Psycho-Babble Politics Thread 1104435

Shown: posts 1 to 13 of 13. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Bob Hawke

Posted by sigismund on May 17, 2019, at 0:00:39

The compassionate delivery of neoliberalism.

A world without Bob Hawke seems impossible. Yet here we are. His frailty, the imminence of his passing, after a long and extraordinary life, has long been apparent. Yet his death is still a shock, a stunning blow even.

He has been a fixture in public life for so long: the ripple-haired ACTU president of the late 60s and 70s; the reformed, sober leader of Australias greatest and most reforming government, the embittered former PM of the 1990s and then the icon of his senior years. How could such a figure vanish?

If you werent around in the 1980s, its hard to explain just how extraordinary a politician Hawke was. All that stuff about his love affair with the Australian people was, amazingly, ridiculously, true. Despite the demands of the role, many politicians are introverts who find the public nature of the job emotionally exhausting. Some few cope or even thrive on it. But Hawke was unique: he visibly drew energy from being with ordinary Australians.

I watched him do a shopping mall walkabout with Labors David Bradbury out at St Marys in Sydney in the 2010 election campaign. Here was an 80 year man; for most people there he would have been a figure from political prehistory. And yet people flocked to him and he glowed and grinned and laughed and middle-aged women crammed around him. In his ninth decade, he still had it whatever it is.

That wasnt just some weird facet of Hawkes character it was central to his political persona. Paul Keating referred to it flippantly dismissively even as tripping over TV cables in shopping centres but what Hawke brought to the Hawke-Keating government was the reassurance that the grand national experiment on which Keating, Button, Walsh, Dawkins et al were taking the Australian economy was safe.

Bob the union leader, the consensus builder, the charismatic politician, was as crucial as Keating, even if never as ideologically driven or hellbent on using up every bit of Labors political capital in the pursuit of reform, because Hawke reassured Australians. Australians trusted him, because even if they disagreed with him, they knew he adored them and would do the right thing by them. The result was a radical program of reform, sometimes reform that undermined the labour movement from which Hawke himself had emerged, that transformed Australia.

The transformation was a uniquely Australian combination of neoliberalism then in the first bloom of ideological youth and social justice. Hawkes signature achievement was Medicare. Gough had established Medibank only for it to be gutted by the Liberals; Medicare would last to become so entrenched in Australian public policy that John Howard went from promising to gut Medicare to boasting he was its greatest defender.

Compulsory superannuation (another of the many Hawke-Keating reforms opposed bitterly by the Coalition) was introduced through the Accord process, providing the basis for modern Australian retirement incomes policy. Family payments were increased for low-income earners, leading to Hawkes famous 1987 campaign launch mistake of declaring that no child would live in poverty. There was also the Franklin, and Kakadu and the Antarctic Treaty. All while wages growth was being pegged back under the Accord, protectionism was being wound back and Paul Keating was teaching Australians to expect budget surpluses.

The result was that neoliberalism was implemented in Australia, but came with a set of protections ones retained even when Paul Keating and Dangerman Laurie Brereton pursued industrial relations reform after 1993 that looked after ordinary people even as the traditional economic protectionism that guaranteed them jobs was wound back and the economy was opened up to competition, industries were deregulated and the dollar was floated providing the basis for decades of real income increases that would last until the death of neoliberalism in the 2010s.

He and Keating, inevitably, fell out over the leadership and the famous, or infamous, Kirribilli Agreement to hand over power. The Hawke government without Keating after Keating fired the one shot in my locker in 1991 was never as good as the Hawke-Keating government. And while Keating delivered three more years of high-quality reform from 1993-96, despite the lingering effects of the early nineties recession, without Hawke, he could never provide the same sense of reassurance to voters about the bold reforms he wanted to pursue.

The shock of his passing will be amplified by the media. Any journalist or commentator dealing with public affairs who is over the age of 40 is a child of the Hawke-Keating years. We covered it or watched it unfold, and we were sold on the story of neoliberal reforms. Many of us, decades later, have watched as neoliberalism tottered and fell, killed by the greed of corporations and the soft corruption of politicians who served their interests, and the rage of voters who have seen the promise of neoliberalism higher incomes and more opportunity stolen by powerful interests. In Australia, that rage has been significantly softened by the social justice framework Hawke and Keating ensured a universal healthcare system, superannuation, family payments, a more flexible industrial relations system that provided basic protections for workers.

Its a lasting gift from that formidable pairing. And it means Hawke will forever be the co-architect of 21st-century Australia, a rare figure who divides the history of his country into the time before him, and the time after him.

 

Re: Bob Hawke sigismund

Posted by beckett2 on May 19, 2019, at 15:58:49

In reply to Bob Hawke, posted by sigismund on May 17, 2019, at 0:00:39

I'm sorry sigi. I'm reading about the election now, and I'm dismayed by the results. Lingiari, what is there? Queensland? (I'll look that up.) Maybe you live in an ALP district--there are some scattered about. I'm wondering if this is the passing of the era we were raised in, a more progressive world.

I was talking today, asking my friend, what does it cost people to allow other people their rights? Here there is a push against rights that were solidified-- pro-choice, gays, transgendered and treatment of immigrants and refugees with respect.

Then there is climate policy. That upsets me the most about your election. With Morrison in, won't policy be lax on coal? The same here. Drill along the coasts (which hasn't happened yet, the expansion of coastal drilling) and fracking. WTF.

> The compassionate delivery of neoliberalism.
>
> A world without Bob Hawke seems impossible. Yet here we are. His frailty, the imminence of his passing, after a long and extraordinary life, has long been apparent. Yet his death is still a shock, a stunning blow even.
>
> He has been a fixture in public life for so long: the ripple-haired ACTU president of the late 60s and 70s; the reformed, sober leader of Australias greatest and most reforming government, the embittered former PM of the 1990s and then the icon of his senior years. How could such a figure vanish?
>
> If you werent around in the 1980s, its hard to explain just how extraordinary a politician Hawke was. All that stuff about his love affair with the Australian people was, amazingly, ridiculously, true. Despite the demands of the role, many politicians are introverts who find the public nature of the job emotionally exhausting. Some few cope or even thrive on it. But Hawke was unique: he visibly drew energy from being with ordinary Australians.
>
> I watched him do a shopping mall walkabout with Labors David Bradbury out at St Marys in Sydney in the 2010 election campaign. Here was an 80 year man; for most people there he would have been a figure from political prehistory. And yet people flocked to him and he glowed and grinned and laughed and middle-aged women crammed around him. In his ninth decade, he still had it whatever it is.
>
> That wasnt just some weird facet of Hawkes character it was central to his political persona. Paul Keating referred to it flippantly dismissively even as tripping over TV cables in shopping centres but what Hawke brought to the Hawke-Keating government was the reassurance that the grand national experiment on which Keating, Button, Walsh, Dawkins et al were taking the Australian economy was safe.
>
> Bob the union leader, the consensus builder, the charismatic politician, was as crucial as Keating, even if never as ideologically driven or hellbent on using up every bit of Labors political capital in the pursuit of reform, because Hawke reassured Australians. Australians trusted him, because even if they disagreed with him, they knew he adored them and would do the right thing by them. The result was a radical program of reform, sometimes reform that undermined the labour movement from which Hawke himself had emerged, that transformed Australia.
>
> The transformation was a uniquely Australian combination of neoliberalism then in the first bloom of ideological youth and social justice. Hawkes signature achievement was Medicare. Gough had established Medibank only for it to be gutted by the Liberals; Medicare would last to become so entrenched in Australian public policy that John Howard went from promising to gut Medicare to boasting he was its greatest defender.
>
> Compulsory superannuation (another of the many Hawke-Keating reforms opposed bitterly by the Coalition) was introduced through the Accord process, providing the basis for modern Australian retirement incomes policy. Family payments were increased for low-income earners, leading to Hawkes famous 1987 campaign launch mistake of declaring that no child would live in poverty. There was also the Franklin, and Kakadu and the Antarctic Treaty. All while wages growth was being pegged back under the Accord, protectionism was being wound back and Paul Keating was teaching Australians to expect budget surpluses.
>
> The result was that neoliberalism was implemented in Australia, but came with a set of protections ones retained even when Paul Keating and Dangerman Laurie Brereton pursued industrial relations reform after 1993 that looked after ordinary people even as the traditional economic protectionism that guaranteed them jobs was wound back and the economy was opened up to competition, industries were deregulated and the dollar was floated providing the basis for decades of real income increases that would last until the death of neoliberalism in the 2010s.
>
> He and Keating, inevitably, fell out over the leadership and the famous, or infamous, Kirribilli Agreement to hand over power. The Hawke government without Keating after Keating fired the one shot in my locker in 1991 was never as good as the Hawke-Keating government. And while Keating delivered three more years of high-quality reform from 1993-96, despite the lingering effects of the early nineties recession, without Hawke, he could never provide the same sense of reassurance to voters about the bold reforms he wanted to pursue.
>
> The shock of his passing will be amplified by the media. Any journalist or commentator dealing with public affairs who is over the age of 40 is a child of the Hawke-Keating years. We covered it or watched it unfold, and we were sold on the story of neoliberal reforms. Many of us, decades later, have watched as neoliberalism tottered and fell, killed by the greed of corporations and the soft corruption of politicians who served their interests, and the rage of voters who have seen the promise of neoliberalism higher incomes and more opportunity stolen by powerful interests. In Australia, that rage has been significantly softened by the social justice framework Hawke and Keating ensured a universal healthcare system, superannuation, family payments, a more flexible industrial relations system that provided basic protections for workers.
>
> Its a lasting gift from that formidable pairing. And it means Hawke will forever be the co-architect of 21st-century Australia, a rare figure who divides the history of his country into the time before him, and the time after him.
>

 

Re: Bob Hawke beckett2

Posted by sigismund on May 19, 2019, at 21:17:08

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke sigismund, posted by beckett2 on May 19, 2019, at 15:58:49

This is Australia's Trump/Brexit moment.

If the scientists are right people will not know what hit them when it comes.

Bill Shorten was not the right man to sell such an ambitious policy perhaps? A little too wooden, and people did not warm to him. Some people like Scomo. We have an authoritarian tradition and he fits it.

 

Re: Bob Hawke sigismund

Posted by beckett2 on May 20, 2019, at 0:01:15

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke beckett2, posted by sigismund on May 19, 2019, at 21:17:08

How soon do scientists suspect climate expect things to become unlivable for people outside the tropic latitudes? I can only imagine that as ice melt continues to accelerate, the potential window for change will be long lost.

> This is Australia's Trump/Brexit moment.
>
> If the scientists are right people will not know what hit them when it comes.
>
> Bill Shorten was not the right man to sell such an ambitious policy perhaps? A little too wooden, and people did not warm to him. Some people like Scomo. We have an authoritarian tradition and he fits it.

 

Re: Bob Hawke

Posted by sigismund on May 20, 2019, at 1:16:11

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke sigismund, posted by beckett2 on May 20, 2019, at 0:01:15

Will it be socialism or barbarism? Socialism meaning some form of social democracy.

This is from Black Ink, the only nationwide independent print people. Everything else is Murdoch. There IS such a thing as reality, as we will find out soon enough.

https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2019/may/1556632800/richard-cooke/news-corp-democracy-s-greatest-threat

 

Re: Bob Hawke beckett2

Posted by sigismund on May 20, 2019, at 3:42:24

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke sigismund, posted by beckett2 on May 19, 2019, at 15:58:49

Where we live is Green in the state house and ALP in the Federal.

 

Re: Bob Hawke sigismund

Posted by beckett2 on May 20, 2019, at 19:37:51

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke, posted by sigismund on May 20, 2019, at 1:16:11

Do you mean when climate change is more full apparent? A friend (I might have mentioned this) thinks fascism will be the only successful way to deal with this.

When the writer says Australia is more depressed than psychotic, is that like lack of political will to face crisis? Psychotic suits us well. It's very painful. And exhausting.

I've subscribed to their newsletter (I think that's what it is) to remind me to read my allotted 3 articles per month. I can't afford another subscription. I'd like LRB too....

> Will it be socialism or barbarism? Socialism meaning some form of social democracy.
>
> This is from Black Ink, the only nationwide independent print people. Everything else is Murdoch. There IS such a thing as reality, as we will find out soon enough.
>
> https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2019/may/1556632800/richard-cooke/news-corp-democracy-s-greatest-threat

 

Re: Bob Hawke beckett2

Posted by sigismund on May 21, 2019, at 1:09:55

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke sigismund, posted by beckett2 on May 20, 2019, at 19:37:51

>Do you mean when climate change is more full apparent? A friend (I might have mentioned this) thinks fascism will be the only successful way to deal with this.

They militarised the borders for this reason, and they will continue to do so. When real population flows start the response will likely be fascist. They were the people who really gained this election.

There was resentment here with Jacinda, that she was simply encouraging 'them'. This is the problem: more or less complete ignorance and an aversion to looking at the results of our actions. (Caliban's rage at seeing his image in the mirror.) It is especially helpful that we can choose our reality.

 

Re: Bob Hawke

Posted by alexandra_k on May 21, 2019, at 2:13:01

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke beckett2, posted by sigismund on May 21, 2019, at 1:09:55

I don't really remember Bob Hawke. A bit before my time. I have been reading about the Australian election. Somehow it is supposed to make New Zealand look better, with our lovely liberal Prime Minister and our super-low rates of perceived corruption and our 'we want to be the best place in the world to be a child' aspiration...

The best place in the world to shoot your brains half out so you can be frontal lobe deficient forever and ever and ever and ever and ever the super-friendly people will look after you super well mwahahahahaha aspiration.

Fo sho

 

Re: Bob Hawke

Posted by sigismund on May 21, 2019, at 19:06:13

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke, posted by alexandra_k on May 21, 2019, at 2:13:01

My expectations are so low. So I like the pope and Queen Elizabeth and Jacinda. I fear the coarsening of society and fascism, and Murdoch. Even though he never did much, I liked Obama, simply for saying nice things. It's not enough, but better than the opposite.

 

Re: Bob Hawke alexandra_k

Posted by beckett2 on May 21, 2019, at 19:40:31

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke, posted by alexandra_k on May 21, 2019, at 2:13:01

The trope 'a thicket of lies' comes to mind. Which doesn't really explain what I feel. For a well-intentioned or good hearted person to come to power, how would they deal with the decades or longer corruption in the system itself? So yes, I appreciate polite society and respect(not artificially polite). Maybe dignified. That's closer to what I mean. With Obama, I felt that we weren't quite chin deep in sewage.

Jacinda at least has walked the walk. She does have a smaller country to govern.

Funny you mention the Queen, sigi. I was thinking the other day how sad I'll feel when she's gone. But methinks it's unnerving to finally be, by age at least, the adult in the room.

> I don't really remember Bob Hawke. A bit before my time. I have been reading about the Australian election. Somehow it is supposed to make New Zealand look better, with our lovely liberal Prime Minister and our super-low rates of perceived corruption and our 'we want to be the best place in the world to be a child' aspiration...
>
> The best place in the world to shoot your brains half out so you can be frontal lobe deficient forever and ever and ever and ever and ever the super-friendly people will look after you super well mwahahahahaha aspiration.
>
> Fo sho

 

Re: Bob Hawke

Posted by sigismund on May 21, 2019, at 23:33:05

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke alexandra_k, posted by beckett2 on May 21, 2019, at 19:40:31

>With Obama, I felt that we weren't quite chin deep in sewage.

You made me laugh! This is one of the virtues of hypocrisy.

I think it matters what the people at the top say, even though they are just words, one only needs to look at societies in extreme states to see the importance.

If I mention Hitler and Stalin in the one sentence I can be Godwined out. You see the messages they sent, how they did it, and how dreadfully important those messages were and the terrible consequences. So calling refugees 'vermin' for example, as someone somewhere did recently.........so much for Judeo Christian values.

 

Re: Bob Hawke

Posted by alexandra_k on May 22, 2019, at 15:30:45

In reply to Re: Bob Hawke, posted by sigismund on May 21, 2019, at 23:33:05

Yeah.

Sorry, that was dark of me. I have been in a dark place over the last few days. Maybe also (but not only) that time of the month related.

You are right that it matters what the people say.

Referring to refugees as 'vermin'... That's a terrible thing to say. It is a terrible way to view people.

It is hard...

With refugees (as with anything else) you get a very salient few that are 'trying it on'. People pretending to be legitimate refugees who are wanted for war crimes back home or whatever. Men who have managed to grab a woman and child who have the woman and child thrust before them as armour. Hostages?

It can be hard to tell the difference. Hard to sort...

Everyone wants the same people and wants to get rid of the same people, I suppose.

I don't know.


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