Reeling them in.

The headlines in the morning papers read thus: “Libs left reeling by Labor surge.”

It’s not really news that the Liberal Party are having a hard time after their former dictator departed. And this isn’t the first time I’ve recommended a book by Marion Maddox God under Howard. The Liberal Party in Australia are hard-line conservatives and pretty much a festering hive of right-wing extremist religious politics. Some have described them as Fascist or Nationalist.

All this brings something of a sense of deja-vous to those of us living down here in Victoria. After a preening fascist moron was voted out everyone breathed a premature sigh of relief. Ding dong the bastard’s dead… or at least voted out on the end of a boot, where he can hopefully do no further damage. And we’re still realising quite how much damage he did. After Kennett sold off all the utilities and public transport, the problems arising from such a fire sale are still coming home to roost.

We had a newer, friendlier Premier, one who made noises about having learned lessons and governing in the interests of the voters. What we found after some time was that though the noises coming from State Parliament were different, in practise nothing was.

The public transport system is one prize example. The opportunity arose last November for the State Government to take the reins again, which they forfeited and the system is as crappy as ever. Likewise selling off the utilities was supposed to make them lean, mean and efficient. What actually happened is that the utilities are now owned by mostly overseas interests, many, many jobs were lost and the famed improvement in service has boiled down to the introduction of two and three year contracts to keep people chained to a particular provider at the expense of any improvement in either service or competition.

It is really funny therefore to watch Morris Iemma, the scheming weasel of NSW Parliament who is doing for the NSW Labor party what Jeff Kennett and John Howard did for State and Federal Liberals. No one in their right mind thinks that there will be any benefit in selling out public utilities. There must be a very, very nice future job or golden handshake in the works for someone in all of this and it sure as hell ain’t the voting public!

The corporate media helped sell the idea and the utilities when the fire sale was on in Victoria and at Federal level with Qantas, Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank and energy utilities sold for a song, they now enjoy a very, very modest level of criticism of such sales. Rather than every Australian being part owner of the gas, telephone, electricity, public transport, a national airline, a bank and of course the water infrastructure, now very few individuals hold shares and most are traded by multi-national conglomerates.

The utilities are run with a profit agenda. This is a huge problem for global greenhouse solutions. No one’s promoting serious changes to the status quo because they are more interested in a profit and share prices than they are in say, eliminating the use of coal fired power stations. No one’s pushing hammer and tongs for every household in Victoria to have rain and grey water systems because, you guessed it, there’s a profit agenda. Despite the damage being done to the environment and the risk to the survival of humans and many other animals, money still talks the loudest among the groups of old white men who run the global kleptocracy.

Unfortunately we’ve over-learned our stereotypes too well, otherwise every woman worth her salt would be making noises about the utilities being returned to public ownership in order to make the necessary changes. The stereotype of leftist politics and the fabricated need to avoid such like the plague has been drummed home so far that some people think Labor is left wing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While we wait in vain for anything practical and positive to be done about global warming, we watch the approval ratings of the new government climb and climb, while Brendan Nelson shoots himself in both feet with gay abandon. We watch another Sydney Anglican employ the tactics of ‘bread and circuses’, as did his predecessor, and create commissions and enquiries into all manner of things. He even had his national youth summit and a listening tour. In reality, it’s all show. What is happening is little different to anything prior. A lot of song and dance, and bloody nothing really changes.

And the media’s still raking in the money with it’s embarrassing collusion in the whole sordid sideshow.

Bah, humbug.


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