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How many lies are too many lies?

By Dr Stewart Hase

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

The storming of America’s Bastille, the Capitol Building has, finally, forced the debate that we needed to have had years ago. Propaganda, lies, and misinformation have been with us for thousands of years – they are part of the human condition. Print media has long traded on the propensity for humans to need simple solutions to complex issues, to accept whatever reinforces their biases, to be influenced by the influential, to respond to emotions rather than facts or science. Murdoch and others have made the trade in misinformation and artform. The communication tech giants just did what they thought was their job, being vehicles, platforms, for people to communicate. They never gave the consequences a thought.

January the 6th and the threat of major protests across the USA up to the inauguration have created the perfect storm for a sudden gnashing of teeth. Finally, the lines are being drawn, pretty well in accord with the right and left of politics, about what constitutes freedom of speech. Are their conditions in which it is fine to lie, to spread misinformation, distort or ignore the facts, quote questionable ‘science’, to spread hate, and slur others? To create the conditions to overthrow democracy?

Well, Scott Morrison seems to think so by refusing to censor Craig Kelly over his Trumpian behaviour, using the ‘freedom of speech’ argument. Not a whisper from anyone on the right about his mate, George Christensen who, among other things and blind to the irony of it, wants to censor the tech giants for fact checking. Freedom of speech, then, means anything goes-say what you want. The real tragedy is that Facebook have let Kelly and Christensen get away with campaign of disinformation for so long.

Kelly has now used the platform to discredit the wearing of masks by children, calling it child abuse, has prompted the use of hydroxychloroquine in the past and now thinks that Betadine (a topical antiseptic) is the miracle cure. All based on unsubstantiated and even spurious research. What they fully realise is that they are coming from a position of power, and, wanting hope and miracle cures to reduce their anxiety, many will believe what they say. And even act on it.

No doubt that such power massages the politicians’ fragile egos.

The best that even the health Minister, Greg Hunt, can manage is to say that we should listen to the health experts. No censorship of his compatriots or recognition of the misinformation. Just a beige response.

Now we have the acting PM, Michael McCormack legitimising MPs who want to spread lies and disinformation, claiming that facts are contentious, and gracing us with the profound logic that the sky can be grey and blue at the same time because facts are subjective. Presumably he’s a fan of Kellyanne Conway’s thesis on alternate facts.

Not content with that, McCormack has now fuelled a storm by making an astounding comparison between the riots in Washington and the BLM protests.

We have seen the result of the ‘say what you want’ version of free speech in America and how democracy is being tragically undermined. The question is, when will we follow suit? We already saw an inkling of this with Tony Abbot’s unconscionable dismantling of Julia Gillard that went unchecked, and was fuelled by the media of the print and the social kind.

Australia is good at lying to itself. It’s done it for years over racism and misogyny. Are we going to kid ourselves that we are a fair, progressive, intelligent nation while allowing the manipulation of truth, as identified by George Orwell, to run rampant?

How far are we willing to go? Perhaps fostering hate to the point that people feel that it is OK to kill? Allowing the entitled to destroy our democracy, as nearly happened in America over recent weeks?

How far Australia, how far?

Stewart is a psychologist with a special interest in how people adapt and also learn. He’s written widely in these areas. He continues to consult, and annoy people who misuse power. Twitter: @stewarthase

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.


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  1. Deidre

    Labor would easily have won the last election if Morrison, Murdoch media and Clive hadn’t continually told lies. Morrison could compete with Trump for the biggest liar.

  2. Max Gross

    I stopped reading at the first line. The Bastille was a prison. The Capitol building is not.

  3. Coralie Naumann

    This conversation has been had at every turn, despite royal commissions and ICAC we are blindsided & left with no tools to take things further. 2PP is desire of Federal government & most States tag along. While this is happening our superannuation is growing or failing to thrive because of privatisation of just about all our essential services.
    Sorry to confess this but I’m on the verge of giving up the fight.

  4. Kaye Lee

    One of the more ironic aspects of these champions of free speech, Kelly and Christensen, is that they quickly ban people from their facebook pages if they fact check them. I was banned years ago by both of them.

    When I rang Craig Kelly’s office to tell him of a nasty encounter in a pharmacy with an irate customer arguing about hydroxychloroquine, I was soundly abused by the ignoramus that answered the phone. He wasn’t interested in the consequences of his misinformation or any advice about how studies had shown it ineffective – these fringe issues get Craig lots of facebook traffic, censored at his pleasure.

    I rang Scott Morrison’s office to plead with them to stop him spreading rubbish and the lovely lady who answered the phone said she got a lot of calls like mine and put me through to Greg Hunt’s office who went the “free speech” route.

    Pauline Hanson was sent packing pretty quickly when the public, and her own party, got a real look at her back in the 90s. The fact that she actually attracts enough votes to install that weirdo Malcolm Roberts astonishes me. And then there’s James Ashby for whom no scandal seems too bizarre.

    George Christensen tried to start an anti-Muslim page. I think it fizzled out…but he, like Kelly, despite neither of them having any scientific background, have decided that climate change is a hoax, just like George Pell preaches.

    And then there’s Matt Canavan snapping away at everyone’s heels trying to get attention. His latest facebook pic is him dressed up in mining clothes sporting a really dirty face, presumably in the hope we all think he’s been ‘down pit’ rather than remembering he’s addicted to the gravy train – say stupid stuff, hope people recognise your name, and then kick back and rake in the money doing favours for your family, friends and donors.

    And then there’s ScottyFromMarketing, who suggested capitalising on people’s fears about Muslims would be a fab election strategy. And Peter Dutton who doggedly keeps the family from Biloela locked up with the rioters on Christmas Island.

    Unless we stand up now, we are headed down the same destructive Trumpian road to hell.

  5. Matters Not

    Marcia – just for ‘balance’.

    The latest viral video promoting COVID-19 misinformation features a newly formed group called America’s Frontline Doctors. About 10 physicians, dressed in white coats with an embroidered America’s Frontline Doctors logo, spoke for 45 minutes in front of the Supreme Court on Monday on a range of COVID-19 talking points, from hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) being curative to the mental health effects of lockdown outweighing the toll of the virus itself

    And then there’s others,

    The clip featured Dr. Simone as one of ‘America’s frontline doctors’, a group of doctors who recently attended a summit in the USA, where they made claims that Hydroxychloroquine can treat coronavirus. … Those posts and claims about the drug received millions of views on social media but have since been removed from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The Washington Post also reported that Donald Trump’s Twitter was penalized over “misinformation” due to the fact he retweeted said videos.

    Perhaps you haven’t heard but Trump is a little out of favor at the moment and his endorsement is somewhat problematic. Even the ‘kiss of death’? Not that we should be opposed to ‘free speech’. Lol.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Since March, when the trial began, a total of 1,542 patients had been randomised to receive hydroxychloroquine, while 3,132 patients were randomised to receive only normal care. Over 28 days, 25.7% of patients on hydroxychloroquine died, compared with 23.5% of the others. The difference is not statistically significant – it could have arisen by chance. But the clear conclusion was that hydroxychloroquine did not work

  7. Marcia

    MN. any relevant comments on the actual contents of the White Paper?

    I heard about some success with HCQ months before Trump mentioned it.
    The drug only became a hot potatoe after he came forward and the know-nothings in msm went feral.
    It’d have been better for all had he kept it to himself, but even he didn’t understand how stupid are the press.

    Anyway, here’s another document to avoid reading, a look into the future by John Hopkins Centre for Health.
    It was at the ‘Recovery’ section I realized the paper is an arse-covering exercise for John Hopkins HC in 2028.

    Only 7 years to wait to hear what they will say in retrospect.

  8. Regional Elder

    An excellent article on the present moment of the USA, by the very insightful Canadian social anthropologist, Wade Davis, published 5 months ago, has a re-newed resonance following the American election in November last year and the storming of the Capitol in Washington last week.

    The article also has lessons for that part of Australia, so derivative of the American culture of neo-liberal pathological individualism, to which the Trump dynasty so avidly endorse.

    The Unraveling of America

  9. Florence Howarth

    One lie is one too many.

  10. Matters Not

    Marcia, I’m not medically qualified to offer an expert opinion on the quality or otherwise of your linked White Paper so i won’t. Presumably you are? So it’s over to you to perhaps provide more authoritative links than this so called White Paper which is NOT an effort from government.

    I say that because the authors of this White Paper reference (with approval) an interview with Fox’s Laura Ingram. Choosing to reference Laura Ingram is a bit like using Andrew Bolt or Craig Kelly when it comes to a discussion on climate change. Not a good political choice (my view) but perfectly consistent with where the authors come from in a broader ideological sense. Look who’s pushing their barrow. And their historical links.

    Perhaps, HCQ does no harm in many instances but there’s no evidence that I’ve read that shows it’s a cure-all when it comes to COVID-19. See KL’s post above. But I’m intrigued as to what your underlying agenda is. Care to share? Or should I just guess?

  11. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, that’s what happens when you speak the truth to a Liberal/National: they cut you off at the knees. That they block you gives you a sense of satisfaction that you must have been right.

    On Twitter, Carol politely pointed out a factual error to Pauline Hanson on one of her tweets (and provided a link to support her claim) and she was blocked by Hanson before the ink has even dried. People congratulated Carol, telling her that being blocked by Hanson was a ‘badge of honour’.

    Dang, this country is running out of badges.

  12. paul walter

    Well, well. This a red-letter day, a blue mooner even.

    Kaye Lee and Jennifer Wilson reunited to discuss the diversionary agitprop of Craig Kelly employed to keep the tone anxious while the Great Moron himself is off on holidays.

    I’ll tell you what Kaye Lee, in the Age of techno brainwashing, they can convince you that cutting off your feet represents an economy of energy and efficiency and that cutting off your hands ensures that you don’t pick up Covid off of shiny surfaces.

    Be at last content, little one…

  13. James Cook

    Welcome back Kaye! I’ve been trying to get banned from Kelly’s fb page for a while. I started with arguing from a scientific/statistical stance, then went to creative repartee and, finally, childish insults. Still not banned. Feeling very inadequate me!

  14. Henry Rodrigues

    What does it say about the level of intelligence in the Australian electorate that keep voting for these ignorant arsewipes ? Are they the equivalent of the Americans who continue to support Trump and his ilk ? And is that why our gutless bastard of a PM doesn’t dare criticize Trump and conveniently disappears on his “long deserved’ holiday to leave fools like Mick Muck, manila George and dog shagger Craig Kelly, to hold the fort ?

  15. Phil Pryor

    There’s a Marcia here, offering little ignorant blots, like “potatoe” and “John Hopkins”, thus suggesting a low level loudmouth of the C Kelly type. She talks rubbish with confidence, a conservative pox. Lying and divisive rubbish from a no-one of no repute and no known qualifications is just that, DOGSHIT from a DUD.

  16. Terence Mills

    More and more the right-wing nut jobs are seeking out media that will not question them and where they will not be fact checked.

    It is disturbing to see how many of our government politicians are appearing on Sky-after-Dark for what is called current affairs analysis but what in reality is an echo-chamber hosted, not by a professional and impartial journalist, but by a former LNP collaborator (Credlin, Bernardi).

    Good to see Kaye Lee back !

  17. wam

    The reaction of goss is that of george’s, the filipino traveller, and kelly’s, man is innocent of global warming, reaction to kaye lee ‘I know what is true and I wont listen to your lies or those of scientists except those described by MN, my rabbottians share these people as true answers to my leftwing bullshit. “Australia is good at lying to itself. It’s done it for years over racism and misogyny.” The booing of Adam and the treatment of Gillard(British TV host Piers Morgan has branded Australia the “epitome of misogyny and sexism” ….) It’s accepted as normal and rationalised so it was NOT really racist to boo nor sexist to mock the size of her arse. The world may be shocked by the behaviour of australians towards gillard but as the ABC showed she was fair game because she is a woman whilst men get nothing since max gillies. Sadly ‘truth’ is what you believe and if you censure other truths so no learning can happen you can never lie??

  18. Kaye Lee

    From the ACCC:

    “Businesses are not allowed to make statements that are incorrect or likely to create a false impression

    Some examples of business behaviour that might be misleading are:

    a business predicts the health benefits of a therapeutic device or health product but has no evidence that such benefits can be attained.”

  19. Michael Taylor

    You read my mind, Kaye. I was just about to comment about truth in advertising laws but you beat me to it.

    Everywhere else, of course, lying isn’t a crime. But lying does have its consequences. Just ask that police officer (which we obviously can’t) who died after being bashed around the head by rioters who stormed the Capital enraged because of Trump’s lie that the election was rigged. And many more people are likely to day over the coming days because of that lie.

    No, lying isn’t a crime, but honesty should be a responsibility.

    Good to see you, btw. 🐿

  20. Marcia

    Matters Not, like you I’m no expert. As for an agenda, I could say I want to expose the Luciferian German fascist llluminati criminal revolution conspiracy to control the world by means of a global coup d’etat by instalments, but that topic has been well-covered by Chris Story in his book New Underworld Order.
    So my agenda? Who knows? Who has a single agenda? Do I even need one agenda?
    Phil, you sound jealous of my ‘confidence’? Really? You write with much more confidence. Ever thought of a gig @

  21. Phil Pryor

    Excrementally “jealous”..?… no, but, among my degrees and prof certs. is Cert 4 in workplace training and assessment, which suggests you try night school, remedial whatever you choose or continuing to express nothing but imaginary gas. Be confident…

  22. Kaye Lee

    Stella Immanuel likes to claim that the Illuminati is working to destroy the world. She also thinks that uterine disorders are caused by sex with demons that takes place in dreams.

    And in a 2015 sermon, Immanuel also laid out a supposed Illuminati plan hatched by ‘a witch’ to destroy the world using abortion, gay marriage, and children’s toys.

    Not sure I would take her advice on how to deal with COVID.

  23. Matters Not

    Marcia, I’m not across the writings of Chris Story. A quick Google gives several reviews of the book you mention including one that described Story as a Fearless Warrior Against Masonic-Zionist-Vatican Fascism.. Another speaks of A lot of hard core Christian quotes and stuff … While another writes with reference to that work:

    some occasional interesting analysis and coverage of helpful topics, but ruined by incessant religious ranting, dubious assertions, and at times, self-parody. The amount of pontificating about the authors ‘correct’ version of Christianity (evangelism?) does make it clear how biased he is/was towards certain viewpoints, so the reader should be in no doubt that this book needs to be read with a large bucket of salt to hand.

    Thus I won’t be reading his works. My view is there’s already there’s far too many conspiracy addicts in this complex world as it is. Besides, this conspiracy is now somewhat dated. Try something more recent because there’s better ones around these days and Masonic-Zionist-Vatican Fascism seems very much like over-kill. Have a nice day.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Where the hell are all these conspiracy theorists coming from?

  25. Joseph Carli

    My thoughts exactly!!…see Binoy’s post comments!!

  26. Matters Not

    Perhaps they come from too many creative writing courses in primary schools. And at the expense of spelling apparently.

    Time to go back to the basics? Or should the development of an in-built, shock proof, crap detector become a priority?

    Every0ne went to school so everyone’s an expert.

  27. Joseph Carli

    I pose the question..: Can Democracy work in a predominately materialist society?

    I ask this q’ because I see the election time and again of right-wing govt’s in nations like the USA, UK and Oz (to use the familiar examples) that not only DO NOT deliver for the most vulnerable..DO NOT deliver for the wholesome benefit of the Nation, but are elected using media propaganda and manipulation to enrich those most sensitive to their fiscal arrangements being maintained to a level most satisfying to grasping greed.

    This is not is a perversion of what is the intention…so it must be considered if the intent of democracy must be replaced with a method of election of a forum representative of the broader needs of the community.

  28. Joseph Carli

    The Republic of Rome collapsed under the corrupted influence of the wealthiest, most influential Patrician Families in the Senate..we are seeing a replay of such a situation in these modern times with the Patrician Families being replaced with Corporate Entities corrupting the democratic elections by controlling their representatives in Parliament..Entities that form blocks of voting power when their employees vote with the percieved interests of that the Mining block, the Agriculture block, the Energy block, the Fossil Fuel industries block, Manufacturing…etc..These blocks of influence can use the threat of closure in a society of high debt/mortgage to put fear into their employees enough to swing democracy to their favour…we have seen this again and again..if the company is vulnerable, the employee is vulnerable..the family is for your future, NOT your ideology…

    Democracy becomes just another control it and you trade it.

  29. Kaye Lee

    I think Marx had it right about that Joe.

    Marx saw the conflict between those that own the means of production and those who sell their labour as crucial to the maintenance of capitalism. Its function is to create an obedient, docile, uncritical workforce who will work to support the upper-class’s lifestyle and the economy.

    Keeping wages low, or debt pressure high, means workers will be less likely to complain or make demands. As workers struggle to provide their families with all the temptations that a capitalist society offers, they become far less likely to risk their employment, and less able to improve their situation.

    The larger the labour supply, the cheaper it is. The more desperately you need a job, the cheaper you’ll work, and the more power those “corporate lords” have over you.

    Cheap-labour conservatives don’t like social spending or our “safety net”. Why? Because when you’re unemployed and desperate, corporations can pay you whatever they feel like – which is inevitably as little as possible.

  30. Matters Not


    Can Democracy work in a predominately materialist society?

    Perhaps the starting point might be a few definitions? Try democracy as an opener. Is the US an example of a democracy? Russia? The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea? Does it have to go beyond a claim? Such as being included in a name?

    Then there’s the definition of a predominately materialist society? Presumably there’s some (developed) nations that aren’t materialist? Can’t think of any myself. Where do we find these non-materialist societies? Examples please.

    And so on …. Conceptual clarity is essential otherwise it’s garbage.

  31. Joseph Carli

    Which is why the ACTU must set up recruiting stations in shopping malls and precincts where many people gather…perhps even outside big sporting events..booths to sign up new members in their representative unions FREE OF CHARGE…anyway to get the numbers up to such a level where the unions have greater balance of power in negotiations…a cost that will be recovered once the members see that they then have more power than the corporations that threaten them…more power than the govt’s that threaten them..more power to regain control of their lives and conditions of work and pay…it is the only way democracy can be restored; to – for – and by the people.

  32. Joseph Carli

    MN..your requests for “clarifications” gives example that you are a perfect example of what I call a “Middle-class confusionist”…you confuse the common understanding of a definition of a word, phrase or collective with obfuscation, fillerbustering and a confused direction toward action…if I were an IPA operative, I would hire you to throw doubt and confusion in any debate about..oh..say; climate change.

    Go with the flow…..

  33. Kaye Lee

    MN always asks good questions. We call ourselves a democracy and everyone is supposed to vote, but we do nothing to make sure the information voters are given to decide that vote is factual.

    If unions want to regain relevance, they should offer their members something worthwhile – decent representatives for starters. Sally McManus has a lot more influence than John Setka for example. The days of physical intimidation passed with the days of handshake agreements.

    I disagree that union membership should be free but for teachers, members used to get cheaper health insurance and loans through the credit union.

    The nurses union in Queensland gives indemnity insurance with membership.

    Those are tangible benefits.

    I used to work in a factory on a production line. Advantage was taken of the migrant workers. The same applies big time now.

    None of these problems are easy to solve but it should be pointed out that while wages have been stagnant, company profits have soared, and whilst the country faces the first recession in decades, billionaires have got much wealthier.

  34. leefe

    “British TV host Piers Morgan has branded Australia the “epitome of misogyny and sexism” …”

    I am now dying from irony overdose.

  35. Joseph Carli

    ” Sally McManus has a lot more influence than John Setka for example. The days of physical intimidation passed with the days of handshake agreements.”

    With the first ; not example, but contradiction…both operate from different platforms, different shop-floors…Sally does excellent PR….Setka…not so good…Setka does excellent specific workplace oversight…Sally not so good.

    With the second..: Where does one start…..perhaps with the ABCC intimidation on building sites over just having the Eureka Flag sticker….and then we can move to the zillion-billion warship/armaments upgrades for the Oz military?….yes..that’s where we’ll start…give me a handshake agreement on THAT..ok?

  36. Joseph Carli

    ” MN always asks good questions. “…Yes..he once asked me where I got my intelligence from…because he would then avoid that shop like the plague…good question!

  37. Kaye Lee


    Irony abounds. Incredulity even. And a WTF kinda feeling in that people think we forget how they have behaved previously. It’s a funny old world.

  38. Kronomex

    Good to see you back again Kaye Lee.

  39. wam

    touche, leefe,
    But in context he was talking to gillard and his assessment is correct.
    Swing away from labor in less educated zones could be due to complex policies and a ditherer trying to explain?
    Surely much of the east coast swings were coal
    Tassie is a mystery but labor and the greens were not popular????
    Albo needs KISS but don’t do a billy and let scummo campaign on ‘more of the same. Albo please start attacking

  40. Matters Not

    JC if you were an IPA operative (as speculated on above) then the IPA would be in dire straits. And it isn’t! At least if success (in their terms) is to be the measuring stick. Make no mistake, the IPA recruits only the brightest and best in the intellectual stakes because it’s a well-funded recruitment agency for the Liberal Party.

    Where the IPA fails (at least in my view) is in the attitudes, values and beliefs dimension(s). What is sometimes called the axiological aspects of any so-called ‘philosophy*.

    As for:

    The nurses union in Queensland gives indemnity insurance with membership

    Is that explicitly stated? Certainly with the Queensland Teachers Union, it’s one reason (the legal defense aspect) why membership was in the high 90s% but that was a decade or two ago when ‘indemnity insurance’ was never mentioned by name.

    Most ‘professionals’ have indemnity insurance because they fear a major mistake could ruin them financially. The majority of teachers (and nurses) who are technically public servants know that the Department (under political direction) might not stand behind them if the going gets rough. Yet their pay isn’t at sufficiently high levels to take out indemnity insurance – unlike doctors, lawyers, architects. dentists et.

  41. Joseph Carli

    MN..where KL is incorrect is where she believes the union should “offer their members something worthwhile. . . ” like they are some kind of variety store with specials and discounts….Union is about strength…the strength of numbers…you need those numbers to negotiate from a position of strength….negotiating from a weakened position is NOT is begging…… my opinion, no working person worth their salt would go begging to the f#cking middle-class.

    Ps. Don’t overthink things.

  42. LambsFry Simplex.

    Joe, not sure that’s fair.

    She means in the sense that the union represents the membership first in the situation where leadership may find itself compromised through alignment with (right wing) members of a political group in representing agendas contrary to those of the membership. I think the resources sector and its connections with all political groupings might throw up examples.

  43. B Sullivan

    “Allowing the entitled to destroy our democracy, as nearly happened in America over recent weeks?”

    Our democracy isn’t democratically fair, some people’s votes are worth more than others. 600,000 NP voters can deliver ten times as many seats in parliament as 1,200,000 Greens voters. That is not a democracy worth preserving. Why are NP voters entitled to so much parliamentary representation when they constitute such a small minority of the voters? In a fair democracy they would have a voice in Parliament appropriate to their numbers. In our democracy they are so over represented that they have the power to determine who forms government.

    The US electoral college system also denies US citizens equal values to their votes. US citizens aren’t entitled to an equal say as to who will be president, nor are they entitled to vote for the executive public office holders that are the president’s equivalent of our PM’s cabinet ministry that in our system have to be appointed from elected MPs.

    I don’t think we are witnessing attacks on democracy or the destruction of democracy. I think we are witnessing the inevitable collapse of a flawed system that is a denial of true democratic ideals based on equal rights.

  44. Kaye Lee

    B Sullivan,

    I agree. For all their whinging, the National Party is over-represented in the HoR and the cabinet.

    But the Senate is worse. In NSW we have one Senator for every 680,344 people. In Tasmania, they have one Senator for every 45,047 people.

  45. Michael Taylor

    How lucky am I? Bridget McKenzie is my local senator.

  46. Kaye Lee

    Hey, she’s good for a quid for the local club

  47. Michael Taylor

    I still can’t get over that she paid more to renovate the old (not old) Commonwealth Bank branch for her new office than it costs to build a four-bedroom home on a quarter acre block on the edge of town.

  48. Michael Taylor

    I hope he got value for money. 😁

  49. guest

    Regional Elder,

    your reference to the Rolling Stone site is indeed ‘excellent and ‘very insightful’. As you say, it speaks to aspects of Australia as well.

    I would add an article of a similar kind but shorter by Henry Giroux, also a Canadian, “Trump impeached a second time – but Trumpism will live on”, at (14/01/2021).

  50. Matters Not

    B Sullivan re:

    not a democracy worth preserving.

    Somewhat debatable as to whether we have much of a democracy or not but little doubt that much of what we have today should be confined to the dustbin of history. Simply – because it doesn’t work. And that’s ‘true’ for any Nation whose Constitution was written eons ago – particularly if they started life as relatively independent colonies as did Australia and the United States. As an aside, one wonders how many Australians have read their Constitution and how many citizens know if each State even has a constitution or not. Don’t think we have an active and informed citizenship. Do you?

    Certainly the Australian Constitution needs a fundamental re-write and even more so than the United States counterpart. At least the US document embraces principles such as the Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments) etc, but neither document provides a mechanism for a complete rethink. What’s for sure, if we were starting again we wouldn’t have the document(s) we have today.

    That in Australia we can (and do) have, for example, a particular individual who decides what legislation is drafted and voted on, (the legislative function), how it shall be administered (the executive function) and then be legally empowered to decide the merits or otherwise of particular disputes (the judicial function) is the antithesis of democratic principles as theorised by Montesquieu and Locke for example.

    The underlying principle (but never explicitly stated) is that citizens cannot be trusted or at least are incapable of making good or right decisions. And maybe that’s the truth.

  51. calculus witherspoon.

    Sex with Demons?

    That is so California.

  52. DrakeN

    Good to see you back, Kaye, and still up there with lots of well researched logic; something with which Joseph Carli is clearly not familiar, which is why he gets so upset with you.

  53. Matters Not

    JC putting aside the implied nonsense about the majority of working people not being middle class (and vice versa) when something above 60% of Australians actually self-define as being in the middle class and or working class (depending what options are offered) – power in any society does NOT reside with those within any middle – almost by definition. As to your new point(s) re:

    Union is about strength…the strength of numbers…you need those numbers to negotiate from a position of strength…

    Yes power can come from numbers but numerical strength is neither necessary and it certainly isn’t sufficient in itself. Numbers are a guarantee of nothing. There are other variables that must be considered. Crucial to union power is (member) discipline. That is, if union leadership threatens (about anything) those on the other side of the table must believe that such threats can be actioned. That the leadership can bring their members with them. That they can deliver. And, needless to say, the bigger the numbers, the less likely the line will be held. That’s the downside of large numbers. A lack of discipline.

    Certainly, large numbers can (potentially) wreck greater havoc but large numbers who don’t follow the leadership line are a source of much embarrassment. .In contrast, small numbers who are tightly disciplined can have immense power, particularly if they are in crucial positions. It’s why many (if not most) governments have particular legislation dealing (only) with what they regard as essential services.

    As someone who worked for a powerful union in various capacities over many years, there are other variables that might be commented on but that’s for another day.

  54. Kaye Lee


    I must take exception to your claim that “the IPA recruits only the brightest and best in the intellectual stakes”

    Certainly they are a creche for aspiring/aging Young Liberals but Georgina Downer and Andrew Bolt’s son aren’t there because of their smarts,

  55. Michael Taylor

    the IPA recruits only the brightest and best in the intellectual stakes

    I’m surprised that they haven’t targeted me.

    Wouldn’t that be a hoot? Joining the IPA then creating havoc.

  56. DrakeN

    Indeed, Michael T.

    Intellectual and ‘political smarts’ are mutually exclusive.

    No genuine intellectual of my acquaintance would be inclined to enter into the world of lies and corruption in which the IPA exists.

    As for you “…creating havoc…”, they do that well enough all on their own 😉

  57. Matters Not

    Kl perhaps I should have added some qualifiers by way of explanation. First possibility might read “the IPA recruits only the brightest and best in the intellectual stakes in addition to those who are employed because of ideological genealogy.

    Or perhaps – one needs exceptions to prove the rule. And in these examples we have remarkable (and unarguable) exceptions.

    As an aside, (and because reference was made to brightest and best), eldest grand-child was in the group that topped the State and was therefore offered a VC scholarship worth $60 000.00 over 5 years to study whatever. And despite my best and ongoing efforts will probably elect a mathematics-based course rather than politics or related discipline(s) which require …. much more higher-level thinking.

  58. Michael Taylor

    That’s great news, MN. She has my congratulations.

  59. Matters Not

    MT – was very careful not to mention gender or other identifiers because permission was not sought to even mention.

    Made me realise, nevertheless, how lucky I was to get it all for free and over so many years. Now free education, up to and including post-graduate levels, would be a vote winner for the ALP and a real point of differentiation.

    Come on Albo.

  60. calculus witherspoon.

    IPA are preppie WASP (some times Zionist) cranks.

  61. Joseph Carli

    Christ!!…I can see that many commentors here are so soaked in their good fortune or speculative ambitions with franking credits or neg’ gearing/shares or whatever that when it comes to fighting the good fight against class-warfare you’ve turned into a bunch of vague-class / beige-class peaceniks!….

  62. Kaye Lee

    ^^^ Classic non-sequiter

  63. Phil Pryor

    Matters, you are feeling proud and should, and so do I similarly, for grandson has achieved some honours, is proceeding to an I T extension of his acquired engineering degree, and, grand daughter has completed honours in medical science and is continuing directly into a Ph. D. Fortunately, a scholarship will assist greatly. But, cost and debt factors are there, which must stunt the ambitions of many a talented young hopeful. As with you, I was able to do post grad work through the Whitlam era settings and remain grateful. Surely our resources in this lucky nation should fund tertiary and better equipped secondary education without the penalties we now face for our young. It is difficult; we almost feel guilty in a contrast that should not have arisen. I write and think constantly for educational reform.

  64. New England Cocky

    @B Sullivan: There are more Greens voters in NSW than occur in the eight (8) NSW electorates west of the Great Dividing Range. At present, there are 4/8 NSW electorates wets of the Range infested with Nazional$ looking at progress in the four electorates held by SFF(3) and Independent (1) Parliamentarians.

    The Australian compulsory voting system, now in some cases, optional preferential voting, is more democratic than any other voting system, especially the American collegiate system or the English first past the post system. However, none of these systems guarantee that competent politicians working for the Australian voters will be elected.

  65. DrakeN

    N E C: ” However, none of these systems guarantee that competent politicians working for the Australian voters will be elected.”

    …and the odds are no higher than simple ‘sortition’ which randomly selects individuals from the general public.

    In effect, elections are a total waste of time, effort and money – except for those benefitting directly from their mates’ acquisition of Parliamentary positions.

  66. Marcia

    Matters Not, thanks for the link to review by ‘Fearless Warrior’. I like that you follow up and research things. In return, here is a notable dedication in the New Underworld Order book: ‘to the memory of the late Andrew Stephenson who was murdered by agents of the Illuminati in 2005, in retaliation for his tireless work in exposing the manipulation of electronic voting equipment and software, ahead of the 2004 Election.’ Seems there really is nothing new on this flat earth under the sun disk.

  67. Kaye Lee

    “He was poisoned using a Himmlerian formula in the shape of a substance capable of mimicking pancreatic cancer. That he was indeed murdered has been confirmed to the Author by several knowledgeable US sources” writes Christopher Story with NO evidence whatsoever.

    Uh huh….

    (I’m wondering if Marcia is having a lend)

  68. Joseph Carli

    ” He was poisoned using a Himmlerian formula . . . ” ………….ice?!!

  69. LambsFry Simplex.

    Revenge of the Himmlerites…

  70. Mrs Wobbly

    Craig Kelly mission was known by Scott Morrison, of course as it all apart of the right wing movements song book of propaganda and fascism with Instructions given to Morrisons, from his masters of dictation of the far right plan for the Australian parliament and citizens propaganda fed to majority of Australians who lap up throughout the Australian one size fit all media and fascists of opinions alike, screwing the majority of Australians futures, ensuring unemployed or working poor stay in poverty, by far right wing policies , totally disgusted behaviour from our so call leadership for all Australian. The opposition in is country, are useless. Covid payments were to prop up the economy had nothing to do with compassion, job losses , unemployed or lower paid workers then or now in Australia, the rich store wealth and the poor create more of their wealth by spending. All politicians are highly paid tax payers subsidise, dole bludgers when will the stick and carrot policy be introduced in Federal and States parliaments and be demanded by the majority of the population of Australians to be introduced with a truely independent (ICAC) not stacked with the far rights preferred candidates into our Australian parliaments ? Politicians are never wrong and every rarely made held accountable for their actions, it’s one rule for them but a different ruling for the majority of Australians.

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