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Where have all the flowers gone?

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing.
. . . . .
Oh, When will you ever learn?
Oh, When will you ever learn?

The mind works in mysterious ways!

For some reason, this Pete Seeger song slipped into my thoughts earlier today – immediately followed by the question

Where on earth has the Australian Opposition Party disappeared to?

Now I am fully aware of the dilemma faced by the Labor Party.

Unless circumstances take an unexpected turn, the Murdoch media will support the Coalition and denigrate the Opposition – just as Morrison praises Liberal NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, lauding her to the skies and supporting her allowing the SCG to be used for the next Test Match, while demonising Labor Victoria Premier Dan Andrews, and ignoring the fact that Victoria’s most recent cases of infection have come from NSW!

And the Murdoch Media in most parts of Australia controls a majority of the media outlets!

Perhaps some hidden memory of the words of the song was triggered by the ‘what goes around, comes around’ nature of the Pete Seeger verses, matches the circular nature of the COVID-19 infections.

We are so not out of the woods!

Just as the current hiatus could have been put to good use in developing urgently needed policies to avert the worst consequences of global warming, but was not, so too our current situation is the result of ineffective leadership for the country from a Prime Minister who chose to pass the buck to the Premiers and Chief Minister, while demanding to be congratulated whenever things turned out well.

We need a national policy on quarantine because that is an issue firmly in the national domain.

We also need a much more serious discussion on the universal basic income concept, as it could have been the perfect solution to our current economic mess with its many seriously damaged damaged lives.

We need an Opposition which is actively criticising – and praising when praise is due – the government policies.

Is it so scared of putting forward alternative policies in case they will be stolen?

If it has publicly proposed them and – in the unlikely event that the Coalition does make use of them – they are put into effect, and are successful – then what is going to stop the Opposition from drawing attention to the fact that they are pleased to see their policies being put in place and reap some benefit?

There has been some publicity recently over a connection between Industry Super and a non-paywalled online publication, The New Daily, (TND) which has been going now for some 7 years.

As print newspapers die out, and people must, increasingly, turn to the internet for the latest news, Albanese would be smart to direct press releases exclusively to TND and the ABC.

As a political fence sitter (as noted elsewhere – mother Tory, father Labour) I am amused to see how those who follow the Murdoch media see the ABC as ‘lefties’, while those who see themselves as lefties bewail the way the ABC has moved to the right – which tells me the ABC has probably done its balancing act moderately well!

One of the jobs of a national news outlet is to hold the government – of whatever flavour – to account. That is not showing bias. That is doing its job, because, goodness knows, few governments, if any, are above criticism and the Murdoch media only ever offer at most muted criticism!

Morrison’s only skills are in marketing and he uses them most often in marketing himself.

Peter Beattie designated himself as a media tart.

Scott Morrison is a media hog!

He will get as much personal publicity as he can get.

Labor has got to smarten up, throw out Joel Fitzgibbon, who is loudly opposing acceptance of action on climate change, develop an effective set of policies in this regard – enough European countries have done so to provide a viable model – concentrate on policies which will win votes – inequality is increasing apace and not many Labor votes will be lost if the ultra-rich are taxed more heavily – and, above all advertise the errors in the way the Coalition has handled the pandemic.

It is a fair bet that Morrison will choose an auspicious moment in 2021 to call an early election – he has virtually signalled this by saying he won’t – so Labor has got to have already outlined, and headlined succinctly, a viable policy platform.

If it is already in the public domain, they can start answering question immediately, not in the heat of an election campaign, and have more time to counter the lies that will be generated by those attacking it.

In recent days I have spent quite a bit of time with people who are trying to promote the concept of lived experience in terms of developing policy which meets needs. For example, NDIS is being delivered by people who have no lived experience and have not run their procedures through with people who have had lived experience. Hence the list of failures and disasters.

Labor must be aware of this need and make sure it consults appropriate people in developing its policies.

I do not belong to any political party, but, if I could find one which believes in social justice and has a truly effective concept for a national ICAC, I would be a foundation member!

Too many people have suffered severely under this government – and are continuing to suffer – and they include Australian citizens, many of whom are in the arts and entertainment industries, who have performed to raise funds for others, like after the 2020/21 bush fires, but who have been given no support by government; foreign nationals on work visas with no work.now available; refugees deprived of freedom to a greater extent than murderers, and those caught out overseas who have definitely not been returned to Australia by Christmas!

We need a ray of hope that the Coalition can be voted out – so we need an effective Opposition!

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57 comments

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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    Like the ‘lived experience’ bit; most MPs, staff and related PS have no real world experience….. they have become apparatchiks viewing politics as a lifetime career….. hence, prepared to ‘follow orders’ according to NewsCorp etc., IPA etc. and then their own party leader….. but precludes real expertise and fresh blood….

  2. Trish Corry

    2020 was not an election year. As a new leader of the Labor party, Albanese held par with Shorten as preferred PM in the same timeframe. Shorten did not have to put aside attack politics and be diplomatic and bipartisan during a global pandemic, putting country before politics. In spite of this, Albanese in a stealth like manner forced the Govt’s hand into a debate about ICAC & to reveal their inadequate policy. Something they were intent on hiding forever. In addition, Labor got Robodebt canned & the Govt refunded & settled out of court. Also, Albo in conjunction with ACTU got vulnerable people increases and expansions to Social security (although the GOVT royally stuffed this up) during Covid.

    Albanese has also delivered seven substantial vision statements which are the platform for sharp, focused messaging when the time comes for campaigning. These vision statements are absolutely significant to the direction, values and key areas of progressive importance that will underpin and define a Labor Govt.

    Crucially,, knowing Morrison is a farce and a incompetent, Albanese had given Morrison the space to be seen. Rather than hiding him away by making everything about Labor. Essentially, it has starved the Murdoch press of (Labor) oxygen and they have had to print a lot of nonsense about Morrison, and create a demon out of Dan, and the divide & conquer has failed. People are now seeing Morrison for what he is. Lazy, incompetent and all talk & no action.

    The criticism of Morrison has come thick and fast by various Labor MPs rather than Albanese. This is strategically advantageous as opposed to Albo making it all about him.

    Albanese has marked 2021 as the campaign year. He has held an address this week online, detailing his vision once again and discussing the contrast between Liberals and Labor.

    For those who know there is more than one strategy besides being Tony Abbott, Albanese’s approach has actually achieved results and developed a strong foundation for a campaign.

    Opposition isn’t just the sake of opposing. It’s about working towards removing the bastards in power and winning the next election. Labor’s campaign will be focused and they will not tackle every issue under the sun. So if your key issue isn’t there, just remember this is about winning Govt, and not repeating key errors three times in a row. Morrison is a unique politician and we need to keep that in mind. He is fake & is skilled in duplicitous behaviour. It takes skill, not screaming to combat that.

    Also, environmentalism isn’t leftism. Fitzgibbon has legitimate concerns for workers & region and if Labor can’t address those issues (which I share) they may as well pack it in.

    Finally, the “where is the opposition” diatribe is getting a bit old. If you are politically engaged and using a platform to write an opinion piece, at least have the Willingness to investigate what is actually being said & done by Labor.

    Morrison is intellectually barren and the most incompetent PM in our history. Labor is in a competitive position in 2PP despite in all other instances incumbent Govts gaining huge favour during the pandemic. Maybe have a think about that.

    Sorry, but these bandwagon type articles are frustrating and don’t add anything of value to serious debate.

  3. Andrew Salway

    Excellent comment Trish.

    No more presidential style electioneering please.

    This is NOT about personalities (Scummo versus Albo) but about the urgent introduction of environmental and equitable social policies.

    This message has to be hammered home by the free media, again and again!

    And yes, you are right, by all means point out the failings but also give credit where credit is due!

  4. Stuart Tomlinson

    Question should be, where have all the good and decent journalists gone? This is pure garbage and obviously the person who composed this and wrote this diatribe against the Opposition hasn’t got an idea or a clue what politics are about. I have, I live and breath and wake up to politics each day. I have also ran as a Labour candidate in a State Election and I have also ran as a candidate for local government (council) I have been a campaign Manager twice, and have attended six consecutive State Conferences, as well as handing out at pre polls and elections and scrutineering numerous times. When this story teller who wrote this crap piece attacks Joel Fitzgibbon, then they attack me also, and i will stand up for him because he has not only been a good damn representative to myself, and my wife and the electorate that he serves,, he has been an ongoing and loyal friend throughout our lives. I also have met Anthony Albanese , and he is a genuine person and I have respect for him as well. Perhaps the story teller who wrote this diatribe should really be asking, where has all the damn fair dinkum voters gone that really care about, and respect this Country and their fellow Australians? They that voted the worst mob into power that masquerades as our Government, when they are not, and when they can never ever be seen, recognised or respected as our Government. Doesn’t the story teller who wrote this garbage realise that Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party has not got the numbers in Parliament ?, Doesn’t the story teller realise that the ALP has to rely on The other parties and those on the cross bench to have the numbers needed to take it up to the Liberal National Party? Also let me point out that the speaker is completely bias, and most times when a Labor MP goes to talk in our parliament the speaker either says that the member will not be heard or he ejects them from the room. Also, i will bring to the story teller’s attention that Morrison turns his back on Opposition MPs that are speaking. This clearly shows that he is one of the rudeness, arrogant, ill mannered people ever, one that does not deserve to be sitting in our parliament or being seen, recognised or respected as our prime minister. These attacks should be on this Liberal National Party mob, they are in Government, Labor is not This is an article that one would expect coming from mainstream media bandwagon, not from an independent news source like yours.

  5. Karen Kyle

    Good comment Trish,
    thank you.

  6. Baby Jewels

    I agree, Rosemary, Joel Fitzgibbon is damaging the campaign for action against Climate Change and at the same time, backing up the government’s position of doing nothing, just business as usual. This could be seen as traitorous by those of us who do everything we can, urging the government to act. Whole industries have died and affected many people over the years. But often, little or nothing is done to support the workers yet they seem to find their feet in a new field, as I did, and move on. I am not against supporting mine workers, just that I do not see them as special, as some do. And as they seem to.

    Climate change is the #1 most serious issue facing us all and there must be no backpedalling, no excuses. We must forge ahead and do everything we can (all of us) to combat it as best we can.

  7. Keitha Granville

    Hmm, I wish I had your confidence Trish. I have to agree with Rosemary here, Joel Fitzgibbon is a liability. He demonstrates if nothing else a division that shouldn’t exist.
    Albanese might be making a vision statement, but Labor has thrown out so many of its principles since the election I am not sure where the party stands on anything. Mandatory sentencing anyone???

    Whilst he is holding back and letting Morrison hang himself in your opinion, the vast swathe of voters see that he has nothing of note to say and they continue to support the PM in their droves. Labour’s chances at an election anytime soon are very slim.

    I am a dyed in the wool socialist, but I see very little of that in the Labor party at the moment. Light slightly left leaning conservatives.

  8. Karen Kyle

    Albo is doing what Howard did to win government, made himself a small target, literally and figuratively, scrunching down in the back of his car. His campaign speeches were all about what he wasn’t going to do. He claimed falsely that he would not cut funding to the ABC etc as well as many other reassuring comforting messages.

    The pandemic in the USA coupled with the essential nature of Trump made running a ,
    dead campaign ideal for Biden. He was accused of not coming out of his cellar and faced hoots of derision and general insult for his apparent lack of action. Yet when he spoke he was always right on message. And it worked. He just stood back and let Trump hang himself.

    Lets hope it works for Albo.

  9. Matters Not

    Stuart Tomlinson re:

    have also ran as a Labour candidate in a State Election

    Dear oh dear. For your information. https://languageandgrammar.com/2008/06/18/have-you-run-into-this-grammar-error/#:~:text=The%20present%20tense%20of%20run%20is%20run.&text=The%20past%20tense%20is%20ran,The%20past%20participle%20is%20run. Then there’s Labor and then there’s Labour . (Yes I know it’s an aside but one wonders how a candidate for the ALP didn’t know what Party he was supposedly representing.)

    As for Albo’s strategy of waiting for Morrison to lose (through over-reach) might just work – given Shorten lost rather than Morrison won. Of course, he will be a Labor hero if it’s a success.

  10. Mari Rand

    Thanks Trish and Stuart for hour comments so agree

  11. RosemaryJ36

    I am not one of the members of the Australian Labor party – all of whom, no doubt, are privy to every statement released by the party, which I am not.
    I have nothing but feelings of disgust for Scott Morrison, which is why I want him to lose at the next election – which might be this year.
    I do not read the Murdoch media opinion pieces.
    I subscribe to The New Daily, Crikey and the AIM Network. I only, by chance, get to read commentary by the Murdoch media, whose bias against Labor I recognise as poisonous.
    I spend a great deal of time keeping up with the news, both national and international.
    I want everyone else in Australia who wants this government out to know what Labor’s policies and plans are so they can make a considered decision at the next election.
    Do I deserve the serve I have received from Trish and Stuart?
    No.
    Stuart is right that the media is not doing its job – which I think I alluded to, perhaps not clearly enough – but what is the ALP doing to ameliorate this situation?
    Ask any unaffiliated Australian and most of them will probably share my query – what are the Labor party’s policies and what would they do which the Coalition is not doing? And why do they always seem to be supporting nearly everything the Coalition is doing? Why cannot they follow a “That was good but wouldn’t this be better?” approach?
    I am an intelligent person and the two Australian leaders whom I have most admired in my (just) 50 years in Australia are Don Dunstan – who did not follow popular opinion, but led people down the path he thought best – and Gough Whitlam – who was not a good organiser or judge of people but who had a very worthwhile vision. Both, clearly Labor leaders.
    The ALP has got to work much harder to get their message out beyond party members!

  12. guest

    Baby Jewels, You say: “Joel Fitzgibbon is damaging the campaign for action against Climate Change and at the same time, backing the government’s position on doing nothing, just business as usual.” Fitzgibbon knows that the coal industry is in decline. He has written about his predicament representing the Hunter Valley and its coal workers (behind paywall in the Murdoch media). Labor is the party which has sat on the fence with regard to Climate Change and coal mining. He wants to know what is going to happen to coal workers as Oz transitions to zero carbon emissions. He says that Labor’s muddled position is a disaster. It is what cost Labor the federal election in Queensland seats.

    So you say about mine workers, Baby Jewels: “I do not see them a special, as some do. And as they seem to.” It is that attitude that Fitzgibbon is talking about. Both Labor and the Coalition seem to be “backing the government position of doing nothing, just business as usual.”

    In fact, of course, it is not “just business as usual” for all. Private industry is doing what we want done about Climate Change by developing renewable energy of the sun and wind kind and in changing technologies. Even the Coalition talks of renewables, as does Adani as it reduces coal extraction and develops renewables. But while we are talking about transition to zero emissions, we are not talking about what will happen to the coal workers. At present the coal worker are caught in a dilemma. Labor talks about zero emissions by 2050 and the Murdoch media asks what the plan is. Contrariwise, the Murdoch media says the Coalition has a plan (Taylor’s “road-map”) but they do not need to implement that until late into this century (according to C.Kenny).

    The suggestion has been made often that we need to assist coal workers with the transition with jobs training, housing and transfer costs – whatever it takes. And it will be a difficult task because the Coalition, dominated by fossil fuel adherents, wants coal to be a top export. They hope they can continue to do that with the help of some dodgy technology – or with some new technology not yet discovered. It is all pie in the sky stuff.

    But if the coal workers see some hope in being paid well for mining coal, and if Labor does not offer some way of transitioning from coal to some other work, they will continue to vote against Labor in Queensland.

  13. RosemaryJ36

    PS Trish ‘Finally, the “where is the opposition” diatribe is getting a bit old. If you are politically engaged and using a platform to write an opinion piece, at least have the Willingness to investigate what is actually being said & done by Labor.’

    Please recognise that the average swing voter is NOT politically engaged and does not take the trouble to investigate!

    Open your mind to the fact that it is YOUR job to make sure people can access the facts to which you are privy!

    I think I have only once not voted for a Labor candidate, because I believe in social justice and most of the Coalition does not.

    The average person in the street votes for whoever his father – or her husband – voted for, to put it crudely – and – like Trump’s ‘base’ – they readily believe lies!

  14. leefe

    Rosemary:
    “Stuart is right that the media is not doing its job – which I think I alluded to, perhaps not clearly enough – but what is the ALP doing to ameliorate this situation?”

    What can they do? They are not in government, they have no political power, no authority to change the rules governing media, and limited channels for disseminating their policies due to the behaviour of said MSM. So how are they supposed to fix the problem?

    I’m thoroughly frustrated by the current situation and by current ALP leadership, but can we put the blame squarely where it is deserved, not on those most affected by it? Remove media bias and our entire political landscape is altered.

  15. Karen Kyle

    Rosemary……..how can someone who is not politically engaged have the presumption to write an article about a political party. If you are going to make public comment about a political party in a written argument it is up to the writer to do the research. The political party is under no obligation to educate you. A political party puts out policy and platform, publicly, it does not spoon feed all and sundry. All and sundry must make some personal effort. You know what they say about leading a horse to water.

  16. Stuart Tomlinson

    Matters Not
    Unlike you, I do not have to hide behind an assumed name to hide my identity and attack other who have commented. Thankyou for pointing out my typing error, i guess that i am 100% human after all and like others, I do make the occasional spelling mistake. What annoys me most is wankers like you that attack people over a simple typo error, obviously you have very little to do other than nit pick typing errors/mistakes. And yes, I do know how to spell Labor

  17. David Stakes

    Agree with all sides of the argument here, but Labor do need to get more out there. Difficult in this Media Landscape. But more Labor members on the ABC The Drum and Q&A instead all we see is the same old tired Libs and IPA members. No wonder people dont know what Labor stands for.

  18. DrakeN

    Stuart Tomlinson, you are a prime example of exactly why the Labor Party fails in the polls time after time.
    You appear to assert that only the “Party Faithful” are actually privy to the internal discussions of the Party and alone have the right to hold opinion of where the Party is, or is not.
    This partisan snobbery, often ‘inverted’ snobbery, gets right up the nostrils of well informed and rational people, many of whom actually know more about the Party’s machinations than those blinded by dogma and indoctrination.
    So, please, pull your head in and stop denegrating people who whose opinions run contrary to yours.
    The adage: ‘My mind is made up; please don’t confuse me with facts” seems to apply to your postings here.
    PS. Not only do you make the occasional spelling mistake, but your grammar is indicative of someone who was to smart-arsed to listen to his teachers in primary school.

  19. DrakeN

    leefe: “What can they do? They are not in government, they have no political power, no authority to change the rules governing media,…”
    No attempt was made to rein in the media when they had ample opportunity to do so after the 2007 election, but the Party Nabobs squibbed it.
    The reasons why have yet to be openly and honestly presented.
    The “Game of Mates” ( copyright Cameron Murray and Paul Frijters ) seems to have been in play.

  20. Karen Kyle

    David Stakes……I think you will find a political party in opposition is of little interest to the media. They concentrate on the Government. They are doing their jobs. One of the biggest shocks faced by political parties after an election loss is coming to terms with the fact that the press no longer wants to talk to them. Apart fom a few guest spots on TV current affairs shows which are usually highly specific re subject matter, they find it hard to get the word out. That’s why people like Rosemary need to research. Easy enough.

  21. DrakeN

    Karen Kyle: “David Stakes……I think you will find a political party in opposition is of little interest to the media.”

    Your memory seems to be as dodgy as ever, Karen.

    The Australian mainstream media, led by the IPA propaganda outlet – News Corp – continually denegrates, mis-represents and lies about the Labor Party, the Greens Parties, Independents and anyone who will not toe the Right-wing extremist line.
    They cannot report favourably on the Labor Opposition in the House because, ipso facto, there is nothing favourable (in their opinion) in any policy etc. proposition which does not meet with their doctrine.
    Go back a few years to the 2007 – 2013 Labor incumbency and observe the monstrous diatribes produced by the commercial MSM against the Government and note their vociferous and never-ending boosting of the Liberal and National Parties.
    It is a rigged system whereby the whole of the information media is biased in favour of ‘big money’; even to the point of affecting the editorial and production stances of the ABC and the SBS.

    As I replied to leefe, the ALP had the opportunity to fix this during their encumbency, but omitted to do so, which is something which I find quite inexplicable.

  22. Roswell

    I’m a Labor voter. I always will be.

    It doesn’t mean, however, that I’m not allowed to admit that I preferred Bill Shorten to Albo. I don’t think I’m alone there.

    I am also disappointed that Labor has ditched their plans to scrap the franking credits rorts. To me, that’s not Labor.

    I’m a member of the party and will be making my objections known.

  23. Trish Corry

    “Open your mind to the fact that it is YOUR job to make sure people can access the facts to which you are privy!”

    No, Rosemary. You are the Author on an Independent Media platform. It is up to YOU to challenge what you are writing and make sure it’s the truth & your arguments can be supported. It’s not a Facebook post. If you aren’t going to research publicly available information, and just throw about unthought out opinion attacking Labor, how are you any different to the Murdoch press?

    You have even written about the NDIS as if it’s a Liberal policy and Labor is just going along with it. Shorten spent years working closely with people with lived experience to develop this key national progressive reform, and the Libs have stuffed it.

    You only need to Google NDIS Labor Morrison to find a raft of information about the Liberal failures & Labor proposals to ensure people with a disability have their needs met. You don’t need to be a member of the Labor party to get any of the facts. That’s YOUR job as an author. Not mine as the reader.

  24. Stuart Tomlinson

    Totally and absolutely agree with your comment Trish

  25. Roswell

    Rosemary is the author and she is free to write about whatever she wants. She doesn’t need to be told what to write.

  26. Matters Not

    Great to see some conflict to begin the new year. One hopes it will continue. Stuart Tomlinson – if you’re intent on a political career, then there’s a few things to remember (and in no particular order). First, respect the reader! That means taking the time and making the effort to get the basics of writing (spelling, punctuation, grammar etc) as error free as possible. And in your case, such errors go beyond ‘typos’. For a start, read the link provided above so you won’t ever make that mistake again.

    Second, always be conscious that in politics (and elsewhere) – first impressions are lasting impressions – so get it right first time. Of course, everyone makes mistakes but with a solid start, most people will then be more tolerant of future mistakes. (Must admit I didn’t finish reading your first contribution because you made such a poor start – grammatically speaking. And as an aspiring politician you can’t afford ‘early leavers’.)

    Third, take criticism (fair or foul) good heartedly because as a politician it comes with the job. Calling people ‘wankers’ rarely wins hearts and minds, regardless of merit.

    Best of luck for the future!

  27. DrakeN

    Trish Corry, you do love to tell others what they should be doing; something which borders on dictatorial.
    What gives you the right to declare the whys and wherefores of someone else’s web site?
    Back in your box, bully-girl.

  28. Karen Kyle

    Drake N……the Libs changed the media ownership laws in twenty seventeen with support from cross benchers including One Nation.

    So………..when was the ALP able to fix this problem again? Whose memory is shonky? And just what could the ALP have done about it?

  29. Karen Kyle

    Roswell……..Anyone who writes for public consumption had better be as accurate as possibe. And with the
    internet today there is no excuse. We have free speech and yes, Rosemary can write what she wants but if it isn’t accurate she risks having such inaccuracies exposed and she will lose credibility.

  30. Trish Corry

    And a reader has a right to critique an article especially if it’s baseless opinion.

  31. Matters Not

    Re:

    also disappointed that Labor has ditched their plans to scrap the franking credits rorts

    Really? As a policy, it was dead in the water from the time of its launch as evidenced by by the many rewrites of what was originally described as a well-thought through policy. Clearly it wasn’t! Jenny Macklin (who wasn’t originally consulted) forced some changes, particularly as it affected pensioners but by then it was too late. The groundwork for a scare campaign was already set in concrete.

    For Albo to run again with that policy would have caused an internal revolt. And he’s been around too long to risk that.

  32. Leoni

    I rarely comment on here but pop in regularly to get my fix of unbiased political opinion. I see and hear enough of the other kind every day. I am disappointed to see the division appearing in these comments. Especially the tone of some of them.

    I see, and respect, Rosemary’s article as being her opinion. That is what I come in here for. Thank you for that Rosemary.

    As another who is not a member of any political party, just an average person who is interested in politics, and has even voted for the ‘other’ side in the past I am not going to do hours of research on every statement any politician might make. Articles like Rosemary’s and many other great authors on here help me to make up my mind come voting day.

    I now consider myself a long time Labor voter, in spite of having voted otherwise in the past. It’s unlikely that will change, but my reason for sticking with Labor is based on something simpler than complicated policies, no matter how good they appear to be.

    It is based more on the perception that Labor people are, for the most part, just plain nicer. Please don’t make me change my mind on that one.

    P.S. – Roswell, I also preferred Bill Shorten to Albo.

  33. Roswell

    Matters Not, you are right and will get no argument from me.

    Labor did time the announcement poorly and they didn’t think the policy through. But … in principle I agree with what they were trying to achieve.

    (Checking over comment to see that there are know spelling mistakes). 😁

  34. Roswell

    “Baseless opinion”. 😳

    There is no such thing. Opinions are opinions.

  35. Roswell

    I’m with you, Leonie.

    The expression of an opinion should be encouraged. Not condemned.

  36. John Boyd

    I generally enjoy Rosemary36’s articles, and admire her stand on environment and global warming. Like some other commentators, I am also a little disturbed at her criticism of the ALP, of which I am a member. Rosemary looks for a party that ‘which believes in social justice and has a truly effective concept for a national ICAC’. I suggest it would be hard to not see in the ALP platform, openly available at https://www.alp.org.au/media/2200/2020-alp-national-platform-consultation-draft.pdf , a party committed to social justice and equity.

    On the ICAC front, it is true that Labor had argued against the need for such a body, but following the build up of questionable behavior by the ATM government, Bill Shorten took a commitment to establish a Federal ICAC to the 2019 election and that commitment still stands, with a bill passed by the Senate, but rejected by the LNP controlled house..

    The franking credits issue is complex. As many have noted, it opened up a dishonest, but very effective, line of attack by the LNP. I am sure Rosemary will sympathise with me in describing my anger at standing day after day handing out for the ALP and listening to the LNP supporters, many of whom I knew, hiding behind the totally dishonest anti-Shorten placards and handouts. I am sure that doing something about this outrageous rort will be on the agenda of a Labor government. Members like me will be doing what we can to ensure that more justice and equity is returned to the taxation system. It’s not just franking credits, it’s the whole ‘flat tax’ and related philosophy.

    The ALP has done a lot of thinking about what went wrong in 2019, and we all have our own special issues. The party as a whole has been quite open about the difficulties, with a comprehensive review led by Dr Craig Emerson and Jay Weatherill, available at .https://alp.org.au/media/2046/alp-campaign-review-2019.pdf . It makes good and compelling reading. You do not find any such openness on the LNP side.

    On the global warming front, the target of zero net emissions was adopted at the 2015 national convention and still stands, essentially the international ‘gold standard’. Along with others, I think that that target is no longer adequate, but to move beyond it, we first have to get into government and rejoin the global community on this issue.

    Like many in the party, I am doing what I can as we look to an election probably later this year.

  37. Henry Rodrigues

    It is heartening to see the debate here is lively and that is what we need, whatever one’s point of view. From the conflict of ideas come real solutions. The present landscape where the media ignores anything that is related to Labor or the Greens is discouraging but that should only makes us fight harder and smarter. Murdoch and his minions have got the minds of the population just where they want them, in the palms of their slimy hands. But Scummo only has a 1 seat majority so there is room for optimism. In my opinion, Labor and Albo have just got to be more aggressive and keep hammering the coalition at every turn especially in parliament

    Ed Husic, recently elevated to the opposition front bench had the right approach when he bagged Josh Frydenberg about where and who he represented. Now that is the sort of aggression every Labor member should practice and hone. Scummo and Murdoch are bastards, so treat them as such. People who are sympathetic to Labor or are just swing voters, want to see the opposition behave like the opposition. To put it crudely, lets kick some ass.

  38. Karen Kyle

    Henri……..arse.

  39. Roswell

    We Americans say ass.

  40. Roswell

    Hi John,

    The thought of Morrison as PM for just one more day is vomit inducing, but I think Labor would stand a better chance if the election was delayed as long as possible.

  41. Roswell

    It’s Henry, not Henri.

  42. Matters Not

    Re:

    The franking credits issue is complex.

    Indeed it is. And it’s currently (almost) peculiar to Australia and New Zealand. Probably best to abandon it completely because of its distorting effects on the local share market where it discourages longer term planning and investment decisions.

    But as a political weapon it’s far from dead and buried with the LNP certain to again breathe life into the issue at the next election despite assurances from Albo.

  43. Roswell

    Matters Not, you’re a wise, astute person. I mean that.

  44. Matters Not

    John Boyd re:

    am sure that doing something about this outrageous rort will be on the agenda of a Labor government.

    That’s the type of vow that’s sweet music to Morrison’s ears. Thus don’t be surprised if it’s the basis of an election advertisement or two in the coming contest. Something along the lines of a Labor’s secret agenda meme.

    Can imagine Albo also thinking – With friends like that – who needs enemies?

  45. Joe Carli

    ” Matters Not, you’re a wise, astute person. I mean that.” ……..

    ” You’ll find extra paper bags in the pocket of the seat in front, Sir..have a good flight..”

  46. John Boyd

    Matters Not…Good point…maybe not so smart, but who is listening to me? What I have in mind is along the lines of revisiting the Henry report and related reviews of the taxation system..

  47. Matters Not

    John Boyd re:

    who is listening to me?

    Perhaps someone who might find you and your utterances somewhat useful in the future. For example, the notion of privacy is now a myth; As Michael West demonstrates

    The Liberal Party’s pollsters, the Crosby Textor Group (CT Group), tried to access 27 million unlisted mobile phones before last year’s May federal election. Access to unlisted numbers only became possible from 14 December 2018, when the then communications minister, Mitch Fifield, very quietly changed the regulations. Michael West Media can find no media release by the minister detailing the significant regulatory change.

    The regulations give “researchers” carte blanche to access the unlisted numbers as long as the research relates to federal, state and local government electoral matters. While there was no media release heralding the changes, the CT Group was nonetheless quick off the mark, filing an application to access the government’s Integrated Public Number Database in February 2019, according to documents obtained by Michael West Media under Freedom of Information.

    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/a-pushy-number-libs-pollster-crosby-textor-granted-access-to-27-million-unlisted-mobiles/ With the right type of data mining, the LNP could make the generalised you a media star over-night. Just sayin …

  48. Andrew J. Smith

    Labor gets into trouble not through having fair and equitable policies prepared, but trying (or perception) to present too many with too much detail vs. LNP which often does not even appear to have any policy apart from simplistic slogans; simply allows LNP, NewsCorp etc. to play ‘whack a mole’ with anything linked to Labor policy (such oppositional gaming in itself is entertaining content for media).

    More serious, most Australians are oblivious of, is the limited access Labor and related interests have with mainstream or legacy media, more like Turkey or Hungary, which precludes any taling points or policies gaining traction, let alone awareness.

    Think Labor needs a hard look at how to present in the current media landscape and learn from the LNP media eco-system e.g. keep policy pronouncements simple, do not present complex or easily attacked policy e.g. franking credits (‘war game’ potential threats), focus upon issues with government policy (especially ethics and the nebulous LNP Oz ‘values’), highlight negatives and repeat often, supported by yes, a bit of mongrel from selected MPs to .

    Finally, make hay about how the LNP (with hollowed out membership) do not even make locally grounded policy but receive it, on behalf of Australians (not asked nor told), indirectly from US radical right libertarians (who support Trump) via IPA, CIS, ASPI etc. with NewsCorp providing communications. Conversely Labor has the Grattan (littered with corporate supporters) and/or Australian Institutes (naive media strategy cf with IPA….) who often present libertarian friendly policies which can then be used against or to pressure Labor on e.g. superannuation guarantee….. one wonders whose side they are on?

    The LNP supporters and ideologues for radical right ideology are very coy as the same would inevitably lead to a more unequal society (aka Gini coefficient) like the US with targets being education, unemployment benefits and wages (affecting young people who are outnumbered in key, or now most, electorates), while trying to molly coddle the middle aged and older vote who are more likely to vote LNP, are focused upon health, income and short term horizons, with sociocultural issues used to deflect.

    Australians can choose apathy and interia with the incentive of imagined prosperity via the LNP and dollops of white nativism, but need to be warned that Trump/US and Brexit are of the same origins; leaving a very uncertain future for coming generations due to much hubris (encouraged by media) amongst voters conforming to and voting for the nativist libertarian project.

  49. Keith

    Presently we are focused on the Covid-19 crisis; yet, the emissions from fossil fuels kill more people every year than the terrible damage the virus has created to individuals and communities. Medical journals such as Lancet and British Medical Journal provide studies supporting such a view. Rosemary has written a number of articles supporting her views, Labor and the LNP both support gas as a transition away from coal, a policy not supported by some CSIRO climate scientists. Once decommissioned, gas wells leak methane gas even after being plugged to try to safe guard them. The other factor is good farming land is damaged through short term use by fossil fuel corporations. With climate change we need every acre of farm land available to produce food. While Trish et al might have some valid points, their points are over- shadowed by where we are at present in relation to fossil fuel emissions and climate change. Rosemary has been pointing out where we are heading for some time.

  50. Henry Rodrigues

    Karen Kyle, Roswell….. I am mildly flattered that you noticed, but Henry, Henri,. Enriques, still loves to kick coalition arse, ass, butt, backside, posterior.
    So let’s all vow do these creeps over and lets do it with venom gusto and malice.

  51. Joe Carli

    As “guest” and many others on site who have a knowledge and a respect for historical time-lines, these people will know that history is like an oscillating line that swings back and forth to many times overlap on itself…This is not to say history repeats in an exacting re-enactment, but that it “proves” a repetition of human foibles of organic, habitual reactions to repeated situations…

    Many scholars and revolutionaries were students of history, both contemporary and ancient and within those tomes of archived wisdom and hard lessons they could filter out, like a calculating alchemist, that which was the objective lesson to be scrutinised and salubriously applied, and what was the most destructive exemplar to be avoided like poison … They weighed one period of history against the other and studied that and those which could be called a “perennial truth” .. ; a truism that could be applied down through any age, any culture .. as familiar to ancient and modern, as commonly felt in pain and pleasure by any peoples .. as grist to all as jealousy and love or fire and water .. yet used in many differing applications by all and the generic knowledge amongst any nation which has learned to value and scorn the solid truth of what gold is to iron pyrites.

    “It is true that the history of past centuries ought to be the instructress
    of the present; but not in the vulgar sense, as if one could simply
    by turning over the leaves discover the conjunctures of the present
    in the records of the past, and collect from these the symptoms
    for a political diagnosis and the specifics for a prescription;
    it is instructive only so far as the observation of older forms
    of culture reveals the organic conditions of civilization generally–
    the fundamental forces everywhere alike, and the manner of their
    combination everywhere different–and leads and encourages men,
    not to unreflecting imitation, but to independent reproduction.” (Mommsen ; History of Rome, chap 11, bk 5.).

    So only in a general sense we can claim that : “History repeats”.But in an “organic” sense, we can clearly see the familiarity of behaviours, the continuity and habits … Jealousy remains a constant .. as does hate and greed and covetous desire … and many more .. there is a constant in so many things human.

    This is where we are today..I believe we are in a repeat cycle of a certain pattern of history that will play-out regardless of singular attempts to change the cycle…The “oscillating pattern” is over too large an area of cross-cultural, cross-market, cross time-lapse period to either stop or change direction without dramatic attention..Hence the calling by myself for a complete change of ruling class leadership.

    Labor are headed in this direction through the natural attrition of older members being replaced by first generation tertiary educated working-class people…We can only hope it extends further into the “machine” before we run out of time.

  52. RomeoCharlie29

    Wow RJ, that put the cat among the pigeons. Can’t remember a post attracting so many comments. As a former Labor member, now lapsed but still supporting, I am inclined to the view that while it is up to Labor to both have, and publicise, it’s policies I am equally aware that they will get no fair go from the bulk of the MSM. There is also the belief many hold that going to an election with a full suite of policies (preferably well considered) still invites defeat by a party with no policies, only slogans. I think Shorten grew into the job and presented Labor’s policies well.unfortunately,min my opinion, in the last weeks of the 2019 campaign, his discipline failed him and he dropped in a couple of policies which proved ripe for scare campaigns, Franking credits among them. It’s a tough choice between telling all and keeping your powder dry. We know the LNP will tell lies about Labor policies, which is why I would ban any political party from commenting about another’s policies. Labor was accused of starting this tactic with its Mediscare campaign in 2016, or whenever, forgettiing or ignoring that it was based on what was a clear Lib intention. Anyway keep stirring the possum everyone but please, respond politely. Describing other commenters as wankers is not polite and should be reserved for discussing the LNP. In my opinion.

  53. RosemaryJ36

    Keith – Thank you for mentioning the elephant in the room.
    At no time has the ALP committed itself to rapidly moving away from fossil fuels.
    And – yes – there are union members whose jobs will go if coal mining goes – but please note how many jobs have gone because of COVID-19. And under a Labor government, I am sure that all of those now left with little or no income would be being looked after much better than they are now. But does everyone feel sure of that?
    The Coalition demands that Labor tell us what the cost of moving into renewables will be, but the Coalition is not telling us what the cost of NOT doing so will be!
    There are hundreds of voters who want to see the back of the Coalition – including me – but many of them do not want to commit themselves until they have a clearer picture of what Labor offers.
    And they will not necessarily go looking for the information – they will be primarily influenced by what they see and hear in the media.
    My article was intended to alert those who support Labor that more would do so if they were sure what Labor’s policies are.
    I do not want an Opposition which just carps about the government’s failures.
    I want an Opposition which tells us what an alternative government has to offer – and how it will achieve it.
    So if you are a wholehearted ALP supporter – stop being precious when your party is criticised because – like all of us – it could do better.
    When I studied law, I was warned that you need to practice being a prosecutor as well as a defender. Then, when you decide which side you want to be on, you have an insight into the arguments the other side will throw at you.
    That was the mistake Bill Shorten made in 2019. He was not sufficiently prepared to counter the criticism – let alone the lies.
    If you want to be a good advocate, you need first to examine how your arguments will be attacked and prepare a counter attack.
    How much will abandoning fossil fuels cost?
    How long is a piece of string?
    How much will it cost us – not just in terms of economic damage but also damage to health and well-being – if we continue using fossil fuels?
    What are the statistics on health costs to date from air pollution?
    What are the facts?
    More than 50% of the population – and probably a higher percentage of business leaders want certainty over action on global warming.
    They are not getting it from the Coalition.
    Will they get it from Labor?

  54. RosemaryJ36

    Karen Kyle – “how can someone who is not politically engaged have the presumption to write an article about a political party. If you are going to make public comment about a political party in a written argument it is up to the writer to do the research. The political party is under no obligation to educate you. A political party puts out policy and platform, publicly, it does not spoon feed all and sundry. All and sundry must make some personal effort. You know what they say about leading a horse to water.”

    A high proportion of the population has neither the time nor the interest – or, in many cases, the ability – to do the research. They depend on the media for the ‘facts’ – god help them!
    As a former teacher, lawyer and mediator – and a forever parent! – I try to see life through other people’s eyes and – when necessary – advocate for them. Is that really being presumptive?
    I want the Coalition out.
    I am fully aware that many people who also want the Coalition out, need to know a lot more about Labor’s policies before they will risk voting them in.

  55. leefe

    DrakeN:

    The ALP government not doing anything about media ownership laws 14 years ago doesn’t answer the question of what they are supposed to do now to fix a problem which has since gotten far worse.

  56. Josephus

    Hello Rosemary J6
    If you were to study the policies of the main parties in this country you might find one that is constantly urging a federal ICAC and social justice eg social housing.

    I respect your integrity, honesty and sensible suggestions.

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