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Now is NOT the time to be a ‘quiet Australian’

There is a disturbing trend emerging in Australia where the government is increasingly trying to silence the people.

They have painted unionists as lawless thugs and removed our ability to withhold our labour without their pre-arranged permission.

They have made charity funding dependent on them being uncritical of government policy.

They label conservationists and animal welfare groups as ecoterrorists and are pushing forward with legislation to make protesting unlawful if it causes any sort of disruption.

Public servants, journalists and whistleblowers face prosecution if they reveal what the government is doing.

They claim the gay community has “an agenda” and are therefore trying to introduce laws that make discrimination against them legal but discrimination against religious people illegal.

They dismiss school students who are concerned about inaction on climate change as being brainwashed by virtue-signalling elites and tell them to be quiet and get back to school.

Our leaders seem to feel impervious but they would do well to take some lessons from the past.

“We wear no mark; we belong to every class; we permeate every class of the community from the highest to the lowest; and so you see in the woman’s civil war the dear men of my country are discovering it is absolutely impossible to deal with it: you cannot locate it, and you cannot stop it.”

Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst – Connecticut 1913

“The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices – submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom.

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Anti-Apartheid activist Nelson Mandela – High treason trial 1964

“In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by nonviolence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that I invite you today. Once you realize this you will forget the differences between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence.”

Independence campaigner Mahatma Gandhi – Address to the A.I.C.C. 1942

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

Civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King – March on Washington 1963

“Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s; without hope the us’s give up. I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope.”

Gay rights activist Harvey Milk – Hope Speech 1978

“Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.”

Anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass – New York 1852

Perhaps the final word of encouragement – or warning – should come from Noam Chomsky’s “Business Elites Are Waging a Brutal Class War in America”:

“If you care about other people, that’s now a very dangerous idea. If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That’s not going to happen if you care only about yourself. Maybe you can become rich, but you don’t care whether other people’s kids can go to school, or can afford food to eat, or things like that. In the United States, that’s called “libertarian” for some wild reason. I mean, it’s actually highly authoritarian, but that doctrine is extremely important for power systems as a way of atomizing and undermining the public.”

Will Australians be forced from their complacency? Will self-interest prevail until the masses rise up?

The time for swallowing bullshit is over. They leave us no choice but to make our voices heard in ways and numbers that they cannot ignore.

“In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.” – Uluru Statement from the Heart

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  1. Jack Cade

    Lauding the Hong Kong rioters while arresting and silencing demonstrators at home. There are precedents for that type of governance.

  2. Ken

    I see the MP Tim Wilson marched recently with the Hong Kong Protestors.
    Talk about double standards !

  3. Kaye Lee

    “Walked past Occupy Melbourne protest, all people who think freedom of speech = freedom 2 b heard, time wasters … send in the water cannons” – Tim Wilson

    TONY Abbott’s hand-picked human rights adviser has been given a $56,000 expenses package to top up his six-figure salary.

    Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson now has a total salary of $389,000 plus vehicle and telephone expenses following a recent decision by the Remuneration Tribunal.

    Wilson is a self-promoting whore

  4. New England Cocky

    The Uluru Statement says it all.

    We can lie down and have foreign owned multinational corporations walk on our face and connive with the LIarbral Nat$ misgovernment to crete the worst third world fascist export economy in the OECD, or stand up and be counted for an Australian egalitarian democracy.

    “There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to stand up and be counted”.

    The late Professor L Charles Birch, University of Sydney, mid-60s, one of the first academics to publicly criticise of Menzies (Liarbrals) Vietnam Debacle from 1961 until 1972 when Whitlam (ALP) withdraw Australian troops from the imperialist dreams of the USA (United States of Apartheid). That time has come again.

  5. Baby Jewels

    Wilson almost single handedly convinced those in receipt of franking credits to vote Liberal. Lie after lie, after lie.

  6. Aortic

    Totally agree Kaye. but if we rally, even peacefully as witnessed recently, we run the risk of being arrested. We are increasingly subjected to more and more unnecessary scrutiny which is almost Russian like rather than the supposed ” democracy” we are supposedly living under. Dutton particularly uses his former police like tactics to subdue anything that even looks like dissent. What to do? Love Australia but cry silent tears to see where we have ended up under the Liberals. Same old endless story, if all else fails revert to that old chestnut ” National Security.” As H L Mencken once said, ” it is the aim of all practical politics to keep the populace alarmed, thence clamorous to be led to safety.”

  7. Ken Fabian

    “We wear no mark; we belong to every class; we permeate every class of the community from the highest to the lowest”

    Which is why some of these issues cannot be owned or bound to any particular political ideology or allegiance. Some of the climate activism grown out of green-left environmentalism and unionism is going to find the kind of growing activism from rural communities and farming groups not well aligned with their vision.

    I think the Strike4Climate rallies do it better than Extinction Rebellion – being disruptive plays to the framing of climate activism as about extremists who wear their ideology on their sleeves, the sorts that (especially with partisan media focusing heavily on “ugly protesters”) won’t appeal to the very people, who may never vote Labor let alone Greens, that need to be induced to be supportive. Climate activism has to draw in people in hi-vis work gear and business suits or it is failing.

  8. james

    the quiet australian

    three words

    a copycat fascist meme

    tricky ‘dick nixon’: the silent majority

    G. Greene’s: The Quiet American (1955)

    doubtful the rapture daggy ‘dad’ vandal’s read it

    No! No! No!

    Just say No! to submissive capitulation!!!

    Oppose Psychopathic Eco-Vandalism!!

    With passionate Intensity!!!!!

  9. whatever

    Our ABC is leading in the “Protesters Just Cause Disruption to Traffic” headline stakes.

    There just isn’t any “Anti-Green” sentiment in the population and there never was. Environmentalism is a popular movement and has been thus throughout most of the last century.

    That is why they keep making up this fake outrage.

  10. Kerri

    In the US prisoners are not allowed a vote!
    So how does that play out?
    Someone disagrees. They protest. You jail them. They can’t vote you out. The bulk of your competition is taken care of.
    Before long Benito Dutton will be calling for people to shoot drug dealers on sight and we will have dead bodies with cardboard notes saying “drug dealer” as a new means of reducing our “enemies”.
    I remain unconvinced that the “silent majority” exists. They live with the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny and god.

  11. Brett Stokes


    We have regulatory capture on steroids – and it is a transnational thing.

    We want our planet back now.

  12. LOVO

    Kaye, I think that you could possibly have the right to call yourself a Carpenter or at the very least a Tradie of such sought , I mean, the amount of times you have hit the nail on the head, crickeys. … 😃
    Thanks for this –
    “Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.”
    Anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass – New York 1852

    The word America, above, could be substituted with the word ‘Everywhere’ in these times.
    Poor fella my.. everywhere.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Sadly, my practical skills are somewhat wanting and I rely on others for those essential services. I’m good at maths and talking – we all have our thing.

    It really aggravates me that I have an inadequate little man like Matt Canavan gloatingly saying we won the election so eat shit.

  14. New England Cocky

    @kerri: If I remember correctly a Victorian case gave prisoners the right to vote because the Australian Courts were only allowed to deprive prisoners of their liberty for the duration of their sentence (except in special circumstances as required for political capital).

    I am not surprised by anything that occurs in the USA (United States of Apartheid) where the prison system is privately owned within states and a real big time wage slave trader for cheap labour.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Queensland will end its experiment with privately run jails after a scathing report found it was hard to know what was really going on inside them.

    ..a Crime and Corruption Commission report on Queensland’s prison system, released last year said the two prisons were run by multinational, profit-driven corporations that had their own ethical climate and “tone at the top”.

    “This marketised approach, where prisons are operated by private, profit-driven organisations, disconnects the state from direct responsibility for the delivery of privately operated prisons,” the report said.

    “This model creates challenges for the state in ensuring prisoners detained in privately operated facilities are treated humanely and have appropriate access to programs and services.”

    The same report found the entire prison system was overcrowded. It cited alleged instances of staff supplying drugs or weapons to inmates, colluding to avoid searches and allegedly coaxing prisoners to bash fellow inmates.

    Our recently published research assessing 25 years of prisons’ privatisation in Victoria found that the confident expectations that private prisons would deliver lower costs, improved service performance and enhanced accountability haven’t been entirely realised, and that the actual performance of the post-privatisation prison system in Victoria has been mixed, to say the least.

    Annual expenditure per prisoner in Victoria has increased considerably since the opening of private prisons. Real net operating expenditure per prisoner per day in Victoria in 2017-18 was $324, compared to $182 in New South Wales and an average $223 for all Australian states and territories…. the fourth-most expensive prison system in the OECD.

    Victoria has gone from having one of the lowest rates of incarceration in the world, with 50 prisoners per 100,000 population in 1992 (lower than Sweden and Denmark, and just higher than the Netherlands), to 147 prisoners per 100,000 population in 2018 (comparable to Zambia, Algeria and Jamaica).

    Compounding this, the prisoner population is increasingly characterised by mental health conditions, drug and alcohol issues, chronic illnesses, and over-representation of young prisoners, prisoners with disabilities, and prisoners of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.


    The percentage of Australia’s prison population held in privately-run facilities is more than twice that of the United States. Critics argue that the need to satisfy shareholders has been prioritized over conditions for inmates and staff.

    I could cite countless more articles…..

  16. Kalfa

    A good article as always from you, thanks Kaye Lee. These are scary times I feel. I was following some comments about the Extinction Rebellion protests on the Age Facebook page today and there appeared to be shills posting. I could be wrong but those that strongly ridicule the movement seem to have completely empty profiles that look fake. There were so many comments calling them dole bludgers and the like. I actually stopped following the page because there was so much hate and nastiness.
    About Matt Canavan, he was very outspoken and critical of the protests on 7.30 report last night. I won’t put the link here in case it’s not ok to do so but he and his brother’s coal interests are explained in a video made by Greenpeace in May this year. It features Michael West a journalist who did some extensive research on the coal lobby in Australia. A search of the words “Dirty Power Youtube” will find it.

  17. Matters Not


    In the US prisoners are not allowed a vote!

    A generalisation not sustained by the evidence. Perhaps some Googling might be in order?

    Yes, going back to the end of slavery and the potential increase in (black) voter numbers, various States (which generally decide who votes or not – depending on the election at hand) used ‘convictions’, ‘incarcerations’ etc as a means of limiting the franchise both in the short and the longer term. Still is an issue.


    (United States of Apartheid) where the prison system is privately owned within states

    Not sustained by the evidence. Yes, my understanding is that ‘private operations’ of prisons in the USA are on the increase but the percentage is still to reach double digits.

    Private prisons in the United States incarcerated 128,063 people in 2016, representing 8.5% of the total state and federal prison population. Since 2000, the number of people housed in private prisons has increased 47%

    Private Prisons in the United States

    In Queensland, the current Premier promised way back when she would take steps to right that wrong. Now used as evidence, she is a captive of the unions.

  18. wam

    . What a fabulous piece today, kaye. Fear in every word..
    Albo would be in tears as if he wants to win government he is wedged on every one.
    It was great to see the green white and purple get am run I,have long been suggesting you women may have the critical mass of men this time if you can muster the women.
    the only rabbottian left on my page is relative and a retired copper. He spent all school in the catholic system and, like the pynenut believes public school boys are thugs, thieves and lefties.(notice, with no need to prop up pyne the subs are going from SA to WA maybe no unions??)
    He posted a photo of the demo with a mature women being handled by 2 coppers with:
    “The usual rent a crowd seen at all these rally’s, dole bludgers, university students and a few misguided bleeding hearts take to the streets and disrupt the lives of the silent majority with their so called Extinction Rebellion Rally. Go protest in a park if you want to protest. I hope the Police come down on them like a ton of bricks.”
    xxxx a friend wrote:
    “Situation can only get worse as our education system turns out thousands more little bleeding heart, misguided, brain dead and brainwashed eco warriors onto our streets every year.”
    wam Look at the protesters: school kids, young adults and oldies who can think freely for themselves. no dole bludgers that is a stupid name from the surfing sixties and only refers to the sons of the rich on gap years before uni no HECS?

    “Sorry Billy but you.need your eyes, the rent a crowd are still there, school kids who should be in school getting an education, not being indoctrinated by left wing teachers and dont say they dont exist. Nothing wrong with peacfull.protest, but dont carry on like a mob of rabble.”

    I try the pope believes we need to do something about global warming but that got one of his copper friend to post
    “he’s a teacher that says it all”
    So even the pope cannot negate the concept of a left wing teacher plot.

    ps baby jewels Do you know a franking boy or girl who was voting labor??? Mine think ming is sharing a cigar with elvis and churchill somewhere.

  19. Kaye Lee

    “You can no more have freedom without striving and suffering for it than you can win success as a banker or a lawyer without labor and effort, without self-denial in youth and the display of a ready and alert intelligence in middle age. The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community.” – Theodore Roosevelt, “Duties of American Citizenship” 1883

  20. Matters Not


    Duties of American Citizenship

    Them were the days. When the concept of Citizenship – its rights, powers and responsibilities – was understood, valued and cherished. These days, the lack of conceptual clarity sees citizenship reduced to tax-paying, residence …

    And yet when it comes to education we focus on whether kids can spell or other such minor matters. Personally, I blame the ‘oldies’ who still don’t seem to know what the citizenship concept is all about. Perhaps they will blame their own education? But probably not. It’s not like the good old days. LOL.

  21. paul walter

    Cracker of a definition, that!

  22. Perking Wattleneck

    The United States was founded on concepts of humanity that it has never adhere to, from the very outset. It really encapsulates man’s inhumanity to man, from its broken treaties with the native-Americans (almost 800, all broken by the Americans, if ‘Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee’ can be believed) through the invention of concentration camps against their own people in the Civil War (see Andersonville) and the agreement to enter European theatre in WW2 only if the British gave over their nuclear weapons research to them. Abu Graibh, and so on. The USA is a mendacious and vindictive nation.
    And we are its best and most reliable toadies.

  23. johno

    Well said Kaye, on the money. Just did the abc online survey ‘ how good is oz ? ‘ 90% of aussies rekon polies will lie if their political career depends on it. And my clanger for the month.. My partner’s uncle rekons he can’t watch abc because it is too left wing. ( so I guess he didn’t do the survey )

  24. Kaye Lee

    The ABC has become the platform for conservatives with ambition to become politicians. Tim Wilson was a regular until he got his government sinecure. James Patterson is on all the time. Greg Sheridan dominates any panel program he is on (which is all of them). Gerard Henderson still sullies the couch on Insiders. And the constant string of Sydney City Councillors trying to build their profile gets very wearing. Oh, and if Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price are the best they can do regarding an Indigenous Voice then no wonder recognition has stalled.

    In a vain attempt to show they aren’t bias, the ABC has become a platform for the IPA and the Centre for Independent Studies and the Sydney Institute to spout their ignorance without fear of being questioned.

  25. Kathryn

    History has shown – over and over again – that all it takes for fascism to grow and depraved corruption and evil to prosper, is for “good” people to say and do nothing, complacency to become entrenched and apathy to be normalised! Sadly, that is the state of our nation right now where a terrifying, stone cold neoliberal pack of incompetent, lying, born-to-rule fascists are ruling by deceipt, war mongering nationalism, Trump-styled bigotry and hatred and ongoing, escalating corruption and bible-thumping hypocrisy! Can anyone truly recognise this country now to the compassionate, welcoming, egalitarian and progressive country it once was (especially under the foresightful leadership of Whitlam, Keating and Gillard)? Ever since the misogynistic, obsequious and insignificant little imperialist, Abbott, lied and lied his way into autocratic power back in 2013, our country has gone to hell in a hand basket. Driven by a cruel, callous disregard for our most vulnerable citizens, a hate-filled racist campaign against legal asylum seekers desperately trying to escape from an illegal war that WE helped to create (under the jackboot of John Howard, now widely regarded as an internationally condemned, despicable war criminal), using hate speech to incite xenophobia, self-serving obsession with profit, an unquenchable greed and subservience to multinational corporate predators, de-funding everything we value and vandalising our environment to appease their soulless mates in the Top 1%,the LNP are encouraging Australians to “SHUT UP” and look the other way! Now we have this intolerable and intolerant fascist regime going a step further into totalitarianism by shutting down debate or justified criticism of their nefarious, criminal behaviour, arresting whistle blowers, arresting journalists, arresting protesters exercising their DEMOCRATIC right to protest and practise their right of free expression and free speech, using their Propaganda Minister, Murdoch, to spew out fake news and wilful, deliberate lies and character assassinating slander to win spurious elections and votes by a small dumbed-down majority! WTF has happened in six years? Answer: Too many stupid, complacent people have become too quiet! If YOU are a member of the too-quiet, apathetic majority, then YOU are a BIG part of the problem. This is why I admire and support those brave, outspoken pro-climate-change protesters out there! RISE UP, SPEAK OUT, DEMAND ACTION AND MAINTAIN THE RAGE AGAINST THIS FASCIST, CLIMATE-CHANGE-DENYING GOVERNMENT …. they deserve our absolute contempt! The LNP do NOT represent YOU; they are mad, bad and very dangerous!

  26. Kaye Lee

    ^^^^ what she said!

  27. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, it is true that Ellen Fanning described the CIS as an “independent” think tank last week. You have to work very hard to decode the BS and work out what out what the obscured meta narrative is.

    If you get a chance, watch the Drum with Quiggin last night and see if you can sort the chaff from the wheat…felt very sorry for the Prof, straight-jacketed through a wall of nonsenses from the ignorant and arrogant.

  28. johno

    Ken Fabian, disagree, I think Extinction Rebellion are doing a very good job of getting in the face of those quiet aussies and the lying politicians.

  29. Ken Fabian

    Johno – I don’t expect everyone to agree – theaimn regulars probably less than most. Even so I think that the kinds of protest that all kinds of people can feel good about participating in will work better than “getting in the face of quiet aussies”. I think Strike4Climate does that better. Targeting lying politicians – or others who bear particular responsibility – with disruptive protests is a lot more reasonable but targeting ordinary aussies during their commute to work with disruptive actions that add to their daily frustrations and irritations doesn’t look like a good tactic to win them over. It appeals best to people who already care about the climate problem and are deeply frustrated by lack of adequate responses but not so much to those who don’t. We need to change their minds not piss them off.

  30. johno

    UK scientists join the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests
    Lee, who didn’t wish to give his full name, says he worked for a decade in climate science, but “we are now reaching the tipping point that we’ve always been fearful of”.
    “It’s almost to the point when we can’t reverse it. This is our last chance. The social contract with the government has been broken and now there’s nothing left to do but rebel.”

  31. LOVO

    G’day all, ‘it’s time’… stock up…..end of message…………………

  32. paul walter

    Lovo, I agree that Ken F’s comments are about inconsequential and suggest that poster reconsider his speculative syllogistics.

  33. LOVO

    Paul, thanks for your reply.
    BUT ….
    I’m a concrete labourer… I’m not totally illiterate, mind, but…hey. 😦
    Wot did you just say ??? I’ve missed something…..not sure what it is….sorry 😔
    Just sayin’😆
    ….and in other news, “a white ant walks in to a bar and asks ‘where’s the bar tender'”

  34. Kaye Lee

    The same calls for protest are coming from America where Trump has gone mad….

    “But we must not lose hope. In addition to the three branches of government, there is an unofficial fourth – civil society – which must exert itself. The will of the people is both what is at stake when a government becomes unaccountable and the force that can protect our embattled public interest. Passivity and disengagement got us here; political engagement will get us out.”

  35. paul walter

    As I said LOVO, you’ re doing fine, but Ken’s response did nothing for the conversation

  36. Kaye Lee


    I understand where Ken is coming from – I have heard the same view expressed by many and wish that I felt polite protests would force action.

    The only problem is that polite requests to do something before it is too late have been ignored. Dire warnings from experts are ignored. Our government says that they won’t let some unelected world bureaucracy force us to do anything – not that they can or have. The government tries to silence criticism.

    To get my son up in the mornings, I used to knock on his door – no respionse. I would then knock and call out – no response. I would open the door and speak louder – no response. It wasn’t until I went and shook him that he woke up.

  37. Ken Fabian

    Paul Walter – “Ken F’s comments are about inconsequential and suggest that poster reconsider his speculative syllogistics.”

    Or you could point out why my concern about the potential for XR tactics to piss off the people climate activism needs most to reach is so wrong. Others, with much more experience than me in activism have expressed similar concerns –

    “Lyndon Schneiders, national campaigns director for the Wilderness Society and a veteran activist, told Guardian Australia he hoped the XR campaign would not hand more power to the fossil fuel lobby by causing further polarisation.” *

    To be fair, Schneiders appears to be a minority amongst spokespersons with established environmental/climate activist credentials – but whilst decades of campaigning in various ways has kept the issue from being subsumed in irrelevant or counter-relevant media noise I don’t think direct action/protests that have done that much. So doing protests, but harder doesn’t look likely to be effective to me.

    I think the Australian voting public is edging ever closer to a political tipping point on this issue – and that it was not Labor on climate that tipped the balance against it; the truth of the climate problem’s seriousness and trust in science based expertise is moving people who are not moved by disruptive protests, yet many will be supportive of non-disruptive protests. I think we are closer to seeing large parts of conservative Australia accepting, even demanding action – and we will see Doubt, Deny, Delay politicking lose it’s mojo. I’m not convinced disruptive protests have or will have much to do with that. Other kinds of informed activism, yes.

    I don’t think XR’s targeting of random commuters with traffic disruption it is the sort of activism that will tip the balance.

  38. Padty

    One of XR’s links goes to a Citizens Assembly page quietly promoting nuclear power. XR, barely a year in the making, a global circus of a handful of protesters, all backed by a powerful MSM promoting their message. Something doesn’t add up. Most of us know we need to respect the environment and adjust lifestyles. Delaying people driving to work is backward thinking.

    “What does XR think about 5g, Veganism, Nuclear power, smart meters and so on?”
    “We focus on the issues that have a clear body of mainstream science with a large consensus of opinion – for example, biodiversity loss and climate change. There is certainly no conspiracy at the heart of XR to promote 5G..”

    One day the protest puppets being used by XR might notice that the greatest environmental risk today is the rise and rise of electromagnetic radiation pollution:

  39. Ross Barrell

    G’day Kaye

    “To get my son up in the mornings, I used to knock on his door – no respionse. I would then knock and call out – no response. I would open the door and speak louder – no response. It wasn’t until I went and shook him that he woke up.”

    I just read your comment (above) to my partner, who has expressed concern that ER, by getting up peoples noses are doing themselves no favours. Her reply to me after I read your anecdote about your son was, “Our elected politicians aren’t meant to be children.” “Good point”, I said. “Aren’t meant to be, indeed.”

    Unfortunately they are worse. Mendacious band of chancers and spivs. And it may take an insurrection to actually get their attention.

  40. Kaye Lee

    My son wasn’t a child either Ross. I was getting him up for his work as an accountant – I had to drive him to the station for the 2 hour commute.

    Sometimes we have to be intrusive to get people to open their eyes.

  41. paul walter

    You should have thrown a bucket of water over him?

  42. Ken Fabian

    I will be very pleased to be wrong and to learn that XR protests have a strong positive impact – but there is a major chunk of mainstream media determined to make it counterproductive.

    I share the sense of frustration; the continuing success of ethically bereft Doubt, Deny, Delay politicking – and approving as many coal and gas projects as possible as the principle governmental response (LNP and ALP both) – in the face of such a serious issue with such enduring consequences is infuriating. Focusing that fury rather than indulging it can be the difference between a campaign wins through and one that backfires.

    Especially because of the satisfaction disruptive protest (whether in person or vicariously) brings to those of us feeling that frustration and anger it becomes more important to be mindful of how those who’s minds and votes we seek to change will respond; how XR protests makes us feel (us = those who are deeply concerned) should not obscure the goal. What that goal is can be a defining and potentially divisive difference between climate activism and left activism.

    I think the lengths organised denial and obstruction goes to to maintain influence is indicative of the vulnerability of their position to popular voter opinion and institutional checks and balances – not evidence of it’s overwhelming power. I think the political tipping point within conservative right politics – and therefore in politics at large – is very near, no matter that the fracturing is largely hidden from public view. It may ultimately come down to remaking our society to adequately respond – I don’t see how it cannot – but I do not see any broad willingness for revolution, only for evolution.

  43. Kaye Lee


    I agree with everything you say but the problem is the urgency (and the lies and secrecy). Continuing the son analogy, he had to get up right that minute because the train was coming. We don’t have time for a slow evolution – we wasted that opportunity.

  44. DrakeN

    “We don’t have time for a slow evolution – we wasted that opportunity.”

    Therein Lies the Rub.

    We have had more than a century of wise words declaring the probability that human activities are adversely affecting the functions of the planet on which we all rely for our very existence.

    Human evolution has lagged far behind our technological advances; our attitudes and habitual behaviours remain very much entrenched in Bronze age thinking, and in some individuals their ways are even more primitive.

    The dangers in revolution, though, are writ large in the societal failures such as that of 1913 in Russia and the misnamed ‘cultural revolution’ in China where, as is so often the case, ‘strong leaders’ proved to be despots in the making.

    The ‘revolution’ which we genuinely need is that of replacing a mindset of development by competition with one based firmly on the premise of cooperation for mutual benefit.

    Without that, nothing of true value can be achieved.

  45. paul walter

    Topenda, it is the truth we have been trying increasingly and persistently to bang into the heads of the Labor right for so many years.
    Less success than talking to a house brick.

    Thicker than seventy lumps of four-be, they can’t grasp in their trogodyte way that trust is also an issue.

    Marles and Palasczchuk are the latest bad faith examples.

  46. Topenda

    Paul, my comment was not meant to be partisan commentary. Governments have for decades ignored those of us without money or influence. Trying to spin the issue to an attack on one party alone is counter-productive. We need a whole revamp of the system to ensure people making decisions aren’t doing so based on how much money is likely to come their way (or their mates’) directly or indirectly.

  47. Ken Fabian

    ” We don’t have time for a slow evolution – we wasted that opportunity.”

    I think that seriously understates how far 3 decades of slow evolution has taken us; the present is an unparalleled opportunity, made in large part by persistent activism of various kinds (of which disruptive protest looks to me like the least part).

    2/3rds of Australians think the climate issue is important. Renewable energy has developed into the least cost new electricity generation and investment in it now exceeds fossil fuels. Both are welcome and notable achievements that are potent counter arguments to the framing of climate as driven by fringe extremists and to the alarmist economic fears of going fossil fuel free that have been the climate action obstructors’ most powerful rhetorical weapon.

    I think that because the concern about climate is so broad based now it is activism that is inclusive and invites participation – putting the most respectable and mainstream face on our activism – that is going to be the most effective.

    I don’t think there has ever been any other option but to work within the civil and societal and economic systems we have now – and whilst they resist change they are not immune from it, but only with strong popular support based around sound, reality based principles. I think this is such a circumstance.

    That we have had decades of watching mainstream politics fail to face this problem head on with eyes open is incredibly frustrating and disheartening – we are way further behind than we could and should be but, to push the evolution analogy a bit further, the solutions and thinking are already part of the mix now and relatively small change of the environment will tip the balance. And change can happen quite fast, enough to look like it is revolutionary change. It is in the interests of our coal and gas supporting Obstructionists that we believe our societies checks and balances are NOT capable of encompassing this problem – not because it is true but because it is not. The wheels turn slowly but they do turn.

    So the current political climate where I am suspecting the ALP is losing it’s nerve and seriously contemplates backing down NOW, when the issue teeters on the edge of a profound shift is especially galling – and deserves having some serious activism aimed at them.

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