JOHN HOWARD – A SENSE OF BALANCE

When John Howard’s long and eminent political career ended, he became an author of distinction.

His latest book A SENSE OF BALANCE is, in my view, his best work to date.

I enjoyed his previous books LAZARUS RISING and THE MENZIES ERA. The first was his autobiography and the latter was a biography of his mentor. Both are excellent reads.

A SENSE OF BALANCE is quite different.

He describes it in this way. ‘How a sense of balance has defined us as a nation and will safeguard our future.’

It is actually about the crises that Australia has faced during his parliamentary career and beyond. He believes that we have survived because we did not let any crisis upset our sense of balance and this has enabled us to set the basis for a robust future for our nation.

He covers crucial subjects such as the Covid pandemic, election of Donald Trump, Brexit, the rise of China, climate change, the defeat of Scott Morrison, our relationship with royalty, Nine Eleven , 6 prime ministers in 11 years, Republic, Indigenous recognition, plus other matters of significance such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

Despite being a solid Conservative, he attempts to highlight both sides of any debate before setting out his own views in moderate fashion. He gives the clear impression of wanting to create a balanced community debate on all the issues he raises and I hope this happens.

I certainly would like to debate his views on climate and royalty and the Voice Referendum.

The most powerful element of his book is contained in the background to its title – A SENSE OF BALANCE.

While not exempting himself from criticism of some of his own divisive decisions and policies, he laments the way that society is so rigidly divided on far too many issues. He is particularly concerned, just as you and I are, that our divided opinions are now expressed so strongly that they too often convey pure hatred of those who hold opposing views. This is not a healthy situation for the future of our nation.

He particularly laments the fact that his beloved Liberal Party can no longer be described as a ‘broad church’. These were two words he often used to describe the many viewpoints that existed in the ranks of his Party. He actively encouraged the ‘broad church’ but this has now been replaced by hard line factions such as the stark divisions between the Christian Right. and the Menzies moderates and the ‘wets’ and ‘dries’.

He hints in his book that the Liberals may now spend a long time in opposition due to their factional wars and long battle to achieve relevance as they lose ground to Independents.

Howard now has many critics who do their best to demean his legacy but he did try follow the Menzies ideology. I remember the day that Menzies announced the formation of the Liberal Party in 1943. He said on ABC Radio that his party stood on neither the left nor the right. He emphasised that it was a Liberal Party not a Conservative Party. It was firmly in the middle ground of politics. That, Howard acknowledges, is no longer true.

This means that the Liberals must create a modern ideology as they currently don’t have one. Their sole philosophy is ‘Don’t trust the Labor Party as they will lose your money’. That slogan will never again win them an election. Never.

Reading the book made me think of Howard’s two great legacies to Australia.

The greatest was the gun banning legislation he had courageously enacted after the Port Arthur massacre. The threats against his life by gun lovers were very real. His security team made him wear bullet proof vests when addressing meetings about the legislation. Now millions of Americans fervently wish they had similar gun laws.

The other was the simple fact that his eleven years in power were an era of general economic prosperity that was subsequently undone by Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison.

His prime failures were getting us involved in disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which are still unresolved. He comments on them in this book.

I have known John Howard personally for decades, a friendship that continues to this day even though our stance on political issues often differs. When I wrote my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS, I sent it to him to review before I published it. He graciously responded and found common ground on lots of issue but differed on our views of the validity of the Whitlam sacking in 1975.

Anyway, the key point is this.

Read A SENSE OF BALANCE and debate it on social media. John Howard wrote it in the hope of creating widespread debate. It is worthy of that honour.

Cheers

Everald Compton

THE POLITICS OF GOTCHA

Am disappointed that an inquiry has been called into Scott Morrison’s irresponsible action in secretly appointing himself to 5 ministries while Prime Minister.

Let me say first of all that I have total confidence in the competence of the former High Court Justice who has been appointed to lead the inquiry. She is above politics and will provide an objective report.

I also believe that Anthony Albanese does not intend the inquiry to be a witch hunt. He wants a non-political report that he can act upon in ensuring that does not happen again.

But, many people like me feel that, nevertheless, it will be converted into a witch hunt in the media, especially social media.

Unfortunately, it looks as though Albo is following the awful tradition created by Scomo, Turnbull and Abbott of constantly and unnecessarily holding witch hunts and this one looks like it is a replica of their efforts to hold power by creating conflicts.

It is a scourge of politics that must stop. It divides Australian society and does nothing to unite us. We are better than that and must cease to foster any form of a divided society.

The recent report of the Solicitor General clearly identified the problems caused by Morrison and Hurley and provided a basis on which to pass quite simple legislation to ensure that Morrison’s transgression can not be repeated again. It should have been passed through Parliament immediately so we can all get on with life and put this behind us.

Sadly, it has now gained Morrison a sympathy vote among conservative voters. Many of them were embarrassed by the abrasive way he performed in the recent election and were ready to forget about him as a genuine leader. They now feel he is simply being picked on for no valid reason and deserves their support again.

The incident also increases his ability to earn lots of money on the conservative public speaking circuit which is quite lucrative world wide. He is being billed as a great conservative who is being unfairly denigrated by socialists. A genuine hero for the cause of righteousness. This is of course not a true assessment of his character.

A better solution would have been to demand that the Liberals censure him at a Party Caucus meeting and request that he resign as Member for Cook immediately.

In addition, the Governor General should resign immediately even though he followed the established tradition of accepting the advice of his Prime Minister. He dismally failed to take up his right to ask questions of the PM as many previous Governors General have done. It would have been quite acceptable for him to ask this question

‘Prime Minister, I have already sworn 5 people into these ministries. Can you arrange for each one of them to send me a letter affirming that they agree to you also being sworn into their ministry?’

Forgetting about the legalities of it all, it would have been an act of common courtesy for him to do this with those Ministers.

However, the creation of a Royal Commission into Robodebt is a totally different matter.

This scandal was a horrible persecution of people over false accusations of theft that caused awful grief and suffering for sins they did not commit. It caused suicides and breakdowns in mental health. And it was carried out by a government that regularly denigrated welfare for the poor but happily gave tax cuts to the wealthy which was pure welfare at its most corrupt.

I fervently hope that the perpetrators of Robodebt wind up with the heavy fines or jail sentences they deserve.

There is no GOTCHA in this one.

The same cannot be said about the Royal Commissions into Trade Unions instituted by the previous government. It was a pure witch hunt & produced close to nil in its results. An absolute disgrace.

Let me close with this positive comment on the possibility of a world without GOTCHA.

When I was writing my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS, I discovered that in the first decade after Federation in 1901, the Australian Parliament did not have a majority government at any time. Indeed, it had five Prime Ministers in that decade – Barton, Deakin (3 times), Watson, Reid, Fisher. They had no GOTCHA moments as they respected one another and passed some of the finest legislation in the history of our nation, much of which exists still today. They respected one another and amiably negotiated legislation at the Melbourne Club over a fine glass of Red.

Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton should try it. The Commonwealth Club in Canberra would happily welcome them.

May we dispense forever with the politics of GOTCHA. It really is trivia but it produces minimal benefit and huge division.

In the cause of peace.

Everald

While you are here on my website, click on BOOKS and buy one – or 2 or 3.

A WEEK IN THE HALLS OF POWER

A decade of coups has caused the Australian Parliament to be a fragile example of the way that democracy is meant to work.

However, no matter whether you belong to right or left, we can acknowledge the fact that the arrival of the Albanese Government has changed the political atmosphere around the nation and created hope that we can experience a long period of political stability that enables us to achieve positive progress in meeting many significant challenges that face us.

Be this as it may, I have been an annual visitor to the Australian Parliament for 64 years, the first being way back in the days of Robert Menzies, and I continued my pilgrimage in this past week, enjoying the experience. MP’s told me that no one in Australia can beat that record.

I flew into Canberra on Sunday on yet another delayed Qantas flight, just in time to enjoy a splendid dinner at the Kingston home of my friend, Stephen Koukoulas, whom I regard as Australia’s finest economist, as well as being an astute political observer. He gave me a solid briefing on the political scene in our nations capital.

Armed with this, I descended upon Parliament for the next four days, having managed to organise 34 meetings with Members and Senators from the ALP, LNP, Greens & Independents, plus bureaucrats and press gallery. Some meetings lasted only 15 or 30 minutes, but others took an hour or more over breakfast, lunch or dinner.

A range of issues were covered in our conversations, with the key ones being my priorities – railways, longevity, housing, climate & Uluru referendum.

Here are three personal impressions of how Australia is travelling in political terms right now.

*When the Uluru Referendum is held, it will starkly divide Australia as Hanson and Palmer, backed by some high profile ultra conservatives from the LNP, will run one of the greatest scare campaigns of all time in an attempt to convince us that our homes will soon be taken from us by the traditional owners. Nevertheless, I feel confident that the referendum will produce a positive result and I am personally committed to work as a volunteer on the YES campaign to encourage oldies like me to back it solidly.

*The passing of Climate Legislation will be a solid test of the leadership skills of Anthony Albanese. The climate commitment he made during election campaign was better than that of Morrison, but far short of what is needed. To pass his climate bill through the Senate, he needs every Green Senator to vote with him, plus one Independent. This will be near impossible to achieve without expanding the goals of his climate policy as Independent David Pocock is the one most likely to vote with him. He is a deeply committed climate activist who will ask for upgrades.

*Inflation, plus the steep interest rate rises it is creating, is the most formidable hurdle for you and me right now. We will be hit hard, but we will survive. I have significant confidence in the economic knowledge and skills of Treasurer, Jim Chalmers. I first met him 15 years ago and we chat regularly. He knows what he is doing and does it calmly. You can have confidence that we are headed in the right direction.

A couple of matters especially upset me.

*I attended the swearing in of most of the 151 Members of the House of Representatives and was appalled when they were asked to give their allegiance, not to the people of Australia, but to the Queen. This means that they have sworn not to be accountable to you and me. This is a disgusting travesty of democratic justice.

*I had hoped that the behaviour of our leaders at Question time would improve. It has not. They still abuse one another. Don’t watch it. It is an appalling spectacle that represents a bad example to the nation and a total waste of your time and mine.

However, there are some good things happening.

*Seven indigenous people have been elected to the Parliament. This is a record. And its a good one.

*There are more women in Parliament than ever before and most of them are top quality. Cheers.

*My friend Milton Dick was elected Speaker. He will reform the way in which the entire Parliament and its staff go about their business. Discrimination by gender or race or religion will not be tolerated.

Did I enjoy this visit to Parliament? YES.

Is there really a positive attitude of change in the Parliament? YES

We can enjoy life with confident calm so long as we live and work with skill, confidence, determination and persistence, while ensuring there is justice for all.

Grace and Peace.

Everald

Buy my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS and absorb the sad details of why indigenous people were left out of the Australian Constitution in 1901. It will encourage you to help fix this injustice.

You can buy it from any online bookseller or my personal websites.

https://dinnerwiththefoundingfathers.com

EVERALD@LARGE

A NEW PARLIAMENT FOR AUSTRALIA

This weekend, 227 Members and Senators will travel to Canberra from all corners of our continent to be sworn in on Tuesday to serve in the 47th Parliament of Australia since Federation in 1901.

It will be led by the nation’s 31st Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, who as the Leader of the Labor Party, follows three conservative Prime Ministers, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, whose tenure will not be treated by historians as kindly as they may have hoped.

Many significant changes have been promised and are expected to be implemented.

If they are not achieved satisfactorily, and begin to produce promised results, voters will react harshly in Election2025 as the people of Australia now have a low tolerance level for crude party politics and inept governments.

So, what are the priorities and which of them are the most urgent?

While I dont expect Albo to take notice of my thoughts, these are my top ten priorities and I have listed them in what I believe is their order of importance.

*HEALTH – We have massively underinvested in all aspects of health, while private health insurance has been plundered by the medical profession and allowed to descend into an unaffordable disaster.

*INFLATION – This is seriously expanding the daily struggle for existence of a growing number of Australians in more ways than any other factor. It has been mainly caused by the greed and corruption of capitalism at its very worst, with costs being faked as a excuse to generate excessive profits. This must be eliminated quickly .

*ENERGY – a costly disgrace, caused by a decade of irresponsible neglect in failing to replace ageing power sources, that is particularly severe on pensioners and low income earners.

*AGED CARE – pitiful and disgraceful. Words cant adequately describe the humiliation and misery that people are suffering in their final years for no valid reason.

*CLIMATE and ENVIRONMENT – long overdue for serious investment, plus personal changes to our own lifestyles. Climate deniers are the world’s most irresponsible people and must be sidelined.

*AFFORDABLE HOUSING – will be solved only when governments make their surplus land and airspace available long term via low cost leases.

*ULURU STATEMENT – Its time to rectify the omission of Indigenous heritage from our original Constitution in 1901. It can be delayed no longer.

*INFRASTRUCTURE – it is either ancient or inadequate or inferior or inefficient. Huge defect in our quality of national life and our level of productivity

*WATER – we are the driest continent on the planet, yet we have never ever harnessed and sustained our water resources in an intelligent manner.

*CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE – long overdue, especially reform of the size and powers of the Senate and the powers of the Crown being passed to the People of Australia,

I an attending the entire opening week of Parliament in Canberra.

Have arranged 24 appointments with Ministers, Shadow Ministers, cross benchers and back benchers from all parties and Independents. I carry out my negotiations as a swinging voter who never has and never will join a political party as I regard them as gatherings where closed minds can flourish.

My personal mission on this visit to Parliament is to take part in discussions on the Inland Railway, Gladstone Railway, Aged Care, Affordable Housing, Uluru Statement and Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation for ACT & Northern Territory. My intention is to follow up these issues relentlessly until results are achieved.

Am hopeful of positive results as the Prime Minister appears to be seriously implementing a significant agenda for change, quite different to the negativity of recent governments that sought to revive ‘good old days’ that have never existed.

Over and above all of this, I hope that dignity and decency will return to the Parliament after a long absence.

Especially, I hope that Question Time will become a place of respectful debate. At present, it projects to the nation a very divisive and angry image which fosters discourtesy in our society.

It particularly encourages school children to speak in the same way to their teachers. They are just following the poor example of our national leaders.

I yearn for the dignified tradition of Menzies and Chifley who regularly debated one another in Parliament with huge courtesy and respect, as well as making excellent use of the English language as their sauce of power.

Yours in genuine hope for a Parliament of quality and achievement.

Everald.

And don’t forget to buy signed copies of my three books from my website

EVERALD@LARGE

or online from Booktopia or Amazon or Dymocks or Fishpond etc.

Even though I say so myself, they are an entertaining read.

ULURU REFERENDUM.

It is now time for Australians to vote in a Referendum that embeds the basic principles of the Uluru Statement into the Constitution of Australia.

This historic milestone must not be delayed beyond this year and, as the Prime Minister has affirmed that his government is ready to pass legislation enabling the Referendum to be held, it is highly possible to achieve this.

As my contribution to the debate, here is wording I believe should be voted into the Constitution as Section 129, with the heading FIRST AUSTRALIANS.

*An Assembly will be established called FIRST AUSTRALIANS, in acknowledgement of the heritage of the oldest culture in the world.

It shall

*be elected by a democratic vote of indigenous persons managed by the Australian Electoral Commission.

*consist of not more than 50 members who shall serve five year terms.

*formulate policies relating to the livelihood of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and present these to Parliament annually.

Parliament shall have

*no obligation to approve the recommended policies, but shall debate them and formally convey responses to the Assembly within one year.

*powers to make laws relating to the functions and procedures of the Assembly.

Let me have your thoughts on how these words can be improved.

In doing so, I suggest you note these thoughts.

I have used the least possible number of words as the more words that are used the more doubts can be created in the minds of voters by opponents who see words as an opportunity to nitpick.

I am aware that significant leaders of indigenous communities would like the name of the Assembly to be FIRST NATIONS VOICE but I have the firm view that this will cause the referendum to fail as many Australians will feel that it recognises indigenous people as a separate nation.

The Constitution states that to gain approval, a Referendum must not only gain a nationwide majority of votes for YES, voters in four out of 6 States must vote YES. This is a huge task and I hope that you will join me in working for its achievement.

It is important that FIRST AUSTRALIANS is part of the Constitution rather than it being created by an Act of Parliament as that can be amended or removed by a subsequent government.

As this year is the 30th anniversary of the Mabo decision of the High Court to recognise the land rights of Indigenous Australians, it is fitting that Australia now takes this next step forward in continuing to achieve a just society.

Written with a genuine sense of history in the making.

Everald

PS. Read my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS to discover why aborigines, as they were then called, were omitted from the Australian Constitution.

EVERALD@LARGE

Click on Books.

ELECTION 2022 – AFTERMATH

Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia.

He does not pretend to be a charismatic leader, but I know him well enough to say he is a reliable administrator and proven negotiator who will not run away from any of the huge challenges that now face Australia. I wish him well and, like you, will hold him accountable if he fails to implement the mandate for which he sought approval during the election.

I particularly welcome Jim Chalmers as Treasurer. I have known him for a long time and am certain that he will be a safe custodian of our money and an innovative reformer of the nation’s financial and taxation systems. Let me say that he is as talented a political leader as I have met in 65 years of visiting the Australian Parliament.

Three facts will be noted by the Albanese Government.

*Their primary vote was their lowest, percentage wise, in 110 years. Actually lower than Bill Shorten received in 2019.

*They lost a ‘safe’ seat in their heartland.

*They did not win a single extra seat from the LNP in Queensland. Their electoral impact there were nil.

The ALP will be wise to address this prior to Election 2025.

The so called TEALS have arrived on the political scene as Independents in significant numbers and are here to stay. The ones I know are highly intelligent, committed and motivated. They will strive to cement their place in the Parliament with positive negotiations and should be reelected many times, also increasing their numbers. They will progressively reduce the power of major parties and this will be good for democracy in Australia.

Greens have enjoyed a resurgence in the House of Representatives and in the Senate where they will hold the balance of power. They are a more pragmatic and balanced Party than they were under their founder Bob Brown and will continue to grow in strength and influence due to their superior policies on climate change which have captivated younger voters.

The Liberals are in their death throws.

In terms of seats won, they had their worst election result in 70 years and they suffered a significant drop in their % of primary vote.

It is highly likely they will split into two parties.

The right wing are so extremist they cannot possibly continue to call themselves Liberals without displaying utter hypocrisy.

The moderates have been decimated by the Teals and some of those who did survive will probably walk out of their Party and sit as a group on the crossbenches where their neighbours will be the Teals.

May I also say that Josh Frydenberg is a valued friend of long standing, introduced to me by our mutual friend, Sir Zelman Cowen, long before Josh went into Parliament. While I warmly welcome so many Independents into the Parliament, I am sad that Josh was a casualty. He is an honest and decent conservative whose presence will be missed.

The Nationals did not lose a seat, which is quite extraordinary, but the childish negativity of Barnaby Joyce did cause moderate conservative voters in cities to vote for Teals. They have nothing to gain by renewing a Coalition with the Liberals as even their combined numbers will still be insignificant in the Parliament. To survive, they need to establish their own clear identity.

Clive Palmer spent huge sums of money in political advertising in both Election 2019 and Election 2022 and was rejected by voters on both occasions. Despite his political failure, the Australian Electoral Commission must request that legislation be passed by Parliament to make it illegal for any person or entity to attempt to buy an election.

The political star of Pauline Hanson is quietly fading. Few will weep.

So, how will all of this pan out in actuality for the people of Australia.

I have always held the view that no government should stay in power for more than three terms, certainly no more than a decade. A long term government usually gets tired and runs out of ideas and almost certainly needs a clean out by then. So, our change of government right now is a good thing for next decade, but no longer.

Labor has won only one third of the elections held since Federation in 1901. Conservatives have consistently been able to convince voters than the ALP are big spenders who will lose their money. However, Albanese is not going to allow himself and his Party to be tarred with that brush this time and then be tossed out after just one term. He will be careful and responsible.

In deciding their own fate, the Liberals will do well to recall Menzies speech when he created the Liberal Party in 1943. I heard it on ABC Radio at the time. I was just 12 years old. He said,

‘I have called my new Party the Liberals as we are not a Conservative Party. Our ideology is in the political centre.’

If the current Liberals don’t reclaim the initial ground staked out by Menzies, they may find that Albanese decides to move there in what for him and his party would be a very smart political move.

All is well for now.

Albo deserves a fair go. If he fails to deliver, we will have the chance to kick him out in 2025. This is our democratic right.

Scomo is finished and it is possible that the laws of the land will hold him accountable for some undemocratic and unethical behavior. Nevertheless, his miracle victory in the election of 2019 was the most spectacular of my lifetime.

Cheers

Everald

Enjoy a good read about the creation of the nation of Australia in 1901 and join me in a crusade to improve our Constitution in a new world of 120 years later.

Buy my book by visiting its website https://dinnerwiththefoundingfathers.com

POLITICAL PARTIES WILL DIE ON SATURDAY

Election 2022 will result in Australians choosing a minority ALP Government.

Many Independents will be elected and the Greens will enhance their numbers.

ALP will win some seats and lose others, leaving them short of a majority.

The cross bench will guarantee supply and undertake not to move motions of no confidence, while honouring key ALP Election commitments & requesting that legislation be passed that implement their own commitments in vital areas such as climate, housing, health, longevity, culture etc.

It will create a long overdue and stable government that achieves progress and prosperity with justice and compassion.

The Coalition will be decimated and divided and in need of total reform as they have self destructed.

The remnants of the Liberal Party will break up, with the Pentecostals separating from the Moderates. The National Party, having lost seats, will have a bitter leadership turmoil. Their extreme right will join with the Pentecostals.

The Palmer and Hanson parties will be reduced to insignificance.

The ALP will be forced to reform itself after two failed campaigns under Shorten and Albanese but they should be able to achieve it without internal blood letting if they have the will to do so.

The Greens have enjoyed a significant resurgence due to their powerful climate change policy which has hugely appealed to Under 30 voters. They have a real chance to win 3 new seats in Brisbane ( Ryan, Griffith and Brisbane), plus Richmond in NSW and Macnamara in Victoria while holding Adam Bandt’s seat of Melbourne.

Independents will deliver a killer blow to the major parties which is why I am personally working hard as a volunteer on the campaign for my friends – Suzie Holt in Groom (Toowoomba) and Kate Hook in Calare (Orange/Bathurst) who are non-political independents of genuine quality.

Tracking this across the continent, the Liberals will lose these seats to them –

Curtin in Western Australia

Boothby in South Australia

Goldstein and Kooyong in Victoria.

Hume, Wentworth, North Sydney, Mackellar & Warringah in NSW

Groom in Queensland.

The Nationals will suffer defeats in –

Hinkler in Queensland,

Page, Cowper & Calare in NSW

Nicholls in Victoria

The Palmer Party will lose Hughes to an Independent and put an end to Craig Kelly’s less than illustrious parliamentary career.

The ALP will lose Fowler in NSW to an Independent. This is the seat where Kenneally was arrogantly parachuted in as candidate against hostile opposition from local ALP.

Existing crossbenchers Haines, Bandt, Wilkie, Sharkie, Steggall and Katter will hold their seats.

ALP will win 6 seats from Liberals but lose 3 as outlined above.

The Greens may get to hold the balance in the Senate while former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Rugby legend David Pocock and author Jane Caro are on track to win Senate seats as well. Additionally, my hope is that Senator Rex Patrick will hold his seat in South Australia as he has proved to be a very responsible parliamentarian.

I cannot see Pauline Hanson holding her Senate seat as her star is fading and it I am certain that Clive Palmer will disappear, hopefully forever.

This means that, to have a future, the major parties must reform or die. As they have always rejected reform, it may be the latter.

But, we will have a Parliament where some deadwood has been cleaned out and MP’s of stature will have replaced them.

In this situation, the Governor General will have huge power.

The Constitution does not recognise political parties, nor does it recognise Prime Ministers. I simply says,

‘The Governor General will appoint Ministers’.

Usually, he invites the Leader of the winning party to advise him as to who should become Ministers, but where there is no winner, the power lies entirely with him.

He will seek advice from the Independents and Greens as to whom they wish to be appointed as Prime Minister. They could nominate someone who is not the leader of a Party and the GG will have total power to invite that person to form a government and obtain a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives without asking Parties for approval.

The Independents in their first action of political power, will probably nominate either Jim Chalmers or Tanya Plibersek.

So, why have we reached this point where politics is at its lowest ebb of my lifetime. Indeed, a huge percentage of voters rank it as the lowest of the low?

The cause is that political parties on both right and left are tightly controlled by small groups of power brokers who produce privileges for elite people, while arrogantly insisting that it is all really ultra democratic.

In addition, the less than decent behavior, lack of skills of government and inability to speak the truth as shown by most parliamentarians, simply switches off voters, filling them with disgust.

Its time for all of us to aspire to have a Parliament we can respect and admire for they way it creates a fair and cohesive society.

My hope is that the political carnage that occurs as votes are counted on Saturday evening will begin an era of progressive and enlightened social and economic advancement for all Australians.

This can only be achieved if Australia has a Prime Minister who is neither Scomo nor Albo.

Yours in independence

Everald Compton AO

PS. Be inspired by the vision of the political leaders who founded the new nation of Australia in 1901.

Read my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS.

Order it on my website https://www.everaldcompton.com

Tony Windsor and Everald Compton have formed a team to get Rural Independents elected and invite you to join them.

We have worked together for many years on economic and social projects that will enhance the lives of Australians, particularly those who live in Inland Australia.

Shortly after Everald announced in 1996 his intention to build an Inland Railway from Melbourne to Darwin, we worked as a team in long term negotiations with five governments to ensure that it happened.
It took many years to get results, but we rejoiced in 2017 when the Federal Government announced that it would build the first section of it from Melbourne to Brisbane.

We cooperated in every way that we could, but it became clear that the Government had decided to proceed without involving Everald despite his two decades of work in bringing the project to reality.
Then, we were appalled at the callous manner in which ARTC treated landholders and local communities in wilfully destroying their livelihood.

It is also clear that the Government has irresponsibly wasted huge sums of public funds by allowing the project to blow out from an initial budget of $9 Billion to a current estimate of $20 Billion and a probability of it expanding to more than $25 Billion.

Therefore, we are left with no option but to use Election 2022 as the only means available to convert this tragedy into a significant national asset by supporting the election of independent candidates of top quality who are potential winners of rural seats along the path of Inland Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane.

We are backing excellent people have nominated in 5 Inland Rail electorates, plus a fine rural candidate for the Senate in Victoria who has supported Everald all the way since 1996.

They are-
Suzie Holt (Groom), Kate Hook (Calare), Pennie Scott (Riverina), Helen Haines
(Indi), Rob Priestly (Nicolls), Susan Benedyka (Senate Victoria).

Our support of these independent candidates is not contingent on their support of our criticism of Inland Rail. We intend to help them with issues they believe are important to their electorates.

We welcome your involvement with us in ensuring that those fine Independents become productive and progressive members of Parliament.

Attached below is a document written by Everald that outlines the tragedy that has occurred with Inland Rail.

Feel free to contact us directly or through our campaign coordinator, Graham Nuttall, who has also been an active partner of ours for many years in advocating the building of an Inland Railway and has written a great document (attached) on how Hung Parliaments can work well.

TONY WINDSOR (0427 668 868) EVERALD COMPTON (0407 721 710)

Graham Nuttall contact details are Mobile 0412 916 040 – Email nutts@optusnet.com.au 

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THE DESTRUCTION OF THE INLAND RAILWAY

EVERALD COMPTON PROVIDES A SUMMARY OF THE TRAGEDY

*In 1996, I met at Parliament in Canberra with John Howard to outline my plans to build an Inland Railway from Melbourne to Darwin, primarily using private capital. He asked his ministers to cooperate with me in preliminary planning.

*To test public support, I organised, attended, spoke at 53 public meetings along the pathway of the railway which was planned to go from Melbourne to Albury, Parkes, Moree, Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, Gladstone, Emerald, Longreach, Hughenden, Mount Isa, Tennant Creek and Darwin.

*Those meetings had huge attendances, packed to the rafters, filled with enthusiasm about the vision of the social & economic regeneration of the Inland. Never otherwise in my 90 years have I ever experienced such goodwill. This splendid dream has now been destroyed by the Australian Railtrack Corporation.

*The vision that I outlined was that of a railway that would transport rural products to the nearest Port with speed, efficiency and at low cost, causing regional communities to grow into inland cities.

*After 20 long years of negotiations, overcoming fear of politicians that the railway would be a dud and they would get the blame, the Australian Government announced in the 2017 Budget that it would commission its own rail company, The Australian Rail Track Corporation, to build the first section of the Inland Railway from Melbourne to Brisbane via Goondiwindi and Toowoomba.

*They contributed no budget funding for it, but authorised ARTC to obtain a government guaranteed, low interest, bank loan for 9 billion dollars to do the job. This has been subsequently expanded to 14 billion, then 19 billion and is anticipated to reach 25 billion. ARTC has no capacity ever to repay it.

*At the time of this announcement, I was dispensed with, receiving no letter of thanks for 2 decades of hard work and no hint whatsoever of any financial recompense for time or expenses incurred. I did not ask for or expect any, but it was callous treatment nevertheless.

*The project has been a dud from day one as it does not start from the Port of Melbourne nor finish at the Port of Brisbane so it is totally useless to rural communities. All that it is planned to do is carry freight at the highest possible speed between two capital cities and put the trucking industry out of business. It is a huge betrayal by the National Party which was founded to create prosperity for Rural Australia.

*In addition, the staff of Inland Rail have acted like thugs and destroyed the livelihood of farmers and rural communities by unnecessarily resuming land to build the track when there were alternate routes along road corridors & current and disused rail tracks and power corridors that would have harmed no one. They are even destroying housing.

*Added to this is huge administrative waste of funds that is scandalous. Billions of dollars are involved.

*It is now quite clear that Inland Rail will not ever get beyond Toowoomba. There will be blood on the streets if ARTC tries to build a railway through the outer suburbs of Brisbane.

*Members of Parliament representing electorates on the path of Inland Rail from outer Melbourne to outer Brisbane must be challenged for their seats for allowing this tragedy to unfurl totally unnecessarily. The only exception is Helen Haines, Independent Member for Indi, who is fighting a memorable battle to stop ARTC from destroying communities in her electorate. The others have turned a blind eye.

*And the Board of Directors of ARTC must be dismissed by the incoming government for gross negligence in allowing this fiasco to occur.

EVERALD COMPTON – 0407 721710 – everald.compton@live.com.au

PS. I AM NOW LEADING A CONSORTIUM (minus ARTC) THAT WILL BUILD A DUAL GAUGE RAILWAY DIRECT FROM GLADSTONE TO GOONDIWINDI  (not via Toowoomba). IT WILL MAKE GLADSTONE THE ‘ROTTERDAM OF AUSTRALIA’. 

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Independents – Creators of Better Government

The prospect of a “Hung” Parliament frightens the major parties bringing about scare campaigns and the old chestnut that Independents can’t do anything.
We are seeing this played out particularly in seats where the “Voices for” groups have mobilised and grown their supporter numbers early enough in the lead up to the next election in May to be a real threat.

The community consultation and development of grassroots support for these groups and subsequently the candidates they support is showing the major parties that the “silent majority” who they have taken for granted are waking up to their antics.

These people are seeing a way to break free from the clutches of the major parties who they have stuck with for many years.

They are unchaining their hearts to make a change in the way they are represented in the Parliament and are now supporting their own independent candidates.

It has been the “Norm” after each general election in a Westminster system like Australia that one major party or the other wins the majority of seats in the Parliament after which that Party can form a majority Government until the next general election.

On the rare occasion that neither major party has won a majority in its own right, one or the other party has to either form a “Coalition” with minor parties or negotiate support for it to form a government with the Members of the “Cross Bench”.

This was the case after the 2010 General Election.

The major Parties really don’t like this outcome after a general election as it takes away the “power” of an Executive Government that can dictate what happens in the Parliament.

Their mantra is that we have more seats than the other team and therefore we have a “mandate” to implement ALL of their policies even if they are detrimental to the people.

They believe that ALL their policies were endorsed by the majority of the voters – not perhaps that they were the lesser of two evils or as Russell Crowe said in his movie Master & Commander, “the lesser of two weevils.”

A “Hung Parliament” or minority Government however means that the Executive are no longer in total control of the agenda of the Parliament and in fact they have to take into account the views of others and adjust their thinking in recognition of others to get things through the Parliament.

This has been the case for a long time in the Senate, however not so in the House of Representatives.
The Executive therefore is stymied and resents having to deal with pesky Cross Bench MPs who came into the place to represent the people of their electorate in the Parliament not represent the Party back in the electorate even if their personal view differs from their Party – Toe the line and shut up if you know what’s good for you!!

Executive Government is also an easy ride for the mainstream media as it provides the media with some certainty about where the Government of the day is heading.

Individual journalists can cosy up to the Executive and receive inside stories that boost their own profiles and therefore readership among the masses.

A “Hung Parliament” makes it harder for the media to get a handle on where the Cross Bench MPs will actually vote often until it hits that stage in the Bill’s passage.

In 2010 when Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott were trying to decide who to support to form Government, they were looking for the side that they could trust to run the full term of the Parliament i.e., 3 years.

They believed that if the Parliament was to make significant changes and impact on Australia’s future that 3 years would be needed to develop and implement the necessary legislation and programs to at least make a start on changes for the better.

Julia Gillard was certainly better equipped to deal with a Hung Parliament and take it to the full term and she did this, passing a record 561 Bills over the term.

Tony Abbott was only waiting for the NSW State election to be run and won by the Coalition in 2011 before he would have declared that he could no longer work within a hung parliament and taken the country to another election.

A good example of the “Hung Parliament” working includes The Multi Party Climate Change Committee (MPCCC). It provided a vehicle that brought together the Greens, Independents and Labor to focus on developing a way forward to address the major global issue of Climate Change. 

The only thing missing was the Liberal/National Party (LNP) Coalition who were more intent on pushing the “great big new TAX” propaganda and trying to bring the Government down.

Executive Government would not have gone down this path of bringing others into the process but in doing so other points of view were recognised such as leaving transport fuel out of the price on carbon and recognising the value of the agriculture sector in addressing Climate Change issues.

Executive Government would not have supported the Royal Commission into Child Abuse but with the support of the Crossbench Julia Gillard showed the courage needed to bring it on.

The commitment to the original NBN rollout fibre to the premise (FTTP) was also pushed by the Cross Bench MPs (later dismantled by the LNP) as well as support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Parliamentary Committee process operated more fully without Executive Government interference and Private Members were encouraged to submit “Private Members Bills”

Tony Windsor’s amendment to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to include a “Water Trigger” still exists despite best efforts of the Coalition to give the power back to the States thanks to the “Hung Senate”.

Executive Government power hence diminishes as a result of a “Hung Parliament” with decisions made after consultation, compromise and consensus.

Remember – A good idea doesn’t care who has it and no-one has a mortgage on good ideas.
A Hung Parliament and Independents should not be feared by the community.

Independents have the ability to rein in the hard right which has had too much say in Government policy direction and lasso the left so as to recognise social and environmental issues whilst keeping them within the bounds of achievability.  

Independents may never be in Government but they are never in Opposition either.

Hence Independents are truly “Creators of Better Government”.

HUNG PARLIAMENTS ARE AN ASSET OF DEMOCRACY

A revolution will occur when Australians vote in Election2022.

A considerable majority of us will express our profound disgust with a decaying political establishment that has long since ceased to serve our nation. We will vote in huge numbers for candidates who do not belong to a political party.

This will mean that no Party will win enough seats to form a government, thereby enabling Independent MP’s to determine who will lead Australia for the next three years.

At this point, the Governor General will be in a position of immense power in deciding who will lead Australia.

He will take advice from all sides of the political composition of Parliament, but he alone will determine what happens next.

The Constitution of Australia does not state that there will be an officer of the Parliament called the Prime Minister. It bluntly and solely says that the Governor General will appoint Ministers.

So it was that the first members of an Australian ministry in 1901 had to decide who they wanted to be their leader. Then they advised the Governor General to appoint Edmund Barton as Prime Minister. The tradition has continued to this day with every Governor General acknowledging that the leader of the winning Party would be Prime Minister.

In the event of a Hung Parliament, there is no winning Party so the Governor General will, at his sole discretion, invite the Leader of one of the Parties to form a Government. He is not required to invite the leader of the Party that won the most seats.

This right was affirmed when a Hung Parliament occurred in 2013. The Liberals had won one more seat than the ALP, but the Governor General invited Julia Gillard to form a Government because the Independents and small Parties advised him that they would support her, not Tony Abbott.

So, what will happen if there is a Hung Parliament after Election2022?

We must at this point note that the Constitution does not recognise Political Parties in any shape or form. They simply do not exist. They are a political contrivance of the Members of Parliament.

In choosing a Prime Minister, the Governor General can only deal with persons elected to the House of Representatives and is not required to choose the Leader of any Party. He is required to choose someone whom he believes can form a government and give that person a fixed number of days to do so. If that person fails to get a governing team together, he invites someone else.

At this point, the Independents have a key role. The Governor General will ask them who they will support as Prime Minister. They can choose anyone whom they wish from the members of the House of Representatives.

It is highly unlikely that they will choose either Morrison or Albanese as both will, at that point of time, be regarded as losers.

My gut feeling is that they will recommend either Jim Chalmers or Tanya Plibersek from ALP or Josh Frydenberg from LNP.

Whoever is commissioned as Prime Minister by the Governor General will have to win a confidence vote in the House of Representatives before he or she can begin to govern. If that fails, the Governor General will start the process all over again. But this wont happen as the newly Independents will be keen to show their worth to the nation.

Then Australia will enjoy enlightened government for the first time in a long time. Every Bill will be debated and upgraded before it passes Parliament. This will represent democracy in the manner in which it was originally intended..

If this scenario concerns you, just study the first ten years of government after Federation began in 1901. There was no majority government during that time, yet profound legislation was passed and some, like the age pension, survive to this day.

To ensure that this works well, make sure you vote for the best person on the ballot paper, not a political party. If the best person happens to be the endorsed candidate of a political party, that is good. We want a Parliament of quality parliamentarians, not political hacks.

The vital issue is that, when Parliament has to seriously negotiate every piece of legislation, it provides an opportunity for voters to convey their views to local members as they know that the MP will not be obliged to follow their Party line. It will constantly enhance democracy.

So if you are someone who has voted for the same political party all your life, please change that dreadful habit as it conveys to everyone in your family and social circle that you have a closed mind. You are really not that sort of person.

Yours in the quest for good government.

Everald

CONTINUING THE WORK OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS

HELP SEND THREE PETITIONS TO THE AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT

Many of my Facebook friends have read my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS and have expressed interest in helping to upgrade the work of the Founders of our nation by advocating constitutional changes that modern Australia needs 120 years later.

If you have not yet read my book, I invite you to do so and then consider offering your help also.

I reckon that we can only get three changes through at a Referendum at any one time.

So, here are three for your consideration, outlined in the form with which they can be presented to Parliament.

Continue reading “CONTINUING THE WORK OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS”

Voluntary Assisted Dying. Crunch time at Queensland Parliament.

Last year, the Queensland Parliament voted to authorise its Health Committee to hold public hearings throughout Queensland to assess public attitudes to Voluntary Assisted Dying and Palliative Care. They did an extraordinary job of holding hearings far and wide across the State and encouraging all opinions to be expressed.

I spoke at one of the hearings and it was evident that there was huge support for Queenslanders to have the right to choose to end their lives peacefully and in comfort when faced with an incurable illness. It was also clear that people felt that palliative care services were not adequate and were not an alternate to Voluntary Assisted Dying as many people will choose both. People who attended other hearings gained the same impression as I did. Continue reading “Voluntary Assisted Dying. Crunch time at Queensland Parliament.”

THE LEFT HAS BEEN LEFT

Jeremy Corbyn has led British Labour to a massive defeat.

Bill Shorten led the Australian ALP to the loss of an election that should never have been lost.

Hilary Clinton led her left wing Democrats to lose an American Presidential Election to a candidate who will be remembered as the worst President in American History.

These astonishing events lead us to ask the question,

WILL A CANDIDATE FROM THE LEFT EVER WIN A MAJOR ELECTION AGAIN?

And how is it that this all happened.?

Let’s look for a moment at all three. Continue reading “THE LEFT HAS BEEN LEFT”

SHORTEN’S END

Twenty years ago, Trade Union legend Bill Ludwig introduced me to Bill Shorten, telling me that here was a young guy who was going places.

Shorten and I met for coffee at Melbourne University where he was studying part time to get his MBA. I liked him and asked what were his future plans for his life. Without hesitation , he replied.

“I intend to become Prime Minister of Australia”. Continue reading “SHORTEN’S END”

AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY NEEDS A REFORMATION

Let us for the moment presume that Bill Shorten will become Prime Minister of Australia on Saturday evening.

Once he settles into the job, I will seek a meeting with him to advocate a number of changes to the way in which we elect governments and the manner in which changes can be made to the Senate which is currently a blot on democracy.

Firstly, Compulsory Voting must cease. Continue reading “AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY NEEDS A REFORMATION”

INLAND RAILWAY- POLITICS OF DISASTER

Back in the days of his prime, Barnaby Joyce announced that the Coalition Government had allocated 9.5 billion dollars for the construction of the Inland Railway.

He had demanded this from Malcolm Turnbull as the price for National Party cooperation at the time of Turnbull’s coup to topple Abbott.

Turnbull reluctantly agreed, but insisted that it had to be funded ‘off balance sheet’, ie, not taken from general taxpayer revenue in the next Budget, but funded by loans to be taken out by the Federal Government’s own railway company, ARTC (Australian Rail Track Corporation) against its balance sheet. Future revenue would pay back the loans.

This was mentioned only in the fine print of the public announcement. Most voters think it is being funded by regular government grants.

In other words, Barnaby Joyce proceeded with the project without allocating one cent of government funds to it. This means that his in-depth commitment to it has been Nil. It was simply a vote getting stunt. Continue reading “INLAND RAILWAY- POLITICS OF DISASTER”

FULLY FRANKED MUST BE FRANK AND FAIR

It is beyond dispute that Bill Shorten is correct when he states that a cash refund of franking credits on investments should be claimed only by a taxpayer.

What is in dispute is the timing and manner in which he intends to legislate changes to current taxation laws on those credits.

His planned legislation must be changed to exempt all shares purchased prior to 30 June, 2019. This will give retirees the same privileges that he has stated that he will grant to those affected by his changes to taxation benefits relating to negative gearing and capital gains.

To deny this, will mean that he will be declaring that property developers are more worthy citizens than retirees and deserve privileges that are to be denied to retirees. Continue reading “FULLY FRANKED MUST BE FRANK AND FAIR”

THE YEAR THAT NEVER WAS

2018 has been the most pointless of my 87 years.

Nothing dreadful happened to me or Australia. It was just a boring time of decadent politics and absent ethics in which not one inspiring thing happened and there was much to lament.

There are many regrettable issues that deserve a mention, but I will talk about just three.

The Royal Commissions on Child Abuse and Aged Care.

The Royal Commission on Banking

The demise of Malcolm Turnbull.

I write, not as a lament, but in the hope of working out how we can make sure they are never repeated. There simply has to be a better way to run our country. Continue reading “THE YEAR THAT NEVER WAS”

VALE LIBERALS FOREVER

For 75 years, the Liberal Party of Australia has been a respected and enduring institution of our nation which will be remembered kindly for many notable achievements.

However, it is breathing its last and rigor mortis will set in very quickly and permanently.

Its record over the past few years has been so lamentable that few will weep.

The death spiral began when Fraser illegally removed Whitlam in 1975, then governed with such a guilty conscience that he will be remembered as a very dismal Prime Minister.

Temporarily, Howard steadied the ship, but the rot set in when Turnbull ruthlessly destroyed Nelson and Abbott replaced Turnbull in as stupid a ballot as has ever been held.

Abbott’s reign in Opposition and Government was as close to insanity as can be imagined and Turnbull let down Australia in everything that he did and did not do, a huge disappointment to me personally and many like me.

Now Morrison is an illegitimate Prime Minister, not accepted in this high office, as he was put there by 45 people, most of whom the nation disrespects.

It is all over. Nothing can save the Liberals, absolutely nothing. Continue reading “VALE LIBERALS FOREVER”

NO SAFE SEATS

We have reached a huge watershed in Australian political history.

There is now no Member of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament who holds a safe seat, not one, no matter what their current majority may be, not even Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten.

And neither the Coalition nor the ALP can be certain of getting more than one Senate candidate over the line in any State. Their number two Senate candidates cannot be confident of getting the required quota. And I joke not.

Some, quite wrongly, will see this as a terrible catastrophe that will ensure huge a period of very unstable government.

However, it is far more likely to provide a refreshing change in which the political establishment will self destruct and never again be able to return to its inefficient complacency and its inability to be accountable.

Above all, it shows that Australian voters have had a massive gutful of bad government and blame it on all the major parties, without exception.

Incredibly, most politicians are blithely unaware of their very uncertain future and need to be blasted into recognition by getting a brutal dose of acute voter anger.

How have we reached this incredible political crisis? Continue reading “NO SAFE SEATS”

EGO defeats NOUS

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? Continue reading “EGO defeats NOUS”