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  • An Optimistic 2013 is Just too Optimistic

    • January 14, 2013
    • Neer Korn

    Content, relaxed and comfortable would not be the best words to describe the outlook of Australians in 2012. And it looks like this year will be even worse. It won’t be until 2014 that the tide will turn.

    Amanda Vanstone, in her Sydney Morning Herald column last week urged Australians to start the year on a positive note. “It was a lousy year in many ways,” she writes of last year. “Perhaps you are having trouble getting started because you are suffering a bout of post-2012 blues.”

    In real terms it wasn’t a bad year for Australians, especially when compared to our overseas counterparts. Economy wise all reports indicate we have been the envy of our European and American counterparts. Cost of living has gone up in some areas, but declined in plenty of others, to create a positive overall outcome. This was confirmed earlier last week in The Daily Telegraph which reported “local food costs declined by 2.7 percent in the 12 months to the end of September.”

    Yet, speaking to Australians you just wouldn’t know it. They’ve been feeling under siege. The negativity in the air has been palpable and taken its toll.

    The blame for the national mood can be attributed to constant hostility that has defined public life. The level of antagonism between the major political players has reached what seems like a record low. There has been a distinct absence of any civility or decorum and it entered the public sphere daily. Negativity prevailed. “Do not look to the Parliament as an example of what is good in Australia,” Vanstone urged her readers.

    Alas, 2013 will be even worse. It is an election year that will be marked by unprecedented negativity, particularly felt by those unfortunate enough to live in marginal seats and those held by independents.

    Despite research clearly telling them that the public is crying out for vision and leadership, both major parties will succumb to painting each other’s leaders as undesirably as possible. For some time now there has been no love lost between the electorate and either of the party leaders. By year end, having been hammered with even more insults and colourful derisions, our perceptions will reach new lows.

    Only once the election has been won, and ideally with a healthy margin whoever is the victor, will things settle down. Should it be the coalition that loses they will finally accept having lost the 2007 election and regroup as a policy laden and constructive opposition. Should the government lose, they will accept what many have long assumed to be inevitable and it may even spur them towards real party reform.

    There will be two other issues that will weigh us down with a heavy heart in 2013. The Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse will be harrowing. The degrees of depravity perpetrated by those our society placed inherent trust in will permeate into our homes daily. Australians will be shocked by the sheer scale of abuse and victim’s stories creating a sense of disgust and feelings of living in an unsafe world where nothing can be trusted at face value. Parents will have no choice but to explain to their children concepts and words they have successfully shielded them from, like buggery, rape and grooming by paedophiles. Suspicion of males in caring and guiding professions, however pure their motives, will rise.

    The ICAC hearings in NSW into allegations of corruption will reach new heights next year. In a country where corruption is considered to be accepting tickets to the football, free flights or the odd bottle of champagne a re-evaluation will take place. The amount of money reported to be involved is staggering and something we are accustomed to hearing of African dictatorships, not our own elected officials.

    2013 will see a lowering of the public mood, and with it consumer confidence. It’s difficult to feel hopeful, optimistic and in a spend thrift mood when we feel under siege.

    So Australian will continue to turn inward to enrich their lives and outlook. They will actively seek perspective and smell-the-roses through seemingly insignificant but highly meaningful moments in life. They will surround themselves with family and friends with an ever tighter focus on their circle-of-care.

    They will cry out for the positive, the humorous and anything to escape to nastiness of public life, in order to enrich their private ones. So look out for comedies, public celebrations and good news stories.

    Jan

    14

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