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Only Labor can implement the much-needed change we need

1 For a long time now, l have been promoting the idea that only Labor has the ideology and the know-how to manage the changes necessary to restore our democratic processes and implement massive change.

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy on not fighting the old, but on building the future” (Usually attributed to Socrates, but this is not true).

It wasn’t a difficult decision to reach. The LNP had proven themselves incapable. The Greens would never have the numbers, although they might have a big say in the Senate, and the independents might find themselves as an idea’s forum without the balance of power.

I said if you want change, change the government, and fortunately that is what happened, and is precisely what is happening now. I also said that when Tony Abbott became Opposition Leader, he would wreck our democracy if given the opportunity. Guess what happened.

In November of 2013, I wrote my first piece for The AIMN titled An Abbott in the Lodge – Never, in which I commented that:

“On a daily basis the negativity of Abbott spreads like rust through the community. He seeks to confuse with the most outlandish statements. Hardly a day passes without referring to Prime minister Julia Gillard as a liar while at the same time telling the most outrageous ones himself. And with a straight face I might add.”

It got far worse than that, and it never changed in the years following.

2 As illustrated by its actions post-election, the Albanese Government is hell-bent on righting wrongs and implementing policy. Thus far, their attack on the issues has been impressive. They have kicked goals in foreign affairs, wages, health and human rights to name a few. They have inherited more problems than first identified but are in an attacking mood.

When enthusiasm meets opportunity and ideas, anything can happen.

3 NDIS Minister Bill Shorten is in a fighting mood, vowing to consider the scheme’s more comprehensive economic benefits when assessing the scheme’s sustainability.

4 Work has begun on legislation for a new fully independent corruption commission. But patience is required because it won’t be effective until June next year.

Will we ever grow intellectually to the point where we can discern and understand the potential for the good within us?

5 Last Friday, the Government held their first National Cabinet meeting, and I’m sure there wasn’t a lack of things to discuss. A possible recession might top the agenda. Health was a priority, followed by the lack of skilled workers. If I could have added a point, it would have been to stop subsidies for fossil fuels and put the savings toward aged care.

6 Ostensibly, in the period after the downfall of the Morrison Government, one thing stands out like the proverbial: That being the disclosure of just how inept this Government was. The prime example has been the lack of an energy policy and any belief in climate change. The Federal Government has now provided the market with the certainty they have wanted for a decade.

It will take time to resolve the energy problems. Because of a stream of bad policy decisions, the previous Government has left our energy system almost unable to meet the demands.

However, we are now committed to a more ambitious emissions reduction target. There may be mountains yet to climb, but there is also a desire to reach the summit.

As Anthony Albanese has pointed out:

“Scott Morrison went to the Glasgow conference last year and gave an empty speech to an empty room with no changed position. We saw a pamphlet released by a former government rather than a policy framework, and we continued to see arguments even during the election campaign about the science of climate change, let alone the need to act.”

7 The writers of political history should record in the archives just how abysmal our governance was in this Luddite decade. And they should do so in a way that compels the reader to absorb just how near to disaster we ventured.

8 The Federal Government has now provided the market with the certainty they have wanted for a decade.

9 Still, not a month into its incumbency, Albanese Government is finding out the hard truth of the problems it finds itself surrounded by; interest rates will rise, unemployment, now 3.9%, will increase as soon as immigration recommences.

10 In yet another example of this Government’s progressive nature, they showed a willingness to listen.

The first act of the previous Government was to abolish the Climate Commission. One of the first acts of this Government was to meet with Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA):

“Led by Climate Councillor and former Commissioner of Fire & Rescue NSW, Greg Mullins, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) has cut through the political noise and firmly articulated that worsening extreme weather is being aggravated by climate change, driven by burning fossil fuels.”

I say be quiet to those who think they can win a debate by being loud and crass. To those who believe they can win with a perceived superior intellect, I say be humble. Discourse requires civility to produce reasoned outcomes.

11 How refreshing it has been to hear Albanese and others talking about our problems without the constant interference of politics interrupting the discussion. Policy problems and how to fix them is now the new politic. There is no time for constantly trying to score political points by criticising each other.

Now that the election has concluded, it is hoped that our politics has learned a lesson. The conservative far-right has tried its hate for hate’s sake style of political confrontation. It took the electorate a decade to wake up to its dangerous consequences; then, they were told where to go. People lose faith in the process when politics gets in the way of solutions.

Weaponised adversarial politics has ended, and there has been a notable dialling down of political hostility.

Albanese often uses the phrase “people have conflict fatigue“. This decade of weaponised politics by the right has so degraded trust in public life that politicians have spent little time addressing the things that improve the lives of voters.

Only Labor can implement the much-needed change we need. As the old saying goes: “That is a no-brainer.”

My previous article: About “Boofhead”

My thought for the day

Sometimes wisdom jumps a generation. Well, we can always hope.

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19 comments

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  1. L. S. Roberts

    Cynically, ICAC will be in full flight with lots of dirt just in time for the next general election.
    Technically, the planet is stuffed but you could not have a nicer bunch of people to ease us over the edge than The Australian Labor Party.
    We could pull survival off from here but we don’t have the process. The medium is still the message. Time to join the 21st Century.

  2. New England Cocky

    Uhm ….. my two cents worth
    .
    1) Help solve the labour shortages by releasing the legal refugees into the community with the necessary financial support to become established as contributing members of those communities.
    .
    2) Local government attended the National Cabinet meeting even though local government remains an unconstitutional third (&fourth) tier of government, remaining as formed, only a department of the respective state governments. A better versed contributor may supply us with the arguments why council rates are unconstitutional.
    .
    The beneficiaries of the Toxic RAbbott misgovernment were foreign owned multinational corporations.

  3. pierre wilkinson

    what a shame the ICAC won’t start holding those corrupt individuals in the last government responsible for another year
    and let us hope that the Greens don’t do what they did in 2009 and scupper good climate policy because it doesn’t go far enough as quickly as they would like…
    meanwhile…
    how good is no scomo?

  4. wam

    A hopeful causerie today, lord, I am suitably warmed by your senate reference where an extreme party is well over represented. It unlikely dutton will accept any labor bipartisan approaches but labor should try to unify the parliament by inclusive approaches to present evidence based reforms. ps Pierre, The bandit knows that almost every labor seat is at risk if the loonie candidate can finish ahead of the libs. He is going to be active and controversial. Controversy will stimulate the media. This time labor may use the tactic of presenting scummo’s disasters to the media directly or indirectly through question time.

  5. Williambtm

    Excellent article John Lord, yet given the treacherous undertakings against the Australian people by Scummo, how is it that the bastard is still attached to the public teat? The lying bastard should be hanging on the teat of Australia’s prison system.

  6. Kathryn

    The HUGE clue to the LNP’s total INABILITY TO CHANGE is the fact that they – and their gormless supporters – consider themselves to be ultra-CONSERVATIVE. Yes, they ARE, indeed, ultra-conservative especially when you realise that the true definition of the word “conservative” is to fear change, to be afraid of progress and/or to want things to remain the same! In other words, CONSERVATIVE parties, by nature, are STUCK IN THE PAST, are deeply afraid of change and do not trust “movers and shakers” who want to instigate change or initiate progress.

    This explains WHY – when you look back through DECADES of non-achievement, ineptitude (and self-serving corruption) under the rigidly conservative jackboot of the LNP, NOTHING ever gets done, NO PROGRESS is made, NOTHING they do provides ANY BENEFIT whatsoever to the lives of ordinary working- and middle-class Australians – in fact, NO ONE benefits from the conservative mismanagement and depravity of the LNP EXCEPT, of course, THEMSELVES and their multi-billionaire, non-taxpaying donors in the Top 1%. The ONLY things the useless, totally depraved Abbott/Morrison left behind is more than $1 TRILLION in debt, our (once) very fine international reputation in tatters, just about every asset owned by Australians defunded into oblivion or privatised and a nasty faecal stain outside Engadine Maccas!

    If you want something DONE to benefit ALL Australians; if you yearn for progress and/or if you want to improve our (now) devastated international reputation, VOTE LABOR or The Greens. When you look back at EVERY SINGLE innovation in our nation’s history, eg long service leave, four weeks’ annual leave, accumulative sick leave, increased superannuation benefits and just about EVERY single policy that benefits ordinary Australians or our nation (as a whole), these policies and changes were ALL made through the dedication and hard work of our unions, unionists and all done with the full collaboration of the progressive ALP!

  7. Terence Mills

    Twenty Five Million dollars to permanently raise an aboriginal flag above the Sydney Harbour Bridge : The Shovel details the costings which, considering it is a Liberal government in NSW seem quite reasonable.

  8. wam

    good one cuckoo, Have you never considered our Aboriginal people worthy of a name or, at least, a capital? The googleists cannot differentiate the aboriginal people here from those of other countries. Think of these aboriginal people: Pomms have Celts NZ have Maori japan has Ainu or Okinawans Australia has Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders (NB all are proper nouns) But who cares, terence, some people still consider terra nullius to be correct and there is nothing in the constitution.(Human Rights Commission: The Australian Constitution also EXPRESSLY discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Australian Constitution did not – and still does not – make adequate provision for Australia’s first peoples.)
    ps
    I am a buffalo of over 55 years and those that heard Bill Dempsey’s speech might have wondered at his words:
    ‘The Buffaloes, they were just ordinary people who just wanted to be an Australian person and good people. They had nothing, absolutely nothing, to this day they don’t even have clubrooms, but guess what? They’ve got heart. They’re lovely people”
    As Bill said they were not Australians, like us whites, till Jack McGinniss (After the War Jack returned to Darwin and was elected president of the Darwin Half-Caste Progressive Association that advocated for citizenship rights). He led other buffaloes to deny their Aboriginal heritage so they could be Australians and have a beer at the bar after play not at the back door.
    pps michael and rossleigh, He might be before your time but John Abley got into the hall of fame officially, he was a great player to watch wearing the ‘prison bars’. Michael says of his father-in-law, who passed away in 2011 at age 80. “In the year or two before he died, we were watching a Hall of Fame presentation together and I said, ‘you’ll be in there one day’, and he looked at me, ‘you think so, it would be a great honour’.
    My darling and I had tears welling at Dempsey and Abley.

  9. Bert

    Wam. Can you do me a favour and post in plain, easy to understand english? Because I have NFI what you are prattling on about.
    Another question, are you related to joh bjelke-petersen by any chance?

  10. wam

    sorry Bert it is my head that is to blame, as I write what I think is right which may not be what I write.
    The post depends on: knowledge of Laurel and Hardy theme song – dance of the cuckoo – a major part of my children’s holiday fun.
    An understanding of a proper noun in respect to Aboriginal people of Australia.
    The collateral damage to Aboriginal people from the stolen generation and racism towards urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
    A knowledge of AFL and SAFL(are you a run throw and fall over bloke?)
    No relation I respect the Kiwis and their Maori aboriginals but darwin got TV after the cyclone and it came via microwave towers from Queensland so we could see, with a detached eye, a bullying corrupt set of politicians. It was awful.

  11. Terence Mills

    wam

    You raise an interesting if pedantic point.

    The term ‘aboriginal’ can be an adjective or a noun ; I have used it as an adjective, a word that modifies a noun.

  12. wam

    Aboriginal is the adjective to Aborigine, the noun. Common usage, helped by the historically racist aspect of being an Aborigine, has made Aboriginal both the noun and the adjective. The Aboriginal people in my circle are offended by the use of Aborigine and they find its use to be racist. They tolerate Aboriginal but prefer First Nation Australians. In Darwin there are plenty of clp rabbottians who are racist and deliberately refuse to use Aboriginal names. Even adverts and the ABC give Aboriginal names and/or English. However, the point, Terence(affording you the credit of a proper noun), is the aborigines/als of the Terra Australis country are Aboriginal people or First Nation people or Yolgnu or Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people, (of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park) and all such deserve. There are hundreds of languages and names too many for us to remember so the indigenous people were lumped under ‘Aborigines’ The islanders objected and the become Torres Strait Islanders.
    This formed ATSIC. My words areobscure and hard to understand for pedants.
    My bottom line ascertain isthat what ever Terence Mills, or anyone else, calls the people who were here before Cook and Philip, that name deserves to be treated as a proper noun. To be fair this argument got me banned from the ABC Roly Sussex blog for using the aboriginal people of NZ as a substitute for the proper noun Maori. Thereby insulting, a long term Kiwi member who not only refused to acknowledge the capital but, even more insulting, he praised the NZ treaty and the use of Maori (THE single aboriginal (generic so no capital) language in the anthem. The comparison is ludicrous not only in vastness of the land but in the ignorance of the many massacres of innocent men women and children and I, in my anger, unfortunately used intemperate adjectives in reply.
    The ‘part.Aborigine re-connected not long after the referendum when everybody became nominal Australians.(racism didn’t disappear)
    Let me repeat: The Australian Constitution also expressly discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Australian Constitution did not – and still does not – make adequate provision for Australia’s first peoples.

  13. Michael Taylor

    wam, in my family “mobs” is the accepted term, as is “blackfulla”, yet I’ll always get something wrong elsewhere.

    If I say “Aborigine” some people from another mob will be offended.

    If I say “Aboriginal” some people from another mob will be offended.

    If I say “Indigenous Australians” some people from another mob will be offended.

    No matter what I say, there’s always someone to jump down my throat.

    Fortunately, with my own mob (the Adnyamathanha) I can say what I want.

    One poor bloke in a university tutorial said the word “black fella”. He was pounced on by every horrified white person in the room. He said, in response, “I worked in an Aboriginal community for eight years. They called us white fellas and we called them black fellas. It was all good. If they had no problem with it, then why do you?”

  14. wam

    Thanks, michael..
    The buffaloes just wanted to be ‘fellows’ not blacks.
    If I was articulate I would debate your post but you have answered terence by your use of capital letters for proper nouns.
    In my early classes, after the referendum, the urban Aboriginal students were still called part-Aborigines or coloured kids and they, in turn, called their fellow students, from Kormilda, “native” boys and girls.
    We were not allowed to ask and were advised to secretly identify the Aboriginal students and if unsure look at the fingernails and decide.
    It was hard to not laugh when students like Vassileos would be marked as an Aborigine by new teachers from south.
    The secrecy stopped at the end of the 60s, When the part-Aborigines no longer needed to deny their heritage to be allowed a drink after footie.
    Aboriginal is the adjective to Aborigine, the noun. Common usage, helped by the historically racist aspect of being an Aborigine, has made Aboriginal both the noun and the adjective. The Aboriginal people in my circle are offended by the use of Aborigine and they find its use to be racist. They tolerate Aboriginal but prefer First Nation Australians. In Darwin there are plenty of clp rabbottians who are racist and deliberately refuse to use Aboriginal names. Even adverts and the ABC give Aboriginal names and/or English.
    However, the point, Terence(affording you the credit of a proper noun), is the aborigines/als of the Terra Australis country are Aboriginal people or First Nation people or Yolgnu or Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people, (of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park) and all such deserve. There are hundreds of languages and names too many for us to remember so the indigenous people were lumped under ‘Aborigines’ The islander objected and the become Torres Strait Islanders. This formed ATSIC.
    It is obscure and hard to understand for pedants.
    My ascertain that what ever Terence Mills, or anyone else, calls the people who were here before Cook and Philip, that name deserves to be treated as a proper noun.

    To be fair this argument got me banned from the ABC Roly Sussex blog for using the aboriginal people of NZ as a substitute for the proper noun Maori.
    Thereby insulting, a long term Kiwi member who not only refused to acknowledge the capital but, even more insulting, he praised the NZ treaty and the use of Maori (THE single aboriginal (generic so no capital) language in the anthem.
    The comparison is ludicrous not only in vastness of the land but in the ignorance of the many massacres of innocent men women and children and I, in my anger, unfortunately used intemperate adjectives in reply.

  15. Michael Taylor

    Thank you, wam. Interesting stuff.

    I find it odd that people find the word ‘Aborigine’ racist, which in my world is not. It is a Latin word meaning ‘from the beginning’ or ‘from the source up origin.’

    It can also mean ‘one of the original or earliest known inhabitants of a region, or one of their descendants.’

    The problem is, of course, that our First People didn’t know that they were Aborigines until the white fellas told them that they were. It is a label they have been saddled with.

    Whilst I’ve said that I have no problem with the noun ‘Aboriginal’ – as it is a technically correct – I do have a problem that they were called ‘Aborigines’ by some white bloke who showed no understanding or appreciation of the people he labelled them.

    When the Europeans first came to Australia there were over 250 nations. Whenever I converse with the any of our First Nations People we don’t say they are Aborigines; they refer to themselves as whatever nation they belong to. For example, when in the Pitjantjatjara Lands we call them Anungu, which means a person from the Pitjantjatjara nation.

  16. Terence Mills

    Words can be explosive and emotive depending on who is using them and the context in which they are used.

    Newly anointed Greens senator, Lidia Thorpe calls the Australian flag obscene and both she and her party leader refuse to be photographed in the vicinity of the flag and evidently they want to see it replaced.

    In Canada The Royal Union Flag (Union Jack) was used across Canada even after Confederation (1867) until 1965. When the Maple Leaf flag was adopted with full support of the British Crown and the Queen.

    So, let’s have a polite conversation about our current flag and its possible replacement but let’s leave words like ‘obscene’ for other more appropriate uses.

  17. B Sullivan

    Terence Mills: “let’s leave words like ‘obscene’ for other more appropriate uses”

    The swastika is an innocent geometric shape, also known as a broken cross, yet it is widely regarded as obscene solely due to its appropriation by the Nazis. If Pauline Hanson had posed for promotional photos wearing a swastika, would that be obscene? How about if she wore an Australian flag and a swastika? Anyone care to have their photo taken next to the swastika?

    Flags, heraldic devices or sigils, be they national or corporate branding, have been used to promote, justify and honour obscene activities throughout history. For example, the red cross of St George that features on the Australian flag has been associated with behaviour so vile that it is difficult to think of any more appropriate word than obscene. There is a reason why a red crescent is preferred to a red cross by Muslims to represent humanitarian aid. The murderous historical obscenities known as the Crusades are literally named in honour of the cross.

    And what if the Romans had hanged Jesus? The Australian flag would have to have a gallows in one corner, or possibly a noose. Don’t you think that making a fetish out of an instrument of tortuous death is just a bit obscene?

    Flags frequently honour and promote obscenities, but that’s okay. But it’s not okay when protesters burn them as symbols of obscenity. Then the protesters are vilified for doing so. For not showing due respect to the flag by drawing attention to the obscenities that the flag has represented and honoured and even encouraged. Such is freedom of expression.

  18. Terence Mills

    B Sullivan

    The first time I saw a swastika on a Hindu temple I was surprised as it clearly wasn’t graffiti and I later learned that it had religious symbolism going way back.

    In Hinduism, the right-facing symbol (clockwise) (卐) is called swastika, symbolizing surya (“sun”), prosperity and good luck, while the left-facing symbol (counter-clockwise) (卍) is called sauwastika, symbolising night or tantric aspects of Kali.

    The bloke with the dodgy moustache co-opted the symbol and made it represent everything that was evil in humanity.

  19. Michael Taylor

    Terry, the same symbol – the reverse swastika – is also the symbol for the Falun Gong.

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