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Day to Day Politics: Has the far right reached its pinnacle?

Sunday 2 July 2017

I need to find a starting point and it is when in 1981 the American people appointed a second-rate actor as its 40th president.

Ronald Reagan, during his term in office unleashed, probably unwittingly, the forerunner of what we call neo-conservatism. In opening the political door to religious fundamentalism a new conservatism started to evolve. One that incorporated church and state rather than its separation. Religious nutters infiltrated conservative politics, giving way to the modern Republican Party, neo-conservatism and The Tea Party.

Along the way the American dream of individual freedom, free speech and wealth accumulation was fed into capitalism’s hunger for growth at all cost.

The evangelical churches embraced a gospel of wealth and preached it from their pulpits across the world and the mega churches came into being. Give and it will be given back to you, the Bible said. Australia embraced it with gusto.

A lady with a bad hair-do came along as if to confirm that the world was about to go down a path that would see in just over just a few decades the wealthy become rich beyond measure. Thatcher put the worker in his place.

The far right would have untold power. The poor and middle-class would unwittingly serve the building of wealth and privilege.

Now let’s come forward those few decades and see what the conservative/capitalist experiment has given us.

There is no doubt that greed rules. “Greed is good” and it can only be obtained via the excesses of unrestricted capitalism and conservative ideology.

The reader doesn’t need me to produce statistical data to prove that the top 1 per cent have more wealth than the rest of us put together.

And the reader doesn’t really need me to prove just how much corruption there is in the world, that the GFC crisis was born of greed and that the world suffered enormously because of it.

Greece is but one example. A country in which the wealthy thought it their right over many years, not to pay tax.

Along came George Bush and he gave three trillion dollars in tax cuts to wealthy Americans. When asked why, he answered that they had given him the Presidency. Later he spent another three trillion on a war in which he told the biggest porky in contemporary American history to justify it.

Everywhere you look you see the rise of the far right; in France, Australia, Germany and Italy. People flock to them in protest because no one will listen to them. They latch onto the Trumps of this world as the avenue for their protest. They know he is an idiot but he will speak for them.

Nor do you need me to tell you that the political system is corrupt and we all suffer for it. So also are our financial institutions, our banks, our trade unions and the corporate world.

You don’t need me to tell you just how much all this is based on racism. Xenophobia is the right’s greatest friend.

In Australia our very democracy is under threat from a government that is extremist in its views. A self-serving government that has a hypocrite as a leader. A government that places capitalism before environmentalism.

In 2014 it proved beyond doubt that it wanted the poor to contribute more to the wealth of the rich and privileged. Its budget of that year was universally condemned as the unfairest ever ever.

His predecessor of course did more to damage the institutions of our democracy than any other. People are angry at anything and everything.

The people have experienced all the bullshit, the lying and some have already expressed their attitude by walking away from the system altogether.

Others are fed up with all the sanitised political gratuitous rhetoric that does nothing more than insult our intelligence. It’s been going on for far too long and people are up for a protest. We in Australia are often slow to see these things but when we do look out.

What we are seeing worldwide is people ‘protesting’. Protesting at their treatment. More often than not they are ignorant of the facts and are just protesting against anything. They just want their voice to be heard.

For nine years now we have been living with Labor’s self-indulgent leadership wrangles and the Coalition far right ‘born to rule’ mentality.

Every time you read a newspaper you see how corrupt Australian society has become.

I believe that scandal after political scandal has at last woken us from our apathy. We are angry and we want to take it out on some one. How dare they treat us like this? Fuck the polls. We don’t give a shit about the rights and wrongs, we just want to be treated with some respect.

People are disgusted with Turnbull’s caving into the ratbags on the right of his party. He has turned out to be as bigger liar as was Abbott. As hard as that might be.

All the economic and social woes of the world stem from the rise of the right, and unregulated capitalism.

The election of Trump by the American people in a moment of momentous bloody mindedness was the pinnacle of capitalism’s success.

To elect a perverted obnoxious, blatant liar, sexist, racist, misogynist and narcissist as their leader may have been an unprecedented act of deliberate self harm by a people who had lost faith in the worlds greatest democracy.

The success of Sanders, Trudeau and Corbyn gives rise to the hope that people of better virtue might rise above the ugliness of today’s politics and create a better world.

The voters in Australia are primed to take to someone with weapons of mass destruction. It might as well be this dreadful government. Don’t be surprised.

My thought for the day.

“Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it”.

“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages… It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom or our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile” (Robert Kennedy, 1968).

 

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40 comments

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  1. Mark Grieveson

    At last, someone says it how it is without fear or favour. Why does Bill Shorten consistently fall short as preferred PM when Turnbull is so obviously playing an opportunistic role ? You give a strong hint in “The success of Sanders, Trudeau, Corbyn and Macron gives rise to the hope that people of better virtue might rise above the ugliness of today’s politics and create a better world.”

  2. Freethinker

    I would not include Macron on that list.

  3. johnlord2013

    No Freethinker on reflection l shouldn’t have.

  4. Harquebus

    “Macron is like a conspiracy website’s wet dream. Not only was he groomed by Rothschild bankers, he was also a Bilderberg meeting attendee in 2014.”
    “The bottom line is Macron is a total fake.”

    Meet Emmanuel Macron – The Consummate Banker Puppet, Bizarre Elitist Creation

    “Macron pledges to cut 120,000 public jobs, reduce spending by 60 billion Euros, jettison the 35-hour workweek, raise the retirement age, weaken unions’ negotiating strength, and cut corporate taxes. It’s a program that is unlikely to revive the morbid French economy, but it will certainly worsen the plight of jobless youth and seniors — and hand the National Front ammunition for the 2022 election.
    Europe is enmeshed in an economic crisis brought on by the structure of the European Union on one hand and the nature of capitalism on the other.”
    “In short, 80 percent of the world gets by on just 5.5 percent of the world’s wealth.”
    https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Long-Term-Threat-to-Eu-by-Conn-Hallinan-Austerity_Capitalism_Debt_European-Union-170613-665.html

    “But when it comes to the defining issue of our day, climate change, he’s a brother to the old orange guy in Washington. ”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/17/stop-swooning-justin-trudeau-man-disaster-planet

  5. John Lord

    I have deleted it. I will put it down to a senior moment.

  6. Andreas Bimba

    Nigel Farage’s party UKIP collapsed like a stone during the recent UK elections as it was mainly a single issue party about leaving the EU as well as being anti migration. Trump also has little real political substance so will probably lose the next Presidential election if he survives that long.

    The US Democratic Party must align itself with Bernie Sanders and similar reform movements and reject any more neo-liberal establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton to become worthy of the Presidency, government and to hold a majority in both houses of Congress. Similarly Jeremy Corbyn must continue his ascendancy and be more bold on the issue of funding his worthy programs by fomerly adopting MMT fiscal stimulus and full employment policies just as Bernie Sanders has already done.

    The eurozone must be dissolved and the EU must reverse it’s high unemployment neo-liberal austerity policies or it too will eventually implode.

    Neo conservatism, neo-liberalism and unconstrained greed by the most wealthy and the major corporations are indeed the biggest curse on the developed world and the tide may have turned against it.

  7. Keith

    Culture/religious “wars”in US:

    https://www.autostraddle.com/i-was-trained-for-the-culture-wars-in-home-school-awaiting-someone-like-mike-pence-as-a-messiah-367057/amp/

    James Taylor from Hearlands has been lobbying State governments to push neo con legislation.

    The Koch bros and other billionaires have had a major influence on altering community views.

    The cancer has reached Australia.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/greg-sheridan/modern-liberals-are-rotten-to-their-core-beliefs/news-story/435b7c99ffbce407b15624f2f07acf8b?%3Futm_medium=facebook&utm_source=external-paid&utm_campaign=tauscontenttest&utm_content=various&sourceCode=TAWEB_FBK992

  8. Freethinker

    It is a hard one John, I am in doubt with him and will like to see what happens in few months time.
    I am concerned with his proposed policies of trying to introduce further flexibility around a basic legal framework of labour rights and rules, allowing firms to negotiate deals with their staff on hours and cutting corporation tax from 33% to 25%.
    This look to familiar to what happens here.
    Time will tell………..

  9. Freethinker

    Andreas, what you hope would be nice that history shows that parties where the right have majority or control (the Democrats is an example and IMHO the ALP is another one) things will not change until those progressive moderate left members do not leave the party to form a broad political front together with other progressive politicians.
    The neoliberal ideology is well cemented during the formation of these politicians in the universities and only the old politicians that have an open mind to think out of the square will change.
    Sadly a minority.

  10. wam

    today’s children are stronger, taller, better educated than ever before. The onset of puberty in girls and the corresponding sexual activity occurs far earlier than ever before.

    The poms elected Winston Churchill, a perverted obnoxious, blatant liar, sexist, racist, misogynist and narcissist as their leader.

    ‘All the economic and social woes of the world stem from the rise of the right, and unregulated capitalism’???? Russia, china, poland nth korea for example???

    Corrupt governments in Australia were exposed in the sixties. Rightly or wrongly kemlani is labor’s millstone of corruption.

    ‘The voters in Australia are primed..’ and next year there will plenty of chances to vote.

    The thought of verdi’s boys, shorten’s charisma, pauline’s prattle X’s slippery slime and the rabbott’s new vision for coal, all in rupert’s blender, is exciting because who knows what concoction will emerge.

    ps
    There are always two sides and thatcher 11 years pm produced many positives for england..

  11. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thatcher and positives are oxymorons.

    I agree with Andreas.

    I am also heartened by visionaries like Rhiannon standing out loud and proud, as shining lights for the Australian arm of the People’s Movement to go.

    A change of government from Flip to Flop will not be enough to combat the decades long neoliberalism and neoconservatism that have been allowed to penetrate our psyche and institutions, so to soften us up now to allow Fascism to be making its comeback.

    We need members-based and voter-supporter pushback to both the Greens and Labor, so to force them to divorce themselves from the party stringpullers’ love affairs with same old, same old pragmatic neoliberal economic rationalism.

    Those members and voters must demand full reversal of all LNP regressive policy implementations; widespread institutional and policy reforms for equitable and fair distribution of opportunities and wealth; and implementation of a democratic socialist framework throughout our government, education, legal and bureaucratic systems.

  12. stephengb2014

    When Shorten became ALP leader, I dared to send him an email, telling him to be brave and go for old labor values. (No reply, not even an acknowledgement of receipt and I do not have a copy to prove it.)

    When Sanders showed his metal, I sent another email to a number of ALP MPs and Senators, also urging a brave return to old Labor values.

    Then Corbyn turned up, he was attacked by the Labour Right faction and nearly didnt make it through a challenge. But Corbyn hung in there, here got the popular vote and then he started, he pushed old 1960 s labour values, and his popularity began to take off.

    Then Corbyn did the unthinkable, he took Labour from a no chance party to almost winning government against a Tory government swimming in confidence.

    Once again I wrote to Shorten urging him to take a leaf out of Sanders and Corbyn book, and low and behold I think Shorten is changing, (not due to me but due to the success of Corbyn)

    I now think that Shorten has got the message and indeed I suspect that the message of MMT is present in all three. They can’t be open about it because frankly I think the MMT message is not ‘vogue’ enough for MPs to be openly seen as supporting it’s message.

    Incidently, I wrote to my own Federal MP, urging the ALP to be brave and also discussed MMT, he replied that Bill Shorten were aware of the MMT (not personally, but through my MPs press agent).

    I live in hope that the MMT facts are understood by everyone, I believe once the population of any country understands and recognises the truth of MMT, the country will reject the Right of politics for what it is, and we will see politicians fall over themselves to provide for their electorate.

    I will say it took me nearly two years to come to terms with what MMT was saying, because it sounded so contrary to my common and totally misguided understanding of money. I found that by studying and reading and watching YouTube lectures by those professor’s who do understand MMT, I now have every confidence that the MMT message is absolutely true.

    S G B

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fair comment, Keith.

    Left grassroots politics is obviously what I’m advocating.

  14. Freethinker

    I agree with your 2 posts Jennifer, changes from the Coalition to the ALP will only satisfying those that are happy or hope that “good enough” will be sufficient .
    There is to much damage done for voting for a moderate neoliberal controlled party, we need a genuine LEFT broad front movement to get out of this situation.

  15. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    This is a serious question so I am hoping for not a snappy reply as I normally get or just ignored.
    The Left COALition you espouse, could you inform us as to what stage it is at,have any politicians signed up and is it open to membership

  16. Freethinker

    It will come Mick, soon or later new generations of the left factions in the ALP will realise that they do not can make changes.
    Also there are many socialists and people with progressive ideology that would like to see a change.
    Australia have to go trough more punishment, for people to start moving in the streets, so far they have a nice life style and do not want to jeopardise it.

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    corn…er…Mick,

    sorry for my late response but I was out sitting by a river with my dog and then I went to the nursery to buy a pretty camelia. It has some lovely flower buds which is pretty good considering it only cost me $5.95.

    Just like my pretty camelia, when the Australian arm of the People’s Movement begins flowering, it will be a sight to behold for people like me who are awaiting with great anticipation, the death of Neoliberalism and the flipflops, and the birth of a far more widely serving People’s Parliament.

  18. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithJuly 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    corn…er…Mick,

    Now this is not the first time reference has been made about, this is this some insiders joke I should know about?
    still no answer to the 3 questions though

  19. Mick Byron

    Freethinker July 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm
    Thank you for your response. So am I to assume it is only a thought bubble at present? I had read it over months and with what seemed some authority by one individual and questioned whether there was a group making things happen.
    I guess from lack of direct answers the answer would be No

  20. Matters Not

    JMS – Why Blame Neo-Liberal Economics?

    For a start, what is the evidence linking neo-liberalism with increasing inequality? Indeed, what exactly is there about neo-liberalism that it inevitably leads to more inequality? Surely those who seek to blame neo-liberalism for the increase in inequality should feel some obligation to answer these questions, but that never actually occurs.

    Michael Keating’s at it again.

    Importantly, none of the principal people involved thought the reforms would make the economy less equitable, and as summarised above there is no evidence that they did, with technological change accounting for most of the increase in inequality in Australia. Instead, what these so-called ‘neo-liberal’ economic reforms made possible was the more than a quarter of a century of economic growth, involving large increases in employment and wages, which is about the best recorded, both in our history and relative to other developed countries.

    Fire away.

    MICHAEL KEATING. Why Blame Neo-Liberal Economics?

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Time to come out, Mick. Stop impersonating cornlegend.

    As for your stipulation that I must answer your questions, I assume you like to show your intelligence and interpretative skills. Therefore, I invite you to go back to my earlier comment and my hundreds of other comments consistently on this theme and use those skills to derive your stipulated answers.

  22. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Matters Not,

    um, have you got your wires crossed as to whom you are addressing?

    …………………………….

    If not, three words for you: Free Higher Education. Keating was responsible, with his offsider Susan Ryan, for bringing student debt back for university fees.

    So much for not knowing the ramifications of introducing neoliberalist economic rationalism.

  23. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithJuly 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    “Time to come out, Mick. Stop impersonating cornlegend.”
    What?
    Impersonating what?
    Please, you just do not make sense so surely I’m entitled to an explanation

  24. Glenn K

    I am happier now to be living under Macron here in France. His government announced last week a policy to hire 2,500 additional primary school teachers to improve the teacher/student ratio in the first grades down to 12/1 from current ratio of about 28/1. Would that ever happen in Aus?

  25. Freethinker

    Different priorities where the money will go, on that note, the Federal Government’s free milk scheme ran for 20 years before ending in 1973.
    I Uruguay a country with a GDP of U$A 50 billion 320000 primary school children have free lunch and the government give each child a laptop..

  26. bearbrooke

    Malcolm Turnbull’s assassination seems imminent. With his demise the government will fall and the coalition will splinter into factions. The Labor party will be so advantaged by this that it take power for two or more electoral cycles. Whether this will benefit the Australian people does not appear to matter to any of our politicians.

    Australia’s democratic system of government is manifestly damaged. Lying, perfidy, and Faustianism have become normal political behaviours. By every standard of moral and ethical judgement our politicians prove themselves untrustworthy — those who are not so overtly corrupt are debased by their failure to advocate for decent and appropriate behaviour.

    Media reporting of politics is abysmal. That a proven fraud like Abbott is given credibility by the media underlines the grottiness of journalists and politicians. Abbott, Turnbull, and Shorten are regarded by the Australian people as leaders — the three of them are driven by personal ambition: Abbott ideologically myopic, Turnbull demonstrably opportunistic, Shorten tainted by his trades union past. The Australian people are trapped in a fugue, a nightmare state of mind, no longer able to tell truth from lie, fantasy from reality, decency from putrescence.

    It’s just as you observe, John Lord, “…the political system is corrupt and we all suffer for it. So also are our financial institutions, our banks, our trade unions and the corporate world.” People, ordinary people, will necessarily repair what has been damaged. In the meantime … despair.

  27. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    bearbrooke,

    no need to despair. Just make your local representative accountable to you. Then go further and constantly attack how your party acts.

    Admittedly I am not talking about the LNParties coz I’d puke if I had ever been associated with them.

    I feel entitled to be outraged that Labor has chosen to follow the LNP arseholes hence bringing down the bar of integrity even further. Consequently, I am proudly anti-establishment and that sadly means Labor too.

    But to be totally honest, I have to acknowledge recent disarming events within the Greens where pragmatism has grasped the throat of principled politics. I therefore, am prepared to consider again a breakaway from the main parties including the Greens, if that means the destruction of Neoliberalism and the return of Democratic Socialism as part of the growing revolutionary People’s Movement.

  28. Freethinker

    Jennifer, I have sent emails to the local Green party senator plus one more from Tasmania expressing my disappoint in the way that the party have treated not only Lee but also the NSW Green party members.
    I have mentioned to them that I do not like in the way that Richard lead the party and say to them that I am withdrawing my support for the Greens and state and federal level until the party correct in the way that they are heading.
    Now just looking my options which will be not the ALP and hope for a good socialist Tasmanian candidate.
    IMHO the only way to make changes when the representatives do not act in our interest is to let them know that we not longer support them.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    150% correct, Freethinker.

    I also rang Lee Rhiannon’s office and asked her adviser to pass on my message of support for her and if she so chose to leave the Greens and start up a true Democratic Socialist party, as I need her representing me as a Socialist Victorian presently out of her circumference as a Senator.

    The person laughed at my audacity but I took it to mean s/he appreciated my support for such an audacious option.

  30. wam

    welcome back JMS have missed you.

    I too admire rhiannon and would love to write about the:

    diLEEludbransimkims but that will have to wait a bit. Any other women????

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Freethinker.

    I just read what you posted. I don’t personally know them but I’m growing more and more interested in what they have to say.

    If things continue as they are going, I might join you in seeking such a difference.

    My support would be from within Victoria.

  32. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks wam. How nice!

    I’ve even deciphered your formerly elusive reference to those…
    … who must not be identified at this point of time.

  33. Freethinker

    Thanks Jennifer, I must control my Latin blood!
    I like this and is in line to what many people have said here, quote:
    “The Socialist Alliance, and the movements in which we work, have been inspired by the huge groundswell generated by UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign and since then by his call for people to remain active and committed to principled, practical anti-austerity politics.”

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sounds good to me, Freethinker.

  35. wam

    people ordinary people do not think!!! (or give a rat’s arse) as the Lord thinks and, to them, everything is neither bear/bare broken nor corrupt unless kochie or the 9 catholic repeats murdoch’s muses

    Is making as much money as you can from as many sources as possible corrupt?
    Is it corrupt to rort the welfare system or just the political system or the tax system?
    Do all the rich rort?
    Do all the unemployed rort?
    Is it unreasonable to arrange your life to keep your job?
    Are sycophants necessary??
    ps JMS you would look great in purple, green and white.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’ll take that as a compliment, wam.

  37. stuarterrolandersonStuart Anderson

    “Nor do you need me to tell you that the political system is corrupt and we all suffer for it. So also are our financial institutions, our banks, our trade unions and the corporate world.” I wouldnt be bracketing trade unions with the other institutions. Union bashing is the province of the right, the Left shouldnt be encouraging it. In any case it’s not true. There is far less criminality and corruption in Australian Trade Unions than in business and politics. Even the Royal Commission into Trade Unions has largely failed to live up to the expectations of its architects, the biggest catch seems to Kathy Jackson, who was the Coalitions star witness. If the Grenfell building cladding was detected on Australian buildings and workers took industrial action, they would be prosecuted for acting illegally by the ABCC, so much for union criminality.

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