Ireland is today mourning the passing, at the age of 100, of Dr T K (Ken) Whitaker, being described in tributes as 'the architect of modern Ireland' and 'as fine an Irishman as there has been'. In 2001 he was honoured as 'Irishman of the 20th century'.
Dr Whitaker was a public servant, who rose from the position of clerk to become Secretary of the Department of Finance at the age of 39, in which rôle he transformed the Irish economy, as politicians came and went. In later life he became a Senator, and headed numerous cultural and academic bodies.
As 'a Finance man' Dr Whitaker saw his rôle as 'a trustee for the taxpayer'. Would that those in public life in Australia might think and act likewise.
There aren't too many ways available for venting one's anger or frustration at some of the things happening in the world around us. One such escape valve is the good old Letter to the Editor, even if only a small proportion of them gets published. It is often well-nigh impossible to keep the discussion short enough for the newspapers. So rather that have them expire in some Editor's Trash bin, we'll preserve them for posterity here. Inevitably, though, some nuances will be lost for those unfamiliar with the background or the letter or article to which we are responding. But each is undoubtedly a miniature literary masterpiece, though you may find the themes become somewhat repetitive.