John Cummings

Surfcoastwombat

Introduction to My Blog

I hope those of you who visit my blog find my posts interesting. Now that I have achieved septuagenerian status, I feel that I can say that I have “been there, done that” and hindsight is a wonderful asset. If you do find my topics interesting, please pass my blog address on to your friends.  Some of my posts are topics I am passionate about and some of them are letters I have written to newspapers – primarily “The Age” – some do actually get published!

If you would like to respond to one of my posts, please click on the post header to go to the “Leave a Reply” page.

My first ever letter to The Age letters page was submitted on Friday 30 June 2000, the day before GST was introduced. In those days, The Age had a “letter of the day” and it was published at the top of the Opinion page. I was very proud of that letter and I have included it in this blog as my first post – see below – the topic is still very meaningful today and I encourage you to read it. The Age titled it – “For some of us, the chains grow heavier”.

Pauline Hanson on migrants

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Twenty years ago Pauline Hanson told us we were in danger of being swamped by Asians.  Today she is warning us we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims.  What happened with the Asians?  Did they swamp us? But methinks Pauline needs to go back to school and learn some Australian History.  We are a country that has always been negatively obsessed with the current intake of migrants.  As Annabel Crabb said in her excellent article in the Sunday Age yesterday: Read George Megalogenis’ excellent book Australia’s Second Chance.  It reminds us that the first ethnic immigrant group to…

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Father’s day

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Fathers’ Day has come and gone again.  I remember when it was affectionately known as “sock-giving day” because jocks and socks were the most common presents that Dads received. Two years ago I was given a Bunnings voucher and my wife used it to buy pot plants.  This year I received a Geelong Performing Arts Centre voucher and my wife expects to share in that rather than I go to two separate shows on my own. Memo to son:  my wife doesn’t wear my socks and certainly doesn’t wear my jocks so perhaps socks and jocks will be the order…

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Same sex marriage plebiscite

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It would be interesting for someone to conduct a poll on a random group of people and ask the question – should there be a plebiscite to decide on gay marriage, or should the Federal government make the decision? Then the pollster should ask those who voted for the plebiscite – how will you vote if the plebiscite takes place – for or against? I suspect that the ‘against  vote will win comfortably.

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The Canberra Big Bash

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The Canberra Big Bash season is off to a good start with the Government getting its first wicket, the Opposition’s Sam Dastyari run out for 1670 – not a good score, should have done better. The Government’s opening bowling attack of Bernardi and Pyne hasn’t been as effective as usual and Bernardi has gone off to New York for a ‘refresher’ leaving the bowling attack weakened even further. Fortunately the Opposition player Lisa Singh has also gone to New York so the balance of the two sides isn’t affected. Despite losing a quick wicket, the Opposition captain Bill Shorten is…

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The man who missed the boat

By | Letters to The Age - not published | No Comments

Congratulations to The Age for its page 1 story of inhumane pain and suffering of people who deserve better.  “The man who just missed the boat” (The Age 10/9).  Yet another story; yet another headline.  How much longer do we as caring and concerned Australians have to put up with this shame while the rest of the world looks on in disgust? I also watched the video on The Age on-line, watched the young child show his father via Skype what he had bought for him for Father’s Day this year, and also what he bought him last year.  Anyone…

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Better use of plebiscite money

By | Letters to The Age - not published | No Comments

I watched the segment on the ABC 7.30 report last night (Tuesday) where the Australian Ballet were conducting workshops at the Sydney Opera House for disabled children.  It was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.  I suggest the Federal government do the job we elected it to do and make a decision on the same sex marriage issue thereby scrapping the plebiscite and channel that money to the Australian Ballet to conduct further workshops for disable children.  There but for the grace of God…….

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Malcolm – It’s Time

By | My thoughts - FWIW, Uncategorized | No Comments

Malcolm Turnbull went to the last election looking for a mandate to get his policies through Parliament and to remove what he described as an obstructionist cross bench in the Senate. He got neither. The previous election saw the Liberal/National Coalition win with a 30 seat majority in the Upper House. Now he has a solitary seat majority – the people have spoken – that is not a mandate. And he faces a much different cross bench in the Senate and I am certain he is not happy about that. He is now far worse off than before he called…

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Nauru and Manus Island

By | Letters to The Age - not published | No Comments

I found The Age editorial – “Cruel detention camps must close” (The Age 21/8) both thoughtful and thought provoking.  Why is it that nobody in our Federal Parliament is prepared to make a serious stand on the situation in Nauru and Manus Island? And then I read Tony Wright’s excellent article – “A lament for the loss of love in the age of politics” (The Age 20/8).  That sort of answered my question. There is so much animosity and testosterone fueled tensions in the Federal Parliament that prevents any level of care and compassion.  They haven’t even returned from their…

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Census debacle

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Malcolm Turnbull has stated that the ABS and IBM should have foreseen the likelihood of Denial of Service (DOS) attacks.  If they didn’t then he is absolutely right.  But I find it hard to believe that IBM wouldn’t have seen that a series of DOS attacks could happen. I suspect they did but these wretched malcontents on the internet are getting smarter by the day.  It’s a huge problem. The big mistake that the ABS made is by asking people to complete the census on the Tuesday night.  The main purpose of the census is to know who was living…

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Donald Trump

By | Letters to The Age - published | No Comments

A question I asked myself when Donald Trump first announced that he wanted the Republican nomination for President was – is he serious?  Or is he “having a lend”?  Is it a big publicity stunt? But now he is the Republican nomination, is he panicking?  Is he really as stupid as he seems to be?  Every time he opens his mouth, he upsets someone.  The more nonsense he spews out, the more I think he doesn’t really want to be the next President.

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Donald Trump – letter to the New York Times

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A question I asked myself when Donald Trump first announced that he wanted the Republican nomination for President was – is he serious?  Or is he playing some kind of game?  Or is it a big publicity stunt? Despite several incredible comments and unbelievable gaffes, he has still managed to secure the Republican nomination and now only Hilary Clinton stands in his way. His recent criticism of the Khan family and especially Captain Humayun Khan suggests that he is either totally stupid after all or he really is playing some kind of game. Is he now panicking?  Is he really…

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Privatisation

By | Letters to The Age - not published | No Comments

“Privatisation has damaged the economy” says ACCC chairman Rod Sims – (The Age Business 27/7) and he is on the verge of becoming a privatisation opponent. Unfortunately, I think he is too late.  The key assets have already been privatised.  There are some assets that are better managed by the private sector but clearly, certain assets should never be in the hands of the private sector which is driven by the need to reward shareholders.  This particularly applies to the Utilities. I keep reading advice that I need to manage my power consumption better in order to reduce my costs. …

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Vile Instagram Post

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I cannot condone what the two Brighton Grammar schoolboys did.  It was unconscionable and vile.  But I do believe that expelling them from school is too harsh a punishment.  They may have difficulty getting into another school and this may have an effect on their further education opportunities.  Their life opportunities depend on their school results. I would have liked to see them named in front of the school and made to apologise to the school community.  As well as that, I would suggest community work of some sort every Saturday for several months would be appropriate.  The two boys…

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NBN in Anglesea

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NBN The National Broadband Network has finally surfaced here in Anglesea.  And the Internet Service Providers are touting their offerings. Sadly, it is fiber to the node as opposed to fiber to the premises.  So I am restricted by the copper wire that runs from the NBN node at the end of my street to my home. While an army of men on 457 visas were installing the NBN, my home telephone was disconnected twice, both times for 5 days. This morning I checked out Telstra’s NBN plans. Telstra are offering me a slight reduction as compared to my current…

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Wake up Canberra

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It seems to me that there is a distinct lack of grey matter in the halls of power in Canberra. They are not listening to the people of Australia. The 2010 election result was the first hung parliament since 1940. There is every chance this election will end up being a hung parliament. Even blind Freddy could see the likelihood of this. When Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister, he would have won by a country mile if he had called an election then. But he didn’t and he showed his true colours and Australians have reacted responsibly. But will he…

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