Australia’s seen enough shut shops and Centrelink queues to disbelieve the old beat-ups. So why is the prime minister restarting them?
Economists are calling the impact of coronavirus a “depression-level crisis”; it is stunning to consider the Liberal government refusing to remember the lessons of the Depression. Pandemic or not, sacked workers cannot furnish markets with spending, and neither can the workers without jobs to go back to when jobseeker payments are halved and jobkeeper taken away – scheduled for September. They won’t be spending big in the Laundy family’s 30 pubs.
They’ll be fighting to keep their families together – nursing a bitter awareness of just who abandoned them, and for how little.
Back to the couch in Paris and Facebook, I scrolled through the comments on the George Floyd video, bracing myself for what would inevitably come next.
And just as predictable as the injustices we suffer every day, there was the inevitable comment.
“I’m white and I work hard and I’m better than dirty f*****g black people. And if I had the opportunity I’d step on a coon’s neck and kill them too.”
Some things just never change.
Australia, we can do better and we must do better.
I tried but for now, I’m taking a break.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, trust in government had reached its lowest level on record, according to a major study conducted by The Australian National University. Just 25% of Australians said they had confidence in their political leaders and institutions. The study of the 2019 federal election also found Australians’ satisfaction with democracy was at its lowest since the constitutional crisis of the 1970s. A huge 56% believe democracy is not working – that government is run for a “few big interests”. Just 12% believe the government is run for “all the people”.
In a multi-university survey commissioned by the Victorian state government, workers in the gig economy – to the surprise of no one, really – are worse off in their compensation than regular casual workers are, and certainly versus those in secure employment.
While the report revealed that while nearly two-thirds of all Australians use gig economy delivery services, its workers are exploited in a manner even more shocking than originally assumed.
Some of the statistics, among roughly 14,000 respondents:
My thought for the day
Meritocracy is a term used to imply that those at the top of the social scale have merit and a slur against those at the bottom. John Lord
This fixation with balancing the Budget – the very thing which they deemed so critical in managing the economy – was the very thing which has been damaging the economy.
There are two ways to balance a budget: cut spending or raise taxes. The latter ran counter to party ideology, so Josh Frydenberg cut spending. Cutting spending withdraws money from the community. It is deflationary. So it was that lower spending meant lower economic activity. Growth drifted lower, so did inflation, so did interest rates. Lending criteria got tighter. Then the housing market got an attack of the wobbles.
The Libs are fond of talking about their Shopkeeper Theory; that is, that every shopkeeper must balance the books. Or they go out of business. So it is that the Government too must balance its books, they say, and the idea of balanced budgets is deployed as a weapon to bash political opponents.
The fact is that shopkeepers don’t issue their own currency. Shopkeepers don’t have a banking system to buy their bonds. Shopkeepers can’t create money.
The consummate paradox is that, while they deny the efficacy of what central banks are doing, what MMT describes – and espouse ShopKeeper Theory, the world’s central banks are actually creating new money anyway via QE. They are watching it happen while denying they can see it.
Death to critical thinking it’s too progressive and leads to people from the bottom have second thoughts (ODT)
The emotion-laden headlines read:
- The ABC is a left-wing blob of boring, woke views;
- ABC becoming too right-wing’ following ‘occasional conservative guest;
- The ABC no longer even pretends to be balanced; and
- Forces from within are destroying the ABC.
The notion that “the ABC is too left-wing” seems to be gaining momentum. It appears that News Corp has played a significant role in furthering this narrative.
By focusing on the historical crimes of Western imperialism, we are in danger of forgetting that some terrible wrongs were done more recently in US-led ‘regime-change’ operations for which no one has yet apologized.
Destruction of Iraq & Libya
War in Syria and Yemen
Anyway, it’s good to know that Scotty will be providing commentary from now on. I look forward to his take on such things as how the Liberals manage branch stacking when they don’t – as Malcolm told us – have factions. Or perhaps commentary on Bridget McKenzie’s skill that enables her to criticise Labor for inappropriateness, while keeping a straight face. I look forward to him providing a running commentary on exactly why he rejects the premise of any question that doesn’t suit him.
And I particularly look forward to his commentary when told about an upcoming leadership challenge or Liberal Party scandal…
No, I don’t know anything but it’s been over eighteen months since the last change of PM, so surely someone must start spreading rumours soon. And it’s been over a week since the last suggestion of Liberal Party corruption… Or clever politics, as the MSM refer to it.
Surely something must be about to happen.
The national broadcaster has faced savage budget cuts every year since 2013. Its operations are now threatened by further cuts and at least 200 job losses. Dr Martin Hirst discusses whether it’s too late to save the ABC.
We need to get Aunty out of that abusive relationship. Guaranteed funding that the government can’t interfere with is a step in that direction.
Finally, we need to protect the ABC and defend it because privatising it is on the IPA’s “to do” list and they must be stopped at all costs.
As much as the ABC annoys me, I am committed to defending it and fighting for it to have an increased budget. The question is: How do we go about defending the ABC when it won’t defend itself?
In Australia, our education system MUST incorporate the history of our First Nations if we hope to change our attitudes to any significant extent. We need to consult community leaders and involve them in decision making and we need to stop allowing mining companies from destroying heritage treasures tens of thousands of years old.
If we stopped worshipping money, just think how much better our world might be!
We cannot change the past but we can and should make a real effort to ensure our behaviour in the future leaves a history which does not make our descendants ashamed of their ancestors.
And if we are to have a future, we need to start listening to the experts in all of the sciences, not just health!
For everyone so worried about the Protest causing a spike in COVID infections this photo was taken at the same time as the protest was on, it shows people at a market in North Sydney, no masks, no physical distancing, no health precautions, all of which were happening at the protest. Direct your anger equally or stfu
When white politicians and media judge peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protests as “selfish” while turning a blind eye to violent outbursts by anti-lock-down conspiracists, we are a long way from equality, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
Consider this — 58 per cent of American registered voters support “calling in the US military to supplement city police forces” in addressing the George Floyd protests across America. Only 30 per cent oppose.
That’s according to independent polling this week by Morning Consult.
Probably the most chilling thing about watching that video of George Floyd die — or for that matter, the video of that Indigenous Sydney teen — is the supreme confidence and surety with which the police acted. There’s not a moment’s hesitation or restraint.
In the Floyd case, even the passage of eight minutes, with time to realise the gravity of the situation, with bystanders pleading for the officer to stop, makes no difference. Nor does the fact of being filmed. There’s no sense of shame, contrition or even uncontrolled excess. It’s all done with a kind of moral lightness. There is only power, violence and a sense of entitlement to both. It is the conduct of the secure, the unquestioned. That only underscores the monumental task of these protests: to mount a blasphemous argument and win.
A cursory glance at the government’s recent activities leaves a clear – and unsavoury – impression that the Coalition is intent on ignoring any immediate need to make rapid steps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Quite the contrary.
They are avoiding listening to any dissenting voices, by excluding any involvement, other than by manufacturing and fossil fuel magnates, in the COVID-19 Commission.
Reich recounted the Trump non-response to pandemic, protests and a collapsing economy, concluding that the president is not a president at all. Some might feel uncomfortable with that idea. After all, like him or not, he has the title. But Reich’s argument is that the title doesn’t make you a president; being a public servant requires performing your duties for the common good.
When you push people beyond their capacity to understand their victimisation you can hardly expect them, during demonstrations, to behave rationally.
One of my close friends was a flight attendant. I was staying at her place when, late one night, a high-profile sports celebrity rang to say he was in town overnight and would send over a taxi to pick her up.
The classic booty call.
And this is exactly how our government behaves and expects us to be grateful.
You have a crippling drought? They fly in, have their photo taken, offer you a gift which may or may not eventuate, and then head off into the sunset.
Same with bushfires. Ignore you, then turn up wanting a cuddle, before they move on to their next photo opportunity.
Poorer areas, especially places with a high black populace are the hardest hit. There is also a systemic attack on blacks and other minorities through the hard-right lens of the media. Narratives are shaped via deceptive and negative stereotypes. The black man is portrayed as a criminal and dangerous individual, even when he has done no wrong, and is merely standing up against injustice.
Compare the vastly different narratives to the white libertarians who invaded congress with semi automatic guns, versus the black protests against police brutality. The white libertarian militias were largely praised in the media for standing up to “state oppression,” while the black protesters were scorned and mocked as “dangerous thugs.” More reading here.
There is an underlying media bias of whites being “good” and blacks “bad.” This of course ties into the division needed in order for capitalism to continue to benefit the primarily wealthy white establishment and to neglect the needs and rights of black people and other marginalised minorities.
You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. His verbal bombshells are louder than ever, but Donald J Trump is no longer president of the United States.
Policing in the US is not about enforcing law. It’s about enforcing white supremacy
By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office.
He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV and tweeting.
Will we stand with the protesters of Hong Kong? Crucially would Australia, among others, be able to keep talking to Beijing, to keep diplomatic channels open?
The coronavirus crisis has brought front-and-centre the question of how the world lives with an increasingly-powerful authoritarian China. We have already seen a descent into insult and threat — from both sides.
It has been called a new Cold War, perhaps so, but China is far more critical to the global economy and more interconnected with our lives than the Soviet Union was.
The China challenge also comes at a time when freedom and democracy is weaker in the West. The world was always heading to this moment.
The Murdochs and Packers have got their fingers in the taxpayer honeypot again, this time winning nearly $6 million without a tender from the Department of Health. Michael West reports on Mable and the latest in corporate welfare.
Abbott’s legacy NBN. Trailer trashing regional areas but they won’t have a bar of it any longer. (ODT)
Communities are not going to sit and wait for what might or might not happen and regional towns know that they will not be first to get better broadband from NBN Co. Consequently, more and more cities will start developing their own plans in collaboration with their own state governments.
Unfortunately, this will mean overbuilding and wasting money, but with the Morrison Government – purely for party political reasons – stubbornly refusing to talk about fibre optic network, it is clear that many towns in Australia are not going to wait for the Federal Government to take a lead here. The economic and social future of their communities is simply too important to wait for politicians to finally get their act together on these issues.
A factor in the Coalition’s winning of the 2019 election could well have been the – dare I call it corrupt – pork barrelling through the sports grants.
All attempts, however feeble, by the Coalition to establish an anti-corruption watch dog have so far gone nowhere, but – praise be – religious discrimination laws seem to have been assigned to the dustbin!
The picture is not pretty – and even if our actions on climate change pale into insignificance beside those needing to be made by the really big polluters, USA, China and India – showing willing, added to efforts in Europe and elsewhere, would do much more good than harm.
I strongly feel that the actions of too many of our politicians go way beyond self-interest – ignoring their duties to electors – and actually move substantially into the realm of corruption.
Another facet of the government’s lack of consistency is the unspent $60 billion!
Millions were left without substantial help, while businesses were given first priority to be able to continue in existence.
If Morrison was prepared to spend the money for employees who, it transpires, do not exist, then he should use if for those who do exist, but who were abandoned because they fell outside his arbitrary criteria.
Morrison currently has a one seat majority and even if Eden Monaro turns that into a 2-seat majority, it is not an overwhelming mandate – particularly as he gained fewer than half the votes.
To ignore social distancing by inciting a revolution, out on the streets en masse, demanding attention to climate change action, would be irresponsible.
But come the end of the lock-down, we need to be prepared for action.
This probably corrupt and definitely uncaring government must be brought to heel!