My Little Window on the Western Wall.

My Little Window on the Western Wall.

Little Window on the Western Wall.

My little window on the western wall,
Opens out on the whole wide world.
It opens out on the mallee plains,
It opens out to the summer rains.

It opens out on a sonorous dawn,
With it’s promising colours in pastel tones.
And embraces within all sorrows and joys,
In silent parade past my western wall.

Flowers of Spring as the seasons go,
Winter wild, Summer mellow.
Fields below the farmer sows,
Crops in serried paddock rows.

A child cries out! A strange bird sings,
Through the sphere of silence rings.
A whiff of desire of a memoried dream?
Against the clatter of urbanity.

Upon a highway that cuts the view,
Cars sweep past in the morning new.
That with the deepening, darkening dusk,
Wearily steal back home to rest.

Yes…

My little window on the western wall
Opens out on the whole wide world,
And within its embracing vision deep,
I watch the world wake..I see it sleep.

Eulogy for a Lost Cause.

The Right-wing of Australian politics signed it’s own death warrant back in the seventies when Malcolm Fraser and his coterie of conspirators colluded in that act of treason where they joined forces with a drunken sot of a Governor General and committed a coup against the democratically elected government of the day.

I still have fixed in my memory a picture on the front page of The Degenerate’s newspapers of four of those Liberal / National Party assembly of supercilious arseholes under the title of “Razor Gang” where they proposed to cut and dice all those social programs of the Whitlam Govt’ ;  I have crystal clear recollection of three of them..Fraser, Lynch and another whom I think was Withers, flanked on their far left (an irony, surely) by the shit-eating grin of the little rodent, eagerly clutching a knife….there, I don’t even have to say his name!

Conservative politics died that fateful November day, when they hand-wringingly gave power to their right-wing loonies to commit such a gross act of betrayal. The Right-wing gained its momentum from an endless attack by the Murdoch press, it’s head honcho chagrined and chastised by Gough Whitlam and chomping at the bit for revenge!..Murdoch was still an Australian citizen then, but that did not stop him acting against the interests of our country’s democracy and welfare and he set his pack of mongrel-dogs loose upon both the truth and decency to shore-up the failing raison d’etre of the conservative cabal. The exact “business plan” currently in place in his “empire”now, even though he has relinquished his citizenship and now runs his Australian traitor rags as a foreign national..except now, perhaps he being an “equal opportunity employer”, there are a few “bitches” roaming with the “dogs” .

But the LNP right-wing were weaker then as the only play in their repertoire was to gain power and the only play in their books now is to hold onto power. Fraser’s administration relied upon Murdoch confected scare tactics of the Nation going broke under Labor…Fraser had few policies but to undo the good of Gough…he was rescued along the way by human or natural catastrophes that gave his administration direction and form. The same with the Howard years, “happen-chance” was his sole salvation: 9/11 , Tampa, The mining boom , mass-shootings etc…all happen-chance events ..a matter of being in the right place at the right time, like a foot-ball accidentally deflected off your face scores the winning goal…a pain worth the suffering, especially if it is thought you did it with deliberate intention.

And THAT has been the whole game plan of this current fumble of the LNP. Chance has at times dealt them such a lucky hand, that, like the chancey gambler who has a run of wins betting on jockey colours, is surprised and confused when the run of luck stops. They are now flummoxed for policy when there is hard work to do….They have gambled away the household income, lied and cheated the “family members” and now are out on the street trying their hand at daylight robbery!

No policy.

No integrity.

No future.

No idea.

The right-wing has only one objective with no sympathy for social welfare of the country and with many coming from a privileged background, no knowledge of how most people do the hard yards with kids, schooling , health and housing. Hence the IPA list of 100 wishes. That old saying comes to mind ; “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. The IPA is indeed a coven of beggars..Beggars without the least idea what their wish-list, if applied in reality would create..: absolute social destruction, chaos and anarchy. They are the fool in the joke who throws the pin of the grenade instead of the grenade itself!

The gross ineptitude of this current govt’ is an insult on our nation, our intelligence and the people. Their continued gaffes and cruel intent seem to be all they have to offer. If this pillar-to-post, flight or fight, all or nothing scramble is all they got, then it is going to a lousy long two more years of “coming to getcha!” government.

Better get prepared now…or get organised!

 

The Coward’s Retreat of the LNP.

In my young years, I , like many healthy Aussies, took to sport like a fish to water..I became , in that regional amateur league, quite proficient at the skills of the game..so that the club officials asked me to coach one of the adult lower grades. Of course I accepted, seeing sport as a healthy development of camaraderie, hard work at the game and the encouragement of decency in the sportsperson-attitude..in short; the methodology of good citizenship..I doubt that basic attitude has changed.

What changed and changed in one day, was the team decision by those adults to demand right of the rules of the game where the opposing team could not field (through lack of available players ) a full compliment on the day and so must disqualify themselves and cede the game. I took the team to one side and implored them to resist this easy option and perhaps even loan a player from our side (we had excess) to make a good game of it..a game that I proposed we could win with skill instead of forfeit…..I lost on the vote and had to accept the majority team decision.

What also was lost on that day was that edge of respect for the team spirit..I can accept theirs was the majority decision, but I believed it was taken more out of a insecurity in belief of their own capability..in short, it was a cowards way out rather than confront and overcome that fear. I never regained confidence in that team after that episode and I can feel it now in this “Team Australia”as we as a nation “bulk” at confronting our responsibilities toward worldly needs and problems.

John Howard was the progenitor of this latest retreat of cowardice in a long line of Liberal Party cowards..Menzies, that closet admirer of Adolph Hitler for what Hitler did to the communists, used a cowards retreat against rising Japanese Imperialism…indeed, he even helped “arm” that war machine with shipments (against the Warfies Union knowledge and advice) of scrap-iron to shape their war machine..not for nothing is he forever known as “Pig-iron Bob”. Holt: “All the way with LBJ”, Fraser ; skulking out the back of Yarralumla, waiting for “the word” from Kerr. and then Howard…

Howard took this nation of self-respecting “Bronze Anzacs”, from the beaches of Gallipoli and the jungle trails of Kokoda to the coward’s cringe of The Tampa episode..where he unleashed the SAS military elite corps onto a wretched collection of refugees saved from a watery grave by a sympathetic and honourable sea captain…and THAT is when we were first and finally taken down that slippery slope of shame and disgrace to the position we are now in; the base reaches of dishonour as a country, and cowardice as a people.

This habit of the coward’s retreat formulated and fermented in the dark heart of Right-wing politics must be lanced and the wound sutured and healed if we are ever to, with honesty, show ourselves at the memorials and days of remembrance to those fallen fellow citizens of all those wars and conflicts. How can we, as beneficial inheritors of the peace and prosperity of their sacrifice honestly and truthfully deliver eulogies of respect to their names when we cower and cringe in servile hand-wringing under the covert threat of our own fascist governments…How do we raise our eyes to meet their now statued, stony gaze where THEY faced and in many cases died in a hail of heavy artillery and bullets to protect that very notion of freedom we hold up as our rights when WE will not even face our own responsibilities to elect with intelligent discussion, governments that have honest intention to give service not just to a small percentage elite, but encouragement and equality to ALL it’s citizens?

Sadly, we have not done justice to the dignity of our multi-cultures and history, let alone to the fallen…We have continued to elect those right-wing cowards in the LNP who continue to take us with them on their coward’s retreat away from good social governance down a slippery slope to beat the weak as in Tampa, to manipulate the gullible as in Fraser’s coup against Whitlam’s Labor govt’ and now to betray and sell-on our soil and wealth to corporations only interested in profit-shifting and tax evasion, a habit too frequently practised by our very own LNP politician leaders…and with the generous help of a too compliant MSM , commit acts of sabotage against those necessary social and physical infrastructures like Medicare, Gonski, NDIS and manufacturing.. then the NBN..that most vital and necessary piece of technology for the health, education and advancement of the nation, betrayed, broken beyond repair and destroyed just to satisfy the favour of a most gross degenerate individual. This destruction and it’s promoted celebrated demise by both the LNP govt’ and the Murdoch press has to be equal in disgust, deviousness and treason as the subversive acts of Lord Haw Haw in Britain’s time of crisis..an act of gross demoralising, and destabilising treason that gained HIM the sentence of  death.

Howard enacted the coward’s retreat when he refused to confront that refugee situation he and his govt’ helped to create. Howard brought on a cowards retreat when he tried to enact “workchoices”against the working people of the nation.. the union movement and the fair go concept still here in the citizen body of Australia threw him out of office in no uncertain terms…the same must be done with this shambolic joke of a LNP “government” , along with the arraigning of many of the MSM for their complicit joining in of the acts of  provocateurs , saboteurs and traitors to the aims and means of the people of this country while sheltering under the passport of this country and all the while receiving payments from a foreign national to publish / broadcast on his media platform, words and threats and cajoling meant to undermine the confidence and to sabotage the democratically elected Labor governments of the people of this nation..To them ALL I say..:

Let rigid justice be served!

AND   SERVED   FULLY AND SEVERELY …

A Conundrum of Compatibility.

The Working Class and;

A Conundrum of Compatibility.

We…of the working class, have a problem. That problem is : Servility.

No longer is it a “tugging of the forelock” servility, the elimination of THAT little obsequiousness   was “executed” in the French Revolution along with a generous helping of the useless aristocracy…and with us of Irish descent, with the hard-work of the IRA against the Black and Tans back last century! Even here in Australia at the Eureka Stockade, we gave , as Henry Lawson says ; the ruling class a black-eye and a bloodied nose.

But it was still our lack of education that held us back..our lack of “letters” that confined us to vocal protesting and physical action to advance the cause of working class rights and entitlements. And here, I would salute those militant unions who took the fight right up to the noses of the governing class…The AWU and the BLF “Green bans” in Sydney and Melb’…Norm Gallagher’s  BLF on the building sites around Aust’…now the CFMEU on the streets for all of us! Good work..DAMN GOOD WORK…and more power to them in the future.

But now, in this twenty first century, when more of us than ever have a good sketch of education and we “knows our letters” enough to write down and communicate to a wider audience the need for universal democracy for this multi-cultural society…a society needing for the majority ; good health policies, secure employment policies through State infrastructure developments, decent wages for family security, education and many , many other causes.

We working people have the capacity to write from direct experience of these things now with the expansion of social media and the availability of free content blog sites. These multi-media outlets have exploded the “voice” of every-person to deliver to a watching population the instances of oppression and injustice instantly…and also to deliver the good oil on worthy projects direct to the public without the news being wrung through the filter of a biased, unworthy main-stream media, whose reason for existence is now more to betray, block and obfuscate than deliver news to the public.

But along with this ease of access to communicate, has come another tyrant to try to stand-over , humiliate, correct and control those from a working class education who have important things to say. It is the oppression of “correct communication”. It is another mechanism of the controlling middle-class to suppress this rising enthusiasm of the educated working class from fully exploiting their potential to create an atmosphere of radical politics and radical ideas.

I can speak from my own experience here as I have been a contributor of articles to blog-sites for quite a few years, writing from a left-wing perspective (as ANY self-respecting worker would have to!) and delivering on the subjects concerning social improvement for the nation as a whole..This would go well, I noticed, until I broached the subject of class-warfare between the working class and a controlling middle class. It was this barricade that brought me undone with many on those blog-sites as I was informed that many there were of the middle class and seemed to see themselves as a kind of “gate-keeper” of their middle class values. I was excoriated by a coterie of private school graduates who see ones like myself as an interloper into the exclusive world of correct grammar, syntax and polite conversation…”sure, you can protest..but on our terms!”…I, and my building site aged male attitude didn’t fit..there were times when my commentary would be met with deafening silence and totally ignored..one could almost “hear” the sharp offended intake of breath..such are the basic tools of the offended sensibilities of the “Noel Coward set”, where good manners and knowing one’s place is an imperative to polite society…doncha know?

What, however was more alarming and the reason for the writing of this piece, was the buckling and caving-in of some of the other working class bloggers of those sites. A kind of subservience to what has been created in the world of the written language as the “strata of grammatical purity”…a subtle tyranny set in place by those of the well-educated middle class to keep out the barbarian horde of loud , vulgar front-bar types whose language is more akin to a shout in the street than gentle whispers in the parlour..A nasty piece of useless baggage from an anachronistic era when “polite society” knew everything about good writing and fuck all about good communication! When the job of written communication was more about NOT telling the dirty little secrets of the ruling class.

All this exclusiveness has now gone by the wayside..with the changing script-face of post-modern writing, a more generic style of writing has become the norm..grammatical correctness has to take second place to emojis and abbreviated words…technology and word-limit demands swift response and the increasing habit of texting on the run has brought new language to the fore. No longer must a person who has struggled with the curse of a low-level education wait cap-in-hand for the master of English Grammar to judge or correct their work with either a patronising compliment, like a gold star from the teacher, of wither under the disdainful glare of disapproval..Now, thanks to the great equaliser, those of us who relish more the substance of a political piece than the syntax can just tell those pompous, self-righteous scribblers to fuck off!

So having levelled the playing-field for legitimate commentary, we of the working class must now decide if we wish to be on the same team as those who have gamed our camaraderie just to “lord it” over us. There is now that ; “Conundrum of Compatibility”..will we get on together as equals, or do we of the working class just tell the middle class to piss off and go do your own dirty-work? For myself, I don’t need the bums..they have nothing to offer or help me with…I don’t appreciate their smug delusions of grandeur nor their lazy mental attitude. But I have to concede there is the need for networking, and THAT is the one thing the middle class has a lot of experience in…and their mostly idle unskilled-hands are good for picking up a phone and connecting A to B.

So I would like to see the Labour movement along with the unions and the political arm of the Left  bring more rank and file workers to the political fore and utilise the “in-situ” experience of long-term skilled people to create a new, more structurally sound body of political grunt to confront and defeat the filth from the Right wing .

The reserves of power and enthusiasm in the over-shadowed educated working class must now be utilised and promoted to the highest levels of political office. What some would see as the “vulgar” or “crude” mechanism of leverage of power has to be reconsidered in the light of what we see now in this current government; a politburo of poisonous, poltroons with not the slightest trace of decency and honour for all their years of private, expensive schooling and the best suits and bling OUR expense accounts can buy. We are looking at filth of the lowest order and if these criothans can lay claim to the highest standards of rhetoric and education, then I say ;

FUCK THE BULLSHIT…give the workers the power, we’ll straighten them out !

 

 

 

Too Late the Heros.

Anzac Day is soon to be upon us, a week after Easter. And taking nothing from the sad disaster of the deaths of the many young men and woman who gave their lives in some of those Imperialistic adventures, one does have to reflect on that one day when it seems that those from that class of people who have given or suffered the least in most wars are there ; Front and Centre demanding the nation looks to their example for “courage and determination” in leadership..sad indeed is that truth that those who are the least inclined to courageous in their civic life are the ones who demand the most sacrifice from our defence personnel of the nation.

So even though Anzac Day is soon to be upon us, can one legitimately but with regret state?: :

There is really no point anymore in observing Anzac Day…no respect in the sad silence of Remembrance Day…no longer such “emergency” in the warning of the Holocaust or other Semitic massacres in the Arabian Peninsula; “Never let this happen again!”….for even here, in our own country…a country of the “fair go”…the “easy-going Aussie”..the “land that is for everyone”…it is gone. How many people in Aust and the world marched against the Iraq war?…one..two …TEN million?…yet it was delivered with the now commonly recognisable “Howard-shit-eater grin”, standing next to his neo-con USofA. mate ; D. Rumsfeld as they promised and delivered “shock and awe”…which destroyed an entire nation and stole the breath of at least a million citizens of that nation…and created the continuity of the exodus of refugees that we react against today. Where a scalpel-cut execution of the so-called “reviled leader” could have been done as has been done (under the very noses of security) of several since.  No, this war was another anti-Semite war, for the majority of Iraqis are Arab…this was another religious “crusade”…too late the cry of “never again!”, ..it has already been done..thanks to the war-mongering Right-wing of Australian politics!

That amorphous collection of provocateurs and saboteurs that calls itself The IPA., sloping about in the umbra of political activity, always the “bag-man” for LNP political short-bets, it’s sickly-smiling members parachuted into the Senate like one of “The Phantom Turd Flinger” of Preston’s brown paper-bags of shit dropping on the heads of the bogans in his local pub car-park (see same post elsewhere on this site), we have this organisation that acts as a “finishing school” for the clumsy, gormless, naïve, self-centred arse-holes that is de-rigeur for any LNP wannabe member of The House…and we have to consider; such Machiavellian deviousness and sly-eyed bastardry could not possibly be a product of a natural development of the child..The cruelty, the attraction toward the betrayal and selling-out of one’s nation is a thing not best left to chance…hence the thorough indoctrination by those expensive private schools and colleges to “enhance” and “guide” through devoted mentors, whatever “natural bastardry” existed in the gentle mind of the children..One would not like to think such acts of pusillanimous self-centred, spiteful, shit-headidness was just a normality of those many “cats” from that demographic.

And Anzac Day?…That day of sombre celebration of unity against adversity…courage against onslaught…camaraderie as mateship and unity as strength. It is a mockery of those who faced and endured such trials and tribulations, when we have abandoned even the pretence of such in our everyday lives…the disbanding and dismantling, with the voted-in permission of the Aust’ electorate, of all those community services and policies that WERE for the benefit of the MAJORITY of citizens lends a mockery to those that ran, bent-backed, across the deadly sands of Gallipoli….we mock their memory as the “everyperson-Australian”, while we mock universal social reform and the “fair go” for everybody.

And Remembrance Day?..for all those who went to a war zone, whatever their individual reason, that suffered and died for what they believed was right and for the common good…for freedom and fraternity. By giving one minute’s silence for their sacrifice , while the IPA / LNP clamour and holler continuously and endlessly for THEIR “rights and demands” as an individual to plunder and rob and connive and abuse our fellow citizens…..THAT has to be the saddest mockery of all…..a minutes silence for that lost youth and lives of the brave and courageous, while the IPA / LNP enjoy seemingly limitless selfishness and endless “sunshine”.

It is a mockery and a travesty of civil-society, that the IPA / LNP. has declared itself the arbiters, through the most minority of winning margins, to dictate a diminished capacity for the citizens of THIS..OUR country to live a respected and respectable life. The shrill accusations of this govt’ and its lobby groups does crude mockery to our fallen, our revered memories, our honourable intentions and our international good name.

It will be left to us to maintain the rage…let us hope we will be permitted the capacity!…..because, by Christ!…the nation and the citizen body WILL demand satisfaction!

 

 

 

The Right to an Honourable Life.

Do not think for a moment that this article is a promo’ for The Smith Family Charity or any charity in particular.. not that I have anything against that or any other charity organisation..but I am using their video clip as example to vent my disgust and anger at what I see as gross failure of the govt’ of the day ; The LNP, to give decent and proper support as is the right of EVERY child or citizen of this State of Australia to a decent and respectful chance of full education for every child or citizen that comes under its duty of care.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN26OjFXxy8

(I take the liberty and I am trusting the permission of The Smith Family Charity to paste this sample “you tube” clip here).

To view this sad spectacle of a child, ANY child in Australia today and hear a charity plead for assistance to sponsor an Australian child because of distressing circumstances is to me an indictment of gross delinquency and abandonment of the basic principles of good governance of the nation. For surely the first principle for governance is to give shelter, security and education to all its citizens…in particular the children, as this secures the knowledgeable future of the nation..and yet we see the clip above of such a child representation, certainly from a state school (no way private!) being placed in an insecure personal situation that would easily brand her as a future client of more gross victimisation.

Yet we can hear this vandalism of a LNP govt’ promote the benefits of “aspirational goals” and they pour seemingly unlimited wealth and investment into the private college / school network, taking such badly-needed funding for such “fattening” from the already hollowed-out and stretched financially state school network!..then abandoning the Gonski schooling proposal through lack of funding to increase the already “double-stitching” on the old-school-tie jackets and table napkins…a deliberate slap in the face for the already “leaners” and a fattened Judas Purse for the so-called “lifters”.

And then we have to suffer the added insult of listening to those pompous arseholes like Minister Pyne , poncing about promoting himself with his mincing poodle voice, or Minister Cash apologising for “forgetting” to register her FOURTH $1 point something million dollar investment property..or even Mr Harbourside Mansion himself pontificating on the merits of having wealthy parents and you then see this advertisement above calling for support for disadvantaged AUSSIE kids!..??…WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON??

I’ll tell you what is going on..: Class-warfare..THAT’s what’s going on!..that child in the Smith Family plead is from the working class, in a state school..THAT is the inference, no doubt about it, and THAT is who it is aimed at…this child is a representation of a random working class child in a random state school. So if you are looking for proof of the “killing fields” of class-warfare in our country today, you just go to the statistics of privilege / want…you will find the “privilege” side of the scales heavily weighted with this current government’s funding..you will see the working class denied the basic rights of work security through the abandoning of manufacturing industries and local state industries by this govt’, you will see the abandonment of health , education and social security by this govt’ toward the working classes…you will see reward after reward of more grants and then tax and wage reductions for their electoral interest business friends..you will see the obvious intended abandonment of Gonski, of the NDIS..of renewable energy policies all of which would ensure more employment opportunities and required decency for the working people of the nation.

Instead, we get a steady stream of bullshit slurry trickling out in an almost unstoppable stream from the mouths of these LNP delinquents, bracketed and enlarged upon with a equal steady stream of abuse and vitriol from the Murdoch traitor journalists. This is NOT a government, this is an act of vandalism and “murder” against the working people of this nation..for when one has to witness a charity organisation go pleading for sponsorship for working-class kids so they can have a half decent life, coupled with a deserved, decent education and a chance of a honourable future in this most favourable country on Earth, you just know some-one, somewhere is not doing their duty. That “some-one” IS whoever is first and foremost responsible for “duty of care” to the citizens of the State..: The Government of the day.

The government of this day is the LNP…they are to be condemned as vandals, delinquents and fit for nothing but the trash-bin of history. They have just relegated such in West Australia to that rubbish-bin, let us maintain our rage and disgust of these low-life filth to do the same , with extreme prejudice , to this LNP govt’ at the next federal election!

VOTE THE BASTARDS TO OBLIVION!

Mrs. Fookes and The Marino Fish Shop.

Let me tell you the story of another fish and chip shop owner. A woman too..not arrogant, nor opinionated or accusative…Oh, she was not a quiet retiring type. She had the voice and stride like a sergeant major..she would call for her child and he would hear her loud and clear half a mile away!…and woe betide him if he didn’t heed her call.

But she ran the Marino fish shop..a shop built by her fisherman husband at the high spot of the carpark that led to the rocky beach there at Marino Rocks..the beach of our neighbourhood..the gathering place of a mix of many nations , ages, young folk of both genders..young teens of the boomer generation who framed a collective there of social sharing and support that relied upon Mrs. Fookes’s  generosity as the backbone of our little collective…she was a saint, even if she didn’t realise it.

Marino Rocks was the end of the railway-line stop, with it’s inhabitants of Dutch, Latvian, Scottish, German, Irish and some of dubious parentage altogether!…but they became ‘fellow travelers’ in that poverty enriched neighbourhood  in the foothills on the edge of  the sea.

By a coincidental twist of fate, while the adults, survivors of a world war, in some cases two wars, an economic depression that impoverished so many, were a motley collection of spiritually broken , in many cases physically broken individuals, who were subjected to the corrupting influence of conservative thinking and propaganda that drove a wedge of fear into their susceptible hearts, their “multi-mix” children, with an improved diet of high protein, clean water, fresh air and unsupervised, unregulated freedom on the wide beaches of  the gulf, grew into wild free-spirited youths, who found rebellion against the restraints of conservative lifestyle as easy as diving off “Sharkey rock” into a crystal- clear , cool ocean. The young men and women that grew from such a healthy outdoors environment, grew bodies that glowed with a shimmering water-silvered endowment that drew the jealousy of the gods! The sea –water that ran from their bodies when re-alighting onto ‘Sharkey rock’ after a dive revealed all the beauty that nature could encompass in desire and comeliness in a youthful human form…their hungry eyes rejoiced in each other with a pagan worship of mother nature’s creation.

Having no money and no capacity to travel far, all the children congregated in a tribal-like conglomerate on the beaches . There was nothing in the stultifying doctrine of Catholicism or the Protestant work ethic that could not be laughed off under the pagan influence of sun , sea and surf and the merciful salvation of Fookes’s Fish and Chip Shop.

Ahh!..Mrs. Fookes..never did she know how much she helped create a revolution in her own small way, by her unconnected generosity to the local kids. From behind the counter of that unique fish and chippery, she contributed to the making of “baby-boomer” revolutionaries. She may have had a stride like a parade-ground Sergeant Major, and a voice to match..but her heart was of pure gold. She wasn’t like “Aunt Mary”, the railway porter on the train station who would line the kids up and threaten any delinquents that she would cut their heads off and put a cabbage in it’s place if’n she had any more cheek!

Mrs. Fookes saw how so many were scrawny kids hungry for a decent bit of daytime tucker, scrounging around for empty cool-drink bottles to cash in for a bob’s worth of chips..one of the kids would go inside with a few bottles at threepence each return deposit and Mrs Fookes would dish out more than a shillings chips and sometimes throw in a piece of fish that “was just laying around waiting for a mouth to eat “…and there’s a couple extra chips or a “ potato pattie for your little plump friend there at the door…he looks hungrier than the rest of you!” and the booty was all shared around amongst many..right down to greasy fingers dabbing up even the last salt grains..’all for one, one for all’…till she worked out a way to legitimise her care by pointing one day to some large empty glass jars in an alcove by the counter..”Listen you kids” she said in her commanding voice, “I want some interesting shells and things to make a sea-side display for the customers to look at while they wait..if you bring me something interesting or curious from the sea, I will give you some fish and chips in return…but it’s gotta be interesting, mind!” and she wagged a finger in warning to not try any silly buggers with her..and she meant it!..and she stuck to her word…The kids would bring their little treasures from Neptunes hoard and she’d exchange for tucker…Did anyone then realise what this meant, this system of barter ?..It meant freedom!..liberated from going home during the day for food..No longer under the parents watchful eyes the children were free to create their own sea-side society from morning to late afternoon,without oversight or consultation with adults!..God bless Mrs. Fookes!..and may a warm fire be forever burning in her hearth and warm slippers handy on a cold night…God bless her.

Mind you, she had to have a pretty tough hide to handle her fisherman husband ; Cuthbert Edgar Fookes…a stone-cutter by trade, fisherman by choice and garrulous old bastard by nature. Cuthbert and his sons had a fishers camp on the Yorke Peninsula, where they would set out to their secret fishing grounds and catch choice fish to clean and put on ice which Cuthbert would deliver straight back to the shop..never were fresher fish, more delicious fish and chips served to a long queue of faithful customers..five or more deep at the counter till a ticketing system had to be introduced.

Cuthbert would deliver his catch and then lean against the end of the counter smoking his big, fat meerschaum pipe and observing what he called ‘the idle rich” customers coming and going. He was a garrulous old bloke and the kids held their distance when he was around, saving their moments to barter with the kindly Mrs. Fookes when he was away.

One day , on a quiet afternoon, Cuthbert was “resting” on his arm at the end of the counter watching a matronly looking lady in heavy fur coat  peruse with concerned expression and a pair of  prinz nez opera glasses the trays of select fish in the display fridge…after several sweeps in this manner, Cuthbert could be observed huffing and puffing in an agitated way on his pipe..Cuthbert prided himself on the freshness and quality of his catch..Finally, the matron straightened up and dropping her glasses to her bosom, addressed Mrs. Fookes behind the counter.

“ Madam, “ she spoke in a ‘Toorak Gardens’ dialect ,“Are these fish frrrrresh?”.

This was too much for Cuthbert to take lying down! He swiftly sidled up to the lady and taking his pipe with a sudden but measured movement from his mouth , he looked her square in the eye and informed her in a mocking emulation of the lady’s own accent;

“Madam!…if they were any frrrrresher…they’d be indecent!” and he turned abruptly away to resume his place at the end of the counter..huffing and puffing at his pipe.

Now THAT is how decent folk run a fish and chippery.