Historians and other yarn spinners like to tell us our nation was built on equality, reward for hard work and seeing that everybody got a “Fair Go”. I’m sure it was but somewhere in the early 1980s, some smart bastard got the idea that if labour and capital could work in, let’s say, accord, everyone would be better off. The workers’ were sold a pup. Decades of wage restraint created increasing profits for companies and the banks, particularly the banks.
After a while, and a few post-work ales, the workers realised that capital was proportionately much better off under this system than they were, and started to make some disgruntled noises. The rumblings began to resonate in the corporations (including the banks, which had by now become corporations too for legal and taxation reasons) so they turn to the Political Leader. Now that little black duck and his mate, the candy store thief, had a very cunning plan. They took all the money they were making from folks pulling stuff out of the ground and selling it off overseas and gave it to the grumbling workers as tax breaks, and said;”Go out and buy yourself the biggest telly you can find, subscribe to cable TV and take the family on an overseas holiday.”
The workers quietened down, the corporations got richer but the money the government gave away was supposed to be used on infrastructure (stuff like rail, ports, power generation, schools, Unis and the like). It wasn’t long before the duck and the thief had gotten on everybody’s nose and the country had an election.
This was won by a bloke with a pudding bowl haircut who could speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. The country was not sure if they were the qualities they needed in a Political Leader but they’d give him a go. No sooner had his bum got used to the feel of Prime Ministerial leather than a bunch of truly low-life American bankers, who had been inflating themselves for the previous 5 to 10 years suddenly blew apart, thereby creating the GFC or Global Financial Crisis or General Financial Chaos. Pudden Head to his mate the Swan (better than a duck); “Throw all the money we’ve got at the people so we don’t go into recession.” “Alright, mate, but there’s not as much as the last buggers claimed there was”; replied the Swan. “Do it anyway” was the command.
When the dust had more or less settled, and let’s face it there is still a fair bit up in the air on a global basis, the government explained what it had done and why, and the corporations in particular weren’t happy because to redress the lack of coin in the money box they were expected to chip in more, because they had more.
These crazy folks in government saw this GFC as a chance to reshape the socio-economic landscape, and being the all-encompassing fair minded mob they were began arguing about what areas of the patchwork that makes up our Nation was more important. Pudden Head had a wee bit of a problem. You see, he was used to getting his own way on just about everything, without consultation. Well at work anyway, it was rumoured things were a bit different at home. It all came to a head when he said he’d take his bucket and spade and the contents of the sandpit and go home. Other members of what was called the Elected Gang held meetings, crossed corridors and then back again, held more meetings. Some of the smarter ones took off the shoes and socks and did what is called “The Numbers” and decided that they’d like Bluey to have the top job.
This decision was immensely popular with a section of the electorate called “Women” because Bluey was a sheila. Not all members of the section called “Women” were happy but that was largely because their husbands told them not to be.
There was another election and Bluey won, but only after doing a few deals with Kermit and his mob. If that hadn’t worked the Brawler could have won, and wasn’t he dirty about it! Talk about carry a grudge! He was like Atlas and the whole World as his grudge. From day one he started slagging her off. The rest of his Boxing Troupe joined in. The Brawler was called by his mate the Dirty Digger, who made it clear that he’d prefer the Brawler holding the reins and would use all of his resources to paint Bluey in the worst possible light.
The enthusiasm for the task became infectious and the entire boxing troop tried their hand at rubbishing Bluey; for being female, unmarried, childless, female (Did I say that already?) and, of course, for lying. Although this wasn’t exactly true, the Dirty Digger told his minions to only use the first part of Bluey’s remark so that they could say she broke a promise. This was repeated so often by the Boxing Troupe and all the Dirty Diggers tissues that Davo, Stewie and the Donk at the Seven Hills tavern figured it must be Gospel truth. So with those blokes and tens of thousands of their mates fooled, the Brawler was keen for another fight, er, election.
There was a bit of distraction when a bloke in the Troupe called Roughhead got together with a couple of babbling brooks in a large country town and wrote a menu for a fundraising sausage sizzle that was very rude about Bluey. First Roughhead apologised, and then said he didn’t know what he was apologising for, before the babbler’s put up their paws and said it was all their idea and Roughhead and the rest of the Boxing Troupe had nothing to do with it.
The race was on, but not before the other mob decided Bluey was too much of a risk for being female, unmarried, childless and a lot smarter than they were, and replaced her with Pudden Head again. But not until he promised to share his toys and let the other children have turns at talking and looking like they were making decisions.
Now while all this was going on, there was someone in the Brawler’s office called the “Chief” (Short for chief cook and bottle washer, no doubt) who seemed, to anyone smart enough to look, to be actually running the whole show. Any travelling Boxing troupe worth its salt has a Chief backstage, deciding which fighter to send out, who should score a king hit, who should take a dive, making sure the work like a well oiled machine. She was doing a pretty damned good job, except that the Brawler liked to sneak out on his own on occasions. It took her giving him a few thick ears before he understood that running out of the surf in red budgie smugglers, looking like Matt Shirvington on a cold morning and greeting little old ladies was not helping him win the punters over. The Chief did, however, famously lose out in the battle of the Lycra, as the Brawler had a passion for a bike ride, so much so that he promised a lolly maker on an off-shore island a lot of money if he could ride around their island.
The Chief told the Brawler and the Brawler told the Ring Master to draw up a book that the Brawler could waive about and claim it was his “Vision for the Future” or words to that effect. The Chief specified it couldn’t be too long, for the punters would get bored, it couldn’t have too much detail, for the punters would become confused, and it couldn’t contain anything except three word slogans about what the Brawler’s Troupe would Stop, Cut, Axe and Stop, again.
It worked a charm. Between not promising to do anything except reverse what Bluey and Pudden Head’s governments had done or set in place to do, and the Dirt Digger printing atrocious lies about everyone on Pudden Head’s team, the win was assured. Just to make sure though, the Chief enlisted a bunch of squawking galahs on radio to repeat the three word slogans and the atrocious comments, while, at the same time encouraging Davo’s, Stewie’s and the Donk’s wives to ring in with even more disgusting and degrading suggestions.
So, we had a change of government last year because the majority of voters were tired of the Labor Party shooting itself in the foot and changing band leaders, plus a load of deceptions, misrepresentations and some outright lies printed by the company that owns 68% of the newspapers in the nation, and is owned in turn by the Dirt Digger. The bloke that led the Opposition at the time (the Brawler) tried to appear sincerely worried about our balance of payments (3rd best in the World) or economic viability (1st in the World) and our National debt (4th smallest in the World) and with the help of his media magnate mate conned a lot of Australians about that while launching the most gut-wrenchingly awful personal attacks on the Prime Minister, Australia’s first female Prime Minister.
He won. So then he and the Chief then set about rearranging the Australian socio-economic landscape. Together they filled the land with hatred. Hatred for asylum seekers, although the previous government wasn’t much better, hatred for the disabled, for the aged who need care, for single mothers, for the homeless, for the lower paid workers, for people who get penalty rates for social dislocation caused by work, in essence, everyone who wasn’t already very bloody rich and powerful.
This latter group would be “The Entitled”. Entitled to tax rorts, subsidies for their business and the expansion thereof, subsidies for the fuel and oil needed to run these businesses, and if the business was agriculturally based, subsidies for soil enhancers and pesticides. Mind you if you were hit by drought for too long or got flooded too often, you were struck off the list of “The Entitled”.
For the rest of us it was the “End of the age of entitlement”. This meant that if you relied on the government for money, like pensions, schoolkids’ bonus, Family Tax Benefits or the dole, you can just piss off. No access without payment is the way it is now. Your child breaks their arm in a backyard accident; you take them to a PUBLIC Hospital. If they receive treatment you have to pay. “But my taxes pay for that hospital and the staff”; you cry. “Stiff shit”; says The Brawler.
If you think you’ve got it bad (and you do), just imagine you were an “illegal” on Manus island or Nauru, or the Great Barrier Reef or an old growth forest in Tasmania. Too unrealistic? How about a dairy farmer whose land is ear marked for fracking? Or any sort of primary producer relying on the Murray-Darling river system? Let’s consider, also, the First peoples of the land who have already lost sacred places to mining and other interests, who’s representative in Canberra is none other than the Brawler himself. The Brawler broke his biggest promise to the First peoples in his first week in office. Pretty hateful, wouldn’t you reckon?