Many of the policies presented by the ALP at the 2019 election were based on a genuine attempt to achieve social justice.
Their presentation failed as a consequence of being both flawed, and disrupted by lies from the Coalition, plus intervention by Clive Palmer, who spent literally millions ensuring that the ALP campaign would fail.
I recently realised that the reason I am able to keep up with politics, both nationally and internationally, is because I am now retired, and have enough time to read, watch and absorb what is happening in the world.
And even though the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people without jobs to occupy their time, being unemployed, and struggling to cope with the consequences, leaves them in no fit state to be able to really dwell on the world’s current circumstances.
Over the last 12 months, politics in Australia has been manipulated by a very devious Prime Minister, whose marketing skills have enabled him to start dismembering our democracy – which, even at its best, was heavily flawed.
Just as Donald Trump had his ‘base’, which largely consisted of people who were forgotten by the ‘establishment’, and were understandably drawn to someone who professed to understand their needs and promised to make their lives better, so in Australia we have people who do not want to accept the inconvenient truth – that our home, Planet Earth, is warming and, at the same time, growing inequality is destroying lives and livelihoods.
Because too many people believe what they are told, without taking steps to verify the real ‘facts’ – remember, we now have facts and alternative facts! – a leader like Scott Morrison, whose primary interest is being in control of power at whatever cost, can manipulate the population into ignoring the fact that we are standing on the edge of a crumbling cliff edge.
The other major problem we have to contest is a concentration of media influence in the hands of a former Australian who aspires to influence world events. His world view and lack of a moral compass – recognised and opposed by one of his own sons, James! – reduces the possibility that arguments against government policies and actions will be given enough publicity to encourage people to question their verity.
So while we currently need an Opposition which is as strong as it could ever be, enabling its press releases to gain attention is just that much harder than if the MSM were less unbalanced.
These days I am often reminded of the old Roman ‘Give them bread and circuses’ adage – distract people from the true state of affairs and they will be discouraged from complaining.
Perhaps that is the lure of reality TV. Being able to vote contestants in and out gives a sense of power over events which is totally mythical but really effective as a distraction!
Now is one of those times when we need a really strong Opposition, and, sadly, we do not have that need fulfilled.
We need a clear policy on climate change.
Global warming is happening!
It is becoming increasingly less likely that we can reduce the rate at which it is happening.
The consequent climate disasters will become more severe.
Bush fires in 2019/2020 were disastrous and a foretaste of worse to come.
The major cause is atmospheric pollution by fossil fuel emissions.
We must stop mining, drilling and fracking for fossil fuels and then exporting them, so we must prepare for retraining workers in those areas to perform other jobs in renewable energy.
We must immediately cut subsidies to fossil fuel industries.
The Coalition has led us down the garden path – as it has done over issues like Robodebt and the Cashless debit card.
I have studied both mathematics and law.
I wrote the following letter to my local paper on 01/07/18:
It is some time now since Centrelink’s Robodebt fiasco was in all the headlines. Sadly, despite all the criticism, it continues.
People are still receiving false debt statements and being put through all the agonies of trying to prove that they owe Centrelink nothing – but a whole lot of grief!
At the time a person, out of work and desperate, seeks help from Centrelink, all their current assets and sources of income are exhaustively assessed before they receive a cent in benefits. Providing they have delivered the necessary information accurately, that should be the end of the matter.
Instead, the system being applied by Centrelink to hunt down overpayments is totally flawed.
They take the individual’s ATO return, average their income over the calendar year and compare the fortnightly average with the amounts received from Centrelink.
Clearly, when a person is out of work for the period relevant to being eligible to claim benefits, their income in those weeks is way below the average calculated from the ATO payments. It only requires a relatively basic understanding of statistical averages to see that the method Centrelink is using is totally inappropriate. But to perform an accurate assessment requires skilled operators who understand the system.
So – management chooses to continue using a process, which they know to be unfair, to damage the very people they are supposed to be helping, wasting money in that process!
If businesses sent out false invoices, wrongly claiming debts owing there would be hell to pay!
We deserve a government which protects the most vulnerable members of our society.
It took weeks and months after I wrote that letter for public complaints to escalate to a stage where court action was undertaken – and rather than have their sins aired in court, the government agreed to a compromise which was less than generous to those who had gone through hell over the issue!
AND we deserve an Opposition which shouts from the hills when the government fails to offer that protection.
The Coalition is promising to enact all the recommendations in the Aged Care RC report – just as they promised the same for the Banking RC.
They are currently overturning the most important recommendation from the latter, by allowing banks to lend without reference to the capacity of the receiver of the loan to repay!
Where is the Opposition?
The Coalition is about to change the NDIS assessment process in ways which will be incredibly harmful to a high proportion of those desperately needing promised help.
Where is the Opposition?
And I don’t know about you, but I am getting sick to death of seeing the smirking face of the PM over some self-congratulatory article about how he is helping us.
I am not alone!
Today on Twitter, this was tweeted by @Michael Springer:
Just wondering- when did being PM of 🇦🇺 become a 9 to 5 job 4 days a week? Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could work a part time job, take stupid self-promotion photos of very Saturday and be paid a base salary of $530,000 a year.
— 💧🌱Michael Springer (@MichaelSpring17) December 5, 2020
To which I responded:
I guess when the PM decided the State and Territory governments could take care of all the day to day matters, while he merely has to flaunt himself in public, get every photo opp possible, take the praise for all the successes and pass on the blame for failures to everyone else. https://t.co/PS0Pb1G36k
— Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36) December 5, 2020
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