posted on May, 19 2009 @ 04:12 AM
This is a story of people power and determination. It is about the exposure and expulsion of corruption and returning the balance of power. Most
importantly, it is about reminding a government that they work for the people, not for themselves.
Several years ago I answered an ad in the local classifieds asking for a volunteer typist to help occasionally with correspondence for an elderly man.
For the purpose of this story, we will simply call the man JB. JB was in his mid 70s and was what you would call a 'character'; Always smiling,
highly charismatic and intelligent.
He would drop around to the house occasionally and I would type up and print letters for him that he wish posted. During the first few visits it
became apparent that he had a problem with the way the local council was running the town and was writing in protest over some of their recent
The letters were always polite and to the point and left no room for confusion. About the third time I wrote for him, which was directed to the
council on matters of sacrifice and duty to the people, the letter included some surprising details.
JB had already served his country once, in World War 2. Like many Australian pilots, he was sent to Britain to serve under their leadership and assist
on the Western front.
He rose through the ranks, achieving the rank of Wing Commander in early 1944. His first command held incredible responsibility. He was to lead the
Typhoon fighter-bombers in the first hours of the D-Day invasion of France.
He still won't say what he did that day, but whatever it was earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross, the highest medal that can be bestowed upon a
Several months passed and his letters kept coming, although the Council never replied.
The Council, at this point, began their most ambitious project, which involved demolishing the center of town and replacing it with an Arts center
that would cater for the elite, showing such things as opera and ballet.
This shocked many in the community, considering we are a small country town. The project, according to JB, was another move by the Council to pander
to a local developer who had been in their pocket for years. It just so happened that this center would be across the road from that developers last
project, a hotel targeted at wealthy tourists.
Smelling corruption, JB moved past writing letters. Although he was physically quite weak at this point, his spirit was stronger than ever. He began
to rally local dissenters and organize meetings. He went through tens of thousands of dollars spreading information about the cause.
Through his charismatic leadership and public speaking ability, he rallied more than half the town to his cause.
The Council began to realize that they had a rebellion on their hands, and passed a law that banned JB from speaking at Council meetings again.
JB began to receive hate mail from Council supporters, mainly the affluent members of the community. Even councilors themselves began to send him
threatening letters and hate mail.
But he didn't give up. He rallied even more to the cause and got the State government on side. They relented to the countless submissions they were
receiving and ordered an inquiry into the Council and it's dealings, including the Arts center project.
The State government sent out a cease and desist order relating to the development of the Arts center site, but the Council ignored the order. They
demolished all the buildings, forcing dozens of businesses to relocate or close down. Some of those businesses are still waiting for compensation.
They then rushed through the selection processes and got to work on the construction of the center.
Later that month the news came through. The State government had sacked the entire council, including the Mayor, and replaced them with an
An ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) inquiry is still ongoing, and will decide if any criminal charges will be pressed against the
former mayor and councilors.
By this point it was too costly to rewind the damage done at the Arts center site. Convict ruins buried below were destroyed by the Councils rushed
efforts to begin construction and they had the support structure in place by the time they were dismissed.
So now, under the administrator, the community is left with over $50million of debt and an incomplete Arts center that nobody wanted in the first
place (except the rich developers of course).
Sadly, JB was recently involved in a car accident and has not been the same since. He has renounced his connections with anyone involved in the
movement and has become housebound. He no longer wants anything to do with the community or the movement he began, and is slowly succumbing to old age
and mental deterioration.
However, the community have not forgotten him. He started a revolution. He fought for what he believed in and exposed a corrupt government. He rallied
the community and removed that government from power.
Sometimes all it takes is one man to stand up against tyranny and the rest will follow.