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Day to Day Politics: I have never seen them so angry. The nutters I mean.

Saturday April 9 2016

1 The Crickey BludgerTrack analysis of combined polling this week has it 50.8-49.2 to the Coalition.

After a few weeks where it appeared the trend to Labor had tapered off, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate records a solid nudge to Labor this week on the back a Newspoll result crediting it with a 51-49 lead. BludgerTrack doesn’t go quite so far, but it does have the Coalition losing a full point off the primary vote since last week.

There is much happening on all social networks. The fact that things are not going well for the government is reflected in the angriness of the right-wing commentary. Even The Australian has been giving the Government a bit of stick.

I myself have taken a bit of a battering this week on some Facebook pages that purport to be discussion pages.

Every day I write my opinions on a variety of subjects. They are my own thoughts based on my political philosophy, many individual and collective influences, and my world view based on 75 years of living experience.

On some Facebook pages it’s astonishing just how many on the right of politics swear blind they never read, would never contemplate reading my work, so abhorrent it is to them. Then they go on to opine about it.

Whatever intelligence I might have affords me no understanding of this.

Here is an example after I questioned an individuals civility.

‘Far from it John, I am being very tame given it is social media. You should see the real me when it comes to people like you. You represent everything that caused over 100 million deaths last century. I think it is funny the very thing that allows me to tolerate you is the very thing you are trying to destroy. You seem so proud of what you are. Don’t be :-)’

And for the things they say about this blog. Well I’ll leave it there.

2 It has now become apparent that the future of the Government sits with the budget. A budget that has two competing requirements. Firstly one that addresses spending.

This is a budget that is critical to the future of Australia. The Abbott/Turnbull government have blamed Labor for all manner of things and promised to fix everything. The have said that revenue is not the problem, spending is. They have committed to cutting spending without raising revenue.

Everything that was once on the table and presented as a grand plan has been swept from it. The budget has become the plan.

A leading player on the right, Cory Bernardi said the Government’s priority was ‘getting the budget back in the black and making government sustainable’.

No we cannot continue to spend more than what we earn.

Bernardi went on:

‘This is a critical budget for the future of the country. It’s a critical choice for the future of the country because we cannot continue on spending 50 or 60 billion a year more than we have in income and taking further income in is not the answer.’

The Government has placed itself between a rock and a hard place. Its ideology demands that it doesn’t hurt its own constituency. That is why it won’t address the revenue issue. It’s called votes.

Barry Cassidy in an article for The Drum makes my second point with this comment.

‘But can the Treasurer fashion a budget that does all that and also serves as the political document that saves the day? Can it be both economically tough and politically pragmatic?

I don’t think so. And I might put this question.

How can the Government, given the unscrupulous behaviour of the corporate world possibly argue for tax breaks for business in the budget and at the same time ignore the ordinary punter.

3 The Governments main thrust of attack has been centered on Union corruption. Parliament is being recalled at an enormous cost to debate the ABCC legislation.

The waters of this debate have been muddied this week with the release of the Panama papers, serious allegations of corporate cheating globally, and the atrocious behaviour of some of our banks.

And of course the appalling management of Arrium reminds us that the corporate world has taken an almighty hit this week. The government on the one hand cannot be seen to be Union bashing whilst on the other be seen to be condoning the behaviour of their corporate mates.

An observation.

A strong banking system is vital for the Australian economy but it shouldn’t be a licence for corporate economic immorality.

4 The Labor Party has taken the lead with an announcement on Friday that there will be a Royal Commission into the financial sector if it wins office.

The Government throws a tantrum saying there is no need. That ASIC and other regulatory bodies have adequate powers to deal with the issues.

Which of course raises the question that if they are doing their job of regulating why are we seeing scandal after scandal relating to financial services.

A friend, Russell Green, on Facebook posed this question.

‘At the risk of harping on a well-worn record. Given the events of the past few months with regard to companies and individuals not paying any tax, regardless of its legality, and the subsequent release of the “Panama Papers”, the time has come for governments to give up on income taxes and pursue transaction taxes instead. Income Tax has become optional in the eyes of many. Whereas transaction taxes are in fact very collectible. As it is the institutions themselves that collect and pass on the tax. This form of taxation would be extremely difficult to avoid. In simple terms get rid of all income and company tax. And replace with a percentage, whatever is able to replace that lost revenue, of each transaction. Keep the GST at 10% but make it on everything. This would have the effect of destroying the tax avoidance industry; stop the need for negative gearing; the cost of doing business would be that; and Australia would become a tax-free haven. There would be so much to gain. The only people who would be fearful of this are those that stand to lose what they currently avoid by devious means.’

Make any sense or just food for thought.

5 Finally. Even after yet another report and subsequent findings into parliamentarian’s expenses we still find politicians feeding themselves from the public purse.

Barnaby goes one better than Bronny chartering two $4000 helicopter rides to visit a village near his electorate office.

Then today we find it’s actually four.

On top of that we find that other are paying off their Canberra homes on the public purse using their travel allowances..

These are some of the culprits.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Social Services Minister Christian Porter, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Assistant Defence Minister Michael McCormack.

They stay in houses or apartments they own and claim the travel allowance when in Canberra, which can work out at a minimum of $1000 a week or $18,000 a year. That’s it I have had enough.

My thought for the day.

Never confuse what you want with what you need’

 

30 comments

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  1. Jaquix

    Stay strong, John !

  2. Terry2

    6. So Barnaby takes a chartered helicopter flight to check out a mobile phone black-spot

    This is Barnaby checking it out : Hello, Hello, Hello…………..we’re done here, take her up Captain !

  3. Arthur Baker

    What happened to point number 5? Article goes straight from 4 to 6.

  4. Kaye Lee

    I use the bayonet technique. I pop around to certain pages, state some facts with links, and then leave. Thrust, disembowel, disengage. There is no point arguing with abusive people.

  5. John Lord

    Correct Kaye. Yesterday I spent a lot of time defending The AIMN against accusations that it is funded by George Soros. Silly of me really.

  6. Luke

    Prancing Pyne blaming the managers of Arrium of bad practices, yet the government has increased the public debt by 36 billion. The man is an idiot and is now worried about his job.

    Luke, surely you mean $141 billion. It was $278 billion in September 2013. It is now $419 billion according to the Australian Office of Financial Management.

  7. Kaye Lee

    lol ya gotta laugh, though I guess we should take it as a compliment for them to think Soros would even know we existed.

  8. David

    Given the Poll Bludger is run by a dedicated Tory and buddy of ‘whatever way the wind blows’ Sky/The Australians Peter van Onselen that is a good result.for Labor.

    I had a good laugh at Morrison’s reaction to Bill Shorten’s Royal Commission into Banking announcement….”What we are seeing is Bill Shorten playing politics with one of the most fundamental institutions in our economy,” and “It’s a reckless distraction from his failure to come to terms with the fact that he wants to defend corrupt and criminal practices in the construction industry,”

    He went on to cry how while there were serious issues to be addressed in the industry it was well regulated by three bodies, one of which had the powers of a royal commission.
    Really!! then why haven’t they got off their chuffs and done something? Precisely why Labor will instigate a Royal Commission

    What a pathetic out of his depth response. A quick look at the on line papers, not one has a good word about Morrison’s shallow retort.

    This lame brain excuse for a Treasurer will be a big help to the Opposition during the campaign, he is wide open for taking down, every time he opens his mouth.

  9. Jack Russell

    They’ve got mainstream media under control . . . so one has to wonder how much progress have they made behind the scenes toward choking social media so we can’t talk to each other either . . . seems like something they’d have earmarked for special attention.

  10. Steve Laing

    The fact is that this government can’t use the Thatcher/Howard strategy of selling the family silver to look like fiscal geniuses to the economically illiterate because that particular cupboard is now bare. You actually need to do some hard work, and they are too inept and incapable. So they are resorting to blame others, and shout a lot. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

    But to your point on trolls, as Kaye said, there is no point arguing with them. My preferred strategy, for example if we have an idiotic racist, is to ask them if they’ve lost their banjo? It makes no difference of course, but it does give others a laugh.

    I’m very intrigued to see how social media plays its part in this election…

  11. Kaye Lee

    Jack, funny you should say that. Before the last election my facebook account was suspended for a month which included the last few weeks of the campaign. Which just made me start writing on other sites including here 🙂

    You’re the voice, try and understand it
    Make a noise and make it clear
    Oh-wo-wo-wo, oh-wo-wo-wo
    We’re not gonna sit in silence
    We’re not gonna live with fear
    Oh-wo-wo-wo, oh-wo-wo-wo

    This time, we know we all can stand together
    With the power to be powerful
    Believing we can make it better

  12. AllRaj

    Re point 4. A woman I used to know, worked within a dept for a big 4 bank’s funds management division which investigated customer complaints regarding their financial planners. By mid year they had already spent their annual allocation of funds to compensate customers who had been defrauded and had their account frozen. I was told that the manager of the dept (who was an honourable man) regularly recommended the bank remove the financial planners licence to provide financial advice when found to have wronged the customer, but his recommendation was almost always ignored in favour of other remedies. The bank usually paid the miscreant adviser/planner a lump sum of money to just go away and never claim they had worked there.

    The reasoning was that if every adviser found to have done wrong by their clients had their licence removed, the bank would risk losing its own licence by the regulator.

  13. Michael

    I for one of many admire your writing.

    1. the person quoted went to alot of trouble to freely offer their views and perhaps an orgasmic moment of achievement followed – we should all be happy for them, welcome their contribution and respond accordingly after appropriate reflection – worthwhile dedicating a page all to their own – there could be some value even if only as a (re)confirmation = our character building

    4. Russell – take into account (a) that GST is circumvented by cash and (b) as companies, a human construct, are mere GST collectors from declared retail sales – what is missing is the DT(Dividend) tax, the BT (Bribe) tax, the LOT (Lack Of Transparency) tax, the NA (Non Accountability) tax and the ST (Speculation) tax, oh, let’s not forget the PDT (Political Donation) tax – best of all a (TT) Tobin Tax (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobin_tax) but mere thinking is sacrilegious

    6. every interview should start with the question: “How much did you claim in travelling expenses so far this week?” then proceed with the rest of the spin – this would serve to keep things in context.

  14. John Lord

    David. I believe Crickey.com own The Poll Bludger. I may be wrong but…….

  15. David

    John it is an unusual arrangement Crikey merely published the blog which is run by William Bowe who is a lecturer at Curtin UIniversity’s Australian Electoral Studies Unit where he was an associate of Peter van Onselen.
    I have had dealings with Mr Bowe in days gone by.

  16. John Lord

    Ah is that how it works David. Thanks.

  17. lawrencewinder

    Nice article, and I hope you get attacked some more….!! Golly they’ve got thin skins haven’t they? But then, when they hear their “heroes” trying to justify their incompetence with the same arguments that they were trying to demolish only a short time ago, their cognitive dissonance is somewhat too obvious to be ignored. They were a policy bereft rabble before election and are worse now as the chickens come home to roost.

  18. Douglas Pye

    My mind responds well to the prospect of placing a clean up of the banking fraternity as an election plank. Two points in particular come to mind … ! ) Keep the language in layman’s terms by citing bank charges etc. that the average person experiences ‘ every day ‘ – well researched, and presented these can resonate with voters and prove difficult for the opposition to effectively rebut ( in the ‘ reasonable person’s eye ‘ ).

    2 ) obey the rule … ” Tellin’ aint Sellin’ Sol ” !!…. at the very least, pose a question and encourage folk to ‘ think about it ‘

    Whilst I am certainly NOT here to mount a campaign, may I propose posing questions along the line of …eg.. ” How do you Really feel about the ‘ X Fee ‘ you are Forced to pay every time you .xxxxx ………is this fair ? .” ……. thus encouraging ‘ prospects ‘ to think along the lines of where you will propose your solution as ‘ step two ‘ … later.

    Just by the way, from a marketing perspective I despair at the way political campaigns constantly mention the name of their opponents!!
    ….. a totally Marketing no go zone! As an example, take a quick walk along the supermarket Breakfast Cereals aisle, and note those brands ….. then research their advertising.

    Whilst I have not performed this exercise, I am confident you will find not ONE mentions the OTHER by name in any advertising!…..

    And quickly before I go ….. PLS …. Not another Royal Commission !! … that encourages a long debate about ‘ your R .C. … Vs …..our R.C. ‘…. whilst the real matter is lost in the scuffle …. plus we ALL know about terms of reference ! …. an ICAC style has ‘runs on the board ‘ currently & seen to be fair ! … [ in many circles … 🙂 …]

    …. back to Meditation …. 🙂 …..

  19. David

    Welcome John not often I get the chanced to help 🙂 Cheers

  20. FreeThinker

    John, your writing is appreciated by many in diverse places. Do continue.

    And you are correct in observing how angry so many of the delcons (delusional conservatives) are, be they parliamentarians, from the IPA-Murdoch axis, or from the wider citizenry. Many complex reasons for this, but we must not be deterred by their life-sapping orthodoxies.

  21. Jack Russell

    Not deterred in the least, and I’m taking a biro to the ballot box when the time comes. I think I may have a latent character defect too…if the pleasure I get from watching their smarm being replaced with angry frothing as the avalanche of corruption revelations bury them in excrement as the days progress is anything to go by.

  22. metadatalata

    Interesting that this week when the Greens put forward a motion for a royal commission into banks, Labor voted against it. I guess they need time to get their own members sorted before they try and do something after the election and only if they get voted into power…

  23. wam

    a great read, lord, manna for our thoughts!!!!.
    The troll quote is a classic ‘killed by commos’ but the ‘capitalisti’ have probably killed twice that and the religions whackfalthedadlio there’s whiskey in the jar??
    Imagine the good to the world if the yanks had accepted the decision at dien bien phu and not invaded Vietnam?
    Loved your thought:
    Aboriginal community school education is our want over their need.
    a corollary is the speed with which a pollie switches a privilege into a right and finds a new privilege.
    The only thing quicker is the speed used to transfer public debt onto the dumb and then lost in unscrupulous private vet provider pockets,

  24. Denis

    I think the time has come to focus on principals rather than the personalities of our so called political leaders.

    If a political party or an elected member of Federal, State or Local Government does not make their priority the respect and dignity of every person on Earth and see everyone as equals, they should not hold any position of power.

    The political systems we are now burdened with has been totally corrupted by vested interests whose only focus is profit and greed no matter what the cost is to our environment, to families, to individuals, to our freedoms and especially to our children.

    I believe the young generation have been totally disenfranchised in that their future is entirely devoid of any form of certainty or security. The fabric of our society is being torn apart in the name of ever increasing profits for the few.

    The unemployment rate in about 1974 before all this neoliberal approach to economics and globalization started was about 1.8%. The unemployment rate in Australia is much worse now. I think it is somewhere near 11%

    They have turned the World into a survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog world. Creating divisions and fear between people instead of promoting peace and good will among all of us.

    Many of our so called leaders work for vested interests and not for the people who elect them.

    These so called leaders have been corrupted by the unlimited financial power of large corporations and multinationals, Central Banks, the IMF, World Bank and Wall Street.

    In my view and the view of many other commentators is that these institutions are managed and run by criminals in the interests of a fraction of 1% of the Human population

    This will never change while we believe the spin and B.S. we are fed every day by our politicians and mainstream media. They are never going to change our lives or the lives of our children for the better unless we stand up for ourselves instead of being led like lambs to their slaughter.

    I would encourage everyone who really cares about the future of our planet and the people who live on it to take every opportunity to stand up to the powers to be in whatever capacity you can and demand change. We have a Federal election coming up, and it would be an excellent time to contact your local Federal politician and demand change for the better.

  25. stephentardrew

    First class as usual John. In a busy time in my life you help keep me informed.

  26. Backyard Bob

    On some Facebook pages it’s astonishing just how many on the right of politics swear blind they never read, would never contemplate reading my work, so abhorrent it is to them. Then they go on to opine about it.

    Reminds me a lot of the relationship some lefties have to the MSM.

  27. win jeavons

    Why is revenue never the problem? Does this mean we could pay all pollies a lot less, then tell them they have a spending problem? Hearing about the ‘training college ‘ fiasco on RN this morning confirms my belief that most of our problems at many levels stem from privatisation of many concerns that rightly are better done by not-for -profit accountable government bodies. Some services, including employment, education should NEVER be for profit, but seen as an essential investment in our common future . Why not free education, then pay according to community need , not rewarding sectors like law and business disproportionately. It is time we saw nurturing as FAR more valuable than banking or owning media, too. Then women might just be valued and respected correctly.

  28. Sir ScotchMistery

    As usual a wonderful reflection on the nature of the body politik thinking.

    My particular bugbear is that over 96% of Australians don’t value their vote enough to deserve to have it.

  29. Jaquix

    There are actually people who have no interest in politics whatsoever. I dont think its that they dont “value” their vote, but often more like they have just given up. If you live in an electorate of overwhelmingly LNP voters, which many do, its very easy just to say “Oh well, my vote wont make any difference”.

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