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Day to Day Politics: How will she be judged?

Wednesday 20 2017

Having a coffee with a friend (Ian) and I mentioned how badly we are being governed. “What about Gillard?” he retorted? “Media beat up,” I answered. “Murdoch principally, and the ABC to some degree.” He couldn’t agree with that. Arguing that:

“I think that you over-estimate the extent to which the Murdoch media influences the political discourse in the age of the internet and social media. That said, I don’t see the ABC as being anything but of a left-leaning persuasion as it has always been and Fairfax was only beginning to be openly critical of the Gillard government because it was performing so badly that to do otherwise would leave them open to being a propaganda arm of the ALP/Greens. You are clinging onto the notion that it’s all the fault of a hostile media like it’s a life-preserver from the Titanic but you seem blissfully unaware or in denial about how cold the waters had become under her dysfunctional government.”

Later, when recalling the conversation and his statement, that quote; “The ABC as being anything but of a left leaning persuasion as it has always been” I thought in part it maybe true but it should be remembered that Hawke and Keating both continuously complained of ABC bias.

Anyway, I thought Ian doesn’t watch much of auntie or if he does, he does so with his eyes closed. It is obvious to any discerning viewer that at the time there had been a shift in how political news was presented. More often than not we found that Abbott’s opinion got precedence over the PM’s statements.

In addition there seemed to be more guests of a right persuasion on political programs. I concede that social media and sites like this one were making inroads into the influence of newspapers and this is evidenced in the decline in sales which continues today to the point that Murdoch has withdrawn from the counting survey.

But I recalled Ian saying that any media company with 70% share of the market, that, “its influence is over estimated” is ludicrous.

Ask any CEO if they would like 70% of any market. I know what the answer would be. In any case it would not be allowed in the US.

By inference he was suggesting that its journalists like Andrew Bolt also have an over estimated influence. And we know that’s not the case. He in fact he has a huge influence. The Australian loses an enormous amount of money annually.

If it didn’t have influence why does he allow it to continue? And it is jokingly refereed to as the official news-sheet of the LNP. Murdoch is not the sort to let a dollar slip through his fingers. Sure, the influence of the Internet and social media is now biting into his influence but it does not as yet rival mainstream media.

To say that the vile tabloid headlines of the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph are overestimated shows in itself a denial of the power of a headline. Particularly in their frequency.

When we use the words “dysfunctional government” what is it that we actually mean? As I understand it the word dysfunctional means “not operating normally or properly” so lets see if this is the case with Gillard’s government.

The Gillard government was elected according to all the requirements of the Constitution. It was a minority government that survived with the support of independents and the Greens. After two years (despite all the predictions) it survived and ran its full term. It was never defeated on the Floor of the House and passed in excess of 400 pieces of legislation.

Some of which were major reforms. The carbon price, the Gonski reforms, and NDIS being just three. All this in a minority setting. I would venture to say they could be arguably the most successful reformist government this country has seen. If you think that is an exaggeration, think again.

How many governments can you name that have legislated four major social reforms like these?

So where is the dysfunction? It’s a perception that the mainstream media like to perpetuate. Allow me to use one of my quotes. “Life is about perception. Not what is but what we perceive it to be.” Perceptions are manipulations brought about by telling continuous lies or by using extreme negativity on a continuous basis.

As Hitler said (or was it the propagandist Goering) that if you tell a lie big enough and often enough it will become the truth.

From day one Julia Gillard faced a storm, no, an avalanche of criticism from a media hell-bent on her removal and an opposition leader who besides being a confessed liar was of dubious character and negativity. Still is, in fact.

This has been proven so since, by his performance as Prime Minister and his subsequent disloyalty to his own party when replaced by Turnbull.

And of course a Parliament where the government behaved deplorably. Don’t believe me, then consider these snippets and comments from Malcolm Turnbull about the media.

“Dumbing down complex issues into sound bites, misrepresenting your or your opponent’s policy does not respect ‘Struggle Street’; it treats its residents with contempt.”

“Hopeless, confused, hyper-partisan” debate about climate change.”

“Fox News in the United States is an example of how commercially successful that strategy can be as are some of the shock jocks in Australia,” he said.

“Newspapers and other media were resorting more to commentary and opinion and more to analysis of the effectiveness of political spin than to analysis of the substantive issues.”

“Saying that as news organisations came under greater cost pressures, good reporting which held governments and oppositions to account “was diminishing”. Instead, he said, At the same time, there was more media “narrowcasting” — strident partisanship aimed at like-minded consumers.

“For the last two years the questions from the Opposition have been almost entirely focused on people smuggling and the carbon tax,”

“First, the cynically exploitative — his terminology — campaign against the Republic 12 years ago,a campaign” he was referring to Abbott.

“A lie is a false statement known to be false by the person who utters it. This may be a deliberate misstatement of fact and we were discussing [such as] ‘I did not have sex with that woman’. Or it may be a false statement that the speaker has no basis for believing to be true: ‘Tony Abbott has a secret plan to reinstate WorkChoices.” But, he said, a change of policy is not a lie”.

Thus Julia Gillard had not lied about the carbon tax before the last election. She had, for political reasons [the need to get the support of the Greens to take government] broken a promise.

Turnbull endorsed some form of public fact-checking, presumably meaning through organisations like those which exist in America, and analyse the pronouncements of public figures and the media in a strictly non-partisan way.

The preferred opposition leader of the people went on to condemn the frequent use of the word “liar” in relation to politicians — another clear shot at Jones in particular, who dubbed the Prime Minister “Ju-liar”.

Note: These references were taken from articles by Mike Seccombe and Alan Austin September 10, 2012

Of course I might have added the fact that almost all of commercial talk back radio is controlled by right-wing extremist shock jocks with huge audiences. Are there any on the left?

And all the commercial television stations have a right-wing leaning. Not good for democracy where a diversity of views is an essential part of the process. As it stands now we have or are likely in the future to have a media consisting of totality right-wing views.

Diversity can be found on social media and is flourishing and gaining momentum. However main stream media still influences the broad population who are undoubtedly in a political malaise.

Back to the point that Gillard’s government was dysfunctional. It certainly had its share of controversies. The Thompson Affair and Peter Slipper and they had made errors of judgement in predicting surpluses and revenue from mining taxes.

But the truth of the matter is that they were no better or worse than most governments. Maybe better than some. They never lost a minister to any scandal in five years whereas Howard lost ten in his first term. He had an unjustifiable and unpopular war and the AWB scandal.

Some of the most significant legislated policies were the highly regarded stimulus program that prevented our economy from going into decline during the GFC.

Other programs included the critically important BER and HIP programs, the carbon tax/ETS, the MMRT, plain-packaging of cigarettes, health reforms, cancer centres, GP Super Clinics, pharmaceutical benefits reforms, disability insurance, Indigenous reforms, IR reforms, the National Broadband Network, an investigation into problem gambling and the list goes on and on. Of course Tony Abbott opposed most of the reforms because he believed that’s what oppositions should do.

Stuff the merits of the policy. So complicit were the MSM, that most voters would be unaware of the hundreds of other policies that have passed through parliament.

So how did they perform?

They managed the economy incredibly well. Unemployment was low – just above 5%; inflation low – within the RBA’s ‘comfort zone’; interest rates low – a 4.25% cash rate and public debt was also low – a small fraction of comparable countries; a healthy trade surplus; a strong Australian dollar; Triple A credit rating from all three rating agencies; massive investment in mining and related infrastructure; a growing economy despite natural disasters and the high AUD. and retail sales increased by 2% in January of 2013. What more did people want?

Did people want faster growth, better conditions for export manufacturers, and higher levels of confidence in the business community. The fact is that the Government’s record was a splendid, if not perfect one, the envy of the developed world.

It’s a pity the MSM at the time could not give some credit to many accomplishments of the Gillard/Rudd governments and make the electorate aware of them.

Howard and Costello wasted ten surpluses, spending nothing on infrastructure. Which is now a big issue in places like Western Sydney. And of course we should not forget that Costello lost 2.2 billion dollars of taxpayers money in cross-currency swaps. So the fact remains that all governments have pluses and minuses. None however in my memory has had its opposition found guilty by a judge of deliberately using the courts under false pretences in order to bring down a speaker and the government.

Now I expect there will be those who will return fire with a dossier of Gillard misdemeanours, but before you do please consider the wrong doings of your own party. I am simply making the point that in a minority setting the government performed remarkably well and by and large this can be put down to the tenacity and strength of will of prime minister Gillard

Abbott – with the aid of an obliging media – was able to create a deception because they were unaccountable to each other.

The media don’t think (for whatever reason) there was a need to scrutinise Abbott or his policies (whatever they were) and Abbott simply walked out on press conferences or made himself a small target because he never believed he needed to be accountable. He simply repeated his mantra that the PM was liar and her government was the worst the country has ever seen.

He never explained why and the media never asked. When he called Gillard a liar they never questioned his own litany of recorded falsehoods. Lets face it, his record (evidence can be provided) entitled him to be judged the biggest liar to ever paced the halls of Parliament.

Thus a perception was created by a political media who with a couple of exceptions must be the worst Press Gallery the country has seen. Misapprehension and misinformation stand in the way of any decent democracy and mainstream media let the Australian public people down and to this day it is still doing so.

My thought for the day

“Perception interpreted unwisely can result in a mistaken conclusion of reality.”

Some further thoughts

Kept Australia out of recession – Australia was one of the few developed nations to have avoided recession during the global financial crisis. The Government’s massive stimulus package kept the economy humming.

Raised the pension – Pensioners received a major income boost under the first-term labor Government. Single pensions rose by $30 a week and the couple’s by $10 a week last year.

Paid parental leave – An historic achievement after 30 years of campaigning. New moms now have access to a taxpayer-funded 26-week paid parental leave scheme at the minimum wage.

*National curriculum – Driven by Julia Gillard as Education Minister, the national curriculum will deliver consistent course-work in English, maths, science and history. Children who move interstate less likely to be disadvantaged.

Axed WorkChoices – Dismantling the unpopular WorkChoices system will be seen as one the Rudd/Gillard government’s lasting legacies. The employment safety net and unfair dismissal rights were restored.

My School website – Welcomed by parents but unloved by teachers, My School gives parents detailed information on student performance in reading, writing, grammar and numeracy. Critics say it is too simplistic but parents have flocked to the website.

Emissions trading scheme – A major achievement after so many years of report after report. Finally action is taking place although the opposition is saying it will repeal the act if it wins power.

Mining tax – Thanks to the negotiating skills of the Gillard, a resources tax passed through the parliament.

NBN-  We all know the problems now. Should have done it right the first time.


35 comments

  1. Peter F

    Unfortunately, John, you are preaching to the converted. The problem we face as a country will not end while Murdoch remains.

  2. Cath O'Connor

    Exactly my thoughts. Peter F. I Share to public articles like John’s but despair that very they have little impact.

  3. Arthur Tarry

    I agree with Peter F. News Corp is pernicious and totally dishonourable.

  4. Zathras

    It wasn’t just Murdoch – there were so many extremist Reich Wingers ganging up against her they were falling over themselves to climb onto the bandwagon.

    I’m still waiting for the day some shock jock asks Malcolm if his wife is a lesbian or posts cartoon of him sodomising somebody.
    Perhaps a TV comedy based on his life in the Lodge showing him as some sort of bogan?

    Despite the attempted and unrelenting assassination of her character and burying of her legacy, history will be far kinder to Gillard than those who have followed her.

  5. Florence nee Fedup

    Murdoch first successes were with Keating. Recall how we all hated him when he was defeated. Time has proven Keating was right. It was media attack on Rudd, that began his downfall.

    Gillard while PM and since she left politics has gained worldwide admiration and respect. Something Abbott never did. Turnbull has done worse if the truth was known,

    Australia doesn’t demand the respect it once did.

    You left out the RC into abuse in care that has been a huge success.

    The Labor party, including the parliamentary party, was chaotic, shambolic, not her governance.

    Abbott never laid a finger on her. It was Rudd that brought her down.

    Same as Abbott, now Turnbull has never controlled the political agenda. That honour belongs to Shorten.

    As for the NBN, the truth will out if Labor puts in place an RC covering the time from when Howard sold off Telecom in the 1990″s

    The only success Abbott had was to prevent Labor putting in place any policy to deal with refugees. Even that, he needed the support of the Greens.

    Sadly Rudd made a mess of putting in place policy Gillard had evolved from the Heuston Expert Panel she set. It was proposed that Manus and Nauru be reopened at great expense as a stop-gap measure while a regional solution was found. Work was done with Indonesia to get them to change their visa laws, preventing refugees entering the country.

    Yes, I have rose coloured glasses when it comes to both Keating and Gillard.

    Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and Gillard all made reforms to the betterment of Australia. Rudd bought us through the GFC relatively unscathed. We can thank Fraser for a humane way dealing with Vietnamese refugees if nothing else.

  6. Harquebus

    In my opinion, Julia Gillard and her government was just another failure in a long line of failures. The last to have an excuse was Gough Whitlam and his was ignorance.
    The removal of the gold standard, peak oil U.S. and The Club of Rome’s ‘Limits to Growth’ were ignored and the underlying fundamental flaws; fiat currency creation, resource depletion and growth continue to be.
    While this remains the case, John Lord’s articles can only opinionate, document, criticize and lament because, nothing will change except for the worse just as it already has been doing for quite some time.

    Debt delayed our GFC. A debt that will repayed with hunger, poverty, shortages and severe hardship unless some serious alternative thinking is employed.

    Job creation is not something to celebrate. It must be reversed. Growing the economy, job creation and increased consumption promoted by Gillard’s government and those before and after have contributed nothing except to bring us closer to a terrible end.

    This might be interpreted as another attempt to derail J. L.’s article. This is not my intention. It demonstrates once again that my perceptions and interpretations differ completely from J. L. and almost every other who comments here.

    I have never known a better government. They have all been progressively worse.

  7. Joseph Carli

    Once again Harquebus leaps to the front of the commentary pack with political judgement as acute and as brilliant…perhaps even more so..than Malcolm Turnbull at his most fertile.. and is overshadowed only by that man in the length of time it takes to make a complete goose of himself..a record that could be measured in milliseconds and it has to be conceded with as much concise accuracy and succinct judgement as the now famous movie critic who judged the performance capability of Fred Astaire as : “Can’t sing, can’t act, can dance a little.”

    Harquebus…if I can forestall any further blundering into the unknown by yourself by suggesting a venture into the nearest cow paddock and taking up a handfull of .. first ; Clay…second ; A fresh cow-pat and practice your capability to distinguish one from the other before you next comment…for your sake…if not ours…

  8. Graeme

    On all the evidence, she should be judged well. What has followed is a disgrace. Nothing has been done by Abbott, Turnbull & Joyce to improve our society. But they are doing plenty to fulfil their IPA and co. masters plans. They are dismantling our services, undermining the tax base, replacing judges, public servants etc. If it doesn’t stop, it will take a generation for our beautiful society to recover.

    This strategy can be seen more clearly in Trump US. where media is a little more diverse but it is happening here. Here’s one example…Charities criticise ‘bizarre’ appointment of Gary Johns as head of regulator!

  9. Vixstar

    She’s the cats mother my mother would say, Julia is her name and boy she was the most amazing leader. Julia achieved and got up and running so many great policies with the help of Bill with NDIS, Nicole with the tabacco industry, Gonski safe schools I could go on forever but passing through so many pieces of legjslation for the good of all Australian s and the environment was right up there with the greats Keatings super and the medicare with Hawke but yep we all know this it’s the 47% that have faux news shoved down there necks or its what they choose to believe……..Liberal bullshit……

    Queensland is fed propaganda constantly but we saw the light and sent the liberals a huge butt plug now their new leader is saying she wants Queensland back to how it was when Joh and Flo ran the show for effs sake……the courier of shit news has stories of Flo still alive wanting to clear her husbands name because he was a saint….

    “DONT YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT” Lol

    viva Labor and Bill’s amazing team!!!!

  10. Joseph Carli

    The mistake most ppl (that’s the anagram shortening for : People) make in these days of “seeking the civilised repost”, is using that deluded middle-class thinking among progressives that politics HAS to be polite and subdued…the urbane, witty retort a better means of success than any action…But I can almost guarantee that Gillard would have cemented in her position and had a solid win in the 2013 elections if, when confronted by that Perth shock-jock who questioned the sexual proclivities of her partner, she had invited him to ; “Lean in here Howard and I will tell you a secret…” of course Howard Sattler (the jock) couldn’t have resisted the temptation..and then if Gillard had given him the most decisive back-hander across the face enough to knock his microphone out of his mouth…she would have been applauded by every bloke and woman worth their Australian citizenship from Cockatoo Island to the mouth of the Derwent River!….and given that second term of female-led parliament that we so desperately need…..opportunity lost…F#ck it!

  11. Vixstar

    Harquebus SPECSAVERS are doing a good deal on these new reading glasses they help you decipher truth from made up shit , buy yourself some for xmas maybe we could crowd fund a pair for you.
    Oh yeah Gough Whitlam is a legend , a national treasure and Margaret wow what a gal, hands off.

  12. Kronomex

    The saying about lying is attributed to Joseph Goebbels who was the Nazi propganda minister.

    Harquebus, you are like the elephant with a cork shoved up its bum; completely full of it! Here’s a suggestion, how about reinstating your self imposed “parole” and go away for another week. Every time you show up you have to hijack the conversation for your own purposes and when stung you make onion tears and “apologise” then start all over again.

    I’m off to do some reading and WoW’ing.

  13. G Armstrong

    I could cry when comparing this current mob of silver tails and drunken womanizers (no names no pack drill, but if the cap fits. …) with what could have been had this woman been given the majority she deserved

  14. IPA is an associated entity

    Harquebus. Anyone still giving credence to the “Peak Oil” and “Limits to Growth” propositions needs to take a long hard look at what has happened in the world in the last 30 years. Name one LtG resource prediction that came anywhere near reality. As to Peak Oil, tell that one to the shale oil companies. The weakness of LtG was its ridiculous assumptions that extraction and consumption technologies would not change.

  15. kerri

    I wonder how different things could have been if the ’07 team had been Gillard PM and Rudd Deputy????

  16. Ross

    The main stream media perpetuate and control the narrative. Surplus good, Gillard bad are just two examples. Neither of which is true by the way. It’s the media who put up the tall poppies and it’s the public who tear them down when they find out said tall poppy is neither tall nor smells of roses.
    That worked a treat in the past when there was no competing narrative. The internet and especially social media has changed all that. The young of today generally don’t watch TV and don’t buy newspapers. How long the right wing fruit bats dominance of the commercial media can last is open to question as the commercial media is in such steep decline.
    That’s not to say blogs and social media are a hot bed of ”reds under the beds” but they do provide a counter narrative to the main stream media and conservative governments will not have complete reliance on their tame media to control the narrative into the future if they can’t gain control of the internet.
    Let’s hope that is not allowed to happen.

  17. Jack Straw

    I too caught up with a very old friend yesterday.I ask him what papers did he think was fair and unbiased? He quoted The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.I told him that I thought they were biased big business loving IPA/Lnp devotees Right Wing Rags.We talked for awhile.He likes Andrew Bolt. My friend is a conservative person and so too is his convienient political choices.I guess we’ll chat in 5 years time and talk about something else.

  18. Jon Chesterson

    Can someone please tell me what MSM is? Journalists from the The AIM Network keep using this term and when you google the only thing that comes up is Methylsulfonylmethane and I am quite sure this is not it. It is very frustrating to read these unattributed acronyms.

  19. Joseph Carli

    Ah!..Jon…MSM is one of those great mysteries of life, only revealed to the privileged few…the “cognoscenti” …I am afraid you may have to wander in the wilderness for 40 years in bewilderment, calling out at moderated intervals like some lost tribe..: “Where the f#ckarwee…we’re the F#ckarwee!”….

  20. Freethinker

    I am the odd one here, perhaps some will categorise me as a bitter one but I considering myself as realistic.
    IMO people cannot keep blaming the MSN and Murdoch, the MSN and Murdoch only can survive if people access and read them, if people like what they have to say in the same way that listed to Alan Jones in 2GB, etc.
    In the same way it cannot keep categorising the government as they cannot understand how the economy function, etc, the government members know very well what they have to say to the electorate, how to manipulate it to their favor and was proved by winning to elections in a row acting unethical and IMO even in a repulsive way against Gillard.
    The electorate like it and voted accordingly.
    Do I approve Murdoch behavior and those that working for him? NO, do I approve how the Coalition works, NO but I including the majority of the readers and posters here we are the minority.

  21. David Stakes

    Main Stream Media. Like all the Newspapers, Radio, TV. If they follow a particular line because their Boss wants to control the news feed. Thats bias. Suggest you read more social media for a more balanced view.

  22. Freethinker

    David Stakes, are you replying to my post? If yes I can telling you that the lat time I read Australian newspapers or listen to talk back radio was about 40 years ago or more.
    I you also have to be very selective in what you read in social media.

  23. JohnI

    MSM = Mainstream Media. And unlike Methylsulfonylmethane it’s more likely to cause chronic arse pain than ease chronic joint pain.

    Minority government isn’t a bad thing per se. It’s a nightmare for the politicians, but it’s actually a good thing for “we the punters”. The reason being that legislation is more likely to be looked at thoroughly, and amended as required, rather than just being pushed through on the numbers.

    The idea that minority government is bad comes from the journalists’ conceit of being ‘insiders’. The journalists’ deal with politicians is something like “we’ll push your agenda/ideology/worldview and in return you’ll feed us the occasional EXCLUSIVE”.

    I can’t find it now but there’s a quote from P.J. O’Rourke to the effect that journalists think that if they keep their side of the bargain long enough, one day a politician will whisper in their ear “just between you and me – next Tuesday we start bombing North Korea”.

  24. Jan

    Annabel Crabb is worst of the lot. She is an insult to journalism.

  25. Rob

    Thank you again for your clarity John. Thee are so many ‘journalists’ who lean in a particular direction, If they lean any further the splinters in their backsides will leave permanent scars on that side of their collective bodies. Indeed the numbers of those favouring the right and far right of politics has steadily increased…all in the name of balance. Can’t wait (yes we can) till Corgy and poorleen are on Q&A Shutting them up will require a large cattle prod !!

  26. jim

    World wide 30 million got off their collective asses and protested the 2003 Iraq war….
    Howard , He had an unjustifiable and unpopular war , Iraq is still a war zone today 14 years latter,
    Mr Annan UN said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN’s founding charter. In an interview with the BBC World Service broadcast last night, he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: “Yes, if you wish.”
    Afghanistan today a war zone Worse, Meanwhile over there Afghanistan 100s tones of opium/heroin

    Record Production in 2016. Fake Eradication Program
    According to the YNODC:

    “Opium production in Afghanistan rose by 43 per cent to 4,800 metric tons in 2016 compared with 2015 levels, according to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey figures released today by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the UNODC. The area under opium poppy cultivation also increased to 201,000 hectares (ha) in 2016, a rise of 10 per cent compared with 183,000 ha in 2015.

    This represents a twenty fold increase in the areas under opium cultivation since the US invasion in October 2001. In 2016, opium production had increased by approximately 25 times in relation to its 2001 levels, from 185 tons in 2001 to 4800 tons in 2016.

    Australia you/we have been listening to the Americans for far far far too long as shown recently by the miss j bishop ( “we think same as the USA on nth Korea) with bells on” IMO.

    AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is a powerful Washington DC lobbying organization.
    AIPAC describes how it has successfully worked to create U.S. laws against boycotting Israel over its multitudinous violations of human rights and international law. as stated by Amnesty International ,eg,
    Amnesty in, 2017 said , Israeli forces unlawfully killed Palestinian civilians, including children, in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), and detained thousands of Palestinians from the OPT who opposed Israel’s continuing military occupation, holding hundreds in administrative detention. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained rife and was committed with impunity.

    We Must Direct our collective anger at our political and cultural leaders who, as agents of the central bankers, are colonizers and traitors to all of humanity,
    to all of humanity.War is not bad, its indescribably EVIL.

    America has the highest prison rate bar none oh no wait on a par to Saudi Arabia only.

  27. Mick Yemm

    Her biggest mistake was negotiating with the greens to so she could form government, she should have let abbott become PM in a minority government. It would have been over in 6 months and she could have walked in to parliament with a majority.

  28. Zathras

    FYI, this is the IPA – Political affiliations, Board members, activities and (known) funding –

    https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Institute_of_Public_Affairs

    They are just a shop front for the Liberal Party and I see that Tim Wilson remains a listed member.

    I recall seeing Director John Roskam on QandA referring to the government as if he owned it.
    He was formerly Director of the Menzies Research Centre.

    Likewise, the Menzies Research Centre funnels money to the Liberal Party while also receiving grants from the taxpayer.
    Hmmm.

    It’s another way of laundering taxpayer money into the coffers of political parties, like the (non-voting) Exclusive Brethren and their mysterious donations to the Liberal Party who massively increased their private school funding under John Howard.

    Federal ICAC anyone?

  29. Harry

    Harquebus:

    People do not seem to be tackling the real issues and are attacking you personally instead of your views ( I am a recent reader/contributor so I am not clear whether their attacks are justified or not).

    To get down to basics, people, skills, technology, infrastructure, natural and ecological resources are limiting factors of our planet. These are enormous but finite and clearly we are degrading our environment. Population growth coupled with the push to acquire ever more “stuff” we do not need but are persuaded to want are factors that I do not think that can be disputed. Its just a matter of how much and what the ultimate impact of our current trajectory will be.

    To my mind a tiny minority has historically been able to aggregate a disproportionate amount of resources to itself by force and guile. Distribution of finite resources is thus heavily skewed towards these power elites. The trend to grab more resources (or to have access to resources via money-an IOU really) has been a feature of modern capitalism and neoliberal ideology has resulted in an acceleration of that resource grab.

    Assuming you do not want to condemn much of the world’s population to starvation, disease, or a precarious existence there will have to be a managed transition to a more sustainable existence. That will take time and a degree of co-operation never seen before on our world.

  30. Matters Not

    Much perturbation following Barnaby’s decision to axe Chester and promote David Littleproud – a relative newcomer. Why? How? So far Littleproud’s political pedigree remains beneath the ground penetratiing radar. His father, Brian Littleproud, was an important Queensland National Party figure for a couple of decades (1980 – 2000 approx.). Was the Minister for Education, Deputy Leader and also a Minister for the Environment. No doubt Brian and Barnaby crossed paths and (perhaps) Barnaby’s rise was in part due to Brian’s patronage and influence. (Let’s face it, Barnaby didn’t succeed on the basis of talent. He needed much assistance.)

    Perhaps a type of payback – but also because David’s new portfolio includes WATER and his electorate includes Cubby Station and surrounds. Besides he, like Barnaby, doesn’t like the water settlement reached re the Murray Darling. And perhaps he can help Barnaby cover his tracks.

    (As an aside. When Brian Littleproud was a young teacher and a part-time farmer, the local school Inspector confronted him and suggested that is was not possible to be both a teacher and a farmer. Not enough time in the day etc. Brian took his advice – decided not to be a teacher and became a politician instead. In due course he became the Minister for Education and delighted in reminding that Inspector re his advice.)

  31. margcal

    Left leaning = mention of any political party or politician who isn’t from the LNP stable.

  32. Wam

    Just home from charles dickens, a very enjoyable movie of mixed truths.
    Made one think that the basic premise of gillard’s and swan’s debt was a rabbottian truth. He was not lying.
    Of course he was not telling the truth either.
    Gillard’s and labor’s error was to let his truth be the one the electorate believed. Even a simple comparison with the debts of the poms, japan and america would have exposed the rabbott to ridicule but she, with one exception, squibbed at attacking a colleague, Despite this and her sharp shonky pay deal, she was a great PM.(for me the greatest since the war.

    ps I agree with ‘proudfoot’s’ we are victims of the loonies. Come to think of it WTF have the loonies done over the last 21 years in the senate?

  33. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    Gillard was a disaster. destroyed Rudds excellent carbon and mining taxes, screwed hundreds of thousands of single parents and their children, repealed parts of the Human Rights Act to eliminate discrimination on the basis of social origin (class) as ground for complaint….it goes on. She was an anti socialialist neo liberal who gave miliions of Australian $ to the Clintons. look the facts squarely in the eye without romanticism and bias. she was crap…one of the worst prime ministers in Aust history after abbott, turnbull and howard.

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