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Day to Day Politics: Bloody hell, did I say that?

Saturday 27 January 2018.

These are extracts from my writing in 2016:

1 I was writing about truth in politics and quoted this as the greatest lie ever told by an Australian politician.

One of most important moments in the life of Menzies must have been when, on 28 April 1965, he lied to the Australian Parliament and people over an alleged call for assistance from the Saigon Regime of General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu as official head of state and Air Marshall Nguyễn Cao Kỳ as prime minister. The first battalion arrived in Vietnam the following month. After March 1966 National Servicemen were sent to Vietnam to fight in units of the Australian Regular Army. Some 19,000 conscripts were sent in the following four years. 521 lost their life. The number of Australian invalid and otherwise victims of the war is still uncertain.

The document carrying the alleged call was never found.

An observation

“Long term government secrecy it doomed to evaporate into long-term lying.”

“Have we reached the point in politics where TRUTH is something that politicians have convinced us to believe rather than TRUTH based on factual evidence, arguments and assertions?”

2 It was November and I was writing about Turnbull’s progress with the NBN.

“Building an NBN for yesterday was never going to be as good as building one for tomorrow.”

“The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of today is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow.”

3 In 2016 inequality was really beginning to be noticed.

“Inequality in all its forms is the greatest moral challenge of our time. Particularly economic Inequality.”

“Never have the rich been so openly brazen.”

4 Talking about my favourite topic.

“In a democracy people are entitled to express their views on any subject. And people like Cory Bernardi should be encouraged and provided with free soap boxes so their thoughts can be heard by the world. That way people will understand the characteristics of an extreme neo-conservative ideology. Then we are entitled to ask why it is that the right of politics attracts these sort of people with such elitist values.”

Eighty-five people control the same amount of wealth as half the world’s population. That is 85 people compared with 3.5 billion.”

“The wealth of the 1 per cent richest people in the world is worth about $US110 trillion, 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.”

“In the US, the wealthiest 1 per cent of the population grabbed 95 per cent of post-financial crisis growth between 2009 and 2012, while the bottom 90 per cent became poorer.”

“The world’s richest 85 people control about $US1.7 trillion in wealth, equivalent to the bottom half of the world’s population.”

“Seven out of 10 people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in 30 years.”

5 Thoughts on Australia Day at the time!

“We celebrate Australia Day with a foreigner as our head of state and a flag that features the symbolism of another nation that speaks of our past and says nothing of our future. It is my hope that the younger generation that follows my passing might correct this.”

“To my friends who keep insisting that we are guaranteed free speech please listen. The Australian constitution does not guarantee it. It only implies it.”

“Could someone please explain to me the difference between a National Party politician and a Liberal one? The NP don’t seem to have any policies of their own let alone implement any. And they vote against things like the NBN that would advantage their constituents.”

6 Sadly this came to pass and you know the result.

“With Barnaby Joyce now an elected member of the House of Representatives this means that when Warren Truss retires, Barnaby will become deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Given the LNP wins a second term of course. God help us.” You know the outcome.

7 I wrote a piece about the affordability of pensions.

“To say that Australia in the future will be unable to afford pensions at the current rate is to also assume that there will be no growth in the economy. And to raise the age to 70 would only create a cohort of unemployed elderly.”

“Who in the construction industry (or any employer of physicality) would employ a 65-year-old when there are plenty of 30-year-old fit men looking for work? The oddity is that the elderly seem to vote for conservative parties whilst it is only the left who have done anything for them. Strange that”

8 At the time Gerry Harvey was voicing his opinion on all manner of things.

“When asked for a generalised opinion retailer Gerry Harvey can only ever give it as he views it through the prism of his cash registers.”

9 A comment on Julie Bishop’s point of view on the judges priorities in a certain court case:

“We had to fight even for the right of dying cancer victims to get a speedy trial. I recall sitting in the WA Supreme Court in an interlocutory hearing for the test cases involving Wittenoom miners Mr Peter Heys and Mr Tim Barrow. CSR was represented by Ms Julie Bishop (then Julie Gillon). (She) was rhetorically asking the court why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying.”

10 Thinking about the environment!

“We pay a high price for the upkeep of our personal health but at the same time think the cost of the upkeep of the planet should be next to nothing.”

11 Abbott was doing his first overseas tour as PM. Here are some international observations:

The Guardian (England) judged him as “politically incorrect to the point of dementia”
New Statesman said Abbott represents “politics at its most crass, exploitative and disturbing”

UK Labour MP Paul Flynn called him “a bigoted airhead.”

The LA Times said he was “scandalised by his prejudices.”

The Sydney Morning Herald said; “Tony Abbott had plumbed new lows in government decency.”

Le Monde thinks he was “sexist and vulgar.”

The influential Huffington Post said “he is simply an idiot.”

12 Writing about the bear pit.

“Question Time is devoid of wit, humor, words of intelligence and those with the eloquence and debating skills to give them meaning. Mostly it embraces a maleness that believes in conflict as a means of political supremacy over and above the pursuit of excellence in argument.”

My thought for the day

“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.”

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11 comments

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  1. Phil

    To borrow an idea from others unknown, I think we should abandon Australia Day until we become a republic with our own head of state, our own flag and a treaty (treaties?) with First Nation people.

    Yes, the 26 January is a lousy choice of date, but the truth is, the conflicting views of a divided society won’t be reconciled by an annual slap up reminder of British colonial ruthlessness and the weeping sores that remain open for the dispossessed First Nation people.

    The cognitive dissonance of the conservative mind stands in stark relief when conservatives, without any sense of irony, use the pejorative “illegal” to smear and disenfranchise people seeking asylum through means other than ‘queuing’ in some hell hole refugee camp. Australia was founded on the basis of a huge lie – terra nullius – and an illegal act – dispossession. Ironic?

  2. townsvilleblog

    I agree with Phil for all the reasons he states on Australia Day. Now mate, Bloody hell, did I say that! Great use of Australian English, but sadly finished off with the yank vaucular “Like Seriously!” Shame mate, shame, only a day after Australia Day. We get so much yank language shoved down our throats from their TV shows, movies and computer games, it is difficult at times to remain Australian with our identity. I remain fighting a rear guard action almost alone it seems.

  3. helvityni

    I too agree with Phil’s sentiments re Australia Day.

    townsvilleblog, I’m starting to dislike the word ‘like’, has it come here all the way from USA…?

  4. John Lord

    Townsvilleblog. Sorry I slipped up badly there.

    I agree with Phil.

  5. Jack Russell

    I think I’d rather not have an Australia Day at all … or any other nationalistic/militaristic hooha that encourages an “us-not-them” mentality. I can’t think of any positives for common good that it has ever achieved – anywhere.

  6. Glenn Barry

    AAH – the performances of Tony Abbott, the man managed to sink below bogan pride into a complete sense of cultural cringe for me.

    In a inversion of the usual aussie taunts of New Zealand, if I was travelling overseas I would feel inclined to identify as a New Zealander just to be associated with somewhere with a progressive government.

    AAH and the Princess Mesothelioma – Ghoulie Bishop, such villainy and so well presented with such a bleak soul

  7. wam

    I read ming’s 1965 speech and I thought that it was pure bullshit but we had been quietly in vietnam for 3 years and there is no doubt he believed what he was saying was the truth. Your unsubstantiated claim that he was lying’ may also be true.

    Phil has an opinion about the ‘lie’ of terra nullius but you, Lord, as an honest man, would be arguing terra nullius was true. You believe in the truth that the Aborigines did not use the land as the english understood. You would recognising that neither did the Aborigines have laws and customs like the english nor were they xstian. Yes, Lord, terra nullius was the truth.

    Remember your youth. Lord? The fun, sport any other F or were you into the the evils of menzies and the poms???

    I doubt if your youth was anything to do with Aborigines as they were invisible in victoria. Of 178 known players of Indigenous Australian heritage that have played in a senior VFL/AFL match only Percy Johnson and Jim Wandin played in the 50s, remember them, Lord???

    Same here, Tblog.
    Gaol has the red line incorrect signal because the yanks mix it up with goal result jail is substituted. I expect it to become too difficult to ascribe two sounds to the letter ‘g’ so jentle jiant, jesture and jender is the future.

    Have a nice day guys! Dolls no longer needed nor heeded?
    ps
    As for the rabbott my facebook post that he is an opus dei so has had an indoctrinationally induced lobotomy attracted some criticism from similarly indoctrinatees

  8. corvus boreus

    On the (United States of) Americanisation of Australian slanguage;
    .
    I am not worried that ‘mate’ is being surplanted by ‘dude’, ‘bro’ and ‘bud’.
    It eliminates terminological confusion between solid friends and breeding couples.

    Similarly, when ‘gaol’ becomes ‘jail’ it does not cause me much consternation or confusion because both spellings essentially mean the exact same thing, a prison term.

    However, the insidious cultural-linguistic trend that really bothers is the shift towards ‘arse’ becoming synonymous with ‘ass’.
    One is a differentiated bodily orifice for the purpose of defecation, the other is a quasi-equine cousin of the donkey.
    Both can sometimes enjoy a vigorous scratch, but there the similarity ends..

    Ps, some yanks, like, totally don’t like ‘like’ either;

  9. helvityni

    You know, I kind of like what Taylor Mali writes…seriously good.

  10. corvus boreus

    helvityni,
    Glad you appreciated.
    Here is another Taylor Mali poem on the subject of ‘what teachers make’;

    Ps, please try to forgive his regional variant pronunciation of the term ‘arse’

  11. helvityni

    Listened some more of Mali, liked them all.

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