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Day to Day Politics: Monday 19 December. A date with destiny.

Wednesday 14 December

1 On Monday 19 December the Treasurer will present the MYEFO midyear report on the state of the economy. Coincidently, or deliberately, on the Saturday prior, The Prime Minister will deliver a speech at the 25th anniversary dinner of the Australian Republican Movement.

What could he possibly say that is any different than his view already expressed, that it’s better to wait until the Queen is no longer with us before taking the next step. Maybe because he is accused of reneging on all that he stands for he will try to regain some lost credibility. If the speech is ”Republic lite” it might be interpreted as just an indulgence.

On Monday the blame game was on in earnest with some fair dinkun conservative dole bludger bashing. It’s all Labor’s fault has been a constant theme for some time now. Morrison had also briefed two newspapers about some analysis that suggested the Rudd government’s big-spending stimulus during the Global Financial Crisis was the cause of the current economic problems. It has since been discredited.

Then at the COAG meeting Turnbull knocks back a perfectly logical means of addressing our energy needs and climate change presented by the chief scientist. Then he tells them to fix the crisis on their own. It doesn’t make any sense.

Might I suggest the Treasurer is frightened of losing Australia’s triple-A credit rating?

More likely, the Prime Minister’s speech, it is an attempt to confuse and bewilder. A distraction from an economic nightmare. The MYEFO report is predicted to show the fiscal outlook could be much worse than what was conveyed in May’s federal budget, potentially increasing the risk of an imminent ratings downgrade.

If that’s the case it will have all sorts of repercussions for Australian banks, business’s and the public in general.

According to the “Roy Morgan” daily news summary. Tuesday December 13 ratings agency Moody’s has forecast that the combined debt of Australia’s federal and state governments will rise to about $A690bn by mid-2017, compared with $A642bn in June 2016.

But Marie Diron of Moody’s says the Government is likely to reduce the deficit but at a slower pace than forecast in the May 2016 Budget. Moody’s is not expecting to downgrade Australia’s triple-A credit rating, although rival S&P Global Ratings put it on “negative watch” earlier in 2016. So is Morrison not letting on to something.

Let’s harken back to those times when Labor was in office: the press had its balls in a knot, the shock jocks were apoplectic about the debt, and the then opposition led by the lying Abbott were so enraged by it that they were calling for blood. Well it makes one wonder why Labor at least, aren’t doing the same now.

Well here is an exception.

Judith Sloan, prominent conservative economist had this to say:

”The reality is the government’s reform program is thin, with or without Senate co-operation. Mucking around with superannuation, implementing a toothless construction industry watchdog and allowing energy costs to surge: none of these policies will lead to higher economic growth.”

An observation.

“Instead of searching within when we are at fault the first human reaction is to apportion blame elsewhere. Why is that so?”

2 Readers should note that when I quote from Roy Morgan I am in fact quoting from The Australian because they simply reproduce short excerpts from it.

Like this one:

”The Institute of Public Affairs believes that freedom of speech is potentially threatened by section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The institute argues in a submission to the legal and constitutional parliamentary committee that section 18C should be removed in its entirety.”

Doesn’t that make one’s blood boil?

3 The likes of Bernardi, Dutton, Abbott and Hanson won’t read this but I sincerely wish they would.

He appeared on News 24. A teenage boy who when he was on the program with his brother six months ago struggled with his English. This time he was assertive, confident and like most teens said ‘’ya know’’ too much. He had every reason to feel proud and confident. His name is Saad Al-Kassab. Saad had missed two years of school as mortars flew over his home in war-torn Syria.

When he arrived with his family in Australia he was offered a shovel to help with the gardening at Australia’s largest senior Catholic school – Catholic Regional College Sydenham. A scholarship followed and as a result of his determination this year with an ATAR of 96.65, he was dux of his school.

On his family’s arduous journey to this country, through the checkpoints that many go through he studied anywhere he could, sitting exams in cinemas and sports grounds. After experiencing the worst of life he now wants to become a doctor and give back to his adopted country.

During the interview when asked what hope he had for his former country, he said. I hope that one day my country will become a democratic one where people would be able to express their opinions freely.

The hairs on my arms tingle when I’m able to write of these experiences. Saad has been awarded a scholarship at Monash University in Melbourne. His father, a former sales manager for a pharmaceutical company, also works as a labourer at the Catholic school.

Others of course see it differently.

“For many people, they won’t be numerate or literate in their own language let alone English. These people would be taking Australian jobs, there’s no question about that. For many of them that would be unemployed, they would languish in unemployment queues and on Medicare and the rest of it so there would be huge cost and there’s no sense in sugar-coating that, that’s the scenario.”

Peter Dutton. May 2016.

4 Which all rather reminds me of Senator Cormann’s comments that the Federal Government was already investing in domestic violence and a paid leave program would be expensive. Remember they took $300 million out and put back $100million.

“We just believe it’s another cost on our economy that will have an impact on our international competitiveness.”

Why is it conservatives have such little empathy?

My thought for the day.

”If you are not willing to learn then no one can help you but if you are willing too, then no one can stop you.”



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  1. Peter F

    Judith Sloan …..”allowing energy costs to surge:” It is already out of the government’s hands. Every politician in Australia should see this youtube. If the first minute doesn’t grab their attention then nothing will. Problem is that it lasts longer than their attention span.

  2. helvityni

    Finally a heart warming story, Saad Al-Kassab. I need to hear more of those…

    Whatever mean-spirited stories Scottie shouts or Ms Sloan moans about are water off this duck’s back; I want to believe in human goodness… again…

  3. helvityni

    ScoMo’s picture above proofs my theory right: Ugly, mean thoughts , nasty words and bullying behaviour will distort your facial features….

    ( see: Mutton, Michaelia, in her case it’s also speaking too loudly/shouting all the time…)

  4. Keitha Granville

    Thank you John for another great read, i am always encouraged to hear your views – it renews hope that there must be many others like me who hold the same views and therefore at some point sanity will reclaim the parliament.
    What a great story about Saad, and this would be repeated many times across the country about our new Australians. It has been my experience that most of these people who have been fortunate enough to gain safe haven here are driven to achieve and contribute to the nation. Sadly there are many of our own countrymen, born and bred, who do not have this drive. Saad’s success is an example for us all.

  5. Jaquix

    Whats the bet MYEFO will be dressed up like the proverbial Christmas turkey, with lashings of spin ? They already have Treasury in their pockets.

  6. Freethinker

    Readers may remember when Abbott and his team were saying that debt and deficit was a disaster.
    Now, today Mr Morrison is saying, “Once borrowing for recurrent expenditure is under control, we will have more headroom to take on and deploy so-called good debt.
    “This is debt used for investment purposes that increases productivity and produced future income.”

  7. wam

    helvityni,The boy is clever, the school burser is clever, the government subsidising scholarships is clever. 10% of public school students are clever.
    Saturday I watched a not clever man who, as an apprentice, was bullied by the union, led by an immigrant scot,(He has loathed labor ever since), open an exhibition of photographs by autistic children. His words through ‘tear choking’ were so very heartwarming with the effect doubled by the hollow eyed beaming smiles of his autistic daughters. As he sees this government operate through the eyes of my son he is no longer an rabbottian.
    The contributors to this post are clever.
    Unfortunately 90% are not clever and they may vote:
    on up bringing
    on personal experience
    or as the clever dictate.

  8. Roswell

    The absence of media outrage is surely evidence of its bias. Labor’s debt, even though debt is not necessarily a bad thing, had the media and the Opposition in murderous moods. Like you, John, I can’t understand why there is now so much silence.

    Of course, if Shorten says anything about Morrison’s debt then I’m sure the media will find a way of turning on him. “How come you never said anything when Labor had us in debt?” they might ask. They behave so irrationally.

  9. Terry2


    You’re spot on , the government have in recent days highlighted this ‘independent review’ condemning Labor for spending during the GFC; this from the Australian on 9 December :

    ‘A damning Treasury-commissioned independent review of the former Labor government’s unprecedented spending response to the global financial crisis has found it was a “misconceived” waste of money, fundamentally weakened Australia’s economy, almost destroyed parts of the manufacturing sector and ­inflicted more long-term harm than good.’

    I thought, when I saw it that this is obviously setting the scene in case of a downgrade in Australia’s triple A Credit Rating before year end.

    More ‘false-news’ from Newscorp !

  10. Kaye Lee

    Australian Government Securities on Issue* $463,190m (9/12/16)

    Australian Government Securities on Issue* $257.370m (30/6/2013)

    Net debt is $313,971 million (31/10/16)

    The net debt of the General Government sector is $161,253 million at 31 August 2013.

  11. guest

    Terry 2

    The Tony Makin report was originally published in 2014. It was roundly criticised then and has been roundly criticised now (see, for example, Alan Austin’s rebuttal at IA 9/12/16). You are right, Terry 2, it is “post-truth fake news”. It is the Murdoch modus operandi. It is a distraction from the Abbott-Turnbull disaster. What they do is smother their own crap with someone else’s crap and then claim it is the opinion of the writer, not necessarily theirs.

    It was not an “independent” report. Makin is a Coalition supporter associated with the IPA. His paper was published at the Treasury Research Institute which does not necessarily represent the views of Treasury.

    Makin blames Labor’s dealing with the GFC and points to wasted money in the BER and Pink Batts programs.
    But then one of the aims of the program was to spend money.

    So who took the money? Was it fly-by-night rorters and big business maximising profits?

    And the matter of 4 deaths in the Pink Batts program is raised. Who were the supervisors who neglected OH&S regulations (such as the banning of staple guns on foil insulation).

    As Austin points out, the installations in those programs are still in use and will be for a long time. And if nay-sayers want to talk about blowouts in costs and industrial deaths, then they should also make comparisons with other projects at other times.

    And just another little question: How many of the nay-sayers actually returned their $900, saying it was a waste of money ?

    Meanwhile, labor kept its AAA rating. Will the Coaltion?

  12. jimhaz

    Alan Austin writes excellent articles. Compulsory reading.

    I recently read his 3 post GFC analysis and changed my mind about Rudd overspending (I’ve been thinking he overspent by up to 20b)

  13. jimhaz

    [Now, today Mr Morrison is saying, “Once borrowing for recurrent expenditure is under control, we will have more headroom to take on and deploy so-called good debt]

    Must be nothing left they can easily sell. I’m sure Traitor Baird could find ways to shift more expenditure to the big lobbyists.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    Freethinker I also heard Morrison going on about debt being Ok. I would love to shove this in the face of some right wingers I know who have gone on and on about Labor debt and how it will destroy Australia for generations to come.

    So how come now when the L-NP is in power, and outspending Labor by 2 or more to 1, the L-NP actualised debt is not a problem?

    It’s not an argument they will wear though as they will fall back to the point made repeatedly by a past rusted on right wing poster here, Labor debt bad, Liberal debt good. Which is what Morrison is averring today.

  15. Max Gross

    The AAA credit rating means nothing as it is comes from those same agencies that gave us the GFC so we all know what their opinions are worth. But Mr Ecko, to answer your question “how come”? Simple: the LNP lie like they breathe.

  16. Möbius Ecko

    “Simple: the LNP lie like they breathe.”

    So true Max, but why was Labor pilloried from dawn to dawn forever and a day, and still are to this day, yet worse L-NP debt is at best ignored or at best justified, like Howard as Treasurer under Fraser having good debt, and now this government having good debt?

    The thing is if Labor were in power now, and did exactly what Turnbull and Morrison are doing, they would be savaged. Yet the amount of times I’ve heard right wingers call those who criticise the Liberals hypocrites would fill a small tome.

  17. wam

    Is praising a clever boy for being clever the same as condemning the dumb for voting as the clever direct?

    Overspending occurs whenever sharps get hold of government money.
    The rabbott’s witch hunt royal commissions (indeed the current NT one slips $1100 a day into the spin pockets).
    The shonky private school principals who maximise enrolments.
    The vice chancellors who bumonseatify their courses.
    The pollies who twist their entitlements and attack any ‘poor’ who follow their lead whilst kowtowing to rich bastards and companies who use(abuse) the rules to avoid tax.

    Willing to learn, Lord???
    What sort of an arsole of a teacher who sets tests with 30% trick or extension questions then writes report cards that say jorgio must try harder. The kid is trying his guts out and gets 70% because he is not clever enough to get any more but his parents think he is slacking. Think of the dickheads can get 100% without trying because they are bright? What does their report say? The ‘try harder’ tag goes to the wrong person.

    NAPLAN, if we can overcome the elitist crap comments, will show the steady improvement of the student who tries and will expose the staff when a trier doesn’t improve

  18. Kronomex

    Morriscum, in the photo at the top (thinks: Duh, me run out of fingers and toes to count on. unthinks). Better yet, he’s listening to the mantra, “Blame labor.” echoing…echoing…echoing around in his head.

    On a side note, does anyone feel sorry for little 2GB bemoaning that they’re losing money and listeners since that that rabid, foaming at the mouth ratbag left?

  19. guest

    Max Gross,

    thank you for your point about AAA ratings. I remember there are 3 agencies making such ratings. And you say they are all related to the people who created the GFC. And of course the Coalition is related to those who created the GFC – or vice versa.

    So the Coalition very much values AAA ratings. That is why they are terrified of losing the AAA rating.

    But the shameless escape route for them is to blame Labor. Hence the Makin missive published in the Coalition propaganda broadsheet.(and on-line, protected by a pay wall).

  20. Kaye Lee

    Why does no-one ever mention the $400 billion the Coalition have committed to spend on war toys over the next twenty years? And the fact that they are, on TOP of that mammoth expenditure, committed to giving 2% of GDP to the Defence department every year whether they need it or not. Get back to me Scott when you clean up that ridiculous situation!

  21. James Cook

    Surely the MSM bears the blame for not calling-out the LNP bullshit. If you read the Telegraph or Australian, listen to commercial radio and watch any commercial TV news [I won’t even consider pay TV crap] then you are brainwashed by the propaganda. Shorten and Labor rarely even get a 10 second right of reply. And the most depressing part is that the ABC is rapidly being hamstrung and Liberalised. I cannot see us evolving as a society as long as the corporate spin-doctors control the media outlets. Although I respect and ‘enjoy’ [probably not the most accurate word] the work of John Lord, Kaye Lee et al, I just wish someone would suggest a workable solution to what is becoming a disastrous future for we plebs. Anyone?

  22. helvityni

    James Cook, if the majority of people are not worried, then the decline of this country will continue…

    We are not like the South Koreans, who went to the streets and protested for weeks to get rid of a bad leader, we lack passion.

    We can write here and there everywhere about our concerns, but who is listening…???

    You can say that people ARE worried, and that’s why we got Pauline back. What can she do to make things better for anyone. She might have improved her own lot….?

  23. wam

    helvityni listeners need talkers!
    When have your friends told you about billy on the morning shows?
    When have your friends told you that hansen is right on immigration,.
    O’dwyer is right on dole bludgers and bernadi right on anything?.
    Have any friends told you trunbull is corrupt like the impeached park?
    How many friends are worried about the dole rorts, the labor debt, the naplan results, and couldn’t give a rat’s about domestic violence leave, cfmeu (or any union)/?
    How many don’t know the IPA exists? How many support trump?
    ps how can the septic tanks ignore the best person for president because he is too far left then watch trump support putin???

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Congratulations to Saad Al-Kassab,

    for reminding us that the human spirit can prevail against all the odds and then flourish when given a chance.

    As for Cormann and his dullard attitude to spending on domestic violence protections, I’m reminded of his own compromised upbringing of a dysfunctional family. He is a prime example of why domestic violence refuges and other protections should be fully funded.

    Not only do they save women’s and children’s lives and their self-respect but such measures provide positive supports for children to grow up emotionally happy, healthy and resilient for a challenging world, as opposed to stunted, sad neoliberalist-sacks like Cormann.

  25. Matters Not

    Re Saad Al-Kassab and his ‘success’. Is it down to him, (effort, motivation and the like), his parents, (effort, motivation and the like), his school, his State of residence, his Nation of origin and so on? Or could it be the case that educational success is all about the ‘genes’? You know – either you genetically have it or you don’t?

    Why is it the case that James Ruse has topped the NSW scores for the last two decades and has a student population with 94% of ‘foreign origin’? Is student achievement primarily down to the ‘genes’, the ‘culture’ or what? Just askin …

    Perhaps we should be trying to improve educational performance via immigration?

  26. Michael Taylor

    Perhaps we should be trying to improve educational performance via immigration?

    My incredibly high IQ has been explained. ?

  27. strobedriver

    A great article exposing the idiocy of the neocons and those that are actively contributing to the decline of the West, and also exposing the folly of those commentators that have been the recipients of privelage to the point where it has just become normal.

  28. pappinbarafoxPappinbarra Fox

    Terry2 at 11.25 you said: A damning Treasury-commissioned independent review

    But wasn’t it the exact same Treasury that advised the then government to take exactly that course of action?? This just does not ake any sense to me – except that now, the only conclusion can be, treasury is no longer independent and cannot offer independent robust advice.

  29. Pappinbarra Fox

    I had not read Guest’s comment at 12.10 when I posted the above.

    On pink batts have a look at:

  30. jimhaz

    [Perhaps we should be trying to improve educational performance via immigration?]

    And crowd out the existing Australians even more. Thanks.

    Hard working and straight and narrow well established migrants with young families paying off their large Carlingford homes do not wish to pay for private education where kids have to travel into city areas.

    It is little wonder Asians have higher average drive to achieve by effort – considering how poor the average person was in their homelands at the time of immigration. It is a flow on effect – they have not moved into the complacency period that so many westerners have, and which more immigration will only cause to worsen.

    “Higher School Certificate Certificate Success in 2015

    Nine students received the highest ATAR of 99.95:

    Raymond Wu
    Jessica Bulluss
    Tally Zhou
    Alice Cao
    William Luu
    Charley Jin
    Wilson Liu
    Karen Gong
    Stephanie Wu”

    We do choose a majority of migrants nowadays whom are already successful – so we get the cream the crop – there IQs would be higher than the average even in their homeland..

    Central Asians rank highly on average IQs. But of course most lefties refuse to acknowledge such differences – not PC.

    Rank Country IQ
    1 Hong Kong Hong Kong 108
    1 Singapore Singapore 108
    2 South Korea South Korea 106
    3 Japan Japan 105
    3 China China 105
    4 Taiwan Taiwan 104
    5 Italy Italy 102

    It is not surprising at all.

  31. Matters Not

    jimhaz. would you have a link for: Rank Country IQ ?

    Be interested as to ‘who’ undertook, the methodology employed, sample size and so on. Also the date of the study. Thanks.

  32. paulwalter

    Please, not Judith Sloan. Union bashing and more other forms of neoliberalism, like more privatisations and dumbing down, is NOT the answer to this nation’s problems.

  33. Matters Not

    Thanks Bacchus. I agree that’s perhaps the most probable source. Without going into the detail of Richard Lynn and his long term, racist motivations, followed by intellectual nonsense, I was hoping that jimhaz would respond. After all, such claims are ‘contentious’, at best. (Being kind).

    Just imagine the credibility of Lynn’s nation rankings when it comes to the general claims that rely on ‘evidence’ such as::

    The datum that Lynn and Vanhanen used for the lowest IQ estimate, Equatorial Guinea, was taken from a group of children in a home for the developmentally disabled in Spain

    Note also that one of Lynn’s mentors was Sir Cyril Burt who stands as an iconic example of intellectual fraud on a grand scale.

    When I wrote that piece December 14, 2016 at 11:31 pm, I was trying to promote discussion. Didn’t turn out as I hoped. Had many motivations but they all failed to resonate. Next time – perhaps less tongue-in-cheek.

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