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Thus Spake Mungo: the police state

西甲下注One of the more dubious schemes devised by marketeers of real estate is known as ‘selling off the plan.’

西甲下注By this they mean persuading customers to buy, and pay for, not actual property but the idea of it – the belief that some time, somehow, the developers will get around to constructing their luridly optimistic projections and turn them into at least a semblance of reality.

In other words, hope will triumph over experience – much the same formula embraced by politicians at election time when they offer the voters a list of promises that may or may not come to fruition.

西甲下注Given Scott Morrison’s background it is entirely predictable that he has adopted this strategy in his latest attempt to convince the punters that not only is he in control of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has a plan – a genuine, rolled gold, concrete plan – to fix it.

So last week he announced, with considerable fanfare, that Australia had made an agreement with the English firm AstraZeneca to supply an effective vaccine, to be manufactured locally and distributed free to anyone who wanted it – or indeed anyone who didn’t. The silver bullet had been found, relief was just around the corner.

AstraZeneca’s research is promising, but even if all the tests are successful – and there is no guarantee that they will be – there is a lot to be done before actual production can begin

But, as with so many promotions, if that looked too good to be true, then it was. Sure, AstraZeneca’s research is promising, but even if all the tests are successful – and there is no guarantee that they will be – there is a lot to be done before actual production can begin. We are not talking about days or weeks, but many months.

西甲下注And we do not have an agreement, we have a letter of intent. In other words, we haven’t even got a ticket for a seat in the game – we have only applied for a place in the queue for a spot in the outer. The big players are well ahead of us – the United States and the United Kingdom both have firm commitments, not only from AstraZeneca, but from five other potential suppliers as well, and there are plenty more in line before we get to the front.

Morrison is not offering a solution but a thought bubble, something to keep us going until some other rabbit can be pulled out of his well-worn hat of illusions. But the fact that it has already been dismissed as so much puffery by both AstraZeneca itself and by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, who are supposed to deliver the product to the masses, is not encouraging.

The times when the necessary restrictions could be played as some kind of temporary boys’ own adventure are now long gone

西甲下注However, ScoMo has to be seen to be doing something, because the masses are getting seriously restive. The times when the necessary restrictions could be played as some kind of temporary boys’ own adventure are now long gone – the game has become tedious, and the more it drags on the more the resentment and division will fester.

西甲下注We are no longer all in this together, if we ever really were. Increasingly we are playing by different rules. The new contest is about cops and robbers, goodies and baddies. And we want the baddies exposed, shamed and punished; bring back the stocks. No more Mr Nice Guy.

Those who have crossed forbidden borders or broken free from compulsory isolation are being seen not just as selfish, reckless and disobedient; they are criminals, fugitives who have escaped from the law. Fine them till the pips squeak, whack them in the slammer and throw away the key, show them no mercy.

西甲下注There are still plenty of exemptions for the fortunate and well connected, whether through institutions or individual influence

西甲下注And as the popular mood swings away from sympathy towards vengeance, the need for victims grows, not always sensibly or even rationally, but to assuage the belligerent commentary. There are still plenty of exemptions for the fortunate and well connected, whether through institutions or individual influence. And they can be applauded for their success in gaming the system.

西甲下注But those who miss out are to be regarded not just as failures, but as offenders. Inconsistent? Of course. But who said authoritarianism had to make sense?

西甲下注The victims are predominantly the young; schoolchildren have been given a caning, several canings in fact. Their sports days have been cancelled, also their music lessons, their end of year formals and anything else which edges outside the daily grind of the basic curriculum – although religious education remains compulsory. Good for discipline, perhaps.

And as they gaze through their hermetically sealed classroom windows, the hapless students watch on as their elders play their sport, eat, drink and gamble and whinge mightily about not being allowed to do more

And as they gaze through their hermetically sealed classroom windows, the hapless students watch on as their elders play their sport, eat, drink and gamble and whinge mightily about not being allowed to do more. And the envious and angry come like the wrath of Thor if their fellow Australians cross the line.

The enforcers like to pretend that isn’t really happening, that their draconian regime is one of caring and sharing. Thus they continue to refer to those incarcerated in their insalubrious hotels – and forced to pay for their detention – as guests, not as the prisoners they are.

The punters, however, don’t care what euphemisms are used, as long as the bastards are securely locked in.

Evaders who cross the barriers must be ruthlessly tracked down, arrested, and sentenced –assuming they have not been lynched by mobs of the righteous first

And with borders – the harder the better. Evaders who cross the barriers must be ruthlessly tracked down, arrested, and sentenced –assuming they have not been lynched by mobs of the righteous first. But the great contradiction is that there is a constant chorus of complaint about Australia turning into a quasi-police state. Money, rather than people in real need, drives much of this. The ideology fits neatly into the neo-liberal demands of the hard right. Their freedoms are at risk; crossing state borders, for instance, is an article of our sacred constitution, not to mention a basic human right.

西甲下注So while we want those who break the rules scourged and reviled, we also insist that the rules be changed to let us all break free.

Not entirely rational, perhaps. But such is the nature of politics in the time of the plague. And it will take more than a vaccine to jab us back into sanity.


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14 responses to “Thus Spake Mungo: the police state”

  1. Alice Johnson says:

    Selling off the plan means the builders usually are underfunded and need to sell off the plan to gain money to build the rest of the building that they have started. Well, that is the plan.
    Who would buy property site-unseen but just a vague description depicted and pictured in the air with some pencil lines on a canvas? Usually investers who put the property back on the market.

  2. says:

    The sign reads ‘Sanity For Sale’. The bidding
    starts & stops here.

  3. Lilith Rocha says:

    西甲下注Love it! Thank you Mungo

  4. jennifer says:

    西甲下注…a grand read…thank you…x

  5. Ken says:

    Come on Mungo.
    “not offering a solution but a thought bubble” and “luridly optimistic projections” is a tried and tested strategy, that a drunken belligerent Churchill is still lauded for seventy years later. Obviously as time goes by it is becoming more and more obvious that there is no ‘silver bullet’ and we may just have to reconcile the fact that this is the new world order, and personal freedoms and legal rights may be permanently ‘Trumped’ (oooh!) by the imperative to restrict the spread of this deadly virus with ongoing permanent, little understood side effects.
    Transgressors of the restrictions not only are playing Russian Roulette with their lives but also everybody they contact, and I , for one, recommend each and every one, whether prince or pauper, for a one-way ticket to Manus Island.
    This is serious, stop laughing Mungo. Cheers, G”)

  6. frank mcdonald says:

    George Owellian (perhaps mispelt) if ever I read one of your left sided articles.
    Is it time for the PIGS to rise and create the exact same situation in the future.
    Thank god I wont be here and so will you Mungo when utopia arrives and proves it was all
    BV77$4!T……….

  7. says:

    I won’t be here either, Frank…. ‘And I say to my
    self it once was a wonderful world.’ Anyway,
    the kids do not deserve what’s now sitting on
    their shoulders. Time we sacked all politicians
    good & proper.

  8. Ray Armstrong says:

    If we had proportional representation in the parliament we would derive a better spread/representation of the populace making decisions for us. The Greens (of which I am no fan for voting with Abbott on emissions), at the 2019 election received 10.4% of the national vote giving them only 1 seat in the parliament. The Un Nationals on the other hand, with only 4.5% of the national vote, obtained 10 times as many seats, a host of Ministries and even the Deputy Prime Ministership of the country! The Un Nationals wield disproportionally more power than the Greens based on the pizzling number of people they represent. Proportional representation as a form of government would be a much fairer and democratic system. 10.4% of the population should have more say in what goes on than a splinter party that represents a biased rump.

    • robot says:

      If we had that form of voting we would also have a few communists in the parliament, under whatever their latest signature, a few fascists, and also a few people who want rights for mosquitoes … and the Greens would be happy to deal with all of them. Let’s face it, in hindsight it seems Orwellian. But we’re an island. Countries without that are suffering big time. Australia had a somewhat similar response to the Spanish flu in the early 20s, which by most accounts was worse than this one, but we haven’t seen the end of this one yet. I would consider any alternative solution if there was one, if it was my decision, but all I hear is harping in the south.

    • robot says:

      With apologies to the memory of Ruth Park though her depiction is basically anti-conservative. I have an Irish background myself. What strikes me about the new Left is that their prominence derives from mostly professional backgrounds. Finding a true unionist amongst them is like finding sense in post-Popper science. You can’t say it exists or doesn’t.

  9. Glendle says:

    Mungo,

    西甲下注I have been following you for decades and you are just as incisive as ever. A friend of mine, by the way, named his son after you and I am sure you had no idea. I do not live in NSW, but read the Echo regularly for your input.

  10. robot says:

    西甲下注We are told to take our lead from the academies. The university of Queensland is currently holding a seminar on the post-industrial age, as though they just discovered it. Where were they 30 years ago when Barry Jones wrote about it, or Daniel Bell before that. But let’s go back to Marx and Engels who defined the pre-post-industrial age, a calumny basically, and now one more to redefine us. We can’t compete with Chinese labour so what instead? Maybe more intelligent systems for converting manufacturing into a higher brand. Or maybe just more tourism, casinos for the billionaires et cetera. We can’t keep up with the theory let alone the result of it. And the result of it is changing our world before our very eyes, before we look.

  11. says:

    Robot, when things get rough the academies always
    ‘go search the past.’ When we should have learned
    from them we just didn’t bother. Talk about a dog
    chasing its tail… we never learn. We must change
    西甲下注 because there’s no other way.

  12. Ray Armstrong says:

    西甲下注Robot:-Groan!

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