Here is a definition of good government from a book for kids (The big fat NO debates – Government) by yours truly. If kids can get this, so should most adults.
All… people want pretty much the same things as you and me.
• To feel safe/secure
• A bit (or more) of fun
• Somewhere comfy to sleep
• Food and water
It’s not fair but a lot of people do NOT get these things…
Good government is about helping people achieve these things. The fancy debating term is ACCESS. Everybody should have access to education and shelter and health services and good food and healthy water and so on and so forth (phew). It’s government’s job to govern for this outcome; access to life requirements (more fancy debating language). Good government cares for all its people, not just the bystanders and participants [and the donors].
Good governments have rules about how they govern. This is called a constitution. Many constitutions say that people have rights and freedoms and should be free and not go hungry et cetera et cetera…
Let’s look at a few instances of government not DOING the above as the stuff of this blog post:
‘In another sign of how the real world is rapidly undermining the fantasies of the climate denialists in the Morrison government, the government’s own prudential regulator has directed financial institutions to elevate their recognition of climate change risks given the threats’ “irreversible” and “unprecedented” nature.’https://www.crikey.com.au/2021/04/23/apra-tells-banks-upgrade-climate-risk-reporting-where-littleproud/
It cannot be stressed just how bad the Australian Lib-Nat Morrison government (and to a lesser degree, the Labor opposition) are with denial of the grave climate change threat to us all. Their every action seems to be about commitment to a fossil fooled future, one that most of the rest of the world knows we must avoid. For instance:
- Kurri Kurri conflicts: new gas plant is a field day for party donors: ‘A $600 million subsidy for a gas plant in Kurri Kurri makes no commercial sense for the taxpayer, but there are plenty of windfalls for Liberal Party donors.’
- Handouts to petrol refineries: 2 billion of taxpayers money to allegedly ensure fuel security. The Guardian’s Richie Merzian says that ‘the only viable long-term solution to our liquid fuel insecurity is to get off fossil fuels. Instead we are giving them taxpayer handouts’
- Or we might ask why there is yet another school strike for climate action (May 21, 2021); see this cartoon.
- The list goes on… and on, and on, and on. Enough.
‘We are witnessing a crime against humanity’: Arundhati Roy on India’s Covid catastrophe; from https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/28/crime-against-humanity-arundhati-roy-india-covid-catastrophe?
- Populist leadership is fucking us all. Forgive the cheap expletive but it seems appropriate. Modi in India, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Morrison in Australia, Trump (now hopefully gone but his GOP is still apparently doing his bidding) in the U.S., Boris the clown in the UK, Erdagon in Turkey, Viktor Orbán in Hungary. Duterte in the Philippines…
- The military junta in Myanmar, Xi Jinping in China and the Kim dynasty of North Korea are not populist but deserve a jersey in my list of bad leadership teams.
- But if its populism the lies at the heart of our current malaise then one must ask why are these leaders popular and voted into office?
I am not suggesting that government (in so many countries on this poor old planet) is worse now than it’s ever been. We’d need to compete with the likes of Hitler and the Nazis, or Pol Pot etc. BUT boy – do we live in times when news about and information re the malfeasance of government is readily & almost immediately available (with the attendant danger that some or perhaps a lot of that news might be misinformation and what is called fake news) via media, including social media.
So we are aware of it, and able to act, both wisely (as perhaps with the Arab Spring or marches against violence against women) and shabbily (as with the forced entry into the White House in January 2021).
With awareness comes a call to do something, I think. To research, to listen to experts, to discover truth[s], to act sensibly and rationally, to call for change if change is required… Complacency is NOT an option. Australia (Australians) – are you listening, looking, thinking etc.
We need to look carefully at what our governments are doing and not sit blindly by, like bystanders as metaphorical Kristallnachts continually re-occur.