‘Beware the great union comeback’ is the actual name of an actual article. On the front page of the Australian this headline was coupled with a dire warning that ‘Unions are using their ALP influence to make a comeback and it won’t take long for the public to understand the ramifications.’
It all seems to hint at a looming communistic overthrow of our local shopping centres and industrial parks, any moment now. Apparently, for writers and readers of the Australian, the word ‘Unions’ now stands in for all the corruption, thuggery, oppression of the masses, and failed business ventures, that have ever occurred, all across recorded history.
Right from the outset our intrepid journalist Mr Robert Gottliebsen so obviously wants you to shiver and be scared. The Unions are once again coming to kill off any possibility you might become stinking rich! The Unions are coming to kill your dreams! It’s well known that Unions just want to eat up all your well deserved prosperity. Unions eat prosperity and kill dreams. That’s what they do.
What can you do when presented with this sort of pap but to turn away and let a shiver run up your spine? Yet even as you turn the page you know you are likely just turning from one batch of pap to another, but you, like most every other Aussie, will persist regardless. This is what ‘reading a newspaper’ has become. Unfortunately, looking for news in our newspapers is now a hit and miss affair. Sometimes you can decode what really happened. Sometimes the veil of political smear and spin is simply too think to be able to work out what actually happened.
Our modern multi-media, all-singing-all-dancing, ideological extravaganza has shifted so far away from traditional reporting that the Daily Telegraph can boast, on its front page, a picture of Scott Morrison pictured as a Superhero labouring to save the working man; with no irony intended.
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly when the role of political commentator transitioned from acting as a reporter to being an ideological warrior, but now it is so blatant that many political hacks don’t even bother to try and join up the dots. It’s become both sad and scary.
There is nowhere left to go. Our political commentators, as a professional category, have jumped the shark. We all know that. In fact at times you have to put on an ideological filter just to be able to read the newspaper without being blinded by the apparent absurdities.
Newspapers like the Telegraph and the Australian have now moved into another realm of ‘reporting’ entirely. One where it is impossible to out-ludicrous the actual text. A part of our press where any attempt at parody appears to be a mere washed out imitation of reality. It might even be life threatening. It makes you want to guffaw and vomit simultaneously.
Which of course brings us back to how obviously nasty and horrible and despoiled and thuggish and naturally not-nice all unions are: Mr Gottliebsen addresses the situation of fire-fighters in Victoria.
He laments that: ‘Premier, Daniel Andrews, wants firefighting in the state to be controlled by the union [i.e. the fire-fighters]. Under the plan agreed to by the Premier and the fire union, members of the union [ie accredited fire-fighters] need to attend every fire.
There are some 60,000 volunteers available to fight fires in Victoria via the CFA and they are one of the best fire fighting organisations in the world [i.e. because they are all highly trained accredited fire-fighters]. Under the Premier’s plan volunteers will be controlled by members of the union or somehow unionised [i.e. will continue to be unionised].’
Obviously this is a recipe for disaster. The Victorian fire-fighters are going to remain unionised despite the obvious and pressing need for us all to become ‘aspirational, patriotic, working men and women of Australia’. Apparently they have not suddenly woken up in the middle of the night realising, in a fit of existential humility, that they simply cannot organise the fighting of fires without first consulting Adam Smith and their local LNP branch.
The model that the fire-fighters and the Government in Victoria have settled on is so obviously perverse that it cannot be in the public interest. It includes only the people who are funding the activity and the people who are engaging in the activity! All without any business being involved? It’s a total and outright travesty! No wonder Gottliebsen is getting annoyed. It’s the thin edge of the wedge.
The takeover of the fire-fighting capacity in Victoria by the people who are actually fighting the fires is downright anti-commercial. What next? Socialistic free water? Communistic free roads, rail, sewage, and telephone services? Free electricity poles? All without an added layer of commercial activity making it twice as expensive?
It’s absurd. Because Scott Morrison is a working class hero and Greg Hunt is a defender of the environment. And unions are bad because unions are bad because unions are bad.
Just a bit more than seven weeks to go before we vote and then get to enjoy another two months of non-stop political speculation and hoopla.
I better stop typing now. I’m feeling just a tad queasy.
See also: Election 2016: Media Groundhog Day
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