It’s been an interesting week in Australia. The media are starting to lay into Kevin Rudd, selling the message that he is all spin and no substance (how long did it take to work that one out?) John Howard is in Perth and had some interesting comments to make about the economic stability of his tenure, but it was more about what he didn’t say (with respect to the state of the Liberal Party in WA) that speaks volumes about what is happening in politics. As a tangent to what this post is about, I would love John Howard to go the whole way and lead a new debate on the limitations of Federalism. Suffice to say that a country of 20 million people sustains 14 Parliaments, 7 States and Territories, 550 Local Governments, and our politics is nothing more that a fight for the distribution of resources between each vehicle and level of Government. We have a model of Government that was established before telecommunications existed. Back then, we needed regional Government to connect communities. Today the population can be reached instantly. We only need one national system, a Republic at that, which can maintain a national system for health, a national system for education, a national program for infrastructure, and a series of regional offices that represent service delivery. We need to do this before we stifle our economic competitiveness through a restrictive Carbon tax, and we need to redeploy hundreds of thousands of bureaucratically focused artificial jobs into production enhancing careers that generate economic growth.
Back to the main message. Alexander Downer is also in the media and is now starting to be heard. Fran O’Sullivan, reporting on Mr Downer’s trip to the New Zealand Jewish community last week, reports as follows: Via back-door diplomatic channels, (Downer) is arguing the UN has failed in its doctrine of responsibility to protect people around the world who are being subjected to mass murder and deliberate deprivation.
Other voices, not recently heard, are starting to lead open debate. Take for example the recent tones of the West Australian who have suddenly called Kevin Rudd to task several times in the past week over populist measures to manage climate changeÂ through a proposed Emissions Trading regime.
Maybe people in Australia are starting to realise what they have created in the form of a political climate. As economic hardship looms, we risk a lot by not seeing the bigger picture. The first thing we need to do is to hear the voice of experience and reason. For example, Alexander Downer has a blog at https://www.alexanderdowner.com.au and it is well worth an honest read.
We need to encourage the media to rediscover the power of opinion-editorial, and to balance out its so called news with the real issues of the day. We need to draw on the ideas of experienced Australian’s and not cower away from the real issues.Â We need to reinvent investigative journalism.
Alexander Downer is about to become a UN Special Envoy to Cyprus, and will be a voice in the international political arena. One can only hope that Mr Downer will continue his credible stance of calling it straight. The UN, principally through its morally warped Human Rights Council of the past two years, has demonised Israel and the Jewish people in the most unfair and inequitable circumstances. Mr Downer needs to continue to draw attention to this through his blog and through his work on the international stage.
There was an amazing article printed in Hebrew last Rosh Hashana in the Maariv newspaper. It was by Ben Dror Yemini and is called “and the world remained silent”. The Not a Fish blog has translated this item into English, and it is well worth taking a few minutes to read through. It will highlight what we, and leaders like Mr Downer are up against. The article is in three parts. Rather than repost, here are the links to assist you to navigate.
Maybe the world of international human rights is something that you will think differently about when it is contextualised this way? It is certainly important to stay informed. Thats why the new media of the free world, the blogosphere, is such an important means of communication. It transpires the realm of media soundbytes, and it allows us to truely understand the political limitations of our out of date system of representation.