Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dawn Service Villers-Bretonneux

It has taken a bit to write this one. I find it stunning that this was the first Australian Dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux. The whole World War 1 memory for me was the vicious but almost futile fighting that went on in the Somme. My Grandfather fought in these battles. He was so badly wounded he was put off the Hospital ship in South Africa believing he would not make it back to Australia.
Well he did and I guess you can say I am living proof of that fact. His post war life in Australia was a struggle as the legacy of the shrapnel wounds to his head left him largely incapable of real work. During the depression he had to work for his pension and worked on the Hunter Valley rail tunnels for the meager care that was forthcoming for our war wounded.My Grandmother did House cleaning and took in ironing to support the family.
The history of Australians on the European front is famous, our efforts clearly leaving an indelible mark on the community.
To suggest that we should not have a dawn service at this site forever more, particularly as there are so many Australians in Europe is at best ludicrous.


Clearly the citizen's of Villers-Brettoneux have not.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Cut Fuel Price - Cut Food Price

Amazing stories written in the media recently. Brazil Launches Sugar Cane bio - Fuel was in the press during the week.

I cannot believe that Brazil "accidentally" stumbled upon a new biofuel from which a diesel like fuel is now to be produced.But I have to say this is great news.

As has been discussed , even on radio (mostly on my other blog, I do harass politicians (I would prefer to say Lobby).This is a topic on which I have written many letters to many Ministers, for the usual stonewall answers.

Any way in a country where our Cane farmers (sugar cane is ideal for ethanol production) have been getting a pretty shoddy deal for a while (farmers generally) and a country where we produce a number of oil seed crops (e.g. Canola or maybe even Hemp) it seems pretty reasonable to me that this country would be a prime set up for biofuel production.

It intrigues me that in Europe the major marques have been producing, improving and promoting their diesel engines in commuter vehicles very aggressively in the last little while albeit Mercedes have had diesel engined cars like forever. Even Holden in their 60th Anniversary non-celebratory advertisements tell us they are designing new diesel engines.The days of the smoky, slow diesel engine are now so far in the past you could almost say mythical.

World food shortages and price rises do actually have something to do with skyrocketing oil prices. Every country in the world uses diesel powered vehicles, from Tractors to Trucks, to railway locomotives. Fuel is involved in every step of food production. Food prices are probably the one thing that will ensure inflation - we have to eat. Wage pressures are certain if we cannot afford to put food on the table or drive the family to school, even on the diesel powered school bus.

I can only say, as I have for about ten years now, lets remove the reliance on mineral oil fuel and the stranglehold OPEC has on the world. Mr Rudd, Mr Swan how about spending some of the money you are reaping from exorbtant oil taxes (there's another story) and investing in Australia leading the way to a new fuel that can only benefit all elements of the Australian community and maybe the world. Inflation may well be controlled and the Reserve Bank Governor can leave our interest rates alone. At that is yet another story.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Anzac Day

Today I attended the dawn service at the War Memorial in Adelaide.
It made for an interesting time to reflect on the conflicts of the past and present. It simply amazes me that we the plebiscite have allowed insane leaders to convince us to go to war.
Power, greed, religion, tribalism seem always to be at the basis of the conflicts we face.
What the hell is wrong with us. The people I know want to live a simple life, caring sharing, working hard to make a buck.I am sure all the people of the world are no different. Why cannot we then simply allow ourselves and the other bloke to just go on about his or her business.
The Koran, the Torah, The old Testament are all primarily the same book, not only do we see followers of these beliefs war with each other, they have a fine history of warring amongst themselves.
Why does Muslim fight Muslim, Christian versus Christian, Tribe versus Tribe. The genocide in Africa and many other countries is just something I do not understand.
It Brings me back to my reflection we as simple beings just want to live in peace.

Monday, April 21, 2008

RSL wants relatives at back of Anzac parade

I do not understand our RSL. Having said that I half agree. Let the diggers take the front line in their Units - certainly we should give them that honour.
Somehow I doubt that many if any would be disappointed to see the children and relatives of their mates honouring the day and the memory of our departed servicemen.
The more young people who march, the greater the memory of the horror of war and hopefully a diminishing desire to ever have to fight again.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Australia to become a Republic

What is all the fuss about. We are virtually already there and the rest of the way is really easy. We changed the Privy Council as our highest court of Appeal many years ago. We sure do not want the American Presidential System - what a circus.

Our Governors and Governor General are the caretakers of all matters constitutional. That is the way our Constitution is written.

So leave the Governors to their job. The respective Parliaments should appoint said Governors and they should consider those people for their ability to do that job. The remainder of their role is simple - represent Australia at all appropriate events of State as the a-political head of State. Our Prime Minister and Premiers can represent the elected Political Head Of State.

So how easy is this - duck down the local newsagent - buy a big black texta and simply rule out the Queen. Their we go job is done - chances of us changing much else in our constitution are buckleys and none so what are we waiting for.