The largesse that Morrison is thrilled to be dispensing, as if it were his personal golden egg stash, will mostly stop when the virus crisis ends. It is, of course, all being paid for with our tax money plus new money being printed by the Reserve Bank which we will also have to pay for.
Someone has to pay for it right? Yes, but Liberal governments will funnel it all through business owners and bankers, on the absurd assumption that bosses will trickle it down to us, and we’ll still be forced to pay bill.
Since Thatcher-Reagan and their neoliberal hucksters took over the world in the 80s, the idea of directly funding citizens through social programs and basic incomes has been trashed – because what would we do if we got our tax money back? Give ourselves more yachts and third or fourth homes, like Trump’s and Morrison’s mates do? No we’d spend it, on education, health, necessities like food, and infrastructure, like laptops and filling potholes.
Even Morrison’s multi-billion-dollar handouts to Qantas, Virgin and other giant corporate bludgers will be paid for by us. He’ll sermonise that we have to accept less social spending and fewer state benefits, moralistically christened ‘austerity’, which he’ll tell us is the price you-the-people have to pay for we-the-righteous-leaders rescuing you.
We’re still waiting to be told how many billions we’ll be giving Virgin’s shareholders, almost none of whom are Australian. Virgin’s owned by China Inc. 40 per cent, Etihad (Abu Dhabi) and Singapore 20 per cent each, Branson and his mates 10 per cent.
Morrison & Co will, as always, not ask for a single share in exchange for this bailout, because… socialism. And while Labor leader Anthony Albanese got up the guts to declare that equity might be on the table, that’s as big as the ALP gets: a ‘might’ which we know won’t happen. The Coalition and Labor will also give the airline giants less regulation not more, because scary virus.
There is some good news lurking in the viral miasma. Last December, at the end of the first decade of the 2000s, I wrote here in The Echo that the impending ecastrophe was compelling vastly more members of our profligate species to realise that we must rejig our lives to be in accord with the Earth’s biosphere. ‘We have just a few decades to think together, and act together to save our species, which will require some huge failed projects to be abandoned: most religion, private property, profit-hoarding, and male domination, for starters’.
Global climate change is still too hard for most people to get, but this biological chemical called a virus has brought us socially eyeball-to-eyeball with inescapable change.
With her usual style and intelligence, Arandhati Roy says it loud and says it clear:
This pandemic ‘is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.’
You can read her whole essay here, in the London Financial Times of all places.
And if you’re still thinking Scott Morrison’s not a bad bloke, be aware that almost every man who advises him in the Prime Minister’s Office is a member of the oil, gas, and minerals industry ruling elite. These are his mates and advisors, along with his ‘mentor’, the wealth-doctrine pastor Brian Houston, who’s under investigation by NSW police for not reporting his father’s admission that he had sexually abused members of his congregation.
Morrison is not as stupid as, say, Trump, but there’s no way on Earth he’s going to let go of those carcasses he’s dragging. He’ll never be joining Arundhati and the billions of us who see that we need to build another world on this planet — as distinct from the other planet called Away, where we’ve been throwing our garbage all these years.
♦ Phillip Frazer posts with little luggage at coorabellridge.com