Where I live, slap, bang in the middle of Australia, we have four or so thousand of the most tribal Aborigines in Australia. Many of them are said to be disadvantaged, although, the truth is they have access to much more from Australian taxpayers than any other group in our country. Almost everything is free, but unfortunately, few take advantage of what is on offer with the sole exception of welfare payments, locally called, “sit-down money” for reasons I need not explain. https://www.proflocanada.ca/

The sit-down money is largely spent on alcohol, cigarettes, some gambling and when it is spent on food, it is generally what most Australians consider junk food. However, this is not to tell you about the societal ills among the indigenous of Central Australia, but to tell you how I came to dream up the idea of a “Toolbox Kingdom”. (I’ll explain what that is in a minute).

Every so often as I walk the leafy streets of Alice Springs business district, I’m confronted by an indigenous itinerant who asks for cigarettes or money. When I explain politely that I’m not silly enough to smoke and pay taxes for Centrelink, (the Australian Government’s welfare agency) and have no intention of paying any more, I get a stream of insulting and indecent language usually starting with, “You white… ” Rarely, one of these people will tell me how my ancestors took their land from them and I can’t help thinking they could have done much worse than the British.

Now, keep that thought and come with me to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where I spent three wonderful, interesting years between 2005 and 2008. Before I left Australia I did my research about the UAE and what did I find? A system of government modelled on the British Westminster System with a strong Canadian leaning. I found that while the British had been in the UAE, Canadians had also done a lot of setting up and implementation of schools, the tertiary sector, power distribution, and hospitals. Even the names of UAE Government Departments were modelled on those in Westminster countries. There are Chambers of Commerce identical to those in Australia and probably Canada, the UK and USA.

The only differences between the UAE and Australia is that Abu Dhabi emirate is filthy rich with oil money and shares it with the other six emirates. Secondly, it doesn’t have a democratic system of government, it is a benevolent dictatorship run by several related royal families all of whom are loved and admired by their 800,000 subjects. (This week. It could change next week)

Their wealth is such that they don’t really need do anything for themselves. Accordingly, there is an expat population around 90% of the total population. Expats do all of the menial work and most of the high-tech engineering, medical, scientific, educational, and business work needed.

At one time, the British boasted that, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” For a long time that was true. Dozens of countries benefitted from a British presence that installed a system of democracy and governance that is essentially unchanged since its inception. It’s also probably one of the most robust in the world and many of us have benefitted from a British presence (even the USA!).

So, when my indigenous interlocuters advise me about how bad my ancestors were coming here in ships in the late 1700s and taking over, I usually reply that they could have done much worse. At one time or other, the Dutch, Japanese, French, Portuguese and other nations visited our shores. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman named the state of my birth as Van Diemens Land. It’s now of course Tasmania.

While some of these visiting countries may have provided stable and efficient systems of government, as the French and Dutch have done in various other places, any of the visitors may have decided to treat the original inhabitants much worse than we have. At worst, they could have been exterminated as they almost were in Tasmania.

Australia is a country that works. Our system of government is not infallible, far from perfect, often annoying, but in the final analysis, it provides stability and an excellent standard of living for all our inhabitants. You know that you can go to sleep at night and that the military won’t burst into your house and take you away because you disagreed with government policy. If someone does the wrong thing by you, you know that the rule of law will support you as well as it can. Ours is a tolerant society (sometimes too tolerant) with a solid Constitution and freedom and opportunity for all.

Despite dozens of countries that work, there are still many that don’t. Some of the African countries for example, have needed assistance, according to my grandmother, (long deceased) for as long as she could remember. We are still providing food, blankets, medical aid etc after decades and countries are still not capable of self-direction and determination. It seems nothing has improved. We are apparently providing sufficient assistance to keep people living in poverty, some miserably so with preventable diseases etc, but not enough to get themselves out of the mire.

My dream (you never thought I’d get to it did you?} is that we provide a very large box… probably the size of a large ocean-going vessel, with all the laws, policies, structures for government and it’s departments, a comprehensive societal blueprint, document templates for contracts, rental agreements, wills, floor plans for hospitals, and everything else needed to establish a solid, Westminster style system within the countries that need them. This is my Toolbox Kingdom.

We would issue a Toolbox Kingdom to countries reliant on us for survival and tie our grant funding to implementation of the program. With the sole exception that the government would need to be secular (or else it wouldn’t work), nations would have latitude to do their own thing. As the dream goes, everyone would live in countries as good as Australia, the UAE, UK, other advanced European countries, the USA, Canada and all those that work well. Everyone would be well fed, clothed, housed, and kids would go to school.

Then, I wake up and I’m back to the real world of religious and tribal violence, ongoing poverty, incessant wars and threats of wars, and I realise that we as humans, although intelligent, are not yet intelligent enough.

Robin Henry is a semi-retired adult educator, human resources specialist and Internet marketer who writes articles about a wide range of topics. From Alice Springs in Central Australia, he runs a business communication consultancy from home.

By yanam49

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