Saturday, December 01, 2018

John Hatton: Speech

Speech by John Hatton - Celebrating the life of Ted Mack who requested that John’s speech be joyous and light and requested that he should not wear black outfit as his favourite colour was Yellow...

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“Wendy Mack...The parent, the amazing partner, the force - - secretary, MEdia officer, election organiser, wise counsellor, “down to earth”.

The engine room. Competent, Loving a whole workforce in one. The wonderful, loving Mack family, our hearts ache with you.

This gathering is a mirror full of love, insight and respect  for an extraordinary man.

Ted and I were born in the same year, 1933. As Ted used to put it, “the same year that Hitler came to power.”

Ted Mack was my friend. We shared a dream. We tried to read the dashboard of planet earth to fantom the journey; we tried and hoped that somehow we could influence the direction, distil meaning  and at times enjoy the ride.

Like many,I feel privileged, inspired and enlightened by Ted Mack. A role model.

Ted’s Wikipedia details demonstrate how the speakers today have an impossible task to expressed in few minutes his achievements and his passion for giving power to the powerless...

His quirky way of thinking intrigued me. No garbage bins in North Sydney station - they attract litter. Freeways attract cars. Freeways, and their opposites, tollways, get you to traffic snarl quicker.

Privacy and “in-confidence” are myths. The smart money will always find out. Public tenders mean tenders in public.

The greed, the hypocrisy, the secrecy, the sheer audacity and the stench of politics at times threatens to drown us.

Yet idealism, the human spirit, the determination, the firm handshake of the true believers, the friends and bedrock family, transcend and uplift.

Together on the backbench of the NSW Parliament we witnessed the disconnection. Vaudeville; his the villain, cheer the hero; the theatre, the actors, the disconnect from Henry Lawson’s “The Faces in the Street”.

This disconnection is decease inflicting all levels of government in Australia.

On the backbench Ted’s attention was on integrated transport planning, public finance, dismantling of the people’s institutions - e.g., Government Architect Branch in the Pubclic Works Department. Loss of the people’s advocate in assessment contracts, town planning design, public services, protection of crown land. The privatisation putrage; secrecy, cover-up, blatant dishonesty buying elections: thecrumbling of the pillars of an inclusive civil society. Few in power listened. The sale of electricity, water, roads, Land Titles Office; an endless list.

Ted’s knowledge instructed me. The Swiss government. The American Constitution. The essence of the Westminster system. The media. An Australian republic.

Always stimulating, inspiring with his original thinking. Ted was in innovator, a watchdog, champion of the freedoms and obligations of civil society. He set the high standard by example.

In his book “The Unconscious Civilisation”, John Reston Saul states (and I paraphrase) Democracy is a system that facilitates the obligation to dissent. That is active involvement the obligation necessary to distil the essence of democracy.

Leading social researcher Hugh Mackay observes:
👌🏼We used to live in society. Now we live in economy...

Corruption of language. Words swords cleave truth and humanity into meaningless pieces.

The economic model of competition, the economic rationalists, the titans of politics and business (read “banks”) obliterate trust, empathy, honesty, spiritual values and community.

Emeritus Professor Stephen Hill, a firmer UN ambassador (with astonishing experience of multicultural societies worldwide) and a fan of Ted Mack, emphasises that the loss of the local is the loss of meaning - the most human and cultural connection.

In light of these things, Ted Mack’s life, his wisdom and his actions tick all the right boxes.

Yes, we grieve. We miss him. Australia will miss him.

Today, skim of the dross, reveal the shining metal of our humanity. From the mirror ball of memories draw meaning, determination and strength from Ted Mack’s example.

One person of principle, courage and persistence is a formidable force - the essence of Ted Mack. That is inspiration. Do it. Live it. An exciting, meaningful and fulfilling life.

I leave you with a delicious thought. In the most unlikely event that a party politician makes it to heaven, only on arrival to find that God is independent and holds the balance of power for eternity

Thanks Ted

Thanks Wendy and family.

We love you