Grifonaut - James McDonald

Blog, Art, Photographs

Lessons for us all from the United States

The disintegration of US democracy, that is being reflected in the governments in the United Kingdom and Australia, could be reversed by a landslide against Trump and the Republicans, but I’m not holding my breath. The Republicans have for a long time been breaking the US electoral system with gross gerrymandering, voter suppression, and risible hypocrisy. And their cult politics have their imitators in the the UK and Australia.

Trump, whom Republicans have enabled with intellectual dishonesty and moral incompetence, is the grotesque embodiment of their ideology, their perversion of democracy, their corrupt relationships with an avaricious oligarchy, their subversion of democratic principles, processes and institutions, and their betrayal of one of those core principles – serving the welfare of the people. That’s what modern Fascism looks like and the UK and Australia are on the cusp of that axis of evil.

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What the Australian extremist neoliberal government looks like

The thing is that extremist neoliberals like Morrison, Dutton and the LNP Coalition, who have captured office in western countries by pretending conservatism, don’t do leadership – they do domination. They don’t do democracy – they serve plutocracy. They don’t do service – they privatise public assets. They don’t do equity – they serve corporate avarice. They don’t do sustainability – they service polluters. They don’t do amelioration of the climate crisis – they have no food security strategies, no planning, deregulate the polluters, and do deals with coalminers. They don’t do equality before the law – they get rid of the core principle of habeas corpus and ensure the costs of the law are beyond average citizens. They don’t do the principle of serving the welfare of the people – they ignore the experts and scientists and fail to protect the nation from conflagration and pandemics. They don’t do worker and family financial security – they enable exploitation, job insecurity, and low wages. They don’t ensure universal quality education – they expend education funds primarily on the schools of the wealthy. They don’t do support and facilitation of Aboriginal dignity – they turn to apartheid ideology, victim blaming and racism. They don’t do inclusion – they do marginalisation. They don’t do human rights – they violate them. They don’t do civil liberties – they do mass surveillance and pass oppressive laws. They don’t distinguish the defence of the nation and serving security – they do militarisation of police, of customs, and stand before the nation flanked by army officers who are selling out the independence of defence from domestic politics. They don’t do patriotism – they do nationalism, xenophobia, and misuse the flag. They don’t do decency, honour, honesty and prudence – they do arrogance, choose fascism, lie and deceive daily, and are driven by propaganda, lack of substance, and all manner of shifty trickery with one sole objective – to maintain themselves in power.

Privatisation and outsourcing – the work of the enemy within.

“Outsourcing”, or “privatisation”, has never made sense financially, administratively, efficiently, or democratically. It is never more than a betrayal of the concept of service to the public. It is driven by the lie and the delusion that business can do government jobs better than the public sector; the lie and the delusion that job security undermines efficiency.

Inefficient workers certainly undermine the principles of public service and there are legitimate means to protect the public from lazy and inefficient workers as well as honouring workers’ rights. But neoliberalism – the ideology behind these lies – has a core anti-democratic agenda: the diminution of democratic government and service to the Australian people. It is the driving force for the embezzlement of public funds to fill profiteers’ pockets and they look not to improving public service but destroying it.

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US-born Johnson and his Regime’s callous and cavalier treatment of human rights

Reported around the world the UK’s callous and cavalier treatment of “aliens” is in full focus with the case of Anna Amato who has lived 53 and a half years after arriving with her Italian parents as an 18 month old child in the UK, but denied British citizenship by a callous and racially cavalier Brexiteer Government.

And PM Johnson was born in the USA. He only gave up his US citizenship when the IRS chased him for tax. Britain, get your act together – this is nothing but unworthy bureaucratic oppression:

  • Human rights matter.
  • Civil liberties matter.
  • Justice matters.
  • Fairness matters.
  • Common sense matters.
  • Democracy matters.
  • The welfare of all the people matters.
  • Equity matters.
  • Equality before the law matters.
  • The equality of races matters.
  • Workers’ rights matter.
  • Family financial stability matters.
  • Government services matter.
  • Forcing corporations to play their part matters.
  • Keeping the nation united matters.
  • Our politicians’ honour and honesty matter.
  • The economic and strategic security of the nation matter.

But none of these matter to the authoritarian Tory Brexiteer extremists led by the Cummings-Johnson duopoly and their Brexiteer Cabinet. And Anna Amato’s case bears out the callousness of Britain’s Tory Brexiteer Regime.

They have divided the nation, put Britain in peril with their COVID-19 failures, just as they have put Britain in economic and social peril with their subversive Brexit. They have demeaned the nation with racist policies like the “hostile environment” and with their loathsome, xenophobic campaign joined with Nigel Farage [enough said] for breaking its links to the European Union. They have proven time and again that they don’t care about the welfare of the people with their decade of austerity.
And they don’t give a toss about democracy, for every one of their transgressions that are aligned with neofascism is a rejection of democratic principles rather than the lofty ideals of British democracy.

The truth of Brexit is that it was never the decision of the British people. A referendum – which can be a democratic process to establish the will of the people on a proposition – never had more than 37% of the support of the registered British voter. It was a Tory Party project and they lied about the people’s will. And they lie to the nation about everything. And they will continue to abuse human rights and justice with every rotten Brexit principle.

James McDonald
4 June 2020

Trump’s Bible stunt proves only his callous and indifferent idiocy

Trump holding the bible in front of a church that he neither attends, nor subscribes to, demonstrates how far this conman will go to sell his snakeoil of hatred and fascism without a scintilla of irony given the homicidal damage this idiot has done the USA with his callous and risible incompetence, his identification with neo-nazis, his open admiration of dictators and tyrants, his ignorance of the Constitution, his demolition of democratic government from early on in his tenure with his Administration of unworthy Secretaries, his unbelievable lack of concentration and laziness, and his narcissistic indifference to the suffering and needs of the people he is supposed to lead.

He frequently surrounds himself with sycophantic fundamentalist evangelists. He cons no-one that he has a scintilla of love for the people, of a life of piety, of a philosophy driven by love supposedly promoted by Christianity. He is a vile hypocrite and this risible act is a monstrous offence that further demeans the integrity of United States around the world.

As a non-American, I take heart at the pushback by decent Americans against this authoritarian and morally incompetent monster who is destroying his country and doing untold damage to the Western World. Who can forgive Mitch McConnell and the laughable farce that was the Senate trial for their perverted decision on Trump’s guilt that led to his impeachment?

The Republican party demonstrated once again its subversion of every democratic principle. The final speech by the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has proven absolutely prophetic:

“[Trump] has compromised our elections, and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less, and decency matters not at all.”

James McDonald
3 June 2020
[edited comment on YouTube, 2 June 2020]

Labour’s pragmatism on Brexit sells out democracy

If this report is accurate, the leader of the Labour Party demonstrates pragmatism without principle. And I say that as a natural labour man, and sadly, because otherwise Starmer seems to be a good choice for the leadership of the Labour Party.

Brexit was a Tory con job with a mere 37% of registered voters in a referendum designed to elicit if there was a will of the people to leave the EU. There never was. So, you ask why have the Tories pursued this project?

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Never tolerate the malignancy of evil leadership

Never forgive the malignant evil that rests in the current Oval Office and Trump’s Administration of unctuous sycophancy, the evil of ignorance, of arrogance, of callousness, incompetence, science-denial, tin-eared to expert advice, driven by avarice and nepotism, ludicrousness and mendacity, the failure of sorrow, of empathy, of decency, of honour, of honesty, of responsibility, of democratic principle, and the authoritarian narcissism of the idiotic and malignant Court of Trump the Vile.
Refer to this MSNBC program.

James McDonald,
28 May 2020

I am in voluntary isolation….

COVID-19: Voluntary isolation, day 3 Reflections, Italy

Yes, as the heading suggests, I am continuing the level of isolation we have had for two and a half months despite the easing of restrictions. My Italian neighbours and I last weekend shared our anxiety about the easing of the rules for the coronavirus lockdown not the least because of the crowding we saw around the bars when the rules allowed purchase of takeaway food and drinks in the previous couple of weeks. My American friends are also still anxious. We had planned to meet last evening but almost all decided it was too soon yet.

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