Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jim Cairns

I don't know who Jim Cairns is, but I'm thinking maybe Cairns in Queensland is named after him. Or the name could just be a coincidence.

Well, I glanced quickly over what Lord Wiki has to say about Cairns. I don't think the Cairns city is named after him.

Cairns was born on 4 October 1914. I'm guessing the city of Cairns is older than that.

Yeah. Lord Wiki says it was founded in 1876, and named after a Governor of Queensland named William Cairns.

Maybe William and Jim are related. That's possible.

Anyway though....

Jim Cairns was a Labor Member of Parliament. So although I'm done with Prime Ministers for now, we're still in the political world.

Baby Jim was born in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton. I wonder if my parents went there yesterday during their Melbourne tour. I haven't heard from them, although I dreamed that I asked them about Melbourne, and they didn't act very enthusiastic.

Lord Wiki says Carlton is north of the CBD, and is known for their Little Italy. I think this was the place where Gabrielle Cilmi had her career break.

It sounds like Cairns had a rough childhood. I don't think the Carlton part lasted long. If I'm understanding this right, the family moved to a farm in Sunbury. I'm looking at Google Maps. Sunbury is about an hour north-west of Melbourne.

Daddy Cairns went off to fight in World War I. He became disillusioned with the whole thing...probably life in general. He didn't return to his family in Australia. Instead he went to Africa. A few years later, he commited suicide there. That's pretty sad, and I think it would be hard to have a happy childhood with that going on.

Oh yeah. On top of all that, the Depression was happening.

Cairns attended Northcote High School. Lord Wiki says he had a three hour commute to get there. I want to see this on Google Maps.

Well, they say it's about 50 minutes. But I'm sure cars were much slower back then.

After high school, Cairns became a police officer. He did this while studying at night for an economics degree. This guy was definitely a hard worker. Lord Wiki says he was the first Victorian police officer to have a tertiary degree. I'm not sure what tertiary means.

Lord Wiki says it's post-secondary. So that would be college, university....whatever you want to call it.

In 1939, Cairns got married to a woman named Gwen. She had two sons, and Cairns adopted them. I wonder if he was a good father.

After eleven years on the police force, Cairns decided to move his life in a different direction. He became a economics professor at the University of Melbourne. His viewpoints were socialist, and he even tried to be communist. The Communist Party rejected him. Wow. I've heard of people being rejected because they were in the Communist Party (or suspected of being in it). I've never heard of someone being rejected BY the Communist Party. Although Lord Wiki says, citation needed. I think this means that Lord Wiki BELIEVES Cairns was rejected from the Communist Party, but he doesn't yet have proof.

Cairns joined the Labor Party instead. He got himself involved with the left faction. At the time, the Catholic right faction had the upper hand.

In the mid 1950's (Lord Wiki seems indecisive about the date) there was the third Labor Party Split. It was between H.V Evatt's team, and the anti-communist Catholics, which called themselves The Groupers. The Groupers eventually left and formed the Democratic Labor Party. While all this was going on, Cairns got himself elected into Parliament via the seat of Yarra. He was there until 1969. He wasn't voted out. The division was abolished.

Cairns was very much on the left. His views weren't liked by those in the Liberal Party. And they were also disliked by some people in the Labor Party. They felt Cairns was too extreme.

Cairns was very oppositional to the Vietnam War, and his stance kept him from later fulfilling his quest of becoming the Labor Party's leader. He tried to get that when Calwell retired, but Whitlam became leader instead. Lord Wiki says the Australian public supported the war until around 1968. So the Labor Party probably understood that they couldn't win with an anti-Vietnam War person in the election.

In May 1970, Cairns led a mass sit-down protest in Melbourne. There was a 100,000 people...mostly youth. Violence had been predicted, but it didn't happen. Lord Wiki says, There was none of the predicted violence, and the moral force of the (mainly young) protesters had a major effect on Australian attitudes to the war.

Yeah. I think peaceful protests are more persuasive than violent ones. Well, at least they're less dangerous. I'm not sure which in history has made more of a difference for people.

When Whitlam became Prime Minister in 1972, Cairns became Minister for Overseas Trade, and Minister for Secondary Industry. Lord Wiki says by this time Cairns had become less extreme in his socialist views. He had mellowed a bit.

By 1974, Cairns was Deputy Prime Minister, and Treasurer. In December, Darwin had a visit from Tracy, a very violent cyclone. Cairns helped with the problems, and impressed the country with his leadership. However, there was a little soap opera going on at the same time. He hired a woman named Junie Morosi to be his secretary. The two had a love affair, and it ended up ruining Cairn's career. I guess it was kind of like the Tiger Woods thing.

Well, maybe the adultery wasn't the only thing to mess up Cairn's career. There was also the Loans Affair. I remember this from when I researched Whitlam. It involved trying to borrow money from the Middle East.

Cairns and another Minister tried to borrow a LOT of money. The Liberal Party found out, and Cairns tried to deny it. He lied. When the lie was uncovered, Cairns lost his Treasurer job, and became the Environment Minister instead. I'm kind of surprised he was allowed to have any Ministry after that. If I'm understanding this correctly this somewhat led to the whole dismissal thing.

I don't think I like Cairns. He lies. I don't like that.

Lord Wiki says it was John Howard who did the accusing....from his little seat on the backbench, Cairns denied the allegations, and sued for defamation. Then later in 2002, he admitted in an interview that the affair was true.

To me, the lying is worse than the adultery. And it makes it worse that Cairns tried to sue for defamation.

Maybe the Communist Party rejected Cairns because they knew he had a problem with dishonesty.

My feeling about adultery is this. Sometimes it happens. Actually, it probably happens a lot. It may be the case that sometimes it's best to keep it secret. I think it really depends on the individuals involved. Some people like to know, and prefer everything to be upfront. Other people would rather not know. And for the one who commits the deed, some are good at keeping secrets, and some get all torn up inside if they don't confess.

If a person has an affair that does not effect the marriage or arouse suspicions, I don't think there' much harm in keeping it a secret. Where I do think it becomes horribly cruel is when the spouse suspects something, and their partner denies it. Evidence is there. The spouse saw or heard something. They might even just FEEL something. Then they're manipulated into thinking they're imagining things.

I do understand that people don't like being caught red-handed. And there's a natural impulse to deny wrong-doings. But I think people should try to be strong, admit they did something hurtful, and apologize.

I almost didn't follow my own advice that other day. I made a mistake...forgot something I shouldn't have forgotten. I tried to make excuses for what I had failed to do. It was an honest mistake. Maybe no one noticed. They've done much worse to us, and this is nothing in comparison. My mind was rightfully on something else, so it's understandable I forgot. It's not that big of a deal. Still. The guilt ate at me, and I had trouble sleeping. I decided I should stop making excuses, and just apologize. So, I did. I never got a response, so apparently my apology wasn't enough. Oh well. What can you do? Maybe by the time I post this, I'll have a response, and forgiveness. If not, at least I feel good knowing that I TRIED to rectify my mistake by doing the right thing. There's not much you can do once the ball is no longer in your court.

In 1977, Cairns retired from Parliament. He got involved with something called Down to Earth. They have an event in Melbourne called ConFest. Their website says that Cairns was the actual founder of the conference/festival. It's basically a counter-culture thing.

Lord Wiki says he severed ties with the movement eventually. Yet the ConFest website seem to still hail him as their hero. Who knows....

In 2003, Cairns died.

I'm going to go eat. Then I'll return and do more research elsewhere.

Well, I think it will be only ONE elsewhere, because Cairns is on that very overwhelming biography site. I haven't been there in a LONG time. I'm going to TRY to be good and read everything. I'll just take breaks.

On this site, they do very in depth interviews with people. They provide some clips, and transcripts.

Here's page one.

Cairns says he was born 22 Drummond Street. Let's go find it on Google Maps. Firefox didn't correct my spelling when I typed Drummond. That means I've probably written it before, and added it to the dictionary.

Drummond Street is right near Carlton Gardens. The walk to there would be about five minutes.

I'm looking at Street View. It looks quite lovely. I can't really tell if I'm looking at private homes, or flats.

I just played detective, and found that Cairn's birth home is now an accountant office called GS Andrews and Associates.

When Cairns was born, many people lived in that house. There was his mother, aunt, two sisters, his grandmother, grandfather, and some woman. They had all arrived in 1913 on a ship called Benalla.

Mommy and Daddy Cairns met on the ship. How romantic.

Cairns says that soon after he was born his parents moved to East Melbourne. I'm guessing they felt things were getting crowded on Drummond Street.

His father went away to war, and never returned. Young Cairns moved to Sunbury, because his aunt and mum got jobs as cooks in a mental hospital there. Cairn's grandparents moved too. They bought a farm. I guess the whole family moved back in together.

Cairns talks about his grandparents. They seem like very modest people, worked very hard. They were never wealthy for that, but they did have enough to eat and survive on.

The interviewer says that Cairns was the only child living with many adults. I wonder what happened to the sisters.

Cairns says he was not required to do farm chores, and would spend his non-school time playing. The interviewer comments that this is unusual for a farm child.

Cairns says, Yes, I think it is. I'm sure it is. And it was unusual for me. Some people say I was spoilt. Now being spoilt is ... I don't know what people mean by being spoilt, but it means that your character is spoilt, your behaviour is distorted, that's what spoilt meant. Now when I was in a sense left alone and treated with respect as an equal, I wasn't being spoilt, I was allowed to develop my own capacities, and to develop them well.

I'm not sure exactly what he means by this? Maybe his parents didn't push the farm wor, because they felt he did other types of work? Earlier Cairns mentioned how he had his family's respect for the factual knowledge he received at school. Maybe they felt his school work was enough, and that Cairns should spend any extra time playing and exploring.

Cairns said his mother was quiet, and not affectionate. Affection wasn't big in the family. That's very different from my family. We're rarely quiet, and we're very affectionate.

He said for the most part his mother stayed out of his business. He uses the word unobtrusive. I guess I'm fairly unobtrusive. That's part of what unschooling is about. I do pay attention to what Jack's doing. I encourage him. I read his stories, and look at all the stuff he wants to show me. But I don't do much controlling of his activities. For the most part, I let him decide what he wants to work on.

Cairns says he got in big trouble just once, and that was met with a smack from his mother. He had purposely broken a ladder. Besides that, he says he was well-behaved, and rarely faced punishment from any of the adults living in the house.

This is interesting. Cairns is asked WHY he was a well-behaved child. He replies, Well, it's the most sensible thing to be, isn't it? If you're naughty it causes things to be unpleasant, if you are good things are always pleasant.

OR you can lie about being good to escape punishment. I'm wondering if children who are consistently viewed as being good by their parents might feel an excessive amount of pressure. You know those parents.....Johnny NEVER misbehaves. Johnny would never hurt anyone. If Johnny finally does make a mistake, he might try to hide it in order to maintain his reputation of perfection.

I THINK I might have done something like that as a child. I don't remember exactly what happened. It was in third grade, and it involved a library book. I've always been known for being quiet and well-behaved. I think the teacher scolded me for some reason. Then maybe I lied and tried to blame someone else. I can't believe I would do something like that. But I think I did. The good news is I don't think I've repeated such awful behavior.

Here's a sweet story. As a child, Cairns would have to pass some Catholics to get where he was going...home, perhaps? He was Protestant, and sometimes Catholics and Protestants don't get along. I guess some fighting occurred. Then Cairns bought some meat pies, and brought them to the Catholic kid. The meat pies were a peace offering, and it worked. That's good.

Cairns says his family wasn't religious. His grandparents went to church occasionally, but he was never required to go.

Cairns says he didn't play much with other kids at school. He was probably the type of kid who preferred being with adults. This is fine, in some cases. It could be a matter of maturity. But other times, I think these types of kids prefer adults because adults make certain accommodations for kids. They often give them extra attention, and/or are easy on them. They might let them win games. A lot of times, if an adult plays with a child, they'll let the child make all the rules and decisions.

When I was a preschool teacher, we had a child like that. At the parent/teacher conference, the parents talked about it, and I think they were very pleased that their child preferred being with adults. They saw it as a sign of maturity. The head teacher gently brought up the issues I mentioned above. They suggested that when they play with their child, they should sometimes act like a child. Don't always let the kid win. Don't always let the child decide what they're going to play. Don't be too easygoing because other children aren't going to be so easygoing.

Cairns says his grades were very poor. He was more into athletics. And he says the reason he got into the police force was to have time to do athletic training. Does he mean the police force would give him athletic training? Or does he mean that job provided for a lot of spare time? I'm getting it might be the latter......

Okay, I'm going to take a break. Then I'll read part 2.

I'm back. I just put some laundry away. That's always fun. Well, actually it is, if there's something good on TV while I'm doing it. I watched some of He's Just Not That Into You.

Cairns talks about being in intense situations as a police officer. He says he'd feel no fear. And I don't think people really are in situations like that. I don't think in the main they're afraid they're going to get shot. It's more exciting than that. It's like a game. And I didn't feel any fear at all. Is that usual? Are people in those situations in some kind of denial? Do you let yourself forget this is real life, and you could die. Does it become like playing a video game?

Cairns is asked why he so quickly prospered in the career. Cairns credits his running ability, and enthusiasm. Yeah. I can see how that would help...especially the running bit.

He says he often took his wife with him when he was going undercover. He says he never worried about putting her in danger. I find that to be a bit odd.

Cairns seems a bit cocky about his fearlessness. It doesn't really impress me, personally. People DO often get hurt and killed in these types of situations. So I say fearlessness is about denial and ignorance. I'd be much more impressed with someone who was afraid, but found courage to do the work anyway.

Cairns says he wouldn't shoot at the people they went after. He'd just shoot into the air. He also says he thinks he had more respect, than other policemen, for the people they went after and arrested

Cairns eventually became tired of the police work, and decided to do some university studies. It was hard for him because he didn't have enough former education to get matriculated. He found the only subjects he could do without matriculation was economics. When Cairns told the commissioner about his educational pursuits, the commissioner told him he was wasting his time. Cairns says, So that was really, I suppose, the straw that broke my connection with the back of the police force. So I decided to go on doing university subjects and work my way out of the police force.

I'm glad he reacted that way. I think when people are discouraged by others, they usually react in one or two ways. They take the advice to heart and give up. Or they work even harder to fulfill their goals.

Cairns says he stopped liking being part of the police force, because it became less about being a lone wolf, and more about being the leader of a pack.

I'm not understanding this fully, but it looks like it was challenging for Cairns to get out of the police force. He eventually got out by joining the army. Was it hard to leave the police force back then? Is it now? What are Scientologists?

This surprises me. Cairns supported what happened in World War II. Well, I'm not too shocked that he supported resisting Hitler and all that. But he also says he can't really be against the bombs in Japan. He says, I suppose I would like to think that it could have been done differently but I can't bring myself to think that the Japanese would have surrendered easily. A couple of hundred thousand people, and more, were involved in death because of the two bombs. I think had America gone on fighting without using the bombs probably more than that would have been killed, in that war that went on before Japan was finally defeated.

I think this is probably how I feel. It's very unfortunate. Growing up, I remember hearing just one side of the story. Although that's probably because I never paid attention in Social Studies class. The one thing I did pay attention to is that novel, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. It was very tragic, involved the death of an innocent child. It was easy to read it and feel angry at America for doing such an awful thing. But as I got older, and actually paid more attention to history, I learned that the Japanese did some really awful things. Maybe the two bombs were the only way to stop them. Now Japan is a very friendly and successful country. There's questions we'll never know the answers to. Would things be much worse if they hadn't been bombed? Was there some less destructive method that could have stopped their aggressions?

Cairns says he joined the Labor Party in 1947. Then he went to England. When he came back, his membership had been suspended. Was that just for being away, or was there a reason?

No, it looks like it had something to do with communism. He was a member of something called the Toorak Branch of the Labor Party. I guess this was all part of that big split.

I'm done with part two. I'll go to part three in a minute or two.....

That break was spent listening to Jack invent his own Mario Kart game. The kid is very creative. Sometimes (or often) I think the real job of a teacher is to just listen. Children need a chance to bounce their ideas off of someone.  Adults too, probably.

Cairns says he didn't read much, and had very little education. It somewhat contradicts what he said earlier...that he had a reputation in his family for knowing many facts. Well, maybe he DID know a lot of facts in comparison to the rest of his household.

Ah! Cairns just validates what I wrote a few seconds ago. He's asked if any teachers had a positive effect on him. He names his principal at Sunbury State School. I think he went there in his early years. Anyway, Cairns says the principal helped raise his self-esteem. He's asked how the principal did this, and he says, Oh, just by chatting and taking a bit interest in what I'd been writing at my desk, which normally speaking, in those years, I don't think teachers did very much.

My friend and I recently had a discussion about praise....whether it's more harmful or helpful. Some teaching gurus are against it. I think praise in itself is neither harmful or helpful, but attention is so much more meaningful. I don't think it damages a child to say Good job! or I love your painting! But it might become damaging, if the words are too often empty ones. I'll admit it. Sometimes, that's what I give Jack. I'm busy. He comes in to tell me about an accomplishment. I half listen, and say something like That's great! or you're really getting good at that. But I try to balance my inattention with attention at other times.

If a child says, Hey, I wrote a story, and the adult responds by saying, Great! Good job! this is really not much different from saying, I don't really care. What the adult should say is Can I read it? or Awesome. I'm busy right now. Can I read it in a few minutes?

Cairns says his family had to eventually sell their farm. They moved to 30 Sycamore Grove, in Ripponlea. Is that in Melbourne? Yeah. I'm looking at Google Maps. It's a little south of St. Kilda East.

Cairns says he wasn't effected too horribly personally by the Depression, but he was influenced by what he saw happening to others. He says he witnessed picketing men being attacked by policemen. It sounds like an awful scene....horses trampling on men. It's surprising that Cairns witnessed this, and still decided to join the police force.

All right. I'm done with part three. I'll get to part four in a minute or so.

Students of Cairns suggested that he join the Communist Party. They were in it, so.....

The reason he was rejected was because of his police work. His interest in joining hadn't been that strong though. It seems more of a matter of well, my friends are in this. So maybe I'll try it out. He seems fairly indifferent about the whole thing.

He went to Oxford to get his PhD. Ah, so that's why he was in England. I had wondered about that.

Cairns doesn't seem that fond of his experiences at Oxford. He says, Now I found Oxford to be very conservative, very stand-offish, as it always had been. Oxford is very conservative, very uninvolved really, on the whole. I wonder if many students would agree with him, and whether it's still like that these days.

I read over a bunch of important stuff regarding the Labor Party and newly formed Democratic Labor Party. There's not much I have to say about that. I figure if people are interested, they can read the interview for themselves.

I'm going to grab a snack, and then read part 5.

It sounds like Cairns was able to be a little more social in Parliament than he had in various times in his past. He says there were Parliament Members that he talked to frequently. Then there were others in which he barely exchanged a greeting. I'm pretty sure that's how it works with most work settings.

Cairns says in Parliament, he spent a lot of time writing speeches and answering letters. He didn't have much help in doing that. He did most of the work himself. That's admirable.

He also spent a lot of time as an invited speaker at various venues. I don't think I could ever handle a job like that.

In 1945, Cairns spent time living in Asia. This is a bit out of chronological order. I'm kind of confused about the whole timeline though. How old was Cairns in 1945....

About thirty or thirty-one.

Well, now I'm remembering stuff...dates I've seen. 1945 was before he joined the Labor Party. Then it would also be before he went to Oxford, unless he went to England earlier, for other reasons.

Anyway, the more important thing is that Cairns was impressed by the Asian people. He said....the one thing that impressed me about that, more than anything else, was that the Asian people were less aggressive, more peaceful, more friendly with one another, less likely to fight, less likely to kill one another than any one here in good old Melbourne or Sydney.

But would he include Japan in that?

As for Vietnam, Cairns says....the Vietnamese people, had been invaded by the French, then by the Americans, and they had defended themselves as anyone would, if they had the courage and the capacity, and the Vietnamese have a tremendous amount of courage and capacity to fight, to defend themselves.

Cairns says that in 1975, Kissinger came up to talk to him. He said Cairns had been right about the war. It wasn't an invasion. It was the Vietnamese fighting themselves. He also said they could have never won without killing all of them.

I don't know much about Vietnam. I learn stuff about it, and then I forget most of it. But I think it brings up that whole question of when should a country stick their nose into another country's business. If one country invades another, should other countries intervene? If there's some kind of political upheaval, should another country step in? What about if there's a genocide? If there's a civil war, does another country have a right to step in to try and make sure their favored side wins?

From what I read here about Kissinger, I'm getting the idea that the Vietnam was presented to Americans and Australians as an invasion. Communist, right? And Americans and Australians were told we need to go and protect those poor Vietnamese people. Did some of them not want to be Communist? Of course. But what if other countries invaded America when George W. Bush got elected for the second time? What if they tried to rescue all of us Democrats. It would be sort of nice of them, but a bit intrusive. And I'm not sure we'd appreciate them bombing us and killing our friends and neighbors.

The analogy isn't perfect though because we voted for the President. Not everyone wins in that game, but it's somewhat fair. It may be a different story when a leader is chosen differently. Americans might be more open to outside aggression, if a hostile inside force took over the country. Let's say some anti-Obama folks capture the President, lock him up somewhere, and take over the White House. They take over the media, and create some type of Fascist environment. I personally would be happy if Kevin Rudd sent over his Australian Army to save us.

War and invasions are very complicated. There's no easy answers.

Cairns talks about the big protest, and how people assumed it would be horribly violent. He says he talked to protesters beforehand, and reminded them that this was to be a PEACEFUL protest. But he says it wasn't his talk that caused the peacefulness. It was the fact that this protest was ABOUT peace. Yeah. That makes sense. It would be very hypocritical to have a violent peace protest. It would be like a PETA march where participants snack on chicken drumsticks as they march.

Personally, when I hear of people protesting with violence....I really don't feel they care about the cause. I think they just want to be violent, and they seek out a valid excuse for it. Maybe I'm wrong. I haven't done much studying regarding the psychology of terrorists. Do they have true passion about their cause, or is it just a desire for violence? Or maybe it's a desire to feel important?

I'm going to take a break, and then move onto part six.

Cairns says he was scared the day of the protest. Ah! So the guy DID feel fear sometimes. He had been told people planned to shoot the protesters from tall buildings. Yikes. But then as the activities progressed Cairn relaxed and felt things would be okay. Then he ended up having one of the best days of his life. It sounds like a very empowering experience.

Cairns says leading the protest was a better experience than being part of the Whitlam Government.

Cairns is asked if being a former police officer helped keep things in control. He says yes. It gave him the ability to talk to the police, and have them listen to him. He's been on both sides of the law....a police officer, and he's also been arrested at times. It's a good way to get perspective.

Cairns says that H.V. Evatt was very instrumental in the establishment of Israel. I don't think I knew that.

He says Caldwell was odd. He had a love for America, and did a lot of studying about American history. Yeah. I've been called odd for my extensive research of Australia. And I agree. It IS very odd. But odd is not necessarily a bad thing.

I'm going to go bake some cookies. Then I'll read part seven.

We made M and M cookies. Yum. And we made it with an ethical egg...a pastured egg. So, that's cool.

The interviewer points out that Cairns can stand against a principle, but has trouble standing against a person. I'm wondering if it's the same for me. I don't know.

He talks about switching Electoral areas. He had a bond with the people in Yarra. When that division was abolished, he had to switch to Lalor. That was a bit rough.

Lord Wiki says Cairns had the seat of Lalor until 1977. Julia Gillard has that seat now.

Cairns is asked if he moved to the Lalor area. He says no. His wife would have vetoed that. Around this time, they lived at 21 Wattle Road in Hawthorn. I'm not sure when they got there, and how long they stayed. I love looking at it on Street View though.

You know how some people like to name drop? Well, Cairns really loves to address-drop. He has this thing about providing exact addresses. He says when he first heard Whitlam had won in 1972, he was at the backyard of 2 Vista Grove, Hawthorn. He was visiting Phillip and Alice.

I can't find Vista Grove though, so maybe Cairns is misremembering something. He said their backyard was next to their front yard. How does that work? I'm having a hard time picturing this.

Never mind. Let's move on.

When Whitlam was elected, Cairns didn't hear from him for three weeks. He had to wait to see what his role would be in the government, but it seems like he felt assured about getting the Overseas Trade Portfolio.

He got it, and the Secondary Industry one as well. He got to do a lot of traveling.

In 1974, he went to China. Was that the first time Australia government had gone to China? I remember something about McMahon...he was against going there, but then Nixon went, and he changed his mind? Yeah, Lord Wiki confirms that. But I'm still not sure if this 1974 trip was the big step.

Here we go. The National Archives says Whitlam visited China in 1971, as part of a Labor Party delegation. So, Cairn's trip was not the first official one.

Cairns comes down pretty hard on the unions. He says, The trade unions and workers didn't seem to care much about participation. They wanted to get the best wage they could, and in effect not do much work, but not become involved in the running of the industry. They wanted the boss to do that.
That's pretty harsh, but I'm sure it's true in SOME instances.

I like what Cairns says here. He talks about wanting to combine work and home places. He says, I wanted to see the metropolitan area made into a combination of work places, homes and gardens, not just streets and high level buildings and factories separated in one place and homes out in another. I'd like to see the whole geographical development radically changed. One of the few things that bothers me about Sydney is that the CBD seems SO work related. Well, I guess the Royal Botanical Gardens is nearby, and Hyde Park. But I don't know. Those places really seem to cater more to adults. Is there a playground anywhere in the CBD...besides ones that are part of preschools?

This website mentions Tumbalong, and Cook and Phillip as being in the CBD. I guess they'd count. I'm thinking more of the area between Sussex and Macquarie....that business-oriented area. I don't know....

I guess Manhattan is sort of the same. I don't think there are many playgrounds in Midtown. But then in the Financial District, I think there are some. It's not just a playground thing though. I'm oversimplifying it. It's about mixing streets with homes and Cairns said.

Cairns talks about what I guess is socialism. Private enterprise can't take care of everyone. We need the government to help. And the government needs money that comes through taxes. He gives the examples of they used to be available to only those who could afford it. I'm sure that could be used in an argument against an anti-socialist that sends their kids to public school. It wouldn't work on the Republicans that I know. One family homeschools, and the other family sends their kids to private school. I'm not sure how the private school family feels about public school, whether they think this socialist service is needed or not. I guess they might support vouchers.

Even though we homeschool, I agree with public school. But you know, I think I'd be more satisfied if they labeled it as public childcare. I don't like the overpromoted idea that schools are needed for kids to be educated. I think parents can often do a better job. Some parents though are unable (or not wanting) to do it. They might work, and they need a place where their kids can be watched. I think that should be provided to those who need it....from age twelve weeks to sixteen years of age. The daycare centers could provide computers, books, toys, games, art supplies, workshops, group projects, etc. Instead of teachers, there'd be counselors. They wouldn't teach. They'd listen, guide, and support the kids who'd choose their own learning journeys. little utopia.

Now I'm on page eight. We just ate dinner. Tim made vegetable pot pies for the first time. It was SO good.

Cairns said he was NOT the Treasurer during the Loans Affair. Really? To me, it seems he not only tries to deny his part in it, but infers that he tried to stand up against it. He said he told those involved, You'll have to tell the premiers you're doing this. You can't do it secretly. You'll have to tell the premiers or they'll kick the roof down.

If I'm understanding this right, Cairns became Treasurer in the midst of all of this.

Cairns seems to put the blame on a guy named Rex Connor. And I'm talking to Lord Wiki. He agrees. He says what happened is Connor made negotiations with a guy named Tirath Khemlani. It looks like Australia never got the money. Connor and Khemlani corresponded back and forth about it all. Then Khemlani went and shared the story of their connection to the Liberal Party. Well, he didn't exactly share it. He offered it for sale. And I guess the Liberal Party was willing to pay.

Wow. This is quite a story.

I'm reading Cairns side of the story, and he takes the stance that he's not much to blame. I wonder how true that is. Is he a guy trying to bypass as much blame as possible? Or is he a guy who unfairly got wrapped up in a scandal?

Cairns does say he went to see King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The meeting was about trade, but Faisal offered to loan Australia money. I guess Cairns was keen on the idea. A letter was supposed to be written, but then the king was assassinated two days later. Yikes.

Okay, here in this interview, they say Cairns didn't lose the Treasurer Ministry because of THE Loan Affair, but because of his own money raising activities.

There's a long story here. I don't quite understand it, and am too lazy to try to explain it. But basically, Cairns says he signed a letter that got him into trouble. Why did he sign the letter? There was a lot of letters on his desk, and he wasn't quite giving them the attention he should have.

Oh....I think I got it. There was a guy named George Harris who was going to check up on the whole Khemlani thing. He asked Cairns to sign a letter of introduction. I think I'm understanding this.

Cairns says, I hate really going into this because it sounds like excusing things and all that. I was sacked and that's sacked and I don't complain about it.

He could be very guilty, and is just trying to look less guilty. But I can relate to signing stuff quickly without reading. I do that all the time with online Terms of Service stuff. Who knows. Maybe I'll agree to something one day that will get me into huge trouble.

Cairns believes though that he didn't lose the Treasury Ministry because of the letter. He says Whitlam didn't like his economic plans, and he also thinks Whitlam saw him as a leadership rival.

Cairns says that while he was helping in Darwin, he got to know Kerr a little bit. He liked him. So in the Whitlam/Kerr battle, I'm getting that Cairns was more On Kerr's side.

Now I'm on page nine.

After they got back from Darwin, Kerr had morning tea with Cairns and his wife. He told them he didn't trust Whitlam, and that he'd get rid of Whitlam if he had a chance. Later, Cairns told Whitlam what Kerr has said. Ah lesson there! Don't vent to Cairns about issues you have with people.

Whitlam didn't take Kerr's threat seriously.

Now the interview is about psychological's going back Cairn's childhood. He said his parents both had Syphilis. He thinks this may be why his mother avoided affection. She was afraid of touching him, and passing on her illness. Someone else I wrote about was like that. Was it Percy Grainger?

There's questions about Junie Morosi, the woman he allegedly had an affair with. Cairns talks about how politicians have affairs. He says, Look I know senior members of government. I know men who got above the rank of Prime Minister who have children by another woman ... whose children carry their names. I met the mother and the son of one at Frankston only a fortnight ago.

That wouldn't surprise me.

From what I see, Cairns neither denies or admits to the affair. I'm looking at the interview now that was done in 2002 by ABC. Lord Wiki says this is was the one in which Cairns finally came clean.

Yeah. He does admit to it there.

I kind of skimmed through the whole thing. It kind of helped me connect the dots from the other interview. Basically, after the whole Whitlam thing...Morosi got Cairns interested in psychology. It sounds like it became his big thing. So it was a sexual affair, but also an intellectual one....self discovery, and all that.

Now I'm on page ten.

Cairns is asked what he liked about Whitlam. Cairns takes the opportunity to do a somewhat backhanded compliment. He says that Whitlam was good at controlling himself in public. But in private, he was capable of displaying an uncontrollable bad temper. Cairns says he never witnessed it, but his wife saw it.

Now the interview is about Cairns and his wife. They met through mutual friends. He talks about how she had already been married, and how he later adopted her sons.

Despite being a loner, Cairns had an open-door mentality at his house on Wattle Street. I guess people (Strangers?) could just come and go as they please. Cairns says, My contact with people was a friendly, fairly superficial contact. That was what all they were capable of. They weren't deeper, they weren't educated, they didn't have any great depth. Wow. That's harsh. Let's just paint everyone with one brush.

One day, things went wrong. They had a party, and a guy got violent. Cairns got hit on the head with a wooden statue, and then people stole a record player. That's scary.

But next Cairns has some really inspirational stories. He says he used to give lectures at prisons. Much later, he was getting some type of surgery. The guy administering the anesthesia said to Cairns, I'm here because of you. Cairns asked what he meant, and the guy told him he had once been one of the prisoners in Cairn's class. I guess Cairns inspired him to stop being a criminal.

That's a nice story of redemption.

The interviewer talks about how Cairns was able to forgive the guy who attacked him at the house, and says this is Christlike. Cairn says it not about some kind of Christian forgiving, but rather about believing people are capable of reform. He says, They do change. You've only got to give most people a chance and the gaol system really doesn't. It might not treat them that badly, but I think it does. But when they go out ... They don't give them in there any feeling of self-esteem.

I agree with him. Well, at least in some cases. I think some people do bad things out of desperation, and sometimes they lose control or their sanity. But then I also think there are psychopaths who...well, they're just a different story. I don't think there's much hope in rehabilitation. HOPEFULLY, I'll be proven wrong someday.

The interviewer says that Cairns made himself available to people. He was there for anyone who asked for his help, and didn't prioritize his time. That's pretty cool. Sort of. If you're there for too many people, you're kind of there for no one. We can all be only stretched so far. I have enough trouble keeping up with my small handful of friends, and all they really expect from me is an email every so often. Maybe it's good I have only one child.

But if you're in politics....yeah, I think it's nice if you're so available to people. Your family might end up deprived though.

Anyway, it's very late....close to midnight actually. I'm going to quit.


  1. Cairns used to sell his books outside markets at weekends almost right up until he died. He was always happy to chat.

  2. Andrew,

    That's so cool. Did you ever talk to him?

  3. It's very strange reading an outside perspective of a man who has influenced so much of my life.
    You make him sound fickle and cold. And while he was distant, I only remember his warmth and knowledge. And sometimes he seemed awkward, almost uncomfortable but he never pulled away from a cuddle. He loved his wife, who was an amazing and strong lady, despite his affair. And she loved him. And dogs! They always had dogs wondering around when I went to visit.
    He was my great-grandfather. And everyone in our family admire and love him greatly.

  4. Tara,

    Funny. I was just talking about your name yesterday (the difference between Aussie and American pronunciation).

    I'm sorry if I made your great-grandfather sound cold and fickle. I'm glad you feel differently!

    Everyone has different sides to them; and people get different perspectives (based on their own personalities, their relationship with the person, and what side of the person they get to see).

    Some people have the opposite problem. Their family member is loved and praised by outsiders (who hardly know him/her) but the family sees the much less positive aspect of the celebrity.

    What kind of dogs did your great-grandfather have?