Clive Huxtable

Don Watson does it again in ‘A New Opium’ (Comment, June). With the elegance and dexterity of a plastic surgeon, he dissects the issue and sews it up exquisitely. I am a septuagenarian just one generation removed from World War I, in the mud and blood of which my father was deeply involved.

I was a year old when my father went off a second time to spend four years in Changi. An uncle was killed at Tobruk and my father-in-law was in the Kokoda campaign and all that followed it. My childhood and early life were steeped in the fallout from all that military stuff. It has been interesting to watch over the decades how mythologies grow, who shapes them and for what purposes. Each year, it seems to me, the inflations and distortions increase as vested interests jockey for their slice of value from legend.

Clive Huxtable

Beaconsfield, WA