What a laconic couldn’t care less lot we are. Even when we get agitated over something we rarely make a ripple on Bondi beach.
The last time I can remember us getting a wee bit pissed about a something of importance was the marriage equality debate when we told the politicians enough unfairness was enough and to just get on with it. Then Turnbull claimed the credit.
It is true, I think, that we have a morbid distrust of seriousness and we are less enamoured by a sense of occasion than others. Although Anzac Day and sport may be the exceptions that generally raise our collective nationalism, but otherwise we remain indifferent in the face of things worthy of protest.
So forgiving of bad governance have we become that we have twice voted back in the governments that have been spectacularly unscrupulous without the blink of an eye. On current reckoning we will even allow them to wreck the planet without the slightest resistance.
Our national character is of loudness, speaking our minds when the situation demands it, so long as it doesn’t interrupt something more important.
Understanding the sovereignty of our Indigenous folk has been a thought for most, too difficult.
We still cling to the monarchy with childlike fascination and a republic is a threat to the celebrity of it.
Domestic violence is a crying shame but like many other things we sit quietly and say little. The same can be said of our underlying racism.
Suicide, the scale of it, explains the utter hopelessness we have created with our vision of what life and society is.
Men, those younger than I, seem to be narcissistic unfeeling creatures who derive pleasure from what life can give them rather than what virtues their maleness can give the world.
The rise of narcissism and inequality and the demise of compassion illustrate the state of the world.
Rightly or wrongly religion is dying. We are replacing it with the worship of celebrity. The young, in particular, adore people of the most mediocre endowment as if they were gods to be deified. Royalty, sports and television stars fill this category.
Our politics is confrontational, even ugly, and in the last 20 years or so has done its best to uphold our larrikin anti-authoritarian nature.
We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?
In trying to describe what ‘Australian culture’ is we are confronted with the contradiction of an incredible culturally diverse nation. Our immigrants come from all over the world with one in four Australian residents being born outside of Australia.
Few understand the rich cultural diversity immigration has given us because politicians of the ilk of Tony Abbott have taught them the political value of hatred.
We have not yet grown into, or obtained the truth, that people are just trying to find a place in the world where they can be secure and loved. Our reputation around the world, perpetuated by the likes of Peter Dutton on immigration, is pitiful.
I guess that what I am trying to say here is that Government is responsible for all the laws made at a national level, state government at a state level and local councils at a community level. That’s three levels of government for 25 million people.
As a result of the political malaise we find ourselves in the government has been unable to govern to a standard befitting the needs of this nation. Its first problem is it’s standard of leadership. The second its quality of representation where one wonders how many MPs got past pre-selection n the first place. The third, of course, is that economic decisions have human consequences. That economics and society are interwoven.
Character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing personal and professional conduct. It’s an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of politics. But unexpected moments can sometimes reveal the fibres from which it is woven.
Examples of the government’s inability to govern arise every day. Last week we had an almost total breakdown in diplomacy with China.
China is an emerging power while the US under President Trump is vacating its once held position as leader of the free world.
China is speaking to the world in its own language and we are failing to comprehend.
We should remember that China, in rescuing millions of its people from poverty in 30 years or so has performed a miracle of sorts. To my knowledge it has never started a war but is now saying that it won’t be pushed around by the likes of Trump and Morrison.
Our government, instead of using words of understanding to China, seems intent on climbing aboard Trump’s hateful bandwagon. The leader of China is at least sane whereas the leader of the USA should be encouraged to get in as much golf as possible.
This is not to say that they are right in their actions. They are not. We are in a new phase of our relationship with China.
It says that it is incumbent on us to choose our words more carefully or pay the consequences.
The more we say the less the better about Chinese diplomacy.
After 19 attempts to arrive at an energy policy our government has reverted to old technologies to resolve this issue.
Even in the face of calamity it cannot bring itself to admit it was and is still wrong on climate change. Christiana Figueres – considered the world’s top climate change negotiator – commented that:
“I am deeply pained by the attitude of the current Australian government: that still after the worst disaster that has ever hit the planet, the bushfires in Australia, that this government is still denying climate change and denying the fact that there is a lot that Australia can and should be doing.”
Another display of incompetence occurred last week and remains a bone of contention: How on earth was the error of Job Keeper/Seeker not picked up earlier? It seems incomprehensible and a better explanation is required.
We now end up with the following:
- On Job-Keeper the PM announced a spend of $138 but is actually spending $70b.
- On the drought fund the PM announced $7b but is spending $2b. On the Bush Fire fund it is $2b with the actual at $250 mil.
The government has become accustomed to making announcements without putting in the hard yards of meticulous planning. I expected Morrison’s speech on Tuesday May 26 to be much the same – and I was correct – but I hope he is successful for the sake of the common good of the nation. Having said that, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.
My thought for the day
People need to wake up to the fact that government affects every part of their life and should be more interested. But there is a political malaise that is deep seated.
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