Fix is well and truly in and voters don't buy it
AT the core of voter disenchantment with politics and politicians is a clear sense that the fix is in.
Whether or not it was Joe Hockey's infamous Age of Entitlement speech that lit the flame of that unease is debatable but it has become a reference point for the public's increasing awareness of the gluttony of our political elite.
What is certain is that while our politicians would like to believe voters forget and move on from indiscretions in their use of public money and indifference to the greater community in their decision making, no one is forgetting anything and or moving on.
The "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" chorus which once was enough to satisfy the gullible and desperate, is increasingly being seen for the lazy justification it is.
The slashing over time of so-called red and green tape has reached the point where business now writes the legislation that governs it, and self-regulation has replaced oversight of the community interest.
Where ever you look be it planning, development, mining, or the privatisation of essential services like water, electricity and education huge amounts of money are being made by the few at the expense of outcomes that benefit the greater good.
The fix is in and ultimately no amount of dodgy economic benefit analysis can hide the wealth transferred or the loss of amenity and service provision.
A pension sufficient to sustain your old age was once considered to be reward for a life of hard work and taxes paid. Increasingly it is seen as a privilege by politicians whose own individual entitlements would improve the lives of entire retirement villages.
The loudest voices though belong to the most hypocritical, those with the capacity to dodge or minimise their own tax contributions as they build the wealth while maintaining disdain for those who genuinely pay their way.
Voter dissatisfaction is well and truly on the rise and has claimed a rampant Newman Government in Queensland in a single term, seen federal governments since Howard elected with razor wire margins, and ended political careers at all levels.
And yet as Mike Baird departs in NSW having stomped all over the rights of individual homeowners and communities in his push to sustain a Monopoly game and as other politicians' spending enjoys the scrutiny once focussed singularly on Peter Slipper, it is as if nothing has been learned.
Certainly Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull doesn't get it, demonstrating the limits of his talent pool by the return of Arthur Sinodinos to a Cabinet reshuffled to account for the departure of an overly-needy Health Minister.
Sinodinos, once Honest John's chief-of-staff, told NSW's ICAC investigation into Liberal Party laundering of banned property developer political donations that you can't legislate for morality.
No you can't but in anything that involves the transfer of public money to the private sector or where government legislates with the stroke of a pen the opportunity for huge profits, there should be checks and balances adequate to contain those who have none.
Sinodinos' own supply of the stuff is questionable given the cloudy position he held with Australia Water Holdings a company that pushed the envelope of its contract with the public entity Sydney Water.
Mr Turnbull chose to ignore the cowboy practices of the construction sector to put all the energy off his Royal Commission into Trade Unions, leaving untouched rorters who consistently don't pay those who build their projects and supply the materials.
And as Queensland pushes ahead with major reforms to the sector and rebuilds its regulator, the Prime Minister and his government remain mute on the 2015 findings of a Senate inquiry which exposed the extent of its problems.
Public disquiet will only grow as Medicare bulk billing enters its death throes and patients in need of medical care, medicines and X-rays find themselves financially incapable of accessing services.
Joe Hockey's attempt to explain away the erosion of the basic tenets of what it once meant to be Australian by pitting the haves against the have nots, has instead created awareness of the reality of the so-called rewards of an increasingly unregulated economy where business trumps society and community at every turn.
There are winners but they are the few with access to the VIP room of granted favour, government contracts for privatised public services and the cosy shift of private costs to the public sector.
But still real leaders, if they still exist, fail to come forward leaving the floor to incoherent babble of opportunists.