Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Ideology" Billy Bragg

   Our current Federal Government, the Liberal and National Party Coalition, was elected through our normal democratic process and replaced an unelectable rabble in Labor, no question. For many years now the results haven't been uniform nationally and no doubt the so called 'preference whisperer' had an impact in creating a Senate with a gaggle of independents so Legislation requires deft negotiations and trade offs.
   What we have though in the current government, is a group who always resented the previous election outcome and who, under Tony Abbott, have become driven by ideology rather than good policy. By this I mean they are projecting more right oriented values come what may and have also arrived at some policy decisions through bloody mindedness rather than what might make sense given a 'fairness test' or what might reflect taking good advice from your Departments or various experts.

Examples for me would include:
- The proposed Paid Parental Leave Scheme
Such a scheme is needed, but this version is not broad based and was dreamt up amongst a few initiatives to help Tony Abbott against opinion polling about how women viewed him
- The most prominent Budget measures announced
These fail the 'fairness' test and target some of this country's most vulnerable people in the name of deficit reduction. The whole lifters and leaners, earning or learning approach is disproportionate to both the incidence of 'bulging' and the contribution to the deficit in the first place
- Border Protection
From John Howard onwards these conservatives have vilified and created a villain in 'boat people' and while the cruelest part of their approach is intended to 'stop the boats' and therefore mean the worst human rights abuses are a deterrent, not an actual happening... it may stop the boats but will cost us as a society. This is especially true with children held in detention and what other mental health anguish and long term harm is being done to those who are imprisoned offshore
- Climate Change and Carbon
This country should be pouring funding into renewables in ever growing amounts. The reliance on fossil fuels needs to change more quickly and when the deniers run the policy this will never be priority enough
- There will be no cuts to education, health, the ABC or SBS?

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