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It`s Time … To Raise Newstart!

By Christian Marx

Australia is rapidly going down the toilet. Stagnating wages, chronic unemployment and increasingly tenuous work has resulted in a lower standard of living for the middle-class. Even worse off are the poor. Not content with introducing a draconian job agency for profit program, the architects of this sick neoliberal ideology have also introduced “robo debt” … which is basically stealing from the most disadvantaged.

Meanwhile, the biggest parasites receive massive subsidies and handouts from the government. On top of this the wealthiest, such as Gina Rinehart, donate millions of dollars to right-wing lobby groups in the hope of influencing both government and the unwitting general public. In the 2016/17 financial year alone, Rinehart donated a whopping 4.5 million to the fascist, climate-denying “think tank” the Institute of Public Affairs. This dangerous organisation is behind much of the LNP policy manifesto. They seek to erode worker’s rights and enhance big business power. They also seek to smash state services and privatise all state-owned services, including the ABC.

The Big 4 banks in Australia are estimated to get a whopping 5 billion worth of subsidies per year.

At the other end of the scale, those thrown on the unemployment scrapheap are forced to subsist on Newstart “benefits” which are at a shockingly low $545.80 per fortnight for a single unemployed person, and a paltry $590.40 a fortnight for an adult with children. This is less than $300 a week. This is well below the Henderson poverty line which is approx $400 a week.

The cost of rentals in this country would eat up most of an unemployed person’s expenses. According to Anglicare in 2017, under 1% of 67,000 rental properties were affordable to someone on a pension or unemployment benefits!

How the hell can a person on benefits survive in a rental crisis such as this? The answer is that they can`t! Many are couch-surfing at friends or relative’s houses, skipping meals and in many cases end up homeless and living on the streets. It is obscene that in a wealthy country such as Australia, billions can be handed over to mining companies, billions more on defence, and supporting that war monstrosity known as the USA. Billions more on multinational companies that continue to offshore more and more jobs to India and China for slave labour.

If you are not sickened by this current criminal waste of money, given to those with all the wealth and power, perhaps you are in a coma!

Both sides of politics will not raise Newstart, the pension or disability benefits unless they are publicly exposed and all their subsidies to big business are open to public scrutiny. Bill Shorten has merely mentioned that Newstart will be “looked at.” For Christ’s sake, man, do something! Neoliberalism is ensuring millions are now sliding into poverty. It is time for you to stand up and do something for the people of Australia! What would Gough Whitlam do?!

Fortunately, some grass roots pressure groups have had a big effect in lobbying their local councils. Many councils have heard the real horror stories directly from real people suffering every day as a direct result of government inaction in raising pensions and unemployment benefits. Anti-Poverty Network under the tireless leadership of Pas Forgione have relentlessly pushed for change and a voice for the disadvantaged. Owen Bennet from Australian Unemployment Workers Union is also making an impact in Melbourne.

The LNP are a dead loss when it comes to a compassionate society. Their whole ideology reeks of Classical Liberalism (aka survival of the fittest). Labor were a once great party who championed the rights of the poor and made huge strides towards lessening poverty and economic inequality. Where are you, Labor? The onus is on you, Bill Shorten and co! What would Gough do? We all know the answer to this. He would say “It’s time … time to raise Newstart!”

Below is the video made by the Anti-Poverty Network, recreating the classic Labor election song from 1972, “It`s Time.”

Christian Marx is a political and social activist interested in making the world a fairer place. He has a Bachelor of Social Science and has a keen interest in sociology, politics and history. He was one of the organizers of the March in March rallies in Melbourne and is the founder of the progressive news and information page, “Don`t Look At This Page”, and is also a co-founder of “The Global Revolution” website.


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  1. Cool Pete

    This government appears to believe that employment is available and those on Newstart are just lazy. What needs to be done is to consider this, employment is more tenuous in Australia and a person expected to look for work and attend interviews cannot do so if they cannot appear in a clean and presentable state. And let’s not forget that with the hoops that unemployed people have to jump through, they need to pay transport fares (which can add up to around $30-50 a week), they also need to eat. What is forgotten conveniently is that unemployed people’s money is also returned to the economy, unlike the wealthy. Gina Rinehart is salient here as she is donating money to organisations to do her bidding, rather than in opportunities for people.

  2. etnorb

    Whilst I believe that ALL pension payments should rise, the pittance for being on New Start is an absolute disgrace! No one can really live on what you get for the dole today. It really should be at least $100:00 or so more just to exist! Sadly ALL the obscenely wealthy mining magnates, pastoralists, business moguls & property developers etc could not care less about the unemployed or persons on any sort of Welfare. This is, of course, backed by the incumbent effing inept, lying, flat earth, right wing so called “liberal” (?) mob. who also do not care one iota about any person getting Welfare of any sort! In fact, I reckon if they had their way there would be no Welfare payments at all, after all how can they “exist” (sic) if they are “handing out” money to any of the “lower class” or workers? Bastards the lot of them!

  3. Babyjewels

    I feel nothing but despair for our once great country where once we had a “fair go.” And when I read there is only 2 points between Liberal and Labor and no other party coming close, it’s even worse because it gives us little to no hope for the future. I’m a naturalised Australian, thinking about falling back on her dual citizenship. My daughter has already gone.

  4. Christian Marx

    Where are you from originally, Babyjewels?

  5. Ricardo29

    If the I P A is a registered charity, which I believe it is, then Gina will get a fairly substantial tax concession on her “charitable donations” which, of course means other taxpayers are subsidising her or them. This is not an idea I particularly like. I would note that GetUp has deliberately not sought charity status which means those, like me, who donate to them pay full whack. I hope that Labor in Government will not only increase pensions — and Newstart by the CPI it has missed out on for the past twenty or so years — but will review the charity status of the IPA and, if applicable, revoke it.

  6. Trish Corry

    I agree Newstart should be raised. However, as someone who views the system as a whole and doesn’t just want knee jerk reactions; I think the review by Labor is extremely important.

    A review is not just “looking at something” it is actually a serious mechanism which should identify a range of negative outcomes and develop contingencies to counter said negative outcomes.

    Contrary to populist anti Labor leftist beliefs, Labor is not the Government. As with everything else, I expect they will make their announcements on this in due course, along with a comprehensive costed policy. This is necessary for progress, because the challenges from the anti-Labor media will try to knock down anything that is not solid.

    The Greens will be waiting with memes and many posts to saturate social media with, that will, as is consistent form, tell only part of the story or as others who like to use real words – lies. Oh and blame Albo somehow.

    It’s important for Labor to win Govt to achieve anything in this area, so no, currently it’s not up to Bill Shorten.

    I hope readers can appreciate why Labor must do a review. Everyone can criticise the review when it occurs. But stating Labor won’t do anything, is as it stands at the moment, is completely false.

    I also wish Greens and their supporters would cease using Gough Whitlam as their own. They really need to find their own icon. It’s the fourth time this week I have seen it.

    My idol Dr. John Falzon is standing for pre-selection. What an exciting addition of expertise and experience Labor will have in this area if he wins.

  7. Ill fares the land

    The article raises valid points about Newstart; the excesses of the rich and in particular the less corpulent, but still corpulent Rinehart and the influence of the IPA. What it doesn’t really raise is how we as a society degenerated to this level.

    We, as a society, listened to governments who demonised the poor and vulnerable as a prelude to reducing their payments and making them more difficult to access. Really, even Labor did this covertly but the LNP is overt and wages a regular campaign to convince those who are ripe for convincing that the it is the poor and vulnerable under-class that is responsible for this country’s woes. I mean, I didn’t fall for the government claptrap and perhaps “you” didn’t either (if you read AIM, you, like me realised the government was lying and merely being a lapdog to the wishes of Rinehart and the IPA), but many have fallen for it. We elected the current government when it was clear to anyone who bothered to look and listen that Abbott is too deeply flawed as a person and a politician to be PM (so is Turnbull, but who knows what will happen when we get to judge his performance at an election).

    We don’t really utter howls of protest at the ongoing examples of incompetent, corrupt government and a slew of policies that favour the rich and big business interests. We still buy the right-wing papers who obsequiously trumpet the propaganda of the wealthy and powerful. There are still many who will blindly put in a vote for the simpering right-wing OPA hack (Georgina “They’ll Love Me Because I’m The Next of the Downer Dynasty”) Downer in Mayo this Saturday – yes, she will probably get the electoral flogging she deserves, but there a plenty who are still happy to have another IPA apparatchik in the Parliament, because they believe that the downtrodden are the problem – not the wealthy whose greed demands they hoover up an ever-increasing slice of the economic pie and who oversee a range of policies designed to enrich them even further. No, we, as a greedy, self-interested and materialistic society strive increasingly to be like the rich – bigger houses, trendy wines and beers, expensive restaurants, bigger cars (yes, SUV’s and dual cabs are actually getting bigger), more expensive and exotic holidays (whereupon we ruin pristine environments so we can come back and brag to friends and sundry about where we have been to try and outdo them), appliances that are energy-efficient but still use more power because they are bigger (fridges with internet connectivity – have we lost our friggin’ minds?). This is us – not all of us, but enough so that this embodies what our society is as a whole.

  8. New England Cocky

    “If you are not sickened by this current criminal waste of money, given to those with all the wealth and power, perhaps you are in a coma!”

    Successive Australian governments have gifted free, gratis and for nothing, the undeserving wealthy and corporates, about $150 BILLION PER YEAR in the form of tax concessions, tax rebates, investment allowances, private school subsidies, fuel rebates and concessions to oil corporations and numerous other provisions for legally NOT paying taxation according to their ability to pay.

    “The LNP are a dead loss when it comes to a compassionate society. Their whole ideology reeks of Classical Liberalism (aka survival of the fittest). Labor were a once great party who championed the rights of the poor and made huge strides towards lessening poverty and economic inequality. Where are you, Labor?”

    Why is Australia wasting money keeping legal refugees on Manus and Nauru without judicial humanitarian rights, remaining present in Afghanistan in a war that was never going to be won by the COWs (Coalition of the Willing), or buying huge armaments orders from foreign suppliers unlikely to commit to either a firm price or a fixed delivery date?

    Get a grip Australia!!! New Zealand has the correct idea. Stay out of the pretence that military might is our strong point. ANZAC Cove was our biggest defeat at the hands of the British, Vietnam was a disaster that Bob “Pig Iron” Menzies invited Australians into disastrously and the Iraq Iran mess is another NLP disaster by Little Johnny Howard, who, like Menzies, has never fired a shot in anger.

  9. Christian Marx

    Trish Corry, what is there to review? Newstart is criminally low and causing homelessness. People cannot afford rent.
    Bill Shorten has had to be dragged kicking and screaming to address this. Some of the Labor senators sentiments regarding Newstart is jaw dropping. The Anti Poverty Network has been lobbying them to do something and many arent interested. Newstart has to be raised!

    Shorten couldn`t even
    guarantee that it would be raised even if he got into power? Who is controlling him? What has happened to Labor? I was once a staunch Labor voter, but no longer. They have moved so far to the right over the past 40 years it is breath taking. Their policies on
    asylum seekers, employment, foreign policy, privatization, the environment, and unemployment benefits stink to high heaven.

    Arguing that they are not in power is
    just not good enough anymore, because when they are in power they do nothing. They have had over 20 years to fix Newstart. It has not risen in real terms since 1994 and is well below the Henderson poverty line. Labor can no longer claim to stand for the values that Gough Whitlam once stood for. It s well past time for Labor to stop being a sycophant for big business and cowing from the Murdoch media. They no longer represent the average Australian anymore.

    John Falzon is a good man, but in all honesty he is wasting his time in the Labor party. I fear he will be used for media purposes and then his input ignored. Stop trying to make this a Greens versus Labor issue. It isn`t. Labor needs to move back to the left like U.K Labor has. It is time for some serious reform and a Federal ICAC.

  10. Mick Byron

    New England Cocky

    Get a grip Australia!!! New Zealand has the correct idea”
    Not on welfare !
    We are way below the poverty line
    “Most single people can get around $538.80 every 2 weeks”
    Now NZ
    “Up to NZ $194.12 (net) a week is paid if aged 25 or older, single, and with no children; NZ $161.76 (net) if aged 20 to 24 or if aged 18 or 19 and living away from home; NZ $129.41 (net) if aged 18 or 19 and living with a parent.”

    It is a bit much when the bit players who have no hope of forming Government, or even making much difference,start to throw figures around with the simple aim of attacking Labor.
    Why not $1000 a week, no strings ?

  11. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    This is what I’ve been writing on Twitter for 183 days so far:

    Day 183
    Why you too? @billshortenmp @AustralianLabor
    OUT @jennymacklin
    IN spine/conscience @LindaBurneyMP/@ClareONeilMP
    LET more paid income:NEW$TART
    PUMP Sole Parent/DSPensions
    #UBI #JG
    Labor/Greens #TheALLiance #AUSvotes2018

    No doubt some will take offence but doubtless they are not the vulnerable, devalued and deprived on Newstart!

  12. paul walter

    Chrisian Marx, “Nil carborundum Illegitimi”.

    Someone tries to flog you margarine in a different coloured package after you have asked for butter, it is not you who is the wrong even if it is robo doubling down.

    Trish, we want it fixed, not reviewed. Take that back to head office and ask THEM what is it THEY don’t get about public rejection of rejection of policy for promise as postponement.

    Too much form, too many squibs from them over too long a time and with core stuff.

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Paul

  14. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Christian Marx.


    Gough Whitlam is a hero to many of us and will stay that way.

    Whitlam belongs to Australian progressiveness and saying he only belongs to neoliberal Labor, tarnishes his legacy.

  15. Adrianne Haddow

    Having been of voting and working age (when Australians had free education, jobs and industry, besides the mining industry) during the Whitlam years, I believe Gough Whitlam would not recognise today’s Labor Party.
    Nor would their neo-liberal policies sit well with him. Nor would Labor’s acceptance of the new national security con ( no matter how many amendments were argued for).

    In much the same way as Jesus would not recognise the new Christians, nor be recognised by them, in today’s brave new world, I think Gough would be sitting at the back with the Labor left, and the pragmatists would have the front seats.

  16. Jane Cally

    Trish Corry we have had enough reviews, that is ALL they ever do. The time for talk is over, it is TIME TO RAISE NEWSTART!. Living on less that $40 a day is not possible! Newstart is a barrier to finding employment. 63% of people believe Newstart needs to be raised. Even the Business Council agrees. This could be a vote winner!
    Labor WILL NOT commit to raising Newstart now or even later. No, they are not in government, they are in opposition. Their job is to OPPOSE. If they are frightened now of the backlash, what are they going to be like when in power, it is going to 100x worse. Do you see Jeremy Corbyn backing down with the massive amount of smearing and lies he is receiving?? That is opposing!
    Labor need to grow a pair and start working for the people, NOT the corporations. Even Albo has said that Labor need to be more corporate friendly.
    I have spoken to a few Labor MP’s and the APN has spoken to a few more. None will commit, they pay lip service. The coordinator has even been told to find out how it can be paid for and they MAY listen! It is not APN’s job to do financials. It is easy to know how it is going be paid for! Stop corporate tax cuts, stop corporate rebates, stop corporate tax evasion and there will be plenty of money.
    Other Labor MP’s have implied that the unemployed are lazy! That is something I would expect from the LNP, NOT Labor.
    Labor MUST go back to their grass roots and be of the people, for the people, by the people. We do NOT want or need TWO RIGHT WING PARTIES.

  17. paul walter

    Of course, it is how politics is done these days. Don’t correct the policy, double down with more spin, spin is at fault, not the policy, gaaaahh!

    The conservatives are even worse.

    That is why they appear to have replaced Ellen Fanning with Rinehart’s poodle Van Onselen on the Drum.

  18. Mick Byron

    I’m surprised at how many alleged progressives don’t vote Labor {WELL, no I’m not}
    Guess you won’t mind another LNP Gov if Labor is so on the nose?

  19. Loz Lawrey

    A well-written piece, Christian. I totally agree. Thank you.

  20. paul walter

    How can Mick Byron make a statement like that, against the comments made by others here?

    We want Labor to GET ITS SHIT TOGETHER, not dishonestly pass itself off as progressive when all it intends doing is conservatist neoliberalism.

    It is precisely because the ALP WON’T differentiate itself from the Tories that commentary from people like Christian Marx will call bullshit. We don’t WANT a Tory margarine in a different coloured wrapper, we want proper LABOR policies and a PROPER challenge to Toryism.

    If I wanted margarine, I’d vote Tory.. why the additional con of margarine passed off as butter when I’ve asked for butter, the insult to intelligence offends.

    In the end it is not the marg that offends, it is the attempt at a con.

    Now, go away Mick, before you REALLY get me annoyed.

  21. Christian Marx

    Crap response Mick Byron. Labor have had decades to get their shit together. Labor have moved so far right

    that they are no longer a progressive party anymore, which is why they will not get my vote. Labor left me, I did not leave Labor.
    If Labor don`t start moving back to the left, they will continue to lose progressive votes.

  22. Mick Byron

    I vote for a Party based on its many policies.
    I am over this continual “I won’t vote Labor because {insert single issue”}
    Have you thought that what YOU want may not be what the majority of voters want ?
    Just how did the Socialist Alliance poll, or Greens for that matter.
    See how they killed off March in March once they privatised it.
    Obviously Labor apeals more to the broader voting public than you think
    Labor announced its 100 policies and is continually working on more.
    Thankfully Labor don’t have to appeal to a few on this site, moreso on the 76 seats it needs and what the broader public want and expect, Health NDIS, NBN etc
    as for masrgarine and butter I don’t touch the stuff 😀

  23. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sure Labor appeals to the broader public? Is that why Labor lost by ONE seat last Fed election?

    Labor needs to look beyond its frenemies in the LNP and its rusted-ons in Comfort Land; and seek its true friends again out there in the scary marginal seats and progressive places.

  24. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    “Is that why Labor lost by ONE seat last Fed election?”

    Time to review your maths
    Labor needed 76 seats to form Government
    They got 69

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Labor would have won, if Labor had formed a working relationship with the Greens and other progressives. Don’t deny it.

    But as they say, it’s never too late to learn by their mistakes and turn it around in 2018.

  26. Mick Byron

    Bandt is one vote and will probably lose this time.
    Who were you counting Katter, McGowan etc ?

  27. paul walter

    It should have trounced the worst Government in Australian history, but wouldn’t differentiate itself on key issues.

  28. Mick Byron

    shoulda woulda coulda, ah………………….. the background noise

  29. Kaye Lee

    Deloitte Access estimate that the direct cost of giving every recipient of a working age or student payment an extra $50 a week at around $3 billion. KPMG has also recommended a $50 a week increase. As has just about everybody, and plenty of modelling has already been done. The BCA said it is so low that it represents a barrier to employment.

    As tai wrote “At a time when the wealthiest five per cent of Australians are receiving $10 billion worth of superannuation tax concessions each year and the mining industry enjoys more than $4 billion per year in government subsidies and concessions, it’s hard to understand how an increase in the Newstart Allowance is so contentious.”

    I’m not sure we need any more reviews.

  30. Joseph Carli

    It’s a curious conundrum that it would seem The Greens are more keen to differentiate and distance themselves from Labor than from the LNP….Is that why The Greens have little difficulty in voting WITH the LNP on some contentious issues?
    Who?..Me?…I’m a communist sympathiser, but vote Labor because they, at least, have the best chance of gaining govt’ and the best option for getting social policy of at least some description for the greatest number of people through…other than that, I always say : “Joe Stalin was too soft”…

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Look in the mirror, Joseph.


    I’m not just talking about the one actual seat but the many more other potential seats when progressive people in the various electorates see Labor and Greens working together with a plan for progressive reforms and with proportionate responsibilities and benefits, as they defeat the LNParasites seat after seat after seat.

    Got the message?!

  32. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    By the way, Newstart needs to be Doubled – not just a paltry $50 per week increase.

    My justification? At its present level, it is approximately half of the Poverty Line.

    That’s my justification, as nobody should be expected to eke out an existence at HALF the Poverty Line after TWENTY years of no increase to Newstart.

  33. Joseph Carli

    Admittedly, as a single issue party, The Greens did way better when defending environmental issues than Nick Xenephon and his demand to get rid of Pokies…but that’s where both of your parties met your “Peter Principle” limit…The first time you were put to the “broader politics” test on the Carbon trading scheme, you lost your bottle…you put all your wager on the nose of an LNP nag and while THEY won, you and the community lost…and the same can be said over and over again..and now, with this gambling addiction well and truly entrenched, you want Labor to come to YOUR table to do a deal…Wouldn’t it be a tad more judicious if The Greens were to take their small-change purse to Labor’s house and …suggest…an option most judicious to both parties?

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The Greens are a multi issue and multi policy party. Ask Labor, they like to claim ownership of them!

    The Carbon trading scheme was not a mistake, as we see Climate Change worsening. That’s a prime example of where Labor and Greens should practise working together much better so such outcomes are avoided.

    In the meantime, have you asked Shayne Neumann lately, what effective policy measures he’s planning to mitigate against Dutton’s humantiarian abuses?

    No?! I didn’t think so!

  35. corvus boreus

    Joseph Carli (6:32),
    So your druthers would be a more extreme version of the totalitarian dictatorship of an ego-maniacal despot who killed millions of his people through a combination of irrational paranoia and sheer hidebound incompetence, but you would settle for the ALP.
    Hell of an electoral endorsement.

  36. Joseph Carli

    ” The Greens are a multi issue and multi policy party. . . ” One can see that by the mass appeal they have reflected by the number of representatives they have in Parliament…I seem to recall a recent inner Melbourne seat going NOT to where so many Greens almost guaranteed it would go, but to Labor…now why was that?..Oh yeah!…the mass appeal of a multi policy party. . .
    Who’s Shane Neumann?

  37. Joseph Carli

    ” an ego-maniacal despot who killed millions of his people . . . “….Now hang on a futttock’s sake minute, Crow..this discussion is NOT about either The Pope nor Trump…stay on subject!
    And yeah…I vote Labor out of a sense of reality…Realpolitik…I have written here on the subject of “The bitter-sweet art of politics”
    The Bitter-Sweet art of politics.

  38. Christian Marx

    The Greens are far more progressive than the ALP…on a whole range of issues, including economic, environmental,
    and social. I am flabbergasted that you would continue to vote for the Labor party, Joseph, especially since you call yourself a Communist sympathiser. The mind boggles, it really does.

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Are you kidding? Don’t you know who Shorten’s best RW faction mate is?

  40. corvus boreus

    Joseph Carli,
    Thus far your historical heroes seem to be Julius Caesar (a mass-enslaving conqueror who converted a republic into a dictatorship), and Joseph Stalin (Hitler’s only real rival in the 20th century kill-count).
    Do you have any historical heroes who aren’t blood-soaked tyrants?

  41. Trish Corry

    The Greens can claim to be progressive, but as explained above by Joe, when it comes down to it, they crack under pressure and make massive anti-progressive stuff ups, that have long lasting damage. They are a protest party and have the luxury to do or say whatever they want, just like Pauline Hanson.

    In fact, the similarities between Greens and Hanson’s online marketing and messaging, is absolutely gobsmacking. Both are based on a looming threat to our existence, creating mass fear, attacking Labor and remaining silent on the Liberals.

  42. Joseph Carli

    Christian, Jennifer, Crow..: The Greens only SOUND more progressive than Labor..they only SAY more progressive things..they only Propose progressive policies..the Realpolitik situation does not give them the opportunity to enact ANY progressive policy and the ONLY time I see them “succeeding” in promoting any sort of policy is when they vote WITH the LNP !!..And Yes.I know Shorten stood as best-man for the IPA chief (whatsisname)..and sure, he went to an exclusive school etc..but I don’t vote for Bill Shorten, I vote for the Realpolitik situation that gives the best chance of some social policy getting up..when the communist party can get its act together to put up many candidates that have a chance of gaining office, THAT’S where my vote will go, but don’t call me, I’ll call you..
    Tyrants, despots, dictators….Saints, heroes, enlightened gurus and gods…they are all but grist to the mill of history..But hey, Crow..I got twenty seconds to spare, how about YOU tell me ALL you know about classic and contemporary history…starting from…..NOW!

  43. Kaye Lee

    When people criticise the Greens for not having supported Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, “we should remember three things. First, Rudd made no effort to keep the Greens onside (quite the opposite). Second, hindsight is 20/20 – who could honestly have predicted the all-out culture war that would erupt over climate policy? Finally, critics rarely mention that in January 2010 the Greens proposed an interim carbon tax until policy certainty could be achieved, but could not get Labor to pay attention.”

  44. corvus boreus

    Trish Corry,
    I guess the difference between the comparative major ‘looming fears’ expressed by PHON (“Australia’s being swamped by…[insert current fear]!”) and the Greens (Human over-exploitation of environmental resource is drastically destabilising the climate of our planet to dangerous levels) is that the latter is widely and seriously regarded an existential global threat, as borne out by an overwhelming volume of supportive evidence provided by decades of scientific research upon the subject.
    I realize that it may seem like a small difference, but I think that it is a crucial one.

  45. corvus boreus

    You want me to compress several decades of enthusiastic (if academically unqualified) historical study of a period spanning several millennia into a 20 second spiel?
    The last time I related some realities regarding your hero Caesar (on the human consequences of his Gallic invasion), you weren’t particularly interested, and I do not jump or bow to the arrogant demands of an egotist who fawn over dictators and despots.

  46. Joseph Carli

    K Lee…First; it was NOT Kevin Rudd’s policy, it was a Labor policy, second , I can recall the vicious opposition The Green put against the original carbon policy…and then to propose an alternative and expect those you insult to come on board, shows an amateur political stand on broad-based politics…”one cannot shake hands with a clenched fist”..if one expands ones political horizons to view some denier and RWNJ blogs of those times, one could see and comment on the nexus between climate denial and ethnic / indigenous rights denial..the LNP with the undeniable assistance of ALL the MSMedia have been very successful at this division…it’s not 20/20 hindsight that is required, it’s a study of history.
    ” I do not jump or bow to the arrogant demands of an egotist who fawn over dictators and despots.”…Well, praise the Lord for THAT!

  47. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish Corry,

    please define ‘progressive.

    Kaye Lee,

    well balanced and sensible insight into the great benefits of having the Greens as a growing minor party.

  48. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The Greens aren’t growing, they are shrinking

  49. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So now you claim to be an authority on the Greens! How desperate are you to show Labor’s loss of political space of the Left?

    Obviously, very.


  50. corvus boreus

    The reality, by the most recent few polls, is that currently Greens support is fairly stable/stagnant at around 12% primary.
    But hell, let’s not let any of us let inconvenient facts get in the way of party point scoring.

  51. Mick Byron

    No, no authority, I can just count- and look at election results
    ps, did you figure out how the Labor Party lost by 7 yet you managed to have them losing by 1
    Maths not your strong point?

  52. Mick Byron

    corvus boreus,
    that’s polls. They always drop at elections and are constricting into tighter inner city areas

  53. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Obviously, you can’t interpret the Big Picture.

  54. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Which polls are you looking at Mick?

    Are they the ones that favour Labor alone? Then ofcourse, your ‘evidence’ will scew our discussion but good on you. Poor little Billy, is too scared to be seen to publicly discuss anything proactive with Richard and that is the crux of the matter.

    The two entire parties of Greens and Labor must be seen to discuss, plan, provide and intend better solutions and reforms for ALL those we represent who happen to be 75% of Australians and Australian interests.

    Relax and
    have a bex
    and then we’ll let you
    discuss with us.

  55. Mick Byron

    Which is ?
    Take QLD
    Greens polled 10% however
    “”They haven’t done well outside of the south-east. Have a look at regional Queensland, the Greens only have 5.8 per cent.” Antony Green ABC
    Even the “big picture” had them dismally behind even One Nation
    . “Looking only at seats One Nation contested, the party polled 20.7%, 18.4% in south-east 23.1% in rest of state”.

    Then I guess we should mention Batman … well.. maybe not

    And Jennifer, Bill made it clear to Dickie, “If you want a role in a Labor Government ,you’d better join Labor”

    How did you dream up Labor and Greens representing 75% of Australians ? maths Jennifer, maths

  56. Kaye Lee

    At the 2016 election, in the HoR the Greens received 1,385,651 first preference votes resulting in one person being elected. The LNP received 1,153,736 votes resulting in 21 people being elected.

  57. Joseph Carli

    ” Then I guess we should mention Batman … well.. maybe not”….nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nup…BATMAANNN!!

  58. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I know Billy said that but you repeating it only reminds us of how much he is a dinosaur.

    True, we lost Batman but how confident are you about Melbourne Ports?

    After dunce Danby, I would venture most respectfully to suggest, you shouldn’t be.

  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mick, I suggest you become quiet for a few moments and open your eyes so you can educate yourself with the statistics your friend Kaye has provided about REALITY.

  60. Matters Not

    Ain’t reality interesting. Apparently there’s a reality for every purpose. But for all intents and purposes it’s not external to the constructor. As theorised many decades ago:

    “ If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences. ” In other words, the interpretation of a situation … .


    (Sorry about the interruption.) Now if we can only take subjectivity (reality constructions) out of discussions.

  61. Mick Byron

    And I’m sure Kaye Lee is willing to acknowledge that the LNP { I assume that was meant to be LNP QLD } targetted winnable seats where they have strong support bases whereas the Greens contested all 150 seats and picked up votes from all over.
    The tight preference deals of the LNP QLD with their 1,153,736 and the Liberal Party of Australias 3,882,905,National Party of Australias 624,555 and Country Liberal Party (NT)s 32,409 with all Parties totals of 5,131,505 ensured a strong preference flow and the number of seats gained.

  62. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    You said it, Mick.

    Proportional representative voting is the way to go.

    As usual, the Greens lead the way for the Dinosaurs who only exist by condensing in their safe little hidey holes.

  63. corvus boreus

    Mick Byron,
    ‘They always drop at elections’
    In the 2016 election, the Greens national primary primary rebounded to a bit over 10%, an improvement from their drastic decline to well under 9% in the 2013 election.
    This put them above the preceding indicators of Newspoll (9%) and Essential (10%), but well below the expectations of Morgan (13%) and IPSOS (14%).
    Drop, rise, I guess it depends on relative perspective and exactly who you ask.

    ‘Have a look at regional Queensland’
    Wow, a socially progressive party that is founded upon ideological principles of environmental and ecological protection isn’t particularly popular out in the heartland of Hanson mania.
    Whoda thunkit?

    ‘Then I guess we should mention Batman’
    The ALP fielded a superb candidate in Ged Kearney, gave her substantive backing, and won a closely run electoral race.
    In the next general election, I suggest that Labor consider devoting similar attention to the neighboring electorate of Melbourne Ports, which is tenuously held by the grubby mitts of an increasingly unpopular buffoon by the name of Michael Danby.

  64. Mick Byron

    I would be ok with first past the post, 1 person 1 vote.
    Then people would have to be fair dinkum and really consider their voting intention.
    At worst my choice would be optional preferential.
    Why be forced to number anyone you don’t or in reality would never vote for ?
    I resent having to put a number beside One Nation, Xenophon or Greens

  65. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    1st past the post is insufficient coz it is too black and white when our community is made up of dimensions which need proportional representation.

    I’ve become resentful of having to support Labor as the lesser of the two dinosaur duopoly evils but I will to keep the LNParasites out.

    And if you have any brains, you should think along the same lines, as Labor needs the Greens and other Progressives to beat the LNParasites this time at least despite the wasted opportunity in 2016.

  66. paul walter

    Rudd’s carbon tax didn’t fit the bill, too soft on polluters.

    If I were Joe or Trish Corry I would be more concerned about Rudd’s grovelling to Murdoch, mentioned in a link up a couple of days ago.

  67. Kaye Lee

    I understand your point about targetting seats Mick. The two conservative parties have engineered things so they rarely compete against each other. Unfortunately, the Labor party will make no such accommodation for the other progressive party. And why should they I suppose. But it leaves a large swathe of the community unrepresented.

    Emissions reduction has slipped from the conversation. That really worries me.

    “Australia’s annual emissions for the year to December 2017 are estimated to be 533.7 Mt CO2-e. This figure is 2.4 per cent below emissions in 2000 (547.0 Mt CO2-e)”

    We won’t even meet our measly 2020 target of 5% reduction on 2000 without creative accounting.

    I also note that many Greens policies eventually are adopted by the major parties eg marriage equality. Let’s hope Shorten listens about increasing Newstart. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of it.

  68. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee,
    In almost every election, State,Federal, Senate the ALP preference the Greens second.
    This is never reciprocated.
    An example, W.A. elections
    Labor gave number 2 to Greens in all Upper House seats
    Greens responded by
    Agricultural Region
    Greens preferenced Labor 11 to 14
    East Metro 14 to 19
    Mining and Pastoral 12 to 15
    North Metro 17 to 22
    South Metro 19 to 24
    South West Region 14 to 19

    Usually deals are two way streets, If you get continually burned by preferences and dirty deals like the false “Labor Adani” campaign in Batman and the underhanded doorknocking in QLD making allegations of corruption against senior ALP MPS, topped of with the massive spending to try to topple Albo and Tanya
    You guessed it, not much love lost by Labor for the Greens.
    When a Party, {The Greens} spend most of the run ups to elections with almost constant attacks on Labor with little criticism of One Nation, LNP, etc and some of the dirty deals they have pulled, as with Palmer or the attempts with Michael Kroger in Victoria for a Liberal/Greens preference deal, then yes, there is no trust and as many senior Labor figures have said, there won’t be deals

  69. corvus boreus

    And yet Labor and the Greens have, for several terms, managed a copacetic power-sharing arrangement in the ACT.
    Amazing what people can achieve when they actually work together towards a common goal.

  70. Joseph Carli

    ” I also note that many Greens policies eventually are adopted by the major parties. . . ” This notion that The Greens ARE-WERE-and WILL BE the “birthing partners” of all and sundry social policy is about as equal and pernicious as Turnbull claiming “Internet inventor” rights!…I recall the greatest victory (well deserved) of the “Green Movement” aka the Franklin River proposed damming, only succeeded after federal intervention by a Labor govt’…sure, I could, AND I DO–PERSONALLY… clamour for laws to be made and justice to be served off my own bat..like the “Stalinizing” of some posters on this site!..but what is that worth when I have NO POSSIBLE WAY of carrying it off?…The Greens are in the same boat, just that there is a couple more of them…so instead of trying to grab control of the oars and drowning the rest of the crew…wouldn’t it be better served if The Greens pulled the boat in the same direction as the Labor current and then win people over by their judicious camaraderie…like the parable of the oak and the reed…

    The Tree and The Reed

  71. Mick Byron

    I’ll leave it to Julia
    TIM PALMER: The Prime Minister Julia Gillard appears to be relishing the chance to put some distance between her Labor Government and the Greens. She’s described the Greens as a ‘party of protest’, which doesn’t value jobs in the same way as Labor.

    Ms Gillard said the Greens had some worthy ideas and good intentions but were only a protest party.
    Delivering the annual Gough Whitlam Oration in Sydney to Labor Party faithful last night, Ms Gillard tried to paint the ALP as being caught between the two extremes of the Greens and the Coalition.

    “The Greens will never embrace Labor’s delight at sharing the values of everyday Australians, in our cities, suburbs, towns and bush, who day after day do the right thing, leading purposeful and dignified lives, driven by love of family and nation,” she said.

    “The differences between Labor and the Greens take many forms but at the bottom of it are two vital ones. The Greens wrongly reject the moral imperative to a strong economy.

    “The Greens have some worthy ideas and many of their supporters sincerely want a better politics in our country. They have good intentions but fail to understand the centrepiece of our big picture – the people Labor strives to represent need work.’

    “We happily leave to the Greens being a party of protest with no tradition of striking the balance required to deliver major reform.”


    corvus boreus
    However, they usually end badly, take Federal, Tassie as examples

  72. corvus boreus

    Mick Byron,
    If you choose to accentuate the negative…
    In the bigger picture, by the worst case scenarios articulated by scientists with serious credibility in their fields, we may well already have tipped the atmospheric balance to the point where negative feedback loops (eg methane hydrate releases, glacial melts) accelerate destabilising processes to an extent that will soon render this planet uninhabitable for our species.
    Yep, we’ve quite possibly already engineered our own extinction.
    In which case, the ‘team’ squabbles of us apes are even more pointless than currently seems.

  73. Kaye Lee

    Someone has to start the conversation and sadly, the major parties are often too scared of offending people precisely because they have a chance of winning the big prize. So it is left up to those who have, as you point out, nothing to lose, to persistently raise and keep issues of human rights, social justice and environmental protection in the conversation.

    Even for those politicians who think an economy is more important than a society, the economic argument for urgent action on climate change is unarguable. It is only the lack of vision of some who think today’s jobs are more important than tomorrow’s everything that is holding us back from doing what MUST be done. We can find other jobs. We can’t find another atmosphere.

    Likewise, the economic argument for raising Newstart is open and shut.

  74. Keith

    Kaye, you are exactly right about emissions reduction policy having slipped away. The science of climate change is not a political ideology, it is based on Physics and Chemistry and many other science disciplines, emissions are extremely important.
    Its getting to the stage where deniers can be asked … “how many people do they wish to see killed next week”. There were 4,500 people killed in Puerto Rico last year, and around 200 killed in Japan just lately. Rain bombs, and the mud slides created as a result, kill; so do warming Oceans. There have been many other incidents between Puerto Rico and Japan involving rain bombs, heat waves, and other aspects of climate change. But, emissions from fossil fuel kill far more people.

    Ultimately, the current business as usual approach will have a catastrophic impact on life; we are still in a situation where we can ward off the most horrific aspects of climate change. It is now possible to say denying politicians have blood on their hands.There are solutions which are not being promoted in a fulsome way.

    The end of Permian Epoch was a period when life almost completely disappeared through excessive greenhouse gases (Benjamin Burger, Michael Benson and others).

  75. Joseph Carli

    So in light of The Greens blocking some very important policies put forward by Labor to at least get the taxi’s off the rank, and then proposing totally unworkable “political solutions” just to APPEAR further left than Labor, perhaps they ought to adopt a new motto..: “Do nothing because it will never be good enough anyway!”

  76. Kaye Lee

    I think you will find that it was at the insistence of the Greens and two independents that Labor were forced to introduce carbon pricing but hey, why let the facts get in the way of party allegiance.

  77. Kaye Lee


    I know party members think preference deals are really important but, in fact, they should be completely irrelevant because we all have the power to direct our preferences precisely where we want them to go making all the machinations worthless. I will always vote below the line for the senate because you guys make some appalling decisions about who should go where on the ticket.

    Saying the Greens never criticise the Coalition is just plain wrong. It is hardly surprising that the Greens and Labor compete for the same seats. As I have said countless times when Labor members bring up the Greens targeting Tanya and Albo, you had good candidates and good policies and you won as you did in Batman for the same reason, a good candidate – move on.

    And EVERY party plays dirty/questionable tricks when electioneering. Mediscare worked well but it wasn’t really honest.

    You have to be able to negotiate with people outside your party. Harking back to hold grudges is hardly productive.

  78. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee
    “I know party members think preference deals are really important”
    I believe they are. I scrutineer regularly and it is only a fraction that I see that bother to number below the line.
    I have enough problems with voter/non voter apathy’
    I live in “evil Ann”, Ann Sudmalis electorate and as we live out of town my neighbours are about 1/2k apart so we have a monthly BBQ for about a dozen or more.
    Two aged pensioners don’t intend to vote next election even though their sole income is the Pension, a couple {mid 20s} refuse to even enrol,another couple are only going to get their names marked off and if you want them all to go home early 😀 just mention Asylum seekers
    The shame is , Sudmalis only holds the seat by 00.73% and could be easily booted

  79. Kaye Lee

    I’m not sure how you change apathy by avoiding topics. Since you know their voting intentions, obviously politics must come up occasionally. That would be your chance to, in a jovial neighbourly way, help inform the pensioners how they will be worse off unless we get rid of this government. Ask the ones in their 20s about climate change, or university fees, or TAFE closures, or the NBN, or tightening up of welfare rules or whatever may be of interest to them personally. The two who are just going to get their names marked off may as well make an informed decision since they have gone to the effort of getting there.

    And if they think they can’t make a difference, 46,713 voted for Sudmalis. 56,456 voted against her and there were 4,442 informal votes. She could be easily toppled.

  80. Trish Corry

    I think some people need to get out of their own bubbles on AIMN and go and look at some wider commentary on FB and Twitter and get out and attend some Labor events. The attacks by Greens politicians and their supporters on social media is absolutely rabid. Full of lies and never telling the whole story. It’s underhanded disgusting politics which is a pseudo Liberal campaign for top hat and Herr Furor at the helm.

    I am pleased – really pleased to see people speaking up on Twitter saying they have left the Greens because of this.

    Mick has already outlined some disgraceful campaign tactics to deaf ears and blind eyes here, but here is another one.

    A few weeks ago in Rockhampton the wonderful Dr. Andrew Leigh facilitated a banking RC seminar. The Greens crashed the event with their angry contorted faces and bulging eyes derailing the event. They of course being the most precious people in the room asked questions about Industrial relations and flailed about as if they had personally shed blood in 1891. The most bizarre moment was when I realised they truly believed Industrial Relations were the key agenda of the Greens, that they had made soooo much progress in this area only for Labor to tear it all down. 😳

    They interrupted and held the floor for so long that my son, who has a bachelor of Economics, majoring in econometrics with distinction, is a big fan of Dr. Leigh and did not even get to ask a question. Let alone the quieter people in the room!

    After the questions when we are supposed to mingle, our candidate had to intervene because one of the male Greens was right up in a woman union organiser’s face screaming at her, with the former candidate standing right beside him.

    I’m 48 years old. I don’t need that type of behaviour it is upsetting and unsettling and there were lots older than me in the room. I was shaking! It’s not on!

    If the Greens are like this in the Beef Capital, I can’t even imagine what they are like in Melbourne.

    I hope the Greens get buried next to the Democrats and soon. Their behaviour is an absolute disgrace, they appropriate other people’s ideas and work as if it’s their own, they have made no significant contribution in their history besides one thing, and if you get out of your bubble and talk to people, many supporters do say they they prefer to keep Labor out of it means Greens seats. Which means another LNP Govt.

    The Greens can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

  81. johno

    @trish… does that mean there is a polling booth in hell where I can vote green ?

  82. Joseph Carli

    johno…even in hell there is no fury like a Green scorned…….or scorched!

  83. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Typical of the rusted-on menagerie, Christian Marx!

    You write a powerful article about increasing Newstart and it turns into an opportunity for the blabbermouths to attack the Greens.

    Keep advocating and promoting DOUBLE NEWSTART!

  84. diannaart

    If the Greens are like this in the Beef Capital, I can’t even imagine what they are like in Melbourne.

    Pretty good, the asparagus drowned in a burnt butter sauce, or artichokes steamed then roasted with whole garlic and a crunchy sour dough bread to mop up… stuff like that which grows in fertile fields such as we still have here in Victoria.

    Further good news for Victorians, while action on climate change remains MIA, more fish from tropical waters will be found in Port Phillip Bay, we’ll be selling Barramundi to Queenslanders in the near future. Too bad about the Great Barrier Reef.

    Amazing that some Labor people sound so very like LNP people …

    Apologies for being off-topic – need I even say that Newstart and all government benefits require an increase to at least up to the poverty level. Imagine that.


  85. corvus boreus

    Mick Byron,
    Did you ask any of these people why they are so politically disengaged?

    Speaking strictly for myself, the main reasons I sometimes feel like doodling dicks on the federal ballot papers is that the small sheet is a foregone conclusion in the favour of a corrupt idiot that I absolutely detest on many levels (he sends me glossy pamphlets), and the big sheet seems to be e menu selection of bought-out bastards, scheming weasels, loopy-dreamy do-gooders and straight-out obnoxious wankers served in TV dinner compartments, with the option of insubstantial wafers on the side..
    Add to this the fact that the ones elected will then operate in an environment of sloppy legislative parameters, myopic oversight and gold-card temptations, with a bunch of lobbying courtiers casting and reeling baited puppetry strings from the side.

    Personally, that’s why, even though I cherish the gift of democracy, I also often feel like I couldn’t be phuqqed with politics.

  86. Joseph Carli

    Them’s fighting words…I’d be careful if I was you, Crow..It is not advisable to rile yours T, lest I bring down the dreaded curse of the warrior Tartars (my ancestors) upon you!…

    It begins with low grumblings and a stamping of spread feet..somewhat akin to the more famous Maori Haka..then the clashing together of swords and spears and the threatening expulsions of farts and burps followed by the hoarse war-crys of that renown nation…to finish with the elbows jerked back with fists clenched.. the pelvis thrust forward and the curse of : “I urinate in your general direction!!”….of course, all spoken in that glutteral threatening tone of the Tartufo tongue.
    Just don’t push me fellah!…(oh…and that goes for you too, Di’ ).

  87. corvus boreus

    Do you genuinely object to my description of the ballot selection, or are you slinging vague threats just for the hell it?

    Mick Byron,
    My initial question still stands.
    Did these people give you a reason why they don’t bother voting?

  88. Mick Byron

    Trish Corry

    ” I can’t even imagine what they are like in Melbourne.”

    You could start with the Greens candidate for Batman whose own members came up with a 100+ page report on her alleged bullying
    then there wasthe collusion between the Greens and Fairfax “This involved a Labor Party laptop that was stolen by a Greens Party Councillor and candidate and ended up in the hands of Fairfax journalists. Charges were laid and guilt was admitted to in court by all four men.”

    More Than A Woman – Kimberley Kitching wins Senate spot and the media are in a frenzy

    there is more but that gives you an idea 😀

  89. Joseph Carli

    Christ, Crow..you got it baaaad!

  90. Mick Byron

    corvus boreus
    I didn’t avoid you ,I just got back in.
    The young ones were turned off when we got rid of the carbon Tax. They do their own thing now, off the grid, the elderly couple think Sudmalis will win anyhow so don’t want to even bother and the ones getting their names marked off have no interest in politics whatsoever and don’t think any of the Parties would have a major impact on them.
    To Kaye Lees question, I have tried but it is a good way to break up a nice social outing and they are my neighbours :-D. I have enough trouble encouraging my wife to vote and not just shell out the $40 as she is a strong supporter of one vote one value and being Fijian she has seen it happen in her ex country {long after she left}

  91. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mick @ 6.30 pm proves yet again that he’s only interested in the politicking and not the policies.


  92. Trish Corry

    The fact that the Greens supporters on here did not bat an eyelid about neither Mick’s account of events, not mine which included the verbal abuse and physical intimidation of a young woman, says it all.

    Yet if Labor volunteers so much as yell out a standard slogan cry, we are labelled thugs.

    At the last election in QLD the Greens candidate at my booth went over to the LNP PHON booth (they were together) and loudly exclaimed how horrible Labor are.

    In my opinion The Greens are no friend of Labor’s and it is getting increasingly worse. Their halo is around their ankles. People who still think they are “nice gentle enviro folk” need a big reality check.

  93. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


  94. Kaye Lee

    I very much doubt you can categorise all Greens voters as the same any more than you can categorise all Labor voters the same. I think party membership leads to bad behaviour from lots of people. They lose perspective in the heat of the battle to win. But I would suggest it is not all party members in any instance and their behaviour does not represent their supporters. I certainly am not responsible for the behaviour of John Setka for example who, I believe, was partially responsible for shutting down the discussion on indefinite offshore detention at a Labor party conference recently.

  95. Trish Corry

    Prevalent behaviour by the Greens and their supporters on Social media for example is not just a few. It’s a culture and it’s observable on social media it’s led from the top down, which is as we all know an antecedent for enabling a certain culture. How disgusting to label John Setka as someone you should not have to be responsible for. Shame on you.

  96. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If John Setka shut down Labor debate on asylum seekers, Manus and Nauru, then Shame on Him – and you for condoning it.

  97. Joseph Carli

    Agree, Trish…all I have ever seen from John Setka on Twitter is strong defence of unionism AND fair attack on the LNP liars and speilers!….more power to him!

  98. Joseph Carli

    Right!…that’s it Smiffy…you just got the Tartar curse!

  99. Kaye Lee

    Shame on me? I am supposed to be responsible for John Setka?

    So you condone him saying “Let me give a dire warning to them ABCC inspectors, be careful what you do. We will lobby their neighbourhoods, we will tell them who lives in that house and what he does for a living, or she, and we will go to their local footy club. We’ll go to their local shopping centre. They will not be able to show their faces anywhere. Their kids will be ashamed of who their parents are when we expose all these ABCC inspectors”?

    That just plays into their hands. It’s intimidation. It’s silly.

    I agree twitter and facebook are toxic. That’s why I largely avoid them. I don’t want to waste time reading people throwing insults at each other. I would much rather be reading about and discussing policy.

  100. Joseph Carli

    I’d back those comments by Setka to the bleedin’ hilt!…those scum on the ABCC ought to be held responsible…That’s why I liked Norm Gallagher’s BLF…they played hard and often and only good came from it!
    Some of you middle-class “lefties” have had it soft for too long…you bend too easy!

  101. Kaye Lee


    I belonged to the Teachers Federation, teaching being one of the most highly unionised occupations. I have been on strike many times. I have also done what many others have done, put my name down as on strike and given up the days pay but still gone in to take senior classes or to look after any kids that may turn up. Often we were striking over conditions for the kids, not us.

    Don’t lecture me about how to use unionism to achieve things. One doesn’t have to threaten someone personally to be strong – a lesson bullies don’t understand.

  102. Joseph Carli

    ” Don’t lecture me. . . “…..oo..oo…the teacher-maam speaks..YOU spend all your time on here “lecturing”… and as for bullying, you use your proselytes here to do the bullying for you when you can’t be bothered ..

  103. Kaye Lee

    Anyway, some of us have crashed Christian’s thread and derailed it from a very important topic.

    Sorry Christian and others.

    I completely agree that Newstart and Youth Allowance need to be increased. I hope Bill Shorten’s team are reviewing the many studies already done and asking any questions they need to now so they can announce an increase during the campaign. Falzon has called for a $75 increase and he has the evidence at hand. Bill could also talk to Cassandra Goldie. He can ask the PBO to cost things. If he pays more consultants I will scream.

  104. corvus boreus

    $ facts.
    It would be hard to pick yourself up from the gutter on newstart.
    Party politics is phuqqen disgusting.
    Anti-social media is sending society insane.
    This thread has degenerated into a tribal sledging match featuring putrid threats, and I am out.

  105. Matters Not


    with their angry contorted faces and bulging eyes …

    One wonders how such pejorative descriptors add to the political debate? Perhaps too much … whatever.?

  106. Trish Corry

    So you condone him saying “Let me give a dire warning to them ABCC inspectors, be careful what you do. We will lobby their neighbourhoods, we will tell them who lives in that house and what he does for a living, or she, and we will go to their local footy club. We’ll go to their local shopping centre. They will not be able to show their faces anywhere. Their kids will be ashamed of who their parents are when we expose all these ABCC inspectors.”

    Absolutely 100%. He is standing up against an absolutely abhorrent and sick regime that has implemented an overseeing body which actually ENABLES deaths in the workplace. That is the working class dying for the sake of a profit!

    Darn right I support him 100%. Shame on you twice.

  107. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree with you, Christian.

    There are NO ifs or buts about it. Newstart must be increased substantially.

    That means by double. Not a paltry $50 or $75 regardless of what the ‘experts’ say. Are they attempting to live and provide on it?


  108. Joseph Carli

    Mark the date .. ; From my post on Earth Air Fire and Water…:

    Kaye Lee June 16, 2018 at 2:24 pm .

    Am I to read that as a slap down? Seriously Joe, I do not understand why you are so touchy? Discussions develop on this site. As an author, one would have thought you would be happy about that. Isn’t that why we post here?

  109. Michael Taylor

    I agree twitter and facebook are toxic.

    They certainly can be, Kaye.

    I spend a bit of time on both, mainly for promoting AIMN articles, but I find I’m spending less time on Facebook because no matter what you do or say there’s some bastard wants to do nothing more than ruin your day.

    You might expect that these people are conservatives, but no, it’s not the case.

    Some of the nastiest attacks have come from Labor supporters. And I’m a Labor voter! I have been attacked because I dared to promote an AIMN article that was positive towards the Greens.

    The AIMN could write a thousand articles which are either attacking the government or promoting Labor, but dare mention the Greens and you’re blown off the park.

  110. Trish Corry

    ” Don’t lecture me. . . “…..oo..oo…the teacher-maam speaks..YOU spend all your time on here “lecturing”… and as for bullying, you use your proselytes here to do the bullying for you when you can’t be bothered ..”

    About time someone else pointed this out! Thank you JC.

    When someone writes an article based on the false Premise that Labor and Liberal are the same. Makes a false claim that Labor will do nothing about it, instead of actual investigation or discussion of the benefit of a review, flips this off as “just looking at it” and slaps the Government who actually wanted people to starve for six months, with a wet tissue but lays the blame squarely on the Labor who is in opposition, and an opposition that has fought against some of the most abhorrent welfare reforms we have ever seen in the last five years, ignores Labor’s policy announcements around job creation, TAFE and apprenticeship and mature age assistance as if this has no bearing on an increase in Newstart or the JobSearch framework, or Labor’s stance against a wider roll out of cashless welfare, dismisses the expertise and experience of Dr Falzon as a valuable asset in Govt in the comments, and reads as if it is more about rubbishing Labor instead; then I don’t think questioning the motive of the article as a vested interest political rant against Labor, rather than a serious post about Newstart, is derailing a post, nor an unfair call at all.

  111. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    In answer to the rusted-on detractors who put blinded party ‘cloyalty’ above progressive policies.

    You know who you are (Trish, Mick, Joseph)………………..

    I agree with Christian.

    There are NO ifs or buts about it. Newstart must be increased substantially.

    That means by double. Not a paltry $50 or $75 regardless of what the ‘experts’ say. Are they attempting to live and provide on it?


  112. Kaye Lee

    “slaps the Government with a wet tissue but lays the blame squarely on the Labor who is in opposition”

    Talk about misrepresenting what was said.

    “The LNP are a dead loss when it comes to a compassionate society. Their whole ideology reeks of Classical Liberalism (aka survival of the fittest). Labor were a once great party who championed the rights of the poor and made huge strides towards lessening poverty and economic inequality. Where are you, Labor? The onus is on you, Bill Shorten and co!”

    That seems to me a cry to labor to listen because the Coalition won’t. That’s something many of us are trying to do.

    “dismisses the expertise and experience of Dr Falzon as a valuable asset in Govt in the comments,”

    what he actually said was

    “John Falzon is a good man” but he was concerned his “input would be ignored”. Falzon is very keen to talk about asylum seekers too but the shutting down of debate at conference does not auger well.

    And as far as basing articles and comments on “a false premise”, you really need to get over your paranoia about “proselytes” doing my bidding. it is a ludicrous and wrong accusation which demeans commenters here. Did it ever occur to you that people are speaking their own mind?

    It seems like you have paid $10 for an argument and are determined to have one. It’s very wearing.

  113. Kaye Lee

    What I find absolutely bizarre about this whole thing is that you would think those who want to see Labor win would be wooing progressive voters. You would think they would listen about policies that people think Labor could improve on. Apparently none of that interests them. If you aren’t a party member then you can “go to hell”. If you question policy then you are a traitor. Oy vey!

  114. Trish Corry

    I don’t care Kaye. You have been nothing but a horrible person who has used your little gang to bully me for years, whilst you back away and coat your snide in honey. I’m absolutely stoked someone else has pointed this out. Stoked. About time. Stoked. Stoked.

    I have not had one argument against raising Newstart and I am 100% for it. I have an issue though about how serious an article actually is when it excludes a myriad of factors that the (proposed) next Govt can do in power, ignores what they have done to protect citizens by rejecting a range of abhorrent welfare bill reforms, yet presents the argument that the opposition should be making this change as the opposition, which is not even a sensible, nor rational argument.

    If people want a rise in Newstart, it is not going to happen by doing everything possible to turn votes away from Labor by presenting falsehoods about their position. I know we have had enough of the Greens, but in QLD when the Greens campaigned ferociously against Labor, people on the ground said they would vote One Nation because they were reading Annastacia was corrupt.

    The campaign AP was corrupt was the main campaign of the Greens.

    If that doesn’t hit home how the Greens can return the Liberals or PHON and posts like this contribute to that, then nothing will.

    What people don’t get about me, is my opposition is not about Greens vs Labor, it’s about purist politics of the Greens that is the sinister force that will see kids like I was suffer for another three years under a Federal or State Liberal Government. Getting rid of Abbott, Turnbull, Dutton, Newman is more important than slamming Labor at every turn “just for one more Greens seat.”

    It’s a terrifying thought and it’s one I will continue to push against and speak up against.

  115. Matters Not


    I’m absolutely stoked someone else has pointed this out. Stoked. About time. Stoked. Stoked.

    Sad. Sad. Sad.

    Life is too short for this type of bullshit! There’s an election(s) to be won.

    TC read the above in the morrow and then repent. (Please).

  116. Kaye Lee

    “presents the argument that the opposition should be making this change as the opposition, which is not even a sensible, nor rational argument.”

    Once again, you choose to misrepresent. Bill Shorten cannot do any of the things he is promising at these by-elections either. He can’t make the changes he has announced to negative gearing or CGT. We all know that. We actually understand that he is talking about what he would do if in government. Just as Christian is discussing. It is a cop-out to say he would “have a review”. If it was a new idea with no previous research done then ok, but it’s not, so that is just a cop-out. We are talking about it because we hope Bill will read the research and sort it out now and announce it as policy before the election.

    And you are getting a bit scattergun here in your arguments. Is that to convince us to hate the Greens or to convince us that Bill’s “review” is a good idea?

    PS I can’t tell the difference between stoked and cross. Is there any?

  117. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    To Trish,

    I get your fear of purist politics allowing deprivation to continue, if resolutions cannot be made.

    Others, like me, refute the continuation of anything neoliberal that reduces the capacity for communities to grow with progressive and proactive changes.

    We should acknowledge each others’ needs and priorities and then work together to ensure that in our defeat of the LNP regime and their reductive schemes, we achieve our aims and goals with proportional representation and responsibilities.

  118. Michael Taylor

    You have been nothing but a horrible person who has used your little gang to bully me for years …


  119. Kaye Lee


    I do have a gang. They are my family and friends. And they have no hesitation in telling me when they think I am wrong. And I listen to them because they know me and I respect them. They understand my motivation. They recognise my faults.

    Online stuff is a discussion with strangers and should be kept to the topic rather than attacking the person. I am sorry that you think I have been horrible to you.

    Me disagreeing with you at times just puts you in the same boat as the entire world. None of us agree all the time. Don’t take it personally.

    I wish you didn’t read everything as criticism and would recognise suggestions as opportunities for discussion and maybe even improvement?

    As for coating my snide in honey, I try to stay on topic but I also don’t just lay down and capitulate. I guess aggression comes in different forms. But usually what you give is what you get returned so I will try to walk more respectfully.

  120. Michael Taylor

    Beautifully put, Kaye. I mean it.

  121. Christian Marx

    Bloody hell, this thread is still going. :-O

  122. Kaye Lee

    Lol sorry Christian. We got a bit lost.

  123. paul walter

    Yes. It is about taking a principled stand. some folk lack the mentality to comprehend the meaning of the concept “principled”- never challenge the paradigm, just reinforce. That is why many people can’t stomach people who are so unscrupulous, unimaginative or timid as to subscribe to the increasingly inscribed LNP bigot worldview template, which is ignorance in arrogance, arrogance in ignorance.

  124. Mick Byron

    Whats wrong with the Labor Party undertaking a review so all can be well aware of the outcomes?
    I’m surprised at the statements of some,” enough enquiries, accept them’
    The Bankers Association did an enquiry into Banks, may as well just accept that too?

  125. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Action is required now. While Labor remains in Opposition, they can do their ‘review’ but beware it better NOT be an excuse for more delay, delay, delay. They have ONLY the time left before the Federal Election, which is likely only a few months away.

    And it better come out identifying the fact that Newstart has not been effectively increased for MORE than two decades and is currently around half of the Poverty Line.

    NO Australian citizen should be expected to try to survive, provide and live with dignity on such a disgusting and insulting level.

  126. Kaye Lee

    John Falzon told a Senate inquiry the Newstart allowance should be increased as it is had a negative effect on those out of work. “You don’t move people up by putting them down, you don’t put people into employment by forcing them into poverty,” Dr Falzon said. “(Newstart) is simply a deliberate means of humiliating those who are outside of the labour market. And when someone feels humiliated the knock-on effects are not just economic, they are social as well.”

    That was in 2012

    Although Australia is recognised as having one of the most effective social safety nets in the developed world, it contains a number of holes, the largest of which is the inadequacy of Newstart. At just $40.85 per day, the Business Council of Australia has described Newstart as “a barrier to employment” that “risks entrenching poverty”. The OECD has expressed concern about the effectiveness of Newstart in “enabling someone to look for a suitable job”.

    That was KPMG in 2016

    Or Bill could read the ACTU Submission on the matter

    At the moment, Australian workers on average wages who lose their jobs receive a bigger cut to their incomes than their counterparts in any other OECD country. This can leave people unable to meet their commitments – rent or mortgage payments, loans, transport costs. Trying to get by on an income as low as the current Newstart Allowance can damage people’s mental and physical health. This reduces the economic and social participation of recipients. This is no way to help people to find work.

    I could keep going…..

    What would another review show different to the many that have already been done? The payment is inadequate. I cannot find one source that says anything other than that.

  127. paul walter

    Yes, enough of the avoidance. The dole hasn’t increased in meaningful terms for twenty years and that’s way past too long.

  128. paul walter

    Miserable scum they are.

  129. Michael Taylor

    I’m with Jennifer. To hell with reviews (I saw enough of them in the public service/government). To hell with “looking into it”. To hell with waiting for the government to get tossed.

    Just do it now.

    People are starving. People can’t afford their rents. People can’t afford to live.

    This is too important to spend time arguing about.

  130. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think we have a hope in hell that the Coalition will do it Michael. We have to have a Labor government and if necessary, a significant Greens presence in the Senate to make them do it. I am still hoping Bill will announce it as policy in the campaign. I think it is all we can hope for. These guys have been making it much harder for people on welfare. They are ideologically opposed to any consideration of them as people – the whole framing has been they are lazy bludgers, not people in need of assistance. They are seen as a burden rather than unused potential that a small investment could unleash.

  131. diannaart

    Just as there are libertarians and, um, libertarians – they exist on both the right and the left. There is a growing divide in the left, examples I will term “old-school lefties” and progressives. I will leave to the gentle reader to consider whether they have noticed a similar divide.

    I hear more support for equity on increasing the appalling, reprehensibly neglected Newstart from progressives – who mostly exist on the left of the spectrum, but also a few brave voices from the right.

    I would like to know if Labor has made public proclamation – loud and clear – (and not be told to check their web-site) on increasing Newstart, all I have heard thus far, is that Shorten will review it.

    “Review” has become a rather slimy little word used by both sides of politics to avoid doing anything.

  132. Rhonda

    Hear hear, CM. And…fyi to some, I stand as an example of one who shares many of the Greens values and policy positions whilst also supporting much Labor ideology (practice, not always so much). Yeah, I’m GREEN but I certainly don’t identify as anti Labor – I don’t even whinge about Shorten – so I’m quite comfortable with my political values positioning, thanks very much. And btw, I’m a GW fan too! Choice and personal/practice/social values & beliefs- wonderful and valuable things those

  133. Matters Not

    Lots of talk about neo-liberalism and its effects on the way we live.

    neoliberalism hasn’t just involved much deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing of government services and cuts in government spending, it’s also changed our culture – the way we think about politics and political issues.

    This way we think about politics and political issues drives the Labor party as well. As Richard Denniss points out:

    “Past generations . . . did not see the need to delay all significant debates about the shape and direction of their society until tax and industrial relations policies were optimised according to specific principles understood by a tiny proportion of the population.”

    Seems to me that the drivers of Labor policy (broadly defined) and its political strategy are the economic gurus – Chris Bowen, Andrew Leigh and Jim Chalmers. Shorten seems captured by their economic wisdom and won’t commit until they give their blessing. Hence the need for a Review. (It should be remembered that this economic team has made some political blunders in the recent past.)

  134. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I would agree with MN and it’s a sad fact since Bowen has proven himself to be a narrow-minded neoliberal.

    While Leigh is clever, he is also conservative. Chalmers appears to be the pick of the bunch but again he is an explemplar of the regressive neoliberal economic rationalism that has kept Labor socio-economic thinking in chains for decades.


    Hear, hear diannaart.

  135. Matters Not

    JMS, the common sense of Labor in Opposition (in all likelihood) will become the common sense of Labor in government. After all, (it will be argued) it’s our economic prudence that won us government – so why change.

    Economic rationalist policies will still have a bright future. Broader social policy will continue to play only a supporting role. (Only a prediction but a grounded one. The Shorten government will be risk adverse.)

  136. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    That’s why current Labor have lost the hearts and minds of many of their core voters.

    Labor needs the Greens and other Progressives to lead them to the Beacon on the Hill again.

  137. Keith

    After reading a large proportion of the comments here, it reinforces my view that being a paid up member of a political party stymies individual views.

    The amount that recipients receive from New Start is a disgrace. Australia is the 13th wealthiest country on the Planet, it had been in a higher position under Labor, and so, there are enough financial resources to ensure recipients can live and prepare for work in a more dignified manner. Centrelink has become a politicised Agency through the scape goating of New Start clients by a mean “government”.

    The real enemy is the LNP, by progressives attacking one another they are working on behalf of the LNP. There are constant complaints about people in the electorates being switched off. By attacking one another it helps with the process of voters becoming even more disenchanted with the whole political process.

  138. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So what’s the alternative, Keith?

    Sit back and let current Labor sit back on the laurels of the legacy Gough left without making any effort for disadvantaged people on Newstart?

  139. Joseph Carli

    Keith..the only attacks I see on this thread come from The Green supporters…Sure..we ALL agree on a raise for Newstart..no q’ about THAT..but as soon as you bring a bit of level-headed discussion instead of blind accusation into the debate, OUT come the cucumbers…: Thick green skin on the outside, but go to seed and water on the inside…Always proclaiming THEY and only they are picking the “winner” policies..like Saroyan’s; “San Jose Red” rushing in to the betting shop just after the horse-race has been called, waving a piece of paper with a name quickly scribbled on it and proclaiming in a loud voice…: “Y’see! Y’see!…I had the winner picked all the time!!”….but one has to ask ; When have they EVER got winning legislation through The House without the backing of Labor..?…OH!..that’s right…they HAVE got legislation through The House without the backing of Labor…WHEN THEY VOTED WITH THEIR SO-CALLED ARCH ENEMY ; THE LNP!!!

  140. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Joseph, why do you only purport to support raising Newstart when the discussion is raised by others? You’re never backwards in coming forward in any other respect.

    Instead of jumping on any Greens, who dare to raise their heads, use your acidic words against the lazy Labor leadership and string-pullers, so they can hear their own insiders being also angry about the socio-economic injustice of Newstart!

    Demand Labor does better and commits to substantially increasing Newstart upon their immediate return to government … with Greens’ and Progressives’ support.

  141. diannaart

    Hmmmm … Who cast the first stone?

    Trish Corry July 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    The Greens will be waiting with memes and many posts to saturate social media with, that will, as is consistent form, tell only part of the story or as others who like to use real words – lies. Oh and blame Albo somehow.

    It’s important for Labor to win Govt to achieve anything in this area, so no, currently it’s not up to Bill Shorten.

    I hope readers can appreciate why Labor must do a review. Everyone can criticise the review when it occurs. But stating Labor won’t do anything, is as it stands at the moment, is completely false.

    I also wish Greens and their supporters would cease using Gough Whitlam as their own. They really need to find their own icon. It’s the fourth time this week I have seen it.


    Gough Whitlam was a man for all people not just Labor.


    I am not a member of the Greens, voted Labor at the last federal election.

    PPS – Wish Albo had won the leadership instead of Shorten.


  142. Mick Byron

    Pretty much agree with all Trish Corry had to say

    I supported a lot of Gough Whitlams Policies,particularly his first 2 weeks in Office but time dims memories it seems and fact turns to fantasy and even those who opposed Gough found him later to be their saviour

    As Whitlam said.
    “Nobody,” he wrote in 1985, “comes out of the period of my government with his or her reputation enhanced or even preserved on economic policy matters.”
    Unemployment reached levels not seen since the pre-war years,Home interest rates at over 20% and to take the Labor Government from a comfortable 5 seat majority to an absolute hammering of Labor by the LNP
    91 seats to 36 seats
    Gough may have been a man of all people but there weren’t too many people left to put their faith in the man and vote for him

  143. Kaye Lee

    Gough gave us pride in being Australian. Current politics does not make me proud. It is so….paltry and inadequate. Gough led the people. He didn’t put his tail between his legs and listen and react to opinion polls. He wasn’t scared of Murdoch or anyone else. Winning elections is one thing. Changing the way a nation sees itself is a real legacy.

  144. diannaart

    Thanks to Gough Whitlam I could divorce an abusive spouse, my income improved – although still not equal and for a brief time I was not heavily indebted when I returned to Uni.

    … and, I, like many people did vote for him … and like many people was powerless against the machinations of Malcolm Fraser and the Libs and that old soak whatsis name.

    How ironic, Trish should accuse the Greens of doing exactly what (a few) Labor members are doing in keeping the import and impact of Gough Whitlam all to themselves – as if they were solely responsible for the brilliance that was Gough Whitlam – seeking reflected glory from another’s achievement.

    Now what about NEWSTART?

    One could be forgiven for thinking that some people only wish to derail this thread.

  145. Mick Byron

    Your choice of Labor Leader Albo,
    I”ll just leave his comments here

    “Mr Albanese said Mr Whitlam campaigned against the Greens.
    “He campaigned against them. He campaigned for me in my electorate, he campaigned for others who faced conflict with the Greens and we have a proud history.”
    SENIOR Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has slammed the Greens for being offensive, cheap, and opportunistic after they co-opted an image of Gough Whitlam and ran it with their party logo to promote their own political message.

    Labor MPs are outraged after NSW Greens senator Lee Rhiannon authorised a poster on social media which used an iconic image of the revered former Labor prime minister hours after his death.

    “I find it offensive that there is the great man’s legacy with the Greens political party logo on it,’’ Mr Albanese said.

    “I find that inappropriate. I think that is an attempt in an opportunistic way to appropriate Gough Whitlam’s legacy as somehow for the Greens,’’ he said.

    “Gough Whitlam is a great Labor man and it is just not respectful.’’
    The matter was raised in Labor caucus today, and Bill Shorten told MPs that “on the day he died, how offensive for them to try to co-opt him’’.

    Some Labor MPs have likened the Greens’ actions to “grave robbing’’ but Mr Albanese stopped short of using the phrase.

    Speaking after caucus, Mr Albanese accused the Greens of being “cheap, opportunistic and offensive, given that Gough Whitlam was a Labor man his entire life’’.
    Mr Albanese said Mr Whitlam campaigned against the Greens.

    “He campaigned against them. He campaigned for me in my electorate, he campaigned for others who faced conflict with the Greens and we have a proud history. We’re Australia’s oldest political party. We’ve formed Government. We have legacies, and Gough Whitlam’s legacy is a Labor legacy.’’

    Having met Gough a few times before his passing, you can take my word for it {or not} He was NO fan of the Greens

  146. diannaart


    I am not a member of the Greens. I do not always agree with actions the Greens have taken, same goes for Labor. Frankly I despair of the left ever being about the good of this nation while it continues to attack itself.

    I am in favour of a sustainable and environmentally responsible economy.

    Gough’s legacy remains a legacy for all Australians.


    On topic, Newstart does not require a review, it has been neglected for 20+ years, all Shorten has to do is promise an increase – if he has the stones that is.

  147. Mick Byron


    “On topic, Newstart does not require a review,”
    That is your opinion, mine differs.
    I am strongly in favour of a significant increase
    I think that if Labor is to form Government it needs clear direction in what it does.
    The value of a Labor review is Labor members get a say in it.
    It IS being discussed in Branches already.
    One idea was Newstart should be based on 60% of the minimum wage and pegged at that.
    Not many liked the idea of just a flat $ figure {$50} or so as it would probably just get left there.
    Other less popular suggestions were for a lower rate for those who “had made a career out of Welfare” having been on it for years .
    That is but a few ideas kicked around.

    Then again, if LNP get another run, the possibility of Dutton as P.M. we may be having a very different conversation.
    Remember they wanted 6 months before you could even qualify for the dole ?
    I think Dutton would have that back on the agenda in a heartbeat

  148. Kaye Lee

    “The value of a Labor review is Labor members get a say in it.”

    Well do you think that possibly, since EVERYONE agrees that Newstart needs increasing, that Labor members could decide on the best mechanism and take it to the next election rather than going into it with the promise of a “review”. The evidence is in about the need. They can get the PBO to cost various options now. I like the idea of pegging it to a percentage of minimum wage. But do the work NOW.

    And stop talking about Dutton and the Coalition winning. No-one wants that. We want Labor to win and the best way for that to happen is for them to preselect good candidates and have good policies. Increasing Newstart would be one as would forming a Federal ICAC/integrity body.

  149. Mick Byron

    Kaye LeeJuly 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm
    “And stop talking about Dutton and the Coalition winning”

    I am a realist and there is a strong possibility that they could do it
    Lets face it. KillBill is only a softening up. {or Emma Husar today}
    Wait till an election is called and it will be Labor against the onslaught of
    Murdoch,MSM, ABC, LNP, Xenophon, Greens,One Nation, Christian Lobby, the IPA, the Mining Sector led by Twiggy and Gina, the Climate deniers …. feel free to add the ones I couldn’t think of,off the top of my head.

    It happens every election

  150. Keith

    JMS @8.02am, 26/7
    You ask what is the alternative?

    I’m not a Green Party member nor a Labor Party member, both Parties have had some very disappointing policies.

    The types of comments coming through are my tribe doesn’t smell as much as yours. Those kind of comments only lead to conflict.
    Gough Whitlam I believe provides a datum point in Australian political history. He became Prime Minister when a Green Party was just developing, he provided a government that really changed Australia to become a more cosmopolitan country, his legacy continues.

    The Greens in the past have received something like 20% of the vote, it is now down from that. The Greens in no way are going to form government; the Liberals are the threat, and a common enemy.

    In my opinion, if we do not get climate change right we are in a horrendous pickle. It is getting to the stage where it can be asked … “how many people are going to be killed this week”? In the background not getting much publicity is people dying through inhaling fossil fuel emissions; or suffering from respiratory related illnesses.

    If coal fired technology was as good as being promoted by the LNP, why is the Trump administration reviewing subsidies for Energy producing companies?


    If we do not get climate change right; then, the differences between Labor and Green opinion will be of no interest.

    A few references received lately in relation to climate change:




    We have already had periods where runaway greenhouse gases, go to the hyperlinks and Dr Burger’s Report:


    Dr Burger relates his work and the work of another research project with our current time.

    We can still do something, and ward off the worst of climate change providing we stop continuing with a business as usual approach.

  151. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree 100% Keith regarding the fact of Climate Change urgency.

    However, this article is about substantially increasing Newstart and we need the Alternative Government being seen to be advocating and planning for making Newstart dignified and livable, just as the Greens have been saying for over a decade already.

  152. corvus boreus

    Will you stop trying to scare people with stories about climate change?
    No-one really believes or cares anymore except for a few rabid greenies (and the vast majority of research scientists).

    The topic of this article is the livability of newstart allowance, and the focus of the conversational thread is which political footy team cheats worse, how rude some people can be, and whether Stalin should have killed more people .
    There was also fleeting mention of the apparent wide levels of auto-disenfranchisement in the knife-edge marginal electorate of Gilmore, but it’s not like that’s something where the focus of meaningful attention could help decide an election.

  153. Keith

    corvus boreus

    Something does need to be done in relation to Newstart … it is an urgent matter. There has been no argument against that view.
    The topic had diversified by the time I made my last comments.

    Climate science is predicated by objective data produced by a number of science disciplines. It is not a Green matter, nor is it a religion as some deniers would have us believe.

    My main point is if we take action now. It means moving away from the business as usual push as we now pursuing. We can reduce the worst aspects of climate change. Do little or nothing and we are ultimately stuffed.

  154. corvus boreus

    Tongue in cheek.
    See my post on this thread @ 24/7 9:42am for a less facetious view.

    Ps, Thank you for all you do to provide info to help highlight the increasingly critical nature of the self-inflicted global crisis facing our species (not to mention most of our other co-inhabitants)

  155. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    corvus boreus,

    Less of the tongue in cheek and more of the strident advocacy is needed from advocates like you ….

    …. who have a lot to contribute and command a lot of respect from the non-rusted-on brigade.

  156. Trish Corry

    I thought I’d share the names of a few of my articles that fit with the theme that I’m against a rise in Newstart, because I had the opinion the article was dressed up as a slur against Labor and had a political motivation. I stand by that view.

    The jobless did not ask for this
    Post Coal Theming and Preventative unemployment
    Vulnerable jobseekers are invisible
    Welfare reform- Turnbull is no Menzies
    Welfare Reform and Drug Testing
    PATH – Proles Accursed To Hell! Enough
    Liberal Bludgers should engage in job creation

    Do these look like I’m someone who is against a rise in Newstart? That and an unfinished PhD I threw in when my parents died with the title: Stackable Negative Affect – Lived experiences of disabled and disadvantaged jobseekers.

    I don’t think we should have to tell our life story or provide evidence to support our opinions. However I get a bit sick to death of certain people conflating issues and thinking they have a right to pigeon hole others as for or against something, because a point they disagree with is made. Or the tired old one “because Trish is Labor” like it’s a &@$# disease!

    For the record, I have been involved in one way or another in the space of employment for 26 years now. It is a key area of passion for me and it is the very reason why I do get very vocal about the Greens party or supporters putting crap on Labor and campaigning against them when the reality is THEY are the ONLY party who can govern to make the improvements needed and they are the ONLY party who can govern who will sit down and work with the leaders in this space for a positive way forward.

    Complaining that Labor’s politics aren’t pure enough. That Labor isn’t perfect enough, They aren’t screaming enough, they aren’t saying enough, demanding policy now because you want them, even if the work isn’t finished, or having a big whinge about how Labor so desperately needs the Greens to be a “good party” 🤮 Is nothing but a massive negative contagion that does nothing but hinder the important aim of getting the only party who can make a REAL change, into power.

    I have personal experiences that makes me see this type of stuff of a minor party attacking the major (apparently on the same side) to keep them out of office as actually terrifying. The emotion I literally feel is terrified as in worse than scared. I don’t see this as a game.

    If that’s too much for people, well I can’t help that. This is why I approach this with a lot of defensive passion. Not because I’m a Blind Labor, nor for any other reason people might want to point the finger for.

    I am for a rise in Newstart but I also believe very sincerely a review is desperately needed of the entire system and all associated legislation as a rise in isolation is not the answer.

  157. Kaye Lee


    I don’t think anyone suggested for one second that you were against a rise in Newstart. In fact everyone, and I mean everyone, agrees that Newstart has to rise.

    So we can do like I do with my housework and say well there’s a shit load of stuff that needs doing so where do I start and put off doing anything until we write a list that is too overwhelming to attack, or we can do as my daughter would do and just get this thing done now – one job off the list.

    Please stop reading things as a “slur against Labor” and maybe view them as just a conversation about what we would like to see Labor do. Saying we have had enough reviews is not a slur. It’s an opinion. Just like yours. Though one seems backed by evidence and the other by defence of some perceived slight.

  158. Trish Corry

    My view of a slur has already been debated way at the beginning. I think it is actually possible for non-Labor leftists to present an argument without accusing Labor and insisting they should solve the problem from opposition. This is not a one off, blaming Labor, it’s prevalent. What is the actual point of blaming the opposition, purposely creating a negative opinion of them, with false statements?

    To dismiss this has zero political motivation based on the personal politics of the writer, especially when it’s about one third of the article, well I disagree with that.

    You always feel the need to explain to me what others are saying or what they are not saying. I’m quite capable of forming a personal view and decipher what others are saying, the same as others do based on the conversation. In this instance I was responding to accusations from others that some don’t see a rise in Newstart as important. Mick, if you recall, also stated for the record he was for a rise.

  159. Michael Taylor

    The article is dressed up as a slur against Labor????!!!!!

    What the?

  160. Kaye Lee

    “I’m quite capable of forming a personal view and decipher what others are saying,”

    Actually, you deliberately misrepresent what people have said, you suggest meanings that were not expressed, you read others expressing a differing opinion as a personal attack, and you refuse to ever consider that Labor could possibly refine some of their policies. You demand total agreement and unquestioning allegiance. That ain’t gonna happen.

  161. Michael Taylor

    And if it does happen, Kaye, we get called an “echo chamber”.

    We can’t win.

  162. paul walter

    Don’t tell me she’s started that again.

    Whenever a variant viewpoint gets her feeling uncomfortable there comes the victimhood hitting out in response to a query or question, It is all a plot against the ALP when you don’t automatically submit to and then echo often questionable propositions or conclusions.

    Even when it involves simple requests for clarification on a given issue. the thing permutes into this sense of if you question something, this automatically becomes evidence of closed-minded “againstness”. something that presumes a bit too much of questioners and often seems a tacit slur on their motives.

  163. Mick Byron

    Paul Walter
    “something that presumes a bit too much of questioners and often seems a tacit slur on their motives.”

    A couple of days ago..
    Young indigenous womans words you didn;t agree with
    “Uncle Tom”


  164. Adrianne Haddow

    As the mother of a sometimes victim of Newstart and Austudy, underemployment and cyclical unemployment, I can attest to the fact that Newstart needs raising, no more reviews are needed. When retired parents are continually dipping into their finite living funds to support an adult child in paying rent and putting food, other than lentils and beans on that child’s table during periods of job seeking, registering and repairing cars needed for said activity, the time for reviews is long past.

    As a resident of NSW, I have wondered where Luke Foley is hiding while our state’s infrastructure is sold out from under our feet, by the LNP. While our cities are being disrupted and plundered by shifty developers, our transport system decimated by the shifty profiters, where is Luke Foley? While our neighbours and friends live on land polluted by the defence forces fire fighting chemicals and are being ignored by the government, where is Luke Foley?

    I have great admiration for Labor leaders in other states, Jay Weatherill and Daniel Andrews have been excellent workers for their constituents. But Luke seems to be missing in inaction, no strong opposition to any of the dastardly plans of Glad and the developers.

    And those who champion Labor wonder why some people feel disgruntled with an opposition who seems not to be opposing much that is dished out by the ruling rabble, in case it offends potential voters.

  165. corvus boreus

    On a side-note, it is interesting that Trish Corry stated her disgust that no-one here expressed proxy outrage over her lurid account of a few people being a bit rude at a townhall meeting, but happily aligns to endorse the petty conspiracy theories of Joe Carli, who has, on this very thread, expressed the view that Josef Stalin, a totalitarian dictator responsible for the deaths of millions, should have been more brutal.

    I wonder if Trish would object to the glib assertion that ‘Hitler was too restrained’.
    Probably not if it was expressed in accord with anti-Green sentiments.

  166. Trish Corry

    JMS has spoken to commenters in the last week like they were Trash, nothing is said. The absolutely disgusting filth Corvus posted on Joes article doesn’t raise an eyebrow, but heaven forbid if you point out an unfair political bias in an article that doesn’t sit well with the frequent commentary, even if is evident, all hell breaks loose.

  167. Trish Corry

    You demand total agreement and unquestioning allegiance. That ain’t gonna happen.

    Please show me ONCE in any article I have written or any comments I have made in the last five years where I have ever demanded that.

    I argue my points strongly. I never ever demand that any one has to agree with me ever.

  168. corvus boreus

    You seemingly object to my use of the word ‘penis’ on another thread, but tacitly support the following statements from this one (direct quotes);

    “Stalin was too soft’.

    “.It is not advisable to rile yours T, lest I bring down the dreaded curse of the warrior Tartars (my ancestors) upon you!…
    It begins with low grumblings and a stamping of spread feet..somewhat akin to the more famous Maori Haka..then the clashing together of swords and spears and the threatening expulsions of farts and burps followed by the hoarse war-crys of that renown nation…to finish with the elbows jerked back with fists clenched.. the pelvis thrust forward and the curse of : “I urinate in your general direction!!”….of course, all spoken in that glutteral threatening tone of the Tartufo tongue.
    Just don’t push me fellah!…(oh…and that goes for you too, Di’ ).”

    You are, shall we say, very pragmatic about where and when you choose to take offense.

  169. Trish Corry

    Your comment was disgusting filth on that post. Simple. There is no other way to describe it.

  170. Joseph Carli

    Corvus…your escalating of an old political chestnut aka “Joe Stalin was too soft” from jocular example of what can be construed as the wet-lettuce treatment to what you want to conflate as a direct threat involving millions of lives is petty beyond any further unworthy explanation…I have crossed swords with you and your “mates” many times..the most outrageous, if I recall, was on the short post (taken down eventually because of the vitriol directed at the refugee poster) concerning whether a refugee could be considered “real” or “economic”..perhaps your “outraged” person would care to review some of those comments given on that post before you want to claim “real refugee” status from yours T.
    BTW..your full quoting of my “Tartar Curse” shows that you have little appreciation of the Australian ratbag style of giving insult…anyway..I warned Smithy and I bestowed that “ancient slander” upon her person and on all her ancestors and progeny!!…forever and ever!!!!!!

  171. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Trish, for not forgetting about little ole me, too.


    You might want to justify your allegations with evidence and explanation.

  172. Rhonda

    TC, please…enough with constant crying foul! And don’t be labelling people as non Labor leftist when clearly, you can’t seem to see the forrest for the f#cken trees.

  173. Mick Byron

    I fail to see why so many are so adverse to Labor undertaking its own reviews when implementing new policy.
    Thankfully Labor don’t see it in black and white as a figure { “yeah let’s give them $50”} but what other underlying facts need to be taken into account when dealing with the issues of unemployment and what they have been left to deal with by the ever cutting LNP and that goes back decades.
    I just read about “ancient” Labor reviews and their continuing readdressing of the mess left to them by LNP
    This little,and ever changing review of the additional Rental Subsidy that continued
    1992 under Labor
    March RA waiting period removed for recipients of JSA, NSA, SA or SpB who had no dependants and who were aged 18 to 60 years.
    RA eligibility extended to those aged under 18 years who received independent/homeless rate of JSA, SA or SpB, and who had been receiving income support for at least 18 weeks.
    January RA for those with children paid as an add-on to Additional Family Payment.
    March Rent threshold above which RA payable indexed and set at levels varying according to family situation. Thresholds: single with no children, $60 pf; single with children, $80 pf; couples without children, $100 pf; and couples with children, $120 pf.
    Above the new thresholds RA paid at 75 cents for each dollar of rent paid up to the maximum RA amount.
    March Waiting period of 18 weeks abolished for those aged under 18 years who were JSA/SA recipients.

    Remembering that under the LNPs Gorton the Rental Assistance {Supplementary Allowance} was a magnificent $2 a week {to some}

  174. Joseph Carli

    A – f#ckin’ – men!……(hey..just joking, Smithy…just joking..heh heh!).

    and , Crow…you DO know what a “Tartufo” is …don’t you?…just askin’….

  175. Kaye Lee

    How this article can be taken as a slur against the Labor Party is beyond me. They don’t even get a mention until paragraph 8. Two Labor Party members think a review is a good idea. Everyone else sees it as a waste of time as that work has already been done. Will Labor listen? And the excuse that they can’t do anything from Opposition doesn’t wash. That would imply that we shouldn’t listen to anything Bill is saying now because he can’t do any of it now. Raising Newstart is a commitment Bill should make before the election.

  176. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Day 187
    Wake up! @billshortenmp @AustralianLabor
    OUT @jennymacklin
    IN spine/conscience @LindaBurneyMP/@ClareONeilMP
    LET more paid income:NEW$TART
    PUMP Sole Parent/DSPensions
    #UBI #JG
    Labor/Greens #TheALLiance #AUSvotes2018

  177. Trish Corry

    I could do a huge critique of the article and demonstrate quite clearly how that is demonstrated in the article, but there is absolutely no point. Seriously? Why would I bother? It’s already been debated above. Maybe every should just ignore my comments if they can’t deal with a different point of view.

  178. corvus boreus

    One of the transient tribes of largely nomadic horse-based peoples stemming from the eastern steppes.
    Somewhere in my own lineage there is no doubt the intermingling of such or similar bloodlines into my own ancestry, although since, in historical reality, this was most likely the result of some raider raping a local lass, it isn’t something I tend to glorify.

  179. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you lack the necessary insight to be taken as seriously, as you would like.

  180. Kaye Lee

    If THEY can’t deal with a different point of view??? You’re not real good at that yourself Trish. And no, I don’t need you to do a huge critique of the article. This is what Christian said re the Labor Party.

    “Bill Shorten has merely mentioned that Newstart will be “looked at.” For Christ’s sake, man, do something! Neoliberalism is ensuring millions are now sliding into poverty. It is time for you to stand up and do something for the people of Australia!”

    “Labor were a once great party who championed the rights of the poor and made huge strides towards lessening poverty and economic inequality. Where are you, Labor? The onus is on you, Bill Shorten and co! ”

    No slur, just a call for action.

  181. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithJuly 27, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Day 187

    If it is day 187 of LNPFAIL

    why is the majority of your attack aimed at Labor OPPOSITION
    and not the culprits?

    Kaye Lee
    ” Raising Newstart is a commitment Bill should make before the election.”

    How do you know he won’t we have quite a while till the election?
    “And the excuse that they can’t do anything from Opposition doesn’t wash.”
    Do and say are quite differnt wouldn’t you say or are you too just set on the rigid path of inflexibility too

    I surrender, I run up the white flag, I can’t compete with the little collective

  182. Kaye Lee

    I sincerely hope he will as I have said in pretty much every comment Mick.

    And I’m not sure how to convince you – there is no collective. That is insulting to the people who comment here who all speak their own mind.

  183. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I assume LNP will fail at the next Fed Election, so I am aiming at Labor, as the Alternative Government, so Labor knows what IS expected of them.

    However, having revealed my optimism, I feel compelled to state that if Labor continues to show the lack of Will and Spine to make such announcements as significantly Raising Newstart, then people in the margins and suffering deprivation, might be less inclined to see ANY difference between Labor and the LNParasites.

    That’s why Labor MUST ACT NOW to show the Australian People they are fair dinkum about treating ALL Australians with dignity and equity, and providing them with the means to escape the deprivations of poverty on Newstart.

    PS: We all agree the LNParasites are parasites on the poor and public property, but modern Labor have a poor Newstart record too.

  184. Keith

    Newstart needs to be increased, now.
    Something that does need reviewing though, is the criteria used to provide benefits to people generally from Centrelink. Around 40 or 50 years ago, a quote from I think it was James Mitchener suggested … don’t write somebody off as being unsuccessful until they are into retirement age. Which I take to mean treat people with dignity. Conversely, people can reach a peak in their career yet be thought of as failures … Tony Abbott being an example.

  185. Trish Corry

    I have not been here for one year. But yet I come back after 12 months and nothing has changed. The same 5-6 people who have dominated the conversation for the last five years are still here dominating the conversation.

    The same group all huddled in all bouncing off each other to attack those who don’t conform. The same people who deny they do any wrong, but accuse others of what they do best.

    The same people who scoff at attacks on Labor and say “It’s not an attack!” but have a meltdown about anything negative about the Greens. But then insist only Labor people are partisan and can’t think for themselves.

    The same people who attack and demand explanations from others as to why they dare defend Labor’s position, because Labor should never be defended! But it’s a Labor friendly site, you know!

    The same toxic fingerpointing and complete intolerance to others opinions and the personal slurs and tee-heeing, back slapping and pats on the head all round in the little self-congratulatory in-group. The same stomping on others if this is dared challenged.

    Maybe it’s not people like me who take a years break and see the same gang still waiting to pounce, but the gang itself.

    I guarantee when I pop back in another 12 months it will be exactly the same.

    Until then….

  186. Michael Taylor

    The self-righteousness and hypocrisy I’ve read on this thread is gobsmacking. Truly gobsmacking.

  187. Kaye Lee

    FFS you are possibly the most self-obsessed person I have ever come across Trish. Get over yourself. As if anyone would bother colluding to attack you. Sheesh.

    You continually ask why people are talking about Labor and not attacking the Coalition yet your loathing of the Greens borders on irrational. Most people couldn’t give a flying fluck about dirty campaign tricks or strategies or plotting. Most people are free to discuss the topic rather than having to support some party line through thick and thin and seeing any questioning as heresy.

    We all agree Newstart should be increased. Two people think we should have a reveiew. Everyone else doesn’t. it isn’t some sort of personal attack on you. Most people just disagree with you about the need for a review. You put your case for one. It wasn’t convincing. That’s all.

    I have tried to discuss things with you respectfully. it is impossible.

  188. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    We all agree on one thing. Newstart must be increased.

    The increase must be substantial and my position is that it must be doubled, so to address past failures to stay in line with the cost of living and at least the Poverty Line.

    The Greens have been advocating for an increase for over a decade, although I would like them to be even more courageous in supporting the higher amount of Double Newstart.

    If Shorten tries to stall because he’s spooked by the polls, he will simply lose credibility, and so will his RW economic rationalist brigade headed by Bowen.

  189. diannaart

    What needs reviewing:


    The LNP change to linking increases in benefits to wage increase, used to be linked to cosy of living.

    All the hoops and regulations vulnerable people have to jump just to get a paltry benefit – as opposed to the arrant hypocrisy of the “red tape” cull of business regulations by the LNP.

    The sad, sad loss of media diversity and independence … and loss of more journalists to the dark side.

    Well, there’s a great deal more that needs addressing before the election, but one thing that can be done without a f#cking review is, at the very least, Shorten promising to bring Newstart (and Austudy) into line with pensions … and keeping his promises.

  190. Mick Byron

    I’m a relatively infrequent and somewhat new commenter on this site but I have to concur with a lot of what Trish Corry says.
    There do seem to be a select group on here who would spring in to attack her even if she said the sky was blue let alone have the audacity to hold a differing view.
    For those denying it I would suggest a quick read back over a few stories or more specifically articles Trish herself has penned.
    You know the old story of self denial……………..
    I will back away and leave quietly

  191. DrakeN

    Like yourself, I am a recent reader of the AIMN, but unlike you I do not see any attacks by the established writers and commenters.
    Disagreements over particular matters and arguments over matters of fact, yes, but personal attacks appear to come from the likes of Trish Cory who seems wedded to the principle of “be reasonable, see it my way” in so many of her comments. Dispute is seen as being perjorative to her, debate as insulting her personally.
    If you feel the same then, perhaps, open and honest debate is not for you.
    Bon chance.

  192. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    seeya cornlegend

  193. corvus boreus

    Josef (response to your BTW addendum BTW @ 8:14)
    Was it really a ‘tartar curse’?
    It read more like some dyspepticly constipated codger humping the air whilst trying to squeeze out a standing dump.

  194. Joseph Carli

    You’re “overthinking” the whole thing, Corvus…let it rest…

  195. corvus boreus

    Fair enough.
    Do not dribble piss towards me again unless it is in response to me either directly addressing or referencing you.

  196. ceridwen66

    Slaves scrambling for the scraps thrown from the high table. Slaves arguing over which designated Master should keep them in bondage. Livestock debating which of the masters should slaughter them.

    In the meantime, the elite puppeteers who own the Masters grow more insidiously powerful, untouchable and corrupt.

  197. DrakeN

    ceridwen, cariad, there is an almost an Aneurin-esque tenor to that post. 😉

  198. ceridwen

    Thank you for the compliment Drake – the class struggle is real.

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