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Now Let’s Be Quite Clear, It’s Not That Houses Are Unaffordable, It’s Just That You’re Too Poor, Say Hockey!

“Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.”
Steven Sondheim

A week or so ago, people were told that they shouldn’t be too fussy with Scott Morrison echoing Tony Abbott’s remarks of a year ago. Apparently, you shouldn’t hold out for your “dream job” and you should take anything that’s available.

After all, 457 Visa Holders have no trouble getting work. That’s because they’re not fussy. They’re prepared to travel. Some of them are even prepared to work in areas unrelated to the job that they were brought to Australia to fill. They may have been brought to Australia as an engineer, but they’re more than happy to work as a cleaner.

And when our Prime Minister was asked about housing affordability and the potential housing bubble, his response was to tell us how wonderful it was that his house was rising in price.

Some people were concerned that this seemed a little uncaring for those first home buyers who were yet to break into the housing market, but they failed to see the obvious. It was left to that financial genius Joe Hockey to explain it.

Joe who – as those of you who follow politics will already know – has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter. As he said, rising petrol prices don’t worry poor people, because they don’t drive.

The problem isn’t that houses are too expensive, it’s that you don’t earn enough. To quote the master directly:

“The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money,” says Joe.

So far, so good, but then he advised something that shocked me. Apparently, then you’ve got security and you can go to the bank and borrow money, because it’s more affordable than even to borrow…

Yep, that’s what he said: “Then you can go to the bank and you can borrow money.”



I’d be sentencing my grandchildren to intergenerational debt by borrowing to buy in Sydney. Have you forgotten your warnings about putting things on the credit card, Mr Hockey.

“Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want –
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don’t bother, they’re here.”

Although I suppose it is different when I borrow money to when the government borrows money. After all when the government borrows money I have to pay it back through taxes, so I’d rather we didn’t have world class health and education systems. As for an NBN which is just used to watch movies and play games…

Nah, much better when I borrow, because I don’t have to pay it back through taxes. I just have to pay it back through interest rates. Which as Joe says are terribly low.

At the moment, but isn’t there a chance they’ll rise?

Not with us in charge, assures Mr Hockey.

But still, I can’t help but think that I have better advice than Mr Hockey. If I were telling first home buyers what to do, I wouldn’t suggest to them that they get a job that pays more. I’d suggest that they borrow a large amount of money – say a billion dollars – and place it in shares that double in value over the next two weeks. Then sell them. Even after paying back the loan, and paying those nasty capital gains taxes, you’d still have nearly enough left to buy a two bedroom house in Sydney.

Because there is no bubble!

Or else, I’d suggest that they marry a rich woman, get elected to Parliament and claim a living away from home allowance while staying at the house she owns in Canberra…

Still I should be careful contradicting Joe Hockey. Apart from not being for sale (although the jury’s still out on whether he rents his brain space to an idiot a few times a months), he’s a master of careful skilled rhetoric. Why just last week, when talking about the growth in our GDP, he cut his critics down to size:

“These numbers have proven that there are some clowns out there that are talking about recession and dark clouds on the horizon. They have been proven to be looking foolish, those people, and we should be focusing on what is before us which is raw data that says the Australian economy is in the last quarter, one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world. How good is that?”

It’s hard to argue will skilled repartee like that.

“Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year.”


* * *


“Tony and Joe, there’s been a request for this song and it’s dedicated to you. We sure hope you get it together. Love The Front Bench”


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  1. Thomas Brookes

    Quick, send in the clowns.
    Don’t bother, they’re here.”

    and they all wear blue ties, except for the token female who used to defend Asbestos companies……

  2. David Bruce

    Beautiful! And they will say, “we had no idea it was coming”, same as in 2008?

  3. Anthony Shorter

    It helps if you had a free education (no HECS to repay), a rich wife and Daddy and a 6 figure parliamentary salary.

  4. Stephen

    Jolly Joe Shonky. You keep thinking this is as stupid as it can get and yet he manages to plumb new depths.
    I’m waiting to see him selling miracle weight loss electric equipment on late night TV.

    It’s like watching a slow motion car crash you want to turn away but it keeps drawing you back
    embarrassed and ashamed to be watching, this but unable to stop.

  5. Clean livin

    Nothing More Scary Than a Clown!

    By Elton Camp

    The audience cheers when clowns appear
    However, to some, they’re Nothing More Scary Than a Clown!

    By Elton Camp

    The audience cheers when clowns appear
    However, to some, they’re objects of fear

    Behind that make-up, who knows what lies
    Look at those piercing, threatening eyes

    Beneath what seems a benevolent disguise
    Perhaps is concealed a menacing surprise

    People, clowns may have come to hate
    For a chance to maim and slay they wait

    If a balloon they seem to come to give,
    The person may not have long to live

    you’d better say

  6. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I wouldn’t care about the slow motion car crash that ole Hokey Pokey is heading for due to his stupidity and glutinous abuse of his entitlements –

    – except his incompetency is taking us Australian voters with him until we can break the degenerate LNP stranglehold.

  7. chopper

    I would not have thought it possible that a fool like Hockey could be treasurer of anything – much less the country. He is a first order moron with no idea what he is doing. This lot has to go.

  8. mars08

    I can’t believe there are still those who try to defend this buffoon!

  9. Owen

    Alas I Fear even when rid of this lot it will take years to clean up!

  10. Kaye Lee

    The Hockey family’s astute purchase of the property in one of Canberra’s premier suburbs is a well-known story in political circles. The home is worth an estimated $1.5 million according to local real estate agents. But the Hockey clan picked up the property for a song, purchasing it for just $320,000 in 1997.

    In his recently published biography Not Your Average Joe, a former Liberal MP Ross Cameron boasts that Mr Hockey struck a golden deal, spotting the house when driving in Canberra.

    “The house was a piece of Hockey mercantile genius,’’ Mr Cameron said.

    Biographer Madonna King writes that the seller, who according to ACT lands title records was called Robert Hamilton wanted “no part in lawyers or agents.’

    “So Joe, the lawyer, called his father, the real estate agent, who took the owner out for a beer,’’ Ms King writes.

    “The Hockey’s scored the house for land value. Joe’s father didn’t mention he was a real estate agent, buying the property on behalf of his lawyer son.’’

    When it was purchased in 1997, Mr Hockey was listed on sales documents as owning 5 per cent, his wife Melissa Babbage 61 per cent and his father Richard Hockey 34 per cent.

    A group of Liberal MPs including Mr Cameron, Bob Baldwin and Defence Minister Brendan Nelson then moved and paid rent to stay at the property. Dr Nelson famously lived in the shed after his marriage broke up in return for paying half rent. Now employed by the Australian War Memorial Dr Nelson sometimes still stays at the property.

    Because of the rules, many MPs purchase property in Canberra to provide a base during parliamentary sittings and use their travel allowance to pay off their mortgage.

    The double dipping of MPs who claim travel allowance to stay in properties owned by themselves or their wives and in some cases reduce their tax by negatively gearing property is well-known in Canberra.

    Double dipping….hmmmm…wasn’t that recently described as a rort and fraud?

  11. Kaye Lee

    In 2007, when the Howard government lost power and he was relegated to an opposition backbencher’s salary – an income cut of about 40 per cent – Abbott was forced to take out a $700,000 mortgage on his northern beaches home.

    Mr Abbott made it perfectly clear it was a situation to his disliking.

    “What’s it called? Mortgage stress? The advent of the Rudd Government has caused serious mortgage stress for a section of the Australian community, i.e. former Howard government ministers,” he said at the time.

    “You don’t just lose power … you certainly lose income as well, and if you are reliant on your parliamentary salary for your daily living, obviously it makes a big difference.”

    Furthermore, in 2008, when Kevin Rudd announced a salary freeze for all politicians, Mr Abbott was, as were MPs on both sides of the political divide, a tad unhappy with the arrangements.

    The pay freeze, he said, was “all very well for politicians who have other sources of income or who have very high income from their spouses”.

  12. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Kaye, the way you describe Hokey and family’s procedure in securing this very valuable property, smells of corruption.

    First, Dad Richard: I would have thought he contravened his real estate agent’s license by buying the property without disclosing his real estate agent’s status and by doing so on behalf of himself and his family.

    Second, Hokey’s involvement was substantial but misrepresented according to the sales documents which again points to ole Dad Richard for being a naughty boy.

    If any lawyers have the energy and the will to take Steptoe and Son aka Richard and Joe Hockey for alleged misrepresentation to the vendor and alleged wrongful acquisition of Canberra property, then I congratulate you for bringing them to account.

    Then when their alleged illegitimacy and alleged fraudulent conduct is exposed, the case of the alleged misappropriation of taxpayer dollars to stay in premises thought to legitimately belong to their family, can be resolved.

    I anticipate the Australian taxpayer can expect significant repayment of tax payer $$ for possible misappropriation of expenses. I don’t think Jovial Joe will be so jovial then.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I agree the method of acquisition of the property was very questionable, but the practice of having we taxpayers pay off a mortgage on a second house for politicians is commonplace.

    More than a dozen Labor MPs own property in Canberra where they stay during parliamentary sitting weeks and also claim travel allowance.

    These MPs include Anthony Albanese, Warren Snowden, Tanya Plibersek, Joel Fitzgibbon, Jim Chalmers, Mark Butler, Tony Burke and Doug Cameron.

    Mark Butler has an apartment in Kingston.

    Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd also owned property in Canberra before they retired from politics.

  14. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If it is commonplace and therefore not in the interests of a number of pollies in either major parties to pursue, the possible revelation that Hokey and family allegedly used fraudulent practices to acquire their very valuable property, should be investigated.

    There is NO statute of limitations on fraudulent crimes, so Joe and Dad are still potentially ripe for the picking.

  15. paul walter

    Marvellous song, that!

  16. Andreas Bimba

    Not easy at the top with mortgage stress, boarding in friends houses and Ministers living in sheds. An apple tastes the same for a poor man or a rich man as well.

    The job of ‘fixing’ the economy so that Liberals can live like idle royalty has clearly not yet been finished. Vote Liberal!

  17. Anomander

    Owen, I fear the damage to our society, our environment, our economy and our reputation will never be repaired.

  18. stephentardrew

    They just aren’t the funny types and what is more they perform in the most expensive tent on the planet.

    Farce and tragedy rolled into one.

    I think they are looking more like Hamlet’s dear incestuous Mother rather than clowns.

    It really ain’t funny anymore.

    A horrific tragedy of gormless cretins.

    Maybe Abbott and Hockey do alternate weekly brain swaps because the results are equally vacuous.

    Nice to indulge in a bit of positive thinking.

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If any clever lawyers want to take on Joe and Dad for misrepresentative and fraudulent conduct, I will nominate myself as a plaintiff for my standing as a member of the public. Any takers?

  20. mars08

    For arguments sakes… lets imagine that ¾ of those wanting to buy their first home (for Joe… that’s around 75%) went to to better jobs and DOUBLED their incomes… What do you suppose would happen to the price of real estate?

  21. stephentardrew

    Now Mars08 here you are with that logic thingy again.

    Don’t you ever learn Mr Eleventy has special calculator (fixed by treasury) to instantly give him all the answers he wants.

    Piffle to your reasoned facts when he can have his rigged devious lying opinions.

  22. mars08

    @stephentardrew… frightfully unfashionable of me, I know….

  23. kerri

    Don’t bother they’re here!

  24. Michael

    Just wondering if Hockey’s wife allows him to do the house hold budget……..

  25. philgorman2014

    Creepy clowns – the coming thing.

  26. Florence nee Fedup

    All arrogant out of touch government reach this point. telling us in one way or another, we have never had it so good. As all similar governments, they spend millions of our money, telling us how clever they are. Telling us daily, with their self serving spin, that black is white.

    Mr Hockey, worry not, the clowns are at the top, not down here at the bottom among us.

    Mr Hockey, what I find disturbing, the clowns are not funny, they are scary.

    Mr Abbott, many that think are scared, scared stiff. Mr Abbott is terrorism from abroad that we fear, but the lost of rule of law and our democracy,

    Mr Hockey, Mr Abbott your lies and spin is becoming a little tedious and annoying.

  27. iggy648

    Interest rates will always be lower under the Liberal party. Wait, they’re lower under Labor? Well that’s not because we’re doing well. It’s because we desperately need to stimulate the economy. Wait,they’re lower still under the Liberals? That’s good news! Makes it easier to get a house! Candidate for world hypocrisy championships (the Hippos)?

  28. mars08

    Infowars? Alex Jones? Oh Good Grief!

  29. mars08

    I don’t care what any article on Infowars “confirms”… one way or the other.

  30. darrel nay

    reply for mars08,
    The lack of care you express is typical and is symptomatic of the problem we are facing as a people. I, for one, would prefer to hear about what you do care about.


  31. mars08

    I thought this was supposed to be Freemason week?

  32. darrel nay

    reply for mars08,
    Is sarcasm a true reflection of your humanity and superior wit?

    play nice!

  33. Denis Hay

    I just love it when our politicians get on TV and tell us to get a good secure job so that you can buy a house, etc.

    The interviewers should make them identify where all these good secure jobs are. Politicians hardly ever get challenged to back up what they say with facts.

    For the last 30 years or so there has been a strong move away from permanent, secure jobs to mostly part-time, casual jobs with no security at all.

    Every day our society is becoming mostly a nation of have-nots with only the top few percent of the population who are benefiting from this neocon approach to economic rationalism.

    As far as I am concerned, this trickle-down theory from the rich to the poor is the biggest, poor taste joke of the century. In reality, it is the opposite, trickle-up from the poor and middle class to the rich.

    I think it is obscene to say that workers on 457 visas will work anywhere, in any job. The truth is that many of these workers are being grossly ripped off by their employers through under pay and third world work conditions. Is this what Australian workers should be prepared to do, be ripped off and not complain about it?

    It would be a refreshing change to see our political system focus on what is in the long-term best interest of people rather than only profit, no matter what the human and environmental cost.

  34. darrel nay

    Nice work Denis Hay,
    Aren’t these 457 visas legalised human trafficking?
    I read that the G7 junket in Germany cost taxpayers 130 million dollars when they could have had a Skype conference for a fraction of the price – imagine what that money could have been used for. How does Obama reconcile their support of global warming with this massive carbon footprint.


  35. Kaye Lee

    Mr Hockey pointed to the repeal of the carbon tax as one way the Abbott government was helping deal with the housing affordability crisis.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declared the repeal of the carbon tax as his biggest contribution for women in 2014.

    Repealing the carbon tax and the Clean Energy Package will reduce the cost of living, boost Australia’s economic growth, increase jobs and enhance Australia’s international competitiveness.

    …..or not.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Besides the fact that it was a reprehensible and regressive step to repeal the Carbon Price at the expense of our environment and health, I can’t see any new jobs having been created or increased, or Australia’s international competitiveness being enhanced.

    We’ve been sold out by Hockey and Abbott. We need to win back our sovereignty.

  37. Florence nee Fedup

    Thee is one thing we hear little of from this mob. We no longer hear of the need for flexible workforce.

    Maybe with imported labour and disappearance of job security, they have reached that goal.

  38. Florence nee Fedup

    Could the casualization of the jobs in quest for a more flexible workforce be preventing people from buying their own homes. Just a thought. Being a public servant no longer offers one job security.

  39. Denis Hay


    Who are we going to win back our sovereignty from? It seems to me that both of the major parties support the Neocons approach in varying degrees. It seems to me that both NLP and Labor are happy to support taking away our rights and freedoms by creating grossly exaggerated fear. Here are a couple of links that sound familiar to what is happening here in Australia. and

  40. Florence nee Fedup

    Denis, we keep voting them out until they get the message,

  41. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    while I’ve watched the shorter youtube link and will attempt to watch the longer one later, I agree with FnF. We inform ourselves like you are citing and we use our votes and our voices over and over again, so that the degenerate LNP losers and beige, timid Labor get the message.

    We also look at the alternative parties that will tip the balance away from LNP and ALP. That’s why the Greens, the upcoming progressive parties such as Australian Progressives and independent voices such as Lambie and Muir (despite their rough edges), Xenophon and Wilkie etc are so important to nourish and promote.

    We don’t give up.

  42. darrel nay

    reply for Florence nee Fedup,
    I agree with you. Also, the banks and speculators are pouring money into residential real estate and artificially inflating the property bubble.

    I am urging people to research Cloward and Piven , two American academics who developed a plan in the 60’s to ‘casualise’ the workforce and to shut down industrial productive capacity in order to force more people into dependency and welfare and to create a welfare state designed to eventually buckle – a crisis which they argued could be used to usher in an authoritative socialist government.

    On a slightly different tack, I always find it a little offensive that the government puts thousands of public servants in new cars when so many Australians can’t afford vehicles at all (many of these public servants already own vehicles – talk about excess capacity). It seems to many of us that the government has come to see itself as a privileged class.


  43. Awabakal

    This is Joe Hockey’s cantata to the working Australians, I have renamed it “Get a good job and be real rich” with thanks to Frank Zappa, I will even include the lyrics so that one can sing along.

    Be Aware, the following lyrics are not for the faint-hearted:

    Hey there, people, I’m Bobby Brown
    They say I’m the cutest boy in town
    My car is fast, my teeth is shiney
    I tell all the girls they can kiss my heinie
    Here I am at a famous school
    I’m dressin’ sharp ‘n’ I’m actin’ cool
    I got a cheerleader here wants to help with my paper
    Let her do all the work ‘n’ maybe later I’ll rape her

    Oh God I am the American dream
    I do not think I’m too extreme
    An’ I’m a handsome son of a bitch
    I’m gonna get a good job ‘n’ be real rich

    (Get a good
    Get a good
    Get a good
    Get a good job)

    Women’s Liberation
    Came creepin’ across the nation
    I tell you people I was not ready
    When I f**** this d**e by the name of Freddie
    She made a little speech then,
    Aw, she tried to make me say “when”
    She had my b**** in a vise, but she left the d***
    I guess it’s still hooked on, but now it shoots too quick

    Oh God I am the American dream
    But now I smell like Vaseline
    An’ I’m a miserable son of a bitch
    Am I a boy or a lady, I don’t know which

    (I wonder wonder
    Wonder wonder)

    So I went out ‘n’ bought me a leisure suit
    I jingle my change, but I’m still kinda cute
    Got a job doin’ radio promo
    An’ none of the jocks can even tell I’m a homo
    Eventually me ‘n’ a friend
    Sorta drifted along into S&M
    I can take about an hour on the tower of power
    ‘Long as I gets a little golden shower

    Oh God I am the American dream
    With a spindle up my b*** till it makes me scream
    An’ I’ll do anything to get ahead
    I lay awake nights sayin’, “Thank you, Fred!”
    Oh God, oh God, I’m so fantastic!
    Thanks to Freddie, I’m a sexual spastic
    And my name is Bobby Brown
    Watch me now, I’m goin down,
    And my name is Bobby Brown
    Watch me now, I’m goin down

  44. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    DanDark @5.09 pm,

    ole Joe might think he’s clever for having the majority of the properties put in his wife’s name, but I would argue that he has vested interests in all of them and if those interests aren’t listed on his pecuniary interests list, then he could be pursued for breaking parliamentary rules.

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and Joe’s fire should not be too hard to smell considering his preference for expensive cigars.

  45. DanDark

    Jennifer Joe is not clever he is arrogant, ignorant and talks a lot of shit basically he has got that down to a fine art, but that’s it,
    His wife used to work for the Deutsche bank before the GFC
    and I read in an article according to smoking Joe Ms babbage predicted the GFC,
    which he thought was real clever of her to predict such a thing and were able to sell property off before the crunch
    Well geeezuz knock me over with a feather, it was the banks that caused the GFC mostly

    Maybe she is hoping history will repeat itself and that’s why the quick selling off of THEIR properties
    Interesting stuff when you put it together …..

  46. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes, I’ve read the same about them. Seems to me that too much about both of them is fishy and worth an investigation if the right people with position took the initiative.

  47. DanDark

    Yes Jennifer, it has a stench, they remind me of Bonny and Clyde
    but who will investigate this ………the police …….. I don’t think so, they are to busy looking like the military these days, I wonder how much it cost us tax payers to out fit them all in new dark blue uniforms only because it makes them look 10% tougher, they got the idea from the NYPD( we are being americanised in many ways, even the look of our cops) it would of cost a fortune,
    their were rooms full of old uniforms discarded, and I mean rooms of them just in one large regional cop shop,
    they had a try on day, it was all very exciting for them….soooooo I doubt our cops will do FA because the LNP look after them 🙂
    I overheard many convos between cops degrading Julia Gillard and Labor around their tea room table whilst cleaning their floor etc etc etc
    if you never hear from me again ya know why,,, they got me 🙂

  48. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes Hockey’s wife did predict GFC. She went further than that. She wanted to sell off everything including the family home. Yes, Hockey proudly told all and sundry, that he managed to save family home. Doing same today it seems.

    Part farm sold, with more on the market. Might pay to keep eye on other residence in the city and south coast.

  49. Florence nee Fedup

    What interest me more about Canberra mansion, whether it is negative geared or not?

  50. Florence nee Fedup

    Which daughter has just bought a house? Fair game as Abbott raised the issue. Where did she buy? Did she buy alone? Did dad help? Money or against his own deeds.

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