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Day to Day Politics: A question of doom and gloom.

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Before I go on with my weekly summary, I wanted to connect with you on a few things and see if you agree. On June 1 in the year 2017 just where are we? What are we facing and what are governments of all persuasions doing to improve the lot of the world and its people?

The world economy is stagnating. Most of the world is still struggling to overcome the dramatic effects of the 2008 global financial crisis.

There is no doubt that inequality will be a problem for both those who have and those who have not into the future. We face an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor.

We are educating our young for jobs that wont exist in 10-20 years time. Entire industries are disappearing; jobs are gone and will not be coming back. Robots and 3D printing will replace much of our existing employment. Full time work is becoming a thing of the past with underemployment escalating.

The retirement age is being pushed up to 70 and pensions are shrinking. Wages are at an all-time low and don’t look like moving upwards at any time soon, yet executive wages seem to have no ceiling.

Our children will be poorer than us. They won’t be able to live in our prohibitively expensive cities.

In spite of a move to increase educational standards our standard of education will not guarantee our kids a job. The wealthy and privileged will probably remain so and get even wealthier.

The world around us is retreating from the toxicity of declining standards of leadership resulting in deteriorating democracies leading to a form of populism that exploits our worst instincts and feeds on fear is on the rise.

A crazy man holds the future of the world’s environment in his hands.

As the planet gets hotter, the seas rise, the same crazy man, the president of the world’s most powerful nation disavows climate science and says that climate change is a fake Chinese plot to steal American jobs.

Countries are stockpiling or developing nuclear weapons. The US, in the name of making America great again is increasing spending on its military and China is flexing its military muscles. It seems that no matter where you look war games are being played. Morons of the highest order are acting out the hair-trigger game of war. Doom and gloom seems to be the order of the day. Wars and famine abound.

Whilst all this is happening our politicians seem intent on playing the game of power and self-interest.

It’s a question I keep asking myself. What has this Government been doing for the past four years? Indeed, what are their plans to address many of the things I have mentioned in the future?


1 I was right when I said that once a party digs itself into a political hole it takes something significant to get out of it. I know Howard and Hawke did it but this PM is neither of those two.

The latest polls from Newspoll 53/47 to Labor and Essential 54/46 confirms that there was no spike from the budget. Fact is that it looks a bit worse for the Government.

On those figures Labor is headed for a landslide win. I was also right in suggesting that Labor should accept the changes in policy the Coalition has made and argue the point that their policies were pinched but they are not the real deal and it’s the real deal that Labor will deliver.

If they don’t they are likely to end up with egg all over their face. Anyway the electorate has, according to these polls, factored in the notion that the Coalition plagiarized Labor policy. They have no ideas of their own. It’s important to note that with the election a long way of these numbers are but a reflection of how people are thinking at the moment.

It also should be noted that in Newspoll Labors primary vote was 35% and you don’t usually win votes with a vote that low.

Both major parties are on the nose with 28% of voters preferring the minor parties

with 10% primary vote support for the Greens, 9% for One Nation and 9% for others including the Nick Xenophon Team.

By the way. In the Essential weekly survey 80% of those asked believed that the banks would pass on the proposed levy to their customers. Perhaps they have also factored that in.

2 While I’m on Polls its interesting to note that Jeremy Corbin is making an impact in the English polls with an all important trend developing.

Con 43.9 Labor 35.4 and Lib Dem 7.9

3 Back to the budget. I noticed this in the AFR. (Firewall) Professor Bob Gregory claims that the Federal Government’s May 2017 Budget contains overly optimistic forecasts concerning company tax revenue and wages growth. He contends that the government is placing too much of the onus of restoring the Budget to surplus on basic wage and salary earners. John Daley and Danielle Wood of the Grattan Institute contend that the Treasury’s economic modeling has been wrong over the last few years.

4 The leaks from Pauline Hanson’s former disgruntled staff members continue to haunt her. This time it’s about the plane that nobody seems to own.

And the poor dear is only just recovering from a battle of facts defeating bigotry with Duncan Lewis, director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

Her inflamed hatred of all things Islam was no match for the highly respected Lewis who answered her Islamophobic loaded questions with ease demonstrating that untruth is easily defeated by enlightened truth.

5 The Finkel Review will deliver its finding into the Energy sector early June and is likely to recommend an Emissions Trading Scheme.

After commissioning the review the government has decided that, without so much as opening a page that it will not adopt the recommendation of its own chief scientist.

“Industry sources have told Guardian Australia the chief scientist, Alan Finkel, is more than likely to stick with the implicit endorsement he gave to an emissions intensity trading scheme for the electricity sector in his preliminary report, which was given to state and federal ministers six months ago.’’

The new boss of the Australian Energy Market Commission Anne Pearson said.

And the reason we came to the conclusion that an emissions intensity scheme was the best way forward and the best, the most appropriate mechanism was because it was the one that worked the best against high gas prices, low gas prices, high demand, low demand or a range of those variables,” Ms Pearson said.

They will not introduce a ETS, not because it would be the right thing to do and the right thing for the planet, but rather that it would be an admission that Labor was right all along. I suppose after adopting so much Labor policy it would be too much to go an extra step with an ETS. Goodness that might lead to a decent NBN.

6 Tributes are pouring in for Anthony Foster who became a tireless and high-profile advocate for child sexual abuse victims after a priest raped his daughters.

An observation.

”In the cycle of life people we care most about are taken from us too soon. We struggle to come to terms with the why of it and there is no answer. It is only by the way we conduct our living that we salute the legacy they leave behind.”

7 Senates Estimates reveals that 4.2 million Australian Premises will not be able to access to top Internet speeds. That’s about 40% of the country. Bill Morrow, head of NBN told the committee that .. ”FTTN by itself, with the copper loop lengths that we are building with, will not give you gigabit speeds”

8 Did you know that this still exists in our constitution?

Section 59 : The Queen may disallow any law within one year from the Governor-General’s assent, and such disallowance on being made known by the Governor-General by speech or message to each of the Houses of the Parliament, or by Proclamation, shall annul the law from the day when the disallowance is so made known.”

Purists will say that this section is obsolete and of course it is But it’s still there and that’s the point!

My thought for the day.

The state of the world raises the question. When did God die?”



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  1. Ian Ellis

    Mr Lord writes with passion, and today’s article is a frustrated shout of anger because of a dithering group of politicians, our ‘government’. I applaud his writing, and share his mood.

  2. auntyuta

    “Countries are stockpiling or developing nuclear weapons. The US, in the name of making America great again is increasing spending on its military and China is flexing its military muscles. It seems that no matter where you look war games are being played. Morons of the highest order are acting out the hair-trigger game of war. Doom and gloom seems to be the order of the day. Wars and famine abound.”

    This is exactly the way I see it too, dear John Lord. And it scares me, it scares me a lot. My life as a pensioner in Australia is still okay, and I am grateful for that. But I do not take it for granted. I am aware that at any time this could change. As far as the disappearing of jobs is concerned, I wonder, why on earth people in general cannot go back to basics? The world is crying out for well trained tradesmen! Even in the age of computers we cannot survive well without people that can do some kind of maintenance work. Even food growing and keeping the environment clean is something the average person should be able to do. And you do not need computers to do that! You just need to install in people responsibility for the land they live on . . .

    Politicians should learn more diplomacy and showing a will to prevent wars rather than contributing to escalate differences. After all we are all different in some way. Why persecute anyone who is different? Do we really all want to be the same like zombies? The main thing is that we respect each other, isn’t it?

  3. Terry2

    The government relies heavily on One Nation in the Senate to pass its legislation and in particular the budget measures. In fact, they have Michaelia Cash dedicated to schmoozing Pauline and posing as her mentor and best friend forever. But that is all up in the air now as One Nation try to flex their muscles and get their way over their pet hate, the ABC and its insistence on reporting news.

    One Nation has put key budget measures worth at least $5 billion in doubt, declaring it will oppose almost all Coalition bills unless ABC funding is slashed.

    As leaked recordings from within One Nation continue to surface and embroil Pauline Hanson in controversy, One Nation Senator Brian Burston said “One Nation would reject all bills associated with the budget and the media changes”, if the ABC $1 billion a year funding was not cut by $600 million over the forward estimates. He blamed the ABC’s “unfair treatment” of One Nation for this approach.Senator Burston, a critic of the ABC, said he and Senator Hanson developed the plan “over dinner on Monday and finalised it yesterday”.

    This position adopted by One Nation is receiving vocal support from dark corners of the coalition Party room including the usual suspects, Dutton, Christenson, Abetz etc.and of course the Murdoch media are out there supporting any move to destroy our national broadcaster.

    This is a troubling time for Australia and our democratic right to receive news unfettered by political or commercial interference. But this right is under threat when it comes to a publicly funded broadcaster being controlled by a government who are ideologically opposed to public broadcasting and who favour the likes of Sky and 2GB to get their message out with minimal probing or questioning.

  4. Matters Not

    Currently the Government and the Catholic Education Office(s) are at war over funding. Needless to say there’s bullsh@t being advanced by both sides. This article by Lyndsay Connors exposes some of the lies being peddled. She knows what she is talking about and the article is quite succinct.

    LYNDSAY CONNORS. Schools Funding: unearthing the facts

    It is surprising because, while Catholic authorities employ the teachers in their schools, they do not foot their salary bill.

    Whether or not this is how the funds received from government are represented in the internal accounting methods of Catholic education systems, the fact is that taxpayers now foot the bill for staffing Catholic schools through their governments, Commonwealth and state.

    Private education is not so private after all. But the Government will soon raise the white flag.

  5. nobeljnet

    Ah, nbn/ PMG lite/ NBN/ PMG mk2 drawn on an in flight napkin by one of KRudd7x7’s gen Ys, F…booked across on the BBJ or Gulfstream, subsequently without Infra Aus, taken by lawyers and pollyTICs to an uncool billion larger as an initiative than the market privatised Telecom/ OTC (Telstra) at the time …
    HoWARd’s (Futuris Elders SingTel Optus) Opel Network only looked at $1B from taxpayers, and would have taken competition to regional.
    The why of the transition to broadband hasn’t changed, despite how Fizzastra/ Ruddstra is overdue, overpriced and (fortunately for most) not over here, the how and what should!
    Remove 457s from its team, after all were talking taxpayer dollars.
    Work out how to subsidise regional and beyond structurally, to enable sea and tree changes. (Right along, sustainable – clustered skills – communities along transport arteries every 300 kms or so, including through the decentralisation of Versailles on Lake Blwxyz Griffin.
    As in more services, knowledge and experiences, not just agriculture, resources and non-value added manufacturing …
    Maybe keep five ministries in the FIFO that is Canberra ACT, like DPC/ COAG/ benchmarking, justice, defence, trade, dollars …)
    Restrict Nbnco to regional and beyond, and have competition in extended metro.
    Then talk to SingTel Optus, Telstra, TPG, Vocus … about taking on fibre/ fibre copper, one state at a time, apply minimum services and maximum pricing rules.
    Flog HFC to FoxTel?
    Flog fixed terrestrial wireless to BigAir, SingTel Optus or Vodafail?
    Remove any spectrum restrictions for terrestrial wireless in the lead up to 5G.
    Talk to Inmarsat, etc, or SpaceX about them 2 satellites.
    Redesign the ACCC, Comms/ ACMA, given Infra Aus IS now here.
    OECD policy advice for a while now talked of regulatory reform, competition for infra and services, besides neutrality of tech …

  6. Jan

    We can be so much more and better than we are but as a species we choose not to be. It is so frustrating but I can’t see it changing.

  7. Kronomex

    The Donald is popular no matter what part of the world he visits because The Donald tells us he is and The Donald should know because his ego won’t let him be anything else.

    Of course the finances of the country are going to come up roses and everybody (well, except the 90% who aren’t in the 10%/1% club) will have a wonderful future because when you do your own political economic modelling the result will always be were you want it to be.

    Supposedly the NBN is to be completed by 2020 (snort, snigger) and where we are we are going to get line of sight wireless (yay, cheer). The only problem is that we are going to have to put up a tower to be be in line of sight of the line of sight tower. When can we expect this to ocurr…were’s that notice…rustle, rustle…nope, try another drawer…ah, here it it is…about 2020.

  8. Terry2

    Indian energy giant Adani has said that it does not need a $1 billion government loan to co-finance a railway line for its proposed Carmichael mine, seemingly shooting its own appeal for public funding in the foot. Adani spokesman, Ron Watson said “It’s not critical. We have obviously applied for it because it’s available,” he told Fairfax Media. “This is something that governments of all political persuasions have done in the past and I assume will do in the future. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s make or break for the project.”

    So, would you understand that to mean that the $1 billion government loan through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is not essential to the financing of this mining venture ?

    If so, how would you, as a director of NAIF when considering whether to approve this loan interpret the NAIF legislated requirement that :

    1) The Facility must not provide a Financing Mechanism unless the Board is satisfied the Project would not otherwise have received sufficient financing from other financiers.

    Well, I would think that the financing could not proceed unless, as a director of NAIF, I had a conflict of interests and ignored the legislated directive. Talking of such conflicts of interest, one of the NAIF directors Karla Way-McPhail, who runs mining labour and equipment hire companies, last week told a central Queensland newspaper that Adani’s Carmichael mine project would be “a huge boost” for the region. “We’re very supportive and have been in the industry over 20 years and think it’s vital to the economic platform of central Queensland and we think we really need to see the Galilee [basin] opened,” she told the Morning Bulletin in Rockhampton in a story published last Friday.

    Reading that, would you be a little uncomfortable, as I am, that the decision on this loan could be unreasonably influenced by a conflict of interest by at least one of those responsible for making the decision ?

  9. stephengb2014

    When you tax (levy) any business, that business will pass all or the biggest portion on to their customers.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise real are living in cuckoo land.

  10. helvityni

    ”The state of the world raises the question. When did God die?”

    For me seeing what’s happening to innocent people, whilst the not-so-innocent rule the world, doing the harm yet going unpunished, does not give me the confidence to believe that there is a god…..he has to be born, before he can die..

  11. Frank Smith

    Terry2, conflicts of interest abound among those making decisions about the Adani and other Galilee Basin coal projects. There is so much obfuscation going on about these projects and the rationales being advanced for them are so illogical that I hope I can be forgiven for resorting to the “I smell a rat” argument. Is Adani really anxious to get this mine, rail line and port expansion underway? When you look at the financial problems that his company is facing in India one has to wonder. As reported below in The Hindu, Adani is in deep trouble with the Reserve Bank of India as it tries to claw back bad debts and is pressuring Adani to sell his Australian coal, rail and port projects. Similarly if you look further down among the high profile debtors in the article you will find GVK Reddy who is Gina’s partner in the Alpha and Kevin’s Corner mines in the Galilee Basin. So, does that raise the possibility that Adani is more interested in preparing the Carmichael mine, railway and Abbott’s Point Port expansion for a favorable sale rather than go ahead with the project? I’m not inclined to conspiracy theories, but this one intrigues me.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe there is a little hope. They have abandon Howard’s school funding which was to encourage independent school, leaving public schools as safety net. Shame they are trying to deliver a imperfect model. This is a big move for the coalition. They have taken on NDIS as worthwhile, while trying to takes away from Shorten the credit for the scheme.

  13. Johno

    auntyuta… well said

  14. Jack Straw

    Interesting article John and some great observations.Though unfortunately in the past 20 years or so most suicide terrorist’s seem to be Muslim.That cannot be disputed.I also feel we need to curb our migration intake for various reasons and stop foreigners buying our Residential properties. Unfortunately we need to be tough with Muslim migration in the interim.And I don’t care if I am called a racist..

  15. Freethinker

    Jack Straw, I do not support terrorism for one second but there are more death in the hands of Kissinger and Brzezinski by intervening in the internal affairs of Muslim countries that all the death cause by terrorism.
    This both individuals and the goverments that have instructed them to act since 1980, have intervened unscrupulously in Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sudan,, Yemen, Pakistan and in Syria among other countries.
    And do not forget Madeleine Albright regardin Iraq when she said calmly asserting that U.S. policy objectives were worth the sacrifice of half a million Arab children.

    Who are the biggest terrorist in your book Jack?
    Who are responsible for the current situation?

  16. Keitha Granville

    I am increasingly aware that I should not have had any children. What sort of world will they have left? Now they are having their own children, the prospects are even bleaker.

    Could we use Section 59 to do something about this ? If it’s stil there we might as well give it a go.

    Thanks John, your writings always leave me with plenty of food for thought

  17. Jack Straw

    Valid points Freethinker though we shouldn’t carry on in some blind egalitarianism way that we fail to prepare for what is happening and what may happen.Bush, Blair and Howard are war criminals also in many minds.Yes there are bad people everywhere.We need to be proactive and educative with these issues.All religions are nonsense anyway.I am no lover of the USA either.

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