‘The only good politician is a frightened politician’
The self-interest of our ruling class damages our democracy
5 November 2022
‘The only good politician is a frightened politician,’ says one of the world’s best-known and most highly qualified geologists, Professor Ian Plimer. I had asked him on ADHTV why politicians are massively increasing ordinary Australians’ electricity bills, while contemptuously increasing their massive personal CO2 footprints.
I thought of this when Prime Minister Albanese refused to give an assurance that bringing back Isis supporters will not represent a serious security risk. Too many ‘mistakes’ have been made in this area to have any confidence in the PM’s non-assurance. If something serious does happen, there should be consequences for those forcing this decision onto Australians.
Just as there should be consequences for issuing regulations not supported by the law, as occurred with the live cattle ban, consequences beyond the billions of damages the unfortunate taxpayer will cover.
There should be a criminal offence of serious misfeasance in public office whenever politicians act recklessly as to their legal powers and also as to the consequences of their decisions.
The way to ensure in advance that politicians just do not do this sort of thing is to make them truly accountable.
Such accountability should not be restricted to our elections, which, it should be recalled, are more open to fraud and manipulation than in comparable countries.
Politicians should be as accountable as most working Australians are – 24/7.
What we need is to end the control of the out-of-touch political establishments just as Americans did in the 2016 election, when the leading Republican party contenders were both outsiders, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
What the Australian people desperately need are tools to keep politicians in the state of perpetual fear Professor Plimer described.
While our founders (unlike those of Barbados) were right to ensure the Constitution could only be changed with the approval of the people in a referendum, they made three major errors.
First, only the federal government can initiate such a referendum. Second, the government has an unrestricted power to choose federal judges. Third, they surprisingly modelled the High Court on the powerful US Supreme Court, despite that Court’s appalling record in triggering the civil war and then entrenching segregation.
As I argue in a change.org petition to ‘take back your country’, the tools to correct these errors are recall elections and binding citizens-initiated referendums. Both would strike fear into the hearts of the politicians.
There can be no doubt that decisions of the rank-and-file are far more likely to be in the national interest than those of a political class who, Professor Plimer says, are driven only by self-interest.
Given the lack of accountability once office is achieved, it is hardly surprising that the Albanese government can, with impunity, recklessly endanger national security, push up already impossible energy prices by a ruinous 56 per cent – or even more, exacerbate inflation, block projects to save water and mitigate flooding, all the while ramping up their tired push to impose some unknown politicians’ republic onto a clearly reluctant nation.
They say the latter is conditional on both getting a second term and the Voice referendum prevailing. Despite the government pouring millions of taxpayers’ funds directly and indirectly into the Yes case, strong opposition by such principled indigenous leaders as Senator Jacinta Price and Warren Mundine is making Australians increasingly uneasy.
Few like the Albanese government’s proposal that voting rights should be determined by race. Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, voting rights have never before depended on race in Australia, as expert historian Keith Windschuttle carefully explained in a recent ADHTV interview.
The government’s principal justification for imposing some as yet unknown politicians’ republic is an extraordinary twofold fabrication. First, in dismissing the Whitlam government, only the Queen knew of the Governor-General’s intentions and second, Sir John acted in British and not Australian interests. The government should be embarrassed to rely on such outrageous inventions.
The government meekly claims it is also motivated by Scott Morrison’s curious acquisition of portfolios. The simple solution to that folly is to make the practice of announcing such appointments in the Gazette a statutory obligation.
We certainly do not need a referendum to do this. That would be an even bigger overreaction than the multi-million-dollar royal commission the government has already called. As to the form of republic, be assured this will not be a real republic, at least one which applies the Actonian principle about power and its corrupting influence. A real republic, such as our existing crowned republic (except unfortunately during Covid) must surely comply with James Madison’s famous prescription in the Federalist Papers.
This is that its constitution must not only enable the government to control the governed, it must also ‘oblige it to control itself’.
Because of these machinations by the Albanese government, next Wednesday’s ACM National Conference will feature an expert briefing from Lieutenant Colonel Peter O’Brien, author of the most authoritative book, Villain or Victim? A defence of Sir John Kerr and the Reserve Powers.
In addition to a retrospective interview with John Howard on what was the fairest referendum ever held in our history, the conference , streamed and available on ADHTV, will feature contributions from Tony Abbott, Alan Jones and commentator Fred Pawle on the constitutional problems exposed under Covid. There will also be a report from the ACM delegation to the government on their constitutional agenda, where they presented a detailed submission.
Of course, the Albanese government will not be deterred by the holding of a conference. But the reason why ACM, alone among republican or monarchist organisations, has held a national conference every year has been to remain faithful to their principles, to pour their little funding into education rather than upmarket premises or travel, as well as to sharpen the strategy that led them to victory.
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