In my role as an executor for a deceased estate, I was recently asked to swear on the bible (I took the option to ‘affirm’ instead) and it struck me how silly that all is.
Our politicians swear an oath before they take their seat in parliament.
I, ___, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!
They are given an option to do an affirmation instead.
I, ___, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors according to law.
The Parliament of Australia website offers some advice about the use of the bible.
“The oath of allegiance need not necessarily be made on the authorised version of the Bible, although this has been the common practice. A Member may recite the oath while holding another form of Christian holy book, or, in respect of a non–Christian faith, a book or work of such a nature. The essential requirement is that every Member taking an oath should take it in a manner which affects his or her conscience regardless of whether a holy book is used or not.”
My question is why the hell are we swearing allegiance to a tourist attraction in the UK and what the hell the bible has to do with it.
Archaic obeisance and indoctrination are no way to run an independent social democracy.
We must liberate ourselves from the rituals of monarchy and church and become a nation who puts the well-being of its citizens first and foremost.
It is not only in religion and homage to the queen that we see the perils of indoctrination. Adherence to economic doctrine also has a stultifying effect on the ability to judge and react to changing circumstances.
Coalition governments will always say that taxes must be reduced. They think if the rich pay less towards the upkeep of the society that provides the environment that created their wealth, this will translate to benefit for all.
The only way to uphold that belief is to ignore all evidence of current economic reality and adhere to the belief that lower taxes are, in themselves, a good thing regardless.
There is a renewed push by the business lobbyists who control the government to reduce company tax rates because Donald Trump did.
Aside from the fact that thinking anything Trump does is worth copying, the evidence shows that our lack of coherent policy is a much greater deterrent to investment than our tax rate.
Clinton Fernandes, Professor of International and Political Studies at UNSW, analysed the ownership of Australia’s 20 biggest companies a few days after the 2019 federal election in May. Of those 20, 15 were majority-owned by US-based investors. Three more were at least 25% US-owned.
…all four of our big banks are majority-owned by American investors. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest company, is more than 60% owned by American-based investors.
So too are Woolworths and Rio Tinto. BHP, once known as “the Big Australian”, is 73% owned by American-based investors.
With all the concessions available to companies in Australia, our tax rate is pretty irrelevant.
Indoctrination, whether it is religious, monarchist, or economic, has no place in government which must be able to react to the changing needs of our society and a rapidly moving global context.
Praying for solutions or going to state dinners or having your photo taken being an Alfie Langer water boy is not what governing is about.
Indoctrination confers a certainty that rejects calls for transparency and accountability, rejects questioning, resists change.
We can’t afford that any more.
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