Thursday 18 February 2016
1 Gunna Morrison was at the Press Club yesterday spruicking about what the Government is gunna do with the economy. It was highly anticipated that he might make a policy announcement on negative gearing but surprised no one when he didn’t. They need more time to talk and plan. A blueprint perhaps.
They came into government two and a half years ago on the back of a concentrated campaign of the need for action. Remember, there was a budget emergency. Unprecedented in its depth. The country was in a situation as bad as that of Greece. The sky was about to fall in. Day after day Hockey and Abbott told us that we were in dire straits.
Yet two and a half years after being in government, knowing all too well that aspects of the economy needed attention, they decide to formulate a plan. But it is a plan remarkably short in detail. If the strategy, or the answer is in savings it didn’t make sense that he had saved 80 billion but allocated 70 in new spending. What he didn’t say was that without the spending we may very well have had a recession.
The only thing we got today was journalists shaking their heads at his answers to their questions.
Where is the much vented real structural tax reform that Turnbull has been talking about? The sort a treasurer of the ilk of Keating might deliver.
Like Hockey and Costello before him all Morrison did today was give himself a big pat on the back.
He’s going to fund tax cuts from savings on future spending. The look on Peter Martin’s face was priceless.
I told you he could waffle. ‘Assembly of God’ men can.
The punters really need to ask themselves what this government been doing for two and a half years.
2 Quoting Peter Reith:
The pity was that the Abbott government did little to address the longer term reform issues. Now people like Andrew Bolt expect Turnbull to rearrange Australia virtually overnight.’
It seems Turnbull had always had a long-term plan to displace Abbott but not one for the country. You might recall when he took over the leadership he gave a pungent appraisal of the Government’s performance. He said the country faced challenges that required a more developed conversation.
‘We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges … and sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans.’
So the question is: Where and what are they?
3 Essential Poll Tuesday has the Coalition on 51% and Labor 49%.
4 Steven Ciobo is the MP who once implied that Prime Minister Julia Gillard should have her throat cut. He was back on Q&A on Monday night. A huge supporter of Malcolm Turnbull I think he was hoping that his Government’s efforts in silencing the program last year wouldn’t be mentioned.
Tony Jones wasn’t going to let it pass. Ciobo wouldn’t take the bait. Talking about free speech:
‘I’m attracted to the classic liberal freedoms as a starting point but it doesn’t apply carte blanche’, he began.
Jones: ‘Didn’t apply to Zaky Mallah, for example.’
Ciobo waved the interjection away, as he did sniping from other members of the panel. ‘I am attracted to the principle but there does need to be limits on it. I think that’s a reasonable position.’
I was left wondering how a Turnbull government might have handled the matter just a few months back. It might have been an interesting avenue to pursue but Jones, perhaps wisely, didn’t pursue the matter.
‘Until you are a victim of free speech you will truly never understand what free speech means.’
5 The request by the Australian Christian Lobby that existing laws pertaining to anti-discrimination be suspended, held over, over ridden or shelved for the duration of a plebiscite on equality in marriage would only serve to make a mockery of why they were legislated in the first place.
6 Every time you think the Republican Party has reached the zenith of its stupidity if finds another way to look ludicrous. By intending to vote against a new justice nominee put forward by President Obama (his constitutional right) it is doing enormous damage to the prospects of re-election of its incumbent senators.
On top of that we have Donald Trump suggesting that there are unusual circumstances behind the death of a Supreme Court justice.
Only in America!
7 It seems that New Zealand is set to again offer to take our refugees. On the surface you might say that the offer is compassionate and a way out for the Government.
It won’t be accepted for two reasons. Firstly we need to keep men, women and children incarcerated for life, no matter the human cost, so as to send others wanting to escape their hopelessness a message. Secondly giving them safe passage to a country more humane than us might encourage others to come. And we wouldn’t want them to become NZ citizens with rights to visit us.
My thought for the day
‘Everyone has a choice. You can either whinge about the issues you have or do something about them.’