 she was on fire as she let loose on Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, who had constantly demeaned and offended her with sexist language which was appalling crude.
He, and many other males in Parliament, Media and society could not cope with the reality of a woman holding more power than them.
Julia had reached the point where she had a gutful of it and rightly decided it was time for her to put a stop to it. So she lashed out and the Parliament was spellbound.
Here are a few of her more compelling lines.
‘I say to the Leader of the Opposition: I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. Not now, not ever.’
‘I hope the Leader of the Opposition has a piece of paper and is writing out his resignation., because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he does not need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror.’
‘The Leader of the Opposition should be ashamed of his performance in this Parliament and the sexism he brings with it.’
‘The Leader of the Opposition should think seriously about the role of women in public life and in Australian society, because we are entitled to a better standard than this.’
Earlier in her speech, she quoted words from an Abbott speech in which he said,
‘What the housewives of Australia must understand as they do the ironing is…’
Some will instinctively attempt to write off Gillard as a ‘leftie feminist’ who cant cope with men but this would be yet another insult that is utterly wrong. I met her several times for important meetings about issues relating to seniors. I found her to be a superb negotiator who always gave an answer to my requests. A couple of times I didn’t like her answers, but I was grateful that I had not been left in any doubt. I also found her to be an attractive person. She never ever looked like a wild radical.
Nevertheless, she now acknowledges that she did make a number of significant political errors that eventually cost her the loss of her job as Prime Minister. But note that she was not beaten by Abbott. It was Rudd who removed her.
It should be noted that the feminist movement was not founded by people like Julia Gillard and Germaine Greer. Its first high profile advocate in Australia was Dame Enid Lyons, wife of former Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Lyons.
After her husband died, she entered Parliament in her own right as a Liberal 80 years ago. It was 99% male. She wrote a book about it called AMONG THE CARRION CROWS. A Carrion Crow acts as though it is superior to other birds and practices manipulation and mischief.
I met her several times in her senior years in the 1970’s and found her to be a very gracious and intelligent person who was solidly conservative and regularly determined. She told me that she was offended by the way the males in parliament had always ben overly respectful and courteous to her, but usually dispensed her comments as ‘girl talk’. She found it to be insulting to her as a person with rights but she kept quiet about it until she wrote her book. I read it and highly regard it. She taught me a lot of wise commonsense.
Julia Gillard’s book is well worth reading as she has involved 10 other extraordinarily talented women who write essays that she has included. Women like distinguished journalist, Katharine Murphy, whose work I read regularly and essentially. The book covers the history of misogyny, its status today and what will happen tomorrow,
Misogyny is an issue that will not go away. People like Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins get many headlines but they are not the core of the revolution. In every profession, institution, walk of life and social circle there are highly talented women who are not extremists but break the glass ceiling and create the equality that is their right. They are irrevocably changing the world and I am cheering.
Let me close by saying that I am hugely moved by the bravery of the many thousands of women in Iran who every day put their lives at risk by publicly demanding that male rules which dictate what they will wear must change significantly. One person of their gender was murdered by religious zealots who said she wore her clothes ‘loosely’.
(This gives me a chance to invite you to read my novel “A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET’. A leading character is a female Muslim doctor who takes on the zealots in the Christian and Islamic faiths).
May it be that we soon say farewell to MISOGYNY throughout the world.