Williams' Word | September 25

YOU CAUSED IT – YOU FIX IT

The pollies are all in a tizz because of the problems with the fast-growing costs and the future of electricity supplies – but they caused it!

Maybe the pollies who promoted the privatisation of our power supplies should be put in a room together and told to come up with some solutions. These were the people who told us that privatisation would be better than keeping this essential service in public ownership. They were wrong.

Privatisation was carried out, irrespective of the views of the people who are now asking how we arrived at the situation where the people who bought this vital part of our economy have no intention of investing in new generation systems – because they have made their money and have no intention of using it to provide any sort of service for the future. They believe that risking money on new facilities should be left to the taxpayers!

So, why not name all the pollies who told us that privatisation was the answer to the problem. They were wrong, privatisation has turned out to be the problem.

And the pollies who promoted privatisation must take the blame because in all their joy in selling an effective system that had been created years ago by progressive thinkers, these pro-privatisation people apparently didn’t even think there was any need to get any guarantee from the buyers that they would continue to provide a service after the existing power generating systems aged.

So, let’s name them and tell them it is now their job to correct the problems they created.

WHERE NOW FOR LIBERALS?

Prime Minister Turnbull is unlikely to turn around the downslide of his Liberal Party. He might be able to keep it afloat until the next election but even that could be doubtful with the strong opposition he faces – not from the ALP but from his own party.

How long can he continue with that constant niggling from the far-right wing of his own team? The latest broadside from Team Abbott about rejecting the renewables in energy creation, the return to subsidised coal production and scrapping of climate change policies, is as close to a declaration of war with the moderates in the party that you could get. Can the Liberals face the electorate with this split agenda at the next election?

But what is the alternative? Angus Taylor is rising rapidly in the ranks and making a name for himself in Canberra, He surely has the potential to become a leader – but leading what? A Liberal Party as envisaged by Robert Menzies or a Conservative Party of the far right?

It is likely there would be some voter support for the Conservatives but they should not pretend to be true Liberals. The only solution appears to be a split, with the Conservatives creating their own party and leaving the Liberal Party for the more moderate right wing members and their supporters. And this needs to happen soon. The current situation is unfair to the real Liberals, to the Prime Minister and the people of Australia.

If they believe there is enough support for a real Conservative Party in Australia they should be honest enough to break away from the Libs, create their own Conservative Party and let the voters decide. That’s what democracy is all about.

A THEOLOGICAL QUESTION

We are taught never to discuss religion openly because religion is a very personal thing and people should be free to believe whatever they choose to accept. Fine – but when those beliefs impact on the safety of innocent people who become victims of terrorism (carried out in the name of a particular religious belief) surely we should start questioning those beliefs.

We live in a world where very effective advertising confronts us continually and experts are employed to convince us that we should ‘buy this….or buy that’. Why then don’t we spend a substantial part of our defence money on advertising instead of guns and bombs?

Way back a thousand or more years ago Chinese writers stressed the importance of propaganda (a word created by the early Catholic Church) in any conflict. Maybe it’s time we started using more direct propaganda in the war against terrorism.

It is strange to believe that in this era where we are surrounded by amazing technology that includes exploration of stars that are light years away that we still suffer from religious wars. Most of us have no objection to different religious beliefs but it does seem so strange that we have large groups of people who really believe they will go to their Paradise if they indiscriminately kill lots of people.

ARE MURDERERS WELCOME?

How do they justify killing innocent people?

They apparently believe they will be welcome in their heaven if they kill, for example, that seven-year-old Australian lad who was walking with his mother on a visit to Spain. He was certainly too young to have any concept of religious differences.

And that group of religious fanatics in Australia who were planning to blow up a domestic aircraft. How would they justify such actions to their god? He might have had special plans for that lad or some of the people aboard that plane they planned to blow up.

How do they know that they will be welcomed in their paradise? There should be an international campaign to publicise the fact that they might, in fact, be headed in the opposite direction!  

Why not invite our clever advertising experts to create a campaign aimed at the promoters of terrorism on the theme “How do you know your god doesn’t have special plans for those people you plan to murder?”

If advertising can convince people to buy, say, an expensive watch merely because it is expensive, why not use the advertisers’ expertise in our war against terror? If they can convince people to buy everything from flash cars to unhealthy food and lottery tickets, how about getting their combined expertise to convince potential killers that they should reconsider their expectations of heading for paradise? Get them to realise that they might, in fact, be headed in the wrong direction.

  • Ray Williams has been a Post columnist since retiring from the newsroom in 1993.
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