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In the house of the rising scum
By The Blue Collar Bohemian
1 May 2006

On Friday nights on SBS TV, there’s usually a program on a topic of "adult interest". At times it’s covered guys obsessed with women so fat that sex with them is physically impossible, women with big breasts they didn't want and men with small dicks they didn't like, among other related topics. A program about a STD clinic in London featured amongst others a South African chap named Gary who enjoyed anonymous sex in hotel and bar toilets with other chaps, and as a result contracted oral gonorrhea. We got to see the nurse at the clinic examine Gary with a throat swab that was put down his neck a good eight inches, while Gary exhibited no sign of a gag reflex at all.

With the months to the next NSW state election drifting by I was reminded of Gary by a recent report in the Herald titled "Dinner with Iemma comes at a hefty price". The story went on to describe the fee-for-service pleasuring on offer to the corporate sector by our gagless state politicians through the "Official Iemma Cabinet Dinner Series" next month. For $5,000 a head you can be pleasured by a cabinet minister. Two thousand five hundred gets you serviced by the lesser occupants of the Macquarie St bordello. The ALP’s pimps tout to the big business johns the toe curling, back arching, eye rolling delights to the greedogenous zones that only the highly skilled rentboys from the Sussex St school of political prostitution know how to offer.

The "Light on the Hill" has been painted red and hung outside the door of the most purchasable brothel of legislative whores since Jim Fisk of the Erie Railroad and Cornelius Vanderbilt of the New York Central vied to control the New York state legislature through bribery and blackmail in the mid 1800s. Laws have been enacted to cut all public input from the planning process setting the stage for a race to the bottom as both the Liberal and Labor parties jabber about "law and order" and compete to be the carpetbaggers' accomplices in the theft of the common assets of the people, accumulated through the long years of public investment and political agitation, by the first Italian-suited spiv to come along.

The most recent disgrace is the conspiracy of the asset strippers in the federal, Victorian and NSW governments to flog off the Snowy Mountains Scheme to whatever carpetbaggers they can find, pissing away vital publicly-owned infrastructure for a few. What future for the Snowy, Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers now?

Along with a big slice of the proceeds going to the parasitic "investment banks" for "facilitating" the process, and to secure their own well-heeled post political careers like such avatars of high ethical principle as Peter Reith, Michael Woolridge and Bob Carr, the removal of this vital community fabric from public control means the profitable supply of water, gas, electricity, transportation, health and education cannot cross-subsidise the equally essential provision of these services to areas that don't provide a profitable return.

This approach has led to the impoverishment of rural towns, collapse of country rail lines, telephone and electricity services suffering deferred maintenance, and the migration of large populations to overcrowded urban areas looking for work. This in turn has pushed up housing costs and forced out the existing underclass in these areas, away from families and support networks, to the impoverished regional centres in search of housing they can afford. When this creates ghettoes of disadvantage the moral panic merchants, cops and punishment enthusiasts then blame and harass these unfortunates for circumstances they cannot control.

And the privatised companies can never get enough public cash to make them happy. Recently Pacific National threatened the Tasmanian government with a rail closedown unless big wads of state government money was thrown at the privatised track and signalling, effectively forcing a buyback of the fixed assets (track, signalling, stations) only purchased by PN a couple of years ago. If it was such a crap deal, where was PN's due diligence then? Or did they intend to buy up quick to secure ownership, and a monopoly, and then put on the squeeze for a bailout right from the start?

Anyone with a sentient mind knows that all major infrastructure assets in Australia were built by public investment through taxes and loans. When dedicated revenue raisers like the old NSW Hospital Lottery were established few objected because they knew where the money went. And the lottery didn't milk the desperate like poker machines do as they pour the earnings of chronic gambling addicts into the consolidated revenue. Governments built railways and water schemes, roads and power grids because they were needed, knowing full-well that losses would be made on the operations. Some were rorts of the "build a dam, win the votes" variety, others, like rural telephone networks, were vital services the "market" wouldn't provide. The US’s Bell Telephone, even when a highly regulated monopoly, never provided the standard of rural phone service in the US that the old Postmaster General's Dept. put into remote services in Australia.

So once again the hard-won treasures of the public domain, our "common wealth", has been offered up for auction like a pawnbroker's clearance. The white men in suits in the parliament conspire with the white men in suits in the banks and the bourse to fleece the people while they are distracted by sport and spooked by terrorism. The shills in the corporate media cheer on the government as they conspire to expand the right of corporations and the owners of wealth to act as they see fit for their own benefit while restricting the rights of the poor and welfare dependent to conduct their lives free of paternalistic and oppressive supervision and micromanagement by welfare agencies, police and the morality industry, in the form of the government sponsored agendas of the Salvation Army and the Hillsong Church.

While the suits are waxing fat on the carpetbaggings of privatisation and “private-public-partnerships”, while ex-ministers move seamlessly from government to corporate positions in industries where they had previously made beneficial decisions, Liberal party fuckwits like Mal Brough (Minister for Punishing the Poor and Indigenous) unctuously pontificate at the poor about spending money on cigarettes and liquor. If it was Cohibas and Chivas Regal for the boardrooms, not Winfields and cheap wine for the bored rooms, it wouldn't concern him, but the poor need to be reminded that they are what they are through some moral inferiority, and if they want to receive benefits from the Calvinist Elect of the Howard regime they'd better be living a rigourously miserable life of penance and rectitude. The state Labor governments are no better, with the NSW government threatening to evict public housing tenants convicted of minor drug offences that shouldn't be crimes in the first place.This authoritarian and punishment-loving government culture is the natural corollary of the corporate dominance of public policy, and the conditioning of public attitudes through fear and wedging (vilification of welfare receivers, outsiders and minorities), through the normalisation of surveillance and police intrusion into private life – "if you have nothing to hide, why are you worried" – and the breakdown of social ties and communal solidarity. It's all part of the conservative / corporate ideology articulated by Margaret Thatcher – the view that "There is no such thing as society". We are to be engaged in a Hobbesian war of All against All, while the social fabric built over the ages through the sweat of ordinary people is squandered – "selling our birthright for a mess of pottage" – by fraudulently elected politicians loyal only to their owner-operators in the bourses and banks, whatever party they belong to.

Democracy – if voting could really change things, it would be abolished.