The Big Issue : Edition 442
10 THe Big issue 27 seP – 10 OCT 2013 we met on Sunday we were more or less reconciled to the inevitable. Two of our number, who both live in the seat of Fairfax, faced the prospect of having the billionaire Clive Palmer as their representative. (He who bred dinosaurs on golf courses, and was refloating The Titanic, and who claimed that Rupert Murdoch’s wife was a Chinese spy.) I, living in neighbouring Fisher, would have either Mal Brough (of Ashbygate fame) or a man from Palmer’s party as my local member. We comforted ourselves by deciding that – despite our great ages – we would go on living, thankful that there are mute buttons on our TV remotes, so we need never hear Tony Abbott speak, nor Christopher Pyne, nor either of the reprehensible Bishops. Thankful, too, that we live in the still- best country in the world, and not, for example, in North Korea, Syria or Afghanistan. We had awakened on Sunday morning and the sun still shone, the land was still at peace, but we could not help wondering what our parents would have made of it all. They appreciated the value of their votes; the hard-fought battles that had won their franchise. It was never a joke to them. Let us hope some decency and gravitas comes out of all this, and respect for the wonder of our democracy. Betty Birskys, Kawana, Qld peOpLe’S prINceSS Diana was always going to be immortalised; she died at 36 while at the height of her fame. She was the people’s princess because people felt they could relate to her as ‘one of us’. I’m not sure how this came about, as she was actually from a very privileged background. I found Sophie Quick’s observations (‘The Princess Bride’, Ed#441) spot on in relation to a famous person doing kind things attracting lots of media attention. As if this was extraordinary. Diana knew she had power and directed it accordingly – making her quite an exceptional person. I don’t think I can bring myself to see a karaoke version of Diana on film, though. However wise and well-crafted a film like The Queen was, I get the sense that [Diana] can not come close to portraying Diana’s allure or legacy. Many thanks to Alan Attwood and Sophie Quick for their memories and reflections. Jenny Esots, Willunga, SA Jenny receives a copy of The Electric Lady by Janelle Monáe (see our review on p37). yOuR Say ‘your say’ submissions must be 100 words or less, contain the writer’s full name and home address, and may be edited for clarity or space. have your say about the big issue: • email email@example.com • post the big issue, gPo box 4911, melbourne, victoria 3001 • facebook the big issue australia • twitter @thebigissue letter of tHe fortnigHt I just got the latest copy of The Big Issue from our local vendor, Pete, who sells outside Coles in Ocean Grove. I get a little jolt of excitement whenever I see him there, because I love the chance to chat with such a friendly, generous and positive soul. After each and every interaction I have had with Pete, I have walked away feeling more cheerful than beforehand. He has a rare and uncanny ability to make you feel optimistic, no matter how bad a mood you might have been in. So, thank you, Pete – keep being that bright spark in everyone’s day! Lisa Jensen, Ocean Grove, Vic Thanks, we’ve passed this on to Peter. –Ed Sincere thanks to Betty Birskys for her excellent pre-election article, (‘A Votive Offering’, Ed#440). Now, in this period of post-election analysis, I am wondering just how ‘free’ a government can be when it has been helped, perhaps even propelled, into power by the political propaganda of the Murdoch press. What a relief to buy The Big Issue from one of the friendly Brisbane vendors – confident that you will get high-quality writing without off-putting political bias. Cheers for The Big Issue! Mary McMahon, Annerley, Qld MOre frOM BettY... My last piece (‘A Votive Offering’, Ed#440), penned during the recent election campaign, had some nostalgic old-lady reminiscences about past elections as well as some lamentations about the nastiness of this year’s campaign. I tried to keep it light – but, hey, who could regard it all with any seriousness when the results of the election were called on 7 September? I meet regularly with a group of ladies – all of us in our eighties – on the Sunshine Coast. We had lunch together the day after the election. We’d done our deepest grieving the night before, with frequent phone calls to and fro as the numbers came up, so by the time @tiffaniagrant I love walking down King William St [Adelaide] to work from the tram and stopping and buying @thebigissue from the gentleman on the corner. @flaviia Guy selling @thebigissue on Bourke St [Melbourne] is playing his tummy like a drum for passers-by!