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A Political Train Wreck

How much more of this do we tolerate? Our present government is comprised of an incompetent bunch of fools, idiots and grouches. No matter where one looks, they all appear incapable of managing a chook raffle, let alone the 12th largest economy in the world.

Is it any wonder political expediency has now usurped any attempt at further budget savings measures?

As each week passes we are witnesses to more hilarity, more stupidity, less concern for the nation’s future, a leadership vacuum, each member seemingly looking out for his/her own survival. What a shambles.

With the MSM now turning against them, the most severe criticism, which first came from bloggers and social media, is now front page on our dailies. Yesterday, Laura Tingle of the Australian Financial Review wrote, “At issue is not just whether Tony Abbott loses his leadership, or whether the budget bottom line deteriorates even further, but signs that our political system really is in deep trouble – not as a polemic point, but in a very real sense.”

mediaThe AFR’s editorial yesterday is another case in point. “Prime Minister Tony Abbott literally has lost the plot on budget repair plan that the Coalition took to the people in 2013. The budget that was then portrayed as being in crisis now is in worse shape than forecast at the time of the election.
Mr Abbott’s promise to end his first term in government with the budget back on a clear path to surplus is now in tatters along with the unambitious target to build it up to 1 per cent of gross domestic product by the early 2020s.”

The Sydney Morning Herald is equally scathing.

How insulting is it that these pretenders were being heralded as the adults back in charge? How pathetic does Joe Hockey’s pre-election assertion that he would have the budget back in surplus in his first year and every year thereafter, sound now?

And perhaps the biggest insult to the Australian people we have heard in decades, that after telling us there was a budget emergency, a debt and deficit disaster and any number of similarly outrageous claims, suddenly, we are now told, that the budget is “manageable”.

abbottFurthermore, Abbott tells us that a debt to GDP ratio of 50-60% is not bad. Really? Is that net or gross? Our current gross debt to GDP ratio is about 27%. The net figure is 14%. Which one is he referring to? Does he even know?

Mark Kenny wrote in the Canberra Times, “The best that can be said for the economic messaging from this government is that is it mercurial. The worst is that it has been a political train wreck. Abbott and Hockey are now trapped between their own exaggerated pre-election rhetoric, unmet promises, and what looks like gross political naïveté.”

Pre-election rhetoric and gross political naïveté summarise adequately the ‘before and after’ of this government’s train wreck. Whether they believed their own outrageous claims and projections before, then afterwards, refuse to realise how absurd they were, is hard to say.

What is clear to the MSM now, but which was obvious to a multitude of citizen journalists two years ago, is that the LNP are economically inept. They were trained during that privileged period when bucket loads of money came from the mining boom. They don’t know how to manage a downturn.

Even Ross Gitten’s (The Age), now acknowledges the need for a fiscal response. He makes the point that when interest rates and inflation are so low they inhibit investment in favour of savings, both in the business and the domestic sectors.

govtPolitical expediency in preference to honest, forthright explanations has been the hallmark of this government’s hollow narrative. Or, as some would say, in the absence of a narrative.

While we have been highly critical of them from the beginning, that criticism has since been vindicated several times over.

It is time to get this train wreck off the tracks.

28 comments

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  1. gangey1959

    How has it taken the MSM journos nearly 2 years to realise that abbott and co haven’t got a damn clue. Great retirement packages, but no brains.
    Tones and his mates are doing very well to go right, left, right, when they try to walk a straight line.
    I’m only a dumbass t-shirt printer, but as far as I am concerned, economic theory is the same whether Labor done it or whether the LNP did it, and what was beginning to work under Gillard/Rudd would have worked just as well under abbott, except that he is a dickhead. So are his ministers.

  2. mars08

    How insulting is it that these pretenders were being heralded as the adults back in charge?…

    How depressing that the AFR can announce, out of desperation, that the emperor (who THEY helped elevate) has no clothes, yet the ALP still cringes in the shadows?

    If, in the current political climate, the ALP cannot muster the will, wit or wisdom to utterly demolish the Coalition… we can have NO faith in their ability to turn this country around.

    If they are STILL too flaccid or timid to take the fight to this gormless, dishonest, blundering, inept mob of weasels… for fear of alienating the fickle swinging voter… we are doomed. This government has been exposed as the bunch of cruel, rabid mongrels they are. Not a day goes by that they don’t confirm their sleaziness. Yet the ALP stubbornly sticks to their “small target” strategy… and refuses to go in for the kill… to the point of negotiating with Abbott and his bunch of clowns!

    Is this the best they can do? Is this the limit of their commitment for a better country?

    This is so disheartening. The ALP lacks principles, lacks passion. If they can’t manage to take the gloves off with the current mob of mindless oafs… what hope do we have if the Coalition ever discovers another cunning, quick-witted rat like John Howard???

  3. john o'callaghan

    Thanks John on a good article,and all i will add is it’s about time this myth that the Liberals are the better economic managers is put to bed once and for all.

  4. Cleanlivin

    Really Mars08, why should the ALP enter the Frey, whilst the LNP are doing an extraordinary job all on their own.

    Be patient, shortens approval rating continues to rise, even though he is absent, which says a lot about the Government!

  5. AndrewL

    Ah, Bill Shorten. Isn’t he the actor on “Mad As Hell”?

  6. Jexpat

    I stopped reading Ross Gittins over due to his tireless and dishonest pimping for privitisation, but now I have a new reason:

    “low interest rates inhibit investment….”

    LOL.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Cleanlivin,

    The reason the ALP should “enter the fray” is because that is what they are being paid to do. When you are an elected representative of the people you don’t get to sit back for three years doing nothing. They are supposed to be an active part of parliament. This idea that because you are not in the majority you don’t have to do anything is bullshit. If you don’t agree with a policy it is incumbent on them to state why and to offer alternatives, not act like children hiding their homework from others. Decisions should not be made due to political expediency or popularity. Now more than ever we need a strong opposition. Instead we have an opposition whose sole aim is to not offend. They show no ticker, no integrity, no inclination to do what is right. From my view they are selfishly nurturing their own personal ambition instead of protecting the country from the rabble who currently occupy the treasury bench.

    Shorten has been a factional powerbroker all his political life and has huge ambition. ”Bill is a future champion,” the late Senator John Button once quipped. ”I know that because he’s told me.”

  8. M-R

    Another one for referring to … Bravo, John !

  9. Coachman on the Box

    Would the last one to leave Australia please turn the lights out; assuming the power’s still on. Goodbye.

  10. Terry2

    I was told yesterday that chewing on a raw onion is/was a penance for seminarians who deliberately made false statements or had impure thoughts

    Time for another onion, Tony ?

  11. mars08

    Cleanlivin:

    ….why should the ALP enter the Frey, whilst the LNP are doing an extraordinary job all on their own…

    Because there are thousands of former Labor voters, like me, who want to know EXACTLY what they stand for. We want to see them clearly, firmly commit themselves to something. We want to see them nail their colours to the mast. We want them to announce that they have drawn a line in the sand and will no longer negotiate with the current sleazy, braindead mob, and lend them any credibility. We want to know if Labor has some principles it can boast about. Actually any principles at all. Or do we just HOPE that they intend to do “the right thing” by Australia?

    Frankly, I gave up on the spineless ALP long ago… but showing some courage and determination might convince other disappointed voters that they are not entirely a lost cause.

  12. Ruth L

    So many readers agree with you—BUT HOW?

  13. Pingback: A Political Train Wreck – » The Australian Independent Media Network | winstonclose

  14. Harquebus

    According to this one, our debt GDP ratio is %213.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-23/biggest-problem-facing-world-today-9-countries-have-debt-gdp-over-300

    After Labor’s capitulation on data retention, I will from now on always vote them last, regardless and I have already told them so. They are spineless bunch of wimps.

    Bill Shorten glorified and honored our soldiers today, after helping to remove freedoms that they fought for us to keep. Disgusting and hypocritical.

  15. Aortic

    If Tony continually keeps getting his feet further in his mouth he won’t shave room for onion chewing, big as his mouth is in comparison to his brain.

  16. mars08

    @Harquebus…. the last time our soldiers fought for our “freedoms” was about 70 years ago… If we honour our current veterans, it’s because they risked their lives overseas following orders, nothing about protecting our freedoms.

  17. Ned

    When i saw the Abbott Onion eating Gaff i immediately thought of the song lyrics: WOAH – HOAW, onion skin / walking around with your heart caved in / WHEEEN YOU, you start to roll / your skin …

  18. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    Throughout his time as Opposition Leader, Abbott criticised the ALP policies but never proposed what policies his party would follow when in government. They are now asking the ALP to tell them what to do, as if they would take any steps recommended by the other side! I am also disappointed in Shorten – particularly over data retention – but I do most sincerely hope that his party is formulating good policy to implement when they get back in.
    I often wish the Australian Democrats had not withered away as we need to keep the bastards honest!

  19. philgorman2014

    LI/Lab, lie lay! It’s the theatre of the absurd. And we’re the suckers paying to watch the farce! It ought to be set to music. Where are Gilbert and Sullivan when we need them?

    LIB/LAB, LIB/LAB, LIB/LAB, LIB/LAB,
    Lib lab Leehb laahahb,
    It the pollies who lie in the spring.

    Trala lala lahla, tralah, lalah la ha!
    The pollies who lie in the spring.

    Oh isn’t that all such a terrible thing,
    To have pollies that lie and rot in the spring,
    Trala lala lahla, tralah, lalah la ha!
    The pollies who lie in the spring.

    And that is what I mean when I sing,
    To hell with the pollies who lie in the spring
    Trala lala lahla, tralah, lalah la ha!
    The pollies who lie in the spring.

    The bastards who screw the whole thing,
    The pollies who lie in the spring.
    lib/lab lila, lila, lah lah , trala lah lah la lally,
    The dingbats who run the whole thing,

  20. Pingback: A Political Train Wreck | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  21. Ricardo29

    It was Howard who started the whole thing of only releasing policies in the actual election campaign, each day a new pic op and a new policy, never time for them to be properly analysed and discussed before the next one happened. Always secret locations only revealed once on the bus. It drove the MSM mad but it worked, and it worked for Abbott. I know that. Like many, I would like some idea of the ALP policies, but why would they? Put them out there to be trashed by the govt. And their spear carriers in the media. That said. The data retention crap is a bit of a give-away, not to expect too much from Labor. A good showing by the greens might ginger them up.

  22. Terry2

    Howard on Insiders tells us that he believes that Abbott can recover from current adverse polling and go on to win the 2016 election : now here’s a question for you – what was it that Mandy Rice Davies was famous for saying ?

    No prizes for a correct answer but an honourable mention in despatches and a koala stamp.

  23. John Kelly

    “Well, he would (say that), wouldn’t he?”
    Can I have my koala stamp please. Forget the honourable mention.

  24. Harquebus

    @mars08
    I have to agree. There’s not much in the way of freedoms and liberties left to protect.

    @John Kelly
    I can not guarantee the correctness of the figures stated however, government figures are definitely fudged. Also, see note 1 in your link. Just pointing out that there are alternatives.
    I have been reading zerohedge for years and they have been consistently on the mark. After 6 years of the never ending GFC, do you really still believe the rubbish being put out by officialdom?

  25. Faerielights

    Ok people of Australia I have found a solution to 2 of Tony’s biggest problems……Why not pay single mothers to manage the Federal budget……Frankly, no one knows how better to budget than a single parent and as a result there would be less people on welfare.

  26. Andre Poublon

    Actually, this government has gone a long way to show how little control; a government really has upon the economic levers and day to day lives of Australians now. You can be as mad as a box of frogs and things just churn on.

  27. w ch

    Excellent artcle as usual from Kelly. One quibble however. Dr Jim Cairns in his book Oil On Troubled Waters says the media will always take the side of capital against labour as media outlets take such large amounts of capital to establish and maintain. He wrote that in 1976 if I recall correctly. Since then of course we have as John says, citizen journalists thanks to the internet where they can write for no capital cost. Hence they will be more likely to side with labour against capital. The MSM still runs on a capital intensive model. Therefore a party such as Abbott’s which champions capital over labour will always have the support of the MSM until as the article makes clear, there is a train wreck. I do not think it is a question of MSM ineptitude. It is case of following the bosses’ orders and the natural inclination for MSM to take the side of capital over labour.

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