Saturday, June 26, 2010

Political Governance

The thing that makes quality political governance so difficult to achieve in our nation is that we have an entrenched "two party" system. It's a binary system that ensures no one party will get out of sync with the other.

If one does get too far out of sync then the instincts of the *losing* political actors are engaged to drag the parties back together again. This is especially the case when one party is much more popular or of significantly higher quality than the other. That is when enormous effort is expended to "re-sync". Witness Abbott's attempts to drag Rudd down to his level - and the consequences.

Now this can only work if a sufficiently large subset of the voting population are seduced and influenced by political sophistry. Unfortunately many of us are not clever enough to know that we have been manipulated by the political machines and their supporting cast in big business and the media. And of course there are a range of other factors - including the intellect of the respective actors.

And the really scary thing is that in this case it worked - spectacularly well. Expect to see more of this across all levels of Government. Politics will now be more or less permanently *dumbed down* - because that approach works. Political reform now looks to be as dead as the dodo.

I reminds me of why the Howard Government lasted so long - because the then opposition under Beasley took a "small target" approach. That strategy is now completely dead and buried. Howard probably would have been a one term wonder if Labor had done to him what Abbott has just done to Rudd.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Greedy Little Pr*ck

That greedy little pr*ck Andrew Forrest is at it again. Having done a job on Kevin Rudd - he is now trying to destroy Ken Henry. Ken Henry has more brains, balls and cred than a dozen Twiggy's.

Forrest is the guy who went from zero to hero and became a multi billionaire in just 7 years of glad handing and slime dealing over there in the west. His wealth seems to have caused him to mistake his arse for his head.

He thinks his crowd of cronies can rape and pillage the place and steal our minerals with token payments to a lightweight and mediocre state government.

Divide and Conquer is their strategy - all to keep the mining CEO's and their Board's in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

This is the dirty little face of capitalism - the one that starts off mouthing great intentions but which quickly deteriorates into ignorance, ugliness and unbelievable greed.

And it needs to be cut-off at the knees - pronto.

Kevin and the Queen

So there you go. Kevin is toast and Julia is the Queen.

Not a bad outcome really.

Now the commentariat will be going at this for days - so there isn't much value that I can add - just yet.

Except to say one thing. Kevin did some things very well and some things quite badly but one big mistake he made was to push his religion at the rest of us. He even did that again in his *farewell* speech today. Just plain dumb.

The political analysts will dissect his time at the top and produce hectares of newsprint and hours of moving pictures - most of it bland and BS. And all of it designed for consumption by the punters and to enrich the moguls.

But one key reason why he is toast is because he let the "unelected lunatics in the religious right" dictate terms to the Australian people. And we don't like that very much.

Julia will get this and then hopefully she will bone the culprits. So I don't expect Steve Conroy will survive past midday Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I personally don't mind if we have sent our young men and women off to fight two wars in and around the Middle East - if they and their families don't have a problem with the consequences.

If they are happy to spill blood on foreign soil because they have been convinced that it is in their interests and the interests of the nation - then so be it.

It's not my job to remind them of the experience of the first world war.

But surely there does need to be some sort of *cost* for those who *engineered* these wars and sent them there?

Conservative politicians who thought that it was a good idea to blindly follow the Bush Bandit into these wars should be made to ensure that their children are first in the queue.

So how many offspring from Howard's Ministers are (a) In the armed forces and (b) In harms way? Let me guess the number - is it anywhere near SFA?

That is the problem - Virginia. The right wing conservatives are happy to start these wars but they have no clue about how to finish them and they make sure that the recipients of their DNA are well and truly hidden away from any danger.

Because they were "Born to Rule". And the rest of us were "Born to Sacrifice". So get used to it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Too smart by far

Bernard Keane has well and truly nailed Steve Fielding - here. Incredibly even Barney Rubble had a go at the goose - he is so annoyed that even the word mangler has been sounding statesmanlike ;-)

But as we know the real culprit is Steven Conroy and his nutters in the Victorian religious right - who helped put the goose there in the first place. Back in 2004 they thought they were geniuses - what a difference a term or two makes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Your ABC

Now I usually like what your ABC does. Most of the time it operates a factual and credible broadcasting service that is built around informing the nation. And it does this across multiple channels including - Television, Radio and the Internet.

But every now and then it follows in the footsteps of Cousin Rupert and makes stories up. Or more often what it does is copy the rubbish that has been made up by Rupert's minions and presents that content under an ABC banner.

This is probably because all the main stream media organisations are recruiting from the same limited talent pool. The Pareto principle applies here like it does everywhere else. The 80:20 rule means that it is difficult to find high quality regularly - and that is fair enough. My only advice to the ABC leadership is - "Try Harder".

But there is also another more sinister perspective to your ABC.

And that is the way that it ignores issues of national significance because it is often conflicted. It has a politicised board that works really hard to influence content. There is serious conflict of interest here that reflects the political nature of Board appointments. It's all "so 1990's, so conservative, so Bogan, so we know best".

And then we have a professional staff and management that are often champing at the bit but are prevented from doing a great job by this politicisation.

It's time your ABC became truly independent and removed the shackles of its political Board.

And then perhaps it could start to report on the facts - like those that are presented here and here.

Cheap dirt and a three-mogul split

Two articles by Possum - here and here - are all you need to know about the mining industry and it's profitability and why the miners are conducting their dirty little campaign against the Government.

No doubt *Fox News in Print* will resurrect it's "fair and balanced" mantra and stop the presses to run corrections all over their news and editorial pages. Yes but only in the afternoon edition on Mars Virginia ;-)

Where is the ABC with all of this? Can someone please ask Mark Scott if our National Broadcaster has a view and if one day they might manage to express it?

Friday, June 11, 2010

More shafting going on

One of the serious but unnoticed things that happened during the Howard era was the abrogation of responsibility to our people. The conservatives withdrew and reduced funding from many basic and key services - while supporting others that would win them short-term votes. Now this was a slow and non-obvious process but it had a big effect. The main thing that Howard did was to align Government programmes with a half baked right wing ideology. An ideology that came courtesy of Rupert and other big business masters. It took them a decade but they had a lot of success and most of us didn't even notice. Some of the "rusted on" still haven't.

The largest affected area was education. As a generalisation most Australian's don't value a tertiary education. I deal with lots of people, who have never been near a University, and most of them don't think their children or grand children should either. This is the "bogan class" who have a history of voting like their parents and responding to political bribes. They are called bogan for a reason - Virginia.

Now I only mention this because I was sitting in on a conversation today where the main participants (apparently important senior executives) were discussing the RSPT. You probably know this as the "Resource Rent Tax". And the truth is that not one of a gaggle of them had a blue clue about how it is supposed to operate. Apparently this is the private sector management and leadership elite of the nation and they don't get basic maths or logic or facts! Jesus.

Now there might be many reasons for this but one that is near the top of the list is the wilful destruction of our education system by the right wingers. They don't want our people to be smart or educated - because then they will be able to question what is going on around them. And if our people could do that then they would want to change some things. This is a big and serious issue.

Or at least it is to me. The rest of you may not give a rat's arse - but I do. And the scary thing is that no-one seems to notice or comment on it.

* We have dumbed down our national education system to the point where most Australian's won't participate.
* We have a national network of newspapers that is unbelievably bad - with more lies per square inch than anywhere.
* Our television stations manufacture and present the most god-awful crap - dressed up as entertainment?
* Don't even mention the radio networks - they need an enforced enema.

All to capture the eyeballs and eardrums of the "bogan class". These are the people Rupert has spent a lifetime creating and today with his big business mates and a bunch of ultra conservative politicians is building an industry to try to influence their minds. And the rest of us just sit around and twiddle our thumbs. WTF?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big Business and National Governance

Peter Martin had a great article in the Age yesterday about how the multinational mining companies don't intend to negotiate over the RSPT because they are trying to limit the government's power - and increase their own.

After I read this the light bulb immediately went on - with 100% luminance. It has been on ever since.

This explains a heckava lot about what has been going on.

The first thing that the miners are worried about if the RSPT gets up is that it will spread to other jurisdictions. And they will hate that because some of the big multinational miners are actually defacto governments in some places. We definitely can't have tin-pot regimes instigating a new resource rent tax in places where the miners are already more powerful than national governments. That wouldn't do at all.

The second thing is that this is about to become a mighty battle over governance and power. Power of a national government to rule and regulate and look after the national interest - versus the power of big business to ride roughshod over national governments. If this RSPT is defeated then the multinationals will have won and they will be able to do pretty much what they like - not just with mining. If the government wins then excessive corporate power will have been moderated - at least for a little while.

The real problem for the monk and the Coalition is that they have already declared their hand and fallen in with the multinational miners. So they will have a bit of explaining to do to the Australian people if the miners win and ride roughshod over the nation. How will they justify that?

Those rusted on Coalitionists should think about that for a moment. If the miners win this battle with your help - then you will be responsible for destroying a good part of the power our national government has to look after the national interest. What then? Some of you will think that is OK - because you don't understand the consequences but some will be horrified - along with the rest of us.

The coming election will be a monumental battle - and the outcome will determine whether we remain a democracy or end up under the control of multinational big business.

That is the 64k question to ponder - Virginia. I just hope our people are prepared.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An Embarrassment

Now it may well be that some of our citizens and a gaggle of B Grade Politicians don't understand much about the "RSPT" - otherwise known as the "Mining Tax".

They also don't understand "reality" and "truth" and "governance" and a host of other important things and most of them are also against "climate change". But is that any reason not to proceed?

Not in my view - Virginia.

Just because a small, vocal and ignorant minority manage to get a bit of air-time to express their half-arsed views doesn't mean that the rest of us should be concerned - or influenced.

We are living in a democracy and everyone is entitled to a view, but really - why does anyone think they all have equal value? They have no value unless they are properly considered and thought out and have some basis in fact.

But that seems to be what happens these days. One side of the debate generates a proposal based on science and facts and evidence and reason. And the other generates a BS emotional response. And then our media wants to present both views as if they were equal? Just dumb.

It's simple really. If you don't *get* the "mining tax" or "climate change" or a variety of other important social and economic policy issues then it is your job to educate yourself and find out something about them. There are plenty of quality sources.

It is your job to inform yourself so that you are able to participate in our democracy and add some real value.

Otherwise - you are just another embarrassment.


if Australian's {

* Are seduced by an opposition leader who can't tell the truth.
* Want a leader who flip flops around on policy like a second hand thong.
* Want to be governed by a motley crew that are barely numerate.

} and {

* If they really think that the mining industry is doing the right thing.
* Think Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest aren't ripping them off.
* Are happy to demonise asylum seekers and aborigines.

} while {

* Letting the real estate industry and the banks shaft them silly.

} then {

* Perhaps they should give the alternative regime a whirl.


It'll be fun to watch for a little while ;-)

Federal Seat of Melbourne

Now I really like Lindsay Tanner - he is one of the few genuinely competent and likeable frontbenchers in the current Government. He is well informed and articulate and he usually tells the truth. Half a dozen Lindsay's could wipe the floor with that Coalition rabble.

But there is a real chance that the Greens will roll him in the Federal seat of Melbourne at the next election.

And that will be a good thing. Not because the Greens have a superior candidate but because they represent change. And political change and renewal is desperately needed across Australia. Now if we could only get them to have a look at North Sydney ;-)

There will need to be consequences for this Government's abandonment of a real response to Climate Change and that could mean their defeat at the next election.

It would be a good thing - because it would send a strong message to future Governments about the need to honour their commitments.

Now there would be a downside - but my guess is that 3 years of the monk and his cronies would put Australian's off the Coalition for a generation ;-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's Confirmed

It's confirmed - Australians are highly educated, super smart, fantastic at maths, not easily misled, great judges of character, fully informed, in touch with reality - and every one of them is an expert on pretty much everything ;-)

* They certainly have those "boat people" sussed. Yeah send em back - Tony.

* Are really knowledgeable about the "RSPT". Go the miners - youse are the good guys.

* Have timed the "Housing Market" to perfection. Let’s all pay too much for another one!

Or perhaps not.

Who do you think they will blame when it all goes "pear shaped" and they realise that they don't have a blue clue about very much at all?

Yep that bloody useless Federal Government.

PS - And what's worse is that some MP's are near the top of the list of *brainiacs* when it comes to these things - as demonstrated by this. So this state MP has no clue about the RSPT but confidently predicts the demise of her electorate and local township.

There is a term for this but I'd probably get arrested if I said it ;-)