Affairs of state

ELECTION day. On back. In bed. Staring at ceiling. If huntsman crawls to lampshade before fly takes off from cornice, I’ll vote Labor.

If not, someone else.

If wife brings tea while fly still stationary, Liberal. If not, Greens.

Why am I not excited? This is my chance to Make a Difference. To the future. Six months, one year, three years, 50 years from now, I’ll be able to say… I helped bring Queensland to this point.

With my vote.

That’s the problem. I’ve been voting for 41 years ­– and look where it’s got us.

If we’d all stayed in bed and handed the responsibility over to the cat, could it have been worse?

I think not. Different probably. More fish in the restaurants. But not worse.

It’s our own fault of course. When we wake up tomorrow morning and discover who we’ve got there’ll be no one to blame but ourselves. It’s an undeniable truth that shoppers — even at elections — get what they deserve.

It’s like buying a jar of jam. It might taste sweet, but if you don’t study the small print you’re likely to get all kind of chemicals and artificial additives that are slowly poisoning your system.

And look… I’m not suggesting that any one party of candidate is any worse than any other party or candidate. I wish I could! But they’re all just people. And they have all the usual failings that come with the species – they tell lies, they squirm, they avoid the blame, the have tantrums. Indeed, not so much like people as like children. Like all of us probably.

If you don’t believe me play the following game with any random bunch of politicians: ask them if they tell lies.

They’ll say no.

Ask any child – there’s only one true answer to: do you tell lies? And it’s: yes.

Actually politicians won’t say no. They’ll say: “That’s an interesting question and far be it from me to suggest that I’m perfect. I am merely a humble servant of the people and I consider my mission to be to deliver to the people of Queensland a lifestyle, a community and a state they can be proud to live in.”

If there were a book that translated politician-talk into real language you’d see that this is the same as “No” in any country in the world.

Call me an old cynic, but I’m not alone. Someone sent me some statistics over the internet this week, and asked me to guess whether they referred to rugby league players or football league players.

They stated, among other things, that 36 had been accused of abusing their partners, seven had been arrested for fraud, 19 had been accused of writing bad cheques, 117 had directly or indirectly been involved in the bankruptcy of at least two businesses, 71 (!) couldn’t get a credit card because of bad credit ratings and 84 had been arrested for drink driving in the past year.

Turns out the statistics were nothing to do with the ARL or the AFL, but with the Canberra parliament!

Of course they may not be accurate. But what’s most frightening is that they have the ring of truth about them, to my ears.

And I have no idea what the statistics would be like in any state parliament, Nothing like that, surely!

The spider and fly haven’t moved. I think they read my thoughts. The awful responsibility of their next move has paralysed them.


I know the feeling.