Thursday, June 01, 2006

Well, here it is... an introduction (of sorts)

Thanks to Sukrit for letting me join in on this... and please excuse any infelicities in my early posts. Why?

1. I'm new to this blogging caper

2. I've been meaning to do my own blog for ages but have been too lazy to get started, hence my piggy-backing on Sukrit's efforts.

3. I am a lousy typist. Quick, but prone to a high error rate. This comes of having wonderfully efficient secretaries who turn my mangled dictation into clear, coherent advices. Memo to all young lawyers: never diss a legal secretary, especially if she's over 40. She probably knows more than you do.

About me

I've already failed to make the above heading bold (now fixed - I'm learning), and since I'm already well into a bottle of excellent Wolf Blass Cab Sav, I'll refrain from trying any more on the grounds that this whole post will probably disappear up its own fundament.

I am a country lawyer, planning to head to the bar in a couple of years' time. I enjoy my civilised hours, regular travel throughout regional Queensland and friendly clients/solicitors/barristers. I'm from what could best be described as a 'white trash' background. I'm the first person in my family to finish year 12, let alone a law degree. I think my parents had one book in the house when I was a kid - the phone book.

I read F A Hayek's The Road to Serfdom as part of a law and economics subject I studied at uni. I sat up all night so I could finish it. I am probably responsible for about 20 other people (including my brother, a very bright fitter who didn't get the chance to go to uni) going out and buying it. Ever since then I've been keen to learn more about classical liberal ideas, although I admit that I'm often very ignorant (this will show in my posts sometimes - I ask readers' indulgence in advance).

The older I get, the more I realise that many Australians lack a basic tolerance of the different, the eccentric, the unusual. They pretend a certain tolerance, but dress it up as tolerance of 'people of colour' or 'people of non-English-Speaking-Background' or 'the differently-abled'. A gay National Party voter, however, would be truly beyond their ken.

For a while I lived in a wholly Welsh speaking part of the Valleys (Ystalyfera, if you're interested). There was a bloke in my street who used to stand on his roof every Sunday and preach to the sheep in his backyard. Clearly religious, he communicated an ecstacy of religious vision devoid of violence or hate; sometimes he'd join with some other Welshmen, and they'd sing. More sheep would turn up. I was raised a Catholic, and knew St Francis preached to the birds, so he had heritage.

He was always welcomed at the Green Dragon across the road. No-one rang up the men with butterfly nets asking them to take him away. As far as I know he's still there, preaching to the sheep in what is probably the most musical language on the planet (Cymraeg pronounced 'kamraig' = Welsh). I like to think Australians will one day learn a similar tolerance.

I'm of the view that Classical Liberal ideas are likely to inspire the sort of tolerance I'm talking about. Which is why I've joined Sukrit's blog. I've found that I really, really care about freedom. I don't think a lot of people in this country care enough. Maybe I'm wrong, but I wait to be convinced.

Keep passing the open windows, folks.


At June 03, 2006 8:53 pm, Blogger Rafe said...

Welcome to the club!

At June 20, 2006 4:31 pm, Blogger Just Ken said...

I wish you the best in your journey. There are a number of libertarians and like-minded in Australia, and you may want to google on them sometime.

You might want to look at some of the other classical liberal traditions as well. I would recommend the European classical liberal, Benjamin Constant, for starters, Ludwig von Mises, the Americans Murray Rothbard and Lysander Spooner, as well as the British Richard Cobden and John Bright.
Just a thought.
Just Ken


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