I was chatting with a friend last night and a mutual friend was mentioned. "Oh X is getting more and more Conservative with his Age". "Yes but Ms X is even more so". It's interesting when views pop out in unexpected places and ways.
I see strange criticisms of Wayne Swan from people who say knowingly and meaningfully that "he is a hopeless Treasurer without a clue." Now if International and unconnected bodies with some demonstrated expertise declare that he is the globe's best Treasurer and Australia avoids the major economic problems that the rest of the developed world has been going through and there has been an improvement in the standard of living for most Australians doesn't that mean anything? Every strategy enacted by this Government to shield Australia from the ravages of the GFC was loudly and roundly rejected by the do-nothing, she'll-be-right-mate midgets on the Opposition benches.
As a friend commented to me, "the technique made famous by Goebells is now part of the playbook of the Coalition. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the conventional wisdom. Where is our Fifth Estate in all this? With the 24 hour news cycle we now have a graphic report of every fire with no analysis on how it started or why. Politicians can look straight at the camera and lie with a smile without intervention from a journalist or even a different oint of view from another party.
"Climate change is crap", "we don't need to do anything about the so-called Global Financial Crisis" and so on.
In times of War we have had Unity Governments. Sadly not now.
Wayne has been out there talking about the unequal access to the media lately and what he has been saying is obvious to all observers of the media landscape.
Federal Court judge Ray Finkelsteins thoughtful review of the media gets savaged by people like Clive Palmer in full page ads that only go to prove Wayne's point. The outrage stirred and AGREED WITH that Finkelstein is suggesting a Soviet style regime doesn't square with the facts of his recommendations. To have an independent umpire, funded from the Budget doesn't mean whichever way you try and spin it Government control. It replaces the cosy ineffective voluntary system we have now of a Press Council overseeing, well themselves, with an arms length body that will, if it ever happens, be charged to be fair to all sides.
The idea that you can have a reasonable discussion without gross exaggeration, invective, character assassination and plain old lies is becoming an adolescent fantasy and pipe dream.
When an Immigration Department official comes out with a reasoned commentary on a divisive debate with some facts learned over years of trying to implement various Government policies he gets little media space, invective and innuendo thrown on him by the mad monk and once again the so-called debate goes to the lowest common denominator that the inappropriately called Liberal Party can throw at it. Whatever happens desperate human beings are used as political fodder by both sides and the outcome for the people is dire.
For the refugees it is pitiful but what few realise on the other side is that for the lucky ones like us it is dehumanising and makes us less and less than we could and should be.
Australia is a country of refugees and transported peoples living in a land stolen from the first peoples here and we demonise each wave of newcomers until the next wave and then it goes on.
My family came as refugees in 1949. I have good friends who came as refugees more recently. It should not be so hard to give a welcome to people who have risked all to come to a land of plenty in need of people.
When global warming effects are more fully felt the march of populations looking for a safe home will dramatically increase. Open your hearts.