July 2015

John Jess, Seeker of Justice – the Voyager story

Another challenging editing job has reached its successful conclusion, and one of which I am especially proud.

It was a long time in the overall process with much rejigging, rewriting and tightening of the text. Meticulous and determined research produced a voluminous amount of detailed information, much of it revealed here for the first time, that had to be whittled down, ordered and presented in readily accessible form.

The gestation period for this “baby” was lengthy and arduous,; a birth of extended and sometimes labour.

It is a story that needed to be told, and who better to tell it than the main man’s daughter?  Author Elizabeth McCarthy (Jess)  lived with the stresses and strains of this fight for justice for many years yet manages a dispassionate account of the in-fighting, devious politics and outright obfuscation that dominated her family’s life throughout this saga.

The Voyager “incident” has become a major and tragic event of recent Australian history and one that is destined never to diminish. Its impact on the political and naval landscape will long remain with us and this book adds a vital new dimension to the immense and diverse record already in existence.


No Wonga, you are not what I need

Letter arrived today, personally addressed (where did they obtain those details?) and containing a pseudo membership card from the lovely folk at Wonga, that well-known money-lender.

Apparently they will send me money within five minutes of approval and I can choose when to pay them back.

I can borrow from £50 to £250 and have three days’ grace if I miss a repayment.

It all sounds so appealing, especially if you’re cash-strapped and in need of quick and easy help to tide you over.

As CEO Tara Kneafsey writes: “We could be just what you need to help get your cash flow back on track.”  Especially when, as she points out “the unexpected happens and a little extra cash could be just what you need.”

She even gives a couple of examples. Such as a loan of £183 for 15 days (why such an odd amount?) that would require a payback of £204.96. Or £100 for 13 days and returning £110.40.

At a quick first glance neither sounds too unreasonable. But there is a catch (isn’t there always?) in that the latter example works out at a fixed interest rate of 292 per cent per annum or a representative annual percentage rate of 1,509.

And they say this might be “less than you think.”  Maybe, but it is far more than anyone in their right mind should be expected to pay or even consider paying.

Sorry, Tara, but if I do find myself in such dire straits I am sure I can find far more attractive and less onerous sources to tide me over.

Your warning that “late repayment can cause you serious money problems” is way off the mark. It is taking out loans such as offered here that cause the problems.

No more unsolicited letters, please. I’d rather raid the kids’ piggy bank.