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A personal view of a failed democracy

I sometimes wonder if it is in becoming a parent, responsible for the health and well-being of a tiny morsel of humanity, that we first experience a real awareness of the interdependence of human beings.

For those who wait until they are reasonably mature adults to give birth the first time, it is often a total life-changer.

The fact that, without your almost continuous monitoring and attention, the baby’s very life is at risk, takes an enormous amount of adjustment.

My first child was born with a stridor, and I was regularly asked by total strangers if my baby had whooping cough. At 9 or 10 weeks old, he was admitted to hospital for 10 days for assessment of his condition. I had been struggling with breast-feeding, and, by the time he was discharged he was totally bottle fed.

I felt a total failure – a feeling I can imagine has been shared by many new mothers over the years! And – now that many men are – thank goodness! – becoming more actively involved with their children from a much earlier stage of their development than was traditionally the case – they, too, are more emotionally involved in many of the earlier adjustments.

Children need a level of structure in their lives, IMHO, if they are to become self-sufficient as they themselves mature, and part of that structure is awareness of how their behaviours affects others.

Learning to share toys, for example, and generally learning empathy from as early an age as possible make it much easier for the child to be aware of the needs of others, which can often be even more important than their own!

Recent events in some exclusive schools plus regular reports of bullying in schools give us a much clearer picture of why sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace are the eventual outcome of parental – and educational – failure to encourage the child to recognise the needs of others.

The problem is not exclusively male, either. Schoolgirls can have social cliques and be remarkably cruel to ‘outsiders’!

And it might be appropriate to add that increasing awareness of the conditions applying to those in the ASD spectrum, add a further nuance to what can be expected from an individual who might be supremely intelligent, but oblivious to their impact on others.

So, however independent we might become as adults. we still live in a world with massive variations in needs and aspirations, so, without rules, life can be very hectic and often unpleasant!

A cursory reading of the new Testament of the Christian Bible, reveals that the Jews practised a form of Sharia Law, as do countless Muslims all round the world to this day.

Many countries have, however started (and I stress the word ‘started’ – we have still a long way to go!) moving away from the real cruelty associated with the ‘eye for an eye’ thinking which underpinned the foundation of ancient laws. Even the death penalty, now seen in some some countries as being actually judicial murder, is being abandoned, in part on the basis that, if the law has been administered unjustly, you cannot bring back to life someone who has been wrongly subjected to the death penalty!

But Australia is far from having properly embraced human rights – despite our government preaching to countries like China and Russia – and the USA – of their failure to do so!

If we operated under a proper Human Rights system, we would not have refugees incarcerated both offshore and in onshore detention centres, or released into the community with no right to any benefits nor to seek work. Just think about the utter cruelty of that scenario!!

And, most importantly, the Biloela children would be living in the community!

We have politicians who are strong on touting values, but if the laws they devise are based on their values, I do not wish to share them!

I value compassion, tolerance and empathy, but the laws I see added to the Statute Books, and the behaviour I observe from those in power, do not coincide in any way which what I see as values related to human rights.

Given the plethora of complaints available online, I am far from alone.

To be a democracy means the people are responsible for forming a government from the adult population which bases its laws on the wishes of the people.

Somewhere along the line, the question of having a majority rears its head, and the smaller the margin, the more important it is to take note of the minority views.

All polls in recent years have moved the numbers of those wanting the government to introduce, as soon as possible – because time is of the essence – realistic policies to counter global warming. These policies would have to include reducing, as quickly as possible, reliance on fossil fuels.

We cannot force other countries to follow suit , but we are actually lagging way behind many other countries who have long since realised the need for action.

We could lead the tail-end Charlies – but, instead, we have, it appears, a cohort in power who believe that, by supporting the policies of the fossil fuel giants, they might be assured a financially beneficial sinecure, post-politics, and to hell with the rest of us!

The actions of the former Minister for Sport, and others in Cabinet, in openly ensuring grants went to those most likely to support the Coalition, has left us in no doubt that we are led by a corrupt government.

I heard the first mutter yesterday that an early election might be in the wind.

Should that transpire, we need to look incredibly closely at the integrity and aspirations of the candidates, because both major parties are failing us badly!

The old cliché that you get the government you deserve, irks me greatly, because I am fairly sure that a majority of us do not deserve the government we have been lumbered with!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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  1. andy56

    I think democracy is dying anyway. In my opinion it has just enabled the stupid and the narcisists to gain control, for example Tony Abbott and Trump.
    Secondly, in all my interactions on social media I seem to be in the minority reguarding stupidity and fake news. Its everywhere and even so called sane friends are into it big time. One american friend just quotes trumpisms as gospel and claims trump has an IQ of 160. Normal sane people you would think, but, if even scientists are devout religious followers, who’s to say your intelligence equates to sensible analysis of fake news. If voters cant tell that the LNP have been outright thieves , liars and seat warmers, democracy may as well just disintegrate for all i care.

  2. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Complete agreement Andy. There are 100,000 federal home care packages for elderly and disabled people in the pipeline. Medicare is being underminded by ridiculously low rebates for bulk-billed patients. My own specialist gets a mere $37 for a consultation when the over the counter fee is actually $85. Specific procedures come with added austerity for bulk-billed patients.

    Sorry about the typing error in the spelling of Rosemary on my first comment. I just noticed the error.

  3. Denis Bright

    Thanks for using the cartoon from the QTU’s Ipswich Secondary Branch campaign in 1983. Those were terrible times for Queensland when the National Party had a majority in parliament in its own right, and again in 1986. . Liberal Treasury and member for Ipswich Dr. Llew Edwards decided not to contest the local seat. Labor was back with control of all three state seats in Ipswich.

    Art teacher Rod Cassidy would be pleased to know that his cartoon drawn drawn especially for the QTU is still in circulation. And so is Rod Cassidy with his displays at bluethumb in Brisbane (

    1983 was also the year when the Hawke Government commenced negotiating a consolidation of our strategic ties with the USA following the withdrawal of NZ from direct membership over its opposition to visits by nuclear powered naval ships carrying nuclear weapons.

    I put in an application to the Natioal Archives (NAA) for those AUMIN papers again during the weekend.

    Let’s persist with our efforts Rosemary. As Dr Carl Jung told us a century ago, sheer persistence will forge the synchronicity through its own moral authority. A reply to my last request to the NAA for files on our military involvement in neutral Cambodia in support of General Lon Nol (CIA puppet) took 3-4 years to answer and the reply came by Australia Post (not email), long after my research assignment at UQ had been completed. Section 33 of the Archives Act restricts full and open investigation of our own history.

  4. RosemaryJ36

    Denis – at a local level I have now completed 34 x 2 hours sitting outside the NT Parliament on Wednesday afternoons, talking to passers by, staff and the occasional pollie to keep climate change alive as an issue, given that, apart from closing borders, we are less restricted over COVID-19 up here in Darwin with no community infections – yet!
    The level of secrecy and lack of transparency in government is truly concerning and they do not have a clue how to take the next step without throwing millions into abject poverty.
    The cartoon is in the AIMN’s sources and I did not know where it was from. I chose it for the smoking chimneys and bus emissions! I note that AIMN has circulated a version on Twitter with a different picture! Perhaps there was a copyright issue.

  5. Denis Bright

    Well, that’s why we write for AIM Network, Rosemary. I explained that a few articles ago. Keep up the good work Rosemary in the NT jwhich was once an almost one party conservative state like Tasmania in the Robin Gray era.

    Here is an article I work to explain my motivation to write for AIM Network. I might modify and re-submit this article with a different lead pic:

    Into the Post-Corona Era: Time for More Focus on Protecting Incomes and Living Standards?

    If you could make a comment on my ongoing articles that would also be appreciated.

    Our AIM Network derives its main revenue from advertising. The more hits the better. Diversity in the range of comments also improves readership at a time when so many people have faith in narcissistic politics and slogans rather than structural commitments to real change.

    My last article on the Queensland elections is my most daring and required two personal visits to the Electoral Commission Queensland and one to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

    That was an appropriate location as the Courier Mail in its better days worked up the issue of police corruption relating to night life in the Valley.

    Other readers who are in Queensland might keep the ECQ and CCC informed about any irregularities in polling and campaigning practives by offering complaints for investigation preferably before the election, and not after, when all the damage to democratic processes is diccult to unscramble.

    As the conviction of the previous ECQ Commissioner shows us, the ECQ’s own investigations of malpractice with the support of the CCC have an important place in the evolution of Queensland democracy.

  6. Michael Taylor

    Rosemary, it is an apt cartoon but I should have deleted it from our media library.

    Cartoons are always a problem. About a year ago a cartoonist sent us a bill for $100 because we used one of his cartoons without his approval.

    The only cartoons we are allowed to use are those done by Alan Moir. We pay a monthly subscription to Alan for that right. It has been negligent of me for not putting more of his cartoons into our media library. That’s on my ‘to do list’ for tomorrow. 😀

  7. pierre wilkinson

    And, most importantly, the Biloela children would be living in the community!
    but that would involve empathy, which despite receiving lessons,
    this maladroit mob simply cannot comprehend actually helping people

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