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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 10: No policies so let’s talk about the climate and money

Saturday 4 May 2019

Thursday 2 May 2019 – The fools are at it again

”In terms of the environment, I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today(John Lord)

1 Yes, I am still repeating it. Labor wanted this election to be about the environment and Climate Change. The conservatives don’t have a policy. Or if they do ask them for their costing’s.

Today the media is attacking Labor for not having a fully costed and detailed policy.

You would think, given the conservatives don’t have a credible policy that Labor wouldn’t have to do much to win this debate.

But that is not the case. If they put some sort of cost on it then they leave themselves open to any amount of nitpicking questions. Instead, they have elected to declare the question unanswerable just like the NBN while putting the alternative question, “what is the cost of doing nothing?”

Or if we don’t survive we won’t have a need for electricity.

That way the focus is more on the Coalitions “no policy” than Labor’s uncosted one.

I’m sympathetic to the fact that it’s difficult to cost, but Labor needs to fire up its attack on the anti-climate change brigade. Dr Fisher’s report has been heavily critiqued in the past. Assumptions may have been right at the time but things move so fast in this area that it’s almost impossible to cost.

As one analyst said, All Models are wrong but some are useful.

“An earlier version of Dr Fisher’s modelling triggered headlines of a “carbon cut apocalypse” in March but was questioned by other economists who said he had assumed very high costs for renewable energy generation and the cost of reducing emissions.

ANU professor Frank Jotzo said in March that Dr Fisher’s work had used “absurd cost assumptions” about emissions abatement.”

When a great AFL coaches side was facing defeat at the interval of the final stanza of a grand final he said to his players “don’t think, just do”

Think about this. If we fail to act and disaster results, then massive suffering will have been aggravated by stupidity.

The greatest hoax ever perpetrated on societies around the world is that it’s about costs. About which parties policy will cost less. It is not. It is about who has the best policy.

We all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health. Why then should we not be liable for the cost of a healthy planet?

We should first acknowledge that the science tells us that we need at least a 45% or more reduction.

Secondly, we need to ask ourselves what party has the most efficient and effective way of reaching the target.

Thirdly, we should do as the coach says. “Don’t think. Just do”

How to spend our money

2 When the Prime Minister says that Conservatives are the best at handling money and keeping spending under control we really have to question his honesty.

Statements like this roll off their tongues like newly minted coins all polished and shiny, ready for their journey into the Australian economic story.

This story about them being the best money handlers is a myth they have been peddling since I was a boy. The fact is that there is no evidence to support their contention. Well, none that I have ever seen.

John Howard was the highest taxing Prime Minister ever. Peter Costello the luckiest.

The importance of surplus budgets is overrated. In the past 79 years, we have had 12 of any significance. Once by Ben Chifley, three times by Bob Hawke, and eight times by John Howard, who shared another with Rudd, who was elected during the 2007-08 fiscal year?

Conservatives irritatingly refer to paying back Labors debt but the reality is that the Debt rides at more than quadruple the debt left by the Labor Government.

“Surely an incoming government who more than doubles the countries debt cannot then claim to have inherited a debt problem that amounts to a budget crisis.” (John Lord)

Australia was declared the worlds no 1 economy after the World Financial Crisis (something that in discussion the conservatives have obliterated from history) with a debt of $250 Billion.

Now the Debt rides at $765 billion dollars (updated every Friday) and rising. Under this LNP Coalition Government and that’s not including the NBN debt of $650 Billion dollars. That equates to a Debt of $1.4 Trillion dollars and this is what it looks like. $1,400,000,000,000. A lot of zeros.

With storm clouds forming over the computers of every economist’s predictions you would think our leaders would be placing caveats on their promises.

On top of that, I’m hoping Bill Shorten with all the cash he has to play with will devote a lot of it to paying down the current debt.

With economic growth at 1% for the past two months, it is hard to imagine the surplus that Morrison speaks of as done and dusted coming to fruition. Especially as inflation is now 0%.

3 Now let’s examine the following to see if the Coalition does really handle money as well as they say they do.

A) They paid $1.2 million for Michaelia Cash’s legal bills.

B) And $184 million for the fake reopening of Christmas Island.

C) And another $60,000 for a media stunt on the Island.

D) Wasn’t there about $50 million paid to Cambodia to settle a refugee.

E) Then there was the $423 million “closed tender” contract with Paladin for a 17-month contract to deliver services for 423 refugees.

F) And $200 million for re-election propaganda advertisements for the Coalition.

“The purpose of propaganda is to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetrated on you.” (John Lord)

G) Do you remember the $30 million gifted to Murdoch’s FOXTEL the Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield have never adequately explained.

H) And what about $2.8 billion wages cuts for Australian workers.

I) An $889,000,000 tax concession for Murdoch.

J) And the zero tax paid by Gina Rinehart.

K) There are 75 millionaires who pay no tax. And 745 corporations who pay no tax.

L) $4.2 billion was moved offshore by Murdoch in order to pay no tax.

M) $126 million was wasted on a postal survey vote for same-sex marriage to find out something that was already known and the parliament could have voted on.

N) $80 million for dodgy water buy-backs. We may have paid for a glass of nothing.

O) $200 billion for obsolete weapons.

P) Then there is the $65 billion for corporate tax cuts when we are awash with debt.

Q) Remember the $17 billion they were going to give to the big banks.

R) And $60 million for a Captain Cook statue in Morrison’s electorate.

S) Plus $6.7 million to re-enact the circumnavigation of Australia, which Cook never did.

T) What about the $7.7 billion for fossil fuel subsidies.

U) And the ludicrous $444 million gift to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

V) And $3.8 billion to boost weapon sales.

W) The government has spent 74 million of our taxes to pay Nickel Mining workers some of their entitlements; Clive Palmer has paid his workers ZERO.

X) Remember the $60 million Royal Commission witch-hunt against Unions and Labor.

Someone sent the aforementioned to me; I filed it without attaching a name so I cannot vouch for the veracity of every one of the items mentioned but my memory tells me they are not far off the mark. So do you think the government has really handled our money well?

Friday 3 May 2019

4 After Mondays Newspoll that seemed to allocate Clive Palmer preferences rather oddly William Bowe has produced a Bludger Track aggregate figure that has Labor on 51.9/48.1.

“All things considered, I don’t see enough reason to stop treating the UAP as part of the amorphous collection of “others” and to continue allocating its collective preferences as per the 2016 result, which was basically 50-50 – particularly not in the context of an election at which anti-government sentiment is harder than it was last time, based on all available evidence. In any case, I will not for the time being be making the effort to produce a trend measure from the UAP, whose primary vote will remain locked up in BludgerTrack’s aggregated “others” measure.”

Read more here.

5 The week ended in a bit of a flurry. Shorten delivered a $200million package for Melbourne’s Metro Rail that would result in more trains, a fund under the control of Peter Costello that would guarantee funding for the NDIS and the loss of a candidate or two for behaving badly.

6 Scott Morrison lost three candidates behaving badly and announced a $200 million environmental package.

7 In the meantime, Palmer’s people are quietly pulling down their Facebook pages.

8 And if you vote for the Nationals who do you think your leader will be after the election.

My thought for the day

“According to the leader of the Nationals, his party has a commonality with One Nation policies. Only a very conservative politician would utter such profanity. And only another very conservative politician would let the comment pass without censure”

PS: Ladbrokes

Coalition $3.50
Labor $1.30
Australian Conservatives $301
One Nation $301
Greens $301

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  1. whatever

    1950’s management style, just bang the table and ask “But is this value for money?”

    Scotty is such a great economic manager he gives away 100s of millions every day despite releasing two Federal Budgets within the last 12 months.

    The LNP policy on Climate Change has, since John Howard was dragged kicking and screaming to confront the issue, has always been –

    1: Acknowledge the problem, in a grudging, sullen way.
    2: Become increasingly voluble and aggressive about the costs of doing anything about the problem.

  2. New England Cocky

    Thank you John. Every Australian voter should read your “How they spend our money” before casting their vote in 2019.

  3. Michael Brooke

    Another Leaders Debate. When it was over I wondered — what was all that about? Something happened. Something is about to happen in the next parliament and I will not know about it until it is too late. I sense it will not be good.

    A bad omen when two political leaders get hysterical about numbers, shrieking as though numbers were the ‘real thing’, neither concerned about the ‘actual thing’ numbers are supposed to measure.

    Do they have numbers for breakfast? Should I multiply and subtract the number of times my heart beats and maybe discount the fact that my flesh and blood heart is not a number? Good health cannot be counted, old age is not a fiscal problem, the living environment is not financial … unless you are a politician apparantly.

    Will they ever show some concern for the world I actually live in?

  4. Henry Rodrigues

    I haven’t listened to either of the two debates nor do I follow the election coverage on the TV channels or even glance at the headlines in Murdoch’s rags anymore. As for the so-called Independent journos and the SMH, I wouldn’t trust them if my life depended on them. The whole media except a few like the AIMN and the Independent Australia have been desperately trying to deny Labor any sort of a fair competition. There are considerably more negative slants about Labor’s campaign and policies, more exaggeration, more planting of fear and mistrust in the minds of unsophisticated people, and never one question about the coalition’s failures of the past 6 years. Not one of the so-called financial oriented commentators have ever focused on the the doubling of the deficit by the coalition. Yet they query any and everything Labor proposes demanding fully costings. I hope all these bastards rot in hell.

  5. Andrew J Smith

    Just been listening to ABC News Radio highlighting Morrison and demands (or hectoring) of Shorten/Labor to produced detailed costs while the govt. is not interrogated similarly, even though there is abundant evidence of financial mismanagement and dodgy costings in recent years.

    Question, who ‘owns’ ABC News Radio and ABC TV News 24, i.e. along with Minister for NewsCorp can we assume a former NewsCorp or commercial network Director of News?

    Across the board in media much of the PMs and LNPs unethical and related behaviour or incidents (e.g. coal in parliament) have been whitewashed or disappeared so as not to remind the electorate?

  6. Kronomex

    All the promises are huge pots of magic leprechaun dollars that disappear if you can’t find the end of the rainbow before the bullshit…um, rain, stops.

  7. Ross in Gippsland

    The MSM seem to have missed the fact that the real action in this election is the rural electorates.
    Pre polling is in an empty shop on the main street of my rural town in a very safe National Party electorate. There are a lot of empty shops in the main street these days. I voted early, the line was long, mainly older people and what looked like youngish RAAF personal. About half had no how to vote cards in their hands and most of those that did were not National Party how to vote cards. The incumbent National will still win but it will be interesting to see if his margin is slashed which would be a real kick in the arse to the National Party. I don’t think this will happen but the mood in the bush at the moment is one of simmering rage and who better to vent that rage on but your local clueless do nothing National /Coalition incumbent.

  8. Terence Mills


    Clive Palmer has taken out double page advertisements in the weekend press – I’m looking at The Weekend Australian – with names, photos and electorates of his 175 candidates for both Houses.

    It is estimated that Clive is spending over $50 million on this advertising blitz – more than the major parties combined – so a couple of questions arise :

    What is Clive’s endgame : what does he hope to achieve and will it be in the interests of Australia or just Clive Palmer?
    If he does get a balance of power in our parliament, will the Liberals enter into coalition with UAP ?
    As Bill Shorten pointed out, this preference swap deal agreed between UAP and the Liberals could turn our parliament into a chaotic zoo,not unlike the Star Wars Bar Scene : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6PDcBhODqo
    It seems possible that UAP may out-vote the National Party and if this leads to a coalition with the Liberals, does this mean that Clive as the head of UAP and as a junior party in the coalition becomes our Deputy Prime Minister ?
    Clive Palmer is not one known in his business dealings to promptly pay his creditors : do you think all this advertising has been paid for up-front ?

    Stop the World, I want to get off !

  9. guest

    Paul Kelly today mentions Brian Fisher, the predictions man who has been roundly criticised before. It is amazing that these people can make such outrageous scare mongering and yet ignore the reality of their own economic cock-up.

    John Lord’s listing of the Coalition’s ridiculous spending regime needs to be posted on every screen in the country. Remember the old test patterns?

    Meanwhile, Greg Sheridan told us this week that the Whitlam government was the worst we have ever had. What Sheridan hated was the social program and its costs which shifted the emphasis in political thinking. So the Libs blocked supply. Can’t do that now?

    For Liberal/Conservatives, costs are to be reduced, especially taxes for the rich, government is to be small and left to private enterprise, society does not exist – only entrepreneurial ‘have ago’ individuals, Self Help C19th style.

    Kelly also wants to write about Labor chaos and how Gillard’s “carbon tax” and alliance with the Greens brought her down. Never mind both Abbott and Credlin have admitted it was not a “carbon tax” – and where is Abbott now? Sacked on the back bench and under siege.

    No talk about about the Liberals’ hitching with a failing bunch of Nationals and the bizarre One Nation circus and Clive’s spendathon. Or about the science of Climate Change, or about the observable impacts of Climate Change – just weasel words such as “freedom” and “democracy”.

    The Murdoch scribblers know very well that Murdoch is a propagandist who is intent on controlling the world. Murdoch has said so himself, referring to particular sections of the globe. He is connected with Lord Rothschild and Dick Cheney through Genie energy and its subsidiaries who are endeavoring to frack oil and gas in the Golan Heights taken from Syria in 1967 and supposedly annexed in 1981. It is occupied territory. The Genie energy plan seems to be to compete with Arab oil countries and to create “democracy” and “prosperity”. Remember how Bush wanted to bomb Iraq into “democracy”?

    We see why the scribblers scribble they do. It is all about money (the fossil-fuels-based economy) and a “freedom” they control.

    Fortunately, the times they are a-changing, and the dinosaurs are extinct.

  10. jake

    lets have a think about our smirky smarmy lying fill in pm

    not the worst pm ever – thats tony abbott but he’s close
    not the most ineffectual pm ever – thats malcolm turnbull but he’s close
    not the most evil pm ever – thats john howard but he’s close

    what can be said of scummo

    he talks all the time but says nothing

    he does not listen to his advisers relying on his superior knowledge(!) eg. embassy in jerusalem, mundine in gilmore, money to filthy rich electric company in tas, xmas island etc

    he cannot control the riff raff in his cabinet (there are more people in the naughty corner than on out the mats at his kindy)

    he has been brainwashed since birth by a fundamentalist cult so his reasoning skills have atrophied – so he can’t count, doesn’t feel,
    can’t tell the truth (maybe stop there) from a lie, has no idea what the people around him think or want until someone points it out to him, thinks he’s the pastor so he can tell everyone what he wants them to do and expects them to shut up and do it, no questions asked

    so i’m not sure that he’s the stupidest (i might just give that to kevin07) but he is the least aware, doesn’t have a clue, very aggressive, very arrogant latest disaster imitating a pm

    so what crown does the smirker get – i thinks is mr no (no idea, no policies, no heart, no future)

    i’d welcome any ideas – i’m trying to entertain myself til the election is over and yelling at the tv is no fun anymore, the mute button is worn out and smirker still appears on the sport programs, i down to watching the news on al jazeera because the pro lnp bias everywhere else is unbearable

    i am so over it and if i hear one more crack about lnp being good money managers and the economy is doing fine and bill never costs any of his policies and bill doesn’t have the personality to be president i will seriously go nuts and then my vote will be wasted

  11. Aortic

    What a litany of waste, just imagine the cost if they were not far better managers of our money than Labor. As guest says the profligacy should be universally screened and published on every possible outlet in the country. The sad sad truth is though, even if it managed to be, would it change the mind and thus the vote of the entrenched troglodytes who vote for the conservative side of politics regardless of their waffle. I seriously doubt it, although I do have hope that our younger generation will see through the climate change is crap and the Direct Action rubbish, and vote accordingly.

  12. Brad Black

    The ‘West Australian’ weekend edition headline “Just do it” was in reference to a poll they conducted on the cost of the opposition’s climate policy. The result in 3 marginal seats in WA showed a lack of concern over the cost roughly equating to 52 – 48 in favour of the ALP. And one of the reasons? The longer we leave it, the greater the cost.
    So much for conservative money managers – penny wise pound foolish!

  13. wam

    Remember john labor debt was bad debt but liberal debt is good debt and the libs have the AAA rating. Labor has had 6 yeare to claim the AAA and attack the libs on money. Have any of them had any success???
    Our senator has just referred herself to the committee for 6 figure airfares to sydney??? She is safe but it is harder for the two labor members.

    ps Have you read the phon policies, John? I think you'[ll find many christians, nats, libs and labor have some ‘commonality’
    Certainly many more than support the loonies.
    Did you hear SHY today? She made a hanson of herself with reflections of dec 2009.

  14. Deidre Zanker

    Apparently the LNP are planning to govern from the senate, by blocking every piece of legislation, with help from Clive Palmer and Pauline One Notion.

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