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#OneTermTony – back to basics

As the dust settles on Tony Abbott’s election victory, I can’t help but feel extremely optimistic about this country’s future. That might sound like an odd thing to say, having blogged for three years about the nightmare prospect of an Abbott government.

Don’t get me wrong, I know as well as anybody that we’re in for some very scary policy shifts in the next three years. However, since Abbott, thankfully, doesn’t control the Senate, and Rupert Murdoch doesn’t control the Senate and Gina Rinehart doesn’t control the Senate, all the money in the world isn’t going to help any of these three people to strip back the progressive reforms that were successfully implemented by the Gillard/Rudd government, should the Senate majority choose not to support these changes.

Abbott is going to have to sell his new policies and Labor policy rollbacks to small independent parties who owe him nothing. He’s promised not to negotiate with independents and minor parties to win power.

But what point is there being in power if he can’t get anything done? He’s promised every angry bogan in Australia that he’s going to ‘axe the Carbon Tax’, and presumably, they expect him to now axe the Emissions Trading Scheme.

He’s promised every angry bogan and Gina Rinehart that he will axe the Mining Tax, but will he be able to do this without a majority in the Senate? So I hope Abbott’s feeling pretty impotent right now. And worried.

Come the next election, not even hot daughters and a Murdoch media campaign can hide the fact that the angry bogans haven’t been given what they’ve been promised.

But Abbott’s impotence isn’t the only reason for my optimism. I also think an Abbott government is going to give the Labor party, and all progressive voters, a golden opportunity to go back to basics, and to question what exactly it is that we want from a progressive government and how we can bring about change without hitting the same hurdles which have damaged progressive reform in the last decade.

Here are the lessons we need to learn to get things back on track in time to comprehensively beat Abbott in 2016. Bring on the One Term Tony campaign!

Labor’s relationship with unions

The issue of industrial relations was practically absent from this year’s election, even though Abbott’s front bench will essentially mimic John Howard’s front bench, the creators of Work Choices. There is no doubt that Abbott, or his backers at least, have an industrial relations policy in the works, ready to spring on unsuspecting voters who seem completely comfortable voting for a party who refuse to tell them what they plan to do in government.

But my question for progressive voters is this – should we wait until Abbott threatens worker’s rights to rise up and fight like we did in 2007, or should we be shoring up worker’s rights constantly, with a Labor Party that works in alliance with the Labour Movement through strong, fair, effective unions?

The problem with a strong, successful union movement is that unions have become the victims of their own success. Workers no longer acknowledge they need union support, until the moment they need union support.

Union membership is at an all-time low, especially amongst a younger generation of voters who have benefited from and lived complacently with union negotiated rights from the very start of their working lives.

I think it’s time progressive voters start to have a frank discussion about the role of unions in Australia, the benefit of unions, the relationship between the Labour Movement and the Labor Party, and the importance of unions working with the Labor Party. I think we should talk about the role of unions in the executive branch of the party – is it possible for them to have a fair influence without controlling everything? This sounds like a huge can of worms, but what better time to open it than now?

Uniting to get what we want

Long time readers of my blog will have noticed my frustration throughout this election campaign with the failure of progressive Green voters to unite with Labor voters to defeat Abbott with a unified front. Many will no doubt argue that Labor had no intention of unifying with Greens either, which may be so. But when Greens are actively campaigning against Labor, it does make the prospect of a united front a little hard to envisage.

When I say that progressive voters need to go back to basics, I think it’s really important that Greens voters and Labor voters start to realise that we’re not each other’s enemy and that we should be able to work together to bring about progressive reform, to the benefit of all of us.

For instance, using the policy of the Mining Tax as an example, it would be helpful if Greens supporters could at least acknowledge that Labor was forced to engage in a huge battle with rich mining companies over this policy.

In a perfect world, Labor would have preferred a mining tax that more resembled the one outlined in the Henry Review, however progressive reform is not implemented by flicking a switch.

You can’t just say ‘here it is’ and expect the policy to succeed. So when the Greens base their entire policy platform and costings on the assumption that if they were in power, they would instantly be able to introduce a much higher rate of tax for mining companies, it does make Labor supporters a little wary of these ‘perfect world’ scenarios, which would, from Labor’s experience, not be possible without a huge fight by some of the most powerful, influential industries in the country.

Whether it’s right or not that mining companies influence policies affecting them, it’s reality. Labor has to work within this reality. And so would Greens if they ever had a chance.

It should be obvious, but it obviously needs to be said, that it would be much more productive for all progressive voters to fight on the same side. It would be much more productive for us all if the Greens didn’t spend their entire lives bagging Labor as ‘not being left-wing enough’, while also ignoring the political reality of the battle required to pass progressive policy. Rather than the Greens leaving all the battles to Labor, I think we all need to go back to basics, and battle this out together. We need to acknowledge who the real enemy is, which is anything getting in the way of progressive policy, surely?

I acknowledge that there will always be times where Greens don’t agree with Labor about various policies. But if a Green is judging Labor against an unobtainable utopian outcome which would never be possible in Australia’s political reality, I don’t think Greens are either being fair to Labor, or helpful in furthering progressive reform. I think Greens need to grow up and learn that some progress is better than no progress, whether a policy is perfect or not. We all also need to learn that the only way we’ll get anywhere is fighting for progressive reform together. If that means Greens have to compromise and negotiate, they have three years to work out how to do this.

Communicating the right message

The mainstream media’s political reportage has been in a downward spiral from low quality, low integrity, to downright unethical and immoral in the last few years. Following Murdoch’s lead, it now appears to be completely acceptable for political journalists from a range of media organisations to be completely devoid of the ability to be balanced, fair, and objective in their scrutiny of the political choices faced by voters.

Abbott not only had a free pass throughout the entire election campaign by avoiding examination altogether, he was also able to get away with hiding his costings and policy details from voters until the very last days of election. Even when they were released, they were barely reported.

This isn’t just disappointing. This is a travesty and a huge embarrassment for Australia’s mainstream media. For Murdoch to gloat on Twitter after Abbott’s victory speech that other countries will follow Australia’s lead in moving to the right, just shows what a scary, megalomaniac, wannabe dictator we have controlling the vast majority of newspapers in Australia. Progressive voters should be incredibly concerned about this situation.

So what do we do? The first thing we should acknowledge is that angry bogans who have delivered Abbott his victory are not reading this blog post. They are much more likely to be Daily Telegraph readers than they are Twitter users. So how do we reach them? Labor needs to improve their communication skills. This means the communication carried out centrally by the party, and the communication skills of the individuals within the party. Labor members know exactly what the ALP stands for, but do angry bogans?

Since we know swing voters are not going to learn anything good about Labor by reading the newspaper or watching the nightly news, we need to find ways to communicate without relying on the mainstream media. When Labor has a chance to communicate with voters, whether it be individual MPs in interviews or via political advertising, Labor’s message needs to be strong and clear. And all the leadership infighting has to end right now. The party needs to go back to basics and remind voters why they need and rely on progressive reform to improve their lives. If Labor has learnt anything from the last 6 years it is that the electorate won’t automatically give them credit for popular policies – they need to learn how to sell these policies to get the political success they deserve for their hard work.

Progressive voters need to go back to basics to beat Abbott in 2016. I think we can do it. Who is up for the challenge?


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  1. oscar

    Agree and the big problem is getting the message across which probably means a real grass roots effort. TV networks, the increasingly woeful and tragic Fairfax (honorable exception : Ross Gittins the only one who seems to examine any policy in depth) should be treated as they are- the enemy. But one to butter up and use.

  2. hemingway13

    This is your most cogent and lucid commentary that I’ve read, which is saying a great deal given how insightful all your previous writings have been.

    I concur with the soundness of your reasoning and every salient point you made in support of your conclusions.

    Most especially, you are spot-on about the absolute necessity for all our progressive parties to cease any self-destructive infighting.

    Never lose sight of the fact that our real enemies are the powerful forces of ultra-conservative politics, along with 90% of the mainstream media who either fund and shamelessly propagandise for them or who gormlessly serve them as “enablers”, such as the ABC News and the Guardian online news have done.

  3. richo

    A great read Victoria and excellent points made.

    I left my polling booth yesterday returned home and brought up the ALP website and filled in the membership form.

    I will probably never agree 100% with the complete policy mix but I am in absolute agreement regarding the need to make some progress rather than no progress.

    I have a question regarding the NBN and I wonder if any reader’s can answer it. Will the coalition need to pass legislation to halt it or are they free to just trash it?

    I am comitting to the battle of progressive, compassionate, and forward thinking policy that works to the benefit of all: workers and employers together. Together we can do better.

    As the saying goes a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  4. rossleighbrisbane

    Given the size of his majority and the likelihood of a double dissolution, he seems likely to get a second term even if it doesn’t last much more than three years. Two Term Tony has an alliterative quality that’ll rattle him. But hey, as I said in my blog, I’m optimistic.

  5. rossleighbrisbane

    My blog for anyone who want to know.

  6. dave the brickie

    Leigh Sales was a bit pissed that she didn’t get the election gig, hosted by Kerry O’brien but at least she has managed to get a pretty new white dress and pearls.Not as good as Lyndal Curtis’ makeover.Seems to me, they still think they are sooo important.

  7. dave the brickie

    Study carefully the article in Independent Australia on the art of assassination and see how this can be used against T.A and R.M.Turn right wing projection into a left wing weapon.It can be done.

  8. Pamela Rawlings

    I am hoping it will all happen before then but yes I have already rolled my sleeves up and ready to fight. I agree with everything you say. A great read, I know we can turn this around, Abbott and Libs are going to give us so much fodder, for a start their real costings have got to come out soon. Will be interesting to see. Also Abbott has got to be front and center with the media he can hide no more from us. He also can not possibly be scripted 24/7 so that should be interesting. Then there are the outcomes of quite a few court cases coming up soon that will be even more interesting. Looking forward to the challenge. By the way how much does it cost to become a member of the labor party?, I have been thinking of it for a while now, I would like a chance to vote for the new leader. Does anyone know?

  9. Clare De Mayo

    I can’t quite believe what I’m reading here:-

    ” But when Greens are actively campaigning against Labor, it does make the prospect of a united front a little hard to envisage. When I say that progressive voters need to go back to basics, I think it’s really important that Greens voters and Labor voters start to realise that we’re not each other’s enemy and that we should be able to work together to bring about progressive reform, to the benefit of all of us.”

    ” It would be much more productive for us all if the Greens didn’t spend their entire lives bagging Labor as ‘not being left-wing enough’, while also ignoring the political reality of the battle required to pass progressive policy. ”

    Are you kidding Victoria? After your posts like how easy it would be to be Green etc etc, where you mercilessly bagged the Greens at every opportunity and basically blamed them for the ills and problems besetting the Labor party. And it wasn’t a dispassionate bagging either. And I saw and heard the same from Penny Wong on QandA and other labor commentators not willing to understand that core business can’t be abandoned. For one thing, you can’t demonise refugees and then expect support from those who fight for their rights. No matter the problems of governing or the difficulties of negotiating legislation or selling your message to the public. There are lines in the sand and Labor crossed them. Let alone shooting themselves repeatedly in the foot with a poisonous leadership debacle that rewarded the instigator with another bite at the cherry.
    Sure Victoria, it was all the Greens fault. In my electorate of Newcastle, the preferences of the Green candidate determine who wins the seat. We preferenced the Labor candidate. Cut the crap about blaming the Greens for Labor’s mess. it was all of their own making.

  10. John Lord

    Much will be written on this subject but none more succinct than this.

  11. diannaart

    Well said, Clare de Mayo.

    If the Greens should ever lose sight of their humanitarian platform, then I will no longer support them – just as I could no longer support Labor.

    Perhaps, instead of blaming the Greens, Labor can rediscover that it used to be a compassionate party and return to its roots. Wouldn’t hurt to actually have some vision on environmental sustainability either.

    Humane and responsible policies based on evidence, I’d like to see that.

  12. helenmarg

    What can I say Victoria.Excellent.I feel so much better after reading this.

  13. CMMC

    The [ Country]Liberal [National][Liberal National] Party is complaining that the Liberal Democrats siphoned off their vote with people confusing them with the actual Coalition.

    Perhaps they will legislate to have a photo of Tones on the ballot, atop of whichever variant of party named group they are currently using.

  14. richo

    Lost my comment:

    I believe Victoria is not Green bagging but in my view highlighting the significant challenges ahead in working towards a progressive future.

  15. Clare De Mayo

    maybe you missed a few of her earlier posts

  16. Geoff Of Epping

    Quite correct….this IS the beginning of his end!

  17. Alison White

    The Greens lost me with their absurd Paid Parental Leave scheme, but I can still appreciate other aspects of their platform. I despise the race to the bottom re Asylum seekers – but at least the ALP increased the quota, something the Libs will reduce – are the Greens happy about that end result?
    Clare, do you really believe that the Greens will ever realistically form a Government? If you do I’m impressed by your optimism and amused by your lack of understanding of your average bogan and middle-class wanna be. I’m willing to bet that the Greens won’t form a Govt. in my lifetime. Isn’t it wiser to find common ground than to dwell on the differences?
    I used to be an ALP member and I recall the time when I was handing out how to vote cards, when the Democrats and Greens reps had nobody on the booth I handed out their cards as well. The Liberal rep laughed disdainfully and said they would NOT allow their people to do that, the ALP people didn’t bat an eyelid at my actions. As progressives we must start to work together otherwise we will be stuck with Mr Big Ears and his ilk for a very long time.

  18. Clare De Mayo

    Alison, thanks for your comments. If I were to write Greens policy there would be things I would change, PPL being one of them. But on all major areas I find them to be much closer to my beliefs than the other two majors. If I was going to be extreme I would actually give Socailist Alliance the nod, so you see I am really being more realistic than you realise:-)
    As for forming government, I don’t believe we should judge the viability of a party by whether they can hold a majority in the house. That is just reendorsing the ludicrous two party system that keeps us in this mess. I am also bemused, if I recall correctly, that nobody seemed to lay the same charge at the Democrats feet when they were a legitimate third party. Maybe they were too scared of Don Chipp. And having recalled this bit of history it is apparent that when the Democrats started making deals that moved them away from them own base (GST anyone?) they were basically signing their own death warrant.
    I believe the Greens can significantly increase their base. The numbers in Melbourne and surrounds are stronger than in other states, I think that and more can be achieved across the country. Especially when people get a taste of the LNP government. Perhaps when the Greens have built their representation enough to be regarded seriously by the Labor party (as they would then hold an electoral base that can’t be ignored) then some sort of alliance could be attempted. As things stand, this would be a completely one sided relationship in my view, with the Labor party expecting the Greens to give way on every issue of difference. All it would lead to is the death of the Greens.

    As for refugees, I think it is disingenuous to ask me if I am happy that Abbott’s worse policy will now occur rather than Kevin’s. Firstly, I didn’t vote for Abbott. Secondly, all Green’s preferences flowed to Labor. Thirdly, it’s like asking me to choose torutre or death, a Sophie’s choice which is impossible to make. I know details of what is occurring in these camps now, under the Labor regime, and it IS akin to torture, and I will not put my name to it. If Abbott withdraws overseas aid to Indonesia, I can’t see them making much effort to ‘Stop the Boats’. The horrible window dressing of the past few months will end in High Court challenges and hundreds of people stuck in legal and political limbos, with Refugee activists and lawyers working for years to find them liberty.

    I agree we should work together as progressives, and up until this election round I think it would be fair to say that we did. Labor chose to move significantly to the right and the Greens had no choice but to step away, or sign their own death warrant as a party, as the Democrats did before them.

    I actually believe it is time for a different political system here in Australia, preferrably MMP as operates in New Zealand, where minor parties can more readily gain a proportional representation in the parliament. We need to stop being obsessed with absolute power and understand that coalitions can work perfectly well. Afterall, the LNP is exactly that, a coalition (and you will be aware that the Nats fight hard to retain their identity in that coalition, and the Libs have made attempts to subsume them by running candidates against them in same seats etc. They survive basically because of the City/country divide).

  19. Kate

    I have always thought the Greens should form a ‘coalition’ with the ALP – the LNP coalition often have different policies and stand against each other in some seats.

    A loose coalition of ALP/Greens would enable them to do their policy negotiations and reach an agreement in private rather than the way the original Emissions Trading Scheme was handled – in the public arena – fighting tooth and nail. All that achieved was more ammunition for the LNP to sneer at both ALP and Greens and no EMT..

  20. doctorrob54

    Totally agree with Kate,with Green support Labor could have implemented whatever policy they wanted instead of dithering here and there,listening and waiting for MSM support and/or approval,as if it was ever going to happen.We should have a MRRT on super profits of 70%,it is irrelevant to mines,what they produce is based on world price and quality.
    Whether an ETS or CT,what did Labor do,haggle and bullshit among themselves and,capitulate to supposed public opinion by jumping when MSM said jump.
    Finally,did they only just realize that Unity is Strength and infighting is suicide,it is
    obvious the Krudd factor was irrelevant,and his termite behaviour on JG was the beginning of the end for a legend party.

  21. Wayne

    This is a comical piece, One Term Tony no way. First for him to lose the next election there has to be a credible alternative and who exactly will unite the dysfunctional Labor Party, Bill Shorten? No, there are no ready made leaders that have any credibility as who is there now the electorate have already seen their infighting and incompetence, maybe in 10 years someone might be able to step up. As for passing legislation through the senate Abbott will most likely be able to get the support from the two PUP members and most the independents such at The Motoring Enthusiasts member, do you think Motoring Enthusiasts would want the Carbon tax expanded to include road registered V8’s and performance cars or do you think they will side with Abbott and scrap the Carbon Tax. All Australians are glad to finally rid ourselves of one of the worst governments of the past 100 years a,d look forward to the team approach of the LNP in fixing the stuff ups of Rudd/Gillard/Rudd, I know Holden workers are breathing a sigh of relief that Labor are gone.

  22. rossleighbrisbane

    Yep, Holden workers are glad that Abbott is going to get rid of the subsidies to the car industry, because they’re just can’t wait for their redundancy package. Thanks, Wayne. We all need a laugh!

  23. richo

    Thanks for the chuckle wayne. Australia’s worst government is not yet sworn in

  24. Michael Taylor

    Wayne clearly finds Bolt’s site less entertaining now that Labor has lost office, so he comes over here. 🙁

  25. Möbius Ecko

    On all measures Wayne, that is tangible facts and figures, one of the worst governments in Australian history was Howards. That is until Abbott beats that to the bottom.

  26. Fed up

    Watching qanda, I suspect, I am not going to last long. Kroger, will end it quickly for me, plus Jones.

  27. richo

    Watched it, Tanya was brilliant, Lenore Taylor quite good. Brandis did himself in when asked about the reform agenda – we have no agenda.

  28. Kevin O'Dea

    Monty Python’s movie Life of Brian comes to mind, the scene where the People’s Front of Judea encounter the Judean People’s Front, the same selfrighteous idiocy in refusing to recognize reality and work together to achieve similar objectives. State Government in Tasmania, based on alliance between Labor and Greens, is not a good indicator for cooperation into the future at this stage.

  29. John Ward

    Tory John Abbott’s unshakable mandate, for the next ten years.

    These are the issues that we as Australians must now face and that will, mean as John Hewson once suggested “the Liberal party needs to tear down, and rebuild the Australian economy brick by brick from the ground up”. Abbott is now on his crusade to do just that .

    We need to prepare for the austerity and the recession that we are about to crash into. The Liberals know no other way to manage.
    Tony has said himself that long term thinking is not popular with the Australian people and he has made it crystal clear that he is focused on the short term.

    Abbott has also stated he will break no promise, core or noncore.

    Abbott convinced the electorate that the economy was trashed.

    Whatever he does from now, he must be made to own.

    My sincere belief is that the strategy outlined below will reverse most of the economic management and social advances achieved
    in the last six years, and as a result the economy as it relates to the general population will spiral downwards fast enough for them to have their belief in Tory politics destroyed for a generation.

    All the policy actions listed below had been foreshadowed, for the past three years. Mr Abbott, did say“no surprises” so over time he has covertly warned us. We were not listening closely. He says these are precisely targeted, but nothing about the collateral damage they will inflict on those who were naive enough to support him.

    He now has a mandate according to your vote, to do the following.

    Lower the tax-free threshold from $18,200 back to $6000. This will drag more than one million low-income earners back into the tax system. It will also increase the taxes for 6 million Australians earning less than $80,000. Thereby;

    Saving families $300 dollars a year of Carbon Tax and cost them $2,300 per year in reinstated tax.

    Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)

    The Opposition costings enumerated the “associated expenditure” that would be chopped along with the mining tax. (These were the spending measures the Labor Government proposed to fund through the tax, when it expected it to raise $22 billion.)

    Privatise Medibank.

    Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme.

    Privatise Australia Post.

    Privatise SBS.

    Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function.

    Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport.

    End all public subsidies to sport and the arts.

    Privatise the CSIRO.

    Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built.

    Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship.

    Abolish the means-tested School kids Bonus that benefits 1.3 million families by providing up to $410 for each primary school child and up to $820 for each high school child.

    Abolish the Baby Bonus

    Repeal the National Curriculum

    Introduce competing private secondary school curriculum

    Repeal the mining tax

    Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

    Repeal the Fair Work Act

    Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them

    Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it.

    Repeal the marine park Legislation

    Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

    Abolish the low-income superannuation contribution.

    Abolish the proposed 15 percent tax on income from.

    End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws

    Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement

    End all government funded Nanny State advertising

    Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food.

    Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling

    Introduce a paid parental leave scheme that replaces a mother’s salary up to $150,000.

    Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784.

    Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

    Abolish the Department of Climate Change
    Repeal the renewable energy target

    Encourage the construction of dams

    Introduce voluntary voting.

    End mandatory disclosures on political donations.

    End media blackout in final days of election campaigns.

    End public funding to political parties

    Introduce fee competition to Australian universities.

    Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities.

    Means test tertiary student loans

    Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools

    Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency.

    Abolish the means test on the private health insurance rebate.

    Repeal the Alcopops tax.

    Means-test Medicare.

    Cease subsidising the car industry.

    End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

    Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database.

    End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering.

    Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including.

    Lower personal income tax for residents.

    Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
    Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold.

    Allow the Northern Territory to become a state.

    Remove anti-dumping laws
    Deregulate the parallel importation of books.

    Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade

    Return income taxing powers to the states

    Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

    Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit.

    Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP

    Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification

    Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

    Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced ‘.

    Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law.

    End local content requirements for Australian television stations
    Eliminate media ownership restrictions.

    Rule out federal funding for 2018 Commonwealth Games

    In total, these cuts come to some $18.7 billion, and they will fall most heavily on low-income earners.

    Last week the Age Editorial summarised the the campaign thus;

    Some of the big ticket items are:

    Abolition of the school kids bonus – $4.641 billion – paid to parents to meet the incidental costs of books, uniforms, etcetera, for their kids.

    Abolition of the low-income superannuation contribution – $3.722 billion – which topped up the retirement savings for people, most of them women, who earn less than $37,000 a year.

    Abolition of the twice-yearly mining-tax supplementary allowance – a top-up of $210 a year for singles or $350 for couples on the dole. I

    It was a very modest sweetener in the Budget for people who are doing it very tough, thanks to the Labor government’s failure to increase New start to a liveable amount.

    A delay in increasing superannuation contributions, which whips another $1.64 million out of workers’ pockets.
    And those are just some of the cuts associated directly with the mining tax.
    Elsewhere in the Coalition’s costings document are a bunch of other hit-the-poor-and-underprivileged measures.

    The biggest of all, and perhaps the cruellest, is the decision to lop $4.5 billion off the foreign-aid budget.

    Bear in mind, this comes on top of repeated deferrals by Labor of its goal of spending 0.5 per cent of gross national income on aid. Of course the poor offshore are an easy target; they don’t get a vote.

    On the issue of trust, the Coalition’s own actions leave us with significant reservations. It has obfuscated and ducked critical issues, deliberately keeping voters uninformed, by repeating mantras like “stop the boats”, hiding its savings plans or revenue-raising initiatives from the electorate.

    Worse has been its breathtaking arrogance in cynically delaying until the last minute its policy costings – this, from the party that drafted the charter of budget honesty.

    When it comes to trusting Labor, we appreciate the public’s confidence may be so undone that a change of government could prove to be a circuit-breaker, injecting a short-term misconceived, sense of stability.

    But The Age values policies above political opportunism; we do not advocate a vote simply for the sake of change.

    The Age believes in economic and social progress, in liberty and justice, in equity and compassion, and openness of government.

    We believe the role of government is to build a strong, fair nation for future generations, and not to pander to sectional interests.

    It is with these values in mind that we endorse the Labor Party in this important election.

  30. John Ward

    The list above is actually a long political suicide note.
    The trick is to get to the younger voters who I am amazed to find, think that liberal or Labor are like competing football teams. Giving them some history and a clear understanding of the values that both the greens and Labor stand for in terms of values. Every time I have these conversations with young people they tend to have most of the values I hold dear, but Abbott has used mantra to great effect. I believe Values and policies relating to the long term are the things they want to see.
    Abbott has sown the seeds of his own destruction .

  31. David Black

    The term “bogans” is a bit too close to “rednecks,” as a device for expressing contempt for people who have the temerity to think outside the parameters that their betters have decreed.
    On the other hand, people who describe themselves as “progressives” are revealing a breath-taking sense of moral superiority.

  32. John Ward

    For the younger Generation to digest and remember how far your betters are prepared to go to put you back in your box.

    Oh and by the way the ALP out polled the Liberals on primary votes. The National rump polled >900,000 to bring the COALition home.

    1975 Remember this?

    It was revealed in the press that the CIA had offered the Australian opposition Liberal Party (the Liberals were actually conservative) “unlimited funds” in their unsuccessful attempt to defeat the Labor party in the May 1974 parliamentary elections. Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti confirmed that the CIA had funded both of the major opposition parties and that the Liberals had been receiving CIA funds since the late 1960s.
    According to the former Deputy Director of Intelligence for the CIA, Dr Ray Cline, the CIA passed information to opposition politicians not only to discredit the Whitlam Government but also to put pressure on Australian civil servants who in turn would pressure the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr.
    At the same time as U.S. intelligence was targeting the Australian Labor Government, Peter Wright (of Spycatcher infamy. See Malcolm Turnbull) and his colleagues in British intelligence were busy destabilising the British Labour Government of Harold Wilson. Wright conspired with his close friend, James Jesus Angleton, the extreme right-wing head of CIA counter-intelligence, to “target” the three Western leaders they regarded as “Communist agents”: Harold Wilson, Willy Brandt in Germany and Gough Whitlam.

    Former CIA officers who were among the Agency’s “top seven” in 1975, revealed ten years later that “Whitlam was set up. The action that Kerr took was so extreme that it would take far more than a constitutional crisis to cause him to do what he did….” A Deputy Director of the CIA said, “Kerr did what he was told to do.”

    During the first week of the coup, the Australian army was recalled to barracks and there were reports that units were issued with live ammunition. There were demonstrations against the sacking of the Labor Government throughout Australia; the unions began to mobilise and prepare for a general strike. However, Bob Hawke, the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), summoned the press and delivered a stirring speech in which he said that “working people must not be provoked… we have to show we are not going to allow this to snowball.” Hawke’s intervention was critical: Australia’s organised labour was strangely quiet in response to the affair.

    In fact Marshall Green later said that he found Bob Hawke so amenable to the CIA’s cause that “Bob gave me his private telephone number and said if anything ever comes up that desperately needs some action, this is the number to ring.”

    An election was called for December 13th 1975. During the campaign, three letter bombs were posted to Kerr, Fraser and the ultra-right-wing Queensland Premier, Johannes Bjelke-Petersen.

    Most of the press, led by Rupert Murdoch’s papers, concluded that the bombs were sent by left-wing extremists within the Labor Party. There was not a shred of evidence to support this and no culprits were ever found, but the charge of “terrorism” was used to great effect against Labor.
    Four days before the election, Bjelke-Petersen called a special session of the Queensland Parliament to hear “dramatic revelations”. He claimed to be “in possession of material which made clear that two Ministers of the Whitlam Government were due to receive staggering sums of money as a consequence of secret commissions and kickbacks.” Bjelke-Petersen then moved quickly to gag any debate and to prevent the Labor leader from arranging for parliamentary investigation of the “revelations”. The undisclosed “revelations” made large headlines in the press. No material or evidence of any kind was ever produced, but the publicity achieved its goal. Whitlam lost the election.

    The new Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser renewed the Pine Gap treaty for another decade. He also offered Washington a naval base at Cockburn Sound, even though the Americans had not requested it. In his first budget, Fraser increased the size of ASIO and gave it more money, proportionately, than any other government body. Kerr was given an unequalled pay rise of 170% and was promoted to “Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.”

    The Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr. Despite denying that he ever had any connections with the CIA or any other intelligence organisations, Kerr in fact had a long association with covert intelligence operations, firstly as a member of the top-secret Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs during the Second World War. He was then seconded to the Office of Strategic Services, OSS, the fore-runner of the CIA. Although he joined the Australian Labor Party early in his career, Kerr was always well to the right politically. He was chief legal adviser to the Industrial Groups, a body which sought to dominate trade unionism and was linked to the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), an extreme “anti-Communist” organisation whose split from the Labor Party and subsequent spoiler tactics kept Labor in opposition until the election of Gough Whitlam in 1977. Kerr was an active member of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom, which was exposed in Congress in 1967 as being “founded, funded and generally run by the CIA.” In the 1960s Kerr travelled to the United States to arrange funding from the Asia Foundation; that too, was exposed in Congress as a CIA conduit for money and influence.

    The trade union movement of Australia had long been infiltrated by U.S. intelligence. As John Grenville, assistant secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall, revealed, “it was generally accepted that the U.S. labour attaché was the station agent for the CIA.” Robert Walkinshaw was the labour attaché from 1962 to 1964. During his time in Melbourne, a trade-union publication, Spotlight, was set up, funded and run by the CIA. Walkinshaw’s subsequent CIA posting was Indonesia, during the military coup in which over half a million alleged Communists were murdered. Walkinshaw was later posted as CIA adviser in Phuoc Tuy, Vietnam, where the Australian army and Australian CIA advisers were based.

    The CIA later admitted giving money to the General Secretary of the powerful Australian Worker’s Union, Tom Dougherty, to “fight Communism in the AWU.” Four years later the National Secretary of the Federation Ironworkers’ Association, Laurie Short, began many visits to the United States, which were sponsored by the CIA. Short returned to Australia “determined to get rid of the Commies and their friends” from the Labor Party and the unions. He also delivered the clear message that “in America, the trade-union movement looked to Australian unionists to help counteract the spread of Communism in the Far East.”
    The three Americans involved in supporting Bob Hawke’s campaign for the Presidency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) – Emil Lindahl, Gerry O’Keefe and Ed McHale – all worked for the CIA. Gerry O’Keefe was exposed as a major CIA operator in right-wing Chilean unions that helped to overthrow the Allende Government. Ed McHale was U.S. labour attaché in the early 1970s and maintained a “close personal relationship” with Hawke when the ACTU President was one of the most powerful union bosses Australia had ever known. McHale was internationally known as a senior CIA officer, having long been Assistant Director of Radio Free Europe, which had been set up, financed and run by the CIA.
    In 1977 the American Christopher Boyce disclosed details of CIA activities in Australia, specifically the manipulation of unions. Boyce was employed by a Californian aerospace company, TRW Systems Inc., in a cryptographic communications centre which linked CIA headquarters in Virginia with the Agency’s satellite surveillance system in Australia. Boyce revealed that the CIA had infiltrated Australian labour unions, had manipulated their leadership and suppressed strikes, particularly those involving railroads and airports. Boyce described one instance when TRW had material and personnel to ship out to the CIA spy base at Pine Gap. The Agency was concerned that strikes at Australian airports could wreck their schedule. However, a telex from CIA headquarters said, “CIA will continue to suppress the strikes. Continue shipment on schedule.” In other words, the CIA had infiltrated the hierarchy of Australian trade unions.

    A reminder of the forces brought into play by Tories in order to bring down leftists.

    CIA and MI5 to continue to be part of the international Anti communist cold war . By 1948, the governments of the United States of America and Great Britain secretly agreed to end their efforts to bring the practitioners of Nazi terror to justice.

    Both Chifley and Menzies knew they must be part of the international community by developing ways of escape for these war criminals became part of Cold War’s real politik.
    Through the intelligence channels of the U.S.A and Britain, Klaus Barbie, Mengele and other prominent Nazi torturers were found new identities in South America.
    Scores of lesser known Nazi collaborators and fascists became new citizens of the United States, England, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

    The secret political police in Australia, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (AS.I.O.), possessed an abundance of archival evidence of these fugitives’ war-time activities. AS.I.O. knew that they had imprisoned, tortured and murdered thousands in the name of fascism. Many influential Ministers in successive Menzies governments were also privy to these guilty secrets yet like AS.I.O. they chose to use such information to their political advantage.

    Mark Aarons carefully documented the wartime “careers” of Ljenko Urbancic, Laszlo Megay and Jaroslav Stetskio and other Nazi collaborators. The barbarities for which they could be held responsible were painstakingly examined. Their collective guilt cannot be dismissed as propaganda.

    Too little attention is given to the longstanding complicity between A.S.I.O., and leading Liberal Ministers from Holt to Greenwood to deploy these servants of Nazism as ethnic community leaders in their domestic war against communism. The phalanx of “Captive nations” organisations which arose in the early 1950′s were largely under the captive leadership of former Nazis who owed their “respectability” to the silence of AS.I.O. and “understanding” anti-Communist politicians and senior public servants.

  33. Pingback: #OneTermTony – back to basics | THE PUB

  34. toosmartbyhalf

    Excellent work. And in response to those who don’t see the possibility of a “One Term Tony”, just remember the state the Coalition was in after 2007. 3 years later, Rudd hadn’t even made a full term. A week is a long time in politics – three years is an eternity.

  35. Fed up

    Has anyone noticed, that those minister Abbott is so proud of, and claim are the most experience that a new government has had.

    15 are form the Howard government, which the voter seen as failures and threw out. Remember, Howard lost his seat, as well.

    Yes, experienced ministers from a failed government that was throw out three terms ago. Yes, back in 2007.

    Is he saying, that those who have come into his party since, have no talent. When one relies on 70 plus year olds, one does have to wonder.

  36. Fed up

    It will be one term Tony, for the simple reason, he is a one trick pony.

    All he is, is slogans and stunts. Does not work in government,. Hard to stage manage appearances as well.

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