WILL THE BURNING OF THE FLAG OF AUSTRALIA HELP OR HINDER THE PASSING OF THE VOICE REFERENDUM?

Let me say first of all that I have believed for many decades that Australia needs a new flag.

May I also say that I will never ever burn our flag no matter what its design may be?

My journey towards achieving a new flag for Australia began at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

At that time, our National Anthem was GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. When an Australian won a Gold Medal, this was played as the Aussie mounted the podium. Exactly the same happened when a Brit or a Kiwi won. There was no distinction.

Even the most conservative monarchists in Australia began to openly say, ‘we must have a national anthem of our own that shows we are no longer a British colony.’ Some were also saying, ‘we must have a new flag too. After all the Canadians are getting a new one.’

It took a long time, but we finally achieved the goal of a new national anthem even though we blundered badly. WALTZING MATILDA, with new words, should have been chosen as this is the tune that the world instinctively identifies as being Australian.

But we have made no progress whatsoever in gaining a genuine Australian Flag.

The Union Jack, that is a predominant part of it, continues to tell the world we are a British Colony. No national movement of power is advocating a new flag and current thinking is that a new flag can naturally follow after Australia becomes a Republic, probably in 2024 or 2025. I fervently hope so.

In the meantime, our Aboriginal Flag has gained prominence and will continue be a permanent presence in the life of Australia even though many people are of the strong belief that Australia can have only one flag. Actually, we have three as Torres Strait Islanders have one too, but most of us have not been aware of it. If we really want to get round to considering the entire realm of our flags, all six States and both Territories have flags, so this makes 11 flags in all.

Now, to come to the current controversy.

During our national remembrance of the death of Queen Elizabeth, an indigenous protester publicly burned the Australian Flag, declaring that it commemorates the British Invasion of Australia that occurred when the First Fleet arrived in 1788. This resulted in the dispossession of land occupied by Indigenous people for 65000 years and the deaths of 30000 of them by gunfire and 100,000 by the diseases of white civilisation. In remembering this, it is important to note that no indigenous tribe ever surrendered or ceded their land to the British. It remains their own to this day.

While all this is true, Elizabeth was not personally responsible for it, nor is anyone living on our continent right now. So, the burning of our flag is offensive to most of our people. However, we will become very much to blame if we fail to do something positive about recognising Indigenous heritage and granting them a legislated advisory voice that they are entitled to in the affairs of the nation.

Our first opportunity to do this is via the Voice Referendum, currently scheduled to be held sometime in 2023. If it is passed, it will create a constitutional entity to which Aborigines will elect representatives. Those representatives will have power to debate any issues that relate to their people and present them to our Federal Parliament for consideration, However, Parliament will be under no legal obligation to approve them.

I can see no valid reason why this referendum should not pass. Indigenous people were not consulted when the Australian Constitution was drafted and approved in 1901 and they are not mentioned in it except to say they are the responsibility of the States. They have a fundamental right to be recognised as human beings and this small step will recognise it.

(It is appropriate also that I should mention too that women were not consulted about the Constitution in 1901).

Once this first step is taken, consideration can be given to the signing of a Treaty in the same spirit as was intended in the negotiation of the Waitangi Treaty in New Zealand in 1840.

The blunt fact is that if the Voice Referendum is defeated, the issue will not ever go away. It will remain as a festering sore of our national life forever so nothing will be gained by running away from it. We cannot hide behind the fact that dispossession of indigenous people has happened on every other continent. That fact of history does not make it right.

Nevertheless, having said all of the above, I strongly hold the view that the burning of our National Flag last week was unjustified.

Indeed, it was also very naive politics as it has lost the support of many people who were intending to vote YES. It was quite simply insulting and WRONG.

That lost ground means that much more positive work will have to be done to make sure that the referendum wins.

Sincerely,

Everald Compton

A proud Australian who intends to vote YES and campaign strongly for a YES vote. It’s time.

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 SPLENDID ERA OF ELIZABETH IS OVER. CAN AUSTRALIA NOW BECOME A REPUBLIC?

For many years, I have been appalled by the attitude of people who say,

‘When the Queen dies, I will be happy to vote in favour of Australia becoming a Republic.’

What they, in reality, have been callously saying is this.

‘I don’t want to offend Elizabeth, but I have no problem with insulting Charles’.

Why are they happy to declare Charles to be a lesser monarch than the Queen? I can assure you from personal experience that he is actually a decent bloke.

Fact is their thinking is totally emotional, has no shred of logic and is offensive to the King.

Most Australians don’t realise it, but right now two thirds of the members of the Commonwealth of Nations are Republics and the Queen had a good relationship with all of them. So will Charles.

The prime example is India, It won its freedom from Britain in 1947 and immediately became a Republic, severing all constitutional connections with the British Crown, but happily joined the Commonwealth of Nations. Since then, they have invited the Queen to visit them on three occasions and she accepted three times, with huge crowds turning out to greet her. Does this indicate she was offended by them becoming a Republic?

Australians who used the ‘Queen Excuse’ to oppose Australia becoming a Republic have shown themselves to be shallow.

So, lets cut out the emotional nonsense and get down to discussing how Australia formally severs its connections with a decadent Downton Abbey society and becomes an independent nation.

What can stop us from becoming a Republic right now?

There will be a temporary delay due to a timing problem. We have no option but to wait until the Indigenous Voice Referendum has been held in mid 2023 as it is already underway and is a matter of some controversy that can’t be avoided. I intend to vote Yes, but the opposition will be significant.

Nevertheless, we can begin to prepare for it.

An initial hurdle is that we must face the fact that the words ‘Republic’ and ‘President’ switch off far too many voters. People identify those titles with nations like USA and Russia and Trump and Putin, They are a huge negative that will cause the referendum to be lost. So I think it makes common sense to stick with the existing words of ‘Commonwealth of Australia’ and ‘Governor General’.

I have sought legal advice and find it is possible to remove all mention of ‘The Crown’ from the Constitution of Australia and still remain a Commonwealth. A referendum will gain approval for this far more easily than one based on a republic.

It is also wise to retain the title of Governor General as this maintains a relationship with State Governors and removes the huge negative of the word President.

The crucial debate will be centered on the method of appointing a Governor General.

Will he or she continue to be chosen by the Prime Minister as happens at present or can the appointment be made by a vote of a Joint Sitting of both Houses of Parliament with a two thirds majority being required.

In achieving such a vote in the Parliament, should the nominees to be voted on be eminent citizens who are proposed by the People of Australia via a Petition to Parliament or do we let the politicians choose the candidates.

Or should the Governor General be appointed by a direct election in which voters make the choice, not Parliament. Does this mean that a politician will be elected who then feels he or she has a political mandate? It will be necessary for the Constitution to be amended to say that no current or former politicians are eligible to run. The Irish have made direct election work well in Eire so it is possible.

These issues simply remind us that there is a lot of debate to be held before we can decide what is best for Australia.

So, testing times lie ahead.

However, the death of Queen Elizabeth puts it all on the Agenda right now in a far greater limelight and urgency than ever before. Also, the controversial status of the current Governor General over the ‘Morrison Affair’ has highlighted the need for changes to be made as Australia voters had no say whatsoever in the appointment of Hurley.

A step forward will be to create a Constitution Panel to draw up all the changes and additions to the Constitution that are necessary for a Referendum in 2024.

Let’s get this moving but let me say this in closing.

Even though Britain faces dark economic and social challenges at this moment, the Brits have one huge talent they can once more show to the world. They have a magnificent capacity to organise quite breathtaking funerals. The one they did for Diana was an absolute cracker. This one will outclass that one by a huge margin as it is one for the ages.

Elizabeth was as close to a saint as the Brits have had in their royal history. Every republican I know holds her in high regard as a person. They will eventually feel the same way about Charles. In the meantime, they just want Australia to be an independent nation.

With my best regards to all the Windsor family.

Everald

WHY AM I HERE?

One of the greatest story tellers in the history of the United States of America was MARK TWAIN, an author of legend.

He was also a spellbinding orator and superb raconteur.

Of all his great words, I regard these as his finest.

‘There are two memorable days in your life. The first is the day you are born. The second is when you ask yourself this question,

WHY AM I HERE?

Tragedy is that most people either avoid the question or feel unable to answer it.

I was reminded of Mark Twain this week when the Australian Government held a Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra that was attended by 150 of our nations most influential citizens and who were joined by a selection of powerful Members of Parliament.

Over 2 days, they made 36 recommendations to Government for action which I hope will be implemented quickly, skillfully and efficiently. It is a reasonable assessment to say that the Summit was a success.

Over and above this, the Summit conveyed a personal message to you and me. It challenged us to decide what we will do with our lives at work and play and as volunteers working to create a cohesive society.

The stage is now set for circumstances whereby there will be sufficient jobs available so we can choose, without pressure to work full or part time, no matter what our age or gender or status or wealth or ethnic heritage.

Interestingly, it is confidently expected that many people will now choose part time work in their quest to have a better quality of life.

Especially, older Australians will have the opportunity to return to the work force without losing part of their pension. Hopefully also, a decision will soon be made that will enable self funded retirees to work part time & put their pay in full into their superannuation fund.

Another hope is that volunteers will be given far more interesting challenges in charity work other than the boring task of preparing morning tea or driving cars.

Notably, the greatest thrust of the Summit was to help mothers get back into the paid workforce where they can show their worth and skill in ways they are currently denied (and also add to their superannuation which is currently far inferior to that of males).

Over and above all this are our personal aspirations for a life of fulfillment.

Along with the reforms of the Jobs and Skills Summit will come a flexibility of employment opportunities which will enable people to seek ways and means of achieving personal goals as the result of answering the Mark Twain question – WHY AM I HERE?

Every one of us, no matter what our age or financial position or state of health – or what we have already achieved in life – could have or may have or may think about having a fresh goal or goals in life. Indeed, I read the other day of a woman whose life circumstances had caused her to have only a very basic education. Yet, in her 90’s, she studied for and achieved a University Degree in Arts just to prove she could do it. She has arranged for the scroll that the University gave her to be placed in her coffin as an eternal symbol.

Many of us by force of events may have wound up in an occupation that was not our prime choice. Now, in retirement, why not give it a go, retrain and try to spend at least a decade enjoying your dream before your health gives out.

The opportunities are without limit. I can speak from experience as I have enjoyed 5 occupations fairly successfully over my 90 years – banker, accountant, fund raising consultant, company director, author. Its not all that hard to achieve.

A wonderful thing to do would be to form a business partnership with a young person in which you mentor one another as you work together to achieve a goal. The older person brings wisdom and experience and, hopefully a bit of financial capital. The younger one brings modern knowledge, computer skills, physical strength and vibrant enthusiasm. (I enjoy one such partnership. I do a weekly podcast with a young lawyer, James Morgan, who is 70 years my junior. We call it ‘Young James and Old Everald talk politics’)

So, a new world is opening up for every one of us to accept or reject.

Parliament appears to be getting its act together, showing some leadership and opening doors to opportunity.

We now can decide whether or not we walk through those doors and, if it has been unanswered up to this point in time, grab the future in both hands and say

I KNOW WHY I AM HERE.

From a fan of HUCKLEBERRY FINN and TOM SAWYER.

And who has Flynn of the Inland as his personal role model of achievement. (I wrote a book about him called THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES).

Everald

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.

POLITICIANS AT PRAYER

While I was in Canberra attending the Opening of Australia’s newly elected Parliament in the last week of July, I was invited to coffee with the Rationalist Society. They were making calls on MP’s and Senators advocating that Parliament should permanently drop the historic tradition of beginning each day of debate with a prayer.

When they invited me to join them for coffee, my first thought was that the issue was trivia, but I had 30 minutes to spare and decided it could be interesting to find out why they chose to spend time, money & energy making an issue of this.

I found that they are rational people who try to live by exercising rational thoughts and rejecting all aspects of the impact of spirituality in doing so.

They believe that Parliament is a place where legislation is to be debated in a rational manner and must devote its time to doing exactly that. Praying for guidance from a God has nothing to do with it and no Parliamentarian should ever use his or her personal religion to influence the Parliament.

So, they hold the firm view that prayer to a Christian God, or any other God, has no place in any Parliament, especially as the most recent Census shows that less than 50% of Australians identify with any religion and, therefore, would certainly approve the removal of prayers from the daily agenda.

They also believe that the Christian prayer discriminates against Muslim and Jewish Parliamentarians, as well Indigenous ones who have their own heritage of spirituality. There are also several atheist and agnostic MP’s.

Above all, the records show that only a small number of MP’s and Senators ever attend the saying of the prayer which is recited in a boring tone without conviction. Just enough are there to ensure a legal quorum is present. While the prayer is being said, those present can be seen reading and answering their emails and texts.

It really is a farce.

The Rationalists say it should be replaced with 5 minutes of meditation when members reflect on their conscience and personal responsibility to the voters of their electorates in the matters to be debated that day.

I note that the Rationalists have achieved some success. The newly elected President of the Senate has publicly supported them. At another level of government the Wagga Wagga Council, by a vote of 5 to 3, scrapped the prayer at the opening of Council meetings and replaced it with a time of reflection when all Councilors are required to be present.

May I raise another matter which is similar?

We should remove the practice whereby those being sworn into Parliament are asked to ‘take a holy book in your right hand and swear etc’. This usually means a Bible or Quran. What they should be holding is a copy of the Constitution of Australia. However, I was in the Gallery and noted that about a quarter of the Parliamentarians refused to hold anything, but the ceremony went ahead anyway.

(I would have objected on the grounds that I am left-handed).

However, the issue that really aggravated me was the requirement that they swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth, not the People of Australia. This is an absolute disgrace.

Be this as it may, my great hope is that one day our Constitution will state that no one can nominate to be elected to Parliament unless they have a proven record of voluntary service to the community, no known violation of gender equality & have successfully completed a course of study that has embraced a full understanding of democracy, the constitution and how government and parliament actually perform their work. This will raise the quality of Parliament by 1000%.

So it was that at the end of a pleasant coffee chat, I wished the Rational Society well, but said that I want, at age 90 & growing in frailty, to concentrate on 3 personal passions – railways, longevity & Uluru.

Plus writing books about physical and social nation building.

You can buy them on my website

https://everaldcompton.com.

It is actually a rational thing to do.

Everald

A long term working partner of Jesus of Nazareth in striving to create a better world.

ONE SMALL STEP

Sometime during 2023, a referendum will be held to determine whether constitutional provisions can be approved to create an Indigenous Voice within the process of democracy in Australia.

Its passing will not alone solve the many cultural, social and economic challenges that face Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, but it will constitute a step forward along a pathway to find solutions to some of the more significant divisions in our society.

At the annual Garma Festival held recently in the Northern Territory, Anthony Albanese announced the words that are proposed to be included in the Australian Constitution if the voters of Australia approve them.

They are –

1. There shall be a body to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to Parliament and the Executive Government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

3. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have powers to make laws with respect to the composition, function, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Consultations will be held around Australia before the final wording is put to us at the Referendum when we will vote quite simply – YES or NO.

I intend to vote YES and to publicly campaign strongly for a majority of voters to do likewise.

How did we reach this point in our history?

Except to state in the Constitution that Aborigines are a responsibility of State Governments, the Founding Fathers in 1901, ignored them.

There was a widely held belief that they were a dying race and would have no part in the future of the nation. Indeed, the indigenous population was declining at that time, but this is not now the case. The reverse is occurring. 3.5% of the population of Australia now identify as being indigenous.

At that time, New Zealand withdrew from participating in the proposed Federation as they had already signed a treaty with the Maoris at Waitangi in 1840 and made them full citizens, something that the Australian States did not ever attempt to do and were not willing to do.

To our eternal disgrace, indigenous people were not given the right to vote until 1967, when a referendum gave approval with a vote of 97% in favour.

Then, in 1992, the High Court of Australia held that native title existed for all indigenous people.

Far too many Australian Governments have believed that they could achieve peace with aboriginals by buying their goodwill with money. Although billions of dollars have been spent in this way, little has been achieved.

Then, just a few years ago, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was prepared by the most significant gathering of Indigenous people in the history of Australia and presented to the Federal Government. Malcolm Turnbull declared that the voters of Australia would never accept it. Anthony Albanese believes otherwise.

So it is that you and I will now decide.

I wont set out here the case for either YES or N0.

This will be presented to us in the official referendum documents before we vote. I will now just comment on the draft wording that the Prime Minister has presented to us for consideration.

I find it to be acceptable except for two words.

The word ‘powers’ in the second line of paragraph 3, could cause the referendum to be lost. Paragraph 2 gives the Voice power to make representations only. Paragraph 3 gives Parliament power to give more power to the Voice. In my view, this can only be done via another referendum. The word should be removed from the paragraph.

The word VOICE is a strange title to give to a constitutional entity. It would be far better to call it an ASSEMBLY. This gives it the stature it deserves and we can more readily understand what it is.

Let me make an additional comment.

Once this new body is formed, I hope that it will of its own accord reach out to every nationality now living in Australia to mutually agree of ways and means of becoming a more cohesive society. There are now more than 100 nations represented here and each could send one delegate to a gathering of goodwill organised by the Voice once every parliamentary term.

Finally, may I note with dismay that Pauline Hanson has announced that her political party will campaign for a NO vote. I had hoped that political parties would stay out of it so we can enjoy a genuine exercise in democracy that will bring us together as a nation. Sadly it wont be so. Racism will raise its ugly head and divide us.

After all, we are simply acknowledging that people whose ancient heritage of 65000 years, the longest in the history of the entire planet, should be recognised in our national constitution.

Its just a small step to take.

Everald.

PS. Buy my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS from my website

EVERALD@LARGE

It tells the mighty story of how our Constitution was written and approved back in 1901. Sadly it reminds us that only 20% of referendums to change or add to our Constitution have ever received the approval of voters. I hope that this one adds to the list of winners.

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.

CAN AUSTRALIA PARTNER SRI LANKA ON PATH TO RECOVERY?

When I was at school way back in the 1930’s, Sri Lanka was a colony that the British called Ceylon.

Its role in the Empire was to keep us all supplied with top quality tea. They did that well.

Significantly for Australia, it was a major stopover place for boats and planes making the then long journey to and from Britain.

It won its independence just after World War 2 ended and changed its name back to Sri Lanka, as it was known as before the colonists from Britain arrived centuries earlier. The new nation became a republic while remaining within the British Commonwealth of Nations.

But the British, having dominated and plundered them for so long, had neglected to educate and train anywhere near enough leaders of government and industry to create and sustain a new nation and this caused constant political instability, resulting in the nation’s first President being assassinated. Since then, Sri Lanka has only occasionally enjoyed stable government for long periods.

A prime factor of internal politics has been the constant tension between the Tamils in the north and the rest of the nation which is predominantly Buddhist. The Tamils were natives of Southern India and were, irresponsibly, brought to the island as slaves by the British, in the same manner as happened in Fiji. They worked in the tea plantations and their status is now not much higher than that of slavery. This eventually lead to Civil War which the Tamils lost after huge bloodshed.

It actually was pure genocide and it was ruthlessly organised and brutally carried by President Rajapaksa who last week was forced to leave and resign . He and his family have dominated the government for far too many years and ensured that they personally prospered mightily, stashing it away in many bank accounts in tax havens. Wherever they finally settle, they will live splendidly.

Meanwhile, 22 million Sri Lankans are in poverty, the Tamils suffering more than others. However, they have enjoyed the pleasure of having forced a tyrant to leave in disgrace.

I am a person who never ever participates in marches for reasons far too plentiful to spell out in this article, but it is undeniable that the success gained from a month of marching by so many Sri Lankans is massively impressive. They brought down a President who, supposedly, had the total support of the army and police. Sadly, this caused the economy of the nation, which was already tottering badly, to almost totally collapse. Dark days of widespread misery lie ahead as new leadership is elected, hopefully competent.

I am sure that the Albanese Government here in Australia will come to the aid of Sri Lanka, but it would be morally wrong for Australia to just give them token help and say its not our prime business. We can go the extra mile in these appalling circumstances as it is possible for us to –

*Send significant food supplies every month for a year with our governments paying our farmers to supply it free.

*Make financial grants to help their hospitals remain open and medical services operating.

*Encourage Australians to invest in the revival of their industries and the expansion of trade.

*Help rebuild homes in Tamil communities still suffering from the ravages of war.

*Foster the quality of their democratic institutions as they have had authoritarian governments control and plunder their nation for far too long.

*Welcome more immigrants from Sri Lanka who have skills we lack here in Australia ,with an insistence that the first ten years of their new life here must be spent in rural Australia, similarly to our famous Biloela refugees. This will help revive and renew some of our rural villages where population is ageing.

*Use our imagination to create other economic and cultural partnerships with Sri Lanka while urging the rest of the world to do likewise.

I can assure you that Sri Lankan refugees become good citizens.

The Aspley Uniting Church, where I am a long standing Elder, adopted 2 families from Sri Lanka a decade ago and they have established themselves well through sheer hard work, even though our government disgracefully and constantly threatened them with deportation, restricted their access to jobs and denied them Medicare etc. I am proud to have them as friends as they are now good Aussies even though they are not yet citizens.

In the final analysis, our involvement in Sri Lanka will prove to the world that Australia is restoring its reputation as a responsible regional partner. We have just begun to do this in the Pacific and we can repeat it in the Indian Ocean also

Always with hope.

Everald

PS. You have a permanent invitation to go to my website

EVERALD@LARGE

and click on BOOKS

to buy any or all of my three books as excellent winter reading.

USA SUPREME COURT DENIES WOMEN THE RIGHT OF ABORTION AND GIVES MEN YET ANOTHER PASS TO ‘GET OUT OF JAIL FREE’

During Donald Trump’s four year term as President of the United States of America, three vacancies occurred in the ranks of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court.

He nominated three ultra conservative judges to replace them and made it clear to those judges that he expected them to remove the constitutional right of women to have an abortion whenever the matter came before the Court. He has now publicly confirmed that he had obtained their commitment to do this. His own staff, who witnessed the discussions, have also confirmed what Trump had demanded.

Thus, it happened last month.

The Court struck out the famous ruling in the case of Roe versus Wade, made by the Court 50 years ago, and which rightly and justly gave women control over what happened to their own bodies.

The margin of the vote was 6/3. The winning votes were those of the three #Trump appointees.

At that moment, those three judges ceased to be independent custodians of the Law.. They became politicians, low grade ones. A sad day for America, and the world.

The decision hotly divided the American people who are already hugely torn apart by the issue of gun ownership.

Indeed, it is deplorable that the same people who defend the right to life of unborn babies are the same people who demand the right to own a gun so they can shoot people at will.

It is also unbelievable that, in a grossly overpopulated world,which is in grave danger of having insufficient food and fresh water for its 8.5 billion people, anyone would want to fight for the life of an unwanted child who is likely to live an unhappy life.

So it is that when an American woman falls pregnant and has reasons to abort the pregnancy, she now bears alone the full trauma, responsibility and cost of having to proceed with the birth while her male partner is not burdened in any way. He can simply walk away and make it look as though she ‘deserved it’.

Sadly, this is the way of the world in far too many unfair ways.

It becomes more clear every day that, in every challenge of life, it is women who become second class citizens.

This is not a society that I want to live in and I am certain that most of my readers will agree with me.

What can be done about it in America?

Absolutely nothing.

The Justices of the Supreme Court have lifetime appointments.

The devotees of Donald Trump will control the Supreme Court for a generation and will continue to practice their extremism. The blunt fact is that while Trump lost the election, his legacy lives on.

There is little chance of new legislation passing the Congress that will give approval for abortion as Republicans and Democrats are bitterly divided to the point of total hatred.

An unfortunate fact is that the female Justice who wrote the abortion judgement on behalf of the Court is a devoted Catholic who is a mother of 6. Her world is one in which she accepts that husbands are the head of the family. She did not set out to persecute women with this judgement. She just restored what she believes is the natural place of women, primarily child bearers, a role that she appears to have accepted herself.

It is a tragedy of history that the person she replaced on the Court was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in my view the finest jurist ever to sit on the American Supreme Court in the history of the nation, She firmly stood for justice for all humanity, especially the poor and the oppressed and especially women who were denied their rights.

Her legacy has been demeaned by her successor but her book MY OWN WORDS is inspirational. I warmly recommend that you read it and applaud the prejudice against women that she had to overcome on her way to the top of her profession. Millions of women have been similarly oppressed.

And it cannot ever be denied that 5 male Justices voted to ban abortion.

They quite clearly do not believe in gender equality.

The same judges repeated their destruction this week by decimating the powers of the USA Environment Protection Agency.

A very disappointed

EVERALD

Don’t forget to enjoy some good winter reading with my books

A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET

DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS

THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES

Buy them online from any bookseller or get a signed copy from me.

EVERALD@LARGE

Click on BOOKS

BRIGHTLY FADES ELIZABETH

The Platinum Jubilee of the longest reign in British History is over.

Despite the physical frailty of the Queen denying her the ability to attend most of its premier events, it has been a memorable success and the British people appear to have enjoyed it immensely.

Now, the monarchy will slowly fade away and in a few generations it will be no more, an historical memory of the grandeur of old England.

Indeed, the royals of all the nations who still have them will slide into obsolescence.

After all, why should the descendants of families who gained places of privilege centuries ago continue to hold a place of authority in any nation.

All leaders of whatever rank must always be chosen by the people. No one is entitled to inherit authority or entitlement.

Having said this, it would be unjust and ungracious to fail to acknowledge that Elizabeth is as fine a monarch as anyone is ever going to find in the long histories of the monarchies of the world.

She admirably represents justice, stability, decency and a total commitment to service.

Down the years, some of her family have acted like alley cats, but she coped with it with considerable grace.

But, much of her heritage is wrong.

Why should any monarch require four huge castles in which to live – Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral, plus several large income earning estates – when there are countless people in her nation who are homeless.

Why is she also be the spiritual head of the Church of England, when there should always be a clear separation between Church and State.

So there it is.

We can prepare for a world without Elizabeth (and her tribe).

Young 4 year old Prince Louis caught it all superbly well when the relentless media caught him yawning and groaning with boredom that most kids of his age do quite naturally. They roasted his parents for not exercising discipline. I am pleased they did not chastise him. Lois represented us all. He was thoroughly bored with all the nonsense and let the world know about it.

Your un-royal friend who gives Elizabeth a well earned cheer.

Everald.

PS. Order the book bargain of the year. Go to my website

EVERALD@LARGE

and click on books to get my 3 good reads

THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES

DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS

A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET

for the total bargain price of 50 dollars, plus 15 dollars postage and packaging.

A great birthday present for a friend. I will write their name in each book and sign them.

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 

————————————-

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

CLIMBING THE COVID MOUNTAIN

TEN ECONOMIC STEPS THAT FORM A PATHWAY TO THE TOP

THEKOUK and EVERALDATLARGE OUTLINE A WAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN SUSTAINED PROSPERITY

Covid19 has opened a door for Australians to positively accept significant changes that will lead to a shared good. This rare opportunity enables us to achieve sustainable economic and social goals that create a new ‘normal’ as our way of life.

These Ten Steps are presented as non-partisan recommendations to the Australian Parliament in the firm belief that, if they embrace them, the Australian economy and society will be greatly enhanced after the Covid19 pandemic has passed. Continue reading “CLIMBING THE COVID MOUNTAIN”

THE VISION OF THE INLAND RAILWAY IS NOW A TRAGEDY.

EVERALD COMPTON RELATES HIS LONG AND PAINFUL JOURNEY

Soon after John Howard became Prime Minister of Australia in 1996, I met him at Parliament in Canberra to outline my plan to build an Inland Railway.

He agreed that it was a visionary project well worth a try and he gave me the green light to open negotiations with appropriate Ministers in his Cabinet.

I mentioned to him that there was a political downside for his Government. No matter what corridor we chose for the railway, many people would be hurt as we resumed properties & demolished homes as inevitably happens with every infrastructure project anywhere in the world.

We agreed that we must always work on the principle that every effort would be made to avoid unnecessary hardship and that compensation for property and loss of income would be generous.

Sadly, those who have followed him have not adhered to this principle. Continue reading “THE VISION OF THE INLAND RAILWAY IS NOW A TRAGEDY.”

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.”