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They were all there yesterday. A great bunch of demonstrators and protestors taking to public lands and discourse. It was in Perth and I am in Melbourne - so I'm sorry I couldn't make it. It would have been great to have first hand pix of this memorable occasion - when billionaires cried poor; when a very conservative political leader turned rabble rouser. Visual oxymorons all over the place! Let me give you a bit of an overview:
Not there - because he is a Queenslander -
Now we have learned not to expect much from Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer in the public discourse. In fact, Ms Rinehart is not usually as visible as Palmer and Forest, thanks be to God, because she did not provide an attractive sight yesterday.
Julie Bishop is a piece of work. She does a wonderful schoolmistress glare as demonstrated in recent times on Q and A. You can even join a Facebook group commemorating this. And, dear Networkers, we can't have you remain ignorant of the occasion or have you forego the pleasure of reliving it. So here it is again.
Julie's school ma'am skills were to the fore in Perth yesterday in front of the demonstrators and their not-home-made placards egging and urging them on. If you get a glimpse you will note that she is the good looking middle aged blonde looking trim in a cream jacket and black skirt.
Side comment: will we see one day a Julie/Julia show in our national parliament with Bishop and Gillard? Unlikely. More likely is that Julia will go solo without Bishop. And any replays of yesterdays rabble rousing efforts will help make it so.
Twiggy Forrest has become a familiar figure though - familiar enough to feel one might call him Twiggy to his face at first meeting. Twiggy has done what appears from this distance to be some good social stuff in and with Aboriginal communities. So why did a well-educated, apparently thoughtful and clever man denounce his Prime Minister, at this time in the 21st century, as a communist? I would put it forward as evidence of an unbecoming and unintelligent hysteria - giving a great deal of a hysterical response (laughter and sniggering) here at Home Beautiful.
In fact, Twiggy and Gina and Julie, please keep reprising yesterday. Please. Does your case justice - as did the habits of 18th century French aristocrats. And please can we see more of that glamorous figure Clive Palmer. He is a real asset to the Axe the Tax campaign.
Twenty of our leading economists support the super profit tax. Signatories of the statement include Fred Argy, former director of the Economic Planning Advisory Council, Allan Fels, Dean of the Australia and NZ School of Government and former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Deborah Cobb-Clark, Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and fifteen professors of economics from leading Australian universities, including the the Australian National University, Melbourne University, the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia.
The full list is below in the Related Reading section of this post and it is taken from that granddaddy of Australian blogging and also a signatory to the list, Quiggin.
Ross Gittins from Fairfax reckons the reason for the mining industry angst is that the tax is so good and so clever, the miners are afraid that the tax will be adopted by other nations. Is this true, Twiggy? You think you will run out of stuff for nothing or next to nothing out of the ground from which to make more profits. How much money do you really want? How much of the planet do you want to leave like a mesh curtain with chicken pox?
Time will tell with this debate - and my money is not on the miners.
And in case, dear Networker, your heart burns with sympathy for the working families of the mining industry let me tell you of a vox pop I heard on the ABC with one of the demonstrators, a manager in the mining industry. No, he was not a member of any political organisation and never had been. He had never demonstrated before but this policy made him and his family angry so that had to demonstrate.
Never demonstrated before, eh? Never cared enough about anything before,eh?
- 250,000 Australians marched across the Sydney Harbour Bridge begging John Howard to say sorry. I was one.
- 100,000 Australians marched in the streets of Sydney against the Iraq War? I was one.
- Tens of thousands marched through the streets of Melbourne protesting over Work Choices and demanding rights at work. I was one.
These protests were ignored by the Howard Government. And, apparently, by our mining manager. I would remind one and all that the last of the three large demonstrations mentioned was not ignored. It helped to tip Howard and Co out of office. It played its part in making Howard the second Prime Minister to lose his seat in Parliament.
So I am declaring my interest. Miss Eagle is not anti-mining. She had too many wonderful years in Mount Isa and Tennant Creek to ever scorn mining. Miss Eagle was a union organiser with the Australian Workers Union - the union with metalliferous mining coverage in Australia and certainly not anti-mining. Some of us, Twiggy and Co., know the mining industry well. You might say too well. And a lot of us have very long memories and intimate knowledge of mining history in this country. So don't come the raw prawn with the likes of us. We just might want to take to the streets in a We Bax the Tax campaign.
And, please read, the next post for a demo and campaign that I want everyone to support - and I ask that no woman absent herself from this just and compassionate campaign. Read on...........