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Day to Day Politics: Face to face with opinion.

Friday July 1 2016

One of the most stimulating things about social media is the opportunity it gives all and sundry to participate in a face to face exchange about what is written. The AIMN has many fine writers who write in various styles across many subjects.

It is not they I wish to salute today. It is the readers. Well, more specifically it’s the people who comment. The AIMN has never and will never dissuade people from having an opinion. In fact we encourage it. The only time people are prevented from doing so is when they become derogatory, personally attack the author or are just plainly obscene.

When people comment it’s somewhat akin to a composer having his/her work interpreted by another. A bit like having your work extended, critiqued or varied.

In my own writing I actively encourage comments. I am often genuinely surprised, because no one has an ownership on ideas or righteousness, especially not me, at how thoughtful, insightful and authoritative many comments are.

I’m not always a participator in the conversation believing that I have had my say and prefer to sit back and let others have theirs. I prefer to digest the thoughts of others and allow them to insinuate themselves into my intellect. If I find a need to defend myself I always do.

An observation.

“If you have a point of view, feel free to express it. However, do so with civility. Then your point of view is laced with a degree of dignity.

Mostly I discern comments directed at me as being complimentary, often engaging, always insightful and often challenging. Sometimes people come up with a perspective that my mind hadn’t canvassed and I am immensely grateful. However, one of the downsides of technology is that it has given voice to the nutters but our editor Michael Taylor and his team quickly gives them the short shift.

I have of late also noticed that people seem to be keeping to the thread of an argument rather than going off on a tangent of the own. That has been a major change.

But The AIMN seems to attract a stream of authentic and sincere commentators whose comments are often a story in themselves.

The fact that we are encroaching on 150,000 comments attests to the popularity of giving people the chance to express a view.

So the purpose of this very short piece is to give thanks to those who comment. You form as much a part of this blog as do all the contributing writers are.

Please please please keep your comments coming in.

I have randomly selected a comment from my post ‘Leadership. What’s that?‘ (Wednesday June 29) as an illustration of a, in my view anyway, of a good comment. Now the person who wrote the following just happens to be a fellow thespian with whom I have performed in a couple of comedies. He is known for both his wit and lack of subtlety:

Our economy has been relatively stagnant for some time under these wonderful economic giant brains of the LNP and it goes back to the negativity of Abbott and Hockey mainly.

They continually talked down the economy, played the fear card over and over. This has had a lasting effect on the economy. In fact for the PM and the Treasurer to talk as they did with such negativity, they should be rightly recognised and pilloried for their destructive behaviour.

People are not spending money except for necessities, business is not spending anything more than they need, like essential maintenance. We only need to look in our own local area and talk to people who service the power industry to find this out. In essence people have put things on hold until there is an improvement. It has not come.

There seemed to be a glimmer of hope with ascendancy or Mr. Turnbull but he has turned out to be the Hollow Man. So no improvement in confidence in the Economy as result, next an Election is called. Everyone knows things go into a holding pattern during an election campaign.

Again no spending other than what is a necessity. In the final wash-up we will have endured three years of a negative, do nothing government who are supposedly Adult and great economic managers.

Their answer to our problems is to reelect them for more cuts to services and this is the way we will get out of the rut. This is conventional wisdom. They used the same argument during the GFC.

If we had followed their path we would have suffered far worse consequences during the GFC. The Labor party under Kevin Rudd did something unexpected and it worked.

Our country benefited and did not fall into depression (financially and of spirit). I am not for a minute blinkered in my thinking that all was rosy during this era but in the realm of the economy we fared far better than most countries did during this time and many have still not recovered.

I do not know where the economic brains are in the LNP, I do know the obnoxious Abbott allegedly studied Economics as a Rhodes Scholar (an insult to Economics and the Rhodes foundation). Hockey was and is a buffoon, Matthias Cormann? The wooden front man, I am just waiting for him to say “I’ll be back ” it might actually inject some humor into his presentation.

Scott Morrison, wow what self-belief, incredible and he can talk nonstop, over people, putting words in their mouths, nonstop. He must be able to breathe through his ears. I was going to say his arse but he talks through that as well.”

My thought for the day

“More people are hurt by false praise that honest critique”.

PS: In a democracy the right to free speech in given by the people through the government. Therefore, it should be incumbent on people to display decorum, moderation, truth, fact, balance, reason, tolerance, civility and respect for the other point of view.


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  1. Kizhmet

    Thank you John. I confess I enjoy reading the comments as much as the articles. I have learned much since stumbling across this wonderful site and remain grateful to everyone here. I go to the election tomorrow better prepared than I have been in days gone by.

    Keep up the great work – everyone 🙂

  2. Jaquix

    Thanks John, I appreciate theAIM, and like Kizhmet, have enjoyed the exchange of information. This morning ABC24 ‘news breakfast” made a big thing of the newspaper headlines, all crowing about the “Turnbull victory”, with no mention they only have 2 owners, the majority being just one owner, the ubiquitous Murdoch. So independent reading like theAIM are more and more important than ever. And social media. So big thanks to you John, and theAIM, and the commenters! – you have all helped me stay sane through the last few months of unmitigated Coalition propaganda.

  3. townsvilleblog

    I salute you writers I write letters to editors but am nowhere near any of you, my favorites are you John, Kaye Lee, Victoria, KateM, Trish Corry and to a lesser extent RossLeigh but you are all brilliant writers, if you didn’t write we would have nothing to agree with or comment on, so I take my hat off to all you great writers

  4. Ian Ellis

    Australian politics usually fills me with disgust. So often I note vast numbers of otherwise normal people spouting utter nonsense about political parties, reciting material that is a word perfect replica of what the parties say about themselves. (“The Well Managed Economy” was J W Howard’s descriptive phrase for the LNP. As a French economics periodical awarded this little chap the title – ‘World’s Worst Treasurer” – when Howard was Fraser’s Treasurer, the claim came with zero expert content. Polls tell us that our community actually believe that morons like Hockey and Morrison are competent economists!) Why is it that our community even believe that ‘The Economy’ is a realistic concern of governments anyway?

    “We have a Plan…”, “Jobs and Growth”, “Innovation and Nimbleness” etc., slightly more mature slogans than those of Abbott, have been accepted without question by a rather lazy media.

    About the only refuge from this infantile and dishonest electioneering is to be found here. My thanks to AIM and its erudite and passionate writers.

  5. helvityni

    For whatever it’s worth, I’m rooting for Bill; watching him eat a humble ham sandwich with Annabel in the park, I got an impression of a quietly confident man, who spoke of improving the lot of his fellow country men, especially that of the have nots

    Mal needed props, Lucy and Jack and the rest. It was about me, me, me…The insecurity shone through, it was not about what I can do for the country, it was about what you can and MUST do for me.

  6. Anomander

    I just want to hope most voters are able to recall how divisive and shambolic the past three years have been. The Coalition have dismantled all manner of social structures, slashed hundreds of thousands of jobs, destroyed whole industries, reduced our economy from its top ranking to one of the worst performing, divided the nation over critical issues such as climate change, defunded health, made education less accessible and affordable, attacked our hard fought rights and entitlements, subsidised polluters and big business, attacked the most disadvantaged and diminished our children’s future.

    Three more years of these policies and there will be nothing left to salvage from our once great nation.

  7. Rich

    I’m glad there’s a little bit of sanity left in the world of Politics…
    It’s called AIM

  8. stephentardrew

    Though busy AIMN is one of my very favourite news sources I much admire. Thanks heaps John,Michael and contributors for keeping me sane.

  9. Freethinker

    Thank you John and the AIMN team for keeping this wonderful site going strong.
    Sites like this help us learning from each others and be informed in a non bias manner.
    I am doing my best to promote the site.
    Perhaps, one day we will be able to have a small non bias news section here so we can bypass the ones that have been deteriorated and not longer are a reliable source of information.

  10. michael lacey

    I do enjoy your Day to Day! It is always one of first look ups! Cheers to all independent media it really helps shape and mold a fairer more thoughtful country!

  11. marwill10

    I always read the AIM but only comment infrequently. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in my point of view. Because of this article John, I will try and interact more.

    You spoke of Joe Hockey. He is the man who made me feel completely worthless with his lifters and leaners, so called budget repair policies.

    Even though I had worked and paid taxes for nearly 40 years, life took an unexpected twist, as it is prone to do, and I found myself on the age pension. That was bad enough, not being able to have any social life at all after paying rent and living expenses, but to be called a leaner, with the intimation it would be better for the country if people on welfare all popped off, affected me greatly. And still does. Luckily for me, I have moved in with family, so my financial position has improved, but I still well up with tears whenever I think of that horrid man.

  12. helvityni

    marwill10, Hockey was an incompetent Treasurer, but he was not the most horrid; most of the truly horrible are still there, minus Brough, and of course Abbott, ready for any mischief. How tense he and Marge looked at the Turnbull launch. I almost felt sorry for him.

  13. Jack Russell

    Adding my appreciation as well – for the articles and their authors, for the readers and commenters, for the opportunity to participate myself, for the broadening of my own undertanding, and for the sense of sharing in something larger than my own microcosm.

    My heartfelt thanks to all for the decency and sincerity so freely given.

  14. Kaye Lee

    I would also like to express my appreciation of the entire AIMN family

    To Michael and Carol who provide the venue and who work tirelessly to maintain standards of civil discourse

    To the authors whose insightful articles have taught me so much

    To you John whose 2013 Election Diary inspired me to start writing

    And to all of the commenters who also have taught me so much and who have shared their knowledge and life experiences, enriching us all.

    I have said before, it is like inviting a whole heap of interesting people over for dinner without having to cook and clean.

    To those who have hesitated to comment before, never think that your opinion is not worthy. Every person has something to offer and it is only by listening to each other and working together that we can hope to make this country a safe and happy home for all who live here.

    Whatever happens tomorrow, I am encouraged by knowing there are many people out there who will continue to seek truth and to demand better.

    Thank you all.

  15. sandrasearle

    I also concur with everyone of the above comments. I also don’t comment all of the time but I do share this site and its contributors with the general public (facebook & twitter) every day. I’m just so grateful that TAIM is here – thanks everyone.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Information exchange is what it is all about sandrasearle. Keep the bastards honest.

  17. Kyran

    “An observation.
    “If you have a point of view, feel free to express it. However, do so with civility. Then your point of view is laced with a degree of dignity.“”
    After reading your article, I happened upon an article on ABC, which caused me to look up ‘serendipity’.
    When I looked that up, I came across a reference, “he told his correspondent, were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of”.
    Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. Yeah, it was wiki, my bad.
    The article on ABC was about ‘Wicked Campers’. And Leyonhjelm. And Chasers. The irony was that the woman, abused by Leyonhjelm on twitter (or tweeter, or whatever it is) sought to establish a boundary. She made the observation;
    “I’m used to abuse … but when it comes from someone in high office, someone who is a representative of the people, a civic leader, that is a little bit more surprising,” she told the ABC.
    Leyonhjelm, a Bradbury Gold entry to the senate, jumped to his own defense. A defense of the indefensible.
    “Senator Leyonhjelm told the ABC: “Twitter is not a debating chamber, so this language was entirely appropriate for the medium. Standing up to authoritarians is my job, so it certainly won’t hinder my chances of re-election.”
    The article is well worth a look, if for no other reason than a love of farce.'s-rights-activist-'stfu'-on-twitter/7557830
    This all caused me to goggle things like “effects of negative political advertising” and “negative political campaigning”. The impression I am left with is that the ‘negative aspect’ serves only to lower the bar, where the negative enhances only the most base of fears and prejudices. It came as no surprise to me that the hate crimes being reported in England have risen. The amount of the increase did surprise me;
    I cannot, and don’t want to, comprehend the notion that negativity supports anything other than fear and division. If there is a problem, you identify it and fix it. If there is no problem, there is no problem. Like yourself, I am optimistic about the future. And grateful that civility may return to the discourse. Thank you, Mr Lord. Thank you AIMN. A formidable forum. Take care

  18. cornlegend

    Kaye LeeJuly 1, 2016 at 11:47 am
    Good onya Kaye Lee for all the articles and being the online encyclopaedia of fact on all things OZ politics
    Whatever happens tomorrow, I am quite content that I have given it all and I’m ready to accept the voters verdict.
    The result however will leave me with 2 paths in life so I am a bit anxious 😀

  19. jimhaz

    [PS: In a democracy the right to free speech in given by the people through the government. Therefore, it should be incumbent on people to display decorum, moderation, truth, fact, balance, reason, tolerance, civility and respect for the other point of view.]

    All good except for the word “respect”. These days (and perhaps in all days) there is too much “respect” for insane ideologies.

    Be human and respect and disrespect. One needs emotional involvement to change viewpoints and while disrespect will normally make people defensive (as in close them off from a more realistic viewpoint), I have not seen any evidence that respect for respect sake works (it is sycophants attitude) – one needs disrespect to cause investigative effort and reflection.

  20. etnorb

    Another big thanks from me John & all the other article writers too! Since “discovering” the AIMN sit about 12 months ago, it has almost always delighted, informed, challenged & infuriated (sometimes!) me, & has often changed my point of view on–mostly–matters “political”! I have always tried to express my opinions in a positive, constructive manner, but have sometimes had to “blaspheme” in my comments, when I felt “exasperated” enough! Please, to all the AIMN commentators, keep up the excellent work & please continue to provide interesting, factual, thought-provoking, & (often), hilarious articles.

  21. The AIM Network

    We can only concur, John. Everybody here on The AIMN team (and there are many of us) are ‘blown away’ by the great commenters we have here. Not only are we lucky to have a great team of writers, but great readers and commenters too. Thank you to all of you.

  22. @RosemaryJ36

    I regularly post the AIMN articles to both Facebook (it beats pictures of restaurant meals!) and Twitter and laud AIMN to the skies to anyone willing to discuss politics with me. I, too, write many letters to the local paper, many of which are published. One reader of that paper has decided that I am a Marxist Leninist import from the class ridden UK and ought to shut up. I so disagree! If we are going to re-create a democracy then we MUST have a voice!

  23. jim

    Great stuff again I am more then ever convinced that the media in our country aided in getting this lying Liberal government in to power in 2013 and they are doing it again the Lying media are abetting the lying Liberals into power again ie. Murdoch fairfax even “our”ABC show blatant Liberal biased. I ask the Media to stop destroying our democracy and our country enough is enough this issue angers me so much…
    On a lighter note thanks to this site and it’s editors for helping me vent my anger/views, VOTE LNP Last we must.

  24. Dice

    “…respect for the other point of view.”

    I can respect a person, but certainly not some points of view.
    It may not be a person’s fault though, that they have been lead to believe something ridiculous, or even atrocious. They are still human.

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell
    “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain

    One can tell the truth politely, in respect for productive discourse. I wish that was enough to change minds. I fear it is largely ineffective. Cognitive bias is involuntary. Respect the person… but the “view” has to *earn* it.

  25. wam

    the aimn has been a learning process and I expected more that I was able to understand. Clearly the work of truth and accountability is just beginning for this network. Kaye and Michael are so far in front of the political labor machine that one can only shake the head and hope for better things in the future.
    I have tried my best in exhorting the labor party to arm the grass roots with the knowledge to answer the slogans but as I am not a joiner I have no idea what labor had planned at the grass roots.
    The last two days have been depressing in that all media have been showing bias toward turnball both by positive comments for/by him and by negative comments about labor.
    lord you have been truly magnificent in you efforts and, apart from my 60 year rant against the treatment of Aborigines bursting against you, your efforts were admirable and deserve congratulations from all of the readers.
    I have no doubt shorten and plibersek did their best but in my opinion they had neither the focus, the plan nor the vigour needed to combat the history of lies.
    ps crow I love you.

  26. Jaquix

    Wam, its very difficult to get your message across with Murdoch/media brick wall, but Shorten has used Facebook and every town hall/presser to do so. With polls so close it shows he has done well. Certainly miles better than Fizza, who has got away with mesmerising everyone. That wont last. If he “wins”, he wont stand up well to his party and a mixed senate, so its going to be interesting.

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