Australian Labor Governments or Commercial Corporations?
I have been putting off finishing a long and detailed article about why the Labor Party's business interests and the policies of Labor Governments in Australia are cause for disquiet. No, more than this, they give cause to question the right to govern of our governments. The area is so big and scary that one would rather read a novel or stare out the window. How to open up a description of the way I see our situation escaped me.
Tonight, however, I wrote this short article in reply to Peter Bright's comment, "Be fair; The Prime Minister has to overview the whole picture in the national interest, long term as well as short term. Although a Green, I believe that he and his government are being unfairly criticised and insultingly abused with insufficient cause."
Well, Peter was talking about whales, and so was Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, but he was really talking about politics and economics and that's what I am talking about here.
The White Whale
The PM is forcing population growth on Australians and thereby depriving them of secure and affordable futures through driving resource scarcity. We have not been consulted. Not unrelated is the fact that he and Wayne Swann were also involved in the initial creation of Labor Holdings P/L and Labor Resources P/L see "Expert discusses 'deliberately confusing' Labor donations" in Queensland (when they were working for Wayne Goss in the opposition). These ALP-owned companies helped build up massive property holdings and insurance and development investments for the ALP.
Governments or Commercial Corporations?
The ALP governments, state and Federal, now resemble huge commercial corporations, far richer than the other parties in Australia and richer than many others in the world, according to Steven Mayne. Labor Holdings and Labor Resources are used by the ALP to hold donations and other payments so that those moneys will not have to be declared as ALP donations from their original sources; they are declared as donations or 'other receipts' from Labor Holdings or Labor Resources. You can, however, look up income tax declarations for Labor Holdings and Labor Resources here and see where their income comes from. Then, in the same site, you can look for the ALP's income tax declarations and see where the money goes to.
State Laws made for private profit against democratic objection
State governments control land-use in Australia. One must suspect that the laws that the State Parliaments make to privilege property development (e.g. Major Transports Facilitation Bill; DACS) also privilege the ALP's investments or those of their friends. The ruthless pushing of laws to override democratic objections is an indication of where the state and Federal governments' loyalty really lies.
The growing presence of property lobby professionals in government and as the major options in elections should raise alarm bells. See, for instance, the participation of candidates from or backed by the Property Council of Australia in elections here and here.
Federal Government immigration and financial policy
The Federal Government's pushing of population growth through high immigration is a way of keeping property and infrastructure development going (at great cost to the rest of us) - and that seems to be a major business of Labor Party investments in Queensland where Labor Resources and Labor Holdings started, although they go way beyond that state now.
The Federal Government's nearly successful attempts to finance private development through taxpayer funding in RuddBank is another indicator of the sick state of our parliaments.
Labor: In government or in business?
The relationship between the Labor Party's friends in private Lobby Groups, their people in government, and the staff in State investment companies (such as Queensland Investment Company) has been the subject of damning journalistic investigations. See, for instance: "In the murky world of lobbying ..." and It is now so blurry that I think you would have to be naive or not to have been aware of these vested interests to believe that our governments were in government rather than in business for themselves. But maybe it is hard for most people to figure out what this all means unless they already know the picture in the jigsaw.
Governments or Commercial Corporations?
What I make of all this is that our governments have crossed over the line between being governments into the area of being commercial corporations. And my next question is: Have they abdicated their right to govern since they no longer represent the electorate?
I think they have. I don't think that we have representative government in Australia anywhere anymore. Even under the Westminster system our governments are supposed to be seen to represent the public. Such representation is easily fudged around the edges on issues where cost and benefits are hard to pin down, but that is not the case here. It has become obvious that governments at state and federal level routinely benefit private corporate interests over the objections and interests of constituents by making laws to remove virtually all democratic rights to control the size of population, the ownership of public assets, and the extent of infrastructure expansion - whilst financing these undemocratic investments with taxpayers' money.
See also: other articles about Labor Holdings