When it’s all boiled down, politicians aren’t actually there to run the country. That’s what we have the public service for. It’s not that politicians don’t have the right to set the agenda after winning an election; it’s just that very few of them would have the faintest idea how to actually put their ideas into practice.
Politicians are there to argue their case, get elected and then to instruct the public service to implement their policies. The public service is there to – as far as possible – implement their policies while explaining to them the implications and problems associated with said policies.
“Yes, Prime Minister, I know that you were elected on a policy of absolutely no taxation, but you are aware that this will mean that your government has no revenue whatsoever to pay your salary. This is not a problem but it means that you’ll be running a rather large budget deficit and the following five hundred and twelve page summary of our thirty eight volume report on the consequences has been attached to this email for your consideration.”
Anyway, when Abbott and Hockey tried to say last month that they had good policies, they just didn’t explain them well, I thought that was rather like a teacher saying that he had an excellent curriculum, he just couldn’t get the students to listen to him because he hadn’t managed to engage them or even get them to turn up to class. Or perhaps a better example would be a salesman who tried to argue that they had an excellent product, they just couldn’t sell it, so it was really unfair that they were losing their job just because they hadn’t made a sale in two years.
Hockey didn’t seem to think there was any contradiction in pointing out that the way to afford a house in Sydney was to “get a better job” – in other words, earn more money – and his repeated insistence that the Budget Deficit couldn’t be fixed by raising revenue (in other words earn more money).
However, after Tony’s “Let’s really trash the memory of Maggie Thatcher by inviting the most arrogant sycophant we can find” speech, I got to thinking.
Tony seems to think that his most significant achievement is stopping the boats. Now, part of the reason that – prior to his election – people didn’t think he’d be able to stop them was the fact that they presumed that he’d actually be bound by the normal international protocols. They failed to understand that he was channeling Idi Amin.
Anyway, Abbott’s great success at stopping the boats made me think that I could start my own political party and call it the “End Poverty Party”.
Our first plank would be to end homelessness.
While it may not be a crime to be homeless, loitering is still a crime and we could round up all the homeless and send them off to detention centres in some un-named location. OK, this may cost more than actually putting them all up in a motel for the rest of their lives, we need to send a message to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place.
Some bleeding hearts will undoubtedly complain about human rights being ignored and attempt to use what’s now happening to the homeless to further their own narrow political agenda of human rights for all. To prevent this we’ll make revealing the location of the homeless or anything that happens there subject to the secrets act and therefore punishable under the anti-terror laws. (Of course, we won’t use these against journalists. Providing the journalists cooperate when taken in for questioning.)
However, if something should leak out, we’ll just simply say that we “Stopped the Homeless” and that we did out of concern for them because we didn’t want them taking the risk of sleeping rough. And we’ll point out that no deaths have occurred in the street since we implemented our policy and we’ll start lecturing other countries on how it’s done.
Now, unlike Mr Abbott, I realise there’s more to government than just having one policy. I also have a plan to end poverty by making it illegal and anyone with less than a certain amount of money would have to pay a large fine. This sort of deterrent should give people an incentive not to be poor. If they couldn’t pay the fine, they could work it off and in a scheme similar to work for the dole, we’d offer them to employers for nothing. This would promote jobs and growth, because look how many employers would hire extra people if they didn’t have to pay them. This would also rule them out of the housing market giving a much needed pause to the current housing boom. Not having homes to go to would mean that they were happy to stay at work all day and all night and Australia’s productivity would skyrocket.
Yes, it’s true that people could get around this by becoming an employer, but this is the sort of country we want to promote: One where everyone’s an employer and the only workers are those coming out on 457 visas or with some company that’s bringing its own workers because there’s a shortage of people with necessary language skills to talk to the other people working for the company.
Obviously not everyone should work for nothing. Certain people deserve to be well paid for their endeavours. People who have special skills. Like Arthur Sinodinis, who was paid $200,000 for his skills by Australian Water Holdings. But to earn that sort of money he had to put in long hours sometimes working 25 to 40 hours a year performing work so complicated that he couldn’t actually remember the detail. Or people like Joe Hockey who is now to become an ambassador so that he can use his skills to explain Australia’s position with such the same diplomacy as his poor people don’t drive comments or when he told us that Jula Gillard didn’t deserve respect.
On social issues, such as gay marriage, we believe that some should be determined by having on non-binding plebiscite on whether we should take the change to a referendum, while others should be decided by a conscience vote. And in the case of certain policies, we believe that people with a conscience would all vote the same way that I do, so I’ll just determine the policy and we’ll hear no more about it, apart from the sort of people that whinge about everything so we can just ignore them.
And finally, because three policies is surely not enough, we’ll have a fourth: we’d have a policy on climate change. We’re against it – naturally. However, if it isn’t caused naturally, then we need to do something about it. And the best way to combat climate change is to make people more aware, so we have a moral obligation to export our coal so that places where they don’t burn coal for electricity can see first hand the damage done by coal-fired power stations. Not only that, but once these places have electricity they’ll be able to get the internet and read all the articles and be better informed, so they’ll know all the facts because if there’s one thing the internet gives you, it’s access to unbiased, clear-headed information. Of course, some want a ban on coal, but what good would that do. Our coal produces just a small percentage of the world’s greenhouse gases. Any action Australia takes would be about as meaningful as a burglar ceasing to rob. It wouldn’t have any real effect on the crime statistics. There’s no need for him to change his behaviour, and there’s certainly no need for the police to investigate his crime. In fact, I’m not even sure that burglary exists and if it does, I’m not sure that it’s the burglar who’s causing it.
As you can see, I have the basis for the sort of party that’s a real threat to Turnbull. Once I launch my party, there’s a real danger that a large number of his party will defect and join it.
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