CAN WE HAVE POLITICIANS WITHOUT PARTIES?
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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Coffee changing minds?
Cicero, 106-43BC, a Roman statesman, is reputed to have been the greatest orator ever. He said the three most important features of any speech are delivery, delivery and delivery. He used 16 devices bracketed in my illustrative piece below, designed for post Truth consideration, with apology to science adherents.
COFFEE – A PERSUASIVE SPEECH
The smell, the taste, the ritual, the warmth of the cup, the feeling of joy in my heart when I take that first sip. Since the 9th-century, coffee has been taken as a stimulant, sometimes addictively. It activates the heart and nervous system with hormones, to increase alertness.
Does meeting with friends at a cafe need the superficial and frenetic verbal intercourse that coffee causes? (Loaded emotional language) What do we lose when we hide our true feelings? (Fearmongering). Do we need life au naturel or hyped up with coffee?
‘Tired, stressed and depressed (Rhyme), coffee props your eyes open and helps you stay alert in a bad situation. Coffee keeps you going, holds your frazzled mind together, enabling you to play the game, get that raise and survive until the next holiday. When you lack energy and are straining to stay on top, you doubt you can manage without it. (Appeal to emotions).
‘I have a coffee addiction,’ said Jennifer Garam in Psychology Today. ‘I am doing a coffee detox one day at a time.’ (Testimony)
The 200 billion dollar coffee retail and supply industry would stop addictive qualities or harmful effects being publicised without conscience. (Mud slinging) There seems to be no legal obligation to display warnings on products other than pharmaceuticals.
Production of 10 millions tonnes per annum of coffee is not without its problems. The demand of coffee addicts (Labelling) commands prices for coffee beans that farmers in developing countries find irresistible. (Exaggerated). Tropical forests should not be felled to grow coffee. Would the Gods want us to sacrifice so much for so little? (Appeal to Gods or religion). Forest should be preserved, with the best fertile land and water going to growing rice and other grains. Lesser land should be used for dairying and grazing. The growing of foods should have priority over coffee.
Marijuana gives more buzz per hectare than coffee, requiring less land and less water. Coffee is expensive. Dollar for dollar, coffee swallows up to 30% of family grocery bills but contributes nothing to family nutrition, hygiene or health. Coffee is a scourge of humanity and should be rejected in the same way that tobacco has been (Guilt by association) and sugar will soon be (Divert and distract).
But coffee can be an instrument of revenge. Nancy Astor, Britain’s first female MP, told Sir Winston Churchill that: ‘If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee.’
Churchill famously replied ‘Nancy, if I were your husband, I would drink it.’
To save ourselves we need to denounce coffee as a poison. I call upon all coffee drinkers to wake up to coffee’s effects and reduce their consumption before it is too late.