Sunday, May 26, 2024

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HomeIssue 6Surprising conservative on council: Jacinta Price

Surprising conservative on council: Jacinta Price

p2478 Jacinta Q&A 2 430By KIERAN FINNANE
Messaging is what Councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price does best: it is the way she earns her living as Yamba the Honeyant’s best friend in TV and live shows for children; it has taken her very quickly to national prominence, speaking forthrightly on violence in Aboriginal communities, particularly perpetrated by men against women and perpetuated, as she sees it, by aspects of traditional Aboriginal culture.
It has been surprising then to see this confidant, articulate and talented woman take a low profile in the Town Council, where she has sat since the by-election of late 2015.
She describes herself as still “quite fresh” in the role in terms of learning the ropes, and says the incoming council, with at least five new councillors, will take time to hit its stride for this reason.
Her comments in the council chamber, when she has made them, have almost always been prefaced by “I agree with the Deputy Mayor”, referring to Jamie de Brenni, whose lead in debates and votes she has followed.
She laughs when this is put to her and gives an instance of when she hasn’t agreed with him (she defended a council policy document’s plain speaking about the town’s demographics, as it wasn’t “a pitch to tourists”.)
In this election, on their how-to-votes, Crs Price and de Brenni are preferencing each other at number two, and their preferred make-up of the eight-member council (plus mayor) differs only in Cr Price’s inclusion of Donna Lemon, as opposed to Cr de Brenni’s of Glen Auricht.
What explains her close relationship with Cr de Brenni?
“We came into council at the same time and we share a lot of commonalities in the way we think, the way we see our town.
“We’re both locals, Jamie was born, grown up here, I was born in Darwin but I’ve been here since I was three. I think it’s just being Alice Springs locals who understand people of all walks of life from here and generally wanting what’s best and taking a very honest approach, a no bullshit approach, if you like.
“That’s what I like about Jamie, he’s one of the most honest people in this political world that I’ve come across.
“I value honesty, particularly when it comes to some of the issues I try to address. It’s tough, it’s hard but it’s the only way to move forward.”

Above: Cr Price on the microphone, and from left Crs Jade Kudrenko, Eli Melky, Chansey Paech. Her conservative allies sat on the other side of the chamber. 

Stop here: her role as an Alice Springs councillor has given her a platform from which to speak (it is generally how she is introduced in the national media), but what has council done about violence against women, which is so disproportionate in Alice Springs?
Not much, Cr Price admits, other than supporting the maintenance of services in its conversations with police and other NT Government agencies and representatives.
She would definitely like to see council get involved in more campaigning on this issue. She has previously suggested council use signing on rubbish collection trucks for the slogan “Violence against women is rubbish” (following the lead of a Sydney council). This proved tricky as rubbish collection here is done by a private contractor. A proposal to have the slogan used on rubbish bins around the CBD has since been discussed in council’s Public Art Advisory Committee, but seems to have languished there.
Our discussion turns to council’s relationship with Aboriginal organisations. It has two memoranda of understanding, one with Tangentyere Council, one with Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation, with the latter (the native title holders’ body corporate) identified as the peak Aboriginal body with which council will deal. Council has sub-committees to liaise with both but as recently stated by CEO Rex Mooney these committees have been “inactive for some time”.
Says Cr Price of council: “We’ve reached out quite often. You can take a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink.”
The problem, she suggests, lies with what has been going on internally in those organisations, although Lhere Artepe seems to have recently resolved some of its problems.
But this hasn’t stopped her from dealing directly with Aboriginal people, including of course her own large extended family: for example, during the recent spike of antisocial behaviour by young people, she held a forum with women, including some residents of town camps, to hear from them what they think needs to be done.
This led to suggestions that working bees be held to refurbish community centres in the camps, where creative programs could be offered to engage young people. She will wait till the new council is formed to progress this further.
On her councillor’s role to date in working young people, she has enjoyed being involved with council’s Youth Action Group, is impressed by their great, inclusive vision for the town and proud to see her 16-year-old son, Ethan, as a member of the group.
On her championing of broader “recreational and creative opportunities”,  a feature of her previous election campaign, she speaks of trying to get an amphitheatre for the town, which would make it more competitive to host big events like the National Indigenous Music Awards.
An amphitheatre was on council’s wish list put to the new NT Labor Government, but she says council could also explore other opportunities for investment in such projects by companies wanting to do business here, such as Tellus Holdings (proposing a salt mine near Titjikala).
p2286-Bess-&-Jacinta-PriceThe discussion returns to her alliance with conservatives and against progressives (to use an alternative term for the lower case ‘g’ green candidates).
Left: Cr Price’s swearing-in, October 2015, with her mother  Bess Price officiating, as then Country Liberal NT Minister for Local Government.   
Although Donna Digby makes it into Cr Price’s ideal council at number eight position, Cr Price  has placed prominent environmentalist Jimmy Cocking at number 17 on her how-to-vote. Ms Digby gives Mr Cocking her number two, and even Cr de Brenni has him at number 12, so it seems to speak to particular antipathy. (Mr Cocking returns the favour, placing Cr Price at his number 17.)  What’s behind this?
“I’ve never felt he has actually listened to me as an Aboriginal woman, who understands the ins and outs of my community, my culture. I don’t think I’ve ever been listed to by ‘greens’.
“I’ve had a lot to do with Jimmy in the arts, I have a lot of respect for him there but I think we’ve got to take a very realistic approach to how we deal with things in our community.
“There are certain things [advanced by greens] I agree with. I’m all for solar, all for renewables, I’m all for protecting our water sources.”
Does that go to being against fracking?
“We’ve known it’s been happening for some time and there’s been no issues in terms of what’s gone on out Hermannsburg way. I am against it if it’s endangering our water sources.”
(To date the resources at the Mereenie and Palm Valley fields have been conventional oil and gas, not the unconventional resources requiring controversial hydraulic fracturing.)
What level of risk would she be prepared to run?
“Zero risk, basically.”
Neither the fracking industry nor the government regulator will guarantee zero risk: “as low as reasonably possible” is the term they use.
She thinks a moment then says: “Well then, I’m against it. We’ve got 150 years of water left. I would not want to see that destroyed whatsoever.”
If council is made up of conservatives and greens, how does she think the relationships will go?
Although her how-to-vote proposes a fairly solid conservative council, she would welcome a “diverse mix”: “What people will realise is that once we are in there we are all pretty much individuals.”
Her voting pattern has not reflected that: it has been very much with the “old white fellas” (on the 12th Council since her election the conservatives,  Mayor Damien Ryan, Deputy Mayor de Brenni, Crs Brendan Heenan, Steve Brown and Dave Douglas.)
Again she laughs: “I guess my values are very similar to the ‘old white fellas’!”
Take for instance Chansey Paech, she says, the former councillor, now MLA for Namatjira, the opposite of an ‘old white fella’: “He was all for symbolism, whereas I’m more about practicality. It’s all very nice to have symbolic gestures, but in practical terms, are they doing anything?”
Flying the Aboriginal flag from Anzac Hill, recently debated on council, could be put in this category. In the debate Cr Price’s comments aligned with the conservative block, which again deferred making a decision, while enthusing for Mayor Ryan’s suggestion that the flag be flown instead from on top of the Heavitree Range.
She makes the point that council had not received any response on the issue “from the traditional owners of the community”, without which she was reluctant to make a decision.
“What we have had is a very strong response from the veterans who have talked about us being united as one under the Australian flag.
“I am a believer in this idea of being unified. We are all Australians.”
It’s a bit like the whole Australia Day argument, she says. (This has had currency in the national media this week, following a Victorian council’s decision to stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day.)
“I have to hear all arguments, I like to contemplate something, not just go, oh well, knee jerk. I’m Warlpiri and kartiya at the same time.”
Rather than using this position of dual heritage to find common ground, hasn’t she tended towards divisiveness, for instance in her strident criticism of the Left?
“Maybe I’m too blunt, I’m straight to the point in who I am. I do understand the political side, why you’ve got to make people want to come on your ride with you, whatever that is, but I don’t want people coming on my ride unless it’s genuinely for the real fight, the honest fight, the meaningful way forward.”
We have seen Cr Price take her “real fight” to the national stage on the issues of violence in Aboriginal communities; we have yet to see this kind of spirited performance in the context of council.


  1. The very obvious reason for Councillor Price not being given prominence in local events concerning domestic violence is that she has been deliberately sidelined by the CEO of Tangentyere and the Left.
    When Councillor Price, Prof Marcia Langton and Indigenous lawyer Josephine Cashman, spoke out against violence against women on the national stage Walter Shaw called them ‘oxygen thieves’ and publicly put my daughter ‘on notice’. As her father I am still very curious to know what he means by that.
    I have no doubt that this vague, cowardly action has emboldened those now threatening my daughter’s life.
    On White Ribbon day Councillor Price was made aware that she had been suggested as a speaker at the rally but was told that Shaw did not want her to speak ‘for political reasons’. He spoke himself of course.
    Those who organised the most recent march against violence gave most prominence to interstate residents, rather than local despite Councillor Price and her mother being significant campaigners against violence for many years.
    While the media, the Greens and Labor continue to enable the thuggish behaviour of people like Shaw and accept that he and his ilk speak for all of the Aboriginal population of our town it will always be a struggle to be heard above the clamour of the whitefella hating protestors.
    And yes I’m a enormously proud of a daughter who doesn’t judge the worth of her colleagues on the basis of their colour, age or gender.

  2. Be very blunt Jacinta…. you are the first intelligent female I have yet seen being prepared to stand for what is right in not only Alice Springs but also Australia in general. I have not seen any prior female wearing the golden chains in Alice that has not contributed ignorantly to its present disgusting condition since our Town Management Board was abolished. I also put it on record here again, as I did in 1987 thru till 1999, as recorded at the Police Station and at Colocag Park Chambers in writing that racist, bigoted antisocial behaviour and its associated industry will be the end of Alice as the town we all cherished for 50 years as the best on earth. Cheers.

  3. Thank you, Jacinta, for standing up for what you believed in. Without people like you in the public eye most would stay silent and allow hate.

  4. It is really time that all remembered the dozens of Australians who are not Aboriginal.All people of all nationalities should be treated with respect – and so should their possessions.
    Also, it is about time that the Aboriginals learnt that their race is disproportionally represented in government.
    If I as a white person coming from a farming background with my parents employing people have to learn that the farm we once owned is no longer ours then the Aboriginals have to learn the same.
    It is a fact of life and their resentment holds them back from living life and experiencing the new.
    Totally unbiased people are hard to find – by that I mean that they can forget the Aboriginal past and see them included in the Australian race of the year 2017.
    Land rights etc have held the Aboriginals back, not letting them move into this century, the only ones to benefit are those who can leave the past in the past and forget the resentment. By that I don’t mean letting others run ship shod all over you in the present and past, ignoring the law of the land and abusing people. Time it stopped.

  5. For the person who speaks about duplicate comments I say this.
    Duplication of comments stresses what you say. It is used in the above article – but I guess because Jacinta Price is an Aboriginal and backed by Damien Ryan that is OK for her to do it but not others.
    That is racial prejudice and that is the point I am making, that if she is backed because she is Aboriginal then she is judging others on the fact they are not Aboriginal. So she is not any better than anyone before her.

  6. The issue of the feminist voice is that it groups together to attack any woman who dares to stand alone and not join their pack of the pathetic victimhood clan. Those who are prepared to throw men under the bus to obtain superiority. At the same time they take the same approach to any woman who defies their rules. Stand strong Jacinta. Victim cards cannot be found in your purse.

  7. Your comments, Kieran, re my race and age are rude, demeaning and unprofessional. They show up all too clearly an underlying view of Aboriginal people as victims who should be kept in their place. It demeans you and your newspaper.
    Jacinta is a friend and confidante with the four old blokes mentioned because Jacinta sees “people” not “colour”. We are equals, we consider ourselves as equals, and together we are part of the great big Centralian family with many many lifetimes of knowledge and experience and life skills of living in the Centre. We know each other’s families, our histories together.
    Along with our families we have made enormous contributions to the growing of this place. Together we built this place under circumstances and extremes you can’t even begin to imagine. These things vastly outweigh the black and white judgemental politics of division that you unfortunately and all too obviously appear to back.
    We are attempting to put our community together not rip it apart! Flying separate race-based flags extending the division of apartheid, the culture of victimhood – yes the politics of the greens – has no place in “Our” homeland !! Yes, Our Homeland, people like me,of this soil, of this land, we belong here too! We are indigenous to this country!! Shameful article, Kieran!

  8. It is a real pity that Ms Price is stereotyped as a political conservative of Aboriginal descent. The highly emotive words “conservative” and “progressive” are lazy-intellectual descriptives that have been hijacked by the political class to camouflage the reality of everyday life.
    Noel Pearson in his Summer Lectures nailed the reality of the Australian electorate when he pointed out that 5% of the people are Far Right, 5% are Far Left, while 90% of us are in the middle, with a mix of values that can classified as part-Liberal, part-Labor and everywhere in between, with a swinging vote of 4% that usually decides federal elections.
    Jacinta is a very impressive member of the 90%. I bet that if Labor, Liberal and Green voters were honest in their heart of hearts, they would see more than a glimmer, a light of their own values in this young Councillor.
    A thoughtful and considerate individual with strong family values, who makes measured and practical decisions. As all good Councillors do.

  9. Steve, You are reading far too much into this. My reference to the “old white fellas” was a light-hearted shorthand for the closely-aligned block on council that I otherwise describe as conservative. Councillor Price took it light-heartedly, as reported in the article – she laughed and answered the question without a hint of offence or defensiveness.
    Any calm consideration of my journalism over the years would dispel any notion of me backing a “black and white judgemental politics of division”. On the contrary.
    In this article I am simply speaking of a real division on council, between the majority block to which you belonged, as did Cr Price, and the rest (in the minority and less consistently united). Not all or even the majority of issues split council along these lines, but the more controversial ones did.

  10. All of this kerfuffle over a few words. You are spot on John. The terms left and right, usually interpreted by the lazy media as really nice and very nasty came from the beginning of the French Revolution.
    We could probably come up with some better terms all these years later. I would have called myself progressive for most of my life, now I am happy to call myself conservative because I want to preserve the planet but I don’t want to destroy our economy in the process. I want Aboriginal people’s lives to vastly improve but I don’t think they are going to do that without changing some of their worldview to make it work better. I am keen to preserve the bits of my own culture, and theirs, that still work well. And I don’t think that getting rid of Australia Day is going to help.
    When I was a ratbag, overconfident youngfella, I called Noel Fullerton a racist in public and had a stand up argument with him because I was a newly arrived ignorant idealist.
    If he were still around I’d apologise to him and tell him that I now agree with what he was saying at the time. I was wrong.
    My conservatism, like that of my mate Jamie de Brenni and his wonderful hard working wife Alice, is of the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” kind.
    And I believe that if you’re going to make big changes do it carefully so that you don’t cause more problems than you fix – like the 1968 equal pay law.
    You can’t argue against the principle of equal pay but did they have to do it in such a way that it took away the jobs of around a third of the Aboriginal workforce across Northern Australia?
    I think they should have been more careful.
    To me conservatism is about common sense, which, as my Mum used to say, ain’t all that common.
    People very quickly forget that it was conservative coalition governments that gave Aboriginal Australians the right to vote in 1962, repealed the Aboriginal Ordinance in 1964, that made my parents in law and their family, including my wife, citizens for the first time.
    It also gave them the legal right to destroy themselves with alcohol, the world’s most damaging drug – put the much lauded, constitution changing referendum to the people in 1967, gave Aboriginal people equal pay in 1968 and passed the NT Land Rights Act in 1976.
    And during that period they thoroughly dismantled the White Australia policy. Not a bad record for a bunch of predominantly middle aged, white, male conservatives that Labor would rather we forgot.
    The ALP was the last political party in Australia to formally give up the White Australia Party.
    When I was a young Lefty I underwent union training as the Teacher’s Federation Rep at Yuendumu. One of the old union stalwarts told a group of us assembled faithful that we should have shot all the blackfellas when we had the chance.
    At the Worker’s Club in Darwin I was told by another old union stalwart that they sent Bob Collins off to the Senate because the NT wasn’t ready for a Chief Minister with a gin for a wife.
    That was in the seventies and that’s when I started to think about changing my political loyalties; it took a while after that though.
    I would see Martin Luther King as a Christian conservative.
    He insisted on ridding the US of the hideous perversion of racism and wanted to bring back the essentially conservative Christian value of the equality of all of our species despite the fact that many Christians ignored that value at the time.
    My proudly multicultural family take him very seriously when he taught that we should judge people by the content of their character rather than by the colour of their skin.
    Some of my best friends are white males and my daughter actually lives with one – a left inclined Margaret Thatcher hating Scotsman who puts his family first in everything.
    We don’t mind conservatives of any colour and agree passionately with many progressives in relation to some issues.
    What we don’t like is being called names and threatened by those who call themselves progressives but who would deny us the right to disagree with them.
    I have disagreed with many things that Steve Brown has said and agreed with others.
    We have managed to have conversations without resorting to name calling and threats, I can’t say that about many who position themselves on the extreme left who act as if they speak for all Aboriginal people and any don’t hesitate to call anybody who disagree with them racist.
    My wife’s and daughter’s lives have been directly threatened many times. Those doing that think of themselves as indigenous activists, and anti-racism warriors. They have never been threatened by genuine racists, who tend to be a mentally ill and cowardly lot rather than a real threat to anyone.
    Oh, and another thing. Considering that two Greens dominated local councils in Melbourne have now decided to abolish Australia Day maybe it’s about time that journalists here asked the local Greens if that is what they intend to do here if elected. Just a thought.

  11. In the course of our everyday human relations trying to be open to one another irrespective of race, gender and age is a good starting point. In analysing social relations, it is naive if not disingenuous to suggest that these things don’t matter.
    Whiteness, maleness, and age correlate strongly with power in our society. These factors are expressed in very real life conditions, all of which are evident in Australia and here in Alice Springs: being subject to violence, mortality and morbidity rates, property ownership, pay gaps, poverty levels, holding executive positions, holding political office.
    It can be hard for white men, however well-meaning, to recognise as anything other than normal the situation that gives them unequal access to power. With their power intact, it is easy for them to then proclaim that the system ain’t broke and doesn’t need fixing, that they are blind to race, gender and age, that we are all equals.
    The last Town Council was dominated by middle-aged and older white men, who also all had small business backgrounds. This make-up is not reflective of the community make-up, although it is undoubtedly reflective of its power relations.
    The Development Consent Authority is another powerful group that has been dominated by the same demographic.
    (See Erwin Chanda’s analysis here and my subsequent report here.)
    The outgoing town councillors had an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to being more diversely representative when they last voted for the Deputy Mayor’s position (which rotates every 12 months). Cr Jade Kudrenko’s strong performance on council, combined with her many personal qualities, equipped her well for the role, but the dominant group on council backed their man, even though he had been in office just five months. He is a man like them in every obvious way except with fewer grey hairs, Cr Jamie de Brenni.
    (See my comment here.)
    This had political consequence. The Deputy Mayor’s position comes with a lot of opportunity to be out and about in the community. It’s an excellent preparing ground for assuming a greater political role and so keeping power in the family. Cr de Brenni has had the added advantage of extra time in the role when it might have been changed in March this year, giving him a higher-profile run all the way to this election.
    It would be interesting to see this seemingly normal state of affairs tested by an upset result in the election that is underway. There are highly credible candidates in the field reflecting a far more diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and worldviews not to mention gender than was reflected on the last council.

  12. Racial tags remain racist tools.
    Racists aim to shift debates, use racial tags to move focus so racial membership becomes the issue.
    The 1967 Referendum campaign and the overwhelming result was to stop, to eliminate, government use of racial tags as legislative filters to eliminate, or to qualify, our shared legal rights and legal responsibilities as Australians.
    Almost every use of racial tags supports racists’ cause.

  13. I smiled when I read Ms Finnane’s sincerely-reported comment: “It can be hard for white men, however well-meaning, to recognise as anything other than normal the situation that gives them unequal access to power. With their power intact, it is easy for them to then proclaim that the system ain’t broke and doesn’t need fixing, that they are blind to race, gender and age, that we are all equals.”
    My immediate thought was, as a self-attested well meaning Baby Boomer white man, that this bright young white woman journalist professes to know me and my male gender better than I do.
    That’s us summed up by today’s young commentators alright – stereotyped as well-meaning, all-powerful, but ignorant, blind, hopelessly out of touch, cannot accept today’s ideals of equality, diversity, tolerance, fairness and whatever else it is that The Enlightened tend to pontificate about.
    Don’t get me wrong, Ms Finnane. I’m not really bellyaching. Not really.
    I’m actually smiling as I search around for the Gold Key to the Door of Unequal Access to Power … seem to have lost it over the years … never knew I had it all those years ago as a young lad … then I met the love of my life … in Alice … then I realised … circa mid 1970s … where the real power lies … male and female equality and true happiness in everything done together … to help others … and enjoy life, together.
    The Gold Key to Male Gender Power did not seem really important to me after that, if I had ever thought about it at all!
    Surprisingly, I have found over the years that a lot of women, white and black and every other colour, did not, and still do not understand that.
    On the other hand, I have found so many great women from diverse backgrounds who I instinctively feel DO understand – they “get it”.
    On my observations so far, I have a feeling that young Ms Jacinta Price is one of those ladies who do get it.
    Today the politics of gender, the politics of causes and the politics of equality generally has an accompanying scale of morality assigned to it by the various advocates that is now the new gateway to access to power in the hands of the enlightened ones.
    So, Ms Finnane, I accept that your comment is sincere and objective and I do hope that your enshrinement of gender diversity and all the other desired deiversities in future council composition works out well for the people of Alice in the years to come.
    And I do hope that when your access to power is transferred into other hands, other than the white men to whom you refer on council, human nature in the hands of the new diversity will not intervene to repeat the sad history of misplaced white male power that you appear to be documenting.

  14. I am quite impressed how John Bell’s patronising judgements so effectively validated Kieran’s comment. Blind, indeed! I hope Jacinta can see more clearly.

  15. Mr La Flamme. Respectfully, your reference to my alleged “patronising judgments” is misplaced. My comments were not intended to patronise. Far from it, in fact.
    In some people’s eyes, Ms Finnane’s comment about “white men who find it hard to …” could be seen to be patronising … and quite judgmental. I accept that this is her view based on hard data.
    “Patronising” is a powerfully emotive word. Can be applied to a wide spectrum.
    I have found extreme patronisation towards the Aboriginal community in the platforms of white male and female activists in power. It now seems to go by the name of the “politics of low expectations”.
    However, in the spirit of freedom of speech, I accept Ms Finnane’s slant on white men and their access to power as a valid view, expressed by a good journalist who does a due diligent job.
    The point I was making is that it does not matter which gender or political interest group has access to power.
    I think most of us have found that human nature has common traits and behavioural patterns in all groups, whether male or female, regardless of gender, colour, age or political leanings. You and me, for instance.
    My comment was simply intended as a “caveat emptor” warning to the next group with access to power on council.
    Unfettered access to power has a funny habit of bringing out the best and the worst in all of us.

  16. John, thanks for clarifying, and for raising a key question relevant to Council diversity.
    You say: “I think most of us have found that human nature has common traits and behavioural patterns in all groups, whether male or female, regardless of gender, colour, age or political leanings.”
    Recent research (e.g. Everett 2016 Dark Matter of the Mind) has found that such innate “human nature” does not exist. Our only nature is the freedom to adapt to our environmental and our cultural contexts.
    Alice Springs has so many different contexts, that more diverse “traits and behaviour patterns” on the Council may be our town’s best survival strategy!

  17. Mr La Flamme. I agree that diversity is a wonderful concept. The more diversity, the better. In theory.
    However, to get things done efficiently and on budget year after year, for the practical benefit of the community as a whole, there must be a majority council decision on its multitude of day to day operational priorities. Hum drum decisions but critical for a council to keep Alice humming along, looking good, keeping streets clean etc.
    Human nature and common sense dictate that no two councillors agree on budget priorities all the time, and that’s why power blocs tend to form.
    Diversity is honourable but a double-edged sword. Sooner or later, human nature kicks in.
    Betcha a zillion dollars that a power bloc will form among the more forceful of the diverse councillors. To get things done. In their image.
    Just like Ms Finnane has found.
    Let’s hope that the new diversity power bloc of the future has the practical ability and the necessary business nouse to run the hum drum daily boring job of council efficiently, as well as the white man power bloc has done previously that Ms Finnane refers to.
    But hey, let’s stop splitting hairs and wish all the council nominees all the very best in the interests of a better Alice.
    And all the best to you, Mr La Flamme.

  18. “The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. The error of Louis XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. The result of his error was the French Revolution. It was an admirable result.” Oscar Wilde

  19. Miss Roullet. I do agree with you that human nature can be unpredictable, as an unfortunate French king found out.
    However, here’s another saying – “history repeats itself” … and another … “there is nothing new under the sun”.
    As the history of France and other republican nations subsequently has shown, in every type of government, whether governed by monarchs, presidents, dictators et al, similar naughty bits of human nature inevitably kick in. Power blocs form, regardless of whatever Right, Left, “conservative” or “progressive” regimes come to rule.
    Fast forward to Alice Council 2017.
    Bet you a seniors black coffee of your choice in Fan Arcade next time I see you, the next council will form a power bloc(s) of like-minded individuals with a born-to-rule mindset, whether high-minded idealists or scurvy small business wheeler dealers.
    Betcha each bloc has the distinct potential, based on the facts of history, to be as bad or as good as the other?

  20. Coffee anytime you want, John, or we could sit side by side at the Council meeting observing silently coalitions take shape.


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