Amidst the industrial carnage wrought by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce last week was a brief glimpse of what survival for the Gillard Government might look like.
It would start with a corporate leader arrogantly putting his commercial interests ahead of the national interest, to the cheers of his fellow CEOs.
It would move into a debate about whether loyal Australian workers had a right to expect any sort of say in the way their workplace was run; or whether they should be forced to cop whatever the latest management team cooked up.
It would give voice to the federal front bench, for once united on a matter of principle they truly believed in, providing a platform to speak up for the values of their movement.
And it would end with the Federal Opposition, stripped of any pretence of policy, in a tangle over the WorkChoices bogey, simply barracking for the big end of town because that is what they are conditioned to do.
Our Prime Minister has joined the bandwagon complaining that this is a focus group- driven election – but isn¹t this the way of the Wiki? After all, books have been written about how the wisdom of the masses provide a more compelling truth than the voice of authority.
There is a wildcard hanging over the upcoming election, a factor outside the control of the any politician – it resembles an angry fish, and it is looking for someone to bite.
Question: Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same? Source: Essential Report
It is the long-term trend line on people’s economic confidence, and it shows that after we sounded a collective sigh of relief last year, we are beginning to fear the worst again, a sense of economy insecurity that can affect our work, our home lives – and the way we look at politics.
The story of the fish charts the highs and lows of first term Labor, it also offers some tantalising clues about what happens next. Why a fish? As the graph above shows, the competing stories of confidence and despondency have taken a wild journey over the past two years. With fear surging as the GFC hit, curtailing as stimulus stabilised the economy, but now rising again.
Kevin Rudd inherited a nation fearing the worst – the US sub-prime was not just a theory – big banks collapsed, homes were lost, mass lay-offs. As the word ‘contagion’ was bandied around – it emerged that many Australian local councils had unwittingly invested in the toxic loans to bad security risks. Economists warned us of our unsustainable levels of household debt. The notion of economic carnage in Australia was real.
I, like many other ‘Gen Y-can’t-I-do-everything-on-my-iPhone?’, first heard about the political events of last week while browsing my iphone for twitter, news feeds and facebook status updates, in front of the slower to react television on Wednesday night.
And feed we did.
As soon as the door shut on the then Prime Minister’s office, social networks were abuzz with the thought of a coup, thousands of tweeps all across Australia were glued to their 140 character evening dinner, with each and all sharing their pointed opinion on the ensuing #spill.
24hr news was being fed from all of this online action, with sky news reporters constantly taking advice and proclaiming news from their iphone instant news features, SMS and Twitter.
Pass the buttered corn. Read more »
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