As Possum Comitatus
Fifteen months ago alerted us
The Great Unhinging was begun.
No surprises for anyone.
We saw the embittered right
With all their moneyed might
And influence in the media
Generating mass hysteria.
The call for counter-revolution
Against pricing of pollution
Was one of many desperate means
To discredit Labor, attack the Greens.
Civil unrest, demonstrations,
Talk back radio jocks all jeering
Egged on by Abbott’s sloganeering.
Yet somehow common sense availed.
Wise heads like Windsor have prevailed.
The Greens and others on the left
Worked with Gillard, wise and deft.
They saved the future of the nation,
Even added to its reputation
As a people quite exceptional ,
Whose achievements are sensational.
With health and wealth now counted awesome,
It’s time to heed the prophet, Possum,
To put away our woes and whinging,
Time to end the great unhinging.
It’s time to leave our fearful dreaming,
Embrace real life with riches gleaming.
Our own Oz Oracle has spake.
Miraculous Australia Felix is awake.
I wrote a first version of this pome as Possum Comitatus – Cassandra Downunder in July, 2011, because I was impressed by how so much of the what Possum had predicted in his article about the Great Unhinging had in fact occurred. The Opposition with a lot of help from main stream media, particularly News Ltd. publications and TV stations managed to create an impression of instability and turmoil in the Gillard minority government, generating a sense of crisis and encouraging unease and discontent throughout the country.
The reality was in fact quite different. The government proved remarkably stable, passed a great a deal of significant legislation, particularly the pricing of carbon to be paid for by big polluters and a minerals and resources tax levied on the huge super-profits of major mining companies. Incorporated into both of these were structural reforms of the taxation system and more generous superannuation arrangements. These and other major economic reforms have impacted positively on an already healthy Australian economy at a time when most of the developed world is in the doldrums, particularly in Europe and the United States, teetering on the brink of depression much of the time. We are indeed the Lucky Country and Possum thinks that we Australians should acknowledge our good fortune, how exceptional we are.
Everything he writes about Australian Exceptionalism on his blog is backed up by graphs and tables. He shows how Australian wealth at all levels of society is on average much higher than elsewhere in the world. So, he asks, isn’t it time for we Australians to stop pretending to be so ordinary and to acknowledge
“our exceptional results and what has actually caused them. Maybe a little pride in our achievements, a recognition of our triumphs, a grasp of where we indeed sit in a global context – if for no other reason than to crystalise out exactly what it is that we need to solve next, free from the noise of the drum bangers and their oxygen thieving ways when it comes to what passes for our national public debate.”
I agree with him. It’s time to for less unhinging. Time for more self congratulation on
1. Being the wealthiest nation in the world with 75.5% of our adult population making it into the global top 10%.
2. Our economy having grown faster than most other developed countries.
3. Our household incomes having grown faster than anywhere in the world. That includes our poor having a rate of income growth greater than the rich anywhere else in the world, with the highest minimum wages in the world.
4. Our national debt is the third lowest in the world.
5. Our taxation level is the 6th lowest in the OECD.
6. We are ranked 2nd on the United Nations Human Development Index.
I wrote about how unimpressed Australians were, how little it was reported, when it was announced in a United Nations Report late last year that we were second only to Norway in terms of health and well being, educational services and general standard of living….the second best country in the world to live in! No one seemed to want to hear the good news then, nor throughout 2011. Perhaps Possum’s good news will fare better. It certainly is time for us to stop our whingeing and acknowledge that we are living the best of all possible lives in Australia Felix, the Lucky Country!
Feral Skeleton, 11/12/11, PatriciaWA, You have sent a copy of your Possum pome to the esteemed Possum Comitatus themselves, haven’t you?
Casablanca, 11/12/11 Patricia WA, Thank you for your reminder of the September 2010 article ‘The Great Unhinging’ by Possum and alerting us to his latest one, ‘Australian Exceptionalism’. I have just re-read the earlier one and read the second one. His first one was spot on and his second one right on the money.
I am delighted yet again by your poetry. You have distilled both of Possum’s articles so rhythmically well. I agree with FS that you should send it to Possum.
jane, 12/12/11, Like the pome, PatriciaWA. Don’t worry about the typos, call it poetic license. lol
Casablanca, 12/12/11, Your newly worked stanzas look great. There will be no further ‘whinging’ from me about typos! You were very gracious about my editorial comments. I was torn between letting them go through to the keeper but as they will be in cyberspace forever, as part of your wonderful poetic contribution to political comment, I acted. Jane – ‘license’ is that poetic or just the US spelling! lol
victoria, 13/12/11, Patricia WA @ 1999, fabulous!