When two or three are gathered together, something must come of it!

November 10, 2013 at 5:31 am (Commentary)

Recently I attended a small group discussion where various topics were deliberated on, and I think it’s worth recording some of the views expressed.

The demise of the British Empire was a 20th Century disaster.

The flow of talk went broadly speaking along these lines: If something, or a world order is not broken, don’t fix it.

One speaker spoke about his experience of travelling around the British colonies in Africa in the 1950s just before they were granted independence. The government and administration in these territories were intact, and law and order with social harmony prevailed. What happened after the granting of independence; well everyone knows!

On the other hand it was pointed out what a terrible mess surrounded the British Mandate in Palestine with the litany of promises made and broken, mainly to the Arabs, and the establishment of a Jewish state after WW II leading to massive political dissatisfaction in the whole Middle East.

This opinion was offered: The world was very sorry for what the Germans did to the Jews, and there was a feeling that something concrete must be done for the Jewish race after the War. But whatever happened to the Jews in the Holocaust was the responsibility of one people – the Germans, and certainly not the Palestinians, so why was not a Jewish state established in Germany, not in Palestine? An interesting question!

Another thorny question was raised, the partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan, and the tragic civil strife this created – with all the troubles in Kashmir, and new states like Bangladesh emerging. Look at troubled North Pakistan and the radical Moslems there. Afghanistan as before is still a terrible mess!

The Brits knew that Partition would be a disaster, but what could they have done to prevent it? The Yanks had some sort of a phobia about being seen in any way supporting so-called British Imperialism. Things would have been different if the US had actively supported the Brits in India to prevent Partition.

From India the discussion turned to post-war immigration into Australia, and the advent a multicultural society.

None of us wanted to be politically correct, but only to say what we think. It was generally agreed that many of the arrivals from the Middle East had done little to enrich the country. We could well do without the likes of the Brothers for life, and such charmers! Perhaps this is too much of a generalization, particularly when you think of some Christians, Moslems and others who are, and have been fine citizens!

The best emigrants came from Asia – they work, improve themselves, obey the law and appreciate being here.

Remarks like this were made: Where are the Ancient Greeks? Never mind about the Greeks, give me Blacktown Filipinos anytime!

The group next turned to two contemporary fiction writers who use Papua New Guinea as the setting of their plots.

A.C.T. Marke has given us three novels: Love on the Run, Love in a hot climate, Twixt Semites and swastikas. The main character, Temlett Conibeer, has attracted something of a cult-like following.

David Wall has written one novel: Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk. While not of the literary merit of Marke’s works, it does paint a picture of an expat’s struggle in a wild land.

Both writers explore the sexual aspirations and desires motivating their main characters, and were summered up well in a comment by one in the group: Cutting off a slice is what interested them, and the extent to which they were successful was the plot of the stories.

From literature the subject of religion came to the fore.

For some reason the question of Chairman Mao was brought up with the following opinion being given, describing Mao as an unstoppable sex manic, even ordering the People’s Liberation Army to provide a stream of young, attractive “recruits” for our purposes. After this an injection was heard: “half his luck!”

Back to religion, the consensus was that we should not rest until His Holiness in Rome can be Her Holiness!

One more extreme view was expressed: We should look forward to a time when the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are both women, and lesbians!

The group had no time for Rome’s position on birth control.

One member, however, defended the power of Islam and the dogmatism of the Catholic Church. Where would we be without holy war and the defining rules of the bedroom.

What a shame that Australia had been landed with that dirge, ‘Advance Australia Fair’ for its national anthem. This was the universal feeling of all those present. What was wanted was ‘Waltzing Matilda’, failing this, ‘A Pub with No Beer’.

In support of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ one of the group told of how he was travelling from the UK to Canada in the late 1950s on the CPR ship, ‘Empress of England’, and how proud he was to be Australian when he entered the saloon, and the band struck up ‘Waltzing Matilda’!

Near the end of these discussions we were sorry to hear that one of the participants was suffering with pulmonary fibrosis which may have been caused by all the DDT he handled while working with Malaria Service in pre-independent PNG. The only thing this man said was to condemn Whitlam for the steps he took in granting PNG independence at the time he did. Also Whitlam’s East Timor policy in giving Suharto the green light to go ahead and take the former Portuguese colony over was roundly damned.

What else can be said of a Labor government – Keating selling the Commonwealth Bank. It is said that he got less than 9 billion dollars for it; now you would be lucky to buy it for a 100 billion dollars.

The present crew running Australia with Abbott as PM made this small discussion group cringe. The fact that Abbott, the Prime Minister, and Bill Shorten, the Leader of the Opposition were both Jesuit educated did little to inspire much hopefulness!

But it is supposed:

You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with (us!)

Tennyson told us that: ‘More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.’ If you believe this, please say a prayer for our country!

The ideas expressed in this piece are those of the discussion group, and the group makes no apology for them. We are not particularly sorry if anyone is offended by them, and we are happy to be called a mob of ratbags by others!

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