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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..18 June 2013

There is much talk at the moment about lifting the legal age for the service of alcohol to 21, as a father and grandfather I am all for this. My grandchildren are all still quite young but the thought of them binge drinking on alcohol in just a few years is frightening. It is not just them you have to worry about, it is all the other young people out there as well, you can instill the best of values in your children, but you have no control over others.

Alcohol is already available too freely, and now in South Australia they want to make it available in the supermarket. I say we should make alcohol less accessible, restrict the hours it can be sold, restrict the opening times for pubs and clubs. I also happen to be a former publican and I know this will hit the pubs and clubs hard but human life is more important.

For those who do offend, whether that be drink driving or any other alcohol related violence, make them face their victims, their families, send them to trauma centres, let them see what happens to a life because they could not control themselves.

I hear some say the young will get their kicks elsewhere, namely drugs, I suppose we cannot protect them from everything but we could start with more education in schools. While they may find it distressing use graphic images to emphasise the message, I don’t care if it upsets them, better that than destroying more lives.

That’s my opinion. Good night and thank you for reading.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..12 March 2013

“Say No to Bullying Week” seems like the best time to relate some of my own experiences as a victim of bullying. To the best of my recollection life was pretty normal until about Year 6, I was never into sports but I liked other things that most other boys back in the 60s liked, innocent games like marbles, chasey, All Over Red Rover, and then it happened, I was bullied for the first time.

It was a girl who started things, she called me a pansy because I said something was sweet. I remember her name and I remember how hurt I was, I was only repeating something my grandmother had said. I do remember that the same kids who thought I was soft used to cringe whenever they walked past my yard and I had been cleaning out my racing pigeon loft , I was smelly and covered in pigeon poop, who was the pansy then?

The next couple of years I pretty much flew underneath the radar of the bullies, I kept to a small circle of friends I felt safe with, then Year 9 at high school. I was called a poofter and a wanker, I did not even know what they were, I had perfume thrown in my eyes, I had my chair knocked out from under me, and I was constantly ridiculed. Again I had no idea why this was happening to me, what had I done to deserve this?

You know what they say, if you can’t beat them , join them, so that is what I did, up to a point. I rebelled, I refused to wear my school uniform, I did not study, I wagged school, and I started to smoke, anything to be accepted. The one thing I did not do was bully anyone else, I just wanted to be accepted and left alone, and I achieved that.

Over the years there was the odd individual that made my life hell but the worst was yet to come when I was an adult, a father, and the victim of a boss that liked to bully anyone he could. I fought back, I reported him to HR, fat lot of good that did, we were made to sit down and discuss our issues, it didn’t work. Finally he resigned and I had peace, along with many others he had bullied over the years.

Isn’t it sad that some people have to belittle others in order to feel better about themselves. I am content in myself now, happy with my life, I hope my bullies are happy to. Thank you for reading.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..6 January 2013

Brian and I had a lazy day today, we both slept in quite late and have done very little all day. Kane and his wife Kristin came for tea with their 4 children, and we had a surprise visit from another grandson Cody with his mother and two of his cousins on his mother’s side, all in all not a bad day.

Tea was nothing flash just chicken, chips and salad followed by cheese cake. The grandchildren all have good appetites and ate quite well and then ran it off playing with their father in the backyard while we watched. They have just left and we have cleaned up what little mess there was as Kane and Kristin had already done most of it.

I heard the other day some rubbish on television about abolishing the states here in Australia, I am a firm believer that if it aint broke don’t fix it, so I am completely against this ridiculous proposal. In saying that however, I do feel there is much room for improvement, I think  Australia is too small a country to have different laws for the same thing in different states, I would like to see that changed. I also do not think the states should have separate state taxes from the federal taxation system.

Should the federal government take over responsibility for all the laws of the land, and all legislation, with common Acts for this and that  surely there would be some cost savings, it could then become the responsibility of the state governments to police this and ensure compliance. I suppose I am very naive but that is what I think.

While the government is about it, increase the driving age to 18, increase the legal age for voting, drinking of alcohol and the like back to 21, and decrease the hours during which alcohol is available for purchase. Thoughts of a middle-aged man is quickly becoming “Thoughts of a Grumpy Old Man” 🙂

Thank you for reading.