16 Sep 2005, Comments (0)

The Great Unwashed Speak Out

Author: Helen

You’re a commuter who has driven your gas guzzler family sedan into work for as long as you can remember. And for as long as anyone can remember, the State government has been pandering to you and to motoring lobbies like the RACV, trying to ignore the reality that it just isn’t sustainable to do that forever. Every time motorists squeak, vast tracts of Australia are ripped up for freeways, tollways, overpasses and other massive bituminous monuments, which then quickly clog up again. Meanwhile, the public transport system and its users have been treated like shit and the system allowed to run down under a privatised arrangement. (Maybe these two things are related…?)

Anyhoo, one day you drive up to the petrol station and it looks like this:

GasOMG.jpg

This continues for a few weeks so you decide it’s no longer feasible to drive the g… sorry, family sedan, into work and you decide to jettison your dignity and mix it with the rest of us, in your own words, Great Unwashed.

Now I’d like to say that we’ve welcomed you with open arms, car driver (“Welcome to our world! Glad you came over to Our Side!”), but unfortunately not in my case. First, because the system has been run down and treated like shit, and there are just not enough peak hour trains. So where I might have had a fighting chance before of getting a seat on the 7:50 from Footscray, or at least something to hold on to, now I am stuffed in like one of those poor sheep on the live sheep transports to the middle East.

And you people, finding out for the first time just how run down and shitty the system is, not only do you bleat about it as if no one ever pointed it out to you before. No, you just couldn’t care less before. You just have to compound it by complaining about US – the longtime users of the ahem, “service” – the ones who weren’t competing with you for road space but doing the right thing all along, and now have to put up with YOU packing in by the hundreds… It’s so painful for you to have to mix it with us, the great unwashed carless hoi polloi.

DO YOU WONDER WHY WE ARE LESS THAN IMPRESSED??

Are you going to get onto the State government now to say, “OMG WTF! I never knew how bad the situation was with our public transport, or how much we need it. I demand you extend it exponentially and run it properly as a clean, safe, reliable service!?”

No! You’ll just complain about the GST on petrol and demand they remove it so you can get back into your car and blessed forgetfulness.

But… what if it’s not the GST that’s the problem? Excuse me, but is that a turd on your table?

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