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The light on the hill

image In 1949 Prime Minister Ben Chifley addressed a State Labor Conference, saying these words:

“I try to think of the Labour movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody’s pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective – the light on the hill – which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labour movement would not be worth fighting for.”

Compare these words with contemporary politics. It seems every decision is purely designed to put “an extra sixpence” in someone’s pocket. We equate wealth with worth and vilify those who have failed to make it onto the gravy train. We want our unions to extract every cent they can for us. We want our government to cut our taxes and increase our concessions.

But money does not necessarily make better people. As John Gumming said,

“Dignity and rank and riches are all corruptible and worthless; but moral character has an immortality that no sword-point can destroy.”

Chifley speaks of service and a vision to make the world a better place. He does not speak of personal ambition or winning elections – the ideals of the movement are more important than the individual politicians.

The “light on the hill” is the betterment of all humanity. Instead, we have closed our borders, ignored the pleas for help from a world in turmoil, and refused to co-operate in global action on climate change and income inequity. We have slashed foreign aid and chosen instead to ramp up military spending.

Society has been replaced by economy in the minds of politicians. The government is like the parent who devotes all energy to accumulating money but spends no time with their family. The means have become the end goal.

Even with such a focus on the economy, we find our politicians either sadly lacking in economic understanding or deliberately misleading the populace for their own agenda.

They have chosen their advisers from a very narrow group of people who share very similar views and who are most unlikely to offer any criticism of the government’s stated direction. In effect, they are there to rubber stamp the Coalition’s policies.

They have also chosen to employ literally thousands of people to “sell” their message. I have always been of the opinion that if a product is good enough it sells itself. The hold that advertising has taken on the world is frightening. These people have absolutely no qualms about lying and, in politics, we have no consumer watchdog to punish them for false advertising. Any government that would employ Mark Textor shows how little regard they have for truth or integrity.

But what of the alternative?

Increasingly the public are expressing their growing concern about the Labor Party’s lack of vision. It seems apparent that ideals have been forsaken for personal ambition as more time is spent on factions jockeying for position than in defining the direction of what was once the people’s party. Preselections are handed out as favours rather than on merit. Policies are hidden until the next election.

Chifley said that if it were not for the light on the hill, the Labor movement would not be worth fighting for. That light seems all but extinguished and, unless Labor can find the courage to articulate a truly progressive alternative, it is time to look for honourable individuals to step forward to represent us and to stop the laziness and corruption that the two party system has allowed to flourish.

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  1. Pingback: The light on the hill | OzHouse

  2. MIssPamela

    “Nelson Mandela believed that ordinary citizens can become bold, confident, responsible agents of change, able to rise to the occasion of even the most daunting challenges. He devoted his life to seeing the democratic potential of the people realized.
    The wisdom of his people’s politics has never been more needed.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harry-boyte/the-peoples-politics-of-n_b_4404645.html

    The light has been extinguished in the Labor movement (although I hold out some hope due to the attitude of Young Labor). As you say we need honourable individuals to come forward and cahllenge the status quo.

  3. John Passant

    It will come as no surprise I have a different view about Labor in Chifley’s time. Here is part of what I said in 2011 about the light on the hill.

    Of course Chifley’s light on the hill is a myth, but likes most ruling class myths it is one that many Australians believe.

    For example while Chifley was talking about the “light on the hill”, he was also warning workers that Labor was not about putting “an extra sixpence” in their pockets. He was sending in the troops to smash the miners’ strike.

    Today’s Chifleys are about Workchoices Lite, the Australian Building and Construction Commission and making strikes illegal expect in certain restricted circumstances.

    Labor: turning off the light on the hill

  4. Shaun Newman

    The light on the hill has been extinguished by the corruption within the right wing anti member unions also known as the AWU/SDA alliance, and their gerrymandered control of the ALP to make the political wing as right wing as the tories that we are supposed to be fighting. A very sad state of affairs that needs to change and change urgently if ordinary supporters of either or both movements are to be retained.

  5. Kaye Lee

    As fallible people, we all fall short of our ideals. That does not make them less worthy of striving for. If Chifley was flawed then we should learn from that but the sentiment remains. What the people need is for politicians to embrace the goal of making the world a better place for all humanity. Our execution may not be perfect but the goal should remain. We speak of individual leaders as if they should bear the entire burden for what we as a nation achieve. It is up to every one of us to set the standard and to strive to achieve it.

    Our politicians have let us down, sacrificing the common good for personal ambition. Julia Gillard tried…we must fight for her legacy.

  6. Mike Wilkinson

    “War is the continuation of Politik by other means” – Carl von Clausewitz.
    “Politics is economics by other means” – Michael C Ruppert.

    There lies the problem. The Labor party has hopped on the corporate bandwagon along with the LNP. Economics is important but not when what welfare available is directed to the big end of town rather than the struggling poor. Labor has lost its way and embraced rightist ideology to try and capture the so called “redneck” or “bogan” vote.
    Re-introducing the “Pacific solution” was a disaster for Labor because it disenfranchised so many of its supporter base. What really cost Labor the last election, in my opinion, was shifting single parents onto Newstart. Those two actions alone cost Labor far more votes from their usual supporter base in protest than it gained them from the redneck / bogan element.

    Labor has lost its morality (LNP never had any), that is the quality that the party lacks. For example, they recently had the opportunity to back the greens in the establishment of a Federal ICAC and refused… what have they got to hide.

    “Morality is an informal public system applying to all rational persons, governing behavior that affects others, and has the lessening of evil or harm as its goal.”

    Could the direction be any simpler to find? Particularly when in oppsition to THIS government.

  7. Carolyn Janson

    Yes, Kaye. I fully agree. The two party system has grown old and tattered; voting for Independents and minor parties may help to stir up some heart-searching in them. One way or another, there must be change.

  8. Dissolutioned Old Man

    Hear hear.

  9. margaret millar

    I would say that the ALP ‘s poliicies are a thousand times better than that of the present government
    Certainly the right wing has too much power-indeed it is its affiliated union members that facilitate this situtation
    but at conferences votes and speeches are taken from the floor -not in secret
    Chifley was flawed in his method of finsihing the miner’s strike
    I believe that he was concerned by lack of coal in wartime emergencies
    My father was a POW of the Japanese for 3 long years during world war 2 —
    these men worshipped PM John Curtin for defying Churchill
    and so bringing some Australian troops back from Europe to defend Australia!
    The much loved John Curtin died before the war ended and Chifley took over
    When the Japanese surrendered all our PoW’s and troops-
    – our army air force and navy–etc -came home.-Chifley may have made mistakes
    but the only time I ever saw dad cry was when Ben Chifley died!!!

    chifley was a humbleman b=orn in Bathurst –you cango ands see his house ther

  10. Kaye Lee

    Margaret,

    I have grown unsure of just what Labor policies are. I feel like everything is negotiable. I feel like they are refusing to offer a better alternative, using the old Abbott line of “We aren’t in government and will show our policies in 2016” like they are just supposed to sit there for three years saying yes or no. How about offering a better solution that is so overwhelmingly obviously better that it has to be adopted. Or suggesting amendments. I know Abbott will be impossible to work with but we could at least have confidence that you DO have a plan rather than just waiting for the sprint in the home stretch.

  11. Stacy S

    “it is time to look for honourable individuals to step forward to represent us and to stop the laziness and corruption that the two party system has allowed to flourish.”

    Andrew Wilkie looks promising. I’ve only seen a few of his statements, but he appears to be standing up for what he believes in – for the good of all – regardless of how spectacularly he may fail.

    As I told my MP recently, it appears that the people of Denison have chosen well.

  12. Shaun Newman

    Kaye,
    I agree with your post, sadly the AWU/SDA gerrymander of the ALP makes it impossible for each individual member of the party to even elect a desired candidate, let alone a leader. Democratization ‘must’ occur before we can follow Julia’s lead.

  13. Shaun Newman

    Mike Williamson agreed!

  14. Shaun Newman

    Carolyn, yes it is difficult to not be able to vote for the party of your choice because it has been captured by the right wing who don’t aspire to the traditional principles of the once great party.

  15. Arian Schaap

    The vision is Gonski, the NDIS, the Carbon tax, NBN, A revamped mining tax, increasing humanitarian refugee intake (we need to stop people queue jumping but not having to wait years in sub standard conditions to have their application processed). It’s not perfect but it does look towards the future. I would like to know what the opinion is of the Coalition’ “plan”!

  16. Margaret-Rose Stringer

    This has been my constant carp since Shorten took over the leadership of the ALP. The fact of that’s occurring says all you need to know, really: this is the bloke responsible for not one but both leadership ‘kills’.
    Give us Chris Bowen, for the sake of all the gods – he MIGHT have some sense of ethics. All I’m sure of is that Shorten doesn’t, and Albo the Bulletproof obviously doesn’t.
    I can’t see myself voting Labor again, even though I’ve done so since I was a fairly young woman. It’ll have to be Green unless someone within the Opposition can manage to start thinking like a human being.

  17. Shaun Newman

    Stacy surely you jest, he is a chaser, he’s been a Liberal, a Green and now independent, hardly a committed politician, committed to himself being in parliament perhaps lol.

  18. Shaun Newman

    Arian, charity begins at home, cutting pensioner concessions to the poorest Australians should be utmost in our minds along with $80 billion worth of cuts to public health and education, correct these matters firstly by making the ultra rich pay their fair share of taxation responsibility and then we can look at helping others.

  19. Kaye Lee

    We must always look at helping others. We have the capacity…it isn’t an either or choice.

  20. Shaun Newman

    Margaret-Rose, I think you speak for many many people in the Australian community, Green No1, with preference to Labor, it is increasingly difficult to back a weak right wing gerrymandered leadership who does not speak out on behalf of those that they are supposed to be there to represent. If a decent leader does not emerge from the pack of lawyers in the parliamentary Labor Party and advocate fiercely for the everyday Aussie then I will be following your lead at the next elections both State and federal.

  21. Clem Stanyon

    Too bad you didn’t make the obvious connection: the current owners of “the light on the hill” are the Australian Greens, who have taken Labor’s Aegis for themselves.

  22. Kaye Lee

    I am getting very tired of George Brandis enforcing his view on the country – a more inappropriate Minister for the Arts would be hard to find. In a stellar decision, he has appointed Gerard Henderson as a judge and chairman of the nonfiction and history panel of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the country’s richest literary prize. He did so on the basis of a review carried out by Gerard Henderson recommending Gerard Henderson be given the job. Apparently Gerard Henderson was right in assessing himself as the best man for the job.

    http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2014/06/21/the-henderson-gigs/1403272800#.U6UcsTeKBjo

  23. Kaye Lee

    Connections….and choices…are for the reader to make Clem. I guess my issue is with the two party system, and I agree the Greens are the light on the hill in the current political landscape. They, and enlightened Independents, carry our hopes.

  24. wam moir

    there is so much sad sense in most of these posts that should make little billy and torpid tania ashamed but they are happy to sit the rabbott out secure in the knowledge that they and theirs are safe from any abbuttian changes. Even Fraser knows how dangerous the rabbott and his nasties are now and will get much worse after july. The labor leaders are wrong because all the good they have done since the inactivity of howard and the economic and social advancements made by hawke/keating will be the least of the changes that will affect the Australian way of life for them and their grandchildren.
    By not attacking the man over the last 4 years they have set up a regime that is very open to lobbyists and can avoid any scrutiny by silence, innuendo or outright lies. They have allowed an amoral man and a vested interest media to convince the electorate that his style of lying is actually truth.

  25. Arian Schaap

    We need honesty in politics. Politicians should be held accountable for the arguments/ policies/ legislation they put forward to the public. The manipulation of the facts to suit a person’ agenda should not be tolerated, we are entitled to make informed decisions, with all the unbiassed facts presented.
    No one party has all of the answers and if we are truly concerned about a prosperous nation, we will look after all of its citizens.

  26. Lawrence Winder

    “……If Chifley was flawed then we should learn from that but the sentiment remains….”

    Precisely. Labor needs to start leading from the left again, not pandering to the right -wing and polls .

    What have we got from the Liarbrils? “Stop the Boats & Axe the Tax”. A purely nihilistic, destructive vision.

  27. Kaye Lee

    From July 1, the Abbott Government will allocate an extra $1.8 million in its Budget for the development of new language curriculums for Latin, Classical Greek, Turkish, Hindi and AUSLAN on top of an existing 11 languages.

    “It is perfectly sensible and intelligent for Latin to be on the national curriculum. I did Latin at school. It’s a very, very good thing to do,” said Christopher Pyne.

    I also studied Latin at school. Wish I had done Mandarin instead.

  28. MIssPamela

    I too did Latin and loved it. However I very much doubt its relevance to the world today. I also doubt the inclusion of classical Greek. Latin was at least helped a knowledge of English Grammar and Vocab. I don’t know that Greek would even do that ?
    I have taught Auslan to those who need it to communicate or work who with Hearing Impaired students. To those people it has relevance. Like all languages, unless one uses it one loses skill in it.
    I have no argument with teaching Turkish and Hindi as they are living languages.
    Another possible issue is the availability of teachers for all these languages. I have taught in schools where language teachers have been lovely people with a knowledge of the language but no teaching training or ability – totally disastrous for students and teachers. Has Whiney thought this through?
    I too now wish I had studied Indonesian and Mandarin rather than or as well as French and Latin.

  29. Andrew Richards

    These days, the only political party true to those ideals is the Citizens Electoral Council ( http://www.cecaust.com.au ). It would be great if the ALP (Another Liberal Party) woke up to what it’s become and reclaimed those ideals and policies from the scrapheap which the CEC rescued them from, however realistically, the hold of puppet master societies like the Fabian Society, and even the Mont Pellerin Society by the time of Rudd’s second Prime Ministership, that wont happen without drastic action.

    The only way to wake up the ALP is by putting it in a position where it either faces the prospect of being superceded by the CEC in every way possible or it grows a pair of balls in the case of its male members, and a pair of ovaries in the case of its female members and retyurns to its roots – even at the rik of a resurgence of bnakster run fascist armies like the New Guard.

    The question is though, are the Australian people capable of growing the brains, the sense of fairness and the intestinal fortitude, to bring aboput such a state of play?

  30. Stephen

    Not a bad article but baffled by the comments about Julia Gillard. It is becoming obvious to those not too blind to see that she will go down as one of the biggest grubs in Australian political history (is she still under police investigation?). She is a major reason for the downfall of the ALP and was born out of factional jockeying.

    Had to laugh at her partners rant to Napthines office answering machine where it took him half way through to realise she isn’t PM anymore.

  31. Arian Schaap

    Sorry Stephen but you are living on another planet. The downfall of ALP was megalomaniac/ can’t make a decision/ micro manager Rudd. Julia Gillard’ minority govt had over 500 pieces of legislation passed through the parliament. Supported through a true democracy with support from the independents, the Greens and sometimes even the LNP.
    If there was ever a low life form as PM It’s Abbott. Lying through his hind teeth and further disadvantaging the most needy in our society. Then rewarding the high income earners with super breaks and diesel rebates etc.

  32. paul walter

    Democratisation of the ALP would help, but as John Passant observed, the mentality at the top is “seige”, not promising.

    Also, there are many in dark places who would not like to see Labor as an effective force for democracy and some of these influences are sophisticated and powerful political movers.

  33. Arian Schaap

    My issue Jay, is that these companies have been making large profits for many years and yes, the public has benefited from this to a certain degree. The companies have also recouped any of the expenses they incurred, many times over! However, we are an ageing population, with all of its financial and social ramifications. If we had followed Norways lead with their oil resources, we would be on a much more solid financial footing for the future! Then ofcourse we would need governments to use the money wisely and not for pork barrelling!

  34. DanDark

    “Regional australia relies on private companies to build roads – it seems people complain when abbott decides to do the same, so you shouldn’t penalize companies that build them for you at zero cost”

    Jay you have no idea, we don’t have roads in regional Australia, we have tracks, you could hardly call them a road, Sth Gippy Hwy is a disaster, potholes left for months the size of the Grand Canyon,
    With a little yellow sign, that says “warning take you life in your own hands” and we do, go drive on country highways, then get back to me with your crap. 6 rollovers or serious accidents in less than 3 month period, proven to be caused by road, not the drivers.

  35. Andrew Richards

    Stephen and Arian arguing about who is better in terms of Rudd vs Gillard, is essentially an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as both pushed for regimes which have been entirely at odds with traditional Labor values.

    On one hand you have the hypocrisy of Julia Gillard, who prvoes with a couple of key policy decisions, that her allegiance was to the Fabian Society first and to the Australian people second. The first of these decisions was the Intervention – which as John Pilger has exposed, hs proven to be nothing less than a repeat of the same paternalism of the Stolen Generation- this from someone who was meant to be the leader of the political party which prided itself on the National Apology. Then again, considering that as individuals such as Geoffrey Robertson have argued, given that the Fabian Society were largely the political and legal impetus for the stolen generation, this should hardly surprise anyone.

    The second decision of course was the National Health Care reforms, which through their usage of QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years) achieve through economic rationalisation, the dream of prominent Fabian Society member Sir Julian Huxley, when he argued:

    “The lowest strata… allegedly less well endowed genetically… must not have too easy access to relief or hospital treatment lest the removal of the last check on natural selection should make it too easy for children to be produced or to survive…”

    — Julian Huxley, Galton Lecture at the Eugenics Society, 1936

    Of course, just to prove how versatile the puppet masters were in terms of their usage of societies, they followed up their pseudo-left wing, social engineering aparatus, with a puppet from their economic warfare aparatus, the Mont Pellerin Society, in the form of Kevin Rudd. After all, it was Rudd who started out our negotiating of the TPP and agreed to the secret nature of their procedings (well secret to the poeple anyway.

    Furthermore, it was Rudd who heavily pushed for the establishment of the Financial Stability Board in the wake of the G20 and it’s core policy of forcing Cyprus style bail-ins on the nations of the world to steal the desposits of the poor and give them to the banksters who make up the 1%ers. Furthermore the Rudd government had been looking at bail-in legislation here since early 2010. All the extremely corrupt, transnationaly, democracy destroying, corporate dealing which the Abbott government is currently pushing ahead with, was started by the ALP.

    Of course that ignores the fact that Hawke and Keating introduced economic rationalisation and deindustrialisation to this country- both of which have effectively turned us into a country which has been on the road to becoming a 3rd world country for just over 30 years now.

    In short, people need to wake up and realise that the last genuine Labor leader we had in this country was Gough – and look what the British Crown did to him when he tried to buy back the farm.

  36. Kaye Lee

    Andrew,

    The Northern Territory National Emergency Response (also referred to as “the intervention”) was a package of changes to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures, introduced by the Australian federal government under John Howard in 2007.

    Your fear of the Fabian Society is bordering on paranoic. It is a think tank for socially progressive ideas, not some sort of eugenics cult as you seem to imply.

    Australian Fabians promote the common good and foster the advance of social democracy in Australia through reasoned debate by:

    a) Contributing to progressive political thinking by generating ideas that reflect a level of thinking that meets the challenges of the times.

    b) Contributing to a progressive political culture by disseminating these ideas and getting them into the public domain.

    c) Creating an active movement of people who identify with, are engaged in and who encourage progressive political debate and reform, and

    d) Influencing the ideas and policies of political parties, especially the Australian Labor Party.

    And as far as the Mont Pelerin Society is concerned, they are a bunch of right wing economists who condemned Kevin Rudd for the stimulus package that got us through the GFC. The President of the Society, Deepak Lak, said

    “DEEPAK LAL: The trouble is many other Western countries over the years have built up huge entitlement economies – welfare states in which you know they create politically determined income streams for all sorts of people.

    And these then lead to a debt crisis. And this means that just trying to use the old Keynesian method, spending more, in fact makes this problem worse. And Britain for instance has bitten the bullet. It now decides, it’s decided quite rightly the only way to deal with this is to reduce public debt levels.”

    John Howard spoke at a meeting of the Society in 2010.

    Stephen,

    Your preoccupation with a police investigation into Julia Gillard is ridiculous. I agree her downfall was due to factional infighting because her performance as PM was exemplary with many ground breaking pieces of legislation passed. She made some mistakes in watering down the mining tax, and allowing the Opposition to frame the language about the carbon tax. The decision to move single parents onto Newstart when their youngest turned 8 was actually brought in by John Howard, but he only imposed it on new applicants which led to the situation of people in similar circumstances having different rules depending on when they applied. Gillard just made the rules consistent for all.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Ishe,

    A very interesting article. Thanks for that link….it has really got me thinking.

  38. DanDark

    That’s what dug Julia’s grave, as a woman, she should not have persecuted single mums even more than the libs did, single mums now are doing it the hardest, te HILDA report tells us, but living it is a disaster now for single mums, with no help, just treated like a pieces of crap, because we women
    It wasn’t good for the sister hood, that’s when she lost me and a lot of other women..

  39. Matthew Oborne

    I dont often point out the disconnect in peoples arguments but dan dark, you didnt like julia making changes to the single parent payment that cost you money, but you are happy to pay to drive on private roads?

  40. Napolean iv

    I am old enough to remember the effect on my community of the death of John Curtin . I even remember standing to attention at the ‘flicks’ when his person appeared on the screen accompanied by the Australian national anthem. He showed strength and calm at a calamitous time in our history. When our current best friend was hammering at our door he gave his nation the strength to live. What a pity his equals are not to be found in the current Labor Party.

    This discussion seems to have little faith in a Labor party that appears to have paralexia evidenced by its inability to perceive community distrust in its continuing commitment to throwing up party hacks as candidates for election rather than seeking worthy political aspirants from within the community at large. If representation of the people is the stated aim of aspirants to parliament, is a union delineated candidate a practical and moreover, democratic choice to speak and act in the interest of all.We could argue all night on that one. I suggest there is a very large Australian (non union) community that shares ideas espoused by Labor but disagrees with how it chooses parliamentary candidates. I also believe a census of all who would vote for a Labor candidate would prove to the hierarchy of that party that they need come into a new age (for the Party) by welcoming new members who are not affiliated with a union, encouraging such members by allowing them the opportunity to choose candidates for parliament that are known within their communities for their intelligence and sense of responsibility to all Australians. Who knows, union officials may even prevail in democratic ballots among those who aspire for parliamentary office .
    I suggest the powers that be in the Labor party need to get going to get the country behind them. The never frocked priest will destroy our democracy if good men (and women) don’t act with urgency and intent.

  41. DanDark

    Piss off Mathew, we don’t have roads in the country, they are dirt tracks, we don’t call them roads,
    Because they are not, they are tracks
    I don’t drive on the flash roads in city, so just take a long walk jerk

  42. Matthew Oborne

    I live in the country too, I live just off the Dukes highway, before the upgrade the stretch just around me cost on average 8 lives a year, after the ugrade there has been two or three so one death a year.

    I am not questioning your position on the single parenting payment, I too couldnt stand that Labor did that, if anything they should have increased support.

    It is the disconnect of having the first opinion whilst supporting privatisation of roads which will further erode your spending capacity that I find incompatible with your first comment.

    Further privatisation will hurt the poor the most.

  43. DanDark

    Okay whatever, we don’t get shit down here in south/east Gippy
    Nothing, the roads are atrocious, go travel from Yarram to melbourne on Sth Gippy
    Then get back to me oky, it’s the road of death, articles in local rag, then we have
    Half the back roads funded by state and half funded by federal, so they spend time duck shoving and we cannot even get a pothole that is 3 ft deep fixed
    And I have paid my taxes since I have been 16, and you are a bloke,so really shouldn’t comment on
    Women’s affairs and what’s good for their children,

  44. Kaye Lee

    As I have said many times, we should increase Newstart by $50 a week. It would provide stimulus to the economy as every cent would be recycled. This would create demand which would lead to increased production which would lead to more jobs…less people on welfare. The benefits of raising people from poverty are huge – better health, better productivity, less social problems, reduced crime. Seems like a no-brainer to me and of far more benefit that buying armaments.

  45. DanDark

    We should start making men pay correct maintenance for THEIR children,
    We are not all virgin Mary’s as a lot of men want society to believe
    Responsibility is what it’s called, men have prob with that mostly 🙂

  46. Matthew Oborne

    Kaye is absolutely correct about giving more money to those who are most likely to spend it. The multiplier effect of money flowing through communities will be held in stark contrast and elizabeths Holden plant closes down, that area just like mount gambier did (exit of Kimberly Clark) will experience a huge slump. As to whether I can comment on the single parent pension Dan, of course I can, I have a strong social justice ethic, I am not just concerned with issues that effect me, because quite simply I am not effected by a lot of decisions made by government, but it by no means implies I dont have a stake in my neighbours life improving if we got the NDIS, The same is true with single mothers, I just like Kaye want my taxes going on supporting those that need it rather than bombing those we shouldnt.

    The war footing works well in the US as a means to reduce social spending, here we have seen the government lock up money, the university fund, the research fund are simply ways of removing money from social spending but having a thin veneer of social responsibility.

  47. DanDark

    I want what Kaye wants
    Well so do I Mathew
    I want my TAXES, yes I do pay them 🙂
    To go to the most vulnerable, kids and women, our first peoples, our elderly our disabled, and our mentally ill, not the fat cats anymore, I am sick of the tax invaders and minimisers, and the totally corrupt like this current pack of feral corrupt men, and I am not a man hater, I have 4 well brought up sons, with wives and children, who are nice blokes, unlike a lot of mongrels out there, who claim to be good Christian blokes, 🙂

  48. Matthew Oborne

    I dont know what the child maintenance rates are Dan, I do know there are ways for men to reduce their maintenance, I am not sure if the reasons are valid because I have not looked into them. That aside maturity is what is needed when couples separate. In my example I benefit from my income the most but get the least share of it, because seeing my daughter happy is more rewarding for me than anything I could possibly buy for myself.

  49. DanDark

    Good on you Mathew 🙂

  50. Matthew Oborne

    If you do have some anti male sentiment I would completely understand, I have seen enough examples of men feeling child maintenance is funding a luxury lifestyle for their ex to know that there are men who hate supporting their children. I have seen excellent fathers too.

    Single parents need our support not our derision, I dont think a child should have to face being at home alone from 8 as that is criminal neglect, the government should deal with reality and make working optional for single parents at least until the age of 16, I do however think it should at least extend to 18.

  51. Kaye Lee

    Matthew,

    What they should do is help provide affordable childcare and flexible workplace solutions like job sharing. That gives people the choice. I just heard a story that suggests that when a parent returns to work they lose 60% of their income in childcare, taxation, and lost benefits.

    The ability to choose is what gives people dignity and some sense of self-determination. It is hard to survive on single parent’s pension – I think most people would prefer a job that fits in with their family obligations.

    It’s not just about the income either. Parents are people too – they need stimulation and adult interaction. It can be isolating and stultifying if your only job is kids and house unless that is your passion.

  52. DanDark

    Yes that’s me, i earn less when I work the more I work, the less I earn
    But the more my ex husbands work, the more they earn, it’s screwed, and even more screwed now
    All women are treated as slave labor in this country, unless you are of calibre, and well that’s diff isn’t it
    This country lost it’s moral compass years ago, and hard to turn that around now, impossible 😉

  53. Shaun Newman

    Kaye, good sensible respone to Andrew who is obviously out of his depth in this conversation.

  54. Shaun Newman

    Kaye, instead of your NEWSTART idea which by the way I fully support, the LNP are cutting the concessions to pensioners, arguably among the poorest Aussies, while allowing $60 billion of untaxed profits to leave the country every year for overseas tax havens, there is something very wrong with the LNP list of priorities…

  55. Shaun Newman

    Clem, you are a difficult bloke to argue with…

  56. Shaun Newman

    Henderson couldn’t boil a billy properly let alone judge an award of this importance, what a sick joke…LNP jobs for the boys.

  57. Matthew Oborne

    I agree, my niece has just had another baby, she is a registered nurse, and if she feels she needs to work the government should make it possible, if she chooses to stay at home for some years then in all fairness she should have the opportunity to update her skills. When the government talk of flexibility they almost always mean the people are the ones who have to be flexible, yet people need the maximum amount of choices they can have so they can get what is best for them, which is also what is best for the communities as a whole.

  58. Shaun Newman

    DanDark, yes of course all men should take responsibility for children that they help to create, sadly some irresponsible low lives do not take that responsibility they should be pursued by the State until such time as they meet their responsibility, but in the meantime society must support the others in this equation until or unless they can support themselves.

  59. Matthew Oborne

    On a lighter note the government has refused to release the more than 5000 submissions regarding their free speech 18c legislation.

  60. DanDark

    Yes it’s not so much relying on NewStar, it’s all the concessions that keep folk from sinking
    I own a small modest home, that I worked hard to own and sacrificed my own dreams to
    Put a stable roof over my kids heads, so they can have a pet, we can paint a room if we want, my son and I painted the whole outside last year, and now have finished half the inside, we polished the old floor boards, was cheapest way to go, and he is learning life skills that will save him money when he owns his own house, we garden and we have pride in our home, we have control,Not some fat cat landlord, but now even the little I receive from the gov, will leave us homeless just about, so yeah thanks Australia, how kind you all are, kick us in the guts a bit more, the lost generation will pay you back for your total lack of morals, and failed contracts, that gov’s pull out from under the voters feet, and their children, when they get into power, lied one day, got into power, then their whole script changed, Thanks Australia for nothing 😉 can’t remember labor saying they would cut single mothers off at the knees before they got into power either, it’s screwed, and sad that this is what people are proud of who voted for the Libs, pack of sadists.

  61. guest

    When I come to this site I feel I am amongst people who share my concerns about the current political scene. But occasionally I am disturbed by the negativity – and so I am in danger of being drawn into that mode of thinking as well.
    But let us avoid the Coalition trick of pointing “over there” in order to distract from what is happening now. What was done in the past is done and cannot be “undone”. Nor do we need quotations from the past or delving into arcane societies and influences which might have motivated actions in the past. (For a current example of backward looking, think of Pyne’s suggestion that Latin be re-introduced more widely into schools because he did it in the past. – which might compel us to look into his motivations.)
    When I read Rossleigh’s current post comparing Labor and Coalition policies, I was encouraged by the clarity given to differences between the two parties, so that quibbling over this policy or that as explanations for Labor’s loss at the last election is irrelevant.
    When I see the clear elucidation of the Coalition’s failures in this site and elsewhere, or in the clear denunciations made by Scott Ludlam, Bob Ellis and others,I am assured that the Coalition is well under fire. Witness also the recent comment of a retiring Senate member denouncing Abbott for his attitude to women. And let us not forget the polls which show that the Coalition have scrapped whatever credibility they might have had, a view enforced by the actions of the thousands who have marched already in protest.
    So let’s not make unnecessary demands on Shorten and Labor. Shorten’s Budget Reply speech nailed the main points.He has often made clear what Labor will or will not accept. In Parliament Question time the questions relentlessly chip away at the feeble justifications and misinformation of the Coalition.
    Positive suggestions and support for the Labor cause are always accepted. Shrill finger-pointing of the Coalition kind are not.

  62. Shaun Newman

    As we drift ever closer to USA philosophy of unregulated capitalism and look after the greedy at the expense of the needy, The Greens certainly do have the light on the hill to themselves with the right wing (do nothing for members) AWU and SDA with a choke hold over the traditional light on the hill carriers the ALP. Why ALP members continue to just fall into line when they can see that 59% + of the member ship did not vote for Shorten, yet he was still elected beats the hell out of me, you would find more democracy at your local cricket club?

  63. Dan Rowden

    Matthew,

    On a lighter note the government has refused to release the more than 5000 submissions regarding their free speech 18c legislation.

    At first glance I thought this was a tad odd, but it appears that confidentiality was one of the “conditions” of submission, which is fair enough, so it’s not much of a story, really.

  64. Matthew Oborne

    Public submissions are exactly that, people who submit them expect them to be published by the government, this is the twighlight zone however.

    Many Liberal supporters were furious when the government did not publish the conspiracy theory component of the carbon tax public submissions.

  65. Matthew Oborne

    perhaps the cons could rename them private and confidential submissions?

  66. DanDark

    I do not class myself as needy, that’s “charities” words/ speak
    I am just asking for ” a fair go ” never asked for charity ever, and never will, it’s a con
    I would prefer to live in my car than ask for charity because I am not “needy”
    I am not going to let people label me and others as “needy” it’s a false perception given to the masses by gov’s and people of religion, and their charity organisations, or big business(st vinnies) as it is now at the cost of the “needy” less labels would be a good start 😉

  67. Kaye Lee

    guest,

    I agree with what you say. Criticism can show what needs fixing but suggestions on how to fix it are even more helpful

    “Positive suggestions and support for the Labor cause are always accepted”

    Many people here want to support Labor but feel let down in just a few areas. It would not require huge change in my opinion. Start with a humane asylum seeker policy and an unequivocal commitment to higher targets on emissions reduction and renewable energy. Stop messing with university funding. Increase Newstart. Refund research. Encourage investment in renewable energy (which they were doing with the CEFC). and fix the mining tax…add the superprofits of banks while you are at it. You could also think about a financial transactions tax….and stop meeting with Rupert Murdoch.

  68. Matthew Oborne

    there are huge numbers of us waiting for Labor to take the humane path with asylum seekers, of all the issues as a rusted on Labor supporter it hurts me the most. Labor and Liberal supported retrospective legislation in both houses and it was infuriating to see only the greens standing up against it.

  69. Dan Rowden

    Kaye Lee,

    Increase Newstart.

    In doing so, what will we say to those that argue that the modesty of the allowance exists so as to act as an incentive to find work and the more “livable” you make it the more that incentive is removed? “F* off …” springs to mind but I suspect we’ll need something more substantive 🙂

  70. Dan Rowden

    Matthew,

    Public submissions are exactly that, people who submit them expect them to be published by the government, this is the twighlight zone however.

    Not all correspondence or communication with a Government is “public”. Given the sensitivity of the issue I can understand the confidentiality aspect. However, they probably could have offered a sort of “opt-in, opt-out” option for people who are happy to have their submission made public.

    there are huge numbers of us waiting for Labor to take the humane path with asylum seekers, of all the issues as a rusted on Labor supporter it hurts me the most. Labor and Liberal supported retrospective legislation in both houses and it was infuriating to see only the greens standing up against it.

    Indeed. There are lots of brokenhearted Labor progressives all across the country baffled by what has taken place. I don’t feel as though the situation is going to change though while the Labor Right is in charge or until we can convince Labor that they are leaking an electorally meaningful number of votes to the Greens over this issue.

    And as I’ve been discussing with Doug, there are, of course, still significant political difficulties to be dealt with also. Labor needs to find solutions to those before it can do much of anything.

  71. Mike Wilkinson

    Pretty obvious that the vast majority of those submissions opposed the changes otherwise Brandis would be waving them about and screeching “Vindication”.

  72. Shaun Newman

    Well I bloody am, I live on a disability pension of $575 a fortnight and the Abbott LNP government have just robbed me of pensioner concessions like $100 discount on electricity charges per year, how in the name of all that’s holy am I, my wife and daughter supposed to survive? Why punish the poor for being poor while rewarding the rich for not paying their proper taxes to the country that they make their huge profits in? If you are unable to see the unfairness in this situation you are not concentrating on the issue at hand.

  73. Kaye Lee

    Dan,

    I truly believe that by increasing Newstart we would end up with LESS people on welfare because the increased demand would create jobs. It’s the same as the asylum seeker debate. If someone is holding a gun to your head you aren’t consulting your travel agent about where is nice this time of year.

    There is also the productivity argument. People who have homes and food are more likely to be able to get a job and less likely to get sick. Their kids are also more likely to attend school giving them at least a chance to break out of the cycle.

    Some will still choose to live on welfare but those who are truly looking for work will have a better chance of employment.

  74. mars08

    Dan Rowden:

    …what will we say to those that argue that the modesty of the allowance exists so as to act as an incentive to find work and the more “livable” you make it the more that incentive is removed?

    Well the allowance IS quite the conundrum. What we really need is for it to be pinned at an “unlivable” level. That way the “issue” will eventually fade away and the unemployment stats will drop.

    Clearly, the “incentive” is the problem here. Maybe Indiana Republican, John Johnston has the answer…

    “For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts. They have been ‘enabled’ so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager. What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less.

    No one has the guts to just let them wither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade. As long as the Dems can get their votes the enabling will continue. The Republicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether. It is really a political Catch-22… People simply are not hurting enough, or simply happy enough that they will do nothing. Consequently the dole continues.”

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/06/11/indiana-conservative-christian-calls-letting-poor-people-wither-die/

    That’s EXACTLY the sort of thinking THIS country needs!

  75. Kaye Lee

    I guess that’s an alternate approach mars08. (You do Tea party impersonations well 😉 )

    Don’t forget compulsory sterilisation… an old favourite of Gina’s dad. There might be a few good people amongst the bludgers but it’s not worth the trouble of finding them. Line em up and shoot em I say!

  76. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    I guess that’s an alternate approach mars08…

    Sadly, that is NOT an impersonation… it’s a direct quote!!

  77. Kaye Lee

    I realised that…I just had visions of the “stoning” scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian and wanted to quickly point out that the views expressed did not represent the views of the poster 🙂

  78. mars08

    I reckon this scene is more in keeping with the topic…

    ARTHUR: Master! Your people have walked many miles to be with You! They are weary and have not eaten.

    BRIAN: It’s not my fault they haven’t eaten!

    ARTHUR: There is no food in this high mountain!

    BRIAN: Well, what about the juniper bushes over there?

    FOLLOWERS: Hhhh! A miracle! A miracle! Ohh!…

    SHOE FOLLOWER: He has made the bush fruitful by His words.

    YOUTH: They have brought forth juniper berries.

    BRIAN: Of course they’ve brought forth juniper berries! They’re juniper bushes! What do you expect??!

  79. Dan Rowden

    mars08,

    “For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts. They have been ‘enabled’ so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager. What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less.”

    Actually, for a certain number of people this is utterly true. The question is are they sufficiently numerous for us to care? Other than in terms of their actual welfare I think not. Some people are simply not constituted to be what we would like them to be.

    Kaye Lee,

    I think those arguments are pretty sound. As you’ve said every cent of someone’s Newstart allowance gets cycled through the economy. Hell, you could probably argue that certain regional centres actually survive economically on the basis of that cycle. I do think it’s true that an increased Newstart will create a disincentive for some people to find paid employment but I think it’s worth it to absorb those few.

  80. Arian Schaap

    Well said Mars08!! Go walk a mile in some of these peoples shoes, live their pain, live their unrealised dreams, live their desire to work on a liveable wage that allows for more than paying for a roof over the head, food on the table, clothes on the back, phone, petrol if you can afford a car. Most people want more than that but dont have the opportunity. Most people on benefits arent bludgers but need a safety net.

  81. Kaye Lee

  82. DanDark

    🙁 that’s the land of OZ formally known as “Stralia”

  83. Kaye Lee

    DanDark, for you 🙂

  84. Terry2

    I wonder how the editors of The Australian divvy up the opinion pieces between their various right wing commentators: do they have a hat and you take your luck on the draw ?

    This weekend Henry Ergas drew the subject of plain packaging of cigarettes, a favourite with the Australian who have been trying hard to show that cigarette sales volumes have actually increased since plain packaging came in.That was until Media watch showed this to be an overblown argument not based on any reliable data. Henry tries to tell us that an ” econometric analysis by researchers at the University of Zurich has not shown plain packaging having reduced the incidence of teenage smoking” so there you go. He then, the cheeky possum, goes on to say ” True, the study was funded by Philip Morris…….” give us a break Henry.

    That barrel of laughs, Gerard Henderson drew the ‘no change in policy’ over Jerusalem being either occupied or disputed territory. This had to be the short straw for Gerry as it’s a hard one to sell as Julie Bishop has been finding. Gerard, in a rambling support of this government trots out the old chestnut about UN Security Council Resolution 242 which called on Israel to withdraw from ‘territories’ but not all territories occupied as a result of the 1967 war ; not very convincing Gerard and it does seem to pretty well every other observer that we have changed our policy by trying to distinguish occupied territory from disputed territory : the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea are disputed territory as between Japan, China, Vietnam and the Philippines but that is in no way the same as the territories occupied by Israel After the seven day war.

  85. Abbienoiraude

    I remember my father, a staunch Country Party voter, all his life, speaking of the ‘only Labor man I had time for; Mr Ben Chifley’.
    Now THAT was something.
    What was more stunning for my old dad was his daughter’s decision to not only forgo her “Presbyterian roots” and become an atheist, but that I would move so far to the left that the only time he would acknowledge it was when in frustration I said to him before he died; Dad I am a Socialist.
    His old face fell…I had disappointed him in so many areas he tried to influence me in.

    When I look to Labor and its journey ( which for me was only part of mine) I cannot go past the ‘vision’…… expressed by Kevin Rudd when he claimed victory and in the coming time of his tenure 2007/8. He spoke clearly of fairness, equality, a time of Reconciliation,for a change in asylum seeker processing..to bring them to the mainland and a time for mining to pay its fair share, a time of support for Science and the ‘greatest challenge of our life’ climate change…The fact he was blocked and thwarted at every turn, till his being taken over, does not take away from the fact we had for a mere moment someone with ‘vision’. I care not to enter into debate a bout ‘personality’ or the divisive hate-fest within Labor ( it was its downfall…divided and conquered) but simply that Leadership (dragging the people kicking and screaming toward a future sense of right) is far more important.
    And so the two most heart breaking changes in Labor’s ‘vision’ was the cutting of support for sole parents and the cruel and unforgiveable decision to have offshore processing for our asylum seekers.

    I kept looking for a return to ‘Vision’ and only got cut and thrust of the playing of favourites within a party hell bent internally and externally to knife itself to death. AND it is STILL going on…the ‘taking of sides’ within, so that everyone is at a stalemate on how to proceed.

    We do not want ‘leaders’ who are ‘like us’. We NEED leaders who are NOT like us, who will communicate strongly, express sorrow, laughter, but with gentle determination show us a way to move on.
    The closest so far has been Scott Ludlam. Dignified, clear, calm but cuttingly determined he moved all who heard his speech pre WA re run of the Senate election.

    I want a bright, clever, intelligent, articulate and visionary leader….not the lying bastards we have now. Ignorant, soulless, humourless, cloying, dishonest, profligate and downright cruel lying bastards.

  86. Kaye Lee

    Terry,

    “Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed Henry Ergas, an open Liberal supporter and one of the most strident critics of Labor’s National Broadband Network policy, to a panel of experts which will conduct a cost/benefit analysis of broadband review regulation associated with the NBN.

    The panel is to conduct what Turnbull described as an “independent” costs/benefit analysis and review of regulation associated with the NBN.

    In an article published in The Australian newspaper in late October last year Ergas stated that “the greatest disasters” in government bore “Labor’s mark”. In the article, Ergas compared the NBN to the problematic Collins-class submarine project, and questioned many of the bases for its existence.

    Ergas has published a succession of such articles over the past several years. For example, in May 2010 he published a strident critique of the NBN implementation study through industry newsletter Communications Day, writing: “… the Study, with a degree of British understatement, rightly notes that the model the government has chosen – a public monopoly, extending, at least for the first dozen years, to the active service – “departs from the collective experience in most other markets” … Given the very high costs this project involves, and the fact those costs and risks must, on the Study’s own numbers, fall largely on taxpayers, a visitor from Mars might well wonder quite what we are doing.”

    In a submission to the NBN Senate Select Committee in October 2009, Ergas argued that the costs of building the NBN exceeded its benefits by somewhere between $14 billion and $20 billion. The economist also publishes regular columns and a blog for The Australian newspaper, which has been highly critical of the NBN policy over a sustained period.”

    Of course, Malcolm has not waited for said CBA as he already knows the answers he wants to hear which is why Ergas got the gig in the first place.

    Could I also point out that Ergas just made a video with Christopher Monckton denying climate change – that gives an indication of his credibility and another reason for his admission to the ‘review club’.

  87. DanDark

    Kaye Lee I stopped looking at the bright side of life years ago, it’s a con, a furphy
    It’s a meaningful life I pursue, not a shallow float on the surface stuff,
    There might be bright moments in life, but for most they are few and far between unless you are a rich fat cat or pollie, or Rupert. Or Gina, or any of the other sub human Neanderthals ruling the masses and have been for decades 🙂

  88. Kaye Lee

    DanDark,

    I know it may feel that way but I have heard the pride you have in your children. That is a bright side.

  89. Andrew Richards

    Kaye, your response is utter historical revisionism. Firstly, regardless of who started the Intervention, the ALP had absolutely no problem continuing that policy of paternalism by stealth – an ALP which has been infested by Fabianism for the past 30 years.

    Secondly your claims about the Fabian society are at best, blatantly misleading, if not outright fraudulent. Furthermore, there is a degree of irony in an author for an indepentent media outlet, at least implying that someone is engaging in “conspiracy theorism” when they are doing nothing more than legitimaely debunking a popular, fraudulent narrative.

    To begin with, as noted by Diane Paul:
    “But far from expressing views that were unique Haldane’s linked beliefs in socialism, inequality, and eugenics were widely shared on the left, particularly amongst Marxists and Fabians with scientific interests. Beatrice and Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw, Havelock Ellis, Eden and Cedar Paul, H.J. Laski, Graham Wallas, Emma Goldman, H.G. Wells, Edward Aveling, Julian Huxley, Joseph Needham, C.P. Snow, H.G. Muller and Paul Kammerer-to note just some of the more prominent figures-all advocated (though in varying forms; some “positive” and some “negative,”s ome here and now and some only in the socialist future) the improvement of the genetics tock of the humanr ace through selective breeding.3 It was Shaw who argued that “there is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the fact that nothing but a eugenic religion can save our civilization,” Eden Paul that “unless the socialist is a eugenicist as well, the socialist state will speedily perish from racial degradation” and H.J. Laski that “the different rates of fertility in the sound and pathological stocks point to a future swamping of the better by the worse. As a nation, we are faced by race suicide.”4 In the approximate half-century separating the work of Galton from the rise of fascism (which more than any other factor was responsible for the collapse of socialist enthusiasm for eugenics), such views were common.”

    It should be noted there that 3 of the 4 founders of the Fabian Society, the Webbs and HG Wells, were named, as was the older brother of Aldous Huxley, Sir Julian Huxley, as being staunch supporters of eugenics.

    Fabian Society founder, H.G Wells himself writes: “And how will the new republic treat the inferior races? How will it deal with the black? how will it deal with the yellow man? how will it tackle that alleged termite in the civilized woodwork, the Jew? Certainly not as races at all. It will aim to establish, and it will at last, though probably only after a second century has passed, establish a world state with a common language and a common rule. All over the world its roads, its standards, its laws, and its apparatus of control will run. It will, I have said, make the multiplication of those who fall behind a certain standard of social efficiency unpleasant and difficult… The Jew will probably lose much of his particularism, intermarry with Gentiles, and cease to be a physically distinct element in human affairs in a century or so. But much of his moral tradition will, I hope, never die. … And for the rest, those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency?

    Well, the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and I take it they will have to go.The whole tenor and meaning of the world, as I see it, is that they have to go. So far as they fail to develop sane, vigorous, and distinctive personalities for the great world of the future, it is their portion to die out and disappear.”

    [“Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought (1901), The Faith, Morals, and Public Policy of The New Republic,” p. 340 – 343]

    Furthermore, Diane Paul notes, concerning fellow Fabian Society Founder, Sydney Sheldon and of the Fabian Society itself:

    “Indeed, in Britain and the United States there once existed a movement popularly known as “Bolshevik Eugenics.” In both countries, the enthusiasm that many biologists, like their colleagues in other disciplines, felt for the Soviet Union was rooted in their conviction that it would spur scientific development and promote a scientific outlook. For the biologists, the test of a scientific outlook was generally identified with a society’s attitude towards eugenics; that is, its willingness to adopt a genuinely scientific stance towards questions of what used to be called “race betterment.” The Marxist and Fabian biologists believed that Western societies had largely failed this test. To the extent that eugenic sentiment had taken hold, it was used in a pseudo-scientific way to buttress the conventional social order; to provide a scientific gloss on racial and class prejudices. There could be no valid comparison of the intrinisic worth of different individuals, they asserted, in a class-stratified society.
    Interestingly, they differed over what they thought a fair test would indicate about the nature of genetic differences among classes; the English (including Haldane) tending to assume that the upper classes contained a disproportionate number of the fit-that is, those with the genes making for greater initiative and intelligence-and the Americans (such as H.J. Muller) assuming that if any class-linked differences existed, they would favor the masses. But they all agreed that, at a minimum, individuals varied significantly in their genetic endowments, not just in respect to physical characteristics or even intelligence but also in respect to specific traits of character and personality; that the fitter should be encouraged, and the less fit discouraged, from reproducing; and that such a policy could only be successfully pursued in a society that provided approximately equal opportunities to all its members. That the Soviet Union was perceived as such a society, and hence promised to provide the first socially-responsible opportunity to test and apply eugenical principles, was an element in its appeal to scientists.6
    Were it not for widely-held assumptions regarding what Right and Left must stand for, there would be nothing surprising in the above remarks. Social Darwinism, after all, was associated at least in Britain with a commitment to unrestricted laissez-faire and emphasis on individual choice while eugenics implied, at a minimum, the development of a social, and often a state, concern with reproduction. As Sidney Webb wrote: “No consistent eugenist can be a ‘Laisser Faire’ individualist unless he throws up the game in despair. He must interfere, interfere, interfere!”7 ” [Diane Paul, “Eugenics and the Left,” Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Oct. – Dec., 1984), 569-570]

    The evidence on Aldous Huxley is somewhat circumstantial, with a case being made that his 1962 Berkeley University Speech “The Ultimate Revolution” was an admission that “Brave New World” was an insider’s blueprint of the future rather than mere fiction. However quotes by his borther (also a cousin of Charles Galton) are far more damning.

    “The lowest strata… allegedly less well endowed genetically… must not have too easy access to relief or hospital treatment lest the removal of the last check on natural selection should make it too easy for children to be produced or to survive…”

    — Julian Huxley, Galton Lecture at the Eugenics Society, 1936

    “Thus, even though it is quite true that any radical eugenics policy of controlled human breeding will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care…”

    — Julian Huxley, “UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy”, 1947

    Remember that this was a man who was a member of the British Eugenics Society from at least 1925 when he was awarded a life fellowship, its Vice-President from 1937–1944 and its President from 1959–1962 when he was 74.

    Furthermore, as L.J. Ray notes:
    “First, Fabians, even though they were well aware of the economic origins of social problems, did not always look to resource allocation as a means of explaining the existence of a social problem group. Some of their views were close to those of the eugenist, Lidbetter. whose pedigree study of 172 families in the social problem group (East London), provided a characteristic statement. In 1932 Lidbetter described paupers, TB sufferers, mental defectives, lunatics, and sufferers from hereditary blindness, as,

    “a race of sub-normal people, closely related by marriage or parenthood, not to any extent recruited from the normal population, nor sensibly diminished by agencies for social or individual improvement. [15]”

    In other words, pauperism, mental deficiency, and chronic illness could be removed by technical means (especially segregation and sterilisation) which did not seriously affect existing resource allocation. This was by then a well-established Fabian attitude. H. G. Wells, on hearing Galton’s exposition of ‘eugenic religion’ before the Sociology Society in 1905, himself had advocated ‘sterilisation of failures’ [16]. Shaw had agreed that “nothing but a eugenic religion can save our civilization” [17], and
    for a time had been a lecturer for the Eugenic Education Society. Sidney Webb had shared the eugenists’ concern for possible degeneration of the racial stock resulting from the differential birth rate. In 1907 he had argued not for flat rate benefits, but
    for the “endowment of motherhood”, since the alternative was, “this country gradually falling to the Irish and the Jews” [18].”

    [L. J. Ray, “Eugenics, Mental Deficiency and Fabian Socialism between the Wars”, Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 9, No. 3, Mental Handicap and Education (1983), pp.216]

    He then goes on to add:

    “Again, in a Fabian pamphlet, Eden Paul posed the question of what is to be done with the residuum in a socialist state? At present, he argued, society exerts dysgenic influences in three ways: war eliminates superior stocks; lack of provision for the feeble-minded allows their excessive multiplication; and women’s economic dependence on men selects the less fit women to be mothers, while the least cooperative and most competitive men are selected as fathers. Socialism, he argued would abolish war; limit choice of mates by preventing marriage amongst the unfit; and make men and women economically independent of
    one another. This would also involve sterilisation of the chronic insane (with their consent), and segregation of anti-social types into protective institutions, or selfgoverning islands. Only with socialism, according to Paul, would the dysgenic influences of capitalism be eradicated, thus “Socialism and Eugenics must work hand in hand” [23].

    [L. J. Ray, “Eugenics, Mental Deficiency and Fabian Socialism between the Wars”, Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 9, No. 3, Mental Handicap and Education (1983), pp.216-217]

    This is followed by:

    “Consistent with this potential for convergence between Fabian socialism and eugenics, there is some evidence that the latter attempted to make inroads into the Labour Movement itself. During their campaign to gain support for a Sterilisation Bill, the Eugenics Society attempted to influence the policies of Labour and Cooperative Party branches, especially between 1935 and 1937. Tables I-III show how the national campaign on sterilisation was concentrated on a few types of organisations: Cooperative and Labour Party branches, Colleges of Nursing, Women’s Guilds, and other voluntary organisations. Throughout this period, Eugenics Society speakers gave Labour branches high priority even though slightly fewer resolutions were put here than to Colleges of Nursing. Even so, during this period, 35% of resolutions put went to Labour branches, as did 32% of Eugenic Society
    Lectures [24].”

    [L. J. Ray, “Eugenics, Mental Deficiency and Fabian Socialism between the Wars”, Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 9, No. 3, Mental Handicap and Education (1983), pp.217]

    In terms of the Stolen Generation, Robertson writes in his article for The Guardian “We should say sorry, too” [http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/feb/14/australia] that:

    “Much as white Australians may castigate themselves today for their deluded assimilation efforts, it is necessary, as with every genocide, to sheet home responsibility to the intellectual authors of the policy. These were the Fabian socialist heroes who believed eugenics principles could be applied to produce a “superior” society. Sydney and Beatrice Webb, John Maynard Keynes and Bertrand Russell all supported this cause. George Bernard Shaw argued for humane extermination of “the sort of people who do not fit in”. Marie Stopes publicly pleaded for the sterilisation of the “hopelessly rotten and racially diseased”. Virginia Woolf and DH Lawrence privately urged that the state should eradicate “imbeciles”. Their slogan was the vile aphorism of Oliver Wendell Holmes: “three generations of imbeciles are enough”.”

    Furthermore he goes on to write:

    “Against this background, Neville’s “absorption” policy, adopted in 1937, was regarded as progressive. It was in line with modern thinking in the UK, where a Department of Health report had in 1934 recommended compulsory sterilisation of the “feeble-minded”, a class comprising “a quarter of a million mental defectives and a far larger number of the mentally subnormal”. It was not implemented, mainly because of opposition from Labour MPs, who feared working-class people would be the real victims of the Fabian intelligentsia.”

    In short, the Fabian Societys has alway had, at best, a legacy of being stauch proponents of a radically driven, pro-eugenic reform.

    The counterclaim to all of this has always been that then Fabian Society has “changed” since those days, yet considering its deep involvement in the eugenics movement and the fact that it has had links with the British Eugenics Society up until at least the 1960s, such claims are at best, questionable.

    The fact that the Australian Fabian Society openly claims to base itself on the ideas of the British Fabian Society, inconjunction with the QALY based approach of prominent Australian Fabian Society Member Julia Gillard’s National Health Care Reforms, significantly undermines such assertions. After all, as the same approach implemented through Obamacare in the US and N.I.C.E. in the UK have demonstrated, Gillard’s reforms have the 1936 health care reform proposals of Sir Julian Huxley, written all over them.

    As for Kevin Rudd, your example is no longer valid and at best, could have been argued to be a case of subterfuge. The ALP could have looked to the reforms of Chiffley and Curtin to isolate the commercial banking sector from the investment banking sector, yet instead chose to prop up the banks via bail-in by stealth (after all, all the stimulus payments went directly into bank accounts) – which has resulted in a situation where the big 4 were able to continue their derivatives binge and now have accumulated more than $20 trillion worth of toxic debts between them.

    Furthermore, by 2010, Rudd led the change for global “bail-in” legislation, by being a key proponent of the establishment of the FSB and pushing for “bail-in” legislation as of at least 2010 (which by the way has been proven by documents from Treasury, the FSB, the IMF and the AFMA- compiled here: http://www.cecaust.com.au/bail-in/ ). Furthermore, as Wikileaks have proven, it was the Rudd Government who entered Australia into the TPP and supported the measures of secrecy involved with it. To claim anything other than that the Rudd government was pushing a pro-Mont Pellerin Society based agenda by at least 2010, is blatant denialism.

    It’s ironic that for someone who purportedly represents an independent media outlet, that your response would smack of a mainstream media narrative based response.

  90. Kaye Lee

    I got as far as “historical revisionism”. You were the person stating who did what in the past and quoting Huxley from the 1930s. I was just helping you be accurate. I admit I have not read the rest of your post.

    I did see the last bit about “independent”. I get so tired of explaining that what that means is I have no vested interests. I am not told what to write about or how to write it. No-one vets what I write before I publish it. It is my opinion or my collation of what I have read elsewhere.

  91. DanDark

    Hold on I will just get past that last rant that is bout 3 pages long
    “Yes I might not be rich in money, but I am rich in love”
    Doesn’t put food on the table though, nor pay the mortgage
    But hey “that’s life” or ”
    Elvis Presley – I did it my Way

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