Interest rate hike upstaged by Dutts' and Barilaro's…

“Marxist” teachers are teaching our kids ``absolute leftwing rubbish”. NSW Senator, Hollie…

Divine Right to Rule and the Delusion of…

By Andrew Klein In Western tradition there is a concept of kings and…

Airbus Albo !

The right-wing nutters on Sky-after-Dark are beside themselves with righteous indignation that…

The Major Questions Doctrine: The US Supreme Court…

The US Supreme Court has been frantically busy of late, striking down…

Australia needs a Bill of Rights

Australia is at a crossroads. The decade of Coalition government showed how…

Opposition to continue recycling old policies, while the…

1 Apparently, after being soundly defeated at the election, the Coalition still…

Let's Stop This Woke Agenda In Our Schools...

Woke: adjective INFORMAL•US alert to injustice in society, especially racism. "we need…

Scrap the digital workhouse. An open letter to…

We know you are new in your job, Tony and face not…

«
»
Facebook

Day to Day Politics: Open or Closed. The new ideologies.

Monday 25 2016.

Last week Opposition shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen gave an address to The Financial Services Council Leaders’ Summit 2016. In it he used the phrase “Open or Closed”. It came as a surprise, firstly because I had written on the subject some time ago and secondly, because I had not heard an Australian politician ever utter the words.

It of course refers to “Open or Closed society’s” versus Left and Right.

Here is part of Bowen’s speech:

“But I want to spend a few minutes today to also speak about the Australian election in the international context. Around the world, political elites are dealing with the rise of the disenfranchised and disillusioned. People disillusioned by anaemic growth and growing income inequality are being sold simple messages that the answer to their problems and their nations problems is isolation; isolation from trade, isolation from immigration.

This of course is being established in different ways around the world, but with common themes. Britain was told they would be better off out of the European Union. France is being told by Marine Le Pen that they would be better off without migration and globalisation.

In Austria, the two major parties on the centre right and centre left were excluded from the recent Presidential elections by parties on the extreme right and extreme left with equally simple solutions to complex problems.

And of course in the United States, voters are being sold a solution which involves the building of walls and the erection of barriers.

A political debate is raging across the planet – open versus closed.”

The phrase Open Vs Closed originated from a speech by the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg. He explained it this way.

So what is an open society? It is a society where powerful citizens are free to shape their own lives. It has five vital features: i) social mobility, so that all are free to rise;

  1. ii) Dispersed power in politics, the media and the economy;

iii) Transparency, and the sharing of knowledge and information;

  1. iv) A fair distribution of wealth and property; and
  2. v) An internationalist outlook

By contrast a closed society is one in which: i) a child’s opportunities are decided by the circumstances of their birth

  1. ii) Power is hoarded by the elite

iii) Information is jealously guarded

  1. iv) Wealth accumulates in the hands of the few, not the many; and
  2. v) Narrow nationalism trumps enlightened internationalism

Closed societies – opaque, hierarchical, insular – are the sorts of society my party has opposed for over a hundred and fifty years.

If you read the full speech it is easy to understand why there are those who believe that Liberalism in its purest form is arguably the best and most suited political philosophy for addressing the problems of tomorrow.

There is a broad acceptance among political thinkers that ideological philosophies of the old Left Vs Right kind are past there used by date and are being replaces by Open Vs Closed.

The new thinkers on economics even suggest that Capitalism is fighting for its survival with democracy its enemy.

In an interview with Leo Benedictus talking about the film The Divide, Noam Chomsky was asked the following.

So have you become more optimistic now you believe a hunger for change is showing itself around the world?

I think we have the seeds of change. They can flourish and address the massive problems we face. They may not. We don’t know. That’s a choice. And we haven’t even talked about the worst problems: the economic problems are bad enough, as are the social problems, but far worse than these are the major threats to the survival of the human species – the threat of nuclear war and environmental catastrophe. Here, if you look at the US primaries, you have to be impressed and appalled by the utter irrationality of the species. Here are two enormous problems that have to be faced right now, and they are almost absent from the primaries.”

What effect would electing Donald Trump have?

It’s hard to say because we don’t really know what he thinks. And I’m not sure he knows what he thinks. He’s perfectly capable of saying contradictory things at the same time. But there are some pretty stable elements of his ideology, if you can even grant him that concept. One of them is: “Climate change is not taking place.” As he puts it: “Forget it.” And that’s almost a death knell for the species – not tomorrow, but the decisions we take now are going to affect things in a couple of decades, and in a couple of generations it could be catastrophic.”

If it were between Trump and Hillary Clinton, would you vote for Clinton?

If I were in a swing state, a state that matters, and the choice were Clinton or Trump, I would vote against Trump. And by arithmetic that means hold your nose and vote for Clinton.”

How do you turn a plutocracy into a democracy?

“It’s not very hard. In the US, it simply means going back to mainstream ideas. To quote John Dewey, the leading US social philosopher of the 20th century, until all institutions – industrial, commercial, media, others – are under democratic control, or in the hands of what we now call stakeholders, politics will be the shadow cast by big business over society. That’s elementary and it can be done.”

As Friedrich Hayek “The Road to Serfdom” says:

“By refusing to face the facts, the conservative only weakens his own position. Frequently the conclusions which rationalist presumption draws from new scientific insights do not at all follow from them. But only by actively taking part in the elaboration of the consequences of new discoveries do we learn whether or not they fit into our world picture and, if so, how.’’

In my own piece I wrote:

“Australian politics has descended into a murky pit of corruption, vindictiveness and scandal on both sides. The pursuit of power for powers sake has taken on an importance that relegates the common good to a distant second. Personal gain has surpassed public service. People of questionable character hold high office and influence. Big business has become the senior advisor. Economics has become the barometer of a successful society rather than the wellbeing of the people.

Political controversy and conflict has always been with us and probably always will be, but for the future of our democracy it needs to be tempered with a contest of ideas. Better people need to be elected to parliament. People with a wide range of experiences. Not just party hacks but people with character, with desire for change, for truth, for equality, for justice and with an honourable understanding of what public service is.”

This then leads me back to my question.

Are the political ideologies of today suited to address the problems of tomorrow?

Well let me put it this way. I am born and bred of the left but I don’t have a closed mind. I do believe that the problems of today and tomorrow are so overwhelming that they require solutions that go beyond an ideology first mentality. A politic that puts it all aside and simply says, “What serves the common good”.

That might be termed good government.

My thought for the day.

The ideas of today need to be honed with critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of enquiry so that they clearly articulate the currency of tomorrow“.

 

 70 total views,  2 views today

54 comments

Login here Register here
  1. Max Gross

    Remember the Iron Curtain? The Berlin Wall? Soon, we will all be like North Korea!

  2. bearbrooke

    It’s probable the citizenry does not really know what it thinks, and will frequently say contradictory things, and with a disengaged mind will mark its ballot paper in favour of what it feels rather than vote for what it understands. What it does not understand is the ‘Open or Closed’ versus ‘Left or Right’ political paradigms because these are commentator tags that are not in common usage. ‘Economic Problems’ and ‘Social Problems’ are tags that are irrelevant to a citizenry whose focus is primarily on personal or familial day by day survival. Surviving isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.

    Human communities are much like ape communities; degrees of sophistication characterise the differences between human and chimpanzee societies — both are at once nurturant and family oriented (progressive) and ungenerous and self interested (conservative) — all the great apes share this dichotomy. All are, by nature, hierarchical — looking for an authority of one kind or another to order their world: baboons have their Alpha Male; humans of their Hitler (their Donald Trump).

    George Lakoff describes it thus:— “The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a well-ordered world, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate. The hierarchy is: God above Man, Man above Nature, The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak), The Rich above the Poor, Employers above Employees, Adults above Children, Western culture above other cultures, America above other countries. The hierarchy extends to: Men above women, Whites above Nonwhites, Christians above nonChristians, Straights above Gays.”

    Turn his essay on its head — the contradictory world view comes from progressives, moderates, socialists.

    As Lakoff says “Those two moral worldviews in general contradict each other […] they reside in the same brain at the same time.”

    This then leads me back to your question.

    “Are the political ideologies of today suited to address the problems of tomorrow?”

    No!

    Political ideologies, as they exist today, do not intend to address the problems of
    tomorrow and were not designed to do so. And this may be our undoing as a species.

    It’s probable the citizenry does not really know what it thinks, and will frequently say contradictory things, and with a disengaged mind will mark its ballot paper in favour of what it feels rather than vote for what it understands. What it does not understand is the ‘Open or Closed’ versus ‘Left or Right’ political paradigms because these are commentator tags that are not in common usage. ‘Economic Problems’ and ‘Social Problems’ are tags that are irrelevant to a citizenry whose focus is primarily on personal or familial day by day survival. Surviving isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.

    Human communities are much like ape communities; degrees of sophistication characterise the differences between human and chimpanzee societies — both are at once nurturant and family oriented (progressive) and ungenerous and self interested (conservative) — all the great apes share this dichotomy. All are, by nature, hierarchical — looking for an authority of one kind or another to order their world: baboons have their Alpha Male; humans of their Hitler (their Donald Trump).

    George Lakoff describes it thus:— “The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a well-ordered world, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate. The hierarchy is: God above Man, Man above Nature, The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak), The Rich above the Poor, Employers above Employees, Adults above Children, Western culture above other cultures, America above other countries. The hierarchy extends to: Men above women, Whites above Nonwhites, Christians above nonChristians, Straights above Gays.”

    Turn his essay on its head — the contradictory world view comes from progressives, moderates, socialists.

    As Lakoff says “Those two moral worldviews in general contradict each other […] they reside in the same brain at the same time.”

    This then leads me back to your question.

    “Are the political ideologies of today suited to address the problems of tomorrow?”

    No!

    Political ideologies, as they exist today, do not intend to address the problems of
    tomorrow and were not designed to do so. And this may be our undoing as a species.

  3. June Currie

    Thank you for your continued thought-provoking contributions.John.

  4. lawrencewinder

    …….lowest common denominator always wins…. it’s the conservative way!

  5. guest

    There was an article on the ABC News website from The Australian. It was about who should not be allowed to appear on Q&A. There were dozens of replies criticising the ABC as being biased.

    It invited readers to join the conversation. When the invitation was answered, there appeared an advertisement for subscribing to The Australian.

    Murdoch has been attacking the ABC for a long time because it is in competition with his media empire. Bias is the main accusation made, claiming that a tax-payer funded facility should show no bias – an accusation not proven.

    Nevertheless, there has been some interference in the operations of the ABC. For example, Fact Checker has been dropped. So has The Drum on line – a forum for open discussion. Now advertising for the ABC’s most vehement and biased critic.

    Is this a demonstration of an ‘open’ or a ‘closed’ society?

  6. silkworm

    Why the f# are you quoting Hayek? He is a leading Neoliberal economist and climate change denier.

    As for globalization, what is conveniently left out is the free flow of cheap labour across international borders. John Pilger named this as one of the main reasons for the strong Brexit vote – under EU rules, cheap labour from Eastern Europe was flowing into Britain, taking jobs from British workers and driving down wages.

    This is still a matter of Left vs Right as far as I am concerned, and Bowen is just another Neoliberal stooge.

  7. kerri

    IMHO Donald Trump has to be in the presidential race for something that benefits Donald Trump.
    He has zero interest in world affairs and foreign policy. Hence his closing the doors and handing responsibility to Mike Pence. Many videos come up daily on Facebook about the Donald. Today’s was headed “Why we need ro keep posting videos about Donald Trump” and featured a gentleman who ran a piano business in Atlantic City. If you don’t know much about what the Donald did to Atlantic City it is worth researching on Youtube. He basically went bankrupt which he vehemently denies. It is these numerous bankruptcies that are the key to the Donald’s ambition. He wants to make Donald Trump great again! It won’t be mentioned before the election but if he wins he will concentrate on altering business rulings to protect his empire and build it further. He is greedy. He is a megalomaniac. He is a psychopath. He will spell ruination for what Obama has managed to rebuild after the GFC instigated by his equally corrupt greedy peers in the major financial instituitions. As Noam Chomsky said
    Big business doesn’t want a free market! Big business wants the nanny state so that the government can bail them out when business goes bad.
    Does any of this sound like the Abbott/Turnbull Government???

  8. Kaye Lee

    guest,

    George Brandis just appointed his deputy chief of staff to the role of “head of partnerships and policy” at the ABC to “ensure that we have open and constructive relationships with our stakeholders and partners in the sector”.

  9. jimhaz

    [Our 26 years of uninterrupted economic growth weren’t achieved through erecting more barriers, but by tearing them down]

    Like Silkworm, I also think Bowen is too much of neoliberal stooge. The ALP has been just as gung-ho about the Free Trade agreements when in power, although a bit less loose in allowing bad clauses in the agreements.

    We humans have a definite propensity to take trends way too far. One just needs to look at the stock market and things like the dot com boom to see this reality in action.

    It is clear to me that too many barriers have been torn down. I am convinced Australia needs about 12-15% manufacturing and we needed barriers in place, such as import taxes, to allow this.

    As an example. I would place import duties on cheap shoes that fall apart in 2-3 months to make them not worth selling – a lot could be done in the standards area – I mean do we really need $8 toasters from China or other cheap stuff that breaks down within a year or so? I would do the same for timber products as far as I could with the end game being self-sustainability.

    At least though Bowen did comment about Housing affordability – the social harm and investment waste is finally being recognised by at least one side.

  10. stephentardrew

    Rational or irrational, logical empirical or magical mythical, sane or insane, reason or opinion and the list goes on. In that respect completely agree John.

  11. guest

    Kaye,

    we expect the Coalition to appoint their own sympathisers, but it is about more than that. it is a matter of the government setting out to eliminate any opposition and to change the fabric of society. On the ABC we now have Michelle Guthrie, closely allied with Murdoch in her CV. And we have had Janet Albrechtsen on a board.

    Albrechtsen has been writing lately about the need to sell coal to India in order to lift millions out of poverty in that country. No mention of the fact that burning coal creates CO2, a Greenhouse gas and driver of Global Warming. Nor does she say anything about the fact we have poverty here in Oz despite burning coal here for more than 200 years. Same for the USA and any other industrialised country. What is also omitted is the fact India is phasing out coal and is developing its own renewable energies.

    There are other pieces of misinformation in the air. In South Australia the Opposition has developed a mischievous story about costs of electricity, blaming renewables for rising costs, inventing questionable statistics. Of course this propaganda is reported in The Australian – and copied without question elsewhere.

    Turnbull is quick to deny Shorten’s claim about the privatisation of Medicare (despite visible evidence it is being considered), but has his own story to tell about how he saved the NBN (7:30 Report, 18/7/16). The claim went unquestioned.

    Emma Alberici did question Brad Norington when, in his spruiking of his book about Kathy Jackson, he mentioned Bill Shorten and said something about his union indiscretions. Emma asked about the fact no charges had been made against Shorten. Norington’s reply (check me if I am wrong) was that Ah! it was a faulty Commission. Shades of the Coalition’s 20 year attempted vendetta to pin charges on Julia Gillard. Did the Coalition not use this ‘faulty’ Commission to attack Shorten and Labor, not to mention the CMFEU and so trigger a DD election in order to re-establish the ABCC? Remember that?

    And more recently, we have Chris Mitchell, ex-editor of The Australian, exhorting readers not to harass Pauline Hanson (as he says Tony Jones did) because it will only make more people agree with her. He claims he was instrumental in reducing Hanson’s influence 20 years ago by dealing only with the facts. Of course the Liberals dumped Hanson and (she says) Abbott used a slush fund against her and – we see quite clearly – the Howard Coalition took away her oxygen by adopting some of her ideas, such as dumping ATSIC and on matters to do with land rights. So an attack on Hanson is seen as an attack on the Coalition, apparently, especially with all this talk about racism. Mitchell wants only the facts, such as: ‘Hanson is right that Islam is central to terrorism in this country and around the world.’

    So Mitchell goes on to attack the MSM. Only Murdoch papers, apparently have the resources to truly investigate and report on terrorism. The MSMat large is ‘ignorant’.

    Which just really confirms Abbott’s idea that (Obama) is too soft on ISIS. ISIS should be shirt-fronted with more ‘vigour’. It is so sad how our bomber pilots were restricted in their bombing by regulations against ‘collateral damage’; planes actually returned without dropping their bombs. So ‘soft’!

    We are everywhere being steered into a belligerent, militaristic, closed society. We are told that the only way to stop immigrants by boats is to lock them away on islands in order to protect ourselves against ‘them’. We must treat all Muslims with caution – perhaps even ban their entry. We must question the value of ‘multiculturalism’ (Albrechtsen). We must maintain the Judaeo-Christian ‘values’. We must value coal and deny the findings of science. We must allow our country to be embroiled in FTAs which actually add very little to our GDP. We must pay our wealthy so the money trickles down to all of us. The poor and disenfranchised ‘leaners’ are to be despised…

    We are being manipulated, conned and dudded.

  12. townsvilleblog

    So far in my reading Australia is a closed society where the circumstances you are born in dictates your success or failure, and the wealth stays at the top with the 1% I’ll read on:

  13. Kaye Lee

    I actually have a somewhat convoluted family connection to Chris Mitchell, not that he would know. I rather like this description – “Self-absorption, hubris and complete contempt for readers: nobody does a glorious valedictory of Chris Mitchell quite like Chris Mitchell.” He must be suffering from relevance deprivation since he retired, not that he ever was relevant to anyone except himself.

  14. jim

    George Brandis just appointed his deputy chief of staff to the role of “head of partnerships and policy” at the ABC to “ensure that we have open and constructive relationships with our stakeholders and partners in the sector”. Too right Kaye Lee the rotten liberals have been trying for over 75years to control our ABC

    from wiki;,…..An early challenge to its independence came in June, 1940 when wartime censorship was imposed, meaning that the Department of Information (headed by Sir Keith Murdoch) took control of the ABC’s 7 p.m. nightly national news bulletin.[8] This lasted until September 1940, when control of the news was returned to the ABC after listeners expressed a preference for independent news presented by the Commission.[8]

    And’…..During and after the war, the ABC was given statutory powers that reinforced its independence from the government and enhanced its news-gathering role.[8] From 1946, the ABC was required to broadcast selected parliamentary sessions ie Question time.live, despite the disruption this caused to regular programming
    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/why-the-murdoch-press-wants-to-exterminate-public-broadcasters/
    And…..

  15. townsvilleblog

    “Australian politics has descended into a murky pit of corruption, vindictiveness and scandal on both sides. The pursuit of power for powers sake has taken on an importance that relegates the common good to a distant second. Personal gain has surpassed public service. People of questionable character hold high office and influence. Big business has become the senior advisor. Economics has become the barometer of a successful society rather than the wellbeing of the people.

    Political controversy and conflict has always been with us and probably always will be, but for the future of our democracy it needs to be tempered with a contest of ideas. Better people need to be elected to parliament. People with a wide range of experiences. Not just party hacks but people with character, with desire for change, for truth, for equality, for justice and with an honourable understanding of what public service is.” Yes John, what serves the common good. I was a left winger in the ALP but I see the current left wing focusing on things that never used to interest them, I’m amazed at how far the ALP is from the ACTU these days and that when I left the workforce in 1998 I was a purchasing clerk on around $27,000 p.a. and now almost 20 years hence the median wage in Australia is around $45,000 p.a. that is not much gain, for single income families who are on the median wage, I don’t know how they feed themselves. No wonder there are 2.5 million of us living below the poverty line.

    What is the ALP solution to this predicament John?

  16. townsvilleblog

    jimhaz How about an Australian car industry, we have the manufacturing plants built, if some rich bastard or a few rich bastards put their dough together they could surely buy the plants cheaply and duplicate what Tesla is doing in the USA with import taxes put in place to help employ some of our unemployed? Unemployment is statistically at 5.8% which is not true, thanks to Hockey’s jockeying, where I live our local region unemployment is 14.8%, and all the tory government is interested in is “giving” $48 bn of “our” hard earned taxation money to corporations who pay bugger all tax, how is that a policy for “job’s and growth”?

  17. townsvilleblog

    kerri/silkworm/jimhaz/Kaye Lee and others there seems to be more logic spoken in this AIM Network than comes from “any” political party. I wonder if we could form a party of our own?

  18. townsvilleblog

    I do not have the knowledge that some of you have, however I’ll tell you what I do know: I know that 1% of Earth owning 50% of Earth’s wealth is NOT fair. I know that corporations paying between 5% to naught in tax is NOT fair. I know that my mere pittance that I receive from DSP wouldn’t knock the hat off your head as far as a living payment goes (I do not expect big money from a pension, but food to last a fortnight would be a good start) I know that smoking and drinking is NOT possible on a pension if you also want to eat. I know I am a creature of The Left as my Grandfather was before me, and I know that I am indeed privileged to read you opinions and to contribute my humble opinions with the likes of all of you. Thank You!

  19. jimhaz

    Hi Townvilleblog

    I’ve got a bit of an issue with car manufacture here. I’m not convinced we have the local market in such a competitive game for such a high cost product. I think import duties needs to be in areas where consumers will not notice big price differentials between here and overseas OR where we were near the first in the game as we sometimes are in the medical area and some renewables areas (we had companies selling OZ designed solar products in China) OR highly specialised (low volume) but expensive products such medical items.

    A couple of examples: At the price people have to pay for imported disabilities equipment, even though low volume, we could easily manufacture the same thing and a company could still profit. Another – toothbrushes and razors – the profit margin on those must be extreme, plenty of scope for our high labour costs.

    Together with import duties of some kind, govs could pick “winners” and sponsor local industry start ups to help with youth unemployment.

    Small manufacturing entities can be regionalised so that would help with employment in regional areas. I mean what else go to country towns – tourism sure, but that is not for most towns.

    On the DSP or Newstart – it is atrocious that they have not properly adjusted them to sky rocketing prices for housing. Nor can people buy much quality food (other than stuff in season) – the good foods (meat, veges, fruits) have increased in price, and the bad ones decreased.

  20. jimhaz

    Or as the rich/well off are getting richer we could impose far higher import taxes on luxury items OR we could impose a 1% tax on all imports OR we could impose a 1% training tax on business where they could claim back training costs they actually spend OR we could impose a 25% tax on 457 visas.

    Or we could just cut immigration to force companies to train young people.

  21. Neil of Sydney

    I know that 1% of Earth owning 50% of Earth’s wealth is NOT fair.

    Is it fair that we were born in Australia? We use flush toilets whereas most of India does not. I read one story where the people go to the toilet only twice/day in this particular Indian village. They have to walk one hour to the toilet area in the morning and at night otherwise they will foul the village.

    Even poor Australians are much better off than a large chunk of the planet. We are part of that 1%.

  22. wam

    The politics of the government cannot cope with today and have no idea about tomorrow.
    What will technology bring?
    Already robots are strong and clever.
    Already a robot trader will manage money from your home. ads like “Robotic Stock Trading is a form of artificial intelligence referred to as the next generation of automated stock trading’.
    Surely, tomorrow’s political need is to protect the rich from technology?
    Certainly by giving them access to government cash/loans.
    Is the coalition able to legislate for that?

  23. Jack Straw

    Neil; I’ll book a one way flight to India for you. I’m sure you will fit in well there. It will be character building for you,,

  24. Pete

    Yes townsville Blog we could get some rich bastard to get into the car making industry

  25. Neil of Sydney

    under EU rules, cheap labour from Eastern Europe was flowing into Britain, taking jobs from British workers and driving down wages

    Wow it does not happen often but i agree with a comment on this blog. Eastern Europe must be a terrible place because everybody wants to get out. Although i find it hard to see how award wages could be driven down.

    I have friends in Australian science and it is being swamped by people from Eastern Europe. Science is the first profession with no borders. All scientists must read, speak and publish in English so language is not a problem for migration. And Eastern Europeans are willing to work for half wages. All science is contract work unlike most other jobs. Scientists get paid $90k/year plus 17% Super in Australia and $12K/year in Russia so where would you prefer to live?.

    Because it is contract work it is easy to pay someone half wages, $45K/year. And $45K/year is still a reasonable wage. Better than earning $12K/year in Moscow.

    Open borders has its problems.

  26. Matters Not

    The latest count in Herbert has the ALP ahead by 70+ votes. Apparently a bunch of One Nation preference votes went to Jones in an earlier count when they were intended for the ALP candidate. And all this happened while under the reported close scrutiny of Brandis.

    Court of Disputed Returns will be ‘impressed’ by the Brandis oversight. Maybe he will be called to give evidence against his own oversight? I think it’s called an own goal.

    But in the future, rather than talking about ‘shooting one’s own foot’ we may instead talk about ‘doing a Brandis’.

    As usual Brandis continues to bat zero.

  27. Jack Straw

    I think it’s time for all religious groups to start paying tax. Ok we’ll reduce their tax a little for being precious. Times up I say. Because I am certain The Catholic Church can afford it.

  28. Neil of Sydney

    Well the Russians i have met tell me scientists in Russia do not get paid enough to survive so they all want jobs in English speaking countries. Same goes for the Poles, Ukrainians etc. I guess there could be other reasons. Apparently Russia is corrupt from top to bottom. Nothing gets done in Russia without money passing under the table. So lots of people want to leave.

    I am sure that is one of the reasons the British voted to leave the EU. They are getting swamped with Eastern Europeans. They are very pushy people. Unlike most immigrants who are happy to be in a new country and take any job going these people want the best jobs.

  29. mark

    Guest – no bias proven on the ABC , you are joking. It is the largest information broadcaster in Australia and fully funded by the taxpayer. It has a charter to be balanced with its reporting yet it doesnt have one conservative presenter on any of its television or radio shows. This will always skew the panels or forums as the presenters drive the narative.

  30. Matters Not

    Apparently Russia is corrupt from top to bottom

    Not true! Yes, it was once the case that those in power had to be bought at so many levels but that’s all changed. No corruption in the bureaucracy now. That’s one thing Putin has achieved.

    These days it’s a one stop shop. Corruption is now only at the top – Putin himself. And woe betide anyone down the chain of command who takes what rightfully belongs to Putin himself. Very efficient. Very effective. So simple.

    I believe Trump will adopt the same approach if elected in the US. He’s a mate of Putin apparently.

  31. Neil of Sydney

    MN

    There is a level of corruption in Eastern Europe you do not see in English speaking countries. And they must be unpleasant places to live because everybody wants to get out.

    I knew a Polish guy who worked in the USA. He wanted to adopt a baby in Poland and take it back to the USA. Apparently you have to go to court in Poland to get approval for the adoption. Since he was in a hurry to get back to the USA he was told if he gave the judge some money his case would be put in the front of the queue. So he bribed the judge saved months of time.

    I don’t think you see that type of corruption in Australia. And apparently nothing gets done unless some money passes under the table in Eastern Europe.

  32. Möbius Ecko

    You are joking mark? Vanstone for a start, and many more. Crikey once did a breakdown of ABC presenters and staff who either came from one of the two major parties or went into politics with one of them on leaving the ABC. The count was one more Liberal than Labor.

    Then there was Alston’s stitched up enquiry into ABC, one of a few Howard undertook, that found there was bias, a bias very slightly in favour of the Howard government. Still didn’t stop Howard putting in an oversight at a quarter a million a year to ensure the ABC always favoured his government.

    Now we have Guthrie, and from the moment she took over the already obvious pro-Liberal stance, the ABC has lurched further in their favour.

  33. David

    Putin is no angel, but I am convinced he is the only voice of reason in this insane asylum called Planet Earth. There is a lot more to Putin and the Russian Christians who removed the Bolsheviks sent into Russia by The City, to kill the Czar and his family and launch the Russian Revolution. When you find out that the descendants of these Bolshevik families now control the USA, Israel, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, it helps to explain why things are going the way they are… NATO is now Nato, a private corporation, which our former Prime Minister tried so hard to gain membership for Australia. Go Figure…

  34. Kaye Lee

    The ABC has probably been reviewed more times over the years than Cats. Four reviews of the ABC’s role and performance were conducted between 2002 and 2006 alone, two by the government’s own Audit Office, one by consulting firm KPMG, and another by the Macquarie Bank.

    Howard quickly appointed personal friend and Liberal ally Donald McDonald as chairman, then made Liberal powerbroker Michael Kruger a board member. The controversial appointments continued: former Liberal MP Ross McLean; former IPA regular Ron Brunton; conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen; and right-wing historian Keith Windschuttle. A 2001 Senate committee inquiry into the appointment of ABC board members catalogued the laundry list of political appointments made over the preceding decades.

    A half-century of the government trying to undermine the ABC

  35. mark

    Openminded ABC or closeminded,the choice is Theirs.mark

  36. guest

    Mark,

    you say: “Openminded ABC or closeminded, the choice is Theirs.”

    I am not sure who ‘Theirs’ refers to – the management at the ABC or the viewers of Q&A. The ABC has a charter against bias – and, as has been shown, bias by the ABC is not found. But there is considerable bias in minds of viewers one way or another.

    So you will be surprised that there are some who think Sales, Alberici and Uhlmann are conservatives biased in favour of the Coalition. You might disagree.

    An issue of contention recently is the matter of a Muslim man (Elomar) asking a question of Pauline Hanson right there on Q&A. Huge kerfuffle. How dare this man ask a question! And why? Well, look at the Letters page in the WE Australian. One correspondent calls Elomar a ‘seditious individual’ because he shows in his social media ‘hatred of capitalism, Jews and Western democracy’.

    And well he might. Capitalism is the cause of many world problems, the Jews have taken – and continue to take – Arab land, and Western democracy has invaded the Middle East in order to protect its oil interests (the recent Chilcot Report discusses some of these issues).

    So there are many around the world and in Australia who would agree that all is not well with the West. But, hey, this man cannot express these opinions. So much for ‘free speech’. Free for some, but not for others.

    One writer suggests the inclusion of Elomar ‘was included to gratify a left-wing audience and to ambush a democratically elected member of parliament’. That’s an opinion, but it is also a weird conspiracy theory. What was the member of parliament doing there if not to answer questions, even tough ones?

    So we get people accusing Elomar of ‘appalling behaviour and abuse of others’. But are quite happy to abuse and accost him in return and to wish that he be banned. Which shows a great desire to understand Islam, doesn’t it. In fact, he does speak English, whereas another writer says the religious leaders of Islam have not spoken out against the radicals of Islam because they do not speak English, he says Nice try – another fantasy not supported by the facts.

    Then we have people attacking Turnbull for their own political purposes. And what is the charge? That he entertained Muslim leaders at a dinner! Fraternising with the enemy! The man must go!

    So we see that people have their own view about what is bias and what is not, what is ‘politically correct’, what is allowed and what is not. Some people are amazed that other people do not think the same as they do. There is one correspondent who thinks that politicians are too afraid to admit they do not believe in Global Warming. Wishful thinking. Others believe plain propaganda, for example lies about LGBTI people and schools. Or the disaster of renewable energy. Or that teachers are indoctrinating students with Marxist ideas.

    There is always someone who will have a different opinion – and for them, that is the reality, even if they just made it up themselves.

  37. helvityni

    “They are getting swamped with Eastern Europeans. They are very pushy people. Unlike most immigrants who are happy to be in a new country and take any job going these people want the best jobs.”

    Dear me ,Neill. I’ll pass that bit of info to my two sister-in-laws of Russian and Polish backgrounds…

    We can’t all be as lovely as Neill of Sydney, so sad…

  38. Matters Not

    everybody wants to get out.

    Certainly not everybody but yes some do want to ‘get out’ and travel or work elsewhere. (So do many Australians). You mention Poland which is a very ‘Catholic’ (several varieties) country and has some customs we might find a little strange. For many, many families, Sunday is a day when you first attend mass and then take masses of flowers to the cemetery to adorn virtually every gravesite. Very colourful. And yes church attendance is in decline across Europe and Poland is no exception.

    Yes ‘corruption’ occurs there as it does across Asia where it’s just the ‘common sense’. There is no concept of the Weberian civil service characterised by ‘rational’ decision makers who are somewhat distanced from the ‘interests’ involved. For many I’ve met in my travels, there is the view that there’s no use having decision making power unless you use same to further your own (or family) interests. In Asia, the corruption is fairly ‘naked’ in the sense you can see it happening all around you. In Australia (and the USA), there’s plenty of ‘corruption’ but it’s a bit more sophisticated. Less transparent. But not always. Just ask the Packers. Or maybe even Abbott who doesn’t mind the odd kickback.

    Go to Poland NoS and see what the Germans did.

  39. helvityni

    “Now we have Guthrie, and from the moment she took over the already obvious pro-Liberal stance, the ABC has lurched further in their favour.”

    Totally agree with you on that one, Möbius Ecko.

  40. Neil of Sydney

    Dear me ,Neill. I’ll pass that bit of info to my two sister-in-laws of Russian and Polish backgrounds…

    Please do. I am sure one of the reasons the Brits wanted to leave the EU was because they were being swamped by Eastern Europeans. In general immigration is good for Australia but there is nothing worse than studying for years to get a degree/apprenticeship and then find you cannot use it because you job has been taken by an immigrant. That is why i always say that unskilled immigration is fairer to the locals.

  41. Mark

    Mobius – John Howard was prime minister 9 year ago – how about the current crop of people at the ABC. Tony Jones, Kerry OBrien, Virginia Trioli, Waleed Ali, John Faine, Phillip Adams, Barrie Cassidy etc. So the best you have is Vanstone with a guest spot of 1 hour per week. Yeah -that is certainly balancing the ledger. To the other Mark- It isnt their choice. As i said earlier they have a charter to present a balanced view showing both sides of the arguments. They receive money from the Australian taxpayer and the money comes from a multitude of viewpoints. There should be no choice as to weather they do or dont .

  42. Neil of Sydney

    I almost never watch the ABC but it is the Coalition narrative that it is just another branch of the ALP. There does not appear to be anybody like Bolt, Akerman, or presenters from 2GB fronting any ABC program.

    Most Coalition supporters are suspicious of global warming or in outright denial. If such a presenter exited on the ABC i think we would know about it. Most ABC presenters would tick all the leftie boxes eg Republic, AGW,

  43. Möbius Ecko

    Jones, Cassidy, Trioli left wing? You are joking.

    Ali is a freelance, not ABC. Also Ali has been as critical of Labor as he has of the Liberals. Plus if you count him you have to count all the IPA and other far right wingers that appear on the ABC, far more of them appear than any from the centre or left.

    What of the very biased right winger Leigh Sales?

    You do know Kerry O’Brien left a while ago?

    You do know senior management are stacked with Howard and Liberal right wing appointees?

    You do know the board is stacked with extreme right wing appointees, two who have openly stated they want the ABC sold off and gone?

  44. Möbius Ecko

    Waleed started on the ABC. Just like his mentioning the long gone O’Brien, Mark is way out date, and he had a go at me for mentioning the defunct Howard.

  45. Kaye Lee

    “There does not appear to be anybody like Bolt, Akerman, or presenters from 2GB fronting any ABC program.”

    What does one say to that? Bolt and Ackerman both were regulars on Insiders until they got themselves in trouble. I can’t think of anyone on 2GB who could host a current affairs program. They are all ignorant angry old men who just want to shove their ill-informed opinions down your throat. Hadley, Jones, Fordham, Price….not one of them is capable of hosting a discussion.

  46. Neil of Sydney

    Bolt and Ackerman both were regulars on Insiders until they got themselves in trouble.

    Bolt and Akerman are nor presenters. Bolt left Insiders because he wanted to start his own show on Channel 10. Akerman was kicked off the Insiders panel because he mentioned some rumour about Gillard or something like that. The ABC gets upset when people mention rumors about the ALP

    If there were any Conservative presenters on the ABC we would know who they were. Fact is ABC hosts tick all the leftie boxes.

  47. Kaye Lee

    It is the panel members who do the discussing Neil and it has been shown time and time again by countless reviews that there are more right wing panelists than left wing.

    The most frequently-appearing panellists on Q&A, as of 11 July 2016 are listed below:
    Name Role Appearances
    Tanya Plibersek Labor 25
    Christopher Pyne Liberal 24
    Malcolm Turnbull Liberal 22
    Barnaby Joyce National 18
    Bill Shorten Labor 18
    George Brandis Liberal 16
    Joe Hockey Liberal 15
    Penny Wong Labor 15
    Greg Sheridan The Australian 13
    Chris Bowen Labor 13
    Janet Albrechtsen The Australian 12
    Julie Bishop Liberal 12
    Craig Emerson Labor 12
    Greg Hunt Liberal 12
    Graham Richardson Labor, Sky News Australia 12
    Kelly O’Dwyer Liberal 12
    Germaine Greer Author 11
    Sophie Mirabella Liberal 11
    Judith Sloan The Australian 11
    Tony Burke Labor 10
    Kate Ellis Labor 10
    David Marr The Guardian Australia 10
    Christine Milne Greens 10
    Amanda Vanstone Liberal, ABC Radio National 10

  48. Jack Straw

    The trouble is Neil all Conservatives are fundamentalist’s. Like you

  49. helvityni

    Neil, instead of educating our own people to take those ‘good’ jobs here in Australia, we import people from overseas on special visas, because they have those skills and degrees needed.

    So if some of them are a bit PUSHY, you could also say that some of our own people are rather CRUEL…see what is happening to the aboriginal kids in detention, also our asylum seeker treatment wasn’t always most humane either.

  50. jimhaz

    Gosh Mark and Neil are nice people. So much care for the highly skilled, highly paid white guys of his age. These poor right wing people who have so much personal trouble living well and need to constantly cry out in woeful tones about the injustice done against the silent minority – those poor rich people, for whom the ABC has sown their lips together.

    Ohh I can feel their pain as they and those who the jocks kindly take care of from the goodness of their hearts and lots of money, travel around the world on yachts drinking champagne and unwinding from their mighty work efforts. Whipping others can be so draining. Many of them have to turn to prostitutes for love.

    The great suffering Bolts and co only have opportunities across the 80% of the media that does not like lefties that much, well unless they are young and funny and hide their lefty values.

    How dare the ABC, seemingly an ABC only they pay for, not look after them and not promote their interests. How dare they not use entirely all the available propaganda and base emotion inducing tricks used by their great white hope – Murdoch.

  51. jimhaz

    Privatisation has damaged the economy, says ACCC chief

    “I’ve been a very strong advocate of privatisation for probably 30 years; I believe it enhances economic efficiency,” Mr Sims told the Melbourne Economic Forum on Tuesday.

    “I’m now almost at the point of opposing privatisation because it’s been done to boost proceeds, it’s been done to boost asset sales and I think it’s severely damaging our economy.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/privatisation-has-damaged-the-economy-says-accc-chief-20160726-gqe2c2.html

  52. Neil of Sydney

    It is the panel members who do the discussing

    Well the topic was the lack of Conservative hosts/presenters on the ABC. Since you changed the topic from presenters to panelists you must agree there are no Conservatives hosting an ALP program. They would stick out like a sore thumb because the ABC is ALP supporting.

    Neil, instead of educating our own people to take those ‘good’ jobs here in Australia, we import people from overseas on special visas, because they have those skills and degrees needed.

    Too funny. I thought you voted Labor.

    Actually there is another large group swamping the market other than the Eastern Europeans and that is people from Asia especially China. Education is a big money spinner for Australia. Wealthy Chinese send their kids to Australia to get a University degree. They are supposed to fly home when their visa expires. The kids like it here so much they try and stay. If the legal ways don’t work they then apply for asylum. The say they have converted to Christianity or become believes in democracy and would be persecuted if they went back home.

    These are the so-called asylum seekers who fly in by plane.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: