Tuesday 8 August 2017.
Public Apathy and 75 Ideas to Make You Shudder
Since taking another look at the Institute of Public Affairs 2013 ’75 proposals’ for then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to radically change the culture and political landscape of Australia, I have wanted to revisit them. Mainly because the ideas they represent reinforce my view that we no longer have a Liberal Party but a neo-conservative party deeply entrenched in the very worst values of the extreme-right and serfdom.
Doing so has only strengthened my belief that the Australian electorate is in such a political malaise that it is totally incapable of taking an informed view of what an alternative government might do if they had the power.
Those who are familiar with me on Facebook will know that every day I post ‘My Thought For The Day’ quote. They range from the political through to almost any subject and often generate some good discussion. Here are four political examples:
“In a lifetime of following politics in this country I have never known the electorate to be in such a political malaise.”
“Less-informed voters unfortunately outnumber the more politically aware. Therefore, conservatives feed them all the bullshit they need. And the menu generally contains a fair portion of untruths.”
“Labor came before capital and is not related to it. Capital is what’s acquired from labour, and would never have come about if it were not for labour. Therefore, labour is superior to capital and deserves the higher significance.”
“We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level.”
It was a response to one of them by an American friend (Frank Innes) that caught my eye and afforded me the opportunity to comment on the IPA proposals. (By the way, Frank is a retired teacher and lives in Missouri).
Capitalism, socialism, fascism, neo liberalism and communism are only economic THEORIES! They are nothing more than words written on paper.
They are not active and they do nothing. Each theory is neither good nor bad. Each theory is ultimately what the people make of them.
Democracy is nothing more than a theory. The US Constitution and Bill of Rights have NO AUTHORITY … they are nothing more than what We The People make of them (when we the people ignore and neglect our government it is then taken over by self-interest groups to serve their own purposes and there is nothing that says that those who come to manage the government must be ethical, moral, or responsible to the people. When good people neglect their government lesser people then govern them.
We the People have the government we deserve. The fault of government or our economic system is within us; we the People! … the problem is to be found right behind your nose.
Therein is the problem facing the Australian electorate. It has to date been successfully conned by the then opposition of Tony Abbott and later the leadership of both he and his successor Malcolm Turnbull into believing that they have all the answers.
However, any enquiring mind could only conclude that the current government and that of Abbott’s are the worst ever.
Both leaders frequently lie but the public never turns its head.
One only has to raise the subject of politics in general conversation to gauge the utter apathy of the electorate.
Proof of the MSM of Murdoch deception can be evidenced when an opinion is sought about the government’s performance.
People will indicate dissatisfaction but cannot articulate why. And they have no idea what the government stands for or indeed what its policies are.
Even though I am a locked-in social democrat I have always considered myself a believer in democracy first and foremost. I originated this quote:
“You cannot possibly believe in democracy if at the same time you believe that your party is the only one that should ever win.”
I used to believe that, but now confronted with this government’s performance, together with its extremism, I am in fact absolutely frightened – no, petrified – by the prospect of them winning another term.
Frank Innes is correct when he says “isms” are nothing without public support. The ALP should take out full-page ads with these 75 proposals splashed in the boldest type for people to see just how demented most of them are and just how they would change the very fabric of Australian society.
They should also be extensively published on all categories of social media. Turnbull should then be asked to comment on those he might consider or implement … or deny them altogether.
The Institute of Public Affairs is a free market right-wing think tank that is funded by some of Australia’s major companies and is closely aligned to the Liberal Party. The 75 proposals were accompanied by an article titled “Be like Gough: 75 radical ideas to transform Australia“ and attributed to John Roskam, Chris Berg and James Paterson.
Here is a short extract:
If he wins government, Abbott faces a clear choice. He could simply overturn one or two symbolic Gillard-era policies like the carbon tax, and govern moderately. He would not offend any interest groups. In doing so, he’d probably secure a couple of terms in office for himself and the Liberal Party. But would this be a successful government? We don’t believe so. The remorseless drift to bigger government and less freedom would not halt, and it would resume with vigour when the Coalition eventually loses office. We hope he grasps the opportunity to fundamentally reshape the political culture and stem the assault on individual liberty.
It is the essence of that last sentence that particularly grates. The following list (below) gives you some idea of the havoc that has been or is going to be caused by the IPA and this truly rotten government we have.
It’s time to wake up, Australia.
Those of you who so diligently follow my words each day might like to tell me which of the items have already been ticked off and those likely too.
Here is the list:
1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.
2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change
3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund
4 Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
5 Abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council
6 Repeal the renewable energy target
7 Return income taxing powers to the states
8 Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission
9 Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
10 Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol
11 Introduce fee competition to Australian universities
12 Repeal the National Curriculum
13 Introduce competing private secondary school curriculums
14 Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
15 Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’
16 Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law
17 End local content requirements for Australian television stations
18 Eliminate family tax benefits
19 Abandon the paid parental leave scheme
20 Means-test Medicare
21 End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
22 Introduce voluntary voting
23 End mandatory disclosures on political donations
24 End media blackout in final days of election campaigns
25 End public funding to political parties
26 Remove anti-dumping laws
27 Eliminate media ownership restrictions
28 Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board
29 Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency
30 Cease subsidising the car industry
31 Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction
32 Rule out federal funding for 2018 Commonwealth Games
33 Deregulate the parallel importation of books
34 End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws
35 Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP
36 Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit
37 Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database
38 Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food
39 Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities
40 Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools
41 Repeal the alcopops tax
42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including:
- a) Lower personal income tax for residents
- b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers
- c) Encourage the construction of dams
43 Repeal the mining tax
44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
45 Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold
46 Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent
47 Cease funding the Australia Network
48 Privatise Australia Post
49 Privatise Medibank
50 Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function
51 Privatise SBS
52 Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784
53 Repeal the Fair Work Act
54 Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them
55 Encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors
56 Abolish the Baby Bonus
57 Abolish the First Home Owners’ Grant
58 Allow the Northern Territory to become a state
59 Halve the size of the Coalition front bench from 32 to 16
60 Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade
61 Slash top public servant salaries too much lower international standards, like in the United States
62 End all public subsidies to sport and the arts
63 Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
64 End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering
65 Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification
66 Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship
67 Means test tertiary student loans
68 Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement
69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built
70 End all government-funded Nanny State advertising
71 Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling
72 Privatise the CSIRO
73 Defund Harmony Day
74 Close the Office for Youth
75 Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme
My thought for the day.
“Every day I write my opinions on a variety of subjects. They are my own thoughts based on my political philosophy, many individual and collective influences, and my world view based on 77 years of a living experience. I claim no ownership of righteousness. I accept that your words may be more worthy than mine.”