Saturday 13 May 2017
1 I hardly think it necessary to comment on the picture above. Every picture tells a story.
If the leader of the opposition as some commentators have said has been caught with his pants down then it didn’t show in Shorten’s Budget in reply speech.
Before I comment on it however allow me to digress. In the aftermath of any budget when people of knowledge have had time to peruse it at length, all manner of overlooked things are discovered. Like drug testing welfare recipients
I tend to judge more on the why of things. Was the decision made with the common good in mind or is it just purely political. As this budget was.
What it did highlight for me, now with time on my side, is just how bereft of ideas conservatives are. It was a budget based entirely on the ideas of those who oppose you. Some might say that in itself is a good idea, but it was also one that admitted that the past four years the country had been subjected to woeful governance. Don’t take my word for it just think about the extent to which they have back flipped.
Indeed, what a backflip it was from Scott Morrison who repeatedly told us since becoming Treasurer that we never had a revenue problem we had a spending problem. What a breathtaking turnaround. By inference he even admitted that his lecturing, in your face style hadn’t worked. He has even undergone a personality change.
“You don’t tax your way to prosperity.”
The horror 2014 Budget that Tony Abbott still defends is now dead and buried. There will still be many Conservatives who will be livid with Scott Morrison’s Budget and in coming weeks we are likely to see much infighting about the ditching of historical conservative philosophy.
”We never change until it gets to uncomfortable to stay the same.”
No more so than ex-leader and failed PM Abbott. The treasurer and Prime Minister have now admitted with, the composition of this budget, that Abbott and the government he led were complete failures. This budget among other things sought to remove all traces of the unfortunate Abbott /Hockey period of economic mismanagement. Abbott’s short term government will be remembered as the “debt and deficit disaster” government. He should just disappear into the past in which he belongs.
Not often I quote Andrew Bolt, but here goes:
Andrew Bolt (11/5/17) ”Turnbull and the nation are ‘turning Left’ on the basis of insufficient austerity and new tax measures intended to ameliorate the deficit. In reality, however, Turnbull is hitting students and the unemployed hard. Students on half the minimum wage will pay thousands; and disadvantaged job seekers will have to exhaust their meagre savings before receiving Newstart only after a waiting period of 6 months. Despite this the Budget does move the Government closer to the relative economic centre in the sense that overall cuts are ameliorated by comparison with the disastrous Hockey Budget of 2014. And there is finally acceptance that there was ‘a revenue problem’. Ironically, the ”Abbott Purists” will likely claim the austerity has not gone far enough. Though they may be upset by the attacks on Catholic education.”
Would Abbott, Bolt and others have us drift into a US style scenario with a class of utterly destitute, and a class of working poor? It seems so.
Now back to Bill Shorten.
Shorten as I have previously said is not an orator but when you think about it neither were Abbott or Howard, but he has backbone. His best line was when he quipped how the PM and his colleagues were ”politely following this debate” when they all looked intoxicated and were ignorantly doing their best to ignore every word.
But oh well, after all, they were born to rule.
Shorten did however stay on script. Even after Turnbull had sought to take the middle ground by raiding bank profits, reinforcing Medicare, securing the NDIS, and building economy-enhancing infrastructure Shorten didn’t drop a line.
He did, even if the acting was bad, deliver his lines in rapid succession underling the many differences between the two parties. And this is true. Shorten spoke of conviction and values arguing that Turnbulls efforts to step into enemy controlled policy territory lacked sincerity and passion.
Despite Turnbull’s controversial attack on the big banks, with which he agreed, he insisted on still having a Royal Commission. And so far as the banks passing on the cost he declared that if any bank passes on a dollar from the new tax, it should be the end of the PM and his treasurer.
When he latches on to the meat on an argument he displays his best and most forceful qualities. This was so when in the afternoon’s question time he was handed a gift when the Treasurer admitted that the planned tax cuts to business would cost an extra $15 billion. Mind you it has to be said that both parties are playing around with the issue knowing that the tax hikes will never pass the Senate.
Never the less he ridiculed the Treasury modelling as a pittance for workers: “We’re talking about an extra $2 a day … in 20 years’ time,” he said, contrasting “$65 billion for big business and ten bucks a week for workers in 2027.”
”The problem is that Capitalism does not allow for an even flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level.”
If Shorten and the party he leads were supposed to show fright by the conservative’s overnight appropriation of the middle ground of Australian politics then it didn’t show in Shortens often aggressive speech.
He may be taking a risk of ”class warfare” with his Medicare proposal to only levy people in the top two tax brackets. Together with Labor’s decision to keep the budget repair levy, it will be game on to win the political argument about budget fairness.
The tax rises will be used to frame the Coalition as more concerned about millionaires than the middle class.
2 It now seems that the funds the Government was going to loan Adani and they said they didn’t need, are now a requirement for the project going ahead. It seems to me that with the mine likely to take some years to start production and renewable energy technology moving ahead at the speed of light why would any lending institution risk lending to an industry heading in the opposite direction.
3 From an article in The New York Times about the development of our internet:
”After a Liberal-led coalition was elected in 2013, that party looked for ways to contain costs and speed up the rollout. They focused on what in the telecommunications industry is called “the last mile” — the wires that connect a home or business with the broader network. While the National Broadband Network initially envisioned high-speed fiber connecting homes and businesses directly to the network, the Liberal-led effort compromised by connecting them with existing copper wire — basically, the same technology used in the earliest days of the telephone”.
I told you he would get away with it.
My thought for the day.
”Friends may leave your presence but their impression remains’.’
PS: It wasn’t just the intoxicating voice of Mark Colvin that kept one immersed in his subject. It was more likely his intelligence and stature among his peers.
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