Monday, August 17, 2015

Does God or Anybody Else Really Want a Plebiscite?

            "Matin's one thing the Lord and I see eye to eye on but
             durned if I can figger why He went and created them      
             consarned green-gutted turnip worms!"
                          from 'Tobacco Road' by Erskine Caldwell

The logical thought processes of children and simpletons are such a hoot; so guileless in their innocence. It's not until they grow up and start dealing with the broader social consequences of their own damnfoolery that it isn't funny anymore.
That is especially true in politics; always in the public eye; utterly dependent on a fickle and diverse constituency, and burdened with the co-incidental bonehead ideology of your faithful support base who understand your silence perfectly well as long as they get an occasional wink and nod.   One wink too far and the whole farce unravels in a twinkling of an eye.  But there may be a way out: if the will of the people on gay marriage rights reverts back to the people then let hellfire or a more temporal embarrassment fall back on their own heads for a change.  “Let a thousand schools of thought contend” as Chairman Mao famously wrote, but they really mean it this time.   Let the people decide the fate of same sex  couples, and having been tossed the hot potato we have no choice but to rejoice.

Most of us won't. We didn't elect these people to shirk their responsibilities. We, the vast silent majority who are so cavalierly claimed as everybody's constituency might rather take our cue from the Book of Job and silently endure our many pestilences as we await our chance to turf these fools.   It might be thought that the writer here is outside the box for having opened his mouth, but it isn't so.  This isn't part of a debate on the mechanics of marriage equality because I don't give a rat's if gays and lesbians marry or how people define their marriages, partnerships or whatever.   As a liberal it isn't my business how other people pursue happiness and fulfilment as long as it doesn't actually impinge negatively on someone else's, which is something Tony Abbott and a fraction of his brain-dead big L essential partisan support base can't comprehend.  The thing is, regardless of our own orientation we all know someone and the polls are unequivocal.

In my extended a family a young woman in another country has married her girlfriend, and they organized to have a baby. Her (highly educated, professional - probably a negative in the all- important numbers game) mother says “It isn't what I would have chosen for my children, but they are deliriously happy, and who could stand in their way?”

A rhetorical question this; in which 'who' translates as 'what kind of slimeball.'

And the other thing about it is the same old which is always money. The unravelling of the great united Liberal party leadership has shown up another glaring disconnect which is the way these people handle public funds. They came in not only as our bright-eyed saviours replacing a dysfunctional Labour government but as angels of probity and thrift to repair the budget.  That's something all of us great unwashed sympathize with even though we like to be personally exempt where belt- tightening is concerned.  Yet most of us man- up to our patriotic duty; not that you are given much choice if you have left the workforce.  There is an army out there in the CES scrutinizing every receipt of yourself and the housemate that regularly or once shared your bodily fluids.  They don't care about sex or marital status.  There is no hypocrisy in the bureaucracy when it comes to  your hip pocket.    They have lists of everything you own and they insist on regular asset revaluations if to their advantage.  They subtract deemed receipts on investments, losing or otherwise which include a pound of flesh from whatever you might be so stingy or cunning as to have given away in the last decade.   My own part pension has been cut off nearly as many times as it has been received at God knows what cost to public finances and now its gone which must double the savings to the public purse.   A stinking $90 a week came at compliance costs of time and travel that would have paid the same had I continued dragging myself to work.  Most of that was due to government IT failings.  If the cheques had continued to   arrive regularly it would have been worth about $4500 a year which isn't quite enough for the speaker's famous short helicopter ride or a half a holiday in Kakadu for the elect and their families.   And now we are being offered a 100 million dollar exercise in futility to haul the monkeys down off their own petards.

In terms of budget repair that's TWENTY THOUSAND TIMES worse than the helicopter ride which inspired an inquiry to redefine 'the rules' (for them) which will take a committee of appointed experts several months and many millions of dollars before they can report their findings. But it really shouldn't be that complicated; all these problems could easily be resolved by leadership with the 'ticker' to take a moral stand or come down a tad from 'ticker' to the more descriptive Spanish term 'cojones' as in "a weakling without cojones who has never seen his wife's privates".   Anyway why should we need rules on this matter?  If your moral code is the criminal code, please do the world a favour; step in front of a bus, resign or start by staying out of public life. There are more suitable professions like 'share market tout' although that seems be part of the political job description these days as our elected house of reps morphs into some redundant, impecunious and noisy department of the Commonwealth Employment Service.   The CES will NOT be valuing their own incomes, assets and chopping political pensions accordingly. 

So there's an absurd gap between public and political entitlements and they just don't get it. Some of the back-benchers might and Malcolm Turnbull certainly does. Unfortunately he can't hide his contempt in the party room and they hate his guts or he would have been drafted for the leadership months ago. 

It's the first time in ten years we have had snow and it has been bitter for a week.  There hasn't been any grass growth this winter and we are facing the mother of el ninos this spring.  We have been adjured not to politicize these things by talking climate change; maybe it's just part of the natural variation by which species are regularly swept from the world.  Two days ago I noticed a ewe in labour down the wet and wind-swept paddock.  It's unmistakable even from a long distance,  they lay on their sides with a hind leg stretched straight out off the ground and muzzle in the air.  The lamb was only partly born and I walked the ewe up the hill to a small shed, being regarded the whole time by this vaguely familiar, prick-eared, demonic, tortured little face staring out at me; just like on TV.  She had twins, tiny and premature, hardly bigger than puppies and I helped pull them out because she was too weak and they were too immature to present their forefeet first.  One still had its eyes sealed.  Even with food for the ewe and shelter they were dying for lack of milk she couldn't produce, and a surfeit of milk substitute which they couldn't handle.  

This morning I got out of bed certain of the worst.  Michael Roche of Queensland Resources Council is on the radio crying for the 14000 desperate Townsvillians who were so looking forward to working at the Carmichael coal mine, going beyond the government's 10000 job figure even, while Adani Corp. has claimed to need only 1464 people.  Of course there is a long-term small multiplier and a short construction surge.  Perhaps there are also thousands  of people in other towns from Bowen to Brisbane who are also looking for work.  Absolutely everyone in the world was so keen to cash in on the rewards of growth and development; high prices inspired huge capital expenditures with accompanying huge debt burdens and now the inevitable oversupply means no-one can prosper.  Some casualties of the commodities bust are gone now; some as big as Glencore are hypothermal but still breathing sonorously.

 And the last lamb was dead, even as its mother had finally come into milk.  I looked on Gumtree to find an orphan and there it was. 

"Spots, an adorable healthy week-old orphan lamb happily adapted to the bottle.  This little fellow will take a lot of attention.  $100."

Maybe there are people out there without some kind of life partner but lots of leisure, money and undirected love to give, but a grown sheep in good condition is barely worth that kind of money.  I would have taken the skin off the tiny corpse and tied it over a ring-in, which the ewe would have accepted as her own in an  instant.  Or if  the situation was reversed given the lamb away to save knocking it on the head.  Notch up yet another 14002 people out there with sh** for brains.

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