Ms Finnane has done one side of the journalistic due …

Comment on Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality by John Bell.

Ms Finnane has done one side of the journalistic due diligence exercise seeking out and interviewing Yes lobbyists in depth.
Will Ms Finnane be completing the full circle of the due diligence exercise by seeking out and interviewing No supporters? (ahem) Yes? No? (So to speak). I look forward to it with interest.

John Bell Also Commented

Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality
@Evelyne Roullet. You raise some good points in your reasons for ‘No’ voters not coming out of the woodwork in Alice. You make an excellent observation that outside those of religious faiths, marriage has been devalued and has lost much of its meaning in the hetero secular community in favour of de facto family situations. Centrelink and other agencies provide similar benefits, while gay couples with kids get similar financial entitlements. There can be no doubt that there are still, however, large silent numbers of agnostic or atheistic non-religious secular Alicians who hold marriage in the same light as their religious fellow citizens. In a small town like Alice they keep their views to themselves and the survey envelope for fear of backlash in their social and business lives in the current environment. It would be good if some of these Alicians would be game enough to articulate their ‘No’ arguments.
I would like to see the debate go beyond the highly charged emotive to the clearheaded discussion on the intention of the Constitution and peoples’ voice questions of referendum v postal survey, the jurisdictional separation of powers in any change to the Marriage Act, the parliament’s so-called ‘conscience vote’ and the ramifications of legal case precedent such as the decision in Hyde v Hyde etc. This would make any subsequent change or staus quo of the Marriage Act a much more credible exercise of due diligence that would stand the credibilty test of scrutiny by future generations. Are there any Alicians out there who are prepared to stand up to public scrutiny I wonder? I hope there are.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Large number of cars vandalised at Araluen
@Josh Davis. Josh. You are being a tad unfair, quite harsh, in fact, on 99.9% of people who have been expressing serious concerns about escalating property and increasingly violent youth behaviour.

No fairminded person has been “heaping endless vitriol” on these kids. They are simply distressed and fearful of what may well happen in the very near future if this massively destructive behaviour does not stop, no matter what the root cause is.

There has to be a balance between opportunities to rehabilitate/reconnect and getting these kids to take responsibility for their own actions.

They have to be taught, if they do not know already, that the consequences of their anarchic behaviour cause serious hurt and deep stress to victims and their families. Invariably.

In many cases the nameless victims they target suffer far more than the kids who are doing the damage.

Taking personal responsibility and growing up to be good citizens knows no cultural boundaries. All cultures must apply the same standards to be met by their youth.

If these kids can simply be taken back to talk to the victims they have hurt, every time, I believe the light will eventually switch on for all except the smallest minority in every culture who may never wish to change or give a toss.

It would also be comfort for the victims and conducive to better understanding and better relations between the feared and the fearful.


Large number of cars vandalised at Araluen
Is the Alice a very sad place now, or am I just imagining it?
So many locals and former locals of the Baby Boomer generation have been saying to me that these are the most depressing and awful of times compared with the Alice of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
It seems to me that racial issues now take second place to the sheer lawlessness of Alice youth out of control.
The relevant authorities, both black and white, appear unable to stem the overwhelming tide of youthful social anarchy, let alone define and isolate the real reasons, far less coming up with any answers.
Where to now, Alicians?


A life in flowers: new account of the extraordinary Olive Pink
In a letter of thanks to Dan Conway and the staff of NTA District Office in Hartley Street in 1969 for remembering her birthday on St Patricks Day with a bunch of flowers, Miss Pink fondly recalled her favourite flower from when she was a little girl in Tasmania.
Primrose forget-me-nots.
Miss Pink used the term “Alician” to describe herself.
Thank you, Ms Ward, for this lovely tribute to a great Alician, a true Lady of the Red Heart who loved all flowers.


Bangtail Muster draws big crowd on glorious day
The May Day Sports afternoon after the Muster was a traditional feature that is fondly remembered.
Under the guidance of Mrs Joan Higgins at the Youth Centre at Anzac Hill, the sports day was a genuine all-of-community get together that resonated with every section of the Alice community.
Who can ever forget the magic twinkle toes of Betty Campbell as she regularly blitzed her rivals in the women’s section of the Alice Gift? Betty was still beating her own teenage daughters well past the age when most mums had their feet up enjoying middle age.
The tug of war and throwing the rolling pin were genuine crowd pleasers that drew crowds of 3000 to 4000 at Traeger at its peak in the 70s.
The commercialisation of May Day with the introduction of thoroughbred racing and the Alice Cup at Pioneer Park, together with ridiculous public liability imposts, signalled the beginning of the end.
In 2002 at Anzac Hill the Sports Day finally drew to a close. Mrs Higgins at the entrance gate with tears in her eyes. It was the only time I ever saw Mrs Higgins cry.
Wonderful memories of a very happy day of togetherness for all Alicians.
So sad that moneyed interests choked the life out of such a spontaneous expression of the Alice community soul.


1968, when revolution was everybody’s business
@ Russell Guy. The single biggest factor that influenced the issues in those times in Central Australian remote Aborinibal communities that I saw was the sheer deluge of Commonwealth funding that saturated the landscape from 1973 onwards for political and idealistic reasons.
You had to see it to believe it.
The floodgates opened and they have never been checked.
The mix of government money and altruism is far too daunting for a vote-conscious pollie to challenge. For so many obvious reasons. Sad.


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