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The people have spoken

By Stephen Fitzgerald

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer! With record corporate profits as wages stagnate and living standards for workers plummet this saying is starting to ring true. This is not just happening in France but, across the entire western world where right-wing political bodies govern on behalf of the financial elite.

Thousands of protestors have taken over the streets of Paris, setting fire to cars, smashing shop windows, and attacking military police. These protestors are angry. They say they can’t afford their mortgages and their bills. “France is a rich country,” one protestor tells 9News. “There’s no reason for us to live like this.”

They gathered before sunrise at the Arc du Triomphe, men and women – many of whom have come from outside the capital, hurled rocks and other projectiles at police, who retaliated with tear gas canisters. Further down the Champs-Élysées, it was chaos. One group set fire to vehicles filling the sky with black smoke, as riot police send protesters running.

Authorities were prepared, deploying 89,000 police and security forces around France and 8000 in Paris. All in all, 135 were hurt in protests across France, while about 1000 were detained. There were similar scenes of violence in the French cities of Marseilles and Bordeaux. And the yellow vest movement has spilled across Europe, with clashes in Brussels and the Netherlands. And, it’s not about petrol prices. There is something much bigger going on.

This is a rebellion against an elitist government. Emmanuel Macron is a right-wing president for the rich, pandering to the rich, as inequality escalates and the workers in society struggle to survive? Macron is pandering to those who exploit society and the people have had enough. In true French Revolution and Bastille Day style the population has rises up against the financial elite, and the right-wing government who panders to them, in an attempt to win back democracy.

So, what’s going on?

The arc of history only bends towards justice when people of goodwill wrench it in the direction of justice.” You will get that from the good people of France and not the financial elite or the right-wing president who run the country to favour themselves.

The new Populism is an ideology which presents “the people” as a morally good force against “the elite” who are perceived as corrupt and self-serving. Populists typically see “the elite” as comprising the political, legal, corporate, church, and media establishment, all of which are depicted as a homogeneous self-serving entity who feed off society and are accused of placing the interests of themselves and other groups—such as foreign countries and immigrants etc, above the best interest of society and the best interest of the majority of citizens.

Right-wing governments pander to the financial elite in return for election funds to stay in power. They pander to the media in return for favourable editorial. They attempt to control and censor the media in their own interest. These governments run on lies and deceit and focus on denigrating opposing progressive government. They drag down those progressive governments who represent the best interest of society and the best interest of the majority of people.

To maintain power and control, right-wing authoritarian governments give corporates and the top ends of town whatever they want to gain financial favour. They throw money at the church to win the religious vote. They go after secular groups to win things like the Jewish vote. They lie and accuse the opposition of everything bad they themselves are doing to win the ignorance vote. They expand the police force and give the military call out powers, with shoot to kill authorisation, anticipating social rebellion and, instil fear into the community with exaggerated security threats.

They are climate change deniers who pander to the fossil fuel industry and they refuse change like renewable energy. They govern with fear and deny the needy and most vulnerable in society. They employ henchmen to constantly drag down opposition leaders and opposition parties. This is the right-wing LNP government in Australia and if they are allowed to continue, Australia is heading in the same direction as France and the other western countries being plundered by right-wing governments and the wealthy elite they represent.

To save Australia’s future, the future of our children and democracy as we know it, the Liberal National Party must go! We need to usher in a progressive government, a government who is looking out for the best interest of all Australians, Australian society and the future for our children.

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  1. totaram

    You don’t say what that government is and what it should do and how. We need a positive alternative to your negative analysis of the present situation, which I agree with completely. What is this new alternative? Spell it out. Has the Labor party spelled it out? Perhaps partially. What is to ensure that they will just not be Liberal-lite? They are promising to deliver even bigger “surplus budgets” than the Coalition, without realising that this is (at least to a great extent) the cause of the problem.

  2. SteveFitz

    Perhaps we should ask half a million rioting French citizens? They know what they don’t want and that’s a start.

  3. totaram

    SteveFitz: I am with you in spirit, but I think the article has spelled it out in simple terms. We know we don’t want a government that thinks that making the rich richer will cause the wealth to “trickle down”. That is the neoliberal idea of “good economic management”. The French people have realised that it doesn’t work, despite all the propaganda to the contrary.

  4. Joseph Carli

    I believe we need to vote in the Labor Party and THEN to reform it while it is in office to bring more of the “producing class” people into Parlaiment…more of the first generation tertiary educated working classes into politics..There are already a healthy representation of such in the Labor Party and the percentage could rise even more…we need skills-based politicians, NOT just career politicians….There lies an answer..

  5. Roscoe

    we need Jacinda to come and save us, I dont see the Another Liberal Party being much different to what we have now

  6. SteveFitz

    The LNP were sent a powerful massage in Wentworth and Victoria and they still don’t get it but, I think Labour does. We need to stay vigilant and we need to keep the pressure on by exposing right-wing governments for what they are. Here’s another opinion piece I mentioned previously.

    Dictatorship, 21st-century style:

    Like the reason for the riots in France, it sounds frighteningly familiar and has LNP written all over it. In the words of Frida Ghitis “Complacency is costly”.

  7. Kronomex

    At the moment Labor is best of a bad batch of major parties. How long will it take them start breaking promises (either intentionally or because they have no choice) once they are in power? Not long I expect but we should give them the benefit of the doubt. The LNP will develop a severe case of selective amnesia after they are removed and continue to blame Labor for their ruination of Australia. As someone said years ago, “The people who should be running the country have more than enough sense to steer clear of politics.”

    And lurking in the background will be the corporations and the rest of the 10% lobbying and giving money to whoever will benefit them to the detriment, as always, the little person. Murdoch and the rest of the main sleaze media will also be there to sling mud after, hopefully, Labor tells them where to go when they decide to be nice and helpful.

    I don’t think we’ll see Scummo being the leader for long after the LNP lose. Who will replace him?

    Duttonuci? Nope.
    The Mad Monk? Possibilty/
    Julie Bishop?

    time will tell.

  8. Andreas Bimba

    To think most people in the postwar years could easily find a suitable job in a few days. The political class has been working for someone else for the last 40 years. This has been a global problem.

    It was clear Macron was a centre right neoliberal during the last French presidential election campaign but he won against other more conservative or far right candidates. The people chose s pinup boy over substance. The French Socialists had become a joke for being centre right neoliberals themselves for the last 30+ years and no one believed them anymore. Macron has cut funding support for local government massively, he has been yet another French sycophant of the German controlled EU and banking elite, he has dismantled legislative protections for workers and has now threatened to further increase living costs for citizens.

    The French should have voted for Jean-Luc Melenchon during the last Presidential elections and only have themselves to blame. Melenchon formed the party La France Insoumise in 2016 which is an anti neoliberal democratic socialist party. Melenchon gained 19.58% of the vote during the 2017 presdential elections.

    Melanchon is known for his comment “If you act like sheep, you will be shorn … if you do not participate in politics, then policy will take ‘care’ of you, you can be assured”.

    Unfortunately our voting system and those for all the other main english speaking countries makes it very difficult for new parties to gain traction. Proportional representation voting like in Tasmania for the lower house and in the ACT would be an important step forward.

  9. David Stakes

    BUT people VOTED for this, Now it is coming home to roost. The people however stupid are WAKING UP. You have been played. Time to stop VOTING against your best interests.

  10. Carol Taylor

    I agree. Labor is the best we have, and we can work with this – as long as everyone from the middle/left supports them. Labor gets attacked from all sides, the right, the left, plus 90% of the media. On the other hand the LNP has only the left to worry about knowing that they’ll receive not only full support and preferential treatment from the MSM but have the Greens jumping in just as eagerly to condemn Labor for errors (real or imagined). The Greens need to be pragmatic about this, do they want a government they can work with or one they can’t? If so, then stop trying to win seats off good lefties such as Anthony Albanese for example and try winning seats off right wing hardliners.

  11. totaram

    David Stakes: People are not wilfully stupid, and will not wilfully vote against their own interests. They have to be brainwashed into doing so. That happens for three reasons:

    They are given false information and propaganda as “news” by our “free” press
    Our civilisation is increasingly complex because of its technology. It is easier to fool people and confuse them. They just don’t have the time and energy to study the issues
    The ruling oligarchy keeps them busy and distracted with “bread and circuses”, as best as they can.

  12. Kutica

    Middle-class self-funded retirees, particularly, will find it hard to vote for a Labor Government that has the stripping from them of a considerable chunk of their hard-won savings as one of its major planks. Who do they vote for? If there is a well-qualified independent standing in their electorate that is a no-brainer.

  13. Roswell

    Kutica, if you’re referring to franking credits then you may want to look into it. I don’t have the details at hand but as far as I’m aware it is only going to effect the wealthy minority.

  14. Matters Not

    Kutica, I think it’s a bit of a political sleeper. When this self described well thought out policy was first released it was going to apply to all. (There was a principle involved.) Following the intervention of Jenny Macklin this principle was abandoned and those on aged and carer pensioners were exempted. (There were too many of them and the political alarm bells were ringing.)

    So now there is no principle or at least a rather ragged one – full of holes. If one should always vote in terms of one’s own interest, then I shouldn’t vote Labor. It will reduce my annual income in the order of at least 10%.

    Nevertheless, I think it’s a good policy (better if it was grandfathered), as would a revision of a pension asset test that included the value of one’s home (will be grandfathered).

    By the way, there are relatives, friends, sons and daughters, people approaching retirement who are doing calculations as well. It’s why I say it’s a sleeper.

    (I should mention that Q Super are taking that into calculation when looking at asset allocation as well.)

  15. Matters Not

    Correction – the family home as an asset will NOT be grandfathered – it will continue as a tax rort. I should have said – negative gearing will be grandfathered – which is also a tax rort.

    Then again there are good (political) tax rorts (that don’t cost votes) and those that …

  16. Kaye Lee

    If you grandfather changes then there should be no argument because people can make future investment decisions accordingly.

    My advice to pensioners who will miss the refund from tax they never paid if the franking credits tax rules change…..if the dividends aren’t enough, sell some shares (and stop looking for sympathy from people who have never employed an accountant).


    the confiscation of tax paid as franking/imputation credits is probably unconstitutional as the tax is on the dividend,which is ‘property’ of the shareholder, and is not a tax on the corporation.The ALP is lying here. The people whose money they are acquiring do pay tax…the tax that is withheld on their dividend is tax paid by them not the corporation.It is the same as when an employer with-holds tax owed by an employee in the PAYE system.The tax paid by the corporation is a with-holdings tax on the dividend after corp tax and corp costs are paid.The dividend is paid to the shareholder and if that dividend lifts the shareholder’s income above a specified level then their personal tax is adjusted.They may owe tax or they may be due a refund. The problems the ALP see in the arrangements could be rectified by amending the legislation that gives retirees a higher tax free threshold than other australians. Why the ALP would even attempt this nonsense is baffling.It may be that are just stupid…which is what I suspect.To think they can dupe us with their nonsensical justifications for their grab.The ALP are dumb yet the LNP are just pure evil.


    ‘Joseph CarliDecember 9, 2018 at 5:53 pm
    I believe we need to vote in the Labor Party and THEN to reform it while it is in office to bring more of the “producing class” people into Parlaiment…more of the first generation tertiary educated working classes into politics..There are already a healthy representation of such in the Labor Party and the percentage could rise even more…we need skills-based politicians, NOT just career politicians….There lies an answer.’

    That’s been said a million times over 100 years with no result.Its the answer of apologist for the ALP. The ALP are neo-liberal lite.Bowen is a right wing economist.You wont get any reasonable social or economic transformation from the ALP and certainly no radical transformations.

    The French yellow shirts have achieved more in a few days than has been achieved in any Australian election ever.
    80% of the French people support them and their actions. OPPOSE THE MAJOR PARTIES is the only answer

  19. terence mills

    But, Hey look on the bright side we’ve got a Gig economy. You can work when you like, earn as little as you need, you don’t have to worry about things like paid annual leave or paid sick days : you won’t ever be able to get a home loan as you don’t have a regular income but Hey it’s really kooool in the new economy and who needs superannuation anyhow !

    It’s really kooool in the new economy, we’re all self-employed contractors at least that’s what employers tell us and the benefits are enormous [for employers], none of those silly namby-pamby work place conditions negotiated by unions over a hundred years and who needs workers’ compensation anyhow ?.

    And we have these really kooool labour-hire companies who send you a text and tell you where you need to go for two days work and nobody admits to being your employer and there is nobody to complain to if you get short-changed and if you join the union, you won’t even get a text or any work. But, think of how flexible it all is and it’s really kooool !

    And if you’re a baby-boomer enjoying retirement, try not to focus on the world that we have gifted to the next generation and try not to be ashamed and keep telling them ‘this is really so kooool’ !

  20. SteveFitz

    Terence, are you French? I sense a bit of blood boiling.

    OTMP – That’s a solid approach. The first thing the ALP need to do is get themselves a clear-thinking tactician. The ALP does seem to hand the LNP ammunition at the most inappropriate times. Still, the weight of being the government of the day may smarten Labor up a bit and, as you say, it’s better than the evil alternative.

    As an example: “Labor chooses to allow terrorists and paedophiles to continue their evil work”. From the mouth of Christopher Pyne. Another one of the LNP henchmen and, as the Minister for Defence, I would like to see him defend that statement when it was the LNP who set up a $1.2 billion slush fund for catholic education. $4.6 billion over 10 years. And, I don’t think we can count innocent refugee children on Nauru as terrorists. So, who are the evil ones?

  21. helvityni

    SteveFitz, I talked to my French friend at a Chrissie party yesterday, she agreed that the protests were necessary, many French are poor and feel ignored by Macron, who was supposed to be centrist….

    What she was upset about was the damage done to the city of Paris, even to some of important artworks…

  22. Diannaart

    The LNP continue to make Labor look good.

    Labor continue to win when the LNP go too far and the public can feel the pain.

    So it goes …

  23. totaram

    SteveFritz: As an example: “Labor chooses to allow terrorists and paedophiles to continue their evil work”.

    If Labor had any tech savvy advisers to help them they could blow that argument out of the water. I have pointed out on another forum that in spite of these wonderful laws being peddled by the government, terrorists and paedophiles can merrily continue their encrypted communications, and no one in Asio/Asis etc can do a thing about it.

    Did we hear Labor make that argument? No. How can you do that if you are clueless and unwilling to take advice from some suitable “expert”? Even an amateur will do.

    As for the changes to the franking credits: I will probably lose about $400 a year, BUT:
    (a) I can easily work around it
    (b) I suggest you read the postings by Rossleigh on this topic. They are designed to be humorous, but their logic (and arithmetic) are usually impeccable. Any pensioner who is hugely dependent on dividends from shares and hence franking credits on those dividends has probably been badly advised, or has millions in their super. In the first case, the problem can be fixed. In the second case, too bad, you probably voted liberal anyway, so it’s not going to change your vote at all. Have a nice day!

  24. Intelligent

    That’s all very well, what is not well recognized is the fact there is no political party that will undo the Neo-liberal policies that successive governments have perpetuated and propagated. It is a case of choosing one monkey for another monkey, and they all pander to big business nationally and globally. First of all if all the dumb asses in Australia understood what globalization truly means, and Neo-liberalism, and do not mean the version given by politicians and big business, then the country would not be the way it is in. The country is ruled by fear politics and media self interest along with the corporate agenda, as well the dumb asses in this country being led by wholesale acceptance without question, to government policies of all persuasions, and corporate greed. A true test of intelligence is to question all and sundry, not to believe everything you are being told, especially by government and companies.

    A company’s aim is to make money by all and any means, and has nothing to do with the people’s well-being, and all the dumb asses out there, have systematically allowed their perceptions to be changed, not that they care, as long as they get just enough to live and indulge in their self inflicted delusions. A reckoning is coming to all the dumb asses out there, not from myself, but from your esteemed government (all persuasions), as an example, when i go for my daily walk, i pass a certain building, which has numerous black vans that have the logo, Police : Public Order. I wonder what that might, could it be that the powers that be are preparing to unleash on all those nice dumb asses, who have by commission or omission allowed certain laws to enacted to make this happen, all the while your civil liberties ripped away from you, under you eyes, while clapping for joy. Welcome to your dystopian dreams.

  25. Allan

    It doesn’t matter which of the major parties gains power, nothing will change. The whole world needs an entire shake up of the various political systems. Democracy has been hijacked by capitalistic greed and we get told that it is in our best interests to support democracy. It has been a beautiful dream but the world is slowly awakening to it’s shortcomings. True altruism seems to be a thing of the past and a very rare commodity in politics and among other word leaders. To vote in another party in the existing system will only prolong the existing by maintaining the status quo. That’s how we ended up where we are today. We need to demonstrate to the elite and the pollies that we are not prepared to allow the present system to continue. And the only non violent way to achieve this is to find someone who you can agree with or believe in and vote for them. And Yes, if they are an independent they will not be able to form a government. But even if one of the major parties has to do some deals with some of those independents to form a government then they will have learned that the Australian voter has had enough and they had better lift their game. I am tired of being manipulated by those in powerful positions. Pollies, Media, Big Business and anyone else who has the money to throw around can manipulate our thoughts by paying to have their bias views published in a media tainted by their own agenda and a groups ability to pay.

  26. Kronomex

    On a side note: this is a brilliant short piece of satire from Andy (Gollum) Serkis –

  27. Diannaart


    Thank you 😄

    The People’s Vote. …. we wants it

    Andy Serkis is a genius actor

  28. SteveFitz


    “The French president made a televised statement announcing a rise in the minimum wage and some tax concessions for pensioners and others on low wages. He is seeking to ease tensions after street protests”. JUST A NOTE: By putting himself forward as bipartisan, right-wing Macron lied through his teeth to the good people of France who he then proceeded to use and abuse in favour of the rich.

    Western right-wing political parties govern for themselves and the financial elite. They forget, very quickly, that they are elected to govern for the people and what’s best for the broader community. It appears that looking after the majority was never the right-wings intention in the first place. So, it becomes a matter of betrayal of the people who elected them, on the grandest of scales. That may explain sentiment in France and a similar sentiment sweeping across the western world.

    This same sentiment echoes loudly in Australia with workforce casualisation (exploitation) at 53% and 1.1 million Australian children living in poverty, combined with wages stagnation. With the inequality gap widening as corporates and the financial elite are given a green light to feed off society as they wish by the LNP government. A government who blatantly go after the big bucks in town to maintain power and, screw the rest of us.

    The Liberal National Party needs to take heed and digest the consequences of their self-serving actions, currently on full display across the streets of France and filtering through into Europe. People will only take so much, and Australians have had their fill, of this discussing and pathetic self-serving LNP government. The light at the end of the tunnel is the May 2019 elections. Provided we don’t let the LNP suffocate us all with their lies, deceit and bullshit before then.

  29. SteveFitz

    These are the morons western civilisation is up against with right-wing, self-serving, big money fossil fuel advocate, U.S. president Trump, blaming the Paris Agreement for the riots in France. Fuelling even more outrage and a rebuke from Parisians to basically fvck off Donald! and

    Right-wing governments must go, in a big way, sending a powerful message to whoever is left. And, if they don’t wake up, they will go the same way as the morons they replaced. Filter out the crap and a government looking out for the best interest of society, the majority of people and our future will eventually emerge.

  30. J blac

    Living wage to every Australian up to average weekly earnings …… inheritance over 1 million taxed as income…..SAHARE IF YPU WANT TAX REFORM

  31. SteveFitz

    J blac – Among other things, there are three critical problems, we face in western society, that drive inequality. (1) Right-wing governments pandering to the wealthy and corporates who now dictate our labour laws through a corrupted Fair Work Commission to the detriment of the workforce. (2) We have evolved a corrupted legal system manipulated by the legal fraternity to favour the legal fraternity and the wealthy. (3) Tax evasion by the wealthy and corporates and, quite a few of our esteemed politicians, particularly of the right-wing persuasion drives further inequality.

    These issues need to be fixed to create a fairer society and, if they can’t be fixed then western democracy has failed. Politicians have forgotten that they are elected to look out for the best interest of the people who elected them and, that is the crime of betraying one’s own country. We the people need to take back control of OUR government and put out the rubbish. Then we need to systematically repair our shattered democracy.

    Getting rid of right-wing governments and a federal ICAC is a start. Then close off the tax loop holes and off-shore tax havens that are ripping us off as a country and putting financial pressure on the workforce. Clean-up and re-boot the legal system to represent justice for all. Then we need to balance the labour laws, cut back on casualisation and stop importing 100,000 unskilled labours a year (disguised as students) and, lift the population out of poverty.

    The French believed they were being fed-off, abused and oppressed by the top end of town and politicians and, they expressed their discontent. It’s no different here in Australia. We are just a little more restrained but, there is always a breaking point whether it’s on a personally level or as a society. Governments, by not putting the best interest of society and the electorate first, create the problems and they try to counter that with lies and deciept and instilling fear into the community so they can act as our guardian protectors. It’s not what we want, we want justice, fairness, equality and a liveable income.

  32. SteveFitz

    New ACTU report — Rising Inequality: An Australian reality

    Do we do what French workers have done to send a message of discontent to an oppressive right- wing government or, do we put our weight behind the Labour Party and let them push for change along with a highly motivated ACTU.

    To stop the plunder of Western civilisation, by the financial elite and corporations, it violence in the streets or, firm and assertive action by a government concerned about the wellbeing of Australian society and all of Australian citizens?

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