Last night, NewYork’s favourite business website, Business Insider, picked up an Australian story that has not gotten that much press here. It was Gina Rinehart’s poem inscribed upon the very earth in the Pilbara:
Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, just penned a political poem — and it’s hilarious.
Her prose, engraved on a plaque attached to a 30-ton iron ore boulder, slams Australia’s government for “unleashing rampant tax” on the resources industry and pushes Rinehart’s weird idea about splitting the country into two economic zones.
“[She] attempts a noble challenge: the rendering of economic theory and politico-economic ideology into stirring verse,” Australian poet Geoff Lemon Lemon writes on political website Crikey.
“Some call it impossible to include phrases such as ‘special economic zones’ in a fluid and aesthetically pleasing poem. Those people are right. But Rinehart doesn’t let that stop her.”
One critic goes so far as to label Rinehart’s words “the universe’s worst poem,” according to the Daily Mail’s Jonathan Pearlman.
But hey, at least it rhymes.
Here it is in full (via the ABC):
The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife
And billions now are pleading to enjoy a better life
Their hope lies with resources buried deep within the earth
And the enterprise and capital which give each project worth
Is our future threatened with massive debts run up by political hacks
Who dig themselves out by unleashing rampant tax
The end result is sending Australian investment, growth and jobs offshore
This type of direction is harmful to our core
Some envious unthinking people have been conned
To think prosperity is created by waving a magic wand
Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled
Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world
Develop North Australia, embrace multiculturalism and welcome short term foreign workers to our shores
To benefit from the export of our minerals and ores
The world’s poor need our resources: do not leave them to their fate
Our nation needs special economic zones and wiser government, before it is too late
I have no idea if this is Ms Rinehart’s soul laid bare. What I can say is that the message of the poem is deeply counter productive for mining as can be seen in the broadly available sneering of the armchair Left available at the ABC.
Mining has so far been successful in winning the approval of middle Australia by representing itself as the mainstay of the economy. Sure, there was some fear mongering during the RSPT furor but the core of the mining PR effort has been to represent itself as helping the working man and woman. The key message of the “This is our story” material is just this: opportunity and egalitarianism, classic Australian values.
An ode to cheap imported labour does not fit the brief.