The hypocrisy of the Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia

As I sit in my home in Melbourne and listen to the whirring of the racing cars going round and round in circles, I can’t help but scoff at the hypocrisy of the entire farce.

We are told incessantly that we should cut down on carbon emissions. We are taxed to do so. Polluting the air is bad, apparently, but not when it comes to an event such as the Grand Prix. Here we have powerful engines churning out poisons for about four days. The noise is bad. The atmosphere stinks of petrol and yet all is forgiven because it is a special event which will put Melbourne on the map.

Well, it does that for sure. It confirms that the Victorian government has Fifty Million Dollars to waste supporting an event which does not even make a profit. It stands for nothing but hypocrisy about protecting the environment etc.

Not being a genuine Victorian I obviously don’t get it. The Grand Prix is about fashion show-offs, drinkers and voyeurs who hope that some of the cars will crash. And let’s not forget the gambling.

It reminds me so much of the events in Ancient Rome when the Emperors used to put on shows to amuse the rabble in the Colosseum. It seems as if nothing much has changed since the First Century AD.

The Daniel Morcombe murder and a twist of fate

In 1997 I was commissioned to review a TV program called “Front Up” for The Courier Mail newspaper. This program was screened on SBS and I admired what its producer, Andrew L. Urban was doing. So I interviewed him about his program and promoted it unashamedly.

During our interview Andrew explained how he believed that everyone has a story to tell and that is why he would stop people in the street and see if they were willing to talk frankly about themselves.

And yes, he was right. People are quite happy to talk about themselves if they are approached in a relaxed and non-confrontational manner. Andrew told me that he relied on “an educated hunch”, a degree of openness which would encourage a friendly conversation.

“Front Up” became very popular because it was about ordinary people rather than celebrities.

So who would have imagined that two years after my interview with Urban that Brett Peter Cowan, the paedophile who has just been convicted of murdering Daniel Morcombe ten years ago, would appear on one of Urban’s “Front Up” episodes?

In it, Cowan appears relaxed and affable, the sort of man whom you would introduce to your parents. He talked about his hard battle with drugs and that he’s over all his problems and that he has found God… blah blah.

Alas, poor Andrew Urban had no idea that he was talking to a convicted child molester. How ironic it is that what was intended to be a show about ordinary people should have accidentally stumbled upon one of the most monstrous criminals in Australian history.

The main problem with doctors

Went to the doctor the other day with a stomach upset which had lasted a few days. My usual doctor was unavailable so I went to another one in the same practice. He was a doctor I used to visit but decided to avoid, if possible.

I told him what had been going on for the past four days. I told him I was drinking Gastrolyte which compensates for electrolyte imbalance owing to gastric upset. I also told him that I was using Gastro-Stop for obvious reasons.

He examined me, reassured me that I was doing fine and then informed me that I should drink Gastrolyte and take Gastro-Stop to ease the symptoms.

He then took out a small slip of paper on which he wrote down two names, Gastro-Stop and Gastrolyte which he handed to me and told me to take those.

How I wish that doctors would listen to their patients!