At Griffith High School my friend Peter Katsoolis was a champion debater. He used logic, wit, a bit of sarcasm and perhaps even his talent as a magician. In 1948 Griffith High won the inter school competition.I was only one of those who just looked on in admiration.
When I was elected captain of the school it boosted my confidence (despite not making it as a debater) and allowed me to learn how to think well beyond the square.
I became an engineer and a consultant. My assessment is that i gained a reputation for doing the almost impossible. This earned me projects in the United States, Japan and Indonesia.
Griffith had grown from basically nothing in 1915 when my Mum arrived at the age of 6 months. Rene was a part of the very first Italian family to farm there. Griffith grew for 93 magnificent years and one year was awarded the fastest growing inland city in NSW.
When I retired and returned to look after my Mum (shown in the middle in the picture above) I found skeletons of Valencia orange trees, I could see closed shops and fallow land where there had been productive farms. it was time for doing the almost impossible again.
Peter Katsoolis and I joined with another ex student - Jean McClung. We became a research group. Jean changed my life (again) when she gave me a DVD by the late Lance Endersbee. He was one of the finest examples of the category (being a free thinker). These are just two of his diagrams:
We identified four political decisions which had caused the move from productive growth to decline.
The first is shown as Attachment 1 was defined by Lance as the start of tariff reductions in 1970 and confirmed by the Lima Declaration in 1975. Even in 1996 Lance predicted that if the reduction in GDP growth continues (as shown by A-F-G) that Europe would collapse first and the United States would follow. In 1996 he said that if Australia continues its strong manufacturing and agriculture that we would not need to follow them. Both have tanked since.
We met with Adrian Piccoli the member for Murray and we were not impressed. We spent years trying to find leadership from the Mayor, Council and Griffith Business Chamber (as described in 'My version of how Council and others oversaw the demise of Griffith').
We tried to find a young and charismatic person to stand in elections. We could not find anyone and I drew the short straw and stood as an independent in three elections (so far). In each case i was ignored and The Establishment would not allow debate with members.
I believe in free speech and that I have the right debater with members.
This reminds us of our wonderful days in High School when debates were a part of the education system.
It is my assessment that the 'Meet the Candidates format Is undemocratic. it allows anyone with the gift of the gab to describe their version of their talents and accomplishments without interruption. it could be the reason aided by lots of money and dirty tricks why there has been a duopoly in Australian Federal politics for 117 years.
One FM Radio station which does not believe in debate appointed a cousillor who does not believe in debate as a conener. The next day I challenged him to debate the lack of debates and I gathered these gems - with my notes in italics
The convener emailed me these examples of hypocrisy
‘If you wish to exercise your democratic right and not attend that is up to you. I am not as gutless as those who will not respond to debate challenges
‘ as you strive to join the so called establishment. I am writing a book 'The Failure of the Australian Establishment' the last thing I want to do is to join them.
Stop launching at people and stand up and be counted. I have stood up to be counted and challenged him to a debate but as expected he also is gutless.
Your persistence in seeking a debate is tiresome. That is a gem from you worth repeating in Social Media and other media (except FM radio).
In the first two elections I waited for The Establishment to allow me to debate. During the 2017 NSW by-election for Murray I took it on myself to issue debates to the candidate. He chose not to respnd. I called him a guxxxxx b. Austin was prered to accept thgat rather than debate.
After the election I presented two letters and the official date stamped, initialled and copied each for me. He said that Austin would want to discuss them with me. Wow! I asked if he would act as adjudicator. He agreed provided that Austin would agree. That was Friday 20th October 2017. Could that be the day that saw the start of a new type of politics in Australia? Some people say that i am an over optimistic person. Watch this space.
We have plans that progressively change as we reach our goals. in the case of Austin, if he chickens out we will present sub plans to the Premier.
We believe that we have made progress in relation to the Federal member for Farrer - Sussan Ley. easrlier we had come to te conclusion that not one of the 150 Federal members would agree to a debate with coinsitiuents. We believe that we have awon an Austrlia wide achievement by reachging agreement of at least three debates. However when I produced arguements on any of the debates Sussan has not respoinded.
One example was when we agreed to debate the Saving of the Valencia orange industry, instead of Sussan visiting she sent her Media Manager Steve Block. The plan was that he and I would have detailed discussion for about a month leading to Sussan and I speaking directly.
Two options that I have are - trying to persuade a retired English teacher to act as an adjudicater or else using my $50.00 investment in a hand held puppet called Sussan.
In the local newspapewr the 'Area News' there was 'Open Letter to Sussan Ley'
Now that the by-election is over I will resume debates with Sussan Ley. I will be enlisting the aid of Geoffrey Hudson who wrote in the ‘Area News’ of 9th October about me that ‘he chose to address a stuffed toy rabbit called Sussan rather than Sussan herself.’
The background to this is that I believe that I have achieved an Australian first by obtaining agreement for at least three debates with a Federal member. Referring to them as debates is a bit of a misnomer because in the ‘debate’ on Saving the Australian Big Four Banks I have asked Sussan the Politician many times whether she is aware that our banks are already 40% owned by J P Morgan. HSBC and Citigroup. Geoffrey Hudson, assistance from you would be very welcome.
The agreed debate about banning cancerous orange concentrate was even more bizarre. In Volume 3 of ‘Is Australia a True Democracy?’ chapter 4 is called ‘Diversions, fob offs and ignoring of opponents.’
Instead of Sussan talking to me she assigned her Media Manager Steven Block to discuss the details prior to direct discussion with Sussan the Politician. Diversions and fob offs occurred for months. I wanted to know what Sussan my member felt but Steve decided to go to Barnaby Joyce. I have been trying to contact Barnaby for four years and have written a book ’Barnaby, you know nothing about Valencia Oranges and do not care for those who grow them.’ I sent him a copy of the book by registered mail. It came back ‘Return to Sender.’ He does not have the courage to face up to issues.
Steve’s final message was ‘As indicated I will continue to chase and come back to you when we have something.’ That was over a year ago. Geoffrey Hudson, if you could get an answer which would help us return Australian profitable control of Australian orange juice manufacturing you would be providing the community with a great service. My only option seems to be to write another script for a debate for You Tube between Sussan the Rabbit and me.
Pundits are already suggesting that the Liberals might lose Farrer in 2019.
As cusual we have an outlandishly optimistic next step. if we can get a retired English teacher or a concerned citizen to act as an adjudicater we know that there is not one of 35 debate challenges that we have with Sussan Ley that she could win in a properly adjudicated debate. if a summary of these could be presented in a reasoably professioonal film then Farrer would fall to a minor party.
if the same scenario can be repeatedf in 150 Federal electorates then the Third Political Force which I have been advocating can arrive as soon as 2019