Friday 15 April 2016
We can thank Malcolm Turnbull, for ridding his party, and the nation, of the combatant pugilist Abbott. He was rewarded for his effort with election winning polls and a personal popularity rating the envy of any celebrity. Initially with charismatic personality, he seduced and beguiled his way into the hearts of those who wanted nothing more than to see the back of Abbott and some who didn’t.
The punters welcomed, for the time being at least, his sense of reason, fairness, discretion and natural charm, even if these characteristics seemed out-of-place in a party so demonstrably right-wing.
After 7 months of what can only be described as waffle, it has become apparent that he is not the leader people thought he was. I have written hundreds of words, no, literally thousands, about his individual policy backflips but I have never collated them together.
Ben Elthan in his piece for New Matilda does just that and when viewed in their totality it becomes obvious the backflips are worthy of a gold medal. How a new leader could possibly backflip on so many issues is beyond understanding. Well except to suggest that he is incompetent and controlled by the right-wing of his party. Anyway, here is the list, you be the judge. You can read Ben’s piece on New Matilda. But first, here are the backflips Ben writes about:
1) Marriage equality
2) Climate policy
3) Raising the GST
4) Income tax cuts
5) Company tax cuts
6) Capital Gains Tax
7) Simplified tax returns
8) Funding for the Gonski schools reforms
9) University fee deregulation
10) International carbon permits for Direct Action
11) Safe Schools
12) Section 35P of the ASIO Act
13) An Australian republic
14) Tax disclosure
15) The “effects test” for competition law
16) The early budget
17) Income tax for the state.
2 During this week I wrote at length about the need for a Royal Commission into the financial sector. I think those who have so stridently opposed one underestimate public opinion on this one and are already into scare campaign mood. In reality the banks are about as popular as politicians. Here are a couple of small examples of why one is needed.
If one is looking for reasons to justify a Royal Commission into banking here is a small but significant one. The cash rate is 2%. The bank card rate on credit is 21% or there about. A 19% differential.
Here is another: Why is it, if you try to get a $10k personal loan unsecured at around 8% you have a 50/50 chance of being knocked back, but banks can’t give you a $10k credit card at 20% quick enough.
Here are some bigger ones:
The fact is that on the evidence thus far our major banks are probably (should I use the word allegedly) guilty of insurance fraud, rate fixing and dodgy financial planning practices. They have no conscience when it comes to profit.
The objection to a Royal Commission brings into focus just what sort of democracy we are, or want to be. Are we one where the people are represented by the government of the day or some sort of corporatocracy where the government is just a political appendage of large corporations?
3 A factor we don’t consider when trying to analyse polling is the undecided factor. Lee Mullin. A Facebook friend sent me this:
“As most of the polls have the parties coming together it makes Morgan the standout as they are bucking the trend of the others. With the election getting ever closer, the polls start to take on more significance. I would love to know how they are dealing with the undecideds are they extrapolating them into the numbers or are they excluding them from the numbers and of course what are the raw figures on the undecideds. As that is where the election will be won and lost”.
4 Not often I would agree with the PM but on this he has my wholehearted support:
“I think as we all know, and I say this as a former mediocre rugby player, AFL is the most exciting football code”.
5 Waleed Aly wrote an interesting article this week in which he used a metaphor “The planets are beginning to fall into place for Labor” to explain how the growing discomfort with societal inequality in its many forms was giving Labor a narrative to really differentiate itself with the Conservatives.
They ranged from the wilful horror of Trump, to the right’s defence of the banking sector, into the unfairness of the Coalition’s monetary policy, the fact that major companies and individuals don’t pay tax, and the Panama papers. Notwithstanding the fact that the rich are becoming disproportionately wealthier year by year.
I have written on this subject on this blog before about inequality previously.
Aly is correct though. Both in Australia and overseas there is an acceptance that big business and right-wing governments are cheating. That the ordinary citizen’s rights are not being represented by government. The opposite is true. Governments are representing the interests of the privileged, the rich and big business. Labor has a chance to get back to its grass-roots and represent the common good of the people. I hope they grasp it.
My thought for the day.
“We must have the courage to ask of our young that they should go beyond desire and aspiration and accomplish not the trivial but greatness. That they should not allow the morality they have inherited from good folk to be corrupted by the immorality of evil minds”.
PS: My worst fears have come to fruition. Yes I am regretfully sorry to inform you that Barnaby Joyce is Prime Minister.