Monday, 23 February 2009

Expensive politics

It looks as if I will have more time to work on the book than anticipated. Anna Bligh has called a snap election for March 21 – the earliest possible date that she can call an election at this time. Anna is the premier of Queensland and clearly wants to get through an election before economic news becomes any worse. Queensland is heavily dependent on mining income, which is decreasing in tandem with world, specifically Chinese, manufacturing. The only people that are happy with the state of affairs are those driving diesel vehicles. With Chinese and Indian demand for diesel declining, so does the price at the pump. For the first time in years, diesel is cheaper than petrol.

The state public service goes into lockdown mode until after the election. This means no new contracts, no decision-making and plenty of making time. The contract on my two-day a week research project didn’t make it across the line in time. I’m not too unhappy about this although the uncertainty is unsettling. If Labor stays in government, it should only be a delay unless the reshuffling causes a major rethink of such things as research budgets. If a new government gets in office, all bets are off.

I think it is the first time though an election has directly had an impact on my life. I had rearranged my schedule, my family’s schedules, arranged care for Blithe Boy, bought myself a new lunchbox and some vaguely respectable clothes. Now I can go back to slouching around the house in old shorts and t-shirts, eating PB & J sandwiches, licking my fingers and burping. Doesn’t everyone at home? I still have my other research project (sadly the less interesting one) and have plenty to keep me busy. And who knows? I might actually get the book done.

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