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More “freedom”, or anarchy?

By Barry Tucker

The Liberal Party of Australia believes in more freedom. Sounds good. Beats slavery — for the slaves. But what does it mean? What does it lead to?

These questions are not answered by the Liberals. I suspect there is no answer because they haven’t thought it through.

You will see some indications in the form of less red tape, less regulation, for business. This will lead to lower costs for business, which will lead to lower prices and/or higher wages. Yes? No. In the Liberal’s world it will lead to increased profit margins and higher returns for shareholders. It won’t lead to lower costs or higher wages — inflation will control those items regardless.

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), the Liberals’ policy formation unit, has a 100-item list to reform Australia. One of those items calls for a “one in, one out” rule for government regulations. The former Liberal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, is busily abolishing old, worn out, irrelevant regulations while steadily imposing new ones.

Similarly, Abbott’s Liberals have introduced a one-stop shop for projects that require environmental approvals. This is intended to get projects moving faster. More freedom, in a sense, for the entrepreneurs. But less freedom, in a way, for the unresourced environmental “freedom” fighters who want large scale projects to be examined carefully and cautiously.

The latest brainwave is a Commissioner for Wind Turbines. This character will examine complaints about wind turbines and decide whether or not they are worthy of being passed on to State authorities for further action. Abbott, Treasurer Joe Hockey and other Liberals are on record as saying that wind turbines are hideous monstrosities and a blight on the landscape — unlike, say, the gaping holes, piles of debris and other landform-changing aspects of mining. Coal miners keep the Liberals’ war chests full, so more freedom for them and good luck to the windmill operators.

Getting rid of turbines, fighting like hell for the lowest possible Renewable Energy Target (RET) — it’s actually going up by 2-3% — abolishing Labor’s climate change initiatives (carbon price/emissions trading scheme and various bodies) and Labor’s bid for a bigger slice of finite natural resources (the MRRT — or mining tax) all mean more freedom for miners and electricity companies because there’s less taxing and less competition. Don’t expect to see more freedom for you in terms of lower prices or less taxation — someone has to pay the bills.

The Liberals also want smaller government. They must mean smaller federal government because they keep pushing responsibility for more stuff onto State governments, which are getting bigger while trying to get smaller, like their big brothers. So the State governments fight back by sacking more public servants. The feds counter by saying they are creating more jobs than ever before in history, while the unemployment queues grow longer. Where are all these people coming from? Not from refugees landing in boats. They’ve been locked up — no freedom for them.

And those who have lost their jobs? Tony Abbott says they have been “liberated”. Woopee! How much freedom can you take?

So, what is smaller government all about? It’s obviously not about creating more jobs. It’s not about creating more unemployment because those people have in fact been “liberated”. It’s about reducing taxes.

Taxes equal government revenue — the stuff that pays the government’s bills, including welfare. Welfare is a dirty word to Liberals. Everyone should haul themselves up by the bootstraps and become filthy rich so they wouldn’t need welfare. You can see the sense in this, of course. Buckets of money, no need for welfare, taxes fall away to zero, a Liberal paradise. Of course, you can also see the fallacy, the absurdity — it can’t happen, it never will.

In the Liberal world it’s essential to reduce all government outlays to the bare minimum, so that government revenue can fall to the bare minimum and corporates, investors and small business operators have the freedom to increase their incomes to the absolute maximum. All the remainder have been “liberated” or are finding fulfillment in playing with the dog and the kids.

Another thing the Liberals want more freedom from is those pesky courts. Institutions like the High Court of Australia, a bunch of freaks in wigs who have always got their nose in law books or copies of the Constitution and have the annoying habit of knocking the Liberals’ Draconian legislation on the head. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton didn’t want the High Court messing with his decision to strip an Australian of their citizenship, or “second guessing Ministers”, as he put it. As the former Leader of the Opposition put it: “They might let them off.” It’s a pity he was “liberated” from his old job.

There you have it; my explication of what Liberals mean by “more freedom”. It was going to be an explanation of why perpetually lower taxes and revenues won’t work, but, hey, I have a certain amount of freedom too.

Now if only we could get our news media to do something like what I’ve just done every day and night. I think then we might begin to see how Liberal “freedom” is a direct route to anarchy. It won’t work. The bottom will fall out of everything.

Two recent TV documentaries have reminded us of how the ancient Greek and Roman empires worked. They were both based on slavery. We are heading into a new Republic. To me it looks like the ones we had some 2,300 years ago.

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  1. Wally

    My immediate thought when reading the headline was, more freedom to screw the worker/s. The article very quickly confirmed that I am not the only one who is sceptical of the LNP propaganda machine. When I read ” The Liberals also want smaller government.” I wondered if they were referring to physical size or the size of the mind. I don’t know why this come to mind but it was probably because I could not imagine another government could possibly be more small minded, bigoted and self indulgent than Tony the monkey and Joe the joker are.

  2. Harquebus

    Debt is the new slavery.

  3. kathysutherland2013

    Sadly, there is no opposition to this government. There is no obstacle on this road to anarchy. I have just about given up writing to my local politicians. No-one listens.

  4. stephentardrew

    Well said Kaye no more to add.

    Makes me very, very sad.

  5. RosemaryJ36

    We need a new Australian Independents party which is a reall centrist organisation.

  6. Loz

    Why isn’t there any journalism in the MSM of any real integrity that can hold this government to account. The only online newspaper that comes to mind is Independent Australia that holds nothing back in attacking this government’s bad policies and deplorable government. Unfortunately not everyone reads on-line newspapers.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Online news and bloggers are doing a pretty fair job I think. The Guardian, Conversation, newmatilda, Crikey, IA, Andrew Elder, wixxyleaks, The Political Sword, The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, the Shovel, mamamia and many I have left out. skepticalscience is an invaluable source. Fairfax are even occasionally showing some balls. Shows like Four Corners can be very informative.

    The information is out there. The more people that share the truth, the less influence Murdoch and Rinehart can wield. I have great hope that our young people will engage enough to make a difference. They are under attack and need to fight back at the ballot box.

    We just need someone with integrity and vision to vote for……

  8. Matthew

    More freedom for themselves to act in the manner they feel they should be allowed to is more apt. Legislation has lowered the bar and yet another round of anti terror laws lowers the bar even further, would the government now have the power to convict Mohammed Haneef? I suspect their powers would now give them more likelihood of success. Haneefs case was little more than a show trial and I am certain the culmination of the continual introduction of terrify terror laws is giving us a situation where the government can tap the afp on the shoulder to provide fodder for pre election show trials. Having these powers is one thing showing the boganocracy they are strong by using them has to be part of the equation. As has been pointed out our banking system favours fossil fuels more than other countries banks can due to the sheer bloody minded approach to attacking renewables. Our nation is again slipping in every area that matters for a civilised country and as long as Bill shorten is 20 points behind on security in the polls that doesnt look like changing any time soon.

  9. Michael Taylor

    All those sites mentioned, with the exception of The Guardian, The Conversation and New Matilda are basically blog sites. But that’s not a bad thing, as a recent poll in America suggests that blog sites are ahead of the mainstream media when it comes to credibility. The answer to the question “Do you trust blog sites or the mainstream media for providing factual information?” saw blogs winning 56 to 44.

    But I think blogs in Australia need to take the next step.

    There are so many good sites operating independently, probably with the exception of us who ourselves are a collection of people who already ran their own sites, but I think we need a ‘controlling body’, or something to that effect. We would still operate independently, however, with a controlling body we might be able to get representation in arenas we are currently shut out from, like the Press Gallery.

    Maybe we should look at forming something like, say, an ‘Independent Media Alliance’.

  10. David

    What this and many other excellent similar posts magnify, we are powerless with our only real means of effecting change, the ballot box. Sadly words alone will not eliminate this evil. Depressing but its the way.

  11. DanDark

    Michael said “Maybe we should look at forming something like, say, an ‘Independent Media Alliance’”.

    We need to shake something up in this country and quickly
    We need to be unpredictable, start shocking the mongrels back, lets get unpredictable Australia
    Lets return the Govs shock and awe tactics, and think out side of the box just for a wee bit…

  12. supermundane

    Good article let down by the misuse of the word ‘anarchism’, which as someone who regards himself as a anarcho-syndicalist on the micro and a socialist on the macro, bugs me to no end.

  13. Harquebus

    theAimn will now have to be careful what it puts up now that the website blocking legislation is up. Upset Rubert or any of the other moguls and you will be on the banned list and I know what that is like.

    For example, on my version of this page is an add for Television Fanatic. Free TV online. I do not know if it is legit or not. You might get in trouble for putting up adds like this.

    Scope creep will grow website blocking to encompass independent media. Copyright protection is just the start.

    May I be permitted to post these off topic links for general viewing? If not, just delete them or the post.

    “Seeing how even the death penalty hadn’t worked, Queen Mary I needed an ally within the printing industry. She awarded a printing monopoly to London’s printing guild, the London Company of Stationers, in return for being able to censor anything before publication.”

    “It was printers, not writers and authors, that drove the reinstatement of the copyright monopoly through the so-called Statute of Anne.”

    Legislation is one thing but, does anyone know exactly how they intend to implement website blocking?


  14. The AIM Network

    Harquebus, we don’t put those ads there – Google do. Designed by algorithms, different ads show up for each reader based on their own web history. The Television Fanatic ad quite possibly might be appearing on your site only, and no-one else’s.

    Here’s a funny story: a contact who has a web site received an email from a reader complaining that an ad appeared on their site that showed bare female breasts. As the ads there are also based on Google algorithms, it is quite likely that the person in question ‘attracted’ those ads because he has a history of surfing sex sites.

    It won’t happen here as we have blocked those types of ads.

  15. Harquebus

    I was already aware of that but, thanks anyway.
    Independent media is definitely in the firing line. TPTB (The Powers That Be), especially in the U.K., want to be able to approve everything before it goes on the net.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Don’t jump to conclusions.

    Before those ads were blocked, I was recommending Somaly Mam’s excellent book “Road to Lost Innocence” to someone here. Next thing I know there was an ad offering dates with young Asian girls.

    I am now somewhat perturbed to find under People Also Read : 20 celebrities that aged terribly 🙁

  17. The AIM Network

    Kaye, they’re different to the Google ads. We’ve only just added those and they make us a whole dollar a day. The thing people do for a buck. 😳

  18. David

    Not sure what the 1st warning sentence means in my previous. Not my input, maybe the fossil creaked 🙂

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