Louie | Mount Roskill

“Florence Nightingale; if you read about her in Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey, Florence Nightingale actually nursed the troops in the crimeran [war] and she used her own money to do it and she got around the bureaucracy because bureaucracy wasn’t going to do nothing.

But bureaucracy was good at starting the war, creating mayhem, and being responsible for massive injuries and death, but they were vast inadequate treatment of their injured. So she went in there, with her own money, and she actually solved the problem, which is quite massive. I don’t think there’s anyone in history who’s actually demonstrated such amazing discipline, self-denial, generosity; all those things. You know, she got round the bureaucracy, because let’s face it; as soon as you get three or more people involved in something they always mess it up, and hold everything up.

It’s a bit like when you’re at the light, okay?  If you’re at the lights and you’re first up, goes green and you just go straight through. You’re second or third up, or fourth or fifth up, you’re waiting, aren’t you?  You’re just waiting for the chance to get through, and if it’s like more than four or five cars you may not get through before the lights change, and I think that’s the problem with a lot of organisations and bureaucracies and corporates and governments. They’re just hidebound in terms of answerability. The good thing is that’s going to change soon, because we’ve got a big breakthrough with Blockchain technology, which will make it possible for things to move a lot faster than they used to.

I grew up my first seven years was mainly in East Africa in an island called Zanzibar, and we were in a so-called multi-cultural environment, and it’s very reminiscent of Mt Roskill actually; had the same kind of multi-cultural environment that you have here and everybody was living in relative peace and harmony, and then there was a complete turn-around in everything in 1964, and the reason for that turn-around is still kind of not fully understood. I think when you’ve got a multi-cultural situation you also need to assimilate the cultures, and actually fund ways and means where the different cultures can actually mingle, and you sort of worry if that’s happening very much, if there is really much effort put in to creating places where the different cultures meet, but there is a guy doing something at the moment. His name’s Syd and he set up the thing called Old Fort, and it’s a big building that’s converted to a venue, and he’s going to run a multi-cultural festival for three months solid.

There are people, private initiatives that are doing something but you sort of wonder why there isn’t more coming from the powers that be to actually make sure that we all get along. For instance, in the very market we’re talking in; how much actual funding goes into promoting this market so some of these store-holders will make enough so that they can feed their families?  And I can tell you there’s not much advertising. There’s not much initiative on the part of the council to actually let people know about this market even though it’s been running for decades, and it seems like they just seem to want to let it go to seed and the complete take it over, and run it as some kind of a yuppie bazaar for the over-privileged, like they usually do. You know, I mean, really let’s face it;  when it comes to the down and out and people are short of a bob, nobody really cares, and they don’t say that, but they actually don’t, and it’s just subsistent living when there’s a lot of talented, strong, intelligent and well-qualified people who are just caught in the cracks as it were, and there’s not many well-defined initiatives to help them get out of that rut that they’re in, you know?   

Well that question is a sexist statement really because I don’t even think about that, and never did and I never will, and if I’m talking to somebody, male, female, old, young, rich poor, whatever; who cares, man?  We’re all human beings trying to get through this wretched life together, and the whole idea about competition between man and woman is absolutely ridiculous and I don’t really enter into discussion about it.”

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