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Q&A: Question And No Answer From Arthur…

Did you watch Q&A last night? I didn’t. Well, I started but I went to bed after Arthur Sinodinos totally ruined the premise of the show. I mean it’s called Q and A for a reason, right? If politicians are just going to admit that they don’t know what’s going on, this could start a nasty trend.

In case you missed it, when asked why people on Newstart were excluded from the one-off payment of $75 for singles and $125 for couples to help with their energy bills in the spite of the government bringing in the highly successful NEG,  Arthur replied:

“I’m not sure what’s happened in relation to Newstart. I’m not sure exactly what the rationale there… The short answer is, I don’t know why,”

This is a far cry from the days of Joe “poor people don’t drive” Hockey, who would have probably told us that people on Newstart don’t have homes so they don’t pay power bills, but it did sort of suggest that this wasn’t going to be a repeat of the Teena McQueen fiasco of the week before. Where’s the fun in watching someone come clean and tell us that they have no idea the reasoning behind their party’s decision.

I was glad I left when I did, because apparently, the senator went on to say that there was a case for increasing Newstart. The program even had John Roskam of the IPA suggested that Newstart was too low.

However, Yo-yoMo set us all straight by telling us that it’s a very modest surplus “so I don’t think you can all of a sudden go ‘oh let’s make whoopee’!”. Yep, it’s modest so we can’t get all carried away and raise the Newstart allowance when we need to bring forward tax cuts to people earning more than $90,000 a year.

Of course, while the Liberals never actually come out and say it, they regard all unemployed people as just a little bit suspect. They help them with “work-for-the-dole” schemes. Now the basic absurdity of such schemes is simple: If there’s work to be done, why not just employ them? Is it because they believe that they wouldn’t get enough applicants? Or is it because they’d have to pay attention to all those nasty things like awards and Worksafe and insurance? Whatever, every now and then – and by every now and then, I pretty much mean most “nows” and every “then” – someone slips up and exposes their true feelings.

Take John Ruddick’s tweet which I initially thought was an April Fool’s joke, but then I noticed that he’d posted it a few days earlier. John Ruddick was a well-known figure in the NSW Liberal Party and author of the book, “Make The Liberal Party Great Again”, which may also have a blue cover but isn’t the same blue book that Pauline allegedly read. Even though Ruddick resigned after Muddling Malcolm was made PM, his tweet sums up the views of many who decided to wait around and fix that radical Point Piper socialist. He tweeted:

If I was Treasurer this would be my budget:

Cut staffers by 70%

Cut MPs pay by 50%

Privatise ABC

Abolish 50% of depts

Let states tax individuals & companies

Get people off welfare by forcing them to read motivational books

No drought relief

Zero funding of global warming

Now while there are a couple of excellent policies there, like letting states tax individuals and companies, which is the current situation, and the “zero funding of global warming” which I’d argue means that there’ll be no more subsidies to fossil fuels or talk of backing a coal-fired power station, it’s the “Get people off welfare by forcing them to read motivational books” that really took my eye. Yep, that should do it. I wonder if his reading list includes “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, or just more down to earth ones like “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and “The Art of The Deal” by Donald Trump…

Whatever, it betrays the sort of assumptions that those with an egocentric view of the world hold. I’m not denying for a moment that some people could be helped by the right motivational book at the right time, but I seriously doubt that someone who’s been on a disability pension for twenty years will suddenly no longer need it just because they read, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale.

Still, I shouldn’t judge all Liberals by someone like John Ruddick. There are the softer, more leftwing ones like Amanda Vanstone. Didn’t you just love her article in yesterday’s paper, suggesting that we could be worried about immigration due to Islamic extremists without it necessarily being Islamophobia? Isn’t she a treasure? Of course, New Zealand might do well to restrict Australians attempting to go there for all the reasons, Mandy suggests. I know that most of us are decent, upstanding people who don’t involve ourselves in radical groups, but after Christchurch isn’t it better for them to be on the safe side! While there’s an argument for having ex-politicians giving readers an informed view of what’s going on, if they’re just going to be a party hack, then they should be paying the paper for a political ad, rather than receiving money as a journalist.

Ah well, it’s the Budget tonight and there’s lots of speculation that this could be the government hitting the reset button and putting themselves on a better footing for the upcoming election. It might be, but I’d be more convinced if it wasn’t for Tony Abbott’s 2014 promise after a few “hiccups” that good government starts today. Or the reset of Malcolm Turnbull taking over the leadership. Or the 2016 election. Or the ascension of Scottie to the top job.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but I’m wondering how the Liberals will try to spin that anything they now spend is the result of a healthy economy but if Labor want to spend the same money on a different project it’ll cause our ruination.

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16 comments

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  1. Baby Jewels

    Sinodinos has form for not remembering. Not knowing is just following on from that. I have no idea why they give the man any air time at all. What’s the point?

  2. Roscoe

    Sorry but John Ruddick maybe a well-known figure in the NSW Liberal Party but just who is he? I really dont think I have ever heard of him before and I do follow politics a lot. Not only on this site but at least 4 other on line news sites, so why is he so low key and why does he think anyone will take any notice of him?

  3. Alcibiades

    Ah, Arfur SeeNoDonors …

    IIRC a Federal budget rarely achieves more than an insignificant blip in the national polls. With the current mob every one of their budgets has achieved zip or sent them backwards since 2013. Also consider a Budget normally has weeks of extensive preparatory build-up, numerous carefully crafted ‘leaks’, full court press media coverage in the lead-up. Yet that has not occurred, amongst the now daily screw-ups and endless infighting, as they each strive to save their own sorry arses, the ‘party’ be damned.

    This rabble has clearly decided to hang, separately, rather than to hang, together.

    Case in point, newbie Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has been nowhere to be seen, ’cause he’s been flat out pounding the pavement in his electorate, desperately trying to retain his supposed ‘Blue Ribbon’ seat.

    This budget is rightly seen as an electoral campaign launch. Tactically, unless Scummo pulls a swifty, the last think people will recall will be Shortens speech and Labors budget responses, just before Scummo visits their GG.

    The Coalitions subsequent ‘second’ campaign launch only a few days later ? Yawn, yeah yeah, whatever … a dead cat.

    As usual this venal COALition hardly ever think, let alone think it through, especially under snearing/smirking ‘GIVE me a hug!’ failed adman Scotty Doesn’tKnow.

    We should be grateful to Dog they are so incompetent. Imagine how truly farked we’d be now if they were not …

  4. terence mills

    I’m pleased to see that Arfur is in remission but would probably benefit more from his insights on Australian Story where we could all share his battle with cancer.

    His inability to answer questions on Q&A was reminiscent of his stewardship of Australian Water Holdings where he was chairman when donations were made to the Liberal Party of whom Arfur was Treasurer and he had no knowledge whatsoever of those donations : at the time I thought that perhaps Arfur wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and clearly not across detail as much as he should have been or was it wilful blindness ?

    The handout to the needy ($75 for singles and $125 for couples) to help with electricity costs appears to be the coalition’s long awaited energy policy (after the collapse of the NEG) but is not a policy at all !

    Do you remember when the peoples’ choice for prime minister Peter Dutton made his bid for leadership of the Liberal party in August last ? His policy was to scrap GST on household electricity bills the instant that he was installed in the Lodge as our prime minister.

    Sadly it was not to be. Just reflect for a moment on what we have missed out on by not having Mr potato head as our leader.

  5. RomeoCharlie29

    Rossleigh, I am sorry if you really did stop watching QandA because you missed out on seeing a wonderful person representing the people. Her name escapes me in a dreadfully embarrassing seniors moment, ah Lakshmi, but she was Sri Lankan, possibly Tamil, articulate, thoughtful and clearly, from the audience reaction, spot on with her observations. Lakshmi illuminated the panel.

  6. Kaye Lee

    In Scott Morrison’s first speech in parliament, he said he had been “greatly assisted by the pastoral work of many dedicated church leaders, in particular pastor Brian Houston.”

    Brian, leader of the Hillsong church and son of pedophile Frank Houston (what is it with Liberal PMs and pedophiles?), has written many books including “You Need More Money”

    “Money is a powerful tool in the hands of Bible-believing purpose-driven Christians. Brian challenges you to look beyond yourself, live according to the principles of God and see His blessing on your life as you become a money magnet.”

    I’m not even making that up.

    https://www.amazon.com/Need-More-Money-Brian-Houston/dp/0957733607

  7. Alcibiades

    But terence, Arfur seems to have a rare form of active selective amnesia. He is ordinarily more than capable, and demonstrably on the record prior & subsequent to AWH, of being able to instantly and accurately recall all sorts of detail, figures & policy minutia in depth in context … except when it’s ahem inconvenient to do so … poor fella Arfur, such a terrible malady, is his affliction.

  8. helvityni

    Like Rossleigh,I stopped watching and went to bed early; I found it all rather boring, Roskam agreeing with others , and I thought that even Tony Jones was somewhat lacklustre…

    After that boring episode, the sleep almost immediately, after ONE page of reading…

    Oh well, I had a good laugh when Teena was there, and of course the Ashby & Co show was a giggle all the way; my award for best performance goes to….Rodney Muller, loved it…

  9. John Hermann

    Ruddick’s statement, although alarming in itself, does not surprise me. There are too many people with views similar to his within the ranks of the Coalition parties.

  10. Christopher J Ward

    Kaye Lee: “what is it with Liberal PMs and paedophiles?” You don’t want to know and it’s not just Libs but the ALP, and senior PS staff (especially DFAT and Immigration, and regrettably the legal profession. I gave up believing in the death penalty years ago in the time of “Henry the hangman” Bolte a Premier of Victoria. I regard paedophilia as both a deadly sin and an evil act and in some cases, I would have liked to have seen it back on the agenda and enacted in Law. My other distaste is Treason and I’ve seen much of that. I’m glad I’m not young any more.

  11. New England Cocky

    “Yep, it’s modest so we can’t get all carried away and raise the Newstart allowance when we need to bring forward tax cuts to people earning more than $90,000 a year.”

    So, why have successive governments paid about $150 BILLION PER YEAR as financial subsidies to the undeserving wealthy and corporates?

    THE $150 BILLION SUBSIDIES TO WEALTHY CITIZENS AND CORPORATIONS

    Joe Hockey has set the standard: “The age of entitlement is over and the age of personal responsibility has begun. … Everyone has to help do the heavy lifting here”. YET, NONE of these government handouts to the undeserving wealthy and corporates were touched!!!

    1) Excessive tax cuts to filthy richest $15.8 BILLION

    2) Fossil fuel subsidies $12 BILLION
    (24 times the car industry subsidy that
    returned 200,000 jobs and $30 BILLION)

    3) Superannuation tax concessions in FY15 $36 BILLION

    4) Negative Gearing $ 6.8 BILLION

    5) Capital Gains discount on home to FY18 $19 BILLION

    6) Capital Gains discount (CGT) $ 9.1 BILLION

    7) CGT discounts for persons & trusts in FY18 $28.3 BILLION

    8) Imputed Rent Exemptions $ 9.6 BILLION

    9) Mining Industry Subsidies $ 4.5 BILLION

    10) First Home Vendors Grants $ 1 BILLION

    11) Private School Subsidies per year 09-13 $ 9 BILLION

    12) Private Health Insurance Rebate per year $ 5 BILLION

    Overseas housing for boat refugees per year $ 4 BILLION

    Total government handouts $160 BILLION

    Thank you R Ambrose Raven for this compilation.
    The Conversation 030514

  12. Kronomex

    That episode of Q & A, when they knew Arfur was going to be on it, was renamed Questions & Amnesia.

  13. Josephus

    I am full of envy- I wannabe a money magnet. Shurely this cannot be true? Are these people clinically insane?

    I wish Labor had some guts re off shore processing and eg Adani- they need a leader with some values. As in NZ. Meanwhile I think Ukraine choosing a comedian for a leader is sensible- the UK might get Boris. We had the onion eating idiot Tony, and there is an Asian dictator who like karaoke.
    Am I in the madhouse or am I looking at it from the outside? Did the butterfly dream of being a man, sic, or did the man, sic, dream of being a butterfly?

  14. Trevor

    Kaye Lee.
    The doctrines of the happy clapper Houston club. Like father, unlike son.

    Theirs is a god of material wealth. God loves money.
    And only those committed to building wealth for god(Houston)can enter the locked gates of the counting room.

    Child molesters and happy clapping.
    End tax free status for pederast piety.

    As for Arfurs money exchange shop. He can’t remember is a lifestyle choice.

  15. silkworm

    Arfur has water on the brain.

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