Monday, December 23, 2013

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

It matters little your belief or faith, the spirit of this holiday time is very clear - Peace, Love and Goodwill - a simple desire for our lives. 

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to my dear friends, you all mean so much to me. Your friendship, love and support is greatly appreciated. 

To my family - I can but say I am so proud of you all - it fills me with a warmth and love that is simply indescribable.

So a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all, please be safe over this holiday period. My love to you all.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Australia - Don Quixote or Dulcinea

Australia seems to be at a management cross road in my opinion. Our Parliamentarians are so busy worrying about the next election and winning their seat for the prescribed number of times to achieve their precious parliamentary pension that we continue dither around without making any genuine progress on any thing at all.

We have bureaucrats whom have become masterful at wandering around with a bundle of papers and very expensive reports and studies tucked under their arm and when challenged quickly throw the "probity" clause around their shoulders like some magical "cloak of invisibility". Actual serious progress based on any kind of long term view simply does not exist. They can easily duck this one as their Minister's are running agendas so myopic they simply cannot see anything beyond the next election. They equally answer to Ministers,whom become instant superstars in portfolios that quite simply in the main they have at best a cursory knowledge. Then of course we have such regular reshuffles of Government that no sooner does a Minister become a tad knowledgable we flick them into a new portfolio or out of the cabinet room door.

Then of course we have this wonderful belief in this country that anything we say on the World stage has such an amazing effect on the direction the major powers choose to take. Sometime we will realise that the mutterings that come from our leaders of our 23 millions souls has about the impact of the breeze rustling the trees.

But lets look closer as to how this delusion is affecting us so badly internally and I am not going to ratchet back too far with my examples. Paul Keating following his magnificent "Banana Republic" Statement managed to have Australia lead the world into Recession - "a recession that we had to have" - a recession that we could never ever lead the world out of. But there he was preening his Italian Suit and slapping himself on the back - "Orstralia you little bloody beaudy". Then of course we had Bernie in the chair over at The Reserve Bank. Here we had a man whom as we are told is not controlled by Government, he manages our money unfettered - so who does control The Reserve Bank?

On his watch we managed see interest rates so high that we had nose bleeds. The only thing that did was widen the gulf between the have's and have nots in this country sending so many businesses/employers and individuals to the wall that our landscape looked more like the killing fields than our beautiful Australian landscape.

We had already knocked the stuffing out of business in this country we made the next world leading move expecting that our influence would see a global adoption of this outstanding policy. Let's remove the tariffs - the world should now be on a level playing field - it seems a shame that our major competitors on the global stage seem to have missed that little pearl of wisdom. And so our bloodied and bowed manufacturing industries were finally decimated.

In amongst this one little pearl of wisdom actually worked and I was not all that in favour of it either. "Little Johnny and Toe Cutter Joe" introduced and pushed through the Financial Services Reform Act that forced our errant Financial Institutions to toe some sort of line of decency in its entrepreneurial dealings in the economy.

It worked well and if not for that I am sure we would have followed the World Mega Banks that ultimately led us to the global financial crisis. Global Governments were left dashing around propping up a banking system that had become so narcissistic they believed they were invincible.

Meanwhile in Orstralia our PM was trotting around like "Black Peter" dishing out little chunks of money like "lumps of coal". However the FSRA worked.

But after a couple of decades or so of mismanaging our little tiny economy here we sit on the precipice of failing business and massive unemployment in this country. Like Dulcinea we appear to be happy to sell ourselves to the highest bidder, but instead like Aldonza we end up crying in the corner of the room, the rape victim we are allowing ourselves to be. But wait Don Quixote de la Mancha will save the day.

Dulcinea del Toboso by Charles Robert Leslie

What to do, what to do, as we fly in ever decreasing circles? Well, like the Ooh Me Doodle Bird or the Oozlum Bird, depending on your point of reference, I fear we shall fly up our own fundamental orifice and very soon.

The "Guvment" should do this and they shouldn't do that, as we hear the various points of view from all corners. Like competing packs of Hounds at the Hunt we hear them baying there excited howling as the scent of the kill permeates their nostrils. To prop up the car industry or to not, to support Qantas or not, to build a new hospital or not, to shut down services at Modbury Hospital or not. To load up our over stretched central hospitals, because we have more bed days per patient than other states, who says their right etc etc etc.The list goes on "ad nauseum". 

To the pack who says Government should not assist business, I say that is foolhardy, as Australia would again be a world leader of Government not jumping into the breach to protect gainful employment of the population.

To the pack who says that Government should assist - well I believe this is true and falls in line with world practice. We do, however, seem to not place any kind of performance outcomes on this assistance.This oversight simply reinforces my opinion that our Government and Bureaucracy is simply as myopic as the Knight of The Woeful Countenance and simply not up to the job as we lurch from windmill to windmill.

The alternative is almost to painful to consider. As Julian Burnside published yesterday - "Mistake made by many liberal societies: believing that governments respect the law and act with good intentions. Not always true".

Perhaps our mistake is allowing Don Quixote to be our leader over and over again.

Faithful Sancho - where are you when we need you to clean up the mess he leaves behind - for that matter who will be our Sancho Panza?

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 18th July 1918 – 5th December 2013

It was the 18th July 1994, my wife and I had arrived in London that very morning and had checked into The Royal Overseas League,Overseas House overlooking leafy Green Park in the magnificent St James area of London.

It was the evening of the Club's Weekly Cocktail party and as newly arrived guests we were invited. Appropriately attired we arrived and following the required toasts to the Queen and The Commonwealth an elderly couple whom had arrived from Cape Town by Cargo Vessel the same day (they were not much into flying, you know, old chap), proposed a toast to Nelson Mandela, being the new President's Birthday.

I admit it at the time I knew his name and not a lot more. The event held in what is probably is the last bastion of Queen and Commonwealth, for a naive little Aussie wide eyed in London, will hold an indelible place.

From that day The President of the New South Africa started a journey that will be one of the greatest stories of the history we are now writing. His ability to set aside the emotion he must have felt against his captors and to take the inner peace that he had found and turn it into one of the most powerfully motivating forces that this little blue marble has seen, probably ever.

Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman had wanted to capture the story of the Man and when Invictus was presented to them the decision was easy. The poem, we are told, Mandela found great comfort and solace and certainly, it would seem, allowed him the Peace of Mind to understand what must be upon his release from Prison.

I know one thing the movie, the poem, his writing and most importantly the man have had a significant affect on the way I now view the world. To have walked on this earth as a mere mortal and have had the blessing of observing one of mankind's true greats achieve what he has is just unbelievable. I can but pray that the journey and the plan he laid out for us all can be carried out to a truly positive lifelong outcome.

Tata - indeed he is - not just to a new nation but hopefully to a new world.

May Madiba rest in the peace he so justly deserves.

Below is my little tribute based on the poem and the Music of the Movie.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Day The Nodding Dog's Head Fell Off

From the day the announcement of the ASADA enquiry was made, with the football code CEO's and Ministers standing on the podium like good political nodding dog's, the whole thing has been just big waste of everybody's time and money.

We were told of Drugs, Criminal Involvement etc etc etc.........

Despite the confusion as to whether the "banned substances" were even on the ASADA list at the time, whilst listed on the WADA list, the 'wrong' doing seemed to have a lot of question marks surrounding it.

The simple answer at the time was - "You have been warned - the substances are now banned - get caught your gone". Far too much time spent looking over our shoulder than actually fixing the future.

But no, it had to go on and on and it seems the authorities needed to save face and today we have allegations of a deal to just make it go away. Very sad how the whole situation has been handled.

We have had allegations of match fixing in soccer and all of that seems to have vanished in the haze as well.

Between the lot of you it seems to me professional sport has become just a great big Hollywood performance. We the ordinary punter are being treated as "bunnies" and taken for a ride. All of this at what cost?

I just do not get the ineptitude displayed in this whole process and at what cost to us all. Get it together you guys, get it together.

Stay tuned for episode 4,003,221 of this sad story.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Eat, Shop, Play at Largs Bay

This coming Sunday 8th December Jetty Road Largs Bay will be closed to through traffic. Why do you ask?

Well the Traders of Jetty Road are having there own Street Fair from 12pm until 4pm and it is set to be a great day.

Largs Bay is sometimes that forgotten little treasure between Semaphore Beach and Outer Harbour. Those Treasures are set to go on display this week as the Traders allow the public of South Australia to enjoy the Village atmosphere that is Jetty Road.
Jetty Road

We all know the iconic Largs Pier Hotel whom have jumped in boots and all to support the weekend and along with the great energy from each of the Traders in the street it will welcome you all to Jetty Road.

Largs Pier Hotel

There will be Live music (Bands Hoy Hoy and The Fabulettes) and market stalls and all of the great stuff you would expect at a Street Fair, all that combined with the beautiful foreshore of Largs Bay. Head on down this Sunday from 12pm until 4pm, it should be a great day.

One cannot forget the kids Best Dressed Bike Contest with great prizes for the kids who come with their bikes looking great.
Kids Dress your Bike Up

I spoke with Joh Sherma a coordinator of the Street Fair as well as owner of the Kutumba just one of the great stores on Jetty Road. Let's not forget Ali's Lane and Queenies, but I must stop you need to head on down there and find out for yourself and have a great day.

Here is the interview that was done for WOWfm 100.5 Out and About with Jimbo.