We’re barely five months into the first term of the Abbott Government, and there are people around the country who are drawing a deep breath, ready to say, ‘I told you so.’ While that does nothing but make them feel better – if it even does that – the reality is that, failing some unforeseen circumstance like a leadership putsch, the Abbott Government is going to continue to govern the country precisely as it sees fit – and perhaps, as it feels that it is born to do? Of course, I’m a staunch labor man, despite some grave concerns over particular policies. Why do I remain a labor party member? For the simple reason that they are the only party that remains committed to social justice for all Australians and has the chance to turn their policies to a reality.
Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about the Coalition government.
1. Stopping the boats?
The big talking point – as it was during the election campaign – is that the government has stopped the boats. For a couple of months, we haven’t had any ‘illegal arrivals’ in Australia etc etc. Labor claims that its the monsoon season, and their PNG solution is the real reason. Meanwhile, we now have a comic book being distributed to Hazara Afghanis warning them not to come to Australia.
It’s hard to argue with the government about the boats. They do appear to have stopped. However, the way that they have been stopped is important too. If we stop boats by sending people back to die in Indonesian camps, well, where is the value in stopping the boats? Is a death at sea worth more than a death in Indonesia? Ultimately, there is an important point missing from the debate. We must stop the boats and the people smuggler trade while still maintaining our rights and responsibilities to the rest of the world under the refugee convention. The arguments about ‘queue jumpers’ and ‘boat people’ and all the other crap fade into insignificance when faced with that. Ultimately, a regional solution is required, and Australia has both the wealth and the responsibility to be the leader in the region.
2. Australia’s failing manufacturing industry
I don’t think it’s fair to talk about industry needing to be sustainable when, as far as I know, very few other countries require this of their industries, either. The money pumped into the car industry in places like Germany, for example, is staggering. This is having a pop at workers, and there are no two ways about it.
And so it begins. In their drive to destroy the Labor Party, the government have now decided that there will be a royal commission into unions and corruption. Interestingly enough, despite what is acknowledged as rampant corruption, there is going to be no commission into corporate structure. Blatantly political and embarrassing for the government.
4. The ABC
Speaking of blatantly political movements, why the attack on the ABC? They reported the news. Sure, they speculated. But it still remains the most trusted source of news in Australia. There’s a hidden agenda here, ant the Australian Network is part of it.
5. Labor? Hello? Anyone in there?
Bill needs to do more to be seen as a viable alternative. Instead, it’s like he’s Australia’s biggest punching bag.
6. Behaviour in Parliament.
And what about Labor? Where have they gone? Don’t get me wrong. I remain a Labor party member. I support most of their policies, especially those regarding the redistribution of wealth, equality for all