Away with Rio+20 and Ineptocracy

INEPTOCRACY is a system of government where the least capable of leading are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. That’s according to the web-based Urban Dictionary of slang and seems to be an increasingly apt description of how Australia is governed.

The latest fiasco is the proposed closely down of an already diminished Australian fishing industry through the creation of the world’s largest marine park.

But what on earth is the purpose of having the world’s large marine park if we continue to condone the slaughter of a species of marine mammal already on the verge of extinction? There are only about 14,000 dugongs left in Great Barrier Reef waters and about 1,000 are slaughtered each year.

Dugongs are closely related to elephants, don’t calf until they are nearly twenty years old and suckle their young for up to two years. They are slaughtered by aborigines and Torres Strait islanders as part of an indigenous hunting right, never mind that the slaughter is unsustainable and inhumane.

If the Australian government really cared about the Great Barrier Reef and its dugongs, it would immediately ban the slaughter of dugongs by aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Then there is the Murray River fiasco. The buy back of vast quantities of water by the Australian government from our most efficient food producers to send to an artificial freshwater reservoir that has crippled the Murray River’s estuary and all ostensibly to save the environment.

Before the sea dykes that dammed the estuary, each autumn when the southwesterly winds picked up, the Southern Ocean would push into Lake Alexandrina. So the lake was sometimes fresh and some brackish and during prolonged drought it was full of seawater. A mainstay of local fishery was mulloway, a large fish with a golden sheen, but there are no mulloway anymore.

Before the sea dykes were built across the five channels that converge on the Murray’s sea mouth, mulloway would hangout in the underwater canyons beyond the Murray’s mouth. As though reluctant to come in, then on a big tide and a full moon large schools would race through the inlet between the sand dunes. The year the sea dykes were sealed, the mulloway came in and then were trapped, on each ebbing tide, churning in the channels below the sea dykes. There is an old photograph of the Goolwa wharf groaning under 160 tonnes of dead mulloway.

If the Australian government really cared about fish it would restore the 75,000 hectares of terminal coastal lagoon at the bottom of the Murray Darling by removing the sea dykes.

But it doesn’t really care about dugongs or mulloway.

In our ineptocracy, real and pressing environmental issues are ignored while governments legislate against productive and sustainable industries.

Over the next few days the mainstream media are going to tell us stories about the Rio+20 conference, a place in South America where Australia’s richest environmental groups and government bureaucrats are gathering with other such groups and governments from around the world. They are gathering ostensibly to solve the environmental problems of the world by promoting a new economic order through a new political document for our future.

A majority of those attending will likely represent the least capable of leading meaningful change and the least capable of contributing in a practical way to a productive society, and their very attendance will be a consequence of the taxing of a diminishing number of productive and sustainable industries.

And not one of the many delegates from Australia has ever shown the slightest interest in any of our real environmental issues including the restoration of the Murray River’s estuary or saving our dugongs.



I took the picture of Green Island shown above from the window of one of those small Dash 8 aeroplanes on my way to Cairns last week. From Cairns I ventured north to the Daintree and went looking for cassowaries with Neil Hewett.

… only my second YouTube movie. Thanks to all who donated to Mr Koala’s fundraising appeal, we purchased the video camera with some of the monies raised.

My very first YouTube movie is here…

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35 Responses to Away with Rio+20 and Ineptocracy

  1. Hasbeen June 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    Green Island looks so small in your photo, but you can just make out the channel blasted through the coral flat to get the boats close in to the island. The channel that looks quite large from a boat, is so small when seen from that height.

    I have heard tourists complaining about the damage to the coral from such blasting. They can’t be expected to understand that the new channel offers much more growing sites for coral, & homes for fish, than the near dead flat offered.

    We have a resident pair of spur wing Plovers. They have raised a number of broods. Their first nest was half way from my side door & the shed. They would go crook a number of times every day when I had to go up there. Next was half way from the back door & the feed shed, at least a route less trafficked. I could mow on the ride on, to with in a meter & a half of them, but on foot for me, the dogs or cats, getting with in 6 meters would bring a torrent of abuse.

    I did move them the time they started about 2 meters from the front door. Fortunately they have chosen the front verge, half way between the road & the front fence this year, so no problem. They do appear to be getting a little more accepting of me, but nothing like the maggies & butcher birds, who demand food when ever they see me.

    Another pair have nested near the helipad at our local hospital for over 10 years now. The gardener leaves a patch of long grass & weeds once they lay.

    My pair are laying now. I have not noticed the time of year previously, but am a little surprised they would nest in winter.

  2. hunter June 17, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Great essay and wonderful pictures. Hopefully the debacle of AGW will reach the point soon so that Rio will represent the last of these ridiculous rent seeking wastes of resources.
    “Ineptocracy” well describes the stagnation and even degradation of leadership in governments worldwide.
    There is a movie I would commend to you to watch, “Idiocracy” that explores the tenets of ineptocracy rather well.

  3. Alexandre Nogueira Zovico June 17, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Ineptocracy was created and developed in brézil! Ah! that pride in being the people with the ultimate way to be ass …

  4. spangled drongo June 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    “But what on earth is the purpose of having the world’s large marine park if we continue to condone the slaughter of a species of marine mammal already on the verge of extinction?”

    Ineptocracy and hypocrisy in a nutshell!

    The nutshells and the nuts are like the thimbles and the peas.

    But they are “leading the world”! Going to Rio for a great greenie backslap fest and doing it with our money.

    Is there no limit to the ineptitude and squandering of this govt?

  5. jennifer June 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I’m wondering what John Sayers thinks of my sound track for ‘Plovers on the rocks’? I put it together on IMovie which I am finding very easy to learn. But where can I find a database of animal sounds, including cassowaries calling?

  6. spangled drongo June 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm #


    Yes, so many of the coral islands had to have their boat entrances blasted in order to make them habitable [and usable during WW2] and I suspect some continuing work has to happen to keep them open.

    Though many of them are these days “pristine” tourist areas, they have in the recent past, as well as harbour blasted, been extensively mined for phosphate [guano] deposits, even the so called “pristine” national park islands.

  7. spangled drongo June 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    “But where can I find a database of animal sounds, including cassowaries calling?”

    Jen, there is a bird app by Morecombe that has all Australian bird details including the Cassowary call. If you take your I Pod into the bush you should be able to call them up by playing the calls. [If they’re loud enough] ☺ ☻

    It costs about $30. The android is a bit cheaper [about $28] and you can get a smart phone to play them for about a quarter the price of an I Pod [$50].

  8. Mark A June 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    here you go Jennifer haven’t tried it but!

  9. John Sayers June 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    It sounded good Jennifer. Bird sounds are hard to find.

    The best collection is David Stewart’s – – but he wants money for them.

    Birds in Backyard has some sound fx

    but not a cassowary.

  10. spangled drongo June 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Here are some Cassowary sounds:

  11. John Sayers June 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Mind you Jen – there are degree courses you can enrol into that will show how to make those wave effects etc have a Real Purpose.

  12. Larry Fields June 18, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Philosopher Larry’s take on ineptocracy:
    The First Law of Politics is the exact opposite of the First Law of Plumbing!

  13. John bennetts June 18, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Be careful and sparing with those recorded bird calls. They confuse and distract the birds from the business of living.

    I sometimes wonder what effect a recording of a call which is specific to a particular season does to the wild birds who hear it out of season.

    I have heard that, under some circumstances, replaying of recorded calls is either objected to by rangers or outright illegal, but I am not sure.

  14. spangled drongo June 18, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    And is there any chance they will even act rationally when all other possibilities have been thoroughly exhausted…??

  15. jennifer June 18, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    John Bennetts

    Noted. I’m simply wondering where I can find sounds to put with video clips I may make into the future.

    What I did with my first You Tube video ‘Plover on the Rocks’ has me laughing every time I watch it. And there is no real time delay before I start the hooting sound… what i mean is that Plover did appear to be stuck to the rock as I watched it/filmed it. I guess it was slowly sucking a worm from the subsoil?

  16. Peter Martin June 18, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    When I was about 10 (now 46) I remember Dad taking us to Broome (from Perth). Dad was a mad keen fisherman and diver and we would often get pulled out of school early and brought back late over holidays. It didnt help my “education” but it sure helped my scool of life. As a kid I remember seeing dugongs being killed at the places we would visit. I guess the thing that struck me the most was the method more than the killing. Even as a kid I found it pretty incongruous(sp) that so called traditional hunintg occured using a 14ft aluminium dinghy, a 30hp outboard and a 303. I guess my opinion is that I can see the argument for traditional hunting practices to be respected, but if so then use a bark canoe and a wood spear or its all just a bit bull$hit.

  17. el gordo June 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    I agree with Peter Martin, the modern day hunters have an unfair advantage and should be forced to do it the traditional way.

    Straight away the people would go back to sausages and chips.

  18. spangled drongo June 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    The doings of Ineptocracy:

    “Documents released to the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance under Freedom of Information laws revealed that bureaucrats in the Department of Climate change flew 6,528,616km last financial year, costing us a staggering $3,274,286.40!

    And while these very people are lecturing us to act like we’re back in the dark ages the carbon emissions of these flights equal over 1000 tonnes!

    The hypocrisy is staggering – it’s one rule for them, and another rule for us. No wonder they are happy to slug airlines with the carbon tax – they don’t have to pay the bill!”

    John bennets,

    “Be careful and sparing with those recorded bird calls. They confuse and distract the birds from the business of living.”

    My experience is that it is the “experts” that do it the most. All, of course, in the interests of saving the endangered bird. But if you happen to witness the activity of calling-up plus trapping, tagging, monitoring etc you would have to be sceptical.

    Calling-up with a recording is only something I do rarely but my impression is that when a rare, isolated bird hears another relative, male or female, calling, it suffers more joy than anxiety. With mimicry common in the bird world, I cannot see calling-up as a big problem for the lone bird.

  19. Minister for Truth June 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    “Philosopher Larry’s take on ineptocracy:

    The First Law of Politics is the exact opposite of the First Law of Plumbing”

    Alright Larry, I’ll bite.

    Whats the the First Law of Plumbing ?

    … is it the same of the First Principle of Sewerage Treatment….namely that the biggest ones always rise to the top.

    Mind you, who cares as long as its not more Political Correctness defined as:

    “Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a
    delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an
    unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition
    that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

    Courtesy of John Cleese.

  20. Larry Fields June 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Minister for Truth June 18th, 2012 at 5:01 pm
    “Philosopher Larry’s take on ineptocracy:
    The First Law of Politics is the exact opposite of the First Law of Plumbing”

    Alright Larry, I’ll bite.
    Whats the the First Law of Plumbing ?

    Sorry, I didn’t want to make this seem more complicated than it really is. The First Law of Plumbing:
    Shit flows downhill.

  21. Robert June 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    No, Gav, I’m not following Rio + 20.

    I don’t mind the junketing and trough swilling. Humans just like to party and emit lots of CO2. It’s in our nature. And when it’s other people’s money, who counts the dollars and the tonnes of GHGs?

    What I object to is all the mock-serious stuff you link to: the INEPTOCRACY!

    Jen, congrats on spotting that cassowary. I’m told it’s not easy in the wild. And you even got film!

  22. Bob Fernley-Jones June 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Peter Martin,
    I’m curious to know if you are you the same person as in the nom de blog of; Tempterrain aka “Anagram Pete” etcetera?
    I share one of Jennifer’s concerns that some of the dugong and turtle killings are inhumane. I have not seen cruel killing of dugongs, but have seen stomach-churning video of turtles having there flippers literally sawn off, and slow cutting away of their under-shell without first quickly killing them.

    Why are things always so complicated? I can’t see any way that the Oz pollies will suppress “indigenous culture”, although maybe the “harvesting size” could be ruled-on using humane methods such as use of guns ILO crueller practices. However, the policing of such would seem to be a huge problem.

  23. Neil Hewett June 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    BFJ, really? You can’t see any way that the Oz pollies will suppress “indigenous culture”? I have only ever suppression. Never, in all my years, have I seen Oz pollies reinvigorate indigenous culture. I have also only ever seen life snatched from plants and animals by indigenous hunters and gatherers with skilled efficiency that is necessary to the task. I have never seen an expressed motive of cruelty. Of course, most of us Aussies don’t have to face to brutality of the death of anything that we rely on to live.

  24. spangled drongo June 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Neil, cruelty is not the point at issue. It is the elimination of endangered native animals for cultural stimulation by people who now enjoy the luxury of modern weapons and transport that have no relevence to their indigenous culture.

    The fact that they also do this with unnecessary cruelty only detracts further, from the practice.

  25. spangled drongo June 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    “Never, in all my years, have I seen Oz pollies reinvigorate indigenous culture.”

    I think Australian people and politicians have been foolishly over-doing this for the last 45 years whereas prior to that, aboriginals were much more advanced into coping with the modern world.

    Siddown money has seriously affected the motivation and capability of a clever race of people.

  26. Neil Hewett June 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    SD: Jennifer’s post questioned the purpose of having the world’s largest marine park if we continue to condone the slaughter of a species of marine mammal already on the verge of extinction? Tell me, who is condoning such a thing? Certainly not the indigenous interest!

    I am no expert, but I imagine if there was any particular interest that was more likely to cause such an extinction, it would be the market demand for prawns, with such indifference to the impacts of the trawling requirements that the sea-grass beds between the mainland and the reef are perpetually depleted of dugong carrying capacity.

    Interesting that you identified 45-years, because (of course) this dates back to the historic referendum of 1967, when 90.77% of Australian voters supported the amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, providing the Commonwealth Parliament with the power to legislate with respect to Aborigines living in a state as well as those living in a federal Territory. The primary purpose of this overwhelming support was to provide the Commonwealth with the Constitutional power to make laws that overrode discriminatory state and Territorian legislation towards Indigenous peoples.

    So having demanded that Indigenous Australians be protected from discrimination, are you now contradicting the will of the majority of free-voting Australians by saying, SD, that Australia has been foolish to have interfered with the ‘advancement’ of Aborigines into the modern world?

    The legislative requirement for Indigenous Australians to be paid the same wages ans non-Indigenous Australians for the same role, saw the majority evicted from more than 51% of the national landscape into the ravages of the missions and welfare dependancy. Hardly a foolish reinvigoration of indigenous culture!

  27. spangled drongo June 21, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Neil, I worked with aboriginees prior to the 1967 vote and the unintended consequences of that step change, which we all supported, did not do them any favours.

    In those days of poor wages they often had to take up contracting to earn good money and this way they did a great deal of the necessary work and were a great asset to themselves as well as western communities. But most of the aboriginal employees I worked with got as much if not better money than I did [some got less] in the ’50s and rightly so because they were smart fellers. Some of them were bosses.

    Things certainly needed improving back then but aboriginal advancement, assimilation and improved living conditions was heading in a better direction then than now.

    As usual, govts threw the baby out with the bathwater.

  28. Neil Hewett June 23, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Spangled, you worked with aborigines in the 50’s? You must have been very young, (early 20’s)? From your various contributions to this blog, I had put a picture to your avian nom de plume of someone around my own age (50), but I was clearly mistaken. I wonder, did you spend any time in the company of the Warlpiri?

  29. spangled drongo June 23, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Neil, as I’ve bored this blog with before, in my late teens I was assisting a rainmaker in the Birdsville area over a lengthy period to co-ordinate all the other rainmakers in the area to break the drought at the time. Station work and aboriginal culture went hand in hand, whether it was shooting brumbies to get horsehair to re-counterline pack saddles or collecting Kopi stone for rainmaking. I recently rediscovered a beautiful minnarichi boomerang at my son’s place that an aboriginal made me all those years ago and offered it to me with the words, “when you wear out them white moleskins, you gib’em to me, eh?” I was so impressed, I gave him my moleskins right then.
    I think the Warlpiri were a lot further north. I can’t even remember what these aboriginies called themselves. I used to know some of their language but it was so guttural and hard to pronounce you had to keep saying it to yourself over and over. I used to write letters for some of them to their friends and relatives in neighbouring tribes. Tommy, the king, lived on the station.

  30. spangled drongo June 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Anyway, my point is, is that the aboriginals had a great work ethic then. They were very competitive and would say things like, “I can out work, out bludge, out eat, out starve, out drink and out perish any of you blokes”, in the course of a muster. IOW they TRIED to be as good as they could be and so were often better than most.

    Compare that to any settlements you visit today. Benign policies haven’t done them many favours since ’67.

  31. Neil Hewett June 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I guess my experiences in homeland settlements and outstations reveals similar work ethics and astonishing skills and knowledge despite the crippling impediment of govt policy.

  32. spangled drongo June 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    That’s good to hear Neil, because they have that capability. My experience in Alice Springs a while back left me a little disillusioned. It has always seemed to me the more they have to confront the problems of reality in the 21st c the better they cope. Well-meaning govt policies affect their own self-discipline and I think they are quite capable of self-regulating on environmental controls as well. If they can’t, no one else can.


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