LETTERS: 21.7.18

Parents slow to act
I FIND this debate regarding speed limits a worthy discussion as it sparks awareness relative to the local community.
Andrew Main raised some lovely points in his letter “Signs help slow cars” in last week’s Voice.
What I don’t like is the idea that a few people seem to know what is good for all of us.
I would assume that many of the residents of Vincent are reasonable, rational, intelligent, respectful and educated people.
The ones I meet certainly are. I observe that most locals take care on the streets and are conducive to maintaining the lifestyle this county offers.
Despite the lifestyle, I am yet to see children playing cricket or footy on the local streets, or indeed playing in the streets at all.
In fact I see the elderly members of our community populating the streets more than children, taking their evening or morning strolls. None have been knocked over by cars that I know of.
Like Andrew I too am an optimist, but I do not believe one has to ‘empower’ children.
My generation was allowed our independence by our parents, freedom of thought and a wide berth that let us make mistakes, have falls, hang with our mates, make silly decisions – all backed up with love, understanding and mentoring by family and neighbours.
We weren’t empowered, we simply had independent thought.
The helicopter parents will never allow their children to enjoy the environment that my generation grew up with back in the last century, where kids would play outside, often on the street, aware of the dangers and taking precautions themselves.
Maybe if the parents walked – God forbid – their children to school, made them aware of the dangers on the roads, showed them how to safely navigate the streetscape and the traffic, and let them make decisions for themselves then there wouldn’t be such a waste of time and money spent on this proposal.
A proposal that appears only to make the instigators feel good about themselves and possibly further a political career or two.
I am behind the wheel of a vehicle all day, and from my observations the rudest, most obnoxious and careless drivers are parents dropping and picking up their kids from school or day care.
Get up to the local school in the morning or afternoon and enjoy the spectacle of selfish parents who must be as close as they can to an entrance, with total disregard for other traffic, residents’ driveways and verges, no standing zones, intersections etc.
If you even dare to challenge them you are the devil incarnate. It’s the same at the shopping centre too.
Regardless, I observe the majority of motorists driving sensibly in accordance with the road conditions regardless of the posted speed.
No amount of traffic calming and signage will stop those that don’t care about others safety and needs.
In fact, many traffic calming devices often compromise safety by confusing and disorienting some drivers.
Unfortunately, the drivers of these safety campaigns are usually a smug few that purport to know how to make our place a perfect world (for the children); campaigns that insult the intelligence of the majority.
Many of which do the right thing most of the time, simply because they live here too.
The often-used phrase ‘it’s what’s best for the children’ is emotional propaganda at its worst and seems to be used to garner support for any proposal of late.
Forget rational research or debate, as long as the children and the egos of these campaigners are tended to.
The discussion that informs our community and makes us all aware of community concerns is terrific. It is usually enough to start a conversation and change mindsets without regulations or diktats.
Ask any resident and the majority will tell you that road safety is important. Children’s safety is important. For me, the safety of all of us is important.
Whoever is driving this nonsense, stop forcing your personal diktats on the community because you think that you know what is best for all of us; because quite simply, you don’t!
Tony Gibb
Auckland Street, North Perth

A tragedy
AT what point will the council begin to do something about the amateur “opera” singer who has ruined the atmosphere of the Perth Cultural Centre with over-loud and obnoxious busking?
Livingstone’s Urban Jungle is closing earlier and earlier, and the AGWA cafe has closed “temporarily”; perhaps because their clientele has been driven away by the tuneless, ear-piercing singing?
Scott Price
Aberdeen Street, Perth

Faux history
I HAD a devil of a time finding the fake ad in last week’s Voice, but not the fake history.
The revisionist histoire du France in the World Cup article “France the team to beat” – quelle horreur! Apart from the de rigeur “unfair stereotypes”demonising Bush etc, I wonder if monsieur journo questioned whether any of the French military exploits he extols “didn’t turn out so well”.
I doubt the European countries who experienced the egalite, fraternite et liberte – bequeathed to them so benevolently by the Grand Armee – remember the French avec gran plaisir.
Say, what’s that familiar strain? Could it be Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture?
As for the British fearing that Napoleon might “dismantle their tyrannies”, Napoleon was the tyrant. Voltaire, for one, certainly had a different perception of the English than as a ‘tyranny’.
What exactly did the ideals of the French Revolution mean to a supreme egotist who crowned himself to be an emperor, no less?!
And the French “don’t talk much” about Gallipoli because, for them, the campaign wasn’t the international emergence of a newly federated nation.
Instead, they were preoccupied with the social disjunction represented by the Dreyfus affair, and the strategic and moral vacuum at the heart of the French officer corps, apres Verdun.
I suspect a French cultural organisation could provide the Voice journo with some nuance about actual French history – peut etre we can thank the little dictator’s grand vision of a unified Europe for the fact that they may accept Euros, in preference to francs.
Enjoy your Bastille Day pain au chocolat.
Allez les Bleus!
Trevor Preston
Walcott Street, North Perth

Curious cup connection
I READ with interest your article “Our Cup runneth away” (Voice, July 7, 2018) and provide an Applecross connection, albeit a tenuous one.
In the early 80s I went down from the north of England to lodge for a a year with my Aunty Margaret (Coombes) in Muswell Hill, North London.
Nothing remarkable there, however, Margaret was at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster that fateful day in March ’66 when the Jules Rimet World Cup was stolen.
Furthermore she was a key witness and later called upon to identify the thief, Edward Bletchley, and help place him at the scene of the crime.
In an interesting footnote, I believe the very same trophy was later presented to Brazil in 1970 and they were allowed to keep it as recognition of their three World Cup victories in ’58, ‘62 and ’70 respectively. The trophy was stolen again but this time it was never recovered.
Mark Haldane
Dee Road, Applecross

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