A Caricature in Citybuilding

Filed under On the Town ~ by Throsby on  2 Oct 2008

May I descend to baser cynicism with a caricature of progress?

Whether simple misrepresentation or elaborate "bait and switch" it underpins every development that has ever occurred in Newcastle, or anywhere else on the planet, for that matter.

This scenario plays over and over, and the mug punters? They always fall for it.

The irascible citizens need to be in good spirits for the mogul to have his way. A grand vision is always offered which only a troglodyte would resist.

So, to launch our fine town/city on a great path to the future I present a plan, magnificent in scope, unattainable in reality, with which you will be so duly impressed that stars will be in your eyes. Eyes blind with greed, seeing me a great benefactor and yourselves my beloved heirs

My good self (who, being the smarter one, usually ends up with all your money) will altruistically offer the community the first step in this plan: a keystone "project" paid for from my own fortune! Only a few minor infrastructure details need the taxpayer’s financial attention -  trifling matters, really.

To object to my proposal is to insult your neighbour and do this proud community the ultimate disservice!

Oh, and that hostel for the poor and homeless unfortunately ensconced where my bequest to the city must stand, well naturally we’ll build a bigger better place for them out west somewhere. Surely the taxpayer won’t begrudge the needy that small favour?

The project is of course a bigger, better version of how I got your money in the first place, and unfortunately adversely affects both my competitors and the city in general, as it’s quite huge, you know. That’s the price of my gain progress.

However, Citizens, you will be reassured to learn I have the City Council’s full support in this endeavour (there never was a finer group of eminent, selfless business folk at the helm of city affairs – brown paper bags all around, please, Jenkins(yes, now!)), and indeed I have the backing of those outstanding players in state government who join me in this assault on your heritage.

I know. Too corny not to be true.

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