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I thought we were supposed to leave the world a better place

Forgetting the noise and arguments, the marketing and campaigning – a government’s job (and the job of us all) is to make the world a better place.

You don’t do that by worshipping wealth above well-being.

You don’t do that by supporting the fossil fuel industry and looking to join the world’s top ten arms manufacturers.

You don’t do that by engaging in rampant land-clearing to make way for livestock, inappropriate crops, or urban sprawls.

You don’t do that by habitat destruction of endangered species.

You don’t do that by cutting foreign aid to developing nations whilst massively increasing defence spending.

You don’t do it by destroying the lives of people who came to you seeking sanctuary from war and oppression.

You don’t do that by briefing the media about foreign policy discussions/decisions before you have spoken to ASIO, DFAT or defence.

You don’t do that by ignoring the existential danger posed by climate change in order to save a few dollars a week off your electricity bill.

You don’t do that by entrenching people in poverty through inadequate social security payments and demeaning them as leaners.

You don’t do that by offering such generous tax concessions to property investors that housing becomes unaffordable.

You don’t do that by promoting gambling.

You don’t do that by condoning discrimination against people based on their race, religion, gender or sexuality.

You don’t do that by ignoring the advice of the Indigenous community, quarantining their income instead of addressing disadvantage and enabling self-determination, building more jails whilst cutting support services.

You don’t do that by spending hundreds of millions in legal battles to withhold information that the public has a right, and a need, to know.

You don’t do that by holding endless reviews and commissions and summits and then ignoring their recommendations.

You don’t do that by rewarding those who shout the loudest or pay the most.

You don’t do that by concentrating on the marketing rather than the message.

The removal of the Coalition from government is a necessary step in making this country, and the world, a better place.

The problem is, how much more damage can they do before trash removal day?


36 comments

  1. Peter F

    Poor fellow My Country

  2. ChristopherJ

    So wny, dear Kaye and readers, do we continue to expect progress at the ballot box when we’ve never seen it in Australia for my entire adult life? I take it that Labor is more likely to do ‘better things’ than the coalition, but we’ve also seen their promises before. And, they still like to bash the poor people and demonise those who need social support and money. You will find many in their ranks who have no working class roots or don’t identify with us. We will see.

    We look at our current Parliament and ask how did it get as bad as this?

    Yet, aren’t we really looking in the mirror?

  3. Kaye Lee

    Liberal Senator Dean Smith added his name to the list of a growing number of Liberal moderates who are ringing the alarm that the Liberals ‘risk losing the support of the next generation by failing to address climate change’.

    Christopher,

    In my lifetime, politics has never been this bad.

  4. Miriam English

    Sadly, so very true, Kaye.

  5. Michael Taylor

    I have always maintained, Kaye, that if I do nothing else in my life, as long as I do my part to leave this world a better place than when I came into it, then that one thing was worth the effort.

    It really doesn’t take a lot: respect and caring. And it’s not hard.

  6. George Swalwell

    Kaye Lee has demolished the LNP crew, blow by killing blow –
    sentence by sentence and the cumulative effect of her ringing
    denunciations is devastating.

    What a bunch of selfish, weak-kneed opportunists the LNP
    so-called government is revealed to be!

  7. Spindoctor

    The LNP is busy stacking the deck in their favor, installing followers and supporters to continue their policies away from public scrutiny. Gifting monies to beneficial bodies and organisations and limiting damage to big finance and their backers. There will be hidden agendas and secret money trails which labor will have to sift through. Even with a Labor win, the consrrvative and far right program to benefit the few will continue at a reduced pace unless and until the aussie public finally says enough and stands over all their politicians with a bloody big stick and shirt fronts them to keep them on track, focused and working in the national interest. Shorten should have a huge mandate and hopefully we will see the RWNJs turfed but we need more Kaye Lees to publicize the wrongs and harm and restore the balance needed so everyone benefits not the rich. The battle includes refunding and resourcing the ABC, a federal ICAC, scrapping anti strike laws, lifting the dole and pensions, gutting, hobbling if not killing off the IPA and finally ending Murdochs propaganda arm.

  8. Shaun Newman

    Labor have big plans in my part of the world, the Hawke Labor govt began the project in 1984 of building the huge Burdekin Falls Dam in North Queensland, a pipeline to Townsville was also built to supply water which we badly need at present. The State Labor government in conjunction with the federal government wants to build a huge hydroelectricity power station next to the dam and another pipeline is under construction to Townsville as well as our population has boomed.

    The federal Labor Party has committed $100 mil to the project, but because the L’NP prefer coal-fired power stations they are refusing to fund this hydroelectricity power station, we need a Shorten Labor government to avert another new coal-fired power station.

  9. eefteeuu

    How is it that when Morrison says he will take a BIG STICK to the power companies to force them to reduce power prices, it is o.k.. yet when the unions take a big stick to companies to get a improved conditions/wages etc. for their members, he calls them THUGS ?

  10. Diannaart

    Michael

    I knew a man, a gardener (coincidentally his name is also Michael), who also tried to leave things a little better. In this case, my garden and the gardens of others who needed the assistance with garden maintenance provided by my local council.

    He moved to another part of Victoria a couple of years ago, but his hard work remains evident, along with the memory of both his kindness and a shared loathing of the far right.

    He worked far above and beyond what was required by the council. I know I’ll never see his like again. Such people are never forgotten.

  11. ChristopherJ

    Kaye, the political discourse is terrible. Yet the other day, I just happened to be in the car listening when PH was having a good bash at the LNP – something along the lines of how they just can’t get their act together – you know one scandal after another…

    Toward the end of her stand, she said something like, (the LNP) it’s like watching Game of Thrones… Without the good bits….

    I could hear the laughter in the chamber. I’m still smiling at the memory, even if someone else gave her the lines.

  12. Mark Needham

    CJ. Some have different mirrors.

    Labour has never played “Game of Thrones”.

    Kaye, you are correct, there is no one person, that seems to even have a glimmer of purpose, other than their own nest. It are disgusting. ( I use the plural “are” because there is more than one thing that is ” disgusting”)
    Ahhh, she’ll be right, mediocrity is a very acceptable trait.
    Greed is the other.

    WIFM,
    Mark Needham

  13. Kaye Lee

    Pauline has given me a lot of chuckles over the years. She seems to not see the irony of her making those comments when, every time members of her party have made it into parliament, they end up resigning (or getting sacked) pretty quickly when they realise what a meglomaniacal moron she is or they offend Jamesputin..

    “Since 1998 there have been 30 men and women elected to parliaments under the banner of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

    This includes three Senators elected on re-counts after the disqualification of elected Senators.

    Of those 30 elected members,

    Six currently represent One Nation in Parliament: two in the Senate, three in the WA Legislative Council, and one in the Queensland Legislative Assembly.
    Two were disqualified from sitting in the Senate (Heather Hill, Malcolm Roberts), with Rod Culleton resigning from the party before being disqualified from the Senate.
    Nineteen resigned from the party in their first term.
    Two lasted a full term in the party before being defeated at the next election (Bill Flynn, Len Harris)
    Only one elected member has been re-elected for the party. Rosa Lee Long won Tablelands at the 2001 Queensland election and was re-elected in 2004 and 2006.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-14/pauline-hanson-one-nation-history-of-losing-elected-mps/9869814

    And yes Mark, Labor’s Game of Thrones gave us Tony Abbott. They should be forever ashamed of that. (Mind you, I can see why they hated Rudd. I really wish he would shut up.)

  14. ChristopherJ

    Thank you, Kaye. We forget what a shambles PHON has been. Has there ever been a successful party which has the name of the ‘chairperson’ in the title of the party?

    Thank you Mark, Labor, bro. Quite different from UK Labour. And yes, not a shining knight in sight anywhere. A Greed

  15. Michael Taylor

    We could all gain a bit of humility if only we could face up to the wrongs of our past.

    I have often wondered what German people felt about WW2. It was partly answered last month when Carol and I visited the old concentration camp, Daccau (which was a sobering experience for us, to say the least).

    I was surprised to learn that every school kid in Germany is required to visit Daccau. Their country’s horrible past isn’t hidden from them. They face it. They learn from it.

    Yet in Australia, the horrible treatment and murder of Aboriginal people doesn’t even appear in any school books.

    Instead, we are told nothing happened. Denial, denial, denial.

    Look at the German people now: they embrace refugees, they want to address climate change.

    Now look at us.

  16. John Lord

    “Why is it we find such compelling reasons to treat each other badly”

  17. Karl Young

    Most of the problems are associated with all the damaged souls in our world. Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Pathological Liars, Narcissist’s and the Stoned walled Obstinate Ignorant and The Coward. You probably just shared your morning coffee with one of them and they probably made you feel so good about yourself; until you don’t. They’re all very clever, tough and tenacious and work hard according to their needs. And they never stop working on the defense of themselves. Unfortunately they can never change or be honest with you.

  18. Kerry

    Nothing is significantly different when the other half of the duopoly is in power. Perhaps they pass a bit of social justice legislation to keep the serfs quiet.
    I totally agree with all your points Kaye but your conclusion is sadly simplistic and I want more depth and honesty on the true nature of the Australian Political landscape. Without intelligent discrimination we will indeed get exactly what we deserve: more of the same!
    EG:
    !. Offshore Detention
    2. Commitment to all current illegal American wars and to their arms industry: we support murdering young soldiers and civilians.
    3. The TPP
    4. Privatisation of our assets
    4. Adani and all coal mining
    5. support for the big end of town
    6. Increasing draconian legislation for “national security” when we have not had any real threats since WW2

    How do we justify all of this when voting for Labor as a real alternative?

    What could Labor do that somehow makes all of the above OK or makes them that much better than the Libs?

  19. Miriam English

    Karl, I’d disagree with that. People love to reduce others to less-than, especially by putting labels on them (black, Jew, Nazi, Catholic, atheist, Commie, narcissist, and so on). I think most of our problems come from the willingness — even eagerness — to reduce other people and inflame tensions by getting others to do the same.

    The slave-owner who would flog his slaves to within an inch of their lives wasn’t a psychopath. He was usually a good member of the community and a loving father and husband. What enabled his repellent behavior is something we all have: an ability to reduce other people to less-than. This is the great danger to us all.

    Yes our politicians are mostly awful human beings. I can’t help wondering if, removed from the terrible political circus, whether many of them would turn out to be unremarkable. Remember what a total bastard Malcolm Fraser was? He became a great force for good after he left office. Of course this isn’t true of all politicians; some are genuinely broken individuals. John Howard remains as contemptible as he was in office, for instance.

    We are the Nazis who collaborated in the murder of millions. We are the Protestants that murdered countless Catholics. We are the hysterical people who participated in the mass delusion of the Great Moral Panic where countless people were persecuted for imaginary devil-worshipping, baby murder, and child-raping. We are the ones who were swept up in the mass hysteria about communism, and imprisoned some, killed some others, and isolated many, many more, causing untold misery as many lost any possible income.

    We are the ones: normal humans. We must learn how to control our quick over-reaction to hysteria and making others less-than. I am as guilty of this as anybody.

  20. Zathras

    Miriam,
    Thanks for an excellent summary of the cognitive dissonance and inherent hypocrisy of the human condition.

    Sometimes a few flowers will bloom on a compost heap and that’s what keeps the sideshow shuffling along.

  21. helvityni

    “We are the ones: normal humans. We must learn how to control our quick over-reaction to hysteria and making others less-than. I am as guilty of this as anybody.”

    Miriam English, at least you are willing to admit that you too are guilty of over-reaction….I have just been reading some posts on:

    “The experiment of government and business being…..”

  22. Diannaart

    I second Zathras,

    Spot on analysis.

    I have seen my enemy, in the mirror.

  23. Miriam English

    Karl, thanks for the link. Yes, psychopaths exist and can cause damage, but far more damage is done by ordinary people. As Gillespie unwittingly admits in the interview, using simplistic definitions can lead some people to think they’re surrounded by psychopaths, when that peculiarity is actually pretty rare — about 1% of the population. You’re at much greater risk from the religious 51% of the population here in Australia. And plenty of atheists can belittle and hurt other people too.

    I can’t help thinking we desperately need a science of morality. Sam Harris outlines how we can get there in his book The Moral Landscape.

  24. Karl Young

    You’ll find that fear drives most of these ills; even in these “ordinary people”.

  25. Diannaart

    Kronomex

    It’s all relative. A very good friend of mine thought she was tightening the purse strings when she and husband went to Queensland instead of New York for holidays. She was also a very supportive friend; when I was separating from my husband I had a place to stay, chicken soup when I had moved away from husband and came down with flu and that’s just me, she was a generous human being. So I would say she is leaving the world a little better.

    As for your example above, what he regards as necessities are likely luxuries to many other people. But maybe he is also kind, helpful and supportive. OK, he is more likely to be a whiny sooky la-la.

  26. Zathras

    In times of war, the compliance of ordinary people definitely shares the blame, as the lyrics of “Universal Soldier” illustrate-

    https://genius.com/Buffy-sainte-marie-universal-soldier-lyrics

    I can’t imagine how a soldier could spend the day gassing women and children in a death camp, then go home to to his loving family bounce his own child on his knee and feel the satisfaction of a good day’s work.

    We’re living in a world where people have authority but little responsibility and “I was just following orders” has become the standard argument.
    Nobody went to prison over the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and nobody will as a result of the current Banking Commission either, despite the lives ruined, lost or devastated by officially sanctioned greed.

  27. DrakeN

    Interesting discussion which, when boiled down, bears witness to the underlying and primitive tribalism which still drives human behaviours.

    I contend that, in evolutionary terms, we are several millennia less advanced than our technological achievements.

  28. helvityni

    Joe Carli, WHERE are those people with skills, those good leaders…?

  29. Joe Carli

    helvityni..: ” WHERE are those people with skills, those good leaders…?”…They are on the factory floors, the skilled engineering offices, the trade benches and worksites…they are in the houses and nurseries of the nation..in child-care and palliative care hospices…in science labs and hospitals and farms…on outstations and settlements scattered all around the country…they are here and now and skilled-up and ready to do the job so many useless upper-middle class bastards are claiming THEY can do, yet making an unholy botch of it all.

    Change the rules..change the ruling classes! https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/the-tradesmans-return/

  30. Pappinbarra Fox

    This should be the party’s leader’s mantra until the next election.

    And. Mean. It.

    and then implement procedures to make it so.

  31. Mark Needham

    4 legs good.

    2 legs bad,
    Mark Needham

  32. Kaye Lee

    As Scott assures us that he wants to, and is, getting the children of Nauru, they have actually been fighting it tooth and nail all the way….

    Of the 23 family groups, which includes young adult children, eight were brought to Australia under federal court order, six were the result of legal intervention but the government conceded before it reached court, and just eight were at the initiative of the Australian Border Force. At least one involved an air ambulance transfer.

    The Department of Home Affairs also revealed it has spent almost half a million dollars in legal fees in three months responding to court applications for urgent medical transfers of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/22/australia-spends-480000-more-in-legal-fees-on-nauru-detainee-healthcare-claims

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