Once upon a time. A long time ago. Well actually in the 60’s, after a year of “general factotum” servitude followed by a four year apprenticeship in Hand and Machine Composing at Western Australia Newspapers I made it to working as a Linotype Operator (that’s the machine pictured below) and reached the ultimate for that trade in the printing industry of being a “piecework operator”. That is, I was paid based on the amount of metallic type I produced. These machines were the epitome of typesetting in the 60’s (invented in 1884) and if you could crank them along at their peak speed of 9 lines a minute then your take home wage looked pretty damned good! I was one of those lucky to be a good linotype operator. Life looked very promising, the future bright!
And then the world shifted on its axis in the late 60’s and 70’s and technology gave the printing industry a decidedly painful kick in the rectum. We copped what is now called a dose of “disruptive technology”! Piecework disappeared and we were sent off to what were then known as business colleges to learn touch typing. We came back to Seimens Teletext machines converting copy to punched tape, fed into a computer which then transferred the punched tape output to automated Linotype machines which belted along at a whole 12 lines a minute! In parallel to the hot metal changes came photo-typsetting, more powerful computers, Pagemaker (and its bigger brothers) and ultimately the trade disappeared, at least in the newspaper industry, and later in the smaller print shops. These days anyone with a computer and the right program can turn out a newspaper, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. By 1975 I had moved on to academia and didn’t see the final demise of the trade. Eventually a Ph.D and a succession of jobs in Universities, the water and wastewaters industry, a Co-operative Research Centre and a generally successful career in Research and Intellectual Property management. I was fortunate. How many were not then, and how many are less fortunate now as “Shift Happens”? Google it!!
So what’s the point? This was just a personal example of what was/is happening throughout most industries, and affecting many. We see technologically based disruptive shifts happening more and more frequently and driving rapid changes in industries and in the very nature of work. Ultimately these changes will dramatically alter the very nature of work and lifestyle in Australia. How many people will be assured of long term employment and a regular wage now and in the future for example? And I don’t see any plan for the future enunciated by our current Federal Liberal/National Party Government, nor anything coming from the Labor or Green alternatives. We seem bereft of the big ideas, and any vision of the future in terms of the country, technology and where it will be in 20 to 50 years time. Our current Government is hyperbolic that our budget receipts are less than outgoings, so they’ll make it even harder for the least fortunate in our country by a bit of economic savagery!! Jesus is that the best you clowns can do? Play silly buggers with the small stuff, entirely focussed on keeping your jobs, getting re-elected and pushing economic ideologies that are essentially anachronistic in a modern global economy. The World is changing and you folks haven’t even woken up to that fact yet! There is no longer any vision in our politicians. The one attempt we’ve seen lately, a National Broadband setting us up for a networked information technology driven future, was thoroughly shafted back to the dark ages of copper wire by a bunch of technological trogdolytes. Nothing like chopping your leg off when you’re in a race to the future, is there? Poor bugger my country!!
Enough of the rant, now to the weeks events. This little snippet of investment information leads to the realisation that real change might just be taking a few politician’s interests off at the knees. And we can’t have than, can we?
Julie (Death Stare) Bishop did a bit of eye rolling, and head dropping over possible cuts to her Foreign Aid budget. Had there been a table in front of her I suspect there would also have been a bit of head banging as well. I suspect that Joe (No Budget) Hockey was enlightened as to what would happen if he did – so he didn’t!
Our trusty Opposition, led by “The Man Who Isn’t There” Bill (Wraith) Shorten got a bit miffed when Joe nicked one of their ideas.
And George (Bookcase) Brandis got a bit confused with regard to timeliness and his diary entries and kinda forgot where he should have been. Uhuh!!
Ian (Croaky) Macfarlane gave us a useful demonstration of his skills in policy negotiation. Hmmm? I’d like you to re-read the textbook again Ian – carefully!
To top the week rumours now abound that the Rabbott Abbott’s office is to be enhanced by someone who has expertise in talking to backbenchers who we know can be a bit feisty when their comfortable little sinecure becomes decidedly marginal.
And, sorry, but some photographers just take advantage of Graphical Manipulators by taking photos of situations that leave little room for subtlety and/or crafty satire resulting in ummm!
Malcolm (Fraudband) Turnbull demonstrated again his loquacious linguistic eloquence in affirming the overwhelming mammary support that The Rabbott has.
Rattus politicus was pleased that the more conservative of his compatriots were fulsome in their praise of the success of Mike (Cuddles) Baird in his win in the New South Wales election.
And finally we wondered just where the proposed Welfare Recipient Debit Card might expand in the not too distant future. Those old buggers sponging on the system seemed to be logical choice!
And there you have it . . . . . . . .!
AFTERTHOUGHT: If you don’t punish politicians and their parties for lying to you, you are predetermining your treatment as a fool!
POSTSCRIPT: All characters appearing in this work are entirely, and amazingly, fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living, dead or in a zombie like state, is purely coincidental with an exceptionally high probability of being the construct of a deluded mind trying to grasp the true meaning of the political unreality of Australian politics, al la NO Coalition! We can only gaze upon such greatness with wonderment!