Poetry Sunday 22 April 2018

In deference to Anzac Day (next Wednesday) we make some offerings.

Firstly a song from Leonard Cohen – There’s a Crack in Everything

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Yeah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free
Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
We asked for signs
The signs were sent
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see
I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
You can add up the parts
You won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come
But like a refugee
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
Ring the bells that still can ring (ring the bells that still can ring)
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in
“I would like to end on a positive note” said Tom Lehrer – perhaps he did.

MDFF 21 April 2018

Fake News

Hallo vrienden,

My mother was heavily pregnant with me when the RAF bombed the Haarlem suburb in which she lived. That was exactly 75 years ago, on the 16th April 1943.

A friend of my mother’s, Margot Gimpel, was amongst the 85 civilians who lost their lives. No smart bombs, nor GPS back then. Not a single bomb fell on the intended target.

From my dad’s anecdotes (translated from Dutch):

“At great risk, we had a radio mounted under the table. We listened to the Dutch broadcasts of Radio Orange out of London. We were told that the railway works in Haarlem had been totally destroyed…”

Never again was my dad to believe everything he heard on the news or read in the papers.

PHOTO- Destruction in the Teding van Berkhout Street (the street I was born in and where we lived)- The lads in black shorts, helping in the clean-up, are members of the Dutch equivalent of the Hitler Youth, and the photo was used for propaganda purposes.

Dad ‘infected’ all of us with such skepticism. Almost none in our immediate family ever thought that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (How do you move and hide a tunnel?).

Lies and propaganda have been with us for a long long time. These days it is called fake news.

Just a few examples:

The expulsion of Jews from England after the populace was made to believe that child sacrifice was an integral part of Judaism.

The annexation of Czechoslovakia, justified by the alleged mistreatment of the Sudeten Germans.

The bombing of North Vietnam as reprisals for the fictitious Gulf of Tonkin incident.

And who can forget Colin Powell showing those children’s drawings of chemical weapon factories on the back of trucks to a credulous audience at the UN?

Closer to home, John Howard’s re-election on the basis of the throwing of non-existent children overboard.

So what are we to make of the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria?

It is now over a decade ago that in a failed re-election attempt the Northern Territory Emergency Response- The Intervention- was launched. We were told that the sexual abuse of children was an integral part of Remote Aboriginal society. Millions of dollars were spent on trying to prove the existence of alleged paedophile rings, with as much success as locating the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

So when will humanity begin to discern the nakedness of its emperors? When will we ever learn?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y2SIIeqy34 Pete Seeger, Where have all the flowers gone?

The spin-doctors have succeeded beyond their wildest wet dreams in inducing Global Amnesia.

Hardly a soul (except for those of us on the front line) knows what the Intervention is, yet the disempowering, assimilationist legislation remains in place doing its dirty deeds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYeMhiWWP8s AC/DC Dirty deeds done dirt cheap…

Tot siens,


Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony Tragedy

WOW!! More meaningful, more symbolic, than EVER!

Dear reader, it is well known that this blog eschews the culture of complaint. People understand that from this site, only, measured, dispassionate and balanced views are expressed, Views which truly express the views of right-thinking people world-wide. With this perspective in light, it is bitterly dissapointing to have to comment upon the Commonwealth Games Closing ceremony.

And we should take this opportunity to say how impressed we were with the entire Commonwealth Games. And we would like to thank the organisers in acknowledging that Queensland is the perfect venue for such an event. And the Gold Coast, the spiritual heartland of the singular value Australians stand for UNITED. And that is, (without acknoweldgment of the first Australian’s who never understood it) the value of REAL ESTATE.

Our Deputy head of state tells us what we want to hear.

Not only was the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony a lost opportunity to celebrate Australia’s stunning victories over lesser sporting nations, in fields as diverse, as hopskotch, table tennis, ju-jitsu, synchromised swimming, goat-staring and witch burning. But it was an opportunity for less fortunate nations, (those not gifted with an impeccable sporting pedigree as the world’s “Greatest Sporting Nation” EVER) to join with us in universal celebration of mateship and inclusiveness. To demonstrate once and all that what’s left of the greatest empire the world has ever known, which bought righteousness, bigotry and subjugation to people of colour the world over still exists in the spirit of “Commonwealth”. And we, annointed subjects of the greatest, most enduring, compassionate and fair-minded ruling family EVER, the Windsors, (formerly the Saxe-Coburg Gotha’s) could demonstrate our modest superiority in everything to do with sport and respect for human dignity. Though we did leave that Scots marathon runner lying in the road for an awful long time and our ahletes, wouldn’t stoop to pick him up as Ron Clarke did. Because we have to, (as our cricket team demonstrates so capably) WIN at all costs. That’s the message we like to give to the rest of the world.

Leave em for Dead and WIN WIN WIN GOLD for Australia!!!

So it is with bitter disapointment we couldnt see the footage of our athletes walking victorious into the arena led by the inspirational para-sports veteran Kurt Fearnley carrying the Australian flag.

We were robbed.

Though the spectators found the closing ceremony more banal, yawn provoking and kitsch-enabling than the opening ceremony, we wanted to see it all. We just wanted this chance to revel in the symbolism of it all. As Australians, and (more importantly) as Queenslanders.

Still, there is a chance to redeem ourselves. Come Anzac Day every aussie will march. To signify our unquestionable unity.

For ancient wars we celebrate Aussie mateship. For wars yet to come we celebrate aussie mateship, and for the paltry 500 million to make our war memorial bigger than any other war memorial in the world to prove beyond all resonable doubt that we’ll be at the forefront.

2022 Comonwealth Games will be held in the N.T. Australia leading the world in indigenous incarceration. An un- official games event since 1788.

As a mighty sporting nation.



1:57 / 4:01



MDFF 14 April 2018

Nonsense April 2018

Ntambama enhle abangane bami,

Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for the 1971 film  “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”

In it, Roald used an old saying to great effect in a scene where each egg was analysed by an “eggdicator” to determine whether it was a good egg or a bad egg:

“A little nonsense, now and then,
Is relished by the wisest men!”

Phil who worked as a clerk for DAA (Department of Aboriginal Affairs) at Yuendumu, was a prolific writer of Letters to the Editor in the Centralian Advocate. Long after he left Yuendumu we would look forward to and relish his letters. He wasn’t the type, but each letter would have us pondering what it was that Phil had smoked or ingested.

His letters were lovely bits of prose which made no sense whatsoever. Nonsense classics.

A former Centralian Advocate sub-editor came to work as a printer for the BRDU (Bilingual Resources Development Unit) at Yuendumu School.

The printer revealed that Phil’s letters were very lengthy but he’d edit them down to fit whatever spare space had to be filled on the Letters to the Editor page. No wonder they made no sense, I said. Oh no! He told me, the whole letter made no sense and which morsel he used made no difference.

We all missed Phil’s contributions after he exited the Land of the Living.

I’m happy to report, that whilst Phil’s style was unique, his spirit lives on.

This recently landed on my virtual desk:

Have your say – Aboriginal Contracting Framework

Lovely picture of a happy native wearing a hi vis vest and pushing a wheel-barrow. What is in the barrow? Might it be BS? (Ed.Note)

Territorians have an opportunity to put forward their thoughts and ideas on the development of a new Aboriginal Contracting Framework for government procurement and grants.

The new framework will be developed through an extensive stakeholder engagement process. Although the new framework will have a wide reach, for infrastructure works, it will replace the Indigenous Employment Provisional Sum policy which ceased in August 2017.

Targeted stakeholders sessions with government, industry, business, Aboriginal stakeholders and non-government organisations will begin next month to identify and consider different ideas for the Aboriginal Contracting Framework…… and on it goes.

I have nothing to add, suffice it to say, that I consider that my complete oblivion when it comes to the existence of the now ceased Indigenous Employment Provisional Sum policy to have resulted in a missed opportunity of gargantuan dimension.

Then there was the Jabberwocky:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”  … and on it goes.

And then there was a Whiter Shade of Pale:

We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
…and on it goes.

Well may we ponder what Lewis Carroll and Procol Harum smoked or ingested before creating their little nonsense for us to relish.

We might ask the same about the public servant who wrote the “Have your say” piece.

And now for contrast a lovely piece of music for you to relish, even if it makes perfect sense…

mlanjeni Mafikizolo (Meet Me At the River)


kuze kube yisikhathi esilandelayo

He said, she said, Rupert said.

Rupert and James, ” very sorry”, they were found out.

Geoffrey Rush doesn’t eat. He’s in lockdown in his house. His confidence and reputation shot. In the courts the Sunday Telegraph and Rupert’s flunkies fight it out with the STC, ( Sydney Theatre Company) to name the person who leaked.

This is trial by media, and Rupert must be very happy indeed.

We remember the News of the World Scandal. Private telephone conversations hacked, people left to hang in the gallows of public opinion after their private lives were trawled. In the end we had the edifying spectacle of Rupert and James confronting the parliament to say they were very sorry, the culture would change. And it didn’t.

Geoffrey may have touched someone innaproriately under a directors prompting. Was he a Weinstein serial type? We doubt it. Was he a Cosby and Rolfian, (Harris) serial offender? Most assuredly not. And what constitutes the inappropriate? Buggered if we know. You’ll have to ask Mr G from Summer Heights High. All we know is that two careers, the accuser and the accused are down the toilet.

In the end a good actor, some say a very good actor has had his career shot, and the hunt for sex offenders goes off track.

Indeed it was unwise for some well meaning tool to blab to the Telegraph. Someone, in the theatre industry may have forewarned them that Murdoch doesn’t have any one’s health in mind when his flunkies make enquiries. It’s only scandal he’s after. And it keeps the foremost principle of Murdoch’s Empire, (to impoverish the masses with salacious gossip, inuendo and degrading simplification) to keep going. And the cash registers pinging.

Mr G, advice on “appropriate” and “innapriopriate” touching.

The tabloids survive because they trawl the lowest common denominator of the human condition. They do this because the public seemingly have a thirst for the lowest common denominator. And the public, since they removed public hanging, like a metaphorical one.

In America, a shooting can be recorded on anyone’s I phone in graphic detail The blood, the sight of corpses, are daily fare, and no one bats and eyelid. But when an alleged victim of serial fiddler Bill Cosby protests by flashing her naked breasts, the editing departments are working full tilt, to ensure that no one is shocked by the sight of bare breast. We still reward violence as healthy prime-time entertainment, and yet stoop and genuflect to some ancient biblical hang-up up about sexuality by digitally removing a woman’s sexuality as “offensive”.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Corey

We are in strange times. Serge Gainsbourg would be non plussed, and Arthur Miller re- writing the Crucible in a more contemporary vein, because both the victims and the perpetrators are devalued as human beings and sent to purgatory for having any sexuality at all. This is Rush’s crime, to be a bloody good actor, and die on the pillory of this purient and all pervasive fear of sexuality. Whether he touched, fiddled or groped is irrelevant. He was alleged to have (under direction)  an alleged moment, and his life is irreperably changed. And Rupert is richer by half. And we the public impoverished.

And Guilty?

We only have ourselves to blame.

Not all that glitters is on the Gold Coast

Stunning news from up north on just how successful the Australian Commonwealth games team are in all their events.

Did you know that yesterday the Opals beat Mozambique by four hundred goals in the mixed synchronised swimming event. The Matilda’s beat Kenya three thousand goals to nil in the integrated limbless ice hockey. From the track we’ve heard that Shane Dwayne O Grady came first in the hop step and jump, discus and back-somersault relay race.

Australia leads the world in sports not neccescarily related to ball tampering.

More stunningly alienating than Melbourne’s Docklands, Another GOLD moment for the Gold Coast.

The gold just keeps flowing for Australia. Proof that we are numero uno over all those parts of the old empire that just weren’t civilised or whitey enough. On hand to congratulate the athletes the future King of Australia Prince Charles the Third acknowledged the stellar perfomances from the Australian team: ‘Not since mummy and I wrote those naughty words to that lickpsittle of a toady John Kerr have we laughed so much. On the track, in the field and in every sphere of non-thinking human endeavour you Awstwalians prove your mettle’.

Our future King, Charles the 3rd suggests an improper use of games souvenir to Camilla, the Duchess of Tawdry. (we are not amused)

Tomorrow Australia kicks off against the Isle of Man in the haggis eating competition, and after the finals it’ll be a showdown between our own contender, Geroge (Georgie_boy) Christensen and the kaber tossing scotsman, Eric Mcpewkes.

However, there is a dark cloud. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the games are just not relevant anymore. They don’t attract the national intrerest and in other countries not blessed by the roseate pink of empire they don’t even know what a “Commonwealth” is. And some haven’t yet heard of Queensland. And that’s reflected in the medal tally.

On literacy, Australia came thirteenth behind, Mauritius the Seycheles and those bits of the ol Belgian Congo that were no coloured pink in the old school atlas. And for creativity, the only field Australia managed to make a nudge against other contenders, South Africa, Malawi and The Scilly Isles, was in creative accouting and real estate. “Perhaps that’s why the people are not coming’, sighed a disillusioned Peter Beattie. ‘We thought that after the opening ceremony every roadway in Australia would be packed. Instead they tell me the Gold Coast is a ghost town. How could people not be interested in what’s on offer”?

Arguably, Australia’s most “hollowed out’ urban environment. Another Gold moment.

‘But there’s hope’, says Beattie.

‘We’re lobbying for special categories in the next Commonwealth games. And I think this will give Australia a chance to demonstrate to the world it’s credentials. Land clearing, Barrier Reef despoilation, Indigenous incarceration, Species Extinction, Bigotry and Smugness will all be competitive sports. And our latest, “Coal futures”. We wanna make sure that Coal is an inseperable part of Australia’s sporting mix, and after the cricketing debacle we’re happy to say that weet Bix have jumped on board. What better endorsement could one hope for.

So though the streets may be empty, in a special Queenslander kinda way, we know the reason for the drop in crowds. It’s the southern states. They envy our coal coloured view of the world.

And that’s why we strive harder to go it alone.

Cos we can’.

Progressive thinking from the Monash Forum.

The following is an edited text of a recent article that appeared in the Guardian. In the interests of transparency we believe it only fair to acknowledge our craft in plagiarism.

Dear Malcolm; ” with friends like these”…

The luminary from the near north Craig Kelly (Member for Hughes) hopes  that with the Monash Forum, we the taxpayers do what private enterprise wont touch. And that is… to ensure that the government pays for new coal-fired powerstations.

Craig and his mates are aginst the “demonisation” of coal, and hoped that the threat of a united coal-ish backbench would destabilise the the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee, and in doing so ensure another tilt for Tony “Peabody is my best friend” Abbott. A win win for strong government and progressive policy. Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Kevin ­Andrews, George Christiansen and just for fun, Barnaby Joyce united in COAL.

George Christensen has reportedly written to fellow Nationals MPs inviting them to join the group “encouraging the government in the promotion of and ­facilitation of and/or construction of coal-fired power stations”.

John Monash, accepts first ride on Gravy Train.

The group is named after the First World War general John Monash, owing to his role in opening up Victoria’s ­Latrobe Valley for coal production. And for assisting to aid the British in ensuring more Australians per capita than just about anywhere else were slaughtered during the First World War, to achieve NOTHING. And because he’s an ANZAC (whose name shall live in sanctity and eternal light) the forum is beyond reproach. To question thus, Is “Un- Australian”.

Batting for The RIGHT to be wrong. (George Christiansen was asked to be included but declined as there was not enough space to put him in).

“It’s not like it’s a secret society,” Kelly said, “One of the aims of the group is to emphasise the importance of coal-fired generation. In KILLING the planet!!
“Coal is demonised by a large section of the community – that demonisation is incorrect, because coal is absolutely vital to the national economy both for export and the generation of cheap, reliable electricity.” And besides setting up a coal fired power station (as against renewables and what Jay Weatherel did in S.A) is prohibitively expensive. And what better way to do it, follow the lead of Exxon, Transurban, Google, Amazon, and all the others and PAY no TAX. Get the taxpayer to pay the rent, the rent that we seek for promoting hideously expensive, outmoded, grotesquely innefficient industries, and reward us for KILLING THE PLANET.

And as the majority of us are Queenslanders we deserve recognition, particularly with the Commonwealth Games on, in being the absolute world leaders in de-forestation and KILLING the PLANET.

We’ve killed off the greatest living organism ever, and we’re working tirelessly to ensure that all habitat that supports really fucking intersting stuff is completely destroyed. And you know why we do it? Cos we’re good ol conservative God-fearing folk who stand for development and environmental despoilaton. AT ALL COSTS. And we like to defy economic and Environmental Logic because WE CAN!

Kelly said if AGL’s Liddell power station were closed, the “optimum outcome for the grid” would be to construct a new coal-fired power station. And reverse govenrment policy of propping up inneficient industries by making the taxpayer PAY.

Glorious Anzacs led heroically by Sir John Monash demonstrate new strip mining techniques in Flanders 1916. Another instance of Australia pushing innovation and technology.

“Private-sector investment in coal might not be forthcoming due to possible technological change and changes to climate policy by a future government so “the government may need to step in and assist the build” of a new power station”. Derrr, (ed.)

And power companies who pay no tax to completely screw the consumer and ensure like Joe Hockey did, that manufacturing is gone FOREVER. And for daring to be clever.

The deputy Nationals leader, Bridget McKenzie, told Radio National on Tuesday coal “needs to be an ongoing part of the energy mix” COS IT KILLS THE PLANET.
“I don’t want to be ideological about how we get affordable, reliable power,” she said.
But coal is the only way to ensure the planet is KILLED QUICKLY.

On Preganacy, punctuation, punishment, puritanism … and Latin grammar

From North America,  hot on the tail of those who march (unarmed) in the US, to protest (as is their right), for those to be armed and (as is their right) carry an arsenal of weapons to keep themselves and other law abiding citizens “ Safe”.

First from our agent provocatrix in the U.S, Cecil Poole, this observation:

‘Placard from gun control march, Raleigh NC. The plural of Uterus is surely uteri. Education is not what it used to be. Sad”;.

Then quicker than you can say “March of little feet” this sanguine observation from our bard from the near north Ira Maine:

“Pull yourself together, for Gawd’s sake!

Surely the placarded lady used the word as she did in order to stir
an echo of the tediously ubiquitous shop name: ‘Boring ‘r’ Us’.

‘Uterus’ sounds awfully like ‘Youth ‘r’ Us’  to me. I hardly think
this double entendre was accidental given the subtlety of her overall
message. It is singularly apposite and is unlikely to have occurred by

The  saddest part to me is that most of the Trumped up jackass class
simply will not understand her message. They would find ‘uteri’
utterly incomprehensible.

In barricaded expectation of an avalanche of hooted derision in
response, I take my gentle leave…

My compliments to the splendid Andrea*,

Ira Maine,
Lord of the IGA  Aisles and a Martyr to Ungovernable Wind’.

Sir Atney as a student, when he studied Latin and Grammer and punchtuation.

And then, the final word from our sage of the Sydney-Ciders Sir Atney of Emo:

“Of course, the rot started when the Classics disappeared from the school syllabus, displaced by Inter-Gender Studies, Creative Carpet Laying, The Use of Deconstruction in the Critical Analysis of Japanese Manga Comics, etc.

Thus not one in hundreds would have spotted the errors abounding in Brian’s graffito in Monty Python’s ”Life of Brian” – “Romanes eunt comus”.

As present company, latinists all, would well know, the message should be “Romani ite domum” (Romans go home). Amongst other corrections, the verb now takes the third-person imperative form.

O tempora, O mores!


Sir Atney Emo”

And then from the Tolmordian Transigent,

‘Moses, when he finally got all of his followers together and began to
shepherd them out of the city, he found his way utterly blocked by
heaps of uncollected garbage.
‘What about our long sojourn in the wilderness?’ he cried as he
surveyed the piled up and stinking mess.’This will very probably
bugger up  our entire Biblical itinerary!’

Out of nowhere, as if ’twere a miracle, there appeared the twelve
apostates, with shovels.

In a trice the way was made clear, the Garbo’s strike obviously over.

“Can we go now?’ muttered Moses through gritted teeth, himself and his
followers almost overcome by the stench of the freshly disturbed and
rotting mess.
‘No worries!’ chuckled the head sanitation man, indicating the gap in
the garbage,  “Ite, cibum est super.’

This is what “Latin Grammar” looks like. Surprising more people aint got a handle on it.

This command was remembered and subsequently incorporated, with minor
alterations, into the Latin Mass.

Roughly translated it means: ‘Go, the mess is over.’


Hmmm…. In uteri I go! (popular Deniliquin vernacular)

And who is, “the splendid Andrea’? Stay tuned for tomorrows thrilling instalment, i  which we put the quid into “Quid Pro Quo”…



Kevin Rudd and the Commonwealth Games.

Kevin Rudd. “Internationally famous in Australia”

You’re probably wondering what the Commonwealth Games, probably the most significant event in the international sporting calendar has to do with Australia’s Greatest, (cos he says so in his autobiography) Prime Minister EVER!

WEll, it’s because of the ball tampering scandal. You see the ball tampering scandal, possibly the greatest sporting scandal EVER to hit Australia, is a benchmark. It’s a Dividing Line. It’s a Watershed Moment. From herafter Australian history will be referred to as “Australia BBTS”, (Before Ball Tampering Scandal) and Australia ABTS ( After Ball Tampering Scandal). It will mark that turning point in our national culture.

The Commonwealth Games Village. Sort of Montreal World’s fair 1962, but without Elvis and “Queenslandish”.

And who better to define it than the Greatest P.M of Australia, Kevin Rudd. Only seven days into Australia’s (ABTS) Kevin has warned Australians of how we are courting unfavourable controversy and notoriety for our ball tampering skills. Kevin is worried about what other people in the international sphere may think about us. As sportsmen and all around good blokes. He’s really worried that this is more than just a diplomatic hiccup. It may impact on how others see us. Probably bigger than the spy scandal in the UK if you take a long look at it. And Kevin, because he’s the greatest foreign diplomat we’ve ever had, is seriously worried and so concerned that he needs to tell us folks back home that this really could be the tipping pont.

Kevin, crusader of all that is good, champion of the homeless and the aboriginal australians, is always there as a pointer to the national consciousness. And we feel Kevin’s impatience and frustration, that he may not be heard clearly enough over the white noise of the twernty four hour news cycle. Indeed singular and nation changing issues like giving tax breaks to big corporations who don’t pay tax, and urging the wealthiest of us to hide their gains behind the cloak of philanthropy is just crowding the airwaves. And besides, it’s footy season.

At the Commonwealth Games we can demonstrate Australian leadership and be victorious over places like the Pitcairn Islands, Guernsey and Tuvalu.

WE at Pcbycp have a plan. We want to make Kevin more prominent. We want Kevin, as he is another AQ, (Ambitious Queenslander) to be the mascot and permanent head of the Commonwealth Games. WE want Kevin, courtesy of the Australian taxpayer to do more of the heavy lifitng and represent us more effectively on the global stage. What better vehicle for doing this than being our permanent Commonwealth Games ambassador?

He could lecture the people of Nigeria on human rights. And the people of Trinidad and Tobago on the proclivities of ball tampering. And from his lofty height he could make pronouncements, in a faintly god-like manner on how he alone improved the lot of indigenous australians, and how he is more worthy than any one else EVER to project his brand of international dimplomatic prowess as “KEVINISM”

Commonwealth Games Mascot. Tastefully designed by QUEENSLANDERS!!

So we urge Kevin to be really significant and get behind the most significant sporting event EVER, the Commonwealth Games. To prove once and for all, how relevant he is in international diplomacy, feather bedding and being the greatest politician ever, both BBTS and ABTS.

And you know why?

Cos he says so.

MDFF 31 March 2018

Mother Tongue

Halo vrienden,

When we lived in the Netherlands, my sister was a 7 year old child. Years later I learned that she was very unhappy about having again been uprooted when we moved to Australia.

Sixty years later her son paid a visit to the Netherlands and found his way to the little house in Loosdrecht where his mother had spent some happy childhood time. On taking a photo, a very large threatening resident emerged, demanding (in Dutch) to know why he was taking photos. The big Dutchman found the (English) explanation (“a long time ago some of my family lived here”) unacceptable and demanded that Paul hand over his mobile phone. Paul decided to make a quick retreat and walked away (with his phone) being glared at all the way to the corner of the street.

My sister wrote the Dutchman a letter:

“ Vorige week kreeg ik een leuke verrassing, toen ik een foto kreeg van het huis waar ik vroeger wat onvergetelijke fijne jaren heb doorgebracht.

Wat akelig dat U zo onaardig was tegenover mijn keurige lieve zoon, na dat hij had uitgelegd waarom hij die foto nam. Zonde dat zogenaamde beschaafde inwoners van Loosdrecht niet altijd even vriendelijk meer zijn.

Nou ja, U heeft dus niet een mooie indruk gemaakt.

Beleefdheid kost niets”

Always in translation, some of the nuances of the original is lost- I’ll do my best-

“Last week, I had a lovely surprise when I was given a photo of the house I had in the past spent some unforgettable enjoyable years in.

How dreadful that you were so unfriendly to my decent dear son, after he gave an explanation of why he was taking that photo. A pity that so called civilized Loosdrecht denizens, are no longer always all too friendly.

Oh well, thus you haven’t created a good impression.

Politeness doesn’t cost a thing.”

Why am I telling you this? Well, it again illustrates why it is so important to retain one’s mother tongue. That letter is in essence a part of my sister.

Last week when my nephew was tromping through Europe, some contractors came to Yuendumu to re-seal the driveway and parking lot of our clinic. The clinic is opposite my office in Park Street (named after a no longer existing park). I’m not aware if locals were consulted about the need for this work, but I do know that the fine sealing aggregate they used is most unpleasant to walk on in bare feet, something that a significant portion of Yuendumu residents still do (by choice, not because they cannot afford footwear).

A subcontractor (Darwin based Arafura Traffic Control) turned up with a few of those “men at work” signs…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SECVGN4Bsgg Men at Work- Who can it be now?

, and wait for it….. a high vis clad lollipop lady. She was there a full day holding up a red-yellow Stop/Slow sign. Locals were overjoyed. The contractors that have been installing road-side kerbs (another essential Yuendumu improvement) didn’t bother with lolly-pop people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiuPND4W6KM Millie- My Boy Lollipop

And of greater relevance…. They paved Paradise, put up a parking lot….

Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell in concert 1970

The bilingual programme (Warlpiri/English) at Yuendumu school, started in 1974. Success has waxed and waned ever since. A low point came nearly a decade ago in October 2008 when bilingual education was virtually killed in the Northern Territory by the so called “4 hours English only policy”

Low NAPLAN results were sheeted home to bilingual education. The premise that school children in suburban Melbourne would fail miserably should they be tested in other than their mother tongue (e.g. in Warlpiri) received scant consideration.

One of Kim Beazley Senior (The Whitlam Government’s Minister of Education)’s first initiatives was to arrange for Aboriginal children to be taught in schools in their own language, with English as a second language.  He is quoted to have said that to deny people an education in their own language (i.e. mother tongues) – with the caveat “where that is possible” was tantamount to treat them as a conquered people and to deny them respect.

At around the same time as my sister and I embarked on learning a language other than our mother tongue, namely English, Professor Strelow penned these words (I never tire to repeat):

“Above all, let us permit native children to keep their own languages, -those beautiful and expressive tongues, rich in true Australian imagery, charged with poetry and with love for all that is great, ancient and eternal in the continent. There is no need to fear that their own languages will interfere with the learning of English as the common medium of expression for all Australians. In most areas of Australia the natives have been bilingual, probably from time immemorial. Today white Australians are among the few remaining civilized people who still think that knowledge of one language is the normal limit of linguistic achievement.”
– T.G.H Strelow,1958

I say amén to that.

In Yuendumu we nurtured the flickering candle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZBNwMy578  Candle in the Wind…. Elton John

which was a memory of bilingual education preceding the ‘4 hours English only’ policy. Gradually the status of the Warlpiri language is being resurrected at Yuendumu School. Around the same time as we were being kept safe by the lollypop lady in Park Street, at the School Council AGM, the new Principal of Yuendumu School outlined his vision of a future bilingual /bicultural school. This is following several years of a very supportive Principal.

As I heard it said when you put a tank in reverse the flattened ground doesn’t immediately spring back to its former glory. But we are working on it… and we don’t need a lollypop person to do so.

D:ream Things can only get better….

Tot ziens