2017: A Year To Forget
Pearl is no oracle, but while casting my prophetic eye back over 2017 I realised my favourite fruit, the humble blueberry, had proven to be my crystal ball. Being demoted from its number one position in the List of Super Foods for 2017 and cast aside for some slimy, vile fermentation, the blueberry was a harbinger of the madness ahead.
2017’s tone was set early with the inauguration of President Trump, the man sent down by God to assist the wealthy and neo-conservatives regain their rightful place at the helm of the world after the long-haired lefties had destroyed it under Obama. With a few mass shootings thrown in to prove the NRA were still in control, America had returned to its nut-job glory.
And, with America being Australia’s closest ally and social barometer, it was only right that our politicians should follow Trump’s lead on social and ecological degradation in 2017. First off the block was the announcement in January that Centrelink would expand its unethical data matching debt recovery system, a move which failed to receive publicity, with the media instead deeming welfare recipients far more worthy of Ray Hadley’s talkback wrath than tabloid newsprint. While the Federal Government continued its reign of terror on society’s most vulnerable, it hypocritically allowed directors of liquated companies to escape liability for $1.6 billion of unpaid wages, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill of Maserati-driving bankrupts. And, as I write this column, it has been revealed that ExxonMobil has paid zero tax on its revenue of $18 billion.
Next on my radar for 2017 was the future of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, which is set to be sacrificed, along with Queensland’s ground water (which is being provided for free), so that a dubious company called Adani can export coal from their Carmichael mine to India. Funny that this “poverty-busting miracle” of capitalism will require taxpayer funding to destroy this precious gift from nature, along with the Queensland tourism industry.
And, talking of taxpayer funding, what about the $160 million marriage equality plebiscite? Australia has conveniently overlooked the man responsible for this malarkey, John Howard, who in 2004 amended the Marriage Act to exclude gay couples. Dare I suggest the Federal Government recover the plebiscite’s cost from Johnny by garnisheeing his parliamentary pension and speaker engagement fees? And, when it comes to being overlooked, Julie Bishop (who should go down in history as the lawyer who represented CSR in its fight against asbestosis compensation) was at her diplomatic best trusting that Donald Trump would “find new and creative ways to deal with North Korea,” while accusing the Prime Minister of NZ of meddling in Australia’s citizenship debacle. It was when this ridiculous debacle resulted in an indigenous-identifying woman losing her seat, while Matthias Cormann retained his, that I knew that I should have succumbed to fermented slop and taken up Goat Yoga!
Happy 2018 Australia! Keep on Rocking in the Free World!