Ray Goodlass’ Ray’s Reasoning | OPINION, October 18, 2016

AS A newspaper columnist I’m spoilt for choice as to what to focus on this week, given recent events in the world of politics.

For example, there was Premier Baird’s much anticipated back-flip on his decision to ban greyhound racing, a so-called sport that inflicts cruelty on animals purely to provide an opportunity for gamblers to get the weekly fix for their addiction, and for others to profit from it.

While the media and National MPs (Daily Advertiser, October 13) have been quick to claim the back-flip as a praiseworthy event showing a politician who listens to his constituents the truth is that Premier Baird acted to save his political skin.

Nothing more than pure self-interest.

Last week also brought us news of an increase in Australian coal mining, the result of a Chinese decision to cut back its own mining due to losses incurred through over production.

Again, something lauded as praiseworthy, with some commentators even seeing this as a way for Treasurer Morrison to balance the budget (Sydney Morning Herald, October 13).

Yet on the same day came a story (Guardian Australia, ABC) that the US and China are asking Australia to show how we are going to achieve the cuts in our greenhouse gas emissions we signed up for at the Paris Climate Change Conference.

Indeed, many of us are asking that, Messrs Turnbull and Frydenberg, but to achieve that by increasing coal mining is beyond most of us.

Please don’t try and argue it is China’s problem, as it will be burning the coal, for mining itself is a notorious emitter of greenhouse gases. And providing another country with global warming fuel is hardly ethical if we are all trying to prevent disastrous climate change.

Clearly, putting expediency above principles rules in contemporary politics.

The same mind-set applied to Prime Minister Turnbull when, in reaction to Donald Trump’s boastful sexist comments last week, he declined to make an assessment of Mr Trump, saying it would be "ill-judged" and would work against Australia's economic and security interests (Sydney Morning Herald, October 7). Expediency rules again.

However, not all Australian politicians are as driven by their bank accounts as Mr Turnbull & Co. I was pleased to see the Australian Greens introduce a motion that will allow the Senate to condemn the racist and sexist comments made by candidate Trump.

Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale said, "Donald Trump has once again shown himself to be a sexist and racist pig who is completely unfit for office”.

“Australian political leaders need to call out these disgraceful comments. This is why the Greens are introducing a motion into the Senate that condemns the hateful, misogynistic comments that Mr Trump has made throughout his campaign.

“Hateful comments against women and people from different backgrounds have no place in modern society and these are the moments in which we must take a stand … I call on every member of the Senate to give a clear commitment that they will support this motion and not make racist, sexist comments in this chamber and outside it,” he said.

Deputy Leader and Greens Spokesperson for Women, Senator Waters labelled Mr Trump a “sexual predator” and added, “This is criminal sexual assault that this man is promulgating against just about any woman that walks past him.”

RAY GOODLASS, www.dailyadvertiser.com.au