Someone asked me how my wife feels about having our conversations repeated in my articles. Of course, I had to explain to the person that, while it’s true I have a wife, the one I write about is like the Liberal plan for jobs and growth: mainly fictional. However, it made me realise that many people don’t realise that most of what I write is completely made up. The confusing part, I guess, is that my prognostications are largely accurate and even my invented sources give more realistic information than the ones that the newspapers create.
However, it worries me sometimes that what I write seems to be proving a template for some of our less able politicians. While I have no evidence that they’re actually reading it, I’ve decided to let that pass on the grounds that we’re not only in a post-truth world, but we entered a post-evidence world quite a while ago. When John Howard, for example, told us that he had to support an emissions trading scheme when PM for political reasons but he rejected climate change on “intuition”, nobody mocked him for basing his judgement on a gut feeling and ignoring science.
So when I wrote my piece on a company removing the stuff from my property, a lot of people took it as an allegory for the way the whole Adani fiasco was going. Now I’d just like to point out that – just as Trump reminded us that he never said “Israel” in any of his bragging to Russia – I never said, “Adani”. It was all a work of fiction.
But the trouble with fiction is that people are quick to see parallels in real life. For example, if I were to write that the company told me that the space under my house would be ideal for a meth lab, then some people might think that there really is a space like that and that I’d be silly enough to put myself in danger by have something as dangerous as that under my house. Unless, of course, we were using coal as a heat source. Whatever, some of you may suggest that selling dangerous drugs is the wrong thing to do anyway, but I’ve been convinced by the words of Malcolm Turnbull, “If we don’t sell, someone else will.” He went on to say that ours was better quality.
Ok, ok, he wasn’t talking about drugs. He was talking about coal which, as everyone knows, will lift India out of poverty because once Adani starts producing, there’ll be so much coal that even someone with no job can afford it. However, I think the point remains.
In reality, I have no intention to start a meth lab. Ok, the company and I did discuss it, but just like One Nation and their attempt to make lots of money from campaign materials, we knocked it on the head almost straight away. And that’s the point, isn’t it? I mean it’s fine to discuss a plan for doing something immoral or illegal providing you knock it on the head straight away… Or when someone produces a tape of you talking about it. Which hasn’t happened in my case, because – like I pointed out before – my writing is largely fictional like One Nation’s concern for the battler.
So much for me…
Let’s move on to Adani!
Last year, I wrote that the Adani mine wouldn’t go ahead because it just isn’t commercially viable. I did add the caveat that there was always the possibility that governments would be so determined not to have the deal collapse because, well, jobs and growth and coal and all that, and Queensland has really high unemployment and we can’t use government money to come up with ways of employing them. We have to give it to a company and let them find ways to employ them because the Adani mine is going to create 10,000 jobs according to one estimate, but that includes the government jobs in 2085 cleaning it up after whichever Adani company responsible has declared bankruptcy.
So we offer them an interest free loan to build a railway… Well, we might. And when that’s not enough the Queensland state government offers them a bit of a royalty “holiday” which means that the Adani family will make more in the first year than Queensland makes in the first ten. But that’s not enough. Adani is now considering its position and has put the mine indefinitely on hold.
Yep, that’s why I write fiction. The truth is so unbelievable!