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Post Budget Reflections

I suspect that well before Joe Hockey brought down his government’s first budget there was an air of resignation among certain Coalition MP’s that their seat in Parliament was at serious risk; albeit just eight months after winning office. If those in the most marginal electorates had their concerns before this, the budget has cemented those concerns for at least a dozen or so. I cannot recall a government losing favour with the people so soon. But when one analyses the budget and juxtapositions its content with conservative ideology, it isn’t hard to see how that ideology dominates the overall detail.

What struck me about Joe Hockey’s budget speech was the absence of the human element. He didn’t seem to understand that he was speaking to millions of people who would suffer as a consequence of his decisions. He didn’t seem to be aware that this same audience were also the people who pay him to look after their interests and their security. He appeared more like the school principal admonishing badly behaved students. He reminded me of both Brother Arnold at boarding school, and Sergeant Morris at Puckapunyal Army Camp, both of whom were just as cold-hearted and uncompromising as they went about their business of moulding our hearts and minds; trying to fashion us to think and act the way they wanted us to think and act; a tactic devoid of any consideration for our individuality or our personal circumstances.

There was no evidence from either Hockey or the front bench ministers behind him, of any compassion, of any consideration for the pain they were about to deliver. It was all about money, the future and about sustainability. There was no acknowledgement that a ruthless and unequal burden was being inflicted upon the most vulnerable. It was clinical, it was vengeful. It was cold and indifferent. It came across as if it was designed to be a just punishment for those who voted Labor at the last two elections. But it was the cynical grins on the faces of those pompous puppets sitting behind Hockey that, I suspect, resonated most with viewers; Bishop, Joyce, Pyne and Abbott all of whom seem to demonstrate extreme satisfaction as their brutal ideological dogma was being announced.

By way of comparison Bill Shorten’s budget reply speech was all about people. It was in stark contrast to the coldness and the indifference to personal suffering that we heard from Hockey. Bill Shorten dismissed Hockey’s self-centred hard line and heartless business approach. He restored the human element in reply to Hockey’s budget of extreme policies that shocked most of us despite the fact that most of them had already been leaked. He spoke about people, families, children, their hopes, their aspirations, their education, their health. He spoke of the extreme impact on the aged, the sick and the intellectually disadvantaged all of whom were the hardest hit. He sensed that Hockey’s cold-hearted approach had won few favours and he finally unleashed an unprecedented critical onslaught. It was his most convincing performance since becoming leader and, some would say, not before time.

It remains to be seen if the government’s blatant abuse of its election promises will impact against it in the same way Julia Gillard’s perceived broken promise did with a carbon tax. It will largely depend on the Senate. The so-called ‘horse trading’ Abbott has hinted at, will determine what items get passed and what don’t. The government’s bigger problem, however, is the perception of fairness, or lack of it, particularly with the Medicare co-payment. Pitching it as the source of a $20 billion medical research fund that might one day result in discovering a cure for cancer, is unconvincing. It isn’t even being used to pay down debt. Hockey’s attempt to compare it with a couple of beers and a packet of cigarettes was pathetic. He should have thought that through before opening his mouth. The deficit levy is nothing more than a gentle side bump. A person on $200,000 a year will pay an extra $400 a year or $8 a week in tax. Using Hockey’s analogy it is 2.5 lattes. But the smart ones will find ways to avoid paying it anyway. Freezing parliamentary salaries for 12 months is laughable. They are already entitled to perks most of us can only dream of, let alone enjoy. So the bulk of the heavy lifting, the burden and the pain will rest on the shoulders of those least able to avoid it while those who are part of the wealth creation industry, get off unscathed. This is nothing more than a clandestine attempt to uphold the discredited ‘trickle-down’ economic theory of the Reagan era. History shows us it will fail.

And so for the dozen or more Coalition members who will be removed from parliament in 2016, they have nothing to lose in breaking ranks and voicing their concerns. Who knows, they might even be persuaded to defect to Clive Palmer’s side of the chamber. He might well be working on them already. What a deliciously wicked prospect.

 

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25 comments

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  1. DanDark

    barbaby has just said Clive is a cult, no philosophies

    They will turn it around, it’s like when you partner accuses, you of an affair,
    But of course your not,
    they are, it’s a deflection off them, so your busy defending yourself

    Good one Banaby oldest trick in the book by sociopaths/psychopaths
    Better come up with some more crap,.. Cos that’s all his good at, bull crap

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2014/05/19/10/22/palmer-united-party-a-cult-barnaby-joyce

  2. DanDark

    He didn’t have time to think,
    He was to busy dancing with his banker wife
    Toooo…This is the best day of my life,oh and smockin’ Cuban cigars…
    Before he handed us our death policy….

  3. John Kelly

    Reblogged this on THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN and commented:

    It remains to be seen if the government’s blatant abuse of its election promises will impact against it in the same way Julia Gillard’s perceived broken promise did with a carbon tax. It will largely depend on the Senate. The so-called ‘horse trading’ Abbott has hinted at, will determine what items get passed and what don’t.

  4. DanDark

    Abott and co should be the only horses traded
    Geee Siberia sounds great, make them swim,
    They all think they are Jesus Christ
    Make them walk on water and watch them sink and quick
    Got no option then, they either sink or swim

  5. Stephen Tardrew

    John:

    This monster is going to hurt the LNP and hurt badly. Have predicted this would happen for some time. Work Choices revisited. That was a bit of a disaster wasn’t it. Remember we don’t need died in the wool conservatives only those swing voters and looking at the poles this morning the slide is beginning. There is no recovery from these numbers. They have managed to do what must always be avoided complete internal ructions between the states and fed. Using the GST as a weapon is a fools game. This is going to have a long life – much longer than the rest of Abbott’s tenure. Abbott’s treatment of Julia and budget deceptions and lies are a bridge too far.

    Labor simple has to generate catch phrase – LNP Can Never Be Trusted; Accuser Becomes Accused; Blatant Hypocrisy; Complete Lack of Integrity; When is a Lie Not a Lie? States Forced to Increase GST and I could think of a dozen others.

  6. bobrafto

    I truly believe that Hockey believed in his own bullshit and when he entered parliament, Smokin’, Lying Joe had an air of confidence and so convinced he was of getting bouquets for his performance that he celebrated with a pre-budget victory jig.

    I’m absolutely sure that he thought that his grand plan, his legacy policy of a medical research fund would endear him to the nation notwithstanding the GP TAX pain it would have caused. “What were you smoking Joe?

    But before Hockey scraps the GP TAX, the Research Fund plans should be scrutinized to reveal the surprises inside, If the LNP are true to form, I’m absolutely sure that the surprise will be one of further shafting the poor, just like the budget plans.

  7. Ric Cochrane

    We can no longer call ourselves the lucky country, nor the nation of a fair go…. No more will we say she’ll be right or do you need a hand mate… We no longer protect the weak, ill or needy; no longer does our government protect us. No longer are our borders open for those seeking refuge from persecution as our government and the wealthy persecute the poor in our own….Our hardships are inflicted mercilessly by political favour to the rich at the expense of the poor. Our ANZAC traits are now only memories and no longer held in esteem because politicians have failed to respect their sacrifice… No longer am I proud to call myself Australian…. I will remember this for the rest of my life and simply say thank you Mr Abbott and F* You very much….

  8. DanDark

    We have been lucky, we haven’t had aTony before
    And his enforcers to spruik to rich, why and how we destroy the poor
    And use detention centres as an experiment on human misery, murder is acceptable even
    But now we know the master plan, genocide, resulting in their superior race
    Women of calibre and big business is all Tony had on his mind
    Knights and dames, oh give me break you are a dangerous lot of clowns
    People we must never forget this period in our history
    and Tony co and the destruction they can wreak

  9. deanyz1

    I wish more commentators and Blog writers would spread this far and wide – lest it be buried by Abbott’s spin.

    ‘IT was sold as a last-minute decision by the Government to freeze wages of its Federal MPs to ensure they were hit by their own chunk of Budget pain. But that wasn’t quite right.
    As it turns out, the body which sets those wages had already decided pay rates would be untouched.
    The independent Remuneration Tribunal made a preliminary move in April to not recommend rises for MPs (base salary $195,000) and senior public servants for the 12 months from midyear.’
    http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/remuneration-tribunal-decided-in-april-against-wage-increases-for-mps-and-top-public-servants/story-fn84fgcm-1226914847040

  10. David Somerville

    Try as I might, I cannot comprehend these soul-less, depraved people who have now plumbed a new depth of inhumanity, both karma and their god will repay them.

  11. Fed up

    I have no great love for Palmer, but has has pointed out a relevant fact when it comes to debt. Yes, no big problem with public debt, what one looks at the facts.

    What is also true, private debt is still problematic, even though it has come down a little since the record days of the Howard government.

    Yes, it is private sector debt, that maybe one should worry about.
    From my point of view, their government is not getting rid of debt, when in comes to public services but transferring the cost to the private citizen, adding to public sector debt.

    What worries me, this cost shafting exercise hasps left the citizen with less in their pockets for spending in other areas. Wonder what that will do for retail sales?

    EXTREME PAIN, EXTREME AGONY, FOR NO GAIN.

  12. guest

    Hockey’s comparison between a co-payment for a medical appointment and 2 small beers is just amazing, considering that the price of a few coffees from everyone could save the car industry and tens of thousands of jobs.

    But no, ideology wins. No entitlements, please.

    Well, for some but not for others. It’s the callousness that is so disturbing. It’s not about people, it’s about the economy. D’oh!

  13. Wayne Turner

    Come on support this site, it’s for Abbott’s biggest fans lol!

  14. Wayne Turner

    Hockey’s comments showed he has no idea about the real world,and what he truly thinks of poorer people.

  15. Mav minnis

    It will only take 30,000 swinging voters in 11 marginal seats to see this mob off. We just have to maintain the rage for 30 months.

  16. ReB

    The only ‘trickle down’ from Joe Shonkey’s budget is the s*** trickling down his chins.

  17. bobrafto

    It’s a RABBIT!

    Hockey on Q&A, saying that the GP TAX can be called a rabbit.

    It’s amazing how quickly rabbits multiply.

    And the GP TAX is no different, it multiplies to over $30 if one needs, a prescription, a blood test and an xray.

    Smokin Joe has pulled a Rabbit tax out his hat.

  18. xiaoecho

    Hockey’s elitism didn’t start on Tuesday. Once, on Sunrise, Hockey averred that University was for those who’s parents can afford it and Tafe is for those who ‘s “parents are of more modest means” That’s right! Joe thinks that those who come from (presumably) non professsional families should know their place. This even shocked the normally beige hosts

  19. Direct current

    The Libs use a big stick to beat our youth for not having jobs, but then they cut the ‘RED’ tape for 457 visa’s? Stop ALL of these 457 routs and train and/or employ our youth.

  20. Pandmaster

    Great article. My only fault it that you confused conservative with neoliberal. This budget was certainly the latter!

  21. eagoodlife

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Ah! Politics! I’ve never seen the like of this in 50 years of interest in politics, well make that 60! I lived through the Thatcher years and this beats those years for brutality. It is those smug expressions that bother me so much – who is behind all this?

  22. Möbius Ecko

    eagoodlife. Three initials, IPA and one media mogul.

    And if you read the list of what the IPA wants the government to do, the current cruelty is just the tip and only a fraction of their list to be fulfilled.

  23. Judith

    Joe hockey keeps saying he’ll do what is good for Australia – but what does he mean by Australia? People, ecosystems, dirt? Or just the economy?

  24. Frank P Mcenroe

    The broken promises will not pass through the senate . we are all pawns in a TERRIBLE scam, facts the Abbott Government will not go to a election, fact we all believe the States are against Abbott’s cuts , fact we are going to face a 7.5 GST rise ,, that is worse than all the cuts the Abbott Government created in the BUDGET

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