The Angertainer Steps Down: Rupert Murdoch’s Non-Retirement

One particularly bad habit the news is afflicted by is a tendency…

The ALP is best prepared to take us…

There's a myth created by the Coalition as far back as I…

On the day of Murdoch's retirement...

By Anthony Haritos Yes, we were cheap. And we were very nasty. Yes,…

We have failed the First Nations people

These words by Scott Bennett in his book White Politics and Black Australians…

Fighting the Diaspora: India’s Campaign Against Khalistan

Diaspora politics can often be testy. While the mother country maintains its…

The sad truth

Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price's comment that: ... she did not believe there are…

A tax incentive to accelerate diversity in Australia's…

Science & Technology Australia Media Release A new tax incentive to drive diversity…

It was all a con

By Andrew Klein I remember that as a teenager we had to…


We need to change how we think and act

By Callen Sorensen Karklis

Neoliberalism is an illness: unregulated capitalism, it is not just a political theory, it is a sick, deranged blight on the way we run our society. If anybody hasn’t watched the John Carpenter film “They Live”, I recommend seeing it. It is a film where society and the capitalist class who run it are revealed to be aliens hiding in plain sight using humanity and their world for its natural resources and slavery. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

When you look at society today it’s clear that most are struggling with a gas energy crisis, rental crisis, cost of living crisis, high inflation on the back of a pandemic in the early 2020s, and a return to Cold War thinking with rising tensions and conflicts overseas.

The policies introduced by John Howard, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Regan have done ever lasting damage to communities across the globe. The fantasy of unrestrained individualism has provided a pathway to decades of endless greed in the housing market and the business world much like a prelude to the fall of Rome in a culture of hedonism and self-indulgence. Endless population and business growth is a complete fantasy as property developers are a big part of the problem developing in environmental habitats where species are being pushed to extinction, and fossil fuels and gas companies continue to pollute without considering the long-term consequences. It’s little wonder why there are growing crimes among our youth population because they are losing hope in themselves and their future is hijacked by sociopathic cold-blooded lizard thinking morons in the Murdoch press, and fossil fuel lobbies bribing politicians for a quick buck like greedy businessmen in a brothel. What is clear is that society needs a total rethink on how we conduct ourselves.

Transitioning to renewables and sustainable mining to sustain the transition is one way forward to save ourselves, which the safeguard mechanism in Australia, carbon tariffs in Europe and IRA in the US are doing. Even China now has a national ETS and Brazil is considering the same as 40 nations have carbon prices (as the developing world will need to adapt to this soon).

But so is the need to move away from blindless commercialism and the fantasy of individualism over community. We need to use our city spaces for farming and agriculture and green spaces to enhance not just our own mental health but assist the environment around us as well while finding ways to conserve water as best we can.



The Hawke and Keating legacy is one of complacent reform after the tumultuous Whitlam years in the mid-1970s. Although Whitlam changed a great deal for Australia after 23 years of conservative rule from 1949 – 1972, Labor was hesitant after his brief time in office since “Its Time” moment. Yes, long-lasting reforms came out of Labor’s 13 years in power in 1983 – 1996. Some good, some bad. The problem with Hawke and Keating was they went too far to win votes. Labor must evaluate its future by learning from both its success and failures. Particularly when analysing the legacy of this era which successive governments under the Coalition took great advantage of particularly John Howard during his 12 years in office from 1996 – 2007.

While the Australian Labor party is the lesser of two evils in the major parties in Australia, unfortunately, it has become riddled with short-sighted factionalism and careerist attitudes sacrificing principals much like the LNP. With revolving leadership doors in the top job in The Lodge the electorate has become sick of it and may have contributed to both middle- and working-class voters turn to TEAL independents and an increase of Australian Greens as the 3rd option force in politics.

There is a particular dissatisfaction among voters about the job performance of our leaders since 2010 and it stems from the electoral success and potentially the decisions of the Hawke/Keating and Howard eras to this day. Neoliberalism has made issues far harder to resolve leading to the rise of popularist movements on the far left and right with their own issues. Cases in point: the rise of Donald Trump, Brexit, and the resurgence of One Nation since 2016.

To analyse where Labor went wrong in past decades, we must look to the success and failures of its longest period in government. Under Hawke; Australia’s 3rd longest serving PM and his successor Keating. Arguably so far, the best electoral performing Labor government in Australian history which hadn’t seen back-to-back Labor governments during the Curtin/Chifley era in World War 2 and the Fisher/Hughes governments in early federation. Following the simple titles associated of the cult classic spaghetti western era in the Eastwood Dollars trilogy we’ll analyse what social democrats must learn from.

The Hawke/Keating Era (1983 – 1996)

The Good:

  • Introduced Medicare and superannuation.
  • Introduced the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act. Protected Tasmania’s Franklin River from damming.
  • Banned Uranium mining in Arnhem Land.
  • Introduced gender discrimination protections.
  • Introduced our own national anthem.
  • Native Title introduced.
  • Led awareness response during Aids crisis.
  • Made Australia more competitive in the region.

The Bad & the Ugly:

  • The Prices Income Accords. (Had the best of intentions but arguably part of the reason unionism is in decline from flood to ebb tide since the 1980s)
  • The sale of Commonwealth Bank.
  • The sale of Qantas and began sale of Telcom (later Telstra sold under Howard).
  • Introduction of offshore detention centres for asylum seekers.

The Pros and Cons of the Rudd Gillard Era (2007 – 2013)

The moral of the story Labor sold its self-short by compromising some of its own principles on the industrial law which has cost it economically in today’s climate today. Labor will not be the LNP and never will be. Considering millennials are voting in troves for either Labor or the Greens it must change how it does its politics or more younger voters will vote for Teals and Greens.

Take the Rudd Gillard years while there was success with the Apology, Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, NBN, carbon pricing, mining tax, NDIS, enhanced education, LBTIQ financial rights, the Fair Work Commission being introduced in its 6 years of office while it kept Australia out of recession during the GFC. While also maintaining strong relations with both China and India. But some of the measures of the Howard era’s WorkChoices policies stayed in place such as keeping striking restrictions and employer lockouts as well as keeping job agencies privatised locking out prospective workers from opportunities.

What the Albanese Labor Government and Greens need to do!

  • Fixing public housing and more of it is not enough! Fix negative gearing!
  • Raise the rate for Centrelink.
  • Fix the Medicare crisis with Drs and bulk bill crisis.
  • Include dental care into Medicare plans.
  • Introduce fairer rental legislation and caps.
  • Hold gas companies and banks to account for exploitation, more red tape!
  • Reintroducing the Commonwealth Employment Scheme.
  • Introduce Full Employment measures nationally that feeds the demand for people with qualifications looking for work! Look at people as people not commodities, this is the issue with job agencies today!
  • Fix the growing indexation of University HECs for students who can’t afford its constraints; the growing financial strain and less job pathways for students must be resolved and reformed. Not enough attention given to domestic students cuts our future short in tertiary education!
  • Abolish tax cuts for the rich!
  • Invest in Lithium, nickel, cobalt mining in outback Australia to fuel the next mining boom!

What QLD Labor and Greens in state government, BCC & other SEQ Councils should do!

  • Open more community gardens in urban spaces, introduce more affordable public transport, introduce better water management and conservation!
  • Rate rebates for pensioners and people struggling financially.
  • Stop proposals to build in Ramsar wetlands (Toondah, Cleveland) and heritage listed sites (Deebing Creek, Ipswich). Restructure regional planning to balance conservation of habitats.
  • Reintroducing green spaces in King George Square & compulsory preferential voting in local government elections to ensure increased democratic say on the local tier.

Conclusion: Once we have an economy self-sustaining itself with a community focus and an education system that feeds into a promise of jobs where people can strive to look after themselves as well as each other as a whole collective we can succeed. The exploitation of the middle class which is in decline (as the economic gap widens), working class, and First Nations population must cease.

The Albanese Government initiating Free TAFE for trades is one solution. The main goal is to move away from thinking of endless growth and think in a sustainable sense. There is no bottomless pit; the problem being there isn’t enough money or people on welfare. We’ve all been taken for a ride by multi billionaire companies and politicians selling us out for an endless future that doesn’t exist if we don’t sustain what we’ve already got.

Greed is not good, and it has harmful effects for all of us. It is a sick disease that needs full medical attention and needs to stay outside of policy making. What is the point of fighting if we don’t know what we’re fighting for? I’m not advocating for a communist revolution by any means, but a total rethink is needed in day-to-day life and economically. We can’t keep going the way we are with endless pollution, increasing population, and spending resources we just don’t have.

We need to conserve our resources for tomorrow and future generations. Or else there is no future not just for the labour movement but all of us.


Callen Sorensen Karklis, Bachelor of Government and International Relations.

Callen is a Quandamooka Nunukul Aboriginal person from North Stradbroke Island. He has been the Secretary of the Qld Fabians in 2018, and the Assistant Secretary 2018 – 2019, 2016, and was more recently the Policy and Publications Officer 2020 – 2021. Callen previously was in Labor branch executives in the Oodgeroo (Cleveland areas), SEC and the Bowman FEC. He has also worked for Cr Peter Cumming, worked in market research, trade unions, media advertising, and worked in retail. He also ran for Redland City Council in 2020 on protecting the Toondah Ramsar wetlands. Callen is active in Redlands 2030, Labor LEAN, the Redlands Museum, and his local sports club at Victoria Pt Sharks Club. Callen also has a Diploma of Business and attained his tertiary education from Griffith University. He was a co-host from time to time on Workers Power 4ZZZ (FM 102.1) on Tuesday morning’s program Workers Power. He is currently a public servant for the Qld Government.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

Donate Button


Login here Register here
  1. Diane Larsen

    Well written article and so true

  2. simon

    Neoliberalism is an illness: unregulated capitalism, it is not just a political theory, it is a sick, deranged blight on the way we run our society. I wish I had written that.

  3. Clakka

    The alleged ‘rules based order’ of ‘west’ is a mess of neoliberal deceptions, and the tasks of realignment of not only the politics of democracy, but also the profound psychological damage to the general population of the (broader) ‘west’ (including much of the middle east and southern asia) will likely take multiple generations. The only thing really pressing the changes is the desperate need for collaboration on climate change abatement (and environmental rebalancing) ….. it will be a rough ride.

    It would appear the toughest act will be to eliminate the deadly and quixotic roller-coaster of the multi-national corporations and the trans-national crime syndicates.

    Here’s a few things to chew over. Of the last few days broadcast by our homegrown media:

    The Woman who offers one last chance for an Australian Visa
    [The mess and corruption within and of the Oz immigration regime]
    Radio National, Background Briefing.

    Why Taxing Multi-Nationals at 15% won’t work
    The Conversation 29/5/23

    The Billionaires who made our World: Bill Gates
    (and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) SBS 8:30pm Sunday 28/5/23

    I am neither cynical or prone to nightmares, but I draw a deep breath for those with the courage to call out the issues, and keep a whether eye out for the politicians and media making efforts to address the matters that count, and those that seek to turn a blind eye or entrench the inequities.

  4. New England Cocky

    An excellent article identifying the present concerns that have stemmed from manipulating politicians usually without much real life experience among the people.
    Re the Hawker -Keating 1983 -1996 ”complacent reforms” ….. I think you may have underestimated the impact of the ”sociopathic cold-blooded lizard thinking morons in the Murdoch press”. When Keating won the 1993 Feral election contrary to expectations, the News Ltd mastheads went all out to insure that 1996 elected Little Johnnie Howard to begin his destruction of the Australian economy and lifestyle.
    Looking into the future, the Albanese LABOR government is in real danger of being overwhelmed by the American & other foreign multinational mining corporations seeking to exploit our mineral resources, especially those required in the 21st century for the Electricity Revolution.
    There will be no/few jobs for Australians when those minerals are refined and processed into high value manufactured products at factories & facilities in foreign countries, only profits for the foreign owned entities.

  5. John Lord

    Good read Callen. Full of thought and compassion.

  6. Sam

    Callen, great choice of photo, we’d all be better served if each suburb had a dozen hub community gardens & parks rather than future take-away fast-food insect burger joints.

    As a society we have moved so far away from what is natural, it’s no mystery why there’s so much physical dis-ease around. The neo-con mindset is near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to evolution of mind. Tyranny is a level lower as evident in one-party rule countries. Freedom of speech and movement in those countries are gone. That’s what happens when small-minded politicians are left in power too long. Allowing manipulative people who claim to know best decide for the rest of us is what got us here. And now we are on the verge of the next leg down.

    Neo-con is sold as the solution, but in reality it’s static and stagnant like a swamp, its rewards are a honey trap and it really only serves the wealthy. Therein lies the dis-ease of the ‘neo-con mind’, with emphasis on the ‘con’. We’re being scammed by snake-oil sales agents. It starts at the council level and ends up in State & Federal levels, where more often than not, ‘representatives’ look after #1 and the craws of the lobbyists that feed them. More recently it looks like our ‘leaders’, on behalf of ‘we the people’, will be taking marching orders from the UN, WHO & WEF exclusively. If that happens outright, then our Constitution which is the center of attention with the upcoming referendum, will be rendered worthless.

    Stop voting for the major parties, never believe the msm (except sports scores & weather).
    They are all liars, they will cost you dearly.

  7. Harry Lime

    Good plan,most of it is not new,but we have our political class handicapped by the power of the various lobby groups including the shit media,basic fear of rocking the boat,that old chestnut of human greed ,the daily admonishment to mindlessly consume,and a mainly apathetic, malleable public.Nothing’s going to change until the shit hits the fan in turbo mode,and I don’t think we’ll have to wait long.
    I wouldn’t include our national anthem in the ‘good’ column…it’s fucking dreadful.

  8. Ill fares the land

    Excellent article. I agree wholeheartedly – but there are some points I would make. Neoliberalism was always going to be a disaster, to wit, Chile and the devastation wrought by an overblown, pompous dictator (Pinochet) coming together with a self-aggrandising economic demagogue who had a world vision of economics that ran utterly counter to what had occurred post-WWII told us that. For Friedman, post-war growth was an anathema, but consider that people had jobs if they wanted (lifelong careers in particular), could buy a modest house, feed, clothe and educate their kids and so on on a modest wage. Governments played a role in all of that, but a little weasel economist clearly thought everything would be better if more was left to “the market” – at best a baseless neurotic fixation. Nonetheless, “we” all bought into the myths being peddled – that if we competed against each other, somehow we would all be better off, but those who competed better would gain greater, supposedly deserved, reward for our efforts. So here we are in a society where myths abound. That housing is a financial investment and housing values can rise and keep rising (what homeowner doesn’t want their property value to rise?). “We” tend to believe those on any form of government financial support are unworthy, because they are lazy and if “we give” the unemployed more, they won’t want to work – ignoring the facts of course. “We” think that the riches that have accrued to the boomers through a combination of “luck and hard work” are the result only of our “genius and hard work”. These tend to be modes of thinking that allow us to justify why “we” might be a “have” and believe at the same time, the “have nots” are a product of their own laziness or just plain bad choices. Some believe we can do much more for those at the bottom of the societal tree, but society as a whole doesn’t care and “we” need to find ways to rationalise that we don’t care. Add to that insidious marketing techniques that make us “want” stuff we don’t need and then turn those “wants” into “needs”. Car advertising is a classic – no ad tells you anything about a car. It tells you only how special you will be if you own this car, that dual cab, or this SUV and by the time the ad is finished, the seed of need has been sown. This is “us” – and “we” and our attitudes are the result of decades of selfish, individualistic neo liberalism. Sadly, that ain’t going to change anytime soon. It could change or at least start to change if governments changed direction, but they won’t. The LNP won’t – at its core it believes the neoliberalist gibberish. Labor had a go under Rudd/Gillard/Rudd and failed – in no small part because the mining industry invested, it is thought, about $500 million in destroying them, but “we” fell for it. Shorten Labor tried, badly admittedly, but “we” told them to get lost. Albanese Labor KNOWS the Stage 3 tax cuts are an expensive crock of ****, but it is paralysed with fear about the frenzied reaction our sense of entitlement will provoke if they come out and cancel them.

  9. New England Cocky

    @ Ill fares the land: A perceptive comment, I especially enjoyed the ”competition is a myth” scenario, which remined me of a wise old teacher settling a playground dispute.
    ”OK, both of you ….. down to the hedge and bring me back a leaf. The last one back does it again”. The Cotoneaster hedge was about 200 m away across the football fields.
    Off the two combatants went ….. eventually returning together, in step, both holding one leaf between them. No second place available here.
    ”Hmmm …. now what did you learn from that experience?”
    ”Co-operation beats competition, sir”.

  10. aandyfiftysix

    Good and bad, i totally disagree that super was any leap forward. I will constantly argue it was a sop, ideology used to fix an ideological issue. to this day, pensions are rationed out and pensioners are watched like hawkes but super is a free for all feed at my trough.

    The other big one that fills me with anger is the stupidity of ” markets know best”. Markets only know how to make money. Yet the market has been embraced by both sides as a solution to all our problems. Like poverty, environmental destruction and below par delivery of human services like housing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: