Cannon Fodder

by | 3 Sep 2007 | Editorial | 0 comments

John Wright residence

Once Rural: The ex farmhouse John Wright bought to provide his young family a semi-rural upbringing in what was then the outskirts of Sydney. photographer Peter Butters

Living a long life doesn’t necessarily result in wisdom, but in the case of my stepfather-in-law I have no doubt at all that it has.

Norfolk-born, John Wright was sent to Sydney in 1941 to help, initially as its chief chemist, establish Cable Makers Australia—part of the war effort. Cable Makers became a huge operation and, as its manager, John was involved in extensive technological development and much international travel.

But when reflecting on the advances he has witnessed and participated in, John Wright prefers to quote his father:

That of all the progress civilization has produced, the two most significant were the Plimsoll line, 1875 and the Habeas Corpus Act, 1679.

That load lines were of interest to John Wright senior is unsurprising; he first went to sea at the age of eight, stowed aboard a Lowestoft trawler by a fisherman uncle.

Gamekeeper of the vast le Strange estate, Wright senior’s lifespan is illustrated by the fact that the trawler, and the mill he was left in sole charge of at the age of ten, were both wind-powered, and yet lived to witness the space age.

I have yet to learn the reason behind the father’s acute awareness of the significance of habeas corpus but the son, like many of us of us, have Howard, Blair and Bush to thank for re-honing our appreciation.

John’s loathing of these unpopularly elected bullies and their arrogant indefinite imprisonment of arbitrary collections of souls is sincere; and the replies to his eloquent letters of protest, predictably vacuous. The purchase of a water cannon to subdue protest expected at Bush’s Sydney visit has been the lastest outrage for John, but the indications are that it has been the final insult for the majority of Australians.

If we accept Irish statesman Edmund Burke’s All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, we must also accept that it is unconscionable for good publications to do nothing.

Accordingly, and while the Mahurangi Magazine is not an appropriate forum for on-going dicussion or debate on the issue, this publication attests:

The invasion of Iraq was unprincipled malice; the perpetual cycle of devastation commenced, pure evil.

Wright, J. M. 2000: John Wright Remembers Halbooks Publishing 312p.

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