GLORY DAYS LONG GONE
John Traeger's letter ('Sad end for pig market', Stock Journal, March 28) rueing the cessation of the Dublin pig market took me back to the same era that he was auctioneer at the Gepps Cross pig market.
I was privileged to be given 'a go' by Farmer's Union head auctioneer Gil Builder and wasn't it so easy then, with Chapmans, Jacobs, Metro, Farmer's Union, John McKay and occasionally Manfred Kunn and Billy Ellinsworth (from Melbourne) all bacon buyers fighting to get their share. It was an auctioneer's paradise! The number of pork buyers? Too numerous to mention.
The pig auctioneers John didn't recall were probably Roy Brice from Bennett and Fisher, Peter Vivash from his own company (Austral Livestock) and Tommy Davoren from Farmer's Union. Tommy never washed his 'pig clothes' as he always slept in the Samcor provided office of Farmer's Union when a big yarding was expected. This ensured a minimum of time wastage with him knocking off at about 11pm and being back to work by five bells.
Overtime? No one used to know how to spell the word. Tommy only 'changed' his clothes when they started cracking up! This was caused by the build up of paints that eventually hardened them to the point of splitting. He simply purchased new ones.
Clare McMahon from Kapunda would frequently fill gaps for SAFU auctioneers when they were on holidays.
BAD BEHAVIOUR SPREADING
For many people, school days bestowed many defining memories.
Most people were normal kids who struggled, thrived, achieved or contributed but at least they quietly went about their own business. Yet classrooms and playground attention was drawn to the clowns, bullies and pranksters who required management, suspension or expulsion.
Modern excuses for bad behaviour transformed politics and mass media into a chaotic schoolyard.
South Australians want to get on with their lives and to be represented in politics by normal, common sense people like themselves. Yet it's craven attention-seekers and misfits who get mass media airtime.
I've observed firsthand how the once noble Senate has been dragged into a dysfunctional, rowdy rabble. The Senate vote doesn't decide who forms government, but it requires competent, capable people to hold government to account.
Australian Conservatives Senate candidate, Angaston.
DIVERSE OPINIONS LOST
Fair and honest debate is being stymied, due to the bullying tactics of those who believe that their point of view, and theirs only, is the correct position on a set issue.
Any individual or group who expresses their considered opinion, which may be in favour of an issue, is immediately met with derision, animosity and wholesale character assassination in an effort to pressure others to keep their thoughts to themselves and also to destroy the credibility of the person or group who is just proffering their viewpoint.
Australia was once a democratic country whereby all individuals were able to exercise this right to "free speech" in a respectful and considerate environment, which allowed those with opposing views to do the same.
Rational thinking has been superseded by highly emotive and at times hysterical acts and negative responses that detract from the overall dignity of meaningful and deeply-considered decision-making.
With strict guidelines and regulations in place for any new development, it is time for some to stop thinking about what might go wrong, but instead think about what could go right. Adopting a 'what if' attitude to life could mean that many will stay in bed, as there is always a risk with anything we do.