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Are we a courageous country or fearful?

By Redcuchulain

Are we a courageous country, or fearful?

If only I had a dollar for each time I had heard that statement over the last year.

Thankfully it is only true of some people. Those who are frightened. Our country is changing at the moment and for many people that means just one thing, insecurity.

What I see Pauline Hanson doing is exploiting fears for her own popularity.

That is, utilising fears to override logical thinking.

This country needs leaders who bring hope – not fear.

When we have hope we have courage.

A courageous society takes responsibility for its own problems.

A cowardly society finds some ‘others’ to blame and scapegoat.

It is courageous to take responsibility for our climate and environment today.

It is cowardly to pretend there is no problem and leave the mess to our children and their children.

A brave country invests in education and innovation and competes on the world stage.

The easy way out is to put up trade barriers as we don’t believe we are good enough to compete anymore.

You preach the politics of hate and where there is hate there is fear.

This country will not move forward with fear.

It was not built on fear. It was built on enterprise and camaraderie.

And yes, countless waves of new arrivals have helped shape the modern and progressive democracy that has been created in just over two centuries.

I have read through the One Nation policies and the theme that runs through them is fear.

Moving backwards to yesterday’s debunked ideas and values rather than having the courage to move forward.

At least One Nation’s party’s colour is right. It is yellow.


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  1. Peter F

    I hold very strongly to the idea that this started with Howard and the Tampa. Those refugees were never allowed to be seen as individuals or families – just a large group of people huddled on a deck. This was a deliberate policy, and has led us to what we have today. It will take real leadership and compassion to change us.

  2. Never Been There

    ‘What I see Pauline Hanson doing is exploiting fears for her own popularity.’

    I see that same thing at almost every political blog I go to on the Internet. It appears to be a basic facet of human behaviour. I’m not sure we can avoid doing it.

  3. jim

    Our media in Australia is shambolic like when Howard handed out money to the top end of town he was made to look very “brave and shrewd” and you guessed when Labor handed out money to the most needy and diverted Australia from a recession the media says Labor
    spending like drunken sailors,or Kick this mob out.etc..etc. and the media do this across the board and on all issues. thus the media is corrupting Australia’s democracy. I’d say it’s the media’s lies that we need to fear.

  4. mark delmege

    …’A brave country invests in education and innovation and competes on the world stage.
    The easy way out is to put up trade barriers as we don’t believe we are good enough to compete anymore.
    You preach the politics of hate and where there is hate there is fear.
    This country will not move forward with fear.
    It was not built on fear. It was built on enterprise and camaraderie.’…

    This looks like a justification for so called ‘free trade’ and globalisation. Ie control by the biggest companies on earth to control our destiny. I’d argue that is the lazy way and the voice of a comprador. What it means is that most manufacturing closes down – which means less jobs here and thus less tax for the government. Do you think the UsofA accepts free trade – in reality? Not effin’ likely. They use all sorts of barriers to prevent certain goods – and I’m thinking autos here – as an example – from reaching their shores. Our government was stupid enough to allow all our car plants to close. It wasn’t brave, didn’t have a vision or the enterprise to find ways to keep manufacturing here. When the US destroyed Serbia it did so by bombing all the local factories – ie white goods car plants, metals etc. It made Serbia vulnerable and dependent and ripe for takeover. Where once it was relatively independent it is now a client state – no different to here – if you think about it. What they did with bombs is being done here through neo-liberal ideology.
    If you think new technologies with niche markets (which we can use to export goods) are going to solve our problems I think you are mistaken.

  5. Andreas Bimba

    I agree with most points except “The easy way out is to put up trade barriers as we don’t believe we are good enough to compete any more.”

    So the Olympic athletes that can win a medal can survive while the rest of us can starve? You appear to have also been captured by the neo-liberal lie about us all benefiting by totally free global free trade. How many non Japanese cars are there in Japan, how many non Korean cars in Korea, non Italian cars in Italy? Are these countries poor because they protect key industries? Even with FTAs these nations invariably frustrate sizeable import competition by a myriad of means.

    Totally free trade is a race to the bottom as production will flow to the lowest cost factory in the lowest cost nation or the nation with the best support structure, economies of scale, education and technology like Germany. If you are not one of these you die.

    No the answer is moderate tariffs (say 15%) for key but extremely competitive industry sectors like automotive and white goods and education and R&D support for areas such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals. A moderate tariff allows the survival of at least highly automated manufacturers and MAKES THE CASE FOR INVESTMENT JUSTIFIABLE. Other fast innovators may need no governmental support which is fine but don’t expect these sectors to ever be huge in such a competitive and cheating world. Basically a play to win strategy as practised by Japan or Korea or Singapore is best, not blind faith in a totally trade exposed free market. This strategy despite the apparent inefficiencies of some trade protection allow all worthy nations to advance, increases wages, increases global economic activity and benefits all businesses including the big corporations through increased sales.

    Besides the large minor party and independents vote last federal election, the BREXIT vote and support for Bernie Sanders and even Trump in the U.S. proves that people are waking up to the lies given to justify global totally free trade and voters are now willing to kick out the traitorous neo-liberal governments until they get good policy again.

  6. Harquebus

    Really, there can only be one conclusion.

    Here is something that I have read recently and have posted it on John’s page yesterday I think. Apologies for the repetition, I try as much as I can to avoid it. It is good reading.

    “True courage is the path of the spirit-driven activist…the warrior of truth…the status quo crusher.” — Deb Ozarko

  7. paulwalter

    In the end it is just another country populated of fallible human beings. Good bad and every permutation in between.

  8. Matters Not

    So we are now expected to entertain the notion that ‘countries’ are ‘courageous’ or not?

    I suspect it’s one ‘generalisation’ too far. And not helpful in any shape or form.

  9. johnlward010

    This sad mob of small minded shop keepers, would never have built the Snowy Mountains Scheme or the ANU at the same time. When the Labor party under Chifley took the long term view, Menzies chose to rant about the expense, yet was happy to open them up, for the glory after he became PM. Now is the time to borrow money and turn the Burdekin River and look to irrigate the inland; keeping money in Australia.
    Every $1million we send overseas to buy things we should build here, each mill exports, about 40 jobs with it . These days if a war comes , we have almost no industry to support our defence effort . Where is our Ship building industry Our Manufacturing industry and heavy engineering. We buy every bomb and bullet from overseas and I’ve just heard that $9million of dress uniforms will be made in China because they are the ’best price’, that money stays over seas instead of circulating in our own economy.
    We have no refining capability and only a fortnight supply of fuel to run a defence, so god help you dunces that voted the LNP in again. They consider the cheapest price to be the best application of Tax payer funds and each time the spend your money they export jobs and benefit other nations economies. Some one should tell them (LNP) that we are no longer a colonial power. Bob flaming Menzies stopped the CSIRO from working on computers, when we were one of the leaders in that field, and told the teams of scientists to work out how to make ‘it’ rain. During the first world war Menzies joined the Melbourne University Regiment as an Officer, because he could serve without going overseas. When the time came to send the Officers overseas because of the high casualty rate, he resigned his commission declaring ‘my brain is too valuable to waste on the battlefield’.
    When the first world war broke out, our Constitution forbade the armed forces to fight overseas, they were meant to defend Australia. The Parliament declared the Empire was in peril and called for Volunteers to form the Australian Imperial Forces. At the end of that conflict we had Five divisions fighting as a singly force under Australian Command.
    Menzies of course, became a big noise in the failed conscription movement,but eventually conscripted my generation and the Vietnam Veterans.
    Menzies was always devoted to Mother England in fact he ensured, that the flag ACT of 1954, that the Union Jack was available as a right to any Australian resident to fly it in preference to and in a superior position ahead of the National Flag.

    That changed in 1968 when the British objected to our war ships having their navy Ensign in our (Menzies) Vietnam War. So we quickly created the White Ensign you see today.

    This cringeworthy behaviour was no more apparent than in the first months of world war two, when both Menzies and Churchill decided to send the Second Australian Imperial Force’s Eighth Division to Malaya to protect Singapore. The Sixth Division defeated the Italian Army in Libya and Menzies agreed with Churchill to send that division split in halves to Greece and Crete where they were made POW’s by overwhelming numbers of Nazis.
    Our Ninth Division fought Two famous battles that became the turning point of the war at Tobruk And El Alamein. The seventh Division fought against the French Foreign Legion in Syria and then were rushed back to Java and Timor and when they got off the ships they found their weapons and ammo was coming in the next convoy. They therefore joined the Eighth Division as prisoners of the Japanese. If Menzies had been working for Mr Hitler he would have earned an Iron Cross with Diamond Clusters.

    The Ninth Division finally came back to join the reserve CMF (Chocolate Soldiers who had held the Japanese) on the Kokoda track in New Guinea to then Push the Nips back. They were the One Division that formed our last fighting force left standing out of Four divisions from the second war.
    The Ninth Division survived Menzies and the only thing that saved them from defeat and Churchill’s order to sail north to Malaya and the japs, was the ALP’s PM John Curtain ordered the fleet to return to Australia and we looked to the American for protection and away from Churchill who was prepared to leave Australia to the Imperial Japanese Army, to be ‘regained after the war in Europe was won’. Don’t let the Liberals tell you what god like leader, Menzies was , he was a Tamperer and a small minded egotist, who only cared for himself and saw the men he sent to die, as the Scum of the Earth. With the advent Cold War and the post world war intelligence agencies of Britain, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia forming a collaboration known as ‘the five eyes’. Australia, has been told how to think ever since. So Australia had to take our share of Nazi fanatics out of the wreckage of Germany, to bring their knowledge and skills to the task of defeating Communism. The influence of this hidden body of war-criminals in our intelligence community and political class still resonates in attitudes and influence that were once foreign to our culture.
    By 1950 we still had German Italian and Japanese prisoners in custody and Menzies let the Germans stay who wanted to, Italians went home and most applied to come back. The Japs went home and we thought they would be our enemies, deep in our hearts forever. Nazis and Japs were hated universally, for their cruelty, the people that hated them are mostly dead, a handful forgave, the baby boomers were protected from the horror of war, until the fathers succumbed to PTSD.
    Menzies surrounded himself with people who were lacking in the smarts to topple him. They are the people who could simply not accept that democracy requires the rejected party, in opposition, to respect the will of the people’s judgement and prepare for the next election while holding the government to account; but not dying in a ditch before they let any legislation pass without creating the cess-pit we have witnessed over the last sixty odd years. The Liberals sing the same bloody song every time they get kicked out by the people and this is why we have a ‘Saw Tooth’ economic graph to contemplate and no hope for a big Australia, because the people we elect have for seventy years have been stuck with the legacy of the Fat Blow Hard, where the players are now so boring and narrow coming, as they do from university through head office or an electorate office and turn out to be educated idiots with no ambition for or love of country, Just being there is enough.
    Malcolm is behaving as if he is the rebirth of the fat controller.

  10. Barry Thompson

    Bravo Johnlward010.

    Excellent summary of the most over rated politician in our history.

  11. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Barry Thompson. His only claim to any fame is record longevity as Howard’s is second longest. There’s little positive to distinguish either of them except a long string of failure and moral want.

  12. townsvilleblog

    jimSeptember 17, 2016 at 6:29 pm, the double standards are sickening, but what’s more sickening is the apathetic Aussie not being able to see through these things. I get so frustrated when I overhear conversations, or reported conversations on The Guardian site from everyday Aussie people who are frightened to death but don’t see the current Labor Party as a viable alternative. The Major political parties have been losing both votes and membership since the 90s, and to my mind the only way to turn that around is to democratize the ALP, lose the AWU/SDA control of the party, give ‘all’ unions an equal say, and encourage the reformation of a people’s party where every member/organization get a one vote/one value vote for the party leadership both in the parliament and in the party organization.

  13. randalstella

    I also would like to thank johnlward010 for his contributions.
    I mean this in a complimentary sense: they take me back to when ‘society’ was political and not economic.
    This transition has meant the plummet of consciousness – including the marginalisation of the most important political player in the aust. fabric: Unions. They are never going to regain prominence if ‘the debate’ runs on the confections of Economics: budget surpluses and such nasty fantasies.
    Hanson is a diversion from this fading of consciousness. The one political sensitivity that is likely to flourish under neo-liberalism is the most reactionary. She has prominence because of the general recession of open debate on the political consequences of corporatisation – in particular the tweedledee and tweedledum of Lib and Lab on basic issues.
    For example, and it is just one example, an aspirant Leader of the ALP campaigned for re-election this year from under the coattails of Rupert Murdoch’s filthy rag; declaring himself the champion of capitalism. His re-election, never unlikely, was crowed over on this site by Labor hacks – who extol him as the workers’ friend.
    Health and Education need to be run by the State for the sake of everyone, without privilege. You do not get that while the privatising corporate mentality is encouraged, and the fight for the common wealth is deterred at every turn.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Some people quote religious texts to explain life. Personally, I find Mahatma Gandhi has the right idea about most things.

    The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.

    I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

    An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

  15. randalstella

    Would he perhaps like to run in Grayndler?

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good article that hits the nail of Australia’s dilemma on the head: are we a bunch of little scaredy cats or bravehearts, who never say die?

    However, I agree with the commenters advocating for trade protections and industry incentives that promote Australian industry and Australian jobs. I don’t want ChAFTA or the TPP because they will further strangle existing smaller industries and lose more jobs to overseas.

    I want to see bravehearts, at every level of decision-making, designing policies and procedures that free up opportunities to ordinary people seeking opportunities. That means affirmatively employing social demographics that are falling behind in the job stakes. Mature age women, mature age men, graduates, early school leavers, people with disabilities, etc, etc should be actively sought in government-backed employment programs.

    Other employment opportunities are also possible through smart thinking promoting Micro Businesses by providing micro finance to get them moving and sustainable.

    These MFGs and MCLs would seriously assist with reducing unemployment and under-employment, as well as promote diverse homegrown industries which would keep Australian $$ in Australia for our benefit.

  17. Harquebus

    Thank you for that most informative post.
    My opinion of Menzies has for a long time been similar to yours.

  18. crypt0

    johnlward010 …Thank you for your excellent contribution … tells us every thing that Sunday night’s ABC “special” on menzies, as put together by cub reporter john howard, “forgot” to mention.
    For more perspective on the courageous country, Alan Renouf’s book “The Frightened Country” is worth a read.

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