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Day to Day Politics: When the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing.

Monday February 22 2016

1 Slowly the media in general are coming around to the realisation that for the past two and a half years the Coalition have been sitting on their backsides doing nothing about tax policy.

Morrison even admitted it saying:

‘Those issues were not under consideration before September last year’.

‘It was not like they were beavering away on them for two years before that. Those issues only came into consideration in September last year’.

Actually a case can be put that no policy work was done for the four years they were in opposition.

‘We will oppose everything. That’s what oppositions do.’ I seem to recall Abbott saying.

I could even make a case that it’s rare for them to take on major reform at any time. If you were asked to nominate five Coalition major reforms that addressed the common good you would be hard pressed to nominate any.

In fact why don’t you try? Name five major reform policies in the past 50 years of the Coalitions specifically designed to benefit the common good.

You might say Costello’s GST was a major reform but it favoured the rich. It burdened the poor and those with the least capacity to pay. It discriminates against the poor and the pensioners who are living a hand-to-mouth existence and spending the bulk of their income on the necessities of life—food, clothing, rent, heating, power etc. And of course since its inception Coalition governments have sought to further erode it by increasing the eligibility age and raising the assets test. By eliminating further concessions the pension will decline in value by $3000 over the next few years. It is remarkable how Labor has managed to become the de facto government. Or so it would appear the way the government is being forced to attack its policies. I have said previously that Labor cannot win this election with a traditional campaign. By releasing policy early Shorten has badly wrong footed Turnbull who says he won’t release tax reform policy until the budget.

I have never seen this before. A government having to attack an opposition who is delivering sound economic policies 7 months before an election.

When the top 10% of wage earners are the ones who benefit most from negative gearing it is a policy relatively easy to defend.

Yesterday we had the best retail politician in Australia, Barnaby Joyce, saying Labor’s Negative Gearing policy would reduce the value of a million dollar home by a third. Rather reminded me of the $100 dollar roast. Honestly, the most educated Government in Australia’s history are acting like they don’t have a collective brain in their heads.

On top of all the talking and retracting over the past few weeks yesterday they had a thought bubble on low-income earners getting their super payments as wages. Expect they will back down today.

Turnbull and Morrison’s problem is that the areas ripe for tax reform are the very ones that would affect it constituency most.

Whilst Bill Shorten is not the most charismatic person around he might just be the policy wanker people say he is. And a strategist to go with it. In any case he is getting all the favourable media.

2 Goodbye Harper Lee. As a young boy you changed my life.

3 How dreadful, how disillusioned those good Catholic folk who have their faith at the core of their being must feel. I know our local Parish Priest does. But having committed the sins it has, it is difficult to see how the church has any right to cast moral judgement on others.

The indignation it is showing over accusations about Cardinal Pell is outrageous given the deaths it has caused. So many children abused, lives destroyed and families devastated. To this day I don’t think they fully comprehend the damage they have done. The Vatican still won’t release documents in their keeping. As an institution the Church is morally bankrupt.

An observation:

‘We can sometimes become so engrossed in our own problems that we can easily overlook the enormity of the suffering of others’.

4 On the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement people should understand that the Republicans, Clinton, Sanders and half of the Democratic Party are against it. Oh, so am I, by the way. So Andrew Robb might have wasted a lot of time.

5 I don’t have a prize but can you identify these people:

Mr Angry, Mr Smiley and Mr Waffle.

6 Yet another one goes. Liberal senator Bill Heffernan will bow out of politics at the next federal election.

The outspoken 72-year-old farmer is well-known for smuggling a fake pipe bomb into parliament. He also falsely accused, under parliamentary privilege, former High Court judge Michael Kirby of picking up rent boys.

What a grubby individual he is. He will not be missed.

My thought for the day

‘Nothing matters in life so much as to live it decently. And you don’t need any form of religious belief to do so. Be as humane as you can possibly be’.


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  1. Florence nee Fedup

    Turnbull asked for debate on possible tax reform. All he has done is attack Labor. No green or white paper to base debate on. Now it seems debate is being closed down. Told by likes FM Bishop we have to wait until the budget.

    It will surprise me if we see a budget. Abbott sure didn’t count on having one. If we do, an election will be called next day.

  2. Florence nee Fedup

    I think it could be more that right hand not knowing what the left is doing, They walk both sides street, with view for each.

  3. Michael Taylor

    Bill Heffernan will not be missed. He is a dinosaur – completely out of his time. Though I must admit he surprised me in an interview on Radio National one night when he said that his colleagues who “don’t believe in climate change are bloody idiots”.

    He used to bully public servants. Perhaps he should have bullied his colleagues into believing in climate change.

  4. John Kelly

    John, you are right when you say there are no major reforms introduced by the Liberals that benefit the common good. Conservative governments don’t govern for the people, nor do they govern for the future. They govern for today and let tomorrow take care of itself. And today, as with all days the point of government, for them, is to enhance the objectives of the wealthier class.

  5. lawrencewinder

    The latest polls suggest that this rabble is being sen for what it really is at last….. and Heffernan.. what a mongrel piece of work….good riddance but it will be interesting to see what sort of fascist will replace hgim.

  6. Matthew Oborne

    The trend in the polls is reassuring, I often wonder just how much the general public pick up it seems enough are realising This isnt what they want. Strategists are guessing of course, could it be the bad times the coalition are having they ponder.

    Labor got some policies out early before they are lost in the clutter of election promises, they need to realise getting the message out there that this has been three years where their only shining light has been breaching human rights.

    The Media refer to the rudd/gillard government yet are hesitant to say the Abbott/Turnbull government.

    It is time they should because the Abbott/Turnbull governmentis by far the worst government we have had, Stuck on a crazy far right wing agenda that the public have to keep on slapping down.

    Labor does need to rethink, A woman bought a packet of cigarettes just in front of me a few weeks ago it cost $40 it will cost $80 and it doesnt matter how much harm smoking does at $80 a packet that woman is going to have to cut down or suffer financial harm.

    Tobacco growing left this country because the farmers couldnt get $7 a kilo, for something that now retails at $2000.00 a kilo because of taxes. you can buy 2 kilos of pure silver for the cost of one kilo of tobacco under the new proposition from Labor.

    If the same principle were applied to petrol it would cost around $160 per litre a cask of Berri estates fruity gordo would cost around $800.00

    A tax grab on this magnitude only works with tobacco, A shame tax.

  7. Garth

    @matthew Oborne.. I might be a bit dim but from your post I can’t discern if you support or oppose Labor policy on tobacco excise. For me, tobacco is different to any other legal product, there is no safe level of usage, no way to mitigate the harm. As a smoker myself I support anything that stops people taking up or continuing this awful habit.

  8. Terry2

    Peter Dutton said this morning, in response to a question from Fran Kelly, that Australia would not take up the offer by the New Zealand PM to take 170 asylum seekers from Nauru/Manus.

    His rationale : they may ultimately achieve NZ citizenship which would give them access to Australia and that is just not going to be tolerated.

    Mr Dutton, pack up your desk, surrender your mobile phone and accompany this nice man from security who will escort you from the building. You have failed to make a contribution to the human race.

  9. Poss

    Well said Terry2

  10. thebustopher

    Bill Heffernan retiring? F*ck that’s risky

  11. Glenn K

    I am not an ALP voter, nor LNP, so don’t judge my comments with those colored glasses. I would like to note how the ALP’s election winning strategy has been slowly panning out. Shorten always said long before Abbott got the boot that he would square off against Turnbull in the next election. I think the ALP have been very busy preparing solid policies, and they will now drip feed them out at the right time to keep the LNP on the back foot. The ALP will define the debate and the MSM will have no choice but to follow it. And it’s starting now.
    With regards to the Refugee policy from the ALP, they took it off as a wedge issue by acceding to the main components of LNP policy. HOWEVER, the ALP have given a commitment to open up the camps to public scrutiny. Smart policy. Why? because opening them up will humanize the refugees and turn public opinion to change policy and close the camps. ALP can blame LNP for the deplorable conditions and they can humanize the ALP policy with full public support. Is this an appalling manipulation of refugee treatment to win votes? Probably. Is this an end game to change our nation’s policy with public support? likely. Will this close the camps? possibly.
    If the ALP open the camps to public scrutiny and public opinion changes, then no amount of wedging attempts from the LNP will have any effect. This how our policy will change.
    I think the ALP are onto a winning strategy. My personal best case outcome would be a minority ALP government with the Greens holding the balance of power and partnering with the ALP. but….that’s just my opinion

  12. Terry2

    Concerning Heffernan – from the SMH :

    “THE commonwealth driver at the centre of the scandal surrounding false allegations against High Court judge Michael Kirby is understood to have taken his own life after years of battling depression.

    Wayne Patterson died at the weekend at Sydney’s northern beaches where he lived, and was buried on Monday.

    Patterson was alleged to have provided the false documents used by NSW Liberal senator Bill Heffernan to claim in federal parliament that Justice Kirby used Comcars to pick up male prostitutes in Sydney’s red-light suburb, Kings Cross.

    Patterson, who was once the personal driver to former prime minister John Howard, left the Comcar service under the pressure of the scandal, and Senator Heffernan was sacked as Mr Howard’s cabinet secretary and forced to apologise.

    Senator Heffernan and Patterson were both questioned by police over the origins of a discredited Comcar driver’s job-sheet, which was in Senator Heffernan’s possession.”

    Heffernan will not be missed, the man is a disgrace.

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    Dutton has said refugees can’t go to NZ as they might get citizenship. So what, they still need visa to come here.

    Must have slipped his mind, he is deporting NZ in hundreds. Has them in detention in Darwin and Christmas Island. Many been here since babyhood. Many with Australian wives and kids. Some even with businesses of many years standing.

    Does he really believe he wouldn’t have the power to stop them.

    Why does he believe they would want to come, after our treatment of them.

    That young chap that managed to escape Nauru I think it was with his father to Canada has no desire to come here.

    Dutton, there is no reason on this earth why they can’t go to NZ. You fought hard to stop those two going to Canada to join the mother and five other children,

    Dutton, is called cruelty.

    PS Housing industry has ad campaign out today talking about housing crisis. They did promise to launch campaign similar to the mining industry of 20 million against Labor over MRRT.

  14. cornlegend

    on the agenda today

  15. Peter F

    Glenn K, I agree totally with what you say. I too have been hoping for events to evolve as they now have the potential to do. I will enjoy these idiots’ being exposed as the fraudsters they are.

  16. margcal

    Having in the past objected to comments about Christians which have ignored facts or where bias has spilled over into outright bigotry, I acknowledge that the comments here re the hierarchy of the Catholic Church are spot on.
    In fact this – ” To this day I don’t think they fully comprehend the damage they have done.” – gives what I estimate to be an overly generous estimate of their level of comprehension.
    Apart from a statistically insignificant few in the hierarchy, I suggest they haven’t comprehended anything at all. They’re still in defensive mode. Statements and apologies drafted by lawyers count for nothing. Comprehension won’t begin until they stop denying, stop reacting and start asking themselves why they are so unpopular and start acknowledging their guilt. In a sense, the cover-up has been worse than the original crimes because that has allowed more and more crimes to be committed.

  17. mark delmege

    you are assuming the Liberals have a left….

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