Portrait of Hon Dr Barry Jones – “The Courage Party”

Portrait of Hon Dr Barry Jones
Two things happened on Saturday. I read Dr Barry Jones article “The Courage Party” in The Saturday Paper, and Heide gave me another portrait to add to the Noted Australians Collection on her website- and the portrait was of Barry Jones!
If you are too young to remember him, Barry Jones was the Minister of Science in the Hawke Labour Government 1983-1990, and was even better known as ‘National Quiz King of Australia’ What isn’t so widely known is that he was named by the National Trust in 1998 as one of Australia’s 100 Living National Treasures, he is the only person to have been elected as a Fellow of all four Australian learned academies – FAA FACE FAHA FASSA FTSE , and that in 2014 he was made a Companion of the order of Australia, recognising ” Mr Jones’ role as a leading intellectual in Australian public life”.
So, you could say that Barry Jones, in his 84th year, has earned the right to be taken seriously. There are some fascinating insights in his article;
“Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the US marked the beginning of a new political era- post truth-evidence, post courage- which is particularly confronting, considering that Americans, like Europeans and Australians, are part of the most highly educated cohort in their history, on paper, anyway. The truth of a proposition means nothing, and evidence is irrelevant”. ( his analysis of the character and intellect of Trump is superb – it confirms all my worst nightmares.)
In his later years Malcolm Fraser (pm 1975-1983) “thought that both the Coalition and the Labour party had become corrupted and timid, looking for immediate advantage, adopting a narrow focus on economics, as if humans could be defined as consumers only, as homo economicus; that the goals of life were entirely material, and that long term issues, involving the fate of the planet and non commercial values could be ignored.”
So Fraser and Jones solution, was that a new political force was needed, a party whose policies would be evidence based, and who would tackle the “wicked” problems, such as “refugees, a new taxation system, a post carbon economy, biota sustainability, needs based funding for education, ending toxic political culture”.
Now that’s more like it! Strongly recommend the article, in fact I strongly recommend The Saturday Paper

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4 comments on “Portrait of Hon Dr Barry Jones – “The Courage Party””

  1. Paul Mulkearns Reply

    If only Barry were 20 years younger!
    I’d have no hesitation not only to jump ship but Join the new party and help scrub the decks .

    • gallahad Reply

      Thanks for your comments Paul. I’ll happily jump ship with you, but I don’t think my knees would approve of scrubbing the decks. As to Barry’s age, I think an old wise head might be a big improvement on some the recent incumbents – Brian Smith

  2. Alexander Bauer Reply

    I won’t hold it against you that you are labor man I was a mighty Mal man in my outlook especially in his later years I feel his twitter method helped me jump in his style I am pro climate change needs to be solved with new energies http://www.itheo.org
    I’m for setting up on Mars going out side to help us internally I am neither R nor L completely Good luck for us all with this move ~~ happy to help in some small ways enjoy word smithing

  3. Ian Norton Reply

    Refreshing and certainly managed to capture my attention. We need the wisdom of men such as Barry where age is not necessarily an impediment. His intellectual capacity is what we sadly lack on both sides of government. It doesn’t require a strong physique to impart the practical wisdom that would lead this country and to become more engaging with humanity and the things that matter to Australian who have a social conscience. Our ideals and integrity have been forsaken for the sake of political opportunism. Climate change and the refugee issues are only two of the many issues discussed during a recent conversation on Late Night Live. I have been a swinging voter most of my life, but I’d gladly jump ship to scrub the decks of any vessel where Barry Jones was on the helm.

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