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All posts for the month August, 2010

Where charity must end and social capacity building begins

Published August 27, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

It has been eight months since the devastating magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, this impoverished country. This event was not clearly cause of Haiti’s third world status but made a bad situation even more complex. Before the event, you had a society divided along economic lines of the wealthy few and the mass populace living in abject poverty.  In a solution, focused world there is no quick fix here, no matter how many countries seem committed in addressing the problem. Here community recovery or reconstruction is impossible for one stark reason this project would involve state building activities.

Here state building refers to undertaking activities to construct social institutions that effectively grow social capacity in a country where to date the state is at best dysfunctional. It involves making a long-term financial commitment by wealth nations, something lacking other than in superficial scattergun charity responses.  Recently, CNN retuned to see how things have changed since the quake the shock on their faces, was amusing at some level. What did they really expect give a destitute man a bowl of soup, an aspro or band-aid  and everything would be fine, charity is not the key here.

Now the flood crisis in Pakistan

NGO’s mostly worry about the organisation and selling the charity product in the West.

Yes, we can move forward with real action

Published August 25, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Increasingly, I feel reassured by the words of the independents at the centre of the election result, that Australia can achieve a viable, stable effective and progressive government.   The model of progressive consensus government seems to be one constant theme at any media event, today these men spoke at the National Press Club in outlining their approach to the situation. I admit having been left a little cynical by the past 30 years of party politics, I see this as a real opportunity for the people to take back their parliamentary system. To end the soap opera that it has become played out on the 24 hour News cycle of drama,  the blame game, name-calling and one-upmanship, or is it simply the starry-eyed socialist in me, which sees the potential of embracing this moment in history.

Red Team 0 Vs  Blue Team 0

Result Australia Wins

Tinker, Tailor, and Head kicker

Published August 24, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The head kicking mad monk has just put himself up, as the model for a consensus driven Australian politics however, when is Intransience a definition for consensus.  While fielding media question Abbott seemed closed to any changes in his policy agenda, his only concession it seems is some tinkering around parliamentary reform according to him he has always supported, paternalism don’t you just love it. It is obvious this Neanderthal still thinks that he has all the answers to the questions, challenges and issues facing Australia in the tailored policy agenda he has put together in turning this country into some conservative Liberal democracy a shopkeeper’s utopia. However, Abbott does not get the message that he did not win anything on Saturday, the electorate sent a clear message they do not trust either the Coalition or Labor. This result even points to the electorate’s confidence in the effectiveness of the system, some are now talking about consensus politics and what that horse may look like.

Consensus politics can relate to

Consensus Democracy is the application of consensus decision-making to the process of legislation in a democracy

or

Consensus Government or government by Committee – non-partisan government

It would be the end of party politics, which may be a good thing

Oh, these are strange and interesting days when the political establishment faced with a quandary of their own making seems challenged.

The wash up

Published August 24, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Government ?

Who are these faceless men?

Labor –who assassinated Kev07?

Bill Shorten

Mark Arbib

Among others

Independents

Bob Katter

Rob Oakeshott

Tony Windsor

All three are ex-national party

firsts for Parliament of Australia

House of representatives

Wyatt RoyLNP – 20 yrs old – youngest person elected to parliament

Adam BandtThe Greens – first member of that party directly elected

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Disappointing result for Maxine McKew 1st term loss

Good-bye Wilson Tuckey you raving right wing loony

George Christensen Dawson’s own right wing loony

A plague on both your houses

Published August 23, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The sky fell on both major parties, but I am not sure if they got the message, the electorate is sick of politics as usual. Nether major party has a mandate or legitimacy to form government this is not a matter of simple numbers as the informal vote was up too. It would seem the electorate has lost its trust in this petulant batch of schoolyard bullies, who talk and claim to hear what people say but do they really listen let alone take action other than to prop up the big end of town. .

No more, yes Prime Minister or yes was that  Supreme Leader

For example

  • Unfulfilled campaign promises
  • Wasted mandates
  • Incompetent implementation of service
  • Promoting a litany of nanny state legislation
  • Pandering to big business and commercial interests
  • Structuring health and education systems to meet the needs of industry stakeholders rather than the community’s

Etc, etc, etc

The question here is to these politicians is whom do you really seek to serve, the people or invested interest groups?

I hear Gillard’s message of stable and effective government, but what does that look like in a simplistic game of political one-upmanship.

How about consensus as a new political concept

Labor lost this election

Published August 22, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

It seems the trend for hung parliaments or minority governments continues, Australia faces this situation for the first time in 60 odd years. While Labor obviously lost this election, the conservative should not take any solace from this outcome because they did not win either. The puppeteer master of the mad monk has not delivered anything near a majority, instead it seems the Greens and independents will be kingmakers. The games start now with the question which party has the skills to negotiate a real coalition and not some simple marriage of political necessity because they come from the same church.

Labor

It is time to vacate the centre ground and return to their socialist roots, to mount a truly red oppositional position and not some insipid shade of blue.  People look for an alternative and if you put a policy agenda forward, that is identical to your opponents then whom are you running against. The right wing has no place in Labor its 30 year reign needs to be ended, let the bloodletting begin make the axe sharp and the aim accurate dispatch the NSW right to the pages of history.

Greens

It is time your time to start acting like a real political party and negotiate, cease the eternal antics of take the false high moral ground of our way or no way. If you continue in the vane of previous years, you too will find yourself in the same dustbin as the democrats a spent force. The flames of power are bright and enticing but beware, as Meg Lees found out its burn can prove fatal.

When our romance with Liberal-democracy ends is the day democracy will be born a new without the spectre of feudalism like a phoenix from the ashes.

Welfare is not a dirty word

Published August 17, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

It seems Australia’s addiction to middle class welfare, although not as comparable to the US, has these politicians drooling with glee in doling out one fat promise after another. It is reminiscent of Howard‘s campaigns many promises with little commitment in the follow through upon gaining office. The position taken here is that welfare is not Christian charity as conservatives see it. Rather it is a strategic investment in social capacity building, through wealth redistribution especially in wealthy Nation/States like Australia. The underpinning principle being that all citizens have the right to enjoy a high quality and standard of life and not just the privileged few.

In the current manifestation the Welfare state is no more than a handmaiden of capitalism, in spewing out cheap labour for this inherit crisis flawed social system.  We have seen the operation of capitalism as a greedy obsessive-compulsive beast that nearly brought society to its knees. However, it readily put out its paw in demanding assistance from the State through the public purse.  Business as a matter of routine  seemingly nay say social interventions in promoting the virtues of economic liberalism however, expect significant consideration for itself. It seems business’s hypocritical position on State interventions rarely comes under a critical gaze. One could argue Business sees the State as a handmaiden in advancing the capitalist imperative of consumerism. Upon reflection after 500 hundred odd years of imperial and subsequently capitalist expansionism, we have a bio-system on the verge of collapse and a society in chronic distress.

During, the 2010, campaign we have seen one promise after another aimed at enhancing a work ready labour force, while those on the margins are shown the stick of punitive consequences for their errant ways or ignored. The question then becomes what is Australia’s view of the Welfare state a great social equaliser or as a flawed inadequate safety net to mitigate the impost of capitalism.

And

How good is greed?

How many smiling faces do you see on people’s faces in the street?

Why do you think the health system is under distress?

When will we say enough is enough and take back our right to a long health and happy life?

When will we realise the simplistic capitalist view of society does not enhance well-being, it simply turns life into a discount sale

Many pigs that fly and barrels they live in

Published August 16, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

This political slogan coined by the Coalition seems a contradiction when reflecting on this group’s political philosophy and policy history. Being the party of small government and low taxes, has in the past 4 weeks amassed an wide-ranging list of electoral promises (pork barrelling) including extending current service provisions and a new  2% business tax., oh sorry temporary levy. Today, I received a flyer from the LNP candidate for Dawson George ‘Waa Waa’ Christensen promising the

following, obviously if elected.

Real action but is it realistic

  • Mackay ring road – $30 million – traffic control
  • Townsville Good Sheppard Home – $2 million  – extensions – private
  • Whitsunday Sports Park $600,000
  • Mackay Events Precinct #5 million
  • Proserpine Community Centre $100,000 – new build
  • Mackay Basketball Stadium $4 million  – upgrade
  • CCTV – Burdekin – law & order
  • Local Tourism – $1 million – promotion

Dollars & no sense

On the never never plan

  • Bruce hwy improvement
  • Bowen Water Treatment plant
  • Airlie Beach Main Street upgrade

Please note these are all infrastructure projects, something the Coalition does not seem to have a good record on readily addressing.

The Action Contract

  • Pay back the debt –capitalism thieves on debt that is how the WFC happened.
  • End waste – small government means the States have to pick up the bill by cutting back services
  • Stop new taxes – no taxes for the mining sector, but a 2% levy on businesses
  • Help families – paid maternity leave
  • Stop the boats – the great foreign threat
  • Do the right thing – what do they mean if this isn’t subjective according to whose value base

Feeling left out

Published August 16, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

At the official launch of Labor’s 2010 campaign Bob ‘the right wing patsy’ Hawke promoted as the esteemed father of modern Australian Labor, a faded image of its historical self. One could argue Hawke is the architect of processes that has seen Labor swing from a social change agenda towards reinforcing the mundane status quo of the centre-right. However, he cannot take all the credit successive Labor leaders have blindly facilitated these processes in turning a socialist force into a party of insipid lawyers, academics and right wing union stooges. Their only goal to retain political power for its own sake with no ambition to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged or address other social justice issues. Rather, the opposite seems to be the case in mounting a laundry list of middle class welfare responses to endear themselves to the aspirational voting blocs.

This may explain why it seem at the present there are no visionary political leaders,  rather the opposite with the performances of Gillard and Abbott during this campaign. Even today Gillard sort to invoke Obama with her ‘Yes we will mantra’, while the mad monk shopkeeper could only offer another round of criticisms. Some commentators argued it is an attempt by Labor to make a distinct contrast between them and the Coalition, the question then is what these differences are.

  • LaborSocialistcentre-right – a mob  of insipid lawyers, academics and right wing union stooges
  • Liberalsliberalist – conservative – voice of business and private enterprise with a culture of  shopkeepers, lawyers and doctors
  • Nationals – conservative voice of regional, rural and remote Australia –  whinging landowners who rarely look beyond the next harvest and complain bitterly about anything especially, how hard life is and how poor they are.

Do not look here for fire in the belly politics advocating social change.

Dawson a story of the lame and the lost

Published August 15, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

In seven days, I can elect a government

So on the 21st of Australia goes to the ballot to elect a government to lead us for the next 3yrs at stake retro Howardism or modern Labor full of centralist indecision. It is a matter of choice between going backwards or treading water, featuring an insipid uninspiring party hacks and union stooges. When will someone stand up and show some leadership vision, beyond the grey shopkeeper’s profit margin.  What happened to the passion to enable people to live in a civil society rather than one obsessed over profit for profit sake, which seems to be the case here?

In our local derby of Dawson, we have the following candidates

Mike BrunkerALP – the Doer

George ChristensenLNP – Waa Waa

Jonathon DykyjGreens – the Warrior

Damian HerringtonFFP – Mr Tea & Tidy no naught bits I am a Christian

Bill IngreyCEC – the Bomber

Pick your poison

Just wake me for  breakfast on Sunday