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Day To Day Politics: The Catholics won’t let it happen.

Saturday 6 May 2017

1 At this time last year Leigh Sales got it right when she asked the Treasurer; “What was the point of your three years in office?” On the eve of an election it was a relevant question to ask a government who in order to gain office accused the Government of the day of absolute carnage in terms of running the economy. And then proceeded to double the debt of the Government it so condemned.

On the eve of the 2017/18 budget the question by Leigh Sales remains unanswered. Most governments of whatever persuasion can name at least one policy area where they have made the life of the folk they govern, better.

Gillard can lay claim to introducing the NDIS which although still in its infancy will, in the future, be looked on as an international masterpiece of progressive legislation for those with disabilities.

Abbott and Turnbull cannot lay claim to a single major policy that has contributed to the economic advancement or social fabric of the nation.

Having said that, is it possible that the Coalition, or more particularly the Prime Minister, has finally seen the light and is making a tectonic shift by recognizing fairness, equity and equality. Or is it just a ruse?

“All of us were driven by a sense of fairness and wanting to make sure that there’s an equitable degree of opportunity for all students regardless of their background. Yes, that’s fundamental to me … but I can’t say that it was me alone driving the fairness equation. It was one that certainly Malcolm shared and ultimately the cabinet was driven by too.’’

These are the words used by the Education Minister when introducing his government’s education policy. I have no doubt that his words are sincere and deliberate. He is after all from a public school background.

However the last seven words of his statement worry me: “ultimately the cabinet was driven by too.”

It well may be that Birmingham and Turnbull know that the word ‘unfairness’ is a word that spells danger to them.

Now I’m not privy to cabinet discussions but I find it difficult to believe that all the Catholic Ministers would be pleased with a policy that takes away the right to choose the school your kids attend or indeed in reducing funding to schools of which your core supporters attend.

Already the troops are gathering for an almighty fight on this one and there are many Catholics willing to lay down their cross in a fight to the end. And they will be ably led by former PM Tony Abbott.

All the pre-budget announcements so far, from the reinstatement of Legal Aid Services to Gonski to good and bad debt to probably lifting the Medicare rebate and protecting Australian jobs are all designed to change the ‘unfairness’ image the electorate has of the Coalition. That it unfairly goes after the poor, the sick, the old and the young. It is out of touch, elitist and protects its mates in big business.

As Kristina Keneally puts it in a piece for The Guardian:

“If all this keeps up, Turnbull could go down in history as the biggest spending, biggest taxing, most socialist prime minister in modern times. Or maybe in all of federation. (I’m getting carried away with the headiness of it all.)”

I suspect there might be a revolt of sorts from the more conservative Catholic backbench MPs who will be absolutely horrified at all this socialist stuff that the PM is talking about.

2 Enter Tony Abbott giving yet another lecture on how he saw his party. In a speech to the WA Branch of the party he spoke about Labor being captured by identity politics. By individuals identifying with singular issues.

He said his party needed to be less a party of management and more a party of values if it wanted to appeal to disaffected voters.

The point here is that they have always been a managerial party but never one of values and most certainly never one of ideas.

“When it’s not making excuses for militant unions or welfarism, Labor is consumed by the Green left’s theology of climate change and identity,” Abbott said.

One might respond by saying that a leader who wanted to destroy the internet and called cimate change “crap” without the slightest idea of what it was about, really isn’t qualified to opine.

He said it was good “the government is not further funding the insidious and corrupting so-called Safe Schools program which is social-engineering masquerading as anti-bullying.”

Yet it was a program he and his cabinet passed with the full knowledge of its contents. Honestly, he still lies as he always has.

Earlier in the day, during a public outing, he warned that the Government’s Gonski funding reforms would face a vigorous debate in the party room. At least he is right about that. There will have to come a time when Turnbull confronts him. There isn’t enough room in the party for both of them.

3 The story of the boy on Manus Island continues to grow legs with the ABC’s Barry Cassidy unearthing an as yet unnamed informant who suggests that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has misrepresented the facts around a shooting at the Manus Island detention center for political advantage, and has alleged that Border Force staff are being asked to “become politically biased”. You can see a video on the ABC Facebook page.

I’m still suggesting he will get off scot free.

My thought for the day.

“We experience happiness so that we might better understand sorrow and we experience sorrow so that we might better comprehend joy.”

PS: As I finish writing my attention is drawn to the fact that our Prime Minister has formerly congratulated the President of the United Stated for taking the first step of seeing 25 million low-paid workers have their health care taken from them and the money transferred to the rich.

He ain’t the man we thought he was. Beware of Turnbull spruiking bullshit.


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  1. Terry2

    After killing off Obamacare, US President Donald Trump praised Australia’s universal health care system during a press conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
    “It’s going to be fantastic health care,” Trump said, referring to his new health care plan. “I shouldn’t say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia because you have better health care than we do.”

    US Senator Bernie Sanders quickly picked up on the remark :
    “Well Mr President, you’re right, in Australia and every other major country on Earth they guarantee health care to all people. They don’t throw 24 million people off health insurance. So maybe when we get to the Senate we should start off with looking at the Australian health care system.”

    Just on Australia’s healthcare system, which is better but far from perfect ; a friend of mine was having a colonoscopy and his GP said that as he had private health insurance he might as well go private as to go public would mean a wait of four to six weeks. He went private and first he had to pay his deductible of $500 upfront then he had a “gap” of $300 for the attending physician and a $250 “gap” for the anaesthetist. He left the day-surgery with a sore arse and a pain in the wallet, lightened by $1050. Had he waited for the public system it would have been wholly covered by Medicare.

    There is something very wrong with our private health and insurance system that we need to address as it is sucking up taxpayer subsidies of around $8 billion a year and still not performing..

  2. wam

    Great read today, Lord. Perspective is needed in happiness, sorrow and joy.
    Is Medicare termina,l with the power of the insurance lobby pumping poison into it?
    The devil is in the details for the church’s desideratum for indoctrinating children(victims) but my memory of $5m over payment to a rich catholic college where the bishop said ‘we’ll give it to needy schools’ suggests the proliferation of ‘no fee’ students places will continue to be funded by the gov rather than by the church which benefits.

    beauty terry My stint of ‘private’ showed no duty doctor at night(nurses can make a phonecall for assistance. call centre in india???) for 300 bed hospital. Most of my nurses were young and so mechanical as to make the couple of experienced ‘casuals’ stand out and give you the confidence needed in recovery.
    No doctors visit in the 6 days after the operation and when they asked me to sign the discharge I said not till my wound has been seen by the surgeon. Well wow you’d think I had insulted them. The surgeon called in at 730 pm, in his tux, and in 15 seconds said I can go in 3 days.
    In total I would have had little more than 10 minutes attention a day and much of that from the physio. No shower for the first 4 days and an untreated massive rubber rash.

    Still all will be well the chinese know a profit and they have bought NSW private hospitals.

  3. stephentardrew

    Good one as usual John. You make my day.

  4. MichaelW

    John I think your being unfair to the treasurer and coalition, since they have been in office they have, um, er, well you know.
    Oh hang on, their giving tax cuts to companies, over one third of which pay zero, and the rest pay very little. This will result in a smelly yellow coloured liquid trickling down onto people at the lower end of the food chain.

  5. Kaye Lee

    “I got to say, it’s always satisfying to win a vote when people predict you’re not going to win it too. So keep at it, it’s great.”

    What an utterly vacuous statement from Turnbull. Winning a vote is all that matters, the substance of it doesn’t rate a mention. A bit like our carbon tax repeal – high fives all round until they realised they just blew a huge hole in the budget and caused emissions to rise for the first time in a decade and did nothing to stop the rise in power prices.

    Speaking of which, our NSW Premier has shown great vision in saying we aren’t ready for renewables in NSW.

    ‘I’d like to be able to rely on our existing coal fired plants and I’d like us to be able to maintain a downward pressure on prices through those sources. Obviously we want to be as responsible as we can in terms of sourcing our energy and they’re all options we’ll look at but I think other states have moved too quickly before they were ready to transition,’ she said.

    Ms Berejiklian’s comments come a day after The Clean Energy Regulator released a report on 2016 investments, which showed 98 new large-scale renewable energy plants were accredited last year, the vast majority of them solar farms.–not-ready–for-renewables.html#sthash.VpnQWZ3b.dpuf

  6. roma guerin

    Oh dear dear dear. The NSW Premier joins the long line of people in power making silly statements. I was going to say thank you to Kaye and John, but I just can’t get the words out.

  7. RonaldR

    Turnbull is on the outer here, due to the large number of Catholics in the Liberal Government , Even though the number in the Cabinet has been reduced, two I can think of are Abbott & Hockey but cannot find the list I had, but while they are Catholics most are definitely NOT Christians especially Abbott & Hockey then you look at that former Toe Rag ,war Criminal ex PM Howard who even goes to Church each Sunday, At the best some of them are One Day Christians, Then you look at other EVIL people who go to Church each Sunday Obama, The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and I have just named some very evil people who are our enemies. Trump does pray to the same God as Joe Hockey and that God is MONEY. I belong to a political Party that is based on the Good of all and the Party was started 50 years ago when insane government policy was driving them of the land, But they have proven policies that would fix our economy WITHOUT austerity penalties on the people , Within a Term FREE EDUCATION from start to finish and the education system properly funded . The economy is the easy part but the hard part is informing and educating the population.
    The Governor General Hayden had a very close look at this party then issued this warning to ALP and LNP. The CEC is different to other parties as it is an intelligent Party with real policies and does not participate in popularity politics, If they are not stamped on NOW they will win Government and the Australian people after living under a CEC Government would have nothing to do with the LNP ALP, Greens and other popularity parties often with hidden agendas.
    On behalf of the Major parties the corrupt media placed a Media Blackout on the CEC.
    They have tried every dirty trick in the book to destroy the CEC. ( a few elections back when the CEC was running candidates in all electorates the Liberal Party financed another party to run candidates in all seats to take votes away from CEC with a popularity platform) The only place to learn the truth about the CEC is on their Web site and you can phone them or write to them with any questions.

  8. John Boyd

    Appalling….but the word is fomally.

  9. stephengb2014

    Looked at CEC,
    Climate deniers

  10. longwhitekid

    Catholics are a minority in this country, and they should remember that. They should also remind themselves on a regular basis that we just had a very expensive bill for a four year Royal Commission into their little problem with raping children. And people carry on about Islam and ‘terrorists’. Look in your own back yard first.

  11. king1394

    Seeing a group of skinny kids from the housing department area of town, walking to the town’s high school in the frost, reminded me of another subsidy that is skewed towards private schooling. That is the school bus subsidy. It works like this: children who live within a certain distance of their school do not get free bus travel. The distance is 2.3 kilometres walking for Primary school students and 2.9 kilometres for high school students. Bus passes can be purchased at discounted rates. But if the student travels a greater distance, which is far more likely if they do not attend their local public school, public transport is free. So private school students are transported all over the place at government expense while the average state school student pays

  12. babyjewels10

    From Kaye: “What an utterly vacuous statement from Turnbull. Winning a vote is all that matters, the substance of it doesn’t rate a mention.” Sadly, that’s all we’ve seen here in Australia in decades. Running the country for the people comes a poor second after their campaigning, wedging the opposition and manipulating polls in order to win the next election. I don’t know why we put up with it. One person has no power, but as the voting public, we have ALL the power. Let’s teach ’em a lesson!

  13. Frank Smith

    Kaye Lee, perhaps we could suggest to the NSW Premier that she herself should show some transitional vision. After all AGL have foreshadowed that they will close Liddell Power Station in 2022. Get your boots on Premier and lead the necessary transition beginning today or you will end up copping flak similar to that being hurled about as a result of the closure of Hazelwood in Victoria.

  14. thebustopher

    I can remember one big idea from the Liberal Party. The “never ever” GST

  15. David Bruce

    Time to go into the business of selling pitch forks?

  16. Nick

    A quick look at Malcolm Turnbull’s history would inform people there was never anything liberal, nice or good about Mal. He was Australia’s nastiest and most litigious lawyer. He was a dodgy banker. He and his son ripped-off millions from investors. He uses offshore banks to minimise his tax. Mal is not liberal. For anyone that ever thought he was a progressive liberal you were deceived.

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