Corruption, Everywhere By Bruce Bennett
As James Reed was struggling with the hundreds of pages of his book review, he tossed to me, Cameron Murray and Paul Frijters, Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation,( 2017).
This book is timely given that the issue of Chinese influence on our politicians through donations, is not often out of the news. Thus in today’s paper we have “ALP Branch Bows to Chinese Donations Ban,” The Australian, July 21, 2017, p. 5, which tells us that the NSW ALP, under pressure from Bill Shorten, will stop taking donations from two Chinese-born businessmen, with close links to the Beijing government. ASIO had previously warned about these Chinese businessmen:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/investigations/asio-warns-parties-that-taking-china-cash-could-compromise-australia-20170602-gwjc8t.html. This is a good development.
Nevertheless, Game of Mates shows just how far down the track we actually are. The elites have made Australia, which was once one of the most equal countries on earth, one of the most unequal, by a process of social decay, they call “game of mates.” They have done this through predatory action over all aspects of society, such as in property development, which has made it now pretty much impossible for young Aussies to own homes, to costly transportation, the great superannuation myth (will our children ever see their super?), and mining, with its costs to the community. Banking, which is discussed at this site regularly, is also given pride of place, in this list of ills.
Most important of all, is the game of mates itself, the tribal support that the elites give to each other against the ordinary people, from business deals to jobs. Massive amounts of your tax dollars are wasted in numerous institutions, such as the universities (pp. 134-140), which have just become inefficient degree machines. And, so it goes on. Most things are now rotting in Australia.
After this depressing read, I turned to the last chapter of the book, wondering if the authors do better at “solutions’ than we do. They tried. They urge the ordinary people to stop being apathetic and letting the elites abuse them. The myths of the elites need to be continuously exposed and fought. On the last page of their book, they say that the elites will not take defeat lightly, but other peoples have fought their oppressors and won, and now it is our time. Thus, the book ends on a positive note, but only if we make the commitment to fight the blight that has fallen over the once-great nation of Australia. We really do need, I believe, to make Australia great again (MAGA). Can we put it on baseball caps?
I have skipped facts and figures in this brief review, but Game of Mates is full of interesting material which can be used in debates. The book is well recommended for all those serious about seeing that Australia has a parasite-free future.