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Day to Day Politics: A Government in disarray.

Friday April 29 2016 – 66

1 On the eve of the 2016/17 Budget the Turnbull Government finds itself in disarray. Next Tuesday the Treasurer must perform a feat of economic dexterity that seems beyond him. The deficit will have blown out largely because of the Government’s own spending yet it says spending is the problem. Yes, revenue has nothing to do with it. So on Tuesday Morrison will have to produce a budget that is both good for the nation and good for his party’s chances of re-election. Impossible in my view.

2 And on the eve of the election Malcolm Turnbull looks set to have, with Tuesday’s ruling by Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court on Manus Island, his own Tampa moment.

Minister Dutton said that the decision “hasn’t taken us by surprise”. They had been aware of the impending decision prior to Christmas yet he doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what to do with the 900 men, most of whom are genuine Asylum Seekers. Even when they knew an unfavourable decision was imminent, Dutton and the Government had no immediate solution. Don’t you think that if another country was prepared to take them they would be on their way by now?

Cambodia charged $25 million for a couple. Just imagine the cost for 900.

Perhaps I can help. They bring them to the mainland. Chuck them in a detention centre for another two years and advertise that anyone coming by boat will be imprisoned for a total of five years before being considered for asylum. That should act as a deterrent.

Or better still as a Cabinet of mainly Christian men who seem to preach Christian values when it suits them they could simply examine their consciences.

3 Turnbull’s interview with Leigh Sales on Tuesday night was an utter disaster. He didn’t argue his case for retaining Negative Gearing very well and his demeanour was decidedly one of a person with a superiority complex. The media coverage of this issue seems to indicate that the public, that is the vast majority of taxpayers who contribute their taxes to those who use this tax dodge, have finally woken up.

5 This week’s Essential rolling poll places the Opposition four points in front of the Coalition; 52% to 48% and is but a reflection of how badly the Government is travelling.

The weekly Crickey Poll Bludger aggregate has Labor ahead 50.4 – 49.6.

Also telling was that in the Essential weekly questionnaire 52% were in favour of tightening Capital gains tax; 48% said that Negative Gearing should be limited; 60% thought that the Super Concessions for high income earners should be reduced; 67% agreed with a tax increase on cigarettes; 57% opposed a cut to corporate tax; 63% thought there should be a cut in personal tax; 83% thought there should be more spent on funding health; and 80% think more should be spent on education.

Could it be that Australians have at long last woken up to the tax rorts available to the rich and privileged? That those with the means available to them don’t pay tax while ordinary folk are compelled to do so? That inequality is growing rapidly?

That corruption is not only within some sections of the Union movement but also Government and big business? Have they at last realised that they are being conned by conservationism’s reliance on capitalism? Are they sick and tired of the Banks ripping them off and being lied to by politicians? Have they seen through the Abbott/Turnbull years of division?

Has the elevation of Turnbull and his subsequent inability to live up to the lofty standards of truth and transparency, he insinuated in the Australian public mind, opened the need to cast off the malaise they have been living in for so long?

An observation.

“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages… It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile” (Robert Kennedy 1968).

4 As if to illustrate the point, Arthur Sinodinos has refused to appear before a Senate Committee enquiry. Instead he had lined up an appearance at his old school. The school then, after recognising it to be just a political stunt, told him to stay away.

Oh well, I guess the best you can say is that he has already failed both the pub test and the court of public opinion.

5 Instead of being proactive the Government seems to be reacting to everything. A sure sign that they are under pressure. This time its Labor’s carbon reduction policy which ironically is partly based on a proposal endorsed by Turnbull himself. Labor proposed to reduce emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

Barnaby Joyce reacted by saying that there would be dramatic rises in food costs and that it would threaten farmer’s property rights. At least, this time he stopped short of the $100 leg roast. Maybe he didn’t want to make a fool of himself again the second time around. The PM predictably suggested it would result in higher electricity prices. How he would know that is anyone’s guess.

So what happened to all that ‘advocacy rather than slogans’? Remember the promise of a ‘more mature and adult conversation’ no matter what the issues?

All we are seeing is a continuation of slogans and very little mature conversation.

Try this: Treasurer Scott Morrison called Labor’s proposal “a big thumping electricity tax”, Greg Hunt said that an ETS was in the same “family” as a fixed price or carbon tax, and was designed to “inflict pain” on families, farmers and small businesses. “Of course it is [a carbon tax]”.

When the Leader of the party that only a short time ago championed a scheme similar to Labor’s policy you can only say that it is hypocrisy of the very worst kind.

An observation

In terms of the environment. I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today’.

Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it.

My thought for the day

‘Bullshitting is bad enough but when someone believes their own, that is intellectual dishonesty‘.

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  1. stephentardrew

    So true John when we are on the cusp of disaster and people remain ignorant, some through indoctrination, others through a willful self-habituated and compulsive drive for wealth power and elitism. It seems obvious a cooperative and caring society evolves while a selfish society devolves into self-destructive patterns of ignorance, denial and greed. Global warming; environmental degradation; the impoverishment and suffering of much of humanity; the homeless, poor, marginalised and elderly, rises out of malevolent greed and possession of everything of material value and little of moral decency.

  2. Graeme Henchel

    Shallow Mal is trending down
    As hope turns into rancor
    The voters have realised
    That Shallow Mal’s a wanker

    Shallow Mal has been exposed
    The emperor has no clothes
    All he’s done is kill the thug
    that everybody loathed

    Shallow Mal is full of shit
    His leadership is a stunt
    two faced, lying hypocrite
    The same as that Abbott chap

    Shallow Mal is in the lodge
    Because of Abbott’s failure
    First he screwed the NBN
    Now he wants to screw Australia

    Shallow Mal has been neutered
    The right have cut off his balls
    Policy is on the run
    brain farts and captain’s calls

    Shallow Mal must watch his back
    The Thug is feeling so spurned
    His acolytes piss in the tent
    And the thug plots his return

    Shallow Mal is worried now
    As Bill goes after the banks
    His donors are all up in arms
    And there’s tension in the ranks

    Shallow Mals got no idea
    it’s bring out a scare campaign
    Everything is labor’s fault
    Time to fool the plebs again

    Shallow Mal’s not doing to well
    He’s Tony Abbott in disguise
    Shallow Mal has got the smell
    of another wanker telling lies.

  3. Kronomex

    “…budget that is both good for the nation and good…” by “nation” I believe you mean the big arse, oops, I meant end, of town?
    Of course Duncehead was taken by complete and utter surprise. He’s as clueless and dense as he looks.
    Polling: Rupert hasn’t really started with the dirt against Malcontent and Labor yet, not until after the budget.
    Sinodinos: If it looks corrupt, smells corrupt…you know the rest.
    The LNP is running their dreary old Anti-Labor playbook due to being policy, and scruple, free bullshit.

  4. Peter F

    IT is obvious, even to this simple voter, that any competetent government who ‘knew months ago’ the PNG were proposing to close Manus would have spent those months negotiating a solution. The PM would have a ‘road map’ of where he was taking us.

    Another lie from the ‘Adults’

  5. sammancuso

    If it’s true that the government was aware of the PNG supreme court proceedings about Manus Island, then why did it renew Broadspectrum’s (aka Transfield) contract in February?

    Would they stand to make some $$$ if Manus is closed due to a breach of contract?

  6. wam

    turnball is intellectually dishonest be cause he choose to be the rabbott is intellectually honest because he believes.

  7. roddy666

    ‘Disarray’ is being very, very polite. ‘Descended into utter, kneejerking, policy-free, corrupt, incompetent farce’ might be more apt.

  8. kerri

    By conservationism did you actually mean conservatism John?
    Here’s hoping the wheels fall off Mal’s wagon completely in June.

  9. paul walter

    What do people think of sammanusco’s comment? I found it intriguing.

  10. Gilly (@GillyBW16)

    I thought Government was an adult pursuit, all we get is me, me, me finger points and dummy spits

  11. Gangey1959

    Is “disarray” the polite word for “f*cked”?
    Our beloved treasurer hasn’t got a clue. Prime minister turdbott has no idea. Minister dudone has just realised that he’s about as screwed as the poor bastards he’s been detaining (yeah, yeah, sure pete, your action plan has been on the fridge since Christmas), and old arty sinnerdindonuthin is just misunderstood. What a bunch of bloody wankers.
    Tuesday’s effort from moronscum should be a headline act in the Comedy Festival. I can’t wait.
    (I wonder if having your teeth polished can be claimed as a ministerial expense ?)
    Lucky for them all that uncle rupey will get his paperboys to set things right in a week or so.
    Roll on July.

  12. Max Gross

    Thank you for that wonderful Kennedy quote. It encapsulates everything that has gone wrong so far!

  13. guest

    Turnbull is riding the trams, talking about urban infrastructure. He intends to make sure the Federal Government has more say in the way cities operate. He gave no clue about details. But for a government which talks about “small government”, it is remarkable how more and more it wants to take control of State matters – unless of course the matter is too difficult for it ideologically, such as raising taxes.

  14. Kyran

    sammancuso’s comment resonates with me, Mr Walter. Prior to the PNG Supreme Court decision, a Spanish company, Ferrovial, was trying to buy Broadspectrum. The Board of Broadspectrum had recommended the takeover offer be rejected. News broke this morning that the Broadspectrum Board have recommended the takeover offer be accepted. As a result, their shares have gone UP 30%.

    Whilst the legal action has been going on in PNG almost from the inception of this barbaric policy, it seems entirely odd that neither the politicians nor the businesses had contingencies for the likely outcome. Or did they?
    Shakespeare’s “Now is the winter of our discontent” seems appropriate. Australia’s version is “Now is the winter of our malcontent”.
    Well said, Mr Henchel.
    Thank you, Mr Lord. Take care

  15. paul walter

    Kyran, uuurrkkk!

  16. David

    Excellent post John it added nicely to a small victory I had this morning, well not a victory but a feeling of satisfaction. A neighbour who is a hard nosed red neck Tory called in to return an item he had borrowed. We argue regularly on topics of political difference between us and I passed a comment along the lines of ‘I suppose the death of the asylum seeker who set himself on fire, will be down to him only’.
    Quite unexpectedly he answered quietly in similar words, ‘it is very sad I think Dutton is responsible and this Asylum Seeker business is getting out of hand, the Govt needs to close those places’.
    That is a major turnaround for this bloke. Doubt it will change his vote but it indicates a huge change of heart which hopefully will rub off on his Lib mates. Maybe it is all getting too much for Govt supporters, or could be just the atrocious methods of Dutton and this latest horrific tragedy is bringing it home. That mans death is entirely down to him.
    I hope so, I really do.

    Ditto the Kennedy quote, wonderful

  17. win jeavons

    PLEASE don’t call these complacent fools Christian. Read what Jesus said about wealth and rich men an apply accordingly. If they can be called Christian I won’t even though I am a church elder.

  18. Aortic

    Well done John. I have seen them all since Menzies and never ever thought I would see politics in our beloved country sink to the level it has during this LNP tenure. The Ashby, Brough Pyne affair is still actively being pursued by the AFP and the results should be more than interesting. The most worrying aspect for me is the inconsistency and contradictions coming from various Ministers and the PM. It indicates to me either a PM who is out of his depth, or Ministers who don’t consult the boss before holding forth. Either way not a good look for either Turnbull, or his front bench.

  19. Christine Farmer

    It’s unbelievable that Bronwyn Bishop can have a pension which, on a fortnightly basis, is about $3000 less than I, and others reliant on the age pension, live on for a year. And as for those on Newstart… The mind boggles. How have we arrived at the point where people such as she are able to receive so much while others have so little? When all’s said and done, she has been a public servant- supposedly. What else are politicians?

    The Kennedy quote is spot on.

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