This post has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but I figured one madman is as good as another.
Tony Abbott’s Statement on Niki Savva’s book:
“The best response to this book is the objective record of the Abbott government.
After fighting Labor to a draw in 2010 and winning a strong majority in 2013, the Abbott government substantially delivered on its commitments.
“The boats were stopped. The carbon tax and the mining tax were repealed. Three free trade agreements that had languished for years were finalised. Infrastructure got underway, including the western Sydney airport that had been talked about for 50 years. Our country was kept safe. And a strong start was made to the vital task of budget repair.
“A dysfunctional opposition couldn’t win an election and a dysfunctional government couldn’t have got so much done in just two years.
“That said, I’m not in the business of raking over old coals, nor am I in the business of responding to scurrilous gossip and smear.
“Apart from being a good local MP, my focus is on the election of the Turnbull government because Australia needs prudent, frugal, competent government – not an unreconsutrcted Labor Party with its five new taxes.”
Now I’m middle class enough to like creature comforts. I’m sure the socialists from my student days would look at me and say that I was always the sort who’d end up as one of the bourgeoisie. Mind you, I suspect that by now a number of them would be further to the right than I am. I make this point because I’m about to make a number of points about the current mob of philistines that are parading as our government, and I’m not going to be dismissed as left wing from some of the fruit loops that think that anyone who disagrees with them would be happier in China.
The first point is that when someone tries to sell me something, I’m always aware that they’re trying to sell me something, so I should seek independent confirmation before I accept their assurances. It may seem obvious, but somehow we seem to have forgotten it when it comes to politics. With politics, a large number of people swallowed Tony Abbott’s nonsense simply because he said it loudly and emphatically.
And so, when he makes his pronouncement that the “best response to this book is the objective record of the Abbott government”, he makes Narcissus look as though he had a self-image problem…
Actually, Narcissus did have a self-image problem, but that’s a whole other story!
Abbott then lists a large number of “achievements”, the first few of which occurred within a few months of coming to government. He goes on to tell us about free trade agreements being finalised – “they’d languished for years” – as though the people working through the issues accomplished nothing, before he completely skates over the fact that they may have “languished” because the other countries were asking too much in return for too little. He announced that “Infrastructure got underway” as though it had completely stopped, and conveniently overlooking that when Labor spent on infrastructure, Abbott squealed about the Budget emergency and the need for living within means. NBN, anyone? “Our country was kept safe”?? What? And Labor hadn’t managed that?
But, it’s the bit at the end about the strong start to budget repair that demonstrates the greatest delusion. Simply slashing spending doesn’t equate to budget repair. Neither does removing taxes.
Ok, ok, we all know that the poor man’s deluded. It’s why all but a handful of his colleagues realised that they couldn’t possibly win another election with him at the helm. (Yes, I know, Tony will tell you that it’s nonsense, it was just a flesh wound and he was just about to inflict the fatal blow on Labor before someone cut off both his arms and it’s just not fair and if his friend George was still in the country, he’d have stopped this somehow because his friend is on first name terms with God!)
But enough about Tony, let’s get back to me.
Like I said before, when I’m talking to a salesman, I’m always aware that they’re trying to sell me something, and – even though they’re telling me that they’re doing me a favour – I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to what they say. If one tells me that it’s really in my best interests to buy their product and they’ve taken such a liking to me that they’re prepared to give it to me half-price, I’m enough of a capitalist to point out that the market rules and whatever they’re prepared to sell it for, IS the price and that there’s no such thing as half-price because the market determines the price and just because it’s selling for half as much, it simply means that it’s a buyers’ market…
And once you start treating politicians with the same skeptism, we have to ask why there was a Royal Commission into union corruption, but none into the financial services industry or the insurance industry. Indeed, the Liberals even had trouble passing legislation that demanded that a financial adviser acted in the best interests of their client. Probably they were worried that if such a concept caught on, someone might expect the same from politicians with regard to voters.
Of course, there has been a bit of hand-wringing from the Coalition with the revelation that insurance arm of the Commonwealth bank seemed to regard the idea that making a claim on one’s insurance was sufficient reason to declare that the insured person wasn’t living up to the terms and conditions of the contract. But it is an election year, so I expect that the concern will morph into various Liberals expressing the need to have a good hard look at the insurance industry once the distraction of campaigning is out the way, but reminding us that they’re the party that doesn’t resort to knee-jerk reactions, and that any suggestion that they’re indecisive is just because they’re waiting to find out who’s their current leader before they finalise their policy.
The Liberals have a firm belief that anything that’s run by the public service is inefficient because it doesn’t enable their donors to make money out of it. Their mode of operation is to run the public service down enough that the voter believes it would be better run by private hands. It’s sold to someone for a “fair” price to one or more companies. We’re told we’ll get the benefit through lower taxes. Then the private operators charge us far more, but we’re told that this is good because it’s competition and we have more money in our pockets so we can afford a little bit extra.
One only has to look at what was done to the TAFE system. It was opened up so that private companies could sign up vulnerable people for ridiculous courses, rip the money from the government and then leave the poor student with a useless course and a debt.
Or look at the jobs networks. The scams there would never be tolerated if a public servant was running them, but somehow it’s just fine because it’s private industry.
Now, let’s look at the achievements of Malcolm Turnbull since he came to office…
Ok, I’m open for suggestions. Comments, anyone?
Oh, and I added the extra “Abbott” at the end of the title just in case. I didn’t want this to be obselete before I hit “publish”!
Anyway, to sum up, while not all salesmen are bad, it’s always worth asking yourself how well the last thing they sold you worked.