Is anything really going to change in NSW on March 23?
Let’s assume Glad the Impaler [NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian] gets up and we are subjected to another four years of the Coalition’s neo-conservative brutality.
Everything that hasn’t already been sold is then put up for sale, forgoing any pretence of morality or 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 and the screws are turned even tighter. Fiscal austerity becomes canonised and the user pays ethos is elevated to saintly status.
The Impaler and her predecessors’ litany of cock ups warrant examination. It’s pretty impressive. Not.
Council amalgamations; the greyhound debacle; stadiums; tollroads; TAFE; poles and wires; hospitals; aged care; the privatisation of the Land Titles Office; unfiltered exhaust stacks; high-rise/high-density development; coal seam gas; fish kills; the Opera House screen show; Yarra Bay cruise ship terminal; new coal fired power stations; putting the sword to Sydney’s night life — except for the casino of course — and the Powerhouse farce. Then there are the real fuglies, such as 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, as it always was and it seems it always will be. And the pigs at the trough have free rein to urinate on us all from a great height.
Following in the footsteps of The Vandal [former Premier Mike Baird], everything Glad touches turns to shit. The marginalised among us, the poor and the old, have become the 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. This is where, in spirit, the west joins 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 is in their country, the so-called lucky country. The land we took by force and then spent 231 years denying we stole it; saying they 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. Those who have failed have only themselves to blame. If they had only paid attention at school, or hadn’t married abusive husbands, or had children outside of marriage, or abused alcohol or drugs, or if their parents weren’t dysfunctional, they wouldn’t be in this mess. They are the failures. Not the system…
Then, on the flip side, perhaps Michael Daley and his apparatchiks can manage to scrape together the numbers.
They should be able to, because Berejiklian, as City of Sydney councillor Jess Miller so eloquently said at the recent Fix NSW rally, “has managed to piss everybody off”.
But is there really much difference between them? Can Labor say 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 neo-cons?
Do they support tollroads? You bet they do. Just look at the Western Harbour Tunnel (WHT) — aka Stage 4 of WestConnex. They say they oppose it but won’t admit that 40% of the WHT is already approved and will be built.
They refuse to tear up the contracts. They refuse to filter the exhaust stacks — stacks that concentrate and release carcinogenic exhaust emissions — that both parties and the Roads and Maritime Services lie about by saying 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 dumber electioneer their way around the state.
Is this what politics has sunk to here in NSW? Where is the true democracy? Where is 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, it can only happen if a minority Labor government is formed with the progressive independents and the Greens; thereby keeping Labor’s worst excesses in check and relegating Berejiklian and her cronies to the cheap seats.