30 Jul. 2007

Gandhi's Political Manifesto: Australia Dreaming

Here's my comprehensive solution to nearly all of Australia's current problems:

1. Pull out all Australian troops and officials from Iraq, pledging financial reparations once all foreign troops have left and a stable, truly democratic government is installed. Support UN efforts to this end.

2. Pull out of Afghanistan as well - we've screwed that up as well.

3. Apologise to Dr Mohammed Haneef, David Hicks and all other victims of Australian government mendacity over the past decade. Again, financial reparations are called for.

4. Declare the whole "war on terror" a lie. Reach out to Middle Eastern communities with funding for local events celebrating Arab and Persian culture, TV shows, etc.

5. Arrest the entire Liberal cabinet and put them on trial for War Crimes.

6. Arrest Rupert Murdoch, too, next time he sets foot on Australian soil, and try him for War Crimes as well.

7. Cut the Defence Budget by half, cancel all orders for new weaponry, and hold a referendum into a constitutional change limiting Australia's military involvement in overseas operations to real "defence" (dictionary definition, none of this pre-emptive crap) only.

8. Reach out to our region! Make a deal with island nations like Fiji, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, etc: your kids can come and work in our country if our pensioners can come and live in yours. Set up an EU-style bloc, with a regional currency. Make all phone calls, post, and airline flights domestic prices. Build these islands up as top international tourist destinations rather than dangerous, backwards poverty traps.

9. Say sorry to Aboriginals. Do everything possible to improve education, health and literacy standards.

10. Change our immigaration laws. Abolish mandatory detention for refugees. Increase our intake of non-professional migrants. Provide government-funded English classes for anyone who wants them.

11. Increase our Foreign Aid budget to 5% of GDP. Ensure the money is not politicized or subverted into bribes.

12. Stop helping the USA veto UN resolutions critical of Israel. Support changes to the UN Security Council's membership and veto system.

13. Become a Republic. And get that stupid Union Jack off our flag. Put the Aboriginal flag there instead (if they will let us).

14. Change the media ownership laws to destroy the Murdoch-Fairfax duopoly. Fully fund the ABC and get those adverts off SBS. Get Stan Grant off too.

15. Stop all government funding to private schools. Make University degrees not only affordable but CHEAP for Australian citizens. When I did an Arts degree at Sydney Uni in 1985, it cost $400 a year! Whatever has happened since then, let's wind it back.

16. Abolish the need for private healthcare: set up 100% free, top quality health care for all Australians. Everywhere. This should probably be #1 on my list.

17. More to come - what are YOUR suggestions???