[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.
King’s Hall, Museum of Australian Democracy (i.e. Old Parliament House). Introduced by Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas, AO, Founding Director of Australia 21. See details here. Part of the Canberra Writers Festival.
Evidently Tony Abbott and John Howard feel western civilisation is under threat. Actually they’d be right about that, at least regarding the image of it they seem to hold.
They wanted to set up a big new teaching program at the Australian National University, funded by the Ramsay Centre, even though ANU already has many courses on the topic. As Tony Abbott wrote in Quadrant magazine, the program was to be not so much about western civilisation as in favour it.
Ultimately the ANU withdrew from negotiations because of the unprecedented level of micromanagement demanded by the Ramsay Centre, a level the ANU saw as inconsistent with its core value of academic freedom. This has triggered another fierce round of culture wars.
[As usual the MSM and even The Conversation can’t be bothered looking at actual thoughts. So this will soon be on my old faithful, Independent Australia. Good, but a wider audience would be nice. Also, been working on a new MS, so there hasn’t been much here for a while.]
Perhaps the Aussie summer pause is a chance to ask a really basic question.
Do we have any say in the human future? Are there any human beings anywhere who have any say in how our future unfolds? Do the political leaders, the billionaires, the giant corporations?
Or is our children’s future ruled by inexorable laws of economics, or of society, or of flawed human psychology. Is it in the hands of the gods or of God? Is it determined by Fate?
Judging by what is written and said you’d have to conclude that most people think it’s all out of our hands.
Some people have wondered why Europe did not close its borders before the recent incursion by known incendiarist Tony Abbott. A more pertinent question for us is why we would let him return to Australia.
Some have made a plausible case that Tony Abbott is a dual citizen of Britain and Australia. That, combined with his activities here and abroad, would seem eminently to qualify him for having his Australian citizenship revoked.
The current disarray of the Abbott Government may mark the end of a decades-long experiment in radical social engineering. The experiment has yielded deepening social divisions, an antiquated, colonial-style economy and little capacity to deal with the dramatic challenges of the near future.
Australian indigenous people: a Chief of Bathurst Island, and friends, 1939. (Personal photographs of C L A Abbott during his term as Administrator of the Northern Territory. Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve had lies on my mind.
How our governments and politicians lie, and lie, and lie, and how we let them. How much damage that has done. How much damage it still does, day after day.
I’ve been thinking to write about it, but knowing it’s another downer, and we can’t just dwell on what’s wrong because we lose hope and become numb and cynical. It’s cynicism and numbness that creates the space for the liars.
Then a video came along, a video of a man speaking the painful truth about his country, speaking from his head and from his heart.