Given the fact that everyone else in the Questionably Civilised World seems to be giving themselves a forum to vent their fury at the injustices and indignities we're being subjected to on an almost daily basis the last thing the world needs is another semi-political blog, but I can't help myself.
With the sheer volume of such rantings out there, and the fact that practically nobody reads these pages, once I decided to set out on this little venture it seemed to make sense to hive this bit off as another annexe to the Little House of Concrete rather than adding political and socioeconomic commentary to the main site and risk losing what few readers I might actually have.
So, in the unlikely off chance that there's anyone out there who is actually interested, welcome to the People's Republic of the Little House of Concrete, the title of which is probably a fair indication of where we're coming from.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So, fair enough, where are we coming from?

Ah, yes, The Reader will probably be saying, another old leftie who’s looking for an opportunity to bang on about the three Rs.

Well, yeah, but I’ll take exception to the old bit, and point out:

You can’t talk about the Republic without considering the Australian Constitution along the way, and there are any number of areas that need to be addressed in a document that was basically cobbled together with a view to getting the thing accepted in a referendum rather to an eye to issues that might turn out to be troublesome in the future.

I’d like to see the Republic, but I’d prefer to see the Murray-Darling Basin issues sorted out.

Symbolic acts of Reconciliation are all very well, but we really need to do something about the ongoing vortex that sucks in countless millions of taxpayer dollars without delivering anything in the way of measurable outcomes that will actually do something to improve the living conditions of indigenous Australians.

And on the question of Refugees current practices may or may not constitute crimes against humanity, but if they aren’t they’re in a neighbouring post code. They’re also a waste of taxpayer dollars, a blight on our standing in the international community and are doing untold psychological harm to people who, frankly, should be treated as human beings.

But there’s more than those three issues that I want to have a go at.

We’ve got a number of controversial irons in the fire at the moment, and three of them impinge on areas that have had significant impact on my own life, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have definite opinions about:

The tobacco industry and smoking. I’m an ex-smoker whose nose still twitches when I pass someone smoking on the footpath.

Poker machines and gambling. I might not have been an addictive gambler, but I could easily have been and escaped that fate by the skin of my teeth.

Binge drinking and taxation issues relating to alcohol. After all, if I’m not an alcoholic I have an addictive personality and have a long term interest in the Australian wine industry.

The decline in (or more accurately the disappearance of) ideas from political discourse as issues relating to the above matters are pushed onto the back burner or distorted in the daily battle for dominance of the news cycle.

So, given those considerations, the chance to put together eight hundred to a thousand words every so often and clarify my own thoughts on an issue seems a fairly worthwhile exercise.

Your mileage on these matters, of course, may well vary, but, hey, it’s a free country, right?

Or it allegedly was, last time I looked.

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