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All posts for the month August, 2010

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
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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

George your an idiot

Published August 14, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

A note to George

George Christensen the LNP candidate for the federal electorate of Dawson has once more put his foot in his mouth before engaging his brain. As a skylarking university student George contribution a supposedly satirical  op-ed piece for his student Newsletter this literary classic has come back to bite him, instead of facing up to his stupidity he, his family and the party machine have come out swinging at his opponent the ALP.

Who wrote the piece George?

Obviously, it is about being caught out as a misogynistic, racist, homophobic, narrow-minded right wing ventriloquist doll , who else would the neo-cons put up for this seat.

Abbott dismissed these as colourful remarks when confronted in an  ABC radio interview

The Debate: sustainability verse development

Published August 14, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle

Dick in his own uniquely Australian way produced this documentary while a little heavy on nationalism raised a number of questions around the population debate. The debate seemingly avoided by politicians of all shades was already happening in a strange and abstract way for example around infrastructure, immigration, climate change, aging population and economic development. Then just to confuse us further a number of furphies   pop up around racism, if you speak about population then there is some correlation to racism. This debate like all complex questions attracts a large number of knuckleheads with a litany of simplistic analyses and commentary note finger pointing at Hanson & One Nation if they are still around.

The debate BIG Australia (36 Million -2020) verse a sustainable Australia (?), obviously the truth is located somewhere between the two. What attracts me to the sustainable Australia position is simply that it needs to be a strategic approach to address the needs of our country (environmentally, socially and economically). The only problem I see is capitalist greed that equates economic development +even increasing population + broader tax base + increased profit margins + infinite = positive social outcomes. How realistic is this equation do the numbers add up, nothing grows for ever there is a finite value attributable to everything, do keep on consuming until Western civilisation crashes and the whole biosphere implodes. One point that does stand out is Smith a self-titled capitalist naming capitalism as the major reason for this issue in naming the sacred cow as an unsustainable burdensome beast.

Other issues

Homophobia – a number of tweets made disparaging comments around same-sex attraction – disappointing – heterosexuals still  do not understand same-sex people live in a family, some parent children and live very ordinary lives – they may get us mixed up with Str8 tea room princesses

The Agenda: It is time Australia has a serious policy debate about issues that affect its future.

  • Environmental stewardship – strategic management of a  finite resource
  • Sustainability
  • Comprehensive primary healthcare – beyond hospitals
  • Infrastructure
  • Civil society – social justice – poverty – housing – employment – training – education – relationships ,
  • Economic development  beyond capitalism towards sustainability – focus on developing  Human capital – social capital

It is time for capitalism to start paying its due

Health clinic a matter of dollars, kids and community reponsibility

Published August 11, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Hidden Voices the manipulation of healthcare

The programme Hidden Voices had little to do with articulating the experiences across communities of people living with mental illness. It seems the voice of  Mackay Division of General practice voice was obviously not that hidden. Today,  YIRS closed its free (Medicare bulkbilled) health clinic, staffed by local general practitioners, members of the aforementioned organisation.

The question here is

  • How do politics, power relationships and ideologies seek to shape the healthcare system?
  • What is the role of professional/industrial organisations and lobby groups influence policy and service provision?

Hidden Voices, exemplified one mode of political manipulation through the use of the media and the self-serving political agenda of some. Here with the closure of this clinic are the medical fraternity trying to apply a further political lever for the capitalist cause. Professionals across the community volunteer including me (10+hrs a week a total of 65hrs this month), is it another example of capitalist imperative trumping community responsibility for some.

What about primary health care?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Manic Monday

Published August 11, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

I watched a 4Corner’s programme titled Hidden Voices last night, which looked at issues faced by people living with mental disorders in regional Australia in particular around service gaps.  The topic of mental health holds some personal and professional interest, and I found aspects of this programme at some levels misleading.

For example

  • In highlighting the Mackay Division of General practice as somehow the principal provider of quality mental health services in this region seemed questionable or even self-serving on the part of participants.
  • The Division is a an industry lobbyist for General Practitioner & service provider in its own right.
  • In a population of 140, 000, 70% of whom experience some form of mental disorder these stats seem inflated
  • Healthcare in Australia has a tradition of private & public provision, with extensive public funding of both equally.
  • This programme sort to further a false dichotomy around the difference in the  quality of services between public and private providers
  • When professionals often work in both sectors simultaneous for multiple organisations, does this mean their quality of service differs depending on who pays.

It was simply a polished example of squeaky wheel politics in advancing the political agenda of the Division of General Practice during an election year. The programme was heavy on criticism and light on solutions, in seeking it seems to make further demands on public funding of private sector health.

The solution

Mackay Regional Mental Health Network

Self described as a partnership of government, non-government and private mental health service providers, consumers and carers who work in collaboration to improve mental health outcomes for people living with mental illness and their carers across the Mackay region.

This may be the mechanism required to

  • Give political impetus to bring about a change process
  • Build strategic partnerships across whole of community and government
  • Identify and  articulate service gaps
  • develop strategies to address service gaps
  • Advocate for resources

What is stopping them, may be you need to look at who is sitting at the table