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The New Ugly Australia … Is the right dead wrong?

Australia has changed. I cannot say when exactly it happened but sometime in the last 15 years, while we were all stood around the BBQ indulging in the government sanctioned, media driven hysteria about dole bludgers, single mothers, welfare cheats, refugees and terrorists, an air of brutal, self-aggrandising elitism has gently wafted over us.

Masked by our nation’s perennial feel good olfactory cocktail of jasmine, Aerogard and BBQ smoke we barely noticed it at first, but over that last few years it has become far more pervasive. Many of the well to do among us have inhaled the right’s harsh new rhetoric as if it where the only oxygen in a gas chamber. Even so-called “Aussie battlers” can be heard publicly mouthing the right’s battle cry.

bbqSo what happened to us? How did we, the land of plenty, the nation with the 2nd highest standard of living in the world, the nation of the fair go for all, the nation of the good sport, come to this? How did we come to feel so besieged, so hard done by, so threatened?

Throughout history humans have toiled under countless social orders. Whether it be tribalism, feudal fiefdoms, the divine right of kings, communism, capitalism, religious caliphates, socialism, collectivism, fascism or rampant corporatocracies, power and politics have always been about the allocation of resources.

While there are limitless arguments over the virtues and shortcomings of various political systems, the long-standing schism between the left and right is basically about whether power and resources aught to serve the interests of the few (as favoured by the right) or the many (as advocated by the left).

Historically speaking the vast majority of social orders have leaned heavily to the right, which has resulted in a dynastic concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few so called “elites”. Admittedly there have been a few bold attempts at dismantling entrenched power and organising distribution in a more equitable way. However for the most part these revolutions where born of a desperate scarcity rather than a utopian vision that was crafted through careful planning; and as such most attempts to revamp the social order have been relatively short lived and achieved little more than the supplanting of one set of avaricious oligarchs by another.

But in this media savvy age, where the west pays significant lip service to the concept of democracy, the hoarding of resources and the institutional abuse of power in the name of unchecked greed must be presented in a more nuanced fashion. The stark reality must be massaged into a more palatable form.

While it is clear we do not start out on a level playing field, with issues such as educational opportunity, poverty, ill health, violence and addiction clearly plaguing some sections of society more than others. Study after study shows that children that are subject to such stressors have markedly reduced educational outcomes and subsequently lower incomes.

equality and solidarity equal rights and opportunities no discrimination

equality and solidarity equal rights and opportunities no discrimination

When pressed most Aussies agree that denying people equal opportunity is intrinsically wrong. However by glossing over the inherent inequities in the system and branding the poor and marginalised as stupid, lazy or undeserving, the right has curbed our natural concern for those less fortunate, and positioned itself as the champion of the increasingly paranoid and rapidly shrinking middle and aspirational classes.

The right’s rhetoric is an endless conversation about reducing government support in favour of self-reliance, rewarding success and not fostering dependence. It is pro capitalism, pro business, pro individual; it is the self-declared advocate of the so-called self-made man. As Hockey famously said “if you want to buy a house in Sydney, then get a job that pays good money”

On the face of it, it sounds quite reasonable that we should focus on fostering individual reward for individual effort. But as with many things that can seem intuitively correct at first glance, the issue is considerably more complex.

For a start, at what point can someone accurately be described as “self made”, rather than the beneficiary of some privilege inherent to their wealth, education, class, race, gender or sexual orientation? (This is not to say that those who actually benefit from such systemic biases don’t work extremely hard, but it does raise questions as to whether their endeavours would be quite so fruitful where they subjected to the same hurdles that say an aboriginal woman might have to contend with).

Then we need to consider the question of who is actually responsible for making a success? Whether we acknowledge it or not entrepreneurs and corporations require the efforts of an extraordinary array of people to bring their vision to life.

For example, Apple wouldn’t be able to sell many iPhones were it not for the miners and chemical engineers that deliver the raw materials, or the workers that assemble, ship and market them. So is it really accurate to describe Jobs and Wozniack as “self made”, or would it be more accurate to describe them as great innovators and organisers, who successfully utilised the talents and resources of others to rise to prominence?

in-their-last-conversation-steve-jobs-talked-about-having-steve-wozniak-come-back-to-appleConsider this, is the so-called “self made man” responsible for the fact that his workforce can read and do basic math? Of course not, yet he is benefiting from the public education for his own private profit. Did he pay for the roads and airports over which his goods travel? No. Yet he benefits and profits from the public infrastructure.

The fact is the self made man is a myth. Success is always a collaboration, and a large share of the resources brought to bear in any enterprise are funded by the public purse; a fact that is rarely, if ever, acknowledged by the right.

Sure, there are plenty of industrialists who have proven themselves masterful in utilising the abilities and efforts of others, but they are simply one cog in much larger machine, and common sense aught to tell us that if we only service that one cog the machine is heading for a catastrophic failure.

In spite of the threat of global warming, rampant environmental degradation, spiralling rates of homelessness and mortgage stress, skyrocketing health and education costs and our ever-diminishing access to fresh healthy food and water the right continue to tell us that their lop sided hegemony is a good thing; and in spite of the fact that they primarily serve the interests of huge multi-national corporations and wealthy elites, we remain surprisingly willing to believe them.

The right has branded their beloved “captains of industry” as successful. They are the “winners”, and one of the right’s great tricks is to sell us on the notion that if we work hard enough, and are smart enough, we will get our turn. But there is little to no real evidence to support this idea. There is no escaping the fact that society needs many levels of operatives to function; we can’t all be CEO’s. Someone still has to clean the toilets!

And what about those of us that cannot adequately function or contribute? Are we so full of reverence for the tax evading elites that we believe they should be able to utilise the benefits of public education and infrastructure without contributing, while the poor, disabled, mentally ill, and single parents etc., are denied a dignified existence?

The fundamental difference between the left and the right is the prescribed value that is attached to human existence and input.

I put it to you that in overvaluing and prioritising the interests of those at the top and undervaluing everyone else the right has got it very very wrong.

The right is at war with us; they are fighting to reduce our wages in support of corporate profits. They are looking to tax us more and the tax 1% less, and we are willingly falling in as foot soldiers in the war against our broader interests.

It seems to me that as we sit around our BBQ’s inhaling the heady scent of our own entitlement, demonising the weak and disenfranchised, chugging back a few beers and cheering on our nation’s reinvigorated racist zeal and self righteous cruelty to refugees, the coalition is slowly cutting our legs out from under us, while disingenuously urging us all to step up and climb the ladder.

Ever tried to climb a ladder with no legs? It just doesn’t work.

Wheelchair-how-to-climb-stairs

117 comments

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  1. Unhappy

    Simple! Bloody migrants and Political correctness. A bunch of useless, gutless, cowardice politicians who care more for bloody terrorism than it’s own people. Politicians who were gutless to stand up against the wave of stinking migrants and selling the soul of this great country to Communist countries and to hell with it’s own people. The heart and soul of this country and what it meant to be really Australian is gone forever.

  2. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Great article and yes the Right are after all those that are costing them some of Their money. Because they do not have enough to give more subsidies etc to big Corporations etc. LNPs Big friend Rupert Murdoch has been complaining about All the “Welfare Cheats” this Comes from a Guy who has Big Business’s in Australia but pays NO Taxes and has been given Money from the LNP Goverment…

  3. Roswell

    Unhappy, unless you’re an Aborigine then your ancestors were migrants. In which case I would agree with you that the borders should be closed to migrants. We don’t need people like you in this country.

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Roswell you are harsh indeed.

  5. Unhappy

    Roswell. I am fifth generation Australian, born and bred here so who gives you the right to have a go at me because I don’t happen to agree with the refugee policy we have today. You only have to look around the world you moron to see the damage it is doing and will continue to do to all civilised countries. We need powerful politicians and unfortunately we have none! We are becoming an ugly Australia and you have to ask your self WHY! What has gone wrong?

  6. Roswell

    Florence, to the contrary, I was kind. I think that Unhappy was the one being harsh.

  7. Roswell

    Calling me a moron is a bit rich coming from you.

    I’ll refrain from name calling, though a few choice labels come to mind.

  8. lawrencesroberts

    Notice how Sydney’s driving has got worse? Thatchers Children, No community just dog eat dog.

  9. Roswell

    Unhappy, the fact remains that your ancestors were migrants.

  10. Unhappy

    At least they were not stinking Muslims which is what is destroying the world today and for our kids of tomorrow! Politicians who will not do anything to stop it. That’s it I’ve had my say. Perhaps you all should take time out and think about it. The future is scary!

  11. Roswell

    Well thank God for that.

  12. diannaart

    The timing of publication of Letitia McQuade’s article couldn’t have been more appropriate (for this little black duck and, dare I hope, a few others).

    I have been mulling over ways to defeat the (bleeding obvious) stranglehold the far-right have managed in the past 20 years or so – actually am inclined to start with the destruction of the Whitlam era – which takes us so far back in time, I have to wonder just when, in the past 45 years, Labor has truly represented the people.

    We are at a time in world events when co-operation is needed more than ever:

    in spite of the threat of global warming, rampant environmental degradation, spiralling rates of homelessness and mortgage stress, skyrocketing health and education costs and our ever-diminishing access to fresh healthy food and water the right continue to tell us that their lop sided hegemony is a good thing; and in spite of the fact that they primarily serve the interests of huge multi-national corporations and wealthy elites, we remain surprisingly willing to believe them.

    Many people such as, yours truly and others here at AIM have been calling for a united front in order to stop the disenfranchisement of middle and lower income people by the (wealthy) right (poor right wingers remain clueless), I have been told that a suggestion of Labor allying itself with other progressives “ain’t never gonna happen”.

    Well then, we’d better strap ourselves in because Labor thinks it can win the next election based on the far too similar economic outlook as the LNP – it ain’t gonna happen.

    Good luck with that.

  13. Matters Not

    agree that denying people equal opportunity is intrinsically wrong

    Equal opportunity can easily become a platitude. It’s a ‘concept’ that needs to be analysed.

    Aristotle asserted: Equals must be treated equally, and unequals must be treated unequally.

    Educators (consciously or unconsciously) do it all the time. They treat ‘unequals’, ‘unequally’. They don’t give all students the same amount of attention but tend to devote more time to those who ‘need’ it. It’s the same with parents, generally speaking. Why in some instances they even give their offspring different food portions.

    In education, ‘unequal’ treatment lies at the heart of the Gonski recommendations. While ‘opportunity’ may be ‘good’, ‘outcomes’ may be ‘better’.

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    Disagreeing with one is not having a go at you. Also 5th generation on all sides. I disagree violently with you. It is migration from many lands and cultures that as made this country what it is.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    “At least they were not stinking Muslims ” Suspect many came to this country before your lot. With their camels, opened up the north, Married indigenous women raising families as Muslims.

    From the First Fleet, we have always been multicultural.

    We have always taken refugees in from all nations.

    You need to do a little reading. Educate yourself on the history of this country.

  16. flohri1754

    Unhappy will never be “happy” as he/she is oblivious to the enlightenment emanating from this column.

  17. bobraftob rafto

    obviously someone forgot their medication

  18. Ruth L

    Totally agree Roswell.
    Listen to Noel Pearson’s address to the National Press Club this week for a challenging viewpoint on Aborigines, 1788 and immigrants.
    Perhaps the ‘Unhappies ‘ of our country might find a place to ‘fit’.

  19. gangey1959

    There was nothing here when I started this.
    Anyone who’s ancestors arrived after 1788 is either an immigrant or refugee, but I don’t think that is Letitia’s point. I am 7th gen.
    In my opinion we “Average Aussies” have slowly but surely re-branded ourselves after we lost the referendum on becoming a Republic.
    Through that oily little worm of a pm johnny howard’s conniving double speak, we were conned into losing a vote that Republicans won by nearly 2-1. Since then, the haves have taken every opportunity to screw the rest of us to the ground, just in case we think we might achieve something, whilst slapping one another on the back every time they make another bazillion or two.
    Uncle clive promised us the world when he set up pup, but his only real interest was in having the resources duty removed. Where would the fat bastard be if he had had to dig his own nickle (lol). Now he says the sacked workers can suffer in their overalls, it’s not his problem.
    Aunty gina wouldn’t be where she is now if she hadn’t wrestled daddy’s bonk through the courts first, and if she had been of Lang’s generation she wouldn’t have been granted the leases in the first place on account of she’s too overweight to be safe on a minesite.
    Can she drive a dump-truck? No, but she has 1700 or so 457 visa afghans who can. Those of us Aussies also with the correct qualifications and experience etc etc who might want a bit more money, and superannuation, and some time off occasionally aren’t suitable, so now I get slagged off for being a parasitic leaner who is costing the whole country.
    Just to put Newstart, (as the “dole” has now been re-branded) into perspective, the federal politicians granted themselves a 2%? payrise after resisting for TWO WHOLE YEARS.
    The PM will take home an EXTRA $10000.00. per annum. PLUS his $500.000.00 salary. PLUS expenses.
    Basic Newstart is $13832.00. PLUS $1560.00 Rent assistance if you are fortunate enough to qualify.
    We have a parliament that as a whole rattles its collective sabre at the corporate greed and tax avoidance measures and profit shifting that costs Australia trillions of dollars. They won’t do anything about it all because it is those same companies that keep the bastards in office. We are suffering under a government whos first act was to slash its income by removing its 2 best income streams, and then telling “We the People” that due to labour’s “debt and deficit disaster” there isn’t enough to go around, so spending on health and welfare will have to be cut too.
    At some point abbott or hockey or pyne or dutton or corrmann decided that not enough imported asian built bmw’s were being bought, so they closed down the car industry too. I think “Jobs and Growth” was the accompanying slogan.
    So what has changed ?
    We are not allowed to be Australian any more.
    (I know a 10 year old Australian boy who was not allowed to play in his school AFL team on multicultural day because he was from Aus.)
    No longer can we show a helping hand to foreign people less fortunate than ourselves, lest we all be labeled terrorists.
    We have to put up wit watching volvo’s (wash my mouth with brake fluid) at Bathurst. Shit, in another 18 months (or less) we wont even be able to buy a Holden or Ford.
    All of our profitable companies are being bought by foreign owners, with the profits going overseas.
    The number of job opportunities are shrinking, whist the cost of plain existing are rising. And as long as the msm headlines scream “drug-cheats at essendon”, and “match fixing at grand-slam tennis”, and “rugby player in lewd act with dog” just so that the real issues can be kept off the front pages of murdoch’s bull-sheets until the Greens or alp do something that can be twisted into something evil, like electing Julia as PM, we are all screwed.

    I agree wholeheartedly Letitia, They are steadily cutting our legs off.
    But they are cutting the rugs from the bottom of the ladder at the same time.

  20. John Kelly

    Unhappy, perhaps you could explain what it “meant to be really Australian”…..as you see it.

  21. Matters Not

    The future is scary!

    Certainly is, particularly for those who suffer from olfactory hallucinations.

    Just imagine, a ‘religion’ that offends the nasal passages. Not sure whether it’s a ‘rarity’ or a ‘medical miracle’. But I can understand the ‘un happiness’.

  22. Florence nee Fedup

    “We are not allowed to be Australian any more.”

    Whose fault is that?

    When one takes on the mantle that freedom speech is the to insult and harm with no constraints one is going down a slippery slope.

    Added to that was the so called PC or political correctness that attack every piece of legislation put in place to protect the vulnerable.

    The rabid right, rednecks couldn’t wear this. left them unable to label and demonise all that need assistance to survive in our society,

    The likes of the UN and all that goes with it, had to be undermined Human rights no longer an entitlement in their eyes.

    All actions and words bring reaction. Yes you can do and say what you like but keep in mind others have the right to object, to demand compensation if your actions cause harm/.

    By the way, I have never had any problem being an Australian.

  23. Anthony Element (@observationpt)

    C S Lewis said, “When fascism comes to America, it will be draped in the flag and carrying a bible.”
    We now see he was perfectly correct, and it’s equally true of Australia.

  24. Lincoln Schultz

    A quick insight into the conservative mind – a while back I was having a conversation with a conservative and the subject turned to public transport. He strongly objected to the fact that the fares collected don’t even begin to cover the cost and that his tax dollars were subsidising something that he never used. I pointed out to him that I don’t have children but my tax dollars were subsidising his family’s schooling, family benefits/tax breaks, parental leave (his wife is a public servant) and medical bills but he decided that was irrelevant and not the same at all. It seems ‘the age of entitlement’ is over for everyone except for conservative voters.

  25. Simon wilson

    Letitia…Thanks for your insightful article …and I thought I was the only one who thought this…yes we are a country that is too rich you know that when we start to blame the lowest 10% or the victims of this greedy society…have you seen Scott Bartle’s youtube video..what-the-FUQ-Scott-Bartle-Part1…if so ….you will know that we don’t even own our own country.

  26. CQMum

    2001. Big Brother et al….. all reality TV…. and “9/11”
    That’s when the downward spiral began.

  27. Simon Wilson

    Letitia…Oops wrong video this one is better ……youtube.com…What The FUQ – Frequently Unanswered Questions of the ‘Australian Government’

  28. Sancho Anchovy (@Barblenosh)

    All the commentary blames the figureheads of the Right, but they wouldn’t have so much influence if the population didn’t like their message.

    A lot of people are just authoritarian. They enjoy the feeling of being servants to Great Men, and are willing to follow pretty much any idea if it’s expressed forcefully by the tribal chieftain.

  29. RosemaryJ36

    The problems we have are not remotely connected to more recent migrants but very strongly connected to the tendencies of our right wing politicians to ape the USA Republicans – particularly the Tea Party – entitlement propaganda.

  30. mars08

    I remember hearing Howard make this statement about 20 years ago: “… by the Year 2000 I would like to see an Australian nation that feels comfortable and relaxed about three things: I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about their history; I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the present and I’d also like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the future…”

    I recall thinking… oh shit, that’s no good

    It seemed stunningly obvious that he was planning to make some favoured Australians “comfortable and relaxed” at the expense of others.

  31. wun farlung

    I was told by a workmate that I was ‘Un-Australian’ for intending to work (by choice) on 26/01/16.
    I challenged him to tell me in 10 words or less what being an Australian meant to him, without being a racist,sexist, homophobic and selfish I would not work
    Needless to say I worked

  32. MichaelW

    I’ve had enough I’m going back to Wales.
    Cymru am byth….

  33. Wally

    “How did we, the land of plenty, the nation with the 2nd highest standard of living in the world, the nation of the fair go for all, the nation of the good sport, come to this?”

    John Howard is undoubtedly responsible for lowering Australia’s standard of living, well the 95% of us who earn their money. Before Howards term as PM a family could live comfortably on a single income, you could afford to take the family to the footy every week and owning your own home was reality not a pipe dream.

    How much of the decrease in living standards was due to the introduction of the GST?

    Howard changed many things and increased many indirect taxes but replacing sales tax with a GST moved much of the tax burden from companies to consumers. Changes to laws that allows Directors to dictate to shareholders how much they will pay themselves has also had a huge impact, record numbers of manufacturers moved their operations off shore and sacking local employees became routine.

  34. Lawrence Corry

    The right’s rhetoric is an endless “conversation”……
    again using lib speak..the words of the IPA..start using real language not the words that the IPA have put into the political and media spectrum..you might just get somewhere.

  35. Mechboyblu

    Thankyou for reason in a time where reason is corrupted by agenda 21 all over our world except those states that are BRICS. What it is to be Australian.Common sense. Looks like common sense just moved to Russia and Iran and wonder will it ever return. Judiac neo-liberalism cost us everything. Its good to know who really rules this country as we the people have lost sight of the oldest agreement known to man. Fair and equal.exchange of services. Its always been up to us.
    Idleness in haughtiness has brought down every regime against life anywhere anytime. These times will be no different. You are actually seeing the demise of neo-liberalism everywhere. Its in its last throws lashing out for its own survival. So how much do we have to lose before Awereness becomes the driving force for change. Dunno thats up to you to decide. I will start with my local entities first. They can whinge up the chain as all good neo-liberists do. Neo-liberalism: someone wanting you to spend your whole life in jail for sticking some chewing gum under the chair at school. its really that bad.

  36. Michael Lacey

    If you read Propaganda by Edward Bernays you can see how effective it has been in keeping the population compliant. As Chomsky has said “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”
    Walter Lippmann “It is … necessary to whip up the population in support of foreign adventures. Usually the population is pacifist, just like they were during the First World War. The public sees no reason to get involved in foreign adventures, killing, and torture. So you have to whip them up. And to whip them up you have to frighten them.” You can find examples of effective propaganda to fill a hundred books. Goebbels kept a copy on his bookshelf, he new how to whip up a crowd. We believe the Coalition are better economic managers! Why? Because the corporate media told you! We believe that invading Iraq was correct! Why? Because the corporate media told you! If the masses disengage from the rhetoric of the right they will probably give you another war or financial crises with lashings of fear to bring you back to the fold!

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Letitia McQuade,

    for your article that resonates with all of us one way or another.

    I share most commenters’ concerns and observations of what’s gone wrong. I share many commenters’ examples of disadvantage inflicted on the most vulnerable, for example, gangey1959 on 29/1 @ 3.47 pm when he correctly explains the double wrongs inflicted on the poor struggling on the dole aka Newstart. First, the shrinking of industries and consequently, job opportunities and the misery of unemployment. Second, the pitiful amount that Newstart allows for a meagre existence, which insults and withers people, who have dignity and the desire for expressing their self-worth through paid employment that reflects their skills, expertise and/or qualifications.

    I especially endorse diannaart on 29/1 @2.54 pm because she’s offering what many of us are advocating: the formation of a united front against this frightening and growing neo-conservative aggression that isn’t going away unless we act against it in progressive and structural reform ways that will bring about sustainable revolutionary change for the better that Letitia rightly identifies as needed.

    That means we need community grassroot support for Left and Centre-Left parties and groups, who will work for an Alliance to be that political front against the destruction being inflicted by the neo-conservatives.

    Labor can’t (and won’t) do it alone because of the LNP and its backers growing aggression and destruction of institutions and industries already. Labor needs to stop the fruitless wish for clinging onto power alone as the alternative government and Labor must form that Alliance with the Greens, some sane Independents like Wilkie, and the suite of new Progressive Parties in Australia identified under the umbrella of the Alliance For Progress see http://allianceforprogress.org.au/members.html

    This is where hope and belief for an equitable future will come from. So don’t give up.

  38. Glenn K

    LM thinks something changed about 15 years ago. I believe her time-line is about correct. I am an immigrant, arriving in Australia 29 years ago as a single young man. The turning point for me was the Howard government’s “be alert” advertising campaign, where they promoted the idea of it being every citizen’s responsibility to dob in something or someone which looked suspicious. Even published a 1-800 number. Cloaked in the propaganda of keeping Australia safe, it started the downward spiral of turning citizens against each other – killing the concept of mate-ship and being neighborly. I remember thinking at the time how appalling and dangerous this campaign was, funded by our government by the way, and I think it marks the turning point of a change for the worse in our nation’s psyche.

  39. John Lord

    I can only say that I would have been very proud to have written this wonderful description of right V left.

  40. Axiom

    REALITY is we live on free range serf farms structured around a top-down pyramidal money system, maintained via mass conditioning schooling and mass programming media.

  41. Ricardo29

    Thanks Letitianand thanks to everyone – except unhappy- for thoughtful if frightening contributions. Just a word of caution for Michaelw. Wales is still part of the UK which as we know, is run by a bunch of right wing neoliberals with the same views as our own. Given its acquiescence to the LNP on issues such as security, data retention etc, it’s clear Labor isn’t going to cut the mustard as a progressive alternative govt. even if Bill did suddenly get a charisma injection so it’s vote Greens, or a progressive independent should such a person stand up. Not optimistic though given the apparent proliferation of the ‘unhappy’ types.

  42. lawrencewinder

    It’s about time we had this discussion…. good article. We have become a very nasty selfish and extremely short-sighted nation.

  43. diannaart

    So much thoughtful and passionate thoughts on the steady stifling by the neo-con/pseudoChristian/far right/world-wide pandemic of 21st Century style feudalism.

    @Unhappy – I can understand why you are unhappy – am hoping you will hang around AIM long enough to understand also.

    🙂

    We need to look further than just our island nation in order to cure this authoritarian disease. However, just for starters, could Labor and the Greens kiss and make up? Because, Labor, you need your allies.

    And Greens? I know it is frustrating being denigrated by both Labor and the LNP – but there is no hope with the neo-cons – while there does remain some light with Progressives.

    @Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Regarding the AfP – where are the Greens?

    C’mon Greens, you need friends as much as Labor does.

  44. Bored in retirement

    diannaart
    I vowed in retirement to be a passive observer of online sites but enough is enough with this Alliance thing .
    Are any of you members of a Party ,because I am.A Greens {NSW} member of a decade now
    I don’t want any alliance with the rotten to the core Labor flotsam because we all saw what that thing Gillard did on the last foolish dalliance .Rudd was no better and Albanese and Plibersek are worthless and thoroughly dishonourable
    Tasmanian Greens want nothing to do with Labor and I hope the Leadership of the Greens take the high moral and ethical ground as well .
    Sometimes there is honour in defeat and if that be the case for the Greens our principles have not been eroded
    Enough of this Alliance

  45. Bored in retirement

    Actually, rather than an Alliance why don’t you go after the thieves in Labor as vigorously as you do the LNP
    LABOR’S rorts-for-votes scheme is under investigation as Parliament’s Upper House president declared that diverting electorate office funds for political campaigning was forbidden.

    And for the second day in a row Labor’s leader Premier Daniel Andrews dodged questions about the allegation taxpayer-funded staff were used for election campaigning last year.
    This was the Daniel Andrew who ruled out forming government with the Greens.

    “No deal will be offered and no deal will be done,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

    That was after Greens leader Greg Barber offered the olive branch and said his party would be prepared to work conditionally with a Labor government.

  46. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My answer to you Bored in retirement is you at least should be encouraging the Greens to join the Alliance with the Alliance for Progress. They are enlightened new parties with the compassion, integrity, energy, inspiration that the duopoly flipflops lack. However, the reality is they are only new. So, it doesn’t take a genius to work out ‘all hands on deck’ to rid Australia of the disease called LNP.

    So stop the theatrics stating that the Greens won’t work with Labor, I’ve heard enough theatrics coming from Labor. Grow up the lot of you and start working towards the defeat of the LNP by forming a progressive, equitable, alternative, formidable front.

  47. Florence nee Fedup

    “Labor must form that Alliance with the Greens” Does Labor become a Green party or the Greens Labor?

    Alliances only weaken both parties. Look at the Nationals.

    The more diversity we have within parliament the better.

  48. Bored in retirement

    Not another one .
    Are you a member of a political party ?
    I suggest you join one and worry about it as the Greens are quite capable of looking after their own affairs .
    It seems nothing I said sank in ,we do not want to be tied in any shape or form to the ALP
    Start your own Party, just leave ours alone we determine our destiny not a bunch on an online site .
    You failed to even mention bringing the ALP thieves to justice .
    I’m finished here , just stay well away from the Greens with your idiotic ideas

  49. Florence nee Fedup

    Greens and Labor worked well together under Gillard without alliance.

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Must have been something I said! 🙁

    FnF,

    that’s true to some extent. The bottom line is that they need each other to form a strong front, especially in these austere times under the LNP.

  51. cornlegend

    Hey Bored in retirement ,
    I might email Dicky Knee Natale and see if he needs another one on his PR team
    That might cure your boredom .
    I’d listen 😀

  52. corvus boreus

    Bored in retirement,
    Are you saying that there should be (absolutely) “no negotiations, no deals, no alliances” (especially with the ALP)?
    Sounds like an unreasonable and impracticably intransigent ideology, especially within the context of a supposedly pluralistic representative electoral democracy.

  53. Bored in retirement

    corvus boreus, you seem like an intelligent person so just what was it that I said that you couldn’t understand .

    Are you saying that there should be (absolutely) “no negotiations, no deals, no alliances” (especially with the ALP)?
    No deals no alliances no partnerships .etc
    Absolutely, positively ,certainly NO DEALS {though some negotiations by De Natale and Whish -Wilson on Tax have been beneficial but without the need for alliances ,deals partnerships , whatever term you dream up }
    The Greens are a party of integrity and are quite capable of standing under their own philosophy policies and direction and not be sullied by the “flipflop” no honor others .
    Some seem content in telling parties what to do but to this time don’t acknowledge any commitment to a particular Party .
    corvus boreus, why don’t you read what I wrote and at least answer
    That is enough from me , passivity is much more rewarding
    goodbye, please leave the Greens alone

  54. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Bored in retirement,

    please don’t assume lack of commitment from me just coz you haven’t read my previous posts regarding political allegiances.

    I was for 38 years a Labor supporter until finally I saw the light that Labor had almost become the mirror image of the LNP arseholes. I say almost coz I’m trying very hard to differentiate between the LNP pigs and the Labor stalwarts coz I acknowledge out of the two, Labor will always be preferable even though they are wishy-washy.

    I was committed to Labor and I helped hand out how-to-vote pamphlets on many numerous days. I was also a Labor member several times over the years and when living in the NT had close involvement with visiting Labor MP’s such as Warren Snowdon.

    However, coming Down South again and seeing the flipflopness of Victorian politics and also in Canberra, I adopted the Greens although I was vocal about my sense of loss of the Labor spirit. A kind Greens candidate explained that I could still hold onto my former belief in Labor and help the Greens at the same time by valuing my preference vote. That’s when the penny dropped about how the values of two worthy political philosophies could blend. I began to hand out pamphlets for the Greens on election day while conversing with local Labor people letting them know that we need to keep our common allegiances to ordinary people and reformist policies.

    For my last two or three years, I’ve been prioritising the Greens, but I hold great hope that Labor will come back from the Right and embrace true progressive, reformist, and alternative policy agendas that truly address the needs of everybody such as vulnerable asylum seekers and people languishing on welfare. I don’t want the Greens purity to be polluted, but I also don’t want the Greens seeking comfort with the LNP in tax agreements, who will piss all over them

  55. Katrina Logan

    Bored in retirement
    If nothing else you have exposed some .
    This Alliance is just an underhanded method and effort to rubbish Labor and try to draw people to the Greens .
    Do the honorable thing, admit you are anti Labor, pay your Greens membership and have the decency to admit your allegiances
    At least I was straight up on who I supported

  56. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Go away Katrina.

    Rightist trouble maker

    Supporter of ALA, which stands for Australia Liberty Alliance.

    While speaking some decent values, ALA also promotes small government which we all have come to realise is dangerous in modern times coz small government equates to Big Biz private ownership.

    Katrina hangs around like a sore thumb. Not happy with her own political choice, she wants to destroy the choices of others.

    Go Alliance of Left Leaning parties!

  57. Katrina Logan

    From day one I have been upfront on my political choices .
    Now with my 14/Jan offer from UQ I will be living in Terri Butlers electorate, voting for her in the HOR and ALA in the Senate .
    I have never skulked around pretending one thing and working to undermine Labor at every opportunity.
    LIBLAB flip flop, just how many times have you used that term to try to undermine Labor in a sly effort to get the Greens a few votes .
    I don’t even think you believe in this alliance thing, more an opportunity to attack Labor at every turn

    “Go Alliance of Left Leaning parties!” roughly translated, coming from you means bad mouth Labor,
    ii know who is assisting the LNP, and it ain’t me
    Just be straight up and admit you silly little ploy

  58. Michael Taylor

    I do wish you two would stop it. I don’t care who started it, but it stops now.

  59. Mick Byron

    I have to admit the lib lab flip flop repetitive stuff does get boring
    I say it being used at Independent Australia some months ago as well
    I’m not hiding the fact I want a Labor Government elected and this liblab stuff is more a hindrance than a help

  60. corvus boreus

    Bored in retirement,
    I (fulfilled in current employment and an occasional voluntary contributor to the Greens electoral cause) merely wanted to point out that a party with a 1 in 10 popular representation (generous) should consider a more negotiatory position if they want a significant contributory role in governance, as there is +40% swing required in order for the Greens to dictate policy via clear electoral majority.

  61. Pat

    A most disturbing article but unfortunately true, to bad you have difficulty reaching a wider audience. As for the greens we tried that and they stabbed us in the back too bad for the great alliance. Yes there maybe some rotten apples in labor barrel, but the majority are true with genuine belief in social justice and try their hardest to establish it, where as the liberals sense of social justice is to get as much of the public purse as possible by paying a bare minimum of tax or no tax. Tax is a great leveller it provides infrastructur, health care, education, and many other benefits for all not just the privileged few. I’m not saying we pay no tax but I feel that Google, the murdoch’s, the miners, the big multinational, should pay their fair share, which they are not, and what the liberals propose to do is raise the gst and don’t worry they will you can’t trust the liberals, remember tabbott , they also want to reduce the penalty rates to make life even harder for the pensioners, the low income and middle income workers, where is the justice in that.

  62. Arthur Baker

    Unhappy, I’m very glad to read that you “don’t happen to agree with the refugee policy we have today”. That’s great, mate. The refugee policy we have today is to take innocent men, women and children who have committed no crime, and dump them indefinitely on a Pacific Island (Nauru, Manus), effectively holding them hostage to deter others from exercising their legal right to come here to claim protection as an accredited refugee under international law. We flout that law, so I congratulate you on disagreeing with the policy – which, incidentally, is supported by both major parties. You are obviously a great Australian, to be standing up and blowing the whistle on this policy.

    Not sure how your “stinking muslims” statement quite fits in with that, but. Please explain.

  63. Michael Taylor

    I agree. Great comment, Arthur.

  64. Backyard Bob

    I do wish you two would stop it. I don’t care who started it, but it stops now.

    But, Dad!!!!!

  65. cornlegend

    Bored in retirement ,
    Geez, I hope I’m not too late
    Don’t leave mate, your Party needs you, I need you 😀 stay
    Not only that Bored, but I could have something to break your boredom
    Months ago I was having the time of my life bucketing Abbott, Don Randall and a heap of other rorting scumbag LNPers over quite a few online sites .
    One day I got a reply which I saved and it read ,

    “Won’t someone in the Greens think of the planet? Won’t someone stop this reckless use of petrol and Avgas, so fatal to our warming planet?
    Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has claimed almost $1 million on travel entitlements all in just over her FIRST term as a Senator …and Bronwyn Bishop may have chartered a helicopter and hell broke loose but Hanson Young chartered a flight to Port August simply to have a photo op in front of a power station and not a peep”

    Now Bored, that took the wind out of my sails a bit and I backed off .

    Now you say “Greens take the high moral and ethical ground as well .” and “LABOR’S rorts-for-votes scheme is under investigation ”
    Do you think you could use some of the ethics and morality you are so ably gifted with to investigate and report on this allegation of Hanson Youngs travel ?

    That should break the boredom

  66. Mercurial

    I like the way people like happy and bored .. (in something, i can’t remember) fart out their opinions and then say ‘there, i’ve spoken my mind. I don’t want to discuss it because you’ll probably all put up cogent arguments that I won’t be able to debate, and therefore rather than look like I’m losing the argument I’ll just skulk away.’

    But then they sometimes hang around and snipe from the sidelines. Obviously get their strategies from the likes to Abbott.

  67. Arthur Baker

    Hmmm. Thanks for drawing my attention to Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA). Had never heard of them, so checked out their website. Jeez, they’re a fun bunch, aren’t they (eh, Katrina?).

    “There is no place for … tolerance for the intolerant”, they say.

    Then they say “To stop the Islamisation of Australia we will take a series of rational and practical policies to the 2016 elections. One of these policies is a 10-year moratorium on resident visa applications from nationals of the 56 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).”

    Oh, right. So intolerance is a very bad thing. But their intolerance of aspiring migrants from more than a quarter of the nations of the world is a very good thing.

    Black is white. Up is down. The Ministry Of Truth tells you what to believe. Kettles are pots, and some of them are black. And little pink fairies dance at the bottom of my garden every night.

    Tolerance my arse, you right wing nutjobs. Shove your “Values” where the sun doesn’t shine.

  68. cornlegend

    corvus boreus
    I haven’t forgotten our discussion on the Senate , just been real busy as it was my beautiful granddaughters 17th on th 29th and we celebrated for a few days .
    Geez, I must be getting old, things seem backwards :-{
    She goes for her pilots licence on the 2/2 and her Drivers “Ps” on the 4th
    I forgot which article you left the links for me in :-{
    I had a quick thought bubble ,
    Why not a formal vote if the voter numbers at least 12 ?

  69. corvus boreus

    Cornlegend,
    All good, living your life is a valid activity. Here’s the link again,
    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2015/September/A_quick_overview_of_the_proposed_Senate_electoral_system
    Your at least 12 boxes numbered below the line = valid/formal vote ‘thought bubble’ mirrors one of the proposals exactly.

    Ps, SHY did indeed rack up over $900,000 in expenses between mid 2008 and the end of 2014, including flying in to party on at the Sydney LGBT Mardi Gras. Not a particularly good look for #sarahinthesen8.

  70. diannaart

    There is no need to form an effing alliance like the Ellen-pees – just learn to work together for the same goal – getting the effing Ellen-pees out of office.

    Is that really too much to ask?

    Thanks to those who reminded me why I am no longer a member of any political group.

  71. Wally

    Human Nature

    We all think we are right until someone proves us wrong
    We are all honest until the truth is revealed exposing our lies
    We all believe in ourselves until our egos are deflated
    We are all experts until we cannot fix the problems
    We all expect to be respected by others but fail to reciprocate
    We are creatures of habit but some of our habits are gross
    We all crave for compassion but at times don’t give it back

    Liberal by Nature

    We know we are right even when proven wrong
    We are always honest even when telling lies
    We believe in ourselves our egos dictate it
    We are experts only Labor and Greens create problems
    We demand to be respected because we are the elite
    We have bad habits but they are OK they only affect others
    We don’t need compassion because we never lose

  72. cornlegend

    corvus boreus
    All good, I saved the links this time 😀

  73. Wally

    diannaart

    You are spot on, if every member of parliament did what was best for the country instead of what was best for their chances of winning the next election Australia would be a better place. When Abbott was in opposition he did everything he could to stop the Labor government solving problems and dumb arse LNP supporters patted him on the back for it.

    No matter who your local member is and wether you voted for them or not our political system will benefit if you speak to them and tell them what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. We spend a lot of time listening to politicians, they need to learn to listen to the public and to do what benefits the majority (naturally without being detrimental to any minority).

  74. cornlegend

    People kep on about the trouble Bill has getting Media coverage for his policies .
    A friend sent me this email ,
    I liked it 😀
    The Pope is visiting Sydney and Prime Minister Julia Gillard takes him out for an afternoon on Sydney Harbour cruising and,of course accompanied by a dozen Murdoch Media lackeys
    They’re admiring the sights when, all of a sudden, the Pope’s hat (zucchetto) blows off his head and out into the water.

    Secret Service and AFP guys start to launch a boat, but Julia waves them off, saying, “Wait, wait. I’ll take care of this. Don’t worry.”

    She then steps off the yacht onto the surface of the water and walks out to the Holy Father’s little hat, bends over, picks it up, and then walks back to the yacht and climbs aboard.

    She hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.

    The congregated Media all went into a flap and rushed off to meet the next day deadline

    The next morning, the Murdoch Media all proclaim:

    “Gillard Can’t Swim!”

  75. diannaart

    Thank you, Wally

    No matter who your local member is and wether you voted for them or not our political system will benefit if you speak to them and tell them what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. We spend a lot of time listening to politicians, they need to learn to listen to the public and to do what benefits the majority (naturally with being detrimental to any minority).

    Well said.

  76. Kaye Lee

    Preferential voting above the line could be helpful except that doesn’t solve problems like Joe Bullock and Eric Abetz.

  77. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    In any other profession we are expected to meet Key Performance Indicators – except for politicians. We have such people in power as Cory Bernardi who believe the earth is only 6000 years old – this is not acceptable.

    Not only should our representatives have met basic educational standards, but demonstrate a good grasp of humanities and leadership skills.

  78. Kaye Lee

    I agree diannaart. There should be psychological testing first up. They are now insisting that primary school teachers pass an additional literacy and numeracy test before they are accredited (at their own expense) – there should be something similar for politicians.

    Asking for the first week off so you can go to a prayer breakfast in the US when you are actually going to give a national security address to the Heritage Foundation would be called deception in most jobs and deemed unacceptable. But not for the man who wants to preach ethics and morality to us, Kevin Andrews – the ex-social security minister whose first act was to repeal gambling reform laws.

    They disgust me.

  79. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    These parasites are beyond disgust – imagine if Kevin Andrews was a Muslim and took time out for Islam?

  80. corvus boreus

    Alright!
    The Anti Effing elLeNPee Alliance (AELNPA) is born and named.
    Moving forward.

    We, the AELNPA, are not affiliated or allied with the any of these other organisations, each itself claiming to be a form of ‘Alliance’:

    The Alliance For Progress (AFP), who are a negotiatory collective of registered small parties with broadly broadly compatable ‘progressive’ policies and values (ie; loose gang of loopy lefty dreamers).

    The Minority Party Alliance, (MPA), who are a collective registered for the purpose of preference brokerage via an intermediary (a kind of mystery jackpot of blind horse trading in bids for specimens of a sometimes chimeric menagerie).

    The Australian Liberty Alliance(ALA), who are a newly sprouted feather in the form of registered political party near the tip of the right wing (who reckon that Judeo-Christianity should be venerated as culturally superior, whilst Islam can phuq right off, and are small and clever enough regarding the question of levels and likely impacts of anthropogenic destabilization of the biospheric environment to know that ‘the climate is always changing’).

    We are definitely not allied or affiliated with the AAELNPA (Australian Anti Effen eLleNPee Alliance), who are bunch of treacherous splitters who shall be decreed traitors when the AELNPA wins power.

    The AELNPA is the true Alliance, and this Alliance, alone, shall overthrow the dreaded effen ellen-pees.

    Donations welcomed kindly. 🙂

  81. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good corvus boreus!

    You’re the first convert! 🙂

  82. Backyard Bob

    […] if every member of parliament did what was best for the country instead of what was best for their chances of winning the next election Australia would be a better place.[…]

    However often expressed and however heart-felt this sentiment might be, it remains fundamentally hollow. It is an inescapable truism in the context of a combative, roughly polemic political system, that you cannot achieve anything from Opposition. Deny it – go right ahead. Refute it – good luck with that.

    Any political party that possesses any reasonable chance of forming government will always have one eye on the means by which to do so, especially from an extant position in government. We can debate the merits of the “system” all we like, and that debate ought be had and ought be ongoing, but to deny the political reality of the need to form government is to deny reality itself.

    The conflict that arises between principle and pragmatism is one that afflicts our body-politick beyond what we can even imagine. It’s one area in which I have sympathy for those politicians of conscience and good-will. It always mitigates my ultimate judgement of their character and substance as persons. It’s what makes my ultimate judgement of Malcolm Turnbull fraught with difficulty, because my knee-jerk, least pensive response to him is to label him as less principled and morally decorous than Tony Abbott. And yet it is clear that he’s swimming in a canal full of bull sharks just waiting from some political blood to enter the water.

    Has Turnbull betrayed his principles for the sake of political position and power, or is he simply trying to avoid being consumed by the neo-con carnivores that surround him? I frankly don’t know, and I dare say, neither do you. Not really. I think what we can reasonably say is that the perception is bad; real bad. Turnbull does give the appearance of a man possessed of considerable ethical and ideological flexibility, whereas Abbott, as perverse as his principles might seem to us, nevertheless gives the appearance of a man possessed of that thing – principle.

    It’s always difficult to gauge the true motivations of those who seek or enjoy power, especially in the context of highly complex political dynamics. Turnbull has been waiting in the wings since 2009. What are his true plans, his true ambitions, his true goals and ideals? Frankly, I’m f*cked if I know. Is he biding his time till the next election in the hope that he can unleash himself from the shackles of the Cha-folk, or has he become one of them? I don’t think there’s sufficient evidence to make a judgement either way. I mean, in the end I don’t care either way since he’s a conservative prick whichever case is true, but I note these things to illustrate the inherent problems in political maneouvering.

    Which brings me, if you haven’t already dozed off, to the Labor Party and the next election. I want them to stand on principle, to the degree that they are even able to do that nowadays, and enter the arena of an election armed with the weapons of principle and integrity. On the other had, I want them to win. The question is firstly whether such a meritorious victory is possible in the purest sense, and if not, what sort of compromise is acceptable in terms of attaining a goal which is utterly necessary if ideals of principle and integrity are to be meaningfully enacted.

    Does Labor still carry a sufficient arsenal of weapons of mass seduction such that it can remain true to some core values and yet blast through the wall of cynicism and cultural egocentrism that this Government has built?

    If they do, they can’t afford to go into this battle half-cocked. I’m going to stop now because that metaphor is pleading for mercy…

  83. diannaart

    Loving your work, corvus boreus.

    I join up except I’m not a joiner

    😛

  84. diannaart

    BB

    Well stated.

    I do not expect for a nanosecond that Labor hold itself more sacred than…. something or other really, really, really sacred (religion not faring too well in the ethics and morals department).

    Just holding consistently to some principles would be an improvement.

  85. Backyard Bob

    diannaart,

    I think part of the problem for Labor is that they have lost sight of an appropriate balance between principle and pragmatism. The former suffering hugely at the expense of the latter, and, I think, unnecessarily so. For me it’s a situation that needs to be addressed – urgently, and in doing so we have to take no need of party hacks who tell us any sort of criticism of Labor is just feeding into the hands of the opponent. That argument is total bollocks and I, for one, will never cede to it.

  86. diannaart

    Nothing and no-one is above criticism. Including moi.

  87. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    ByB,

    yes of course, it’s a fine balancing act between principles and pragmatism, especially in Opposition where the numbers are against them. But, this just goes to show why being in Opposition is the prime time to be forging (uh-huh) an Alliance with other Progressive opposition parties.

    No matter how small or new they are, they can help to build their profile and the perception in the community that they have something worth voting for. The bolder and more promising they are of providing true Progressive politics, the more chance they have of becoming the New Government.

  88. diannaart

    Labor’s attempt at Liberal-lite hasn’t worked.

    It’s Time Labor remembered what it (used to) stands for.

  89. John

    Backyard Bob

    “you cannot achieve anything from Opposition”

    I agree that it is difficult to achieve a lot in opposition but a vigilant watch on what your local member has done right and what they have done wrong then telling them all about it can make a difference. It may be idealism but I want every member of parliament to work hard for their constituents. I don’t want them wagging parliament sittings to go overseas to some religious wank fest regardless of their religion.

    Until we stand up and demand better we will continue to get the shit we have been.

    I am sick of reading all this alliance rubbish, we have an alliance already running the country. A mix of Liberal, National, Greens, Labor and independents are governing our country, isn’t this an alliance? It is no good blaming everything on the party who has the majority of parliament seats, a government will only perform as well as the opposition push them to perform and Labor are not the only opposition. The Greens, minor parties and all of the independents must shoulder some of the responsibility for the current government, the worst government we have ever been forced to endure.

    It would be good if we could ban alliances, without their alliance the with the Nationals the Liberals would struggle to win enough seats to beat Labor at the polls.

  90. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    John,

    I actually agree; one can fight hard and achieve from the position of the Opposition. I don’t like to admit this, but Abbott proved negatively successful by putting a bad spin on everything the Gillard and Rudd governments proposed. Labor needs to be just as ruthless. But better than that, we need to support affirmative governance and that’s why political vision is important.

    Are you talking first-past-the-post politics or proportional politics? My vision is that proportional government is the Win-Win for progressive parties, and arguably all Australians, even on the conservative side. That way, they get their say according to the proportion of the community they represent.

    I call it an ‘Alliance’ because one day, I liked the sound of the word. I’m quite happy to negotiate a better name that represents a progressive, proportional, alternative, energetic approach to governing our country that meets the needs of all Australian citizens and the environment. But if we negotiate a different name, we also must negotiate the proportionate values, policies and political procedures that will be endorsed by this enhanced progressive political front.

  91. John

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    “I actually agree; one can fight hard and achieve from the position of the Opposition. I don’t like to admit this, but Abbott proved negatively successful by putting a bad spin on everything the Gillard and Rudd governments proposed. Labor needs to be just as ruthless. But better than that, we need to support affirmative governance and that’s why political vision is important.”

    That is the opposite to what I am referring to, I want every politician to be held accountable for their input into running the country. The government is not just LNP members, it is a group of people from several parties and independents and they need to work together to do what is best for the country, not being anal like Abbott was in opposition and putting politics ahead of good governance.

    If every member of parliament was held accountable for their performance it doesn’t matter what system is in place (first past the post etc.) because members of the government would have no choice but to work together or be crucified by their constituents at the next election. We place far to much emphasis on what each political party does instead of placing the equal expectations on every individual member of parliament. They get paid well, great perks and excellent retirement benefits surely it is not too much to ask them to work hard/smart for the people who foot the bill. And that is certainly not big business who pay little if any tax.

  92. Katrina Logan

    I took notice of Michaels little interjection but I really do need to ask about this “Alliance” and would really appreciate some straight answers following your revelation
    “I call it an ‘Alliance’ because one day, I liked the sound of the word.” /
    have you EVER consulted anyone from ANY political party or is this just a figment of your imagination ?
    “we also must negotiate the proportionate values, policies and political procedures ”
    With whom ?
    Have you ever even mentioned this to a politician or political party ?
    “that’s why political vision is important.”
    Whose political vision will guide us, yours ?
    Have you at least spoken to your Greens Party, your Greens leader , or even your Greens branch about your revelation ?

  93. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee (2:28),
    Zackery so. Sometimes the most meritory candidates within senate blocs do not have top billing.
    This is why, of the 2 senate reform points, the below the line reform proposal is the more preferable priority for me.

  94. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes John,

    each individual politician should be held accountable. Totally agree. In the scheme of things however, an honest individual could be easily overpowered by a corrupt faction or a corrupt party, so some measure of responsibility would need to be made.

  95. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith.
    Jennifer, I note you didn’t answer Katrinas questions and I am unsure where your Alliance stands
    Are you still the “Alliance” or have you thrown your weight behind Alliance for Progress instead as it is a bit unclear from your comments .
    In the spirit of goodwill, I am going to go for a run up to Parliament for the Wed/Thursday sessions and if you would like to put together your aims/objectives/ rules into some form of Charter I would be happy to deliver them to every pollie I come across during the 2 days .
    I got a whisper that {Russputin IA} was helping you and Russ and I go back a long way {check with him if you like }
    If you want to do that ,just post your Charter on here, I’ll print out reams of them and help you with your distribution to pollies .

    p.s. This in no way indicates that I have the slightest personal interest though .
    Just trying to be helpful

  96. randalstella

    Jennifer,
    Watch out. Be warned.
    I can’t put it simpler.

  97. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend,

    thanks for your offer.

    I didn’t answer Katrina’s questions because Michael thought the exchange was getting a bit heated, so out of respect to the boss of the site, I desisted.

    I still advocate the Alliance that I have been saying, which is made up of the ready and willing in the Greens, Labor, sane Independents and Progressive Parties. I have also been known to advocate for the Australian Progressives, who are part of the Alliance for Progress, but are an exciting new progressive party in their own right.

    If the progressive, alternative and energetic new emerging parties can form an alliance with each other while retaining their own party identity, status and values, then why can’t Labor and the Greens either form their own Alliance together with sane Independents like Wilkie and any or all of the Progressive parties, if the Alliance for Progress merged?

    Yes, I have discussed my concept with Russputin and he was interested. Unfortunately, neither of us have proceeded since. Maybe a case of losing each other’s phone numbers? I would be happy to discuss my concept in private if you ask Michael to give you my contact details, same goes for Russputin.

    I know you have been skeptical about the possibilities of this concept, so I especially appreciate your offer to take it to any of the politicians you come across on Wednesday and Thursday in Canberra.

  98. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    randalstella,

    thanks but I like to take people’s kind offers on face value unless I find otherwise.

    Also, if there is anything other than what I’ve been able to say about the concept, which others would like to add, I invite suggestions that can be added to the list, if in the spirit of the concept.

  99. randalstella

    Jennifer,
    It is up to you.
    It should not be taken on face value.
    It is not scepticism that you would encounter.
    Make your own contacts. Then you can trust how the contacts are made.
    I have some info for you that for the sake of this thread and the article above it, I will not post here.
    Would you like me to send it to you through Michael, as an attachment that you can read?
    I advise you to do nothing on this ‘kind offer’ until you hear from me.

  100. randalstella

    Jennifer,
    I have work to do that cannot wait.
    I will send it to you in the afternoon.
    In the meantime, please do nothing on the offer.

  101. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I have no idea of Randalstellas conspiracy theories , and don’t much care , but to save you any concern and to lower Randalstellas blood pressure, the offer is withdrawn

  102. diannaart

    Good Grief

    That was an interesting little exchange that wound up going nowhere.

    I guess Jennifer has nothing to fear now that cornlegend has rescinded his offer – which might be a pity because maybe some solidarity may have started to coalesce.

    OK, back to sniping at each other….

  103. randalstella

    What makes you assume it is going nowhere?
    I am pretty sure it has gone somewhere, already.

  104. diannaart

    Coz cornlegend rescinded offer….

    if I am missing something please enlighten me.

  105. randalstella

    I have decided that it is not for you to know.
    It is my judgement for the sake of the decorum of this site.
    I will not respond to you or anyone on this matter at this point.

  106. cornlegend

    diannaart
    It’s all good, Randalstella can work on some conspiracy to keep happy.
    as you probably know from our years of chatting, i spend a fair amount of time up at PH.
    I am quite a sociable old fart and tend to get on ok with MPs and Senators from all the Parties
    My offer was to at least bring WHATEVER JENNIFER WROTE , directly to their hands ,without comment .to try to kickstart it for her
    as I said in the original comment
    “p.s. This in no way indicates that I have the slightest personal interest though .
    Just trying to be helpful”
    but no great shakes,
    i have places to go, people to see and LNP to heckle so all is good

    And Randalstella has conspiracies to cook up, so I leave it to him
    Even though the offer is of the table I hope Randalstella has fun with the myth and conspiracy .
    Maybe it’s because the X-files re started 😀

  107. diannaart

    I’ll take your advice cornie (don’t fall over) And heckle all you want, but don’t diss the Xfiles.

    Stream of consciousness flowing on….Interesting things conspiracy theories, often all that is required is to have interests in common – for example, the Nats and the Libs, or Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison… maybe its not a conspiracy if everyone knows all about it…

  108. cornlegend

    diannaart
    the truth is out there

  109. zac

    Unhappy is an example of why the attitudes in this country have deteriorated. Immigrants and refugees have helped build this country. They were accepted and offered a hand up, not the kick in the guts that unhappy would give them now.

    I remember the change that the author is talking about at the beginning of the piece. It started with the Howard government refusing to accept responsibility for the unemployment rate at the time. They vilified the unemployed and legitimised their views with terms like mutual obligation, when it is the government’s job to provide an economy where jobs are available. Even now, they are importing labour and I can’t even get a job at Woolies stacking shelves.

  110. John Maycock

    Well I’ll be , this Alliance is a fraud .
    Someone offers to hand deliver a document you write to get your Alliance known and a couple of moments later, somehow it’s all a sinister plot
    what a joke this Alliance is

  111. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Had this emailed to me, not sure which edition of Fairfax

    Richard Di Natale eyes cabinet post in future Labor-Greens government as Malcolm Turnbull brings him in from the cold

    Greens leader Richard Di Natale has declared he would “relish” the chance to serve as health minister in a future Labor-Greens coalition government, and suggested colleagues such as Larissa Waters could also serve in cabinet in charge of portfolios such as environment.

    The ambition, revealed in an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media to mark Senator Di Natale’s impending six month anniversary as leader, came as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met the Greens leader for the first time on Thursday, in a clear sign of the new Liberal Prime Minister’s determination to reach out to the crossbench and advance his government’s agenda

    Senator Di Natale said his personal view was it would be a mistake to enter into a formal, permanent alliance with Labor ….

    “We should be open to cabinet posts, we have done that already in Tasmania and the ACT. My view is you are in politics to get outcomes. I would relish the opportunity to be a health minister in a future government … why couldn’t we see [Senator] Larissa Waters as an environment minister in a future government?”

    The suggestion of a Labor-Greens coalition is sure to anger some in the ALP after the failure of the Gillard minority government but it is also a sign of the Greens leader’s more pragmatic approach to politics

    A spokesman for opposition leader Bill Shorten said Senator Di Natale was a nice guy and “we’re flattered he’s confident Labor will win the next election”.

    “We can assure Senator Di Natale that a Labor government will treat his party with more respect and the courtesy than the Liberals do. If he wants to serve in a Labor government, he needs to join the Labor Party,” he said.

  112. Pingback: Australia - powerfulknowledge | Pearltrees

  113. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    corn legend,

    message to pass on:

    BIG mistake, Shorty!

    When you come to your senses, you can call it The Alliance!

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