Thursday, 25 May 2017

A CANBERRA BOY VISITS A BLOCK OF ACT GOVERNMENT FLATS

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A CANBERRA BOY VISITS A BLOCK OF ACT GOVERNMENT FLATS
by Dave Wheeler

    Several months ago I assisted a mate by accompanying him on five visits he made to a solicitor in Manuka. The details of his legal problem are not relevant to this essay. What is relevant is that every time we met with the solicitor we walked from my mate's house to the solicitor's office, then back again, and in doing so we walked past the notorious Stuart Flats. These government-owned flats are located in the old Berra suburb of Griffith. They consist of several blocks, and are inhabited by low income folk. 
    I can only describe the Stuart Flats as a sewer. I’m not referring to the physical structure of the Stuart Flats, as the buildings have nothing wrong them, even though they could do with some basic maintenance and a clean-up. I’m referring to the whole atmosphere of the place, which emanates hopelessness and a potential for violence brought about by it being inhabited by many persons with really obvious mental health problems; mental health problems of a kind that has led the afflicted to suffer poverty, poor physical health and in many cases addiction to legal and illegal drugs. 
   The tragedy of it all however, is that if the tenants suffered in silence and did not disrupt the wellbeing of those that surround them they would be ignored. But, unfortunately the behaviour of a significant percentage of the Stuartites does affect the wellbeing of others, because that percentage is also into crime. The crimes I refer to can be low level, such as noisy behaviour, but have also included theft, selling drugs, unauthorised prostitution, arson, vandalism, and acts of varying degrees of physical violence, including homicide.  
   I am not saying they are all that way inclined by any means, as some Stuart Flat tenants are fully employed, not drug dependent, or at all criminally-inclined. I am referring to them having a far larger proportion of people that are severely drug dependent and/or criminally-inclined than most other Canberra neighbourhoods. 
    Obviously there is a wide variety within all groups of people that come under any classification, be they government housing tenants, property developers or politicians. In regard to government housing tenants, I would classify them from an overall perspective as being better quality human beings than a random group of politicians or property developers, but that does not mean they make better neighbours. And when people try and tell us that as a group they are no more or less likely on a per head of population basis to be disruptive neighbours or to be criminally inclined they are insulting our intelligence, as it is obvious bullshit. That however, does not mean I am saying that they should be treated like untouchables and not given a fair go. Many of those who dwell within places like the Stuart Flats have been shat on all their lives. 
   I grew up in a house that was a govie until my parents bought it, but at that stage govies were not restricted to those on very low incomes. And of course the poorly paid are more desperate and as such more inclined to commit crime and to have mental health problems than those who are employed. That does not mean it should stay that way. About 90% of dwellings in Singapore start off as government housing, and the houses and flats are usually eventually bought by the tenants. We should have a similar system here. We should also ensure that nobody is involuntarily unemployed, on a very low income or homeless. It could all be done.
   In regard to the Stuart Flats, although it was a mistake putting large numbers of flats for low income people in one place instead of distributing them throughout the community, because they already exist I am not putting forward an argument to support their demolition. I say that because there is nothing structurally wrong with the buildings and they could become a relatively pleasant place to live and not so unpleasant to walk past or live near. 
   The first link below will take you to a newspaper report of a stabbing murder in the Stuart Flats. I have no idea if the accused is guilty, but what we can determine for a fact is that a bloke was stabbed to death in the Stuart Flats, and I believe the flats have had several other homicides. The second link tells of how the accused could not be given a mental health order because he was considered too violent to be treated in a hospital.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/man-accused-of-stuart-flats-stabbing-death-to-stand-trial-in-the-act-supreme-court-20160815-gqsjhc.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-01/stuart-flats-killing-no-mental-health-order-for-accused/7210200
   I can now hear some readers condemning me for being an elitist and looking down on the less fortunate, but that is not the case. On the contrary; as I am of the traditional left (Not the trendy, lycra-wearing, chardonnay-drinking, pseudo-socialist new left.) my politics don’t run in that direction at all, and I would like to see the psychologically damaged and other less fortunate persons properly taken care of under an ecologically sustainable, socialist and partly isolationist government, using Maxwell’s dual economy model and kibbutzim, (depending on how you define the term socialist).
   I regard myself as being of the traditional hard left and as such in opposition in many respects to the middle class chardonnay drinking, pseudo-environmentalist, pseudo-socialists who mumble platitudes but are divorced from reality and unwilling to make real changes to their lives or the system. I place the Australian Greens in that category, particularly in regard to their right wing pro growth, pro high population, pro corporate stance. They are in bed with the Labor Party, which, like the Lib-Nat coalition, is to the far economic right. The Greens' policies regarding the environment are piss weak and pure tokenism.
     The system could start by giving the Stuartites a fair go, as I doubt many of the tenants of the Stuart and other ACT govie flats have ever been given a fair go. We live under a system that promotes a dog-eat-dog form of capitalism (globalised neo liberalism) that has become progressively worse in the last 40 years, and many of the tenants of the Stuart Flats are victims of that system. On top of that I would be very surprised if most of the more disturbed tenants of the Stuart Flats had not been subjected to abuse and neglect from conception until they were left to fend for themselves. 
    For about 2 years I lived in a govie bedsitter in MacPherson Court, O’Connor, during the late 70’s. I was on the dole during some of that period, madly studying philosophy, and writing. MacPherson Court has since been demolished. During that time I was probably looked upon by others as a young feral, even though I was never into piss or illegal drugs, I was capable of working when I needed to, I did not get into crime and I could handle my money. I was however, by no means the only tenant of MacPherson Court who was not a down-and-outer. A lady who was an old age pensioner lived opposite me, a respectable non-druggie mother and her two teenage kids lived next to me, and quiet and harmless persons tenanted the three flats below me. I am not saying that during that period there was a total absence of persons in MacPherson Court with drug or behavioural problems; I am saying there was not enough of them for it to be a problem. But, about the time I moved out and moved to Adelaide for a few months, things began to change. After returning to the Berra I ran into a tenant who had stayed on, who told me that life had become hellish for him in MacPherson Court because many of the newer tenants had moved in as a result of the closure of mental asylums, because of the  “deinstitutionalisation” policy. Various governments have claimed they implemented deinstitutionalisation for humanitarian reasons. In reality, deinstitutionalisation came about because governments found it cheaper to house the mentally ill in places like MacPherson Court and the Stuart Flats, even though it is only cheaper in the short term, which is all politicians care about. 
   If we lived in a country that was run by a compassionate and rational government that was not scared to make hard decisions, and willing to think and act holistically and laterally, some of the tenants of the Stuart Flats with mental health problems would be living in humane institutions and being looked after properly and others would be gainfully employed and self-sufficient. That would change the atmosphere of the Stuart Flats entirely, because there would be few, if any, tenants who had behavioural problems that were serious enough to impact on those around them. 
   During the times we walked past the place I saw two syringes on the lawn. On one occasion we were going to cut a corner and walk across the grass when a bloke, about our age, who was going in the same direction to us, said, “If I were you blokes I wouldn't walk across the grass. The people in those flats let their dogs shit all over the place and they don’t clean it up." I thanked him for his warning, because once we looked on the ground we could see there was a good chance we would have trod in the "Richard the thirds" that were scattered all over the place. What miserable lives those flat-dwelling dog inmates must lead.
    
The photo above shows part of the Stuart Flats.
   On another occasion while walking past one of the blocks of flats we could hear a couple screaming at each other, with every second word being a swearword. We saw another flat that has been fenced-off because it had recently been burnt-out. 
   I saw on separate occasions two particular broken-down blokes walking towards their flats. It is said, “the face is the mirror of the mind,” and judging by their gaits and expressions it was obvious to me they had lost the will to live and were only going through the motions. They each had a bottle of piss in their hands, and I saw one of the poor wretches raise his bottle to his lips as he walked. He couldn't even wait until he got back to his flat.
    On one of our ramblings we saw a heavily pregnant woman in her thirties with a bloke of a similar age walk towards their flat. Their appearance also reflected their states-of-mind. I really pitied them, but I had greater pity for the woman's unborn child because of the battering it must have been receiving. She sucked on a cigarette as she walked, and it would be more than likely she would hit the piss as well as other mind-altering baby-bashing drugs after she entered her flat.  
  
    The fact that we elect governments that allow people like that to inflict that sort of damage on innocent unborn kids, and in doing so often damage the children physically and/or mentally for the rest of their lives, is a reflection on the lack of empathy most Australians have for the helpless. Maybe it's because kids don't vote their wellbeing is of no real concern to politicians. 
    If we were a moral country that regarded the interests of children as paramount we would elect governments that, other than giving everyone a fair go by ensuring we all had employment and housing, required people to gain a license to reproduce, conditional upon them showing they have the capacity to raise kids properly without abusing or neglecting them within or outside of the womb. Those with a history of seriously abusing or neglecting children would be given irreversible sterilisations. 
     Those who do not agree with what I have stated regarding sterilising people who abuse or neglect kids may change their minds if they worked directly with abused and neglected kids or within a child protection area.
    When I refer to unborn children, as do the religious pro-lifers, I hope I will not be taken as a religious nutter, as I don’t believe there is a god looking down and smiling upon us. I am simply referring to unborn children. (I have never heard the religious thank God for malaria, polio, hookworm, tsunamis and childhood cancer.)
     There is of course debate in regard to when a foetus becomes a baby, but it is generally considered a baby if it can survive outside the womb, which is after  20 to 24 weeks from conception. We do not know when it becomes sentient, although it would have to be sentient before 20 weeks if it could survive outside the womb. 
   Irrespective of this, if a pregnant woman intends giving birth, even if the foetus/baby she carries has not reached the stage of being sentient, should she engage in behaviour that is abusive to the foetus/baby, it is almost as immoral as the abuse of a baby that has been born. I say that because the woman is choosing to inflict damage on what will become a child, and in doing so risks that child suffering permanent defects.  
    I recently saw a documentary about the ice epidemic in Nowra. They interviewed a woman who was supposedly an ex addict who told of how she was intending to have an abortion but decided against it and instead tried to kill the foetus/baby by way of drug abuse. Her effort did not succeed, and the child was born. It must have suffered horrific abuse while inside her womb, and it must have been sentient at the last stage of her pregnancy and born with an addiction/s. She did not even seem to show any shame for her actions. There is little hope for people like that, and we should not risk allowing her another chance to inflict that sort of damage onto another child. She, and her spouse or boyfriend, if she had one who could be found, should have been given irreversible sterilisations. 
   Obviously not all the tenants of the Stuart Flats are down-and-outers like the woman from Nowra, although a significant proportion of them could not be described as anything else. If it were not for the Stuart Flats they would be living on the streets, as do thousands of other Australians. 
   As I have indicated, I can usually judge a person by way of their facial expression, and I judged another one of the flat's inmates, who was aged around 40, to be intelligent by way of that method, although I also saw him as being highly disturbed and having virtually lost the will to live. 
   Maybe he was very intelligent but lacked the ability to handle what he saw and understood regarding what was going on around him. Anyway, the poor bugger was walking up the lane behind us when we were returning from one of our visits to the solicitor before he turned off to walk towards his flat. He was coughing uncontrollably, a deep, loud, prolonged, phlegm-gurgling cough. He was obviously in need of hospitalisation. His face was drooping evenly as if he had had a stroke that had affected both sides of his body, and it reflected total apathy and pain of both a physical and psychological kind. I doubt he will last another year.  
    I heard a recorded interview of the late Bob Randall, the Aboriginal elder who wrote the song "Brown skin baby they take him away." He spoke of how some of his people believe that if a person maltreats himself, or is maltreated, his spirit will excuse itself and get up and go before its time, and the person’s body will therefore die before its time unless it's reunited with its spirit. This belief does not have to be taken literally to be appreciated, as it is an excellent metaphor. By maltreating oneself or by being maltreated by others, a person can feel that life has no purpose, which can result in what is called in the West spiritual bankruptcy,which could also be described as an absence of spirit or an absence of the will to live. What it comes down to is the fact that when the spirit goes the body will follow before its time. 
    While walking past the Stuart Flats most of the time I could only feel pity and compassion for the down-and-out I observed, which caused disruption, to a degree, to the meditative state-of-mind I like to adopt for as much of my waking time as I can. 
    When however, we came across one violent mentally ill inmate of the Stuart Flats on the way back from one of our walks, I had to change from my semi-meditative state-of-being to survival mode, in case he attempted to assault us. And when one is in survival mode and as such ready to either take steps to avoid a confrontation or prepare for partaking in defensive physical violence, it is not a pleasant experience. That is one of many reasons why one should avoid violent and obnoxious people.
   I do my best to avoid crowds, excess noise, traffic and obnoxious people, in order to retain a meditative state-of-mind for as much as my waking time as possible, because the objective of life is to maximise pleasure and minimise pain. And when one has a meditative state-of-mind in which one can savour the simple pleasures of the present one minimises pain and maximises pleasure, even though what occurs around us ensures we are unable to retain a meditative state-of-mind for 100% of the time. There's a reason why Buddhist monastries are quiet, peaceful places. I can't see a Buddhist monk achieving many intense meditative states-of-mind if he was made to live in the Stuart Flats. It would be difficult for him to get out of survival mode.
   The obnoxious and violent bloke I refer to was living in a flat near the lane we walked on that was situated to the side of one of the blocks. We could hear the poor wretch, who I will call "Kevin Andrews," screaming profanities and threats and throwing his possessions around his flat. He was screaming at someone who was trying to calm him down, telling him to, "Get the fuck out of here!" I don't know if he was on "ice," alcohol or some other mind-altering drug, or whether he was just another unfortunate who had a congenital mental health problem. Whatever the case, because of his state-of-mind I'm sure he would have been capable of committing acts of real physical violence upon his fellow human. Imagine a young single woman or an old age pensioner trying to live near him!
        Although the poor, tortured, broken biological machine, who, I remind you, I am calling “Kevin Andrews," never came out of his flat to threaten us, we were conscious of the fact that there was a possibility he would. And as I have indicated, I of course made contingency plans in regard to what I would do if he did, as did my cobber. 
    
    Above is an old photo of Gowrie Court, Griffith, just after it was constructed in the mid fifties. I am led to believe these flats will also get the bulldozer. What a waste! Imagine the amount of CO2 that will be produced while the houses or multi-storied flats that will be built on the site are constructed. Demolishing any existing building unnecessarily and replacing it with another is dirty. Yet I could be fined if I dropped a totally biodegradable banana peel?
   The idea of getting into a scrap with someone like Kevin Andrews did not appeal to me, partly because I find the idea of bashing anyone disturbing, even if it is in self defence, and more so a poor broken-down bloke like Kevin Andrews. The main reason for me hoping he would not see us and turn his anger towards us however, was because there was a good chance he was hep C or even HIV positive, and if I had blood-to-blood contact with him I would, with good reason, fear I could become hep C or HIV positive or contract some other nice disease. That would have put a real damper on my walk from the solicitor's.
    I did not fear Kevin Andrews shooting us because if he ever got hold of a gun it's unlikely he would hang onto it for long. He would hock it as soon as he needed drug money.
   I looked up the Stuart Flats on the net and found the following newspaper links which tell of its intended sale and demolition, as well as the sale and demolition of many other ACT Government-owned flats.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/asset-sales-reap-60-million-from-abbott-government-for-canberra-light-rail-20150219-13j3hg.html
http://www.gnca.org.au/redevelopment-of-stuart-flats-and-gowrie-court/
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/currong-flats-demolition-set-for-september-20150805-gishct.html
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-calls-registrations-of-interest-in-a-new-building-on-dickson-motor-vehicle-registry-site-20160226-gn4lxp.html
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/government-moves-to-demolish-dilapidated-currong-apartments-20150416-1mmdfy.html
  From what I have read the following flats ACT Government-owned flats will be destroyed over the next year or so and the remaining residents rehoused. They include: the Stuart Flats, Gowrie Court, Bega, Allowah and Currong Flats in Civic,  Northbourne Flats, Lyneham Flats, Dickson Flats, Karuah Flats, Red Hill Flats, part of Strathgordon Court Woden, and other flats in Narrabundah. 
   Most of the latter flats were built in the mid fifties when Canberra had about 40,000 residents, and many housed single public servants and building workers who were by no means down-and-outers. The main reason there were few down and outers during that period was because there was virtually no unemployment and subsequently virtually no dole. We now have close to 400,000 residents in the Berra and 431,000 within the Berra/Beyan area. On top of that the Berra had, during the fifties, MacPherson Court, O’Connor, and Fraser Court, Kingston. Both of those places were demolished several years ago. Life was much easier in the 50's.
  I have also been told by an employee of ACT Housing that Throsby Court in Griffith will be demolished as well as Windeyer Court, Watson, (where a murder took place this year), but I have seen nothing in writing, so it may not be true, although I would be very surprised if it was not. 
   I have also been told that because of the intended demolition of all the flats I have mentioned, for the last 3 or more years any flat in the previously mentioned buildings that became vacant was not filled by persons needing accommodation. That policy of course means there are now considerably fewer people the ACT government has to rehouse. 
    We should also bear in mind that the Melba Flats, Melba, which consisted of a very large number of ACT Government flats, as well as Burnie Court, Woden, and the previously mentioned MacPherson Court O’Connor and Fraser Court, Kingston, were demolished within the last 20 years. And people wonder why there are so many homeless people?
   On top of selling flats and other government-owned assets, I believe the ACT Government also intends selling MacArthur House, the Dickson Motor Registry, the Dickson Ambulance site, the Belconnen Remand Centre. two Belconnen fire stations, Dame Pattie Menzies House and the ACT Tourist Bureau on Northbourne Avenue. I believe the leases for the ACT Courts have already been sold and that the ACT Government is now handing over rent money, which is dead money. 
   Selling public assets to pay for overspending has become very fashionable from the 70’s on, for   state, territorial and federal governments, particularly when it came to selling very profitable state-owned monopolies, as the buyer is virtually guaranteed a healthy profit. And after selling the family farm these governments have had the temerity to say they are good money managers! It’s the equivalent of a person with an investment property congratulating himself for blowing $400,000.00, then, to pay his debts, selling his investment property for $450,000.00 and boasting about being $50,000.00 in the black. 
   Politicians are only interested in the short term, yet people continue to vote in the same low-life, election after election.
    After my cobber had sorted out his legal problems and after I became conscious of the fact that the Stuart Flats and many other government-owned flats within the ACT were to be demolished, I decided to visit most of the remaining govie flats before they are demolished, as I wished to record their current existence by taking some photos. I was to find there was no shortage of down-and-outers living in the remaining govie flats.
    I wondered what was going to happen to the folk who dwelt in these govie flats, and I also wondered what life would be like for the generations that have followed me and the generations that are yet to be born. As I have always said, we are living under one of the worse forms of dog-eat-dog capitalism, and because we have a government that would rather pay an impoverishing dole than create non-exploitative full time work, then blame the unemployed for their situation and manipulate the statistics in regard to job availability, down-and-outers are a growing group of people and a distinct, marginalised subculture.

   The above photo shows part of the ACT Government-owned Windeyer Court, Watson, where a homicide occurred on the 3/11/16. I have been told that Windeyer Court will be getting the bulldozer, but I have seen nothing in writing. However, given the value of the land in Watson I would be very surprised if the place was not flattened within the next few years. If any Windeyer Court residents have concerns about whether the place will be demolished they should ask the ACT Minister for Housing to give them a firm yes or no. If the minister does not give a definite no, one would not have to be Nostradamus to accurately predict what will happen.

  Above is Throsby Court, Griffith. which I have been told the ACT government also intends selling to a developer, so it can be demolished, but I have seen nothing in writing. Given the price of land in Griffith and the contempt the Coalition, Labor and the Greens have for the poor and downtrodden, I would be flabagasted if they were not bulldozed within the next few years. If this is not the ACT Government's intention let the minister for housing say so.
   Another reason the plight of the addicted and hopeless concerns me is because most of the people I know who are well-disciplined, to the extent that they have no serious addictions, they can manage their money, acquire and keep a job, and generally speaking have reasonably good mental health, have had either one or two kids or none at all. 
    I am by no means trying to imply that all those who have had three or more kids are mentally defective, as I know many parents who have excellent mental health and have had large functional families; I am saying that the latter are an overall minority and that many of society’s unfortunates with mental health problems and addictions have brought 3 or more kids into the world, and the pattern continues. I cannot produce statistics to back up what I say because I doubt they are kept. I ask the reader however, to think of the parents you know, and you will find that most of those who have functional mental health and do not have serious addiction problems have had no more than two children. 
   In another essay I wrote I told of a semi-retarded woman our office was dealing with when I worked for Chid Protection within the ACT government. She had 10 feral kids from 10 different blokes, and we dealt with many more like her.

   The Bega, Allowah and Currong Flats in Civic, in the process of being demolished, are shown aboveI am told they were also known as the “Sui Flats because of the suicides that occurred there. There was a particular floor on one of these buildings, probably the one shown, which people would jump from for many years. Choosing that particular floor became a tradition. If I am wrong someone may be able to give me more detailed information regarding which floor on which block was used for that practice. One of my mates, a very nice bloke who has had mental health problems for years, witnessed two suicides while living in one of the above flats.    
  Nor am I suggesting that those with good mental health, and who are well-disciplined, should have more than two kids to counter the dysfunctional’s birth rate. What I am saying is that future generations will have to cope with the results of dysfunctional parents producing numbers of dysfunctional kids that exceeds the number of functional kids that have been brought into the world. 
    To ensure I will not be seen as a disciple of Hitler, when I use the word “dysfunctional” to describe some people, I am not referring to those who may have low IQ’s or who are poor physical specimens with health problems. Many of those sorts of persons functioned very well in times when they had access to full and permanent employment and housing. I am referring to the sort of person whose mental health renders him or her incapable of raising children in a way in which his or her children do not suffer and in which their needs are fulfilled.
    I know many people of my generation who were not too bright who I could describe as the “salt of the earth.” When entering the workforce in my era most of those persons were able to get low-skilled jobs, which they kept, most were not thieves or addicts and most were reasonably good parents. Unfortunately, nowadays that sort of person finds it very difficult to procure gainful employment, and they consequently often suffer a life of casualised work, welfare, homelessness, poverty, drug addiction and crime. 
   
    Above is the ACT Motor Registry which is also getting the bulldozer. What a waste! I can clearly recall the building being built when I was in my teens, and it was there I got my license to drive a car a day after my 17th birthday in 1969. It was closed on my birthday. The demolition of this building will happen with the blessing of the ACT (CO2-loving) Greens. I would be very surprised if Motor Registry staff are not moved into a privately-owned building, which means the ACT taxpayer will have to continue to pay the bill for ongoing rental costs. 
   Maybe the whole issue presents to people an uncomfortable truth of which they do not wish to be made consciously aware, as they find it depressing and would rather watch sport, buy material goods they don’t need and drink piss than face up to the fact that real problems are being created for future generations. 
    As I have indicated elsewhere, before my retirement I worked for the ACT Government in the child protection area as an admin worker; not a child protection worker. Nonetheless, I could not avoid having some contact with those who neglect and abuse kids, and it made me more conscious than I had been as to why people need to be licensed to have kids. Although I do not have the authority to speak on behalf of all child protection workers, it is because I worked with a very large number of them for about 10 years (there was a very large number of them during that period because the job has a very high staff turnover) I’m convinced the overwhelming majority of them would also want to see people licensed to reproduce, even though few would be prepared to stick their necks out and publicly express that sentiment. After seeing what they see they would have to be devoid of empathy  if they wanted the status quo to continue. 
   I also worked at Quamby (The Berra's kid's gaol), for about 3 years, and I had to deal with the final product of unlicensed breeding. I really felt for those kids, but for most of them it was too late for any assistance to be effective. 
MY SECOND PERSONALITY, PERSONALITY 2,  INTERRUPTS ME
  Okay Wheeler; you smart-arse. You talk about the down-and-outers in these flats and the violent atmosphere they create, and then you rabbit on about how bad it is because the government no longer adequately caters for these people. How would you like a violently insane bloke like the Kevin Andrews you refer to living next to you? I know you wouldn't, you hypocrite. You wouldn’t put up with it at all! What would you do to solve the problem if you were running the government if you know it all? 
  And you talk about saving the planet, yet you drive a car and consume fossil fuels like everyone else. You’re no better than the rest of them. You make me feel sick!
MY RESPONSE TO PERSONALITY 2,
   Fair crack of the whip 2! I never said I would like to live next door to Kevin Andrews or anywhere near the Stuart Flats, but I do know how the problem could be mostly solved, and how the Stuart Flats and other govie flats could be turned into pleasant places; the sorts of places I would not mind living within or near.  
     Without going into too many details as to how I would change our economic system entirely, I would not knock down any govie flats in the Berra as there is nothing wrong with them structurally, they are desperately needed, knocking them down doesn’t fix the problem and CO2 is produced while the building that replaces it is being built.
     And as I’ve already indicated, if all else failed I would ensure people like Kevin Andrews were housed in humane institutions.
    Before doing that however, I would give Kevin Andrews types a fair go, because, as I have also said, I doubt many of the residents of the Stuart Flats and the other govie flats around the Berra have ever been given a fair go. And if Kevin was given a fair go, by being given compulsory rehab and a job, there’s a slim chance he would turn into a stable and employable person. 
   And as to me not living an ecologically sustainable lifestyle as a result of my driving a car, etc, what’s the point unless it's done at a national level? 
    I say there would be a slim chance Kevin's character would change, because even if Kevin is not genetically flawed, and is the way he is because years of childhood abuse and neglect led him to engage in years of drug abuse, the damage he has suffered would in all probability be irreparable. 
  If a bloke like Kevin Andrews was born into a hunter gatherer society, or even a society of subsistence farmers, his life would in all probability have been far more positive and enjoyable. Drugs were limited in those sorts of environments and in some cases non-existent. And if there was at any time a surplus of drugs there is no way Kevin, as a hunter gatherer or a subsistence farmer, could get away with too much overindulgence. His tribe could not afford the luxury of carrying a dysfunctional person. Nor would he make an arse of himself for too long or be too violent towards those with whom he was interdependent. If he acted in those ways he would be ostracised, or worse.
PERSONALITY 2 ASKS ANOTHER QUESTION
  It’s that simple is it? You’re a moron Wheeler! I'd really like you to tell me how you could get rid of illegal drugs and give everyone a good and permanent job. I suppose you’d also give everyone a house? 
   Even with dictatorial powers that would be impossible. If it were that simple it would have been done already. Stop having yourself on! You may as well wish for the tooth fairy.
MY RESPONSE TO PERSONALITY 2
   I never said it would be easy 2, even if I had dictatorial powers, but I could clean up places like the Stuart Flats as well as the rest of Australia, and I could ensure future generations had every opportunity to live healthy and happy lives, even if I could not produce a paradise where everyone was happy. 
    And watch who you're calling a moron! Any fool can name-call, which is okay if you can back-up the name-calling with rationally-based arguments as to why a person should be called such names, but you haven’t presented any yet. 
   Having said that, I would have to write a book to tell you how I could transform our society in the way I have claimed it could be transformed.
PERSONALITY 2 ASKS ANOTHER QUESTION
   Do you really think Australians will ever install a system that actually works, to the extent that everyone has the chance to get a job in which they are not exploited, everyone has the chance to buy a house, everyone has free medical care and education and we can live in a state of self-sufficiency in an ecologically sustainable manner, where we can maintain a population that is ecologically sustainable and in which children are not raised by dysfunctional parents?
MY RESPONSE TO PERSONALITY 2
   You're asking a rhetorical question, aren’t you 2? You could design the best motorcar in the world, but if its components were faulty it would continue to break down. The problem with humans and democracy is that democracy amounts to equal votes for unequal minds, and most humans still possess the mindset of their hunter gatherers ancestors. 
    Some argue that democracy is better than totalitarianism because totalitarianism has been proven to bring out the very worst in human nature. But, because we are now drowning in our own shit and are unable to control our numbers or to stop dysfunctional people giving birth to dysfunctional kids that live lives of pain, we must conclude that democracy has also been a monumental failure.
   Our current situation has been compared to that of a man falling off a multi-storied building who, just before he reaches the ground floor level, says to himself, “As I have not been injured yet my future looks good!”   
   What we elect to our parliaments are shocking examples of humanity. One would think they would be a gathering of persons with a similar intellect to Bertrand Russell. But no, what we have is a representation of what most people look up to, and most politicians are selfish fools. Some are semi-retarded Sarah Palin types.
   As I have said already, the system I would favour would incorporate ecological sustainability, Maxwell’s recession and depression-proof dual economic, partly-isolationist economy, kibbutzim and many other radical changes. And only a dictator who did not abuse his power could implement such a system.
    It would not be implemented by way of the democratic process, because other than the herd being too ignorant and stupid to realise that it is not in its best interest or the best interest of future generations to continue with our current system, should a political party that favoured my preferred system was by some miracle put into office by way of the democratic process, it would not last long enough for it to be able to implement its policies. It would not last because it would step on too many toes and would be overthrown by way of a coup, as occurred when the democratically elected Marxist government of Chile was indirectly overthrown by the USA in 1973.
     So, as nobody is going to give anyone dictatorial powers (even if they thought the dictator would not abuse his or her power) so the system I prefer could be implemented, and as I have zero chance of convincing the Australian populous to adopt my preferred system by way of the democratic process, I would be wasting my time writing a book explaining and promoting such a system, and I’m wasting my time discussing it with you, 2.
PERSONALITY 2 ASKS ANOTHER QUESTION
  You’re a miserable bastard Wheeler. Lighten-up and make the most of your life!
MY RESPONSE TO PERSONALITY 2
    You just don’t get it do you 2? I was making the most of my life before you interrupted me. I don’t make a practice of dwelling on negative facts, and I only write this blog for mental exercise. I will now go back to savouring my here and now and I suggest you do the same. I was about to click on, listen to, and savour, Buckwheat Zydeco singing Jolie Blon, before you interrupted me. You’re welcome to listen to it with me if you like, not that you have any choice. 
PERSONALITY 2 RESPONDS
    Hold on Wheeler! Aren't you being a bit selfish? Don’t you owe it to future generations to at least have a go at ensuring Australia is as good a place to live, if not better, than when you arrived in it?
MY RESPONSE TO PERSONALITY 2
   Don't be a drongo 2! Australia only had something like 8.6 million people when I was born, which was in 1952. How could I possibly make it a better place than it was before I came into the world with its current population given the environmental damage that has been done since my birth and given the fact that further environmental damage is unstoppable? 
     You asked me how we could live under a better system and I’ve partly told you, even though it would require my being given dictatorial powers. And as I have said, that is not going to occur. As I have also said, I will now listen to Jolie Blon being sung, which is on the embedded youtube clip below. I’ve wasted enough time talking to you already.
AFTER CLICKING ONTO, AND WHILE LISTENING TO, ,JOLIE BLON, ABOVE, YOU MAY WANT TO VIEW BELOW THE PHOTOS OF THE ACT GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS THAT WILL BE DEMOLISHED WITHIN A YEAR OR TWO, AND REFLECT ON THE EVENTS THAT HAVE OCCURRED WITHIN THEIR WALLS. I ASK THAT YOU ALSO MAKE YOURSELF CONSCIOUS OF THE AMOUNT OF CO2 THAT WILL BE PUMPED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE WHILE THE BUILDINGS THAT REPLACE THEM ARE BEING CONSTRUCTED.
 Pictured above are a part of the Lyneham Flats. They will soon be bulldozed. Why? They are an excellent design, and because they are not multi story they do not create an overpopulated ghetto of disadvantaged people. If we are going to continue with the current system, having flats like that spread out over several kilometres with private houses in between would ensure crime would not congregate in any one area.

 Above is the ACT Visitors Bureau, which is between the Dickson Flats. It will also get the bulldozer, which is a pity because it's a very useful building and a very convenient stop for tourists.    

These Civic flats above will probably have already been demolished.

 The above sign outside of what remains of the Lyneham Flats during their demolition process says  in part "Better Suburbs." They may be if you consider an overcrowded cheek-by-jowl suburb "better." 
   It also says, "Better Homes," and again, if you like living in a multi storied sewer they could be better homes. It also says, "better communities," and for those who like living in communities where a person is unable to keep a dog and where they are jammed together like battery hens and  continually exposed to neighbour's domestics and toilet noises, such communities could be real paradises.

 Above is what is left of the Dickson Flats. I am led to believe the block shown will not get bulldozed as a gesture to those who wanted the flats to remain heritage listed. 
Above shows some of the soon to be demolished Northbourne Flats, near Civic.

  Pictured above is Dame Pattie Menzies House, which the ACT Government intends to sell. According to an ad I read in Allhomes, the purchaser can lease it back to the ACT Government for three years. I wonder if I should sell my house then rent it back from whoever buys it. It makes great business sense. What sort of subhumans have we got running this place?
 
 Above is Civic in the 1960’s showing the Civic Flats in the background. Notice the amount of car spaces, and it was always free parking. Civic was a nice and relaxed place to visit in those days, even though traffic was allowed to drive through it. It is now an overcrowded toilet.

   The shot above is of the Big Hole, which is located outside of Braidwood within the Deua National Park. 
   There are many arguments against capital punishment and I can see better alternatives. But having said that, if I became an Australian dictator I would seriously consider rounding up all the current members of the ACT Legislative Assembly who belong to the “Canberra Liberals,” “Labor” and the “Australian Greens,” and herding them, with the assistance of electric cattle prods and blue heelers, into the “Big Hole.” If the Assembly was composed of representatives of “Family First,” “One Nation,” or any of the other minor parties that have recently gained seats federally or in state elections, they'd be herded into the “Big Hole” with the rest of them.   
   The late Russ Hinze, shown above, became an angel after he died, because just before he died he become a really good bloke and a born again environmentalist/socialist/semi-isolationist. He often visits me, and he tells me he feels for the poor and would like to see all Australians given a fair go. 


   I met the two lads shown above in Cameron Road, Queanbeyan, last week. They told me they had suffered discrimination all their lives and were prevented from enrolling in Queanbeyan Public School because they were of mixed species. At the moment they are couch-surfing, but hoping to find permanent accomodation.

TO READ THE CANBERRA-BASED ESSAYS AND YARNS THAT PRECEDED THE ONE YOU HAVE JUST READ, HIT “OLDER POSTS,” JUST BELOW, TO YOUR RIGHT, IN SMALL WHITE WRITING, OR CHOOSE ANY OF THE 34 THAT HAVE SO FAR BEEN POSTED FROM THE INDEX AT THE TOP OF THIS ESSAY.