Ellis bobs up with some warring words
By ZOE SATHERLEY
POLITICAL commentator, author, and speech writer to politicians including Mark Latham and Bob Carr, old Lismore boy Bob Ellis was in town last Friday to launch a new book.
He was tired after a sleepless night travelling on the train from Sydney and cranky that he had to get off at Casino at 4am to bus it into Lismore.
He visits the town several times a year to see his mum, Elsie, 93, who still lives in her own home.
"I hate flying and always take the train," he said. "Mum uses it a lot too.
"I think the closure of the Casino to Murwillumbah XPT is definitely an issue impacting on the Federal election. It's not just a State issue any more.
"Mum talks about it all the time. I think Carr has completely lost the plot on this one.
"Lack of medical and dental services for older people is another issue mum has raised. People are having to wait almost two years with a toothache before being able to get free treatment. It is just dreadful."
Mr Ellis, who grew up in Lismore and went to Lismore High, said he was despondent about the general state of the world but not defeated.
"The bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta has fortuitously provided John Howard with a new Tampa crisis four weeks out from an election," he said.
"It will help him with his plan to send 5000 troops to Iraq and Afghanistan around October 20 and shore up Bush's chances in the US elections.
"Bush will be able to say the coalition of the willing is still willing.
"But the thing no-one is talking about is whether or not we are winning the so-called war against terrorism.
"Latham should be asking 'is the world a safer place since the fall of Sadam?' Clearly it is not. Do we seriously think we can bomb and shoot millions of people into silence?
"For every Iraqi killed we make 600 new enemies.
"Bush is truly a fascist. His grandfather funded Hitler all through the war. That family has got form."
Bob Ellis launched his new book, Night Thoughts in Time of War (Viking) at the Centrepoint Motel.