1 Around this time last year I received a message from a friend on Facebook. It went something like this:
”John, despite me being a lefty, I’m waiting for you to say something positive about the government. Surely there must be something. Try and be more non-biased, please.”
Andrea, there was a time when the LNP had some soul. People like Fraser and a few others still carried the residue of true Liberalism. The small ”L” types. It was a time when I thought that losing an election wasn’t the end of the world. That if you believed in democracy then you had to respect the other party’s right to win.
However Abbott and Turnbull have taken them so far right that I cannot see any redeeming features what so ever. I am sitting thinking about policy areas and I cannot think of anything positive to say. Fact is I cannot think of one positive thing to say about The Coalition. They have governed abominably.
Their denial of climate change appals and infuriates me and their opposition to equality of opportunity in anything and everything simply disgusts me.
I’m sorry to disappoint. I will try harder because I am not generally speaking, biased. At least I don’t think I am. Perhaps it’s just that I love my country too much and it shows.
”To be honest I agree with a lot of what you say, but I’m trying to also look for the good in the bad and bad in the good, if you know what I mean. So I guess what I’ve seen of your posts has been looking a little like the flip-side of a Murdoch-type Liberal bias. However like you said you’ve tried hard to find something positive in the Libs and haven’t been able to find anything, so that’s fair enough.”
Well if I were replying to Andrea now, I could manage a degree of positivity in so much as on budget eve the Coalition has developed a liking for Labor Party policy and indeed has adopted many to the point of appearing positively socialist. All of these decisions have been made, not because the Coalition believes in them, but rather to counter Labor’s popularity in them
Now Andrea’s suggestion that I am biased has made me take a longer walk than normal to do some critical self-analysis.
Music has always held a special place in my heart. I have a collection of over 600 CDs and 150 live concert DVDs. I play piano (badly) and have composed a number of songs. I have no bias to any particular genre of music and appreciate it all.
Books are like children to me and I have a family of hundreds. I treat them with a fatherly love but I show no bias or favour to any. I have read the political thoughts of Hasluck, Menzies, Howard and Costello and many others on the right. Again my reading has no bias. Fiction and text books comfortably interchange.
In the AFL I support two teams, so I could hardly be called biased. And I have played a variety of sports.
But of course my friend is referring to ‘political bias’. So It got me thinking about what political bias actually is.
I would say it is either an inability or unwillingness to want to understand an opposing point of view.
In my defence on that count I plead not guilty. I have studied conservative ideology and rejected it. I have studied current conservative policy from Climate Change to the NBN and rejected it all. Not because of any biased view, but rather because I have studied each on its merits. A biased person rejects everything out of hand and is incapable of objective reasoning. Anyway I will let others judge. Who knows, next thing someone will say I’m a communist and that Karl Marx’s grave is a communist plot.
2. In terms of the Budget this is what we know:
Education: University fees will rise and Graduates will have to pay back loans earlier.
School funding will follow the Gonski model with a lot less funding than Labor proposed.
Infrastructure: There will be funding for Badgery’s Creek Airport, roads, rail including the Inland Rail.
Housing: The Government has promised to reveal their answer to the housing affordability problem.
Health: The Medicare rebate freeze is likely to end. Savings on generic drugs.
Welfare: New measures to ensure welfare recipients are looking for work and meeting their so-called “mutual obligations”.
A trial program restricting Centrelink recipients from purchasing liquor, gambling or withdrawing cash.
Legal: Restoration of funding to legal aid. Possible increased funding to family court.
Tax. Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Oil and gas companies to lose generous tax deductions.
Companies with a turnover of $50million to get a tax cut.
We’re likely to see the figures on the so-called “Google tax”, which was passed in April and could recoup $2 billion in revenue.
Media: Gambling advertising to be outlawed before 8.30.
The $130-million annual license fee for broadcasters will be scrapped in favor of a $40-million spectrum fee.
Veterans Affairs: $350million to help prevent suicide among war veterans.
Security: $321 million to fund an expansion of the AFP. Up to 300 personnel are expected to be hired, including negotiators, tactical response officers, bomb squad technicians and forensic specialists.
Industry: $100 million funding package for manufacturing, aimed at Victoria and South Australia which have suffered the brunt of the demise of car-making.
What won’t happen? University deregulation, borrowing on super for house deposits, changes to negative gearing and no reform of GST.
Whoops almost forgot. Pensioners are to get a few dollars to help with a large increase in energy bills.
So the question is, where is all the money is coming from? All the sweeteners have been revealed (I think) but what cuts will be made to pay for them. How is the proposed $50billion in tax cuts being funded?
Here we have a government who when in opposition had the audacity to say that Labor had given the country the worst debt and deficit problem the country had ever faced yet in office have doubled the debt. And now after rejecting any form of large scale infrastructure spending have had a change of mind and yet again are borrowing Labor policies.
Albeit clayton images of them. They seem to be in an awful hurry to show that fairness is in their political DNA. And all this debt. There was a time when conservatives wouldn’t countenance spending of this sort. They would be shaking their heads in horror.
All in all they have governed appallingly, achieved nothing yet are asking the people to take them in good faith. They still haven’t recovered from their ill-fated 2014 world’s unfairest budget. Meanwhile the country has just drifted on with a bunch of incompetent, yet well-educated fools running the place without knowing their right foot from their left.
My thought for the day.
”Question everything. What you see, what you feel, what you hear and what you are told until you understand the truth of it. Faith is the residue of things not understood and can never be a substitute for fact.”
PS: I will be glued to the ABC at 7.30 tomorrow. If I’m biased let me know.
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