OPINION: He makes a good point
Story Added : 02nd June 2011
If we bow to the gods of mathematics we can explain everything.
We can be as positive as we like about a negative and will still end up with a negative.
Or, as negative as we like about a positive and quickly turn it into a negative.
Leaving us with only one other option.
Being negative about a negative.
And voila, we have a positive.
It kind of works, doesn’t it?
Well yes, according to a phone call I received this week from a slightly disgruntled – which means neither negative nor positive – reader.
“I am,” he countered, “sick of people complaining of, without ever stopping to think through, all this carry on about foreign ownership and investment in rural Australia.
“For heaven’s sake, we were colonised.
“If that’s not foreign ownership and investment, I don’t know what is.
“And if we can agree on that (he’s got me there) then rather than selling the farm, we have spent the past couple of centuries taking it back.”
Strike me pink.
That’s a new take on an old whinge if I’ve ever heard one.
But it didn’t stop there.
“Remember the way everyone carried on when the Japanese started sinking money into Yeppoon?” he said.
“In the end it was hundreds of millions and they built it into what it is today.
“People ranted and raved, said we were selling out. Well the Japanese are gone, but we have this fantastic resort town.
“What I am trying to say is, you can sell the land, but the buyer can’t pack it up and take it home with them can they?
“So, it stays here, it stays productive, gets a cash injection for infrastructure and provides jobs for the locals.
“What’s the problem?”
I just hate it when some smart Alec, who has done a bit of thinking, has a good point.
Because it is normally a bloody sharp point and it doesn’t bear thinking where they want to stick you with it.
So, I did a bit of thinking.
Popping straight into my mind was the Vestey family.
Few landholders before, or since, could hold a candle to the slice of Down Under the Vestey family owned.
But the land stayed here and in the 1990s was broken up and sold.
That’s the other good thing about land.
It recycles beautifully.
“So maybe,” says Mr Alec, “this is not such a bad thing.
“Right now, between drought and flood, a lot of Australian agriculture is on the bones of its arse.
“So, if someone from overseas wants to sink money into getting it all back into gear does it really matter who signs the pay cheque for all those people in all those little country towns doing it tough?”
Not only does he stick it in, then he gives it a twist.
“We’re happy to import labour to help fill the vacuum created by the mining boom. I don’t hear too many on the land complaining about that except how hard it is to get.
“So, why not importing money?
“If you want the quid, there has to be a pro quo.”
Now there’s a real show pony for you.
Trying to big note himself with Latin.
As soon as I find my dictionary I will have a stinging riposte ready.