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Day to Day Politics: The calm before the storm

Friday 24 November 2017

We all wait in anticipation of what might happen on or after December 4 (after delaying a week’s sitting of the Parliament to enable politicians to do something they should have done when pre-selected to run for office in the last election … that being to read section 44 of the Constitution to find out if they are eligible and carry out any research into their citizenship status if necessary).

Just how many from either side who have not done their due diligence will be revealed. However, because Labor has more stringent pre-selection rules it is expected that it will be the right of politics with the longest queue to face the High Court and subsequent by-elections.

The million dollar question of course, is will the Government end up with a majority? It is much like the proverbial calm before the storm with so many sails seeking extra knots.

Cabinet is leaking, with stories about the reconsideration of a Royal Commission into the banks. And a couple of National Party members might cross the deck on the issue in the absence of Alexander and Joyce.

“Now Treasurer Scott Morrison has claimed the government’s new energy policy will knock $400 a year off your electricity bills – a saving four times greater than the government initially predicted in October.”

It is nothing but a lie of course, which should earn him 30 days below deck in solitary confinement.

The two by-elections are causing a swell to develop in the electorates of Bennelong and New England. Alexander has worthwhile opponent in Kristina Keneally who will certainly test him out while the rumours surrounding Joyces’s alleged infidelity might let some wind into Labor’s sails.

Then of course there is the Marriage Equality legislation that everyone, bar a few very conservative deck hands, who seem intent on throwing the anchor overboard, want passed before Christmas. I’m suggesting that this is one reason why the PM wanted more time to test the winds.

As I write, the news from Manus Island hits my computer screen. The subject used to curry favour for the government but a large percentage of the population, after listening to years of lying, now no longer nail their view to the mast of obscenity

“A police operation is under way on Manus Island, with Papua New Guinean police and immigration officers entering the former detention centre in an effort to move detainees out, more than three weeks into a deteriorating humanitarian crisis.”

Everyone is hoping that Christmas comes sooner rather than later so that they can watch the Sydney to Hobart in the calm quietness of their living rooms but the bureau predicts heavy storms before the event.

All the predictions are that the crew doesn’t have the discipline for the long race. Already the crew are talking mutiny with Captain Bligh Turnbull being slipped overboard in the middle of the night. The only thing stopping it is an alternative skipper with an ability to read a compass, let alone chart a course.

If the citizenship debacle wasn’t enough to anger the spectators then when Turnbull scrapped a week’s parliamentary sitting, their assessment of a government running scared was scathing.

Is it too late to change both course and skipper? Well, recent results would suggest ‘not’ but ‘who’ am I to judge? I only know that with Malcolm at the helm the Coalition has no chance of winning and that without Malcolm at the helm they may as well let out the spinnaker and hope they can call on Puff the Magic Dragon to fill their sails.

My thought for the day

We never change until it gets to uncomfortable to stay the same.

PS: I forgot about the National Energy Policy the details of which still haven’t been released. I do hope it didn’t enter the Melbourne to Devonport. It’s much rougher and I don’t think they have the energy for it.

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  1. Terry2

    Have you noticed that the claims by the coalition that electricity costs savings for the average consumer – ranging between $280 and $400 a year – never kick-in until 2020 or beyond.

    I have yet to hear from Morrison or Turnbull that in the interim, electricity cost increases will be frozen.

    Why is that ?

  2. Peter F

    Stop complaining, what with my $550 from Abbott, my bank account has been going up and up with all the savings.

  3. Ricardo29

    John, I see you too refer to the scrapping of a week’s sittings. I have read that claim elsewhere but also read that the two week sitting has been pushed back a week. If the latter, it does make the opposition a little hollow but if the former then anger is certainly justified.Either way I agree the good (?) ship lollipop is sinking.

  4. Old Paddy

    John meboy I wouldn’t be too sure too be sure; me old maate Johnny Allexander will get through. te he; is a bit ov a joke teller ya see, from waay back; tis old john. I taught he was conservative man. But there he was like pirate he was telling dirty jokes like he was standing on the stern of a boat. Grand to see old John in fine form there though. Not sure he;ll get through now. I tink he’s gone somehow, But at least the jokes will live on.

  5. jim

    By Andy Coghlan

    Right-wing governments may sap some people’s will to live and result in more suicides, conclude studies in Britain and Australia.
    Shaw and her colleagues found that on average, suicide rates were 17 per cent higher when the Conservatives were in power, compared to the annual average of 103 suicides per million population when opposition parties held office.
    LNP= inequality = crime goes up = bad things happen ,when will they Ever learn.

    But hey we might maybe save a little money on our power bills.

    The Liberals cuts well just some cuts by LNP
    from 2016;
    Ripped another $650m out
    for diagnostic imaging and pathology services – services on which another $650m cut from Medicare by slashing bulk billing cancer patients rely;
    axing radiation and oncology programs;
    slashing $420m in aged care support for seniors with complex needs; and
    cuts to child care before the government’s reforms have even started……….Under the Abbott-Turnbull government, there has been a consistent fall in living standards; it has fallen by 3 per cent, whereas it increased 6 per cent under Labor.

    The shadow treasurer said the Coalition’s fiscal strategy was now in ruins................
    Growth is down: GDP has been downgraded from 2.75% to 2.5% this year, and from 3.25% to 2.75%
    Investment is down: Business investment fell 6.3 % in 2014-15, and the forecast investment has decreased from -7 % to -9.5 % in 2015-16
    Spending is up: At PEFO, spending for this financial year was estimated by Treasury and Finance at 24.9% of GDP, it’s now 25.9% under the Liberals
    Deficit is up: In the 2014-15 Budget, the deficit for this year was $17.1b, in MYEFO it’s now $37.4b
    Debt is up: At PEFO, net debt for the next financial year was 12% of GDP for this year, in MYEFO it’s now 18.3%......................Health
    of Medicare by slashing bulk billing for diagnostic imaging and pathology
    Gutted crucial health workforce training programmes by $595m
    Ripped another $146m out of health prevention and eHealth programs
    Cut important radiation and oncology programs by $27m

    Aged Care
    Cuts aged care provider funding – complex care $472m
    Cutting aged care workforce funding by $595m

    Jobs programs
    Cutting $126m Jobseeker services
    Abolish mature aged employment program saving $11m
    Slashing support for industry skills by $274m

    Child Care
    $930m from family day care – introducing new child-swapping rules without undoing previous cuts
    $344m from the proposed child care subsidy – breaking the government’s promise not to means test the child care rebate
    $61m from the government’s nannies trial – cutting the program before it even starts
    $35m from programs to help low income families in areas with high child care costs
    $3m from the Australian early development census – further exposing the government’s lack of commitment to early childhood research

    Law and Order
    Cuts to Australian Federal Police (international deployments) by $30m

    $800m cut to infrastructure from asset recycling and directed to Northern Australia only

    $1.4b in hidden cuts in decisions taken but not yet announced

    Continuing family payment cuts
    Continuing cuts to school
    Continuing cuts to hospitals
    Continuing Tony Abbott’s $1.3b hike in the price of essential medicines
    Continuing Tony Abbott’s $267m attack on the Medicare safety nets
    Continuing Tony Abbott’s $2b four year freeze on Medicare rebates for GP visits
    Continuing $100,000 degrees for university students
    Continuing cuts to family payments that will leave 1.6m families as much as $5000 a year worse off
    Continuing cuts to Newstart that will leave young jobseekers with no income support for a month
    Continuing cuts to the pension that will leave 330,000 pensioners worse off and increase the pension age to 70
    Continuing cuts to paid parental leave for thousands of new parents. Just a few cold hard facts for your consideration. In 1983 Frazer, with Howard as treasurer, handed over an economy ranked 20th in the world. In 1996 Keating handed over an economy ranked 6th in the world. By 2007 Howard and Costello had let the economy slip to 10th in the world. In 2013 Rudd, Gillard handed over the best preforming economy in the world, 3 gold star Triple AAA credit ratings after steering Australia through the GFC.
    Joe Hockey inherited a deficit of under 18 billion dollars. (MYINFO) Scott Morrison has done nothing and he has just stood by and watched as the deficit has grown to 60 billion and still growing. So on what basis do the neo conservatives, or anyone else for that matter, maintain the ludicrous idea that the neo fascist, self-righteous liars in LNP are better financial managers?

  6. Michael Taylor

    John, suicides because of a government in power are both tragic and damning.

    One cannot but help ponder what’s going to happen in the USA where the administration is intent on screwing the lower and middle classes. Once they realised they’re being screwed … they will want to blame somebody. And out will come the guns.

    F#ck. Things are mad.

  7. Freethinker

    After reading the extensive list in Jim’s posts I just wonder what are the thoughts of the fellow bloggers about the popularity of Malcolm Turnbull compared to the one of Bill Shorten and specially preferred as a leader.
    What are your thought about the electorate preferences?

  8. 245179

    thinking about this “now” position, and where it could all head, leaves me in despair. We are under siege from career politics, controlled by dark forces. Greed has no bounds, it can corrupt the players…..and it is.

  9. Harry

    Lots of barnacles weighing the Coalition ship down and it has developed a list to starboard due to failing caulking resulting in dangerous levels of bilge that the pumps can’t manage. The captain is facing muttering from the crew that could end in mutiny. The ship could sink of course even before a mutiny can be mounted.

  10. Freethinker

    Harry, I hope that damage of “the ship” will be terminal or that at the very least will take many years to repair but my worry is the possible damage that they can cause to the country before is goning to the bottom.
    Never underestimate the “helping hands” form minor parties and independents that see the opportunity to rip political or personal benefits in occasions like this.

  11. Peter F

    My genuine concern is for those who will go down with the ship because the rescue team will not arrive in time.

  12. Harry

    Hi jim,

    Check this link out. It indicates that the progressive side of politics should educate themselves about macro-economics because criticizing the conservatives for increasing the federal deficit and so called “debt” puts us on a hiding to nothing. I have no time to paraphrase the blog (by Professor Bill Mitchell) and I prefer not to do a cut and paste.

    “The lame progressive obsession with meaningless aggregates”


  13. Freethinker

    I just read an article about Hammond’s budget and I cannot stop thinking on the budgets and “macroeconomics solutions” similarity with the present Coalition.
    If all the conservative governments in the most important economies keep going like this we can see crisis if no civilian unrest in 3 or 4 yeras time.’
    It is unsustainable.

  14. Matters Not

    Yes Queensland is different but sometimes that has beneficial outcomes. Thanks to the Electoral Commission’s electronic disclosure system, Queensland voters go into Saturday’s election with more information about political party funding than any other electorate in Australian history. In Queensland, new rules mean that any donation above $1,000 must be declared within seven days.

    We now know – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had an exclusive dinner with a wealthy Chinese businessman four days after one of his companies donated $40,000 to the Queensland Liberal National Party. But apparently Turnbull and the local LNP leader Tim Nicholls knew nothing about it. (That’s always the story.)



    Perhaps in the future the 7 days will be reduced to 7 hours and then 7 minutes? One can only hope.

  15. Phil

    Interesting reading thanks JL. I do hope the LNP ship hits a reef sooner than later. A good cat-o-nine-tails flogging for Malcom and a damned hard keel hauling for Dutton.

    Corruption has engulfed the LNP coalition and only their removal from office can put a stop to the rot it has caused. Then with a new government in place the royal commissions can start and political donations can be banned until a new system of party funding is put in place.

  16. Zathras

    It’s a statistical fact that suicide rates (along with homelessness) always increase under conservative governments in most Western countries.

    It’s not just due to economics but the result of deliberately oppressive and ideologies that target and scapegoat specific social groups plus their desire to create and maintain a permanent underclass for the continuing benefit of the privileged.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to concern a lot of voters when it matters the most.

  17. margcal

    We don’t need aged care funding in Victoria. We can go get ourselves killed, all quite legal now.
    Or health funding, same reason.
    The LNP might even have underestimated the savings to be made.

  18. Glenn Barry

    In keeping with the appropriate nautical theme, check Malcolm’s performance at the press conference for the announcement of new Navy ships

    Malcolm’s performance in this is magnificent, even if he didn’t have anything to hide it sure looks like he was concealing something

    His liberal use of vowels in the press conference didn’t make it into the official transcript on his website

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