With apologies to Lewis Carroll aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson:
“The time has come,” the PM said,
“To talk of many things:
Of jobs—and pay—and work for dole—
Of billionaires—and flings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are in poor health,
And none of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the leading man.
They thanked him much for that.
“A loaf of bread,” the PM said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed—
Now, if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the PM said,
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Treasurer said nothing but
“Cut us another slice.
I wish you were not quite so deaf—
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,” the PM said,
“To play them such a trick.
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Treasurer said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the PM said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Treasurer,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?”
But answer came there none—
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.
Even before we were thrown into total disarray by the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy was grinding to a halt.
The wealthy were either using their money to make money, or salting it away into tax havens.
The dwindling members of the middle class were nervous of using savings because they were unsure of what the future held.
And an increasing proportion of the rest were either in casual employment, deeply in debt, or dependent on government assistance, which was being reluctantly given with one hand and rapaciously withdrawn by the other.
Such hand outs as were otherwise available, were selectively going to that part of the community which could be encouraged to ensure that the Coalition retains power at the next and subsequent election.
We have long needed tax reform – as well as an effective ICAC! – and we have created a bewildering maze to be navigated by those who need support, through an array of ‘welfare’ policies, grudgingly allowing an increasing number of disadvantaged groups to obtain a pittance while being made to feel like criminals.
Out-sourcing has compounded the problems, by diverting available funds to pay the salaries of inadequately trained people, putting the jobless and disabled through increasingly difficult hoops, and withdrawing the allotted benefits on an ill-judged whim.
Europe has seen the light! They are seeing a clear path to recovery. Check it out!
Here, the number of job seekers pre-pandemic, far exceeded positions available.
Now, whole groups of workers will struggle to find work, following the shut-down which has destroyed many businesses.
These include members of the arts and entertainment and hospitality industries, and workers in businesses which have contracted, if they have not gone to the wall, because the economy has collapsed so viciously.
On the other hand, the caring professions, particularly in health, have borne a massive burden for totally unrealistic levels of reward, bearing in mind they were living in a daily minefield of risk. They look likely to be pushed aside, as urgent need for their services reduces, yet they have given far greater service to this country than those being fawned on by the government for advice on how to recover.
The latest ‘tradie’ package is totally misdirected and ill-thought out. We should be building social housing to meet a need which has been ignored for too long.
Just how warped can our ‘leaders’ become?
An enlightened government would see a UBI as a panacea, to both boost the economy now and buy time for industry to get back on its feet.
Yes – we need manufacturing initiatives to be supported – but they MUST be supported by renewable energy.
The way to encourage people to seek work is not to beat them when they are down, but to restore their self-confidence and assist them to be able to present well at job interviews.
I know! I am being unrealistic to expect our existing elected government to recognise that it has been responsible for much of our present problems by using the stick, not the carrot.
Scott Morrison went to the 2019 election with only one policy.
Since then, I venture to claim, all the policies he has announced have been suggested by State and Territory leaders.
The only positive thing he has done is to decide to extend the life of the National Cabinet.
Now we need to allow Parliament to resume its urgently needed role, of ensuring transparency and integrity in government, because they are sorely needed and have long been lacking!
The time has indeed come to decide whether humanity can be revived!
I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
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