Miss Eagle at a Plug the Pipe rally last year
on the steps of Victoria's Parliament
wearing her Akubra
Hats - particularly the Akubra -
are in the news these days because of the current prominence of Bob Katter.
Geoff Strong has given some insights into the hat
and the unique condition of being a lapsed Queenslander
- particularly one who has grown up in the Bjelke-Petersen era.
I sometimes wonder if growing up in Queensland under Bjelke
might have been something like growing up in
Louisiana under Huey Long.
In Queensland, I always felt that the National Party
interfered with the information flow -
prevented new ideas coming in
(Women's Shelters were part of a Marxist plot
and Fred Hollows got kicked out for allegedly spreading Marxism)
and stopped new ideas getting out.
So many of us were and are open to fresh thinking.
Queensland has changed - but not all that much.
Aboriginal-Settler relations are not wonderful.
merely fall out with its powerful people might have ceased
but the stridency of bush politics hasn't.
Political corruption is still alive and well
and is not confined to the National Party.
I am glad to be away from Queensland politics -
particularly the racist overtones and ignorance one finds
across party lines.
It is good to know that a Labor Party can be elected -
even if I dislike some of its actions and antics.
I don't see myself ever living in Queensland again -
but if I do it will be only for family and/or the climate.
Melbourne is great. I suppose the climate has to be
dreadful to stop everyone from wanting to live here.