Posts Tagged ‘Labor’

Labor has officially lost my vote.

Let me explain this properly. As previously mentioned, I have been a Labor voter ever since I could vote. My Grandparents, and all relatives back to Federation have been Labor voters, due in part to their employment at the local Rail Yards, Dock Yards and other trade industries. My family have always been working class, hardworking union members throughout their years, finding comfort in the knowledge that the trade unions were there, fighting for their rights, conditions and safety.

In the past two years, however, Labor has seemed to have lost its way. Labor have been leaning further and further to the right, following the poll trends and the ‘easier options’, and not following their own principles. More and more often, Labor has been conceding to the Liberal view, either siding with the LNP’s decision to introduce mandatory Metadata collection and monitoring (even though the evidence shows that every country that has introduced these regulations are now either seeing their errors, or now having these regulations removed due to their inefficiency and exorbitant costs) Lowering their visionary standards (agreeing to a lower RET, meaning our Renewable Energy Target will be at an all-time, uninspiring level of around 5% by 2020 – Compared to China and America at 80% by 2050, and Denmark’s achievement of 140% a few months ago).

With all of this, I have been fooling myself, in the thoughts that “At least the Australian Labor Party (ALP) is not and “extreme” or “cruel” as the Liberal National Party (LNP) – at least I agree with many of ALP’s policies, compared to none of the LNP policies. This has now changed completely

Tonight, I have reached the decision to vote Greens for the first time at the next Federal election. I base this decision SOLELY on ALP’s decision to now adopt, or consider to adopt, the LNP policy of “Turning Back the Boats”. This decision is not a light decision, or even a decision that people may think ‘does not affect them’. This decision will affect every Australian at some point in their lives.

Allow me to clarify.

Using the field of music, I want to list some artists who were refugees. Bob Marley, Freddie Mercury, Gene Simmons, Angus & Malcolm Young, Bon Scott and Jimmy Barnes. Using these few names as an example, I want you to think of this.
Without Freddie Mercury, Queen may well have remained a garage band. All of the music that they created and inspired in others would be silent. Freddie’s roles as an ambassador for AIDS Awareness has potentially saved MILLIONS of lives.
Without Bob Marley, we would have missed out on the introduction to Reggae music into the mainstream. This would’ve stopped the progression to early forms of Punk & Ska. Marley also gave rise to other artists, such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Eric Clapton – not just covering his music, but embracing the soul of his music, and taking it to a different audience. Bob Marley also highlighted the dangers of smoking, dying of lung cancer at such a young age.
Without Gene Simmons, KISS would not have introduced us to GlamRock. A rock show would almost certainly be void of pyrotechnics and extravagant costumes.

Angus & Malcolm Young and Bon Scott, although not refugees, were migrants to Australia as part of the migrant wave of the 1950s. Jimmy Barnes was also a part of this wave. Without Australia’s acceptance of these kids, Australia would not have nurtured, and ultimately delivered these talents to the world.

I want you to imagine a world without the music of Queen, without mainstream Reggae or the larger-than-life presence of KISS. Imagine modern rock music without the influence of AC/DC. Music would be rather boring. Now think of everyone that relates to this music. The people that use a particular song to remember something good in their life. A song that perhaps has helped them get through a difficult time in their lives, marked a special occasion, a first kiss, the grieving of a loved one, or even an escape from the world and its nasty abuses. Without this music, where would these people be now?

Now I want you to think about the following names. Sigmund Freud, Dalai Lama, Albert Einstein, Ben Elton, Victor Hugo, Lord Maurice Saatchi, These names have all shaped the world for generations. Modern Psychology, Religious ideologies, Modern Theology, Quantum Physics, Atomic Energy, Relativity, Space Travel, Comedy, Musicals, TV Classics (The Young Ones, Bottom, etc) Classic Literature, and lastly on this list, Advertising.

All of these massive names were refugees.

Now, imagine what Australia is essentially turning around and punting back into the open seas. All of these modern discoveries. Talents that have essentially changed our lives in every sense, overlooked. Potentially being sent back to their deaths. This list does not include the many, many unsung heroes in our society. Surgeons, Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians, Business owners / employers, Athletes, Musicians, Artists, Actors, Activists and even the guy who makes your morning coffee. Every single one of these people could essentially change your day, or your life.

Now imagine that we are now essentially telling the world that, although we are a wealthy country, and managed to avoid the GFC, putting us in a position that was envied by every other OECD country around the world, although we have more than enough room for more people to live in this vast land, we are not only not accepting them, but we are stopping their boats in international waters and turning them back to face persecution, torture, rape and murder.

These human beings do not get on a boat for fun. They do not get on a boat to ‘jump the queue’. Many of them (98% at last estimate) choose this method of entry because they are fleeing in the dark of night. They are unable to get a visa or leave their country as they are fleeing the persecution of their government. They are fleeing imminent danger at the hands of political forces, police, military. Many of these people that I have personally met have left family – wives, children, babies, parents, siblings – because they simply could not bring them, risking their lives to get here and hopefully send for them when it was safe to do so. People have left infants, only to miss out on their formative years – having no contact apart from occasional phone-calls, never holding their children in their arms. This is not a decision that any parent would choose lightly.

Make no mistake, these policies are not “Turn Back the Boats”, rather, they are “Turn back the terrified, scared, inconsolable, injured, damaged, broken, depressed and desperate human beings.” It could also be said that we are turning away unknown prosperity, knowledge, wealth, intellect, skill, artistic talent and life-changing personalities that are the very wealth that Australia was built upon. Without immigration, Australia would be a very bland place (Imagine if since 1788, Australia remained a land of Irish and English convicts. We would have no Italian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Jewish, Nordic, or even Russian people living here. Imagine how boring and plain our choices of restaurants would be? Without Immigration, Australia loses its very identity. Australia would cease to be the vibrant, interesting, amazing, diverse country that has made it the envy of the rest of the world. We would lose our identity as an accepting nation.

“Turning Back the Boats” will have disastrous effects for Australia, and more importantly, it will put the human beings that are on these boats into potential harm.

I will not vote for a party that supports this view, and therefore, I will no longer vote for Labor, and I am aware of several hundred people who have these same views, and will no longer be voting for Labor. I suspect that there will be many tens of thousands of voters who would share these same views, measured against only a handful that will decide to vote ALP over LNP based on this single policy. If this policy is changed to be more accepting and humane, perhaps I will reconsider, however I could not sleep soundly at night, knowing that a vote from me assisted in allowing a party into power who knowingly sends innocent men, women and children back to a country that could essentially rape, torture or murder them, simply for being who they are.

Advertisements

Hello

My name is Patrick, and I have always been a Labor voter and supporter since I was first allowed to vote.
I have been known to have many a heated argument, defending policies with friends, family and strangers.
I have recently read that Labor, if they win at the next election, will take an even tougher stance to asylum seeker arrivals.
As a new visitor to the Broadmeadows Detention facility, I find this news to be disappointing.
This nation has been built on the blood sweat and hardworking backs of immigrants. We have all grown up with people from other countries surrounding us, either in our schools or our communities.
It is what makes Australia such an amazing and unique place to live. Until recently, we have been an envy of other countries all around the world. When travelling, I have always been proud to tell strangers that I was Australian.
This has ended now. I am now vocally ashamed to be Australian. When did our values as a country change so drastically?
We have essentially turned our back on the very piece of international law that has built our country into the great power it is, the UN Convention of Refugees, 1952. The piece of legislation that saw so many of our Italian, Greek, Maltese, German, Polish and many other nationalities settle here after World War 2, and has assisted so many other people to settle here when their countries were being ravaged by wars, famine, terror and disaster.
Friends of mine who travel now tell people they are from New Zealand, as it has become too shameful to admit that they are from a land who does not respect people from other lands or with other beliefs.
I currently visit the Broadmeadows Detention Facility (MITA) specifically to spend time with the ASIO negatively assessed Tamil men. These men have been held in detention without charge (at least, none they have been informed of) for five or six years, and in some cases, longer than six years. This is at the same time as we have Domestic Violence Perpetrators serving 3 month suspended sentences. Drink Drivers serving 2 years but being released on good behaviour, and rapists being released on parole, often reoffending, as seen in the Jill Meagher case.
In recent days I have been listening to many in the media and even politics complaining that Indonesia has breached International Law by executing the two men, but there has not been any mention that our current government do the same every single day, leaving people in detention for over six years without charge.
I ask, with the LNP practically handing you the leadership of this country on a platter with their disgusting abuse of human rights, their ignorance for international treaties and recommendations by the United Nations, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Commission, not to mention a common disregard for human decency, with Tony Abbott and his imbeciles constantly opening their mouths to the sound of completely farcical and moronic statements, press releases and god-forbid their foreign speech bluffs… with all of this, how can you now say that you will not only side with the LNP policies, but take them further?
This not only relates to the Asylum Seeker policies, of course. This also includes Metadata, Equal Rights for Same Sex Marriage, the Maintaining Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities, as well as a spate of smaller policies that the ALP have somehow not blocked, or even raised concerns.
Not so many years ago Labor held a convincing lead in the polls over John Howard. Although he was unpopular at the time, he was nowhere near the level of incompetence or danger of the current ‘leader’ of the LNP. How is it that Labor can now only manage a very slim margin of preference over this bumbling fool?
This is the least successful government of our great country that I have known. Please ask yourself why it is that Labor cannot have a convincing lead in the Two Party Preferred polls?
I fear that the Labor party has lost its way. It has lost its vision of a better Australia for all, and is now only trying to win votes in the polls. It is a dirty race to the bottom.
I do not want to vote for the Greens, however their humanitarian policies leave both major parties far behind. This is where your voting constituents are headed, and in droves. I feel my arm is being twisted and I am being forced to leave this once great party, and all in the name of common decency to innocent people who are only wanting to be treated with the dignity that they deserve.
Please try and remember your way, remember that without freedoms, justice and decency, we are no better than many of the countries we are currently at war with.
I look forward to your reply, and even the ability to discuss my concerns further, but as I have seen with past emails to members of Parliament, i expect a templated reply that does not answer any questions but “values my input into important matters.”

Currently, the Prime-Minister Julia Gillard and the ex-Prime-Minister Kevin Rudd are in a leadership battle, both vying for the top seat, and willing to destroy the entire Labor Party to get there.

Or are they?

Both have been asked, both on and off the record, and both have flatly denied it.
Julia has said that she is “Committed to serving the country, and leading through until the next election in 2012-13”.
Kevin has said “I am happy in my current role as Foreign Minister, and will not challenge for leadership”

However, the media have a different story. The media would have us believe that both Kevin & Julia are planning a battle, the likes of which Australian Politics have never seen before. I dub this battle “Canberrageddon”. Remember, every scrap of talk of this entire ‘leadership challenge’ is emanating from either the mainstream media, or the Liberal party. Labor have flatly denied it, no one from Labor has peeped a single utterance of anything that is ‘in the pipeline’ or a ‘innevitable battle of the leaders’.

My beliefs on this are simple. The Liberal party have run out of scare-mongering ideas to attempt to stonewall Labor, from the ‘Dirty Toxic Taxes’ talks, to the ‘NBN Cost Blowout’, and of course the ‘Global Financial Crisis’, and have somehow come to the conclusion, that running a stonewalling campaign to completely block media coverage of anything else the Government is doing will make it seem like they aren’t doing anything at all.

Firstly, the ‘Carbon Tax’ that we have is because every other option was blocked by the Liberals in the Senate. Labor wanted an “Emissions Trading Scheme”, but Liberals blocked it. Nothing could change their minds. Rather than look like they had gone against an election promise to do something positive in regards to planet conservation, they tried again with an option of a “Carbon Tax”. Liberals let it through the Senate, no problems. Then they went to the media and cried “Wolf!”, claiming that this tax would cause every single Australian to drop back to a 3rd world status, go hungry, fuel costs would rise dramatically, as would water costs… Pretty much the entire plot of Mad Max 2.
The Carbon Tax is a tax on Big Businesses that pollute the environment and remove resources to export and sell off-shore. The tax would mean they would pay a tax on the resources removed, increasing the Government’s funds, lowering the surplus, which then gets put back into Hospitals, Schools and Infrastructure.
No individuals are going to be taxed, and quite a large portion would be compensated through pensions and unemployment payments.
Doing nothing would have opened the Government to a barrage of “So your targets of 2020 are a joke now, huh” type comments.
I cannot believe people are whingeing and crying ‘murder’ over something designed to make this world a cleaner, more enjoyable place for us, our children and our children’s children!

The NBN is something that many people consider a luxury that is not required.
Firstly, the idea for a National Fibre Network was originally suggested by John Howard, but after laying a ton of cables alongside new rail lines, the idea was scrapped. These cables were never activated, and remain underground, waiting to be used and to earn some of their costs back. The Liberal Party are against the NBN, most-likely because Labor are using a Howard idea that they changed their minds on, effectively taking a discarded idea, and running with it. The Liberal alternative (That Tony Abbott went on record to say was cheaper, faster and more efficient than the NBN) was a National Wireless Network.
Anyone who knows anything about technology knows that Fibre Optics is the fastest option we will ever have. It consists of a laser beam being sent down a glass tube, pulsating a signal to the other end. Wireless technology is plagued with problems. Interference, signal loss, out of range, weather conditions, etc. Ask anyone who has a laptop and works on the road how frustrating it is to do their work when out of a built-up city. Now multiply that by 1,000 when all internet users are jamming up the airwaves. Welcome to the Liberal Party Internet Service.

I’m sorry, Liberal Party, but nothing travels faster than light/laser. You can argue all you like, however Albert Einstein, whilst dead, will prove you wrong.

The NBN is required for many things, porn playing a rather small part of this factor. Education via internet to remote communities, medical purposes; possibly even robotic surgery – controlled by a surgeon in Sydney for a sick child in Darwin would be possible… I would not trust this on Wireless Internet. Not to mention that the rest of the world has much, much better internet than we do! I saw this first hand in New York and especially in Japan. Both had speeds that blew me away, and that was just in the Internet Cafes.
We are currently using outdated copper lines, some as old as 75 years, to transmit data through at incredible speeds. It is not what the lines were designed for. They are at capacity now, and have no room to grow. The time is here for us to either upgrade, or remain at this level forever, and in a few years, we will resemble the infrastructure of Cuba.

Oh, my favourite complaint of the Liberal Party. The Global Financial Crisis.
Somehow this can be used against Labor, almost suggesting that this was entirely the doings of th Labor Party, yet it is also used as an excuse as to why the Liberals cannot release a detailed and comprehensive Shadow Budget. One of the few things that an Opposition is meant to do.
Firstly, no, it was not the fault of the Labor Party, nor was it the fault of anyone in Australia. The GFC was a result of over lending and overborrowing in the Wall St sector of NYC, and the Banks that funded their lavish lifestyles of spending (seriously, watch ‘Wall Street’… this is what they were like!). The banks were loaning more than they had, and the Wall St Traders were simply pissing it down the drain, and asking for more. As a result, many families lost their homes, as the banks simply upped the interest rates on their loans to try to make more money, Wall St crashed and burned (figuratively speaking) and as a result, the entire economic world came to a grinding halt. This was worse than the Great Depression of the 1920s.

That said, Australia barely felt a shockwave. Thanks to some quick thinking from the Labor Government, and their leader at the time Kevin Rudd, they worked out that by giving every registered voter a $700 payment, and told them to spend it, they could save the local economy. Since this has happened, many world leaders have praised Australia for coming out of this GFC relatively unscathed. Our Treasurer Wayne Swann has been given awards for his work done, and recognised around the world. Our dollar is currently much higher than it was, entering the GFC at about $0.70US, and coming out, today resting at $1.07US.
This is the highest our dollar has been since it was floated by Bob Hawke in 1988.
According to the Liberals, however, Labor was irresponsible, caused some debt, and was irrational. They have even gone as far as practically blaming Labor for the Wall St crash.

So would it be such a stretch to think that Abbott and his moronic followers and helper-monkeys could have concocted a story about an otherwise long-forgotten issue over ‘who gets to sit in the big chair’ simply to blanket the media in this drivel, and block out any of the other changes and improvements that might be being made in Government?

Honestly, I am sick of hearing of “The Leadership Battle”, I want to get back to policies and actual work of a Government.

Last night’s “Q and A” or #qanda as it is known on Twitter, spent half the show whingeing over who said this or that and who knows what about the leadership battle. It took Bill Shorten to point this out, and even say “We have spent half the show talking about this matter. That’s half the show we will never get back. That’s time we could’ve spent discussing actual policies.”

Well said, Bill Shorten!