Corruption of MatesSorry readers, but I need to get serious as I am hurting. My be- loved adopted country, Australia, is ailing. A love of democracy is close to my Greek heart, which is currently pained. All I see in Australia is its corruption by mates – the nepotism of the entitled put- ting their mates and their children and friends into positions of power with no regard for merit, wisdom, integrity or even, god forbid, intelligence. We are being led largely
by stupid people. There is now the ridiculous situation of a self- entitled careerist married couple as Commonwealth and NSW cabinet ministers. New family dynasties are looking to replace the Downers, Creans and Fergusons.
Is it any wonder our public discourse and leadership have descended so low? Most young Australians have zero political interest as they no longer see
the process helping them. And these are the actual owners of the country. Look what the corruption of mates led by the Bushes and Clintons has given the US – a psychopathic demigod infesting the swamp with, yep, his family.
Government policies are now outsourced to the highest and loud- est bidder. It is a lot easier this way; there’s less work to do. Whether it’s energy, the Murray-Darling Basin, climate change, poker machine reform, destruction of the ABC, or the Opera House as a billboard. Where have the concepts gone of civility (rudeness dominates the public discourse) and building this great nation? Instead we get a live Utopia, a mimic of television satire making mockery of the mates. Thank you ABC.
These mates have corrupted the political process to look after themselves. That is all they are about; it’s their career. They don’t give a rat’s arse about people.
They have no lights on the hill for guidance, only blinding ideology that requires no thinking. There is no technical strength or analytical discipline in these ministers, their backbench or their policy advisers. They rely on purchased policies and their spin doctor PR machines to confuse, confound and coerce.
Instead of cultivating our interests with our neighbours in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands, they take their policies from the American bullies and make us enemies we don’t need in the Middle East. Instead of elevating clever people to develop policies for industries of the future, like renewable energy, battery storage, electric vehicles, digital education and decentralisation, we have the shock jocks selling the myopic self interest of the moneyed classes.
These mates can’t extol the great Australian virtues of egalitarianism, a fair go and self-reliance. They’re so removed from the people, the barbecue, the pub and the workplace that if you talked or acted liked them you would be sacked, get a punch in the mouth or, at best, have your pay docked.
Consuela, my dear sister, often bewails: “What’s to be done to save this wonderful land of multicultural opportunity?” Getting rid of this professional political class has to be the priority. Maximum fixed terms of, say, eight years should get them into the work- force where most have never been. It might reduce our superannuation bill. How many ex PMs are on the gravy train right now? Seven!
Get the children out of the minister’s office – let them have only three adults and write their own speeches. Rebuild the public service as a noble, robust institution restored as custodians of regulation and our common air, land and water resources. The Chinese don’t employ children to run their country; they like technically capable people.
Finally, every minister responsible for a portfolio should either have a background in it or have to spend a few days a week working on the frontline – I am talking technically proficient adults as our leaders and policy makers.
Unfortunately, we have far too many politicians in Australia across the three tiers of government, numerous parliaments and the nut job senators. They are
all self-obsessed. Constitutional reform, like the inevitable republic, is rarely discussed. Is it any wonder that the great welfare state of Tasmania has the world record for politicians per head?
Our democracy has failed. I think I will go and visit Greece to see what happens next. “Don’t despair,” I hear Consuela cry. “Hope springs eternal.”