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Short memory



I recently spent a day with my extended family, one of whom is a ‘senior government employee’ who has served ministers in several different portfolios and governments including the current one.

When we found ourselves standing together at one stage, in a very non-confrontational, non-interviewing way (he doesn’t know I write here), I asked him a few questions.

He is a very intelligent, astute man who has the diplomatic talk down pat so I knew I wouldn’t hear any dirt – he isn’t the type of person who would do that and it doesn’t interest me either. He is a pragmatic man who gets things done under whatever constraints are set and is rarely critical of whoever he may be working for. I admire him for that and he is truly an asset for the government of the day regardless of their ideology.

He describes himself as being in ‘the centre’ – I would describe him as slightly right of there and he certainly lives a lifestyle more akin to the right. But he is a realist and too smart to bother prevaricating so I found his comments both interesting and disturbing.

I asked about the carbon tax – he said it was never going to work. I assume he meant politically though I did not have the chance to ask further. He, like so many others, said Labor made themselves an unelectable train wreck.

He believes the free trade agreements with Japan and Korea are good things but said we are nowhere near an agreement with China.

When I asked about Tony Abbott he was surprisingly dismissive as if he wasn’t important to the conversation saying off-handedly “I could never vote for him though Malcolm Turnbull would probably get my vote.”

On Peta Credlin, he said somewhat resentfully “She wields an enormous amount of power for someone that no-one ever voted for”. Everyone has to ask permission for everything they do and then plead for the money to do it – even down to ‘may we please have the airfare to get to the conference we are attending on the government’s behalf’ – pre-approval only, no private jets or ‘make a claim’ entitlement stuff for the people who are actually doing the work.

None of the above is particularly surprising. You may disagree with it but there are no revelations there. But what he said next flummoxed me.

He very confidently stated that the Coalition will “romp home” next election. I spluttered in obvious incredulity. He said “The sweeteners are coming and that is what they will remember”. He has no vested interest in saying this and he has sufficient experience and inside knowledge that I must take his opinion seriously.

It is so blatantly obvious how crudely we are being played. Every economic parameter is compared to Hockey’s MYEFO, in which Hockey added $68 billion to the deficit over the forward estimates through his government’s decisions, rather than with the PEFO prepared under the Charter of Budget Honesty.

Of the total Commonwealth securities on issue, the $19.7 billion increase on the Coalition’s watch above what had been predicted, represents 6 per cent of the Treasury Indexed Bonds for the 12 months to June 2014. Add a few hundred billion to a projected debt in a decade and then cut money from the “leaners” to say look how much we have saved.

The refrain has returned to the “$1 billion in interest every month” mantra. When interviewed on radio recently, Mathias Cormann repeated it and “debt and deficit disaster inherited from Labor” so many times I thought I was hearing an infinite loop replay. The interviewer asked why, if we have such a problem, would you not use the GP co-payment to pay down the debt? Cormann then revealed the Coalition’s true agenda by saying “it will be an asset that improves the budget bottom line.” In other words, they don’t care about the interest being paid at all, they just want a number on a piece of paper.

We have been hit with the worst budget in living memory, attacking the very fabric of our society under the guise of “sustainability”. It’s surprising that this government only applies that word to pensions, healthcare and education spending. We never ask whether tax concessions for the wealthy are sustainable. We never ask if subsidies to the mining industry are sustainable. We never ask if pinning our economy on the mining and burning of fossil fuels is sustainable – ok 97% of sane people do ask that, sadly none of them advise our government who is apparently preparing for global cooling on the advice of their senior business advisor who is being avidly quoted on denial sites like wattsupwiththat. (I mean seriously….sack the fossil).

There will be some compromises from this budget passed off under “we listened to the people”, but the mining tax will go. Then will come the company tax cut. There will be adjustment to the top tax bracket to save those unfortunate high earners who have “crept” over the $180,000 mark through no fault of their own. The temporary levy on the highest bracket will go. The amount you can invest in superannuation will continue to rise.

But what crumbs will be thrown to the rest of us? If we get back a few of the conditions that have been stripped from us will we be happy to be only a bit worse off? Because we have been so battered and broken by this budget will we just be grateful to not get hit again?

Beware of Treasurers bearing gifts.


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  1. Florence nee Fedup

    There is a silver lining to Abbott and Co. I for one, believe they will send the economy into downfall. The cuts they have made, will hurt. Good assessment at this site.

    RBA spills the beans on Australia’s failed fiscal strategy

    If Abbott does not count,. who does?.

  2. johndriggers

    “…the advice of their senior business advisor who is being avidly quoted on denial sites like wattsupwiththat. (I mean seriously….sack the fossil).”

    Sack the fossil? Intended or not, that’s a pretty funny double entendre. :-()

  3. Rob031

    Kaye. Thanks for cheering me up so much.

  4. John Lord

    If this budget has been a disaster for the Coalition imagine the pressure on them to get the next one right.

  5. John Fraser


    On yesterdays estimates the likelihood of Abbott getting reelected was zero.

    Today, with revelations about Shorten, Abbotts chances have gone through the roof.

    Add Palmers outburst into the equation and the Senate is now up for grabs.

    I'm betting Credlin, Loughnane and a few other power figures are right now discussing the pros and cons of a Double Dissolution.

    And everyone knows that Abbott is a political opportunist whose skill is attacking when the opposition looks to be weak.

    Its a winner take all opportunity gifted by Shorten.

    I have nothing to say about Shorten sitting on the allegations against him …………………. for 10 months.

  6. Di Peterson

    I have been saying this since day dot. If that isn’t sufficient geting closer to the next election Tony will lead us into a war. Historically speaking either will probably guarantee a next election win.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    Those allegations have been around for a long lo9ng time. They were over 30 years ago

    Shorten has been in the public arena for a couple of decades. Especially from the time f that mine disaster.

    Why speak up thirty years later, when he becomes Opposition leader.

    I am sure, the allegations will never be allowed to die, while he is in politics.

    Much is made of the fact she was sixteen. Ignored that he was nineteen.

    John, do you really think they are capable of doing better next time.

    After all the noise about everything has to go through, I believe we will see what is left, whither on the vine. Really it has nothing to do with good governance.

    All is about personal prejudice. As for Pyne, I believe he has little understanding of what he is doing, will be willing to move on quickly

  8. John Fraser



    Nothing matters in relation to time or age.

    The only thing that matters is an allegation has been made and investigated and found to be wanting.

    The mud cannot be washed out …. its always there.

    If there was an election on Saturday Abbott would win it and take the Senate as well.

    Shorten should stand tonight …. for the sake of the ALP.

  9. bobrafto

    People need billboard reminders like this:

  10. David Linehan

    With Kaye Lee’s indulgence, it is off topic, I would like to share with you a reply I received on my Twitter Account from Anthony Albanese, Albo as he is affectionately known to Labor folk. He favoured a post I made about leadership.
    I was not only pleasantly surprised he took the trouble, as he must get hundreds plus of posts to his Twitter Account, but that he is obviously feeling something about the leadership of the party.
    Perhaps I am the idiot optimist and read too much into a simple response? Then maybe not, hope not.

    Here are the two.


    @AlboMP @reds_2001 @KateEllisMP Albo the true leader of the Labor Party, 60/40 majority, but Bills right wing factor mates say No No No

    10:59 AM – 21 Aug 14
    Favorited by
    Anthony Albanese Anthony Albanese @AlboMP
    Labor MP for Grayndler, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Tourism; Rabbitohs Life Member

  11. diongiles

    They could romp home if in competition with a vacuum, with no serious Labor Party constantly challenging their incessant lies. They didn’t seriously challenge the lies when they were in office and they still don’t while in limp faux “opposition”. Is it true that their strategy and tactics are being influenced by the UK “Labour” Party? Worse when it was the lying war criminal Blair but even Ed Milliband does nothing much to repudiate their dreadful past. The ALP needs to lay it on the line about the Budget as Kaye Lee has done, and hammer home the message about our virtual immunity from the Global Financial Heist that gutted Europe, Britain and America. It won’t have escaped international attention that Rudd and Gillard governed for Australia unlike the governments of Britain and Europe that govern for the foreign banksters.

    Labor should stand much firmer against the lurch to fascism with the further empowerment of the ASIO vermin. There’s a very thorough account at of just who these creatures and their foreign handlers are and the lengths to which they go to get rid of any government that sets out to govern Australia FOR Australia. It’s not beyond the bounds of probability that they were involved with getting rid of Turnbull, Rudd and Gillard. They’ll go on winning against Labor if Labor isn’t serious about taking them on.

  12. John Fraser


    @Bob Rafto

    The blue border is a nice touch.

  13. Lee

    Well of course the sweeteners are coming. They always do. Under every Liberal government the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and people have extremely poor memories from one election to the next.

  14. Kaye Lee


    The vacuum is what is scaring the crap out of me. What we need is relentless refutation of the lies. Every time they say Labor left a debt of $667 billion point out that figure was if we got rid of the income from the carbon and mining taxes. Point out that figure was if we introduce Direct Action and Tony’s PPL. Point out the revenue lost by allowing people to rort the FBT for fraudulent claiming of business usage for cars. Point out the revenue lost by choosing not to tax superannuees for any annual payments over $100,000. Point out the cost of borrowing $8 billion to gamble on the Australian dollar going down.

    Point out that PEFO is the only document that the Treasury and the Department of Finance have their names on, MYEFO is all Hockey’s guesstimates.

    Point out that the August PEFO said the underlying cash balance in 2013-14 would be a deficit of $30.1 billion with business as usual ie Labor policies. The following year’s balance would be a $24 billion deficit, and in 2015-16 a $4.7 billion deficit, before returning to a surplus of $4.2 billion in 2016-17.

    These forecasts total a deficit of $54.6 billion over the four-year forward estimates.

    The December MYEFO estimated the underlying cash balance for 2013-14 would be a deficit of $47 billion. The projections for the following three years were deficits of $33.9 billion, $24.1 billion and $17.7 billion.

    These total $123 billion over the four years of the forward estimates.

    Make them OWN the consequences of their decisions.

  15. Fiona

    But why is it that all of PM Blood Oaf’s “alleged” misdeeds – most of which have at least one credible eye-witness – are ignored, or smiled through as “Tony just being Tony” by our complicit MSM?

    Yet the allegations against Shorten have to be tried in the Court of Public Opinion, which by definition is always right? Sure, just ask Lindy Chamberlain.

  16. Kaye Lee

    I cannot for the life of me understand why Bill Shorten gave a press conference about this. I heard these allegations months ago. I treated them with the ignore which they deserved. Shorten’s attempt to “draw a line” just drew attention. The police issued a statement – something I find odd I must say – leave it at that.

    I hate this sort of deflection and it shouldn’t be given air in my opinion. The fact that Shorten chose to do so disappoints me.

    There are many stories about Tony that could be told but they are not relevant to his leadership ability, diplomacy, and policy direction… or lack thereof

  17. June M Bullivant OAM

    the problem is that we will not forget, once we are wary we will not trust anything they say, I think they are a bit naive

  18. stephentardrew

    Kaye I just don’t believe it. Too many variable dynamics for a simple bribe to be successful. Right of center bias.

    The biggest factor is Labor’s leadership. I think that the straight out lying and misinformation could be used to demonstrate Abbott is Julia on steroids (apologies to Julia) which alone is enough to sink him in an ocean of mendacity and hypocrisy. There is just too much baggage for the LNP to overcome.

    Shorten needs to go and Labor needs to remain in attack mode. All the pieces are there and the board is stacked against the LNP.
    All they have to do is disenfranchise a small percentage of the electorate and there go the swing seats.
    Pensioners and other interest groups will not forget regardless of any readjustment of their policies pre-election. The plan has been exposed and no amount of bribery is going to remove a sense of fear from those disenfranchised by this inept Government.
    All the opposition parties have to do is say first term manipulation and bribery will be wound back by these liars in the second term. The LNP have kicked an own goal and nothing will save them from the fear of the electorate or the obvious fact that if they lied so outrageously in their first term one wonders what the hell are they capable of in the second.

    I am not so easily fooled by this guys obvious political bias.

    The gun is loaded and all that is needed is to continually fire the bullets running with the slogan You Cannot Trust a Government of Inveterate Liars.

    The accumulated proof is overwhelming and social media can, and will shoot bullets like never before. We need to get beyond doubt and despair and act like winners.

    The Guardian and Fairfax are just warming up to the challenge. There are just too many hot issues for self-interested journalists to ignore. Sure labor screwed that last election but they now have their future served on a golden platter. I guarantee you I could develop a campaign to unseat the LNP regardless of any turn around. Furthermore the economy us looking like crap as unemployment increases. Improving job prospects will not counter the inept management of their first year in power.

    I am listening to suburban Australia and a whole lot of people are getting really pissed off. Don’t need many votes to swing an election.

  19. kerrilmail

    Well written Kaye but not surprising. Of course they will sweeten things closer to the election. I have been informing people for months not to believe the crap about the medical research futures fund. The interest is irrelevant. What Joe and Mathias want is that huge lump sum invested so they can claim it as a part of their surplus. The only people more stupid than this Government are the ones who voted for them and in doing so remain blind to their faults. Drinking the Kool Aid and voting the same way again.

  20. John Fraser


    @Kaye Lee

    Abbotts been P.M. since 18 September 2013.

    Shorten has been sitting on these allegations for 10 months.

    If I was his friend or an ALP political adviser I would have been advising him to stand down for the good of the party.

    It makes absolutely no difference that the allegations are untrue, the mud sticks, and it sticks right across the political party.

    And that is what now hurts the Labor party.

    If i was a Liberal party adviser I would be saying go for a DD.

    Go hard on everything that you have stated above Kaye Lee.

    Thats politics …. like it or leave it.

    Oh ! and wind up the Royal Commission into Trade Unions …. don't want Kathy Jackson getting in the way of an election.

    Hope Credlin isn't reading this.

  21. Fiona

    Kaye Lee,

    I don’t think Mr Shorten could “leave it at that”. As you say, it’s passing strange that the police issued a statement. Therefore it had to be dealt with, and at once. Otherwise he would be dogged for evermore with “why didn’t you … ?” stupidities that the MSM do sublimely and subliminally well.

    It may not lance the boil – probably won’t.

    However, for his own self-respect if nothing else, I don’t think Mr Shorten had any choice.

  22. Fiona

    John Fraser,

    Can you suggest one potential leader who doesn’t have a parking fine to their “detriment”? Or a littering offence? Or, I dunno, failure to pay a small bill on time?

  23. John Fraser


    An allegation of rape is hardly a traffic infringement.

  24. Kaye Lee

    I truly hope we prove my relative wrong and I think we can for the following reasons.

    Social media
    The marches where so many people who have never protested before are joining in. Angry grandparents can be powerful!
    The young who are mobilising. We need them to enrol and vote. When Hockey and Pyne were Young Liberals at university they led the fight against fees. Let’s hope this batch care about something a tad deeper than bringing back cracker night.
    The Abbott factor – so many people…actually nearly everyone cringes.
    The budget from hell

    But they do make it hard to get the truth out – look at the climate change debate. I had to listen to Joe Hockey today with my local member Lucy Wicks announcing all these new jobs coming to the Central Coast – the ATO will be relocating here and 2000 jobs will be created.

    Sadly, Lucy banned me from commenting on her facebook page long ago but here is what I would have liked to share with my fellow constituents.

    “In a stinging “slap in the face for Canberra” 600 Commonwealth public servants will be relocated to the Central Coast, half of whom will come from the already embattled Australian Tax Office.

    It comes as ATO bosses warn the tax office faces more work collecting Treasurer Joe Hockey’s new taxes, with fewer workers to carry the load.

    Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan says the ATO’s workforce should brace for years of job loss pain following Tuesday’s budget. Unions say hundreds or even thousands of tax officials will be forced from their jobs around the country as the ATO cuts another 2100 workers in the next seven months and the tax collection agency will be plunged into “turmoil”.

    The federal government will open a new building on the Central Coast to boost jobs in the region dominated by Liberal MPs, even though the nation’s capital could already be hit with 6500 or more job cuts in three years as the bureaucracy loses 16,500 positions nationally.

    Accounting, information technology, professional services and legal roles could be some of the job descriptions to relocate.

    Not all the 600 jobs will come out of Canberra, according to a spokesman from Treasurer Joe Hockey’s office, who said the ratio “has not been determined yet”, but others expect Canberrans will make up the vast majority.

    Read more:

  25. corvus boreus

    Agreed, John F.
    Regardless of the truth(which only 2 people know), Mr Shorten’s electability, especially among female voters, is severely compromised. Labor, in my opinion, needs to now show up as squeaky-clean.
    Bill Shorten ‘would not rule out’ a federal corruption enquiry.
    The next Labor leader should propose or endorse one.

  26. Fiona

    John Fraser,

    Agreed – but the police have already done a “no case”. That’s not so common these days, even though it might have been 30+ years ago.

    Corvus Boreus,

    I know nothing, and don’t want to know anything, about the allegations. However, I will put this to you. It is not unheard of for 16 year old girls to be persuaded – after consensual intercourse – by one or other of their parents to assert lack of consent. Most commonly it’s the mother who does the persuasion, on the basis that “if you don’t, your dad will kill you”.

    Sorry to put it so crudely, but these things do happen.

    And – my last comment – rape (ahem, sexual assault) is traditionally the easiest accusation for a female to make against a male, and the hardest for a male to disprove.

  27. jane

    Great piece as usual, Kaye. I tend not to agree with your friend, though. Possibly if they’d managed to get their budget through the Senate with no fuss, it might be different, but as things are they are being shown up for the incompetent, inept, arrogant creeps they are, lacking any understanding or compassion for people who really are doing it tough. I also think he may have misjudged Liesalot’s arrogance and unwillingness to budge even a mm from his ideology, however much it damages him and the Liars.

    John, the minute Labor start spruiking about Liars lies and corruption is the minute the msm spotlight will gratefully focus solely on Labor to the exclusion of all else. Labor should give the msm absolutely NOTHING to grab onto. They have said the right things about the budget, but they must not poke their heads too far over the parapet because Rupert would like nothing more.

    People are finding out for themselves how corrupt and mendacious they are; ICAC is seeing to that. But if Shorten constantly harps on about it, he’ll be accused of being a whinger and we’ll lose all the momentum that’s being built up.

    I live in Barker, an electorate overflowing with Liars lovers, all very quiet. No triumphalism from any of them and since Eleventy’s own goal wrt the alleged “budget crisis” and “economic emergency” in NZ, there’s nowhere to go with those slogans. And better still, no banging on about Labor’s debt etc.

    And now we have Liesalot using the petulant, childish defence of the budget by saying Labor made them do it. This makes them look stupid, ineffective and incompetent. And the fact that they still haven’t managed to negotiate the passage of the budget also speaks to incompetence, ineffectiveness and stupidity. It also makes the budget stink and seem even more dodgy and bad for everyone but the rich.

    The more Labor allows Liesalot, Eleventy, Brandis, Erica, ‘scum, Prissy et al to draw attention to their horrendous agenda for this country and display their obvious contempt for the poor, pensioners, the disabled, Indigenous, the low paid, the unemployed and students from kindy to uni, the better.

    Shorten has attacked them, but has not constantly harped on it, which, with the best will in the world could become self-defeating and end up with him wearing a self-righteous whinger label.

  28. John Fraser


    Abbotts got nothing to lose.

    He gets a secretary and office as well as his P.M. super.

    And everything to gain.

    Sadly it will be Australia's loss.

  29. corvus boreus

    Your scenario is plausable, and undoubtedly occurs.
    I am personally somewhat sceptical of the allegation, particularly as the official complaint, nearly 30 years old, was first aired on facebook.
    However, it will undoubtedly hurt Bill Shorten’s public reputation to the detriment of his party’s electability with him as leader.
    Not a judgement, just an observation.

  30. jane

    Fiona, I can’t help thinking the woman who accused Shorten of raping her in 1986, may have been egged on by the likes of Pyne etc. We’ve seen it with Ashby and Jackson and given all we know about the Liars depth of corruption can easily see Prissy and Brandis manipulating her into going down that path.

    I would prefer to believe your scenario, because it’s not the first time a young girl has been persuaded to plead rape when her parents found out she’d had consensual sex.

    However, as the investigation by the police has found that Shorten has no case to answer, even the Liars will have trouble flogging that dead horse to life.

  31. warriorwomyn2

    It’s a few years until the next fed election …. Just watch this space, LNP whether led by Abbott or not will do a f….n huge turn about to target the naive again, or read as stupid. Down in the polls have seen a softer approach, I’m not buying it.

  32. John Fraser


    I wonder if enough "Sovereigns" were offered would Abbott return to his "old country".

    "Operation Return Abbott" has a nice ring to it.

  33. Fiona

    Corveus Boreus,

    Bob Hawke’s reputation as a womaniser never hurt him – if anything, it helped him (among men, at least – speaking personally I could never stand him).

    So I’m not sure about your doubt – especially given the suspicions many, including you, have about the allegation.

  34. Fiona


    Yes – easiest to allege, hardest for the “perpetrator” to defend.

  35. Ginia

    I heard about the allegations against Mr Shorten some time ago, I treated them with the contempt I feel they deserve and viewed the whole thing as a deliberate smear campaign. I am a female voter and an (almost) senior one at that, this issue in no way alters my opinion of Bill Shorten. I dont consider myself to be an idiot, and will NOT be swayed by last minute ‘sweeteners’ from a corrupt and elitist Abbott and co. Unlike the proverbial gold fish, my female memory is just fine and come election time whether it be next month/next year or 2016 I will be rehashing all the current B/S as loudly, as often and to as many as I can reach. Social media is growing stronger every day, I think it would be imprudent to disregard power and determination of the people. I may be an old(ish) broad, but I’m a determined one and I want these incompetent idiots gone and forgotten ASAP.

  36. Michael Taylor

    I might be wrong, but didn’t Bolt even jump on the rape allegations bandwagon?

  37. Fiona

    John Fraser,

    Abbotts got nothing to lose

    Yes he does.


    Plus the salary.

    And he’d probably have another existential crisis – but PLEASE dog, spare us another Battlelines – the poor petal really has no idea how to mount an argument.

    IF Blood Oaf were to be disLodged during the current term of parliament, or IF he as PM were to be the only first-termer conniveative to lose office, I think we would be in for one helluva meltdown.

    At one level, I’d just lurve to see it.

    Reverting to my occasional humane instincts, not so much.

  38. Fiona


    Attagirl! (I’m all for nearly older women power 😉 )

  39. Michael Taylor

    Fiona, I’d love to see some of the Libs front up to a Federal ICAC. In which case, anyone found guilty of corruption would lose their superannuation. I can only hope.

  40. John Fraser


    A Royal Commission into the treatment of asylum seekers and the imprisonment of children.

    As well as piracy on the high seas, imprisonment and deportation to another country.

  41. randalstella

    The reasons for preferring another Labor leader to Shorten should have nothing to do with these allegations; and should not be given momentum by them. There is no case to answer.
    Accept that a leader should fade away because of serious and unfounded allegations and then you cannot complain if it happens to someone you support sometime. And that will be sooner rather than later given the gangsters currently in power. I don’t have to remind anyone of what they have tried on Gillard.

    I am sorry to say, not much sense in some of the posts above; and not much principle either.

    On corruption, and secret deals and lobbying, we need a Federal ICAC. Labor should be pushing for it; and making it policy priority.

  42. Florence nee Fedup

    i am not sure that this one Is going to take off. Things are a little different. We are getting revelations of corrupt MPs every day.

    Is it not ten now n the Central Coast. All the state MPs. moving onto the feds/.

    So much noise, that Obeid and Tripodi are being pushed to the back ground.

    Another factor, that Abbott is carrying similar baggage with many more than one allegation.

    Shorten biggest danger would have been the RC Union Co9ruption, but thankfully that one seems to be going nowhere.

    The Pink Batts RC was a fizzer, Except for Jackson, the union one seems to be going same way. Maybe some minor misdemeanour but little more.

    I would love the voters to throw o a first term government, The voters keep on doing it, until the politicians get the message, not to saboteur our democracy.

  43. Florence nee Fedup

    An aside. It appears the woman that made the allegations, is community nurse on the Central Coast.

  44. Rob031

    When Shorten got up and declared that could no longer support Gillard I found him very believable. I didn’t want her to go but it was about Shorten’s stated belief that a total electoral wipeout would be bad for the democratic process.

    I like Shorten but I don’t see him as the best person to lead the Labor Party. Apart from the mud that will inevitably stick since his recent revelations, he lacks what I see as the necessary oomph to tackle the Coalition should an election loom on the horizon.

    If he or the party decides that a new leader is required then it’s probably better to have this happen now (while the budget controversy is sizzling away) than later. As to who would be a good replacement, I don’t know. Albo springs to mind. Penny Wong, if she moved to the lower house, would certainly get my vote.

    In any case I am still heartened with the apparent grass-roots revulsion with this deceitful government and its blatantly unfair budget as evidenced by so much social media activity. Here’s hoping that the resitting of parliament next week will see as much blue-metal as possible being heaved into the gearbox of the Coalition. I’m also interested in seeing what will happen with the marches at month’s end.

  45. Roger

    “Operation Return Abbott” I really like! As I look into my myopic crystal ball, I see an ex- Union leader/politician leaving the waterside docks and stepping into the big chair. I see my own image reflecting a smile of contentment. Mmmm, sounds tantalizing.

  46. Anne Byam

    Good article Kaye … thanks ( I think !! ). … Liberal will ROMP HOME ? …. I sincerely hope this male member of your extended family was either joking, or way off his game.

    However, the next comment “The sweeteners are coming and that is what they will remember”, really doesn’t surprise me at all. I have been waiting for them to begin their ‘sweeteners’, frankly. It’s the way the game is played, and the Abbott and his entourage, would be experts at it. Meaning, they will perpetrate even more lies to ‘sweeten’ the deal – any deal they see fit for the vote and the voters, who – by that time might be so non-plussed about it all, that they will in fact, begin to believe the coalition.

    But not this little black duck.

    It’s possible that ( as I mentioned once before ) this Government has raised the stakes so high, that they have nothing else to do but back down – quite deliberately. Like selling a home … no one puts a low price on a home, as the price can then never be put up. But a high price can lead to bargaining, and thus a sale can be made at a lower, more realistic price – more to what the seller wanted in the first place. That’s the way THAT game is played. Am seriously thinking that might be Abbott’s ploy – one of them anyway.

    However I hope no-one is fooled by it. Because once they get what they want, they will continue to issue edicts against our best interests and several years of LNP Government, is several years too long.

    As reported recently ( source Channel 7 news – July 16th 2014 ) ” Mr Hockey said that if the Senate continued to block the Government’s plans, he was prepared to look at budget cuts that did not require legislation. ” It’s my belief that’s exactly what they would resort to … he showed his cards with his statements on this … and it has not been mentioned since. Probably got a rap over the knuckles for letting cats out of bags.

    We must all be alert …. very alert. But not afraid – never afraid. To be afraid would play right into this Governments filthy hands.

  47. Anne Byam

    Am somewhat alarmed at the hint (?) of anti-Shorten in some of these posts. It surprises me.

    I believe that Bill Shorten most likely asked the police for their final confirmation and notes of closure on the case, to underscore his statements and put a FINALstamp on it. No matter how far back it goes. As someone here said – mud sticks … but if a good wash-down is delivered, it does NOT stick … it gets washed away into the gutter, where it belongs.

    He has been recently attacked again ( most likely by some Liberal nasty – and it took off from there ) about the alleged rape…. so why shouldn’t he stand up for himself. Mind you, he could have ignored it …. most of social media should be ignored. But it HAS been raised again – and it would be again and again, if he hadn’t come out in his own defence. Now they have little or nothing to say, except that a few will milk it for all it’s worth.

    I think he has jumped in first, and cut Abbott off at the socks, frankly. Bill Shorten did this for a REASON …. ( He must’ve heard some hefty rumblings about what was going to be thrown at him, yet again …. that’s just my opinion ).

    He knows it, his party knows it, his family knows it, and social media sure as hell knows it. There are a lot of little mongrels out there, with nothing substantial to say, but plenty they dredge up to attack with. And they do it repeatedly.

    This all says something about the LNP and it’s followers – not about Bill Shorten. Doesn’t it ?

    I believe, and I hope, that Australia wants a sensible, quietly determined, and positive thinking leader who will not succumb to filth, fear mongering and illogical diatribe to deliver his message for the people. Unlike the current Government who delight in delivering fear and totally unrealistic ‘solutions’ to Australians – in the name of whatever they dredge up daily to justify their horrid ideologies. Should Bill Shorten start shrieking and screaming invective at the Government , much like Abbott did when he was in Opposition. Would THAT get him anywhere ? I seriously doubt it.

    THIS link was on my page on Facebook : http://WWW.THEAUSTRALIAN.COM.AU – in greying letters underneath the headlines. I have never subscribed to, liked or followed the Australian newspaper ( from Facebook ) in any way whatsoever. Right up the top above his photo were just two words : Bill Shorten. And the article ? It was less than 50 words words long ( on both occasions ), with slightly different wording. When I first accessed this page from Facebook, it was showing the 21st August, 2.58 pm as published. In testing this link, it comes up now at 12 a.m. 22nd August. So they are keeping it there …. to do as much damage as possible. It is an ambiguous piece of writing, and it leaves ( as is intended ) people to read it and wonder what ‘this allegation’ is all about. Mystery – the great intrigue. … This mob will always get their message across.

    But then …… so will we.

  48. Neil of Sydney

    People are finding out for themselves how corrupt and mendacious they are; ICAC is seeing to that”

    ICAC is an investigation into corrupt Labor party politicians. During this investigation it has come out that some Liberal party politicians have excepted money for campaign funding from property developers which was made illegal in 2009. IN NSW it looks like we have a choice between the totally corrupt ALP and the corrupt Coalition.

    Fact is the country could not stand any more Labor govt for a long time. In six years Rudd/Gillard did so much damage. Labor govts always make incoming Coalition govts look bad because there is always so much mess to clean up.

    I find it interesting that Rudd/Gillard/Greens locked up more men, women and children asylum seekers than any govt in Australian history. Locking people up seems to be a characteristic of socialist govts.

  49. corvus boreus

    An ICAC solely targeting Labor would be a NICALC(Non-independent commission against labor corruption).
    A true ICAC, such as is taking prominent scalps on both sides of politics in NSW, and revealing wider(federal) perfidies, targets corruption across the board.
    Heads are rolling both for the original misdeeds and the compounding crime of lying to an official commission.
    Strangely enough, our rorting PM opposes any such federal measure offhand, whilst making excuses for some of the illicit conduct revealed by the NSW inquiry.
    He also happily spends leisure time(taxpayer billed) with ‘power-broker’ Graeme Richardson, whose own conduct has been extremely suspect(thousands into Swiss accounts cause he’s such a bonza bloke?) and whose direct machinations landed us with the incomparable Eddie Obeid, the shiftiest parasite to ever infect the body politic.
    Corruption is a curse of rot in the barrel of politics, regardless the colour of the apples.
    Those who oppose instituting a federal investigation, and give excuses for corrupt misconduct, I deem to be dodgy by default, and most likely corrupt in deed.
    As the Laura Norda cliché goes, “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”.

  50. Kaye Lee

    We need to clean up the whole political donation thing. The only reason they need donations is to run advertising campaigns. Since we still own a national broadcaster (I think) they could be given free air time in the lead up to elections. Political advertising is banned in the UK and we would save millions if the same was done here. Ros Packer could donate her half million to charity instead of to the party who then allows her son to do whatever he wants even though it goes completely against the approval granted in the first place.

    “Unpublished plans for the Barangaroo site show planned buildings have more than doubled in size since the original design brief was issued.

    The council has also accused the state government of having a very serious conflict of interest, because it is both the approval authority and the owner and developer of the site.

    A blunt and strongly worded paper, considered at the council’s development committee on Tuesday night, marks a serious deterioration in relations between the council and the government over Barangaroo.

    “This is the standard way developers behave,” said Councillor John Mant, a former planner. “You get approval, then you come back for a bit more, and a bit more, and you drop things that are for the public but keep the bonus floorspace. You turn a modest building into a very large one.

    “The history of Barangaroo does not engender trust in the planning system.”

    Under the NSW planning regime, the council would have to follow a number of public benefit tests. As a minimum, any increases in development would require bigger levies to enhance the public outcomes in the project but could also include other requirements such as affordable housing, libraries and additional public space.

    But the council said none of that was happening and instead the developers had got a huge increase in value at the expense of the public.

    Read more:

    The prospect that lower-income earners could enjoy a pad at Barangaroo is in doubt after it emerged Lend Lease is wavering on a commitment to build affordable housing next to James Packer’s luxury casino.

    The change in stance follows an admission by the state government that a taskforce set up to help solve Sydney’s housing affordability crisis has not met for more than a year, or delivered the housing policy it promised, despite previously saying “doing nothing” was not an option.

    Fairfax Media has learnt that Lend Lease has been eyeing off locations away from Barangaroo on which to build the affordable housing component it pledged in return for developing public harbourside land.

    Under current approvals for Barangaroo south, 2.3 per cent of 100,000 square metres of residential floor area must be “key worker housing” – homes rented to lower-income public sector workers such as police, nurses, teachers and paramedics.

    However it has emerged Lend Lease has been in talks with not-for-profit housing groups about building the homes off-site – potentially allowing it to reap a greater profit from the Barangaroo residential floorspace.

    Read more:

  51. billly moir

    At last a common sense piece! Labor and little billy are a godsend to the back room conservatives. Some of us watched while Menzies lied his way past labor who waited patiently for us to realise how colourless odourless and tasteless we were. A flash of whitlam destroyed by a consummate liar jo. A soul destroying numbness of Howard and a completely amoral nutter in the rabbott took and held power as the result of lies yet gillard who, for a pollie, was truthful gets the lie tag. Does that not send shivers down the spine of amerophobes? Shorten has no chance against the rabbott and labor has no chance if they dump him. Sadly he will not take the ‘rape’ opportunity to retire.

  52. Keith

    I responded to a Reachtel poll last night. Judging by the way the questions were couched I think the poll had been commissioned by the Liberal Party. There were no questions about Labor, or Bill Shorten.
    There was a question about Clive Palmer asking if he had damaged the Australian Chinese relationship. The abbott gang have certainly had some input into damaging International relationships generally.

    Abbott is so mistrusted now that he has become unelectable at the next election in my opinion. Kaye’s relative may not be getting the vibes that are coming out in the community. Howard tried to use sweeteners to win the last election, he lost his seat and the election. Maybe memory on my part is poor; but, I don’t recall the degree antagonism expressed against Howard as abbott is now experiencing.

  53. billly moir

    ps Anne hope and quietness will never overcome lies, sex and violence. Intelligent sensible people are firm in their belief that labor ruined us economically and cannot manage the economy. Little billy and labor have confirmed that belief by being absolutely ineffective at challenging the rabbott’s assessment over the last 3 years. Barring a foundation 51 debacle, by the time of the next election the state of the economy will be the rabbott’s (if it is not already) and labor will be economic vandals for another 10 years. As for little Billy’s announcement that he accepts the police view that the reason for not pursuing the rape case is due to the assessment that it is unlikely to secure a conviction is hardly washing away the mud?

  54. townsvilleblog

    Kay, the LNP are treating Aussies like fools, and so far we are allowing them to get away with it. What these federal politicians need is a couple of well timed “shocks” for example to lose the state governments of NSW, Queensland followed by Victoria. It saddens me to know that the ALP has NOT reformed internally on their proceedures to install democracy within their organization, because I believe had it done so they would be in a far better position to bring about those “shocks” and really give the ultra right LNP a cause for concern and to rethink their party’s internal balance.

  55. David Linehan

    Talking ALP internal reform. Peter Wicks, better known to his blog and Twitter reader as Wixxy, has touched on the subject in a round about way in his column yesterday re Labor pre selection in NSW.
    Those familiar with Peter’s investigative journalism (Craig Thomson, the HSU and Kathy Jackson for example) will appreciate he is one of the foremost in that category, way ahead of the majority in the MSM but with little recognition out side social media.
    Here’s the link to the aforementioned post

    Incidentally my post yesterday re Bill Shorten and leadership was written before his public announcement of the result of the police investigation and dismissal into the alleged rape. I stand by it, I admire his courage and while it clears him I have a suspicion, if history is the barometer, Murdochs thugs will never let it go.

    Oh I see we have a Tory troll in our midst, taken your meds this morning Billy? Good lad 🙂

  56. Hotspringer

    @ billy moir. For the first time ever have I been addressed as unintelligent and not sensible.Thank you.
    I am of the firm belief that Labor (with all their shortcomings) saved our country economically in very difficult (Have you heard of the GFS?) times. Looking back, Labor managed the economy better than the LNP. I do agree, unfortunately, about the ineffective opposition.
    @ Ginia. Good on you. As a male senior, I’ll be doing my best as well.

  57. James Cook

    I can see the new slogan now:”WE LISTEN!” And with all the sweeteners offered, the LNP will have a good chance of re-election. I’m very, very scared!

  58. Anomander

    I can’t fathom why the ALP and Greens aren’t using Abbott’s own tactics against him?

    For me the prime example of this is the Medicare co-payment, which should be proclaimed for what it is, a great big SICK TAX.

    SICK TAX should be front and centre of every single statement they make to the media, backed-up by short, sharp facts and stories about how it will adversely impact those who can least afford it – the single mother barely scraping-by forced to spend money every time one of her children gets sick – SICK TAX. Or the tale of the labourer whose employer demands a medical certificate for every absence, which costs him money he can ill-afford – SICK TAX. Or the average family who will be forced to pay more for their medications, while private health companies are raking-in multi-billion dollar profits and medical services are declining – SICK TAX.

    The ALP and the Greens need to wrest back control of the language to deliver their own effective message that cuts straight through the Liberal lies. But instead, the ALP keep allowing the Libs to control the language and therefore the message – a co-payment kinda sounds reasonable, but a SICK TAX is something that affects us all when we are at our most vulnerable.

    These are the simple, compelling types of attacks Abbott produced in opposition that made him effective in the minds of the ignorant and disinterested populace.

  59. Kaye Lee

    In Canada, a person can be imprisoned for up to five years for circumventing the cap on donations. In addition those convicted of corrupt practices in Canada can be banned for seven years from running for Parliament or holding any government office. Here, the penalties are pathetically weak (a fine of $11,000 for a person and $22,000 for a party).

    In NSW, we are hard-pressed even to prosecute them. This is because there is a limitations clause that prevents any prosecutions for election funding offences taking place more than three years after the offence occurred, letting any offenders in relation to the 2011 NSW election off the hook. In Canada, offences can be prosecuted within 10 years of occurring.

  60. stephentardrew

    Spot on Anomander:

    There is such a mass of material available It amazes me that Labor does no have a list of short quotes to throw out at regular intervals. Repetition, repetition, repetition sinks in. Just view Abbott’s pre-election, and may I say, post election performance. Labor desperately needs some well constructed catchy soundbites to run continuously over the next couple of years. You can use the same strategy without the lies and obfuscation to represent honest evidence based opinion.

  61. jimhaz

    [The sweeteners are coming and that is what they will remember]

    Yep it has already been mentioned in the media that the LNP are seeking to introduce tax cuts next election. It was what allowed Howard to reign so long.

  62. John Fraser


    @Kaye Lee

    Abbott doesn't recognize Canada.

    And he is the suppository of all wisdom.

  63. Rob031

    @Anomander said “SICK TAX should be front and centre of every single statement they make to the media, backed-up by short, sharp facts and stories about how it will adversely impact those who can least afford it…”

    Mmmm. Not so sure that that’s such a good idea. The “SICK TAX” part could well be perceived by many as a sign that the ALP is no real alternative to the Coalition in terms of how they speak to the electorate via. the media or when being interviewed: – Oh no! Not endless two-, three- and four-word slogans again! That sort of thing.

    I do agree that they will need to be able to demonstrate that they’re really on top of what they’re speaking about – and not obviously evasive if they wish to avoid a particular question. By now I can imagine that many in the electorate are sick-to-death of the relentless evasiveness of the current mob.

    Or is it just me?

    If the Opposition want to focus on key words and phrases they would be wise to use a wide range on synonyms and antonyms and varied sentence construction.

  64. Neil of Sydney

    “Yep it has already been mentioned in the media that the LNP are seeking to introduce tax cuts next election

    Swan did tax cuts also. This from his last budget

    The Government has delivered $47 billion of tax cuts in our first four years since coming to office. In addition, we have provided further tax cuts as assistance for the cost of living impact of the carbon price from 2012‑13. Even after accounting for the small increase in the Medicare levy in 2014‑15 we will be delivering total tax cuts of around $20 billion a year over the next four years compared to the 2007‑08 tax scales.

    The last column in the Table shows how much better Swans tax cuts are compared to Costello’s. Swan even brags about how much better his tax cuts are.

  65. Anne Byam

    @ billy moir. “hope and quietness will never overcome lies, sex and violence ??? ” Actually, it can … but that’s in a Utopian world that we don’t live in. The first two, do not in any way relate to the second 3 words you have used in that sentence. So that just does not make sense. Anyone could read that comment as showing that the writer prefers lies, sex and violence to hope and quietness”, but surely that is not the case, is it ?

    I am not about to take up a monumental argument with someone who shows so blatantly, on which side he sits – the LNP.

    However :

    1) Labor managed the economy well enough to get us through the GFC ( Global Financial Crisis ), virtually unscathed. A better performance than most all other countries affected by it – according to many independant reports – here and overseas.

    2) “Little billy and Labor” has been ineffective ………. >>> challenging the rabbott’s ( your words ) assessment over the last 3 years ? The current LNP has only been in power for less than 12 months. Not sure how 3 years could possibly come into it. Bill Shorten was not the Labor party’s leader – before the election. Shorten became leader in October 2013.

    3) Foundation 51 … you are referring to the rather ‘secretive’ organisation in the Northern Territory ? How would this relate to vandalism by ANY party, of the economy for the next 10 years. One of the board members of that society / organisation is listed as a member of the Country Liberal Party, which is quite specifically Northern Territory. What has that got do with it. Doubt you will answer that one.

    4) As for mud slinging. How would you like to contemplate a large purchase of Bunnings hoses – held by ALL Federal MP’s – BOTH sides, to fire at the mud and send it down the gurgler where it belongs — eh ?

    – – – – – – From the Guardian today – 22nd August 2014:

    Headline : MPs support ‘drawing a line’ under Bill Shorten assault allegations.

    ” Politicians from both Labor and the Coalition agree opposition leader’s statement was difficult but the best thing to do.”
    ” Politicians from both major parties have supported “drawing a line” under the sexual assault allegations made against the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, after police said they would not pursue charges. ”

    I watched this also being reported also on Channel 10 news brief, this morning. I was very surprised.

    I do think ( perhaps cynically ) that the LNP supported Bill Shorten, to cover their own backsides and to perhaps warn their own followers to back off the subject. Like, as of now ?

    I’d suggest you read carefully your posts, before hitting the ‘ Post Comment ‘ button, in future.

  66. Wayne Turner

    Hopefully,he’s wrong BUT: NEVER under estimate the stupidity of the masses (It’s how we got Abbott & co).George Carlin said it best:-

  67. David Linehan

    Anne ABC News Radio same. They headlined the sudden Tory love in with Labor, every bulletin, played LOTO’s short statement, repeated Bishops ‘we agree’ over and over, asked Bernard Keane about it in his political chat. They were very keen to push Tory leave it alone now, line.
    Definitely covering something, there is always a political reason for their actions, politically favourable to them.

  68. Anthony

    middle-class welfare – it’s what most Liberal governments have done after half-term to shore up their votes. expect to see it in 6-12 months from now. either that, or some national emergency involving The Terrorists will do the job nicely 🙁

  69. trevor

    Abbotts Plan:

    Say no to everything in opposition.

    Destroy the workability of Parliment.

    Trash talk everyone and everything Labor.

    Get Elected on no policies,( My Plan)

    LIE,LIE,LIE,LIE,LIE. agree that “I LIE BUT”

    Destroy everything that Labor legislated.

    LIE<LIE<LIE<LIE Disabuse the questioner when they challenge the Govt.

    Create(a) Budget Crisis,(b) Financial Crisis. (c) Parlimentary Crisis.

    Create Team Orstaya.

    Create an Debt disaster and economic Crisis Rhetoric.

    Refuse to bring legislation to Parliment on the excuse that it is Labors Fault.

    Enter into a War of Attrition with (a) Own collegues, (b) Parliment. (c) the voters. (d) Students. (e) Farmers. (f) Women. (g) Workers. (h) everyone else who doesnt own a Mine.

    Throw the country into a Recession.

    Blame Labor for the Recession.

    Just prior to the next election miracuously engineer a economic recovery.

    Shower the electorate with the proceeds of the miraculous economic recovery

    Win the election.

    Declare Australia Abbots ville and pass dictatorial decrees that restrict everything except bowing to effigies of Abbott.

    Export Abbott not Refugees.

  70. Neil of Sydney

    “1) Labor managed the economy well enough to get us through the GFC ( Global Financial Crisis ), virtually unscathed. A better performance than most all other countries affected by it – according to many independant reports – here and overseas.

    We hit the GFC with zero Federal govt debt and unemployment at 4.3% thanks to Howard/Costello. I would like to see what it would have been like if debt was at 40% of GDP.

    “Destroy the workability of Parliment.”

    Gillard had the numbers to get anything through both houses of Parliament. I thought you lot used to brag about the amount of legislation passed now you say Parliament was unworkable.

    “Create an Debt disaster

    The debt disaster was created by the spendthrift Swan. And there is a budget emergency. We have to borrow 70% of our debt from overseas meaning at the moment $700M/month is going to overseas investors. This could rapidly increase.

  71. aravis1

    Just on the Bill Shorten matter. Has no one realised that Bill has done what he did so that the Libs could not come out and smear him yet again? I agree 100% with him. It was clearly stated that there was no case to answer, but the Libs would not have said that, would they? He preempted them, and it was the act of a canny politician. Anyway, I don’t believe this will hurt him with voters, unless they are already Libs. No one is squeaky clean, you know. If this is all they could dig up about him, it’s precious little. And i wonder if the woman was paid by the Libs in the first place.
    As for Kaye’s relative, I do not agree, and yes, I know i’m not in the inner circle, but I have a sense which this man just may not have, of the rage of the people. It is not like anything seen before. It will not be so easily forgotten. Tax cuts? That would not be enough to make anyone but the wealthy forget. The opinion – please excuse me, Kaye – made me angry and curtailed my sleep last night. What it did not do was make me fearful. Of course there are still thousands of unthinking masses who would still vote for the liberals because they’ve been brainwashed by the MSM. But there are increasing thousands of all ages – and remember, the young coming up do not like these arrogant idiots in power – who will never vote again for the Libs, or not for a very long time, no matter how many tax cuts they hold out. I absolutely do NOT believe that an election held now would bring the LIbs back into power. That’s just nonsense and not worth considering.

  72. Kaye Lee

    Nothing to excuse aravis. Sorry it made you angry but anger can be motivating. We NEED to maintain the rage, remember the lies, anticipate the strategy, and prove him wrong!

  73. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of tactics, in my electorate we had Joe Hockey yesterday telling us there will be jobs here in a few years time (whilst neglecting to mention they would be relocated from Canberra) and today we had Malcolm Turnbull telling us 10 houses have been connected to fibre to the node. There is a big push on for the Central Coast, possibly trying to deflect attention away from ICAC because we are a hot bed of corruption here. Lucy Wicks is being groomed for something.

  74. Anne Byam

    @aravis1 …. that’s similar to what I said myself – in a previous post. So yes I realised that. It was :

    ” I do think ( perhaps cynically ) that the LNP supported Bill Shorten, to cover their own backsides and to perhaps warn their own followers to back off the subject. Like, as of now ? ”

    I thought I may have been showing cynicism when I posted the comment, but nope – not cynical after all. And of course I agree.

    Have been saying all along, that I think Bill Shorten is playing a very clever political game. Being relatively quiet, in order for the LNP to fill the air space left, with their own self-important statements and garbage – and thereby hang themselves from a great height. They are so far doing a superb job of gutting themselves big time. And Labor are not obliged whatsoever to reveal any of their policies at this time, but you can bet your life, they are working on them. The LNP would know that too – for sure.

    As for families … if I get started – I won’t stop. No offence Kaye to your family member, but my ” older ” lot are ALL blue tie, blue everything Liberals, and not only try to dictate to me who I should vote for – true ( * I’m swearing here ) … but ‘ choose ‘ who they associate with in the family, invitees to events, etc. on the basis of poltics …. Something sure does stink. Needless to say, I don’t get too many guernseys to family events …. LOL 🙂 ….. My own sister and bro-in-law are heavily entrenched in party politics and chair this and that for the Libs in Victoria, attending every function they can. And go all out for the Feds as well. So you can only imagine !!

    It used to hurt a bit, but doesn’t at all any more – there are other important things to think about in life. My grand-children however, are definitely NOT in the LNP corner. They are 18 and 17 – the youngest is 14 and couldn’t give a toss about it all. And why should she – she’s still very young and enjoying her life immensely.

    Meanwhile I shall remain … a ‘discerning’ voter. ( there you are Corvus – I’ve done it !! ). 😉

  75. Dame-Carolyn Janson

    Absolutely, Kaye! We won’t gain everyone, but I am sure we will reach enough of the doubters, if we don’t give up. O, and I wasn’t angry with you! But I do become irritated with smugness in “senior politicos” of any stripe. Personally, the time for me to bow to any arrogant politician or civil servant is long past. And I hope more and more of us will take the same stance!

  76. Dame-Carolyn Janson

    My sympathies, Anne Byam, on your family! I have one son who has always voted Liberal, though he is disenchanted with them at present, but simply refuses to examine the issues. My other son is totally in my court, thank goodness! I wish he would go into some form of politics; he has such great ideas. We do desperately need some intelligence and political good sense. I remind myself that one person can sometimes move mountains – and we are more than one!

  77. Anne Byam

    Thanks Dame-Carolyn. Fortunately it’s only the furthest extended family who seek to impose their will. !! And there’s plenty of them. …. It’s preposterous. My sons and daughter, and their children are hope for the future, and my 3 offspring are more like me – discerning ( swinging ? ) voters – and inclined to not get into political debate. Which I respect.

    Your son – like many other disillusioned Libs, will find his own way I would think. And you would respect whatever way that is. Your other son is in the correct area of thinking, in my opinion.

    To each his / her own …. but never let politics come between any of you … ever.

  78. Florence nee Fedup

    Kaye Lee, was it ten houses. Still not as good as down the road. These people can look forwarded to the broadband slowing down as more are connected. Did he say how far from the node, these house are.

    Down the road in Gosford., where they have NBNCo, it matters not if all connect. Speed will not be affected.

  79. Möbius Ecko

    Please listen to this. It’s everything we’ve been saying about government debt and Howard got it so wrong and how Abbott is leading us to a Greek/Italian/Spain/UK disaster.

    Yet even with the evidence of Greece and the UK the right wingers will still go on about austerity and blame Labor when in fact it was Howard’s Liberal government that is the problem, the fallout from which is still rumbling through society today. When we need to flush the last of Howard’s economic turds out of the system along comes Abbott to not only block the loo but to overflow the entire bowl and have us all walling in shit.

  80. Carolyn Janson

    Thanks Anne Byam. You are right; family is worth more than politics!

  81. Anne Byam

    @ Mobius Ecko. While your comments are absolutely spot on … I cannot help myself. Laughter is spilling out, despite the fact that I’d perhaps rather be a little more serious about things at this time.

    Great post – and wot a hoot the last sentence is…… kind of lightens things up a bit, but is none-the-less true.

    Austerity and all that jazz. It’s a nice big frightening word for tightening the belt a bit. There are many ways to do that, without frightening hell out of everyone, causing worry and misery, threatening our people, and trying to implement drastic measures, based on absolute lies.

    To try and compare our fiscal situation with other countries’ fiscal dilemma’s – even though there was a tiny flow on – is ridiculous. Tracking back a bit, shows the total mess that Howard made, and passed on to the Labor Government when he was tipped out – not only from the Prime Ministership, but from his own electorate. And then the Labor ministry steered us through the GFC, with astonishing results. Other countries envied us. …. I don’t think they do now !!

    Abbott won’t be permitted to lead us to any Euro type disaster. That’s for sure.

  82. contrite shadow

    For real; I felt bowel-clenching horror at his certainty that Coalition might win. I sincerely hope not.

  83. Möbius Ecko

    Anne no other Australian leader in our history had the fortunate luck of circumstances that fell into Howard’s lap, and he could have gone down in history as one of the greats if not the greatest. Instead, and in spite of a small handful of good things he did, in 10½ years he not only squandered it on bribes to win elections with nary a thought for the good of the country, he left the country in a perilous state.

    Just as Labor had to rescue the country after Howard’s stint as Treasurer under Fraser, Labor again went about rescuing Australia from his mismanagement and from a GFC. This time though we have had a rabid wealthy elite, greedy big business and an acidulous MSM, one in particular, along with the worst leader ever foisted on this country in Abbott ensuring Labor was not recognised for that but was actually condemned for it.

  84. Anne Byam

    Mobus Ecko … Agree completely with all you said about Howard.

    Thing is the old saying you know … ” sticks and stones ? names will never hurt you” …. if Abbott thinks that his continuous harping on everything being ‘Labor’s fault’ is going to stick, he is sadly mistaken. People will ( and they are already ) of the opinion that ” he doth protest too much “. There is nothing more irritating than an advert, a TV show, or a politician who repeats things ad nauseum.

    Thing is – he simply does not know any better. A kindly little spark ( not political ) in me, almost feels sorry for the poor coot. He hasn’t a bloody clue.

    Where does that leave us – at the moment, hanging by a thread. We need to get a very big repair kit out, and start mending.

  85. Neil of Sydney

    “he left the country in a perilous state.

    Really? The economic numbers in 2007 were the best for a long time. You have to go back to the 1970’s to find unemployment at 4%.

    I think Labor supporters are deluded.

    Name me one Labor govt where unemployment ended up lower.

    Govts usually try austerity after socialist govts have trashed the joint. Most Labor supporters only care about themselves and their enormous stomachs. That is why Labor govts cannot run surplus budgets. Their supporters will never let them. They want this that and whatever. That is why Labor govts always have and always will leave a trashed budget for the Coalition to clean up.

  86. Anne Byam

    Neil … you ARE kidding, aren’t you ? Trashed budget ? Have another squiz at your beloved Liberal Party and see the mess they are making of things, right now. It is way too late in the evening for me to rummage around in previous posts about the figures, statistics etc. – and how Hockey has built upon his alleged budget deficit – to fudge the picture. I am sure someone will be able to give you the true facts.

    Meantime, if I have the inclination to have the time, I will look them up myself – from all manner of sources. However, here’s one for your corner … reposted from Florence in her first post :

    Read it and weep.

  87. lawrencewinder

    This country is lost. The Aspirational Bogans will win because you can’t treat a cancer by talking it away!

  88. Carolyn Janson

    Neil, as Anne Byam has pointed out, the kindest response to your post is to believe you are kidding – or delusional. One thing Howard did was get the budget back to surplus – by selling off our assets. A one-off gain for long-term loss. All he cared about was his “adding machine”. Whereas Labor, for all its shortcomings, has managed the economy well, kept us from a disaster the Europeans did not avoid with austerity, and put us on track to return to surplus in a timely manner. You really need to read something other than Liberal lies and Murdoch’s madness. But I’m done; your posts have the routine Liberal taint of gratuitous insults and ill-informed lies. Not really worth noticing.

  89. Neil of Sydney

    “kept us from a disaster the Europeans did not avoid with austerity

    You got that the wrong way around. They are using austerity to get out of the disaster caused by reckless spending. Austerity may make it worse it may make it better but it was reckless spending that caused the disaster.

    One thing Howard did was get the budget back to surplus – by selling off our assets”

    This of course a lie. I have dealt with this lie before. Asset sales were not put into the budget as revenue. They were however used to pay off debt. Actually some asset sales eg Telstra were used to start the Future Fund. Costello’s surplus budgets were dinky die surplus budgets.

    Costello paid off $96B of debt started a $80B Future Fund plus other funds and left $29B in the bank.

    To do that he needed to find $96B+ $80 + $29B = $205B

    Asset sales of $72B don’t even come close to doing all that. I hope you do not read that lying fraud Stephen Koukoulas.

  90. Kaye Lee

    The future revenue lost by the sale of those profitable assets when there was NO need to do so made it a stupid act. We had money pouring in – why sell the house?

    Between 1998-99 and 2008-09, the mining boom delivered an unprecedented 75 per cent rise in Australia’s terms of trade (prices we receive for our exports relative to what we pay for imports).

    The Australian dollar averaged 68 US cents during the Howard years and 93 US cents during the Rudd-Gillard years.

    In 1986, household debts amounted to 46 per cent of disposable incomes (income after tax). Twenty years later, that ratio had climbed to 152 per cent – the highest figure in the world.

    The Howard Government presided over the biggest private debt boom in Australia’s history and, in its later years, one of the biggest terms-of-trade booms. These two events meant that the Australian economy grew strongly and fostered strong growth in both employment and incomes. Importantly, it also flooded the Government with tens of billions of dollars worth of extra taxation revenue – via increased personal, company and capital gains taxes (as well as lower welfare spending) – which it spent on a range of questionable initiatives and middle class welfare.

  91. Florence nee Fedup

    Howard was all about user pay. When government stop paying for services, means people have to pick up the bill. Means tat money has to come out of the limit income each earns. Therefore personal debt must grow.

    Is again happening under this government.

    It is not about saving money,. when they cut taxes and servicers. It is about who pays. The needs of education, health and providing infrastructure still remains.

  92. mars08

    Howard was all about user pay. When government stop paying for services, means people have to pick up the bill…

    Oh there you go putting the worst possible spin on Howard’s glowing benevolence. Little John cut government services and cut income tax… you YOU… the taxpayer would be EMPOWERED. You would be in control. YOU would have the choice of where to spend your money!!! What a great bloke he was!!!

    Of course some people could not afford anything but the most basic of health and education services… but that’s clearly their fault, right?

  93. Lee

    “Really? The economic numbers in 2007 were the best for a long time. You have to go back to the 1970’s to find unemployment at 4%.”

    Really? Anyone with half a brain knows that unemployment numbers are fudged to make them look better than they are.

    “Govts usually try austerity after socialist govts have trashed the joint. Most Labor supporters only care about themselves and their enormous stomachs. That is why Labor govts cannot run surplus budgets. Their supporters will never let them. ”

    Open your eyes Neil. Austerity is not working in Europe.

    In nations with fiat currency, a budget surplus is always followed by a recession. Stop bleating your mindless anti-Labor nonsense like a sheep and actually employ some critical thinking skills. The problem is, Liberal supporters never learn from history, have short memories, and get around with their eyes shut to everything related to the performance of the Liberal party.

  94. John Armour


    In nations with fiat currency, a budget surplus is always followed by a recession

    Or a convertible currency, like a gold standard.

    It’s probably more accurate to say “in countries with a current account deficit”.

    It’s OK for Norway to run surpluses, they have to, to soak up the surplus that comes from their oil exports. But the last time we had an external surplus was when Gough was PM.

    It always amuses me when the resident troll comes on waving a banner that shouts “I’m a f*cking idiot” because that’s what it means to extoll the virtues of surpluses.

    Surpluses destroy private sector wealth! Our troll thinks government finances are like a household, and that surpluses are sitting somewhere in a cash-box under the Treasurer’s desk, waiting for that rainy day.

    If Howard had won the 2007 election he would’ve had to deal with a downturn regardless of the GFC, caused by Costello’s surpluses. He was lucky that it got buried by the GFC and smothered by Labor’s stimulus, keeping his so-called reputation intact.

    Howard’s legacy however, the household debt that gave him the surpluses, will dog the economy for years for it’s only through budget deficits that the household sector can get the money to pay down their debts.

    The only evidence for a surplus is the gaping hole it leaves in private sector savings. It’s simple book-keeping: every debt is another’s asset, every surplus is another’s deficit.

  95. Carolyn Janson

    Thanks John Armour, for an informed and helpful reply. Liberal trolls are so annoying and it is refreshing to read a good rebuttal, you did it better than I could have! Thanks to Lee too. Happily, I think the trolls are reducing in number, thanks to the awfulness of the government’s behaviour. Long may it last – until we get rid of them for good.

  96. Möbius Ecko

    These two events meant that the Australian economy grew strongly and fostered strong growth in both employment and incomes. Importantly, it also flooded the Government with tens of billions of dollars worth of extra taxation revenue..

    But completely unsustainable, something Peter Costello stated on more than one occasion. Howard’s eschewing of public debt at the cost of substantially and rapidly expanding private debt, going to great lengths to foster it, was in no way sustainable. He took us from a nation of savers to the most privately indebted country in the world where even early teens were carrying around a thousand or more in debt.

    You can see it in graphs of the time where there was a sudden rise in private debt after Howard’s first term.

    By the way despite Costello’s stern warning on private debt, Howard continued to implement policies that encouraged private debt. Remember his statements along the lines of, “you’ve never had it so good” and “private debt was a sign of affluence”?

  97. Möbius Ecko

    If you Google you can find more of these graphs in different scales, some with comparisons to Government debt and US private debt.

    The little dip around the 1995-1996 mark is where Australians began to increase their savings under policies Keating bought in, but then Howard was elected. The dip continued for a bit until after his budget when there’s an abrupt surge in private debt that continued to streak upwards until Rudd bought in the stimulus and private savings again began to grow, which is indicated by the small decline in the tail.

    If you look at graphs that show the recent decade you will see already there is a slight incline in private debt since Abbott won power. If he has his way and his terrible budget is passed unchanged private debt will once again continue to sharply shoot upwards, which was unsustainable under Howard but would be disastrous for the country now.

  98. Lee

    Neil, since you’re so fond of bleating the Liberal party line, please explain why austerity and hurting the underprivileged is preferable to “getting us out of Labor’s mess”, rather than closing loopholes to prevent our wealthiest citizens from paying their fair share of income tax? The Liberal party likes to bleat about lifters and leaners. So why are our wealthiest citizens getting away with lots of leaning? We’ve got people like Gina Rinehart living overseas as a tax dodge, yet our government is providing the infrastructure necessary that allows her to run her business. Likewise, every other wealthy business owner in this country relies on government-funded infrastructure to run their business and derive their income. Yet the 75 wealthiest people in the nation pay no income tax. They are the ultimate leaners.

    As has already been discussed in previous blog posts here, the government needs to spend to create employment. They aren’t doing it. We need people to spend money, but they can’t do it if they don’t have any money to spend. Many business owners (who are traditionally Liberal voters) are criticising the government for a harsh budget that has shut down spending and is harming their businesses. All this government can do is destroy jobs and then blame the unemployed for having no job.

    Thanks to austerity, youth unemployment has reached 50% in many parts of Europe. This will be our future too, because the incompetent Liberal government can only copy everyone else’s mistakes. This is our future. No skills or work experience for our youth and no hope either. But there will be increased depression, anxiety, suicide and crime perpetrated by desperate people. The evidence is overwhelming. This is clearly what Liberal voters want for our future generations. Team Australia is a very bad joke. This is not how a good team operates. This is un-Australian. Liberal voters are traitors to Australia. They want to destroy our future.

  99. Möbius Ecko

    Politics is so easy when you can play the game without context. Without context, it’s a no-brainer: the Liberals are better at managing Australia’s finances than Labor. With context, it’s a sideshow: you might as well vote for a meerkat or a leopard to run the country: luck – and quick tricks rather than wisdom – have been far more important than economic wisdom in crafting the apparent economic legacies of our leaders.
    Steve Keen 5 Aug 2013

    Who’s responsible for Australia’s ‘debt crisis’?

    That’s what the right wingers are doing when they go on about Labor debt and Hockey about an economic crisis, they don’t put any context on it. On the rare occasion Hockey was bailed up on context about his figures he has stumbled badly each time.

    They are attempting to deceive the people.

  100. mars08

    My memories of the Howard years are depressingly clear. Especially the hype, exuberance, and excess of the property bubble. I will never forget the lust with which people were buying and selling properties without considering their accumulating debt. No doubt some some people got very rich…

  101. John Armour

    Thanks for the graph, ME.

    That little dip in indebtedness also coincides with the RBA suddenly jacking up the cash rate to extinguish the last embers of the inflation they thought they’d ground out of the economy with the “recession we had to have”.

    Those higher rates were attractive to savers.

    These days we’re saving for a different reason: fear.

  102. Möbius Ecko

    Yet John Abbott is already spruiking for people to spend, for which read borrow. That along with pulling billions out of the economy if he gets his way will again lead to the private debt death spiral ever upwards.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the vultures, you know to who I infer, have sniffed the signs of impending struggles and are starting their long lazy spirals upwards on the thermals of financial disasters in preparation for the feast on the rent financial carcasses from Abbott’s fallout.

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