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Tag Archives: Clive Palmer

Exposing the lie of politics

Image courtesy of tomohalloran.com

Image courtesy of tomohalloran.com

It is no surprise that when it comes to trust, collectively politicians rate very lowly. And individually there are many politicians that we definitely do not trust. Yet they continue to win our votes, if not our trust. In this guest post, Sir Scotch looks at this baffling phenomenon.

The well-known and quite rightly often maligned Readers Digest, over several years, have surveyed Australians, for the 50 professions they trust most. The list goes like this from the 2013 survey:

1. Firefighters 26. Builders
2. Paramedics 27. Alternative health practitioners
3. Rescue volunteers 28. Plumbers
4. Nurses 29. Mechanics
5. Pilots 30. Accountants
6. Doctors 31. Shop assistants
7. Pharmacists 32. Truck drivers
8. Veterinarians 33. Charity collectors
9. Air traffic controllers 34. Professional sportspeople
10. Farmers 35. Bankers
11. Scientists 36. Financial planners
12. Armed Forces personnel 37. Airport baggage handlers
13. Police 38. Clergy (all religions)
14. Dentists 39. Lawyers
15. Teachers 40. Tow-truck drivers
16. Childcare workers 41. CEOs
17. Flight attendants 42. Taxi drivers
18. Bus/Train/Tram drivers 43. Journalists
19. Locksmiths 44. Talkback radio hosts
20. Hairdressers 45. Real estate agents
21. Postal workers 46. Sex workers
22. Waiters 47. Call centre staff
23. Computer technicians 48. Insurance salespeople
24. Security guards 49. Politicians
25. Cleaners 50. Door-to-door salespeople

What does the list say about us as a country, as voters and as human beings? What are we able to learn from the way people vote, compared to the way people give credit, to people who would generally interact with them at some stage in their lives, though not necessarily, all that often, that politicians are only above door to door salesmen in those “trusted professions”?

Likewise, the most trusted people list, has several politicians in it, and that really is what we are about here. Why do Australians vote for folk they don’t trust, enough to admit to a survey taker, that they don’t trust them?

The first on the list is Malcolm Turnbull, at number 68, who is more trusted than Julian Assange. A funny outcome considering the normalcy of us, as voters expecting politicians to also be liars, since the two go hand in hand, and on any reading of the work of Julian Assange, who if one is to be completely fair, is the exact opposite, despite what is said by Rupert Murdoch and his tame typists, doing everything they are told.

It was Assange who brought to us the actual truth of the governments we elect in terms of their activities, after having spent years being told by politicians what they think we want to hear. Kevin Rudd appears just after Assange, again, a supreme obfuscator and liar, certainly in league with the Murdochracy, yet his trust rating is below that of Assange. Do punters actually know what Assange represents or are they dependant on the lies of the tame tabloid typists? The answer to that in simple terms appears to be a resounding “yes”. Without Murdoch and his co-conspirators, we are uninformed as a country. What a worrying situation!

Worrying, I’m thinking? Perhaps that’s why ethical politicians feel some control over media access makes sense.

Less ethical politicians of course, who tend to pop off to New York on the Murdoch cheque account, from both sides of the political divide it has to be said, don’t see it as an issue if the only paper/s in a whole state, come from one single self-absorbed egotistical octogenarian nabob, who isn’t even an Australian, (to avoid taxes not because of some high moral objection to Australian law or system), and the punters (you and me it could be said but I don’t buy his bullshit rags), is the framing device used to manage the entire Australia Conversation. And we accede to this? We are fools. Another correspondent a couple of weeks ago took me to task on the subject of the hyper generalisation inherent in “we get/have the government we deserve”. I have thought long and hard about how to assuage his disquiet at my generalisation, especially when I talked about the “water cooler conversation”, when we who see ourselves as “activist” in terms of our displeasure at the work of that failed priest currently occupying The Lodge, are given an opportunity to actually have a say to colleagues about the state of the nation.

My view is we don’t care to expose our distrust in case someone reports us to the boss, or holds us up as “agitators”, though in reality, that is what we need to be. We need to expose the negativity of a government for the corporations, such as we have had since Paul Keating first wound a French clock in an Armani double-breaster.

Lincoln, at Gettysburg opined, “. . . and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” But what are we, Australia, left with of that great hope?

Government by people we don’t trust, of people they don’t know, for people they don’t care enough about, to listen to, or ask what do we want from them. And we fail to call them to account!

Rather in secret little circles in darked back rooms in carefully managed blogs and fora, we cry out for “justice” but fail to act for those afflicted in PNG as a direct result or our inaction. We call for transparency, but ask little of the plans for the “TPP”, which stands ready to strip away more of our rights as members and citizens of a sovereign state. We ask for honesty, and then vote for Clive Palmer “because he offers some alternative to conservative politics”. I am yet to see an example of that.

We lie to ourselves as Australians. We lie to others, wearing the same cloak of humanity we had earned after Vietnam, failing to see the similarities between two wars fought for the US, with no other purpose, than to feed the industro-military swamp, which is the American economy.

Even our national anthem is a lie, but we still sing it at the football. We are afraid of change, a normal state for a conservative voter.

We are afraid of the pitfalls a new direction may bring. We are afraid of everything, but we still vote for people we don’t trust, who have proven themselves to be liars, time after time, we allow the same biumvirate of accession to the will of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to “guide” us on our way to hell.

Some vote Green, but the vote is meaningless we are told, even though almost 12% of the population vote for them. Why is the 12% so meaningless? Labor gets into bed with Bob Brown and
others with ethics and vision, and are immediately held up as some sort of traitors. But no one, even Antony Greene, of the ABC, can explain why that vote is wasted.

It appears to me that there is seems no offence that can be committed by our current government and opposition, which can be held up as an example of outrageous and egregious conduct. We are now seeing some of the minutiae of the goings-on in foreign affairs in the Carr/Gillard regime, where it was important enough to diarise that the carrier of choice had the effrontery to not provide pyjamas. We find the old Foreign Minister holds himself up as the success of the day when Australia got a spot on the Security Council of the United Nations. He fails to mention in his memoir that the process of getting that seat took longer than the time that the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd process was in play, but is happy to accept responsibility.

I am moved to remember, that Rudd himself also held up his hand as being responsible. All lies.

So we’re left with the question “what does the government have to do to get to a point where Australia realises that we’ve been had?” The short answer is exactly what they are doing now, without having to worry about the question being asked in the first place.

At what point will Australians realise that government is not being conducted for them, for their families, for their futures, for their country or for much else with anything approaching value. Government is in fact being conducted for the betterment of United States corporate interests and the re-election of the main offenders and little else.

 

A job application to Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer (image by news.com.au)

Clive Palmer (image by news.com.au)

Dear Mr Clive Palmer,

May I call you Mr? It’s not Sir Clive yet is it? I’m sure it will be in the offing should you aspire to a knighthood – it’s Tony’s best reward for pre-eminent people like you.

May I congratulate and commiserate with you on your entry into the sordid world of politics. I have watched your campaign and realised that you are a man who wants to get things done, a trait I admire. You have also said things that echoed with me like being a representative for the little people, the people without a voice. Some other things, not so much, but it would be a bad move for me to begin an application with criticism.

Your Senators now carry a grave responsibility – just ask Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott about that. With the balance of power they need to be familiar with every bill and every amendment. It’s a huge workload. I saw that Tony Abbott refused your request for extra personnel to help with the legislative workload, which is what prompted me to apply to help out. I will work for free for a period and if Tony changes his mind about that, and you find my work valuable, then a small stipend would be most helpful.

Obviously the carbon tax is a big issue that will require your attention in the immediate future. I have taken the opportunity to provide a brief summary for the Senators’ perusal with attached links should they require further reading. I am also happy to answer any questions should you or any of your iron force have one.

CARBON TAX

1. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called for a price on carbon, requiring companies to disclose their climate risk exposure, and greater investment in green bonds in the fight against climate change.

2. The planet is “perilously close” to a climate change tipping point, and requires urgent cooperation between countries, cities and business, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has said. Addressing an audience in London, Lagarde said reducing subsidies for fossil fuels and pricing carbon pollution should be priorities for governments around the world.

“Overcoming climate change is obviously a gigantic project with a multitude of moving parts. I would just like to mention one component of it—making sure that people pay for the damage they cause. We are subsidizing the very behaviour that is destroying our planet, and on an enormous scale. Both direct subsidies and the loss of tax revenue from fossil fuels ate up almost $2 trillion in 2011—this is about the same as the total GDP of countries like Italy or Russia.”

3. John Kerry has described the UN’s latest report on the science of climate change as “chilling” and warns of a “potential catastrophe” without urgent action. The US Secretary of State made the remarks at the annual Munich Security Conference held at the weekend, citing terrorism, radical sectarianism, food security, water availability, and climate change as the “great tests of our time.”

Kerry also highlighted the potential financial benefits of moving to a low carbon economy, pointing to the $6 trillion energy market that will gain an extra five billion users by 2050. “It is the mother of all markets, and only a few visionaries are doing what is necessary to reach out and touch it and grab it and command its future,” he said.

Kerry warned of an “absence of collective leadership” from politicians where the environment is concerned. “We have enormous challenges. None of them are unsolvable. “That’s the agony of this moment for all of us. There are answers to all of these things, but there seems to be an absence of will, an absence of collective leadership,” he said.

4. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN climate secretariat, said that it was amoral for people to look at climate change from a politically partisan perspective, because of its impact on future generations.

Figueres said that examples of recent extreme weather around the world were a sign climate change was here now. “If you take them individually you can say maybe it’s a fluke. The problem is it’s not a fluke and you can’t take them individually. What it’s doing is giving us a pattern of abnormality that’s becoming the norm. These very strange extreme weather events are going to continue in their frequency and their severity … It’s not that climate change is going to be here in the future, we are experiencing climate change.”

5. The independent Climate Change Authority, which advises on climate change action around the world, called for Australia to lift its emissions reductions goal from 5 per cent to 19 per cent to take into account international moves, Australia’s fair share and the urgency of the climate change threat.

Professor Garnaut believes the ultimate cost to the budget of the Abbott government’s climate policy could be much greater than $4 billion a year, given many countries are committing to more ambitious emissions reduction targets.

6. Senate Committee: Direct Action

Recommendation 1

2.63 The committee recommends that the Australian Government immediately adopt the emissions reduction targets outlined by the Climate Change Authority in its final report released on 27 February 2014. Namely that Australia’s 2020 minimum emissions reduction target be set at 15% below 2000 levels and that Australia’s carryover from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol be used to raise the 2020 emissions reduction target by 4%, giving a total 2020 target of 19%.

Recommendation 5

3.143 The committee recommends that the transition of the fixed carbon price to a fully flexible price under an emissions trading scheme with the price determined by the market occur on 1 July 2014.

Recommendation 10

5.129 The committee recommends that the Emissions Reduction Fund not be substituted for the carbon pricing mechanism.

7. Growing numbers of investors and now being attracted by three key benefits of wind farms:

•Social Responsibility: Investing in clean renewable energy is socially responsible

•Lower Risk: Now that thousands of wind farms exist globally, construction and operational risks are very low.

•Longevity: Long term demand for renewable energy will increase driven by declining fossil fuel sources and carbon reduction policies.

8. National solar provider Energy Matters has released consumer insights that rank cities for solar viability and also reveal the true investment potential of solar power in comparison to shares, property, gold, global fixed interest or even fine art.

The figures will startle many; with it outperforming all other investment options using current ASX figures and other key organisations that rate investment opportunities.

The consumer insights also revealed Townsville in Queensland was Australia’s top address for solar, giving its residents a healthy return of investment of 21.8% per year. Other mainland capital cities included Brisbane (annual return of investment of 20.2%), Adelaide (19.1%), Sydney (18.9%), Perth 17.8%) and Melbourne (13.2%).

9. The solar PV industry employed about 13,600 as of late 2013, and the number will sink this year to about 12,300 across about 4300 businesses as state-based subsidies are wound back, according to a report for the REC Agents Association, a body representing firms that create and trade in renewable energy certificates.

The solar workforce, though, would dive immediately by 2000 if the government were to end support for the industry by scrapping the RET, with the total number of jobs lost or foregone swelling to 6750 by 2018, analysis of the research by industry group SolarBusinessServices found.

10. China is spending billions to control air pollution, banning imports of low-grade coal, launching carbon-trading markets, exploring shale gas, getting more efficient, and building the crap out of renewables. And remember, it has its own coal mines. They just couldn’t keep up with the boom. Now that things are leveling off, domestic Chinese coal will get cheaper, they’ll buy more of it at home, and there will be less market for imports.

Since China was the main driver, its rapid deceleration will serve as a drag on the whole seaborne coal market. Goldman Sachs analysts “expect average annual growth (in demand) to decline to 1% in 2013-17 from 7% in 2007-12.”

No less an investor than the mighty Warren Buffett has proclaimed that the decline of coal in the U.S. will be gradual but inevitable. Given flat demand for electricity, cheap natural gas, burgeoning renewables, rising efficiency, and future carbon regulations, new coal-fired power plants are a bad bet, which is why they aren’t getting built.

11. Economists are convinced that carbon pricing will yield the greatest environmental bang-for-buck at the lowest economic cost.

Recommendations:

  1. Get rid of your investments in coal and invest in renewable energy

  2. Move to a floating price ETS on July 1 either this year or next (preferably next)

  3. Increase our emission reduction target to 19% and confirm our renewable energy target of 20% by 2020

  4. Under no circumstances allow Tony Abbott to waste taxpayer money on that silly Emissions Reduction Fund bribery to polluters

  5. Give me a job

I hope this has been of use to you and your Senators in getting up to speed on the issue. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future to discuss terms of employment.

Yours faithfully

Kaye Lee

Dame-in-waiting

PS I looked into your idea about reducing natural greenhouse gas emissions but have been unable to think of a way to stop respiration, evaporation, organic rotting, volcanoes or farting, but I will keep working on it. By the by, cutting down trees is not a good start.

Clive Palmer and his Party, or And Then There Were Four

The first thing that everyone needs to remember is that individuals, not parties, are elected into our Parliament.

We have evolved some conventions – such as a senator, dying or retiring mid-term will be replaced by a senator of the same party – but as Joh Bjelke-Petersen showed when he appointed Albert Field, there is no Constitutional necessity to uphold these conventions.

There have been many examples of elected representatives leaving a party mid-term to become Independents, and while there have been fewer who’ve actually changed parties, it’s not without precedent.

So Senator-elect, Ricky Muir, is entirely free to join Clive and all the other Palmers.

However, it’s certainly rare – as in I can’t find a single example – that such a thing would happen BEFORE the elected candidate has even spoken to the media, let alone taken his seat in Parliament.

According to Clive Palmer, his memorandum of understanding with Ricky Muir is private and confidential.

There may be an argument for this, but we’re entering dangerous territory. Already governments avoid scrutiny by citing very dubious “commercial in confidence” reasons for not giving us the full story on many projects. The idea that political parties themselves can enter into “agreements” with other political parties without giving us the details opens the door – or should that be closes the door? – on some potentially shady dealings.

While there’s no reason to think that the deal between Palmer and Muir is based on anything other than a mutual understanding and the highest of motives, how would we feel if it were not a party run by a man of such high integrity as Clive Palmer?

For example, I’ve just formed the “Rossleigh’s I’m Awesome and I Love it When I Get Money” Party. Ok, I was a bit late to run for this year’s election but I’ve entered into an understanding with Joe Blog who won a Senate Seat. He’s agreed to support my party’s position on all legislation, and in return we have an understanding that I’ll throw my weight behind him in any way I can, including holding my wedding in a resort of his choice. Have I offered him any financial inducement? Well, that’s none of anyone’s business…

Of course, the situation with Palmer and Muir is different. As Clive said on election night, “Mate, I’ve got more money than you could ever dream of, what’s the conflict of interest? I want to get ideas going, you know … how much money could I get out of the government? You don’t need to judge people by how much money they’ve got, it’s the content of their character that matters.” So I’m sure we don’t have to worry that there’s any problem in this case.

It’s the precedent that worries me.

Particularly in a Senate where every vote is going to count. The expected makeup is 33 Coalition Senators, 26 from the ALP, nine Greens, four Palmer United Party/Ricky Muir coalition and four independents or sole representatives of minor parties. (This could change depending on the result involving The Greens Scott Ludlam).

But at least we know that Tony Abbott won’t be caving in to demands from any of these senators and making any agreements that we’re not privy to. Remember he said this before the election: ‘There’s a commitment that I want to give you … There will not be deals done with independents and minor parties under any political movement that I lead.”

Like I said before, it’s the precedent that I find disturbing!

Is this a rhetorical question? My new political party.

Party

Hi, and welcome to the Launch of Rossleigh’s Brisbane’s Australia United Party, not to be confused with Katter’s Australia Party or Palmer’s United Australia Party. (Kats and PUPs)

And certainly don’t confuse me with Tony Abbott’s Real Solutions – there IS NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER!

OUR PLAN

These are the things I believe should be our priorities:

  1. Economy. A STRONG economy, MORE jobs, and STABLE prices.

  2. Less POLLUTION while increasing economic activity by making coal CLEANER.

  3. Better TEACHERS meaning that ALL children will learn to spell perfectly.

  4. Health – Less illness, reducing COSTS.

  5. Asylum Seekers – less WARS leading to less people wanting to leave their country.

  6. Families – NICER families, leading to LESS divorce.

  7. No new TAXES, only LEVIES

  8. A BALANCED budget through less WASTE on things like aged care, education and aboriginal health.

  9. A freeing up of regulations on small business so they are free to hire more people.

  10. You can do what you like – we won’t interfere (unless you’re gay and want to get married)

  11. We will enable you to have WHATEVER broadband speed you like. You just have to pay someone to install the Cable or Copper from Sydney or Melbourne.

We have a clear, well thought out PLAN, which uses CAPITAL LETTERS so that you know WHAT’S IMPORTANT.

Here is a LINK to our plan.

Why I don’t make predictions . . . and why I never will

I really shouldn't make predictions (image from dreamstime.com)

I really shouldn’t make predictions (image from dreamstime.com)

In the Fortune Teller’s Tent

Madame Claire: Good afternoon, if you cross my palm with silver, I’ll tell you your future.

Unnamed Politician: No thanks, I’m . . . ah . . . keeping my money till I find out whether you’re the real thing.

Madame Claire: But didn’t your good friend Peter send you after my accurate reading of him?

Politician: Ah . . . yes, but I . . . ah . . . don’t trust Peter – this could be some sort of trick.

Madame Claire: Very well, how about if I give you this initial reading and after that, if you need my services, you’ll just pay me twice as much the way you intend to do with outsourcing and the public service.

Politician: Ah… You’ll have to do better than that, you could have predicted that from looking at what the State Liberals do.

Madame Claire: The first thing you want to know is who will win the election.

Politician: Obviously. So . . . ah, do I?

Madame Claire: That depends on what you mean by “win”.

Politician: Look, it’s ah . . . a perfectly simply thing.

Madame Claire: Well, who won the last election?

Politician: Er . . . We did, but Labor stayed in power because they bribed the independents with trinkets and promises of faster internet.

Madame Claire: Well, I see very few winners out of the next election.

Politician: I . . . ah, don’t follow.

Madame Claire: I see a man with a big hat who is smiling. Or is it sneering.

Politician: That’d be Katter.

Madame Claire: The media want to know where he’ll be directing his votes.

Politician: His vote.

Madame Claire: No, his votes. And he is saying that he’ll be meeting with a big man named Clive in the next few days.

Politician: Clive Palmer?

Madame Claire: I don’t know. I only have glimpses. The future is a mist. Nothing is certain. It can all be re-written differently.

Politician: Ah . . . sort of like News Limited does for us.

Madame Claire: Not exactly. It’s more like your Real Solutions document. A trained eye can see something, but only through a veil . . . And certain words and phrases keep blocking me from seeing the whole picture.

Politician: What are they?

Madame Claire: “Labor’s fault”, “bigger than we thought”, “aspiration, not a promise”. And the letters N D I and S keep confusing things. Do these letters mean anything to you?

Politician: Not a thing.

Madame Claire: Ah I’m getting something else Gone . . . Gone . . . Ski?

Politician: Gone skiing?

Madame Claire: No, Gonski, that’s it. A man named Gonski is threatening you.

Politician: No, we’ve dealt with that. We’ve told everyone that the system is just fine. Apart from the private schools not getting enough federal money. But you haven’t answered the important question – do we win?

Madame Claire: Who’s “we”? And what does it mean to “win”?

Politician: Do I become Prime Minister?

Madame Claire: I’m sorry, but you’ll have wait until after the election when I can charge consultancy rates.

SHE BEGINS TO EXIT.

Politician: Wait, I need to know. Those votes Katter was talking about . . . were they the Lower House or the Senate?

Madame Claire: Why should I tell you, when you refused to cross my palm with silver?

Politician: I don’t have any. Labor cornered the market on silver when they offered Peter Slipper the Speaker’s Chair, but perhaps I could offer you a job somewhere.

Madame Claire: Such as?

Politician: What do you want? Media Watch Presenter? Tim Flannery’s job? Head of the FUTURE fund?

Madame Claire: Aren’t you overlooking something?

Politician: What?

Madame Claire: You aren’t Prime Minister yet . . .