Lots of questions and not enough answers.

Signe Westerberg Headshots (41 of 102)I have always loved politics, I believe it can be better, I know some really really good Pollies and sadly  have met a few more that are in there for the wrong reasons. I do however believe, the majority of all pollies regardless of colour, red, blue or Green maybe even some of the  yellow do start off with the best of intentions but somewhere along the line temptation, bad advice or just plain greed gets in the way. We’ve had an appalling bout of sticky fingered Pollies here in NSW and lets face it both of the majors have had to hang their heads low because of some of their members. Sadly a whole party gets tarnished by the deeds of those few but is the reality  the culture of the party  that is often the problem? The concern for me is Greed, we have several levels of it, we have the corporate greed, political greed,  and oh wow is that greed. The corporate Greed is the Gina kind, I want to be richer regardless of who or what suffers, political Greed, well thats been all over the press, ICAC has unearthed some pretty sad politicians who  simply couldn’t get enough…. then there is Oh WOW is that greed, thats the incidental, even accidental, gee I want that and it really doesn’t matter if its made by some poor individual in a country far away earning less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day. This is the hard one, as many of us fall into it quite accidentally, sometimes its even hard to avoid. One has to ask oneself, how for instance can a toaster be made and sold for $10. Quite a few of our major  retailers pride themselves on how cheap they can provide all manner of goods…. but let’s think of it, someone mines the metal, its pressed into a useable steel product, then another person wires the electronics, another  assembles it, others paint it, etc etc…. how can that be done for $10 and allow decent wages, shipping and profit?  Worse still there is another retailer whose whole profit base is centred around decimating local producers so they can import cheap, often lesser quality alternatives from overseas…. while we, the accidental “bargain hunter’ aids and abets the destruction of Australian manufacturing, Australian designers and Australian jobs. But what can we do, casualisation of our workforce, ridiculously high  rents and mortgages make it a difficult situation for the average person who is counting pennies or dollars. Is it our greed or the whole throw away mentality? There are a lot of questions and sadly I don’t have a lot of answers but I do worry about where we will end up.

I love this country but I am sincerely concerned that with the present thinking of some, within 50/60 years be leaving not only a planet bereft of  fresh air  and liveable temperatures but an Australia that is essentially 3rd world where the rich few control everything and the rest are struggling to feed their families. This is not the Australia anyone I know wants, but then the majority of  my friends and colleagues are working class, too many struggling to keep their heads above water, the younger ones giving up hope of being able to buy a home with the casualisation of their jobs. Money is meant to go around and around, not stagnate in the hands of a few. Am I alone in my concerns?

While I will be long gone, my children and grandchildren won’t… they will be left to eke out a life – an existence beyond what most of us can fathom today in the here and now. I believe in the rights of workers, I acknowledge and support business growth but not at the cost of the lowest on the corporate rung. I am not a supporter of the blatant consumerism and attitude of I must have more. I reuse what I can and encourage others to do likewise, while I’m a long way from perfect I and many others are working at it. From what I see it is we on lower rungs who are pulling all the weight while the majority of those with lots, squander and grab and enough is not enough. Not all of course but way too many.

It’s time greed got pushed back, we really don’t have to shop 24 hours a day seven days 52 weeks a year, or have the latest version of this or that, families should be able to have time together, There is no need for us to give up the quality of our lives to ensure the rest get a decent shot, but we just can’t keep on this way expecting there will be no consequences.

One current growth industry is logistics, basically moving (and storing) stuff from one place to another, getting product A into the hands of Customer B, we consume at an enormous rate and we have become incredibly wasteful. As I mentioned, the average person is doing  their best to recycle, upcycle, reuse, repurpose and reinvent but sometimes that is just so hard. Big business however seeks the shortcuts, the ways around working for the environment, the tax incentives, subsidies and the right offs. Do you ever wonder why BHP didn’t join the chorus of companies opposing the Carbon Price? Did you know they actually invested millions in establishing better ways to work, better way to use resources and better ways to save themselves money while doing the right thing for the planet. Are they perfect, of course not, the carbon price was designed to be the stick in a carrot or stick business model, so business would be financially better off exploring environmentally friendlier options for their businesses, but both the  old parties were/are pandering to business who in most cases don’t’ actually grow their workforce but grows their profits by exploiting workers and resources., crying foul over penalty rates and entitlements. Ever wondered how we got the title ‘The Lucky Country”? I am going to guess it was because we did the best we could for our workforce, our people, our environment and our nation as a matter of course, not just a greedy self serving and self centred population wanting more and more. The funny thing is while we’re pursuing all that ‘stuff’ we’re paying the real price, a clean environment, time with our families, the water we drink, the air we breath, the future of our children and it really does have to stop.  We’re heading to yet another election, we are going to be bombarded with reasons why to vote for Candidate Old Party one or Candidate Old Party 2, they are the ones with enough money to litter your letter boxes, but are they the direction we need as a nation, are they the answer to the questions we need to ponder. As I said at the outset, I love politics, I truly believe it can be better for the people but for now think about the questions I’ve posed ,  as I said I don’t have all the answers but unless we ask the questions, NO ONE WILL.

As you can see I have a lot on my mind at the moment, I want to make things better and I simply cannot do it alone, so I’m seeking your help. I doubt any of us have all the answers but we really do need to start asking the questions, our kids and their kids deserve nothing less. As always, if your view differs I”m happy to share and post it… you might even have the answers but without the conversation nothing much will change… and we certainly need to start the conversation.

I haven’t forgotten I promised pictures… they’ll come and soon.

Sign off






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