jonathan pearlman

jonathan pearlman

FINE ART Photography




Our imminent return to the Sunshine State now in the grinding, groaning, lifting and packing stage, I find myself reflecting on the almost 5 years spent here in Melbourne. Perhaps a little too premature, surely these musings should come when I am drifting lazily in our pool or floating almost comatose near the shore line of the Coral Sea.

From a purely personal view of my journey thus far, I need time to evaluate the myriad of experiences, the people, the places, the latent skills I only recently discovered; the emotions that collided and colluded. Better, instead, that I turn my attention to stupidity and arrogance, those things that combine to rule our lives by virtue of the free hand that politicians and their servants (of the public kind) appear to relish with abandon in conducting affairs of the state.

Having seen, close-up, the machinations of civil service (and although I am bound to an agreement that would, rightly, stifle criticism of my previous employ) I can truly say that nothing will now ever surprise me. 

I am beyond incomprehensible with the inconceivable.

I've watched in disbelief at the arrogance and the foolishness of the Brumby government; strafing vast amounts of public monies at inane public projects - Myki travel card ($1,000,000,000 and counting), software for various government departments ($400,000,000 and counting) with a net benefit result to the community that defies comprehension. The Desalination plant now not truly wanted, or needed, that is considered too large for its purpose and is draining to public purse needlessly. Of the incoming conservative State government, arrogant and paternalistic, impatient with social engineering, focused on balancing books rather than assisting the lives of others: cost cutting programmes that necessarily affect the economically disadvantaged. Displays of tory-style law and order programmes emanating from knee-jerk reactionaries.

I have seen up close and personal how the public service machinations slip into gear; unelected individuals engineering and overseeing projects that count for nothing, save for the recipients of public money who must rub their hands in glee at the thought of a government tender in the offing. 

Unqualified and over-paid, these mandarins answer to no-one and have an almost pathological belief in their ability to deliver a sound and fully-tested end product to their clients: you and me. They fail miserably and without much fanfare. 

And so to Queensland, where the voting populace recently handed a mandate to one man (again!) to fix whatever it was that needed fixing in public affairs. A man who now, it appears, is already on his way to alienating the very people who appealed to his extreme conservative style of governance: cuts to public sector jobs (35,000), social welfare projects (pensioners losing many home-help programmes), further education etc and distressingly etc.

Will l I care when I'm floating in the Coral Sea? Nope. Will I give a tinker's cuss when I drift in our pool how many hospitals and schools could have been built with $1,000,000,000 wasted on a travel ticket scheme that doesn’t work and has a net benefit of zero? Not me......I'll be too far relaxed to care anymore.


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