Sunday, February 18, 2018


"I suppose I should be the last person in Australia to say I’m speechless."
~   Graham Freudenberg His speech at the Graham Freudenberg Tribute Dinner

Clive Hamilton is professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. His book, Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, will be published by Hardie Grant at the end of this month. Labor has a cancer growing in it that must be cut out

Godfather III

Like Dr Cope, Freudy was fond of Goethe ...

I have been making my way through Goethe's Italian Journey, which also gives me an opportunity to post on Goethe's Twitter account short comments on his stay in Rome. Today's entry in Italian Journey, February 2, 1787, however, should be quoted in full:

Unless a person has walked through Rome in the light of the full moon he cannot imagine the beauty of it. All individual details are swallowed up in the great masses of light and shadow, and only the largest, most general images present themselves to the eye. For three days we have been thoroughly enjoying the brightest and most splendid nights. The Coliseum offers a particularly beautiful sight. It is closed at night, a hermit lives there in his tiny little church[Kirchelchen], and beggars nest in the dilapidated archways. They have laid a fire on the ground, and a quiet breeze drove the smoke first toward the arena, so that the lower part of the ruins was covered and the huge walls above jutted out over it darkly. We stood at the grating and watched the phenomenon, while the moon stood high and clear in the sky. Gradually the smoke drifted through the walls, holes, and openings, looking like fog in the moonlight. It was an exquisite sight. This is how one must see the Pantheon, the Capitol, the forecourts of St. Peter’s, and other great streets and squares illuminated. And so the sun and the moon, just like the human spirit, are quite differently employed here than in other places, here, where their gaze meets huge and yet refined masses

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. His speech at the Graham Freudenberg Tribute Dinner- A REPOST from June 19 2017

CAROL SUMMERHAYES. At a tribute to Graham Freudenberg.- A REPOST from June 8 2017

Graham revealed in his memoir that he wrote his first speech in Brisbane in May 1945, aged 10, at the time of VE Day, and delivered it to his mother. In 1946 he scored a job with ABC Radio reading scripts of school broadcasts – “I learned a lot about the use of English written to be spoken”. He didn’t know then that this experience would be life-forming: his speeches over the years stand out as words meant to be heard as well as to be read, a different sort of writing altogether.  
Continue reading 

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Revising history – A REPOST from June 16 2017

For octogenarians like me, the most astonishing development since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that so much of the West’s hopes for international sanity, civility and peace should now rest with, of all countries, Germany.   Continue reading 

Media Dragon: GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. On Gough Whitlam

Alan Ramsey, a father of Steve Ramsay of ATO fame, wrote in 2004: " In 2001 he sold his Woollahra terrace, where he'd lived for 24 years, and moved back to his home state of Queensland to "retire" to the wonderfully alliterative Bongaree on Bribie Island. He still lists his recreations in Who's Who as "reading, drinking and smoking".

Back in 1980s and 19980s, I was lucky to share walks with Graham ("Freudy") as I used to take June's cocker spaniel, Rosie, for a walk and Graham  had also a constitutional routine with his border collie --- as June and Graham together with Graeme Wedderburn and Nick Greiner were neighbours in Woollahra. Gabbie and Sasha were fond of Graham's stories and sense of humour ... He even had opinions on water beds, he predicted their demise 20 years ago The rise and fall of the waterbed 


Writing in The Guardian Alfred McCoy explains “how the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan“. In that war-torn country opium is the farmers’ most viable cash crop, and the Taliban, once opposed to drugs, are now financed by the opium trade.

Canberra Times journalist Crispin Hull makes a strong case for fundamental tax reform, not only to make the collection of tax fairer, but also to boost public revenue. He also puts up for consideration the idea of a universal basic income, an idea gaining currency in many European countries, including Finland and Scotland.

Blasts from the Bob Carr's and Freudy's past
Peter Martin writing in the Fairfax Press explains the vulnerabilities in our electricity supply industry. He shows how good fortune and good management have saved us from blackouts over recent weeks of hot weather. The weaknesses and vulnerabilities are not where the Commonwealth Government and the coal industry would have us believe they lie.
“For the vast majority of owner-occupiers and would-be buyers, falling house prices are good news”. This is a quote from The Age editorial of January 6 – a refreshing reminder that rising house prices over recent years have not owner-occupiers wealthier. In fact for many high house prices have simply allowed them to get into debt.
Robert Reich on the great Trump con.
Our ridiculous frenzy of road construction will swallow up resources for two decades –Canberra Times.
When it comes to refugees, Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison and Dutton are hypocrites – Julian Burnside
Even the UK courts believe the UK’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia are wrong – which is why protesters were acquitted of criminal damage this week. In addition to selling military equipment for Saudi Arabia attacks in Yemen, BAE in Australia is a major funder of the Australian War Memorial with a theatre named in its honour. It is also a funder of the ‘independent’ think tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The Australian Chair is a former senior Australian official.
The growing support for preferential voting in the United States
Trump shows a host of personality disorders – Charles Blow in the New York Times
African gangs just the latest ruse to stoke national insecurity – Jack Waterford