Toilets, extraordinary politicians, extraordinary policies
There is indeed one thing the British got right in their several million terrace houses across Greater London built in the 1930s. They put the toilet in the right place – out the back where it belongs.
Somewhere along the way an architect thought it would be a great innovation to put the toilet right next to where one was meant to get a good nights sleep. To make it more sensible this toilet was named an en suite. This innovation reduced the amount of energy required, should one need during the night, to relieve one’s bladder. Convenience replaced aesthetics. Now one could roll over in the middle of the night to the melodic sounds of one’s partner (or even one’s one night stand) using the en suite.
It all makes perfect sense! It is so perfectly sensible that it is unquestionably embraced by the vast majority of house hunters who would not consider purchasing a property that did not provide them with the convenience of urinating a few feet away from their pillow. This privilege and convenience today one would rarely question.
The acceptance of the somewhat astonishing en suit into the fabric of life is not at all dissimilar to the acceptance of some quite recent extraordinary policies and practices developed by politicians in Britain, the USA and Australia.
Let’s consider the current British Conservative Party policy, mirrored in Australia by the conservative Coalition, to conserve tax payers money, protect the rich from the burden of high taxes and balance the budget by downsizing support for the poor.
The poor, who are already poor, are a source of savings. Reducing government expenditure on assisting the poor and financially punishing them for not getting jobs that don’t exist has been (and still is) a repeated Conservative Party line. Not to be outdone, Rachel Reeves, the UK Labour shadow work and pensions secretary announced recently that Labour will be tougher than the Tories when it comes to ‘slashing the benefits bill’. This genuine concern for the poor and disadvantaged and their future, like placing a toilet right next to your pillow, makes perfect sense.
And lets consider the conservative Australian Coalition’s ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ as a piece of outstanding policy. This astonishing initiative is designed to stop ‘illegal’ asylum seekers by secrecy. That’s right. Not telling the Australian public what is going on, so they can’t pass it onto the asylum seekers waiting to jump on the boats, while at the same time not telling the asylum seekers waiting to jump on boats what is going on, so they cant pass it onto the Australian public. This secrecy will safeguard Australians from being overrun by ‘illegals’ who will take jobs away from Australians, overrun the countryside and turn into criminals as soon as they are released into the community. Yep makes perfect sense – just like that toilet extension called the en suit – though there’s little secrecy going on there.
Then there’s the shutdown of federal services in the USA by the conservative Republicans for over six weeks because they don’t like the Affordable Care Act. They oppose universal health care. They stopped around 800,000 people from getting paid in government jobs and made another one million continue working without pay because they oppose a law that gives people the right to health coverage.
Well of course you would! Sick people don’t need health care, especially if they are poor sick people and cannot afford the exorbitant cost of health cover in the USA. As one blogger wrote “it’s the social justice equivalent of opposing Disneyland – in fact its weirder – who in their right mind would say ‘I just don’t like the idea of people having health care’?” Well it appears those Tea Party people are quite comfortable with folks getting ill and making sure they don’t get to see a doctor! Makes perfect sense! In fact so much so that I reckon the Tea Party people have their en suits right smack bang in the middle of their beds – except they probably consider French words foreign and offensive.
And then there is the new Australian Senate lurching towards us mid next year. An enthusiast for vroom-vroom (yep a person elected on the basis of his affection for motor vehicles) and an enthusiast for iron ore, nickel and coal will apparently have the power to shape Australian legislation from their unique policy perspectives. That’s not weird! That’s down right normal! Hell yah! Just like that toilet . . .
OK I think I might leave it there . . .
What’s that line from Alice In Wonderland? Curious-er and Curious-er? Or was it weirder and weirder? Nah – makes perfect sense – just like having the ‘dunny’ snuggled up next to your pillow. Is something leaking? Good night.