By Peter Hehir
Is anything really going to change on the 23rd of this month?
Let’s assume Glad the Impaler gets up and we are yet again subjected to another four years of her neoconservative brutality.
Everything that hasn’t been sold is then put up for sale, forgoing any pretence of morality or of acting in the public good. Public assets segue into private property.
The entire State becomes a private entity, run purely for profit. Even the prisons.
The public service is further eviscerated with the few remaining public assets given over to the multinational corporates. The screws are turned even tighter. Fiscal austerity becomes canonised and the user pays ethos is elevated to saintly status.
The Impaler and her predecessor’s litany of cock ups warrants examination. It’s pretty impressive. Not.
Council amalgamations, the greyhound debacle, stadiums, tollroads, TAFE, poles and wires, hospitals, aged care and the Land Titles Office privatisation, unfiltered exhaust stacks, hi-rise – high density, coal seam gas, fish kills, the Opera House screen show, Yarra Bay cruise ship terminal, new coal fired power stations, the death of Sydney’s night life – except for the casino of course – the Powerhouse farce and the real fuglies like Urban Growth, the stacked Infrastructure NSW and the Greater Sydney Commission, to name but a few.
We could go on for days…
With the willing connivance of the Murdoch press, any pretence of acting in the public interest is swept away. Any alternate view is muzzled. In the way that it always was and the way it seems that it will always be. The pigs at the trough have free rein to urinate on us all from a great height.
Following in the footsteps of The Vandal, everything that she touches turns to shit.
The marginalised among us, the poor and the old, become a forgotten people, with no voice, drowned out by the roar of economic rationalism.
In the minds of the ruling junta the people of the western suburbs are geographically morphed beyond the Great Dividing Range and are banished to the inland desert.
A wasteland where the insects, the rivers and the fish are dying. Where in spirit the west joins all of the others who have been disenfranchised; the aboriginal communities struggling without water, resources, jobs, education and any hope of ever achieving any sort of equality. And this in their country. The lucky country. The land that we took by force and then spent 231 years denying that we stole it; saying that they just gave it up willingly.
Any pretence of a social net, a safeguard to catch those who’ve fallen through the cracks is finally dismantled. The finger is pointed. Because those who have failed have only themselves to blame.
If they’d paid attention at school, or hadn’t married abusive husbands or had children outside of marriage or abused alcohol or drugs, if their parents weren’t dysfunctional, then they wouldn’t be in this mess. They are the failures. Not the system…
Then, on the flip side, perhaps Daley and his apparatchiks can manage to scrape together the numbers.
They should be able to, because Berejiklian, as CoS councillor Jess Miller so eloquently said at the recent Fix NSW march, “has managed to piss everybody off”.
But is there really much difference between them? Can the ALP say that they are truly free of the stench of corruption that hangs over them? Are they really an alternative? Or are they just a paler, rougher imitation of the neocons?
Do they support tollroads? You bet they do. Just look at the Western Harbour Tunnel – aka Stage 4 of WestConnex. They say they oppose it but won’t admit that 40% of the WHT is already approved and is going to be built.
They refuse to tear up the contracts. They refuse to filter the exhaust stacks. Stacks that import, concentrate and release carcinogenic exhaust emissions that both parties and the RMS lie about by saying that they are “the world’s best practice”.
The frenzy of vote buying is in full swing. Promises and largesse are dispensed like smarties as tweedle dumb and tweedle even dumber electioneer their way around the State.
Is this what politics has sunk to here in NSW? Where is the true democracy? The government that acts in the interests of us all; that puts the public good above all else?
If the people of this State are to be truly represented, then this can only happen if a minority Labor government is formed with the progressive independents and the Greens; thereby keeping the worst excesses of the ALP in check and relegating Berejiklian and her cronies to the cheap seats.