Category: Uncategorized

Senator X – a rolling stone gathers no policies

by Malcolm King

There is no doubt that Senator Xenophon has the South Australia public and media in his pocket.  More than 150,000 voters and 50 journalists whose contact books automatically open to the letter X can’t be wrong, can they?

“My political philosophy is summed up by the myth of Sisyphus, the story of this poor bastard that was condemned by the gods to roll a boulder up a hill. And I feel like I’m rolling that boulder up to the top of the hill, never getting to the crest. But I’ll still keep going,” he said recently in the media.

Unfortunately Senator Xenophon will have to keep rolling that stone a little longer as the Greens have taken the balance of power in the Senate. It’s a kick in the guts for South Australians who placed so much faith in the Anti-Pokies campaigner.

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Modernising Micro-Financing to develop Entrepreneurship in Western Sydney and Rural NSW

by Hugh McDermott





As a progressive social democratic party, NSW Labor needs to find innovative ways to assist the urban and rural poor to make the break from long term and inter-generational poverty.  Effective and well designed micro-financing projects have successfully enabled impoverished people to engage in self-employment projects that allow them to generate an income and, in many cases, begin to build wealth and exit poverty. A modernised model of micro-financing will assist the poor in urban and rural NSW break the poverty cycle.

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“Why Parties need to become Movements again”

by Marcus Roberts and Daniel Elton


Winning progressive parties in the 1990s were those that had learnt the lessons of the 1980s: that division, disorganisation and an obsession with a core left vote was no way to win. As a consequence from Blair and New Labour to Schroeder and the SPD’s Neue Mitte, progressive parties in the ‘90s embraced change through discipline, professionalism, tight message control and a focus on the political centre ground. Such an approach made sense at the time both as a response to the defeats of the previous decade and as a positive appeal to the moderate-minded electorates of the affluent 1990s.

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It’s reform or dire electoral straits for the centre-left

Social democrats must cast aside conservative impulses in order to survive. Passing the torch of modernisation and reform to the centre-right would be both self-defeating and detrimental to society at large.


quote Social democrats have to find the strength to reform, or they will be out of the electoral game permanently. The financial crisis, alongside structural challenges from demography and ageing to the rise of Asia, has made reform an imperative in every major industrialised nation. The most dangerous step social democrats could take would be to concede the mantle of reform to the centre-right. It might be tempting in the present context merely to defend the claims of vulnerable groups and producer interests, but it will lead inevitably to electoral defeat. If the left does not propose an agenda for progressive reform, the centre-right will dominate the political landscape – implementing reforms that are harsh and unfair. That is the lesson of the contemporary era.

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Why Do People Believe Stupid Stuff, Even When They’re Confronted With the Truth?

AlterNet / By David McRaney

The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.

The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.


WiredThe New York TimesBackyard Poultry Magazine – they all do it. Sometimes, they screw up and get the facts wrong. In ink or in electrons, a reputable news source takes the time to say “my bad.”

If you are in the news business and want to maintain your reputation for accuracy, you publish corrections. For most topics this works just fine, but what most news organizations don’t realize is a correction can further push readers away from the facts if the issue at hand is close to the heart. In fact, those pithy blurbs hidden on a deep page in every newspaper point to one of the most powerful forces shaping the way you think, feel and decide – a behavior keeping you from accepting the truth.

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