As an agnostic, with no small children close to home needing to believe in Santa Claus, I still feel the world owes recognition to Jesus Christ for the ethical approach to life which he preached.
As a notionally secular country, Australian policy is currently developed around financial considerations, and far too many Australians will not be able to celebrate Christmas because they are struggling just to survive. This is also an ethical issue.
Our Prime Minister is demonstrating, by his absence while Australia is experiencing bush fires beyond any in living memory, that his personal interests outweigh the urgencies of his duties as a leader. This is a serious ethical issue.
His background in marketing has not prepared him for the gravitas of the top job, in which he is failing to even begin to understand the implications.
The issue of global warming cannot be ignored. It truly is a time for action because, if not now, action will become increasingly ineffective! This is also an ethical issue.
The spin on the economy is fooling no one.
It would appear that the government believes everything on Sky News and overlooks the fact that we all have access to other, more accurate, sources of information, which tell us we are rapidly falling behind the developed world.
And, in particular, we are becoming the world’s pariah over our dog-in-the-manger attitudes on emissions.
Blind Freddy can see that ‘Labor’s debt’ has ballooned under the Coalition and the inequality gap between rich and poor, as well as between our First Nations and the rest of us, is continuously widening. Telling lies is unethical!
The wage stagnation cannot be ignored. Having for so long hung our hats on policies which predicate that increased productivity is the foundation for increased wages, we now have growing profits – clearly due to increased productivity – yet never a move to reward the workers responsible.
Shareholders, however, are benefiting very nicely, and depositing their increases in tax havens so that taxes on interest are not flowing back into Australian coffers.
It is within the government’s power to ensure that no one goes without. That it chooses not to use that power gives the lie to its frequent incantations of following Judaeo/Christian ethics.
Religion has, under the Coalition, become a problem, yet our Constitution fell over backwards to ensure that it should be a private issue, out of which the Federal government should keep its nose!
Of course, the Constitution is at the root of many of our problems, because it was written to ensure a manageable division of responsibilities between the existing States and the newly formed Federation.
Back in the late 19th century, issues such as Human Rights, championed by writers like Charles Dickens, had yet to fully rear their heads. Despite the already established Industrial Revolution, no one could yet foresee the accelerating rate of change which would sweep round the world in a very uneven fashion.
In an equally uneven fashion, we are forever playing catch-up!
Australia is the only populated continent which is also an island, and, sadly, we are cursed with a government which is insular in its policies. I see this as both short-sighted and unethical.
Maintaining national wealth by mining and exporting fossil fuels is seen as of over-riding importance, even though, wherever those fuels are burned, they pollute the atmosphere shared by all life on Earth.
Former governments have signed up to accept many UN Conventions and many of those governments have not honoured these Convention – but I suspect that recent Coalition government would have the longest record of breaches!
We are prosecuting and persecuting whistle-blowers – the most egregious prosecutions in recent times being those of Witness K and Bernard Collaery – both courageous and honourable men who highlighted monstrous behaviour by both Coalition and Labour governments against the poorest new nation on the planet!
Refugees are being tortured, as is Julian Assange, on the Coalition government’s watch, and the lack of diligence in following up compensation for victims and addressing crimes of perpetrators revealed in the recent child abuse and banking Royal Commissions is unforgivable.
I sometimes feel that the extent to which priority is given to spending on entertainment, whether it be sport or reality TV, has reduced us to a bread and circuses dimension. Certainly, voting for the most popular has led to disastrous results when it comes to general elections!
Good governments lead the people and enable them to adjust to change. Poor governments rely on popularity polls and avoid important but not necessarily popular decisions.
Our whole political system needs a total re-think. The concepts of left and right are divisive at a time when it is most urgent to have inclusive policies.
The conservative ‘right’ and the progressive ‘left’ are figments of imagination in many ways. And for a cohesive society we need to move from the adversarial nature of our current political and legal systems to the foundation of the alternative dispute resolution systems – compromise.
Too often, everyone shares much the same view of the problem but differs strongly on how to resolve it.
In mediation, the aim is to arrive at a compromise solution which everyone can agree to accept.
We need an eminent cross-party advisory body which can produce a prioritised plan to deal with under-employment, job creation, emission controls, massively reducing pollution, closing the gap and reducing incarceration – just for starters!
Is anyone yet even thinking seriously about these problems? Or have we all lost our moral compass?
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