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Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

In the lead-up to the 2004 election, Health Minister Tony Abbott promised there would be no changes to the Medicare safety net.

TICKY FULLERTON: Will this Government commit to keeping the Medicare-plus-safety-net as it is now in place after the election?

TONY ABBOTT: Yes.

TICKY FULLERTON: That’s a cast-iron commitment?

TONY ABBOTT: Cast-iron commitment. Absolutely.

TICKY FULLERTON: 80 per cent of out-of-pocket expenses rebatable over $300, over $700?

TONY ABBOTT: That is an absolutely rock solid, iron-clad commitment.

It only took a few months for this promise to be broken.

In April 2005 John Howard announced “There’ll be an increase in the threshold probably to the levels of $500 instead of $300 and $1,000 instead of $700.”

Defending himself against accusations of duplicity by the Labor Opposition, Howard apologised to Australians and acknowledged that his broken election promise on the Medicare safety net would be unpopular with voters but necessary to put Medicare on a sustainable basis.

Before the 2013 election, Tony Abbott promised that there would be no cuts to hospitals yet in his first budget, $50 billion was cut from future hospital funding.

In the leaders debate with Kevin Rudd he also stated categorically that “We are not shutting any Medicare locals.”

When questioned about his previous opposition to Medicare locals he replied “Some time ago we were going to abolish the program, we then decided on better consideration that we were going to review the program.”

Then in June 2015 we were informed that “The Abbott government will spend up to $112 million to close the 61 Medicare Locals established by the former Labor government.”

In August 2014, then Health Minister Peter Dutton issued a statement:

The Australian Government allocated funding in the 2014-15 Budget to go to the commercial market calling for Expressions of Interest from the private sector to provide claims and payment services for Medicare (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

In February this year, Health Minister Sussan Ley confirmed that the government was examining Medicare’s payment technology, with Fairfax reporting that the plan was well advanced and that international companies including US firm Sutherland Global Services (Healthcare Solutions) had met with health groups on the prospect of taking over Medicare payment systems.

A new taskforce run by bureaucrat John Cahill is believed to have proposed a “proof of concept” trial for next year.

Turnbull made no attempt to play down the plans.

“What we are looking at, as we look at in every area, is improving the delivery of government services … looking at ways to take the health and aged care payment system into the 21st century. This is about making it simpler and faster for patients to be able to transact with Medicare, to get the services they are entitled to.”

As Labor seeks to once again warn people about the Coalition’s track record in breaking promises about health, Turnbull has backflipped, labelling the campaign as “disgraceful.”

“Every element of Medicare, every aspect of Medicare that is delivered by Government today will continue to be delivered by Government in the future, full stop,” he now assures us. “Medicare will never, ever, ever be privatised.”

But as Bob Hawke pointed out, “You don’t set up a Medicare privatisation taskforce unless you aim to privatise Medicare.”

Considering this government’s constant refrain has been that Medicare is unsustainable, their consistent push towards privatisation, their fixation on cutting government spending, and their history of broken election promises, I don’t trust Turnbull’s assurances one iota. He is not in a position to make them as we have seen with his inability to control the factions in his party.

Beware Australia.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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163 comments

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  1. bobrafto

    A succession of liars

  2. Terry2

    Powerful article, Kaye and research that should have us all paying close attention.

    Abbott blatantly lied to the Australian people just days before the last election. A lot of people, including swinging voters, then gave their vote to the coalition believing that nobody, even a politician, would tell bare-faced lies just to get their vote : they were fooled once..

  3. Stephen

    Every time Turnbull makes yet another promise or assurance the first question asked should be, has Tony Abbott also agreed to keep this promise after he rolls you?

  4. Fed up

    Liberals are full of lies going back to bloody Howard and his Children Overboard, no GST, his stinking reasons for going to war over Weapons of mass destruction! All lies. If you think Turnbull will maintain Medicare, think again! You can’t believe a word that comes out of their mouths. Shorten’s no better. He’ll bring in more stinking refugees that this country cannot maintain. The stinking Liberals with all these refugees are destroying our welfare system. Free Trade Agreements with every stinking communist country around the world, selling what little left we have to call Australian, free live exports, a government who cares absolutely nothing nothing about the ways these animals are butchered by these stinking barbaric countries, but that’s all okay, it’s money in the bank for this government! The only person who has any balls left in this country and really in my book should be the PM is Pauline Hanson! To hell with the lot of them. Just to finish off, I hope Trump wins in the USA because it’s time that country got woken up to the destruction they have caused around the world. If it wasn’t for Bush, Blair and Howard the world wouldn’t be in this stinking mess today. The USA lies and the support from Australia and England going along with his lies have caused the damage to our countries today! In a nut shell, the world is screwed! Third world war is just around the corner!

  5. Kaye Lee

    The World Economic Forum and the OECD have revealed that of all non-communicable diseases, mental illness has the greatest adverse effect on gross domestic product — because it typically begins in young people and extends across the prime productive years of life, and we don’t respond early, expertly or consistently enough.

    This dramatic underspend on direct mental health care, documented in the 2013 national report from Medibank Private, creates a huge indirect cost in terms of welfare, unfulfilled productivity, uncollected tax, and incarceration.

    So what does this government do?

    “THE Turnbull government is quietly dismantling the youth mental health initiative Headspace, according to its chief executive, who is leaving the organisation in frustration.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/can-we-talk-headspace-ceo-leaves-in-frustration-as-turnbull-government-dismantles-vital-mental-health-initiative/news-story/099ac8788f2ec2dc14949e73c1f6afcd

  6. Clean livin

    Ah yes….when I saw Turnbull respond to the Medicare advertisement, my thoughts immediately went to Howard and the GST.

    Response did Turnbull much more harm than good, in that it elevated the issue and reminded most people of Liberal leaders promises!

  7. FightClubber

    The move to have back office tasks handled by a non govt. third party is a classic privatisation move. This is what is happening with Centrelink and Newstart.

    First they set up the JSA network to replace the Commonwealth Employment Service. The JSAs do not provide assistance to unemployed workers, merely manage them re mutual obligation. I haven’t had a meeting with Centrelink in over a year now.

    Now the JSAs are to be given additional powers over Newstart participants by allowing them to dock or cut off participants for failure to comply with mutual obligations. This is/was the responsibility of the dept of human resources.

  8. Fed up

    The really sad part is that neither of these government parties give a rats about the Australian people. Liberals are the worst. This country, where once was the pride of the world must slowly and surely must be scratching their heads asking where did it all go wrong. now we are nothing more than a bloody joke on the world stage and we have Abbott to thank for that. Neither of these leaders of the two major parties have any credibility on anything. They just dribble! God help this country!

  9. Miriam English

    They really won’t stop. They are insistent at getting rid of Medicare and replacing it with the hugely inefficient, wasteful, expensive USA model. It amazes me that the ideologues refuse to pull their heads out of their arses long enough to look at actual evidence.

    All around the world, whenever medical care is privatised costs increase, waiting lists grow out of control, and services become absurdly inefficient. The USA is the most appalling example of this, but look at what’s been happening in UK too. We have a better health system than UK had even when the UK’s public system was at its height. Canada, France, the Nordic countries, they all use extremely efficient and cost-effective public health systems. Cuba, one of the poorest countries in the world, has one of the best health systems in the world, which they definitely could not afford to do if it was privatised. Their public health system is so effective that Cuba is one of the world’s leading exporters of doctors.

    And if nobody is convinced by simple evidence, let me turn to logic and point out that the private medical system has absolutely no incentive to apply genuine preventive medicine because that would undercut future profits. Privatised medicine depends upon people being sick so they can pay to be fixed up, whereas a public system’s strongest incentive is to ensure people stay healthy and avoid getting sick.

    Some might point to the large numbers of statins people are routinely prescribed as a success of preventive medicine achieved by private means, but I’d call it a massive failure — proof that private medicine is a dangerous thing. There is actually little to show that reducing cholesterol has the effects claimed, and mounting evidence that it is unrelated to heart and arterial disease. It’s well known that statins are themselves hugely harmful, causing mental confusion, cripplingly painful muscles and joints, diabetes, liver dysfunction, cataracts, and other undesirable things. Worse, people think they’re protected by the statins, so fail to take wiser precautions that might make a real improvement in their health. (Eating an apple a day has about the same effect on cholesterol levels as statins do, without the damage to body chemistry.) Statins are an example of the ills that come of private companies distorting medical information in order to make windfall profits at the cost of the population’s health. It inflates the cost of health care, both by having people take unnecessary drugs, and by increasing the toll of illness.

    If we let the LNP in again the very first thing they will do is destroy Medicare, selling it off to USA-based corporations looking to expand their ability to profit from misery, after having such a great hand in wrecking their own country. Nixon demolished USA’s health system by selling his people out to the corporations. Turnbull wants to step into Nixon’s shoes.

    Tell him, “No!”
    Vote Labor in to the House of Representatives and the Greens in to the Senate.

  10. flohri1754

    If it is in your DNA as a political party to oppose having the Federal government do much of anything beyond defense (it would seem) AND paying Liberal party members their federal salaries and pensions …. of course the Liberals want to privatize Medicare. Just as they privatized Medibank ….

  11. Miriam English

    “Fed up” (anonymous coward), I think you are in the wrong place. Try CrazyBigots.com for a more suitable place.

    Personally, I think Australia should be very careful about taking in too many more people, but not for the reasons you do. Refugees and other immigrants have generally improved Australia. The have mostly created jobs, not sat on welfare. They are usually far more motivated to start up businesses and work to improve their lot than we lazy “she’ll be right” Aussies.

    The reason I’m concerned about taking in too many people is that Australia’s ecologies are extremely brittle. We already have one of the worst extinction records in the world and there is some evidence that we may be at the limit of how far our country’s environment can be pushed, thanks mostly to our past policies of clearing land, and now climate destabilisation.

    If we do take in more people I’m in favor of concentrating them in the cities, but avoiding at all costs segregating them in ghettoes. Unfortunately, xenophones and racists like you, “Fed up”, and that halfwit Pauline Hanson, and that moron Trump prefer to isolate people who are different and cause strife were none need exist.

  12. Peter

    “No GST, not now, not ever” – John Howard.
    “There will be no carbon tax under any government I lead” – Julia Gillard.
    Labor, LNP and Greens all lie through their teeth and have no sensible, un-compromised plans for Australia’s future.

    Our only hope to change the status quo of ‘tweedle dumb or tweedle dumber’ on the political roundabout, is to use Turnbull’s cynical Senate voting ploy against the 3 major parties. In the Lower House, number all boxes on the paper, but place the LNP, Labor and Greens LAST.

    In the Senate, number 6 boxes above the line and exclude the LNP, Labor and Greens completely, or better still, number 12 boxes of your choice below the line, excluding the LNP, Labor and Greens completely!

    This may lead to a hung parliament, but it would force a reduced quota of either LNP or Labor, to work with a Lower House cross-bench of diverse representatives, rather than just the Greens, and it would give the Senate some true democratic diversity to facilitate proper debate with very few party lines to be adhered to.
    Yes, it can work. It’s called democracy!

    Seriously folks, have you seen a ‘normal’ legislative reading / debate session in parliament? You could swing 100 cats in the chamber! There’s almost nobody listening to the debates. The Speaker rings the Division Bell, and all pollies come running in and vote along party lines! Then they leave again while the next bill is ‘debated’. They take us for complete and utter fools!

  13. Fed up

    Oh so now many of you have woken up. Well done. Liberal leaders do nothing but lie and lie to us all. Shorten is weak and unsure of what his policies are except more bloody refugees. Neither party are credible to this country’s future.

  14. Kaye Lee

    In the event of a hung parliament, the Coalition will remain in power. It is not worth the risk of voting for anyone but Labor in the lower house in my opinion.

  15. Fed up

    No Miriam

    I am not in the wrong place as you put it! I have no problem with refugees who want to come here from European Countries and have something to offer this country! I am talking about these Syrians and Muslims that can’t speak English, have nothing to offer this country, feed off our welfare for God knows how long, whose culture is dangerous to the world, want me to keep going on? We can’t even look after our own people! Mental health for our young, youth suicide, unemployment of our young, the Aboriginal people, the list goes on and on and you want to write and justify why these people should be allowed to come here? They don’t belong here, culturally and religiously. I’m fed up with you bleeding hearts out there you don’ look at the bigger future picture! The dangers these people impose to us and to our young people. What the hell does it take to make you see sense? A catastrophic event as in the USA? It will happen here, it’s just a matter of time and when! I’m done with talking about this. Just wait for the big bang to come!

  16. Matthew Oborne

    We can afford massive spending on repaying Liberal donors but we cant afford medicare? allowing corporations to pay zero tax is not sustainable, to allow rich people to funnel money out of this country into tax havens isnt sustainable, having tax payers fund bachelor pads for rich white married men is not sustainable.

  17. Miriam English

    Unfortunately, Peter, if you reached a lot of people with this message the nasty LNP would glide effortlessly back in to office. The conservatives won’t listen. They are stuck in the rut of playing follow-the-leader. They will always bow to authority and vote for LNP no matter how terrible the result. The only people who would listen to you are those who could keep the LNP out of office.

    And why ever would you suggest not voting for the Greens in the Senate? On virtually every topic they have the most sane policies of all the parties.

    You sound like an old girlfriend of mine who complains about not having enough money so considers committing suicide. WTF??! Destroy everything to “fix” a solvable problem???

    Let’s hope you never get control of the launch button for nuclear weapons.

  18. Michael Taylor

    I find your comment very offensive.

    My mother’s family were Middle Eastern refugees, having fled from – wait for it – Syria.

    In your eyes that makes them worthless people.

    You are disgusting.

  19. Peter

    Kaye Lee, neither Labor, the LNP nor the Greens can be trusted. They are all highly compromised, bought and paid for, especially the LNP and Labor. A hung parliament with a large cross-bench of diverse independents and minor parties can deliver excellent democratic debate and positive legislation. The majors all follow their pre-determined voting patterns, such that there is little to no true debate in Parliament!
    A vote for minor parties and independents of your choice, can produce strong democracy, in fact that’s the way democracy was intended to be, by the people, for the people. Not from entitled ruling classes whose only interest is attaining and retaining power at all costs.

  20. Athena

    When I visited my mother-in-law in hospital on Saturday afternoon she said there’s so much rubbish being published during this election campaign it’s impossible to know who to believe and who to vote for. I’ve always maintained that we know them by their actions. Why don’t people remember what governments did previously? That narrows down the choice somewhat and reduces the decision-making time.

  21. Athena

    Agreed, Peter. As I was waiting in the local deli this morning for my banh mi I watched Penny Wong on tv telling us that the ALP are the party to vote for if we want marriage equality. Yeah that’s what they said at the last election too. I know people who only voted for ALP for the marriage equality. But a few months ago the ALP voted against taking a vote on marriage equality. Now it’s being trotted out as a carrot again for this election. They’ve lost the trust of those people who voted for them last time and now their votes are going to the Greens. I won’t be in the least bit surprised if they lose this election, they will delay on the marriage equality issue once again until the next election.

  22. Peter

    Miriam English, what an amazingly judgemental and utterly unfounded piece of abuse you have leveled at me!
    Obviously you have read into my comments far more than is actually written there, which reveals only your personal bias, not mine.

    I’m happy to be very up front with my views on the Greens policies.
    Their environmental policies are great, but many of them are unaffordable and would have unintended and severe economic effects on wider Australia.
    Their social policies are, in my opinion, highly dangerous for the majority of Australian society.

    I shall now wait for the inevitable cries of ‘bigot!’, ‘racist!’, ‘homophobe!’, and whatever else you may care to bring up. None of which is true, by the way, nor are any such subjects mentioned in this post, but no doubt someone will find a way to read those topics into my statements.

    I care not.
    I am entitled to free speech as much as you, and I am entitled to express my opinion here, as are you.

  23. eefteeuu

    If the LNP get back in they will do to Medicare what they did to Telecom. Put some one in charge to run it into the ground so that customers get that disgusted with the service that are NOT getting and they won`t care what happens to it.

    They don`t need to privatise Medicare just keep de-funding it, destroy bulk-billing and Bingo, game over

    Look out NBN !!!!!!!!!

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Peter,

    I agree half and half with you. I agree it is shameful that parliamentarians think it is acceptable to avoid robust debates or legislative readings when we pay them to represent us to be vigilant on the range of issues that relate to us, our environment and our consciences. I also advocate for greater representation of micro parties and Independents; however I am particular about who I choose.

    I advocate for true Progressives and I include the Greens in that category. Despite Labor’s susceptibility to neoliberalism, I would encourage a Labor renaissance where the cloak of neoliberalism is shed and trampled on. If Labor continues to refuse to shed that cloak, once the Greens, the Progressive micro parties and Independents are mature and strong enough, Labor won’t be needed.

    Until then, if we want a realistic chance to annihilate this current, infested LNP regime, we need to band together sensibly to negotiate the Alliance to reverse the extreme regressive political machinations of this LNP lot.

  25. mars08

    By this time next month, the Australian people will have will have passed judgement… and put the second-worst major political party in charge of the country. Sadly, that’s as good as it gets.

  26. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    “we need to band together sensibly to negotiate the Alliance to reverse the extreme regressive political machinations of this LNP lot.”
    The election is in 12 days, when do you see this ” Alliance ” coming into play ? 2070?
    The damage the LNP will do if re elected now will be irreversable come 2019 let alone when and if EVER this Alliance emerges
    As I say in another post, I can say “I voted Labor” while a whole bunch scream at the deterioration in their standards of living.
    Good luck with that
    If, and it looks more likely, Turnbull s returned, I”ll be around to remind some of the decision they made, as the withstand the attacks on Medicare, Health in general ,Social services etc

  27. cornlegend

    mars08
    Seeing they are likely to be returned, you rat the LNP the “second worst”? interesting
    Only 12 more sleeps and we’ll find out

  28. mars08

    I’m pretty sure that I said that the AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE would pass judgement. The electorate will decide which major party they consider to be second-worst.

  29. Freethinker

    It is sad that some racists have managed to infiltrate in this site.
    Perhaps the bet way it is to ignoring them for them to realize that they are out of place in AIMN.

  30. Terry2

    Athena

    The Labor policy is and has been : “Labor will legislate for marriage equality within the first 100 days of the next parliament.”

    Is this what you were referring to :

    ‘The Greens have sided with Cory Bernardi and Eric Abetz twice in three days to stop their own marriage equality bill from being fully debated and voted on by the Senate. The Greens care more about eliminating other minor parties from the Senate than they do about eliminating discrimination against gay and lesbian Australians’, she told reporters – Penny Wong in March 2016.

    The coalition and Greens used their combined numbers to quash an attempt by Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm to bring on a vote of the minor party’s own private bill.

    I don’t doubt that you are correct in your assertion but could you give me a link that confirms what you are saying.

  31. Fed up

    Don’t you think that there is more at stake than whether some gay or lesbian can legally get a piece of paper saying they are married. Is that all this elections means to some people? This is shameful. A disgrace on all Australians when this country is in such dire straits about far, far more serious issues facing this country as a whole. If this is the only issue these people think we have then don’t bother voting as there are plenty more people in this country are worried about far more serious issues. Tells you the mentality of some people who will vote for 1 issue above all else by some politician which has in more likelihood lied to them anyway! Oh please, go get and education and a life!

  32. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend,

    you continue to ignore that I am advocating for Labor and the Greens to kiss and make up so as to annihilate the LNP in 12 days time.

    For your information anyway, the Alliance has already started because it gets a reaction out of you every time. It will come into fruition sooner rather than later depending upon the electoral outcomes.

    Best case scenario is the New Government is formed and there is an increase in the representation of the Greens and Progressive/Alternative centre parties that have Australia’s best interests at heart.

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fed up,

    what do you consider to be the important issues to be voting on with your valuable vote?

  34. Miriam English

    “Fed up”, you might try learning a little bit about the people you wish to denigrate. Here are a few short videos that might give you a sampling.

    Author John Green talks of his experiences in a Syrian refugee camp:

    Najeeba a refugee who came to Australia from Afghanistan:

    Cate Blanchett talking about a Syrian woman who was an architect and was forced to flee the violence:

    Author Neil Gaiman talking about his cousin Helen who was a refugee:

    And you realise that Steve Jobs (Apple Computers) was born of a Syrian refugee?

    In your rush to demonise “those” people, did you realise that in Arab Algeria, women make up 70% of lawyers and 60% of its judges? (Australia, by comparison is pitiful.) Women dominate medicine and 60% of university students are women.

    Syria managed to make a modern, Western-style society where all religious groups lived peacefully… until climate change wrecked harvests and we in the West took the opportunity to manufacture yet another war.

    By hating “those” people you are isolating and antagonising those who already live here and guaranteeing division and strife. You are causing exactly that thing you are warning us about. Talk about unintended consequences!

  35. Freethinker

    Fed up, why one party or politicians cannot have more than one policy?
    This election means a lot of things for many people like freedom of how you love, removing draconian extreme right people from power, health, education, etc.

  36. Peter

    Thank you Jennifer, your comments are most welcome.
    Whilst I disagree with you regarding the progressive independents and minor parties, I applaud your willingness to have those you vote for engage in robust debate.
    I believe we need a broad cross-section of conservative, centre and left-wing representatives, in order to arrive at a truly democratic consensus with legislation.
    It will undoubtedly lead to some very vibrant debates, but surely that is more desirable than the lack of debate we have now?
    All Australians need to be heard, not just the left.

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree Peter. My only concern with your preference is my fear that neoliberalist self-interests will infiltrate and dominate especially from the conservative side.

  38. Athena

    “‘The Greens have sided with Cory Bernardi and Eric Abetz twice in three days to stop their own marriage equality bill from being fully debated and voted on by the Senate. ”

    The marriage equality bill was already scheduled to be debated. The Greens only voted to stop it from derailing other issues before that scheduled time.

  39. my say

    Oh what hypocrite’s this government are,The hate the lies and fear this lot spew out is what got us the most ,hateful dishonest lying secretive government Australia has ever had
    Tony Abbott was never voted in ,The gillard Government was voted out because of them
    Whyalla was going to be wiped off the map ,a lamb Roast was going to cost $100, electricity prices were going to soar,people were going to loose jobs,
    Right on que Turnbull brings out the words never never like his master little Johnny
    Not to mention every promise they broke after the last election
    There are a few words that should ring out loud and clear going into this election
    They are Never Never and no cuts ,as you say fool us twice shame on us ,and they have the hide to mention the word trust.

  40. Athena

    “Don’t you think that there is more at stake than whether some gay or lesbian can legally get a piece of paper saying they are married. Is that all this elections means to some people? ”

    Fed Up, different people have different priorities. For example, $100,000 university degrees have no impact on me as I’ve already completed mine and at this stage of my life am unlikely to return to formal study. I can understand though that the same issue is of extreme importance to a 20 year old. Apart from the fact that governments can and do work on multiple issues at the same time, who are you to determine what everyone’s priorities shall be? LBGT people have been used as a political football for years. Their lives are not less important than anyone else’s. It’s well beyond time that they were afforded some respect.

  41. Miriam English

    Peter, the worst thing I said to you was comparing your “opt-out” voting policy to the decision of a friend to suicide as a “fix” to an otherwise soluble problem. This still seems to me an apt comparison, considering your suggestion would guarantee another LNP government.

    Where I may have been a tad over the top is in hoping you never get control of the launch button for nuclear weapons. Not exactly insulting, as I can’t think of anybody that I’d actually like to have that capability, however I genuinely apologise for any offense caused.

    I can’t imagine what else you consider to be an “amazingly judgemental and utterly unfounded piece of abuse“… unless perhaps you read my reply to “Fed up”, mistaking it as being meant for you. In his/her case I have no intention of apologising because I actually held my tongue instead of saying what I really thought of that sad individual.

    Anyway, I hope you change your mind. I don’t trust or particularly like Labor, but they are a much safer bet than the LNP, and if we get lots of smaller parties and independents in the Senate we can make sure they don’t screw things up too much.

  42. Athena

    “By this time next month, the Australian people will have will have passed judgement… and put the second-worst major political party in charge of the country. Sadly, that’s as good as it gets.”

    True Mars, until people start realising that there are more than two choices.

  43. Freethinker

    The main problem Athena is some of the damage that this mob can do will be irreversible.
    3 years more and the NBN will be useless and sold to a private company for peanuts.

  44. cornlegend

    Athena
    ” ALP voted against taking a vote on marriage equality.”
    Only a few weeks ago the Greens voted twice against marriage equality
    100 Days and it will be done if Labor wins
    How long do people need wait if we are waiting on the Greens or Xenophon to win 76 seats and form a Government {if they could ever get on} and pass this through the House?

  45. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend @1.22 pm,

    the golden word is ALLiance.

    ALL Greens, Labor, Xenophon, Progressives together = 76 seats.

  46. Fed up

    Oh so now I cannot have a voice to express my opinion? It’s alright for you to quote your many books on refugees. Books are one thing but real life today does not come from a bloody book and statistics! With all your reading then surely you know who is responsible for this disaster in the first stinking place! You talk about civil war in Syria, well how long do you think it will be before this country will be doing the same in light of what we are allowing into this country today. The politicians of this country are hell bent on allowing so many of these people into Australia, they are not thinking about the stinking dangers to our children down the track, whether you like it or not in this country today political correctness is insane, the stinking minority have more power and say than the majority of Australians. Our rights, as Australians are slowly and surely being stripped away from us, where we are unable to have a voice, if we do speak up we are branded racists, we cannot speak, write, email anything about being considered a radicalist or God know what else! When we cannot sing a century old children’s nursery rhyme in a day care centre anymore in fear of insulting a refugee, then something is seriously wrong with this country! I truly feel sorry for morons like you Miriam, who think the world is bloody perfect and everyone we let into this country will be good honest Australians! Get your head out of the books and get out into the real world where these people are, and you tell me who has more rights in this country?

  47. Fed up

    Okay Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    You want my views on this election and what I would vote for.
    Less/NO MORE Muslim refugees – We have taken enough
    No more Free Trade Agreements and break the ones we do have! – Remove all of them
    Keep Medicare
    Stop the exporting of all live animals to every country and I mean every country!
    More money for health care especially mental health in our young people/Look after our Aged pensioners. They have paid their dues to this country!
    Stop the selling of any more Australians assets – if there is any left to sell.
    Stop the Chinese/Asia from buying Businesses, housing, properties in this country.
    Creating jobs for OUR young people
    Making Education more affordable for our kids or all children can get the education they deserve.
    Remove political correctness
    Make politicians live off their superannuation contributions only. No more life time pensions for any politician! Including PM”S
    IS THIS ENOUGH FOR YOU JENNIFER?

  48. Kaye Lee

    JMS,

    I know you would like to see an alliance but all of the groups you talk about have specifically ruled it out. They have no need to form an alliance and feel they have more power if they remain independent. The indies and micros are all banking on holding the balance of power and using it to get what they want. Leyjonhelm made no secret of that – give me what I want and I will give you my vote on an entirely unrelated piece of legislation.

    As for who voted for or against what, ALL three parties have been guilty of manipulating proceedings by linking issues and attaching unsupportable amendments to legislation deliberately. It is the political game we must endure and the Greens are just as guilty as the majors. And if Xenophon becomes a significant force you will see a lot more of it.

  49. Kaye Lee

    Fed up,

    Your fear is unjustified and your hatred is far scarier than the many Muslims I know.

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fed up,

    ‘strangely’ you will find most people on this site, would agree with the majority of your priority issues.

    For me, I agree with everything you say except your stance on Muslim asylum seekers and political correctness. What would you have happen to a a Muslim person in need of asylum? To me, they are people in need of asylum and their religion is second.

    If we are concerned about excess numbers of newcomers coming into Australia from anywhere, we could reduce the numbers of economic migrants who choose to leave their countries.

  51. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    KL,

    the major and micro parties who want and work for political reform and progress will need to get a little bit wise about how they can achieve that result. The way forward is to work together.

  52. Miriam English

    “Fed up”, I’ll address your comment to Jennifer first, and the one to me second.

    You’ll be surprised to find out that I (and probably Jennifer too) agree with most of your points… even the bit about selling off Australia to overseas interests. Xenophobia and racism are poisonous and extremely counterproductive (and the way you framed it deliberately as a racist issue makes me hold my nose), but I actually do think we should be cautious about letting other countries buy up chunks of Australia. Mind you, I’m not saying we should immediately and unilaterally stop it. I’m saying we should be looking into the benefits and dangers. Many countries don’t allow non-citizens to buy land in their countries (Japan and Fiji are two that spring to mind). We should look carefully at the advantages and disadvantages of such a policy instead of throwing caution to the wind and the risks of losing control over our own country versus losing investment money that could improve our country.

    And now to the bit aimed at me:
    It always amazes me that when racists scream out their spittle-flecked rhetoric and people respond with comments that they are being bigots, the very next thing the racists do is to whine that they’re being denied free speech. It is weird. You sneer at and vomit hate upon people who are different. Nobody is actually stopping you, but when you are accurately described you think people are shutting you up???

    As for the comment about books… I was initially going to recommend some articles for you to read, but thought that might not be effective as you didn’t seem to be particularly literate, so I recommended short videos. I thought that might suit what I guessed to be your short attention span. It seems I was wrong to do so as you are so blinkered you didn’t even bother to look at them! I guess there’s no way to introduce some people to information that might broaden their viewpoint and help inoculate them against mindless prejudice and hatred.

  53. Athena

    “How long do people need wait if we are waiting on the Greens or Xenophon to win 76 seats and form a Government {if they could ever get on} and pass this through the House?”

    Cornlegend, that’s a logical fallacy. They don’t need to be in power to support marriage equality. Neither does the ALP but they’ve shown us they won’t support it unless they win government. In my book that’s a bribe and it’s disgusting. Don’t bank on the 100 days and it’s passed either. If the ALP wins and doesn’t have control of the senate, they may not get it through.

  54. Terry2

    Chris Pyne bombed badly at the Press Club today, debating Kim Carr on Innovation.

    At one stage Pyne refused to answer moderator David Speers’ question with either a yes or a no. Journalists were bemused to say the least and in the end Speers had to concede that Pyne would not answer the question.

    Hands down, Kim Carr was the better performer, very much in command of the subject.

    Not a good day for the coalition with Turnbull getting quite agitated on Medicare privatisation of service delivery : Abbott has sown the seed of pre-election lies and Turnbull is reaping the outrage.

    Tonight he has to face the public forum of Q&A and he’s not on top form.

  55. You can't be serious?

    Had a conversation on the weekend with a friend who is an autonomic lifetime Liberal voter, who raised with me whether Labor was telling porkies that Liberals had plans to privatise Medicare. The person had been visited by at their business, by the Labor candidate who mentioned the Liberal’s plans to privatise Medicare. I played it with a straight bat.

    I explained it was the payment system in the firing line and that is all that the Federal Govt owns that CAN be privatised. So, no, Labor did not lie. We discussed the downsides of privatisation – overseas call centres with the loss of hundreds if not thousands of local jobs and poor(er) unaccountable service. My friend’s business would be quite affected by any deterioration in service levels due to overseas outsourcing.

    I explained all of the following as well. That the Libs have not announced any plan to end the “free” universal access public medical system. But that system is not safe from the Liberals IMO. This is because the Liberals as a matter of ideology from the moment Medicare was introduced, have wanted it abolished and if they could do it without committing electoral suicide, they would do so in a flash. They believe in private medicine only and hence the introduction of the private health fund rebate. So what they cannot abolish in one move, they try to achieve by “1000 cuts”. For eg previously unannounced GP tax, pathology and diagnostic imaging co-payments ( despite no change to Medicare promises), indefinite extension of Labor’s freeze on doctor visit rebates (thanks for nothing Labor for giving them the idea), ending incentive payments to pathology providers, changed the rebate rules for short consults and most pertinent to my friend’s business, changed the rebate for eye testing to one test p.a. to one every two years, on which the business is partly dependent.They also sold Medibank.

    I wish I had recalled and mentioned about the medicare local closure, the huge hospital funding cut and the Headspace funding issue, as Kaye Lee pointed out above. Also the huge cuts to hospital funding.

    I said the Liberal’s were hypocrites for crucifying Labor over one alleged lie, internal dysfunction and the debt and deficit yet it had done exactly what it accused Labor of, which it proclaimed made Labor unsuitable for re-election in 2013. The Libs had lied their way into Government, had “back stabbed” a PM as the Libs so emotively put it when Labor did similar and increased the deficit and debt without the crisis and excuse of the GFC. I queried how could anyone reward them with a vote after all that bad governance and disrespect for the electorate?

    After all that, this person still maintained they could not vote Labor. This 50 something year old said their mother would be horrified if they voted Labor. I said your mother need never know! My friend’s mother is a penniless pensioner who relies on the public health system. I note the last change to pensions that resulted in a higher rate, indexed to AWE, was made by the Labor Government. It seems the mother and child are determined see out of only one eye and listen with only one ear even if it means voting against their own best interests as well as the greater good.

    Depressing and typical of many Liberal voters, particularly amongst the boomers.

    Supporting Miriam’s comment: “The conservatives won’t listen. They are stuck in the rut of playing follow-the-leader. They will always bow to authority and vote for LNP no matter how terrible the result. The only people who would listen to you are those who could keep the LNP out of office.”

    When I ask long time Liberal voters why they vote Liberal I get mostly 2 types of responses – it is what my parents did and/or what I have always done or its because Liberals are better economic managers and the person concerned are often anti-Union. I always point out how necessary Unions are, that the only reason any of us have decent working conditions and pay is due to Unions, do they think human nature has changed such that vulnerable people and the less powerful are no longer likely to be exploited and mistreated by unscrupulous employers and of late I throw in the 711 scandal and 457 Chinese worker rip offs as examples?

    On the other hand, not all Liberal voting boomers are Stockholm syndrome sufferers. A 69yo woman I know, who had her own business and who has voted Liberal all her life intends to vote for the Greens this time. She has had enough of the Liberal lies and broken promises and the pretend action on climate change.

  56. Matters Not

    Fed up

    Less/NO MORE Muslim refugees

    Why? Are you suggesting that we should not assist any person(s) who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster and we should so do on the basis of their religious adherence?

    What is it about Islam that troubles you so much? Which of the 5 Pillars of Islam do you find so abhorrent?

    1. The Profession of Faith—The Shahada 2. Daily Prayers—Salat 3. Alms-Giving—Zakat 4. Fasting during Ramadan—Saum 5. Pilgrimage to Mecca—Hajj

    Be interested to know. Also interested to know whether you have ever spent time in a country where the vast majority of the people are Moslems?

  57. Athena

    “When I ask long time Liberal voters why they vote Liberal I get mostly 2 types of responses – it is what my parents did and/or what I have always done or its because Liberals are better economic managers and the person concerned are often anti-Union.”

    I’ve been hearing the “ALP blows out the deficit” from Liberal voters too. When I point out that the Liberals have more than doubled it, they won’t believe it. Sadly, these are otherwise very intelligent people. I don’t understand how they just accept this nonsense without question, when they question so many other things.

  58. z

    all voters should read this article and remember: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. refuse to be fool and make right choice on 2 Jul.

  59. cornlegend

    “They don’t need to be in power to support marriage equality.:
    No, but they need to be in power to move it through within 100 days without that bloody ridiculous $160 million plebesite

    Labor WiLL put it up within 100 days as per their policy.
    What happens in the Senate is anybodies guess and it would put a few Indies to the test
    Labor have promised to protect Medicare, fix the NBN support Gonski rtc, and of course they have to win to enable them to do that. or as you say “They don’t need to be in power toAll that has been included in the 100 policies that have been out there for scrutiny for ages
    What would you prefer them to do, have no policies until after elections?
    The Greens knocked it back twice in the Senate while joining the LNP in Senate changes, wouldn’t even debate it, “In my book that’s a bribe and it’s disgusting.”

  60. Jexpat

    Corn still doesn’t seem to grasp what “two party preferred” means.

  61. Athena

    “The Greens knocked it back twice in the Senate while joining the LNP in Senate changes, wouldn’t even debate it, “In my book that’s a bribe and it’s disgusting.” ”

    That’s bullshit Cornlegend and you know it. The ALP tried to derail the debate on senate changes by bringing forward the marriage equality debate from Thursday to Tuesday. That’s what the Greens voted against. The debate went ahead on the Thursday as originally scheduled, when suddenly, surprise, surprise, the ALP wasn’t so interested in pursuing it any more.

  62. Gangey1959

    @ FedUp
    Relax dude. Refugees aren’t our problem, Except that detaining/trying to deport them is costing us billions.
    The problem with our current labour market is the abuse of the 457 visa system, which was introduced to enable the employment of specialists and skilled labourers not already here, but has led to about 1 1/2 million cheap labourers taking real jobs, like ms rienhardt’s roy hill workers. (She is a slag).
    I agree with ALL of your other points. Not sure what you mean about political correctness.
    Muslims are in general as peace loving as the rest of us, and Heaven knows the genuine refugees have seen more death and destruction than anyone deserves in 10 lifetimes. The issue lies with their religious leadership, just the same as it does for the catholics, and the prods, and anyone else you can think of. They all seem to think that they can make blanket statements and rulings, as in the latest one damning homosexuality from the imams or muftis or whatever the hell they call themselves. THEY can get back on the boat. I’ll chuck in a tenner for enough gas to get them out through the heads, and a paddle. NO-ONE needs them. Or their opinions.
    Australia does need and can use enlightened people to get us out of the shit we are in now, and if some of them come from overseas, and we have to teach them Australian, and learn how to communicate with them, so be it.
    I have a BIG southern cross on my car. I’ve been called a red-neck, and a racist, and a whole bunch of stuff. I’m none of them. I’m just proud to be Australian. It is not something that can be earned, or bought, or given away. You are either born here, or you miss out. It has NOTHING to do with where your parents came from either, or how long ago. WE are as good as it gets, but others can learn from us how to live the dream.
    Don’t spoil it with a bit of misplaced and un-informed vitriol, mate.
    Life is to valuable and short.

  63. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, gangey.

  64. Bighead1883

    Jexpat June 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Jetpak,Cornie`s given birth to Bondi blind mullet more intelligent than you

    I`m your Huckleberry Johnny Ringo

  65. jim

    With out the MSM working for the Liberals ……err…….em……err…..with out the MSM and now “our?” ABC ,,,working for the Liberals they would not beat the Greens IMOO.
    i’d like to know just how many IPA members/ties work at our ABC.

    For those that don’t know the IPA was formed by the Liberal party and still is (Liberal party Head quarters).

    Confidential documents from the Heartland Institute reveal how wealthy individuals have actively promoted the campaign to attack the credibility of the world’s top climate scientists and create the impression that there is a controversy about the main propositions of global warming science.

    In fact the bulk of Heartland’s climate science denial campaign – which includes plans to promote anti-science in schools – has been funded by one donor, whose name did not appear in the purloined documents.

    There is a direct Australian link in the Heartland Institute files. Bob Carter, an adjunct research professor at James Cook University, has a long-standing record of denying climate science. Now it is revealed that he is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, to the tune of $1,667 per month for unspecified work. On his personal webpage, Carter declares that “he receives no research funding from special interest organisations such as environmental groups, energy companies or government departments,” a claim that on the scale of truth matches his reporting of climate science.

    Carter is also a fellow at the right-wing Melbourne think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), which has for many years been the principal originator of anti-climate science propaganda in this country. The IPA is closely linked to the Heartland Institute, not least through its sponsorship of two of its recent conferences.

  66. jimhaz

    [Australia does need and can use enlightened people to get us out of the shit we are in now]

    Not from outside we don’t. We’d progressively become a lot more enlightened if we closed down News Corp media and business lobbyists and stopped thinking economic quantity growth is required to maintain an excellent standard of living. Instead of growing like teenagers we need to stop growing physically and start mentally maturing like adults.

    And as for muslims, one of the reasons I don’t wish their numbers to increase here is because they are amongst the least enlightened people of all as their religion has not gone through an enlightenment process that allows for large moderate or progressive groups. The worst of the Christian sects, say mobs like Westboro Baptist Church and Opus Dei, have similar beliefs to mainstream Islam.

  67. cornlegend

    Hey Biggy, the night before the policy launch at an informal Dinner, you would be surprised how many Labor pollies know of your memes on Twitter. You’d better treat Labor pollies nicely:-D
    Time you did a few on Fake Tradie”

  68. Athena

    Oh I’ve heard it all now. Christians are enlightened, aren’t they? Bernardi, Abetz, Abbott, Andrews, Christensen, Hitler …. *headdesk*

  69. Jexpat

    Corn: My above post was in reference to your response to Jennifer Meyer-Smith.

    As to “Bighead” and his juvenile taunts, isn’t it funny how bullies often turn up in the same place at the same time- and even then have trouble picking on people their own size?

  70. Terry2

    Apart from the very valid points you have made is the question of privacy. Privatising the payments system means that large amounts of personal data would go to the private operator and inevitably it would go offshore.

    Apart from the Australian job losses, many of which perhaps most would be women there is the risk of data theft and misuse.

    The reason why the Liberals are so sensitive is everything to do with them having been caught out on this.

    If you remember the first edition of our universal healthcare system was introduced by Whitlam as Medibank and was repealed by the coalition under Fraser. It was revived by Hawke as Medicare and whilst Howard promised to repeal it he thought better of that when in office but it is still an IPA policy and in the Liberal DNA.

  71. cornlegend

    Jexpat
    And my response to Jennifer was a Coalition wasn’t going to happen.Half of the Labor front bench , Premiers etc have all said so
    Kaye Lee said much the same but more diplomatically at
    Kaye LeeJune 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    JMS,

    I know you would like to see an alliance but all of the groups you talk about have specifically ruled it out.

    as for the other bit “even then have trouble picking on people their own size?” how do you determine a pesons “size” online ?

  72. Matters Not

    how do you determine a pesons “size” online ?

    Don’t ask.

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Why not, Matters Not?

  74. cornlegend

    Jennufer, It has my interest too,
    ““even then have trouble picking on people their own size?

    Ok, I’ll play the game 5’10′” in the old money , 75kgs. Please declare height and weight if responding so I can adjust my response accordingly

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend,

    I’m asking Matters Not.

    Also, if you refer to me, spell my name correctly. With many thanks.

  76. Miriam English

    Terry2, excellent points. I’d forgotten about the danger of misuse of data by private corporations. Of course there is a risk of that happening with government too, but it could be argued that it is far more dangerous when in private hands.

    I can imagine if I had the gene that increases my risk of breast cancer how much private medical insurance companies would love to get that information so that they could refuse to cover me, or make it very expensive for me. I have a friend who has an inherited risk of heart disease. I can imagine how private medical insurance companies would use that against her.

    We all have some skeletons in our medical closets. Private medical insurance penalises us for those flaws. Public medical insurance spreads those risks so we all benefit.

    Private medical insurance seeks to maximise profits from our misfortunes; reducing misfortune is not in their interests. Public medical insurance is intended to protect us from misfortune; it would save money by decreasing misfortune.

    The difference could not be more stark.

  77. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Further to your resounding comment, Miriam, is the Victorian farce of WorkCover which purports to provide reasonable assistance to injured workers but is just a farce run by extortionist insurance companies under the happy gaze of both the Lib/Lib flipflops since WorkCover came into being.

    NObody believes it works for the sufferers. What a joke the lot of them are!

  78. Peter

    Miriam, thank you for the clarification.
    I do find that if a writer comments on this site in any way opposite to, or even suggesting opposition to, a left-wing stance, that person is usually denigrated without mercy. I have had previous run-ins with people I suspect of being socialist trolls on here. It’s never pleasant.
    However, I do dispute your supposition that voting for minor parties and independents would guarantee a return of the LNP in minority government.
    Surely that is a question for the Australian people?
    I do know that there is a strong groundswell of opposition to the ‘big 3’, Labor, LNP and Greens. I have seen poll figures as high as 25% of voters declaring they will desert the ‘big 3’ entirely.
    This would suggest to me that it is entirely possible for disaffected LNP voters to desert ship and vote for minor conservative parties.
    People are waking up to the fact they don’t have to follow how to vote cards, and can choose their own preferences.
    I believe there could be some major surprises across the political spectrum in the coming election.
    It’s an exciting time to be an Australian!

  79. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Again, I notice Matters Not,

    fails to respond to my direct query for clarification.

    Are you merely ominpresent, MN,

    which means you can communicate or not as your deification deems?

  80. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Sorry Jennufer {Jennifer,} I need a new keyboard :-{
    seems you could do with on too ms perfect 😀
    “both the Lib/Lib flipflops since WorkCover came into being.”
    The Labs must be winning you over 😀

  81. paul walter

    Terry2 resonated with me. The comment follows up on the original comments from Kaye Lee as to trustworthiness and indeed, how is that people can’t see that the Conservatives have been as destructive across so many areas, it is not possible for them to claim accident. Wake up oz.

  82. Matters Not

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, I didn’t make the comment, Jexpat did. If you don’t ‘get it’, then so be it.

    It’s not for me to explain Jexpat’s amusing and insightful comment. I wouldn’t presume to ‘invade’ his ‘territory’.

    Besides, ‘explaining’ only deflates. Nevertheless it’s a ‘retort’ I will remember.

  83. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Actually cornlegend,

    “both the Lib/Lib flipflops since WorkCover came into being” …

    is a serious comment which needs to be addressed by RESponsible government.

    Is Labor up to it alone or do you acknowledge the need for The ALLiance to address such a fundamental human right of workplace protection which Labor has failed to ensure?

  84. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Matters Not,

    you disappoint me for your lack of balls to follow up on inferences made by yourself and maybe others.

  85. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sorry Peter,

    I am less prepared to listen or read libertarian bloggers. I doubt whether many on this site will tell you that directly coz it might be a bit scary to have the repercussions but libertarian pollies are not our cup of tea coz they don’t speak our language and don’t represent vulnerable people.

    You seem reasonable but please see the difference between libertarianrism and neoliberalism before you seek support from me and many others on this site.

  86. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Jexpat,

    thanks for defining the battle lines in your limited eyes of the Lib/Lab duopoly.

    For the next 5 minutes it is mainly a 2 horse race of neoliberalist bullshit artists.

    But guess what? It is ALL changing hence the emergence of the ALLiance!

    Be prepared for the next election if you FAIL this one coz of your stupid stubbornness.

    Same comment goes for your cronie mates.

  87. Miriam English

    Peter, I can understand and sympathise with your desire to avoid voting for the big parties, but Kaye convinced me that the only way to keep the much more dangerous LNP out of government is to vote Labor in. If there is no clear winner and a hung parliament then the rules are that the existing government keeps power.

    My advice is to vote Labor for government and vote your choice of small parties and independents for the Senate.

    Labor have shown many times they can’t be trusted, but they are still more socially responsible than the LNP whose allegiance is solidly with the wealthy ruling class. The LNP mostly consider the rest of us waste, and they only give us any attention at all in an effort to get us to vote against our interests. There are undoubtedly some good people in the LNP, but they are so deeply submerged in the ideological crap that they are no use to the country at all. There is a much greater number of people in Labor who are committed to helping ordinary people, actually managing the economy, and looking after Australia’s interests. Unfortunately the politicking and bribery seems to be slowly poisoning the party.

    If we can get Labor in power they will be much easier to control with a diverse Senate.

    In many ways I think the most important part of this election is the Senate. If the LNP get in they will try to carry on their ideological destruction of our society, but will find it very hard to accomplish much of their nasty agenda if faced with a diverse Senate. If Labor get in they will be less tempted to do bad things if faced with a diverse Senate.

  88. Peter

    Jennifer, I appreciate your honesty.
    I am one who reads very widely however.
    I do not restrict myself to one ideology, paradigm, school of thought or political spectrum.
    Bob Livingston, (the blogger in question), has some excellent points to make.
    If any on this thread wish to remain open-minded, they should at least read and consider his thoughts, as they are very well put.
    To reject it out of hand because of the label ‘libertarian’, places you in danger of jeopardising your own intellectual credibility.
    I am prepared to have my ideas challenged, are you?

  89. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Peter,

    I am challenged every day.

    However, I know what libertarianism means and I see it as a stepping stone to neoliberalism which is bad for ALL Australians and a stepping stone to self-interest groups such as the IPA who will NEVER represent me or my confederates.

    If you are reasonable, I would ask you back off from the libertarian bastards who only care for themselves and neoliberalism.

  90. Athena

    “If there is no clear winner and a hung parliament then the rules are that the existing government keeps power.”

    The existing government will only remain if the other party cannot form a government with the minors and independents.

  91. Athena

    I can’t quickly find who mentioned privatisation of data retention. I am very concerned about this proposal too. Having worked for the government for 30 years and seen a lot of its work contracted out, most contracts are missing some very important clauses. We’re continually hamstrung by a contractor not performing a service as expected because some numpty left it out of the contract (didn’t consult the actual people who are affected by the contract) and then the contractor refuses to do anything that isn’t included in the contract. Privatisation of public services is a nightmare.

  92. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Athena,

    hence the importance of the ALLiance of the Greens, Labor, Progressives and Independents prepared to work for Progressive, Alternative, NON-neoliberalist government.

  93. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Athena.

    Unfortunately, it appears to boil down to a battle with the public employees and the private contractor/subbie. Neither really win but the animosity will surely make the citizen lose.

    The real crime happens when the contract is bargained for from ‘expressions of interest’. The process from top to bottom is a travesty of justice which needs overhauling.

    PROMOTE poorest people primarily!

  94. Miriam English

    Peter, I read about a third of that article before I found it too paranoid and USA-style, tinfoil-hat crazy, then skimmed the rest of it to the end. I am amazed that thinking people can be sucked in by that mix of misinformation and mischaracterisation of civilisation. It seems to appeal to the same kind of hate and fear that Trump seems to be so successfully tapping into.

    USA has given rise to a peculiar brand of paranoia strongly embraced by an amazingly diverse range of people. From the former Confederate slaveowners and their duped, under-educated, white-power fools to the lunatic gun-nut survivalists, from the mild libertarians to the raving mad, right-wing, Randian libertarians, from the conservative Christian nut-jobs to the filthy rich, right-wing ruling class… it is all built on the lie that the government is out to get us. Those suckered into this are incorrectly told that socialism and communism are the same thing, and never notice that the most peaceful countries in the world, those with the highest standard of living, are the socialist Nordic democracies. That is, the countries where the government serves the people, and where unions are strong and serve the workers. Australia used to be part of that elite class of very comfortable countries. Canada was too, and they look to be re-entering it whereas we seem to be spiralling down, away from it.

    In USA people have largely been convinced to fear and battle against their own government and their own unions. Unfortunately for them the government and the unions are the only things powerful enough to stand up for the people against the big corporations and those who crave to be the new ruling class, the new slaveowners. It’s no accident that all the indicators for social health are worse in USA than in any other developed nation. They have third-world levels of poverty, education, health, religion, and violence. I tend to refer to USA as the wealthiest third-world nation on Earth. I think this hatred of government is the main cause of the corruption in both government and industry. When the people in government cynically hate government then you’re in big trouble.

  95. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yep Miriam.

    Please Peter, take note of Australian reason.

  96. Jexpat

    Corn -even after all this- he still doesn’t get what two party preferred is.

  97. Peter

    Wow! I must say, while I’m disappointed at your lack of open-mindedness, and without meaning anything personally disparaging, I do recognise the particular left-wing paranoid disdain for anything which disagrees with, or challenges the socialist status quo.
    “Nothing to see here, move along!”

  98. Matters Not

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith re

    lack of balls to follow up on inferences made by yourself and maybe others

    You really want me to tell YOU what to think. Surely you can do that all by yourself.

    If not? Then why not?

  99. wam

    Alliance??? the loonies blew trust with the rabbott xmas 2009 and xmas 2013.
    diludbran set the scene with the new senate vote and the dumping of S H-Y.
    Labor will go alone and succeed like gillard or drown like the lemon.
    As for Australians, we know labor is the economic manager but we believe the conservatives are better. QED Until something like brexit causes a crisis and then labor revisited.
    Without challenge to the libs on debt i cannot imagine them stuffing up enough rich people to lose in the forseeable future..

  100. Jexpat

    “Peter:”

    You forgot the sarcasm tag.

  101. Kaye Lee

    Athena,

    “The existing government will only remain if the other party cannot form a government with the minors and independents.”

    From what I have heard, they have all ruled out committing to a formal alliance in which case the current government will continue as the last party to have a clear majority. Whilst I could see a backflip with the Greens (cornie will be having apoplexy at that), Windsor, Wilkie, Oakeshott, Katter, McGowan, any Xenophon candidate – none of them are likely to agree and the Greens will probably not have enough lower house seats to make a big difference – not because they don’t get a high primary vote but because it is dispersed rather than concentrated in electorates. Bill has also made it very difficult for himself to accept a partnership.

  102. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I don’t see why there would not be common ground between the Greens and Windsor, Wilkie, Oakeshott on environmental and social justice issues. Never say never.

  103. Athena

    Yes Kaye, we all know what they have said. We also know that talk is cheap and that they lie. In the event of a hung parliament, Bill Shorten will be champing at the bit to form a government with those he previously dismissed.

  104. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    You did nearly make me choke on my weeties ;-D
    You are right, Macolm gets first crack at forming Government and as you say, most Indies have said they “cpuld” support a Turnbull Government and most wouldn’t block Supply, even Labor so Bills “PLEDGE” still stands
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Clbiv5FUgAA_WyG.jpg

  105. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    I do think Dicky Di Natale would have Bandt straining at the bit to sign up/Dicky Di would it seems do anything for a bit of power and a chance of a Ministry
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ClbjIYcVEAEj7Bv.jpg
    p/s/
    If you need Albo, Bowen, Plibersek, Wong and others saying it, just yell

  106. Fed up

    And you believe them? Especially Turnbull Turncoat? Couldn’t speak the truth if he tried! Shorten’s credibility isn’t much better in my book. If he won government surely he would overthrow some of the decisions made by the Liberals in his May budget? Wouldn’t that be what the Australian people would expect of him? They are all full of crap.

  107. Athena

    Thanks for posting that pic of the pledge, Cornlegend. The ALP obviously isn’t serious about forming government and is a waste of a vote.

  108. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend,

    you’ll be pleased to know I’ll be handing out How-To-Vote cards for the Greens AND Labor today and right up to the election. McMillan electorate candidates don’t have their heads up their bums (can’t speak for the LNP and other conservatives ofcourse).

    Greens in the left hand and Labor in the right. 🙂

    Go the ALLiance!

  109. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    They know already! 🙂

  110. cornlegend

    Chris Buckingham needs an update 😀

  111. Miriam English

    Peter, (I assume your comment was to me) closed-mindedness doesn’t come into it in my case. I used to call myself a libertarian many years ago until I came to understand the contradictions of that philosophy. I read many of Ayn Rand’s and Nathaniel Branden’s articles. They appealed greatly to my youthful lack of worldly experience.

    As I grew older I came to understand how some bosses and some companies will take advantage of their workers for a financial advantage and how that financial advantage becomes a pressure on other, more moral and good-hearted bosses and businesses to underpay and overwork their people in order to avoid losing out to the competition. There will always be financial pressure to use slave labor instead of paying good wages.

    I also started to understand the mechanics and feedback systems involved in larger businesses and how there is an inexorable move towards larger and larger businesses buying up smaller businesses, absorbing their competition, and tending toward monopoly. Eventually I came to realise that, no matter what a terrific idea the marketplace is (and it is a truly wonderful thing) it is not the solution to everything. In fact it is its own worst enemy. Without government and unions to regulate it, it will always destroy itself. Leaving everything to the invisible hand of the market is like trying to drive a car that doesn’t have brakes. We can see that in the current destruction of the environment and the denial of global warming.

    Here is a little thought experiment for you that will show you an example of why the unregulated market is so dangerous. Something that is common is cheap and something that is rare is expensive. This is a simple rule that markets generate. It is a part of the invisible hand of the market, and one of the reasons the marketplace is such a powerful thing. However consider the rhinoceros. It is on the verge of extinction. I think anyone with an ounce of good sense will see that it is in our interests to prevent rhinos from going extinct. However the marketplace works actively to exterminate them. The more rare the rhino becomes, the higher the price on its parts and the greater the reward for poachers. All rare animals and plants are doomed by the unregulated market. The rarer they become, the higher the price goes until they are wiped out… unless governments or charities (non-profits) push back against the market.

    There is some sense to libertarianism, in that the market truly is an incredibly powerful and efficient way to distribute goods to customers. It still has some problems even there, with ignoring people in poverty, but on the whole its decentralised mechanisms for dealing with supply and demand are remarkable effective. But there are many things it just doesn’t work well for. Delivering health is one, for the reasons I mentioned above. Socialised medicine is many, many times more efficient and effective than a free market health system — just compare the cost and efficiencies the health systems of USA vs Canada. Public transport is another; many of the utilities where competition can’t be employed also screw up badly when they tangle with the free market — the electrical grid, water supply, road networks, the internet, telephone systems, and so on.

    You see, I don’t have a closed mind on this topic. I see that a balanced approach is needed. The marketplace is an absolutely brilliant invention and is very powerful, but it is not the answer to everything, and is in fact suicidal in the long run. The market needs workers’ unions and governments to keep them healthy and functioning efficiently. Left to themselves they choke with corruption and monopolies. Governments have similar problems. A government without a marketplace is so top-heavy and inefficient it ends up collapsing.

  112. cornlegend

    Athena
    “The ALP obviously isn’t serious about forming government and is a waste of a vote.”
    You wouldn’t have voted for them anyway, given you already said how you were voting

    The ALP is dead serious about forming Government , they just need 76 seats, a big ask but a slim possibility.
    If they don’t get 76, You’ll get Turnbull and /or a Turnbull Indi Green Xenophon mixture
    Voters need to know that so they know exactly what the situation is,

  113. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Miriam,

    when you open up your postgraduate degree course in Economics, count me in as one of your students. 🙂

    Great explanation @ 9.43am

  114. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Greens, Labor, Progressives and Alternatives ie Xenophon = 76 seats.

    cornlegend, get into Billy’s ear and tell him to get down off his high horse and start negotiating with the above to ensure we kick out the filthy LNP in 11 days!

  115. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    believe me Jennifer thats NOT what I’m telling him
    The choice is clear, position have been made quite clear
    Vote LNP or ALP, your choice.
    If you want to dabble with all the 0.67%ers that’s up to you
    As long as you know the consequences, and don’t mind living under Malcolm/Tony for a few more years
    I’m off out now to win a few more hearts and minds, will respond later

  116. Athena

    “You wouldn’t have voted for them anyway, given you already said how you were voting”

    No I wouldn’t. I was just pointing out that here is yet more evidence that they are a waste of a vote. They obviously don’t agree with Greens policies, which means they are lying about their own. But then, I’ve already seen enough of that anyway. It was summarised quite well in another post here recently. The ALP will end up doing the same damage as the LNP, just at a slower rate. It reminds me of the frog in the pot of water, sitting over a flame.

  117. Fed Up

    Heaven sake, between Jennifer Meyer-Smith and Miriam English, you would think that the rest of us are idiots always dribbling on about stats etc. Don’t these two women have jobs to do or is this what they do all day? I’m sure that at the end of the day we will all decide one way or another which party to vote for. The rest of us are just making interesting conversation about the elections and these two just keep dribbling on. They sound like politicians themselves! or want to be!

  118. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m off to speak to the masses about the Greens and Labor, Fed up. What about you?

  119. Fed Up

    I actually have work to do thank you.

  120. jantonius

    Athena,
    Thanks for your posts.
    Labor hacks harped on and on – very abusively – about the supposed preference deal between the Greens and the Libs. From the start it was a lie. Dirty politics.
    Not a whisper about it now. No need.
    Now of course they continue smearing, by claiming the Greens would enter a coalition with the Libs. More dirty tactics.

    And these hacks actually imagine they are selling the Labor brand. Thankfully – hopefully – Shorten is better than them; as he might be PM by 2019.
    While Labor are much better than the Libs, they continue to serve their major donors, including the gangsters in the gambling industry.

    I think you have already voted Xenophon. I wouldn’t. But it is very understandable.

  121. Athena

    Jantonius, I live in the electorate of Sturt (held by Christopher Pyne) and for several years have been voting for the Greens. Voting for the Greens in the HoR in Sturt isn’t going to achieve anything. The NXT candidate, Matthew Wright, is currently second in the polls. I see him as the only chance of getting rid of Pyne. Voting for the ALP isn’t the only way to get rid of the Liberal government. You have to examine the options in your own electorate.

    As for the ALP, we parted company years ago when they headed to the right. I’m not chasing after them. The Sturt candidate is Matt Loader. He may as well call himself the Invisible Man. He still had no biography on the ALP website when I last checked on the weekend. He has no biography on his personal website. He doesn’t answer questions. He’s left nothing in my mailbox at home. He doesn’t use social media to inform the electorate where he will be in public so that we can meet him and ask questions. I take this as a good indication of how useless he would be if elected.

    OTOH I know Matthew Wright. He’s a tireless worker for his patients, has a history of working for humanitarian projects and holds progressive views.

    I’ll still be putting Greens first in the Senate.

  122. jantonius

    Athena,
    Good on you. An informed choice. Matthew Wright looks a good candidate. I hope you win.

    Something nearly as strange as Pyne being repeatedly endorsed by the ever-lovin’ public is the conduct of Labor in the seat over the years.
    They had Rick Sarre as candidate for a couple of elections – and he was far from happy about Labor insiders. Rick versus the mincing fascist prat. The last time Sarre lost 2 to 1.
    Rick would have been a really fine Attorney-General; a man of intelligence, integrity and fairness.
    Maybe this latest candidate is running dead.
    Do Labor think it OK to have Pyne representing the Libs nationally because he is so loathsome? Maybe that’s it.

  123. Peter

    Miriam, I agree in large part with your explanation, however I believe there is a manipulated and blurred line between capitalism and what I term ‘corporatism’, which is what I believe you are referring to in your comments on the unregulated market and big business swallowing up small business, however I don’t believe the answer lies in socialism.
    It’s less than 100 years since we saw the horrible global effects of unbridled socialism mixed with a smattering of right-wing philosophy and dictatorship, as perpetrated by the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP).
    Every man-made ‘system’ has its own challenges, positive points and negative points.
    I believe in personal liberty, but not to the point where my liberty infringes the rights of another human being, and I expect the same from others.
    However what I see from the left is, “Free speech is only free if you agree with me!”, and, “How dare you say I can’t do exactly as I want, even if it infringes on your rights?”
    I realise these are generalisations, but in essence they are true.
    The bottom line for me is, I respect your right to hold your point of view, but I also reserve my right to disagree with you, and that is the essence of a true democracy.
    None of us may achieve our political ideals 100%, but we should, as reasonable human beings, be able to come to an amicable compromise.
    No political ideology should be totally inflexible.

  124. Athena

    Pyne is still looking quite comfortable in the polls. I think the ALP decided it wasn’t worth the effort because no one would beat him. They didn’t even name their candidate for Sturt until about the 19th April, well after Greens and NXT named theirs. But Mayo (Alexander Downer’s former seat and Liberal stronghold) looks close to toppling to NXT, and Grey (which has been safe Liberal for a while now) is also under threat from NXT. NXT is polling over 20% in SA at the moment. If a new party can do this in its first election then it sends a strong message to the major parties that people are thoroughly fed up with both of them. SA is hurting badly from major job losses. Rural cities are dying. Neither of the major parties seems to care at all.

  125. Kaye Lee

    Our public education system is socialism as is our universal healthcare and PBS and our welfare safety net and subsidising of tertiary education. Would you like to see all of those things privatised with user pays and then rely on the market to continue to provide unprofitable regional services or specialist courses with small enrolments? Are our elderly to be left to die in poverty if they didn’t earn enough to put aside a nest egg for retirement? Do you even know how much some of our medicines would cost if you had to actually pay for them? You reap the benefits of socialism while pretending it is some subversive evil force.

  126. Athena

    “I believe in personal liberty, but not to the point where my liberty infringes the rights of another human being, and I expect the same from others.”

    I think you will find that the left agrees with that. Generally the left is very supportive of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Clearly the conservatives don’t agree with a lot of it.
    http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

  127. Kaye Lee

    Ya gotta laugh. I was one of those “old people” rung by unions who Malcolm is talking about. Ged Kearny rang with a recorded message about death by a thousand cuts to medicare, detailing things that have been done or proposed rather than a scare campaign about they will sell it all tomorrow. Immediately after I got a recorded phone call from Malcolm about his economic plan for jobs and growth. If Malcolm is concerned about troubling we older people by ringing us at night time to tell us vacuous untruths then he should review his own marketing strategy.

  128. Athena

    *Pictures Kaye as a Guerilla Street Nanna, putting up corflute in Wentworth.*

  129. Kaye Lee

    They used to call me a communist pot-smoking lesbian back in the 70s. I am not so good on the guerilla street fighting and I am yet to be blessed with grandchildren, but I will do my best to fight for the future of my country. Picture me with a long greying plait and a pithy poster waved aloft at protests.

    This is a video of one of our local community protests that I took my little nephews to. I am proud of my community.

  130. Miriam English

    Peter, don’t make the mistake of thinking the Nazis were socialists. They were the opposite, despite the name… similar to the way the Australian Liberals are the opposite of liberal. Party names mean very little. The Nazis were actually authoritarian, Christian, right wing fascists. The term “fascist” came from the Italian “partito nazionale fascista” of Mussolini. The definition used to be:

    fascism n. A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism.

    However I’ve noticed recently the bit about merging state and business leadership has been quietly dropped from the definition, I think it’s because it has become embarrassing that the governments in USA, UK, and Australia have been developing unhealthily close ties with giant monopolistic corporations. They are gradually turning fascist, in the original meaning of the term.

    Socialism is quite different. It springs from the understanding that we are social creatures and that we live best in a healthy society. If you want examples of socialism look at the Nordic countries. Those democracies have about the right balance of market, government, and unions. They have phenomenally low incidences of violence and disease. Poverty has been virtually abolished, even while there are still plenty of billionaires. Education, including university, is free. Healthcare is free. Innovation and literacy are high. That’s what socialism is. It is not communism or Nazism — those are misleads from people who would make you believe that pitting humans against each other in endless, competition is the only way. They would paint cooperation as evil. This comes largely from the Puritans (my damnable ancestors) who believe that pleasure is wrong; that our purpose is to work and suffer through life in order to purify ourselves (hence the name). The puritans are strongly represented in right-wing, religious, capitalist circles, though you can find some among unionists and government too. I consider puritanism a dangerous illness.

    I see you want to differentiate capitalism from corporatism. I’ve noticed recently some other modern libertarians attempt this bit of mental gymnastics. How would you ever manage that? Unfettered capitalism always concentrates power into fewer and fewer hands, of larger and larger corporations. There is a continuum there. At no point can you say it has stopped being a free market and is becoming unhealthy monopoly. It a single continuous thing. Monopoly is the natural endpoint of unconstrained capitalism. The only way to prevent it is to have some flavor of socialist government to step in and limit it. If, however, you have a government that develops a cosy relationship with powerful corporations then that is the beginning of fascism.

  131. Miriam English

    When I got home tonight making the doggies’ dinner I received a phone call from a robotic Julie Bishop. The voice informed me that the LNP will keep Medicare. I couldn’t help myself. I snorted and said, “Liar.”

    I wonder how many people will be sucked in by that.

  132. Miriam English

    Gosh, AIMN seems to have been down for a while last night. It’s a good thing I write my comments in a separate text editor which I then copy and paste into AIMN.

    Athena, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was actually written collaboratively by very left-leaning, socially aware Eleanor Roosevelt, when, in April 1946, she became the first chairperson of the preliminary United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

    Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my personal heroes.

    She worked with the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL), raising funds in support of the union’s goals: a 48-hour work week, minimum wage, and the abolition of child labor. She worked very hard to stop racism and made close personal friendships with many talented and influential black people. She arranged the appointment of African-American educator Mary McLeod Bethune as Director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. To avoid problems with the staff when Bethune would visit the White House, Eleanor would meet her at the gate, embrace her, and walk in with her, arm-in-arm. She put enormous effort into fixing the economic woes of the poorest members of society. Many of her closest friends were famous lesbians of the day and she seems to have had a love affair with writer Lorena Hickok. In so many ways she was one of the most admirable people of the 20th Century. A truly remarkable person.

    Eleanor was the wife of renowned left-wing USA President Franklin D Roosevelt who used large social projects to pull the USA out of the Great Depression, which was caused, of course, by the stock market crash followed by the banks closing their doors and effectively stealing the common people’s money.

    As always, we see the right-wing’s irresponsible economics wrecks countries and left-wing economics repairs the damage. It has always puzzled me how the right-wing successfully promote themselves as good managers of money while portraying the left-wing as hopeless wasters of money. The opposite has always been true.

  133. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Miriam, the National Socialist was a deliberate misnomer perpetrated by Hitler, and one that sadly and dangerously is still used by the extreme right today to push the falsehood that Hitler and the Nazis were of the extreme left.

    Indeed read anything on this from the extreme right and you will see that just about every single authoritarian rule in history is left or sprung out of the left.

    It shouldn’t puzzle you because it’s powerful media and business who produce the propaganda and the constant rewriting of history to push the barrow that the right are great economic managers. The glimmer I see is that today’s online media are putting small dents into that fictive narrative, as can be seen by the poster and data doing the social media rounds over the last few months factually showing that Labor have historically been better economic managers.

  134. Miriam English

    Good point, Möbius Ecko, that the promoters of the fiction that the right-wing are good money managers are to a large degree the right-wing’s own pet media.

    There is also the fact that those in the right-wing are often personally extremely wealthy. This gives credence to the lie that they will manage a nation’s money well. All it really means is that they are very good at (or very lucky in) lining their own pockets. They might know how to make themselves very rich at the expense of the poor suckers who work for, invest through, or who buy from them, but that translates to be pure poison as the manager of a country’s money, because you know exactly what they’ll do with that knowledge. They’ll screw us over to fill their, and their mates’ pockets with even more gold.

    Some time back I encountered a Christian girl who argued that atheism is dangerous, after all, look at that scary atheist Adolf Hitler! I was amazed. I gently asked her to read some of Hitler’s speeches where he repeatedly talks about god and country, family values, and implores people to follow Jesus. I pointed out to her that Hitler was actually a very committed Christian and made a point of carrying a bible with him wherever he went, especially to meetings. He was totally supported by the Christian church, from which he got much of his virulent anti-semitism.

    It astounds me how easily reality is rewritten and how very few people will do the, often minimal, research needed to find out the truth… even now, with the internet easily available to us. But then, I guess even I probably take some things as true without looking further into them, and I’m a habitual skeptic (I used to annoy the crap out of adults nuts with my endless questions and reluctance to just accept things when I was young).

  135. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Calling Hitler a Christian is like calling Osama bin Laden a follower of Islam.

    Both were murderers and haters and so are their supporters.

  136. Möbius Ecko

    Jennifer. Abbott, Morrison etc. all call themselves practising Christians but are anything but Christian.

  137. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    That is my point, Mobius. Just coz Abbott, Morrison, Andrews, Abetz, Bernardi and other degenerates calls themselves Christian, does not mean they are. In fact, I would say they were the anti-thesis of the true followers of Christ.

  138. Terry2

    Mobius, I think they are all attracted to the principle of absolution, certainly Abbott is.

    As they appear to understand it, they are free to tell as many lies as it takes to get their way and then turn to a confessor and have it all absolved.

    Just as Tinkerbell can make it all come good with a wave of her wand.

  139. Kaye Lee

    TONY ABBOTT: “At university the need to defend Catholicism in a hostile environment had led me to an extremely naturalistic defence of traditional beliefs and disciplines. Abortion was wrong, because it violated instinctive respect for life; contraception, because it was usually part of a “me now” mentality. The Mass was a chance quietly to restore one’s energies; confession enabled embarrassing problems to be discussed safely before they became crippling. ”

    One wonders if his pregnant girlfriend was one of those “embarrassing problems” that the church fixed for him by recommending him, in front of far more qualified candidates, for a Rhodes scholarship.

  140. Miriam English

    I don’t understand the free pass Christians get when many of their number do awful things. In my opinion Tony Abbott is definitely a true Christian.

    Much of the bible promotes rape, mass murder, acts of rage and jealousy. In some of the books of the New Testament Jesus is depicted as a gentle hippie, but in most of the New Testament he talks about bringing unbelievers to the sword, splitting up families, and bringing strife and misery to the world. He gives vocal support to slavery, telling servants they should obey their masters and that rulers have been put there by god. Of course there is no evidence Jesus actually existed, so the vicious Old Testament and the slightly improved New Testament are merely reflections of the feelings and prejudices of ignorant people from thousands of years ago.

    Seen in this light Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, and the rest of the horrible crew are truer Christians than my dear, sweet, tolerant Auntie Daph who believed in a kind and loving god. There is certainly a lot more in the bible to support their belief than hers.

  141. jimhaz

    [because it was usually part of a “me now” mentality]

    And look at the LNP ministry and followers in relation to materialistic or economic “Me Now”

    Then there is stuff like this (Hillsong types)
    Top 15 Richest Pastors In America

    http://www.etinside.com/?p=11679

  142. Freethinker

    The news in the last couple of days reminds me the polices and attitude of the conservative governments in Argentina and Uruguay before and during the dictatorship in both countries, The Code of Silence and those that will brake it will be sacked (my father was one) or during the dictatorship put in prison.
    Yesterday the authorities sacked Paul Stevenson that leaked the treatment of refugees , today they sacked Dr Lynn Simpson was one of the country’s most experienced and respected live export veterinarians when she was hired by the Department of Agriculture in 2012 in response to the explosive Four Corners report on live export cruelty.
    I am deeply worried, this is getting worse by the day and the ALP keep it quite like the opposition used to do it in Uruguay.
    I hope that the small parties, independents, unions and journalists with integrity will keep the population informed about this other ways it will be to late or will cost suffering to reverse it.

    Vet sacked for exposing appalling conditions on live export ships
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-22/live-export-vet-sacked-after-revealing-conditions-on-ships/7501428

  143. Athena

    “Some time back I encountered a Christian girl who argued that atheism is dangerous, after all, look at that scary atheist Adolf Hitler!”

    This myth seems to be rampant in Christian circles. Tell Christians that atrocities have been performed in the name of Christianity and they deny it. Give them references to Hitler’s speeches and writing and they refuse to look at it.

  144. Fed Up

    Just my point. Doesn’t matter which pathetic heartless party wins the next election these poor animals will suffer regardless because all governments care about is the dollar. Live animals mean absolutely nothing to any of them. The foul stinking barbaric places we send these poor animals to are worse than hell on earth and if the suffering of these animals doesn’t touch a nerve in any of these stinking politicians to stop this barbaric practice, then as far as I am concerned they can all go to hell. I wouldn’t waste my time on any of them. Give me animals over humans any day! They deserve so much better! No we can bring all the stinking refugees in from these barbaric countries but we don’t stop our animals being sent to the same countries live to be butchered, brutalised and slaughtered in the worse ways possible.

  145. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Athena,

    I’m not standing up for Christianity where it has clearly been responsible for horrendous acts and attitudes to anybody.

    I’m standing up for true Christian people’s belief so that they are not made to feel like second class citizens.

  146. Freethinker

    Regulated religions are established to control the masses, books have been edited and reedited to satisfying the agenda of those in power.

  147. jimhaz

    This insider knew what he was talking about.

    Jean Meslier (died 1729), was a French Catholic priest who was discovered, upon his death, to have written a book-length philosophical essay promoting atheism. Described by the author as his “testament” to his parishioners, the text denounces all religion.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17607/17607-h/17607-h.htm

    For example:

    XV.—ALL RELIGION WAS BORN OF THE DESIRE TO DOMINATE.

    The first legislators of nations had for their object to dominate, The easiest means of succeeding was to frighten the people and to prevent them from reasoning; they led them by tortuous paths in order that they should not perceive the designs of their guides; they compelled them to look into the air, for fear they should look to their feet; they amused them upon the road by stories; in a word, they treated them in the way of nurses, who employ songs and menaces to put the children to sleep, or to force them to be quiet.

    PREJUDICES ARE BUT FOR A TIME, AND NO POWER IS DURABLE EXCEPT IT IS BASED UPON TRUTH, REASON, AND EQUITY.

    No man on earth is truly interested in sustaining error; sooner or later it is compelled to surrender to truth. General interest tends to the enlightenment of mortals; even the passions sometimes contribute to the breaking of some of the chains of prejudice. Have not the passions of some sovereigns destroyed, within the past two centuries in some countries of Europe, the tyrannical power which a haughty Pontiff formerly exercised over all the princes of his sect? Politics, becoming more enlightened, has despoiled the clergy of an immense amount of property which credulity had accumulated in their hands. Should not this memorable example make even the priests realize that prejudices are but for a time, and that truth alone is capable of assuring a substantial well-being?

    Have not the ministers of the Lord seen that in pampering the sovereigns, in forging Divine rights for them, and in delivering to them the people, bound hand and foot, they were making tyrants of them? Have they not reason to fear that these gigantic idols, whom they have raised to the skies, will crush them also some day? Do not a thousand examples prove that they ought to fear that these unchained lions, after having devoured nations, will in turn devour them?

    We will respect the priests when they become citizens. Let them make use, if they can, of Heaven’s authority to create fear in those princes who incessantly desolate the earth; let them deprive them of the right of being unjust; let them recognize that no subject of a State enjoys living under tyranny; let them make the sovereigns feel that they themselves are not interested in exercising a power which, rendering them odious, injures their own safety, their own power, their own grandeur; finally, let the priests and the undeceived kings recognize that no power is safe that is not based upon truth, reason, and equity.

  148. helvityni

    Fed up, I think it’s barbaric how Australia treats the asylum seekers. Lampadusa (Italy)has had plenty more asylum seekers arriving on its shores, yet people over there had the humanity to put terry bears and flowers on every drowned child’s coffin.

    There should be no cruel treatment of people or animals, that goes without saying.

  149. Athena

    “I’m not standing up for Christianity where it has clearly been responsible for horrendous acts and attitudes to anybody.

    I’m standing up for true Christian people’s belief so that they are not made to feel like second class citizens.”

    JMS, what is a true Christian? There is no shortage of barbarity in the Christian bible. Which parts are to be taken literally and which parts are to be ignored? Everyone decides for themselves on their own level of compliance. The Westboro Baptist Whackos can quote scripture to justify all of their obnoxious behaviour. Each denomination can’t even agree on how the bible should be interpreted so by what benchmark do we determine which one of them is correct?

  150. Freethinker

    helvityni unfortunately greed rules and brought corruption. The mafia is making money with the refugees

  151. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m no great authority except for knowing a true Christian is a person who believes and loves Christ and tries to live humanely.

    To me, going to church and reading the bible is not what counts. It’s how people treat each other.

    Such Christians are not fair game.

  152. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Freethinker,

    if the ‘fracking’ mafia is making money on refugees’ desperation, I blame them for being ‘fracking’ criminals AND I blame the Lib/Lab flipflop dinosaurs for vying with each other for political ground and bugger the suffering, vulnerable people seeking asylum.

    Point YOUR focus at your Lib/Lab flipflops and demand answers.

  153. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So Freethinker,

    what do you say to my last comment??

  154. Freethinker

    Malcolm Turnbull, Morrison, Cormann among others complain about the ALP political campaign.
    Have a look what the LNP and followers have said about Gillard

    https://goo.gl/H5Qwmx

    …….and they call themselves Christians

  155. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ooh, I’m being ignored by Freethinker! 🙁

  156. Freethinker

    Jennifer, in my book the politicians and people that support them in how these people are treated are the low life repulsive individuals.

  157. Freethinker

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithJune 22, 2016 at 9:33 pm
    Ooh, I’m being ignored by Freethinker! 🙁

    No Jennifer, I will never do that, just slow reaction

  158. Miriam English

    jimhaz, very interesting about Jean Meslier. I hadn’t heard about him and his Le Testament. It reminds me of Bart Ehrman, who grew up in a religious fundamentalist environment and decided to devote his life to studying the Bible in order to prove its truth to atheists, but it did the reverse and made him atheist. You can find a number of his talks on YouTube. He is a very smart, honest, knowledgeable man.

    Unfortunately the book you linked to on Project Gutenberg is, I believe, actually written by Baron d’Holbach, but often mistakenly attributed to Meslier. Baron d’Holbach was a very interesting fellow in his own right and more of his books can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg at:
    http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/h#a2420

    Le Testament by Meslier is available in various formats from the Internet Archive in three volumes: volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3. It is a pity it is only available in its original French, which I can’t read. I haven’t been able to find an English translation. (Not that I have time to read it anyway. [sigh])

  159. Miriam English

    I found an English translation of Voltaire’s abridged version of Meslier’s Le Tesament at
    https://www.marxists.org/history/france/revolution/meslier/1729/testament.htm
    but Voltaire edited it to impose his own deist prejudices upon it, even apparently fabricating a paragraph at the end of the book to give the impression that Meslier was not really atheist. A bit naughty.

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