We know how to make Australia a better place and it’s not that hard.
Thursday September 20th, 6 pm
Paperchain bookstore, or phone 6295 6723
34 Franklin St Manuka ACT
“This is an immensely positive book … a potential ignition point for the revolution we must have if our descendants are to survive the twenty first century” – Emeritus Prof Bob Douglas, AO
Once, Australia was a world leader, resilient, bold, socially progressive.
[This was written ten days ago and I thought it was dead and gone. But lo, my reliable Independent Australia eventually got around to it. By the way it’s worth seeing the video of George Lakoff there, if you have 35 minutes to spare. He elaborates the ‘strict father’ and ‘nurturing parent’ world views that lie behind ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’ attitudes.]
The ABC is pandering more and more flagrantly to the Far Right.
Monday 3rd of September was a good night for the Far Right on the ABC. There was a 45-minute exclusive platform for Steve Bannon, alt-Right champion and Trump booster, in an interview on the Four Corners program. Later Q&A, which regularly includes at least one Far Right panel member, had three out of five, including – spare us – radio shock jock Alan Jones, as if he needs another megaphone.
This while the ABC is re-running a version of “It’s your ABC” featuring nostalgic clips of the Bananas in Pajamas and the lovely Noni of Playschool. Only it’s not our ABC any more. It has been the Liberal Party’s ABC for some time.
If everyone could see the record of global temperature for the past 140 years there might be a lot less denial. So I made a poster of it. Spread it around. (Click on it to see it enlarged.)
[Didn’t get any takers for this commentary, then it got stale. There may be more opportunities before too long.]
It’s not the salespeople, it’s the product. The product does not serve the people and the people know it, so they keep rejecting the salesperson.
You might think, after a parade of six short-term Prime Ministers, and counting, that this diagnosis of Australia’s political instability might be more commonly perceived, but much of the attention remains on more superficial factors like personality, technology, social media and so on. Even when the political product is questioned few seem to appreciate the depth of its inadequacy.
I will be promoting Desperately Seeking the Fair Go at several events in the near future.
Saturday August 25th, 9:45 am
King’s Hall, Museum of Australian Democracy (i.e. Old Parliament House). Introduced by Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas, AO, Founding Director of Australia 21. See details here. Part of the Canberra Writers Festival.
Evidently Tony Abbott and John Howard feel western civilisation is under threat. Actually they’d be right about that, at least regarding the image of it they seem to hold.
They wanted to set up a big new teaching program at the Australian National University, funded by the Ramsay Centre, even though ANU already has many courses on the topic. As Tony Abbott wrote in Quadrant magazine, the program was to be not so much about western civilisation as in favour it.
Ultimately the ANU withdrew from negotiations because of the unprecedented level of micromanagement demanded by the Ramsay Centre, a level the ANU saw as inconsistent with its core value of academic freedom. This has triggered another fierce round of culture wars.
Andrew Fisher, first majority Prime Minister 1910-1913, and twice more PM
[Published 30 April on Independent Australia, with informative comments.]
With the last of the centenary Anzac commemorations behind us, perhaps we can look more closely at the source of some current attitudes.
For nearly two decades government agencies have been quietly filling our kids’ heads with right-wing propaganda. Not only was the Australian nation allegedly forged in the crucible of Gallipoli, but our noble and gallant boys were fighting for democracy and freedom. The ‘Anzac spirit’, also born at Gallipoli, has infused every great thing we have done ever since.
The claims are fiction, one long-standing, the others rather newer.