Times have certainly changed since 1959

I WAS driving to the office the other day along the Dawson Highway when I became conscious of just how many food outlets there are these days - cafes, restaurants of every ilk, sandwich, chicken, hamburger and pizza joints, bakeries, even a stuffed potato van.

It got me thinking just how much the world has changed since 1959.

I chose 1959 because that's when Brisbane got television and it was my first year in secondary school.

Even entry into secondary school has changed dramatically: we had to pass a public exam called the Scholarship Exam which tested literacy and numeracy before we were allowed to advance from primary school.

Secondary school started at Grade 9 level and lasted four years.

At the end of Grade 10, you did another exam called the Junior Public Exam to earn the right to advance to Grade 11; at the end of Grade 12 you had to pass the Senior Public Exam to gain entry to Uni and other tertiary colleges.

To get a job with the Commonwealth Public Service or the Commonwealth Bank you not only had to do well in the Senior Public Exam but you also had to pass another series of tests.

Back to the birth of TV in Queensland.

I recently read that shipments of PCs are down 10% in 2015 sheeted home by analysts to the increasing use of tablets, smart phones and the like.

Lenovo, the Chinese manufacturer which took over IBMs PC business a few years ago, has about 20% of the market and the other two leaders HP and Dell share about 30%.

Just think of where we've come in 56 years.

And back to food outlets. In 1959, life was a struggle for young families.

Invariably, mums stayed at home and dads travelled to work on public transport and received pretty modest wages by modern standards.

Whitegoods, and TVs for that matter, were comparatively much more expensive than now, as were cars.

There was not much surplus cash around and "eating out" was considered something of an extravagance.

For fast food, there were the Greek cafes flogging hamburgers, fish and chip shops and the new boys on the block: the Chinese "chew and spew" outlets.

I can remember my old man bundling me and my two brothers into the little Ford Prefect and driving from Clayfield where I grew up to Nundah a few klicks north to "get Chinese".

As the oldest, my job was to be responsible for carrying Mum's saucepan filled with Chicken Chow Mein.

The others were responsible for the saucepan of fried rice.

Look around you.

The world is different.

Kids can now watch moving pictures including hardcore pornography on tablets and mobile phones.

Ice is an epidemic. Men and women are forced to leave their families to work thousands of miles from their homes as traditional jobs in our cities dry up.

Whitegoods are cheap throwaways, fast food lacks any nutritional value at all, killing a generation of kids, and violent crime seems endemic.

My questions: are the laws framed in an era when things were so different appropriate today; and are modern-day politicians locked mentally in the relative simplicity of 1950s Menzies era?