Thursday, 11 August 2016

Kafka on Crown Street

My latest piece in The Australian, on the challenges of getting back in the system after 25 years away http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/return-to-australia-kafka-on-crown-street/news-story/71f7c20ce194e0d37a70986aa475eeb2


Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. — Franz Kafka 
I’d been back in Australia less than a day when I found myself slip-sliding in the slime with worms of a new bureaucracy. At least it was a new one for me.
TWhile Australia was having its nanny state revolution, I was off toiling in Milton Friedman’s laissez-faire paradise of Hong Kong and later in Milton’s Paradise Lost with prawn soup, the lawless ­melange otherwise known as Bangkok.
I had assumed this usurping of the public service and the law by nannies and ninnies to have been greatly exaggerated … until, back in Sydney, I stood, quaking, under the gimlet gaze and granite face of the woman welcoming the great unwashed at the Australian Taxation Office in Martin Place.