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A Month in Politics: January 2015

It is said a week is a long time in politics. A month may be an eternity and with twenty-four seven politics we are apt to forget what happened even the day before.

On Facebook I daily post a Thought for the Day” and follow it up with one (sometimes more) of a political nature. I am hoping that by posting a monthly political list it might refresh the reader’s memory. Or even amuse you.

MY FIRST THOUGHT FOR 2015

Jan 1: “Question everything. What you see, what you feel, what you hear and what you are told until you understand the truth of it. Thoughtlessness is the residue of things not understood and can never be a substitute for fact”.

MY BEST POLITICAL THOUGHTS FOR 2015

Jan 2: Has Australia ever elected a Prime Minister so ignorant of technology, the environment and science. So oblivious of the needs of women and so out of touch with a modern pluralist society.

Jan 3: THE THOUGHTLESS THOUGHT OF 2014:

“It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards. Nothing could be more calculated to bring our democracy into disrepute and alienate the citizenry of Australia from their government than if governments were to establish by precedent that they could say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards” (Tony Abbott).

Former PM John Howard today criticised President Obama for entering our domestic politics with his Climate Change announcement at the G20.

This is the same PM who said this when Obama entered the Presidential race:

“If I was running AL-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats” (he told the Nine Network’s Sunday program).

Jan 4: There is a lengthy article in today’s Australian that extensively explores the problems facing the Liberal Party. It ignores the main problem. Its name is Abbott.

Jan 5: Which pre-eminent Australians do you think our staunchly monarchist PM will select to become knights and dames this year. With the Queen’s approval of course.

Jan 6: The decision by the PM not to allow a “pool” of journalists to accompany him to Iraq smells of a “no more bad publicity” complex.

Jan 7: Received a letter from True Energy in Oct re new pricing arrangements following the repeal of the carbon tax. Rang call center and asked for confirmation of $550 discount as per statement by PM. Call Center person could not quantify so I asked for his supervisor.

“I shouldn’t say this but that was a load of crap” he said. Familiar word, I thought.

After perusing my account he indicated that my usage had gone up for both gas and electricity and I should be paying more anyway. I negotiated an extra discount which meant I wouldn’t pay any more than my current rate.

So much for the PM’s honesty, I thought. Last week I received another letter saying that both my energy bills would be going up because the company had incurred additional costs.

If I hear the so and so say that every family got $550 . . . lying bastard.

* The Queensland Government has given first time voters just four days to enroll. Conservative governments both state and federal do this because they know the young are not likely to vote for them.

A THOUGHT ON PERSPECTIVE

Jan 8: G W Bush made a unilateral decision to invade Iraq based on a lie and with the motive of revenge for 9/11. He is a “born Again Christian” and on the record as saying that God told him to do so. As a result it is estimated that approximately 250,000 innocent people lost their lives.

Jan 9: So our PM is against capital punishment for the Bali 9 but at the same time will do nothing to jeopardise our relationship with Indonesia. Yet he didn’t hesitate entering their territorial waters to turn boats around. It didn’t matter then.

Jan 10: The GST, as a revenue raiser to bolster their unfair budget, continues to raise its head. There are other ways to raise revenue but conservatives refuse to countenance the rich and privileged paying their share.

“The GST burdens the poor and those with the least capacity to pay. It discriminates against the poor and the pensioners who are living a hand-to-mouth existence and spending the bulk of their income on the necessities of life—food, clothing, rent, heating, power etc” (John Lord).

Jan 11: Why is it that indecent men like Murdoch think their opinions on morality should be taken seriously?

Jan 12: Warren Truss took over as acting prime minister on Sunday, as Tony Abbott goes on a week-long break. If they win the next election it will be Barnaby Joyce. God help us.

Jan 13: Now that the Pentagon has officially admitted that Hicks was innocent it is incumbent on Howard, Ruddick and Brandis to apologise, ADMIT THEIR COMPLICITY and for the current government to pay compensation. He was only ever guilty of stupidity.

* Interesting to note that some of the world leaders locked arm in arm in the Paris March were from countries with the world’s worst suppression of press freedom.

* It says something about the moral sickness in our society when the right to abuse each other, in the name of free speech, needs to be enshrined in law. You would think enlightened societies would be, by means of education, be trying to eliminate it.

* A US study has delivered an unwelcome finding about Australian internet speeds, finding that they are well behind the international pack.

One engineering expert said the nation would continue to tumble-down in world rankings if the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) continues in its current form.
Jan 14. Visited my GP for a script repeat yesterday. Should have taken 4 mins. After he unleashed his vitriol toward PM it took 10. There will be 1000s of lengthy consults.

* The government has a fairness problem with its budget. Consider this:

  • The tax breaks on super are costing the government in foregone revenue about $45 billion a year and this is roughly the same amount that is spent each year on the age pension.
  • The dollar value of the tax breaks is growing faster than expenditure on the aged pension, making concessions on super contributions a much bigger threat to balancing government finances in the near-term.

The super tax concessions are skewed to high-income earners: the top 10 per cent of income earners reap more than 36 per cent of the tax concession dollars, while the bottom 10 per cent are actually penalised for making super contributions.

* 11 European countries have agreed to impose a so-called “Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions. Even a very small tax would go a long way to reducing poverty and inequality.

* When our voices are silent against unfair, deceitful and dishonest government we get what we deserve.

Jan 15: Prior to Christmas although unapologetic for his disastrous 2014 the PM did indicate that he would take a fairer and fresh approach to policy in 15. The message seemed to have gotten lost over a few drinks and Christmas dinner.

Having failed to win support in the Senate for his unfair GP Tax, Tony Abbott is now seeking to destroy Medicare via the back door. He has introduced regulation that will mean the end of bulk billing.

And of course the polls reflect the unhappiness of the electorate Essential 54/46 to Labor and Morgan 44.5/54.5 to Labor.

Jan 16: The government has capitulated and scrapped its plans to next week cut the Medicare rebate by $20. Me thinks there will be a lot of backing away from poor policy this year.

Jan 17: If you have reached the conclusion that the government has started the year in the same chaotic manner it finished the old one with many barnacles still attached then you are 100% correct. The ship probably needs a new captain.

Jan 18: The year has just started. The Medicare Rebate has gone. The co-payment looks like it will also go. University fees have met the same fate. The proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act had to be abandoned. A proposed ban on the Burqa had to go and a back down on Paid parental leave reached its inevitable conclusion. What’s next you might ask?

Jan 19: We are being governed by a party who spent four years in opposition being so negative that they forgot that governance requires thought out policy not ideological implementation.

American scientists say 2014 was hottest year on record. Why is it people confuse weather with climate?

Jan 20: In terms of political strategy I think for any opposition leader to draw attention to himself (other than making rudimentary comments) while his opponent is in self-destruct mode would be political folly. The same goes for the release of policy. Patience is required. The only exception would be commentary on the reform of his party.

Jan 21: The Prime Minister continues to struggle. On his first day back from holidays he refuses to talk to the press. Not the Treasurer though. On talk-back radio he tells us that because people might live to 150 in the future justifies increasing the cost of health now. Sarah Palin eat your heart out. Government foot in mouth disease continues.

Jan 22: 1. The PM denies reports that he insisted on the $20 doctor’s fee. The problem is that his record of lying makes him unbelievable.

2. Per chance he is telling the truth it means the three of them were complicit in a stupid political decision.

3. What sort of society is it that jails people for not committing a crime?

Jan 23: President Obama’s best ever put down:

I have no more campaigns to run.

Applause from his opponents.

I know because I won both of them.

An afternoon thought:

When the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing on University funding reform.

Treasurer Joe Hockey was reported on Tuesday as ruling out further compromises to achieve passage through the Senate, before Education Minister Christopher Pyne confirmed on Wednesday that the package was up for negotiation.

Jan 24: 1 Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life and grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate empathy toward others. Does Abbott qualify?

In my experience once started leadership speculation never goes away and has its own inevitable conclusion.

2. Mr Abbott has to again explain if work choices is dead, buried and cremated. Or at least be transparent about his intentions.

Jan 25: 1. Bullshitting is bad enough but when someone believes their own, that is intellectual dishonesty. An illustration is the PMs Insistence that he has governed solidly and just needed to skite about it more.

2. Any objective look at polling on a national level in Australia will tell you that 47% of voters would vote for a PM and his party despite the fact that it is being led and governing badly. Life is about perception. Not what is but what you perceive it to be.

Jan 26: On this day that has symbolic importance for many (not for others) and for many and differing reasons,

“Have you ever thought about what it is you should be most grateful for?”

Happy Australia Day.

May this day reward you with what you make of it.

I think I will just pretend I never heard it. Prince Philip an Australian knight. The captain of team Australia continues to bat for the other side. Nobody wants to play on his.

The PM with spellbinding cringe worthy ignorance calls social media “graffiti on a wall” while his government spends 4.3 mil on finding out the extent of its influence. Luddite.

Jan 27: Perhaps the PM is just guilty of being himself. You have to be very talented to transform our national day into a joke.

The PM has had a right royal weekend.

ALP support rose to 56.5% (up 2%) on Australia Day weekend, well ahead of the L-NP 43.5% (down 2%) on a two-party preferred basis. If a Federal Election were held now the ALP would win easily according to this week’s Morgan Poll on voting intention conducted with an Australia-wide cross-section of 2,057 Australian electors aged 18+.

Jan 28: Apple paid $80 million tax in Australia last year on a turnover of a revenue of $60 billion. Does the Government have any lifters it can spare or will it continue to hit the poor.

Jan 29: Repeat – Who said this?

“It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards. Nothing could be more calculated to bring our democracy into disrepute and alienate the citizenry of Australia from their government than if governments were to establish by precedent that they could say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards.”

Unsurprising how high Newscorp journalists jump when Murdoch commands it.

Jan 30: It is absolutely astonishing that a newspaper mogul living in another country dictates the governance of Australia with such gratuitous authority.

Jan 31: “It takes a good captain to help all the players of a team to excel,” Mr Abbott said. OMG I agree with him.

It beggars belief that a PM whose leadership has been so abysmal-so condemned in the court of public approval, can then suggest that the good performance of colleagues is as a result of his splendid captaincy. That’s arrogance of the highest order.

Yes, a lot happens in a month.

11 comments

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  1. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    Thanks John Lord for putting it all in perspective.

  2. John Fraser

    <

    Feb 1

    No one asks why newman called a snap election or if his LNP conferred with Abbott.

    The resounding answer to the last part of that question is ….. absolutely not ! …. why ? ….. because Abbott would have advised the LNP that he had a bombshell knighthood to drop on Australia day.

    No one asks why newman …. who well and truly knew he was politically doomed … called a snap election and then sabotaged the LNP and the day after the election couldn't wait to pack his bags and get away from them.

    Sorry John Lord to add a day to your very good Article but currently we have Qlds former Treasurer Nicholls saying that Abbotts Medicare had a negative effect on the election and Abbott saying he had absolutely no effect on the election because it was all about State issues.

    Good luck with that if you live in N.S.W. …… and are looking for protection from Abbott.

  3. Matters Not

    It is absolutely astonishing that a newspaper mogul living in another country dictates the governance of Australia with such gratuitous authority

    For the first time ever I felt sympathy for Credlin. The arrogance of a man who renounced his ‘citizenship’

    advised the LNP that he had a bombshell knighthood to drop on Australia day

    Assuming that he thought it would be a bombshell. Actually I believe he thought it would be well received. After all, he is an unreconstructed ‘monarchist’ with a political tin ear.

    .

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Remember, this is the month of January. The month when most are on holiday. When nothing much happens

  5. Kerri

    Re January 9 John, I also posted “so let me get this right?? The PM thinks that the 2 Asutralians up for execution in Indonesia for trying to smuhpglle herion should be pardones because they are nice blokes? But David Hicks is a terrorist????

  6. Matters Not

    If a Federal Election were held now the ALP would win easily according to this week’s Morgan Poll on voting intention conducted with an Australia-wide cross-section of 2,057 Australian electors aged 18+.

    Not sure about the ALP winning, because I watched Abbott’s address to the Press Club. Did you know his problems are completely the fault of Labor? Broken promises were caused by Labor leaving a debt and deficit disaster?

    I know I am biased, but that would have to be the worst address to the Press Club I can remember. It was pathetic! No questions answered. Not even an attempt to relate his answers to the questions raised.

    But keep him right where he is. Abbott is the best friend that Labor has. A gift that keeps on giving.

  7. flohri1754

    Well put …. January in an LNP nutshell …. interesting couple of days coming up here in Canberra …..

  8. stuff all

    Yep, well done John.

  9. John Fraser

    <

    Here's a differing look at events on Australia Day :

    " My snout at Buck House tells me the Australia Day gong for Prince Philip was all a horrible blunder.

    The PM wanted to give the Queen a captain’s pick Australian knighthood. After all, she has snipped an enormous number of ribbons, declared open countless buildings and laid uncountable plaques in Australia, without dropping a single scissor or trowel.

    However, Tony Abbott was told by a palace courtier that HM doesn’t accept knighthoods from Australian commoners. On the other hand, the old duke might be delighted to stitch another bauble onto his panto admiral’s costume.

    The prime minister was in a pickle. He was stuck with his grovelly idea and couldn’t back out, even though his razor sharp political antenna would have told him this would not be an entirely popular gesture.

    http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2015/01/31/gadfly-abbott-and-knight-checkmate/14226228001428#.VM8iO_mSyao

  10. Kerri

    Matters not Tony Burke posted ABBOTT PROVES HE’S HEARD THE MESSAGE TO CHANGE BY DELIVERING THE SAME SPEECH HE’S BEEN DELIVERING FOR YEARS AT THE PRESS CLUB,

  11. Carol Taylor

    I suspect that Abbott truly believes this, that the *wonderful* job his team is doing is all because of him..after all the sun rises each morning and the moon appears at night for one reason only..because TA exists in this world.

    On the knighthood etc and why did it all go so horribly wrong. And especially, why did Abbott do it?

    Here’s the scenario. Given that Abbott must be the centre of attention on all occasions, how to make Australia Day his, and his alone? Easy, TA puts himself in the position of superior male and ‘generously’ bestows a knighthood on royalty. Ahh, how the crowd swoon with admiration for our Tones… Based on the above admiration scenario (possibly repeated in Tony’s imagination and in the mirror a dozen or so times), Tony caps the whole thing off by having a major Press Club address where he enters the room to thunderous applause and admiring gasps from the ladies. Only it didn’t quite work out that way….

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