Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pour encourager les autres

On Tuesday night my friend Kiew Zhin (Beautiful Treasure) came to dinner and I cooked her my world famous Three Bad Men Pasta. Kiew Zhin is from an Asian land far away.

I met Kiew Zhin because before she came to Vienna she discovered my blog and found me so fascinating that she moved into our apartment building just to be close to me. Well that last part is not true but she does live in the same building.

Anyway she is lots of fun to be with and last night we had pasta, a couple of glasses of French red wine and a really nice chat.

Kiew Zhin went home at a reasonable hour so she could get up early for work at the United Nations where she is an economist responsible for bankrupting small African countries.

I decided that I would abandon my half completed blog entry and write something more gritty. I have been thinking about this for a long while and something William said prompted me to finally start to put down some of the stuff that has been rattling around inside me for so long.

At the same time I decided to drink an enormous quantity of red wine because this is the only way I can write this type of stuff.

I was very interested this morning to see what I had written. It took me some time to prise my eyes open and I viewed the blog through a haze of red mist and pain – but I am reasonably happy with the result. It is not as black as my tongue is today but says pretty much what I needed to.

I have had some very nice feedback and thank you all for your kind words. You need not anticipate another blog entry like this for some time as it will be years before I will be able to open a bottle of red wine without throwing up.

And – if I telephoned you last night somewhere between midnight and 2:00 AM Vienna time please accept my sincere apologies for anything I may have said that offended you – if indeed you could understand what I was saying.

It is possible that at some stage towards the end of the second bottle I randomly rang numbers in Indiana and accused Republicans of costing the Colts the title.

Anyway what prompted last night’s entry was something in the Sydney Morning Herald that reminded me of Sydney trains.

“A Western Metro would be built within five years and light rail would be built in the CBD, according to the transport blueprint that Kristina Keneally will release this month, government sources say” (Sydney Morning Herald 9 February 2010).

This announcement about the stumbling, bumbling NSW government reminded me of an incident which took place in the very early 1970s in Sydney. There was an election coming and the government of the day had announced that they would build a fast train and this would run between Sydney and Parramatta – cutting the duration of the journey from about 40 minutes to 25 minutes.

One of my work colleagues thought this was a fantastic idea and said that on this basis he would vote for the government. I looked at him thoughtfully – and with the sudden realization that people like him actually believed what politicians said.

It was an eye opener for me - because even at my tender age then I understood that politicians would tell any lie that would get them, elected – and I was already undertaking the journey to the heights of cynicism that I have now attained.

The government was reelected - and needless to say the fast train was never built – in fact for the next 30 years they were still running the old ‘red rattlers’ – carriages that had been built in Newcastle in the 1930s. By then the 100 year old signaling system had pretty well clagged out and the journey could take an hour.

I spent many an hour on this appalling transport system and cannot remember how many times trains broke down and we had to get out, walk along the tracks to the next station and wait for buses.

There was a classic photo taken in 1982 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In the foreground is a crowd of people walking across the bridge. In the background is a red rattler – which is at least as old as the bridge - if not older.

Anyway – the new ‘master plan’ will not happen. Plans like this are always floated before elections and are always scrapped after elections. In this instance the government will be banished to the wilderness at the next election and the new government will have to start again with their own plans.

At least the government is being true to type. The Herald report says “The north-west of the city will remain largely neglected in the plan. The government's attitude is that there are not enough marginal Labor seats”.

If the people of NSW had any real sense of decency they would storm parliament house, drag all the members outside and hang them from the lampposts. This is what they did in the good old days and it still works for me.

Pour encourager les autres.

I get so cross because I am a rusted on Labor voter – and I voted for these steaming, honking nitwits at the last election.

What happened? They betrayed me. Betrayed me with their greed and their corruption and their stupidity and their incompetence and their bumbling inability to achieve anything of note except to be able to open fetes, refurbish their offices and swan about the globe on junkets sloshing down champagne.

We would be better governed by Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse.


  1. And what a voice she has, poor Amy.

  2. Thank goodness it is only Thursday, and we can hope for one more post this week. ;-)

    word veri:
    Oh well, Saint Valentine!