Sydney bureau chief Ross Jones contemplates the world in which newborn Sebastian Joyce/Campion will grow up — a world where the policies of his father's party will likely result in dystopia.
A BIG Hi and Welcome to the world! to neonate Sebastian Joyce/Campion and genuine congratulations to his proud parents from all of us here at IA.
A new life is always a joyous thing.
Old lives sometimes less so.
Young Sebastian will be just 32 when 2050 rolls around.
What sort of Australia will it be in that year for a young man heading into the meaningful part of life? What prospects will he have? Will there even be an Australia?
Let’s face it, China is flush with economic power after years of selling cheap shit to Walmart and Bunnings et al and the dictatorship is getting pretty antsy. There is real potential for ugliness here.
The U.S. has rolled itself into a little absurd ball and can be relied on about as much as the timely arrival of Prince of Wales and Repulse.
Thank God for the U.S. in 1942, but now? We are on our own with a stupid defence posture designed by stupid people with no idea — fighting the last war and so on.
On the plus side, by 2050, the country might not be that attractive a target for domination.
Usually, countries have a go at other countries for either:
a) strategic reasons — that is, conquest enables the conqueror to dominate a region; or
b) to access its natural resources.
Good news on the first point. (Former PM) Hawkie reckoned (Former PM) Paul Keating labelled Australia as the "arse end of the world" — and maybe he was right. Middle of nowhere. Why bother? To control New Zealand? When it comes to Antarctica, where the big bucks will be in 2050, Argentina will be a much more attractive takeover proposition.
Natural resources will be equally unappealing because if things keep going as they are there won’t be any — of any kind. The bush will be shredded, native animals extinct, gas fracked, methane bubbling, reefs dead, landscape scarred and broken, devoid of all minerals and wealth, frittered away on the short-term altar of greed for greed’s sake. Ruined.
Sebastian will be able to thank his dad for playing a crucial role in the creation of such a rich legacy. There may well come a meaningful father-son dialogue when Sebastian reaches, say, 16.
Unless people of his father’s political class get off their arses pretty soon, Sebastian might be scratching for something to do with his life. In a land of no industry and dying agriculture reduced to the very last dregs of artesian moisture, fracked beyond repair before Sebastian finished grade six, it might be hard to find something to do.
Apart from a few holdouts, there probably won’t be many rich people – because there will be no middle class to bludge off – so there will be only a few people to lend money to, or advise. Accordingly, opportunities in banking or law could be rare.
Technology is a maybe, but it is a trans-national business which goes where the action is. Maybe Australia, maybe not.
It is frightening to consider Australia in 2050 if current trends continue.
The joint needs a circuit-breaker — and soon.
Not some populist nut job like Senator Hanson or Senator Bernardi (who like to consider themselves circuit-breakers but who in reality are self-promoting short-term opportunists with unimpressive brains), not left or right idealogues pursuing some imaginary world dreamt up by Ayn Rand or Milton Freedman, or Karl Marx for that matter, but a whole new way of looking at everyday issues like risk and reward.
Australia needs to urgently address its pressing issues before – if things go along as they are – the country is rendered useless. Because our stable political system has the turning circle of the Titanic, it will be unable to respond with sufficient speed in its current configuration.
The configuration should, therefore, be changed. I’d like to think like-minded Parliamentarians from both sides of the House might come together on this.
No need for anything radical but if a solid enough bloc from both Coalition and Labor joined to vote with an eye on the consequences decades hence, rather then the next election cycle, things just might pick up. And pigs might fly.
Anyway, have fun Sebastian — and thanks to your dad for all the laughs.
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