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We were once the envy of the world, but look at us now

Politics is a set of activities associated with the governance of a country or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to group of members. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state. … Politics is a multifaceted word.”

Our current Prime Minister needs to read the paragraph above very carefully. His very position and all activities in which he engages are political and both affect and are affected by the policies which he and his cabinet formulate.

A caveat: I have not studied politics in an academic context, merely observed and read widely about it over an extended period.

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ time for issues such as the effects of climate change to be discussed – unless you take into account the need for policies which will ensure minimal adverse impact. In that case, sooner is better than later, and, if later, then greater urgency is required to put those policies into effect.

The Westminster system on which our government was established is far from perfect and has been altered by successive governments in highly undesirable ways.

The underlying concept was that politicians elected to government needed expert advice (Thank you, Sir Humphrey!) and this was best provided by apolitical advisers. Recruitment to and advancement in the APS was on merit, and permanence was a useful device to avoid politicisation of the advice.

The concept was good but those served by it have destroyed it through blatant politicisation and outsourcing. Our governments now rely on a bevy of non-APS advisers who tell Ministers what they want to hear, for the most part, and are totally politically biased. Heads of Departments are political appointments, successive governments have privatised services which do not work well in a for-profit world and paid huge fees to consultants to provide advice which is far from unbiased.

Human Services, in particular, require human – and humane – supervision and they are ill-served by algorithms!

Job seekers are people, not numbers or boxes to be ticked, and an ever-expanding population guarantees that, however many new jobs might be created, there will neve be enough to meet demand. And pushing round pegs into square holes destroys lives!

Expensive Royal Commissions (except for the purely politically motivated ones, which have revealed little of note) have exposed massive problems which regulatory bodies have ignored or failed to punish.

Our Constitution was devised to accommodate transfer of some powers from the existing States to the newly formed Commonwealth government, and the means of amending it made no allowance for the rapid technological and social changes which were to follow in rapid succession.

Now, at the start of 2020, we are still arguing over the recognition of our First People in the Constitution, we have a highly politicised Public Service, we have also politicised and gutted many oversight bodies like the AAT, we have established a soulless and incompetent mega Department of Home Affairs, which threatens to lead us into a police state, our foundation concepts of a Fair Go, mateship and egalitarianism have been warped out of all recognition, and we have growing poverty with massive corporate wealth while children live on the streets.

Hello, Charles Dickens! Are you still around?

In tying ourselves to the coattails of the USA, we have adopted a great many attitudes which are destroying the Lucky Country.

Only a decade back, we were the envy of the world in economic terms.

We were riding high through the GFC and we had a brilliant public health system which was also the envy of other countries.

But the Murdoch media empire supported the Coalition and the Coalition was more interested in tearing down than in building up, and privatisation was the name of the game. And look where that got us!

We are now invested in a world, ruled effectively by global corporations, which are generating multi-billionaires, mainly in the USA, but a growing number here, too.

Sneering conservatives refer to anyone who tries to help the needy, as a bloody leftie or – if the issue involves environmental issues – as a bloody greenie!

The fact that the health of mankind depends on a healthy environment, biodiversity supporting a complex food chain, clean air and water, proper sanitation, adequate resources to provide universal education and proper accommodation – all this is brushed aside by those whose wealth relieves them from the stresses of day to day living while they watch their millions grow!

And – NO!!!

I am not envious!

Growing up in the UK under wartime restrictions, going without luxuries – and many necessities – was normal. We had virtually no parties and limited entertainment, outside that which we created for ourselves, so that we appreciated those rare occasions when we could enjoy them.

I have had a very fortunate life in many regards for which I am most grateful, and, while now I am not even close to being ‘wealthy’, I want for nothing and can afford to support not for profit organisations, which are dependent on public support, because governments under the Coalition have withdrawn previously promised support!

I have nothing but scorn for a man like Scott Morrison whose words and actions are so incompatible.

How can you call yourself a Christian when your every action is in conflict with the recorded teachings of Jesus Christ?

That clearly makes you, by definition, a hypocrite, and not deserving to be addressed as Honourable.

I hope, Prime Minister, that it is a long time before you enjoy another holiday.

People are dying while you still ‘believe’ that we need to do nothing about the climate emergency.

Of course, we are a small cog in a very big and complex system. But – guess what? A whole machine can be destroyed because one small component fails!

We are one of many countries which have relatively low emissions in the big picture (although our per capita emissions are appallingly high) but that does not mean our efforts are not required. The more people on the rope in a tug-o’-war, the greater the chance of beating opposing forces!

In fact, we need to make a greater effort, partly to make up for those not so able to reduce emissions themselves, and partly to shame into action those others not yet doing enough.

THAT is what morality is about.

Doing something because it is the right thing to do, whatever the cost!

If I am repeating ideas about which I have written before, I make no apology.

I am watching pictures of people’s lives being destroyed, literally and metaphorically – shades of WWII – but this time we have the knowledge why, we have known for several decades, we have people claiming to be leaders who do not have the understanding to make appropriate decisions and I feel as though my pressure valve  must be released!

We ALL have a duty to put pressure on the current (hopefully for not much longer) government to form a National government, non-partisan and including appropriate experts, to prioritise an agenda for doing our share and more on reducing emissions, replacing fossil fuels, re-training fossil fuel workers for employment in industries which, using renewable energy, can manufacture the resources required, deal effectively with recycling and generally lead us away from a destination which will deny our grandchildren a future life!

Once more – this is my Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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20 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Join the Club Rosemary.

    Today I learned that the politicians deny climate change but the NSW school curricula signed off by the Education Department bureaucracy and the NSW Minister for education, has a section called something like Human Effects on Climate Change. So the kids know more about what is happening than the self-serving politicians in both the NSW and Federal Liarbral nat$ misgovernments.

    A political skeptic on a Bondi bus could reasonably conclude from the vast amounts of supporting evidence that the Lazy Nasty People misgovernments are building the worst third world export economy in the OECD for the benefit of multinational corporations exporting profits to overseas head offices and foreign shareholders resident overseas while legally paying little or no taxation in Australia,

  2. Harry Lime

    A powerful and cogent piece,Rosemary.It would appear that the holocaust a lot of people are now experiencing,the utter sham and hypocrisy of that sad, small minded impostor will be the catalyst to switch on the uninterested,misinformed great unwashed into thinking about what this country has become.Better luck to us all this new year.

  3. Phil Pryor

    It is very hard to beat the filth, evil, lies and distortions of the Greedy Group, the Murdoch Maggots, the Radio Ratshit ratbags, the conservative fellatio friendly corporate conmen, the sheer idiocy of materialist people who feel (never think) “she’s right.”

  4. Robyn lynette Cleland

    This not the Australia I grew up anymore we need to take back our Country.

  5. Kerri

    Our current situation, environment/survival wise reminds me of Raymond Briggs excellent children’s book “When the Wind Blows”.
    About an elderly couple who survive a nuclear bomb blast only to slowly die from the effects of that nuclear blast.
    Is this our future?

  6. corvus boreus

    Kerri,
    Raymond Briggs’ whimsical graphic novel about a naïve elderly couple lackadaisically interacting with a nuclear holocaust was subsequently made into a feelgood animated movie.
    Here’s an extra-cheery review (3 mins):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mTJ3keT6qY

  7. Matters Not

    Re:

    We were once the envy of the world

    Really? When was that? In my overseas travels (at least twice a year for about two decades) I encountered many people who had less than positive views re Australia and its citizens. In fact, in many Nation States, we were regarded as being decidedly very ‘Ugly Australians’. Drunken louts at beer festivals. Cultural clods in Asia.

    Having said that – our reputation as being selfish, uncaring, unscientific ‘bogans’ has now been magnified many times over. If we sustain this trajectory we will soon rival the odium of the ‘Ugly Americans’. Already we have a PM who is widely regarded as the Trump down under. And his singular marriage has nothing to do with it.

  8. Michael Taylor

    Sometime in the early 70s Australia won “Country of the Year”, awarded by some French publication. I apologise that I cannot find the link.

    I think our reputation as a country was rather good, based on my own experiences. Not so now, also based on my own experiences.

  9. Matters Not

    Yes MT, it’s almost a universal belief. That it’s very widely shared by almost every other Nation (about themselves – just ask them) should come as no surprise to a Nation with such illustrious beginnings and unblemished history.

    If in doubt – just ask the ‘first Australians’ about the Land of the Fair Go. They too will be effusive in their praise. But maybe not?

    Nevertheless, all Nations need a range of ‘myths’ to ‘blind’ them. We are no exception. Of course the objective reality might be somewhat different.

  10. Michael Taylor

    MN, the change in opinions was swift.

    Within a few years I went from hearing “thank you for what you’re doing about climate change” to “why do you treat refugees so poorly?”

    All it took was a change of government.

  11. Matters Not

    You mean that Hand’s (ALP – early 1990’s inexcusable decision) to incarcerate those seeking asylum took that long to filter through? Perhaps your acquaintances were being kind? Culturally sensitive and all that?

    ‘Tis Labor that has to wear the original decision – methinks. What about you?

  12. Michael Taylor

    Sorry, MN, my mind’s not with it to engage in deep-thinking matters. I’m only capable of skimming the surface. You’ll have to forgive me.

  13. paul walter

    The writing was on the wall from Fraser’s time after the collapse Whitlam Labor. After Fraser, Labor got seduced into economic rationalism in the eighties and nineties, although not in the increasingly extreme form pursued from Howard’s era.

    It should have stopped after Kevin 07 and the swift response to the Global Financial Meltdown, but it all fell apart and the nation in its blindfolded accumulated wisdom spurned reason and the country was handed over to a succession of Zealots dislocated from reality: Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison, while Labor and the Greens floundered owing to a lack of cooperation with each other when that was most needed.
    And in the back ground globalisation of the wrong type wreaked its harms.

  14. paul walter

    Michael, looking at a couple of stats, the weather either side of Canberra stinks even more or at least as much as as it has been Adelaide and people are starting to get tired and not at their best.

    A really good rain is due and things will pick up after that, but when this comes, nobody knows.

  15. Kathy

    Paul, according to my weather app, some rain is predicted for Sunday, but on Monday around 50 to 80% chance of rain. *fingers crossed. I have Mallacoota, Batemans Bay and Wodonga on the app, so we’ll see if it does come. The dread is Saturday’s high temp in the 40’s.

  16. johno

    MN, would have to agree with your Jan 3 11.41 comment. And methinks we only became the lucky country by the rape and pillage of the environment under both watches.

  17. paul walter

    Kathy I was just watching the early morning teev and it’s shades of 2009 again.

    It will break up and down the country, but toolate for too many people, too much of the country.

    Just caught a glimpse of Scotty from Marketing, nothing of the last couple of months has the bastard even the slightest contrite, the arrogance inflates like a hot air balloon.

    Sickening.

  18. Keith

    In relation to climate change, PM Morrison wouldn’t know if his pants were on fire. Morrison’s neo-liberal ideology and Pentecostal cult religion are getting in the way of any sensible policy direction. Very sad when school children are leading the way.

    We are now having Climate Scientists comment about Australia’s commitment to non-policy in dealing with the mitigation and adaptation. While Labor’s policy promoted prior to the last election was hardly enough, at least there was a greater chance of them taking account of climate science with some pressure mounted against them.

    It is a pity that the ALP and the Greens do not have a better relationship; in the past there has simply been no trust between the parties. It would be good if the Greens only concentrated Federally on winning seats from the LNP; rather than, try and win seats from Labor. At the last election more votes were obtained by Labor and the Greens than the LNP, sadly the way the votes fell wasn’t helpful.

    Professor Michael Mann is in Australia at present, he has written about the terrible Australian situation:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/02/australia-your-country-is-burning-dangerous-climate-change-is-here-with-you-now?fbclid=IwAR3agsFRuv6jY_2nAYPyMc-s4kMO-ENm95l2SlmpfPhsue5-lxMmSfmIfXw#comments

    Anybody critical of Professor Mann’s early work is clearly not aware of subsequent studies underpinning his work on past global temperature. It is very likely that some ignoranous will comment on Professor Mann’s credibility elsewhere.

    Dr Joëlle Gergis Is a lead author for the next IPPC Report, he writes he is very fearful for what will happen in the future. That provides more reason for action on climate change now rather than take a Nero pose.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/03/we-are-seeing-the-very-worst-of-our-scientific-predictions-come-to-pass-in-these-bushfires?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR0GzGUdFVWuPwJe3vdNk7WJyIn7UNxB1BEN7sFfB00xV1qmkuOsL2Rh5tQ#comments

  19. Roswell

    Whether we were the envy of the world or not doesn’t matter. It’s that we thought we were that is the key. We no longer think that.

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