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Weekend reflections

August 24th, 2007

Weekend Reflections is on again. Please comment on any topic of interest (civilised discussion and no coarse language, please). Feel free to put in contributions more lengthy than for the Monday Message Board or standard comments.

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  1. Hermit
    August 25th, 2007 at 08:06 | #1

    When is Rudd going to give a major policy statement on climate? So far all we have is ‘anything but nuclear’. OK but we need a nuts and bolts alternative. When will he introduce carbon trading, what are the likely targets, will the renewable energy quota be increased? It seems inevitable that the Asian powerhouse economies will want more coal and uranium…will they get it?

    At least we know where Howard stands on this. If Rudd gets up and does several U-turns he may not last as long as his predecessor.

  2. BilB
    August 25th, 2007 at 12:00 | #2

    Nuts and Bolts, eh?
    Carbon trading. There is nothing to trade. Global green storage is in decline and carbon sequestration is a myth. I’ve got some old sump oil, would you like that? Target? I’ve got 200 litres, what have you got to trade it with?
    Renewable energy Quota? I’l take all I can get. My buddy up in Dungog has installed 3.5 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic panels and is exporting to the grid. That is a damnd good start.
    Asians? Sure they will get everything that they need, they just may not get it from us.
    Howard? Rudd? Well you know what you are going to get, with Howard, the opportunity to watch as he takes your money to fulfill his dreams of power and prestige. With Rudd, a damned good bucks night and a little honesty, and someone who might just listen to what you believe is the way to the future.

  3. observa
    August 25th, 2007 at 13:15 | #3

    More fodder for the United Liberal Democratic Nations approach I see
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3441314,00.html

  4. Jill Rush
    August 25th, 2007 at 13:27 | #4

    The issue of trust is one that John Howard has raised as a key issue earlier this year. That is of course before the latest interest rate rise.

    In 1996 Keating took the issue of leadership as the key theme thinking that others would be as impressed with his leadership as he was – we know that they weren’t. So far we have not felt that Mr Howard has behaved in a trustworthy manner either.

    Trustworthiness has been raised by Hermit and BilB above as key issues for them.

    It is an issue that will be in many people’s minds. Some are saying that they cannot as a feminist trust Kevin Rudd after the Sunday screamer headlines talking of his outing in New York. This appears odd when women have been disproportionately negatively affected by the Workchoices legislation, which was not mentioned prior to the last election but has had such an impact on the ability to feed and house families.

    Despite the slipperiness of the Workchoices legislation there are those who are more affected by the non core promise on interest rates and have lost trust in the government as a result of that. Trust is impacted on two key fronts.

    In placing the APEC event in Sydney, there is a heightened chance of an incident which could be made into a terrorist event, such as was attempted in the Haneef case. The Liberals would hope that voters would believe that only the Liberal Coalition and Mr Howard in particular are able to cope with the consequences.

    Trust is therefore down to the slogan “Better safe than Sorry” which translated means – give up your liberties or be sorry because you and your family will come to harm at the hands of madmen – nasty foreigners of a different religion.

    This translates into minority groups and even trade unions being harassed and vilified. The government asks workers to trust their futures to them and the Workplace Ombudsman and denigrates the achievements unions achieve in protecting workers pay and conditions.

    It is interesting that we are to trust a Prime Minister who believes that talking to the nasty and narrow minded Exclusive Brethren is ok; that the government should provide taxpayer funding to their illiberal schools; that funds from that organisation are acceptable for the Liberal Party; whilst doing everything he can to avoid talking to the unions representing millions of ordinary workers. Some citizens are more equal than others.

    Ordinary workers, who if they ask others not to buy products produced by companies insisting on AWAs, could soon be sued for everything. This week legislation has been introduced into parliament by Peter Costello to restrict the ability of consumers to band together to boycott products. Women who point out exploitative practices against young girls could suffer the same fate if they ask others to boycott firms to change behaviour.

    Trust is a key issue in the election. A government which strips us of freedoms makes us far less safe. We are indeed likely to be sorry that we are left at the mercy of big business and corporations with no ability to protect ourselves against predatory behaviour without losing everything.

    The attacks on our freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom to band together to bring about change means that the current government is not trustworthy. We need a government we can trust to protect our way of life, our liberties and our families at the same time.

  5. August 25th, 2007 at 15:07 | #5

    if you trust any politician, and are old enough to vote, you are too foolish to survive.

  6. gaddeswarup
    August 25th, 2007 at 15:47 | #6

    New alliance?
    From http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IH23Df01.html
    “Business apart, India and Japan are also seeking each other as strategic partners in making a combined pitch for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council and military and security cooperation in East Asia to check the influence of China. Beijing has been anxious about the “Quadrilateral Initiative” (Quad) involving India, the US, Japan and Australia.

    India is looking to host its biggest multilateral exercise with navies of the four countries as well as Singapore in the Bay of Bengal next month. Twenty-five warships will include the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the US nuclear submarine SSN Chicago. The US, Japan and India held similar exercises off the Japanese coast last year; this is the first time that the Australians will take part. “

  7. Peter Evans
    August 25th, 2007 at 19:26 | #7

    Jill, what you say is quite true. But the federal government (and this tends to happen to all governments after they’ve been in for a while, some sooner than others) is effectively the legislative arm of big business. Capitalism is ultimately antithetical to democracy, in the sense of the d-word that means informed, active, gives-a-damn. So that sort of democracy will be crushed as sure as anything, just as competing economic systems have been. The “trust” you talk of is the feeling that the system by which we manage our macro affairs ought to prevent that from happening, but the unfettered right to screw a whole lot people for a whole lot of money would appear to be a powerful motivation to some people. I’ve pondered this motivation quite a lot, but I really, ultimately, don’t understand why it appeals. It looks weak to me.

  8. cacofonix
    August 26th, 2007 at 00:52 | #8

    ‘Regime Beattie’, forced amalgamations and the coming federal elections

    Maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention, but I still haven’t noticed any concern about the issue of Peter Beattie’s forced Council Amalgamations and its potential impacts upon the coming Federal election.

    In case any of you are interested in this question, can I refer you to an article “Dictatorial Conduct” by myself on Online Opinion.(http://candobetter.org/node/146). also of interest may be the discussion threads Don’t let Peter Beattie save John Howard’s political hide and Tweedledee and Tweedledum? Don’t fall for it!.

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