To respond to Storrar’s question by showering him with money – so much money, in fact, that it may potentially impact his benefit payments and require the assistance of a financial manager – seems to misunderstand the nature of the problem, no matter how well-intentioned the many donors may be.
The geography of tax avoidance and evasion – far-flung yet interwoven – means reform is, in isolation, ineffective. The structures merely move. Gabriel Zucman, an academic from the London School of Economics and the author of The Hidden Wealth Of Nations: The Scourge Of Tax Havens, estimates that $7.6 trillion (8 percent of individual financial wealth) is held in tax havens. That means approximately $190 billion is lost in tax revenue.
Come 2030 – or 2040, or 2050 – when the region’s geopolitical environment will look very different than it does today, what will the submarines actually be used for? Who will be in our sights? The Chinese? Terrorists? Nobody asks; nobody says; in truth, nobody knows. This is the basis on which billions of dollars of federal money is shovelled into the raging furnace of the military-industrial machine. Conversely, our painters, writers, editors, and directors must endlessly, and minutely, articulate everything they do in the increasingly forlorn hope of securing even a small amount of funding from an ever diminishing pool.
The Australian fights its culture wars in a particular – and now well-documented – way. It plays the man, or the woman, instead of the ball. It goes in hard, and it targets individuals who aren’t necessarily prepared for a fight (or at least one that’s very public, very national, and very much on The Australian’s own terms).
Growing up in the bush, surrounded by gum trees, red-belly black snakes and hairy huge huntsmen felt as natural to me as picking parsley, or trying to decipher Arabic when my parents were talking in secret or watching my aunties laugh as they belly danced to terrible 90s pop music. Those many worlds felt like they fit together. Still, I didn’t feel like I fully belonged.