Sunday Sanity Break, 11 June 2017 - political cynicism blooms
Is it likely that we the voters ('punters' to politicians) are heartily sick and tired of the political establishment? Brexit was a surprise. Trump was a shock, though Mrs Clinton was much disliked and many Americans did not like the choice the political establishment presented. The near demise of Mrs May was less of a shock because she had very few policies of interest, she is not much of a people person and the polls were forecasting it. But her government nearly got thrown out and is hanging on courtesy of ten Irish conservatives who are against abortion (gasp!) and gay marriage (double gasp!).
Liberal democracy faces a terrible problem of rising criminality and terrorism. Why are serious criminals released on bail or granted early release on parole? How do likely or actual terrorists slip through the immigration system? How come we take immigrant groups whose members form gangs to prey on others and practice violent home invasions? These are the questions ordinary Australians ask, and there are no easy answers. The reiterated assertions that there is no connection between refugees and terrorism looks to most of us like a desperate attempt to avoid encouraging 'reffo bashing'.
Italian immigrants integrated, so did Greeks, Vietnamese and Chinese, all groups who have provided obvious contributions to interesting diversity in our society without obviously standing out for unacceptable behaviour.. Plenty of contribution to a constructive multi-cultural society here. We need to be far more selective about taking people who history shows just do not wish to respect our multi-cultural society.
How this works out is not at all clear. In my view, failure to control crime and terror attacks is a perfectly understandable reason for general lack of confidence in the political establishment in democratic nations. I will leave for another day lack of honesty and competence in matters economic, despite massive increases in pay and pensions for the responsible officials.
But I cannot avoid noting sagging growth and its contradiction of the Treasurer's 'things are getting better'.
To be posted.
The sporting life
Rain was a clear fact in the failure of the Australian cricket team's exit from the so-called 'Champions Cup'. But the ongoing wrangle between our top male players and the bureaucrats who think they are in charge was surely also relevant.
Footy remains exciting, with upsets galore and the previously mighty Hawthorn 'Shot ducks' and last year's premiers, the former 'Bullies', struggling. Adelaide crushed St Kilda and with Geelong and the Giants, and perhaps Richmond, seem to be settling as the likely top four.
Today Caaarlton! were widely expected to be crushed by the Giants, although we must acknowledge a result more positive than that. A glorious one point victory shows any result is possible with young talent willing to have a red hot go. Well done Blues.
Aussie Futball by beating Saudi Arabia has taken a good step to the Russian World Cup. The Saudis' bad behaviour in refusing (with one honourable Saudi player's exception) to line up to remember the fallen in the latest London terror attack just shows the arrogance and lack of respect of certain cultural groups. About 24 hours later the Saudi Futball authorities apologised, but the revealing damage was done.
Aussie Rugby tried some newbies, including former Kangaroo international and former suns AFLM player Carmichael Hunt who performed well in a fine win over a stylish Fiji team. So did fellow code hopper Israel Folau with two tries and a great all round game. Next week we meet Scotland in what is expected to be a more dour struggle.
The good news about all this activity is that sport is rapidly becoming a global business activity. Being good at sport will become seen as good business, and we need all the globally good businesses we can be competitive in.
Image of the week