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Dr Hockey, Salesman Abbott and Glossy Brochures

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.” (H. L. Mencken).

Over the next few weeks we’re going to have glossy brochures shoved in our letter boxes, explaining the necessity of the Government cuts. This will, of course, be difficult, because if it’s paid for by the Government and not the Liberal Party, they won’t be able to use the phrase, “The mess Labor left”. Although I suppose “Budget Emergency” may sneak through.

Now I have a massive problem with many of Abbott and Hockey’s statements on the Budget. I accept that the extent of the “emergency” is highly debatable. And I can’t see how anyone can argue that they didn’t break any promises and, anyway, they have to break some promises in order to keep their main promise, because the Budget position has detiorated since the election and that’s all Labor’s fault. But neither of these is my main concern today.

What concerns me is the idea being pushed that we have no choice. For example, couldn’t we – instead of a co-payment – raise the Medicare levy by one percent at the same time as raising the taxfree threshold from $18000 to $20000. That would effectively give every wage earner an extra couple of hundred while taking more than that away from people earning higher incomes. But no, there is no choice.

Imagine if Joe was your doctor:

“Now because of the incompetence of your previous doctor, we’re going to have to remove your leg.”

“Can’t it be saved?”

“No, we have no choice. Your previous doctor wasted a lot of time and money with prescriptions and life-style changes. And all that did was get you further into debt.”

“Not really.”

“I’ve had a look at your credit card statement. There’s over three hundred dollars on it.”

“Yes, but I was planning to pay that next month. I mean, thanks to my previous doctor, I’ve been able to keep working.”

“But at a trememdous cost. I have a friend who’s a surgeon. I’ll book you in straight away.”

“Will I still be able to work after the surgery?”

“What’s your line of work?”

“I’m a professional dancer.”

“Mm. Well, you can always retrain as something else. For a very reasonable cost, I have a friend who runs a business building skills for people who need to retrain.”

“But how can I afford that?”

“Easy. You can borrow the money and repay it at 6% interest.”

“Ok, but one last thing. How will cutting off my leg cure my migraines?

“No choice” has a nice ring to it. Like “you’ll thank me for this later”. At least there was no “This hurts me more than it does you” or “Take your medicine”

But Abbott has acknowledged selling the Budget will be difficult. If it wasn’t for the fact that we’ve grown so cynical about politicians, it might be easier. Imagine if Abbott were instead something more respectable like a car salesman. (N.B.Before I get nasty comments from car salesmen upset at being put in the same boat as politicians, I did say more respectable)

“Excuse me, but I bought one of your Real Solution models.”

“Oh, an excellent brochure – one of our best.”

“Yes well, now I’ve taken it home, I notice that it looks nothing like the one in the brochure.”

“You mean it’s a different colour?”

“No, I mean it lacks many of the features promised. For a start, you promised me that it’d be cheaper to run.”

“Yes, that’s true. It’d be much cheaper to run than to drive.”

“And you said that it contained the same access to ABC radio as my previous car.”

“Ah, well we had to leave the radio out. People don’t need radio these days.”

“As for the safety features…”

“We felt that seat belts and an air bag just encouraged people to have accidents.”

“But you promised all these things.”

“I think you’ll find that all the features are there.”

“I want my money back.”


“Because you haven’t delivered anything you promised!”

“Look, my over-riding promise was to deliver you a car, and I’ve done that, so I don’t see what the problem is.”

“That’s the other thing. Apparently the engine isn’t being delivered until 2017.”

“Well, as I said before: Trust me!”

Yep, lucky that Joe and Tony are only politicians. I mean if they were doing something important, they could really stuff things up.


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  1. Billy moir

    Love it wonder if little billy will post the list (sauce) of things the rabbott has already done without parliament??

  2. MissPamela

    Thank you – needed some satire to lighten up the morning and it did. Unfortunately I then came back to reality – it is all too, too true.

  3. Val Blair

    Thanks for the light relief! But is it all too late I ask?

  4. DanDark

    No it’s never too late, where there’s life there is always hope
    And we are not dead yet, but yes if left up to Tone’s and co
    Things are looking grim, but I have to hold hope
    That the country will get through this dark period, damaged but not dead

    Light hearted relief, removes us from the harshness for a short time
    It’s a form of therapy, so thanks Ross 🙂

  5. Lee

    Ha ha ha. Tony & Joe could earn a lot more as lawyers if they were any good at it. I have a hunch they’re both rather non-dynamic.

  6. John

    Reblogged this on jpratt27 and commented:
    Thinking is dangerous.

  7. Matthew Oborne

    This car we have been sold, the experimental prototype comes with a pillow for the under 30’s so it can also double as accommodation, cant be driven by those who are unemployed, pensioners or disabled and there are no trade ins until 2016. The onroad charges are huge unless you get the high income bracket upgrade and then it pays for itself. It does not come with a Jack as you are expected to do the heavy lifting without the manufacturers assistance, and the spare isnt available until 2017. Manufactured in Australia using no union labour. All parts sourced from overseas *conditions apply.

  8. mars08

    …car we have been sold, the experimental prototype…

    The damn things runs on coal, always pulls to the right, and has no brakes!!!

  9. Fed up

    As the Liberals from the treasurer and speaker down, have been so much time and emery raise funds for their party, they should pay for any glossy brochures that pollute our mailboxes.. What’s more, they should be clearly labelled for what they are, political propaganda.

  10. Fed up

    One does not even have to raise the Medicare levy. All they have to do, is remove the exemptions for those that take put private medical insurance. At least this would go to the bottom line of both Medicare and the budget.

    Would addressed Dutton’s concern, that those who can afforded to pay, are getting away with free medicine.

  11. Fed up

    Why was Abbott allow to answer the question of drug testing welfare recipients, as if he was a onlooker, not5 PM and responsible for the budget.

    Why was he not asked, why he 5thought the states would need to be involved. Please remind the man, he gave a reply, that one would expect from a Opposition leader, who is not responsible for the budget.

    The answer he gave, seem to say, do not ask me. I don’t know.

  12. Fed up

    Lee, you would rely on either in court? Why would you think they would be competent. The same goes for economics, as well as law..

    It I was ever unfortunate enough to end up on court, I would be relieved to see Abbott, Hockey or Brandis on the other side.

  13. Rob Murphy

    Mental Health System Announces – Mass Nausea, Straining Public Health System.

    Leading headless chook, of leading Ferengi franchise ideology in oZ has been found, apparently stuck standing in a corner stamping it’s feet, whispering repeatedly to itself “a spade is not a spade, a spade is not a spade”. Reports flood in, “It does this over and over till exhausted then it starts up all over again,”, notes several million witnesses.

    Spokesperson Simon, for leading Ferengi franchise ideology in oZ says, “though the procedures for answering a question are usually that a question indeed be asked, we stand behind our leading headless chook for being dedicated to the message, And for answering the tough questions before they are asked, he should get a pay rise and likely will.”

    Updates, as per above then repeat.

  14. 'george hanson'

    Perhaps ,it is time to assemble and publish the home address of our respective federal and state politicians ,then hold a silent protest outside their homes , on the verge. Do not inconvenience the neighboors nor cause any damage .This will alert our representatives that we are paying attention to their political activities and that WE , the electorate, are their employers .

  15. Lee

    Fed Up, how does someone with private health insurance get away with free medicine? I still pay a Medicare levy and a $25 gap when I go to my GP. I pay $250 excess once a year in a private hospital. Even with the private health rebate, I am paying out more than if I didn’t have private health insurance. Plus my private insurance helps to reduce waiting times for those requiring surgery in the public system. Not everyone with private health insurance is rolling in money either. My mother is on an age pension with no other income and she has private hospital plus extras cover.

  16. Lee

    “Lee, you would rely on either in court? ”

    Goodness no. How long do you think it would take Abbott to get through his opening address? I would fall asleep if I was in the jury too. I can’t stand listening to him. I’d much rather poke myself in the eye with a fork.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    So in a (strange/odd) speech about the anniversary of the D-Day landings Abbott talks about the carbon tax and has a go at Labor.

  18. Fed up

    Lee, it is Dutton, that is saying, those who avail; themsrlvers of bulk billing are ripping off the system.

    I am a full pensioner, Yes, I pay every time I visit a doctor.

    Yes, I am also on the waiting lust for cataracts. I am will to wait, though I suspect that wait will be loner now.

    As for private medical insurance, I believe it is a rip off. Money would be better spent, going into Medicare. I was birn with a severe cleft lip and haree lip. My mother, and msyself later on battled with health funds for every operation I have had,

    I see little value, as a pensioner, paying private health insurance. Since the last five or six years, Y have had operations. Yes, ovary cyst leading to an hysterectomy. Then a major hernia repair, finishing off with gallstones.,

    The eyes, and a minor operation of my foot are the longest wait I have had. I hope to have both done by Christmas. If not, I might be in trouble, as the good eye is deteriorating qu9ickly.

    Yes, I also believe that Dutton is about dismantling Medicare. Pyne, the public education system at all levels.

    Lee, I was having a go at the government, I assume your mother is facing the same challenges as I an, when she has to see a specialist,

  19. Fed up

    Everything with this government is melted down to money., Yes, the free market and competition.

    Human values do not exist in their world.

  20. mars08

    Please will someone just end our suffering and oust this buffoon.

    A colossal idiot. How did it come to this?

  21. Stephen Tardrew


    Sometimes I read posts and articles and just sit back dumfounded at this stupidity. My mind goes into a sort of detached disorientation and dissociation trying to make sense of it. Often it seems like an illusory tragedy created by delusional fools with no logical consistency. Then I just shut down and play my guitar. It speaks a joyful language of beauty and connectedness that drives away the gremlins. A moment of calm and beauty without which I would go insane.

    And when the news returns I come back here for some sanity.

  22. Lee

    “As for private medical insurance, I believe it is a rip off. Money would be better spent, going into Medicare.”

    There are times when private health insurance is invaluable. When my father had radiotherapy to treat a brain tumour, he was unable to walk and unable to see. His private health insurance enabled him to stay in a private hospital next to the provider of his treatment. My mother didn’t drive at the time and there were no relatives close by who could help. He did not meet the criteria to be admitted to a public hospital for the course of his treatment.

    My partner’s mother recently had a bad fall and was taken by ambulance to a public hospital. Since there were no bones broken, the hospital discharged her after 2 days, even though she was unable to weight bear on an injured leg and hip. She has multiple health problems and was unable to stand for a further week. Fortunately she has private health insurance and was able to be cared for properly in a private hospital until she was able to care for herself again.

    Two years ago my mother lost consciousness. During the investigation, a mass was discovered on her thyroid. After some testing in her local hospital she was referred to a major public hospital that is three hours from her home. Several months went by and in that time they got her in there for 3 appointments. After the third appointment she had not yet met the surgeon although she did have a name, there was no scheduled surgery date and we did not yet know if she had cancer. I persuaded her to ask for a referral to a private surgeon (and asked her haematologist to recommend one with whom he has a good working relationship), as this was going nowhere and the whole family was anxious about her health. A week later she saw the surgeon – the same surgeon who would have performed the procedure in the public hospital – and she had the surgery performed two weeks later in the same private hospital where her haematologist consults, Patients with multiple co-morbidities require complex treatment and their various treating clinicians often need to consult with each other as treatment for one condition can impact adversely on another condition. Being able to choose a hospital where these doctors already have a working relationship is a bonus.

    With the procedures I’ve had performed in private hospitals, I’ve always seen the surgeon once then had the surgery, with greatly reduced waiting times compared to the public system. I’d like to know how much money is wasted with repeated outpatient visits. The private sector’s primary objective is making money, yet they aren’t conducting these appointments.

    It’s all very well to say spend the money on Medicare but it’s not that simple. There are major public hospitals here with a bed occupancy rate over 100%. As soon as a bed is vacated, it is filled again. Patients are being left outside of the emergency department in the backs of ambulances in one hospital, as the emergency department cannot cope with all of the patients. We don’t just need more doctors. We don’t have enough beds and all of the support services and space that goes with it. To justify the expense of building new hospitals, there needs to be continued population growth in the area. Easing the strain on the public system by encouraging people to take out private health insurance is a cheaper option. Removing the private health insurance rebate will save $3 billion per year, but that isn’t taking into account how many people will drop their private health insurance and move back to the public system. To build bigger hospitals all over the country and then staff them will cost a lot more than is saved on the rebate. The private hospital infrastructure is already there.

  23. The Trees

    Keating could demolish this mob before breakfast.

  24. mars08

    Stephen Tardrew:

    …sit back dumfounded at this stupidity…

    I had a look at Abbott’s D-Day Landings speech… It’s just horrible. It’s vapid. It’s graceless. It’s embarrassing. How can young Phony spew such nonsense and not die of shame?

    The “speech” had a couple of trite platitudes about the D-Day landings… and the rest was self-serving dribble about Australia being “open for business” and the carbon tax. Such a statesman!!!!

  25. Eileen Dixon

    If I receive a publication in my letterbox from the Government I will return it to them. If everyone did that it would cause chaos and would be a safe way of protesting

  26. zola

    I received a pamphlet in the letterbox last week. Pretty sure the phrase, “The mess Labor left” was a main bullet point on the front.

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