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

No gaol for Peace Pilgrims: sentence
@ Kieran Finnane. Cold War circumstances change with the times.
Once it was Russia. Now it is North Korea backed by China.
What’s the difference between a KGB-ruled Soviet Union and a despotic ally of the soulless atheistic materialistic Tiananmen China superpower that has vowed to take control of the Western democratic world by whatever means possible?
Australia is a bunny blinded by the China spotlight. Anti-American protestors a la the Peace Pilgrims are yesterday’s men (and women), way behind the times in their inability to see today’s reality.


No gaol for Peace Pilgrims: sentence
@ Horton: Agreed. A good and sensible outcome. From the outset, the right to public protest by the Peace Pilgrims has never been questioned. The real issue here is the concept of civil disobedience and its reasonable limits in a society that is ruled by a stable democratic government under the rule of law.
Justice Reeves got it right. The Pilgrims challenged the limits and received much public praise on their journey. Acquittal would have implied that civil disobedience has no limits, no matter what the cause and where and when the civil disobedience occurs. The sentences did not bring down the hammer of a jail term, but emphasised that the Pilgrims had exceeded the limit.

@ Fred the Phillistine: Your emphasis on the cost to the public purse is interesting. You say that the Pilgrims should have been allowed to do their thing, presumably whenever they feel like returning.
Down here in Mexico, the CBD at Flinders and Swanston has been seriously disrupted in peak hour every Friday arvo during the month of November by the Manus Island protest marchers. Ongoing and escalating loss of income, serious stress and inconvenience is being caused to countless city workers.
With increasing numbers of civil disobedience protest marches in this critical part of the CBD almost weekly for every cause under the sun, we are looking at untold loss of income for ordinary punters and their families going about their lawful daily business affairs.
My question to you is – where would you draw the line and set the limit, on the causes that justify civil disobedience and the number of times protesters of any given cause should be able to cause social disruption and financial damage?

[ED – It was up to the jury, as always in a jury trial, not the judge to find the defendants guilty or not guilty.]


Strange encounters: the Peace Pilgrim and the Police Sergeant
@Jackie Hu. You criticise Justice Reeves for instructing the ordinary punters of the jury on points of law.

However, in instructing the jury (and during the conduct of the hearing) in this symbolic, divisive and very public case, Justice Reeves would have been very conscious indeed of the standard of equality of treatment demanded of judges and opposing counsel towards unrepresented litigants, laid down in the decision in Tomasevic v Travaglini in the Victorian Supreme Court by Justice Virginia Bell.

No doubt he was mindful that appeal judges would jump on him like a ton of bricks if there was even the merest hint of apprehended bias, especially in instructing a jury of ordinary punters in this touchy Pine Gap case.

Judges have a long established habit of instructing juries in public interest cases, as in the Chamberlain case.

I always believed a dingo took Azaria and the jury got it horribly wrong; and I cheered when appeal judges without a jury gave Lindy justice.

Of course, the Green latte sippers in Lygon Street saw us as anti-dingo etc. We were most unpopular.

You no doubt will cheer if the jury sees it your preferred Pilgrim way. If not, there is always the avenue of appeal without jury.


No extraordinary emergency at Pine Gap: judge rules
Ms Finnane. Are you sure that Michael McHugh SC was raising the example of the Suffragettes to support his argument that the Pine Gap Peace Pilgrims exceeded the limit of civil disobedience?

Could it have been that he was saying the opposite when he said “the Suffragettes notwithstanding” ie saying that the Suffragette civil disobedience was a different situation to this Pine Gap prayerful singalong?

After all, Emily Pankhurst got skittled by a horse and died for her beliefs. No disrespect to Emily whatsoever. She was truly gutsy. Your take on McHugh SC’s argument perhaps needs a bit of clarification in the words you used in your article?


Did Peace Pilgrims answer an extraordinary emergency?
@Greg. 60% of the Aussie population is secular, not Christian, as the SSM survey showed. At least 60% of the entire Western world is now secular and becoming more secular by the day. So. Blaming Christians for modern day wars is the trendy self-loathing mantra of the Left. As the majority of warmongers are secular, your argument falls flat, and flatter, by the day.
@Rebecca. It is confected courage to do a symbolic trek to the Red Centre in a safe democratic jurisdiction where PSOs like Sergeant Gadsby are on a hiding to nothing and face disciplinary action if they put a toe out of line while trying to do their lawful job, dealing with the Peace Pilgrim crew. Soft courage, shouting the generic anti-war war cry of the Left in a soft environment, ignoring their Christian obligation to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. I suggest it is humbug to paint this as “courage”. It would take real courage to conduct this protest in say, North Korea. Unless of course they think that if the Western world lays down its arms, everyone else will too.


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