Editorial January 20th 2023
Welcome to this week’s editorial, To many elections are a pain in the backside and an interrupt to their otherwise politic free life. First comes the TV coverage, next the name calling and backstabbing, followed by the proliferation of corflutes along our roadsides with larger than life disingenuous smiles of want-to-be political aspirants pretending to be more trustworthy than the next. If you can manage to miss the visual barrage of the political campaigns the election will still find you by way of the leaflet drop into your mailbox in a last ditch attempt to seduce you with point-form promises offering you all the reasons why you should vote for one team or candidate over another. At a local level we will have candidates for the Red Team, The Blue Team and the Green Team with others who declare themselves Independent and as such, declare no colour. Typically by doing so these neutrally toned candidates become almost transparent and alas, don’t fair so well in the votes. The last Federal Election was an interesting acknowledgement of the need to give colour to a team with otherwise Independents calling themselves Teal. As it turned out voters liked the colour as much as the sentiment, the promises and the mandates. The problem with Teams is that if you are a member then you follow the Team Mantra. There is no stepping outside. You are either “With us or Against us”. The very notion of a team player ‘crossing the floor’ to take sides against you is abhorrent and intolerable to the point of consequence. Cross the floor and you are basically ostracised. And it doesn’t matter if you are Red, Blue or Green. After all it is a team thing and either you are a team player or not. The problem I have with all of this is that there are some excellent ideas in the Red camp who are focused on social equity, some corker suggestions in the Green camp that might help the environment (including the humans who live there as well) and some reasonable ideas from the Blue camp who seem to be fixated on money and national security. Recently the local Liberal candidate told ABC "I don't believe in the team blue or team red. I'd just like to have a crack." That might be the sort of thing an Independent might say but it shows a complete naivety on the part of a boy from the bush entering the sordid world of nepotismic idealists who have a master plan requiring all its members to raise their right hand and say “Yes Sir, Three Bags full sir”. This election I hunger for a final result that would put in Parliament a room of rational folks with one clear intent: to deliver to each and all of us the best possible outcome we can afford to provide the services we need so that each, and all of us, might live a life that is rich and rewarding. That might come from improving our social equity, improving our health and education services, reducing our impact on our environment, and thinking outside the square of financial modelling. Election time frustrates me. I wonder how it is that, with such enormous wealth, such incredible intelligence, such amazing potential we continue to achieve so little for ourselves other than the meagre scraps of mediocrity. It is our tribalism that halts it all. “My team is better than you team”. “Your idea is rubbish and mine is better”. “I represent my tribe and care little for yours”. It is tribalism that keeps us all unable to achieve so much more. One day, some day, we might recognise the fact that we are little more than advanced apes on a very large Blue Ball hurtling through space and that we need to put aside our petty differences of who’s God is better, whose sexuality or gender is best, whose skin colour matters, and why and whose team will win the spoils of war or the vast bucket of money that returns little more than ego and toys. Until that time, when we come together as humans living on the only planet we have access to, we will continue our senseless tribalism, our blind patriotism, the separatism, the elitism, the racism, the bullying and the ideologies that ensure we will never have One Voice, nor ever be One Humanity on One Planet. Until next—lei
Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown, And things seem hard or tough, And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
And you feel that you've had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough,
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving And revolving at 900 miles an hour. It's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned, The sun that is the source of all our power. Now the sun, and you and me, and all the stars that we can see, Are moving at a million miles a day, In the outer spiral arm, at 40, 000 miles an hour, Of a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars; It's a hundred thousand light-years side to side; It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light-years thick, But out by us it's just three thousand light-years wide. We're thirty thousand light-years from Galactic Central Point, We go 'round every two hundred million years; And our galaxy itself is one of millions of billions In this amazing and expanding universe.
Our universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding, In all of the directions it can whiz; As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know, Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is. So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure, How amazingly unlikely is your birth; And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!