Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do you have a Plan B?

It is plainly true that the instinct and strategy of our Opposition leader is to lie, mislead and create fear amongst our people. He's clearly Prime Minister material, Virginia.

And the bulk of the daily output of our media is designed to misinform and deceive. They lie to us and we read and watch more of it - what does that tell you about the thinking capability of our people? Clearly few of us can reliably sort wheat from chaff.

Some want to make voting optional. I want to tighten the test. How can an ignorant, scared and uninformed populace know anything about what is in the national interest?

And our Government is so weak and timid that they won't stand up and be counted and deal with these things. They simply don't have a clue about what to do. Truth is they are gone for all money - surely they know that? This creates a great opportunity to do some good for the nation. But they won't because they wouldn't know where to start. What does that tell you about the quality of the MP's in the big seats? Abbott has a destructive strategy - but apparently Gillard has divine hope and a wish list.

Thinking Australians are horrified by it all.

To the Australian media - lie and cheat and connive and mislead all you like. Do your best to distort the truth. Do what you can to confuse and create fear among the people. Let the Murdoch press and Fairfax radio run riot. Even the ABC should keep trying to deceive the people. Go for it moguls and Mark Scott!

Because eventually your house of cards will collapse. Eventually even the most disinterested and uneducated and uninformed bogan will start to pay attention and they will see through your cunning stunts and they will revolt.

And then your days will be numbered. So I hope you have a Plan B.

Friday, July 15, 2011

We will not tolerate wrongdoing

Here is Rupert speaking about his hero and his business.

"Our new world is one of modern mass communication, phone and text, without limit. Democracy will be from the bottom up, not from the top down. Even so, a free society requires an independent press: turbulent …enquiring…bustling…and free.

That's why our journalism is hard-driving and questioning of authority. And so are our journalists. Often, I have cause to celebrate editorial endeavour. Occasionally, I have had cause for regret.

Let me be clear: We will vigorously pursue the truth – and we will not tolerate wrongdoing".

I wrote about this earlier - but worth another post given recent events.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What really happened?

What really happened on Sunday is that our Federal government moved the goalposts.

They have initiated a process to move government away from a focus on taxing income to a focus on taxing carbon.

So all those low tax obsessed conservative capitalists can decide for themselves how much tax they want to pay. If they really want to then they can work to decarbonise their businesses as soon as possible - and the benefit to them is that their tax bill will reduce.

Now that really is a perfect reverse wedge.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


A major opportunity has been created by the Murdoch "News of the World" phone hacking scandal and we shouldn't waste it.

That is the opportunity to do something seriously good for the nation by fixing our media.

After tomorrow, Julia and Co. will have dealt with the carbon problem and will have some time to focus on "other things" of substance.

My nomination for one of those "other things" is to take a serious look at Australian media including a detailed review and enquiry into the effect of the ownership by Rupert Murdoch of 70% of our print media. But don't stop there - we need to inquire fully into the operation of radio and television as well.

The review and associated enquiry should be short and sweet with the guiding principle being to look after the "National Interest" as opposed to the "Mogul Interest".

Lets not waste this opportunity - we may not get another.

PS - And if you doubt the need to include television in all this then you haven't been watching the "dingbat" performance on ABC Insiders.

Building the Education Revolution

There is one key thing that I would say about the "Building the Education Revolution Implementation Taskforce: Final Report" that was released yesterday - and it is this.

"The Murdoch press is continuing its grubby campaign against truth and facts and is doing its best to misinform you. If you want the real story around the Building the Education Revolution - then you will need to go here for the final report - and here for the media release".

I have just finished reading the final report and it is very illuminating. I have reproduced recommendation 4 below - in an attempt to highlight a few of the significant findings.

"Twenty years ago, the Productivity Commission published a major report into the construction industry. At that time, the four major issues limiting productivity improvement were: industrial relations, planning consents, Australian participation and project management.

The Taskforce believes the major issues confronting the construction industry today are different. The BER program has been notable for negligible industrial disruption, and we have observed the benefit of the BER streamlined planning approval process.

We have however witnessed deficiencies in the quality of workmanship, in project management, in public works capacity and in the framework of private certification.

Australia confronts a significant infrastructure and maintenance spend over the coming 20 years. The Taskforce recommends that the Productivity Commission update its work on the construction industry".

These are big issues - if our construction industry and our state governments haven't managed to deal with them over the past 20 years then perhaps we need to find others who will.

And perhaps we also need to find a media that will identify and report on the real issues - instead of their usual fluff and bubble.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fully Informed

It's pretty impressive stuff when the average "man in the street" can explain in great detail what is wrong with the nation and with our politics. And has advice on how to fix them both.

This was my experience earlier today.

An acquaintance bailed me up and proceeded to tell me how bad the economy is doing and how the place is right royally stuffed. Apparently all because our government has no idea how to run things and because those communist Greens are now running the place and trying to impose a world government.

He said that the carbon tax will decimate small business and turn the place into an economic wasteland - probably by the end of next week. The solution is that we need to install a coalition government as soon as possible - to stop the rot - and help our small business he said.

Interesting I said and risking another tirade, I asked him how he knew all this.

Well its obvious isn't it - and not only that but it's in all the newspapers, on talk back radio and on all the television news channels. And the chamber of commerce told me he said.

Well there you have it - our people are fully informed. Thanks for that Australian media.

There are just two small niggling issues - and I hate to mention them here.

Firstly, might there be "vested interests" who have captured our media and who are playing games with the "man in the street" all so they can push their dingbat agenda onto him? Surely not.

And secondly, might there be other viewpoints that are based on facts and real economic analysis - and which might be articulated by actual economists here and here?

Just asking.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Democracy and Greece

This is why "The Conversation" rules. "Greece debt crisis threatens democracy" is an amazing piece of work - well worth the time to read.

It's thought provoking stuff. A few extracts below.

"Unemployment officially stands at 16 percent; the figure is expected to jump sharply in coming months. Over 40 percent of the under-25s can’t find work; little wonder that some of them have joined the ranks of the so-called “known unknowns”, street fighters prepared to take on the widely-hated police."

"Syntagma Square is thus a lighthouse, an early warning station, a reminder of how easily democracy is destroyed whenever power is exercised invisibly, helped along by flat earth news, bribes in brown envelopes, backroom deals and government agreements fixed over long distances with powerful global organisations."

"Big media outlets are accused of being “part of the system”. Bankers and creditors are described as crooks; there are more than a few shouts to turn their guts into garters."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Never let the facts...

For those who are tuned in, politics in the USA has become amazingly bad and very ugly. And politics here are not far behind. I am pretty sure that we will catch up soon.

In the US all politics is to the right. The Democrats are on the right, the Republicans are on the far right and the Tea Party are on the extreme right. And then we have the Ayn Randians. The place is very unbalanced. And racist.

In the US the faux debate is around economics but that is just a smokescreen for race. The wingnuts who are to the right of the Democrats are annoyed that a black man is in the white house. They don't have a plan of their own but in between watching Fox News and throwing back a Bud or three - they are revolting. I could go on but I don't want any more misspelt death threats ;-)

Never mind that the last Republican white man to occupy the white house was just another wingnut - it appears as though a large number of Americans would still prefer him to a reasonably competent black man.

The debate over there seems dominated by three things - lies, lies and more lies. And a substantial amount of ignorance. OK that is four things.

Which is why the place is heading down the gurgler at a furious pace.

Which brings me back to our own little political adventures. Those of you who watch my blog will know that I am often railing against the dingbat right. The "policy free and populist" right that Mr Abbott is cheerleader of.

He was at it again this weekend over there in my hometown telling all and sundry that a carbon tax would decimate the place - doing his usual "scare the bogans" performance. Just like he did up the road a few months ago.

Of course what he probably isn't aware of is that the Liberal *base* and even large numbers in his own party are sick of his lies. They understand the "science and economics" around climate change - they know a carbon tax is necessary - and they just want to get on with it.

He looks to me like a dead man walking.

PS : And you dear reader would acknowledge that I write about the "right wing" quite a bit. Well today one of the Coalition rusted on's asked me what it was. "I don't know what a right wing is but I am a strong coalition supporter he said". Hmmm.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Populist

Funny isn't it how all those *in the know* political commentators talk about Mr Abbott being "populist". Now I don't disagree with this article - Laurie is usually very astute - but two things strike me about all this.

Firstly, the word "populist" might sound sophisticated and intelligent and chummy but how about decoding it for the masses. It might be terribly cool to be "policy free and populist" - but what does it all really mean.

Of course what they really mean to say is that "he is lying to you to exploit your greed and your fear". What they don't tell you is that "being populist = mucking about with your mind".

And secondly, what is the role of the actual voter in this little charade? If you assume for a moment that many voters are not actually able to decode the term "populist" then we are in deep doo-doo. Surely this group can't number more than a handful.

But what about the rest of us - how on earth do we manage to get through the day knowing that the nation's alternative leader is "lying to us to exploit our greed and our fear"? And how do these people feel about that?

That is the real elephant in the room - that no-one wants to talk about.

Apparently it's quite OK for an opportunistic politician to be "populist". But why is it also OK for a large group of the voting population to be so consumed by greed and fear that they are influenced by his deceit?

I dunno but I suspect this is the key to the dysfunctional nature of our polity.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Game

Here is some great advice on "How Not to Play the Game".

Far too confronting for most of us I suspect.