On business v politics

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Failed attempt to oust Clover pushes us closer to populism” (yesterday). Since capitalism degenerated into the current out of control, decadent, profligate consumerism, business in general and big business management in particular have forgotten  the old motto of ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ and substituted it by ‘The Shareholder – particularly the big Shareholder – Is Always Right’. The obvious result of the ensuing greed pushing aside common sense has caused the current ‘profit at all costs’ obsession,  with bees — the suppliers of much of our food — dying by the trillions, all our manufactured food being full of toxic ingredients as well as the equally destructive palm oil, with our land, sea and air being polluted with the result that research is now finding the ultimate horror: traces of toxins in Mothers’ Milk.

Big company management is too greedy and stupid to realise that they are destroying their own customers, but fortunately Homo Sapiens — like all mammals — has a sound survival instinct. The new NGOs springing up everywhere are setting a new trail towards survival of our small planet and ourselves. They are educating us all to take an interest in global survival and elderly demagogues are being pushed aside by commonsense.

At the recent election, Bill Shorten should have won on the basis of his performance, but didn’t for the good reason of the election being fought on the basis of a), resembling a school boy scrap behind the shelter shed, and b) a competition of who could bribe the electorate more efficiently by bigger and better pork barrelling. Accordingly, the electorate became bored not due to the length the election time, but by the thought of ‘Tweedledum and Tweedledee’ and ‘I suppose I vote for the lesser of the two evils’. The electorate is fully aware of the need of change by the bucket full of emergencies we are facing. Accordingly, we are looking for a government we can respect for their guts and vision: we, the people, are no longer content to put up with politicians which can best be described as “Sleeping Beauties” gone to sleep in the 19th century without having woken up yet.

To return to the subject of corruption of politicians: probity cannot be brought about by law. It will and must be brought about by the pressure of a thoughtful people: including politicians and the management of multinationals. An electorate which accepts that radical changes must come before we can start thinking about the usual personal concerns of jobs, health, education and infrastructure.

On union donations

John Richardson writes: Re. “Banning union and company donations a great idea, except it’s unconstitutional” (yesterday). Now that both major political parties claim to have stopped beating their wives, perhaps there really is a window through which we can reach for real reform on political donations?  And while we are contemplating the possibility that there really are fairies at the bottom of our garden, perhaps we could consider banning all donations of any description by anyone to anyone, except where it involves our own money and then only when made within agreed limits, with instant full disclosure and wholly non tax deductible.

Imagine a world free of pork-barrelling; a world without subsidies, secret commissions, transfer pricing; bribes, “gifts” and kickbacks, including tax exemptions, concessions or discounts; a world where the abuser really does have to pay!! Poor Sam. Imagine being remembered in history’s page as the person single-handedly responsible for removing the word “rort” from our political lexicon? Surely the wheels of government would simply cease to turn in the face of such a miracle?

Peter Fray

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