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Day to Day Politics: Gutless Joe is back.

Joe Hockey, Australia’s Ambassador to the United States last Thursday gave a speech to the conservative Sydney Institute. In the cut and thrust of Australian politics it got lost in the noise of chaos.

It seems that after a short stint in the land of milk and honey, where truth has become a word lost to a once great language, he has become a believer in all things Trump.

The same shades of hue that cloud Trump speak, have like rust, invaded his mode of discourse.

He says that the Trump administration is a ”practical” administration and warns against ”constant criticism”. They are, he said, a “practical” and “credible” force that is finding its feet 70 days into its four-year term, and called for a halt to “constant” criticism of the White House.

Where on earth he gets this from is beyond me. The coverage I read consistently says that the White House is in utter chaos.

He went on to say that the Republican’s rise reflected a citizenry that felt “impotent” and heralded “the arrival of disruption into the mainstream of American politics”.

I would suggest that rather than being disruptive the good citizenry of the United States are simply raising their collective voices against a President who has proved himself the fool most thought he was. It has only taken him 74 days to do so. Surely by now Joe would have made himself aware of the inviolable 1st amendment.

When he said that the Trump administration was unorthodox but ”practicable” and  the critics should give Trump a fair go, he could have been talking about the Abbott/Turnbull when he was part of the confusion and disorder it created. It is not something foreign to him. Nor is the asking for a fair go.

He predicted, contrary to everything I have read that the failure to repeal Obamacare would not harm Trump.

I’m beginning to believe that the speech was written by a Trump staffer rather than an Australian.

“We need to avoid the temptation to become constant because it is not a carbon copy of the previous administrations.”

If an Australian had written it I feel sure the sentence would have been. We need to become constant critics of the new US administration …

Then he made the most incredibly inane statement when he praised Mr Trump’s “very credible cabinet”, which he said fulfilled an election commitment to “drain the swamp”.

Drained the swamp he might have but created a lake of multi-billionaires with no experience and a hatred for the policy portfolios they were to undertake. I bet Joe loves rubbing shoulders with this lot. What odds he comes back with a Greg Norman accent.

Of the President’s failure to repeal Barack Obama’s healthcare regime – his core election promise – would have “little negative impact” among Republican voters.

“It will be seen as a failure of the system and will reflect poorly on the already poorly regarded Congress.”

However, he warned “repeated failure does have a cost”, and “the goodwill and tolerance of your voter base can be the patient for only so long”.

On this he is probably correct but it was none the less a monumental failure that would have seen 25 million of America’s poorest left without health care.

He was more correct when he said that Mr Trump and his “America first” message was rooted in the global financial crisis and the long-term erosion of confidence in American institutions, Mr Hockey told the dinner. In Australia he would never acknowledge that one ever existed.

Quoting research from the Pew Research Centre which showed that  trust in the federal government had fallen from 73 per cent in 1958 to just 19 per cent in 2015. And that faith in other institutions had also collapsed.

He said that middle-income families had seen their assets halved in value since the GFC, this explained “why the strongman change-maker, Donald Trump, was so attractive to many Americans”

He made the point that educational attainment characterised “the new electoral divide” in the US. States with higher numbers of professional degree-holders were more likely to vote Democrat, and vice-versa.

“Regular citizens have become increasingly distant from their own governments, both geographically and often ideologically. They don’t trust institutions that they can’t directly influence.”

Again this is true and equally applies to us, but in Australia as Treasurer, he was instrumental in creating this divide between the haves and have-nots. He had no interest in equality or indeed, opportunity. Remember his 2014 budget.

An observation.

“For the life of me I fail to understand how anyone could vote for a party who thinks the existing education system is adequately funded and addresses the needs of the disadvantaged”

It is one thing to identify the reasons for the alienation felt by voter’s worldwide but quite anther to give praise to a populist scumbag for taking advantage of it. I suppose as Ambassador one has to be circumspect about what one says within the US but when in Australia you can speak out with a dose of authenticity and not be altogether gutless. But then it was The Sydney Institute.

My thought for the day.

“It is far better to form your own your own independent opinions relative to your life experience and reason than to allow yourself to be blindly led by others”.



  1. Arthur Baker

    Eleventy Joe has always been away with the pixies. Poor people don’t drive. Get a good job that pays a good salary if you want to buy a house. Pay $7 to see your GP. Lifters and leaners, then he becomes a leaner himself, drawing a parliamentary pension AND an ambassador’s salary. Smoking cigars with Matthias.

    He didn’t even have the wit to invent the terms lifters and leaners himself. He lifted them from a Robert Menzies speech of 1942. Hockey, a singularly untalented man.

  2. 1petermcc

    Joe also mentioned Trump doesn’t follow due process which he felt was a good thing. I’m more of the opinion that’s why things blow up in his face so often.

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    A word of advice in Joe’s fat ear. Stick to bludging, sucking up to bullies, ignoring reality because philosophising requires an introspective and honest examination of facts and one’s actions, when one has the opportunity to set forth ideas which meet the approval of those that your ideas will have an impact on. Until then, the only ones who will accept your ineffectual and useless pronouncements are your travelling companions in the Sydney Institute. Go chomp on a cigar, it might make you appear human.

  4. Max Gross

    Once again, the banality of evil raises its ugly head

  5. Jaquix

    A reminder of how much we need to fight these talentless regressives. The mindset is on full display in The Australian articles and resultant online comments. What an overpaid tosser.

  6. Kaye Lee

    “It is not in the DNA of the administration to procrastinate or give undue deference to process”

    Undue deference? Is Mr Hockey suggesting that ‘process’ in unnecessary? What Hockey labels procrastination others would call due diligence. The Trump administration is being taken to court left right and centre because the things they are trying to do are illegal. The travel ban 2.0 has been blocked again, the sanctuary cities are challenging Trump’s right to withhold funding, the environmentalists have joined with an American Indian tribe to challenge the abandonment of action on climate change and return to coal mining, 120 former generals and admirals have signed a letter calling on Trump to not to make cuts to foreign aid – Defence Secretary James Mattis said cutting funds for the State Department means he has to buy more ammunition.

    Hockey is a fawning embarrassment.

  7. Terry2

    So, Joe warns us against constant criticism of the Trump administration. We should remind Joe that we still have freedom of speech and of political communication in this country : not so much in the USA, sadly.

  8. Terry2

    During the gruelling debate in the Senate over tax cuts for corporations which we are told are going to lead to ‘jobs and growth’ one Senator for the LNP (didn’t get her name, I was driving) told of how the businesses in her electorate were suffering from increased costs including particularly electricity and they needed tax cuts to get by.

    No mention of ‘jobs and growth’ no mention of the fact the we the citizens are also suffering from punitive electricity pricing and the lack of a national power policy : just the poor old corporations who need to pad out there bottom line.

  9. Arthur Tarry

    Joe Hockey was always egocentric, vacuous and, indeed, silly so why are we surprised by this inanity?

  10. Jerry

    It’s more Snout in Trough Joe……………..

  11. helvityni

    There’s likeness in their looks: big (old) bro and the little one, oops, not SO little…

    Do our thoughts and actions shape the way we look; the inner shaping the outer…?

  12. Roscoe

    this shows why he wasnt up to becoming a real estate agent like his brother and the used car sale yards probably wouldn’t accept him either but at least he must have Greg Norman’s phone number now in case he wants to ring up someone else of importance in the US.

  13. Kronomex

    Oohh, I’m glad the vomit bucket was handy after reading Jerk Hoff gushing on about The Donald.

  14. Terry2

    This week a Washington Post article revealed that the vice-president Mike Pence will not eat a meal with a woman other than his wife. Those on the right are commending Pence’s marital devotion and moral fortitude, claiming that such a rule is a smart defense against sexual temptation.

    I wonder if Pence has other strategies for controlling his sexual appetite : should women wear Burqas in his presence, for instance.

    Odd that, as with Muslim men, it’s all about men and their inability to control their sexual desires but the impact is on how women behave and dress.

  15. Brian Harry, Australia

    Joe “Hot Air” Hockey has no shame at all. He still thinks Australians want to hear what he has to say. What a deluded fool, him, and the people currently governing Australia are talentless, vacuous, windbags, with no comprehension of reality.

  16. Alan Baird

    Joe hasn’t changed his spots. Still the same old vacuous 1, 2 miss a few 99 a 100, near enough tosh. Swearing about the sod won’t cut it. And then the great Xenophony deal. A tax cut to the next-to-top and a few local sops for SA. How tawdry can one get? But he best bit was the ONE-OFF breadcrumbs for the poor. That was one of Little Johnnie Howard’s sleight of hand “gifts” to put lipstick on the pig, ie. all largesse to the top is permanent, all trickle down for the less-well-off is temporary. As Joe gushes UP, so does our economy. Cheese paring economy for the poor, lots of lolly for the rich.
    Occasionally I listen to a right wing radio station to hear how outlandish their reasoning is. This morning they were crying into their beer about big-mouf, Michaelia Cash. Hardly Dunbigh! The reason? Why one in ten of the recipients of the penalty rate cuts lives in a wealthy household. The lot can do without then! You can tell just how much hand-wringing reflection they gave to that train of thought. I’d love for this reasoning to be applied to the perks of politicians. Oh no no no…. That’s a different context…

  17. Lorraine Stansfiewld

    Joe doesn’t want to be evicted from his very cushy job that was in no way deserved.

  18. Sam

    It boggles the mind to think that Hockey was once kind of popular with the average voter and seen by some as the long term future of the Liberal party.

  19. Michael Faulkner

    Australians who have made a considerable contribution in their field of specialisation and beyond for many years and who have contributed in some way(s) to the betterment of national life in this country, are included in a special grouping, falling under the rubric of ” National Living Treasures ” (

    Hockey comes nowhere near having eligibility for this list, as a failed Treasurer in Tony Abbott’s goverment cabal for a short time (2013-2014). However, he has made a significant contribution to Australian life, which deserves some recognition.

    Indeed with Hockey and others in mind, it is timely to compile an APLL an ‘ Australian Political Leaners List ‘.

    Hockey is a living model of the economic model of humankind he espoused as a politician, that each person is essentially an economic unit oriented to pursuing his/ her economic interest in deference to all else.

    Hockey is an exemplary embodiment as a grabber of large chunks of money for himself from government coffers, while vigorously advocating deep rationing and economic stringency for the masses. In these endeavours, he has probably surpassed his former Prime Minister, and Bronwyn Bishop, and this deserves some recognition.

    Now esconsed in Washington on a fat salaried sinecure, and with the Australian coffers paying for his childcare costs on top of that among other benefits, Hockey must rank highly for nomination as No. 1 on an Australian Politicians Leaner’s Ladder / List.

    Eligibible nominees for inclusion on the APLL must have advanced standing with respect to its motto ‘ What’s in this for me ? ‘

    Hockey is indeed a standout.

  20. Graeme Henchel

    Hockey of the over blow

    The treasurer’s name was Hockey, a big buffoon quite stocky
    Though some had come to call him Smokin Joe
    Him and mate Mathias were barefaced blatant liars
    and had no idea of how to run the show

    Joe would break into a sweat as he lied about the debt
    and the “Age of entitlement as over”
    But he didn’t have the guts to tell the poor they’d get the cuts
    While he and all his mates still lived in clover

    He had a sham review with a hand picked right wing crew
    A strategy that had worked for them before
    Duly said the stacked committee, that things were not so pretty
    Then Joe’s promises were promises no more

    On the best day of his life, Joe was dancing with his wife
    before delivering a budget most unfair
    But Joe went much too far when he smoked a fat cigar
    and the stench of Hockey hubris filled the air

    Joe thought he’d pulled a swifty, but he quickly looked quite shifty
    as the cuts all clearly targeted the poor
    Sure they’d cut the carbon tax, but if you looked into the facts
    the poorest in the land were paying more

    Though he started out quite cocky things went pear shaped for Joe Hockey
    as the senate started blocking his key plans
    At first he tried to bluster, blowing hard as he could muster
    but the senate simply sat upon their hands

    With the budget really smelling, Joe tried to do some selling
    but his comments only served to make things worse
    “The poor don’t drive a car” said the man with the cigar
    as his tone became belligerent and terse

    As the public came apprised of Joe and the Thug’s lies
    the polls went into terminal decline
    Though the Thug took most the blame, it was often Hockey’s name
    that was mentioned in a sentence with “resign”

    After months of changing tune and with policies marooned
    the Thug’s fate started coming under question
    It was suddenly okay to negotiate away
    but the senate held their ground on the suggestion

    So Joe kept his head down, some were calling him a clown
    while the Thug talked of barnacle removal
    They announced some half arsed flips but before they’d left their lips
    they were met with more howls of disapproval

    So after 18 months of farce, Joe was out to save his arse
    Through pursed lips he said, he may have overblown
    Now as a last resort he’ll abuse the inter generational report
    but it won’t be enough for Hockey to atone

    With a new budget due, they just didn’t have a clue
    so the Thug and Joe posed for a photo opp
    No longer matching ties, but still the matching lies
    As they worked upon another budget flop

    And just few weeks on, you could start to see the con
    As data shows we’re heading for recession
    Whatever plan they had is quickly turning bad
    And soon we’ll hear new talk of a succession

    Questioned ’bout the housing bubble, Joe is once more in trouble
    “Get a good job that pays good money”
    Oh Smokin Joe, he just don’t know
    If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny

    Now he’s in the shit knee deep and talking bracket creep
    In a desperate attempt to buy some ticks
    GST the poor so the rich can have some more
    Straight from the Howard bag of tricks

    Hockey’s fate is tightly tied to the Thug who always lied
    So the futures not too bright for Smokin Joe
    It now won’t be too long before the Thug is gone
    and takes with him “Hockey of the Over Blow”

    And so it came to pass, they gave the Thug the arse
    The Wanker from Wentworth would run the show
    In amongst the fuss the Thug threw Joe under the bus
    And so we’ve seen the last of Smokin Joe

    But wait there’s more as Joe is going out the door
    He gets to keep his snout well in the trough
    A diplomatic job so this leaner can fill his gob
    For Smokin Joe’s not one to do things tough

  21. David Baird

    Good ol’ Smokin’ Joe always demonstrated only a tangential connection with reality, but methinks he’s taking diplomacy to new levels in his attempt to stroke the already inflated ego of the Drumph and his merry (mostly) men. Sadly, I believe Joe is not terribly bright and has been schmoozed and conned as he works his way tirelessly around the diplomatic cocktail circuit. The fact that he’s also an utter prick adds a little something to the whole dang thang.

  22. Brian Harry, Australia

    I knew who wrote that before I got to the end. Great effort, again.

  23. Kyran

    “It is one thing to identify the reasons for the alienation felt by voter’s worldwide but quite another to give praise to a populist scumbag for taking advantage of it.”
    If brains were dynamite, this fellow couldn’t blow his nose, let alone part his hair. The difficulty I have with your premise is that Joe Blow has no idea of the alienation felt by voters, let alone a capacity to identify the reasons for any such discontent. Far more significantly, he couldn’t give a damn. The ‘man’ is a privileged git, delusional in the extreme.
    As Ms Lee pointed out, he trashes due process, with a throwaway line about ‘undue deference to process’. Due diligence is but a distant dream.
    At the risk of upsetting Ms Lee, he is not a fawning embarrassment. He’s a fecking disgrace.
    Terry2’s comment referenced a ‘gruelling debate’. At the risk of upsetting Terry2, the debate was galling, to the extent that it sought to justify the many being fed gruel, whilst gratifying the insatiable need of the few to enjoy the fruits provided them by the many.
    I’m with Kronomex, to the extent I had a vomit bucket handy. At the risk of upsetting Kronomex, my bucket runneth over.
    Not to be confused with “My cup runneth over”, Psalm 23.5, Hebrew Bible, meaning “I have more than enough for my needs”.
    Notwithstanding so many good comments, along comes Mr Henchel.
    In Banjo’s original poem are the lines;

    “And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
    Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
    And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
    Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

    And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
    As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
    With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
    For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.”

    Let’s be straight about this. The ‘language uninviting’ is that served up to us by ‘gutter children fighting’. As to the rest of the verse, make of it what you will. In the modern paradigm, Joe Blow, is of little consequence.
    Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care.

  24. Terry2


    My reference to a gruelling debate was using gruelling in the sense of being tiring and exhausting (to the listener) : most of it was filibustering by the coalition while they tried to screw down Xenophon for his vote.


  25. Kyran

    Indeed Terry2. Poor play on words, on my part. My contention was that they were debating the gruel they would serve us, whilst exhausting the cruelling, gruelling debate. Xenophon’ey to the rescue. What should we fear? Take care

  26. olddavey

    Every time I read the words “Sydney Institute” I see poor old Gerard patiently waiting for his overdue autopsy, while Annie sits rubbing her hands together in anticipation of something exciting happening in her life.

  27. etnorb

    Oh no, Joe Wobbly is back! WTF??

  28. David Bruce

    I remember someone telling me “never believe anything you read”. Maybe it was my grandfather…

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