Thursday, 19 August 2010

If only I had a mass audience...

In these parlous times we are threatened by practically everything, not the least of which is the prospect of Tony Abbott governing the country. If I had access to a mass audience I could disseminate the following opinions, and force them down the throats of my fellow citizens - just like all the shock jocks do, but with considerably less damage to the polity and with far greater advantages to all those qualities of fairness, compassion and democracy which we claim are our national characteristics.

To those who criticised the Rudd Government about its failures in the administration of the home insulation scheme, I ask why there has been no public outcry about of those who ripped off the system, the nation, the taxpayers. They were the ones who caused the deaths, by their use of unqualified and untrained workers. They ignored industrial health and safety laws, and avoided their duty of care to their workers. Why do the newspapers, television and the right wing commentariat not expose and denounce these people who ripped off and fleeced the nation, thus undermining a very good policy and programme, which must have saved vast numbers of people quite a lot of money on their power bills, enabled them to live in more comfort, and been good for the environment? They should be prosecuted for their failures, their frauds and for their criminal negligence.

And yes, yes, I know that the scheme should have been better administered and supervised, but is it not startling, in this blessed land of ours, that so many were prepared to rort the system and rip off the taxpayer? Presumably the scheme gave jobs to many of those who might otherwise have been out of work because of the GFC. Why do journalists not identify, denounce and denigrate the rorters?

And as for the Schools Building programme, yes, again it should have been better administered. But just imagine the outcry which would have arisen if all the school principals had been required to undertake and manage the contracts, the costing and to supervise the actual construction, irrespective of what they might or might not have known or understood about such matters. In addition to their normal workloads. Who are all these rip off merchants? They should be prosecuted for fraud. A pox on their houses!

But Oh No,  it is much more fun to denounce government, and to do the utmost to undermine the efficacy and standing of democratic systems and processes. Enormous scope is given to whingers,  doom-sayers and spiteful, malicious journalists who concentrate on trivialities rather than undertake any serious policy analysis. Avaunt, say I.

There are some miserable sods out there who advocate submitting blank ballot papers, as though it were a gross outrage and imposition to be required to participate in an election, and to have a say in deciding who governs the country. Shame, I say. If it is so bad here, go and emigrate to a dictatorship and try that for size. Just don't go whinging anywhere near me. Try counting blessings instead. Or pray to be saved from the political equivalent of a fate worse than death.


Elisabeth said...

Persuasively, put. I wonder too about the tendency to allocate blame in this excessive reactionary way and not to consider that those who are in fact responsible might also to bear some responsibility.

I hated the way people talked about Christine Nixon after the bushfires, as if she were an arsonist or a bad bad mother, who let her children burn. People still love witch hunts, it seems.

The attitudes of the shock jocks, the attitudes of people who want to get rid of uncomfortable feelings by loading them onto the shoulders of whoever is in authority at any particular time is truly scary.

As you say, were we living in a dictatorship here in Australia then we'd really know something about how awful life can be. That is, when a dictator blames his people for not doing as they're told and exterminating them accordingly.

Frances said...

Hola, Persiflage! Well said!

Anonymous said...

I remember in primary school, over a decade ago now, we were told that it cost $6 per voter to hold an election. I can only imagine what the cost is these days -- $20 per voter, perhaps? Why would anyone want to waste $20 and some paper by not voting or voting informally as a protest? When I and my friends turned 18 some of them elected not to enrol, which I thought was so silly and naive. If we don't exercise our democratic rights, then we won't be able to complain should they ever get taken away. A cloud of pessimism is hanging over me as regards to this election, and it's so easy to think, 'my vote doesn't count', but ultimately every vote does. I truly believe that.

You make some excellent points about the media's inability to ask any real questions. I am growing tired of the obvious and never-ending agenda-setting that keeps real issues out of the public consciousness.

Zenom said...

Well put and for the previous (current) term I am quite agreeable but the prospect of some of the upcoming policies for the next terms is quite concerning (Internet censorship, Internet logging, privacy Law reforms to do with logging minute financial misdemeanors (like late phone bills affecting your credit record). We need a tri-party system, me thinks.

Meggie said...

I heartily agree with everything you have said. I positively cringe at the thought of 'the Wingnut' as I call him, governing this country.

WV is 'fulanity', which seems to fit rather well!