My end of year travels enabled me to take in some Christmas functions in Adelaide Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane. Inevitably, the conversations got to focus on the sad state of politics and a few facts became indelibly clear.
Malcolm Turnbull has reached rock bottom and few now listen to anything that he says. No matter whether people are left, right, centre or swingers, they are utterly unanimous in this view and highly unlikely ever to change their minds.
They are also unanimous on another matter. They do not want Bishop, Morrison or Shorten to replace him. They just want politicians to get lost.
In fact, they all see Christmas 2016 as the end of the line. It concludes a shocker of a year when the music stopped.
Needless to say, there are other issues that caused the music to fade away.
We have already gone down for the long count when Trump won the US Presidency. Brexit and the turmoil in Italy has contributed to our bewilderment, while the agony of the Royal Commission on Child Abuse gave us much discomfort and a huge sense of disgrace.
Added to this is the juvenile behaviour of the Australian Parliament whose elected members incredibly believe that we all lay awake at night worrying about the evils inherent in something called 18(c) as well as such momentous threats as backpackers and a few rotten trade union guys. They also believe that we will contemplate suicide if anyone should dare mention such an outrageous atrocity as emissions trading.
But, at the end of the day, we can have a quiet Scotch and contemplate how we get the band to start playing again. This is vital as the worst thing that can happen to anyone is for us to not play the music that is in our souls waiting to break out into the world.
In working out a plan to express our most beautiful music we must, unfortunately, take on board a few more traps that we will encounter in 2017 and which will cause our shock absorbers to crush tightly and make a few chords play out of tune.
There is a chance that Angela Merkel could lose in Germany even though she has no obvious successor. This will be a tragedy as she and Justin Trudeau of Canada are the only genuine leaders left in the entire world now that John Key has resigned as PM of New Zealand.
Marine le Pen could become President of France in April and carry out her promise to take her nation out of the European Community. That will shake it to core and the Netherlands could follow.
Barnett will lose in Western Australia, but the ALP will only be able to form a minority government that relies on the support of those whom we currently describe as minor parties.
The ALP & LNP will both be decimated in Queensland. Hanson and Katter will win a swathe of seats and the State will become ungovernable. It will not be a pretty sight.
Nevertheless, we must pick ourselves up and move on without relying on governments for anything unless we absolutely have to as they will inevitably stuff up even our finest dreams.
We can aggressively foster the rise of not-for-profit community institutions that will replace as many government departments as we can. In this way, we can ensure that bureaucracy is replaced with compassion and common sense.
Similar not for profit corporations can operate in commerce and industry, removing the greed, corruption and incompetence that currently reigns there and which pathetically requires constant tax cuts, incentives and handouts for them to survive. The not for profits can bring the same vigour and enthusiasm as our pioneers displayed when they ignored governments as they built Australia.
We must face the unpalatable fact that we have to pay more tax to get our debt and deficit into order and make funds available for the a vast program of infrastructure that has been neglected for decades. This will create jobs and make our industries competitive and it must include drought proofing the continent.
Collectively, and most importantly of all, we can work constantly to remove the scourge of inequality that degrades our nation. We can achieve this through our own efforts as caring people, thereby creating a society that gives everyone a fair go.
As Ben Chifley said, “We must walk towards the Light on the Hill.”
We will get there if we don’t have to carry political baggage, plus their hopeless ideology, on our backs. They have been drowning the music for far too long.
Happy New Year.
Yours at Large
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