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Where is Labor?

The despair at the inaction of Labor is growing louder. The groups they are supposed to represent are under attack and all we hear is endless support for Tony Abbott’s warmongering.

Labor have been gifted a first year of Abbott government that has been so bad that they should be seizing the opportunity to reshape themselves as a viable alternative but all we hear is “our policies will be revealed in good time before the next election and they will be fully costed” or “we aren’t the government”.

A quick look at the last few days news stories provide endless material that, for some unknown reason, Labor seems too ineffective to capitalise on.

Our Prime Minister for Women has delivered a budget which modelling shows that the worst hit – by far – will be women in low-income households.

Just as Tony Abbott releases one of his ‘earnest and sincere’ videos saying that his government’s main motivations in future will be “protecting the vulnerable”, it might be opportune to point out that analysis, conducted by the Australia Institute, shows women in the poorest 20 per cent of households will be $2566 worse off in 2017 as a result of the budget.  Women in the wealthiest 20 per cent of households will be only $77 worse off on average in 2017.

Or perhaps, as our Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs jets off on his long-awaited trip to Arnhem Land, it might be worth mentioning the report in the SMH saying

Tony Abbott’s takeover of indigenous affairs is in “disarray“, public service insiders allege, with hundreds of specialist public servants retrenched, funding and programs stalled and staff morale in the “doldrums”.

Senior leaders in the Prime Minister and Cabinet department’s Indigenous Affairs Group have based themselves in Canberra’s dress circle, nearly 10 kilometres away from their rank-and-file workers, who are still reeling after repeated restructures to their workplaces.”

Now would be a good time to remind people of how much Tony Abbott has cut from the Indigenous Affairs budget and how many services are closing.

“For decades the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) has been providing legal aid in the remote town of Nhulunbuy, on the northern tip of Arnhem Land, as well as in the nearby community of Yirrkala and surrounding outstations.

But the agency is set to close its doors in Nhulunbuy at the end of the year, in anticipation of severe budget cuts, and is seeking a meeting with the Prime Minister during his visit.”

With the revelations from ICAC proving just how endemic corruption is in our political system, now would be a good time to push for a Federal ICAC.

As Errol Brandt points out at nofibs

“there is a deafening roar from social media calling for the establishment of a federal ICAC. Not because the public wants cheap entertainment, but because the revelations in NSW confirm what many have long suspected: entrenched unethical and illegal behaviour is festering in our the nation’s political shadowlands.”

Does anyone believe Bill Shorten when he says

“I think we’ve all been shocked at the revelations that have come out in NSW ICAC… I don’t believe the same case has yet existed to demonstrate these problems are prevalent in the national political debate in Australia.”

Rob Oakeshott certainly thinks otherwise as he calls for reform in the area of political donations.

“THE rules are simple: fight the bastards, bankroll the other side of politics, cause them damage until they learn to ignore treasury and finance advice and start listening instead to that grubby leveller in politics – money.

Whether it’s tax or carbon or gaming, this is the policy inertia of Australia today. Money is beating our long-term standard of living to death. It has sent many necessary policy reforms to the doghouse, and it keeps many others on the short chain.

Our key decisions for the future of Australia are now being outsourced at a level never before seen. Parliamentary democracy is going through its own sort of privatisation….”

Oakeshott points out the undue influence that wealthy people exert on political decisions which are no longer made in the best interests of the people. This is underlined by Gina Rinehart’s latest call for assistance as iron ore prices fall.  Rather than facing business risk like the rest of us, she wants the government to change the rules to increase her profits.

“Mrs Rinehart singled out red tape, approvals and burdens as addressable bureaucratic policies.

“Each one of these adds costs and makes it harder to compete successfully, risking Australian jobs and revenue,” Mrs Rinehart told The Australian.  “The government needs to better recognise this and world conditions, including various falling commodity prices and the contraction in jobs in Australia’s ­mining and related industries – and urgently cut bureaucratic ­burdens.”

The government needs to act to help reduce the costs placed on Australian miners, who are disadvantaged against international competition, Mrs Rinehart said.

Mrs Rinehart has previously warned that Africa is a much cheaper investment option, with workers willing to take jobs for $2 per day.

It was estimated at the time that while Mrs Rinehart was talking about pay rates for African workers, she was earning $600 a second.”

Andrew Wilkie is also angry at the influence of vested interests with Barnaby Joyce promoting the interests of his mates.

“The Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is reportedly set to exempt Saudi Arabia from the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System, which would be the first step in undoing the modest animal welfare reforms of the last parliament.

“This is the government saying loud and clear to overseas markets: `we don’t care how you slaughter our animals’,’’ Mr Wilkie said. “This will have horrendous consequences for Australian animals that will be sent overseas to cruel and shocking deaths with the blessing of the Australian Government.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Australian Government is a pack of sadists who seem to get some sort of unholy thrill out of knowingly promoting animal cruelty.

Barnaby Joyce in particular is beholden to money and his mates in that tiny part of the red-meat industry which exports livestock. But even there he is incompetent because the only way to ensure the red-meat industry is commercially sustainable over the long term, and have broad public support, is to end the cruelty.”

As Tony Abbott woos the Chinese in search of a Free Trade Agreement, someone should warn him that they are likely to impose tariffs on our exports as they move to an ETS.

“Just two months after Australia trashed its carbon price because it was “too high” and would “trash the economy”, China has flagged that its planned carbon trading scheme will cover 40 per cent of its economy and be worth up to $65 billion.”

Tony Abbott keeps telling us that repealing taxes will create jobs but, on so many fronts, his actions show little regard for creating employment.

The main public sector union is demanding urgent talks with the Australian Taxation Office over a proposal to move outsourced backroom functions to Asia.

The CPSU says it is “deeply concerned” after revelations that a giant multinational contractor wants to take ATO work to the Philippines and that Health Department work has been going to India for years.

Support for mining and agriculture will do little to help as, at its peak, the mining sector employed less than 2 per cent of the workforce, and agriculture, forestry and fishing employs about 3 per cent.

Withdrawing support for the car industry will see a huge number of job losses with even more for South Australia if the government chooses to buy Japanese submarines to replace the Collins class fleet.

But at present, the only policy the government has to tackle unemployment is lowering wage rates by, for example, getting rid of penalty rates and introducing low junior wages.

As Paul Malone points out

“The conventional response that our tradeable services will compete successfully on the world stage, significantly adding to our export income and keeping large numbers of our population employed, is laughable. If we can sell architecture services via the net, so can lower paid Indians.

The currently much vaunted sale of education services is in reality an immigration marketing program, where many students study here in the hope that they can win the right to live and work here.”

While our students become increasingly concerned about changes that will see them saddled with huge debts, Scott Morrison is busy announcing a new type of visa that will allow foreign students to come and study diploma courses at private colleges like the one Frances Abbott attends which has benefited from a great deal of favourable government legislation since they gave her a scholarship.

‘The number of international students seeking to study in Australia continues to rebound positively, with an increase of over 27% in the number of visas granted to offshore applicants in the 2013/2014 programme year,’ he pointed out.

‘Extending SVP arrangements will help capitalise on these trends, reducing red tape and helping to attract further students from overseas,’ he added.

Invitations to participate will be sent to eligible providers in the second half of 2014. The government proposes to implement this extension by early 2015, under the stewardship of Michaelia Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.”

Even though small business is a huge employer, they too have been attacked by the Abbott budget.  It seems only billionaires and global corporations rate a mention nowadays.

“The Coalition has scrapped the tax concessions linked to the mining tax, including the company loss carry-back provision, which allowed loss-making businesses to claim back tax they’d paid in previous profitable years. Also cut were accelerated depreciation allowances or asset write-offs.

“The Coalition have said that they would be small business-friendly, they understand we are the backbone of the economy, that we employ a lot of people – all those sorts of things – and they would do anything they could to make sure our lives were easy enough so we could run our business, and they’ve done the opposite with this decision,” said Peter Strong, the executive director of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA).”

While Abbott talks of growth, he seems to have little idea of how to achieve it and is actually working against measures to reduce inequality.

“The federal budget took active steps towards increasing inequality and that sits in stark contrast to the discussions held at the G20 and now the L20 meetings. Youth unemployment is a critical issue for the Australian economy but has largely been ignored in favour of a crackdown on ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘welfare queens’.

There is a clear disconnect between our federal government and the L20, who are promoting a return to more inclusive growth, which benefits workers across the income distribution. The L20’s focus is long overdue — the national income share from wages has been declining for decades — but it’s a message that has clearly fallen on deaf ears in Australia.”

Abbott tells us that we must be innovative but at the same time cuts funding to research and ignores the advice of scientists, much to the chagrine of our chief scientist Ian Chubb.

“In the space of a fortnight we were encouraged to be advocates for science and then rebuked for “whinging” by a minister who in the same breath claimed to be on our side. That came as something of a shock.

Much has been said and written about how Australia punches above our weight in research and innovation in the past and present. We have in no way reached our capacity. We need long-term research funding, clear translational mechanisms and strong links with business. We need more blue sky research, not less, and we need to figure out smarter ways of funding and translating it.

Most of all, scientists need allies in parliament, and increasingly it appears we have none. Acknowledging that isn’t being a “precious petal”, and it’s not whingeing. These are big-picture issues, these are long-term issues, these are dreams and ideas about what we think our country can do and how we can bring it into the future.”

These are just a few of the stories from the last few days yet the nation, including the Labor Party, have been mesmerised by talk of terrorism even though there is no discernible threat other than “tens” of angry young men who our police force already seem to be watching.

If Shorten cannot man up and start presenting some credible alternatives to the disaster that is our current government then I am very fearful for our future.

150 comments

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  1. babyjewels10

    Again, you’ve said what’s on my mind, far better than I could have said it. Thanks Kaye.

  2. Miriam English

    The Greens are the only credible and moral choice now. They used to be all about conservation of the natural environment, but nowadays they are concerned about income redistribution, women, indigenous rights, farmers, tourism, low income workers, gay equality, education… all the things that would make our country a bright and healthy place to live again.

  3. Miriam English

    In short the Greens want all the things Labour used to want, but seem to no longer be interested in.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Miriam,

    I am tending to agree so have been looking a bit at their policies. What they need to do is develop a more detailed employment policy. In a cursory look I could only find bits and pieces like shorten the working week and increase holidays (from memory) but no detail. Renewable energy industries and research funding is probably in there too but they need a few more ideas developed further. People think Greens means loss of jobs so when they oppose logging they need to tell the loggers what jobs will be available to them for example.

    Employment policies are important I think. Abbott’s idea is to make employers wealthier assuming they will use this wealth to employ people rather than reward their investors. Then again, he thinks employers will voluntarily increase wages to cover the loss in superannuation so it’s not worth listening to much he says.

  5. John Fraser

    <

    Looks like Shorten is hiding behind Christine Milne's Green skirt.

    A couple of Labor women are manning up …………… but the (real ?) men in the ALP are telling them to shut up.

    Great Article Kaye Lee.

  6. nickthiwerspoon

    Well put. I despair about Labor. These days I put the Greens first and Labor second. And the misnamed “Liberals” will now go last. There have in the past always been worse options than the “Liberals” but even the PUP is better than them now.

  7. Hotspringer

    While I don’t agree with all Greens’ policies, they are much closer to my social democrat conscience and for a while now I vote for them, with second preference Labor. In their hunt for the swinging voter, Labor’s abandoned me and my like.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    We can now see why Abbott was praising the Japanese armed forces, especially submariners when he signed that trade pact. One cannot help but suspect, buying their subs was part of the agreement to get the Trade over the over the line.

    Destroying the automobile industry might have attracted both South Korea and Japan to sign.

    Then it could be just a coincidence. Who knows.

    Not sure, we as Australians have gained.

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    I wonder if the media will have free contact with the PM over the next week. Suspect not.

  10. John Fraser

    <

    @Hotspringer

    I certainly don't agree with all of the Greens policies.

    But I do agree with more than enough to give them my assistance and vote.

  11. kenbeh

    Iam
    I am sure Abbott and the Liberals will love this article. Why do you not attack the part of our system that is so obviously broken-the impartial transmission of information which is the function and responsibility of the MSM.

  12. Dissenter

    Magnificent article Kaye. AS usual you are right on the mark.

    There is AN OPPOSITION VACCUUM. The vast SCOPE OF THE ATTACKS on AUSTRALIA by ABBOTT is clearly TOO large for Labor.

    And they are NOW TARGETTING their campaigns to single issues and targetted demography.This is new LABOR STRATEGY.
    THis is difficult to understand GIVEN the sheer scale of the ABBOTT BLITZ on everything and everyone. IT IS SO HUGE THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO SEPARATE into the CATEGORIES of issues.

    Stupidly Labor is applying IMPORTED strategy that is NOT APPLICABLE of APPROPRIATE for the current circumstances. WHAT A JOKE.
    THE BIGGEST joke of all is that they HAVE NOT MOVED THE LABOR NATIONAL CONFERENCE FORWARD as they should have OR INSERTED annual NATIONAL CONFERENCES due to the SCALE OF THE PREVIOUS DEFEAT.
    THat would have been a commonsense approach. BUT NO!

    Still DUE TO THE LACK OF RATIFIED POLICY there is NO POLICY and this is against the ABBOTT government who DEFEATED LABOR in a landslide VICTORY DECIMATING LABOR POWER. HO HUM.

    WHY? The only answer I can come up with is STUPIDITY and poor management.
    ABBOTT and the LNP campaigned in POWERFUL OPPOSITION against LABOR FOR 3 years from 2010 to 2013. IT was sustained ATTACK.
    IT WAS GHASTLY but it worked.
    LABOR are NOT CAMPAIGNING. They are small O opposing. POLITE OPPOSITION. CONCESSIONARY OPPOSITION with TEAM AUSTRALIA moments.

    THIS DOES NOT NOW CUT it against the ABBOTT government and IT IS NOT DRIVING INCREASING SUPPORT for LABOR in the electorate and there are ALL MANNER OF POLLS TO PROVE THIS.

    SO WHY has LABOR not CHANGED STRATEGY or leadership OR MEDIA METHODOLOGY? OR ALL OF THE ABOVE.
    THere are many of us who have been campaigning for the greater use of YOU TUBE.

    INSTEAD LABOR is somehow TIED TO SOME MISGUIDED view that the ABBOTT DEFICITS ARE ENOUGH TO GET THEM ELECTED. THAT IS dangerously illadvised.

    LABOR MUST SHINE and GROW SUPPORT through the SUBSTANCE OF L:ABOR POLICY and the SIGNIFICANT WORK OF ALL MEMBERS AND MPS AND MEDIA THROUGH RHETORIC AND ACTION and there is little to suggest that this is COMMENCED OR EVER even possible.
    PLEASE LABOR get up and make it happen.

  13. John Fraser

    <

    @kenbeh

    Are you suggesting that The AIMN follow the MSM ?

    Just write lovey dovey stories about Shorten.

  14. Jeanette

    Labor are in desperate need of real policies and a real leader. Bill Shorten is not the man to beat Abbott, I have to agree that the Greens pull a greater punch and many will return to the fold next election

  15. Stuart Dean

    Kaye Lee, I agree with the sentiment of your article, however (which is another form of BUT)… Labor has been gifted a tragicomedy government sruggling to be anything other than the opposition they were. With all the donations from vested interests and the help of the IPA, they have been able to employ teams of psychologists to manipulate public opinion and to fine-hone the political gameplay. Now elected, these ‘advisors’ come at the taxpayer’s expense.
    The blatant lies told pre-election had one desired outcome which was successful and now redundant – it achieved Government.
    Labor, in my opinion, has a weak leader who carries a lot of baggage; he was the powerbroker to change leaders twice, then to install himself into the top position of the now opposition with factional help. This is how many pro-Lieberal social media groups see Bill Shorten (bull shittin). Most of the public are either ill-informed or deliberately misinformed. We have a common enemy to defeat now. We should stand united behind Labor and Greens to defeat this increasingly fascist government. My point is, that Labor has been wedged on many issues, the latest being the Syria/IS issue. Damned if they do and damned even more if they don’t. I believe Labor’s strategy is to keep a low profile while they regroup as the abbott led administration keeps kicking own goals, Morriscum ignoring international and humanitarian law and other Liberal social injustices. Also remember and point out to the country folk, that abbott would not be in Govt. had it not been for the coalition support of the NATIONALS.
    Hold THEM to account, as well.

  16. randalstella

    There is no doubt that the MSM would make it very difficult for the bravest organisation opposed to Abbott’s destructive policies to get a word in edgewise, without that word itself being filtered through Tory-think sloganeering. Just look at that Insiders supercilious moral rabble.
    But the ALP are far from the bravest organisation.The ALP are replaying Beazley’s small target approach at the very time they need to be actively refuting Abbott’s policies; announcing day by day that what he institutes will be undone when they get into power; and urging the diverse bunch of new Senators to follow their initiative – for the sake at least of their political longevity.
    This is what we do not get from Labor – who remain shy of the lies about the Carbon pricing and the Mining super-profits Tax. If the LNP can merely lie their way into power, and the Party that loses merely concedes to those lies – then we know what to expect from the MSM; and we know what to expect at the next election, and the elections to come after that.
    It is Labor’s duty to awaken the electorate to inequities and the lies by which they are perpetrated; not just because they are in Opposition but because that is the way the nation can have a healthier alternative Government.

    It is up to Labor to continue to argue for their policies, despite them being subject to lies. The LNP do not drop their policies, just lie about them. But that in itself does not provide a distracted and duped electorate a clear choice.

  17. Alpo

    The cemeteries of the world are packed with the bodies of idealists…. pragmatists and realists are those who keep running the show. Shorten has to choose between being an idealist or a pragmatist. I prefer if he leans for the latter. One pragmatic step at a time you can walk in the direction of the ideal.

  18. charybds

    Perhaps we need to face up to an unpleasant truth ..

    Labor is just another flavour of rhetoric for hire by those with the money to buy influence.
    It is more advantageous to them to let Abbott get away with the majority of his horrors. (while crying foul.)
    It is safe to assume that not all of what is done by this Liberal government will be repealed by Labor.
    Labor will move away from the current right wing stance … but never far enough to not be distinctly right wing.
    Murdoch will continue to set the political dialogue and ensure the electorate is divided ..
    .. because Shorten and his comfy mates will not have the balls to disassemble Newscorp Australia.

    The best thing we can do (I used to support Labor) is vote green and hope Milne has the guts Labor lacks.

    … I don’t like it either.

  19. randalstella

    There is of course the lingering fear, the suspicion – hardly refuted by Bowen, Shorten et al – that the new Labor Opposition might just happen to agree with Abbott and the lies about the ALP’s last Government.
    Each time the ALP are under electoral threat they become that bit more reactionary. And Abbott threatens everything. We cannot assume an ALP continuity from their last Government until we know their policies. It does not look good – as Kaye’s article on Bowen’s speech indicates.

  20. stephentardrew

    What a great article Kaye. Congratulations you are awesome. Sometimes I am just gob-smacked at the stupidity and cruelty of this poor excuse for a government. This regardless of your well documented evaluation of the Budget. Added together it is truly the nightmare from hell. It really is as bad as we think it is. No more proof needed than the material presented here over the past few months. Congrats to you Michael and all others that contribute to AIMN. You guys are awe inspiring tellers of truth to lies..

  21. mars08

    Where is Labor?

    With each passing week, I’m caring less and less…!

  22. Olivia Manor

    I have occasionally watched Parliament and every time any Labor member tries to ask a qustion or make a point, he or she is cut in mid sentence by Madam Kerosine and loudly derided by the Lieberals. Outside Parliament the media has no time for them and barely gives them 2 seconds mentions. How are they supposed to stand up to the bully tacticts of the LNP and a fawning media and get their message across? Even if they had a fabulous agenda, they way Murdoch and his sidekicks have instructed their minions to deride and ignore the ALP it would,be very hard to get the message across. Unfortunately there are no Hawks or Keatings in the ALP at the moment, who would expose the bullshit for what is is and roast the NLP slowly and methodically.

  23. guest

    So the message now is that Labor is not worth supporting. And the reasons? Because Labor is not sufficiently negative and has not come up with some shiny new policies to dazzle us.

    For Labor’s negativity to be heard there must be suitable forum, in the halls of politics or in the media. In QT, Labor attacks the Coalition and not always politely. Labor MPs have been ejected more than 100 times in one year and at least once the whole Opposition was reprimanded for concerted laughter.

    And how many sittings have there been in one year? Not many, it seems, since May, when the “Budget” was announced. Even then the time available to question is reduced by the Coalition’s repeated Dorothy Dixers which lead to the repetition of rehearsed answers ad nauseam.

    Here Kate points out some Coalition policy measures in need of criticism. And there are so many of them! And more not mentioned here! And no doubt more to come!

    Some of these things have not actually been enacted, but when people see how they themselves are affected, any criticism by Labor will be better understood and appreciated.

    But let us not think that the Murdoch press will support any criticism by Labor or the Greens. Even anything from PUP is not treated very seriously unless it supports the Coalition. That leaves the alternative media as the only place to air Labor’s criticisms. Can we expect any Labor MPs to appear more frequently in independent media?

    As for Labor policies, it is clear that the Oz political landscape is going to be very different in 2 years time.. When that time approaches, Labor must be prepared to offer a comprehensive and credible alternative. Abandoning Labor now is not going to help. By all means offer constructive suggestions for Labor, but let us drop the negativity towards the Labor MPs.

  24. Thomas Brookes

    Its a great article by Kaye, but the main point is missed. The ALP is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The ONLY way to stop what is going on is to ban political parties and have only independent candidates working on behalf of their electorate, with a vote withdrawal system, if they dont perform. It can only be better than what we have now and it would be true “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Facebook Australian Independents Movement

  25. Kaye Lee

    I agree wholeheartedly with those who point out how hard it is to combat the Murdoch Press and radio shock jocks. Stephen Conroy’s attempts to get some truth in reporting were met with derision. Murdoch tells the sheeple that they have the right to be lied to and they rally to defend that right and to keep it safe in the hands of one man who just fineigled almost a billion dollars from the ATO by transferring money between companies and using exchange rate variations. You can trust Rupert to have your best interests at heart…apparently.

    As for the criticism of Labor, in my opinion they deserve it. That does not mean I have abandoned them. I love my children but they are not immune from criticism and I tell them when I expect better from them. They don’t have to release policies yet but they could say things like –

    We have a revenue problem rather than a spending problem so our priority at the moment is to look into ways to increase revenue. There are many avenues to do that – we just lost over $10 billion in revenue with the repeal of the carbon and mining taxes so we would look at ways to reintroduce them in a more effective manner. Housing affordability is a real problem so we would look at negative gearing and public/private partnerships to provide affordable accommodation. As our population ages we need to address the tax concessions given to superannuation investments as they will shortly outstrip the aged pension. With health costs growing we need to invest more in preventative health and primary health care. We should also reopen the debate about voluntary euthanasia. We will continue to roll out FttP NBN to as many properties as possible and we will honour the agreements signed with the states regarding hospital and school funding.

    Personally I would like to see a coalition of Labor and the Greens – pragmatism meets idealism. At least they should get together in policy formation on most things – they may disagree about a few areas but they really work against each other at times and that has cost us progress.

  26. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, Shorten is a prime example of a gerrymandered position, 58.9% of ALP members voted for Shorten’s opponent Anthony Albanese in the leadership contest, yet Shorten came away with the prize? Shorthen is a typical example of an AWU official, meek and mild who doesn’t want to upset anyone, especially employers by actually representing their employee members forcefully. $3 bill is so obviously flawed in the fields of policy and passion, largely because he is a “right-wing” politician, just like Abbott is, the ALP need a “centre-left” politician to represnt an opposition to the right wing Abbott government. If the ALP are not capable of representing ordinary low income working families any more than perhaps a new party who have the passion to do so should be formed, either that or ALP members should regain control of their party by ousting the AWU/SDA alliance right wing who actively work against their best interests.

  27. w ch

    But the media is so biased against Labor. That is an accepted fact. What exactly are Labor supposed to do when what they say is not reported fairly on by the media. I agree however on some points. Labor not pushing for a Federal ICAC. Labor opposing a super profits tax on the banks. Labor opposing the deficit levy on high income earners with Chris Bowen saying it was “bad policy.”

  28. Kaye Lee

    As for making suggestions rather than criticising, I have written hundreds of articles and made many suggestions. Today’s article, whilst a summary of the news from the last few days, was also meant as a suggestion of areas where Labor could be differentiating themselves and offering an alternative. They don’t have to make definitive commitments yet – just start the dialogue. And they get ample opportunity to do that – I see and read interviews every day with Labor MPs and I am usually disappointed. They don’t get quoted on the nightly news because they rarely say anything worth quoting – just prepared lines thought up by advertising people and repeated in every interview.

  29. Kaye Lee

    I want to see someone game enough to start talking about a financial transactions tax. That could make us billions.

  30. cowper133

    Brilliant article as usual Kaye! You have very neatly and comprehensively summarised the issues raised by the latest moves from this ragtag government and the complete lack of appropriate responses from the ALP! We are crying out for raised voices on these issues & we are met with silence or we can’t reveal our policies yet! Rubbish, surely ALP have an overriding philosophy that will be guiding their policy development. Spell it out! Fairness, equality, protection of our natural environment, education, health! Can’t be that hard!

  31. JohnB

    A well researched and written article Kaye.
    I sadly must agree – our democracy in in a perilous parlous state – all due to the insidious influence of corporate/business money.

    Rob Oakeshott has hit the nail on the head – that section of your article is very pertinent.
    Oakeshott has identified the essential cause of our political malaise – money, and the insidious corruption that inevitably builds around a ready flow of easy wealth and assisted political power.
    It is the root cause of the Labor malaise – but that is not to say they are hopelessly corrupted as those on the LNP side of politics, who have regrettably completely sold out to the 0.01%.

    The ALP is still saveable, but only if radical change is effected to the control and regulation of funding of political parties, elections and implementation of an effective anti corruption system.
    I fear many in the upper echelons of the ALP and union leaders controlling ALP caucus are compromised through corporate patronage – it has quietly grown to become the dominant culture within the ALP over many years.
    Until that patronage is arrested, the rank and file’s voice will not be loudly heard by ALP leaders.

    If the current rules prevail, it is impossible for the ALP to succeed electorally against a corporate funded, media sponsored and promoted LNP unless they accept sup from that same poison chalice of corporate plenty.
    The race to the top jobs by our politicians, is in effect a fast track to the bottom for us citizens

    Power, money and skilful use of propaganda usurps democracy – and the wealthy corporations know it.
    Investment to exercise political control over ‘national governance’ is essentially buying ‘insurance’ to ensure future profits. They are well aware that increasing pressure from environmentally aware citizens would otherwise lead to increased regulation of their operations – control of those governments is an essential survival strategy of big business.
    The domination of US politics by powerful corporations should serve as a warning to us – it not yet too late for us to save our democracy from takeover by powerful trans-national autocrats.

    The insidious encroachment of corporate interests directly in our government has already occurred with Clive Palmer’s pups who now have controlling votes in the Senate:
    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/a-glaring-omission-at-the-heart-of-our-political-life-20140912-10g55h.html

    Next election I predict there will be a line-up of corporate stooges seeking election to the senate – there are no regulations preventing it.
    Will the ‘people’ ever regain control of the upper house?
    Is it too late to reverse this?

    Funding reform and a Federal ICAC is imperative for the survival of our democratic system of governance.

  32. Florence nee Fedup

    If Labor does not defend both the achievements of Rudd and Gillard, they are lost. No matter what one thinks, they did achieve a lot. Must not treat the previous government, as they did Keating.

  33. Kenbeh

    John Fraser No like you I am appalled that male MSM journalists in this country now seem so threatened (maybe they are aroused) that they feel compelled publicly to write love letters to Abbott. What I would like AIMN to do,or continue to do, is to hold Abbot to account.
    Labor has correctly realised that it is pointless to take on Abbott on his long suit of irrational fear and scaremongering.

  34. Kaye Lee

    My driving motivation is my absolute horror that Abbott is our Prime Minister Kenbeh. I am first and foremost anti-Abbott. Unfortunately, he has surrounded himself by zealots, dinosaurs, and lickspittles so the Coalition will not be a viable alternative without a radical change of personnel. Therefore I also devote my time to listening to the thoughts of others and collating them to make suggestions to get rid of these turkeys.

  35. johndriggers

    I remain puzzled, after 10 years here, about the concept that the opposition is not the government. It damn sure is. They collect government pay checks. They hold elected government office. This idea that only the majority party or coalition is “government” and the rest of parliament is just supposed to sit around and wring their hands in dispair until the next election has led to a culture of failure to participate. I am finding that the Australian political system–often held out to the world as a model because of mandatory voting–is a massive goat screw. The preference voting system is a joke, elevating inexperienced and unqualified people into serious public office with the chance for a life-long extra generous pension denied to us mere mortals. It could be fixed, perhaps with preferences only going down one level.

    I know I am going to get some flack for my next observation, but having arrived here ten years ago from another country, I can’t help but feel that this is really a two class society. The upper ruling class who retain power, prestige, wealth and position by virtue of descending from the British administrators or by being a British migrant adopted into the fold. And then there is the populist class, descended from the prisoners, indentured servants, early tradespeople, Aboriginals and non-British migrants. The former see their role in society as custodial and the latter see their role as chattel rather than free citizens. Yeah, I know this a VERY broad generalisation and everyone knows upwardly and downwardly mobile exceptions. But, when you stand back and look at Australian society it seems to prove out generally. So this concern about how the we-are-the-party-of-all-the-people-not-just-wage-earners called Labor and the not-going-to-form-“government”-by-creating-a-coalition-with-a-minor-party-coalition Coalition generally called the Liberals (but they are not really capital L Liberal), one can’t help getting a sense of watching a relatively meaningless to society sports match, the outcome of which will have no real impact on the day-to-day lives of all of us. Our lives are just going to get worse or better, depending on what side of the wealth income inequality line we are on and how far from it we are.

  36. Roswell

    Bill Shorten lost me when he wouldn’t support a Federal ICAC. If there is corruption he should be first out of the blocks to have it uncovered. Makes me think he has something himself to cover up.

  37. Dissenter

    @ John B
    I strongly agree. This next election when it occurs will be the election when corporate funded Independents will be running as well.
    Any MP who is representing a corporation should be BARRED from running by Electoral Commission RULES governing CONFLICT OF INTEREST but after PUP was allowed HOW can these rules be pursued?
    Our parliamentary SYSTEM is at risk as well as the future of Australia and that is WHY THE OPPOSITION SUCCESS of LABOR is now MORE IMPORTANT THAN ever.
    WHY then are they NOT undertaking the BIG CAMPAIGN against ABBOTT on all ISSUES IN FULL VIEW OF THE WIDER ELECTORATE.
    LABOR is getting a LOT OF MSM coverage on FOXTEL if not the ABC. There are journalists WHO are now supporting LABOR past legislation and policy with increasing frequency and critical of the LNP.
    This is a SIGN that LABOR CAN INCREASE traction and support. IT has to START NOW. THE campaign for the NEXT ELECTION has to START now not the MONTH BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION.

  38. Kaye Lee

    johndriggers,

    I can only agree. Sad isn’t it. I wonder how many of them would be interested in public office if we had a system like the Swedes do. They elect representatives like us to form some sort of parliament but the Executive Council is formed by 7 directly elected people who take turns at being head of state. Would Tony still want the job if he didn’t get to have his photo taken shaking hands with world leaders or wearing industrial clothing of some description or those many awkward kissing shots?

    Public service should not be about the renumeration. Some people say if you pay peanuts you get monkeys but, considering the very high wages we pay, it is obvious that if you pay more you get gorillas that couldn’t earn that kind of money elsewhere, or want to change the rules for the benefit of themselves and their tribe.

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree full-heartedly Kaye. I want to see an effective working alliance between Labor and the Greens federally and in the states.

    The Greens can’t win alone at this point of time, so they need Labor. Labor could win if it ever gets its act together and addresses the obvious flaws in the Lieberal political and policy agendas that are threatening us and our way of life.

    But even if Labor got the numbers, their brand is mortally wounded. How can they plead to be considered the party of social justice when they have been uncompassionate to people on Newstart and asylum seekers in detention? They have given those mongrels Abbott and Morriscum the ammunition to blame their injustices on the prior policies of Labor.

    As a very disappointed and disavowed former loyal Labor supporter, I gladly advocate for the Greens now. But that does not mean that I don’t want an alliance between Labor and the Greens because I agree with earlier comments that both parties can offer the range of policies and political allegiances to the wide spectrum of expectations in the Australian community. This would make a very strong political front against the Lieberal/National Poopers. It would also form a strong statement against the power barons and baronesses. (I’m looking at you Gina and Rupert for a start.)

    And yes get rid of Shorten. I want to see Plibersek, or Burke. Listen to your rank and file and the wider electorate who want to see backbone and compassion in the Labor leader.

  40. Mercurial

    An incompetent government will always flourish in the absence of a credible opposition.

  41. Kaye Makovec

    Who?

    I can’t even get a reply asking if there is a Labor candidate replacing Helper for Ripon! Election in November too.

    I’ve seen a sign for the Liberal and National candidates, haven’t seen them in person but then they are no doubt counting on this being a Federal LNP safe seat 🙂

    By the way, anybody noticed how quiet Hockey is?

    There’s only an echo on his Facebook page too 🙂

  42. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, so true, they should have plenty to say of value, especially concerning the grossly unfair Hockey May budget and the more brutal aspects of it, they have a multitude of unfair policy to expose but they all fall in behind $3 bill and say very little.

  43. townsvilleblog

    JohnB I agree with your thoughts almost completely except to say that in my humble opinion I believe the union bosses who control the caucas are mainly from two supposed unions who are unions in name only and don’t represent their union members, these two are the AWU and SDA who are both right wing unions which explains why they have so little disagreement with the ultra right wing Abbott LNP, they both think along similar lines. The ALP must abolish both of these so called unions from their administration management structure if the party ever hopes to regain government.

  44. Kaye Lee

    “It’s as if everyone involved in the system can see how it could be, or is being, rorted or corrupted, but cannot manage to do anything about it. And they haven’t been able to for a very long time.

    In 1989 the joint standing committee on electoral matters, chaired by Michael Lee, wrote a report declaring that “the electoral system should ensure that large financial sponsors, having paid the piper, do not also call the tune”.

    25 years later we still have a system that still seems to allow that to happen. Just look at the Icac evidence.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/12/icac-is-revealing-the-murky-depths-of-nsw-but-what-about-the-entire-swamp

  45. townsvilleblog

    Florence, I agree both Gillard and Rudd to an extent were governments with fair policies toward the underprivilaged in the nation and did much that ordinary people should be very proud to own.

  46. stephentardrew

    I think there is probably a good chance that when the public tuns the media will be forced to turn. Six more months will mean the LNP will take responsibility for economic trends and it they continue downward and manufacturing is destroyed watch out Abbott. Cycles always cycles however with this incompetent lot the cycle is going to be dramatically foreshortened. I wish Shorten was foreshortened and turfed now instead of later and lets get Albo in. I am still cheesed of with Labor however we desperately need an effective opposition warts and all. Greens/Labor alliance I hope but have many doubts. Too many egocentric vested interests.

  47. townsvilleblog

    johndriggers the class system in Australia has never changed, certainly not in the 60 years that I have observed it, the rich, privilaged tories (LNP) v the relatively poor working classes which range from pensioners and lowly paid employees which make up the overwhelming majority of the population. The greatest trick the devil has ever played was convincing the WORKERS to VOTE FOR THE RICH. Which is the current situation.

  48. Dissenter

    I agree that Labor MUST support a Federal ICAC. After what has been revealed in NSW ICAC equivalents must also be established in every state as a statutory requirement.
    Without these as ” institutions in place” and codes of conduct for Mps to follow which are also required under the law corruption is TOO common.
    This has to be the way forward for the future TO REINJECT TRUST into the electorate and to PREVENT the dreadful ABUSES of power that OBEID and the others and SINODINOS and Australian water holdings perpetrated BUT also the prevent the abuses of power which SMEARED Gillard and led to the downfall of Slipper and Thomson and all of the other NSW MPS including O’Farrell.
    Peter Hartcher in his article yesterday on the subject of conflict of interest and corruption and codes of conduct was entirely correct.

  49. diannaart

    Poor old Labor, got burned for trying to sound all tough and corporate (could never do that as well as the Libs) and now, the most viable alternative for them will result in Labor being accused of going Green.

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Only themselves to blame.

  50. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, the whole political landscape needs a huge shake-up ordinary Aussies are sick of seeing politicians on TV in ICAC news. A new party headed by people of quality like Greg Combet, Doug Cameron may be able to break through the political gloom by offering “honesty” and transparency in decision making processes?

  51. Kaye Lee

    And just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about, Tony’s federalism white paper raises a whole new set of problems. They have repeatedly said, when asked how the states will raise the money that has been slashed in the federal budget, that’s up to them.

    “The relatively poor states would either have to raise tax rates, scaring away investment and people, or further slash services – scaring away investment and people. The United States has competitive federalism, with the result that the poor states generally stay poor and keep their people poor.

    It sounds nice for a federal government to promise red tape cutting, to be handing power back to states from evil Canberra, to abolish a level of bureaucracy. In several costly areas, that means trimming one national level of bureaucracy while preserving the much greater duplication inherent in seven or eight state and territory administrations.

    For the ideologues, for the jurisdiction shoppers, for the influence peddlers, that’s a wonderful thing, ripe with opportunities. For the nation, it’s potentially the most dangerous aspect of the Abbott/Hockey government.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/competitive-federalism-gets-you-what-you-pay-for-20140912-10fzzd.html

  52. Dissenter

    Hewson has advocated ” NO tax” for corporates and increase to the GST to include all fresh food as well.
    Clearly he is backgrounding for Abbott.
    This is what the federalism campaign will result in.
    Of course this hits the lowest paid and pensioners and other welfare recipients very hard.
    Once Australia is a TAX free haven for corporates god help small business already here because the international corps invasion will be ON and completed.
    Lower wages, casualisation and part time workers, erosion industrial conditions etc.

  53. JohnB

    No tax = no government.

    That is what global corporations strive for – Abbott is but their local agent for change.

  54. trishcorry

    I voted for Albo, however, I believe Shorten is being strategic and will come out with guns blazing when the time is appropriate. He really does not have to say or do much, as the Abbott Government is stuffing everything all on their own. Also, Abbott uses a very immature type of political debate. He is only good if he has something to feed off of. Why should Labor and Shorten disclose any policies right now, for Abbott to use the MSM to crucify? Abbott sure as hell had no policies. He won the election on slogans. Abbott never has anything of his own to put out there, that shows any type of leadership. Why should Shorten and Labor give him anything to feed off of? I trust and have faith in the Labor movement and there are some brilliant minds in the party. I truly believe that they will work hard at policy development and to get the timing right, when it matters. It is only the first year of a three year term. Labor was built on fighting the good fight and they sure as hell will not back down from a neo-liberal Government. We were so sick and tired of Abbott’s negative drivel on an on for years, is that what we really want? For him to turn everything back on what Labor is saying about their policies? For Abbott to feed off the negative and detract from his own Government Agenda. For goodness sake, Labor has been so quiet, he has now had to do things like “Oh my look over there, war” I remain and will always have faith in the Labor movement. It is a progressive party and with the current reforms, I believe they are the only party that can secure a true progressive and productive society for this country.

  55. billy moir

    beauty Kaye, all you say is significant to you and to some of us but in the context of the rabbott’s relationship with the electorate and the media it is irrelevant. Trish, little billy will not recognize ‘time is appropriate’.
    For three years gillard and swan could have sunk the rabbott on the economy but held their tongue.
    Even now torpid tanya and labor is on the back of little joey rather than the rabbott.
    There was no focus for labor members to counteract the rabbott’s slogans in 2013 and still none a year after his lies got him elected.
    He clearly hasn’t stopped the boats but he has the electorate believing!
    At the golf club, engineers, coppers and soldiers all believe and trumpet, gillard did nothing but waste the golden years of howard as if it is a truth, swan was a disaster as treasurer and created an economic crisis which we have solved. this is now a truth.
    So sadly trish when will little billy burst into the media? when will he let any laborite burst into the media?
    Sorry caucus, you should have endorsed albo or combet for your choice, little billy, is australia’s petain! It will take a while for any labor pollies to listen to grassroots so expect the whiteanters to be media stars in 18 months.

  56. Ruth Lipscombe

    Where is the REAL Bill Shorten.My friends keep telling me he is biding his time!!! His time, and ours, is rapidly running out.
    How many of the people who write comments on these pages still read papers from the Murdoch press?
    Do yourself a favour and buy The Saturday Paper, printed by the publisher of The Monthly and The Quarterly essay.
    Each page is readable and often thought provoking.Can be had on line or your newsagent can order you a hard copy.Minimum of ads.
    New Matilda has improved considerably as well.
    Suggestion that each reader of Kaye Lee’s blogs forward them on to Bill Shorten,George Wright and Tony Burke with a prompt that they read the comments and take note what the reading public are saying.

  57. mark delmege

    Good work there Kaye Lee. From my perspective the fifth columnists in the government, bureaucracy and political parties (Labor and Liberal) and certain factions of big business have sold us out to international capital and the gangster class from the US. We have been reduced to sidekicks for empire, as willing vassals for empire – and the sellers of whatever economic independence we might have – this can be seen in recent decades from the sale of strategic assets like our the Commonwealth and State Banks and the wilful destruction of our auto industry to the offshoring of so many of our back end jobs and even in the privatising of so many government services and functions – even down to toll roads.
    That the latest psyops in Kiev and Iraq have been so willingly embraced by Abbott, Shorten and our foreign controlled (Murdoch) media and Vichey like collaborationist state media (ABC/SBS) should come as no surprise. Here it is clear that fact and reason have been jettisoned in favour of spin and short term myth making that can only end badly and as usual we will find ourselves on the wrong side of history.

  58. mars08

    cowper133:

    We are crying out for raised voices on these issues & we are met with silence…

    It’s worth remembering that the big fish in the federal ALP are not novices.

    Some people in this discussion have said that the ALP isn’t beyond saving. Maybe it isn’t. But that would mean that it WANTS to be saved. And, more importantly, want so change in ways some here have suggested.

    I suspect that the movers in the party do not want any ideological change that shifts them from their current course. Any changes have to be cosmetic. I have no doubt that the number crunchers are forever studying the electorate and have settled on what THEY see as a winning formula. And it is gospel. As far as I can see… that formula is based on not shifting even a nanometre to the left.

  59. Billypot

    Trishcorny ,Your reply is spot on !!

  60. trishcorry

    Thanks Billy.

  61. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ruth Lipscombe,

    in line with your valuable suggestion, I have tweeted Kaye’s “Where is Labor?” to Bill Shorten. I endorse this suggestion.

    We all know the pollies and journos read Twitter, so why not blast them with Kaye’s and our considered thinking?

  62. trishcorry

    BillyMoir – when will Bill burst into the media? I’m not his adviser, I do not know. When will he let any laborite into the media? I suggest you follow a few Labor MPs on Facebook. Many of them speak up on various issues. Doug Cameron has a strong voice on many issues for example. The MSM isn’t jumping over themselves to post anything ALP are saying. I think you missed the point of my comment, being that he is being strategic. It is called patience and faith in the party. There were so many who were disillusioned with Labor for rushing policies and screaming they needed to reform. So let them get their work done on policy and work on the reforms. They need to take into account “where to from here, with Abbott stuffing up everything” 19 Billion more in debt for a start since LNP took over. They need time to assess the damage he has done to many policy areas with his cuts and work out a manageable way forward. They need to have solid progressive reforms and these things cannot be rushed, especially when the landscape has changed so dramatically. They have the time to really hit it home. No other party has a history of progressive reforms such as Labor has. I remain and will always have faith in the Labor party.

  63. Möbius Ecko

    This weeks Newspoll shows the L-NP still behind Labor despite an unprecedented media assault and a fear campaign.

    Now that Abbott has committed us to send troops to Iraq expect lots of “surprise” visits by him, Morrison and Johnston to the troops in Iraq whenever the polls drop further.

  64. mark delmege

    In a nutshell – for the sake of clarity – The root cause of all this terror terror is the criminal invasion of Iraq and the US’s policy for regime change in Syria and their ongoing dependence on the use of death squads to kill as many Syrians as possible.

  65. Kate Emerson

    I voted for Albo, who is also, like most of Labor, missing in action so far as asylum seekers are concerned. I still think that Albanese would have been a smarter choice for Labor. He is well-liked by the electorate and always had more Liberal respect than Shorten. Albo at least came out against Israel (with other Labor people) recently. Bill said nothing. I don’t dislike Shorten, but he ought to never have put himself up for the leadership. With him at the helm, the Liberals, after two more years and plenty of time to smooze the electorate, will romp it home and we will only have ourselves to blame for not making clear to Labor that they have lost us, many of us, to the Greens and to the donkey vote.

  66. jenniferms2014

    Trish,

    good on you for your loyalty to Labor. I hope the present Labor Party machine has the same loyalty to you and those of us, who still cling to some belief in them.

    It is important that they are not perceived as being little better than the Liberal/National Party born-to-rule puppets of big business and foreign interests.

    Unfortunately, I believe Labor has taken its loyal supporters for granted. Unfortunately also, Labor has chased the votes of the swinging and conservative sections of various electorates, particularly the marginal ones, and in so doing, they have sold out on fundamental social justice principles to the most vulnerable, such as those on Newstart, who cannot survive on the meagre benefit.

  67. mars08

    …Labor has chased the votes of the swinging and conservative sections of various electorates, particularly the marginal ones, and in so doing, they have sold out on fundamental social justice principles…

    And that’s it in a nutshell. There’s nothing wrong with chasing the swinging votes. That’s part of democracy. But is becomes a bit dodgy when a party has to adopt an “acceptable” facade or abandon some core principles to do it. Now… I’m assuming it’s a facade…

    Another angle might be by showing some conviction… working really, really, REALLY hard to differentiate the party and trying to convince the voters that there’s a better way to go.

    But that would only be an option if the ALP number crunchers truly believed that most swinging voters were not socially-conservative, narrow-minded, distracted, disengaged, lazy, bigoted, self-absorbed, short-sighted numbskulls.

    Oh dear… there I go again…

  68. Kaye Lee

    I consider myself a swinging voter to a degree. I am not a member of any party and I find none of them satisfy me completely so it often comes down to the local candidates. That was pre- Abbott of course. I would vote for my pet goldfish before I voted for anyone who might assist to keep him in power.

  69. John Fraser

    <

    @trishcorry

    Sorry mate …… Shortens boat doesn't sail ….. he should go back to ambulance chasing.

    @Kaye Lee

    +1

  70. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Whatever one’s preference with politics (as an alternative to the LNP losers), it is important their vote is not taken for granted.

    Take note, Labor! When you’re developing your new countermanding policies to the destruction inflicted by the present Abbott LNP Government, make sure you fix their shit and introduce the reforms that we need for social justice, welfare, education, health and yes, the economy.

    Remember, put social values before economics. Australia is a society BEFORE an economy. Don’t ever think otherwise.

  71. JohnB

    Can this section of the constitution be interpreted to exclude the likes of Clive Palmer and his pups from sitting in Australia’s parliament?
    Apparently not.

    Sect 44 of the constitution;
    “…(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:
    shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives….. ”
    http://australianpolitics.com/constitution-aus/text

    Is there any one who can interpret the above into meaningful plain English?

  72. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’ll have a go. Maybe Clive has got through the maze because the words above state “… (v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth…”

    I may be very well wrong, but my understanding is that Clive’s business interests are in a private capacity thus representing his own companies’ interests and with other private business entities inside and outside of Australia, such as China.

    I studied a Master of Laws and am qualified and this language still mystifies me but don’t tell the legal powers that be!

  73. Kaye Lee

    “Federal MP Clive Palmer has resigned as director of his own company Mineralogy, as it faces a court battle with a Chinese conglomerate.

    Mr Palmer’s Parliamentary register of interests has been altered to show he resigned his directorship of the company on May 20.

    He also resigned his directorship of two companies behind his loss-making nickel refinery.”

    The part about the public service…

    ” the High Court voided the election of Phil Cleary in a 1992 by-election, contending that he had been acting in an office for profit under the crown. At the time of his election, Cleary had been on leave without pay from his job as a teacher in the Victorian state system. The precedent set by this judgement held that public servants had to resign from the public service before nominating.”

  74. JohnB

    My inexpert layman interpretation:
    “Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth….”
    As Mr Palmer is the owner of a company (employing more than 25 people?), he stands to potentially directly gain from changes to tax measures.

    As the owner of the company (or companies), Palmer has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest (by virtue of company tax payments due or industry subsidies received) in his companies business dealings with the ATO, a division of the Public Service of the Commonwealth.

    Where is the let out?

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Senator Ludlam is a most worthy politician. Thanks for the reminder of this powerful speech. Abbott pales into insignificance.

  76. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, Porky Pig shines alongside Abbott as an orator.

  77. Michael Taylor

    I think that speech by Ludlum saved his bacon. He was looking at defeat until then. He won many new friends in the electorate.

  78. Dissenter

    @ Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Very pleased to make your acquaintance. If you have time please pop by on Independent Australia from time to time. As a community we often struggle with legal meaning.
    Like John B I am still trying to reconcile the possible conflict of interest of PUP most particularly Clive and their votes. It is highly concerning and even if retrospective it has to be understood.
    Peter Hartcher raised the issues again yesterday. Cheers.

  79. corvus boreus

    Michael T,
    Scott Ludlum’s delivery of the Abbott-bait speech impressed me far less than his conduct during recent senate estimates committees. He shows a sharp, perspicacious and disciplined mind. If he harbors no skeletons and side-steps pitfalls, he should be an asset to our democracy for many years.
    Shame the government thinks he is an unreasonable and unrepresentative extremist, and prefer to deal with Senators Leyonhjelm, Day, and the PUPs.

  80. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    I consider myself a swinging voter to a degree…

    Slightly off topic… Does anyone remember the leaked reaction from the ALP to a study showing them that they weren’t reaching the socially-conservative poorly-educated voters? Essentially they admitted that they were screwed without it.

    I have a vague recollection about the story… that’s all.

  81. Anne Byam

    Kaye … a most interesting and informative article. Your research and fact finding is awesome. Well done ….. again.

    ======

    @ Olivia : Agree …. that inexcusable excuse for a human being – Madam B ( for bloody ) Bishop in the lofty speakers chair, is nothing but a female brute … a self opinionated, self-appointed ( in her own mind ) new world Amazon ?

    Then there’s the maintstream media, who gives Shorten about a 3 seconds look in.

    Not to mention the Government, who ( if they decree to BE there on the day that a Shorten speech is delivered ) …. give him hell – because that’s what they are most comfortable with. As was proved time and again – ad nauseum, when the Guv’mint were in Opposition. What a stale and rancid piece of detritis THAT mob is – the Guv’mint I mean. Either in power or in Opposition.

    ————-

    Have stuck to my guns about Labor in recent times …. that they MUST have something up their sleeves … to bring out at the right time. To skirt around the disaster that the LNP is creating, and create a new vision from the mess … but tiny doubts have begun to surface, and I don’t much like the feel of that.

    Have been wondering, why aren’t we – as a largely leftist and progessive group of people, not getting behind the Labor team, here.

    Perhaps it’s time to start WRITING to them …. ( I get quite a lot from the Labor party in email form ) ….. and ask that they stand up and be counted. Put it to them – outright, forthright and with strength ( but also with dignity ).

    We have to DO something, rather than blather on here and there, about how bad Labor is. That is self defeating.

    It ain’t going to be easy …….but then nothing worthwhile, ever is.

    ====

    Mars 08 ( 4.40 pm ) ….. interesting thoughts …. I am reading in your post ” stay close to thine enemy ” ????

  82. Rob031

    Since the Greens arose I’ve never been a wholehearted Greens supporter. But I have put them first on the ballot paper knowing that my preference will at least flow on to the ALP (#2) who I’ve have mixed feelings about – rather than the LNP. I’ll probably vote the same at the next election. But I’m even less impressed by the ALP more than ever..

    Shorten annoys me by the way he speaks. I think his questions in Question Time are pretty unimaginative. I’m inclined to think he has a 2nd rate political mind.

    A National ICAC seems to me to be a thing that is vitally important to how things are and where we’re going as a polity and society. I’m hoping that a lot of people are thinking this too. The ALP are, pretty obviously, not in favour of such a watchdog or something like it.

    For this reason I’ll vote heart and soul for the Greens this time around if they make a National ICAC (&c) one of their KEY promises at the next election.

    Please. Greens, if you’re listening: run with this strongly. You may gain a significant amount of support if you do from the cynical and disillusioned in the electorate. Even if you don’t get a clear majority at the next election a good solid Greens-ALP coalition has a great deal of talent to draw upon – infinitely more so than what the LNP has to offer us. Ta.

  83. corvus boreus

    Note to Labor; democratize fully, clean up your conduct, and support/propose a federal ICAC, and I will begin to listen to your statements without automatically employing filters of distrust(merely a screen of skepticism).

  84. corvus boreus

    Note to Labor; Democratise fully, clean up your conduct, and propose/support a federal ICAC, and I will listen to your statements without automatically employing filters of distrust(merely rational scepticism).

  85. red

    I’ve got to the point that it would make no difference to me whether it was Bill, Ben or the flowerpot leading the ALP, they must win the next election, warts and all. That said, why do people keep pushing the idea that it’s all about the leader, how many times have people said “oh I can’t vote for (insert party leaders name), which is fine because unless you live in that leaders electorate you won’t be. Have we become so gullible that we fall in with the rabid right who are in a constant bash Bill campaign – from the way he talks to the way he dresses. Discussing policy is one thing but the constant Bill bagging from the left and progressives will get us nowhere but another term of tones tea party.

  86. Kaye Lee

    When the leader of a party is Tony Abbott, voting for anyone that would give that party a majority borders on human rights abuse.

    I didn’t write this as a bash Bill exercise – it is policies I am asking for. I want to hear them refute the debt and deficit lies loudly because that is what the Coalition are going to use next time to say look how we have cut the debt from $667 billion – a debt that never existed. I want to hear them talk about how they will create jobs and raise revenue or at least make some suggestions of areas that could be looked at. To me they sound fearful of offending anyone.

    I disagree with Trish (which is rare as I have great admiration for her) in that I do not believe they should hide their intentions for fear of them being used by Abbott either passed off as his idea or derided and campaigned against. They have all been elected to do a job, not to go into hibernation for three years. If they are going to vote against legislation then they need to offer credible alternatives to achieve the desired goal. There is no shame in agreeing or introducing amendments but if you disagree then you need to say why in more detail than “Tony Abbott’s unfair budget” and show another way. They are ALL in government – I agree with a previous commenter who made that point – and they should all be contributing to decisions in our best interests.

  87. sir pistofalot

    To me it points to this Have the LNP got something on Bill Shorten because he has not fought a good fight at all for labor supporters we expect more and there has been many many issues that can be dragged up about Abbott and His Mob BILL and your think tank Pull your collective fingers out and get in their faces Whiie you sit and say nothing trying to show how calm you are IT IS not enough Abbott is a master of saying something or anything and the truth is not a worry , SO when you sit and let this happen because You choose not to argue the Point the general population think he is right , If you are not upto the Job then Move aside and Let a true Labor Fighter to do the Job ,Because at the Moment you are doing a good job for the LNP

  88. Kaye Lee

    And while Tony has his photo taken visiting Aboriginal communities…..

    “The future of some of the most disadvantaged children across Australia is now in limbo, following the federal government’s withdrawal of funding from 38 Aboriginal Child and Family Centres.

    “We are in no man’s land. No one wants to take ownership,” said Catherine Edwards-Bott, the executive director of the indigenous-run Brewarrina Business Co-operative. The co-op manages two Aboriginal Child and Family Centres in the poorest local government areas in NSW.

    These centres were previously funded under the $300 million “closing the gap” partnership between the states and the federal government to provide early childhood services and health programs to Aboriginal children and their families. ”

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/aboriginal-family-and-childrens-centres-in-limbo-20140912-10fvqb.html

  89. Florence nee Fedup

    We need to keep in mind, the fact that5 we believe Labor could win, but might blow it, is indeed amazing.

    It is the norm to expect any government, elected in with the margins of this government, no matter how bad, will get a second term. It is said that the Australian voter always gives a new government a second chance.\

    Abbott obviously believes this to be so.

    The 45reality is, there is no reason that voters can swing one way, only to do the reverse the next time around.

    What is true about the last government, they not only had a view for the future, they where busy putting it in place. Was a very active and productive government regardless f what public perception was.

    What is true, this government, does have a vision, one that they are unable to share with us.

    It is about dismantling the society we live in. It is about small or minimal government, where corporations are given a free rein.

    It is about opening up Australia, on the global markets. The economy is all that counts to them.

    We will be the white trash of Asia, not sharing what the Asian century promises.

    To do this, we need infrastructure such as NBNCO, fibre to the premises. We need the education system, that Gonski promised. We need an IR system, where workers have a say. Most of all, we need the CEF suite of legalisation, that took our power generation and the jobs it created.

    Yes, we also need to recognise that coal is at the end of it reign. We are greater that what can be dug out of the ground,

    Democracy is for the people, of the people. Nothing about corporations ruling the roost.

    Shorten and Co have been making many good speeches. Yet all we are seeing, is all the way with our Tony. That is sad. We need. if we care, to get those speeches to the widest audiences we can.

    It is also important, that the focus remains on Abbott. Yes, the public needs to see every day, the unravelling of all his efforts. Whether it is the economy or sovereign borders.

    Playing the war lord leader can only hold the public’s interest for a short period. *It will then be back to the budget, the damage it is wrecking throughout society.

    Most of the baddies are hidden. Such things as cuts to providing meals to the elderly in their home, is only becoming apparent. Yes, there have been massive cuts of Commonwealth money to the states for these services. The next round of state budgets will reveal how much.

  90. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott is hiding himself away in what he considers safe territory for the week., What I would lover to see Shorten do, is hire a bus, take off, visiting as many Indigenous communities as he can, across the nation.

    This would show up the fact, that Abbott is not listening but hiding behind Mundine and Pearson,. Neither that have any great support within the Indigenous communities.

    Such an operation worked back in the middle of last century. Led to a massive yes vote for these people.

    This would not take the focus from Abbott, but show up the weakness in his actions. Showing him up, for the stunts he pulls.

  91. diannaart

    Jennifer

    Australia is a society BEFORE an economy. Don’t ever think otherwise.

    Abso-bloody-lutely!

  92. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes, Labor for all our sakes, needs to state its alternative policies. The Federal ICAC is a brilliant start. An effective alliance with the Greens is the other way to go, so that people from diverse backgrounds are served.

    However, we don’t just want witchhunts. We want effective, compassionate, accessible and endurable solutions incorporated into policies.

    Yes, the thuggish Neanderthals of the LNP fronted by Abbott will attempt to ridicule. But there’s a lot of fear and discontent out there in the wider electorate and if it sees Labor is offering hope and working policies as alternatives to LNP’s destruction, that will bring more voters over to the Labor and Greens alliance.

  93. diannaart

    @ Florence

    This would show up the fact, that Abbott is not listening but hiding behind Mundine and Pearson,. Neither that have any great support within the Indigenous communities.

    Very true. I was involved in a lengthy argument with a few ageing white men, on the Conversation, who supported Pearson vociferously, no matter how much evidence provided by myself and several representatives of the indigenous community.

    There are many ways Labor could differentiate itself from the Libs – has had years to do this – and still fails – why? (not because it is hiding its light under bushel – there is no light).

  94. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes, Florence, I think your suggestion for Shorten visiting a selection of various Aboriginal communities would be the way to go to show up Abbott’s pretence that he cares about Aboriginal people.

    Shorten, ask yourself why many Aussies love Gough. Remember the photo of him running the soil back into Vincent Lingiari’s hand on behalf of the Gurindji people? If you want us to believe you as the alternative PM on behalf of a compassionate Labor, you need to be out there now.

    That would kill two birds with one stone. It would build your Labor gravitas and it would defeat phoney Tony Abbott’s bullshit tour in Arnhem Land.

    Act Bill, for all our sakes!

  95. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Correction: Tony Abbott’s bullshit tour to pander to Pearson is Cape York, not Arnhem Land.

  96. Kath Malcom

    Jennifer I reckon this will backfire on him, I think he is about to find out he is not our first peoples besty friendy like he claims, he has slashed, cut and burnt anything that can make for a better educated life, just a decent standing of living would be great, but ohhh no tooo hard for all male white Anglo Saxon pollies, they just find it easier to screw folk, and screw them hard

    He might be on his bullshit tour up north, but the bullshit is running thin now, how much bullshit can one make up even the master of bullshit has to run the bull dry eventually,
    Howard’s history should tell them this, ohhhh only if they cared to look in and not out all the time,
    might be less painful for the Coalition, but they are not the brightest flower in the bunch though as we all know 🙂

  97. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Dissenter,

    for your kind invitation. Would you please send me a link to the particular site you’re referring to. I’m happy to help with legal interpretations and suggestions, as opposed to advice.

    I’m also happy to collaborate with any social justice, climate change, law reform, etc advocates. (Let me know who you are!)

  98. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, our objective is the same, I realise that under $3 bill we won’t have the party speaking out on all that the policies of Abbott and his cronies have done wrong by ordinary Aussies, which is precisely why I stress the need for “fair dinkum” leadership which $3 bill is incapable of supplying. He has the numbers via dirty tricks, however Aussies want to hear the rebuttal of Abbott’s policies loud and clear followed up with what the Labor Party would offer, that requires tenacity and guts, not qualities that AWU office holders are renown for.

  99. townsvilleblog

    The “rabid right” is the facton that $3 bill is part of, the weak kneed anti-progressive mob who lost the members vote for leadership, but who still got the prize via gerrymander, if he was any good, I wouldn’t mind, but he is a “dud.”

  100. townsvilleblog

    ….and where is $3 bill?

  101. townsvilleblog

    corvus boreus I couldn’t agree more, but think about it, if democratized $3 bill would not be the leader.

  102. jimhaz

    Shorten should never have been leader. He is precisely the sort of person ALP does not need running the show – he has no love of equality and would work for the interests of the rich.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/30/wikileaks-shorten-seeks-us-approval-for-prime-ministership/

    The best thing we could do is belittle him as much as possible early enough for him to be turfed out (he wont be replaced if it is too close to an election).

  103. townsvilleblog

    the bad policies are not hidden from those of us at the margains living below the poverty line on pensions, their policies couldn’t be clearer we have the state version of the LNP raking money from us in electricity bills, and their federal counterparts lowering the value of the pension, we are being squeezed from both sides into obvilion.

  104. townsvilleblog

    I agree Ludlum as a great Senator, unlike his ALP AWU/SDA stooge WA counterpart, all part of the big picture that some ALP members either can’t see or don’t want to see.

  105. townsvilleblog

    Florence, what a great tactic and learning exercise that would be not only in the indigenous communities but all communities he could make a 18 month exercise of it, but alas that is far too progressive for our $3 bill.

  106. townsvilleblog

    JohnB, THERE DOESN’T APPEAR TO BE A LET OUT?

  107. corvus boreus

    Jennifer Meyer Smith,
    Your reasoned and informed contributions are warmly welcomed by this one.
    Your offer of your resource of legal acumen could well be usefully employed to formulating ideas of frames of reference for a cross-spectrum type inquiry into corruption and dubious conduct in and around federal politics.
    My brain and guts tell me that predatory dishonesty manipulated by profit-exploiting interests is at the heart of the worst enormities that we see in our national governance.
    In my mind, all other reform stems from honesty.
    P.s. townsvilleblog,
    Apparently I agreed so much I repeated myself. Damn the spam jam!

  108. townsvilleblog

    Jennifer, what you say is common sense or at least it should be. Sadly our party seems to be in a malaise waiting for $3 bill to pull the trigger on the starter’s pistol.

  109. townsvilleblog

    trishcorry is correct Shorten is about as compelling as a mortian.

  110. townsvilleblog

    Kate, 100% correct. The AWU/SDA alliance who run the Labor Party via gerrymander seem to live in an alternate universe and think that they are very clever, however until or unless the ALP is opened up to true democracy where one vote has one value these right wing (in name only) so called unions will continue to run the show and continue to offer mediorcicy as policy, not helping the majority of Australian voters. We need a true centre-left party again.

  111. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Corvus Boreus,

    I know this sounds naïve, but it amazes me that we cannot assume honesty in the actions of these office bearers. I would be happy to help develop our own grassroots ICAC.

  112. townsvilleblog

    Jenniferms2014, I wish I could disagree with you on this point, but it is so obvious to those of us who have independant thought processes that you are spon on in your observation of the ALP. i WISH IT WERE NOT THE CASE, BUT UNTIL alp MEMBERS WAKE UP TO THEMSELVES ARE REALISE THAT THEY ARE BEING USED none of us can do or say anything to convince them.

  113. Annie Byam

    @townsvilleblog : First, the link shows the info. came from wikileaks, which I am always dubious about. It might in fact be a beat-up to further belittle Shorten – from whatever source. ???

    If however, it was indeed genuine, then it doesn’t really matter the wording – the ‘slight mockery’ etc … and references to Shorten’s mode of dress – or anything else. IF Shorten has quietly sought approval from the U.S. – then he is no doubt very serious about his ambitions. But then let’s face it – anyone at or near the top of their party OBVIOUSLY is aiming for the top job, and is as ambitious as all get-out to wear the crown.

    If this IS the case, Shorten is indeed playing a very cunning game – as long as it doesn’t become too cunning, and results in all the opposite effects. He is already walking somewhat of a tight rope.

    ==========

    @ Kath Malcolm :

    Ref your comment : ” but the bullshit is running thin now, how much bullshit can one make up even the master of bullshit has to run the bull dry eventually. ”

    You are not wrong …. ….. and seeing as how master bull has been spewing forth at great force, a load of bullshit on almost a daily basis – running empty of electrolytes to keep him going …. it might explain why he looks so pale, drawn and exhausted at this time.

    Keep on bullshitting Mr. PM … master bull, master manipulator …. and you won’t have the strength to stand up any longer.
    That’s physically – ( also metaphorically speaking. )

    Crass ? Yes I know – but I really couldn’t resist. !!!

  114. townsvilleblog

    trish, I admire your faith in the ALP but feel that it is misplaced, the internal machinations of the party need dramtic democratic reform before any policy reform can take place. An election in which one candidate gets 58.9% of the members vote and still loses should ring alarm bells for any political party membership.

  115. townsvilleblog

    yes, vote anything other than LNP however the ALP needs to change dramatically before I would ever consider voting for them as first preference again. I normally vote Green 1, ALP 2, INdependant 3, LNP 4.

  116. townsvilleblog

    Mark, I agree completely.

  117. townsvilleblog

    Ruth, excellent suggestions.

  118. mars08

    townsvilleblog:

    …We need a true centre-left party again.

    We’ve got one. It’s the Greens!

    In Labor’s absence the Greens occupied much of that territory. If Labor really wants to shift it’s political stance (which I truly doubt)…. they are going to have to find some other piece of ground.

  119. corvus boreus

    Jennifer M-S,
    my first brain-peck would be;
    The IPA(75 radical ideas, +25 addendum)manifesto(by Chris Berg[spits with curse]), item number 77; “Allow for ministers to be appointed from outside parliament”.
    Any ideas how fundamentally this idea breaches the fundamental principles of the Australian federation’s democratic constitution?

  120. johndriggers

    “Allow for ministers to be appointed from outside parliament”.
    Any ideas how fundamentally this idea breaches the fundamental principles of the Australian federation’s democratic constitution?

    It might be worth considering generally as an idea (but not with this government’s jobs for mates-qualifications not needed policy). The idea that the “minister” — i.e. the actual head of a department or agency — has some qualifications for the job instead of just being next in line in the caucus room may seem novel to some Australians, but it seems to work ok in the US, where the president’s cabinet is appointed by the president and approved by the senate.

    The constitution could be changed (and hey, how about adding an Aussie bill of rights while we are about it). The current system gives us a treasurer who seems unable to count or master basic fiscal strategy, a born-again-Pentatcostal-Nazi for immigration, a prior screwed-it-up-badly-immigration minister for social services, etc.

    Just saying’

  121. corvus boreus

    johndriggers,
    The source of the concept didn’t mention any constraints/checks/criteria upon appointments/selections. Are you familiar with the IPA(Institute of Public Affairs) and their ‘principles’/agendas?

  122. Kaye Lee

    A few prerequisites for the job would be a good idea. Perhaps an entry level exam to run for parliament with a psychological component? They keep saying that the quality of teachers is the most important thing in education – surely the same applies in politics? These people make decisions that impact on the world yet we have people like Jacqui Lambie making them. If one more person says to me she is a breath of fresh air I think I will scream. She is a dangerous ill-informed aggressive bag of hot air who loves the spotlight even though she doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about. And she isn’t the only one.

  123. corvus boreus

    Jackie Lambie is not a breath of fresh air, she is a balloon full of jenkem.

  124. Anon E Mouse

    I recall that wikileaks also told us how Bill Shorten told the Americans that Rudd was going to be knifed, months before it happened.
    The truth of the matter is Labor cannot bring itself to talk about all the good that Rudd did.
    Before anyone shouts me down, think about all the negative things said about Rudd and where they came from – MSM. Very little is discussed about others hissy fits, Lib or Labor.
    The wealthy puppet masters did not like Rudd because he would not bow to the factions. Think about where Arbib, Bitar, Howse, Martin Fergeson etc are once they left their ALP powerbroking roles – with their monied puppetmasters.

    Currently I believe there is something going on at the leader ship level of the ALP because I have seen a few snarly anti Rudd articles, linking them to Albo and the members of Labor that aren’t hard right.

    The real problem is that many of the current Labor party MPs and power-brokers are actually ideologically alligned to the right – many of them have indebted themselves to the mega wealthy. If they are to become a relevant party, Labor needs to remind people of its many successes.

    The infrastructure build under Rudd, as a result of GFC spending, the long overdue Apology to Indigenous Australians, even the success of the insulation scheme (being respectful of those killed by dodgy contractors). Labor needs to acknowledge the strenghths of both Rudd and Gillard, apologise for mistakes, and begin to be a solid alternative government.

    It is sad that facebook pages are doing a better job at holding the govt to account than Shorten and Labor.

  125. Grant Ennew

    twas funny that all the attacks coming from libtards are not really founded …yet we are to believe that labor is spent you all forget what good policies labor had .. and the real reason that gillard was dropped into office the media played the back stabbing game and rupert enjoyed it … rudd was sick and gillard was to become the first female pm this was done to stop bronwyn bishop as in 1974 this creature stated to us liberals she wouldbecome the first female pm ..and rid pensions the dole and medibank well it did under frazer …and what is taking place again under her watch we are losing medicare .. we need to stay angry and labor needs to fuel this anger.. as abbott plays with us and lies about everything and sells us short … we need to stand up us the voter and send this government of fools a message that they are gone next ellection …

  126. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Right Grant,

    we want Abbott’s Neanderthal Liberal National Party mugs gone. But we want credible forward thinking, representative, egalitarian and committed people in their places.

    If Australian Labor is perceived as only lip-reading authentic issues and providing lukewarm policy, how far do you think true believers and the thinking public will be satisfied by a lesser form of what Labor could provide.

    We want change, but we want change for the better. Not bullshit bureaucratic and political pretence.

  127. townsvilleblog

    mars08, again I agree we have two right wing parties much as the USA to choose from, sadly the centre-left is favored by 58.9% of Labor members but it seems the gerrymander that keeps the right wing calling the shots will be rejected again at the next election because the population are feeling the cruel cuts from the ultra right and want something different that the ALP will not deliver.

  128. townsvilleblog

    dianaart $3 bill has no guts and no passion, he just wants the title of Opposition Leader, he doesn’t know how to execute proceedings of the office, but it makes him feel important. The right wing in general do not support the working class, they support the bosses, well known fact. If there is no reform of the ALP in all State Branches and federally, they can look forward to being the largest single pressure group in the country but will never again achieve government because they are far too much like the LNP in policy.

  129. townsvilleblog

    What a great idea, let’s copy the yanks, after all they have a $16 Trillion debt and are supposedly “the leaders of the free world” sic the whole idea is preposterous we elect politicians to fill these jobs, this is a further breakdown of our democracy.

  130. townsvilleblog

    mars08 having been a member of the Labor Party and having been an office bearer in a small way as a

  131. townsvilleblog

    Its a sorry old day when a leader of any Australian party has to ask permission from the USA as to whether or not he can become Prime Minister of Australia, the people $3 bill should be asking is the Australian electorate and coming up with policies that convince Australians that he can be PM of their country, which does not seem likely as he is far too meek and mild and is lacking in political courage. I hate Abbott and the LNP but this weak kneed pretend leader is a “dud.”

  132. townsvilleblog

    sir pistofalot I agree 100% he is a complete “dud.”

  133. townsvilleblog

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith I agree with your suggestions, we need a pro active leader not someone who is frightened to come out of his/her shell and engage with the public, as Gough did.

  134. townsvilleblog

    Trish, you make some very good points but it is still good to know that your elected representatives are working on your behalf to dispell the twisted policies of the LNP. Surelt $3 bill could say “something” at “sometime” instead of being the invisible man?

  135. townsvilleblog

    of course many MPs are ideologically alligned to the right – because the AWU/SDA faction controls the preselection process and without their approval no candidate gets to run. The fundamental promlem within the ALP.

  136. Kath Malcom

    Annie Byam
    “Crass ? Yes I know – but I really couldn’t resist. !!! ”

    Lol lol and lol, fight Crass with crass, because this idiot PM is the most crass person to ever hit our Parliament, yes he is looking a bit shabby lately, had a virus apparently, it’s also looking very thin abnormally thin, but the bloody hair it’s puuurfect like ken doll,
    I would of said the action man doll normally, but his actions are not worthy of mentioning 🙂

  137. mars08

    townsvilleblog:

    Its a sorry old day when a leader of any Australian party has to ask permission from the USA as to whether or not he can become Prime Minister of Australia…

    I do not have time for conspiracy theories. They shit me. But… there’s one question that pops into my mind quite often…

    Why is it that we never hear high profile pollies dumping on the US? Why is there unquestioning support for their actions by ALL our leaders… even those who lean left(ish)?

    Does the US government have them “boxed in” somehow? It’s probably a silly notion, but I still can’t help wondering.

  138. townsvilleblog

    We pensioners are already skint if we lose much more than we have already lost under the LNP governments, the suicide rate will increase dramatically.

  139. Kaye Lee

    mars08,

    The US spends a great deal of time profiling other leaders. They get reports about our significant politicians and know exactly how to play them all. They won Julie Bishop immediately by comparing her to Margaret Thatcher. She was putty in their hands after that. They obviously knew how to appeal to Julia Gillard too to gain her approval for increasing the US military presence here. Ya gotta love the kiwis who refused to let American nuclear vessels into their ports.

  140. townsvilleblog

    mars08, We have only had one left leaning politician in recent times and she was boxed in by right leaning party officials like Paul Howes and Bill Shorten, however to answer your question I believe it has to do with Australia’s security. We expect the yanks to come to our rescue if we are invaded by Asia and so we do what the yanks want us to do militarily but it is only with the election of the federal LNP government that Australian life has accelerated toward the yank lifestyle of low wages and exploitation of working people.

  141. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    The US spends a great deal of time profiling other leaders. They get reports about our significant politicians and know exactly how to play them all…

    I get what you’re saying. But I find it amazing that they manage to bring ALL of our leading pollies around to THEIR way of thinking. Criticism, nil. I get that many might fall for having their egos stroked, and some might be simply star-struck… but all of them? I can’t help wondering what other leverage they might be using….

  142. Kaye Lee

    I think they convince them that we need their military assistance and trade exchange, which is probably true. We know they will always do what is in their interests but we hope to pick up the crumbs of sitting near their table.

    Why that makes us uncritical of their health and education systems I cannot answer. I saw a t-shirt in Canada…
    “Definition of a Canadian – an unarmed American with health care”. Pity the tourist shops have more guts than the politicians.

  143. Annie Byam

    Just a thought or three here ….

    For decades, almost as long as I can recall, we have been ‘following the Yanks’ …. and have fallen for their continual propaganda. And that is what they are absolutely best at – PROPAGANDA. Read their books, watch their movies, TV series, early morning TV shows ( e.g. “Good Morning America” – delay broadcast by approx. 2 hours here ) …. see articles picked up by our own newscasts, newspapers etc. etc., and it is mostly about how absolutely GREAT and almighty the U.S. is, unless of course it’s a scandal – that’s a different lead article.

    Then read your emails … links, funnies, news, political comment ( for and against – mostly against in my inboxes !! ), animal funnies, animals, the great outdoors, and the endless glorification of their military and that freaking flag. All propaganda. I had to put an American friend to rights, about what he ( and so many others there ) perceived as Australia thanking THEIR military – through the song ” Here’s to the Heroes “. Another story for another time – but he was so wrong about it all.

    In fact, it occurred to me many years back, that what happens in America – almost inevitably will happen here – maybe 12 > 18 months later. The GFC disproved that theory thank God, but that was only one instance. Look at the influence on the young, music in particular, and mode of dress. If it happens there, it happens here.

    They are an unfortunate lot in a way – the people that is. A % of them go on to discover for themselves, MORE than they’ve ever been given a grounding in … in prep, primary, high school and college. Many of them don’t even know what is beyond their own State or county boundaries. They are closeted, closed off from knowledge of the rest of the world – or they were. Now that the ‘information highway’ ( Internet ) has been opened up to them, many are soaking up information they never knew existed. It has to be something utterly extraordinary ( and usually horrendous ) that will have a newscast over there, report something that has happened elsewhere in the world. They stick to their own news ( much of it political ) and keep the viewers in the dark about the rest of us. But that’s another matter.

    And I agree, — their leaders ( or rather those that dictate – e.g. the CIA, FBI, NSA ) … most likely profile every other country, in terms of politics. ……… In fact, to a more or less degree, all countries do that. It’s like watching through the key hole, and listening at the door.

    =========

    Something else that might be slipping our memories. The Republicans – the extreme right there ( Tea Party numbskulls ) are similar if not the same as the CURRENT Liberal Party here. The Democrats are similar to Labor. We all know that. This in fact puts, the Abbott almost at direct odds to President Obama.

    They are, in fact, on OPPOSITE sides of the political table. Never mind the hand-shake photo ops. that occur ad nauseum, whenever leaders get together on a world stage. One outstanding difference is the attitude to climate change ( off topic here ) …. Obama wants to incorporate it and acknowledge it as something to be pro-active about ….. Abbott calls the science of climate change “crap”. He has reduced science spending ( along with all the other reductions and cuts, and added taxes )….. and declined ( eventually ) to put a tax on carbon emissions.

    As for military assistance … sure they will come to our aid – they wouldn’t be seen too well across the globe if they didn’t as that would effectively reduce their self-imposed ‘world police’ reputation. But they would later make political hay out of it.

    As a speaker, statesman, and leader of any country — Obama runs rings around Abbott – and Abbott knows it. Abbott most likely nods and gives lip service to vague agreement on climate change in front of Obama, but then does the opposite. That would NOT go un-noticed. …… And as America is ‘king’ … they cannot afford to allow anyone or anything to undermine ‘their’ grandiose stands on anything and everything.

    And agreeing with Mars08 – I too wonder what other leverage, the good ole’ U.S. of A, has on us —– and others.

    End of long post !! ( I think ).

  144. Rex Alfie Lee

    Get rid of Shorten, he’s useless. Penny Wong should head the Labor party. She is the best person for this job…

  145. townsvilleblog

    Shorten is a dud, even when he acts like a normal person we can tell he is acting, Penny Wong/Tanya Pleb in any order for leader and deputy.

  146. Pingback: ANTHONY ALBANESE A GREAT LEADER OF LABOR VALUES – | winstonclose

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