The other morning was quite chilly, a sure sign that autumn is now with us. It was a reminder that we not only accept the seasons but thanks to the pioneering work done by astrologists hundreds of years ago we now know why we have them. The early astronomers, with little more equipment than just about anyone can get access to today, worked out that the earth is not the centre of the universe. The sun has that honour. They also worked out the planetary paths.

The religious leaders of the day were horrified. This was heresy, going against what was written in the bible and therefore God’s word. Galileo was forced to retract his, and other people’s’, findings. I wonder how those leaders would have felt if they had lived long enough to see the views of Galileo and his fellow researchers proved beyond doubt. Would they have accepted their own lack of knowledge and felt ashamed of their actions?

How does this affect us today; are we any better at choosing leaders? The recent inquiry into sexual abuse among young school students at Christian schools suggests that we are not. I believe only one leader was involved and he was not investigated but the rest were aware of what was going on but didn’t report it, with at least one saying that he thought there was nothing wrong with such behaviour.

What about our civilian leaders? Considering how much power they have, do we choose them wisely or will we be hearing them say in the future, about some of their policies, that they could see nothing wrong with them? The one that I think particularly fits into this category is the decision which restricts what Aboriginal people spend their benefits (the Dole) on. Apparently our politicians worry about them spending their money on drink and other undesirable products, particularly ones which lead to abusive behaviour.

Aren’t our politicians clever enough to realise that this restriction will only lead to more resentment against the white people who took their land off them, and it won’t tackle their underlying problem of no land and therefore no status, and an education system which can’t adapt to their needs? These are the problems we should be tackling. It’s many years since most of our politicians undertook any study and I suspect that this has allowed their brains to get lazy.

I wonder if some at least of the decisions politicians are making today will fit in to the same category as those who in the past refused to believe that the earth revolves around the sun? Will we pity today’s leaders and is this what they want? Are they too keen to grab power when they can and not look at their lives from the point of view of history?