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When the rules don’t matter

By Kyran O’Dwyer

We are now three and a half years into the worst attempt at government the IPA has ever launched. At any level, it has become easy to be distracted by the incessant noise, whilst losing track of the major issues.

We now have a band of miscreants who are so enamoured of their own voices, they no longer tolerate any criticism of their utterances. We now have a band of miscreants whose incompetence borders on the criminal. We now have a band of miscreants whose wilful ignorance of the reality of those they claim to represent borders on the negligent. We now have a band of miscreants whose sense of self entitlement borders on the corrupt.

In the absence of any scrutiny, oversight or governance, they cannot be accused of incompetence, criminality, wilful ignorance, negligence or corruption. They have made the rules.

And the rules don’t matter. Well, not to them.

In the off chance that anyone wishes to challenge them, or their utterances or edicts, rest assured the challenger will be subjected to the most forensic and personal scrutiny by their enforcers.

Not the police, or Border Farce, or the AFP. They don’t have enough power, yet, to be able to regulate the behaviour of those they claim to protect.

The media. The ultimate enforcer. Name and shame. Make the conversation about the critic, not the criticism. Make the issue about the personality, not the substance. No need for gathering evidence, laying charges and costly trials. Slur, innuendo and inference will do just fine.

Noise, noise, noise. Avoid the substance, at all costs.

From the Merriam Webster dictionary:

The Multiple Meanings of anarchy
“Anarchy exemplifies how words may have similar yet distinctive meanings. The earliest recorded use of the word, from the early 16th century, meant simply “absence of government,” albeit with the implication of civil disorder. A similar but ameliorated meaning began to be employed in the 19th century in reference to a Utopian society that had no government. The establishment of these two senses of anarchy did not stop the word from being applied outside the realm of government with the broadened meaning “a state of confusion or disorder.” The existence of definitions that are in semantic conflict does not imply that one (or more) of them is wrong; it simply shows that multi-sense words like anarchy mean different things in different contexts. Another example of a sense-shifting word relating to government is aristocracy. When first used in English, this word carried the sole meaning “government by the best individuals.” It may still be used in such a fashion, but more commonly, it is encountered in the extended sense “the aggregate of those believed to be superior.”

The IPA government extols the virtues of the ‘absence of government’ theorem, with the threat of ‘civil disorder’. The ‘market’ should be the ultimate arbiter. Any dissent is of no consequence. If the media is not subject to any oversight, other than ‘self governance’, they can be unleashed anytime and anywhere. The prospect of any resultant ‘civil disorder’ is either minimized or negated.

The rules don’t matter. We should only have enough rules to hold the loopholes together.

The number of times – just in the past few months – that we have seen the disparity in the application of rules beggars belief. A politician should be excused for transgressions against their rules, on the basis ‘It was merely an oversight’. Whilst any ‘welfare’ claimant can, and, apparently, should be accused of a transgression against their rules and be demanded to produce evidence to the contrary.

Our ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, subject only to the oversight of two industry appointed self-regulated bodies, will provide advice to the government on tax law, and provide advice to their clients on how to avoid the laws they have proposed.

Our ‘Big Four’ banks, currently subject to no more oversight than APRA, will provide advice to the government as to why other financial institutions should not get the benefit of ‘the guarantee’, going back to the GFC.

Our environment is in trouble too. Therefore, we need to defund science and deprive scientists of any voice. Silence the scientists and fund the abusers of the environment.

Our children are in trouble too. Do we educate them through Gonski, or simply say we can’t afford it? Or do we avail our children of services to enable their parents to do both of their jobs? Parent and provider.

Once upon a time, we had NDIS, NBN, Medicare, minimum working wage, minimum working conditions.

We now have domestic violence (DV) as a major problem. Economically. That is the only language our government understands. We have a current Minister for Women that has actually retreated from the last Minister for Women’s strong position on hating DV, whilst defunding all of the services that would support the victims of those very crimes.

We no longer tolerate the notion of equality. Whether it be colour, gender, religion, sexuality. No matter, it doesn’t matter.

One of the most egregious of recent transgressions is the signing of OPCAT, only in the sense that it is the ultimate ‘fire sale’ of our soul.

“Attorney-General George Brandis said the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) would be ratified by the end of this year.”

By the end of this year, we will ratify a treaty that aims to address issues such as ‘Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’.

Let’s be perfectly clear about this.

In 1948-1949, “Doc” Evatt was one of the authors of the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ through the UN. FFS, it’s 2017. The best we’ve got is Brandy, ratifying an agreement, subject to exclusions, of a concept that was not only agreed to nearly sixty years ago, but was co-authored by an emissary of the Australian government.

“The aim is not to shame, it is not to engage in an act of moral vanity, it is to cooperate in a mutual endeavour to bring about a tangible improvement to the treatment of people in detention.

The ratification of the treaty would not affect the Manus Island offshore processing centre because Papua New Guinea has not ratified the same treaty.

The Government of Nauru ratified the treaty in 2013.”

My contention is that the rules only apply to some. And only apply under certain circumstances. And, worst of all, if you can afford ‘good’ advice, they won’t apply to you.

Our IPA government is on a hiding to hell. Who cares?

Until such time as governance and government are restored, we remain in their image.

Unions can no longer call a general strike, without observing the rules. There is a place for civil disobedience, however. It was demonstrated last week.

Most Australians are perfectly aware of the issues that they face on a daily basis.

March in March? Feck, yes (In Australian, “f*ck, yeah”). If enough of us turn out, we might make a difference. A Utopian society does not require rules. Any Utopian society would be based on respect and dignity, for one and all. These anarchists rely on a ‘state of confusion or disorder’ to justify their absence of rules.

I’m no fan of aristocracy. But democracy should not deprive us of “government by the best individuals”.

(I tried fitting this into a sign to march with. My bad).



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  1. David Bruce

    We once had a rule which said “hollow point bullets (dum dums) are illegal” too. Now they are available to our military and probably to police SWAT teams. If you don’t know what I am talking about, have a look at some photos of the Palestinians who have been shot by Israeli snipers to see the results of hollow point bullets. With OPCAT we are condoning torture, so I just hope the March in March remains a peaceful action. Regrettably, I am unable to attend, and will be watching from 2,000 kms away..

  2. Rossleigh

    Add George Brandis’ diary to the list. He was ordered by the court to hand it over in September. Dreyfus’ legal team is looking at contempt proceedings because he still hasn’t done it. The Brandis camp has labelled this disgusting because they’re in the process of doing so.
    Six months to prepare a DIARY for handing over strikes me as incompetence, if not contempt. After all it’s only appointments and who was at the meeting for a few weeks, not Brandis’ entire career!

  3. Michael Taylor

    Ah yes, George and his diary. I hope he’s made an entry congratulating himself of his magnificent display of contempt.

  4. Michelle Petrat

    Strong, strong article! No mincing of words.

  5. Kyran

    Aaaah, the irony. Will George be the first convict returned to England in an official capacity? “Well may we say “God save the Queen”, because nothing will save the Attorney-General.”
    Oh sweet schadenfreude. Take care

  6. pierre wilkinson

    actually Rossleigh, it could well come down to being the end of Brandis’ career…
    with luck

  7. wam

    brandis’ diary trump’s tax records cash’s property, flauting of the efforts of ‘two wongs’, all may result in a couple spots of rain but none will get wet until the media see a ratings opportunity

    ou est vous guillaume??

  8. Ria

    6 months to provide a diary requested by a court? Sounds like a work of fiction. Maybe to get it proof read by an editor for grammer mistakes?

  9. helvityni

    We need more “Kyrans” writing about Oz politics.

    Ria, indeed; I could write my life story in SIX months, what’s going on.. the diary is already there with details, dates and places and names….

  10. Peter F

    Six months’ delay IS contempt, whether or not it is contempt of Court.

  11. kersten

    hi David B, we the public have access to hollow points too.If you have a firearms license just cant use them on Conservatives as they are protected species & are more rampantly feral than cane toads. Australia really needs to put some money into control of these feral pests & the damage they do to our beautiful countryside. But in all seriousness cant wait until next election to see these bastards go belly up like WA

  12. Geoff Andrews

    George has to wait for his September amendments made to last February dates to “mature” so that they can’t be forensically proven to be recent.
    (OK, OK! I ‘ve been watching too much “Midsummer Murders” and “Vera” and New Tricks” but it takes skill, patience and, more importantly, time to fudge entries to make them appear contemporaneous with the original.)

  13. cartoonmick

    More and more they trample over the underclass to get to the top end of town to cuddle and serve favours to mega business.

    At times it feels as if the word “commonwealth” no longer has a place in our name, Commonwealth of Australia.

    Your words at the top typify how many in society now feel, “punish the poor, reward the rich”.

    I created a 1 minute animation which looks at those words. It’s called “Budget Repair” and you’ll find it here on YouTube . . .


  14. Max

    Can someone please explain to me why don’t we have a law that EXPRESSLY FORBIDS deliberate actions that lead to degradation of performance in all spheres of life? If it existed IPA would never have survived for as long as it did and liberals would have been mostly in jail (where they belong). We’d have vastly better living conditions too.

  15. Deanna Jones

    I love this, Kyran, thank you. I will be marching, but I fear most of the people I know, will be too busy posting pictures of their lunch to Facebook, to join me.

  16. Christian Marx

    The IPA MUST be destroyed, or our society and 100 years of human rights in this country will perish.
    These IPA beasts are criminally insane and I believe they enjoy the suffering their policies bring.
    March In March should be just the beginning, we the people need to keep the blowtorch firing against our
    corrupt government, their complicit media and their toady IPA/big business stooges. Beyond the marches,
    the Australian people need to shut down industry and engage in mass civil disobedience.That is the ONLY way
    to stop these lunatics, via their hip pocket. March In March!

  17. roma guerin

    Well, if this isn’t a call to arms! I must share it immediately. Oh, someone at the door this late at night?

  18. Alan Baird

    Yes, an appropriate descriptor for the present charade: the IPA Government. The organisation where thought goes to tank & where the government receives its direction. Singular. The organisation that gives the government the chutzpah to carry though its sacred task: convert Oz to the ultimate pyramid scheme with spectacularly steep (and slippery) sides. The perfect geometric embodiment of the New Ideal Society with a very pointy top.

  19. Kyran

    Thank you all for your comments, they are much appreciated. It’s good, every now and then, to know there are others that feel outrage that our government is so contemptuous of those they claim to serve.
    The new ACTU secretary, Sally McManus, was apparently on 7.30.
    “Asked whether the ACTU should distance itself from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), which has faced 118 separate legal proceedings in various courts around Australia, Ms McManus said “there’s no way we’ll be doing that”.

    “The CFMEU, when they’ve been fined, they’ve been fined for taking industrial action,” she told 7.30.

    “It might be illegal industrial action according to our current laws, and our current laws are wrong.

    “I believe in the rule of law when the law is fair and the law is right.

    “But when it’s unjust I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.

    “It shouldn’t be so hard for workers in our country to be able to take industrial action when they need to.

    “Quite often these workers have stopped when a worker has been killed on a building site.””

    Thanks again. Take care

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