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Remember the Light on the Hill?

By 2353NM

At the 1949 ALP Convention, then Prime Minister Ben Chifley delivered the ‘Light on the Hill’ speech. The speech is seen as a declaration of ‘traditional’ ALP values

as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective — the light on the hill — which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labour movement would not be worth fighting for.

If the movement can make someone more comfortable, give to some father or mother a greater feeling of security for their children, a feeling that if a depression comes there will be work, that the government is striving its hardest to do its best, then the Labour movement will be completely justified.

There is also a dictum that suggests if you walk into a shop and the marketing material boasts about the great service by brilliantly trained staff, the reality is completely the opposite. So when the ALP waived through the Coalition’s Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Relief So Working Australians Keep More Of Their Money) Bill 2019, you would have to wonder if the thought had crossed the collective minds in the brains trust of the ALP Parliamentary party that the majority of ‘working Australians’ probably won’t be keeping more of their money as a result of this legislation. (You could also ask what people in the future will think of a Government who produced legislation with such a lame name.)

Which brings us to the problem with the ALP. While it is fair to suggest that in absolute dollar terms, people on $200,000 per annum will pay more to the Australian Taxation Office than someone on $50,000, flattening tax rates introduces inequity into the system. If the proportion of tax paid to income received by the person on $200,000 per annum is lesser that the proportion of tax paid by someone on $50,000 per annum, the system is not fair or equitable, arguably an action that is against the rationale of the ALP according to Chifley.

Greg Jericho recently wrote in The Guardian, Saying $200,000 isn’t rich is stupid — and Labor should know better. Jericho demonstrates in his article that generally the higher your income, the more favourable the treatment you receive from the legislation that governs the activities of the Australian Taxation Office. Flattening the tax rates again certainly doesn’t address this. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the 90th percentile income for a single earner in Australia is $92,404. Bluntly, if you’re earning over $92,404 per annum, your income is better than 89% of your fellow Australians. While you may be ‘feeling the pain’ if you’re fortunate to receive $200,000 a year for your labour, apparently there are a lot of people feeling more pain than you do (or you made some really silly financial decisions). Nine Newspapers recently published an interactive comparison tool here which illustrates where you really rank on the ‘battler’ stakes. Don’t forget the ALP waved the tax cut through because various members of the Coalition threatened to campaign from here to the next election on ALP denying tax cuts to the ‘battlers’ on $200,000 per annum.

While it could be said that waving through the 2019 tax cuts does relate to Ben Chifley’s Light on the Hill by improving the happiness and security of those that will get the maximum benefit (who already are earning well over what most people can achieve), surely there is a greater case for measures such as ensuring those on Newstart can actually afford to put a roof over their heads and search for a job at the same time. The architect of the freeze in the Newstart payment, John Howard (yes it was that long ago) certainly believes so, as does Access Economics and the Business Council.

Perhaps the ALP could have argued for additional expenditure on social housing and health care rather than committing to tax cuts now and in the future. Who knows, if they did we might see the end of stories like this in the media — with an added side-effect of enabling a greater number of Australians to feel as if they have a place and can contribute to our society adding to our common wealth. Maybe there would have been the funding to help those in Australia that need our help and to relocate to Australia all those Australia has incarcerated in off-shore ‘detention’ and fund the process of settling them in and helping them to feel welcome and productive members of society.

Or there could have been a discussion on reducing all the components of Welfare Deeming Rate below the current RBA Cash Rate. Deeming was originally introduced to ensure people didn’t put hundreds of thousands into the old bank ‘passbook’ accounts and effectively get no interest — making it easier to meet an income test for the pension.

This blogsite recently reflected on the Greens voting against Rudd’s Emissions Trading Scheme because it didn’t go far enough and

As a result, the last 10 years of Australia fiddling while the earth burned is largely due to the Greens lofty principles overruling logic and understanding what can be achieved, together with absolutely no idea of how or when to compromise and gain part of what they want instead of nothing

The ALP appears to have gone too far the other way. The ALP has a history of attempting to look after the ‘workers’ but it is easy to argue that they certainly aren’t doing it at the moment. Sure you’re going to lose a bit of skin in the argument over who is a ‘battler’ but there can be a strong argument created for the alternative. Realistically, how many people who have an income capable of negatively gearing a house or several are going to vote for a party that has as part of its policy the removal of the overly generous concession?

The Greens and One Nation both have public positions that are understood (and both also have problems with pragmatism), but at least they ‘stand by’ their positions regardless of the blowback. Despite ‘The Light on the Hill’ and other public pronouncements in the history of the ALP that go back to the 1890’s under a tree at Barcaldine Railway Station in Queensland, how are they differentiating themselves today from the Coalition who still seem to be the party for business and the well off? If there is no product differentiation, why should you consider the alternative?

What do you think?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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35 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    Ben Chifley. The only Australian PM that ever had a proper blue collar job. After whom the Armenian/Palestinian migrant Joseph Benedict Hokkeiden was named, in gratitude for Chifley getting his refugee parents out of Palestine. Joe Hockey, supporter of Israel and right wing politics; betrayer of both his national heritage and his family benefactor.

  2. Alpo

    Oh please, just stop it!… The BIG problem for the ALP is very simple: Not enough voters voted for them in 2013, 2016 AND 2019!… In spite of offering an ever more Social Democratic program at each election. Moreover, the ALP went up from 2013 to 2016, BUT went down from 2016 to 2019. Instead, the winners have been the Coalition, in spite of offering an ever more demented Neoliberal-Conservative program. And in all those three occasions (and before that, during the Howard years), it was Queensland that sent the Federal ALP packing… Yep, the state targeted by the Greens for their Adani campaign, which came with a convoy full of Tasmanians and Victorians shouting against North Queenslanders, etc.

    What are the ALP supposed to do?… Further shift to the left? become Greens-light?…. and not only lose yet another Federal election but to that add a shrinkage of their primary vote to 20%?… Is that what the critics of the ALP want?

    Grow up everybody, please. This country has a very serious problem (especially in Queensland, where the traditional mainstream media can still control the mind of too many voters). If we want to get rid of the Neoliberal-Conservatives, the ALP must further adjust their message, and work extra-hard to try to overcome, in whichever way, the power of the MSM. It is clear that a good presence on the internet is not enough…. It’s obvious that too many voters are easily scared, so the ALP must offer policies that do not scare, but if a GFC-2 strikes, then they have to play the scaremongering card to the full, blaming the Coalition of all the disaster that will follow….

    Gloves off, everybody…. the “enemy” is harder than we thought, faster than we thought….. smarter than we thought….

  3. Phil Pryor

    It seems certain now that short term greed, ignorance, inability to comprehend social values, empathy, foresight, etc., are all behind Australia now, with little progressive and inclusive awareness from now on. It is more than ever an age of barely aware i”m o k, but I don’t want to fall behind, Vote for lies, all shiny and redone , reconditioned. The liars, cheats, manipulators and coercers have it safely enough, with a foreign media turd in charge of mind bending. One should plan one’s life with intelligent foresight, with care and some compassion, but not so much anymore for the nation or planet. So. superstition, fantasy, diversion, passion, imagination, guesswork. bloodsucking, repression, bumboy lobbying, hidden agendas and varied levels of greed win; …as usual through much of history.

  4. Josephus

    Jack Cade, are you saying Israel has no right to exist ? Anyway, I cannot see the relevance of your opinion on that to this article, which concerns Labor’s rightward drift .

    If we look at evidence instead of opinion we observe that political parties tend to drift to the right over time. Right wing populism ( defined as adopting racism or xenophobia as useful tools, though the fact that communism under Stalin was not much different shows that populism is fluid), is in part attributable to the media and to on line trolls, foreign – based or national, that manipulate the opinions of generally under-educated people. So it is possible that egalitarian parties in representative democracies might feel increasingly obliged to play catch up, blurring the distinctions between themselves and dictatorships such as China and Myanmar, both of which persecute minorities.

    Then there is State capture, which further encourages political parties to converge and support the interests of those in power. One way to counter that aspect of rightward drift at least might be the genuine outlawing of party donations from businesses and similar wealthy groups: gambling, developers, mines, in fact any undertaking that harms humans or the environment. At present, in Australia large donations can be split into legally allowable smaller sums: corporations easily evade existing limits.

    In such ways state capture, propaganda by malevolent groups and corruption play their part in undermining Chifley’s principles and assist rightward drift, progressively destroying the welfare state.

    A transparent Federal ICAC is needed. And we need a government that has some sympathy for the vulnerable eg which allows NZ to take the stranded off shore detainees. The refugee problem is only going to grow as climate change worsens. Richer countries cause most of the global warming, so we all need to deal with the consequences. That would be in keeping with Chifley’s high minded sermon on the hill, too, and so is relevant to the article above.

  5. Jack Cade

    Josephus.
    I at no time made any criticism if Israel in my post. I do know, however, that even the slightest criticism of Netanyuism provokes allegations of anti-Semitism. I have discussed this at length with a Jewish colleague.
    I admire Israel, and understand its nervousness about its neighbours. What I don’t admire is what happens in the settlements.
    My point was that Ben Chifley would possibly be appalled that someone given his name would be a RW politician, and also appalled at the way in which the ALP embraced neo-liberalism. I was reminded, yesterday, about the drift rightwards in Western politics when I heard a quote from Margaret Thatcher: she said her greatest success was the rise of Tony Blair…

  6. Stephengb

    These days (and for the last) 15~20 years is an ever increasing mantra up to the present day screaming;
    that anyone Left of the Right, is automatically a filthy socialist and;
    automatically a filthy communist and;
    everyone knows that the commies murdered billions and billions and billions more people than anyone else in the entire history of the world and;
    Clearly that means Labor are nothing but a bloody Stalinist.

  7. Keitha Granville

    If Labor policies leading up to this year’s elections weren’t social enough, goodness knows what are. They did propose more money on education and health instead of the tax cuts, but the electorate was too selfish. How could people not vote for a party that was going to make sure cancer treatment was free ? Obviously mostly people who can afford to pay for it when needed.

    Greed. That’s all it was, greed, that won the election for the LNP. Just.

    The ALP must stick to its platform, not let itself be swayed to the centre. There’s a bit too much concession going on right now, but maybe they are playing the long game. Let’s just hope they are saving the big hitters for the last innings.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Can I remind everyone that, if you leave out Queensland, in the rest of the country Labor won 62 seats to the Coalition’s 54. Their policies were good.

  9. pierre wilkinson

    I agree Kaye Lee, but seemingly Labor are now wedged into dropping them, instead of massively defending them?

  10. Anarchy rules

    As a former old guard labor politican stated “the labor party used to be the cream of the working class now they are the dregs of the middle classes ” .The old adage applies they have become what they set out to destroy .They now are inheritors of entrenched power and wealth .They send their kids to exclusive private schools and set them up to follow them into their own born to rule versions of political dynasties .Kim Beasley and now bob hawk s Daughter being prime examples .

  11. Phil

    Can I remind everyone that, if you leave out Queensland, in the rest of the country Labor won 62 seats to the Coalition’s 54. Their policies were good.

    Exactly.

    The coalition won with a gerrymander. Not the first time.

    The media killed Labor’s chances end of. The scare campaign was relentless.

  12. Jack Cade

    Kaye Lee.
    That’s a point I’ve been making for years. And if you consider the Nats percentage of the total vote and the exaggerated influence they have, we are not a democracy. The US system id criticised for the Electoral College skewing the seats regardless of the popular vote, it’s really no worse than ours.
    Labor was doomed when Rudd was deposed. Queensland is like that. Queensland dictates who the Federal Government is. And when a candidate is outed for spending several months of the year looking for love in the Philippines at our expense, and achieves a swing in his favour, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for common sense.
    Qld was a DLP stronghold, and the modern Coalition is indistinguishable from the 1960s DLP.

  13. Zathras

    Jack Cade,

    It’s interesting that you can openly criticise Myanmar about the treatment of the Rohingya without being accused of anti-Buddhism or Bosnia over their ethnic cleansing of Muslims or the attempted genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda without being called anti-Christian but say just one word about the politics of Israel …

    Chifley would indeed not be pleased with what’s happened to politics in Australia where ideology has been supplanted by the influence of lobbyists and financially sponsoring interest groups.

    It’s interests (and self-interest) that now divides us and the ALP’s once-traditional defence of marginalised groups from established institutions is now done with regard to political advantage rather than because it’s just the right thing to do.

  14. Phil

    ‘ Labor was doomed when Rudd was deposed. Queensland is like that. Queensland dictates who the Federal Government is.’

    This was the catalyst for Labor’s decline. At the time Rudd for mine would have won the next election, yes he was a dork but a winning dork. Gillard knifed him and then went on to knife part of the base of the Labor party. I know for a fact she screwed over single mothers and voted down the pensioners pay rise. Then had the unmitigated gall, to claim credit when that pay rise was passed in the caucus.

    Then with the relentless attack of Abbott and the media, her fate was sealed.

    Interesting the main plotters in the Rudd coup d’état jumped ship like a load of rats.

  15. Matters Not

    Re:

    Labor was doomed when Rudd was deposed.

    Perhaps a more insightful comment might be – Labor was doomed (in the longer term) when Rudd was elevated to leadership. The ALP for Rudd was a mere vehicle for ambition and ego. (And perhaps, it should be pointed out that Rudd was the Leader when they were outed.)

    Yes perhaps their polices were good BUT NOT for winning elections as the evidence suggests. Bet they don’t take the same (good) agenda to the next election. Next one – they’ll want to win but memories will remain.

  16. Phil

    ‘ (And perhaps, it should be pointed out that Rudd was the Leader when they were outed.) ‘

    By then the damage was already done. He was reinstated and then straight into an election campaign.

    I will go to my grave blaming Gillard for Labor’s current situation.

    There is another issue that is forgotten. The Labor leadership under Shorten was not supported by the rank and file. The party totally ignored the members and installed Shorten. I was just one of many who resigned from the party over it.

    I was also disappointed that I did not get a reply from the Labor party once, from all the correspondence I sent them. They totally ignored members and their concerns. Btw the correspondence was respectful and on point.

    In another life I rang Richard Court the Premier of W.A. at home. I was flabbergasted that he not only picked the phone up, but spoke to me for about 15 minutes not once fobbing me off . This btw was the man and his father, who were the most anti working class Tories to rule WA. They were as cunning as shit house rats. Albanese had better get his thumb out of his arse or, we will be saddled with this current shower of shit houses forever.

  17. Matters Not

    While not a hagiographer for Gillard, I well understand why Labor MPs eventually flicked Rudd. To know him was to hate him. Yes he has a good brain, but talk to those who had to interact (at any level) and see their horrified reaction. And he never learns.

  18. wam

    I invariably feel sad with frustration that your words are so straight that labor cannot deny them. Albo should have been screaming on sunrise and today telling everyone scummo and he and the rest of Australian politicians in every state and territory are the big winners.
    Raising the threshold would have been acceptably inequitable.

    ps
    rubbish phil, the aftermath of the sacking with rudd, fitzgibbon, the loonies and the rabbott in murdoch and tv killed gillard. Then billy puttered around grinning for 6 years addressing none of the issues. This time was no different blithering billy on one side with the loonies and palmer on the other with scummo praying in the corner of commercial TV and no women

  19. Phil

    While not a hagiographer for Gillard, I well understand why Labor MPs eventually flicked Rudd.

    And where are the plotters? Like rats from a sinking ship.

    For Gillard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpm9xwb5VnY

  20. Phil

    rubbish phil, the aftermath of the sacking with rudd, fitzgibbon, the loonies and the rabbott in murdoch and tv killed gillard. Then billy puttered around grinning for 6 years addressing none of the issues. This time was no different blithering billy on one side with the loonies and palmer on the other with scummo praying in the corner of commercial TV and no women

    Bullshit. It was down to Gillard end of story. Go ask the thousands of single mums who lost their social welfare what they think of Gillard.

    Yes the media is guilty and more. But, that is another story.

  21. Florence Howarth

    There was a time most aspired to a society that was about people, not an economy.

    Labor has never embraced neoliberalism. Labor has never been about serving corporation world not the people. Shorten’s campaign proved that. Labor has never promoted small government.

  22. Florence Howarth

    Phil, it was Howard that took the money off single mothers. They grandfather those still on it. Gillard was faced with thousands on the new Howard scheme while the one grandfathered scheme still got the pension with children going into high school. That was far from fair.

    Gillard removed the grandfather clause. Gillard also admitted it was the wrong thing to do.

    Wam what were the issues Shorten didn’t address?

  23. Phil

    Carve it up how you like, she took money from single mothers she also voted down the old age pension rise.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Labor’s brief is to improve the lot of the working class, not make it worse. She could have found a thousand other ways to correct any financial short fall. Anyway it matters not it is all history now. She cost us government and that is not just my opinion but the opinion of lots of my friends who don’t have a different opinion because Gillard was a women.

    Rudd was and still is, an insufferable know all but, he was a winner and any of the personal crap between him and Gillard was unknown to the public at the time. Even now, the Labor party is siding with the most right wing reactionary government to grace the halls of parliament. They all sit in parliament like dress makers dummy’s while this government and that smug speaker Smith ride rough shod all over them. If you think I’m pissed off with the Labor party, you guessed right.

  24. wam

    a great connection, phil. I had almost forgotten how good they were.
    But I consider gillard even better.
    She would have easily been our greatest leader. If it weren’t for the male ‘ego’ that runs our culture there would have been no juliar or the anti-woman drivel.so loved by society.
    So many yearn for the return of the little wife dressed in her perfect apron with tea ready for when her bread winner returns of a evening or in reality staggers home pissed from the pub, eats and has another 6 long necks before bed..

    Yes you are wrong, labor’s brief is to get $@@%$2 elected. Society doesn’t give a rat’s arse about the working class because it no longer exists in enough numbers to win. We are ^$#@^@ rich and labor has to show how good it is at keeping us rich. Labor is the real trickle downers because they are close to the membrane so osmosis works. This shithouse lot is laying impervious layers to stop the pricks that are frightened enough by the economic and immigrant lies to vote conservative from realising labor’s economic management shits all over this mob and changing their vote.

  25. Phil

    Labor will be back just in time to deal with the economic collapse.

    The anti women drivel is just that. Germain Greer’s work is done, it could be better. It is getting better. i.e. I have added a foot or more of chain to my wife’s tether to the sink, she has more movement now than ever. I may even lash out and buy her a pair of shoes. I may even get her home schooled so she can learn to read . When we got married in 1972 the Celebrant asked her to make her mark on the license. When I saw the X I was shocked, I didn’t know she could write. Btw she was the daughter of refugees.

    The working class still exists we got more votes than the coalition, the gerrymander still applies and this is not the first time in history we got a majority of the vote. I stand by what I said about Gillard. Her treatment by Abbott and that excuse for a human being Alan Jones,et al, was disgusting. But irrelevent.

  26. Zathras

    Rather than blame Rudd or Gillard entirely for the ALPs current situation, don’t forget it was ultimately the voters who eagerly lapped up all the lies that Abbott and Hanson were spewing through a hostile and partisan media and still fall for the same old cons and half-truths today.

    Since then our global economic position as well as our standard of living has plummetted and continues to fall with no relief in sight. Even the flawed Rudd and Gillard at their worst were better than this rabble are at their best.

    It’s not yesterday we should be talking about but tomorrow.

  27. Jack Cade

    Zathras.
    The last election finally convinced me that the Coalition actually represent Australians. The ‘land of the fair go’ is dead and buried and has probably been bullshit since the Whitlam experiment was crushed.
    Australians moved, smoothly, from being cap-doffers to the British to lap-dogs to the USA, and our politics are virtually the same as the US now. A PM who thinks prayer is governing and a gang of thieves plundering the exchequer while saying that a person who works 5 hours a week for a pittance ‘has a job.’

  28. Zathras

    Jack,
    Quite so. Considering the very detailed pre-election ALP policy announcements many people still voted against their own best interests.

    Teachers and nurses voted for less funding, farmers voted for less water, the unemployed voted for no increase in Newstart and hospitality workers can kiss their cherished penalty rates goodbye. There’s no way those can be revisited in 3 years time when they’ve become “the new normal” and the chances are it will spread to other industries by then.
    Even coal miners will eventually realise that dumping even more coal onto a flat market will drive down the price and threaten their own jobs and the Franking Credits matter played directly to the greed of some self-funded retirees while the rest are left to suffer minimal interest rates.

    In the end we get the government we deserve.

    Chances are the ALP probably dodged a bullet, considering the looming global outlook and “thoughts and prayers” will only go so far.

  29. Stephengb

    A comment by someone, indicated that Borris’ popularity is based in his enthusiasm, so I looked up the word to be sure of its meaning, of which there are a number, but th8s bellow will do.

    In finding this meaning, I began thinking about so many leaders, leaders who were successful at gaining government did they all have this thing called “enthusiasm”, I think so?

    enthusiasm
    /ɪnˈθjuːzɪaz(ə)m,ɛnˈθjuːzɪaz(ə)m/
    noun
    1.
    intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.
    “her energy and enthusiasm for life”
    synonyms: eagerness, keenness, ardour, fervour, warmth, passion, zeal, zealousness, zest, gusto, brio, pep, go, sap, liveliness, vivacity, vivaciousness, energy, verve, vigour, dynamism, vehemence, fire, excitement, exuberance, ebullience, spirit, avidity, avidness; wholeheartedness, commitment, willingness, readiness, devotion, devotedness, fanaticism, earnestness; informaloomph, zing, zip, zap, vim, get-up-and-go; rarefervency, ardency, passionateness
    “Watkins worked quickly and with enthusiasm”

  30. totaram

    Zathras: “Teachers and nurses voted for less funding, farmers voted for less water, the unemployed voted for no increase in Newstart and hospitality workers can kiss their cherished penalty rates goodbye.”

    (a) only in Queensland as the figures show.

    (b) We don’t even know if that is what they really voted for. Chances are that they were bamboozled into voting “against” something totally different: Death tax, super tax, retiree tax, car tax, and trillion dollars in tax.

    Can we find out what they voted for or against? When we do, I am sure it will be a mixture, but there will be enough there who are sufficiently brainwashed to tip the balance.

    The question is then, not how to change the policies but how to overcome the wall-to-wall propaganda against Labor, no matter what the policies are. This propaganda works 24/7 and has been at it for decades.
    By now, “everyone knows”
    (i) that Labor can’t manage money and
    (ii) they just “tax and spend” and
    (iii) they spend “on their pet projects”
    (iv) which are a complete waste “like pink batts, school halls and the NBN”.

    It is the same as always referring to the Greens as “loonies” no matter that they always get their policies costed by the same neoliberal standards as required by the coalition (who don’t cost their policies at all, by the way or just dodge the question in various ways – check out their history on this issue.)

  31. Jack Cade

    I was talking, today, to somebody who has been overseas since the election. She and her husband are a rare couple inasmuch as they are professional people, quite wealthy, but usually vote Labor. This time, they both voted Labor in the lower house but voted for ‘someone we reasonably expected would block Labor’s Franking Credits scheme in the senate.’
    She admitted that the credits were not justified but they have come to rely on them.
    So that is two people I know of who voted specifically against the franking credits in my workplace. The other person voted Liberal for the first time ever, simply on that issue. Pleading ‘fairness’ cuts no ice when it hits YOUR pocket.

  32. totaram

    Jack Cade: The wealthy couple you speak of, are a bit stupid if they are “dependent” on the franking credits. That can only happen if they pay no tax and are earning a pension from super, in which case they could easily reorganise their affairs. I know it can be done, as I am in the same boat, although I am not “dependent” on the franking credits. Actually, I find it hard to believe anyone can be “dependent” on the franking credits refund. I did not vote so someone would block that Labor scheme, as it was not at all necessary to do that.

    People who think they are voting for their hip pocket are severely mistaken. What they get in the short term is lost in spades in the longer term. Stupidity rules. That is why climate change will teach everyone a lesson, which I am sure they will still try not to learn. Sad for our species and many others on this planet.

  33. Jack Cade

    Totaram
    They are not ‘dependent’ on it, but see it as part of their income. The other colleague claimed it as his sole income, and reiterated that many times before the election.
    I have some shares but would hate to be totally dependent on dividends.

  34. New Englnd Cocky

    @Jack Cade: What is the difference between a Nazi stormtrooper with his jackboot on the throat of a Jewish teenager in the Warsaw ghetto in 1944 and a Israeli Defence Force trooper with his boot on the throat of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank during 2019?

    Answer: 75 years.

  35. Jack Cade

    Zathras.
    The ‘new normal’, now, not in three years time, is institutionalised corruption the likes that have not even been seen in the worst excesses of the US in the early 20th Century. Since Howard, every facet of Australian life has been infiltrated by the RW. The parliament is filled with carpetbaggers who plunder the public purse when in government, and when they are ousted or retire they are rewarded with well-paid sinecures or jobs with corporates they have fostered in their parliamentary skulduggery. And the worst thing is that they no longer hide it because they know they are safe, because law enforcement in Australia is totally politicised.
    No – I’ll take a step back: the WORST thing is that we knew all about it. And Queenslanders, who were theoretically saved from wholesale corruption in the Bjelke-Petersen era, utterly embraced it in 2019, showing that Joh was ‘the norm’ and not an aberration.

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