Monday 2 January 2017
When the last bauble has been taken from the tree and all the decorations that go with it are packed away. When the last of too many drinks has been drunk and the good or bad of it has been processed. When the result of too much food and merriment has been fully digested we descend into the months of January and February with the malaise that Australians are accustomed too. Play and sun, and momentary forgetfulness of things serious transcend all else.
Then we wake and the memory of it is still there. The year 2016 and the prospect of what 2017 might bring. The sheer awfulness of it and the people who made it so. Some of course like the readers of this blog do not rest. We are reflecting on the year past, analysing, processing, and reflecting on its horrid implications.
If Australian politics could get any worse it did so with spectacular incompetency. We saw the death of a once noble pursuit known as truth. There can be no doubt as to who was responsible and who denied it. Compassion politics deserted the body politic because it was too costly and old-fashioned for a deeply far right conservative government.
The year ended with News Poll showing Labor on 52% of the vote and the Coalition on 48% and one had to wonder why a government who had governed so tragically could, if an election were held now, be within striking distance of its opposition.
On the eve of Christmas the official quarterly figures, showing growth in year-on-year emission’s, confirmed independent projections from Ndevr Environmental, released earlier this month by Guardian Australia, which predicted Australia’s emissions would be rising.
This unequivocally proved beyond any shadow of doubt that Hunt, Turnbull and Freydenberg have been lying to the public for a number of years. If they were serious they would tell the public the truth. That is that they have no intention of doing anything about Climate Change because they don’t believe in the science. This report was actually finalized in September suggesting they have scant interest in telling the Australian people the truth of our Paris commitment.
This became apparent when in December Turnbull ruled out policies that would enable us to meet our Paris obligations. In doing so he condemned himself a liar and a hypocrite. It well may be that under the Presidency of Donald Trump and his cabinet of climate deniers the United States will opt out of the Paris agreement altogether and in so doing leave it open for other countries to do the same.
Again just before Christmas the controversial donation to Bjørn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Centre rose its head again and it was found that the Turnbull government had in fact signed an agreement to make a $640,000 grant to the centre nine months after plans to establish it had been abandoned.
It was just another anti Climate Change decision.
Meanwhile Scotland celebrated Christmas by being coal free for the first time in 115 years.
The political lie in 2016 became an accepted part of the political vernacular. Take me seriously but not literally became the new mantra as we sank into the pit of hellish untruth.
It therefore followed that the public’s trust in politicians hit rock bottom with just 26% of people (ANA University) having trust in them. It was a year of appallingly bad governance. Dutton, George Brandis, Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Pyne, Mathias Cormann and Scott Morrison were individual ministers who really were not up to the task.
The Deputy Prime Minister looks and acts like a fool, and can be childish. Never before has Australia elected a person more unsuitable to the position.
As a Christmas present to the Australian people the government delivered bad news on the economy. The so-called MYEFO mid-year report revealed an economy in deep trouble. So much so that it revealed that over the four-year forward estimates it will have grown by more than $10 billion to $36.5 billion. And you can add to that another $13 billion in savings that is stuck in the Senate from the 2014 Budget and unlikely to be passed.
With the 2017/18 budget due in five months it must be a miracle of accountancy that a treasurer can carry forward such amounts as though they are actually part of the figures, simple to make himself look good, or better, when in fact, as treasurers go he is pathetically stupid.
Yet they continue to paint a rosy future using growth figures that are unreachable and at the same time saying that we will have a surplus in 19/20. If per chance we do there is a trick involved.
From 2020-21, profits generated by the Future Fund will be included in Australia’s budgets. Thus, a small surplus in that year will be achieved only because of a change in the fund’s accounting methodology. The Future Fund’s projected earnings of $A3.9 billion for 2019-20 are forecast to ensure a budget surplus of about $A1.1 billion in 2020-21.
Just to confuse matters though Mathias Cormann did say that the budget surplus by 2020 was a projection, not policy.
We are in such grave trouble that we are in danger of losing our AAA rating and many economists are forecasting a recession. But in Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann we have a treasurer and finance minister who both fail to recognize we have a revenue problem.
Turnbull says that repairing the Budget is a moral issue:
“This moral issue of living within our means is absolutely paramount because we cannot keep on building up this mountain of debt to throw onto the shoulders of those for whom we should care the most.”
Turnbull is correct to say it is a moral issue, particularly moral when you are asking the poor and middle classes to fund it.
Will giving $50 billion in corporate tax giveaways to wealthy corporations and individuals resolve the issue? Is that what he means by morality? Fairdinkum.
2016 was also a year in which the parliament decided to pass onto the public something it couldn’t do itself. Despite overwhelming public support for equality in marriage the government decided that it wasn’t up to the task of passing legislation and called for a plebiscite. The Senate rejected it and nothing happened, further exposing the Parliament, particularly the Government to the ridicule it so richly deserved. But it wont go away. 2017 will see marriage equality trying even harder to gain the justice it so richly deserves.
Tomorrow: Part two
My thought for the day.
Happy New Year.
There is something about a new beginning. A new start. First time happenings … It’s fresh it’s alive – the new of another year It conjures a feeling of excitement of anticipation. It triggers emotions. Of change, hopes and fears. Of things not yet encountered. We are privy to new experiences. A gift yet unwrapped. What is it filled with? I dare you. Cut the ribbon.
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