Weekly Wrap 30 April 2013

Looks like we may get a wrap out just one week after the last.  Efficiency?  You judge.

Errol Flynn: “I am very tough, but also I am a patsy.”  From his auto biography “My wicked Wicked Ways” 1960

Today saw the second of our Whiteside series “The Conference”.  A joy to bring this series, and we hope you like the new layout – at least you should be able to read it more easily.  Somehow I feel an acronym or two coming up.  See todays and yesterday’s Whiteside here and here

Poetry Sunday gave us another side of Ira Maine with the the evocative “Fear”.  Have another look at this poem here

Our Musical Dispatch this week focused on Latin Roots and the Intervention, together with a taste of Mens Health – read it here and listen to the great music

Friday saw Tarquin O’Flaherty  elaborate on the theme introduced by Quantum Dumpster on Monday (Here).  His rejoinder was to be illustrated by Sir Bertram Postule.  There is debate as to Bertie’s comprehension of the brief.  His censored illustrations appear below the text.   

Cecil Poole wrote of Cars of his Childhood on Thursday; Austin A70, Humber Hawks and Holdens.  His Dad was not a petrol head.  Read it here

And Quentin Cockburn talked of his Morris J Series Van here

We at Passive Complicity have appreciated the many generous comments about our car series.  We may revisit this theme.

May your horse run freer than Singo’s, and your betting be inside.


MDFF 27 April 2013

Today’s offering is edited from the Musical Dispatch from the Front of 20 January 2013.  The author had been recently hositalised with a mens complaint – trouble down below – as the women of Georgia would say.

The antonym of ‘benign’ is ‘malignant’ (from the Latin: Mali bad).

‘Malignant’ succinctly describes the 2007 NT Emergency Response that in short order became known as the ‘Intervention’.

The Intervention has rapidly metastasized.

The body of remote Aboriginal society has been invaded by numerous rapidly spreading cancerous growths which its cultural immune system is being overwhelmed by.  ‘Closing the Gap’, ‘Generation One’, ‘FaFT’ (Families as First Teachers), ‘Stronger Futures’, ‘PAP’(Public Awareness Program), ‘READ’(Read every available day), ‘Every Child, Every Day action plan’ to mention just a few.

A much prescribed range of medicines come under the heading ‘Law and Order’.  The most often prescribed of this range is increased policing.  The Territorial and Federal Pharmacists have not yet realized that these medicines are  highly ‘incarceragenic’ and should be withdrawn, or at the very least the dosages should be much reduced.

….don’t you send me no doctor, filling me up with all of those pills…


Near the end of the 18th.Century (14th.Dec.1799) George Washington died after having been bled the previous day. Bloodletting as a cure retained some adherents as late as the 20th.Century.

The Intervention has reintroduced bloodletting to its ‘client’ (Aboriginal Australia). It also makes copious use of leeches.

Medical practitioners pay very high insurance premiums to cover themselves against being sued for malpractice (there it is again the ‘mal’ Latin root)  and misdiagnosis which on very rare occasions they are found guilty of.

Malpractice and misdiagnosis however are inherent in the Intervention and its plethora of derivatives. Their bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. Misdiagnosis comes as no surprise, whenever the ‘client’ says ‘pillars’ they hear ‘pillows’.

From the ‘Singing Detective’… this clip says it all….


The Interventionists are answerable to no one but themselves.

The assimilationists are mining the cultural pillows of Aboriginal Australia whose society is in danger of collapsing.

The strength and potency of Aboriginal anti-bodies is evidenced by the fact that despite the sustained multi-pronged attack not all of remote Aboriginal society’s structures have caved in.

Took my body to the doctor
He said son you won’t last the night
Took my body back to mamma
She said Jesus going to make it all right

 Always thought of myself as a hunter
Lion out on the night
But I turned all my weapons in to mamma
She said Jesus going to make it all right     


Usque ad proximam tempus


PS- an omen… the Intervention’s first Surgeon General was called Mal.

Cars – Tarquin O’Flaherty

In today’s Post Tarquin O’Flaherty elaborates on the theme introduced by Quantum Dumpster on Monday (Here).  His rejoinder was to be illustrated by Sir Bertram Postule.  There is debate as to Bertie’s comprehension of the brief.  His censored illustrations appear below the text.   

May I say how much I agree with Mr Quantum Dumpster and his remarks concerning the venerable P76.  For Heaven’s sake, what was the British car manufacturing industry thinking of?  What happened to that bastion of early motoring that would so easily give up its well earned reputation.?

Somebody once said that the camel is a horse designed by a committee.  If this is true then the car industry in Britain was overtaken by a committee and the resulting camel was the P76

After the war, quietly, Japan began to rebuild its economy.

I would make the point that NOWHERE in the post war West (not just Australia) was there anyone clever enough to notice what the Japanese motor industry was doing.  The general attitude, both here and in Europe towards the Japanese was a racist one. They were beneath contempt.  They were Nips, or Chinks, bloody coolies who had no conception of the modern world.

What everyone failed to notice was that, in order to prosecute their anti-Communist wars in Asia (Korea and Vietnam etc), the Americans in Japan, the French in Vietnam, set up bases, weapon and vehicle factories.  And so in Asia, free of charge, the locals learned the skills involved in building modern vehicles.  Very quickly they realised the potential of the civilian market.

Japan is a crowded place, so they built cheap small cars.  They also built millions of small-engined motor-cycles while we continued to build galumphing Nortons and BSAs most of them designed in the 1930’s.  We were, I’ll have you remember, the children of the British Empire, the product of ‘the Workshop of the World’; How could anyone dare to challenge us?  We had a blind, invincible arrogance about our selves and the world.

Colin Chapman (English) and John Cooper(Australian) revolutionised racing cars in 50s and 60s England, by dragging car design out of the Stone Age.  Despite this, the British car manufacturing industry, under threat from Japan, simply buried it’s head refusing inexplicably to recognise and incorporate the brilliant new innovative design ideas which were winning races all over the world.  Instead they amalgamated most of the traditional makers like Morris, Wolseley, Austin etc into a gigantic bureaucratic and logistical nightmare, which very quickly bankrupted itself.

The British Vehicle Industry failed for the same reason the British Empire failed.  Power breeds arrogance, a belief in one’s own invincibility, and a refusal to believe that the enemy is at the gate.

Shelley’s Ozymandias was right;  A broken statue pokes up from a limitless waste of desert. Chiselled into the stone a few still legible words;…I am Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.’.

Well done! Lets have more from Mr Dumpster!
Tarquinius Maximinius

Illustrations by Sir Bertram Postule
ira illustrations japanese cars 2

ira illustrations japanese vehiclesCensored at Diplomatic request.




Cecil Poole: Cars from his childhood

Dad was not a petrol head.

jerry 3The first car I remember was an Austin A70.  Black. The Austin had trafficators*, semaphore like devices,  that flapped out from the door posts, with dull yellow lightbulbs in them.   I thought that if both indicators presented at one time then the car was bound to split in half, each half going in the direction indicated.

I find, to no surprise, the Austin took over 21 seconds to get to 60mph (about 100km/h).  Dad favoured underpowered, heavy cars.  Continuing this theme he replaced the Austin with a Humber Hawk, the down-market version of the Super Snipe, with 4 cylinders as opposed to 6 in the latter.   This took a full half minute to reach 60 from a standing start.  It had rippled chrome on the front of the rear wheel arch, and it was made in Britain!  Somehow I was to believe that all things British were good, solid and strong.  American cars (and all manufacturing) was flashy, just a bit too “out there”.

The wool price was still ok, so Dad ordered a new Humber!  Super Snipe? we all asked. No, said Dad, the Hawk will do us fine.  The second Humber Hawk was much improved with an aluminum head and overhead valves!  It could reach 60 in just 25 seconds!  The smell of burning rubber is not part of my validation therapy. 

These cars all had bench seats in the front and for most of my childhood a baby seat of metal frame and canvas “upholstery” hung in the middle.  Mum and Dad were chain smokers, so the windows were open most of the time.  Mum never drove without gloves, and usually had a rug over her knees.

The best car of my childhood was a Chrysler Royal.  1955 model. It had wonderful tail fins and lots of chrome.  It didn’t belong to us.  Other friends had a Chevrolet, with a leather rope stretched across the back of the front seat for those of us standing in the back to hold onto.

Humbers became the car of choice for “Official Government Duties”, transporting government ministers and the like.  We were mixing with the right people!  Maybe our next car would be a Super Snipe!  But no, the wool price was down, the family size up (five children at that stage) so it was with some regret and shame that we moved downmarket and into a new Holden Station Wagon.  Grey.  Needless to say the Holden did not have a heater, and no turn signal indicators – Blinker lights were too new in 1957. They may have been optional extras.  The Humber had electric windscreen wipers, but our first Holden still had vacuum operated wipers, which always ceased working when the engine was working hard.

Even when we had a choice of motor sizes with the EH in 1963, our third holden was chosen with the small (149, rather than the mighty 179) motor.

As I said, Dad was not a petrol head

*These indicators were invented by a Canadian woman, with the wonderful name of Florence Lawrence, around 1914.  She failed to adequately patent them.

jerry 2

Quentin and the Morris J/B Van

morris one

My first car wasn’t really a car at all, it was a van, but a very special van, the Morris J/B.  This was Britain’s answer to post war transportation designed for a network for short trips between villages within a radius of six to ten miles.  Against the Australian reality of agoraphobic spaces and nothing much in between; through geographic dislocation, the J/B survived in suburbia as an ‘outsider’ amongst the brutish Fords and Holdens.  Like the Morris Minor, the Herald, and the A 30 the J/B exuded a sense of eternal optimism against the odds.  Though, as the semi ubiquitous bakers van, it performed admirably.

Life with me began in 1984, my cousin and I noticed a green J type parked around the corner in Pigdon Street.  It had “The Wooly Jumpers” crudely painted on the side in Dulux house paint.  After a couple of months we decided to approach the owners and ask if we could buy it.  They agreed, and so it was that the Wooly Jumpers entered into the carnival of student life.  If I compress the narrative I can say several things, it carried a lot, was greatly loved, was the setting for numerous episodes and in spite of the absence of brakes, and safety apparatus, a pleasure to drive, the engine safely cocooned next to the driver.

It eventually arrived at the farm, I put it in the shed, the farm was sold, and for eleven years it sat at a winery.  Here was a logistics crisis of sorts as I had to decide which of the inoperative vehicles I now owned, the Triumph Dolomite, the Triumph Herald, or the van would be worth repatriating.

The Dolomite had caused a lifetimes angst for little recompense, so I gave it away, feeling sorry for the poor bastard I gave it to.  The Herald, a victim of my “partial restoration”, probably remains to this day, surrounded by apples and peaches in the “little orchard”.  I would pay infrequent visits as a homage, and at last having moved past the most time deficient stage of life with my smaller children that little bit older, I retrieved the van, and moved it to a new place closer to home.  Last weekend I retrieved the engine, and in the process discovered that the van establishes a missing link for a growing retinue of van enthusiasts who covet them, having ignored their beauty in times of yore as I did.

morris one

It is just a vehicle, but to me the embodiment of simplicity, and utility, with a humanistic touch.  I often wonder, if we followed the example set by Hindustani Motors and still manufactured a Morris Oxford, would I be the first to purchase a “new” Morris J Van.  It’s not the getting to point A from point B that really matters, but the journey itself.   And the journey, each sequence a little odyssey, connected to people, and the land – such were the frequency of breakdowns, you’d get to meet an awful lot of people.

For images of this vehicle click here



Weekly Wrap 23 April 2013

At last, a fortnight after the previous weekly wrap here is another.  Just because it says “Weekly Wrap” does not mean that it is done weekly, only that it lists the posts for the past week.  Confused?  So am I.

As is Errol Flynn:
“I am on the side of the underdog.  Except when I am on the side of the rich”
From “My Wicked Wicked Ways”.

Today sees the first piece from our motoring Guru Quantum Dumpster.  His experience and erudition are a joy to behold.  (Publisher’s note: Quantum has been variously spelt Quantam, Qnatamn, Quentam and “Hey you”.)  Read his piece here

Yesterday saw the Publisher desperate to pick up the pieces from last weeks fiasco.  Here.

Sunday, Poetry Sunday brought the superbly illustrated romantic poem of Ira Maine. “An Unfashionable Poem” is here

Saturday illustrated the importance of well designed inclusive and empowering schemes to keep our remote indigenous communities safe. Here.    We look forward to many more months in the “GREEN”.

The three posts from Wednesday through Friday saw us privileged to be taken into the sanctity of The Settlers Club.  From here Quentin Cockburn QC gave us his thoughts on almost everything. Read what he has to say here, here and here (You too may be able to avail yourself of the special charm of “Settlers”  Check with your own club regarding reciprocal rights.)

Tuesday brought our resident intellectual Tarquin O’Flaherty to the fore with his introduction to Democracy and short history of the Twentieth Century (in 500 words or less!) This insightful work can be read here

Here and C & P Headquarters we are always interested in your opinions.  Send them on good quality paper, we find that burns better.


Quantum DumpsterQUANTUM  DUMPS

What will we do now that the public has seen through their little ploy, convincing them that they were Australia’s Own?

If basic German Engineering coupled with archaic American straight Six technology in 1978 wasn’t enough, surely a Japanese motor for one model cycle should have, and failing that last prod, a Buick designed V6 ought to have.  The final straw was an engine which was made of parts from all over the globe – everywhere except Australia, and put together in Victoria.

Was there any thought of reconfiguring the basic chassis to a more versatile platform?  The whole world has moved to front wheel drive, offering greater space efficiency, economy and flexibility of design.  Holden’s planners were in a time warp, reliving the glory days of Sedan Car Racing- long irrelevant to the masses. Who, in an energy precious world envisaged increasing an optional 6.0 litre V8 to 6.2 litres?  How non conscious of the world’s energy and greenhouse problems?  Equally, only a fanciful stylist could have so compromised rear visibility, stowage capacity and utility in creating a “Sports Wagon”? Aping again German and American styles, where numerous alternative configurations are available?  Here the only alternatives are from competitor vehicles, resulting in stolen sales and increased import vehicle penetration.

Australian values like ground clearance, space, economy, simple servicing and parts availability appear to be lost forever.

Have the manufacturers admitted that they wish us to live in a throwaway society, where if it is too hard to maintain, simply buy another one?

Should we the people continue to prop up these foreign owned behemoth companies, who send offshore a large part of their Government subsidies as straight profit to Head Office (in a clever indirect manner) enabling justification to their foreign masters to continue manufacturing in Australia.

Do we really need to prop up this industry, in the name of the “flow on” and multiplier effect on smaller locally(?) owned parts suppliers?

Have we really been better served by the surviving manufacturers than by those which have fallen by the wayside – e.g. the VW Beetle, Datsun 120 Y and the mighty Leyland P76? If India perpetuated the Morris Oxford from 1954 could not Australia have retained the above named masterpieces?  Who knows, by now all the bugs may have been ironed out of the P76!


Quentam Sketches