40. RETRACTION

I have been told that my plan to swamp Parliament with Independents at this time would result in pandemonium, and right now we need certainty in government.

I think that some of what government is proposing means certainty that our economy will be swallowed up in recession, but I am willing to concede that the government we know would give us more comfort in ushering in changes than would a completely new style of government.  Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, the saying goes.

Perhaps what is needed before a new style of government is ushered in, to prevent its becoming “mob rule”, or government by “the great unwashed,” is for our young to be educated as to the importance of integrity and wisdom in political life and the importance of their being involved in it.

Meanwhile, I hope present governments realize that to a return to normal means our economy will back-slide.  We will never return to “normal”.  The virus is a chameleon, a Hydra, a cut-again-come-again virus.  We may never be safe from it, and those with insecure borders will live on a precipice health-wise and economically unless and until we do find a vaccine which covers all possibilities of mutation.  We must accept that Australia may have one of two choices – an international order governed by China, or self-sufficient nationalism.     Covid 19 and the risk of further pandemics will see to that.  We are tending to see no further than recovery from this pandemic, but Pandora has opened the box and we have to be permanently prepared for periodically closed international borders and intermittent trade and traffic.

Am I the only one with a crystal ball?

We need to understand that there are societies which do not consider the accumulation of “things” as a result of work to be the purpose of life, and   their people live contented lives. We need to be more attuned to each other.   For that I ask that our government, our opposition , and our unions, seriously consider the introduction of a  thirty hour week.  Production will most likely not decrease with the shorter hours.  Perhaps we should measure production rather than hours worked.  In some cases it may increase.  Certainly we will all live more relaxed lives, and there will be more opportunity for employment for all.  If we concentrate on services rather than goods, there will not be such dependency on international trade.

A myth I would really like to address here is the myth that inflation is a necessity in an economy.  The very word ‘inflation’ describes artificial pumping-up of costs.  It is caused largely by greed and speculation: By financiers over-charging interest; by unnecessary middle-men skimming profits as goods or services pass through their hands; by retailers raising prices beyond the amount of profit necessary to make it worth their while operating; by retailers selling unnecessary goods as necessary, and which we mindlessly buy, producing waste and polluting the planet; by the costs of unnecessary advertising and packaging; by speculation on the stock-market.

I am not knocking the occasional  luxury and pampering but in today’s world we often persuade ourselves that luxury items are essential. Capitalism thrives on greed and envy.  The pandemic may have given us a slightly more realistic perspective, but too many influential people keep harping on the need to get back to the old way of seeing things, urging us to spend, spend, spend, on non-utilitarian goods.

Our next generation is the most important asset in our society, and the most valuable thing we can give them is our time and attention.  We need a thirty hour week to be relaxed and invigorated enough to give them the best of our time and attention.   This includes discipline.   At the same time, we all need to have the opportunity of paid employment so as to pay for necessary goods and services, and to give ourselves a daily purpose in life.

Those “coffee addicts” who find it necessary to frequent a certain coffee shop every morning for their fix of caffeine are not addicted to coffee.  They are addicted to the snob value of being able to say to the poorly paid and insecurely employed baristas “The usual, thanks”.  If they were addicted to caffeine they would not be able to wait the painstaking ten minutes for the coffee to be brewed.  They would quaff an instant at home.  Another thing I have against commercial coffee is the amount of waste the non-recyclable coffee pods make.  I am a coffee addict, but I use the  coffee sachets.  They are just as enjoyable as any barista-made coffee, and much cheaper. If it is company you are seeking, get to know your neighbours and ask them in for coffee.

I am told I am sounding like a wowser.  I am an old woman remembering the days before coffee was introduced to our daily lives, when what sufficed was a “cuppa” with a few neighbours on the verandah.   Those of us who have sufficient income to be snobbish, are more snobbish now than they were in “the good old days”.

To sum up the above, let’s forget a government of Independents for the time being.  Let’s go with teaching values to our young people so that they can govern wisely and with integrity as Independents in the future.  Let’s go for progress in the form of shortened work hours, and work for all.  Then we will have the time, energy and economic stability to teach our children worthwhile values, and give them an emotionally stable childhood, and consequently  a healthy future.

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