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This is not the Australia I know and love

When some people speak of the previous Labor government, they talk of disunity or of debt, which ignores the many wonderful achievements of the Rudd/Gillard years.

I think of the Apology to the Stolen Generation and for forced adoptions. I think of the Reconciliation Walk across the Harbor Bridge. I was proud that we were at the forefront of pricing carbon and that we were facilitating investment in renewable energy. I was thankful for the Gonski education funding reforms and the National Partnership on hospital funding. I was relieved that we finally had the NDIS underway and subsidised dental care. I was excited about the prospect of FttP NBN. We were finally taking water management seriously with the water trigger legislation and the Murray-Darling buyback scheme. Marine parks begun by Howard were being extended. The mining tax was about to start earning some money as companies moved from investment to production and asset write-offs diminished. The list of achievements is much much longer.

All of these things benefitted Australians. They contributed to a better society.

And then along came the Coalition.

I am at a complete loss to think of one policy that is of benefit to Australian citizens.

They got rid of carbon pricing and decided to pay polluters industry assistance instead costing us billions and causing emissions to rise.

They caused such uncertainty watering down renewable energy targets that we lost billions in investment.

Despite getting rid of the mining tax, mine closures and job losses have accelerated and investment has fallen.

They signed free trade agreements that have resulted in revenue write-downs of about $8 billion dollars as well as creating real threats to domestic manufacturing industries and jobs.

They stopped the boats, slashed the humanitarian intake of refugees, and incarcerated asylum seekers indefinitely, ignoring the documented abuse that they are being subjected to and the physical and emotional damage.

They have slashed foreign aid spending by over $11 billion.

They say they created 300,000 jobs last year. Using trend figures from the ABS, the increase in people employed in the 2.5 years from August 2013 to February 2016 was 392,200 which equates to an average of 156,880 more people employed each year, many of them part time. (The seasonally adjusted figures work out to 151,040 per year.)

But the ABS also shows that, in the year from 30 September 2014 to 30 September 2015, the population rose by 313,200 people. Whilst not all of these would be of working age, job creation is not keeping up with population increase. Using trend figures again, there are 42,600 more people unemployed in February 2016 than there were in August 2013.

They have turned customs and immigration into a black-uniformed quasi-military outfit and they are collecting and keeping metadata from every person in Australia (except the criminals and the politicians and the corporate cheats who know how to get around it).

They have wound back gambling reform laws and stripped funding from NGOs and community groups.

The champions of free speech have gagged public servants, NGOs, refugee and community legal advocates. They have tried to remove the right of appeal to courts and to neuter the Human Rights Commission.

They have committed to spending hundreds of billions on defence materiel while saying they can’t afford to fund schools and hospitals.

They sold off the profitable Medibank Private forever transferring that revenue to shareholders. To date, their attacks on Medicare are being resisted.

They are paying a Dutch company to look for a crashed Malaysian plane that was carrying predominantly Chinese citizens. It has cost us over $100 million, the Malaysians have stopped contributing, and the Chinese never did.

Public sector infrastructure spending has fallen by over 20% despite plenty of promises and reannouncements.

They got rid of the Disability Commissioner and appointed a Wind Commissioner.

They demolished the rollout of a world class NBN to lumber us with a dog’s breakfast of old technology.

They have continually attacked members of the LGBTI community, implying their love is perverted.

Welfare recipients are “leaners” and new mothers are “double dippers”.

They have spent hundreds of millions on Royal Commissions, audits, inquiries, green papers and white papers, committees and consultants.

They spent lots of money producing an Innovation and Science statement whilst slashing funding from the CSIRO and universities.

They cut hundreds of millions in funding and slashed thousands of jobs from corporate watchdog ASIC and the ATO severely impacting on their ability to pursue corporate corruption and tax avoidance.

The deficit has doubled and the debt has increased by over $100 billion.

In an article for the Guardian called Alarmism, economic idiocy, and Orwellian appointments: three years of political disaster written by Josh Bornstein, he quotes our new assistant minister to the treasurer and member of the Hillsong congregation, Alex Hawke:

“The two greatest forces for good in human history are capitalism and Christianity, and when they’re blended it’s a very powerful duo.”

So there we have it. Conservative politics has been taken over by privileged ultra-conservative Young Liberals, the IPA and the Hillsong Church who are assiduously installing their members into parliament. All the social, workplace and environmental reforms we fought for last century have once again come under attack.

This is not the Australia I know and love.


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  1. June M Bullivant OAM

    How true, Australia has been sold down the drain by greedy self interested decisions makers that do not give a dam and would sell their own grandmother for a dollar. It makes me sick to see what the bullies and decision makers are doing to the people. But do you know what, if the good people of Australia stand up and say that they have had enough, then it will be a long way back, but we can win, there are more good people in Australia than the greedy self interested who make our lives Hell. Long live a compassionate and kind Australia that is owned by the people

  2. Greg Evers

    the points made in this article are factual and if this was the extent of their plans and objectives then we can all say that they are reversible or at least be able to be patched up , but unfortunately this is only the tip of the iceberg and there is worse yet to come mainly for the unemployed and those still holding out on disability

  3. Athena

    Alex Hawke needs to reacquaint himself with 1 Timothy 6:10 (the love of money is the root of all evil).

  4. Roger

    A great (?) list of underachievement! I am printing the list and displaying it in a prominent position to keep reminding me (and others) of the damage that has been caused to a lovely country. Whilst I’ll be hanging my head in shame, I need to be reminded (and to remind others) of how we have allowed this intolerable situation to occur.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Add cuts to the ABC and the installation of conservative management.

    Last night on the Drum, the four guests were a Murdoch “journalist” from the Telegraph, some advertising guy who ran campaigns for Howard, and Gerard Henderson’s wife Anne whose only contribution is arrogant certainty, and a young woman from Mamamia. The host was the guy who does ABC Factcheck and all he did was read out his list of questions. He never responds to what the guests say. When Anne Henderson said that an RC into financial institutions would cause havoc because investors would lose confidence if all their tawdry exploits were exposed, he didn’t bother suggesting that taking action might, in fact, give investors MORE confidence. When Howard’s advertising guy said he would use the spin that an RC into the banks would drive up mortgage rates, Barron didn’t question him at all – like how much will they save if the rorts are exposed, how many investors would not have lost their savings, won’t competition from other financial institutions keep mortgage rates in check – nothing.

  6. Pappinbarra Fox

    I despair, that with such a litany of malfeasance and incompetence and downright bloodymindedness that the LNP still polls so highly. What is wrong with people?

  7. gee

    I was struck by the number of foreign accents amongst the LNP. It does not surprise me they don’t give a shit about the common people.

  8. z

    it is something about party’s interest and national interest and policy priority

  9. mark

    hell on earth,love mark.

  10. billshaw2013

    Added to these actions of the current government in serving the extreme right wing ideology is bullying. Using threats of a double dissolution and budget cuts that result in unemployment and service in key areas such as the ATO are examples. The LNP Abbott/Turnbull message couldn’t be clearer. Fall in line with their agenda or be punished. Hello ABC.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Using threats has become common place. Remember Morrison getting children on Christmas Island to ring Ricky Muir to make him back TPVs. Pyne also told the universities if they did not back fee deregulation he would cut their research funding. The bullying of Gillian Triggs was shameful as was the bullying of Gillard.

  12. babyjewels10

    Frightening times. Some of these politicians should be behind bars for what they’re doing to Australia and Australians, right now.

  13. Adrianne Haddow

    I would rather live with Labor’s ‘disunity and debt’ and good government than with the LNP’s disunity and debt and fascism.

    The increasing infiltration of the LNP government by ‘Christian’ fundamentalists and their self serving, socially divisive ideology has disrupted our society and given the haters an excuse to push their loathsome insecurities and prejudices onto what was once, a fairly inclusive society ( as long as you weren’t an indigenous Australian).
    We have lost a lot in terms of social cohesion, any yob who feels threatened by difference feels it’s his/her right to bash or berate anyone who doesn’t fit in with their ‘religious’ beliefs or their limited idea of what is ‘normal’.
    Our children have been sidelined for employment in favour of the 457 visa labour force, and by the escalation of costs for university and TAFE education.
    Thanks to this bunch of ‘nose in the trough’ leaners, we no longer live in a society, but rather an economy which serves them and their financial backers.

  14. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, I couldn’t agree more, the Australia I grew up in had no hint of what was to come riots at Cronula, a siege at Martin Place, and a police employee shot in cold blood after leaving work, were certainly NOT on the cards when I was growing up. Nor did we know that 40% of corporate Australia were paying zero tax, no wonder our infrastructure is aging without replacement. We need what the USA needs, a revolution of working people.

  15. Möbius Ecko

    Alex Hawke is touted as being a future PM.

    He was knee deep in the NSW Liberals Dries removing Wets by preselection ballot rigging and intimidation, and was tied to the extreme Christian right, called the Uglies in the 70’s, led by the racist Lyenko Urbanchich with Nick Minchin being involved. So terrible was this new rising of the extreme far right in the NSW Liberals they were named the “New Uglies”.

    Alex Hawke as leader of the Young Liberals at the time became the willing foot soldier, doing a lot of their dirty work in ousting the moderates, known as the “The Group”.

    Alex Hawke is very dangerous and worse than either Abbott, who is nothing more than a mindless puppet, or Turnbull, who has turned out to be hamstrung by the Abbott puppeteers.

    I wrote some pieces on Alex Hawke and the NSW Dries in Blogacracy and Blogocrats.

    As an aside, the Liberal Party’s spiel on their history and current conception will tell you they have evolved and done away with factions, especially the Wets and Dries. Do not believe that for one second, especially for the NSW Liberals, who are still dictated to by the extreme right, the Dries. Hockey, Turnbull and others are examples of this, moderates who go against every principal they hold to bend to the will of the New Uglies.

  16. Jaquix

    Yet another achievement of the Labor Party was to steer Australia through the Global Financial Crisis – we weathered the storm better than most. You can imagine how the LNP would have dealt with it. I too have noticed The Drum has an odd mix of guests, as does QandA. Maybe they need to shake up their programs a bit, I hate hearing LNP spin being spouted (by the presenters!) as fact. I also noticed Tony Jones the other day giving the shadow Minister for Health a very hard time in an interview, yet then show fawning acceptance (uninterrupted by Tony) of spin from the other side.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Very interesting article from when Alex Hawke was Federal president of the Young Liberals in 2005…..

    WHEN Liberal MP Victor Perton learnt last month that the Young Liberals, the group of which he was once Victorian state president, had put a motion to end a long-held policy of mandatory gender equality in the party, he heard alarm bells. The bells became louder on learning that, at the same meeting, a motion was put calling on the Howard Government to send undercover agents to kidnap or kill those responsible for the Bali bombing.

    “It alerted everyone to the fact that there was a problem that many of us thought had been solved a while back. Putting a motion for entering a foreign country with assassination squads is the stuff of undergraduate pamphlets, not a serious policy-making body. And why would we take away a symbol of equality of the sexes? To me there were more important battles to fight.”

    Other Young Liberal motions put recently have included a call on Malcolm Fraser to resign his Liberal Party life membership and to condemn Liberal MP Petro Georgiou for his moderate stance on detainees.

    Mr Hawke, a leading figure on the Young Liberals’ right and tipped as a future MP, believes Mr Brogden was too liberal on issues such as republicanism, abortion, heroin injecting rooms and homosexuality, and had called for “renewal” in the party.

    The views of Mr Hawke and other ultra-conservatives are causing anger within the Young Liberal movement, especially within the moderate Victorian branch. “The motions being put are certainly not views endorsed by the greater movement,” says Andrew Higgs, a policy assembly delegate for the Victorian division of the Liberal Party. “I think the motions are absolutely disgusting and not consistent with the parliamentary policy platform. They unstitch the great work Menzies did to be inclusive of women and other important groups in the community.”

    There has always been conflict within the ranks. The difference now is that the movement is dominated by the ultra-conservative Christian right, pushing extremist values.

    “There’s always been the right, the left, dry and wets in the movement, but not this ‘We meet on Sunday and determine a moral agenda’,” said a former Young Liberal figure. “It’s causing some party members to be concerned that it’s taking on an extreme and almost irresponsible feel about it.”

    In May, national president Alex Hawke told a newspaper: “Nobody joins the Liberal Party to be left-wing. If you stand for compulsory student unionism, drug-injecting rooms and lowering the (homosexual) age of consent, you can choose the Greens, Labor or the Democrats.”

    A bitter rift is playing itself out between the moderates in the Young Liberals and the Christian right in the Australian Liberal Students Federation. Says a former senior YL figure: “It’s being driven a lot by personality fights in NSW and this weird influence of the Christian right, although I’d say it’s a bit demeaning to call it Christian, call it religious right.”

    “The last few weeks has been a reality check for them,” said one former Young Liberal figure. “You’ve got to have an exuberant group of young supporters, but you wouldn’t want the immature or opportunists to rise to the top.”


    It appears to me that the Liberal Party very much want “opportunists to rise to the top” …Tim Wilson and James Patterson immediately come to mind.

  18. cornlegend

    KL, you sure nailed this one
    good stuff

  19. Kaye Lee

    Thanks cornie but what you did for homeless kids with your donation the other day is far more important. I truly admire your active participation in making Australia a better place.

  20. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Our local MP (Ian NOT Goodenough) is one of these religious conservatives, indeed the northern suburbs of Perth have been significantly infected by such at the local, state and federal level. Of course they don’t declare their belief system to the electorate, but they know the system and how to stack the branches.

    The problem with these idiots is that they are clearly quite happy to suspend logic and facts to a “higher power”, which very handily allows all manner of hypocritical acts which can easily be rationalised as “God’s will”.

    The party system is too easily corrupted to allow this type of infiltration, and ignorant voters are largely none the wiser.

  21. Wally

    Great article Kaye.

    As well as the valid points you make with the adults in charge share prices have plummeted, the value of the Australian dollar has nose dived and our economy is all but f#$%ed. So they have not done a very good job for the business people they represent.

  22. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    It is a heartbreaking issue.
    I’ll give you a personal insight but bung it on Trishs homeless article

  23. Kaye Lee

    In March, “business confidence jumped back to its long term average” and they are hailing this as a success? One month’s figures and it doesn’t go anywhere near the confidence levels achieved by Rudd’s stimulus package in response to the GFC.


  24. kerri

    Another excellent article Kaye Lee. I too watched The Drum last night and apart from nm visceral hatred of all things Henderson noted the decidedly right wing lean on the show. John Barron is fairly useless but the ABC is now becoming noticeably unbalanced! Is there nothing these fascist b**tards will not corrupt?

  25. Marilyn

    This is heart breaking because I can longer recognise my Australia. To that long list I would add the second Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek. This proposal was dismisssed in 1999 because of severe environmental and health impacts. Yet Tony Abbott in 2014 ignored the well researched negatives and decreed it will happen. The benefits are for businesses and developers not for the people. As a resident of our magnificent World Heritage Blue Mountains I was totally dismayed to find all flight paths over the mountains at low altitudes all day and all night. This will completely destroy the peaceful serenity of the Blue Mountains and puts our World Heritage listing at risk. There is no need for a second airport especially in an area that is already suffering health impacts from air pollution.

    What really angered me was the fact that this coalition government believes it has a right to treat residents of western Sydney differently to the eastern residents. The whole process was corrupt and deliberately designed to conceal the negative impacts from the public. Many residents are still totally unaware that there will be no curfew, no cap, no noise sharing and no star system, all of which are used at Mascot. This government has deliberately misled the public and acted in a manner that promotes social injustice and environmental vandalism.

    The government has betrayed the trust of the people and the mandate they were given to act for the people and the nation. Yet they have indulged in a spate of selling our farmlands and real estate to foreign investors, signed up to a trade agreement that will have an adverse impact on our rights, failed to act to control emissions and failed to protect our environment. The results of this neglect are astounding in their arrogance.

    As human beings we all have the right to clean air, clean water and good governance. If this corruption continues in our politicians I fear for the future on behalf of my grandchildren. Do no harm is a mantra politicians would do well to adopt.

  26. Fran

    This article needs to be told to all Australians well done

  27. ImagiNation

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
    — Marcus Tullius Cicero

  28. stephentardrew

    A great read Kaye. My participation has been limited by obligations however I thoroughly enjoy your articles and completely agree. Keep up the good work AIMN much appreciated.

  29. MaryBeth Gundrum

    I voted Labor all of my life – It was the Labor Government in Queensland who sold the $80 billion of gas to China without a single EIS being done. It was Labor that made the changes to the Land Access Code that removed any remnant rights farmers or Traditional Owners had to refuse mines access to their lands. It was Labor that brought in the Statutory Regional Plans that sold our country out. The LNP changed the water act in Queensland to give mines unlimited, unmonitored access to water. I will be watching the next sitting of QLD parliament with interest to see if Labor will stand by their commitment to rescinding the changes to the Act, particularly around the make good agreements. The old argument that ‘at least Labor is better than the LNP’ doesn’t wash with this ex Labor voter. #Enough

  30. Wally

    MaryBeth Gundrum

    If you are not happy with how Labor has performed why not get involved and voice your opinion? I fail to see how voting for a party that is known to screw us over solves the problem, in my eyes I just see it creating more problems.

  31. John Lord

    Agree with your comments about Henderson on the Drum. Last Sunday night on Compass she said “If everyone would shut up ” to the other guests.

  32. paul walter

    Wally, I’d vote for Labor everytime of over the Coalition, but MaryBeth’s comment re the long term infatuation of the ALP right with neoliberalism deserves a little more considered response than the harsh one you offered. Labor people in droves (like their Lib opposites) will tell you they find branches rubber stamp for top-down policy rather than being the democratic forums they once were. And, unfortunately, even the Greens appear to be lacking when it comes to grassroots participation in some things.

  33. Wally

    paul walter

    It was not my intention to sound or be harsh, I can see how my comment can be taken that way but unfortunately often as in this case reality is harsh. In a democratic society no political party is going to please everybody but the LNP only want to please 5% of the people. Why any of the other 95% could possibly vote for them astounds me and if people seriously want change they need to put themselves in a position where they can be heard so the democratic forums that once were can be restored.

    What people fail to see at times is the need for Labor to adopy policies that pamper the wants of the fence sitters so they can get elected to form a government in their own right. When people who are Labor voters vote for the LNP because they didn’t get everything they desired from a previous Labor government it becomes even harder to oust the LNP. Yes it does come down to voting for the better of 2 evils but it is not the Labor parties fault that they cannot please everybody who votes for them.

  34. Athena

    Wally, Mary Beth didn’t say she intended to vote for the LNP. She just said she wasn’t voting for the ALP.

  35. Wally


    Of 30 seats in Queensland there is only 1 seat (Kennedy) not held by the major parties.

    Not voting for Labor (putting them last on the ballot paper) is 29 to 1 to become a vote for the coalition when preferences are allocated.

  36. Maree

    Oh thank you from the bottom of my heart for articulating this I have saved it for next time I need to explain to someone the bare truths , the facts when all they see is the spin thank you

  37. wam

    it was patently obvious that the rabbott was lying and not ready to govern. But the voters don’t care.
    It is equally obvious that the coalition are winning the union argument by disingenuous posturing so the voters need a stimulus.
    The labor waverers need the support of slogans to minimise the marybeths leaking to the loonies.
    My facebook is full of the ‘my dad will be turning over in his grave at the 91 billion we pay to the 7million dole bludgers. silly comments like “Labor can’t do nothing because of the unions so only the libs can clean these people out”.
    ‘ the figures attributed to a today tonight story.” and it is unbelievable but
    I am watching Today Tonight where they quoted 7 million Australians were receiving 90 Billion dollars from Centre Link in welfare payments- What a bloody absolute disgrace- Gee i am glad my Mum and Dad are not hearing this crap- They brought up 5 kids with not one cent from welfare and we all grew up well and all went on to actually work for a living. No poor bugger me approach for us – it was drilled into us to accept responsibility and work hard and benefits would follow and how right they were- i believe in a social responsibility for the mentally ill, aged pensioners, disabled people/ carers but not for all the bludgers who know how to take advantage of all well meaning projects- i will be asking all pollies their thoughts when they come door knocking in State/Fed elections shortly- i know u do get smarter as u get older and that is exactly the way it bloody should be – answers like
    Don’t forget the single mothers who claim Centrelink & live with baby daddy who works.

  38. Athena

    “Not voting for Labor (putting them last on the ballot paper) is 29 to 1 to become a vote for the coalition when preferences are allocated.”

    @Wally – You might want to look at ALP preferencing in recent elections then, because if you’re going to apply that logic, then a vote for the ALP can also be deemed to be a vote for the coalition.

  39. Athena

    “I am watching Today Tonight where they quoted 7 million Australians were receiving 90 Billion dollars from Centre Link in welfare payments- What a bloody absolute disgrace- Gee i am glad my Mum and Dad are not hearing this crap- They brought up 5 kids with not one cent from welfare and we all grew up well and all went on to actually work for a living. ”

    Presumably wam is referring to this story, since the figures roughly correspond:

    Don’t look now wam, but a sizeable number of recipients are the elderly. Are you suggesting we send them out to work?

    “There are 2.4 million claiming the aged pension and 3.9 million with a pension concession card.”

  40. Kaye Lee

    No party is innocent in the preferencing deals. Sarah Hanson-Young put the Palmer United Party and Katter’s Australian Party ahead of Labor and other micros ahead of Nick Xenophon’s No. 2 candidate Stirling Griff. She was elected on PUP and Labor preferences but her preferences went on to elect Family First’s Bob Day instead of Griff.

  41. Möbius Ecko

    I believe Bob Day’s constitutional challenge to the government’s changes to the voting system are being taken to the High Court today. If the Court rules there is a legitimate challenge then the most likely date for the hearing will be May sometime.

  42. Michael Taylor

    Gosh, 2.4 million on the Age Pension. Bloody leaners, the lot of them.

    *****sarcasm alert*****

  43. Kaye Lee

    Yes ME. “Chief justice Robert French set the matter down for a further directions hearing in Canberra on April 15.”

  44. Michael Taylor

    When his challenge was first announced, most people said he had a good chance. After a couple of weeks people were saying 50/50. But lately people have been saying it’s unlikely to succeed.

    I guess we’ll know in good time.

  45. Kaye Lee

    “unlike most other developed countries, Australia does not levy social security contributions.

    “In OECD countries, social security contributions on average comprise one quarter of total taxation, but make up over 40 per cent of total taxation in some countries (such as Japan and the Netherlands).”

    The OECD regards compulsory social security contributions paid to “institutions of general government” as tax revenues.

    They include payments towards unemployment benefits, accident, injury and sickness benefits, old-age and disability pensions and the OECD publication notes that contributions can be levied on both employees and employers.”

    Perhaps we should scrap the 2% medicare levy and impose a 5% health and welfare levy. But until we stop letting corporations shift money around to avoid paying their share, no reform will do enough.

  46. Möbius Ecko

    Talking of shifting money around, Hockeynomics is back, if it ever left this government.

    If I understood Morrison and later on Cormann correctly they are going to adjust revenue, which by some accounting miracle is not increasing or adding taxes. Then they’re going to offset that tax increaserevenue adjustment with tax cuts elsewhere in the budget. This is to do with tax unlike revenue adjustments, and with the vast amounts of money left over between revenue adjustment and tax cut offsets for the revenue adjustments they will pay down the deficit.

    I kid you not.

    I want to see the miracle of loaves and fishes from increased taxes offset with tax cuts producing a budget surplus.

    They really have painted themselves into a corner that I don’t think their upcoming budget will extricate them from.

  47. Möbius Ecko

    The High Court has agreed to hold a hearing into validity of Senate voting reforms on May 2-3.

  48. Michael Taylor

    That’s good news, Mobius.

  49. Möbius Ecko

    I’m betwixt on this one. (Jeez, there’s an archaic term for you. Just popped into my head.)

    If you actually nutted down the legislation there’s some good and necessary reform in it, but as usual the way the Libs have gone about it it’s a (deliberate?) dogs breakfast that will also screw legitimate and beneficial candidates, to the benefit of the Liberals of course with some spillover benefit to Labor, which is why they’re not fully opposing it.

    Where it’s good is that it will stymie micro parties that get there on such a small percentage of the vote as to be undeserving of the seat. Where it fails is that major party members with an equally tiny percentage of the vote and just as undeserving of a seat will get one.

  50. bossa

    Somehow you left out that they gutted the CSIRO and used the money for advertising their “innovation nation” bullshit. Not to mention the millions they removed from Indigenous Services and the ridiculous amounts spent on the School Chaplains Program ($250million) and the Training of Priests ($800million FFS!).

    They are a bunch of lunatics hell bent on bending reality to fit their fantasy.

  51. jim

    Another thunder clap of a post, Kaye Lee.”The two greatest forces for good? in human history? are capitalism? and Christianity?, and when they’re blended it’s a very powerful duo.” ….and dare I say Media………. Murdoch Media all work for the “their”common good …greed is good……it’s the trickle down effect the more crumbs the rich and powerful leave on their table the fairer it will be right!….. and quite right nothing will change untill the corporations pay their ‘FAIR’? share of tax…..just like everyone else does.

  52. Arthur Graves

    This is Kevin Rudd’s legacy. He must be very pleased with himself.

  53. johnlward010

    Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican to be President also had plenty to say about corporations…
    “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”
    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”
    Unfortunately, Lincoln’s suspicions were anything but groundless. They were in fact, prophetic. After the Civil War, corporations began aligning themselves with Republican politicians, who proved themselves to be up to the task of helping corporations gain more power. Corporations had free reign and total power over its workforce and could sell virtually anything they wanted even if the product was a bad one. Corporations treated workers like slaves. Wages were extremely low. Workers received no benefits, no vacation days, no health insurance, no workers compensation. President Grover Cleveland witnessed how corporations treated its labour force and had this to say in 1888,
    “As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear, or is trampled beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.”

    Thomas Jefferson wrote, “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
    Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith.

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