@Evelyne Roullet. You raise some good points in your reasons …

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

@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.

John Bell Also Commented

Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality
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.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Alice in thrall of week-long sports extravaganza
The Masters Games has been a great initiative over the years. Many good people have been associated with its organisation and all are to be congratulated.
Above all else the games place a positive focus on togetherness and inspiration in the community as we grow older.
For inspiration, it does not come much more magnificent than the wonderful effort by Dicky Kimber in the 100m track event in the 2018 Games on the weekend.
The lad is a living example of loving life and all it has to offer. Every step of that 100m was gold. Wish I could have been there to see it.


Ice Age in Alice
@ Eugene’s Mate: I am surprised that ice as you say does not have a foothold in remote communities out of Alice.
It is so cheap, so readily available and is an epidemic in the lower socio-economic strata of the general urban community, in all ethnic sections, including Aboriginal, in Melbourne.
It is almost off the scale and out of control.


Ice Age in Alice
@ Russell Guy. Sorry mate. While I really do respect your view on this subject – and we have all seen this growing problem first hand for many years everywhere – I think the police request for light beer at the Masters Games was laughable.
It was like removing a very small, well behaved fitness-conscious pimple once every two years on a very large 24/7/36 public pumpkin of out-of-control drug and alcohol addiction in the Alice (as down here in Melbourne Town).
Common sense should have told the cops that this Masters Games judgment call simply got it wrong.


Tony Abbott sent packing on his first Aboriginal envoy trip
It has bothered me for a long time that individuals in remote Aboriginal communities so often claim to speak for the whole community in Australian politics without any questioning of other members of the community for their individual political views.
I began to see the politicisation of remote isolated communities in the NT first hand during my work in the Alice and then in Darwin in the late 60s and 70s.
One major party in particular captured the political mindset of so  many communities with hard sell, patronising welfare policies with a sit-down money focus that I thought it made so many good people in these communities vulnerable and captive to the group think mentality of a particular major party view.
I believe it created a  political herd mentality perception of Aboriginal people that demeaned them in the wider white community. 
It suggested that individual Aboriginal people in remote communities were incapable of forming independent individual views in Australian politics.
This did not promote healthy political debate in those communities and made Aboriginal people with different views fearful of speaking out. 
Only in fairly recent times have Aboriginal individuals started to challenge and break that mindset.
So, when reading media political releases such as this one on Borroloola, my first thought is to ask – who wrote the report? What is his or her political affiliation? And have all residents in that community expressed their individual views in the compiling of the release?
Until the person(s) who write such media reports come clean with honest, transparent and factual answers to those questions, the ugly herd mentality captive image of remote communities will remain entrenched in the Aussie political landscape for the vast majority of white urban dwellers in the Big Smoke.
And the diverse political views of Aboriginal people will continue to be devalued.


Wowser games?
Alcohol consumption is a matter of individual choice and the individual’s compliance with the respected maxims of social responsibility.
If health-conscious sportspeople who are entering middle age and senior citizens are banned by any government from free choice at any time before, during and at the completion of the Masters Games, then what person of any age group can ever be trusted to drink full strength beer at any time on any social occasion?
I agree with Ms Lambley.
This is a bizarre decision, made by a wowser nanny state government.


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