Literatum

I have enjoyed writing letters to The Age newspaper over several years now with a moderate amount of success.

I am 80 years old and have both experience and hindsight and like putting some of my thoughts and opinions down in writing. I will use this forum to do just that. I hope anyone stumbling across this blog will find some enjoyment in my literary ramblings.

Feel free to comment or add your own thoughts but please be sensible and thoughtful.  Rude comments will not be accepted.  I realise that many people won’t agree with my thoughts and I accept that.  The best ideas come from good debate over opposing views.

Letters

  • Biloela family - I can understand why the po-faced Peter Dutton would never change his stance on refugees but we have a Prime Minister who claims he is a Christian. He is seen being a ‘happy clapper’ at his Horizon Church and seems to believe that God actually listens to him. He even wanted his pastor to accompany […]
  • Privilege…….. - The ABC’s role is to present the news in as equitable a way as possible.  This isn’t always easy.  From time to time it has to hold the Federal and State governments to account.  This is their obligation to the public.  Whether the governments are Liberal or Labor is irrelevant.  The ABC mustn’t and shouldn’t […]
  • Loyalty….. - I have watched with considerable interest how the Federal and State governments have behaved during this pandemic and I feel that one of the casualties is loyalty.  It used to be the case whenever there was a clash between Federal and State governments, that senior politicians would remain faithful to their State and electorate.  But […]
  • At least our children care about us……. - Both my wife and I received phone calls this morning alerting us that Anglesea was a hotspot and that we mustn’t go out not even to buy a take-away coffee.  It’s strange that people in their 50s and 60s seem to think that their doddery parents don’t know how to look after themselves.  But fair […]
  • I couldn’t have done better - I concur with all the letter writers who are asking “have we learned nothing from the previous lockdowns?”.  We are battling a pandemic that has the potential to kill millions of people across the globe.  To date we have done a fantastic job despite the incessant carping from various people and organisations.  Of course there […]
  • Parliamentary Theatre - As a young man in the 1970s, I had aspirations to go into politics.  I wanted to do something that might make a difference.  My then wife was supportive but said she wouldn’t vote for me.  She was a committed Labor voter whereas I had Liberal leanings back then.  Many years later, looking back, I […]
  • Federal Responsibility - It seems to me that the focus in Canberra by both of the major parties is winning the next election.  Meanwhile a Victorian man completes his hotel quarantine in South Australia and returns to Victoria only to find he has caught the virus whilst in quarantine.  Once again we are now tackling yet another outbreak […]
  • Olympic Greed - IOC official John Coates says that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead. “The desire of the athletes is as high as ever. We want to give athletes the opportunity to compete.” I’m sure it is but how will the athletes feel should anyone die from Covid as a result of the Games going ahead?
  • China - China is increasingly being seen as a threat to Australia and it will remain a threat while we continue to antagonise them for the sake of political posturing.  While we continue to  misunderstand China, we will not resolve this situation.  We need to understand its history.  Around about 1900, the Chinese peasants rose up against […]
  • Democracy is dead - The American GOP Representative Elise Stefanik was so sceptical of Donald Trump’s inflammatory style and hard-right stance when he won the Presidential nomination in 2016, that she refused, even when pressed, to say his name.  But all of a sudden she is pro Trump and has been voted in to replace Liz Cheney who had […]
  • Going in the wrong direction - Our efforts at solving the major issues of today such as violence against women, aged care support to mention just two are doomed to fail.  I believe that the people tasked with running government are too inexperienced. Having just obtained my OBE, looking back over the last 50 years, I am truly amazed at how […]
  • How much are footballers really worth? - Wayne Carey thinks that the Carlton captain Patrick Cripps is worth at least $1million a year (The Age Sport 14/5).  No footballer, no matter how good he is, is worth that amount of money to train in the sport they love in order to play 22 games of football plus some finals games if they […]
  • Still too much testosterone methinks - One would have thought that with all the discussion about the treatment towards women in Canberra that the testosterone levels would be slowly reducing, but no, quite the opposite it seems.  The Prime Minister seems even more determined to upset China.  David versus Goliath.  Peter Dutton has come out of hibernation telling James Merlino that […]
  • The Evil One - Scott Morrison believes that social media is being used by the “evil one”.  I’m not quite sure what he means by the “evil one” but I presume he doesn’t mean the leader of the Labor Party. He also admits that he asked God for a sign during a difficult run on the 2019 election campaign […]
  • Waste - We are constantly being reminded to be less wasteful and to be ultra-conscious of what we dispose of and what we recycle. In last Saturday’s Age newspaper, there was a 50 page glossy DOMAIN magazine, a 40 page glossy Harvey Norman magazine, an 8 page travel glossy plus the regular travel section.  All went straight […]
  • It’s tax time - Every year the gap between the haves and the have-nots gets bigger.  The high earners are earning more money than they can sensibly spend and still they want more and they will get more.  One can only make a profit if one has something to invest.  The low end of the scale isn’t growing and […]
  • Vaccinations - Anglesea is a coastal-rural town.  We are blessed with excellent medical facilities and a well-run nursing home.  When the Medical Centre receives supplies of the vaccination, my doctor will contact me and give me my jab. The nursing home residents ought to be able to receive their Covid vaccinations from the local doctors, but they […]
  • Biloela family - It is three years now since the Biloela family were taken into detention and nineteen months since they were sent to Christmas Island.  How these two girls can still smile is truly amazing.  They must be very strong.  It breaks my heart to see this picture.
  • Political leadership - Unless one is a dyed in the wool, paid up Liberal voter, it is clear to anyone with a conscience that our leadership in Canberra is abysmal, and the same can be said for the other mob, especially among the male politicians.  If I were the chairman of a large corporate organisation looking for a […]
  • Overpaid University Vice Chancellors - In 2018 the former Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University earned $1,589,999 compared with $1,304,999 the previous year (1).  Clearly the current Vice-Chancellor will be earning a lot more than that.  It is no wonder that the Universities are desperate to bring the high paying overseas students back into the country.  The average salary for a High […]
  • Refugees - Like many writers to The Age, I too am horrified that we still have many refugees in deplorable  conditions in detention.  But I gave up writing about this a long time ago and I wonder why so many people bother to still write about it.  I’m sure neither Scott Morrison nor Peter Dutton read The […]
  • Barnaby Joyce - After a one hour Zoom Empathy training course run by Katherine Teh, Barnaby Joyce’s comments were that: “Empathy probably has a much stronger role to play in an organisation with a single purpose.  But by its very nature, Parliament has the objective that one side has to get rid of the other, and vice versa.  […]
  • Labor leadership - Bill Shorten lost the unlosable election and was replaced by Anthony Albanese who is most likely going to do the same thing as Bill.  With the current situation in Canberra regarding the treatment of women, blind Freddy will tell you that if Labor were to appoint Tanya Plibersek as leader and Penny Wong as deputy […]
  • Social media - With regard to the incessant and disgusting trolling of anyone on social media, the answer is patently obvious.  Don’t use it.  I only use Facebook to hear about local and family news and visit genealogy groups.  I don’t use any other form of social media and I don’t miss it.  I did have a Twitter […]
  • Lucky Scott - We have stumbled through the Covid-19 pandemic despite the absence of someone being in overall control.  The Federal government has mostly left the hard yards to the State Premiers who have all done a very successful job of it.  Yes – the Prime Minister did establish the National Cabinet and initially heaped a lot of […]
  • China - I hope the Morrison government takes heed of Philip Flood’s advice – “Call for ‘more nuance’ in China stance – The Age 1 Feb”.  As a former top diplomat he would understand better than most how to deal with countries like China and their differing cultures.  We need to stop being a US lapdog content […]
  • For some the chains grow heavier - A memory from 1 July 2000 – the day the GST was introduced in Australia. I resigned from IBMGS on 30 June 2000 – if I hadn’t, I would have had a fortnightly increase in my pay packet of around $140 – the tax compensation for the introduction of the GST.  That day I wrote […]
  • Arrogance - There is only one word to describe this photo – arrogance. Four men supposedly on their smart phones and another walking away with his back to the person speaking. Who just happens to be a woman. Is this un-Australian? That’s debatable.
  • Anyone can be a pollie - If I wanted to be a doctor, I would need very high marks in order to get into University, and then spend several years studying, and still have to pass in order to be qualified.  If I wanted to be a tradesman, I would probably have to do a TAFE course and an apprenticeship to […]
  • Disasters and Pandemics - There have always been disasters and if one believes in Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, these disasters will continue.  Disasters such as droughts, floods and bushfires, and also viral pandemics, will continue to happen and to increase in severity. I get sad […]
  • Contrary to what many of my family and friends think, I do not always vote Labor. - I find it hard to understand and to accept why so many people always vote for the same party, election after election.  I mean if we all did that, then there would never be a change of government and many people wiser than me think that it is in a country’s interest to have a […]
  • A Fortunate Life - If I live to next March, I will be joining the Octogenarian Club.  I was born in 1941 when WW2 was in full swing which means I am one of the Silent Generation.  I missed the Great Depression of the 1930s, the pre-war antics of Adolph Hitler and the start of World War 2.  I […]
  • Point Scoring - This week’s article in The Age by Amanda Vanstone is typical of her Liberal point scoring game playing.  It’s easy for her to pontificate from the comfort of her South Australian home and attack a Labor government and the Premier in Victoria.  I wonder what she would have written if we had a Liberal government […]
  • Returning to Normal? - Many people are eagerly awaiting ‘a return to normal’ after Covid-19 is brought under control.  The trouble is that ‘life as normal’ as we knew it played a huge part in the tragic consequences of the pandemic.  Too many people earning obscene amounts of money while the majority of workers weren’t fairly recompensed, so many […]