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They don’t care about us

I read John Lord’s article, ‘What your own say about you’ (17th August) the other day while suffering a slight case of jetlag, and replete with matters European still swirling in my head.

It struck me that the quoted comments John listed from various members of the Coalition were all about themselves, nothing about government, nothing about what they were really there for; it was just about them.

Even Barnaby Joyce agreed saying of the internal squabbling that most of his colleagues would rather put the nation at risk than build a stronger nation.

And they are still at it. Not even a razor thin majority has caused them to stop. Which tells us that politics, wherever you are, is the same. It sucks. Democracy is dead and has been so for perhaps the last thirty years.

We live in a plutocratic world; government for the wealthy, by the wealthy. Politicians everywhere are merely pawns, already compromised before they are elected.

This upcoming 45th parliament is going to be a rocky road for the Turnbull/Joyce Coalition. Labor’s Tony Burke has set the tone reminding Malcolm Turnbull of the tactics of Tony Abbott not providing pairs when in opposition. Turnbull is about to get the same.

What goes around comes around and the Coalition are about to experience what Julia Gillard experienced in the 43rd parliament. The problem is, their negotiating skills are not a patch on Julia’s.

How long will this parliament last? It’s anybody’s guess. I give it between one and two years. It’s not just the razor thin majority Turnbull has to shoulder.

Tony Abbott is now leading the conservative wing of the parliamentary party and keen to make life as difficult as possible for Turnbull.

It won’t be long before some very nasty bits of infighting become very public, causing a degree of disunity that John Howard once described as the death of a political party.

When that happens, as it will, we will see how much they care about us. Good government will be a pipe dream. It’s been so long since we had any, we probably wouldn’t recognise it anyway.

20160713172905!Theresa_May_UK_Home_Office_(cropped) Overseas, it’s the same. New British Prime Minister, Theresa May promised to govern for all. The mere fact that she said that, shows that it hasn’t been happening. Nor will it happen under her watch.

Long before a local candidate tells you he/she cares about you, he/she has sold their soul to the highest bidder. It is so endemic, we have come to accept it as normal.

They will tell you whatever you want to hear, but do not delude yourself they care. That would flatter us all. We know this because once they are elected, they change. The rhetoric deviates ever so slightly to mean something else.

How much governing will there be in this 45th parliament? Not much! How much of the promised ‘jobs and growth’ will we see? Again, not much. And what about the economy? The latest employment figures give us no reason to be optimistic.

Read Bill Mitchell’s assessment of the latest wages growth estimates and you will see the revenue projections for the forward estimates are already in trouble. Scott Morrison’s first budget is already in tatters. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Politicians are a miserable lot. Even after they break promises, they insist they haven’t. When they are taken to task they have a ready answer prepared by the party machine.

Being overseas for a few weeks helps restore one’s balance. Australia rarely gets a mention. There is so much real news happening daily, even hourly around the world, it’s clear we have nothing to contribute. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Abc_world_news_now_logo_2016 It’s just that when you arrive home to read of the “political storm” raging about one thing or another, one gets the impression our media are blissfully unaware of what is real news. Little wonder social media is leading the way.

One thing we can be sure of though, is that in Canberra they really don’t care about us? You only have to look beyond the rhetoric, the false promises and the internal bickering to see the evidence.

Michael Jackson nailed it.


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  1. Kronomex

    Any time I hear a politician, particularly from the LNP, say, “We are here to govern for all Australians.” I cringe because it means that they are talking about the 10% and corporations. The other 90% are inconvenient and only remembered in the lead up to elections.

  2. Zathras

    The latest employment figures reinforce the fact that full time jobs are simply being turned into additional part-time ones.

    Converting a full-time 40 hour/week job into four ten hour/week ones may look like employment is rising but it’s adding to the cost of social security supplement handouts and reducing the overall tax receipts – not to mention the other social costs.

    The government is still only governing for it’s financial sponsors/owners at the top end and it’s really beginning to show. – hence the growing dissatisfaction and voter backlash against the “establishment”.

  3. stephentardrew

    Great piece John clear succinct and to the point. Agree wholeheartedly.

  4. Karl Young

    Obstinate Ideology,greed and lack of lateral thinking is killing planet earth and all it’s inhabitants.

  5. Deanna Jones

    “Government for the wealthy, by the wealthy”

    Says it all, really.

    Now I have that song stuck in my head, John! Not that I mind, it was one of his finest.

  6. Harquebus

    Politicians lie to us but, it is the MSM that lets them get away with it.

    Aussie journalists are only slightly more trustworthy than the corporate bought and paid for politicians that they serve. How proud they must be.

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” — Mark Twain

  7. Geoff Andrews

    You mustn’t give in to the dull diet of pessimism.

  8. stephengb2014

    John – our world was taken over by neoliberalism.

    In 1971 Lewis Powell wrote a memo to the American Chamber of Commerce which became the Neoliberal Project.
    This project in fact infiltrated all of our most influentual institutions and promoted a return to the time when the elites were those with wealth and power and the rest of us were theirs to ensure that status remained.

    Here is a good article by David Harvey

  9. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks John,

    this is all the more reason to turn our parliament on its head and promote multi-party government where major parties lose their dominating influence and where they must negotiate with alternative players.

    The trick will be to promote as many progressive, grassroots and reformist parties as possible to counter-balance extremist and regressive voices that also could emerge.

    My thinking is that even those voices that would tend to be regressive, they would over time, modify because the sense that their voices are being heard would be an affirming and consensus-building tonic for positive nation-building.

    Nothing like nation-building consensus to defeat cynical neoliberalism.

  10. Wayne Turner

    Yet enough morons in this country,keep voting them back in.

    Stupidity the common currency of Australia 🙁

  11. jim

    The sad thing is that most people don’t give politics a second thought until the last week of the election and then as make their choice on who looks the most “in control” plus maybe one or two policies however in Australia it’s the MSM that write the script every time

    We have the worst government . since 1949 and it’s the LNP,……As the Australia Institute’s research in June found – across a broad range of economic measures, the Abbott/Turnbull government has performed the worst of any Australian government since 1949. Economist Jim Stanford’s report examines economic performance across 12 indicators – including GDP per capita, the unemployment rate, employment growth and the growth of real business investment and intellectual property investment …

  12. Steve Laing -

    The problem is that these party politicians are too easily controlled. Do as you are told, or be prepared to lose your candidacy. They are nothing but guns for hire, and not particularly effective at that. They simply would not have the skills to survive in the modern business world.

    And I wish they would stop calling Turnbull a businessman. He is a banker, a venture capitalist – a speculator. Buy low, sell high. Made all his money from one lucky deal selling at a good time (but actually well before the top of the market, which shows he wasn’t really that shrewd an investor). He hasn’t run a proper organisation in his life, and wouldn’t know how to. And it shows.

  13. Pingback: They don’t care about us | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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