On Abbott and values

Peter Schultz writes: Re. “Abbott takes on Western civilisation, loses” (Thursday)

In their typically puerile manner, Tony Abbott and the other right-wing ‘values’ warriors misconstrue our traditional values and the forces that are attacking them. Traditional Australian values such as a fair go for all, egalitarianism, and co-operative citizenship have been trashed by the ideology of neoliberalism that both major parties copied from Thatcher and Reagan to steer Australia towards an individualist, US-style, wild West society controlled by selfishness and greed.

Judeo-Christian values such as social justice and compassion for the vulnerable have been trashed to serve the gods of small government and tax cuts for the rich.

Values critical to a free society, such as freedom from government surveillance, habeas corpus and the rule of law, have been sacrificed on the altar of national security. A key value behind our legal system, innocent until proven guilty, has been trashed so a powerful government can gouge money from powerless Centrelink recipients by fabricating false debts against them. Judeo-Christian values such as welcoming the stranger and telling the truth have been trashed in the rush to score cheap political points by demonising asylum seekers.

The list could go on, but it is abundantly clear that the worst offenders for trashing our Australian and Judeo-Christian values are ironically the so-called ‘social conservatives’ – people like John Howard, Tony Abbott, and Andrew Bolt.

Various abbreviated versions of this argument have been submitted as letters to the Murdoch-owned Adelaide ‘Advertiser’ (usually as a response to Andrew Bolt banging on about how our values are under threat from Leftists and Muslims) but are never printed because the Right are not interested in a sensible discussion of our values and who is threatening them. They are interested in the ‘values’ discussion only as a dog whistle.

On the Fairfax strike

Meredith Williams writes: Re. “Fairfax defends cuts, threatens to sack striking journos” (Thursday)

Thank you Crikey for your practical expression of solidarity with striking Fairfax staff in undertaking not to link to Fairfax for the duration of the strike. As a Fairfax reader I have appreciated your coverage of this situation as it has developed – coverage that has, predictably, been absent from the Fairfax press.


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