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Tag Archives: Coalition

Day to Day Politics: Reducing tax for those who don’t pay any.

Thursday 24 March 2016

1 My headline doesn’t make any sense but then not much does with the Abbott/Turnbull Governments. The tax office tells us that a third of large privately owned businesses didn’t pay any tax in 2013-14. It went out of its way to say that a degree of legitimacy may have been involved.

Really. Let me repeat that. ‘A third of large privately owned businesses didn’t pay tax’.

So my answer to that is that if it was legitimate under existing rules, then change the bloody rules. How on earth, in an election campaign, which will also involve a budget, can you expect people to accept tax cuts for businesses who don’t pay any?

In addition we have dozens of multi nationals who don’t pay together with hundreds of public companies who don’t pay either. They of course aren’t breaking any laws because business only salutes the God of capitalism. The CFMEU might be continuously in court for good reason but it makes one wonder how many tax evaders should be fronting the courts.

It may be the case that if companies paid their fair share of tax the budget might be brought back to surplus.

Let’s face it. Giving Australia’s most wealthy companies a tax cut is simply unjustifiable on many levels. And he might face a revolt from the State Premiers.

Jay Weatherill:

‘If the commonwealth is to pursue cuts to company tax when we think the first call on the nation’s resources should be health and education funding, then they should expect a fierce campaign to be run against them during the federal election.’

Conversely, it is a time to get tough with our tax laws and get rid of the unfair tax breaks. Then we could start on unfair subsidies.

Speaking of courts read this from Bernard Keane:

‘The rich irony of yesterday is that while the Prime Minister was declaring that he was prepared to go to an election on the issue of “criminality in the building and construction industry”, the CEO of the Australian Stock Exchange, Elmer Funke Kupper was resigning in response to allegations relating to a massive bribe to the head of the Cambodian regime, Hun Sen. And then there are the continuing revelations about the scandalous behaviour of the Commonwealth Bank in relation to insurance, and the open clash between business figures and the head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over toxic corporate cultures’.

2 The Safe Schools program continues to draw headlines. Cory Bernardi sends an email to a concerned mother.

The point he makes about links in his email is a furphy. Anyone with any internet experience will attest to the fact that if you type in the words boy-girl into Google you are likely to be taken to the most outrageous pornography. I’m sure Cory and George have taken a peek otherwise they are relying on hearsay.

What is missed in all this nonsense from the Bernardi/Christensen camp is that the schools involved could select in whole, or different elements of the program relevant to individual needs? The right often argues for more independence for schools. Here was an opportunity. Having said all that I read yesterday that the program will be defunded in 2017.

3 In an effort to place a demarcation line between him and Abbot the Prime Minister will retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Abbott of course sought to abolish the two agencies in line with his belief that Climate Change was a Socialist plot. Regardless of motive this is a good decision.

He might further try to differentiate himself from Abbott by reinstating some of the health and education spending cuts in the 2014 Budget.

4 Tuesday’s Essential Poll came in at 50/50. The combined major Polls have the parties neck and neck.

5 Every day I write my opinions on a variety of subjects. They are my own thoughts based on my political philosophy, many individual and collective influences, and my world view based on 75 years of a living experience.

On some Facebook pages it’s astonishing just how many on the right of politics swear blind they never read would never contemplate reading my work, so abhorrent it is to them. Then they go on to opine about it.

Whatever intelligence I might have affords me no understanding of this.

It is an endless fascination as to how people can have an opinion of something they have never read.

6 Senator Eric Abetz a rabid supporter of Tony Abbott now reckons Turnbull is showing leadership and has a plan for Australia’s future. Begs the question as to why he’s been hiding it for so long and is reluctant to share it.

7 Presidential aspirants respond to Brussels.

Donald Trump.

‘We have to be very careful in the US, we have to be very vigilant as to who we let in this country’.

‘If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding’.

You have to get the information from people.’

 He means waterboarding.

If I were being tortured I would disclose whatever people wanted to know. I would even embellish with all the believable creative flair I could muster. I would become the world’s greatest story-teller, or bullshitter.

Ted Cruz:

‘Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighbourhoods.’

‘We will do what we can to help them fight this scourge, and redouble our efforts to make sure it does not happen here. We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al-Qaida or Isis presence.’

‘We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighbourhoods before they become radicalized. We need to secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration. And we need to execute a coherent campaign to utterly destroy Isis.’

The days of the United States voluntarily surrendering to the enemy to show how progressive and enlightened we can be are at an end. Our country is at stake’

Bernie Sanders:

‘We offer our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this barbaric attack and to the people of Brussels who were the target of another cowardly attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. We stand with our European allies to offer any necessary assistance in these difficult times.’

Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy Isis. This type of barbarism cannot be allowed to continue.’

Hillary Clinton called the attacks ‘deeply distressing’ but said closed borders were not the answer, and the ‘dream of a whole, free Europe … should not be walked away from’.

She opposed torture. Security officials ‘do not need to resort to torture, but they are going to need more help’, she said.

Same old black and white solutions to highly complex problems.

Bernie Sanders came closest to the answer with this sentence:

‘Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy Isis.’

 An observation.

 It is only when the world seriously combines its international strengths, be they monetary or military, with a commonly sought desire to rid itself of this threat to world security will the problem be resolved. To do so would require the laying aside of deep-seated, often historical grievances. But it has to be done.

My thought for the day.

‘Any meaningful resolution to the problems in the Middle East (and elsewhere for that matter) cannot be resolved without the transformation of the minds of men and consideration of the effect religion, any religion, has on people’.

PS. I am away until Tuesday.

 

Day to Day Politics: A letter to the editor, from Morrie Moneyweather.

Wednesday March 16 2016

Author’s Note: From time to time we receive letters from people. Morrie hasn’t written for a while so given our policy of openness I thought I would share his latest effort.

Dear Lord.

I sword I would never write to this blog again after the way I was treated last time but events of the past few days have left me angry. That old fart John Lord who writes for yous needs another kick up the arse.

He really has become embrassassing. I mean that article criticizing Americia’s great white hope, Donald Trump was pretty crook but this time I’m going to forget my breading, my manners, and my education and tell the old prick what I think of him.

I mean there is just no limit to how far he will stoop, no gutter to low to slide into, no sewer to murky for him to loose himself in.

I mean I’m not sure what’s the biggest. His immature heart he wares on his sleeve or the chip he has on both his shoulders.

We had a great leader in Tony Abbott. If you don’t think so look at these remarkable insights.

‘There is a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.’

‘Bad bosses, like bad fathers and husbands, should be tolerated because they do more good than harm.’

‘We have to get this straight: euthanasia is not about the right to die, it is about the right to kill.’’

‘Abortion is the easy way out. It’s hardly surprising that people should choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations.’

‘We just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice.’

What a remakable man he was.

How fortunate the country was when the opportunity arose to give a better man a chance to lead.

And all Lord does is criticise. Ask yourself this question.

Has Australia ever, so wisely, elected a man so positive about the countries future and expressed it so clearly? I mean there’s never bean a better time to be an Australian.

Malcolm is a person with truth and transparency. So sensitive to those who cannot help themselves. So willing to endorse and foster equality. So knoweggible of technology and science. So aware to the needs of women.

That’s why women like him as there Prime minster. So adeptt at policy formation and its implementation. So on top of good communication. So diplomatic, so ambassadorial, so sensitive, in his attitude toward others. So accomdating of those who desires equality.

And in touch with a modern pluralist society. A man so sophisticated in deep worldly acumen and discernment, yet religiously motivated.

What Lord wrote yesterday was just unadulterated crap. That’s the word Tony used to describe Climate Change. Malcolm agrees with him that it’s all a socialist plot. So much so that he intends to impliment the Direct Action plan that Tony invented. It’s just the best plan ever and we all share the cost. Why should business pay all the time? They have enough tax to pay.

Just like the NBN. Malcolm invented that too. I can’t work out what people are complaining about. It’s fast enough for me to follow. You would reckon people would be grateful for all the education the Internet provides. I know my son Miles and his classmates in year 12 at Melbourne Grammar do. I mean the amount of homework Miles does every night with his bedroom door locked is astonishing.

Now another thing. All this talk about Peta and Tony has got to stop. She was never in Foreign Affairs anyway. That Nikki Savva has a lot to answer for starting all those rumours.

John Lord just keeps hurling insults every day. Never a fact to back up his lying. Just wild claims about anything that suits him. I mean he thinks he has some sort of influence over people.

Fancy saying that Malcolm doesn’t have a plan. His words have a wiff of effluence about them. His plan is to stay in power so that the rich can support the poor with whatever is left over after all our expenses are catered for. After all there are a lot of costs associated with being rich.

And, don’t let me get started on that bloody safe schools program. If the kids can’t take a bit of bullying then they should just change schools. Miles gets bullied about our family wealth every day. Doesn’t worry him.

Now when Peter Dutton says if Labor is elected the stock market will crash and the economy will collapse and we will have a recession you have to believe him. After all he was a policeman.

I don’t mind telling you that with that sort of insight he should be treasurer.

So after you have all red this I expect yous to pick up your game and start printing the facts about things instead of all the commo clap trap yous print. How about printing the truth like the right does.

Yours Faithfully.

Morrie Moneyweather.

Toorak.

As usual me piece was proof read by Miles mates in the Melbourne Gramma final year English class.

My thought for the day.

 ‘There’s nothing like the certainty of a closed mind’

And another thought

‘Good grammar is vitality important but is secondary to the expression of a valid well-constructed point of view’.

 

Day to Day Politics: Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

1 Tuesday’s Newspoll sees both Labor and the Coalition on 50/50 confirming that the poll a fortnight ago wasn’t a rogue one. There is no doubt the polls are tightening.

The Morgan Poll remains virtually unchanged with the Coalition on 53% and Labor on 47%

Essential is also unchanged from last week at 50/50.

This leaves the risk averse Malcolm Turnbull with a dilemma. Does he go to an election in July or wait until August/September?

If he chooses July it has to be following a budget where he said he will reveal his Tax Reform Policy. A policy that must be so diluted by now that there will be little to present. It will also be a budget, if savings are the objective that hits social services, health and education hard. Other areas won’t give them the required savings for budget repair.

Whichever way you look at it he cannot deliver an election year budget full of goodies. Having said that, any budget delivered immediately before an election campaign wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

If he elects to wait then he risks a further deterioration in the polls. Now if it were me I would, given I have nothing to lose, take it up to the right-wing of the Party. Shirtfront them. Even a little headbutting wouldn’t go astray.

Tell them that if they want to win it’s my way or the bush. Grow some balls and be your own man, Malcolm.

The honeymoon, however, does appear to be well and truly over with Turnbull’s performance rating slumping to 44% – a fall of 16 points since November. He does, however, remain preferred PM with 55% to Bill Shorten 21%

2 Whilst I understand the ABC’s desire to have a diversity of views on its panel, for the life of me, given his past, I cannot understand how having Alan Jones opining about the Catholic Church, boys, and morality, was appropriate.

3 A Royal Commission into the banks and the financial advice industry is long overdue. Conservative governments are loathe to investigate the big end of town for ideological reasons. Last night’s Four Corners program should ensure one is implemented. It also highlights the need for a national ICAC.

4 Nancy Reagan has passed away. I don’t carry fond memories of her. The one I do recall was her simplistic naïve answer to America’s drug problem: ‘Just say no’.

5 I have read many political books in my lifetime both biographical and scholarly. My favourite in terms of insight into how government works has always been Don Watson’s masterly study of Paul Keating; ‘Recollections of a Bleeding Heart’. Yesterday I began reading the book of the moment – Nikki Savva’s ‘Road to Ruin’. It gives promise of an insight into all that is wrong with the way we are governed.

6 The IPA gains a voice in the Senate with the selection of 28-year-old James Paterson to the top of the Liberal Victorian ticket. Paterson has strong libertarian views on issues like free speech. Together with the right, the IPA have had a victory.

7 In the words of former Opposition Leader Dr John Hewson, speaking about Tony Abbott:

‘I suffered from his disloyalty because he was a constant channel from my office to John Howard’.

‘He did go down in history as probably the most effective leader of the opposition in the sense that he made negativity an art form, but from the point of view of good government and reform processes and so on, it was a pretty disastrous period’.

 My thought for the day.

‘We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence’.

PS. I’m 80 pages in to ‘Road to Ruin’. My conclusion: If all is true and I have no doubt it is, Tony Abbott is guilty of not seeking help for the lady in question.

 

Day to Day Politics: I have never done this before (quote Andrew Bolt)

Thursday 3 February 2016

1 Last Month, long-time admirer and defender of Cardinal George Pell said that Pell was a victim of ‘one of the most vicious witch hunts to disgrace this country. It is shameful. Disgusting. Frightening.’

‘People pretending to be moral have competed with each other to slime Pell as the defender of paedophiles, if not a paedophile himself.’

‘One would hope that this inquiry can go forward in the spirit of actually finding the truth, not being a witch hunt and perhaps giving George Pell more benefit of the doubt than a lot of media has given him.’

After listening to Pell’s evidence.

‘Those words about the Ridsdale case – where George Pell said that it was a sad story but it was not of interest to me – I just think those will be hung around his neck for the rest of his career.’

‘Whether or not he directly knew – and the case against him is circumstantial – did he actually do what was necessary for any moral person and pursue the interests of the children being abused? And on that ground I think the case against him is very damning.’

‘I think it’s a disaster I really do. I thought it was awful and in once sense it was so awful because it fit into the narrative but it also seems to confirm a pattern … that he hadn’t picked up hints.’

‘Either he is lying when he said he never knew … was never told or that he wasn’t diligent in following up the kind of clues that were picked up by a number of other people.’

‘Here is the question now for the royal commission into sex abuse of children: is the Vatican’s third-most powerful leader a liar when he says he never knew what Ridsdale, his colleague, was doing in Ballarat?’

‘Or was he just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities and to the warning signs that children were being raped?’

Bolt wrote in his column that his evidence would:

‘Stain his reputation forever.’

‘Or was he just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities and to the warning signs that children were being raped?’

‘But the devastating admission drawn from Pell by Gail Furness SC, counsel assisting the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, was that he never bothered to ask.’

‘Now a royal commission seems poised to consider whether this prince of the Catholic Church is a liar.’

Not surprisingly, Bolt has secured ‘an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Cardinal Pell’ which will air on Friday morning on 2GB and Sky News.

Leigh Sales tweeted: If Cardinal Pell decides he no longer wants to honour his interview with Andrew Bolt, I’d be delighted to welcome him on 7.30 for a chat.’

I make this point: What Bolt said in essence is correct. In Tuesday’s evidence Pell again blamed everybody else. He was the most uninformed man on the planet. Everyone was so afraid of him they wouldn’t tell him a thing. Everyone knew but it was all hidden from him.

The evidence has not surprised anyone who has followed his evidence and his character over a long period. Was Bolt that naive, that ignorant, that this all comes as a surprise to him? His obliviousness matches that of the Cardinal.

Did he go to Rome with the intent of defending his friend of the right only to be informed of his culpability?

Bolt’s posture of blind ignorance is as hard to believe as is the Cardinal’s. It’s the greatest backflip since I, as 8-year-old, accidentally fell from the high tower at the Brunswick baths in 1950.

2 So much happens on a day-to-day basis that it’s difficult at times to keep abreast of it all. For example, you will recall that Tony Abbott wanted to be rid of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The good news is that it is now not the Government’s agenda even though the Government could still call a double-dissolution election on the matter.

3 Speaking of Double Dissolutions the Senate Reform Bill now looks like being passed. Yes, a Bill that three days ago couldn’t possibly be changed, now with the support of the Greens has been amended in two significant ways. Yep we can move fast when it suits us. A 4 hour inquiry and a report 12 hours later did the trick.

Nothing like a quickie when you’re frustrated.

4 Now, more about that 50/50 Essential Poll. This Poll is important. A Facebook friend explains:

‘The thing about the Essential Poll is that it is a rolling poll it averages out over several polls. So the 50 – 50 result in this survey compares to the 52 – 48 to the LNP in the last one. Then that necessitates that the raw figures are a whole lot worse for the LNP than even these numbers suggest. I would love to see what those number are!!!!  So the Essential Research rolling aggregate records an unusually sharp move away from the Coalition, and finds strong support for Senate reform legislation.

The normally placid Essential Research fortnightly rolling average records a rare two-point shift on two-party preferred this week, which eliminates a settled 52-48 lead for the Coalition over previous weeks. Particularly remarkable is a three-point increase in the Labor primary vote, from 35% to 38%, although the Coalition is down only one to 43%, and the Greens are steady on 10%.’

5 Essential also features is a very detailed question on Senate reform, in which the legislation was explained to respondents in meticulous detail, producing a result of 53% approval and 16% disapproval.

6 A question on election timing finds 56% wanting the election held later this year versus 23% who want it called early, although the distinction is an increasingly fine one.

7 Also featured: most important election issues (health topping the list, followed by economic and cost-of-living concerns), best party to handle them (Labor for industrial relations and environment, Coalition for national security and the economy, although Labor has a slight lead on housing affordability) and perceptions of the parties as right or left-wing (indicating Labor is seen as more centrist than the Coalition, although there is little sense that this has changed in recent years).

Essential conducts it’s polling weekly and is accompanied by a survey. For me the stand out figure in its surveys is always the very high ‘Don’t know’ answers.

8 This month in 2013 the then Prime Minister said: ‘There is a budget emergency.’

Since then:

The deficit has doubled.

Net debt is up 59.8 billion.

Spending is at GFC levels.

Unemployment is up 74,500

Wages growth is at an all-time low.

9 There will be many in the Labor Party happy to see the back of the much hated Union backed Catholic Senator Joe Bullock. His replacement, ‘the father of reconciliation’ Pat Dobson is an excellent replacement. One MP summed up his feelings saying:

‘Good riddance to the big fat rat.’

Bullock got the Senator’s position with a factional stitch up mired in controversy at the time. He is well-known as being anti things not Catholic.

My thought for the day.

‘Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of life and grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate empathy toward others. It is far better for those with these qualities to lead rather than follow. In fact it is incumbent on them.’

 

Day to Day Politics: The Evil Priest

Wednesday 2 March 2016

1 Cardinal Pell in giving evidence to the Royal Commission into the abuse of children uttered two of the most debauched sentences ever spoken by an Australian cleric.

“I didn’t know whether it was common knowledge or whether it wasn’t,” he said. “It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me.” “The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evil that Ridsdale had perpetrated.”

The audible grasp from those listening summed up the pent-up vacuum of abhorrence the victims feel for this man.

He evoked the ‘I didn’t know, I wasn’t told’ defence that sounded as hollow as a burnt out log in hell. It beggars belief that he didn’t know what was going on.

The good and faithful of the church must be greatly offended by the leadership that represents them.

It seems the words compassion, contrition and empathy have been lost on this priest who purports to represent the word of God.

An observation on the lost lives.

‘In the cycle of life people we care most about are taken from us too soon. We struggle to come to terms with the why of it and there is no answer. It is only by the way we conduct our living that we salute the legacy they leave behind‘.

2 Is John Howard seriously suggesting that people such as these don’t speak out because of some sort of fear of political correctness? That’s the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.

Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, Piers Akerman, Janet Albrechtson, Miranda Devine, Dennis Shanahan, Paul Kelly, Chris Kenny and Tom Switzer. Gerard Henderson Paul Sheehan, Miranda Divine. Ray Hadley, Michael Smith, Judith Sloane, Terry McCrann, Chris Berg, Miranda Divine and Rupert Murdoch.

I think they would feel highly insulted by his words.

3 The Safe Schools programme has the blessing of high school principals and parents. It is objected to by the Australian Christian Lobby and Tony Abbott and his loyal gang of Christian acolytes.

The same people are gradually merging this argument with marriage equality. Pamphlets of misinformation are beginning to appear. It’s becoming like the Republican Referendum where Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin told the most outrageous lies.

Abbott has already called the Safe Schools programme “social engineering”. That’s a subject he would know a lot about. And bullying I venture to suggest.

The pamphlet in question says, among other things, that children of gay and lesbian parents are more prone to “abuse and neglect” and more likely to be unemployed, abuse drugs and suffer depression.

It is authorised by a former John Howard parliamentary secretary. So you can see the ‘NO’ campaign is drawing up its lines of engagement.

Tony looks set to head the ‘NO’ case and it will divide the community. Why are we spending $160M on a plebiscite to find an answer already known? It’s to raise the voice of a Christian minority. A voice that is doomed to oblivion in the next decade or so.

4 During John Howard’s tenure the LNP had 13 tries to get their Broadband policy right. They never did, mainly because they didn’t understand its purpose. Luddites of the calibre of Howard, who didn’t know how to send an email, George Brandis who can’t use a computer and Tony Abbott who thought it was only used to access porn, or entertainment as he described it, thought it was a load of nonsense.

Abbott, when he became Prime Minister commissioned Turnbull to destroy it. Turnbull to his credit saw its true value. He did say he could do it at half Labor’s cost and in half the time. The opposite is the truth. It’s taking twice as long and costing twice as much.

Worse still is that the majority of us will get old technology. A technology that within ten years will have to be replaced. At the end of it our internet speeds will be ranked 46th in the world.

We’ve moved from Labor’s state-of-the-art fibre to the premises (FttP) strategy to the so-called Multi-Technology Mix (MTM), which heavily relies on using the ageing Telstra copper network and the not so old, but not very modern, Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) networks originally built for pay television. Both will require considerable remediation work before they are fit for purpose and there is a solid argument to be put that in the end we’ll have to replace much of them at some point anyway.

Tony Abbott originally said:

“The Government is going to invest $43 billion worth of hard-earned money in what I believe is going to turn out to be a white elephant on a massive scale”.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Turnbull tells us that our future rests on innovation.

5 The Essential Poll yesterday has Labor and the LNP on 50% and Labor on 50%. A trend has begun. Do the odds shorten for a July election?

6 Who is leading the Liberal Party? It looks like Tony Abbott is doing all the leading at the moment shirtfronting, the PM telling the party room what the Government should be doing.

Everyone seems to be telling the leader how to lead. Might I remind everyone that the Abbott/ Turnbull Government, by the time of the election will have been in power for a full term and they are now getting around to formulating an economic plan? Still a lot of talking going under the bridge.

My thought for the day.

Truth is pure yet fragile and requires delicacy in delivery. There are however times when it needs some diplomatic force to make it register’.

 

Day to Day Politics: Random thoughts on many things.

Monday 29 February 2016

1 Tony Abbott said he wore his 2014 Budget like a ‘Badge of Honor’. Veteran economics journalist Ross Gittens put it this way at the time:

The first and biggest reason the government is having to modify or abandon so many of its measures is the budget’s blatant unfairness. In 40 years of budget-watching I’ve seen plenty of unfair budgets, but never one as bad as this’.

2 I do wish writers, even those on this blog would use the term ‘Abbott/Turnbull’ government.

3 And I do wish that writers would empathise the fact that the Abbott/Turnbull government has been in power for two and a half years.

4 Are the often outlandish statements from the likes of Cory Bernardi, George Christiansen and others about the Safe Schools programme just a forerunner of what we might expect in the plebiscite debate on marriage equality?

Some of what they are saying isn’t even in the programme.

This plebiscite might unearth, without quality leadership, some unwanted social disharmony.

Turnbull is only pursuing his expensive $160m plebiscite as a delaying tactic to satisfy the right of his party — extreme Liberals like Christensen. The fact is, if he were a strong leader, Turnbull would allow a free vote in the parliament on marriage equality next week.

5 I notice ‘The Fixer’ is saying that he is responsible for the defence policy announced last week.

6 Roy and The Fixer are helping police with their enquiries. Found this on Facebook. Can’t name the source.

‘My sources tell me the AFP is acting on a complaint made by the Federal Court that, at the least, Brough, in collusion with Ashby and Harmers Workplace Lawyers, set out to to subvert the court process.

How Harmers has gotten away with its patently false claims in the Originating Document beggars belief. They said they had a sworn, detailed affidavit of Slipper romping indecently with another male when they simply did not. It was total bullshit, but included the precise details of a lurid sick mind.’

7 How could George Pell possibly not have known about the child abuse happening all around him? Those who say there is some sort of vendetta against him are wrong. All they want is for him to tell the truth.

8 My reference to George Christianson and penis tucking yesterday seems to have gone over the heads of those who read my posts. George is indeed an obese man.

An observation.

It is the misinformed who shout the loudest. The rest of us are content with the truth we enquired about.

9 Thank goodness the latest series of ‘House of Cards’ commences Friday. Back to some reality at last.

10 To quote Paul Kelly: ‘Malcolm is starting to sound like Tony Abbott’.

11 There are some truly some excellent comments on my post yesterday. We are blessed to have some who make a virtue of responding.

12 Changes to Media Rules. This is how Fairfax puts it. Whatever the outcome Murdoch will be the big winner.

‘The reach rule currently prohibits television networks from broadcasting to more than 75 per cent of the population. The two out of three rule bans media proprietors from controlling a newspaper, television and radio station in the same market. Scrapping the two out of three rule is the more controversial change because of concerns about media diversity. Labor MPs are concerned about the change because it could allow a proprietor such as Rupert Murdoch to extend his control in major markets’.

13 Talking about Fairfax, if ever there was an illustration of how journalistic standards have slipped it has to be Paul Sheehan’s recent story ‘Louise’. It was just an unsubstantiated Islamophobia beat-up in an area in which he has substantial form. How he is still in a job is the bigger mystery.

14 John Howard says he shudders at the thought of Donald Trump becoming America’s next President:

‘In part, his success is emblematic of people’s frustration with political correctness. What people like is he seems to call it as it is’.

Does he mean that he agrees with the manner in which he conducts his public discourse?

15 The conservative objection to political correctness it seems to me is in large part sour grapes. I don’t see the right or the extreme right not having a voice or indeed the capacity to use it. What I hear is an incoherent voice that cannot get its point across.

16 Did you know that current wages growth at 2.2% is the lowest ever recorded?

17 Someone emailed this to me without leaving a name:

‘If the Catholic Church was a corporation, or a charity, it would be shut down and its assets sold off. All Catholics are now disenfranchised apologists for an organisation that has utterly betrayed their faith and the god they love. Pity the faithful. They don’t deserve the harm the men within the church have inflicted on them. A new reformation is needed. A revolution in thinking is required’.

18 The Prime Minister was out and about yesterday spruiking his scare campaign against Labor’s Negative Gearing policy. There was not a hint of the explaining he said he would do.

19 Sydney radio station 2GB is conducting a Poll on this question:

‘If you voted Liberal in the last election, who’s your preferred Prime Minister now?’ At 4pm yesterday the count was 96% for Abbott and 4% for Turnbull.

20 Donald Trump has the support of the KKK and Jean-Marie Le Pen. Only in America.

My thought for the day

‘There’s nothing like the certainty of a closed mind’.

 

Day to Day Politics: Was Abbott right?

Sunday 28 February 20161

1 Who said this?

‘I am a reformer by nature, very much so’

‘Everything, every single element, is on the table. And I know that always means that someone can then run a scare campaign, but I’m sorry, we’ve got to stop [this]. This is part of the political tradition I’m determined to end. We have got to be able to consider policy options in an unfettered way. We’ve got to have the maturity to have a debate that is not throwing things off the table …’

Malcolm Turnbull.

There’s the problem. Tony Abbott has said on a few occasions that he couldn’t work out why the government had changed leaders when it had not changed any of his policies.

Tanya Plibersek made the point ‘All of those people were sitting in middle Australia thinking, ‘Thank God Tony Abbott is gone.’ What have they been left with? They have been left with Tony Abbott in a different suit’.

’Because what happens is politicians who get intimidated by their opponents or by the media or whatever, they say, ‘Oh that’s off the table, that’s off the table, that’s off the table’ and suddenly there’s nothing left on the table’.

Malcolm Turnbull.

Those who were thankful and delighted in the demise of Abbott are entitled to think they have been let down. Even people of the opposite ideology felt that Turnbull would bring a new era of public discourse.

But today, Turnbull is the man taking options off the table in a piecemeal, panicky kind of way.

I have said it before that new Prime Ministers generally try to make their mark on the party they lead by implementing their own policies. Putting their stamp on their leadership. Turnbull, in spite of saying all the afore-mentioned has chosen to rubber stamp all of Abbotts policies.

He has reaffirmed Abbott’s policies on same-sex marriage, direct action on climate change, his monarchist stance, border protection and foreign policy.

‘We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities, explains the challenges and how to seize the opportunities. A style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans’.

Peter Hartcher of Fairfax put it this way:

‘Two weeks ago he decided that he would not support raising the GST, that “big bang” tax reform was off the table, and since that moment he has transformed.

From explaining the challenges and opportunities, he has transformed into a politician who instead explains why he is not pursuing challenges and opportunities.

First he explained why he was not going to raise the GST. Then he explained why he will reject Labor’s ideas on negative gearing and capital gains tax. And then he launched into a full-throated scare campaign against Labor’s proposals without advocating any alternative.

On tax reform, he is now heading to exactly where Abbott said he was likely to have been: “At a minimum” Abbott told me last November, “we would have had modest tax cuts based on spending restraints’.

Abbott is right to ask why they changed leaders but is wrong to assume he would have won the next election.

2 The poll aggregate from Crickey moves in Labor’s favour for the fourth week in a row, this time rather sharply in the wake of Newspoll’s surprise result. Coalition 52 Labor 48.

Newspoll’s surprise this week has caused a minor landslip in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which moves 0.8% to Labor on two-party preferred, while delivering only a modest gain of three on the seat projection (one each in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia). The leadership results from the poll have also caused Malcolm Turnbull’s net approval rating to continue its downward trajectory, and given a very slight impression of Bill Shorten pulling out of his slump. Also in the mix this week were results from Roy Morgan and Essential Research, neither of which recorded much movement, although the former found Labor hanging on to a big gain the previous fortnight.

3 A headline in The Australian quoted John Howard as saying that ‘People were afraid to speak’. Without reading the piece (firewall) I assume he is saying that people are afraid to speak their minds because they perceive the  criticism they may get is unwarranted or unfair. What he and others of his political persuasion forget is that they have so distorted truth with their lies that the general public distrusts everything politicians say.

His answer lays in the fact that only 13% of people trust politicians.

So badly has the truth been damaged by the likes of Abbott that people immediately recognise the spin and counter it, calling it for what it is. Free speech of the reasoned kind is still alive and well in this country. All they have to do is use it.

An observation

‘Free speech does not mean it should be free from ethics. Like truth for example’.

4 It is good to see that Tony Winsor is more than a 50/50 chance of recontesting the seat of New England. Recent polling shows that he has more than an even chance of winning.

5 The fascinating thing I find with George Christiansen’s objection to the very worthwhile anti bullying programme is his obsession with the term penis tucking. I mean isn’t that what he practices himself.

6 So Mal Brough has decided to give the next election a miss. Can he see the writing on the wall? Has he received the nod that charges maybe pending? Whatever, this sordid period in Australia’s political history will not be over until a Royal Commission is held

I am still seething at this outrageous attempt to eject the speaker of the House of Representatives and in so doing attempt to overthrow the government of the day. The case brought by Ashby, and the political involvement of Abbott, Pyne, Brough, Roy and undoubtedly many others, was an affront to our system of government. Our democracy. And the Murdoch media were complicit in the sordid affair.

And the AFP are taking far too long. It needs to be cleared up before the next election.

My thought for the day.

‘Sometimes I allow myself the indulgence of thinking I know a lot. Then I realise that in the totality of things, I know little. One thing I am certain of however is that there are known facts in the world because science proves them’.

 

A dirty deal to drown out our inner voice

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”  Steve Jobs, 2005

Voices, opinions and narrative shape a society in a free democracy.  This is a crucial underlying construct of our ‘Australian Culture.’  It is one of the essential freedoms we enjoy as a country. Our voices, my voice, your voice shapes us.

The right to use our voice to protest. The right to use our voice to use social media  and other platforms to speak up loudly for or against issues. The right for journalists to report on sensitive issues and to criticise the Government. The right to nominate as a voice in our parliament and the right to vote for that voice.

Sometimes debate in our country is a lovely, manicured clear pathway and sometimes our debate is a thick forest with bruising scrub, dry arid land, harsh conditions, thorns that cut and grab and where we have to step around snakes with fear and angst.

However, it is our inner voice which allows us to block out the loud opinions of others and look up above that noise to the wisest of owls who will guide us out, beyond the snakes and to the other side to a place of peace and tranquility.

Every single person’s landscape of peace and tranquility is not the same. Some will find that peace in a conservative landscape, an authoritarian landscape, a socialist landscape, a (small l) liberal landscape or a libertarian landscape. For some people, depending on the issue at hand, they might find they have unfolded their deckchair and soaked up the sun in different landscapes over time.  For example, some may sit in the socialist landscape for worker’s rights, but will also sit in the punitive and conservative landscape to advocate for the death penalty.

There are also some people who don’t fight through harsh scrub and snakes, they have no wise owl to guide them to their landscape, they are trapped forever in a 70’s disco doing ‘The Shrug’ to the tune of ‘meh, meh, meh, meh, meh.’ Sometimes they might reach out and take a few steps down the easy manicured path of debate, but you will never get them near the forest.

Sadly, today, there are still many loud voices which drown out the opinions of those in minority groups who are suffering from harm. More and more people look to the wise-owl of their inner voice, to guide them and set themselves down in the landscape of the minorities in solidarity and that is a good thing, because it is so important that these voices are the loud and heard.

I do not support the argument that the only voices we should have in our parliament are the Independent voices and that the parliament would be better without the major parties.

I do not believe a parliament of independents is the panacea to some of the issues we have in parliament today. There are only so many frames of political ideology and to have the necessary legitimate and at times coercive power, blocs would be formed, representing that ideology.

The theories which explain power in relationships and politics are complex. Power can see people struggle over finite resources, some have the ability to use referent power, some can use power to make other’s dependent upon them and some can use coercive power. A party of Independent MPs or Senators is not the nice walk down the manicured path, some believe it to be.

What I strongly advocate for, is that all citizens should have the freedom to vote for a party who has either a solid platform they agree with, or a vote for an independent voice, which may take a myriad of conflicting positions.

My strongest argument is for informed voting. Although I am not a supporter of the Liberal party, I would prefer to see a voter vote conservative/LNP who has a truly informed conservative position they align with. They are informed and fully understand the damage that this party’s ideology and policies will do to certain groups of people, how their authoritarian nature will aim to suppress our voices and that they favour punitive measures above all else. I support that this voter is comfortable with being a bastard and owns it and wears it on their sleeve with pride.

I would rather this than just voting because of the aesthetical appeal of an individual politician, or they find a slogan catchy, without knowing what that party or person is really about. I want to turn the music off at the “Meh, meh, meh” disco and fill the disco full of owls to be followed right out of there.

I argue strongly for this, because this is critical in shaping who we really are. The voices who end up on the other side of power (whomever that may be), end up battling through the forest and/or sitting in solidarity with groups of minorities.  They know their collective needs to grow stronger and their voices need to be more persuasive and louder. This enables robust debate and shapes our country. This is important as we do not want to just stretch out on a deckchair and catch a few rays in our ideal landscapes, but to build a house on it for life.

In the debate of democratic voting, the majority of people have built their house on the landscape of democracy. The Greens, the Xenophon party and The Liberals want to knock down our democratic houses. They have done a dirty deal to silence the voices of the independents in the Senate.  They are essentially forming a bloc on this issue to use legitimate power to drown out the inner voices who sit in their landscape and in solidarity with the Independents.

The Greens, the Xenophon party and the Liberals want to knock down your house of democracy by relying on the voters who are bopping away to “The Shrug” to the tune of “meh, meh, meh, meh.” This is the key to their success and the key to suppressing the independent voice.

Bill Shorten’s Labor is sitting in solidarity in the Independent’s landscape of democracy.

As a member of the Labor party, I am glad that this is where my party sits, as it is where I would be sitting regardless.

I will end this article, not with my own conclusion of why this is so wrong, but I will leave you with a must watch video of Anthony Albanese speaking out against the changes to the Senate Voting system. I hope that the voice in this video, encourages you speak up against these voting reforms with your pen on election day.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRnHSZsiKfc&w=560&h=315]

Originally posted on Polyfeministix

Day to Day Politics: The Abbott/Turnbull Government – give credit where credit’s due

Friday 26 February 2016

1 Its only fair, regardless of one’s political ideology to give credit where credit’s due. The Abbott/Turnbull government has done something truly remarkable. At the last election it accused the Labor party of being the worst financial managers in the country’s history. The budget was in crisis. Something had to be done to arrest it. Spending was out of control. We were an economic cot case and if nothing was done we would end up like Greece.

Two and a half years later after doubling the debt amid a debate about the need for major tax reform they have managed to find 30 billion dollars to spend on defence. What makes it even more remarkable is that they have not been able to get the senate to pass legislation for cost savings in the past two budgets.

So credit where credits due. That’s almost the equivalent of Jesus walking on water.

But not to finish there.The Magician is now, according to the AFR signalled his willingness to arrange a funding deal with the states to relieve pressure on their health and education budgets.

Remember Abbott took $80 billion away from them.

Treasurer Scott Morrison maintains at the same time that the states should deal with funding shortfalls on their own. Turnbull would like to resolve the issue and repair the Federal Government’s relationship with the state governments before the May 2016 Budget.

Wow, I wonder what miracle they will perform when we get the ’real’ bill for Direct Action on climate change.

And there are also going to cut your taxes. The miracles will never cease.

2 It seems that the Prime Minister has decided to walk away from his much promised Tax Reforms. Reforms that might have achieved some budget repair. And not because they may have brought some equitable redistribution of the wealth of the country. Some fairness. No simply because tax reform might have hurt the pockets of those who vote for him.

It seems he has also decided to walk away from the transparent, truthful, and reasoned and policy explanation politics he also promised.

In deciding to take the path of Abbottism politics he has turned his back on all those who had hoped for a new era in politics.

Seeing him in parliament this week mounting a scare campaign against Labor’s proposed changes to Negative Gearing disclosed him for the fraud he is and people are entitled to ask why they changed from a blatant liar as leader to a hypocrite of titanic comparison.

3 Cory Bernardi said that Bill Shorten had had a Mark Latham moment when he said Cory was a homophobe. By saying that was Cory elevating himself to the position of a Prime Minister?

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews summed him up rather well:

I’m sick of Liberal politicians telling our kids that there’s something wrong with them – when there isn’t’.

‘I don’t think these extreme Liberals are actually offended by the structure of the program, or the teachers who lead it. I just think they’re offended by the kids who need it’.

‘The Liberals now plan to “investigate” (meaning: ultimately shut down) the Safe Schools Coalition, a program that looks after teenagers who are getting bullied at school’.

There is nothing worse than a Clayton’s leader. Grow some balls, Malcolm. Stand up to the ferals in your party. Saying it is a broad church doesn’t gel anymore.

4 When on earth are we going to get the report on parliamentary expenses? It was promised earl in the New Year.

5 Is it just me or are there others who are finding the ABC’s political reporting rather bland? Almost like they are frightened of putting their foot in it.

6 This almost went under the radar but according to The West Australian, retiring Senator Bill Heffernan told Parliament on Wednesday that the child abuse royal commission should be extended to investigate sex abuse in judiciary ranks, producing an alleged list of pedophiles he says includes senior judges and lawyers, as well as a former prime minister.

He says Australia needs a federal judicial commission and he will seek senior legal advice on the matter.

My thought for the day.

‘The young celebrate their youth and the old get their satisfaction by dreaming of the way things once were’.

Day to Day Politics: The table’s a mess. Clean it up, Malcolm.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

1 Malcolm Turnbull came to power promising much-needed tax reform. He placed everything on the banquet table. The GST pie. The outrageously immoral tax concessions on Superannuation to the wealthy and privileged. Negative gearing and capital gains tax. He has promised tax cuts to business and taxpayers in general. On top of these he has floated various recipes of other culinary tastelessness totality out of flavour with the public.

So badly received has the menu been that each day the chef needs to come up with another one.

Take Monday in Question Time.

‘Increasing capital gains tax is no part of our thinking whatsoever.’

He said so while launching into a stinging attack on Labor’s policy. A policy to limit tax deductions on investment properties to new homes and to halve the capital gains tax discount on assets held for more than a year from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

What a bloody mess the table is in. The following day we find out that there was an error in the printing of the menu. The Government is planning to halve the capital gains tax discount for Superannuation funds.

This has totality thrown a new ingredient into the mix and is at odds with his statement in Question Time. Yesterday I said his right hand didn’t know what his left was doing. Frankly I don’t think he knows the difference between a Carp and a Flounder. Well he may know what flounder means.

Adding far too much pepper to the recipe, the Prime Minister’s office said he was only focusing on tax options proposed by Labor, which concentrate on property. In other words his defence is that he was misunderstood. What absolute crap.

Changes to superannuation tax concessions and tax deductions for work-related expenses are among the few tax reform options that are still available to the Government.

Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics said:

‘We’re now in a world where some of the bigger options in tax reform have been ruled out’.

They have some serious washing up to do. After the clean up when there is nothing left but a blank canvas of white tablecloth the Government will find that real Tax Reform is still whirling around in the dish washer. It’s all starting to remind me of that wonderful song from Les Mis. Empty Chairs and Empty tables.

Probably the only real way to get tax reform ‘for the common good’ in this country is to take it out of the domain of politicians and place it in the hands of an independent body similar to the Productivity Commission.

An observation.

I think the possibility of young people being able to afford a new home is far more important than anyone making a profit from negatively gearing one.

2 Mathias Cormann was out and about doing his inevitable repair job. You have to admire his tenacity. That’s if you can understand what he is saying. The Government has some exceptional talkers but for waffling speed Mathias takes the cake.

‘It’s a matter of public record that we have been looking right across the whole of the tax system to assess opportunities for improvements’.

He said this so quickly that I thought the blender was over taxed while mixing up company tax reductions with pay no tax deductions.

3 The latest Morgan Poll, which uses both face-to-face and SMS interviews, has found that support for the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis is steady at 52.5 per cent. In contrast, the latest Newspoll suggests that support for the Coalition and the Australian Labor Party is tied at 50 per cent apiece. However, the Newspoll is now conducted by Galaxy Research, which uses a combination of automated “robo-polling” and online surveys rather than telephone surveys.

4 Some politicians unfortunately have physical characteriistics that arouse a judgement of nastiness. Former policeman Peter Dutten is one. He reminds me of the copper you would hate to have you cornered up a dark alley on a pitch black night. His sour facial expression gives rise to a judgement of someone with not an empathetic bone in his body. A nasty bastard as Australians are apt to say.

It makes the accusation that he deliberately leaked details of an investigation by Queensland Police into baby Asha believable.

He is not the only one of this ilk in the Government.

An observation.

‘I don’t judge people but I do form my own opinion of course’.

5 Malcolm Turnbull came to office grandiosely promising a new era of politics. An era of politeness, of transparency, of openness – a contest and exploration of ideas. He removed Abbott pledging to transform the Liberal Party. Instead they transformed him.

My thought for the day.

‘I think we can often become so trapped in the longevity of sameness that we never see other ways of doing things’.

  

Day to Day Politics: When the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing.

Monday February 22 2016

1 Slowly the media in general are coming around to the realisation that for the past two and a half years the Coalition have been sitting on their backsides doing nothing about tax policy.

Morrison even admitted it saying:

‘Those issues were not under consideration before September last year’.

‘It was not like they were beavering away on them for two years before that. Those issues only came into consideration in September last year’.

Actually a case can be put that no policy work was done for the four years they were in opposition.

‘We will oppose everything. That’s what oppositions do.’ I seem to recall Abbott saying.

I could even make a case that it’s rare for them to take on major reform at any time. If you were asked to nominate five Coalition major reforms that addressed the common good you would be hard pressed to nominate any.

In fact why don’t you try? Name five major reform policies in the past 50 years of the Coalitions specifically designed to benefit the common good.

You might say Costello’s GST was a major reform but it favoured the rich. It burdened the poor and those with the least capacity to pay. It discriminates against the poor and the pensioners who are living a hand-to-mouth existence and spending the bulk of their income on the necessities of life—food, clothing, rent, heating, power etc. And of course since its inception Coalition governments have sought to further erode it by increasing the eligibility age and raising the assets test. By eliminating further concessions the pension will decline in value by $3000 over the next few years. It is remarkable how Labor has managed to become the de facto government. Or so it would appear the way the government is being forced to attack its policies. I have said previously that Labor cannot win this election with a traditional campaign. By releasing policy early Shorten has badly wrong footed Turnbull who says he won’t release tax reform policy until the budget.

I have never seen this before. A government having to attack an opposition who is delivering sound economic policies 7 months before an election.

When the top 10% of wage earners are the ones who benefit most from negative gearing it is a policy relatively easy to defend.

Yesterday we had the best retail politician in Australia, Barnaby Joyce, saying Labor’s Negative Gearing policy would reduce the value of a million dollar home by a third. Rather reminded me of the $100 dollar roast. Honestly, the most educated Government in Australia’s history are acting like they don’t have a collective brain in their heads.

On top of all the talking and retracting over the past few weeks yesterday they had a thought bubble on low-income earners getting their super payments as wages. Expect they will back down today.

Turnbull and Morrison’s problem is that the areas ripe for tax reform are the very ones that would affect it constituency most.

Whilst Bill Shorten is not the most charismatic person around he might just be the policy wanker people say he is. And a strategist to go with it. In any case he is getting all the favourable media.

2 Goodbye Harper Lee. As a young boy you changed my life.

3 How dreadful, how disillusioned those good Catholic folk who have their faith at the core of their being must feel.  I know our local Parish Priest does. But having committed the sins it has, it is difficult to see how the church has any right to cast moral judgement on others.

The indignation it is showing over accusations about Cardinal Pell is outrageous given the deaths it has caused. So many children abused, lives destroyed and families devastated. To this day I don’t think they fully comprehend the damage they have done. The Vatican still won’t release documents in their keeping. As an institution the Church is morally bankrupt.

An observation:

‘We can sometimes become so engrossed in our own problems that we can easily overlook the enormity of the suffering of others’.

4 On the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement people should understand that the Republicans, Clinton, Sanders and half of the Democratic Party are against it. Oh, so am I, by the way. So Andrew Robb might have wasted a lot of time.

5 I don’t have a prize but can you identify these people:

Mr Angry, Mr Smiley and Mr Waffle.

6 Yet another one goes. Liberal senator Bill Heffernan will bow out of politics at the next federal election.

The outspoken 72-year-old farmer is well-known for smuggling a fake pipe bomb into parliament. He also falsely accused, under parliamentary privilege, former High Court judge Michael Kirby of picking up rent boys.

What a grubby individual he is. He will not be missed.

My thought for the day

‘Nothing matters in life so much as to live it decently. And you don’t need any form of religious belief to do so. Be as humane as you can possibly be’.

 

Day to Day Politics: Captain Turnbull batting on a sticky wicket.

Sunday 21 February 2016

Having replaced Abbott as captain of the Australian side Malcolm Turnbull finds himself on a sticky wicket. He promised much as the side’s new leader but on Friday, when commenting on the other side’s policy on negative gearing looked as though he had been hit ‘to leg’. In fact he talked decidedly like the previous captain. Maybe the protector he was using was too small or something, and it was affecting his concentration.

The other team looked as though they, given the advantage of batting first, have out played the incumbents with a solid opening partnership. They have runs on the board hitting opening bowler Gunna Morrison for six on a number of occasions.

He gave a few interviews after his opening spell but the consensus in the press box was that he was bowling without a plan. He wasn’t on a length and too many were going down leg side. Mind you all the sledging from opener Bowen after three consecutive sixes in the first over of the day didn’t help.

It ended with Turnbull having to bring himself on. He spent what seemed an eternity discussing what positions the new members of the team should field in. The other opener Bill Shorten complained to the umps about time-wasting, shouting ‘less talk and more action’. Turnbull responded by saying it takes time to get a plan right.

Wicketkeeper Pyne adjusted his box shouting, in indignation. ‘Don’t forget the Double Dissolution, Mal’. Shorten’s opening partner Albanese was heard to mumble that Pyne should be dropped or that he should at least get a manager because he has been handling himself too long.

The current state of play indicates a subtle but significant shift in how the game is being played. The Opposition captain is on the back foot firmly behind the ball, playing a flamboyant innings, prepared to have a go early. Turnbull doesn’t like it either when the yobbos in Bay 13 keep reminding him that his sides been out of form for the better part of two and a half years. And the government’s bowling has been off-line. If fact, its bowlers have been no-balled a few times for bowling wide of the crease.

I mean, when you’re bowling on a green top, why on earth would you bowl so much spin? Poor form, that.

At the close of play on the second day the Opposition has the Government by the short and curlies. For how long is anyone’s guess.

So let’s see if we can analyse the match thus far, remembering this is a five test series leading into September.

Despite  replacing many ageing, out of form players who had seemingly lost touch with the modern game ages ago, captain Turnbull seems determined to take the game back to the quaint days of W.C. Grace.

However, there’s talk that he might chance his arm and change the line-up for the next match. ‘Too many leaners and not enough lifters’, he was reminded. Of course, the Murdoch press is playing ball supporting the Captain despite a longing for the previous captain’s deleterious leadership style.

On the other hand, social media has stumped a few batters by chucking a lot of fast positive commentary at a government deemed to be under-performing. This bloody underarm stuff is “simply unbecoming” said the editor of The AIMN.

One spectator on the square leg boundary was heard to say to Dutton, whose head was not taking kindly to the sun. ‘When will you recognise that it’s time to concentrate on the finer points of the game and consider traditional fair play?’ Even the umpires have chatted to him about his ball tampering.

The fact is, the Government has been caught behind and need to play ball with the umpiring public. At the rate Turnbull is scoring he is unlikely to captain the side in the next test, and there is talk about the composition of the team including some new arrivals.

Some are saying that Joyce should be dropped on the grounds that the vice captaincy requires a degree of fitness for the position. He always appears out of breath.

Another on the back foot, as it were, is Cormann, who it is said is always short of a length and is finding it difficult to run between the wickets. Too many cigars while waiting to bat must be detrimental to one’s health. He always seems to be full of puff.

Dutton was well out of his crease batting at third drop and stumped several times when he wouldn’t give an undertaking that his team would play by the rules, instead opting to never allow juniors a chance to play on his turf.

Meanwhile the rich and privileged in the members pavilion could be seen clapping his every shot. It’s fair to say that the Government has been creamed on every economic announcement by the opposition. Gunna Morrison looked like he was acting as a reluctant runner for the injured opener. It’s a pity they couldn’t have used the 12th man. He is known to be up to speed on economics.

Well, they did get rid of the Carbon Tax but the entire team still seems to be confused by the difference between weather and climate which doesn’t go well for the quality of future pitches.

You might say the spectators have been hit for six on this one. Maybe it’s time to bring on the quicks. A bit of bodyline or Direct Action of the right sort, that’s what’s needed.

After bowling a few maiden overs there can be no doubt Turnbull has copped one in the box over his inability to get his side moving. The protector needs something like speedos to keep it in place otherwise everything hangs loose.

It’s been a balls-up all round and the Turnbull has been no balled four times during the current over while trying to get his point across. He reckons its all the talk from the batsmen that affecting his concentration. He’s asked the umpire to stop everyone talking saying there’s too much of it.

Fact is, the lack of policy has been comprehensively hit to square leg and team mascot Wyatt Roy was seen chasing after it with a view to retrieving it because he’s not guaranteed of a second knock.

Leader Turnbull nicked one to slips over the latest job figures. Reminds me of something Merve Hugh’s said to a spectator at fine leg at the G after dropping a catch; ‘Fkn hopeless’. It seems that because of budgetary constraints he will be powerless to give those unable to win a place on team Australia any assistance. Instead he wants them all to field in slips and repeat the word plebiscite while waiting. If they drop one he can blame it on Labor for bowling too many short pitched deliveries.

Turnbull’s team are appallingly bad sports. Hypocrisy abounds. It’s a pity the opposition can’t appeal to the third umpire. Once upon a time it was a gentleman’s game and we played by traditional rules, but captain Turnbull seems to have let it all roll into the gutter. He has replaced everything our beloved game stands for with Lillee white lies. All the video replays confirm it. When a captain says something he should stick with it.

I think for the last six months he has just been batting with the breeze or must have been hit with a bouncer while not wearing a helmet. Concussion set in and when he recovered he realised that there are real known facts in the world and that one’s word does matter.

When I found out about all the lies, any respect I had for the new captain of Team Australia went to the boundry. My God, I felt like I had just copped one in the nuts from Malcolm Marshall I was so distressed. Bloody hypocrite. No wonder, a captain who bats at 10 isn’t a cricketer’s arsehole. No wonder he’s on a pair.

Then during the lunch break he was complaining about the cost of living (or was it lifestyle?) pressures on the players and spruiked that it was perfectly OK to receive expenses even if they were given to the spouses. Nothing worse than a bloody all-rounder who can only bowl arm balls.

Then after lunch he brings  on his slowest bowler Greg Hunt to bowl ‘Chinaman’ deliveries. In a recorded interview before play he was quoted as saying that he was stumped as to why the game had never appealed to environmentalists.

Goodness knows he is good at bowling spin on sticky wickets. Hunt was on a hat-trick but the umpire dismissed his third appeal on the basis of an obstructed view – something to do with an indirect action.

Anyway, at the close of play Turnbull’s team Australia has shown little desire to get on with the game. He gives the impression he would rather be sipping a Merlot in the members. The team treasurer is still saying the team budget will be presented in May. They just needed to talk more about it.

After a long drawn out final session, the captain of team Australia looks intent on a draw of sorts. He doesn’t seem to have the spectators on side. His captaincy shows little of the innovation, transparency and flamboyancy he promised. In fact the team is in disarray, the pitch is deteriorating, and he shows little inclination to arrest his and his teams appalling governance of the game. Some say his vision is effecting his batting.

At the after play drinks one player in the opposition was heard to say: ‘That bloody Turnbull must have been born with two dicks. He couldn’t be that stupid playing with one.’

Anyway, who’s for a game of backyard cricket? Pitches will be going cheap according to the man with it all.

My thought for the day.

‘It is far better to form your own your own independent opinions relative to your life experience and reason than to allow yourself to be blindly led by others.’

 

Are we Turnbull’s unpaid focus group?

After watching Malcolm Turnbull and his “Government” in action over the past five months, I have come to the conclusion that Turnbull is secretly using the voting public as one enormous unpaid focus group.

It all started way back when Tony Abbott was our Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull was well placed to be the communications Minister. He is a lover of Apple watches and he can rattle off with aplomb lots of social media apps. He probably has an app on his mirror to tell him if he is the fairest in the land every morning. However, despite all of this, he had a huge dilemma.

As we all know, Turnbull likes to believe he is the man of the hour, the champion of the people, that guy who gets everything right, the man who holds the adulation and love of so many fans. (Wait…Turnbull likes to believe he is Jonathon Thurston?)

Anyway, set your mind back just a little.  Turnbull, as communications minister had to put out an inferior, rubbish, embarrassing FTTN NBN and blow the budget out to the GDP of a small country, all for good reason. The reason is that the Liberals needed an alternative model to Labor’s far superior FTTP NBN. Therefore, Malcolm thought he would just test his rubbish model out on a focus group aka ‘us’, add in a little spin and waffle about how Betacord is far more superior than blue ray; oops I mean how copper is far more superior than fibre; and we would buy it.

When ‘we’ (the focus group) started moaning and groaning about how crap his NBN was, and in the still of the night he stared at the laughter from online tech forums with tears in his eyes, the stress of it all started to show. One morning, he looked in the mirror and his app told him that Jason Clare was by far the fairest in the land. He knew it was all over and he had to do something drastic. He had to distance himself from the NBN.

How can the man of the hour be the same man who has the crap NBN and who is the subject of memes with tin cans and string? No, no, no that simply would not do. At least Abbott had a boat phone!

He had to get out of communications fast into a job that made him look good.  He needed a job that allowed him to be flexible. One with enough scope that if he had to talk about something that made him look dull instead of shiny, he could brush that aside and talk about something else. With that, he eyed Tony Abbott with a glint in his eye. He just had to convince his party colleagues that he was the very model of a modern major Prime Minister.

So he did what any good innovator would do, he chose a tried and true product that the focus group liked but had become tired of and applied a little incremental innovation. All he had to do was to sell it to his party colleagues.

Malcolm had feedback that the focus group didn’t like the way the old Prime Minister model ummed and ah-ed and especially that time that he wasn’t saying anything (but you aren’t saying anything, Tony) or his inappropriate repetition of “But we have stopped the boats”. The focus group especially did not like any Captains picks.

The party colleagues insisted that the inner workings of PM Mark I stay the same and PM Mark II had to have the same values and beliefs as the old model, but it would be ok if Malcolm tinkered with the aesthetics.

So Malcolm hopped on a tram to take some selfies, chucked on an Armani Suit, put 200 million dollars in the bank and shifted some to an offshore account in the Cayman islands and the model was almost complete. To demonstrate the winning element of the new model, he slapped on a happy face, twirled his glasses a few times and with great anticipation he unveiled the clincher…never ending verbosity with an inbuilt thesaurus for all the synonyms a Prime Minister could use without sounding repetitive once.  It was a done deal.  With the help of a knife and a Bishop, the old model was sent to the backbenches and Turnbull was now the new Prime Minister Mark II.

So Malcolm turned to the Focus Group once again for them to evaluate Prime Minister Mark II. As confirmed by @Ghostwhovotes every week, the polls were in and the focus group gave the thumbs up. The media were so happy they were reminiscent of Magenta grabbing Riff Raff’s hand, twirling him around and yelling, “Malcolm is happy. The Liberals are happy, you’re happy, we’re all happy hahaha hahaha.”

After such a positive response from the focus group, Malcolm then became obsessed with using us as a focus group to evaluate so many things in the coming months.

He did this with so much excitement and relief because he has no idea how to make his own decisions. However, he became increasingly frustrated because no matter what he put before us, it was all nope, nope, nope from us. There was a small ‘yay’ for getting rid of knights and dames.  There was also a huge sigh of relief when Speaker mark II turned out to be rational and level headed and did not take helicopter joy rides.

However, secretly copying a diary to bring down the speaker of parliament to topple a Labor Government, it was a nope from the focus group.

A Minister of Parliament drunk groping and kissing a female public servant in China, was a nope from the focus group.

Announcing, “there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian” was a yay from most of us. However, repeated at the same volume and frequency of ‘we have stopped the boats’ resulted in a noise complaint and a subsequent thumbs down from the focus group.

Ministers grabbing the Baygon and spraying it in the PM’s general direction as they backed away and resigned, was a mixed response with many raising an eyebrow of suspicion as to what was going on.

A Minister under the guise of a private citizen signing off on a mining deal with a Chinese mining company and prominent Liberal party donor was a big, big nope from the focus group.

The focus group climbed bridges and towers and screamed nope, nope, nope and staged a protest outside of a hospital when he canvassed whether sending Asylum seeker babies back to detention was okay.

The focus group was split on a report of a political witch hunt, set up to destroy the party of the workers, led by a life-long Liberal party supporter who was allowed to assess his own bias. (The nopes were a lot louder than yays on this one, so this one is reserved for desperate situations only).

As the Prime Minister had no idea about economic reform, he decided to run an increase in the GST by the focus group.  The results from the focus group were so poor and when he noted that they were listening to the Labor party, he has backed away from the GST like Voldemort backing away from Harry. Like he still intends to do the evil deed, he just has to wait to get Harry in a weak position.

Some of the focus group still have their head turned sideways trying to work out if the Unicorn selling is a possibility.  Others in the focus group started designing unicorn memes straight away.

Prime Minister Mark II is now canvassing the focus group for the privatisation of Medicare and their personal medical records being handled by a private contractor, possibly an overseas company. The early data is that this is a huge thumbs down.

As Prime Minister Mark II is too scared to make any decisions of his own and he relies on the feedback from focus groups; here is a list of forthcoming ideas from the Turnbull’s ideas boom that we can expect in the near future.

A list of possible ideas for the PM Mark II’s focus group (aka us)

Should Anchovies on pizza cost extra?

When city Ministers visit country areas, should they wear a cowboy hat, or not wear a cowboy hat?

Is it ever OK for the Minister for women to scream like a banshee about ‘the sisterhood?’

Are socks with Sandals ever OK and should Barnaby wear them?

How often can one hear the word innovation before they start screaming?

If copper is better than fibre, should blue ray be made obsolete and should we return to Betacord?

If your sick mum cannot get access to healthcare, is that OK,  if there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian?

If PM Mark II does not make any decisions up to and including the election, is it because there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian?

Should the Government put out a budget before the election?

Should unicorns be sold, or should they be a protected species?

Is it obvious that the treasurer is a dumb-arse who knows jack about economics?

When the camera pans to Prime Minister Mark I sitting on the back bench looking forlorn, have you felt, or slightly felt a left-wing condition called empathy?

What do you think of underdogs? Is it possible for them to win elections?

Is ‘Work Save and Invest’ considered a slogan?

How much longer can the Liberal party get away with blaming Labor?

Do Pyne’s glasses look dorky nerdy or nerdy hot?

If the Prime Minister who owns several houses and is worth 200 million dollars, does not approve of a policy that will let your children and grandchildren buy a house, will you accept that this is OK because it won’t be fair on the rich people?

With a Double Dissolution election now being suggested widely for July, I am sure the above and many more will be put to us aka the focus group for assessment between now and then, as it has become increasingly obvious Malcolm Turnbull is unable to make any decisions.

At a rate of zero dollars per hour, our pay for this focus group is less than the 47c an hour being paid to workers of the 7-Eleven Turnbull has a stake in.  I think I had better get my union, (or is that unicorn) on to this!

Originally published on Polyfeministix

Day to Day Politics: Making a meal of it.

Tuesday 9 February

1 The ongoing talkfest on taxation reform continues unabated. The GST (depending on what news source you read) seems to have slipped from the table. The other stuff it would seem is on the slow cooker waiting on the Lord of the Manor to decide what might be on the recipe for the annual carve up in May.

It is fast becoming a joke and it has been suggested that the head chef Gunna Morrison is wanting to give the May banquet a miss and instead settle for a Fosters over an early election barbeque. Sorry I’m just mincing my words.

But really there should be lot to serve up to an electorate starved of good policy from a Government that has made a meal of governance for over two and a half years.

An electorate who in just a few months will go to the polls. On the economic front the electorate knows that, given the current internal and external conditions, adjustments need to be made to our economy. They understand that cuts will need to be made and they are not silly enough to know that revenue needs to raised.

For both parties not to be making a case for both and detailing their attitude  is appalling.

We are being treated with contempt by both parties. Now is the time to put away the smooth talk and translate words into actions. At least outline a blueprint of why cuts are needed and how revenue will be raised, then outline the detail.

Turnbull has the gift of the gab but there appears to be little meat in the sausage. As the incumbent government he needs to take the bull by the horns and charge into it.

In order to cast an informed vote the voter should be given all the available economic information. It beggars belief that a government could run almost a full term before deciding to do something about a problem they knew existed when they gained government.

Its a bit like having a plebiscite to confirm something you already know.

As I see it both parties are limited to reforming the same policies. Capital gains, a form of land tax, superannuation, negative gearing. They will split down ideological lines on the savings. Labor will fill the hole in health and education. The coalition will leave the states to solve the upcoming funding crisis in both. The Coalition will give tax breaks to their constituency.

Turnbull’s approach so far has been to try to put everything on the table. The problem with that is that you can leave a lot to clean up afterwards. That’s when the rubber gloves hit the hot water and there’s a fight about who wants to dry. I’m suggesting Malcolm wash if Gunna agrees to dry up.

Seriously though all this indecision does suggest the possibility of an early election. Do they really want to produce a budget?

At this stage I’m tipping that all will be revealed election eve.

2  Here are some comments I had to my Monday post on Facebook debating sites.

A: ‘If the boats aren’t disgorging illegal immigrants on our shores, they’ve been stopped.’

B: ‘More distorted bullshit from John Lord.’

C: ‘Barnaby Joyce has more brains than most of the Labor front bench. Certainly he’s more educated and experienced than the world’s greatest treasurer, Wayne Swan. Joyce is nothing like the US republican nutters.’

D: ‘Turnbull is not a “president”, he’s the Prime Minister. Yep, he’s an arsehole, but he does NOT entirely set the agenda you fool.’

E: ‘I didn’t know you were racist against muslims.’

F: ‘I’d almost feel sorry for the AIMN guys if they weren’t out and out deceptive in every post.’ G ‘What gives you guys the right to openly lie?’

H: ‘Dishonest from start to finish.’ I ‘they have stopped coming to Aus. Journeys have slowed dramatically – very few attempts are even being begun.’

Thank goodness I had a quiet day.

I’m a little depressed today so I am being a bit frivolous looking for things to cheer me up. Then I came across these snippets from Mr. Fixit. Christopher Pyne. Note I said Christopher. I got into trouble for calling him Chrissy last time.

On Asylum seekers:

‘Cool heads and big hearts’.

No one wants to see “the people smuggling trade being re energised”.

On dumping an increase to the GST:

‘We are responding to events as they occur’.

4 A note of thanks to all who take the time to read my daily post and especially those who make a comment. The discussion is great.

5 ‘Mr Ruddock will be Australia’s first special envoy for human rights, reflecting the government’s commitment to further strengthening Australia’s contribution to advancing human rights.’  (Julie Bishop).

My thought for the day

‘We should not do or say anything that cheapens another because in the end we only cheapen ourselves’.

 

Day to Day Politics: ‘Would Honourable Members Rise in their places’

Tuesday February 2 2016

1 Today the political year starts in earnest. Parliament resumes. The Honourable members will start hurling abuse at one another. A war or words will erupt about many and varied issues.

The Parliament will place great store on how best it can serve itself and its Honourable members.

Unless it’s been forgotten a report on Honourable member’s expenses will be tabled.

Some Honourable gentlemen lost their jobs during the break. A couple of other Honourable gentlemen are awaiting reports. One is wiping his Brough and the other might find himself in the Sin bin.

Honourable members will spend most of their time working out how to negatively debase their opponents.

They will in fact spend very little time being honourable, telling the truth and serving the people. Every decision the Honourable members make will be based firstly on how best it serves his or her party. Rarely on how it serves the country and the people.

The Honourable members should visit the bathroom often on the first day, look in the mirror and ask. ‘Am I really honourable?’ Then a supplementary question. ‘Why is it only 13% of the population think I am worthy of their trust.’

There, this honourable gentleman has said enough. I don’t judge people. I do however form my own opinion.

An observation.

‘Good democracies can only deliver good government and outcomes if the electorate demands it’.

2 The year begins with, according to Newspoll the Coalition leading Labor 53% to 47%. Of course Turnbull still has a commanding lead over Shorten in the popularity stakes.

3 Whilst the Government says it will run the full term its hard to imagine they will continue just talking about doing things when what is required is some actual doing. Gunna Morisson was at it again today.  I mean they said we had a budget crisis. Didnt they. If there is a budget crisis and if as they say there is no revenue crisis it must mean, because of the crisis there will have to be enormous cuts.

What a crisis.

4 You would think the people who believe that love has no gender would be happy with the progress they have made. I mean up until 1949 if you dared to love someone of the same-sex and exhibited your love, then the death penalty applied. Well in Victoria at least. Of course in Tasmania until 1997 being gay was illegal and if you practiced being what you naturally were you could be put in the dungeon for 21 years. So demanding that in some way you are an equal in human terms, in 2016 is a bit of a stretch.

5 The Newspoll also indicated that 54% oppose raising the GST from 10% to 15% as part of a package including tax cuts for all income earners and compensation for low-income earners and welfare recipients. It showed 37% backed a GST increase while 9% were uncommitted.

Its got me tossed how you can do all that and fix health and education at the same time. And to ask those who pay the most GST, middle and low-income earners, to fund tax cuts for higher wage earners and businesses, some who don’t pay any tax anyway, is beyond me.

As a cohort the better off pay less GST tax than any other group. The government takes from the poor and middle class to help them pay for their kids private school education. They can negatively gear as many houses as they want. There are numerous tax concessions. And they, if they so choose, get a 15% tax discount if they put their money into super. Then there are Capital Gains offsets.

Negative gearing is costing the Federal Government about $3.7 billion a year in lost revenue, while the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount wipes off $4 billion.

In two years’ time the tax breaks on Superannuation will cost as much as the pension $50 billion a year.

And of course many of them with family businesses pay no tax at all.

Now we want to give them tax cuts. Bloody Tea Party politics if you ask me.

6 Only in America.

How sickening it was to see Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz whipping up the support of the far right Evangelical Christian movement. Ronald Reagan has a lot to answer for in opening the religious door to American politics.

An observation

‘Religion in many ways is akin to Politics in so much as it believes that telling the truth isn’t necessarily in its best interests’.

 7 The Royal Commission into Unions issued a separate volume of secret findings. Repeat secret. Not so secret that they can’t be shown to individual Senators that might help you get legislation passed that will stymie Union activity. For anyone else interested I have to inform you they are a secret.

My thought for the day.

‘The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of scientific fact, truth and reason, never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation’.

 

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