Australia: the dumnation.

Australia continues on it’s path to dumnation. Intellect is spurned and academia is neglected, our economy is dumb and education is disrespected.

Australians are gullible.

A leadership challenge gave us a prime minister who is nothing more than a re-branding exercise for the Liberal National Party (LNP). At the time, Scott Morrison was called the caretaker PM. Some even referred to him as the night-watchman in reference to a tactic used in cricket in which a less competent batter is sent in for the last moments of a day’s play, in order to protect the more competent batters for the following day. If the night-watchman is dismissed, it doesn’t really matter – he is expendable, a sacrifice to protect the team. Morrison was a sacrifice, a less competent politician chosen to fill a gap. Then Australians voted him back in. They fell for the PR spin of the carefully-crafted persona, a man devoid of substance who is himself a marketing man. Australians continue to succumb to the marketing spin and support a man who is leading the country on the path to dumnation.

A carefully-crafted persona has kept Morrison in office. He is successfully sold as the daggy Dad, the typical Aussie bloke who loves beer and footy. He occupies his days with endless photo opportunities. Photo opportunities that are lame, predictable and vacuous, but successful. In his latest photo opportunity, he pretends to nail gyprock into a wall. He holds a hammer and pretends to hold a nail between his fingers. Only, he’s not holding a nail. A quick zoom in of the image reveals he’s holding fresh air. The Australian prime minister can’t even pretend to hammer a nail in correctly. For a man who is nothing but photo opportunities, this is a major failure.

He is sold as a leader of the workers, a man who identifies with the construction worker, farmer and tradesman (yes, tradesman, not woman), and yet he and his PR team can’t even manage a staged photo opportunity. Does it matter? Does it diminish his standing in the eyes of his new constituents? No, they still fall for the PR spin. Many experts predict he will win the next federal election. All Morrison needs to do is appear in high-vis, in lab coats, in footy gear or with his family, and Australians love him. It’s that easy.

The gullible Australian is a political creation. The Labor Party, and especially the LNP, have created the gullible Australian through the mainstream media and the public education system.

An uneducated population is easier to control. Leaders like the Sultan of Brunei know this, and deliberately underfund their public education systems. The current government also understands this. Government schools in Australia are grossly underfunded and teachers are overworked and underpaid. The nation ranks very poorly among OECD nations for basic educational standards in literacy and numeracy. It is impossible to develop critical literacy without basic literacy, and this motivates the current government’s attack on public education.

Citizens who lack critical literacy will not see, or even look, behind the marketing spin of the government. They will not question announcements and policy decisions. They can be fooled with targeted language, numbers and statistics, and controlled with slogans. The current government is a master of slogans – and the slogans work.

Tertiary education is also suffering. Universities are poorly funded, but for different reasons. Universities foment anti-establishment sentiment and dissent. Students and professors have a prerogative to reject the status quo, especially a status quo led by a conservative government. Universities often lead the dissent and robust discussion that is central to a functioning democracy. The current government has successfully stifled the debate that traditionally emerges from universities.

Technical education is also under threat. Funding has been stripped from TAFE (Technical and Further Education) colleges. The result is a labour shortage. Subsequently, labour was sourced from overseas (pre-COVID). Foreign labour disadvantaged local workers, who found less employment opportunities. Foreign labour benefitted large corporations, who could source cheaper, more compliant workers. Ironically, the tradies, labourers and construction workers who form the new supporter base of the LNP, are directly disadvantaged by their chosen representatives. They are one group of Australians who have voted against their best interests, but they are too gullible and uneducated to realise.

While the Labor Party has not attacked public education with the same vigour as the LNP, they have neglected the system for many years and left government schools crumbling. The undereducated masses blindly follow the current government on the path to dumnation.

Cool to be a fool.

Many Australian school students live by this mantra. It is considered cool to not study, not care and not pay attention at school. The attitude is typical of teenagers in many countries, but in Australia it stems from a cultural disrespect for authority and intellect. A country built on convict transportation from Britain naturally carries a disrespect for authority figures, including teachers, and this partly explains the behaviour of many students in class. Disrespect for intellect runs deeper, though. Australian identity is based on the images of the farmer, the soldier, the bronzed Aussie and the athlete – all exalted for physical prowess. None praised for intellectual prowess.

Australians can revel in this image for as long as they want. Other countries won’t mind. Other countries will leap ahead of Australia is education, technology, social policy, trade and economics while Australia celebrates its ignorance. Other countries will see Australia as an opportunity to be easily exploited.

Uneducated people passively consume mass media. Discernment and critique are nowhere to be found. Driving this consumption is one man – Rupert Murdoch. NewsCorp owns most of Australia’s national and regional newspapers, and the climate change-denying, racist, sexist, bigoted news empire is a powerful propaganda tool of the LNP. Not only does the news network spread propaganda, but it publishes content which is offensive in its quality. The simplified language is aimed at 13-year-olds. The content is over-sensationalised tabloid rubbish, and the targeting of people such as Indigenous Australians, left-wing thinkers, migrants, ethnic groups, environmentalists, women and other minorities is shockingly obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence. Unfortunately, this is lacking in its readers, and the Murdoch-led mainstream media is leading Australia on the path to dumnation.

At the same time, the current government is stripping funding and influence from the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) because the national broadcaster is famously objective, admittedly left-leaning in some cases, and trusted for its history of investigative journalism. The LNP is weakening one of its critics, but in doing so is weakening an important community service. Victims of natural disasters such as floods and fires turn to the ABC for updates and information which literally saves lives. Gutting the ABC could cost lives, as extreme weather drives further natural disasters, and pandemics become more likely. Some of those who will suffer voted for the very people who are destroying this vital public service.

Australia exports almost nothing that requires a university degree to make. The country’s economy relies heavily upon mining and livestock agriculture. While intelligent, tertiary educated people work within those industries, the act of farming and mining are not complex. Mining involves digging a hole, and farming involves animal husbandry.

Such a simple economy is not economically sustainable. Especially in a globalised world in which other countries are deliberately and actively diversifying their economies to withstand changes and progress, as well as unexpected events such as COVID-19. Mining and agricultural exports suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, with border closures interrupting export activity and transport. Countries and businesses in the IT industry, in contrast, prospered during the pandemic as anyone who had access to technology used it to stay in contact, stay connected, stay employed or stay sane. Australia, meanwhile, runs on a nationwide internet service whose speeds recently placed it at 61st in the world.

Slow internet speed has no justification. There is no excuse for such a poor national internet service. It is simply the result of political incompetence. A country with slow internet speed, in a digital age, is heading towards dumnation.

Mining and agriculture dominate Australia’s economy, alongside construction and tourism. International tourism has halted due to the pandemic, and it is impossible to predict when it will resume and pour more money into Australian businesses and the national economy. Income from foreign tourists was previously considered a guarantee for Australians, but the country is now paying the price for the failure to diversify the economy.

Concurrently, the nation is destroying the very thing which lures so many international visitors: nature. Tourists flock to the country to see the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, pristine beaches, rainforests, national parks and native animals. Most of these are under threat from climate change, over-development, mining, agriculture and poor regulation. Failure to protect Australia’s natural wonders will damage post-COVID tourism as well as destroying the nation’s biodiversity.

Destruction of the natural environment is not unavoidable. It is the result of direct action by Australian people since colonisation. It is the result of actions which have given Australia the highest rate of native mammal extinction in the world, the largest per capita carbon footprint of any nation on earth, and the number two world ranking in biodiversity loss.

What’s more, scientists predict the possible extinction of koalas in the near future. Only a country on the path to dumnation would knowingly destroy one of its most famous and loved national symbols. How many tourists will visit Australia in the post-COVID world if they know they can’t see a koala?

An ignorant nation does not recognise the importance of its natural environment. An ignorant nation believes the lies perpetuated in the mainstream media. An ignorant nation believes the lies told by politicians beholden to the fossil fuel industry, and the agricultural and construction sector. An ignorant population is a sign of a nation on the path to dumnation.

A useful barometer of a nation’s intellectual health is its mass media consumption. In particular, it’s free-to-air television content. Reality TV dominates this content in Australia, and every year it sinks to a new low. Scripted, manipulative shows in which contestants are rewarded for their selfishness, greed, betrayal and lies are surging in popularity and dominate the content on every commercial station.

Voting habits also indicate a nation’s intellectual standing. Fringe parties based on extreme ideologies such as racism are growing in strength in Australia. One such party is Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, named after Australia’s most famous racist.

Parties such as One Nation win support through outrageous statements. They also promise without fear because they know they will never have to fulfil the promises they make, because they know they will never form government. Of course, every politician makes promises, and most of those promises are not kept, but fringe parties can make more outrageous statements and promises, and attract more of the disgruntled voters, because the members know they will never have to deliver, and will not be voted out for failing to deliver. Members of the major parties make empty promises, but risk being voted out at the next election if they don’t deliver at least some of their promises.

Unfortunately, the people who vote for the fringe parties don’t understand this dynamic. They are ignorant, ill-informed, lowly educated or simply quick to judge and condemn, and they believe the extreme statements and policy announcements of the extreme right wing candidates. They possess the ignorance of a Trump supporter, and are a symptom of a nation on the path to dumnation.

The path to dumnation is the path to damnation. Australia will be left behind economically, socially, intellectually, technologically and academically unless it develops a respect for the enormous intellectual talent which resides in the country. Australia’s brightest minds must be recognised because they will save the nation from dumnation.

Image: http://www.worldatlas.com

Political Scandal Mix and Match.

Political Scandal Mix and Match is an exciting new card game the whole family can enjoy, and it’s out just in time for Christmas. Match the Australian politician to the scandal they committed and impress family friends with your knowledge of Australia’s crumbling democracy.

Do you know who was responsible for Sports Rorts?

Can you remember who committed adultery with their own staffer?

How did Angus Taylor corrupt his office, and how did Sam Dastyari make headlines for all the wrong reasons?

These questions and more will challenge you in this fun and easy to follow matching game.

Play individually or in teams, with just two sets of cards. One set of cards contains the names of corrupt politicians. The other set contains the specific scandal the politician committed. All you have to do is match the politician to the correct scandal.

It’s That Easy!

Actually, there are a few curve balls thrown in. We can’t make it too easy. Remember that some politicians have committed more than one scandal, so you’ll have to match them with more than one card. What’s more, individual scandals often involved more than one politician, so pay attention.

Political scandals don’t just involve corruption, and this is where the game gets really interesting. Australia’s leaders have abused their office with acts of immoral and unethical behaviour, deceit, neglect and gross incompetence, and this game lets you relive the greatest moments in Australia’s recent political history.

Clear a space on the dining table because there are many cards in this game, detailing the politicians and scandals listed below:

 PoliticianParty
1Scott MorrisonLiberal
2Bridget McKenzieNational
3Angus TaylorLiberal
4Peter DuttonLiberal
5Barnaby JoyceNational
6Michaelia CashLiberal
7Sam DastyariLabour
8Stuart RobertLiberal
9Pauline HansonPHON
10John BarilaroNational
11George ChristensenNational
12Matt CanavanNational
13Andrew RobbLiberal
14Mathias CormannLiberal
15Richard ColbeckLiberal
16Malcolm RobertsPHON
17Andrew BroadNational
18David LittleproudNational
19Alexander DownerLiberal
20Josh FrydenbergLiberal
21Alan TudgeLiberal
22Paul FletcherLiberal
23Christian PorterLiberal
24Sussan LeyLiberal
25Eddie ObeidLabor
26Steve DicksonPHON
27Gladys BerejiklianLiberal
28Daryl MaguireLiberal
 Scandal
1Said Melburnians were afraid to go to restaurants because of African gang violence.
2Made a joke about rising sea levels threatening low-lying Pacific Island nations.
3Sent a text message calling a female journalist a “mad fucking witch”
4Claimed allowing Lebanese Muslims into Australia was a “mistake” and was to blame for higher crime rates in Western Sydney.
5Called refugees “illiterate and innumerate”.
6Proposed a special visa be made available to white South African farmers.
7Labelled Australian Doctor an “online leftist publication that really carries no weight”
8Refused to attend Kevin Rudd’s official apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008, and threatened to resign his portfolio over the issue.
9Overruled the advice of immigration authorities to grant a French woman a visa after being lobbied by AFL boss Gil McLachlan. The Au Pair scandal.
10Sports Rorts
11Unable to cite figures related to deaths in nursing homes, despite being minster responsible for aged care.
12Walked out of the senate while being questioned by the opposition about the aged care sector.
13Helloworld travel scandal
14Claimed that “many instances” of domestic violence allegations are made up by parents to gain custody of their children.
15Called climate change a UN conspiracy
16The sugar baby scandal. Dated and sexted with “Sweet Sophia Rose” during work trip to HK, partially paid for by taxpayers. Story published in New Idea
17had an affair with his staffer, who became pregnant, the subject of a sexual harassment allegation
18Compared gay men to rams having sex in paddocks.
19Said that the role of a father is to take their teenage daughter on a date
20Has direct family links to the $20 million Murray-Darling Basin fraud
21Murray-Darling Basin Watergate scandal
22Bought water through buyback at inflated prices and the funnelled the money to an overseas company based in the Cayman Islands
23Accepted bribes from Woodside Energy while Foreign Affairs Minister. Joined Woodside Energy after retiring from politics
24Bugged offices of Timor Leste government to assist Woodside Energy to gain rights for resource projects in Timor Sea
25Accepted bribes from Chinese officials to finalise a trade deal
26Grassgate
27Accused of criminal behaviour after keeping a man in immigration detention for five days after the man was granted a temporary protection visa.
28Robodebt
29His department released the private welfare details of a Centrelink customer.
30Accused of interfering in a police investigation after phoning the NSW police commissioner
31Witnessed the Prime Minister call NSW police commissioner during an ongoing police investigation.
32Campaign bus scandal
33Accused of falsifying information to attack Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore’s record on climate change
34Her staff alerted the media that police would raid the Melbourne offices of the Australian Workers Union in 2017
35She threatened to name female political staffers “over which… rumours abound”.
36Responsible for ‘unethical’ purchase of land for new Sydney airport. Paid $30 million, land worth $3 million
37Resigned from the front bench due to expenses scandal
38Used taxpayers’ money to attend two New Year’s Eve events hosted by a prominent Queensland businesswoman and donor
39Purchased a $795,000 luxury apartment on the Gold Coast while on a taxpayer funded trip. Claimed it was an impulse purchase.
40tried to claim almost $38,000 for his home internet bill
41Helped a friend and Liberal donor sign a deal in China while holding shares in the company at the centre of the scandal.
42Resigned amid increasing concern over his relationship with China and businessman Huang Xiangmo
43Allowed Sydney-based Top Education Institute to pay a $1,670.82 travel bill after he spent his Parliamentary travel budget.
44Acted in a corrupt manner in relation to cafe leases at Circular Quay
45Misused his position as a Member of Parliament to benefit his family’s financial interests in Direct Health Solutions
46Misused his position as a Member of Parliament to benefit his family’s financial interests in water licences over the family farm
47Sentenced to five years in jail with a non-parole period of three years
48Representations to NSW Minister for Roads on behalf of Mid-Western Regional Council for funding to seal a 1.5 km stretch of roadway near his family property near Mudgee
49Launched Dr. David van Gend’s anti-same sex marriage book
50Called for a ban on Muslim immigration from “radicalised” countries
51Appeared at anti-Islam rallies organised by Geert Wilders and the Reclaim Australia movement
52Compared Safe Schools anti-bullying program to “grooming” by paedophiles
53Tried to ban the burqa
54“why can’t we argue a conspiracy by the UN and most of the world’s scientists?”
55Subject of Australian Federal Police (AFP) enquiries about regular travel and cash transfers to the Philippines for 12 months.
56Reported to be a regular visitor to and big spender at Ponytails strip club in the Philippines
57Paid back more than $2,100 for taxpayer-funded flights and cars linked to trips to the Philippines.
58Undercover footage emerged of him making derogatory comments and touching a dancer at a strip club in Washington DC
59Solicited political donations from the NRA as the US gun lobby encouraged PHON to weaken Australia’s strict gun ownership laws
60Said Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Asians”
61Wore a burqa during Senate question time as part of her push to ban the garment.
62Claimed the 1996 Port Arthur massacre was a government conspiracy
63Failed to declare his family home
64Did not declare his membership of the North Queensland Cowboys when it received a loan from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility
65Documents she signed to give her approval of millions of dollars in grants to local councils were later shredded
66Was in a secret relationship with Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire
67He took part in a “cash-for-visa” scheme in which he received tens of thousands of dollars in commissions.
68Caught speeding in a ministerial car, along with other driving infringements
69Tore up agreements to change logging rules in New South Wales to better protect animals that survived recent bushfires
70Sparked an internal war in the NSW Government over koala habitats

This unique boardgame has no age restrictions. That’s right, anyone from nine months to ninety-nine years of age can play this game because Australia’s politicians have committed scandals involving everything from Au Pairs to Aged Care.

What are you waiting for? Order your board game now and pay only $30.00. Yes, buy it now for only $30, (or 10 easy payments of $3) Don’t hesitate, because if you buy this on Christmas Eve, it will cost $300.

Political Corruption Mix and Match, get it now for Christmas.

Image: http://www.abc.net.au