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Day to Day Politics: Lies, confessions, hypocrisy, apologies, back flips and a recovery. They have it all.

Sunday 29 April 2018

Last Sunday I indicated that I would select a post from the corresponding week of the previous year and post under the heading “On this day” however I am told for technical reasons I cannot. Don’t ask me to explain; I have enough trouble with the pop-up toaster.

So until I can find a way of recreating the past, which is probably beyond me, I shall continue on with the theme of banking and other things to do with corruptive naturers. Of course, all this stuff about financial advice is not new. It had a decent run in the media some time ago and Labor even put up legislation which the conservatives opposed.

But let’s see if we can find a starting point and begin with a string of apologies or confessions for the sake of a better word. We all know that politicians tell lies. The world of politics and leadership is in a war against truth, facts and reason. After all the first rule of politics is to obtain power and the second rule is to retain power. Telling lies in order to get there and staying there is agreeable to devious political minds.

Labor said all along that it had funded the NDIS. The Coalition stridently said they hadn’t. Now we find Treasurer Scott Morrison confessing that the Coalition has been, telling lies about it for years.

And lo and behold the Prime Minister is now on the record as saying he was “politically” wrong for so ardently opposing a Royal Commission into the banking sector. No apology in his case.

We are not finished yet. Mathias Cormann even admitted that the government was wrong to allow the behaviour of the financial advisors to continue and to try to limit the Royal Commission.

Whether Finance Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, actually confessed her involvement in the Royal Commission stone-wall whilst being interviewed by Barrie Cassidy I will leave up to the reader.

Whoops, Kelly O’Dwyer takes a new position on the Royal Commission: “With the benefit of hindsight we should have called it earlier. I am sorry we didn’t, and I regret not saying this when asked earlier this week.”

An observation

”Politicians who change their minds aren’t necessarily seeing the light. They might just be feeling the heat.”

Are we also to conclude that this current influx of money into the Treasury is yet another concocted story? We can also assume that the pent-up stories of diabolical debt the Coalition so successfully spread amongst the masses was also a lie.

The proof of it shows when they allow Government debt to balloon to $518 billion. Up $245 billion since the 2013 election. Wow. Best economic managers. “Pull the other one.”

The ordinary punter simply has to ask how it is possible for the government to pay back all the debt, give tax cuts to workers, massive tax cuts to big business and drop a surcharge on the Medibank levy.

An observation

”The purpose of propaganda is to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetrated on you.”

It all relies on growth returning to 3% plus or more next year and beyond, for a few years. That’s somewhat risky at any time but with a madman in the Whitehouse, you wouldn’t put your house on it.

As Peter Hartcher wrote in Saturday’s SMH:

And it’s all based on an ephemeral surge in revenue. “The Commonwealth budget is built on shifting sand. The terms of trade” – the price Australia earns for its exports over the price it pays for its imports – “are 48 per cent higher today than they were for the average of 1958 to the first quarter of 2003” when the mining boom began.

If the terms of trade were to return to their long-run average, the government would be about $20 billion a year short. “If China slows or there is some other shock, the Commonwealth has a huge problem”

So, we have this rush of confessions or lily white apologies that have sprung from a sense of conscience within the Government. (Only joking).

Have I mentioned Peta Credlin’s confession that Tony Abbott had put his own self-interest before the environment and the Australian people? Not an iota of interest in the planet. Just himself and the power that goes with the Prime Ministership.

I dare say that if Abbott ever visited the confessional box he would be in it for a long time and the others would have to form a queue.

Still on confessions or apologies. You may take your pick. After deliberately framing the terms of reference to cover up misdeeds and a time limit framed to curtail revelation the Finance Minister Senator Cormann gives a belated assurance that they can have all the time they want. How generous.

On top of that, the Prime Minister makes a confession for getting the whole thing politically wrong. No apology in this instance.

It’s important as I said earlier to remember that back in 2013 everyone knew of the shonky practices of Financial Advisors. In fact, when the Coalition came to power they inherited Labor’s “Labor’s Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation.

Now, remember how Cormann fought tooth and nail to retain the practices of financial planners. Why?

At the time Arthur Sinodinos had oversight of the legislation but he was embroiled in controversy over the Obeid family’s Australian Water Holdings and was being investigated by the ICAC. It’s also worth mentioning is that three of the four Coalition assistant-treasurers since 2013 – Senator Sinodinos, Josh Frydenberg and now Ms O’Dwyer – came out of bank jobs into politics.

Senator Cormann, also came out of financial services and of course, Turnbull was a merchant banker. Perhaps they should all confess to a particular bias.

So, what do we know so far, and before the next budget?

1 There was never a debt and deficit disaster. They just made it up. Why are they continuing to raise the debt at such a pace and in defiance of its own rhetoric?

2 Why did they want to protect the banks and financial planners?

3 The Government has thrown away billions of dollars on unnecessary spending just to keep the economy moving.

4 They are determined to go ahead with unnecessary tax cuts.

5 They have been overly generous to the privileged and wealthy with super concessions.

6 There have been outrageous windfalls for VET FEE-HELP rorters.

7 Over-funding for elite private schools is set to continue.

8 Private health insurance rebates that go straight to the bottom line of insurers.

9 Diesel fuel rebates for tax-dodging mining companies will also continue.

10 They will promise things beyond their likely tenure of governance.

And the list continues. In fact, this budget will continue stuffed with corporate, middle and upper-class welfare measures.

However, the poor are not done with. The war on them will continue. Income management will continue, fake robo-debts and humiliating drug testing will take place.

Yes, the Coalition has chosen to launch a war on the poor with fake robo-debts, income management and undignified drug-testing will take place.

There will be no transparency or trust. The truth will be strictly forbidden.

My thought for the day

”Poverty is the fault of the victim but wealth comes from virtue and both are the natural order of things.”

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  1. Pamela

    Thankyou John Lord. The Banking RC has demonstrated the regulatory impotence which is a feature of this country. We see it everywhere as politicians promise oversight of the market as protection for us -the punters.
    How long before the vet- fee- help/ private colleges stench produces an RC with a “oh we did not know”?
    Even more alarming is the way in which the punters are being anaesthetised to ignore the corrupt games being played. As example Friday Herald Sun headline seen at supermarket – not the rorts of the banks being exposed and discussed- Nono something totally manufactured- murderers rapists and drug pushers being foisted on Australia by a “tribunal” etc etc- the foreigners as crooks line.
    What hope for this country when so many glean their perspective of reality from Murdoch and co?

  2. Peter F

    With the happy clappers in power, I am reminded by your ‘thought for the day’ of the words from the favourite hymn, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.
    Most people won’t believe that in includes the words:

    ‘The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate,
    God made them high and lowly, And ordered their estate.’

  3. Ella Miller.

    Mr. Lord, once more thank you. However, I feel utter helplessness and despair. Why, because, I keep thinking there is nothing I can do. Yet if I accept without comment what the LNP are doing in our name I feel that I am complicit in promoting their lies.
    On the budget… is it possible that the LNP are basing their budget on their claims that the banks will be fined 10% of their income ? It would be some windfall to their bottom line if they went ahead with it.

    On their claim that they are the “best economic managers”, it is interesting to look at the waste.

    I read an article in the Independent Australian by Alan Austin. Now I don’t know how reliable this source is but you might.
    He claims,
    that the Commission of Audit found;
    that it costs It costs $400,000 a year to keep an asylum seeker off shore,
    It would only $239 a year to keep the same asylum seeker in detention in Australia,
    If the same asylum seeker was given a bridging visa and allowed to stay in the community it would cost $40.000 a year,
    He further claims that the the projected cost over the forward estimates will be $10 billion and about 90% of this is wasted.

    The Cambodia Deal $40 million per year plus extra cost…..for what?
    In the area of defense, he claims that defense is spending $500,000 dollars on Carrara Marble imported from Italy to be used in defense buildings.

    He further points out that the search for the Malaysian aircraft 370 is estimated to cost $1 million per day.

    We know about the Royal Commission into pink bats cost $20 million…but did not ask the questions it should have asked hence found nothing.
    The Royal Commission into Trade Unions is estimated to have cost $61 million.
    Direct Action Plan, which pays some businesses to reduce carbon emissions yet at the same time allows others to increase theirs, a waste of $2.55 billion over 4 years.

    NOW THIS ONE really bugs me,

    For the G 20 meeting the Government had a table made in the ACT at the cost of $36,005 . To transport table to QLD it cost $26,298.The chairs for the table cost $68,525. And there was more but I won’t go on.
    If this is GOOD ECONOMIC management I would hate to see what isn’t.

  4. Rhonda

    And we can’t forget the wanton waste of big big dollars thrown into the Howard legacy Chaplaincy program. Sheesh!

  5. Terry2

    Back in February 2010 Barnaby Joyce was thumping the coalition drum on government debt he said during an ABC interview :

    BARNABY JOYCE: We’re going into hock to our eyeballs to people overseas. And you’ve got to ask the question how far in debt do you want to go? We are getting to a point where we can’t repay it.

    This mantra of debt and deficit went on and on as we approached the September 2013 election and I’m sure you remember the debt and deficit disaster that we were approaching according to the coalition: as at Year to date September 2013 Government Net debt was $174 billion ( net debt is the real measure of a government’s overall indebtedness rather than Gross Debt as it also captures the amount of debt owed to the government).

    As at YTD March 2018 Net Debt stands at $350 billion but, and isn’t this the point, we no longer hear about it beyond the occasional throw away by Morrison that this is good debt whereas Labor had bad debt.

    Last week we were told that the 0.50% tax increase to help fund the NDIS was no longer necessary as the government was raining revenue. We were also told that the company tax cuts were full funded and it was hinted that there would be personal income tax cuts in the May budget.

    I’m no economist but, having doubled our national debt are we now being deluded by this government into thinking that the ship of state is off the rocks and sailing into prosperity ?

    Can anybody help me with this ?

  6. Oscar

    I just witnessed a terrible old conservative battle axe Anne Henderson; commenting on ABC 24 news obviously Gerard’s Wife; what a piece of work.

  7. Kyran

    “We all know that politicians tell lies. The world of politics and leadership is in a war against truth facts and reason.”
    It’s hard to know which is sadder, that we all know they lie or that we seem to spend so much time discussing their lies as if that will change anything.
    With regard to #2, “protecting banks and financial planners”, does anyone else think it’s passing strange that the substantial issues aren’t being addressed? Post GFC, governments around the world said the banks were too big to fail, hence the need to bail them out at taxpayer expense. Those same governments pledged to make sure the global economy would not be exposed to the same risk again. To justify the outrageous spending to prop up a criminal excess, governments were going to make sure the banks would not be left at such a size that their corruption could threaten entire economies.
    Ten years hence, our government holds an enquiry that underscores our banks have continued in their pursuit of corporate greed with not a word issued about ‘breaking them up’, as promised ten years ago.
    In Australia, this is exacerbated by the level and type of debt held by our banks being as toxic (if not more) as the sub-prime structure in the US pre GFC.
    As galling as the revelations from this RC are, the underlying problem is being skated over. Given the capacity of the mental midgets in charge and the appalling standard of journalism, when (not if) Australia’s financial crisis hits, rest assured our government will bail them out with tax dollars using the same arguments.
    As for accountability of executives, forget it. It will never happen. Unions have been trying for years to make bosses accountable for work place deaths and have again ramped up the campaign.

    Yet we continue to have a system that punishes the workers for protesting rather than prosecuting those who profit by cutting corners resulting in death.
    With regard to ‘stunning backflips’, it is even more insidious than that. This government is concurrently running an argument that the Great Barrier Reef is not in trouble (all the way back to Hunts expensive lobbying of the UN to keep the GBR off the endangered list) whilst spending millions on fixing a problem that it says does not exist!

    The ‘war against facts and truth’ under this government knows no bounds. Putting aside the fraudulent reports on the NBN, education, health, super, the environment, etcetera, produced for local consumption, try this one;

    As to misrepresenting inequity within the income and taxation system, there are new reports on a daily basis about the level of avoidance. Spending $200k on a lawyer is justified apparently;

    As stated earlier;
    It’s hard to know which is sadder, that we all know they lie or that we seem to spend so much time discussing their lies as if that will change anything.
    Thank you Mr Lord. Take care
    PS “I have enough trouble with the pop up toaster.”
    Testify, brother!
    PPS Rhonda, you may be interested in this;

  8. wam

    wow tanya on 9??? fantastic she did well on the debt and deficit but was too circumspect when the interviewer gave her a leg to rip into the lnp for blaming labor and the GFC because Australia has been going down for the last 5 years and meeting those affected coming up.
    I gave her a cheers when she, unlike you, tied the lnp debt to a deal with greens.
    Go go labor, into the lib economic mismanagement with a simple story of the GFC where labor protected OUR deposits, the libs would have followed the countries that chose to protect the banks and as a side go for brandt.

    ps still cannot bring yourself to talk about korea? Wonder if the reticence is in case you are seen to support trump?


    Here’s the new LNP slogan. ‘LNP Fascism at its finest’. When the people take back their government from the multinational and local elites the power Dutton wants can be used against the corporations. Let them know that and that will shut Dutton up.

  10. Glenn Barry

    Terry2, I don’t think anyone besides sky fairy scotty can help you sail the ship into a calm blue ocean, and you’re going to need to do a lot of clapping, singing and perhaps even speaking in tongues as a gateway to your euphoria.

    On the ineffectiveness of ASIC, well there was quite some planning and execution to bring it to that state of affairs – from 2015

    Come to think of it, given the rorts and corruption we’ve been experiencing I will postulate that there is no longer any need to counter neoliberal demands for smaller government, less tax and less regulation.

    As is clearly visible, for the big money operators, the very people for whom the neoliberals campaign, they already have their free market utopian reality and greed has been disastrously unleashed.

    Now why wasn’t that outcome anticipated…

  11. Glenn Barry

    Oscar – isn’t Anne Henderson just revolting, even had the gall to play the poor me card as I’ll only have the pension – credibility gap the size of the Grand Canyon

  12. paul walter

    O’Dwyer is a former bank exec.

    But Cormann, why is this unscrupulous and craven charlatan not up accounting for the government’s refusal to get the commission up and running, instead of hiding under Kelly O’Dwyer’s skirts?

    Words fail you, don’t they, disgusting pigs.

  13. Terry2

    When Anne Henderson was a regular on the Drum she had the unfortunate habit of talking over other guests and I think even the ABC realized that this rude woman had nothing to offer sensible and polite discourse, so it seems they have dropped her. Meanwhile her old man still gets a regular guernsey on the Insiders but not so much as a reliable commentator, more as a comedy duo with David Marr.

    Then you have the arch right-wing double act of Rebecca Weisser and her old man Nick Cater who seem to have stumbled upon a honeypot of right-wing commentary which as Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin and others have realized is a good little earner and you don’t even need to believe in what you are spruiking.

    I’m thinking of becoming a right-wing commentator, I just need something outrageous to say to get me started .

    Hmmmm !, what about ‘Donald Trump’s shrewd and statesman-like diplomacy brought about the historic meeting between the North and South Korean leaders and this is evidence of his deftly calibrated art of deal making and his superior intelligence. Calling Kim Jung Un a little rocket man was an astute observation which clearly changed the global dynamics and will lead to peace in our time’ : Sky News I’m awaiting your call and the big bucks …………….well, if you can’t beat ’em 🙂

  14. Glenn Barry

    Terry2 – valiant attempt, but I think you have to be dipped in stupid at birth to be able to pull it off successfully – some like Malcolm get the silver spoon, others like the Hendersons get the dipping to make them the sycophantic cheer squad

  15. Kronomex

    And now we have Magician Morrison waving his wand (which wand I leave to your imagination) and yelling, “Expendo Creditcardo.” in the lead up to a pre-election budget. Who gets to pay for his largesse? Why the little Mugs of course.

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    PeterF. He also said the meek would inherit the earth. It would be as hard for a camel to pass through eye of a needle than a rich man enter heaven.

  17. Egalitarian

    It appears many a conservative is playing for the hard done by affirmative action sympathy card to the ABC. And it appears to be working.

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