I have decided to convert what was my ‘A Month in Politics’ post into a weekly commentary: ‘My Thoughts on the Week That Was’.
Saturday 2 May
1. The Indonesian Government legally murders two Australian citizens and then apologises to the parents for their suffering. That’s strange diplomacy.
- The Royal Commission into Unions may get itself into murky waters if it extends its inquiries into the Labor Party when it is not part of its terms of reference. A future RC into Ashbygate might be a fair retort.
- Labors Justice Spokesperson, David Feeney asks a reasonable question “why the government’s opposition to the death penalty had been removed from the ministerial direction to the Australian Federal Police” He got the “How dare you” response from the Government. Sure his timing could have been better but it is a legitimate question deserving of an honest answer. And Feeney is right on the facts.
Sunday 3 May
- On the Royal Birth. Thousands of children are born every day. Some into privilege and some into poverty. Why can’t they all be born into a society of equal opportunity?
“Surely the Monarchy belongs to our past and not our future”.
2. Budget leaks are beginning to appear. There will be cuts to welfare. The question of fairness will be paramount. So how will the Coalition justify cuts to welfare for the poor and middle classes while not being willing to tackle the tax havens of the wealthy?
3. An observation. In the United States, the Republican mantra for cutting taxes for the rich and other policy initiatives seem to flow from their adoption of radical Christian fundamentalist belief. In fact the GOP seems to be the mouthpiece for the extremities of right wing Christian belief. When you set your principles and ideas on religious belief rather than reason then the politics of fear erode the common good.
Monday 4 May
1.The assumption by conservative economists that reducing the tax of the rich will reduce their desire to avoid it, ranks with Margaret Thatcher’s “The poor shall be looked after by the drip down effect of the rich” as the two most proven failures of right wing economics.
- Whilst the government is sounding tuff on foreign housing investment it must be remembered that the new rules only apply to houses out of the reach of ordinary Australians.
- I am a fervent supporter of marriage equality but it is hard to argue that Labor should have a binding vote while at the same time insisting that the Coalition have a conscience one.
- I’m a little upset that high income earners (threshold of $250.000) will have the assistance of nannies. At a cost of course. Oh well I suppose my wife and I will, as grandparents, continue to do it for free
Tuesday 5 May
According to former Liberal Leader John Hewson the tax cuts Howard and Costello gave are now costing (the budget) about $30 billion a year, and the deficit’s $40 billion. . Without these cuts and the 9 billion Hockey gave – unasked for and against the will of treasury-to the reserve bank. The deficit problem wouldn’t exist. And that’s without including some $40 billion in tax concessions for superannuation, which accrue overwhelmingly to the wealthiest 20% of taxpayers. You can easily add it up to show that the deficit that exists today is a fake number, says Hewson. ‘’They’ve basically imposed it on themselves’’
Wednesday 6 May
- AFP said it did not have enough evidence to arrest the Bali 9 before they left for Indonesia. How much evidence do you need to prevent a crime from being committed? And why isn’t Mick Kelty answering the questions.
- Bill Shorten, I thought, made an impassioned speech at the McKell institute but I suspect those waiting for a Messiah will disagree.
- When asked about a date for a surplus the PM said he had never put a date on it. If my memory serves me correctly he said we could expect one in his first term……His lying knows no bounds.
- The Morgan pre Budget Poll has Labor at 53.5 and the Coalition at 46.5
5. Newspoll pre budget poll gives Labor a 52/48 lead over the Coalition. The Australian Newspaper announced that future Polls would be conducted by Galaxy. Could it be that they have finally woken to the fact that land lines, in an age of mobile telephony, do not give an accurate picture. Essential has Labor 53/47 Pre budget which suggests that Abbott’s budget would have to be exceptionally well accepted to get a bounce.
Thursday 7 May
- When asked about interest rate levels and his statement in 2012 that they had reached emergency levels Joe Hockey denied he had said it. In the Coalition fashion of blaming Labor for everything he said that it was Wayne Swan’s description. A utube clip clearly finds him guilty. Poor memories make for bad liars.
2 In keeping with Green’s resignation tradition Christine Milne choose a time of her own. The new leader Richard Di Natale gave a press conference that the leaders of the major parties should emulate, particularly the PM. It was impressive. It was no-nonsense. Just be honest for God sake.
3 Kevin Andrews commented on Twitter:
Does it really matter who will lead the freedom hating @Greens? Their anti-family & community destroying policies remain #greenspill #auspol”
4 Andrew Bolt’s latest rant on the same subject uses misogynist witch imagery to depict female politicians.
5 The PM seems to be giving loads of advice to Europeans on their immigration problem saying there had been discussions. European Commission spokeswoman, Natasha Bertaud, denied there had been any official contact and said the “Australian model can never be a model for us”, because the policy involved the refoulement of people who could be genuine refugees.
Labor’s immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, said Abbott was using the boat crisis for political point scoring in Australia. “It’s the low-rent act of a snake-oil merchant and he should be called out as such.” He is probably correct.
Friday 8 May
1.The Government’s decision to revise pension eligibility is welcome. However it comes as a result of a lie. “There will be no changes to pensions” And of course their first option was to deliberately reduce the livelihoods of the least well off.
2 In a column in The Australian on Thursday, former Coalition adviser Nikki Savva reported that Mr Buchholz had told the Prime Minister’s office that Mr Abbott would have to dump his treasurer if the second budget went down badly.
Mr Abbott said he had spoken to Mr Hockey on Thursday to reassure him that the story was a “complete invention”. So Peter Costello’s former press secretary is telling lies.
- The federal government will move to impose the goods and services tax on services such as Netflix, music downloads etc., under new rules included in next week’s budget.
It’s a pity they don’t do something about the tax the same companies don’t pay.
- I think the spin the Coalition will endeavor to present following next Tuesday’s Budget will be that there’s no budget crisis even though it’s got far worse under their stewardship.
They will tell us that it is fair and blame Labor for their own mismanagement of the economy. They will say that no one needs to be hurt even though blind Freddy knows that some pain is required. They will leave in savings not yet passed in the Senate and spin that it is good accountancy to do so.
But big measures that offend large numbers of people will effectively be left off the table.
As Opposition Leader Tony Abbott convinced many that the GFC was only in people’s imagination. Now he will try to convince them that the budget crisis of gargantuan proportion that he and Joe Hockey manufactured wasn’t the crisis they thought. All smoke and mirrors.
- As negotiations between the Government and the Opposition reach a conclusion on the RET, the PM’s Chief business advisor (and climate nut job) on Climate Change says it’s all a ruse.
“This is not about facts or logic. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN”
It all fits in with Abbott’s “socialist plot” statements which can only be taken as representative of the governments true position. What nutters they really are.
This is the week that was.