It increasingly seems that we are living in a time of madness. Just when you think that the craziness that has come to mark the 2020’s could not get worse, it does.
I am referring in large part Australia, and then in the interests of inclusion and diversity include the remainder of the world.
Australia has the most inept, incompetent, self-serving, and cowardly political class for a generation. Our political leaders bicker and fight amongst themselves in the attempt to be the most woke, progressive, and enlightened, all at the behest of minorities who advocate for their chosen agenda with loud and stringent voices. Along the way the politicians conveniently forgot to remember that they are elected by their electorates to serve in the best interests of those within the electorate and not for some intellectual idiot campaigning about gay chinstrap penguins. Yes, that was a thing some months back.
Instead our politicians have become accustomed to telling all of us irritating ‘insignificant nothings’ what we really want, desire, and need regardless of any reality except for the one they have, which doesn’t include us. When you can just pander to a few, and look good on social media then why worry about the rest of the mob?
They are the weak-willed parent in the supermarket caving in and appeasing the demands of a toddler just because the toddler screams loudly, rather than standing firm and teaching the toddler that they simply will not get what they want because of a temper tantrum.
To drag the analogy out …
The toddler learns that throwing a temper tantrum and screaming will get results, so they learn to be a horrible brat. The cowardly parent has created a problem for themselves as they find themselves in the position of continual appeasement. The parent finds that they are not the one in charge any longer. The parent becomes afraid of what might happen if they no longer appease the horrible brat, and fear is perhaps one of the strongest tools that humans use to manipulate and get what they want at the expense of others.
Our politicians are the weak-willed, cowardly parents. The only problem is that they are a tad annoyed at being relegated to a subservient position and want to have some power so they look to how they can wield power over others while keeping the horrible brats quiet. That is where the room for all of us is allocated, in that the politician has a place to wield power without irritating the toddlers. It is a tension filled line to navigate for them with no firm promise of success as no-one is ever going to be totally, compliantly happy at the position they find themselves in.
2020 gave them that avenue to flex their muscles and they have seized upon that power like a wino with a lotto win. All of a sudden they were handed power over all the people in ways not seen in many decades. We had restrictions, lockdowns, and inequalities not seen in living memory.
The people who make up the rest of Australia went along willingly at first due to uncertainty and fear of a pandemic. Slowly, as the weeks turned to months and we went from 2020 to 2021 came the slow dawning that all these powers wielded were inconsistent and unequal in the way they were exercised. Not to mention that the ‘health advice and science’ were never really discussed. For to actually say this is the advice from this person, and the science from this person, would probably not be helpful for the politician and the decisions they enact.
The rich, powerful, and famous get a pass on restrictions due to them being rich, powerful, and famous. Everyone else is just a plebe to be pushed around and treated like dirt as it suits our benevolent leaders. After all if you can stop a child from seeing a dying parent with the justification that you are saving lives then you are the responsible politician. At the same time movie stars can come and go, sporting events can go ahead, and the influential and powerful can come and go as they wish because that is keeping the economy alive means you are still the responsible politician. Don’t worry about the hypocrisy as you can blame that on the mysterious science and health advice that they simply will not detail to anyone. It is bespoke bullshit that presents an argument that any who question it are suspect of wanting to incite mass death or economic destruction.
You can have thousands take to the streets to protest whatever is popular and they are given a pass by the politicians with little to no repercussions for their actions while if you dare to even voice a dissenting opinion, or protest, about restrictions and lockdowns then the police are sent in and people are treated like violent criminals. It is all about the topic and nothing else.
The police have become the strong arm of the politicians in the way they enforce control.
Can you see the hypocritical inequality?
The list of hypocrisy goes on regards our political class in that the hardships and economic damage done to this country are yet to be fully realised. Already the impact of removing economic supports introduced in 2020 are slowly coming to light, particularly as various state governments enforce random lockdowns and almost completely leave businesses to fend for themselves. Our political class believe that shutting a business down for an unspecified period of time and then allowing them to reopen will somehow just magically happen with no impact on that business or the economy. Perhaps there is little impact for big business, but small businesses which make up the majority of businesses in this country are suffering. The disconnect between public service and private enterprise at work and displayed in full.
The irony of this is that while the population experience economic hardship, our politicians and public servants have not experienced this at all, and in most cases have enjoyed pay rises. That is not extended to those public servants they class as frontline workers who have had to beg for a miniscule increase in their wages, and at one point were threatening industrial action if they were not given a pay rise that had been promised and then taken away. Weren’t they the heroes that the politicians and media lauded and showered with praise? Would it make more sense to reward them rather than some paper pusher?
Next, despite a clear and present danger from China, our political class still believe that we will somehow be immune from the seemingly relentless attacks on us economically. China is the bully in the schoolyard and our political class are the teachers who see without seeing, as to do otherwise is to actually have to do something about the bully. Besides, who wants to open that can of worms?
Basically our political class live in a bubble that protects them from the reality of life on almost every level, and it is a rose coloured bubble in that they have come to believe their own bullshit that is divorced from the reality that most Australians live with daily. If our ruling class and wealthy had to suffer under the same constraints that the average person does then their attitude would change rather quickly. Imagine taking away their pay-packets and replacing it with the welfare offered just for a start. It would be interesting to see how keen they would be to directly, and negatively, impact into their own circumstances for any period of time.
Despite everything that has happened in 2020/21 we still base our economy on tourism, mining, and real estate in the main. Export of goods from agriculture and aquaculture provide a lesser amount of economic activity, but still significant, while manufacturing is still sitting at roughly six percent of all economic activity in the country. That is despite the strong speeches that proclaimed that we had to make this country independent once more and that manufacturing had to increase to allow for independence from our single largest economic threat. So that has pretty much died on the vine due to a lack of vision and intent.
Basically, we export rocks, sell overpriced housing domestically, and entertain people on holidays as the base of our economy and GPD. Does that sound strange to you and perhaps flawed?
We have allowed our energy independence to become an expensive joke due to the pandering given to the climate emergency all without any realism applied to the problem. Apparently, we are going to be a nation of windmills and solar panels that will magically fuel all our energy needs while simultaneously reducing electricity bills and having more energy security. This is right down to every vehicle being electric in the coming decades as we remove fossil fuels from our inventory. When you look at energy creation and consumption in that fashion it tends to have some holes in it.
Any other energy source is completely unacceptable apparently. Coal is now the greatest evil ever discovered, but only for Australia as it is perfectly fine for other ‘developing’ nations to buy it from us and burn it like a pack of booze fuelled teenagers at a bonfire. Natural gas is quietly decried as being on par with the evil coal. Nuclear reactors are out as we will become an irradiated continent glowing in the dark, yet we dig up and sell yellow cake to other countries.
The strange part of the renewable energy push is that without huge government subsidies it would be totally impractical due to the costs involved. Remove the subsidies and the entire renewable market would most likely implode. We do not manufacture all those solar panels, batteries, and windmills domestically, so we have to import them from other countries. Finally, they all have a finite life, as experienced in other countries, and have to be replaced, with the environmental cost of disposal or recycling the old stuff not even discussed as it is an uncomfortable subject. Just so you know, it is easier to stick them in landfill or let them rot in place rather than to recycle them as recycling is expensive and exposes the reality of the costs environmentally and financially.
I do not suggest for one moment that humanity should not explore other avenues. What I suggest is that reality be included in the mix when exploring other alternatives and the impacts it will have on humanity and society as we know it.
I do not intend to suggest that the climate is not changing. It has done that since the planet formed and human activity has shaped some of the changes, particularly with the advent of industrialisation. What I suggest is the tunnel vision of our politicians who are too cowardly to look at alternatives and then implement them. Changes to how we base our economy, economic activity, and energy requirements. It is far simpler to allow themselves to be bullied by activists inside and outside of the political sphere, as to stand firm and have the resolve to make hard decisions that will benefit this country are beyond them as they are spineless fools who care nothing for the consequences of their actions. In some regards what is happening is as a big an event as when the internal combustion vehicle replaced the horse and cart, such is the impact on society.
After all the politicians retire with a golden parachute that allows for a life of comfort denied most Australians. They enjoy privilege after their political career that is denied most Australians. The smarter politicians withdraw from the public view, secure a position with some corporation that owes them, all the while enjoying the perks of their taxpayer funded retirement package. The idiot politicians, who have an axe to grind due to their eggshell ego being bruised thrust themselves into the spotlight as they seek retribution. Either way, they never knock back any opportunity to line their nests with more wealth and privilege. In this the disconnect between public and private service is continued.
Basically, for politicians it is a case of screw you Jack I’m fine.
Without any political bias, the last political leaders we had, in recent decades, that had any strength and resolve to make hard decisions in the best interests of the country were Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, and John Howard. To be sure they made some amazing mistakes, and at times were about as welcome as a fart in an elevator. However, they called things as they saw it and made tough decisions.
Who can forget Paul Keating on national television in 1990 telling us this was the recession we had to have? Keating was considered an unscrupulous scumbag in the main who cared little for the people of this country, yet he cared deeply and made hard choices in the best interests of the nation. That superannuation policy you have is due entirely to him as he saw that previous government policies which had taken the retirement funds delivered through taxation and had grown to a sizable fund had been slowly but surely stolen by previous governments and could never be reclaimed. Keating was the only one with the courage to call it as he saw it and put in place something he hoped could not be stolen from the people as the retirement fund had been. Howard implemented policies that served the country well despite copping flak at the time, and his policies are resurrected time and again without credit ever being given. Hawke made reforms that to this day are still in effect despite the mistakes he made both personally and professionally. I could talk of Jack Lang, an old school rascal, who put in place so many things that benefitted people in NSW that eventually they were adopted nationally. He also got his ‘boys’ to go to the bank with suitcases to grab the states funds to finance the completion of the Harbour Bridge as the opposition wanted to block supply to his government. You have to admire that sort of brazen behaviour when it is the interests of the people.
These blokes were human and understood that the things they did impacted on lives and livelihoods. They were realists as well as political animals and in that there is the difference between them, and those that have come since. Being popular, virtue signalling, appeasing, and trying to keep the good times rolling is more important than nation building to our current crop of useless fools, while to those that came before this all would have been nothing more than madness in pandering to fools and currying favour from the smallest demographic rather than the largest.
This doesn’t mean our politicians are all tarred with the same brush. It means that those who currently give a damn are silenced, ridiculed, or ignored as they are unpopular and in a popularity contest then that means more than practicality. This is the modern way now, popularity over practicality. Pandering and virtue signalling over nation building. That is until an election is looming and then the focus shifts a little bit to let the unwashed masses know that their loving leaders actually see them and care, until they secure those votes at the very least.
Australia does have some decent politicians, but they may as well not exist because they are unwanted simply because the messages they deliver does not fit the fantasy of never-ending prosperity that is promoted. The messages they deliver are not ones of sweetness and light, rather it is one of reality, and present and growing threats to our nation. The very messages that should be heeded but are regretfully ignored. They talk of nation building and national security and this is unpopular. Unpopular due to the fact that we would have to make hard decisions domestically and probably irritate a couple of countries along the way as we found our independence once more.
In that is the greatest shame of all as the voices that we should hear are the ones that we are deaf to.
The closing statement to this essay is one that should be asked on a personal level.
Do you value the country you live in or do you despise it?
If you despise it then all is fine, allow events to progress as they do.
If you value your country and the way of life you have experienced for all of your time on this earth then you are burdened with the responsibility of choice in that you alone can decide, along with countless others, that this is the way of life you wish and desire to continue. In that wish and desire you have the duty to ensure that it continues. In that duty you have the responsibility to force our pathetic political class that the path they walk down is not the path they should be following. It is not the single voice that achieves this. It is the roar of the masses that forces change be that change be for better or worse.