• Ruminations From My Veranda #43: Here we go, yet again!

      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Here we go, yet again - Bring on the election, it might be critical but I'm over it already!

      Here we are moving into late March and this is my first rumination for 2016, but number 43 in the ongoing, but ad-hoc, ruminations/ramblings/thoughts from my Veranda!

      I'm not drinking anything special today, in fact it's an almost finished bottle of J.P. Chenet Chardonnay. Unassuming, not all that challenging but at the same time fresh to the mouth and delightful on the tongue, it makes the perfect quaffing white on a warm autumn afternoon.

      I really should be talking about the live music shows I plan to see in the next moth, as I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the Animals at the St.Kilda Palais theatre in May and also Normie Rowe, likewise in May who is being supported by what might just be the very best duo in Australia, but definitely in Melbourne- The Pardoners [Glyn Mason & Sam See]. Now I haven't seen Normie do a full set since the late 1960's, but did catch him at the recent Pepperell/Talbot book launch of The 100 Greatest Australian Singles of the '60s where he knocked me dead.

      A most excellent book and the show that supported it was excellent. I actually video'd the whole show and edited into what is quite a good visual record of some of Australia's best artists representing the era of the book, doing their thing. I had no intention of selling the video'd performance, but rather uploading it to Youtube as a permanent record of a great show, and a record of just how good these singers and musicians still are.

      It didn't happen!

      It didn't happen because of the politics of the industry, and because I don't like threats, be they upfront or hidden. Without wanting to name people, not because I give a fig on the tree for their threats, but rather because I also do still maintain a great relationship with many in the music industry, and you know what they say about "birds of a feather"? I didn't want my friends whose careers depend upon what little goodwill there is left in the industry possibly being held to account for me.

      So I have a copy of that show on DVD, and a couple of good friends who were involved in the show have copies - and that's it! Thank you politics.

      Politics seem to be a necessary evil, but in most cases, the issues, the people involved in politics, leave me cold!

      Now, we are facing a world that is not just steeped in politics, it seems to have become the number one . . . the number one? - distraction? No! A distraction suggests something that takes us away from the "main game" and politics have become the "game"!

      Oh we can say, "not in my world", but if that is your response, I wonder if you aren't kidding yourself!

      The politics of EVERYTHING! It has become all persuasive, we can't get away from it. The politics of the economy, of national security, of sport, of the local sports club, the local school, of health, welfare, private health insurance, international affairs, of our government - name it and it is steeped in politics.

      You cannot get away from it. Turn on the TV news tonight and I guarantee, if the lead story does not have a political bent, then the follow up story will. It's not enough that we have to worry about our own nation, and I'll come back to that, but we are bombarded daily about the Republicans V Democrats in the upcoming USA elections.

      With the lunatic Trump becoming more and more likely to be one of the two alternatives for the office of the President of the United States, we are drawn to the issues like moths to a flame - because the man could very well be so dangerous in his deeds as President (if elected) his election would affect us - so we watch and we debate and we form opinions as if WE were about to vote!

      Hang on - we ARE!

      This brings me to the highly distressing situation of Australian Federal politics, and the strong possibility of an election sooner than later!

      I read news reports and seek out the words of commentators for the Toorak Times, to try and find people who can help through their words, give us some light to see through the morass we are facing.

      I look at Facebook, I see my friends, both Liberal, labor and other parties all crying foul and decrying the failures of their opponents, and how come heaven or hell they are not going to support that "other" mob.

      Every election we seem to be told that this election is the critical one, and you know what. maybe "they" are right. Maybe each election is critical, but critical for what reason?

      We have three main parties and a wanna be party in regard to the House of Reps. The Australian Labor Party, ostensibly a party with a social conscience, a party for the workers, a party that traditionally has battled for the low income families, and it might be argued, the aged and the citizens on welfare. It traditionally meets the needs of those who support left wing tendencies, that is, "soft socialism" through to extreme left wing views, although more recently it has tried to capture that middle "centre" ground of politics.

      The Liberal party, a party of free enterprise, the champions of those who believe that through hard work comes reward, that supporting a "welfare state" simply supports inaction. It is a party that is traditionally conservative in its approach to social issues, and meets the needs of those whose politics are center to the right through to extreme right wing politics. It is often seen as "saying" the right thing to placate those in the centre of political views, but more often than not, unable to deliver to their needs.

      The National Party grew out of the old "Country party", which felt that title tied them too tightly to rural areas. Yet that is and has remained their base of power. The Nationals are forever tied to the Liberal party, despite their protestations, because they know they can never, and will never, govern in their own right.

      At their best they can remind the Liberal party of the needs of the rural community, which at times, despite strong denials, can have ecological matters that in any sane society would see them allied with the Greens - but the politics of Conservatism see them forever welded with the Liberal party.

      The "wanna be's" are the Greens. This party grew out of the need for a political group to focus upon the rising need of conservation. With the demise of the Democrats, they then filled or attempted to fill, the void left by that parties demise - those largely, but not exclusively, ex-members of the Labor party and the disenfranchised voters.

      Recognising that to be a truly National party they needed a road base set of policies, the Greens were forced to develop policies on a wide range of issues that lay outside the ecology umbrella. On some levels they succeeded well, on others not so well.

      The most natural connection was with elements of the labor party, as the Greens also proclaimed a strong social conscience which the labor party does. This seemed to be of concern to conservative voters who quickly forget that without the Liberal/national coalition, they would never govern. In this case, what is good for the 'goose" was not good for the "gander".

      And so it is, we are soon to be faced with a decision of who to vote for - and it isn't pretty. I sit here trying to be rational over all this - and these are my thoughts.

      The Labor party is both stronger for its alliance with the ACTU, and it is weakened by it. It is the sign of the unthinking person to believe blanket statements of fear, along the lines of the labor party support the unions, the unions are crooks and bullies, therefore the labor party supports crooks and bullies. That is like the old sketch about that concludes all ducks are made of wood.

      Wood floats - ducks float, therefore ducks are mad of wood. QED!

      I'm not going to go into the replies regarding the fact that "unions" are organisations that represent workers, and that entails, but I will say i think the Labor party has largely failed to deal with these illogical accusations.

      It also may not have had sufficient time to distance itself from the fiasco's of it's leadership while in power.

      The Nationals are not an issue for most of us - a vote for them is a vote for the Liberal party, and enough said.

      The Greens have been utterly disappointing. According to friends and from what I have read, their foray into an arrangement with the current government to support the changes in the senate voting, that will see the likelihood of minor parties or independents gaining seats seriously compromised, was nothing but a badly thought out grab for power.

      They will forever be tarnished as opportunistic and many supporters have been left in the 'wilderness", feeling despair that their party that was predicated on ideals and social conscience sided with the Liberal/national government. It certainly means that we will forever likely to have, a conservative Senate!

      'I think they forgot, once the Democrats were a large and rising national party, that eventually lost its way and disintegrated.

      This is a likelihood for now there seems to be a rising number of Green supporters who feel their party, at least its parliamentary members, have gone behind their backs in a self-focussed attempt to save their own seats.

      This leaves us with the Federal Liberal government. Let us not forget that it drove the dagger in hard at Labors leadership change, yet thought nothing of doing the same thing to Tony Abbott.

      Many say that Turnbull had a great opportunity to stamp himself as one of the few "great" Prime Ministers. However, politics has shown he is really at the mercy of his own party, especially the more radical conservatives, and many believe he has "blown" any chance of greatness.

      It certainly seems obvious that the "bandaids of peace" that hold the Liberal parliamentary party together, are showing signs of blood seeping, as ex PM Abbott is claiming the current Turnbull Government is simply seeking re-election on his policies and his achievements.

      This government has not shown itself to be a "friend" of the low income, the worker, the single parent, the retiree, the pensioner, the arts world, the education system, the health system - but it certainly supports big business. Now IF it supported the rest of Australia as it supports big business, then I would applaud, we would applaud.

      Funny how the rich end of town are about to get tax cuts, but not the middle or lower income families.

      Thereby is the story!

      Do I care who you vote for? Sure I do! Do I need to know who you vote for?

      No, I don't. But just remember, you get who you vote for, and thereby WHAT you are voting for.

      Is it time for a redress in regard to the needs of Australian's, or do we need to keep going down the current track?

      I know the answer, do you?

      It is a most beautiful afternoon - I don't usually share a photo of what I am looking at as I Ruminate, but I got so tied up in politics, I almost overlooked this -

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