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Joe Hockey on the co-payment: “One packet of cigarettes cost $22. That gives you three visits to the doctor. You can spend just over $3 on a middy of beer, so that’s two middies of beer to go to the doctor.”

Amanda Vanstone 2003 on no increase to welfare: “$5, hell what will it buy you? A sandwich and a milkshake if you’re lucky.”

I note Joe Hockey didn’t choose to suggest that all $7 would buy is two loaves of bread. Or seven loaves of bread if you buy it for a dollar at Coles. (I’m not the ABC so I can say Coles and hope that they pay me for product placement!) I suspect that it’s because it seems wrong to be saying: “You can spend just over $3-50 on a loaf of bread, so that’s two loaves of bread to go to the doctor.” It’s far more appealing to suggest that you could give up beer and cigarettes than to give up bread.

Of course, though, the question does have to be asked: What do non-smoking, teatotallers give up in order to go the doctor? Or do they always have plenty of money because they don’t drink or smoke?

But the idea of making the cost concrete is very effective. In terms of selling their high income earners’ levy, perhaps they could have tried something like: “One bottle of ’59 Grange, that’s all this’ll cost you. And we all know how dangerous a bottle of Grange can be to your long term survival.”

Similarly, they could perhaps try to sell their cutting of the Foreign Aid Budget by suggesting that certain countries could save the money themselve by just cutting one or two days of eating a week. They could calcute the amount of money that food could bring if sold on the open market.

As for their increases to Higher Education, we could have, “You can spend money on a new Mercedes, so that’s one Mercedes to get a University Degree.” (Yes, more product placement. If any of you decide to get a new Mercedes today because of my shameless product placement, please tell the salesman. Who says I’m a leftie – I’ve embraced the uber capitalist Australia we live in?)

Changing the pension age to 70 could be sold by telling people that it’s only the cost of a couple of grandparents to pick up your kids while you’re working. Oh wait, that one doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…

Actually, when I hear the Coalition talking about the “problem” of the ageing population, I can’t help but wonder why they seem to think it’s a problem. I mean as someone once remarked: “Going grey isn’t that bad when one considers the alternatives.” Are they suggesting that too many of us are living to a ripe old age? And listening to Matthias Gorman speaking on the Budget, I started to think of “Hogan’s Heroes.” I know, it’s political incorrect and I shouldn’t make fun of someone’s accent, but it doesn’t help when someone who sounds like they’re in a bad World War Two movie starts talking about “doing what’s necessary”, I half expected to hear him say that they had “the final solution to the pensioner problem”. (Yes, I know. Too far. But I do have a right to be a bigot, you know.)

Finally, I’d just like to apologise to anyone who took offence to my comment where I suggested that Christopher Pyne wouldn’t know what a grub looks like. While some have taken this to be a reference to his privileged, city upbringing, and the fact that unlike country boys who are frequently exposed to grubs and the like, I meant no such reference. However, just to clear any confusion, I have no problem with city people, some of my best friends are city people and if any of them have taken offence please accept my apology. I can only say that I don’t usually use language like that, but that I find Christopher Pyne such a grubby, little man that I got carried away.

Mr Pyne has, however, cleared up any misunderstanding that his hand gesture to Bronwyn Bishop seemed to suggest that the Speaker was not operating as indepently as she should. “She stood up all by herself without any help or support. To my way of thinking, that indicates complete independence.” Pyne directs Speaker.

Breaking News: Just discovered that there have been seven deaths at mining sites so far this year. Clearly another failure of the Public Service to inform the Prime Minister, because mining operations are still continuing, and as the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Scheme was told this week, surely it should be shut down until the cause of death is investigated.




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  1. DanDark

    The message is loud and clear
    Usually the lower socio economic group do smoke and drink, statistics show this
    So fat gob is just reiterating to rich this, its a form of brainwashing on them
    So the well off sides with the fat Hockey

    its a message to the rich over and over on their psych,
    oh yes they can afford smokes and grog, but not a 7 buck fee for the doctor
    They have a good wordsmith, they know how to get other people to jump on the bandwagon and vilify the less well off,,

    Fat gob cant get up there and compare food with his Tax,
    cos he cant get the mob to then jump on the bandwagon,,
    gee they might even want to help them, if they knew the truth,
    and thats one thing Tony and Hockey will never say
    they all get on msn and its a bashing,,those bludgers should get off their bums,
    they can drink and smoke blah blah blah,
    vilify and it gets real nasty against the people hockey wants to vilify
    It’s a blood sport this gov mmmm

  2. dafid1

    ‘Breaking News: Just discovered that there have been seven deaths at mining sites so far this year. Clearly another failure of the Public Service to inform the Prime Minister, because mining operations are still continuing, and as the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Scheme was told this week, surely it should be shut down until the cause of death is investigated.’

    That Ross goes to the real crux of the purpose of the Commission into Labors Home Insulation Programme. It is Abbott s witch hunt, one purpose, to embarrass the Opposition. It isn’t even about the former Ministers and what decisions they made, what they were told, by whom. All that is secondary to hammering home the real message, Labor caused the deaths of 4 young men through their negligence and and shoddy Goverment decisions. That is Government as in a useless, collective body, led by incompetents.

    Very little new information has come out of the week. Most had been covered previously by 3 earlier investigations. Of course a couple of the counsel for the families, emphasised repeatedly the tragedy of the deaths and introduced one tearful emotional appearance by a sister of one of the deceased youths. Another saw the most outspoken of the parents tear into the Government of the day, he had done it before, but that is to be expected, the families are suffering still.

    However for Abbott and Brandis to use a Royal Commission to seek to humiliate and shame for political gain, speaks volumes about them. But we know all about them and their agenda,
    At the end of the hearing, I very much doubt the present Government will have too much more to crow about.
    That goes back to the beginning of my observation, the real purpose of the charade.

  3. Peter Garcia-Webb

    As to the relationship between Tony Abbott and Richard Murdoch, the word trophobiosis came to mind. Well, actually what passes for my mind nowadays needed a little help from Thesaurus. Symbiosis, in which two dissimilar organisms live together for mutual benefit, did not seem quite right. In trophobiosis, one organism protects the other in return for some sort of food product.
    Food for thought for most of us, food for the harsher reality of money, power and influence for Abbott and Murdoch.
    As for seven loaves of bread, we now, or at least we will after July 2015, need a little more than the miracle of seven loaves and fishes to meet the needs of less than rich in accessing health care. As I mentioned in a recent blog (which sadly others have not chosen to reblog) the primary purpose of the GP and pathology tax is to drive the poor and needy unwell away from health care. The sick are to blame for our increasing health care costs, and if they cannot provide for themselves, they should not be allowed to spend the money of those who can afford health care.

  4. Stephen Tardrew

    Now don’t you dare tell the wealthy how to spend their money that would be undemocratic totalitarianism.

    As for you poor swill we mean to take every bit of pleasure away until you become little automatons bereft of an personality net alone pleasure or happiness.

    That journalist allow these cretins to get away with this tripe is a reflection of their twisted undemocratic values. Who needs politicians when journalists are complicit in the silence that allows this sort of unmitigated vilification of the underprivileged.

    Mr Mathematical Sweaty Man and “Oh golly gee it’s only seven dollars” – try that twice or three times a week on any pension with medication coast and see how much you have left to spend on food. I am disgusted that many of my fellow Australians would countenance such cruelty. I certainly don’t belong to your Australia.

    Joe Hockey is one deeply disturbed antisocial personality infected with his delusions of grandeur and privileged position in the oligarchy. As for his illiterate bumbling mate they make for great circus clowns if only it was at all funny.

    We are on the cusp of something extremely vile and corrupt that has been exported by US Tea Party madness.

    This is moral corruption to the core.

    I make no apologies because these are the facts.

  5. DanDark

    It’s a slow form of genocide, we will die if we cant access health care
    They keep telling us we need saving from ourselves,
    We have had it too good for too long, now we will look after you all

    we need saving from sure destruction by Phoney and Hannibal
    And Rupet and Tony’s plan is social engineering
    cos its worked before in other countries
    and is as we speak right now, govs are killing their own all over the world

    Gina has got her grubby hands all over Liarbils
    Who was sitting there at Parliament house, when Liarbils got in
    I nearly threw up, and thought well we are all stuffed now

  6. Cait Wallace

    Chris sees a grub whenever he looks in the mirror.

  7. guest

    Here we have some questioning of the Abbott/Hockey/Cormann budget and a demonstration of how much can be said about each item and each attempt by the Coalition to justify their “plan”.

    Of course, Coalition supporters are having their say against Shorten’s reply. So what are they saying? See the Week End Australian, Letters to the Editor, May 17-18.

    It was “self-righteously negative”.
    It did not address local and global issues and relate them to the national interest.
    He said “bring it on”, which just copies Gillard and is not very rhetorical.
    Just trying to keep Oz on welfare.
    Just followed “parrot cliches” prepared by his minder, offered no vision for the future.
    But for Abbott, Oz would be threatened with the fate of Spain, Greece, etc.
    The carbon tax was part of the “lie” by Gillard in a “blind pursuit of power”.
    Labor is just full of “hyperbole”.
    And others.

    And of course, the Editorial. We expect defence of the Coalition – at least for the present.

    There was in fact one letter supporting Shorten and making salient, telling points – for “balance”?

    The point is, of course, the irony and hypocrisy of the criticisms against Shorten and Labor when we look at the performance of the Coalition both before and after the last election. An obvious point, but it says something about the political debate in Oz.

    In a democracy, too often the voters are voting for their team according to the team colours, shouting “Carn! Carn!” or “Boo! Boo!” and all making the same sounds. Even the discussion after the event is coloured by the same blind loyalty.

  8. DanDark

    They dumb them down and scare them
    Under educate people, even a generation
    We are no where near Greece
    But they see it on TV, an uniformed like they are, dumbed down
    Shown only graphs, and the wrong ones

    Whammy perfect recipe for liberals
    That’s their army to help destroy the defenceless
    A people turning against their own people
    It’s a well executed plan by Tony and co
    But who is the big kahuna behind it all
    Murdoch, or is there more, I reckon more
    Tony is just a puppet, and dragging the rest of liberals along
    That don’t have a clue mostly, nor the premiers

  9. Roswell

    Awesome post, rossleigh.

  10. Dominic Gladheart

    Grubs are useful and grow up to be butterflies. Pyne is like a pile of dog droppings. Totally useless, smelly and you need to dump it.

  11. rangermike1

    Yes Ross, Hissy fit Pyne did say “Grub” (B/S). I superimposed some earlier audio from Hissy fit Pyne in Parliament, talking about Greg Hunt and except from the lead in “Hunt”, it displayed the same frequency signature as that naughty word that he used. Lier, Lier. Hissy Fit needs to know that technology has caught up with their lies.

  12. Anon E Mouse

    Pyne should be called Count Pyne, because we all know the word he used but are supposed to pretend that he really said Grub.

  13. DanDark

    it was clear, I would just leave the O out of Count though Anon

  14. Percy Jones

    If every smoker and drinker gave up tomorrow then where would the taxes come from ???

  15. rangermike1

    Whenever has a Govt. not have the heart nor Soul to place out their hand to give the downtrodden a hand up ? When has a Govt. taken the right to sell off the poor to save money ? When has a Govt. sold off the right for that Country to govern itself ? With the TPP, we will be at the mercy of Big Business, there is not a thing we can do about it. Abbott is selling off this Country, and no matter who you vote for in the future will not mean a damn. We will be controlled by Big Business. Do something now before it is too late.

  16. Willow88

    Fat and Skinny went to war
    On the down, the sick, and the poor
    They would not listen to their plight
    And bowed to mates rich with might
    But the forgotten masses are not dumb
    Now heads will roll
    And thier dues will come

  17. Charlie Kuehnel

    Is this “coalition” you speak of a registered political party? Oh, you mean the Liberal party (and their whacky sidekicks the National party) ? Well bloody-well say so, instead of falling to their tactic of never “naming” them.

  18. logichick

    Thank you for this brilliant commentary. I think christopher is a bottomless pit himself

  19. Al

    Yep, the lot of them are appalling. However, I take exception to likening the Minister for Education Cuts to another form of life. Grubs, as said above, do indeed grow up to be butterflies; they also provide food for birds. Dog droppings can be used as fertilizer. So it’s clear that both grubs and dog droppings occupy a higher and more exalted place on this planet than Pyne. He truly is a colossal waste of molecules. I’m wracking my brains to think what he might be useful for, and all I can come up with are medical experiments, or ballistics experiments. Anybody else got any other ideas?

  20. corvus boreus

    Christopher Pyne would be shunned by any self-respecting coleopterid, even a juvenile one. I think he is some form of tremetode.

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