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A rising tide fifts all boats, so no wonder we have a ‘Stop the Boats’ policy

One thing you can depend on with our current government is that they’ll contradict themselves. And I’m not talking about going from a budget emergency to spending billions on a war in the Middle East, where Australia has resembled some loser wandering up and down the street outside a party, suggesting that their invitation must have been lost in the mail, but they’re here now, so why doesn’t someone just let them in. And I just loved the Defence Minister’s warning not to expect a quick end to our involvement. It may take months, he said.

Yeah, well, given enough time, everybody contradicts themselves, but these blokes do it within the course of a single interview.

(Is the term “blokes” sexist? If it is, I apologise to that sheila in Cabinet)

Take Eric Aid&abetts this morning. Yes, they were backing down from 40 applications a month, but it wasn’t a backdown, it was because a lot of time would be wasted with token applications. Not the applicant’s time, mind you, but the poor people forced to read them.

Applicants have plenty of time, so applying for one job in the morning and another in the afternoon shouldn’t be something to complain about. (After all, Amanda Vanstone and Sophie Mirabella managed to write their applications in less time than it takes to say, “Yeah, why not put my snout in the trough too!”) Because when someone is unemployed, looking for work should be “a full-time job”.

Get it. “A full-time job”!

That’s what the man said.

Ok, now the whole waiting six months for the dole thing is likely to be blocked in the Senate so the absurdity is never going to be fully demonstrated.

But let’s leave for a moment the obvious point that the Keystone Coalition weren’t going to be paying those under 30 for this “full-time job” in that first six months, and let’s move onto the work for the dole where these lucky bastards will be effictively paid below the minimum wage for 25 hours work. What he was actually suggesting that those under 30 – at least the ones who’d managed to survive for six months with no income – were expected to work 25 hours a week but still maintain their other “full time job” of looking for work.

Amazingly, he did say in the event of a person obtaining a job interview, they could be excused from their work for the dole to attend the interview. (I wonder if they have to make the time up later…)

Of course, Eric did go on to say that work for the dole was a wonderful thing because that way people would be doing something useful. (Had I been the interviewer I would have asked at this point whether this was hearsay or did he have personal knowledge of doing something useful at some point in his life.)

And there you have it. The Liberal philosophy in a nutshell: People are best able to manage their own lives without a lot of government interference because we don’t want a nanny state, but if you’re unemployed, you’re clearly incapable of finding a way of doing something useful without us managing you.

Contradiction? What contradiction?


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  1. CMMC

    Abbott was made Employment Minister some time during the Howard epoch.

    I had been unemployed for a long period at this time, so it was with great reservation that I heard the new Minister say he ‘was going to get everyone a job’.

    I was expecting to have to sign-up for something dreadful at the Job Network, but nothing eventuated.


  2. Anne Byam

    Eric Abetz ? – – – – DNA usually peeks through at some stage, in offspring – of offspring !!! He might be Australian but ……. ???

    Blood will tell. …. He really is an autocratic nut.

  3. kerrilmail

    Some good points Rossleigh!
    I am waiting for an article on the extension of the Royal Commission into Julia Gillard, oops I mean Union corruption?
    Can anyone do a head count of union scalps vs ICAC scalps.?.?

  4. Itsazoosue

    There are so many to choose from but my favourite Abbott contradiction has to be “We will generate one million jobs in the next five years” and “governments do not create jobs”.

  5. stephentardrew

    Whazat mate?

    A rising boat lifts all tides.

    You are the smart one aren’t ya.

    Hey wait a minute how does a boat lift a tide?

    Better ask Cred.. Oops Tony she er he will know.

    Got suminnk to do with gravity I recon.

    Got me encyclopedia out and all but not too good with that sciencey stuff.

    You know I’m sick of people misinterpreting our fearless leaders great knowledge and wisdom.

    Like pretending the planet is warming and all that stuff.

    Lefties turn everything upside down ya know.

    Anyway can anyone fill me in on the boat lifting all tides thingy.

  6. Matters Not

    governments do not create jobs

    Indeed they don’t! Unless of course you are not talking about Army, Navy, Air Force personnel and teachers, nurses, doctors. cleaners, bus and car drivers. dog catchers, CSIRO scientists, administrators, political staffers, town planners, police officers, ambulance officers, dentists, university lecturers, journalists, engineers, …

    I could go on.

    But it does demonstrate the lack of intellectual depth of such a statement.

    Who would be surprised?

  7. mars08

    “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”

    And so does rising sea levels caused by climate change. So EVERYONE wins!!

  8. John Fraser


    I can't see Abbott's 'Direct Action" ……barmy army ? ……… for the trees.

    If one of them falls in the desert will we hear it.

    Or will it be subject to the new Brandis laws.

    The tide has been out for a long time in the Middle East.

  9. mars08

    I think Abbott isn’t too far off the mark when he says that “governments do not create jobs ”

    Actually it’s the confident consumers willing (and able) to spend money on goods and services who create the jobs. Sadly, we are seeing less and less of them every month….

  10. John Fraser


    I wonder which economist came up with Abbott's figure of a $500 million a year war.

    Gonna burn through $500 million in pretty quick time with the cost of the F-18s flight time and maintenance ….. not to mention firing off AGM-158A JASSM at $750,000 each.

    And then we add in the cost of 600 RAAF personnel + 200 ADF advisers.

    Then there's the logistics of bedding and feeding.

    The wages bill alone makes a noticeable dent in the $500 million.

    And just like the $500 million ….. this look is just a back of postage stamp calculation.

  11. SmeeAgain

    Why are we putting up with this government and this opposition? I have voted labor all my life but i am so disillusioned now it hurts. There are enough sensible people writing on independent news media to start a new left leaning political party. SURELY? Cmon Fraser,Lord, Rossleigh,Kaye Lee et al.. COME ON.

    I mean a REAL left party not one like Equal Australia Party or whatever it is called. There would be 500 signatures in 5 minutes. Well maybe 5 days

  12. ejdur662

    “And I’m not talking about going from a budget emergency to spending billions on a war in the Middle East, where Australia has resembled some loser wandering up and down the street outside a party, suggesting that their invitation must have been lost in the mail”

    Exactly the impression I got.

    Idiot Boy rushed to be first at the party and is still standing at the gate waiting for permission to come in. The French and British seemed to have no trouble getting an invitation. Maybe the message to Idiot Boy is ” YOU are not wanted – You are irrelevant in the world scheme of things”

  13. Kaye Lee

    One would have thought that SOMEBODY would have been aware that we did not have the legal standing to send combat troops. I know Julie Bishop has been very proud of herself horning her way into NATO meetings but that doesn’t actually make you PART of NATO Julie. Hanging with the big boys just makes you a groupie.

    We were told endlessly that this time was different – that we were there at the request of the Iraqi government. As it turns out, that is a big fat lie. We sent the troops and THEN contacted Iraq who did NOT give us an automatic green light to bomb the crap out of them. They got back to us and there must be some problem because our legal team is taking a long time to work through their response.

    I love the rhetoric about Australia must fulfil its obligations as part of a global response to a perceived threat. We have endless money and resolve for all things military it seems but when asked to help with the far greater threats posed by climate change, ebola and income inequality we are condemned globally as missing in action.

    Tony Abbott is like someone who has won the lottery and who has little idea how to invest the money for the future. He is buying planes and submarines and drones and patrol boats while the house falls down and the children starve. What a childish silly little man to have running a country.

  14. Kaye Lee

    John Fraser,

    The cost per flight hour for the F/A-18 Super Hornet ranges from USD 11000 to USD 24000, depending on degree of operational capability. Since our planes are fully armed I am assuming the cost is at the higher end of the range even without shooting off our very expensive armaments so let’s use $20,000 per hour for ease of maths. Each 5 hour flight costs in the vicinity of $100,000 per plane and remember, they have achieved nothing other than pilot training and endless video of the mid-air refuelling.

  15. Terry2

    There is an irony wrapped in a paradox in this government’s rhetoric about being all about small government and getting out of people’s way and letting private enterprise rip.

    In fact, this government has been more invasive and intrusive in our private lives than any government in our history. The curtailment of our freedom of speech and press freedom are staggering and the way we treat the unemployed is deplorable.

    I know a young man who is in casual employment and not receiving any benefits who is trying to find full time employment within his skill set : he has applied for dozens of advertised jobs with no result and has told me that if he was required to apply for even twenty jobs a month he would be applying to companies where there was no advertised vacancy and just adding to their frustration – forty jobs a month would be a massive email paper-storm – what is wrong with these guys ?

  16. John Fraser


    "A CBS News/New York Times poll has revealed that only 18 per cent of Americans feel the outcome of the war in Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and other costs involved in waging the Iraq war.

    This was the lowest percentage recorded ever in CBS News polls."


    "And there are more dirty secrets to the Iraq war –Iraqi officials can't point out a single complete US project in Iraq during the course of the occupation.

    "You can fly in a helicopter around Baghdad or other cities but you cannot point a finger at a single project that was built and completed by the United States," said Iraq's acting interior minister to Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction last year."

  17. Kaye Lee

    “After assuming office, the Coalition took the unusual step of implementing its aid cuts immediately, stripping $650 million from the budget handed down by Labor and reducing the amount assigned to Iraq from $16 million to just $3.7 million.

    At this year’s Budget, that amount was reduced to zero.

    The Abbott government may be prepared to commit half a billion dollars to a military intervention in Iraq, but earlier in the year it decided that even a single cent would be too much direct aid for the beleaguered Middle Eastern nation.

    Independent MP and former intelligence analyst and Iraq war whistleblower Andrew Wilkie described the decision to cut development aid to the country as a “deadly mistake”.

    “It is self-evident that one of the foundations for peace in a country is nation building and to help a country establish the basic needs of the community – medical care, education, law and order, economic development – because if you provide a community with all of those needs they are far less likely to become radicalised and far less susceptible to the influence of trouble makers,” he said.

    DFAT budget documents show Australia’s commitment to other global programs and money flowing from other departments is estimated to benefit Iraq to the cost of just $300,000 this financial year.

    “The government has been breathtakingly dishonest because if they genuinely cared about the humanitarian situation in Iraq they would have piled on the nation building assistance over the last eleven and a half years rather than reducing it to zero,” Wilkie said.

    The changes to Australia’s aid to Iraq reflect the Coalition’s broader agenda to find massive savings in the aid budget, refocus spending in Australia’s backyard, and push for aid to be used to increase Australia’s own interests.

    As part of the move, aid agency AusAID was rolled into DFAT and aid to Latin American and Caribbean nations was phased out, while assistance to sub-Saharan Africa was wound back.”

    In its 2008/09 budget, AusAID provided $366.9 million in assistance to Iraq.

  18. stephentardrew


    Great article. How long do people have to live in fairy land until the facts come home to roost. The West’s interventions in the Middle East have been an abject failure and they want more of the same.

    It is time to humiliate the US into taking responsibility for their mess and really put international pressure on them and the Arab States to develop a coherent action plan not this tripping from one crisis to another.

    While we ignore the fact that Bush, Cheney, Blair and Howard were complicit in lying deception and war crimes there can be no honest recognition of the facts and the possibility of sensibly planning a coherent way forwards.

    How is going from lies and incompetence to lies and incompetence going to resolve anything. Primarily the US should take responsible for their misbegotten actions of the fallacious notion that they are the greatest nation on earth. Most incompetent is more like.

    I am not just US bashing because there are many well meaning and decent Americans. The problem is the power and greed implicit in Capitalist oligarchies. We are no better electing a lying religious ideologue.

    We progressives must keep on steadily pointing out the facts regardless of the political landscape and so called polls telling us that our fellow Australians are not proxy to the facts.

  19. mars08


    Great article. How long do people have to live in fairy land until the facts come home to roost. The West’s interventions in the Middle East have been an abject failure and they want more of the same…

    I suspect that, as long as Australian casualties are kept to a minimum, the general public is not inconvenienced, and the fear is kept simmering…. there will be no widespread call from the voters for our belligerence to wind down. Quite simply… the only people really suffering because of these wars… is OVER THERE!

  20. Möbius Ecko

    John Fraser @ 11:00 pm

    The wages bill doesn’t count as they would be paid that in any case, whether they are in Australia doing normal duties or at war. What will be counted in the bill is the substantial extra pay and allowances they and their families get for them being in a foreign country and in a war zone.

  21. John Fraser


    @Möbius Ecko

    Extra pay for a war zone.

    Plus combined logistics to get them there.

    I realized this …. but as stated it was just a back of postage stamp calculation.

    The only country to get rich from this war will be the one supplying the armaments.

    Australia uses F-18s and AGM-158A JASSM ….. no guessing who supplies them.

    Oh ! …. and the Saudis, because they are most likely supplying the oil.

    Australia supports the Saudi government with their record year of official beheadings.

  22. Marg1

    Great article Rossleigh.

  23. townsvilleblog

    Personally Ross, its a joy to hear the work “blokes” referred to so much of our speech has been USAfied but I enjoyed your article and agree completely.

  24. stephentardrew

    Six months of poverty will teach the lazy bastards. Just don’t blame us job creators.

  25. CMMC

    Unemployment figures are remaining high, so guess what?

    We now have ABS skeptics.

  26. Anne Byam ( part of the Murdoch empire ? )

    ………….” Australian forces are part of a US-led coalition that involves Middle Eastern countries as well as western allies.

    But Australia can unilaterally refuse to hit targets assigned to it if the risk to civilians is too high, the minister said.

    He said Australia’s risk assessments and operations were focused almost exclusively on not killing civilians, a lesson learnt from the long war in Afghanistan.” …………

    David Johnston said that on October 5th.


    How would it sit with the U.S. if we ‘disobey’ their commands for strikes ? From several accounts here – and elsewhere, the U.S. are not exactly discriminating when it comes to ‘collateral damage’. Some years back, Madeleine Albright made that very clear, in her infamous statement to the question ………. “that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” and Albright replied “we think the price is worth it.”.

    I don’t imagine much has changed.

    So – if we will NOT hit civilian targets …. ?? – it’s possible we will not be invited to do much at all by the U.S. ??? And they are after all the ‘leaders of the coalition’. Wonder how much sovereign right they might think they have over us ?

    I trust we do NOT hit civilian targets, EVER – but I don’t think it would sit too well with the great masters of the world – America who is ‘leading this coalition’.

    Would it ?

  27. cartoonmick

    Damn fine article Rossleigh.

    But, this is all part of their very clever plan.

    Their fantastic policies will get a lot more people onto the dole and keep them on it for much longer.

    Ya see, with dole numbers increasing at an exponential rate, there’s going to be a corresponding increase of jobs at Centrelink.

    The massive increase of Centrelink employees will create a monstrous additional flow of income tax into the federal purse.

    Awash with funds, they can now pay a generous dole to those out of work, AND afford a couple more wars in an attempt to boost their popularity.


    …. and for those still on the dole, they can be involved in “group” activities, such as in this cartoon . . . . .

    Editorial / Political


  28. mars08

    Anne Byam:

    …So – if we will NOT hit civilian targets …. ?? – it’s possible we will not be invited to do much at all by the U.S. ???…

    Interesting point.

    It’s so handy to have a “tame” senior warrior spruiking for our dear leader. Everything is progressing nicely (apparently)

    This news today from Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin: “I believe that’s exactly what air is doing and I think that’s what you’re seeing in the response from the terrorists, the ISIL terrorists, you’re seeing that their response is they understand if they start to move in groups in the open, they will die.”

    Do nice to hear what Mark Binskin thinks and believes. So reassuring. And so soon!

    Some people might see his statement as a prelude to declaring victory and being home by Christmas…

    BTW. Note the obligatory use of the emotive word “terrorist”… rather than insurgent. Remember when the MSM was happy to call them rebels?

  29. Anne Byam

    ……… Mars08 …….

    …………..“I believe that’s exactly what air is doing and I think that’s what you’re seeing in the response from the terrorists, the ISIL terrorists, you’re seeing that their response is they understand if they start to move in groups in the open, they will die.” ( Mark Binskin – Air Chief Marshal – as per your comment ).


    Cannot see that means anything but ‘boots on the ground’ ……. i.e. Australian, U.S., British, French and ‘allied’ Arabians, and anyone else involved in this fracas — – – – infantry and specialist operatives, can’t be anything but involved – and very soon.

    If a sniper starts cracking away in a shopping mall, what is everyone going to do – – – …. disperse rapidly in all directions, is what.

    Doesn’t take Einstien to figure out that’s exactly what the insurgents will do …. which means infantry will have to go after them, not military air arm, drones and bombs.

    And that terrifies me – as it must, any thinking Australian ( in particular ) …. and others in the world.

    But …… war is war any which way – and whoopee for that ( * sarcasm ).


    The MSM will call ISIL anything they think will capture the imaginations – and wild speculations of the reading / listening public.

    Much to my / our horror.

  30. stephentardrew

    Great article Ann. Can only agree.

  31. mars08

    Chinese proverb…. “He who rides the tiger can never dismount”

    Lazy, thoughtless, opportunist politicians in this country have created an ugly, volatile environment which WILL eat away at our society for decades to come. They have talked themselves into a disgraceful position and left themselves no room to maneuver.

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