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Multiple Ministers Scoring ‘Own Goals’

Over the past week or so we have witnessed examples of possibly the most mistake prone bunch of ministerial amateurs we have seen in the past 60 years. Each in their own way would qualify as a contender for the title, “Own Goal of the Year” award, should such a title ever become a reality.

Joe Hockey is claiming that Australia’s gold plated credit rating will be at risk if parliament fails to approve a path back to surplus. Joe is starting to sound desperate but I’m not sure if it has more to do with sharpening his leadership aspirations than his concern for the health of the Australian economy.

His comments to New Zealanders that our economy is in good shape are in stark contrast to what he has been telling us. His suggestion that our credit rating is at risk is simply laughable.

But now he is fighting off allegations that he was deliberately hiding budget papers prepared by Treasury that show low income earners to be bearing the brunt of the budget cuts. Did he not realise that we would see through that in a flash? One own goal.

Then, there is the Minister for Employment, Eric Abetz, who announced a revised work for the dole scheme requiring unemployed people to apply for 40 jobs a month if they want to receive benefits. That is spectacular in its absurdity. Professor Jeff Borland from Melbourne University says, “The international evidence is overwhelming. It’s hard to believe that the government couldn’t understand that this isn’t the best way to improve people’s employability.”

Professor Boland conducted an empirical study of the Howard government’s work for the dole scheme and concluded that such schemes are unlikely to help people looking for work. That’s hardly surprising. I could apply for 40 jobs in one week if I put my mind to it. Just how many replies I would receive is another matter. Just how many interviews I could attend if given the opportunity is questionable. Just how I would do all this while trying to fit in 25 hours of work for the dole is to question my capacity to replicate Superman. Abetz has even upset the business community. Collectively, they have voiced their concern that companies will be overwhelmed by job applications that could amount to 32 million a month. Pity the bulk of them couldn’t find their way to the office of the minister. I can’t believe Abetz didn’t see that one coming. Two own goals.

Now, we know that Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews, wants to scrap the 90 minute rule that is used to determine how long is too long for someone to travel to work each day. Now, he is attempting to influence those couples in de facto relationships to get married for their own protection. Why the sudden concern now, or are his comments that de facto couples are more likely to separate, masking nothing more than Catholic Church teaching? His call is unlikely to result in any sudden rush to the altar though. His $200 coupons for marriage guidance have attracted just 1400 applicants from a budget of 100,000. Three own goals.

Attorney General, George Brandis and Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull are at odds over piracy laws. Brandis says that internet service providers were not ”innocent bystanders” and should contribute to the costs of an anti-piracy crackdown.
Malcolm says that rights holders concerned about copyright infringement should sue those who illegally download material. One would have thought that such senior government ministers would have consulted one another before releasing statements that contradict each other. Neither seems to understand the internet very well. Four own goals.

Last week, Environment minister, Greg Hunt approved the multibillion dollar Carmichael Coal Mine development by Indian company Adani, which threatens the Great Barrier Reef. Hunt has incurred the wrath of Greenpeace which now plans to mount a campaign targeting any Australian bank that might be inclined to provide finance for the project. Putting aside Adani’s woeful environmental track record, Kate O Callaghan’s expose on the potential damage to the Great Barrier Reef and the dubious economic benefits to Australians spells out, all too clearly, that this decision will haunt Hunt for the foreseeable future. Five own goals.

But the “Own goal of the Week” must surely go to Tony Abbott for his ‘Leadership Call’ on the shelving of plans to alter Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. It’s another broken promise and has even drawn criticism from trusted friends (Bolt, et al.). It has also caused great distress among Liberal party members who have flocked to their beloved Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), threatening to quit the party. Wow! Six own goals.

What a mesmerising collection of mixed messages that these utterly rattled and hopelessly confused people are sending out to the good folks in voter land; all of them, it would appear, determined to lead the charge to electoral disaster. I guess we can only hope that they will be spectacularly successful in achieving that.


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  1. John Turner

    The Federal Government is sovereign in the currency it issues. It is impossible for the Federal Government to go broke in that currency.
    It can always credit the bank account of any supplier within Australia willing to sell available labour or material to it without any risk whatever. It does not need to raise money through taxation or borrowing to pay for what it buys. The Federal Government only needs to extract tax from the citizenry or borrow money when excess money is likely to cause inflation. Too often under governments, of either political persuasion, excess money and bank created loans have been allowed to cause asset value inflation thus disadvantaging the young.
    The Federal Government credit rating is only at risk if the government spends too much on items which have to paid for using a foreign currency such as JSFs or submarines.
    If you doubt this think of how the USA from 1938 to 1945 grew to be the most productive industrial giant ever without worrying about where the money came from to buy what was needed for that growth. Taxes and loan raisings were used to shift domestic consumption to when, after the war, the massive industrial machine had been converted to producing domestic requirements and the products needed for of the Marshall Plan (recovery of Europe).
    There is an excellent item on this at,

    Mobilization and Money

  2. Pingback: Multiple Ministers Scoring ‘Own Goals’ | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  3. DanDark

    Great article once again John
    My 19yr old son went for his workways appointment yesterday because he has only part time work and has an appointment once a month, and all he gets is the gossip of the town from the woman who runs the joint, she is a waste of space and money in the town actually

    So the woman that runs the joint, told him “there are 135 businesses in town/area each one of them small businesses will get at least 8 applications a day between the 2 agencies in town”, we have mission come here one day a fortnight they get paid to travel from a larger regional town, so no nothing about the town, in our local paper there might be, if we are lucky 1 job a week advertised and they are usually for the hospital in admin, or some other highly qualified job,
    she told him “it is a joke, 8 or more applications a day in a very small town is ridiculous”

    She also told my son ” Old Bernie who runs one of the 2 pubs in town has already put a no vacancy sign up so applications are not even submitted to him, he is not interested in this “smart” plan of the Coal itions, Goals galore for the Coal ition 🙂

  4. aravis1

    Well done, John. Succinct and devastating to the LNP – why am I not sorry about that?

  5. Kaye Lee

    Morrison’s handling of the Tamil asylum seekers must surely qualify him for inclusion. Everything he says gets refuted by others and he is being dragged before the highest courts in the land. So many of Immigration’s resources are now devoted to OSB that visa rorters are proliferating. He has the UN and the HRC and Amnesty International and governments around the world condemning him. He is at odds with the Pope. I wonder how it must feel to be vilified by everyone except the racist bogans.

  6. diannaart

    Good summary John.

    Apart from repealing the Carbon Tax – what, if anything, have this government achieved?

  7. Dan Dark

    Was an interesting interview by Sarah last night on abc, she tried to corner pimp pyne on how their new plan will adversely affect women and poorer kids, he was like Morrison, didn’t want to listen to an experts advice, was happy to dismiss it, he is a tool and needs to be put back in his kennel, the little yapping poodle it is..

  8. Richard Leggatt

    Here is Senator Abetz email, I suggest every jobseeker c.c. a copy of their job application to his office!

  9. Dan Dark

    Thanks Richard, I will get my son to apply, payback is a bitch hey lol

  10. Kaye Lee

    It just gets sillier every day…..

    The waiting period for New­start will reduce depending on past employment. The reduction will be a month for every year of prior work, except for school leavers; otherwise no income support will be provided. Part-time employment would also be recognised on a pro-rata basis.

    In the explanatory memorandum for the bill circulated by Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, the waiting period for “gainful work” would operate differently for different categories of work.

    “Gainful work is defined to mean any work for financial gain or reward,” it says. “As examples, the minister could provide that particular kinds of gainful work do not cause a reduced waiting period if the work: does not involve a substantial degree of consistent personal exertion; consists of domestic or gardening tasks in relation to the place of residence of the person or a member of their family; consists of the management of financial investments in which the person or a member of their family has an interest; involves nudity or is in the sex industry; or is for the purpose of achieving election of the person to public office.”

    “involves nudity”??????? seriously?????? My cousin’s son works as an artists’ nude model. Apparently that is not considered “gainful employment” by Kevin Andrews.

  11. Evan

    We should all be thankful for our loyal (to Australia) public service who, with their diligence and hard work, actually manage to keep our country functioning in spite of the inept and dysfunctional government that we have.

    We can only hope that they are able to continue to do this until we can get rid of the rabble that is the Abbott government.

  12. Möbius Ecko

    Kaye Lee I just Tweeted a response to Greg Jericho on that.

    Look at just about everyone of the government’s current proposed policies, from DAP, employment, broadband, security, immigration and on it goes, they are all overly complex and convoluted, and they all require inordinate amounts of regulation to run. That’s the opposite of what this government promised and states it is on about.

    Howard ran the largest government in our history and this one seems to want to surpass that. It’s another on my list to post to the ABC’s Promise Tracker to keep an eye on.

  13. kerrilmail

    It seems to me that this lot have watched other Governments lay down the law and have people jump to and obey and figured it can’t be too hard to get what you want.
    The big thing they have missed, is that the changes made by such Governments have actually been desirable and good for the country overall!!!
    Without this understanding this tribe of village idiots is left floundering around wondering how the other Governments made it look so easy?
    When it comes to Joe Hockey, second best simpleton next to Abbott??
    Oh hell I can’t rank them it’s like an idiocy race with too many hot favourites.
    But as I was saying Joe Hockey?
    I find if I ask myself “what would a five year old spoiled brat decide?”
    You know the kind of kid who dances around to “This is the Best Day of My Life” before handing down the worst budget in Australian history and then goes for a smoke with his best mate behind the shelter sheds, failing to realise the pall of smoke rising will attract his journalistic detractors.
    If I imagine Joe as this child, then I totally understand his decisions

  14. Angie

    What an absolute MESS this govt. is creating in Australia…it has to stop. We were once a very well respected country around the world and now we’re being laughed at. Everything they touch is being totally stuffed up and destroyed. The polls are dropping lower and lower …..they won’t recover!

    The Barrier Reef will be destroyed so people please remember the face of GREG HUNT who will make this happen without a doubt in anybody’s mind…it is OUR reef, the people of this country, not Hunt’s! This one is beyond belief…….

  15. Mackenzie Hunt

    OMG!!! The climate criminals and fossil fools are running out of feet to shoot at..

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    Mr Andrews still has not explained why it is cheaper to live together marriage, of how it protects one. Did not protects me. In fact, put me and my family at more risk.

    Mr Andrews does not seem to know the laws, he claims to oversight. Truth is, there is no difference between a de facto or formal marriage, except one has to go through a expensive divorce to get out of the latter.

    Woman and children have the same rights in both.

  17. Florence nee Fedup

    Dreyus asking for Brandis to be sacked. Cannot help but agree.

  18. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe one can set up a business, making “no vacancy> signs for their local businesses. Would be a goer.

  19. jimhaz

    [involves nudity]

    I am 100% convinced the subset of religious people, who would otherwise be seen as above average intelligence, are insane.
    Mentally they have stunted growth – they do not understand context in any way. In this case the context of how this policy TITbit fits into the reality of the modern world.

  20. Möbius Ecko

    Overlooking the moral implications for now and how wrong this is, just how convoluted a dole system is this? The amount of dole that is reduced depends on the job you held prior to being sacked or left, and the reduction for the different jobs is formulated but it’s still up to the minister to make the call whenever they feel the job is not to their personal ideological or religious belief.

    You can already see the major flaws in this policy and the regulatory problems it’s going to cause.

  21. Vicki

    Dan Dark, I switched off when, in response to the question re making higher education unaffordable for the less well off and in particular for women, Pyne came up with the information that the types of courses that females usually undertake, nursing and teaching, will deliberately not be affected by fee increases. So women are to be channelled into the ‘nurturing’ areas because, after all, that is their ‘proper’ place.
    Do liberal creatures need to develop a certain mindset to be eligible to become part of the ‘team’ or do they flock together by natural instinct – bit like birds of a feather?

  22. John Fraser


    How much longer can Joe hold out ?

    If he was an animal any halfway decent person would have put him out of his misery.

    The hold the Liberals have must be like the catholic guilt.

  23. trevor

    The Abbott Rabble. Can’t Govern. Can’t Serve. Can’t Listen. Can’t Count, Can’t Add it up.

    Can’t Just plain Can’t except for using their public funded entitlement accounts.

    What a bunch of incompetant Fuktards are this self serving congaline of Lieberal oxygen thieves, masquerading as MP’s and as Adults

    Export Abbott not Refugees.

  24. Dan Dark

    it was sickening the whole interview, god help women and girls in this country
    When we have a 40 something year old white bloke assuming we woman want them jobs, like you said
    The nurturing jobs, well I can tell you he is about to find out what century we are in, and women are not quite as Subservient this century and he will fall hard, it’s called Karma 🙂

  25. Vicki

    Let’s hope they get tossed out before the damage to Australia’s social (and financial) fabric becomes irreparable .

  26. Dan Dark

    Vicks, I love that word “hope” where there is life, there is always hope, so yea we do have hope because we are alive, and we will fight for the sisterhood and our kids, I say this to gov, “bring it on moles” we are ready 😉

  27. John Citizen

    I’m Back. Hello folks.

    The LNP is doing well. Their educational Plan is ‘on track’. We are now learning about how it is that appeals to our fears and prejudices (eg. Muslim terrorism) can be used to stampede us into seeing them in to a whole new ‘saviour role’. Brilliant! ‘Operational Inoculation’ is ‘on track. I mean they made it so obvious for us all to see.

    Now we have learned another lesson. The Plan is working so well. Never will we fall for the Maggy (fauklands)/Bush (Iraq) factor again. Brilliant.

    I don’t know about you but I admire the willingness of the current government to sacrifice themselves, to fall on their collective swords, to educate us all so they will never be elected for at least 3 years.. Bravo! True heroism. It is so assuring that the Coalition put political education before political expediency. Quite inspiring really. I mean, gosh, would the ALP or Greens ever do that? It’s a rhetorical question.

    When I originally put my ‘Operation Inoculation’ post up here a few days ago nearly all people rejected my hypotheses that the current government were on an educational campaign to wise us up about political crap by deliberately being so over the top crapuluous. But Oh no. No one believed me. They all thought that Abbott and Co. were as they appeared. Mere idiots.

    It’s so wonderful to be on the inside track of a bloody good conspiracy theory of your own making. Well I know what’s really going on folks. The current government are for political education, truth and the Australian way. They really care about us all. And anyone that doesn’t understand this will have their ‘meta data’ monitored to protect them,(which is kinda sorta… err… err..) bugger all if you’ve got nothing to hide.Brilliant. We get it. Ta Tony. The hypothesis must be the only one that explains the facts. Tony and Co. MUST be on our side.

  28. Kaye Lee

    “The president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Associate Professor Brian Owler, says Senator Abetz’s comments are irresponsible and are based on a personal ideology.

    “I think he should stay out of these debates if you’re quoting evidence from the 1950s, I think that’s in line with the attitudes he’s putting forward,” he said.

    “It’s not the sort of thing that he should be putting out and certainly not the role a senior Government member should be taking on what is an important health issue.

    “I think it’s very dangerous when senior members of Government get involved in these types of conferences and give credence to topics that have no scientific merit and which really can be dangerous in terms of the health of women.”

  29. Möbius Ecko

    It’s no different to Climate Change Kaye.

  30. Kaye Lee

    “We don’t want to live in an Australia where abortion again becomes the political plaything of men who think they know better,”

    Remember when we had an intelligent leader who had a vision for the future….sniff 🙁

  31. Roswell

    Boy oh boy. This is getting out of control.

    Who hand picked these nut cases?

  32. Roswell

    Kaye, Rupert didn’t want us to have a future.

  33. John Kelly

    I should have delayed publishing this article an extra day. That way I could have given Abetz two ‘own goals.’ Not to worry, I’m sure there are lots more to come.

    John Citizen, I’m converted…..I think?

  34. Möbius Ecko

    Households battle to make bills payments, Choice report shows

    That must be a real worry for Abbott and his government.

    Do a Google search for “cost of living fears” and you will see that cost of living under the last government is prevalent. Abbott campaigned heavily over a long period on the fear of cost of living and how if in government he would ease the cost of living, and that it would be lower under a government he leads.

    Radio piece I heard this morning stated that “cost of living” is by far the highest concern of the people at the moment, especially since it has gone up substantially since Abbott got into power and people are genuinely starting to have troubles to make ends meet, unlike the false scare campaign on this under the previous government.

    That’s why this proposed budget is going over like a lead balloon with the people. Already struggling because of this government they see that under the budget they will not be able to make ends meet. That is more important to them than the inherent unfairness of the budget.

    As Abbott relentlessly attacked the previous Labor government on cost of living, now is the time for Labor to attack this government on them as the concern is now far greater in the community over cost of living pressures than at any time during the last Labor governments.

  35. Möbius Ecko

    Youth unemployment at a record high.

    Think on that and on which group the Abbott government plans to attack the most.

    Also think on what it means that there are hardly any new jobs for young people to go into.

    I see Australia heading towards a not so nice a place.

  36. Dan Dark

    ME, for a lot of people it’s not been a nice place for along time, single mothers have been crucified for years by gov so has the young unemployed, and our first peoples,it started years ago for a lot of people and has just got a whole lot worse.

  37. patsy

    maybe I am wrong in my thinking but abbots mandates may have been to throw all the budgets ideas out there and now the people have spoken he changes the game and backs down and says I did not lie…….they had no PLANS in the budget it was never thought through the average australian with no degree could have done better……..and shorten has sat back and like a gentleman thinking they will maybe destroy themselves…….

  38. diannaart


    I watched Abetz on the Project attempt to defend his and other LNP ministers attend the “World Congress of Families” by drawing on the great lie of abortion leading to breast cancer and this morning he denies he made such an inference.

    What an incompetent pack Abbott has assembled to govern us. Outright liars, deniers of reason, authoritarians who would drag Australia back to a time which approved of White Australia, women knowing their place, no divorce, reduction of funding to women’s refugees, polluting industries, woefully anti-science…. the list goes on and on.

    No wonder they were short on details before the election – to have provided their true agenda would’ve meant them not being voted in. Maybe they have burnt enough bridges that the public will remember come the 2016 election.

  39. Rob031

    Remember Bob Santamaria? Spooky resemblance?

  40. Rob031

    I hope this works properly this time…

  41. Florence nee Fedup

    “based on a personal ideology.”

    Not ideology , own narrow prejudices and bigotry.

  42. Florence nee Fedup

    Did we pay to send these people this conference?

  43. Wayne Turner

    Team Idiots in action.

    They were like this BEFORE the election.Just the MSM excused/buried and/or ignored their blunders – Instead were obsessed with the polls and the Rudd vs Gillard saga – Which was still and always going to be better than these Libs with their empty slogans for bogans instead of real workable policies.

    These Libs have no metadata.

  44. corvus boreus

    Mr Abbott should make himself the minister for youth affairs, as well as women and aboriginals, and complete his trifecta of representation through cognitive dissonance and prejudicial discrimination.

  45. Rob031

    Perhaps this is not exactly Own Goal but:

    Frances Abbott’s teacher says she didn’t deserve scholarship

    Rachel Nickless 5:21pm A design academic who taught the Prime Minister’s daughter and has been caught in a leaking scandal has brought a legal claim against his former employer saying he was effectively dismissed – and he has added Tony Abbott as a respondent to the action

  46. brickbob

    There are always cost of living pressures but it just seems at this present point in time they are the worsti have experienced for a long time. I have lost a bit of work lately but my family and i are not in dire straights just yet. Energy bills are the main problem,my last electricity bill was 400 dolars,my last one 2 weeks ago was 848 dolars and we dont have a pool pump or air conditioning and we have a gas stove and gas hot water system so when Tony said our electricity bill would come down and we would be 500 plus dollars better off i took it as just another bullshit statement from the ” Liar In Chief””. There are people much worse than me in this country and we are doing it tough,and these are the people this Govt should be talking and listening to. ps” I have paid half the bill and have until the 25th of this month to pay the balance,but the bills keep coming as we all know,also my son completes his final year of high school this year and i dont know what the future holds for him under Joes horror budget although i have a fair idea.
    Thanks for listening to my rant.””””

  47. Rob031


    The much-touted $550 will, hopefully come back to bite the LNP. They later on qualified this as an average but, in most minds, the original message will be uppermost. Dills!

  48. Matters Not

    Tony, he with the hairy chest, threatens Putin with sanctions. Putin responds by banning imports of beef, dairy, fruit and vegetables from Australia. Instead Russia will import dairy products from New Zealand and beef from South American countries.

    Tony shows how it’s done.

    Further Putin has also banned the import of the same commodities from other parts of Europe. The result will be a glut of such products on the world markets. Prices collapse.

    Own goals, here, there and everywhere.

  49. Captain Jay

    Eric Abetz, got to be the biggest lunatic I have seen. Same wanker tried to have Tasmanian World Heritage Areas reopened for logging a few months back. Got loudly laughed at by the UN, and sent home. Absolute dip shit.

    The looks on Joe Hockey’s face in most interviews, especially the non-staged ones, is that of a dog that doesn’t understand the command.” Fetch rover…”huh?”

  50. Pingback: What if Abbott acted on a climate of terror? : Renew Economy

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