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The Coalition have had ten years to come up with a policy that works

Reflecting back on the Coalition’s six years in Opposition, it’s no wonder they are in such trouble now.

Instead of developing policy, think about what they spent their time doing.

They pursued Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson mercilessly in an effort to bring down a minority government.

They spent years trying to pin some wrongdoing on Julia Gillard from decades ago, before she even entered politics.

On a daily basis, they announced a running tally of asylum seeker boat arrivals and ranted endlessly about the “Egyptian jihadist terrorist kept behind a pool fence” (who turned out to be an accountant)..

Joe Hockey cried about the unaccompanied minors who may be sent offshore while Bronwyn Bishop described the Malaysia solution as a “hideous trade in human flesh.”

They decried the stimulus package that helped Australia avoid the recession the rest of the world suffered and spent endless time talking about pink batts and school halls.

Day after day, they screamed like banshees about the “great big new tax on everything” chanting “axe the tax”. (A bit rich from the party that brought us the GST)

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was a green slush fund making non-commercial loans with taxpayers’ money.

The mining tax was simultaneously destroying jobs whilst raising no revenue.

Labor was killing the car industry by insisting that claims for business usage be supported by a log book.

The NBN was an expensive “white elephant”.

Labor spent too much on foreign aid and not enough on defence (read strike force capability and attacks on other countries).

We had a “debt and deficit disaster” because the government was “spending like a drunken sailor.”

Labor backstabbed a sitting Prime Minister and were riven by disunity and dysfunctional navel-gazing.

Aside from their usual union bashing and lower taxes for the wealthy, the only policies they came up with were Greg Hunt’s Direct Action, which has seen us pay billions to make emissions rise, and Tony’s signature Paid Parental Leave Scheme that didn’t even make it past his own party.

Contrast that with Shorten’s Labor Opposition who have developed policies on taxation reform including negative gearing, capital gains, superannuation and family trusts. They have a plan to have 50% renewable energy by 2030 and to introduce new emissions standards for motor vehicles. They have pledged to invest in TAFE and apprenticeships. To name a few.

As the Opposition continues to develop and announce policy, the government has mired itself in Tony Abbott’s mud pit.

In response to Penny Wong’s heartfelt speech about the children of same-sex couples, Abbott cast his side as the victims.

“It is not homophobic to maintain that, ideally, children should have both a mother and a father. Yet I fear much moral bullying in the weeks to come – invariably from those demanding change.”

And therein lies the problem at the heart of this government.

Aside from constantly blaming others in any discussion (think Gillian Triggs), Tony simply cannot handle change. He cannot react to changing circumstances let alone anticipate them. He cannot absorb new information because he is too entrenched in his long-held views. He strongly feels the ‘natural order’ of the past must be defended – that we should do things the way we have always done them.

And he isn’t the only one.

Our Deputy Prime Minister (for now) and many of his Nationals are equally responsible for hamstringing the government.

To stay leader of the Liberal Party, Turnbull has to appease Abbott and his band of dinosaurs. To get the support of the Nationals to govern, he has to give Barnaby what he (read Gina) wants. To get anything through the Senate, he has to deal with Pauline Hanson’s crazies.

The only way this impasse can be broken is for Turnbull to stand up and actually start leading his party and reminding the Nats that they are very much the junior partner who would never sit on the government benches without the assistance of the Liberals. In fact, at the 2013 election, the Liberals won 74 seats on their own (16 of the 22 LNP elected members were from the Liberal Party). He should also cut One Nation out of negotiations (they’re mad as cut snakes) and concentrate on Xenephon.

Unless that happens, the very loud conservative minority in our parliament will continue to hold the country back in the last century.

They have already wasted 10 years. How long will it take them to come up with a policy that works?


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  1. earthrflute

    Goodness where do we start with slop like this?
    No idea of what has happened to the country when Labor was in power, the $$ damage they did to the country, the 1,000s of refugees their policies killed, 1,000s of refugees left to rot in overseas detention centres incl children, NOT passing homosexual marriage when they had the chance, NDIS debacle, NBN debacle, Peter Slipper debacle, MRRT debacle, cash for clunkers debacle, etc..
    Now to rabbit on about energy policy when idiot Labor leaders blow up base load power stations (SA)and tax the crap out of another where the Owner simply walks away as no profit (Vic). Intermittent sustainable sources need baseload power stations, in this country that is coal fire power stations.
    Next time do more homework before you next put finger to keyboard.
    Such populist nonsense passes for considered comment these days. Frightening.

  2. Frank Smith

    Turnbull will never “stand up and actually start leading his party and reminding the Nats that they are very much the junior partner” – these RWNJs have got him by the short and curleys.
    What a disgraceful spectacle Question Time was today. Our parliamentary processes desperately need to be amended to embody a truly independent Speaker, perhaps a former judge, who forces Ministers to answer questions and ejects them if they stray from the subject under discussion. The “Dorothy Dix” nonsense questions also need to be eliminated – they do nothing to inform the Parliament or the people how Government actions and policy is progressing the Nation. Question Time has become nothing more than a circus and a blight upon our democracy – amend it or get rid of it!

  3. Matters Not

    MT, this site has been noticed by LNP ideologues deep in their Canberra bunker. Now very, very desperate. Haven’t had a poll win since .. sometime before Abbott. Not that they want to remember those days. Soon an abacus will be required just to keep up.

    Why do they never learn. The mantra remains: It’s all Labor’s fault. Jolly jokers, one and all.

  4. Michael Taylor

    Next time do more homework before you next put finger to keyboard.

    Is that what the priest told you at confession?

  5. totaram

    Kaye Lee: You keep writing these articles as if this govt. has any intention of working for the good of all Australians. We all know that is just lies. They need to follow the IPA program as best as they can. And while they are at it they are supposed to fool enough of the punters into believing it is for the benefit of all. If they are a bit incompetent while doing the former and even the latter, that is just sloppiness on their part, which makes for the hilarious theatre we are now watching on a daily basis.

    earthrflute: Indeed, indeed! I am glad you have a source from where you can copy and paste this standard list of IPA talking points, all of them completely discredited by now. By the way, just define for me “baseload power stations”. You can look up Wikipedia for assistance. I don’t mind. Then you can tell me why they have to be “coal fire (sic) power stations”.

  6. Kaye Lee

    “the $$ damage they did to the country”

    They kept the country out of recession, they kept many thousands of people employed

    “the 1,000s of refugees their policies killed”

    760 people drowned on route to Australia during the Howard government. Many more have committed suicide and some have died at the hands of the people supposed to be protecting them.

    “1,000s of refugees left to rot in overseas detention centres incl children”

    The period of detention for asylum seekers in both onshore and offshore centres has blown out under the Abbott and Turnbull Governments. They refused the Malaysian solution because they are not signatories to the refugee convention but turned boats back to Indonesia who are also not signatories. They slashed the intake of refugees by over 6,000 leaving even more desperate people with ni chance of getting here by official channels. And they refused the New Zealand offer. As if the Coalition give a shit about these people.

    “NOT passing homosexual marriage when they had the chance”

    They at least allowed the bill to be put to the parliament and a conscience vote instead of this bullshit very expensive kicking the can down the road

    “NDIS debacle”

    What exactly do you mean by that? The vast majority of the country see it as ground-breaking reform.

    “NBN debacle”

    Turnbull has destroyed what would have been ground breaking nation building infrastructure

    “Peter Slipper debacle”

    I agree with you that that was a total waste of time caused by the Liberal Party acting illegally, something for which they were never held to account

    “MRRT debacle”

    Getting a tax in place was a good step which could have been adjusted over time. Abbott pulled out just when it would have started making real money after mines moved from construction to production phase and accelerated depreciation was used up.. It also would have protected smaller mines as you had to make over $125 million profit for the tax to fully kick in.

    “Labor leaders blow up base load power stations (SA)and tax the crap out of another where the Owner simply walks away as no profit (Vic).”

    No-one blew up any power stations and the owners closed coal-fired power stations that were at their end of their productive life span and would require huge investment to upgrade. It had nothing to do with tax and they closed after the tax was abolished anyway.

    ” Intermittent sustainable sources need baseload power stations, in this country that is coal fire power stations.”

    Except no-one in the industry is going to waste money on investing in them because baseload power can be achieved through improvements in storage with gas filling in during the transition period. It isn’t base load that is the problem, it’s peak demand time.

    “Next time do more homework”

    I am guessing you would suggest Andrew Bolt for my enlightenment?

  7. Dave

    earthrflute: Are you for real, or just a lnp stooge, one of the few remaining?…Speaking of the few remaining, did you get all of that b/s out of The Australian? Or the lnp talking points meme?

  8. Matters Not

    Dave, the arguments advanced by earthrflute are for real – in the sense that all ideological arguments must have an element of truth if they are to be sustainable. And in this instance there is that ‘element of truth’.

    Reference is made to: refugees dying at sea – and that’s valid. Refugees died at sea and in large numbers – that’s factual. But what is totally ignored is why there were (and are) so many refugees in the first place. Who decided to bomb (and invade) so many countries in the Middle East and surrounds? In short, who generated the volume of refugees initially? Who caused it?

    earthrflute seems blind to the fact that so many refugees resulted from the government’s participation in the shock and awe campaign. (Not that I expect any response from earthrflute whose task it is to lob the grenade and then simply walk away.)

    And no doubt feeling very concerned as to future job prospects. You can smell the desperation.

  9. John L

    Earthrflute…….frightening indeed. You summed up your post succinctly in the last sentence.

  10. Andreas Bimba

    “Contrast that with Shorten’s Labor Opposition who have developed policies on taxation reform including negative gearing, capital gains, superannuation and family trusts. They have a plan to have 50% renewable energy by 2030 and to introduce new emissions standards for motor vehicles. They have pledged to invest in TAFE and apprenticeships.”

    They were Greens policies first but Labor and the rubbish LNP can adopt all of the Greens policies if they like but better not to water them down so much.

  11. captainwise

    Earthrflute you have not been paying attention.
    You are merely mouthing Liberal talking points and illegitimate arguments.
    Why don’t you help out your beloved party by offering them some constructive advice.

  12. michael lacey

    They achieved something keeping the opposition from delivering policy!

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    Sorry they had a well developed programme which they put in place from first budget. A policy Turnbull is still following. A policy that is bad for us all.

    The intention was to cut welfare to the bone. Lower corporation cuts and regulations. Transfer government cost to the lower income earners. PAYE recipients. User pay. Destroy unions and IR laws.

    Yes Abbott was right when he boasted the country was open for business.

    Truth is, they have been successful in their aims.

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    They love outsourcing. Time the speaker and his office was outsourced. A statutory body needs to be set up. Not impossible.

  15. Jack

    Kaye, pursuing slippery Pete and Craig T to reduce the sitting gov’s power is just politics. The same thing is happening right now, with ALP pursuing Joyce. The same useless circle continues between the two major parties without any real change. That’s why the minor parties are growing in popularity and profile

  16. Kaye Lee


    While we continue to persist with a winner takes all form of government, it will always be so. I much prefer the Swiss idea where the executive is formed from multiple parties reflecting the proportion of the vote they received. People on the executive council take turns at being head of state for a year with the deputy moving into the leader role the next year. It is up to each member of the executive to both represent their party’s view to the executive and then explain and persuade their party to support the eventual executive policy.

  17. Mark Needham

    Of course picking on Craig Thompson, was political. Poor bugger, just wanted a good time, a shoulder to cry on, nice warm lady to kiss and cuddle, all without paying for it himself.
    Bloody LNP,
    Mark Needham.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Craig Thomson did the wrong thing. Was it the job of the members of parliament to spend every waking moment pursuing it or should they have left it to the appropriate authorities?

  19. Möbius Ecko

    Kaye Lee, whilst ignoring Kathy Jackson and her husband’s more egregious role. Some in the L-NP going as far as praising Jackson as a find upstanding whistle blower.

  20. Kaye Lee

    ‘Kathy Jackson is a brave decent woman and she is speaking up on behalf of 70 thousand members,’ said Tony Abbott

    ‘Kathy Jackson is a revolutionary madam speaker and Kathy Jackson will be remembered as a lion of the union movement. She may well have strangled the union-ALP umbilical cord, more strength to her arm,” said Christopher Pyne.

    In 2002 Mr Lawler was appointed to the $435,000 per year position by then workplace minister Tony Abbott.

  21. Jack

    That Swiss system sounds good. Back to your article, the LNP’s policy of stopping the boats is one that has worked. Leaving emotion aside, as heartless as it seems, it has proven to be the most effective one for countering the smuggler’s operation. Look at the mess the Mediterranean is in, its fallen to NGO’s to rescue the wonky boats and drag them to Italy. Now the African countries (Libya the latest) are blocking these NGO’s from being in their waters. Shambles

  22. Kaye Lee

    I can agree up to a point Jack. If they hadn’t slashed the numbers who can come through legitimate channels I would agree even more. If they weren’t holding innocent people hostage, I might believe they gave a shit about the actual people. If they took up New Zealand’s offer I might be less inclined to think they have no plan.

    They have done nothing to address the refugee problem which is, in part, due to our military actions. Deflecting people elsewhere abrogates our global responsibility.

    Plus they immerse the whole process in secrecy and lie at the drop of a hat. No wonder they can’t strike a deal with any other country to solve the madness of Manus and Nauru.

    The statement “these people will never set foot on Australian shores” reminds of when I angrily said to my children “That’s it. I’m never taking you to the beach again”. You KNOW it is a stupid thing to say.

  23. Jack

    Not so stupid. Damn sand gets everywhere

  24. Alan Luchetti

    If you exist to downsize and neuter government, why on earth would you bother to develop government policy? What a ridiculous expectation!

    Your donors and think tanks will provide the necessary policy direction. Murdoch and the IPA do policy. Libs just execute it where possible.

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