Saturday 7 April
1 The Treasurer Scott Morrison said that the figures on the cost of the Government’s tax reduction for business were not released because of Bill Shorten’s Budget in Reply Speech. “I wasn’t going to do his homework for him” he said. The Prime Minister said on Television that Treasury had not done the figures. The Treasury Secretary John Fraser on Friday told a Senate’s Estimate hearing that the cost of the Government’s Budget centrepiece would be $48.2 billion. Apparently the Treasurer told him to release the costings during a phone call at 6pm Thursday. The PM told a lie and he knew it.
So we are expected to believe that they were prepared to take an absolute flogging in the media because they wanted Shorten to do some homework. Well he certainly did.
The Government tried to wriggle its way out of its dilemma by say that historically 10 year figures are not used. This argument fell apart for three reasons. Firstly, Tony Abbott included 10 years’ worth of cuts to Labor’s 10 years of projected spending on schools and hospitals in 2014. Secondly, the government had just released the 10-year cigarette excise costings. Thirdly, the Prime Minister had said that he was going to legislate for 10 years of company tax cuts in a few months’ time. Now surely if he planned to do so he would know the cost.
There is only one conclusion to draw. The Prime Minister, the one who came to office promising a new era of honesty and transparency, was telling lies. The Treasurer, a Christian man who wears his religion on his sleeve was also complicit in the deception.
The last word goes to Lenore Taylor:
“The truth is, Labor is likely to properly fund its election promises because it knows they will have to be published and submitted for scrutiny under the charter of budget honesty.
And the Treasury is very likely to have properly costed the government’s tax cuts – with the government only refusing to release the numbers in the interests of a good pre-election black hole skirmish.
But it has been too tricky by half. Its black hole attack has boomeranged back”.
“Debate is not of necessity about winning or taking down ones opponent. It is an exchange of facts ideas and principles. Or in its purest form it simply the art of persuasion”.
2 The issue of truth featured largely in the last election. We the voters were often left to decide who was and who wasn’t telling the truth. Or who was telling more or less of it. So what is a lie? The election was different in so much as we saw the emergence of various ‘Truth Finder’ sites and both sides of the political spectrum were found out telling porkies, or at least using different shades of hue.
Remember these from Abbott:
“This will be a no surprises, no excuses government, because you are sick of nasty surprises and lame excuses from people who you have trusted with your future”.
He also promised a “unity ticket” with Labor on Gonski funding.
“You can vote Liberal or Labor and you’ll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school”.
“There will be no change to school funding under the government I lead”.
“Do you shape the truth for the sake of good impression? On the other hand, do you tell the truth even if it may tear down the view people may have of you? Alternatively, do you simply use the contrivance of omission and create another lie .I can only conclude that there is always pain in truth but there is no harm in it”.
3 Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech was admirable. Have people underestimated him? I have long been saying that he hasn’t the charisma of Turnbull but he showed he has an easy manner and can switch onto assertive, when he needs to.
”Never before has a Government with so few ideas borrowed so many policies from an opposition”
”Advocating Climate Change action is hard and running a scare campaign against it is easy. You should know that Mr Turnbull you’ve done both”
I have also said that he is a policy buff. I think that is shown by the fact that he is leading whereas Turnbull is following. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that Turnbull is uncomfortable with detailed explanation. His waffling is becoming aggravating, to say the least.
Having now set up a counter point, or demarcation between the parties, Shorten should take on the high moral ground with even more action against growing inequality in all its nefarious guises, casting off its ‘old’ socialist tag and present policy in common good versus elitist terms.
He needs to convince people of the need for a truly collective representative democracy that involves the people and encourages us to be creative, imaginative and exciting. In a future world dependent on innovation it will be ideas that determines government, and not the pursuit of power for power’s sake.
His narrative must convince the lost voters who have left the ALP to return. Shorten has to turn Labor ideology on its head, shake it and re-examine it. Then reintroduce it as an enlightened ideology-opposite to the Tea Party politics that conservatism has descended into.
He must turn his attention to the young, and have the courage to ask of them that they should go beyond personal desire and aspiration and accomplish not the trivial, but greatness. That they should not allow the morality they have inherited from good folk to be corrupted by the immorality of right-wing political indoctrination. He has made a good start.
My thought for the day.
“You cannot possibly believe in democracy if at the same time you think you’re party is the only one that should ever win”.
PS: A conservative is someone who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.