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Day to Day Politics: Ad hoc news of the week.

Friday 8 June 2018

If you have been wondering where I have been the last few days the truth of it is that I got lost in the words of a couple of my quotations. I have been writing them and hopefully living by them most of my adult life.

“You cannot always change what happens to you. Often you have no control over it. What you do have control over is the way in which you respond.”

Responding to this one took some time but eventually I broke through. Anyway, it’s better than taking pills.

“Having the ability to admit that you are wrong is an absolute prerequisite to discernment and knowledge.”

Resolving issues takes time and these are still a work in progress but at least I have put fingers to keys and the words still grow. Just needed a little water.

Anyway, given that time has been against me today I thought I would make some ad hoc comments about current affairs in our beloved world of politics and culture, and invite you to comment or discuss them.

1 Figures show that our economic growth reached 3% for the March quarter and the Treasurer is bragging that it is the Government’s doing. However, if you look more closely you will see that the 3% is almost wholly attributable to the commodities China purchased from us.

Our economic performance is solely on the back of China’s continuing growth. Can it continue? No one knows.

An observation

“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).

An economy dependent on one nation’s purchases is not a very stable one.

2 Of course political donations from other countries should be banned and the internal ones should be revealed in real time. It’s common sense and defeats corruption. So what’s stopping the implementation?

3 Apparently four of those accused of being dual citizens spent a cool million dollars on travel expenses over the past 6 months. Seemingly they weren’t ineligible until the High Court said so. But that’s really flying high.

4 One Nation is down to 2 seats now. Are they finished?

Now six party figures have fallen out with Senator Hanson.

Quality of leadership is so vitality important. If you think you own the Party then the others in the end will reject you.

Or it could be argued that if elected as a party representative you should stay with that party for the duration of the term.

Not sure I agree with that.

5 The Government has members of the IPA in its ranks including Fifield, whose only aim is to demolish the ABC. He should declare his hand or step down. At the moment it’s the tabloids, the IPA, the Government and shock jocks versus the ABC.

6 Because I write about these things I thought I should watch the family of the century interview. What a non-event it must have been for the blue rinse set that loves a bit of tittle-tattle over the back fence.

There were no questions about the Christening, circumcision, what best private school, travel expenses or costs. And not a bit about where to send the blue knitted blankets. Oh, and not a word about Barnaby contesting the seat of New England after what was a train wreck interview.

7 A thought: We are desensitised now. We read these articles and feel weary. We struggle to comprehend why these elected representatives behave so unethically and immorally as we race out the door to catch the train to our casual jobs.

8 One thing overlooked this week was the fortnightly Essential Poll that showed a big lift in the Labor vote. It sometimes seems like the only Poll that matters is Newspoll:

“Labor roars back in the latest Essential poll, despite a slump in Bill Shortens personal ratings.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll sharply reverses a recent trend away from Labor, who are back to leading 54-46 on two-party preferred after their lead fell to 51-49 in the previous poll. This is apparently driven by a four-point drop in the Coalition primary vote, but as usual we will have to wait until later today for the full numbers. However, it’s a curiously different story on leadership ratings, on which Malcolm Turnbull gains two on approval since last month to reach 42% while remaining steady on 42% disapproval, while Bill Shorten is down four to 33% and up five to 46%. Turnbull’s lead over Shorten as preferred prime minister is unchanged, shifting from 40-26 to 41-27. Like ReachTEL and unlike Newspoll, Essential has posed a straightforward question on company tax cuts that finds approval and disapproval tied on 37%. The poll also finds 68% support for an increase in Newstart.”

My thought for the day

“We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?”


13 comments

  1. Don Kelly

    During the Howard Governments tenure the biggest fiscal swing occurred 1999-2000 (a shift of 1.4%GDP) surplus. A sharp slowdown in the economy followed that and the fiscal balance was in deficit 2 years later (2001-2002). The economy only returned to growth because the Chinese Communist government ran large fiscal deficits themselves as part of their urban and regional development strategy. That spurred demand in our mining sector and made Gina Rinehart the richest woman in the world. It also gave Howard something to crow about. Then in 2007 the Labor government increased the government’s deficit when they managed through the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression. To Labor’s credit, they introduced a large and rapid stimulus package which saved Australia from recording a recession – there was a slowdown only.

  2. Wam

    Loved 3:
    20 years ago one of our senators showed the labor idiots the way but he spent his own money flying to england, something the modern politician is loath to do.
    4
    it is difficult but we all lived with the process ‘argue in the room solid in public’ that was the basis of labor and crossing was the end. Slimes like fitzgibbon and the lemon scared the pants off neo-boys, husic in particular, by white-anting gillard instead of attacking the rabbott.
    If Australian politics has a strength it is in it being a collective business with a good range of backgrounds. The pay, conditions and apres service opportunities has attracted the sharp end of town who con and stack branches with mormons and catholics. Wow the xstians are back in charge? Hanson is strong and palmer is calling for candidates. Put bill next to them?
    5 to the (vast?) majority of lnp voters the ABC is anti-them and their values. The privatising would restore the balance found in America and save billions.
    The fact that most Australians don’t watch the ABC (check the daily ratings mon-fri only 7/9 news with the ABC news getting 3rd spot saturday) TV or listen to radio will prevail and it these awful people con the workers into voting for them again, vale ABC. That will leave replacing the dole with food stamps as the last of the our charge to americanisation.
    7 we know what they do if someone tells us? Do you rely on them telling us more than will sell?
    8 the polls tell us shorten will not be pm and labor cannot win unless he is seen positively on 7 and 9. That is a daunting task for any labor politician.

    You have had that thought periodically over the years why not answer it?
    Compulsory voting?
    Shakyspear’s lady what’s done cannot be undone’
    We get great turn outs but if it wasn’t compulsory a cynical guess would it under 50% will bother to vote.
    We are too rich to worry about politics or too poor to worry about anything beyond living.

  3. Keith

    While there has been much activity against dual citizens within Parliament; arguably, generally members of Parliament belonging to the odious IPA are more of a risk to decent Australians than the politicians caught out through the dual citizenship matter. A central theme of views put out by the IPA is the break down of regulations and creating a smaller government.

    Without seeing deregulation we have already witnessed employers screwing their employees through not paying appropriate wages, the only education some private education firms provide is for students to be very wary of what they offer etc. The ABC provides the most reliable news and quality drama.

    The IPA puts out a lot of garbage in relation to climate change.

  4. Wam

    ps jl still nothing about the trump or guliana or the success of his meeting with kim11? What about his next kim? Pretty flash at even arranging one?? Now Abe wants a kim11 meeting??

    Sorry, Keith, the ABC used to provide such quality for a much larger % than watch the other 23 hours but the sacking of kerry and the uhlmann ringing the rabbott to seek a blessing to go to 7:30 set the new tone and his lofty 9 appointment confirmed QED. Still I no longer watch QandA and rarely watch 7:30, 4 corners or late news. The morning show and 24 could go to save a few quid?
    Thanks wun am on the way home from south so not able to look yet fully yet but casual is slipping under the labor radar because of ‘union’ connection fears??

  5. Wam

    Wow, Wun Falung,
    channel 9 and the actu?? Got to tea tree but still not opening will try when we get to tennant. But I feel positive. Mr Lord, hope Labor moves??

  6. Dave G.

    Have just been attempting to decode Wam’s post,is it some cryptic message to an as yet unknown new political movement?Has anyone cracked the code?

  7. Charles Lowe

    John – have you even the faintest idea (despite the massivity of my admiration for you, your writing, your dedication and your ineffable spirit) just how gargantuanly critical this quote of yours will prove to be?:

    “We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?”

    So very many of us thoughtful and reflective beings subsume in this hazy political morass that representative democracy itself has been increasing its own likelihood of self-destruction.

    Any further thoughts?

  8. Frank Smith

    We are being promised an urgent shakeup to foreign interference laws. So will we now see that American oligarch Rupert Murdoch indited for grossly interfering in our Australian democracy over his long lifetime? Will we see him even warned off by our busy Attoney General? Somehow I doubt it!

  9. king1394

    Like many truisms, it is possibly incorrect to assume that people have very little interest in politics. They show little interest because from day to day not much can be changed by individuals. Even when 500,000 people marched in Sydney against the Iraq war, our political leaders did not need to take notice. People can feel passionately, but it doesn’t ‘trickle down’; engagement in political action does not seem connected with the decision-making of politicians. Nor do many people seem to make the connection between the decisions of the Federal / State Governments and the individual local member who was so nice at the basketball presentation.
    But I find many people I know are very certain about their political beliefs, and do vote accordingly (as far as I know)

  10. John Lord

    Charles Lowe

    There is no encouragement to do so. Giving it more thought.

  11. Pappinbarra Fox

    king1394: a correction. Not “our political leaders”. More precisely: John Howard, he had already decided to go to war to follow GWB, despite telling the country that a decision had not been made. So we have the consequences being revealed now. War is all the atrocities that go with it and should not come as a surprise. Every war is atrocious no war is civilised. There are no Queensbury rules in war. John Winston Howard should be held responsible for the “rogue” soldiers committing war crimes as it is transparently foreseeable. It is pathetic. That gibbering buffoon should hang his head in shame. A Royal Commission should be held into why/how Australia went to war in Afghanistan.

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