Category Archives: Political commentary

Australia’s Political Culture Is Failing Us, So Elect Independents

[Published at Independent Australia, 3 Nov.]

Helen Haines and Voices for Indi

Our entire mainstream political culture – the old parties, tribes and labels, the media, the commentariat, the adversarial process, the petty squabbling – fails comprehensively to serve our needs and insults our capabilities. Independents offer a glimmer of hope, and we need to get more of them into parliament.

The Coalition Government is with little doubt the most vacuous, incompetent, deluded, irresponsible and malicious of our short Federated history. This is the rabble Labor failed to defeat in the 2019 election. Labor still seems to have little idea what to do, and anyway they have been complicit in a great deal of the damage done to our society since 2001, and in the neglect of urgent issues.

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Hawke and Keating Set Australia, and Labor, Up for Failure

[Published at Pearls and Irritations 31 May.]

Labor failed, again.

It took on the most riven, brutal and monumentally incompetent rabble since Federation and still could not manage to beat them. This is a profound failure that requires a profound explanation. There is one, though it goes against decades of received wisdom.

The problem is the economic ‘reforms’ imposed by the Hawke-Keating governments are a failure. Our anaemic economy and divided society are their continuing legacy.

These claims are of course heresy. They sully the revered memory of Larrikin Bob. They contradict the economic and political mantras of the past thirty five years. Yet the evidence is clear and has been readily available for some time.

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The Old Tribalism Has Failed Us – test alert

[WordPress has changed the editing software and it seems no email alert was sent out for the recent post of this title. So this is a test. You can use the link below to see the full original post.]

I already wrote about the failures of Labor and the Greens and the flagrant partisanship of the media in bringing about Labor’s shock election loss. The trouble is these problems have been evident for a long time (Labor, Greens) and there is little sign anyone in those parties really understands what is necessary.

Nor is there any new party in the offing that might seize the day. The US has Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The UK had Jeremy Corbyn to revive their Labour Party, though he may be sinking into the ancient and corrupt mire of British politics. We have no messiah.

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The Old Tribalism Has Failed Us

Helen Haines and Voices for Indi

[Published 31 May at Independent Australia]

I already wrote about the failures of Labor and the Greens and the flagrant partisanship of the media in bringing about Labor’s shock election loss. The trouble is these problems have been evident for a long time (Labor, Greens) and there is little sign anyone in those parties really understands what is necessary.

Nor is there any new party in the offing that might seize the day. The US has Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The UK had Jeremy Corbyn to revive their Labour Party, though he may be sinking into the ancient and corrupt mire of British politics. We have no messiah.

Yet this election has shown us the way forward, if we are open to noticing.

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Partisan Media, Incoherent Labor and the Rabble Clings to Power

[Published 23 May at Independent Australia.]

Take a bow, mainstream media. Your coverage was relentlessly superficial, your selection and commentary heavily biased. You studiously ignored the past six years’ record of train wrecks, extremism, incompetence, brutality and internal warring. You portrayed a one man band, a slick sloganeer, as a viable political party and the most riven, vicious and incompetent rabble since Federation has clung to power.

It is hardly a triumph, regaining minority government or the slimmest majority. The fact that the commentariat is portraying Scott Morrison as some kind of legendary hero is a measure of how low expectations for the Coalition have been, and how desperate they are to keep their man in power.

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Honest Government Ad

Thanks to The Juice Media for a brilliant summary of this government’s record.

I’ve wanted to list some of their many train wrecks, lies, stuff-ups, corruption, lies, corruption but it seemed too hard to remember and to have to wade through. But TJM have done a more concise job than I ever could.

It’s a measure of our mainstream media that they remind us of none of this. If they covered even a fraction of it, the Coalition would be facing slaughter at the election. (And no I’m not a big fan of Labor.)

So have a look, and if you like it share it as far as you can. It’s the honesty we desperately need.

Real Policies from the Faux Campaign

[Published at Independent Australia 17 April 19. While the political class held its breath for the official beginning of the coming Federal election campaign, I reflected on a policy platform that would actually make a difference, and give us some hope of surviving the coming decades without civil strife and collapse.]

Friends,

Let us acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet and pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

In fact let us acknowledge that this modern nation of Australia occupies a land never ceded by its original inhabitants. We are belatedly realising the ancestors of our First Peoples forged sophisticated cultures that fostered the health of the land and provided generously to support diverse lifestyles including villages, cropping and farming of various kinds. They lived as part of the great fabric of life, and at peace with each other. We have many lessons to learn from them. Let us return to them the power to heal their own lives and communities. Let us take up their most generous invitation, in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, to walk together into the future.

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The Dark Legacy of John Winston Howard

In 2001, desperately behind in the polls, John Howard turned to the dark side.

Howard appealed to fear. He vilified an innocent group of people. He did it to placate a growing group of xenophobes, and as a distraction from boosting immigration rates.

In August Howard attempted to block the delivery of rescued refugees to Christmas Island by the Norwegian vessel Tampa. He portrayed the refugees as unwelcome and dangerous aliens. Soon after, I wrote

Prime Minister John Howard has set Australia on a slippery slope … he has promoted a dynamic in Australian society that, left unchecked, will deliver us into fascism.

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People’s Embassy Blog 4

Tuesday there were crowds (up to 1000) in front of Parliament House attending rallies for Stop Adani and medical evacuations of refugees from their island gulags (though you wouldn’t know it from the mainstream media).

There was some interest in the People’s Embassy and its message ‘Drive the money changers from the temple of democracy’, though the numbers were not large. Mostly a passing ‘good on you’.

A highlight was emphatic support for the message from Greens leader Richard DiNatale, who was cruising the crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

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