It’s time I introduced myself and my credentials.
I am a seventy-six year old age pensioner, female, mother to two sons, a grandmother to one grand-daughter, and a great-grandmother to one female child, aged two years.
I was born in the Brisbane bayside suburb of Wynnum, but during my childhood spent much time in the country, from Quilpie to the coast, but only as far north as Maryborough, as the daughter of a state school principal who was transferred around the south-east corner of Queensland.
After matriculation at age seventeen I began nursing training, became a weekend warrior with the Army Nursing Corps, where I met my soldier husband, and then lived in various army villages throughout Australia as he was posted from state to state, and to Vietnam. During that time I was first a stay-at-home mother and then a factory hand.
On leaving my husband I became a medical clerk, but soon found it impossible to keep 9 to 5 hours with two young sons and no permanent child care or child care subsidy. I became a casual cleaner, a kitchen hand, a waitress, a laundry assistant, began and failed at university studies in Social Work (more of that later) , a youth worker, an assistant to a private investigator, a freelance writer, and when the boys finally grew up and left home, a clerk once more.
As a child I had aspired to being, first of all an airline pilot, then a nurse, but always a poet. I have written several hundred poems, although I am not recognized as a poet. My most comprehensive work, MEANDERING, will shortly have an illustrated website. The intelligentsia have taken over marking the criteria for quality verse. The criteria for intelligentsia is that one have an above average intelligence quotient as measured by academic standards. This means that the dons in their university ivory towers judge what it is proper for the masses to admire in the way of literature. The ballads created by musicians and lyricists in our modern popular culture are dismissed as common, but it is these ballads which are the offshoots of such creative geniuses as Shakespeare, Wordsworth and the Lake Poets. Some of my verse is adaptable to music, and I would love it if some composer took on the task of converting such poems to song.
As for my own university career, I failed the subject of Social Work. The syllabus included a subject called “The History of Social Work”. I failed to find the relevance of this subject to Social Work per se, and slept through the lectures I did attend. I also failed Psychology 1 and 11, Sociology, and Economics, because I did not agree with much of the content it was intended I agree with. I did get an A+ in Philosophy, a grade I was told was invented just for me, but that was no help in securing my place as a university student.
I went back to being a devoted mother, a cleaner of toilets, and a poet.
My childhood shaped my values, as it does for most people. I was inculcated with the spirit of national pride, and a passion for freedom and justice, and an appreciation of democracy as the only way of achieving it for the masses.
I remember telling my father at the age of ten that I would like to become the ruler of an island so that I could put all my ideas into practice. I would institute this rule and that rule. My father pointed out that I was lining myself up to be a dictator, and however benevolent a dictator I thought I might be, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The only way to justly institute rules was by democratic vote. It was a lesson I took to heart, but I do understand the hearts of dictators who aspire to better the lot of their people.
That last brings us back to now. I have been politically active since 1976. I supported my younger brother Bryan Grehan in his push to help develop the Democratic Party in Australia to “keep the bastards honest.” However, corruption of values within the Democratic Party itself, mainly vying for power, caused that party to fail. Later, my cousin, Clem Grehan, attempted to enter politics, but resigned from the Liberal Party, disillusioned with the compulsory toeing of the Party line.
I am a swinging voter, always have been. There is good and bad in both the choices we presently have in Parliament. It is a disappointment to me that we do not have more choices. Ideology confines the scope of a government to serve all of its people.
Sociologically I deplore “the battle of the sexes”. I believe men and women are biologically and psychologically different, and need to learn to live with each other rather than trying to change each other. I believe that gender is an inherent trait, and that even bi-sexuals have a right to a family life, in ménages-a-trois. These would work very well economically. There could be two bread-winners and one stay-at-home person, if the team so wished, or the three could easily rotate domestic duties.
I also believe that psychopaths and pedophiles are born, not made, and if guided carefully instead of society’s waiting till they put a foot wrong in society and then punishing them, they can be of value to society. I deplore the modern trend of nullifying the work of artists and other benefactors of society on the grounds that they have “sinned”. Their work is of value, however they have behaved. The self-righteous who condemn them most likely have skeletons in their own cupboards, or covert desires they are repressing.
On the other hand, I respect the views of those who would oppose my views, and I would listen to their arguments with consideration, but to bring violence or litigious constraint into any argument is a sign that one’s conviction is weak. I am biding my time. Eventually, I believe an enlightened society will vote for my ideals.