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A new beginning for the Left and good riddance to the Right

1 The right of politics has, for some time now, imposed its thuggish propaganda and intimidatory behaviour on democracies worldwide. As far back as Reagan and Thatcher, the right has had its way. Other than a few exceptions, they have chalked up many more years in power than governments of the left. In Australia the extreme right-wing has primarily been in power. Since 1910, non-Labor governments have governed for two-thirds of the time and Labor for one-third.

In their governance, the right has attracted a proliferation of odd xenophobic people who have sought to plaster their thoughts on every parliament wall, from religious extremism to coal is good.

The true Liberalism of Menzies is now dead and buried and has been replaced by a brand of Conservatism unique to American politics. The Liberal party exists in name only.

In an article for The Conversation, Frank Bongiorno points out that:

“Labor’s two-party-preferred vote in 2022 is only slightly behind Gough Whitlam’s in 1972… an argument can be made that the 2022 election discloses an electoral shift to the left. It is perhaps the most significant since the combined momentum of the elections of 1969 and 1972 that brought the Whitlam government to office.

Changes of government in federal politics don’t happen often. There have been eight since the second world war, and three of those were in a turbulent decade between late 1972 and early 1983.”

Australian voters are a laconic bunch who have wrongly interpreted the quote “she’ll be right.”

It was never meant to have a lazy terse meaning but an optimistic one. So, we have, for the most part, clung tightly to antagonistic non-Labor governments.

Because Australian voters regularly return governments, tending not to discard the incumbent, we can reasonably assume that the last election signals a broader shift in voter attitudes and leanings.

This Government I speak of was a false democracy. It looked harmless to the voting population, but as time progressed, all the interaction with everyday people, the pretending to be a hairdresser or whatever, was only a perception of Morrison’s creation. In the beginning, people were fooled by his acting, but when you see it every day for years, you eventually must wake up from your vacation.

It was peculiar to all governments that the conservatives held power over, from Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison.

Although Albanese started his leadership in times unsuited to massive change, it may be that he was chosen for just that reason. Therefore, we can reasonably be assured that an Albanese Government will receive two terms of Government if they fulfil their commitments. All going well, perhaps another three.

The start of his tenure demonstrates that he comfortably fills the shoes of the office. He looks the part, listens with dignity, and speaks with understanding.

No one would dare suggest that Albo has the charisma of John Curtin, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke or Kevin Rudd. Still, he does display sincerity, warmth, integrity and authenticity.

In comparison, the newly elected Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton, decided to go on holiday not long after being elected. I would have thought he would immediately start mending the many things that needed fixing, but he has continued as though nothing happened.

On Albanese’s travel, the Opposition has proven that they have taken nothing from their loss. The cynicism coming from it about Albanese being out of the country is nothing more than what the Prime Minister himself described as nothing more than “beyond contempt.”

We seem to learn more about governments and their leadership when they have died (much the same as ordinary people) than when they are in Government.

Climate change, anti-corruption, gender equality and competent Government – are now the domain of the progressive left and hopefully will remain so for some time.

Whom should the Coalition blame? Well, Howard and Abbott are front and centre. Scott Morrison, his lying, and the Coalition support for fossil fuels and, of course, the rogue irrational MPs for their climate denial.

The Murdoch media defended their stupidity but couldn’t recognise its own. And let’s not forget their attitude toward women and the party infighting. And, of course, their questionable values and governance.

And yet they still seem to be at peace with their party’s relationship with the fossil fuel industry.

But the Coalition stars will always be John Howard, who took the party to the right. Tony Abbott may have been a better liar than Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull, who traded the leadership for well-worn beliefs and Barnaby Joyce, who proved himself to be the Leader of the many nut cases that formed the National Party.

Morrison believed that success, for whatever reason, depended on being seen doing everyone’s job but their own. Albanese is allowing his ministers to do their jobs.

How many guises did you see Scott Morrison in, ambo, hairdresser, test pilot or poultry boner and many more?

He put on hard hats, high-vis vests and gauze caps and propelled himself into the lives of the average working citizens who have been identified as politically advantageous. All these images were implanted in us, on TV, in hotels and in gymnasiums.

Do you know why? Well I don’t, either. I guess that about sums it up. Now let’s move on.

2 Together with the Prime Minister’s promise of a new politic comes a commitment to implement an influential Integrity Commission. The Greens and the independents will reject loose ends that allow for an escape route for corrupt politicians.

Furthermore, if this promise is to have some bite, it must also have adequate freedom of information process.

The independent auditor-general must be “independent” with a reasonable budget. The same goes for the Ombudsman.

The Government must create an impartial, professional and effective public service resembling that of yesteryear.

3 Something we can all agree on:

“Former Attorney-General Gareth Evans has called for Witness K’s conviction to be reversed following the decision to abandon the prosecution of the whistle-blower’s lawyer Bernard Collaery.

And Evans states that:

“Decency would also demand that the Witness K conviction be effectively reversed, but that’s probably a bridge too far.”

4 The Monthly reported that:

“The gap between male and female Coalition voters: only 28 per cent of women now say they would vote for the Coalition, compared to 38 per cent of male voters. The gap has widened since the federal election, with women continuing to drift from the Coalition under Peter Dutton.”

Who could blame them?

5 They are not mucking about, this Albanese Government. They have announced details on:

“… its promised jobs summit, to be held in Parliament House in early September. Treasurer Jim Chalmers says workplace reforms agreed to as part of the summit may be introduced as early as this year.”

6 In yet another example of Labor’s intention to make change a priority:

“Politicians will have to declare political donations over $1000 in real-time as part of a sweeping package of integrity measures.”

7 Special Minister of State Don Farrell wants to introduce the changes by mid-2023. “Truth in political advertising” laws will also accompany this legislation.

8 Another change will “potentially double the number of senators allocated to the Northern Territory and the ACT, from two to four.” The joint standing committee will examine the proposals on electoral matters.

My thought for the day

Change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making.

 

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10 comments

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  1. Terence Mills

    Concerning additional Senators for the NT and ACT I recall when the NT was considering statehood in October 1998, John Howard was adamant that if the plebiscite had been won (it failed) the NT would not be granted the normal senate seats allocated to all other states, twelve. Howard was of the view that four senators would be enough.

    There is no reason why a new state should not have the same senate representation as other states.

    Just as a matter of interest, the two senators of the NT and ACT are only elected for three years in line with the House of Representatives as opposed to six years for the state senate seats.

  2. James O'Neill

    I am yet to be persuaded that this government is independent of the United States as evidenced for example, by its policy toward Ukraine and the still ambivalent attitude toward China. I agree that the Liberals would be much worse but that is not saying much.

  3. ajogrady

    Albanese is proving to be a disappointment on many fronts but mostly his appeasement to the Murdoch US loving, China hating media.
    Anthony Albanese fans the fires of AUKUS with incomprehensible talk of submarines and staying in step with allies but much more so with his inflammatory statements about China a mini me version of Morrison. Contrast Penny Wong achievements to Albanese. Wong has outdistanced her Coalition predecessor by leagues. She took on the very difficult task of rebuilding the relationship with China after the oafishness of Morrison and
    Payne over Wuhan and Covid. She is succeeding. She has deployed a nuance which is a pleasure to watch She has brought her considerable intelligence to bare. She has been subtle and tough minded. She is the person of the moment. Australia got what it needed.
    Not so with Anthony Albanese. He has done his best to wreck Wong’s good work. He talks of the continuing danger posed by China, forgetting the AUKUS takeover. He says China has changed and we haven’t? What does he think Morrison did? Morrison trashed twenty years of relationship building, including a most successful visit to Australia by Xi Jinping in November 2014. And he and Dutton banged the drums of war as an election ploy.
    AUKUS is the worst example of abuse within the so-called American alliance. It is a prescription for failure and considerable loss of face for Australia amongst its neighbours, friends in the region and more widely spread friends and trading partners. In fact, the region has shown no support for the proposal and indicated disquiet.
    Involvement with the US in the disastrous Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars should have given cause for thought, but no, a supine media, lack of debate within academic institutions and amongst what remains of an intellectual class has seen the AUKUS proposal gain ‘acceptance’ by politicians without so much as question or query. And this in the complete absence of planning detail and cost analysis.
    The submarine deal was always a smokescreen to get US nuclear armed submarines based in Australia. The so-called deal was a sop to public opinion and for the moment it has worked with a China hating, US loving, Murdoch led MSM. Where is the sense in spending over $200 billion in the face of a one Trillion-dollar debt? The money would be far better spent on health, education and infrastructure.
    Anthony Albanese has not attempted to get his head around foreign relations, in particular China. He is stupidly relying on the people who advised Morrison. People like the head of ONI, the LNP favoured, Shearer and the US arms funded, ASPI. Neither should be allowed near a Labor government. They continue to push the LNP/AUKUS agenda. Penny Wong is not in that camp, which is lucky for the rest of the country. Albanese must learn to do his own thinking and to find the courage to sack and distance himself from the pernicious influence of Morrison’s dangerous and undermining advisers.

    AUKUS – contrived to foster the unrealistic and unattainable aims of American foreign policy

  4. New England Cocky

    ”Barnaby Joyce, who proved himself to be the Leader of the many nut cases that formed the National Party.”

    Really, JL, as a thinking voter in the New England electorate I must protest your inaccurate description of the least competent member of the Nazional$ and the few paid up members of the Nazional$ Party who cannot get themselves out to staff the polling booths on election days, let alone the pre-election period.

    There is just one problem; that is there very small numbers of dedicated nutters still clinging to the past glories when the old Country Party represented farmers & graziers rather than the present Nazional$ Party that represents incumbent politicians and their mining industry bosses. Many branches have less than 50 paid up members, yet these persons determine the least suitable candidates to represent the party and hence regional communities.

    But then there is the Nazional$ Party policy of creating a 19th century rural theme park as the New England electorate, where everything will be reverted to 19th century reality by ripping up the Great Northern Railway so that tourists can walk up the Moonbi Ranges as happened before the 1870 connection to NSW Railways, sealed roads will be returned to gravel, street lighting will be switched off and becomes only light from windows and the Internet replaced with carrier pigeons.

    This will allow the reducing number of sheep graziers to eke out the mortgages obtained from banks by the sweat of their grand[parents brows to play their favourite games of jump the blanket, stock duffing and shopkeeper intimidation before elections while their kids are recruited by bureaucratic agricultural legislators because the city private school education failed to teach anything of value.

  5. paul walter

    Firstly Terence Mills, who has at least contributed to a discussion on, perhaps, the american-ness of the Senate as states house (not so, surely?) rather than a house of review as to reason, as the new independents wave indicates.

    Yes, it IS binary today, over a century after the origninal concepts were inaugated back in the horse and buggy days. In the US they created a whole stack of small rustic states wnere voters would be conservative, to load the dice with elections, so am not quite convinced at giving places with small populations the same representational capacity as very highly populated locations.

    But, I do confess the variant viewpoints that arrive from a different electoral system to the lower house are a breath of fresh air in the senate, located as they are further away from direct major party control.

    NEC, we thought we had got rid of them after Rudd was elected, but nine years of Tory government later blew away that strong, sweet hope.

    James O’Niell points to the diffulcuties of obtaining rational policy out of the current set up, and therefore find the ajogrady comment relevant, it is amazing how serious issues slip under the radar, if his comments are intended as an expose of the consequences of a stuffed system, costing Australia $billions, as the energy ripoff and non taxpaying TNC’s

  6. Harry Lime

    Not so sure about a new beginning for the left if they’re going to keep approving new fossil fuel,climate fucking projects,it seems to me it’s more of the same money controlled bullshit in new,more acceptable clothing.Having dispensed with the worst pack of hypocritical,incompetent, self serving fuckwits,we desperately need a fresh start,which does not include pandering to the failed neoliberal experiment,which has resulted in social global inequality .
    Is Albanese still shit scared of the New York Mummy’s propaganda pamphlets?Labor by DNA was never meant to be conservative,they can’t be all things to all people,if ever the nettle needed to be grasped ,it is right now.Take a big leaf out of Whitlam’s book…we might not get another chance.

  7. Skyafterdark

    Shameless Kooky Yapping Anti Decency – are working unpaid overtime in an attempt to reverse the trend, now so obvious, on the torturous road to recovery of conservatives. Keep on keeping on New England Cocky!

  8. wam

    No change for our channel 9, lord, the LNP still are first.
    The foot and mouth news tonight, had cameo comments from dutton and littleproud. They did use the tags, opposition leader and spokesman.

  9. New England Cocky

    @ Terence Millls: Additional Senators for the Territories would be unconstitutional as the present Territorial Senators are.

  10. Terence Mills

    NEC

    Section 122 of the Constitution states the Australian Parliament may allow territory representation ‘in either House of the Parliament to the extent and on the terms which it thinks fit’.

    So it’s a matter for the parliament to decide how many senators, if any, a territory may have. Territories do not have to be equally represented, unlike the 6 original states.

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