It has been remarked upon recently that how is it that the member for New England, after all his bad-judgement, all his family, spouse, community standards betrayals and not even mentioning the many reported rorts and deceptions he has played out on the State, he still is supported by many in both his party and his community.
There is a curious double standard inherent in these regional communities that goes way back to the pioneer days, and has its roots (no pun! no pun!) deep in the soil of “old family/old traditions” loyalty. Sure, and it is a misguided loyalty in these times as those same “old families” have been long watered down by new systems, new blood and new technology that has swept away the old work-ethic creed and community morality standard.
But old habits die hard … but when they DO die, they have the habit of completely falling apart and going down like a screaming bag of shit!
It works like this:
Every regional community has its’ number of “old families”… “long-time residents” … “long-time employees”. Every single one of these people over the years evolve to become part of a strata of acknowledged hierarchical status, ie; they are allocated their place in that community. Some have a leadership place, some have a “drone” place, some have the inherited if unearned respect of an influential family, while others are what you would call “floaters” – in and out of favour at some time or other – the perfect example of the Peter Principle. Then there are the “blow-ins”.
All of these “old” regional communities seem to thrive on a social diet of rumour, envy and schadenfreude. There are short and long-term feuds, niggling, petty hates and overall the cautious, suspicious envy of what the neighbour may have that you have not … and if they do have it, how did they get it!
The level that these petty trysts achieve and are operating on can be seen by the state of beauty or disrepair of the township. Those towns in a greater state of turmoil show little regard for their environment, or for the general civic repair or beauty of their town, being more concerned with their feuds than their civic obligations.
BUT! But … strangely, all these communities, no matter how divided within, will unite against what is perceived as a common outside threat. This unity of concentration is called …
The Cabal of Complicity.
There are, of course, the age-old bigotries against race, religion and politics. Then there are the new hatreds: Environmentalists seem to fill the void for a common enemy, as do refugees, strangely as most who came to this country and particularly those regional communities were refugees of one kind or another and there is that lovely old standby distrust; the Indigenous Peoples.
Curiously though, there is another “player” that comes into the picture about now, he is a “blow-in”, a newcomer, but he is saying all the right phrases that appeal to the local prejudices. He pushes all the right approval buttons. This toady targets the most influential to his station and needs. With astute flattery and sycophantic conversation, not to mention the strategic “on me” beer, he soon becomes accepted into the cabal as a “friend of the community”, he “legitimises” local opinion as being “in-tune” with the broader population and is often privy to a host of secrets, while juggling conspiracies and confederacies. He is a strange animal and in most cases a reject of the more cosmopolitan world of city-life.
This “strange animal” adopts the dress, the language, the scepticisms and the inherent suspicions against that universal political generic: “The head office” … the Guvverment. There being no easier audience to find applause from than that who knows already and shares as their own; your every story, every joke, your every prejudice.
To enter such communities and hold views in conflict with the status quo (listed above) is to court social pariahism. For although you may be of the opinion that you have just had a “heated discussion” with only one member of the community … because such a member “went to school with … “, “grew up with … “, “played football with … “, “drank with … “, “did a season shearing with … “, “works with … “, or just plain “is related to … “, it won’t be long, regardless if the culprit is despised, hated, reviled or spurned by nearly every other single individual in the entire cabal … YOU will “have the problem”.
Because the one grain, perhaps the only grain of carved-in-stone knowledge in such communities is that its very weakness is its’ strength, so each is complicit in backing-up, right or wrong, innocence or guilt, with silent dismissal or wilful disdain, its “in-house” member.
It is the strength of their denial, it is their unifying fear of “divided they fall”, for each individual, lacking a worldly confidence, distrusting worldly knowledge, has no solid footing, but is fixed in the matrix of all … it is the age-old maxim of “honour among thieves” … so take on one, you take on all!
It is The Cabal of Complicity.