Tag Archives: Tony Abbott

Flat Earth Politics!

This article has been in the “thought” phase for quite some time now. I originally intended it to be an indictment of the Trump Presidency – and for the insularists who think American politics only affect America, and have nothing to do with us…do some reading, study some history and grow up – but in the face of the current political climate globally, its scope expanded so much that I was  losing track of its reach! On reviewing the current thinking vomited out by so called right-wing conservative extremists, the first thing that flashed through my mind when wanting to write about them was that they had a Flat Earth Mentality…a narrow, self-serving view of the world; a blinkered view in which the wants and needs of those who, thinking they were initiating change, put them in control. I had naively thought the stupidity I was witnessing would diverge into common sense – but that hasn’t been the case! It has only been since the recent French elections, and the rejection of the right wing extremism there that I am starting to hope that change is starting to happen as people begin to realise the dangers inherent in current conservative politics. This article is not about a solution, nor is it a definitive  observation of all that is concerning at this time – one would need a novel to cover that! It is purely a personal observation of the dangers of Flat Earth thinking!

Flat earth theory is still around. On the internet and in small meeting rooms in Britain and the US, flat earth believers get together to challenge the “conspiracy” that the Earth is round.
“People are definitely prejudiced against flat-earthers,” says John Davis, a flat earth theorist based in Tennessee, reacting to the new Microsoft commercial.

“Many use the term ‘flat-earther’ as a term of abuse, and with connotations that imply blind faith, ignorance or even anti-intellectualism.”

Mr Davis, a 25-year-old computer scientist originally from Canada, first became interested in flat earth theory after “coming across some literature from the Flat Earth Society a few years ago”.

“I came to realise how much we take at face value,” he says. “We humans seem to be pleased with just accepting what we are told, no matter how much it goes against our senses.”

Flat Earth Societies go back to the Victorian era, and though basically of Christian origin, the fact that there is a recent (tongue-in-cheek?) resurgence amongst those of an Atheist inclination   shows that narrow-minded and non-investigative thinking survives the passage of time.

We have known for centuries that the earth is not flat, that by sailing in a straight line the horizon will never disappear, so you won’t suddenly sail over the edge into oblivion! But the really fascinating aspect of Flat Earth Societies isn’t  that they exist, but that they can – against all reasoned thinking and knowledge – convince others that the earth is flat, and can even produce writings, drawings and arguments to back the theory up! In other words, they can prevail against common sense and observation, and make people believe that lies and deceit are real. However, the ignorant thinking that created the Flat Earth Societies in the first place is now a sad reality in our political lives. The notion of government “of the people, by the people, for the people” has morphed into government “of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy” is our new reality!

Flat Earth map drawn by Orlando Ferguson in 1893. The map contains several references to biblical passages as well as various jabs at the

In supposed enlightened countries such as Australia, America & the United Kingdom, the swing towards conservative, riggt-wing (rxtremist) politics, and the dross that this leaning brings with it is particularly concerning, and the foolhardiness of allowing this thinking to permeate our political systems is rapidly showing a divisive and reckless disregard for social fairness, truth, justice and common sense. The propagators of this system of thinking are rapidly back-peddling us towards oblivion with their flat earth mentality!

In Australia, we are all yoo familiar with Flat Earth politics -we have now had decades of it, and it’s wearing us out! From the Howard years, with its total disregard for the dignity and worthiness of our immigrant populations – including so-named “boat people”; it’s total ignoring of the needs of elderly & disabled populations (I clearly remember budget after budget with not even a mention of pension increases, despite the cost of living rises leaving us far behind); the usual right wing panderings to the wealthy – both individual & corporate; and their eventual demise thanks to flogging their dead horse…WorkChoices, which in reality gave no worker a choice at all – to the disillusionment of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years! 

Instead of giving the hard-pressed, ignored people of this country a hoped for government that would be fair and equitable, we ended up with a rabble! Despite great promise in some areas – such as a huge (badly needed) pension rise, and steering us strongly through the Global Financial Crisis by encouraging spending, and putting money into public works to keep employment rates high and money circulating – they soon decended into a politicking, rudderless (no pun intended!) mess, with a PM who was bever home to do his job, who micro-managed his cabinet, over-loaded himself with portfolios, and was too busy trying to be popularist to get things right! With the country being governed by the deputy PM, and with some good policies that were (unfortunately) badly thought out, and rushed – it was inevitable that in-fighting would rock the boat. But even with Julia Gillard – who was never given a fair-go – at the helm, what should have been easy legislation to enact – marriage equality for LGBTQ people…ESPECIALLY in a Labor government…became their Flat Earth stumbling block! Our first ever female PM; not married to her partner; an Atheist; a disappointment! Follow this with a second travesty of a spill, returning a now ineffective Rudd to power – no wonder the ultra conservative LNP was returned to power…despite having an inept clown – Tony Abbott – as its leader!

Abbott was the ultimate Flat Earther! Disbanding revenue-raising taxes legislated by Labor; a climate change denier; a misogynist; a practising Catholic who dragged religious ideology into his political life, thus his decision making processes; a nentality that belonged in the 50s – his resurrection of the antiquated  British peerage system was a low point of a patheticly short stint as PM; again, the inability…on supposed moral grounds…of marriage equality legislation though he tried to set in motion a plebiscite on the issue; disgusing treatment of immagrints fleeing wars & persecution, and setting ip what were basically inhumane detention centres to hold them; allowing the corrupt, immoral rantings of the Murdoch press to comment on his every word; his inability to accept blame for a rapidly rising deficit, producing one of the worst – and most controversial – budgets in Australia’s history…while all the time blaming Labor for their inability to rein it in; and finally bowing out as the worst polling PM in our history, leading the worst polling government in our history! Enter Malcolm Turnbull! Despite a reputation for being a left-leaning Liberal, he was – and is – a bitter disappointment to both sides of parliament! Having already ruined the National Broadvand Network…a technology that would have made us world leaders in this area…he then proceeded to disallusion  everyone by towing the party line on issues such as immigration; the handling of detention centres; same-sex marriage; privatisation; total neglect and disregard for those on welfare – including unemployment; the attempted dismantling of section 18C of the anti-discrimination act…which they still fail to see the immorality in, despite the attempt failing; continued pandering to wealthy & elitist individuals and companies…not ONCE has any of the LNP even suggested clawing back taxation not paid by many of the same businesses and corporations that the government loves to protect!! At the last election, they were returned by one seat – ONE! Next election, they’ll be out!

Unfortunately for our poor, battered (politically) country, our Flat Earthers are not limited to Howard, Abbott & Turnbull – we seem to be inundated with them at this point in time; Pauline Hanson, Bob Katter, Barnaby Joyce, George Brandis, Christopher Pyne, Nick Xenophon, George Chritiansen, Ian McFarlane, Warren Truss – to name a few – really point to a very low point in the Australian political landscape. These bastions of non-ethical, immoral, injust & prejudiced bias to a set of values entrenched in a distant past can now pride themselves of making us one of the few first world countriens to NOT have marriage equality! Good on you, guys!

Note that I am not even wasting breath on our latest promoter of “Christian” values, and biblical  ethics – Margaret Court! She could form a Flat Earth Society all on her own! From record holding national tennis icon to moronic foot-in-mouther…in one single step! If nothing else, she has proved the Flat Earthedness of religion at it’s most backward and inane.

This, in turn, leads to America! If Abbott was our ultimate Flat Earther…Trump is theirs! America, by their own admission, has had some dud Presidents – Nixon & the Bush’s for starters! But this is the first time they have had one who is truly dangerous! An Oligarch, an elitist, a brutish, rascist, misogynistic, self-serving businessman! And unfortunately for America, it’s outdated, and downright idiotic voting system is the only reason he is there! American (and indeed nany Australians) think that putting Trump into power really has no affect on us over here! Wrong! We are tied to America through treaties,  military involvement, and trade to a greater degree! 

I have never seen a President parodied, and memed as much as Trump! To the point of embarrassment, as he does little to help the possible softening of social media blows!One is just staggered at the stupidity of an electoral system that can place a corrupt, mentally ill, uneducated, egotistical man in as POTUS! He has the attention span of a gnat, no plan for anything he’s doing, abusing his executive powers, evidently removing financial regulations (wonder who could profit from that!), has put his family into his administration (nepotism!), has put people in to head things like the EPO who are only in favour of making money and don’t give a fuck about the environment; has refused to separate his business dealings from his Presidency (causing conflict of interest); has…to date…refused to disclose his taxation records; creates policy on the run – then when the courts say it’s not legal…throws a tanty because he didn’t get his way…and the CIA are refusing to implement the policy as well; has made an enemy of the media – a big mistake, as nothing he does will go unreported; thinks a country can be run like a business! It can’t! Very few – if any – of his electoral promises will be fulfilled, including Making America Great Again! The only people benefiting from the Donald J Trump Presidency…are the Trumps!  His isolationist approach will, if it continues, see America cut off from most of the world powers! That will not stregthen America…only weaken it! He is already denounced by most of the European powers, his recent visit there nothing but a total fiasco for America, as he tried to bully and threaten his way through meetings and conferences! The only thing he managed was the alienation of world leaders of countries such as Germany & France! On the world stage, he is a total failure! His ignorance of the workings of international politics; his inability to be a public speaker; his constant obsession for inane tweets on Twitter; his inability to check himself; using the treasury like his own bank account…who pays for all those golfing weekends to Florida, and all the security surrounding Trump Tower vecause his family don’t want to reside in the White House; his firing of staff because they don’t fall into line with his demands…the list goes on…and on…and on…make him a true Flat Earther! The back-slapping that went on with the ultra right wing consrrvative British PM – Theresa May – was vomitous! Another Flat Earth politician, whose reign may be about to come to an end! The resurgence of white supremacist groups, the trend towards irrational thinking, the clutching to empty promises, and the belief in resurrecting what can’t be resurrected in America is worrying – particularly for the welfare of America.  

Theresa May, like Malcolm Turnbull, is a victim of thinking that the public – in general – are also Flat Earth thinkers! Very wrong! Like Turnbull, she assumed that by calling an early election, the ounlic would hand her a mandate to govern – at will – on a silver platter! Well, as here, that didn’t go as planned, did it! The voters, finally fed up with empty promises, warped thinking, and over-inflated ego’s almost lost her everything…as also happened here! A hung parliament is just one small step away from a total drubbing at the next election! And typical of the desperation to cling to power at any cost…she now tries to do deals with the devil! To attempt a coalition government with the DUP (created by the Rev Ian Paisley…the Flat Earthers Flat Earther) will pretty well spell the demise of the Tories, as a party to be even considered serious government. What a disterous mess for Britain! Welcome to the world of Clayton’s government! The government you have, when you don’t have a government!

However, it is not all doom & gloom! Emmanuel Macron winning the recent French election against the ultra conservative right brightened up an otherwise overcast international…and local…political climate! Other rays of hope and enlightenment – come from Justin Trudeau in Canada, and the potential new world leader – whose strength and forthrightness is to be  commended –  Angela Merkel in Germany. None of these world leaders suffer idiots well. Meanwhile, here in Australia, we continue to suck arse to Trump…all the while looking more and more foolish!

I do predict an end to extremist ultra conservative right wing politics! World wide, those suppressed and disadvantaged…the disenfranchised…are fighting back via the ballot box! Weary of supporting those who take advantage of us; weary of money dictating policy; weary of watching the “haves” get away with it yet again, and feeding none of their ill-gained wealth back into society; weary of shouldering the whole tax burden, while watching welfare stripped away, health care & education underfunded or disbanded; weary of religion creating factions, terrorism, social inequality, and dividing peoples & nations; weary of the environment being raped, ecosystems destroyed, whole species decimated or extinct; weary of no one caring about what is now very obvious climate change; weary of media who no longer see the validity of honest, open, accurate reportage from journalists that care about their job to report things as-is, but belittle it with trivia disguised as news (see Pipoa Middletons wedding, or Scharpelle Corby’s return to Australia); weary of media saturation of terrorist activities, and natural disasters, so desensitising us that we no longer care…do, in fact, change channels; and weary of social media stripping us of our individuality…making us double check ourselves everytime we post, repost, or comment! 

We can only spend so much time and energy being weary! It is only a matter of time before the scales tilt the other way…to us wanting to be awake, aware and happy again!

That day is coming! The reign of the Flat Earthers is coming to an end!

Tim Alderman (C 2017)

References:

Political Snippet! Whether “Peta” or “Peter”, the shit sticks!

Poor Peta Credlin! For the uninitiated, the FORMER chief-of-staff to the FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott! Seems she feels as though she copped a raw deal from both Cabinet ministers, and journalists! Well Peta…lets look at the last two jokes of years. As chief-of-staff, you are in a position of power! So much so that it is said that you, in fact, ran the country! Considering the fiasco of the last two years, neither you…nor your boss… did a very good job. A bully, by any other name or sex, is still a bully. And that is where your reputation will sit! Alienating ministers, denying them access to the PM…irrespective of how ineffective he is…is not a good move. Taking every opportunity to feather your own nest, be in every overseas photograph, making public commentary on issues, is NOT working quietly behind the scene! Your claims of sexism in regards to your position are just bull! Whether you are a “Peta” or a “Peter”, you would have had your butt kicked for sheer ineptitude!!

You are now out of office, so just shut up!

Tim Alderman (C) 2015

Political Snippet: The disquieting silence

Things have gone very quiet since Malcolm Turnbull took over as Prime Minister. I am so used to Tony Abbott’s daily fuck-ups…which always managed to make the news…that I find this lack of tact, and myriad of blunders, very unsettling! And as a friend pointed out on FB last week, without Abbott he now has no one to have a go at every day. I commented…just give it time!

They say a new broom sweeps clean, and that would appear to be the truth. A new frontbench,including 5 women – one of who is Minister for Defence! That would NEVER have gappened under Abbott’s watch! 

It appears to be a considered Cabinet, and will be interesting to watch, as will Turnbull! Despite being in a right-wing conservative government, Malcolm leans strongly to the left, and believes in social reform, and a contemporary society – the exact opposite to Abbott’s conservatism, much of which was vased on religious belief…don’t even start me on mixing religion and politics!

I think he will pander to the old government policies until the election next  year…then I wouldn’t be surprised to see some very Laborcentric polices rolled out for the election. Truth is, electing Turnbull has put the Libs in a strong position for re-election, whereby Abbott would have ensured great losses, including seats. The Labor party now have a fight on their hands, and with Bill Shorten fronting them, I don’t fancy their chances.

Watch this space!

Tim Alderman (C) 2015

Political Snippet: Yet another Prime Ministerial spill!

The inept and much despised Tony Abbott is NO LONGER OUR PM. You can probably hear the corks popping thousands of miles away! Five Prime Ministers in something like 8 years – a record for Guinness, undoubtedly! I can hardly believe I no longer have to look at hus ugly face, listen to his inarticulate speech, put up with any mire if his policy-on-the-run, and idiotic “Captains calls” that have nade all Austealians look like idiots on the world stage!

Already celebrations are underway on social media as the excitement ramps up at this horrid mans well-deserved demise! Never in the political history of this country has a PM been hated so much, ir a government been so inept. It had gotten so bad that his own party turned against him! You can’t run a country on three word slogans, and by pushing uour own Catholic and far right-wing agendas. Nor can you expect people to support out-dated policies, and a lack of humanity, compassion and emoathy in what you espouse. People, especially voters, deserve and exoect more.

Along with getting rid if him we also dispense of the horrendous bunch of incompetent ministers called a frontbench. At least Julie Bishop had the sense to desert the sinking ship.

And Turnbull…we’ll just have to wait and see! At leadt he has a living example of what NOT to be like!

Farewell Abbott! No one will weep for you! Now to repair all the damage you caused! Fuck off – I never want to see or hear from you EVER again!

Tim Alderman (C) 2015

  

Political Commentary: Good Government Starts Today…Not!

Well, the spill didn’t rid us of the cause of our bad government, though with 40% of his backbench voting in favour of spilling him as PM, Tony Abbott has had a big shock…though I fear not big enough! Not only is he extremely unpopular with the voters – he jeeps insisting he was voted in as PM, when in fact it is his PARTY (LNP) that is voted in, and as leader he becomes PM by default – but a large portion of his own party don’t support him! It’s a fiasco of the highest degree!

To make it worse, his Cabinet (Frontbench) have supported him, though in some cases, I would say, reluctantly! If there had been a vote in favour of the spill, it would have been interesting to see who would have pushed him into his grave – where he is toppling anyway – and taken over as PM”. So, we are stuck with an idealistic, ineffective, and unpopular PM, likewise for Treasurer, likewise for Education minister, likewise for Health minister, likewise for Immigration minister, and likewise for Welfare minister! Makes you wonder, doesn’t it! Philip Ruddock, a long serving Liberal minister going back to the Howard era, and who did nothing to halt the spill motion has suddenly been “retired” as party whip. Has Abbott seen him as a turncoat?

Despite not having the numbers to create the spill, it is touted that Abbott will not be around for a lot longer. His inability to be likeable, his low ranking in the polls, the voter backlash against him and his government, his inability to get the budget through the senate without either watering down policies, or dropping them altogether, the lack if support from his own backbench, and accusations of his lack of accessibility to his ministers, and giving his Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin, too much authority are pretty much sounding his death knell. It is being touted that the damage is so bad that this will be yet another one-term LNP government. Pass the poison chalice, please! “Captains calls”, as Abbott likes to describe any motion he independently puts forward ,without advice from his colleagues, have been nothing short of disastrous! Captains calls on the Medicare rebate (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-20/shelving-medicare-rebate-cut-not-captains-call-abbott/6028376), the absolutely ludicrous granting if a knighthood to Prince Phillip – not to mention the actual reintroduction of this antiquated system of honours – which was both farcical and embarrassing (http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/newspapers-nationwide-condemn-tony-abbotts-captains-call-20150127-12yrzy.html), a “phantom” call on Renewable Energy Targets – considering how much international stick he has received on dumping the Carbon Tax, which nit only worked, but brought in revenue (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/labor-accuses-abbott-of-phantom-captains-call-on-renewables), and the absolutely absurd news today that he wanted to commit 3,500 Australian troops on the ground in Syria to stop ISOS advance, without the combined aid of NATO and US forces, which would have been disastrous for the Australian troops (http://www.pedestrian.tv/news/arts-and-culture/report-reveals-tony-abbott-suggested-a-solo-austra/ab72fdc7-babf-41f7-84da-ee887b87dec9.htm). Please note: this man is currently “running” our country!

Of course, we can add to this his rude and unjust attack on a report into our abuse of the rights of asylum seekers in detention centres released by the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Gillian Trigg, which caused a flood of controversy (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-21/bradley-triggs-and-human-rights-why-attacking-her-is-wrong/6030256) and so it goes on.

After a week of supposed “good government” (Heaven knows what we have had since his election!), Lyn Bender, a freelance writer, wrote a piece comparing Abbott’s blunders to what Sigmund Freud (she is a psychologist herself) would have to say about them. It is humorous….but also revealing;

“1. The suppository of wisdom

“No one – however smart, however well-educated, however experienced – is the suppository of all wisdom.”
Sigmund says: I am totally fixated at the anal stage.

2. Good government starts today

“All of us are determined to lift our game and the fundamental point I make is that the solution to all of these things is good Government, and good Government starts today.”
Sigmund says: My Government has been total crap until now.

3.“We are not the Labor Party”

“I want to make this very simple point: we are not the Labor Party, we are not the Labor Party and we are not going to repeat the chaos and the instability of the Labor years.”
Sigmund says: We don’t have a clue who we are, but we are not them and anything bad is all their fault.

4.Tony Abbott’s “knightmare”

Tony Abbott awards a knighthood to Prince Phillip on Australia Day.

Sigmund says: Australia is a British colony and I am a proud Englishman; I prefer the last century – or, better still, the one before – and want to go back there.

5. The Minister for Women and the carbon tax

“… as many of us know,women are particularly focused on the household budget and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550-a-year benefit for the average family.”
Sigmund says: Women’s place is in the home – shopping, cooking and ironing their man’s shirts – while men go out and run the world. And stuff the environment.

6. Prime minister for Aboriginal Affairs

“It is my hope that I could be, not just a prime minister, but a prime minister for Aboriginal Affairs. The first I imagine that we have ever had.”
On the morning of the spill, Abbott ignored the “Freedom Summit” of Indigenous people camped outside Parliament – as did the media – as he strode off to fight the spill. He paid no attention to the Aboriginal grandmothers protesting increasing rates of child removal.

Sigmund says: I said what I said to become prime minister — I’d sell my arse to be PM! The fate of Indigenous people means nothing to me in comparison to remaining in power. Their problems are not my problem.

7. No guilt about children in detention

Responding angrily to a damning Human Rights Commission report on the damage done by Australia to children in detention, Abbott declared:

“I reckon that the Human Rights Commission ought to be sending a note of congratulations to Scott Morrison saying ‘Well done mate because your actions have been very good for the human rights and the human flourishing of thousands of people’.”
When asked if he felt any guilt over the horrifying findings in the AHRC report, including the heartbreaking pictures of young children in locked confinement, Abbott replied: “None whatsoever.”

In fact, said Abbott, it was the Human Rights Commission that should be “ashamed of itself”.

Sigmund says: Thus spake the narcissist, in deep denial, projecting his feelings of guilt and shame.

Repressed denied impulses can break out, in spite of attempts to suppress them. That is why Tony Abbott keeps accidentally showing his true colours despite all his protestations.

The Liberal Party can now barely contain its rebellion, even as it protests its unity. The Party doesn’t need a facelift — it needs a heart transplant, writes columnist Waleed Aly.

Tony Abbott has revealed himself to be self-centred, cruel, mean, petty and concerned only with his own survival.

But he now claims to have changed, overnight. He has declared that the spill motion experience has been a chastening experience and that he has learned and is listening.

But his subsequent actions – such as blaming the Opposition for a jobs “holocaust” and using parliamentary privilege to politicise and prejudice an alleged terror attack investigation – show this up for the lie that, of course, it was always going to be:”

(https://mobile.twitter.com/lynestel)

After the sacking of Philip Ruddock as Chief Party Whip, Bob Ellis from the Independent Australia had the following to say on what nows seems the rapid demise of Abbott as PM

“With Tony Abbott sacking Philip Ruddock as Liberal Party chief whip yesterday, it is certain Tony Abbott has weeks, not months, left in the top job, says Bob Ellis.

In his film of Richard III, Laurence Olivier, felled by arrows, writhes and twitches on the ground while Richmond’s soldiers jeer him. Tony Abbott is now in a similar twitching and writhing.

The numbers on Monday doomed him, but the Ruddock sacking brought forward the day of his execution. It may occur, now, before Chan and Sukumaran’s, in ten or 11 days’ time.

What is going on in the Prime Minister’s head? If the sneered response “brain damage” can be discarded – and maybe it can’t – it has to be to do with his Catholic upbringing and the consequent abiding habits of mind.

Under Catholicism, you ‘wipe the slate clean’ by Confession, and a number of Hail Marys, and all is well. You admit, with words, your sin, and expiate your sin with words and are then, being cleansed, allowed to sin again.

And to Tony Abbott, the words matter, only the words matter, and the deeds that follow can contradict them.

There will be “no more captain’s picks”; yet the meeting was brought forward, Credlin retained and Ruddock removed. He said “good government starts today”, and a shambles ensues. It is revealed that child abuse occurred on Christmas Island, and like the Catholic church, he denies it, says he feels no guilt “whatsoever” and proposes to martyr Gillian Triggs for unveiling the truth: suicidal children, buggered by their guardians and bashed for talking about it.

And now we see Ruddock, past hero of ‘border protection’, auteur of the 2001 win, sacked.

It was almost certainly to do with his expression, and body language, when he revealed on Sunday it was Abbott, not he, who had brought the meeting forward, and it was, though he did not say is, a ‘captain’s call’.

It is likely now that Turnbull has about 47 votes, and five or six more will come across by the middle of next week.

And another spill vote will be put the following Monday, or Tuesday, or Thursday.

And Abbott and Hockey will go to the back bench and an early election occur, if the poll numbers surge, and they will, towards Turnbull, around Anzac Day, on April 30 perhaps; or soon after a well-crafted Budget comes down, and the Coalition’s numbers reach 49.

It is certain now Abbott has weeks, not months. He has tried the patience again of those who doubted him already and lost their regard forever. And now he is done and finished.

And writhing on the battleground.

(https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-abbott-the-termination,7371)

The Sydney Morning Herald summed it up very nicely in this piece from the 15th February 2015

“That being said, Abbott’s ploy makes good political sense: in the face of terrible polling, rising unemployment, slowing growth, parliamentary incompetence and internal discord, the only card Abbott can play is the one marked “I’m keeping you safe from the scary things!”

The message ends with an assurance that part of that safety hinges on the successful passage of the government’s still-unpassed suite of laws forcing internet service providers to retain information on what their users do online – which, as attorney-general George Brandis has made clear, is an unfortunate but necessary step for our national security.

And to be fair, he’s half right: it’s definitely unfortunate. Luckily, it’s also definitely not necessary!”

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/view-from-the-street-tony-abbott-declares-no-more-mr-nice-guy-20150215-13fa8y.html?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Afac-13omn1676-edtrl-other%3Annn-17%2F02%2F2014-edtrs_socialshare-all-nnn-nnn-vars-o

But there us worse to come yet with the potential signing of the TPP – Trans Pacific Partnership, which will, inevitably, prove disastrous for Australian business, manufacturers and consumers as the big countries boss us around. There us currently a big hue & cry over it (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-25/multi-lateral-trade-deal-inches-closer-with-sydney-meeting/5840762).

Details if the trade agreement have been kept secret from the Australian public, and The Greens have raised the issue in the Senate and requested the papers be made available for scrutiny (http://peter-whish-wilson.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/greens-continue-seek-end-secrecy-over-china-free-trade-deal)

So, I have waited two weeks for good government to start. It hasn’t! Nor, in my opinion, will it! We have a dud PM, and a good-as-dead government! Flogging a dead horse will not save it! It’s time for the voters to say enough is enough! Call another election and let true good government rule!

Tim Alderman
(C) 2015

P.S. Cartoons are too numerous to count, but here is an example:

IMG_3810

If you put lipstick on a pig it is still a pig.

IMG_3812

IMG_3811

Political Commentary: The Spill

I always try to keep politics out of my blog – considering religion and sex are there, a bit pointless really – but considering the current circus in both Stare and Federal politics in Australia, it is impossible to remain indifferent. Also, as a writer, it frustrates me to have articles in my head that are not being committed to hard-copy.

So a run-down on current events. The conservative right-wing LNP(Liberal National Party) have been ousted in both Victoria and Queensland recently, and are pretty well on the nose in other stares, and likely to be voted out at the next elections held. The Federal LNP government is in total disarray at the moment. It is a mess that is slowly being cleaned up, and the lessons learned are many!

Australia tends to be a bit of a laconic country, the people easy-going, not tending towards great political experiments, but rather politicians who will just do what they are supposed to do…run the country without corruption or ridicule, with fairness and equity for all. The era of “the fair go for all” is not over yet! In my own state of Queensland, this hope of fair, equitable government was destroyed by the recently ousted Newman government, headed by Premier Campbell “Can Do” Newman, who swept into power three years ago on a massive swing against the Labor government that effectively left us without an opposition party, opening the doors to excess and self-indulgent government in the LNP almost unparalleled. One of their first actions – granting themselves massive pay increases, while regaling us with tales of what an economic mess the state was in. This was followed up – not in order – by destroying both health and education systems, trying to force doctors onto contracts, the disassembling of sexual health clinics, disability services, cuts to arts funding, withdrawal of funding to support services, the instigation of new laws without consultation, the dismantling of the state corruption watchdog, increasing police powers, proposed legislation to allow mining near our protected Great Barrier Reef, proposed dredging in the reefs to allow ships to cross the reef, and the promised drop in our electricity bills that never happened etc etc.The list goes on and on! However, the sale (jokingly referred to as renting out) of our public assets was the straw that broke the camels back! The Premier himself was an arrogant, bullying man, full of his own self-importance. Three years was enough. We gave them a hammering two weeks ago that it will take them a long time to forget. His party not only lost power, he lost his own seat of Ashgrove. An instance if kharma at work! The second one-term government to be flushed down the toilet!

The political landscape has changed. Once upon a time we gave a governing party – irrespective of what doubts we may have had – two, even three, terms to get it right. Not any more! We are all so aware of the bullshit now, that all politicians are tarred with the same brush, they never keep their promises, and they are not to be trusted! But then, we have the two-party-preferred model here, and it is rapidly proving ineffective!

So the current circus with our Federal LNP government in Canberra comes as no shock to us! Also coming into power – by a VERY small majority – after a backlash against our Rudd/Guillard/Rudd Prime Ministerial fiasco (whereby our OM changed three times in six years due to party infighting and power-mongering, and as the result of some badly to instituted policies early on after their election, due to a rush to fulfill their electoral promises. Kevin Rudd himself, though popular, was a bad choice as PM, as he loved to micro-manage, and took more portfolios upon himself than he could manage. He also liked to spend a lot of time outside the country! Julia Guillard was a hard, pragmatic woman who stood up for herself against misogyny, and an unbreakable glass ceiling) has proven himself the class clown – though on an international stage! Being leader of the opposition for a long time, he has always been hungry for the position, and having been handed it on a silver platter, he is not willing to let it go. An ultra-conservative right-winger, a Roman Catholic, a climate change denier, anti-social justice, misogynist, a follower and idoliser of the philosophies of the (nut case) B.A. Santamaria, inept, stumbling and mumbling his Speedo-clad torso from one – embarrassing disaster to another on the world stage, disliked and alienated by other world leaders (who else could have a G20 Conference for world leaders in his own country, and in his opening address complain about local policy issues that are just that…local!) he has managed to lead his Cabinet (consisting of one woman, while making himself Minister For Women) and backbench almost back to the 1950s, an era he feels very comfortable in.

So far they have managed to disassemble our Carbon Tax policy (despite the fact it worked), our Mining Tax policy (pleasing no one except mining companies), we have no Minister for Science, no Minister for ageing or Disabilities. Funding has been slashed to the CSIRO (our internationally recognised science and research institute), our public broadcasters the ABC & SBS, funding to arts and cultural groups, medical and educational funding etc etc. in their first budget, they tried to dismantle Medicare (our “free” health care system that is actually funded through an income tax levy) by introducing a $7 GP co-payment, increasing costs of PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which gives us subsidised medicines), decreasing pensions (thus leaving many in dire poverty), changing how Centrelink and the dole works, the proposed deregulation of university fees (opening the doors to students loading themselves with $100,000 degrees and huge, unpayable HECS debts), a Paid Parental Leave Scheme tagged as welfare for the wealthy, unsustainable child-care costs, the supposed Stop-the-Boats…Operation Sovereign Borders policies, which has seen us treat asylum seekers like third world “illegal immigrants” and again the list goes on and on. Most of this stupidity has been stopped by a strong opposition and cross-bench. Their pandering to mining and big business has been truly out of control! Of most recent repute are Abbott’s reintroduction of knighthoods (the cause of much hilarity online), and his ludicrous, humiliating granting of an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh! Talk about breaking the camels back! In the face of a neverending string of farces that have reflected badly on all of us, there has finally been a backbench revolt. In recent polls, the Labor party lead (in two-party preferred) 57 to 43. As preferred PM, Bill Shorten (the Labor leader) leads by 44/27. This could not be worst for the LNP government, so a change of PM and Cabinet is strongly on the cards!

Though that it will make any difference in the polls…I doubt it! Even if he wins the spill, his name is still mud, and it is highly unlikely he will go into the next election as PM. And whether they like to admit it or not, they are highly likely to be our next one-term government. I have never seen a worst performing PM, or government, in all my 43 years as a voter! I have never seen Australia more abused or humiliated, our reputation for equality and fairness in tatters, our belief in looking after those less able – low-income, homeless, disabled, elderly, indigenous – badly eroded, our cost-of-living rising while all the time – 18-months into their election – the LNP still like to bleat on about it all being Labor’s fault, that the national deficit is all Labor’s fault despite the LNP having more than doubled it. There us one thing they have taught us for sure – when it comes to fixing budgets, you make the elderly, disabled and low-incomed pay your way out of it, as the upper and of town – banking, big corporations – and mining companies get richer and richer. A car industry…we no longer have one! Whatever they choose to do, it is never going to put money in my pocket!

So bring on the spill, though what we really need is not a change of PM, but a change of government!

Tim Alderman
(C) 2015

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