“Gina Rinehart wants Australians to get a tax cut, for businesses to have less red tape to kick-start industry and create jobs that aren’t just in the service industries…We are at the high end of taxation,” she said. “It’s the two Ts, tax and tape.”

During the course of my research into The Uncrowned King I happened across social critic Donald Horne’s book The Lucky Country (1964). The last chapter of this book opens with the words: “Australia is a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck.” Whether we consider Horne’s statement as a brutal indictment of our leadership or our lack of leadership or our failure to identify and select the right leaders, to Horne, Australian politics was “an empty space, devoid of logic, rigour and reason. Intellectuals who wished to walk the corridors of power were best advised to leave their intellectuality at home.”

For me, Gina Rinehart’s call for taxation reform and Donald Horne’s critique should be considered alongside the questions:

“Are we sailing in the right direction?”

“Do we have our priorities right?”

For example:

Can we really justify expenditure of billions of dollars on submarines rather than billions of dollars on education, health and aged care? Let’s face ‘reality’. If someone puts their finger on the nuclear button, submarines won’t do us any good.

Should we disarm? Show leadership? Make PEACE a priority? Reflect upon Albert Einstein’s philosophy: War will stop when young people refuse to join the armed services.

The Armed Services were originally established purely for the defence of a nation in the event of attack not for intervention outside the nation. If we were to sit around a table with Diggers from World War I, I do not think we would find one who would recommend the experience of “WAR”.

Can we really justify expenditure on the construction of further stadia?

Can we live with increasing rates of suicide?

Can we live with our discriminatory policy towards the engagement of people we have labelled “seniors”?

Are we losing the benefit of “wisdom” because of our discriminatory policy towards the engagement of people we have labelled “seniors”?

Is the word “discrimination” used “indiscriminately”?

Should we be mining Mother Earth? If so, who is responsible for the restoration?

Should governments/local councils use taxpayer/ratepayer dollars to fund gambling operations (TABCORP Queensland Government) – (ADANI airstrip Townsville Council)?

Should governments be acting to stop the transmission of gambling advertisements into lounge rooms across the nation which potentially leave an imprint on the minds of the young and impressionable?

There are many more questions that could be posed but what is required is action. Too much time is wasted arguing, mud-slinging and playing to the media rather than getting the jobs that need to be done “done” which suggests that there is much Truth to Donald Horne’s critique.

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