Author Archives: Geoff

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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People’s Embassy Blog 2

Come Monday 11th next this sign will be outside new Parliament House, as we set up the People’s Embassy to Parliament. People count for so little inside the big house, because Big Money has taken over, that we need an embassy.

But it’s only an interim arrangement, until we drive the money changers from the temple of democracy and take it back for people.

Join us, spread the word, support us, start your own branch, have politicians and wannabe politicians sign the pledges, if they dare.

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This Summer is Angry, Are You?

[Published Independent Australia 10th Feb]

I still encounter people who say ‘There’s always been climate change’, meaning don’t worry about global warming,  it’s not our fault and there’s nothing we can do about it. You hear other excuses too. So should we not worry about the Reef and the rivers, about Townsville, about Tasmania, about the kelp forests and the mangrove forests and the many other symptoms of a climate awry?

Do the ‘sceptics’ think the scientists haven’t thought of all the ‘reasons’ they find to ignore global warming? Evidently so. But of course the scientists aren’t quite that stupid. They have thought of all those possible ways out of the conclusions, and a lot more besides. They’ve checked them all out. They don’t work.

Global warming, caused by us, is still there, pretty much on the course predicted decades ago. Except that it may now be accelerating.

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A People’s Embassy (blog post)

Next week, as Parliament resumes, I will mount a protest against corruption of the Parliament, namely a People’s Embassy – to our Parliament. See the explanation on the dedicated page A People’s Embassy.

Corruption of our democratic system is flagrant, but hardly commented upon. Politicians accept money from the rich and do favours for the rich, against the known wishes of the people. It may be all nudge-wink, but it is plainly there and plainly subverting our society.
Several pledges will be available for politicians and candidates to sign up to. The most important are the Sunshine Pledges, to reveal contacts and financial support in real time, and to limit donations to individuals and small amounts.

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Beyond Socialism and Capitalism

[Published at Independent Australia]

The concepts and rhetoric of both old capitalism and old socialism obscure the great opportunities at hand to create a thriving and enduring way of life. A broader, longer and better-informed perspective might pre-empt unnecessary conflict among putative allies, such as accusations of being racists, or fellow-travellers of either ideology.

The need for a fundamental re-organisation of our societies in order to return them to viability within Earth’s biosphere focuses our attention on how we are organised and what our options might be. The conventional framing of our options is a dichotomy between capitalism and socialism. So entrenched is this framing it seems to be difficult for many to imagine anything else, to the point that if you criticise one you are presumed to be a supporter of the other.

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What might we be?

[This did not get a run anywhere else, Too much other commentary on Labor’s national conference, and too much spinach before desert perhaps.]

Professional, disciplined, pragmatism over purity: so enthuse the commentators about another highly-managed national Labor conference.

Don’t end the crimes against humanity being committed on Manus and Nauru, don’t bother with a human rights charter for Australia, address the housing bubble through the housing supply rather than the money supply, propose some new (but not too dramatic) policies on inequality and reconciliation, drop a few crumbs to the complainers. Don’t even think of mentioning the highly counter-productive ‘alliance’ with a rogue super-power. Global w– … what?

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The Little Green eBook

The Little Green Economics Book is now available as an eBook as well as a paperback.

Buy it on Amazon AU, US, UK or others. See more here.

Don’t shy away from the main game

Whether we like it or not, ‘the economy‘ is the main game in today’s world. No matter the good causes we work for, the present economy will very likely be subverting and trampling them.

What if the economy supported our good causes instead of squashing them?

It can. That’s why this little book can help you. Continue reading