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.

Commercial fishers get extension, but it makes no difference

Ballina trawler harbour.

Deadline extended for NSW fishers buying back into the industry

Sex attacker slapped with strict supervision upon release

Violent sex offender's life after jail no walk in the park

Local Partners

Katie Holmes' empowering directorial debut

Katie Holmes

KATIE Holmes as made her directorial debut

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!