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Ideology no longer rules

By 2353NM  

As the superannuation advertising says — compare the pair. Alan Jones and former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello discussed the Rudd/Swan economic stimulus during the 2009 ‘Global Economic Crisis

ALAN JONES:

Well then knowing that he has got a massive problem with debt and deficits, massive problem, therefore he has got the infrastructure hat on and even though we are only going to get $1.7 billion spent in the next financial year, but he has got the infrastructure hat on to try and distract from debt and deficit, now telling us that there will be a relatively rapid recovery. If there is to be a relatively rapid recovery wouldn’t it have been more responsible to have lower Budget deficits in the next two years and where is the Treasury advice on any of this? Where is the Treasury advice about the impact of the stimulus packages? Where is the Treasury advice and assessment of the changes to workplace relations? Where is the Treasury model that tells us about the consequence of the affordability or otherwise of the Broadband Network? Where is the Treasury advice on the Emissions Trading Scheme? There is none.

MR COSTELLO:

Exactly right. Well here is an interesting question why doesn’t he release the Treasury advice which said before Christmas that he should be doling out cheques of $1,000 per child and per pensioner? Where is the Treasury advice that says after Christmas he should be doling out $900 cheques?

ALAN JONES:

Well you know Treasury, you know Treasury, is there any do you reckon?

And then there is Annabel Crabb’s report of a recent interview between Alan Jones and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann

And for some who would ordinarily lose their freaking minds about poor people getting free money, it’s required some … discipline.

Radio announcer Alan Jones summoned Finance Minister Mathias Cormann for an audience early this morning (poor old Senator Cormann; he joined the program from Perth where it was 4am) and prefaced his interview with a declaration that “it’s important in these things that we support the Prime Minister”.

What followed was a mighty display of restraint as Jones tiptoed through this provoking new landscape while trying not to say anything unsupportive.

“I’m trying to avoid being critical,” he gasped, like a dowager clutching a scented hanky while tottering through plague-ridden streets, as he politely asked Cormann why everyone was being paid the same.

Jones must really be feeling the pain at the moment, his ideology is crashing down around him. Cormann is promoting the same policies that Jones and Costello were ranting against only 10 years ago. Not only does business have to adjust to a set rate for those whose wages are being subsidised by the government through the ‘Jobkeeper’ program, the last day of March effectively saw the nationalisation of the private hospital system and Virgin Australia openly suggesting that the Federal Government may end up with shares in the company should it not repay a loan required to avoid a monopoly in the Australian airline market (effectively partly nationalising part of the airline system). People are being told two’s company, three’s not allowed and people crossing a border (be it international or domestic) are being detained for 14 days, admittedly in a hotel rather than the detention centres considered suitable for refugees used as pawns in political battles. Oh yes, don’t forget that the two major political parties are co-operating on when Parliament sits again (and it will be considerably sooner than the 5 months as initially suggested a few weeks ago). In The New Daily on 31 March, Paul Bongiorno observes

On Sunday night, the Prime Minister ended a news conference saying he was not going to respond to what the Labor Party was saying.

On Monday, he did just that and some more — and the nation is better off for it.

Scott Morrison has unveiled a breathtaking government jobs subsidy package costing an eye-watering $130 billion.

Just last Friday Finance Minister Mathias Cormann ruled out the very idea– and in that he was lockstep with the Prime Minister and Treasurer, who had been dismissing it for weeks.

On Monday morning, Josh Frydenberg claimed the government had been working on that scheme for a while

Paddy Manning, who writes for The Monthly suggests

Near-universal welcome for the federal government’s massive $130 billion JobKeeper package leaves Labor in a quandary. Support for direct wage subsidies was emerging as a major point of policy difference between the Opposition and the government — now the prime minister and treasurer have backflipped and stolen Labor’s position.

Hopefully before three people socialising is allowed again the seemingly fundamental shift in politics will be nailed down. It seems that the ACTU and the Federal Attorney General argued for the ‘Jobkeeper’ policy which on the surface will support Australians now so they will be able to return to their existing jobs when there is a lesser need to ‘social distance’. It reflects well on Labor not to be criticising the government’s health or economic response purely for the sake of scoring political points, just as it reflects well on the Coalition that they can see the benefit of what seems to be a good idea, regardless of the similarity to the Greens’ universal basic income policy or the involvement of the labour movement in the conception of the now implemented policy.

There are green shoots of actually caring about Australians evident in the current environment. It’s a shame that it’s taken a pandemic and a number of unfortunate deaths for the hard heads on all sides of politics to concentrate on people in society rather than ideology.

What do you think?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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10 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    An inflated and pompous barrister named Costello, no economist at all, let Australia down severely in privatisations and gold sales. We got structural problems in tax matters, in revenues forward and in galloping debt, and Costello and Howard (easily our worst ever treasurer) made sure they got noticed, but for evil efforts of no sense or decency. The current government has equally deficient economics idiots and we have little hope. Great economists wrote, left us records and reputations; we should learn, no??

  2. totaram

    “There are green shoots of actually caring about Australians evident in the current environment.”

    Don’t worry, the “mejia” is on the job to counter any such deviant thinking. Right on cue:

    $6m for each life saved is too high (opinion in the AFR)

    Just because I knew I needed to keep an eye on what the oligarchs want us to think, I actually took up a special offer of the AFR for 3 months. Here is another article, and by a Labor stalwart:

    How to defuse the virus debt bomb: Craig Emerson

    It makes some useful points but misses the boat because of the “debt” illusion.
    and:

    COVID-19’s intergenerational wealth transfer Adrian Blundell-Wignall

    The same “debt, deficit, inter-generational transfer” arguments are surfacing, and they will be used to enforce austerity as soon as possible. As long as everyone continues to believe this nonsense (and boy do they ALL believe it!) there is no chance anything will change. You can hope, but in vain.

  3. Kerri

    There is one phrase most politicians need to commit to memory!
    Never say never!

  4. TuffGuy

    Whilst the fascists did rush out the $130 billion jobs subsidy policy one always has to remember the devil is in the details, the fineprint, where fascist nastiness has been found to be lurking.

  5. whatever

    Well, the ABC might as well just be called the ‘Government Information Network’ now. All we get is LNP (State and Federal) politicians telling us how they are doing a great job managing this emergency. Rather like the Indonesian media, as I am given to understand.
    Whenever an ALP figure, such as the QLD Premier or any Federal Labor member, are given the microphone they are invariably cut-off mid sentence as we have to suddenly “….go back to the studio.” LNP people can waffle-on for as long as they like….to the point where they often stray from the problem at hand and start talking politics.

  6. New England Cocky

    Oh well, we can always read AIMN to discover what the next “wonderful” policy from the Liarbral Nazional$ COALition misgovernment will be.

  7. Henry Johnston

    A recurrent theme of this nastiness is capitalism is morphing into a type of benign scoialisim. But I think the much vaunted ‘snap back’ will be more a snap forward into a kind of digital Great Depression. Either way, the spruikers of the old order such as Alan Jones and the entire Murdoch Clan, are on their way out. But beware those who replace them!

  8. Max Gross

    Once the coronavirus threat is gone, Sideshow Scott and the LNP crime syndicate will not only return to type and reverse everything they have reluctantly and begrudgingly done during this crisis, they will come screaming down on the jobless, marginalised and discarded as never before. All the newbies still stuck on JobActive/JobSeeker/JobKeeper/ShitEater – or whatever the current moniker is for the dole – will receive the full fist in the face that old hands have endured for years: Indue card, drug testing, pointless, punitive “mutual obligation” running-round-circles and Serf-for-the-Dole, and probably a reduction in the dole to even lower than it was prior to Sideshow Scott’s covid19 top-ups. It will be a bloodbath.

  9. andy56

    max, you are definitly on tender hooks, lol. The reality is , some kind of normality wont come around in 6 months. It may take 12months in a gradual improvement. The government wont dare to reduce the large numbers to poverty. It wont be possible to climb below 10% unemployed for quite a while. 6 months is a target, not a plan. He wont be able to flick a switch and everything back to how it was, an impossibility on any reasoned logic. The plan may come after 6 months but a leopard doesnt change its spots. Dont hold your breath.

  10. Jack sprat

    It’s a bizarro animal farm ,the capitalist pigs are beginning to walk upright and becoming human .

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