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Cranky Lizard speaks…

This is an extract from issue 14 in August 2017. The column relates to that time of political leadership only.

Cranky Lizard maintains the position that no political party should gain or lose from anything said in this column. No matter what qualifications are made, some politician, or one of their minders, somewhere, will assume that they are the subject of the comments….Cranky Lizard assures you all, that no politician is that important. And, if they were, they would not be reading this…they would be too busy sorting out the mess that has become our Nation, Cranky Lizard expects that they would be climbing out of their personal comfort cocoons rather than concerning themselves with what is commented upon in this august publication.

Democracies seem to be in trouble. Regardless of where you look, sovereign nations that hold free votes for their citizens to elect men and women who will form the Nation’s Parliament and thus lead the Nation, are not able to obtain working majorities or do so based upon popular conceptions of pandering to identities.

Why the instability ? What is the source of the anger or frustration, because that is what it is. Why is the ballot box being bashed with baseball bats by frustrated and angry citizens, and mainly younger ones at that !!

Democracies, based upon the Westminster model or the Presidential model, rely solely upon informed citizens making informed choices on Election Day to choose a Parliament which will govern the Nation. Spiteful, uninformed voting patterns are becoming the norm ; citizens are using the ballot box as a form of punishment and, disturbingly, identities are being used as object of praise or objects of scorn.

The alternatives are dictatorships. Be they Socialist, Nationalistic or Dynastic [ as in North Korea. ] or lastly Communist, although there are really no Communist Dictatorships left, except perhaps for the People’s Republic of China which is stretching it a bit.

Do Australians want to live in a dictatorship ? Most say No; some , quite frankly would not know, but it is safe to say that the majority of Australians still value our freedom, thus our democracy, as people do in the UK and the USA which are the major democracies which affect our lives, one way or the other.

But we are struggling in our democracies – we are not able to secure stable Government, either from the right or from the left.

Why ?

We have not seen cycles such as this in our lifetime……….Parliaments have been hung or tight but still workable. Today Parliaments, particularly bi-cameral Parliaments are not…..and any astute observer can see that they don’t work because of spiteful, even malicious obstructionism, incompetence, ill-conceived populism or, dare I say it, just bloody, flat out ignorance !!

And you, as a sensible reader can draw your own conclusions as to who is what, in the above toxic cocktail.

Cranky Lizard accepts and easily understands that identifying a widespread social problem is simple : you look at the place and you know it is not working. That is not hard to figure out.

What is hard, is to suggest some sensible, some realistic, some achievable course of action to deal with this.

Because, it is a very complex matter indeed.

In seeking some sensible answers it is worth looking at what democracies are working and seek to establish why ?

Sovereign nations with Parliamentary democracies, governing under the rule of law, that seem to be working are Singapore, Israel, Poland, Hungary, Japan, maybe Tanzania, India and there are probably others you can think of…………

Common to these nations and axiomatic to their apparent success, is strong, political leadership.

As much as we want to, in Australia ,we do not have strong political leader-ship ; we just don’t.

Cranky Lizard will not be taking positions on strong political leadership because the answer is as plain as a dunny in the desert. But we can assume that central to our difficulties as a nation, is the lack of strong political leadership and, essentially, a dysfunctional bi-cameral Federal Parliament.

This institutional dysfunction opens a slight crack in the walls of our community strength and allows the creeping shadows of self-doubt to wind their sinuous way into other community institutions.

Behaviour and beliefs that have been accepted as norms for centuries in our communal life, are eroding or being challenged ; marriage, education, family values, gender, sexuality, patriotism, respect for authority and our institutions, are all challenged and in some cases ridiculed.

Why ?

Cranky Lizard believes that the continual media and academic attack upon Christianity as a binding institution in our community has had a significant effect upon this communal, moral decline. Cranky Lizard is a Christian, but does not speak in tongues or allows handfuls of taipans to munch happily away on hands and arms knowing that the Lord will protect.

Cranky Lizard is sure that the diminution of Christianity in our communities has had an insidious effect ; Christianity a binding fabric in our community tapestry , as are other major religions such as Hinduism, Judaism and Islam in their own manner and in their own communities. The weakening of Christianity has loosened the fabric which binds us and facilitates the moral decline in our general values.

It seems clear that the rudders on the various ships in our community fleet are suffering from either bent or broken pinions…leaving a confused wriggling wake behind us rather than a single unwavering line of common purpose.

We have a generation of young people, and Cranky Lizard abhors labels, but for the sake of literary clarity, we can say “ twenty something’s “ who by their actions, their comments and, in some cases, their disruptive behaviour, of which, they seem quite proud ; seek to lay blame for what they conceive as their comparative wealth disadvantage, on a generation of Australians they often refer to as “ old, rich, white men “ !

Cranky Lizard is neither old nor rich, but certainly white, from Celtic origins, proud of that, and will concede nothing to envy, greed or conflated juvenile egos leading to outbreaks of mass stupidity, witness the ‘ Antifa ‘ phenomena and other such flash mob circuses.

Cranky Lizard makes the following comment regarding the inbuilt jealousies that seem to spring from this agitated generation of Australians.

When they were in their early twenties, the generation now rubbished by younger Australians, faced significant threats to our national survival, they fought, they died and they defeated the Nazis and the Japanese Tojo Axis, an evil like the world has never seen. When they were in their middle age they faced down global communism and the real threat of nuclear destruction; for the most part those two significant threats are defeated….yet still, there are many young people in western democracies who complain that old white folks have stolen their future.

Message for young people from Cranky Lizard : They did not steal your future people; they gave you one. Grab hold of the life you have, use it to the best of your capacity ; this is not a dress rehearsal…this is the only life you will have, bloody well use it !!!

There are moments, of course, when Cranky Lizard becomes slightly emotional !!

It is clear that we, as a community need to embark upon a journey of re-discovering respect for each other ; we can’t expect politicians to do it for us. Politicians are us, we choose them, and there is no point in blaming them for all the wrongs you see.

Cranky Lizard observes that some things in our communities are self-evident :

  • The peaceful practice of any religion is not and never has been wrong.

  • Robust, respectful conversations and debate about ideas, are the core to the strength and resilience of our communities.

  • The idea of the common good is essential and fundamental to the benefit of our community and must prevail over the pursuit of selfish, personal gain.

  • And, all things being equal, the sun will come up tomorrow.

There are few better places in the world to live in, than Australia : it is wise not to take it for granted.


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