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Day to Day Politics: Do Howard’s opinions matter anymore?

Sunday 26 November 2017

1 “I would be staggered if the Coalition proposed a banking royal commission, that is rank socialism.”

“There have been some egregious errors and the law should operate harshly against any wrongdoing by any of the banks.”

“But the idea that you have a royal commission, that you put a successful segment of the Australian business community in the dock, and that’s what happens, and royal commissions go on and on and often go beyond their remit.”

“I would say to my former colleagues and the people I still support: don’t embrace a royal commission.”

The former member for Bennelong says division on the issue only adds to the impression of government instability and will foster ‘cynicism’ within the electorate.

Mr Howard also went on to say that National Party members shouldn’t harm the government just because some Coalition MPs were high profile supporters of same sex marriage:

“I would agree with those people in the National party about the substance of same sex marriage issue, but that is over,” he said.

“Let’s not visit upon the Coalition and the fortunes of the government your anger and disappointment on the issue.”

The “he” is no other than former Prime Minister John Howard and he gave his opinion in an interview with Sky News.

Is he suggesting that it’s only socialists who think Royal Commissions are appropriate when financial institutions have committed demonstrably wrong doings against their customers. That successful banks who have become successful by ripping off their clients, are beyond the enquiring minds of Royal Commissioners.

Conversely does he mean that Royal Commissions into Trade Unions organised by Conservative Governments are fine but certainly socialists should never countenance such ideas?

Or is he just criticising members of the National Party on the basis that they would cross the floor as a sort of pay back because some Coalition MPs were high profile supporters of same sex marriage?

Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan, one of the Nationals supporting a Royal Commission said of Howard’s statement:

“I don’t understand what he means.”

“If it’s good enough for conservative governments to have royal commissions into trade unions, pink batts and detention centres,” O’Sullivan said, “then it is good enough to have one for the banks, as they are more corrupt than the unions and on a scale much bigger.”

Howard steadfastly refused a Royal Commission into the abuse of children during his tenure in office. It took Julia Gillard to do so. He would probably describe it as a communist plot against the clergy.

Howard also said that Malcolm Turnbull should embrace tax reform, including personal, company and increasing the GST. He offered no suggestion as to how the government could afford it while bringing the budget into the black. No, that would take more intestinal fortitude (guts) than the government has at the moment.

His comments come as the Government is contemplating an enquiry into its own leaking after Peter Dutton suggested they should reconsider a Royal Commission into banks. Just imagine if they found him or her. Then they would have a real problem. Now they are in damage control. I daresay if you commissioned a survey on the question of a Royal Commission you might get near 100% yes.

As it now stands the Government without Joyce and Alexander stands the real prospect of a humiliating defeat on the floor of the House of Representatives – the chamber it is supposed to control.

2 Why is it when talking to the Press Peter Dutton insists that the refugees on Manus are under the control of Papua New Guinea but the Prime Minister when talking to the President of the United States said:

“They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.”

And Peter Dutton said.

“I think it’s outrageous that people are still there and they have trashed the facility, they’re living in squalor and the Australian taxpayers have paid about $10 million for a new facility and we want people to move.”

And then I turn on the telly and the Reverend Tim Costello is standing on a vacant block telling the audience that it isn’t finished. “You can believe him or me,” he says.

The obvious question arises. Why are we spending 10 million on a facility if in the short term we plan to place them in other countries or is it just more jails to keep people incarcerated long term for not having committed a crime?

“You stick people on an island they never wanted to go to, treat them appallingly for almost half a decade, subject them to violence, fear, conflict and sustained uncertainty, and then expect them not to use what tiny opportunity they have to grab the attention of a country that has grown far too good at forgetting they even exist?”

3 Meanwhile the two by-elections are well underway. John Alexander served one into the net when a video surfaced of him telling a bad Irish joke and another about a black man in Chicago telling a rape joke. Just as well he has a 10 point lead nearing the 10th anniversary of John Howard’s loss of Bennelong.

And in New England, Barnaby Joyce who seems to be distracted by one thing or another rather reluctantly returned a $40,000 cheque to “AgDay”, described as the “brainchild” of his good friend Gina Rinehart. The award was for being the “champion of our industry”. The entitlements problem again?

4 And there we had Josh Frydenberg on Friday telling more lies by omission, saying that the states had agreed to the Governments Energy Guarantee Policy which wasn’t the case at all. In fact the Labor states sought further investigations by way of direct comparisons between the current policy and other alternatives, like an emissions intensity trading scheme for the electricity sector.

All sounds perfectly reasonable to me but Frydenberg, wants the states to agree to further policy design work on his own preferred national energy guarantee, policy.

Analysis of the policy by Frontier Economics, obtained by Guardian Australia, suggests renewables already incentivised by the existing renewable energy target will drive the first wave of price reductions under the policy.

A separate analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance released before the energy minister’s meeting says the guarantee could be an effective mechanism “but the outlook for renewable energy depends squarely on the ambition of the emission reduction target”.
The analysis warns that the Turnbull government’s proposed emissions reduction target for the electricity sector, which is 26-28% by 2030, “could decimate large-scale wind and solar construction” while a more ambitious target consistent with Australia’s obligations under the Paris agreement would continue the current boom.”

Unfortunately our country is currently being held to ransom by a few flat earth idiots who the Prime Minister is to weak to admonish. If we were to take a survey on what should be done with a question “Would you be agreeable to holding another election now” you would be assured of a 75% YES vote.

My thought for the day

“The simplest way to turn the profession of politics on its head would be to demand they tell the truth.”


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  1. Terry2

    Immensely proud of my fellow Queenslanders who have seen through the snake oil of One Nation and the flim-flam of the LNP.

    The voters of Ipswich who were gifted Malcolm Roberts when he was tossed out of the Senate have said a comprehensive no thanks and hopefully this is the last we will see of empirical Roberts in public life. Although I noted that James Ashby, a commentator with one of the TV channels, was hopeful that One Nation would be able to find a federal seat for the diminutive con-man…….James Ashby …..really !

    Even the One Nation leader in Queensland, whose name alludes me, failed to win his seat but it seems that One Nation will still win one seat : bit disturbing at my local booth yesterday when a lady said she couldn’t find Pauline on the how-to-vote card. Somebody explained for the umpteenth time that Pauline was not a candidate in the Queensland elections, she is a federal Senator…..I was embarrassed to admit that last.

    As it sits this morning, Labor have 44 seats and need another three to govern in majority with ten seats undecided so it’s looking quite hopeful.

    Looks as though the Katter party of disaffected one time National party members will have three seats and will probably guarantee supply to Labor, they certainly wouldn’t be boosting the LNP.

    So, on the upside, we won’t now be getting a coal-fired power station in North Queensland although Matt Canavan still wants to do it with NAIF money. Nice if we could put that money into renewables, eh ?
    Sadly,we won’t be getting the LNP promised $460 a year saving in our domestic electricity prices sometime after 2020 but I’ll file that one away with the pie-in-the-sky that it goes with.

    Message also for Malcolm Turnbull that people in Queensland are not impressed with the direction he is allowing the Right-Wing of his party to take us in. A lot of voters very conscious of the infighting of the Liberal party at the federal level and there was no way that they would vote for an LNP, One Nation coalition of chaos in the sunshine state.

  2. Freethinker

    Terry: ” bit disturbing at my local booth yesterday when a lady said she couldn’t find Pauline on the how-to-vote card. ”

    My me wonder why we insist in compulsory vote.
    What next, look for the reincarnation of Jo ?

  3. Frank Smith

    Looks like the major influence of One Notion has been to pull votes from the LNP and redistribute sufficient preferences away from the LNP to ensure a Labor win in many close seats. Nicholls really shot himself in the foot by cosying up to PoorLean’s loonies. Terry, I really hope that the result in Ipswich consigns Roberts to the dust bin forever.

  4. Terry2

    On Howard : as Bob Hawke has said in the past of another person but equally applies : silly old bugger

    On Hanson : quote of the day, when learning of the collapse of the One Nation vote : One Nation isn’t going anywhere.

    I’ll drink to that !

  5. wam

    Just what I needed, a beaut laugh. with your truth resurfacing, Lord.

    Any truth in the first statement from little johnnie? Can you remember Jack Lang the first ‘dismissal’???

    Wonder if you can tell the truth by omission if the omission was by ignorance rather than design?

    Where is the truth in 75%?
    terry it is not unusual for qld to follow the west who saw pauline off.
    The usual, that little billy could use, was the hype needed for sales and self-generated by the media

    As for the ‘no’???
    Religious freedom cannot be
    When faith is set on mummy’s knee
    Religious freedom is but a lie
    To make our thoughts just pass by
    Religious freedom we hear them implore on
    But shit it’s just an oxymoron.

  6. Royce Arriso

    Labelling as “rank Socialism” a much-needed RC into banking is a well-worn conservative avoidance tactic..
    The trick involves hanging a derogatory tag on an issue to justify your reluctance to engage in further discussion.
    Discussion from which you know embarrassing or inconvenient detail is likely to surface.
    (How many bodies is a banking RC likely to unearth ? Howard’s panicky response suggests a veritable cemetry.)
    His employment of a derogatory label is tantamount to his confessing that he has no credible case against a RC.
    He’s saying, “I am shit scared about an RC, but cannot publicly admit to it. So I rely on a tactic we conservatives use time and again to protect our interests.”

  7. diannaart

    The obvious question arises. Why are we spending 10 million on a facility if in the short term we plan to place them in other countries or is it just more jails to keep people incarcerated long term for not having committed a crime?

    @ John Lord

    Have been pondering this elephant for some time… well since I heard about the “new” facilities and the ‘request’ for detainees to move there. I have heard about some vague requirement of the old detention centre by PNG military – but if the life-support (water, power and so on) have been ripped out, what use to anyone is the old centre?

    Questions within questions on this latest Kafkaesque game by our ‘esteemed’ leaders.

  8. Zathras

    Once a lying rodent, always a lying rodent – and a slimy weasel to boot!

    He’s a relic of a bygone era, stuck somewhere in the 20th century with an obsessive lust for Menzies and was infamously known to refer to “boongs” in private discussions.

    There are many in his party who still worship him as some sort of messiah and see him as “the suppository of wisdom”.

    Let him keep having his say. Each time it shows him to be further out of touch with the rest of society as it moves forward.

    Also, there is nothing at all “socialist” about wanting to investigate the practices of banks. What’s he worried about?
    Yes indeed, what IS he worried about?

  9. totaram

    If Labor, the USA and the UK had not been complicit, this lying rodent should be before a war-crimes tribunal for going into Iraq. Andrew Wilkie told us right then that there was no case. Sad how these criminals get away. It’s only the small-time crims who go to jail.

  10. diannaart

    Strap yourselves in if Keneally takes Bennelong…

  11. Glenn Barry

    dianaart – I for one am hoping Keneally takes Benelong.

    Queensland got rid of one Malcolm, one down, one to go

  12. Kronomex

    Turnbull has now proved he’s a scum bag with all the morals of…of…a scum bag –

    Just when I thought he couldn’t sink any lower in the dirt stakes he proves me wrong by digging a trench and filling it with filth to swim in. His desperation to try and stay in power is breathtaking but not unexpected.

  13. Michael Taylor

    He really is pathetic, Kronomex.

    I used to have a bit of respect for the man. But now he deserves none. He has sunk to the depths of which you speak.

  14. Peregrine McCauley

    How can it be possible to admire such an rapacious raper of the public purse , as Howard and Co. ? As federal treasurer in 1982 , he had interest rates at 21 % , coupled with inflation at 10 % , finished with a post world war record trifecta , of unemployment at 10 % . Not bad effort in an pre unregulated economic environment. Made President Mugabe sit up , admiringly . Upon power in 1996 , he harped on about Labor’s debt , omitting that half of said debt was his , inherited by Labor , and carried forward . Then then the P.P.P.P.P. – Plunder , Pillage , Public Purse Plan , was treacherously , gleefully enacted . Under the cover fire of his party’s propaganda minister , Moriarty and his gutter press , they set to work . In a fire sale that would make Thatcher swoon , 72 billion dollars of public wealth was sold off at half it’s immediate core value . Flog off two thirds of gold reserves @ $ 300.00 an ounce . See , damn me , easy to balance the books , and enrich our mates at the same time ! Wow wish i was treasurer again . Hang on , that North West Shelf , natural gas reserves thingymebob . Surely i can sell it all to a Chinese consortium , that have been graciously donating to our cause ? ” Hey Costello ! , how much do we flog off the public’s gas reserves for ? ” ” Don’t want to bite the hand that feeds us John , take nothing under 1.7 cents per litre , and for God’s sake , ensure it’s a fixed price in perpetuity caper ” . ” Geez Costello , the mug punter will end up paying 3 times more than the market price , then we and Moriarty’s gutter press can blame Labor , when they eventually slip through , and form government ! ” ” Oh Costello ! , you’re more than just the best treasurer we’ve ever had , be gosh ! ” .

  15. Harquebus

    Banks have a lot of things to hide. The reason for their existence being one.

  16. Max Gross

    When did the Lying Rodent’s “opinion” ever matter?

  17. etnorb

    As far as I am concerned, I have NEVER, EVER, liked little Johnny or felt that he was a “real”politician! He cannot be ever trusted after what he said & then did about the GST, & as for his inept so-called “work choices” crap, the less said the better! He has always been a slimly little Liberal toad & has no saving graces. Also his cunning re-wording of the marriage act was a disgrace. And why he is even involving himself in any of today’s politics is beyond me. After all, he got to “retire” on an obscene so-called “pension”, which he never deserved, so why doesn’t he just bugger off & enjoy his spoils of office,?

  18. Florence nee Fedup

    The PM shocking appearance in Eastwood yesterday standing beside an uncomfortable Alexander suggests the PM himself thinks Kenneally will win. What else can explain his angry, out of control outburst.

    It is being ignored, Howard in the interview also said the GST needs to be raised as he plan to happen.

  19. jimhaz

    [How can it be possible to admire such an rapacious raper of the public purse , as Howard and Co. ? As federal treasurer in 1982 , he had interest rates at 21 % , coupled with inflation at 10 % , finished with a post world war record trifecta , of unemployment at 10 % .]

    I hate Howard, but I always groan when people quote those stats against either party, and generally they are quoted in an anti-ALP sense. They are meaningless unless one compares to what was happening around the rest of the OECD at the time. Everywhere they were high.

  20. Kyran

    Hmmmm, do Howard’s opinions matter? Well, he used them to help the LNP to a resounding result in the Queensland election.

    “The first requirement of effective leadership in politics … is to know what you believe in and where you stand,” he said.
    “The problem Annastacia Palaszczuk has is that I don’t know where she stands on the Adani mine.
    “In one part of the state she’s for it, in another she’s sort of against it and another part of the state right against it.
    “That is unimpressive, irrespective of where your politics are.”

    We all know where the LNP stand on Adani. Subsidise, subsidise, subsidise.
    Wait a minute. Rank socialism. Is that when ‘the state’ subsidises businesses?
    Or when ‘the state’ pays wages, leave and redundancy payouts to workers after a company goes belly up? Howard started that with National Textiles, didn’t he?

    Under that scheme (which has been renamed, but otherwise unchanged), ‘the state’ pays out a lot on behalf of insolvent companies.

    “The un-redacted parts of the document produced show that from July 2007 to March 2017 the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) and its predecessor paid out a gross total of $1.8bn, less $197m recovered through liquidation of the companies.”

    Thank goodness, Cash now has control of that scheme. Ms Kearney from the ACTU says;

    “We need stronger laws that mean employers are caught, held to account and working people get the money they are owed quickly and easily.”
    How silly! Typical socialist. She has confused this with Centrelink. Businesses aren’t accountable, people are. And now Mr Verrender is having a go at the banks.

    “But the overwhelming reason for an inquiry rests on just one principle — accountability.
    What has been forgotten in the endless round of scandals in recent years is that the Australian banking sector is a taxpayer subsidised industry.
    It’s an industry that pays ridiculously bloated salaries to its leaders; that showers itself with massive bonus payments when profits are soaring but instantly demands taxpayer protection and support when the tide turns.”

    “There are a couple of observations to be made here.
    The first is that, given our corporate regulator is notoriously slack at pursuing corporate malfeasance, the fines quite possibly are hugely light on.
    And the second is that, despite that, no other industry in history has been so dogged in the pursuit of profit with such flagrant disregard for its customers and the community.”

    Bloody Verrender and his socialist scaremongering. We can afford to give them $5bill per annum. That’s not socialism. That’s capitalism. If it was socialism, there would be some expectation of repayment with jobs, or growth, or something.

    “But the idea that you have a royal commission, that you put a successful segment of the Australian business community in the dock, and that’s what happens, and royal commissions go on and on and often go beyond their remit.”

    Howard’s opinions. Yep, they matter. Don’t know if he ever did criminal law, but as a defence lawyer, he would be the prosecutions greatest strength.
    As for Dutton, he has now surpassed dishonesty. His denial of incontrovertible evidence is in the realm of delusion.
    As for Joyce and Alexander, their ignorance of their own family history should give voters a hint as to what to expect from these morons.
    As for Frydenberg, of course it’s reasonable to expect the states to agree to an idea, devoid of detail or substance. Those states are bloody socialists. We all know it’s the socialists who can’t be trusted.
    Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care

  21. Matters Not

    Kronomex – post original Gonski Recommendations, Shorten was (rightly) criticised for doing 27 separate deals with States, and Territories as well as various private lobby groups, including religious organisations. While Gonski advanced an (unrefined) funding model it was firmly rooted in the idea that children’s educational need would be the one and only driver. Historically, Commonwealth educational funding was always corrupted by deals hammered out on the political anvil that were never transparent.

    Now it seems transparency and trust are again to be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Another opportunity wasted and all sides of politics are to blame – albeit in varying degrees. Disappointing that good policy ideas can be trashed so very quickly – with only the slogans surviving.

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