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Day to Day Politics: Was that Insiders I was watching? What do you think?

Tuesday 6 February 2018

1 At the end of it I felt a sense of nothingness. I couldn’t think of anything in particular that offended me, although I wasn’t exactly feeling offended. They had covered all of the bases, joined all the dots, so to speak. Bland, that was it, that’s the word to best describe the program.

In a year when it’s highly possible that an election might be called, both the journalists and the presenter all seemed to have not shaken off the lethargy associated with this time of the year.

The interview with the Prime Minister looked pre-recorded, rather rushed, and the questions a little insipid. Turnbull made a poor fist of defending his tax cuts against a 20% increase in company profits, and wages being held down. He refused to say where the money (what services would be cut) would come from to pay for these cuts. 259 of 350 comments on the interview on Facebook were negative.

The program didn’t seem to capture or reflect the intensity of the political atmosphere that is permeating the community.

Perhaps I should be using the word “stale”. As I said, they joined all the dots covering the missing Cabinet papers that the Cabinet had passed onto another cabinet. Then came Medicare, Citizenship, the Batman by-election, the cost of living and the economics that go with it.

The three journalists all agreed that trickle-down economics had not worked and was being debated within the major economies. I wondered at one stage if Labor’s formal acceptance of a national ICAC as policy might get a mention given that 83% of the population want it.

At the same time, in the back of my mind was how the media, prior to Christmas, had changed the dynamics, or the mood of our politics to show that Turnbull was now in with a show.

Everything has changed. Being the worst Government in Australia’s history has been forgiven because the media don’t want an election without scandal, without controversy. They want all of that together with a close contest.

I’m not for one minute suggesting that Insiders was unprofessional, biased or unbalanced. The conversations were well covered, although the environment seems to have gone out of fashion. They agreed and disagreed with each other.

It’s just that they had little vibrancy, no willingness to say it as it is, as if they were not willing to offend. Of course I might be completely wrong. If you have any thoughts on the subject then please make a comment.

2 Invariably when I’m on a debating site or just talking to people of a conservative disposition they will bring up the Coalition’s economic superiority and generally I’m caught without the figures that matter. Yesterday Terry2 provided us with what we need to know:

In the six years of the Rudd / Gillard Labor government from 2007 to 2013, gross government debt increased by $225 billion, from just under $50 billion to just over $273 billion.

Over this period the world economy went through an economic melt-down, government tax receipts were severely reduced and money was pumped into stimulating our economy and keeping us out of recession: it worked.

In simple terms, government debt rose by an average of $38 billion a year under Labor and its policies during the GFC.

So far under the coalition government, gross government debt has increased by a further $203 billion to a record $476 billion. This has happened despite a strong world economy, interest rates locally being cut to record lows and the export sector being helped by a competitive level for the Australian dollar.

The annual increase in government debt under the coalition government has been an average of $60 billion per year, some $22 billion a year more than under Labor. Treasurer Scott Morrison’s recent budget update has government debt reaching $600 billion by 2020.

You may remember the scare campaign run by the coalition on Labor’s debt and deficit debacle and even Barnaby Joyce saying this:

We’re going into hock to our eyeballs to people overseas. And you’ve got to ask the question how far in debt do you want to go? We are getting to a point where we can’t repay it.

Some people believed that debt was out of control under Labor and that only the coalition’s superior economic management could repay the debt and eliminate the deficit and they voted accordingly in 2013 : the same people are now being asked to believe that tax cuts will achieve the same result.

Just how gullible are we?

Kaye Lee also chipped in with this:

As we are still aiming for a surplus in 2020 (as if), I want to see what services will be cut to pay for corporate and income tax cuts.

The other ridiculous part about income tax cuts, as Barrie Cassidy pointed out, is we are all going to have an income tax increase when the extra medicare levy kicks in. Give us a cut in an election year knowing there is an increase the following year. What a ridiculous waste of time.

And the rot about our corporate tax rate being uncompetitive is another lie. Whilst the headline rate of 30% is now comparatively high, the many deductions we allow makes the effective tax rate, according to the US Congressional Budget Office, 10.4%. Also, because of our dividend imputation system which stops income being taxed twice, Australian shareholders will have to pay higher income tax to compensate for the reduction in franking credits.

The whole thing is a con obvious to anyone who looks at the real tax system as opposed to the headline rate.

My thought for the day

“The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.”


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  1. Brian

    Fully agree, sadly, with your comment on The Insiders.’ Insipid’ ‘is the word I would use.

  2. John Kelly

    The figures Terry2 supplied are a little out of date. Gross federal government debt today is $513 billion, an increase of $240 billion over 4 years. Labor added $223 billion over 6 years. The reality, however, is that this debt is issued in $AU which means it can always be repaid, or never.

  3. Kaye Lee

    The net debt of the General Government sector was $161,253 million at 31 August 2013. (having got us through the GFC)

    As at 31 December 2017, Net debt is $350,245 million (as the world economies have recovered)

  4. james morrison

    It would be interesting to see how the numbers for this program have fared over the last year. I notice more and more on social media have just given up on it. There is very little, if any criticism of the government, and far too much time trying to inflate what little the govt has done. Mission has been accomplished to neuter the national broadcaster and it’s not a pretty sight.

  5. Terry2

    I see that newly anointed Liberal senator Jim Molan is absolutely livid that he has been sharing anti-Muslim videos on social media.
    It’s not quite clear if Jim is upset because he was caught out sharing two racially inflammatory videos on his public Facebook page in 2017 or if he just wishes he hadn’t done it.

    John Kelly : you’re right, my figures on gross debt were understated

  6. helvityni

    ….I don’t think Cassidy was that bad, at least he wasn’t all smiles like Ms Sales is with Morrison; Turnbull just wanted to repeat his message and rudely talked over the interviewer…

    Last night’s Q&A showed to me that there are lots of unhappy Australians out there having a hard time,they don’t seem to believe that Mal’s promised jobs are going ‘ trickle down’ in a hurry… ( I’m going by the questions by the audience)

  7. Randy Le-Bherz

    The latest example of the ‘new’ ABC taking a feather to beat the worst government we have ever had inflicted upon us.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Terry, the debt clock is a tad dubious. You can get up to date figures on gross debt here

    And on net debt here

    As for Molan…..

    Read about his role in Iraq

    Jim Molan—war criminal, now Senator

    or in Afghanistan

    Jim Molan’s delusions

    “it would be surprising for military men to advocate political solutions to global conflicts. It’s not their area of professional expertise. By default they lead with their strongest suit – organised violence – not geopolitics or diplomacy.”

    Molan said he can’t be anti-Muslim because he has “risked his life to bring democracy to their countries” by bombing the crap out of them. The Second Battle of Fallujah, which Molan oversaw, was “the bloodiest battle of the entire Iraq War”

  9. helvityni

    In the past the Liberal Governments used to have at least one or two moderate members, not anymore… Where is Oz heading, what are we scared of…?

  10. Glenn Barry

    I do a agree with the basic premise, that Insiders was bland for the first program of the year, although as someone on here pointed out, Barrie dealt well with Turnbull – although he was ridden over roughshod by Turnbull – allowing him to do so showed Turnbull at his worst – last time I witnessed a performance that appalling was his solo stint on Q&A late last year

    It was a case of here’s some rope, and now we’ll observe Malcolm wrapping it around his neck and tying a noose, as ever Turnbull’s judgement was entirely absent

  11. wam

    Gullible is believing that electors understand debt. Gullible is believing Labor’s debt in 2013 was bad. Gullible is believing the rabbott’s word’s on debt were lies. Gullible is believing when the lnp campaigns on labor’s mismanagement of the economy that the media, oh its own volition, will expose the flaws in their stories.

    Gullible is believing in thoughts and not action

    Gullible is believing it is wise not to use slogans.

    Gullible is claiming to own the truth

    Labor has shown consistent gullibility in letting people like pyne and trumbles women off the hook by not attacking them personally.
    Gillard and labor were culpable in letting the rabbott’s economic bullshit go without a personal attack on the man’s inane utterings.

    The little johnny, costello treasurers were at best average but perception is they were giants labor lost the chance to debunk such claims by posing simple questions for the media to ask the joyces, morrisons, cashes et al that require complex answers too long and to esoteric for the seconds available on sunrise or today.

    ps was the boat people clock a tad dubious?

    ps beauty glenn it is a shame the rope is on the abc where nobody sees it? Will little billy take it to the morning shows then we may see some trickling??

  12. Diane Larsen

    Insiders has become insipid, last nights Q&A showed just how angry many people are and they know trickle down doesnt work no matter economists and the business council parroting their usual phrases, thought Sally was articulate and to point and she and Steven were spot on in their answers

  13. Harry

    Insiders has been bland, maybe dumbed down for some time. Last year I noticed the change, with more video clips etc. the emphasis seems to be on entertainment, to prevent boredom, as if the average viewer needs constant stimulation. There is less time fir discussion than before.

    I tend to think that Insiders has been deliberately neutered to avoid too much challenging of the government, too much scrutiny, which they cannot withstand.

    Exagggerated ? Well maybe.

    As for debt, well private debt is a real problem, state and local governments debt can be a problem but federal debt is NEVER a problem and never has to be created or issued in the first place.

  14. helvityni

    ABC has basically become a comedy channel, with few good British shows like Endeavour thrown in occasionally, the rest is endless repeats of mediocre shows, their news is not worth watching, mainly filled with sports….

    Cassidy and others are scared of losing their jobs and try not to rock the boat too much…

    Diane Larsen, Stephen and Sally were the only ones worth listening to…

    PS. whose choice was Molan…?

  15. Ross

    People keep banging on about this so called government debt.
    The questions people should be asking;

    What is the nature of this debt, (bankcard, personal loan, mortgage, treasury bonds)?
    Who is this debt owed to?
    How is the debt repaid and how long will it take to repay?
    What is the currency of the debt and the currency of repayment?
    Where and what financial institution holds the debt?
    And why does the federal government need to be in debt in the first place?

    These are the questions people should ask whenever some politician (or journalist) starts banging on about government debt.
    I doubt any of them could answer any correctly.

  16. Kaye Lee

    No-one’s really helvityni.

    Molan was number 7 on the Coalition Senate Ticket in NSW – an unwinnable position.

    He was instrumental in the boat turnback policy and was given the role of Special Envoy in dealing with asylum seekers and then did nothing that I am aware of for the over $1 million given to him to perform the role. He only got the Senate position because everyone else fell over.

  17. Kronomex

    I’m wondering how long the LNPABC is going put up with Mad as Hell.

  18. helvityni

    Kronomex, I hope very long, I love Micallef…

  19. John Boyd

    Wasn’t Molan the architect of the border force agenda? Providing a military style solution to a political problem.

  20. Ill fares the land

    I have evolved some simple strategies for Insiders. It is a good show, in essence, but has some failings. Firstly, I record the show so that I can choose to fast forward over Cassidy’s interviews with politicians. I did not listen to a single word Turnbull said – I saw his mouth moving, so I knew he was lying, glossing over, embellishing and grandstanding, as befits a rampant narcissist who also happens to be PM, but I didn’t listen to any of it. I generally do this with most politicians, but I definitely do it with any LNP member – it reveals my political persuasion sure, but I think that Morrison, Frydenburg, Dutton, Birmingham, Pyne, Bishop and O’Dwyer (to name only those I can think of at the moment) are amongst the absolute worst of our politicians in my adult life. Horne opined back in 1964 that our political class was generally made up of second-raters, but we have reached a new nadir with the current LNP. Mind you, Labor, the Greens and the independents have their own failures to contend with – Dastyari got what he deserved (although Andrew Robb’s perverted corrupt behaviour seems to have been air-brushed out of political history); Feeney has also suffered his deserved fate, but how in this world can an electorate believe that a Hanson is their best chance of capable and effective representation?

    If Gerard Henderson or Niki Savva are on Insiders, I fast forward over their obsequious, fawning and gushing over Abbott and the masterful LNP, who can do no wrong – Henderson exemplifies the modern class of “the intelligent idiot” who get paid well to give their distorted and heavily rationalised opinions through a compliant media (if you don’t think the MSM is compliant, just ask yourself how the fluffy and lightweight IPA opinionista Georgina Downer gets so much airtime as the latest media “darling”). I also don’t watch at all if Henderson and Marr are put together, because I know it is a cheap trick by the ABC – they know the two of them will just bicker like children. Tacky at best.

  21. David1

    wam I find your continued reference to the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten as ‘little Billy’ childish and immature. If you want to be a clever dick try and think of something a little more original. The term little describing a politician is straight out of the Trump song book.

  22. Zathras

    I don’t think anybody is really listening anymore – let alone watching Insiders.

    The endless sloganeering and hard-hat wearing political diatribes have lost their impact and like the endless citizenship fiasco, we’ve simply grown tired of it all.
    Most of the players in this game are uninspiring and simply going through the motions while reciting scripted nonsense. I get the feeling that not even they believe what they are spouting.

    As has become typical of the Internet, most of the “noise” is coming from the extremists on both sides.
    The rest seem to be marking time, waiting for the next election to roll around and hoping that essential group of targetted swinging voters will do the right thing when the time comes.

  23. Möbius Ecko

    Not only that David1, Shorten is the same height as Turnbull. Have a look at the rare times the two stand together, with the most recent being the obligatory shaking of hands on the start of parliament this year.

    But it’s not just the derogatory naming of Shorten in this case. Whilst we’re on this subject, a bugbear of mine is anyone using a derogatory of someone’s name, and that includes those in the current government and some from other parties, though I admit some of the name mangles are inventive and apt.

  24. Jeanette

    Insiders was as lively as watching paint dry. Australia is crashing and no political commentators are shaking the tree. Is it the ABC afraid of losing more funding? 1, and all Murdoch press 2. Do we have no balls in this country, all gone soft through good years? Giving $millions to foreign arms coy to help slaughter more people who become refugees to then be locked up as in UK convicts who started the slow burn of the idgenous peoples of this country, then treated continually with no respect. Twat Pyne, whom I would love to see strangled stuffed up education in charge of this fiasco? The criminality of the Cashless Welfare card. Labor pushing for Royal Commission into banks who are regulated and as far as I can see mute on the lack of transperacy of Indue, Booze Barnaby sprouting to a journo that he was probably wearing all imported clothes, of which in the main are crap, ill fitting, poor material and all smelling of bug poison preservatives illegal for use in Australia for years, to the point where any article has to be washed several times to get rid of it and the dressing for which the cloth also has turns to a rag. Of course boozy Barnaby provably wears Italian suits….here he is berating a journo…why on earth the journalist did not point out that not only had mfg. gone overseas to produce crap clothing but the influx of 457 visas for unskilled workers had increased so that Australian cleaners etc no longer had jobs, As for Private Health, a real mess and with yet again further increases more will cancel and so the merry go round continues. So for this looking up its arse government about time it saw what it was looking at. Trump will soon be dealt with but another year of this do no thing government but assist the already rich, will see them written down in history as the worst ever.

  25. Diane Larsen

    Ill fares the land, I too have started recording insiders and follow your example of fast forwarding the interviews with most politicians and the inserted video clips to “foster” discussion with these removed and perhaps the comments of some panelists i find I am lucky to watch 20 to 30 minutes of an hour show certainly not enlightening political viewing, time for a revamp and perhaps some jounos and commentators who are not afraid to ask a question or make a comment that might be actually have some relationship to what viewers would like to see, in depth discussion of contentious decisions and political decissions instead of the glossing over of contentious issues

  26. David1

    @Möbius Ecko…thanks for your comment, didn’t think Bill was that short to warrant the little. I am guilty of using teflon Turnbull a few times, that seems very appropriate for the man and his actions as PM and is widely in use by the left.
    You make a good point re what we call our politicians. Julia was on the receiving end of many unpleasant descriptions.

  27. Kronomex

    M. E. (1 pm):
    Yes, Shorten and Turnbull are the same height (178 cm) but I’ve noticed that the main sleaze media uses a lot of photos that make the former appear the shorter of the two.

    Why now with the comment about derogatory naming, why not say something days or even weeks ago?

    On another note: How long will it be before The Donald starts tweeting that it’s the Democrats sabotaging Wall Street and The Donald’s brilliant tax plan?

  28. Stephen

    The ABC now has a decidedly right wing board and is slowly being staffed with ex-Mudoch employees. This can be seen by the ABC being afraid to challenge conservative politicians or their lies/evasions and half truths. We can no longer rely on Auntie to give us unbiased and rigorous journalism. Democracy doesn’t end with a flourish but a whimper!

  29. diannaart

    I take Möbius Ecko’s point. However, am rather fond of Turncoat because that is what Malcolm is. As with expletives, an occasional judicious placement adds more than it subtracts to a comment.

    No such thought was given to Julia Gillard by the hecklers, although, I would suggest all political sides are equally guilty of overkill (even though I could not imagine such treatment of women by my side of the political spectrum, it does happen).

    Also I cannot give up on variations on Trump, maybe when he has gone, far, far away…

  30. Harry

    Ill fares the land: Georgina Downer is shallow and does not deserve a regular soap box on the ABC. I understand though that the IPA is one of the few “personalities” who do not charge appearance fees and since the Coalition has been cutting the ABC’s budget the cash-strapped national broadcaster….well you know the rest.

    The IPA are all over the ABC like cane toads.

  31. Möbius Ecko

    Yes, why not days or weeks ago, months or years of this going on.

    I don’t know. Maybe because at times I enjoy the play on names and their aptness to the time and person. At most other times, like “little Billy”, the name calling and mangling is childish and detracts from the person’s argument. I guess leave it be and the reader will decide if the argument or point is made less or mute by the name.

    A well placed expletive I’ve never had an issue with.

  32. Jack Straw

    I also started my Sunday Morning watching The Insiders. Though; I only lasted 10 minutes and turned it off. I just cannott listen The Dribbler, the waffler Malcolm Turnbull.The man has done 180 degree about turn and has now become Tony Abbott-like in tactics, policies and truth. The man is a complete dud.

  33. Linda47

    Between Turnbull blaming Labor, making accusations about Shorten, and saying Barry, Barry, Barry umpteen times, he struggled to get his thoughts together!!!

  34. guest

    re Molan

    I have just seen on SBS a program which mentions a US soldier who is campaigning for justice for Fallujah. There is talk of 36 000 houses destroyed out of some 50 000. The soldier mentions a new weapon which sucks the air out of the inside of a house, inhabitants’ lungs collapse and the bomb explodes, destroying the house. He mentions talk of nuclear weapons. Now there emerge children born with birth defects resulting from the particles of metal, for example, spread far and wide in the massive bombings.

    With regard to stopping the boats, notice how reference to boats, rather than to people, dehumanises the people. They are simply “illegals”. As pointed out, it is a purely military operation, not a political one. If need be, the crew of the boat can be paid off to take the people back: a purely business deal. As for the people, the victims, they treat them inhumanely as criminals. No compassion here.

    Such is this wonderfully Christian country, children of the Enlightenment, schooled on the motto: “Greed is good.”

    But not everyone sees it that way.

  35. diannaart

    @Möbius Ecko

    We shall know them from the words they use as much as the actions they take.

    In previous times, have referred to John Howard as “little Johnnie”. Mea culpa.

  36. Kronomex

    I’m not apologising for my wordplay, let’s call it what is, insults, with the names of the current and most destructive and vile wreckers currently in power. My utter contempt and revulsion for them grows on a daily basis.

  37. This Is OWL Lives

    The interview the other day with Peter Gretse (on The Drum?), in part about people not trusting journalists and MSM …. various reasons given but not one mention of Murdoch directly via his direct media control or indirectly via his infiltration of the ABC. So Greste is just another journalist not to trust in spite of his hero status.

  38. Chris

    @guest Yes but it is probably not nuclear weapons that is being referred to but DU or Depleted Uranium. Don’t look up the resultant birth defect images. It is not important information really except to know they are a bit beyond everyday horrific.

  39. Chris

    @diannaart i fear that kind of sensibility is just a means of taking the power of ridicule away from the masses and reserving it to those who use words as weapons for a living.

    …..or are we trying to kill all larikinism as well ?

  40. Kronomex

    Chris, knowing the deep knowledge of science that the LNP has I think you’ll find that the U in DU means Unobtanium from the moon Pandora. Oh wait, DU stands for Duh, it’s Unobtanium not Uranium Dood. Gads, that means it all a DUUD.

  41. Kronomex

    Here’s something not politics related: anyone here remember a short run (1979 – 82) English television series called “Sapphire and Steel” with Joanna Lumley and David McCallum? I only rediscovered it on DVD after I visited a little shop called Cunningham’s Buy and Sell in Mowbray, Launceston about a month ago. The show is just as good and strange now as it was almost 40 years ago.

    Regarding Insiders, I stoppped watching it about two years ago when the interference from the powers that be gutted it and made it a pale imitation of what it once was.

  42. Maureen

    John your story reminds me of something respected journalist John Bonjiorno wrote last year…that three high profile press gallery journalists exclaimed that Malcolm was going to win the next election.

    In this context perhaps even ‘good’ journalists like those on the Insiders, are so enamoured by ‘charismatic’ Malcolm,…and like him…and dislike Bill Shorten….that they are prepared to enable the worst Prime Minister leader of the most wreckless, mean and nasty government in our history to that end…. or maybe not?

  43. diannaart


    Where did I recommend “taking the power of ridicule away from the masses and reserving it to those who use words as weapons for a living”?

    Did you just read my name and react?

    Hint: Try reading what we actually say, not what you think we are saying.

  44. Chris

    @Kronomex Yeah vaguely but i did watch it… I look it up….

    I reckon it was on around the time of Kessler

    For my brain makes some connection with the two. I was still a kid so I’m not sure what I would have made of it although if it was like Dr Who in some way….sounds good. Don’t like Nazis…. 😉

  45. Chris

    @diannaart Don’t be defensive… I assumed you to be talking in terms of the wider general discussion about making fun of peoples names or ridicule of people generally in the political sphere or perhaps the media…perhaps elsewhere.. also the concern about what the government may consider satire or comedy in light of possible rules and law changes to use of the internet, etc.

    The idiot Porter was saying something about sending end user notifications to cease and desist to private individuals in the senate today.
    Here is Adam Bandts speech from the other day which is worth a look at least.;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2F8f8fb221-5f56-4e53-b69a-e109f7156d20%2F0332%22

    I wasn’t targeting you or your particular opinion at all. Sorry if you felt like that.

    My hands get sore so i try to be brief and concise with what i type very often.

  46. Andreas Bimba

    Most of you, and our mass media and political class, are condemning this country to a perpetual 20% combined unemployment and underemployment rate {ref. Roy Morgan Research} and inadequate government services such as healthcare, education, pensions, public transport, social housing and the rest, by apparently believing and perpetuating the lie about excessive federal government deficits and debt.

    Most of you are apparently continually accepting one of the core lies of the neoliberal era despite being told about the reality of the fiscal capacity of our federal government to issue as much currency as it needs without incurring debt, numerous times by many commenters and writers on AIMN.

    The federal government using the RBA are the sole issuers of Australian dollars. Deficits are funded with issued currency, not by government bonds even though they are issued on an equal basis in accordance with current convention. Australian government bonds are provided as a service to local and foreign financial institutions to safely park their holdings of Australian dollars – much like a term deposit. Canada on the other hand does not issue government bonds to match their deficits – that is their chosen policy and it could also be ours.

    Morrison’s last budget had a deficit of 2.4% of GDP – so what? This is actually too small as our combined unemployment and underemployment levels is about 20% when it should really be 1 to 2%.

    During the US WW2 mobilisation in 1942 the US federal government deficit was 28% of GDP. Where do you think they got all this money from? Private capital markets, from the rich, from taxpayers, from bond markets? No it was just issued or spent into existence but the spending was still carefully allocated so as not to exceed the capacity of the economy to provide the needed skilled and unskilled labour and industrial resources such as electrical power, machinery and raw materials. Inflation peaked at 12% but soon subsided as productive capacity again caught up with demand. US GDP doubled as a result by the end of the war.

    Were the American people left with a mountain of debt? No they were left with a larger, more technically advanced and dynamic economy which did however need to transition to a peacetime economy but this transition was also well managed with sufficient federal deficits to help fund the process and ensure close to full employment all the way up to the mid 1970’s when the corporate oligarchy began to impose the destructive ideology of monetarism, government austerity and the rest of the neo-liberal agenda of privatisations, speculation in real estate and shares, crony capitalism and globalisation.

    The Powell memorandum was a key turning point.

    Another good example of the correct application of fiscal policy (deficits that are sufficient to ensure full employment) is Japan, notwithstanding Shinzo Abe’s implementation of some neoliberal policies in recent times.

    Japan’s cumulative national government debt is 250% of GDP and the last deficit was 4.5% of GDP. This compares to Australia’s cumulative federal government debt of 43% of GDP and the last deficit of 2.4% of GDP. Japan has nearly always had full employment and negligible inflation and this debt will never be repaid as it is not really debt but should really be seen as a record of additional currency that was issued or spent into the economy which is essential for sufficient economic activity by both the private and government sector so as to ensure full employment and rising material living standards.

    Please don’t let the neoliberal corporate oligarchy, media and political class continually fool nearly all of us and especially progressive people into self imposing totally unnecessary and contractionary neoliberal fiscal policies.

    Green New Deal now.

  47. Pauline Westwood

    Although the panel had the opportunity to discuss Tony Abbott’s claim that very high immigration rates both permanent and temporary are keeping wages down and house prices up, the best they could offer was “it’s complicated” and “people don’t like talking about it”. Yet the implications for quality of life, congestion, infrastructure, unemployment and the environment are palpable. This is too important to brush aside. It is a bipartisan concern and has nothing to do with race or refugees. Pauline Westwood

  48. Möbius Ecko

    diannaart at 4:24 pm
    “In previous times, have referred to John Howard as “little Johnnie”. Mea culpa.”

    Me too. But in my context it was not about his physical stature, but on his small mindedness.

    Chris at 5:30 pm I’m almost certain it’s in reference to Molan’s use of illegal white phosphorous in Fallujah.


  49. diannaart

    Möbius Ecko February 7, 2018 at 7:39 am

    diannaart at 4:24 pm
    *“In previous times, have referred to John Howard as “little Johnnie”. Mea culpa.”*

    Me too. But in my context it was not about his physical stature, but on his small mindedness.

    Are you sure I did not also lament Howard’s shallow vision? Hmmmm?

  50. AJ O'Grady

    Why is advertising in blatantly obvious media outlets e.g. News Limited not considered political donations. If and when this does occur will tax payer funding of the ABC be stopped.

  51. AJ O'Grady

    Sorry. Just a newbe That should read:
    Why is advertising in blatantly BIASED media outlets e.g. News Limited not considered political donations. If and when this does occur when will tax payer funding of the ABC be stopped

  52. Barry

    John, if you can’t find much to comment on about Insiders watch Outsiders with those two extreme right wing boofheads Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron. They can always find something to criticize about it.

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