15 December 2019
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Hello, is there anyone in charge here?

The wonderful young Aussie rules player Tayla Harris was a victim of sexual abuse this week on social media platforms after a great photo of her in action got the cretins commenting and criticizing. Like a logical human being, she wants action taken against those who vilified her. If I was her father, I’d want to meter out some rough justice on these low lives who really need to be brought to book.

But apart from privately suing these idiots, no one in political power has ever shown any interest in doing anything about the defamation, slander and brand-killing actions that go on in these social media hang-outs.

Is it just me or does the Internet age worry you because no one really seems to be in charge? It seems that the irrepressible growth of websites and businesses on the Net has become unmanageable for people we vote for to run the show that we call our country.

Just look at the onslaught of Uber and how it broke every rule in the hire car and taxi book but because consumers liked their offering, which was very digital, very disruptive and consumer-friendly, it was able to flaunt the laws of the land and get away with it.

All of its customer-loving law-breaking has paid off with a December 2018 news story telling us that “Uber was last privately valued at $US76 billion, and the Wall Street Journal reports that it could go public with a market cap of $US120 billion.” (Business Insider)

When I started business writing in 1985, my wife gifted me a great book on quotations. One insightful observation by someone whose name I do not recall was: “Nothing is illegal if 100 businessmen say it’s not!”

Daily we are seeing huge indiscretions, defamations and sheer disgusting insults piled up on social media platforms, where the hosting companies such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being told to stop broadcasting ‘stuff’ that should never see the light of day.

If you need an example, just think about that madman who ruined the lives of 50 people and their families in Christchurch. Unbelievably, people watched the audio-visual abomination that was posted by that poor excuse of a human being on these platforms!

When social platforms become accessories after the fact for deeds that should never see the light of day, you have to ask: isn’t it time that the people in charge actually stepped up and did something?

In 2017 the City of London banned Uber for bad behaviour. Later a judge overturned the ban, however, at least the politicians in London demonstrated they were better than a world full of gutless, political pygmies who simply cave into law-breaking digital disruptors.

Don’t get me wrong, I like digital disruption. My websites are a challenge to conventional media but we play by the rules. We pay higher than average rates to journalists; we attribute to others when we access their IP; and we try to do the right thing.

I recently flew home from Melbourne and on my phone read a take on the stock market from a rival online business. I really enjoyed the piece until I realised I was reading something I wrote two days before!

It was a holus bolus lift and was intellectual property (IP) theft. When accused of this crime, the manager tried to fob it off! This is a direct consequence of no one being in charge. Those who are supposed to be in charge throw everything in the ‘too hard’ basket, which explains why the major parties have lost out to minority groups and independent politicians.

We have a leadership problem and it won’t go away until someone comes along with intestinal fortitude and wisdom.                   

Donald Trump has the intestinal fortitude but many of us would question his supply of wisdom.

With Gladys Berejiklian facing the people in the New South Wales election today, it’s going to be interesting to see how she is ultimately rated as a leader. And it will be enlightening to know how the voting population value the great economic story that prevails in the country’s biggest state.

Gladys lost friends over rubber stamping the rebuild of the footy stadium but her overall performance as a leader has been good enough to be given another chance to lead New South Wales. However, the political pundits who try to work out how voters think and vote say New South Wales could be in for a hung parliament.

Since the Global Financial Crisis, the world has had to deal with hung parliaments, Grexits, Brexits and short-term replaced leaders. In places like Italy, a big number of people think a comedian is a better alternative to a typical politician from Hollywood casting.

The Internet has been blamed for undermining the credibility of leaders with its 24/7 news coverage involving unconventional, self-appointed reporters on small websites, Facebook, twitter and so on, making it near impossible for a leader to stay out of trouble.

However, what this tells us is that maybe former leaders weren’t properly tested as they are nowadays and being the real deal is vital. That said, the hard task masters who dominate the Facebook, twitter and so on could even be a real test for a real deal guy or girl.

So what’s needed to help real deal leaders surface?

Ironically, Bill Shorten has looked surprisingly in charge because his old enemy left behind an innovation that was a product of his dumping by his own party. That innovation meant that Labor MPs couldn’t dump a leader without the support of the rank and file members of the party. This has given Bill the confidence to play his own game without the need to over-pander to the competing interests within his own team.

This is something the Coalition needs to embrace following two leader exterminations that haven’t worked out well for the conservatives.

We Aussies are crying out for a special person to emerge who’ll be so compelling that he or she will sweep our hearts and minds away and will have the guts and determination to be the leader in office they promised to be out of office.

One day, they might come up with a speech on par or even better than US President Teddy Roosevelt, who came up with this pearler:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

And that’s the kind of person I’d love to see in charge! He or she might establish a body to make the owners of these social media businesses block these morons out. A government body could single out haters who go too far and bring legal action against them and then leverage the action by giving it big media exposure.

I live in hope.

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