Presumed Dead is a novel about a fictional crime when an Australian city council is considering development of a casino resort. The story reveals how Westminster System politicians are inherently corrupt when their party is not seeking the public good. When a non-partisan mayor is elected, she safeguards the city’s fragile democracy.
Is it possible for politicians of all ilks to discuss ideas together, joining in solving problems and sharing in government? Or is politics better organised like football, with the players assigned to opposing sides? Neither the Australian Constitution nor the Local Government Act require political parties to exist — not any.
Our Westminster System of government emerged from Hegelian dialectical materialism, as discourse between politicians having opposing viewpoints, to arrive agreeably at new policies by compromise and synthesis.
Edmund Burke 1729-1797 was a statesman and philosopher who changed the concept of ‘politicians’ from grass roots community representatives to a professional elite.
‘Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.’
He was influential in the creation of strong, stable political parties.
‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. ‘ A political party could oppose the monarch or other political factions.
Burke changed politicians from being representatives of the people into self-serving professionals who combine together as many do today.
Modern political parties have emerged with functional integrity, but low adherence to public improvements.
Political party activities in a fictional city council are in focus in a crime fiction novel ‘Presumed Dead’ by Martin Knox. A feisty independent woman councillor opposes a government’s plan for a casino. It has repercussions that could transform city hall politics. This exciting book addresses issues of political philosophy and critically evaluates public policy processes in a practical local government setting.
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Australia's GDP growth was 0.2 percentage points for the quarter ending September 3rd, 2019, bringing the annual pace of GDP growth to 1.2 per cent. It has been higher in the past and is almost at the zero growth rate favoured for a steady state economy. It is a half of the US rate of 2.3 percent for the 4th quarter in 2019. Australia's production is growing slowly. Are we to suppose there has been improvement in something else? Unlike Bhutan, Australia does not record happiness. If there has been an increase in happiness, or a decrease, we wouldn't know. Media reports of growth and its effects provide only a partial picture.. To appreciate what growth is occurring and how beneficial it is, I will switch my viewpoint to individual developments, the criteria for identifying winners and losers, and what they can expect. This is investigated in my paper DOES GROWTH BENEFIT SOME GROUPS AT AN EQUIVALENT COST TO OTHERS? For developments where this occurs, there are several possible philosophies of compensation. A conclusion is that development proposals should be audited for their attention to: markets; the public good; resource use efficiency; disadvantaged people; and conserving environments. Careful development will ensure that growth, although it may be slow, will be fair. My novel Presumed Dead is a crime fiction story that illustrates a government decision process for a casino development involving a sassy woman city councillor.
- Collect unbiased observations of temperature, sea level and effects of extreme events over many years.
- Analyse climate data impartially to detect trends and all potential causes.
- Identify worst consequences of effects for people, fauna and flora.
- Consider most likely cause(s) of worst effects.
- Select verified mitigating and preventative actions.
- Obtain agreements and funding.
Skip steps 1-6, vilify benign CO2 emissions, exhaust supplies CH4, sabotage Australia’s coal industry, deplete scarce World oil, exact payments from electricity users, install renewable energy technologies that cause more warming than coal, prevent public debate, pretend that government is in control.