The Problem of Grovelment
By Charles Pinwill
Politicians in Australia have been universally held in low regard as a class
throughout our history, several unexamined factors have perhaps militated
against the full measure of their deserved contempt being publically realized
The purpose of this article is to examine this proposition to at least some preliminary degree.
Perhaps the greatest factor in the Politician’s defense is derived from an Australian sense of fair play. This instinct unconsciously insists, quite correctly, that any body of persons chosen largely at random from amongst us, simply could not be as consistently bad as the evidence from every quarter and angle, both loudly and seemingly incontrovertibly, insists.
No Australian of voting age has not on numerous occasions pondered, in association with his peers, this mysterious phenomenon. On all occasions to which I have been a party all explanations put forward, however aggressively, passionately or even provisionally, have met with a consensus of tentative agreement. This is true of both main thesis; the dismissive “They are all a pack of b……s” and the more philosophical observations such as “All power tends to corrupt”.
While agreed that the performance of politicians, irrespective of Parties, has been one of willful and vindictive misrepresentation against the electorate on a great many important issues, this almost universal consensus has remained tentative. Tentative, because although their record of misrepresentation on myriad issues is incontrovertible, credulity at the depth and number of perfidious politicians is seriously strained when contemplated as a burgeoning social phenomenon.
Far from lamenting this faltering credulity it should be seen in some measure as fortuitous. A final rather than a tentative acceptance of this judgment, though all the known facts would seem to support it, would have brought down upon political practitioners the verdict of “Guilty of misrepresentation with extreme prejudice”, and this would have placed the whole of national democratic life at considerable risk.
Subsequent to such a verdict present structures would have most certainly been torn down in outrage, with the one essential understanding necessary for constructive correction, namely an appreciation of the underlying cause of political delinquency, by its absence, precluding a remedial democratic outcome.
Acceptance of the full measure of politician’s iniquity has been held back from total adoption with its inevitable resulting action, with an attitude which speculated that “Surely, they just couldn’t be that bad!” This implies a suspicion that somehow “We must have gotten it wrong”.
The key to the growing revulsion at all Political Parties is the slowly emerging realization that Politicians, no matter which Party they represent, are not, definitely not, the result of a selection based on virtue, nor on a random process either.
All electors will understand that if one went through the prisons and selected a group of persons guilty of certain particular crimes; their group activity would be predetermined. Similarly, if one assembled from the population those who had given the greatest unrewarded and selfness service in public life, different personal characteristics would be evident in such a group.
The Political Parties act as filters through which only persons of a particular type may ascend.
The requirements for success in political parties are the personal characteristics found in increasing purity as one ascends through the various levels of the Party structure, and reaches its zenith in parliamentary representatives.
What are these personal characteristics?
They are defined by the innate nature of Parties. The formula for succeeding in political parties is a simple one. The Formula is as follows:-
1) Select a Party.
2) Join it.
3) Discern who it is that exercises the real power in that Party.
4) Make yourself available as an agent of these persons’ influence. Do this with the utmost dedication and application, bringing to bear all of your personal abilities and talents, intelligence and initiative in their service. There are others competing with you in prostrating servitude, so submissive effort is essential to your advancement.
5) Learn through your experience in both the defeats and victories of your service to the influence for these powerful others, to submerge your independence of mind and inclination whilst at the same time drawing a veil over your motives couched in terms of the highest moral considerations at your command.
6) In this way the Party’s powerful are recruited into promoting yourself. You will need to accept whatever increases in responsibility and position which the interests of the powerful dictate for you, and are for their reasons offered.
7) Remember always that there are plenty of others in your Party who instinctively understand this formula, and that the extent to which they do is the accurate measure of their intended threat to yourself.
8) Never forget that this competition is decided absolutely upon performance. Your record of delivery in accordance with the will of the Party’s powerful alone, is your only worthwhile political capital.
Essential Accompanying Ignorances
1) That after the mean average incubation period for politicians of approximately 10 to 20 years before election, plus further years as a junior backbencher and then as a junior cabinet Minister, the necessary modus operandi of conforming to the formula as it impacts upon your personality, and the social expectations of all those around you, will preclude any exercise of creative independent integrity. You will not have developed any.
2) That for this reason your original good intentions, to first acquire power, and then use it for good, will in no circumstances be achievable, nor indeed be remembered by yourself.
3) That your net political contribution to posterity will be to preclude those, who through maintenance of a creative independent integrity, will have long since sickened of the Party political process and gone home. The one personal quality which your country absolutely needs for its wellbeing is the very one you will have positively denied it. It is enough.
This is the problem of Grovelment in Government.