Friday 23 December 2016
This will be my final political post until sometime after Christmas. It has been an exhausting year and I must say my fingers are a bit worn. Other than a few missed days I have probably written in excess of 300 pieces for The AIMN. Never has there been a period of time when I was short of material or lukewarm about writing.
My intention has always been to create discussion. Not to be pure and righteous but to get people talking and debating. I don’t find it necessary to participate unless there is a need to defend myself but really to have people voice their opinion with an openness to agree, disagree or embellish the discussion. After all, I have all the say in what I write. And I have to say that some of the comments have been so illuminating as to be worthy of an article in their own right.
I hope what I write is honestly presented, with integrity and in my own style that incorporates some well-chosen, in your face, observations when required.
So my thanks are extended to all of you, on this blog, and Facebook, who diligently read my protests of scorn at the injustices of the world. Not to mention all the other writers who contribute to THE AIMN. In February I will turn 76 but I have lost none of my vivacity for dissent and I will continue as long as is necessary to rid our nation of the inequality and neoliberalism that is destroying us.
I shall finish where I left off on Thursday when I wrote this:
“Now if the decline continues up to the next election, that is, if institutionalized politics in Australia does not come to terms with the fact that they no longer represent a vast majority of the electorate then we may very well create a perfect storm, a wave of ‘Trumpish’ proportion might hit our democracy. It only requires the political planets to alien and anything might happen. Goodness, the Nationals in Essential Poll are on 2% of the vote and are running the country. It’s a joke and something needs to be done. The seriousness of the situation cannot be underestimated. It is said that when America catches a cold that we get the flu. Might I suggest we are about to get pneumonia.”
The following day we were greeted with the news that Cory Bernardi and George Chistensen were both reconsidering their positions within their respective parties.
Retired MP Tony Windsor said:
“Malcolm Turnbull should pull on these idiots. What’s the point of being Prime Minister?”
“Bernardi should do us all a favour and get on with it and Malcolm should either piss or get off the potty.”
Both of course would under normal circumstances not command a high degree of respect in their parties. They do because of their propensity to Bolt like sensationalism, a paper-thin majority, and command a lot of media attention as a consequence. They then overrate their self-importance. The shallowness of their ideology can be illustrated when they are alongside others of superior intelligence. It is particularly noticeable when Bernardi is on Q&A for example. Both have loyalties of ultra-Christian conservative values that are from a world that most of us have moved on from.
Former Victorian Liberal Premier Geoff Kennett said of Bernardi on ABC radio:
“This is an individual who, for some ego-driven reason, believes he has the answers to the world; he does not.”
Having said that though, both if they chose to leave, or in Bernardi’s case to form his own party, have the capacity to change the political landscape forever.
Is Bernardi serious? Well he often threatens to do it but this time it seems more serious. He has formed his own Conservative group akin to the left’s Get Up and predicts big things in 2017. Sarah Martin in The Australian (paywall) says that:
“The conservative firebrand and his ‘’very close friend”” Gina Rinehart met key members of the US president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign team, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, in Washington last month, fuelling fears the senator might have the support of Australia’s richest women to bankroll the party and dilute the Liberals support base.”
Therein lies the dilemma for the Liberals. Do they go further down the ultra right neoliberal road with the likes of these two and others in the party, leaving ‘small L’ liberalism behind forever or does the Prime Minister confront them and tell them to go jump and decimate the conservative vote between the Nationals, Liberals, One Nation and Bernardis.
It’s a hopeless position to find oneself in but it’s of course sometime in the near future it will happen.
In November Malcolm Turnbull said that there will always be some disillusioned voters, but Australia’s electorate has not seen a rise in disenchantment equivalent to that in the United States.
He is dead wrong.
For those who don’t comprehend just what neoliberalism is I suggest you read this:
“Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.”
“After Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan took power, the rest of the package soon followed: massive tax cuts for the rich, the crushing of trade unions, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services. Through the IMF, the World Bank, the Maastricht treaty and the World Trade Organisation, neoliberal policies were imposed – often without democratic consent – on much of the world. Most remarkable was its adoption among parties that once belonged to the left: Labour and the Democrats, for example.”
“Now if this does happen how will it affect the left of politics. It would of course split the conservative vote and you might think that’s a good thing but they could always form a four pronged Coalition.”
Given the electorates dissatisfaction with institutionalised Neoliberalism politics it may not be advantageous to the Labor Party unless they came up with unique new policies bathed in fixing the inequality responsible for the displeasure.
My thought for the day.
“Sometimes I allow myself the indulgence of thinking I know a lot. Then I realise that in the totality of things, I know very little.”
PS. A special thanks to our editor who puts up with all my errors of grammar.
Happy holiday season.
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