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Light Years Away… Liberals Understanding Of Science And Economics!

Recently the Liberals have been a bit confused about whether climate science was settled or not. Georgie “You need to live within your means, but I need the equivalent of a year’s worth of Newstart allowance for an extra bookshelf” Brandis recently told us that the CSIRO was right to make cuts because it was an indication that we didn’t need to be investigating climate science now that it was settled. By itself this would have been something which could be argued, but when he added that he didn’t consider that the science was settled, it did seem a little contradictory.

But if there’s one thing that the Liberals find no problem with, it’s being hypocritical and ignorant… Oh wait, that’s two things, but speaking of two things, let’s consider that wonderful example of backpfeifengesicht, Eric Abetz.

Some of you may be familiar with Senator Abetz and his views on breast cancer being caused by abortion. However, I feel that he demonstrated his genius for science in 2009…

Before I go on, I guess I should say that I don’t have a science degree and I realise that I may sound like I’m mocking people who aren’t part of that nerdy group that thinks that we need things like a Science minister, or indeed a CSIRO that does some research into pure science. Personally, I think that we should spend at least as much money on the Arts and I often feel like science is some sort of cult and we should think long and hard before letting scientists out of the laboratory and that they should be treated pretty much like those rats we experiment on… But I feel that I should point out to everyone that a light year is not a year where one goes on “The Biggest Loser”, but in fact the distance that light travels in a year. Now given that light travels faster in a second than the speed with which Turnbull rules out the very thing that he’s been suggesting the day before, a light year is sort of like the opposite of “dog years”. In dog years, I’m Methuselah; in light years, I’m less than a second old.

And, before any science nerd picks me up on it, yes, light years are used to measure distance in space, not time.

However, in 2009 when Abetz was asked to compose a message for the nearest planet capable of supporting life, he chose to set the agenda for the Abbott regime to follow. Rather than realise that were aliens from another planet were unlikely to be able to understand him – which, considering the fact that even his colleagues have trouble at times, one suspects he should have realised – Abetz wrote: “The Coalition dreams that by the time you receive this message in 2029 Australia will be free of Labor debt. Sadly we’re not holding our breath.”

Now, I guess you realise that the message won’t actually be received in 2029 because well, 20 light years isn’t the same as 20 years, but it’s interesting that Abetz thought that aliens would understand a) what “the coalition” is, b) what Australia is, c) what “Labor” is, d) the nature of debt and e) what “breath” is, both literally and metaphorically. But then Abetz has always had trouble with the notion of difference (need I mention his views on same sex marriage or the Safe Schools program), so I suspect that he probably thought that if we’re sending something that’s going to arrive in 2029, that gives those aliens plenty of time to learn English.

Of course, while it’s tempting to make fun of Eric Abetz lack of scientific understanding, it’s better to take the high moral ground and make fun of the fact that Abetz seems to concede that the Liberals won’t be able to fix the problem of “Labor debt”. Which is strange because not long after this, they were saying that all we had to do was elect them and everything would be fine. They’d have surpluses year after light year. Remember that he was speaking in 2009, when the GFC was in full swing and Australia was still expected to slip into the recession being experienced by the rest of the world. The fact that Labor’s spending may have helped prevent this has never been acknowledged by the Coalition. In fact, at the time they were arguing that Labor had gone too hard, too early because there’d be a need for more stimulus spending when we did go into recession.

However, now that the Liberals are in government, there’s a strange change in the way they view the debt. We no longer need concern ourselves because they’ve reduced the rate at which the debt was growing! I’m not arguing that this is a completely bad thing; it’s just that it doesn’t actually stop the government from getting further into debt.

Because I mentioned “The Biggest Loser” when talking about light years, I’ll use the analogy of losing weight to try and explain: When Labor began its stimulus spending, this was the equivalent of encouraging someone who was overweight shedding a couple of kilos: Hardly a concern and arguably a very good idea. A few months later, the consensus was that if he continued his current training regime and diet, he’d lose two kilos a month and, at some future date, this would be a problem. The Liberals seize on this and argue that in a couple of years, he’ll weigh nothing at all and they need to take over as his personal trainer. After they do, they then argue that there’s no problem with his exercise regime; it’s all about eating more. And they embark on a program to encourage eating more (jobs and growth, jobs and growth! innovation, innovation) without actually providing any access to more food, but in spite of the lack of success, they still refuse to acknowledge that maybe – in his current weakened condition – cutting back the gym work may actually help. At the end of a year, they claim success on the grounds that man has only lost ten kilos, instead of the fifteen he was projected to lose under the previous trainer, and we no longer need to worry at all even if he keeps fainting when he starts to exercise because at some future point he’ll start gaining weight and the reason for that is we stopped the boats and isn’t Malcolm Turnbull pretty?

Ok, the analogy has a few holes in it, but not as many as the Liberals 2013 election promise simultaneously returning the Budget to surplus, without cutting spending, while reducing tax, including the “enormous” carbon tax.


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  1. Glenn

    The Liberals are light years away on many fronts it seems. They are convinced they have all the answers but nobody else is and that is their major problem. They do not want to engage with the people but dictate to the people. Premier Baird is also from the same school of politics.

  2. Steve Laing -

    The Liberals are convinced of their fiscal capability because of John Howard’s magic pudding surplus, but seem unable to grasp the fact that once the family silver is sold, you can’t play that trick again.

  3. Kronomex

    I reckon Abetz does the Tasmania/Canberra run in twelve parsecs.

  4. paul walter

    Sensitive portrait of G Hunt.

  5. diannaart

    Paul W

    now thinking cockroaches whenever I picture Liberal Party.


  6. Max Gross

    OK, I’m making it official. My favourite word now and the foreseeable future or at least until Malcolm Grech and his faceless minders get taken out with the rest of the LIEbral garbage is Backpfeifengesicht. And for that, Rossleigh, I thank you!

  7. diannaart


    I second that!

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    This mob wear horse blinkers that keeps them focussed on their neoliberalism. It is not that they know nothing about economics or science, along with the needs of people.

    They are not interested, as their ideology dictates none of that is business of government.

    Their aim is smaller government with no services, along with lower taxes especially for the corporate sector. Don’t even believe in assisting industry, that provides jobs and money to the budget.

    Blinkers stop one from looking back, even sideway. Therefore they have no ability for change, as they don’t see they need. Don’t even see, that since days of Thatcher, neoliberalism has been as big a failure as communism ever was.

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    Cockroaches will be all that is left, if they get another go. They are openly bringing IPA candidates wherever they can.

  10. Anomander

    Most days I wish the Liberals were a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

  11. ImagiNation

    We don’t need a change of party, we need a change of government.

  12. keerti

    “…and he played his ukalele as the ship went down.”

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