Chapter 23 ...looking back
has gone before these pages was written at the time and finally put into book
form in the last century, 1997.
Today as I prepare to place this chapter of my life on the website we have moved
on to the dawn of 2006.
In twelve years the world has changed. It has become a world in chaos, where
life is the currency of religious zealots, where men who view themselves as
statesmen ignore the wisdom of collective opinion, where the same men are driven
just as Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin were by self evaluated ability that leads
countries into inextricable positions of disaster.
The technological age has grown so fast that today's achievement is old hat a
year later. Children are wed to the ubiquitous mobile phone, running up
telephone accounts that many don't relate to. Television, ipod and miniaturised
music technology that allows downloading of thousands of tunes to be transferred
to a recorder no bigger that a pack of cards.
As I write a new era of super aircraft descends into Brisbane; the A380, that
can carry up to 800 commuters. Gone is the Supersonic Concorde, after a fiery
crash shortly after leaving Paris Airport. Tragically it was debris on the
runway that led to the demise of one of the world’s success stories. Gone the
Berlin Wall, the Communist state of the Soviet Union and in it's place the
misplaced religious fervour of fanatical Muslim belief. Gone too are Bill
Clinton who will be remembered for his affair with Monica Lewenski. Paul Keating
finally frog marched Bob Hawke from the Prime Ministership, only to carry
political correctness to new heights. The Liberals went through a musical chairs
leadership crisis in 1995 choosing Alexander Downer as leader and passed over
John Howard. Downer failed to make a dent in the armour of Paul Keating and he
too passed on. Peter Costello declined the invitation to take over and finally
the party resorted to the least desirable candidate. Thus began the rise and
rise of the man 'born to lead’ the Australian people, the enigmatic John Howard.
In the intervening ten years we have witnessed the meteoric rise and fall of a
political comet that shone promised to send shock waves through the established
order of Australian politics, but foundered on the greed graft and naivety of
two carpetbaggers and a political virgin. With the ball at her feet Pauline
Hanson was the darling of the masses, but contempt for and ignorance of the
people who were her support led to her ignominious downfall.
In a pinpoint election that saw the duplicity and corruption of judicial
manoeuvring finally hand a controversial mandate to George Bush junior,
stylises as George W, the seeds of a new dawn were sown. Only this dawn was to
be blood red, not a golden era.
The most spectacular collapse of all was the brilliantly executed fall of the
iconic twin towers of New York . The most powerful country in the world had its
defence lines shot to pieces laying bare the invincible Americans.
Revenge was swift when the ebullient George W set out to depose of Saddam
Hussein and rescue Iraq from the 'evil forces' thus building his justification
on the 'mass weapons of destruction'. He suckered in to join the Coalition of
the Willing, Prime Minster Tony Blair and follow the leader strong-man John
Howard, chaffing at the bit to become a world statesman.
Many saw and still see the war in Iraq as a lie and the innocent slaughter of
thousands of American servicemen and Iraqi civilians. Bush has named many Muslim
nations as the 'axis of evil', but failing to understand that imposing your
standards on others equates exactly the same from another's perspective.
Ordinary people believe that the premise for war and the execution were the
outrageous whims of men with visions of grandeur and history. Iraq stands today
as a miserable exercise, promoted as success by virtue of fooling the masses
with saturation news coverage.
England, Indonesia, Australia, France, have become targets of a new form of
terrorism that had its origins in Japanese philosophy. In an age of smart bombs
and military precision, nothing compares with the raw crudeness of seizing fully
fuelled up American iconic airliners, cutting throats, manning the controls and
then flying these now lethal projectiles into two 1000 foot towers in central
New York. If this was not ramming the message home then for good measure the
Pentagon was targeted and partly destroyed. Heroism prevented the same bitter
pill for Capitol Hill. And all this from the protector of freedom and the
benchmark for all that is right and proper that must be emulated at the behest
of Uncle Sam.
Recent times have seen the strategic political bombing of tourist destinations
that sends messages of fear and terror to those who are seen as friends of
America and George Bush in particular.
The rise of enclaves of Muslims around the world is a worry to those countries
that have for centuries largely retained their hereditary origins. In 1988 I was
accused of racism for trying to prevent the sale of Australian land to
foreigners. In 1996 Pauline Hanson was branded a racist for suggesting that they
turn the boat people around, give then medical supplies and send them on their
way. From 2000 onward the Howard record in relation to detained immigrants is
not far removed from some of the worse hell holes of World War II. Yet in spite
of the discrimination, the incarceration and the inhumane treatment a la
Vanstone/Howard/Ruddick, do you ever hear the word racism? No! The hypocrisy is
over-whelming. People no longer matter, politicians whether on the home or
international front do not hear, do not care and deliver that which requires no
skill or responsibility.
One has only to think back and question the integrity and brutal honesty of an
Enoch Powell or those who held to the White Australia policy. The alternative is
what we are living today.