We are at war with multiple enemies, some of them far too close to home for comfort.
Some of them are more tangible than others but the most dangerous is greed.
Driven by ever-expanding corporations, capitalism has driven the concept of everlasting growth, ensuring that a minute proportion of the world’s population corners the vast majority of the world’s wealth.
In this process, politicians have succumbed to corruption and developed policies which benefit them and their wealthy supporters, not the majority of the people whom they pretend to represent.
Consequently, one of the early victims has been democracy.
Religion, too, has been a significant ally of the corporations. Don’t forget that the Roman Catholic Church is one of the world’s wealthiest organisations and its promotion of blind faith in its teachings, ably assisted by the happy clappers who promote the concept “through creating greater wealth for ourselves, we prove we are the chosen people”, has helped to keep the disadvantaged under their thumb.
In more recent years, women have fought against ruthless male dominance with some measure of success, but – with a few exceptions (think – Gina Reinhardt, Maggie Thatcher and some other prominent female politicians, here and elsewhere) – the fact that they are more likely to stress the need for care and concern for others has diluted their impact.
(A disclaimer: I am well aware that many men also care about others, but, unfortunately, they tend to be drowned out by the others!)
The fact that our predominantly male leaders seem to regard serving the economy as their dominant purpose, rather than seeing it as being in the service of the population, is a serious concern. True, it is reasonable to expect that a healthy economy is more likely to enable people to remain healthy, but the current pandemic puts a big question mark over that supposition.
My mind keeps returning to the way in which the British government guided policy during WWII.
Much of the food was imported from former colonies so was in short supply. Consequently, we had severe food rationing and few ways to circumvent the system.
We also made many of our own clothes, sewing and knitting, while we also had restricted access to clothing coupons to enable us to purchase what we could not make. Again, to get extra coupons was essentially restricted to growing children whose body measurements established that they genuinely needed a larger size!
As now, out of home entertainment was barely available as regards cinemas and theatres, but for rather different reasons!
Civilians had no access to petrol during the war but we were discouraged from travelling, anyway. Much as now.
Given a valid reason, most people will accept shortages and the need to be economically compliant.
Rationing also prevents the thoughtless stockpiling which enables the greedy few to have an excess, while others are left without items which, like Ventolin, might be essential to their well-being.
One obvious solution to the present crisis, with many losing their jobs or losing income through having to self-isolate, would be the UBI. It is highly unlikely that the Coalition would even consider such a solution, because they are so bound by their ideology.
It is not just the greed of corporations which damages the lives of others! And governments have been complicit in enabling corporations to avoid regulation to an alarming extent, which was amply illustrated in the banking Royal Commission. And how many of its recommendations have been followed up???
And – forgotten in all the Covid-19 issues – the need to fight a war on climate change has not gone away!
The silver lining – and this is not entirely a nice thought – is that China’s draconian approach to limiting the spread of the infection has resulted in a downturn of manufacturing with a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. And their slow recovery will enhance this positive outcome.
Multiple factors in addition to emissions, and including population growth and pollution, are contributors to global warming, and, again, an unpleasant aspect of the way in which Covid-19 has been indirectly beneficial, has been an increased mortality rate.
Some people have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to dealing with a problem, but we really should not be relying on a disaster, which is taking lives, to achieve an outcome which our government’s have proved reluctant to tackle.
Sadly, for too many people, their interest in politics ends when they have cast their vote at a general election.
We are all part of a nation, which is only governed well when those least able to care for themselves are properly assisted.
Is that now the case?
If not, what should be happening and why is it not?
Those whom we elect are only human beings, and, if they are driven by ideology and political bias, then they are as liable as anyone else to develop faulty policies. When these result in harm to the vulnerable, then there has to be some means to ensure those policies change.
In recent years, the Coalition government has been obsessed with protecting our borders against potential terrorist invasions, while ignoring the very real needs of the vulnerable within our borders.
The Fair Go and the Lucky Country are echoes of a past which is now dead and gone, while we live in a ‘what’s in it for me’ environment, where children can be trampled underfoot while selfish adults rush to grab their share.
Shame on you, Australia!
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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