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Australia Cannot Afford the Coalition

This isn’t an article about economics. This is an article about something far more precious: Culture.

Australia is losing the best parts of itself and at the speed, this slide is happening we’re going to be culturally bankrupt before we get a chance to save the farm.

Things started to go bad during the Howard years. Australia’s most reactionary leader and government sought to unravel the fabric of the social reforms of the Whitlam era, particularly in regard to the rights of women, whose proper station in life had clearly been forgotten.

What he couldn’t achieve in that specific respect he made up for with his own ideas on how to reverse the progressive trend of the Nation’s growth pattern.

He took our famed and admittedly somewhat exaggerated “egalitarianism” and thoroughly trashed it with middle-class welfare programs.

He is the progenitor of the modern illness of a sense of entitlement amongst the not-so-badly-off classes. He is the force behind the demonisation of people seeking asylum in this country.

He took the long-standing and genuine humanitarian impulses of thinking Australians – from all parts of the political spectrum – and threw them into the frothy wake of a ship called Tampa.

He took the children of moral decency and reason and threw them overboard like so much burly and watched the sharks of racism circle.

He ignited the anxieties of the more conservative and insecure elements of our society with jingoistic rhetoric about border control and who should and should not come to this country.

He openly and brazenly traded in fear and loathing.

It wasn’t just desperate foreign people using desperate measures that he sought to demonise. He managed to do it to all sorts of Australians as well.

First, it was single mothers, the perception of whom he changed to lazy sluts (with a lot of help from pathologically sanctimonious media types like Ray Martin).

Single mothers in the worst financial positions (getting little or no maintenance) received less GST compensation than any other families.

During this time single mothers were perceived as a threat to the institution of marriage itself. Not merely symbolically, but quite literally, at least in Conservative terms. Fifties’ Conservatism.

Then there was the welfare class more generally. Howard gave life and breath to a deranged individual by the name of Pauline Hanson, whose single greatest contribution to Australian culture is the sickly pious and demented mentality of “downward envy” – envy and judgement directed at people who get something that you don’t, even if they have nothing in the first place, or as one analyst put it, “The unhealthy desires of some people to ensure that anyone they deem to be lower on the social and economic scale than themselves, stays there.”

The Liberals let Pauline go soon enough, only to enthusiastically embrace the worst characteristics of her social policy and sell them wholesale to a public keen for a cheap deal.

Howard also allowed greedy, profiteering insurance companies all across this country to make it nigh on impossible for community groups to continue with publicly staged events.

Fairs, fetes, festivals, concerts and markets closed down all across the land. Many have never returned. This particular loss to Australian culture is still being felt today.

Far too little has been made of it. It is a hugely significant matter to communities everywhere because it is precisely these sorts of events that make communities; these are the things that bind and unite.

Howard’s complete inaction with respect to insurance company profiteering was nothing less than cultural vandalism. No effort was made to protect communities legislatively.

Then along came Kevin Rudd and a couple of moderate Coalition leaders and it seemed for a second that things might turn around a little.

But by this time Labor had shifted so far to the centre-right that nothing much was going to change. Some of us thought that at least we might have some respite from the cultural and spiritual decline. No such luck.

Tony Abbott and the Mainstream Media were soon on hand to ensure that no such respite was to be had. There was work to be done. There were institutions to sully, minds to manipulate and demons to exorcise.

If you thought the Howard years were an exercise in abject cynicism, you hadn’t seen anything yet.

Six years of incessant Opposition negativity, mendacity, manipulation, backed, promulgated and codified by a sycophantic media, has reduced this Nation’s heart and soul to a lump of cold, dark charcoal.

No-one can possibly engage in such scurrilous behaviour for an extended period of time and not expect that it will have social repercussions. Political apathy is a real problem in this country and it’s been made worse by the political environment of the last six years.

Labor is certainly not innocent in this, but their role is far less sinister than that of the Coalition and the Mainstream Media.

But lack of political engagement is not something any political party has to fear when the media is on your side. In fact, it’s in the interests of such a party to try and increase it. An ostensibly passive audience can be told most anything and have it be believed.

You simply have to be the one in control of the message. The Coalition has offered the electorate what amounts to a policy vacuum and many have been sucked into it.

Over the last six years, the Coalition has debased the Parliament by their actions and behaviour within those very chambers. Labor’s leadership problems were unfortunate (and not entirely of their own making), but they had nothing to do with the Parliament or the Government per se.

They functioned perfectly well on the Government’s side of things despite the dramas happening in the Party Room. The tragedy is that the Coalition will not be punished in any way for their abject disregard for this Nation’s most significant institution.

The deep cognitive dissonance that has been engendered by a long and consistent campaign to demonise successive Labor Governments will likely be successful. They honestly think they are Pavlov and we are their dogs.

Sadly, the bell will toll for far too many Australian electors. Conservatives use demonisation at every turn. They know this taps into the worst parts of the Australian psyche and they don’t care – or perhaps more accurately don’t see it because that’s precisely the realm they inhabit themselves.

Like an emphysemic lung, the soul of the Nation has been gradually darkened by this mentality and the only available oxygen is laced with a toxic blend of Conservative Carbon and Murdoch Monoxide.

Political cynicism and passivity, a rampant sense of entitlement by those who have no cause to feel it, xenophobia, downward envy, loss of charity, loss of our egalitarian spirit, loss of sense of community, loss of trust in important institutions, loss of tolerance.

These are all facets of the cultural decline Australia has been suffering since the Howard Government. They are all consequences of the Conservative mentality.

It seemed for a moment in 2007 when the Nation flushed the Howard Government down the toilet we’d done so in a moment of genuine insight into what had befallen us.

It’s as though we woke up briefly, but have now returned to our default state of ‘somnambulance.’ At this election, we have the opportunity to slow the cultural slide or to add lubricant to it.

Be in no doubt, an Abbott led Coalition Government will be a return to the Howard brand. A Coalition loss would instead see a movement in their ranks to something more reasonable and moderate, with Malcolm Turnbull at the tiller.

Be in no doubt also that a vote for the Coalition will be a vote for nine months of political and policy chaos.

There is no chance that the Coalition can govern effectively given that the current make-up of the Senate does not change until July next year. The Greens have the balance of power in the Senate.

Just how much of the Coalition’s policy agenda is going to see the light of day? Are we headed for a full election of both houses early next year? The Coalition is certainly chest-beating about that prospect. I guess that’s part of their plan to Stop the Waste.

Will Abbott instead back away from his policy agenda and tear up his “contract” with the Australian people?

Will he indulge in the mammoth hypocrisy and contradiction of doing deals with the Greens? No-one knows.

What we do know is one of those scenarios will unfold and nothing resembling stable governance will happen for the first nine long months of a Coalition Government.

By contrast, the re-election of the Labor Government will mean a neat segue from a static carbon price to a floating carbon price, and in most other respects, business as usual.


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  1. johnlord2013

    Enjoying your work. Very stimulating.

  2. Dan Rowden

    Thank you, John. Likewise.

  3. jane

    Very enjoyable & simultaneously very frightening. Everything crossed that NewsCorpse has overreached and they & their corrupt polls & they suffer another humiliating Obama style poke in the eye.

  4. Karin-Joe Oswald

    So very well written Dan!!! I echo Jane’s first sentence!

  5. mikisdad

    Dan, congratulation on a great observation of the political realities of the last few years. Well done. It is some consolation to me, in face of the depression I’m expecting on Saturday, that people such as yourself are both passionate and even handed and able to express your case so well.

    Thank you.

  6. littlemissragsnblotch

    Reblogged this on Secret diary of a Cowgirl and commented:
    “George Brandis (Abbott’s biggot big-business attorney general) came out this morning to announce that the Libs are changing copyright laws online to end pirating in Australia.” -Aaron Darc

  7. peter h

    This article is as Left as anything I think I have heard in this campaign or in the last 6 years.

    Exactly when did John Howard and Tony Abbott become the Anti Christ Papalcy? The personal, vitriolic and completely biased attacks on these men over the past six years have been disgusting to say the least, and all have been by people who think it is justified in the name of Moral Compass, clearly pointing to the LEFT.

    Being in the Left of the political spectrum does not give you licence to say what ever you want because you believe it’s the morally correct thing to do.

    If I were to say the same in reverse about you, Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard, I would be called a Right Wing, Immoral, Masoginistic, Conservative and people would applaud you for it.

    I think the Left should have a hard look at them selves and maybe they wouldn’t be in the disintergrating position they currently occupy.

  8. Dan Rowden


    I am absolutely prepared to debate the details and merits. Make any case you want. As for the “disintegrating” position we (the Left) currently occupy – we currently occupy Government and the balance of power in the Senate.. Not so shabby, really.

  9. cornlegend

    peter h
    And which part was unjust ?

  10. richo

    And the vitriolic claims of not lying down and die Julia, ditch the witch, fake rudd. etc etc are so balanced and so rational aren’t they Peter.

  11. peter h

    Guys, let us all remember the words of Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Mark Latham. They were pretty disgusting by any measure.

    All I’m saying the Left shouldn’t get away with their attacks just because they believe they have the Moral High Ground, whch they themselves have displayed they do not on more than one occassion.

    As a Moderate Conservative, I look to Labor, when in Government, to correct Social Security, to not further sales of Uranium to any other entities that were previously in place and further improve healthcare.

    Here they failed on two counts and did so blatantly!

    And Dan, a Government is only good when it Governs well. This Government has not governed well for a very long time. If it did, public opinion would not be where it is today.

    My prediction is 102 Coalition and 45 Labor.

    As always, the numbers never lie.

    Have a great day guys.


  12. richo

    Yeah sure Peter. Bad government right.
    Virtually no GFC consequence.
    NBN rollout
    Carbon Price
    500 plus peices of legislation. If that’s a bad government what musst a good one look like.

  13. Ricky Pann

    Is there a filter for the high moral ground of the right?… Abbott spends years as an attack dog with a questionable past and 6 months before an election he is a new moral model of moderate centre politics. Seriously get over yourself.

  14. doctorrob54

    Thanks Dan,really good article,I am looking forward to Sunday after the election and
    read about how the Coalition lost a gift election.Murdoch wins either way.

  15. peter h

    OK people, last one for the night.

    “No carbon tax under a government I lead” this ended up being a lie and is still resonating throughout the country

    > Two MANIC changes of leadership

    > Turning their back on one of the poorest of the nation, Single Mothers.

    > Increasing the sale of Uranium.

    > Repealling FBT arrangements.

    > Defecit after Deficit.

    > An incredibly desparate election campaign by a manic Rudd.

    500 pieces of legislation is all good and well but the above is what people see and remember.

    I for one hope, in some way, Penny Wong will one day become a Labor Leader. If not her, then Tanya Plibersek. Two very intelegent people iindeed, even if I don’t always agree with them.

    Good night all.

    Do something nice for someone you don’t know on occassion. It does wonders for your day.


  16. Ricky Pann

    I’d like to argue the toss, but sadly you are correct. That is all people will remember because it is the focus of the media. Arguing things like that deficit bad furfy is like saying anyone with a mortgage is irresponsible but when it’s framed for political advantage its an easy cheap shot. People will soon realised that the LNP are full of shit, because they have forgotten their record. Claiming they are champions by returning a surplus after selling 72 billion dollars worth of our assets including our telecommunications infrastructure.

  17. richo

    YEp sham you can’t even get the quote right! It was “there will be know carbon tax under the government i lead …. make no mistake i am committed to pricing carbon” She did not lie. She did not lie. She did not lie. but of course when it is yelled loudly enough by hacks and lazy journaists who can’t be bothered actually following up real stories.
    Deficit after deficit yep to keep the country going = praised by world renound economists.
    FBT arrangements – yep asking people to do the right thing.
    Turning backs on the lowest paid – half pay that one, what really happened was cutting out the two classes of single mothers and bringing them to the same level.
    I’ll do something nice for my kids and my family and the most desperate of our world I’ll vote Labor

  18. Sim Reilly

    You forgot Howard/Gillard welfare reform, forcing 18,000 children onto the street, and many more into desperate, dire poverty. Oh, and Gillard’s “Newstart Incapacitated” wherein she forces severely disabled (including those on 24 hour chemo) onto a payment below the poverty line, rather than the rightful Disability Pension.

  19. Dan Rowden


    There is no Carbon Tax. Never was. That an apparently reasonable person such as yourself promotes this abject nonsense is testament to the effectiveness of the true and actual lie. Gillard was lynched by a rabid mob. You’d think the witch trials had ended, but they haven’t. We have witnessed a modern version of it. We are nowhere near as sophisticated as we believe.

  20. johnward154

    All the following have been foreshadowed.
    Mr Abbott, did say no surprises so over time we have been warned. He says these are precisely targeted,
    but nothing about collateral casualties

    Are you really prepared to Give Mr Abbott a mandate to do all these things with your vote?

    Lower the tax-free threshold from $18,200 back to $6000. This will drag more than one million low-income earners back into the tax system. It will also increase the taxes for 6 million Australians earning less than $80,000.
    Saving families $300 dollars a year of Carbon Tax and costing them $2,300 per year in reinstated tax.

    Privatise Medibank.

    Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme.

    Privatise Australia Post.

    Privatise SBS.

    Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function.

    Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport.

    End all public subsidies to sport and the arts.

    Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction.

    Privatise the CSIRO.

    Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built.

    Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship.

    Abolish the means-tested School kids Bonus that benefits 1.3 million families by providing up to $410 for each primary school child and up to $820 for each high school child.

    Abolish the Baby Bonus

    Repeal the National Curriculum
    Introduce competing private secondary school curriculum

    Repeal the mining tax

    Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

    Repeal the Fair Work Act
    Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them

    Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it.

    Repeal the marine park Legislation

    Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

    Abolish the low-income superannuation contribution.

    Abolish the proposed 15 percent tax on income from.

    End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws

    Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement

    End all government funded Nanny State advertising

    Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food.

    Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling

    Introduce a paid parental leave scheme that replaces a mother’s salary up to $150,000.

    Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784.

    Abolish the Clean Energy Fund
    Abolish the Department of Climate Change
    Repeal the renewable energy target

    Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board
    Encourage the construction of dams

    Introduce voluntary voting.

    End mandatory disclosures on political donations.

    End media blackout in final days of election campaigns.

    End public funding to political parties

    Introduce fee competition to Australian universities.

    Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities.

    Means test tertiary student loans

    Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools

    Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency.

    Abolish the means test on the private health insurance rebate.

    Repeal the Alcopops tax.

    Means-test Medicare.

    Cease subsidising the car industry.

    End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

    Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database.

    End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering.

    Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including.

    Lower personal income tax for residents.

    Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
    Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold.

    Allow the Northern Territory to become a state.

    Remove anti-dumping laws
    Deregulate the parallel importation of books.

    Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade

    Return income taxing powers to the states

    Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

    Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit.

    Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP

    Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification

    Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

    Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced ‘.

    Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law.

    End local content requirements for Australian television stations
    Eliminate media ownership restrictions.

    Rule out federal funding for 2018 Commonwealth Games

  21. johnward154

    Abbott is proposing a contract with the Australian people. Berlusconi did the same with the Italian people a few years ago. Perhaps Tony needs to check in with Vatican HQ for an up date on the outcome.

    Contract with the Italians,
    between Silvio Berlusconi, born September 29, 1936 in Milan, leader of Forza Italia and Casa delle Libertà, in agreement with all the allies of the coalition, and the Italian citizens, it is hereby agreed as follows.

    Silvio Berlusconi, in the event of electoral victory of Casa delle Libertà, commits himself as Prime Minister to achieve the following objectives in five years:

    1. Reduction of the tax burden:
    with full tax exemption from incomes up to 22 million Lire per year (€ 11362.05);
    with the reduction to 23% for incomes up to 200 million Lire per year (€ 103291.38);
    with the reduction to 33% for incomes above 200 million Lire per year (€ 103291.38);
    with the abolition of inheritance tax and donations tax.

    2. Implementing the “Plan for the protection of citizens and the prevention of crime” which provides, among other things, the institution of “district police officer” in the city, with a result of a sharp reduction in the number of crimes from the current 3 million.

    3. Raising the minimum pension to at least 1 million Lire per month (€ 516.46).

    4. Halving the current rate of unemployment with the creation of at least 1 ½ million workplaces.

    5. Opening of the sites for at least 40% of the investments under the “Ten Year Plan for Great Works” (Piano Decennale per le Grandi Opere) considered an emergency and comprising roads, highways, subways, railways, water networks and hydro-geological works for flood defense.

    In the event that at the end of 5 years of government at least 4 of 5 of such goals were not achieved, Silvio Berlusconi formally agrees not to resubmit its nomination to the next parliamentary elections.

    In witness,
    Silvio Berlusconi
    The contract will be rendered valid and operative May 13, 2001 by the vote of Italian electors.

  22. mikisdad

    Peter H – By “Papalcy” I assume you meant to say “Papacy”. I assume that your question is, anyway, rhetorical as I haven’t heard or seen anyone refer to either John Howard or Tony Abbott in the way that you suggest.

    Certainly, John Howard and Tony Abbott have been described quite harshly – but not in any way inconsistent with their attitude, behaviour, statements and apparent values – which are to most caring and considerate people – irrational, short-sighted, self-serving, mean and duplicitous. I haven’t read or heard any attacks on either of them that have been unduly biased in this regard, though I have heard and read some that have included unnecessary invective or suggested somewhat extreme ends for them.

    Morality is a human construct and varies from person to person and culture to culture – as well as religion to religion. In essence, it is a sensible concept in that it is one of those devices inherent to our ability to live and work together in groups. Paradoxically, however, it is not unusual for particular sub-groups or individuals to take a certain concept of morality and apply it as though it were actually “right” and “wrong” – and, of course, there are no such things – except perhaps in pure mathematics, and even that is probably arguable. So, certainly, you are right when you say that:

    “Being in the Left of the political spectrum does not give you licence to say what ever you want because you believe it’s the morally correct thing to do.”

    Of course “Being on the Left…” doesn’t do that – it is the fact that it is “the morally correct thing to do” that justifies calling parsimony; harassment or neglect of the poor and vulnerable; lack of compassion; favouring of the wealthy; telling lies to decieve the public; and catering to the bidding of such as Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart – what it is – abhorrent and an insult to democracy.

    By any commonly accepted standards in our society, the attitudes of John Howard and Tony Abbott are morally reprehensible and need to be challenged by all rational and caring people.

    As for a “moral compass clearly pointing to the LEFT”, it pleases me that at least you recognise that the Left of the political spectrum is where morally sound policy is to be found, i.e. policy that has regard for the welfare of all; for the planet; for equity and opportunity and for the engagement of all in making the decisions that will affect their lives. Those are, indeed, morally desirable aims for most decent people in our society.

    If you made inaccurate, vitriolic, sarcastic, or otherwise demeaning or unpleasant claims about Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd or the Left, as a whole – you would only echo what so many do and have done already – including the two individuals whom you seek to defend by, yourself, attacking the Left using unfounded generalisations and simplistic metaphor.

    As do you, (or so it appears), I see no need for vitriol and spiteful invective in commenting on the actions of others. I believe that, generally, it detracts from argument rather than enhancing it. However, when people are passionate about opposing and preventing injustice – not just for themselves but for their fellow citizens and other distressed or disadvantaged human beings – I believe it to be inevitable that some will become over zealous and, on occasion, immoderate in their statements. Whilst I dislike the invective, I have to applaud their passion.

  23. Anomander

    Superb article Dan. Thank you.

    You have superbly captured the essence of what we have lost – the supportive and egalitarian ethos for which Australia and Australians were always renowned. Replaced instead by the individualistic pursuit of self. A dog-eat-dog philosophy of entitlement and abrogation of responsibility toward our fellow man.

    If Abbott and his cadre win, I despair the damage they will inflict upon our country, our ethos, our assets, our institutes, our endeavours, our environment and especially our less fortunate.

  24. Peter

    Abbott will win and for a short time there will be a bit of Right balance to the Left that has been a burden to us all. Culturally the danger to Australia comes from a friendly source, namely America. A bit of history first. America went to war in Korea for the aluminium ore that is the wealth of that country. America needs raw materials.
    America has a growing interest in Australia because we have vast reserves of raw materials. My personal belief is that America is making a take over of Australia to gain ownership of the minerals. We may even become a state of the USA.
    To make such a take over move would need control of the TV stations and support of one or more political party. A quick look at TV today reveals that it is now FREE TV under the control of one entity. There are far more commercials than ever and increasing American accents.
    Most of the writers to this blog are Lefties and may not have noticed that TV generally has a strong bias to the Labor Party (not particularly Left). With near control of TV and support of the Labor Party they are one step short of taking control of Australia. That control would not be a bad thing, but we would lose our culture.
    Some of the problems that being a poor relation the mainland states is, we will be treated as little brother. Too little to develop the iron ore mines. Needing help with finance and technology to dug a big hole and sell the stuff. All the profits going to big brother across the Pacific.
    Kevin had $20B cash in hand when he came to power and blew it like a child up to his elbows in money and throwing it to the wind. He could have bought back to farm and managed it with some local talent. ( he was embarrassed to pay the going rate for top rate management ~$2.5M). He was having too much fun.
    Julia Gillard turfed him out like unleavened crud and got into bed with the worst typ of government. Watermelon. Green on the outside, Red on the inside, with little Black seeds growing and waiting to sprout. The BBrown Greens were against anything progressive. We should have used borrowed money to build a railway across Australia to connect the iron ore in the west with the coal in the east.
    Australia has the best iron ore and best coal (anthracite) and makes the best steel in the world and has the world. We should have been selling the iron ore as VALUE ADDED steel and made more money than any politician could spend. But no American Banks to the profits and China made the steel and polluted the world. Here the GREENS were silly. Australia uses world best practice and produces far less pollution than China and so it would have don e more for “Climate Change” than the silly carbon tax.
    On the topic of Climate Change, do you remember the Y2K bug? A lot of American technicians made a pile coming to Australia to fix NON EXISTENT problems. This was the LITMUS test to see if Australia was gullible enough to believe “Climate Change” We were. Climate change is a natural event not affected by humans to any great degree. The world is devoid of trees (except the Amazon) and the truth is that we need to release carbon from under the ground (coal and oil were trees) to give the future trees a chance to grow).
    America has capitalized on Australia’s gullibility and like of all things American. If Kevin Rudd wins the election we will see a massive increase in American influence as the take over move ahead. Say goodbye to Australian culture. Say goodbye to holidays. our way of life will change forever.
    Are we too dumbed down to dig a big hole? Can we not see the value in selling steel instead of iron ore? We have a AAA credit rating and could borrow $250B to spend on welfare, why didn’t we own the iron ore mines? This goes beyond party politics, because Liberals failed to buy back the farm.
    The Australian motor industry is on its back foot. Pressure from Asia and the need for American owners to restore profits at home will see us importing what we can produce. The Greens have a role here. Oil will run out eventually if not sooner and we should change over to electric cars. Australia has uranium to last many thousands of years. Fear mongering by the GREENs has left us looking stupid. We should use the uranium to produce electricity and power our cars with it.
    Nuclear power is clean and safe. FRANCE is buying nuclear waste and reusing it. They have 500 years of nuclear power in storage because the rest of the world is afraid of it. (France is aiming to supply all of EUROPE with electricity). Without France, we could drill a deep hole (think oil well) down to about 5km and bury it. Japan still exists despite the nuclear disaster caused by a “TSUNAMI”.
    If you are still thinking of saving the Australian culture you are in LA LA LAND. The Gen x,y,z, s all have IPHONES and are on FACEBOOK where every thing they think and do is sent back to a computer program and is helping to make Australia a state of the USA. Even as I write, this computer is spelling my words in American English.
    Its my belief that KEVIN RUDD has sold out the country for his short stint at fame. Julia Gillard waited in the wings because Kevin was an easy ten pin to knock down. (But the Labor machinery stood him up again).
    Early in Kevin Rudd’s short term he handed out cash for no reason. Australia has just begun the mining boom and although we had some money caught up in the SUB PRIME LOANS it was not much. Soon after handing out the money Kevin handed back $250M in TV station license fees to “ASSIST the entry of FREE TV. (since then TV has had commercials 4 times the rate than before).
    Our culture is under further attack from Boat people. The Middle East has been fighting for1500 years and is not likely to stop now. There have been long columns of refugees since biblical times. (Starting with Moses). Accepting them into Australia will only bring the fighting to this peaceful country. Already Muslim men out number the entire Australian Armed Forces by 10%. Next time your standing in a small shop and 6 burkha clad women enter please notice how the atmosphere darkens. Then listen to the sounds as they come through the face mask, slightly muffled. Then imagine what it will be like when it becomes LAW (SHARIA LAW) as they take over the country, as they are required to do in the KORAN. Then imagine the fighting as the Australian’s resist the take over. How much culture will be left?
    Will America come to our aid? They will if they own us, or they will negotiate with the new owners.
    While you are complaining about the press (which has less impact than the internet) look at the way the news is read and the political bias in the news. Ask yourself “what did they give to get such a strong hold on our TV”. Do you still trust politicians?

  25. mikisdad

    @Peter – I’ve rarely read such unmitigated rubbish as constitutes your post.

    Your poor grasp of reality and appalling prejudice is overwhelming. If your comments are supposed to constitute a critique of Dan’s article then they fail abysmally.

    From where do you get this sort of nonsense? Do you read? Do you think? Have you any analytical or critical ability? If your answer to any of those questions is “yes” then I fail to see how you could spout such unadulterated rubbish.

  26. Michael Taylor

    Peter, I agree with one point of yours: most of the authors here are left leaning.

    And we’re proud of it.

    Right wing authors independent of the mainstream media are hard to find. Blogs like this exist because apart from Facebook and Twitter there is no other place where we have the opportunity to have our say.

    Most people who are of the left have their comments censored by the mainstream media. We’re sick of it, to be honest.

    And if you have issues with this being a lefty site, all I can day is, you ain’t seen nothing yet. By 2016 social media will have an impact that will influence election outcomes. The old media is dying. 2013 will be their last hurrah.

    If you don’t like left leaning independent sites now, I can assure you that you will hate us by 2016.

  27. Zema Chulio

    Great article Dan, keep it up we are listening.

  28. peter h

    And so my point is made, and I’m sure it will be made again and again.

    We do live in a democracy all, that means even conservatives have a say, even though you wish they didn’t

    To Dan, your saying there was no “Carbon Tax” completely disintergrates any credibility you may have had. Seriously?

    To all else, I’m Peter H not Peter, even though he did male a few good points

    Remember my prediction, Coalition 102 seats.

    Have a great day all

    Peter H.

  29. richo

    And they call us lefties conspiracy theorists!

  30. Dan Rowden


    Do you know what a Carbon Tax is? It’s a very particular thing in economic terms. A static carbon price arrangement that requires polluters to buy permits from the Government to pollute further is not a Carbon Tax. At every point in the discussion Gillard said the Government was committed to pricing carbon at an industry level. At every point. She did not lie. Those who maintain she did are being ignorant or mendacious or both.

  31. peter h


    Here you are just plain wrong!

    It was Gillard, not The Liberal Party, not the media, not the Shock Jocks and not Social Meia that said “there will be no Carbon Tax under a government I lead” and a “Carbon Tax was installed. This is a lie.

    Gilard went to the election promising one thing and delivered the opposite.

    Gillard caled it a Carbon Tax, Wayne Swan called it a Carbon Tax, Kevin Rudd called it a Carbon Tax. I really don’t know how emphatic you want this diplayed.

    We were promised no Carbon Tax and we got one. Bam!

    And before you go on about the GST, Howard took it to the people and won, narrowly, but won none the lesss.

    Dan, it’s clear you rather not to admit the truth and while you do have some good arguments, this is not one of them.

    Sorry mate, but the facts are indeed the facts.

    Have a good day.

    Peter H

    BTW, why am I continuing to adress these things said? Well, I think in a democracy, everyone should be heard and I will commend the left on being able to use Social Media the way they do. I do believe this will make the country, process and politics better, but, we all need to be balanced, considered and without spiteful, hateful and derogatory remarks.

    Here’s to the future.

  32. Bacchus

    It’s semantics Dan – anyone who followed the introduction of the price on carbon, including reading the actual legislation, knows that it wasn’t a tax. The mistake Julia Gillard made was to concede that if everyone wanted to call it a tax, she wasn’t going to spend her life setting them straight.

    As these things take on a life of their own, it was from then on popularly known as “The Carbon Tax” – feeding directly into all the Juliar crap that followed…

    This is from the actual legislation:

    103 A carbon unit is personal property

    A carbon unit is personal property and, subject to sections 105 and 106, is transmissible by assignment, by will and by devolution by operation of law.

    103A Ownership of carbon unit

    (1) The registered holder of a carbon unit:

    (a) is the legal owner of the unit; and

    (b) may, subject to this Act and the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Act 2011, deal with the unit as its legal owner and give good discharges for any consideration for any such dealing.

    (2) Subsection (1) only protects a person who deals with the registered holder of the unit as a purchaser:

    (a) in good faith for value; and

    (b) without notice of any defect in the title of the registered holder.

    You can’t “own” a tax…

  33. Wen

    As usual a fabulous article Dan and some considered and insightful responses to peter. Unfortunately your responses have met with exactly the same rhetoric we have heard ad infinitum from the LNP supporters. Nothing will change with them until they feel the pain of the Abbott government and even then they will refuse to acknowledge to obvious truth.

  34. richo

    In fact if you 3want ot tak semantics you can say that in fact she said there will be no carbon tax under the government i lead… but rest assured i am committed to pricing carbon …
    Semantically she was speaking of the current government at the time which was not the government that introduced the carbon price.

  35. ejdur662


    For Christ’s sake – Julia Gillard did not NOT lie about a Carbon Tax!

    The only ones that lied about a Carbon Tax are Abbott and the MSM

    If I had a $ for everytime I’ve read or heard about it I’d be richer than Gina Rinehart! – Talk about the dumbing-down of the Australian public.

    Here is a link to the actual interview that has been conveniently edited by just about everyone in the LNP and the media to suit their agendas..

  36. Möbius Ecko

    peter h you are wrong, and no matter how many times Gillard is misrepresented on the carbon price, you are still wrong.

    Two right wing media outlets, one very anti-Labor and Gillard, correctly reported it at the time and it’s on the record of her saying she will bring in a carbon price.

  37. peter h

    Yes, yes, yes, It was the right wing media that said the words and the right wing media that said “I have changed my position on this” and the right wing media that said, “I have considered all the science…” and the right wing media that imposed the TAX on us.

    To thise who say it isn’t a tax, it is an amount of money that is IMPOSED on somedbody by a government.

    If it looks like a tax, sounds like a tax and smells like a tax, its probably a tax.

    Guys, while I won’t go into details here, I have had a fair bit to do with the Left of this country in the form of Unions and Government Departments and one thing seems to be a constant throughout.

    No body in the Left I have ever dealt with has ever put their hand up and said they were worng. Accountability is a real issue with the Left and the ALP in general.

    This was a bad Government and until they change guard, it will be a poor opposition.

    Face it, you guys lost because you just stuffed it all up.


    Peter H

  38. Andy

    Peter H, Why not give that advice to the News Ltd stable of papers? It is they who have likened ALP leaders and ministers to Nazis, Stalin etc. and then complain when anyone dares point this out. They see any attempt to bring them to account as an attack on ‘free speech’. What a joke! There was nothing untruthful in this article, indeed it is what a great many of us have witnessed since 1996 and Howard’s attempt to write his own view of history.

  39. Möbius Ecko

    Wrong again Peter H. Even your explanation of a tax is wrong.

    Strange through as Howard was the biggest taxing government in our history, higher taxing than the Labor governments that came after him, yet the right wingers claim you can’t count his plethora of levies as taxes.

    As to bad government. Can you please tell us where the last Labor government was so bad? Just saying it is not only glib and meaningless, it’s mindlessly repeating a Liberal lie.

    Labor a bad opposition, now I know you haven’t a clue and just ape Liberal mantras without a thought. Abbott’s was the worst opposition in Australian history.

  40. Fed up

    Abbott was very good at undermining all Labor put in p[lace. Very good at talking down the economy.

    Very good at ensuring that no effective measures were allow to succeed when it came to dealing with refugees.

    Very good at getting us offside with near neighbours.

    Yes, a very effective Opposition leader.

    Now, we have to see, if he is capable of building.

    Evidence so far, is not encouraging.

    Cannot even build his ministry, or get his government installed.

    More interested in getting on with the demolition agenda. Yes, still knocking down, little sign of building.

    One of his first interest, is work for the goal. I am sure there are more important matters to deal with. Installing the government for one.

  41. mikisdad

    ME & Fed up – no disrespect meant – but you’re wasting your time even responding to Peter h. He hasn’t made a single sensible argument here as yet and there is no way that he’s likely to accept the facts while he’s in his current head-space.

    Yes, the internal conflicts in the ALP did contribute to its downfall, however to claim that as the main reason for its election loss is to ignore so many other factors.

    The fact is, PeterH, that the last Labor government was one of the most successful in Australian history. The fact is that, per capita, Australia is either the richest or close to the richest country in the world. The fact is that the Labor government actually got things done, despite the claims that a hung parliament would immobilise it. The fact is that only the ALP has provided female leaders at state and federal level. The fact is that the ALP is the only party that seeks, as policy, to defend hard-won conditions for the average worker.

    Tony Abbott and the Liberals did not *win* this recent election. What won it for them was their ability to have a gullible and disenchanted public believe an unprecedented set of lies, haranguing, and negativity which the LNP was able to perpetrate because of rich friends with media control or influence, such as Murdoch, Rinehart and a whole swathe of big business advertising dollars.

    Tony Abbott did nothing in opposition but whinge and moan and groan. He has nothing to offer this country. You can mock and be sick of listening to left wingers tell it as it is, if you wish, but you can’t change the facts – we’re awake to that – don’t you understand?

    The well-healed in this country ( with few exceptions) care not one jot what happens to the average worker, the stay at home parent, the disabled, the mentally ill, the victim of drugs or abuse, or the victims of poor management, inadequate worker safety, or stress caused by pressure imposed by owners and managers who care more about their bonuses than they do about people.

    It is a great shame that the Australian public isn’t smarter – and, believe me, it is a myth that they understand enough to make informed choices. Unfortunately, their lack of political or even electoral process understanding makes them easy targets for a biased press to manipulate – hence this latest result and the absurdity of “nobodies” (in the sense of political credentials or credibility) being elected to the Senate.

    Unless something changes to halt and even reverse the current distribution of resources from poor to rich – this country is going to disappear down the drain. That sort of redistribution will NEVER happen under an LNP government. Not only will they continue to steal from the poorest in the community but they will misuse what they steal in enormously damaging ways, such as destroying the environment.

    The LNP is on the nose, mate. That’s the truth.

  42. Bacchus

    …but you’re wasting your time even responding to Peter h.

    Very true mikisdad, but as you’ve just done, it’s important to rebut the misleading rubbish spouted by the likes of peter h for the thousands? of readers in the blogosphere who don’t put fingers to keyboard to comment 😉

  43. mikisdad

    Accepted. Mea culpa. …

  44. Fed up

    I do not reply to trolls. I use what they say, to put my views for other readers.

    Listening to Bishop. Sure cocky,. Still verballing what the Indonesians are saying.

    Is in love with her leader.

    Meet the Press. Her nasty comments not getting much of a hearing.

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