|"Madhouse", by Francisco de Goya (1812-1819) [A]
There was a time when people taking a personal risk would be called courageous. Not anymore.
Nowadays, people are considered courageous based on their eagerness to inflict misery on others. On this criterion, the Queensland state government today gave proof of enormous courage:
"Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says more than 2,700 jobs will be axed from Queensland Health as part of the State Government's cost-cutting campaign" (See here)And, if the misery is gratuitous, unnecessary and motivated by ideological obsession only, we could speak of heroism.
Yes, heroism is a better word, because, in this case, the need for the cuts is being challenged by at least two reputable sources: "Queensland's Peter Costello 'audit' trashed by experts". (See here)
But QLD premier Campbell Newman is not fighting alone in his heroic quest to sack between 15K to 20K state public servants. Federal shadow treasurer Joe Hockey (Coalition) joined the fray immediately:
"Campbell Newman, all strength to his right arm, he's showing incredible courage to try and fix up a state government that has been in complete chaos, an absolute mess during the term of Labor and Campbell is showing the sort of courage and doing the right thing by the people of Queensland that hopefully gets Queensland back on the rails." (See here)After the wannabe federal treasurer's statement, it was Wayne Swan's turn. Full of concern for those sacked, the real federal treasurer (Labor) said:
"These comments from Mr Hockey should send shivers down the spine of Australian workers across the country who are already worried about what Mr Abbott's reckless negativity might mean for the economy and for jobs". (See here)Swan certainly has a point there. But the recent sackings of Commonwealth public servants and his stubborn negative to increase the dole to the unemployed (which I've chronicled before: here, for instance) do not speak well of his moral authority.
Meanwhile, the NSW state government also has its own plans to sack public servants (according to rumours, up to 10K). But this is not what I want to touch here.
The local topic of the day for me is this:
"The NSW government is considering a bold plan that would lead to hundreds of coal seam gas wells being drilled across Sydney's drinking water catchment, supplying a fifth of the city's gas". (See here)
This is a bizarre, grotesque world. Decent working class people are mere statistics, collateral damage and pawns in the power games of our fearless "leaders".
And yet, the same working class people, the real victims, do not deserve more than a passing mention in the news. No faces, no names, no statements; only figures. The victimizers hoard all the attention: and, on top, they are courageous and bold.
Keep listening to these people and taking orders from them.
I guess it takes a communist to perceive this madness.
[A] "Manicomio", by Francisco de Goya (1812-1819. Wikipedia.