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To be rich is indeed glorious…

And there we have it – a snapshot of our Prime Minister from his own lips:

“TONY Abbott has described his visit to China as the most important ever undertaken by an Australian leader and has congratulated the Communist country for its pursuit of wealth.”

As Abbott echoed Deng Xiaoping’s advice that “to get rich is glorious”, 700 Australian businessmen are about to sit down with their Chinese counterparts to determine just how glorious they can be. They won’t be discussing climate change or pollution. They won’t be discussing human rights abuses or health. And they most definitely will not be discussing those inglorious poor.

Pope Francis may have a different idea of glory. He recently warned that the existing financial system that fuels the unequal distribution of wealth and violence must be changed, and he begged the Lord to “grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” Pope Francis asked an audience at the Vatican.

In an apostolic exhortation he wrote:

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.

A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which has taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits”

He goes on to explain that in this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which has become the only rule we live by.

“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,”

The World Economic Forum in Davos identified the large and growing income gap between rich and poor as the biggest risk to the global community in the next decade. The WEF said its annual survey of 700 opinion formers had identified the income gap, extreme weather events and unemployment or underemployment as the three threats most likely to cause major cross-border damage in the next 10 years.

Jonathan D. Ostry, the I.M.F.’s deputy head of research, and Andrew Berg, another economist at the fund, published a study three years ago suggesting that inequality makes growth less durable. A flatter distribution of income, the study concluded, contributes more to sustainable economic growth than the quality of a country’s political institutions, its foreign debt and openness to trade, its foreign investment and whether its exchange rate is competitive.

Economic policy cannot be only about promoting low inflation and robust growth. Healthy, stable economies also depend on a reasonably equitable distribution of the rewards.

Hugh Evans, the Australian founder and chief executive of The Global Poverty Project (GPP), told an audience at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring Meetings on Thursday that Tony Abbott “broke his promise” after his election victory.

“He slashed the foreign aid budget dramatically which will have far-reaching consequences for the world’s poor,” Evans, standing before World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, told the audience. “We don’t want this single act of political indecency to undo the great work Australia has done to help end extreme poverty.”

Meanwhile, Joe Hockey criticised delays in implementing changes agreed by the Group of 20 bloc of advanced and developing nations in 2010, which he said were letting down the international community and were entirely the fault of the U.S. Congress.

“I am deeply disappointed that the IMF quota and governance reforms that the G20 agreed to in 2010 have still not been implemented and that the path forward for ratification is now highly uncertain,” he said at an event organized by Johns Hopkins University.

“The failure to finalize this issue diminishes America’s global standing instead of enhancing it.”

I wonder how that compares to Abbott’s refusal to support the green climate fund supported by the United Nations. In the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, Australia joined with Canada in snubbing the green climate fund. Mr Abbott called it the “green capital fund” while calling the profitable Clean Energy Finance Corp. the “Bob Brown Bank” after the former head of the Australian Greens.

The government of a democracy is accountable to the people. It must fulfil its end of the social contract. And, in a practical sense, government must be accountable because of the severe consequences that may result from its failure. As the outcomes of fighting unjust wars and inadequately responding to critical threats such as global warming illustrate, great power implies great responsibility.

Government economic responsibility is linked to protection from the negative consequences of free markets. The government must defend us against unscrupulous merchants and employers, and the extreme class structure that results from their exploitation.

Governments argue that people need to be assisted with the economic competition that now dominates the world. But the real intent of this position is to justify helping corporate interests, siding against local workers, consumers and the environment.

This government has tossed out its job description and is on a corporate crusade. They are capitalist fundamentalists who believe all things public are bad and all things private are good, and they are determined to use their time in power to sell off Australia and to further the interests of their wealthy donors.

According to Tony Abbot’s description, Gina Rinehart must be the most glorious person in Australia – although I think she lives in Singapore? For me, the glorious people are those that care for others – the carers, nurses, social workers, teachers, paramedics, firemen, charities, volunteers, environmentalists, animal protection activists. Our scientists are glorious with their amazing research into a sustainable, healthy future, as are our artists and musicians who speak to our senses and our souls.

I used to think Australians were a pretty glorious race in general. Now I am not so sure.

 

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40 comments

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  1. xiaoecho

    I shudder to think what tips he has taken for repressing dissent and stifling opposition to government. I am convinced the Neo-Con Liberal end game is to Rule Australia as a one party state with little or a completely ineffective opposition. They will do it if we let them. Abbott is on record as wanting Australia to be a ‘guided democracy’

  2. diannaart

    While these glorious bastards pat themselves on the back – they would have nothing to celebrate without:

    …the carers, nurses, social workers, teachers, paramedics, firemen, charities, volunteers, environmentalists, animal protection activists. Our scientists are glorious with their amazing research into a sustainable, healthy future, as are our artists and musicians who speak to our senses…

    Or the majority who simply get on with their jobs in factories, office blocks, small business, farms, homes – most of whom are not seeking wealth just a life.

    Malcolm Fraser in his earlier incarnation stated, “Life wasn’t meant to be easy”. He was wrong then and is wrong now.

    Life Is Meant To Be Lived –

    by everyone not just the self-congratulatory.

  3. Roswell

    Then I must be inglorious.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Hey look at it this way…you’ve got the Pope and the head of the IMF on your side not to mention God.

    Matthew 5

    The Sermon on the Mount

    1One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2and he began to teach them.

    The Beatitudes

    3“God blesses those who are poor and realizes their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

    4God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    5God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

    6God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

    7God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

    8God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

    9God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

    10God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

  5. Terry2

    Did I hear correctly : Japan, Korea and China have agreed to take Australian asylum seekers from Manus and Nauru as part of our new closer trading arrangements ?

  6. hannahquinn

    Democratic governments have an obligation to the entire breadth of society, to those who voted for them, and to those who did not vote for them, to maintain the social contract, the underpinning of a civil society, and if they favour any group over another, it must be those who are least able, for a variety of reasons, to maintain and or improve their own lives. The ultra-conservative government currently holding power in Australia, is failing to live up to the social contract which put them in power in the first place. It is highly likely that the harm they are doing by ignoring, dismantling and belittling that social contract will inflict hard to unravel even permanent harm. These are dark days indeed.

  7. jeff

    NZ’s Nasty Nat politicos come from the same braindead school!

  8. KGB16

    Yes Abbott talks up every move he makes while downplaying even the advances of his opposition (which hopefully is steadily increasing). As with all previous trade agreements the Japanese one just signed leaves Australia giving most and receiving least (just check out the position of the poor dairy industry! Level playing fields are still out of the question.

    The biggest concern is what Abbott and Andrew Robb have given way on our behalf, such as freedom of speech; the right of the Australian Parliament to make laws without being sued by pharmaceutical, tobacco companies or any vested interest; freedom to obtain and send information on the internet plus all the other concerns that have been raised by people around the World in regard to “Free Trade Agreements” and the proposed “Trans Pacific Agreement.”

    With all this being negotiated in secret, with Abbott’s track record on “policy” and what he has destroyed to date particularly with regard to the environment, Australia faces bleak future.

  9. Ana Milosevic

    Wealth and Power is all that counts to the FASCIST “leaders”.

  10. Duncan Walker

    Narcissists through and through.

  11. Royce Arriso

    Summary

    So here’s the current status. Can there be the slightest doubt
    We are ruled by those who hate us and have values arse-about?
    Whose sound-bites oft demean us and whose greed is plain to view
    And we’re certain, Sinodinos, it is not confined to you
    (Since to broach this dreary topic is to deal with, you know, HIM
    Let’s confront it. He’s myopic….and is awful effing dim.
    Yet often did his backers deem him best of all the best
    While seeming not to twig just what that says for all the rest)
    So like dinosaurs with tiny brains and hefty, clumsy legs,
    They stomp around the swamp until they stomp upon their eggs
    And since they feel Australia needs to travel backward fast
    They burrow deep to dig up some old failure from the past
    Then have the gall to talk of it as new and shiny-bright.
    But we call it as we see it. And we see that it is shite….

  12. Brian

    Most important visit ever eh? The Chinese must be really impressed that Australia sent the village idiot instead of someone who could tell shit from clay. Wonder what the response was when he offered his arse for free trade deal.

  13. mars08

    Money can’t buy happiness… but these days, it CAN buy you a truckload of politicians!

  14. Big Al

    Terry, from my travels in China, South Korea and Japan might be even harder for a refugee to get asylum in those countries

  15. doctorrob54

    Reblogged this on doctorrob54 and commented:
    Think this might be interesting,thanks Kaye.

  16. doctorrob54

    Also rebloged to doctorrob54

  17. Conrad

    While I agree with the article’s sentiments, I feel that it is important to put the previous reference to Malcolm Fraser’s “easy life” quote into context. The full meaning is that we are best not to seek the ‘easy’ life but to appreciate that for it to be fulfilling we are best to undertake a degree of doing our civic duty to improve our society. (While defending Fraser don’t think I am excusing Abbott – his bigotry and selfishness and harsh and brutal outlook has appalled me from 1995 on-wards.)
    Interview with Malcolm Fraser:
    “… oh, many years ago in the early 1950s, when somebody was pressing me and saying, ‘Why are you standing for parliament, you’ve got a place in Western Victoria you can live on’, and I think then I said something like, ‘Well life’s not meant to be easy’. But people don’t know, not many people are well enough read to know that it’s a quotation, and also only part of a quotation. It’s the old man in George Bernard Shaw’s Methuselah. ‘Life’ – I’m not sure that I’ve got it exactly right but – ‘Life’s not meant to be easy, but take courage child for it can be delightful”. .’http://www.australianbiography.gov.au/subjects/fraser/interview6.html

  18. fair suck of the sav

    This confirms that at the heart of Abbott and the LNP is vanity. They want to write history as being made by conservatives while denying contributions from the left. History will judge them poorly. What conservatives need to understand is that it is not just about power, it is what is your legacy. for LNP hero Howard it is the mess that now is Iraq. For Abbott it will be the mess that are his climate change and refugee policies and determination to favour the wealthy over the poor.

  19. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    The government of a democracy is accountable to the people. It must fulfil its end of the social contract. And, in a practical sense, government must be accountable because of the severe consequences that may result from its failure…

    Being “accountable” isn’t a big ask. In fact, it leaves the politicians far too much of room to maneuver and spin. Being accountable to informed and engaged people would be much, much better!

  20. Fed up

    The trouble is, the likes of Abbott cannot comprehend that one cannot create wealth without the worker.

    They have very few customers without the mass of workers, who actually produce what they have toe see.

    Abbott is in Asia, claiming all we have to sell them, is what wee dig up from the ground.

    Why they have the no respect for workers and their ideology, is beyond belief.

  21. Antigunzel

    So I assume we can expect Pope Francis literally put his money where his mouth is, maybe a miracle is about to happen and the church will pay taxes on it’s immense wealth. He could then have a quiet word with brother Tony, and tell him that he could serve the church and mankind most effectively by returning to the fold as a (mad) monk in a silent order.

  22. Truth Seeker

    Kaye, very well said, and so true 🙂

    And if Gina is the most Glorious Australian, then… God help us all! 😯

    And on a related issue, “Gross stupidity, and even grosser hypocrisy!” 😡

    Gross stupidity, and even grosser Hypocrisy!

    Cheers 😀

  23. Terry2

    So, Joe Hockey wants a conversation about increasing the age of pension entitlement in Australia; Labor had signalled age 67 by 2023 but Joe wants to move more rapidly.

    As various commentators have noted, if you increase the pension age you must also deny people access to their superannuation until the same age otherwise they will potentially spend their super and then turn to pension when they reach the designated age.

    Back to you , Joe.

  24. CMMC

    I wonder how his halfwit ramblings translated to Mandarin?

  25. Truth Seeker

    CMMC, I think the “Umms” and Ahhs” would be the same, as would be the frustration of listening through a whole speech, to hear … well… Nothing! 😯

  26. mars08

    …I think the “Umms” and Ahhs” would be the same,…

    Every mandarin-speaker I’ve known has used (phonetically) “ne-ger” as their fill word. It functions like our ums and ahhs.

    Amazing isn’t it? Even the Chinese can freely say “ne-ger” in public… but the Chardonnay-sipping, politically-correct bleeding-hearts would deny that right to Australian bigots!!!

  27. Matt James

    Antigunzel that’s a bit cynical, he’s already done a fair bit considering the popes before him, he did go out of his way to choose more modest accommodation. Don’t you think he’s proving himself already?

  28. TC

    Tony Abbott said no such thing. Where are you quoting from? This site is just propaganda. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

  29. Peter

    A bit sidetracked but…. when joe says the age pension will bankrupt us he is gilding the lily with his stats. In the 1950’s people retired at 65 and died at 69 [blokes, women 71] what he doesn’t say is that was overall life expectancy in times of higher infant mortality, industrial deaths and much higher mortality from preventable illness and then incurable disease. The stats should be compiled from the life expectancy of people who reached the age of 60. As in then and now. I have read such an analysis and there is not much difference

  30. Stephen Tardrew

    Sometimes there is little uplifting left to say.

    it is not only tragic but incredibly sad that our brothers and sisters could willingly wish so much harm upon others.

    When morality and ethics lose their meaning we are left with naught but greed and dishonesty.

    To believe that the deficit and the demands of the rich outways that of the poorest in our community is barbarity at its worst and yet so many fail to see what we are doing to our fellow human beings and planet.

    We have been fooled into thinking that fiat currency has some intrinsic value worth more than the life, sustenance and health of our fellow human beings.

    Capitalism is run by fools who use any type of selfish rationalism to avoid moral responsibility then blame the poor and marginalized for their lack of profits.

    What a sad and dysfunctional lot we have turned out to be.

    Yet we must all wake up in hope of a brighter day in which we learn to love those who suffer through no fault of their own.

    Sometimes logic is not enough.

    We have to feel the pain and suffering that is being inflicted upon others and shed a tear for their plight.

    To share sorrow is to recognize the harm being done and the hope of change.

    False smiles and vacuous words bereft of all meaning and humility are a death knell for humanity.

    Logic without love is moribund.

    Love without sharing and caring is not love it is thoughtless habit.

    To be better human beings we must want a better world in which we share the fruits of productivity and wealth.

    But who will talk of love when so much of what we read is devoid of compassion and empathy?

    If we are not to be another extinct species then we better start to love our fellow human beings as if they have the right to the same lives many well off people live.

    Why would we be so mean and nasty as to inflict so much pain and suffering upon others?

    Have we no intelligence or skill to construct a society of justice, equity and utility?

    If not we are no more than viruses willing to lay waist to our world leaving a trail of suffering and hardship.

    Poverty is nothing new it has been there all along many just do not want to see for looking.

    And yet in love is great joy, in giving and sharing are the seeds of success.

    We need to trust in love because it is one thing we can all share regardless of belief, dogma or ideology.

  31. Jayne Keogh

    Wouldn’t it be great to see this article in the Newscorp and / the or Fairfax press – but it’s not going to happen people! Sadly,such media outlets are contributing towardspublic apathy and the acceptance great potential acceptance of this move towards a a potential single party nation and / or world! Thank goodness that public figures such as Pope Francis are informing people about the inequities go what’s happening!

  32. Katie08

    Well said, Kaye Lee … very observant and sadly prophetic. If there was EVER a slogan you could slap on the Neanderthalic foreheads of the most avaricious, disgusting government of our times, the rapacious: GREED IS GOOD would be it!! Tony Abbott and his cabinet of self entitled, megalomaniacal psychopaths make Gordon Gecko look like Mother Theresa! The only thing stable about the erratic Abbott is his cadaverous grin and boring blue tie. He is an empty, hollow little nobody strutting and stuttering his way around the world bringing international scorn and notoriety to our shores. His recent pathetic, cap in hand sycophancy to Japan, Korea and China is a nod to the horrors of the oncoming TPP which will bring Australian businesses and manufacturing to its knees. Abbott is the despised and reviled Pariah of the Pacific .. he impresses nobody!

  33. mars08

    Thanks Katie08. So… apart from the “sycophancy to Japan, Korea and China”… the shameless buffoon is OUR version of George W Bush!!!

    Seriously, not long after the dodgy 2000 Presidential election, I started regularly reading some American political blogs. It’s didn’t take long for Dubya to show his true colours. Australia in 2014 gives me a disturbing sense of déjà vu. Thank goodness we don’t have America’s level of military firepower!

  34. Big Al

    My wife reads Chinese News [in Mandarin] via the Internet, say’s She’s seen No mention of abbots visit to China..

  35. Kaye Lee

    My son’s girlfriend is of Chinese heritage with family in business over there. She laughingly said last night “Don’t worry – they know he is a buffoon”. I replied “That is my worry – he is dealing with savvy businessmen and is very keen to conclude a free trade agreement for his own self-aggrandisement”. She said “They will eat him for breakfast”. Nothing I have seen so far reassures me that she might be wrong.

  36. mikisdad

    Kaye, I think they’d probably get food poisonng if they do eat him for breakfast but, whilst I don’t wish that on them, wouldn’t it be wonderful not to have him back? Imagine the headlines: “CHINESE HAVE ABBOTT FOR BREAKFAST!”

  37. Stephen Tardrew

    Brear Rabbit Yum Cha.

    A brilliant purgative.

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