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The best laid schemes

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy! (A portion of To a Mouse – by Robert Burns).

Scott Morrison might be well advised to remember this quote, and cease trying to set in concrete any plans for some sort of restoration of the system.

Job Keeper and Job Seeker CANNOT be phased out yet or even soon – not without some appropriate alternative measures being offered.

Nor can anyone on ‘the dole’ survive on the pre-COVID-19 rate, so don’t even think about it!

While some people might have been being overpaid and others may have got back into regular employment, there is a more than a significant number of people whose circumstances are already dire, and would become even more so if government-funded benefits were reduced or withdrawn. And there are some who have already been totally ignored!

Why cannot Morrison and Frydenberg stop best-guessing the future – which would be a nightmarish task for anyone – and accept that life now consists of living with changing circumstances which carry one imperative – keeping people alive, fed, clothed and housed?

During WWII in the UK, lives for civilians were necessarily put on hold in order to prioritise the war effort.

Food rationing began in January 1940, and followed fuel rationing, which began almost as soon as the war was declared, while it was 1958 before all rationing ceased.

YES!

For nearly 20 years, life in the UK was anything but ‘normal’ but we survived – and thrived in beating the challenges.

And having spent my pre-teens life living though bombing and shortages, I actually feel many benefits from not having been able to have what I want, when I want it!

You would be amazed how much more pleasure you can get from anticipating and preparing for a rare treat, rather than having so many options, you get bored!

Surprise, surprise! There was a Mandarin orange or a pomegranate in the toe of my Christmas stocking.

The UK has always been dependent on importing food and many other requirements, and, clearly, wartime conditions at sea had a massive impact.

Australia is basically self-sufficient in many of the necessities of life, but many of the jobs available here are dependent on tourism.

Close the borders and what happens?

What the government should be doing is making use of incredibly low-interest rates to issue bonds to raise funds to develop manufacturing, giving priority to areas like renewable energy, making our own steel and recycling, while also legislating to make it mandatory for single-use plastics to be totally phased out.

Training courses, funded by government, to re-skill those whose jobs are related to the fossil fuel industry must be a top priority.

In fact, if the government were to throw open the doors of all educational establishments and see education as an investment rather than an expense, they might be amazed at the benefits which might ensue!

At a practical level, the skills needing to be developed are largely related to the survival of the planet – and us with it!

Marine life is suffering from waste plastic in our oceans and this has to be ended.

We have to stop thinking that we are wasting our time making an effort because so many others are not.

While that might be true in some areas, many other countries are already making efforts.

What the present situation is proving, beyond reasonable doubt, is that the old system is broken.

Neo-liberalism has failed. The ‘market’ is only serving shareholders, and privatisation of ‘industries’ like hospitals, aged care homes and medicine generally only serves to further enrich the wealthy, while denying vital services to those who cannot afford to pay.

Over the last few decades, ‘user pays’ attitudes have defrauded the disabled and the needy of services they urgently need, and the continuing failure to build a sufficiency of social housing has left too many living on the streets in poverty.

Yes – we have problems with drug abuse – but that should be seen as a health problem. Criminalising drugs and drug users usually fails to catch the dealers, yet decriminalising drug use would put the dealers out of business!

Punishing people, without offering opportunities for rehabilitation is a total waste of resources.

There will always be people who cannot live peacefully in society, but the vast majority of those who appear before magistrates and judges could, with appropriate resources, have been diverted from becoming a problem.

We have an ideal time now, with reduced numbers of visitors to our shores, to re-think what matters in life – and find ways of increasing equality of opportunity, to which we are all entitled.

Introduce a Universal Basic Income, to replace the ridiculous mass of benefit categories.

Refine and simplify the tax laws – after all, it is the loopholes in the tax system which enable the already wealthy to further deprive the needy of resources for the services they desperately need.

Somehow we need to develop a coherent Human Rights Law.

We need to look more closely at the calibre of people we employ in our police services – and elect to our Parliaments!

We need to more highly value compassion. In general, people do not choose to steal unless they are either without necessities or they have mental problems.

Victoria has shown us, without a shadow of a doubt – as has the USA! – that we cannot assert our rights as individuals if that means damaging the health and lives of others.

We are a society – no apologies to Maggie Thatcher! – and that places obligations on all of us to respect other people’s rights.

What we need from government at present is acceptance that we do not know what will be regarded as ‘normal’ in future.

What we must be doing is making people’s lives as livable as possible, with everyone having somewhere to live, enough to eat, sufficient clothing, the ability to be educated as appropriate, and the opportunity to obtain work which is compatible with their talents, as soon as possible.

It is definitely not acceptable to have government members, whose income has remained unaffected, to be prepared to force people out on the streets because they cannot find a job, cannot pay rent and cannot even afford to feed their children in many cases.

If we are going to be pushed in that direction by current government policies, then let’s have an election before Christmas!

We need a government which does not ask; “What will it cost the economy?” but, instead asks; “What more do we need to do to make sure people are not struggling to survive.”

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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8 comments

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  1. pierre wilkinson

    Hear Hear
    we need a federal ICAC with teeth
    we need an independent parliamentary police force that investigates allegations of rorting, bribery, malfeasance,
    we need an independent arbiter to evaluate the policy platforms promoted by the government
    but no,
    we had those things – well, except for the federal ICAC
    we had the Opposition
    we had the ABC and some relative fairness in reporting in the MSM
    we had vigorous investigative journalism
    now we have no Opposition
    a gagged and wounded national broadcaster
    and vigorous investigation of reporters
    so sad what we have allowed ourselves to become

  2. Al

    Rosemary, we also need a govt that reviews from all sides the facts of any given matter, eg. listens to Productivity Commissions etc and then acts on the findings; plus a media that encourages public debate. In the context of covid-19, some countries are witnessing medical experts challenge vested interests and the propagation of unscientific, dodgy official narratives. https://docs4opendebate.be/en/doctors-initiatives/

    One weapon used by fascists is psychological brainwashing and I used to think they were defeated back in 1945, but is that true?
    The UK govt is taking advice from the Behavioural Insights Team, a psy-op working group via their document ‘Mindspace’ –
    Degree of conscious control:
    “As noted, MINDSPACE effects depend at least partly on the Automatic System. This means that citizens may not fully realise that their behaviour is being changed – or, at least, how it is being changed. Clearly, this opens government up to charges of manipulation. People tend to think that attempts to change their behaviour will be effective if they are simply provided information in an “above board” way – people have a strong dislike of being “tricked.”
    https://www.bi.team/publications/mindspace/

    An optimist would say the Aust government would never try to trick its citizens. Right?

  3. Michael Taylor

    We also need a government that governs. Not one that just shows up for work whenever it suits.

  4. DrakeN

    “Government of the People, by the People and for the People.”
    Not much to ask is it, yet we continue to vote into office psychopaths and sociopaths whose sole interest is their own advancement and personal benefit.
    I would say to AI @9:15 am that control of the unconscious mind is already very well established in political, commercial and religious contexts – what they are currently doing is refining the processes.
    Just think of those poor youngsters who went by ship from Albany harbour in1915 convinced that they were on course for some “great adventure” of short duration as one example.
    Humanity as a whole would benefit from an injection of honesty, basic unadorned honesty, both in the acceptance of reality as well as the courage to stick to the truth: It is something which has been in very short supply in human behaviour for as long as we have existed, or so it would seem from the historical evidence available.
    And, AI, optimism in the veracity of anything in popular behaviour where advantage is to be gained by deceit is the ultimate example of a “Triumph of Hope over Experience”.

  5. Al

    DrakeN, wouldn’t that be good – government of the people by the people; blah blah.
    Instead we seem to have govt of the people, by the corporation registered in DC Washington, for other corporations & trusts:
    https://treasury.gov.au/foi/documents-relating-to-registration-with-the-sec

    Control of the unconscious mind, individual or masses, has been a long game played by control freaks. The individual can work towards his or her resolution of their own conditioned biases and that proceeds accordingly as clockwork. Resolution happens at the exact moment it is destined to happen. The conditioning starts very early – few escape, the balance or severity of conditioning varies enormously, and judging others by one’s own background situation is a fools errand – but isn’t that what most of us are strictly encouraged and lectured to do by long-faced moralists and bible thumpers (ToddlerVision current event programs).

    I like this – ‘School World Order: Skull and Bones, Technocracy, and the Corporate Globalization of Education’ – another facet of the corporate takedown of civil society:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40592050-school-world-order

    Re injecting ‘honesty’, can others be forced to be honest? MSM is a brick wall erected against open public debate. Their monopoly of the narrative is at its root dishonest. MSM is run by control freaks and know-all little men and women reading scripts, but what can they do? They no doubt have precious little time to do their own research.

    Not sure what your last sentence means. Optimistic people are more fun to be around in general, but one needs to consider what is the intention they are being optimistic about. For example, look at the self-elected expert medical spokesman for the world, silly Bill Gates, the Great Interferer. He’s optimistic 7 billion people will receive at least 2 vaccines shots, because, if nothing else it’s very profitable for him personally?

    You might disagree with that example, but optimism can be guided by a positive or negative vector. Optimism is therefore a kind of energy. Ask the current crop of fascists about why the optimism about the Great Reset, what would they say? The fascists can take their 4th Industrial Revolution and vaccine related-transhumanism agenda and keep them in-house.

  6. ajogrady

    Has Australia been socially engineered and been purposely configured to reflect conservative values and outcomes ?

  7. DrakeN

    ajogrady,
    not so much engineered but indoctrinated continually from birth.
    You have to remember the origins of British colonialising and profiteering by holders of large land grants distributed by the ‘upper class’ robbers, squatters and ejectors of the indigenous land occupiers.
    Terra Nullius is still a major part of the Australian psyche.
    The natives are still ‘fauna’ in the eyes of so many ‘true blue’ Aussies.

  8. ajogrady

    DrakeN

    I was thinking more along the lines of immigration. The more affluent the immigrant the better their chance of being allowed into Australia and the more that they would be conservative voters.

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