The Australian population deserves better than to have its alleged leaders re-cycling discredited ideas and conspiracy theories to anyone who will listen. Our democracy has been hijacked and our country has become more divided than ever.
Our newspapers are mainly owned and ‘run’ by a foreign citizen, whose list of favourite politicians includes Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Our broadcast media has become so degraded that it is difficult to distinguish between the channels, except where Murdoch is involved. Sky News is a pale imitation of Fox in the U.S. with a bunch of presenters who would be entertaining, if they weren’t so tragic. Their faux outrage is embarrassing and pointless.
Of course there is always ‘old faithful’, aka the ABC, if you want a reasonable facsimile to the facts. Of course the ABC is now running scared, because they are just as likely to suffer another funding cut, if one of the ruling junta decides they don’t like their dirty dealings made public.
Our education system has been destroyed by neglect, and the starvation of funds, so that the right to a free and secular education is largely meaningless. Schools in the regions make do with sub-standard conditions, while the wealthy private school sector continues to ‘steal’ funds from the pot. Is it a surprise that the gap between the private and the public sector continues to widen?
The Catholic system, which was once seen as espousing the Christian values of social justice, happily admits to re-directing funds from the neediest of their portfolio of schools, to such as St Kevins College, buried in the heart of Toorak. Other examples abound.
Gonski’s reforms have been bastardised to the point of caricature. Apparently the wisdom of the bush capital goes like this: Latham lost an election because he had a hit-list of very wealthy schools, which he intended to give a funding haircut. He would then put the saved funds back into the public sector. I would argue that Latham’s abrasive personality, his bullying handshake with Howard, his attack on a taxi driver were more influential on the public mind. Anyone who has watched Latham’s career since then would really feel that we collectively missed a bullet there.
Look where we are in mitigating climate change
Global warming is happening, because we all watch weather reports, and we know the difference between climate and weather. We know there is almost no ice now in the Arctic, and that even glaciers in the Himalayas are melting away. The largest iceberg in history has separated from Antarctica, and large parts of Australia’s coastline is being regularly inundated by rising seas.
We are now a pariah internationally, and our emissions reduction minister thinks gas will be the magic bullet, with which we will power out of the coronavirus recession, and re-build a low carbon economy. He seemed to once believe that each wind turbine “built today” (2014) would receive “half a million dollars or more of subsidies every year for its life”. He also believes that electric vehicles (EVs) are unsuitable for Australia, and backs a hybrid version of EVs. Taylor has had a life-long aversion to wind turbines, which makes him a strange choice as our climate change minister.
We all lived through last year’s bushfires, and we saw those in California. A level of devastation never seen before. Speak to any wine-grower. They are harvesting their grapes six weeks earlier. But we have a posse of climate science deniers, led by past Prime Ministers (Tony Abbott), to prevaricating current Prime Ministers, to the entire right wing rump of the Liberal Party, to most of the National Party, to the self-interested Joel Fitzgibbon, who thinks coal employs many more people in Australia than it actually does. Note to Joel F: According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics coal mining employs 37,800 people. I think we could, as a country, manage a sizeable investment into the coal mining parts of the country, so that suitable jobs could be created, to alleviate the pain. Look what we started, but never finished, with our cane-growers. It is doable.
What about our economy, coming out of the pandemic?
Josh Frydenburg is an enthusiast for ‘trickle down theory’, although it has also been discredited by the vast majority of economists, world-wide. Does he believe in austerity, or is he just following orders? Well, in Josh’s own words, he is particularly drawn to the policies of Thatcher and Reagan, which resulted in a massive increase in inequality and reduction in public services. He believes that they were both very successful, because they were re-elected.
That is a strange way to evaluate economic success. As a leader of an Australian Government I would think that he would be more interested in improving the lives of Australians. Driving Australians into an induced depression is not the way to improve our lives. And when considering his obsession with a deficit, consider Thatcher’s words anew: “It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.”
Vaccines really are beneficial, for you and your children. All we need do is check the history books. They tell the tale of small pox, measles, rubella and the annual flu. Those diseases killed millions until our scientists came up with vaccines. Any politicians or community leaders who think otherwise should be shunned, and de-platformed. Their opinions are dangerous to the rest of us.
Some of those views are so ‘out-there’ that it is hard to believe anyone really believes them. Craig Kelly’s views on hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the coronavirus, is difficult to evaluate, especially when it has been so effectively debunked. Is he sincere in his beliefs, or is he just trying to be noticed? Even Facebook has removed some of his recent posts. “Even Facebook”.
The first step is to stop electing idiots to Parliament. It is embarrassing. And some of them rise to the top. That is dangerous. At some point a discerning public has to draw a line in the sand, especially when the stupid and the misled continue to spout rubbish. If you look carefully, you will be able to spot the stupid ones, but can you spot the canny contrarians?