The End is Nigh
There are so many issues to cover within my 500-word limit this month, but let’s see if I can achieve a seamless merger between topics. First up, the deadly coronavirus…
The virus’ source is suspected to be linked to an illegal wild animal ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, China, but are we confronting the porcupine in the room? No, the Australian media seems less concerned about the cause, the fatalities and the potential spread of the disease than they are about the virus’ impact on the stock market and travel industry.
The end is indeed nigh. The ASX200 has slumped 1.35 per cent as the virus gathers pace, and the coronavirus has even hit mining shares! Every day, the headlines are the same, with big business and the mainstream media completely losing the moral plot.
On the topic of mining shares and moral plots, how good is Andrew Forrest?! The ‘Benevolent One’, who has been a vocal opponent of a mining/carbon tax, has raided his coffers to ‘donate’ $70 million to bushfire relief, most of the money being used to develop a ‘national footprint’ for fire resistance in conjunction with other business leaders. By business leaders, I assume Andrew includes the ‘Big Gina’, who prefers to blame the fires on ‘red tape’ rather than climate change. I expect that Twiggy’s ‘national footprint’ will focus on avoiding his own carbon footprint and will instead involve land clearing (a huge boon to property developers) and mega dam building.
And while New South Wales burned, the news that 725,000 litres of water has been carted to Lithgow each day to save 140 coal mining jobs had Pearl reaching for her 1952 revised standard version of the Holy Bible to check whether Jesus was in fact a coal miner, not a carpenter. What type of nation have we become when it’s okay to squander a precious resource (at least carpenter Jesus turned water into wine) to save 140 jobs in a dirty resource industry, while Telstra is applauded by investors for planning to slash 8,000 jobs to achieve higher profits?
Surry Hills once had a thriving clothing manufacturing industry until it was moved overseas. Did I hear outcry and political blackmail from the machinists who were predominately working class, female and migrant, and had backgrounds in no other industry? Why are Australians so quick to swallow the rural jobs and growth crap (which includes the environmentally devastating forestry industry) yet are blind to where the real job losses are?
Speaking of the clothing industry, it comes as no surprise that Jeans West has gone into administration, with 988 jobs at risk – many in rural areas. But why is consumer confidence to blame? When is the retail industry going to face up to the facts – Australia is a market economy, not a command one, and the populace cannot be forced to spend.
Alas, if only Jeans West management had taken Pearl’s advice on the ills of high-rise and skinny jeans, I could have been the hero who saved 988 jobs – with not a drop of water involved.