Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Mission to Transform Australia

An Interview with Victor Kline and Steve Keen

 In moments when it is necessary to confront corrupt leaders and governments, most people fall in two camps, those who choose to rally in protest – sometimes violently – in hopes of a better outcome, and those who choose to say and do nothing.

There’s a third category of people though, those who choose to take matters into their own hands, opting to make the changes they wish to see.

In our quest to find movers and shakers in the region and beyond, we came across Victor Kline, Party Leader of The New Liberals (TNL); a man on a mission to transform Australia’s political structure back to what he calls an honest form of government.

Victor is gunning for the seat of North Sydney in the House of Representatives, and joining him in his mission is Professor Steve Keen, also running to represent TNL the Senate. He is best known for having predicted the 2008 Financial Crisis, and has published several bestselling titles including, “Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor Dethroned?”, “The New Economics”, and “Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?”

In this issue, they share what motivated them to run against Australia’s mainstream politics and what they intend to accomplish once elected.

Professor Steve Keen

Grounded in Principles

Victor Kline: “It started with four friends, drinking red wine – as we often do – and complaining about having a corrupt government and ineffectual opposition.

While in that moment of rehearsing our pain – as psychologists would call it – Catherine,who is now the President of the Party said, “You know, they’re all saying somebody should do something about this, but I am somebody, we are somebody” and we had this pivotal moment of silence.

We realised that we could – especially considering that in a democratic system, anyone can put up their hand and run for Parliament.

So we started TNL, based on the idea that we would tell the truth; something most politicians in Australia or perhaps around the world don’t do. We would tell the truth, and we would answer straight questions with straight answers.

And so we created a Charter of Core Values that we put up on our website to educate people about our mission. This would enable them to hold us accountable if we ever decided to stray from that path. This different approach to politics resonated with a lot of people.

United in Spirit

It took a lot of work and a lot of time to get  our message out there. But we found that  just talking about these issues, particularly  on social media was enough to give

us momentum. Today we have thousands of people coming from all over the country to join us in  becoming a real threat to the current political establishment.

I think the success is in just being an ordinary human being, which is such a rarity in politics. Another reason is because we are lucky to have a number of people who are world renown experts in their field such as Professor Steve Keen.

Because, for instance, when we put out an economic statement, people know Steve Keen is behind that. They know he is an honourable man, they know what he stands for, and it gives them a lot of confidence.”

Victor Kline

Political Disease

Professor Steve Keen: “What Victor is talking about is such a widespread feeling. It is not just in Australia that the public has complete dissatisfaction with the political class.

I use the word ‘class’ deliberately because what we now have dominating both left and right sides of every government, particularly in Anglo Saxon countries, are career politicians.

These types of people have university degrees, were members of the Liberal Party or Labor Party (in Australia’s case), and who happened to become a research assistant for a sitting MP somewhere. They then get pre-selected over, sometimes, the objections of the people whose electorate they’re going to be representing.

In addition to a totally evasive approach to answering questions, they have this incredible Compact between themselves to maintain the party line. These are the “that’s-a-really-good question-you’ve-asked-me-let-me-answer-a-completely-different-one” type of people.

And so all of us were feeling this frustration, and nobody’s doing anything about it. And then Victor starts TNL.

Initially, of course, I and many others started from a position of skepticism. So I bought one of his books, The House at Anzac Parade, and it gave me a very deep insight into Victor’s integrity.

That quality was important to me, and is why I decided to come on board as an advisor.”

Stamping Out Corruption

Victor Kline: Australia’s four major parties:

The Labor Party, The Liberal Party, The National Party and the Greens, are dependent on donors who fund them to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. But these donors expect something in return.

For instance, in Australia, where the coal industry is huge, fossil fuel donors will demand parties they sponsor to run anti climate change agenda. This ends with us being at the very bottom of the developed world on actions against climate change.

TNL is different in the sense that we don’t want to be beholden to donors. We won’t take money from immoral sources such as fossil fuel, tobacco or alcohol companies.

TNL will bring an honest form of government.

In fact, one of the things that resonates with a lot of people, is our promise to introduce a Federal Independent Commission against corruption. It will be retrospective, and will look at politicians, judges and bureaucrats who have been corrupt, or who have abused their power or acted in dereliction of duty, and hold them accountable.

We understand the risks and difficulties of introducing a retrospective legislation, but it is necessary to rid Australia from the corruption that’s built up over the century.

There’s much that needs to be done, but we are trying to bring a totally different approach to the idea of government.

Democratic Revolution

How we get there will be largely based on the groundswell of public indignation from the media ignoring us.

Just recently, a number of people on Twitter have threatened to cancel subscriptions to the newspapers they subscribe to if they fail to write stories on TNL. And that ends up helping us reach more people; we may very well get elected on social media alone.

Nonetheless, we understand that old people rely on mainstream newspapers, so we do what we can to reach out to them at the grassroots level. For instance, something I do every Saturday morning is go out to the local pharmacy and take each of the old people as they come in, and show them our website and what we do.

One might call it heroic, but we don’t see it that way. We just set out to bring a little honesty back into politics, and it’s amazing how that can reignite hope in people. It is almost a spirit of revolution, only we’re not taking up arms, we are using what’s left of the system – a democratic revolution.”

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