When John Howard departed the political scene in 2007, there began an era of instability that has all but destroyed legitimate democracy in Australia.
I am in my 87th year on this planet and I have never witnessed a more shameful Parliament than this one. Sadly, only a few of our Parliamentarians are aware of it. They live in a world of utter unreality, totally divorced from voters who now feel a huge sense of insecurity.
What can we do about it?
Nothing at the moment.
We have to wait for an election and hope that the deadwood in all Parties will be wiped out and replaced by Independents of quality who will force quality debates that will result in fine policy decisions.
Barton and Deakin achieved this with minority governments in the first decade of Federation 120 years ago and passed historic legislation that serves us to this day. They had brains and vision and they were leaders who had people skills. Our current Parliament hasn’t got these attributes and never will.
How did we get into this mess?
Let’s spare a moment or two to take a look at those who have led us since Howard.
The longest serving of them was Julia Gillard and she was by far the best, a superb negotiator one on one. She suffered hugely from being female and the hatred that was generated against her has continued against women to this day. This has been emphasised by the shameful treatment handed out to Julie Bishop in recent days and the constant bullying of women seeking to serve Australia in a male dominated environment.
The worst was Tony Abbott. Totally out of his depth, hugely vindictive and with a frightening brand of ancient religion. He plagues the Parliament and will continue to do so until he is thrown out. Most of the blame for the decadence of Parliament right now rests at his door, but his closed mind won’t let him realise it.
Malcolm Turnbull was a huge disappointment. He sold his soul so he could get enough votes to defeat Abbott and kept selling it in order to stay there. Finally, he had nothing more to sell. But, the manner in which he was assassinated was primitive in the extreme and all who took part in it must hang their heads in shame. They have soiled the Parliament beyond repair.
Kevin Rudd had a supreme ego and an obsession with micro management of the government and the media, plus no capacity whatsoever to make and keep friends. They were fodder to be used. But, he did achieve a few things which leaves him slightly ahead of Abbott, even though his desperate need for revenge was almost on par with Abbott.
So, Morrison has to try to sort out the mess. This is an impossible task as he leads a hugely divided Coalition where relationships have been destroyed to the extent that there are dozens of people in his team seeking revenge against former friends in a wide range of ways for a myriad of alleged sins.
It is vital for Australia that a election happens tomorrow. The poison has to be drained away.
It seems to me that Parliament is driven by ego at every level and it has been fostered by the supreme egos of Rudd, Abbott and Turnbull. Their example has left not one shred of humble service in its wake.
And political nous has almost disappeared. For all his sins, Howard had nous. He could smell trouble miles away. The debacle of this last month would never have happened on his watch.
Can I suggest that everyone in the Parliament buys and reads a splendid book called ‘Team of Rivals’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin? It tells the story of the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
He won office by a narrow margin and then filled his Cabinet with his major and most powerful political enemies from his own Party and from all the other Parties. But, each one that he chose had stature and ability. He welded them into a team, drawing out their finest skills and allowing them to get all the praise for their achievements. On the day of his assassination, they stood around his deathbed with genuine tears flowing.
One said, ‘He now belongs to the ages’. And he does.
Could it happen in Australia right now? No. Nevertheless, we need it desperately.
Can I return to our Founding Fathers?
They achieved the Federation of Australian States in just a dozen years despite having to overcome huge parochialism and against devious political enemies. But, they felt a huge sense of calling to make Australia work. They met regularly at the Melbourne Club to agree on the tumultuous legislation needed to create a working nation. They were statesmen and nation builders first, politicians last.
There must be some good people somewhere in our current Parliament who can now step forward and make it happen again.
We will cheer them to the echo if they do.
Yours at Large
PS. If you would like to buy my book ‘The Man on the Twenty Dollar Notes’, as well as a book in which I feature called ‘Goondeen’, please send me an email at email@example.com and I will post you signed copies as well as a bill for 30 dollars plus postage.
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8 thoughts on “EGO defeats NOUS”
Thank you for your latest post.
Although I agree with much of what you say here, what really needs to be acknowledged is that the underlying problem is that our system of governance is BROKEN!
The dominant factor in our system is political parties. And although they have been a useful part of our system for many years, they are now way past their use-by date.
Please have another look at my book, “ The First Draft of a Constitution for the Sovereign Nation of Australia” for at least one idea of how we get out of this mess.
I used to be in the public service and when you applied for promotions they made you jump through hoops. I therefore find it strange that in Australia, Britain and America we find it so hard to find leaders of talent. Why aren’t the politicians made to jump through the same hoops as their underlings. Maybe we should all get our collective wisdom together and start devising duty statements, selection criteria and job specifications for our legislators, and have each one interviewed by a selection panel on television before elections.
Good evening Everald, I believe that at a federal leval, we should / could have a FIXED 4 year term in as much , the parliament then, may have a chance of working on its agenda’s ( good or bad ) !
And while we are at the polling booth, may I suggest that we also vote for the leader of the party, so that as we elect our the member for the lower house ( the party leader and the house of reps , could be on one paper ).
By doing this , you take the power away from the members, as to WHO, is LEADING this nation, and put back in the people’s hands !
I know this is not really in the “Spirit” of the Westminster System, but -hey , what could be worse than this current situation.
I believe that this has come about by the “Rules” that the politicians have found themselves in !
Time to CHANGE the RULES ! ! ! !
It seems to me our parties or politicians are driven by ego of party preference , whenever a plan is put forward by one party the opposing party has multiple reasons to condone it. The result is very little inter-party discussion on how to make the idea or concept work . Climate change is a future issue that needs discussion and action on a small to medium stage to decide which is best option to demonstrate , This might take two years to demonstrate on a small scale but the end outcome positive or negative will provide a best approach which is better than installing a final installation based on talk not preliminary action to prove reliability. You will recall in the millennium drought we put forward a lined canal system to store suitable quality monsoonal water in the north and move it 2000 km south to inland farming areas or city pipe outlets to ensure drought does not take over.
Miraculously after 14 years doing nothing the concept of installing northern dams or aquifers to store water is being considered now . The Americans have been storing water in aquifers for years to make it work, developers have asked relevant government authorities to enable payment for infrastructure to be delayed for extended periods . Canals and pipe can be useful for over 100 yrs and a delayed payment although costly, makes sense in the long term when at a time when water users are emerging
Would you be available to talk with Graham about your latest offering on Thursday ay 9.45am?
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Everald, I enjoy your commentary and agree with most of what you say. However, I offer the below counter-points and ask you to consider:
a) you say we should vote for more “independents of quality”? Sorry, that is not a solution. Independents only become important and recognizable when there is rather “hung parliament”. They are not going to form government in the foreseeable future. Do you refer to Fraser Anning and Bob Katter as “independents of quality”? I beg to defer.
b) I agree with your comments on Tony Abbot; but please avoid using his religion as something which drives him. I am a Catholic too and I can tell you that I am vehemently opposed to most, if not all of his nonsense!! Further, your commentary does not mention that Tony Abbot has been repeatedly voted into parliament. So, in fact he is voted in because there are people in his electorate that seem to agree with his policies and behavior. They vote for him consistently.
c) All through your commentary you lament the poor quality of our politicians. But you make no mention of the Australian people who vote for these politicians …… at least in the lower house. Remember the old adage: “in a democracy, the people get the politicians these deserve”. We have people in this country who believe that you can get tax cuts and still have the services we all demand …. in health care, schools, roads etc. That is possible only with Magic!! It not possible in real life and until we Australians learn to be more discerning about who we vote into parliament, nothing is going to change at the next election or thereafter. We need a social movement that forces or politicians to be honest and not reward them for false promises.
Best wishes, ….
“There must be some good people somewhere in our current Parliament who can now step forward and make it happen again”……………..finding them will be like looking for a needle in a haystack….just my simple, sad comment on the disgusting state of affairs in Canberra Just 125+ ego maniacs who cannot see past the end of their mean, callous, self-centred noses! All for ‘one’ but none for Australia.
Everald Read this article then ask yourself if the machinations of Australian politics matters
Why Technology Favors Tyranny
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