This could have easily have been titled “The Politics of Public Attention”. There are a few threads that need to be unravelled so we can understand the yarn.
There is a national and local focus that seem to emulate one another. Firstly, let me look at the national. Once again the idea of a republic has been raised. Now don’t get me wrong while I am not opposed to the idea I am opposed to the timing. It seems to me that every time a federal government is in trouble they suddenly come up with a topic that will draw attention away from them. The first time that I noticed was when Paul Keating was Prime Minister. Here we now have Joe Hocky backing the idea. He has not been faring well because when the last budget was handed down he was basically marginalised. He need to re-establish himself and regain power. Could part of this be the once powerful wanting to be back where they think they should be? If one has a belief that you were born to rule then this could be a possibility. I don’t have to go into a list of things that are far more important than if we do or don’t have a President. Every day, I see things that need to be done. We have taken money from charities and community groups because the federal government has deemed them unaffordable or unneeded. Over years we have lost personal rights and society has been moved into a less generous and dare I say less Aussie by governments who have cut costs with the mantra of reducing deficit. No one has ever asked me but I would vote for services to the community over mean spirited politics.
Why now? Why a Republic debate? Could it be that the current Federal Liberal Government are on the nose so badly that they need a smoke screen? Is it a matter of adjusting the deck chairs on the Titanic? Is this just a cynical view of politics? The problem is that the older I get the more I seem to have seen it all before and it is time to stop the smoke and mirrors and govern. It is said that you can tell how compassionate a nation is by how it treats the least in society. How do we fare on this score card? It is not time to treat the elite to more power. In my opinion it would be best to bring back the egalitarian society where all are treated with respect.
Now let me turn to a local issue for those living in the Blacktown LGA. There was a vote held in council to have a type of referendum on a name change for the city. Again the push has come from the Liberal’s and one (1) independent. This topic seems to come up with some regularity… Is this another smoke and mirrors trick? I can’t help but wonder what we are not meant to notice. Is there at least one development application that we are having our attention taken away from? Are services being cut? To be honest I don’t know but what I do know is that I have lived in and around Blacktown for a long time and I am extremely proud of my city. If these elected officials aren’t proud to call Blacktown home then here is a novel idea: retire from office.
No matter if the idea is a nation one of a republic or a local one of a name change both are attention grabbing sleight of hand tricks. Whatever you do just don’t fall for it!