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A Confidential Open Letter To Bill Shorten!


Dear Bill,

You don’t know me, but I’m about to give you some really, really good advice.

In case you haven’t noticed, Mr Abbott has labelled you a “whinger” and said that you haven’t come up with any alternative to his Budget. Now, this is pretty rich. I mean, apart from a pom like Abbott calling someone a whinger, he and Smokin’ Joe have been telling us that there IS no alternative.

Of course, even if one accepts the premise of the Budget emergency, there are always alternatives. So, because you’re probably too busy defending yourself from all the people who are saying things like the left should unite to defeat the Coalition and why isn’t Shorten doing something about it, I’m giving you an alternative Budget to present to Parliament.

Here are a few simple suggestions for filling the Budget black hole: (Actually in the interests of accuracy, isn’t a black hole something that can’t be filled. Can some astrophysicist out there clarify so that we don’t have to rely on Wikipedia like our Environment Minister does.)

  1. All roads should be subject to a co-payment, because why shouldn’t people in Joe Hockey’s electorate contribute to their road usage. Some may argue that they already do through taxes, but as with the Medicare Levy, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a $7 co-payment every time one drives somewhere. After all, people who can afford cars can surely pay for their own roads. They need to stop thinking of themselves and think of Australia’s future.
  2. Secondary School students in government schools should contribute to the cost of their education via Secondary Education Contribution Scheme. Or SECS, for short. Obviously, some could defer this via a student loan scheme which they can pay back once they start earning money via a job at one of our many supportive fast food chains. Under the age of 30, there’s obviously no real need for them to have their own money, so the repayments could start as soon as they were earning $25 a week.
  3. The “earn or learn” is a good start. Demand that in order to be eligible for the dole, people need to either get a job, in which case they don’t need it or else enrol in a Tertiary Course. Once they’ve completed their tertiary course, the HECS repayments could be deducted from their dole payments, if they fail to get a job after turning 30. (Actually this one is a little too close to Abbott’s actual policy, but if you say it quickly, nobody will notice.)
  4. Abolish the role of Speaker and just let the Leader of Government Business run Parliament. After all, why do we need to pay someone to stand up on cue. Ok, this one will only save a few thousand, but symolism is important.
  5. Sell of the remaining government assets: Australia Post, Medibank Private, Parliament House (may have already happened – waiting on pending legal action with Fairfax and Joe Hockey), the Great Barrier Reef, all of Tasmania. Reject, however, the sale of the Mint, as it’s one thing that makes money. (I know, I’m ashamed but I couldn’t resist.)

So there you have my ideas, Bill. But be careful who you show this to. If the Liberals see it, they may steal all them.




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  1. Matters Not

    students in government schools should contribute to the cost of their education via Secondary Education Contribution Scheme

    A great idea! But why stop at secondary? After all, everyone should do the heavy lifting. The load should be shared around. Don’t leave out the primary students. I suggest we have the Primary Resource Impost for Curriculum Knowledge or (PRICK) for short. Nothing should be for free and the curriculum is expensive to develop.

    Importantly, it’s also a growth tax as well. Small in the early years but ever growing as students progress, culminating in the final year with the Primary Year Normal Expiry (PYNE), naturally it being the biggest PRICK of all.

  2. Ian Joyner

    Who are the real whingers?

    Now Abbott and those Liberal supporters (the few that remain) are talking about those protesting as whingers. Well, who are the real whingers? I corrected Abbot’s fire brigade analogy, pointing out the real fire was the GFC – an event that burnt down many houses in the neighbourhood (the world), but scorched ours without destroying it. The real whingers were Abbott and the Liberals who complained that the fire brigade played their sirens too loud, used too much water to save our house from the fire, oh dear there was water on the Axminster in the living room (Howard and Costello’s ill-gotten surplus was used).

    Now the equivalent of replacing the Axminster is to get the budget back in better shape, the task of mopping up after the fire. But Abbott is busy demolishing the house so that those still in liveable rooms are thrown out in the street without accommodation. Well, those people have every right to be up-in-arms, they have something genuine to complain about. Raising concerns is democracy in action, not whinging.

    Those who whinged about the fire brigade being in the street in the first place are the real whingers, but now they have the gall to accuse those who will be displaced by Abbott and Hockey’s actions of being the whingers. In fact, those who whinged about the fire brigade putting out the GFC were most likely to be those who brought it on – those who instituted the subprime mortgage disaster in the first place by over lending their money to those who could not afford to repay (even if it was indirectly through savings in a bank).

    At least we can thank Abbott for his inane fire brigade budget analogy for actually making this whole issue very clear once the real fire of the GFC is identified.

    Overall, Australia is a very lucky country, with an economy that outperforms most. That wealth can be used to make Australia even better, but there are many who don’t believe in that – they already have money in their pocket, but they do not want to share the opportunities or luck they have had. Abbott and Hockey are looking after their selfish interests – they are the real whingers.

  3. M-R

    I thought when I saw the heading that you were going to say something useful.

  4. David Somerfield

    I respect your views greatly however I am offended by the “pom” tag.
    For the record (again, and I am so sick of having to post this on various sites) Anthony John Abbott was born in the UK to an Australian mother and a British born, naturalised Australian father who came to this country as a 16yo teenager.
    Now you might technically call him British if you wish to. That would at least be polite.
    The constant labeling of Abbott as a ‘pom’ is not only offensive to many but could actually be construed as a form of racism simply because many (like you) use the word as an insult.
    Once again, I stress that I always find your writings interesting and generally reflect my own political views however please Ross refrain from this labeling in future..

    kindest regards

  5. rossleighbrisbane

    Actually, some of my best friends are English, David, so there’s no way I could be racist! Besides, Abbott wasn’t an Australian citizen until 24 and I have a right to be a bigot…

    Ok, I won’t pick on the English in future blogs!

  6. Möbius Ecko

    Tony Abbott has again promised that he will dump part of the Racial Discrimination Act prohibiting statements that offend or intimidate people on racial grounds.

    But David the racial discrimination commissioner is being stunted and the freedom of speech crony from the IPA says that it’s OK to vilify someone, whether the vilification is true or not, just like Bolt.

    So Abbott is a whinging pom.

  7. Christine Chapman

    Not an astro physicist, just a somewhat nerdy person. But I’m pretty sure you can’t fill a black hole as it is not an actual hole. Whatever ‘falls in’ to a black hole just becomes compressed into the ‘singularity’, a point which is (like Abbott) infinitely dense.

  8. Jessica Hogg

    When it comes to the public talking to politicians on academic levels, one might be advised to be politically correct.

  9. Trevor Vivian

    Jezz maate. I nearly did a double backflip with pike cause at first i thought you must be joking, but on second reading i see that you are deadly serious with this one.
    Wheres your well defined sense of humour gone maate?
    Hope your next offering gets away from such a serious perspective as your humour has always been somewhat refreshing.

    Export Abbott not Refugees!

  10. Anomander

    Wait on! On what ground can the government demand the opposition come-up with alternatives?

    This was a government that went to an election with zero policies and they’re still making stuff-up as they go along. Their entire political campaign was based on lies and negativity – attacking Labor over their leadership tussles, the alleged budget crisis and the boats.

    They are still doing this in government, lying about the budget so they can impose austerity measures aimed at stratifying society, obfuscating information and dehumanising refugees in off-shore death camps, and imposing the will of big business and the shills at the IPA.

    And on the matter of the IPA, you should be careful what you propose Ross, you may just see some of your progressive ideas now appearing on the updated IPA wishlist, which doubles as official policy for this unimaginative, inept government.

  11. rossleighbrisbane

    That’s why I wanted this open letter kept confidential, Anomander!

  12. jagman48

    As I sit and watch parliament I can’t help but notice that the Government act like they are still in opposition. The same anger and the same 3 word chants. They do not have a clue. How many peices of legislation has been passed or put to the parliament since they have been in power.

    A very lazy government. But I do like botox barbie that sits behind tonnes.

  13. Wayne Turner

    Abbott’s insults to Shorten,is just Abbott “PROJECTING”.Abbott “projects” all the time.Another: Accusing Gillard of being a liar,when in fact Abbott is a “self confessed” serial liar.

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