April 2008. Press release from OzIdeas
The Fringe Ruddfest 2020
There cannot be a proper world-changing Australia 2020 Summit of 1000 of our best and brightest unless there is also a Fringe Ruddfest. Here are:
1. Radical Ideas on the ten topics for the official Australia 2020 summit
2. How you can contribute to the Fringe Ruddfest.
1. The ten topics of the Australia 2020 Summit
1. Productivity: education, skills, training, science and innovation
Submission focus on literacy
2. Economic infrastructure, the digital economy and cities
3. Population, sustainability, climate change and water
4. Rural industries and rural communities
5. Health, workforce planning and ageing
6. Strengthening communities, families and social inclusion
7. Indigenous Australia
8. Creative arts, film and design
9. Renewed democracy, open government, media, rights and responsibilities
10. Security and prosperity in a changing region and world.
The Australia 2020 Summit –
Topic 1 Education - Literacy
Future Directions for the Australian Economy:
Education, skills, training, innovation.
Addressing Question c. How we best prepare for a global economy that will increasingly be based upon advanced skills.
This submission focuses on universal access to print literacy, by revolution and innovation. At present it is a lottery.
Print literacy is vital. Everyone has a right to free access to learning print literacy, at any time, in any way that may help them, regardless of distance, disadvantages or ability to pay.
The Education Lottery. Some children grow up to eminence or are rescued from disadvantage, thanks to a brilliant teacher. But even in good schools, individual children may not have their particular needs met. Thousands of parents of children with unfortunate school experiences pay for tutoring; others miss out. Gillard’s Education Revolution is needed for the losers-out who become adult losers too.
1. The first lottery is the quality of child-care preparation for language and literacy.
- Ensure that no parents are ignorant of basic loving caring and how love grows.
- Sung lullabies to develop language and bonding - a CD exemplar of unaccompanied songs as a birth gift for every baby?
- Strollers with reversible handles that let children sometimes see and converse with their carers as they are pushed along.
- Early picture books with print that can help children catch on to how to read.
- Children’s radio programs to develop language and thinking in ways television does not.
2. Teachers need
- Awareness to remove common barriers to literacy in classrooms, that are often overlooked. http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/litbar.html )
- Skills in public speaking to prevent boredom and class disruption – Priority 1 for teachers’ training.
3. Alternative aids to help prevent and remedy failure.
- Free-to-air prime-time TV Open Primary School and Open Secondary School. Open University at midnight. Everyone, including all who miss out on inspiring classrooms, could enjoy online and apprenticeship opportunities for self-help in learning, including aiding teachers with documentaries showing a diversity of brilliant teachers and wonderful classrooms - not just Horrordale High.
- Permanently-available opportunities for self-help in literacy. Trial without prejudice an experimental Australian innovation of a online/DVD 30 min. cartoon video literacy overview to help prevent and clear up gaps and confusions, free and copiable (www.ozreadandspell.com.au.) Versions, including indigenous, targeted for different abilities and needs.
- Trial innovative formats in books for easier ways of learning literacy. (http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/literacy.htm)
- Features for ‘new readers’ in newspapers and magazines.
- Spelling improvement. A startling idea to think about. Since literacy develops intelligence and access to knowledge and skills, make it easier to learn for those with lesser abilities. Beginners could start without spelling traps, bilding up consistent spelling principls from a basic sound-simbol dictionary key. Teachers should lern about writing sistems and how they change, to understand the sistem they teach. Spelling experiments are needed, online and to aid reading in lerners’ books and everyday periodicals. (http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/spelling.htm) Spelling can be mor efficient tecnology for comunication. At present its difficulties make it a social-screening test of rote-lerning that keeps down the less privileged.
Documentation is available.
The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 2 - Economic Infrastructure
Economic infrastructure must adapt to future resource shortages and effects of climate changes. A *User Society not a Consumer Society, not wasting and not so dependent upon imports, foreign debt, and low-income workers here or overseas.
1. Recognise risks of population growth, and how a stable population can improve quality of life - including livable cities, lower costs in infrastructure, fewer social problems. Mass markets and large labor pools are not the only way to supply affordable products. Internet marketing increases opportunities for smaller markets and specialist goods.
2. Maintain an Australian industrial and agricultural base prepared for future emergencies, taking up vast opportunities to develop new and inexpensive technologies, products and services still overlooked.
3. Ways are needed to reduce current excesses in profits, speculation and man-made instability. Financial and property trading are so profitable that they divert investment from sustainable industries, plus other negative consequences.
4. Banks are not fulfilling the purposes of banking for the public interest, because their legal priority is shareholders’ profits. Banking needs investigation for how to better serve the public, reduce foreign borrowing, encourage - not discourage - domestic saving to provide capital, and stabilise interest rates closer to CPI rather than variable daily.
- Consider a government bank for the strict purposes of domestic saving and lending.
- Lower income groups must be enabled to save with decent interest rates, rather than resort to gambling as their only hope.
5. Inflation. The laws of supply and demand push up excessive profits for necessities - housing and shop rentals, food and petrol: some control is desirable. Raising interest rates to control inflation is profitable for banks – what happens to those profits
* Ban ‘No-deposit’ and ‘Postponed Interest’ payments for purchases.
6. The Foreign Investment Review Board must stop the stream of profitable Australian industries taken over by foreign companies that dismember them, shift overseas and send profits overseas.
7.Waste. Half of everything produced now is wasted. Change our economic system’s unsustainable reliance on ‘growth’ through wasteful production and wasting resources, to growth in quality, not quantity. There need be no unemployment. The challenge is how to pay for all the jobs that need to be done - including preparing for coming climate emergencies - rather than wasteful jobs.
8. Carbon trading is a profitable but problematic swiz. Cutting production of waste is the faster way to reduce carbon emissions.
9. Encourage Australians to buy Australian, reducing imports debt. Make labelling clearer. *Supermarkets must stop allocating most prime shelving to imports and multinationals. Local councils publicise Australian enterprises and new ventures.
10. *Purchaser education, to realise long-term cheapness is quality, repairability and no deliberate obsolescence, not initial cost price.
11. Present business strategies include inciting new wants, regardless of social desirability or waste of resources. Instead, businesses and jobs can produce goods and services that are really needed, affordable for all.
Australia, like Scandinavia, is small enough to pioneer and innovate. Historically we have pioneered. We still can.
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The Australia 2020 Summit Topic 3 – focus Population
A sustainable population plan is crucial to every topic in the 2020 Summit, and to adapt to climate change, meet long-term needs for water, energy and resources, and can stimulate Australian leadership in low carbon technologies and industries.
It is dangerously blinkered to consider any economic or political policies and overlook population aspects.
What needs to be done?
1. Knowledge. Ensure all delegates, all Australians, and the community worldwide know about four basic facts: -
Australia, as the world’s driest, least fertile inhabited continent, most vulnerable to climate change, especially drought, is challenged to stabilize population growth and use enterprise and resourcefulness to be a world leader in how to survive.
- World population has grown from 3 billion (1959) to 6 billion (now), and 9 billion expected by 2050, all seeking costly Western life-styles.
- Consequences of continued world population growth include
- Increasing carbon emissions and mega slums
- Increasing resource shortages including water, oil, fertile land, forests, fish
- Know how past civilisations collapsed when populations outstripped available resources, and their lessons about survival;
- Drivers to increase populations need defusing – economic interests benefiting from mass markets, exploitable labour pools, and rising land values; political and religious breeding competitions; the insecurity of the poor unless there is adequate child health and aged security.
2. Humane population stabilisation without wars, famines and diseases.
- The Right to Reproduce. Promote a UN Convention on the Right to Reproduce – one child each = two per couple, with a) a decent chance for every child, and b) old-age security. These two assurances remove the main reasons for wanting large families, and fears of genocide resulting from family planning.
- Australian overseas assistance for family planning combined with economic development to make possible assurances of child health and aged security.
- Australia stops campaigning for more Australian babies. This is selfish and disgraceful global irresponsibility, with our neighbors looking on.
Immigration from overseas is humanitarian.
Fears about an ageing population are soluble.
Consequences of stabilising populations. All topic 3 issues are more soluble. Quality of life can be maintained and improved - in living space, traffic, unspoiled environments, fresh air, fresh food, stopping mega-slums, and less intensive and cruel factory-farming and exploitative agriculture.
Some illustrative population figures 1950, 2000, and expected 2050
- Funding and opportunities for two children per family would be an example to neighbouring countries struggling with political, economic and social consequences of runaway population growth.
- Large families promoted by financial incentives are liable to be disadvantaged. Community share in child-care of small families is a sociable alternative.
Australia 8 million to 19m to 25m
Indonesia 82m to 224m to 336m
Iraq 5m to 22m to 56m
China 562m to 1,269m to 1,424m
Papua Niugini 1.4m to 5m to 10m
East Timor 430,000 to 847,000 to 2m
Further information, population tables, graphs, and population details at http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/
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The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 4 - Rural industries and communities
This submission is concerned that Australia remain self-sufficient in agricultural produce, with minimum need to import food that is environmentally high cost in importing although appearing cheaper to produce. Global exports are essential to restore some trade balance, but the domestic market is the more stable foundation.
Rural industries and communities must adapt to likely environmental realities of exhausted non-renewed groundwater, climate extremes of drought, flood, fires and high winds, and trends to desertification.
*Groundwater conservation/exhaustion is serious, not to be left to decisions by private permit-holders
- New rural opportunities for overseas and domestic markets require research and development in:
- Sheep. Prime needs are
- effective humane alternative to mulesing, (such as bare-breeched breeds, clipping techniques, non-chemical control of blowflies)
- moth-proof wool.
- Climate-appropriate crops - drought tolerant and ‘resuscitating’ permaculture, bush-tucker for farming, *grasses that are edible cooked (not just their grains.)
- Low-energy technology. Domestic solar reflector energy, solar desalination, and *safe fertilisers from human sewage. We can adapt many new developments in Africa and Asia.
- Commercial uses for all pests, weeds and ferals, including camels, buffalo, cane toads and lantana.
- Kangaroos and emus – developing breeds, and commercial uses for all byproducts. Kangaroos can be more environmentally suitable than cattle or sheep, require minimum maintenance, and can be humanely culled.
- Government innovation to address systemic difficulties of farmers and their communities.
- Present forms of banking and insurance can exacerbate problems of farmers and rural communities and need changing.
- ‘Regional currencies’ in a co-operative form might be possible to help rural communities increase self-sustainability in production and withstand emergencies better. Not transferable beyond a region.
- The business of ownership of land and water is an increasing problem for farmers, and a factor in driving the next generation from the land.
- Cities must be stopped from growing over some of our most fertile farmland e.g. Sydney around the Hawkesbury River, and Melbourne’s spread. Cities must not take water needed for our food supplies. (This requires population stability.)
- Seasonal labor. Importing temporary labour from neighboring overpopulated countries encourages large families which further reduces chances of their own economic development. Since temporary workers not inured to the hard work are little use, seasonal labour including goals of improving toughness and fitness could follow schemes similar to historic overseas practices for city dwellers helping annually in seasonal work. Fair conditions for workers without losing commercial competitiveness requires improved productivity.
- Rural communities.
- More all-community associations beyond complementing men’s football.
- Encourage skills with local Skill-Olympics, and Invent-Olympics.
- More possibilities for part-time and leisure employment include producing for self-sufficiency and *‘eco-tourism’ that includes voluntary labor holidays by city youth as part of ‘becoming adult’ experience.
- The ABC runs great rural programs, which should be known by city folk as well as regional, so that all Australians know their own grounding, and what it takes to keep us all going. The dichotomy between cities and the land that supports them must be closed.
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The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 5. Focus on Preventing Ill-Health
and good policies for the Ageing
A. Preventing ill-health.
1. *Encourage learning healthy pleasures and consolations, through media and schooling, as alternatives to unhealthy ones. *Schooling can impart constructive alternatives to boredom.
2. *‘No right to deliberately damage yourself – or others.’ Onus to help pay for illness and MCAs caused by deliberate self-damage behaviour, including alcohol and drugs.
3. Our major health problem is alcohol, with associated violence and mental illness.
- An offence for any adults including parents to provide juveniles with alcohol. Research shows that early ‘training in civilized drinking’ can cause harm.
- Reduce commercial profits from alcohol. Encourage liquor firms to diversify.
- Restrict numbers of alcohol outlets. At present they are proliferating locally.
- Our culture can be changed to value clear-headed enjoyment of life, and revulsion at drunkenness.
- Stop everything that can encourage juvenile drinking – sweet alcopops, cheap alcohol, role models, advertising, drinking as a way to drown problems.
- Drug education includes
- The psychology of binge-drinking as ‘showing off ‘and cowardice against peer pressures.
- ‘It is not being a friend’ to encourage someone else to drink or drug. Someone who encourages you is not a friend.
- Knowledge of businesses profiting from alcohol promotion and drug trafficking.
- Limit the culture of shouting to two rounds, and after that, other sorts of treating.
- No advertising of sugary, fatty, salty junk foods. If the claim that advertising does not affect sales is true, then junk food would not be advertised.
- *Income-stressed families can believe junk and processed food cost less. Social advertising can demonstrate comparative costs and cheap recipes for healthy food.
- Parent education: - Do not pressure a lively, bright child to eat more than it wants, to induce habits of overeating.
- Housing must provide safe outdoors play.
- Free access to minimum-upkeep amateur sports-grounds.
- Children driven to school can be dropped off a safe distance before the school so they walk a little.
- Thrifty exercise - Housework using electric appliances only when necessary.
- Most lawns need modern light manual local-made mowers not motor-mowers.
5. Means-tested dental care for low-incomes. Teeth are a basics for their health.
6. Preventing social pressures that trigger mental ill-health. A culture, workplaces and family lives can be courteous, good-humoured and kindly, not bullying and persecuting, to prevent great waste of people. *Media models without rage and spite.
7. No sale of Medicare Private. Government-owned competition in essential services should keep down costs.
8. Two-children families make it easier for the less able to care well for their children.
F. A healthy aged population contributes to society and is not a major health burden – although business interests may resent its lower spending. *Simple aids to independent living and preventing chronic illnesses are more important than high-tech and costly specialization about rarer conditions. See Aiding the aged, and Ageing populations are not disastrous
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The Australia 2020 Summit The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 6. Focus on strengthening communities
Innovative recommendations are starred *.
D. Social capital
1. Stop factors that are weakening communities:
- Stop increasing gaps between the wealthy and the rest of us that reduce community trust and co-operation.
- Increasing population without affordable housing in reasonable locations increases gaps between haves and have-nots, particularly affecting a) young couples and their prospects of families, and b) chances of being homeless.
- Socially disadvantaged areas increase by ‘dumbing down’, fed into by media mass marketing the ‘lowest common factors’ and unhealthy life-styles.
- Whatever is wrong in our society harms the vulnerable most (the young and the socially disadvantaged) and then the whole society suffers from the resort to self-inflicted damage, destruction by vandalism, and extension of crime.
2. Building social capital
- All housing areas built to be communities, with a *‘soul centre’ for community facilities and amenities, public transport, local rehab and aged care, work opportunities, and safe open spaces for play and sports, first rate public schools, and annual community celebration.
- Locally-initiated self-government for local matters including protection against unneighborly behaviour such as developers’ encroachments, anti-competitive strategies by supermarkets, noise, dogs and vandalism.
- Community groups encouraged through media and local council publicity and school participation - with inexpensive non-ageist social activities, such as voluntary work, *community soccer, and *Skill-Olympics with associated talents quests. Teenagers can be active and involved, not just hang out.
- Liability insurance for community events and good works is a current expensive racket that prevents far too much that needs to be done. *Solutions possible include no-fault assistance with accident costs and civic penalties for neglect rather than suing.
- ‘Community grandparents’ for local children with no accessible relatives beside their parents, including the advantage of ‘backyard apprenticeships’ to learn handicrafts and skills. Precautions against sexual abuse and fraudulent claims.
- Youth’s need for adventure channeled away from daring such as vandalism to
- outdoors group adventures, especially not age-segregated. such as Outward Bound, orienteering, tracking, volunteer land-care, kites, surfing, camping, historical re-enactments, etc.
- inventing and social innovations
3. The culture needs better balancing between
- Sufficient support for everyone to be able to have a decent life, without becoming a nanny state that deprives people of responsibility and challenge.
- Enjoying all that is good and lovely - and enjoying the spice of the picaresque and rebelliousness necessary to prevent hypocrisy and sentimentality.
- *‘Pleasant vices’. ‘The gods are just and of our pleasant vices make instruments to plague us’ (Shakespeare) – as with excess in drinking, gambling, sexual freedom, wasteful luxuries, rights without responsibilities.
- A published gradient for giving, so people have an idea of what is appropriate for their income, with the average as the traditional 10%.
- Government can consider a Benevolence Tax for incomes over $500,000, where the taxpayer can state preferred use for that tax, and have names and honor associated with that ‘benevolence’ – e.g. the John Plutocrat Roweville Railway or Mary Rottenrich Hospice Maintenance.
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The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 7 Indigenous Australia.
A. Pathways to the future, linked with indigenous culture.
- Many practical skills and abilities in aboriginal culture are being lost, that the rest of us could benefit from, especially living in rural areas, and in outback holidays- e.g. for youth - learning tracking, outback survival, physical stamina for the extreme climates of deserts, conserving not exhausting bush tucker, useful simple artifacts.
- Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians can work together developing ways for outback living with minimum resources – e.g using solar-heating and solar-power from reflectors, ways to enrich the soil, using local materials in innovative ways – Who can find uses for gibber desert?
B. Targeted programs
- Young adult initiations. Programs to encourage indigenous youth to train for culturally appropriate initiations incorporating both indigenous and modern, motivating for other activities and skills beyond football.
- Targeted programs to cut resort to alcohol and drugs, by raising self-esteem in aboriginal men through development of employable skills and consequent work opportunities, admired skills in recreations, pride in their old non-alcoholic culture, inventiveness in celebrations like corroborees, and a valued role in training their children.
- Brain-damaged children and adults from sniffing and alcohol. This needs action for awareness for children-and adults to prevent brain-damage, and thinking about what useful occupations are possible for those who already have irreversible damage.
C. Economic independence for indigenous community members in remote Australia is essential in the long run, and possibilities include
- Population sustainability. Remote communities can prosper with stable populations but the outback does not have the resources to support growing ones. Indeed, sources of food will be exhausted. In the past aboriginal populations did not reach great sizes for reasons now overcome; today family planning is essential. No financial rewards should be given for having more than two children per couple.
When this is a policy for all Australians, there can be no cries of ‘Genocide’.
- Realising that they can grow and raise some of their own food, and materials for weaving and other crafts. I have heard indigenous people complain that the whites have tried to make them have gardens, and that they have always failed. They can change this attitude, and the attitude to work that underlies it.
- Wardens for wild-life and feral pests, and developing industries that make the most use of outback pests such as camel, buffaloes, etc and even cane-toads (see traps that are used to turn cane toads into fertilizer.)
- Offering ‘retreats’ for tourists to come and stay for a unique outback experience without mod cons.
- Some old and new crafts and skills as above can be developed, not just art. Inventing better home-made housing for local conditions and life-styles, with local materials – Any materials for making bricks? Indonesian outdoor sleep-styles?
D. Access to mainstream literacy programs.
**Develop an indigenous-culture version ‘Dream-time Dillybag’ of the DVD/online literacy aid www.ozreadandspell.com.au, that also makes self-help possible.
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The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 8 Australian Arts.
The more innovatory ideas are starred *
A. Arts bodies
- More encouragement of artists’ visions for how a hopeful future can be achieved, rather than dystopias and dead-end focus on showing us what a mess we are and thereby making the mess worse.
- More documentaries of our ‘social heroes’ and inventors.
- Interest in recording (but not funding) public art – i.e. our best graffiti.
- Galleries stop paying more than $250,000 for any work of art, and for living artists preferably pay the artist direct. Prices have become ridiculous and tangled with private investments.
- Saved funding can go into more prints for school classrooms and corridors – chosen by the children.
- Concern for lasting aesthetic qualities of school textbooks, to fascinate children.
- Dance. Concern about the trend to physically dangerous/debilitating violent choreography – spectacular to spectators but harmful to dancers, especially girls.
- Souvenirs for tourists. Surely we can do better.
B. The function of the ABC is to set standards and innovations that the commercia channels can then follow. It unashamedly tries to be the ‘best’, rather than stoop for ratings. Public funding and independence is essential, and worth it.
The public accountability of the ABC can be obvious to all in more (free) newspaper publicity for the wide range of programs that it presents, to counter slurs.
- A weekly morning radio program for children on Radio National – for development of language and thought, away from TV. Old programs could be re-tried.
- Preventing ADHS. The serious problem of shortened attention span and concentration in adults as well as children must not be encouraged by ABC or SBS interruptions of programs with ads or self-promotions.
- Open Primary School and Open Secondary School on prime-time TV.
Items C, D and E.
- Encourage amateur entries for public screening. Now that even schools and students have the media equipment to produce quality programs –. Innovation and enterprise can come from them.
- Encourage submissions of new ideas, which others can then work up. At present there is little opening for this sort of team development. For example:
- Animation that was high classical art, and took off from it, not teenage-level cartooning – This would probably need to be a part-time occupation for people mainly breadwinning by other means, and commissioned from competitions entering 10-minute segments. (Imagine the Arthurian legend, or old ballads.)
- Regular TV shows like the popular Cooking shows, on other aspects of running a home easily and well, Kitchen Tips, rearing children, non-consuming hobbies and crafts, avoiding waste, Facts of Living, and including Wise Old Ladies as presenters.
- Training in IT Graphic Arts. A crowded field, so that students need versatility with other skills too to have reasonably secure incomes.
The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 9 Renewed democracy
A. Open government is of world-wide importance today.>
- No commercial-in-confidence secrecy in deals for any government business that will involve taxpayers’ contributions.
- Freedom of information need only be restricted to sensitive defence matters.
- Information requested can be posted online, so others need not inquire separately.
- Government bills and legislation passed can be listed online for the public to see - and realise what our legislators are doing.
- The media can regard and publish as news much information that at present is too often incorporated in advertising paid for by the taxpayer and given spin by the party in power.
B. Government by the people.
- Making elections more democratic Fourteen reforms are needed for fairer and less costly elections. We cannot afford the present undemocratic and expensive practices. (http://www.fabian.org.au/966.asp)
- Engaging the community by more respect for Parliament and politicians.
- Spot fines imposed by the Speaker on politicians misbehaving in the House.
- Politicians pay for by-elections when they have resigned for no serious reason after having been elected. (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6715)
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The Australia 2020 Summit
Topic 10. Security and prosperity in the world
A. National security.
- All Australians to be aware of what small countries have contributed to the world. Our best resources are our brains and spirits. (Athens, Florence and Edinburgh were small cities!)
- Our best defence is to be an admired country of such moral and practical benefit to the world that we are more value than if invaded and destroyed. We can demonstrate solving problems of social deprivation and injustice.
- Our defences are clearly for defence. Our people are healthy and strong, with high morale and keen workers in worth-while causes.
- Our defence expenditure emphasises numerous, small, versatile rather than a few high-cost items that can be targets once gone, leave us nothing.
- Australians study world history, including peace-making.
- We urge the United Nations to declare as war criminals all who design, make, profit from, and use weapons of horrible civilian destruction such as cluster bombs and land mines.
B. The United States may be heading for tough times, with unaffordable military expenditure and embroilments, foreign debt and domestic problems. * As an ally, Australia is well placed to persuade America's leaders
- or foreign policies in world interest, not narrowly focussed on its own short term economic interests.
- to realise that permitting torture risk its own personnel, to be subjected to torture themselves, costs the US all claim to moral leadership and claimed Christian values, and breeds such hostility that it multiplies more enemies than it detects.
C. China and India as co-operators for ‘green’ technological development, and human rights.
We limit our foreign debt and foreign ownership to remain our own masters. We show our honesty by two important policies needed globally:
- The UN Declaration of Human Rights as our standard of citizenship
- Promoting a world-wide Right to Reproduce, one each = 2 per couple, plus decent chances for those children and old age-security, to slow down world population growth, and our own.
D. Global poverty.
- Practical assistance in the three arms of the Right to Reproduce. World population growth is increasing poverty with mega slums and shortages.
- Helping countries to become self-sustainable in industries and agriculture as well as in trade, not completely reliant on producing commodities with wide swings in price and controlled by multinationals.
- Work to stop the trillions of dollars and resources diverted to military expenditure.
E. World languages.
- An international lingua franca is a great advantage. English leads in wide use and wealth of print, including sience and commerce. However, its spelling holds back millions from written and spoken English, and English for education in multilingual developing cuntries. We could esily take the traps out of spelling, establish consistent principls, keep a few very common irregular spellings, and still retain our heritage of print. Australia could pioneer simpl English like this for beginners, and promote an International Commission on English Spelling for world-wide improvement.
- We under-use the resource of our immigrants speaking different languages, especially in schools, and letting second generations abandon bilingualism.
Examples of using our immigrant resources:
- as playground aides in their children’s schools showing songs and games, and so encouraging their children to feel public pride in training bilingual capacity;
- as employees in particular cafes to help Australians going overseas to pick up everyday vocab in (needs checking!);
- encouraging everyone to read the other languages in multilingual notices;
- a foreign language category in song festivals, (with translations)
- In schools, in every class students learn about the history and culture of all the immigrant backgrounds in that class, with parent contributions.
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How you can contribute to the Ruddfest
This is a call for some organization/s to open its/their pages or/and web-site to host such a Fringe, starting now. Anyone can send in ideas of up to 250 words plus any back-up on any of the ten topics listed for the official summit. Entries can suggest improvements on other ideas.
The Fringe could also produce two digests of its transpirations – one in the week before April 19-20, the days of the Canberra conference, and one a fortnight or so later, that takes into account the deliberations of that Summit.
Criteria for RUDDFEST ideas: -
1. That the ideas are novel and generally unfamiliar in the public realm.
2. Specific proposals are preferred over general remarks.
3. The entries transgress no rules of civil debate – such as no bile, slander, malice, personal attacks, fabrications, etc.
4. Ideas that seem impossible now are still allowable. Even funny ideas can spark off more feasible ones.
There could of course be several Fringes, with titles including their sponsors. Many Fringes would encourage wider public interest and debate about our future, all fizzing away.
A Fringe Ruddfest is needed because it is notorious that the ideas that come out of large group brainstorming are almost always lowest-common-multiples, and Fringes have a good record for fruitfulness and even brilliance.
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