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Campbell Newman: Tony Abbott’s “mini me”

Why is it that conservatives can never learn from their mistakes, only repeat them?

With Campbell Newman’s latest announcements, on privatising health and educational services, on top of his savage cuts to the public service and general government services, he is surely showing a sample of what to expect from an LNP Federal Government, and himself as Tony Abbott’s “mini me”.

The problem is that the conservative side of politics believe that government should be run like a business, and they are ideologically driven to producing surpluses regardless of the impact on the lives of workers or the wider economy.

A government’s job is to provide services and infrastructure to the people, for the purposes of nation building and taking care of the elderly, the sick and underprivileged, as well as the maintaining a healthy level of support for the wider community.

Now the truth is that many of these services and infrastructure requirements will not, and cannot be profitable, without a degradation to areas of quality and delivery, usually to rural and regional areas and lower socio economic communities.

The lessons to be learned from the GFC are that firstly austerity measures are decidedly unpopular amongst the majority of the citizenry, and secondly they are manifestly unsuccessful.

Austerity measures, as seen in Europe and now in QLD and other Eastern states, are implemented to impact the most vulnerable in society, namely pensioners and those that depend on social and medical services.

In QLD, Newman used the Costello audit and claims of a state economy comparable to that of Greece, to justify wholesale sackings in the public service sector and removing the traditional job security associated with the public service.

He promised that there would be no cuts to frontline services, which was a blatant lie, as we now know.

Newman’s first year in office is marked by:

  1. Cutting thousands of jobs, and then cancelling the state government jobs support and retraining schemes, not only making it harder for those that found themselves unemployed, but forcing them to compete for what jobs are available with the people/educators who would otherwise have been helping them to find work in other areas.
  2. Removing the inbuilt protections for public servants to be able to give advice from an independent stand point, and the inherent past security of public services.
  3. Axing the Premier’s Literary awards to save $250,000 whilst giving millions to the horse racing and sporting fraternities.
  4. Sending out directives that remaining public servants should bring their own tea and coffee to save money, as well as such innovations such as printing on both sides of a piece of paper for further savings.
  5. Telling The Australian Conservation Foundation that: “I take this opportunity to reaffirm my statements, made before the last election, that the State Government has no plans to approve the development of uranium in Queensland”. Then within two weeks, Newman’s Government voted to lift a ban on uranium mining.
  6. Outsourcing and selling off health and educational services, which invariably results in poorer services and service delivery.
  7. An economy going backwards, while the rest of the states still show varying levels of positive growth.

These are just a few of the cuts, and lies, that have created unnecessary uncertainty and hurt amongst the community and done untold damage to the states economy along with his ramping up of the cost of royalties to the coal mining industry, which are now as high as anywhere in the world further reducing investment opportunities in QLD.

The fact that mass sackings, reduces the levels of tax receipts, and affects the job prospects of up to a further four workers for every public servant sacked, in a number of related service industries, reducing consumer confidence across the wider community and further depressing the economy, seems to completely elude those of the ideologically driven LNP.

Campbell Newman is by no means alone in the implementation of this style of ideologically driven policies, with lies, misrepresentations and backflips being the stock in trade of the NSW and Vic LNP Governments as well, cutting spending on such meaningless portfolio areas as health and education?

The scary thing for Australians is that even this week, Abbott was reconfirming his support for Newman’s style of governing, and after Hockey’s stated commitment to a Costello style audit and Abbott’s declaration of at least 20,000 public servants to get the chop, there can be no doubt that Campbell Newman … Tony Abbott’s “mini me”.

Note: This has been a guest post by one who goes by the name of Truth Seeker, who runs the site Truth Seeker Musings, where the original of this post can be found. Of Truth Seeker Musings, he describes it is a proudly Australian, left wing site, dedicated to satirical and political poetry, among others.

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54 comments

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  1. isupportgillardgovt

    I’m in awe of how many great articles that you create and the time and energy required to do so, Michael! I’m certainly not complaining, but grateful for your articulated voice that represents many. Love your work, may it keep flowing until at least Sept 14th.

  2. Miglo

    Thank you. I have many fine helpers here.

  3. teddysea

    Great article Miglo.
    The Libs need to be sat down by a Kindergarten teacher.
    ‘Greens and Labor take a break.You go out and play for a while.’
    ‘Put your hands in your lap and repeat after me .. we are a society .. not an economy. A society .. not an economy. Abbot you’re not listening! We are a society .. not an economy. People in jobs are more important than a surplus. It’s not a nice thing to sack people and sell all the class assets to the big bullies. Newman do you hear?
    And Tony (and your mates) when did it become okay to spend all your time saying nasty things about the class captain. We are a democracy here in K1 .. . I don’t care what Murdoch said ..we’re not run by big bullies and liars.’
    (Teacher shakes his head)

  4. Truth Seeker

    Hey Migs, thanks for re posting my article, it’s great to be able to access your resources to bring the message to a wider audience. 😎

    You do a great job, albeit a very difficult one at times 😀

    Cheers 🙂 😀

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Neil Ashpole if governments are running a surplus it means the people and business are taking up the debt.

    It is what Howard did as a deliberate policy, shift debt from the public purse to the private one to take Australia to the most privately indebted nation on the planet in a very short time. The situation became so dire as Howard sought record surplus after record surplus that even Costello, who is not the most caring or responsible of politicians, stated it was unsustainable.

  6. Truth Seeker

    Teddy, Love it 😆

    Cheers 😀 😆

  7. Neil Ashpole

    I am still and always been at a loss why a Government needs a Surplus, does it not mean that if there is a surplus someone is missing out on what they need because the government is not spending our taxes the way they should be.

  8. Tom of Melbourne

    Someone might explain why-
    *When teaching children and employing teachers, it is necessary for the government to own the real estate where the teaching occurs.
    *When treating the ill and infirm and employing health professionals, the government has to own the real estate.

    Is the real estate purchasing and management of it the best use of scarce public resources?
    ========
    Public surplus creates private debt?

    Public surplus creates policy options for the future. Deficit reduces policy options.

  9. Möbius Ecko

    How austerity destroys an economy. UK GDP dropped 1.4% in direct response to Cameron austerity measures and tax rises, something Abbott will also do.

    Cameron’s answer. Deny it and say more austerity is needed because of the GDP drop due to austerity.

  10. Tom of Melbourne

    Is there a government that has run long term deficits and found economic prosperity?

  11. Tom R

    Is there a government that has run long term deficits and found economic prosperity?

    Hawke/Keating. Nobody disputes that our current economic prosperity stems directly from what they did. When Keating got booted, all indicators were heading up, howard simply went along for the ride.

  12. Tom R

    Top post TruthSeeker. The more this gets out, particularly the direct line between newman – costello – audit – sackings – abbott the better.

  13. Möbius Ecko

    US

    =============================
    The politics of prosperity – Page 3

    From Griffith REVIEW Edition 28: Still the Lucky Country?
    © Copyright Griffith University & the author.

    Written by Tom Conley

    Another significant policy concern of the late 1980s and early 1990s was debt. Australia’s major problem is private debt, although public debt is also increasing due to government efforts to stimulate the economy. After reaching a high of 18.5 per cent of GDP in 1995-96, Australia’s general government net debt fell markedly to a net surplus in 2005-06. Continuous growth and a sustained resources boom can do wonders for a government’s fiscal position; but given the revenue created by the boom, greater efforts could have been made to accumulate a true counter-cyclical budget surplus that could be used in a sustained downturn. Still, counter to the scare tactics of the current Opposition and economic liberals, Australia’s public debt position is sounder than that of most developed countries.
    =============================

    There’s reams of information on government vs private debt if you take a little time to research.

    Bottom line is that Howard well and truly blew 10+ years of prosperity, and gave us the most expensive housing in the world.

    =============================
    There has also been a huge expansion in household debt, most of it in housing. This has helped to make Australia one of the dearest places in the world to buy a house. Household debt is now at unprecedented levels – about 160 per cent of disposable income (or more than 100 per cent of GDP).
    =============================

    And so on. No use wasting time researching and posting facts as they will be ignored and the usual circular argument will be invoked. For some nothing ever ever ever changes. Just keep using the same flawed tactic and declare yourself the winner.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    Wikipedia

    Government deficit spending is a central point of controversy in economics, with prominent economists holding differing views. The “mainstream economics” position is that deficit spending is desirable and necessary as part of countercyclical fiscal policy, but that there should not be a structural deficit: run deficits during recessions to compensate for the shortfall in aggregate demand, but run surpluses in boom times so that there is no net deficit over an economic cycle, i.e., only run cyclical deficits.
    ====================

    So both Howard and Rudd did the right thing according to mainstream economics, but where Howard so miserably failed is that he wasted so much of his inherited sustained boom time and racked up a considerable structural deficit and also pushed unsustainable private debt as a way of keeping economic growth going. That was something acknowledged by Costello.

  15. Truth Seeker

    Someone might explain why all you do is copy and paste the same old puerile pile of utter crap?

  16. Tom R

    What is it with the libs and all of their ‘audits’ being found to be bogus.

    I am sure all those Public Servants who are currently getting laid off because of costellos misuse of hockeynomics could feel quite upset about losing their livelihood so the libs can run an agenda rather than an economy, let alone a society.

  17. Tom R

    *When teaching children and employing teachers, it is necessary for the government to own the real estate where the teaching occurs.

    Perhaps so the teachers and children can be assured that there is a place to teach and learn each day?

    *When treating the ill and infirm and employing health professionals, the government has to own the real estate.

    So that the ill and the healers can be assured that there is a place to heal and be healed each day?

  18. Truth Seeker

    Tom R (in this case the “R” stands for “Real” 😀 ) Thanks Tom, and yes, the links are definitely there, for those who bother to look and we do need to do everything to get the people to LOOK 😀

    Keep up the good work Tom R 😎

    Cheers 😀 😎

  19. Tom R

    for those who bother to look

    Most don’t though, they wait for the nightly news to highlight it for them with flashing arrows and a bright red ‘X” to mark the spot.

    Which is why the abysmal failure of our msm to do this is such an issue that needs to be addressed.

  20. Tom of Melbourne

    So try again…

    Tom R, I’ve never been critical of the Hawke and Keating governments – in my opinion it was the poisonous structure of the ALP that undermined the Keating Government, and ushered in Howard.

    But Keating knew that the successive deficits were unsustainable, it was about 20% of GDP. If the trend had continued, there would have been nothing left in the tank to ramp up spending during the GFC.

    If you want to argue that Swan and Rudd responded well to the GFC with the stimulus, you’ll also have to acknowledge the beneficial low level of debt they inherited, which allowed them this option.
    ******
    Leasing means the government could be kicked out “tomorrow”. Do you think the government rents the classrooms in a backpackers hostel?

    With changing demographics in many localities, particularly inner city redevelopments, leasing is the responsible option.

    Having the government purchase high priced real estate in a developing area is stupid.

  21. Truth Seeker

    Tom R, Absolutely, that’s why it’s so important that we all do our bit 😀

    Cheers 😀 😎

  22. Tom R

    Absolutely, that’s why it’s so important that we all do our bi

    Which is why I appreciate your post TruthSeeker, and Migs work for providing the platform to host it on.

    It doesn’t have the size or reach of the nightly news, but lately blogs and the like have been starting to get more exposure on these msm shows. Which is also why it is good the way Migs etal use Facebook and the like to publicise their work

  23. Truth Seeker

    Tom R, yes indeed, even my little blog that’a only been up for a couple of months has had over 4,000 hits, which I find amazing. But there seems to be so much interest in the more progressive points of view with the decline in credibility of the MSM.

    Cheers 😀

  24. Ken Brown

    When I was a Councillor in a local government council in northern NSW, I attended a seminar conducted by some high profile auditors from Sydney. The main point they had to make that local government should not be run like a business…ie to make a profit. There are definitely finance ratios and proceedures that need to be followed and that is monitored by accountants and the Department of Local Government.

    However a governments main function is is spend the taxpayers money to provide services to the community. So for exampled a council might decide it is wise to build a library……in this case the decision of the council should be judged on the quality of the library and its services and its value to the community, which might be difficult to quantify in dollars and cents.

    Unfortunately the likes of Tony Abbott, Campbell Newman and “Tom of Melbourne” can’t seem to grasp the concept of how governments should be run to benefit the whole community, and I don’t think they ever will.

  25. Tom of Melbourne

    again..

    Tom R, I’ve never been critical of the Hawke and Keating governments – in my opinion it was the poisonous structure of the ALP that undermined the Keating Government, and ushered in Howard.

    But Keating knew that the successive deficits were unsustainable, it was about 20% of GDP. If the trend had continued, there would have been nothing left in the tank to ramp up spending during the GFC.

    If you want to argue that Swan and Rudd responded well to the GFC with the stimulus, you’ll also have to acknowledge the beneficial low level of debt they inherited, which allowed them this option.

  26. Tom of Melbourne

    …and

    Leasing means the government could be kicked out “tomorrow”. Do you think the government rents the classrooms in a backpackers hostel?

    With changing demographics in many localities, particularly inner city redevelopments, leasing is the responsible option.

    Having the government purchase high priced real estate in a developing area is stupid.

  27. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    Think that I added this comment to one of my recent tweets. ” It’s just so great that all of you bloggers are now joining hands and sharing your info.”

    It wasn’t so long ago that you were all saying the same thing, each had the same things to say, but weren’t linking with each other. My congratulations to you all. This is what true communication is all about.

    We will get the messages out that need to be disseminated to the people. We also must not be afraid to talk on a one to one basis to people. You don’t have to be aggressive to get the message out, just ask the most important question. “Are you aware”?

    All we need now is to somehow ask the MSM journos “are you aware that you are destroying our democracy by not asking TA to tell the truth. Are you aware that by not giving a balanced reporting, investigating when its needed, you are actually helping to destroy this wonderful country? I could go on, but I’m sure you get my drift.

    Keep up the great works folks.

  28. Marian Strong

    Fantastic comments, wholeheartedly agree!

  29. Tom R

    Tom R, I’ve never been critical of the Hawke and Keating governments

    Well, apart from the probable incongruity in that statement, you asked a question, I answered it.

    Is there a government that has run long term deficits and found economic prosperity?

    I don’t care about your previous criticism or not.

    If you want to argue that Swan and Rudd responded well to the GFC with the stimulus, you’ll also have to acknowledge the beneficial low level of debt they inherited, which allowed them this option.

    I always have. I also acknowledge that the oppositions proposed response to the GFC would have left us far worst off, with us definitely entering a recession, with unfortold consequences. But I do recognise that the low debt levels helped with the stimulus. You keep insinuating I don’t, when I continually do. It’s quite pathetic really, as well as wrong.

  30. Truth Seeker

    Sandra, thanks for your comment, 😀 a voice of common sense and reason as always 😀

    Cheers 🙂 😀

  31. teddysea

    Keep up the good work Truth Seeker!

  32. Tom R

    Having the government purchase high priced real estate in a developing area is stupid.

    Tell that to all the high priced real estate owners.

  33. Tom of Melbourne

    Tom R, perhaps you should review your own words.

    In answer to my question that someone comment on running successive debts as a means to prosperity you said –

    ”Hawke/Keating. Nobody disputes that our current economic prosperity stems directly from what they did. When Keating got booted, all indicators were heading up, howard simply went along for the ride.

    Then when I said anyone who thinks the response to the GFC was appropriate they’d have to acknowledge the low level of debt inherited from Howard, you said –

    ”I always have”

    Really??

  34. Tom R

    Really??

    Yes, really. I have consistently said that we had low debt levels when we entered the GFC. I attributed that to howards term. That doesn’t change the fact that when howard came to office, the hard work on hte structure of the economy had been done, and he entered office with all of the indicators moving in hte right direction. He coasted on that, and began slashing everything in site. Even Brewster could have run deficits in that environment. But, as we saw, the indicators started to turn for him as his own policies took hold.

    The low levels of debt were because of howard, and I don’t think that Keating could have achieved them, particualrly at that level. But, the reason he could get there so easily is traced back to the economy he was left, coupled with his sell all mentality.

    So, on reviewing my words, they still maintain all I have said. You continue to grasp at straws, and try to re-write history.

  35. Tom of Melbourne

    Well, that’s a really interesting way of redefining your comment – ‘howard went along for the ride’

    But to return to the earlier point – can you suggest a country that has used high levels of public debt to achieve long term economic prosperity?

  36. Fed up

    I was always under the impression that the deficit of Keating was quickly trending down, when Howard was elected.

  37. Fed up

    The NSW government has a problem with school accommodation on the North Shore af Sydney.

    There is a huge shortage of classrooms, as the trend is back to PS. Demountables are not am option, as they are throughout the state.

    The reason for this, is the government sold off playgrounds a couple of decades ago, leaving no room to put classrooms.

    That land has now been developed.

    The Education Department is housing kids in commercial office space. Not a approtiate answer.

    My kids were at a school in the western suburbs where we were successful in saving the school along with the playground. As the population density has risen, proving we made the right decision to fight.

  38. Tom R

    Well, that’s a really interesting way of redefining your comment

    It’s not redefining it, it is clarifying it for you slower ones.
    But, speaking of redefining.

    Is there a government that has run long term deficits and found economic prosperity?

    Is now

    can you suggest a country that has used high levels of public debt to achieve long term economic prosperity?.

    I stated Hawke/Keating to the first. But, I’m not sure the actual debt can be attributed directly to the proseperity.

    It was the actions they took at the time, some of which contributed to our debt, which helped achieve long term economic prosperity. Under your new definition of you question 😉

  39. Bacchus

    Good to see you back Fu 🙂 Ignore the naysayers and they lose their power 😉

  40. Tom of Melbourne

    By the way, the link I posted was supposed to start at 1989. But anyone is welcome to enter the date they prefer.

    It certainly shows debt built and peaked under Keating. At that time Australia’s debt was similar to most industrialised countries.

  41. Tom of Melbourne

    My original comment on this was a challenge to – ‘if governments are running a surplus it means the people and business are taking up the debt’

    ME has since sought to clarify this point too, but this original comment is just nonsense.

  42. Tom R

    My original comment

    I’ll address your latest definition of the question if you like, I would suggest that the Rudd/Gillard Governments as examples of this. They ran a public debt so that our economy would not tank, as most of the remainder of the world did, which has helped to place us where we are now. Prosperous.

    http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/2346-mr-abbott-as-an-economic-forecaster

  43. Fed up

    I cannot understand the obsession with debt. It means little. All the leading economist seems to say this. We heard how many surpluses under Howard. How many interest rates rise did we have at the same time.

    Maybe if the tax rates, which benefitted the wealthy and business were not lowered, year after year, we might have a surplus now. Who knows.

    If one accepts that the household and national budgets are run the same, maybe I could understand.,

    The national budget is nothing like a personal budget, but some seem to think it is.

    Even personal debt is OK. That is as long as we have the means to service it.

    Are they saying that this wealthy country, cannot service the small debt we have.

    We are better served, if we focus on and service the structural deficits in the budget that arose in the days of Costello. There has been some changes in this area, but there is much more to do.

    As the PM said, it has not happened before, that revenus has continued to fall in this part of the cycle.

    The problem, is not, I believe and if one listens to the experts, of excessive spending.

    It is revenue that has collapsed. By the way, the MRRT are only 10% of expected revenue. Not collecting as much, does not make that much difference.

    Sorry, I am not too good at the technical language, and this is only a layman’s attempt.

    Yes, Mr. Abbott and Co would love the focus to remain in debt. Allows him to ignore good are most of the economic indicators are.

    Sadly the word debt is having an effect.

  44. Truth Seeker

    Fed up, yes, as I said in the article, the emphasis on debt by the LNP ignores the fact that you cannot run a country like a business.
    Taxes are collected, primarily to supply essential and required services to the populous, many of which will not and cannot be profitable.

    The LNP philosophy equates to a family who own a car, but rather than maintain it they put the money in the bank, and drive the car until it breaks down. then they sell it off for a fraction of it’s worth, to someone who fixes it up and leases it back to them at way more than it would have cost to maintain it, in the first place. Crazy! 🙁

    Cheers 😀

  45. 2353

    Coming from someone that can’t fill out a ballot paper correctly, your point is???

    Everyone with a home loan runs a long term deficit – most of them also have a loan for the car as well as a credit card with money owing on them as well. So either (1) we are a country of the same persuasion as the Government or (2) you are talking out of your arse. I’ll take Option 2.

  46. Fed up

    The LNP cutting back on the government spending has nothing to do with budget constraints.or whether we can afford it.

    It is all to do with their philosophy of small government.

    They should be honest enough to say tha openly, instead of laying the blame on Labor and the poor.

    It is all about having different agendas.

  47. Tom of Melbourne

    It’s interesting that you seek out and reply to my comments about 36 hours after I post them.

    But you actually didn’t nominate a country that has found a way to run long term deficits and achieve economic prosperity.

    Just keep following me around and you’ll probably learn something.

  48. Fed up

    As for the IR laws the employer wants, I see it as them denying the worker, a fair share of the wealth their labour helps produce.

    Never seen a rich man make much money without workers.

    Even the robots need humans somewhere in the chain.

    It is a truth, that greatest productivity occurs when the boss and worker pull together. Yes, unions are also a part of the r process.

    Unions are not that stupid, that they do not realise, the better a company is run,, the higher the profits, the bigger pie to share.

  49. Truth Seeker

    Fed up, yes it’s all about ideology, certainly not about good fiscal management 😯

    But it all comes back to their unspoken creed of “Every man woman and child for themselves” with the disclaimer “unless you’re rich, and then you deserve all the help they can give you!” 👿 🙄

    Cheers 😀 🙂

  50. 2353

    Unlike Troll from Melbourne – I’m not paid to sit in front of a computer and sprout crap on behalf of the LNP. The USA still hasn’t paid off their debt from WW2 – and for the majority of the last 60 years were considered to be the most prosperous nation on earth.

    As for following you – don’t flatter yourself.

  51. Buff McMenis

    If I believed in Tony Abbott’s Jesus Christ I’d be saying “Jesus wept” at the horrific State Queensland has become! As I don’t believe in some possible carpenter in what is now Israel some 2,000+ years ago I’ll just say “Queenslanders weep!!!”. As will Oz in its entirety if Abbott wins power in September! :'(

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