Speaking to a captive audience of roughly evenly divided people who had firm opinions about him when they walked in I wondered how many might have changed their view after hearing him talk about basic wages, unemployment, apprenticeships, housing affordability, negative gearing, aged care, and power bills, and using economic fairness to make his points. Then he turned on the Turnbull Government’s association with big business and the big banks.
“This is more fair dinkum to me than half the rubbish we carry on with in Parliament,” he uttered as the curtain fell on a very revealing Q&A.
“What the world needs is less nationalism and more internationalism.”
In Australia, a similar situation is developing. Wages growth is at an all-time low and the government seems intent on keeping them so. The problem though is that without wages growth consumers don’t have expendable income sufficient to meet consumer demand for goods and services. America has found that out. Conservatives don’t seem to comprehend that you may be able to obtain growth on the back of low wages but if the low wages prevent people from buying what you produce, you have defeated your purpose.
Of course inequality is not just confined to the United States. It is truly universal. The two countries with the highest populations have chosen to improve the quality of life of their citizens with greedy economic capitalism, which is the same system that has caused inequality in the advanced economies. The advances in China, particularly over the past forty years have been spectacular. And at the same time, it is breeding billionaires like confetti. And all on the back of a low wage work force. In 50 years or so, if they continue on the same path, they will face the same problems that the west faces now.
Robert Reich outlines a plan to resolve the issue which is sound in economic rationale.
In the absence of another economic system, capitalism is what we have. The problem with it is its inherent greed and misuse. It is a system that could be moulded and shaped for good. However, the conservative forces of the right of politics seem determined to enshrine the existing hungry evil greed of unregulated capitalism on us.
Revolutionised morally regulated capitalism could if legislated and controlled enable everyone an equitable opportunity for economic success. With equality of opportunity being the benchmark of all economic aspiration and legislation.
Of course, The Australian is Rupert Murdoch’s favourite broadsheet. It loses around $20 million every year but Murdoch refuses to give it a decent burial, instead, using it as a feeder publication for the likes of Jones, Bolt and Hadley and other shock jocks of dubious accountability.
Shock jocks who shout the most outrageous lies and vilify people’s character with impunity and in the process do nothing to promote decent democratic illumination.
The Australian online edition is full of anti-ALP headlines that at times beggar belief. One example is their support for the Government’s massive tax cuts for the top end of town. One day recently I counted 10 headlines either supporting the government or attacking Labor.
In every publication, derogatory names for the Leader of the Opposition are used more often than “stop the boats.” Because of there juvenile nature none have captured the imagination of the public. Now they are having another go with “Unbelieva-Bill.” Unbelievable isn’t it.
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Of course, these days Murdoch and his majority-owned newspapers; with blatant support for right-wing politics have done nothing to advance Australia as a modern enlightened democratic society. On the contrary, he has damaged it, perhaps irreparably. His only interest seems to be the elimination of the ABC and the superiority of right wing conservatism.
My thought for the day. (John Lord)
”Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.”
PS: “Its is a pity that the written word cannot convey the tone of the spoken one. It has to rely on the skill of the writer.”
Unemployment in Australia
1 “A Roy Morgan survey shows that 11,962,000 Australians were employed in April 2018 – an increase of 46,000 over the last year. The increase was driven by part-time employment, which rose 154,000 to a record 4,454,000; full-time employment was down 108,000 to 7,508,000. The figures also show that 1,196,000 million Australians were unemployed (9.1% of the workforce) in April, a decrease of 88,000 (down 0.7%) on a year ago. In addition, 1,349,000 Australians (10.2% of the workforce) are now under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a rise of 259,000 in a year (up 1.9%). Roy Morgan’s real unemployment figure of 9.1% for April is substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for March of 5.5%. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the continuing strength in part-time employment is causing under-employment levels to spike from already high levels, and it is imperative that the May 2018 Federal Budget seriously considers the continuing high levels of unemployment and under-employment” [full text]
Comment of the Week
Goes to Mr Denmore for his reply to Kaye Lee’s post; It takes a certain type of woman to join the Liberal Party.
I’m not sure it’s about gender. The Liberal Party has been overtaken by a nasty, greedy, vindictive ideology that attracts nasty, greedy, vindictive human beings devoid of charm or compassion. Perhaps some of the women seem particularly vile because, like women in many other walks of life, they have to exhibit the group values and attitudes more intensely than the average male politician to win acceptance and promotion. For instance, it seems pretty clear that O’Dwyer was thrown under a bus by Turnbull and Morrison to do that Insiders interview with a set of talking points that even the most astute political spinner would have struggled to sell. Cash, like Turnbull, seems to have no functioning political radar. Like many in the Liberal Party caucus now, the game is all about appeasing a dying and unrepresentative base of reactionary old white men. Mirabella, on the other hand, seems to be just a rotten human being, pure and simple. The Libs weren’t always like this. Judi Moylan, who retired from parliament in 2013 and who like Cash is a West Australian, was a moderate and progressive voice in the party during the Howard years, as was Judith Troeth, a Victorian. So I think the real issue is the takeover of the Liberal Party and its Coalition partner by a nasty, reactionary right-wing strain of US-style culture war politics. If you are a woman of political ambition in the Liberal Party, you are going to be tempted to exhibit the behaviours rewarded by that political tribe.
When you have an inequitable distribution of the country’s wealth it is obvious that people will be divided by income if nothing else. In 2013, the then Treasurer Wayne Swan wrote an essay about the ever-increasing inequality that had invaded our society.
The right-wing Murdoch press and conservative politicians immediately attacked his piece as class warfare.
So what the hell is this class warfare everyone talks about? I would have thought that there was less class distinction in Australia than in most countries. At least on the surface.
We do however have an attitude known as “them and us” syndrome. This phrase speaks of the wealthy who are privileged beyond conscience and then, well there’s us.
Those we refer to as them have all the wealth but “us” collectively spend more than “them.” Consequently, we pay more tax.
“A commitment to social justice demands the transformation of social structures as well as our hearts and minds.”
To see the Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft looking as though he was fiddling with the crown jewels when he was actually tampering with the ball wasn’t just a bad look for Australian cricket, but also an inditement of just how much public and private morality has slipped in our country. Call it ethics if you want l, or boil it down to cheating or better still, call it plain old-fashioned lying. Like rust it has now permeated itself into all facets of society. Or maybe we have just inherited another of America’s worst traits.
For the last 10 years or so deceit or lying in politics has reached outrageous proportions. The contempt with which politicians treat us is so perfunctory that they believe we actually believe them. Now we are not talking about little white lies … we are talking about whoppers. You know the ones that leave you breathtakingly open-mouthed for there unconscionable audacity.
Now let me add that there is nothing wrong with opinions (we all have them) so long as there is a diversity of them. But the fact is we don’t have a diversity and we would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by a media who controls a large percentage of news in our major cities. We can also add self-interest groups and lobbyists.
The less-informed voters unfortunately greatly outnumber the more politically aware and therefore are the obvious victims of mainstream media deception where everything is reduced to simplistic slogans.
Unlike Andrew Bolt who has to write for an average age of 13 to suit the demographic of the publication he writes for, I as do the other writers for The AIMN, seem to attract people of a higher level of thinking with a greater sensitivity for the things that matter.
So with all that said I hope I have explained that the origin of my writing stems from a long-held interest in social justice and inequality: of those who are deprived of a decent education, as I was, the environment and an urgent desire to repair and improve the standard of governance our politicians deliver.
None of the things I believe in can be changed without a change in government. The AIMN is a blog that can influence that possibility. John Lord
Old Dog Thought: It ought to be said that money and the power of distribution of opinion differentiates John Lord from Andrew Bolt more so than their audience. news Corp provides Andrew Bolt with a bigger net
Since John Howard came to prominence, and in the time since, especially under Abbott, the practice of politics now repulses people. We have been so let down by leadership that you would be hard-pressed to find 10% of the population who “trust” our politicians.
For his part Tony Abbott got slapped down after his “Immigration speech” by all and sundry: both friend and foe. Given his personal arrogance and hatred of Turnbull he will probably continue. Even his most ardent supporter Greg Sheridan got in on the act saying he was 100% wrong. I wonder where blind Freddy was? Perhaps Joyce and Abbott will form a tag team. Goodness, I’m seeing images of Barnaby in red speedos.
Abbott showed he had the gift for a bit of sarcasm by saying:
“… gratuitous criticism from ministers who are only in government because I led them there”, and that “you’d think a government that’s lost the past 27 Newspolls might be curious about how it could lift its game.”
We all have to ask ourselves this question. Why are they all doing this? It certainly isn’t for us?
Bill Shorten can now quietly claim the scalps of a Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister. But as last week,s Newspoll showed, it doesn’t seem to hurt the Coalition at all. Almost half the population think they are doing a fine job.
Every decision the honourable members make will be based firstly on how best it serves his or her party. Rarely on how it serves the country and the people.
“Good government is about making and implementing decisions that serve the common good. That give security to the people it governs. Follows the rule of law and is truthful about its intentions. When making decisions it must be responsive to the will of the people. It should allow its citizens to be participatory in the function of government. It should be inclusive, equitable and supportive of the people’s right to know. By equity, I mean the people have a right to a fair reward for the fruits of their labour. And above all it should be answerable to the people.”
I then asked myself how the Abbott/Turnbull governments stacked up against my thinking, and I had to admit they have been deplorable.
What I am, however, is an artist, an observer, and given that observation is the basis for all science I feel entitled to a view. For me the ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of scientific fact, truth and reason, never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation. Science has made in my lifetime the most staggering achievements and they are embraced, recognised and enjoyed by all sections of society. John Lord
For me, the changes brought about by the advancement of science and technology have been astonishing. As a progressive, I crave change that is worthy and is advantageous for the betterment of society and the world that we inhabit.
I believe that our lives should be subject to constant reflection, otherwise the way forward is locked into the constraints of today’s thoughts.
You cannot change what happens. Particularly when you have no control over it. What you do have control over is the way in which you respond.
Why is it, in “the name of free speech”, that we need to enshrine the right to abuse each other, in law?
You would think that an enlightened progressive free thinking society would want to eliminate it not legislate it.
It is not a question that requires great philosophical, ideological or even theological debate. It is a black and white question. Supposedly we live in an “age of enlightenment,” a period where the world has made enormous technological advances, but at the same time our intellects have not advanced the capacity to understand simple tolerance.Indeed, if we were truly enlightened we would treat our fellow human beings, with respect love and faithfulness.
We would do unto them as we would expect them to do unto us and we would strive to do no harm. We would love life and live it with a sense of joy and wonderment.
We would form our own independent opinions on the basis of our own reason and experience; and not allow ourselves to be led blindly by others. And we would Test all things; always checking our ideas against our facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it did not conform to them.
We would readily admit it when we are wrong in the knowledge that humility is the basis of intellectual advancement and that it is truth that enables human progress.
But for me my early journey has shaped what I believe in, the way I think about social justice and my world view. I hope you enjoy this account of my first 14 years.
it’s hard not to see a group of people who have no idea how to govern for the country as a whole, who are purely in politics for what they are able to extract from being an MP for themselves, being able to win the next election.
What a disaster it would be, if for whatever reason they were given the reins for another three years.
When a party is in such disarray the need to stay in “power” becomes the overarching imperative. This gives rise to the likes of Dutton to take any short cut to maintain his and the government’s grip on power. The Coalition’s only policy has been the demonising of those who are not white, Anglo-Saxon, and Christian.
So Dutton and others see no reason to deliver good government so close to an election. They see the rhetoric of blame as a “winning formula”.
But today, Mr Dutton stepped up the rhetoric against the judiciary, blaming “soft sentences” on the appointment of civil libertarians as magistrates, and labelling one Supreme Court judge a “left-wing ideologue”.
The judge in question, Lex Lazarus is one of Victoria’s most respected jurists and Dutton would know that by convention he is unable to reply.
And the “who” they want to be’ politician during times of poor leadership is a most dangerous animal because the likes of Turnbull have no power to stand up to them.
So Dutton will keep up with his sarcasm (except for when he sleeps) and other offensive expressions calculated to raise racial hatred and break down society.
We can only conclude that Dutton is not in it to help create a better society with a better future for all. He has been a failure at his two other Ministries and compassion has eluded him thus far in this one. I can only conclude that the Liberal Party when it comes to the immigration portfolio believes that it needs a mongrel in charge, so Dutton was an easy choice.
My thought for the day
“Sometimes it is good to stop, think, evaluate and formulate one’s own opinion instead of being influenced by the media and other vested interests.”
The new Minister for Anything approaching evil insists that “people are to scared to go out to restaurants of a night-time because they are followed home by these gangs”.
When asked to provide factual evidence of this the former copper from Queensland could not. No one is surprised for it is a method of demonising people that he has used for some time now.
Is it effective? Well, he must think it is because he takes every opportunity to use this malevolent methodology of scaring people at every opportunity. He is the sort of bloke I would never like to meet up a dark ally on a bleak cold winters night.
In short I have posted a summary of the qualities of some of our cabinet members. Surely the Liberal and Country Party can come up with better people than these.
“Our lives should be subject to constant reflection, otherwise the way forward is locked into the constraints of today’s thoughts.”
As I write I reflect on the year 2017. I can only conclude that it is another wasted in the advancement of our nation. I try to think of things positive that I might share but I cannot. I stop, hesitate, because marriage equality must surely go down as a magnificent victory for the people. I can’t even count how many pieces I wrote on the subject. Yes, it was a victory for the people, we did it in spite of the politicians not doing what they were elected to do.
We showed what we are capable of doing when we turn our collective attention to the common good.
If I do not support the 95% of scientists, every major scientific institution and the research that is constantly peer evaluated I am obliged to accept the alternative. That is that I should take seriously the likes of Andrew Bolt (a journalist), Alan Jones (I’m not sure how you would describe his contribution to society), Lord Monckton (a discredited something who was once a lobbyist for the tobacco companies), Nick Minchin and Tony Abbott (both politicians). In fact, Minchin is on the record as saying that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy to replace communism. None of the aforementioned people has a background or expertise in climate science.
“James Ashby, Pauline Hanson’s right-hand man, driver of the Battler’s Bus and guest on the Nine panel, sought to calm the former senator, who was found by the High Court to hold dual Australian-British citizenship, however much he had denied it.
“You’ve done an exceptional job,” said Ashby. “This is a much better result than your Senate campaign.”
“Well, quite. Roberts spent his brief and strange career in the Senate having got precisely 77 personal votes.”
“Only in America“, we whisper.
My thought for the day
“Sit before your televisions and watch Trump’s antics and ponder at the gullibility of the American people and say … ‘only in America’.”
Now let me add that there is nothing wrong with opinions so long as there is a diversity of them. But the fact is we don’t have a diversity and we would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the media and self interest groups.
“Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.”
He is pretty much on the ball, and when you look at the recent history you see the similarity of events. The Government sets up the ROC, so it’s unlikely to be coincidental that the ROC is looking into the period of time when Shorten was at the union.Of course, the question that everyone wants an answer to is how did Cash’s Media Adviser find out the time of the raids? Who was his source within the AFP?Tony Abbott set up a Royal Commission into Trade Unions (or the Labor Party), and another one into the Home Insulation Program. Now we have the ROC. It has repeatedly set up bodies to dig up dirt on the Opposition Leader and the Labor Party. Remember its unrelenting pursuit of Julia Gillard for something that happened over twenty-five years ago? To the detriment of its own governance it has spent far too much time with its head buried in the scandal pit.
In other words, manufacture a sense of crisis and you can get away with anything starting with maximum harm. Therefore, the conservatives under Abbott manufactured a non-existent debt crisis.Margret Thatcher said this (paraphrased):“There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals making their way. The poor shall be looked after by the drip down effect of the rich.”Abraham Lincoln said this:“Labor came before capital and is not related to it. Capital is what’s acquired from labour, and would never have come about if it were not for labour. Therefore, labour is superior to capital and deserves the higher significance.”Franklin D. Roosevelt said:“They who seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers…call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.”This is one of mine:“The GST burdens the poor and those with the least capacity to pay. It discriminates against the poor and the pensioners who are living a hand-to-mouth existence and spending the bulk of their income on the necessities of life—food, clothing, rent, heating, power etc.”Before addressing the issue of social engineering I should say exactly what I think a Government should be regardless of its ideology.
“We will never truly understand the effect Free Speech has on an individual until we have suffered from the abuse of it”
2 Whilst Australia’s employment rate of 5.5% in September hit a four-year low the big concern is that full-time jobs seem to be almost a thing of the past. Sure, creating 19,800 jobs might seem fantastic but the reality is that only 6,100 were full-time. It seems that the structure of Australian jobs is rapidly changing. As good as the figures look the fact remains that for every job there are 17 people wanting it. Entry level jobs for young people we have five applicants for every job.Not to forget the number wanting more work.
those who deny Climate Change and the overwhelming scientific consensus seek to justify their belief by attaching themselves to a minority of science deniers with obscure qualifications or worse-to right-wing shock jocks and journalists with no scientific training what so ever.These people have no way of evaluating the volume of data produced by the various scientific institutions. One of the most outspoken deniers (Andrew Bolt) has, in recent times, been found guilty of deceptive lying in that he defamed some white skinned aboriginals. One has to wonder how many he has told when writing about his favorite topic climate change.Which brings me to the point of this piece: Hypocrisy.Now who said this?
It has to be said that if Tony Abbott was the worst Prime Minister we have ever had then Malcolm Turnbull has to be the most gutless. What kind of leader would allow some right-wing ultra-fanatics to ride rough shod over his every decision? Decisions that, when as Opposition Leader, he felt strongly about.
Sunday 8 October 2017 Today I again refer back to the launch of “Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir” by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of The Australian National University – Launched by the Hon Bob Hawke AC GCL, 23rd Prime Minister of Australia at the National Press Club last Wednesday. “In his…
Did you know that 10 per cent of Australians now hold more wealth than the other 90 per cent combined? Let me put it another way. The richest one per cent of Australians are collectively wealthier than the poorest 60 per cent. Or try this 62 mega-rich people across the globe now hold as much wealth as 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest. Try this. Australia’s richest person was worth $18 billion, equaling the wealth held by the poorest 10 per cent of Aussies.Here’s some more from an Oxfam report titled “An Economy for the 1%“: The world’s richest 1% now hold more wealth than the rest of the planet. The richest 10 per cent of Australians hold more wealth than the other 90 per cent combined. The gap between Australia’s richest and poorest is accelerating. In 2015, the wealth of Australia’s richest 1% outstripped the poorest 60%. Australia’s richest person is worth more than all of the wealth held by the poorest 10 per cent of Australians. Dr Szoke from Oxfam, the reports writer, said Australia must be part of a global solution to a global problem, and a renewed international focus on corporate tax avoidance would be critical to efforts to address wealth inequality.So isn’t it odd that the Turnbull Government is contemplating increasing the rate of its consumer tax in order to give the same companies a reduction in the amount of tax they pay. Figure that out.
And after 18 months of appalling governance Abbott the then Prime Minister could not lay claim to any policy that has progressed the nation. His leadership was abysmal and his Ministers were found wanting with a litany of failures in, education, health, environment and the economy. Turnbull’s government has been no better.Both Abbott/Turnbull governments had enough diplomas to staff a university, but both were so intent on implementing a warped right-wing ideology, with a baseless mandate, that they forgot that policies actually mattered. They governed with propaganda calculated to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetuated on you.
Saturday 9 September 2017 Have you ever written something and felt that you hadn’t finished what you intended to say? Such was the case after I had completed my Friday post; “Out of gas, steam, and no energy for gay marriage.” When I reread it later it seemed empty of conclusion. Now that the High…
1 In a doorstop interview on a cold and winter day in Canberra the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott made his intentions known as to how he will campaign for the ‘NO’ vote.He intends linking it to free speech.He intends linking it to political correctness.He intends linking it to freedom of religion.It wasn’t my intention to continue with this subject today but I recalled when working on the Republic campaign in 1999 just how dangerous Tony Abbott was. John Howard played good cop and Abbott and Nick Minchin played bad cops.They did so by scare-mongering, lying and fabricating impossible situations like riots with alsatians in the streets.His intention is clear. He will if he can turn the plebiscite into a public brawl on these unrelated issues. He will try to drag Turnbull into an ideological demarcation dispute – separating the right and left of his party.In meat in the middle of Abbott’s sandwich will be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people whose emotional wellbeing he gives not a thought.How on earth the three things he mentioned are related to a question about marriage equality are beyond me, but the devious Abbott – who couldn’t lie straight in bed – will find a way.
Wednesday 9 August 2017 So the best-assembled brains-trust ever in the history of Australian politics has decided to let the issue of Marriage Equality go yet again down the path of a plebiscite. So desperate they are to have the public confirm what is already known that they are prepared to spend up to $170…
Thursday 3 August 2017 When the lady with the awful hairdo uttered these villainous words of inequity … ”There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals making there are only individuals making their way” (paraphrased) … and when the second-rate actor aligned his politics with the Christian Right, the scene was set for…
Friday 14 July 2017 I confess to having been a news junkie all my life. An obsession with news generally – and newspapers in particular – started when I was around fourteen or fifteen. I would purchase a newspaper to read on the tram on my way to work and The Herald on my way…
Sunday 26 March 2017 You have to wonder about the sanity of people like Pauline Hanson. Three weeks ago she advocated parents have their children take a non-existent test before vaccinating them. She followed that up hours after the London attack with a video #PrayForLondon hashtag as a way to “solve the problem”. When asked…
Saturday 11 March 2017 1 There is no doubt in my mind that the greatest impediment to the future prosperity of Australia is our political system. In particular, conservative politicians. I say conservative because they are more attached to the system of capitalism than those of the left. And might I add, pre-disposed to the…