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The government’s constant negativity is draining and divisive

There have always been incidents of nepotism, rorting, broken promises, moral failures, poor decisions, and even straight out lies, in politics.  So why does it feel so bad now?

In the past, despite the shortcomings of the government of the day and the failings of individuals in parliament, there was an overall feeling that progress was being made.  Not in all areas at once and certainly not equally across society, but we were generally moving forward.

Until Tony Abbott fell into the leadership of the Liberal party.

From then on in, it has been a constant onslaught of combative negativity, destructive and misleading messaging, and a focus on tearing things down rather than building a better future.

Instead of being reassured, we are told to be fearful – of everything.  Labor will steal your savings, the Greens will destroy your job, migrants will never assimilate, criminal refugees will invade the country, dole bludgers will live a carefree life on your hard-earned taxes, renewable energy will cause aged pensioners to die, we will all have to live under Sharia law, a recession is just around the corner.  On and on it goes.

Real risks from climate change are ignored.  Challenges posed by an aging population, a rapidly changing workplace, poverty and entrenched disadvantage are sailed past with empty slogans and promises delivered to a camera with no plan on how they will be achieved.  Instead of assisting poorer countries with foreign aid and development programs, we now aim to sell them weapons and develop military bases.

They seem to prefer highlighting differences rather than finding solutions and consequently thousands of asylum seekers, rather than finding a safe haven to begin a new life, have had their lives ruined by political games.

Even when we do make some small steps forward, like the marriage equality legislation, any hope of real progress is dashed by the government supporting the right of people to still discriminate and getting hysterical about school programs promoting respectful relationships.  Teachers who had hoped to make all children feel valued are now labelled as gender whisperers by a Prime Minister who wouldn’t have a fucking clue.

As Australian society has become less religious, our parliament has gone in the opposite direction with religious groups making a concerted, and successful, effort to gain political influence.  We have politicians who think the right of people to harass women at abortion clinics is greater than a woman’s right to her own reproductive health and choice.

We have been offered road maps on how to negotiate the future – the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the IPCC report, the ACOSS budget submission, to name a few – but they are ignored as those with the most powerful vehicles hurtle down the Money Highway.

Wealth creation, wealth accumulation and wealth protection seem to be the sole aim of a government whose only measure of progress is numbers on a balance sheet – numbers that show nothing about how we are meeting the needs of individuals and groups within our society.

“It is not our sexual preferences, the color of our skin, the language we speak, nor the religion we practice that creates friction, hatred and wars in society. It is our words and the words of our leaders that can create that disparity.” – Yehuda Berg

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76 comments

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  1. Perkin Warbeck

    WE judge societies by the level of corruption evident in its governance. Nobody can deny, surely, that the federal Liberal Party is utterly and shamelessly corrupt, and it’s likely that its partner in Coalition is equally so.
    That a sizeable minority is prepared to put up with this state of affairs is a terrible indictment on the people of this country.

  2. Lambert Simnel

    Good summary.

    Lies are coin of the realm and we dare not take a step without putting on our blindfolds, as instructed by the shadows running things.

  3. Kaye Lee

    My hammer is wearing out Michael and my arm is getting tired (not to mention my head). Bring on the election.

  4. Matters Not

    Re:

    are told to be fearful – of everything.

    Indeed! (Great summary of current and recent developments by the way). But perhaps not only here in Australia – seems to be across the world. Then again, I remember fear campaigns from decades ago. Remember (supposed) communist takeovers of the union movement, red arrows on maps on a couple of occasions, refugee boats, including Tampa and so on. In the US we see fear campaigns based on universal heath care – even though it’s a relative norm in developed western nations – except of course in the richest nation of all – etc etc.

    Why – we now see a concentrated fear campaign(s) specifically designed for the coming election campaign.

    Sometimes fear campaigns are designed for the electorate as a whole. Sometimes for particular demographics – because elections are won at the middle.. Hence Shorten and the Catholics and so on.

    Yes – fear is a tried and true political tactic. Perhaps we should talk about it in our education system? But probably not. Today I watched a clip of Fox news that was very critical of a school(s) that taught fairness to the student body. Where will it end? I know the election of …

  5. Kaye Lee

    The election of a multi-party executive?

  6. Kaye Lee

    The Wilson family’s travelling show about franking credits is getting seriously weird.

    “Another man took issue with the argument that Australia is alone in giving tax refunds to people who haven’t paid any income tax. Other nations allow “the flogging of homosexuals”, he said, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should too.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/this-is-an-attack-retirees-talk-frankly-about-how-taxing-labor-s-reforms-could-be-20190208-p50wls.html

  7. Rosemary Jacob

    I keep thinking of decadence and the fall of Rome – plus Armageddon!

  8. paul walter

    “The election of a multi-party executive”.

    I think that has been increasingly the problem for a while.

    Think of DR and a raft of other “security” laws, and the bipartisanship on asylum seekers and neo-lib policies like the FTA’s.

    Ok, there is some difference, the ALP would perhaps be a little more humane than the monsters of IPA’s LNP.

    But the fact that much decision making as to this place are made offshore and the thinking of all parties, even the Greens, has become fairly neoliberal and I don’t think we do much better than some of the Banana Republics Paul Keating warned us about, where kleptocracies and foreign meddlers usurp the role and prerogatives of democracy and democratic government

  9. Darcy Sartow

    I have a portfolio of shares which are, currently, worth circa $130,000, and last year I received a refund from the ATO of the tax I didnt pay on them – about $1800. That means that the poor soul cited by the Wilson party as being in jeopardy of losing $25,000 if the socialists get in – $25,000 sorely needed to look after an ailing sibling, as well as his or her rent – on the basis of my situation, receives gross dividends probably in the vicinity of $100,000 per annum, which suggests a share portfolio worth multiple millions and which is also highly unlikely to be the only assets he or she has.
    How stupid do they think we are? Or are they truly so adrift from reality that they truly believe their example is a ‘normal’ retired pensioner.
    Somewhere in the bible there is the suggestion that one of God’s mates ‘go forth and multiply’. I would like to exhort the Wilson’s to do the same, but not in Jacobean phraseology.

  10. New England Cocky

    Umm … re the Liarbral Party leadership change to RAbbott … my memory is that RAbbott won the “leadership” by one vote, including his own, contrary to the usual political convention that a candidate either abstain or not vote for themselves … then in 2016 RAbbott was saved in Warringah by a personal political donation of about $1.75 MILLION to the LIarbrals from Turball, who won the election by one seat. The rest is too well known history.

    Certainly even Blind Freddie could see that the RAbbott incumbency exposed the worst excesses of Liarbrals pursuing personal pecuniary interests at public expense while the unthinking confusion or lack of policies only advantaged foreign commercial interests as they carpet-bagged the Australian economy.

    One day people will recognise that economics is the philosophy for making the rich few even richer which means that egalitarianism has sadly, been forgotten.

    @MN: Agreed. The Nazis rose to power in Germany because the privileged classes feared losing their wealth to a communist revolution. The Nazis were supported by the European (especially German) bankers and financial community plus the heavy industrialists like Krupps, and the MSM of that time reported on their low-towing to those patrons.

    About 1935 a group of five (5) US bankers provided 35 MILLION POUNDS STERLING through Farben AC to neutralise the Treaty War Reparations of 36 million pounds sterling, while later US funding from several sources, including Prescott Bush, progenitor to George & Shrubya Bush, also provided funds. These events are all documented, as is the Marshall Plan that forgave Germans for causing WWII and paid US corporations for their loss of factories producing war armaments for use against Allied forces 1939-1945.

    Fear is the basis for all tyrannical regimes and the present USA (United States of Apartheid) scenario is no different.

  11. New England Cocky

    Umm … re the Liarbral Party leadership change to RAbbott … my memory is that RAbbott won the “leadership” by one vote, including his own, contrary to the usual political convention that a candidate either abstain or not vote for themselves … then in 2016 RAbbott was saved in Warringah by a personal political donation of about $1.75 MILLION to the LIarbrals from Turdball, who won the election by one seat. The rest is too well known history.

    Certainly even Blind Freddie could see that the RAbbott incumbency exposed the worst excesses of Liarbrals pursuing personal pecuniary interests at public expense while the unthinking confusion or lack of policies only advantaged foreign commercial interests as they carpet-bagged the Australian economy.

    One day people will recognise that economics is the philosophy for making the rich few even richer which means that egalitarianism has sadly, been forgotten.

    @MN: Agreed. The Nazis rose to power in Germany because the privileged classes feared losing their wealth to a communist revolution. The Nazis were supported by the European (especially German) bankers and financial community plus the heavy industrialists like Krupps, and the MSM of that time reported on their kow-towing to those patrons.

    About 1935 a group of five (5) US bankers provided 35 MILLION POUNDS STERLING through Farben AC to neutralise the Versailles Treaty German War Reparations of 36 million pounds sterling, while later US funding from several financial sources, including Prescott Bush, progenitor to George & Shrubya Bush, also provided funds. These events are all documented, as is the Marshall Plan that forgave Germans for causing WWII and paid US corporations for their loss of factories producing war armaments for use against Allied forces 1939-1945.

    Fear is the basis for all tyrannical regimes and the present USA (United States of Apartheid) scenario is no different.

    Another excellent analysis Kaye, thank you.

  12. Wat Tyler

    The Marshall Plan rewarded Germany for losing while Britain was expected to repay the loans the USA gave it to continue the war. A deliberate ploy to destroy the British Empire and build an American one.
    Charles ade Gaulle twigged what the Americans were up to and refused to allow French troops to be under US command in NATO.

  13. Wat Tyler

    The example used by the Wilson people as evidence of the hardship being threatened by the ALPs ‘big new tax’, I.e. the tax credits, is interesting. The victim is cited as somebody who needs the $25,000 that has been taxed on his or her share holdings ‘to look after an ailing sibling and pay the rent on a flat.’
    I have a small share portfolio of circa $130,000 current value. Last year the ATO refunded the tax I DIDN’T pay, about $1800. That means a share porfolio which has been taxed $25,000 is at least 10 times my holding. The gross dividends on such a portfolio would be in the vicinity of $80-$100,000, which would indicate a holding of well in excess of $1,000,000, and unlikely to be the holder’s only assets.
    To cite this person as a classic example of a helpless retiree being hounded by Labor is disingenuous, to say the least. Perhaps the Wilson clan truly believes people with million-dollar shareholdings are on the cusp of poverty…
    My response to Wilson and these putative victims is a biblical one; ‘go forth and multiply.’ I would not, however, use King James Bible phraseology.

  14. Shaun Newman

    It is nor surprise that this religious fanatic PM operates exactly the same way that the evangelical cults operate, the sale of “hope and fear” it’s in his DNA.

  15. Kerry

    I couldn’t agree more Kaye. My mother is 86 and is anxious and depressed about the state of our country because she listens to shock jocks and liberal politicians. There truly is enough to be concerned about without adding hysterical fear mongering.

    labor has historically added to this problem by not simply telling the truth but rather kowtowing to the media circus.

    Julia Gillard and the “faceless men” began this current round of negative destructive politics. As distasteful as that fact is, it is best that we on the left don’t forget that.

    Good socialist policies will win the day if our left leaders have the courage to not cave in and succumb to right wing media politics. Currently the left seem to be doing a good job of this. I hope they keep it up.

    I would add that we should be practising the same tolerance to foreign countries and stop scaremongering about North Korea, Syria, Russia and more. The hysterical fear button is being pushed at all levels and we need to stop buying into it. It is as divisive at the world level as it is here at home.

  16. helvityni

    “But perhaps not only here in Australia – seems to be across the world.” (MT )

    …yes, that’s our usual song when things go pear-shape, our Scottie is no good, but Donnie is still worse, and that Theresa girl makes bad mistakes too…

    Leave the world out of it and start improving THIS country, what about starting with education…

  17. helvityni

    Knonomex, how much more can we still sweep under those proverbial carpets; they must be lifting up….

  18. terence mills

    Last night there was one of those Sky-after-dark panel discussions on franking credits and negative gearing with Bronwyn Bishop representing the right-wing argument.

    One thing you can say about Bronnie is that she puts an argument forcibly but not a forcible argument : on franking credits she told us that the whole issue was about avoiding double taxation and that Labor would take us back to the dark-ages of double taxation.

    Richard Denniss [prominent Australian economist, author and public policy commentator] had to explain to Bronnie that Labor’s policy was not about double taxation but ensuring that some tax on corporate profits is actually paid.

    She also seemed to think that giving tax concessions to those investing in housing but not to first home-buyers was absolutely fair and she maintained that if Labor’s policy was brought in the housing and building industry would slump.

    But she failed to acknowledge that the policy allowed for grandfathering existing arrangements and importantly that negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions would still apply to new residential building and thus the availability of rental properties was likely to increase as investors shifted to building rather than churning existing housing stock.

    What is clear is that to counter the coalition’s deceptive and misleading rhetoric we need sane and balanced arguments that appeal to the common sense of the average voter.

    Keep it up Kaye !

  19. RomeoCharlie29

    Kaye Lee, I can sympathise with the tiring hammer arm, not that I am doing much of it. But that sense of despair as every day brings yet another example of the sheer gall of the Lib/Nats outlandish fear mongering. Like the suggestion that Drs Brown and Di Natalie could be the ones recommending Asylum Seeker transfers. This was a huge foot shot, but typical. The Franking Credits campaign has created not only fear but so many lies. However it’s understandable that taking away something that has been the norm will create anger, until it is realised that this is an unsustainable rort that must end. What a scream there would be if it was made retrospective ( Like Howard’s Bottom of the Harbour thingy was) and they had to pay back their immorally received tax refunds.

  20. Matters Not

    Wat Tyler re:

    Last year the ATO refunded the tax I DIDN’T pay,

    You know in my whole working life the ATO refunded me tax that I personally DIDN’T pay. And they did it year after year. But if I didn’t receive that refund I would have been terribly upset. And I should stress that as a PAYG worker, I was not an exception – rather I was in the vast majority.

    In case the penny hasn’t yet dropped and you are wondering why you received a return of $1 800 (and not some other amount), it’s because the company (or companies) in question argue that they paid that tax on your behalf – (as did my employer(s) in years gone by. Your return of $1 800 relates to the number of shares you own and other variables – such as the amount of taxation they paid on your behalf. They could have paid out higher dividends (as they did in days of yore) but many companies now pay franked dividends – but not all do – for some it’s 100% franked, for others it’s 50% for others it might be no franking at all or various percentages.

    This policy was not well thought through. And as Kyran pointed out elsewhere on another thread – we seem to apply band-aids to problems – often in a vain attempt to cover up BUT not actually do anything about the root cause. Sad.

    On another matter but still on principle (or lack of same). There’s a footballer in gaol in Thailand (Asia) awaiting the outcome of a duly constituted court hearing that might see an extradition to another part of Asia for other legal proceedings. Instead of letting the legal process take its course (like we would demand in Australia) we are requesting (perhaps demanding) that the Thai powers that be intervene and free the person in question. We suggest that justice will not be served in those Asian locations. (Insulting much.)

    And yet we wonder why, in some quarters at least, we are regarded as the white trash of ..

  21. totaram

    Wat Tyler: I used precisely your arguments in a previous thread. But note that if the person is a retiree, they will still get the ATO refund because they are exempted!
    If not retired, then the total dividend is large enough to ensure that the franking credits can be offset against actual income, so no refund from the ATO and nothing is lost. I finally found a way to make someone lose the ATO refund when they are not retired: negative gearing on an investment property that brings the income down below taxable level. If Labor’s changes come in, such a person would be better off flogging the investment property and redirecting any spare funds into even a bank deposit if not shares. In such a case the ATO wins, as it should.

    But there will be numerically challenged people who will fall for the FUD peddled by the Wilson clan. Hopefully, many of them would vote for the coalition anyway. Tim Wilson’s last meeting was held on the North shore of Sydney I believe, where all the affected well-off vented their spleen.

  22. totaram

    MN: you are quite confused on this issue. Please read the post by Terence above, especially the bit about Richard Deniss’ explanation.

  23. andy56

    yes another week and we have had three more scandals. Even the “Mr Spock” of the IPA ( Tim Wilson ) has shown us how easily corruptible the liberals are. I always thought he was a man of principle with no empathy. Ayr Rand principles for sure. I am alright jack , FU.
    They deserve a rather large cricket bat come may.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Tim Wilson has never been a man of principle. He is very much into self-promotion and shameless about the tactics he uses as revealed in this interview he gave in 2014:

    He became heavily involved with student politics, eventually becoming president of the Student Union in 2001, thanks in part to his talent for favour-trading – plying opponents with “a whole bunch of delegateships” in return for their support. He also had “this really clever little trick”, using a digital camera, “which very few people had back then”, to take photos of himself at university club functions, several of which he would attend in a single night. He would then send the photos to the club magazines the next morning. “They didn’t have any photos, certainly not that immediately. So they’d run them, and of course I was in half of them, and it made me look as if I was the centre of everything.”

    As I wrote in 2015, this is a man determined to secure his position on the gravy train despite displaying no talent whatsoever.

    https://theaimn.com/aboard-gravy-train/

  25. Kaye Lee

    Back in 2012, Wilson was prolific in his writing against the carbon tax. This contribution is somewhat ironic in light of current circumstances….

    “Like traditional protectionism, the carbon tax will create a constituency of rent-seekers who will fight to protect their interests. Abbott will face a backlash from renewable energy companies claiming that repealing the tax will result in lost investment and jobs. Technically they’ll be right that their business will be harmed. But it will require them to ignore that disproportionately more investment and jobs would flow if the scheme were scrapped.”

  26. Matters Not

    Re:

    if the person is a retiree , they will still get the ATO refund because they are exempted!

    Now I am confused. More so as I a retiree .

    BTW, a (supposed) contest between Denniss and Bishop (the elder) is a very uneven match. A clear case of elder abuse I would have thought.

    Re this taxation issue, I haven’t done my own taxation return for 50 plus years. I go to a person who has expertise in such matters. Do it also with my health, my teeth, my car and so on. I recognise my limitations and when it comes to matters of taxation, I’ve never felt the urge to address same..

    Frankly I consider the issue in itself rather boring. However, I find the politics rather fascinating – as I do with policy options and the choosing of same.

    Totaram as you are here – perhaps you can explain why some companies choose to pay franking credits (100% in some cases) while others do not – or at least a lesser amount? Stupidity?

  27. Andrew Smith

    One assumes that in some Conservative quarters this is the whole point, giving corporates and vested interests free rein (maybe reign?) without democratic, government or regulatory constraints.

    The preeminent expert in ‘dog whistling’ Dr. Ian Haney-Lopez focuses upon race and immigration, however, in interviews he has gone further in explaining that it’s also about discrediting and breaking down democracy:

    ‘Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland against Islamic infiltration, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations regulatory control over industry and financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives.’

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17847530-dog-whistle-politics

    The LNP, NewsCorp, IPA and other enablers, have succeeded, hopefully only for now, in making Australian Federal politics and govt. dysfunctional.

  28. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    This is one explanation I found….

    There are two main reasons that a company may only pay a partially franked dividend. The first is that it pays minimal tax, usually because of a unique corporate structure. For example, Sydney Airport pays almost no tax at the company level due to it being a stapled security (shareholders receive income as ‘interest’ on debt, rather than a dividend). In this case, it pays no tax and so shareholders get no franking credits. Another possible reason is due to a large amount of foreign earnings, where the company isn’t paying tax in Australia. This is the case for QBE and MQG. There are a few more esoteric reasons, such as research and development concessions or other (sometimes dodgy) tax minimization techniques.

    Andrew,

    Great explanation of the real agenda behind dogwhistling.

  29. helvityni

    …so sorry, MT ought to be MN…

  30. Matters Not

    KL, thanks for the response. But I’m not really any the wiser. So many nooks and crannies. So many complications. So many back doors. And perhaps many more to come. How Wilson can promise to evade Labor’s intention is beyond me.

    As I’ve argued elsewhere, our tax system needs a complete revamp. We should, for example, provide free education for all those who want it – with costs recouped by a genuine taxation system. Surgeons, barristers et al who make squillions would therefore pay much more tax than would teachers, nurses, tradies and the like. This taxation idea should extend to pensioners, retirees et al. All should be taxed on all their incomes. In short all who benefit from government services should be seen and should be able to feel that they are playing and paying their part. Feel as though they are first class citizens (as they are) and not second class taxpayers. And so on

    Enough of the band aids. (But it ain’t gonna happen.)

  31. Matters Not

    A quick Google on franking credits took me to the CommSec website.

    https://www.commsec.com.au/support/learn/managing-investments/how-do-franking-credits-work.html

    Now not sure I am the confused one. Just sayin …

    Haven’t got the time, energy or the inclination to go to the Hansard to see what the intention was. Did find that Crean was all in favour at the time.

    Don’t suppose that MMT advocates are all that interested – given taxes collected are all immediately destroyed.

  32. Perkin Warbeck

    It has worked, though. I work as a volunteer and one of my colleagues said that he is going to vote for the Coalition for the first time in his life, despite loathing them, because his only income comes from share dividends and he will be disadvantaged by Labor’s plans.

  33. Matters Not

    Perkin Warbeck – it’s my view (and has been for some time) that it’ll be a vote changer. Probably not enough to keep Labor out – but a vote changer nevertheless.

    They should have spoken to real living retirees on the proverbial ground before adopting this policy, It has NOT been well thought through. Jenny Macklin told them that.

    Too many loose ends. Too many unknowns. Yet it’s a policy that directly affects the hi pocket. Courageous.

  34. terence mills

    if the person is a retiree , they will still get the ATO refund because they are exempted!

    Not retiree but pensioner !

  35. Kaye Lee

    More than 92 per cent of taxpayers do not receive a cash refund for excess imputation credits, and won’t be affected at all by this change.

    Shareholders who may be affected will have the ability to adjust their investment decisions to limit any impact from this policy.

    Charities and not-for-profit institutions, such as universities, are exempt from these changes.

    Distributional analysis from the PBO shows that (for the 2014-15 year):
    • 90% of all cash refunds to superannuation funds accrued to SMSFs (just 10% go to APRA regulated funds) despite SMSFs accounting for less than 10% of all superannuation members in Australia;
    • Of all excess imputation credits refunded to SMSFs, 50% of the total benefits go to the wealthiest 10% SMSF balances (which have balances in excess of $2.4 million);
    • The top 1% of SMSFs received a cash refund of $83,000 (on average) – an amount greater than the average full time salary; and
    • Some SMSF funds received cash refunds of up to $2.5 million.

  36. Uta Hannemann

    Right, Helvityni, these carpets must be lifting up sooner or later. You cannot sweep things under these carpets forever, can you?

  37. Michael Taylor

    So the government is governing for the 8%.

    Hardly surprising.

  38. Kaye Lee

    Even less Michael since they exempted pensioners from the change.

  39. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, so it might be the 1% after all.

  40. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    The information came from the PBO “Dividend imputation credit refunds – further information”. It is more informative than Bowen’s press release. It can be found here.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Budget_Office/Publications/Costings

    Scroll down a bit if you want to find it.

    This is also a good article

    Real ‘victims’ of Labor’s dividend tax policy are not average Joannes

    https://www.smh.com.au/money/tax/real-victims-of-labor-s-dividend-tax-policy-are-not-average-joannes-20181122-p50ho7.html

    Geoff Wilson and his sidekick, freedom boy, are arguing that the change will not create the revenue suggested because people will restructure their investments. So I fail to see how they can argue that at the same time as saying it will devastate retirees. If you have saved a significant amount for your retirement, shouldn’t you be expected to then live off those savings rather than sitting on them and expecting handouts? As I have said before, people with lots of money have choices. They could buy a, heaven forbid, positively geared property then use the tax liability from the rent to claim their franking credits against.

  41. Matters Not

    KL, I’m not a subscriber to the SMH and therefore I can’t read the article.

    The way I see it, Shorten can’t back down. He’s now out on a limb. A back-door is not apparent.

    Remember the dual citizen issue – Shorten boasted that Labor Members would not be affected because of Labor’s vetting procedures. Went out on a limb back then as well. I thought that he was being very courageous at that time. And he was – but only in the Yes Minister sense.

    Today, I see Morrison on the attack re border security and Phelps’ proposed legislation. Clearly it’s another potential wedge – and in the face of a security briefing – what does he do? Maybe it’s not all over – but I think enough have stopped listening.

    Re Wilson the elder – I believe he’s just boasting. Or he better be.

  42. Kronomex

    Helvityni, they won’t raise the carpets they’ll just lower the floors.

  43. Paul Davis

    Caitlin Fitzsimmons in the SMH concludes her explanation of tax imputation by saying: “Correcting this absurd situation will be inconvenient, disruptive and perhaps even painful for some individuals. Nonetheless, it’s the right thing to do. When you strip away the misinformation, the opposition to Labor’s plan can be best summed up as “tax is theft”. That might be so, but it’s also the price of civilisation.
    It’s not sustainable to have situation where most people over the age of 65 pay no tax, especially if they’re objectively wealthy, nor one where the government doesn’t get its share of corporate profits simply because a company chooses to pay it all out in the form of dividends to retirees who can claim a lower rate. Labor has been praised for developing policies and taking them to an election, rather than running a small-target strategy. The flipside to that is that it has provided a target and its opponents are practising their archery. So far any objective analysis would have to conclude that the arguments are missing their mark.”

    Without a Tampa, this proposed repeal by Labor of the Lying Rodent’s bribe to the waivering middle class is the only scaremongering opportunity so far on the board. And like the children overboard fairystory then, every LNP member is trumpeting the same lies to the gullible now. And again like Tampa this fairystory is being debunked by honest research but who is listening? There is a government orchestrated misinformation campaign underway that will have to be spun out to May unless someone commits a terrorist attack or black youths go beserk…

    I don’t understand the motivation of some commenters on this site. Waffle waffle waffle. Looks more like supporting than refuting LNP spin. Wanna know exactly what’s gonna happen with your tax imputation credits? Ask the ATO or consult a tax accountant and stopping scaring nana.

  44. Kaye Lee

    If you want to read an SMH article, clear your browsing history (under more tools) and you can read 5 free articles.

  45. Perkin Warbeck

    Shorten clearly has to think issues through before he commits. But Morrison is hampered by the fact that his Border Force militia is header by a man whose head is shaped like a turd, has the integrity of a turd, is as toxic as a turd and has the personality of a turd.
    Dutton is hampered by the fact that his PM is…well, at the risk of repeating myself…
    I won’t bother.

  46. Kaye Lee

    I want to repeat the quote in Andrew Smith’s comment….

    ‘Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland against Islamic infiltration, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations regulatory control over industry and financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives.’

  47. Wat Tyler

    Just this week I stumbled across a YouTube series called ‘The History Boys’, which is a series of weekly discussions about world affairs between George Galloway and Adam Garrie. It has opened my eyes, particularly to Rodrigo Duterte. But the atrocities the US are undoubtedly planning against Venezuela simply to get its oil are just revisiting what the US has already fostered in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Honduras, even Brazil, among other South and Central American countries that had the audacity to elect governments that didn’t fit in with the idea of the Marshall Plan.
    You may not agree with the two men, but their conversations show us just how much our news is filtered, even in proclaimed ‘free and fair’ paper’s like The Guardian.

  48. Lambert Simnel

    Interesting to see Wat Tyler joining the conversation, I was wondering how he was going after the, eh, surgery.

    Voice of experience, as to such that was mentioned in his comment.

  49. terence mills

    Economist and historian Rutger Bregman caused a stir at Darvos when he called upon the wealthy to pay their taxes : not just pay their share of taxes but start paying tax and stop seeking ways to avoid tax.

    News Corporation demands an increasingly dominant role in shaping our political future yet, News Corporation paid no tax whatsoever in 2015-16 on an Australian income of $2.9 billion.

    Why is it that we continue to allow large corporations and high wealth individuals to flout our taxation system and we see aggressive tax avoidance and minimisation as a national game.

    Of our big miners Chevron paid $82,228 in political donations in 2016-17, Origin Energy $103,574, Woodside Petroleum $279,000, Whitehaven Coal $30,000, and Santos $102,516, but none of them paid corporate tax that year.

    https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/historian-rutger-bregman-explains-why-taxes-matter/10791834

  50. Kronomex

    Oh happiness, let the joy bells ring, Arfur Seenodonors is back and he’s going to “help sink Kerryn Phelps.”

    https://www.afr.com/news/politics/cancerfree-arthur-sinodinos-throws-himself-back-into-political-fray-20190207-h1azre

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/sinodinos-is-back-fit-well-and-ready-to-help-sink-phelps/news-story/c0fbf3457f3b7a8e76d16ea471484ab7

    Aw, he lost his ministerial pay so he only had to get along on his $200k, plus bonuses, senator pay packet. Poor ickle Arfur.

  51. Kaye Lee

    My husband never reads what I write but he had a quick look at this article and subsequent comments and asked me “what am I supposed to type when the white vans pull up?”

    Just to remind you….if I, or any of my iron force, type the word bananas, send help.

    Luckily, I can laugh about such things. But it has been the late night/pre-dawn experience of too many people who have tried to begin a new life here.

    Peter Dutton is an ugly smear on the landscape. He, along with several others, must go.

  52. Matters Not

    Want a Dummies Guide to How corruption works in the US? It’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) at work. Short and to the point. Refreshingly honest.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJlpS4vhKP0

  53. Kaye Lee

    Rossleigh,

    That video was inspirational. Thank you.

  54. Wat Tyler

    The video WAS inspirational, but she described the system as ‘broken’ when it is actually working perfectly.
    The Democrats are little better than the Republicans. Usually, anyway.
    Gore Vidal once said that the US electoral system offered voters one party with two right wings. It has always been thus. No US election has ever featured a feasible candidate who is as far to the left as the Australian Coalition is to the right.
    This thread could go on forever!

  55. Kaye Lee

    “This thread could go on forever!”

    I am hoping to have a break sometime late May.

  56. Perkin Warbeck

    We are ALL hoping for a break in May!

  57. totaram

    Terence Mills: Thanks for the correction. I used the wrong word. “Pensioners” are exempt from the Labor policy on franking credit refunds, not “retirees”. One may well be retired with no pension of any kind, just like Clive Palmer I suppose, or even Twiggy Forrest. The phrase I believe is “independently wealthy”.

    Wat Tyler: Not only do elections in the US have two right wing parties, but the population is divided in the same way (which probably explains everything). You only have to see comments on articles on the US by Americans and you realise what the problem is. They are all thoroughly brainwashed because the well-funded think-tanks and the bought-up University economists who have been pouring out the stuff for half a century, have prevailed. Anything that deviates even slightly from the neoliberal group-think is labelled as “neo-Marxist”, which for them is the kiss-of-death.

  58. Wat Tyler

    An acquaintance of mine was touring in the States when Australia changed to decimal currency, and a bus driver got into conversation with him, and asked him what Australia’s currency was. At that time the $AUD was worth more than the $US. The bus driver would have none of it. The $US was the best, strongest, most desirable currency on earth. No amount of information would dissuade him, and he ended up throwing the passenger off the bus.
    As Ambrose Bierce said, ‘War is America’s way of teaching its people geography.’That was more than a century ago. Plus ca change…

  59. Lambert Simnel

    Kaye Lee,

    Your husband may be showing signs of native intelligence, then again, not. There is always rat poison if all else fails.

    I was going to suggest you could gain revenge by marrying him, but you have already used that option.

  60. Kaye Lee

    Lambert,

    I actually like my husband, who was suggesting that I might be annoying the government surveillance boys. Luckily, he is the only man who has ever had to endure being married to me and, from what he tells me, he’s ok with the arrangement. The only revenge I want is to see this lot voted out.

    (PS I can’t even bring myself to feed rats rat poison)

  61. Lambert Simnel

    It is a government that deserves to be punished. A nasty collusion of conceited, destructive unworthies.

    God bless you and your husband.

  62. terence mills

    Wat Tyler

    Reminds me of when I was getting on a tour-bus in Ireland to see the sights of Dublin.

    They has a selection of audio guide equipment in various languages to point out the various sights of the city.

    I asked the bloke if he had one in Australian and with a twinkle in his eye he told me they hadn’t ‘but here’s one in Irish’.

  63. Kronomex

    I nealry choked on my coffee from laughing when I read ““These people just can’t help themselves. They are all negative. They don’t know what they’re for, but by God, they know what they’re against.”” said the emperor of negativity himself. What a frigging joke!

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/10/tony-abbott-on-track-to-lose-warringah-to-zali-steggall-poll-shows

    ““What’s her policy on climate change? My government presided over policies which mean that we will overachieve our Kyoto target and we’re well and truly on track to achieve the Paris target. What’s her policy?” Abbott said. “It’s quite possible [the Coalition] might go back to Direct Action and renew the Emissions Reduction Fund.””

    Brain farts abound and fantasy land beckons. He’s still obsessed with the leadership and being PM.

  64. Perkin Warbeck

    Latest polls suggest Abbott enjoys the ‘suppport’ of 46% of the voters of Warringah.
    Many of whom possibly need a truss. A different kind of support.
    In which case, Abbott fits Warrringah like a hand fits a glove;
    a foot fits a sock;
    an arsehole fits a suppository…
    Go Warringah.

  65. Kaye Lee

    Self-awareness is not one of Tony’s best things. He is also spinning the line of how focused he is on local issues….for the first time in a quarter of a century.

  66. Michael Taylor

    Suffers from a bit of tunnel vision, does Tony. Plus stupidity.

  67. Kaye Lee

    It is gobsmacking to me that he thinks eating a raw onion was his biggest mistake. He has forgotten the reaction to the 2014 budget and his colleagues displeasure with the dictatorial rule of Credlin, He ignores the fact that emissions and power prices have risen ever since he got rid of carbon pricing. He seems impervious to the ridicule he received internationally with his silly shirt-fronting posturing (which turned into cuddling koalas together when he had his chance) and his unfortunate habit of talking about domestic politics when at international forums. Not to mention his excruciating small talk. Or conferring knighthood on the queen’s husband? What a quaint little colonial. Or his skin crawly stuff like saying vote for me cause I have good looking daughters, or that a female candidate had sex appeal or that he finds homosexuality threatening. I could go on and on and on a long way before I got to the onion.

  68. terence mills

    Tony is making it easy for the electors of Warringah to dump him : he’s showing himself to be an aspiring Councillor – roads, rates and rubbish and …………….public dunnies.

    He’s found his level of competence !

  69. Matters Not

    I hope Tony Abbott is re-elected. He’s truly representative of the Liberal Party. And a great strategic asset for the Labor Party. Keep the down-hill skier for the posters and the internal opposition. Things we know she’s good at.

  70. MöbiusEcko

    The independent rivals are accused of being too negative.

    “The group is too negative.”

    “These people just can’t help themselves.”

    “They are all negative. They don’t know what they’re for, but by God, they know what they’re against.”

    -Tony Abbott

    You can’t make this shit up when it comes to this king of all negabores.

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