it to the greedheads at Bexley North
election is a classic example of my belief that the most fundamental
issues are the most difficult to get discussed. Politicians will tinker
endlessly with the edges of a problem but they really hate to look at
the fundamentals', he remarked.
was Old Possum's First Law of Political Discourse. I had heard it a
few times before, during late cider-soaked nights, but it had never
struck me with such force.
twisted the top off another cider and pushed it towards the old bastard.
It was past 10 pm on Saturday night and I'd just staggered in from the
giant Reclaim The Streets rally against the M5 East motorway at Bexley
North. My ears were still ringing from the techno dance music.
one of the organisers, had asked me to go along and take the Nikon in
case there was trouble with the police, but it turned out not to be
necessary. The first trainload of kids succeeded in closing nearly a
kilometre of Bexley Road before the cops accepted the inevitable and
redirected the traffic.
Possum breathed on his ancient prescription sunglasses, rubbed them
vigorously with his grubby hankie, and held them up to the light to
examine the effect.
I'm saying is that our form of democracy is becoming less democratic
and representative by default. Society is becoming more and more complex,
but the opportunities for the vast majority of people to really participate
in managing society are still pretty much as they were at the turn of
it's like this motorway business", I said, "The whole of transport
planning in this in this state is a closed shop run by a cabal of RTA
engineers. The government makes a great show of 'community consultations'
and environmental impact statements but they're just a sophisticated
form of crowd control. In the end big business almost always gets what
it wants, the traffic problems gets steadily worse and people get cynical
has really messed this thing up. He came to power promising to stop
this motorway madness and he's ended up as the biggest motorway builder
ever. He really has no transport policy. He just drifts on doing whatever
the Macquarie Bank wants on any given day. There are a few wild promises
of public transport projects, but they're set for about 2010 -- which
is three changes of government in the future! In the meantime it's business
as usual for the road-builders.
we're ever going to reclaim the streets from the car, we're going to
have to create one hell of a stink. You never even get to talk to the
chief assistant to the roads minister's assistant chief unless the minister
feels The Fear.
but you would have laughed if you you'd have been there today",
I said. "You've never seen a more flamboyant crowd, at least not
since the sixties. There were forest ferals, retro hippies, elderly
residents, bemused coppers, gothics, space cadets, sophisticats, cyclists,
techno dance freaks, skateboarders, and kids with their bodies pierced
in more places than I knew existed."
Possum sucked on his cider. "Of course there'll be the usual fake
moral outrage and spluttering contempt from the usual columnists and
talk-back radio nazis but that's as it always was. No social progress
was ever made by words alone", he chuckled. If there was one thing
that warmed his old heart it was seeing a new generation stick it to
the greedheads and humbug merchants.
pix of the Bexley North Reclaim The Streets.