Tue | Dec 6, 2016

A lively plantation

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The plantation is abuzz with activity. The budget is being debated, or shall we say, the samfy artists are at work. The political operatives are testing the potency of the brew that has been consumed in large quantities. The board of governors for the estate all seek to be named favourites by the chant of 'I'm the master's favourite'.

The Peter Principle is on display. The quest to be the 'master's favourite' will push people to do anything to protect those to whom they answer. It is the programme of the so called sovereign nation. We are the masters of our own destiny. We accumulated the debt and mismanaged the loan proceeds, therefore, we must bear the lashes as we force the labour to give more to earn for the overseer, the label, the 'master's favourite'.

When the whip is cracked in anticipation of the lashes, some of those to be flogged are already dead, others comatose and one in five are barely living below the poverty line. The promises made are discarded without even consultation as they scramble for the coveted label.

In the name of efficiency, the overseers will seek to make sure there is full extraction of $52 billion of new taxes and the an increase of $22 billion in the previously applicable taxes from we the survivors. It will never happen. The economy is in recession and all the convoluted statements to the contrary cannot wish that fact away. You cannot successfully create a variation on the laws of economics just so. Two consecutive quarters of decline in the GDP equals recession.

There has been no talk of the productivity levels in the economy. If our productivity does not increase we cannot generate wealth.

The head of the overseers group is still to contribute to the budget debate and one must fear the contribution. When the prime minister makes the statement she did regarding the accountability of the head of the NSWMA for the fire at Riverton, you must cringe. The executive director of the NSWMA should be defended but the manner left a lot to be desired. The intent to demonstrate the concept of accountability was clearly misunderstood. This is not singular, as I am reliably informed that even if the Court of Appeals ruling is against the actions of the holder of the Constitutional office as Leader of the Opposition, he has no intention of resigning. Let us not speculate, the ruling is expected this coming week, and then story will come to bump.

The occupants of the plantation weep. The lashes, the scarcity of necessities, the hustlers compete in a scarce market and the articulate minority call for a new layer of governance that they control without the requisite accountability. If the economy implodes then Mr Byles and his group bear no blame. If the energy fix gets delayed or does not prove feasible, Dr Lawrence and his group bear no personal responsibility. They would have only been the second layer of failure following the relevant cabinet minister.

Could it be that the rising level of frustration and helplessness which plagues the land has led to 248 murders to date vs 205 for the comparable period in 2014? Maybe I am the drowning man clutching at the straw. The picture is bleak.

The political appointees also seem to be on a frolic of their own. There are unsubstantiated reports that, regarding the decision not to renew the contract of the executive director of the NSWMA, there was no vote of the board, the relevant Cabinet minister was not consulted, and that the relevant junior minister heard the news through the media. The prime minister has already opined on the folly of calling for the removal of the executive director. We await the eventual outcome. Much is at stake. The people on the plantation weep and on this matter the smoke from the burning dump/landfill/solid waste depository/ all add to the misery.

- Ronald Mason is an immigration attorney and Supreme Court mediator. Email feedback to columns@gleanerj.com and nationsagenda@gmail.com.