More excellent and worthy blather from Greg Melleuish to greet the budget, though perhaps not up to the standard of the column wherein he scribbled about global warming by deploying the notions of Greek tragedy and hubris.
His thesis, such as it is, that the Fairest gift may be to do nothing when it comes to the vexed question of fairness.
Indeedy, and here's hoping that nobody does anything about academic salaries, since they can always make up for any shortage in their wages by writing blather for The Australian.
Melleuish is very concerned about that old Australian saying "fair go mate" or is that "fair suck of the raw prawn" or "fair dinkum, give us a fair suck of the sav"?
Whatever, Melleuish is terrified that we won't be fair to the rich. Why, they might even leave this lucky 'fair go' country for greener pastures.
... we all benefit from allowing individuals to maximise their gifts and live fruitful and productive lives. The greatest danger to the community from the suppression of talent and achievement in the name of fairness is that neither the individual nor the wider society of which they are part will be able to reap the benefit of that individual's capacities. It may also be the case, as used to happen so often in Australia, that individuals whose talents are repressed rather than encouraged will simply pack up their bags and go elsewhere.
Darn tooting, I always felt so much benefit from allowing Richard Pratt to clip me a couple of cents for the use of a cardboard box, and so many other Australians felt the same that he managed to build up a few billion smackeroos. Which he then dispensed to the community in the form of charity.
Now who would want to suppress that talent and achievement in the name of fairness. And what a tragedy if he'd gone back to Gdansk.
Each time I get clipped by Macquarie Bank going to the airport I marvel at the fairness of it all.
Melleuish is incredibly fair to the down and out. It teaches them a bitter life lesson, and what could be fairer than that, in a Darwinian "survival of the fittest" way. That's right, you loonish losers, you F rating fuck ups, it's all for your own good.
... sometimes it is extremely helpful for an individual to fail and to be rejected. It is a spur that encourages one to do better and to make more of such gifts that one has been given. Failure is often the foundation on which success is built. It enables one to make a better product, to work harder and to be more determined to achieve.
Exactly. What's that, you feel like getting a gun and robbing a bank or blowing the shit out of somebody? Why not just go kill yourself, loser.
Steady on, old chum, that's hardly fair, and it suggests to me that you haven't learned how important it is to fail and be rejected. After all, we know what words like "empathy" mean - some sinister side door do gooder socialist who might even imagine Christ was a leftie.
We all know stout hearted Christians, true believers in Darwin and evolution one and all, are dead against any attempt to help the sick, the blind, the lame, the halt, and the withered as they hang around waiting for the movement of the waters. Off to Lourdes for them.
Remember John Howard was a great one for a fair and decent society:
My government’s number one priority is strong growth, greater prosperity and wider opportunity. An Australia rising to new heights while preserving our great traditions of a fair go and pulling together in times of adversity.
By golly, it's almost like he'd overdosed on Russell Ward and that notorious one time Communist's fanciful The Australian Legend. No wonder we voted out Howard, with all that clap trap picket fence socialist talk of a fair go.
As you'd expect, Melleuish much prefers Keith Hancock as a historian, and in particular his suggestion that in times past an appeal to fairness was often just a cover for self-interest. What? Self-interest? No never, I've never ever known the rich and famous to express an interest in self-interest. But you can always rely on those failures and drop kicks and losers and ne'er do wells and riff raffs to run it up the flag at the drop of a hat.
Often in Australia fairness has been interpreted to mean a dislike for those who have achieved and a compassion for those who have failed to make the grade. According to this view, all Australians deserve a modest comfort just by virtue of being Australians.
The greedy guts. Likely as not they're drunks or druggies or drop outs or tree hugging greenies, and deserve to live a life of abject poverty. Fancy thinking being Australian qualifies you for anything, let alone sympathy, you losers. I guess that's why those lazy blacks go walkabout instead of working for a living, and keep on whinging about how we lifted the country off them without sufficient compensation. Get used to it, you losers, you lost, we won, now move on.
But wait, I guess you're wondering what's the cause of Melleuish's meditation on fairness? Well it seems that PM Rudd appealed to the principle of fairness to justify the increase in tax burden on the affluent to fund extra benefits for those less well off, such as pensioners.
Tax the affluent! Treat them like effluent!
What an appalling man Rudd is. Will no one join me in my plan for to solve the pensioner problem? Simple really, first of all we set up a series of carbon efficient incineration plants (I'm very aware of the hubris of the Greek tragedy of global warming), to which anyone turning 75 will be invited to attend for a splendid suttee-style fair well. (I also have in mind a sliding scale so that as we increase upwards the age people must work, from 67 to 70, so we can adjust downwards their date with the incineration plant). We could also expand this to apply to all kinds of losers, and please no breaking of Godwin's Law by noting any similarities to other fair schemers anxious to improve society.
In the interests of fairness, I propose offering free urns to the families of the deceased.
Also in the interests of fairness, we had tried to work out a way old farts could be turned into soylent green, but frankly they're just too tough and stringy, either all bones or all fat, and a little bit tasteless.
Well that should save the rich heaps in taxes, bailing out these indigent old farts, who dribble and tinkle, and are likely responsible for all those hideous ads on SBS offering to revive their sex lives. That's neither fair, nor proper.
No doubt Mr. Melleuish will take my thinking as some kind of tall poppy syndrome attack on his worthy scribbles, but really I'm being terribly fair, and so is he. After all, helping the rich is good for all of us, since then they can give us work as their lick spittle servants and helpers and cooks and chauffeurs. It's the natural order of things, the losers serving the winners, and thank the lord for that. Thomas Jefferson was tremendously fair when he fucked his slave girls silly.
After all, this life is a fiendishly difficult one, and we must show no mercy on green ivory tower academics and their foolish thinking. How dare they talk of handicapping the rich, as if it's a horse race - as if they put all kinds of different kinds of weights on the horses, or use staggered start handicaps for the Stawell Gift.
What's that, they do? Lordy, there's socialists everywhere and with their fingers in everything.
A concern to be fair to the less fortunate should not mean we become unfair towards those who use their gifts and talents to become the achievers of our society.
It is not a matter of penalising such people to help the less fortunate. If we attempt to do so we shall only hurt the achievers, ourselves and those we seek to help.
Amen Greg. After all, as Margaret Thatcher herself said, god bless the baroness, there is no such thing as society, unless of course you mean the Black and White ball (which is not to refer to blacks, of course, but to a mode of dress the rich can best afford).
So the next time I meet up with some self-satisfied academic blathering on about fairness, I intend to kick him (or her, as the case may be) in the shins. Then if he (or she) tries to tell me it wasn't fair, I'll just remind him (or her) that in the race of life, those with nicely pointed toes will always do better than losers wearing loafers.
You know I think the Melleuish philosophy can be neatly summarized in a quaint little poem, which perhaps lacks art but makes up for it with substance:
Everyone’s a winner
If that is what they choose,
Unless their choice is something else,
Then of course they lose.
Winners always have ideas,
While losers fix the blame,
They two might seem to be alike,
They sure don’t think the same.
All winners have a dream,
Of what they want to do,
Then plan their life to reach their goal,
And make their dreams come true.
Losers see a problem,
In every good idea,
All a winner sees, is another chance,
To further their ideas.