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At What Cost?

As we await the release of tomorrow’s Federal Budget, it would appear in Abbott-land, not all promises are born equal. The promise to return the budget to surplus is clearly far more important to Abbott than promises not to cut welfare, health and education funding. Another priority promise appears to be the promise to ‘stop. the. boats’, which Abbott uses as an excuse to override any semblance of decency and humanity in the way that our country treats the most desperate members of our community. But my question is, how much do Abbott voters value these promises to return the budget to surplus and to stop the boats? Do they value them as much as Abbott clearly does? Or are the people who supported Abbott in 2013 starting to ask a question that should keep Abbott and his team awake at night – are the end goals of a surplus and the end of the flow of boats really worth all this cost?

Like the ideological zealot that he is, Abbott is quite clearly more than happy to swing his wrecking ball at anything that even remotely resembles Labor Party policy, and will continue to do this for the term of his government because he can. This is an important point. Abbott is not cutting and burning spending because he really wants to keep his promise to return the budget to surplus. Because clearly there was no ‘budget emergency’, and clearly deep cuts to an economy that is already nervously coming out of the global financial crisis is a hugely detrimental strategy. These cuts have nothing to do with Abbott keeping a promise, because apart from anything else, Abbott has proven time and time again that he doesn’t give a crap about keeping promises. Abbott wants a small government, not because it is good for the economy, not because it is good for the community, and not because it is the responsible adult thing to do. He wants small government because it suits his free-marketeer ideology.

I’m guessing the vast majority of Abbott voters don’t understand what ideology even means, let alone how an ideology such as Abbott’s guides every decision the man makes. However, I’m wondering, while Abbott bandies around his ‘surplus at all costs’ justification for his broken promises and his wide ranging and anti-community, anti-poor-people, pro-wealth-inequality policies, if people who voted for him are a little peeved that he’s doing all this for them. Because I don’t think when they voted for Abbott, and they heard him say he’d deliver a surplus, they were really giving him permission to do everything he is doing now. Did Abbott voters know that the surplus promise came with a list of asterisks that completely undermine the social contract between government and voters? Did they know they’d be paying for GP visits? Did they understand that once the mining tax was gone, they would have to pay for the loss in revenue themselves somehow? Are they happy about paying more for petrol, after Abbott told them it was OK to protest against the Carbon Price? Are they starting to wonder who this lunatic is who they have put in charge? Are they starting to realise that their support for Abbott is being used to justify him doing terrible, horrible, cruel, ideologically-driven, fiscally irresponsible things to the country which is going to detrimentally influence their own lives, and the lives of all their family and friends? Are they feeling used? I think they might be.

Clearly most Abbott voters don’t give much thought to the lives of asylum seekers and the reasons why people put their families on boats. Nor do they care what happens to these people if they don’t get on a boat. But I wonder if the ‘stop the boats’ slogan that sounded so promising to these people during the election campaign, is now making them feel a bit nervous. Did voters understand when they gave Abbott their vote that he would be using it to destroy Australia’s relationship with Indonesia? Are they starting to understand that there was never a simple way to deal with asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat and anyone who said there was, was lying? And even if they don’t care about asylum seekers, what do they think about asylum seekers being murdered inside an Australian detention centre? Are they proud to know that they had a part to play in the violence at Manus Island? Do they cringe even just a little bit at the thought that they gave Scott Morrison control of this situation, and he’s clearly not fit to be in charge of people’s lives?

I very much doubt any Abbott voter would ever admit to a feeling of unease about the surplus situation, or what is happening to asylum seekers, but Abbott needs to understand that even if these voters can’t bring themselves to form the words, or even the thought that they might have done the wrong thing by voting Liberal or National, it will influence their behaviour in the future. Judging by the latest polls voters may be learning not to make the same mistake twice.

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59 comments

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  1. john921fraser

    <

    Look around ….. voters are learning to keep their hands in their pockets.

    And the end result of that is recession.

    One thing is for certain Victoria ….. Aussies may have trouble understanding "ideology" but they now know they have voted in pathological liars.

  2. edward eastwood

    If readers/voters are curious about Abbott’s free marketeer philosophy and its nature, they only have to go as far as Ludwig von Mises (one of the founders of the Austrian School of Economics) praise of Ayn Rand – Goddess of the Neo-Libs- when he wrote to her;

    “You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them, you inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you.”

    This is the code in which Abbott believes and lives by.

  3. Ricardo29

    They may, but I’m not convinced, know they have voted in pathological liars and unconscionable ideologues, but what most of us want to know us how can we get rid of them before they destroy the country?

  4. Anomander

    Abbott voters simply don’t give a damn about refugees at all. Most of their thinking is so simplistic the slogans have worked a treat. Here’s an example of the type of thinking they do (I use the term “thinking” loosely).

    Many of them firmly believe refugees are queue jumpers who get given a house by the government, when Australians can’t afford one. They also get more dole than old age pensioners and that they sit back with their 15 wives, stealing all our jobs yet somehow also sponging off the welfare purse and pumping out Muslim babies which will overrun the country in a few years time.

    Lots of them are happy for the government to spend whatever it takes to stop us being swamped by foreigners wearing robes and want to introduce Sharia law and force us all to pay extra and eat their halal food.

    Funny though they have never actually met a refugee and the Mulsims who work in the same office seem to go unnoticed, because “well… they’re different than that other lot”.

    I know this because I work with someone who thinks just like this, much to my chagrin. No matter how many facts are presented, their opinion is seldom swayed. No matter how many compelling arguments are made, their position is unmoveable. They live in an echo chamber getting all their news form the MSM and talkback radio, which repeats the same sick mantra over and over.

    As long as they don’t hear of any boats, that’s a good thing and Tony is their hero for apparently doing that. All other transgressions he makes are acceptable in their tiny,minds.

  5. dafid1

    Re Abbotts followers. For now at least they are a dwindling lot as exposed by todays ReachTel Poll for Fairfax.
    Coalitions Primary vote is at its lowest level for a long long time – ALP 38.8 ..LNP 37.8
    2PP even worse, the Torys are in Annihilation Territory. – ALP 54%…LNP 46%

    As Labor found those numbers are Doom. Its now their task to keep them there I am not overflowing with hope but at least the platform is there.
    The down for Bill Shorten, he still trails Abbott as preferred PM…that should be telling him what 60% of the rank and file told him last year.
    Push or shove?

  6. Kerri

    Kissing babies is one thing but who is this poor woman subject to Abbott’s breath in her hair?
    The photo has overtones of Monica Lewinski.

  7. Terry2

    I see that The Prime Minister has rallied his troops to hang together during what may be a post election backlash. Helpfully he has told them not to worry as he fully expects the electorate will have forgotten all about this budget and the lies by the time the next election comes around and the main priority remains re-election at all costs,in 2016.
    For the 2019 election there will, of course be the removal of the ‘debt levy’ tax so that will be the big sweetener for the Abbott third term.

    See, they know just how gullible we are.

  8. Sue Lofthouse

    When the budget is wheeled out, it will be interesting to note how many times this “no excuses” government will invoke the ALP to explain their own changes in direction.

    The time to spotlight the errors of Labor’s ways was when Liberal was in opposition. As shadow government for the last two terms, while Labor drove the economy, it appears that the Liberals were asleep in the back seat. Why else would they have made election promises without knowing the state of the economy that they wished to steer for the next three years?

  9. mark delmege

    The Liberal National Government’s version of neo liberalism also invokes a mishmash of Slash and Burn and Cargo Cultism.

  10. Stephen Tardrew

    The die is cast, the water is rising and the snout is nearly going under. Abbott’s accusation of Julia lying is definitely coming back to haunt him big time. The funny thing is he is so convinced of his own immutability that he cannot see his own hypocrisy. I cannot believe the suicide dive he and Hockey have sent the LNP into with such blind neoconservative elitist conviction. Refugees aside, (and most of you know how appalled I am by that) sending this lot down the drain will bring a new awakening that progressives must grab with both hands and run relentlessly to the next election. Raising taxes and breaking a promise is poison: one step too far. The IPA list and the Commission of Audit are a manna from heaven.

    Keep up the marches and protests as they feed into the perception of disillusionment with neo-conservatism. Expose the illusory debt for what it is. This demands playing on peoples fears for if there is one thing that will turn voters is the fear of the uncertainty and loss of income. The poor have to tighten the belt while the elites run off with the winnings.

    We must stop the despair and act with positivism and a sense that progressives can now get rid of this government. I would still like to see Shorten off the playing field but that is to come.

    We need to turn anger into positive sense of purpose to bring people along with us. Continual negativity has its down side leading to hopelessness and despair. Our message now needs to be positive and uplifting while being critically based upon the facts.

    Lets show this lit that honesty does pay.

  11. CMMC

    Texas Chainsaw Neo-Liberalism.

  12. john921fraser

    <

    No apologies here from Abbott :

    "TABLE 7 1 Twelve Largest Economies by Share of World GDP, ICP 2011
    Ranking by
    GDP
    (PPP-based)
    Economy
    Share of world GDP
    (PPP-based,
    world = 100)
    Share of world GDP
    (exchange rate–based,
    world = 100)
    Ranking by
    GDP per capita
    (PPP-based)
    1 United States 17.1 22.1 12
    2 China 14.9 10.4 99
    3 India 6.4 2.7 127
    4 Japan 4.8 8.4 33
    5 Germany 3.7 5.2 24
    6 Russian Federation 3.5 2.7 55
    7 Brazil 3.1 3.5 80
    8 France 2.6 4.0 30
    9 United Kingdom 2.4 3.5 32
    10 Indonesia 2.3 1.2 107
    11 Italy 2.3 3.1 34
    12 Mexico 2.1 1.7 72"

    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/ICPINT/Resources/270056-1183395201801/Summary-of-Results-and-Findings-of-the-2011-International-Comparison-Program.pdf

    No apologies to the world's 10th largest economy on Australia's doorstep.

  13. Fed up

    “Wonder what Margie thinks when she sees these photos ”

    I wonder jf she cares?

  14. Stephen Tardrew

    John: May 12, 2014 • 8:43 pm

    You bastard John gunna have nightmares for weeks.

  15. john921fraser

    <

    @Fed up.

    I'm thinking along the same lines.

    Although she must be repelled by his behaviour.

  16. sam

    Someone should tell all those large corporation stakeholders with their government bonds they wont be very good because the government in in defecit. Wont be able to pay up… What a shame 😉 😉 😉

    Hockey is completely illiterate when it comes to macroeconomics.

    He doesnt understand fundamentals and is happy to push the lie that governments must ‘fund’ their spending like a household.

    When in fact it is the currency issuing entity and the intrinsic value of the currency is not tied to one commodity: eg: gold. Its neo-liberal rubbish that beyond some point a non-capacity restrained (see all those unemployed young people 😉 ) economy will hit some invisible wall if it issues currency targeted at creating growth. Sorry modelling like NAIRU is not mathematically sound and would not be of use in the fields of engineering, mathematics, science it is not a robust heuristic and uses too many assumptions, by past precedent does not predict any underlying inflation. Its a heuistic akin to the dark age of science when people though the earth was the center of the universe.

    Sorry sweaty Joe. You’re obfuscating the function of treasury with massive unemployment/underemployment/hidden employment by not doing your job.

    Budget surplus will mean private sector defecit. As the two are inversely proportional. One of the most basic macroeconomic concepts a ‘top down’ approach looking at flows of aggregate currency between government, private and external sector is enough to prove this. Too bad the australian people dont wake up to this there would be one hell of a riot. (took on a lot of personal debt in the 90’s 2000’s while howard was able to claim atypical surplus which was at the cost of ordinary Australians).

    The australian dollar is a fiat soverign issued currency. Hence the government CANT run out of money. Proof by past precedent of any modern fiat economy.
    Would’nt it be nice if they didnt follow the magic graphs/mathematical snake oil of ‘austerity’. And funny how these criminals will push austerity for your grandmother but not for their own vested interests too.

    Australia needs to run large continuous sustained defecits aimed at creating FULL EMPLOYMENT. Anything less is ideological rubbish.

    ‘Budget’ ‘defecit’ Both these words are bulls**t properganda firstly budget implies that there is some limit or ‘limitation’ from the currency side of the equation and ‘defecit’ implies that there is some shortage linked to some physical manifiestation of shortage.
    Well guess what if government runs surplus that is just a number in a computer. That money does nothing (unix joke here: try saving your work to /dev/null is a perfect example) All they are doing is taking money from society where defecit is all very real for the private sector and putting it in a black hole where it sits and does nothing. All the perpetuate a lie that dumbs down the population so they can win election.

    …Meanwhile lack of spending may on something like health, fire service etc may very well kill your grandmother! All for ideology bulls**t!

  17. Matters Not

    sam, I think you ‘understand’!

  18. Kaye Lee

    I saw the new Liberal Democrats and Family First senators on Lateline last night. Heaven help us. They are just a couple of blokes who have NO idea. All debt is bad, and we must lift revenue by lowering taxes. One of them wants a flat taxation rate of 20%. That should solve the inequity problem. You really don’t have to be very bright to go into politics do you.

    Liberal MP Sharman Stone was on Q&A. She has a rather high opinion of herself after speaking out about SPC – something I congratulate her for. She also said some very sensible stuff about question time being a total waste of time – just a chance for the “men” to do some theatrical posturing. She also said the stupid dorothy dixxers from her own side are pointless. I can only agree. She suggested all questions should be with notice, gone through by the dept to make sure they are permissable (parliamentary), and directed to the appropriate person, and that a certain percentage of questions should come from the public. I like THAT idea. The minister is then given a set time to answer the questions.

    However, when Ms Stone started on her “we aren’t breaking a promise because we told you about the PPL levy so we never said no taxation increases” her credibility flew out the window. You can’t tell us in one breath that you are renowned for speaking your mind and then mindlessly chant the party script du jour when you know it is a downright lie. She also pushed the budget “crisis” line. Either you are a truthful politician with integrity or you are a party hack Sharman. Why not become independent so we can hear your good ideas and you can drop the bullshit that you are so obviously being told to spin. When ten Coalition politicians all repeat the exact same line verbatim in interviews, you can’t blame us for doubting your veracity when you are delivering lines written by slimy advertising manipulators like Textor who would sell his grandmother for sixpence.

  19. patsy

    good article as usual…..the hypocrite abbott has been to church… this morning…I feel sick to think I am a. catholic ………I wonder if he went to confession and asked god to forgive him for what he is about to do to the poor and working people of our wonderful country ……..the LIAR rules !!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Terry2

    I have pondered over how to sort out Question Time and get rid of the Dorothy Dixxers – even questions on notice won’t necessarily solve the problem that so diminishes what should be a fundamental part of our democratic process.

    Post budget we can expect Hockey to get a platform to talk up his budget ; the question will probably come from some hapless backbencher who will have had the question delivered in advance – probably on his or her tablet :

    “Could the Treasurer inform the House on how this budget will bring joy to the nation, will bring our
    economy back to surplus and reduce the debt legacy left by the former government and how nice life will be under a coalition government”

    It would take a very independent and impartial Speaker to rule out a question of that sort; perhaps we need to have a people’s forum in Old Parliament House to consider what WE want from OUR parliament. We tend to forget that this is our democracy and our parliament and the incumbents are public servants that we employ.

  21. Zathras

    Edward Eastwood –
    It’s somewhat ironic that Ayn Rand lived out her final days in misery and totally dependent on the welfare system she once despised.

    Karma can be a bitch sometimes, and it will eventually catch up with our current encumbents.

  22. Kaye Lee

    How good of the politicians to give up a pay rise they were never going to get. Nice one Joe.

    “The independent Remuneration Tribunal made a preliminary move in April to not recommend rises for MPs (base salary $195,000) and senior public servants for the 12 months from midyear.”

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/remuneration-tribunal-decided-in-april-against-wage-increases-for-mps-and-top-public-servants/story-fn84fgcm-1226914847040

    Business confidence has picked up but consumer confidence is at a five year low. Obvious to see which end of town is smiling and which end is bunkering down.

  23. dafid1

    Kaye Lee I sent the link to your post re Ms Stone to the MP via Twitter. Something she should read, it’s the common sense she will not find in the MSM.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, they are such fine custodians of moral virtue.

    And such a glowing example they are: “if we can freeze our quarter million dollar salaries a year, why don’t you accept a freeze on your $25,000 a year pension. We’re all in this together, you know”.

  25. Wayne Turner

    “Broken Promises” is too kind to this mob.More like SERIAL LYING HYPOCRITES.

    Seriously what did the rest of the (ignorant) public expect?,after this:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eai3eKPEV5I

  26. Wayne Turner

    Indeed Dan.

  27. Fed up

    No, we will not all be sharing the pain.

    …….Pain all round” will be the rallying cry of the night. Joe Hockey says this first budget – tonight – will hit everyone from high earners to politicians to Australians too poor to pay to see the doctor. All of us will have to “contribute budget repair”.

    Except that we won’t.

    The latest tax statistics show 75 ultra-high earning Australians paid no tax at all in 2011-12. Zero. Zip.

    Each earned more than $1 million from investments or wages. Between them they made $195 million, an average of $2.6 million each.

    Advertisement

    The fortunate 75 paid no income tax, no Medicare levy and no Medicare surcharge, even though 60 of them had private health insurance…………

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/budget-pain-not-for-millionaires-who-pay-no-tax-20140512-zr9o3.html#ixzz31Y65r0Zn

  28. Don Winther

    Great article Victoria, loved the link Kaye Lee. I thought that would be the case, more bullshit from Tony and Joe. Hope Clive has a good go.

  29. Terry2

    Kaye

    This morning Mr Abbott announced – on 2GB where else – that the Lifetime Travel Gold Pass for retired politicians is :

    “GONE, FINISHED, KAPUT, DEAD”

    Maybe I’m overly suspicious but my recollection was that the Gillard government passed legislation in 2012 withdrawing the Travel Gold Pass for new politicians and cutting the domestic flight entitlement, for those who already had it, from 25 to 10 return flights a year but I seem to remember that former Prime Ministers and Ministers still had a full lifetime entitlement.

    It now seems that Abbott is talking about retrospective legislation that will completely remove the entitlement from all former pollies unless the travel involves official functions sanctioned by government.
    Amanda Vanstone has already noted that this retrospective legislation may not be constitutional.

    Is it another Abbott brainfart or will Howard, Keating, Hawke, Whitlam, Fraser et al actually have to surrender their Gold Passes.

    What do you think ?

  30. Stephen Tardrew

    Great link Dan.

    This says it all. The grand gift to the rich while shafting the middle class and poor. Shorten’s response to the tax is pathetic. They won’t use the loaded gun because it will effect their mates. This is ridiculous when we have to fight Labor as well as the LNP to get tax justice. Damn it Labor plays a devious game feeding us trite lollies while playing the corporate main game. No wonder progressives are damn mad.

    News Flash:

    Wealthy sponge off the working class and poor.

    Tax injustice hits middle and low income workers.

    Subsidizing the wealthy while demonizing the poor.

    We have have no right too expect tax justice.

    Greed is the new normal: justice a myth.

    Who needs a wage increase with massive tax exemptions.

  31. edward eastwood

    Sam: Well said, well argued. It would seem that the scales are finally falling from the eyes of the public when it comes the hoary chestnut of deficit spending and government ‘debt’. You’re right! Hockey has no idea of economics, in fact any first term Year 11 student would beat him on a break.

    Zathras; Yes, I was aware of the circumstances Rand found herself in the last days of her life. Funny how her concept of ‘second-handers’ and ‘welfare moochers’ went out the window when it was her turn in the barrel.

    Typical Neo-lib, they can dish it out but they’re not so good at taking it.

    If I ever get to New York, I will plan on visiting her grave for the express purpose of pissing on it!

  32. dafid1

    So the Green Party will support the tax on petrol, what a bludy joke they are. I await a Green supporter if there are any brave enough, to tell me why?

  33. geoffreyengland

    The looks on the faces of most of Western Sydney™ would be priceless. Harsh I know, as these families are like all of us, anxious, worried, scared to varying degrees depending on our circumstances. I feel sorry for them and all the other Abbott supporters who, and this is important, took him at his word, (worthless though it was) when he made his now infamous Government of no surprises speech election eve.
    One thing you are correct about though, they don’t give a tinker’s cuss about Scotty Morrison and Manus, Naru and all that shocking stuff.

  34. Stephen Tardrew

    Note: while Abbott plays the “look at me I can freeze my feeble wage” while not really freezing it his corporate mates make a killing on ridiculous bonuses even when they are incompetent.

    And when they leave government who will provided consultancies and many special rewards that will be washed away in the ignorance of the inoculated masses.

    It is so blatant that one wonders how ordinary Australians don’t see such rampant corruption. You my fellow countrymen continue to pay and suffer for this neo-liberal gravy train.

    But, but, but it’s the big bad debt.

    Sometimes I feel like I need to find a safe little rabbit hole but then Brear Rabbit and Sweaty Man psychically penetrate the ether until all sense of sanity is lost and I return to this madness.

  35. jezzaG

    Well said Stephen Tardrew I lot of people feel like this. It says a lot when the PUP stick the boot in more than a (so called) socialist Labor party, shame on Bill and shame on Labor..

  36. jezzaG

    My comment was in response to your earlier comment “Shorten’s response to the tax is pathetic” not this one but I do agree all the same.

  37. OnceGreatNation

    The last few weeks I have shaken my head in dismay at the cynicism of our current government.

    Scott Morrison announced an end to free legal aid for asylum seekers. Genuine refugees now have no hope in their appeals against the formidable federal legal teams. Masterstroke! What if the refugee ponies up the cash for their own legal aid? Well, that just proves they are economic migrants and not true refugees, deportation for them! Masterstroke! Its a lose-lose situation for refugees, but a win-win media opportunity for the heartless mongrels to feed the tiny-minded bigots who support them.

    Then Abbott announces a pay freeze for pollies to show we all need to ‘share the pain’ of an austerity budget. Nothing more smacks of cynicism in my mind than to appeal to that ingrained Australian need to see those better off suffer setback to feel better about our own circumstances.

    Except its just another lie from a man who already has a larger salary than Barrack Obama and most European leaders. While Abbott ‘tightens his belt’ and opts for an annual holiday this year somewhere domestic like Kakadu rather than the Ski Slopes of France, I’ll likely lose my job by the end of June directly due to this government. If that happens (95% chance I’m told – despite the fact I have consistently received glowing performance reviews for years) I’ll be ‘tightening my belt’ by my family being evicted from our rental of 10 years, repossession of my car, homelessness for myself, my partner and our three daughters, and the prospects of competition in a job market flooded by applicants from the tens of thousands of public service workers and manufacturing workers Abbott and his razor gang inflicted the same devastation on. God forbid I should be seeking something in the upcoming budget ‘for myself’, like – the ability to work hard and be rewarded, rewards like – somewhere to live, food to eat, and being able to provide for my family and get a good education for my children.

    I am going to end this now because I have become too bitter.

  38. Stephen Tardrew

    OnceGreatNation:

    May 13, 2014 • 1:20 pm

    We are with you mate.

    It is just appalling immoral exploitation. It’s no longer amoral this lot have passed the boundary between amoral and immoral.

    Thinking of you buddy.

  39. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan:

    Of course they are, and Newstart will shrink when unemployment goes down. These guys are just charlatans beating up on the poor.

    Is it me or is Shorten just plain wishy washy?

  40. Dan Rowden

    It’s not you, Stephen.

  41. jimhaz

    It is interesting that the Finance journos of the SMH seem to be the only ones in the MSM who at least fairly consistently tell a decent part of the truth without heavy bias – whereas most of the frequent opinion writers are pro-LNP propaganderists.

    I’ve noted this for a few years now. Perhaps it is Gittins influence (though he is economics).

    It gladdens me that these people who deal in the Finance world have not fallen under the lies of the ultra-cons.

  42. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan:

    Labor needs Penny Wong up front to attack these lying misogynist bastards. I pray for the day when she can give Abbott a public serve to his lying face.

  43. Dan Rowden

    Stephen,

    Labor’s Budget Reply will be vital to their, and particularly Bill Shorten’s, future. They really need to ensure that it is a true watershed moment. If they can’t mange it there’s a real problem.

  44. dafid1

    Dan/Stephen…best someone slips Bill Shorten a few strong ones to get his mongrel up before he speaks, it’s there he produced it once in the last session. I was so disappointed, hours pre budget, Labor didn’t lead today’s Matter of Public Importance motion with one of their really strong up and at em speakers, like Albo, or Tony Burke, Brendan O’Connor, Catherine King, Kate Ellis, plenty of them. Was great chance to get 20mins free kicks in. I don’t know what’s wrong with Tanya Plibersek, since Julia’s departure she has lost her oompha. Afraid the Leadership duo are a disappointment 🙁
    But what do I know. Just a rank and file onlooker.

  45. Kaye Lee

    Family First’s Bob Day, who will take his place in the Senate in July, thinks we should all pay a flat rate of 20% tax because then there will be less reason for rich people to avoid paying tax.

    Considering 75 of our richest citizens paid NO tax in 2011-12 he may have a point.

    OR YOU COULD CLOSE THE LOOPHOLES, STOP THE CONCESSIONS, AND STOP THE AMNESTY ON TAX CHEATS AND GET BACK WHAT THEY OWE US LIKE YOU DO TO PEOPLE WHO GET TOO MUCH FAMILY PAYMENT.

  46. Trevor vivian

    Political Theatre and lying asswipes.

    How did Australian political discourse come to the present lying low?

    Is it based on the beginning of Aust democracy when only the landed gentry could participate?
    Is it based on the conniving indifference of an electorate bombarded by team this, team that propaganda?

    Is it based on a political class that forgoes no opportunity to feather its own nest?(refer micro party rules to stop the 25%+ that vote minor/micro from electing senators)

    There are solutions like a professional Parliament staffed by officers who run the Parliament and all its political operatives(politicians) are obliged to swear allegiance to this Aust Parliament and uphold the rulings of the professional staff including positions such as Speaker along with the multitude benefits presently allotted as the spoils of winning office.

    The present system of winner take the spoils of office only corrupts democracy and brings no respite to the dishonour that passes for daily political discourse in the nations parliaments.

    The level of political discourse in Parliaments is likened to private school boy antics but do you see private schools base their operations on the present parliamentary rules of winner takes all in their student interactions.

    No is that answer

    Nobody in their right mind would hand absolute power to a bunch of over wheening private school boys as is the present operation of the parliaments in Aust.

    Guaranteed that politicians will not make the changes to a professional Parliament nor the controlling of an over wheening cohort of public purse snout in trough legends in their own lunch time masquerading as leaders.

    At present the political classes only interest is preserving their winnings and conniving to facilitate a future of more of the same.

    Tis a shame that it comes to greed, power, corruption and all the antecedent issues associated with abuse of civility.

    But what else can you expect a bunch of over wheening private school boys to do with 200 years of born to rule mentality. Surely you don’t believe they ate there for yore and mine benefit or societies even.

    Not when Party political power and the spoils of winning continue to rule the discourse.

    Poor fella my country!

  47. Dan Rowden

    dafid1,

    For me Bill Shorten’s definitive failing is this: he does not posses, and therefore does not express, a healthy contempt for the conservative side. He travels in their circles with far too much comfort. Keating had it in perfect measure. Gillard had it (more especially before she began to be micro-managed and controlled by the Right as PM). Rudd lacked it too; he may have been officially non-aligned factionally, but had he been so it would most certainly have been with the Right.

    One of the associated problems with a Labor leader who lacks any genuine but healthy contempt for the conservative side of politics is that he/she will, by consequence, lack the capacity to authentically and persuasively and with any genuine political joie de vivre or passion, be able to promote and argue the philosophy of the “Left” (social democracy, basically).

    For me, this is Shorten’s biggest problem. I don’t see it as fixable.

  48. dafid1

    Thanks Dan, hadn’t thought of it that way, certainly fits the persona of the man. I agree about not fixable, trouble is how long before he admits it to himself, or his collegues particularly the Right who are responsible for putting him there, wakeup they backed a loser.
    There is a growing rumble of dissatisfaction on Social Media also.

  49. Kaye Lee

    Dan,

    I watched Shorten address the Labor Party conference. He said it was their fault that they lost…hmmm…yes, to a degree. He then waffled on about changing party structure and members voting etc….where was the blasting of the government? Where was the inspiration and the urgent NEED to dethrone Abbott and the confidence that this can be done? The crowd cheered at what seemed scripted pauses…ok. But when he muffed one of his lines, and the crowd missed their cue to cheer, he said “Are you with me?” with as close as he could get to passion. The crowd went, oh, sorry, and dutifully applauded. I was embarrassed.

  50. Anomander

    Look at that picture at the top of the post, the one of Abbott trying to suck the brains out of that poor young mother. Like some horrible, evil zombie.

    The gods know he could do with some more brains because he clearly doesn’t know how to use the one he has.

  51. Dan Rowden

    Kaye Lee,

    Shorten lacks gravitas. That’s not his fault, necessarily, but some authentic expression of old fashioned leftie gravitas is just what is needed right now to contrast with this Government. If Labor cannot successfully engage in an ideological battle – and win – against this mob in particular, we’re in deep strife.

    I wish Swanny had what it takes to do a Keating to some degree (rise from the political burden of treasury), because he at least thinks about thus stuff, but I’m not sure he’s up to it. I don’t know who is at present, really.

  52. Kaye Lee

    I agree…Swan knows his stuff and speaks well…but I think the vitriole slung at him about debt and deficit, unjustified though it was, sticks in Conservatives’ minds. If he could rally the Left, could he win the swingers?

    This is the dawning of the age of accountancy
    The age of accountancy
    Harmony and understanding
    Sympathy and trust redundant
    Lots of falsehood and derision
    Golden showers trickling vision
    Tony’s crystal revelation
    Unemployment liberation
    Accountancy, accountancy

  53. Buff McMenis

    It has been and gone, done and dusted, slimed and sneered at, and … I AM APPALLED!! And as an Aged Pensioner with an incurable Muscle wasting disease, I need to say no more than that! 🙁

    But one must ask .. how did you get it so right??!

  54. mars08

    Budget 2014 is done. The unemployed, sick and old have been stung. The public service has been slashed. Education and health have been hammered. Foreign aid has been clobbered. Fuel is up.

    So what are they planning for next year? More of the same? Surely they can’t go too much further down this path. How much more can the LNP gouge from their usual victims?

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