Opinion

Here & Now with S Sorrensen

Northern Rivers. Now:

Once upon a time, in a land not far away, there lived an emperor whose given name was State Government but preferred the title Emperor.

He had grown fat on the industry of his people and instead of serving the people as per the agreement that goes with emperocracy (ie he gets treated really well by the people and in return he protects them) he became greedy and self-absorbed. He loved overseas holidays and expensive clothes.

One day a bunch of swindlers, the Clothes Swindling Group (CSG), came to the Emperor's country. They let it be known that they were master weavers and could spin the most beautiful clothes from fine fabric. Not only were the materials and style especially fine and profitable, but the weavers reckoned the clothes these spin doctors spun were magic. The clothes were invisible to anyone unfit for his or her office or who was hopelessly stupid - so said their press release.

These weavers lobbied the Emperor over lunch and showed him a plan that featured puffed sleeves and investment maximisation schemes. The Emperor thought, "I'd look good in that."

So the Emperor bade the swindlers make him a set of these magic clothes so that he would shine brighter than all other emperors. (And he could tell if people were unfit for office or hopelessly stupid.) He gave the swindlers bags of gold from the public coffers to purchase the finest fabric, prime agricultural land and gold trim. He chucked the people out from their homes and gave the homes to the swindlers, rent free.

The people protested but the Emperor promised them they would see the most magnificent clothes ever made. The swindlers, laughing all the while, deposited the public money offshore where their masters laughed heartily too.

Finally, the Emperor's new clothes were ready. He gathered his yes-men together and they proceeded to the swindlers' factory. There, the Emperor saw only empty looms.

"Oh dear," thought the Emperor. "I can't see any clothes. Am I unfit for my office? Am I a fool?"

His yes-men, who were ministers in his court, also saw nothing but they feared they were maybe unfit for office (which was likely). No-one spoke.

Then the swindlers, bowing low and saying nice things about his Enlightened Emperorality, pointed to the empty looms and said, "How splendid is the golden trim!"

With exaggerated gestures the swindlers pulled the Emperor's new clothes from the looms and brought them to him draped across their arms. They ran their fingers through the air, saying, "Feel how smooth our operation is." The ministers nodded to each other and said, "Oh yes. This is truly the finest clothing we have ever seen."

"Um," said the Emperor. And then lifting a corner to his cheek to feel its smoothness, said, "It has my highest approval."

And he gave the swindlers more money from the people's taxes.

The swindlers dressed the Emperor and said, "How grand you look, Your Emperorness." But they were thinking, "Come in sucker," and did snicker amongst themselves.

The Emperor paraded his new clothes down the main drag of his town. The townspeople looked at the Emperor and saw no clothes, only naked exploitation.

But to avoid being thought of as hopelessly stupid, some said things like, "CSG is good for us," and "It's a safe industry."

The swindlers were well pleased.

But then a child cried out, "He's not wearing any clothes!"

The people looked at each other.

And knowing the child to be quite bright (she could work the DVD player) and that she held no office to be unfit for, they realised that they'd been conned big time.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Not whether we win or lose, but how we play

Not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.

No chutney and scones on verandah today

Dr Airdre Grant

Life in the country you don't see in the magazines.

Bring Geoff's famous cabinet back to Lismore

TALENTED: Geoff Hannah with Minister For The Arts Mitch Fifield, Jenny Dowell, Kevin Hogan, Thomas George and Brett Adlington at the opening and unveiling of his work at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Famous cabinet coming home to gallery

Latest deals and offers

The perils of play: How kids are most likely to be hurt

THE thought of your child suffering a life-threatening accident is the stuff of parents’ nightmares.

What price would you put on a kid's 'miracle'?

At nine years of age, Quiń had an accident that caused a cataract to one of his eyes. In an instant; this little boy with his whole life ahead of him faced a future of blindness.

Thousands of Aussies joining campaign to restore sight to kids

Mayor's plan to bring Son of Lismore's cabinet home

TALENTED: Geoff Hannah with Minister For The Arts Mitch Fifield, Jenny Dowell, Kevin Hogan, Thomas George and Brett Adlington at the opening and unveiling of his work at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Mayor Dowell wants famous cabinet for regional gallery

Flood watch issued for Qld, NSW

NSW State Emergency Service warns of heavy rain

Blood-stained clothes seized after axe attack

Lismore Court House.

A landlord has been charged over an axe attack on her tenant

School girl porn ring site goes offline

The Federal Government is yet to confirm if the site has been taken down or simply moved to different offshore servers.

Controversial Australian nude school girl rating site disappears.

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

VIDEO: What did Thor do during Captain America: Civil War?

Short explains why Thor wasn't in Civil War film.

Hilarious mockumentary features star of the film Chris Hemsworth

Meet Toowoomba's top exotic dancer

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Exotic dancers (from left) Alice Morgan, Celeste and Frenchie are heading to the United States after competing in Miss Vault 2017.

Dancers vie for top spot at Toowoomba's only strip club

That's a wrap: Gympie Muster celebrates 35 years in style

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at the Muster Club on Sunday August 28 at the Gympie Muster.

Country music festival blessed with great weather and bumper crowds

Julia and Sasha top The Block's leaderboard

Julia and Sasha in their winning master en-suite in a scene from The Block.

FIRST room reveals of the season deliver mixed results.

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m