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Worlds Apart

There are two types of progressives. Until these progressives unite and find a common voice, a common message, a common set of policies to unite behind, instead of bickering amongst ourselves, there will be more Trump-like wins coming to an electorate near you. Before you stop reading and start commenting that I’m generalising, and that you don’t fit one of the two sides discretely, save yourself the hassle because I’ve heard it all before. I’m not talking about you in particular. I’m talking about all of us. That’s what generalising is, and sometimes, in politics, you have to generalise in order to see clearly.

The two types who are currently worlds apart can concisely be described as those benefiting from globalisation and those who aren’t. Let’s call them the global progressives versus anti-global progressives. In some places, like the US, the divide can be simplified into country versus city folk. Labour UK MP, Bridget Phillipson, in this excellent piece outlining Labour’s divided electoral base, refers to the two groups as Hull versus Hampstead. For an Australian perspective, Kosmos Samaras, who I urge you to follow, calls this divide the old economy suburbs versus the new economy cities. Greg Jericho writes regularly on the topic, with lots of worrying stats to show how wide the divide really is. What all this analysis has in common is a diagnoses that there are winners from globalisation and losers, and resulting wealth and income inequality, and that progressive political parties have to find a way to persuade both groups that progressive policies are good for all of them in order to implement policies which are good for all of them. Sounds simple when you put it like that, doesn’t it!

Luckily, I have a solution. I’ve been talking about an inclusive growth narrative for a long time, with examples, and eventually started hearing Shorten using it (great minds think alike). Just last week, Shorten gave a great speech about the Harvester case which was dripping with the inclusive growth narrative. In a nutshell, this narrative argues that any government policy of social and economic investment, whether it be infrastructure spending, improving education, funding healthcare, securing a social safety-net, creating opportunities for employment (you know, like Labor’s entire policy platform), is a good idea because it distributes the spoils of globalisation more fairly, reduces inequality and is therefore good for everyone, including the winners and losers from globalisation. Any policy that helps someone, anyone, secure a job is good for the economy. Any policy that provides opportunity for someone to earn a living and spend in the economy, is good for the economy. Every single person who contributes to their society and economy, whether in a paid job, or an unpaid one, is good for all of us. Wealth does not trickle down, it spreads outwards from the middle. Wealth inequality is bad for all of us, it makes us poorer and resentful and leaves people behind in poverty. No economy can survive this unsustainable situation forever. The economy needs everyone spending, everyone thriving, in order for everyone to thrive. Anything a government does to improve wealth equality IS A GOOD THING. In a nutshell.

So what’s stopping us getting this message out there, loud and clear, and all jumping in behind it, getting our hands on the rope, and pulling away from the neoliberal, trickle-down, free-marketeer elite-establishment who currently run the country for their big-business mates?

Bickering between the two types of progressives is the reason we aren’t a united electoral unbeatable force. Don’t believe me?

I don’t write or tweet to make friends, luckily, so I don’t care how many readers I piss off by saying that those whose main involvement in political discussions is yelling about Labor’s refugee policies, who are pro-globalisation and interested only in identity politics and will loudly say they will never vote for Labor again, and will never listen to Labor again because of the evil Labor asylum seeker policies, are a big part of the problem. Again, I’ll get yelled at and don’t care, when I say, as I’ve said before, that if asylum seeker policy is at the top of your to-do list when it comes to political activism, up there with environmental policy, same sex marriage and banning grey-hound racing, you are very likely sitting smack-bang in the middle of a privileged world where you enjoy the fruits of globalisation, enjoying higher wages, more opportunity, interesting work, international travel, technological advancement and the moral-superiority feeling of signing an anti-Labor-asylum-seeker-policy petition while you sip lattes at your local hipster cafe. More than likely, you’re also not a union member.

I’m not saying, for a moment, that you aren’t 100% entitled to feel very passionate about the policies that interest you most, and of course you are entitled to voice your opinion on these policies as much as you like. Good on you for caring so much. But, that doesn’t mean you’re helping. And it doesn’t mean your inability to even listen to other perspectives, to understand that progressive politics in Australia is about more than just the policies you’re passionate about, and that when there are discussions going on about these other policies, such as when Labor is talking about education funding, healthcare, industrial relations and welfare, that your dedication to interrupting and diverting these discussions with rants about asylum seeker policy (don’t pretend you don’t do this – I’ve seen you commenting on Shorten’s Facebook page – it’s called trolling), isn’t part of the problem.


Maybe it would be useful for the pro-globalisation privileged progressives to think of political motivation like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When you’re down the bottom of the hierarchy, struggling to get a full-time job, struggling to pay the bills, seeing your child got to an under-funded public high school in the suburbs and hoping for a better life for them, you don’t have much motivation to think about the conditions for asylum seekers on Nauru. You are, on the other hand, more interested in the latest union-negotiated minimum wage rise, or the infrastructure funding which might turn your casual labourer job into a full-time position. But when you’re at the top of the pyramid, worried about esteem and morality and self-actualisation, all dressed up in identity politics, it’s hard to understand that your well-meaning progressive rants and your hatred of the Labor Party and anyone who defends them is not helping progressives to actually get elected, make a difference and implement policies that will benefit you, and those much lower on the hierarchy who, day by day, are tempted to vote for parties who aren’t only interested in the issues they have no interest in, or time to even worry about. It comes down to compromise really, and from where I’m sitting, many pro-global progressives need a huge does of compromise.

But compromise, of course, goes both ways. There is a way that anti-global would-be progressives also aren’t helping. And that’s through scapegoating. It is human nature, when things are going badly, to find someone to blame. Losing out from globalisation is a hugely disappointing life experience for people who I empathize deeply with. When you work hard, you can’t seem to get ahead, your industry job has disappeared to a computer or China, you haven’t had a wage rise in 20 years, your job is insecure and you feel powerless to do anything about it, you want to provide for your family but constantly feel anxious about your ability to do so – it’s exhaustingly frustrating. The resentment is justified. But what is not justified is the scapegoating and discriminatory blame of the outcomes of wealth inequality on minority groups, immigrants, people with different religious beliefs, and anyone who represents the ‘other’. In fact, immigration, including asylum seekers, is excellent for the economy and creates jobs. When I say everyone benefits from the creation of one job, I mean every single person. If there are employers out there, and when I say if, I mean, when there are employers out there taking advantage of new arrivals in the labour market, knowing they can get away with paying the vulnerable and desperate less than a citizen who knows their industrial rights, then that’s the employer being the bad guy. So blame them. Do not, and I mean, definitely do not think Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi and Donald Trump’s racist xenophobic whites-only policies are going to save you. You’re being preyed on by opportunist cons. And by the way, is globalisation really the problem, or is it just neoliberal globalisation? There is a difference.

Ok, so now that everyone has had a serve from me, it’s time we all got along. We all need to work together to make our country a better place for all of us. So next time your knee-jerk reaction to a political discussion comes flying out of your mouth, hold your tongue for a moment, and remember that you might hate what I’m saying, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a point. Together, we can do this.


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  1. townsvilleblog

    Victoria, I’m not able to concentrate for long enough to read the full story which is a pity, as far as I can see it remains the old story with Global labour v Global capital, we have the current situation whereas 1% of the global population owns 50%+ of the global economy via corporations who operate in almost every country on Earth and are either assisted by corrupt or conservative governments to avoid paying taxation in all of the countries in which they operate. In Australia for example the taxation legislation provide them with loop holes through which they can make a billion dollars per annum and pay NO tax, in fact many media outlets reported late last year that 579 corporations out of 1500 surveyed paid not a cent in tax.

    This leaves the tax burden to small business and the PAYE taxpayers (working people) so as far as I can see nothing has changed in the past 60 years to my knowledge, if I am missing something, please inform me as to what that something may be?

  2. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    No argument from me about this.

  3. Kaye Lee

    “the moral-superiority feeling of signing an anti-Labor-asylum-seeker-policy petition while you sip lattes at your local hipster cafe.”

    Is it really necessary to adopt the perjorative labelling? I know Father Rod from the Gosford Anglican Church. He fights hard for refugee and gay rights. These things are important to him because he feels he is giving voice to the voiceless and inclusion to the excluded.

    Perhaps if Labor changed their asylum seeker policy they wouldn’t be distracted by the constant interruption? Perhaps if they had voted for gay marriage when they had the chance we wouldn’t be being distracted by it now?

    “your hatred of the Labor Party and anyone who defends them is not helping progressives to actually get elected”

    I agree and feel the same about Labor’s hatred of the Greens.

    In my opinion, what we need, rather than categorising of each other, is decent policies to unite behind. Labor and the Greens, between them, have the right idea – they should collaborate to find common ground and refine policy.

    I agree jobs are important but get very disappointed when it gets reduced to “Jobs, jobs, jobs”. I would like to hear Shorten stressing SUSTAINABLE jobs more with explanation of what that means.

  4. Athena

    Basically anyone who disagrees with Victoria is wrong so STFU. If you voice your dissent you’re a troll. And oh btw we have to get along. Great article. I’m sure that will be effective way to unite the left…. not. Here’s a tip, Victoria. Take some lessons from Fr Rod Bower.

  5. Exoplanet

    The second anyone from Labor mentions ‘latte-sipping’ they lose me. It’s Peak Smug. And wrong.

    ‘It is human nature, when things are going badly, to find someone to blame.’ – Yes, and you managed to do precisely that in this article. Progressives who aren’t just like you and agree with you are the problem, apparently. Well, no, not quite. Where one places one’s concern for the plight of asylum seekers on one’s political-concern hierarchy actually speaks directly to the sort of progressive one is. But beyond that, the sort of human being one is in the most fundamental of ways. The treatment of asylum seekers is not in any way political periphery. It goes to the very heart of who you are as a progressive. As far as I’m concerned if that issue is not in the top tier of your social and political concerns you have no right calling yourself progressive at all.

    Characterising deep concern for our humanity in the form of our treatment of asylum seekers as some sort of luxury for the progressive latte-sipping elite is the kind of schlock I’d expect from Malcolm Turnbull.

    I am a struggling pensioner from a generationally poverty-stricken family. I do not drink latte but the plight of asylum seekers and the nature of our political and social response to them is in my top 3 political concerns, because I recognise how this issue speaks to everything – literally everything – about who we are. Rather than not being able to afford to place it high on my list, I cannot afford not to.

  6. Harquebus

    Victoria Rollison has once again displayed her ignorance and demonstrated why our world is suffering and is not going to get better.

    Jobs and inclusive growth are not going to improve things. Growth is a cancer that is cause of environemental destruction and jobs create pollution. We must destroy jobs and reduce the number of job seekers through population controls.

    “Any policy that helps someone, anyone, secure a job is good for the economy.”
    The economy is destroying everything that sustains us.

    Here is the mindset that Victoria belongs to:
    “There is no point in saving the planet if we ruin the economy doing it.” — former NSW Premier Morris Iemma

    Most can not fathom my pessimism. Well, Victoria has given you another good reason for it.

  7. Kaye Lee

    It is very difficult to prioritise and one of the most crucial skills to political, or any other form of, leadership. If we really want to be serious about priorities I would have thought climate change would have rated a mention in there somewhere. What unions do is extremely important, as is health and education, but we need far greater political courage in tackling climate change.

  8. Victoria Rollison

    Thanks for all so aptly proving my point. Commenting on articles without reading them is at the very least incredibly rude.

  9. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So Victoria, are you going to come to my ALLiance negotiations where the Greens, Labor and other interested Aussie progressive parties, can sit down together and plan the way forward out of the maelstrom of neoliberalism and towards progressive, inclusive, equitable reforms in the new Alternative Government of 2019?

  10. Victoria Rollison

    Kaye, I never said climate change isn’t worth tackling. In fact, the effects of climate change are going to be felt more harshly by those with the least resources to defend themselves, so wealth inequality is tied to environmental-outcomes inequality too. The Labor Party has a climate change policy I support, and if they had a chance to implement it, rather than having to work from opposition to fight against the Liberal’s non-policy, wouldn’t we all be in a better position? Politics is never about one policy. Reform never occurs only in one place.
    Harquebus, if you don’t like growth, you don’t like jobs. Simple as that. With a growing population, the only way to ensure everyone is employed is to have economic growth. Just because this idea inconveniences your idealistic views, doesn’t mean you’re correct. Are you volunteering to stop having children? I’ve got one. Am I allowed another?

  11. Victoria Rollison

    Jennifer, happy to hear more about this idea.

  12. Athena

    “Is it really necessary to adopt the perjorative labelling? ”

    @ Kaye Lee – This is a point that has been made repeatedly whenever Victoria bashes the left. Then she wonders why there is division.

  13. cornlegend

    Kay Lee
    “I know Father Rod from the Gosford Anglican Church.”
    I hope you are having a word in his ear about exploiting the gullible that front up to his Parish.
    Its difficult to take as fair dinkum anything anyone says when they spend the majority of their time bullshitting to the congregation about the little bloke in the clouds.
    You are calling him out on that ?
    These tell more porkies in a week than a pollie in a year

  14. Athena

    “There is no point in saving the planet if we ruin the economy doing it.” — former NSW Premier Morris Iemma

    @ Harqebus

    When there isn’t enough food to feed the planet, most of our water is polluted, we have to move away from the hotter areas, the thawing colder areas are releasing toxic gas and the remaining viable land is being covered by rising seas, we’ll look at each other and say “But thank goodness the economy is in great shape.”

    If we don’t look after the environment, we won’t have the rest either.

  15. Kaye Lee

    cornie, I can respect the good that people do whilst not agreeing with all they believe. It’s kind of like agreeing with most of Labor’s policies. I have been at protests with him where he has specifically welcomed atheists. He is a very tolerant man, more interested in good deeds than conversion.

  16. Jexpat


    You might consider that you piss off some readers due to your own duplicity? Exemplified several times in this very article?

    “Calls for unity” are rendered insincere by a repeated ‘my way’ (i.e. ‘whatever the Labor party room’s way is) or the highway attitude- and no sophomotic reference to Maslow’s Triangle is going to change that.

  17. vaughann722

    There used to be a time when the (largely Marxist) Left assumed the organised working class was going to carry the day for socialism in its own right. It was assumed to be the objective direction of history, and the objective historical mission of the working class. There was good reason to believe this for much of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Today, however, the Left is much more fractured – and probably less effective as a result. So how does the Left change orientation to achieve real progress? The answer is ‘a movement of movements’ based on mutual liberation and reciprocal solidarity. This means taking everyone’s suffering and oppression seriously. It means we don’t just have an ‘identity-based hierarchy’ with gender and sexuality up the top, but no-one gives a shit about poverty and social class anymore. It SHOULD mean employing the theoretical framework of that variation on the theme of ‘intersectionality’ which looks at the structures and social relations of oppression, exploitation and disadvantage – but also at the highly individual variations. Which means we MUST not over-simplify. That ‘movement of movements’ must include the staples of both the ‘old Left’ and the ‘new Left’ – social class ; and also gender, sexuality, environment and so on. Often the critiques of capitalism cross over each over in any case. But the bottom line is that the various strands within today’s Left are not strong enough on their own to carry the day! Either we have mutual liberation and solidarity – or it is much more likely we will all lose.

    The ALP record on refugees includes examples of base opportunism ; I’d agree We can’t have an ‘open door’ – but that doesn’t mean torturing people for years on end in hell-holes either. Rudd embraced Manus as a last minute attempt to ward away an Abbott Government. It was an appeal to Clinton’s so-called ‘deplorables’ – on the understanding that those people vote – and they vote on the basis of those issues. It almost worked – but left a very bitter taste in many peoples’ mouths. If people concede to that kind of opportunism then where do they draw the line? Do we start accepting the vilification of sole parents for instance? But if we embraced an ‘open door’ – giving the Liberals government on a platter – and providing impetus for the far right – would that be better? Look to Germany and the impetus given to its far Right wing. Its reasonable to argue for community based processing. And its legitimate to criticise the ALP here. But if the Left cannot carry the day within the ALP – the Greens will not be able to carry the day either on just 10% of the vote. The fight within the ALP must continue. And its also fair to say that many Greens members are legitimately interested in refugees and environment – but neglect the working class, organised labour, poverty, economic democracy, the welfare state and social wage, the public sector – and so on. The bottom line is that if ALP and Greens don’t see their way to co-operate then ‘the broad left’ in Australia will not be able to carry the day. There are debates we need to have. But those who foster unnecessary and unproductive discord are sowing the seeds of our defeat.

  18. Athena

    @ Cornlegend

    I dislike all religion immensely. Fr Rod Bower seldom even refers to religion when he addresses a message to those outside of his congregation. His messages of unity and peace are appreciated by many atheists too if the messages on his Facebook page are any indication. Christianity wouldn’t be a problem if its adherents were all like him.

  19. vaughann722

    nb: the problem with Clinton’s comments re: ‘deplorables’ was that it was painting with very broad strokes… People who may have had naïve concerns about ‘political correctness’ may have felt she was speaking of them ; on the relative fringes we can speak more freely. But when people seriously thinking about voting for Trump concluded they were being dismissed on that basis – it only confirmed them in that direction. Similarly in Australia we need to be careful re: the Hanson base. Appealing to some of these people on the basis of class could disrupt the cohesion of the Hanson base. Pointing to her economic neo-liberalism shows she is far from representing the economic interests of much of her base.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Athena, that is a very good point that should be stressed. His congregation come to him to gather together to celebrate shared beliefs. When he leaves his church, which he does regularly, his message is about tolerance and love and protection of the vulnerable and the environment. He epitomises all that is best about religion – or perhaps just the inspiration of a good man.

  21. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Apologies for my gloomy comments but, sometimes I get angry and Victoria’s BS has done it. I have to tell it like I see it.
    Prioritizing isn’t difficult once the decision to prioritize is made. It’s either life or Victoria’s slow death.

    Your 2:45 pm comment is spot on.

    Here is an example of the kinds of articles that I read every day. I have just finished reading it and I have several more yet to go. Compare this to this Victoria’s jobs and growth ideology that has brought us this and decide, is it really what you want?

    “And that very heat is now harming the trees and damaging the earth to which they are wed.”
    Rates of Hothouse Gas Accumulation Continue to Spike as the Amazon Rainforest Bleeds Carbon

  22. Kaye Lee

    Sigh. Jobs do not necessarily equate to more consumption (for the millionth time).

  23. vaughann722

    Athena ; a liberal rights perspective must mean respecting those associated rights: of speech, assembly and association ; but also industrial liberties ; and most certainly also religious liberties. If there is a ‘problem’ with Christianity then it is that it is like most any have social formation ; that is, it is colonised by the cynical as a power base. Other concerns include that brand of unfaltering literalism – which while showing strong faith, nonetheless kind of misses the point. But the liberal rights of Christians are no less important than those of Muslims or Jews – or even Pagans. Also by taking those crude literalist strands as an example with which to discredit the whole – that would be a bit in-genuine. Christianity – conceived broadly – is on its way to becoming a minority religion in this country. That’s not to deny religious rights ; or sensitivity to their dignity and humanity. And perhaps engagement might even help overcome the cynical exploitation of religion, and the crude literalisms ‘which miss the point’. We cannot and should not have double standards here. I speak as a ‘non-literalist’ Christian and Democratic Socialist.

  24. Athena

    “Pointing to her economic neo-liberalism shows she is far from representing the economic interests of much of her base.”

    @ Vaughann722

    Do you point out Hanson’s neo-liberalism to her followers? What kind of a response do you get? I’ve never had any response at all, and the message has been very simple, like “Pauline wants to make unemployed people wait four weeks for unemployment benefits. People on low incomes cannot afford to do that.”

    On the weekend Facebook was going mad with the Courier Mail poll of 900 people, from who knows where, where 45% of them thought that Pauline would make a good PM. The One Nation followers refused to accept that this was a fake news story. They thought it was valid to extrapolate that result out to the entire population of Queensland.

  25. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Unfortunately, they do. (Lost count long ago.)

  26. Victoria Rollison

    So many of these comments and those I see every time I post once again prove to me that many progressives are just as resentful of being challenged and questioned as those on the right who do the same thing when they come across something they disagree with. Not one person has written anything productive – it’s all just ‘attack, attack, Victoria is out to get us, woe is me, I’m the victim, the refugees need us’ blah blah blah. I don’t care if none of you ‘like’ me, I don’t write to make friends. I write to challenge people’s ideas and constantly run into brick walls when trying. Have a look at what you’re doing when you read something you disagree with and then tell me you’re not stuck in an echo chamber, only willing to use social media and this type of blog platform to reassert how right you are, and to know those you disagree. Exactly like the right. Sad.

  27. vaughann722

    If we consistently pointed to peoples class interest then maybe some of those ‘working class Tories’ (actually worse – ‘working class Hansonites’) would re-think ; But you have to appeal to peoples interests consistently over the long term if you want to break through – eventually.

  28. Jexpat

    Vaughann722 wrote: ” And its also fair to say that many Greens members are legitimately interested in refugees and environment – but neglect the working class, organised labour, poverty, economic democracy, the welfare state and social wage, the public sector – and so on.

    Actually it is not fair to assert that at all. In fact, the record shows the opposite to be true.

    You do make a excellent and indisputable point here though: “The bottom line is that if ALP and Greens don’t see their way to co-operate then ‘the broad left’ in Australia will not be able to carry the day.”

    Labor’s primary vote in the last election was a bit 34%. That’s not enough to carry the day without a lot of help from other voters (and if the Clinton campagn’s debacle told us anything, it’s that this vote isn’t going to come from the those aligned with the right -the illusory ‘centre” -nor from those dissatisfied with the neoliberal orthodoxy, so long as Labor continues to engage in a pattern of ‘me tooism’ ).

  29. vaughann722

    Jexpat – ok you’re right there are socialists in the Greens ; and progressive social and industrial policies. But ask yourself: do the Greens PRIORITISE those issues openly? Or do they see environmentalism and sexual politics as ‘having more momentum’? If they don’t put social democratic or democratic socialist social, economic, industrial policies ‘at the front and centre’ then you will fail to build a base for those policies whatever your intentions. Incidentally that’s a problem for some of us in the ALP SL as well. We’re focused on internal processes behind the scenes – and sometimes lose sight of the need to build a constituency and a movement – which requires open organisation and open struggle.

  30. kerri

    Everything Kaye Lee said!

  31. Athena

    “Jexpat – ok you’re right there are socialists in the Greens ; and progressive social and industrial policies. But ask yourself: do the Greens PRIORITISE those issues openly?”

    I see a lot of posts on social media from Greens politicians on these issues. People who criticise them for giving the environment such a high billing don’t seem to understand that when the environment is harmed beyond the ability to recover, we are harmed too. There’s no point worrying about the rest of it if our environment is incompatible with life. Climate change will also hit the lowest incomes the hardest.

  32. Athena

    “Have a look at what you’re doing when you read something you disagree with and then tell me you’re not stuck in an echo chamber, only willing to use social media and this type of blog platform to reassert how right you are, and to know those you disagree. Exactly like the right. Sad.”

    @ Victoria Rollison

    Gee I love irony.

  33. Harquebus

    What is sad is fools like Victoria who think that they are smart and actually know something.
    Look at the mess we are in and again, decide, is she and does she?

  34. vaughann722

    Athena ; what you say about the Environment is true ; if the Environment goes we’re all stuffed ; But that shouldn’t stop the Greens from giving social and economic issues ‘a higher billing’. Indeed it could be key to building a broader constituency. Which really is necessary for any agenda of ‘mutual liberation’ to gain traction. The reality is we live in the aftermath of Identity Politics and their eclipse of ‘the traditional Left’. Some of those issues are legitimate ; but its also fractured the Left’s base. You may find by giving equal billing to social and economic issues you build the broader base you need to implement your environmental policies.

  35. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Jexpat is correct. The Greens do advocate reforms in a range of policy areas constantly and consistently.

    Another of their great pillars is the defence of people on Welfare. I don’t see any commitment from Labor to raise Newstart to a dignified level. Labor shares the same dismissive arrogance to people floundering on unemployment benefits just like the LNP Degenerates.

    When I see Labor awake out of its slumber and recognise that unemployed and under-employed people need be treated with dignity and not derision, Labor will have a better chance of winning back a wider support base and building bridges with more socially responsible progressive political players,

  36. king1394

    The city/country divide needs more attention. So many seats go to National party which could be more strongly contested by the Greens as well as the ALP – but the Greens members that I know come across as very impractical, and generally unaware of rural issues. The recent Orange by-election showed that many country people were willing to change their vote – but why to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers? While city greenies and socialists sip their instant coffee and their lattes, and argue the finer points as seen above, they miss the point about the real divide that is delivering government to the parties of the right , and far right.

  37. jimhaz

    @ Victoria

    [Harquebus, if you don’t like growth, you don’t like jobs. Simple as that. With a growing population, the only way to ensure everyone is employed is to have economic growth. Just because this idea inconveniences your idealistic views, doesn’t mean you’re correct. Are you volunteering to stop having children? I’ve got one. Am I allowed another?]

    HBQ is right about the future Easter Island in your thinking.

    WithOUT a growing population, the way to ensure everyone is employed is to have productivity gains or to simply accept a decline in the standards of living RELATIVE to other countries*, by using protectionist measures.

    It is only immigration, and some “lets suck the voters in” benefits policies, that is causing an increase our population. Kaye points out from time to time that populations stabilise once a certain level of structural wealth is obtained – enough wealth for women to be educated and to work.

    Individuals can have as many kids as they like and we can still have a non-growing population – providing we do not import over-breeders in our intake (eg too many religious people or from the very poorest countries and we’ll be in trouble).

    * Personally I do not even believe that with protectionist measures or severely cutting immigration over time, there would be a decline in the standard of living, but an improvement. Productivity does not have to come from repressive neocons systems or from the importation of OS experts – it can come simply by making the base stable and by ensuring fairer distribution. ie we become experts and highly skilled by concentrating on improving what already exists, not by importing more. It is a bit like the achievement differences between the set of kids who come from stable homes and the set that comes from volatile ones. Who does better?

  38. Jexpat


    Fighting privitisation (and the slashing of public sector jobs) and opposition to the Liberal’s social welfare deforms class warfare have been at the top of the Green’s list of priorities for quite some time. We probably see it more often at the state and local levels, because this where largely the battles are.

  39. Athena

    @ Vaughann722

    It appears you only hear and see what you want to. The Greens have been very vocal against the welfare card to be rolled out in Ceduna amongst the indigenous population and listed many valid concerns on their website. Neither of the major parties addressed any of those concerns. The Greens want an increase to Newstart. The Greens negotiated with the LNP to get an increase in aged pension for the poorest of pensioners. Where was the ALP? They were busy attacking the Greens because pensioners who were living comfortably with their own home and 800k worth of assets were whining about losing some of their pension, even though their safety net would resume when their assets dropped below threshold. The Greens have recently called once again for an end to the Medicare rebate freeze, particularly due to the adverse affect it is having in regional areas, where the status of Australians’ health is poorer than in the cities. Just last week there was an article in the SMH about research commissioned by the Greens which shows that the government’s cuts to income support, combined with their tax cut for the top 20% (which the ALP and One Nation supported), has left many poorer families worse off, while making wealthy households better off through tax breaks.

    The Greens are the only party in this country consistently speaking out on behalf of those on lowest incomes.

  40. vaughann722

    Jexpat ; Well I tend to focus on Federal issues ; and during election campaigns and more broadly I don’t see the Greens ‘giving equal billing’ to social and economic issues. Its not just The Greens either. It has been in GetUp as well… Where several years ago I tried to promote the issue of Aged Care Social Insurance. (I have tried in the ALP also) But there just wasn’t the same interest. People are interested in Equal Marriage and Climate Change. But extraordinary human suffering, exploitation, poverty – doesn’t seem to get the same attention these days. Now I think since then GetUp has said some things there. But if you based your approach on mitigating and indeed stopping preventable human suffering – then that would be right at the top of your list of priorities. I will admit in the ALP we fudge on Aged Care as well. We know it would take billions to fix. And no-one is serious about raising the kind of revenue progressively that is needed to address these problems. Our Focus Groups presumably tell us there are more popular priorities. For me that’s just not good enough.

  41. Athena

    @ king1394
    Jeremy Buckingham in NSW is continuously speaking up on issues that adversely affect farmers.

  42. vaughann722

    Athena the Greens got a better deal for the poorest pensioners at the cost of other pensioners who are still far from well-off. There were those who gained from this and I won’t deny it. But ideally we shouldn’t be taking from some pensioners to give to other (worse off) pensioners. Generally speaking pensioners are not well off. We need to fight this with a stronger social wage, larger pensions, fairer means testing… And we need to stop the Liberals playing divide and conquer between the welfare dependent and working poor. Which means stronger labour market regulation to help the working poor ; and a stronger social wage. To actually build solidarity between the welfare dependant and working poor – so the Liberals cannot ‘divide and rule’ us.

  43. Andreas Bimba

    The ALP is like Tony Blair or Hillary Clinton, they are also complicit in pursuing the ideology of big business – that of neoliberalism, globalisation and monetarism. This is due no doubt to the powerful big business, especially finance sector and mining lobbyists setting the agenda. Maybe Bill Shorten has turned a little to the left on issues like negative gearing but as far as I can tell he has fatalistically accepted the forced exit of Australia’s automotive industry and potentially 200,000 jobs, still endorses the monetarist policy of balanced federal budgets and still endorses all the free trade agreements including the appalling TPP and it’s undemocratic ISDS protocols that even John Howard rejected when proposed for the U.S. Australia FTA.

    The ALP is probably still to the right of John Howard’s first term of government. WHY SHOULD WE VOTE FOR YOU?

    The article by Kosmos Samaras that was linked to, talks of the old economy or the rust belt from the Western suburbs of Melbourne to the Northern suburbs and that the trendy inner city hipsters suburbs have benefited from globalisation. This is rubbish economic analysis. Is the Toyota Altona plant a part of the rust belt even though it looks as new as it was built about 20 years ago and in fact the engine plant is less than 5 years old. When the plant was built there was a 15% tariff, no FTA’s with low wage and high tech. competitors, this plant and Holden and Ford were profitable, exports were strong and all were happy. Then neoliberal globalisation policies further kicked in and it simply became more profitable for the multinational car companies to import. THIS WAS DELIBERATE GOVERNMENT POLICY.

    As for the inner city hipsters benefiting from globalisation, most are educated professionals that do not work for businesses that benefit from globalisation, they work in health care, education, law, for charities, in hospitality, retailing, the arts and similar. If the economy wasn’t so weakened by neoliberalism and globalisation there would no doubt be even more employed in these areas.

    The decline of manufacturing is not inevitable, it was planned and lobbied for by capital controlling elite and the mining lobby so that we would import more, lower the dollar and so make our mineral, LNG and bulk rural exports more profitable. Both the appalling conservatives and the weak willed ALP are responsible for implementing big businesses destructive agenda. Nations like Japan, Germany and Singapore have healthy manufacturing industries with higher labour costs than ours but the difference is they have intelligent industrial support policies and targeted trade protection when needed and we do not. Our last three multinational car companies may resent the disruption and wasted capital but in the end will now make greater profits by importing.

    A neoliberal ALP does not deserve government and offers more of the same which is the path to corporate feudalism. Reform and don’t do a Hillary.

  44. Kaye Lee

    The State Government has declared Adani’s Carmichael coal mine project in western Queensland to be “critical infrastructure” in a bid to fast-track its remaining approvals. The early construction works of what will be Australia’s biggest coal mine will generate about 400 jobs.

    The Great Barrier Reef contributes $6 billion dollars annually to our economy and generates around 69,000 sustainable jobs. The Greens have a plan to save our Great Barrier Reef and the 69,000 jobs it supports.

  45. vaughann722

    I will have to check the figures again re: owning your home and $800,000 in assets. I’ll return to you on this.

  46. Athena

    @ Vaughann722

    During the Federal election campaign, GetUp was guided by research. They survey the public and then focus on the most important issue according to survey results. So they tailored their message to individual electorates to take the vote away from the LNP. The seats they targeted were also generally in more affluent areas.

  47. vaughann722

    Apparently for single pensioners the Aged Pension will cut out at $500,000 in assets. That’s better than many people. But consider the subsidies provided for wealthy superannuants. To the tune of tens of billions a year. Apparently the Greens welfare measure will save $2.5 billion over four years. I can see the arguments for it. But our welfare state is already highly targeted. And there is the threat that sharper target will erode the demographic base of support for the pension long term. I can see the pros as well as the cons. I admit there are vulnerable people who will benefit from the move. But we need bigger policies as well. We need to increase social investment by around 2% to 2.5% of GDP during every term of progressive government. To grow the social wage and welfare state ; to rebuild the public sector. In other words by about $40 billion a year in today’s terms. And more in successive terms of progressive government. That is: serious resources for genuine results. Not just ‘tinkering around the edges’ and effectively conning people we’re doing more than we are. Which sadly the ALP engages in as well.

  48. Athena

    “Athena the Greens got a better deal for the poorest pensioners at the cost of other pensioners who are still far from well-off.”

    @ Vaughann722

    Give me a break. People who consider themselves poor with their own home and 800k in assets don’t know how to distinguish between wants and needs. The safety net is still there when they need it.

    The Greens stated at the time that it was a step in the right (correct) direction, helping the most vulnerable of society, but they would continue to fight for other aged pensioners as well. They got back what had previously been taken away. The ALP wasn’t willing to negotiate. If they couldn’t get everything they wanted, then they weren’t interested in anything for the poorest of pensioners.

  49. vaughann722

    Andreas you’d probably be right if you said we shouldn’t have ‘led the way’ on tariff cuts ; But rather should have stayed within the vicinity of our competitors. Better still – we should have had a ‘co-investment, co-operative’ model which saved Holden on the basis of cheap loans to the regions affected ; and also the workers affected ; as well as a government co-investment – to maintain the economies of scale necessary to be competitive. The same co-investment model could have worked with SPC as well. 50,000 jobs gone because of the collapse of Australia’s auto industry. And tens of billions to create 2,000 Defence related jobs building subs in South Australia. It doesn’t add up.

  50. Athena

    Thank you, Andreas. Well said and I agree with you. Like Hillary Clinton, the ALP is pseudo left. Globalisation is a huge con and a scourge on society.

  51. vaughann722

    Again Athena there are arguments for highly targeted welfare ; I appreciate the poorest are better off under the Greens’ agreement ; The argument against is that you narrow the base of support ; and as with what’s happened with superannuation – you may end up with a marginalised pension system – and hence marginalised pensioners – and the decline of the Aged Pension overall over time.

  52. Jexpat


    The Greens also have a federal focus on these issues, it’s just not as visible from a media perspective as, say a fight against privitising a local hospital or port.

    For example, the Greens stand against aged care cuts criticised -yet supported by Labor, doesn’t get much coverage, see: Greens will reverse cuts to aged care.

    The are literally dozens of instances we could cite with regard to economic and social welfare policy that barely get a mention in the ‘mainstream’ press.

  53. Athena

    @ Vaughann722

    The ALP is obsessed with moving to the right to increase voter base. They’re so focused on appealing to the right that they’ve forgotten all about the people on the left, as well as the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. ALP followers are steadily being brainwashed with neo-liberal lies. The biggest joke is, because they’ve compromised on their principles, they’ve left the door wide open for the LNP to attack them, which the LNP does very well. There’s a whole lot of people on the right, particularly One Nation supporters, who cannot tell the difference between left and pseudo left. All they see is the LNP attacking the ALP as the left. The ALP only has itself to blame for its falling popularity.

  54. Athena

    Forgot to add, the ALP is being dishonest when it says it is moving to the centre to pick up its voter base. The largest group of voters in the country are the working class. The ALP is moving to the right for money.

  55. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If Labor and the Greens begin to work together, they can map out the seats especially marginal seats, that they can strategically target against the Liberal and the National candidates, as well as One Nation.

    That way, Labor and the Greens will maximise their combined forces without cancelling each other out.

    This year’s disappointing loss should be a wake up call to all of us on the Left side of politics.

  56. vaughann722

    Under Shorten we’ve had a tentative improvement re: areas like Negative Gearing policy and opposition to Company Tax cuts. The Left needs to mobilise within if we are to achieve more than this. And even engage with the Right – where there’s any prospect of that engagement being productive. You can probably see from my posts that my position is not exactly that of the ALP Right. But last Conference for the first time in years the ALP was not committed on paper in its platform to holding down tax as a proportion of GDP. An important shift if Labor actually takes advantage of it in Government. But again: neither the Greens nor the ALP can do without one another. We need each other in an electoral bloc.

  57. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on socio-economic reforms if you’re going to rely on the Right. Neoliberalism is the enemy, as well as the LNP Degenerates.

  58. Exoplanet

    Thanks for all so aptly proving my point. Commenting on articles without reading them is at the very least incredibly rude.

    Yep, Peak Smug. I’ll tell you what’s rude (and breathtakingly arrogant) – suggesting that anyone criticising your rhetoric can’t have read it. I mean, the conceit of that is just extraordinary. In fact, there’s something oddly Trumpian about it …

  59. glasssarah

    This article holds a very good point. If we are to beat the rabid right, we must unite. The same is true the world over about any topic, if you have various splinter groups (even with a generally similar views) they fail, whereas those who succeed are united, with a broad diverse but united membership.

    The same is true for the climate issue. If ALL the climate concerned groups would unite, we would ensure action. But so many different groups, it makes their voice mooted.

  60. Harquebus

    Any solution that requires growth is not a solution, it is a recipe for disaster and those who advocate it can not do arithmetic.

    “He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.” — John McCarthy

  61. corvus boreus

    There are two types of ‘progressives’.(gotta love them statements of absolute dichotomy, hey?)

    There are those who understand the continuance of our own existence in the much broader context of being biology living within ecology upon the planetary biosphere, and those who are entirely fixated upon the immediate desires of our own kind.

    If your attitude to the fracking of aquifers and the blasting of coal out of rich alluvial plains is a shrug and a “yeah, but…”, then you are in the latter category. and may as well roll with coal and buy yourself a jetski.

    Cheers, salutations and peace out to those of you out there who can actually see where we are currently headed.

    Ps, I still want a federal ICAC.

  62. Freethinker

    Noe Pearson today delivering a tribute to Paul Keating

    ” Pearson attacked Labor for repudiating Keating’s legacy following his 1996 election defeat, something he described as Labor’s “most diabolical stupidity”.
    “They ended up disowning their own achievement and handed to their opponents credit for the growth and opportunity of the new century,” he said. “It took Howard’s 13-year tenure to come to an end before Labor started invoking that legacy. But, even today, that legacy may be embraced but its masterful model is still found wanting in its current permutation.”

    …and I agree with that.

  63. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Keating repudiated Gough’s legacy and perpetuated Hawke’s welcome to neoliberalism.

  64. Jexpat

    Athena: while an argument can be made for the DiNatale faction’s pension ‘deal” it’s not a very compelling one- nor is it in keeping with the Greens own principles as set out in their four pillars. It was also impolitic. Best we can call it is a “a rookie mistake,” and one that hopefully will not be repeated down the track.

    Corvus wrote: “Ps, I still want a federal ICAC.”

    Among other things: that would have been an election winner last go around. At this point, it might also be nice to have an uneviscerated NSW ICAC.

    To paraphrase the late Greens MLC John Kaye: Labor doesn’t avidly support ICAC (state or federal) because it attracts some rotten apples, who it fears will be called and taint the whole barrel. The Liberal party on the other hand -it’s raison d’être is to be rotten apples, their entire party apparatus is a container for corrruptio. It’s what their barrel is designed for.

  65. Freethinker

    Yes Jennifer, I agree with you, it shows the degradation of the ALP and the self interest of the left within the party to be part of it.
    I voted for Gough and regretful because not other options I voted onece more for the ALP to remove Fraser from government. That was my last time.
    I am not the only one, there are thousands of people that stopped voting for the ALP.
    I think that Pearson know well what it is going on in the ALP and for that reason he is no part of it.

  66. Andreas Bimba

    Vaughann722, a co investment strategy was used by the federal government to compensate the car companies for the elimination of tariffs and for the FTA’s but this proved to be politically poisonous as the neoliberal right portrayed them as huge subsidies for lazy inefficient multinational car companies. Most of the electorate probably believed the lies.

    By way of comparison the truly huge sums gouged by super fund managers and the banks were never raised as concerns by the mass media or investigated by the neoliberal Productivity Commission. Also these car industry grants were haphazard and vulnerable to political horse trading and this made the case for major capital investment more difficult to make. Ford’s decision to leave was because of this as well as Dearborn continuously blocking exports from Australia which condemned their operations to excessively small volumes.

    A 15% tariff in my view would have been a more stable and wiser strategy and would have provided government revenue.

    The industry was setup to fail and was forced out. Little was done by the last Labor government to stem the decline and Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott delivered the fatal blow in late 2013 by denying Holden’s request for a further $80 million per year (total $160 million per year) till 2023 for the replacement of the Commodore and Cruze and to upgrade their plants.

    Both Toyota and Holden still had firm plans to stay even by the end of 2013 and had intended to invest about $3.5 billion prior to Joe Hockey’s decision. If the industry was operating at pre GFC levels it would have been double the current size and this was an attainable goal. It is realistic to assume that potential total job losses of 200,000 will now be locked in for want of an additional $800 million in subsidies that would have been returned many times over in taxation.

    As far as I am aware Toyota were planning on making the second generation hydrogen fuel cell powered Mirai locally and Holden were planning on making the second generation plug-in hybrid Volt locally at some point. The coal lobby may have learnt of this and concluded this kind of environmental industrial socialism was intolerable.

  67. Victoria Rollison

    I plead with progressives to stop bickering amongst ourselves and my comments section fills up with progressives bickering amongst ourselves. Slow clap.

  68. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    thanks for your interest in my advocacy for The ALLiance which is essential for the Greens and Labor to form in order to prise longterm government off the LNP Degenerates.

    I’m sure you’ve seen my numerous posts advocating how they and other Progressive political forces need to kiss and make up.

    I don’t care if Labor Right doesn’t want to be involved. No Neoliberals need apply.

    I do not want a wasted chance of defeating the LNP Degenerates again. July 2 was a disgusting disgrace for the wasted possibility of government and now we fear each day what the Degenerates will think up next.

  69. Exoplanet

    I plead with progressives to stop bickering amongst ourselves and my comments section fills up with progressives bickering amongst ourselves. Slow clap.

    Madam, your lack of self-awareness is utterly staggering. You can’t plea for an end to bickering whilst engaged in the incredible arrogance of demanding people have a certain hierarchy of values [i.e. yours] otherwise they’re likely ‘moral-superiority feeling of signing an anti-Labor-asylum-seeker-policy petition while you sip lattes at your local hipster cafe’ types.

    I mean, borrow a mirror.

  70. Kaye Lee

    If we want progressives to come together then we need to listen to each other. I don’t think people have been bickering. I think they have been discussing issues that concern progressives and that may be a cause for division. If you don’t do that, how can you understand each other and find common ground?

  71. Matters Not

    Andreas Bimba, perhaps this article is of interest:

    Malcolm Turnbull has announced a submarine building program that has an effective rate of protection of 300%. Yes 300%. That is the additional cost we will pay compared with buying at best price in the international market.

    Seems an enormous outlay for approximately less than 2,000 people employed . And indeed it is – the highest rate of protection ever in Australia. . All for than less than 2 000 jobs. Contrast that to the motor vehicle industry (which was also subject to a rate of protection).

    When the Abbott Government pushed our automobile manufacturing industry out the door the effective rate of protection was 8%. Yes 8% and employing 200,000people.

    Got that: the effective rate of protection was 8%. Yes 8% and employing 200,000people.

    But in political terms, it was considered better to endorse an effective rate of 300% while closing down another industry that was only protected to the extent of 8%. I’ll finish with another citation that shows the failure of the MSM

    Neither the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Financial Review or News Corporation have raised a word of query or criticism of the 300% submarine protection. This is despite their persistent arguments about free markets and open competition. In fact, their arguments are invariably about protecting business and capital rather than getting the market to work effectively.

    The 300% protection is so outrageous and scandalous it must surely be reviewed. It just cannot be sustained. It is a boondoggle that Malcolm Turnbull continues to boast about

    JOHN MENADUE. Malcolm Turnbull – Mr. 300%. (Repost from 18 November 2016)

  72. stephentardrew

    Yes Kaye Lee and Andreas Bimba agree completely.

  73. Matters Not

    Exoplanet, fair go. Victoria is simply referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which has been around since 1943(?). She didn’t claim it was hers. Just sayin …

  74. corvus boreus

    On the subject of that obsessively mauled political chew-toy, the human beings who comprise the ‘unapproved maritime arrivals seeking asylum’ demographic, my first suggestion would be the notion that refugee asylum, like the traditional allocation of places on lifeboats, be biased towards children and women.
    Sexist and ageist, I know, but it does appeal to traditional proprieties, address public concerns about importing militantly violent radicals (who seem to be predominantly adult/adolescent males), and eliminate that moral/ethical dilemma of us being responsible for the incarceration of infants and their mothers with neither charge nor trial.

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    As usual corvus boreus, you speak good common sense.

  76. corvus boreus

    Thanks, but I reckon this makes much more sense:

  77. Trish Corry

    One of the best articles I have ever read. I have no idea why anyone has a problem with it. I need a wine for this one. I’ll be back.

  78. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Why no idea,Trish? At least, don’t be disingenuous with your initial response.

  79. Trish Corry

    I don’t claim to be a psychologist and analyse Authors and other commenters like many of the commentariat on AIMN. My comment is not disingenous at all. I will however, submit a response to the article soon.

  80. Matters Not

    Victoria your opening sentence:

    There are two types of progressives.

    immediately raises some ‘hackles’. Fact is, ‘conceptually’, there are any number of ‘progressives’ but apparently for the purposes of this article you only want to use a simple binary. And that’s fair enough. But I suspect you lost a whole bunch of readers with the opening assertion. At the time, I didn’t read further. Opening with ‘non sense’ is never a promising start.

    Just sayin …

  81. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    We shall see how Trish responds.

  82. Michael Taylor

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. People can be justified for having their issues with it, and I think Victoria expected that, but to me it hits the mark. Personally I think we often need to rise above our personal issues, and look at the bigger picture. The way I see it, Victoria has painted the bigger picture.

    If anybody wants to chop me down then that’s OK. But then I’d be disappointed that you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.

  83. Andreas Bimba

    Matters Not, yes I agree the proposed submarine aquisition is the biggest financial disaster ever made by an Australian government. Not only the media but Labor, the Greens, Nick Xenophon and any other reasonable politician should be destroying the Liberals over this.

    $50 billion for the aquisition of 12 submarines is ridiculous. A further $100 billion for the through life support and upgrade costs is also ridiculous.

    The French DCNS submarines are also high risk as they need to be redesigned to suit diesel electric propulsion and the need for large battery banks and are thus hugely different to the original nuclear design. In addition the unique pump-jet propeller probably does not suit the low speeds that are unavoidable with diesel electric propulsion.

    The design contract must be cancelled ASAP and the project retendered.

    Surely the German offer to manufacture all 12 submarines in South Australia for $20 billion, the same price as for German manufacture but with a delay of an additional two years for local manufacture, was a far better offer.

    The article you linked to gave an estimated effective tariff of 8% for the car industry. This must be an overestimate as the tariff at the end of 2013 was 5% but most cars came from FTA countries like Thailand so there was no tariff. Later FTA’s were also signed with Korea, Japan and China. The luxury car tax of 33% still applies but Australian manufactured cars did not compete directly with these. This strengthens the case made in the article.

    Australia is in a mess and not much is being done to correct this.

  84. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    as sucky as this sounds, when new The ALLiance government wrenches power away from the LNP Degenerates, I advocate you are the New Minister for Vehicle Manufacturing

  85. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    You have no idea of the big picture. Your last comment proves it.
    Have you learned nothing? Growth is over mate, get used to it. Victoria and others are about to be blind sided by physical realities.

  86. Carol Taylor

    People have to have the time and emotional energy to think about issues such as climate change, refugees and marriage equality. If you are struggling with insecure housing (renting is never secure), part time, temporary “flexible” working arrangements then indeed it gives the appearance that those whose primary concern are issues above all that, then in steps populism and Pauline Hanson.

  87. Matters Not

    Andreas Bimba, I am not across the details re ‘effective’ tariff, but it’s clear that the submarines are a disaster at any number of levels. But I thought the general points made in the article were noteworthy.

    What really pisses me off is the absolute negligence of the MSM, and the complete lack of courage shown by those who can ‘add and subtract’ above and beyond political calculations. Sadly, they are in very short supply.

  88. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Neolibs are good at making central people try to appease them.

    Lib/Lab flipflops are good at that.

    Labor has chance to prove their credentials by playing cleaner, collegiate politics with Left parties to form The ALLiance.

  89. Michael Taylor

    H’, it’s a little unfair to make generalisations. You’re judging me from one comment. I’ve learned more in life than you’ll ever know.

  90. Matters Not

    So Harquebus has arrived (again). Never satisfied with posting any number of links here, there any everywhere on the same theme, he’s determined to derail every thread on the AIMN. And I thought that with the departure of NoS the ‘pest’ level had declined. Apparently not.

    And I won’t mention that inevitability of nuclear war, the inevitable use of chemical or biological weapons and the like. But on the upside – it will solve the population problem. No doubt Harquebus will be pleased that doomsday predictions will be realised – but perhaps not from his usual predictions.

  91. corvus boreus

    Michael Taylor,
    “it’s a little unfair to make generalisations”.

    Quoth the author of this article;
    “sometimes, in politics, you have to generalise in order to see clearly”.

    Bigger picture, and all that.
    Anyway, I’m off for a latte.

  92. Jexpat

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith wrote: “We shall see how Trish responds.”

    We will indeed,

    My guess: based on the history and histrionics is that it will be another disingenuous, accept no responsibility -nor even attempt to make amends for their own or their ‘party identity’ behaviours. No contrition at all, for anything, no matter how constructively pointed out.

    Maybe I’ll be proven wrong- and if so, I’ll happily season the pie and eat it, crow and all.

    btw: they have corrolates in the US at a site called “Crooks & Liars.”

    Don’t get me wrong: I have met, spoken with and have the utmost respect for John Amato (the creator and editor of the site) -but unfortunately, he’s recently allowed some similar folks to what we’ve seen here run tribally feral -adolescent. In their case, to the point where you could almost see grown women staring up starry eyed at posters of teen idol like figures on their walls.

  93. Michael Taylor

    The difference, cb, is that H’ had a go at me personally. Perhaps you were pleased he did that.

  94. Harquebus

    One more time:
    Any ideology, plan, solution or whatever that includes growth, even “inclusive growth” is going to fail. That’s it.
    You can talk all you want about progressive, left, right or whatever. It is all going to fail because, the underlying fallacy of growth being the answer is just bullshit. I can’t put it any simpler than that and if you can’t get that into your heads then, don’t bitch and complain to me when all of your altruistic plans and social justice ideals fall in a heap.
    We need less jobs, less people, less building and construction and less cars. What do we get instead, shit like the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan to add 2 million people in 20 years. That’s not a solution, it’s not even a plan, it’s sheer effing lunacy.
    And then, enter the likes of Matters Not who thinks it’s all one big joke.
    Well laugh it up folks because, just like growth, your laughter is not going to last.

    Michael Taylor.
    I tell it how I see it and there is nothing personal in it. No offense was meant and if some was taken then, I apologize but, I am not going to change my tune. Our lives are on the line, literally.


  95. corvus boreus

    No, Michael, I noticed a glaring discrepancy between your stated values and those espoused by the author, and reactively made comment upon it.
    I should not have done so, as it served no real practical purpose.

  96. cornlegend

    Not that my comments matter but it is usually those non Party members prattling on about Alliances
    The facts are it won’t happen State or Federally because both Parties would lose out.
    There are Labor members who would rather chew their own arm off than have an Alliance with the Greens, There are Greens Party member opposed to alliance because it would stuff the “purity” of their Party according to them, and there are those in the Greens that know they could lose up to 20-25% of their vote by those who always preference the LNP second and would most likely go back to their roots.
    There is absolutely no need for the 2 Parties to abandon their independence as they can still vote as per Party lines and if that coincides, fine.
    “progressives” particulary those non Party members, or alleged non Party members would be better getting over this and onto real issues,Progressive sites tend to have the same contributors, nodding along to the same old line while things move on,
    Skip back 12 months, similar articles, a;most the same posters, backslapping and the same old ,
    Meanwhile out there in reality land Trump doesn’t get sworn in till January, then his honeymoon period begins which should last till a few important State elections and a likely Federal election are held, and One Nation marches on.
    One Nation look likely to hold the balance of power in both QLD and WA if trends continue,Xenophon the balance of power in S.A. and with O.N.polling about 6% Federally who knows the outcome

    “Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has responded to a new poll showing growing support for One Nation, saying it’s a wake-up call for the major parties.

    Forty-five per cent of Queensland voters in the Galaxy Research survey believe Pauline Hanson responds better to their concerns than the coalition or Labor.

    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation will not only determine the outcome of next year’s state election, the party could become the new ‘kingmaker’ of WA politics, according to a political expert.
    Notre Dame University political expert Martin Drum is predicting a lot of disgruntled conservative voters would jump on the One Nation bandwagon.

    “I think One Nation will eat into the conservative vote,” he told WAtoday.”

    Labor need to get on with the job Shorten started, and that is talking to people.
    He was on the money with this Town Halls, The Billbus was a hit in a few states with Sam Dastyari and 40 or 50 Labor MPs getting out on it.
    They need to get out to the people and counter the Hanson rise, not worry about Greens and Alliances

  97. Michael Taylor

    No worries, cb, my error. I guess I just had my back up, still smarting from H’s comment. I apologise.

  98. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I was wondering when cornlegend would make a show to discredit any chance of coming together as a galvanised Left that could beat the LNP Degenerates at the next election.

    Get real! Anybody who has escaped Labor is unlikely to want to go back into the fold when Labor has not learnt from its neoliberalist mistakes and power grabs of the last 30+ years.

    It might suit you appartchiks, but it doesn’t suit Left voters who want true change from the LNP Degenerates and the cozy Lib/Lab duopoly.

  99. Michael Taylor

    Apologies accepted, H’.

  100. Matters Not

    I am always amused when particular, (and peculiar), commentators think he/she can see all the problems which may or may not be immediately upon us and in so doing construct a particular reality(s) and on that (self constructed) reality(s) then ‘solves’ the problems of the world in one fell stroke. QED.

    For example, one of the big, increasing problems we face is ‘mental illness’. I But what are we doing about that? Is Truimp mentally ill? And no, my comment is of a general nature and if in doubt – seek help from a professional.

    But I must away, I am busy downstairs building my nuclear shelter because I know that there’s never been an instance where the invention of a new ‘weapon’ of war hasn’t seen its repeated use. It follows that … Take your pick re the avenues the planet may be destroyed.

  101. Michael Taylor

    Cornie, it’s a pity that so many people turn to Pauline Hanson. All she does, really, is shoot her mouth off. She has no worthy policies. She has no idea about anything, in my opinion. She just preaches hate and it appeals to hateful people.

  102. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, Cornie is right. There are Labor voters who despise the Greens and there are Greens voters who despise Labor. It’s a fact of life. They exist.

  103. cornlegend

    “Get real! Anybody who has escaped Labor is unlikely to want to go back into the fold when Labor has not learnt from its neoliberalist mistakes and power grabs of the last 30+ years. ”

    JMS, if they escaped and don’t want to go back FFS don’t try and force them there in some Alliance
    How much has the JMS ALLiance advanced in 12 months and are you still the only member?

  104. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    that was the excuse cornlegend used for the last election and guess what? We lost!

    Time for Labor and the Greens to make amends so that their voters can take heart about the new possibilities that The ALLiance can bring. I doubt any of them would be feeling confident with the LNP Degenerates in power stuffing everything up.

    Labor and the Greens need each other and we ALL need them.

  105. Andreas Bimba

    Thanks Jennifer for the vote of confidence, no one is going to give me a ministerial spot. I hope you can attain a political position. What surprises me is how poorly Australian manufacturing lobbies for its own interests in Canberra. They have been treated appallingly by the Liberals and Nationals.

    I have seen only a few good articles from the Australia Institute and a handful of reasonable articles in the major newspapers on the need to retain our manufacturing industry. I do what I can.

    Harquebus does repeat like a broken record especially about economic growth but for the article “Politicians, piety and popular public policy” he proves he has plenty to offer.

    I’ve got a novel idea for Bill Shorten, do what your voters want, not what the money men want.

  106. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, it may well be one of the reasons, but they exist. It’s not an excuse, it’s reality.

  107. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    don’t cast aspersions coz s/he who laughs last, laughs the hardest.

  108. cornlegend

    Michael Taylor
    Unless Labor get their head out of their arse and confront Hanson head on we will have Hanson ALLiances all over the joint
    You know she talks bullshit I know it, now the ALP need to start telling the masses that .
    The biggest roblem confronting us is Hanson on the coat tails of Trump, and the favours she is gaining from , Nationals, LNP, seeing her as the stepping stone to roll Labor in QLD, prop up a rotting W.A. government and cause a bit of chaos all over the joint
    Talking amongst ourselves will achieve nothing ,the message has to be taken out to the people, Billbus, Town Hall style

  109. Carol Taylor

    One reason given for Trump’s win was that people were sick of the Washington “elites” and nothing is more elite than the Clinton brand. But why the hell they thought that Trump was less elite is beyond me. Meanwhile back in Australia I saw someone call Hanson’s bluff when she tweeted about “real people”, this person responded something along the lines of: Give us a’s a long time since you’ve been tossing fish and chips. How many years in politics now?

    Hanson offers nothing except someone to blame (same as Trump) and simple often unrealistic solutions for non-existent problems. I wonder sometimes how many back of beyond Hanson supporters even know what halal food is, much less seen a woman in a burqua.

  110. Michael Taylor

    Disclaimer: I also wish that Labor and the Greens worked better with each other. But they don’t. I also can’t for the life of me work out why people would want to vote for the Coalition. But they do.

  111. Carol Taylor

    Cornlegend, Labor can confront Hanson until they’re blue in the face, but will the responses even make it into the newspapers much less on any “popular” TV news program? At the moment, for the reader and viewer hungry msm, Hanson is fantastic click-bait..dry, logical, considered responses are not.

  112. cornlegend

    that was the excuse cornlegend used for the last election and guess what? We lost!”

    And at no stage did I say we would win,in fact I said Labor wouldn’t But Bill did a hell of a job getting them back to close enough for next time
    BUT, a few who are now running off at the mouth about evil Labor not doing enough and now want alliances, bolted of to vote and support NXT.
    How’s that working

  113. Trish Corry

    As I said before, this is an excellent piece. I am probably speaking from an academic perspective, but the critical analysis within this article is extremely well done. Sorry if this is a long comment, but it is a detailed article, with many links included.

    Firstly, I fully agree with the two different types of progressives, the country vs city divide, the narrative that needs to happen, the privilege discussed, Maslow’s heirarchy, and the knee jerk reactionsm, the example of the Harvester case being absolutely critical.

    I’ll address the final paragraph first regarding racism. I have done a lot of reading and not much writing since the ‘phenomenon’ occurred. I tend to read a hell of a lot and then my brain will just churn out whatever it churns out, when it is ready. I don’t particulary control what I write to an extent. As in it is not structured, nor planned. So I have not fully analysed anything yet. However, what I have brought with me from the epic amount of reading I have been doing and I have been synthesising this with various sociology theories, as that is how I understand the world – through theory. So stay with me here even if you don’t like academic speak.

    With the racism, as Victoria has explained using Maslow’s heirarchy, there is a ‘felt struggle.They are at the bottom.’ The disconnect the left sees between racism,misogyny, homophobia etc., is that by voting it is condoned and legitimised. The ones who voted say “we are sick of being called racist.” They see these people as “the privileged”. I touched on this a little in one of my other articles, where I discussed how Hanson does “blame shifting.” Why I have said previously, this is a purposeful strategy (and used by others before Hanson) is that when the upper middle class start feeling constraints in the economy, they want to secure that previously felt ‘position of privilege’ It is lost. They want it back. Years and years of stigmatising the poor, places these people in the fear they are in the position of ‘the other.’

    This is where attribution theory comes in. So the attribution of blame is then shifted to the minorities, bludging on the dole and stealing jobs at the same time. Sometimes they see foreigners in jobs they could have, or then speak to an offshore customer service and this is exacerbated. Social Identify theory then plays very heavily into the them and us approach enabling the far right politicians to deflect blame and reinforce this blame rather than quell fears and any need for real leadership or real action. This reinforces the minorities as ‘the other’ and alleviates the fear of them being ‘the other’. But the struggle is still there ebbing away.

    The other area this then feeds into is how these voters see a disconnect in “the left”. This is the very reason why I have relabled myself. I label myself as a “Laborist” and not a leftist. I have tried to make an active decision to not be a part of the noise that is discussed in this article. I am taking a dedicated position of Laborist. Pro Jobs, Pro Unionism etc., etc., etc., as opposed to Pro-Asylum Seeker, Pro-Blocking Adani…..

    Lately Shorten has really ramped up jobs as a main narrative for Labor. This was a key policy area for Labor, however, Medicare was the chosen primary narrative. So this is not a response to Trump, or Hanson, it existed, but as a secondary narrative. Mistake? Possibly.

    One of the issues I see with what Victoria has outlined in the disaparity in ‘the left’ is that Labor’s position is a democratic socialist position. Mixed Market, Some regulation and the value of a welfare state. Where Victoria discusses various things being good for the community, I have often used the term pro-community. Liberals are anti-community, Labor is pro-community. The difficulty is the Greens combat this online all the time, but it is difficult to understand what their position is. Is it mixed market, welfare state,with some regulation? I am NOT being facetious, but this to me is a huge problem with a protest party devoid of a solid ideology or value system to underpin them. I see this as a stark contrast between the Greens and Labor narratives. Between MPs and supporters.

    Where the Trump/Hanson phenomena comes in, is that a good example is that every single time I tweet or FB something about jobs or 457 visas etc., A Greens supporter will Tweet at me about Asylum Seekers. I have spent countless amounts of hours commenting on AIMN that although I am not pro-mining, I am pro-jobs and in regional QLD, no one is fighting for anything else, they are just wanting to destroy the only chance we have at this point in time. No one on the ‘greens’ spectrum seems to understand that. It is exhausting. Imagine how people not engaged in politics feel.

    Symbolic interactionism can explain the acceptance of racism, homophobia, misogyny etc., as these voters are worried about jobs and income, but ‘the left’ responds with a whole gamut of symbols that do not represent any relief: Asylum Seekers, Blocking Adani, Marriage Equality and light rail. Even Palaszczuk used a large chunk of her speech at the state Labor conference talking about Light rail. No one cares about light rail beyond the Gold Coast, we are lucky to have busses. We do not have a ‘light rail or fast rail system’ we have passenger rail from regional to city and to transport coal and other goods. That’s it. This type of symbolic importance just says, ‘you don’t understand me.’

    The comments following this article also address something that has frustrated me for a long time and it also aligns very closesly with the “phenomenon” That is, that when faced with a critical piece such as this, the response is more about how it has made the commenter feel, rather than the content. It is a “Me first – what does this say about me” So I’d prefer to lash out at the messenger. This is the same underlying construct that is occuring within people not wanting to be seen as racist. I spent for hours online the other day with one person, very politely trying to understand why she voted Hanson. It took over an two hours for her to even open up, just out of fear I was going to badger her for being racist. That is a long time to gain one person’s confidence and there are thousands of them out there. The conversation ended up going very well.

    The Hanson Party know this and the LNP know this. The biggest slogan at the regional QLD booths in the last election from the LNP were – “Labor Hates the Farmers” and “Labor wants to put the Truckies out of a job” Many gave a damn about Medicare once they heard this. It is certainly not true, but is sure is a purposeful strategy by the right, who know that the empathy for the strugglers in the regional and rural towns, trumps anything else and they just DGAF about Medicare. They don’t believe anyone would really dismantle something as sacred as Medicare, would they? That is the real country vs city divide and how it is being used by the LNP right here, right now to win votes.

    I don’t contribute here anymore and it may be a long time before I do ever again; but when Authors like Victoria contribute, it is a lot more helpful in the struggle to win the voters back to really digest what she has to say, rather than focus on how offended you feel and use attack instead of critique as a response. Otherwise, keep expecting the rise and rise of far right.

  114. Michael Taylor

    True, Carol, you just have to see how much oxygen Sunrise is giving Hanson. You don’t see them promoting a Labor person with the same gusto.

  115. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Oh hum,

    I’ll read Trish’s monologue tomorrow.

    As for cornlegend, no you didn’t say Labor would win. Your bloody-mindedness gave up on Labor and the Greens winning together far before you should have and guess what!? A bit more fortitude would have won the Left side of politics, the election!

  116. Trish Corry

    Yes, Corny always said we would ‘just lose’ My stats which I have prided myself on being quite accuate did not match his and he was indeed correct. I had Labor winning by 2 seats.

  117. Trish Corry

    Jennifer you don’t need to read it at all. In fact, I don’t care if you do or you don’t. I’m not sure you would grasp the essence of it to be quite frank.

  118. Michael Taylor

    I liked your comment, Trish. It made sense to me.

  119. Trish Corry

    Also, pleased to report in my regional town where Hanson is indeed a threat, in the last four months we have had an noticable rise of branch members joining and all have been under 30. That is a good sign.

  120. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, if you read Trish’s comment you might like it too.

  121. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I will read it but just can’t muster the prolonged e-ff-ort now.

  122. Trish Corry

    Line 6,753,890 reads “Many gave a damn about Medicare once they heard this.” should read “Many did not give a damn…”

  123. Harquebus

    I read Trish Corry’s comment. There was nothing substantial in it and is superficial at best. Not even the big words that she promised.

  124. Kaye Lee

    Victoria’s article was about how progressives must unite so I think it was relevant to point out how some of her characterisations are not inviting unity. By dismissing the things that concern some people, she is not promoting inclusion.

    If Labor want to unite the progressive vote then they shouldn’t say things like they would rather chew their own arm off than have an Alliance with the Greens, I can certainly understand not joining the two parties – they have different priorities – but for we non-party people THAT is the bickering we are sick of.

    Either you want to hear from other progressives about their concerns or you don’t, and it appears to me that Labor is firmly in the “we know what’s best and we don’t need to hear your opinion” camp. The Greens have also played division politics.

    I would love to see progressives unite but it is unlikely to happen while they keep throwing disparaging terms at each other.

    As for the Adani mine, it would be a really bastard act to pretend to the people of Queensland that it will help their unemployment. It would be far better to pursue some of the suggestions you made in a previous article Trish. I truly cannot see the mine getting the finance and I cannot see demand for coal warranting opening new mines.

  125. Jexpat

    Well, from Trish’s response, it looks like it will be awhile before I get to season that crow pie.

    Also, as to corn’s bit re: Hanson: it might pay to learn from others’ mistakes -most recently, the right facton of the Democratic party re: Trump.

    The media dynamic with Trump had for over 15 months been clear as a bell- and yet the same sorts there as here couldn’t grok it -choosing instead to repeatedly shot themselves in the foot.

    The best metaphor I saw on the dynamic (which some of us had been attempting to describe in communications science terms- to no avail) was: all you’re doing with that is feeding Godzilla with the radiation.

    Yet, until the end, the group think Clinton sorts- emmersed in their bubble bunker, kept it up, to the exclusion of most other things they could and should have been to reach out to their constituencies.

  126. cornlegend

    Carol Taylor
    The only way Labor would get a crack on MSM is to buy the channels and that ain’t happening
    I want my 8 cents a day back from ABC as they have lost all sign of impartiality.
    Labors only hope is to get out amongst the people.
    Not just Bill and MPs but the members

    Now, if a Labor MP did some wrongdoing, see the Media exposure then

  127. Trish Corry

    Kaye, I think it is fair enough to say that you do not understand Victoria’s article. You are still responding with “how does this affect me” attitude, rather than approaching it from a criticial view point. In no way at all does Victoria’s article demonstrate ““we know what’s best and we don’t need to hear your opinion” Have you considered the possibility that Labor and Greens do not share the same ideology? I have questioned this in my response. What is it exactly that Labor and the Greens agree on? What is the Greens ideological position or values system when it comes to the economy driving jobs? All I ever hear from the Greens supporters is what they disagree on, which basically includes the existance of Labor. Kaye, I know you say you are a ‘non-party’ person, but I find it very difficult to recall any pro-Labor position vocally on AIMN, your comments are very in the pro-Greens camp. As I said ‘Greens are on a spectrum’ The thing with major parties like Labor, is sometimes you need to take a dose of ugly. Unless the Greens want to be wiped out of existence by Hanson, they are going to have to take a spoonful at some point.

  128. Trish Corry

    Cheers everyone. I’m off. You can enjoy the I hate Trish happy hate club amongst yourselves. Once again. Great article Victoria. Please keep these churning out. I only hope the minds that really matter are taking notice of what you are saying, because that is really important. What you are saying here is very valuable and it can be applied branch by branch, grassroots up.

  129. cornlegend

    “that was the excuse cornlegend used for the last election and guess what? We lost!”
    In “We’ are you refering to Labor?
    The ones you , during the last election branded, “LibLab flip flop” “Labor bastards” etc
    or is the “We” spmething I’m missing ?

  130. Kaye Lee

    Victoria’s article doesn’t affect ME at all Trish and I find your assertion that I do not understand it patronising. And the quote was about the Labor party…not Victoria’s article.

    If Labor and the Greens don’t share an ideology, which progressives are we trying to get together? Trish, I am not pro any poltiical party and you can say it until you are blue in the face but it won’t make it true. “I know you say”…is tantamount to calling me a liar. Please at least allow me to have my own political opinions. That’s the advantage of not being aligned.

    From my observation, the chance of progressives getting together is just about zero and mainly because Labor doesn’t want it.

    And I wish you would stop saying I hate you or Victoria. It is so not the case. I have never met either of you. it;is a silly attitude and completely wrong and it aggravates me that you trot it out all the time. I appreciate the articles you both write.

  131. Matters Not

    You can enjoy the I hate Trish happy hate club amongst yourselves. Once again

    And given that statement, who could argue that people don’t give ‘meaning’? Not that I want to be ‘academic’.


  132. Harquebus

    I was so looking forward to some late night banter. Oh well, here it is anyway.

    Sixth mass extinction event, CO2>400ppm permanently, global polar ice at all time minimum, thawing arctic tundra, our oceans poisoned and with large hypoxic zones, fisheries in terminal decline, desertification, water shortages, pollution, increasing unrepayable debt, inequality, environmental destruction, urban sprawl, urban and infrastructure decay, increasing energy costs, increasing unemployment, depleting finite resources, overcrowding, budget deficits and politicians failing in everything they do and this is just off the top of my head. The common thread: growth.
    Every one of these issues is worsening and some think that by bringing progressives together and pursuing “inclusive growth”, it will solve our problems. Pahleeeeze! Some serious lateral thinking is needed and none is being displayed by the author nor any of her supporters.


  133. Jexpat

    Crotn wrote: “The only way Labor would get a crack on MSM is to buy the channels and that ain’t happening.”

    That’s the state of the board, and so, you have to play the board like it is. There are ways to ‘make’ coverage happen aside even in an unfavourablly partisan media environment.

    “I want my 8 cents a day back from ABC as they have lost all sign of impartiality.”

    The ABC gave up the goat in early January 2010 with their six week long (or was it two months long?) jihad against Peter Garrett for what?

    Here’s a thought: how about just eliminating the ABC. Every program, every station, everywhere- especially throughout rural Australia. All of it. Zero funding. Period. None for anything.

    Let the ‘free” market fundamentalists have a go.

    Anyone have a guess what would happen then?

  134. Matters Not

    Harquebus, your latest post lacks credibility – you haven’t provided a thousand plus links. And that’s a strength. Heard it all before. But again, and again – and then again.

    Think of your credibility. And also your amusement value. It’s worn very thin.

    Can’t you realise that?

  135. Kaye Lee

    On defence spending, I haven’t seen any party game to question it. It’s bizarre.

    H you left out the eventual, and inevitable, growth of our sun before it dies, We may as well give up now. We’re doomed.

  136. Harquebus

    You find it amusing?
    Trust me, it won’t be.

  137. Matters Not

    Trust me

    You must be joking. With judgement ….

    Not a chance.

    Or are you speaking from experience? Or perhaps, ‘faith’, or ‘rationality’ because it can’t be ‘science’ because it hasn’t been tested yet, has it?

  138. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, let’s distil it to something simpler. Every single one of us is going to die long before the planet does. Our job is to do what we can to keep it going to pass on in the best state we can. We can’t fix it in our lifetimes. We can only try to improve. My comment was in no way amusing – more meant to show you that it is suggestions we need, not doomsaying. But I don’t know why I bother with this. You like your doomsaying and seem unwilling or unable to be constructive.

  139. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    Your future I am less concerned about so, your last does not bother me.
    Pick a topic from the list and let’s go for it.

    Kaye Lee
    Reading articles like this and some of the subsequent comments does nothing for my optimism, just the opposite. There is nothing constructive in Victoria’s article at all.

  140. Kaye Lee

    Victoria is asking for progressives to work together and when Labor and the Greens and independents did that we got a price on carbon. It was a promising start.

  141. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Victoria is asking for progressives to work together in making every issue that I listed worse and I forgot to list deforestation.
    A price on carbon will do little. Reducing energy consumption without a corresponding decrease in GDP, consumption, population and employment, the issues that I mention will not go away. There is no magic bullet. We either bite it now or we face the consequences. That’s it. We can argue all we want. Nature will win.

  142. Matters Not

    Harquebus derails again? Pathetic! Won’t answer serious epistemological questions, just repeats ‘mantras’ And the sad part is, that he/she is completely unaware of other serious questions.

  143. Harquebus

    Matters Not

    We are already derailed. I am trying to get us back on track.
    I’m outta here. Catchya termorra.
    It was good to spar with you.

    I don’t know what epistemological means yet and in my opinion, it is you that is unaware.
    Could you repeat the question. I’ll get back to you in the morning.


  144. Jexpat

    Harquebus wrote: “I forgot to list deforestation.”

    In that regard, you might want to have a look at what Mike Baird has done to NSW.

  145. Jack Straw

    Matters Not; Is Harquebus a male or Female? I know it’s annoying whatever it is.

  146. Athena

    “In a shameful display of crass politics, the Labor Party today voted with the Liberals to defeat a Bill that would have required all State Government construction projects to use Australian-made steel.

    Gee I can’t understand why the ALP is bleeding votes. Better move to the right to capture a larger voter base because the majority of Australians want to lose all of our jobs to overseas. What a corrupt bunch of self-serving arseholes. Neither of the major parties are fit to govern.

  147. OrchidJar

    The reasons the left are divided are too numerous to mention here, though you have, and well done for that, touched on several important ones.
    I’m of the left less concerned with climate change, asylum seekers, and don’t get me started on the idiotic safe spaces, trigger warnings, or identity politics, than on the fundamentals of economic prosperity for as many as possible. This is the base, as far as I’m concerned, upon which all other considerations are conceived, developed, and built.


  148. OrchidJar

    There are still far too many people anxious over the basics of living to begin sacrificing their primary concerns – jobs, health, education – for the loftier, elitist, and dare I say abstract concerns of climate change, or the selective gnashing of teeth over a few hundred/or thousand asylum seekers (when 1.5 billion people live in extreme poverty, or more starkly, approximately 20,000 children die each day due to poverty).

  149. OrchidJar


    Let’s try walking first, running will come later, an old friend used to say.
    I tend to agree.

    I also see, from several responses above, that you’ve touched a nerve with your latte comment.

    I’d also like to say that I agree with the bulk of Vaughann722’s comments.

  150. OrchidJar

    Excuse the staggered comments – I was unable to post it as one.
    Any ideas as to why?


  151. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    If you are referring to this question:
    “Or are you speaking from experience? Or perhaps, ‘faith’, or ‘rationality’ because it can’t be ‘science’ because it hasn’t been tested yet, has it?”
    I am still vague about the substance of it. What is “it” that you are referring to?

    Jack Straw
    FYI: Male, caucasian, late 50’s.
    What annoys me is that people still fall for the garbage that Victoria Rolliston and Trish Corry put out. Absolutely no understanding of physics, science nor maths and yet, think that they alone know better and have the solutions to our problems. Ha!


  152. corvus boreus

    If you think that anthropogenically induced climate destabilization is an ‘abstract’ or ‘elitist’ concern then you are sadly ignorant of both our biospheric context and the seriousness of the environmental problems we have created.

  153. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What was Labor thinking to vote WITH the Liberal filth against protecting local steel industry jobs?

  154. Trish Corry

    Athena, an interesting contribution. It is always helpful if the Greens tell the full story and once again, this is the Greens crying foul to blame Labor but not tell the full story. This is a major problem with the Greens. Their main aim is to paint Labor as the bad guy through not telling the whole story. This is not a one off. This is a continuous thing with them.

    1. Labor (Govt) supports the Bill in Principal however – and the however is not just “Labor hates Steel” as the Greens paint it…
    2. Labor already has an existing infrastructure policy to assist with all infrastructure including Steel and believe it is better to leverage off this holistic approach.
    3. I notice the Greens in their media release did not detail the massive amounts of assistance Labor has given to the steel industry to assist them in terms of money and procurement commitment detailed in the second reading by Labor.
    4. I notice the Greens didn’t mention that their bill was flawed and Labor was concerned with the impact of existing agreements and would like to look at it further during the third reading
    5. I notice the Greens didn’t mention in their media statement the Liberals asked for some minor amendements but Greens rejected them. The Libs major concern was that this may impact economically by other countries refusing to purchase from South Australia. The Greens didn’t even want to take that into consideration or talk about it.
    6. I notice the Greens in their media statement did not announce that they did not want any amendments to the bill at all and insisted it be adopted in its entirity (this is the Greens always not negotiating – even when their bill is pointed out to be flawed.)
    7. I noticed that the Greens failed to mention that the Labor Treasurer is working with all other states to adopt similar Steel and Industry procurement positions in all states.
    8. I notice that the Greens failed to mention that Labor’s Federal policy are fully supportive of Australian Manufacturing and Australian Steel and they did not put forward the very noticable piggy backing off Labor policy and calling it their own (as per usual).
    9.Nor did they talk on Labor’s record whilst in Government Federally, which is very pro manufacturing, very pro steel and very pro jobs.
    10. Nor did they mention Australian Labor’s policy for an Australian Steel Advocate.
    11. I notice that when Greens supporters bandy this around they don’t do any research on the background, they just always take it at face value for exactly what it is, when 99.9999999999999% of the time, it never is.

    Yes, the Greens doing their best to misrepresent Labor. Yes, the Greens painting Labor as the bad, bad party who are against anything good. Yes, the greens painting themselves as “Greens Good” “Labor Bad” Yes, the Greens not standing up and taking ownership by not negotiating, not considering existing bills or major policy projects their bill may conflict with.

    From a perspective from someone who supports Labor and will fight for them to take office ever single time. The Greens in this instance are as bad as the LNP standing at voting booths screaming “Labor hates Farmers.” “Labor hates Truck Drivers”

    The Greens sound the same as the enemy. As Victoria has said – it is time they (as in part of ‘the left’) got on board instead of slamming Labor every chance they have to give the real enemy a free reign.

    Vote Green? You may as well vote LNP. There is a huge message that has been put out from the USA election win on the impact of third party voting and that message is – it is pointless.

    Notice the other thing? I read this either in this article or one of the other links – but here it is again in the Media statement. The Greens putting Labor first as “the bad guys” and the Liberals the second group who are following “the bad guys.” Now there is a narrative very interesting to discuss.

  155. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Now that Trish has had her rant,

    if we Greens people have got it oh so wrong, negotiate with them again to pass an amended bill through that covers all the bases.

  156. Kaye Lee

    Last year SA Labor mandated that they must use Australian GRADE steel but fell short of committing to using Australian MADE steel

    “From this day forward, every piece of government procurement that we use that involves steel must be of an Australian standard, certified independently by a third party to make sure every single piece of South Australian taxpayers’ dollars building any infrastructure, whether it’s a school, a bridge, a road a hospital, whatever it is, has the highest quality steel.”

    Free trade agreements hamper our ability to mandate using Australian made products. There is also a government directive to all departments to buy as cheaply as they can but they fail to look at the extended value of using Australian products and labour.

    Earlier this year,,,,

    “Bill Shorten has outlined his plans to protect the nation’s steel industry, revealing a Labor government would compel federal, state and local government agencies to buy Australian steel.

    “Governments at all levels — council, state and federal government — spend a lot on infrastructure. What is wrong with requiring Australian content in the steel?” he said in Brisbane.”

    So what happened when it came to the vote? What were the specific objections? Surely existing contracts can be protected by a “from this date forward” type clause? Was it just opposed because it was the Greens who put it forward? How does this fit in with progressives coming together to support policies that create jobs?

    South Australia’s food and wine industries generated $18.2 billion in revenue in 2014/15, accounting for 46% of total merchandise exports. Considering that the world demand for food will rise by 70% by 2050, it is unlikely to be affected by revenge from other countries about steel contracts.

  157. Andreas Bimba

    “The Libs major concern was that this may impact economically by other countries refusing to purchase from South Australia. The Greens didn’t even want to take that into consideration or talk about it.”

    This is probably Labor’s main concern as well. It is code for the resources industry and bulk agriculture industry being more powerful and the manufacturing industry can look after themselves in a totally trade exposed environment. Bye bye all manufacturing jobs under the neoliberal duopoly.

    All the world’s governments by and large pursue their own national interest and Australia’s duopoly is unique in that in regard to manufacturing, foreign national interest is prioritised over our national interest. With such ongoing treachery it is probably inevitable that much of the working class will switch allegiance to the hard right WHICH WILL ENSURE WE WILL HAVE COALITION GOVERNMENTS FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

    This morning on Radio National I heard shadow treasurer Chris Bowen mention that Labor will not be pursuing fiscal intergenerational theft. Code for pursuing balanced federal budgets. Does this mean a Labor federal government will spend less than the current Coalition government when the economy is crying out for fiscal stimulus and spending on critical infrastructure like public transport, rail, improving energy efficiency, better urban design, bike paths, roads and clean energy?

    The Greens in contrast have a policy of fiscal stimulus of 3% of GDP per year to drive the process of transitioning to environmental sustainability.

  158. Kaye Lee

    It’s like Labor pushing for more mining in Queensland. The resources boom kept the dollar too high for too long which decimated our other manufacturing and export industries. It also impacted on tourism. That is one thing never acknowledged by mining advocates – the part that has played in the demise of many other jobs.

  159. OrchidJar

    To corvus boreus,

    I meant “abstract” as in there is no clear or unequivocal consensus among the scientific community as to either the amount of damage we’re doing, whether we can affect a substantial or permanent change, or even an agreement as to how best tackle this issue.

    I meant “elitist” as in there are many, many more pressing things that concern the average voter – jobs, economy, taxes, health, education, infrastructure – than trying to untie the Gordian knot of the AGW debate.

    (The Democrats loss of the Rust Belt, and the election, should be ample proof of the failure of “elitist concerns” such as this, to animate an electorate more concerned with jobs and health.)

    Economy, health, education, infrastructure – foundational and immediate concerns.
    AGW, identity politics, PC, asylum seekers, affirmative action, stem cell research etc. – second order issues.

    Can we do both?
    I haven’t seen any evidence of that.
    Have you?

  160. Kaye Lee

    I must agree with cb. Action on climate change MUST be our highest priority regardless of what the man in the street thinks. Those who do not have the capacity to understand the scientific consensus and their dire warnings should not be allowed to override the undeniable knowledge that we are in deep shit and must look beyond the very selfish greed of today. Our actions today determine our children’s future.

    Education, health and jobs are certainly today’s problems but we must have long term action starting yesterday on environmental sustainability which affects all those other things.

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” ― Isaac Asimov

  161. vaughann722

    nb: By ‘co-investment’ (talking about a model to give manufacturing and other jobs alive) I meant more than ‘tax concessions in return for investment’ ; You could call my position ‘multi-stakeholder co-investment’ – and specifically I would have liked to have seen low interest loans for regions and workers to form co-ops – eg: re: SPC – or on a much larger scale with Holden… But also a real stake held by the Federal Govt as well. ie: That the public got a stake-holding in return for any concessions. If you look to Sweden, for instance, they have let assets like SAAB and Volvo fall into foreign hands. Which is regrettable given the history. Ostensibly I think because they needed to increase the scale of their operations to get the economies of scale to be competitive. I think that with a direct government intervention this could have been averted ; with the desirable consequence of economic democracy and justice as well. Maybe even co-ops and government is various countries could join forces to achieve those economies of scale also.

  162. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    we don’t just govern for the rust belt mentality throughout society.

    Obviously, their concerns are important on basic socio-economic issues but those concerns don’t just belong to them. They belong to everyone.

    The difference between the Rust Belt and others is that many of their constitutents think the world only revolves around them and it doesn’t.

    It is our right and our responsibility to advocate that there are diverse ethical and environmentally responsible issues that must always be promoted and enforced in policy-making.

  163. corvus boreus

    As I said, if you think the destabilisation/collapse of the planet’s living systems is a ‘second order issue’, then you are sadly ignorant of the crucial importance of a stable climate to our future.
    There is, contrary to the newscorp view, a general consensus amongst the clever people in the sciences; they are (mostly) very worried about this issue, and there is even a basic general accord on the fundamentals of to how to address the problems (cease deforestation, reduce emissions), even if they acknowledge the uncertainties and problems (scientists tend to do that).
    You can choose to ignore such problems in deference to your own concerns over the tax burden, but that does not in any way diminish their seriousness.

  164. vaughann722

    Kaye Lee – you’re right Climate Change is the biggest challenge – because long term it could destroy the world economy, wreck eco-systems, and displace countless numbers of people. But why not approach it in a way which is economically fair? eg: We’re moving away from coal ; and many are shifting to micro-renewables. Within 10 years renewables will also be far more advanced – and will retain far more energy than the current technology. But the consequence of our shift to renewables is also that the ‘legacy’ power industry is LOSING its economies of scale. That is then passed on to low income consumers who cannot afford to shift to micro-renewables. We have to make the process FAIR. And that means emphasis on renewables ABSOLUTELY MUST be combined with compensation for the working poor and those on welfare – in a way that completely makes up for the additional costs.

  165. Harquebus

    I think that you have your priorities arse about.
    Without a healthy environment supporting diverse functioning ecosystems, the economy, health, education and infrastructure will, along with most of us, not exist.

    “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse.” — Herman E. Daly

    Kaye Lee
    I almost posted that same Asimov quote over on John Lord’s page. A great quote.


  166. Kaye Lee


    You speak a great deal of sense. Why can’t we make power GST free as an essential item. Businesses can already claim the GST back so why not give that also to individual consumers. I know it doesn’t pass on the price signal to change behaviour but it could help tide us over until renewable storage and distribution was better developed.

    I also really like the idea of co-investment between government and workers’collectives. Bypass the corporate middlemen.

  167. corvus boreus

    Since positive feedback loops (like rising temperatures triggering permafrost melt causing huge methane releases, and mass die-offs in both deciduous and coniferous forests) are now obviously manifesting, you might want to consider switching your view of potentially disastrous consequences away from the ‘long-term’ to a more compact timeframe.

  168. vaughann722

    I’m not on top of the science like you are CB but I take you at your word ; But also housing affordability also impacts upon the affordability of micro-renewables – People who are struggling and are caught in a rent trap have no opportunity or means of upgrading to micro-renewables.

  169. Kaye Lee

    “To achieve the goal of one million additional solar energy roofs by 2020, the Coalition will provide an extra $1,000 rebate for either solar panels or solar hot water systems. The program would be capped at 100,000 rebates per year and would therefore be capped at a total cost of $100 million per year,” the Direct Action policy said.

    It was one of the first things to be dumped.


    Scrapping of program confirmed to Senate committee

    The Secretary of the Department of the Environment, Gordon de Brouwer, confirms that the program would not be funded in 2014-15, at a Senate estimates hearing.

    “Given the RET [renewable energy target] review and the budget position, the government has not pursued the one million solar roofs in the 2014-15 budget,” Dr de Brouwer said.

    They did however find $60 million a year to fund school chaplains (whose funding beyond 2018 did not appear in the last budget interestingly)

  170. Harquebus

    At the last state election, SA, Jay Weatherill promised to install solar Pv panels on all Housing Trust properties. I am a Housing Trust tenant and that is the last that I ever heard of it.

    “Human civilization in general rejected renewable energy long ago, when it was utterly abundant, universal, and so cheap it was almost free.” — Dredd

  171. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good point, vaughann722 @11.52 am

  172. OrchidJar

    To Jennifer,
    re: your final sentence. Of course, of course, that’s true. I’m not saying nor am I suggesting otherwise.
    What I am saying is that in the context of this thread, and one if its core arguments, it is a huge mistake to think that a party, any party, will attract voters on issues that are outside their immediate and fundamental concerns, such as jobs, health, education. The purpose of my Rust Belt metaphor was to highlight the chasm between the rhetoric of Clinton’s campaign and the actual and extremely urgent concerns of those citizens. She could have talked for a thousand years on her support for Obama’s Clean Power Plan (but sidestepping her own sneaky practice via the Clinton Foundation) and those words would have fallen, did fall, on the deaf ears of that ex-mill worker, 2 months laid off, no health insurance, and the repo man coming for his pick up next Tuesday.

    My idea, my hope, is that progressive parties can win elections, conceive and cement basic rights policy and then, and only then, deliver on some of those more luxurious issues.
    Until that happens, until we can appeal directly and honestly to those hit hardest by policy, then we’ll be forever at the mercy of lunatics like Trump who will in the space of one term roll back what it took Obama to create in two.

    To corvus boreus,
    see my above to Jennifer for further clarification.
    I am not “ignoring such problems”; I’m trying to prioritise them so that the progressives have an opportunity to first actually gain government, second, to sort out basic living issues, and then proceed to that “general consensus” you’re talking about.
    We are all “very worried” about the issue. I don’t know anyone that isn’t. I’m just a little more worried that until we can speak to the critical concerns of everyday struggling people, we’ll never form a government that will actually listen to your “clever people”.

    No worries, I expect you donate every cent you earn, and devote every available second of your life, to the cultivation of a self-sufficient lifestyle. Which will invariably mean that I won’t hear from you again.
    Look, I understand your idealism, I really do. However, to ask everyone on this planet to adopt your apocalyptic vision and sacrifice their entire lives to something as uncertain as agw is an entirely impractical and impossible pursuit.
    We’re just not built that way.

    First feed the belly, then look to the skies.

  173. corvus boreus

    No worries, our planet’s failing health can wait.
    I suspect the problem will start to resolve itself soon enough anyways.

  174. Harquebus

    Thank you for your response and advice.

    Purchasing products that I think will be vital and unattainable along with attempting self sufficiency is a priority of mine.
    It ain’t easy. As I am attempting to do so without using pesticides and fertilizers, I am finding that pests are the biggest problem. Others will find this out in due course.
    Aquiring hand and garden tools are a good start.

    I have for the last few months been posting links to related articles on these pages.
    You might be interested.

    Calling “Game Over”

    Here is my own contribution which, I am also posting relative links on.

    Depopulate . . . or perish

    To be fair, I will also include this article from Kaye Lee.

    Are we really doomed?


  175. Andreas Bimba

    I agree with you OrchardJar except for your scepticism regarding climate change – this is unfortunately real and will produce huge economic and environmental consequences. You are right that it is mandatory that all have access to adequately paid and suitable work and I am sure the macroeconomic approach of economists like Bill Mitchell can deliver this. His policy of fiscal stimulus and a Job Guarantee can ensure full employment and fund the transition to a sustainable economy.

    We have workable solutions and currently I think the Greens are closest to this approach. Labor apparently can’t reform and cannot abandon neoliberalism, globalisation, austerity (but with a fairer allocation of funds) and monetarism. The duopoly will just blindly continue on the current path to corporate feudalism on a dying planet.

    I like Nick Xenophon’s efforts to retain Australia’s manufacturing industry and most of his other policies, except regarding wind power, are reasonable.

    If all Australians voted for the Greens, NXT and some of the progressive micro-parties, we could begin the process of repair.

  176. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithNovember 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    If Labor and the Greens begin to work together, they can map out the seats especially marginal seats, that they can strategically target against the Liberal and the National candidates, as well as One Nation.

    That way, Labor and the Greens will maximise their combined forces without cancelling each other out.”

    If all your wishes came true how would it work
    Would Labor with 69 Seats drive the coalition as the Greens only have 1
    As to marginal seat would Labor get to pick where the Greens ran because in a vote it would be 69 to 1.
    How would a coalition result in a single vote more.
    Would the decision of the majority be binding on the minority
    What is your prediction of loss of support to both parties by voters who oppose coalitions
    Are minorities allowed and who would determine their “leftness” and if they would qualify for admission to the coalition
    How do Labor and the Greens currently cancel each other out, an example please

  177. Andreas Bimba

    Nurses1968 I don’t know about you but I have had enough of big business running our country both economically and politically. They have stolen our democracy and without that we are heading towards a brutal militaristic form of corporate feudalism on a dying planet. The constant hampering of all efforts to transition to clean energy and the deliberate destruction of our manufacturing industry are galling examples. The minimal tax and royalties paid by the mining industry and the gouging by the super fund managers and big banks is another. The ALP on current trends will entrench the process while offering a sop of better social policy within the same neoliberal budget constraints.

    The Greens will bit by bit gain more seats despite our appalling electoral system that strongly favours the duopoly. NXT may also gain a few more. Popular independents may also gain a few more seats. Unfortunately One Nation may also win a few lower house federal seats eventually. The cross bench is growing as there is no better alternative as the duopoly is firmly under the grip of big business.

  178. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    The ALLiance will invite all Progressives into its tent. If the offer is taken up and I don’t why see it wouldn’t be, it won’t be just the Greens and Labor, but also a range of new, up-coming and energetic parties, which you have been told already.

    So, Labor would not drive The ALLiance but it would have proportionate strength in relationship to the Greens and the range of other party participants. Each party participant will have their own values and priorities which will be enshrined in the agreement and negotiated over every policy development and political step.

    In seats, where there are traditional values that align with either Greens or Labor or another party, there would be an agreement by the others not to contest. It works well for the Coalition so we would adopt that strategy.

    Since there has been procedural fairness and democratic negotiations in the development of decision-making, the decision of the majority would be binding on the minority/minorities.

    For every 1 disgruntled voter who opposes parties forming alliances, there are 2 prospective newcomers. Labor has lost thousands of supporters because of its neoliberalist priorities, so with the advent of fresh, progressive blood, Labor could be reincentivised with getting a blend of those supporters back.

    Feeney’s Batman seat is an example of cancelling each other out. Feeney only limped across the line. Labor can parachute him somewhere else into the bowels of neoliberalism where he belongs and leave Batman to the fresh blood of the Greens.


    Now before you start shooting, I want some answers from you in answer to my questions, as follows:

    When is Labor going to abandon its Neoliberalist arrogance against welfare recipients and tell Shorten and Macklin to get off their rumps and abandon the Job Network fraud by implementing a Job Guarantee?

    When is Labor going to promote government-backed, sufficient and accessible Micro-Finance incentives for no and low income people to begin and develop their own micro-businesses?

    When is Labor going to abandon the neoliberalist debt and deficit jargon and embrace Modern Monetary Theory as its economic framework?

    When is Labor going to stop the me-tooism on asylum seeker policy and the pretence of death at sea as the excuse for inhumane and illegal incarceration on Nauru and Manus?

    When is Labor going to promote a better Gonski program that promotes better working conditions and salaries for teachers, so they actually want to stay in education to teach our young people?

    When is Labor going to say Labor will honour Gough’s legacy and re-introduce Free University Education for all?

    Want me to go on?

    I look forward to your responses.

  179. Harquebus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I will read your last comment later. In the mean time, here is something that you might be interested in.

    “We want to govern, but we don’t want to simply change the power by replacing it with our own. We want a change within civilisation, a change of world vision. We’re talking about dematerialised industry, an end to working for money, the start of working for other payment, a universal citizens revenue. If our society is founded on work, what will happen if work disappears? What will we do with millions of people in flux? We have to organise and manage all that.”

  180. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks H,

    I’ll have a look.

  181. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    As an example and I may not personally agree with it Labor wants Feeney in Batman and as they have the numbers tata Greens candidate in Batman
    “For every 1 disgruntled voter who opposes parties forming alliances, there are 2 prospective newcomers.” evidence please
    “In seats, where there are traditional values that align with either Greens or Labor or another party,” in most seats Labor has traditional values going back a century so they win on that count right?
    Proportianate strenght would be Labor 69 Greens 1 correct
    There are just too many questions you have failed to answer Jennifer.

    Has the Greens Labor ot ANY Independents shown even the slightest interest in your coalition and if so who

    Andreas Bimba
    “The Greens will bit by bit gain more seats” on what evidence as I have heard that for decades and they struggle to stay around 10% falling below more often than not and in some states and territories hardly raise more the 1% or 2%
    This miracle that is continually predicted of the Green surge is due to commence when and why hasn’t it happened since say 2000

  182. Trish Corry

    As per usual when a rational argument is put forward which is aiming to point out inaccuracy in a previous statement, all you get back is the derogatory inane insults from JMS, then the response from Kaye that completely ignores anything written, then backed up by the usual followers with their pathetic little stabby diatribes because they can’t speak to the actual issue.

    The spew worthy “neo-liberalist misconstrued diatribe is starting to get as catch phrasy as “Stop Da Boats.” Inserting this into every argument is getting beyond pathetic, boring, inane, and bordering on psychopathic. This is a time for back to basics, not elitists arguments about neo-liberalism and who started what and “look at me, I can google stuff about economics”.

    For the anti-intellectualists on here that have a stab at me for speaking to theory and poking me with the big insult stick, reading through some of the comments you sound like a pack of first years who have just learnt some new key terms and are using them as much as possible, but haven’t really grasped the context or the content. This is what Turnbull sounds like – he sounds like a first year business student, churning out emotional intelligence, innovation and the like.

    Is it too hard to contemplate, that there is a pattern from the Greens that they post negative stuff about Labor, which does not tell the whole story, to discredit Labor because the Greens see Labor as the enemy more than they do the LNP?

    To say that Labor is against steel or is against investing in major infrastrucutre and protecting Australian Jobs or Australian industry is absolute blind ignorance. To spread garbage that infers “Labor hates steel and steel workers and wants to put steel workers out of jobs and only the Greens can save steel and steel workers” Is blatant political positioning filled with untruths. What this does is for the people who don’t give a rats about the Greens and vote for a major party – do you know where their vote goes? It goes to LNP. Or it goes to party that is not ALP or Greens.

    So maybe have a think about that, next time you support blatant lies from the Greens. This is what Victoria’s article is trying to tell you. That by supporting the division and not being bipartisan on major left issues about jobs, industry, manufacturing etc., (Primary message) and constantly diverting issues to secondary issues as if they are the primary issues, such as climate change, Asylum Seekers, Marriage Equality etc., Has the people who are voting for the hard right (not because they are hard right, but because this is the message of the hard right – that they are listening).

    If that is too hard for you to understand, just stay in your little back patting bubbly little Labor hating ingroup, spitting vile hatred and derogatory bile at anyone else who dares to disagree with you and keep having a whinge when the far right gets bigger. It is not our fault that you chose to side with a protest party who will never be in charge of the big decisions. It is time you come to grips with that and took some responsibility for your own behaviour.

  183. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    why avoid my questions? Is it because you know Labor has no answers. Get real! You know Labor needs the Greens because it lost its own conscience yonks ago.

  184. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Are you calling yourself an intellectual, Trish?

    We all hate the snoopy little LNP Degenerates reading these comments. You should tell Bill to band together with the Greens so we can defeat the parasites!

  185. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I’m still waiting.

  186. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of “vile hatred and derogatory bile”… you ever read your own comments Trish?

    I still don’t understand why Bill says he wants to mandate to buy Australian steel and then the SA Labor party vote against it.

    And I must diagree vehemently that climate change is a second tier issue. It might be for the guys at the pub but quite frankly, their opinion is immaterial. Whoever is in power must make action a priority regardless of what the man in the street thinks. That is what leaders have to do.

  187. Jack Straw

    I still love you Trish.

  188. corvus boreus

    Yet another who views the escalating destabilisation of our biospheric climate (and the concurrent environmental declines and collapses occuring) as a ‘secondary issue’, a minor concern of peripheral importance to be lumped in with same-sex marriage.

  189. ozfenric

    Harquebus, it all comes down to the highest priority and the actions required to address it. No Australian political party is talking about depopulation and degrowth – they can’t. There’s no way a political party is going to get itself elected telling the people that they have to make do with less, that billions of people have to die (probably not, as it happens, Australian voters, though), or that they can’t have all the children they wish. Most Australians don’t want to pump out a dozen children but they will get vindictive if you try to tell them they can’t. When we talk about political ideology and progressiveness vs conservatism, we can only be talking about the immediate future and we must talk in terms of growth.

    In the environment we currently inhabit, we have a practical choice between government by the Coalition and government by Labor. There are no other potential outcomes. This is why I support Labor (rather than the ideologically purer Greens). With preferential voting I can do both – vote Greens and support Labor – but when it comes to evangelism, I’m not going to persuade the majority of my colleagues to turn Green. Pragmatism drives me to support Labor, exactly as Victoria suggests – lambasting Labor for its policies on asylum seekers, on superannuation and negative gearing, even its refusal to support an immediate moratorium on any new fossil fuel exploration and development, will not be beneficial to anyone.

    The climate will change. We are too far gone to avoid that now. You and I (and, hopefully, many here) realise that some level of apocalypse is already locked in. You and I differ in our understanding of how well we might ameliorate the worst effects. Your solution, of depopulation and degrowth, will inevitably occur – and probably sooner rather than later. I don’t think adopting “apocalypse” as our policy platform is going to help anyone, so even though it’s going to happen, I don’t see it as an answer to our woes. Our priority now should be preserving our knowledge, our art, what remnants of our civilisation we can retain. The new world will be very different from the current one. Whether that’s a stone-age society where we revert to oxen-powered agriculture, or a futuristic one where the remnants of humanity live in crystal dome cities and teleport to other planets – the decisions we make now will set us on the path to one extreme or the other. Supporting a progressive agenda, with its continued technological development, a focus on human potential and equality rather than on privilege and power, is to me a better outcome.

  190. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    “… derogatory inane insults …” I could take offence at your usage of “inane”, Trish, but I suspect it is another example of your “vile hatred and derogatory bile”. 🙂

  191. OrchidJar

    Thanks for the links. I will read them.

    I’m skeptical because my brother is skeptical. He is a scientist. I am not.
    Re: Greens. I see them as electorally (near) irrelevant. I wish they would join in with Labour and give the Libs a real run for the money.
    I wish.

    I suggest, further to this thread, that jobs, health, education are first order concerns and you reply with the grossest form of elitist hysteria that the opinions of those not up to speed with the science of AGW are “immaterial”.
    The opinion of the uneducated, the working stiffs, the labourers, the secretaries, the blue collar workers, the underclass, the working class “guys at the pub”, the “man in the street”, immaterial.
    Their opinions, their desires, their needs, their wants, their hopes and dreams, immaterial.

    The most disgraceful elitist attack I’ve seen in ages. Actually it’s an attack on the fundamentals of democracy itself.
    All in 2 short sentences.

    Well done.

  192. OrchidJar

    Well said ozfenric

  193. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Nurses has knocked off for the day but let me help.
    I can cover Kaye Lees concerns about those “that would rather chew their own arms off”
    I’m one of those.
    If it ever got to that, I reckon I’d just pay the fine and have a pleasant day out
    The good thing about being in a Party is you can let your MP know exactly where you stand on issues of Party .

    I am one of those “chewers” and I know some from Illawarra Greens who hold the same view.
    Tassie rank and file have let it be known that they are totally offside with Alliances.
    Some of those Tassie rank and file in the new year will be coming to NSW and QLD to address branches on this issue
    A number of members in branches have already made their sitting MP aware {one branch 80% of membership} that any talk of alliance would result in them being unlikely to donate to campaigns, they would be otherwise engaged in regard to prepolling, letterboxing working on Polling booths or scrutineering .
    They seem to have understood the message
    Some candidates with only a 1% -2% margin needed to unsit the current Lberal have also been informed that a significant number of members in their electorates would be unavailable
    Members in the seats of Grayndler and Sydney in NSW would take little persuasion to come onside and there is already an animosity in both seats

    Kaye Lee, as an “uncommitted” you are free to choose why you vote for and good on you, that is your decision, but we ,as members of a Party also have a right to determine direction and our participation,, or not in the Party of our choice and membership, and a Party lots have sweated long and hard for many years for

  194. Andreas Bimba

    Australia can be the best place in the world to live. We can be nearly self sufficient in everything yet can still dig up some dirt to sell to the world so we can buy the latest gizmo. We can live better than the Scandinavians or the Swiss.

    We had a fairer allocation of wealth and almost full employment up to the 1970’s as well as adequate healthcare and social services. There is no reason we cannot have the same now and still benefit from all the modern advances and productivity improvements.

    We have instead moved towards this dog eat dog neoliberal world because of government policy that was dictated by big business and other vested interests because they were not content with being rich, they want it all.

    Voting for the current Labor Party offers no change in direction just more of the same. The Coalition are worse but without control of Parliament they are not much worse.

    Don’t deceive yourselves that Labor cares about workers when they support all the FTA’s including the TPP which spells the end of democracy with the ISDS protocols. Has Labor once mentioned they will try to retain the Australian automotive manufacturing industry? How will Labor save manufacturing without any more resources than the Liberals are willing to spend and in a totally free trade environment? Don’t you realise balanced federal budgets will forever constrict the money supply and lock in high unemployment and underemployment?

    The ALP are just like Tony Blair’s Labour and Hillary Clinton’s Democrats. Better than the Conservatives but will ultimately also throw the working and middle classes into the same corporate feudal hell hole.

  195. ozfenric

    @Kaye – “It might be for the guys at the pub but quite frankly, their opinion is immaterial. Whoever is in power must make action a priority regardless of what the man in the street thinks. That is what leaders have to do.” This is why I think climate change is too important for democracy. Our political parties are beholden to the people, and the people are subject to all kinds of misinformation and manipulation by vested interests. I think the best answer would be to appoint a climate change authority that actually had teeth, the kind of authority that transcends government and can mandate legally enforceable requirements. Imagine – dictating a total annual cap on carbon emissions, an enforceable renewable energy target, etc., and the moment the requirements are breached, the current government is forcibly dissolved and another government given the reins. It will never happen, of course.

    Otherwise, perhaps Democracy has had its day. With conservative ideology being so regularly shown to be based on falsehoods and mistaken understandings (trickle-down economics, anybody?) maybe it’s time for We the Good People to engineer a coup and install Labor as our appointed rulers. This would have the added benefit of removing the need for Labor to continually chase the votes of the Deplorables.

    Anyone who’s taken aback by my polemic, understand that I wholly agree with Kaye that climate change is the single most important issue in today’s world – on a truly existential level. Without getting our approach to climate change right, jobs, health and education will be immaterial and unattainable.

    Unfortunately I’m a true believer in the concept of democracy and I don’t really support the institution of a gentle fascism or a benevolent despotism. Seriously, though, democracy has shown itself largely incapable of the kind of action that our continued existence as a dominant species demands. I think the only silver lining in this whole mess is that Australia is small fry in the global climate change stakes, and we’ll be dragged kicking and screaming to comply with the standards the rest of the world sets – because we’re far too gullible and corruptible to agree to be the leaders.

  196. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I don’t know why you bother with your nurses1968 nom de plume, cornlegend. It’s a bit obvious …

    … just as is your repetition of what you were saying before the last election that the anti-LNP parties lost by a handful of seats. A better orchestrated united front of The ALLiance would have knocked the LNP off and you can’t deny that.

  197. corvus boreus

    It is, for me, a very negative indicator that, as much of the electorate seems to be sliding towards the extreme ‘right’, more and more ‘progressives’ seem to be expressing climate skepticism (ie; ‘IF it IS happening, it is not worth prioritizing’).
    This is in spite of ever clearer and stronger messages from both the leading relevant scientific bodies and signals from the planet itself (still breaking heat records, glaciers and permafrost still melting, methane erupting).
    It seems that strong opinion is currently trumping intellectual rigour through scientific methodology and peer review.

  198. cornlegend

    Grow up, I have never been afraid to say exactly what I want and your tired old nom de plume thingy only pops up when you are lost for an answer .
    Michael was made aware years ago of the 3 likely people to have access to my IP

    Tell me Jennifer, as a Green how do you justify the NSW Greens allocating one third of their total election budget in Albo and Tanyas seats?
    How fair dinkum are the Greens that they spent more trying to unseat Albo than on Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Sussan Ley,John Alexander and Scott Morrison combined?
    and you want us to play warm and fuzzies with that?
    sorry not happening, grow up

  199. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I cannot answer for the actions of the Greens machinery. I am a simple believer in progressive, reformist, alternative politics.

    By the way, thanks for telling me to grow up. That gives me a perverse bit of pleasure that I’ve not yet become mouldy green and decayed like neoliberalist politics.

  200. Greg

    Sigh…having read this long thread… just another day at the zoo …where a heck of a lot of noise is generated but few truly hear anything because:-

    A. There’s a heck of a lot of noise, and,

    B. Being of different species, nobody understands anyway.

  201. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    I agree with Kaye Lee. You ought to listen to yourself sometimes. It could be that you are only getting returned what you give.

    Thank you for that comment. It was a good post and you are correct of course.
    We can bypass the politicians and their destructive economic ideology and start preparing. They do not care about us now and will care even less when it is their own skins that they are belatedly trying to save.

    There is always the possibility that the collapsing debt bubble will destroy the global capitalist cabal and preserve something of our environment for regeneration which, does not happen overnight.

    The economy has outgrown our planet’s ability to grow it and as you say, some if not all of the consequences are already unavoidable and one of these is mass unemployment which, can only help the environment and is something that, in my opinion, we are just going to have to wear.

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    If I was going to start a political party, it would support candidates who would poll their electorate and vote according to the will of the majority regardless of their own views. Something that no politician as far as I am aware of does. Isn’t this what a representative democracy is supposed to be? If we truly had one, we would already have most of the things that many in here yearn for.
    That said, it’s all academic now for the reasons that Ozfrenic has stated.

    MMT as some propose can not create jobs. That requires energy which, will increasingly become harder to come by. EROEI mates, EROEI.


  202. OrchidJar

    Some clarification, a final clarification in fact:
    Following on from the article/thread I made the argument, or at least broached the question, that there is, or should be, a prioritisation of government policies.
    My particular view is outlined above for all to see.

    I agree that what I term second order issues are important; that they are in need of both discussion and policy, but that they are termed second order for a specific and readily definable reason. I would have thought that uncontroversial in light of Clinton’s electoral loss – where she lost, why she lost, and the strategies she hopelessly and foolishly employed.

    I have yet to read, yet to hear an argument, that convinces me that those second order issues can trump (sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂 ) those first order priorities of jobs, economy, health, education, infrastructure.

    By saying that I’m not diminishing the importance of those second tier issues, I’m just asking the question, or delivering the challenge: what is the pitch, the line, the argument, the narrative, the reasoning, the persuasion, the rationale, the gambit, to the newly unemployed, zero health care, mortgage heavy citizen, that devoting monstrous sums of money and incurring further personal expenses in the service of AGW will in fact immediately alleviate the personal hardship of such a citizen.
    I’ve been involved in such discussions for more years than I care to remember and have yet to hear a convincing argument.

    That is my position.

    That was the Democrat/Clinton’s position.
    And that will be, inevitably, Labour’s position.

    So, who wants to go first?

    Thanks to all for the conversation.

    To Kaye, I’m still stunned at your comment.
    Quite remarkable.
    Should you care to pursue it I am more than happy to accept the debate.

  203. OrchidJar

    corvus boreus,
    questioning, arguing, debating, interrogating, is not “sliding”.
    Beware the mighty fallacy.


  204. Andreas Bimba

    For the next few election cycles the best we can realistically hope for is minority Labor governments that need cross bench (hopefully Greens) support to pass legislation. At least this way neoliberal excess may be tempered and our long suffering environment may get more attention.

    This is a much better outcome than an absolute Labor majority government.

    This is why the Greens target the inner city electorates as well as a few regional ‘sea changer’ electorates that they are not far from winning. These inner city electorates are gentrifying and many professionals can see the shortcomings of the duopoly. The Greens are also picking up strong support in affluent blue ribbon Liberal electorates that are not so indoctrinated by Rupert’s lies but this will take longer. The middle class suburbs are full of people that consider themselves to be a little bit superior to the average and want to cling onto that self perceived advantage and expect lower taxes and more concessions from the Liberals even though the Liberals are destroying them. Even the Nationals should be renamed the mining party, the Greens are starting from a very low base there and winning a rural seat is a big ask.

  205. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    it depends on how the majority comes about.

    That’s why I advocate The ALLiance because it can be made up of large and small parties with proportional strength and proportional powers to partake in policy formation and political platforms, as well as the capacity to negotiate for these.

  206. Harquebus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Each representative would survey their electorate and vote accordingly. Their personal opinions wouldn’t count.
    If this was the case, we would already have marriage equality and corporations paying their fair share of tax etc.
    An alliance would still have to deal with party allegiances which, have cause us problems for as long as I can remember. How many times have I heard a politician say how much they love and support their party and do not consider their constituents at all, especially if it is a safe seat.

  207. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Of course Harquebus,

    the representatives would still represent their electorate. There would be a better chance for the electorate to have reasonable diverse representation because there would be more small and medium size parties with viable chances of winning seats at different times. In the current system, if one lives in a safe seat, there is not much chance of such a shift.

  208. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    “your little back patting bubbly little Labor hating ingroup”
    love it, it brings back memories of the little nodding dashboard dogs.
    You can buy bobble head dolls for about fifty bucks each with your choice of head on them
    might get a few 😀

  209. Trish Corry

    Trish Corry
    “I agree with Kaye Lee. You ought to listen to yourself sometimes. It could be that you are only getting returned what you give.”

    I assure you H – All of my unpleasant comments are all in retailiation and when I post an unpleasant comment in retaliation it is purposeful. I have never backed away from that. However, I will not just start out being nasty, or be a nasty commentator with only negative things to say about an article or the Author, otherwise I would have commented on your recent article. (Oops sorry, the passive aggressive purposely insulting commentary must be catching.)

    Just look at the thread from when I first appeared on line to comment on the article. I’d had a great day, skimmed through a great article at lunch on my phone, came home to read it properly, announced I was grabbing a wine and I’d be back and then the pathetic targeted diatribe started. I didn’t even have to give an opinion – automatic slurs followed. No regular commentator on here should be in the least bit shocked why I no longer post my articles here. Frankly, I don’t know how Victoria stomachs it. Scroll back up and look at how you yourself approached the article to respond. Not with objective criticism, but with personally targeted bile. Maybe reflect on that instead of pointing fingers at others.

    A point of interest is I have said basically what OrchidJar is saying. I agree with OrchidJar 100% and I have no idea of his/her political affiliation because it should not matter. (There’s a hint for everyone.) However a certain few, including you, are so used to targetting the personal slurs my way it means I am dismissed and ridiculed. This also applies to anyone who openly affiliates with Labor.

    Maybe just direct your attention to OrchidJar, and ignore my comments, then you might be able to engage civilly in the same points I am making in a constructive way. If you don’t like what I have to say or how I say it, too bad. You may not like the new “commentator Trish” but not sure if that means anything will be different.

  210. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    … pot calling kettle black …

    (I wouldn’t want to be accused of picking on Trish.)

  211. Kaye Lee


    To say “Their opinions, their desires, their needs, their wants, their hopes and dreams, immaterial.” is a gross misrepresentation of what I said. I was specifically talking about climate change where the vast majority of people, myself included, are incapable of understanding the science. We MUST listen to the experts. I could just as easily have said it is immaterial what our politicians think. If the people in the pub are worried about the price of electricity or the loss of a mining job, or the increasing privatisation and outsourcing, there are ways we can deal with that. What we CANNOT do is allow the deliberate misinformation spread by vested interests and swallowed by far too many people make us delay taking action. It is precisely because I am concerned about the hopes and dreams of people that I say this. And I am dead sick of being called elitist for it.

    ozfenric, I agree. It is obvious that something this important cannot be left in the hands of politicians who are paid by vested interests and who willingly lie to the electorate to keep those donors happy. Politicians are too scared about their own jobs to be leaders.

    “it’s an attack on the fundamentals of democracy itself”…. Action on climate change is not something that mis/ill-informed people should be voting on.

  212. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I like the idea of a higher non-government-aligned authority with teeth in the form of strong investigative and enforcement powers to decide on climate change action.

    Perhaps it could oversee environmental protections too considering their protection goes hand in hand with climate change action such as protecting our forests and marine ecosystems.

  213. Phil

    ‘Holy white man’ VR! Comments galore!!

    Just realised I was grinning ear to ear at the way you expressed your thoughts – the challenges thrown to the dissagreeable reader, the jocularity at inevitable criticism – “here here” or is it “hear hear”?

    Talk about hitting the proverbial ‘nail on the head’. All strength to your hammer VR.

  214. corvus boreus

    However, the recent upsurgence in power for folks like Trump, Hanson (et al), and the European neo-nationalists is definitely a ‘slide to the right’, which was the context in which I used the word, if the term ‘right’ still has the same political meaning.
    Climate skepticism/denial is a fairly common thread (although it seems a secondary issue to anti-Islamic sentiment).
    Feel free to point out any perceived fallacies (mighty or other) .

  215. Kaye Lee


    I have reread all my comments and I am not sure how I have offended you. It was not my intention. I also did not attack Victoria at any stage. She wrote a good article about trying to bring the progressive vote together – something that many of us have been concerned about for years. The discussion progressed to various policies and reasons why the progressive vote may be divided. I didn’t think Victoria meant we should all uncritically fall in behind Labor’s current policies but I may have been wrong.

    All I can do is assure you how much I appreciate the articles and the discussion. I have no set against you and I wish we could just both express our opinions without anyone feeling attacked.

  216. Michael Taylor

    With the government trailing in the polls by a fair margin it might be a good time for Labor to start opposing everything. Don’t vote with the government on anything. The government is on the nose, and there’s nothing to get wedged on.

  217. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Michael.

    May I ask if you believe Labor power-brokers would listen to your sage advice? Do they read this and do you know them?

    If they don’t, they’re mad.

  218. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, I no longer have anything to do with politicians, though I know of three Labor people who are occasional readers of The AIMN (who shall remain nameless). But to answer your primary question, I don’t think they’ll listen.

  219. Kaye Lee

    That’s the tragedy Michael.

  220. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Other acolytes of the Labor power-brokers should be enlightening them of our discussions.

    Our discussions might be heated but they provide good groundwork for political discussion, inclusive policy formation and political advocacy to wider Australian audiences.

    Labor power-brokers are mad if they don’t get their acolytes to access this source with which to reach the wider public.

  221. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    Point taken and noted.

    I believe it is “hear hear” as in “Hear him, hear him”.


  222. corvus boreus

    At least I can exit this conversation (‘progressives unite!’) with a much better (‘grass-roots’) understanding of some of the reasons why Labor continues to embrace things like the fracking of aquifers and farms, and open-cut mining coal from alluvial plains and ecologically endangered communities.
    It seems coal’s just gotta keep rollin’, and the planet’s climate can bugger off and wait (down there with the poofs and reffos).

    As for political corruption (and any possible investigation or accountabilty of), tumbleweeds continue to roll on by.

    Spits and walks away.

  223. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I feel like spitting too. Effing arseholes, the lot of them.

  224. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I must admit that it really pissed me off that Labor sided with the Abbott government on just about anything they said or did. Even when Abbott slipped into oblivion in the polls, Labor still went along with everything.

  225. Michael Taylor

    Four in particular really disappointed me: supporting the FTAs, supporting the meta data laws, agreeing with everything the government proposed re asylum seekers (scared of being wedged, me thinks), and not seeing the need for a federal ICAC.

  226. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    And you want alliances?
    “I feel like spitting too. Effing arseholes, the lot of them.”
    Then you have to be a total moron

  227. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So cornlegend,

    does that mean you’re a moron because you’re still sucking up to the carcass that pretends to be Labor?

    Must be a quid in it for ya, hey?

  228. Matters Not

    scared of being wedged, me thinks

    Yep! The political reality is that there are rusted on supporters on all sides. The real political contest is about the swinging voter in particular seats across the nation. To ‘win’, a party must seduce same. ‘Jerky’ movements; ‘courageous’ initiatives and the like are far too risky. The imperative is to play safe. Understandable if your aim is just to win, and usually justified in terms of – if you don’t win you can achieve absolutely nothing. And besides, we are far better than the other mob. So get on board.

    And so it goes.

  229. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So MN,

    how do you think the Greens will fair in those swinging seats?

    Despite my desire to bring along true Labor people, if they are too stupid to see the future, then it is important to bring along people prepared to support change away from the decadent duopoly.

  230. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    If you voted Labor and that is my assumption then, you have contributed. I abandoned “the carcass that pretends to be Labor” back in 2000.
    Some of us just catch on sooner I guess.

  231. Matters Not

    JMS the political mood is to the ‘right’ and that will weigh heavily against The Greens, at least in the short term. Sad to say, PHON is blooming once again. PHON is great at recognising problems, magnifying same, identifying ‘straw men’ and then promising to alleviate same. That it can’t and therefore won’t, is completely beside the point. It’s all about the ‘promises’. Trump knows that.

    Shorten recognises that as well. Witness his recent statements and expect more of the same in the days and weeks ahead. It’s now politics on the run. Both Turnbull and Shorten are scrambling to ‘reflect’ that shift. That’s what day to day politics is all about.

  232. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What is PHON?

    Whatever the gameplay,

    the bigger game is to destroy the LNPigs

    Get your acts together so that the higher LNP powers only see resolve to drown their snouts in the sewer bog.

    When they see again we can galvanise, we will fight over the distribution of power which will be proportionate I tell you.

  233. Matters Not

    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation – PHON.

    So Harquebus who do you now ‘effectively’ vote for?

    I vote Labor, via The Greens in the HOR.

  234. Trish Corry

    We cannot sit here and wonder while those who are not engaged in politics, are voting for a third party; when those who are engaged in politics have a misrepresented view of what has actually gone on. The argument that Labor just sided with everything the Libs have done, is the exact type of message as to why people are looking for another option. Just a choice. They want to choose. However, the message that is bandied around by ‘those engaged’ gives these voters no choice but to seek a third option. That is possibly the strategic reason as why Greens push this so hard and their members follow this message. Politically, the Lib/Lab duopoly is to their political advantage.

    Labor was bipartisan on security to a point. There were many long debates in parliament regarding security and data retention and there were many amendments made. They did not just support the initial bill that came to the table. Labor made over 40 amendments to the data retention bill. They were bipartisan on security as best they could be. This is argued for three possible reasons. It is up to the punters which one they believe.

    1. A divided nation on security is an open door for security threats. Also, Imagine if Labor forced changes or blocked bills and a terrorist attack happened? We have already had years of ‘deaths at sea.’
    2. Labor was narrowing the opportunity for a point of difference in an area the coalition polls strongly on (legitimate or not – kind of like ‘the economy’)
    3. Labor agreed with the actual premise of the bills and insisted on some , as every country in the world is basically under some threat and serious security measures just may be required.

    Unless you are sitting around the cabinet table, you can only guess. However, if you do want to push people to third parties, it is the sensible approach to whitewash everything good Labor has done for the country and keep pushing out the Lib/Lab duopoly message.

    Labor’s position on Asylum Seekers is Offshore. However, time and time again myself and others have pointed out that Labor’s policy is not about indefinite detention, nor is it about inhumane treatment. Their policy is vastly different than the Liberals. The only similarity is that AS will be housed offshore. The Liberals have made offshore synonomous with abuse and torture. Not Labor. Labor actually paid attention to the Triggs report and made changes immediately. So no, Labor is not the same as the Liberals on Asylum Seekers.

    As for the Federal ICAC. Labor is NOT opposed to a Federal ICAC. Their position is to critically test and analyse the systems already in place to determine if the current system can be improved (so it does not have to be dismanted) before an ICAC can even be considered. The Greens vocal outcry about Labor rejecting an ICAC, was in fact the Greens muting debate in the Senate on ICAC, because once again, they were having a tantrum/hissy fit about not getting their own way. They wanted to move the ICAC bill when 19 people still had to speak to the Bill. Only three Labor Senators had responded to the Bill at the point of the ‘gag’ and they ALL spoke in favour of a federal ICAC. Please contact Senator Cameron for the first hand account. I’m sure he will give it to you with gusto.

    So we can’t blame people who are not engaged in politics to vote for a third party, because those engaged in politics appear to not look into anything and distribute the same Lib/Lab message. At the pub, in loungerooms, at BBQs and online.

    Where Labor did fail strategically during this period, (framing this in Victoria’s main argument), was they allowed themselves to respond to Abbott and kept defence as a primary message, rather than making Jobs and Welfare the primary message and pushing defence as a secondary message and forcing the coalition to catch them.

    Shorten has been steadily on this road for a while now. I’ll sit back and watch the trajectory and sit back with a few wines watching Turnbull get more drawn, old, sallow and useless over time. I’ll do this because Shorten sincerely is a highly intelligent man and I have every faith in him that he knows what he is doing and I have said that all along. It is really frustrating that so many here are not understanding the main points in Victoria’s article.

  235. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ok, I get it.

    PHON is the Pauline Hanson phenomenon.

    I did live in redneck country in Katherine for more than a decade so I have an inkling of how it is to be surrounded by decent people by day and loonies by night. (Don’t care, if that was totally politically incorrect.)

    Strategies must be put into place to help Qlders to resist PHON since that is it’s birthplace.

    Kill the ugly beast and the babies lose succour.

  236. Harquebus

    Matters Not

    Population party and a couple of other minors. That was in the senate. What I did do was seek out Penny Wong’s name and started numbering backwards. That felt good.

    I will add that, the main reason for my abandonment of Labor was on civil liberty issues. Labor has either led the charge or fully supported all major erosions of our liberties. I despise them for it. Labor denying liberty to asylum seekers should have come as no surprise.


  237. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So Trish,

    put it in a nutshell of two sentences what you think we need to do.

    No answer thus far … so …

    …are you going for pre-selection?

    Your diatribe appears that way. Oh dear!

  238. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, H

  239. Matters Not

    Harquebus, I did ask you how you ‘effectively’ voted. Don’t you know? Or won’t you tell?

    Simple question.

    JMS – Ok, I get it.

    Not quite. PHON stands for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. The ON stands for One Nation.

  240. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    I do find your questions very vague and ambiguous sometimes. I got up early this morning to figure out last night’s challenge and still couldn’t understand what you were on about.
    If you are trying to prove how clever you are, it’s not working.

    “Effectively voted”, what’s that?
    I walked to the polling center and filled in my ballot.

  241. Trish Corry

    Jennifer can you please just shut the hell up with your nasty bullshit every time I comment? You started with your slurs the moment I entered the conversation yesterday and you have not stopped. I’ve sincerely over it and I won’t be polite about it anymore. You and your crowd got what you have been pushing for for ages, I no longer post my articles here, happy? but I still want to ENGAGE HERE, especially on great articles like this, so seriously just shut the hell up!!! I’m not your punching bag. I have a right to comment in peace and enjoy my time here without having to cop your nastiness and any others who choose to join you. I refuse to have people like you push me out from even commenting. I’m not sure who you think died and made you Queen.

    I know you think you are funny and enjoy bouncing off of others with it, but it is pathetic bullying behaviour. You really display a very ugly personality. Very ugly.

    And please Shut up about the ALLiance. Between that and “the end of the world is nigh stop having babies” it gets a bit difficult to talk about the issues in the articles that Authors have taken the time to write for OUR reading pleasure. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I’d like to engage for ONCE on the actual topic without having to defend myself against the type of dribble you have just commented in response to my post?

    And Nurse is a woman and Corny is a man – so please shut up about that as well.

    Can we talk about the goddam article PLEASE?

  242. Matters Not

    Trish Corry November 22, 2016 at 10:18 pm – are responses allowed? Or will they be ‘censored? Or perhaps removed completely from the record? Not going to point out your rewriting of the historical record if you simply ‘bin’ it. Just askin …

  243. Trish Corry

    H told me that he would vote for Hanson because of her immigration stance. I don’t know who he ‘actually’ voted for though. But how is that to talk about THE ARTICLE. How do environmentalists/Greens who want to curb immigration because of their dying planet stance, fit into a left wing collective that SHOULD be pushing primary messages such as jobs, manufacturing, welfare etc., ?

  244. Trish Corry

    I don’t care Matters Not. Snap it, Take a picture of it and frame it. I no longer care.

  245. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    relax. It is no longer about you or cornlegend or the suspect nurses

    You still haven’t clarified whether you are trying for pre-selection.

    Please clarify so that Labor and left-leaning Qld voters know what to expect if they look at you.

  246. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    From my recollection, I said that I would vote for ON if, they implemented a population reduction policy. Any idea how long ago that was? I would like to check.
    If I was going to vote for them on immigration, I would have done so at the last election.

  247. Matters Not

    TC, I won’t comment further on this thread.

  248. Michael Taylor

    I was much the same, MN, but I’ve given up on the Greens. I vote Labor in both houses. I don’t always agree with everything they do, but they are a far better alternative to the Coalition. I used to be a Liberal voter, would you believe? It was when I moved to Canberra in the Public Service and saw first hand which party was for the people (which was Labor) that I swung. If you like, do a search on Cafe Whispers for a post I wrote called ‘Why I vote Labor’. I may have even published it here a couple of years ago.

  249. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    I am curious. Would you mind telling us your work history, briefly.
    I am not sure that you have an understanding of the industrial base and supply chains that enables manufacturing each of which, is totally dependent on energy and transport.
    Do you want to increase the number of jobs and consumption that results? We will disagree if your response is yes.

  250. Trish Corry

    Matters Not. It is not my article. Do what ever you please.

  251. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    Are you aware of and have read the one and only article that I have submitted here at theAIMN?

  252. Trish Corry

    JMS “Please clarify so that Labor and left-leaning Qld voters know what to expect if they look at you”. UGLY. Nasty and UGLY.

    My personal life is none of your business H. I have no idea why on earth you need to know this information, when we should be discussing the details in the article.

    Does anyone actually have a position on that “those on the left should get on board with the same primary messages?”

  253. Michael Taylor

    H’, you have actually had two articles published here. One was anonymous, remember?

  254. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    Fair enough. You wanted to talk about manufacturing and I was just wondering what your experience in the industry was. No big deal. Let’s move on.

    Michael Taylor
    Actually, it wasn’t anonymous and it was an adaptation of an email that I sent you. The latest was specifically intended for publishing here.


  255. Michael Taylor

    Does anyone actually have a position on that “those on the left should get on board with the same primary messages?”

    Yes, I have. We do whatever we can to see this government kicked out and replaced. And only one party can do that. Labor.

  256. Trish Corry

    I mentioned that a primary message should be jobs and manufacturing. I’m not sure what my ‘credentials’ has to do with that at all. So yes, please move on. Do you agree that as many people as possible who want to get rid of the right wing insidious disease infecting the country right now, is to stay on message and to bring back to the forefront key issues such as jobs, manufacturing, welfare etc., I would also like to understand how anti-immigration, anti-population growth people such as yourself, fit into ‘the left’ as the side who needs to combat the right.

  257. cornlegend

    On a slightly different note, and in supporting differences, Trump made an impressive start killing TPP
    Even Greens, uncommitted or alleged uncommitted would have to give him a tick for that.
    Hillary wouldn’t have

  258. Matters Not

    MT, I have always ‘effectively’ been a ‘Labor’ voter and probably always will be. I do so from a ‘philosophical’ position (without going into the concepts that traditionally underpin ‘philosophy’) but I’m not a political ‘dill’. I recognise that ‘politics’ is as always about the ‘art of compromise’ – that politicians – are inevitably concerned with their own political survival, and will be influenced by what they perceive as the forces at work.

    I recognise that re the HOR, The Greens aren’t going to get there in the foreseeable future but I want the ALP to recognise that the ‘values” behind The Greens should not be ignored. The ALP is in truth a ‘coalition’ – albeit a temporary ‘settlement’ between various forces that can be categorised in binary terms (Left and Right) and usually is. I’m of the Left. And that’s why I vote as I do.

  259. Michael Taylor

    My big issue at the moment is the NBN. Carol and I can’t walk into a shop/store/office without starting a conversation about internet speeds in the area, which generally leads to us saying how good the Rudd NBN was when we had it in Canberra. And generally concludes with suggesting that if they want good internet speeds then they need to vote Labor. ?

  260. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    It this point in time, I am in combat with Labor and The Coalition. I despise them both equally and remember, I once was a Labor supporter.
    For what it is worth, this is what I stated above last night:
    “We need less jobs, less people, less building and construction and less cars.” Add less manufacturing.

    The problem is not how do we maintain let alone grow these sectors, it is how do we fairly contract them to a sustainable level that can provide a reasonable sustainable lifestyle for all. “All” being a lot less than the numbers that we have now?

    I asked if you had read my article because, it explains why I think that shrinking the population and contracting the economy is vital if, we are to avoid the serious consequences of unfettered growth.


  261. Michael Taylor

    Yes, MN, Don Chipps mantra of “keep the bastards honest” still influences how many people vote today.

  262. Harquebus

    I will never forgive Meg Lees. Every time I receive a utility bill, there’s the dreaded tax.
    Oh but, TV’s and cars will be cheaper. Whoopee! I have only ever bought two new TV’s and have never owned a new car.

  263. OzFenric

    Harquebus, that’s all well and good – loathing them equally is very egalitarian of you. Unfortunately one or the other will be in power. If you put Penny Wong dead last and numbered backwards, effectively you’ve voted for the Coalition and that makes you part of the larger problem.

    You know we’re not going to “avoid the serious consequences of unfettered growth”. Ain’t gonna happen. You’re beating a dead horse and while it might give you the same smug satisfaction as the Greens get from voting down imperfect carbon taxes, it has about the same effect – i.e. none at all on the causes that are important to you, and more power to the Coalition. Voting against Labor because they’re not progressive enough is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  264. Matters Not

    Harquebus, I ask again. Who do you ‘effectively’ vote for? Not your intended ‘affective’ vote but the actual, effective outcome of your ‘marking of the actual ballot paper’? I’m working on the assumption that you understand how preferential voting ‘effectively’ works.

    Just askin

  265. Harquebus

    Okay, I’m outta here. Nighty night.
    Something for the stragglers.

    “Sadly, fleeing is not an option for the most vulnerable Americans. Their only option is to keep fighting; yet the first impulse that many of their professed allies felt was to do the exact opposite: to escape.”

    Matters Not
    I will answer your question in the morning.

  266. Trish Corry

    H – yes, I have read your article. I read all articles on here every day and have done so for many years now, except for maybe the odd day or two when I have had other things on and not been online. I did not make a comment on your article, because it is not a special area of interest for me and I don’t agree with the broad premise of over population. As a regional QLDer, I am more interested in things like turning non-arable land into arable land and creating more sources of water to rural and remote areas (we live on an Island!), rather than stopping population growth.

    I also didn’t comment because you gave an overview that your position was ‘there is a problem’ but you offered no solutions. I would encourage you to write again, but with solutions or suggestions. It would also be helpful to the reader if you offered some alternatives to de-population, but argued against them, which should demonstrate why your position is stronger than the existing alternatives.
    An easy formula to follow is RIPPA. Reason for writing, Information (background) Point by Point and Action (a request for action or a final statement that invokes an active response). I hope also now you are an Author, you appreciate the other side and may be a bit more kind with your responses and critique the content and not the author.

    However, in theme with this article, although this and other issues are important issues, they are not the key issues to focus on to defeat Trumpism/Hansonism. Do you agree?

    The only other thing I’d like you to think about with your own area of interest, is IF Governments did implement policy to stop population growth, what are the societal implications? Which groups do you think would be targeted and vilified or economically isolated? I would say minorities, immigrants, women and the poor. That is my concern about how your position on population feeds into propping up the rhetoric of Hanson.

  267. corvus boreus

    Trish Corry,
    I am well aware of the exact nature of the machinations that went on around that particular non-vote on a federal ICAC, just as I am also aware of the various shenanigans that have gone on regarding the subject both before and since. I did not rely on information put out by any party, but checked the actual parliamentary transcripts.
    The last event (Wang, PUP) was a motion passed (amendments over-ruled) to form a select committee of discussion, shoehorned into a time-frame allowing no chance of any resolution prior to the election, subsequently dissolved, subject since dropped.
    I did read senator Cameron’s version of events around that ‘gag’ (or STFU and vote) motion (ever hear of the term ‘filibuster’?). I communicated to him that if he and Labor supported the idea so vehemently they should propose a variation on the motion themselves. He has not responded with either word or deed.
    I am also aware of Bill Shorten’s record of worse than weasel words on the subject; it is a contributing factor to my lack of enthusiasm for him. If Labor wanted a federal anti-corruption body, they would be calling for or proposing such in clear terms, especially each time fresh incidence of coalition corruption comes to light.
    They have not.
    Do not try to lecture on a subject upon which not only are you not particularly well informed, but also one about which, by your own words, you do not give a shit.

  268. OrchidJar


    I am not misrepresenting your words. You were quite clear; “the opinions of the guys at the pub were immaterial”.
    I say they are not immaterial.
    I say they are the most important factor in any political/social equation.
    Despite your wishes, and the wishes of many here, the science is not unanimous or clear, to the satisfaction of either the scientific community, or the political community, or the public body, therefore not settled in the minds of the ‘guys at the pub’, you or I.
    The science thus far is proving too difficult to be either translated into a political program or, more important still, explained and understood by an questioning electorate. So, from this uncertain premise you want to impose the inevitable tax for renewables, technology, and service, and partake in an industry and bureaucracy estimated to be worth roughly 1.5 trillion dollar a year. That’s right, 1.5 trillion. Why that fact doesn’t raise eyebrows is beyond me.

    ‘The guys at the pub’ are already stretched out on the rack of job loss/insecurity, health insurance hikes/or lack thereof, children’s expenses, and all of unlimited sundries of living.
    I say to you, or better yet, Trump’s Rust Belt voters, have just said to you, no thanks.
    Now you have Trump.
    Installed by the very people you’ve just disdained with your elitist charge. The very ones who could not understand the science because the science is not there to be understood as clearly as you think it is or would like it to be.
    And the result of your elitism? Trump will set back the climate debate 10 years, he will foster and fund further skepticism, he will push the carbon industries, choke our skies and our lungs, and squeeze every last dollar from the ground.
    And your climate change argument?
    What argument?
    We’ll be still be debating the science and the politics of AGW as we watch the ‘guys at the pub’, the masses, the underclass, the normal people on this planet sink further into destitution.

    Let’s see then how open we all are to discussions on AGW.
    I’ve got a pretty good idea how that will turn out.

    They are your words Kaye. I’m simply teasing out the implications.
    It’s unfortunate you forgot the meaning of the word ‘demos’ in the word democracy.

    But I digress, even if it were 100% true, that there was unequivocal proof that we could affect substantial and ongoing change, and that it will, inevitably, cost the public more, substantially more, then how would you present the argument to both the public and the pollies?

    I asked that question in a previous post but received, unsurprisingly, no answer.

    I’ll ask it again: what’s the argument, the rationale, the pitch, that would convince the ex-steel/car/manufacturing worker of Wayne County, Mich, or Lucas County, Ohio, or the Hunter Valley ex coal miner, unemployed, 3rd child on the way, staring down the barrel of a bank foreclosure, to cough up another $71.58 a week for renewable research and be politically proactive in the fight against continued CO2 emissions?

    It’s an argument that I’d like to hear.

    Also, you wrote, “If the people in the pub are worried about the price of electricity or the loss of a mining job, or the increasing privatisation and outsourcing, there are ways we can deal with that”.

    “There are ways we can deal with that”.

    OK, let’s hear those ways because so far we’ve heard very little of any political or practical solutions to these essential problems.
    And that in itself is part of the problem outlined above: how on earth do we move toward important though profoundly complex policy on climate change, for example, when we can’t yet figure out how to hold onto a job, or keep electricity bills low, or provide affordable health insurance, or build classrooms for kids etc, etc, etc?

    To me it’s very clear that we cannot.
    Unless you’ve got some practical answers?

    I suggest taking a cold hard look at the thoughts of those residents in those Rust Belt states who after many having voted for Obama twice, now chose Trump.

    Their grievances a lesson to us all to pause and reflect, as we sip our mocha latte and ponder the First World, second order, issues that seem to consume our relatively comfortable minds.

  269. corvus boreus

    The science is clear in the credible relevent scientific bodies (the corporate think-tanks much less so).
    It is also quite clear to the international community, hence the various treaties and protocols (with quibbles on details).
    The clarity of message seems to be breaking down somewhere on the way to the electorate (the ‘guys’ in pubs).
    Perhaps the public saturation of commercial media purveying a denier-skeptic message has something to do with this chronic miscommunication.
    Or perhaps the people in pubs are just too drunk to understand what is being said.

    My thoughts on what were the thoughts of those who chose Trump? ‘Make America great again? ”Grab them by the pussy’?

  270. OrchidJar

    To Kaye,again:
    a very quick add on to follow my point – “Trump will set back the climate debate 10 years…”
    Remember his pre election promises? withdrawing the United States from the Paris accord, shutting down Obama’s Clean Power Plan and green lighting every new fossil-fuel adventure from the Keystone XL pipeline on down to “let’s burn some rubber tyres for a dollar”.

    We’re about to see if they hit reality.
    And if they do?
    Well, I blame Clinton/Dems for letting such a nincompoop steal their electorate.
    Meaning that I blame my/our side for woeful political judgement.

    Meaning that what you appear to fear most has come about by…..?

  271. Kaye Lee

    “We’ll be still be debating the science and the politics of AGW as we watch the ‘guys at the pub’, the masses, the underclass, the normal people on this planet sink further into destitution.”

    This is precisely why I said the opinion of the guy in the pub, and our politicians, is immaterial. We don’t have time to waste trying to convince people whose only concern is their own immediate problems. Of course their concerns about their everyday lives are valid, but their opinion about climate change is not. Any idea that they should have some say on action is like asking them to give an opinion on brain surgery.

    All political parties must stop using this as a wedge and agree to do what the experts tell us we must to survive.

    You talk of the cost of taking action on climate change – how do you feel about the $5.6 billion Australia spends each year on fossil fuel subsidies?

    As for practical suggestions, rather than writing an essay here, I refer you to the hundreds of articles I have written. Trish Corry made some excellent suggestions about non-mining employment opportunities in her area of regional Queensland on another article.

  272. corvus boreus

    Bill Clinton’s main legacy was collapses in the financial and industrial sectors (due largely to his deregulation/reform policies), and is mostly remembered for using his presidential powers to gratify his personal perversions.
    Throughout all this his wife stood proudly beside him.

    I think that having Hillary Clinton as the US Democrat presidential candidate.was an entirely foolish notion.

  273. ozfenric

    OrchidJar has revealed him/herself as a climate change denier. (With this much scientific consensus, there are no “climate skeptics” – you either accept the science, or you deny the science.) The science that counts is very unanimous and extremely clear; the only grey areas are the specific details around the edges. Anyone who argues that the science is not clear is either trying to mislead, or already misled. Those doing the misleading are generally akin to the toffs on the Titanic who will continue to assure the writhing hordes below that all is well and ships have always gone up and down like that.

    If you start from a position of doubting the strongest scientific worldview since Newton, then it’s easier to ignore arguments about AGW and its critical importance in favour of immediate economic concerns. But even then, it’s prudent to examine the risks and prioritise accordingly. Here’s an analogy you might not have heard: “If there’s only one chance in a thousand that he’s our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty.” That was talking about Superman as a potential destroyer of the world. The chance of AGW killing everything on Earth larger than a newt is significantly higher than one in a thousand.

    OrchidJar asks: “what’s the argument, the rationale, the pitch, that would convince the ex-steel/car/manufacturing worker of Wayne County, Mich, or Lucas County, Ohio, or the Hunter Valley ex coal miner, unemployed, 3rd child on the way, staring down the barrel of a bank foreclosure, to cough up another $71.58 a week for renewable research and be politically proactive in the fight against continued CO2 emissions?” My argument would be: “The scientists of the world agree that if we don’t spend this money, the likelihood is that your grandchildren won’t have any air to breathe, and an even higher chance that your children will die of starvation before you even get grandkids”. That’s the level of the threat we’re facing. That’s the truth that’s too unpalatable for politicians to say. For decades, scientists have stopped short of making this kind of statement not because it’s uncertain, but because they’ve been trained to be conservative in what they say, and they know from experience that frightening people has the instant response of creating denial. But now that we can see the effects beginning I think there’s enough physical evidence to back up the statements, and the need for action is so pressing that we need to frighten people. The world’s climate scientists are so terrified they can’t sleep at night. We should be too.

    Kaye is right. Climate change is too important an issue to the future of this planet and our fragile little species to be left in the hands of those who can be swayed for immediate personal gain.

  274. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    In answer to your question:
    Of course, no single vote is likely to decide an election, my vote only contributed.
    In the House of Reps. my vote had zero effect. I live in a rock solid Labor electorate.
    In the Senate, my vote contributed to holding Labor at three S.A. senators.

    Thank you for reading my submission.
    My submission was all about the solution. It is only the methodology and implementation that is yet to be determined and that, at this point in time is irrelevant until those in parliament recognize the problem and then decide to do something about it. Your help in this aspect would be appreciated.
    Kaye Lee has written a similar article suggesting some methods which, no doubt, you will have read.
    Unfortunately, there is no alternative solution. We either depopulate voluntarily or it will occur naturally. There is no avoiding it.
    In regards to “Trumpism/Hansonism” (T/H), if the major parties concerned themselves with their constituents which, I suggest they do, T/H would not be a problem. That is how I suggest we defeat them.

    Societal implications of depopulation: These are my best guesses. Prediction is difficult.
    Negative: High unemployment, decay of sections of infrastructure, bankruptcy and loss of wealth for the rich.
    Positive: Reduced pollution, conservation of natural and finite resources, clean water, environmental and species preservation, climate mitigation along with associated benefits of reducing desertification and limiting sea level rise etc.

    The choice is between the economy and the environment. We can live without the former as we have previously done for some hundreds of thousand years but, we can not survive without the latter.

    Thank you for your criticisms and advice. They have been noted.

    corvus boreus
    Please continue your efforts in contacting politicians. It is something that I do regularly and try, so far unsuccessfully, to convince others to do.

    To all.
    It appears from this thread the climate and the environment are of more concern to most than the economy. It is the politicians, economists and corporates who benefit the most from the growth economy and it is they that advocate it above our environment.

    Let me repeat this quote:
    “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse.” — Herman E. Daly


  275. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish @ 11.19pm,

    is that a yes then? Maybe that accounts for why you are non-responsive to any criticism of Labor neoliberalism, which is selective with whom and what it represents.

    Labor is not the one size fits all voice of the People it pretends.

  276. Trish Corry

    Jennifer, you have displayed such disgusting behaviour towards me for me just existing in a thread and making comments. Please be reassured, I will not engage with you as you are a nasty bully. You overtly target me and your comments towards me are based on slurs, personal ridicule and aims to humiliate me as a person. It is now day 3. You don’t have one ounce of humility in your body. Anything you say to me will be ignored for ever and if you ever attempt to comment or accidently comment on my own blog site, you will be automatically blocked.

  277. Kaye Lee


    Can you find that list of employment opportunities for your area you wrote before (the non-mining ones)? It was in a comments section but you said you had been working on it for a while so may have it to hand? Don’t spend time looking but I would like OrchidJar to see it if you can find it.

  278. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    before you ex-communicate me, I ask you to be more circumspect in your responses regarding Labor’s complacent position in the duopoly. Be careful also that your threats of censorship don’t portray yourself to be what you accuse others of being.

    I’m sure I’ve said once or twice that I applaud your devotion and loyalty but the wider Australian people who are in the ‘netherlands’ (colloquially known as the ones who have fallen between the cracks) need more than blind devotion. Critical thinking about how Labor can raise its political expectations of itself, by abandoning neoliberalism and returning to democratic socialism, is essential.

    I am capable of humility but it is not required in response to your accusations. I would also venture to suggest that you put up a mirror to yourself with regards to those accusations.

  279. OrchidJar

    To Kaye,
    I’ll try asking again:
    Meaning that what you appear to fear most has come about by…..?

    And if you think that I trust politicians to conceive and implement policy on AGW more than I do the “guys at the pub”, meaning you or I, then you’re sadly mistaken. My view of their abilities to is far more jaundiced than I care to admit.

    Your “brain surgery” red herring was just silly.

    And it’s OK if you have no answers to my questions – they are very difficult, and one reason why I asked them in the first place.
    My view is simply that the position that you, corvus, and ozfenric hold is in no small part responsible for the crowning of someone like Trump.
    Meaning that you have successfully, inadvertently, pushed the climate change agenda back 10 years.
    Or more.

    To ozenferic,

    Your argument/response (to my question) is ridiculous. It will convince no one, has convinced no one.
    It has all the persuasive power and appeal of a fat drunk trying reeking of vomit trying to unbutton your blouse at 3am.
    Good luck with that.
    It is an argument clearly beyond both you and Kaye; it is clearly beyond us all.
    Which is the point, one of the points anyway, that I was trying to make.

    More importantly,
    rather than you speaking for me; assuming my position and then running a mile with it, screaming to all and sundry ‘this is Orchid’s position, this is Orchid’s position!’, I’ll tell you directly.
    Think that’ll work?

    I absolutely believe in climate change.
    I absolutely believe in a deleterious human influence.

    I do not believe, because I do not know, whether we can affect medium to long term meaningful change.
    I do not believe, because I do not know, whether our predictions, plans, hopes, or guesses, can or will achieve even a modicum of influence.
    I do not believe that we, as a political, social entity; as a race, can do what it takes to tackle the question itself, let alone come close to any solution.

    Based on this premise I do not believe in spending untold trillions in the service of a near hypothetical, untranslatable, near impossible to implement idea, grossly contaminated with its special brand of greed, self-interest, and base politics.

    I would rather spend the money on improved social/ political conditions for as many people living now as possible.

    I’ll tell you what, let’s share the responsibility: I’ll take care of woman’s shelters, check, campaign for improved working conditions, check, help out in local grass roots political drives, check, continue my contributions to Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, check, and you start to remove all of your energy footprints: electricity, cars, transport, refrigerator, computer, mobile phone, water and sewage utilities, and anything else you can think of on your way to addressing, as you say, the most important and immediate issue in today’s society.

    Thanks for the conversation ozfenric, I’ll remember this as your final contribution.

  280. Kaye Lee

    You don’t appear to really be asking any questions OrchidJar – or at least not ones that you want an answer to.

    Do you want me to explain the overwhelming proof of climate change to you and the repercussions of inaction?

    I would suggest you start here with whatever is your denier argument of choice.

    You keep asking how we will sell it to the public and I keep answering that it is ridiculous to even ask the public’s opinion on climate change let alone have them determine what should be done about it. They have been deliberately misinformed and manipulated by vested interests to mistrust the science. All of the information has been exhaustively presented but the man in the street chooses to believe fools like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and Malcolm Roberts rather than the undeniable science from the experts.

    It is not us that has pushed the climate change agenda back – it is the politicians who have sold out and the deniers that are duped into voting for these fools because Miranda Divine says climate change is crap. They should not be able to use this as a political divide leaving us to be led by ignorance.

    You spoke at length about the cost of renewable energy and totally ignored my question about fossil fuel subsidies that cost us way more.

    Jobs are important – making them sustainable jobs is just sensible. The consequences of climate change on health, agriculture, disease spread, natural disasters, on everything actually – makes it an essential consideration in every policy.

    Saying you do not believe because you do not know is utterly ridiculous. If you don’t know then you should let the experts do their stuff, not pander to your beliefs which you yourself say are based on ignorance. I get it that you want to provide shelter and care for the vulnerable, but what is the point if you are burning down the house? Governments must have both short and long term goals and planning.

    If you have a question I have missed please repeat it.

  281. Kaye Lee

    If you would like to find out how you have been duped by a deliberate misinformation campaign funded by the fossil fuel industry, start here.

    “We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”

    -Heartland Institute’s global warming denial machine is chiefly – and perhaps entirely – funded by one Anonymous donor:

    Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 – about 20% of our total 2011 revenue). He has promised an increase in 2012…”

    -Confirmation of exact amounts flowing to certain key climate contrarians.

    “funding for high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist AGW message. At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found.”

    “Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as Revkin at DotEarth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators such as Romm, Trenberth, and Hansen) or Curry (who has become popular with our supporters).”

    -Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.

    “We have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.”

  282. Trish Corry

    I think the entire of point of climate change in relation to this article is that Climate change is what I would perceive as a secondary message. It is NOT the main concern of the voters who will accept racism, homophobia, misogyny etc., just so they feel their important issues are heard. We have spent a lot of time talking about climate change etc and de-population, but nothing about a critique of what is or is not a primary or secondary message or priority for the major parties. Particularly the left wing parties.

    OrchidJar asked earlier about people to put up a defence of why Climate Change should be a main policy driver to win votes back to the left. Remember, the key point is to not bleed votes to the likes of Hanson, Xenophon etc., and in my opinion the Greens. The situation at play here at the moment for me, is a clear choice between pro-worker pro-community and anti-worker, anti-community of the two major parties.

  283. Harquebus

    Mitigating climate disruption will not happen while the world’s government and business leaders continue to pursue growth and new jobs will not be created without it. That’s the choice. If new jobs is your priority then, you do not understand the problem.

    “Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues were miraculously to vanish, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible…” — George Monbiot

  284. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Any day when the temperatures are unseasonally hot or cold, people are reminded that there are stronger forces than them at play. Climate Change is not merely an economic problem, it is a societal problem and ordinary people care about their kids’ futures. They also care about natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef more than negligent governments give them credit for.

    The support given to Adani to run the Carmichael mine by both the Queensland Palaszczuk Labor Government and the Federal Liberal National Party Coalition Government are two examples where government is showing lack of leadership and accountability to the environment and to the best interests of the Australian People.

  285. Kaye Lee

    New jobs do not mean greater consumption. Aged care, child care, reforestation, recycling and repairing, mine reclamation, education at all levels, research, information technology and sharing, developing new manufacturing techniques that use less power and resources and better agricultural techniques (eg drought resistant grains and insect resistant crops) so we use less water, fertilisers and pesticides, the arts in its myriad of forms, counselling and mental health initiatives, community support groups, youth mentoring – I could go on forever thinking of jobs that require no more resources, or less resources than current practice, or that even send us in the right direction like replanting and carbon capture and storage. I hesitate to say renewable energy industry because I really don’t want another dubious EROEI discussion based on old data – but there are jobs to be had there. I also think high speed rail, even though it does use energy and resources, would bring a positive energy return.

    We should look for jobs that send us in the right direction – sustainable jobs that improve society.

    The reason “why Climate Change should be a main policy drive” is not to win votes at all – it’s to allow us to survive.

  286. OrchidJar

    this is now getting quite silly and embarrassing.

    * I’ve asked numerous questions. I suggest you look again. If you choose to.

    * “Selling to the public” and “asking the public” are two quite different notions. Try not to conflate the two with your clumsy “look, over there!”

    Without an honest “sell”; a transparent, respectful, and informative conversation with the people that make up this society; you, me, the guys at the pub, then a government, any government, has no mandate to implement new bus tickets let alone something larger than every other human enterprise put together.

    * People believe fools like Bolt, Jones, Trump et al because the left have retired from the conversation; they’ve bequeathed a vacuum; of political good sense, integrity, honesty, and the ability to point out the distinguishing features between themselves and the right. Again, Clinton’s campaign and loss were glaringly stark examples of this point. I’m incredibly surprised that some on the left see that as a controversial statement.

    Yes, it is you that has pushed the (climate agenda) agenda back. I’ve already told you how and why.
    I’ll reiterate briefly for emphasis: by openly abandoning what I termed first order principles – jobs, health, education – and concentrating on second tier considerations – climate change, asylum seekers, identity politics – you have, Clinton has , the Democrats, the left, me, the guys at the pub, have disenfranchised, have effectively abandoned, a huge swathe of our once and potential voters. Clinton’s “deplorables” ( a disgraceful phrase which I hope haunts her remaining years) could have given her a win, therefore allowed for the very policies you seek to take some effect. However, seeing themselves ignored; seeing their primary concerns ignored, these voters searched elsewhere and found it the form of an illiterate orange haired blockhead who promised them change. So desperate were they for some kind of recognition they installed him as president.
    Now he has control of your agenda.
    Your agenda.
    How’s that working out for you?
    I can smell smoke, can you?

    * I neglected to answer your fossil fuel subsidy question because I found it insulting.
    These subsidies you speak of are but a fraction of what the full costs of ending global warming will be.
    A fraction.

    * I can only believe in what I know Kaye.
    I know there are no fairies at the bottom of the garden, so I don’t believe in them.
    I know that politicians talk a huge amount of rubbish, so I don’t always believe them.

    Have you some other cerebral mechanism for believing in what you don’t know?
    I’d like to hear it.

    * My ignorance is honest. It’s as honest and legitimate as yours, as anyone here who is not a scientist in these matters. I have access to the same material as you and you hold no privileged position with regard to “facts”.
    As I mentioned elsewhere my brother is a scientist, a hydrologist in fact, with more than a passing academic interest in this subject.
    He is uncertain, therefore I am uncertain. He has the greater expertise in this matter and so I defer to him.
    Dare I say he has greater knowledge on these matters than you.
    Believe him or not, it’s your choice, but do not for a moment presume to call my opinion without substance, or without a genuine desire for some “truth”.

    * Your “burning house” metaphor belong in preschool. I suggest you use it there.
    And only there.

    * In closing: following the thread lead I put forward my opinion that it is the first priority of the left to provide the bare essentials of living – if we don’t do it, who will? The right? Yeah, right!
    Only after those primary and essential conditions have been met we can proceed to other considerations, such as climate change etc.

    Not, and never, the other way around.
    Unless you want to be responsible for the Trumps of this world pulling back our progressive and positive social agenda.

    Thanks for the conversation Kaye. 🙂

    it seems that part of my post/question was lost in the distractions. Thank you for reintroducing it.

    “If new jobs is your priority then, you do not understand the problem.”
    Tell that to the guy who is hungry. And then ask him to follow you.
    Good luck with that.
    Such an argument, such an approach, consigns you to electoral/policy oblivion.

    By the way I read your article. It was well written, passionate and robust.
    I don’t see it ever happening though.
    That’s life, I guess.

  287. OrchidJar

  288. Kaye Lee

    “Without an honest “sell”; a transparent, respectful, and informative conversation with the people that make up this society; you, me, the guys at the pub, then a government, any government, has no mandate to implement new bus tickets let alone something larger than every other human enterprise put together.”

    There is a good start – we have not had an “honest sell” from the people who have been elected so that blows that theory. They have told the most outrageous lies, deliberately stirred up disproportionate fear about miniscule risks while ignoring real risks eg the amount spent on terrorism and deterring asylum seekers compared to the amount spent on domestic violence, emergency refuge and legal aid. They have lied about the economy and made us worry about taxes. I will never understand why the public was sucked in by a campaign about the carbon tax from the party that introduced and want to increase GST. They talk about the cost of renewable energy and hide the price of fossil fuel subsidies.

    Speaking of which, you keep changing what we are discvussing. You gave a very specific cost of renewable energy per head. I showed you that the per head cost of fossil fuel subsidies is a great deal higher. If you want to talk about the cost of global mitigation, then I want to talk about the cost of an increase in temperature of 2 degrees and I can tell you, that will be way higher than any mitigation we start on now.

    “Have you some other cerebral mechanism for believing in what you don’t know?” Yes it is called trust and I don’t give it lightly but when it comes to matters of expertise, I must defer to the experts which I am sure you do too in other facets of your life – for some reason you don’t trust climate scientists.

    No doubt your brother has very specific knowledge of hydrology but asking me to believe him when all you have said is he has doubt doesn’t make sense. Tell me what his doubts are and I will have a better understanding.

    But I doubt there is any point in continuing because you label my questions as childish and insulting but your ignorance should be respected because it is honest and based on the fact that your brother has unspecified doubts.

  289. jimhaz

    [New jobs do not mean greater consumption]

    As if. New jobs means additional jobs – additional jobs that only are required due to excessive immigration. There might be no additional consumption involved in terms of a changing job dynamic – the additional consumption comes from the numbers and potentially higher income in the new jobs arena – they will consume more when they spend (such as flying home to visit the rels more often than an average Australian would). Immigrants from poor countries would consume much much more here than there.

    [I also think high speed rail, even though it does use energy and resources, would bring a positive energy return]

    Sustainability is currently pointless (and often based on corporate lies as we saw with VW). All it would mean is the powers that be would see an opportunity for even higher immigration. One has to have a non-population growth gov before sustainability means anything.

  290. paulwalter

    Three hundred posts on issues requiring of serious consideration…so good to see it all conducted in a spirit of non adversarial mutual good will.

  291. Athena

    “Immigrants from poor countries would consume much much more here than there.”

    @ Jimhaz

    I’ve noticed that most migrants I’ve encountered are extremely good at living simply and saving money. Women in poorer countries tend to have more babies and it has been noted that education of females reduces the birth rate. So it could be argued that bringing them here helps to slow down population growth.

  292. OrchidJar

    Do we really need to do this?
    We’re now quibbling over language/interpretation.
    Is this really the way to proceed?

    Isn’t this EXACTLY the central issue of Rollison’s thread?

    I won’t do this anymore with you on this subject, this is my last:

    * I am changing nothing. The “very specific cost” I gave was a metaphor, a very purposeful arbitrary number, designed to highlight the unknown costs which will be delivered to the average punter ex cathedra.
    Take it, no argument, no discussion, no choice.
    Market forces have delivered us this particular number – pay it…..or else!

    This is the unknown you’re saying to the “guys in the pub” to swallow.
    Again, the cost of your “mitigation” will outstrip any number you care to name.
    That is an unmitigated fact.

    Suggesting otherwise demonstrates either deceit or ignorance.
    Neither are flattering; neither serve this discussion.

    * “for some reason you don’t trust climate scientists”

    But I do Kaye. Which is why I sated, quite clearly,

    “I absolutely believe in climate change.
    I absolutely believe in a deleterious human influence.”

    Where I don’t trust them, or better yet, where they’ve failed to convince is in my,

    “I do not believe, because I do not know, whether we can affect medium to long term meaningful change.
    I do not believe, because I do not know, whether our predictions, plans, hopes, or guesses, can or will achieve even a modicum of influence.”

    I say that because they’ve say that.
    Or at least the ones I’ve read.
    If you have a link to any answers to those questions then I’m more than happy to read them.
    And not just me.
    There’s a world of interested parties ready to read that response.

    * The reason I introduced my brother’s opinion into the mix, I thought obvious, is that as a scientist, a hydrologist, looking at this issue for over 23 years, he would have some authority on both process and outcome.

    As I would defer to the brain surgeon, using your example, I would naturally defer to him. If he is unconvinced as to the meaningful and sustained affect we can muster, then I too remain unconvinced.
    If you choose to believe the contrary then that’s fine, just don’t diminish my, and by implication, his thoughts on the matter.

    I will proceed to attend to immediate concerns and you can, with my full support, attend to those “just around the corner”.
    A win – win situation as far as I can see.

    * Your cost comparison was childish. Don’t sulk.

    I said quite openly that my ignorance was equal to yours and that the question, the very nature, of my brother’s intellectual/scientific doubts are beyond us both. We are not earth scientists.
    At least I’m not.
    Are you?

    That’s it from me, see you on another thread.
    Again, thanks for the chat.
    This blogging business can be a real bitch sometimes, can’t it?

  293. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Kaye @ 3.59pm.

    More jobs in sustainable, renewable, energy-positive, community-building respects is the answer to our current appalling unemployment and under-employment circumstances.

  294. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks paulwalter,

    I’ll take credit for the non-adversarial aspect 😉

  295. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    You have said that before and I will respond with the same.
    Those types of jobs feed off and would not exist without the productive sections of the workforce producing a surplus.
    High unemployment is going to be a fact of life.

  296. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you are not 100% correct.

    What energy does it take to be a paid care-giver? What extra energy does it cost to feed a roomful of hungry disadvantaged people?

    The providers can become part of the paid workforce instead of the so-called ‘voluntary’ slave labour force.

  297. Harquebus

    ““If new jobs is your priority then, you do not understand the problem.”
    Tell that to the guy who is hungry. And then ask him to follow you.”

    You have already provided the answer.
    “In closing: following the thread lead I put forward my opinion that it is the first priority of the left to provide the bare essentials of living”

    Tell that to those whose lives will be lost through the folly of attempting infinite growth for the purpose growing the economy and producing the “new jobs” to support it.

    “Oblivion” is the outcome that I am trying for us to avoid.

    I will repeat: Our economy has outgrown our ability to support it let alone grow it.

    Thank you for contribution in what is turning out to be a robust debate.

    Well done.


  298. Harquebus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Travel, food, clothing, housing, heating, cooling, medical etc.
    My point being, rather than creating jobs, we should be shrinking populations which will result in a smaller workforce rather than trying to create “extra” jobs. It does not mean that carers should not exist, only that, as part of the overall population and workforce, they consume.
    High unemployment is an unavoidable consequence if, we are to tackle the serious issues that we have been discussing.

  299. Trish Corry

    Kaye and some others here, you appear to be fighting very hard to disconnect what YOU see as important and placing that above all else, regardless of the real outcome in politics, compared to what the people on the street are saying is important. This article speaks to Primary and Secondary messages. It speaks to symbolism as to how people see Govt in terms of “What they can do to help me” or “They are only in it for themselves” The symbolism rings loud and clear on the latter, if what these people see as a secondary issue (Climate Change, Marriage Equality etc,. etc,. ) as more important than jobs, food on the table. A job is more than money, it is self worth. I know I am generalising, but I can’t be stuffed finding the stats, but Men, in particular take this extremely hard. The emotional connection to work and worth in family and society is a huge burden on some if the work connection does not exist.

    Everything about who we are revolves around work and if we can’t work, the protection that surrounds that. To argue for climate change and renewable energy clearly says to this significant proportion of people: “I am not listening to you. I am up here shouting down to you, because I can afford renewable energy and higher energy prices, I either assume you can too or I am ignorant that you cannot and I don’t care if renewable energy will just make your life worse.”

    That is how these voters hear parties where these sorts of things are their primary message. They hear Hanson, and will overlook her racism, because she says “I will fight for Aussie jobs.” Because job are more important. Albiet, in reality she has done the complete opposite and treats Australian workers with contempt for what she votes for. But for those who are not engaged (some don’t even know who key leaders are), that is all they hear amongst the million and one TV interviews and Sunrise appearances.

    It has been interesting watching the conversations in this thread. As someone who the key responders to this article, vehemently always disagree with, it has been interesting to watch the same thing unfold with OrchidJar. Every single comment of OrchidJars has been ‘on point’ and I have been in total agreement. He/She demonstrates a very good understanding of the article and is speaking to the actual problems presented to the reader in the article. I don’t think it is insulting to say that others don’t understand the article, because I am not seeing any evidence that the main people involved in the ongoing discussion have understood the article, if they are disagreeing with the main person in the thread who does.

    Remember when we had that big discussion about Adani and I said that I get really annoyed that although I am not Pro-Mining there are people who do not live in regional QLD and sit and their capital cities or wherever and shout very loudly to shut down a MAJOR job opportunity for people around here? It angers me because what I see is “How callous of you to argue for my town or towns near me to become ghost towns because of your ideological agenda. We are human beings.

    I see people out of jobs, increased homelessness, increased crime, old people with no electricity, when people argue to put jobs last and something else first. In the way that I can put Climate change secondary for jobs, this is the same as people are putting racism secondary for jobs.

    Once this ‘clicks’ you cannot see it any other way. That is WHY my articles on Hanson were not the typical racist overtone attacking Hanson, but targeted other areas ie:

    Remember how I was slammed for standing up for mining? I spent ages convincing people I was not pro-mining, but pro-jobs. As a Laborist, I am pro-jobs and pro-welfare for those who cannot work. That is my primary concern and Labor is currently ‘on message.’ The other parties ‘on the left’ are not.

  300. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Repeat: There can be a new economy based on renewable industries, home-crafts, revitalised traditional industries, gardening, care-giving, social cohesion etc, etc which would all be energy-neutral.

    Adani represents the dinosaurs and equating it with jobs for Queensland not only shows a ludicrous miscalculation about the jobs and economics lost but the national pride demoralised by the abuse of one of OUR great icons, the Great Barrier Reef.

    It doesn’t belong to Queensland; it belongs to Australia and the World.

  301. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    “regardless of the real outcome in politics”
    What we need is real outcomes in the real world. Politicians will not feed us once the destruction that they are causing with their job creation policies catches up with us.

    A persons self worth depends more on their standing within the community than whether or not they have a job. I will go on to say that, a lot would be less satisfied with their current employment if the environmental damage that it causes was factored.

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Renewable energy is load of crock and will not save us. Sorry.

  302. ozfenric

    There are no easy answers here. Harquebus is right – our world is overstretched and neverending growth is a recipe for large-scale disaster and misery. The planet will depopulate, but the question is will it be planned and managed or traumatic? I’m expecting the latter. It’s pointless to promote a controlled depopulation strategy, the people won’t buy it, so we’re stuck with right-as-usual or almost-left-as-usual. OrchidJar is also correct – we’ll never win elections on the strength of climate change policy. We need to focus on the bread-and-butter of personal economics which, as the OP says, are at the base of the hierarchy of needs. I believe Labor has been doing so, and that policies of decarbonising the Australian economy are also good for our ongoing national wellbeing (jobs and growth!) and this is probably the angle we should be promoting. I still believe that climate change is too important to leave in the hands of politicians, but I don’t have an effective alternative. Scientists have been calling, ever more stridently, about the oncoming end of the world for decades and the people have listened just well enough to be immune to the calls now that they’re reaching panic pitch.

    If we were able to put aside the paradigm of economic growth, we would be able to consider such things as a universal minimum wage, and decouple our society from this impossible paradox of blaming people who are out of work for the fact that there is no work for them to do. Time to let the robots do the jobs and free the Australian people to follow their dreams, not their wallets. If the “Physiological Needs” layer is taken care of, perhaps people will have more time and attention for their “Safety Needs”, including the preservation of the planet they live on.

  303. Michael Taylor

    Renewable energy is load of crock and will not save us.

    I prefer it over those monstrosities that spew pollution into the air and sludge into our waterways.

  304. Kaye Lee


    ” the cost of your “mitigation” will outstrip any number you care to name.
    That is an unmitigated fact.

    Suggesting otherwise demonstrates either deceit or ignorance.
    Neither are flattering; neither serve this discussion.”

    I am not sure where you get your information from but you are dead wrong and your false assertions and summary dismissal does you and this discussion no service.

    Economic studies have consistently shown that mitigation (such as putting a price on carbon emissions) is several times less costly than trying to adapt to climate change. The above chart shows total costs for action on climate change by 2100 to be about $11 trillion while damages will be about $8 trillion. With inaction, however, damages by 2100 will be around $20 trillion. By 2200, these numbers shoot up (over $30 trillion if action taken, or over $70t if no action taken).

    “All major studies find that the costs of achieving deep reductions in carbon emissions are a small fraction of future economic growth. And that is before extra benefits such as reduced air pollution and more stable energy prices are taken into account. These are significant benefits that most models ignore. The co-benefits of the US Clean Air Act have been estimated to be 30 times greater than the costs of compliance.”

    A new report estimates the cost of mitigating the effects of climate change could rise by as much as 40% if action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is delayed 10 years — immediately outweighing any potential savings of a delay.

    “Events such as the rapid melting of ice sheets and the consequent increase of global sea levels, or temperature increases on the higher end of the range of scientific uncertainty, could pose such severe economic consequences as reasonably to be thought of as climate catastrophes,” the report reads. “Confronting the possibility of climate catastrophes means taking prudent steps now to reduce the future chances of the most severe consequences of climate change.”

  305. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I am intrigued by your viewpoint.

    Would you humour me with a 10-point plan of what we could do as a community to mitigate climate change and moderate our lifestyles so that everyone has equitable access to meaningful and sustainable quality of life?

  306. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Please define EROEI

  307. Harquebus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I would prefer that you searched it and learned what it is rather than me just provide the definition.
    It is a very important concept that one must understand if, one wishes to discuss “renewable energy”.
    Again, I will be happy to discuss it with you on the link that I provided above.

  308. Trish Corry

    Well that’s it then I guess. Just like in the Parody movie of 500 “Meet the Spartans” they say “Open tongue kisses for the men, high fives for the ladies”

    I guess it is: Secondary message for the Greens. Primary Message for Labor.

  309. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes Madam Trish,

    whatever you say, dear.

  310. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    no doubt I can but how much do you look up what other informed commenters’ provide.

    Acting arrogant is a turnoff.


    Energy Returned Of Energy Invested.

    That means Energy Neutral which is what I said.

  311. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, that snarkiness at Trish is uncalled for.

  312. Kaye Lee

    ” Kaye and some others here, you appear to be fighting very hard to disconnect what YOU see as important and placing that above all else, regardless of the real outcome in politics, compared to what the people on the street are saying is important.”

    Nope. Not at all. I am saying action on climate change is essential and must be taken now regardless of what people on the street or politicians think. I am saying that jobs are important but they should be sustainable jobs. I am saying that all the things you have listed as important will be impacted by climate change so it should be considered in policy development.

    The difference between us Trish is that you are concerned with how to get Labor to win the next election and believe me, I want that too, but I am more concerned with the outcomes we need to achieve rather than an election. I agree they present a much better route to those outcomes under current circumstances but the politics of elections are not my main focus. If the Liberal Party would take the required action that would be just fine by me too. They of course won’t.

    As for Adani creating MAJOR job opportunity for people around here, you need to read the government reports which I have linked you to before. The port will create less than 100 jobs for 1 year followed by 1-2 jobs for 5 years after that. The early construction for the mine and railway will provide 400 jobs. They will all be FIFO jobs. They have already slashed their proposed output and they cannot get finance. Coal demand is in structural decline. You can pin your hopes on that providing jobs if you want but I think it is a cruel misrepresentation of the reality. We need to work on real jobs for the future, not pin our hopes on jobs that likely won’t eventuate, and would be detrimental to the world even in the unlikely event they did.

    “Dr Lynham said there would be no dredging at Abbot Point until Adani demonstrates financial closure and Queensland taxpayers will not fund infrastructure for the project.”

    You talk about the despair of unemployment – farmers in drought have a really high suicide rate too. Banana growers lost entire plantations to cyclones. The reef is dying affecting tourism. These people’s livelihood is dependent on us taking action on climate change.

    This is not some elitist city puffery for university intellectuals who drink white coffee regardless of the abuse so often levelled at people who are fighting for our very existence,

  313. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Might I ask what was so wrong with my response when the person in question is not backward in insulting me or prominent others?

    Just asking…

  314. Harquebus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    “how much do you look up what other informed commenters’ provide.”
    Quite a lot actually. I also try to follow as many links provided as I can. OrchidJar’s above I have just finished reading.

    No arrogance was intended. In this instance, I am very keen for you to learn this concept.
    Whichever side of the argument one is on, it is vital to have an understanding of it when discussing renewable energy.
    I have invited you to discuss it elsewhere.

    When you can tell me what number represents “Energy Neutral” regarding EROEI then, you will have an understanding of the concept.


  315. Trish Corry

    Here is the problem Kaye. “but I am more concerned with the outcomes we need to achieve rather than an election.”

    Unless you think there is something shameful about advocating for jobs above climate change, then you will need to be satisfied with another term of Turnbull, Dutton, Abetz, Bernardi, Christensen and the rest.

    The article is not about “What are the key concerns of those aligned with the left” The article is about “How the hell do we stop losing voters to racist, misogynistic, homophobic, right wing politicians who hate the worker and are very anti-community?”

    Are you saying that you have not been addressing the key theme of the article at hand?

    Elections should be everyone’s primary focus because you cannot do a thing from the opposition benches. If you think you can, it is because you value the protest over the solution.

  316. Harquebus

    Trish Corry
    As I stated before, advocating jobs above climate change demonstrates a lack of understanding of the seriousness of the threats that we are facing.

    I have posted numerous articles regarding those threats here:

    Calling “Game Over”


  317. Andreas Bimba

    OrchidJar @4:02 pm
    You wrote.
    “These subsidies you speak of are but a fraction of what the full costs of ending global warming will be. A fraction.”

    The cost of burning all the current reserves of fossil fuels is runaway greenhouse and probably eventual extinction for nearly all life on earth.

    Somehow I think tackling climate change is a cheaper option? The sooner we act and the less additional capital we waste on more fossil fuel infrastructure the lower the total cost.

    Many wise people have estimated the economic cost of a rapid transition to environmental sustainability and it is considerably less than we spend on defence and the jobs produced makes the transition worthwhile just on this basis alone.


    It is a pity that Kaye and Jennifer have unwarranted anger directed to them on occasion. 🙂

  318. Trish Corry

    Because Jennifer, I have put up with slurs and attacks for over three years. I only retaliate, I do not attack directly. I do not come on line like you have with the sole purpose of attacking, ridiculing and trying to humilate another contributor. As an Author, I had had a gutful. Having to retailiate to slurs all the time, made me into an ugly nasty person that is very against my nature, so you win. You’ve won! Give it up!

    What you have done for three days now is really poor forum etiquette. The fact that I have already explained that I am now a mere commentator as I refuse to contribute to this site while this continues to happen to me, as I have asked for it to stop time and time again, shows how everyone is very comfortable with the way they treat others on AIMN when it continues. Which in my case I would argue is classic targeted bullying behaviour. I’m not particularly thin skinned, but when it is consistent, it does wear a person down. I am no longer a young women and I don’t need to put up with it, nor do I have the stamina for it or the stomach for it. I will continue to just contribute to my own site. I refuse to let anyone stop me from writing.

    As I said, I am not your punching bag and I’m not sure where you get the idea I am. In my very strong opinion, you need a good time out in the sin bin. You are not contributing to the article and are trying to derail the conversation every time you post a slur towards me. Pull your head in. You have achieved your aim to get rid of me, so just move the hell on with your life. It is now beyong pathetic. I have the right to comment in peace the same as everyone else here.

    In real life, do you follow people around saying nasty things? I’m sure you don’t. So why do it here?

  319. corvus boreus

    “You really display a very ugly personality. Very ugly. UGLY. Nasty and UGLY.” = OK by AIMN.
    “Yes Madam Trish, whatever you say, dear” = way out of line and worthy of rebuke.
    Ridiculous double standards.
    Goodbye AIMN.

  320. Michael Taylor

    Yes, Jennifer, there has been a lot of it on this thread. Here’s our opportunity to end it.

  321. Trish Corry

    Yes. Goodbye AIMN. Maybe better moderation in the future may help. But I’m done.

  322. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    How dare you Trish,

    accuse me of coming online for that purpose alone. Said by a true self-entitled member of the dinosaur duopoly.

    I will continue to question your modus operandi and others who think it’s their way or the highway.

    Who gives YOU the right to state I should be put in the sin bin. But then, I’m not surprised that they would be the tactics of a neoliberal lover to perpetuate.

    Shame on you for your false pretense of the moral high ground.

  323. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    In my own defence,

    I had not had the opportunity of seeing the last few comments written contemporaneously to my last one.

  324. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks corvus boreus.

  325. Michael Taylor

    Corvus, in the last two years alone there have been 150,000 comments on The AIMN. And you expect me to sit here 24 hours a day and read them all? Crikey! I hadn’t even seen that comment until you pointed it out.

    I’m sorry I don’t live up to your standards. You obviously have the time to read all the comments where I haven’t.

  326. Michael Taylor

    “I had not had the opportunity of seeing the last few comments written contemporaneously to my last one.”

    Neither had I, but regardless . . .

    “Thanks Corvus Boreus”.

  327. Kaye Lee

    “Are you saying that you have not been addressing the key theme of the article at hand? Elections should be everyone’s primary focus”

    Funny, I thought Victoria’s article was about how “We all need to work together to make our country a better place for all of us.” I spose we all take from it the bits that are most important to us.

    You say to me ” you value the protest over the solution” – I say to you you value the election above any discussion of problems or solutions. I agree we must get rid of the right wing parties in government but it is also crucial to discuss what you should do when you get there.

  328. Deanna Jones

    “Prominent others”? Is there some sort of social stratification system in existence here?

  329. Kaye Lee

    Gee willikers, I didn’t see the fight before posting either. And I get told I am diverting it to “all about me”. Rolls eyes.

    We are all entitled to opinions, and we all need to get better at how we express them, but even more so, how we listen – or perhaps how we ignore. This is NOT directed at anyone in particular – probably directed at myself more than anyone else.

  330. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you speak sense is all I will say before I am questioned for bi-partisanship. OMG!

  331. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I think I said “prominent others” somewhere. Please don’t shoot me.

  332. Deanna Jones

    What I meant was is it ok to insult some people here but not ‘prominent’ people?

  333. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    You need to read it in the context.

  334. Deanna Jones

    No I don’t. Who are these ‘prominent’ people?

    And just a general comment, this is exactly what those in power want from us, they want us fighting with each other. It serves them.

  335. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Whatever you say….

    You were not part of the earlier discussion and the discussion is actually multi-tiered, as follows:

    First tier is anti-LNP Degenerates.

    Second tier is their stupid acolytes.

    Third tier is Labor (or better described as Lib-lite).

    Fourth tier is Labor Lib-lite acolytes.

    I hope that clears it up for you.

  336. helvityni

    Deanna Jones, I too wondered about this caste system; who are the so called prominent people. What is achieved by this endless bickering…

  337. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    “et tu brute”?

    Perhaps it’s time for you to ask a leading question instead of standing back in judgement???

  338. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish can retire to her paradise in outback Queensland knowing that her Labor job is done for the dinosaurs.

  339. ozfenric

    Jennifer (8:05pm), I don’t have anything as formal as a “10-point plan of what we could do as a community to mitigate climate change and moderate our lifestyles”. I might formulate one and put it into an article. 🙂 What I will suggest, though, is that you start with this recent article: As the article says, “This idea of giving people money for nothing is a real adjustment. It goes against our basic values.” But we’re living in a world where unemployment is high and rising, and where automation and efficiencies will just increase the number of people out of work. Either we continue to demonise a helpless and growing proportion of our own population, or we make that adjustment in our thinking.

    With this basic paradigm shift in mind, one possible future might look a bit like this. The government guarantees a minimum standard of living to all citizens – whether that’s in the form of a “wage” or in services, housing and food stamps, the effect is the same. It no longer penalises people for not working. The minimum support level is not great but it is sufficient to live on. Pensions are no longer required: there is no longer a “retirement age”. Many citizens choose to continue to work in productive jobs for additional wages. A fair proportion of the populace choose not to work for money. They might volunteer, absorb themselves in the arts, or look after aged care and other things currently paid for by the government.

    In my vision as well as a universal minimum income, there would be a universal maximum income. Earnings over that level would be subject to 100% tax. This would take into consideration non-stipendiary income such as shares, bonuses etc. Have the maximum set reasonably high, but not exorbitant. One of the biggest problems with capitalism is that money breeds money. The most obscenely wealthy have no practical cap on how much more money they can earn. Remove the incentive to exploit, once you reach the cap, you can still be objectively rich but you’ve made it to the top. You can then focus on philanthropy or reinvestment – rather than having the government tax it, give the excess back to the community in other ways. A complete revision of the tax code would necessarily be required. In my ideal world, the only valid tax concessions would be reserved for actual philanthropy: giving money to an entity related to the donor would not give tax benefits.

    The other issue is debt. Currently, having resources is no guarantee against getting into significant trouble. To prevent people taking risks and “spending” their minimum income, it would need to be preserved. It could not be considered as collateral against a loan or as assets against a debt. Businesses and individuals could still be entrepreneurial and take business risks, but the floor has been raised and nobody can fall into enough debt that they can’t feed themselves. This might even make people more willing to take the risk of starting a business.

    No doubt there are a multitude of flaws and failures in this vision. I believe they would be possible to overcome if we turned our minds seriously to the task of redesigning our society.

  340. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Congratulations Victoria,

    instead of bringing the Left parties together, you have helped to forge them apart.

    I suggest Labor or Lib-lite needs to take a good hard look at yourselves and make good the political discussion ground so that outside voices get heard as ALTERNATIVE to the dinosaur duopoly.

    woopee! ozfrenic responded with good grace!

    Pity, many others have not.

  341. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I shall read the article with interest tomorrow.

    Thanks for sharing.

  342. Matters Not

    Deanna Jones at 10:02 pm

    exactly what those in power want from us, they want us fighting with each other. It serves them

    Yep! And the ‘elite’ also applaud when the citizens’ anger and venom are also directed against certain critical, social institutions which have the potential to bring about real and significant change to the ‘current arrangements’. Take ‘government’ as an example. Many, if not most. no longer see ‘government’ as a path to a possible better future. Rather, ‘government’ is seen as an enemy to fairness, justice and the like. And, ironically, that’s how it operates these days.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a democracy, ‘government’ is the only legal mechanism we have to exert real and potent power. In theory, government can legislate for greater equality, social justice or whatever. That it’s rarely utilised that way doesn’t mean that ‘government’ should be abandoned. After all, it’s the only ‘hope of the side’ that the average punter has.

    Losing faith in ‘government has overtones along the lines of – ‘baby and bathwater …

  343. Matters Not

    There is a quote I meant to include to reinforce the point. Here it is:

    “Virtually every politician portrayed in film or on television over the last decade has been venal, corrupt, opportunistic, cynical, if not worse. Whether these dramatized images are accurate or exagerated matters little. The corporatist system wins either way: directly through corruption and indirectly through the damage done to the citizen’s respect for the representative system.

    ― John Ralston Saul, The Unconscious Civilization

    Yep, the the damage done to the citizen’s respect for the representative system . We cut off our noses to spite …

  344. OrchidJar

    My two cents:
    It’s extremely unfortunate that there should be such personal bickering or animosity.
    It’s even more unfortunate when contributors feel the need to leave.
    I find it both sad and entirely unnecessary. We need all the voices of the left to come together: strong, strident, incisive, considered, vigorous, compelling, persuasive, responsible, sensitive, and astute.
    Without that we abdicate ground to the right.
    No one here, I assume, wants that.

    Please return Trish.
    And to Jennifer, judging by this thread alone, I ask that you refrain from making such noxious comments. They’re simply not helping the discussion in any way.

  345. Kaye Lee


    It isn’t just film and tv skewing our perception. As Tony Fitzgerald said:

    “THERE are about 800 politicians in Australia’s parliaments.

    According to their assessments of each other, that quite small group includes role models for lying, cheating, deceiving, “rorting”, bullying, rumour-mongering, back-stabbing, slander, “leaking”, “dog-whistling”, nepotism and corruption.

    A recent editorial valiantly suggested that “toxic debates test ideas, policy and character”, but a more orthodox view is that ethics, tolerance and civility are intrinsic elements of democratic society and that the politicians’ mutual contempt and aggressive, “end justifies the means” amorality erodes respect for authority and public institutions and compromises social cohesion.”

  346. Kaye Lee

    It’s ok cb. I have gotten used to being condescendingly told I don’t understand. I am probably one of the most skeptical people there is. I check everything I am told. So far, the deniers are batting zero on facts. What seems apparent is that many people cannot consider things beyond their own immediate sphere. Rather than climate change being too big for them to deal with, they say it is a “second tier” issue compared to their daily lives. This thinking flabbergasts me.

    Oops…disappearing comment?

  347. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    I erased that comment; it served no real purpose beyond deflecting conversation from issues to personalities.

    And yes, despite the unspecified doubts of someone’s brother (who apparently has a degree in water-study) I still agree with the scientific paradigm that cutting down swathes of trees and digging up and burning heaps of shit is making this planet increasingly less hospitable to our species (among others), but non-committal skepticism appears to be gaining social vogue.

    ‘I agree that it is happening, but we don’t know how bad it will get or if we can stop it, so let’s try doing nothing’.

    Kaye Lee, you are a wonderful person and a formidable mind
    I wish you and yours good fortunes in the turmoils to come.

    Corvus out..

  348. Kaye Lee

    I want to recount a hard-to-believe but true story.

    My father was the worst driver in the world. He was also fairly deaf. After playing cards at the local bowling club, Dad offered to give a friend who was in a wheelchair a ride home, only a couple of blocks away. He couldn’t work out how to fold up the chair so he wound down the two passenger side windows and told the guy to hang on to the door jam. SRSLY! So there they are – two guys in their 70s driving down the street with the guy in the wheelchair calling out “too fast Jack”. When Dad finally heard the guys desperate cries for him to slow down, Dad slammed on the brakes, the guy in the wheelchair shot through the intersection, hit the gutter and fell over. (note: unbelievably, he wasn’t badly injured.)

    As people continue to ignore the science of climate change, I am feeling like the guy in the wheel chair yelling out SLOW DOWN. I mightn’t get hurt when they finally hear the cries, but the chances are it ain’t gonna end well. Do we continue hurtling down the road pretending the risk is minimal?

  349. Michael Taylor

    In a real-life scenario, Kaye, if it were in respect to climate change the stop light was a few blocks back. We’ve gone too far past the stop sign. We just kept on driving.

  350. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Thank you for that very appropriate anecdote.

    “Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.” -– Claud Cockburn

  351. cornlegend

    Michael Taylor

    “We just kept on driving.”
    My fear is we have reached a point where it might be too bloody late to apply the brakes anyhow.
    The decision makers that can make change appear to me to be on an overloaded locomotive coming down an icy mountain on frozen rail tracks, too busy discussing among themselves whether the ride is safer up front or down the back.

    Damn , I missed the wednesday night excitement,
    did a revision, moron is now 2 stops short of the top floor

  352. Trish Corry

    Thank you, but No I won’t be coming back in anyway, shape or form. I was originally approached over three years ago to contribute as an Author on the site. Whilst I have had some wonderful experiences on AIMN and I have met some great people, there are a few – a particular clique – who have made my AIMN experience negative, upsetting and at times quite distressing. They may or may not know who they are, because they always deny any wrong doing. But I’m pretty sure they know who they are.

    I have informed Admin of my decision and I stopped posting articles here over a month ago, for this reason. It is too difficult to get any serious discussion going due to this very vocal close knit group.

    I don’t like the person I am when I feel forced to respond to their constant negative personal slurs (and when I do these are used by other to show attack rather than retaliation/defense) and I don’t like the person I am when I ignore personal attacks.

    So for me, it is a lose-lose situation. It is easy to ignore a few negative comments, but after three an a bit years of it, it is it too hard. Even as just a commentator, let alone an Author. I came back the other day to contribute as a commentator on this post, but we know how that went.

    So, Goodbye AIMNers. After three and a bit years of making regular aticle contributions to AIMN, I will no longer be contributing articles or commentary.

    If anyone is interested in following my writing, I will continue to post on my own blog which is “The Red Window” you can subscibe via email and view articles at: or follow me on Twitter @Trish_Corry

    Sincere apologies to Victoria. I am sure I have conveyed how deeply over a period of time, how I respect your work and I’m sorry that this type of interruption once again has landed on your article thread. It is the disruption in the commentary of other’s articles where others make it difficult for me to even comment on others, that has also led me to this decision.

    I hope that the exit of me as an Author and commenter may make people think about how they approach commentary and how they reflect on Authors in a negative way, instead of objective critique of the subject matter. Although my mind is made up and it is too late for me, (I feel the contempt towards me blinds any objectivity for a certain few) I hope it makes it easier for any authors who may come on board in the future who may post with a ‘pro-Laborist slant.’

    Thanks AIMN for this experience. Its been a long ride.


  353. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    To OrchidJar and cornlegend,

    I would like to apologise that I have hurt your delicate ears but I won’t. Cornlegend, how come you and Trish can insult people and get away with it?

    Perhaps OrchidJar, instead of chastising me for arguing stridently about what I think can bring the Left together, maybe you could reply to the grim anecdotes portrayed above.

  354. cornlegend

    fancy me sprouting bible passages
    “Do not answer a fool according to his{her} folly, or you yourself will be just like him. {her}
    Expending good energy and time on some is just not worth the effort .

  355. cornlegend

    as a fellow “pro-Laborist ” I’m sorry to see you go but understand.
    I tend to be the fly in the ointment, the buzzing little lone mozzie

  356. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    On a positive note, there’s always the fly-swat.

  357. cornlegend

    Seems more people than I thought know you JMS
    1.Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. —Greg King
    If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots”

    Never try to wrestle with a pig. You’ll get dirty and the pig likes it.”

    “There are four kinds of people to avoid in the world: the assholes, the asswipes, the ass-kissers, and those that just will shit all over you.”
    ― Anthony Liccione

    “Hundreds of wise men cannot make the world a heaven, but one idiot is enough to turn it into a hell.”
    ― Raheel Farooq

  358. Kaye Lee

    Could we please stop this

  359. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Character assassination again, cornlegend? Is that why you hide behind a pseudonym?

    My comment was posted before Kaye’s but out of respect to balanced contributors, I will desist.

  360. Kaye Lee

    JMS, I understand that you have copped a lot of abuse but poking and prodding won’t help.

    (PS thanks for later comment)

    Many people use pseudonyms and, considering the dangers of the internet, it is not a bad idea. The name attached to the opinion is irrelevant to the discussion.

    That being said, I am not even sure what the discussion is anymore.

    cornie, disagree by all means but there is no need to keep being cruel.

  361. Exoplanet

    Based on this author’s and Trish Corry’s point of view, I can just see Pauline Hanson’s next tweet:

    Pauline Hanson @PaulineHansonOz – Nov 24
    Looks like Labor bloggers are taking their cues from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. Good to see.
    #auspol #PHON

  362. OrchidJar

    To Kaye,

    I’m disappointed to return this morning and read your post.

    It seems you want to reduce the entirely of my argument to the simplistic

    “seems apparent is that many people cannot consider things beyond their own immediate sphere”.

    OK, we’ll play it your way and I’ll respond exclusively to that premise.
    Your premise.

    It strikes me as most strange that an openly avowed left person, like yourself, should treat the “immediate sphere” of everyday people with such contempt.
    It is a common failing of some on the left who appear to argue from some new found and preciously guarded elitism. Personally, I find it disgraceful.

    Kaye, without those “many people” concerned with their “immediate sphere” you have no public, no constituents, no body politic, no society, no voters to listen to your agenda. I repeat, your agenda, whatever that may be.
    Which brings me to my final point:
    Earlier I mentioned that it was my belief that any politics that seeks to exclude or diminish the essential primary considerations of people – jobs, health, education – will suffer cruelly, and rightly, at any and every election.
    I take that as self-evident.
    Trish also put it most succinctly:
    “Elections should be everyone’s primary focus because you cannot do a thing from the opposition”.

    if you have any lingering doubts as to the real world, or realpolitik, veracity of such a claim then I suggest you take a long and sober look at what’s just happened in the US.
    I believe the lessons are there for all to see. I’m incredibly surprised that you appear not to. Personally, I find them near blinding.
    How does that relate to you and your argument/agenda?
    Simple. Without possession of government you’re simply a bit-player, an opposition reduced to occasional cat calls from the cheap seats, a macramé knitting granny gumming away on a milk arrowroot waiting for someone to remember not just your purpose but your name.
    You and your most precious and immediate concerns, in this case climate change, will be flushed down the toilet, consigned to electoral/policy oblivion.
    That’s the result of (your) first order neglect.
    Just ask Hillary. Or better yet, just ask Donald what he’s about to do to nearly every one of Obama’s climate change measures.
    Simply put: how does the argument for climate change win office? Please provide examples from any country on the planet, and their specific policy, pre and post election.

    I would argue that any approach that cannot see the cul de sac of opposition, its crushing impotence, or that does not recognise and seek the intrinsic value of an election victory, is evidence of a staggering political naivety.

    Flabbergasting, you say?
    You got that right!

    Corvus, your ridiculous ad hominen demonstrates a sad immaturity: as if my brother’s opinion as a lifelong scientist with specific bearing on this very subject, is somehow lacking, or worse still, worth less than yours as a ……. ?
    It’s clear you have no idea as to the profound connections between his studies and climate change science and yet here you are attempting to present arguments and persuade others to your cause.
    If it wasn’t so silly it would be funny.

    Jennifer, I have seen no “strident arguments” from you. What I have seen are pointless barbs shot across the bows, continued provocative petty niggling even when nothing has been said to you directly, and finally, and perhaps most disappointingly, no solid arguments for the Greens; their specific policies, their merits over and above other ideologies, their historical successes, their future directions, their policy strengths, their strategies for continued growth etc, etc, etc.
    Nothing of substance, too much divisive rhetoric.
    Can’t you see it’s a cause of frustration?
    I again ask that you resist the urge.
    Thank you.

    Finally Trish,

    It’s a sad day when a powerful left voice with extensive thoughtful and incisive contributions has to leave a left blog due to personal bickering.

    I would like to add my voice to those who ask that you return and continue the important debates as to the nature and direction of left politics in Australia.
    Thank you for your contributions Trish. If you can stay, then stay. It would be a good thing.

    A call also to all parties involved (from those of us not involved) to cease and desist in the greater interests of both the debates and our politics.

  363. Kaye Lee


    Some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time. How about we work on climate change AND jobs (which has been my whole point – sustainable jobs for the future, not bullshit promises from a dying industry). The argument for action on climate change should have nothing to do with winning office – that also is the point I have been trying to make.

    And I would be very interested in hearing about your brother’s reasons for doubt. You won’t elaborate but just want me to say oh well if your brother has doubts then it must be a scam. For all I know your brother works for the mining industry like most others who cast doubt.

    If you mean that I should learn from Trump and Hanson that enabling racism is a winning ticket – I think I will take another path and try to educate those who chose to vote for these fools by showing them that most of their concerns are not substantiated by the facts and that we should, as a community, work together to address areas where we have allowed certain groups to feel alienated and excluded. That is our failing, not theirs. We need to understand and do better. You can by all means choose to pander to the racists in the hope of winning their vote. I would prefer to try to change their opinion than join them.

  364. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    as cornlegend would love to quote to you, “Judge not or ye shall be judged.”

    Contrary to your initial observations, I do try to contribute to the discussions in constructive ways but I won’t lie down and let myself be walked over. Sorry if that offends.

  365. Exoplanet

    ‘Thank you, but No I won’t be coming back in anyway, shape or form.’ – John Farnham

    When author’s write contentious pieces, and this piece is utterly contentious, they must reasonably expect the prospect of vocal, and perhaps strident disagreement. You will notice that this author states several times that they know they are going to anger readers and that they don’t care. Given this mea culpa, it is surely absurd to express the demand that readers who have indeed by angered – and in fact slurred – by certain content of this piece, ought not be able to defend themselves in the tone made precedent by this piece.

    But then, the desire to control the nature of the argument seems to be the MO of this author and Trish Corry, evidenced and proven by the author’s own final paragraph:

    Ok, so now that everyone has had a serve from me, it’s time we all got along. We all need to work together to make our country a better place for all of us. So next time your knee-jerk reaction to a political discussion comes flying out of your mouth, hold your tongue for a moment, and remember that you might hate what I’m saying, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a point. Together, we can do this.

    Right, so now that the author has finished putting shit on people she disagrees with, that’s the end of it? She demands the final word? WTAF? No, just no. This paragraph, aside from being a monumental exercise in well-poisoning, is conceptually bereft. It is literally incoherent. In the broadest and most platitudinous sense the author does indeed have a point – unity is good and a fine thing to aspire to. But how does it make any sense and in what way is it practical to call for unity in a blog wrapped up in the cheap derision of progressives with a different set of priorities, as though that were some sort of moral crime?

    Oh, and you can’t have a meaningful discussion or debate with any person who immediately characterises disagreement as personal attack. Ok, maybe if you’re both high as kites and no-one will really care, but otherwise …

  366. Exoplanet

    One of the paths to progressive ‘unity’ is to recognise the value of different progressive foci. This author utterly fails to do so. Not everyone does or can have identical sets of priorities. For example, if it were not for the focus on the environment by some people in our very own communities, a focus which may to some extent practically exclude other concerns, developers would rule the world and we’d be stuffed.

    If it weren’t for some progressives focusing on the plight and needs of Indigenous Australians, perhaps to the practical exclusion of certain other concerns, that situation would be far worse than it already is. Indeed, one could argue that there’s absolutely insufficient focus on that particular problem. The same goes for progressives focused on asylum seekers and myriad other things one could cite. We require those people to have that focus because without them stuff-all would be done in those areas of classic progressive concern. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about jobs or welfare or whatever else.

    The very fact that Labor apparatchiks are pushing hard for a political narrative that ignores, or makes ‘secondary’, classic progressive concerns about social justice and the environment declares loudly that progressives have lost themselves. Frankly, this focus on jobs and growth and manufacturing stinks of neo-liberalism – jobs as some sort of social panacea.

    Surely we can acknowledge the importance of such economic concerns without losing the progressive insight that we live in a society not an economy. If we cannot, for practical political reasons, then we must face the terrible fact that, at least for now, we have indeed lost ourselves.

  367. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    ozfenric @10.23pm last night,

    I really like your thinking. Please do write an article on your thoughts. It would be a fabulous, uplifting, progressive discussion which could help galvanise the Left.

    Wise words also, Exoplanet.

  368. Kaye Lee

    I agree exoplanet. It’s like having specialists who should all listen to each other’s area of interest/expertise/concern and try to make suggestions.

    Running a country is more than winning an election, it is more than just jobs and growth. The role of government should be to protect the people and their environment and we can rest assured that business will fall into line anywhere they can make a profit. Business should not be such a big consideration in policy and the government should pick up the slack in employment.

    The discussion about a basic but decent living allowance for all people must be had. Automation makes that a crucial conversation which must be accompanied by how we can use this valuable resource of un/underemployed people and how they can still have social connection, stimulation and the opportunity to contribute and to continue learning.

    The future is coming (a bloody obvious statement) so let’s prepare for what we know is ahead, not cling desperately to what we used to do. We either plan for this social evolution or we let ourselves become victims of our own lack of foresight.

  369. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    “cornie, disagree by all means but there is no need to keep being cruel.”
    FFS what do you think the comments were last night to certain posters, and the crap I myself have copped ?
    Not a peep, then
    I may not be one of the dashboard dogs, so expect a different intrpretation to my comments, but there are none so blind as those who will not see, or turn a blind eye for convenience.
    No, I’m not one who turns the other cheek,
    They are the fools who have both sides of their face hurting

  370. Adrianne Haddow

    Great comments today, Exoplanet, and great comments always, Kaye Lee.

    Life on this planet is in peril, and we can’t afford to argue about which brand of neo-liberal parties we accept.

    This government has demolished many of the systems and institutions which were a safeguard for the populace, and they have done so with the ‘qualified’ agreement of the opposition.
    Both continue to be beholden to corporate donors, and while this corruption exists, we can say goodbye to clean air, clean water and fertile land.

    Look at what is occurring in North Dakota with the Energy Transfer Partners oil pipeline, and the brutality being visited upon the local Sioux people in their attempts to protect their water source.

    This could be our future…… it’s already happening with the revoking of indigenous land titles in the Carmichael Basin, for the sake of the Adani company and a few other fossil fuel lobbyists.

  371. OrchidJar


    (i wrote this after seeing your initial two paragraphs – 11:29 am)

    It’s clear that we ‘cannot walk and chew gum at the same time’.

    Again, if Clinton’s loss taught you nothing more, it should have at least dispelled you of such idealism.

    We cannot do both.

    And if i can return (for the final time) to the very beginning, to my first post: we must satisfy the essential living needs of people first and foremost, and then attend to second order concerns.

    There will never be, can never be, successful outcomes for any of those second order issues without first having satisfied the first.

    I think you’ll find history on my side there Kaye.

    Unless of course you can provide contradictory examples.

    In closing, finally!, let me tell you something funny.

    i thought that my prioritisations were uncontroversial when I first posted them.

    i used them simply as preface to what were going to be further thoughts on Rollison’s piece.

    Yep, uncontroversial.

    Boy o boy, was I ever wrong!

    And I wrote this after I saw your third paragraph, written I believe, as an edit:

    ‘Pander to racists’


    To racists?!

    What a ridiculous thing to say. Not even someone intent on maligning my posts could possibly read into them that I sought to, or advocated for, ‘pandering to racists’.

    What a despicable misrepresentation.

    It tells me you have not understood a word I’ve written.
    But more than that it tells me that, for reasons known only to yourself, you are more than happy to misrepresent and deceive.

    The positive outcome for me is that by doing so you’ve demonstrated quite clearly the vacuity and naivety of your argument and that you have neither the intellect nor the morality to pursue a meaningful debate free from disgraceful distortions.

    As if the subject matter isn’t complex enough you go ahead and pollute it with slander.

    The left, at its best, yet again!

    Good day to you.

  372. paulwalter

    Orchard Gar, no lefties have gone, Kaye and the rest are still about. Perhaps some Blairites moved on instead?

  373. Harquebus

    Just letting you know that Kaye Lee has the power to banish. I know, I have suffered it twice.

  374. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, I pleaded with you before I put you in time out and I only did so after consulting Michael. You know why it happened and I appreciate that you have considered it. Please don’t threaten people on my behalf. OrchidJar is entitled to their opinion.

    “look at what’s just happened in the US. I believe the lessons are there for all to see.”

    What I saw in the campaigning of both Trump and Hanson was a base appeal to racism and xenophobia. Did you not suggest that we should learn how to do the same in the pursuit of winning an election?

  375. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    It was not a threat, truly. I was just letting it be known as a prevention.
    Feel free to remove the comment if you wish.

  376. Kaye Lee

    No probs H.

    cornie, I do understand and there is some truth in what you say. I usually keep out of those convos for obvious reasons.

  377. cornlegend

    And exactly what is “left” and who gets to determine
    By what valid criteria is someone excluded from the “left” or included for that matter?
    Could you please provide me with the formula, as a lot of self proclaimed lefties leave me shaking my head
    Would “Blairites” be appropriate terminology for an Aussie?
    Are you just making shit up as you go?

  378. Kaye Lee

    I have been called a communist, a socialist, a job-destroying Green, a Labor mouthpiece, an LNP troll, an apologist for American warmongering, and an elitist – and that is just in the last few days.

  379. cornlegend

    Peoples self interpretation isn’t real accurate and is such a broad term
    To be of the “Left” would be somewhere between Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Mao, Di Natale or Hillary Clinton going on some comments lately,
    I think there needs to be a few more “sub categories” We could have The Whackos then the Right then Left then Delusional Dreamers and a couple of categories for those who don’t quite fit

    p.s. I would never have you down as ” a Labor mouthpiece”
    That would be like having me as a ‘Greens Apologist” 😀

  380. Michael Taylor

    The ‘LNP troll’ accusation was a hoot, Kaye. The rest I’m fine with. ?

  381. Kaye Lee

    If I was self-describing, I guess it would have to be political mongrel.

    (no need for response 🙂 )

    PS cornie, Labor mouthpiece is the one I get the most elsewhere….just not from Labor members. No-one thinks I am on their side …which is very reminiscent of my children who both accuse me of considering the other the golden child

  382. Athena

    “And exactly what is “left” and who gets to determine
    By what valid criteria is someone excluded from the “left” or included for that matter?”

    @ cornlegend

    Easy. When you’re on the far right, everyone else is left. :-p

    Seriarsely, it’s a good question. I’ve noticed that a lot of people who blame the lefties for everything actually don’t know how to tell the left from the right.

  383. cornlegend

    “Easy. When you’re on the far right, everyone else is left. :-p”

    Thats seems about right or how some figure it to be

  384. Kaye Lee

    Personally I find political labels and political parties impede sensible decision making. I want them all to do better which is why none of them think I belong. Parties don’t handle criticism well and they feel duty bound to emphasise the differences between them instead of looking for the common ground. But that is what our system promotes and rewards.

  385. corvus boreus

    Of course I have ‘no idea’ of the ‘profound connections’ of your anonymous brother’s achievements and research into the influence of human activities upon the climate of the planetary biosphere (and surrounds).
    Your claims have thus far been entirely absent the most general of specifics regarding the nature of his work/studies within the relatively broad field of hydrology, nor contained the vaguest of details of how his experience relates to his sceptical conclusions, which seemingly differ from the broader scientific consensus upon the subject.

    Ps, I avoided linguistic precision and resisted adding a few ‘alleged’s. I didn’t want to ‘ad-hominem’ you

  386. jimhaz

    Anyone willing to design a Survey Monkey survey to determine the priorities of readers. It is free for 10 questions BUT unfortunately only 100 respondents per survey (maybe a way around this by naming them Survey 1, 2 3 etc with the same questions).

    Here is an example I just quickly drafted up to see if it was easy or not.

    (Note – don’t bother completing this survey – I’ve not given the questions any thought, I was just testing)

    I’m not sure it is worth it. Was really just wondering if there were issues the various types of progressives could collectively not just agree on – but also prioritise over other progressive wants (or it might show the impossibility of any consensus) .

    Also, someone unaware of this free survey tool might feel like using it for other purposes.

  387. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    It works, jimhaz

  388. jimhaz

    I wrote this earlier but got sidetracked to come back and see the personality clashes. With the thread effectively kaput, seems little point.

    [I am saying that jobs are important but they should be sustainable jobs]

    “Job creation is essential ” people are so much like the “it’s not Co2” crowd.

    The general argument is the same – a few additional parts per million as a trend does matter !!!

    You accept one, but not the other.

    Lefty herdism – the idea of installing a loose population ceiling (non-big Aust goal focused, not punitive personal policies to limit increase) or lower immigration are too unappealing to your motherly natures (people whose egos are sustained via caring and helping the growth of others), so are rejected.

    Yes, jobs are important for a society, but on this issue they are not relevant. One can take it for granted a wealthy society will adapt jobswise even without any form of leadership – what we are lacking however is the overarching leadership of society. We need a captain to steer the juggernaut into clear seas, not what we have now which is the equivalent of a people smuggler overloading the boat for bigger profit gains. With the LNP what we have as leadership is akin to the captain of the Costa Concordia “Captain Schettino stated that, before approaching the island, he turned off the alarm system for the ship’s computer navigation system”…to show off to his Moldovan dancer lover.

    [Would you humour me with a 10-point plan of what we could do as a community to mitigate climate change and moderate our lifestyles so that everyone has equitable access to meaningful and sustainable quality of life]

    One point plan – completely remove all business influence on government politicians. Never allow business lobbyists to donate in any way or formally meet with politicians – ALL proposals and policy change requests (excluding Defence) must be submitted via a website open to the public. That a business may have a plan they do not want other competitors to see is not as big a deal as they make out – either that plan has merit or it does not.

    As to the article stuff both the ALP and Greens. I’m tired of voting ALP simply to try and limit the mandate of the LNP and I’ll never vote Greens as their immigration and refugee policies weaken Australia. I would only want a unity if the Greens were a single issue party on environmental issues.

    Like an Anti-Clintonite or Trump supporter I’m crying out for a political white knight – a Keating level brain who can make rational hard decisions without being obsessed with economic growth like he is.

  389. Kaye Lee

    One of the problems I see in prioritising is a conflict between short, medium and long term goals. I have tried to write a list for myself and I argue with myself because they are all interconnected.

    My inner conflict has led me to climate change first because, if the warnings are even close to right, we have no choice. Climate change will have an effect on everything else. There is no point sitting down to a nice meal as the house burns down.

    After that, I would say education so the next generation doesn’t have to waste time arguing about facts and make better decisions than this generation is doing.

    They are my top two.

  390. helvityni

    LOL Kaye,

    ” Labor mouthpiece is the one I get the most elsewhere….just not from Labor members. No-one thinks I am on their side …which is very reminiscent of my children who both accuse me of considering the other the golden child”

    One of my kids is just like me, nice and fair and honest ( 🙂 ), the rest of them resembling their father ( 😉 ), used to accuse me of being “a XXXXX lover”, so I had to get angry at him/her as well, even though he/she was innocent of naughtiness I was accusing the others of…

  391. Athena

    Gee it seems I missed the melodrama.

    “Remember how I was slammed for standing up for mining? I spent ages convincing people I was not pro-mining, but pro-jobs. As a Laborist, I am pro-jobs and pro-welfare for those who cannot work. That is my primary concern and Labor is currently ‘on message.’ The other parties ‘on the left’ are not.”

    @ Trish

    The raping of the earth by mining companies is short term. The damage they cause to the environment is for a very long time, or possibly forever. When you approve of temporary new mining jobs, do you consider the permanent loss of tourism-related jobs or the permanent loss of food sources due to compromised farm land? I don’t see how being pro-environment needs to be anti-jobs. Why can’t there be investment in solar energy on a large scale? That can generate jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance and replacement and those jobs will always be needed. Has Queensland got a shortage of sunshine?

  392. cornlegend

    “Gee it seems I missed the melodrama.”
    Well, obviously you didn’t read it too well as Trish mentioned she wouldn’t be back
    So, just what was the point in your message to Trish knowing full well she wouldn’t be answering it ?

  393. Exoplanet

    Um, people who declare they are no longer going to ‘post’ are usually, firstly, bullshitting themselves, and, secondly, have not thereby said they’re not reading. Trish is still reading this. I guarantee it. So long as questions posed are rhetorical, there’s no issue.

  394. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I would like to know why a few temporary mining jobs on the Carmichael mine are more important than the Great Barrier Reef; the environment if the coal gets dug up and used; and the adverse affects on tourism jobs and chances for alternative renewable energy industries.

  395. cornlegend


    “Um, people who declare they are no longer going to ‘post’ are usually, firstly, bullshitting themselves, and, secondly, have not thereby said they’re not reading”
    Hey you can’t assume other people have standards that you may have.
    You may not have particularly high standards but rest assured, Trish does

  396. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hard to prove either way, don’t ya think?

  397. cornlegend

    Are you Exoplanet?

    If I was directing the question to you, I’d whistle

  398. Exoplanet

    @ cornlegend,

    “Um, people who declare they are no longer going to ‘post’ are usually, firstly, bullshitting themselves, and, secondly, have not thereby said they’re not reading”
    Hey you can’t assume other people have standards that you may have.
    You may not have particularly high standards but rest assured, Trish does

    Hey, bud, 5 minutes of research will confirm that Trish mas made this declaration before. People are almost always doing themselves a disservice by making such declarations. ‘Taking a break’ is always wiser than ‘leaving forever no matter what’. Always. It has nothing to do with ‘standards’ but human nature. I will be proved right and you will be forced to apologise to me. $100.

    Now, regarding the article, what have you to say about the author’s ‘latte’ reference?

  399. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    sorry to tell you this but you are not the boss here. So, if you are asked a question or even if you are not, don’t impose yourself on the conversation.

    One might say you’re trying to intimidate. Is that how the big boys do it in the big, wide World?

  400. Harquebus

    Att: theAIMN
    There has been a lot of criticism here about nastiness.
    I think that cornlegend’s November 24, 2016 at 8:06 pm inference toward JMS is way out of line and should be removed.
    Even I wouldn’t go that far.

  401. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks H (I think).

    Bullies should not get the final say eva

  402. Exoplanet

    Cornlegend may have meant wolf-whistle, which has a bad rep, but may not be out of line, exactly. JMS does look kinda hot. Um, is that allowed?

  403. Exoplanet

    Despite the glaring flaws of this article, a discussion regarding what sort of political narrative might best suit progressives in the contemporary political climate would be edifying and potentially useful. Anyone?

  404. cornlegend

    Definately no wolf whistle
    Victoria has the right to delete as does any of the AIMN heirarchy , thats their perogative
    And Harquebus. just how many times have you had deletes for what others deem “off” comments?
    I’m fine with what I said ,

  405. cornlegend

    I’m not your “bud”
    If you check, it it my understanding that Trishs departure was made full and final in discussion with Michael Taylor last night.
    Trish is a woman of her word, if she said final she means final.I suggest you check with Michael.
    You see Exo, some people do have principles.
    If Trish says it she means it .
    Just as I have known Kaye Lee for years, we may not always agree, but she is honourable, so if she said similar I would accept it
    “Now, regarding the article, what have you to say about the author’s ‘latte’ reference?”
    I have used it heaps of times, I can see you are new here

    Get back to me after you have confoimed the Trish conversation with Michael

  406. Michael Taylor

    That’s correct, Cornie, it’s generally up to the author to decide if comments are to be deleted.

  407. Exoplanet

    @ cornlegend

    Get back to me after you have confoimed the Trish conversation with Michael

    What has that got to do with anything? Mate, bud, pal o’ mine, such declarations don’t mean anything. It’s not a matter of principle. It’s that they are always made in the heat of a moment. They are almost invariably broken and almost invariably unwise. Trish has already broken such a declaration, you arrogant so and so. My point, btw, is that no-one should be so adamant in such declarations. But hey, if you want to leave her no room for mind-changing by making it about principle, go ahead. Dumbo.

    As for the latte reference. Ok, so you like to indulge in that sort of dismissal of fellow progressives. Fine. Just wanted to confirm. Peak Smug, mate.

  408. cornlegend

    “such declarations don’t mean anything”
    They do if they are made by honourable people,
    sorry if you can’t grasp that ,
    Now I’m off out for the night,
    get back to you tomorrow if I feel inclined

  409. Exoplanet


    Please stop. You’re making it impossible for Trish to change her mind, you dimwit. Just stop.

  410. Exoplanet

    Anyway, on that point of what might be the best political narrative for progressives to adopt, going forward (but not that one), what of it? Anyone?

  411. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    “Dog whistle”, “hot” and “wolf whistle” are all representative of sexist language.

    Thanks for the edifying disclosure to the language used about any woman who dares to speak upon your political positions.

    Whether you or I were ever hot does not change what this debate has been about.

    The Left is either going to make an effort to forge some sort of Alliance to judge, plan, form, a wide, diverse agenda to beat the LNP scum and introduce massive reforms or NOT.

    If not, then pox on both your houses.

  412. paulwalter

    What is at bottom with eco threads is the refusal of Laborites to get past the false opposition or binary that environmental standards are somehow are at odds with jobs. If enough damage is done to the environment through gas fracking say, requiring of remedial costs down stream, how is job creation helped when the monies instead have to be employed on repairs to water systems, air, climate etc?

    And what of the damage to democracy when locales and communities and their concerns are made subordinate to vested interests as to resource extraction and the problems associated with that.?

    Surely, all that is being asked for corporations to make their operations safe and if self regulation fails, for laws to be in place. Less of monumental bonuses for bosses who leave big messes for local communities to clean up and more money on prevention.

  413. Exoplanet

    Ok, so Jennifer has, a) no sense of humour or irony, and, b) no sense of when she’s being defended, and, c) no likely scope to understand either. Ok.

    So, on that point of narrative – how do we balance economic concerns with humanitarian ones? Are they in any real sense in conflict? If so, how might we achieve coalescence?

    Is this current wave of political cynicism a fashion without substance, one created by conservative forces (I happen to believe this strongly), and if so how do we combat it, given that ‘facts’ do not speak to or influence entrenched cultural fashions?

  414. Michael Taylor

    Is this current wave of political cynicism a fashion without substance, one created by conservative forces (I happen to believe this strongly),

    I strongly believe that too.

    As for the remainder of the sentence, I’m stumped for an answer. We could of course combat it by lying, given, as you suggest, “that ‘facts’ do not speak to or influence entrenched cultural fashions, but it’s an approach I wouldn’t entertain.

    The best ‘method’ is the hope that those who refuse to listen to facts might actually take notice of the ‘truth’ when the policies of the government hurt their hip pocket.

    But nah, that won’t work either. They’d just be happy that the boats have stopped (which is the favourite response when you throw a few facts at them, including, of course, that there is no evidence that the boats have actually stopped).

    Anyway, I’ll leave it with you. I’m off.

  415. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I’m not the subject of Rollinson’s contentious article but thanks anyway.

    I usually know who my friends are, but not if there are ambivalent messages that could be read either way.

  416. Exoplanet

    I agree it’s difficult and that conservative forces of various ilks have taken control of the broader political narrative. But I do not believe, or perhaps refuse to concede for emotional rather than logical reasons, that we cannot rescue that narrative and regain core progressive and ‘left’ values and concerns as its leitmotif.

    I would emphasise in the strongest possible terms that every incremental step we take towards liberal thinking, in the name of political pragmatism, takes us further from ourselves and that that ground will never be regained. This has been an evident issue for Labor over the last 30 years.

    It’s always an uphill battle because the political Right can evoke and appeal to the worst of ourselves, and always has done, and the worst of ourselves is often the most ready to listen and the most reachable, even when the best of ourselves resists it.

    Equity narratives are well and good. Jobs narratives are well and good. Narrative narratives are my favourite, though. I mean, who doesn’t love a good story.

    In my view, and only in my view, the only hope for the Left and for ‘progressives’ (I confess, I hate that word) is to find a rhetoric – not a f*cking transparently manipulative narrative – that inspires the best in people while simultaneously pacifying the worst in them. i.e. a way for the ‘Left’ to re-legitimise itself as a socio-political paradigm, without recourse to or adoption of conservative, capitalist, neo-liberal theorem. Or indeed any conciliation to such.

    I think it’s possible, but it must not involve any idea that progressives must have a particular set of priorities or hierarchy of values, but, instead, that it only need have a united set of ethical principles that encompass every expression and foci within its rubric.

  417. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What made you think some of us thought differently from that?

  418. Matters Not

    Exoplanet at 10:04 pm

    given that ‘facts’ do not speak to

    Agree. ‘Facts’ are a ‘dime a dozen’ as it were. There’s almost an infinite number of ‘facts’, and while the number of ‘relevant’ facts might be significantly reduced when it comes to particular ‘arguments’, facts which may be cited, relevant to particular debates’, are still many in number.

    As for ‘facts’, not speaking . Of course, they don’t. In themselves they have no ‘meaning’. It’s we humans who have that intended ‘meaning giving’ power. As for the ‘readers’, they also have the same power.

  419. Kaye Lee

    Of course it is doable. It just requires a leader with integrity (ok first huge hurdle), the confidence and presentation to reassure the public that this is the right path, and the strength to stay the course despite opposition whilst being able to quickly adapt to changing conditions – oh and a majority in both houses or the increasingly rare ability to be able to work with other people.

    Mainly I crave honesty.

  420. Exoplanet

    @Matters Not

    ‘Facts’ are largely irrelevant to value paradigms, or are almost infinitely malleable to them, as you appear to grasp. Facts and stats are important for some people, and yet for others are eye-glazing-over material. They should always be at the ready and never used mendaciously, but mean little of themselves, due to the context pliability.

    Get back to basics. Have we reached a point where people are no longer embarrassed to be selfish and greedy? If so, we may as well give up and stock up on Spam. Oh, and watch the cricket.

  421. Matters Not

    reached a point where people are no longer embarrassed to be selfish and greedy?

    Certainly true for many. But clearly not for all, otherwise we wouldn’t be asking that question, or at least find it somewhat problematic.

    Changing the focus slightly, Trump has appointed a new head for Education who has a track record that will certainly drive the ‘individualism’ bus. Ayn Rand would be pleased.

    BYW, how’s the cricket going? Not that I am really interested.

  422. Kaye Lee

    Have we reached a point where people are no longer embarrassed to be selfish and greedy?


  423. corvus boreus

    The (on-message) chorus amongst Labor affiliates seems to indicate that climate change has quasi-officially been relegated to a ‘2nd tier issue’, which, given the scientifically stated urgency of climate action, would presumably further peripheralise other (related) environmental concerns, like biodiversity conservation, soil health and water quality.
    I gather that this ecopathic shift is a move designed to stop climate sceptics (or those who simply don’t know or care about much ‘AGW’) from jumping ship to One Nation, but wonder how many environmentalist-type votes it will bleed in other directions.
    Funnily enough, despite a general stance of anti-environmentalism and outright climate denial, PHON policy stands on more environmentally friendly ground than the ALP regarding CSG mining, which does rate as a ‘1st tier’ issue for residents of some regional areas (eg around Tara/Chinchilla in central QLD), and has fair degree of broader ‘pub’ resonance (even Alan Jones is a greenie on ‘fracking’)

    Meanwhile, at Maules creek, NSW, a large area of remnant forest is currently being leveled (destroying over 40% of a critically endangered ecosystem and fragmenting the remains) in order to employ a few people to dig up coal and ship it overseas for burning. Despite obvious and clearly demonstrated flaws, discrepancies and possible corruptions in the application and approvals process (eg the ‘offsets’ alone were as dodgy as phuq) Labor (state and federal) continues to approve.
    Nearby, at Pilliga forest, numerous gaswells continue to send up large flares of open flame despite a total fire ban.


  424. Harquebus

    corvus boreus
    Thank you for that information. Some things that I have not heard on the telly. The destruction for the sake of a few jobs and the economy continues to accelerate and for many, is very worrying.

    “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” — Mark Twain

  425. corvus boreus

    There is, of course, much which you will not hear of on the telly, and often reason to discredit the validity of that which you do.
    The flickering bray-box is a very useful tool for actively seeping misinformative messages into passive minds, .

  426. Harquebus

    corvus boreus
    I agree. My listening to the talking heads on TV is only so that I can determine what it is that they are not saying.

  427. Michael Taylor

    “Don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is already made up”. (Or something like that) – Stanton Friedman (nuclear physicist).

  428. jimhaz

    “Is this current wave of political cynicism a fashion without substance, one created by conservative forces (I happen to believe this strongly), and if so how do we combat it, given that ‘facts’ do not speak to or influence entrenched cultural fashions?”

    “Have we reached a point where people are no longer embarrassed to be selfish and greedy?”

    Two great questions. Poor response to them, including from me.

    I am not as certain as you that it is without substance, as I am convinced technological advances in the way that they change our lives, can only make us more individually selfish – thus more inclined to fall under the memes of the ruling class. One example would be mobile phones and what they do to lessen desires to converse with others.

  429. OrchidJar

    Corvus, from November 24, 2016 at 5:04 pm:
    of course you have no idea. How on earth could you? Yet you still thought it a valuable contribution to the debate to refer to him condescendingly as – what were your words again? – someone with an apparent ‘degree in water study’.

    Your trite put down made me laugh. It also made me lament the fact that, yet again, the attempt to engage in ideas of real and immediate value are pissed down the drain by the ever reliable presence of people such as yourself; apparently more concerned with childish point scoring and slander, than with serious dialogue.

    Is it because you cannot take the argument further? Is it because you don’t know the implications of your view? Is it because you feel threatened by my argument? Is it because you are unable to resolve practicality with idealism?
    Whatever the reason the singular contribution from you has been, and I paraphrase:
    ‘climate change action is the most important concern at the moment and we need to address it’.
    That’s all I’ve been able to garner from your posts.
    There’s been no elaboration; no further assessment of the premise, no indication as to the immediate/medium term/long term implications to our lives – the immediate real world effect on people and their capacity to maintain a life, no consideration of what any action may mean to our society and polity as a whole – for labour, business, and industry – and how each individual or community or society will respond, our politics, ideologies, the very foundations of how we live our lives.
    There’s been no response to my questions, no direct evidential contradictions to my premise, no examples or proofs from current politics.
    There’s been nothing, to those and a thousand implied questions that derive from your premise.
    Nope, the best you’ve got is ‘climate change action is number 1, top o the list!’
    Well thanks Corvus, thank you for that.
    A powerful contribution to the debate.
    I’m left reeling at the insight.
    And laughing.

    Exoplanet and Michael,

    ‘Is this current wave of political cynicism a fashion without substance, one created by conservative forces (I happen to believe this strongly),’

    I don’t.
    I think that’s an incomplete analysis. Both sides are guilty of that pervasive cynicism; not just the conservatives, but both sides. I think a first step is to begin the powerful and painful critique of our own failings. We already understand those of the conservatives; we see them daily and they form the overwhelming bulk of our conversations. We talk them to near death and run the huge and very real risk of forming an inane echo chamber. Especially here, on the blogosphere.
    I’ve got no doubt many here have been around long enough to know the meaning of that.

    What’s equally important, if not more so I would argue, is to self-reflect on our ideological/political/policy failings in the strong hope that we may learn to understand something of ourselves and hopefully change where change is needed.

    Without necessarily wishing to return to the previous debate I believe the essential first step is the return to established and efficacious left values: the well-being of the citizen – an emphasis on our common and fundamental humanity, and the primary duty to cement our social theory and our practice on principles that can apply to each and every one of us – the psychological and material well-being of employment and purpose, the surety of good health, and the commitment to the future, for our children, via the ameliorations of education.
    I suppose I’m arguing for an egalitarianism – for the very real happiness and deep personal self-development that can only occur when those primary conditions are met. It’s my belief that a happy, self-sufficient person can do wonders; is socially engaged with the world, thrives in debate and responds openly and non-judgmentally to change, and sets about the conditions for improvement and the crucial social justice that defines any left enterprise. Whereas an unhappy person (my immediate political/economic models, the ex-steel worker and ex coal miner) is necessarily divorced, estranged, from the world of both ideas and society. Too concerned, naturally, with his immediate well-being, all other considerations are reduced to the distant exclusive sphere of indulgence and he sees himself as forever lost to any kind of social potential.
    This marks the breakdown of not just the individual but also of a progressive society. Fragmentation occurs along each fault line – economic, social, educational, class, sex, race – and we’re left with people, all of us affected in fact, unable to even re-imagine the world, let alone be an agency for something better.

    Unable to re-imagine the world.
    Think on that a moment.
    How sad is that?

    Harquebus, I’m not concerned with her powers of censure, I’ve just experienced her powers of slander. Same thing really.

    Corvus, again, from November 25, 2016 at 7:16 am:
    Mad, you say?
    Madder still those on the left who think that their first tier issues will see light of day outside of an election victory which history tells us time and time again can only be secured by addressing the issues most relevant to most of the people most of the time – economy, health, education.
    By all means register your concerns, scream them from the rooftops, but remember, always remember, that’s where you’ll remain, on the outer, forever howling into the wilderness; impotent, bitter, and dependent – a king in the blogosphere, a pauper in the world.

    How sad is that?

    I say, again: secure the people first (the people, remember them?) then secure your agenda.

    It doesn’t work the other way around.
    It never has and it never will.
    Are you willing to offer contradiction with some historical examples Corvus?
    Can you do that?
    Can you test your theory against an indifferent History?

    I await your considered response.

    Harquebus, again:
    I watched the video. It was quite a revelation. To be quite frank I had not given the issue serious consideration (my focus elsewhere). Would you consider a follow up piece reflecting on strategies and possible solutions.
    Link accordingly.
    Thank you.

  430. Kaye Lee

    And still no answer to what doubts your scientist brother holds and why.

  431. OrchidJar

    So as to entice more of your slander???
    You must be joking!

    A pitiful response to my post Kaye.
    People are reading.

  432. corvus boreus

    Nor the vaguest identification of the nature of his work/study within hydrology and how it relates to climate science.

    Ps, wow, KL, apparently you ‘slandered’. I was only accused of ad-homineming..

  433. OrchidJar

    Was there ever any doubt?
    🙂 🙂

    You are out of your depth.
    Left howling…….

    People are reading.

  434. OrchidJar

    Was there ever any doubt?
    Howling in the wilderness….

  435. OrchidJar

    Shame on you Kaye Lee.
    How sad is that?

  436. OrchidJar

    In response to Kaye’s censure of my 2 previous posts.

  437. OrchidJar

    That’s better.
    Dialogue again.

  438. Kaye Lee

    Am I missing something here?

  439. Michael Taylor

    Whatever it is, I’m missing it with you, Kaye.

  440. Michael Taylor

    Ah, it all makes sense to me now. OrchidJar, your comments were caught in the spam filter, for which I apologise. They have been released. Kaye Lee had not deleted them, as you had suggested.

  441. Kaye Lee


  442. OrchidJar

    A Spam filter?!?
    Oh dear.
    Thank you for the clarification Michael.

    My apologies to Kaye for the suggestion.

    Now, where were we?
    Ah yes.

  443. Kaye Lee

    Where were we? I believe you were castigating us all for the paucity of our intellectual rigour, lack of insight, and slanderous aspersions cast on your brother’s as yet undisclosed doubts about climate change.

  444. paulwalter

    It’s a pity the spam filter didn’t malfunction earlier.

  445. corvus boreus

    KL, 26/11, 00;57

    I recall that, prior to that completely false ‘suggestion’ being leveled against you, there were some unspecified and unsubstantiated allegations of ‘slander’ being slung in your direction.

    ‘You’re just being prejudiced. Tthat’s, like, so totally gay and retarded of you!’.

    Ps, I suspect that we are seeing a familiar face wearing a different hat.

  446. Möbius Ecko

    Ps, I suspect that we are seeing a familiar face wearing a different hat.

    Oh yes, the fingerprints are there even if the hat and the address has changed.

  447. OrchidJar

    From the “Censorship” thread:

    Yes, censor was the obvious fit here, that’s true. However censure was the word I was looking for, here and elsewhere. It had the greater implications. Our recent exchanges have been characterised by your reproof or rebuke. It’s the reason why you were able to slide so easily into slander. You didn’t need to travel far. Semantically.
    Might I suggest a more profitable use of your time than acting the grammatical fop?

    I deeply regret mentioning my brother. It’s given you and Corvus the distraction you were clearly looking for. You’ve sought the safety of that route several times now, as if my brothers thoughts are relevant to my initial premise of prioritisation of government policy.
    How ridiculous!
    These are complex issues Kaye, and are not served by either these transparent evasions, or efforts to discredit my thoughts by the insinuation and accusation of climate denial, or the your desperate slander that I’m pandering to racists. That’s the stuff of school yard gossip.

    My idea is an extremely simple and uncontroversial one, at least that’s what I thought up until I mentioned it on this blog:
    government is the place from which policy and action emanate and the best way, the only way I contend, to secure government is via addressing those prime factors, the first order – economy, health, education.
    I have noted no historical examples that contradict that view.

    Perhaps you have, in which case I’d like to hear them.

    Now, you may differ in your perspective. That’s perfectly fine. All I’m asking is that you or Corvus or anyone else here that disagrees with me to please present an argument that speaks directly to that premise.
    Or not.

    In support of my thesis – that the primary concern of people, therefore of a government – should be economy, jobs, health, education – offer this summary link.
    I hope you find it instructive.

    P.S. Yes. Now I know how you must feel.

    P.P.S. It’s clear you didn’t read my posts. My brother does not have ‘doubts on climate change’ – his concerns are just as I have noted, and not as you have imagined them.
    The post in question is: November 22, 2016 at 11:03 am.

    And here you are censuring me for my assumptions!

    Returning to this thread:

    This will be my final attempt on this subject. I’m exhausted by the iteration.

    Back to the Rust Belt we go: it’s unfortunate that all you saw were “racism and xenophobia”. Obviously political shortsightedness is not the exclusive domain of the Americans.

    Let’s look at the states that Trump stole and secured: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan.
    Some rough numbers to consider:
    Pennsylvania: one of the largest coal producers in the country, 36% of its energy comes from coal.
    Michigan: 50% of energy comes from coal burning.
    Wisconsin: no coal mining but uses coal to fire 42% of its energy.
    Ohio: 67% energy comes from coal burning.

    Sensing the threat to their livelihoods from Obama/Clinton’s Clean Power Plan, and seeing nothing offered to assuage their legitimate concerns over their continued livelihood’s, they crossed the floor and voted Trump.
    That is now an electoral truism that will, quite inexplicably, torment the more vacuous heads on the left for some time yet.

    The Dems had a choice: water down the policy, substitute jobs, (look at her 100 Day Jobs Plan), for the ones about to be extinguished, and restore confidence by convincing people by word and deed that their well-being was the primary concern.
    Clinton failed to do that.
    She even thought, in the prevailing idiocy of the moment, that visiting those states in the 11th hour would be a waste of her time. She correctly figured that to water down the climate action plan would infuriate and alienate her green coalition.
    So she gambled, not just her presidency but the hopes of all Democrats and faraway liberals like ourselves.
    She lost.
    We lost.
    And now we’re left with this dangerous narcissistic clown who will, without doubt, set back my agenda (jobs, health, education) 20 years and your agenda (climate change action) back to the stone age.

    I cannot communicate my premise any clearer than that.

  448. OrchidJar

    A pseudonym accusation! Gosh, I feel like its blogging 2009!
    As if the juvenile distraction of my brother was not enough for you corvus, you now feel the need to scrounge about in the muck in an effort to further discredit my premise.
    Respond to the question or don’t, argue with the substance of my posts, or not, it’s up to you. Just don’t involve me in your petty pseudonym ad hominem foolishness.

    “I suspect that we are seeing …..”
    How embarrassing for you to have to resort to the single worst, most inane, blog accusation possible.

  449. Kaye Lee

    People at Trump rallies weren’t chanting Save Our Jobs – they were chanting Build the Wall (or Lock Her Up). Reclaim Australia aren’t holding employment opportunity rallies – they are holding anti-Islam rallies. They aren’t calling for more infrastructure to be built. They are trying to stop the building of mosques. They have forced companies to cancel lucrative contracts due to their hysterical campaign against halal food.

    As for your brother, you asked us to consider his opinion but refused to give any idea of what it was.

    And are you saying your REAL name is OrchidJar?

  450. OrchidJar

    Kaye, It’s irrelevant to the thread, and to MY premise (remember that?), what the Trump supporters were doing or saying.
    I was speaking to what I believe should be the primary concerns of government; the priorities I believed most essential.

    As to my brother: I asked you nothing; I merely mentioned him as a point of expertise that I was deferring to. If you think that
    I can or will condense our years of conversations to satisfy a blogger intent on fishing for a school of red herrings then you’re sadly mistaken.

    And are saying that my name or pseudonym have any bearing whatsoever on my opinion?

    How bizarre.

    But congratulations yet again for ignoring the bulk of my post: every key point specific and germane to the argument brushed aside.

    People are reading.

  451. Kaye Lee

    Actually OrchidJar, I would suggest that most people stopped reading this exchange long ago, with good reason. I should do likewise.

  452. Harquebus

    Not me.

  453. cornlegend

    Me either,
    OrchidJar does have some pretty valid points mixed in the mountain of comment

  454. cornlegend

    David Betras could see trouble coming.

    The Democratic Party chairman in Youngstown, Ohio, wrote to Hillary Clinton’s advisers in May warning she needed to put a jobs-focused message at the heart of her White House campaign or else watch blue-collar voters in states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania slip away to Republican Donald Trump.

    Clinton never responded to Betras, and in the final weeks of her campaign she spent much of her time portraying Trump as unfit, rather than highlighting her economic plans. On Nov. 8, Election Day, Betras’ warning proved prescient—she lost Ohio and Pennsylvania and, on Wednesday, Michigan, too, based on the latest unofficial ballot counts.

  455. Kaye Lee

    OrchidJar feels that “the primary concern of people, therefore of a government – should be economy, jobs, health, education”

    “The government of a democracy is accountable to the people. It must fulfil its end of the social contract. And, in a practical sense, government must be accountable because of the severe consequences that may result from its failure. As the outcomes of fighting unjust wars and inadequately responding to critical threats such as global warming illustrate, great power implies great responsibility.

    The central purpose of government in a democracy is to be the role model for, and protector of, equality and freedom and our associated human rights. For the first, government leaders are social servants, since through completing their specific responsibilities they serve society and the people. But above and beyond this they must set an ethical standard, for the people to emulate. For the second, the legal system and associated regulation are the basic means to such protection, along with the institutions of the military, for defense against foreign threats, and the police.

    Government economic responsibility is also linked to protection from the negative consequences of free markets. The government must defend us against unscrupulous merchants and employers, and the extreme class structure that results from their exploitation.

    Governments argue that people need to be assisted with the economic competition that now dominates the world. But the real intent of this position is to justify helping corporate interests . . . siding against local workers, consumers and the environment.

    Another general role, related to the need for efficiency, is the organization of large-scale projects. It is for this benefit that we accept government involvement in the construction of society’s infrastructure, including roads, posts and telecommunications, and water, sewage and energy utilities. Further, giving government charge over these utilities guarantees that they remain in public hands, and solely dedicated to the common good. If such services are privatized, the owners have a selfish motivation, which could negatively affect the quality of the services.

    That such assets should have public ownership is expressed in the idea of the “commons.” They should be owned by and shared between the members of the current population, and preserved for future generations.

    Indeed, while we of course still need a means of defense, including against both external and internal (criminal) aggressors, it seems clear that our greatest need for protection is from other institutions and from the abuses of government itself, particularly its collusion with these other institutions. (Many of the needs that we now have for government are actually to solve the problems that it creates.)”

  456. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Seeking remedies to improve meaningful employment prospects for ordinary people is unquestionably a predominant responsibility of government. So OrchidJar, you have many in agreement with you on that.

    However, identifying the need to protect people’s entitlement to paid employment should not out-rank meaningful action against Climate Change.

    The emphasis should not be on jobs primarily but on meaningful employment which can gather existing skills of people and transfer them to new and/or alternative industries that keep people in dignified quality of life and helps the environment to recuperate.

  457. OrchidJar

    cornlegend and Harq – thanks.

    to cornlegend:

    There are numerous links, almost too numerous, that confirm the folly of the Dems tactics.
    I thought it would be clear, to anyone of middle age at least, that any governmental/policy pursuit over that of my top tier is electoral suicide.
    It appears that several here think that climate change is an electoral winner.
    I’ve asked for historical precedent/example/event/policy/strategy but have received none.
    Imagine my surprise!

    I think the problem rests with something that Tim Ryan (U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district – smack bang in the middle of Rust Belt grievance) said last week:
    “We need to speak to their economic interests, that we get it, that we understand, that we talk about those things and we try to fight hard for those things.”

    “We need to talk to working class people. We don’t talk to everybody anymore. We slice and dice and we talk to subgroups and interest groups,” [Ryan lamented.] “We don’t have a unifying message that we can talk about in every room.”

    There it is. As clear as can be spoken.
    And the Dem establishment response? Read it and weep:

    (Former Obama adviser Lis Smith):
    “A lot of Democrats are taking the wrong lessons from this election,” Smith said. “Democrats have shown for years that they can walk and chew gum at the same time, and we do not face an either/or change between speaking to the diverse nature of our party and to the white working class.”

    Walk and chew gum at the same time?! Where have we heard that before?
    It’s clear that the Dems, WE, cannot “walk and chew gum at the same time”.
    Trump’s victory is the most immediate contradiction of Smith’s nonsense.
    More proof can be found in the number of losses incurred by the Democrats over the past years.
    Since 2008 they are down 10.2% Senate, down 19.3% House, down 20.3% Legislature, down 35.7% Governors.

    Does that sound like “walking and chewing at the same time”???
    As long as we continue to ignore the interests of the working class, as long as we deceive oursleves with childish platitudes, we will suffer at the hands of a re-energized Conservative politics.

    Hubba Bubba, anyone?

    to Victoria R: I don’t know what the solution is Victoria. What I do know however is that the fragmentation within the party will continue. The fault lines, visible here, even among anonymous blog contributors for goodness sake, demonstrates the friction, the political naivety, and most unfortunately, the contrasting, divergent, approaches to both overarching strategy and tactics.

    It’s very sad.

  458. OrchidJar

    Kaye, I noticed your reference and in the context of this discussion I don’t follow it at all.
    If you have a specific question, just ask it.
    If you’re making a statement, make it clear.
    I’m too old for ambiguity.

  459. Möbius Ecko

    For someone who asks others to make clear statements they throws out a number of murky ones.

    For someone whose too old for ambiguity they certainly throw out a few ambiguous statements.

    Same machine gun tactic I see. Some things never change and so are as predicable as always.

  460. OrchidJar

    Mobius, if that’s how you feel there should be no problem for you to highlight them so that I can

    Though In my defense, I’d just like to add, I am actually trying to say something. You know, make a contribution
    that speaks to topics specifically, that addresses questions specifically, that helps in the process of working through some of these very difficult questions.
    How about you, what are you doing towards that end?

    Anyway, if you’d like something clarified I extend the same offer I made Kaye: ask it and I’ll do my very best to address it.

  461. Kaye Lee

    You have completely ignored any questions I have asked of you OrchidJar, so no, I am not asking you anything..

    “I thought it would be clear, to anyone of middle age at least, that any governmental/policy pursuit over that of my top tier is electoral suicide.”

    No government can survive with just one “policy pursuit” and I am not as convinced as you are that YOUR priorities should be everyone’s. Age does not equate to knowledge.

    “It appears that several here think that climate change is an electoral winner.”

    As I have said countless times, action on climate change should not be up for voting on by the ill-informed.

  462. OrchidJar

    Kaye, you’ve asked me one question: the nature of my brothers doubts as to how we can now affect permanent or lasting change.
    I said that no, I was not going to go into the conversations had over years and years. More importantly, your question was simply a distraction from both the thread and my point.

    Yes, you have said that “countless times”. You’ve also written that it was your first policy consideration. You prioritised it as number one. You had education at number two.

    Therein lies our disagreement.
    I’ve tried to provide both argument and links supporting my view.
    You have provided neither.

    If you are not convinced that those priorties that I see as seminal should be everyone’s then I simply ask you, for perhaps the 4th or 5th time, please provide an argument as to how we can win an election without them.

  463. OrchidJar

    I sent a response to Mobius, but it appears to have lodged itself in the spam folder.
    For the sake of chance I will try again:
    Mobius, if you think that I’ve made “murky” or “ambigous” statements then please highlight them and I’ll do my best to clarify.

  464. Kaye Lee

    Elections are not my focus. Saving the planet is. All political parties should agree to urgent action so voters’ ignorance becomes irrelevant. There are some things bigger than any individual’s personal concerns that only governments can address. They must take leadership and stop this silly political crap about electricity will be more expensive under the other guy or you will lose your jobs if we address climate change. Stop kidding them that they have a future in coal mining.

    In 2011 research showed that if we waited until 2015 to act on climate change, reaching Australia’s 2020 5% reduction target will cost us an additional $5.5 billion.

    The largest part of this loss is from missed energy efficiency opportunities in the building and industry sectors – for example replacing old appliances by best-in-class energy saving equipment.

    These lost energy savings have the potential to cost Australian households and businesses $5 million per week by 2020 as we struggle to make up lost ground.

    And this cycle of lost opportunities and increased future costs compounds with each year of delay. Catching up becomes more and more difficult and more and more expensive.

    Last year, the EPA released a report about the cost of inaction on climate change in America.

    A global agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions would prevent nearly 70,000 premature American deaths annually by the end of the century while sparing the country hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of economic losses, according to a major government study on the cost of climate change.

    improvements in air quality from reduced fossil-fuel emissions would lead to about 57,000 fewer premature deaths per year by 2100, the study said. Few extreme heat waves would result in 12,000 fewer deaths each year from heat-related illness, it said.

    Local governments would avoid tens of billions of dollars in damage from floods and other severe-weather events, while farmers would save up to $11 billion a year in damage to crops from a combination of drought, flooding and destructive storms. Tens of millions of acres of forests would be preserved because of fewer wildfires, the report said.

    You keep saying “I have noted no historical examples that contradict that view.”

    We didn’t realise we were heading towards armageddon. We do now. Historical references are inapplicable.

  465. Greg - praising a top poster...

    Keep this up & I will need to get a poster of you (for my wall) Kaye Lee!

  466. OrchidJar

    “Elections are not my focus”
    That’s extremely unfortunate, because without winning, and winning them often, you will never have the opportunity to pursue your oft stated goals.

    Why that is so difficult for you understand, or why you insist on downplaying something so self-evident is beyond me.

    Quote me all the reports, figures, deaths, forest decimations, weather aberrations, fossil fuel emissions etc. you like because until you are in a position to affect some sort of change they are, and will forever be, simply abstractions; academic and detached, (from any practical real world effect).

    No change has ever been consummated from the outside Kaye. If you maintain your position of neglecting the essentials, the lived human social and economic fundamentals, you consign yourself to a permanent and sad impotence.

  467. OzFenric

    Sadly, I must agree with OrchidJar. Kaye is right, climate change is too important for the political conflict. However, as long as one entire side of politics is smitten by, or beholden to vested interests that argue, climate change denialism, we’re not going to get “all political parties agree[ing]” to anything. In that context, we need to ensure that the parties that *do* take AGW seriously are the ones in power. OrchidJar is also correct in that [most] people won’t vote for a party on the strength of climate change policies, when there are immediate threats to their employment and cost of living. (I am the exception – I would vote for the Coalition if they had a suite of decent climate change policies. Luckily, I will never be forced to make that unpalatable choice.)

    In my opinion, Labor’s narrative over the past twelve or so years has been far more convincing in addressing “base level” political concerns than the Coalition’s. Labor has proposed evidence-based policies in preventative healthcare, in ongoing education and training (leading to technological advance and innovation which leads to high-value employment) and in responding to Australia’s oncoming collapse of the commodities markets. It also, incidentally, proposed the only effective climate change mitigation policies yet to arrive at the Australian parliament (whatever you might argue about their merits or flaws). The Greens were the ones that voted down the first of these proposals, sacrificing the good to the unattainable altar of the perfect. You can’t blame them for having ambitions to being a greater political force, but effectively they’re working against our best interests.

    The Greens are Labor’s biggest threat in future elections. Stealing seats from Labor’s heartland is not going to serve anyone well. As long as the Greens play with the possibility of cooperating with the Coalition, rather than helping Labor form government, they are sabotaging the future of climate action in this country. If climate change is your primary concern, then Labor is pretty much the only viable destination for your vote.

    As much as we here are all, to some degree, sympathetic to the Left, the OP is entirely correct. Fighting between Labor and the Greens weakens both when they should be allies, and the stream of invective in this thread has been both enlightening and disheartening.

  468. Greg ...on it's too late to wait for consensus

    Yep …is one thing to be “on the money” in identifying what the priority issues should be, but quite another to have them addressed.

    On performance (lack of) there is unlikely to be a polling booth oriented means to head off the current lemming stampede.

    What exactly will it take?

  469. OrchidJar

    Thank you ozfenric. This is second time I’ve had call to compliment your posts.
    I thought your third paragraph most accurate, unfortunately, and I would also say that, personally, of the two options outlined in your final paragraph I would have to be honest and say “disheartening”. Which again speaks directly to Rollison’s premise.

    Tell me, why did you add the qualification “sadly” as your first word?
    If it was from a position of ad hominem, then shame on you.
    if it was from the sad realisation of a political pragmatism then I totally agree.

  470. OzFenric

    “Sadly” was perhaps unworthy. I have a great deal of respect for Kaye Lee and it’s not edifying to see her at loggerheads with others, and even less so when I am forced to agree with her detractor. 🙂 I think we all want the same thing here. Different facets of the same jewel, perhaps.

    But yes, also, definitely sadly about the pragmatism.

  471. Kaye Lee

    I do understand what you are saying but that is an acceptance of the current situation. The LNP may call themselves pragmatists but they are followers. They aren’t planners, they will be dragged to the plan by others. Whether this is done by an awakening electorate who see the cost of natural disasters and suffer the record temperatures each year, or by sanctions from other countries for our failure to pull our weight, or by the inevitable decline of the fossil fuel industry, or by business recognising the danger and taking action to protect their supply chains – it will happen.

    So, under current conditions, I will plug away on passing on information to help inform the electorate so they can help demand the change we must have and suggesting ways to achieve it. Labor is the only possible government at the moment. I would much prefer to see a multi-party executive.

    I guess the discussion is based on your time frame – what is, what could be, or what inevitably must be.

    The longer we accept what is, the harder and more expensive what must be becomes.

  472. OrchidJar

    Thank you ozFenric. I appreciate your candour very much. The mark of a true gentleman. I too respect Kaye, believe it or not. The continued conversation proof of that.

    Might I offer this to you by way of thanks:

    A dinner party tonight.
    I’m sorting out the CD’s.
    Wish me luck!

    No. It’s not. It’s an awareness that the urgency is to return to elementary human issues.
    From there all things are possible.

    And for you,