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Contemptuous dismissal


April 28, 2014 • 6:36 am

“I got to wondering why Andrew Neil’s (Spectator Australia) interview with Joe Hockey was a ‘break through’ moment. After all, he didn’t ask any particularly probing questions and he certainly didn’t get any revealing answers – the example given by Joe on the question about ‘entitlement’ was the school kids bonus.

What was unusual was that Hockey got placed in a forum where he was actually asked questions and was expected to answer, which obviously stunned him. I couldn’t think of a comparable situation involving Abbott or his Ministers where they actually have been grilled or even made themselves available to account for their leaks and spin.

The coalition strategy seems to be to leak and work in closely with News Corp, avoid interviews beyond those with friendly outlets where quite obviously the questions are scripted and whatever happens don’t appear on the ABC.”

Funnily enough, Terry, I had been thinking about exactly the same things.

There were a couple of things to come out of the interview. Joe Hockey, for all his doom and gloom to local press, was forced to admit that we are actually in a very good position economically – not only that, we are vying for best in the world. Why the hang dog look for Australian audiences, replaced by a satisfied smirk internationally? Why are we even contemplating austerity measures? Why are you telling us we are in trouble when we so obviously are not?

We have

  • AAA credit rating
  • Debt 23% of GDP
  • Deficit 3% of GDP
  • Growth of 3%
  • 22 continuous years of growth
  • Unemployment around 6%
  • Strong currency
  • Vast mineral resources

No other G20 country is anywhere near comparable.

Hockey says “we have dropped the ball”. I actually like sport but I am sick of hearing sporting analogies rather than factual statistics. From my spot in the grandstand, I look at the score board and see us so far in front that I am heading for the bar.

As you point out Terry, the only entitlement cuts that Joe could come up with were the Schoolkids Bonus and the Low Income Allowance – both of which hit the people who can least afford it, as will the $6 co-payment to see a doctor. All of a sudden the carbon tax and the mining tax don’t look so bad do they?

I too had been thinking when was the last time I heard Tony Abbott interviewed. If you don’t watch Andrew Bolt or Skynews or listen to 2GB then you only get controlled press conferences or cooking shows – very occasionally 5 minutes on the 7:30 report where they try to cram in prepared questions and don’t have time to follow up on anything. Actually I can’t remember the last time even that happened. Matthias Corman pops up everywhere and repeats his standard phrases over and over like a doll having its string pulled regardless of what he is asked.

It is somewhat off-putting to have a Prime Minister who refuses to face the people he represents. In fact it is way more than off-putting. The CEO has an obligation to face shareholders and answer their questions. To continue to avoid it is treating us with contemptuous dismissal and makes one wonder what he is afraid of.


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  1. edward eastwood

    With all due respect Kaye Lee, 6% unemployed is hardly anything to be proud of, in fact it’s over the recommended ‘supply side’ economics level so beloved of the Neo-libs. (supply side economics demands a permanent pool of unemployed of between 5.1 – 5.6% of the working population).
    The real figure of unemployed is of course much higher when you take into account the underutilized (young uni grads who can’t get a full time job in their chosen field such as Science for example and those over 40 who simply can’t get a job no matter what their qualifications or experience) and up around 16% and rising.

    The target for unemployment should be aimed at 2% (full employment) which creates aggregate demand and robust, not to mention equitable economy.

  2. Kevin

    Another reason not to trust the Liberal party they are just scare mongers with small intelligence. Scare mongering was Howard’s weapon of choice another fascist

  3. Kerri

    I would like to see someone interview Hockey and/or Abbott at length and in detail about the fiscal mess left by the previous Government and what exactly was wrong with the Gillard/Rudd governments policies? Call them out. Get past the slogans and rhetoric and get them to actually outline the faults in finance and policy in detail. This would answer the questions they posed the Australian public when lying their way to the Election.

  4. Kaye Lee

    I agree with you entirely Edward. The only place where 6% looks OK is in comparison to other countries but it is simply not good enough for this country.

    We must invest more in training. Having to import 457 visa workers when we have so many here who can’t get a job just seems wrong. We must develop new industries, the renewable energy industry being an obvious one. We must invest in research and development – keep our scientists because they develop the industries of the future. The CSIRO makes us millions from its patents which include Wi-Fi. We need to help small businesses rather than big corporations. We must strengthen unions rather than weakening them as they are the workers’ protection. We need to provide affordable housing where the jobs are.

    Jobs are the key to a much healthier society and I cannot fathom why this government is so oblivious to losing so many industries. The cost of subsidies would be far less than the social cost of increasing unemployment.

  5. Bill Morris

    Edward Eastward, 6% is the current (under)stated figure for unemployment and may well be the LNP’s target figure. Or even the minimum!

  6. Stephen Tardrew

    I don’t know if any of you saw the vitriol by Abbott on ABC this weekend but it was one of the most derogatory and viscous attacks upon our country and its past leaders I have ever seen. The above figures talk for themselves. Abbott changes opinions by pure brute vilification of anyone who disagrees with him. Mr Labor man where the hell are you. The silence is deafening. Your strategy is not working and though you may be working on new policies you cannot let this crap go unchallenged.

    You will forever loose the middle and swing voters if you cannot do better.

    You must set up public challenges to Abbott and Hockey. All Hockey could do in the video was smile his superior smile and just keep on rabbiting on with the same drivel without answering any questions. Like a big blubbery walrus Hockey bounce the penguin questions away with his inflated sense of self-importance. There was no definitive moment where he fell on his sword. Smarmy grin, vacuous smile and pretense of intellectual rigor.

    Someone please ask these fools some cutting and well reasoned questions and hold them to a rational answer.

  7. Jack

    I had sex with Joe Hockey once, And he was a tender lover. Not sure why he has become so mean? Jack

  8. edward eastwood

    Kaye Lee; More of ‘The Madness of King Tony’ I’m afraid. What isn’t so well known about Abbott’s free trade deals with China ‘triumph’ is that Beijing is insistent that any major infrastructural works be carried exclusively by Chinese workers who will be paid Chinese wages. Needless to say, this leaves Australia with 3/5 of f* all as far as ‘boosting the economy’ is concerned – way to go Tones- ‘Pig iron Bob’ Menzies and ‘Give it all away Abbott’. What a legacy!

    Bill Morris; It wouldn’t surprise me if the target for unemployment was much higher. As I’ve commented, the real figure is around 16% and rising. More than likely Tony and The Pirates would like to see it even higher in order to trot out the usual bs about the need to cut wages and increase hours (and break the unions) in order to ‘get the Budget back in surplus.’ For more on this;


    Stepen Tardrew; Regretfully, there’s not much point in pinning your hopes on the ALP under Shorten, he’s the ‘Oz-lotto’ leader of the opposition; still sitting on his ass and waiting for his balls to drop! Nearly nine months in and nary a peep!

  9. curioz

    Have you considered that the behaviour of the Mr Abbott is modelled on that of another CEO who does not face his shareholders and answer their questions? One who has backed this current government into power, perhaps?
    Perhaps Mr Abbott is under the impression that behaving like this will permit him to wield equally impressive power around the world, not just Australia?

  10. diannaart

    It is almost 12 months since Julia Gillard warned that an Abbott led federal government would result in fewer women’s voices being heard in the corridors of power, this has proved true. It is also nearly 12 months that Abbott has continued to wear only blue ties with his suits – he may think that he is mocking Gillard’s comments on the penchant for blue ties by certain conservative types of men…

    …however, Tony, you have won the big prize, 12 months is more indicative of obsessive compulsive trait than mockery, all you have done is prove Gillard correct by your rather vindictive behaviour.

    The following links to transcript of Ms Gillard’s speech on June 10 2013 – blue ties was a reference to the myopic view of many conservative middle aged white men. It is interesting to note how prescient her speech has proven to be.

    The Blue Tie Speech: Prime Minister’s Address To Women For Gillard

  11. mikisdad

    Tony Abbott isn’t frightened of anything – self deceiving megalomaniacs never are. He is incapable of contemplating his “come uppance” because, from his perspective, almost certainly he considers it his god given right to rule.

    In other words, he’s too stupid to be frightened and when he’s finally taking down he’ll dissolve into the ball of dung that his behaviour would indicate is what constitutes him.

  12. mikestasse

    We have

    AAA credit rating
    Debt 23% of GDP
    Deficit 3% of GDP
    Growth of 3%
    22 continuous years of growth
    Unemployment around 6%
    Strong currency
    Vast mineral resources

    No other G20 country is anywhere near comparable.

    THAT may be so……. but we are part of the globalised community, and we are not immune to the economic shitstorm that may even happen THIS YEAR……
    In Italy, the unemployment rate has soared to a brand new all-time record high of 12.7 percent.

    The unemployment rate in Spain is sitting at an all-time record high of 26.7 percent.
    This year, the Baltic Dry Index experienced the largest two-week, post-holiday decline that we have ever seen.
    Chipmaker Intel recently announced that it plans to eliminate 5,000 jobs over the coming year.

    And I could go on, and on, and on…………

  13. geoffreyengland

    The Ten pound Pom has been devalued to about two shillings and sixpence.

  14. mikisdad

    Stephen, “Someone please ask these fools some cutting and well reasoned questions and hold them to a rational answer.”

    I fully agree. Where are the incisive and determined journalists of today? Do we no longer have any? Can they just not get access because of a media too weighted against them? Where are the calls for critical and pointed examination and exposure of what the members of this “government” are doing?

    Is my fear that the majority of people in this country are so self-satisfied that they no longer care, as long as they have soporific “reality” tv, artificially satisfying but nutritionally deficient fast food, and two cars in the drive?

    As an aside and at risk (certainty) of being mocked for it, I’d also suggest that the argument about employment levels simply plays into the hands of governments of all persuasions. The welfare of people in our country is not dependent on jobs and shouldn’t be measured by such. That reasoning contains the same elements as Hockey’s argument that *we* (that is those with average or less than average incomes) should be prepared to work until 70 or later. “Employment” *is* relevant – in terms of people being occupied in a stimulating and satisfied way but that has little to do with the way the term is used in economic arguments about how to make the country a better place. The very arguments made here that clearly point out the nonsense of an averaged %, when differences across particular sectors of the community are considered, are evidence enough that this avenue of debate is fruitless. Life should not be about working for “the man” or, indeed, working for money, at all. It is an abomination that materialism has so infected our thinking that we can no longer see beyond it. It is also what is at the heart of the apparent apathy or self-delusion of the average “person in the street” and why Abbott and Hockey and the rest of their cohorts can get away with what they do with barely a hint of criticism across the community.

    If the Labor Party really want to survive then they must get away from argument based in right wing capitalist economic language and begin to really examine what would really constitute an equitable and life nourishing future for Australians. Gone are the simple times of worker agains boss campaigns being enough. We are no longer a nation using newly invented jump-stump ploughs to eke out a living. We are, all in all, probably the richest nation in the World on a per capita basis – measured in economic terms. We are probably one of the poorest measured in true values.

    We already have the monetary wealth. What we need now is a government of vision that can transfigure how we organise to use and distribute that wealth for the true benefit of all – not in how much material accumulation each person has, but in the extent to which they can achieve appreciation for and participation in the wonder that is life, nature and a beautiful planet.

    Yes, I know. Tell me. I’m a “pie in the sky” idealist. That may or may not be. I do believe, however, that it is an agenda built, promoted, and implemented that will change the structure of this nation in a beneficial way, as opposed to the indecent, immoral, unethical, environmental and soul-destroying way of materialist worship and the politics that support it.

    But then, I suppose I’m just naive.

  15. Kaye Lee

    “Life should not be about working for “the man” or, indeed, working for money, at all. It is an abomination that materialism has so infected our thinking that we can no longer see beyond it.”

    I’m all for the days of Star Trek when money no longer exists though it does just seem to move to a similar barter system where goods still have comparative value. Even in this money-free Utopia people will still have to work. Someone still has to provide the schools and hospitals.

    The reality of today is that if you can’t pay the rent and the electricity bill and the kids’ school costs then life becomes pretty grim and very hard to get ahead of the daily struggle.

  16. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    The cost of subsidies would be far less than the social cost of increasing unemployment.

    It’s clear that this government doesn’t do the “social cost” thing. This mob knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  17. johnlord2013

    What I didn’t like about that interview was Joe’s attitude. The flippant jovial humbug.

  18. Kaye Lee

    I agree johnlord. The sneering condescension…”Mate I AM the G20!”

  19. abbienoiraude

    I agree totally with what @Kerri said. However with 1900 ‘communications’ staff and spin doctors they will not let anyone with an ounce of nous near the Beloved Leader and his cohorts.

    Watching that interview and hearing Hockey barely audible on ‘LOW’ when mentioning Low Income Allowance he glossed over it a couple of times, was so embarrassing. That smug grin whilst saying: “Well you just wait and see, wait and see” was so reminiscent of Joh ‘feeding the chooks’ in Queensland during the Gerrymander regime that it was scary.

    Why do we not have intense interviews, determined questioning, follow up research and exposure to facts, continuing and continual teasing out of facts versus spin? Could it be that no journalist worth their salt are allowed near the power masters, or is it the complicit mainstream media knowingly covering the stupidity of a Government being a puppet of the monied power mongers in our midst?

    Whatever it is, we are doomed to be misled, doomed to be side-lined, and the patronising sport analogous bullshit will divert the unthinking minds back to their game ‘heroes’ like chooks being rocked to sleep with their head under their wings.

    Disgusted all round.

  20. mikestasse

    I am ceasely amazed at how the people on this blog totally ignore anything I write…… is the truth so inconvenient? Is hating the government all you are capable of?

    The age of growth is FINISHED. Without growth, the age of entitlement is also FINISHED. That’s one thing (the ONLY thing..) Hockey and I agree on, except I’d love to see the fat bastard lead by example and give up his $270,000 a year pension when we’re finished with him.

    Does this idiot government have the right answers? Of course not….. Do they even know or realise that what I’m conveying here is true? That it will happen..? I doubt it very much. They wallow in their growth at any cost mantra, and f* the planet (and we the poor people..) if that’s what it takes……..

    I urge EVERYONE here to listen to this….. downloaded from your ABC, so you’re ‘safe’ from MY mad opinions..!

    Fostering prosperity without growth
    Reimagining Investment for the Whole Human

  21. Marg1

    Yes I saw the interview and thought great, someone is actually trying to bring this arrogant, smug bastard to account and not let him get away with his lies. Someone has to and it ain’t going to be the MSM – too gutless.

  22. xiaoecho

    Stephen, “Someone please ask these fools some cutting and well reasoned questions and hold them to a rational answer.”

    Unfortunately there isn’t a political journo with the guts. Look what happened to ‘madam’ when she dared sing off song…..did any of her colleagues back her up?…..No!!! they slunk off like the cowards they are. Very occaisionally someone dares to get sort of close to the truth but no political journo is willing to commit harakiri and put their comfy lifestyle, not to mention the mortgage at risk.

    This fascist mob occupying Parliament will never allow it. Mr Neil was merely an accident because Hockey had no idea what real journalism is

    Remember the Vichy Govt in France during the war? Well think of the Australian political press as OUR Vichy Govt, doing the will of their masters, in other words…… traitors

  23. mikisdad

    Kaye, I did say that I’d be mocked for my view so your comment wasn’t unexpected. However, your response shows that you missed my point, completely or perhaps you’d just rather not see it.

    I don’t need to be lectured about financial hardship, thank you very much – whether you have ever experienced it I don’t know but I certainly have a first hand knowledge of it.

    I have been an avid reader of science fiction, though not the banality of Star Trek, rather the questioning and vision of such as Asimov, Clarke, & Bradbury. So, whether the future envisioned in Star Trek is money free or not, I don’t know and don’t care. I doubt it, however, for it is no more than formula “good and evil”, “black and white” nonsense that shows feeble understanding of reality and reinforces our indoctrination into that feeble-minded and misguided view of the World.

    You appear to use “Utopia” in what, I admit, is a fairly common but mistaken view of Thomas More’s work and it’s meaning; as a careful reading of it and the biographical context in which it was written, will show. However, it is interesting that you have raised it for the work was visionary and describes a society with many parallels to what ours has become. It could even be said to be a sort of science-fiction of its day.

    I did not argue that there would be no need for work. Quite apart from being necessary for survival, I believe that focused effort can be a satisfying part of life. However, it does interest me that few question why the god of so-called development; increasingly clever technology; ever more labour-saving devices; automation; robotics; massively accumulating wealth and ability to predict and control our environment, only ever seems to make life less pleasant and reduce time for what is truly valuable, whilst causing us to increase our input into what we don’t.

    I would have thought that, by now, given those aspects of “development’ such as I’ve outlined above and the attribution of this development to *paid* employment, that we should all be living contentedly in a society that requires *less* hours of effort to sustain us. And make no mistake, the “unemployment” figures you quote, even leaving aside their uselessness as a measure of anything when not qualified by context, are profoundly misleading because they only deal with “paid” employment.

    Having been a sole bread-winner for three wives and 5 children during my life, I am only too well aware of the mammoth amount of *unpaid* work undertaken by my wives during the last 50 years, and of their many counterparts across our country. As an active volunteer for many years, I am also aware that most of this country’s welfare services would collapse if it were not for the legions of *unpaid* people who give their time to help others. Indeed, as I understand it, you and others in the AIMN collective do so, yourselves. Where is the accounting for this in the “economic” figures and “unemployment” statistics, Kaye?

    I may as well also point out that, if I had a million or two in the bank, I probably wouldn’t be all that interested in paid employment – and definitely wouldn’t be interested in work that was soul-destroying, deprived me of time with my family, caused me to suffer bullying and harassment, to travel 2.5 hours each way every day to get to my workplace, as I used to have to do, or work from which the only reward was basically to stay alive so that I could go to work tomorrow.

    Do you really think that a raised working age or reduced pension entitlement will have any detrimental affect on Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, or any of those at the upper end of the wealth tree? No, of course it won’t. When Hockey talks about us all having to carry the weight it is a complete nonsense. He knows it. You know it. I know it. Why can he do it and have it sound plausible and accepted by so many? The reason is as I described in my previous comment and those of us who oppose such inequity need to realise that arguing from the assumptions on which the right wing materialists base their views, only strengthens their hand.

    Ours should be a different story. A story based on building a better future on real values. That is what Thomas More was saying all that time ago. We’ve come so far, haven’t we?

  24. Jack

    Sorry that was Joe Hockynees. Sorry Joe.You look very similar. Mea Culpa. Jack

  25. Stephen Tardrew


    Great link again this is such a clear and precise presentation of the facts. Where the hell is Labors similar ripost. Everyone but Labor is doing the hard yards including you.

  26. Kaye Lee


    “I don’t need to be lectured about financial hardship, thank you very much ”

    I am reminded of the Monty Python skit where the guy had paid $10 for an argument and was insisting on having one. Your paranoia that you are somehow being mocked or ridiculed makes it not worth having a discussion with you even though you have good ideas.

    “You appear to use “Utopia” in what, I admit, is a fairly common but mistaken view of Thomas More’s work and it’s meaning;”

    Oh get off your high horse. utopia is a word that was coined by Thomas More that has come to mean a perfect state which is exactly what I meant “thank you very much”.

  27. mars08

    Well Bill Shorten raised an interesting point for the electorate to consider … ah… er wait… no, no, he didn’t.

  28. Anomander

    Hockeynomics 101.

    AAA credit ratings are irrelevant. If we had earned them they’d be fabulous, but since we didn’t earn them they are crap and should be ignored.

    A deficit of 23% of GDP is a crisis of mammoth proportions despite the fact it is amongst the lowest in the OECD. It is such an urgent problem we had to massively increase the debt ceiling so we can reduce it.

    We have a massive financial crisis and no money to pay for things like health, education and welfare but we can afford; maternity leave for women of calibre, war planes, billions of dollars running offshore processing, roads and disposable boats.

    The Great Barrier Reef only employs unimportant people in useless industries like tourism. It shouldn’t be allowed to stand in the way of our altruistic miners exporting gas to foreign nations at a much higher cost that further diminishes the local supply, making it unaffordable for local consumers and adding to their cost of living pressures. And as everyone knows, cost of living is caused by renewable energy and the carbon tax.

    Pensioners are to blame and they should work until they are placed in the grave. Politicians on the other hand can retire on outrageous lifelong pensions at any time and also secure corporate directorships and act as lobbyists.

    Disabled people are simply faking it so they can live their extravagant lifestyles below the poverty line. We will pay vast sums for expensive doctors to independently assess them and degrade their lives even further.

    The unemployed have only themselves to blame for not being willing to work unsociable hours with no penalties or entitlements for $4.00 per hour, like they do in the US.

    Those evil greenies are stopping our valuable entrepreneurs from making use of our those useless resources sitting idle in the ground.

    Unions are corrupt because they should not be able to stand-up to business and fight for workers rights and safety over the urgent need to make multi-billion dollar profits. As we all know individuals can get a much better deal negotiating against behemoth corporations.

    Old people are to blame because they keep getting sick – we shouldn’t all have to pay for them, even though their taxes paid for the infrastructure we now use.

    Science doesn’t know everything, whereas god does, so we should abandon science and rely on the bible for all our answers.

    There are plenty of jobs out there for the unemployed who are prepared to pull their finger out and study hard to get university qualifications. That’s why we need to allow universities to substantially increase their fees while we pay the students a pittance that doesn’t allow them to survive and forces them to work 3 low-paid casual jobs while studying full-time.

    Climate change is a lie but that lie alone makes electricity too expensive, so rather than penalise polluters we’ll use your money to pay those polluters, which will definitely keep the temperature down.

    Those of us who got free education and prestigious overseas scholarships should deny the same to everyone else because they won’t need qualifications to work in the green army or flipping burgers.

    We shouldn’t tax the poor foreign miners because they create a few highly paid jobs and as soon as commodity prices plummet, they have assured us they will stick around to support their workers, just like they did in the 80’s.

    We should insult our larger neighbours so we generate more fear and justify spending billions on redundant warplanes.

    We need to support Aussie businesses except for manufacturing because it is in our best interest to buy cheap imports from overseas while our people are suffering on the dole and unable to afford those imports.

    The age of entitlement is over except when I need to build a massive library of books using money from the public purse, because it’s my right.

    You can’t trust the previous government because we repeated the message that Julia told a lie, whereas we were simply misinformed, or we don’t recall, or we deny we said that at all, and if the ABC insists on replaying that video we’ll shut those biased lefties down. Besides, nobody challenges us, so what we say must be true.

    Trees don’t pay taxes, they don’t vote and they don’t sponsor our campaigns, so why do we need them? All they do is take-up valuable space that could be better used for beautiful coal mines.

    We have to decrease wages because high wages are badly affective productivity, except of course, for CEOs, miners, bankers and politicians, who should all be paid lots more, because if you want to attract the best you have to pay for it.

    Our country was great when we had Knights and Dames, so it stands to reason that if we bring those titles back we won’t have any problems, we’ll get more royal visits and our country will be great once more.

    Even though our country is bathed in solar radiation and buffeted by winds, those solar plants and windfarms are a blight on the landscape, kill birds and make people sick, unlike the beautiful vistas presented by open-cut coal mines and power stations.

  29. mikisdad

    Kaye, I don’ what skit my comments bring to mind for you. The fact is, that as I predicted, you chose not to give my comment any thought or consideration but simply to become instantly defensive and shoot back a response that was both mocking and derisive.

    The term “utopia”, as I pointed out in the comment you quoted back to me, is indeed commonly used as a synonym for a “paradise” or, as you say, “a perfect state”, however that is a misrepresentation of how and why he used it, or indeed what is written in the book.

    I don’t have a high horse, Kaye. I don’t even have a low horse. Neither do I have a “paranoia that (I) you are somehow being mocked or ridiculed.” You have now done it twice in your comments just on this thread. I could point to many, many, other examples as well, therefore I am not deluded as I would be if paranoid.

    What’s really unfortunate about this exchange, however, is that after writing a piece entitled “Contemptuous dismissal” on which I commented. That is exactly what you have given my argument.

  30. Egalitarian

    Interesting to hear Joe Hockey complain about Centrelink’s computer systems the other day. That the government will need to spend Millions or Billions on upgrading the system. Callers to this radio station were commenting on being on hold for sometimes over an hour waiting to speak to someone from Centrelink and in one case someone was a waiting for over 4 hours. Now this will happen if you do not have enough staff to man the phones. “Attention Earthlings “ This will be another step towards The Tony Abbott’s Conservative governments Final Solution 1984 project”. Full Control. Warning!Warning!
    This seemingly Innocuous comment by Hockey is CODE for Big Brother type state of the art computer systems that will know what you had for breakfast type matching surveillance control. This government is pure evil.

  31. Terry2

    Maybe I was a little hasty in my judgement of the coalition’s media management,

    I see that tonight Mr Abbott will give a signature speech at that bastion of of Left wing opinion, the Sydney Institute. No doubt the warm up act will be provided, as usual, by that cheeky chappy, Gerry Henderson with his risque jokes ; just the thing to warm up the luvvies before Mr Abbott lays down his blueprint for the future of this nation.

    This, I have no doubt, will be followed by probing questions from the gathered media and thoughtful and penetrating answers by the Prime Minister .

    I can’t wait !

  32. mikestasse

    I’d missed the link to the interview everyone’s talking about. “It was all borrowed money” says Hockey…..

    See……. the continuing bullshit ‘wool over the eyes’ crap has no ending. He doesn’t tell you – and you’d think a treasurer would know – but ALL money is loaned into existence……. even HIS pension!!

    Which is why the good times are over, because all those debts are unrepayable without continuous growth.

    He’s either IGORANT….. or he’s lying through his teeth, or he takes us all for idiots, or all of the above. I’m over it. I just wish people would call the economy out for what it is: a PONZI SCHEME. And stop pretending the Labor Party or the Greens or _insert your favourite organisation here – can fix it, because it’s unfixable, it has to be replaced from the ground up.

  33. Egalitarian

    Terry 2 There isn’t a sadder character around than Gerard Henderson, Gerard’s head tilt gets worse as his blatant bias shows it’s ugly head .No more so than his last appearance on Lateline defending Barry O’farrell.
    This man is hillarious

  34. diannaart

    @ Kaye Lee

    Excellent link to GlenMurray – have passed on link to others.



  35. Alison White

    Mikisdad – I agree Kaye was very rude and it quite surpised me – it’s not that you argued against any point she made – you merely offered an alternative view. The world you describe isn’t science fiction – I clearly recall the “Beyond 2000” science series predicting that all this computerisation and robotic fandangles would allow more free time – lol – how innocent a time….

    If something isn’t done and this veering to the ‘right’ ins’t halted there WILL be violence, people KNOW how the other 2% lives and we won’t put up with their greed and wealth hording forever. Read Thomas Pikkerty (sic).

  36. Kaye Lee

    In order to avoid future misunderstanding, can you explain how my comment was “very rude”?

    You said we shouldn’t have to work for money. I said

    “I’m all for the days of Star Trek when money no longer exists though it does just seem to move to a similar barter system where goods still have comparative value. Even in this money-free Utopia people will still have to work. Someone still has to provide the schools and hospitals.

    The reality of today is that if you can’t pay the rent and the electricity bill and the kids’ school costs then life becomes pretty grim and very hard to get ahead of the daily struggle.”

    If we didn’t work for money I assume we would barter goods and services. Would that not just create a different system open to the same abuse. People who have valuable things would hold others to ransom. We couldn’t just hand stuff out to everyone equally because, as we all agree, it would still have to be in exchange for some form of communal work. I did not mean the last paragraph to be some form of revelation, more a sigh about the situation of so many people in such a wealthy country.

    So where is the rude bit again or the ridicule and mockery?

  37. jimhaz

    [The target for unemployment should be aimed at 2% (full employment) which creates aggregate demand and robust, not to mention equitable economy]

    You will only get 2% in more strictly run societies like Singapore. The modern world with all it’s vices would not allow less than 4%.

    We could have 4% unemployment if immigration was halved – but as capitalism relies on growth that is not going to happen. Also the powers that be collectively like a highish unemployment rate as it keeps wage rises much much lower.

  38. Kaye Lee

    All indicators show that unemployment will get worse before it gets better if that ever does happen. That means more people are going to be living in poverty. We should increase Newstart by $50 a week and offer voluntary programs – skills training, literacy, English language, life skills, grooming advice, help with resume writing – for those who wish to take part. We should also, where appropriate and once again only for those who choose to do so, offer a chance to help out with volunteer programs like meals on wheels or the many other services that could do with a hand. For some people it may be a way to feel useful while seeking employment.

  39. Stephen Tardrew


    Here is your big chance to write the questions and answers yourself if you are into boredom. Stock files should help. The Muppet show minus the jokes.

    Jerry the smooth talking monotone bore. Too above it all to include some emotions and inflections. The drone. Should lend him to Obama though I think this strike will be a bit of a fizzle.

    What a fun bunch of well met fellows riding above the fray on the rusty hulk of Milton Freedman.

    Not so much dead men walking as living fossils.

  40. Bill Morris

    Having read and studied your posts intently I have come to the conclusion that you are either a pie in the sky idealist, or a troll, or both. Naive? I don’t think so.
    Don’t beat yourself up over being ceasely amazed at how the people on this blog totally ignore anything you write, there are bound to be lots of others.

  41. Stephen Tardrew

    Dear everyone. I don’t know about you but I absolutely dumbstruck by the graphs on I find my mind wandering back to those graphs just realizing how absolute the power of the media and a lack of criticism hides the true state of affairs. I don’t believe in conspiracies but this is just beyond the pale. I noted Abbots speech on the ABC which in the light of this document is even more outrageous than I thought.

    The whole debt crisis is the greatest beat up of all time but what to do about it? As for the vilification of Labor it is grossly unethical. He is still acting like he is in opposition and the media are sucking up to him.

  42. Kaye Lee

    The whole point about the debt is missed in my mind. the size of a debt is not what is important. it is your ability to service it. A government never HAS to be out of debt because they are never going to retire – actually neither are we by the looks of it come to think of it. Gina Rinehart just borrowed 7 billion or so for her new mine. Didn’t seem to trouble her.

  43. Stephen Tardrew

    In terms of primary production and minerals resources we have a balance sheet of epic proportions that belong to all Australians which we then given away at sale prices to the wealthy and global corptocracy who refuse to pay their share of taxes some of which they offshore. We could wipe out the debt and cover all future entitlements if our resources were owned by the country and leased for a reasonable fee to corporations. Don’t even have to call it taxation. The profit and loss debt is insignificant and is dwarfed by this countries assets which we allow corporations to exploit for little return.

    We can easily service our debt as many posters, including me, have pointed out previously. Debt is high when the economy is in recession. Debt reduces when the economy recovers. There is no problem only a refusal to place the burden on the backs of those who have a responsibility to support the country and not their greed infested self-interests. Sadly, for the current lot, the country (the people) can go to hell in a hand basked environment and all.

  44. mars08

    Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me…

    It seems that 12 to 18 months ago it was unusual for a fortnight to go by without some political opinion poll being splashed all over the media. So much speculation on how the government of the day was traveling. Or is that just my unreliable memory…?

  45. mikestasse

    @Stephen Tardrew….. can you explain how “The whole debt crisis is the greatest beat up of all time” when it is in fact the single predicament that will bring Capitalism to its knees?

    Have you ever heard of exponential growth? Anything that grows at x% grows exponentially. If that x happens to be 3.5%, then EVERYTHING doubles every 20 years…. number of cars, number of houses, number of hospitals, etc etc…….. oh and EVERYTHING is paid for with debt. I ask you, ever paid cash for a house? Or a brand new car? I thought so……..

    WORSE….. debt comes with interest. If you’re paying 6% on your mortgage, then the debt is growing at 3.5% (for the GDP) plus 6% for the interest, for a total of 9.5% Call it 10% (for ease of maths – it’s probably more because interest on credit cards is more like 16%!)) and debt doubles not every twenty years, but evert TEN YEARS…….. got it? Twice as fast as the GDP.

    Debt is now out of control…….. and not “the greatest beat up of all time”.

  46. mikestasse

    @Stephen Tardrew….. Debt is high when the economy is in recession. Debt reduces when the economy recovers.

    WRONG! When the economy recovers, even more debt is written up to pay for all the things that make up the growth! The more consumption there is, the bigger the debt gets…….. economics101

  47. mikestasse

    @ Kaye Lee…… A government never HAS to be out of debt because they are never going to retire.

    But if a government can’t raise enough taxes, and costs like social security goes up because of rising unemployment and more and more people are retiring on the pension, then there’s less and less money available to service the debt. Which doesn’t stop growing, interest is interest.

    All a government can do then is print more and more money, but that raises inflation and is no solution. Plenty of governments have defaulted on their debts before


    Algeria (1991)
    Angola (1976,[18] 1985, 1992-2002[18])
    Cameroon (2004)[18]
    Central African Republic (1981, 1983)
    Congo (Kinshasa) (1979)[18]
    Côte d’Ivoire (1983, 2000, 2011)
    Gabon (1999–2005)[18]
    Ghana (1979, 1982)[18]
    Liberia (1989–2006)[18]
    Madagascar (2002)[18]
    Mozambique (1980)[18]
    Rwanda (1995)[18]
    Sierra Leone (1997–1998)[18]
    Sudan (1991)[18]
    Tunisia (1867)
    Egypt (1876, 1984)
    Kenya (1994, 2000)
    Morocco (1983, 1994, 2000)
    Nigeria (1982, 1986, 1992, 2001, 2004)
    South Africa (1985, 1989, 1993)
    Zambia (1983)
    Zimbabwe (1965, 2000, 2006[18] (see Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe)


    Antigua and Barbuda (1998–2005)[18]
    Argentina (1827, 1890, 1951, 1956, 1982, 1989, 2002-2005[18] (see Argentine debt restructuring))
    Bolivia (1875, 1927,[18] 1931, 1980, 1986, 1989)
    Brazil (1898, 1902, 1914, 1931, 1937, 1961, 1964, 1983, 1986–1987,[18] 1990[18])
    Canada (Alberta) (1935)[18]
    Chile (1826, 1880, 1931, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1983)
    Colombia (1826, 1850, 1873, 1880, 1900, 1932, 1935)
    Costa Rica (1828, 1874, 1895, 1901, 1932, 1962, 1981, 1983, 1984)
    Dominica (2003–2005)[18]
    Dominican Republic (1872, 1892, 1897, 1899, 1931, 1975-2001[18] (see Latin American debt crisis), 2005)
    Ecuador (1826, 1868, 1894, 1906, 1909, 1914, 1929, 1982, 1984, 2000, 2008)
    El Salvador (1828, 1876, 1894, 1899, 1921, 1932, 1938, 1981-1996[18])
    Grenada (2004–2005)[18]
    Guatemala (1933, 1986, 1989)
    Guyana (1982)
    Honduras (1828, 1873, 1981)
    Jamaica (1978)
    Mexico (1827, 1833, 1844, 1850,[18] 1866, 1898, 1914, 1928-1930s, 1982)
    Nicaragua (1828, 1894, 1911, 1915, 1932, 1979)
    Panama (1932, 1983, 1983, 1987, 1988-1989[18])
    Paraguay (1874, 1892, 1920, 1932, 1986, 2003)
    Peru (1826, 1850,[18] 1876, 1931, 1969, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984)
    Surinam (2001–2002)[18]
    Trinidad and Tobago (1989)
    United States (1779 (devaluation of Continental Dollar), 1790, 1798 (see The Quasi-war), 1862,[19] 1933 (see Executive Order 6102),[18] 1971 (Nixon Shock)
    9 states (1841–1842)[18]
    10 states and many local governments (1873-83 or 1884)[18]
    Orange County, California (1994) [20]
    Detroit, Michigan (2013)
    Uruguay (1876, 1891, 1915, 1933, 1937,[18] 1983, 1987, 1990)
    Venezuela (1826, 1848, 1860, 1865, 1892, 1898, 1982, 1990, 1995–1997,[18] 1998,[18] 2004)


    China (1921, 1932,[18] 1939)
    Japan (1942, 1946-1952[18])
    India (1958, 1969,[citation needed] 1972)
    Indonesia (1966)
    Iran (1992)
    Iraq (1990)
    Jordan (1989)
    Kuwait (1990–1991)[18]
    Myanmar (1984,[18] 1987,[18] 2002)
    Mongolia (1997–2000)[18]
    The Philippines (1983)
    Solomon Islands (1995–2004)[18]
    Sri Lanka (1980, 1982, 1996[18])
    Vietnam (1985)[18]


    Albania (1990)
    Austria-Hungary (1796, 1802, 1805, 1811, 1816, 1868)
    Austria (1938, 1940, 1945[18])
    Bulgaria (1932,[citation needed] 1990)
    Croatia (1993–1996)[18]
    Denmark (1813)[18] (see Danish state bankruptcy of 1813)
    France (1812)
    Germany (1932, 1939, 1948[18])
    Hesse (1814)
    Prussia (1807, 1813)
    Schleswig-Holstein (1850)
    Westphalia (1812)
    Greece (external debt: 1826-1842, 1843-1859, 1860-1878, 1894-1897, 1932-1964, 2010-present;[21][22][23] domestic debt: 1932-1951[21])
    Hungary (1932, 1941)
    The Netherlands (1814)
    Poland (1936, 1940, 1981)
    Portugal (1828, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1852, 1890)
    Romania (1933)
    Russia (1839, 1885, 1918, 1947,[18] 1957,[18] 1991, 1998)
    Spain (1809, 1820, 1831, 1834, 1851, 1867, 1872, 1882, 1936-1939[18])
    Sweden (1812)
    Turkey (1876, 1915, 1931, 1940, 1978, 1982)
    Ukraine (1998–2000)[18]
    United Kingdom (1822, 1834, 1888–89, 1932)[18]
    Yugoslavia (1983)

  48. mikestasse

    The Federal Government is set to commit $1 billion towards the second stage of Melbourne’s East West Link road project.

    ALL borrowed………… bloody idiots!

  49. Stephen Tardrew


    I think a common theme here is that we are all pissed off thoroughly with neoconservatism. The pragmatic solutions are all that are available now. Here is a post by Bill Mitchell who is most certainly more competent than I am.

    Budget deficit basics

  50. mikestasse

    Thing is Stephen Tardrew, the deficit and the debt are two different things. And besides, in Australia PRIVATE DEBT is the real problem, not government debt….. so far, at least; because the morons in charge are making a bloody good job at indebting themselves at our expense!

  51. hi2lea

    Reblogged this on hi2lea.

  52. Hotspringer

    The vast mineral resources (unfortunately) do not belong to Australia but to trans-national corporation, plus of course, Gina, Clive, Nathan, Twiggy and their like.

  53. Terry2

    Oh well ! Nothing to look at here with the Sydney Institute ‘speech’ by the dear leader: platitudes comes to mind so I checked my dictionary:

    ‘ remarks or statements that have been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful ‘

    Seems to sum it up, there were no questions asked after the ‘oration’, nothing more to say anymore on this subject.

    Egalitarian : Gerard Henderson seems to be on a roll, I imagine that he can hardly believe his luck with TA strutting the Sydney Institute stage. I notice that Gerry has also got a gig with the Australian and Channel TEN with Bolt so hopefully we won’t see him on the Insiders again ; although, the egregious Piers Akerman is still lurking in the shadows.

    We live in strange times – all of a sudden the utterings of Clive Palmer have become the most cogent in our political firmament.

  54. Wayne

    Kaye and Edward have certainly summed up the situation very well.For a prospective government to just blatantly lie and deceive during the election campaign is incredulous to say the least,but for the population to vote them in; just incredible.I spoke to a chap not long after the election,he’d just come back from Germany after working two years their in banking and finance.On his last day at work his boss called him into the office,wished him all the best and then said”You Australians must be very stupid people,to vote out a government that was the envy of the World;just stupidity!” Well I’m now sure his words have been vindicated for all,but it doesn’t change the fact that the worst is yet to come and people voted for that and that will be their lot for the next three years.May God Have Mercy on us all !!

  55. 'FairGo Australia'

    There you go LibNat-zis … Why are they hellbent on fixing something that is not broken? You all are like little children pulling apart a good toy and then forgetting how it goes back together again … So senseless …

  56. hannahquinn

    This ‘careful, methodical’ method of not fronting the public or answering questions, will come to bite harder than if he came clean. As LOTO, Abbott repeatedly claimed the prime minister (Julia Gillard) has questions to answer. However, she repeatedly, almost daily, did just that, answered questions. Abbott ran then, he runs now. Not only does he have questions to answer, decisions to explain, cases to be proven; the media has the responsibility to ask the questions, the need to be tenacious, to pursue, to insist, to demand on our behalf, to expose on our behalf, to not let Abbott or anyone in the government to run or to set the agenda, the responsibility to make the government accountable. ‘
    It is not something I intend holding my breath waiting for. However, I believe slivers leading to cracks leading to barrier collapse is happening, all too slowly, all to uncertainly, but the bile will erupt, both from the media and from the backbench.
    Could be wishful thinking, though.

  57. Dave Bradley

    Abbott and Hockey would have gone down the Austerity path to face the GFT in 2007 as an excuse to wreak the destruction of health education fair wages, and pensions as they are now planning to do. It has always been their goal to destroy Medicare and free education and fair pensions because they and their backers want to take the wealth of the country, but not share it. Pure Thatcher and Reagan Policies, designed to cripple the ability of any future government to provide reasonable services to its people. Australia has a very low rate of taxation compared to other developed currencies about 22% compared to 32% and this reduction was done by the Howard Tax Cuts to deliberately white-ant the social future of the country. Domestic tax rates don’t worry big overseas corporations here complaining as they do about tax, because although they may not use services like age pensions and Medicare and education, it seems they don’t really pay any tax here anyway. The Big Lie is working with the exception of the Andrew Neil interview with a pompous arrogant rude Joe Hockey there has not been a real interview with a Liberal politician since Tony Abbott admitted he was a LIAR to Kerry O’Brien. My Age pension paid for by my taxes over my lifetime is $44.30 a day. It is my sole income.Joe Hockey gets $1002.00 a day and will get a parliamentary pension of $751.00 a day. and he calls me greedy, when will people start to spit on me in the street as the cause of all their woes and the ‘need’ for Joe to impose Austerity on the ordinary people ? I apologise for not having any other super investments but I suppose from the experience of many of my pensioner friends Arthur Sinodinos and his mates would have just nicked it any way, and that is not a joke. Ordinary pensioners and superannuates investments and assets, little as they may be are the prey being circled here. Easy pickings.

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