A 2013 Wish List

Over the past five years, the ALP government has chalked up some outstanding reforms. To name a few –

1. The management of the GFC (including the Home Insulation Program and the Building the Education Revolution);

2. Putting a price on carbon

3. Abolishing WorkChoices

4. Rolling out the National Broadband Network

5. The MMRT MRRT (Thank you, dear TLBD)

6. Plain packaging of tobacco

7. Abolition of WorkChoices

8. Piloting the National Disability Insurance Scheme

9. Piloting trials to reduce problem gambling on pokies

10. “No frills” superannuation

11. Cutting back middle-class welfare (means-testing private health insurance, baby bonus) and better targeting schoolkids’ education assistance

12. Increasing the old age pension

Not to mention:

• the glorious inflation, interest rate, unemployment, credit rating, 21 years of uninterrupted growth BISONs; and

THAT SPEECH from the red BISON, Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

So, what’s left for 2013 – election year – and beyond?

Ms Gillard PM has already flagged implementing the NDIS, and educational reforms, are at the top of her agenda. Agreed – but it’s also time to foreshadow plans for a re-elected ALP government. For myself, I would like to see:

. Further winding-back of middle-class and corporate welfare. For example that sacred cow, negative gearing, which does such damage to the availability of affordable housing in Australia, could and must be wound back. Not at once, but incrementally.

. A re-examination of the use of trusts for tax minimisation purposes.

. A re-examination of the “charitable” status of many entities, from religious bodies through to the likes of the IPA.

. Increased funding of basic research, especially in the sciences.

. Proper protection of whistle-blowers.

. Effective privacy laws.

. The separation of “investment” and retail banking.

. The imposition of some form of Tobin tax on all short-term (especially computer-generated) financial transactions.

Last, but not least, we’ve gotta talk about Old Media.

As Carl Bernstein pointed out in the Guardian a fortnight ago:

Murdoch and Ailes have erected an incredibly influential media empire that has unrivaled power in British and American culture: rather than judiciously exercising that power or improving reportorial and journalistic standards with their huge resources, they have, more often than not, recklessly pursued an agenda of sensationalism, manufactured controversy, ideological messianism, and political influence-buying while masquerading as exemplars of a free and responsible press. …

The Murdoch story – his corruption of essential democratic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic – is one of the most important and far-reaching political/cultural stories of the past 30 years, an ongoing tale without equal.

As Patricia WA wrote yesterday on C@tmomma’s That Way Lies Madness thread :

I’d go further and say it’s the most important political development of the past century, possibly longer. For years I’ve been astonished by the complacency of Australians about the blatant bias of Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd towards Coalition and the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott. The damage achieved in opposing the Government’s minerals tax and carbon pricing scheme along with promoting the chicanery of scepticism about climate change has continued relentlessly against the NBN and every other Labor initiative. He seems to think he can rule our country like a 17th century monarch. That thought took me back to history classes many decades ago when I was really impressed by Milton’s eloquent plea for freedom of the press during the English Civil War period. Particularly when little Milly Dowler’s death on her way home from my own first secondary school in Walton-on-Thames evoked my own childhood and gave rise to the British, at least, enquiring into his worldwide media empire.

while on the same thread Andrew wrote:

Isn’t it interesting how coalition and OM folklore has it that Abbott is the genius who almost won the 2010 election, instead of the liability that cost the coalition both the election and minority government through indie support.

Isn’t it interesting how the OM are not at all perturbed about the prospect of having someone unfit for the top job running the country; he is erratic, he is a populist, and is policy and detail-lazy.

Isn’t it interesting that Labor’s comeback in the polls has not featured in the roundups of 2012.

And, for as long as I’ve been reading him, Bushfire Bill has relentlessly pursued the case that Old Media “journalists” have been deliberately talking down Australia’s good economy, and have suborned Australians from moderate confidence to whingeing, gloom, and despair.

So my wish, and would that it could be fulfilled before the next federal election, is for a cleansed, reformed, and most of all fearlessly unbiased Old Media, that reports only facts, and keeps reportage and opinion polls poles apart.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATE: When writing the original post, I meant to include two significant achievements by the ALP Government, plus a third in prospect:

1. 13 February 2008
2. 16 November 2009
3. 21 March 2013

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1,117 thoughts on “A 2013 Wish List

  1. CTar1 WILL be happy that the temperature has gone down. I wonder if he has drunk Canberra dry yet? One needs to keep hydrated in hot weather. 😀

  2. Nah Joe, not us wimmen. We are alway the very souls of reason and decorum. And very nice too.

  3. Thanks for all the interesting links and posts, folks. I drop in from time to time to read your latest, but keep getting seduced by an e reader loaded with books one of my sons gave me for Xmas and the cricket on the radio.
    Did anyone else hear PMJG being interviewed on Grandstand? Pretty amazing to hear her being treated respectfully. She came across really well, IMO.

  4. Now, you listen to the good woman, ya hear, J6P? Or I’ll come up there myself and glue the ignition of the truck up with Super Glue! 😀
    Anyway, the real sport starts soon. The Australian Open, of course!

  5. I might keep the camera to hand as it looks like we may have one of those western NSW weather events where it actually rains but the air is so dry it doesn’t reach the ground.

  6. HSO,
    You mean someone from the ABC treated the Prime Minister with respect? Well I never!
    Countdown to complaint from the Opposition in 3..2..1..

    I got an e-Book Reader for Xmas as well. Well, actually my Coles Fly Buy points were enough that I could order one from the gift catalogue, but I still haven’t read the instruction book yet! 😳

  7. Well, the temperature has now dropped by 12 degrees, it is absolutely p!ssing down, the poor people over the road have lost the roof off their pagola and the chickens were right to take shelter as a band of hail has just come through.

    I am now hoping my vegetables have survived the wind and hail.

    And, it is still raining, I do hope this rain is falling in areas that are effected by fires.

  8. Thank all for the links, especially to the Andrew Elder piece. He’s not really the kind to pull any punches is he? Saw the PMJG being interviewed on ABC24 on the Tassie Bushfires. She looks relaxed, in control and spoke well. Good the emphasis on the fact that they have had a bit of experience helping people after disasters.

    2013 is going to be a stressful year in politics, but even with the polls as they are, i’d rather be backing the ALP.

  9. C@tmomma – I been kept on the relatively straight and narrow today!

    There might be a bit more wind and the temp has dropped 1 degree – it’s not exactly redemption here yet.

  10. Went to the food swap with French beans, sage, chives and shallots. Came back with lettuce seedlings, baboca, parsnips and rhubarb. All just picked …

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