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”.

I have a dream………

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

“I have a dream” that one day we will be rid of our toxic political system wherein so many elected Members of Parliament have put their own personal gratification before the interests of the people in their electorates. Most people in this country don’t see themselves as having a job for life, many finding themselves retrenched and having to look for further jobs. There was a time when people would stand for Parliament and if elected, would quit their jobs and serve their electorate.  If they lost at the next election, they would go back to their jobs.  It seems…

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Brexit

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

Now that the Brexit poll is over, I ask the question – was this the right way to make a decision of this enormous magnitude? And I wonder what percentage of voters could stand up and sensibly justify their decision? I think I am being kind when I say probably less than 50 percent. The decision whether to remain in the EU or whether to leave should have been a decision for the British government. The people vote in a government to run the country for them. Similarly, here in Australia – if Malcolm Turnbull is re-elected as Prime Minister,…

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Family violence

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

I just don’t get it. Gillon McLachlan stood next to his counterparts in the NRL, ARU and Netball Australia and condemned violence in the family home. Then a few hours later North Melbourne and Hawthorn fronted up and proceeded to belt the crap out of each other. What sort of message is that sending to our young boys? It’s not ok to belt a woman but it’s ok to belt a bloke? I don’t think so.

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Real jobs

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Ever wonder why many politicians work so hard to get re-elected? It’s because if they don’t get re-elected, they are out of a job, which means they have to go out into the workforce and compete for a real job. And most wouldn’t know what a real job was if it bit them in the bum.

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Bi-partisanship

By | Letters to The Age - published | No Comments

At last – a politician, albeit a former one, with the nous to state publicly the bleeding obvious to most sane people. We need more bi-partisanship policies between the two main political parties, not only in Canberra but in all States and Territories – John Brumby (Australia needs to start making its own luck – The Age online 8/6). With the exception of policies on national security, I don’t remember the last time both parties in Canberra were at one on a major policy that we needed to have.

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NBN

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In 2011, Telstra sold its copper wire network to the NBN for $11bn and is now being paid significantly extra to repair that outmoded form of communication. I’ve heard of selling ice cream to the Eskimos but this takes the cake. The NBN is currently being rolled out in Anglesea. So far I have lost dial tone twice in a month, both times for 5 days. And I am not alone, many other residents have also had their connections broken. The government should have stuck with fibre to the home.

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Whatever it takes – Malcolm

By | Letters to The Age - published | No Comments

I was barracking for Malcolm Turnbull when he was Communications Minister in the Tony Abbott government because I believed that once he was Prime Minister, he would bring some common sense to the role and would govern for all Australians.  I got that SO wrong.  I now realise that Malcolm Turnbull wants to be Prime Minister full stop and strut the world stage as our leader.  He doesn’t care how he does it and he is quite happy to be dictated to by the right wing section of his party.  He’ll do as they say as long as they let…

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Jarryd Roughead

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It’s always sad when someone’s cancer re-appears as it has with Jarryd Roughead. But does it really warrant front and back page of both Melbourne’s daily newspapers? After all, he is only a footballer. But then – it got the election of the front page and the day we see the election on the back page – then we are in trouble!

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Toeing the Party line or not?

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

I wish both of the main political parties and the media would stop attacking MPs or candidates who are prepared to publicly show that they have a conscience. Such as Sophie Ismail. I doubt that there is a single major policy proposed by either the Coalition or Labour where everyone is completely supportive. We are human beings, not robots, and we must make our own minds up. I see no harm in any politician or candidate stating publicly that they have a different opinion on a particular policy but accept that the majority of the party see otherwise so will…

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How do you describe a Prime Minister who ……………..

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

How do you describe a Prime Minister who isn’t doing his job properly?  Malfunctioning. Another way to describe a Prime Minister who isn’t doing his job properly?  Maladministering Another way to describe a Prime Minister who isn’t doing his job properly?  Malpractice How do you describe a Prime Minister who is hungry?  Malnourished How do you describe a Prime Minister whose policies stink?  Malodorous How do you describe a Prime Minister who is out of sorts?  Maladjusted How do you describe a Prime Minister who thinks he is right when he isn’t?  Maladroit How do you describe a Prime Minister…

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The myth about modelling

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

The new buzz word in Canberra is modelling and politicians have latched on to it gleefully.  But modelling is only as good as the data that is fed into it.  We have the BIS Shrapnel negative gearing model that favours keeping negative gearing and yet the Grattan Institute model favours removing it.  Malcolm Turnbull’s wife Lucy is a director of the Grattan Institute and yet Malcolm pooh-poohs the Grattan report.  As we say in the industry – garbage in, garbage out.  Modelling is a dangerous tool and should be used very carefully  Maybe it’s time we watched a few replays…

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NBN roll out

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

The NBN is currently being rolled out in Anglesea.  So far I have lost dial tone twice in a month, both times for 5 days.  And I am not alone, many other residents have also had their connections broken.  Is it that hard to connect the fiber to the copper wire?  We should have stuck with fiber to the home.

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Continuity and change

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

Malcolm Turnbull says he isn’t using slogans – but he is.  He talks about “continuity and change” all the time.  Obviously he hasn’t watched the political satire Veep which used the same “meaningless” slogan in season four of the political satire. Continuity implies a continuation of previous policies and this is giving Tony Abbott the ammunition to swing his wrecking ball.  And many of these “continued” policies are not acceptable to many Australians. If Malcolm has to have a slogan, then may I suggest “Change for the betterment of all Australians” and forget continuity. I also think that Malcolm needs…

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Young people need help

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

Young people need help Almost every day I read about some young person who has died in a car accident, or from a drug overdose, or been stabbed to death on the streets, or has committed suicide.  It breaks my heart to read these stories.  These young people are not going to grow up and make their contribution to society.  They are not going to experience the possibility of enjoying the pleasures of a good marriage and having children, of working in good and rewarding jobs, of growing from young people to responsible adults and then enjoying the fruits of…

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The absent member for Warringah

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The people of Warringah in NSW don’t have a sitting member in Canberra right now.  Their member hasn’t died or resigned – he has just gone away.  The last I read, Tony Abbott was in London after a visit to the Ukraine preaching to the world the gospel according to Tony and he told Sky News in London that the upcoming election “is running on the Abbott government’s record and it’s a very strong record”. Tony Abbott is not the next “Prime Minister in waiting” although he thinks he is – he is a Liberal backbencher and he needs to…

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Traffic Hell

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Traffic hell: 389 more mornings to go – “The Age on-line 17/3” – people are arriving late for work and missing appointments yet the Premier tells us we need to get used to it.  Daniel Andrews has become a bully boy – it doesn’t suit him and it won’t work come election time.  This traffic fiasco is a disgrace and this and previous governments are to blame, not the driving public.

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Telstra mobile outage

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

Another Telstra mobile outage – affected me personally for several hours.  And what do Telstra say – one day of free data – what a joke – the plan I am on, I never incur additional data charges – ever!  Telstra screws up and their is only one winner – Telstra.  And the next day, I get a text message on my mobile phone – Telstra 24/7 – we are here to help!  God save us.

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Are Australians too lazy to learn Chinese?

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

Jane Orton’s article in The Age 15/3 – “Australians are too lazy to master Chinese” was very thoughtful but I think an important point was missed. The general conception among English speaking Australians is that Chinese is a very difficult language to learn whereas it isn’t, in my humble opinion. When I tell people that I was taught Chinese many years ago, they are amazed – “how did you learn such a difficult language” they say. My response floors them even more when I tell them that I found learning Chinese easier than learning German, French and Latin which I…

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Parallel parking and bikes on footpaths

By | My thoughts - FWIW | No Comments

In the ten years I have lived in Anglesea, the local shopping centre has got progressively busier, and clearly will continue to do so. Motorised traffic, non-motorised traffic and pedestrian traffic have all increased. And we have our fair share of elderly and infirm residents who need to shop locally. It is a common sight to see parents riding their bikes along the footpaths with youngsters in tow which is not setting a good example. It is time to ban cyclists and skateboarders using the shopping centre footpaths before someone is very seriously injured. Proper signage needs to be put…

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