I Try To Understand

Right now people all around me seem to be on drugs – word drugs. As I watch their narcotised, stupefied, insensible, befuddled, delirious, hallucinating behaviour I feel as though I have just fallen into Alice’s Wonderland. Why is this so?

I try to understand.

Rudyard Kipling once said that words are the most powerful drugs used by mankind. I fervently agree with him. I do know however that some words are as valuable as penicillin. They are not the ones I am thinking of.

The words currently in my mind can lead to the darkest of consequences. Many of the users of these words aim to suppress logic. They seek to give you a good feeling about unverified things and thus take away a great freedom – your ability to make decisions based on truth and reliable evidence.

What is the motive for this? It’s quite simple: to get your money. A second aim is to gain power over you. When your existence depends not on reason and proof but on the schemes and devices of fable pedlars, you are no longer free.

The selling artifice has become a Janus deal for the power seekers of the modern world. And the bend sanctifies the means.

In the table below then are some of my narcotic words. Their possible ramifications are also shown. All of this is a struggle that continues for me.

use-this-one-3-300x300

Attribution: Creative Commons – http://www.theloquitur.com/leonards-turntable-trending-mixtapes/

WORD ADDICTION TABLE

WORD DRUGS

 ____________________

RAMIFICATIONS

 ____________________

absolutely

Slanted perfection.

 Absolutely correct = 100%. Correct also = 100%. The big word merely looks better.

Absolute implies an extreme. So we are inspired absolutely to buy. 😯

get one free

You can first decide on the profit margin.

Then divide the needed selling price by three. The three you buy thus pay for the ‘free’ fourth.

Things are not free if you have to buy something else to get them. 😢

35% Off

It is possible to add 35% to the original price before the sale.

You can then with a flourish take off 35% in big letters.

Often the befuddled  buy the “bargain” and lift sales and profit. A big trick. Consider this! 😨

just 950 dollars 

“Just” can be a false diminutive.

It shrewdly implies you are getting a bargain. It can deceive you.

So go ahead and buy that match-box for just $19.50. Trust the fake mood? 😻

it’s new.

So what? Newness is vague value. Not necessarily good.

A new virus can make all the current medicines useless.

It’s time you knew ‘new’ can be a fake virtue. 😼

50% less fat

Meaningless batter.

Less than what? A pig’s foot? A ton of dripping?

“More” and “less” mean nothing unless all things compared are shown. 🤔

some people say…

Who the ‘some people’ are is never revealed in case you check up.

Are the SP mad? Are they criminals? Are they paid? No information given.

You are mad to see unchallenged truth in such shadowy statements. 😈

recent research shows

Once, recent research showed that man could never fly. Details are direly needed..

Researcher named? Size of sample given? Methods shown? We need to check it all!

Non-reliable non- valid research will eventually crumble like fake prophecies. 😵

ad hominem

Your position weak? Put a bomb in ‘em.

If your opponent is smart, attack his intelligence.

If your opponent is clever scientifically, attack science. 👹

being political

This “crime” has recently been the accusation used by one politician against another.

“In using that argument, the honourable member is simply being political,” said the Minister.

Pray what else should a politician be if not political? Are we not in fact suggesting here that  all politicians are bad people? ☠️

strong, firm leadership

Status quo rules. Police state in disguise?

Harsh penalties for dissidents. Laud our way of life; ignore its sins.

Enemies are said to be everywhere. Border protection is stressed. Weapons needed. Jobs and shares rise. Yea!    👿

taxpayer’s dollars

Unlimited funds to support banks, weapons and war.

Not so relevant re. education, hospitals and the aged. Save money for the truly important things and  privatise!

Open University Pty Ltd. 😎

big government

Corporate no no.

Viva Efficient Market hypothesis! Market triumphalism: core creed as we cash in on the Commons.

Auction off all that the people own. Make CEOs symbols of righteousness. Fund banks👺

expert advice

Henry Ford’s lawyer said, in 1903, that the car was only a fad.

Lord Kelvin of the Royal Society said in 1883 that X-rays were a hoax.

So the unsinkable Titanic sank. 🙃

the 99 cent gimmick

It seems a dollar cheaper. $4.99 is really $5.00 but the brain sees $4.00.

A deliberate trick to mislead. Yes deliberate. Count the examples.

‘Tis a subconscious swivel to twist reality in favour of the seller. 🙄

buy for $225 and save

You can reduce the cost but do you really save when you spend?

Etymology: Latin salvare ‘to make safe.’ Safe by spending? Maybe.

My daughter said long ago: “I was good today Daddy. Did you see all the things I didn’t do?” 😇

got highest awards

What were they? Were they valid? Is the brand story a convenient fantasy?

Self praise is an overt, lucrative form of fake flattery.

The going price for a knighthood from James I in the 1600s: £38. ♛

nothing but the best

The word best is often a fictitious superlative – a risky thing.

Accurate proof is rare. Glib tongues reap undeserved best rewards often.

Thus it may follow that the best possible outcome may be but the least worst option!  😼  

THANK YOU  FOR SPENDING YOUR TIME WITH  ME.    R.

🙏

Post Script

514887926

Things are not as bad as they used to be, as this Public Domain archival image shows.

 

It’s Not Cricket.

“It’s not cricket.” Did you know that the first recorded use of that expression in England was early in the seventeenth century when folk were accused of playing cricket on a Sunday. That was one way out of a Laurel and Hardy “revolting development.” An excuse was needed to avoid God’s wrath.

Regarding the rules of ethics though, is cricket today the moral pastime it was once claimed to be? No comment from me. You decide.

I do have a comment here however. About something else.

This little speech of mine is a consequence of 50 years of teaching: 29 teaching children or youths K to 12, and 21 teaching teachers. Yes, it is definitely not about cricket. A topic for between seasons perhaps. Anyway here it is. You decide.

I am a graduate of Fort Street, a selective high school in Sydney Australia. I remember Fortians with affection. Yet my memories of my students who struggled to learn with me in underprivileged Western Sydney also give me much comfort in my old age. Learning can be such a victory for some of us! I have noticed that the joy of sudden understanding lasts even  longer sometimes than the school itself.

A Parting Plea

Education is not a black and white simplicity. It is technicolour!

An infinite range of variables can influence the learning success of a child. We can mention postcode, home conditions,  parent ambition, gender, health, height, hearing capacity, eyesight, teacher-child-relationships, relevance of subject-matter, difficulty of subject matter, teacher mastery of subject-matter, intelligence (whatever that is), attendance at school, change of school, constancy of failure and constancy of success as some of the potential controlling variables. I do not claim this list is complete.

 Therefore, how do we measure teaching competence?

Don’t you dare tell me we can measure teachers via pupil performance in objective or one-off single day written tests! Don’t you dare tell me you can measure the competence of a teacher of literacy in the same way!

You have to get into that teacher’s classroom. That is where the essential action takes place. That is what needs to be observed. That is the cauldron where learning has to happen. The judge has to be there; has to taste the climate that children face every day; has to smell the smells; has to see what windows don’t open in hot weather.

In my school teaching days I was inspected by experienced, observant mentors twelve times. Twelve times they passed judgement on me according to what they saw in my classrooms. Once, two Year Eleven boys tried to help me. They said loudly for the inspector’s benefit as they left the classroom,”Gee that was a good lesson!” The inspector smiled and winked at me, but those two young men knew that a glossy CV was not enough for me to get promoted in that system. They knew that I was on display there where you cannot hide incompetence. The inspectorial system was replaced some years ago by a Harvard business model in my part of the world – alas!

More cricket next time, if the weather is fine.

R.

Memories Of A Second Class Cricketer

A Good Innings

 III

“Look after that shine please!”

John Blomley, Brilliant Swing Bowler

imagesAttribution: Wiki Commons

I have explained earlier, in my personal cricket narrative, that in 1958 I gave up my sporting ambition and returned to teaching. My appointment at a one-teacher school in the outer reaches of the Hunter Valley, with week-day accommodation only, meant that I spent my weekends closer to the city of Newcastle. So how could I not play cricket again?

The 1960 green field I had the good fortune to return to was situated at Stockton, on the north side of the Hunter River. It was a joyous return to the welcoming friendships and support I found there in that club that was a vibrant part of the Newcastle competition. I hope my surviving team mates and all families will forgive me if I focus just on one team-mate. After all these years I realise more strongly that ever what a brilliant human being he was.

My motive therefore is to make this little piece of mine an obituary in effect to a special friend, John Blomley. Off the cricket field when I knew him, John was a doctor serving the Stockton community in particular. On the playing field he was a star. That star shone not only on the cricket field. As a medical student he had been a fine Rugby Union centre-three quarter with Sydney University, New South Wales and Australia.

Here is a little more on the football side of things:

Born 7 March 1927 at Tumbarumba in New South Wales, Blomley attended St Joseph’s College, Sydney where he came under the watchful eye of the famous rugby coach, Brother Henry. Here, the young Blomley learned the rudiments of the game. Brother Henry insisted on a solid foundation for the young footballer. “There is no room in a college fifteen for a boy whose hands are not safe,” he counselled. “All the footballers at the college must learn the rudiments of the game.”

So Brother Henry turned out Jack Blomley as a polished inside back. After leaving St Joseph’s College in 1944, Blomley entered Sydney University to study medicine and naturally played for Sydney University in the metropolitan competition.

… Although he declared himself unavailable for the Australian Universities tour of New Zealand early in the year, Blomley looked forward to the 1949 representative season with the Maori side touring Australia for a Test series to be followed by a Wallaby tour of New Zealand. Blomley won selection in the New South Wales team that met the Maoris in the third match of their tour. The visitors produced a strong forward display to win 19-14, but Blomley did enough to be selected to play for Australia in the first Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

(Source: Loc.cit. the link below)

Here is an image of John at the height of his Football power. He was known as Jack in his Rugby days.

blomley-john

  Attribution: Loc. cit. the link below

You can read more on the Rugby career of John here at this Rugby site.

Returning to matters of cricket, I can say with some confidence that wicket keepers tend to judge bowlers’ ability accurately. The bowler has a huge hand in the making of the ‘keeper’s status. Part of my destiny was to keep wickets to the bowling of John Blomley.

Now although I was a mere second class cricketer, I have been lucky enough to keep wickets to a number of Australia’s Test bowlers including Johnny Martin, Pat Crawford, Grahame Corling, John Watkins and (as a Golden Oldie) Robert Holland. I have batted against Gordon Rorke, David Sincock and Peter Philpott, all Test bowlers. You can add to that perspective keeping wickets for countless other bowlers from inter-varsity and the Grades of Sydney and Newcastle, as well as the brilliant Merv Black at Arundel for the Australian Old Collegians. Nowhere in that conglomeration of experience can a find another John Blomley.

I am not saying he was the best in my experience. But he was up there, unrecognised largely, with the stars. He was unforgettable with his wit and boundless energy. How sad for him to die aged 43.

John loved every moment of his cricket. His enthusiasm was catching. He polished that ball, especially at Stockton’s oval, like the finest medieval craftsman at work. If you bounced that ball with a throw, you were doomed to hear a torrent of abuse.

He rode the mystic winds of Stockton Bight with that ball like Pegasus. Perfect control with windy support. Three outswingers and then a sudden inswinger at LBW time. A sudden slow ball for a caught and bowled. A faster one, the wicket broken and a bail harmlessly hitting my jaw.

John was a busy doctor too. More than once play was interrupted by the urgent needs of a patient.

He was patient with me too, amidst all of his quest to overthrow batsmen. Cheerful with mistakes and generous with success. I still replay a missed stumping that would have given him a hat trick. It was a legside inswinger that left the batsman and me stranded and resulted in four byes. I have replayed that moment so many times that I am sure I could catch it now, old as I am.

It is such a long time now since I marvelled at John Blomley. We all fade away eventually don’t we? All that is left of our dreams is a memory in the minds of others. But somehow that is a very important place to be.

R

Tea Break From The Cricket

Poems Through A Glass Starkly

News

  A Word On The Yellow Press

That picture above of the Yellow Kid is linked to the reason we have the current term “Yellow Press.” The cartoon character was the creation of Richard Fenton Outcault who was working in the 1890s in the United States for the extremely racist media mogul Joseph Pulitzer and his New York World. Outcault with his narrative cartoon style is generally regarded as the beginner of newspaper comics.

The Kid was an overtly shallow and uneducated character and spoke in a kind of  uneducated and “immigrant” language. One key aim: denigration. Pulitzer would have been pleased with the colour yellow as he had an intense hatred of Chinese, especially the mid-nineteenth century gold seekers. The head of the Kid was shaved, a common sight in that age of head lice, and he wore a nightshirt that was an inheritance from a sister and on which were written strange, attention getting statements that many thousands of readers took delight in.

Now the story of the Yellow Kid or, to give him his appointed name Mickey Dugan, has a quite startling relevance to our contemporary lives. His adventures were set in a New York Slum – Hogan’s Alley – in a time of widespread poverty and vast social and racial tension. These exploits captured the interest of a multitude. Newspapers largely without real news suddenly were beginning to make a profit – a big profit. Two pennies bought Mickey; to Hell with thinking about worldly matters!

The Yellow Kid was very significantly a distraction from vital news. He sold newspapers and helped change Pulitzer’s insignificant rag into a goldmine of 300,000 circulation. Arm in arm with rape and murder and scandal and war the Kid helped set a news-media pattern that still exists all around us today. The task for Pulitzer and Hearst was not to educate with true, important information but rather to present news selectively and fill the gaps with non sequiturs. That meant attract attention in your market in any way you can.

So today, when chosen samples of worthless and sensational trivialities seize our time and create a vast ignorance of reality, the  name”Yellow Press” is relevant. Mickey Dugan and his world live on.

Randolf Hearst saw the yellow light and stole Outcault from Pulitzer with a higher salary. The Yellow Kid remained the property of Pulitzer (verified by court decision) but another colour achieved similar objectives. But the diversion from reality continued. Other distractions like Buster Brown flourished.

Here is Buster.Buster_Brown_alone_mod_color-1

Attribution: Publisher: New York Herald. Date: May 4, 1902. Artist: Richard F. Outcault.

In contrast to the Yellow Kid, Buster Brown was good looking. Buster Keaton at the time was a child actor so the name was popular. The character was drawn first for Pulitzer but when Outcault transferred to Hearst the character went too as another circulation booster for Pulitzer’s former protege and then his rival. Buster appeared for both magnates but a court decision forbade the use of the name by Hearst. Hearst created many more circulation boosting comic figures. Let us not be too hard on the comics as a distraction. They often entertain after all. It’s non stop murder, rape, scandal and violence including war subject matter that need a line to be drawn. The saddest line of all is always a Siegfried line. What have the media done recently to stop wars?

_________________________________________

An Examination of Testing 

It’s testing time in the madhouse

As the beasties seek to see

If the alphas, gammas or deltas

Deserve a right to be

But the testers have delusions

That illusions must be inclusions

So that all they ever find at best

Is who can do their test

No data on morality in this ordeal hiatus

Just an empty number that proclaims your evil status

Sweet alpha we cannot kiss today for I’m an epsilon

I failed their test and can you guess I am now fit to be spat upon?

So all we humble guinea pigs must make a contribution

While flaws and lies imposed on us have a normal distribution

Someone should write a poem now to expose this dark stupidity

Reliable yes to sort the sheep but what about the validity?

Attribution. Cartoon Source: http://www.thelandscapeoflearning.com/2012/09/please-climb-that-tree.html Date of Visit: 16 October, 2017

_________________________________________

 

 Ad Ventures In The Gloom

Whoops we diddle and take ‘em down

Fiddle the riddle and kindle the middle

Bash the rash and fake the cash

All for the sake of a sale O

Beguile the smile and sell off the Nile

Export the nought to feed the rort

Flog the log till we’re all agog

All for the sake of a sale O

Enchant the egg to fall off the wall

Invent a rent for the incident

Conjure the wise to standardise

All for the sake of a sale O

Walk like a noodle to feed the fake

Peddle a medal to market the rash

Rat the fink so the price will sink

All for the sake of a sale O

Hoodwink the horde but smile the while

Hoax the folks and delude the fool

Inveigle the bagel to feed the greed

All for the sake of a sale O

Outwit the weather and say it’s fine

Pull a fast one on the last one

Cock-a-doodle let us canoodle

All for the sake of a sale O

17 October 2017

images

Attribution: Source Creative Commons; precise origin unknown.

a150_a4

Attribution: Source Creative Commons. Link: https://unclestinky.wordpress.com/category/pop-culture-stench/page/2/ Date: 17/8/2017

After the break, more cricket.

R.

Memories of a Second Class Cricketer

A Good Innings

II 

One of the most captivating aspects of the Victorian age was its tendency to confuse issues which ought not to have any logical connection at all. Among these the concept of the Gentleman loomed like a cloud over the landscape, permeating every backwater of social intercourse, tilting the balance of debate.

Benny Green A History of  Cricket  Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1988, p. 125.

The theme of this second part of my cricket tales is overwhelmingly ‘my gentlemen.’ It had nothing to do with class or with a capital ‘g.’ The only social status they had was to be in the same place as I was for a serious cricket match. Many of them are no longer alive yet I feel so fortunate they are still with me in my mind.

My performance for Combined Country in February 1957 led to my selection in the Petersham-Marrickville First Grade Team. Our home ground was Petersham Oval. I love that ground.

It was our school home ground for Fort Street and we won the Sydney High Schools competition in 1949. Our opening bowler at the time was Alan Wyatt who went on to open the bowling for New South Wales. I gained selection in the Combined Sydney High Schools team as an opening batsman. I had not taken up wicket keeping at this stage.

Here is our Petersham Marrickville team in 1957 as revealed by an ancient press clipping. These people are some of my ‘gentlemen’ but as you can see, the newspaper decided to give them capital letters.

Petersham

Clive Johnstone was at times captain of New South Wales. Noel Hughes had recently returned from a stint with English cricket. His sons, young at this time, were to grow into a distinguished cricket and football family.

Johnny Martin was yet to be the noted Test player. He was incredibly hard to “read” as a bowler for the wicket keeper that I was. We had an agreement that he would nod for a wrong ’un. Alas his mind and his body were not always in harmony so I would often get the wrong message. Poor batsmen though! He would trick them constantly too. But then I had to stop the ball to prevent four byes.

Johnny Martin was a lovely human being. A man of massive talent with bat and ball. As a first slip player he often stopped byes from a ball I missed. He was a true friend, humble and supportive. I had got to know his two brothers too in earlier days.

Vince was an opening bat for Stockton in the Newcastle competition I later played in. I rode in a taxi, when I was teaching in Maitland, driven by Johnny’s brother Tom. He said to me, “Keep an eye out for that young fellow (brother John). He’ll play for Australia some day.” He was right.

Johnny is also famed for his big hitting on Melbourne Cricket Ground. With ordinary bats too, not the supercharged 20/20 ones of the present.

Kevin Cantwell was a slow medium for whom I stood up to the stumps and got a stumping in one match match against Gordon. He was a brilliant field and a leading baseball player. I remember Brian Taber as the Gordon ‘keeper in that match, before his Test fame had arrived.

Pat Crawford had just returned from bowling for Australia at Lords . He was quick. I had met him in the National Service strangely enough. He represented New Holdsworthy’s troops while I was the wicket keeper-batsman for Old Holdsworthy. Keith Herron, a First Grade wicket-keeper for Drummoyne and a very diminutive person, had to deal with Pat’s bowling on a mat. I remember one of the deliveries almost going for six byes – or more accurately these days six wides.

Pat was kind to me and supportive, a rather overwhelmed country lad that I was. The other three team members were very good bowlers. Bruce Livingstone was the opening bowler for New South Wales, along with Pat Crawford.

Ken White was a skilful off spin bowler. Television came to Australia in 1956. The ABC was televising Grade cricket matches in 1957. In our match at Bankstown Oval, Alan McGilvray and Michael Charlton were busy describing our all-day performances. Ken was bowling to new batsman Grahame Thomas. He moved out to a yorker, missed, the ball hit my ankles and I missed the stumping. Thomas went on to get fifty, play for Australia and have an oval at Bankstown named after him. So as I see it everything happens for the best.

Ron Briggs for Bankstoen had been batting all day before Thomas came in, and finished with 187. Alan McGilvray was very sympathetic for the stressed out keeper with hours in the field who missed that one of so many balls. Had I made that stumping perhaps there would be an oval named after me instead of Grahame. (Only joking,) Just a few mistakes sent me to Second grade and thence back to a lifetime of teaching not cricket.

Combined Country 

Here is an ancient and  just surviving record of the Country innings on the first day of that match: February 13, 1957.

Petersham.pdf 2

My happiest memories are linked with the human qualities of the players, the gentlemen. First, the chance to talk for an hour after the match with Brian Booth, a captain of Australia, was a delight. A man of great status, he was so humble and so easy to talk to. His words were a fine complement to the artistry of his batting I observed on the field. His opening partner Warren Saunders was also a sheer delight to share time with.

Here is the Sydney innings. It clearly shows the cricket powers of those two players in particular.

Country Inns 1

It was an interesting experience too to be treated by the Cricket Association as representative players. Accommodation in the now extinct Hotel Sydney was very comfortable. Hire car transport to and from the SCG was relaxing for the players. Cricket boots left in the dressing room over night were cleaned with bright whiteness next morning. A small player wage we got to cover costs was quite an honour and a new experience.

Sam Trimble broke a finger facing Gordon Rorke. He was taken away for medical treatment and resumed his innings later. That was the starting moment perhaps of an illustrious career with Queensland and later Australia.

The haloed SCG itself was another joy. That “visitors” dressing room had served many players of distinction. A haloed place to be,

My other Sydney opponents in that match of long ago are still remembered.

Ken Muller I had met in my school days. He was a Fort Street student as I was. Peter Philpott was twelfth man for the 1949 Combined High Schools team I played in. He was a thoughtful bowler who turned the ball quite sharply and deserved more wickets. He was also a stylish batsman. I was destined to play against Grahame Thomas later in the year, as I have discussed elsewhere.

My Second Experience of Sydney Grade  

In the 1957/58 Sydney season I played four matches in First Grade and two in Second Grade. I batted only twice in the four First Grade matches for 20 not out against Gordon, and 49 not out against Waverley. I was not called on to bat against Western Suburbs and Bankstown. In Second Grade I scored 71 against Paddington at Rushcutters Bay and 20 against Glebe-South Sydney at North Sydney Oval. So my batting average was rather good.

After the demotion I felt a stronger calling from the profession I loved — teaching. I decided to leave the city, if the Department of Education so decreed, and rejoin the permanent teaching ranks. I was appointed far from the city cricket scene to a one-teacher school at Chichester via Dungog in the Hunter valley.

At Chichester I was unable to get weekend accommodation so I had to stay with my parents at Ferodale, four miles north of Raymond Terrace.

Thus, with the help of Fate, I was able to return to cricket at Stockton in the Newcastle competition. This in many ways was the beginning of another cricket adventure. The next part of my narrative will focus on this.

To end this chapter, these links might interest you:

(My special thanks to the wonderful Marrickville cricket researchers.)

Marrickville Cricket Club, in my time joined with Petersham, has a long and proud history commencing in 1910.

Notes From The Net and My Memory

As you know, I played with Johnny Martin and Pat Crawford. I admired from outside the fence Barnes , Alley and Moroney. Alley became a test umpire in England and in his very first Test with the very first ball he had to give a decision. It was out, caught behind and he was right. Andrews was before my time.

I saw Jack Moroney when I was an admiring kid, hit a six right over the rail arches in a Grade match at my Glebe home ground, Jubilee Oval. He was a solid Test opener but he could be aggressive too. Two ducks in a match were an inaccurate cause of demotion in that seven Test match career. He was a high school maths teacher by profession.

Marrickville CC’s players include Johnny Martin, Pat Crawford, Sid Barnes, Bill Alley, Jack Moroney and Tommy TJ Andrews  It has been home to Australian Captain Bob Simpson and three of Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’ – Ernie Toshack, Bill Brown and Ron Saggers. I remember the grace of Ron Saggers when he played for New South Wales. To clash in time with Test star Don Tallon from Queensland was bad luck for Saggers.

Here is a link to the Marrickville site:

http://www.marrickville.nsw.cricket.com.au/content.aspx?file=4224%7C23309m&print=1

Leg bye now,

R

Memories of a Second Class Cricketer

A Good Innings

I

Because cricket was for many years my chief escape from what are sometimes  laughingly called serious affairs, I promised myself I would never write about it. This is the seventh book I promised never to write.

Benny Green A History of  Cricket  Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1988.

For my agnostic father Alex, cricket was a religion. Perhaps it was an obsession.

Whatever it was, he bowled countless leg breaks or wrong’uns to my brother Vic and me in our backyards or on holidays wherever we went. That was probably the reason I hit Australian leg-spinner Peter Philpott for four leg-side boundaries on the Sydney Cricket Ground for Combined Country against Sydney in 1957. I don’t wish to imply I was ever a first-class cricketer, so that makes those boundaries an even greater achievement for my Dad.

During our annual visits to Berrara, a camping place of long ago (in the Forties) south of Nowra, off Fisherman’s Rock Road, we took a big spade and made a turf wicket for the “Test” matches that went on through the school holidays. There were plenty of players from the tents around us.

Mum and Dad were parents of the Great Depression and I was born in the alleged winding down year, 1933. Dad made me a billy-cart for Santa one Christmas, and added a cricket bat he also fashioned himself. Lots of cricket bats followed though, real ones, with compound cricket balls (cork not leather)  to play with as times changed for the better.

I remember buying a Stuart Surridge bat from Mick Simmons’ sports store:  George Street, corner with Campbell Street. Simmons made his money first from tobacco and then branched into sporting goods. Creams and shirts were bought there too. I loved going into that shop. Mick also would employ famous sportsmen to serve there, another big attraction for me and many others. Sport was not a corporate business then so the “stars” of the time were probably often glad of that job.

As I write, other sporting stores of my era come to mind. I bought my first wicket-keeping gloves from Bert Oldfield’s store, 243 Pitt Street Sydney. He taught me where to stand behind the stumps, advice I kept for the rest of my wicket-keeping days. A funny anomaly in those first cricket days was the sticky stuff we used to put on wicket-keeping gloves. Now I realise that if you didn’t concentrate, didn’t watch the ball and thus moved too late and snatched, the glue was a waste of time and money.

Yes times did move on as I’ve implied. In that past, you oiled your bat with linseed oil  – quite a test of your loving care. I think I remember rolling it with a broom handle and bouncing cricket balls on the surface to harden it. How different things are now – iron clad surfaces already on some of the bats you buy!

I remember too Stan McCabe’s store. He was a very quiet man who always served you courteously and humbly.  I bought in particular practice cricket balls from him. I was very sad to hear of his untimely death when it happened long ago now. His deeds against bodyline don’t die.

My introduction to Sydney Grade cricket came from Glebe South Sydney. This was because we moved to Newtown. I have learnt that the administrators of the grade competition decided, I think around 1910, that you had to live in the area of the club you played for. That aimed to strengthen the competition and draw crowds. So because I lived in Newtown, off I went to Jubilee Oval Glebe via the Glebe Point tram.

Albert (Tibby) Cotter, Warren Bardsley, Charles Kelleway and Bertie Oldfield all played for Glebe. Cotter, Bardsley and Kelleway also went to Forest Lodge Primary where Bardsley Senior was headmaster for many years, having taught one time in Warren, New South Wales. Oldfield was secretary of the Glebe Club in 1915.

Tibby Cotter was actually killed, in his life’s prime,  at the Battle of Beersheba in October 1917. He chose to join the cavalry charge although not strictly required to do so. As I write, the centenary of that event is being celebrated with full military honours. We can actually join the celebration of this and other fatal events for a deposit of $500 AU and then further payments. Death and destruction have strange bedfellows these days.

We young Glebe players were cared for paternally by a small group of senior players. I remember especially Jim Bowden, the First Grade keeper and later a Sheffield Shield umpire. A lucky friend for me. There was practice at the nets and there were practice matches mixing the grades on the main oval.

It was a great inspiration for us lower grade players to practice with the seniors. Ron Kissell, a state player, was there. He played eleven first class matches for New South Wales between 1946 and 1952. Bobby Madden was also there, an opening batsman briefly for New South Wales and a soccer player for Australia. I remember when he was dismissed for 99 for the state. 

One of the umpires in those practice matches was George Borwick, an umpire in the Bodyline series. Mrs Borwick made and served, with other ladies, afternoon tea for us. That was the kind of community we had then and will always need.

Mr Borwick was an influence on me. I remember a durable piece of advice: “If you think you are not out, look in the scorebook.” That has stabilised me many times since.

I was chosen in the club’s Green Shield (under 15) team as a leg spinner. I remember in a match at Waitara Oval that the fence was far to close for my bowling..

I made it into Fourth Grade as a batsman however, and so began a beautiful friendship. Then a wicket-keeper was needed so I volunteered. The friendship blossomed. Jim Bowden was a great help to me down a few years.

Those years passed and I worked my way up into Second Grade. Never to First Grade with that club.

Then came the family move to Ferodale, four miles north of Raymond Terrace on the Pacific Highway. In his usual way, Dad fostered my cricket interests as well as all the others. In conversation with Doug Rawlings, the manager of a shoe-store in Raymond Terrace, Dad found a link with Northern Districts Cricket Club in Maitland.

Another beautiful friendship began there, both with Doug and family and with cricket. Maitland has a special place in my life. I met my wife there much later. The cricket too is a lasting memory.

I remember Doug Rawlings, a memorable man who drove me up from Raymond Terrace each Saturday, and often rolled the wicket before a match. Col Johnstone, a State second eleven player, was our captain and my mentor. Our opening bowler’s name was indeed Mudd. The other opener was Keith Smith – a source of inspiration too as he had lost an arm in a factory accident. He batted quite well and bowled very well. He got a hat-trick against a visiting Sydney team (Western Suburbs). There, with those true friends, I studied the game further.

Inter-district cricket was one of the joys of that time. I met Doug Walters then, a while before his fame. He was a Dungog lad. I noticed the strength of his forearms.

The inter-district cricket led to selection in the Combined Country team of 1957.

Combined Country Selection

It all happened because I had resigned from teaching for a year to play cricket. First came the selection trial match at Tamworth. I survived that. On next to another match in Armidale. I survived that. Finally on to Grafton Oval. No mistakes there either, and I remember taking a diving catch out near square leg. That may have helped me gain selection in the final team.

At this time of writing I interpose a momentary reflection on Robert Holland. “Dutchy” has just passed away. Fate has been kind to me as I had the honour of playing Golden Oldies cricket with him in Vancouver and in Queensland.

A most inspiring person. Kind, humble and gifted in sport. I was present at the Sydney Cricket Ground when he took ten wickets against the West Indies when they were at the height of their power. I lost my voice for a week or so from cheering. I remember his Lords achievement of many wickets too.

Another kindness of fate was my sitting next to him in an Air New Zealand plane en route to Vancouver for twenty-odd hours. There was so much to share on that lucky journey. He told me of his talk with Bill O’Reilly when he Robert was chosen for Australia. O’Reilly told him the bowler was captain when the bowler bowled.

When he went to England, Robert saw fit to talk to the great English leg break bowler Douglas VP Wright, whom I saw dismiss Don Bradman with a lifting “leggie”  at the SCG just after the war. Wright apparently took eleven hat-tricks in his cricket lifetime. The advice from the Englishman, who by the way had a long run up and spread his arms like wings just before his last stride of the delivery, was to bowl the third ball of the hat-trick fast and on the stumps.

“Dutchie” was a gentle man; he was humble and not intent on winning above all else. I am so lucky to have known him and he gave me a stumping in one of his Golden Oldies overs. I am sad he has gone but memory eases the pain a little.

Now back to my narrative… (I will go on writing from here soon.)

Au revoir to the reader,

Royce

Gateway

My Time With Gateway

This is a little story about a university group. It is a tale of adversity, determination and, in many cases, ultimate triumph. The students who joined that group had experienced life the hard way. Some had been floored by drugs, there were several divorcees with children, one candidate had MS and used to talk to me each week about how his friends were getting weaker and sometimes dying; I have a beautiful painted shell given to me by one of several indigenous members of the group, and there was a blind student who typed her answers deliberately without using brail.

Gateway was a program, funded by the Federal Labor government in 1989, at the University of Wollongong. It was a spin off from the similarly funded “New Start” program, which my colleagues and I ran at UWS, two years before, with promising success.

This so-called equity scheme was a one-semester course for non-matriculated students to give them a chance to enter university. There was an English component, a mathematics component, and introductions to various aspects of university life, such as the library and the student union.

I am not a mathematician so my information on that is zero, except to say that the staff member was a revered member of the Mathematics Teachers’ Association, had both feet on the ground, and was a highly experienced university teacher.

As for English, we taught them that when you speak, you write on air, but when you write for formal occasions such as essays or examinations, it stays there for everyone to see and judge. We focused on the university essay and ways to make it good. We discussed especially the power of the sentence as a package of meaning; faulty package: damaged meaning.

We explained that every essay, whether it is an assignment or an exam question, ALWAYS has two components: the topic words, which tell you what to write about, and the directives, that tell you how to write about it. So, for Compare and contrast Sydney and Melbourne as modern cities, the topic words are Sydney and Melbourne, and the directive is compare and contrast as modern cities. To succeed here, you must talk about both cities; you must both compare and contrast them and not merely describe them; you must also discuss them as modern cities, not (necessarily) as football teams.

There is another essential. To do well you must have worked hard and know a lot about the two cities. The point though was that a fountain of knowledge sabotaged by irrelevance or incompleteness leads to at least disappointment, if not failure. Naturally spelling, grammar, style and narrative structure were among the outcomes of the weekly marking and post mortem discussions.

Can you decrypt this code I filled their first essays with: KTTQ?

It was Keep To The Question. Failure here still is a common weakness.

Candidates were given a 250-word essay to write each week. It was marked and returned to them in the next lesson a week away. There was always a post mortem session on strengths and weaknesses before the next lesson started. Words in excess of 250 were penalised. Too many, and the essay was marked but with a zero score. They were all informed of Blaise Pascal et al.’s famous words: “I am sorry I have not time to write you a short letter; I have to write you a long one.”

We worked through some of the commonest university tasks: description, analysis by resolution of controversy, analysis through definition or clarification, analysis through interpretation, the writing of technical reports and individual creative responses. We learnt the best way: with quick feedback from our mistakes. Everyone had to give a speech before the class group (a terrifying task for some) and we nurtured each other through that and every other ordeal. It was good for me as the teacher too. To teach is to learn something twice. Notice I prefer the word “teach” to “lecture.”

Now I want to talk about a few people I remember specially. No names, as we have such respect for each other, and they seem to be sitting beside me now, although it is part of two decades ago.

In one of the night classes, a man and a woman were sitting at the back of the room. I said to the class, “I might bring my ‘thesises’ next week to show you.” Within about two minutes, both of them were standing up waving their dictionaries at me. “You should have said “theses.”

I was a student of Professor Wilkes, at Sydney University. He had spent much of his life getting rid of Latin and Greek endings in English. I brought them my Collins Dictionary, which Professor Wilkes edited, and there was my version too. But I agreed with them that their version was easier to say.

The male student is a lawyer now. During his Law studies, he became World Champion Client Interviewer. It was a very big contest, run for law students around the world. He won the final in Scotland. The woman who waved the dictionary was an expectant mother. The baby joined us about a week after the Gateway course finished, and I had the delight of giving a present to a beautiful baby girl. Her mother was a brilliant student, went on to an honours degree and a position at the university.

On another occasion, I was spoken to on the telephone by the daughter of a potential student, who was seeking admission to the program for her mother. It turned out that both the mother and father were involved in a bus disaster some time previously in Queensland. Both were unconscious for a long time and both eventually survived. Recovering, they returned to Wollongong and were getting on with their usual life when the father dropped dead at the family home. The daughters wanted a remedy for the empty sadness.

We admitted the mother to the course. I could hear the screams of joy from her daughters in the background when I rang to tell them. That student walked with the aid of a walking stick. I remember her delightful, meticulous, small handwriting, and her willingness to discard her former ways and try something new. One of the first things I had said to each beginning class was “Warning! Warning! This course is dangerous to your preconceptions.”

The vision I remember most, however, of that particular brave person is her long walk to the stage on Graduation night, without her walking stick, in a beautiful, sparkling, black dress that contrasted with her neatly arranged, white hair. She entered university and studied with one of her daughters.

On another memorable occasion we had a call from the Secretary of the Steelers Rugby League Club, seeking a place for one of his young players. I was impressed by the caring attitude of that League official and his concern for the player’s welfare. The young man was qualified to enter the course, so in he came. He did the course, but was a star second-rower in First Grade for many seasons, with no time for university. Perhaps he could have used his entry qualifications later in life.

I remember too, a brave and diligent divorced mother with children who was badly treated by a recalcitrant ex-spouse. She dreamed of becoming a family lawyer. She became one.

We had a very popular leader of a musical group, suddenly dreaming of becoming an academic. Through Gateway, he gained university entry and an Honours degree in Creative Arts. He went on to his PhD thesis. Alas! When he passed away two years ago, I lost a true friend.

I am not sure I can explain the success of this group. In the six years I taught in the program, I could feel a sense of their bonding, their support for each other in a common cause. It is something that is hard for teachers to create, and even harder to define.

The Gateway group was the most successful of any identifiable undergraduate group in the University. Changes came, with lack of funding from the Federal Government, but I was gone then and the struggle belonged to somebody else. Sadly that gateway is now closed.

I still have a message from one of the women in the very first Gateway class, on a card given to me on my retirement from the University. It says, “Royce I will never forget you.” She had won the University Medal for Psychology.

Somehow, when I think of all my failures, of all the things I wish I had done better, people like these tap me on the shoulder and say, “Never mind; you did your best.”

So here I am in the wasteland of advanced maturity. Can you imagine how I feel, with my background, when I see the barriers to university study placed on students today. Wherever I go – OfficeWorks, Woolworths and Coles checkouts and elsewhere – I wish young people good luck with their studies and with their HECS payment. Almost always they smile back and thank me.

I have three degrees, each taking six years of part-time study. Because of the whims of time I have not paid one cent of HECS.  In fact the Department of Education of New South Wales actually paid for my first degree’s university tuition.  Such a golden age that was. Somebody then understood that the thousands of pupils in my 50 years of teaching would all fill workplaces and pay taxes. Lord what fools these present day political mortals be!

And what bigger fools vote for them!

Afterthought

If you have failed in one of those diabolical, terminal, one-off qualifying tests and still want to go to university, don’t give up. Go for it as a provisionally matriculated student. You’ll have experience on your side. R.

Nostalgia

Good morning

Illness and life-struggle have kept me away from this place for a while. I am glad to be back. It seems sometimes almost a duty to keep on sharing.

When you are old, above the average life span, it is hard not to think of the past. Old friends who seemed eternal pieces of the establishment are no longer with you. They keep tapping you on the shoulder and softly saying, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?”

There is “Abba” for instance, an old mate from the distant past to the almost present.  A fellow teacher he was, like me destined for New South Wales classrooms. A shearer’s son whose courage, determination and acquired wisdom made him eventually the principal of a big Sydney high school. We shared “National Service” (Conscription) too, in 1951. The light of his laughter in later times still lingers. We claimed to have prevented a bigger war at the time. No conflict would have been feasible with soldiers of our ineptitude.

There is Nanny too, my Grandfather, who enlisted in the Eighth Division at the age of 60 (declared age 45) and was captured by the Japanese at Singapore. He taught me to count in Japanese when he came back, weighing six stone seven, in 1945, after helping to build the infamous Burma Railway.

And George, a recent demise. Another teaching colleague. I need advice of his no- nonsense kind, and I long for his companionship today. A life-member teacher unionist and primary school principal, George still reaches out to me with an awareness of so many things I could have done better in my early life.

So there they are – old friends. Let them be for now. Let them rest with Don Bradman and Pete Seeger and Humphrey Bogart and Richie Benaud and all the others. They’ll be back whenever a thought demands it.

Other memories are here now. Age gives you a big data base of recollections. In the Thirties and Forties you were a child of the British Empire. In cinemas you stood up before the feature film, for the national anthem. It was “God Save The King” until February 1952. In those young days you loved the  “cracker night” of every Empire Day. Catherine wheels and double-bungers and throw-downs and rockets and the big bonfire made childhood gloriously exciting. You learnt in Fifth and Sixth Class (primary school) that all the red countries in your atlas were part of the “Empire on which the sun never sets.” Nothing to do with communism.

Memories now of that BIG war. From 1939 to 1945 Russians were “goodies.” You liked them and you hated Hitler and Tojo, drawing spiteful pictures of the “baddies,” sometimes on your desk. During that war life was threatening. Even though you were merely a child, the memories remain strong.

The gun flashes out to sea off Cronulla were like sheet lightning. The city of Sydney seemed to have lost all its lights. Cars had funny metal things over their headlights with just a small slit for the light to come out. Some had big boxes on their roofs burning stuff as substitute for petrol. Food and clothing were rationed, as was petrol. During a film at a “picture show” you were asked to buy War Bonds to help beat the enemy. You were also warned that the enemy was listening behind walls so you mustn’t speak about war secrets. Chewing gum disappeared in those war years. It must have been reserved for soldiers and other war personnel.

All the railway stations had their names taken down. There were steel piles on the beaches to stop invasion forces. Fighter pilots were heroes and you could see them training overhead.

I knew their names as later I knew sporting names: “Paddy” Finucane, “Bluey Truscott, Clive “Killer” Caldwell … I loved watching the Hurricanes skimming the waters of Yowie Bay and the rest of Port Hacking. As a non-war excitement, I was also enchanted by the Tiger Moths that stalled and spun far up in the sky over the Port Hacking/Sutherland area where my first home was. Those non-war pilots were adventurers too. You don’t see arial games any more like those ones. The sky is needed by the commercial aircraft companies, the air force and the police. No one flies under the Harbour Bridge now either.

Back to the war. The searchlights practising at night and piercing the World War II sky are also unforgettable recollections. Anti-aircraft practice was noisy, but no enemy ever bombed lucky Sydney. Perhaps that is one reason we participated willingly in later wars.

I remember too, aeroplanes towing practice targets a considerable distance behind them on a long lead. The pilots of the planes doing the towing now seem to me very brave in their fearless disregard of the possibility of friendly fire disaster.

My parents’ newspapers provided other entertainment for us “kids”. There were “Bluey and Curley” exploits of mischievous soldiers, “Boofhead” tales of the funny idiot, “Ginger Megs” who was one of us, “Saltbush Bill” on Eric Jolliffe’s farm, my hero Buck Rogers who foretold the future, “Dick Tracy,” Brick Bradford and “Prince Valiant”. Then there was The Phantom or Ghost Who Walks, who left the imprint of a skull on your jaw when he knocked you out. You could buy the skull ring for your own pretended belligerence. Best friend of all for me was Mandrake the Magician, who gestured hypnotically in Mum’s Women’s Weekly that came out every month.

The modern wonder of the cyber world might give you a chance to share my remembered comic fun here.

Cinema serials were full of excitement too. “The Green Hornet,” and  “Roy Rogers”  have never left my memory.

There was no television in my childhood. The radio was king. I used to sit up close to the set to listen to “The Search For The Golden Boomerang.” Tuckonie the youthful indigenous adventurer was my hero. I loved the introductory music too. I think it was “The Dance of the Flutes” from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite”. Fancy a tale of a hero such as Tuckonie in the era of the White Australia Policy! There were other heroes too: First Light Fraser, Biggles (who still makes me sizzle sausages), Hop Harrigan, Superman, Tarzan, The Shadow, The Lone Ranger. “Hagen’s Circus” is also an exciting memory.

As with the “Golden Boomerang” music, the “Dad and Dave” theme is also strong in my memory. It was “Along The Road to Gundagai,” music and Lyrics by Jack O’Hagan. It was played between scenes at different speeds according to the excitement pitch of the moment. It also introduced and ended each episode.

Laughter was easy to get from the radio too. Rex Dawe’s “ Yes What” is forever funny. “Dad and Dave” with Dad’s “starve the lizards Mabel” and Dan Agar’s “Mrs ‘Obbs” still bring me pleasure and I still hear Lou Vernon’s whistling of “Annie Laurie” (I think) as he introduces his serial episodes with, “Hello. Aye it’s me, Doctor Mac.” Mum listened frequently to “Portia Faces Life,” “Martin’s Corner,” “Big Sister” and “When A Girl Marries.” Radio drama has been accurately called “Theatre of the Mind.”

Well there you are. Your past stays a part of you in spite of the intrusions, the retroactive inhibitions psychologists refer to. I could ramble on further about radio because it was embedded so firmly in my childhood mind.

If you would like to learn more about those experiences, you might enjoy a visit to here.

As I said before, the past seems to rear up at you when you get old. I hope my words suggest that it is not always an enemy. “Nostalgia” seems to sum up the situation pretty well: Greek nostos – return home; algos – pain. But what’s in a word? Meaning as well as beauty is often in the eye of the beholder.

Time is so valuable these days. I don’t mean the money-grabbing television time. I mean the real stuff. I’ll end by going back again, just a little way.

joan tree poem

Until next time, soon I hope,

Royce

On Teaching and “Productivity”

Some Recent Thoughts

One click  on “TEACHING” below will give you access to the thoughts, and to a poem I wrote soon after I retired in 2004 from a teaching post in a Sydney high school.

TEACHING

Regarding that poem, education ministers and administrators should remember that the students below the test mean are half our future.

***

There are some challenges for teachers with that failing group of students that objective attainments tests do nothing for. The test psychosis in the minds of political administrators just now is courting disaster. I am not saying we don’t need tests. Test teach retest reteach has got to be part of every teacher’s program. What I am against is the tyranny of haloed attainments tests over everything else.
All my best wishes to the teachers of today. I am compassionate and proud that I understand ( to a large extent) what huge sacrifices you make and what difficulties you face.
         Royce

What Does the Finkel Review Really Do For Us ?

Is science actually jeopardised by commercial restraints?

Let us look closely at realities. What do we expect a scientist to do? All expectations are deeply rooted in our culture.

The Latin word “scientia” is our beginning.  Its meaning: “knowledge based on demonstrable and reproducible data.” Vital words these: “demonstrable,” “reproducible” and “data.” Their connotations are crucial. Their implication is that science must use, to check validity, methods that are open for all to see. Science too, needs reliability so that its methods can be repeated with confidence to check outcomes. Above all, its findings must spring unquestionably from the data base obtained by the research.

Observe the work conditions of Australia’s Chief Scientist. Note well the requirements and constraints of the position.

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is part of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Its primary responsibilities are to enable growth and productivity for globally competitive industries. To help realise this vision, the Department has four key objectives: supporting science and commercialisation, growing business investment and improving business capability, streamlining regulation and building a high performance organisation. Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_the_Chief_Scientist_(Australia)                          Date Accessed: June 25, 2017

Now this poli-speak is worrying me.

I’ll try to give you some of the reasons. It’s all a matter of truth and its link with science.

When my own words seem inadequate, I often seek help from greater minds than mine. Perhaps these lines from R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) by Karel Capek will help me explain what I mean.

Robots throughout the world, we command you to kill all mankind. Spare no men. Spare no women. Save factories, railways, machinery, mines, and raw materials. Destroy the rest. Then return to work. Work must not be stopped.

There is a little help too from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre .

Unless I have the courage to use the language of Truth in preference to the jargon of Conventionality, I ought to remain silent.

Those quotations might help you understand why I am having trouble working out the priorities of my present world, especially regarding the Finkel Review.

What has greater importance, business or human survival?

Are the two always related? There lies my problem. My doubt.

How do I feel about this? Here I can turn to Gustav Flaubert:

L’avenir nous tourmente; le passé nous retient;  c’est pour ca que le present nous échappe.

The future torments us;  the past imprisons us;  in this way we flee from the present.

 My big worry is the focus of OCS.  Is my planet in danger or isn’t it?

Is global warming really a threat to us now; to you, to me, to our children and our children’s children? In other words are all those scientists reported in reliable journals wrong? If the weather is going to kill me, I am not so interested in the rising cost of my electricity or the job potential of a proposed massive coal mine.

I really am worried about the weather. And I am not alone.

Just now the clocks seem to be striking thirteen. We trust scientists, with their weather reports, to keep our planes flying safely. We put our bodies willingly in the care of scientists when doctors save our own or our loved ones’ lives. We plant or harvest our crops with scientists’ guidance. And we prepare for flood, fire or tempest under the constant watch of scientists. So why O why have recent years been contaminated by a sudden, whimsical doubt concerning 97 percent of world scientists regarding climate change?

Are vested interests exerting pressure and distorting reality for profit ahead of our wellbeing? Where do you buy “clean” coal? Is it for sale with left handed hammers and tins of striped paint?

Some Other Vital Questions Regarding OCS

  1. Should growing business investment be the motive for scientific research ahead of universal human problems such as illness, pain, suffering or death?
  2. Should growth and productivity control evaluation of scientific data ahead of benefits to lessen human suffering?
  3. Are “streamlining regulation” and “high performance organisation” better scientific objectives than needs based validity and reliability?

Now Here Are Some Other Causes Of Concern

  • I cannot understand why, after the recent review, Australia will still be among world leaders in per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change inertia, and trading in coal, gas, iron ore, uranium and methanogenically-derived meat. Is commercial gain or sustainability unduly influencing this science? Why do Dr Alan Finkel and team confirm gas and coal use for 50 years?  Eventually 2067 will see GREAT BIG NEW TAXES to repair the damage, will it not?  

I x Y = RC x D

(Inertia x Years = Repair Cost x Disasters)

  •  The Finkel Review sees coal-fired generators as being part of our lives until 2050. But we need to get to average zero emissions by then if we are to keep up with the Paris Agreement.
  • The media clearly neglect Australia’s renewable energy successes already achieved. Australia is now a leader in per capita solar installation for homes. South Australia has 40% renewable energy, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) approaches 100% renewable energy and water stocked Tasmania also aims for 100 % renewable energy. Look around you at the individual solar fittings on the rooftops of ordinary people.
  • A vast storm involving several cyclones massively damaged South Australia’s energy system in September 2016. The ensuing blackout was falsely blamed by the federal government on failure of renewable energy sources. Despite the organised lies, the South Australian Government stayed relatively calm and rapidly moved to ensure back-up power with batteries and (alas) promised a new gas-fired power plant.
  • Finkel’s Review favours gas as a reducer of emissions. My information is that natural gas is grubby energy containing 85% methane that has a global warming potential 105 times greater than CO2 over twenty years combined with the expected impacts from aerosol.
  • To know is to be responsible! This was Mordechai Vanunu’s stated reason, a long time ago now, for whistleblowing about Israel’s atomic weaponry. It makes me sad to think that distinguished scientists, when reporting on the state of things in our world, would not focus in detail and with great energy on the dangers of air pollution as well as global warming. The  World Health Organization tells us that seven million people die each year from air pollution. World production of coal was 7, 823 million tonnes in 2013 of which 336 million tonnes  were Australian coal exports.  The use of this  coal  for energy or metallurgy is linked to about half of the 3.5 million outdoor pollution-related deaths annually.

Now the next bullet reveals a disturbing link from the web. I share it here for you to assess. The source is:  Dr Gideon Polya  of countercurrents .org

  • 10 billion people may die this century in worsening climate genocide. Both Dr James Lovelock FRS (Gaia Hypothesis) and Professor Kevin Anderson ( Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, UK) have estimated that only about 0.5 billion people may survive this century because of unaddressed, man-made global warming. If we note that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, we will see these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including roughly twice the present population of particular mainly non-European groups, specifically 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis. DARA has estimated that presently 0.4 million people die annually from climate change  but this may be a considerable underestimate because presently 17 million people die avoidably from deprivation in the developing world (not counting China) that is already impacted by climate change . 

A Final Question

Shouldn’t the line between certainty and doubt concerning a people’s wellbeing be something more than the bottom line of a stock market report?