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Politically illiterate, or just plain dumb

My ‘To read’ file and the additional information I gather from week to week seems to grow enormously and I have trouble keeping up with all of it.

I continually challenge my bias but I can find little if anything to say about a government whose incompetency seems to grow in unison with their length of tenure.

So what follows is my usual collection of things you may have missed reading, and facts about things that may not have occurred to you. I want people to be informed when they vote – in fact, all the time.

When we consider the state of Australia’s politics it is easy to become downhearted, even depressed. Last week I read that only 10% of the world’s nations have compulsory voting, but of course making people vote doesn’t make them politically literate.

Which leads me to Labor’s report on why they lost the election. What wasn’t mentioned in the report was that perhaps a fair per cent of the people we make vote … are actually politically illiterate or just plain dumb.

Now, on with the week that was:

1 Tuesday’s Newspoll (with new methodology, supposedly to correct previous errors) was published with the two major parties neck and neck, and Albo improving his position.

I’m not surprised and I find the Poll Bludger gives a fair analysis of the NewsPoll findings:

“The public release of Craig Emerson and Jay Weatherill’s report into Labor’s federal election campaign has inspired a run of commentary about the way ahead for the party after its third successive defeat, to which nothing need be added here”

And Katharine Murphy in The Guardian surmised that:

Labor went into the contest with no documented election strategy that had been discussed, contested and agreed across the campaign organisation, the leadership and the wider Labor party – and there was no body empowered to discuss and settle a campaign strategy or monitor its implementation.

Given what was involved that was very sloppy indeed.

The negative noises from Labor Party supporters are thunderous at the moment, given that for the first time in a while Labor has a leader without any baggage. One who is doggedly determined to layout a step-by-step approach toward gaining government.

2 I received an email from the Leader of the Opposition, which read as follows.

“Well, the review into our election campaign is complete. For true believers, it’s not an easy read. It doesn’t brush over the hard truths – and nor should it.

In short? We got it wrong. Not everything was wrong, but enough was.

I’m not going to make excuses. We know that if you do the same thing again, you should expect the same result.

That’s why Labor will change. We will be better. And at the next election, we will offer the Australian people a real alternative: A party of growth. Of aspiration. Of social justice. A party of nation building and the natural environment. A party of the future.

This is the vision that will guide our way forward. It’s the vision I began laying out today.

I know people are angry and hurt at Labor’s loss – and so am I.

You’re itching to win next time – and so

You’re anxious to change the world – and so am I.

That’s why the project we’re about to embark upon matters so much.

Together, we will chart a new course – modernising, positive and optimistic about the future. Together, we will return Labor as the party of aspiration and the party of government.

In solidarity,


3 Who said this about whom and why?

“Belligerent in rhetoric, authoritarian in tone, divisive in intent, unimaginative in vision, deceptive and insubstantial in content.”

Find out here.

4 It is easy to be angry with those who debate on Facebook.

Simply confess that you are an unashamed idealist concerned about equality and the common good, and you have left wing political leanings together with a strong sense of social justice. Add to that an intestinal fortitude for expressing your views.

Seems to have worked for me.

5 Dear PM, I just need to correct tone of your recent statements (lies).

Mining is not 1 in 7 jobs in Queensland. It’s 1 in 25. And coal? 1 in 100.

6 In The Guardian I read that:

“11,000 scientists state. We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”

And there is good reason to believe that with simple observation that the frequency of weather events may be linked to Climate Change. At least you wouldn’t ignore it.

The deputy Prime Minister (sorry, I can never remember his name) when asked about the connection said:

“They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they’re trying to save their homes.”

Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Adam Brant were also criticised for suggesting that Climate Change and events like the fires in NSW and QLD are linked. It’s to do with the timing.

And as if not to be left out of the nasty comments, Barnaby Joyce suggested the unfortunate people who lost their lives were Green voters.

And it is a sensitive issue but I don’t know why our politicians want to hide from it.

I’m sick and tired of people saying, “We need to have a conversation about this” or “There needs to be a serious debate on the issue.”

But, PM, what about future drought proofing of our nation? Have you done any work on that? It’s called planning for the future?

What is needed is more listening to the science followed by action on it. How dare they say they know more than a scientist who has made it his/her life’s work.

I will end this section with some good news. On Wednesday 6 of November the National Energy Market produced more than half of its electricity via renewable sources.

In terms of the environment I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today.

And still on the environment, The Australian (firewalled) reports that:

The Emissions Reduction Fund Set up by the Abbott government in 2015, has been re-badged recently as the Climate Solutions Fund. Former Origin Energy CEO Grant King is part of a panel that has been set up to review the fund, with the panel having received 40 submissions since it was established.

King rejects suggestions the panel was only set up because Australia was in danger of meeting its Paris climate targets, while he believes the fund can be restructured to achieve greater carbon abatement that would see Australia exceed its Paris targets.

7 Did you know that 81% of Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump?

8 The Australian (firewalled) 12 Nov, reported that the:

Parliamentary inquiry into Nationhood National Identity and Democracy had received a paper from the New Democracy Foundation, the ­Melbourne School of Government, and the Susan McKinnon Foundation, proposing fixed parliamentary terms, an increase in the number of ‘free’ votes, and an independent speaker.

If anyone seriously thinks that this government will forgo the slightest advantage it has over its opponent has not observed its behaviour over the past six and a half years. All worthwhile, as are the changes being considered for question time.

We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence.

9 Some ‘prisoners’ have been on Nauru for nearly seven years. That’s a long sentence when you haven’t committed a crime.

10 A friend in retail tells me that Australia’s retail industry is doing it tougher now than at any time since the Bureau of Statistics started tracking their progress.

Some cannot even pay people what they are supposed to.

11 You can expect Energy Minister Angus Taylor to be under more pressure when the parliament sits next.

12 A fine piece by Richard Dennis from the Australia Institute worth reading. Dennis says:

“Greta Thunberg thinks we should stop building new coalmines and urgently increase investment in renewable energy. But who is she to say what’s important and what’s not? Doesn’t she know? We have parliaments, boards and a media full of older men to tell us what’s important.

That’s why diversity really matters”

You can read the article here.

13 Rupert Murdoch is in trouble with News Corporation reporting a loss of $306.7 million for the September quarter. Australia was the main contributor to the loss with “lower subscriptions from Foxtel” and “challenges in the Australian housing market.” I’m guessing revenues from newspaper advertising were also down.

14 The ABC will not broadcast the Olympic Games. Is there is a message there for the government?

I guess I had better finish here. There were other things of course, like the Auditor General’s warning about pork barrelling.

And I did want to comment on Morrison’s quiet Australians.

Of course I had to leave out Peter Dutton’s call for mandatory sentences for people who break the law while protesting, and for suggesting protesters on welfare should have their payments cancelled.

My thought for the day

At some time in the future history will record that even though they should have known better the people of Australia made, in May 2019, a monumental mistake in electing a Morrison government. Subsequently some lessons will be learned the hard way.

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  1. LambsFry Simplex.

    Its a marvellous essay on so many levels.

    I will keep a bit sceptical of some of the claims and vaguely worded ambit propositions offered up by some included for mention in the posting though.

  2. John Lord

    Michael. Thanks for the fine editing.

  3. Susan Wilson

    I’ll keep saying this and have no illusions of how long it will take for people to wake up. The world is a world of lies and politics is part of that lie. The truth is that the Labor party lost because of lies and people’s penchant to believe lies because they lie to themselves and others each day and don’t even know they are lying. What the Labor platform offered us was a fragment of truth – equality for all – but that was too much for those who don’t want to face truth and change to equality for all. The truth lives within all of us, covered over by layers of lies as we give our innate power and authority away to anything outside of ourselves to support our lies or to keep us in the comfort of not changing our beliefs and ideals – nationalism, culture and religion are all lies because they separate a species (humans) who are all connected and all equal. Just like the internet connects us all why can’t we see that technology is showing us what we already have within ourselves but usually refuse to use or live with? Yes, we are politically illiterate (living the illusion) and acting dumb when the truth is we all have the same intelligence within our bodies but refuse to use it and prefer to recall the ignorance and arrogance of ‘intelligence’ we have been falsely taught from our head.

  4. New England Cocky

    Many spurs for thought about improving Australia for all Australians.

    1) “I can find little if anything to say about a government whose incompetency seems to grow in unison with their length of tenure.” Agreed.

    2) Labor will need the Leader to re-invent himself as the “Young Albo” with fire in his belly to overcome the unified forces of foreign multinational corporations pillaging Australia for overseas shareholders.

    3) “I an unashamed idealist concerned about equality and the common good, and have left wing political leanings together with a strong sense of social justice.” Nice, very nice.

    4) Mining 1 in 7 Queensland jobs, coal 1 in 100 …. and agriculture 1 in 25 (4%). Yet agriculture is supported by too many seats in Parliament and the foreign owned multinational mining corporations ripping off Australian natural resources and polluting water sources.

    5) The deputy Prim Monster is Mick Muck who succeeded Barnyard Joke, the Adulterer-in-Chief for the nat$ who rose to infamy when nat$ “family values” were tossed out the window while he was chasing a bit of fluff around Canberra with his fly open.

    6) The demise of the News Ltd (Rupert’s) world will be cheered from the rafters of many, many countries.

    7) The header pic allows too many pornographic suggestions for me to comment here.

  5. Michael

    Human nature can be constructively studied from an economic perspective, and I believe being dumb, either purposely (a large percentage) or innately (not as large as you might think), makes people efficient components of a consumer economy. The capitalist oligarchs of the world, along with their lackeys, quislings, and followers (this includes religion) work mightily towards this end, and the tools of ignorance; behavioral psychology, agitprop, groupthink, tribalism and outright lethal force; are kept sharp and ready. Keep the lie simple, big, repeat often.

    Material & financial accumulation (in our age Capitalism) is in its global end stage now, exterminism, with some big-time help from a couple of its results, climate change & resource depletion. When the oligarchs are finished with us, they will fight among themselves, to the last 25-bathroom mansion, & Bluefin Tuna in the radioactive Pacific Ocean. Growth without limits is the ecology of the cancer cell.

  6. Terence Mills

    Unfortunately, John, the inability of the ABC to fund live Olympic radio broadcasts will be an opportunity for this government to give a squillian dollars to Foxtel just as they gave them $30 million for niche and women’s sports even though it was brought to their attention that the pay TV audience would be roughly 10% of that on the free to air broadcasters and the money would be much better spent if given to the ABC or SBS.

    This government are in debt to Murdoch and he will always collect his pound of flesh !

  7. Uta Hannemann

    Nobody is allowed to say that we, the voters, are dumb!

  8. Kerri

    The ALP could start with a bill of human rights including whistle blower protections so that what Morriscum and Benito Dutton are currently doing can be stopped for all time.

    #7 Did you know that 81% of Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump?
    Mr Lord you should watch documentary series The Family.

  9. Ron Lee

    “perhaps a fair per cent of the people we make vote … are actually politically illiterate or just plain dumb.”

    There is no “perhaps” about it. Rationally less than 25% of voters could possibly be better off with a coalition government but about 50% of voters supported the coalition therefore at least 25% of voters are politically illiterate of just plain dumb.

  10. paul Sullivan

    Why does no one name the big elephant in the room, probably the main course of Labor losing elections, Murdoch and his ever eager Australian myrmidons.
    A constant “Kill Bill” strategy of both negative headlines and headlines ridiculing Shorten and Labor non-stop for 6 years must have some wear off onto voters affect.
    Labor really only lost the election in rural Queensland and rural Tasmania, two areas where the lying Liberal Propaganda Arm, the Murdoch Press has no real competition.
    One does not have to pay for this vile rubbish, merely walk past a newsagency or into a supermarket to see the headlines screeching out at you.
    I think it would be fair to say that many in these parts would not be the most sophisticated of voters and would be swayed by the daily propaganda that Labor is untrustworthy and will tax them to death.
    Labor only lost by a couple of seats.
    It is time Labor acknowledged the Murdoch Press and all its connections as hostile Liberal operatives and refuse to have anything to do with them. Why answer a sold his/her soul Murdoch professionally compromised Journalist’s question, just so your answer can be misconstrued and falsely reported on?

  11. Keitha Granville

    A monumental mistake indeed, and I cower at the thought of how much damage is being done every day to our country. I am under no illusion that Labour can reinvent the wheel by next time either.
    We are doomed

  12. One Foot In the Grave

    The people who read this and similar publications,that is those that take an active interest in how our country is being screwed have a good idea as to what’s really going on,but we are in a minority.Most people who are still relatively comfortable don’t give a flying fluck and won’t until they’re directly affected.Many others simply follow the herd, led by our old mate Rupert,s garbage.There is no doubt Morrison is the worst thing yet to be inflicted upon us,and I fear gravely for our future.

  13. Vikingduk

    With the ravenous twins — drought and fire — monstering all and sundry, we don’t have the luxury of a couple of years hoping labor will get its act together. The ecosystem is being pillaged and plundered now. The scale of destruction is enormous. This current catastrophe will have long term effects, the consequences of which are not being addressed. Currently, we have firies from NZ and Tasmania giving the locals a break, salty, brackish water being used by the choppers and planes. By comparison the fires here are relatively small. Not enough people power and not enough assets to subdue these monsters. The recent fire at Peregian required the use of a plane dropping 15,000 litres in one run, a quick hit and run so it could return to NSW.

    The incompetence and bastardry of the slime suckers in gov is absolutely world class. We are in deepshit now, a situation that will deteriorate as time moves on. But, hey, labor will ride in and save the day. And the tooth fairy will give me a BMW.

  14. Graham

    “The Emissions Reduction Fund Set up by the Abbott government in 2015, has been re-badged recently as the Climate Solutions Fund. Former Origin Energy CEO Grant King is part of a panel that has been set up to review the fund, with the panel having received 40 submissions since it was established.”

    This was the same Grant King who on 27 July 2017 said (Australian Financial Review page 1) that an increase in growth from 2 percent to 3 percent represents 30 percent more growth. Everything will be right with the climate if we all just follow advice from maths gurus like him.

  15. John O"Callaghan

    Morrison’s ‘Quite Australians” ……. Quite Stupid.

  16. eefteeuu

    Concerning our climate emergency, ” Morrison, where the bloody hell are you ? “

  17. John Lord

    Kerri. I have watched the documentary you mention. Astonishing but unsurprising.

  18. wam

    Lord, let’s suppose there are people who agree with the policies of this government. They think welfare should be charity or depression style food kitchens. They consider Aborigines and pensioners a burden and unable to manage money. Perhaps they were frightened by incidents of union bullying or caught in loonie marches?
    Are they dumb, illiterate or brainwashed? Are such people entitled to consider you are lying? I you have a job in nth qld and see a screaming mob of southern women
    Well of course there are, at least, 90% do not agree with hanson and 90% do not agree with the greens.
    When you support one extreme group and deride another. can you be considered lying or just an opinionated old nigel with a lefty bias???
    Still why listen to this old idiot who can only get the liberals to admit how booby gave them the miracle –
    Adani became about jobs. It became emblematic of “we want jobs” and the Bob Brown caravan which went up there to talk about stopping Adani, had locals thinking “hang on, you are not going to tell us how to live”.
    I remember the women all coloured up lying all over the road and in townsville screaming at the workers. I thought why are the loonies doing this to labor, so close to the polls.
    How naive was I not to see cash. Check the cash increased the smile on narrownose. Sadly the cynical exercise transferred the influence to pauline and jacqui.

    ps Paul, any of those seats in Nth Qld

    pps keitha are you a kiwi or a pomm Australians have LobOr.

  19. Ross in Gippsland

    Well I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but at the very least a total black ban on all things Murdoch and the placement of any and all LNP candidates on both federal and state ballot papers stone cold motherless last is my basic method. It’s a fallacy to say all country people are stupid and will only vote Coalition, it’s just a sizable majority.

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