by Ross Sharp

I am paid a slightly above average wage for sitting on my backside in front of a computer all day poring over spread-sheets, signing bits of paper, attending interminably dull meetings and scrolling through emails full of obtuse riddles written by gasbagging, dead-eyed, swollen-jowled corporate fuckwits who could drive a single-cell organism to suicide by repeatedly hammering out weasel-word phrases like “We are pursuing savings through a more holistic approach to our strategic sourcing and procurement activities.”

What that means is “You must justify your request for a new box of paperclips in writing to your immediate manager who will then pass your request to their immediate manager who will think about it for a while and, if approved, pass the request to the Stationery Supply Officer for fulfilment.”

I don’t save any lives.

I mend no minds.

I educate no children.

I keep no peace on the streets.

I do not carry the smashed and bloodied corpses of young women or men or newborns from crumpled cars.

I administer no medicines, dress no wounds, nor do I change the soiled clothes and sheets of the frail, the elderly, the infirm, the dying.

I put out no fires.

I provide no counsel to those in need; the broken-hearted, the broken, the mad, the desperate, the hungry, the homeless.

I do not have to view the vile images of the vilest of predators seeking clues as to their identities so they may be brought to justice.

I see no violence beyond movies or television, nor do I have to deal with its consequences; the bruised, the battered, the raped, the dead

TASMANIA’S public servants have been put on high alert with job cuts a major component of the Tasmanian Liberals’ alternative Budget.

The Opposition has vowed to remove 500 full-time equivalent jobs from the state’s public service during the next two years.

… [Opposition Leader] Mr Hodgman said the Liberals would do the work the State Government had failed to do by cutting 1700 jobs from the public service 500 more than Premier Lara Giddings has managed so far …

… “You can’t cut 500 jobs without impacting on services whether it is the closure of Service Tasmania shops, fewer Parks and Wildlife officers or engineers designing our roads,” she said.

Ms Giddings said in order to achieve the forward estimate savings targets contained in the alternative budget, hundreds of jobs would have to be slashed in the first year, which is virtually impossible without forced redundancies.”

And …

THE public service and the regulations they enforce will be slashed if Tony Abbott wins Government, the Opposition Leader has announced.

Mr Abbott outlined a plan to attack excessive spending to be led by a Commission of Audit which under a Coalition Government would test all cost reduction options.

Mr Abbott pledged at the 2010 election to cut the Commonwealth payroll by 12,000 jobs but his economic policy outlined today could see that number increased.

Major targets will be the Health Department, Education and Defence Material Organisation while the Department of Climate Change would be abolished completely.”

Precisely what is it we are being enticed to vote for here? Or, rather, against?

Our own self-interests?

With every election, be it state or federal, political leaders, our “representatives”, and their heel-snuffling acolytes hustle with unseemly enthusiasms, excitedly flapping reports at cameras, babbling and barking at us as if beset by dark fevres most horrible that they, those who are government, or would like to be government, cannot afford themselves, and nor can we, so government should be “cut to the bone” …

… Government by grave skeletal warriors, the Hydra’s teeth from which they spring hand-sewn with grudging charity by the political leaders of our preference, the ones prepared to make the “tough” decisions, the ones urging “restraint” and “responsibility”, the ones who most convincingly (!) talk of “practicable” measures to address the multiple “crises” that clamour about our heads and shrink our sphincters with fearful anxiety; and, of course, let them all talk of “sacrifice”, at which our spines will stiffen, and our chins point stoicly in the direction of some future grand horizon, the “promised” land that shall only ever be delivered unto us through “sacrifice”, our “sacrifice”, your “sacrifice”, warriors are we all, in a war we know nothing about.

Throw another chicken on the altar.

Then a teacher, a nurse, a community case-worker, a cop, or an ambulance officer …

“Ambulance officers in NSW have suffered greatly over the past 10 to 15 years and now receive less remuneration than most of their interstate colleagues (”Ambulance case vital to future of the unions”, February 26).

They have been ”upskilled” gradually with no thought given to improved wages and have, in fact, suffered a reduction in working conditions all as a direct result of inaction and/or apathy by the Health Services Union. A classic case was when they lost their lunch hour 4½ years ago – yes, that’s correct, they do not get a lunch hour any more.

There are many other instances of problems as a direct result of the HSU doing very little. Small wonder they are fighting hard to form their own industrial body. Good luck to them.” – Stuart Greenshields, Wentworth Falls.

Tough luck.

Witschaft ist tot!

In Campbell Newman’s Queensland

“To date the LNP has announced 14,000 public sector redundanciescuts to community funding and training programs, and removal of job security for public servantsAged care homes and hospitals are being closed or plumped for sale. With no upper house to dilute any legislative excess, the LNP has used its huge majority to simply trample any opposing voice in Parliament.”

… sick one day, dead the next.

You can play golf with dinosaurs, maybe buy a cask of wine at 6am, or plump fifty bucks a button into a fruit machine, but if you’ve been stabbed between the shoulder blades sometime on a Sat-day nite in this City of the Dead, you’d be better off asking a random stranger for a clean rag and a splash of spirit on your wounds than trying to get into a hospital for treatment.

Well may we ponder how the peoples of North Korea can be conned decade after decade into believing anything their “dear leaders” tell them, but our gills seem no less greener

Tony Abbott– “But thanks to Labor’s poor management over five years, there is now a budget emergency.”

No, there isn’t. According to Moody’s:

‘The size of the deficits is such that the gross debt of the Commonwealth government will rise only slightly from its currently estimated 19.3% of GDP to a peak of 20.6% in 2014-15. On a net basis, the peak will be 11.4% of GDP, and the government’s long-term forecasts have this figure falling to zero early in the next decade.’

And …

Tony Abbott – “This government has [made your life harder] with its … skyrocketing debt.”

Australia’s borrowings, according to virtually all independent analysis, are at the right levels for the times. New York-based Moody’s international credit rating agency reassessed Australia’s economy following last week’s Budget.

“Consolidated government debt is still low compared to other AAA-rated countries at well under 30% of GDP,” Moody’s stated. “Australia’s relatively low level of government debt has been one of the factors supporting the AAA rating.”

Only ten wealthy nations reduced debt to GDP in the last year. Australia’s reduction by 2.2% was only bettered by Iceland and Norway. That is not “skyrocketing”.”

And …

What of claims that the public service is too big and inefficient? Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development published an international Value for Money report. This report describes Australia’s public sector as comparatively small and says ”Australia is an example for the other ‘Value for Money’ countries”, including the Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand and Britain.”

“Comparatively small.”

Down under that’s blackwhite for bloat; up is down, wrong is right; everything’s fucked, the country’s broken; a busted-arse brown-as-shit banana republic, the pit-toilet of the Pacific, where a blighted people wander a blighted land eking out the most precarious of desperate livings –making necklaces from dried corn cobs or sandals from banana leaves and flogging them to rich Asian tourists in deckchairs on our beaches; whole generations of dinkum Oz families living in mouldy squalor within discarded storm-water pipes ‘neath highway underpasses, bathing in mercury-polluted creeks, and eating tadpoles.

Can a single day, a single blessed hour perhaps, go by without an “emergency” being declared, or a “crisis” announced, where a “panic” does not “sweep” the nation, or “outrage” consume us, where “the state we’re in” is not “perilous”, where simple criticism or disagreement is not an “attack” or an “assault” or a “smackdown”, where a couple dozen damp bastards on a leaky boat does not constitute an “invasion” of our sovereignty, where fear does not always “grip” us, where disaster does not always “loom”, and “drastic” measures need not always be spoken of in the dourest of terms as if our daily states of being are forever held under siege.

Stage left, a government that couldn’t sell a fuck with Scarlett Johannson to a stranded man, ten years on a desert island.

Stage right, an opposition whose policies come in spurts, a series of jerking spasms climaxing in an uncoordinated spume of excitable brainfarts largely unexamined by the party-partisan fartleberries of the mainstream media and enthusiastically lapped up by their browsers in three-word slogan servings.

Who thought scaring the shit out of stupid people could ever be so easy?

Just gather the aging relics of “traditional” media stage centre, and leave them flounce about in their faded, tatty circus tent of glories past – the smell of newsprint, STOP THE PRESSES, the overflow of ashtrays and always a quick, drunken grope of the office girl on a Friday afternoon – and leave ‘em a-hollerin’ an’ a-howlin’ about whatever grabs their fancy and whatever they insist should grab ours …

Flying sandwiches perhaps? …

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she’s treating a sandwich attack at a Queensland school as a laughing matter”.

766 words. By four journalists and AAP.

The movie will be directed by Tim Burton. Johnny Depp is the sandwich.

The Australian federal election on September 14 will be won by those best able to capture the hearts, souls and mindlessness of The People by promoting what are now their most profoundly primal fears and national obsessions …

Debt, Dark People, Science, Dark People, Debt.

… “I’m on drugs. I’m, uh, I mean, you know what it is. What’s the deal, man? I like to get small. It’s a wild, wild drug” …

It will be won by those best able to promote meanness as a virtue, as “tough love” to help those less fortunate than ourselves – ourselves, of course, having attained our lofty heights of success solely by our own hard labours, and not by accident of birth or heritage – to self-sufficiency.

It will be won by those best able to promote the concept of collective cultural and social sacrifice as necessary for the future strength and security of Unser schönes Vaterland for us all.

It will won by those best able to promote fear of “the other” as an affront to traditional Australian values, a vile diminution of, and muddy racial threat, to our purest of stock, our lebenskampf, our fight, our war, we can be warriors or we can be sklaven, we can choose to lead, or choose to die.

It will be won by those best able to promote “belief” and “faith” as unshakable conviction, wisdom and certain knowledge that will free us from the tyrannical strictures of “evidence”, of “science” and its darkly cackling and conspiratorial minions in their mountain lair laboratories.

It will be won by those who know we need hard lessons be learned, and most assuredly, they will teach us what these lessons are, and yes, we will learn them.

It will be hard won.

Hospitals will close. Schools will be sold. Universities dismantled.

Welfare will cease.

Something must be done.

It will be a battle fought on our fields, and on our farms. It will be fought on our shores, and on our glittering beaches. It will be fought on the land, and on the sea, and from the skies.

And, from unsere Kämpfe, our toils, our sacrifice, our sacred duty to the Vaterland …

Gebert Einer Nation!

Ein herz! Ein geist! Ein Gott! Ein Letbild! Ein Fleisch! Ein Blut!

Under Tony Abbott.

Fulfilling what he always knew would be his, from childhood visions on lofty Alpine peaks so many, many years ago … His Manifest Destiny to Lead Us All.

And on that day, September 14, 2013, I shall know, with unarguable certainty, that I live in a country full of halfwits.