The Gambling Economy of the LNP.

(or: How to make a million dollars without really trying!)

In William Saroyan’s story ; “Little Miss Universe”, he traces the characters of three gamblers in “The Kentucky Pool Room number One Opera Alley”.

These three gentlemen each have a “system” thoroughly tested and proved un-assailably accurate to their personal satisfaction, and if followed to the letter, would , in time make them millionaires…of course..just now they were all penniless.

These three characters are good and accurate metaphors for the current policies of the IPA / LNP / MSM   gambling coalition.

The first character had a system whereby he could examine the running form of the horse in question, and by a mix of calculated insight, psychological knowledge of horses and his own savvy eye for a “good thing”, he could unfailingly ( if requested) pick the winner of a race , any race with all the certainty of “a sure thing”…and according to his own calculations, if he had bet on one particular horse back a year or two ago and followed it’s career till now, he would be “rolling in the stuff!”

This system is reminiscent of those promises of the LNP before the last election…or was it the one before? About the promise of a booming economy and jobs and growth..MILLIONS OF JOBS!..MILLIONS OF ‘EM!…if only the voting public give them the nod…and they did..and the result?

Same system, different “horse race”, same result!

The second character based HIS system not on the chancy risk of a horse (read ; open market), but rather on the secrets of the machinations of owners, jockeys and wise gamblers (read ; entrepreneurs / speculators/ corporate investors )..his system took into consideration outside events like the weather in another state, at the track, the amount of horse manure taken out , money going into the bookies bag, in short, everything that could be squeezed into the realm of possibilities to win or lose…much like the reliance by the free-market and economic rationalists on the breathing and farting statistics of those extreme gambling houses; the stock exchanges of the world.

Same system, different “horse” , same result.

Now the third character is the most reliable “winner” of the lot..This character can never lose, because he has cut out the whole tiresome particular of risk and capital venture and just listens to the race without placing a bet and at the final call, quickly scribbles the winners name on a piece of paper and rushes into the gambling den holding the paper high and exclaiming : “Here!…See..I had the winner all the time..here’s the proof!” ..of course only a fool would ever take such a claim seriously after the second attempt…but there’s no explaining the amount of foolish people in this world.

This last “system” is an exact representation of our own Main-stream media reporting on the “economic success story that is the LNP.”..win, lose or draw, there they are , rushing about in the media dens of the nation, every person-jack of them flourishing that little piece of LNP. Press-release exclaiming how well they are doing “picking the winners”, “managing the economy” and “rescuing the budget” and securing those “jobs and growth”..Just like their namesake in the William Saroyan story : “San Jose Red” , as reliable as clockwork, just as the final call is given, there they are with their little slip of copy..: “Look, we told you..the LNP will always be better at picking the horses..oops!..sorry..managing the economy than your local bookie!

Same system , different “jockey”, same result.

So : “Do you feel lucky…punk!?”

 

The Hand that Writes the Paper.

Let us begin this little dissertation with a quote from Louis Althusser in a paper from 1968;

“Philosophy as a Revolutionary Weapon.”

“You know what Lenin says about ‘intellectuals’. Individually certain of them may (politically) be declared revolutionaries, and courageous ones. But as a mass, they remain ‘incorrigibly’ petty-bourgeois in ideology. Gorky himself was, for Lenin, who admired his talents, a petty-bourgeois revolutionary. To become ‘ideologists of the working class’ (Lenin), ‘organic intellectuals’ of the proletariat (Gramsci), intellectuals have to carry out a radical revolution in their ideas: a long, painful and difficult re-education. An endless external and internal struggle.

Proletarians have a ‘class instinct’ which helps them on the way to proletarian ‘class positions’. Intellectuals, on the contrary, have a petty-bourgeois class instinct which fiercely resists this transition.

A proletarian class position is more than a mere proletarian ‘class instinct’. It is the consciousness and practice which conform with the objective reality of the proletarian class struggle. Class instinct is subjective and spontaneous. Class position is objective and rational. To arrive at proletarian class positions, the class instinct of proletarians only needs to be educated ; the class instinct of the petty bourgeoisie, and hence of intellectuals, has, on the contrary, to be revolutionized. This education and this revolution are, in the last analysis, determined by proletarian class struggle conducted on the basis of the principles of Marxist-Leninist theory. “…”

Now here we are in the 21st century with almost a complete denial that there is a class-war happening in Australia.. ”egalitarianism for EVERYBODY!!”..it seems as if the working class has graduated from wage-slave to a kind of “self-employed small-business person come contractor middle-class status elite.” ..by consensus. This handy elevation ..or is it degradation?..allows the right-wing political spinners to include many more once marginalised voters into its “broad-church Catholicism” of all-inclusive all for one-one for all free-market philosophy….Or to put it in lay-terms..” WE; the (economic rationalist) people..” thus allowing for a broader inclusiveness in their “middle-class” pork-barrelling to secure votes.

The losers in all this now being those “fringe-dwellers” and pensioners in Willy-welfare-land who were unlikely to vote conservative anyway. So it must be fair to ask ; “How did it get like this?”..or at least approach the topic as suggested by my opening title..: Whose was the hand that wrote the paper on this ideology and where did it start?

This blog’s credentials being “left-leaning” and supportive of Labor Party principles and governance must therefore be an embracer of policies best serving those of us wanting a “fair go” for the majority of citizens. Given that a vast majority of the citizens of this fair land are of wage-earning employment, with most on a living wage / survival income that does not allow much over for social services needed for a civil , healthy and self-respecting lifestyle, we are reliant upon a government that uses our taxes to put in place those services best placed to assist the everyday citizen. Yet, in contrast we have a dissolute collection of capitalist / fascist ideologues intent on  driving many of us into the ground in poverty and desperation…Again, I ask : Whose is the hand that writes the “paper” (read policy) that delivers these cruel conditions?

Is it the Aristocratic class..operating a covert network with the Queen as head of operations, much like a Mi5; “M”..or;  the “Wizard of Oz” pulling levers behind a gold and diamond embossed damask curtain?…of course not..of course not..

Is it then those ultra-leftist communists, operating from old Soviet “cells” hidden bunker-like under those houses of iniquity ; the Trades Halls dotted suspiciously (rather TOO suspiciously) about the suburbs?…of course not..of course not..

Is it then those of a boring collusion of like educated, like upbringing, like suburb, like philosophy, like enriched and like the high-life middle-class whose uniformity of a lack of novel ideas , lack of creative inspiration, lack of courage to tackle seeming insurmountable problems unless armed and dangerous and a lack of principled ethics that will allow both major political parties to court and spark after a voter both now corrupted by over-consumption or starved by under funding with a thinly veiled tissue of lies and dis-information?…of course it is…you know it is.

These..are the ones who “wrote the paper” on social strata, social status, social needs and those who must socially bleed. The entire system from education, economics, infrastructure and ethics (but certainly NOT morals) was and is continuing to be “written” by the middle-class..NOT the newly “elevated” slum-suburban Kaths and Kims , but rather ; the “old school” of patriarchal business people, backed up by a veritable legion of lawyers-cum politicians who not only sing from the same song sheet, but spend all their leisure time composing , with condescending hums, arias and soporific hymns to be servilely copied and chorused by this newly “enriched” and obsequious wannabes but who in truth will never-be once their over-reached credit card constructed towers of deluded pastiche come crashing down with the next (inevitable) financial collapse.

I believe it is time the working-class and I include in that title all those from the “producing class” , wake up to the situation and call for a separation of social policy from opportunistic politics. This “cross-pollination” by our “left-wing” politicians playing too close relations with their same school (private colleges), same aspirational, same social mixing chums on the right-wing side of politics needs to stop, and needs to stop NOW!…before this “disruptive revolution” that gives rise to the Hansons and the Bernadis of this nation lays “legitimate claim” and then waste to what was once the rock-solid base of Labor voters.

I say : It is time other hands write the political paper of this nation.

The Theory of The Slow-Boiled Frog.

Of course we all know the theory that when a frog is placed in a cooker and the temperature is increased in small increments so the frog doesn’t notice it is being slowly boiled until it is too late…well .that same mechanism is used in social situations where people are slowly subjected to propaganda directions that move their principles to another side without their noticing it until it is too late and they are arguing a point contrary to their original principles without their even noticing the shift.
We recently had our Xmas dinner invite where regular guests attend for a sumptuous dinner here at “Manor Mallee”..One of our regular guests showed just such signs as the “slow-boiled -frog” in that from last year to this, their opinion on multiculturalism had changed from what I would call ;”Sympathetic humanism” to a kind of ; ” THEY ought to be more appreciative…etc”.
Now, the person was of retirement age, but held down a nice, comfortable little occupation that brought them in trouch with the general public, has lived a nice comfortable life in a nice comfortable “up-market” suburb and in general could be described as your average suburban, middle-class citizen…cultured, well-read, up with the arts and online communicator. Yet here we see this shift, be it ever so slight, from “accommodating” to “accusation”…Why is it so? the good professor may well ask.
Here we have a prime example of what we see happening all over “aspirational Australia”..A slow-cooking outrage that has created a perception that our “hospitality” toward those from desperate climes and geography is being used and abused by the ungrateful unwashed…poor us…Cue Pauline Hanson and a plethora of white, conservative citizens.
Actually, it is the result of what Mao Tse-tung warned against with the need for “constant revolution”..It is what I have been trying to hammer on about here with the need to become more radical as the right-wing mood becomes more conservative and reactionary..When one slips into a “comfort-mode” as one slips into a comfortable armchair in front of the tele at night, one finds it so much harder to shift one’s arse to get a thing done. So it is with politics.. just when one believes they have it all worked out, along comes a Hanson or, in the case of America; a Trump and suddenly the whole game changes..no longer is it viable to try to flog that old chestnut of “lets all just get along together” or a “fair-go for all Aussies”…when the reactionary side of politics has suddenly divided the nation into “THEM and US”.
A vacuum has formed on the left side of politics and those waverers who swung to social politics when it benefited them are now being sucked away to the “new positives” of “Yes!..YOU can be a winner” of Hansonism and Coryism…and what is denying a greater fight-back by the radical left against this incursion upon working-class territory is the soft middle-class of left-wing politics..the “slow-boiled-frog theory ” of indecision. Those who advocate a “sensitive , polite discussion on the realities of what confronts us at this moment in time..(just a moment while I blow my nose!)”..

Let us consult history on the outcome of this indecision..:
“…A far worse trait was the lukewarmness and narrow minded stubbornness of the “Ultras”. The former could neither be induced to act nor keep silence. If they were asked to exert themselves in some definite way for the common good ,with the inconsistency characteristic of weak people they regarded any such suggestion as a malicious attempt to compromise them still further, and either did not do what they were ordered at all or did it with half heart. At the same time of course, with their affectation of knowing better when it was too late and their over-wise impracticabilities, they proved a perpetual clog to those who were acting ; their work consisted in criticising, ridiculing and bemoaning every occurance great and small and in unnerving and discouraging the multitude by their own sluggishness and hopelessness…” (Mommsen ; “History of Rome” chap; 10).

Just so do those most comfortably placed in their social seats criticise any “disruption” (hate that word!) of their comfortable lives by having to confront class-war , union bashing politics and all-inclusive gender discussions with more “full-frontal” opinion pieces that could AND SHOULD contain arguments both vulgar to the ear and crude to the “touch” of gentle sensitivities… and instead would insist there is nothing wrong with the reciting eternally of gentle symphonic orchestral pieces and obscure opera and cute animal pics..But if one can point out to many a discomfort, the harmonic sound of the orchestra on the Titanic playing “Nearer my God to Thee” may have mollified the moment, but it saved not one more soul from drowning…so I claim that the endless soft-soaping by the middle-class of the reality of right-wing poaching of working-class votes by refusing to get up from their comfort zone and radicalise the rhetoric will not stop one more vote from slipping away.

Or will it be preferred for sir / madam if we just turn the water temperature up a degree or two warmer?

Melancholy Max’s Christmas.

A Children’s Tale.

Melancholy Max’s Christmas.

Of all the characters throughout the Mallee, between the Murray River and Pinnaroo, the most well known and disrespected was “Melancholy Max”! Everyone called him by that name because he never had a good word for anything! I mean it!, You’d say to him:

“You beaudy ,Maxy, it’s frid’y, end of the week!” and he’d drop the corners of his mouth in his melancholy way and mumbie:

“Hrummmph, just that much closer to Monday, and then more work”

Or if you wished him “Happy birthday Maxy!”, he’d frown and reply:” One year closer to senile dementia….Hrummmph so what’s to celebrate!?” and things like that, why, he’d find a fault in any favour, he’d even suspect “Mother Therese” of dipping her fingers in the till if he took the time to find out just who “Mother Therese” was.

So it got to be that people would go out of their way to greet him with exaggerated zeal, like a shouted ;

“GOOD DAY MAXY IT’S SUCH A BEEEEUTIFUL DAY TOODAY!!!”…but he’d just grumble and mutter;..

“It’s sure to rain”.

One of his pet complaints was about Christmas.

“What’s the point,” he’d whine, “we treat each other like dirt through the year, then try to make it up on the one day ..it’s silly”. and everyone would roll their eyes.

“Well at least one day is better than nothing ,eh Maxy?” someone would invariable suggest.

“Yeah, well, ever since my parents passed away, no-one’s ever given me a present!” Max replied.

“I’m not surprised!” people would chorus and then burst into laughter, “You’re so miserable, you’d choke a kookaburra’s laugh!” and there’d be more laughter.

It was one thing Max was accidently good at, making people laugh at his misery. And his lonnng face would droop lonnnger and people would laugh even more and they’d weep with laughter and cry:

“That Maxy….What a breakup, What a misery!…” and they’d laugh some more.

“Anyway,”Max responded,” I’ll never believe in Christmas till I see snow on the mallee tree over the sheep trough in my front paddock!” and he thrust his chin forward and nodded his head as if to affirm the impossibility of such an event.

But the conversation had grown wearisome and someone said:

“Aw, push orf, Maxy, you’re making me sad.” so he’d trudge away shoulders drooped down the street.

But such characters as Max make their presence felt even when they are not around, like if there’s a pause in the conversation and no-one can think of anything to say, someone would sigh deeply, cross their arms and say..:” And then there’s Maxy!” and invariably another would giggle and join in with;…”That reminds me of the time Max was down in his dam up to his waist trying to pull his prize bull out of the mud ” and the faces around would light up with smiles in anticipation of the story (often told, always funny) about Max and his “Prize Bull”, whose name was “Cyril”, but which everyone else in the district named; “ALOTTA”. and when the tale was finished and the laughter died down another would say;

“As useless as a fifth wheel on a wagon”…or

“As mean as a fisherman’s gaff!”…or

“As tight as Dolly Parton’s stage-dress” or again;

“He’s such a penny-pincher, you can hear the coins in his pockets squeal in pain when he walks down the street!” and others like that.

But they could always rely on Maxy to give them a good laugh, even in the worst drought, there was at least a giggle to be got from the antics of Max!.. And you know.. this started to dawn on people….especially one Christmas when things looked bleakest, with drought across the land and Max grumbling and whining down the joy of Christmas…so that his ;

“I’ll believe in Christmas the day I see snow on the mallee tree over the sheep trough in my front paddock!” became his catch-cry over the years .

But this year, after the departing figure of Max was out of earshot, someone remarked, with cunning squinted eye and gesturing index finger, and reflecting pause, and held breath (for it was going to be a momentous statement for someone who never thought of it before ) .

“You know..”he said quietly” Max is right about one thing” and no-one asked “what”, they just waited, because, you see, they never thought of it before also….”We do only wish joy on each other on the one day of the year,….but Maxy…. Maxy gives us a present every day of the year”….

There was a moments silence, then the pondering became too hard.

“Oh yeah, what does Maxy give us?”

“Why, yer big dumbbies …: LAUGHTER! where would we be without Max’s adventures?…with out his grumbling?….who would cheer us up in the hard moments if we didn’t have Maxy and his bloody bull?….can you see, you clods?…why, forget Christmas, he’s our Christ every day!!!”….and many a chin was rubbed, and many a head-lice had to duck a searching finger for that moment…till, in silent but unanimous agreement, someone said;

“Well that being true, and I’d admit it sounds about right, then it only seems fair that we give him something in return. But what?”

“Well, we could stop laughing at his miss-adventures perhaps.”

“Nah! Max wouldn’t like that, He’s comfortable in that role.” and then there was silence as deep thought blundered blindly over the stony desert.

“I’ve got it!” someone cried, and all the rest leapt away from him in unison

“Well don’t bloody well give it to us!” they cried “Go and see a doctor.”

“No..no, seriously, c`mon here and listen…”
xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Christmas morning,

Max woke up, rubbed his eyes and grumbled

“What a rotten dream, it’s the last time I have a vegemite-pickle sandwich before bedtime.”

.. and he wearily dragged himself out of bed and went into the kitchen. He reached for the jug to fill it from the tap over the sink, and in doing so, gazed sleepily out of the kitchen window down over his front paddock ……???? What do you think he saw?

There, covering the branches of the mallee tree over the sheep trough and indeed, in the sheep trough itself so that even the sheep stared sheepishly, was a bright mantle of what appeared to be snow! and, on a huge banner draped under the tree were painted the words:

“MERRY CHRISTMAS—YOU OLD BASTARD!!!”

The water overflowed the jug, overflowed the sink and ran down Max’s pajama leg before he closed his gaping mouth, turned off the tap and stumbled outside in shock………………..

“Well Maxy,” one of the guilty wags in the bar asked “And did you have a good Christmas day?” with a side-on wink to his mates.

“Welll”- Max scratched the back of his head as if in thought “0l’ Chris Cringle did leave me a surprise on Christmas day; you wouldn’t believe it, snow, all over the mallee tree down by the trough in my front paddock!”

“HA!” they cried, “Now do you believe in Christmas?”

“Yeah well, there may be something in it, but do you know, that mean ‘0l bugger salted the snow so as it wouldn’t melt so fast!… Now the day that I can take a handful of snow from off the mallee tree over the sheep trough down my front paddock and swallow it without gagging I’ll believe in Christmas!!!!!”

“HOLY HELL for CHRISTMAS!!!” they all groaned. “Here, Maxxy…have a beer!”

The Rubaiyat of Popularist Politics.

 

There’s one particular pithy quatrain amongst the ruba’i of that old tent-maker come boozer (surprising how many of his pieces are about drinking) Omar Khayyam  that has a particular curious bent to it..:

“And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel,
And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour-well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.”

Yes..considering the sometimes tiresome and burdensome vicissitudes of life, the ability to turn water into wine would have to be almost equal to being the possessor of the Holy Grail.. perhaps better!  So what does the vintner buy?..or perhaps the question here ..this being a political blog ought to be :

“What is it the politician buys one half so precious as the goods they sell?”

For Democracy IS a market-place, much like any “flea-market” that one sees in the suburbs..where one goes to flog their wares…the most “cash-strapped” (read ; policy) pauper, much like the “one-policy” spruikers  hoping for a quick sell of their humble offerings against the seasoned “cashed-up” professional “stall-holder” , who knows a good bargain when he sees it and is quick to do the rounds of the amateur tables early and will snap up any bargains for a song to later place amongst his own wares (read ; policies)…with a percentage mark-up , of course!

So taking the rise of the wealthy wannabes now entering the market-place, alongside the professional and the seasoned thespian political players, we have to seek to inquire what it is they have to offer against what they hope to gain from their pitch.

Let’s cut straight to Donald Trump, for HE is the current driving force behind the legitimising of “bling-politics”, the “enfant terrible’ ”  both in the USA and here in Oz. What does a billionaire want or need from politics that he cannot / does not already have?.. The same could be asked of Malcolm Turnbull..Pauline Hanson..Derryn Hinch , Clive Palmer…perhaps even extending the analogy right down to us here on this blog..: What do we gain and what do we sell?

Ans: Public respect..we all seek to gain it..it is a force equal to the riches of King Croesus , and as empowering as the fantastical wand of “Gandalf The White”..whether we get it or not is another matter..a delicate juggle between inclusion , fantasy and reward…for instance, many come to various blogs with their stories, cameos and articles on offer..yet, we must frequently ask ourselves, considering the response one sometimes gets from the effort..: why bother, when a mere bagatelle of cut and paste sweets on Twitter would suffice?..and so we ask also; what does Trump NOT HAVE , either before or yet to achieve?..The one thing he hungers for so much that he makes of himself (as do many of us) a fool and jester to obtain it?..; respect. Having discovered that neither wealth nor bling (in all its forms, including the “trophy wife”) can raise him above his seedy peers in the market place, he now comes to flog grand policies of ; inclusion (to the “right” people) , fantasy ( to the most “righteous” people) and reward..TO EVERYBODY!!..and in doing so has now captured, through association, that most respected appointment of public office, that most powerful of military leadership and that most respected national respectability of President of the United States of America…..God bless and good luck to his most deviant and depraved soul.

The reasoned and logical amongst us do realise that he cannot possibly satisfy them all. But then he is as astute as the Barrow-boy in an East-end market, flogging two-bob boxes of chocolates in a fake “auction” to pull in the suckers..an unfailing success-story in politics as in the East-end street stalls…and like the wisdom distributed by the “Jim” in my character study, who early in his life observed that most people are drawn to “the bling before the blade” ( https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/jim-a-character-study/ ), to flattery rather than sensible critique, the language of the “populist politician” will rebound from the echo-chambers of the main-stream media with all the enticing seductiveness of the Sirens on the rocks, yet as consuming as the whirlpools of Charybdis.. and the predictable result could be as tragic as any and every relationship built upon deceit and denial.

We can transpose all the above , though perhaps in a lesser, meaner scale, to the ambitions of Malcolm Turnbull and certainly to those lesser “mortals” ; Hanson , Palmer and Hinch…Nick Xenethon, we have to say, plays a flirtatious part in the affairs of state, wanting a star role, yet having that natural Greek suspicion of the danger of high office, he seeks the fame , but abhors the scrutiny of being too closely examined for flaws..; a regular Iago!

This is the fatal flaw of democracy, in that it can never rise above the grubby auction floor of bargain-basement selling. Not at least while that class of merchants are in control of the “market place”, for their sole understanding of governance is through the cynical interpretations of human desires..the “every man has his price” philosophy..and they will ALWAYS direct their politics toward a “free-market” buying and selling of the social condition of humanity..the : “You want it?..You pay for it!” user pays hustle, the eternal “barrow-boy” auction of public policy. The merchant class cannot, will not abide by any socially inclusive society, where equal rights, respect and life-reward is considered more a dedicated goal than a “fight-to-the-death-for” privilege.

On the other hand we now have a half-educated working-class who have become dangerous in that they are savvy enough in their business knowledge to know they can aspire to a strata of class their parents (so many in their housing commission houses) could never obtain, and in most cases did not want to, yet are without the nous of that subtle “private school” coaching to realise that individually they will never be accepted into that class as being too crass or crude, the Sylvania Waters Set, the Kath and Kym “effluents” of their own private fantasy.. middle-class tradies..do you mind!!..and now collectively too blind to see that more than ever, they need the collective power of the trade unions to give them political clout.

But let us finish as we commenced, not in the spiteful psyche inherent of that certain middle-class, but rather  with more sage words of the canvas-cloaked bard..

“ Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,

Before we too into the Dust descend;

Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie

Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and–sans I !”

 

(Ps. : I changed the last word there from “end” to “I”, as I felt it “fitted” better..you will forgive me..won’t you?..I’m certain Omar would ).

 

 

No Place for “Old Men.”

(Time for a new manifesto for Left-wing policy.)

It has to be accepted, with the rise of right-wing reactionary politics, the “old ways” are dead and gone. ‘Polite Politics” has no place in the twenty-first century..no more can Labor hope to rely on their “welded-on base” to give them their vote on trust..on past reputation..past glory. There is a new demand out there from a rising demographic that no longer has faith nor confidence in what may be termed ; “Management politics” from a middle-class elite.

This rising class is not a brand new people, but rather the old working class moving to claim ground that has for a long time been the reserve of the middle-classes..the high-educated classes..the professional classes..For too long has the political majority relied upon what the many were assured was the professional skills obtained through a private or tertiary education necessary to manage the economy and to “steer “ the nation. Recent years of clumsy governance and wasteful spending have demonstrated what sort of bullshit floggers this class of “professionals” were…and enough is enough! There is a revolution going on right under our noses, it is the producing / working class rising against the managerial class and it is just starting and what the left-wing needs to do is to play it’s role forcefully and fearlessly in this battle and claim the “ground” that is rightfully theirs by history , by fellowship, by unionism and by Christ what is honest and respectful of the people!

The right-wing have been quicker to recognise this shift in voting patterns and players like Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer were swift to sell themselves and their policies as representative of that class of dis-enfranchised voters. Well…bullshit to her and her kind!…Hanson is no more representative of the working class than was Attila the Hun..Any allegiance she ever had to the working class was sold off years ago when she joined the Liberals and she is nothing more than a class traitor! Like all those false prophets of “friend of the worker”, she will betray us again and again and like The Greens, she cannot get ANY policy change through without selling their soul for the support of the LNP…and then THEY will double-cross her at the first opportunity..just like they did The Greens..every time!

But the Left..; Labor needs to embrace a more radical manifesto..a more socially equitable manifesto. Labor needs to not just play ; “pat the ball back to the other end of the court”, Labor needs to “slam-dunk” for a home goal by re-instituting that base requirement of a stable and fair society.  Labor must make policy to re-nationalise the energy grid and the production and supply of power. Labor needs to re-establish a control on the banking sector with a new Federal Bank that can work with the Federal Reserve to hold down and control interest rates on homes for the majority of working people. Labor needs to draw up policy to rationalise the armed forces to create a real and viable “DEFENCE FORCE” for the nation..NOT an ATTACK FORCE that gets sent to everyone else’s conflicts all over the globe, but rather concentrate on this local region and this nations’ defence and make it so that even young people of ALL nationalities resident here would be willing to serve some time for both skilled trade training and in defence of their homeland. Labor has to retake control of the communications and broadcasting sector to deliver the new technology needed in this new century.

There has to be a greater role for the Trade Union movement in the management of wage and conditions at work. Experience has shown time and again that the so-called “private sector” and the “Free-Market” cannot be trusted to deliver a decent living wage nor safe working conditions. Labor must create a solid, trustworthy beauracracy large enough to give certainty to a civil governance needed to run a competent and just society. The same can be said for education, disabilities and social services.

In short, there is no more room for the shonky speculators and “fly-by-night” entrepreneurs to use our nation as a cash-cow for their own amusement and enrichment..The same with foreign owned media..tight restrictions are needed to stop  foreign nationals from paying-off local toady journalists to undermine and sabotage national infrastructure for foreign corporations…and those local journalists who persist must be brought to trial for treason!

As the bard sang .: “The Times they are a changin’ “ and a future for left-wing politics must be representative of the wants of a new demographic..A demographic of workers and producers who demand fair and respectful representation equal to their unstinted giving of labour and taxation, rather than being run to ground by those managerial elites who seem to get the most representation without the least taxation!

The future is a place of multicultural mix of ethnic groups, it is no place for the “old white Anglo men” of politics.

 

Fields of Deceit.

“For the farmer sows his fields

Of barley, oats or wheat.

While the lawyer reaps fortune

From fields of deceit.”

Brian Pascoe leant forward in the soft leather chair with one arm on the lawyer’s desk and the other hand on his knee. His brow was knitted and he felt his anger raising as he listened to the lawyers’ dissertation.

“She’s got you on those points, Brian. First, you admit you’ve come home drunk and second you admit to striking the children…”

“But not both at the same time…bloody hell. Yes, I’ve come home drunk at times…not blind drunk mind…and then only after some event, like winning the district grand final say, or something like that…but I didn’t come home drunk and drag the kids out of bed and thump them if that’s what you mean…oh I’ve given ’em a “clip around the ear’ole” a couple of times for mucking about…”

Brian listened to his voice as he rambled on and he was amazed that here he was defending his behaviour as a father when he was certain that he hadn’t done anything wrong! The lawyer tossed several pages of statement onto his desk and sighed as if in frustration of ever having these clients understand the finer points of law.

“I know, I know Brian,…but still the facts remain. Look, it’s an old trick of evidence, I’ve used it myself at times. You take separate pieces of fact, they may be totally estranged from each other, and you bring them together to make one picture…” The lawyer spoke with the enthusiasm of someone who obviously enjoyed the game of law “…Like two negatives of photographs…one of a person and one of a background…” he held his arms up in front of them both at eye level with his hands flat and moved them in a scissor motion “… you bring them together and you have the person standing against the background…you see” his eyes were bright. “It’s an illusion of evidence…and you can’t deny either frame…clever eh?”

He sat back and threw his hands up in acknowledgement. Brian Pascoe looked over the desk at the lawyer through narrowing eyes, he was beginning to feel out of his depth in a system that disgusted him and although it was HIS lawyer in front of him he felt a revulsion creep over his feelings.

“You people have got it all sown up, haven’t you?” He said quietly.

“What do you mean?” the lawyer looked surprised.

“Never mind.” Brian waved it aside “What’s the third accusation she’s got on me?”

“You struck her” the lawyer read from the form.

Brian looked down at his crossed legs with the foot “tapping” at the air.

“I…I gave her a back-hander once.” Brian recalled.

“Rather vicious of you?” the lawyer pried.

Brian recalled the fight in the kitchen when they were arguing, she was only a few inches from his face yelling abuse at him and when he was about to turn away, she swung to hit him on the head and he automatically flung his arm in response and struck her on the face. she gasped and wept then…he felt his stomach knot up…he felt it knot up now…but the pride in him, the male in him did not, could not allow him to take advantage, even in her absence, of the situation..

“Yes” Brian replied, “it was.”

The lawyer raised his eyebrow.

“Well, you’ve got to realise she has those facts on her side.” He lifted his fingers up to count them off “A…you have come home drunk…B…you have hit the children…and C…you did strike her.. Brian was about to interject but the lawyer held up his hand. “Hold on Brian, hold on…those are the facts that will be presented to the magistrate, you won’t be allowed to interject to explain in a broken-voiced, hesitant way..as a matter of legal point, I’d advise against it if what you just said to me is the best you can do.. all excuses will be irrelevant, those are the facts, like the negatives of the photographs I told you about, the final picture is the one the family court will see and if you can excuse me saying; a picture paints a thousand words.”

The lawyer finished breathless, for although he was young, he already had the look of frail professionalism. There was a silence in the room, it was a room of heavy furniture, dark furniture with heavy antiques and red-bound books leaning from the walls. The lawyer was exasperated at the naivety of his client.

Brian placed his hands in his lap. He was an honest man, a hard working farmer whose shoulders had carried the burdens of work till they were broad and strong. His hands were large and hard from the raw materials that were his workload. He could see deeply into the world of his work, but he was too short-sighted for the trickery of a school of thought that would slander a man and manipulate the fact,  and present the mixture as truth…and as the lawyer asserted…be blessed for it! Brian looked down at his gnarled hands, there he saw the evidence of his honesty, there was the result of his concern for his children: wellbeing…Anger rose to his lips.

“No, bugger it, Mr Crompton.”  He spat out  “I won’t accept that, I’ll fight that if only to clear my name. I’ll not accept those lies, I’ll not have it insinuated that I was a bad father…they’re lies.” He stabbed a finger at the document…his face red “no matter how clever they’re put into words and I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it…” he pounded the desk with his big fist…the lawyer gazed at the clenched fist with the knuckles all white. He sighed.

“Well Mr Pascoe, I’ll pass that information on to my opposite colleague and we’ll deliberate on the matter…but she’s a hard one I’ll tell you that for free!”

“The first and last thing I’ll get free from you” Brian thought.

“Right”…he responded “But you make sure they understand!” Brian waved his index finger in emphasis.

“Well, that’ll do for now…” the lawyer stood “I’ll get in touch with the results.”

Brian left the office and stepped out into the busy street and the sunshine. “What a world,” he mumbled as he looked back to the name plate on the archway of the “Chambers”. “What a bloody world!”

The farm set in the open countryside seemed an age away from all the intrigue of the law. Brian couldn’t comprehend how it came to all this. What started out as a marriage separation ended up with him having to prove he wasn’t some kind of monster, child abuser, a drunkard, wife basher..

“bloody hell what next?!” he banged his flat hands against the steering wheel of the tractor. “What the hell can a man do?” he shouted up to the blue sky. There was of course no answer.

A fortnight passed before the lawyer got in touch with him for an appointment in the office. Brian paced over the carpet as the lawyer explained the terms of agreement coldly to him…

“…and further to agree to drop all accusations of abuse against you, should you agree to sign over custody…”  the lawyer stopped short as Brian suddenly turned and strode up to his desk.

“Agree!” he shouted “They agree!…my oath they agree!” he nodded his head in satire and anger “My bloody oath they agree…as long as I sign away my children…sure they agree!…that’s blackmail!!” he rapped his fingertips on the desk top.

“Well,” the lawyer sighed “that’s how it stands at this moment…” He shrugged.

Brian stood straight his lips pressed tight together, he took a deep breath to steady himself, an age of oppression arose before his eyes.

“No it bloody well isn’t.” he spoke with controlled anger He was trembling with temper. “Not in a pink fit it isn’t !”

“But I’ll tell you how it is me ol’china, an’ I’ll tell YOU for free.. It’s doin’ the “Bobby Limb” every morning till it gets to be a habit and you forget what tired is, it’s when there’s too much work and not enough time and no-one to help and they keep piling on more till you’re bent double with responsibilities and prodded on to up-hold the lot. It’s when the crops failed or the sheep come down with some pox or other and the fridge can’t stay empty and kids need new shoes. It’s when the machinery needs to be overhauled and the wool cheques not in yet and the fence needs mendin’ because some bloody hoon’s crashed his car through it and pissed off an’ left you with another job to do. It’s when your hand’s gashed on the reaper’s teeth so it needs a dozen stitches and you have to work the bloody thing that same after-noon so the doctor gives you some painkillers and tells you to buy a ticket in “tatts”. It’s when you’re carrying some sort of physical injury big or small every fuckin’ day for years till you’re like some sort of sick animal. It’s the workin’ in the forty plus degree heat so you’re that beat when you get home but still get called “lazy” for not doing “your share” of the housework. It’s when you’re old and your hands are like claws for the arthritis in them and the only thing you can carry is a bloody stick.  It’s being accused of trying to keep them in their place so you throw your hand down on the table in exasperation of it all, your palm up so they can see the in-grained dirt and cuts and callouses and you say to “put your hand next to mine and tell me who knows their place!”. It’s society pointing the finger when the family goes bust and asks “what’s HE doing, why isn’t HE supporting his family?”. It’s the presumption that he’s some commodity that’s there for the privilege of people to work till he drops and screw what ever’s left from the corpse… Well, the presumptions wrong. I’m no boozer, I’m no child abuser, I’m no wife beater and I’m not a bastard, Mr Crompton. I’m a working man, an honest man…” he stood solidly before the desk, anger reflected in his stance.

The lawyer’s secretary gingerly opened the door of the office and poked her head in.

“Is everything alright Mr Crompton?” she asked.

The lawyer ssh! sshed! her out with a grimace and a wave of his hand. He gazed hatefully over his rich desk at the farmer.

“Very heroic Brian…” he paused for effect, then pushed the paper document toward him.

“Still…that’s their proposition, and I think you know the score,” he looked slyly out of his eyes, he wanted this resolved as quick and as cleanly as possible..these “hard-working” types set his teeth on edge..they were too rough and crude-thinking for his class.

“You do realise of course, if she presses these accusations, they could well be taken out of the civil court and into the criminal court.” He added drily.

A lonely pang of hopelessness swept away Brian’s pride, he looked into the hard, cold face of his lawyer. A realization came over him: This was no field of labour that he was in, this wasn’t a situation he could physically work his way through, this was a field of deceit and his armour of honesty and simplicity was no match for the law’s duplicity. His defence was silently swept away like a child’s castle on the evening tide. He sat wearily down in the plump cushioned chair, a fatalistic sigh escaped his lips..

“What do you advise, Mr Crompton?”

Brian sat before the form that would give his wife custody of their children. On his right sat his wife’s lawyer, then his wife. Beside them and a little back sat his wife’s father and mother, “good people the parents”, he thought, he always got on well with the old couple. On his left sat his lawyer and before him sat the court official. Brian stared down at the document in resentful awe. The official pointed with his finger to a dotted line.

“Just sign there Mr Pascoe.” He said softly.

Brian hesitated. Both his lawyer and the wife’s lawyer placed their fingers simultaneously on the space to sign. Brian held the pen over the space, there was silence in the room as if in anticipation of some great event. Anger welled up in Brian’s heart. “Bastards! Bastards!” he was thinking as he lowered the pen. He didn’t want to sign, it was all wrong; “a document to control lives, it shouldn’t be so. A piece of paper over flesh and blood, no! it wasn’t right.” He started to write his name with his hand but his heart kept screaming: “No! No!” as the pen moved over the paper. Once before he signed a similar document in marriage, with similar people around him and now it had come to this. He fought to hold back tears of bitterness and sadness in his eyes as he finished the flourish of his family name. He dropped the pen and fell back into his chair.

“Yippee! Yippee!” his ex-wife jumped up in elation, like a child. “I’ve won!, I’ve won!” she cried and clapped her hands together in glee.

The lawyers looked at each other and rolled their eyes and her father winced. He leant over and touched his daughter on the arm as if to quieten her.

“Jilly,” he said softly, “Jilly, I don’t think”, he glanced at the ashen faced Brian sitting there “…I don’t think you realize what Brian has signed away.”

He spoke as if to quieten the woman’s ecstatic  outburst, but she just shot him a glance as if to kill and he shrunk back red faced and then, hesitatingly turned his face away. Brian sat there for a moment longer while the official straightened the papers and was about to dismiss them all. Brian suddenly pushed himself back and stood up, the chair fell backwards onto the floor, he ignored it and strode impatiently to the door. He could feel the tears sting his lids even as he passed out of the room and let the big panelled doors swing to and all down the cold empty corridor he could hear Jilly’s  voice crying shrilly: “I’ve won, I’ve won, I’ve won.”