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Yes is inclusive, No is divisive

The words speak for themselves, but I shall return to them briefly…


I feel sorry for conservatives

It may sound condescending to say I feel sorry for conservatives but I do.

Conservatives live in constant fear.  Fear of government regulations, fear of taxation, fear of social evolution, fear of “the other”, and the overriding fear that drives it all – the fear that they may have to share.

They throw the phrase “nanny state” around whenever health and safety regulations are discussed and spit the “socialist” epithet at anyone who suggests we should help the disadvantaged.  They will stridently resist any attempt to get them to contribute to the social contract, employing bevies of financial and legal teams to beat the system.

They are inordinately afraid of women, gays and foreigners – unless they are very wealthy in which case we can overlook their non-membership of the Christian heterosexual white male club.  They’ll never be really accepted but sufficient wealth and connections can buy associate membership.

Conservatives want to protect their stash and watch it grow.  Anyone who doesn’t have an asset base is just not trying hard enough.  No excuses tolerated.  No empathy in sight.  No role for government in job creation or wealth redistribution.  No recognition of how much easier it is to make money when you are given some to start off.

Not all conservatives are wealthy of course.  Some of them cling to the failed hope that, by making the rich richer, some of that will trickle down to them.  Others just like having someone to blame for their circumstances.

Some ultra-conservatives deny the theory of evolution.  All of them resist social evolution.

Conservative governments have fought tooth and nail against the introduction of Medicare, the superannuation guarantee, paid parental leave, women’s reproductive rights, equal rights for defacto couples, and a myriad of other benefits that make this one of the best places to live.

Conservative women say they are not feminists.  They say it is important for women to retain their femininity which apparently means spending a lot of money on designer clothes and beauty products and not being aggressive or “casting yourself as a victim”.

To conservatives, men should be the bread winners and women the unpaid domestic help.  Traditional families, where the man can pass on his accumulated possessions to his bloodline borne from his monogamous wife, are the only acceptable relationship.

They insist our society is based on Christian values, denying that the vast majority of religions hold similar values.  Even within our Christianity, the various sects jealously guard their differences.  Kids from the Catholic schools were/are taught to look down on kids from the public schools.

Conservatives think that allowing others to share their privilege will somehow demean it, kind of like letting the wrong sort join the country club.  We see that in their opposition to marriage equality and to refugees and immigration in general.

Conservatives cannot accept criticism, cannot ever concede they were wrong, and will never say sorry.  If they make any backflips or change their mind, it was never their fault – blame it on Labor, or the Senate, or global headwinds, or better still, Muslims and people on welfare.

They are suspicious of critical advice and usually just reject facts they don’t like.  The examples are endless – Howard’s rejection of the Stolen Generation report, Abbott’s attacks on Gillian Trigg’s report into children in detention, the rejection of warnings from climate scientists, the basically universal agreement amongst economists that our property tax concessions are skewing investment away from more productive enterprises, and the endless attacks on the ABC.

As they cling doggedly to the past, they resist the promise of the future.  They do not view spending on education, foreign aid, preventive health and crime measures, research and action on climate change, as an investment.  They know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.  They live for the quick profit that can be made today with no thought of the consequences.

So yes, I feel sorry for conservatives who will never understand the joy of helping others, the pride in knowing that you have acted with integrity, and the enormous potential that our very diverse multiracial society has if we all work together.

We, not me.  Us, not them.  Stop admiring yourself in the mirror and take some responsibility for your fellow human beings as if they, too, are part of your family.

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  1. guest

    And then, of course, Kaye, there is the fear of climate change which could change everything.

    Then there is the fear that they themselves might have to clean up the mess they themselves have made – and pay for it.

    So many of them are scared so witless that they say stupid things which are impossible to justify.

  2. kerri

    Is it not true that conservatives are more likely to be religious?
    This goes with the worship of wealthier people as some form of god! Donald Trump anyone?
    I get the wealthy conservatives. They are looking after no1, but the less well off, hopeful, gullible, truth denying blue collar conservatives can only be explained by misplaced religious fervour.
    Good article Kaye Lee.

  3. Ella

    Kaye, as usual thought provoking.
    Listening this morning to the news, once again, Mr. Morrison totally rejected the thought of negative gearing changes . Perhaps it is a fear of loosing their vested interest supporters.
    As with so many of the social issues the status quo must stay because they fear there will be a mass extinction of the privileged class.

  4. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Kaye.

    Fear certainly is one driver. A sense of superiority is another driver.

    The best approach towards such self-deluded people is showing how good it feels to be kind, resourceful, inclusive, fair and energetic in looking for equitable solutions for the common good.

  5. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, It is difficult to know which is the largest driver of their policies greed or installing fear into the Australian community, nevertheless their attack on “people” diverts attention away from their main occupation which is shoveling Australian dollars into foreign multinational non tax paying corporations. This practice creates more “people” living in poverty in Australia now having passed the 3 million mark.
    It is also worth noting that in February of this year the 1% who own 50%+ of the global economy actually passed that 50% mark, the outlook for we Australian people under the forces of the conservative government remains grim at best.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Conservatives are not interested in the causes of problems and they prefer the punitive approach to solving them eg mandatory sentencing, truancy officers, offshore detention, welfare crackdowns, union bashing. UNLESS of course, it is their club doing the transgressing in which case we will pay the polluters, cut tax rates for the evaders, and give visas to rich organised crime figures to come here and launder their money. We will very quickly crack down on anyone who was paid too much family benefit but we seem incapable of prosecuting foreign bribery charges.

    And as for parliament, they haven’t yet had time to vote on rescinding their lifetime gold travel passes that Tony Abbott announced in 2014 as their share of the heavy lifting.

  7. auntyuta

    Hello, Townsvilleblog, I reckon it looks especially grim because I cannot see how Labor acts very differently when they are in power. No wonder, people lose trust in democracy! Yes, sadly so far greed and fear are the driving forces. Where are the people that are not full of greed and fear? Sure there are some, however so far they are more or less ignored by the majority of Australians. Greed and fear dominate!

  8. Phil

    Yep Kaye, that neatly sums up the conservative condition.

    Thank you Kaye for your wonderful and thoughtful writings.

    Ella “they fear there will be a mass extinction of the privileged class”

    What a very good idea.

  9. Kaye Lee


    For me, writing is cathartic. It means I don’t have to have the thoughts swirling around my head. I also really enjoy the discussions that follow. I know I shouldn’t take part in them as much as I do but it’s like inviting a whole heap of interesting people over for dinner minus all the hassle.

    My family is also very grateful that I have another outlet rather than expressing my outrage to them every time they walk in the door.

    I thank all those who make their contributions – it is both stimulating and comforting to know that the whole world doesn’t think like our politicians.

  10. Terry2

    I too feel sorry for Conservatives in the same way as I would for the ‘walking dead’. It’s not their fault, it’s contagious and in both cases washing hands regularly is recommended.

    Having said that, you wouldn’t want either let loose in polite society.

  11. Miriam English

    Thanks Kaye for “venting” in this way. It is reassuring to hear like minds.

    I woke up this morning thinking about that ridiculously self-named Captain Awesome‘s statement that he objects to paying for people to sit around playing World of Warcraft instead of getting out there and doing work. Leaving aside the lack of jobs, I got to thinking about how very puritanical his thinking is; that work is the purpose of life, and that pleasure is bad. Conservatives have a lot to answer for. Their punitive approach to existence is awful — suffering through work is superior to idle pleasure. We need to change that attitude if we’re to reduce the over-consumption of our society.

  12. Jexpat

    I will never understand their fear and loathing of bicycles. For starters.

  13. Wayne Turner

    I don’t feel sorry for them at all.I feel sorry for the rest of us,having to put up with them,and them making society worse.

    Conservative voters are made up of two groups – MEGA RICH and MEGA STUPID.BOTH are MEGA SELFISH too.

    The MEGA STUPID out number the MEGA RICH,and we are all the worst off for it.

  14. lawrencewinder

    Yep… and they fear achievement, too. It threatens their banality and their unimaginative mental dross

  15. Matters Not

    Not all conservatives are wealthy of course.

    Yet we have any number who vote against their own interests. Who behave as though they (financially) do ‘have it’ – when clearly they don’t. As Sumner Miller would ask – Why is it so?

    Perhaps it’s because of the belief that one day it will all come true. After all, look at the number who believe there is a heaven. Who believe there is an all knowing, loving God – who will eventually reward them. If not in this life, then certainly in the next.

    What matters most is belief . Forget science, rationality, history and the like – all that matters is belief . Look around – particularly at the political world.

  16. Kade

    SPOT ON! It seems obvious …. conservative = narrow, stunted, mean, unsharing, unevolved, small

  17. Neil Harris

    Your quote from GK Galbraith sums it up very succinctly. How to justify my egocentric values and excuse my lack of empathy. To see this in action just watch conservative guests (or hosts) on TV. As “reality has a well known liberal (social democratic) bias” strategies have to be developed to counter it. Here are some:

    Always blame someone else for your own mess.
    If someone points out that you are mistaken (eg ScoMo on negative gearing) just repeat the lie.
    Invent your own truthines – wind farms caused South Australian blackouts, wealth trickles down.
    If you hear someone else spouting facts or making sense, shout, interrupt.
    Get comfortable with hypocrisy and logical inconsistency – cutting welfare payments for the poor, disabled or out of work is fiscally responsible, handing over a billion dollars to Adani is also fiscally responsible.
    Attack and demonise those who are victims of our economic and social system.
    Project your own failings onto your opponents – the poor are greedy, scientists are liars, Labor are bad economic managers, greenies are after political power.

    And so on and on and on.

  18. Exoplanet

    Conservative voters are made up of two groups

    This sort of thing is irritating when conservative commentators do it to ‘lefties’ (and even more so when lefties do it to themselves). Must be irritating to conservatives when we do it to them. Terms of qualification can be useful, not just for the sake of truthfulness but in terms of giving the appearance of being a rational person, and more than that, perhaps even expressing the actual reality of it.

  19. Graeme Henchel

    Nice article. However I believe that conservatives views on refugees and immigration is quite nuanced. They in fact like high levels of immigration because it gives them a growing population to feed their greed and an increasing pool of labor to to ensure there is enough unemployment to reduce wages. Likewise with 457 type arrangements. Their attitude towards refugees is purely pragmatic, they have found a wonderful distraction and wedge for labor to keep the Hoi polio engaged whilst they screw them over. Having all this attention on “boat people” allows them to cover for the rorts occurring with 457 visas.

  20. brickbob

    Thanks for some great writing, and one thing that has always perplexed me is why conservatives think it is their god given right to ‘spend tax payers money on themselves.
    I know most politicians engage in gorging their wallets to a certain extent but conservatives have taken it to a high art form,and they are damm good at it,and a recent example was the latest report on how much former living PMs are still costing us,and yes you guessed it,John Howard is light years ahead of the pack when it comes to spending our money amd he is really really good at it,in fact one could say he has a PhD in rorting tax payers money.
    Anyway,if anybody out there could tell me why conservatives think it is their natural right to take and spend public funds i would be most grateful.”””””

  21. Matters Not

    Watched The Drum. Cater, a well known conservative critic of the ABC was again a guest. (Only enjoyable part was Ellen Fanning’s backhander that put Cater on his proverbial @rse.) Cater, on a couple of occasions, made reference to a ‘disabled family member’.

    Surprise, surprise, that intellectually disabled ‘family member’ made another guest appearance on the ABC this morning. Why does the ABC give so many gigs to the intellectually challenged duo Nick Cater and Rebecca Weisser? Surely there’s a greater need for balance? It’s a strange, strange world.

  22. Kaye Lee

    In September last year, that orifice of wisdom Nick Cater wrote the following….

    “Morrison’s promotion after nine months immersed in social services augurs well for the future. We have a Treasurer who would understand better than most that welfare reform driven by improvements to the budget bottom line — like Gillard’s changes to single-parent benefits — are certain to fail, while unintended consequences increase the net sum of misery. Welfare reform is a long game.

    The game plan introduced under Abbott means Malcolm Turnbull’s government is ready to play it.”

  23. Leep

    What I am concerned about is the how number of newcorp journalist got control of the ABC, and in influential positions, when did Murdoch begin his take over of the ABC.

  24. helvityni

    MN, I believe Weisser and Cater are a couple; what a sour pairing that appears to be. TV goes off when I see Rohan Deane….

    Pleased when I see David Marr on Insiders, he seems to shrink the fourth sourpuss, Henderson…( they were often guests at the same time)

  25. Matters Not

    they were often guests at the same time

    And I believe deliberately so. Happens too often to be a ‘random’ match. The prattling Polonius and David Marr have been ‘at it’ for years. Are you aware that Gerald and Anne Henderson have a son-in-law named Warren Mundine who was once President of the ALP? Bet the family gatherings are a real blast. Lemons all round when drinks are served.

    As for Rowan Dean from The Spectator, I make no further comment. Just a figure of fun.

  26. Matters Not

    when did Murdoch begin his take over of the ABC.

    With the appointment of Michelle Guthrie who’s tasked to gut same. I won’t go into the programs gone. The people ‘separated’ or the new, or extended. appointments made.

    But she is doing well.

  27. Mark Needham

    Gee Kaye Lee., that is, the above account, is about the best I have seen you write.

    Well I could say that, and I have, but I don’t mean it.

    Truly, if that is what you think of the Conservative voter.. You have got an 8″ bristle brush, dipped it deep in the “Pot of Misery” and started painting a fence that did not need painting.
    It borders on “political Speak” for, “I did not have sex with that woman”

    Sorry, but
    Mark Needham

  28. Adrianne Haddow

    Breaking news from the IPA led government… Turnbull has given ‘conditional’ approval for the tax-payer funded Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to give the Adani company $1 billion to build a rail line connecting their proposed Carmichael mega mine to the port at Abbot Point. The gift is conditional on Adani gaining the funding for the rest of the project. ( Australia)

    So Kaye Lee, I don’t feel sorry for the conservatives … I loathe them.
    Whatever Gina wants Gina gets.
    And so does that loathsome foreign national Rupert Murdoch.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My nice self only loathes conservatives’ preparedness to let good things get ruined by bad things such as Adani’s threat to the Great Barrier Reef. My not so nice self loathes them too. Sadly, some of those conservatives could be decent, if faced with different circumstances.

  30. Deidre

    Tha ABC is being turned into the LNP/IPA mouthpiece for the indocrination and dumbing down of the population.
    Axing of science and culture programs is well on the way to gutting the ABC and selling it off cheaply to Murdoch.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Gina Rinehart writes a book “Northern Australia and then some”

    She forms a group called ANDEV – Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision, which works in conjunction with the IPA.

    They want a tax free (or low tax) zone in the north, the government to build them dams, a 457 visa workforce, streamlined regulation and fast-tracked approval, and Public Private Partnerships to provide the infrastructure they need.

    So far they are doing very well on Gina’s demands. She must be chuffed with her investment in Barnaby….who would have thunk that she would….ummm… be friends with the Deputy PM. (Interesting meeting spot with photographer in tow)

  32. John C

    Hi Kaye Lee, I always enjoy your articles, so concise & always backed up with the relevant facts. I share them in the vain hope that the message will sink in to some of the Lemmings so brain washed by the MSM over so many years that they label those of us who can think as “conspiracy theorists”; sadly I feel we are only reaching those with like minds.

    The recent USA election is proof of the battle we face, given the potential to present a candidate “of the people & for the people” – Bernie Sanders, the DNC & Dem elite chose to coronate queen Hillary, leaving the American electorate to choose the “LESSER of two evils”, well we all saw how that went.

    Adrianne, with you all the way!!!

  33. Adrianne Haddow

    I don’t know about Gina and Barnaby being good friends. The photo you’ve posted looks like she’s sizing up a sucker, pre-scam.

    Great observations in your article Kay Lee. I was so incensed by the report on Adani, I forgot to congratulate you on another great piece.

  34. auntyuta

    I think you are right, Kaye, people who live in constant fear can only be pitied!

  35. Kaye Lee

    Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, invited a small group of Coalition friends for drinks in her private hotel suite, after planning a secret flight to Canberra to visit the Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

    Some of Mrs Rinehart’s closest political friends, the Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Liberal Party senators Cory Bernardi and Michaelia Cash, were invited to join the billionaire for the intimate gathering on Wednesday night.

    The iron ore magnate, who has vigorously supported Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plans to abolish the carbon and mining taxes, suggested the politicians meet for drinks in her Canberra hotel room to avoid media attention.

    It is understood the reason for Mrs Rinehart’s surprise trip to Canberra was so she could attend Parliament House to watch Mr Joyce’s maiden speech on Thursday as the newly elected MP for New England.

    Mrs Rinehart’s close friendships with Coalition MPs have come under scrutiny during the recent expenses scandal. In 2011, Mrs Rinehart flew three Coalition MPs to India in a private jet, where they watched the granddaughter of her business partner marry in front of 10,000 guests.

    Three months after the politicians joined Mrs Rinehart at the Indian wedding the GVK conglomerate bought a majority stake in the billionaire’s ”Alpha” coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin for $US1.26 billion.

    If they want to talk about people in the gallery disrupting parliament, they should start here.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Spot on, Kaye.

    I would go further to suggest that colleagues, who also stand opposed to the LNP Degenerates, also start with Gina and other parliamentary lobbyists before they get on the bandwagon of condemning the protesters.

    If we can’t have public displays of protesters in Question Time, then lobbyists and puppeteers like Gina are banned.

  37. MichaelW

    I don’t feel sorry for conservatives in fact I despise them. Nothing but a bunch of grubs, insensitive money grabbing I’m alright Jack stuff you, stuff the planet, stuff the poor, I’ll give $5.00 to a homeless person go to church on Sunday and my conscience will be clear. I mean have a look at those nutters who write for the Murdoch press, the total lunatics in parliament Morrison, Dutton, Cash (how’s that for a conservative name?) Nah stuff the lot of them.

  38. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Bottom line for me is not really feeling sorry for conservatives because I agree with you that they most likely are stupid or selfish or self-satisfied.

    However, they are not usually child-abusers or animal-killers, so they have some merit.

    Don’t worry, I’m feeling queazy by being nice now but the reality is that some of them are worth reaching out to.

    If we don’t, we won’t make systemic change.

  39. wam

    You start off with fear then you describe the conservatives who know exactly what they are doing and that is exacerbating the fear that is in millions of ordinary workers through the whole range of abilities and education..
    The conservatives I grew up with were and still are full of the fears from the propaganda of menzies and santamaria both from their parents and from living through the 16 years of anti-labor.
    Our children again inherited the conservative fear and when whitlam came the fear was heightened by the media that screamed khemlani and completely negated the economic and social progress labor made.
    Even when Hawke, keating and swan were shown to be economic managers and little johnny was proven wasteful both as treasurer and PM in the boom times. The fear of khemlani’s whitlam was still as strong as ever and overshadowed the poor performance of the coalition.

    People are imbued with the beliefs of their parents and grandparents. Beliefs which are reinforced almost daily by the ABC, fairfax, murdoch press sunrise and today.

    My longest school friend has put up with my extreme bias against menzies, playford, the DLP frazer little johnnie but it wasn’t till the rabbott that a chord was struck and he left the rabbott for the slimy xenonphon.(not a win for nearly 60 years of my hard work)
    So, I am not surprised at the frustration of labor at the ordinary Australian conservative whose vote is steeped in fear. But unless little billy does some opposing but comparing economic achievements?
    perhaps a theme like:
    What a 3 year laugh the rabbott’s mob in canberra has given to the cynics who knew he was unfit to be a PM.?
    In Gillard’s time she got 590 pieces of legislation through the parliament, with hardly a ripple, despite having a MINORITY in BOTH chambers.
    This mob of negotiating amateurs work in a dutch auction 32% 19% 15%10.5% one minute and then, bribery style, name your price for the next vote.
    Still it avoids the need to explain how a labor debt in 2013 was a crisis but now, when has been tripled, it is no longer a crisis?

  40. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    True wam,

    political dedication and friends can be a tricky mix.

    Our friends or family are not necessarily our political comrades and our political comrades are not necessarily our friends and family.

    My only answer is that we need to keep a little of ourselves open to the possibility of communication to whomever at any given time.

    The fact that we can do that will prove to be the difference between thinking, feeling people and the deadheads of the LNP and hardcore inner Right Labor.

    No neoliberals need apply to the multi-representative Parliament unless they convert first.

  41. Miriam English

    Fear, when inherited from parents is a very powerful thing. I’ve seen people who are unable to be in the same room as a spider because when they were young they experienced a single fear-inducing incident from a parent or trusted elder. In prehistoric times fear was a life-saving emotion. You learned it at a single event when you were young and it stuck for life because it kept you alive. If the target of your fear was not actually dangerous it didn’t usually matter much. False alarms didn’t get you killed, whereas not being alerted to a genuinely dangerous thing could end your line right there.

    So we’ve inherited this peculiar sensitivity to fear. Unfortunately the false alarms can now kill us.

    Those who wish to control people pull on the strings of fear in order to make us hate our brothers and sisters, to take us to war, and to manipulate us into voting against our own best interests.

    I’ve tried arguing with people gripped by panic about a spider that the thing is completely harmless, but it never works. You can’t use logic or facts to convince them that this fear they have is unwarranted.

    Conservatives seem unusually prone to fear. It appears to have a greater grip on their lives than it does on progressives. What can we do about it? I don’t know, but I’d suggest we use their fear against itself and those who would manipulate them.

    Point out how conservatives are destroying society and the planet to enrich themselves and their mates. If they try to say progressives are the problem, don’t argue; there is no logical argument that can quell their fears. Instead, put relentless pressure on the very great dangers of what the conservatives are doing. Do we want more bushfires, flooded coasts, devastated farmlands, the end of oil and nothing to take us forward in a broken world? You know, all the fear Harquebus attempts to spread — here is how his fear may be useful.

    Don’t argue with them; just hammer them with their fears. Spying on everybody all the time. Building up the machinery of war instead of building regional allegiances. Large-scale corruption among politicians, especially conservative pollies. A coal-fired geo-engineered Bladerunner future of permanent cloud to protect us from the overheating atmosphere, but resulting in failed crops worldwide and the loss of the chance to use renewable energy to exit the nightmare.

    If they say climate change is a hoax, don’t try to reason with them. We’ve seen how that plays. Press the fear. Ask them if they’re sure, do they believe the crooks who run the fossil fuel corporations, who plunge countries into war if they can squeeze money from it. What if the danger is real and they have been swindled into willing blindness until it’s too late to save their children? Petroleum companies’ lies aren’t conjecture, they are a matter of public record.

    There is plenty to choose from and it is all true.

    Beside the very real dangers threatening the planet, the piss-weak lies about progressives being poor money managers, or slackers on the dole, or a weak nanny-state don’t stand at all. Even then, perhaps we need to argue with fear; rather than simply point out how good a record progressives have all over the world, we need instead to stress how badly the conservatives always do at managing money; how they always cripple economies, using propaganda instead of reality to convince people that they do well. I’m not saying don’t bother with facts; sprinkle liberally with actual facts too, but keep pressing the fear button relentlessly.

    We’ve seen how the most reasonable-sounding conservatives are still really all about the fear.

  42. Miriam English

    I should add that I don’t think we should always use fear. That’s regressive and dangerous. We don’t want a fear-ridden society. Fear should only be used against conservatives when they try to use it because we know they won’t listen to reason. Fight fire with fire.

  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    True Miriam,

    we need to re-furbish our friendships with family and friends so they know very clearly how we analyse the duopoly dinosaurs and how we can make the dinosaurs work for our respective values.

    Also, most importantly, we need to enlighten (nicely) our family and friends, how alternative parties like the Greens and other Progressive minor parties can be the balance of power.

  44. wam

    wow pretty deep miriam!!!
    I had some odd conversatiions about mediscare being a disgusting labor fear campaign by people who believe the coalition is not privatising but only using centrelink and who believe the rabbott’s debt crisis was not a fear campaign. The conservative’s ability to rationalise their way through that maze makes it harder to changes mindsets???

  45. Christian Marx

    I don`t feel sorry for conservatives, I loathe them with a passion. They are disgusting parasites
    who deserve to suffer the wrath of the masses. France had the correct idea in 1789.

  46. nurses1968

    “I don`t feel sorry for conservatives, I loathe them with a passion”
    And just how do you identify this conservative you loathe with a passion?
    The elderly couple up the street the young woman who served you at the supermarket the factory worker down the street the unionist driving your bus the small business owner where you get your milk the taxi driver etc,
    This is the cross section of community who vote Conservative and identify as conservative and are you telling me you can pick one out in a crowd?
    Miriam EnglishDecember 3, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    “I should add that I don’t think we should always use fear.”
    Isn’t that the feeling coming through from comments?
    ” I despise them” “I loathe them with a passion.””My not so nice self loathes them too”
    roughly half the population voted in a Conservative Government and that is a lot of peope to hate loathe etc
    But tell me please,how do you identify them daily as you go about your day,do they have a C on their foreheads or some distinguishing mark so you can loathe and despise away to your little hearts content?

  47. Adrianne Haddow

    Individual identification of conservatives isn’t necessary in order to loathe their guiding principles.

    You can, however, identify the mouthpieces of conservatism, Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine, Janet Albrechtsen and the IPA graduates who infest the National broadcaster and other media. These people create the narrative which spreads the fear, and results in a vote for their preferred government.

    You can identify the conservatism of Gina Rinehart, Twiggy Forest, Rupert Murdoch, Lord Monkton, and they are only the most obvious.
    You can identify the immense influence their money brings to government policy and subsequent legislation which affect our environment, and our society through the austerity measures which use our taxes to pay for their profligate investments and simultaneously reduce the institutions and services which the most vulnerable in our society rely on. You might note, it’s only the ‘ordinary’ folk who face this austerity. You don’t see the Ginas and Ruperts of this world giving up much.

    You can identify their predilection for wars of opportunity which increase the profits of Halliburton and other weapon manufacturers, and create the conditions for waves of people fleeing these wars and the devastation of their countries and societies.

    You can identify their attempts to create the world as their belief systems and upbringing deem correct. The influence the Christian lobby brings to bear on the marriage equality issue, the euthanasia issue, the ability of women to determine their own reproduction, and the exposure of our children to their religious beliefs through the government funded pastors and the religious education programs in our public, secular schools.
    Parts of our National Curriculum, initially written through consultation with stakeholders and educators, was rewritten by a couple of conservative professors ( Kevin Donelly, of the racist email fame, to name one) to fit the conservative narrative. So now our kids will only learn what they deem correct for those kids to learn.

    The ‘ordinary’ people who vote conservative are the pawns in this construct. They vote against their own best interests, and they vote to keep the 1% assured of their continued ability to maximise their profits, and maintain their exploitation of resources, and to tailor the world to fit their greed and ambition.

  48. helvityni

    Adrianne, excellent post.
    Re: Kevin Donnelly.

    Donnelly used to write articles on education on ABC’s Unleashed. Once I replied to him by suggesting that he ought to go Finland to see how they deal with all matters educational,I even offered to pay his airfare and promised that my family and friends would look after him well.

    His reply was: Aeroflot is not a safe way to travel, immediately assuming that as a Leftie I would not be able afford anything better.

    Of course it was all in jest, and I don’t remember my next reply, which ought to have been:

    ” Of course, only Qantas for you, Sir!”

    PS, I hope I have not mixed up Donnelly and Andrews, they are all the same to me… 🙂

  49. Kaye Lee

    Interesting moves afoot for the Victorian election. Kevin Andrews has been out and about recruiting Family First and the Christian party members to join the Liberal party and Brighton branch president Marcus Bastiaan is targeting Mormon and evangelical churches as well as probus and community groups.

    “With the average age of members over 70 and less than 15 per cent who are under the age 40, the party has an immense amount of work to do to rebuild a dynamic base to win and hold government.”

  50. Miriam English

    Excellent reply, Adrianne. At the same time Nurses‘ comment is still very important. There are ordinary people duped into voting against themselves by the fear and anger spread by the conservative manipulators. They should not be the ones we hate. We can pity them and their susceptibility to such scams, but try not to be angry with them. By all means try reasoning with them first, but I expect it won’t work. Steer them back to more humane policies via their already-displayed susceptibility to fear and anger. I know it sucks, but when reason doesn’t work all you can hope for is to balance the fear.

    For example, if they’re scared of our neighbors point out that quadrupling our military will still leave us hopelessly outmatched. Our only way to make us safe is by making us indispensible to them as a source of technology and higher learning, and both are being destroyed by the current government while alienating our neighbors. And USA under Trump wants to turn inward. We can’t rely upon them. All this is true and covers the facts, but uses their fear, which is usually the only thing they listen to.

    If they want more religion in school, ask them what religion do they think they’ll get. If they’re Protestant then work the Catholic angle; if Catholic then the Protestant. Point out that some of the government’s most religious belong to fringe sects. Do they want their kids indoctrinated in those? Also their fear of Muslims can be used by asking if they seriously think teaching religion will only be of Christianity. Do they want their kids indoctrinated in Islam? If they are not creationist then you have an easy job because the creationist fanatics want to take over the schools, and fear of that is entirely reasonable.

    I think the trick is to find their buttons while herding them away from their conservative puppetmasters. Only do this when they won’t listen to facts and reason. When reason is gone you only have what remains. If we don’t learn to use this then conservative racist authoritarians will control our society as they are doing in USA and UK, soon France, and perhaps other European nations.

  51. Terry2

    Two days after the parliament has risen for the extended Christmas break and is beyond questions and scrutiny, the government has leaked to selected media a taxpayer funded concessional loan of one billion dollars to Adani to allow them to proceed with the faltering Galilee Basin coal project.

    So far we had been told that the massive Carmichael coal project would only get off the ground if Adani could provide all of the necessary funding for infrastructure, in particular for the rail connection to Abbot Point to allow coal exports to be shipped through the Barrier Reef to India.

    International banking groups had gone cold on the viability of major coal projects and many had declined to lend money to Adani ; the risks to the Great Barrier Reef were also considered unacceptable.
    Without a fairy godmother it had been considered that Adani would not get the funding they needed to proceed and the project was potentially dead. But we had overlooked the enthusiasm of the Australian government – coal is good for humanity remember – who couldn’t wait to stuff $1 billion of taxpayers money into Mr Adani’s back-pocket.

    A spokesman for Adani said he was unaware of any official advice on the loan and a spokeswoman for the federal minister for northern Australia, Matthew Canavan, was unable to provide comment – so you know it must be true.

    Is it any wonder that people are wary of conservatives !

  52. nurses1968

    Adrianne Haddow
    So you are opposed to and disgusted by CONSERVATISM,
    Some really nice people I know vote conservative but that doesn’t stop them from being nice people, moreso just nice people fooled and duped by the CONSERVATIVE spin and rhetoric and in need of a gentle education

  53. Michael Taylor

    “I don`t feel sorry for conservatives, I loathe them with a passion”
    And just how do you identify this conservative you loathe with a passion?

    It’s when they are in a ‘collective’ that they are most dangerous. Such as in government or controlling the media.

  54. Michael Taylor

    There are ordinary people duped into voting against themselves by the fear and anger spread by the conservative manipulators.

    Miriam says it much more eloquently than me.

  55. nurses1968

    Conservatism may get a further boost “Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party is attempting to register in Tasmania ahead of the next state election, as many people in rural communities lose faith in the major parties.
    One Nation’s rising popularity has the National party worried, and the ABC can confirm Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce wants to run a candidate in Tasmania at the next federal election.

    There had been speculation former Liberal senator Richard Colbeck might run for the Nationals in Tasmania”

  56. Terry2

    Just a couple of further bits of information on the Adani coal mine : Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Credit Agricole and HSBC – have all backed away from funding the project due to environmental reasons.

    However, up to US$1.5 billion is expected to be raised from South Korea’s export credit agency as Adani has awarded a $2-billion contract to Korean company Posco to construct the 388km railway line to connect the Carmichael mine to Abbot Point.

    Obviously plenty of Australian jobs there or perhaps 457 visas (?) will they use Australian steel ?

  57. Adrianne Haddow

    Nurses1968, you have no need to put words into my mouth….. I am quite capable of wording my own posts. And I attempt to moderate my posts to deal with issues, not people.

    My post did not include the words ” opposed to” ( although I am) or ” disgusted by conservatism”.

    I am opposed to the taxpayer funding and support of resource extractors. I am opposed to the view of our country as an economy rather than a society. I am opposed to the indefinite incarceration of asylum seekers in gulags located in rogue, corruptly governed nations such as Nauru.

    I am opposed to the retention of metadata of people’s internet communications. I am opposed to the privatisation of the health services in this country. I am opposed to the foreign ownership of our infrastructure which was funded by the past taxpayers of this country.
    I am opposed to the general move towards fascism in our current government, with its attempts to prevent protest by its citizens, and its efforts to destroy the collective representation of workers by unions.

    So I guess by default I am opposed to conservatism.
    I disagree with much that you post and the manner in which you post it, but I do not try to rewrite your posts with my own rhetoric.
    So please refrain from attempts to reframe mine.

  58. wam

    good for the what the ordinary conservatives do but the why is needed to effect a change in those who are not fixed by fears from religion, lack of understanding and knowledge of history.
    Why do so many labor Australians vote with the white singlets and, worse, with hanson and xen?
    For me:
    belief in the inferiority of blue singlets
    influence of murdoch, radio jocks, morning shows,
    labor’s inability to counter slogans by giving members information to use at BBQ, school, church work and at social functions
    the confusion between who is rich and who is poor when we live in a rich country that can hide its poor under ‘there is no need to be poor so it is their own fault.
    Duped???? There are very many intelligent conservatives who consider the options and reject the unions, the loonies and having been conditioned to ignore labor do not hear shorten. How, apart from grass roots, do you move forward???

  59. Kaye Lee


    July 2015

    Indian mining giant Adani has suspended two major contractors on its Queensland coal project, raising fresh speculation about the company’s ability to finance Australia’s largest coal mine.

    Project managers Parsons Brinckerhoff and Korean construction company Posco, which is also touted as an investor in the final project, were told late last week to stop work on the Carmichael mine, rail and port project.

    It comes less than a month after Adani stood down four engineering firms – WorleyParsons, Aecon, Aurecon and SMC – and scores of workers involved in preparatory works on the development, which would open up Queensland’s vast Galilee Basin.

    It also follows revelations by Fairfax Media that senior Queensland Treasury officials had advised the Queensland government last year that they believed the project was unviable.

  60. OrchidJar

    I find it funny how we can berate the Conservative mindset whilst adopting very similar attitudes ourselves.
    On the morality front it was Beazley after all, who capitulated before Howard’s wedge.
    And it was Keating who introduced mandatory sentencing in ’92.
    On the economic front it was the Democrat Meg Lees that lost her mind, and her party, over Howard’s GST deal.
    And it was Hawke and Keating who began what many still refer to today as Australia’s mini neo-liberal revolution with their Accord, reduced tax corporate tax rates, reduced high personal tax rates, a catastrophic loss of union membership from over 47% to under 30%, and the serious erosion of support from the working class (who were soon referred to as “Howard’s Battler’s).

    On the cultural front it is now the left that is most authoritarian and divisive in terms of free speech, most draconian with regard to policing language and thought via PC prescriptions, and regrettably most hypocritical when it comes to balancing their ideology with the fundamentals of simply living – by that I mean, it professes a greater concern for the environment yet generally produces an identical footprint. It seeks peace yet votes for war. It eschews the gains of corporate capitalism yet merrily spends the proceeds. It, it, it……..etc, etc, etc.

    My point being that I believe it extremely unhelpful to characterise conservatism in such glaring binary tones and despite the easy attempts by some here to present conservatives by their “guiding principles” it remains a complex and deeply problematic issue to distil those principles into the human element, the human heart.
    The roll call of “Rinehart, Forest, and Murdoch”, serve more as “types” and despite their considerable impact, don’t really speak to the concerns of ordinary conservative voters; they are simply too far removed from the daily considerations motivating their politics. For example, if I were a conservative I doubt very much Forest’s view, for example, on abortion rights would go to inform mine. Or, that Murdoch’s view on foreign policy would necessarily accord with mine.
    It’s too easy to hold these “types” up as examples of a complex overarching ideology.
    Far too easy for my liking.
    And I think that little of real value is gained by presenting such precarious categorisations.
    It would be like my left perspective being identified with the “guiding principles” of say, Chomsky, Michael Moore, Chris Hedges, Paul Krugman, Al Gore, Corbyn, Tsipras, Iglesias, or Sanders.

    I would cringe at any such neat comparisons.

    “The ‘ordinary’ people who vote conservative are the pawns in this construct”.
    As if the left, or the “ordinary” people who vote left, are any different; as if our ideology is any different in the way that it can deliver “constructs”.

  61. Deanna Jones

    I don’t feel sorry for them either; I feel sorry for all of the earth and her living beings who are being f*cked over by conservative powermongers who are able to retain power through the ignorance and prejudices of people who vote for them. The return of One Nation is typical of people who do not bother to check facts voting against their own interests, and I despise them. Their ‘fears’ are not justified and are usually not fears at all but hatefulness and prejudice towards women, people who are culturally and ethnically diverse, people who are sexually and gender diverse, people with disabilities etc.

    I do not personally interact with many conservative voters any more; just don’t have the stomach for it. But occasionally I try to reach out, speak of human decency and ‘a fair go’, ask politely what evidence they have to support their beliefs and what is disturbing is just how fast they will turn on you and drop all pretense of civility, how nasty they get: “you lefties” and “you feminists” is all they have. My take on them is that they often know that the arseholes they vote for don’t do them any real favours but what they get out of supporting them is opportunities to indulge in their hate because the arseholes they vote for will resist things such as marriage equality, justice for First Nations peoples and refugees, measures to enable women to live free of violence and exploitation etc. They know they are not significantly better off when conservatives have power but they feel personally compensated by seeing their hatred legitimised by them. It’s all they have.

    It’s not fear, it’s deliberate hate. Progressive minded people on the other hand, do have legitimate fears regarding the harm and destruction that conservative governments are causing to us all and our forebears.

  62. Adrianne Haddow


    How do we move forward?
    Only my opinion but here goes……..
    Independent media, journalist integrity that holds politicians to account for their blatant lies and hypocrisy, transparency of donations to political parties (from who to which party), accountability of government to the electorate, an end to the political gerrymander that allows some parties to gain more seats in parliament based on their location in the country as opposed to the number of votes garnered by those parties.

  63. Deanna Jones

    Also, language is very important and ‘gays’ is not a catch all term for sexual and gender diversity.

  64. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Deanna Jones,

    I think you could nailed what drives ‘conservatives’ with “They know they are not significantly better off when conservatives have power but they feel personally compensated by seeing their hatred legitimised by them. It’s all they have.”

    Nothing else makes sense to me when they see their rights equally destroyed by the Neoliberals.

  65. stephentardrew

    Good one Kaye.

  66. Mark Needham

    OrchidJar December 4, 2016 at 11:03 am
    Says it much better than I ever could, I think the bit that would make me happier with your construct, Kaye Lee, would be to change the title.
    Some thing short and sweet like:-
    Bastard Skimmers and Skammers, Screwing the earth for all its worth, chewing it up and shiteing it out in our faces, laughing, gurgling with glee while they are doing it, looking for the next easy rort, money making scam, to gorge themselves on.

    I am a conservative, BUT, I would relate more to the left ideology, than any of the stuff written above.
    Thing is, I could also use the same language to describe the Left, ie., the Bastards in the left. But I do not apply the same thought to all people who vote such, Just The Bastards.

    It is the apparent support, that we give to ‘Our Bastards”, by not deriding, loudly condemning our ‘kinder’, our own. The noise of deference to the “Union Rorting’ by the Left, is absolutely mind blowingly QUIET. Like it doesn’t exist. To acknowledge it somehow, seems to lessen our right to be a Unionist, to belong to the left, to be safe in our desires.

    As much as you denigrate the Right, I believe that at “OUR” level, there is more common good among us, than we would or could really believe. ( “OUR level”:- Noses not in the Trough, at the top of the pecking order, The Worker, the Battler.)

    I am often called a Racist. Yes, I am of English descent.
    If someone is black and an idiot, and I say he is an idiot, I become Racist.
    If someone is white and an idiot, and call them out, nowt.

    If I was Indigenous to Australia, and did the same as above, there would be no comment.

    Black, White, Yellow, Green; an idiot is an idiot.

    It is this generalisation, the same generalistions, espoused in the article, by Kaye Lee, that riles the conservative. When I read it, and say to myself “Self, this riles me, does not describe me, therefore it is Bullshite”

    Trying hard, to say it correctly, peacefully,
    To explain it like OrchidJar,
    Mark Needham
    edit, add, plagiarise and change.
    quote OrchidJar,
    “The ‘ordinary’ people who vote, are the pawns in this construct”.

  67. Terry2

    This from the Guardian today :

    “Gautam Adani is due to join the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, for an announcement in Townsville on Tuesday, as well as the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in a separate meeting.”

    Seems Mr Adani can get federal funding where the auto industry couldn’t, perhaps because coal is more environmentally friendly and, of course, it’s good for humanity….. oh wait a minute.

    But then, of course the Carmichael mega-mine will create tens of thousands of jobs………….later corrected to an average of 1464 jobs.

    Look on the bright side, there will be additional jobs in Peter Dutton’s department issuing 457 visas.

    It’s a win win all round you will be told next week.

  68. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    RIP Great Barrier Reef!

    RIP Australia’s jewel in the crown!

  69. Michael Taylor

    Terr2, that a $683,060 investment per worker. Hmmm.

  70. Kaye Lee

    And don’t forget the port expansion…..which creates no jobs

    Nearly $2 billion of public money has been spent to date on items that assist the expansion of the Abbot Point port. The Queensland Government intends to spend much more, at least hundreds of millions in the coming years to expand the port further.

    ” During the construction phase, recruitment and management of the workforce will largely be the responsibility of contractors and subcontractors appointed to undertake dredging and construct the DMCPs. As these contractors are not yet appointed, it is not possible to provide accurate details on where the workforce may be sourced. However, the project contractor will be encouraged to recruit from the local labour market as a priority, before recruiting further afield.

    the Project is expected to result in peak construction employment numbers of up to 164 FTEs. DSD acknowledges that, given the short construction timeframe, the employment opportunities associated with this Project are also short-term and will not provide the local community with sustainable, long-term employment.

    After the construction phase, operating employment impacts would manifest for approximately five years in the order of two FTEs. It is envisaged that these might not be in the form of new ‘jobs’, but rather a continued stream of employment opportunity for heavy and civil construction workers and their supply chains that rely on project based work.”

  71. Miriam English

    And India, the primary market for this, will close off coal imports in a couple of years. China is backpedalling on coal. Coal mines and the companies running them are going broke all over the world.

    Big-time scammer, Adani, will walk away from this, pocketing billions, and thumb his nose at gullible Australian politicians.

    We’ll have a dirty great scar on native land stolen from its owners again!, billions lost due to political stupidity, and people even more distrustful of lying, stupid politicians. Labor, in particular, will come away fatally damaged. Who will ever trust it again?

  72. Matters Not

    Seems to me that both the State and the Fed are caught in the same political trap. There is the imperative to be seen to be trying re the creation of, or the continuation of, mining jobs. We only have ourselves to blame. Where is the MSM when it comes to identifying the ‘trends’.

    The current spike in coal prices can be traced to China which moved too quickly to cut production. Temporary at best. But who cares about ‘facts’.

  73. Kaye Lee

    Adani aims to develop renewable energy projects in Australia with a total capacity of 1,500 MW within the next five years.

    “This reflects both Adani’s commitment as a diversified energy and infrastructure company in India and a leading solar generator in that market, and the company’s plans to build a long-term future with Australia.

  74. wam

    We move forward by showing the worth of politics and the work they do. Accountability begins by each individual showing the work load ie publish the where, when, who with, how long and why of each action by a pollie.
    We move forward by negating the economic belief in the coalition and we show how the trinity of rabbott, hanson and religion ruin democracy.
    We move on by showing each 10 year how to check for fact and opinion and for accuracy of media assertions. Then re-inforcing the procedures for checking in grade 7 and 9 NAPLAN.
    But, above all, we move forward by making sure Tyrone Unsworth is the last to die by being bullied by homophobic children.

  75. Carl Hallstrom

    In the end, being a conservative is about: The concentration of power and the concentration of wealth.
    IE very few people will wield power and they will hold all the wealth. The poor can survive in any way they can, within the tight rules laid down by the wielders of power, who feel completely justified as a given.
    This LNP ‘government’ has these beliefs badly hidden under their facade of democracy (of which they are contemptuous).

    This is how it works. Democracy is FRAGILE and needs vigilance

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