Joseph Goebbels stated:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State
Such is the abject lying, rhetoric-spewing and partisanship being displayed in Australian politics currently. In particular, in connection with the creation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). I watched the post-COAG (Council of Australian Governments) press conference earlier this week, dismayed, but hardly surprised that all non-Labor governed State governments had colluded to block the instigation of four NDIS test sites. In particular, the big States, including the two largest resource-rich States of Western Australia and Queensland. It was refreshing to hear that South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory – Labor governed States – have agreed with the Federal government in a co-operative funding venture to establish three test sites in each of the three States/Territory. Thankfully, the process of creation of a national disability support scheme is getting underway.
So, why have the four non-Labor governed States opted out? They say it’s because they can’t afford to contribute from their budgets. The dollar amounts concerned are relatively small, especially in light of the Federal govt contributing $1b for the pilot launch test sites. This is simple political partisanship at it’s worst. Political bastardry. A continuation of the anti-government, anti-Labor rhetorical hate-fest which conservatism in this country has been carry on since government wound up not going in that direction in August 2010. As some Labor ministers have termed it in the House, the “world’s longest dummy-spit”. And so it is.
Up to now, this penny-ante petty bitchiness has made for good political theatre and often amusement among people like me who love to laugh at the antics of conservatives who feel cheated out of their ‘born-to-rule’ right to government. The inanities which appear daily on social media are quite staggering in their dishonesty and sheer ignorance, but that’s the disgruntled conservative voter for you. But the NDIS is important….far too important to the future socially responsible culture of this nation to be used as a political plaything of partisan pig-headedness. Thousands of disabled folk around the country need the help of their fellow Australians simply to exist in our society. They deserve to be included, they and their carers deserve to be treated as equals. If that means people like me who work, pay taxes, contribute to Medicare & the GST need to contribute a little more, then so be it! When I look at a disabled person, even someone with what I regard as a mild mental intellect impairment such as my step-niece, I think, “there but for the twists of fate go I”. She is a young lady turned 17 who would dearly love to learn to drive. Sadly, due to her intellectual impairment, she will never be either able to learn sufficiently, or be allowed to drive on public roads. The danger to herself and to other road users would be too great. I cannot imagine how shattering it must be for her to not enjoy the right of self-determination in her life, or the privileges that I and other like me take for granted. The ability to drive, to hold down a well paid job or to engage in pursuits that similarly impaired people simply can’t manage or aren’t permitted to do.
Conservatism as an ideology is anathema to me. The philosophy of each for themselves and devil take the hindmost I find offensive, distasteful and grubby. The political tactics of O’Farrell, Baillieu, Barnett & Newman in claiming their jurisdictions too poor to help Australia’s disabled, simply because the promoting federal government isn’t of their political flavour signal the end to so-called co-operative federalism in my view. It’s dead, if it ever really existed. Where social culture reforms are involved, political pox-spreading has no place. Conservatism has no place. Those who cannot contribute to the betterment of the whole, have no place.
I think what offends me the most are the lies being told, especially by the Premier of the State I live in, Queensland. The man personifies Conservatism. All for the rich and fuck the poor. Those who can’t stand up, don’t deserve to and those who can should move forward, leaving the fallen behind. All for the developers, the mining entrepreneurs, the tourism czars, the conservative party mates and fellow travellers. If you don’t think like he does, you’re spat on & dismissed. Massive cuts underway in Queensland at the moment to public services in Health, Education and Transport will have an impact on the lives of the common Queenslander. Maybe no immediately, but in months to come as the services once provided by the people formerly employed simply won’t be available. Queensland is too poor to contribute to the NDIS, yet Queensland can fight a High Court case against the Carbon Pricing legislation. We can cut $80m from Royal Brisbane Womens Hospital budgets but can’t re-direct $20m of that supposed saving to the NDIS. We can cut the costs of 20,000 Queensland public servants but we can’t re-direct $20m of those savings into the NDIS. But Newman says he really, really wants to…..you betcha! But the State he runs is just too poor.
Oh woe is us…..Australia on the whole must be in recession and yet the OECD says we have the world’s best economy and best forward outlook. If that’s the case, the world outside our borders must be well & truly screwed. heaven forbid that the truth actually be told or that the voices of the people be heard instead of the ideological inanities of our politicians receive the daily airing they do. Goebbels was right, the people really are sheep to be herded. What Goebbels never considered is that even the cleverest border collie knows the sheep he herds can turn & bite him if he’s not quick enough. A lesson our political leaders never seem to get until it’s too late.