I really think that policy in the Coalition government is stuck in a time warp!
The current Treasurer – the one who smiled when he tabled the Report on the Royal Commission into Financial Institutions, in a photo op with the Commissioner, former Justice Kevin Hayne, who neither smiled nor shook his hand – has shown his true colours in the latest interview on the ABC Insiders program (26/07/20).
[Incidentally – how is he progressing in implementing the recommendations of that Commission?]
Back to policy!
Josh Frydenberg, once more smiling, showed a level of enthusiasm for the policies espoused by Thatcher and Reagan, whom he said were hated by the left because their policies were successful.
This left me somewhat puzzled, when he identified their successes as being cutting taxes, cutting red tape and reducing industrial disputation.
All of these, he indicated had benefitted society.
Can we dig a little deeper and ask the relevance of these elements of ‘success’ in today’s world?
There is universal agreement among leading economists that cutting taxes in today’s pandemic environment, with so many unemployed, and more to come, will only benefit those whose income level is such that they do not need tax relief, while damaging everyone else, because it reduces the money readily available to government, without increasing debt, to help those in genuine need.
Cutting red tape often also involves cutting green tape, and the environment has taken such a battering in recent times, by removal of necessary controls on land clearing and destroying habitat – not to mention the disastrous bush fires which have been conveniently forgotten, while people affected by the fires are still without homes and livelihoods.
And as far as industrial disputes are concerned, the unions have had their wings resolutely clipped to the extent that there is little, if any, time lost to industrial disputes, but at the present time, actually having a job is becoming a step too far!
So the grounds on which Frydenberg’s enthusiasm for the policies of the ‘Iron Lady’, and her USA co-conspirator, Ronald Reagan, seem totally unrelated to the world in which we now find ourselves. It certainly earned him faint praise in some quarters!
The ideology of the Coalition is so obsessed with the financial side of life that it seems they have no real interest in living, breathing human beings – let alone the rest of the life on earth.
Finding a job is of real importance to almost everyone left un- or under-employed by the COVID-19 crisis, not only to enable them to cover the cost of living, be able to service their mortgage or pay the rent, but because most people enjoy a greater level of satisfaction with life when they feel in control of their own destiny.
People like Thatcher – and Morrison – seem to assume everyone would bludge on welfare given half a chance.
The Coalition needs to remember that thousands of people are currently living with uncertainty, as a result of government’s actions, and the stress is going to continue for quite some time and must be managed with compassion, not disdain.
The government reacted correctly to try to reduce the spread of the infection, and, apart from Victoria and possibly NSW, their actions have been successful – in that regard.
Lack of a plan for a pandemic has meant that they are now left to plan on the run, because there is no clear path to a desirable goal, while at the same time we can never expect life to ‘return’ to life as it was.
A sensible government would accept that this gives us a wonderful chance to rethink policies.
Accept the science on climate change.
Phase out fossil fuels ASAP.
Stop relying on China for manufactured goods.
Replace fossil fuels with appropriate selections from the multitude of renewable sources of energy.
Manufacture electric vehicles and solar-powered trains.
We elect a government to lead the country.
We cannot sit back and hope that those with money stashed away will fall over each other to invest in industry, if there is no clear map for the future coming to us from government – which has not been developed by looking back to the past!
Adults have, until now, been generally living a good life, although, sadly, our First Nations, those with disabilities and some migrant groups have been left out in the cold.
Now we have a chance to develop a new world, which learns from past mistakes, accepts the concept of equality of opportunity … OOPS!!
I am fantasising, aren’t I, because we have elected people incapable of realising we are denying our youth a future!
Why have we allowed this to happen?
How can we undo the damage?
I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
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