A time for change.

I wrote this piece when I was more involved in volunteering for an environmental group in local politics. And though the reference are of a local nature, they are relevant to the broader community.

The saying goes ; “Behind every successful man , there is a woman”…I don’t believe there can be anyone in this day and age who will not look upon that adage and see it as patronising. Patronising in the presumption that it must be the man who makes the “success”, for in ALL walks of employment, women equal, if not in positions of authority, the capacity of men in employment…in capacity of management and in capacity of strength of character and endurance..in endurance perhaps even more so!

When it comes to micro-management, of household budgets, timetabling, children as babes, toddlers and school…there is no equal…when it comes to people motivators, partner consolers and networking specialists…again ; there is no equal…YET!…yet…in this local government, we have but two women on council!…Two women amongst a known patriarchy of a somewhat anachronistic “boy’s club”. Why is this so?…Must it remain so?

A close study of the district sees many areas in grave need of extended attention. In dire need of restructuring from agriculture to something else..close attention is needed to address many social / environmental structures further out than the immediate centres of governance. The more marginal parts of the district require a more attentative “eye”, the “machinery of governance” needs a “mechanic” more than just the cursory glance of the salesman…too many years have been lost in trying to hold on to or to reconstruct a lost past that can no longer be justified. I can remember a time when the district, in its “youth” was a thriving “agricultural machine”…I have seen the pictures of multiple teams of horse-drawn harvesters cutting through bumper crop after bumper crop..it looked good!..it WAS good…..now it is gone for those parts of the district where a good season is perhaps one in five, rather than one in three. It must be time to consider moving on.

This may be the problem with a patriarchal mindset..; The male is a constructor…a physical builder…he works best when there is a clear job at hand to do…give him a pragmatic problem and he will tackle it!..as long as there are not too many insurmountable obstacles to overcome..as long as there is a reasonably clear path so he can “get stuck into it”..the task will be tackled with enthusiasm and determination…BUT..once the job seems futile, too hard or complicated..he will sit down and even sometimes stay down!…and this is where the adage at the start of this article comes in…; “Behind every successful man…”

From where I stand, I can see the district has become one of those “sit down and stay down” problems…I won’t go into them here, either you know, or you don’t want to know..regardless, there are some things that need to be done.

One of those things..perhaps the primary thing..is that there needs to be more women brought into the management side of governance. The district needs to shift from a “construction mindset” to a “re-creation mindset”..not recreation ; as in fun, fun ,fun!..but re-creation as in re-building the social base from the existing foundations up.

This requires a more discerning eye that that of the speculator / entrepreneur, looking for the quick-buck solution..a fast “turnaround time”. The skill required for such long-term vision and planning needs that gender schooled in patient endurance…the patient endurance of : “taking the back seat” in decision making..of bearing, raising and schooling children even while maintaining a career.. Of having to “turn the other cheek” to taunts of ANY sexist aggression..and to turn it with enduring dignity and pride…sure, there are many who fail these accolades, but I suggest it is a failure more often born of overbearing pressure, rather than lack of character…a situation witnessed by many in minority groups. It is changing, it must change .

Where men once had sense of morality and the physical drive and opportunity to take the nation on a positive and productive course, those days have passed and we are now become weaker in spirit and corrupt in morals so that we no longer lead with good or decent intention, but rather with too much pride of gender and false virility so we have become the bully we once suppressed and we have sought an answer in more aggression rather than arbitration and or conciliation..It is time for men to step away from the controls of this runaway train, take a break from our now clumsy leadership and allow women to turn down the pressure on a society that cannot sustain such hunger for brutal power.

This district is in grave need of a re-birth..it is in grave need of a more discerning and sophisticated judgement of priorities of investment and management…After one hundred and fifty years of male dominated construction and slow dissolution, I, for one..and I hope for many, believe it is time to “Give the Women a place on the driver’s seat” to take this old bus down a new road…

The Road Not Taken.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
By Robert Frost.

Step down or be taken down.

Let us stop talking falsely and start talking about realities. I am on a “conversation friendly” basis with a lady with one child who suffers a debilitating affliction, brought about by an unfortunate car accident that happened to the above woman while she was in late pregnancy. The car accident smashed the woman’s pelvis and in consequence caused some brain damage to the foetus she was carrying at near term..the result has meant both a rebuild of the woman’s bone structure with metal parts and a lifelong commitment to the child’s condition.

While the lady in question is from a upper middle class section of society that allows relief from many of the inconveniences that a poorer person in the same situation would feel, it still does not for one moment relieve the reality of the situation when a distressed child needs a mother’s affection. Whatever the persons private means, the medical necessity must over-ride.

I tell this little cameo of an unfortunates situation because in the wider world of this nation’s political situation and the cost of living and the everyday ups and downs of trying to get by, we – the citizen body – have to carry the burden of supplying for our family’s needs. There is no avoiding, without grave repercussion, the necessity of immediate attention to children and our loved ones. Of course, this is where a connection to the upper middle class could alleviate some of that burden..and THAT is where it brings this conversation here to the nub.

With failure on many fronts of domestic supply and demand for jobs, energy costs, climate change action, violence, education, communications…and on and on, we can see no real solution coming from those in leadership at the head of our Federal govt’..none whatsoever..only more propaganda through its MSM channels and more fumbling and bumbling when reform is both needed and long overdue.

We have in the Leadership of this nation, representatives of the best education providers, what could be claimed as “successful business persons”, the “best qualified legal brains” in both govt’ and advisory boards..in short, the best of the best representatives of the upper middle class strata of society..The most rewarded and well educated , in the one or two most esteemed universities in the world….and yet they fail…and fail so dismally that you’d need a freight-train pulling an endless link of sealed box-wagons to contain all their fumbling excuses for that failure. We see manufacturing failure, economic failure, diplomatic , military and well-being of the nation’s citizenry failure.. In short, : The governing middle class no longer has either the capacity, capability, nor right to rule.

I make the case here and now for future leadership of this nation to be controlled and managed by those with experience and skills in a physical work-life.

Many years ago I worked in my trade capacity as a builder for Professor Igor Kluvanek .. http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Kluvanek.html The twist was that because when he first studied in communist Czechoslovakia, it was a requirement (as the professor himself informed me) that a trade skill was first learned that would compliment those further academic pursuits..so the good Professor was a qualified electrical engineer before he became a mathematician and he could do welding and electrical wiring required for his renovations. Now THAT is an example of the success of combining trade with profession which ought to be the norm for all advanced education in any State.

The failure of a pure higher education training in only professional careers, is that it denies one the “hands on” skills that give hard knowledge to the body of what precisely is required for a system of implemented policies. For instance, when we have someone like Malcolm Turnbull holding the position of leader of the state, being advised by ministers or lobby groups from the same level and background of education and capabilities as himself, there can hardly be expected a position more favourable to the mass of the people out in the suburbs and regions who will benefit long-term from their policy intentions…they just do not have the capacity or experience OR INTENTION to know how far one has to stretch every dollar..and I mean EVERY DOLLAR!..NOT every million or so!

With the trained skills and experience of a trade under one’s belt, there comes as a bonus the satisfaction and confidence of self-reliance that in many cases insulates one from the necessity to consult or hire external persons to do repair or construct when required, hence saving much valued time and money for other things. One develops through the practicalities of hands-on application a certain insight into how structures and system developments are used and employed in the making of more than just the product at hand..and one can become astute in tracing the logic and rationale of thought behind a thing..as any person can tell you when forced to confront emergency repair in a stranded situation, be it complex mechanics or the simple straps on a child’s stroller..when the awful reality presents itself, chances are one rises to the occasion.

It is in the self-confidence of one’s capabilities that confidence in comprehending political policy direction can be developed. The false doctrines promulgated by a devious media or party can be seen through as either downright impractical or not user-friendly and so dismissed as useless. Many such policies put up by a totally unscrupulous and inexperienced political adviser, have been thrown out on such grounds. The reality requirements learned from hard worked experience give sarcastic wince to stupid policy and the recent experiments with both refugees and manufacturing – to pick two diverse subjects – give those of us who have physically worked with the first or in the latter, shrewd insight as to how both are an integral part of our society and would be a disaster if ignored and wasted.

The reality-blind middle class has shown through financial disaster and brinkmanship of nuclear war..has bruised the economy through stupid NBN policy to disastrous energy policy..with-held by brutal economic cruelty essential services to the poor, the disabled and elderly..colluded in disgraceful deception with big corporations to milk the last cent from the nation’s resources and pockets of the hard working citizens of the nation for no more than a deluded ideology learned perhaps in those “magnificent institutions” that both train the mind and direct the hand of the most miserable, mealy-mouthed, avaricious and degraded persons that ever have breathed the air or suffered the delusion that they are ready and capable to govern a nation of citizens.

And if we can return to the example of the lady first mentioned in the opening of this piece, who , regardless of fortune or status, is left with the reality of her situation which only she has the capability to manage. The brutal realities of life have forced her to skill-up to handle her circumstances..likewise, those of the middle class, even within the ALP will need to skill-up or relinquish ambitions to leadership as they will not have the necessary knowledge as we see every day now with this gormless government to manage the realities of governance of a broad skilled multi-cultural society.

The Machiavellian Egg.

If any of us on the “progressive” side of politics still believe there is room for civilised and rational debate on the current portfolio of LNP Govt’ policy, then I would confrontingly suggest you are a f#cking idiot!

With the cancellation of next weeks parliamentry sitting, we see white-hot evidence of corporate interference from both the banking sector and the religious hierarchy to forestall the inevitable popular demands for both financial and social change. For this cabal of “corporate grease-nipples” that call themselves the LNP to act in the best interests of the State, they first would have to extract themselves from their toothy grip firmly planted on the inner colon of big business.

We..the people are being royally screwed over by the fossil-fuel energy suppliers, the energy re-sellers ,the Financial Banking sector, Water supply authorities, Petroleum suppliers, medical, educational and many other once safe, secure government run utilities that are now if not totally in the hands of incompetent private corporations, are being given over to private outsourcing to manage and manage badly all in the interests of the stupidly vacant middle-class opportunists comfortably ensconced in their pension seats of parliament.

There are so many corporate bodies circling and lobbying the federal govt’ these days , the Canberra Capital’s roundabouts look more like a Hollywood movie set of Red-Indians circling the covered wagons on the American Prairie and there are more strings being pulled in the corridors of power than in a Sicilian Puppetry theatre…..or perhaps under the bed-covers of one; C.Pyne at 2am. In the morning..ANY morning!

This current malaka of a govt’ has laid an egg..a Machiavellian egg..in that it not only has a soft centre open to corporate corruption sucking , but it also has a brittle shell all ready to be shattered at the first tap of a voter’s fingernail. It is such a stereotype of a corrupt government, it is a wonder Seth Blatter is not on their payroll as some sort of adviser..except they’d have to replace Rupert Murdoch and we all know HE now needs the money!

But old Machiavelli knew a thing or two about how a govt’ works…particularly a right-wing govt’ and he drew up the “rules of engagement” for the running of such and those of that persuasion who now sit in the catbird seat of power are running the country according to script. Turnbull and his entire cabinet are but mummers..thespians ham-acting set pieces and lines for corporate power..

WE ARE THE CORPORATE STATE.

The LNP have betrayed us as a People and Sovereign State to international corporate bodies. Our energy producers are mainly international corporations, as are many of our water holdings, our financial sector is controlled by international banking, our petroleum managed by international manipulated pricing, much of our food produce, delivery and resale…we are being squeezed for every penny we have in both our savings and future prospects..The LNP has sold us down the river to these voracious corporations for their own personal gain..which if we read their philosophies so clearly stated on their IPA manifesto of 100 wish-list..decrees quite openly if a tad convolutedly that it is a case of every person for themselves and if we but peruse the property portfolios of that end of the political town, we can see they have achieved that end with more than a degree of success!

WE ARE GORN!

Machiavelli recognised the above problem arising as a matter of course in civil governance and did write a very lucid and instructive chapter on cause and effect of such an event in his “Discourses”..here.. https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/machiavelli/niccolo/m149d/book1.html#book1.33 …I will paste a short example that will lead those with more an interest in instruction than argumentive confrontation to have a read.; Chapter 33

When an Evil has Sprung up Either Within a State or Against a State, it is a More Salutary Proceeding to Temporize With it than to Attack it Rashly.

“… On which subject it will first be discussed, that when an evil springs up either within a Republic or against a Republic, whether from intrinsic or extrinsic causes, and has become so great that it begins to make [everyone] afraid, it is a much more safe procedure to temporize with it than to try to extinguish it. For almost always those who try to crush it, make its force greater, and make that evil which is suspected from it to be accelerated. And incidents similar to these arise more frequently in a Republic from intrinsic and extrinsic causes, as it often occurs that it allows a Citizen more power than is reasonable, or the corrupting of a law is begun which is the nerve and life of a free society: and this error is allowed to run so far, that it is a more harmful procedure to want to remedy it than to let it go on. And it is so much more difficult to recognize these evils when they first arise, as it seems more natural to men always to favor the beginning of things: And such favors are accorded more to those accomplishments which have in them some virtu or are done by young men, than to any other thing: for if some young noble is seen to spring up in a Republic who has in him some extraordinary virtu, the eyes of all the Citizens begin to turn toward him, and they agree without regard [to consequences] to honor him:… “

What we see now in our State is the shifting of the base of power from the democratic process to the Autocratic..when the democratically elected govt’ goes against the parliamentary majority to suspend The Sitting of The House , without doubt upon instruction (we can’t seriously believe that a Turnbull cabinet made the decision on its own!) from an “extrinsic cause”, for to stall essential legislation that would forfeit power against the corporations, then without doubt we have an autocratic regime…no longer a government, but a Fascist State.

We have but one last chance to crush this takeover of our future and that is by the next election and we need the ALP to combine with any other political entity to be able to effectively muscle-up against this global right-wing power grab..and we see the same modus operandi in Britain and America and rising very fast in Europe..We have to extend the “progressive” out-reach to bring into the tent those many groups operating in a loose conglomerate to unify action against this direct threat (and not to make too fine a point on it) to life and liberty..For as that great Machiavellian scholar himself said..: The delicate problem those who oppose bad politics have is that they ; being the good people, cannot act in any way that brings them down to the same level as those they need to defeat.

Our hands may be tied, but our noble intentions and our demand for equality touch everywhere.

Once upon a time…

Resisting the temptation to declare that this current period of so-called governance of the nation reads and performs like the script of a Grimm Bros’ fairy tale, we have to admit…no..screw it!..it IS LIKE a fairy tale..a horrid fantasy where instead of the villains getting their just desserts, they end up like the wolves consuming the children.

There’s something badly wrong with our cultural perceptions..badly wrong..our sense of fairness has been turned upside down. All those same fairy tales, those moral insights, the Grimm Brothers..those Hans Christian Anderson anecdotes, Aesop’s fables and the rest have been trashed for the complete opposite result that is the lesson of ancient times and now anarchy and mayhem rule our days.

It truly is a bizarre turn of events, because in every moral tale told to us, to our children down the ages, at fireside or bedside..the most miserable stereotype, sniveling, vicious, narrow-eyed lying schemers are identified, chastised and given a bloody good and well-deserved walloping! Now, any one of those many mythical weaselly villains could be morphed into a Pyne. The most brutal, bullying, cold-blooded destroyer of the innocents could be at anytime ; a Dutton…the avaricious landlord or overlord, who wouldn’t hesitate to send in the bailiffs against the most sorrowful widow could unmistakably be a Murdoch…That suavo wealthy uncle, bon-vivant, amusing raconteur and apparent gentle “assistant” to the ladies…all the while slyly and slimily waiting his chance to de-flower the young maidens could easily be Turnbull (except he’s too gormless!)…any number of LNP. women can be measured up as equally vindictive nasties or cackling harridans straight from the pages of medieval folk-lore and tales warning of the evils of over indulgence and characters that stalk the innocent and unwary.

And yet..here we are with those very same ghastly beggardly representations leading the nation..voted in there by many who not only have had such dire warnings read to them as children, but to this day, most probably still read a variation exampling of such mendacious behaviour to warn off their own offspring.

So where is the “lesson”?..Where is the example?..If we cannot see the danger, why bother trying to teach our children?..why not just let the strongest in brutal aggression rule over us?…Is might right?…Murdoch obviously believes it is..Dutton does too..all their creatures have eagerly signed onto the “contract”..and it seems many of the population likes what it sees! Perhaps it is time to rewrite the fairy tales?

Perhaps it is more suitable a time for us as a nation to “courage-up” and face our own responsibilities and cease fobbing off care and international treaties to those countries less wealthy and less populated that in many cases strain that nations resources to the limit and beyond. No Nation is in isolation in a changing climate world…if we do not seek a solution to manage the trickle of refugees we currently experience..and yes..even 50,000 in a year or two is no great number for some situations and some regions..so if we refuse to negotiate our way to accept those refugees now, what are we going to do when the climate refugee situation gets really serious? For by then there will no place to hide and no impoverished country on our doorstep that we can bribe or bully to do our dirty work for us.

After all, in all our European cultures, there is an overarching theme in both history and storyline, both fact and fable, in fantasy and mythology, there is the lesson indelible of right triumphing over oppression and wrong..We base the hard lessons of our laws upon these heroic myths..we forestall tyranny by using the lessons of past history -hopefully- to give example..we start these lessons with the very young, the innocent, before they can talk or walk by reading to sleep with rising or descending inflection of voice to the children, those tender lessons of adversity, of hope, struggle and triumph in big or small measure. We read these stories with that same voice that has come down from ancient times, down to our grandparents and parents and then to fall to us the responsibility demanded by our many cultures and creeds..we talk with sweet drops of dialect into the ears of the innocents, our dreams, our aspirations and desires with all the sincerity of a whisperer’s secret.

It is our solemn duty to our inherited culture to inculcate into our children those lessons so vital to the continuity of civilized society. And if we but renege on that duty, we fail both our children and our culture..and woe betide us when either of those most important pillars of community fail.

So..do we start to practice what we preach, or do we turn our heads away in craven shame..yet continue with our children to just hypocritically and cowardly mouth those platitudes of morality and ethics to those innocents?

But my goodness..won’t our voices have changed because of it?..Now, instead of our child detecting that soft mood of courage and determination in the voice of their storyteller, they will detect most astutely..as children do..the trembling hesitancy of the spineless wimp.

What was true in history…

Below is a passage of observation by Theodor Mommsen from his magnum opus; “The History of Rome”, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1902. This work would have been a major part of the teaching of Classics in many Universities of that era. The accrued knowledge ought to have welded itself to our culture, social science and general knowledge, and should be learned wisdom to use and reflect upon through the years. But it is not! … It is a waste of knowledge up there with the loss for millennia of the knowledge for making concrete … How many mistakes could have been avoided and lives spared if such knowledge was digested with integrity or even was taken seriously.

I, myself, am disgusted and disappointed at the lax attention to such knowledge by those who ought to know better. As a tradesman who was taught the accrued skills of my craft, accumulated over many millennia of a society working with timber and construction..applied and improved upon through the wisdom and knowledge of many times illiterate but astute artisans..I feel disappointed and let down by a clique of higher-educated “elite” who seem to prove Mommsen’s observations below to be so accurate.

However, it is neither wit nor wisdom on my part to make these observations, for I am but the messenger. It is however, on the part of those who ought to understand and know better; an utter betrayal of a fine education and a dishonourable disgrace of political knowledge. I would say that those “revered institutions” of private school education and “sandstone” tertiary education, that conduct their system of instruction of their charges under a banner of pompous and insincere Latin mottos or logos that preach such lofty aspirations but in truth are little better than the most vulgar colloquial slang spat into a gutter by an inebriated starting-price bookie after a bad day at the races.

Theodore Mommsen:

“It is true that the history of past centuries ought to be the instructress of the present; but not in the vulgar sense, as if one could simply by turning over the leaves discover the conjunctures of the present in the records of the past and collect from these the symptoms for a political diagnosis and for the specifics for a prescription ; it is instructive only so far as the observation of earlier forms of culture reveals the organic conditions of civilization generally – the fundamental forces everywhere alike, and the manner of their combination everywhere different – and leads and encourages men, not to unreflecting imitation, but to independent reproduction.

In this sense the history of Caesar and of Roman Imperialism, with all the unsurpassed greatness of the master worker, with all the historical necessity of the work, is in truth a more bitter censure of modern autocracy than could be written by the hand of man. According to the same law of nature in virtue of which the smallest organism infinitely surpasses the most artistic machine, every constitution however defective which gives play to the free self-determination of a majority of citizens infinitely surpasses the most brilliant and humane absolutism ; for the former is capable of development and therefore living, the latter is what it is and therefore dead. This law of nature has verified itself in the Roman absolute military monarchy and verified itself all the more completely , that, under the impulse of its creator’s genius and in the absence of all material extraneous complications, that monarchy developed itself more purely and freely than any similar state. From Caesar’s time, as the sequel will show and Gibbon has shown long ago, the Roman system had only an external coherence and received only a mechanical extension, while internally it became even with him utterly withered and dead.

If in the early stages of the autocracy and above all in Caesar’s own soul the hopeful dream of a combination of free popular development and absolute rule was still cherished, the government of the highly-gifted emperors of the Julian house soon taught men in a terrible form how far it was possible to hold fire and water in the same vessel.” (Mommsen ; “Roman History”).

And THAT was Julius Caesar who tried and failed…and HE was a genius !…What have we in these times..: A moron!..an utter moron! And they (the LNP) are trying to pass MORE laws to restrict civil governance and restrain the equality of the masses..It’s got to a point where I am sick and tired of hearing “experts” in law or politics, or military advice or economics , from a plethora of institutions and universities who pontificate on their subject of choice , yet have either no capacity or no intention of protesting in any worthwhile physical manner against those of their similar standard of education who perpetrate this descent into bedlam that seems our fate. If these “behemoths” of learning and “influence”, cannot demonstrate either in the face of political imbecility…then I ask; What effing use are they…one might as well have a dog and bark oneself!

If we of the labouring classes have to cop the flak, the penalties of an unjust society without noticeable help from those better placed to influence, then they can go their way and we will ours..for THEY will just be another burden for us to carry.