It’s reassuring to know

Unpublished comment written in 2012

It’s reassuring to know that conservative parliamentarians have extreme learning difficulties and that creating a reasonably progressive and humane alternative is a surmountable task. For some time now I have been concerned that building a political platform that was capable of attracting sufficient support to attain power was slipping out of the hands of progressive forces in Australia and elsewhere.

The racially discriminatory Northern Territory Intervention launched by Mal Brough and John Howard in a last ditch effort to retain power was continued by Kevin Rudd and expanded by Julia Gillard. Prime Minister Gillard is continuing, with alacrity, the invasion of Afghanistan started by John Howard. The denigration of social security recipients (particularly those who are single parents or unemployed) was intensified under Howard and continued by Labor’s Jenny Macklin. Initially the Rudd Government attempted to build a humane policy in relation to asylum seekers arriving by boat but the recent return to the Pacific solution (which has all the subtlety of the final solution to the Jewish question) might lead one to doubt that it is possible to build progressive social policy likely to gain traction with the general public.

These features were not just part of the political landscape here but could be found predominating in Berlusconi’s Italy, Assad’s Syria, Sudan and in hundreds of dirty wars like what is occurring in Somalia. The great Black hope for progress in the United States of America failed to get his budget through, failed to close Guantanamo, failed to turn the US into force for world peace and became just another cheer leader watching the assassination of Osama bin Laden and authorising drone strikes on rebel fighters when ever and where ever the fascist power of the US or its Israeli allies was challenged.