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What The Abbott/Turnbull/Abbott Government Has Done For Us!

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 The carbon tax and the mining tax were repealed.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…

Mm…

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.

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25 comments

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  1. olddavey

    What can I say, Ross?
    You’ve said it all.

  2. bobrafto

    we’re probably going thru the golden age of satire.

  3. jim

    Hey great post,Just for those who think the Abbot Trade deals are great for our country Have a look how the USA is going heres a taste of what Australia can expect; Estimates that America lost 3.2 million jobs as a result of the U.S.-China trade deficit between 2001 and 2013. Three-fourths of those jobs were in manufacturing.

    “We need to level the playing field.” — Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan
    Wages of American workers have also suffered due to the competition with cheap Chinese labor, EPI says. The extensive report, which analyzed data by Congressional districts nationwide, says the key to making exports cheap is currency manipulation. Chinese exports are cheaper because China keeps its currency artificially low, according to the report.LINK;http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2014/12/report_ohio_ranks_eighth_in_th.html. but Abbott a Knight ain’t he?

  4. Frunobulax

    Turdball and the Insurance Industry? Regulate for the consumer? We do remember his antics with Williams and Adler, Do we not?

  5. Wally

    If time travel was possible you would go back in time and make Abbotts father wear a condom or abstain for the week he was conceived.

  6. bobrafto

    it was the act of the devil!

  7. trishcorry

    Excellent Piece.

  8. roddy666

    ‘Kept us safe’?
    There’s been one terrorist attack on our soil that’s taken lives in the last 30 years. Not only did it happen on Abbott’s watch, they had credible evidence and information about the perpetrator beforehand and they sat on their hands and did nothing.
    What a complete and utter fallacy.

  9. cuppa

    Beautiful writing about an unattractive ‘government’.

  10. Rossleigh

    Given that the Great Hall has been booked for May 3rd, I don’t think that there’s much debate about the timing of the Budget…
    And if they’re bringing forward the Budget, it follows that July 2nd is the date.
    While I wouldn’t like to see it, one wonders what they’d do if the Senate passed the ABCC legislation. Would they use some other potential trigger such as university deregulation or the abolition of the Clean Energy Commission.
    You know, the Clean Enery Commission which is actually making a profit and helping to contribute to “budget repair”!

  11. Terry2

    Whilst this government continues with its obsessive focus on the Australian Building & Construction Commission (ABCC) legislation , even with the threat of taking us to premature election if the senate fails to pass it, they ignore the gorilla in the room of corporate governance.

    In recent weeks we have seen the demise of Dick Smith Electronics in an exercise of unethical greed and cynicism that has been labelled as the biggest private equity heist of all times : Anchorage Capital, it seems will get of scot-free after duping and pillaging shareholders of $500 million following the spurious and massively overvalued float of the electronics retailer in 2013.

    Now we are now seeing another corporate heist by Clive Palmer who is using every ‘legal’ device he can to dupe his creditors out of what he owes them : he achieves this by manipulating ownership of the Queensland Nickel entity for his own gain and to the detriment of the workers and the Townsville community.

    Malcolm Turnbull needs to turn his attention to corporate crime and reel in these rogues if he wants us to believe that the ABCC is anything other then a Union bashing exercise.

  12. Michael Lacey

    Well said! Thanks for the reminder about Royal commission con jobs!

  13. Adrianne Haddow

    I don’t know why the coalition don’t just cut the subterfuge and call themselves by their rightful name, the IPA Party.

    Not much in their list of government achievements for the Australian people.

  14. Douglas Pye

    Thank you Rossleigh – a well constructed article! Whilst reading on the subject of moving public service work into the private sector (mates), the term “Money Laundering” sprang to mind writ large.

    In ‘some’ circles a criminal offense!!

  15. Michael

    What really, really concerns me is that there seems nothing citizens can do (other than petitions, demo’s, etc) between intensive media supported, slick spin, lie concentrated periods of so called elections other than enjoy it, lay back and think of England (figure of speech from a past time – not anti republic – but none the less a plea to a higher authority short of a non-existent God – a human construct).

    And what scares me more is that some of us seem to be oblivious that it is the ballot process which determines the outcome we see before us and they do not seem to be aware of the power they individually hold in their hands – a power one should never take for granted nor throw away (for another 3-4 years) because it may be inconvenient on the day.

    The political machinery establishment members formed into “networks” or perhaps cabals of understanding (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more) are happy to sacrifice all virtues (at the alter of power and influence) for your one vote (4 minutes) using tactics of what-ever-it-takes and once in – we have to crawl, grovel and put up with extensions of the lies and bullying from the trustees of our common wealth, our public property for the next 3-4 years

    A great democracy those before us aspired to???

  16. gangey1959

    I think the only thing you weren’t 100% correct on was the title.
    abbott / ? / abbott might be closer to reality.
    But what would I know.

  17. Wayne Turner

    Turnbull’s achievement’s since coming to office (NOT including getting rid of moron lying Abbott.But Turnbull = Abbott in a top hat,who speaks better.Who doesn’t?):-

    Dumping Knights & Dames – Windowing dressing.That does NOT effect our lives either way.

    The end – So yes Turnbullsh*t has achieved nothing since coming to office.No policies,and talking crap are about it.

  18. townsvilleblog

    Well written except for the “middle class” nonsense if you have to get out of bed every day to go to work, you are working class, some people can’t accept reality and ‘like’ to think of themselves as ‘just a bit better than the ordinary Joe’ they may be well paid where some are not but they are in fact ‘no better’ than anyone else.

  19. Libspill #3 Dan (@DanielGulberry)

    I have to correct this bit in your post:
    “whatever they’re prepared to sell it for, IS the price”

    It should say ” Whatever someone is willing to pay for it IS the price.”

  20. Rossleigh

    Ok, let’s just say that I’m a working class hero, and that whatever it sells for IS the price.

    That way everyone’s happy!

    Although I suspect that Neil of Sydney may still have something to say…

  21. Rossleigh

    Whoops, I suspect that the phrase “working class hero” may not be viewed with the irony intended from those who don’t remember Lennon’s masterpiece…

    Aw shit, I suspect that the term “masterpiece” may be upsetting and I can’t really change it to “mistresspiece”.

    >Sigh< Ok, in the interests of non-sexism here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N_rNz2oAGA

  22. Stephen

    The destruction of a really quite top notch (excuse my slang) TAFE system is only rivaled by John Howards destruction of the CDEP another conservative government triumph!

  23. You can't be serious?

    Abbott forgot to mention as “achievements”, indeed service to humanity, that he and his Government provided employment to so many Australians who would otherwise have struggled to find work – Tim Wilson (HRC), Nick Minchin (Australian Consul General in New York), Philip Ruddock (UN role), David Kemp and Heather Henderson (Menzies daughter), (both to Old Parliament House Advisory Committee), Sophie Mirabella (Submarine Corp), Kevin Donnelly (school curriculum review), Tony Shepherd and Amanda Vanstone (National Commission of Audit), Maurice Newman (Business Advisory Council), Dick Warburton ( Renewable Energy Target review), Gerard Henderson ( judge of PM’s Literary Awards).

    PS both sides appoint their sympathisers and soldiers, but the Abbott Govt has apparently particularly excelled at this. See http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/coalition-government-appoints-its-political-friends-and-colleagues-to-boards-20150911-gjkifl.html

  24. Matthew Oborne

    Poor Turnbull his popularity come from being a non nutter right wing jerk, and his ability to be PM comes from right wing nutters who didnt want to hop of the gravy train but want him to check off their wish list or else. He is caught between a rock and a crazy place, it shows and Bill Shorten had his measure today forcing the hand of the man who can do anything or he will lose popular support or worse still his position as PM, thankfully for him his mummy didnt predict he would be PM.

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