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Negative nellies

In the world of Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley, the Albanese Government’s ‘Voice’ process is a stunt to get re-elected. This is the same Susan Ley that added the extra ’s’ to her name in her 20s because

“I read about this numerology theory that if you add the numbers that match the letters in your name you can change your personality,” she told The Australian.

“I worked out that if you added an ‘s’ I would have an incredibly exciting, interesting life and nothing would every be boring. It’s that simple.

“And once I’d added the ‘s’ it was really hard to take it away.”

In the Morrison Government, as the Environment Minister

Ley approved a Coalition decision to scrap 176 out of 185 recovery plans designed to prevent the extinction of threatened species and habitats, including the Tasmanian devil. This was despite a government call for feedback, which received 6701 responses, all disagreeing with the proposed removal of the recovery plans.

Rather than a stunt, the ‘Voice’ is an attempt at reconciliation towards first nations people and creating equality. Ley’s criticism is probably as rational as the reason there is an extra ’s’ in her name.

Angus Taylor has a long list of cringeworthy performances as a Federal Government Minister, helpfully listed by Crikey in 2020-including responding to his own social media post in 2019 with ‘well done Angus’. He also has a hard time accepting that others may have a different interpretation of an issue than he does.

Taylor as the Shadow Treasurer has obviously been given carriage of the argument that any change to superannuation arrangements is a ‘broken election promise’, The government is considering options at the moment but have decided nothing. Taylor is ‘laser focused’ on nothing changing despite Treasurer Jim Chalmers suggesting

“What we have to accept at the same time is the average super balance is about $150,000,” he said.

“Less than one per cent of people have got more than $3 million in their super [and] the average amount that people have when they’ve got more than $3 million is $5.8 million.

… in an interview on Nine Radio.

Most of those with the average superannuation balance of $150,000 probably couldn’t comprehend $3 million, let alone have any realistic ambition of having that amount in their personal superannuation account. Superannuation was originally introduced to prevent stories like this ever becoming commonplace in Australia, not as a ‘tax effective’ shelter for those with considerable assets and the funds to employ expensive accountants to find every loophole in the system (it may be legal – but is it moral or ethical?).

Not only does Opposition Leader Peter Dutton have to manage the ramblings of his shadow ministers, he has his own problems to consider as well. The Aston by-election, scheduled for April 1 is to replace another ex-Federal Minister capable of a cringeworthy performance or two; Alan Tudge. Tudge was most recently seen denying culpability at the Robodebt Royal Commission even though he didn’t ask the questions about the legality of the income equalisation process in the scheme. Political pundits are suggesting that any result apart for the typical 1.7% dip in the vote for the first term government is more a commentary on Dutton’s leadership of the Opposition than anything else. To add to Dutton’s discomfort, the Greens and other smaller political parties are also looking for an improved result in the seat (as a ‘pox on both your houses’ to the major parties). While his shadow ministers criticising ‘the Voice’ and a possible review of superannuation concessions may retain existing supporters, the negativity is hardly likely to attract many others to the Coalition.

Granted it’s likely Labor didn’t categorically state they would assess the tax treatment of superannuation accounts where, on the face of it, there is considerably more than the amount required to keep a superannuant in comfortable lifestyle for the rest of their lives. It’s probably also likely that the Coalition didn’t specifically promise Robodebt, the Prime Minister being sworn into multiple Ministries, scrapping 176 recovery plans for native species threatened with extinction, the Indue ‘cashless welfare’ card or many other ‘initiatives’ they introduced.

However all governments have a responsibility to govern for all, not just those that comprise some special interest group. Arguably, removing some tax breaks in the superannuation system for those that have more than a reasonable amount to live out their lives in comfort and redirecting that money could be justified. The redirection that could provide additional funding to education, social housing, health, transport or one of the thousand and one ways government should be improving the lives of all in the community is conceivably a reasonable decision.

The problem with the Opposition basing their claim for re-election solely on criticism of the current government is it doesn’t give anyone but the rusted-on supporter any reason to vote for them at the next opportunity. Oppositions have a duty to criticise decisions where a government is not treating people equally but they also have a duty to have a discussion with the electors on what they would bring to the table should the electors trust them with a chance at government. Bringing negativity (and that’s about all) to every conversation not only shows an Opposition bereft of policies for improving our community, but seriously dilutes the message when the Albanese Government really does deserve to be told ‘that’s not good enough’.


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  1. Fred

    It’s like crying “wolf”. Saying “No” to everything will likely cause one to not be taken seriously when an issue comes up that really should be stopped. Long may the LNP remain in the political wilderness.

  2. Terence Mills

    Senator Lidia Thorpe chose to lay down on the road in Oxford Street to disrupt the Mardi Gras procession – it didn’t prove popular with the crowd who booed her and police had to escort her away.

    The odd thing was that she said :

    “I feel like they’re assimilating you (gays) into the same thing they’re trying to assimilate us (Aborigines) into, and we have to stick together.”

    Isn’t sticking together what assimilation is all about ?

  3. LambsFry Simplex.

    Yes, she lay down in front of a relatively inoffensive police float. Because she dislikes gays? Is she dinkum re the totality of 200 years and calling for immediate radical action, or just someone cynically driving a wedge against those who see things as problematic and only remedied slowly.

    There are issues, but I wonder at the politics given the fine balance that exists between various influences, some malign, and what of several courses a government could prospectively take? Labor has to accept that it cant be all things to all people, since there so many oppositional and for, positions, to take.on the Voice. It needs to regain the initiative as to messaging.

  4. Roswell

    Terry / LambsFry,

    Surely there’s a better way to get a message across.

    Did laying in front of a bulldozer ever help a cause?

  5. Andy56

    Roswelll, since when did doing nothing ever help .
    Lidia is telling us shes out there. Disrupting a parade by people who as a whole probably support
    Better treatment of the indigenous is not a smart move.
    She is positioning herself as our very own Che Guevara. Is she right or wrong, i dont quite know. But she is certainly putting a spanner in the works. What she is demanding is most certainly a bridge too far in the current environment. I feel she is trying to kill the good because its not perfect.
    From my short chat with locals in kathrine a few years ago, they were mightily pissed off about being 12 month policy resets. Every 12 months a new initiative that died suddenly after twelve months leaving people stranded in the no mans land of a new initiative. A voice has got to be a step forward, surely.

  6. wam

    poor old suss on everything, sshe iss abssolutely sshocking

  7. Roswell

    Andy, I like Lidia Thorpe and I support what she stands for. I just don’t think this was the best thing to do.

    Yelling out to cops to get f*cked (or similar) wasn’t appropriate. But that’s just me.

  8. Roswell

    wam, Sussan Ley is my local member. Talk about bad luck.

  9. Roswell

    Following Ms Ley’s reasoning I should change my name to Rosswell.

  10. LambsFry Simplex.

    Onya Roswell, So it is an unfolding situation?

    If she is dink, she has done us a favour.

    If she is only doing what several polis on the populist right have done, no ,thanks.

    We will wait and see and see where the debate leads us, I guess.

    For a long time it has been like constipation: much promised but only hot air in the end.

  11. Terence Mills

    I don’t think Lidia is aspiring to be our Che Guevara, more like our Kim Kardashian with a potty mouth !

  12. Canguro

    Hard to know the best place to park this story; Negative Nellies, Making Stuff Up, Cometh the Hour, Don’t Waste This Opportunity…none of them a natural spot, but tomorrow, the 28th Feb 2023, is the first anniversary of the Lismore flood that destroyed that city, and that was ranked as the fourth most expensive natural disaster in the world in 2022, according to the global reinsurer Munich RE.

    The SMH story is not a happy read; it speaks of a pall of sadness and suffering that lies over this once thriving northern NSW city, but perhaps more worrying, it also lays bare the snail’s pace response of the governments, collectively, that one would naturally expect to shoulder the burden of urgent repair and relief, and in so doing, it begs the question; just what will it take to initiate an appropriate response in the face of disaster, when self-evidently, frontline response agencies are shown to be incapable & inadequate to the task?

    The Cyclone Tracy response that destroyed Darwin over the Xmas of 1974 provoked what might be remembered as a best-practice example of disaster response, but the political & bureaucratic response to the bushfires of 2019-20 that destroyed 3,500 homes along with ~5,800 outbuildings is not of a similar accord, and neither is the response to the floods of a year ago.

    One might fairly ask; just where do the responsibilities of the political class begin & end? And the same for emergency response agencies? Is there something written into their no-doubt voluminous tomes of operational procedures that says that the suffering of people is of minor concern, that the fact that peoples’ lives are in limbo as they remain homeless, close to destitute, and in constant emotional distress as they live with the sense that there is nobody coming to their aid anytime soon is not a priority to address and remedy?

    It must be a bitter pill to swallow for these distressed communities to watch on as celebrations take place, far away, in the big cities; marchers celebrating their sexual freedoms and liberation, fireworks worth millions being blown into the sky to celebrate another revolution of a minor planet around its local star, sporting hoopla & razzamatazz; money to burn on display at every turn while they shiver through the nights in their ruined homes, or from the cramped quarters of a vehicle, or from within a tent, or if they’re lucky, a caravan.

    Something’s very wrong in this country, and it won’t end well.

  13. GL

    Dear Abby,

    I currently have $6.5 million in my superannuation account and if Labor changes the tax rules (which they promised not to touch, so this makes them liars and cheats) I will lose tax breaks on any amount over $3 million. This is grossly unfair! What can I do?


  14. Kaye Lee

    Our winner-takes-all system of government encourages this type of behaviour. The Opposition do not want the government to succeed. They do not want the problems of the day to be fixed. They will not work constructively to improve legislation because no-one will remember if they moved an amendment. They even oppose things they did or suggested when they were in power. It’s a silly game played by people whose primary aim is for you to dislike the government regardless of what is best for the country.

    Crossbenchers have to make a name for themselves if they hope to be re-elected so it encourages them to do a lot of look-at-me stuff.

    Pauline Hanson is a prime example of gaming the system for decades, reaping in millions of public money every election whether her candidates get elected or not. That’s why they run in every electorate with some of the weirdest candidates you could find – $3.125 for every vote for any candidate that gets over 4% of the vote./ Last Federal election she raked in $2,364,876.80

    We could fix all this when we become a Republic – change the system to multiparty executive perhaps – except there is no way in hell that the politicians will let us.

  15. Terence Mills

    Interesting to note that whenever the ALP count the numbers in the Senate it always comes down to Pocock and Lambie as the pivotal votes, never the One Nation votes.

    Is this because no matter what is being voted on, One Nation’s two senators will always vote with the coalition or is it because they can’t be relied on to turn up for the vote.

  16. Michael Taylor

    Loved that link, Kaye. Such an eminent list of deniers on stage.

    The night would have been a real hoot for people like me.

  17. Harry Lime

    Dear Angus,
    After first writing a heartfelt apology to Clover Moore,I suggest it would be prudent to migrate to a country where your undoubted talent as a lying tosser would be appreciated.Be sure to check whether they have reciprocal extradition laws with Australia.To assist with your decision,just remember there’s a Federal ICAC in the offing. Don’ call us, we’ll call you.
    Best regards, Abby.

  18. GL

    Dere Abby,

    I curantlee have $4.3 million and 2000 bottles of ecksensiv scoth in my suprannushun account and if Labor screws the tax rulez (which they promisd not to tuch, so this makes them lyers and cheats) I will loose tax brakes on any amount over $3 million. This is grosly unfair! What can I do?

    Barr…hic…nerbeezzzzzz…1999 bottuls…zzzzzz hic…

  19. Canguro

    Dere Abby, sorry, GL, do keep writing. Your observations on the madnesses inherent in the human condition are greatly appreciated, and bring smiles and chuckles to the daily fare. Ditto, Harry Lime, as above.

    Yours in regards, Canga.

  20. Canguro

    @Roswell [February 26, 2023 at 8:56 pm]: re ‘Did laying in front of a bulldozer ever help a cause?’, one is reminded of the American activist Rachel Corrie, murdered at the age of 23 in March 2003 by the operator of an armored bulldozer of the IDF in a southern Gaza Strip combat zone during the height of the Second Intifada (09/2000 – 02/2005), who, one presumes, knowingly crushed her underneath the behemoth’s blades.

    Such is the madness of the Israeli political machine and their capacity to use the IDF to repress any resistance directed towards them by the oppressed Palestinians, one might reasonably argue that her tragic death, a loss too soon of a vibrant and intelligent warrior in the cause of justice against state-sanctioned discrimination, was in vain. Twenty years later, the Palestinians remain a segregated and discriminated against people in their own historic homelands, a situation unlikely to change in the forseeable future, black swan events notwithstanding.

  21. GL

    Dear Abby,

    I currently have 5000 fishes and loaves and four unfinished chook runs and dog kennels in my superannuation account and don’t care if Labor changes the tax rules (which they promised not to touch, so this makes them liars and cheats anyway). Do you reckon you could have a chat with god and get him to change it all to cash, $7 – 10 million would do quite nicely and put in an offshore bank for me please. He doesn’t seem to be listening to me much lately so a few good words from you might help.

    Saint Scotty of Not Holding Hoses.
    PS. Could you, in passing, try and get some hint from him when I can expect another message from the eagle about becoming leader and PM again.

  22. Harry Lime

    Dear GL,
    Don’t waste your time with Scotty from marketing,he’s just a latter day Pharisee…full of shit and hypocrisy.And to anyone who cares, I’m still waiting for my cut from those fuckers at can’t trust anyone these days.
    Yours, etc. God.

  23. New England Cocky

    Dear Abby, Why would I put my superannuation into an Australian superannuation account when I put the profits from selling an empty glass of MDB water for about $83 MILLION straight out to my Caymans Island account that is well placed away from the prying eyes of the ATO?

    Your Gassie

    @Terence Mills: ”Isn’t sticking together what assimilation is all about ?” Genius!!

  24. GL

    “Isn’t sticking together what assimilation is all about ?” Send an email to the Borg and ask them, they would know more about assimilation than anyone I can think of at the moment. I believe their email address is resistanceisfutile@cubesrus

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