I smiled when I read Ms Finnane’s sincerely-reported comment: “It …

Comment on Surprising conservative on council: Jacinta Price by John Bell.

I smiled when I read Ms Finnane’s sincerely-reported comment: “It can be hard for white men, however well-meaning, to recognise as anything other than normal the situation that gives them unequal access to power. With their power intact, it is easy for them to then proclaim that the system ain’t broke and doesn’t need fixing, that they are blind to race, gender and age, that we are all equals.”
My immediate thought was, as a self-attested well meaning Baby Boomer white man, that this bright young white woman journalist professes to know me and my male gender better than I do.
That’s us summed up by today’s young commentators alright – stereotyped as well-meaning, all-powerful, but ignorant, blind, hopelessly out of touch, cannot accept today’s ideals of equality, diversity, tolerance, fairness and whatever else it is that The Enlightened tend to pontificate about.
Don’t get me wrong, Ms Finnane. I’m not really bellyaching. Not really.
I’m actually smiling as I search around for the Gold Key to the Door of Unequal Access to Power … seem to have lost it over the years … never knew I had it all those years ago as a young lad … then I met the love of my life … in Alice … then I realised … circa mid 1970s … where the real power lies … male and female equality and true happiness in everything done together … to help others … and enjoy life, together.
The Gold Key to Male Gender Power did not seem really important to me after that, if I had ever thought about it at all!
Surprisingly, I have found over the years that a lot of women, white and black and every other colour, did not, and still do not understand that.
On the other hand, I have found so many great women from diverse backgrounds who I instinctively feel DO understand – they “get it”.
On my observations so far, I have a feeling that young Ms Jacinta Price is one of those ladies who do get it.
Today the politics of gender, the politics of causes and the politics of equality generally has an accompanying scale of morality assigned to it by the various advocates that is now the new gateway to access to power in the hands of the enlightened ones.
So, Ms Finnane, I accept that your comment is sincere and objective and I do hope that your enshrinement of gender diversity and all the other desired deiversities in future council composition works out well for the people of Alice in the years to come.
And I do hope that when your access to power is transferred into other hands, other than the white men to whom you refer on council, human nature in the hands of the new diversity will not intervene to repeat the sad history of misplaced white male power that you appear to be documenting.

John Bell Also Commented

Surprising conservative on council: Jacinta Price
Dear Ms Roullet. You are on! We could form a coalition, so to speak!


Surprising conservative on council: Jacinta Price
Miss Roullet. I do agree with you that human nature can be unpredictable, as an unfortunate French king found out.
However, here’s another saying – “history repeats itself” … and another … “there is nothing new under the sun”.
As the history of France and other republican nations subsequently has shown, in every type of government, whether governed by monarchs, presidents, dictators et al, similar naughty bits of human nature inevitably kick in. Power blocs form, regardless of whatever Right, Left, “conservative” or “progressive” regimes come to rule.
Fast forward to Alice Council 2017.
Bet you a seniors black coffee of your choice in Fan Arcade next time I see you, the next council will form a power bloc(s) of like-minded individuals with a born-to-rule mindset, whether high-minded idealists or scurvy small business wheeler dealers.
Betcha each bloc has the distinct potential, based on the facts of history, to be as bad or as good as the other?


Surprising conservative on council: Jacinta Price
Mr La Flamme. I agree that diversity is a wonderful concept. The more diversity, the better. In theory.
However, to get things done efficiently and on budget year after year, for the practical benefit of the community as a whole, there must be a majority council decision on its multitude of day to day operational priorities. Hum drum decisions but critical for a council to keep Alice humming along, looking good, keeping streets clean etc.
Human nature and common sense dictate that no two councillors agree on budget priorities all the time, and that’s why power blocs tend to form.
Diversity is honourable but a double-edged sword. Sooner or later, human nature kicks in.
Betcha a zillion dollars that a power bloc will form among the more forceful of the diverse councillors. To get things done. In their image.
Just like Ms Finnane has found.
Let’s hope that the new diversity power bloc of the future has the practical ability and the necessary business nouse to run the hum drum daily boring job of council efficiently, as well as the white man power bloc has done previously that Ms Finnane refers to.
But hey, let’s stop splitting hairs and wish all the council nominees all the very best in the interests of a better Alice.
And all the best to you, Mr La Flamme.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Evelyne Roullet. Yes. Could not agree more.
Used to meet Mrs Higgins at the gate, every year, at the sports on Bangtail Muster Day and at the gate at Traeger Park, for 31 years.
Wonderful memories of a great lady who put her heart and soul into all the kids of Alice. The Youth Centre and the Gap Centre. Great places.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Evelyne Roullet. I bet that the late Mrs Joan Higgins, a WW2 nurse who nursed the wounded in Alice, and whose Youth Centre sits under the shade of ANZAC Hill where so many town kids came together for sport, would be looking down and smiling on your beaut idea.


Will we say sorry to the Abandoned Generation in 10 years?
@ An Alice extended-family member. Thank you for perhaps one of the most thoughtful and compassionate comments that I have ever had the good fortune to read on the saddest of all social issues – the dysfunction and tragic breakdown of family – whether in the Aboriginal or wider community. Your comment is now pinned to my cerebral noticeboard for future reference and citing.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@James T Smerk. Conjecture on the appropriate hill to fly the Aboriginal flag is intriguing. Anzac Hill is the highest hill in the heart of the town of Alice which has a majority non-Aboriginal permanent population on my understanding of the urban stats. Spencer Hill and Billygoat Hill are in town too.

The two high points on the MacDonnell Range either side of the Stuart Highway as you come through The Gap or even Mt Gillen would seem to me to be a better place more representative of the bigger traditional Aboriginal population of Central Australia outside the immediate built-up town precincts. Harold’s view on this would be interesting. Certainly, these latter places would help to defuse the highly contentious debate around the commemoration of the fallen on Anzac Day.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
Harold Thomas’ opinion would be interesting. I’m sure he would see his creation as a symbol of unity and welcome.

All fair dinkum Australians want unity and harmony. The views of the originators of the ‘Welcome to Country’ idea, Ernie Dingo and Richard Wally, would also be illuminating


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