tip off

Ageing Abbott appointees

Crikey readers talk old men and the joys of lambrusco.

Older is not always wiser

Valerie Vaughan writes: Re. “Country for old men: little diversity in Abbott’s picks” (yesterday). Reading this article  should concern every single person in government, especially Tony Abbott. I owned and operated and highly successful business and was forced to sell this business because of a terminal illness of my husband.

Since then I have done relief work regularly. For some time I felt I had been cheated with what I felt was  an early and forced sale. After working with and under many of the new graduates on the block I realise that:

  1. I do not have the stamina I once had. Nor do I have the razor-sharp memory or the capacity to do three things at once. I do not make instant decisions, I seek confirmation.
  2. I do not have the up-to-date knowledge — no matter how much I read. I am not in constant employment.  Many of the colleagues of my era I find are in my league, but only half accept this fact.
  3. The  young people have a very different view of so many principles. This is a new world and to listen to Eric Abeitz and Bronwyn Bishop, to name just two, with their righteous attitudes of past decades makes this Liberal supporter cringe.
  4. Many of the older professionals , including me, have not moved with new ideas. We tend to feel that the way we operated was the best way. Not so.
  5. It is very disappointing to appoint so many retired politicians plum jobs when they are already entitled to large pensions. It is not capability, it is jobs for the boys … not the girls.
  6. Many private successful executives, many retired, are elected to too many boards. How can you serve and make critical decisions so many boards of companies? They are  also paid unrealistic salaries..
  7. It took me five years to realise and understand that I was past my prime, and I hate to have to admit this fact but have fortunately realised I have something to offer in the welfare situations.

I recall having a conversation with one of Bjelke-Petersen’s minders. in the premier’s later years and he said that this successful politician could converse  without any problems for 10 minutes and then he would lose track and his minders would move him on.

This article is heartbreaking for our country. I understand perfectly that all these people think they are Rupert Murdoch, but like I have had to accept … we have had our day.

Dylan Taylor writes: Why is anyone surprised? Howard was almost the same — just the males were not quite so old then. They are all older and whiter (on top) now, and Abbott has got them working for him. Is it any wonder that  women and younger voters are giving up on Abbott?

Try the lambrusco

John Newton writes: Re. “Saville’s Shout: bottoms up … listen to Buffett …” (yesterday). I’m guessing Margot Saville drank lambrusco because she thinks it’a all crap. So did I until I tasted Rinaldini Lambrusco Vecchio Moro on the advice of an Italian friend. She won’t look back.

4
  • 1
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Valerie: speak for yourself old dear. You make no valid points whatsoever, save for those in relation to yourself.

    What a cheek assuming that all people over say 60 or even 70 are suffering the same demise as yours.

    Based on this witless polemic, maybe you were never up to it.

  • 2
    Liamj
    Posted Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Applause for Valerie for having the insight and courage to know & describe her own limitations - a rare gift at any age.

    And thanks Kevin Herbert for demonstrating the bilious reactionary tendency so common in our gerontocracy.

  • 3
    Dogs breakfast
    Posted Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I came her to praise young Valerie, not to bury her…………

    Congrats, Valerie, you will be much more useful to society than the Kevin HErbert’s of this world.

    Mr Herbert, yes the seniors have much to offer, but this country has a problem in terms of handing over the reigns. I’m 52, as sharp as anyone you have met, and I honestly feel I am ill-equipped for planning for the future.

    If I were a CEO of a large company now, I would be looking for some 40 somethings who can listen to people who are older than them, and know when to ignore them, and 30 somethings to run my middle management echelons, with the proviso that they could listen to senior people, (and have them work for them) and also a few 20 somethings that I gave way too much power to.

    That is the structure of a company that I think would have a future to look forward to.

  • 4
    Sailor
    Posted Wednesday, 5 March 2014 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    @Valerie,
    After a long life of wrestling with problems & with the dunce/evil personalities I sometimes had to work with, I found that when I stood on my principles & thus left a large company making full speed ahead to disaster that despite my previous obsession with getting things correct & best there was another path.

    I was 62, & had been surrounded by people younger or older who were “in charge” & had a slavering approach to making money that repelled me. I was happy to go, & work where I could find appropriate jobs.

    I reckon @Dogs breakfast has it exacty right:

    I found I was quite happy to settle back & use what funds I’d accumulated over the years, & help wherever I could.

    Now, speaking of you, I feel there’s so much more to celebrate in your working past than anyone around you can claim, that you can settle back & just be extremely talented, wise, & capable rather that all-powerful.

    That approach must have worked for Superman when his speed dropped below FasterThanLight to just hypersonic, so why not for you?

    Just a final thought: I agree that perks for drones (the Abbott way it seems) is stupid, but they were drones under Howard. No doubt for Labor I’d say, but the voters have fixed that.
    So do we still have, e.g., Kevin Humprhies/Bronwyn Bishop/George Brandis/…….it’s a long list…….given any power at all???

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