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When we come out the other side of this crisis, will we have learned anything?

My father always said every experience in life, good or bad, teaches you something. But are we willing to learn?

Will we have realised the value of investing in research?

Will we have conceded that people can’t live on $40 a day?

Will we recognise that education is an investment rather than a cost?

Will we understand that providing affordable childcare keeps the economy running?

Will we listen to experts?

Will we value nurses and teachers and aged/child care workers and cleaners and supermarket shelf stockers and delivery drivers for the crucial roles they play?

Will we be willing to mobilise resources to address the existential threat posed by climate change?

Will we get that amassing obscene wealth does not make you invulnerable?

Will we all be willing to contribute according to our means to create a safe and equitable society for all?

Will we stop the puerile partisan abuse and prioritise people and a healthy planet over profit?

We will have a choice when this is over – compassionate capitalism or a catastrophic “snap back” to the failed neoliberal ideologies of the past.


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  1. Keitha Granville

    I wish for all of the above, but I fear that the current government will simply fall back to their ideology when it’s over, whenever that is. They won’t be able to understand that this is not an event in isolation, a catastrophe to be survived and then forgotten. If that happens, then this is just the first act in the end of civilisation.

  2. wam

    Labor did such a terrific 6 years with the crisis on top but did not skirl the pipes. When the rabbott was fiddling and burning billy stayed calm and followed procedure.
    For six years you wrote facts and futures that never appeared on my radar from billy. The lnp lies and bullshit was spouted on websites, at bbqs at the 19th holes, change rooms and pubs on the morning shows, in the papers and radio.
    If billy and tanya provided their grass roots with rejoinders I missed them.
    It is time for albo to try and claw back the deserters because smirko will milk the covid19 for tears.
    He already has done little beyond talk in billions and not a word about debt. Not a word about where it comes from not a word because it is too serious. He learnt from the GFC he will down play the GFC but he knew it was serious. Labor did the job there were the rorters that will always steal government money. Labor targeted cash to stop gov rorts.

    Smirko learnt and he brings them in to a forum when there are pink batts style consequences it will the state problem.
    I wonder id smirk is the man for the season? Perhaps not when 39% agree with me that he an untrustworthy slimy arsehole..

    But work on it tanya and albo the bastards know numbers like these polls mean a chance of 2004, and they will not hesitate to go at the end of this year. Will there be the union and labor power to fight work choices????
    we are day 11 and this morning we had a phone call from an ex-territorian having a bit of a hard time in SA self quarantine with no relatives and coles wouldn’t deliver we were bemoaning her plight,when the police came to check on her she said she’d ring back.. It brought tears because the pair have just returned with fruit and vegetables for her. Another big tick to the police. P wonder what they see for they self quarantine oldies????

  3. RosemaryJ36

    I think those of us who know that Morrison is currently a wolf in sheep’s clothing must work hard to prevent amnesia about all those past failings. Climate change is not going away and the Coalition lacks the skills to produce policies which will not continue to disadvantage the underprivileged. We need to collect all the ammunition we can to make sure that people realise that the policies he is introducing now are forced on him by his National Cabinet and not his choice nor of his own devising. His current guide is expediency. First the bush fires, then Covid-19 – what next?

  4. RomeoCharlie29

    What hope when there are even those in Labor, apparently, who opposed policies which were taken to the unloseable election and which are, even now, being introduced by a government to whom they are anathema, thinking the Newstart increase ( even though you can bet they will try to take it back when this is over), the wage subsidies, the childcare business, and so on?

    The police state is being extended and they won’t want that rolled back.

    Scummo is indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing but many people can see that despite the faux empathy, it’s not really him.

    This crisis, coming as it does on top of the bushfires and the sports rorts (and other well documented LNP acts of scumbaggery) give Labor the opportunity to take some moral high ground, commit to the good bits and extend them to abolishing the other rorts — fossil fuel subsidies, negative gearing and capital gains reform, ending franking credits— as well as pursuing tax avoidance and evasion, crackdowns on the use of offshore tax havens, ending foreign ownership of property, housing and businesses, and supporting a return to manufacturing.

    The government’s cash splashing in response to the Covid crisis has finally lifted the lid off that old crock about Labor and the GFC, and means the LNP scumbags can never raise the ‘debt and deficit’ line against Labor again.

    It is time for Labor to go hard, and go soon with a plan for a more equitable future for those who do the work. And all of the things suggested above.

  5. Uta Hannemann

    Keitha, this is what Kaye Lee says: “We will have a choice when this is over – compassionate capitalism or a catastrophic “snap back” to the failed neoliberal ideologies of the past.”
    We live in a democracy, that means we do have a choice!

  6. Baby Jewels

    My opinion only. Morrison will not have an epiphany. They will double down on austerity to scratch back what they’ve been forced to give us. The most vulnerable will pay like never before. Some of our disabled rights will not be returned. We will be further behind than before the crisis in a very short time. I have NO faith in this government and their hideous ideology.

  7. Kaye Lee

    The Guardian is asking similar questions.

    “What will be the rules governing any “snap back”? How will the rights of workers and citizens be reinstituted after the crisis?… the government’s response still runs the risk of preserving interests of businesses over the interests of workers, and when “hibernation” ends there will be genuine contests over which will carry.

    Will the tax system, for instance, continue to skew in favour of those with existing capital? Will the government persevere with its plans for a regressive flat tax? Who will bear the costs of bringing the budget back into balance?

    Will a party that has never believed in government have the wherewithal to think through ideas like joint equity and mutual ownership, or will they just revert to type and find the only solution in a corporate framework?

    How will the government support new and newly relevant industries, as the reality of a globally constrained world demands new local capabilities and supply chains?”

    Every dirty trick that the Coalition have used in past elections won’t work next time. Labor need to be ready. A daggy dad in a baseball cap won’t cut it when we get to the recovery phase.

  8. Barry Thompson.

    My concern is that the PM will realise how welcome the expenditure has been received by the electorate and will continue the largesse and call an early election.
    The impact on the Budget will take second place to winning votes. Once back in, austerity can follow.
    I too hope for the things you have expressed Kaye Lee.

  9. Hotspringer

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

  10. Phil

    Can the leopard change its spots? I share your sentiments Kaye but ‘compassionate capitalism’ is surely impossible. An oxymoron. Last year Dr John Falzon wrote a scathing critique of the employment policies of this very same government that today seems, on the surface, to have scrubbed itself clean of its spots.

    The real government is the one Falzon describes – it has not gone away…..

    Making an art form of cruelty – Canberra Times Oct 2 – 2019

  11. wam

    Yes romeo and hot springer this is the time for albo and to make an arsehole of himself and resurrect his no no no keep pointing out the rorts ie the reef what the fck happenened to the $400m even at todays rates at $100m each must be a good earner o some checking.
    We remember NO! NO! NO! well add we are not your colleagues
    Smirko is dedicated to destroy you, labor and labour unions
    The extremists are vote sellers they are not your colleagues
    Work on their lies but for %@$#@ sake work where you can be seen by the workers who switched. in qld and tassie.

  12. whatever

    I don’t think Scotty and his crew are even thinking about things returning to normal, they like this state of “Permanent Crisis”. The Attorney General Christian Porter is thankful to be rid of all that annoying Parliamentary procedure.
    Ministerial fiat is now the way of governance.

    “The attorney general, Christian Porter, on Monday bluntly told the opposition that MPs had “better things to do” than sit in parliament.

    Porter, who is also government leader in the House of Representatives, told ABC radio on Monday: “What is the point of that?

    “If people want to sit out there during the greatest economic crisis Australia’s experienced and read practice and procedure of the House of Representatives, good luck to them.

    “But we’ve got better things to do.”

  13. Phil Pryor

    I do not trust this rotten government with a cast of crooked characters to do anything positive, progressive, intelligent, but I do expect them to change outfits, script, lighting and even audiences to shuffle around the stage. They can direct much of the action and dialogue to suit their purposes, a la Murdoch’s, maggoty media, but they cannot create Shakespearean quality performance with advertising lying standards. The low levels of decency in corporate attitudes fetters the greedy deficients and they are a class of low lifes by lucrative choice. To find statesmanship and expertise amongst a group of elected mediocre popularists is utter delusion.

  14. New England Cocky

    Now, now Kaye Lee, you must not ask awkward questions about how this COALition misgovernment could make Australia an egalitarian society once again because that would mean that the undeserving wealthy and corporates would have to pay their way as they can afford from taxation on their own income and investments rather than living off the largesse handouts from Scummo that buy aspiring middle class votes at the next Federal elections.

  15. Kaye Lee

    George Pell walks free.

  16. Terence Mills

    Just a word of caution on moves by the Murdoch camp during this time of stress with the major sporting codes suffering significant revenue losses. FOX Sports are looking to hoover up exclusive broadcasting deals on their Pay TV outlet at the expense of Free to Air and I’m not sure that the relaxed anti-siphoning laws will be able to stop them.

    Anti-siphoning laws and regulations were originally designed to prevent pay television broadcasters (read Murdoch’s FOX) from buying monopoly rights to televise important sporting events before free-to-air television has a chance to bid on them.

    FOX are very anxious to monopolize AFL and NRL and with the way things are heading the Free to Air television broadcasters may not be able to stop them and this government certainly won’t stand in their way.

    Just saying !

  17. Matters Not

    Yes Pell’s conviction was quashed unanimously. Very difficult to get seven (7) legal eagles to agree about anything, so where to from here? Presumably the DPP chose this particular case to ‘run with’ because they figured it was the strongest and therefore the best chance for a conviction. And while there might be others (cases) from which to choose (and there’s quite a few), there will be a general reluctance because of Pell’s age and the fear of persecution accusations.

    Bolt is out and about giving the ABC and others a proper kicking. Told you so and all that.

  18. Ill fares the land

    I fear several things at the moment. One is that a man who never at any stage has shown the merest hint of greatness, let alone talent, rose to the top job of PM solely by virtue of incessant backstabbing, manipulation and lying, has manufactured another facade that could carry him to the next election. This is a man who as PM is, arguably, the worst in living memory and probably longer who is showing signs that he will lead Australia for a further three years and those who imagine he has permanently abandoned his flawed ideologies are, I believe, deluded. He is emotionally puerile and petulant, belligerent towards and dismissive of those who dare to challenge him or threaten his grip on autocratic power. Is he going to have a personal epiphany and give all of that up? He will try and maintain his new facade of Churchillian statesmanship, but he will still be him. What we saw during the bushfire crisis – THAT is the real Morrison.

    I read regularly of those who believe that this crisis will bring us closer together as a society and make us better for what we have had to endure and the sacrifices we have had to make. There certainly are instances of people doing heart-warming acts of kindness to others and that always gives hope for a better world. But yesterday, I watched a Four Corners programme on Jeff Bezos and Amazon. This is a corporate bastard (he has to be because he has surrounded himself with weasel-word spouting corporate bastards and that is the nature of corporations that are so uniquely aligned with one person). Amazon is now one of the leading data-gathers on the global stage and like Google, is continuing to develop that capacity and its ability to interpret that data to manipulate its customers – and those customers are massive in number. My point? Simply that the world has a massive advertising sector that learns more about our wants, needs, foibles and susceptibilities daily (with our acquiescence if not concurrence) and they exploit us ruthlessly to make us invent needs we didn’t know we had and to create “wants” that we rationalise as “needs” – even if we suspect we are being manipulated, we “need” the consumerist rush more. I don’t doubt for a moment that one of the reasons people isolated at home feel stressed is that they are missing the daily rush of rampant consumerism. Is it likely that around the globe we will all decide that our consumerism makes us slaves to and enrich bastards like Bezos? Some of us will, but I propose that most won’t – when the COVID-19 crisis is past, we will go mad with our pent up “neediness”. That will be good for the economy, but means we will just go back to our old ways – which are crushing our society, making us self-centred and selfish and polluting the earth. We have invested emotionally in the stuff we own – we don’t care that our vehicles are bigger than we need – we invent a need that can only be met by an, allegedly, attention grabbing SUV or dual cab that makes us feel tough, or affluent or superior, or a bigger house, new kitchen, more exotic holidays (which might just be curtailed at least a little for a while). The GFC was supposed to be a wake-up call, but we went back to sleep again and global inequality has only increased in the years following. Coalition governments overwhelmingly favour the rich who are the backbone of their funding and the rich know how to profit from crises, so how can the post-COVID-19 outcome be any different?

  19. David Stakes

    This will go on well into next year, until a vaccine is found. When that happens, and this gov trys a snap read snatch back. This will bring him undone no matter his pleading that we cannot afford it. 2022 cannot come quick enough for people to snap back and not vote against their best interest.

  20. Vikingduk

    We assumed that once the fires were out we would have the time to clean up, rebuild, lick our wounds and move on. No, said the virus that was already taking its first tentative steps on its path of world domination whilst the fires burnt. We now assume that this virus will eventually be subjugated, clean up, rebuild, lick our wounds and move on. Much consternation, our minds filled with hope that all will be well someday. But, what if, nature is well and truly sick to death of us pathetically ungrateful humans, that nature already has the next wake up slap ready to go. Could it be food shortages, remembering that the drought still persists, that agricultural pursuits were already struggling before the virus. Are we really 9 meals away from anarchy?

    One thing is certain, the mongrel bastards in charge will not change. Politics in its current form is dead, just won’t lie down. I think nature will have the final say, because as sure as the liar from the shire is a dictator in waiting, nature will not permit this shit show to continue business as usual.

    Then again, if nature decides you broke you pay for it, sits back and lets the horror show continue, well, fellow peasants, might be time to kiss our arses goodbye.

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