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

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Alex Nelson. Jewish refugees pre-WW2. I have never forgotten the story of the SS St Louis, told to me in 1955 by my grade 5 teacher at St Pius X primary school, Sister Mary Gangolfa, a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart, recently arrived in Oz from the Black Forest to teach the sons and daughters of young WW2 veterans.
Nearly 1000 desperate Jewish women and children sailed from Hamburg in 1939 to escape the Nazis. They headed for Cuba, where the ship was refused landing. No one wanted them. Because they were Jews. Shunned, they returned to Belgium, where many eventually died in WW2. I can understand why Russell has become a peacenik, with no disrespect using that word. It’s an admirable cause.


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@Nadine Williams. “We are the future, we are the link”. Such wonderful inspiring marching music lyrics!. Reminds me of the Good old days of peace activism and the stirring calls to arms (so to speak)…”Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” circa 1968. I can see Kim Jong un joining in….singing at the top of his voice…as today’s born again ICAN Nobel Prize peace activists march on the UN – that paragon of global justice – to demand that all countries get rid of their nuclear warheads. I always loved Puff the Magic Dragon. Ah,nostalgia. Here am I at three score years and eleven, trying to persuade that other paragon of justice -the AFL – to get rid of Collingwood Football Club. In the interests of world sanity.


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
Russell writes a nice heartfelt article. Emotional and committed to the notion that he and his fellow self-named “peaceniks” are enlightened and inhabit a black-and-white “Us against Them” world where they have always been pitted against those hateful “conservatives” who are warmongers who refused to see the light in all the peace causes down the years.
But my experience has been that life is shades of grey. Vietnam halted the Communist drive down through SE Asia long enough to let Malaysia and Indonesia overcome the insurgency.
My South Vietnamese friends Tom and Than Dong will tell you of genocide cleansing throughout their old Montagnard village countryside when Hanoi took over and the oppressed people have since learned to keep their mouths shut on fear of death.
My left wing American friends who did contract work at Pine Gap will tell you that the facility does good work to ensure world peace stability.
And the Amerixan community in Alice has been a socially binding force for good in the Centre.
My German friends from the Black Forest will tell you that the Wall came down because the West fought the good fight but they warn the reality of world Communism in Russia remains an ever present and constant evil.
The best way to describe our world where the vast majority of us “progresives” and “conservatives” know the reality and we all work towards peace in our own ways – is that our daily lives and values are a good mix of “fifty shades of grey”. Not peaceniks v warmongers.


Gap Centre is the centre of The Gap
I would like to commend both Centres for their incomparable work with the young people of Alice down the years.
They have all been magnificent in their selfless work and countless Alicians must have great stories to tell about them.
I would like to pay special tribute to the late Mrs Joan Higgins and Alan, her trusty sidekick of many years at Wills Terrace, and Graham and Ronda Ross down at the Gap.
I have had the great privilege of seeing them in action, giving amazing help to kids in need, 24/7, 365/12. Such good hearts. Alician Treasures.


Same sex marriage campaign in the bush takes to YouTube
Peter. It looks like you have me sorted as a bigoted, born-to-rule white male heterosexual No voter – in no uncertain manner.
To make matters worse, I was also born an Essendon AFL third generation supporter and will go to the death as a True Believer, maintaining the faith in the Mighty Bombers. Your mind is made up. So be it.
However, your comment makes me wonder what your moral judgment is of a No voter who happens not to be white (eg Vaughan) or neither white nor male (eg Theresa)?
Do they have any redeeming qualities as No voters, or are we all No vote bigots with no empathy etc? How do you rationalise their No vote views?
I ask these questions in good faith. I am genuinely curious to learn your thoughts.


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