Enjoy those fireworks? The crowds loved them, as always, so forgive me for a dour reflection on the art of distraction as perfected by our governing class. When the smoke clears, what’s left to celebrate? Surely not governments that are gifted in staging spectacles but derelict in addressing dire threats
In the last hours of 2017, as I looked out on a peaceful Pacific whose moon and stars were at that moment shrouded by light cloud, I reflected on the contrast of that moment with the turbulence of a year of political ineptitude. A year in which personality trumped policy and the Party, which ever of the major one you care to name, played the People like a fiddle. A year where our Fourth Estate, once relatively honourable, slipped further under the spell of partisan sensationalism and thereby distanced itself even further from the presentation of truth, often by the simple device of omission.
My reverie was shattered by the cannon-like barrages of local fireworks booming across the previously peaceful beaches of the beautiful Coffs coast. Perverse of me, perhaps, but I began to question just what this annual spectacle of fire is all about, and why so many feel the need to participate. Are we celebrating something of historic importance? Are we glad to see the end of another year of little achievement? Is it the hope in starting anew?
Retreating inside I am confronted with the wide-screen vision and thunder from Sydney Harbour. Millions, it seems, watch as rockets arc heavenwards in their pairs and clusters, each in its unacknowledged way a symbolic two-finger salute to all who signal their virtue by professing disgust at any form of “carbon pollution”. Many of those same people will be on the shoreline and cheering the plumes of carbide smoke that dull my TV’s image. Volley after volley of multi-coloured explosions light the sky, each drtawing the adoring gasps and applause of a spellbound crowd. Our famous Coat Hanger becomes a burning rainbow.
My sombre-but-questioning mood tells me this whole extravaganza is an expensive waste of resources, more a stimulation of our seemingly endless capacity for short-term enjoyment than a celebration of achievement and confidence in our nation’s long-term future
The term “bread and circuses” came to mind, and I was reminded of Roman satirist Juvenal, who as the Roman Empire was falling, said: “The Roman populace are no longer prepared to fight for their birthright or work for their sustenance. So the government keeps the people happy by distributing free food and staging huge spectacles.”
In arguing that our position in Australia has much in common with the Roman Empire in the fourth century, I will leave it to my readers to decide if Malcolmus is the Australian version of Romulus, the last Roman Emperor, or Odoacer, the first barbarian to preside over the terminally ailing empire. History tells us that Rome fell when crippling taxation was required to maintain the treasury, plundered by the ruling class trying to maintain the realm and their lavish lifestyle. While we as Australians grumble, perhaps, but mostly don’t deign to notice, our governing class legislate for themselves sinecures of plenty. They stack their boards and panels with pals and members in good standing of the New Establishment? Did anyone think, even for a moment, that Gillian Triggs’ deplorable record as the Australian Human Rights Commission’s fact-challenged, partisan prosecutor of all things non-Left would be out of work when her term came mercifully to an end? Of course not! The New Establishment taps the pockets of those little people it despises in order to pleasure its courtiers and cardinals.
When the NSW government spends lavish sums on sports and entertainment stadiums while neglecting the infrastructure needed to supply its citizenswith the basics of water, power and gas, are we not on the same downward path as Rome of the fourth century?
Consider: while NSW is now blessed by Nature with have an abundance of water, allowed mostly to flow in the sea, we now have 50% less water storage per head of population than 40 years ago. To add to this now urgent dilemma, governments, both state and federal, have given control of this dwindling amount of stored water to speculators (often offshore) and green bureaucrats, both of which are pushing the price of this basic resource beyond the capacity of those who grow our food.
While our governing class prospers even as they fiddle amid the ignored problems and perils burning all around them, the people will have insufficient water, power and gas in the near future. Our federal government, lacking any plan or vision but driven by a compulsion to stay in power, just like the Emperor Romulus is delivering us food and circuses to divert anger and delay revolt.
Presently, we have around five million people in the working-age demographic but reliant on the state for their daily sustenance. These people have no permanent, on-the-books, tax-paying jobs and the reason for their mendicancy is not slovenliness; it is a failure of the government to manage our resources and the economy with a view to ensuring every Australian can meet his or her citizenship obligations — to hold a job or run a lawful business, in other words, sufficient to provide for themselves and their families. When all our people have the pride that comes with self-sufficiency, fireworks will be just fireworks — entertainments rather than diversions. Meanwhile, what we don’t get is the courage to speak truth and chart the nation’s course accordingly. We get circuses as distractions from subterfuge and lies.
Recently, the federal government, mostly via Treasurer Scott Morrison, assured us, “We are delivering growth and creating jobs.” But this so-called growth is not a result of increased productivity. Rather, it is built on the huge Ponzi scheme of massive immigration. The economy grows, but individual wealth doesn’t. Another four thousand people each week! Add them to the already unsustainable five million people without full-time work. Before this scheme crashes — “scam” is a better description — the only growth likely will be at CentreLink, among “caring industry” support services, mental health clinics, the budget deficit and police budgets.
For another example, there can be no greater subterfuge than Emperor Malcolmus’ Snowy Two scheme. In response to an urgent need for increased base-load power, now being destroyed as a sacrifice on the altar of the climate-change cult, our Emperor proposes a scheme that will cost billions of dollars (no one has yet determined how much) and which uses more power than it produces. The Romans, even at their nadir, were never that stupid.
Malcolmus then assures the populace his scheme is the “battery” that will make renewable power “reliable”. There are only two kinds of people who could say such thing with a straight face: fools and liars. In which category you place our PM is a personal choice, although a strong case posits he has one foot in either camp.
It is time the good, resourceful and, when allowed, productive people of this lucky country stopped watching fireworks and turned their attention to the circus in Canberra and clown-beset state capitals.
Happy New Year, my compatriots and fellow neo-Romans. Hope you enjoyed the pretty fireworks.