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.

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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?

Soulless Economics 101

Van Dormael (1978: 32) quotes the British Economist John Maynard Keynes in 1941 as saying

‘the secular international problem‘ of maintaining equilibrium in the balance of payments – a problem that ‘had that had never been solved since methods of barter had given way gave way to money and bills of exchange.’

(and)

‘To suppose that there is some smoothly functioning automatic mechanism of adjustment which preserves equilibrium if only we trust to methods of Laissez-faire is a doctrinaire delusion which disregards the lessons of historical experience without the support of sound theory.’

Basically the problem with economics is that there is no way of establishing a rate of exchange. What is fair and what is unjust? Who knows? The only alternative seems to be no rules and that as been a disaster. This leaves a situation where human attributes (or lack of them) determine economic policies and outcomes. If the object is create a society that has a soul and acts humanly towards all its peoples then human qualities such as empathy and compassion have to be the guiding principle of economic decision making. If screwing the poor to give to Rupert Murdoch is the aim then Joe Hockey is the man for the job, but don’t suggest for one moment that there is any empathy, compassion or soul involved in Hockey’s policies.

Presenting spending years of mental and physical suffering in a squalid concentration camp with no charges laid and no prospect of release as being the only alternative of crossing the seas in a leaky boat is the act of a totally soulless country. How can a country that rushes to war in a foreign country at the slightest excuse, and without being asked but refuses to give significant aid to help stop Ebola until being forced to by universal condemnation from the rest off the world say it has a soul.

I used to like Australia when it had a soul, the days before Abbott became leader of what used to be the Liberal Party. The days before Kevin Rudd sent refugees of to concentration camps. But those days are gone. Can those days be revived?

The simple answer would be to bury Abbott and his whole front bench down the same hole as Azazel never to be seen again until judgement day, but that would be too simplistic. The problem is that if a despot is deposed what happens then? Is there any alternative? Sadly in Australia at this time I don’t see any viable alternative. Bill shorten seems a reasonable sort of fellow but he is no match for Abbott and he leads a party that has lost it’s soul. A beginning for labour would be to accept that Rudd’s refugee policy was a political move that failed and that it was also inhuman. If Labour reversed its refugee stance and supported speedy onshore process and humane treatment of all peoples it would be a beginning. A little bit of soul is better than no soul. Bill Shorten moving aside for Tanya Plibersek would be a major step forward. Tanya is a lady who seems to have empathy and compassion as well as the ability to stand up to Abbott.

With only about eighteen months to the next election we need to begin rebuilding Australia’s soul now because if the extreme right of the Murdoch/Abbott government becomes entrenched Australia’s soul could pass beyond revival.

Reference

Van Dormael, Armand. 1978. Bretton Woods: Birth of a Monetary System. United Kingdom: Holmes &; Meier Publishers.

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.

The Vatican embraces Reganomics.

The Catholic Church’s answer to Tony Abbott, George Pell, is to head the Vatican finance Ministry in Vatican City. Both Abbott and Pell were both disciples of B A Santamaria and Santamaria’s radical fundamentalist Catholicism and way-out economic policies make Attila the Hun look like a green senator. It seems we can expect the Vatican to explain that it has to screw poor so that it can balance its books. But then again mainstream Christianity of all persuasions has been doing that for centuries.

The other thing that we can expect is for Abbott to be summoned to Rome to receive a Catholic Knighthood. Murdoch has already received his for building a church, so with Pell in his new position how can Abbott fail? There is nothing like an old pals network to get where you want to go. Santamaria, Abbott, Pell, Murdoch and the Catholic Church is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Raganomics is the art of making the rich richer in the vain hope that the rich will spend some money that will filter down to the poor at the bottom of the heap. Mainstream churches have practiced this for centuries without it being formalized with a name, but precious little filters down to the poor. Nor will it ever. There could not be a starker example of the failure of Raganomics than the Catholic Church. It has accumulated vast wealth without doing any perceivable good works to alleviate poverty and suffering in this world. Pell has gone where he needs to be and I am certain that there will be a regular comparing of notes with Abbott and Murdoch and regular channelling of B A Santamaria.

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.

Mr Turnbull, to transform an economy you must know where you want to go.

Malcolm Turnbull’s performance on Q and A last night highlighted that the Abbott government has no idea what it is doing. His only answer to widespread job losses was to repeat over and over that it was part of some sort of transformation.

In a transformation there is a movement from one pace to another. We know where we are moving from, a strong economy with a triple A+ credit rating and increasing social justice, but where are we going too?

Please Mr. Abbott, Turnbull, Hockey, Morrison, Payne and the rest, can you tell us about the glorious new vision that awaits us? Where is this glorious new land? I know what we are leaving behind but where are you taking us? What can you promise the Ford, Holden, Toyota and SPC workers you have liberated from the drudgery of daily work? All I can see in front of Australia is a big black hole that is sucking us in and our only hope is the promise that we will somehow be spat out the other side into a parallel universe where everything is perfect.

Mr Turnbull did give us one slight glimpse of the future. It would somehow run on superior technology and information. Didn’t sound convincing to me. How can Turnbull talk of this technological wonderland in front of us when he is in the process of completely stuffing up the NBN? I was left with the sinking feeling that Turnbull, in spite of his reputation of having a brain as big as a universe, does not have the slightest idea what he is doing. Does the Abbott government have any understanding of where we are, where we or going or how we will get there? Sounds like a train wreck in the process of happening to me.

Not everything is political.

Allegations of corruption in the building industry have been used by Barry O’Farrell to push for the reestablishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. Corruption is not a political issue it is simply unacceptable. For this reason any watchdog legislation needs to be removed from the political arena.

Trade unions are also not legitimate political entities. They are about safety and fairness in the workplace. There is nothing inherently political in that. Any person in the workplace, no matter what their political affiliations need the right to join organizations that look after their interests within the workplace.

We have unfortunately reached a position where everything is now political. Trade unions are political so they cannot do what they are supposed to do, promote safety and fairness for their members. Global warming has become a political issue so we are paralysed by conflict while our planet burns. Refugees is a political issue so instead of providing help and assistances to the most vulnerable of our world’s peoples we throw them into concentrations camps for indeterminate periods and treat them in the most disgusting manner.

Politics has ceased to be about what is best for the country. The “Honourable Members’ who are to supposed represent their electorate use their position in a grubby, slimy and totally unhonourable fight for power. Once they have power self interest becomes the only guiding principle.

Democracy demands that we understand what is political and what is not. Some issues are simply about humanity. Democracy also demands constant maintenance. Our democracy is overdue for a major service but that is not going to happen unless we demand it.