MELBOURNE: ‘LIVEABLE’ OR ‘UNLIVEABLE’ CITY?

Standing in the empty car park on top of Westfield Doncaster shopping mall on a cold, clear early morning while waiting for my car to be express serviced, I looked out to the Dandenongs to the east, the CBD to the west, the suburbs all around.  I startled 20 swallows and two eastern rosellas.  Melbourne lay below us (and the other Doncaster high rises), draped across the gentle rolling hills.  It was a beautiful picture (mostly), appreciated by no one else.

I remember being surprised – and pleased – that Melbourne’s liveability was recognised several years ago.  Being named the world’s most liveable city inevitably invites the Australian tall poppy syndrome.  There’s only one way to go – down.

Now, many residents are querying whether the city is in fact becoming unliveable – citing traffic congestion, population size, multiplying high rises and government planning failures.  Yet our personal international visitors invariably enthuse on discovering Melbourne’s delights on their short visits.  I wonder myself now, just how ‘liveable’ Melbourne is.  Do I even want to live here myself? Read More »

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‘PEOPLISM’: A NEW POLITICAL VISION. ECONOMIES ARE FOR PEOPLE.

As most of us despair the deceit, wilful blindness, self-centred arrogance and corruption of many politicians and leaders in all of our countries, I wondered how do we find a new way to reconfigure the process, create a genuinely new framework for rethinking our societies?  We’ve had capitalism, centred on the power of money and markets.  We’ve had communism, centred on making everyone equal.  We’ve had socialism, centred on protecting the weak.  We’ve had dictatorships, centred on a few powerful people making decisions for the rest of us.  We’ve had democracy, centred on equal rights to speak and vote.  We’ve had religion, centred on the basis of blind faith in the mystical.  We’ve had royalty, centred on the power of a specified family.

All of these have their weaknesses, as we are too painfully aware.  I propose a new political philosophy of ‘peoplism”.  Peoplism focuses a government on what people actually need.  Let me explain how it would reframe our priorities and decisionmaking.Read More »