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Frydenberg, Thatcher and Reaganomics

I really think that policy in the Coalition government is stuck in a time warp!

The current Treasurer – the one who smiled when he tabled the Report on the Royal Commission into Financial Institutions, in a photo op with the Commissioner, former Justice Kevin Hayne, who neither smiled nor shook his hand – has shown his true colours in the latest interview on the ABC Insiders program (26/07/20).

[Incidentally – how is he progressing in implementing the recommendations of that Commission?]

Back to policy!

Josh Frydenberg, once more smiling, showed a level of enthusiasm for the policies espoused by Thatcher and Reagan, whom he said were hated by the left because their policies were successful.

This left me somewhat puzzled, when he identified their successes as being cutting taxes, cutting red tape and reducing industrial disputation.

All of these, he indicated had benefitted society.

Can we dig a little deeper and ask the relevance of these elements of ‘success’ in today’s world?

There is universal agreement among leading economists that cutting taxes in today’s pandemic environment, with so many unemployed, and more to come, will only benefit those whose income level is such that they do not need tax relief, while damaging everyone else, because it reduces the money readily available to government, without increasing debt, to help those in genuine need.

Cutting red tape often also involves cutting green tape, and the environment has taken such a battering in recent times, by removal of necessary controls on land clearing and destroying habitat – not to mention the disastrous bush fires which have been conveniently forgotten, while people affected by the fires are still without homes and livelihoods.

And as far as industrial disputes are concerned, the unions have had their wings resolutely clipped to the extent that there is little, if any, time lost to industrial disputes, but at the present time, actually having a job is becoming a step too far!

Clearly. the memories Frydenberg has of Thatcher are selective, because not only did she state “the lady’s not for turning” but she denied the existence of society.

So the grounds on which Frydenberg’s enthusiasm for the policies of the ‘Iron Lady’, and her USA co-conspirator, Ronald Reagan, seem totally unrelated to the world in which we now find ourselves. It certainly earned him faint praise in some quarters!

The ideology of the Coalition is so obsessed with the financial side of life that it seems they have no real interest in living, breathing human beings – let alone the rest of the life on earth.

Finding a job is of real importance to almost everyone left un- or under-employed by the COVID-19 crisis, not only to enable them to cover the cost of living, be able to service their mortgage or pay the rent, but because most people enjoy a greater level of satisfaction with life when they feel in control of their own destiny.

People like Thatcher – and Morrison – seem to assume everyone would bludge on welfare given half a chance.

The Coalition needs to remember that thousands of people are currently living with uncertainty, as a result of government’s actions, and the stress is going to continue for quite some time and must be managed with compassion, not disdain.

The government reacted correctly to try to reduce the spread of the infection, and, apart from Victoria and possibly NSW, their actions have been successful – in that regard.

Lack of a plan for a pandemic has meant that they are now left to plan on the run, because there is no clear path to a desirable goal, while at the same time we can never expect life to ‘return’ to life as it was.

A sensible government would accept that this gives us a wonderful chance to rethink policies.

Accept the science on climate change.

Phase out fossil fuels ASAP.

Stop relying on China for manufactured goods.

Replace fossil fuels with appropriate selections from the multitude of renewable sources of energy.

Manufacture electric vehicles and solar-powered trains.

We elect a government to lead the country.

We cannot sit back and hope that those with money stashed away will fall over each other to invest in industry, if there is no clear map for the future coming to us from government – which has not been developed by looking back to the past!

Adults have, until now, been generally living a good life, although, sadly, our First Nations, those with disabilities and some migrant groups have been left out in the cold.

Now we have a chance to develop a new world, which learns from past mistakes, accepts the concept of equality of opportunity … OOPS!!

I forgot!

I am fantasising, aren’t I, because we have elected people incapable of realising we are denying our youth a future!

Why have we allowed this to happen?

How can we undo the damage?

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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  1. Ken

    Frydenberg’s four idols are Howard, Costello, Reagan and Thatcher.
    And with him controlling the purse strings there’s not much hope !

  2. Bronte D G ALLAN

    Great & so true article, as usual RosemaryJ36! Thatcher was the worst PM in history! And all these other idiots that the Frymaster “admires” (sic!) are almost as bad! Time to go the lot of them!

  3. Matters Not

    It was an excellent ‘speech’ by Frydenberg which would be applauded by Morrison and Dutton as well as by McManus and O’Neill – albeit for different reasons. For Morrison and Dutton et al, it was a speech that they would have gladly delivered to local LNP Branches or even in Board Rooms and rightly expected rounds of applause. That Josh gave it on TV to an Australia-wide audience means that he will never lead the LNP. It was a sign of extreme political dumbness. So Morrison and Dutton can now breathe much easier. One more contender committed political suicide without any prompting. Josh is in awe of Thatcher and Reagan and publicly admitted it.

    McManus and O’Neill would be celebrating as well. That the Treasurer would go on TV and reveal his deepest, dark secrets for all to see is unbelievable luck. Now, every time they are trying to rally the troops, all they have to do is replay Josh’s words. Maybe there’s a God after all and chooses Sunday morning to reveal his hand. Perhaps Josh was smoking the Devil’s Lettuce the night before? And it hadn’t left his system? Hilarious!

  4. MrFlibble4747

    As a Thatcherism Refugee from the UK industrial north my blood boiled listening to Frankenberg and his stitched together monster of a policy principles lesson on the future of Australia, vomited out on Insiders.

    Make no mistake there will be austerity for some, just not them!

    We are already well set on the Utopia for me, Dystopia for you track by these rorters. A Happy Clapping land of oppression!

    When will someone stand up and declare that Bill Shorten had the last election stolen due to extensive rorting and pork barrelling?

    Not bitter tho (much)! Thanks for the article and the many before, and to come.

  5. Phil Pryor

    Again, for it has been all said before, when Thatcher died (muffled cheers) many articles appeared in U K media, most pointing out the criminality and culpabiiity of this fraud iron lady. Some accurately calculated that deaths, in large numbers of thousands, misery and degradation followed her adjustments and depredations in health, housing, education, industry, social policy, etc. Early death and misery are no fun and Thatcher should have been the victim, not the other innocents. Instead, privatising profiteers moved in, poorer hard workers were marginalised and excluded, the sick were more neglected, less opportunity existed, the exploiters were rearmed, the developers and their poxy bumboys took up the controls, hangers on and lobbyists and donors lifted their intrusive presence, so that life for most got worse as the cunning cornered the cash, opportunities, openings, reins, positions. As for that declining senile goat Reagan, thirty eight presidents had got the USA government gross debt to c. 900 billions, c. 970 on forward estimates. Reagan got it to three trillion! His programs, policies and G Bush snr. got it to Four trillions in twelve years. Madness! Now, USA prudence, fiscal restraint and financial sense have gone forever, especially thanks to Bush Jnr. Thatcher and Reagan massively BUGGERED sense, decency, their nations and the future of the citizens, all for ego, greed, to please donors, bathe in vanity, wallow in the shitbath of self. What a disgusting example for our simple, naive, ambitious idiot treasurer to admire! Frydenberg is unfit for office, a kindy kid in an ill fitting suit…but the abuses illustated here are program favourites of this filthy conservative idiot government, led by a failed bullshitting advertising devoted liar, the P M, a Poxed Mentality, a Piltdown man, a Pathetic Misfit.

  6. DrakeN

    The measure of Maggie Thatcher’s success was, for me, the crowds in the square in front of St Paul’s Cathedral where Mrs. M’s funeral service was being conducted – all singing “Ding, dong the Witch is dead…”
    From Wikipedia: “Spontaneous street parties were held by some across Britain, comparable to the enthusiasm shown for the assassination of incumbent Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in 1812;[70] celebrations took place in Glasgow, Brixton, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds, Belfast, Cardiff and elsewhere;[71][72][73][74][75] Glasgow City Council advised citizens to stay away from street parties organised without their involvement or consent out of safety concerns.[76][77] A larger demonstration with around 3,000 protesters took place at Trafalgar Square in London on 13 April.”
    The ghosts of that terrible duo still haunt the societies which the Iron Lady claimed to not exist.
    Much of the blame for their evil successes has to be sheeted at the News media which was, as ever, owned and operated by the very people who benefitted most from the movement of the nations’ wealth into their pockets.

  7. Dave G.

    If anyone was hoping for a recovery programme with a heart you now know what is in store for us.Thatcherism with a good dose of Reaganism Oh my.

  8. Regional Elder

    It is perhaps helpful to recall that the younger Frydenberg learned his political craft at the feet of John Winston Howard, an ardent admirer of Thatcher and Reagan

    Perhaps a viewing of the film Pride (2014) could help Frydenberg appreciate the destructive influence of Thatcher on ordinary working people, and on British society, but I suspect not. The Treasurer is utterly a captive of Tory ideology, an ambitious one at that, and heir apparent to Morrison.

  9. Jack Cade

    Reagan was an empty vessel. His only skill was his ability to remember the lines fed to him by his owners. A former union leader, he was playdough in the hands of the neocons. The USA chooses to pretend that Reagan made Gorbachev ‘tear down that wall’.
    His mental state in his second term was worse than Biden’s is now, but he could still mouth the lines he was fed, the way dementia sufferers can recall events from their past but can’t find the keys in their pockets.
    Biden will not be an improvement on Trump, because he has the same owners. He will
    be Hillary Clinton – in his pomp he was a hard right Democrat, indistinguishable from the Republicans. Whoever he chooses as potential VP is the key to the Democrats winning the White House, but the damage Trump and McConnell have done to the US will be hard to remedy.

  10. Andrew J. Smith

    Think again, it is a manifestation or way of fitting the (19thC) radical right libertarian ideology and eugenics agitprop into media and social narratives.

    Produce some nostalgia for the ageing less diverse LNP constituency (and electorates) while avoiding the present and future….

    In other media too many of those offering comments fall for the libertarian trap of equating Democrats with GOP, Keating/Hawke and Labor with the LNP etc. with a focus purely on economic policies In other words, they are all as bad as each other, so you may as well keep the status quo and not vote centre or left….. but the latter do actually have superior social polices and influence upon economics.

    This ignores fact that any potential policy change for the broader good needs a reforming centre left government, not social reactionary right wing government… the centre right through left must avoid falling into these tactical traps that are set up for them…..

  11. jamie

    Phil Pryor:

    I thank this sums it all up as far as them LIEbral crim imposters goes.

    “A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”
    H. L. Mencken

    Regards & buy a leafblower there’s gonna be loads of CS in the streets when they fully unleash their bully uniformed gangs!!!

    Strength and Honour!!!

  12. Jack Cade

    Ah, Thatcher. ‘Why don’t we just let Liverpool and Newcastle and Sheffield die?’ Thatcher.
    I hope somebody had the presence of mind to drive a stake through its f*cking heart when it died.
    If they could find one.

  13. Mark Shields

    “People like Thatcher – and Morrison – seem to assume everyone would bludge on welfare given half a chance.”
    Only corporate tax Bludgers and their political lackeys would seriously consider this a legitimate threat, compared to the billions of unpaid corporate taxes!

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