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Day to Day Politics: ‘Wishy–washy politics‘ … What did she mean?

Friday April 8 2016

1 When a Coalition MP described the Government as wishy-washy what exactly did she mean?

MPs have voiced concern over the direction of the government, with backbencher Michelle Landry warning it appears ‘wishy-washy’ and lacking direction.

‘It’s been portrayed in the media that we are not focused. It’s coming across that we are wishy-washy’.

‘We have had a great lot of successes and there’s some fabulous things the government wants to do. I think we have to really focus on getting the economy on track’.

I of course understood the term but I wondered if it really was an apt term to use to describe this government.

She said the Government had done some fabulous things. I struggle with that. She added that they wanted to get the economy on track and I immediately thought we might have a repeat of ‘good Government starts today.’ Where on earth did the first term go?

I’ll look it up I thought. Then I understood what she was getting at.

Wishy-washy. Meaning. Feeble, ineffectual, weak, vapid, effete, spineless, limp, namby-pamby, half-hearted, spiritless, irresolute, indecisive, pathetic, weak-kneed, half-arsed, pale, insipid, wan and sickly. Mission accomplished.

2 After telling all and sundry one day that there were no more children in detention we once again find out that Peter Dutton was lying. The next day he admits there are still two in detention and that 90 more are being returned to Nauru. They argue that they are not in detention because they are free to roam around. On an island the size of Nauru I call it incarceration.

‘We’re happy to make third-party arrangements, we offer settlement packages and talk individually with the families’.

Mr Dutton said resettlement in Cambodia would be offered, urging people to deal with facts, ‘not the emotion’.

‘Not the emotion’! Words fail me. We are actually telling them that they will remain on the island for the rest of their lives and he says don’t be emotional.

3 Did you know that later this month the Government will introduce legislation that will allow private employment agencies the power to fine people on the dole?

Under the proposal, Australians receiving the dole can be fined 10 per cent of their income support – increasing by 10 per cent each day until they ‘re-engage’ – if they:

Fail to sign a job plan at their first job agency appointment; or

Are found by their job agency to have behaved inappropriately at an appointment (‘inappropriate behaviour’ is defined as acting in a manner “such that the purpose of the appointment is not achieved”); or

Fail to attend a Work for the Dole or Training exercise without an excuse deemed reasonable by the job agency.

4 Bronwyn Bishop has managed to have four of her own staff members appointed to the preselection panel for her blue ribbon seat of Mackellar. Talk about cooking the books.

Will Dick Smith challenge?

5 Just a question but how come Waleed Aly gets so much flak from the right yet gets enough votes for a Gold Logie nomination?

Its petty I know but is it simply because he unapologetically espouses opinions they don’t like.

6 The Mouth that roared proved that the title is an apt one when he over shouted a group of angry protestors.

Mr Pyne was announcing the government would fast track legislation to delay the introduction of new minimum pay rates for truck drivers until January next year.

‘It’s a pity unions are trying to shut down democratic discussions in Australia today’ he said.

His other identity Mr Fixit had no comment.

7 Central to the Governments budget is likely to be tax cuts for business. The ‘Panama Papers’ and an avalanche of recent publicity about tax evasion suggests the government will have a hard time convincing those who pay tax that business deserves tax cuts when a third of them don’t pay any anyway. Tax avoidance looms as a large issue in this election.

To quote Peter Lewis:

‘Not only will the PM likely enter a campaign justifying a tax cut while attacking Labor for tightening negative gearing concessions and paring back superannuation benefits for high income earners. But he will also now be called to explain why the Government has failed to act on homegrown tax avoidance and minimisation that sees a third of Australia’s top companies paying no tax’.

8 Australia has a need for many things but there is none greater than the need for equality of opportunity be it employment, equal pay or whatever. But there is none greater than the need for equality of opportunity in education. That is what Gonski was all about and for an Australian Prime Minister, as he did this time last week, to divest himself of any responsibility and advocate a segregated system is an unmitigated disgrace.

Labor’s Chris Bowen says it was a ‘moment of black comedy ’He is correct.

Referring to Turnbull’s offer to the states Greg Jericho said this:

‘Of course they did – and of course they should have. It was a proposal delivered with such little genuineness that Turnbull might as well have been offering to sell the premiers a bridge in Sydney’.

9 From an article by Jonathan Holmes refuting claims from Bolt and Henderson that the ABC is biased.

‘Mark Scott has clearly failed to enact his promised reform agenda’, fumed Gerard Henderson in his Media Watch Dog blog.

‘How can the man heading our biggest media organisation be so blind to the ABC’s unlawful and dangerous Leftist bias?’ frothed Andrew Bolt.

‘Andrew’s world is a simple one, ‘I said. ‘It has two boxes. There’s the one that right-minded people like himself inhabit, and there’s the box in which just about everybody else sits, which he calls ‘the Left’.

My thought for the day.

There is no shame in not knowing. The shame is in not wanting to know’.

PS When you only have Royal Commissions into matters relating to your political opponents and ignore those associated with you, you leave a stench of hypocrisy that has a whiff of gutter politics about it.


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  1. paul walter

    You’ve wiped the floor with them with that posting, John Lord. I suspect you may have watched the Press club luncheon with the Three Amigo Senate Indies yesterday.
    As for Henderson and co, they are only scared that the cat is let out of the bag before an election.
    They should show the sort of honesty Elizabeth Farrelly showed in her article in the SMH over the weekend about the IPA.

  2. David Bruce

    Dutton is in a time-warp! He belongs back in chermany, organizing the camps. Seems he can’t even lie straight in bed…

  3. Michelle

    Wishy-washy yes, but also dangerous like a snake oil salesman selling bottles of empty promises to the gullible and the public that swallowed it all, finding out too late it would never help them, just profit the salesman.

  4. Möbius Ecko

    My my, it just keeps getting grubbier and grubbier for the Libs and the so called mates they underhandedly support.

    This is the part that caught my eye:

    It was reported a whistleblower contacted Leighton’s ethical committee chair and Thiess advisory board chair Dr Kirstin Ferguson about the payments, but no action was taken

    Instead the whistleblower was dismissed.

    Dr Ferguson now sits on the ABC’s board.

    Bold mine.

    What Liberal support crooked hack doesn’t sit on the ABC board or other public boards and entities?

  5. Catherine Wallace

    Like bleaching coral reefs doth Malcolms magic fade

  6. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Every day we are confronted with an ever growing list of LNP destruction.

    I won’t be satisfied with just defeating these devious, malicious and inadequate arseholes at the polls on 2 July 2016,

    I want the odious, criminal ones to be incarcerated once they are out of the protection of their political offices, starting with Dutton and Morrisscum.

    Worse crimes against the Australian people and the environment end in gaol sentences. Other crimes end in severe fines and criminal records that will end the wrongdoers’ chances of any ongoing lucrative careers.

  7. paul walter

    Mobius, know the story you are talking of. It so repelled me that I put it up on FB. You cant get past the mentality of the white collar culture.

  8. Jaquix

    The political party with the guts to announce they will be creating a Royal Commission into Corruption in Australia, will collect an awful lot of votes. The terms of reference should ensure this includes the voting system. Political donations must be included, of course. Or perhaps that one should be a separate one. So much to be cleaned up. We cannot move forward with confidence while all this dirty underbelly is allowed to prosper in a country with so much going for it.

  9. Backyard Bob

    3 Did you know that later this month the Government will introduce legislation that will allow private employment agencies the power to fine people on the dole?

    Did you know that Labor is supporting this Bill, albeit with a couple of – dare I say it – wishy-washy objections?

  10. Terry2

    Peter Dutton had a bizarre interview on PM last night with Mark Colvin where he accused the ABC several times of spreading incorrect information about those being detained on Nauru – 1000 days now.

    His main point seemed to be to emphasize that nobody is detained on Nauru, it’s a myth perpetuated by the ABC and others. The people come and go as they please, the kids all attend school and their parents go out to work : according to Dutton it’s all lovely, a bit like camping out on Hamilton Island : Sounds more like the Hotel California to me !

    When he was asked why journalists weren’t permitted to visit the island and see for themselves he delivered his trump card : you have to have a visa to visit Nauru as you do to most other countries and if the Nauru authorities won’t issue journalists a visa that’s not his fault : Boom Boom.

    Surely the good people of Dickson won’t re-elect this miserable specimen at the next election ?

  11. Kaye Lee

    I have just listened to Malcolm Turnbull, surrounded by about 20 head nodders, announcing a big new infrastructure package….except he is, as usual, reannouncing. He, with glee, announced $500 million for an upgrade of the Monash Freeway. He also announcede $350 million for the M80 ringroad and $220 million for the Murray Basin Rail project.

    Mr Turnbull announced in October last year he would unlock the $1.5 billion in funds that former prime minister Tony Abbott said he had put in a “locked box” for the tunnel project.

    From last year….

    TENS of thousands of Monash Freeway motorists will have their daily commute cut by almost 10 minutes, under a $400 million upgrade.

    The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal the State Government has signed off on widening key sections of the freeway to create room for an extra 2000 vehicles during peak times.

    The Federal and State Governments have each committed $150 million to the upgrade of the M80 ringroad

    Murray Basin Rail project – The Victorian Government has committed up to $220 million to deliver the project in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget.

  12. paul walter

    I thought BYB had a fair query. Surely this tigerish Labor party wouldn’t support further draconian treatment of unemployed workers?

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear ByB and paul walter. Why isn’t Labor standing against the persecution of unemployed and under-employed Newstart recipients?

    I asked Bill Shorten on ABC774 radio recently, just after he had been explaining Labor’s support of downtrodden soon to be unemployed workers in Palmer’s nickel mine, if Labor were going to raise the Newstart benefit for unemployed people because the reality is that it is impossible to live with dignity and security on the current sub-standard level, and he barefacedly admitted that he was not making any promises.

    The unemployed and under-employed are treated like lepers by the LNP but more disappointingly, Labor too.

  14. keerti

    labour support the unemployed? LOLOLOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Itb was labor that started hitting the unemployed, pensioners and single parents

  15. jimhaz

    The lack of increase in Newstart shows the lack of empathy now in both sides of politics. You expect this from the LNP, but not the ALP.
    When Gillard was in I felt sure she would do something to improve this, but no, she was just as bad as we all know the LNP will be.


    “In fact, over the last 18 years Newstart Allowance has reduced from being the equivalent of 54% of the (already too low) minimum wage to just 40%. This means payments to job-seekers are not meeting the true cost of living.

    However, other payments such as the aged and disability pensions are faring much better.

    The reason for this is an inconsistency in how the government adjusts welfare payments over time – referred to as “indexing”.

    As the cost of living rises each year – a change known as “inflation” – income support payments need to be adjusted to reflect the higher costs.

    But the Newstart Allowance is only adjusted by the basic rate of inflation, pensions are adjusted based on average weekly earnings, – a much higher figure.

    This inconsistency in how payments are indexed has resulted in a difference of $170 a fortnight between the aged pension and Newstart allowance.

    “There are currently 695,000 people on the Newstart Allowance. Three in four are single, and are struggling to meet their weekly daily expenses on the maximum rate of just $257.80 per week,”


    Pensioners have been overcatered for in relative terms, particularly as many are couples and generally have access to lower housing costs (they don’t have job seeking costs and can move way where it is cheaper, but little employment). Effing pollies and their vote seeking.

  16. ImagiNation

    Will someone please explain to me why those on a pension (not part of the workforce) are entitled to free university level education yet the unemployed are prohibited? My second question is Shorten an incognito LNP?

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks jimhaz,

    for stats on how unemployed and under-employed have been fiscally abused and socio-economically denigrated by the alternating neo-con Lib/Lab flipflop govs over the last 18 years (but I suspect 40 years since Gough was PM).

    Shorten looks good sometimes, but face it, he only speaks for people who have resources albeit modest.

    Even modest resources are better than NO resources.

    Duh Bill!

  18. Graeme Henchel

    Shallow Mal is trending down
    As hope returns to rancor
    The voters slowly waking up
    That Shallow Mal’s a wanker

    Shallow Mal has been exposed
    The emperor is not clothed
    All he’s done is kill the thug
    that everybody loathed

    Shallow Mal is full of shit
    His leadership a stunt
    A two faced, lying hypocrite
    Same as that Abbott chap

    Shallow Mal is in the lodge
    Because of Abbott’s failure
    He’s already screwed the NBN
    Now he’ll screw Australia

    Shallow Mal is neutered
    The right have got his balls
    Policy is on the run
    with brain fart captain’s calls

    Shallow Mal must watch his back
    The Thug is feeling spurned
    His acolytes piss in the tent
    And plot the Thug’s return

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Effing good Graeme Henchel,

    but I think your rhythm was lost in verse 3 but then maybe I understand the reason. Perhaps ‘Abbott cut” might have worked better.

    Sorry for being critical coz you express what we ALL think. Sooner the bastards are gone, the better.

    My ambition is to destroy them and their kind forever.

  20. diannaart

    Top piece of writing, John Lord.

    I still believe that the LNP have become so toxic, so dangerous that I will, reluctantly, place Labor first on lower house ticket.

    There is no repairing Labor until we have the LNP nutters out of the way. Then on with the campaign for alliance, collaborating; y’all know – working together for the benefit of all.


    Fave dream at present; ICAC into just the IPA – like clearing all the hair out of the bathroom drain, it would pull all the other gubbins up with it.

  21. paul walter

    Kudos to JMS. I have no doubt she would add the issue of the fudging of unemployment figures over the last generation. My memories has it that unemployment treatment was nowhere as severe during Gough’s term, compared to after Fraser’s nasty ’76 budget.

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