Politicians play us for fools

The following story happened in Australia but I am sure it has parallels that play out in most liberal democracies – and, no doubt, in quite a few regimes that don’t favour transparency and accountability to the same extent.

It essentially comes back to that great old line: How can you tell a politician is lying? When his lips are moving. Boom, boom!
But, seriously, these elected representatives must think we are idiots.

The Australian government recently released a new Defence White Paper. This happens every four years and paints a picture of potential global and regional conflicts and how Australia could best defend itself should some stuff start hitting the whirring fan blades.

As an aside, the government made sure it did not repeat its monster gaffe of 2009 when it announced that China was a clear and present threat to world peace. This is our biggest trading partner, mind you. And the thought of our 22 million people rattling a sabre at China is just kinda silly, really.

Anyway . . . the government breathlessly informed us that we should get 12 new Australian-designed and built submarines; 12 ‘Growler’ fighter jets; 72 Lockheed Martin stealth fighters; two new Australian supply ships and 24 new patrol boats.

All those with a military disposition got quite excited but pretended not to be while most people yawned and thought how nice it is to feel safe and secure.
The absurdity is that while this 130-page bible of our defence capability got headlines everywhere, there was not one dollar figure in the whole document.

So, the government waxes lyrical about roughly $100 billion of expenditures but has not allocated one dollars above existing outlays to make any of it happen.
With an election due in September and polls saying this administration has not a hope in hell of winning, it’s a great way of conning people and never having to pay for it. And given the number of people sucked-in by this charade, it’s no wonder pollies do think we are idiots.