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We deserve better

I was going to write an article about Barnaby’s Dam Scam – I may still later – but it struck me that all this exposing of dubious grants and dodgy contracts is missing the bigger point that our government doesn’t seem to even know what it is for.

They want “small government” but aren’t suggesting we need less of the political class. They just want less to do apparently. They want to “get out of the way”, leave it to us and the market and “technology”. Meanwhile, they spend their time canvassing each other and their donors for random wish lists to spend all the money on.

It seems to me, that isn’t going so well.

Years ago, I read an essay titled The Responsibilities of Government. I cannot find it on the internet anywhere except where I quoted it in an article I wrote in 2013 when the spectre of an Abbott government had become awful reality. I knew Tony wasn’t up to the job so thought I should remind him of the role a government should play.

Governments have not been fulfilling their responsibilities for many years but this lot have given up any pretence of being motivated by the best interests of the people – unless they are ‘their’ people.

This is an excerpt from that original essay that should remind us all what we have a right to expect from our government:

“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.

The central purpose of government in a democracy is to be the role model for, and protector of, equality and freedom and our associated human rights. For the first, government leaders are social servants, since through completing their specific responsibilities they serve society and the people. But above and beyond this they must set an ethical standard, for the people to emulate. For the second, the legal system and associated regulation are the basic means to such protection, along with the institutions of the military, for defence against foreign threats, and the police.

Government economic responsibility is also 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.

Another general role, related to the need for efficiency, is the organization of large-scale projects. It is for this benefit that we accept government involvement in the construction of society’s infrastructure, including roads, posts and telecommunications, and water, sewage and energy utilities. Further, giving government charge over these utilities guarantees that they remain in public hands, and solely dedicated to the common good. If such services are privatized, the owners have a selfish motivation, which could negatively affect the quality of the services.

That such assets should have public ownership is expressed in the idea of the “commons.” They should be owned by and shared between the members of the current population, and preserved for future generations.

Indeed, while we of course still need a means of defence, including against both external and internal (criminal) aggressors, it seems clear that our greatest need for protection is from other institutions and from the abuses of government itself, particularly its collusion with these other institutions. (Many of the needs that we now have for government are actually to solve the problems that it creates.)”

We deserve better than the ScoMo Beetrooter muppet show.

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  1. ajogrady

    Once you strip away the blatant ingrained insidious and treasonous corruption, the obvious and absolutely consistent poor judgement, the culpable and dangerous incompetence, the continual deception and the constant distortion, the endless creations of laws and opportunities to suppress and stifle contrary debate, the flagrant sneaky and self serving promotion of religious faith at the expense of political integrity, the erroneous attempts to hamper voting, the anger and disgust generated by cutting and running leaving our Afghani comrades in arms to their fate, the crippling of living standards, the devious and unfettered betrayal of Australias sovereignty, the culpable treachery in the ruination of good international trade and international relations, the trashing of Australias good international reputation, the shambolic and totally inept governance standards, the deceitful marketing spin and hypocritical sloganeering plus being a constant and continuous impediment to Australia and Australians reaching their true potential what does the L/NP actually stand for? What is left? What is left is a snide, sneering, sniping, selfish, smug and contemptuous ideology that nurtures, coddles and promotes corrupt to the core thugs, swindlers, chiselers, fraudsters, shysters, cheats and con artists, solicitors of anonymous brown paper bag donations, pathetic debauched degenerates and perverted misogynistic misfits, pseudo Christian cult wack jobs, fanatical religious lunatics, QAnon advocates, cowardly saber rattling war mongering hawks, sadistic and selfish economic vandals, problamatic climate skeptic fundamentalists, environmental saboteurs and desecrators, first nations people apathetic Judases, handicappers to the handicapped, oppressors of the needy and the disadvantaged, enablers of the obscenely wealthy parasitic profiteers, drunken lecherous fornicators and provocateurs plus egotistical born to rule privilaged sociopaths and psychopaths that are devoid of standards, principles, values, morals, ethics, honesty, and basic empathy always rorting, stealing, fiddling, fudging, obfuscating and basically out and out blatant lying while being protected by a maliciously biased, pathetic sycophantic and delusional media.
    Influenced by professional predatory lobbyists whores and directed by crooked callous conservative think tanks whose shadowy underbelly of criminality makes Ned Kelly look like a gentleman. The L/NP not only do not represent most Australians but do not respect them.
    The L/NP have managed to create a massive trust deficit not only domestically but internationally that has left Australias once good reputation in tatters and Australia is now bordering on pariah state status. “Private and confidential” is a misnomer to the L/NP. Diplomacy, critical thinking and cause and effect are foreign concepts to the L/NP. These failings will have or result in dire consequences and outcomes for Australia and Australians. In particular the L/NP believe that success is the ability to go from one total failure to another total failure with no loss of enthusiasm or any sign of a guilty conscience or any shame.The L/NP not only rewards lethargic sneaks, cheats and sly back stabbers but consider mediocrity as their gold standard.
    The L/NP are an insult to equitable governance standards and egalitarian rule. The L/NP are not fit to hold any form of public office in a functioning, vibrant nation that is a cohesive humane society. Australia was built on the egalitarian theme of “a fair go” for all where “the greater good” is paramount to its fundamental beliefs. These values created strong and proud foundations that builds better futures for the many not just the few. These strong ethical values are an anomaly and an aberration to the L/NP.
    Enough is enough.
    Australians dont need “can do” capitalism they need a “can do” government.
    Another 3 years of the insanity turmoil and malfeasance that masquerades as governance by the L/NP will see Australia become barely recognisable as the once great egalitarian nation it once was.
    Australians have got to stop voting against there own best interests or they will forever be remembered as the people from the land of boiling frogs.
    Lest we forget.

  2. Michael Taylor

    I am so, so looking forward to the next election.

    Just sitting here wondering how much damage they can do in the meantime.

  3. leefe

    They know what they’re in favour of, Kaye: personal profiteering. They just aren’t willing to say it out loud. Yet.

    Ever since ScoMoFo brought up this “small government” furphy, my response has been “fine. Less government means fewer politicians. So will the whole bleeding lot of you quit?”
    They won’t, of coorse. They need the power to keep screwing us.

  4. Michael Taylor

    Pertinent question from Sally:

  5. Kyle Brunning

    Well we’ve seen what ‘can do capitalism’ can do for us. None less than delivering the world to an inevitable and fast approaching day of reckoning. A world with multiple existential crisis looming down on us, from depleted natural world – stuffed forests, oceans about to collapse to a coming food crisis caused by sheer greed and stupidity – the fertilizer shortage that could cause horrific famine..I wonder what will win out – using urea to fertilize crops or using it to make AdBlue so that dumbarse petrol heads can scream around stuffing up the bush even more with their thumping great 3 tonne diesel “recreational vehicles”.

    Truly, everyone needs to re-asses their priorities. I’m predicting most will come to the conclusion we are stuffed.

    Stuffed by Schmurko and his far right Lieberal politics, years of it – and his corporate buddies, and every single “I don’t give a damn if it’s all Fup Duck” person, that doesn’t take personal responsibility to find out what is really going on and vote accordingly.

    Hate to be grim but that is what it is. Multiple out of control runaway threats, and just a tipping point crisis away from no way back.

    Labor/Lieberal/Green etc it doesn’t matter. Send the administrators into Canberra and clean the infestation out now. It won’t fix itself.

    Maybe we can get some rule changes like limited terms, no revolving doors, limited post service benefits etc. for the next generation, maybe we could make it illegal to be lobbied or form a party structure or alliance, yes, pollies there to represtent their electorates and the commons.

    Can’t see much chance though, the clowns just gave a 60 odd billion bullshit covid pig trough away to their mates no questions asked and no accountability. Hardly anyone making a complaint. It was brilliant social engineering to get that through, under the smokescreen of covid. Who pays? Me, you.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Greg Hunt was asked this morning about Labor’s chances. This was his response. I don’t think his heart was in it. They really don’t have any runs on the board.

    “The next election is ultimately a choice. It’s a choice between Scott Morrison as prime minister or Anthony Albanese as prime minister.

    If you’re not voting for the Coalition, you’re voting for Anthony Albanese … This is Anthony Albanese as prime minister with a huge hit to electricity prices, with no control of the budget, and with very weak international security and border credentials versus Scott Morrison, who has seen us through the pandemic, who, along with Josh Frydenberg, has outstanding economic credentials and they know how to create jobs, they know how to create income, and they know how to give people the best chance at the life of their choice.”

    Mind you, I am sure they will find some nasty dead cat to throw on the table. Asked about dealing with the crossbench, Hunt said that much of the crossbench are “to the left of not just the Labor party, but to the left of the Greens”. That sounds scared to me.

  7. Michael Taylor

    If I were blindfolded and asked – after his words were read to me – “Who said this?”

    I’d reply; “An idiot.”

    Blindfold off … looked at who said it; “Ah, I was right.”

    I hate stooping low enough to call Greg Hunt an idiot, but he spoke rubbish.

    There’s a lot to unpack in his quote. A good researcher could prove him wrong on every point.


    These creeps have only one reason to get into government and stay there using all means, most them foul, helped with propaganda and and coverup by the msm (Murdoch’s slimy Maggots), and that is to amass as much wealth, influence, useful contacts for after politics. Scummo cares nothing about his legacy, the opinion of society or anything else, save stashing away $550,00 for as long as he can. Lying, cheating deviousness are all part of his arsenal.

    But the braindead voters consider these admirable qualities in a leader.

  9. Terence Mills

    Spudley Dutton had an annoyingly soft interview with, you guessed it, SKY News today – after months of avoiding interviews with the ABC – his spokesmen say he hasn’t been available !

    He spent most of his time building up his strong man credentials and justifying the AUKUS deal and the new helicopter deal with the US.

    Amazingly at no time was he asked about the costs involved in theses adventures including the penalties we will face for exiting the French submarine contract, neither was he asked to confirm that all the rigmarole about building submarines In Australia (particulalry South Australia) is now history. We still don’t know if there is in fact an AUKUS contract or whether it is still pie in the sky how good are announcements

    Spudley seems to be setting the election standard by rattling sabres (perhaps that’s all we have to rattle) and warning us of his hopes for Chinese aggression which will not amount to anything but it makes him look strong and decisive.

    He has not yet committed Australia to banning sales of iron ore to China – perhaps even he realizes that this would massively damage the Australian economy.

    SKY are doing us no favours at all with these soft, simpering interviews and their lack of journalistic rigour is painful to watch : can we forget the comments from Sky News host Paul Murray, saying he’s happy to admit that Sky News after dark “is a Liberal echo chamber”.

    Fortunately SKY have a very small domestic audience but they are now beaming into regional Australia through Sky Regional free to air : that’s a worry !

  10. Michael Taylor

    I’m predicting most will come to the conclusion we are stuffed.

    Kyle, I jumped to that conclusion on election night, 2019.

    Nonetheless, I keep fighting. The walls have gotta come down eventually. If enough of us keep pushing, I give us a chance.

  11. GL

    To paraphrase a line from the Goon Show (always apt when it involves the LNP, Pauline, and Clive): Hold them up to the light, not a brain in sight.

    I included the fat man because we all know where the biggest chunk of his preferences will go.

  12. wam

    I am a sucker for words that people use (falsely?) to mean some else. Like greenhouse gases and climate change.
    Another is ‘evaluate’ which used to have an element of accountability.(see the first two sentences of your sadly lost essay) but was unpredictable so was replaced.
    Review has no accountability function and, under government control, is a copy of Sir Humphrey, with easy to control outcomes.
    But the modern meaning suggest otherwise? “a formal assessment of something with the intention of instituting change if necessary.” “a comprehensive review of UK defence policy” Do scummo’s ‘reviews’ institute change? Do adjectives, ‘comprehensive’ mean looking for change or evaluating or making people accountable? A casual look at all the reviews conclusions I have been contributed to or read could have been done on a rainy sunday, over a slab and a couple of bottles of bundy. ps michael,@5.58 scummo has already set the longline and is waiting for the bites and all we can do is wait for what the bandit is going to do to hinder Albo.
    The loonies dropped in the last poll so to re-seek that cash will require an extra boost over the projected 9.
    My hope is no action but I usually back the wrong horse.
    ps Kaye, Nelson, a past leader, was a doctor and he was hopeless but old fashioned train drivers??

  13. Terence Mills

    Scott Morrison has announced that :

    A faster recovery in the federal deficit has given Prime Minister Scott Morrison more room to move in cutting taxes ahead of the next election.

    So, with almost a trillion dollars in debt, somehow between now and May next year we can cut taxes rather than pay down debt.

    That is the basis of Morrison’s reelection ploy and oddly most of the tax revenue is coming from iron ore sales to China.

    But we don’t like China do we !

  14. GL

    Gosh, isn’t it strange that all this just magically (almost miraculously) occurs not too long before an election.

    Anyone would think it’s another piece LNP electioneer…be nice…it’s due to their incredible and deep knowledge of fiscal management. You know, the incredible and deep knowledge of fiscal management they keep telling they have and yet the 90% don’t seem to be receiving any of the benefits that always flow to to 10%.

  15. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye.

    How depressing that an essay from 8 years ago could still be so relevant 3 elections later!

    Having said that… Michael, I’m with you. I’m starting to dare to think that this coming election is winnable.

  16. Kathryn

    Michael Taylor, thank you for passing on to us that important question via the highly respected Sally McManus.

    My greatest concern is that the LNP may “dump” the truly vile, condescending, totally corrupt, two-thumbs-up BOGAN, Sloth Morrison and in his place elevate the even worse, frothing-at-the-mouth callously inhumane, political psychopath, Spud-the-Dud, in his place! Peter Dutton is not just a totally inept, absolutely corrupt narcissistic sociopath waiting in the background like some dark, malevolent “presence”, he is a dangerous, megalomaniacal fascist who’s level of appalling inhumanity has been internationally condemned, especially in regard to Dutton’s ILLEGAL incarceration of desperate, vulnerable asylum seekers, which INCLUDED their defenceless children, in off-shore camps on Manus Island and elsewhere, that can only be described as poorly-resourced Concentration Camps! The fact that Dutton is said to have amassed a personal net worth of more than $300 MILLION in combination with a HUGE property portfolio, needs to be thoroughly investigated! How DOES a mediocre politician on an “average” political wage manage to amass such an obscene fortune in such a short time? BLOODY GOOD QUESTION and Australian taxpayers DESERVE a damn good explanation! With wealth being amassed like this, NO WONDER the corrupt parasites in the LNP want to maintain their bloodstained grip on autocratic power, eh?

    Just when you think the LNP cannot POSSIBLY get any worse, they just keep digging and, as such, kicking the Pariah from the Shire to the kerb in order to promote one of the worst, most internationally condemned, heartless sociopaths in living memory (the ex-cop from the backwoods of Queensland) into the top job is a very REAL possibility!

    This is WHY it is absolutely IMPERATIVE that the LNP are booted out with haste at the next election! It is impossible to believe that the LNP can be WORSE, more corrupt, more destructive, more reckless and dangerously undemocratic – BUT they CAN and WILL get far, far worse – even more evil and infinitely more callous and terrifyingly depraved beyond our wildest nightmares – if Dutton rises to the top like faecal matter in the stagnated, stinking, fetid polluted pond we know as the LNP.

  17. New England Cocky

    @Michael Taylor: Yes, the 2019 feral election result was very disappointing but democracy is a participation sport where ”the world is run by those who turn up” (Tony Windsor).

    In New England women who support adultery support Nazional$ and as most of them reside in Tamworth, you may understand our frustrations in Armidale where the local Council elections have just voted out the remaining former Nazional$ Councillor, notorious for allowing a multinational horticultural corporation access to Armidale drinking water in our Malpas Dam during the 2019-2021 worst drought in living memory.

    Indeed, the Minister for Local Government ”refreshed” the senior overpaid underwhelming officers, including a dumped NSW MLC, in the hope that the 2021 delayed elections would produce some competence in financial administration.

    The real political need is in the NSW Parliament where 4/8 electorates west of the Great Dividing Range are still held by incumbent Nazional$ politicians unwilling to stop MDB water theft in NW NSW. Voting for credible local Independents or SFF seems to be the only way that western communities will get the necessary state government services in education, hospitals, mental health and transport infrastructure that is desperately lacking at present.

  18. Eddy

    Kaye, the PM answers your question in Aug 2018:
    He said he “will well and truly serve the people”. He didn’t say he will serve the citizens or all Australians. Funny that. It will be interesting to see if the next PM similarly ‘struggles’ with the word ‘majesty’ such that s/he too mangles or massages it so that it comes out as “managersy” (@ 45secs). How good is Her Managersy, the Queen.

  19. GL

    Sigh, “Australia will soon receive a crucial supply of diesel exhaust fluid from Indonesia, as the federal government approaches Middle Eastern nations for help avoiding a crisis that could grind the transport sector to a halt.” sounds very familiar. Didn’t they do they same thing for vaccines last year? Here we go again. Stay tuned for hooooggee anouncements about how they’ve secured lots of Adblue…zzz…

  20. Don Wilson

    Just on your quote on the responsibilities in a parliamentary democracy, Kaye, I have no idea who might have argued those points either. But except for the reference to Climate Change, I could’ve taken it for the views of John Stuart Mill, a doyen of political philosophy in the mid-19th Century. He had strong views on the ethics of government and of public accountability. The two most prominent Westminster political leaders of the age, Disraeli and Gladstone, though in opposing parties, both tried very hard to adhere those standards of propriety, and their ministers mostly did. It didn’t work quite so well in Imperial interests in the Crimea, India and South Africa. But at home an effort was made.

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