Do you remember that most identifying line from the Australian classic movie “Sunday Too Far Away”? Surely one of the most culturally branded films to come out of that glorious era! And the line that was most quoted from that film: –
“It wasn’t so much the money, it was the bloody insult!”
That story-line epitomised the staunch camaraderie of the shearers striking against the threat of a cut to their wages and the arrival of scab labour. There could be no better description of the mind-set of those times. I remember the sixties and seventies strikes well, where workers would consider the insult to their status and hard-won conditions over any monetary considerations.
But now, with this Barnaby Affair and all the rest of the immoral rorting, we hear the reverse cry of:
“It’s not so much the insult, it’s the bloody money!”
Oh dear! How the mighty have fallen … and when Freethinker makes the observation that until the Aussie workers find themselves without food on the table etc, they will not know the need for revolution. And he rightfully blames the influence of the corporatising of education, where the emphasis on financial considerations are preached over and above moral and ethical necessities. I will include his relevant quotation from Noam Chomsky:
“The educational system in the US was a highly predictable victim of the neoliberal reaction, guided by the maxim of “private affluence and public squalor.” Funding for public education has sharply declined. As higher education is driven to a business model in accord with neoliberal doctrine, administrative bureaucracy has sharply increased at the expense of faculty and students. Cost-cutting leads to hyper-exploitation of the more vulnerable, creating a new precariat of graduate students and adjuncts surviving on a bare pittance, replacing tenured faculty.” (Noam Chomsky).
One can almost trace a direct line from the beginnings of “monetary policy” philosophy back in the 80s where Milton Friedman influenced the Thatcher / Reagan administrations on the supposed infallibility of his stupid theories, and the over-flow of such idiocy, as with many foolish ideas, like those of Hayek and others, found their way to Australia and into academic instruction.
Not only has a cruel economic ‘bottom line’ social condition made its impression on our nation, we are now seeing the beginnings of such cruelty creeping like an allied infection into the architecture of the cities, if we can believe a report just recently on the ABC web-page.
” But if, as urban sociologist Robert Park wrote, in making the city we make ourselves, one might wonder what collective self-conception has produced a city covered in metal spikes, illuminated by blue lights, buzzing with high-frequencies — paranoid, anxious and hostile, by design.
With his artwork, Semple aims to break down the barriers that impede social life. His latest campaign, calling on people to photograph and share examples of what he calls “design crimes”, is an attempt to document the impact this kind of design has on our urban landscape.
“Very slowly, bus stops get perches so you can’t really sit on them, spikes appear [and] there’s a lot more sound being used now,” Semple says.
“Some councils are actually playing frequencies that are targeted at young people’s ears and it stops teenagers congregating.”
“When we talk about hostile design, hostile architecture, make no mistake — there are groups of people spending time, effort and money commissioning this stuff and designing it to be as brutal as possible against human beings.”
This hard-arsed attitude to us and our very brothers and sisters has to stop! Along with the corruption of ethics and our social moral base … not calling for bans on sexuality, gambling or other everyday amusements, but at least some control on those who use such everyday humanist activities for base profit, particularly political profit!
Let’s leave the salacious intrigues between consenting adults to consenting adults, but put barriers on those who use such as their profit accruing advantage … political or business. We have reached a point, surely, where things cannot be allowed to sink any lower!
For while individual citizens’ sleaze and decadent behaviour can survive within the darker corners of the mass of society, with only the occasional light being shone upon its depraved activities, these continual displays of corruption, rorting and public exhibitions by our highest representatives of civil governance of gross personal behaviour have to be brought to an end.
This is a further example of why there must be consideration for a changing of the guard when it comes to that class of leadership.
These representatives of the middle-classes that have held the reins of governance for so long have reached their “use-by date” and have to be superannuated out of civil leadership.
Their methodology of economic solutions to social problems is dated, their methodology of education for self-indulgent individualist identity in a multi-ethnic community is dated, their “my way or the highway” policing of so many and varied ethnic and indigenous groups is a harrowing nightmare as is their lock-down method for the solutions on refugees, immigration and temporary import labour.
They are an anachronism, a spent ideology and a spent force for imaginative governance … no longer, since the days of rule by aristocracy, are they the ‘solution”.
THEY are now the problem!
We can see a new style of governance coming to fruition in Sth Australia, with the emphasis by Jay Wetherill’s Labor government huge expansions in new, renewable energy technologies and other down to earth practicalities that have and will further boost community employment and involvement.
We are seeing the beginnings of a style of “Street-level Governance”. No longer can governance be the personal property of a “held at arm’s length” elitist strata of suits and private-schooled ponces, pontificating from elitist suburbs on how the poor and vulnerable should bow and scrape to their betters … work harder and longer in several part-time or casual jobs just to make ends meet.
It won’t be long before we end up under this LNP govt’ with pensioners back to eating pet food just to survive!
We now have a drowning, panicking government that one is too scared to get near to, lest one is dragged down in their madness to grasp onto any rescuing body to hold its head above the water-line. Never has there been a worse conglomeration of corporate corrupt ministers in charge of the nation.
Time to take education, man-power management and corporate regulation from the entrepreneurial/speculative middle-classes and hand it to that strata most experienced in production and delivery of essential goods and services … the educated blue-collar working class.
Let us paraphrase that line from the movie:
”It has never been so much about the money, but more about the f#cking insult!!”
Time to change the rules! Time to change the ruling class!