Cred’….: Who’s Got it. Who Gets it. Who’s Earns it and Who Burns it!

 

 

Interesting thing ; this “Cred”..it must be some sort of affiliate of “chic”..or ; “cool”. Because some people seem to have it in spades without seeming to have earned it nor asked for it. Of course, there are those who are granted it from birth status, or wealth status without having to explain or apologise for it’s present company wherever they go..it is just there and the press flock about seeking the opinion of those who “have it”, regardless if they talk absolute facile garbage whenever they open their mouths!

 

It seems our current PM. has it..or so we are told by his admirers (the press…AGAIN! )..Of course they do not use the vulgar terminology of “cred”, they say that he is a “good debater”..or a “excellent communicator”..even a “ experienced businessman”..Never mind that he appears to mostly have failed in each of those titles whenever he has applied himself to them in reality…and I am reminded of the “Fawlty Towers” episode when Basil is trying to impress the guests at the dinner table with the suave, confident revelation that his parents fore-saw a future for himself in medicine, only to be interrupted in his delivery by his weary wife ; Sybil, interjecting at just that moment to announce ; “…and so he came to run an hotel…”

 

All cred’ is lost in one fell swoop by someone who knows the truth!

 

So we have a PM., who although a failure at many of the things he should have cred’ for , STILL is given the benefit of the doubt and the title remains..perhaps because of his wealth…after all , THAT seems to give the holders of such; automatic kudos, with another perception that the wealth must have been earned by scrupulous means. Yet the PM. Has his money tied up in unfathomable overseas tax accounts in some unfathomable islands in some fantastical paradise..He has wealth ; he must have cred’..Eddie Obied , I believe, has wealth…but HE has no perceptible cred’..at least not in the public eye..but has he done anything worse than our current incumbent?…It would be a debatable point…and SURELY we are ALL aware HOW GOOD a debater the present incumbent is!

 

So..to sum up that part..: You can get it unearned from birth status, wealth status, race status…You can get it hard earned from sporting prowess, professional work, literary / academic achievement . These are the most public platforms of renowned cred’.

 

So what is left for us plebs’? us ; “every-persons”? Are we to go through life as rejected drones with no acknowledgement of status save a little stick-on badge on our jerseys showing we have ‘given’ to the “Disabled Juggling Society” as you go about the shopping centre? Or because you are known in the local community as the rep’ for “Neighbourhood Watch”, a reliable letter-boxer of their flyers?

 

Is that all there is for the sad-sacks of the suburbs / regions? That or the equally sorry self-promoing of guests at the dining table of your local hotel?..

 

Sadly, it seems…yes…( or at least as far as I can make out..perhaps you, yourself have a better supply of that most sought after commodity).

 

You are not alone..I..have no “cred’ “, save a tragic modicum every now and then when I scribble a piece of satisfactory prose…and THAT can easily be burned away in the next piece of totally UNSATISFACTORY  prose…it is that fragile for a “nobody”..My partner, A nursing sister / tutor who has a doctorate under her academic belt , has to endure many moments of tiresome rhetoric in her field of health expertise from unqualified local committee members overriding necessary procedures for the better medical health of the community in a committee she volunteers on…Why? ; because she does not place the earned “letters” before or after her name…so it is lack of cred’ by default you could say..yet she still has the expertise there, that you would think would give her a hearing more respectful to her station..but why not?..because those local committee members have “local citizen cred’ ” where she, being a “blow in”, has none..But hey!..isn’t that always the story..nothing to see here folks..move along.

 

What I find most resentful from those who have “cred’ “ bestowed upon them through no earned capacity , is the presumption that when they announce their preferred slant on this or that subject, one is fully expected and indeed encouraged by a coterie of “noddy” supporters to simply go along with the status quo..as if just by the announcement of the “favoured one’s” edict, the point is settled. Sorry..s-s-sorry..I want to see evidence. I don’t want to see a confident smirking face in an expensive suit..I want to see evidence of cred’ earned.

 

“It is especially the rule of the conspicuous waste of goods that finds expression in dress, although the other, related principles of wealth repute are also exemplified in the same contrivances. Other methods of putting one’s financial standing in evidence serve their end effectually, and other methods are in vogue always and everywhere; but expenditure on dress has this advantage over most other methods, that our apparel is always in evidence and affords an indication of our wealth standing to all observers at the first glance.” (quote..)

 

THAT , is how one can get status cred’…vicariously through a designer label…We all know people who aspire to or use it..yet surely, to a civilized palate, such ostentatious display should detract from a person’s cred’ rather than add to it..yet we see many from the conservative side of The Parliamentary House, AND their nodding supporters , giving the most vulgar ostentatious displays of their bling and booty AND being boastful about it!..

 

“The standard of reputability requires that dress should show wasteful expenditure: But isn’t all wastefulness offensive to native taste? The psychological law has already been pointed out that all men—and women perhaps even in a higher degree abhor futility, whether of effort or of expenditure—much as Nature was once said to abhor a vacuum. But the principle of conspicuous waste requires an obviously futile expenditure; and the resulting conspicuous expensiveness of dress should therefore be intrinsically ugly. Hence we find that in all innovations in dress, each added or altered detail strives to avoid condemnation by showing some ostensible purpose, at the same time that the requirement of conspicuous waste prevents the purposefulness of these innovations from becoming anything more than a somewhat transparent pretense.” ( quote..)

 

You know..I kind of prefer cred’ conceded through those close associates who are in regular contact with you..; The respect from the trades or the service people one comes in contact with on a regular basis..or neighbours and friends who through a history of familiarity of conversation, shared teas or work experience will not need constant display or reassurance of your capability or good intentions. Surely, it is these acquaintances and friends gained over a lifetime that gives one the confidence to broach new ideas or projects with the knowledge that however weird or crazy, your “cred’ “ as a reliable friend can be in no danger of being burned to the ground.

 

Sadly, it must be admitted that as age overtakes one, such close friends succumb to the inevitable fate of us all and one can be left fending off the wolves of cynicism and derogative suggestion mostly by oneself. So I wonder if it doesn’t hurt to leave behind at least ONE creative thing that above all the speculation and palaver of your “life worth”, demonstrates that HERE is one undeniable bit of “Cred’” that cannot be taken away from you.

 

 

 

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Warming the Seat / Keeping it Warm.

If any of you are wondering just how is it that we end up with anachronistic / imperialistic / simplistic LNP. “colonialist throw-backs” seeking to govern this country, I will attempt to work on a post (of interest) later that I think will explain it…watch this space!

 

 

 

Warming the Seat / Keeping it Warm.

#1 : “ The British school system had, and still has, a delightful system where snivelling little fags served bozers. Tasks included cleaning, running around, and warming toilet seats…  Fags who showed themselves to a better class of fag were given the opportunity to become bozers themselves, and bully the living shit out of the new fags. “

 

#2 : “Fagg or Faggs may refer to:

Fagging was a traditional practice in British boarding private schools (nearly all “public schools” in the English sense) and also many other boarding schools, whereby younger pupils were required to act as personal servants to the most senior boys.”

 

 

There was a time in my younger years where at the age of around twenty seven, I’d had enough of the building trade for a while and there was a scheme offered to those who had left school early and would like to continue with their education at a tertiary level, using their work experience as “points” toward an acceptance into university (limited courses, of course!)…I filled out the documentation, sat in a hall doing a test with a couple hundred other applicants, was accepted for an interview assessment and attended on the allotted date.

 

I have a exacting, clear, concise memory of the resulting insult. I also have, in retrospect, an insight into the real intent of that interview..; Less a assessment than a filtering out of the non  “consciousness of kind.” I was “interviewed” by two people, students themselves, a young man and a young woman, who after examining my application and work records, declined my application on the grounds that (and I can still hear her voice) ;

 

“While you have a lot of experience in the manual work field, you do not have a good record in the higher education area (I had left high school to take up an apprenticeship at fifteen) and without that record of capability to apply yourself to higher education, we cannot be certain that you will be able to complete your education.”

 

That’s some catch; that Catch 22.

 

My query about my years in apprenticeship studies were swept away as inconsequential .

 

I received the formal refusal in my letterbox some time later..I was to learn from a more informed source years later that those so-called “available seats” for working people to complete their education was in reality an opening for “suitable” persons who had started their tertiary education years before, but through one reason or another had cut short their study and left university…leaving open a spot for their return, keeping in mind that in those days, only the more wealthy could afford a university education.. so in effect ; “keeping the seat warm”.

 

It still rankles ; that interview…and I recall my response to the insulting suggestion that perhaps I was seeking more the “status” of university study rather than academic advancement…fuckin’ little eastern suburbs poncy pricks!

 

“I NEED the education, NOT the kudos!” was my terse response ..and with that I terminated the “interview.” It is the bitterness from that insulting moment that fixed the “chip on the shoulder” of my attitude toward the “consciousness of kind” middle class.

 

 

“It lies in the nature of the case that this appointing power will tend to create a faculty after its own kind. It will be quick to recognize efficiency within the lines of its own interests, and slower to see fitness in those lines that lie outside of its horizon, where it must necessarily act on outside solicitation and hearsay evidence.”

 

This maintaining of status in the perception of a University Education comes at a cost..and with the changed financial arrangements these days, the integrity of the education institution is gambled on numbers of “bums on seats” verses “academic integrity” It is therefore imperative that a continuity of curriculum delivery and conservative standard of quality is promoted around the institution name , academic staff and curriculum of the institution ; a) Firstly to  impress the ideal that here, is solid knowledge, confirmed by assiduous study and research. b) Secondly to set a fixed base of expected acceptable standards of attainment in academic excellence.

 

But one has to ask ; Are these standards more a bar set to a height most favourable to that class that moves in a unbroken, smooth transition from private school to University of choice to network of employment without disruption of the continuity of  curriculum? A curriculum designed to facilitate the most capable along with the most obtuse in a wide swathe of  middle-class benefit.

 

I read that in the current govt’ the LNP. has a proportion of 82%  from private school education…even Labor has a more modest 53%…But what encourages these privileged kids to pursue their political ambitions? What is the motivation that promotes such (in some cases ) futile and buffoonery ambition?

 

I suspect a certain directional encouragement within the Humanities and Social Sciences, via a distortion of history displaying a kind of “continuity of privilege and expectation” in the upper strata of society..The entrenchment of the “born to rule” philosophy.

 

I recall my time when I finally did get to university as a now much more mature student studying my favourite “Classical History” subjects, thinking and talking to other much younger students about my doubts of the “authenticity” of the Roman History we were being taught…:

 

“There’s something not quite right about how it all “fits” so neatly together”..I used to say to one young bloke..” like it’s been strained through a filter of acceptable choreographed political outcome…more to suit the Queen Victorian era of justification of empire , than a record of such a dirty history”.

 

And I remember several tutorials where an older lecturer was locum’d in to replace a sick lecturer..I could see his notes, all yellowed with age and dog eared with use and he prattled on in a time-line continuity from the ill lecturer, like there was no interruption in the calm-oiled sea of imperial history..All was right, all was as ordained by a higher order..Caesar conquered; as was required, Cleopatra; the upstart was conquered; as was needed, Augustus brought a “Pax Romana” upon the Empire as was his right ..:

 

Dieu et mon droit.

 

 

One day , coming out of a classics tutorial, one young “eastern suburbs” thing angrily expressed to me..

 

“Don’t ask so many questions..or we’ll be in there forever!”

 

“Why not..don’t you want to learn history?”..This response was met with a wrinkled nose and look of disdain.

 

But of course not…such graduates of  private colleges and grammar schools already know the script…They do not need ancient hstory to teach them anything! They knew before they got to Uni’…before they got to their private colleges..before they went to primary school.. kindergarten even!…They knew from the earliest time of their conscious memory that they belonged to the “correct class of people”…their parents could have made their money shipping arms to a despot ruler or drugs to desperate people..it would not matter…as long as they had their BSB. Taxation Number. THEY had the blessings of THE post code!…THE correct connections. THE high social circles….They did not need to learn the machinations of late empire politics..they only needed  to get those academic points on their student record sheet so they could pass UNI. and Classics was seen as a “Mickey Mouse” course easily navigated through to pick up half a doz’ easy academic points toward that w / honours graduation..and woe betide any lecturer that under marks their little pet. And then collect that promised trip to a London “sabbatical” year in a flat in The Barbican..or that little sporty car number…or some such promised reward.

 

After all…THEIR future employment and placement in the higher strata of society has already been  assured.

 

“As has already been remarked, these directive boards, committees, and chiefs of bureau are chosen, in great part, for their businesslike efficiency, because they are good office-men, with “executive ability”; and the animus of these academic businessmen, by so much, becomes the guiding spirit of the corporation of learning, and through their control it acts intimately and pervasively to order the scope and method of academic instruction. This permeation of the university’s everyday activity by the principles of competitive business is less visible to outsiders than the various lines of extraneous enterprise already spoken of, but it touches the work within the university proper even more radically and insistently; although, it is true, it affects the collegiate (undergraduate) instruction more immediately than what is fairly to be classed as university work. The consequences are plain. Business proficiency is put in the place of learning. It is said by advocates of this move that learning is hereby given a more practical bent; which is substantially a contradiction in terms. It is a case not of assimilation, but of displacement and substitution, garnished with circumlocution of a more or less ingenuous kind.”

 

Such graduates of  privilege need only to have all their prejudices of “born to rule” bound and framed in a gilt-edged justification. Disingenuous historical example can supply this. metaphorically inlaid with filigreed coat-of-arms and the family motto : “Non Cineadus Meus” scripted clearly, all supplied and wrapped and tied with a blue ribbon security by their elders and mentors.

 

And THAT is why we end up with such shit-faced conservative politicians screwing up the country.

 

For as “The Good Book” says…: “So it is written”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rome Must Fall…

So Europe can Arise.

You have to read this first ..:
“The Visigoths, severed from their brethren but saved from the brunt of the Mongol assault by the mere fact that they lived further west than the Ostrogoths, desperately sought protection by appealing to Rome for asylum. There, they ran up against an impermeable shield of customs stations at the Roman border, a veritable wall of imperial disdain which was by then standard policy when barbarians began wailing and waving their hands. Thus squeezed between scorn and the spear, the Visigoths panicked and not a few tried to push their way into Roman territory. Facing a surge of frantic immigrants, the Roman Emperor Valens had little choice but to relent and let them in.
Once inside the boundaries of Rome, the Visigoths found safety but at the same time a new and in many ways more dangerous foe. As new-comers to Roman civilization, they were ill-equipped to live in a state run on taxes and mired in the complex language of legalities, and thus made easy prey for unscrupulous, greedy imperial bureaucrats who cheated and abused them. Very quickly, the Visigoths found themselves bound in something heavier and more constricting than chains—the gruesome coils of red tape—and they responded as any reasonable barbarian would: they demanded fair treatment and, when their pleas went unheard, they embarked upon a rampage.
Valens called out his army, a threat meant to intimate the Visigoths into returning to their designated territory and tithe. But like the truant step-children they were, the barbarians remained disobedient. Left with no other recourse but corporal punishment, Valens met the Visigoths in combat at the Battle of Adrianople (378 CE) in northeastern Greece, and what happened was not only unexpected but unthinkable to any Roman living then, or dead. Primed by the insults to their pride—or because they were simply scared out of their minds—the Visigoths defeated and massacred the Roman legions sent to keep them in their room. Worse yet, Valens himself was killed in the course of the conflict.” http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320hist&civ/chapters/08romfal.htm

The desperation of the Goths is reflected in this day and age by the mass of refugees fleeing several conflicts and disasters and trying to come to Australia. The blunt refusal to take any “boat people” may not be the best solution for the Australian govt’. Also risky is any uncontrolled “open border” policy that creates an expectation of a surge of refugees to Australia’s shores.

The above quote is part of a broader study in why the Roman Empire in the West had to fall so Europe could arise. The Roman Empire was a colonizing state that controlled with arms , ruled with fear and milked with impunity via a capitalist system of the wealthy controlling production and distribution. The 1-3% that held the greatest wealth also held the greatest influence over political policy and ruled the masses with disdain that eventually destroyed itself in the most dramatic way.

Divide and rule was perfected in the Roman strategy…populations would be shunted from one side of the empire to the other so there would be little sympathy to local customs and mores, thereby polarizing those groups of peoples to compete against each other. Likewise, soldiers from western provinces of Gaul were sent to hold the eastern provinces of Palestine..and vise versa. Rule and profit by division worked well while these 3% held absolute control of the military . Once those trained , foreign generals like Alaric became isolated , they gathered their loyal soldiers about themselves and using their trained skills, turned them against the empire itself.

Australia is itself a colony, with all the states separate colonial developments before federation. The nation still shows signs of that early colonial independence and attitude, with some states threatening succession even now! The colonial mentality and it’s governance by an elite is in evidence still. The divide and rule program very much in practice still..The use and abuse of cheap immigration labour a desire if not also a common practice. The playing of ethnic groups against each other for political purpose still in operation.

We are continuing the practice that failed the Roman Empire so spectacularly and only insanity could desire a success where they failed so miserably! Australia has to develop a new way, a better way to confront this twenty-first century phenomenon of the surge of asylum seekers that have swept across the globe from east to west and west to east. If we continue to believe and practice a “raise the drawbridge” policy, we will be open to the legitimate criticism of demanding an unrealistic isolationist existence in a region of realistic inclusion. The added reality of climate change with rising sea levels and drying cropping areas in the delta regions of Sth. East Asia could bring a avalanche of climate refugees who have little sympathy with a resource rich, land rich, population poor nation just over that stretch of water.

Australia needs to engage much, much more cooperatively with our northern neighbours to create a regional safety net for any temporary shifts of population as required after any disasters , natural or sociological, to allow a safety-valve result rather than an uncontrolled explosive conflagration. To consolidate our “authority” over the land of this continent, we also need to very quickly complete a treaty with the indigenous peoples and to bring those peoples completely into the political process and policy making of this nation. For THEY are the measure of integrity of antiquity of ownership of the nation and for us who migrated here from everywhere else, to claim a right of rule over the land, we have to allow equal partnership with an agreed treaty with the original inhabitants of this land…it only stands to reason.

Rome had to fall so that a Democratic Europe could arise..We here in Australia must learn from the hard experience of Europe and begin to implement attitude and social change to create a more homogeneous governance with this multicultural population, or risk the result foreseen in history of the demise of our ideal of social order and civil governance.

I’d like it to be noted that I have chosen my words very carefully here, for while I agree that a prognosis of the future cannot be had by simply turning the pages of a similar recorded history..There are patterns of behaviour singular to the human condition and habit that give good clue to where a particular prejudice of governance will go to from A to B.

It would be a grave mistake, equal to that Roman era of gross presumption if we continue to presume that we will remain an isolated knoll of Anglo-Euro’ prescribed policy-makers in a veritable ocean of Asiatic culture. All the while continuing to denial the existence and rightful claims of the original inhabitants of the land.

To believe that this nation of multicultural realities can continue to govern like it is a fiefdom of the fortunate and the privileged is to maintain a fantasy of Roman Empiric delusion…

The Commission.

I read of this incident, one of many, in a biography of Albert Namatjira  called “Namatjira ;Wanderer Between Two Worlds”, by Joyce Batty.

If ever you want to read a matter of fact account of simply appalling , disgusting, vile racism that can ever be afflicted upon and to deliberately destroy a fine spirit and an artistic genius, then the understated outrage inflicted upon Albert Namatjira  carefully written in that book will serve you well.

It was a moment of absolute disgust , the manner in which he and his family were treated, as the indigenous are still now being treated. Will we ever see an end to this behaviour?

The Commission.

”Ah! there he is”….

Of course, she had been keeping a keen eye out for him.

“Albert ! ” she obviously but cautiously called, “Albert Namatjira?”

Jean Littlemore was the wife of the bank manager. She was a woman voluntarily trapped into that facile world of “social responsibility”, of contrived behaviour moulded by an invisible force into “correct” mannerisms. Though she had a sensitive side, it was a side almost, but not quite, defeated. She had just that week returned from Adelaide to The Alice on a visit to that southern metropolis of societal bondage and while there, had gone to an exhibition of Albert Namatjira’s paintings..now she wanted one. Many of her friends (or at least those that mattered) had one of those curios..one of those transitions between two cultures, called ( for want of a finer spirituality)”Water-colours by ; Albert Namatjira.” Jean wanted an original Albert Namatjira water-colour.

She had remarked while mingling with her entourage in Adelaide that;

Why yes, she had seen Albert Namatjira many times wandering around the town…and though she had never before had call to speak to him (perish the thought!) in the street, she might now “commission” him to do a painting for her.

“Albert!” she called again, her gloved hand holding a delicate balance on her purse.

“Yes missus?” Albert tipped his hat politely, while his eyes searched her face and demeanor for meanings, for here was “THE bank manager’s wife” accosting him in the street!

“Albert, I saw last week, a painting by you of Mount Sonder. I would like to purchase that painting”. She paused and snapped open her purse and took out a twenty pound note which, Albert intued, must have been put aside for just this action and moment.. “Now, all I am prepared to pay is twenty pounds”.

Jean flourished the note pinched between thumb and index finger as she had been advised ; (“show him cash…they can’t resist cash!..then wave it around a little under his nose”…). Albert remained silent. Staring first at the twenty pounds and then raising his eyes slowly, he looked directly into the bank manager’s wife’s eyes. He held his gaze. Hers answered for a moment , strengthened by the position of her class, but then wavered and dropped and when they rose again to meet his, it was as an equal.

Albert shook his head wearily and sighed. He then spoke to her in his ‘mock-english’ voice;

“You go along New South Wales (a pause). You go along gallery of Anthony Horden (pause)you see Albert. Namatjira painting there ; one hundred and twenty five guineas. some smaller, one hundred guineas. You say : ‘That nice painting, I like, I give twenty quid? ‘ no, him price you pay what Anthony Horden say.”

Albert stopped there. He looked at the woman; she turned her head shamefully aside, her lips pinched together. Albert nodded his head , for here was the weakness in the chain. The Achilles Heel of the colonial white-man, the rock from which they will fall ; insatiable greed!… and failing to attain their desire; a swift descent into begging, for that is the soft underbelly of a haughty middle-class.

Nonetheless, as an individual, Albert could feel for the wretched woman, being fully aware of the structure of white-man’s society, he could see the shame the woman now endured. He could picture the build-up to her approaching him in the street like she did, the desire for a painting, not, as he was aware, for its artistic merit, but for the social status it gave. The contrived “assimilation”, the act of contrition unspoken, undemanded. uncommitted! that was bestowed upon those that “owned” a work by the aboriginal artist, a “veil” which, hung on the wall, would mask the abyss between their world and that of “the others”. It was this sad weakness in her that Albert turned from in sympathy. She touched his sleeve as he turned.

“Albert…Mr Namatjira.” she spoke softly, with a haughty pleading tone…could you then paint me a landscape of the Macdonnell Ranges?”

Albert turned his eyes to where Jean still held his sleeve. Her eyes followed, they both stood transfixed for the moment, then she quickly pulled her hand back to clutch her purse.

“I will,” Albert said, looking into Jean’s eyes, “But I want the money in advance.”

“How much?” Jean asked nervously, “I….I only have..my husband doesn’t think..I…” she ran out of words. Albert stared hard at the woman…one eye flickered a little.

“Twenty quid.”…….

“You what! well there’s twenty pounds (he always used the correct name for currency) gone on a bender for Albert and his tribe!….AND, fat chance of you ever getting a painting from him!” Jean’s husband railed at her when she told him of her purchase.

“But Thomas… ”

“If only you’d have consulted me first. I could have arranged…oh….something or other though why you want one of Albert’s paintings I cannot begin to fathom… ”

“The Turnbulls have one.” Jean appealed .

“Likely as not!..they buy any daubing they see. Really, some of the ghastly prints they have..Bob Campbell rejected him, and if he’s not good enough for the National Gallery…”

“ That may just be Bob’s taste in art..”

“Be jiggered!…why, Bob’s on the board of half a dozen respectable companies. He’s a man with impeccable taste….in all things cultured….No. I’d suggest most strongly  you keep a good look-out for your Mr. Namatjira and chivvy him along about your painting or you likely as not can kiss that twenty pounds goodbye!”

Such a ponderous lecture from her husband made Jean worry that she had been a little unwise in trusting Albert. The last thing she would want is to be made to look a fool by a Black…!

“Oh lord! how the tongues would wag!.”

So Jean kept an eye out for Albert and the next time she saw him ,reminded him of her order.

“I’ll bring you the painting,” he promised. “What do you think I am…a bad white man?”

A couple of weeks later, Jean was walking down the street with a close companion, when Albert called her from the other side of the street. He waved and held up a rolled article.

“Oh!” she exclaimed “It’s my painting..yoo hoo!, Albert….over here!…over here! Oh is the man deaf..surely he doesn’t expect me to go running across the street after him now does he? Hoo-oo! Albert!… over here!” and she waved her gloved hand.

Albert stood there. He had one hand in his pocket. He put the rolled painting under that arm and then put his other hand in the other pocket. He stood still where he was. Jean suddenly stopped waving and making noises when she saw this….she was no social slouch. She was well skilled in the art of snubbing. Many a cutting remark had she delivered on cue with devastating effect.

Her companion started prattling on at her elbow. but Jean had no ear for it. She had locked eyes duel-like with a “solid rock” and she knew she would lose!..But how to lose gracefully? How to keep face with her companion : To be seen crossing the street to gratify a Black man. Jean squared her shoulders .

“Oh well,” she heaved a false sigh with just ,she hoped, the right mixture of pique and impatience…”if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed…” and she stepped to cross the road.

“Wait here, Madeline, I’ll just be a minute while I deal with this.”

Albert watched as she crossed the road. It didn’t give him any pleasure to force her hand like this, he was a polite man..but there was something about the way she …she…expected things…and as he watched her arrogant confidence. he realised how terribly ignorant were these merchant people…and what compounded their ignorance was their dull insousiance!

A Cultural Revolution.

In this discussion on the whys and wherefores of Mao’s “Cultural Revolution”, I will not be wanting to condone the crazed killings by a rampant mob. At the same time, I am not of such a naïve nature to believe that mammoth shifts in politico/ socio direction in a short period of time in any state will be done with a soft hand inside “kid” gloves. Recent actions in the Middle East by many Western / Asiatic military powers have demonstrated the sometimes callous nature of political expediency. Though I do doubt the numbers of victims recorded specifically against Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” on the logic that there being no accurate account save western propaganda, and the fact that around 7-10 million were killed in the civil war, the number tossed about of 8 mill’ would result in TOTAL war again on a grand scale, with ALL civic production at risk or even shut down completely, resulting in the overthrow of the govt’ anyway. The number used may just as well include natural attrition and other calamities (famine, natural disasters etc.) that arose from a degree of chaos that a recovering population from the war years (2nd. and Civil) could well have suffered regardless.

The fact that the Chinese Communist Govt’ stabilized and thrived through those times finding food clothing, shelter and employment for over 1 billion citizens and has now become the largest economy in the world would in itself demonstrate a popular loyalty to a social system beyond what could be enforced in any country by any military in any epoch of history. I doubt that if one was to strip the shirts off the keen Chinese tourists who frequent our cafes Uni’s and estates, you will find the unmistakable welts of a Communist Party lash!…You have to admit; for all the supposed chaos..something worked !

The difference between an action set in train by most Western countries and Mao’s China is a difference of arithmetic…Most western countries had as many as approx 200 million persons, whereas China had and now has more than one billion peoples. Our country has a degree of trouble containing the “political enthusiasm” of around twenty millions…and most of them politically pig-ignorant!

To govern, contain and manage that many people demands a more firm and even severe administration.. especially after still recovering from both a brutal foreign invasion and a particularly brutal civil war and having to deal with many agents provocateurs and saboteurs from an irate and vengeful enemy just off-shore being financed and protected by THE major western power.

Mao had his hands full keeping a displaced population stable and compliant enough to do the central government’s bidding…as I wrote ; the simple arithmetic of population numbers forced their hand. We have all seen how swift an agitated football crowd becomes an out of control unruly mob in a very short period of time.

There are several ways a govt’ can be destabilized. The most subtle is by moving people of biased accreditation or of biased influence quietly into high positions of authority and bureaucratic control with as little attention and un-noticable placement as possible. There are only two types of persons that can be used to achieve this and they are both of the professional class ; high educated and high-status.

The high-educated are advantaged by having a broad over-view of civic and political needs via a (presumed) thorough reading of history and societies. But unfortunately, as education makes its indelible mark on a intelligent mind, it also creates a degree of isolation from those of the general populace around it lacking in such opportunity that it must civically manage and draw up policy for…The next stage is that it does by necessity distance the self from that which it must make rules and policy for and so it becomes an elite clique that exercises a power aloof from the powerless. The elite quickly becomes a cabal for it’s own security which soon becomes a tyrant and then, if not interrupted; a dynasty / party of control. We have seen or heard of this step by step procedure with certain types of management.

One can easily view such cliques and structures evolving and growing in the workplace factory-floor or in committees or even in simple public blogs..Such cliques of power in a population of over a billion people is more than just annoyance, it is deadly. I am reminded that China lost ;circa 10 million people in the civil war and it’s wash-up. There could not be a chance for that to happen again.

There is an old adage that ; ‘The hand that rocks the cradle , rules the world’..I will add another truth to that one in that : “The hand that instructs acumen with the abacus and slate rules the state”.

Mao used the power of “mob rule” to instigate his “continuous revolution” it was as successful in a social objective as it was destructive of some of the intellectual elite. As much as a glacier carves spectacular valleys , the icy surface glimmering like a thousand dawns rising ,its massive force is grinding all beneath it to a fine powder.

Yes, it was all about power..Mao’s holding onto power through his preferred elite. As an individual he was vulnerable, but as leader of the sole power base, he was invulnerable ..as long as he held a tight rein on the obvious sources of rising discontent : The un-corralled intelligentsia.

The Roman writer : Pliny The Younger, when governor of Bythnia implored his emperor : Trajan to permit the incorporation of a fire brigade for such emergencies as required. The emperor dis-allowed it on the grounds that the forming of and regular meeting of such groups only leads to trouble and dissent as he had seen in the past. Indeed, it was common practice in the capital ; Rome to find a centurion on every street corner to prevent the illegal gathering of five or more persons..having learned that it only takes one armed and trained legionnaire to “contain” a hundred unarmed civilians, the Roman authorities were able to leave little to chance.

The “containing” and directing of one billion people takes more than chance…it would take an iron fist in a chain-mail gauntlet if and when trouble arose. We have seen here the swift movement of regal power when Whitlam was removed from office by an intelligentsia unashamed to use crude methodology and raw power to achieve it’s end. How then can we condemn a state such as China from keeping a firm grip on its many provinces with its many challenges?

The West is now governed by those elite cabals of both education and wealth..There can hardly be one “free-state” that has as it’s leader a person elevated by high morals or deserving merit…all is factional…all is economical…all is principle…all is negotiable.

Perhaps…if it keeps on going down the current path of climate destruction..: All is lost.

Irresistable Song.

Many years ago, I was invited by a close friend to come to Perth to do some major renovations to his house. There, I met the lady about which this story was written. I got to learn about a kind of “way of life” for seemingly many single parents there..ie ; the weekend love-tourists commuting between Fremantle and Perth. This was in the days before mobile phones and internet dating. It was a sad replacement for the permanent relationship. I wouldn’t think it even was or perhaps is now, a happy substitute for loneliness.

 

 

 

Irresistible Song.

 

Memories are an irresistible song; chained to our triumphs and failings as the notes are played out on the music sheet and the song is ever played in tones of sweet delight or melancholy:

 

One memory always brought her back to the old water-mill they would visit as a family in her childhood. They would visit that mill in the Summer months for picnics as it was always cool under the reaching shade of that enormous building. She could see now the shadowed sloping lawn slipping away to the willows on the bank of the stream in the lee of the hill with the crumbling limestone edifice of the mill on the opposite bank. Silvered bracelets of water wept from a rusted sluice channel onto the blades of the mighty but now frozen wheel suspended from the side of the stone building. Her minds eye swept over the scene and fixed on her mother and father sitting next to each other on the red checked rug. Her mother’s head thrown back in a sudden shout of laughter so her father leant close kissing her neck in a noisy exaggerated passion so her mother squealed delightedly and they both overbalanced, falling back giggling onto the cool grass.

 

The memory faded and she came back to the present like a falling leaf and she waved to her children, departing excitedly in their father’s car…her ex-husband….today was Sunday, they go with the father’ every Sunday; her day off.

 

“Bye, bye mum.”.. “Ta! Ta!” the children cried.

 

The father said nothing, for the bitterness still rankled both parties so silence served for accusations.

 

“Behave for your father,” she called as they drove away.

 

Her shoulders drooped as the car disappeared around the corner, as if shedding armor and responsibility combined; the tonnage of adulthood. Marie lingered in the driveway, gazing across the road. Sunshine poured out of the morning sky and the enormous expanse of oval lapped, water like, right up to the kerb of the footpath. A gaggle of gulls frozen collage on the embankment stared patiently at a small group of children running, crying, kicking a ball in the centre of the oval.

 

On the closest edge of the park stood, isolated and deserted, one of those gauche spaghetti plasticised “playgrounds” that reflect the banal taste of  local-govt’ and the naivety of design that would believe that children can be enticed to “have fun” on such sterile frameworks that appeal only to vandals and local government administrators. It stood out painfully yellow and red against the placid azure-blue of the western sky.

 

Marie turned from the oval to gaze upon a row of scraggy geraniums lined, dusty and weary along the length of the gravel driveway. There is an unfathomable insanity inherent in our society, reflected most visually, I feel, in those tawdry flower beds of the houses in the outer suburbs; earth desperately scratched and scrapped and mounded with paths of various coloured gravels or scoria, cacti and daisy bushes, hardy roses (without scent!) or other tough, dry climate vegetation and, of course, that mainstay of colourful desperation: the geranium! with its scaly stems like rooters legs and the little circlets of hue almost precocious in its attention grabbing way like a spoilt child with a new toy to show off, demanding to be seen and used by those poverty stricken gardeners to balance out against the financial unpredictability of their own existence, at least flowers are manageable!

 

“Oh this dry weather,” Marie sighed. “The poor garden,” she added with a “tch” and took the hose to sprinkle some water over the geraniums. She then went inside to pick up the last discarded clothes that the kids had dropped before leaving, then again fell to washing up the breakfast dishes, as she didn’t like coming home to a dirty kitchen; it was one thing she detested; the dirty sink. “If I let the little things go,” she would protest, “it soon gets to be a frightful mess!” and she would mop the floor to finish off so she could go out and know there was a clean kitchen to come home to. For today was Sunday, her day off…today she could dress up and drive to Fremantle….Freo.

 

She would drive to Fremantle to sit in some cafe and try to meet a man. She smiled a little smile at the thought of these strange encounters, she smiled as she remembered Ivan, the Slav who was nice but so noisy….and he laughed at his own jokes! which she found annoying! and then there was that nice Egyptian man ;..Rafaya his name was and she thought they had so much in common…almost soul-mates you could say, then she saw him that time in the city with his family and he made like he didn’t know her and she knew he saw her by the frown and the warning away with his eyes….and he too agreed they were “soul-mates” but he couldn’t risk talking to her with his family because:

 

“You see, my sweet….my wife she would get very jealous and maybe take a knife to you! They are like that, my people ….very jealous.”

 

But still he had a lovely voice and when he talked of love in the dark sanctuary of her bedroom his words were like an irresistible song, the sweetness dropping dew-like into an empty heart, and even if it was only for one night affairs they could still see each other now and then….”Eh, my darling Marie.”

 

Memories are like an irresistible song, only where the lyrics of the song are fixed, the memory will sometimes edit, cut, embellish, till what is left is the scattered coloured fragments of that which we desire so deeply to see. But today was Sunday, today she would dress up and go to Freo.

 

She carefully selected her clothes as to best show off her figure, which (she observed critically) was in need of  “strenuous exercise,” she was “running to fat” and she frowned, then brightened a little as the noticed that her buttocks at least, now had a rather voluptuous curve to them, something she knew some men found irresistible in a woman, she gave herself a playful slap on the bum, “You’ll be right!” and she smiled into the mirror, giving herself a furtive wink. She finished her dressing, adjusted her sunglasses and hit the road to ‘Freo!’

 

Once she cleared the city traffic and made the highway, she pressed the ‘pedal to the metal’ and streaked down the road, the window down and her elbow out, with one hand on the wheel and the stereo blasting a suburban beat, her long dark hair streaming in wisps out the window from the speed of the car. Long streaks of cirrus cloud from the west pointed abstractedly to her destination and the car ate up the miles. Ah! speed, speed, that euphoria universal that swiftly carries body and soul on an ecstatic high to god knows where …where?…the same place, most usually, from whence we came!

 

Marie felt the cool rush of air over her face….Sunday…Freo!…she laughed…But! Oh! did she lock the house securely? She went over a check-list in her mind: Front and back doors….barrel-bolts?- Yes. Security locks? – Yes. The windows? – Yes. The kids room…the lounge? – Yes – Yes. Ah, but did she plug in the electronic security alarm?…”Yes, oh yes!…and I better be careful when I come home not to trip over the cord in the dark and pull the bloody thing off the wall!….Freo here I come!!”

 

Travel is like an irresistible song, escape from the dreariness of an ordered existence, even a day-trip can have the feeling of severing the ties that bind us to our duties. So the countryman goes to the city and the coastal-plainsman to the mountains. The desert appeals to the forest dweller and there must be an ache in the heart, sometime, of the Bedouin for sweet rainforests!

 

Marie parked the car under a large conifer tree next to the park, she locked the steering bar in place then checked all the doors were locked, “you can’t be too careful, you know.” She suddenly remembered the house. Did she lock up securely? – “Yes.” Good, with her mind comforted as regards her material security she could go forth to risk her heart!

 

Bells! bells, she paused as she heard the faintest tinkling of bells, no, not bells, too metallic,

 

“What is that? can’t see, can’t imagine, too far away.” And she stepped off the footpath.

 

Memory is an irresistible song. She remembered her own wedding and how her father wished to hear the peal of bells to celebrate the occasion, but there not being any bells at the church he decided to supply his own in the form of two enormous hand held bells that her younger brothers were to ring as she stepped out of the portal of the church, and how her father, on seeing the youngest boy struggling to sound his strongly, rushed up to grasp hands over hands and ring the bell furiously so it clapped out its joyous peal over the whole assembly in the churchyard and she could still see his grimacing smile and his suit coat flapping open with his strenuous efforts! Ah, what started so sweet should end so wan.

 

‘Francines,” the pastel coloured neon light glowed softly and the art-deco interior oozed cleanliness. Marie stepped up to the counter and ordered a coffee and cake.

 

“I’ll bring them to your table,” the waitress said.

 

Marie chose a table with only two seats near a potted palm and the full glass window. As she sat, she gazed around the cafe, there were only two other women there, seated two tables away, they were dressed as though on show. “Looking for men too,” mused Marie.

 

“Here Luv.” The waitress placed the coffee and a small plate with fork and cake on the table. “Oh, that’s alright,”   she assured Marie with a light touch on her shoulder, “ you can pay me on your way out,” and she moved away with a soft smile.

 

“This looks a nice place….a clean place,” Marie thought, “I must remember to come here again,” and she sipped the coffee sweetly.

 

She finished her first cup and took it to the counter for another. The waitress server her and asked in a comraderie sort of way: ‘

 

“Nice then was it?”

 

“Oh…yes, very much.”

 

“So,” the waitress smiled as she placed another cup in front of Marie on the counter, “your day off is it’?” Marie looked at her puzzled.

 

“Pardon?” Marie said quizzically. The waitress placed two sachets of sugar on the saucer and leant towards Marie.

 

“It’s alright luv,” she spoke with a familiar confidence, “Saturday’s my day off from the kids but I live here in ‘Freo’ so I go to Perth.” And she winked at Marie as she moved down the counter. “Oh, I’ll put that on your tab….and who knows, you may not have to pay it on your way out'” and the waitress smiled knowingly.

 

Marie was shocked, the familiar tone of the woman’s voice and the insinuation left her speechless, was she that obvious, she had always considered these sorties into ‘Freo’ as her own private excursions, she never would have thought that her behaviour was such a public spectacle. She turned to go to her table and then stopped, for two men had approached the other women at the table near hers.

 

“Hello Ladies.” The taller of the two spoke in a cheerful voice. “May we join you for a coffee?” The women smiled stealthily at each other, not giving anything away, then as if coming to an agreement without spoken word or sign, one of the women said:

 

“Well, we don’t know you but….well…they look harmless …don’t they Marcie?” and she smiled.

 

“We’ll take a chance,”  the one called Marcie replied.

 

“I may look harmless but there’s a sting in my tail!” The man laughed as he sat down. It broke the ice.

 

“Your friend’s quiet, has the cat got his tongue?”

 

“Oh…he’s thinking,” the first man said quickly.

 

“What about?….no….don’t tell me, I know what all you men think about….don’t we Marcie?” and the group broke into thrills of laughter and a lively conversation ensued, punctuated by lowered voices and secret confidences then bursts of shrill laughter.

 

Sexual attraction is an irresistible song, like an intricate spiraling melody it encircles and entwines desires to mull, mould then meld the senses into sensuality till voice and eye become a hypnotic serenade to lure the soul to hungrily acquiesce to the body’s physical need.

 

Marie sat gazing into her cup, but this was terrible, she was thinking, the crass coarseness of their conversation was embarrassing….then she remembered that day with Ivan in another cafe…oh God! was she that vulgar too! Yes!…yes! she recalled their own conversations….noisy and touched with crudity….conversations of idle chatter, of subtle innuendo designed to lower the barriers of strangeness between two people, the probing into lifestyles, work, interest and leisures, all followed closely with eye contact to filter out the compatibilities of two distinct personalities. She had never thought twice about her behaviour, but today was different, the waitress’s wink had triggered off a feeling of disquiet in Marie, a feeling of commonness that she was party to, a conspiracy of seduction, a whole underclass of single parents desperate for company to hold off the loneliness of isolation from casual conversation with the opposite sex. Marie sat stunned at the table, not quite knowing what to do with this new found discovery, like a person witnessing a crime but not knowing whom to tell.

 

The tail end of a joke wafted over from the nearby group, the men laughed.

 

“Oh, that’s an old one,” Marcie moved her hand wearily. “And a dirty one, the other woman admonished playfully, the man raised his hands flat in surrender.

 

“You should have your mouth washed out,” the woman said chidingly.

 

“You’re right,” the man agreed, “and I know just the club to do it in.. Anyone for a brandy and dry?”

 

“Make mine a ‘Harvey-Wallbanger’ and you’ve got a deal!” and the laughter resumed gaily as they all stood from the table.

 

“Excuse me.” Marie turned to see a man standing at her elbow. “Excuse me,” he repeated, “I noticed you sitting alone and I wondered if I may join you?”

 

Marie turned to gaze up at him. But it was no good, the magician’s trick was exposed and she couldn’t now fake it. She stood up from the table and gathered her things together.

 

“Are you leaving?” the man asked

 

“Y…yes,” Marie mumbled.

 

“Why?”

 

Marie turned to him, trembling slightly.

 

“I…I’m the mother of two children…” she said weakly as if that in itself was an explanation….there was a moment’s silence between them.

 

“And I….I am the father of three,” he said softly.

 

Marie looked into the proud eyes then lowered her own, he was not to blame, there was no fault in either of them, just as there was also no common interest save their own circumstances.

 

“Excuse me,” Marie said quietly and the man stepped aside. But as she passed, he touched her arm.

 

“Then why did you come here?” he asked, for each of us recognises others of like personality and needs.

 

“I…I made a mistake,” was all she could say, then lowering her eyes turned away to pay her bill.

The waitress leant over closely as she tallied the account.

 

“He looks alright to me, luv,” she whispered secretly. Marie didn’t answer but quickly left the cafe.

 

The sound of bells echoed over the park as Marie sat sad faced on a bench under an elm tree, the sea breeze hissing soft admonitions through the leaves.

 

Love is an irresistible song, that searches the emptiness of the heart, weaving melodies of possibility within its chamber, and like an irresistible song; the more you shun it, hold it away, the more alluring it becomes and not even a cloak of bitterness will shut out its desiring warmth. The one that seems so wise can be the one most vulnerable to its passions.

 

“What are those bloody bells!” Marie cried in exasperation and she arose from her stupor in a determined stance to investigate. Clasping her handbag to her stomach she strode through the lawned park toward the sound of the bells. A cry of gulls permeated the air as if harking attention to the dropping sun and a sweet song of voices wafted above the chime of those “bells”…the washing of waves against the sea-wall slapped time to the dancing yachts in the marina.

 

The singing voices were a trio of Vietnamese women talking and laughing on the wharf of the marina and the gulls overhead argued in competition to their musical language of tone and song …and the clipping of the sail ropes ringing against the aluminium masts of the yachts swaying at their moorings in the harbour: the” bells.” Marie sighed, she had expected a more mysterious solution, not such idiotic simplicity!

 

“Dammit,” she hissed, “why must every avenue of retreat be just a deceitful blind alley?”

 

Life is an irresistible song. All its trickery!, all its joy, its fanfare, its deceit but a moment etched on us like breath on a mirror and who really has the time or wisdom to answer the whys and wherefores before that mist is evaporated forever ?

Death by A Thousand Cuts…

I have put this piece up without ANY editing for syntax, grammar or clarity of structure. I accept there are some typos, there are grammatical gaffes and some weakness in layout etc. I do this not because I am proud of my grammatical failings, they will always be there, my lousy education guarantees THAT!..I do this because it must be realized that there are many who would like to contribute, to post articles , but are sometimes a tad awed by the prospect of judgement..not on their opinions, but on their writing. There are many who do post bits and pieces of opinion,..but I feel there are others who lurk here and there that would have bloody good yarns and stories to tell.. I myself , left high school after the second year to go into trade and never sat for another academic exam till my forty sixth year…and then it was touch and go!…and THIS TOO is the Labor philosophy story…that those who have worked their way through life, perhaps raised a family, developed a trade, profession or business or are on PAYE employment, can draw from their own experiences and pass them on to a listening audience without fear of ridicule and rest assured that what they do pass on will be woven also into the Greater Labour story.

 

 

Death by a Thousand Cuts, Living by a simple philosophy.

 

Or : “Old Ideas, New Australians.”

 

Quote :

 

“ 1983…Business ………..of Survival.

 

With the Death of Richard, I must now manage alone, on one pension.

The house seems in good condition. No large account, only the small loan I had taken out, which finishes in June 1985. Must try not to take out anymore loans, to(sic) much drain on my low income.

 

I must try to live on produce from garden, with eggs to help out.

 

Try to cut down on weekly food bills, most of all on meat.

 

The animals take quite a lot (money) for food, reg, etc.

 

As the fowls are all getting old, must breed up some new hens. “

 

That was from a aged pensioner’s diary…sure, we know she was not going to die of hunger or homelessness..or do we?…She certainly was afraid of some vague uncertainty…and therein lies the simple truth..: “A lifetime of habit, creates a certainty of belief ..a moment of uncertainty doubts a lifetime of belief ”. For that lady, her entire life was constructed around hard work…the old-age pension that Labor and the unions put in place gave her a measure of security so she could live out her final years in dignity…that is a word well worth praising…; Dignity…..Let’s put that up there at the top of the page of Labor Party principles.

 

Dignity.

And damn if a person who applies their person to contribute toward the social betterment of their family, friends and neighbours for their working life, they are denied that most basic of respects..; Dignity ! ..and it only comes from others who have walked that same path . The speculator, always on the make..always on the lookout for the next “win”..the next “deal”, has neither wish nor capacity for dignity…he has traded it away with a Faustian deal with Capital…no need to look to him for a “fair go”, his motto is ; “Opportunity”…but does he seriously believe that if HE did not exist, there would be no work to do?

 

[Actually,The name that lady called her late husband was not quite correct…you see..his name really was ; Riccardo….he was an Italian…SHE was born in Australia of Irish / Cornish stock….now THERE’S a mix!…But you know, it is not at all uncommon..of the three sisters in that lady’s family, after the war,  one married an Italian, one married a German (third generation Australian) and the third a Polish man. This idea that we are just lately become a multi-cultural nation is not true..for many years there has been intermarriage in the community…sure, the surnames may be Anglo, but there is mixed ethnic in the family somewhere..and we should be proud of this…love knows no boundaries, children know no race.]

 

I keep hearing this catch-cry ;”What does Labor stand for?”…To my mind, Labor stands for what it was raised for..a simple measure of dignity…in work, in leisure, in the fair go for all people. I remember when I was about ten years old, with my older brother, selling newspapers at the Royal Show…The manager would allocate you so many papers for the day, you’d sell them, putting all the coins into a leather bag at your hip and at the end of the day, you’d give the bag over to that manager  and he’d count out what you owed for the papers and any over (you’d get tips, but most times didn’t have the time to separate the tip from the coinage) incl’ tips he’d give back to you along with your pay….But there was this one big bastard manager one year, who’d keep back most of your tips…my older brother, being a stroppy sort of young fellow , challenged him (my brother was canny enough to keep a careful watch on his tips) and the manager got angry , saying ;”If you don’t like the way I do things , you can get off with yourself !”…and THAT included me. So a thirteen and a ten year old couple of kids get cheated by an unscrupulous manager (News Limited, by the way!)….nothing new, neither then nor now!…7 Eleven do it all the time…it’s called ; cheap labour…but to cheat kids..what sort of people are these ? Vermin….who steal the rights of their fellows…Labor with the unions, stand up for those rights..Let’s put that up on the list.

 

Rights.

And damn if a person applies their advantageous position to cheat even paper-boys…what sort of bastards are we up against?…and they ask what does Labor stand for?..Labor stands for what it was raised to stand for…the Rights of the everyday people to stop the vermin from ripping off the wages of ALL people and to bestow on All of us what Gough Whitlam called for and what Labor calls for now..: “A fair go”.

 

Labor must think carefully before they pass ANY new “security laws” put up by Brandis…They are not to protect us from “terrorism”, but are deliberately being put in place to track and control our own citizens…it is as obvious as the nose on your face. There has to be a measure of restraint in how far we go to cower and threaten the populace. There has to be a measure of dignity and rights in our confrontation of any threat. Better we offer safe harbour to the majority of whom have been driven from their homelands in fear of their lives or livelihood, like those three men-folk above, than attempt to cower and oppress a minority for little more than their own particular culture.

 

Now read these comments and tell me they are irrelevant today..:

 

“ As rivers glisten in different colours, but a common sewer everywhere looks like itself, …so the all powerful rule of capital ruined the middle class, raised trade and corporate agriculture to the highest prosperity, and ultimately led to a – hypocritically whitewashed – moral and political corruption of the nation…”

 

And..

 

“ The leisure class lives by the industrial community rather than in it. Its relations to industry are of a financial rather than an industrial kind. Admission to the class is gained by exercise of the financial aptitudes—aptitudes for acquisition rather than for serviceability. There is, therefore, a continued selective sifting of the human material that makes up the leisure class, and this selection proceeds on the ground of fitness for financial pursuits.”

 

Both the above pieces are over one hundred years old..The first by Theodor Mommsen on ancient Rome, the second by Thorsten Veblen on post Victorian Capitalism…yet they could both have been written today. Why is it that such rational observations go unheeded in our society?…I read such and take them in and use them (as you see here) as moral and ethical fodder in my own life. Where do we see such civilized observations used widely?…I don’t know!..I don’t hear or see it in everyday life!..Where is the scholarly debate among political higher learning in this nation?….Education abandoned..that’s where..Let’s put that word up there too..

 

Education.

 

And damn if the multitude of tomes of wisdom that have been written in the tears of humanity over millennium, get abandoned for stupid, facile , quick-fix slogans. What sort of people are these who, flaunting their higher education, claim the high ground of public debate , yet cannot or will not learn from history and will not read from the wisdom of the ages…There are those who cannot claim education beyond the third year high school, who read and revere such books…their shelves a proud display of well-thumbed volumes. And some  ask what should Labor stand for?..Education…Labor stands for what it was raised for…: Education for all peoples..not the abandonment of an age of learning..but education.

 

The many different ethnic groups that come to these shores, from the earliest to the latest have one goal in mind…”Betterment”..of their family fortunes, their security and their children’s education…it is that simple…sure, ( and I mean no disrespect, only metaphor).. they brought their metwurst and salami and tabouli and prayers with them..that is their immediate security..we all take a bit of “home” when we go on holiday…When one is driven in haste and fear from one’s house..; What would YOU grab?..a piece, any piece of home?…that is what “culture “ is…a little piece of the past to carry with oneself into the future..in the worst case, it could be but a poem, a prayer, a song from the motherland….in the best case it is the family. How can one reject the call of assistance…not charity…assistance to a family in need and still shelter under the common name of humanity?

 

So there are the players, there are the situations…we know what the problems are today…what can be the solution?

 

Check this little piece from a short story by Eric Knight (the author of “Lassie Come Home”), see if it gives you ideas..: “Never Come Monday”.

 

“The Prime Minister thought of a lot of things all at once. Suddenly he called his secretary and said :

“Carrington-Smaithe. It is Sunday to-day, I hear, and it will be Sunday again tomorrow. Pack my things,. We’re going away for the weekend.”

“But sir,” said the secretary “What about the international crisis?..We have two ultimatums that must be answered immediately.”

“Dear me”, said the Prime Minister. ‘That is a nuisance, but all the world knows the British weekend is inviolate, and if this be Sunday, as it seems to me it must be, than I won’t be able to answer till the weekend is over.”

“But when will it stop being Sunday, sir?”

“Well, Carrington-Smaithe, how long will it take our fastest cruiser squadron to get around to that troublesome part of the world?”

“Oh, about thirty-six more hours, sir.”

“Hmmmph! Then I think it will stop being Sunday in about thirty-six more hours.”

 

There is a secret desire in that little piece of the realization of reality..(it is well worth a read by the way)..a desire that is really a need for time off from work. But it can be more than that..it can be the barricade between capital demand and producer compliance..a demarcation line between demand and supply. I have never liked sacrificing my weekends for overtime, ever! Damn their work..No-one should be compelled to work on the weekend..and if they must, as in the emergency services..then they ought to be suitably..VERY SUITABLY rewarded..work will be around a long time after we are ALL dead and gone!…and there can be the solution to differentiating Labour from Capital…the inviolate weekend..the compulsory time off for R&R. . For as long as one stays healthy, one can always earn money…but time is of the essence..you will run out of time before you run out of money…take the time..screw the money..let capital know it has no price for your free-time. And they still ask what Labor stands for…Labor stands for what it was raised for…honouring the eight hour day or it’s modern equivalent, honouring “family time”..personal time ..resting time. Those who would try to reduce the vulnerable to a kind of 24hr. slavery would love to claim ownership of the whole of our weekend…bugger them!..they can’t have it!

 

The solution is that WE who are the producers, the consumers, the life and breath of business, take control of our working lives…We draw a demarcation line between being compelled to work and a time for life. we stop the machine for a pause in production so we can enjoy our family and friendships…I say we take back our lives and deny the vermin their pound of flesh!…it has never been the speculator who physically laid the “foundations”, never the stock-broker who mixed the “mortar” , never the wealthy who carried the “hod of bricks” to build “our house”.They don’t own it..they don’t own us..they OWE us !

 

THAT, is Labor policy…: Dignity..Rights..Education..and what flows automatically from those simple entitlements..Stake your ground, claim your rights and serve your people.

 

” The quality of mercy is not strain’d.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes “…