Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in this instalment of "Ernesto's Manifesto". Computer problems are mainly to blame.
Secondly, my heart goes out to all the victims and their families affected by the tragedy in Christchurch.
Today I wanted to talk to you about trust.
I grew up in the Latrobe Valley in the late 50's and early 60's and was taught by my parents who or what was trustworthy and who not to trust.
- The Manager of the local State Savings Bank was to be feared but respected and trusted.
- Big companies that were mutuals (Think AMP, IOOF etc) were trustworthy and worked for their members interests.
- The local council, who's building inspector was slow and pedantic but made sure things were done right.
- The SEC (State Electricity Commission) whom you could trust to deliver reliable, affordable power AND a dividend to the state government which could then be spent on schools and hospitals.(pity about the air pollution, but we were not aware of those problems then).
- Even politicians- It didn't matter which side of the fence you sat, mostly they were in in parliament to do what they considered had the best outcomes for their constituents.
I could go on but you get the picture.
Most of these institutions that provided quality, affordable services to the people of this country have been sacrificed to the god of privatisation, demutualisation, competition and greed.
The State Bank of Victoria, gobbled up by the CBA ,which was then privatised thus removing the checks and balances its highly regulated charter, forced on the entire banking industry. The banking Royal Commission exposed the excesses that have occurred since the loss of the CBA.
A similar story can be found in looking at the result of Privatisation on many industries and institutions but one institution that, as a child I thought was a force for all that is good, was the Church.
Even (in my early teens) when I realised religion was based on a very well marketed fairy tale, I still held the church in high regard for its morals and charity work.
So what now-The royal commission has exposed the church and some individuals for what they are.
People who trusted the Church had their trust and faith destroyed by the very people who should have been protecting them.
This is what I believe should happen-
- The Church (in all its denominations) should have its tax free status revoked.
- The Church should be forced to restructure its organisation along the lines of any major Company with an accountable board of directors .
- Mechanisms be put in place so people abused by the church can sue for compensation.
I know the likelihood of this happening is more than remote but why are taxpayers propping up these institutions that have such a repugnant history?