Day to Day Politics: 2017- A deplorable year and it just keeps on getting worse
Thursday 30 November 2017
There I was at breakfast. “Where has 2017 gone?”, I said to my wife. They say it goes quicker as you get older and I can testify to the truth of it. I must have written over 300 pieces for The AIMN this year. Goodness knows how many comments from our loyal supporters the blog has acquired.
As I began to jot down events, people and things that mattered, or somehow didn’t, my judgement was that it had been a manifestly horrible year for the world and its inhabitants. We haven’t progressed in terms of making it a better place. The young are so busy discovering themselves, the world they live in and their place in it that they are apt to neglect the fact that it is they who are the custodians of tomorrow.
The old are tired, concerned and disillusioned. Those in-between are angry and brainwashed on capitalism’s greed, still unable to distinguish between what they want and what they need.
Wars are still being fought by men who have never grown up. Any meaningful resolution to the problems in the Middle East (and elsewhere for that matter) will not be resolved without the transformation of the minds of men. Millions upon millions of men women and children have been made refugees as a result of the cruel intensity of continuous bombing that creates even more.
In Australia we are still putting refugees in jail (some for up to five years) even though they haven’t committed a crime.
Answers seem non-existent so we plod on in our ignorance thinking that the unwinnable struggles only possible victory “peace,” seemingly conceals itself in the labyrinth of the hearts of men.
All of this fighting has its origins in religion and I have come to the conclusion that one of the truly bad effects religion (any religion) has on people is that it teaches that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.
Besides those who have lost their lives to perpetuate the hard-headedness of man’s inhumanity to man, this year has seen the death of truth, and the subversion of the English language as we understand it.
The new norm has become “take me seriously but not literally”.
In 2016 a new threat emerged in the name of Donald Trump. 2017 proved that It will take time to digest and process the fact that the citizenry of America either in their wisdom or lack of it, elected as their leader a sick deluded man of no redeeming features, full of racial hatred, bile and misogyny.
A deluded pathetic liar and sexual predator with 16 sexual complaints against him who I would have thought unsuitable for the highest office in the world. A person who sees complex problems and impregnates them with populism and implausible black and white solutions.
His leadership is beginning to affect every country in every corner of the globe as he implements the derisory policies he spruiked during the campaign, from international relations to climate change.
At a time when what the world needs is less nationalism and more internationalism we witnessed the aftermath of the election of Trump, the British problems associated with its exit from the European Union, and the return of Pauline Hanson. They were but a reflection of the dissatisfaction people have with institutionalised, neoliberal politics: The politics of the past.
The electorate has shown that it is not in the mood for parties who ignore their concerns. Concerns it has to be said perpetrated by a propagandist Murdoch press.
In Australia we have a democracy in crisis. It is not a democracy of the people for the people, noble and transparent – for the common good. We have government corrupted by the ambition of politicians crawling over each other to obtain self-gratification through self-entitlement. Service is but a forgotten word.
The now self-serving Government under Malcolm Turnbull has been all but dysfunctional, lurching from one crisis to another trying to retain power but the stench of it still lingers in the halls of Parliament. Corruption like rust spreads itself throughout Parliament.
It is a government who has abdicated its responsibility to make decisions. Take the case of marriage equality. It completely abdicated its responsibility and asked the public to make judgements it was elected to arrive at. Having said that, and despite who takes credit for the achievement, equality now exists. Love hath no gender. The people spoke with open hearts but I have also concluded they spoke with protested anger at the abysmal governance of our nation.
A government with no imagination with a Deputy Prime Minister who is prone to brain explosions and is intellectually out of his depth leading a party with too much power relative to its vote, and a long-term hatred for its senior coalition partner.
An Immigration Minister who places innocent people in incarceration for life to deter others from seeking asylum. The cruelty is astonishing. Mind you, he walked out on Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generation too.
A Treasurer who talks down to people, always with an answer given with raised voice and questionable reason. He and his government have long criticised Labor’s debt and deficit when in power but it’s almost certain that the December MYEFO update will show that its performance has been unremarkable, yet it wants to give enormous tax cuts to the big banks who don’t deserve it and are fighting against a Royal Commission to disclose their abhorrent behaviour toward their clients.
He is also a Treasurer totality ideologically inflexible. So much so that the Australian taxpayer will continue to fund people with many negatively geared properties to the tune of $7billion. Everyone knows it is just plain wrong.
It is a government full of MPs ideologically unrepresentative of its party’s original philosophical platform, full of right-wing American Tea Party Republican types who don’t believe in science, are racist in their outlook and intent on legislating people’s right to hate one another.
A government where corruption and incompetence flourish. Internal fighting is rife, with leadership devoid of any vision for the country. It simply governs for those who have when inequality is rife, and opportunity scarce. It continually looks back to a time when people knew their place and occupied it, never realising that the danger in looking back too often is that you lose the will to go forward.
Malcolm Turnbull obtained the office of Prime Minister with a calculated mixture of personal charm, reasonableness, and consummate diplomacy. He presented a façade of calm confidence and understanding in stark contrast to Abbott, the man he replaced, who showed all of the traits of someone who has lost control of his thought processes.
Yet in 2017 Abbott – fully aware of his motives – took nastiness and self-righteousness to another level degrading our Parliament, his party, and our feeble democracy along the way.
As it turned out we elected a hypocrite in Turnbull who was prepared to give up all that we thought he stood for, for the sake of power. He was to learn that power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s well-being for the sake of it. He has ended up as a puppet to the party’s extreme right unable as a leader to bring the warring factions together.
For his part Abbott has taken it upon himself to recreate Turnbull in his own image and in his frequent interludes into Prime Ministerial business via any interview he can get, more or less, gives a commentary on Turnbull’s conversion to his policies.
Even yesterday Abbott, unbelievable as it may seem, was still letting loose with his outrage:
“One of the reasons why the public is so turned off politics and politicians generally is they see all of this… and they do get that people are acting dishonorably, that people are behaving badly,”
“All of this dishonour has got to stop. The era of the political assassin has to end.”
“We’ve had it now over the last dismal decade. It’s damaged both sides of politics, it’s damaged our country and it’s got to stop. It must, must stop.”
The worst offender speaks the loudest
We are expected to put to one side the old Malcolm Turnbull and embrace the new one with unbridled fondness. The trouble is that ”when we look at Malcolm Turnbull, we hear Tony Abbott”.
In the Information Age, those who control the dissemination of news have more power than government. The Australian media has delivered us yet another year of biased mediocre propaganda telling us that poverty is the fault of the victim but wealth comes from virtue and both are the natural order of things. Unregulated capitalism is still king. The economic merry-go-round will continue unabated. Drip-down theory will never be obsolete so long as the rich get rich but the poor never get richer.
All in all 2017 has been an absolutely disastrous year for the world and for Australia. With Trump in power we can only look forward with trepidation. Uncertainty will rule for some time to come or until such time as men and women of intellectual sagacity, wisdom and judiciousness come forward prepared to turn institutionalized philosophical politics on its head and govern for the common good.
We are in the throes of great change and there is a revolution in the making. People are both confused and concerned about national identity, equality, the place of religion, climate change, over population, open or closed society, nationalism versus internationalism and why the rich are becoming absurdly richer at their expense.
My thought for the day
“The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of scientific fact, truth and reason, never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation”.
PS: Sorry, I forgot to mention the energy crisis or the NBN.
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It is a pity that greed continues to pillage the planet. It will stop. There is only so much.
“All of this fighting has its origins in religion and I have come to the conclusion that one of the truly bad effects religion (any religion) has on people is that it teaches that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.”
Well bloody said. I agree, religion is a blight on humanity.
I spent part of yesterday wondering which of many is our most immediate threat. My conclusion was, complacency.
Excellent summary. Well done John Lord.
“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.” — Frank Zappa
Believing in any Religion is outsourcing your own mind for a fairy-tale.
Read and weep.
Good Morning John. Where indeed has 2017 gone.
Maybe I’m the perpetual optimist but I have noticed that as a nation we are starting to question aspects of our Constitutional arrangements and some are even suggesting a piecemeal approach to changes and improvements, starting with a referendum on section 44 : surely an unnecessarily and costly approach to constitutional reform when a comprehensive overhaul is needed.
At the same time we have another push for Rights but some want to just focus on religious rights rather than the broader question of human rights, so dismally lacking in our constitutional arrangements.
As has been noted on many occasions, we in Australia have no Bill of Rights, our rights are implied rather than expressed in our Constitution and this is to our national detriment.
Maybe it’s time we brought together all these strands and set up a commission to review and update our Constitution and consider the incorporation of a Bill of Rights, followed by a referendum.
It was quite instructive to see the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea recently review the indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island and draw upon their relatively new Constitution to clearly demonstrate that it is unconstitutional for people to be detained in circumstances where they had not been charged or convicted of any wrong-doing : surely a fundamental human right but one that we fail to recognise in our Constitution or our polity.
Had we an effective Bill of Rights the citizens of this country would have a guarantee of equality before the law and guess what ? We wouldn’t have had all this Hoo Ha about marriage equality as the original Howard amendments to the Marriage Act would have been struck down.
Once the momentum for a Bill of Rights gets underway there will be nothing to stop it and this I see as the next real challenge for our democracy.
On a positive note, I was quite encouraged to see the Queensland Labor Party returned to office despite a vicious campaign by News Corp and, by the Queensland electorate, an astute rejection of the One Nation Flim-Flam.
A sad read today, Lord!
Your musings are exacerbated by:
Trump’s retweeting of jayda fransen.
A thoroughly nasty but frequent intruder to my facebook via the rabbottians and hansonites. I used to send them to Tanya and shorten in 2013 trying to get them motivated to attack the rabbott through them but carpe diem is not labor’s style
The whitehouse supports the retweeting with a rabid hypocrisy ‘who cares if the tweet is fake because the threat is real’.
How about giving your thought a miss and do an educating, positive and negative truth, you learnt during your day?
ps we alone of the white countries are without a bill of rights
sam is short
sam is muslim
sam is a labor dickhead
sam has gone
Are these racist comments?
And now I see that 2017 is all but rounded out with yet another backflip – PM Mal is announcing a Royal Commission into banks after all. But that has nothing to do with his parlous political situation – the banks have pleaded with him to set up a RC. Would I be too skeptical to even suspect that the banks will also write the Terms of Reference for Mal, Scott and Matthias?
John Lord, quote”The old are tired, concerned and disillusioned. Those in-between are angry and brainwashed on capitalism’s greed, still unable to distinguish between what they want and what they need.”
John,it appears to me after reading the article that you are in both groups, the old and the ones in-between.
Join the club John, but IMO the year, regarding human behavior is as bad as all the previous ones, the only difference is that we are more informed.
Malcolm Turnbull announces banking royal commission after big four call for inquiry to restore public faith
Just 24 hours ago he said that his government will not do it!
What a farce! He has to go.
An excellent summary to date John Lord. The year is still young for still more in the offing now doubt. Dastyari was booted from his Deputy chief whip job. Still turnbull wont sack various ministers on the right. Ms Cash for one a consistently appalling Minister. So yes the big Four banks demand to be investigated. Fearing various outcome that will tarnish their already tarnished (forever I might add) reputations of we the people. Turnbull and scomo have now jumped up this morning. Damage control, be part of it, embrace a Royal Commission into Banks and their other misdeeds. Better to show they (banks) are willing than be dragged. Kicking n screaming. Think we all know the big four will not come out well. Even if they try to control the scope of the RC fro the jump off point. Bring on 2018. HEadline “Rich bloke announces enquiry into self and rich mates”
So Senator Sam will go under the political bus for suggesting to a Chinese businessman that it’s likely his phone is being tapped. Imagine the surprise that came from the National who well understands that in China all forms of electronic communication is closely monitored usually by multiple agencies.
That Senator Sam ‘passed on’ what would already be well known by any and all Chinese businessmen operating here and elsewhere in the Western world is probably a good reason to sack him. On the grounds of extreme naivety. And useless info.
Any working person or pensioner who gave them the benefit of the doubt at last years election must surely have been financially attacked enough by now to change their vote and put the LNP second last on the next ballot paper, just ahead of PHON.
Assisted dying for the terminally ill.
Women’s voices (and a few men) being heard like never before on bullying, intimidation and sexual predation.
South Australia progressing with renewables.
Anna P re-elected State Premier – not perfect but better than alternative.
… we’re doomed, I tells ya…
Wages at the low point in history
Health care down
Old people care down
More expensive education
Catastrophic situation for the environment
Human rights worse than ever
Treatment of our Aborigines people worse.
Cost of living and housing up
Assisting the terminally ill lost by one vote in NSW
At world level better not start because even a nuclear war can be on the cards
Terrorism in the increase
I can go and on to offset the vert tiny gains.
Yes, the gains ARE tiny, so why not just give up?
No diannaart but people have to change the attitude of “No worries … she’ll be right, mate” a laid back attitude to life, an attitude of not trying to rise the bar.
The other attitude is “I am Ok,bugger you Jack” which cannot be tolerated any more.
I know well that you are not in the above categories but we have to accept that far to many are.
Making people aware that be conformed that times are bad, but can be worse will no help at all.
We do out bit here and there are many groups that are active to improve the situation, perhaps more than before but we cannot bring our arms down.
Now I’m off to do the weekly grocery shop – with no one to moan about being a “trolley pusher” for which I am profoundly grateful.
I realise my closing comment refers to another thread, but could not resist and I must get going.
IMO, time/ date is totally relevant in todays news and should be displayed all Political Video News on all stations by
Law, a time stamp on all news should be mandatory when it was recorded and by whom if applicable.
This is our Democracy at stake here and IMO. MSM stinks. Corporate elections have got to go.
Trembles has bent so far backwards he can now stick his between his legs and give himself a blow job.
Penny Wong brought up a very good point about Sam Dastyari…..
“[From the reports it appears] that national security information, or information from national security agencies has made its way into the public. I would trust, given the history of such matters, given the legislative framework which applies to such matters, that Senator Brandis as the attorney-general will be as persistent and determined to find out how that has occurred as he has to point the finger at Senator Dastyari.”
“What about Andrew Robb who as the Minister for Trade came up with a China Free Trade Agreement that provides nearly unlimited access to Chinese workers into this country, no consideration of Australian jobs in that agreement, and then as soon as he finished in Parliament he goes and works for a Chinese company.”
And I just love the way Turnbull is spinning the backflip on the RC. It’s not because the banks did anything wrong, it’s because of the “political environment”.
“I think people are recognising that the nature of the political environment has created a sense of inevitability about an inquiry.”
And another good one…..
““The Hon. Nick Minchin has been temporarily appointed to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.”
Gawd, if the media can tape Sam Dystari advising a visitor from China to watch what he says – then may we please have an intrepid hacker into our pollies daily dairies, can’t be that difficult.
Re bank RC: Kelly ODwyer just now on ABC has explained clearly how Tumbril has “taken control of the situation” and his bank inquiry will only take a year or so to make its ‘ unenforceable recommendations’….
On listening to Turnbull announce a Royal Commission into Banks (and other financial services), I wondered how he managed to convince the banking execs to write him a nice note asking for a RC?? The promise of a stable government, finally? The assurance that only 12 months and $75M to be spent, as opposed to $100M on SSM Survey? Yet to see the Terms of Reference, but I suspect it will amount to more tea and biscuits with Mal.
I’m feeling like oliver twist, cap in hand asking for more. And the “master” ( govts ) scouring down at me, whilst they enjoy their banquet.
Greed gains momentum as the benefits grow, and those same folks garnish like minded friends. The “top end of town” is one such group, a group very very closed.
Tongue in cheek. LNP demonstrating firm leadership in anticipation of the impending New England & Bennelong By-Elections and a new Pm next yr. Are they hoping most of will forget the LNP haven’t achieved much under abbott and turnbull ?? “Quick’ look over there, good firm assertive decisive government.”..where exactly can you give us a hint. some think music would be nice. Some Soothing.Mozart perhaps and many more months of LNP mis- management, finger pointing. Hiding Ministers who fail consistently to deliver. Michaelya Cash springs to mind, one of many !!!!!!!
I now see our ilustrious Senators have “invited” Dastyari back to further explain himself before the Senate and be subjected to ridicule by such virtuous Senators as Brandis, Canavan, McDonald, O’Sullivan, Hanson, Cash, Bernadi, etc. This becomes interesting because the question now needs to be asked whether Brandis will order the AFP to investigate how the recording was leaked – as he should. If so, Dastyari can claim the same “cannot comment as it is under police investigation” gag that Cash has been using to avoid taking responsibility. What odds that Bookends will not find an AFP investigation on this issue warranted.
Please don’t give up! Did you listen to the maiden speech of Jordan Steele-John (I hope I have got his name right). I cried tears of joy! He is younger than my grandchildren, but I know he will speak for their generation. What an intellect! I look forward to hearing him make mince meat of the other (insert any derogatory term) politicians.
The late great Richie Benaud ‘A quick look at the card today. Turnbull opening the bowling from both ends for some time now. Electing to bowl his offy leg wristy finger spinners, a brave move that. His strategy, am not sure really, neither is he. Is trying to get someone, anyone, out for anything sometime soon, including himself or Minister Cash or? Will opt for the risky ROC not knowing the outcome, The LNP have a decision to make, well several actually…… as rain could stop play permanently, for them. So, back with more from Tony Grieg on the state of the wicket and his missing car keys” Fade, queue Ch 9 cricket theme. Richie looking non-plussed at the monitor. Jacket a nice shade of off-white cream beige :).
Roma Guerin. Hope the new Greens Senator can acquit himself well. HE will show the ner-do-wells in the senate like dear george and caravan how to behave and do their damn jobs. Not impersonate highly paid elected senators and grandstanding everyday
Malcolm Turnbull 9:31am on the bank RC backflip: “Obviously, there’s been a lot of changes in the political environment here. We’ve had, we got two by-elections under way, the numbers are down in the House of Representatives, there is, you know, you all understand the political circumstances”
Scott Morrison 2:14pm when asked if the banking RC was happening because of changed political circumstances – that being two by-elections and a Nationals revolt.: “No, that’s not what we were saying and that’s not the impression that was sought to be given. The Labor party and Bill Shorten in particular has been a fraud and a fake on this, he has played politics with this, he has damaged the economy over this and he should be held accountable for that, but the Government will get on with the job of government.”
Of course it’s Labor’s fault. Nothing to do with the countless bank scandals, nothing to do with the private member’s bill about to be introduced by his own backbench, nothing to do with decreased numbers on the floor, nothing to do with the polls showing the vast majority of Australians wanted an inquiry.
The vast amount of australians want leadership with vision and gonads.
But Kaye Lee, “we are getting on with the job”, “we are calmly going about providing the good government the people elected us to deliver”. And we are so good at that that we can afford to cancel a House of Reps sitting for a full week – the only legislation we have to pass before the Christmas recess is the SSM Bill – there are no other matters of importance to the Nation that need to be discussed. (But we might do a bit of Dastyari and Labor bashing in the Senate to fill in time.)
The announced royal commission into the financial industry sector… Watch them go at our industry super funds. IPA and co. have been squealing for a chance to break them
Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t get out in front of something even if it was travelling backwards, he’d more likely get runover by walking the wrong direction and getting hit from behind.
Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t do the right thing if it was the only possible action to be taken, instead he would choose to do NOTHING.
Turnbull didn’t choose to establish a Royal Commission into the banks – the choice was thrust upon him with the decision already made.
the IPA have been beavering away on Blackchain. The next ‘big thing’ in the finance world. 3 of their brightest stars have via Melb Uni, been pumping out pro Blockchain ideas. Getting in on the ground floor Chris Berg. All about money isn’t it. IPA Vote 1 LNP senate, gets you an IPA camp follower. So many to choose from now. Mitch Fifield, James Patterson and the the new President Of the Senate Scott Ryan. Add in Senator James McGrath. variously others inc Senator Cash, Senator Abetz and Tony Abbott. Australia’s Senate “Your branch of the IPA”
The young Greens Senator may have a short stay if allegations Peter Wicks of Wixxyleaks/Jacksonville/Kathy Jackson fame alludes to in his tweet to Di Natale
May be more to come on this
Peter Wicks @madwixxy
Retweeted Richard Di Natale
What about this @RichardDiNatale
Sadly kaye labor didn’t consider taking the robb errings to task by comparing the nz free trade deal when people like me were appalled at the trade union jobs that were available to chinese workers with no check on qualifications or any competency checks.
His part-time $750000 started the friday before the election. He traded on his illness and showed himself to be a sharp greedy operator.
I thought the strategy of a week off was brilliant when it was announced, The members of his site said he was weak.
Wonder how they feel now that he has and the son of a small car have squared it with the banks?
Perhaps he has, already, done a deal with di’s boys for an amendment and labor wedged again
Re China, hasn’t Bishop been reported as accepting half a million from some Chinese front?
As for China, we know it is quietly interfering in the Adani process and we must hope that it learns that its interference is not welcome.
As for the bank inquiry, that’s Turnbull retreating behind the smokescreen offered by the Dastyari nonsenses. I think Mr Bean, regardless of factional affiliations, is an author of his own misfortunes, although the Dastyari beat up is reminiscent of the Michaelia Cash fiasco of a month ago- no flies, but once again you see where they’ve been.
Interesting idea floated on the Drum a moment ago that the government is actually glad to get the inquiry because it can get at the superannuation funds to coerce managers to more favourable its own aspirations.
You see, to me it gets damaging when shows like the Drum leap into the opening to raise things like factional influences, such as the NSW ALP right being pro China but the Vics, esp under Conroy, being pro yank.
It makes people wonder and it would apply to both parties, what rationales are employed to arrive at policy making.
There have been other great maiden speeches as well. Not as nearly as many great politicians. I doubt that the person you mentioned will be any different.
Talk is easy and cheap.
And Peter Dutton have done it again, he cannot help himself:
Peter Dutton says royal commission a chance to investigate union links to super funds
Yes there’s any number of Union links to super funds. Indeed, they boast about same. And with good reason. Shit Dutton’s thick as is Hadley.
Want to see who will Chair this RC and the Terms of Reference
Here are the draft terms of reference
These are interesting…..
4, The Commission is not required to inquire, or to continue to inquire, into a particular matter to the extent that to do so might prejudice, compromise or duplicate:
a) another inquiry or investigation; or
b) a criminal or civil proceeding.
And, the Commission may choose not to inquire into certain matters otherwise within the scope of this Inquiry, but any such decision will be the Commission’s, alone.
Thanks for the link KL except it’s for subscribers only. But never mind.
While Terms of Reference can be crucial, it’s the meaning(s) the Chair (and assistants give to same) that really matters.
(Now read your latest post) Plenty of ‘escape’ clauses for both an active or compliant commissioner. Who will It be?
Any odds that Gillian Doreen Triggs will get the gig? As I understand it, she has time on her hands these days.
Maybe John Quiggin? What about … M Roberts – he of the empirical specialisation?
Perhaps it matters not? It seems that Turnbull is toast.
Smiles. If there HAS to be a RC, sabotage it with shoddy terms of reference. I’ve watched Turnbull and Morrison during the day and really puzzle at their strange approach to an inquiry into the banks. If things are as is claimed, what is the worry?
Being more serious – maybe Henry Isaac Ergas will get the gig? Or Judith Sloan? Adam Creighton? Robert Gottliebsen?
its a gig for some over the hill right winger just itching to get back into old habits. Whether this apratchik knows much about banks is immaterial says he cycnically, sorry. But bronnie bishop, would she be a thrill to behold…NOT