The year 2020 has been the year from hell. On the Chinese calendar it is a Year of the Rat, and has certainly lived up to it’s name.
Whole communities and family structures have been flattened by black Saturday, COVID and mass unemployment. The class of 2020 – generation zoom – will miss school formals, university placement and full time employment.
National and state leadership – or lack thereof – has been brutally exposed for what it is. Leaders lacking in substance had nowhere to hide. Corruption was rife. After getting ICAC’d over her secret corrupt ex-MP lover, Gladys stopped pretending altogether. When subsequently caught pork barrelling she was like: So what? Doesn’t everybody?
The fault lines, caused by a decade of systemic underfunding and toxic political ideology, finally ruptured under the weight of 2020. The nation was plunged into recession, just as the government gifted billions of taxpayers money to the fossil fuel industry. This included the vast Narrabri project which was rubber stamped despite 98% community opposition.
Community pushback against the government was intense on gas, industrial relations, police brutality, refugees, Julian Assange and climate change. A survey showed 75% of respondents wanted Australia to commit to net zero by 2030. There were demonstrations in the streets in every state on every issue. All of it fell on deaf ears.
We remain held hostage, mid election cycle with a weak and ineffectual opposition. If Scott Morrison is rat cunning enough to simultaneously backstab Malcolm Turnbull and dupe Peter Dutton to steal the leadership. Anthony Albanese in his current form already looks way out of his league.
The sorry parade of state, federal and corporate failures turned into a white-water torrent. More black deaths in custody, the aged care genocide, NDIS deaths by neglect, iCare not caring, NSW overpaying dodgy developers tens of millions of dollars, Rio Tinto’s eco-terrorist bombing of priceless Indigenous heritage sites, hotel quarantine stuff ups in both NSW and Victoria, China being royally cheesed with us, Qantas sacking everyone except Alan Joyce, border exemptions for footballers whilst the bereaved are denied passes for funerals, Visy Board billionaire Anthony Pratt getting $10 million in bushfire funding while half of Cobargo are still sleeping rough – the list of outrageous, appalling, traumatising events that made up 2020 is so big, if it weren’t for the smoke from the recent Fraser Island bushfire, you could probably have seen it from the moon.
Then, just when you think it is almost over and we might be able to eat Christmas dinner without a hazmat suit, the news breaks of another COVID outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches. States closing borders and panic buying of toilet roll has started again. The healing relief of an almost-post-COVID Christmas we all desperately wished for, evaporated.
Through it all there are those who kept on working at great personal risk, to help look after the rest of us. To the many essential workers, health professionals, firefighters, volunteers and emergency services who have remained on the frontline throughout, we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude.
To those who have rallied in their communities to help those wiped out by 2020 and rebuild, you too are owed an enormous debt.
To protesters and organisers and unions and anyone else fighting to save our increasingly fragile democracy and planet, you are the last frontier and your courage gives me hope.
To those leaders who did step up and turn up every day standing shoulder to shoulder with those trying to keep us all safe, may you have some respite from the trenches and time to rest and thank you for your service.
As for those in government who so comprehensively failed us on everything from aged care to climate change, to you a big fat thanks for nothing, the only thing in which you exceeded expectations.
There are still nearly twelve hours left of this never ending, psycho killer of a year. Now even the long awaited New Year’s Eve celebrations are looking unlikely. thanks to the new outbreak. Caused by international travellers. If only they had been treated like refugees, handcuffed and frogmarched into quarantine and watched night and day in case they posed a risk to the community, this outbreak might never have happened.
If a week is a long time in politics, 2020 feels like an eternity.
Good luck for 2021 everyone. I get the feeling we are going to need it