NSW: Let's Keep Things In Perspective

07 December 2009

Like many in NSW, I could only roll my eyes and groan last week as the Sate Labor leadership spill took place. This, I thought, is just getting ridiculous. Nathan Rees finishing out the term was the best prospect Labor had. In different circumstances, he could have been wildly popular; a garbage collector from the Western Suburbs who also has a degree in English literature. I wasn't a raving fan - the damn Metro is foolhardy and unnecessary, and this coming from someone who loves the inner west and trains - but he was trying to clean up the factional system, and for this he gets the toss. When will this bunch of clowns get their act together, I wondered.

Then I saw this cartoon in the Daily Telegraph, and I had to wonder some more:

What can anyone have suffered at the hands of the NSW government which would possibly justify that sort of reaction? I too have had to wait hours for hospital treatment, been stuck on the train, despaired that the train journey from Sydney to Newcastle now takes longer than it did in the 1930s, been inconvenienced by World Youth Day, seen DF (and all other nurses) earn the lowest penalty rates in Australia, been harrassed by the transit police over tickets, glowered over the electricity privitisation proposal, been frightened on the train at night when there were no transit police to be found, watched freeways get built, rail lines get cancelled, my old high school yet to be rebuilt nearly six years after it burnt down, and been glared at in State parliament for kissing (okay, maybe the last one was understandable).

So, okay I'm mad. But to want to boil people in oil and tie them to the rack? Can't we just send 100,000 letters to the Governor asking for an early election? Torture isn't a joke. I think people are just getting a little bit precious here. I've heard the NSW government decribed as the worst and most incompetent on Earth, which would surely come as a surprise to the people of Burma. Can we all get a little perspective here? We all still live in a warm, peaceful state with a low crime rate, plentiful attractions and a soft stand on sedition. This Government which we all hate so much will be gone in sixteen months regardless. But some of us are never happy. Richard Glover points out that there's nothing Sydneysiders love more than a whinge. People don't complain about the Gvoernment in Newcastle as much as they do in Sydney, I've noticed. Maybe when Labor is finally gone - then we'll really know what it is to be unhappy.


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