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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[Didn’t get any takers for this commentary, then it got stale. There may be more opportunities before too long.]
It’s not the salespeople, it’s the product. The product does not serve the people and the people know it, so they keep rejecting the salesperson.
You might think, after a parade of six short-term Prime Ministers, and counting, that this diagnosis of Australia’s political instability might be more commonly perceived, but much of the attention remains on more superficial factors like personality, technology, social media and so on. Even when the political product is questioned few seem to appreciate the depth of its inadequacy.
[Published 7 Feb at Pearls and Irritations, though with the irritation that ‘lies’ was replaced by ‘untruths’.]
Australian politics is a culture of lies. Australia’s governments are facades erected to obscure the nefarious activities of those who really wield power.
So the pathetic little Turnbull Cabinet is upset because some of its secrets are outed through incompetence. The filing cabinet papers so far reveal some hypocrisy and lies of Government Ministers past and present.
If you want to see some rather more consequential challenges to government secrecy go and see the movie The Post, which is about how in 1971 Daniel Ellsberg and the Washington Post revealed the history of US interference in Vietnam through the 1950s and 60s. The so-called Pentagon Papers revealed that successive US administrations had systematically lied to Congress and the public about their activities and goals in Vietnam.
For decades the US knew it could not win. It continued mainly to try to save face. In the end it suffered the humiliating defeat it feared. Tens of thousands of US young men, hundreds of Australians and many more Vietnamese died for that vain folly.
Progressive reformers are attempting to take control of the major parties of the nominal left in the United States and the United Kingdom, in the wake of losses in national elections and the rise of reactionary forces. Even if the rebels do not take full control there is some prospect that the parties will at least be substantially changed.
No such fate threatens the Australian Labor Party. There is no flicker of unorthodoxy from within. There is little prospect of the plebian hordes storming it from without. The ALP stands, inert and impregnable, occupying the political space where a progressive party ought to be, the greatest obstacle in Australia to the constructive reform we desperately need if we are to have a tolerable future.