Monday 29 April 2019
1 It must be excruciatingly distressing when government Ministers are so on the nose, so toxic, that they are not even allowed to debate their equivalent shadow ministers. Dan Tehan, for example, the Government Education Minister won’t debate Tanya Plibersek.
As shameful and undemocratic as this is, it is nonetheless the case. But you can well understand it with the likes of Dutton. Hunt, Cormann, Taylor, Price and Canavan.
Others, of course, preferred to jump ship before the ice hits the hull.
And Cash seems to have have been placed in Witness protection for the duration of the campaign.
“When a political party deliberately withholds information that the voter needs to make an informed, balanced and reasoned assessment of how it is being governed. It is lying by omission. It is also tantamount to the manipulation of our democracy.” (John Lord)
Joyce and Abbott no doubt have been given the message that they should seal their lips. The leader of the Nationals whose name always escapes me is opening his mouth ever so rarely that you would think he is on a starvation diet and of course former leader Malcolm Turnbull is now a non-government member entitled to speak in defence of his legacy. Whatever it is.
It looks as though Simon Birmingham has been given the task of defending everything Morrison says. Freydenberg is also confined to limited use of his vocal chords.
Why, well the government, because of the toxicity of so many of its MPs, has decided on a Morrison versus the rest approach. No ministers will be allowed to debate their opposites. Morrison will take on responsibility for everything. Yes, you will hear even more of him. I’m not sure what you will think about that.
Conversely, Labor is playing a team game with shadow ministers appearing with Shorten whenever it is appropriate and chaffing at the bit willing to debate.
After 6 years of doing nothing but fight each other and wanting another three to do much the same it is but a reflection of their incompetence that the only person capable of selling their message is Scott Morrison.
Unfortunately, it is also a reflection of the state of Australian politics.
2 Today the Election campaigns of both parties will kick off in earnest. Labor, with buckets of money to spend, yesterday announced a $4 billion childcare package aimed at reducing cost of living pressures on young families. In real terms, 887.000 families will see fee reductions of around $2100 a year.
“The notion that a few privileged individuals can own the vast majority of a countries wealth and the remainder own little is on any level unsustainable, politically, economically or morally” (John Lord)
Read about the full package here and its benefits to low-income families.
For its part, the LNP will freeze the humanitarian intake of refugees at 18,750. This is certainly a contentious issue and he is speaking directly to his base.
Announcing the freeze Morrison used the words of John Howard.
“We’ve got our borders and the budget under control.
“We make decisions about who comes here based on what’s in Australia’s interests.”
3 What a lot of nonsense is this talk about Clive Palmer’s preferences. A leader with character would have just said no. Clive’s importance is like his body weight highly inflatable.
4 On one hand Labor because of the changes they have made to things such as negative gearing and franking credits will be able to spread money around that will make our society fairer and more equitable.
On the other hand, the Coalition only has that which they allowed for in the recent budget so I would expect a lot of announcing things already announced.
In doing my research I came across these snippets from 2018:
“Peter Van Onselen for The Australian says that six Coalition members, including the PM own 99 investment properties between them.”
Note: The then PM was Malcolm Turnbull.
“If you look at the electorates that benefit most from, the ones who are getting the largest deductions from Negative Gearing. Of the top ten for net rental loss all 10 were liberal electorates.
Any wonder they want to keep Negative Gearing.”
An ABC Fact check. Fact check: Did abolishing negative gearing push up rents?
The claim: Treasurer Joe Hockey says abolishing negative gearing could push up rents, because that’s what happened in the 1980s.
The verdict: During the period negative gearing was abolished rents notably increased only in Sydney and Perth. Other factors, including high interest rates and the share market boom, were also contributors to rent increases at the time.
Mr. Hockey’s claim doesn’t stack up.
5 Government debt: $534 billion last Friday compared with: $501 billion in June 2017 $420 billion in June 2016 $369 billion in June 2015 $319 billion in June 2014 and $273 billion at the 2013 election. And the government is promising huge tax cuts.
Sunday 28 April 2019
As is my normal habit I settle down to watch insiders. Today’s panel is Barrie Cassidy, Peter Van Onselen, Political Editor Chanel 10, and Karen Middleton, a political journalist in the Canberra Press Gallery and Malcolm Farr, Political Editor News.com.
It often surprises me just how many subjects they discuss given the time they have. In today’s diary as a matter of interest, I thought I would make a list and comment in italics if I feel the need.
INSIDERS Notes: Not necessarily in order.
1) Water buy-backs. Why did Barnaby Joyce want to be water Minister? Much is made of what the panel describes as a feral interview with the ABCs Patricia Karvelas.
He was the Minister. They say there isn’t much in the story.
I contend that a Royal Commission into the whole Murray Darling agreement is required. Could it be that we have paid $80 million for an empty glass?
2) A Short discussion on Morrison’s confidence and how he is taking it up to Shorten takes place. I’m thinking he must be the original Renaissance man going by what I see on television. One who can do anything. At least that is the way he appeared last week. They may have been trying to paint him subliminally as the man for all seasons but we know what he really stands for.
3) They talk about the debates and suggest Shorten is shirking them. Anyway, Shorten has agreed to another one so discussion faded.
“In the recipe of good leadership, there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It, however, ranks far below getting things done for the common good.” (John Lord)
4) Labor’s new Childcare policy is discussed and all the panellists agree that it is sound policy that will be a vote winner. Morrison because of a lack of funds won’t be able to match them. My thoughts are that as I said earlier. Labor has boatloads of money that Morrison won’t be able to match and it will be telling, as we get further into the campaign.
5) Of the Coalitions policy to freeze immigration, they noted with good humour that 60% must be women. This is designed to appeal to his base and we know Australians are split on the subject. Labor has a different policy and people have a choice.
6) Tanya Plibersek, in her interview with Barrie Cassidy, said that this campaign was the dirtiest of her 20 years in parliament. I could only concur. She says she will take on the education portfolio should they win. What really impressed me was the way she said, “oh I just love it!”
“For the life of me, I fail to understand how anyone could vote for a party who thinks the existing education and health systems are adequately funded and addresses the needs of the disadvantaged” (John Lord)
7) A short discussion ensued about the difference between the two parties’ and that people really have a choice between two competing ideologies.
8) The inflation figure from last week suggested that things are not rosy economically. People had stopped spending. Wages aren’t growing. If the truth be known both leaders should perhaps be warning that promises made today might not be met in the future.
9) Peter Van Onselen was particularly outspoken when a clip was shown of the Prime Minister refusing to answer a question as to whether Clive Palmer should pay his workers the entitlements they were owed. So far Palmer has spent $70 million on a seat in the Senate. Unless he controls it what’s the point.
10) A lot of time was spent going over the pros and cons of Adani with varying opinions as to what effect it would have on the election. Protesters don’t help Labor, or do they? More water to flow under the bridge on this one.
11) The panel got back onto the debates and said that Morrison would be the more aggressive but Malcolm Farr countered by saying that the latter stages of the campaign would suit Shorten more. With that assessment, I wholeheartedly agree.
“Meritocracy is a term used to imply that those at the top of the social scale have merit and a slur against those at the bottom.”
12) The latest Galaxy poll was mentioned in the final minutes. 52/48 in Labor’s favour. If the expected Newspoll comes in at the same tomorrow then Scott will be in big trouble.
A couple of minutes to12 and I turn on the telly to find Shorten speaking at a rally in Melbourne. He is making an announcement that pensioners and Health Care card holders will receive up to $1000 on their dental bills It is the first step to joining dental expenses with Medicare.
At last our teeth have become part of our bodies.
My thought for the day
“The common good should be at the center of any political philosophy. However, it is more likely to be found on the left than the right ” (John Lord)
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