I detest politics at best.
They are, after all, public servants. Their job is to serve the public. I couldn’t imagine servants of some incredibly wealthy family getting away with spending the bulk of their time on an obsessed mission to fling dirt at other employees. They would be fired.
Yet we all pay for wages most of us will never personally know so that these public servants can, largely, waste their time and our money on squabbling. I’m certain they do some work, but it is clearly not in proportion to their wage, simple as that.
But that is just my opinion.
As is always the way as we trundle closer to another election, the chain mail becomes more feverish. The political propaganda finds itself filling up my inbox, sent by well-meaning friends and family. As usual, I’m amazed by the utter nonsense people are willing to quaff in favour of their political slant.
Carl Sagan is correct; we are not well taught to be critically minded, which serves their (wasteful, in my opinion) purposes more than our own.
In recent years, we have been subjected to both major parties attempting to “find themselves” in the wake of the rejection of Howard. Throughout the Howard years, also as an undergrad student and a father, I wondered how it could possible get worse, but his ejection left a void with both the Labour and Liberal parties failing to rebrand themselves with a new leaders.
Sure, I feel they came close with Rudd and Turnbull, the latter more so strikes me as a genuinely intelligent individual, while the former more charismatic. However, in both parties, egos and ambition has washes away all credibility until we’ve reached this point where voters seem to be selecting the lesser of two evils.
This is precisely the fuel that feeds the wasteful mud hurling and breathless speeches of our current age. Both parties are out solely to make the other seem, in the eyes of the voter, as the greater evil.
The worst part of this, for me, is the political tripe that pollutes my inbox. Certain Larry Pickering cartoons and xenophobia based on a continual obsession over refugee policies – both parties attempting to make the other look more evil on the subject.
The main cartoons doing-the-rounds reflect paranoia over the carbon tax. It will not lead to a mass exodus of business within Australia. Over the past 40 years, cheap labour in “developing” nations and the drive for conglomerate business, ‘consume or perish’, have done more to encourage business to head off-shore than the tax ever will.
I would also argue that any company likely to survive this century should instead “adopt, adapt and improve”. Whether we wait until the signal is too great for the noisy crowd to ignore the fact that we are modifying the chemistry of our atmosphere, allowing it to trap more heat, or even longer still that we wait until fossil fuels are deep into the decline of Hubbert’s bell curve, eventually, we will need to decarbonise our energy supply.
Smart and ultimately successful industry leaders will be proactive; the trend-setters and the revolutionary, as they always have been throughout history. You will not be able to avoid decarbonisation forever and it will be tomorrow’s leaders whom adapted early, leaving the rest to scramble (or pay the successful to utilise their improved processes) somewhere in their wake.
The second point above is more disturbing. It plays on a deeply racist white Australian history that sickens me and I suspect most younger Australians (and hopefully, most older Australians as well).
The common cries I hear are; “English language only!” “Australian culture or go home!” and “Close the borders!”
These points are inherently absurd.
Until the first European settlers, there were several hundred native languages across Australia. English is and must remain as much, a foreign language. It is not, after all, “Australianese” or something else equally difficult to pronounce.
Likewise can be said about the Australian culture; what most Australians think of as the Australian culture is, in reality a bastardisation of the numerous UK and west European cultures, blended more recently with a generous helping of another colony making an identity for itself; the US. The Australian culture is none of these cultures, true, but it is partly all of these mixed together by a new invent; “Australiana” – White Australiana; we have largely ignored the cultures native to this country before European arrival.
With that in mind, the third desperate chant is the most ridiculous.
I am an Australian. On my father’s side, my family dates back to 1870 on these shores and I have a great-Grandfather whom fought, as an ANZAC, over in Europe in the Second World War. His family went as far as to change their German last name.
I’m proud of my family history within this country, but recognise it’s a short history, ~140 years, when compared to the native history, likely to be as much as 50,000 years in the making.
Without open borders, it would be impossible to have an Australian culture anything like that we recognise today. And if it’s a great culture, we shouldn’t need to preserve it within fortified walls, but rather export it to the world and share it with all those we meet.
That would be a measure of its value; for if it’s as great as we believe, it would be adopted in full, or in part, by others exposed to it. If it isn’t great, it won’t be and we could ask ourselves (if we are courageous enough to do so), where did we go wrong with it?
Certainly that would be better than exporting xenophobia and racism as cultural traits. What about the general ignorance we express for native Australian culture as well?
These traits do not reflect me and I hope they don’t reflect the Australian culture at large in the 21st century.
Of course, as I began with; this is all the result of political propaganda. Propaganda from a political scene in turmoil, with two leaders nobody trusts or particularly likes.
For me, I’m bored to the point of nausea by the hypno-toad speeches of our current PM and whenever I see Abbott’s face, I hear Billy Connolly’s voice in my head saying, “The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever becoming one. The desire for power is a dangerous thing.” (for instance)
It’s unlikely things will change greatly within this coming around (regardless which of these two individuals comes to take the centre stage); either way, we will be disappointed.
What I hope more so from writing this is to get the neurons firing; I hope to see people become more critically minded in response to the information presented to them, regardless of the source. Australia is running almost entirely on emotions; emotions that are sometimes warranted while in other cases not. We are being fed anger, hatred and xenophobia by the barrelful.
Pointing the finger is the last resort of a scoundrel with no redeemable personal traits and this is all these public servants are offering us at the moment. We pay their wages and we should expect more than such cheap tricks for our dollar.
Australia; please think!