Being a LNP Supporter does not make a Person Inherently Bad.

I have never been a person to believe that a division based on herd membership defines a person. Being a Labour or LNP voter is no indication of goodness or badness. There is no validity in the idea that justice, empathy and compassion is the exclusive province of one political party over the other. How then do we account for the existence of Abbott, Morrison, Dutton, Bernardi and others existing as a mutant cluster within the LNP? How does a small group hijack a whole political party? That is like asking how a fit and healthy person develops cancer. It happens. When it does happen the cancer needs to be removed before it spreads to the whole body.

Democracy is not an efficient form of government. It is slow, tedious and frustrating, but for now it is the best we have. Democracy also has it limits it must operate within if it is to remain democratic. Too far to the left and it becomes Communism. If it lurches to far to the right if morphs into Nazis. Neither position is within the boundaries of democracy. When these boundaries are breached it is up to all of us to bring democracy back within operating limits.

It is to all our benefits to have a healthy exchange of ideas within our society. This is the slow and tedious part of democracy. But the extreme right of the LNP does not work with an exchange of ideas. It works in s secret. It denies the public access to information and hides behind phrases like ‘operational matters’. It runs concentration camps we are excluded from investigating and shows a complete lack of compassion to anyone who gets in the way of its agenda.

It is time for all who believe in democracy and compassion, no matter what their political leanings, to join together to rid Australian politics of the extreme right cancer so democracy can resume.

Universities, LNP Style.

Mr Turnbull is seldom economic with words but when it comes to education he has reduced the old style Abbottesque three-word slogan to a two-word slogan. The old ‘Stop the boats’ has become ‘Innovation Nation.’ This may sound like a step forward but it is the same old LNP following the same old policy of repeating simple slogans often. If the ‘fine print’ words of Malcolm Turnbull are listened to it is the same old LNP policy of screwing the general population for the sole purpose of giving to big business.

Malcolm Turnbull wants Universities to produce graduates that conform only to the demands of big business. He talks of producing graduates that are ‘relevant’ to ‘today’s world.’ If the sole criteria for a balanced healthy society were the performance of a particular narrowly defined task in exchange for money Turnbull would make sense. But is this all there is to life? Does a well-rounded education built around the ability to think and create mean nothing?

Good universities have been places where students are encouraged to push the limits with the understanding that as much can be learned for failure as from success even if it appears to lead nowhere. It does lead somewhere of course. It leads to a population that can think and create, that can accept that failure is not failure but a step towards future progress. It would be impossible to list all the failures of university research that have lead to accidental discoveries that have changed the world. It is not generally understood that the world we know today with all of its technological progress has come about largely from recognizing the accidental success inherent in failure.

Big business is not about exploring. It is about finding new ways of becoming more efficient at doing the same old thing based solely on the accountant’s bottom line. This is a recipe for stagnation. Over the years Australia has become extremely efficient at digging holes in the ground. Economically his has been a delight to accountants but now that there is an over supply of holes in the ground there is a problem. Turnbull’s Innovation Nation is not about filling in the holes of the past but digging new holes for Australia to fall into. The problem is that when big business is allowed to focus all of a country’s educational resources in one direction the rich diversity that guarantees the future health of the nation is lost. Malcolm Turnbull must not be allowed to focus all of their educational resources to fulfilling the dictates of big business. There may appear to be short-term benefits to the bottom line but would only be another disaster delayed for a few years.

Malcolm Turnbull talks of a nimble economy able to respond to change. The reality is that Turnbull style education policy destroys the ability to respond to change. They are focused only on the short-term interests of bug business that has never understood that tomorrow things will change.

Much of what universities teach and research may appear to be useless to the general public but nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow. Somewhere in our universities there are students and researchers working on totally useless projects that are going to lead to the happy accident that will cure cancer, MS and a multitude of other medical aberrations. Somewhere a happy accident is waiting to happen that will lead to a clean sustainable world with unlimited clean energy. What are our universities discovering with their useless research? We don’t know because it has happened yet. But when it does happen it will surprise everyone, even the researchers.

Big business is not interested in happy accidents because they are not conducive to higher share prices and returns to shareholders. Finding a cure for cancer and MS will be majorly detrimental to pharmaceutical companies bottom line. What will Clive Palmer, BP and Santos do when somewhere a university announces it has made an accidentally discovered how to produce unlimited clean power from a common renewable non-polluting source? The University won’t say it was an accident of course. They will say they have been working on it behind closed doors for years. These accidents won’t happen unless universities are allowed to carry out research and play just because they can.

Business relies on scarcity. They must have more of what others don’t have. This is crunch for our universities when they must decide if they are going to be educational providers that advance knowledge for all or are they gong to be instruments by which big business increases scarcity in the name of ever increasing profit.

Which way our universities go will depend on if the public allows Malcolm Turnbull to destroy our university system and replace it with a system of training human robots to be exploited by big business for profit, and to the detriment of society in general.

Does the Budget really matter?

Forget the budget because it will never happen. Nearly all of measures won’t take effect until after the next election, and if Abbott wins the next budget will revert to Hockey’s first budget and we will be living in the Fourth Reich. If Labour wins the budget will change to suit Labour Party philosophy. The budget is a total non-event dressed up to con the electorate into believing that the Abbott government has become warm and cuddly.

No-matter what economists and pollies may say all economics is ideology driven. If Australians want a caring compassionate country that does it’s best to look after all it’s citizens then we would follow one set of economic guidelines. If the desired outcome is to screw the poor to give to Murdoch and Rinehart then Joe Hockey is your man.

The moral and humanitarian attitudes of the party in power mean more than any short-term vote getting arse saving measures like the second Hockey budget. The Abbott government is still an extreme right government with an extreme right agenda. It is a government that runs concentration camps and treats Australian citizens as beasts of burden who’s only function is to serve the rich and powerful.

Concentration camps is the only way to describe overseas prison camps where refugees are stripped of their names and are known only as numbers, kept caged in appalling conditions with no hope, and who’s only crime was to seek our help in escaping repression. The Abbott government is a government that only changed its plan to withhold unemployment payments for under thirties for six months only when the Australian public comprehensively rejected it. It is a government who wanted to cut aged pensions whilst pretending that aged pensioners would be better off. It is a government that blackmails senators in to passing odious legislation. It is a government that refuses to understand that if we do not start looking after our planet in a short while we will not have an economy. The list of the evils of the Abbott government could go on forever but back to the budget.

Gross national product is not a good measure of our countries prosperity. What matters is how the gross national product is distributed. Does it matter how wealthy Australia is if one percent own everything and the rest of us scrabble for the few morsels falling from the snorts of the few with their heads in the trough. Joe Hockey will call it ‘trickle down’ but is it more like a very slowly dripping tap.

There are no universal economic rules. Economics is about who gets what from what is available. Economics is a about distribution. How do we want our wealth distributed? Is the distribution to be for the maximum good of all Australians or is our wealth solely for the benefit of the one percent?

Instead of discussing the Hockey non-budget the discussion needs to be about what sort of country we want to live in? Do we really want to live in the Fourth Reich? For those who do not like the idea of living in the Fourth Reich Abbott and his complete extreme right front bench must be buried under the same rock as Azazel, never to be seen again until the day of judgement.

Abbott’s security laws a giant leap towards the Forth Reich.

Australia is in the same position as Germany was in the early 1930’s. We have a government creating fear and hate as an excuse for exchanging ‘Liberty” for ‘Personal Safety.’ This ignores that Liberty is the way to ensure personal safety. A free, educated compassionate society is the best way of combating radicalization.

What about the deliberate use of fear and hate by the Abbott government to radicalize the Australian people? Is one form of radicalization any less evil than another? We have an extreme right wing government using all the same tricks used by Hitler, Pinochet, Papa Doc and the other right wing dictators who high jacked democracy. We even have our own Ministry for Public Education and Propaganda run by Rupert Murdock copying the methodology and structure set up for Hitler by Joseph Goebbels.

Hitler started by blaming the socialists for everything and grabbed power by having the socialists banned from the German parliament. Abbot of course had Julia Gillard as the source of all that is evil and set out to destroy the Labour government. When blaming the socialist was no longer enough Hitler moved on to engendering hared and fear of the Jews to justify his strangulation of German democracy. Abbott has moved on to hatred and fear of Islam, which is no more justified than the hatred of Jews by Hitler. The rise of Hitler was considerably more dramatic than the antics of Abbott but the pattern is the same: a build up of hatred and fear to justify taking democracy away from the people.

The old story of learning from history or repeat it is terrifyingly true in Australia today. There are so many examples of how right wing politics highjack democracy that follow exactly the same pattern that is repeating itself in Australia, but still we go blindly down the path into the Fourth Reich. Do we learn nothing?

A Dangerous time for Labour

Bill Shorten has had a dream run. He and Labour have done an excellent job at doing nothing and letting Abbott self-destruct. In this role Shorten has proved himself to be an expert, but whether this is by design to take maximum advantage of Abbott’s death wish or natural talent coming to the fore is, at this stage, unknown.

After Tuesday, no matter what the outcome of the LNP (maybe) leadership spill Bill Shorten and the Labour party will have to start doing things. Things like developing policies that work and the people of Australia want. After a year and a bit of semi-silence from Labour the Australian people will want to know what the alternative to extreme right politics is.

Abbott needs to be Labour’s example of what not to do. I hope and expect that the Australian people have gone past voting for the junkyard dog because of it’s ability to destroy a government. Abbott may have shown that he can smash and destroy, and gain power through lies and half-truths but the junkyard dog was never going to convert to a warm fuzzy family friendly pet.

Labour needs to learn the lesson from this and understand that there is politics, and there is good government, but the two do not mix. Rudd and Abbott were both politically vicious and ruthless but never had what it took to govern for the people. The time is here for Labour to stop the politics and construct future policies for this country in unison with the people and for the people.

Good governance is not coming up with smart ideas and telling the people that is what must be done. Good governance is about listening to the people who elected them, (and those that didn’t), and finding the path that leads to fulfilling the peoples wants and needs in a sustainable manner. These wants and needs are not confined to self interest and personal gain but also who we want to be as a nation. Gross National Product is a very poor indicator of the health of a nation.

There are many people in Australia who deplore the Australian concentration camps at Manus Island and other places. No healthy country incarcerates a minority people without any charges being laid and leave them with no legal or human rights, or any hope of freedom. Presenting the slow murder of the soul as being the only alternative to dying at sea is a political expediency of the most vicious and cynical kind. There may be those who object to the term Concentration Camp but that is what Manus Island and the other ‘Offshore Processing Facilities’ are. Bill Shorten, please have the backbone to say out loud that Rudd led Labour along a path to hell when he reintroduced Howard’s inhumane policies. Bill Shorten, Rudd made a mistake and you need to fix it.

Rudd also totally messed up over climate change. Abbott’s ‘colourless odourless gas’ is destroying our habitat. One lesson that the human race is that when a species habitat is destroyed the species dies. We have caused the extinction of many species by destroying their habitat and the least we should have learned is that not combating global warming could have dire consequences for our future existence. There are those that seem to think that the human race, and Australians in particular have a divine presence that is not subject to nature, but they are mistaken. Australia as a land mass that is extremely vulnerable to climate change and we as a people may have to make radical changes to our life style and expectation for our future if we do not start making massive changes now to our attitude about climate change. It is probably too late to avoid the results of climate change but whether this means a bit of fender bending or being dead on arrival depends entirely on our nation being willing and able to act now to avoid the worst of outcomes.

If Labour does not address the real issues of past decisions and change the direction of many of its past policies someone like Malcolm Turnball or Julie Bishop will tear them apart at the next election. They might get lucky and have Scott Morrison continue the downward spiral of the far right into oblivion started but Abbott but it would be a mistake to rely on dumb luck to get Labour through the next eighteen months.

It is time for Labour to stop playing politics, admit past errors and develop clear and inclusive policies for the future well being of both the individual and the country. The big question is ‘are Bill Shorten and the Labour Party up to it?’

Clive Palmer the Key to Australia’s future

It is a strange that the maintenance of democracy in Australia should come down to the vote of the Palmer United party.

I would like to see the end of the Abbott experiment but failing that there are two issues I am passionate about, Global Warming and the Australia’s cruelty to refugees. On both these issues Clive Palmer is in a unique position to force changes in the Abbott position. Human induced global warming is no longer a scientific debate. It is a fact and it has arrived. The scientific debate is now what can we do to minimise the effects.

If Palmer is going to stand for his election promise of ‘more love and integrity’ promised repeated continuously in the WA senate election re-run he has to take a long look at his attitude to refugees. This is an issue where humanity must prevail.

I will be lobbying Palmer to take a long look at the issues of global warming and refugees and I ask anyone, from any political persuasion, who has concerns about global warming and the treatment of refugees to do the same. It might just be enough to change the future of Australia.

Morrison must go

In Modern society there is the concept of shared responsibility. Not only must the person committing an illegal or immoral act be held to account but also those who caused the act to happen must also be held to account. There is growing evidence that Reza Berati was murdered at Manus Island, either by a security guard or by someone the guards let into the facility. Morrison tried to say that the murder occurred outside the compound and outside his jurisdiction. Not only that but Morrison tried to blame Reza Berati for his own murder by saying he had placed himself in danger. There could not have been anything more disgusting than Morrison’s performance blaming Reza Berati for being outside the compound when the truth is that he was inside under Morrison’s care and protection.

If Morrison had immediately started an enquiry based on finding the truth rather than covering up the circumstances of Reza Berati’s death there could have been a case for Morrison keeping his job, but that did not happen. Instead Morrison went straight into cover-up mode the way the whole of the Abbott government goes into cover-up anytime they act in an unacceptable manner. By attempting to a cover-up Morrison became as guilty of murder as the person whole stomped on Reza Berati’s head. Morrison’s resignation is probably the best that can happen for now but I hope that some time in the future Morrison receives the full sanctions available under the law for his actions.

Does Manus Island equal crimes against humanity?

Morrison’s “We do not comment on operational matters” is code for “some bastard is doing something we don’t want you to know about.” Morrison will claim it is the people smuggles that he does want to know what is happening, but that is not true. Morrison does not want the Australian public to know what is happening. The reports coming out of the Manus Island detention centre raises many questions about the treatment of asylum seekers in the care of Australia. It would be unfair to suggest that the reports are all true in total or part, but the lack of transparency and lack of information from the Australian government does suggest that there is a major cover-up taking place.

Did the asylum seekers who broke out of the detention centre do so in order to escape marauding PNG police that were allowed into the centre by the Australian guards? Were the injuries sustained by the asylum seekers a result of attacks by PNG authorities and/or Australian guards rather than the result of authorities defending themselves? What were the circumstances that resulted in the death of the deceased Iranian detainee? Do Australia’s actions at Manus island equal, as many overseas sources including China suggest, constitute civil rights abuses?

It is the duty of everyone who wants to know what is really happening at Manus Island to speak up and demand to be told. Anyone sees what is happening and does or says nothing is as guilty of any atrocities that are taking place in our name as those who are perpetrating those atrocities. I cannot say that any atrocities are taking place, I can say that Morrison and the Abbot government are taking extraordinary steps to make certain that the Australian public does not find out. Does Manus Island equal crimes against humanity? I have no idea, but I can say Morrison is making certain that it is impossible for the Australian pubic to find out. That alone makes me think that overseas sources know more that the Australian public about the true conditions on Manus Island, and overseas sources suggest that the Australian government has many questions that need answering in full now.