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Abbott’s Stockpile of Hubris

In his first interview after losing the Liberal leadership, Tony Abbott gives us his take on how his government performed with him as Prime Minister. “What we have given the new Prime Minister and the new Treasurer is a very strong foundation.”

This is sheer hubris.

Paul Kelly’s interview in The Weekend Australian and republished here on Facebook, reveals as much as you could expect from a wounded politician trying to salvage some form of legacy for his two years as PM.

His self-proclaimed achievements are pitiful. His obsession with boats, carbon taxes and national security exposes his cold-war approach to modern day politics. One old enough can easily imagine his flawed motivation to be something along the lines of ‘What would Santamaria have done’.

He is understandably proud of achieving the top job but ignores the reality that his accession to the Liberal leadership was more a reflection of the discord in the Liberal Party than any personal qualifications he might have had.

His approach to economics, ISIS and his moralistic feet-dragging attitudes toward social issues, put him out of mainstream thinking and out of place in a 21st century setting. Not that he would realise this.

bordOn policy implementation, he claims with some pride that everything he did is still intact, “Border protection policy the same, national security policy the same, economic policy the same, even same-sex marriage policy the same, and climate change policy the same. In fact, the rhetoric is the same.”

Can he really believe that? The new cabinet has been in the job one week and he thinks everything will remain the same?

While no policy changes have yet been announced, it is only a matter of time. The polls were the driving issue that saw him removed but with a fairly modest bounce in the party’s electoral hopes since his dumping, Abbott is somewhat premature in concluding that nothing will change.

The excuses he offers for the party’s poor showing since the 2014 budget ring of déjà vu.

“We had an obdurate Labor party, a feckless Senate and a very difficult media culture,” Abbott said. “I’m not complaining,” he said. “This is the world in which we live.” Nor indeed should he complain.

His strategy as opposition leader was no less obdurate, during which time the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard performed much better. As for the so called media culture, surely he must be referring to social media. The MSM and his radio shock jock mates gave him a free ride, no matter how feckless he was.

budHe said, “The 2014 budget was a very serious structural attemp­t to tackle our long-term spending problems.” It was nothing of the sort. It was a thinly veiled attack on the weak, the tired and the hungry; easy targets in the high powered world of focus groups, lobbyists and media barons who have your back.

But he then went on and said, “In the end, what counts is what the government decides not how it arrives at the decision.” If this is suggesting that the outcome was more important than the means to achieve it, it was arrogant, without compassion for the most affected and so typical of those in positions of privilege who might well echo the classic line misattributed to Marie Antoinette, “let them eat cake.”

Abbott’s subsequent comment, “I think from all participants in the national conversation there has been an obsession with the trivial rather than the substantial and the long-term,” is, again, a clear indication of his own hubris. We never knew what the substantial was, or the long term.

There was no long term plan. There was a great deal of rhetoric about forging a ‘credible path back to surplus’ despite unemployment increasing.

In effect, they were using rubbery figures in an effort to manufacture a balanced budget, against a deficit that was getting bigger and a ballooning debt that, if it were occurring while they were in opposition, would bring forth screams, renting of clothing and bursting of blood vessels as they squealed for the heads of anyone in charge.

kelAs much as Abbott’s supporters in the mainstream media will try to re-write history and paint him as a much maligned leader, their efforts, I suspect will be in vain.

The image of failure tends to stick, no matter what the mitigating circumstances are, or how they are expressed.

 

92 comments

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  1. Terry2

    I share your thoughts and fear what the far Right Abbott sycophants have in store for us next.

    With the monumental challenge of trying to carve out a legacy for him, the spin-doctors have started with the silly refrain that his successors will build on the foundations that he has hewn from solid rock with the sweat of his – and Peta’s – combined brows. So, we are back to the emperor’s lack of clothes : there is no foundation, there were no achievements and there is only a legacy of havoc and disillusion.

    This is the man who wore like a protective shroud the oft repeated ‘we are not the Labor Party, you cannot remove me no matter how bad i am and how many blunders I make’. Well it didn’t work, sunshine !

  2. Sir ScotchMistery

    I would point out that the right wing sycophants also sit in the opposition benches and don’t display anything like the spine needed to bring this country back from the point of world derision we currently inhabit.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Abbott wanted to be remembered as the infrastructure prime minister. Under his reign, infrastructure promising skyrocketed while infrastructure spending all but collapsed. I suspect he will be remembered as the PM who said nope, nope, nope.

    His action on climate change was Pythonesque – the Colossal Fossil – We are the knights of no and we want…a shrubbery.

    He complains that debate was about the trivial – not true. The headlines in his beloved Murdoch press were trivial but the rest of us were engaged in a life and death struggle to protect universal health care, public education funding, the security of our social welfare system, public transport, our right of appeal in the court system, the freedom of the press, the transparency and accountability of government, attempts to close the gap, freedom against discrimination, freedom of association and the right to protest, and justice for asylum seekers.

    Tony….you were trivial…your attempted attacks on our way of life were not.

  4. RosemaryJ36

    Hubris reigns supreme! Abbott is much too narcissistic to ever begin to understand the damage he has done or see any alternative path he might have raken.
    What amazes me is how many people actually thought he was doing a good job! That is really scary!

  5. Roscoe

    He did achieve one thing, that is to make people like me, who had voted LNP, sure NEVER to vote that way again. I am bound to have many others who think the same way as well

  6. David

    There were times in Abbotts lunacy, I’m sure he was convinced Santamaria was communicating to him from the grave and beyond. I have been intrigued with the name ‘Santamaria’ so did a ‘Hunt’ and went to Wikipedia… interesting.
    Given Abbotts love of all thing military and war, it seems Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria, didn’t cover himself in glory regarding that phase of his life.

    Arthur Calwell, a leading Catholic Labor politician, confirmed that Santamaria had “dodged” war service after Archbishop Daniel Mannix had approached him to gain the exemption.[2] When asked, Calwell stated’ Department of Defence cannot find any of the records, nor can the Department of Labour and National Service.”[2] Santamaria and two other men (Maher and K. W. Mitchell[who?]) were, argued Mannix, “members of the Secretariat of Catholic Action and that their work was equivalent to that of a minister of religion.” Calwell said ‘I regret my part in it… I want the country to know that these three men who have been pestering and opposing and demonstrating against the Australian Labor Party for the last 30 years were people who dodged military service’.

    Don’t remember the former PM ever mentioning that…but then he wouldn’t. He and the truth are on decidedly separate paths in life.

  7. Glenn K

    John, you nailed the bulls-eye again. Thankyou for it.
    Kaye Lee, as perceptive and insightful as ever, you summed up Abbott’s legacy perfectly.
    My vision of the near pefect govt for our times…..a minority ALP aligned with a stronger Greens representation.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe just the dope who said nope nope nope. ?

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    I could never accept Abbott in my mind as PM. Seems to be disappearing into the ether already.

  10. Neil of Sydney

    In effect, they were using rubbery figures in an effort to manufacture a balanced budget, against a deficit that was getting bigger

    This is not true. Hockeys first budget deficit was smaller than Swans last budget deficit. So the deficit was not getting bigger.

  11. mars08

    Abbott’s words: “I think from all participants in the national conversation there has been an obsession with the trivial rather than the substantial and the long-term…”

    In fairness, the absurdity of his comment should ring alarm bells for ALL Australians.

    Are we to imagine that Abbott emerged, fully formed, as a knuckle-dragging, semi-literate, uncultured, shameless, dishonest, oafish, self-serving, chauvinist, arrogant, bigoted, federal opposition leader in 2009…? Did he magically, seamlessly morph into the Prime Minister a few years later?

    The timid, dissolute, divided ALP was a major factor in bringing about (and promoting) Abbott’s reign. A shallow, unscrupulous, bumbling, msm enabled his elevation to PM. And a frightened, ignorant, distracted, self-absorbed, lazy electorate embraced the pathetic bullshit.

    I see very little evidence of the “national conversation” changing. Rather, almost everyone is willing to accept that Turnbull represents a fresh, new beginning… and that we can feel confident about a bright future.

  12. kerri

    There needs to be a concerted effort to change the terminology around Abbott’s role as Opposition leader.
    Way too many journalists and citizens are describing him as
    “the most successful opposition leader in the Australian Parliament”.
    This gives him credit for bringing down two PMs by destroying any sense of honesty, dignity and manners within the Australian Parliament. His bringing down of Rudd and Gillard along with his work in destroying Peter Slipper, (and Pauline Hanson) regardless of whose side you are on, was the most underhanded and unparliamentary display of hubris and yet the media continually build him up as a success in that area which gives him the illusion that what he did was right! He brought down at least one extremely effective Prime Minister with his sniping, misogyny, bullying and utterly offensive behaviour and yet he is constantly praised for doing so?
    In doing this he emboldened the worst in our society. Can anyone remember videos on youtube of public transport bullying before Abbott? Has any other politician helped incite racial riots and racial vilification more than Abbott? Apart from being a backwards looking ape and a delusional bully whose only ability to win comes from destroying his opposition, Abbott is devoid of manners and any sense of fairness.
    Yep! He said it! All he can do is sledge!
    I am not a football fan so cannot pick a player who in the sport performs like Abbott does in the Parliament!
    But would the player who uses anonymous funds to bring down a court case having his opponent jailed be given a Brownlow? Would a player who lies about his opposition and undermines them by telling lies get a Best and Fairest? Would a player who bullies any women in the club be promoted?
    Yep here’s the old comparision.
    Hitler was also very effective at bringing down the Jews by more extreme but similarly propagandist methods and no one praises him? Just because you win does not make you a good player! And it certainly does not make you a good leader!

  13. mars08

    I sometimes fear that many Australians may come to acclaim Abbott… in the same way as the American rabid right worships the memory of Ronald Reagan.

  14. Jexpat

    Mars:

    Not to worry:

    Howard was Australia’s Reagan.

    Abbott is our George W. Bush.

    Accordingly, Turnbull thus far (among a lot of people who really ought to know better) has been dubbed our “hopey changy” guy.

  15. Peter F

    No, of course, Neil, Hockey had it all under control , which is why he will go down in history as our best treasurer ever, wont he.

  16. Neil of Sydney

    In effect, they were using rubbery figures in an effort to manufacture a balanced budget,

    That is a funny comment coming from a man who supported Wayne Swan. Who can forget this boast from his May 2012 budget speech.

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/speech/html/speech.htm

    The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy, resilience of our people, and success of our policies.

    Wayne Swan May 2012

    Of course we did not get 4 years of surplus budgets as Wayne Swan proclaimed to the whole nation.

  17. vivienne29

    Well said Kaye – as usual.

  18. Phill Burns.

    Revisionist history is usually written by the winner. Tony Abbott will go down in history as the most divisive Prime Minister this country has ever had. Notwithstanding his anti social policies, the man is a bumbling fool. No one will ever convince me this walking talking primate, got a Rhodes scholarship on his own merit. His installation into the highest office in the land was aided and abbeted by the most corrupt biased media on the Planet. Pravda could have only of dreamed of such a compliant media. I’m afraid with Abbott hubris just don’t cut it. The man was an aberration in history, which will have the political pundits baffled for a hundred years how this man was kept in the position for two weeks much less two years. One can only hope our overseas reputation for being the Gulag down under will be some what changed with Turnbull. I am not holding my breath.

  19. vivienne29

    To Neil of Sydney – not so, not so. You can only come to that conclusion by ignoring the fact that the 2013/14 Budget only was under Labor control for a few months and when the Libs came to power they immediately changed it and spent or gave away money ($10 Billion to the RBA). It all turned into a bullshit of a budget and the Hockey final figures for his first budget contain even more bullshit, including savings that never eventuated. If you think that abolishing revenues as provided for by Labor enabled a lower deficit you are in cuckoo land. Read the papers and compare the before and after. Finally, Hockey said (promised) there would be a surplus in his first year and every year thereafter. As I said, bullshit.

  20. John Fraser

    <

    "Neil of Sydney"

    Time to stop crying ….. the dictator is dead, buried and cremated, long may the dictator stay dead.

    JF posted from London, England …… where "Neil of Sydney" still sounds as dumb from this far away as he ever did back in Oz.

  21. diannaart

    How do we cull the rusted-on RWNJ’s from both LNP and Labor?

    There are far too many of the self-appointed born-to-rule types – a mockery of democracy.

    …and far too many people who simply cannot assess, critically and honestly, the failing of whatever political party they have aligned themselves. Such people merely argue the same old arguments – no progress is made, nothing changes.

    As someone who by both happenstance and stupid mistakes, has had to adapt and change throughout my life in order to survive, I really cannot understand those who cling to the same ideals, achieving the same results again and again – as Einstein so succinctly noted: “when the facts change, I change my mind…”

    We have changed a leader – that’s all and it is not enough for a successful, equitable and working nation.

  22. diannaart

    I do agree that we cannot expect instantaneous change, its just that I can’t get Turnbull’s speech on refugees out of my head — did he really have to state the following?:

    “There will be no resettlement of the people on Manus and Nauru in Australia. They will never come to Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.

    “Now, I know that’s tough, we do have a tough border protection policy, you could say it’s a harsh policy, but it has worked.””[Immigration Minister Peter] Dutton and I, and the Government, we are concerned about the situation on Manus and Nauru.

    “We’re concerned that people are detained there, naturally it is not an ideal environment, we are doing everything we can to encourage them to return to where they came and the Government is actively looking at means of resettling them, whether it is in PNG, or indeed in Cambodia or looking at other options.

    “It is tough, but the fact is we cannot take a backwards step on this issue.”

    “a backwards step”!!!! – he’s right about that; there is nothing more backwards than the situation in our offshore detention centres – there is only one direction to take now, as we have gone as far backwards as we can short of mass extermination, and that is admit this massive inhumane mistake, resettle those poor people sitting in tents and tin sheds in Australia and do it now.

  23. Neil of Sydney

    You can only come to that conclusion by ignoring the fact that the 2013/14 Budget only was under Labor control for a few months

    That is wrong. Whoever brings down the budget owns the budget and there is not much a new govt can do because all the spending decisions have been legislated. And the Coalition does not have the numbers in the Senate to change much.

    I will give you the $8.8B loan to the Reserve Bank but the budget was Swans budget. So the statement that the deficit was getting bigger is wrong. Even if you take into account the $8.8B loan, Hockeys first budget deficit was smaller than Swans last budget deficit.

    Finally, Hockey said (promised) there would be a surplus in his first year and every year thereafter. As I said, bullshit.

    That statement was made in Opposition when he did not have all the numbers available. Swans boast of 4 years of surplus budgets was made in govt when he had all the data available, the GFC had finished and he still got his projections wrong.

  24. David

    John re loosehead Neil…I haven’t come across an intelligent troll yet and this one continues to conform to that state of play, Give my regards to the big guy, Ben

  25. Michael Taylor

    You are wrong, Neil. Just because it was a Swan budget doesn’t mean he owned it even when the Libs took power. There was nothing to stop them from handing down a mini budget anytime after September 2013.

    If it was bad then they surely would have handed down a mini one. And you must remember that the Swan budget was accepted by the opposition. Did they try to block any of it?

  26. jim

    Great post John, My view is that abbott wil be remembered as the Dud PM that wrecked the NBN,Wrecked the renewable energy industry, pushed Australia into a recession, and the PM that was elected by outright Lies, aided and abetted by the right wing Murdoch press and others. Oversaw the Highest rate of suicide Australia has ever seen;https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2817-right-wing-governments-increase-suicide-rates/ and made the most cuts to basic services in Australia ever!https://thesnipertakesaim.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/ipa-agenda-to-re-shape-australia/ IMO these are fn FACTS!.

  27. vivienne29

    Neil – stop making excuses and do as I suggested – read and analysis Hockey’s budget. It is time consuming and it is the sort of thing which analysts do and what Treasurers should do – understand and know what they are talking about. I’ll give you one piece of advice in that endeavour – analysing Hockey’s work gets harder the following year. The format of the budget figures has been changed and comparing one with the other becomes bloody difficult.

  28. Neil of Sydney

    There was nothing to stop them from handing down a mini budget anytime after September 2013.

    That is correct but they didn’t. Therefore the budget is Swans budget except for the $8.8B loan to the Reserve Bank.

    Whoever brings down the budget owns the budget and that is the way it has always been. Unless as you started they organise a mini-budget.

  29. jim

    Government spending hit a RECORD low of 4.2% in 2010, unemployment hit a RECORD low of 4% in 2008. FN FACTS.

  30. mars08

    Turnbull: “Now, I know that’s tough, we do have a tough border protection policy…”

    Young Malcolm endearing himself to Abbott’s bogan, bed-wetter, bigot and bully fan base. And showing how tough he can be… when it costs him nothing.

  31. rossleighbrisbane

    Neil isn’t interested in facts. Or the future. Part of the reason he admired Tony Abbott so much.

  32. rossleighbrisbane

    Neil hasn’t even congratulated Turnbull on his decision to get rid of the incompetent Hockey and replace him with Morrison.

  33. David

    Talking of Turnbull’s ‘Abbott/Morrison/Dutton Asylum Seeker lock em up and throw away the key’ policy re the concentration camps on Manus and Nauru. Gutless Dutton this morning hid from the media passing the buck to his staff to respond to the independent UN investigator into the human rights of migrants who has postponed an official visit to Australia that was due to begin tomorrow, citing a lack of government cooperation and “unacceptable” legal restrictions.

    Mr Crépeau had asked for access since March but Australia denied him access to any offshore centre, he said in a statement.
    He also blamed Australia’s 2015 Border Force Act, which discourages detention centre service providers with the threat of a two-year court sentence if they reveal “protected information”, for preventing him from doing his job.

    Dutton’s spokesperson failed to mention the reasons merely saying the Minister would be happy to discuss the matter.

    It is beyond me what game Turnbull is playing, that he retained this incompetent fool as Immigration Minister May be he has a sadistic side and keeps Dud on as his whipping boy.

  34. Florence nee Fedup

    Not sure Gillard had dream run. Abbott’s nope nope on everything, whether good or bad. Rudd and others white anting her.

    Minorities in both houses.

    Managed using ongoing fiscal consolidation, to trend deficit down till late 2013. Global changes in the economy forced Gillard to eased up, otherwise economy would have collapse under any more austerity strategies.

    Managed to get legislation passed. Major lost was Malaysian Solution and all she attempted with the asylum seekers. Another Abbott nope nope nope.

    Introduced GEF suite of bills. CArbon emissions trending downwards. Cost living went up less than general public were compensated for.

    Managed to get MRRT through, after 20 million advertising miners, anti MSM and Abbott. Problem was, the super windfall profits it was supposed to rein in were gone. Money that should have been available to assist industry to survive the high dollar that stayed around for years. The result that many went to the wall, including the car industry. Tourist industry badly damaged.

    Yes, Mr Abbott, you say you had it hard. Mr. Abbott, I say it is time to sit down, open eyes and do some pondering.

    The boats would have stopped sooner, if you didn’t keep saying nope nope nope. In fact it was Gillard’s effort carried on by Rudd, putting in place the Houston’s Expert Panel recommendations, that allowed that to occur.

    Mr Abbott it is a shame you didn’t continue with the rest of the recommendations instead of being obsessed with turning back boats and TPV.

    If so, we mightn’t have the hell holes you have established with no exit plans, costing 100’s, maybe even billions. We should have a regional solution by now.

    Mr Abbott, you have control lower house, not that hostile of senate, MSM on side. A Opposition that is not loved.

  35. Wally

    Neil of Sydney are you Andrew Bolt, John Howard or Joe Hockey’s love child?

    Only someone born into neo liberal royalty could mix facts around the way you do.

    No matter how much spin you apply Tony Abbott will always be remembered for what he buggered up because he didn’t fix anything that was broken.

  36. harshmind

    Abbott? What’s that?

  37. keerti

    Great article, however I want to dispute your assertion that “has been aborted” had no long term plan. I am quite sure that he did and that his replacement does as well. It goes along the lines of , lets destroy the economy while making the general population fearful and weak, so that they can bring back workchoices, raise the GST and provide more handouts to the wealthy…

  38. Sir ScotchMistery

    If the economy tanked and folks were put into a state of destitution, they would possibly return to the bosom of mother church. Was/is that the endgame, since the current parliament could reasonably be described as being “jesuit”.

    Shorten is also of the same ilk, so maybe they are setting us up to become the peoples catholic republic of Australia under the replacement for the englishman, and we are all being softened up to offer our children up to mother church. Again.

    Be good news for Pell.

  39. Geoff Andrews

    John,
    1. As the Minister for Explaining the Deficit, can you update the House of AIMN on the current debt & deficit disaster, given that Shorten asserted on Q&A that the deficit is “double” that of September 2013? Surely that can’t be right?
    2. Can you comment on Neil of Sydney’s astute assertion at 1.20pm yesterday that:

    “Hockeys first budget deficit was smaller than Swans last budget deficit. So the deficit was not getting bigger” .

    3. Are you aware that fellow travellers of the Liberals and their fractious country bumpkin rump now believe that: (-A) + (-B) is greater than -A? Is this an example of creative accounting or ignorance?

    (Hey Neil, wanna reduce yer overdraft? Go and borrow another 100 bucks – works every time. And two negatives DO make a positive but only if you multiply them. Confusing, idinit.)

  40. jimhaz

    [We had an obdurate Labor party, a feckless Senate]

    The opposite was true. Abbott’s first budget was the most smelly pile of policy dung one could ever be accosted with, but there was still cooperation on those issues that were not grossly unfair.

    The senate were not feckless, they acted quite responsibly.

    Abbott has the same sort of blindness to reality that all the polarised have.

  41. Michael Taylor

    I started reading that article, Wally, but gave up when I was on the verge of vomiting.

  42. Wally

    Michael Taylor

    I didn’t get past the part where Bolt stated Abbotts achievements, it is very painful reading.

    The mood of the article is more akin with someone who lost their soul mate or a child than a PM they admired being ousted.

  43. kizhmet

    I cannot read Bolt – period … just the title of that article is enough to make me heave.

  44. Neil of Sydney

    . As the Minister for Explaining the Deficit, can you update the House of AIMN on the current debt & deficit disaster, given that Shorten asserted on Q&A that the deficit is “double” that of September 2013? Surely that can’t be right?

    No it is not right. Swans last budget was a $48B deficit. Take away the $8B loan to the RB and Swans deficit was really $40B. Hockeys was $38B so his was a smaller deficit.

    Shorten is quoting results/predictions from the 2013 PEFO. You should check out the forecasts from the 2010 PEFO to see how reliable PEFO predictions are. They are not to be trusted and Treasury is hopeless with predictions. Just before the GFC Treasury/Swan were framing a May 2008 budget to fight inflation and did not see the GFC coming until it happened.

    According to 2010 PEFO predictions Swans last two budgets should have been in surplus. But quoting 2013 predictions suits the ALP.

  45. Sir ScotchMistery

    Is it a public holiday in Sydney?

    That may explain Kneil’s constant prattling.

  46. David

    I have had enough of his crap,…..

  47. Michael Taylor

    Bolt’s or Neil’s?

  48. David

    Both

  49. Neil of Sydney

    I have had enough of his crap,…..

    What crap? I stated that Wayne Swan owns the 2013 May budget. All the decisions have been legislated and it would take an act of Parliament/mini-budget to change the settings. The Treasurer who brings down the budget owns the budget and that is the way it has always been.

    My other comment was on the forecasts of the PEFO which is produced before every election. Based on the 2010 PEFO before Gillard was elected PM the PEFO forecasts are not to be trusted. PEFO (2010) said that Swans last two budgets would be in surplus.

    And i do not trust the 2013 PEFO predictions either.

  50. The AIM Network

    What crap?

    YOU.

  51. Wally

    Neil of Sydney – The quotes below are from Wikipedia.

    The 2013 budget estimated a deficit of A$18 billion In August 2013, in a budget update before the forthcoming federal election, the Australian Treasurer forecast a $30.1 billion deficit for 2013/14. In December 2013, the Australian Treasurer under the Abbott Government forecast a $47 billion deficit for the same period, due to the new government’s decision not to implement savings and revenue measures put forward by the Rudd Government before the election

    The incoming (Abbott) government changed the 2013/14 budget constraints so they are responsible for the deficit.

    The budget forecast a deficit for 2014/15 of $29.8 billion . In December 2014, this increased to $40.4 billion.

    And Neil you would say the blowout in the 2014/15 was Labors fault but if the governments policies were half decent they would have been supported by the independents and been passed in the senate.

  52. John Kelly

    Geoff Andrews, yes, Joe Hockey did double the deficit estimates for the forward estimates. The final deficit for Wayne Swan (2012-13) was $18.8 billion. The final budget deficit for Joe Hockey 9 months/ Wayne Swan 3 months (2013-14), was $48.5 billion. Wayne Swan’s initial estimate on budget night (May 2013) was $18 billion. Joe Hockey’s MYEFO December 2013 revised Swan’s estimate and projected a deficit of $47 billion, of which some $20.5 billion was added by Hockey over 4 years including $9 billion gift to the RBA. Hockey later repealed the carbon tax and the mining tax thus foregoing Swan’s revenue estimates for that forward period. From that point (the December 2013 MYEFO), Hockey owned the budget because he had made substantial changes to Wayne Swan’s original estimates.
    Hockey’s projected budget deficit for 2014-15 was $30 billion which he revised in his December 2014 MYEFO to $40 billion.
    Hockey’s 2013 MYEFO also projected a deficit of $17.7 billion for 2015-16. The subsequent budget night (May 2015) revised this up to $33 billion.
    The forward estimates are like a minefield for Treasurers and are rarely accurate. Hockey’s estimates out to 2018-19 all taper off in expectation of unrealistic growth estimates. They won’t be achieved.
    Hope this helps.

    http://budget.gov.au/2015-16/content/overview/html/overview-01.htm

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-06/has-the-government-doubled-the-budget-deficit/5423392

  53. Neil of Sydney

    Joe Hockey did double the deficit estimates for the forward estimates

    Well that may be a more accurate statement than Hockey doubled the deficit. Who can forget this statement by Swan from the May 2012 budget speech

    The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy, resilience of our people, and success of our policies.

    Wayne Swan May 2012

    The house burst out laughing when Swan said that. And May 2012 was well after the GFC had ended.

    The final budget deficit for Joe Hockey 9 months/ Wayne Swan 3 months (2013-14), was $48.5 billion.

    No that was Swans budget. Only the $9B to the RB was added by Hockey.

  54. Sir ScotchMistery

    I wish there was an ignore button. Kneil is a pain.

  55. Matters Not

    There is an ‘ignore’ button. But most refuse to use it. Kneel is so much smarter than the average commentator on here and other sites.

    Only the ‘thick’ fail to realise that he’s not in the business of ‘discussion’. Never has been! Never will.

    So easily ‘sucked in’.

    It’s the way modern politics works. Distract them with ‘nonsense’. It keeps them ‘off the street’ (intellectually speaking).

    While ‘visitors’ can be excused, regular contributors should be ashamed.

    I repeat, Kneel only has life if you give him sustenance.

    One wonders who’ll be the first to respond to his next post?

    And if anyone is prepared to ridicule the respondent? And yes it takes discipline.

  56. Roswell

    MN, as one of the moderators I’m a guilty party. I’m always a sucker and let his comments through. But judging by the reactions here I would be wise to tighten up.

    However, I do confess that by letting his comments through it gives the whole world the privelage of recognising his idiocy.

  57. Matters Not

    Roswell, I am not advocating his ‘banning’. In fact I am arguing for his continual posting in the ‘vain hope’ that people will ignore and not post a response and thereby encourage him. Instead, use the opportunity to recognise that stupidity is ‘out and about’. And should not be ‘entertained’ in any serious discussion.

    Kneel should be encourage to continue his posting. But not by acclamation. Rather by a planned ‘ignore’.

    Reverse psychology? Or something like that?

  58. Roswell

    Can’t argue with that, MN.

  59. randalstella

    One of Abbott’s lasting achievements could be seen in the despicable display by Jones on Q&A tonight. You might have thought that he owed Barnaby Joyce money. Joyce the redneck ignoramus was deferred to repeatedly, given special place to answer anything, his objections to anything said drawing Jones back to him – while a woman to Barnie’s left sat silent for so long I was wondering if she might have been his guardian, The Labor rep Catherine King was hurried along, with Jones’ locked-in parting shot about ‘how are you going to fund it?’ – the same line he used on Shorten the week before.
    A gutless display, but not unexpected from the ABC’s Mr. Intervention – who lied through his teeth to justify those deceitful and fraudulent Lateline programmes in 2006. .Truly Mark’s Scott’s star was making his special effort to show just how ‘balanced’ he was.

  60. Jexpat

    Sir ScotchMistery:

    Niel is simply an unabashed liar of the sort that Australia’s own Rupert Murdoch unleashed on the world.

    He, along with so many others like him, are simply products of the same sort of homegrown dynamic, one that the rest of the world need to consider whenever there’s an Australian on the world stage.

    Not as a stereotype, but rather as a cautionary default position that requires a bit of evidence and experience to switch off.

    Much as many do here with Americans. Or :gasp: Russians.

  61. Sir ScotchMistery

    Roswell I agree with MN. I don’t believe it’s fair or appropriate to ban him, I just want the choice to not see his crap, which means he still gets air, but not from me. If everyone used an ignore button, he can’t say his right to be heard is impacted by the site, merely the users who choose to use the ignore button.

    But I can’t find it.

    As for Q & A, gave that up months ago. Jones seems hell bent on keeping his job with the ABC.

  62. corvus boreus

    Personally, I leave NoS and his piffle entirely to the discretion of the administrators and moderators of this site.
    I will glance at his tripe if he provides credible links to information (blue bits), but skim straight past his repetitions of opinion.
    In all fairness, he has occasionally scattered a couple of valid facts amongst the stoolish dross he too frequently deposits.

  63. Neil of Sydney

    Niel is simply an unabashed liar

    Examples please.

    I will glance at his tripe if he provides credible links to information (blue bits),

    Any information you want a link to?

  64. Michael Taylor

    Don’t you like people calling you a liar, Neil?

    Now go do a search of this site and just see how many times you’ve called others here a liar. I think you’ll find a rather large sample.

  65. randalstella

    Thought experiment: switch Neil of Sydney to host and ‘moderate’ Q&A, and Jones of Sydney to post occasionally here. There’s not much between their politics, so that would not make much difference; but for the sake of the experiment you are going to have to ignore discrepancy in hubris.
    Prediction: the good citizens here will go on about Jones’ blogs here and may respond to the nationally broadcast Neil as ‘well, I just don’t bother to watch’. As if that were the point.

  66. Neil of Sydney

    Don’t you like people calling you a liar, Neil?

    Only if it is not true. But i think you people are deceitful as well. Take the statement that Hockey doubled the debt. Apparently that statement is based on forecasts/predictions from the 2013 PEFO. According to you lot the PEFO is the dinki di gospel truth. Well these are the budget forecasts from the 2010 PEFO just before Gillard was elected.

    http://www.treasury.gov.au/PublicationsAndMedia/Publications/2010/PEFO-2010/Report/Fiscal-Outlook

    Predictions from Table 5

    2010 PEFO Budget Predictions

    2010-11 $39B deficit
    2011-12 $8.7B deficit
    2012-13 $5B surplus
    2013-14 $6B surplus

    Actual Results
    2010-11 $47B deficit
    2011-12 $43B deficit
    2012-13 $19B deficit
    2013-14 $48B deficit

    Apparently the PEFO is produced without political interference. But they are just as in error as when the budget is produced by a political party.

    Based on these numbers Swan increased the 2011-12 budget deficit 5 fold from $8,7B predicted to $43B actual

  67. Royce Arriso

    There is little to be gained in any discourse with Neil, since he is a prime occupant of that extraordinary piece of mental real estate, the Conservative Coccoon. Another inhabitant of this alternative universe is Maurice Newman, whose tenure on the Business Advisory Council is thankfully not being renewed. Newman, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, believes the globe is cooling. Imagine a man replying to news his house is burning down saying “that can’t be true. I’ve got the front door key in my pocket”. That is the Neil/Newman mindset. Couldn’t happen to two nicer blokes.

  68. mars08

    May I respectfully ask… WHY THE HELL are people even discussing the size of budget deficits?

    What is the point??? I mean, do we suddenly all agree that a ZERO budget deficit is something marvelous goal to be achieved ASAP? Is it the most important issue facing our economy? Is it a reliable measure of the state of our society? Can a budget deficit projection be accurately verified? Does a budget deficit in 2015 mean the same thing as it did in 2001?

    Or is the topic of budget deficits nothing more than a worthless, contrived pissing contest for the politicians of the major parties… to prove who is “tougher” on spending?

  69. Florence nee Fedup

    Not sure Neil lies. Just sees what is not there. Common fault of those on the lunatic right.

  70. Florence nee Fedup

    Predictions don’t seem to be going to well for this government either. Then, saying that neither side has a crystal ball.

    Neil it means nothing. All it means is the figures it was based on has changed. No ones fault.

    Like a business manager, on the figures available him predicts a profit for the next quarter. Things change in the economy, environment and community. He sells fewer goods than was predicted. Makes less profit than he hoped.

    He did nothing wrong.

  71. Sir ScotchMistery

    Can someone tell me why the “ignore” button is invisible? Can it be visiblised?

  72. Neil of Sydney

    Neil it means nothing.

    Hockey was accused of doubling the deficit because the deficit was higher than predicted by the dinki di , never wrong, gospel truth, political free PEFO.

    I posted the predictions from the 2010 PEFO to show people how inaccurate are PEFO predictions

  73. Florence nee Fedup

    Means nothing. Not as important as you think. Seeing what is not there.

  74. crypt0

    Look how much time and space has been spent replying to NoS.
    Complete waste of time. And space.
    Treat it with ignore and maybe it will go away !! Lol !!!
    Regardless …Do not feed the troll.

  75. Neil of Sydney

    Means nothing. Not as important as you think

    Telling the truth is important. The author of this post said,”against a deficit that was getting bigger.” This is wrong. Hockeys first deficit is smaller than Swans last deficit budget.

    The other falsehood is that Hockey doubled the deficit. This accusation came not long after the Coalition won govt. It made no sense that the deficit could double in such a short period of time. This falsehood came from the 2013 PEFO forecast. And as i have shown the PEFO predictions cannot be trusted

    May I respectfully ask… WHY THE HELL are people even discussing the size of budget deficits?

    We are not talking about whether budget deficits are good or bad. We are talking about the false predictions of the PEFO.

  76. Möbius Ecko

    Telling the truth is important Neil?

    Fair enough but you only ever pick up untruths or misdirections to do with Labor. Never ever have you done so for the Liberals, who under Abbott have turned out to be the biggest liars in our political history. When Howard’s lies were pointed out and sourced every single time you misdirected back to Labor, indeed that’s all you ever do is misdirect back to Labor on anything that is pointed out on the Liberal side of the equation.

    What you do Neil is as bad as being untruthful.
    What you do Neil is hypocritical in the extreme and because of that anything you aver can be ignored as being irrelevant.

  77. Kaye Lee

    “Hockeys first deficit is smaller than Swans last deficit budget.”

    2012-13 deficit: $18.8 billion
    2013-14 deficit: $48.5 billion (Hockey treasurer for over 9 months)

    “The deterioration in the underlying cash balance since the 2013 PEFO is $16.8 billion in the 2013-14 financial year and $68.1 billion over the forward estimates.”

    http://budget.gov.au/2013-14/content/myefo/download/2013_14_MYEFO.pdf

    2014-15 deficit: $30 billion (projected)

    Why haven’t the final deficit figures for 2014-15 been released yet? They traditionally come out in September.

    And as we have discussed before Neil, the claim that the deficit has doubled refers to the forward estimates period.

  78. Neil of Sydney

    2013-14 deficit: $48.5 billion (Hockey treasurer for over 9 months)

    For the one millionth time that is Swans budget. Swan gave the speech and it was passed through the Senate when all the spending was legislated. And that is the way it has always been and always will be. Although Hockey did add $8B with the RB loan.

    Why haven’t the final deficit figures for 2014-15 been released yet? They traditionally come out in September.

    The results for Hockeys first budget have been released. It was $38B deficit.

    the claim that the deficit has doubled refers to the forward estimates period.

    And as we know those estimates are useless but can be used for political purposes. The 2010 PEFO predicted a $8.7B deficit for 2011-12. It turned out to be a $43B deficit. Out by five fold.

    Hockey did not double the deficit. The people in Treasury made false predictions. There is no way the deficit could have doubled in 6 months since Hockey did not have the numbers to change Swans budget in the Senate.

  79. mars08

    True to form…. NoS only takes a fraction of my comment… and uses it to continue his worthless argument.

  80. Wally

    How can any supporter of the LNP make a statement like this? “Telling the truth is important.”

    The blind followers obviously put more faith in the Liberal spin doctors than facts that slap them in the face.

    Explains how we ended up with a dickhead like Tony Abbott pretending to be a PM.

  81. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Wally, a man who after being deposed because of his excessive lying, continued to lie in a radio interview.

    Yet you have the likes of Neil who sticks up for this monumental unremitting and self admitted liar.

  82. The AIM Network

    Neil of Sydney said:

    For the one millionth time that is Swans budget.

    We say: Neil, for the one millionth time . . . GO AWAY.

  83. Kaye Lee

    Thanks Neil. I was unaware that the final figures were out. A $38 billion deficit hey. So much for spending within your means.

  84. Neil of Sydney

    A $38 billion deficit hey. So much for spending within your means.

    Well they tried to cut spending but were called mean and nasty.

    Howard was faced with the same problem. But his first budget was so hated it caused a parliament house riot. But that is what it took to get the budget back into surplus,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW0yxPbZq40

  85. Wally

    Neil of Sydney

    Both sides of politics have had deficits and put us into debt, John Howard is the worst treasurer in Australian history.

    Did you know $96 billion “Labor debt” inherited by the Howard government in 1996 – which actually comprised $40 billion of Fraser government debt that carried through the Hawke-Keating years

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-07/alberici-economic-comparisons/4672166

    There is a huge difference to what is sprouted by the LNP propaganda machine and the actual facts.

    It must be a right wing thing to not let the facts get in the way of knocking the Labor party and/or the unions.

  86. Sir ScotchMistery

    How many times do you have to be told, not to feed the f*cking ibis They get used to you, steal your sandwiches and keep coming back.

    Stop feeding the f*cking IBIS and it will leave FFS. It isn’t rocket science.

  87. Florence nee Fedup

    Neil no one has said whether what you say is true or not. All are saying they don’t care. In fact they are sick of hearing you repeat what many see as of no consequence. Are you really that thick?

  88. Neil of Sydney

    John Howard is the worst treasurer in Australian history.

    There was a nasty worldwide recession when Howard was in power. Interest rates in the USA were approx 20% so ours have to be the same or higher otherwise money will flow out of the country to where people can get a higher rate.

    Did you know $96 billion “Labor debt” inherited by the Howard government in 1996 – which actually comprised $40 billion of Fraser government debt that carried through the Hawke-Keating years

    No i didn’t know. I have read that article before. It is just a restating things that Stephen Koukoulas preaches. And of course it is wrong. I find it interesting that you cannot see the falsehoods.

    Govt debt was 6% of GDP in 1983 when Fraser lost office and 18% of GDP in 1996. So debt tripled under Hawke/Keating. I never believe anything Koukoulas says and neither should you.

  89. Geoff Andrews

    John,
    My reference to “the deficit” was not the year by year guess by each treasurer, but Australia’s accumulated “debt”.
    Before & during the election the L+np constantly referred to Labor’s “debt & deficit disaster”, despite the fact that Australia’s debt to GDP ratio was one of the lowest in the world. We were kept up to date on the exact details of the burgeoning debt we all owed, even the interest each man, woman, child & unborn baby was paying each day because a profligate Labor party insisted on building infrastructure, supporting the disabled and a few other things including education.
    The electorate fell for it.
    We don’t hear about it any more so I was wondering if the late lamented Tones & Joey had managed to turn the herd of stampeding debt after only two memorable years or have they been lost in a cloud of dust as the herd disappears over the hill and that’s why we don’t know where they are.
    You can imaging how upset I’d be if the overdraft’s blown out and interest rates are tipped to rise.

    More simply: is Australia’s accumulated debt at present, larger or smaller than it was in September 2013?

  90. mars08

    Neil of Sydney:

    There was a nasty worldwide recession when Howard was in power. Interest rates in the USA were approx 20% so ours have to be the same or higher…

    So…. ah… John Howard’s reputation as a less-than-stellar treasurer is only because of… reasons… As opposed to the challenges faced by more recent treasurers!

    hmmmm…. NoS…. so blissfully unaware… so enveloped in hypocrisy… so magnificently transparent!

  91. Pingback: Abbott’s Stockpile of Hubris | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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