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Scott Morrison Likes Mums And Dads, But Let’s Not Forget Those Other Poor Investors…

When looking at politics, I like to remind people that it’s always wise to remember the power of “framing”. For example, in the past week, when Malcolm Turnbull managed a deal with The Greens to pass the backpacker tax, it was hailed as a victory. This is in spite of the fact that once one takes into consider the changes to the backpackers’ super and the increase in landcare, it cost the Budget bottom line more than if they’d agreed to Labor’s compromise of thirteen percent. However, when a Labor government has negotiated with The Greens, they’ve usually been portrayed as being dictated to by those radicals or “held to ransom”. (Carbon tax, anyone?)

Similarly, we’ve been treated to the Liberals wringing their hands and complaining that our students were beaten by Kazakhstan in recent Maths tests. Whether this is a justification to stop wasting money on kids in the government system and abandon Gonsk, or whether it means that we need to vastly increase the education budget but target it better, is a whole other debate. For now, I’d just like to point out that, if you look at the table, the United States were also beaten by Kazakhstan, as were Finland and Germany, so it’s hardly as though this is the equivalent of being defeated at Rugby by Lithuania.

To quote “Lonely Planet” on Kazakhstan:

The world’s ninth-biggest country is the most economically advanced of the ‘stans’, thanks to its abundant reserves of oil and most other valuable minerals. This means generally better standards of accommodation, restaurants and transport than elsewhere in Central Asia. The biggest city, Almaty, is almost reminiscent of Europe with its leafy avenues, chic cafes, glossy shopping centres and hedonistic nightlife. The capital Astana, on the windswept northern steppe, has been transformed into a 21st-century showpiece with a profusion of bold futuristic architecture…”.

Apparently though, being beaten by Kazakhstan is a “wake-up call”. (I wonder who’s been asleep! My bet is that the current mob of muddlers that we refer to as the Federal Government wouldn’t ever think it was them…) It seems that we are using “Borat” as our frame of reference. To quote our Education Minituare, Simon Birmingham: “I don’t want to denigrate Kazakhstan, or indeed their artistic skills with movies like Borat.”

So, in the context of all this framing, whenever the government does something that helps investors over the Budget bottom line, I’ve been amused by the language. Scott Morrison and the rest of the gang always talk about “mums and dads”. The poor “mum and dad” investors who negatively gear or buy shares or invest in super.

Now I don’t know why the Liberals hate the childless so much. Remember Peter Costello urging us all to have three kids: one for mum, one for dad and one for the country. Remember John Howard taking away your hard earned money in taxes to give to “mums” in the form of a “baby bonus”! (Yes, the baby bonus of $5000 was great, but when Kevin Rudd gave people with kids $900 during the GFC it was a waste because they’d only waste it on booze and gambling.)

But it seems if you’re a “mum and dad” investor… Should that be a “mum or dad” investor”? Mm, doesn’t quite work, does it?

Anyway, if you’re a “mum and dad” investor we should leave you alone because you’re really the salt of the earth, just trying to “get ahead” for the sake of the children. Yes, don’t think of them as greedy; think of them as caring. And when they go into debt with negative gearing, it’s not like when Labor governments go into debt, because “mums and dads” are using the money to invest in the future. Labor wanted to go into debt to waste money on things like the NBN and we Liberals can do it cheaper and have it all finished by 2016. (Well, not 2016, we never said that and we’ve removed all the estimates from our website and the AFP will raid anyone with anybody with any information that we don’t like. On the NBN’s say-so, we never told the AFP to raid anybody. That’d be political, like the FBI getting involved in American politics. Just wouldn’t happen!)

However, I suspect that the “mum and dad” investors that the Liberals are most concerned about aren’t the people recklessly borrowing a few thousand: I suspect that they’re the mums and dads like Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch. Rupert certainly has children and there’s no doubting that Gina is a mother. I’d love it if an interviewer were to ask if these were the “mums and dads”, Scott had in mind. Or at the very least, ask at what point in the aquisition of properties we could stop feeling that these “mum and dad” investors deserved canonisation rather than taxation.

But let’s not let the framing alter the facts. I’m going to take a $1,000,000 house because it’s easy to do the numbers.

Let’s say, my wife and I are on $100,000 each and we have a reasonable amount of capital in our home already. We go to the bank and say we want to do a bit of negative gearing. Strangely, although the bank will ask about our dependants at some point in the conversation, whether of not we’re “mum and dad” investors won’t be the first question that they’ll ask. No sir, they’ll want to know all about our income and our assets. So, after filling in countless forms they’ll lend us the million dollars need to buy the house. At 4.66% interest, an interest only loan will cost us $46,000 a year. Add $5000 for rates and other repairs and you have $51,000. It would be reasonble to expect about $40,000 a year in rent, leaving us a deficit of about $11,000 a year. This is then taken off our tax leaving us a deficit – meaning that we’d need to find an extra $6,000 net in the first year. As inflation will slowly increase the rent, eventually we’ll be positively geared and end up paying tax unless we go back to the bank and use the extra income to help us negative gear another property to avoid that evil tax thing.

Now, let’s say instead that my wife and I… Actually, let’s say a mum and a dad go to the bank and instead of being on $100,000 each, they’re on a total of $75,000 and they say to the bank they want to borrow a million to become investors and let’s see if Scott Morrison is prepared to go guarantor on the loan…

All right, I’ll start comparing apples to apples and PCs to PCs. To work out a comparison for the same people purchasing a home to live in, relies on so many assumptions that it’d be impossible to do before someone said, “Hang on, what if they had a deposit of $200,000?” or “Wouldn’t they have an interest and principal loan?”, but if we ignore all the possibilites and do it as simply as possible, then a couple using an interest only loan to acquire the same house to live in, would need to find an extra $11,000 in that first year (I’m presuming that they’re renting exactly the same house as the first example). Even if the bank would lend a 100% of the money without wanting mortgage insurance, it’s far easier for the couple purchasing for investment to find the money needed. Yes, even if both couples are childless.

As yet, I haven’t heard the Liberals talk about not cutting funding to some of the richer private schools on the grounds that they people sending them there are just “mums and dads”, but I’m sure that day can’t be far away.

I read a joke a couple of years ago which asked if Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey were both drowning and you could only save one of them, what kind of sandwich would you make? Well, Scott Morrison’s stewardship of the economy sort of reminds me of that joke. I mean, I can picture him being asked in some future interview what is the number one challenge for the coming months and him answering:

“I’d just like to ensure that all the mums and dads out there have enought bread to make their kiddies lunch and that they don’t do what Labor would do and give them money to buy it at the canteen!”


Nominations For Contradiction Of The Year!

Nominations so far:

1. Donald Trump tells us that climate change was made up by the Chinese, while Malcolm Roberts tells us that NASA is falsifying the data. Good to see such great cooperation between the Americans and Chinese.
2. Nigel Farage, the man who campaigned so hard to leave Europe because he didn’t like foreigners telling Britain what to do, suddenly gets upset because the foreigner, Donald Trump, says that he’d make a good US amabassador and the British government don’t immediately do it!
3. The Liberal Party for insisting that the plebiscite on marriage equality is the “fastest way” to achieve it, when Parliament will still have to vote on it… Something that they could do at any time.
4. George Brandis. Nothing in particular, I think that he qualifies just by being George.
5. All the people who argue that we need to get rid of “political correctness” so that they’re free to say whatever they like and calling them a racist or homophobe shouldn’t be allowed.
6. Every second Andrew Bolt article.
7. Cory Bernardi, who argues that Islam is a problem because the Muslim fundamentalists wants to impose their religion on us all and that’s a problem even though he agrees with most of the ideas, such as restricting the rights of women and banning homosexuality. Why does he believe these things? Because of his religion.
8. Tony Abbott, after telling us that he was happy just to look after his electorate, starts making implicit threats that unless he’s promoted to Cabinet then he’ll start arguing that Turnbull should revisit all the things that made Abbott so unpopular that he lost the leadership. Ok, maybe that’s not so much a contradiction as a plan to destroy Malcolm, but I’m sure I could dig up plenty of quotes from Abbott about how terrible it was that Rudd was being so disloyal.
9. The Liberals complaining about how low wage growth is leading to lower tax revenue while opposing increases in wages growth, because when they said, “Jobs and growth”, they only meant profit growth.
10. “Reclaim Australia” holding protests about Muslim women covering their faces while covering their faces.
11. The Murdoch press reporting about the problem of “fake” news stories.
12. The phrase, “Right Wing Think Tank”.

What have I missed?

Picking On Peter Or The White Man’s Burden!

Gee, it’s got so that it’s not safe for a bloke to open his mouth in Australia without people attacking him.

Take poor Peter Dutton. All he does is make the point that Malcolm Fraser made mistakes by taking “certain groups” and Labor try to portray him as racist just because, when asked, he named the “Lebanese” as the people he meant. I mean Lebanese isn’t a race, is it? Well, if it is, who’s winning and when is it all over?

Anyway, Peter Dutton did go on to make the point that the vast majority of Lebanese are all right by him, and to suggest that he was attacking them all by pointing out that Malcolm should have anticipated that a number of the grandchildren of the ones he let in would be responsible for terrorist acts… Well, not so much “responsible” as arrested before they could actually do anything, but still… I mean, it should have been possible to predict something like that. Whatever, just because he suggested that none of them should be let in, the law-abiding ones seemed to take it personally when he suggested that the actions of a handful meant that it was a mistake to let any of them in!

Pete, unlike Malcolm, isn’t taking any chances. He thinks that nobody should be allowed into Australian unless it’s on a 457 visa.

Meanwhile, Pauline and partners do a version of the old joke where a defendant tells the court that even though the prosecution has produced four witnesses who saw them do the crime, he can produce billions of people who didn’t. Ignoring the overwhelming evidence of coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, they choose not to argue that it’s not being caused by climate change because that might get them having to debate academics which might give them a headache; they choose to take journalists to a place where there’s no coral bleaching and say, “Look, no problem!” Which is the equivalent of taking someone to a fancy restaurant in one of those countries that our parents used to encourage us to eat our vegetables and announcing that there’s clearly no starvation problem in this country…

Come to think of it, one could do that in the USA…

Come to think of it, many, in fact, do that!

But I guess that it’s Tony Abbott’s attempt to become PM again that made me wonder if there is really any hope for me. I mean, I, too, am white. Is there any hope for us. Are we all as stupid and inconsistent as Donald Trump? Are we all as shiftless as Christopher Skase? Are we all as egocentric as George Brandis? Are we all as lacking substance as Malcolm Turnbull? Are we all as dumb as…

God, there were so many people in the current government that I could have finished that sentence with that I paused so long that I lost my train of thought…

Anyway, Tony’s glad that we’re not talking about “innovation” anymore because people don’t understand it, while simultaneously arguing that we should go back to introducing the things in the 2014 Budget that nobody understood.

Ah, Tony! At least your wife understands you…

I’m an old, middle-class white male. God, it’s embarrassing.

Although I’ve never had to put up with racism, sexism and a host of other things, so I guess that complaining about it being embarrassing sounds a bit pathetic…

Maybe I should complain about political correctness instead. That way, at least I’d get a whole host of people telling me it’s got to the point where you can’t join the Nazi Party without someone calling you racist.

Fake News Story… Whoops, Unfortunately It’s Actually Real!

Recently, when I heard that there’d be an attempt to stop fake news stories from being circulated on Facebook, I thought: “Great, someone’s standing up to Fox News at last!” Sadly, that’s not the case. Apparently it’s the smaller “non-professional” outfits that’ll be banned, because until you’re actually paid to write lies, it’s somehow dishonest and immoral. Once you’re a professional it’s ok, because that’s what they pay you to write.

Of course, the obvious problem is satire. Will stories like “Donald Trump Announces That Harvard Will Be Renamed Trump University” be considered fake news or recognised as satire. Mind you, here in Oz ever since Abbott became Opposition Leader (the first time, not recently when Turnbull took over as PM) much of what I’ve written as satire has been pretty hard to distingiush from the truth. In fact, my satiric predictions are running about 45% which puts me ahead of most psychics and all serious political journalists. And now that the US has elected a man whose main claim to fame is as the star of a reality TV show, it makes one wonder whether Kanye West’s announcement that he intends to run for President may actually lead to a show where the Kardashians are in the Whitehouse.

Yep, we certainly have entered a world where it’s hard to tell what’s real any more. When I heard that Senator Culleton was calling for a jury in his case before the High Court, I had to wonder if Malcolm Roberts really was the most confused One Nation member, after all. The High Court is there to decide on matters of law; the idea that a jury should decide on a matter that’s gone to the High Court would be like asking the viewers to decide on whether a batsmen should be given out LBW. “What do you mean it hit him outside the line of leg stump and can’t be given out, I think that he should go because I don’t like Tasmanians.” Senator Culleton did end his press conference by assuring us that his psychologist wife had declared that he was both sane and a “machine” so we should have no worries about his capacity to represent himself.

However, probably the strangest thing I heard in the past year was Donald Trump’s reaction to Alec Baldwin’s Saturday Night Live send-up. Baldwin started by having his Trump caricature ask “Google, what is ISIS?”, which clearly identified it as a satire because it’s clear Trump wouldn’t have any need to ask a question given his expertise on just about everything. And, if he did feel the need to ask, he wouldn’t realise that Google can respond to questions. Nonetheless, Trump was apparently watching because he tweeted:


“I watched parts of … Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?”

Now, given that SNL is a comedy show which holds people up to ridicule it makes one wonder exactly what Trump was asking for in his suggestion about equal time. While it’s certainly true that once Trump was a clown who could have been requesting equal time to suggest that he would be funnier, now that he’s President-elect, the joke’s over and nobody would be laughing if he showed that he’s even more ridiculous than Baldwin was suggesting.

On the other hand, did he want equal time to tell us all that he knew what ISIS is and none of the things that he was being ridiculed for were true? If that’s the case, does this mean that he’s going to spend his entire time as POTUS attempting to explain exactly where the satirists have got it wrong. This would hardly leave him any time to actually fulfil his presidential duties. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it would certainly be without precedent. But I guess that’s what the Donald is known for: doing the unexpected. “I am running for re-election in 2020 with the intention of attempting to do the things I promised but have been unable to do because of my busy schedule responding to all the comedians making fun of me. Please give me four more years so that I can finish what I intended to start with my first term.”

Then again, maybe he’ll just announce that satire comes under the category of fake news and like all the other fake news sites needs to be shut down, because it seems that his supporters can’t tell the difference.

Donnie Does Dallas!

Yep, well, I have to admit it! I was wrong!

No, not about the Trump victory. Although I did think that Hillary Clinton would win, I’d never be absolutely certain of anything in an election where a large number of people don’t vote.

I was wrong about Russell Brand. For those of you with long memories, you may recall a few years ago when the comedian was guest editor of “The New Statesman” he was asked why should anyone listen to someone who’d never voted in their life. Russell, never one to take a backward step, insisted that he didn’t need to vote because, as he explained: “I don’t get my authority from this preexisting paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people. I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.”

This spawned a movement that was bigger than “Kony 12” on social media with many going “Yay, Russell, you’re right. They’re all as bad as each other. We should all stop voting and that’ll force them to get their act together.”

Now at the time, I remember trying to point out that one could actually walk and chew gum at the same time. I suggested that maybe it was possible to vote once every few years without necessarily having to place all one’s faith in the political system; that in between one could still attempt to change the world and have whatever revolutions one wanted. Some of Russell’s fans were outraged and tried to prove me wrong by telling me that Russell was a genius and very funny and he’d had a hard life and consequently this meant that he was completely right and so I should just shut up! I was also sent several photos and videos of his supporters actually chewing gum while walking, which made me feel that they’d missed the point.

However, several assured me that it was only when people realised that voting would never improve things that people would rise up and join Russell in his revolution and they too would take such radical steps as editting “The New Statesman” and demanding that people stop looking to politicians for the answers.

I rather naively thought that there were differences between the parties. While in Britain, it’s true that Tony Blair followed Bush into Iraq, but whatever the faults of the previous government, I’m sure those who had their support cut under David “The pig consented” Cameron wouldn’t be telling us that there’s no difference between the parties. (Yes, yes, I know that the disabled should just get better and stand on their own two feet even if they don’t have legs, and that I’m just another one of those bleeding hearts, so you needn’t bother commenting!) Anyway, he’s gone and Britain has a new PM to manage the Brexit – another time when some people can pat themselves on the back and say that they neither voted for nor against it because voting never makes a difference to anything.

But it’s the past week that I feel has proven Russell knows best. With nearly fifty percent of eligible voters not casting a ballot in the USA, we can stop disparaging Americans for the election of Trump. When you add the non-voters to those who voted for Hillary and the other candidates, it becomes clear that only about a quarter of the population voted for Trump. So one should feel a whole lot better. They’re not all crazy over there. Some had the sense to realise that it was better not to vote at all. Imagine if they’d voted for Clinton instead, they’d feel respsonsible for all the bad things she did.

Donald, on the other hand, may turn out to be a pleasant surprise by not causing the destruction of the world. As Malcolm Turnbull told us the other night, we shouldn’t think that Trump meant everything he said on the election campaign trail. Sadly, Leigh Sales didn’t ask him if his reason for believing that is that he, personally, didn’t mean the things he said on the campaign trail, but Ms Sales seems to have trouble asking Malcolm anything more difficult than: “Did you pick out that tie to bring out your the colour in your beautiful eyers?”

Ok, Trump is going to build a wall. But before you start to worry about the illegal immigrants just remember that they usually use tunnels to get across the border, so it probably won’t stop them. However, as he’s going to insist that Mexican government pay for it, it will provide jobs for the Mexicans when he rips up the free trade agreement.

Of course, his views on climate change have caused some concern. Previous presidents have announced that climate change is a terrible concern, then done nothing about it. Many are concerned that having a president who’s sceptical about climate change may lead to him not only not doing anything about it, but actually failing to make any promises to grow concerned about it at some time in the future.

Then there’s a lot of concern about his protectionist policies. Imagine if he does start a trade war with China. Imagine if China goes into recession and the whole world stops producing all those things that we desperately need like the latest model iPhone with the added feature of being a different shape than last year’s – we’ll all be stuck using technology that’s no different to the person who didn’t update at the first available opportunity and it’ll be harder to tell which are the cool people.

And, of course, let’s not forget that people are afraid that his election will act as encouragement to various racist and extreme groups, but, as Shane Warne said recently, there really is too much political correctness lately and it’s turning all the celebrities into boring people. According to Warne, famous people should be able to say what they like and other people shouldn’t criticise them. Yep, if you’re not famous you should just shut up because it’s really hard to listen to criticism when you’re a celebrity, but minority groups and any supporters should just cop it and keep their mouths shut.

But whatever, it’s worth remembering that Trump will just be a figurehead. He’ll be surrounded by people to advise him and to assure him that he really is the president and that there’s nothing wrong with appointing Incitatus to be the next Supreme Court judge.


Trump Wins; Mexico Starts Building Wall!

When Ronald Rump asserted that he’d get Mexico to pay for a wall being built between it and the USA, a lot of people scoffed. Well, I’ve heard reports that Mexico is building a wall! But it’s not to stop people heading north; it’s to stop all those gringos trying to escape the Disunited States. Not to mention all those non-gringos.

Ah, so Trump is to become president. And you were all surprised when Tony Abbott was elected PM. But at least we can say that we didn’t vote for him directly!

I have to take a deep breath and tell myself that it can’t really be as bad as everyone’s saying. After all, the man’s a successful businessman and isn’t running a country just like running a business. Although he has gone bankrupt thousands of times…

Look, I know some of you think that Trump has no idea and just because he’s never held political office before that it’ll go something like this:

“Good morning, Mr President. You need to start the process of picking your cabinet.”
“Melania always picks the furniture, so just show her the catalogues.”
“No, no, your cabinet. The people who advise you.”
“Why would I need anyone to advise me? I got where I am without listening to anybody so why would I start now?”
“But there are jobs that need people to fill them.”
“Like what?”
“Like Secretary of State, for example.”
“Didn’t Hillary have that job? How hard can it be? Give it to Ivanka.”
“It’s a very important job, Mr President, it requires great tact and diplomacy.”
“Yeah, well, Ivana is pretty hot so I’m sure that she can win over those foreigners.”
“Mr President, you can’t just appoint your daughter.”
“Well, if her being a woman is problem, then just appoint my son then.”
“I mean you can’t appoint any member of your family.”
“You’re fired! Hey, does that Monica chick still work here? Tell her to bring me some pizza!”

Yep, it can’t be like that, surely…

Mm, I can hear his victory speech in the background. He’s just thanked his parents who he’s “sure are looking down on him right now”.

I suspect that they’ve been looking down on him for years.

Coal-fired Power Station To Close; Must Be Labor’s Fault!

If I condense the current Liberal government’s position on renewable energy into a single dialogue, it’d go something like this:

“There was a blackout in South Australia which just goes to show that these aggressive targets on renewable energy don’t give us energy security.”
“But wasn’t the blackout the result of the transmitters being blown over?”
“Exactly, if they weren’t so reliant on wind energy then the winds wouldn’t have been as strong.”
“And what do you mean by ‘aggressive targets’?”
“Well, various Labor state governments are setting 30 and 40% renewable targets when the national target is 23% by 2020.”
“After that?”
“We don’t have one.”
“Why not?”
“We don’t want one.”
“But Victoria recently had blackouts and they don’t have anywhere near the same reliance on renewables as South Australia.”
“Ah Victoria, they’ve just been responsible for the closure of the Hazelwood power station which’ll lead to all sorts of problems with energy security.”
“But the decision was made by a privately owned French company who said that they were getting out of coal world-wide and that it had nothing to do with the Victorian Government.”
“Well, they’re very diplomatic, those French people, they’d never criticise a foreign government.”
“And all the relevant bodies seem to think that there’ll be relatively minor rises in power bills and that any shorfall in power supply could be covered by getting power by NSW.”
“Nonsense, this’ll be just like the carbon tax which led to a complete shutdown of Whyalla and $100 lamb roasts. Anyone who doesn’t see acknowledge that is clearly biased.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well, anyone disagrees with us is clearly biased. Like the ABC, the Solicitor-General, Gillian Triggs, the United Nations, Amnesty, Greenpeace, most of the Public Service…”
“Hang on, surely Victoria won’t need as much energy now that you lot shut down the car industry.”
We didn’t shut down the car industry. That was a decision made by private companies and nothing to do with us.”

Anyway, Hazelwood’s shutting and lots of people will be out of work. When people lose their jobs it’s always the fault of Labor, but when the same people still don’t have a job and the Liberals return in power then it’s because they’re too fussy or too lazy to start their own business.

Yep, it’s certainly hard to argue with their logic, but at least the Liberals occasionally show signs that they’re still on the same planet, even if they have no interest in looking after it. Ok, admittedly not all of them… Or possibly even most of them. But there are one or two that may be shaking their heads in disbelief that they’re in the same party as Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz and George Brandis.

One Nation, on the other hand, are leading the space race by a significant margin. It was hard to know what to make of Senator (maybe) Culleton’s declarations on the High Court. (George Brandis got added to the above list for declaring that Culleton was “a decent person, he finds himself in the middle of this unwitting constitutional maelstrom.”) Apart from his apparent belief that he’d have the option of not taking any notice of the High Court, he made the rather strange announcement about what he’d do with a sheep. To quote the man directly:

“I’m not sure whether I’m gonna participate in any High Court jurisdiction and if I do I’ll simply go down, shear a sheep and take the belly fleece and stick it over my head and represent myself, because I’m a true Australian standing up for the Australian people.”

Perhaps it was something to do with the wigs that some members of the legal profession wear, but with One Nation senators, who can be sure?

Shocked And Appalled By Where My Taxes Go… Or Went!

Now I’m the sort of person who reads everything. Well not quite everything… I rarely read the “Terms And Conditions” when updating software so if somebody one day slips in a condition that I agree to give them full access to my fridge by leaving a key under the mat and to keep it well stocked with food and alcohol, then I may be in trouble, but I tend to read things. Why, I even read the comments from One Nation supporters on a recent post on The AIMN.I liked one in particular, and not just because it was one of the few that actual used punctuation and words that approximated ones that you’d find in a dictionary. I liked the one which said:

“I have no interest in discussing the truth with left-leaning fools hell-bent on showing no care for the country’s future. I am well aware its just a waste of time.”

Apart from the obvious irony of his declaration that he had no interest in “discussing the truth”, it struck me as rather contradictory that he’d made several comments to people while asserting that he had no wish to discuss anything. I would have pointed this out, but I’ve find that when people say that they’re not talking to you, merely pointing out that they just did, doesn’t help the situation one iota.

Anyway, I recently received my tax refund and I was shocked to learn exactly where my tax went. Not only that, I was even more surprised to see a highlighted section, entitled “Level of Australian Government gross debt” which informed me:

This year: $427 billion Last Year: $369 billion Interest payments on gross debt over this year: $14.5 billion

Mm, what’s that doing there, I wondered. Is this those subversive public servants at the tax office trying to undermine the Coalition’s assertion that the government debt wasn’t growing? Or was this made a requirement back in those heady days when Tony and Joe believed that the debt was going to diminish rather than grow and they’d be able to point to it and say, “Look what a good job we’re doing, and look at that interest which is all the fault of Labor!”

Whatever, I found it interesting and so I decided to find out exactly what my tax dollars had been spent on.

The biggest line was devoted to what was labelled “Welfare” and this accounted for almost 40% of my total taxes. Using the logic of Scott Morrison and friends, I was all set to round it up to nearly half and claim that I had a mandate to attack the unemployed. But before I could decide where I could find some tar and feathers, I looked at the document again and discovered that these “Welfare” items were broken down even further and that the unemployed were the second smallest part of the welfare budget, with the smallest being “Other”. I wondered what this relatively small item was. Therapy for ex-PMs to help them deal with the idea that they were no longer relevant? No, that would be far higher than a mere two percent of my taxes.

Anyway, it was an item marked “Aged” which was the biggest item at about 16% of my taxes. I presumed this meant old age pensions rather than old bottles of wine for the PM’s cellar. This was followed by “Families” at about 10%. I guess this explains the Liberals concern about marriage equality; we don’t want to create even more families to add to the welfare bill. Even “Disability” was higher than the unemployed. Of course there are political problems with taking money off pensioners, families or the disabled, so I guess by ensuring that people can’t access the pension till they’re 70, rising to 102 by 2030, and by moving people of disability support and telling people that they’re just lazy dole-bludgers, then it’s easier to attack them as lazy no-tax leaners. This would explain recent media stories where people on disability support have been contacted to see if their brain damage has got better or whether their missing limbs have grown back.

But I was most shocked to discover that we waste nearly as much on Education as we spend on Defence. Thankfully, a few submarines and planes should ensure Defence spending soon exceeds Health expenditure.

So I’m now looking forward to next year’s tax return where I can immediately check how well the “can-do” Liberals are doing at reducing the debt like they promised. Or did I misunderstand? Did they only promise to reduce the rate at which the debt was increasing? Because that seems to be what they’re telling us now. I should dig out that old “contract with Australia” that Tony took to the 2013 election. Ah, here it is: “No. 3. END THE WASTE AND DEBT”. That seems pretty clear.

Or is that no longer valid because we’ve had a change of leader and Malcolm isn’t bound by promises that Tony made?

Yeah, silly question! With comments like: Of course, Bill Leak isn’t racist, he did a once painting of me, he seems to be more Tony than Tony lately. I almost expect him to reintroduce knighthoods in order to award one to John Howard.

Old King Coal And Adani!

I almost bought The Australian today, but I stopped myself and figured that I could either look it up on-line and if that failed, simply go back to the supermarket where I saw the headline about anti-coal activists driving India away and take a photo of the article with my phone. I mean, it was near the self-service department, so it wasn’t like there’d be any staff there to object.

Mm, ya gotta wonder about these self-service things… How many more before there’s nobody left working? As Henry Ford is reported to have said when he was shown an all-automated factory, “But who’d be left to buy the cars?”

Now, if you’ve read my previous blogs on Adani, you’ll know that I think that it’s more likely that Angelina will ring me and say that she’s heard about my writing and she’d like to meet me, than the proposed mine going ahead. I base it on two pieces of evidence in the public domain:

1. Thermal coal is at such low prices that people are closing existing mines, so how could it be a commercial proposition to set up a new mine? I am aware that there has been a bit of resurgence in the price of coking coal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to lead to a spike in the price of thermal coal. Neither can we be sure that the recent increase will be sustainable in the long term.

2. More importantly, India has announced its intention to cease imports of thermal coal by 2017/18. Not only that, they’ve recently stated that they’re on track to do so.

However, it seems that Adani may not go ahead, not – amazingly – because of the reasons I just mentioned, but because of the activists.

According to “The Australian”:

‘A highly orchest­rated, secretly foreign-funded group of Australian environ­mental activists ­oppos­ing the $16 billion Adani coalmine in Queensland has “dampened” ­Indian investment interest in Australia and received heated criticism from the federal Coalition and Queensland Labor governments.

‘Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal told The Australian yesterday the years of legal challenges to the vast Carmichael coal project, now revealed to have been funded by multi-million-dollar foundations in the US, “will certainly dampen future investments” from India.

‘Federal ministers and the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, have warned of the danger posed by activists to jobs and investment, and questioned the links between the Australian groups, through their US funders, to the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic election campaign, John Podesta.’

I’ll spare you the quotes from Tony Abbott and others, because they’re predictable and embarrassing. The point, of course, is that we’re now being softened up in much the same way that Trump is softening up his supporters. When he loses, it won’t be because he ran a terrible campaign. He told us: “Make America Grate Again!” – unaware of the obvious pun about any country with him as leader would be sure to grate. No, it’ll be because the election was rigged and he never had a chance. (Imagine his reaction if the roles were reversed and Hillary was complaining about Fox News…)

When the announcement comes that Adani is pulling out, it won’t be because the economics just don’t add up. No, it’ll be because of those “activists”. And they’re getting money from overseas. Terrible. We should have a Royal Commission into where their funds came from because it’s alleged that they came from the USA. We can’t have bodies being funded from overseas. What do you mean tell us where the IPA gets its money? That’s a private body and it’s none of your business.

Of course, I could be wrong. The government may announce that they’ve suddenly found a spare few billion just to aid development in the North and how better to spend it than by giving it to an Indian company because we don’t have concerns about giving money to non-Australians; we only have concerns about people who aren’t Australian if they’re funding “activists” because Australians who disagree with government policy have no business being active about it.

However, given The Australian‘s article, I tend to suspect that we’ll probably have an announcement some time soon about Adani pulling out. First, of course, we’ll have more articles about “vigilante litigation” (now there’s an oxymoron, if there ever was one!), as well as a couple of stories linking the funding of activists groups to organisations from overseas or unions, followed by the odd editorial about how anyone opposing the mine is an inner city latte-sipping bearded hipster on welfare who’s also a member of a bikie gang.

Why Don’t The Unemployed Get Off Their Backsides And… Start Their Own Business!

One thing about the Liberals: they don’t rely on handouts from the taxpayer. When they lose their seats at election time, they gird their loins and find another job. Eric Hutchinson joins a long line of Liberals who were quickly re-employed after leaving Parliament. Ok, most of them have been re-employed by their former colleagues, but at least they haven’t sat around complaining about being unemployed, which is apparently what the Left want them to do. Labor were quick to complain about Mr Hutchinson being appointed to a job with the Senate President just because the job wasn’t advertised and because no such job had existed until it was created. But then Labor are like that! They complained about all the ex-MPs given jobs by the Turnbull government.

And they complained when Sophie Mirabella was given that job after she lost Indi in 2013. They suggested that she had no experience with submarines. However, I’d like to point out that submarines go under, and she’d just gone under in her electorate so surely that qualifies her. And she demonstrated that it was no fluke by going under again in 2016.

However, it wasn’t the Liberals that inspired me to write today. It was the wonderful performance by Grace Collier on Q and A last night. For those of you who missed it, Ms. Collier told us that the unemployed shouldn’t be reliant on people providing them with jobs. Ms Collier, an Industrial Relations Expert assured us:

“Nobody has an entitlement to a job. Society doesn’t owe you a job. The Government can’t get you a job. The Government shouldn’t have to get you a job. There’s no such thing as Government money. There’s your money and my money.

“Everybody has something that they’re good at … You work out what you’re good at and you try and make a career out of that.”

But when people suggested that their weren’t enough jobs out there, Ms. Collier had all the answers, knocking down these petty objections with:

“People can start their own businesses. It’s terrible, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be awful to have to start your own business because someone else has to give you a job?”

So, inspired by this News Corps columnist, I decided that I’d start my own business. My contract runs out in a couple of months and I don’t want to be unemployed, so I guess I’d better start planning now.

I guess I’ll need get some advice on how to set up a business. I mean, I know that there must still be some rules and regulations – even if the Liberals have been busily eliminating all that nasty red tape that slows things down. I’m pretty sure that I can’t just start a sweat shop in the spare room or run a beer garden in my backyard, but beyond that, what are the laws. I guess I better hire an accountant or get some legal advice. And I suppose that I have to register my business or something.

But that’s ok, I’ve got some money that I can get my hands on. The unemployed, of course, may need to go to a bank and tell them that they had a great idea and could they just borrow a few thousand for set-up costs. The bank should be more than willing to lend it to them if they’ll just put their house up as collateral because, well, they all own a house, don’t they?

Anyway, that’s their problem. Right now we’re dealing with my business. I’ve already got my list of things to do:

1. Get advice on how to set up business.
2. Hire an office or factory.
3. Work out what we’re going to sell or produce.

Given the fact that I’m currently working, I should be able to manage the first two all right, but I’m having a bit of trouble with number three. I’ve eliminated a lot of ideas on the grounds that they’re illegal. I did think that people were sad to see the car industry close, so maybe I could start a factory to manufacture an Australian made car, but then I decided that idea is too obvious and there’s probably lots of unemployed who’ve already thought of that one – particularly those who once worked in the industry and actually have some idea of how an automobile is made. I also thought about mining, but I decided that it might upset the neighbours if I started digging up coal or fracking near the garage, because some of them told me that the supported the mining tax and I’m worried that they might be anti-development.

I need to be more innovative, I told myself. And for a couple of hours, I wracked my brain wondering in what way I could start an innovative business. But then the news came on and I heard Malcolm Turnbull speak.

“That’s it!” I shouted.

I nodded. I’d worked it out. I didn’t have to actually do anything innovative, I just had to start a business and call it “Innovations R Us” and charge people to come into their workplace and tell them that it would be a great idea if they were more innovative and tell them that if they weren’t more innovative then they could lose out in today’s innovative world. I haven’t quite worked out how much to charge yet, but I know that it certainly needs to be a fair bit to cover all the costs of setting up my business.

“Innovations R Us”…

Mm, is that”us” misleading, given it’s only me in the business.

Ah well, when the idea catches on I’ll hire more people… Assuming that they haven’t all started their own businesses. Of course, when I think about it, there should be some ready to work by the time my business takes off, as most of them will be unemployed because, as everyone knows, most businesses fail in the first twleve months.

Well, everyone except Industrial Relations Expert, Grace Collier!

Brandis Eliminates Red Tape By Insisting That All Inquiries To The Solicitor-General Go Through His Office First!

Yeah, I know. Irony, eh?

I mean, the Liberals are always on about getting rid of red tape. You know, that bureaucratic nonsense where people need to get permission before they do things, because, well, it just slows things down unnecessarily.

So, I’m trying really, really hard to work out how George Brandis’ decree that everyone – even the PM – needs to get his permission before consulting the Solicitor-General fits with the whole “eliminate the red tape” thingy! Actually watching the clips of the Solicitor-General in the Senate today, I wondered why he didn’t ask the members of the Coalition if they had sought George “The Fudd” Brandis’ permission before asking him a question…

Ok, while I understand that the legal niceties are a bit hard for us all to understand, the fact remains that the Liberals will now be trying to paint a public servant as a puppet of the Labor Party. You know the way this works: Anyone who agrees with us is quite independent, while anyone who disagrees is clearly a member of the socialist/United Nations/ISIS alliance and can just be ignored because they’ve shown how biased they really are. Andrew Bolt, on the other hand, calls it as he sees it after giving careful consideration to everyone who agrees with him. And just to prove how independent he really is, Andrew is telling us all how little he approves of Malcolm as PM which just show that he doesn’t agree with everyone in the Liberal Party, because Malcolm thinks he’s doing a great job, even if the rest of us want to dump him for Tony first chance we get. It’s just a little hard because we took Malcolm to the election and now we feel obliged to stick with him just a little longer. You know what it’s like. You let someone take you to the dance because he’s the one with the car, and you really want to dump him and start dancing with the cool kids, but you know that if you do it too early in the night everyone’ll know that you just used him to get where you wanted to go ’cause he was the one with a car.

>SIGH< Well, at least we can count on Donald Trump to give us all something to make us shake our heads and feel superior to the USA. So just to reiterate, in case you missed it: 1. Donald Trump is caught on tape boasting how he just goes up to women and kisses them or grabs them by the pussy. (I presume that's what the "p*ssy" meant in various publications.) 2. He tries to justify this by going on the offensive. He appears with several women who allege that Bill Clinton sexual assaulted them and suggests that while he was merely "boasting" about it, Bill was actually doing it, because people have claimed that he did. (Let's not delve too deeply into this one because they are so many aspects to this that I feel we could debate them for ages. If I suggest that there's something strange about the facts that he thinks this reflects badly on his opponent, even though it's her husband whose the alleged perpetrator, we'll end up talking about Hillary and whether her refusal to leave Bill is a feminist issue, or whether she shouldn't even have to consider this and then someone will suggest that she's responsible for ISIS and then someone will say that Trump's no worse, followed by Trump has some great ideas and I'll never get to point 3. And, if I mention Monica, we'll be here all night just asking why she never washed that dress with semen stains before we even get back to the feminist arguments!) 3. When he's accused of doing the things he's on tape saying that he used to do, he tells us that they're lying. And he's not lying. And you can trust him because he's been honest about the fact that he was lying on the tape when he suggested that he used to sexually assault women and isn't it terrible that these women can just tell lies. (Go back to point 2 for a second, and without making a conclusion about Bill's guilt or innocence, ask yourself if the word, "hypocritical" may just come to mind. 4. Some people still say that they still support Trump because he tells it like it is. So it seems that according to some people (politically incorrect comment warning)

If you want to be President, you can grab one. You can be one. You just can’t have one.

Have a good weekend!

Introducing The Patriotic Broadcasting Authority And Coming Out Going Back Honours!

One thing Donald Trump’s done is make it so much easier for people to show exactly how out of touch they really are, now that they’re no longer constrained by political correctness gone mad…

Although as I’ve often pointed out, many of the people complaining about political correctness don’t seem constrained by it at all. However…

Anyway, I was gratified to read about Brain Burston… Whoops, sorry, Brian Burston (no, not the guy from “Breaking Bad”, the new One Nation senator) and his speech calling for the ABC to be sold and a new “Patriotic Broadcaster” to replace it.

Senator Burston’s reasoning was that the ABC was a Marxist organisation and he’s dead against that sort of ideology because in those Marxist countries there’s no freedom of expression and you have state-run propaganda through the national broadcaster. There’s not “one conservative program or anchor” in the entire organisation. Take that, you lefty, Amanda Vanstone.

But it wasn’t just the ABC that was in his sights. No, this member of the party that calls itself “One Nation” was also concerned that we’ve let other nations in, telling us that immigration was responsible for all the “Car-jackings, home invasions, flash riots, drive-by shootings and of course when citizens object, endless complaints under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, administered by the ethnocentric Human Rights Commission”! Yep, there were no complaints under 18C before we had foreigners and car jackings were non-existent back in the nineteenth century. A time when we were doing great things which is unfortunately no longer pride of place in our schools. As the good senator told us: “The acknowledgement of country ceremony, recited in school assemblies across Australia, finds no place of honour for the British and other European explorers and pioneers or the nation they created.” Yep, there were no home invasions back in the nineteenth century unless you’re one of those who take the black armband view of history that suggests that’s exactly what white folks did to the indigenous population.

We were also treated to a wonderful bit of nostalgia about how great the sixties were when the proper people were in charge. I just wonder how a man with views like that could possibly have joined a party run by a woman when we all know that she should be back in the kitchen preparing babies or whatever it is that those mysterious creatures do.

I guess our new patriotic broadcaster will be the perfect place to honour those wonderful people who have come out as heterosexual. In case you missed it, while launching a book Stealing from a Child: The Injustice of Marriage Equality, Senator Abetz reflected on the terrible discrimination by the media against those coming out as heterosexual… No, I am not making this up… He wasn’t taking about all straight people, just those who’ve ceased – what’s that expression – batting for the other side… Damn strange expression when I think about it. Surely if you’re gay, you’re batting for the same side. Anyway, I was thinking of starting a flood of complaints to Senator Abetz’s office along the lines of:

“I’m a good clean-living chap who’s never even entertained an impure thought about another man – in fact, I even disgust myself when I take my clothes off to shower! So why aren’t you honouring me? It’s discrimination and it’s just typical of you people.”

Yes, when the Donald said that he was pleased that the Republicans were deserting him because it freed him from constraint, you had to wonder what he on earth he was stopping himself from saying. Similarly, when you listen to what Abetz says in public, you have to wonder what he says without the filters on.

Pyne Staffer Resigns – Rumours Of Him Taking A Job With Trump Untrue!

Now some of you may have picked up that rather obscure story about some nice young Aussies being arrested in Malaysia. The story – which was given little attention by the media because they needed to focus on such important things as the NBN announcing that they weren’t going ahead with using the Optus cables in spite of paying nearly a billion dollars for the right to do so – was particularly interesting to some because Jack Walker, one of the young men involved, happened to be a staffer for Christopher Pyne.

Of course anybody who doesn’t live here or is a recent arrival, will be wondering how someone who works for such an important member of our current government wasn’t aware that stripping down and parading around in budgie smugglers might be considered offensive in other countries. That’s before one even takes account of the fact that he had that country’s flag on his bum. In Australia wearing flags is quite normal on days of national significance like Australia Day and any sporting occasion, or indeed any day one wants to protest about people being here when they don’t agree with everything the flag-wearer suggests. As for the swimwear, it was the garment of choice of our previous PM before his unfortunate removal. Mr Abbott, incidentally, was not removed because of his fashion sense, but because he wasn’t selling his message well enough which was a bit unfair. Mr Abbott had been busy selling so many other things that he didn’t have time to explain that he was, in fact, the greatest leader we’d ever had.

So it was entirely understandable that someone working in a minister’s office would have no problem whipping off his shirt and pants in order to celebrate a momentous win. I can just picture the entire front bench on election night with their Liberal togs on, dancing on marble tables and tackling each other while the drinks flowed…

Oh wait, that was when Abbott lost the leadership!

Anyway, Jack Walker has paid a high price for his exuberance in Malaysia. He has resigned. And he’s very sorry for what he’s done. As Mr Pyne told us:

“Jack indicated to me his deep regret for causing any embarrassment to the Government and apologised.”

Yes, I know some of you think that maybe he should be also expressing regret for any embarrassment he caused Australia, but if we started apologising every time someone made us look like a bunch of yahoos, we’d be constantly having to remind the world about the fact that Donald Trump is still the nominee of a major party, so compared to the USA, we’re small time.

Of course, the idea that he should apologise to Malaysia is just the sort of hippie, left wing cultural cringing that makes Andrew Bolt so angry, so don’t even bring that up or I’ll be forced to slip on my Aussie flag bandana and cape and question your loyalty to our wide, brown land!

Mr Pyne added: “One lapse of judgement does not detract from the fact that Jack has been an outstanding staff member, a significant contributor to my office since late 2013 and I believe he will have a bright future.”

Mr Cormann, however, contradicted Mr Pyne telling us that Walker had paid a high price for the incident, because, if that’s so, how can he still have a bright future? Actually, if he’s resigned, isn’t that a choice thing, so how can it be considered a “high price” unless it wasn’t a choice thing, in which case it was another one of those times when people use a word in a way where its meaning is slightly different from the normal understanding of the word.

But then I am overlooking the way the world works these days. Perhaps, Mr Pyne is simply suggesting that now that Mr Walker has freed himself from all those political constraints, he’s now free to do more lucrative work such as “Dancing With The Stars” or working as a male stripper. Then again, perhaps he’s already lined up a job as a fact checker for Donald Trump’s speeches.

Or maybe, he’ll follow the path set by Peta Credlin and be given his media gig. After all, he has several things in common with her. While to the best of my knowledge, Ms Credlin has never whipped her kit off in a public place, they both worked for a member of the government and they both achieved more publicity than the average staffer. And they both are probably hoping for an Abbott return so they can get their old jobs back.

Whatever, it’s great that these boys are back in Australia in time for the Melbourne Cup. I’m sure that they’ll be a lot more welcome parading their gorgeous bodies around Flemington because here in Australia we understand the need to get your gear off with your mates in a totally blokey way.

Dutton And How The Media Can Distort Things!

I read today about Peter Dutton’s department spending over $8,000,000 on spin doctors and media relations. My immediate thought was that it can’t be that hard to teach people to say that it’s an operational matter and we can’t comment.

But I guess it’s all about how you say things. I mean a recent poll suggested that 49% of Australians were opposed to any more Muslim immigration.

At least that’s the way it was spun. I don’t remember seeing the questions so for all I know the question may have been:

“Are you in favour of a temporary halt to the immigration of people of the Islamic faith until we can get the redneck racists under control?”

Then again it may have been:

“Would you be in favour of allowing Muslims from Syria and Iraq without any checks to see if they are members of ISIS?”

But that’s always been the problem with the mainstream media. They’d rather create the clickbait headline because, well, who’s going to read an article about how the NBN has announced that it’s just wasted $800 million dollars because they’re not going ahead with that wonderful cost saving measure that the Liberals announced when they were telling us about all the ways they could cut costs – and corners – and deliver us the NBN faster, cheaper and with everything we’d need for those things that the Internet can do for us like send emails and listen to music. I mean, who’s going to read an article like that? Particularly if it’s buried on Page 4. Who’s interested in high speed internet for that matter? Only those youngsters on MyFace or Witter whatever the dang thing’s are called!

Anyway, back to Peter Dutton because he’s certainly been an inspiration. I mean, if a man like him can get that far with so little in the way of personal qualities, he should inspire the rest of us to dream large.

As part of my dreaming large, I’m going to organise to ensure my energy security. Last year there was a storm and the power went out. The year before a car hit a pole down the road and the power went out. Thanks to Mr Doll and the rest of the Coalition muppets I now know that the reason for these blackouts was the solar panels on my roof, and nothing to do with the transmission lines being knocked out.

Now, I know some of you are going to be upset by me refering to the PM as “Mr Doll”. I was going to call him, “Mr Puppet” but that implies that somebody is pulling his strings, whereas the most impressive thing about the current government is that the dummy sitting in the PM’s chair speaks, and we never see any lip movement from the ventriloquist who’s actually doing the talking. Although, we haven’t heard Turnbull say: “Bottle of beer”, which is really hard to say without your lips moving.

Although not as hard to say as, “These people are not illegal” or “Renewable energy is not the work of Satan” or “We could just have a parliamentary vote on marriage equality given that’s what we’re going to do anyway”.

Well, if Mr Charlie McCarthy* says “bottle of beer” in the next week or so, you’ll know that the Liberals are reading my stuff and just trying to impress me.

*Charlie McCarthy was the dummy in Edgar Bergen’s well-known ventriloquist act. The act was most famous for its radio show. While it seems rather ridiculous that a ventriloquist act should be on the radio, that pales into insignificance when you consider that Donald Trump is still in the running to be President!

Renewables And Various Other Conspiracies

Last night I noticed that Trump was speculating – not claiming, mind you, just wondering out loud – that he was the victim of a conspiracy with his microphone to make him look bad. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree. The people televising the debate allowed his mike to be switched on, enabling people to hear what he had to say. If they’d just left it off, he would have sounded a lot more presidential. Clearly an attempt to make sound as silly as he looks…

Of course, I thought that the Trump’s microphone theory was going to be the most ridiculous thing all week, until I heard Josh Frydenburg on the radio this morning. This’ll be great for a satiric piece, I thought. But no, when I sat down to write, it was just impossible.

I mean, how does one satirise a minister who starts by agreeing that it was the collapse of transmission towers in the worst storm in fifty years that caused the widespread blackout and nothing to do with windfarms, but then goes on to tell us that this should be a warning about their reliance on renewable energy for South Australia. How do you make that more ridiculous than it is?

Well, actually young Josh had a pretty good go at it, because after criticising Labor and Nick Xenophon, he then went on to say that this is not the time for partisan politics and we should all be working to make sure this doesn’t happen again. And Malcolm followed this up by not playing politics telling us:

“Let’s focus now and take this storm in South Australia … as a real wake-up call, let’s end the ideology, focus on clear renewable target. The federal government has one as you know, 23.5% is our target.”

You don’t get much more non-partisan than that. Unless it’s Barnaby Joyce telling us that South Australia would have been just fine if they’d had a few coal-fired power stations because such things keep the gods happy and ensure that the weather is mild and that our crops don’t fail…

Of course, those “climate alarmists” may see an extreme weather event as further evidence for climate change, but they overlook some basic tenets of how the Liberal Party views such things:

1. A single extreme weather event is just that, and to draw conclusions about climate change from that is just not valid because one event is too insignificant to be considered evidence.
2. In spite of that, one can still ask on a cold morning: “Where’s that global warming, eh?”
3. A second extreme weather event is still not evidence because, in spite of popular belief, lightning can strike twice and it’s just coincidence that we had a similar “once in a lifetime” recently, so don’t jump to any conclusions.
4. A third similar extreme weather event just shows that this sort of thing is normal and, here in Australia, it happens all the time, so don’t get your knickers in knot and bring up climate change.

Yep, people see things the way they want to see them and to suggest that events in South Australia are further evidence that we should be doing more to encourage renewables, well, that’s just “ideologically driven”, according to our fear/less leader, Mr Turnbull. (And may I say that I think the “fear” and the “less” apply in equal parts to Malcolm.) On the other hand, in the midst of all this chaos to go out spruiking the benefits of brown coal – as Mr Joyce and company did – is neither political nor premature.

I’m reminded of something I read recently about “cognitive dissonance”.

As Franz Fanon put it:

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are
presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new
evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is
extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it
is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize,
ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

Personally, I think that there’s definitely no such thing as “cognitive dissonance”! Haven’t we always had uncomfortable feelings and they’re perfectly natural, so the most recent ones are just part of a conspiracy by the UN to impose world government. Besides, there’s been a fifteen years pause in so called “cognitive dissonance”, thanks to Andrew Bolt, John Howard and Tony Abbott…

As Malcolm Roberts explained on Q and A, I refuse to believe something until I’m presented with empirical evidence that agrees with the position I already hold. Anything else is just inaccurate or falsified.