CONGRATULATIONS to the creators of “Roe 8/9 is a Fraud”, authorised by Fremantle federal Labor MP Josh Wilson.
It is the sort of approach needed.
Nevertheless, a major “fact” is missing.
I refer to the political gaming which has delayed action on the issue for about a quarter of a century, creating an “us and them” division in the community when a pooling of ideas was needed.
There are issues demanding we all pitch in, where the number one obstacle is an outmoded political system, and its conventions in particular.
Behind the antagonistic model, when half the electorate gets ignored at every change of government, is something even more sinister.
From its inception, the Westminster model has concealed a reserve monopoly of political power in the hands of the upper echelons of the commercial world.
It can send millions to die in war. It disposed of Whitlam, and before that NSW premier Jack Lang.
It promotes all those abuses now being exposed in public enquiries.
Last month, we saw the attempt to shut down the UK parliament just when vigorous Brexit debate was taking place.
Well, people today want better than that, and better too than “balance of power” which really changes very little.
They want power so widely shared that no one group dominates.
In our times, there are hundreds of millions of tertiary graduates around the world. In Australia, the figure is close to a third of the electorate.
Their ideas must be on the table. It is not only a matter of particular skills, it is the training in how to think things out for yourself. Thirty years ago when Reagan of America and Gorbachev of Russia declared the Cold War over, they said jointly, “We need each other”. That’s more use than “love thy neighbour”.
Solomon Street, Fremantle
I READ with interest the informative article by the eminent WA academic, Dr Bobbie Oliver (“War on the wharves”, Herald, October 26, 2019).
Whilst in no way denying the mistreatment and abuses inflicted upon the Waterside Workers Federation since its inception in 1914, there are some aspects of their history that she has glossed over.
If her assertion that they had a “proud history” is true, then I would contend that both World War II and the Vietnam era were exceedingly black chapters in it.
If the biggest cross that Churchill bore in WWII was the Cross of Lorraine, then the biggest cross borne by John Curtin as our wartime leader was that of the Waterside Workers Federation and the coal miners.
There were times when the well-known militant conduct of strikes, go-slows, extortion, thuggery, theft…you name it, would clash with the military ethos of getting the job done in the quickest and most efficient manner.
Thus regardless of whether or not it was “business as usual” for the WWF; they seriously impeded our war effort and earned for themselves an unenviable reputation. Their rule of the wharves resulted in massive over-employment and restrictive work practices.
They ensured that any task required as many people and took as much time as possible.
No doubt practiced during the war, when timely loading of cargo was essential.
An alternate truth on the events of April 7 1998 might well read something like this: “While the more criminal elements of unions representing waterside workers were eliminated earlier, the maritime union’s rule of work practices continued until the Howard Government and Patricks had the courage to take on the MUA in the late 1990’s. That story has been nicely spun by certain people into a story of poor battlers vs the big bad Government and their employer. However, the fact is that fight broke the MUA’s control of work practices on the nation’s wharves, and we are all better off for it.”
Noble Way, Success
WITH the increasing clamour of self-proclaimed experts on what to do about the changes to the world’s climate with their theories on its future impact on civilisation and what can be done to reverse it, no-one is prepared to address the root cause of this international problem.
Even if all the proposed actions were taken by all countries and our accepted standard of living was reduced to almost intolerable conditions, the problem would continue to exist and get worse.
The world population is out of control as evidenced my mass emigration from counties who have denuded the earth of its ability to sustain them.
Coupled with unrestricted development to sustain their economies, rainforests and other natural vegetation are sacrificed at the expense of local rural communities, endangering rare flora and fauna as well as the world’s ability to maintain the quality of the air we breathe.
This unsustainable attack is a cancer on the lungs of the earth, justified by governments claiming such action is vital to support developing economies necessary to sustain increasing inhabitants.
The ‘inconvenient truth’ is that no-one seems prepared to address this unrestrained population growth.
It is politically incorrect to criticise those cultures and religions whose leaders promote and insist their followers have wives and families usually amounting to ten or more mouths to be fed from a country which does not have the ability to do so. This is why thousands are fleeing to literally greener pastures in countries which have adopted common sense instead of irrational doctrine.
Even the Catholic church whose tenets were devised centuries ago in the times of plenty refuses the need to sanction birth control as a means of human sustainability.
While our planet is increasingly burdened by rampant population growth and poverty, our current climate conundrum should not be tackled by continuing to funnel billions of dollars to countries where most of it ends up in the bank accounts of its leaders.
Instead, Australia’s contribution should be to tackle the root cause of the problem by shipping regular container loads of contraceptive pills and condoms to those countries crying out for aid.
While it may be too little, too late, at least it will save us wasting our increasingly scarce money on regimes which invoke primitive customs on their followers and are not prepared to help themselves.
Norton Ridge, Winthrop
Boycott big wigs
A YOUNG soldier who experienced war service in Afghanistan and Iraq, stood before a microphone and denounced war and the cost of it in terms of $700 million a day, saying that it was those who financially benefit from war who organise them, and who don’t care at all about the death, suffering and destruction caused as a result.
His message: Stop going to war! Soldiers, demand a job of bettering the world, not destroying it.
Demand that the $700M a day be spent on rebuilding the destroyed cities; on providing education for free to all. This to quote only a few words.
I thought to myself: We’re paying far too much for petrol – everybody knows it but nobody does anything about it.
Why? Because the petrol companies and the government can get away with it.
However, if a community decided to boycott just one brand of petrol station – preferably the one that sets the price for all the others, not to be named here – then the price of petrol would come down as soon as they realised that this was going to stay until the price dropped to, say, $1 a litre and no more.
We wouldn’t have to stop buying petrol but just boycott one leading brand.
Let’s not stop there.
This is how mortgagees in stress could band together with those perhaps not stressed, but have already paid far too much real money to banks that lent them figures on a piece of paper. Stop paying mortgages en masse until a better deal can be reached. Sit tight.
Make it understood that you are willing to pay for the house but a fair interest system only, and that does not include compound interest.
It is deplorable, to me, that it is still official policy to try to keep the prices of houses high, because those who have invested in them want to profit from their investment.
“An increase in population is the only real solution” some crazy politician said recently.
What about the solution being that housing becomes available to everyone already here?
Are those on lower incomes to suffer, even to the extent of homelessness, in order to accommodate those who want to profit from their investment?
I am almost 81: it’s for me to put ideas forward that others can develop further.
I sure hope to see a lot more freedom coming up, and a lot more money in the pockets of those who deserve it.
Carla van Raay
Kirby Street, Willagee