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June 14th 2016 print

Christian Kerr

A Mendicant State’s Jackpot

Since the Dunstan era, South Australia has survived chiefly on the something-for-nothing of government largesse. Perhaps, deep in its heart of hearts, there is a dim awareness that a state with only 11 of the 150 House seats can't expect submarine contracts and the like to flow forever

bum IIJim Casey will be delighted. Thanks largely to him things must now invariably get worse now before they can get better. Such is the scientific nature of Communism, particularly its Trotskyite variant. The Greens candidate for Graynder’s little YouTube effort has been an election changer. His declaration was a doozy:

“I would prefer to see Tony Abbott returned as prime minister with a labour movement that is growing, with an anti-war movement that was disrupting things in the streets, with a strong and vibrant women’s movement, indigenous movement, and a climate change movement that was starting actually to disrupt the production of coal. I’d prefer to see Abbott as the prime minister in that environment than Bill Shorten as prime minister without it.”


It will not have escaped the eagle-eyed that sitting in the audience, applauding, were Mother Russia herself, Lee Rhiannon, and Adam Bandt, the proud holder of a PhD on Marxist theories of industrial relations he managed to keep suppressed until the extent of its circulation in samizdat form made his efforts at further censorship impossible.

Fact is, the Coalition had no option but to preference Labor over the Greens in key inner-city seats, despite the invariable bloodbath to come when the contradictions of capitalism become too much to bear for the oppressed masses in their $2 million terrace houses in Birchgrove and Clifton Hill. Some cynics say the decision was made in the hope that Labor will preference sitting Liberal MPs ahead of the Nick Xenophon Team in South Australia.

Despite the recent sprinkling of $50 billion of submarine largesse across that state – plus sundry other defence spending – Liberal polling there is awful. Various polls have not only suggested the seats of Boothby, Sturt and Mayo could fall, despite majorities stretching from seven to 12%.

The most recent survey says even the electorate of Grey – won by Liberal Rowan Ramsey with a 2PP majority of 63.5% – could be swamped by the surging the Xenophon tide. Xenophon, of course, was a plaintiff lawyer who entered state politics almost 20 years ago after he saw his unfortunate clients fritter away their crumbs of compensation on poker machines.  Malcolm Turnbull’s submarine funds amount to a better jackpot: around $30,000 for each and ever one of South Australia’s 1,701,100 men, women, and children.

Since the dawning of the Dunstan era close to half a century ago, South Australia, its citizens and industries have subsisted chiefly on government largesse. They’ve expected something for nothing. But, perhaps, deep in their heart of hearts, they know that this is their last chance; that a state with only 11 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives can’t expect such manna from heaven to fall again.

Perhaps they want Xenophon to stop them from putting it all through the pokies.