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Australia: An Impoverished Nation

The year 2015 will likely be remembered as a watershed for the Liberal Party having surrendered what they perceived as the high moral ground of never having dumped a sitting Prime Minister.

One might argue that John Gorton was dumped in 1971 but seeing as he so magnanimously voted himself out, we will overlook that incident and give the prize to Tony Abbott.

Sadly though, in terms of mediocre government, that watershed extends further. These so-called “adults” have shown us over the past 12 months that 2014 (as bad as that turned out), was just a rehearsal for 2015.

The past 12 months has been a year that will go down in history as so pathetic, so comical, so dysfunctional, that trying to find anything good for 99% of us would require micro-analysis.

Coalition government ineptitude has meant that, intellectually, they have made us an impoverished nation. Impoverished of ideas, of reform, of equality, of compassion for the persecuted, the homeless, the destitute, the poor. They have impoverished our strength and our vitality.

The fact is, this government has failed on so many levels they are already digging themselves into a hole so deep that to go one step worse in 2016, they would have to bury themselves in concrete.

Since the Coalition won government in 2013, the bar has been set so low, it makes the Bejelke Petersen government of the 1970s look positively radiant.

abbott-asleep How have we allowed this to happen? Is it the case that Australians are content to have bad government so long as the leader is likeable and charismatic?

What is it within the Aussie psyche that it appears willing to accept poor performance, possible criminal activity on the part of some ministers and incompetent economic management, in favour of a leader who isn’t Tony Abbott?

These questions need to be asked because, as things stand today, the polls would suggest they will be returned to government sometime next year despite the names of Sinodinis, Bishop the elder, Brough, Pyne and Roy, still ringing in our ears given the alleged questionable activities for which they have been cited.

To that we can add David Johnston, Joe Hockey, Ian Macfarlane, Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz to the multiple ministerial changes that have taken place for which we can only surmise were the result of poor performance.

Then of course there is Tony Abbott, who is no longer leader but whose policies remain intact.

Next year will see an election that will be fought on policies that adversely affect our children’s education, our health, corporate taxation, the GST, and yet the national debt will hardly be mentioned. What does that say about our collective intelligence?

How is it that our national debt will exceed $400 billion before the end of this year and that fact will barely raise an eyebrow? How is it that a deficit budget is now the default position when those same people producing it, claimed in opposition, it would be the ruination of us all.

image Or on a different level, how is it, for example, that Mal Brough can still be a minister, after answering yes to whether or not he asked James Ashby to obtain copies of Peter Slipper’s diary by Liz Hayes on ‘Sixty Minutes’ and then answer no to exactly the same question in Parliament, with no mitigating explanation?

And how is it that the government have shunned investment in renewable energy opting for reliance on a dying coal industry, when the rest of the world’s major polluters are forging ahead with wind and solar.

Malcolm Turnbull’s catch cry when he assumed the leadership was innovation. So where is the innovation in renewable energy, tax reform, education and health? Turnbull’s announcement on Monday of a $1 billion program for innovative projects over the next four years will hardly set the world on fire.

Next year, an election year, we are likely to see vastly superior, innovative policies from the Labor Party as they move around the country addressing these fundamental issues.

poor Yet, I suspect the people will overlook the significant content of Labor’s platform and content themselves with what they view as a preferred national leader regardless of the substance vacuum within the Coalition policy framework.

An impoverished nation indeed. Some people should be required to pass a competency test before being allowed to vote.

 

 

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44 comments

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  1. keerti

    Australia’s collective intelligence? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! In matters that concern them politically australians can’t, or won’t do the most minimal research required to form an educated opinion on almost anything. They prefer to resort to lies, inuendo and make believe. Why should their polititians be any different.

  2. mars08

    Hold on a minute!!! The boats are still being stopped, right?

  3. keerti

    Only the ones that run out of fuel!

  4. johnlord2013

    So very true John but my feeling is that the voters will overlook it all and vote them back.

  5. brickbob

    Turnbull and the Liberals are a protected species,always have been and always will be,but i still believe Malcom and mob will self implode ,so i am going to reamain a pragmatic optimist and predict a spetacular fall next year,and i dont know who will eventually form Govt,but it will be a minority one.

  6. stephengb2014

    Then lets stop being negative and start using our own knowledge

    Each of us take on a fact and state it clear and with evidence to back it up

    Yes you all if you who think that these chizelers have had their go, lets do what Bill Shorten seems incapable of doing and remind everyone on social media the irrefitable facts backed by evidence.

    Keep doing it every day untill the day of the next election

    Kaye Lee. John Lord and John Kelly and others on AIMN have goven us the ammunition as has Alan Austin

    we start after Xmas

    because the election is likely to be sooner rather than later

    S

  7. Chris

    stephengb2014 nice idea stephen and it is probably what many do or are doing. Unfortunately social media doesn’t target the opinions (or lack of) that need changing. This is why I am so annoyed with places like the Guardian that feel the need to shut out ‘more informed’ opinions in preference to people who just make up stuff or post lies…….apparently they are quite fine with that.
    Also people on social media don’t like to be proved wrong in public so it often turns into a dead end of people avoiding issues or questions rather than admitting that they were mistaken…..
    I tend to think social media is a bit of a con. Social manipulation more like. ……and the bastards took away my twitter account because I don’t have a mobile phone and I don’t want a ‘facebook’.

  8. Wayne Turner

    Most Australian’s have no intelligence. Gullible,ignorant and easily manipulated by the MSM.

    The MSM gave Idiot Abbott a free ride and promoted him and the Libs into office. Even the MSM couldn’t hide Idiot once he was in.

    The dumb masses fall for the no substance of Turnbullsh*t because they are totally ignorant of issues. He sounds smart, so they blindly go along with it.

    Turnbullsh*t = All style and NO subtance. Great for the ignorant.

    Idiot Abbott = No style and No substance.

    Our democracy clearly doesn’t work when the masses are asses.

  9. lawrencewinder

    The “Coots-With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe”…the IPA are running the show. Malcon Turdball-Fop will be kept as the Ruler of this Ruling Rabble because electorally he’s safe… but otherwise he’ll have to tow the Murdoch, Rinehart, Miners and Bankers line..What sovereignty Australia had will be finally eliminated and every single public service will be privatised. Le Jongleur Roskam will the Chair of the Board and Malcon will become permanent faux PM.

  10. cartoonmick

    In so many ways, this gov’t has failed, just like the previous gov’t failed, and the gov’t before it and the one before it and ……..

    Sure, there were some very good moments along the way (I think), and a few reasonable bits, and a couple of flashes of wisdom (you had to be quick to catch them),,,, but, in the main, a very below average performance by the majority of pollies.

    And why was that, I hear you ask???? Well, maybe this cartoon will clear it up for you……….

    Editorial / Political

    Cheers
    Mick

  11. aravis1

    In spite of John’s succinct and damning summary here, I disagree that the LNP are likely to be voted back in. The polls are clearly falsified. And most polls, more often than not, do not predict accurately. I passionately want to see people ceasing to prophesy that the Libs will get a second term; even though too many people do not analyse or think much, their hip pockets will tell them what to do about this awful, awful mob. Unless of course, all the pundits they respect continue to predict a Liberal victory. That sort of thing can actually make a long shot come true. I predict a Labor victory with probably a minority government.

  12. PC

    “Unless you have freedom to be unequal, there is no such thing as freedom.” – By the champion of unbridled corporatism; one William F. Buckley.

    I’ve just watched, for the second time, the documentary called “Best of Enemies”. In it, Gore Vidal makes the point that “In the United States, 5% of the population has 20% of the income, while the bottom 20% have 5% of the income.” That was in 1968. In 2015, it is reported on Wikipedia that “..the wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth while the bottom 80% own 7%.” – I for one can clearly see where this is all headed towards: The complete domination of the world’s wealth by an unchecked few: We are all headed towards a world controlled through a corporate dictatorship. We are practically there, in fact.

    But I digress…..

    Buckley (who Vidal coins as the “Marie Antoinette of the right of politics”) states twice on American television and without any shred of concern of the humanitarian implications of his dogmatic vision of unchecked socioeconomic inequality that “Freedom breeds inequality”: Get that people; “FREEDOM BREEDS INEQUALITY”. This is what capitalism, as sold by Buckley, and as sold by today’s right of politics, offers humanity as “prosperity”. But this form of prosperity is directed to just a handful of people of this world. (The failed trickle-down economics doctrine) I recall our former bloated ex-treasurer unashamedly espouses to the exact same world view. Vidal goes on to warn the reluctant listener, Buckley, that while he [Buckley] “revels in this kind of socioeconomic inequality”, Vidal warns Buckley that ” You are going to have a revolution, if you don’t give people things they what; I’m putting it to your own [Buckley’s] self interests.”

    Has Todd Gitlin points out too, “Buckley didn’t believe in democracy”, and neither in my opinion does the LNP, the AFP or any of their wretched supporters.

  13. Matters Not

    The polls are clearly falsified

    Which ones would they be? Yes I see it’s all of them. Probably also the ones that show 97% of scientists believe global warming is real.

    If the ‘polls’ are clearly falsified, then you need to provide evidence that goes far beyond hopes. Even a link would help.

  14. stephentardrew

    John methinks the pool of voters would be reduced dramatically.

  15. PC

    Democracy is in its last gasp for life. Only a miracle can save it now.

  16. Hub

    Honestly, I feel both the Libs and Labs are bereft of ideas. With the kind of support that the Labs have shown to things such as mandatory detention, deporting ppl jailed for more than a year, data retention and so on, one has to wonder what is left of the Labor party platform.

    Viva la Greens

  17. bobrafto

    I may have stated it on Fb and I will state it here as well, my take is that the electorate by the time of the election would have had enough of the LNP regardless of Mr Sheen and Labor will win regardless of Short Bill.
    This prediction is written in the stars that a full moon allowed me to read.

  18. John Kelly

    Bobrafto, thank you for sharing that celestial vision. Tell me, how is Elvis and will he reply to my telepathic messages?

  19. Matters Not

    PC @ December 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm wrote:

    Democracy is in its last gasp for life. Only a miracle can save it now.

    ‘Democracy’ regardless of definition will continue for some time yet. And will do so without ‘miracles’.

    Hope that helps.

  20. mars08

    Leaving actual policies aside (as most voters tend to do, we have seen that the electorate can put up with smugness. After all, John Howard looked unassailable. What the voters won’t tolerate is an loudmouth, arrogant idiot… it reflects poorly on their judgement. In the end, Abbott became an embarrassment even for his strongest supporters.

  21. Chris

    Turnbull seemed a terrible stumbling, bumbling idiot from what I heard of the 7.30 report on the radio…..but the radio seems to give you a different perspective of those things than people seem to get from TV. They weren’t even difficult questions…..I have no idea how people can be impressed…..

  22. PC

    Congratulations Matters Not: You have just own the award for the most over used cliché in Australian history. The old “She’ll be right mate” saying. A predictable Australian response that would have sounded like wisdom in the 1950’s when in actual fact it was nothing more than a desperate cling to hope, which ran against all evidence to the contrary. I’d call on anyone, including Mr “She’ll be right mate”, to point to any evidence that would show even the slightest hints that democracy will prevail over the entire world being taken over by the corporate sector.

  23. mars08

    For most of our fellow citizens… “democracy” means nothing more than picking from a list of names every 3 years…

  24. Matters Not

    You have just own (sic) the award for the most over used cliché in Australian history. The old “She’ll be right mate” saying

    Actually, no. The opposite in fact. But then again I have no control over the ‘meaning(s)’ given to the words I write. I’ll try to be gentle here but PC asks me to:

    point to any evidence that would show even the slightest hints that democracy will prevail over the entire world being taken over by the corporate sector

    PC, it’s you who makes the claim. Not me. It’s you who has to provide the evidence that democracy is on its last legs, as it were.

    It’s not my claim. It’s yours. It’s up to you to support your claim.

    Hope that helps. (In the logic stakes).

  25. bobrafto

    John
    Funny that that you ask of Elvis.

    As a matter of fact he asked me to relay his answers to your telepathic messages.

    Yes, you will get to meet him when you’re number is called.
    My predictions for Labor are spot on.
    And the big corporations will start paying their taxes.

    I trust this helps with your grievances which were well written.

  26. mars08

    Humpty Dumpty… may I introduce Matters Not. Gentlemen start your engines!

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

    Alice considered a little. “But surely,” she said in a sudden flash of inspiration, “you simply have to agree with me that ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’, it means ‘glory’.”

    “Not in the slightest bit,” humphed Humpty Dumpty, “I disagree with you totally.”

    “Ah,” replied Alice cunningly, “so you do agree with me, for when I hear someone say ‘I disagree with you’, I think they mean ‘I agree with you totally’, don’t you? When I hear a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – nothing more nor less.”

    “It is a most provoking thing,” Humpty Dumpty cried, breaking into a sudden passion, “when little girls make it impossible to disagree with them.”

  27. Matters Not

    mars08, I see you are enjoying your holiday in a Muslim country that frowns on the consumption of alcohol.

    I’ll be pleased to respond when you have something to offer that goes beyond what has (probably) been the most quoted set of words from Alice In Wonderland.

    Please. (Or are you attempting to take the piss once again?) One can never be sure. And neither can you. But perhaps not?

  28. mars08

    I’m actually on my fourth beer right now. So yes… I’m taking the piss and TAKING the piss…!

  29. Chris

    That bit from Alice in Wonderland is just what it’s like dealing with workcover…..with a bit of Franz Kafka’s The Trial and The Castle thrown in…..

  30. PC

    It is self evident that it is neigh-on-impossible to demonstrate any use of logic to a person who refuses to acknowledge written evidence which is simply a mouse scroll away from your wayward fingertips and to make matters worse, who is simultaneously in denial of their own vacuous written response.

    Be that as it may, for one time only I will dangle reality in your full view and see how it goes.

    Point one:
    Matters Not: ‘Democracy’ regardless of definition will continue for some time yet. And will do so without ‘miracles’.

    A sentence which is devoid of any evidence or substance and in this country one can’t help connect such a vacuous statement to the tired old “She’ll be right mate” flatfoot philosophy. Failing that, then one can only assume you have served something even more cryptic than that. In effect: Only your “Gods” would know what you are referring to.

    I suspect you haven’t even read this far, I see little reason to continue, but continue I must for the sole reason to say to myself I tried to reach the unreachable.

    Point two:
    Matters Not: “PC, it’s you who makes the claim. Not me. It’s you who has to provide the evidence that democracy is on its last legs, as it were. It’s not my claim. It’s yours. It’s up to you to support your claim.”

    Reality shows I did provide evidence which was,

    1) ” In it, Gore Vidal makes the point that “In the United States, 5% of the population has 20% of the income, while the bottom 20% have 5% of the income.” That was in 1968. ”

    2) “In 2015, it is reported on Wikipedia that “..the wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth while the bottom 80% own 7%.”

    If by the slimiest of chance you are still reading there is a thing called google. I suggest you use it. But who am I kidding: You didn’t read the evidence when I first provided it virtually on a platter to you then what hope is there you are reading these very words now.

    Finally.
    And really, one could argue quite strongly that with a name like “Matters Not”, goes as well with that pathetic Australian saying “She’ll be right mate” as cheese goes well with crackers.

    Thanks for wasting 5 minutes of my life repeating myself.

  31. Matters Not

    mars08, I assume you have been to Penang including both Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi. There’s much to experience in Georgetown in the many ‘back alleys’ as there is in the Penang equivalent of the Gold Coast’ re Batu Ferringhi. Take a bus ride to the end of the line an go for a walk in the National Park. But watch the monkeys.

    Cheers.

  32. mars08

    Been to Batu Ferringhi a couple of times. The beach is nice but unspectacular… except at sunset. Seems to have become a Mecca for Arab tourists… ah, well… not really a Mecca.

  33. Chris

    PC Thanks for bothering to finish….I for one would have been disappointed if it had gone nowhere. I can see climate related disasters finishing democracy real quick. My son made me a very happy Dad when I explained what political anarchism was and he said “Dad, I think I’m an anarchist !” What a bloody good boy I’ve got. An 11 year old anarchist….tee hee hee hee.

    Batu Ferringhi…wow Is that where Star Trek Ferengis come from. I guess they do.

  34. Matters Not

    PC, it’s great that you advance a detailed response. But there are problems. You open with

    is neigh-on-impossible

    I suspect the word you’re looking for these days is ‘nigh-on-impossible’. But maybe not?

    PC I’m not trying to denigrate your passions and the like and your link to ‘facts’ all of which are probably ‘valid’. But ‘facts’ are a ‘dime a dozen’. It’s how those facts are cited and employed which make an argument.

    In my view, you haven’t made an argument re the ‘death of democracy’.

  35. Matters Not

    Yes mars 08, it is a mecca for Arab tourists. Breakfasts are always interesting. Not much bacon like there is in the Hilton in Istanbul but it’s always available on special request.

    Something about ‘demand’ and ‘supply’?

  36. PC

    “She’ll be right”, you’re fooling yourself if you think you’re the only one on here who’s aware you offer predominately disingenuous remarks.

  37. John Kelly

    The system we call democracy, the one devised by ourselves for ourselves, has been hi-jacked. It has been compromised by the wealthy for the benefit of the wealthy. The collective interest of the masses has been relegated to second place and has become a by-product. The ideology of conservative politics is to strengthen power within a subset of the privileged; those who have the means to exploit and develop resources. The people who own the resources are relegated to mere observers and see little of the benefits that result.

  38. bobrafto

    PC

    Thanks for wasting 5 minutes of my life repeating myself. re above

    At least you got it off your chest.

  39. gee

    the stupid vastly outnumber the politically aware. that is what the LNP count on.

  40. Lawrence Corry

    for starters stop using the Lib language ..in fact you should do a piece on how Debt is good and surplus is bad/in bad times spend in good times use austerity to control inflation and other factors.

  41. Matthew Oborne

    we had superannuation, the idea was it was to go to a higher level so we wouldnt be burdened by the baby boomers moving into retirement age.

    The Liberal party watered it down and even cite the massive costs of welfare – As other nations moved towards a destitution welfare model we had put in place everything we needed to avoid a destitution model, it was hijacked by the Libs made as a tax dodge for someone to put a million dollars into it and the wage freeze didnt result in higher super as was agreed.

    Trade training was meant to be different than it turned out today, 20 years ago it was understood we needed a model similar to germany where process workers became engineers over time and we moved into high quality manufacturing, but that didnt happen either.
    Howards government saw less trade training positions and it got so bad the reserve bank increased interest rates purely because we didnt have enough skilled tradesmen.

    Rather than train more which would mean more unionists.
    No Liberal government would deliberately engage in a policy that created more union members.

    The great ransacking of our country was all directed at making an economy that didnt require union members, or the financial capacity of the welfare dependant.

    Finland is looking at introducing basic income which would mean retailers would have more stability which enables private business to plan for a future based on stability.
    Treasury has forecast long term unemployment to increase dramatically over the decades to come making todays unemployment level seem very low.

    This country has a lot going for it if it is managed wisely, unfortunately we have as much chance of that as a roll of the dice.

  42. totaram

    Jim: Great link. I might add that there is a lot of evidence that people who habitually vote right-wing are not very bright. The most dangerous thing about right-wing governments is their adherence to neo-liberal macro economics (debt and deficit doom-sayers, and great believers in “austerity”) which is largely based on made-up facts and dodgy “framing”, where sovereign currency issuing governments are made to look like households. Whether these people are deluded or lying is irrelevant, because the net effect is the same: it increases concentration of wealth and exacerbates impoverishment of the vast majority. However, because the wealthy people also own the “free” press(think Murdoch), people continue to vote against their own interests. The USA is a perfect example of this. Indeed, “left” parties in many countries have come to believe in this neo-liberal nonsense, so pervasive is its reach. A firm understanding of simple national accounting would cure anyone of this delusion and all it requires is simple accounting arithmetic – unlike Quantum Mechanics, it doesn’t even require you to know what a complex variable, or even an imaginary number is. But readers of this blog do know and understand the real situation. It’s the “swinging voters” out there who don’t have the time to even understand that the Federal Government is NOT a household and does NOT use a credit card. They are responsible for getting us into this mess and it is them we must target. (end of rant)

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