Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Time for a change?

Well, it didn't take too long for the Coalition to sink to the bottom, did it?  The positive messages of "Jobs and Growth" seem to have sunk without trace.  And they opened up Mr Abbott's box of tricks and found:  greed, fear, and blatant racism. 

The greed card was played in the budget, the fear card has been played with the "strong borders" mantra, and the racism card, which lurked under both the former, is now being played as a sort of trump.  (Gawd, should that be capitalised?)  The Coalition is pleased to bring you Greed, Fear and Racism as their new three word slogan. 

Of course, it will be spun much more neatly than that by the masters of verbal prestidigitation who are paid vast sums to keep the princes of industry and their hangers-on safe from the masses.  The words will certainly change; the messages will not. 

In the meantime, no new policies have been announced by the caretaker government.  It's now on full attack mode against Labor, who has not only been leading the policy debate, but in fact set the whole agenda.  Is it panic stations for the Coalition, or are they just reverting to form?  As the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett wrote: "Can a leopard change its shorts?" 

We have another 6 weeks to go in the campaign.  Watch for more dirty tricks and subtle assassinations by the Coalition henchpeople.  The latest is the raiding of a Labor senator's office by the AFP seeking evidence of leaks against the NBN.  The caretaker government has said "It weren't us; purely a police matter".  Could be.  But one might ask, who put up the NBN executives up to it?  Does anyone smell something of rodent? 

But wait, folks.  There will be more. 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Why do neocons want to govern?

It almost seems to be a total paradox that neocons want so badly to govern.  After all, if they followed their own philosophy they would shrink governance to only defence and policing, which would be, of course, to protect and defend their families and assets. 

The rest of the population would be mere minions to the "betters", i.e. those who had the fortune(!) of being born from wealthy parents.  The minions would look after themselves of course, because they have to rise above their station through thrift, hard work and moral righteousness.  And perhaps their children and/or grandchildren might be blessed with approval and become a "better". 

Schools?  Well, excellent for the well to do families; ordinary to none for the minions.  After all, who needs anything other than basic literacy and numeracy skills when serving in a casual position at the servery or cleaning up the betters' homes. 

The Marie Antoinette syndrome ("Let them eat cake") is alive and well and is invading our shores along with the neocon (or economic rationalist) belief structure.  Dress this up as you will, but it still is a structure that basically is one believed by the "rentiers"; take the money and run.  And best to put it all off-shore where one doesn't need to pay any of those nefarious taxes.  All perfectly legit of course.  And why not?  Guess who made up the rules? 

The more I see and hear of our conservative politicians, be they hard right or less so, what I have written above seems to define their whole approach.  And being well off, they can afford to pay very expensive publicity experts (aka spin doctors) to sell their messages to the minion masses. 

So.  Climate change, the most basic challenge of our age, is "not settled yet", or paid lip service to with a pittance of funding while the major polluters are paid not to do that.  Whimsically telling the fox "Now, don't eat those chickens and we'll pay you in steak".  And the fox says "Yes boss", and carries on.  Chicken plus steak.  Yum.  Mind you, the polluters are in fact the "betters".  Nice work if you can get it. 

Education?  As mentioned.  Give out enough to shut everyone up but not enough to really skill the young to take on the essential work of the near future. 

Health?  Pay as you die. 

Aged care?  You should have saved up for this.  Shame on you. 

Child care?  Pay the providers who then charge what the traffic will bear.  This is agile and innovative. 

Vocational education?  To the private providers who obviously can to a much better job -- of taking the money, going bankrupt and shipping themselves and the money elsewhere.  But hey, that's just biz. 

Higher education?  Make sure the betters' kids can get a good degree and the rest can struggle, or sell our university places to well to to offshore students while ours battle for survival. 

Fairness?  Equal chance?  For the mugs, mate. 

And on and on and on. 

Until it comes to the break point where the country shatters. 

Have fun.