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Plan B

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Why Clive Palmer may not be Abbott’s karma! A pattern emerges …

Anyone else wondering if there’s a pattern starting here?

The Government proposes something. Clive creates BIG HEADLINES by suggesting that he’ll block it. There’s a bit of a brouhaha. The Government complains that the Senate shouldn’t block things because after all they have a mandate! (After all, the Liberals have always just waved legislation through – it’s not like they blocked the ETS or anything…)

A few days go by. Then it’s reported – with no big headlines – that Clive Palmer and his PUPpets have decided to let the thing go through. Sometimes, it’s reported that they’ve extracted some concession. Other times, they’ve either just changed their minds or else whatever concession they’ve extracted is not for the public eye.

Now I don’t mean to suggest by that there’s anything untoward in this. After all, it is possible that Clive Palmer just speaks without thinking, and after reflection, he remembers that he is a life member of the Queensland LNP, so really opposing policies he’s always supported just because he’s trying to win a few populist votes is not really a good long term policy. Or it could be that he just likes watching Tony’s face when it looks likely that the Government actually have to say please before it gets its own way.

Whatever, it seems that there are at least two examples of this.

We won’t allow the Carbon Tax repeal, unless it’s replaced by an Emissions Trading Scheme starting at zero. (Haven’t heard much about that lately.)

We won’t support the changes to the regulations on Financial Advice. (Oh, wait the government have promised us that they’ll strength the legislation in the next ninety days.)

There you go. Two things that’s the start of pattern.

All right, two isn’t much of a pattern, but I wanted to get in early. If I wait until it’s an actual pattern then everyone will see it. Like the pattern where Margie doesn’t accompany Abbott when he goes to a foreign country, including Canberra, which Liberals regard as an alien land.

Just like when some of the Liberals suggested that the Labor Party hadn’t delivered a surplus this century. It’s a pattern. The circumstances of the GFC were no excuse – if the Liberals had still been in power, we’d have still had surpluses. And an unemployment rate of “eleventy”, mind you, but things would have been good because we’d have had a surplus.

But that was under Peter “Figjam” Costello. Under Abbott, I’ve noticed a new pattern. Joe Hockey has never delivered a surplus.

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  1. Kaye Lee

    “Financial advice: the most unfair liberal lie yet?

    The whole business around financial advice reforms is very complicated so let’s try to simplify it.

    Like all things it’s a balancing act. On the one hand, there is consumer protection and on the other, there is red tape reduction to unleash enterprise. The challenge is avoiding rip-offs while driving innovation.

    Problem is that the Government aided by PUP senators, has managed to pull off the impossible and – diminish consumer protection while increasing red tape. No really.”


  2. my say

    Palmer is a liberal through and through,he just loves watching abbott squirm,is palmer or abbott running our country,its time for idiot abbott to stand up and be counted
    what has happened to the clean energy fund?

  3. Matters Not

    Abbott et al are about ‘total warfare’ and using Gish Gallop techniques are central to that very effective strategy.

    Gish Gallop is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of small arguments that their opponent cannot possibly answer or address each one in real time. More often than not, these myriad arguments are full of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments – the only condition is that there be many of them, not that they be particularly compelling on their own. They may be escape hatches or “gotcha” arguments that are specifically designed to be brief, but take a long time to unravel.


    And let’s not forget that Clive Palmer uses this strategy on a daily basis.

    Not sure how to counter this BS, but I am sure that Shorten et al are in the same metaphorical boat. Just saying ‘Tony Abbott is .. or Joe Hockey is ..’ All of which are true, but it doesn’t resonate.

  4. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    I suspect ‘Gish gallop’ type tactics, combined with sleight of hand, are behind the excessively costly and conspicuously brutal treatment of oceanic asylum seekers, and other nonsensical acts. What is a miniscule part of their overall agenda is given prominence of discussion, diverting attention from the plethora of other enormities and incompetencies being inflicted upon the nation. We only have so much capacity and energy for outrage and refutation, and, as others have observed, racio-cultural suspicion of these people has become institutionalised in a large parts of the population that blinkers their analyses and anaesthetises their consciences beyond the capacity to alter their viewpoints.
    Keep your eye on the hand under the table.

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics.

    Let’s pick a number, a very big number, say $300 billion, and then invent a national crisis around it to bash Labor and the Greens for the purpose of allowing the incompetent Abbott government to get its way.

    $300b Budget black hole

    When I listened to the ABC News Breakfast Piece with Richardson this morning all the government rhetoric was there. Budget crisis, budget in dire need of repair, a decade of woe if it isn’t and the scare tactics of a recession that will doom the nation. Yet it’s a number plucked out of thin air taking the worst possible scenario in every case for a decade and plumping it up a bit to come up with a scary big number.

    The other side of that piece was the blatant hypocrisy of Richardson. He went on about oppositions in the last decade or more becoming nothing more than populists by just saying no and blocking everything the government is trying to do to repair the budget. That’s right he singled out a single item that was directly aimed at the current opposition whilst he was attempting to sound as though he was being reasonable in lambasting all oppositions past and present. Though if you search as I have you will be hard pressed to find where Richardson expressed the same view when Abbott was in opposition, indeed he at times supported the Abbott opposition’s tactics and negativity.

  6. Matters Not

    I saw and heard Chris Richardson on ABC as well. Recently he was in the corner of most economists who argued that there was no ‘crisis’. Now apparently there is. Seems like he’s been ‘got at’.

    Just wonder what ‘consultancies’ or ‘contracts’ are in the pipeline? Could it be, that for Deloitte Access Economics, the Age of Entitlement, far from being over, has, in fact, just arrived?

  7. Lee

    Palmer is revealing himself to be a drama queen. I have no time for drama queens.

  8. Möbius Ecko

    Oh absolutely Matters Not, and the proof of that is in Hockey’s spray of woe against the world in which he directly quoted Richardson as a top well respected economist. Of course Hockey’s interviewer didn’t ask what about all those other top respected economists that Hockey has ignored and who say there is no crisis or emergency.

  9. Kaye Lee

    “I don’t think you could make the case that there is a budget crisis,” said HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham, responding to Mr Abbott’s description of the “emergency” that would force dramatic changes in the budget.

    “Most countries would be envious of Australia’s public finances as they currently stand,” said Barclays Australia chief economist Kieran Davies

    “We don’t need a surplus tomorrow,” said Chris Richardson, economist and partner at Deloitte Access Economics.

    “We don’t even necessarily need it in five years time. I’m more than happy with us getting back to sustainable fiscal finances over the long term. “The politics would tend to suggest moving earlier rather than later but on the economics there’s no rush.”

    Professor Stiglitz said he found the current budget debate “very strange”.

    “Australia is in a very good fiscal position,” he said. “I would have thought the focus should not have been on cutting spending, [and] fiscal stringency, but on investing more for the future.

    “I’d be advocating spending more, not less. Spending money on health, education, making sure that the bottom half of your population, the children, have the nutrition, health and education to be more productive and live up to their potential, seems to me to be first order investments for any society,” he said.

  10. Matters Not

    Give Abbott et al some credit. (Political not Moral). When it comes to creating ‘mantras’ and then staying on message, they are masters of the ‘art’. (Or should that be ‘science’)? A good example is Labor’s debt and deficit disaster. Whether it be in Parliament or in media interviews, “debt and deficit disaster” gets an airing at every opportunity. This morning on ABC News Radio, when Ciobo was accused of ‘breaking promises’ (no new taxes) his first and only fall back was the inherited ‘economic mess’.

    It’s this BS thread about ‘debt and deficit disaster’ that will run through this term of government and be the central feature of the next election campaign. While Labor defended their record initially, they seem to have surrendered. They have no defensive ‘mantra’. Can’t remember when Shorten last mounted a defence.

    Abbott et al, then and now, demonstrate the power of persistence. Black is white and white is black and Labor’s debt and deficit disaster can all be sold. No, they have all been sold. ‘Reality’ is a ‘construct’. It just doesn’t ‘happen’. You have to make it ‘happen’. Just ask Tony.

  11. Catriona Thoolen

    ‘We won’t allow the Carbon Tax repeal, unless it’s replaced by an Emissions Trading Scheme starting at zero.’

    The Carbon Tax repeal has been split to 9-11 (? Can’t remember exact number) different pieces of legislation. The actual repeal of the Carbon Tax is not linked to an ETS (which is in a separate piece of legislation) so I expect that debate to come up later (this week?)

    PUP Amendments to Carbon Tax Repeal (all 35 pages of it)

    ‘We won’t support the changes to the regulations on Financial Advice. (Oh, wait the government have promised us that they’ll strength the legislation in the next ninety days.)’

    Amendments here in this article from The Drum.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-16/rantall-palmer-brings-welcome-changes-to-fofa-regulation/5601934 And in this email from PUP

    ‘A range of new consumer protection measures proposed by the Palmer United Party were agreed to by the Federal Government today in a major win for everyday Australian investors and responsible financial advisors.

    Following discussions with the Palmer United Party over the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) laws, The Minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann, on behalf of the Government, has tabled a letter in the Senate today stating that the Government will make further regulations within 90 days to ensure key changes to improve affordable, high quality financial advice, removing unnecessary and costly red tape, while protecting investors.

    Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, said his party could only support financial advice laws that were “fair for all Australians”.

    The government has agreed to Palmer United’s strengthened consumer protection provided by financial advisers to their clients and signed off by both.

    These measures which include:

    – That the adviser is required to act in the best interests of their client and prioritise their clients interests ahead of their own.

    ​- That any fees are to be disclosed and that the adviser will provide a fee disclosure statement annually.

    – That a client has the right to return financial products under 14-day cooling-off period.

    – That the client has the right to change his or her instructions to their adviser, if for example they experience a change in their circumstances.

    The Government has also agreed to establish an enhanced public register of financial advisers that includes the adviser’s credentials and status within the industry.

    “The Palmer United Party will only support FoFA regulations that are unambiguous, transparent and clear,’’ Mr Palmer said.

    “It appears that a common-sense approach has prevailed following a successful conversation with the Minister and the diligent work of the Palmer United Senate team which always has the best interests of Australians at heart,” Mr Palmer said.

    “We cannot have a FoFA framework that puts ordinary Australian investors at risk, where their retirement plans could be potentially ruined by unscrupulous financial advisors putting their own interests first,’’ Mr Palmer said.

    “Our solution for Australians is not the Liberal way or the Labor way, but the right way.”

    “We must have a system where the best interests of the clients are taken into account,’’ Mr Palmer said.’

    Letter from Minister to PUP


    I would have thought the ability to negotiate might have been more appreciated by those (like myself) who supported and respected Julia Gillard’s amazing ability to negotiate a ‘deal’

  12. Kaye Lee

    Industry Super Australia says while detail of the deal is limited, “on face value the proposed changes don’t involve any significant additional strengthening of existing laws and don’t address conflicted payments that distort advice”.

    “While it is commendable that the Palmer United Party wishes to lift the bar on financial advice, the proposals for new regulations in three months are not adequate, and nor do they appear to address the fundamental problems with the existing regulations,” it said in a statement.

    “When you have organisations such as National Seniors Australia, when you have Choice all expressing concerns that the interests of clients, of consumers, are being compromised with these regulations, then the default position has to be to go back to the previous regulations under Labor,” Nick Xenophon said.

  13. Möbius Ecko

    That’s the way I’ve read the government’s changes to FOFA and PUP’s changes to that. There are holes the finance industry can drive a money truck through, and it seems that’s what the pensioner groups, Choice and other groups have picked up on.

    I moved from an industry fund to a commercial one after the previous government’s FOFA regulations came in and have now informed my adviser that I will be moving back to an industry fund if FOFA is weakened or not made stronger. He wasn’t happy, but when I asked if he would guarantee in writing that all fees, charges and his vested interests would be revealed as a matter of course, he said if I specifically asked for particulars he would give them. That’s not good enough.

    Oh, and requesting those particulars would incur a fee, the same as every other time I visit him or get advice.

  14. Matthew Oborne

    The passing of the carbon tax repeal isnt delivering a promise, the $550 a year better off from repealing it is the promise, that is not going to happen as businesses think up excuses to keep their prices up and most likely increasing.

  15. Matters Not

    The changes the Government has promised the PUP reinforce the best interest imperative for specific advice, but they do not address the general product issue. In addition, while planners will have to disclose in writing the fees they will earn and state that they are acting in the best interest of their client, they can still be indirectly rewarded via a performance scorecard, and this, because it is not a “commission”, still does not have to be disclosed.

    So, my take is that the latest amendments still work in favour of the big banks. They mean that planners can remain conflicted and tellers can sell products, and the potential to release real competitive tension into the market – as products would have been compared cross-market (with a presumable bias towards cheapness) – is all gone.

    Lack of transparency writ large. The question is whether Palmer understood or not. If yes, then the façade is coming down very quickly. If no, then the PUP was sold a pup.

    Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-17/north-the-incredible-morphing-fofa-beast/5601866

  16. James Cook

    Sorry to go off topic, but where is Cornlegend? Is he well? I enjoy his comments [as I do others on this site] and miss his contribution.

  17. melaine

    Hey James Cook @ 2.38pm…
    Cornie is away on holidays… we all miss his comments on a few sites but he will be back soon.

  18. Bob

    What I don’t understand about Australian politics is the BS media cycle – The Australian paper drove the headlines in Gillard era, hollering the Abbott team’s Carbon, Boats & Budget alleged crises. These were all manufactured for politics. Yet the only logical media counters to theses claims, Fairfax and The ABC insisted on both reporting and engaging with them. I can’t grasp why they didn’t just ignore them and focus on the real issues of the day and then also what Abbott’s alternative policies were.
    We have a broadsheet newspaper, The Australian that has never made a profit in 50 years, cross subsided by television, constantly braying for a market solution to all our alleged problems, and people listen and respond to it, just ignore it and let it wither away.

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