Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Australia----how's life under Tony A?

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Don’t ya just love that chant? I guess it’s a bit like seeing the Haka preformed (often badly) by Kiwis at various ‘events’ around the world. Both sometimes make me cringe, depending on the setting and whether I am ‘present.’ Now that Tony is leading Aussie, I am hearing d=few chants that don’t sound quite so friendly or ‘out there’---PROUD. Oh how the polls have turned. A few months ago, Labor (Aussie spelling) because NZers will probably just gloss over this blog!) seemed to be self-destructing, as they struggled to pretend to be a unified party again. Tony blamed the previous Government’s spending and proposed some pretty painful stuff for Aussies to swallow. All of a sudden, Tony was not the darling of the electorate. Sure, he hobnobbed with Obama and made his peace with the Indonesians, doing his very best to look ‘Presidential.’ Is that working? It depends who you talk to. For many, there is a growing level of discontent as Aussie workers see the writing on the wall for some of the ‘big employers.’ It’s going to be ‘goodbye Holden and Ford’ and it’s not just the jobs that directly represent the car-making, but the allied jobs that feed into the bigger picture. If we are to believe Tony’s picture of the future, expect more attacks on workers’ rights, contracts and for more money to be bled from the ‘free State’ sector and diverted into the private and ‘privileged’ part. Unless there is a huge revival in the ‘digging wealth from the ground,’ sector of the economy, the Government will receive less tax, and given that the present Government tends to support those owning the vast wealth that is the ‘Australian miracle,’ then don’t expect anything resembling fair taxation from them. Australians will wake up, but by then, the face of Australia will have changed. The gap between the rich and poor will be entrenched and only bold moves from a future Labor-led Government will make any inroads to that unhealthy position. Where will New Zealand feature in all this? We will still see Kiwis heading across the ‘ditch,’ in the belief that things are ‘greener’ over there, but it will not be for solely economic reasons. If anything we will see a reversal of that as Aussies seek the kinder climes and less divisive (OK, many NZers will disagree with that) economics in New Zealand. The ‘boat people’ will still seek opportunities in Australia but we may not hear as much about them as Tony’s government doesn’t tell us until they have actually arrived on Aussie shores. You can be sure that NZ will be pressured to take some of these people, fleeing wars and poverty in their own countries. When Tony’s people hit our shores, we will make them welcome and they will be able to take full advantage of those things NZers enjoy, like access to health and education; something denied to Kiwis going to Australia. So---Aussies your ‘fair dincum past, one that Kiwis loved to admire; both from here and when they joined you as brothers---that’s all going down the gurgler. Get ya accents ready so we can understand you when you say goodbye to Tony.

New Zealand at a glance on this cold winter's day.

1) Despite it being the warmest winter so far on record for New Zealand---it is bloody cold today. Stay out of the chill people. Of course those of us in Auckland bitch about the cold when the temperature goes below 13c during the day! 2) New Zealand is involved in a wrangle with Malaysia over the possible extradition of one of their officials who allegedly sexually assaulted a NZer. NZ stuffed up big time in its handling of this delicate matter. The victim in the middle of course should be the focus! 3) The Labour Party is actually coming out with some good policies, like the one for paying $100 per student to low decile schools who traditionally find it hard to collect the ‘voluntary’ donation for school fees in a nations where education is supposed to be free! 4) Fonterra, have warned that the pay-out to dairy farmers will be less. This, after a few years of record payment. I hope the farmers have ‘put a bit aside for the ‘slightly’ harder times ahead. One thing we all know---the world loves NZ cheese, milk and other produce, so suck it up farmers! Your day will come again, probably in a few months. The rest of us---well we have to hang in there for---ever! 5) You can make up the next bits. Have fun!