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The Cabal of Complicity

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.


  1. paul walter

    I’m not here to disagree with Joe Carli, the opener is a basic explanation and fair enough as far as it goes. Yet for me there is nuance to be added,from the perspective of a blue collar de industrialised urban male.

    Country people, particularly country blue collars, I can a twinge of empathy for. They come of a tradition originating in hard times that featured disempowerment, poverty, hard labour and betrayal. They are prey to media and press msm nonsenses as much as any group in the country and their subjective fears, what you’d expect given their back ground, make them especially vulnerable to manipulation.
    Like city folk with nowhere to turn but the Labor party, they have turned to the Country then Nats as some thing they’ve hoped is turned to bottom up grassroots representative that will attempt to prevent neo liberal financialised city slickerism from keeping them down.

    Sadly, they have been brainwashed into believing that the city intellectual Left is the problem rather than capitalism and capitalists, because social conservatism has been involved in the way rural communities have bonded for survival, to avoid the complications that come with complexity. But complexity doesn’t go away vis a vis reality, so they remain a troubled group.l

    Have they been gulled (like many city underclass folk and even much of the white collar upper middle)?

    Of course.

    You may call paranoia, but I’ll call manipulation.

  2. babyjewels10

    Bumpkin hypocrisy, nothing new. And normal religious right wing loose grip on what’s right and decent. Life is all about money, and rorting, cheating, lying – it’s all fair game to this lot.

  3. Roswell

    Good post, Joe. Rather enjoyed that.

  4. Joseph Carli

    Thanks, Roswell….Throwin’ it in the mix!…grist an’ all that..

  5. Christopher

    Thank you Joseph and Paul for his comment. I’m working class from the city, but spent a lot of time in one community in western NSW. There is a lot of distrust of mainstream politicians, so if you can wear a good hat and moleskins, skull a beer or three and talk the talk, they’ll listen and vote for you. Even forgive your sins if there is no alternative they find they can trust. Works forever as Labor and Libs have neglected the bush

  6. Shutterbug

    As a dweller in a small rural township in S.E Qld, I would like to say that Joe has nailed the inner workings of such a place with startling clarity.

    After 15 years of living here, I have ‘almost’ become a local, but that is of course dependent on how many of the old school kick the bucket and how many are left to carry the baton. Can’t have the Bris-vagans taking over, can we?

    I have always wondered why the locals here think that the nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process shines out of Beetroot’s bunghole. Even the hipsters who have their holidays here seem to, during those few short weeks (for them, not for us), absorb the air-headed and hopefully very temporary admiration for Mr Eternally Pissed Maggotus Beetrootus and all it pertains to represent.

    I can offer no explanation. This coming from an ex-city slicker too.

  7. Kaye Lee

    When I was born we lived in a small country town. There was certainly the insider thing. We were ok because my family had been there for generations but newcomers were viewed with a degree of distrust.

    But there was also a common decency. There was pride. A man’s word was his bond. No need for contracts and the like – a handshake was just as binding. When someone died, the town rallied round. Men would quietly turn up to do whatever manual labour needed doing. Women would bring food. (sorry for the sexist stereotype – I was born in the 50s).

    But I don’t see that at all in Barnaby. He is happy to change his story to impress whatever audience he is addressing. He makes promises he can’t keep. He is in the game for what he can get out of it, not for what he can give.

    In the town I came from, liars and con men were despised. Barnaby would have been given the bum’s rush, even if his parents were respected. He would have been called a “disappointment” because, if you can’t trust someone, if they are just there to promote themselves, if they aren’t genuine, they got the cold shoulder.

    Barnaby gives country people a bad name.

  8. Joseph Carli

    ” In the town I came from, liars and con men were despised.” Wonderful to see a country town that voted for social values and Labor..Good on them!

  9. Freethinker

    Based in my experience after living 12 years in regional Queensland I agree with you Joe but only in the political issues, and agree with Kaye Lee in that a word and handshake it is set in concrete.
    Shutterbug, in many of the regional towns and not only in Qld, if you do not have a relative buried in the local graveyard you will never be a local.

  10. Glenn Barry

    Kaye Lee, I have been wondering the same thing, Barnaby does give country people a bad name, but I suppose, no more than Abbott and Turnbull give city people a bad name.

    Which begs the question, what part of what we’re witnessing are they oblivious to, or is their print media still trusted and concealing the whole thing?

    I feel like there’s some elusive metaphysical phenomena which I cannot correctly identify, or are we just so damned easily deceived?

  11. Joseph Carli

    Which says a lot about those who vote for Bob Katter…

  12. Wam

    The city intellectual left is the problem. Too quick to learn, the arrogance of generalising, the disrespect for those of below average intelligence and the pragmatism of trust me it will be alright in the end.

  13. paul walter

    Wam, they are a secondary issue. It is true that their understanding of what creates country folk or even blue city collar people is deficient, but the real problem rests with self serving conservative media and politics playing on all anxieties to divide and conquer.

    We should be interested in the meat puppetry involved in tax cuts for the rich, but are still concerned about Joyce, because he and Turnbull handled that situation so badly and so the press continues to peddle junk that keeps real news away from people, such as Joyce’s victimhood rant published today.

  14. helvityni

    Barnaby gives beetroot a bad name; there’s no better soup than borsht; calling Dutton a potato head, almost puts me off my spuds…

  15. Glenn Barry

    Joseph Carli, Katter is an odd one, I have heard some forthright and enlightening words from him on Aboriginal land rights, however at other times he’s best characterised as kangaroos loose in the top paddock – as contradictory as he may be, he strikes me as a straight shooter and in it for his constituents. I may be completely wrong on all of the above.

    paul walter, I think you’ve spotted the distraction, Barnyard is a decoy for a government perched precariously on the edge of a precipice using one disaster to conceal another.
    The technical term is a clusterfluck

  16. helvityni

    …Katter was quite funny too the other day when he talked about having to fight off all those horny women wanting to sleep with him…

    Our PM dragged his missus out to SHOW us what caring loving marriages are all about; a very public kissing and hugging, real LOVE…

  17. Glenn Barry

    Helvitnyi, that’s hysterical, I suppose he could be considered handsome, I don’t want to imagine him vocalising…

  18. ace Jones

    Take this absolutely nutty ingrained attitude of residents of country town, S.A., 10,000 residents for example:

    On a small survey 63% of citizens over 30 years of age declared their vote at the polling booth favoured the same political party as what their parents and grandparents voted for over their lifetime!
    ” Oh well its the way Mum & Dad voted, I saw no reason to change”

    how can we ever change such ingrained foolishness

  19. Kronomex

    Ace, maybe they could threaten to take their banjos off them.

  20. helvityni

    ace Jones, the Conservatives do not like change, they have the Fifties picket fence mentality; they are SCARED of any positive, progressive changes.

  21. Freethinker

    helvityni February 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    ace Jones, the Conservatives do not like change, they have the Fifties picket fence mentality; they are SCARED of any positive, progressive changes.

    helvityni, not only do not like to change but their followers still voting for that leader that has a hero for them regardless if is dead or a live.
    In Qld, when some of them vote for the party they mention that Joe was the best for them like if Joe was the candidate.
    I just wonder how many vote the Liberals because Menzies.
    This not unique to Australia, I may add, Eva Perón comes to my mind………….

  22. helvityni

    I know Freethinker, I almost mentioned Menzies, and from the other side Hawke,even many Liberals liked him…

    In my old country President Urho Kekkonen was much loved, he was so good, people forgave him for having a long-term mistress on the side. He neutralised the relationship with Russia, he had diplomatic skills…and was Finland’s President for many terms, I believe it was twenty-five years…He was also very progressive.

    Maybe Eva Peron was seen as a some kind of Madonna to the god-fearing section of the population… Smiley

  23. martin connolly

    Sounds a lot like a feudal system to me … oh it IS!
    The entitled landowners, the eternal serfs, the travelling minstrels and jokers, each with their ‘station’.
    How quaint. But NOT in the 21st century?

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