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Another way of doing politics

By Ad astra

Are you are weary of contemporary politics as I am? Weary of the continual ‘left’ versus ‘right’ tussle? Weary of its sameness, day after boring day?

Why is there always such a stark difference of opinion between those who seek to further enrich, to further advantage those who already have an abundance of this world’s bounty, and those who desire a more even distribution?

Is it not possible to devise a way to even-out the distribution of wealth?

This situation is the product of counteracting forces – one which favours the wealthy, the influential, the powerful, the financially gifted, and the other, which favours the less well endowed.

This situation is a old as history itself. There have always been the haves and the have-nots.

Our partisan political system perpetuates this. Those who support it, the ‘right side’, the ‘liberal’ side, regard this as the ‘norm’, the way our political system ought to function. After all they insist, it is the entrepreneurs who have created the enterprises that power our economy, who give work to those who haven’t the capacity to create work themselves. They are right in their assertion, but does that authenticate their position of superiority. Should those who offer work be valued more than those who undertake it?

There seems to be no logically plausible answer to this, but we all know that this is so.

The union movement has long insisted that workers ought to be valued, that our economy could not function without them – an obvious conclusion. Yet too often they are denigrated, seen as simply pawns in the global chess game played by the powerful. To demonstrate their value, their importance to the economy, they sometimes withdraw their labour, whereupon they are demonised for their ‘perversity’.

The Liberal Party will not promote an economic system that gives workers their just dues. They are focussed on employers, eager to give them the advantage, eager to ensure that they have the workers they need to prosper. They will not change. Their DNA will not allow that.

So is there an answer?

In this country our only contemporary hope is the Albanese government. It has shown empathy to the less well-endowed. Its willingness to support the needy, the poor, the disadvantaged, and the underdog is heartening.

Yet it has to counter the new Leader of the Opposition, the politically ugly Peter Dutton, whose nastiness is now exposed for all to see. How decent Liberals could embrace this man as their spokesman, their talisman, their mentor, is a mystery that only obsessed Liberals would be able to explain.

Those of us who support Labor’s approach to doing politics need to publicly acknowledge this, to hold it up as the only decent way, the only way that benefits all of us.


This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. RoadKillCafe

    Yet albanese and Labor support the next tax cuts, even though they denigrated it whilst in opposition, they seem to support the continual destruction of our environment, fans of the Beetaloo Basin rape among other equally destructive mining ventures. So, no, I don’t see the Labor Party as you do, no matter what social inequities they may find an answer to, unless Labor find their spine and seriously address the consequences and the issues that worsen this situation, really, the only serious problem that needs to be addressed, needs to be communicated to the masses, needs to be happening now, is that we are fucked unless we work together, that the majority of us understand the deep shit we are in, no more fucking spin.. Albo, where is the transition plan away from fossil fuels, a plan for the workers, a plan for the communities and urgent help for those still living in tents.
    Can you fucking believe it? Can you? Many many people are, here in Australia, living in tents. The collateral damage of fire and flood, where, for fuck sake, is the help, the acknowledgment that as a society we have and are fucking up bigtime.

  2. Marcus

    This is a real problem, although Labor are better than Liberal, they aren’t nearly good enough.

  3. Carl Marks

    It wont change. Tabloidism now dominates the minds and hearts of ordinary peo0ple.

  4. Albos Elbow

    They do have a refreshing new attitude, but Labor’s policies are still shit.

    Continued 30 billion dollars a year of taxpayer funded fossil fuel billionaires’ “subsidies”. Why?
    Approve more coal and gas projects. “Protect” coal and fossil fuel workers jobs.
    No affirmative action or transition plan to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
    Continued tax cuts for the rich.
    No funding commitment for setting up green Hydrogen plants.
    Still addicted to trillions of dollars royalties on mining, fossil fuels and petrol excises.

    Australia has no chance whatsoever of reaching net zero by 2050, if this inaction continues.

  5. Fred

    What do you do if both sides are equally useless? The AMA is deeply concerned with the rising pressure from rising Covid cases on our hospital system (you call that a system?) which is already at breaking point.

    Disappointingly the new health minister, behaving more like an economist, has ruled out “lock-downs” and “mandates” including the wearing of masks, which both the AMA and ATAGI consider as beneficial. Telehealth sounds likely to get the chop. I wonder if a new “sensible” party might form from the cross-bench.

  6. New England Cocky

    Agreed. Possibly LABOR strategists are aware of the criticism of the Whitlam LABOR government moved too fast dragging Australian into the 20th century ….. in 1972. But when have the think groups ever achieved anything except slowing down progress, especially in the important areas of housing, health, education or energy policy? Fear of success seems rampant within LABOR now that they have won the Treasury benches.

    Perhaps an inclusive policy meeting is required for each of the policy areas destroyed by the decrepit Scummo rabble to determine the course for the at least next three years, although longer is preferred. The first two areas could be re-introducing the original LABOR housing policy eliminating the negative gearing tax advantages, which would likely force more residential housing onto the market.

    Simultaneously restrict the government largess to mining corporations, especially the fossil fuel industry, and private schools.

    Then the Murdoch media-ocrity must be silenced by what ever means are required, preferably dispersion of the monopoly.

  7. Terence Mills

    I thought it interesting that among the challengers for the job of UK prime minister is Liz Truss , the foreign secretary. She immediately came out with a policy to cut taxes.

    So typical on the conservative class that they will always dangle lower taxes in front of the punters as though it’s a good thing for the country and the economy.

    We have still to tackle the Morrison tax cuts introduced in 2017 that won’t even take effect until 2024. A decade of deficits, with 2024 shaping up to deliver a $57 billion shortfall precisely when the tax cuts are due to be introduced.

    Morrison carved out tax cuts well into the future and effectively bound the hands of governments well into the future. Leaving Labor with the unenviable task, if they are to be prudent, of reversing the tax cuts or drastically cutting spending and providing fewer services or raising taxes elsewhere.

  8. A Commentator

    Over recent times, I have become particularly disengaged with domestic politics but I think As Astra has over simplified the criticism of unions.
    * Unions now represent only 14% of the private sector workforce, yet they retain a controlling interest in the ALP. This promotes an unnecessary focus on industrial relations as a political issue.
    * Some notable ALP figures have observed that it is time for an amicable divorce between the ALP and unions. It is time for that, to allow the ALP to become a more broadly based party, where prominent unions don’t have allocated seats that they use as a end of career sinecure/superannuation top up for their national secretaries.
    * Just as there is criticism of the actions of some business interests, so too is there legitimate criticism of the actions of sections of the union movement. This is particularly the case regarding some unions with coverage in construction and manufacturing industries. Unions in most other industries behave with assiduous compliance with the law.

  9. Arnd

    There seems to be no logically plausible answer to this, but we all know that this is so.

    How about this: capitalism is an approach to economics which is not predicated on humans doing that which needs to be done, or what we want to do, but is predicated on things getting done because someone with access to capital (money) has convinced herself that doing a thing will generate a pecuniary profit.

    Developing that premise logically means that the more possibility for profit there is, the more will get done. Or, in other words: “If you have a go, you will get a go!” Consequently, the main task for politicians is to generate opportunities for profiteering, and the economy will look after itself. Supposedly!

    Over four decades worth of neo-liberalism instruct that things are not quite as simple – but since senior political and economic decision-makers
    themselves mostly belong to the rather well remunerated upper middle class, for whom capitalism has paid quite well, the system has a certain administrative inertia built right into its very heart.

  10. Lawriejay

    The Labor Party was born out of the Labour Movement – can’t for the life of me see why there should be a divorce? First Amendment

    If the National Party (Country Party} divorced from the Farmer oriented movement and The Liberal party divorced its self from the Business, Media, Mining, Multi National community – I think I would support the first amendment??

    They’re dreaming !

  11. wam

    There is so much to do that boredom is not possible. Although I might be just too old fashioned and reached the stage of eclectic wanderings so everything has a ‘new bit’ making it difficult to be bored.
    The entrenched belief of rabbottians is the result of ignorance of labor’s many achievements and the acceptance that the LNP fixes Labor’s mistakes right from Whitlam. Absolute bulldust, but, like the church, its truth is unquestionable.

    The simple answer to the media, is sex, violence and controversy sell. So when in doubt put a little spin in to highlight one, two or preferably all three add any file photo that disingenuousl is disguised as part of the article!!!!

    The cruel way is for all labor ministers to research the LNP ministerials over the last 9 years to find rorts. Then every time the opposition speaks start the answer with a personal exposure of a rort from the speaker’s past.

    The sensible way is for labor to teach the teals about bipartisan approaches, using the lying rodent’s turnbull/wong climate action. This will also allow a bit of green brown bashing.

  12. Michael Taylor

    As delighted as I am that we have a new government, I do have my disappointments.

    I was due to have a Telehealth appointment with a local specialist this coming Thursday, the cost of which was to be bulk-billed to Medicare.

    Last week the specialist’s office phoned me to advise that the government has done away with Telehealth and I am to roll up in person. The cost? $320 less whatever the meagre amount I’d receive back from Medicare.

    I am not happy about that. Far from happy.

    My appointment was to basically get a referral for some treatment with a Melbourne specialist. I will now be required to drive 300ks to Melbourne to discuss the treatment and 300ks back again. A Telehealth appointment with the Melbourne specialist is/was $250. Goodness knows what he’s going to charge for a face-to-face appointment, let alone the treatment for whenever it was available.

    It would be cheaper for me to fly to Scotland where all health costs and medications are free, even for tourists.

  13. Harry Lime

    I assume you wouldn’t be flying Quaintass,Michael.There’s also a good chance Scotland will have gained Independence by the time the plane lands,or at least a new canal separating them from England.Labor needs to get a grip,doesn’t it?

  14. Michael Taylor

    Never do, Harry, unless there is no other choice.

    Four years ago I flew Sydney to London return with British Airways for $920. The same flights with Qantas were $3,000.

  15. Terence Mills

    Have you noticed in recent weeks how oil prices have been dropping on global markets but in Australia the savings are not being passed on to motorists.

    This is a comment form an article in the New York Times yesterday :

    Gasoline [petro] was a major reason that U.S. consumer prices were 9.1 percent higher in June than a year earlier, the biggest annual increase in four decades. But now gas [petrol] prices have declined 28 days in a row, the longest decline since the collapse in energy demand in early 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic paralyzed the economy. Energy analysts say American consumers are spending $140 million less on gasoline daily than they were a month ago.

    We need to take a close look at petrol pricing in Australia – we are being exploited !

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