Policies and politics

Moving from the sublime to the mundane, no one but the relatives of politicians would demur at a recent report by the Australian media that politicians are very lowly regarded by the public. Yet, recently the Australian Government demonstrated that it is not easily swayed by the ‘rent-a-crowd,’ or ‘glee club,’ or other not-so-disinterested supporters of free entry into the nation (with an associated right of access to all its generous unearned welfare benefits) of anyone who chooses to land on its shores without prior approval.

It is not often, as alleged by the media and other keen observers, that sound policies are substituted for crafty politics. Generally, no amount of public criticism is likely to be effective in preventing or avoiding decisions which are claimed by those who have no political axe to grind to be inequitable or simply inadequate.

For example, at the federal level, a foreign-controlled mining industry, the liquor and gambling industries, the welfare industry, the private schools industry, etc., ensure quite successfully that their interests are not damaged in any substantive manner by any proposed change in official policies. The most influential foreign entity, apart from our godfather (the USA), is that mini-sovereign state based in Rome. Media reports hint that, at the State and local government levels, there is often some undue favouritism displayed. But, isn’t all this politics?

Having had a highly interactive and contributory life in Australia, as an adult, for more than 6 decades, I am able to ask why, collectively, our politicians are seen to be so subservient. Compare their stance with that of the traditional Anglo-Australian worker; he stands tall, is equal to one and all, and is also a beacon to workers in neighbouring nations. (Read chapter 1 in Musings at Death’s Door) Yet, I can attest that the politicians and Ministers I have dealt with are nice people. Indeed, a Senator once had a federal Cabinet decision reversed when I (as an ordinary citizen) challenged its legality.

It is, however, creditable that there is, with some rare exceptions, no evidence of corruption politically – at least of the kind reported to be evident elsewhere in the world. Perhaps we should respect out politicians more!