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The lucky country or a nation of gullible gits?

Why did Labor lose the last election?

For those not au fait with Australian politics, Labor’s loss at the 2013 election seemed unfathomable. They had steered us through the global financial crisis relatively unscathed. Economic parameters were creditable. Standard of living was comparatively high. We were world leaders on action on climate change. World class NBN was underway. There were agreements with the states about hospital and education funding. The NDIS was established with bipartisan support. We had stood up to the tobacco companies regarding plain packaging laws. The Apology had been made and the long road to reconciliation embarked upon. Marine parks had been extended and water trigger protection enacted.

So what went wrong?

Party disunity

Labor deposed an elected Prime Minister – twice. The seething resentment caused by these moves undermined the party as personal egos and division took over. Press leaks and constant speculation made the leadership turmoil the story, drowning out the message of policy success and vision for the future.

Juliar

One brief edited film clip of Julia Gillard saying “there will be no carbon tax” was enough for the Murdoch press, abetted by radio shock jocks, to brand her a liar. The fact that a fixed price emissions trading scheme was demanded by the independents as a condition of their support to form government in a hung parliament, and that Tony Abbott had been prepared to do likewise and more to win, seemed to make no difference to a public whipped up by Jones and Bolt.

Great big new tax on everything

The framing of the debate about carbon pricing was the ultimate misinformation campaign. Whyalla will be wiped off the map. $100 lamb roasts. Investment will dry up and jobs will be lost. Even though none of this came true, and the compensation package saw most low income earners and welfare recipients better off, the rapid rise in electricity prices that happened well before the carbon tax was enacted was erroneously attributed to its introduction. The fossil fuel industry went into overdrive with propaganda denying anthropogenic global warming. The motivation and credibility of scientists was questioned as a paid for array of geologists and engineers employed by the mining companies cast doubt.

Debt and deficit disaster

Despite having a triple A credit rating and one of the lowest debts globally, the Opposition was able to convince an ill-informed public that any debt at all was bad and that we must have a surplus because governments must “live within their means.” As a sovereign currency issuing country, this is not true. Small government debt equates to increased private debt which always skyrockets under a Coalition government. When private investment dries up, as is happening now, governments should engage in deficit spending to stimulate the economy rather than austerity measures which exacerbate the problem.

The NBN

“I’m no tech head” Abbott, assisted by “I’m not challenging” Turnbull, convinced the Australian public that the broadband speeds being offered by Labor’s NBN were completely unnecessary for households and that FttP was an expensive waste of time. They also suggested that early teething problems were due to Labor’s inability to deliver big projects and that they could get the job done much quicker and cheaper.

Corruption

Whether it was 20 year old legal work for a friend, misuse of union funds in a previous role, or misuse of cab charges, the intimation was that the government was full of fraudulent cheats. Dirt files were prepared and paid for. Criminal investigations and Royal Commissions were called for. Trial by media followed with tipped off tv camera crews recording every sordid moment.

Soon we will be going to the polls again to decide whether to return a Coalition government who deposed another sitting Prime Minister, who has broken so many promises I have lost count, who wants to introduce a great big new tax, not just on electricity, but on everything, who has overseen record deficits and increased the debt by about $100 billion, whose already inadequate NBN is well behind schedule and suffering cost blowouts, and who has three ministers currently under police investigation, another resigned for sexual harassment, another who was investigated by ICAC, and a string of scandals regarding misuse of entitlements.

So why should they win the next election?

They stopped the boats, but did little to help refugees and a great deal to harm them. As they wipe their hands of the problem, they dump it on some of the poorest countries in the world.

They got rid of the carbon tax, and in so doing cost us tens of billions in revenue while handing over billions to polluters and causing emissions to increase. By abandoning bipartisan support for the RET, they effectively destroyed the renewable energy industry.

They got rid of the mining tax, and all the payments that went with it, and then saw mining investment and jobs plummet.

They signed three free trade agreements which caused revenue to be written down by billions and the possibility of foreign workers taking Australian jobs. They were also the final death sentence for the domestic car industry.

They are poised to sign the TPP which will allow foreign multinationals to sue us if legislation hurts their profits and poses a threat to our PBS and internet access.

They tell us that they are on a credible path to surplus but that is unlikely to happen anywhere in the foreseeable future.

They have introduced wide-ranging anti-terror and national security laws that are supposed to be keeping us safe but their precipitous action in the Middle East and their alienation of the Australian Muslim community is far more likely to make us a target. They now spy on all citizens and have the ability to punish people who speak out against their policies.

They are promising tax cuts when every economist agrees that we have a revenue problem so they will have to be paid for by cutting services and increasing the cost of living through an increased GST.

They have a popular leader who used to support action on climate change, marriage equality, a Republic, renewable energy, innovative technology – but no more. All principles have been traded for the prize of personal ambition realised.

If the Coalition is returned at the next election, Australia could rightly be described as, rather than the lucky country, a nation of gullible gits.

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87 comments

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  1. Felicitas

    here here Kaye – and I mourn for what we could have been. My life is almost over, and I am sad that my grandchildren will grow up in an Australia that has more akin with fascist WWII Europe than with the democracy we believe we have. We were all so hopeful in the 70s. Is it too late to turn this floundering ship around?

  2. Jaquix

    Kaye I love your writing, but in this one, you seem to have used terms like (the Liberals) “got rid of” the carbon/mining tax. Which indicates (to me anyway) that you approve of them being “got rid of” as bad taxes, which Im sure is not your intention. Also I think you could have gone a bit harder on the Murdoch Effect which skews the “reporting” ( or ignoring) of news to the serious detriment of the Australian people. At my local library they provide about 10 newspapers, and only one is not Murdochs. Thank goodness for The Aim and other online sources for keeping the facts and truth to the forefront. And punchy authors like yourself.

  3. z2610

    The lucky country or a nation of gullible gits? lucky only for big corporate who earn money here paid zero tax, a nation of gullible gits because mistake will time and time, easy to be fool when voting

  4. John Kelly

    Who knows what transpires in the mind of the individual. But it is clear the collective mind of the pack can be easily swayed. Just a catchy phrase that resonates with the hip pocket combined with the appearance of disunity will do it.

  5. Zathras

    There’s an utterly baseless saying that, “in the end, the voters always get it right”.

    I tend to think we simply get the Government we deserve.

    If you blindly surrender your vote to whatever the media is spinning without undertaking your own research then you’re just a rubber stamp for the interests of others.

    If you sell your vote for a quick financial buck offered by politicians then you’re potentially morally corrupt.

    The word “gullible” suggests something that may be beyond your control or some personal trait but perhaps it’s just laziness and ignorance that allows many to let others do their thinking for them.

  6. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sadly, too many people feel too intimidated to discuss their opposition to this regressive LNP bunch of loonies in their family and friendship groups.

    The grapevine is the best form of communication. Linked with inclusive public forums, these are powerful ways of turning the gits into informed beneficiaries of shared opportunities.

  7. Neil of Sydney

    For those not au fait with Australian politics, Labor’s loss at the 2013 election seemed unfathomable. They had steered us through the global financial crisis relatively unscathed.

    You forgot to mention the budget was trashed the borders were trashed and the unemployment rate was trashed.

  8. Kyran

    “They now spy on all citizens and have the ability to punish people who speak out against their policies.”
    There was a ‘story’ on ABC radio yesterday regarding the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s Report (INSLM), in which the author of the report, whose name escapes me, was highly critical of the nature and intent of Sect 35P of the ASIO Act. I haven’t been able to find a link to the article.
    I did find reference to tiny’s unsuccessful attempt to abolish the INSLM, after dispensing with the previous Chair, Bret Walker, SC.

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiyjoPVktrKAhVFpZQKHZtNAOgQFgg5MAY&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.privacy.org.au%2FMedia%2FMR-INSLM-140321.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHE4lbo5VJUXqNwXHvviGuI2eEQSw

    The incompetent’s response was tabled in Parliament, which downplayed the impact of being told by the monitor your legislation was seriously, if not fatally, flawed.

    https://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Mediareleases/Pages/2016/FirstQuarter/2-Feburary-2016-Government-response-to-INSLM-report-on-the-impact-on-journalists-of-section-35P-of-the-ASIO-Act-1979.aspx

    Given the implication of this ‘go back to the drawing board’ to whistleblowers and journalists (if there are any left), it is interesting that commentary is nowhere to be seen. The doctor’s who spoke out yesterday on child abuse in our gulags were clear that their comments exposed them to prosecution, for breaches of punitive, secretive legislation. Whilst there seems to be little argument against the notion of a ‘nation of gullible gits’, nor against the extreme nature of so much of the alleged governments raft of secretive legislation based on spurious claims, it continues to flabbergast me that these fools in power are so incompetent, they can’t even manage to pass legislation that will withstand the most basic of scrutiny.
    Naturally, a compliant media will assist in suppressing circulation of independent reports, unless the government wants to vilify the authors.
    Thank you, Ms Lee. Take care

  9. mars08

    Ironically, from the last chapter of the book…. ‘Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise.’

  10. David Stephens

    I wonder whether 25 years of prosperity at least for some of us has made us so complacent (and obese) that all our critical faculties have atrophied. No worries, mate!

  11. townsvilleblog

    Australians won’t elect divided parties. When Shorten and Howes (then AWU boss) plotted to sack 2 PMs the party looked and was dis-unified. The rabid right wing have gained control since the 80s under Hawke and are a mere shadow of what they were however the LNP have been so tough on we pensioners that we are hoping that the Australian public will sack them, if not for themselves, for us their parents and grandparents.

  12. billshaw2013

    With this list of salient points of LNP government it should be a walk in the park for the soon to come ALP elegctoral campaign. Sadly it’s not the case. Overcoming the MSM, the Turnbull air of superiority and the populace traits of ignorance and apathy Is a challenge.
    Oh, and I should mention the evil lobbyists prowling the corridors in Canberra with their cheque books wide open. Hello to the pharmaceutical and mining industries. Hello Gina, Andrew and Rupert. Mind you Rupert doesn’t have a cheque book but a bank account to receive his tax payer support.

  13. Pilot

    Everyone seems to have forgotten the Rupert Murdoch is a TRAITOR! He boasted about plotting with Americans to overthrown the Whitlam government, regular meetings with their spy agencies and other government officials. The bloke’s a TRAITOR and it makes a mockery of our system. Why do people still support this bigoted old fascist? Why are Australians still subscribing to his Fox/Sky network? Why do normal people still buy his toxic rags? He’s nothing more than a a stupid old rich fascist. No wonder he loves the libs and their supporters, they are the only people who are stupid enough to believe his crap, Neil of Sydney proves my point. Only in the Murdoch trash was our economy trashed, he told lie after lie after lie. And Murdoch, Abbott and the rest of the lying fascists have been attempting to carry on the lies, but it ain’t working. As people wake up to the fact that Turnbull cannot alter course the polls are showing that fair-minded Australians are waking up to this toxic mob of liars currently (mis)governing our country. As the polls show, Turnbull and his toxic cohort are on the nose. No policies, no direction and most certainly NO IDEA!!

    Bring on the double dissolution Turnbull you jackass!! We need to vote you out before you completely destroy Australia. Bring on your lies, people no longer believe you or your party. Your credibility went down the gurgler when you and your predecessor told absolute lies about the NBN (for starters). Since then you just carried on lying your mongrel bred arse off!!!!

  14. Judith W

    The tendency to believe another (eg MSM) version of events before one’s own perception is a symptom of an abusive or toxic relationship. The first symptom of abuse is confusion – we are being controlled by lies, ambiguity and weasel words, too afraid to ask and be considered stupid, we remain ignorant. The second symptom of abuse is neglect – we are denied the basics necessary for self respect so we fawn and compete for morsels.
    And finally, we turn on each other – better to side with the bullies than be identified as one of their targets.
    The Australian Public is on the wrong side of a toxic relationship with the MSM.
    Thank goodness for public media.

  15. my say

    People say always be careful what you wish for & you get the government you deserve,
    The situation we are now in proves how right they are,
    we were given this Liberal Government,to prove once and for all ,that they are the most secretive ,lying government ever,What a shame we had to learn the hard way,
    I really hope everyone has learnt from this ,and takes notice of policies ,instead of the man
    ,ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY,really applies with this Government

  16. Neil of Sydney

    They were also the final death sentence for the domestic car industry

    In 2006, 25% of cars were made in Australia. Not great but not bad.

    In 2013 only 10% of cars were made in Australia. You cannot have a local industry with 10% of the market. The car industry died under Rudd/Gillard because of their policies.

  17. Free-Thinker

    Thanks Kaye for yet another superb summary of the lamentable state of our nation.

    The role of Murdoch and his ideological acolytes in the past four decades is again worthy of comment, in understanding our plight.

    For Australian-born Rupert Murdoch an already wealthy businessman became an ‘economic refugee’ ( a term so disparagingly deployed against refugees by the Australian Lieberal Party in Australia), to the USA, becoming a citizen there in 1986, so as to maximise his business expansion plan in that country, and across the English-speaking world.

    As we know, Murdoch’s economic life quest has been highly successful. In Australia, where his organisation now dominates the MSM, he has become an international absent landlord of sorts, and the secular high priest of citizen misinformation here. As was ever thus, Murdoch’s primary interest lies not In the virtues of national politics, not in the substantive issues per se, but much more in how he can manipulate public opinion so as to maximise his company’s profits.

    Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and their ilk thus emerge as his secular bishops, the high imams of a pervasive economic and social theology, the ideological proponents here of neo-liberal orthodoxy.

    In the Murdoch-racy Australia has become, this American information manipulator and knowledge controller is supreme, and in both public organisations and private, he now possesses an army of devoted foot-soldiers, intent on implementing his dystopian vision for the nation of his birth …… always with a keen eye not on the common good or social justice, but on improving the economic bottom line for NewsCorps, and keeping governments in check in pursuit of this same end.

    Rupert Murdoch also knows that all governments are ever transient, and can be voted out if the fear buttons of the electorate are pushed hard enough, while NewsCorp itself as a ideological media entity, in ideological terms not UN like the Rome-based Catholic papacy, must just proceed on and on.

    While all of this expounds a rather gloomy view of the nation’s future, there are challenges emerging from a number of directions, to Murdoch orthodoxies. One is the plethora of alternative media forms that are evolving eg Get-Up), and another, the rise of younger citizens, less indoctrinated than an earlier generation, by NewsCorp’s ideological broadsheets.

    I wish you views Kaye could get a wider exposure in the community, in Fairfax for example, to counter the dubious meandering of former Howard Minister space-filler, and guest opinion writer to Fairfax, Amanda Vanstone.

  18. Roswell

    And what policies were those, Neil?

  19. Lee

    “In 2013 only 10% of cars were made in Australia. You cannot have a local industry with 10% of the market. The car industry died under Rudd/Gillard because of their policies.”

    I believe the final nail in the car industry coffin was hammered in by the Liberal government. Tony added “Coal, Not Cars” to his list of three word bogan slogans.

  20. Neil of Sydney

    And what policies were those, Neil?

    Giving them all the money they wanted with no responsibility on the part of Ford/Holden/Toyota for improved standards.

    Funny you lefties say multi-nationals do not pay enough tax. Rudd/Gillard gave them truckloads of money. The workers and management just gave themselves higher wages with no improved productivity with the truckloads of taxpayers money.

    In 2013 only 10% of cars were locally made, a total crash from 2006 when 25% of cars were locally made.

  21. terry

    theres been a big shift in comments on msm , against this government.. surprise surprise people are starting to see this government for what it really is and too many negative comments against the government , the article mysteriously disappears . you can see the government is going to drop any raise in a GST till after the election just up to their old tricks , headworking the public , getting boring but

  22. Mercurial

    Agree, Zathras, now if we could only convince those ignorant voters (who refuse to educate themselves on the policies, and just vote according to what the MSM say) to vote informally, we might actually get the government we truly deserve.

  23. diannaart

    Here we are poised to return a federal government that is guilty, many times over, of doing the things they accused Labor of doing.

    Just as an example, the effect of carbon tax and the great big tax on everything, the GSThttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaGrECzUcAATlKG.pnghttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaGrECzUcAATlKG.png

  24. Mercurial

    I didn’t know giving people truckloads of money was a policy, Neil.

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks diannaart,

    I shared that bar graph on Twitter depicting the rip-off of the GST on people’s power bills in 2013-14 in the different AUS states.

  26. JeffJL

    “Giving them all the money they wanted with no responsibility…”

    Well blow me down with a feather boa. I agree with Neil.

    The lower taxes and less regulation are responsible. Cheers Neil for the idea of increasing taxes on business and more regulation.

  27. Sen Nearly Ile

    juliar was self inflicted by allowing the word tax over price(in early 2013 she had the abc and sunrise/today saying price but the lemon and his monkey soon ruined her pitch and tax it is still bashing labor). she could have forced the point by just repeating the rabbott’s giving tax dollars to companies who say the will reduce emissions no methods for moderating no safeguards and the news hounds would have chased him but it is NOW a tax and labor still wears the tag turnball scott free.
    There is plenty in these words, Kaye, for labor but the theme seems to be ‘I’m alright, Jack’ till 2019.
    I spoke to my grandies this arvo 15, 12,(Yarrawonga) 10 and 8(Fannie Bay) and I am so lucky they are healthy and strong.
    So bring it on turnball do your worst, bring it on billy do your best, bring it on neilspeil – kapputtlachen. I’m joining labor my family is settled enough to withstand ‘the chaos we are about to receive’
    cars??? could be we are too rich for local? Check the pollies cars this century????

  28. Wally

    Great article Kaye.

    The LNP cannot solve the deficit problem (that doesn’t really exist) because there are no government assets of any value left to sell. The LNP continuous claim to be better fiscal managers is based on selling off assets to pay off debt without any consideration to the loss of income generated by those assets,

  29. Neil of Sydney

    The LNP continuous claim to be better fiscal managers is based on selling off assets to pay off debt

    Costello paid off all debt just by running surplus budgets. Yes he did have asset sales ($80B) and that started the Future Fund. Plus other funds were also started up.

  30. totaram

    ” budget was trashed” (says our famous troll Neil of Sydney)

    Whatever that means! Actually NoS keeps banging on about budget deficits, without admitting that what is true for the private sector is not true for the government at all. BHP Billiton’s bonds are having problems (check today’s news) because BHP’s revenue is falling and they may have trouble servicing their debts. This can never happen to the Australian government. Bond yields are steady and will continue to be so even when the deficit grows (as it is indeed growing under this government – hey Neil the budget is being trashed!)

    The actual “trashing” is what happens to the economy when private sector debt grows from 50% to 150% of GDP. That happened when Peter Costello was delivering his wonderful “surplus budgets”. For a country that usually has a trade deficit, a surplus government budget always implies increasing private sector debt (by simple arithmetical accounting). The only way the private sector can pay down debt is if the government runs deficits. Simple arithmetic again. This is a little too complicated for simple-minded sloganeers (like NoS) to understand, but I’m sure other readers of this blog can do much better. The reason that private sector debt is important is that there can be defaults and remember that that is what triggered the GFC. Neil of Sydney will tell you that the GFC never happened and was a myth created by the usual leftie suspects.

    Actually Peter Costello was a treasurer who did enormous damage to Australia, in addition to propagating the myth that (surplus= good and deficit=bad) for government budgets. If macro-economics was that simple, any monkey could be made treasurer or treasury secretary. Peter Costello still continues to push that line to show his past performance in a good light, but history is catching up with his stupidity or is that cupidity. Read more about it here:

    Listening to past Treasurers is a dangerous past-time

  31. totaram

    Ooops! I notice NoS mentions the wonderful “Future Fund”. I’ll leave that neo-liberal scam for another discussion.

  32. Wally

    Neil of Sydney

    “Costello paid off all debt just by running surplus budgets. Yes he did have asset sales ($80B) and that started the Future Fund. Plus other funds were also started up.”

    Depends on what figures you look at and if you look at all of the figures not just the figures Costello and Howard wanted us to know.

    CRIKEY: This will be a key issue in the upcoming federal campaign and we need to get a couple of points on the table. Firstly, how much of the claimed $67 billion reduction in public sector debt is from one-off asset sales such as Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank, Sydney Airport and the like. We’ll get the exact figures but it would appear to be between $50 and $60 billion. You then have the $13 billion blowout in unfunded superannuation liabilities over the past eight years. It is now a quite dissgraceful $85 billion black hole and if Costello is urging action on the ageing then he needs to start propertly funding public sector superannuation. You then have the budget raids on the Reserve Bank which have totalled about $20 billion since 1996 and left Australia with one of the lowest levels of foreign reserves of any comparable country in the world. Given all this and the fact that the Howard Government is the highest taxing outfit in history, it is worth reading Hillary’s latest tax piece on the site here: This National Audit Office paper goes through some of the privatisation issues:

    Here is a list of the proceeds received and then an estimate of what the asset is worth today, but remember some of these are real back of the envelope jobs.

    Telstra: $30.24 billion received and current value $31 billion

    Australian airports: $8.5 billion received and current value about $10 billion

    Commonwealth Bank: $5.15 billion received and current value $16 billion

    Reserve Bank gold assets: 167 tonnes sold for $2.4 billion, now worth $2.14 billion

    National Rail Corporation and Freightcorp: $1.05 bn received, current value $2 billion

    Broadcast Australia: $650 million received, current value $1.2 billion

    DASFLEET: $407 million in 1997, now worth $500 million

    Telecommunications spectrum: about $1.3 billion received, worth $200 million

    Radio licence spectrum: about $1 billion received, worth $700 million

    Property portfolio 59 sites: for $1 billion, worth about $1.2 billion

    Total value from sales: $51.7 billion

    Assets today worth: $64.9 billion

    The mobile spectrum sales is the most clear cut victory for taxpayers as One-tel went broke and Hutchison has been a huge disaster after they together paid about $1.2 billion for 3G spectrum in 1999.

    The Commonwealth Bank has been the biggest disaster after taxpayers offloaded their residual 499.1 million shares for an average price of just $10.32, compared with today’s price of $31.95.

    Property dealings are also quite interesting. The size of the federal public service plummeted by 67,000 or 37 per cent between 1986 and 1999. However, Federal property ownership has all but disappeared over this period. In 1976 under the Fraser Government, the Feds owned 51 per cent of the office space it occupied. By 1996 this had fallen to 34 per cent and now virtually the only building left in Federal hands is Parliament House. They’ve even sold Defence headquarters at Russell Hill.

    This is a very interesting paper on the government’s property privatisation program:

    You’ll notice that it suggests the great property firesale of the late 1990s was not in the public interest as the 59 properties were sold for $140 million less than book value and many of them have now been substantially revalued upwards by the new owner.

    The Howard government and privatisation

  33. Paul Murchie

    with Fifield-Turnbull pushing IPA Policy Dictates for so called “media reform” (which will hand the remaining 15% of the country’s media over to the moguls), is it really any wonder that Australians can be SO STUPID ? – look what informs them !

    in the meanwhile : #‎TearUpTheTPP‬ – ON NOW ! ! !

  34. Neil of Sydney

    Depends on what figures you look at and if you look at all of the figures not just the figures Costello and Howard wanted us to know

    Yes it is.

    If asset sales were used to pay off debt as you proclaim where did the money in the Future Fund come from?

    Fact is Costello ran surplus budgets of $110B and had $80B in asset sales. So he saved $190B in 11 years. This paid off $96B of Keating debt and started a $80B Future Fund.

  35. corvus boreus

    Julia Gillard could have called the ‘carbon emissions pricing scheme’ a ‘climate value signal’, and referred to the LNP ‘direct action plan’ as ‘a scheme where tax-payers subsidise businesses for the non-delivery of an invisible substance’.

  36. totaram

    Wally: Asset sales are a standard trick for “repairing the budget”, which is actual code for “hand public assets into private hands and at firesale prices”. As I keep pointing out, there is never any need to “repair the budget” unless it is the private sector budget we are talking about. Why would you worry about a government “debt” of 25% of GDP when the private sector debt is around 150% of GDP and these are debts on which we can have defaults? It is all neo-con smoke and mirrors.

  37. Wayne Turner

    The masses are gullible,ignorant,and stupid.

    The MSM campaign for who they want to win elections. We really are a MEDIAOCRACY – With our MSM owned by too few and ULTRA BIASED. The MSm almost always get their way.BUT,after NOT getting their way at the 2010 federal election.They then campaigned with UNDEMOCRATIC ANGER & LIES against Gillard and Labor because they didn’t get the result they wanted.

    Sadly most of the gullible ignorant public fall for the MSM’s political campaigning or for those that don’t call they are ignorant too.

    Our mediaocracy (NOT a democracy), clearly does NOT work,because the majority are too ignorant,uneducated and gullible when it comes to our political system. The same one that produced a hopeless,lying moron in Abbott with policies to match.Who suddenly support the same party AGAIN that produced this idiot,with a replacement with the same DUD policies,who just speaks better.The masses are falling for the MSM’s free ride and promotion for Turnbullsh*t.

    RIP democracy,and our MEDIAOCRACY continues…. 🙁

  38. Möbius Ecko

    4th highest monthly trade deficit on record. The Liberals keep racking them up.

  39. Roswell

    No doubt Labor’s fault, Mobius. Probably Keating.

  40. Lee

    I’m waiting to hear what BS the Liberals will tell us about balancing the budget when they’ve got nothing left to sell off.

  41. musicinhills

    I think after the next election when the LNP win the majority of votes, then the next few years there will be Suharto type events.

  42. Jaz Izme

    Thank you Malcolm, no loony left for a long time.

  43. Wally

    totaram

    Totally agree with you, as well as your previous comments and the AimN articles on MMT have provided a wealth of knowledge.

    I tried to refute NoS comments with facts based on the LNP’s phoney fiscal model but he obviously doesn’t read the contents of other peoples comments. The Crikey article I pasted above disagrees with NoS’s figures, it claims only $67b of debt was paid off and “You then have the $13 billion blowout in unfunded superannuation liabilities over the past eight years. It is now a quite dissgraceful $85 billion”.

    So that blows the $80b future fund up in smoke.

  44. Neil of Sydney

    it claims only $67b of debt was paid off

    Budget papers show all debt was paid off by Costello. Look at Table D4 at this link

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2015-16/content/myefo/html/16_appendix_d.htm

    Net debt was minus $44.8B in 2007-08. Yes that is minus. We had money in the bank in 2007. Plus we also had a $80B Future Fund

  45. Kaye Lee

    The Future Fund has over $118 billion sitting in it now. It made $15.6 billion last year. And much of the original money came from the sale of Telstra.

  46. diannaart

    Something I’d like to ask Peter Costello:

    Why privatise so many public assets when the “Great and Wonderful Mining Bonanza” was in full swing?

  47. Geoff Andrews

    Apart from the lies and hypocrisy and disunity and misogyny and corruption and financial mismanagement and cruelty and incompetence and entitlement and …..,
    they haven’t been a bad government, have they?
    It’s only 14 years (since Howard) since unemployment was so high; they’re not going to fall into Labor’s trap of being dictated to by the cross benchs so draconian laws and budgets get rejected and they’re even allowing us to have a mass debate on tax reform.

  48. Neil of Sydney

    Why privatise so many public assets when the “Great and Wonderful Mining Bonanza” was in full swing?

    The mining boom did not start until 2004 so Costello only got the benefit for the last three years. It was the Rudd/Gillard govt who got the benefit of the biggest mining boom in our history. Here is a link showing commodity prices.

    http://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/commodity-prices.html

  49. jimhaz

    [a nation of gullible gits]

    Certainly. The gullibility started when we allowed excessive immigration from non-OECD countries to become the norm in the late 90’s.

    Although this of course is only one of many factors, it is an important one. Technology is the other big negative casual agent for our self-centredness and apathy.

    If immigration had of been half what it was since then, the destruction of the “ideals and expectations of lucky country residents” by both Federal LNP and all state govs of both parties, may have been half or less as a result.

    Speaking stereotypically as I always do, immigrants are quite naive and generally not interested in politics (here at least, they can be involved in politics from their origin, as we see with muslims). They are also naive about industrial relations – they don’t join unions, go on strike and things like that. The problem is that their background, their belief system is based on what occurred in their country of origin. They are more accepting of crap jobs, crap pay, crap management, crap politicians, crap services and corruption. This acceptance leads to abuse by vested interest powerbrokers like the LNP, IPA and media.

  50. jimhaz

    [Budget papers show all debt was paid off by Costello]

    Partly paid for by increased income from profits as a result of asset inflation (inflation originating from the 1% having more to spend for the same thing) such as housing and from wage increases only for the higher income earners who service the 1%.

    Private debt expanded dramatically during this time – so I cannot see how a small amount of gov deficit and high private debt (perhaps 10xgov debt) is anywhere near as good as a larger public debt with a small private debt.

    Best to look at the total picture.

  51. Jaquix

    What is the purpose of the Future Fund? Cant be for the good of the country because we dont hear much about it, in fact perhaps it should be renamed the Secret Fund ?

  52. Geoff Andrews

    One hundred years ago, C.J. Dennis of “Sentimental Bloke” fame wrote “The Glugs of Gosh”. The Glugs are a stupid race of gullible gits (us). The ruling class, the Swanks, are led by a knight of the realm, Sir Stodge (“wise to profundity, stout to rotundity”), who has entered into, what eventually becomes, a disastrous trade agreement with another country. Sounding familiar?

    Sir Stodge has a “mission accomplished” moment:

    ” So the Knight, Sir Stodge, with a wave of his hand,”
    ” Declared it a happy and prosperous land”

    But the gullible gits:
    “All grew idle and fond of ease”
    “And easy to swindle and hard to please.”

    The trade agreement involved exchanging our raw minerals for cheap manufactured goods and the Glugs eventually mine all the minerals; nothing left to trade, manufacturing industries long since gone, at the mercy of the foreign country.
    Nothing’s changed in 100 years! We, sadly, are idiots.

    Here’s the full book:
    http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/denniscj/glugs/stoneg.html

  53. diannaart

    NoS

    You have been informed many, many times in the past that there was a Great Financial Crisis in 2007

    Remember?

    http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/1301.0Chapter27092009%E2%80%9310

    The effect of the crisis on Australia has been considerably less than in many other countries. The Australian economy has recorded markedly better growth outcomes than most other developed economies, many of which have experienced severe recessions and rises in unemployment. The Australian financial system has been markedly more resilient. Notably, Australian banks have continued to be profitable and have not required any capital injections from the Government.

    That said, the local economy and financial markets have not been immune. Growth in the economy slowed to around half a per cent and the unemployment rate has risen by nearly two percentage points to around 5¾ per cent by November 2009.

    The most obvious impact of the financial crisis on most Australian households was the large decline in equity prices, which reduced the wealth of Australian households by nearly 10 per cent by March 2009. However, since the trough in equity markets in March 2009, the local market had recovered half of its decline by the end of November 2009.

    Which was handled adroitly by the Labor Federal government.

    Now, why did Costello sell off public assets for bargain basement prices, during a mining boom?

  54. Neil of Sydney

    Now, why did Costello sell off public assets for bargain basement prices, during a mining boom?

    He didn’t. Assets were sold well before the mining boom started. The boom did not start until 2004 and then exploded under Rudd/Gillard. Did you look at my link on commodity prices?

    The mining boom happened under Rudd/Gillard

  55. diannaart

    NoS

    Apologies for delay getting back to you – not enough time nor energy – something like our climate 😛

    In 2004, Costello had been ‘managing’ the economy since 1996. During the late 1990’s he conducted a massive sale of public assets – apparently not managing the economy all that well after all, else why sell off assets for such bargain basement prices?

    You claim that Costello only had 3 years of the great mining boom? Given Costello’s incompetence, he had no idea, not a hint, none of his mining buddies clued him in that Australia was in for boom times ahead?

    Had Costello been planning for the future he could’ve saved our public assets AND taken advantage of the mining boom.

    What was the topic, again – “gullibility” Very gullible to believe everything Murdoch and the LNP claim, foolish in fact. Would be hilarious if not for the impact on Australia.

  56. Neil of Sydney

    else why sell off assets for such bargain basement prices?

    I doubt they were sold for bargain basement prices. But Costello did asset sales because he wanted to get the debt down quickly so we could get our AAA credit rating back which we lost under Hawke/Keating. It was not until debt had been reduced to 5% of GDP that we got our AAA back which we lost in the late 1980’s

    taken advantage of the mining boom.

    Costello saved $50B in his last three surplus budgets. The proceeds of the mining boom were saved. Now how much money did Swan save when the mining boom was much bigger?

  57. diannaart

    Here are, once again, NoS – Global Financial Crisis – do you remember how Australia, out of all the OECD countries came out of this better than any other?

    As for the much vaunted AAA rating – Australia managed very well for years without – there is much speculation as to how much this rating appointed by a star chamber is really worth.

    Once a person loses credibility, anything they say is highly questionable.

    And, you sir, are a liar:

    Neil of SydneyFebruary 5, 2016 at 9:15 am….. The budget cuts led to a parliament house riot by violent Labor supporters…..

    Really? A protest was held by Labor supporters and that’s all.

    You will make ANY claim to disparage Labor and can see no fault in anything the LNP does – this is called blindness or just garden variety pig-ignorance.

  58. Wally

    Your stories change to suit what you want to achieve at that moment NoS, just like the LNP. Wouldn’t want the truth to get in the way of winning.


    Neil of Sydney
    February 3, 2016 at 7:24 pm
    The LNP continuous claim to be better fiscal managers is based on selling off assets to pay off debt

    Costello paid off all debt just by running surplus budgets. Yes he did have asset sales ($80B) and that started the Future Fund. Plus other funds were also started up.

    So from your earlier claim that budget surplus paid off the debt you now admit asset sales were use to pay off debt.

    But Costello did asset sales because he wanted to get the debt down quickly

    Which comment of yours is correct NoS?

  59. jimhaz

    But the gullible gits:
    “All grew idle and fond of ease”
    “And easy to swindle and hard to please.”

    So so true.

    Relatively is so weird. That was published in 1915, so the writer had a real life basis for what was written then, even though relative to today people were not idle and conditions were so much harder.

    As history clearly repeats that would give us 13 years until the next Great Depression. Though history may repeat it tends to move faster each cycle, so it’s actually been due for while. To me the only thing holding it back is government policy to exponentially increase debt and to protect markets by interference (making valid economic truths temporarily redundant, but deferring the inevitable).

    Though I supported say 80% of Rudds GFC protection spending, I think we may be finding out now that it should have been far more limited. Governments really should only regulate and police financial markets, not support them. Once you do you become trapped, forced to increase debt to support the market, and it opens up irresponsible opportunities for political opportunists such as politicians and the rich.

  60. Neil of Sydney

    So from your earlier claim that budget surplus paid off the debt you now admit asset sales were use to pay off debt.

    Some asset sales were used to pay off debt and some asset sales were used to start the Future Fund. Some money from the surplus budgets were used to pay off debt and some was used to add to the Future Fund. I am not sure of the exact ratio

    As for the much vaunted AAA rating – Australia managed very well for years without – there is much speculation as to how much this rating appointed by a star chamber is really worth.

    Well if we lose our AAA rating this means we will have to pay a higher interest rate on our debt. Most of this interest money goes to overseas investors (approx 65%)

    And, you sir, are a liar:

    Where did i lie? There was a riot about the first Howard budget. Here is the proof

  61. The AIM Network

    You could hardly say it was comparable to the storming of the Bastille.

    And didn’t you claim that they were violent lefties? Not a lot of violence in that video. Just a big beat up that you were happy to latch on to.

  62. diannaart

    1. Your claim that it was Labor supporters is erroneous.

    Workers expressing their dismay at being financially gouged by the LNP is nothing new. No one was harmed. As has been pointed out to you, the use of “violent” is a complete exaggeration by you – in other words a lie.

    2. As for your claims regarding loss of AAA rating – I do not trust anything you have to say, my reason for doubt is explained above, especially regarding the AAA Rating.

    There is good reason for questioning this rating, which has been used more for political expediency than for any true concern over Australia’s economy.

  63. Neil of Sydney

    No one was harmed

    ???? Did you not see the people with blood on their heads? If no one was harmed where did the blood come from? Dozens of police were injured. More than 30 injuries. There was also hundreds of thousands dollars damage

    There is good reason for questioning this rating

    Well surprise surprise i agree with you. But in the real world if the ratings agencies downgrade us we will have to pay more interest on our debt which is mainly foreign whether or not the rating is false.

  64. Michael Taylor

    Was there blood on their hands?

    Neil, this is a ‘nothing to see here beat up’.

  65. diannaart

    Neil

    There was no mention at all of ANY injury or “blood” in the commentary – I am sure, in the tradition of the media had there been injuries this would be reported.

    “In the real world” we can and need to question such arbitration as star chamber ratings people.

  66. Neil of Sydney

    There was no mention at all of ANY injury or “blood” in the commentary

    The quotes i made were from the Youtube clip. Also there was visual proof. I guess you are deaf and blind. The clip clearly states that dozens of police were injured and there were more than 30 injuries

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_Parliament_House_riot

    During the course of the riot, unionist Davie Thomason, of the CFMEU, took the podium at the official rally with a bloodied face and spoke while shaking a police riot shield, saying to cheers from other protesters:[4]…………..and his opposition counterpart Senator John Faulkner condemned the “appalling violence” on behalf of the opposition. Senator Cheryl Kernot for the Australian Democrats said she “condemned” the violence and “I deplore the actions of those who, in my opinion, selfishly and deliberately chose to distract from discussion of the issues”. Senator Dee Margetts, speaking for the Greens Western Australia said that “the Greens WA do not associate ourselves with the violent action”

  67. diannaart

    As for people being harmed…. the police are the ones wearing all the riot gear and carrying body shields right? If there were injuries to the extent you are claiming, there would be worse injuries suffered by the protesters – who are not in protective gear nor even trained to handle riots.

    I am neither blind nor deaf – if you wish to continue our discussion – drop the personal insinuations – for all you know I may well be deaf and blind – is there something wrong with that? You have something against non-sighted or the hard of hearing?

    PS

    As for the comments by the Greens – I understand they do not condone violence of any sort, this includes police violence.

  68. Roswell

    Neil, neither me or anyone here gives an absolute rat’s arse about the ‘bigger than Texas’ gathering at Parliament House in 1996. Try talking about some real issues. Something current perhaps. Something about this horrible government, maybe.

    Or do you want to bring up that Rudd went to a strip show in New York before he was PM? Or that Keating did wheelies when he was a teenager? Or that evil lefties were the real cause of the Russian Revolution?

  69. Neil of Sydney

    Something about this horrible government, maybe.

    What is horrible about the current govt? OK I admit Turnbull is not to be trusted. Like a lot of Coalition supporters i do not trust Turnbull. He is in the wrong party. He should be in the ALP.

    But the budget deficit is smaller under the Coalition and unemployment has stablisied at 5.8%. Unemployment exploded under Labor as it always does and always will. And if Labor gets back in unemployment will go up as it always does under Labor

    You have something against non-sighted or the hard of hearing?

    No i have problems with people who can see blood on the heads of people during a violent clash and then admit they see no blood.

  70. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    NoS,

    if you think Turnbull, the current leader of the reprehensible LNP Degenerates, cannot be trusted, who would you suggest could be?

    The only one or two exceptions that I can think have some self-respect and integrity are Sharman Stone, and regarding compassion for asylum seekers, Russell Broadbent.

  71. cornlegend

    Neil of Sydney
    Join with me in trying to get Tony Abbott back to his rightful place as PM
    That dastardly Turnbull got rid of the “peoples choice” {well, according to Tony}
    Join the monkey pod brigade and those online, angered by Tonys unceremonious dumping by that forelock tugger Turnbull
    I email Tony regularly telling we need him and Turnbull stripped him of his rightful position
    As Tony says “let the people decide”
    Can I count on your support?
    p.s. Turnbull looks a right prick in hi-vis and goggles and isn’t even man enough to don the speedos or the Fireman suit
    That notgoodenough

  72. diannaart

    OK Neil

    I ran through the video again, just for you, Neil.

    There were injuries – none serious – on BOTH sides, both sides, Neil – you appear to have difficulty in perceiving more than one side. Also I hope you have taken notice that more protesters than police were harmed – protective gear does come in handy.

    However, your claim of violent Labor supporters remains a lie. The protesters were from various sections of society – students, workers – a variety of people. Do you understand variety, Neil?

    There was no event to the scale of violence you claimed – not at all.

    Anyway, I see there is something upon which we can all agree – get that turncoat, Turnbull out, put that interesting Tony Abbott back in – its not like policies or anything will change now, is it?

    Well, there is the matter of Tony’s, er, enthusiasm for captain’s picks coupled with his inability to speak in sentences and we should not let him go overseas ever again… apart from that, sure kick out Turnbull, put back Tony.

    Don’tcha just love 3 word slogans?

    Put Back Tony

    (right where he belongs).

    (Thanks to Cornlegend)

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    diannaart,

    I can think of far better places that I’d like to put Tony, but then he might not enjoy them!

  74. diannaart

    Jennifer,

    Me too, but I do believe Putting Tony Back is the best way to get Labor in – without an alliance …

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    On a cynical and pragmatic level, yes diannaart, you and cornlegend are correct.

    However, I cringe at the thought of seeing that slippery lickety-lips lizard drooling over any poor bystanders and abusing the sensibilities of all of us.

    Even though I see the possible practical benefits of it, I think we as a nation would flounder longer in a sense of worthlessness to have allowed ourselves to succumb a second time to that moron’s leadership.

    We need to get rid of this LNP bunch of Degenerates on merit. Merit then means forming working, effective and mutually-beneficial alliances between a selection of Left political parties and forces. When these Progressive political parties can work together in an Alliance, it follows that the Australian people, the climate and the environment have a good chance of continuing with strength.

  76. Neil of Sydney

    who would you suggest could be?

    I trust Tony Abbott. He would always fight for Australias interests. Turnbull only cares about himself.

    But both are better than anybody from the ALP.

  77. diannaart

    Just havin’ a bit of a ‘larf’.

    Needed it.

    I don’t want to ever see, hear or even have the misfortune to think about Abbott – how he managed to get as far as he did requires years of sociological and psychiatric research – although with nutters like him or Lord Monkhouse, Trump or Ted (machine-gun bacon) Cruz – we urgently need to rethink our entire social network…. I just wanted a laugh.

    I’ve used up my energy quota for today – not even thinking very clearly any more – at least I can recognise that fact, psychopaths like those listed above don’t ever recognise their own limitations.

  78. cornlegend

    diannaart
    just havin’ a bit of a ‘larf’.
    Don’t larf, hit the emails to Tones .
    Fair dinkum could you imagine Malcolm in a pair of budgies and a lifesaver cap?
    Maybe a Gucci hi-vis and some Alex Perry designer safety goggles , but budgies ? never !
    We need the chosen one backI haven’t even seen a bloody fire engine since Tones was unfairly stripped of his position of serving and protecting the interests of Queen and Country [and himself, daughters, Maggie, hangers on, Prince Phillip ,right wing Richies, more right wing richies etc}
    The onion growers will mass outside Parliament if Tony doesn’t come back, cause Malcolm is too wussy to bite an onion
    Just consider what we are losing and hit the phones .
    Damn, No dummy spits, no punching walls, punching women ,serving as both PM and AAh EM ,AHH I forgot the rest !
    Come back Tony, mount the monkey pod charge NOW

  79. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Neil of Sydney,

    there is yet time for your Redemption!

    Don’t hold your breath for Abbott because he won’t save all of us.

    He might save you but what about me and my compadres on AIMN?

    How could YOU live with knowing that Abbott only looked after selected Aussies?

    I won’t respond again, NoS, if you can’t respond in a balanced way

    Respectfully yours, Jennifer Meyer-Smith

  80. Neil of Sydney

    I won’t respond again, NoS, if you can’t respond in a balanced way

    Sounds like a threat of some description. If i understood your question i gave you my answer- Tony Abbott.

    Turnbull i would never trust. He hung around for 6 years just to be PM and Turnbull was John Howard biggest mistake

    Howard and Abbott cared about Australia, Turnbull only cares about himself.

  81. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, never ever ever ever ever expect Neil to respond in a balanced way. Never. Never never never.

    He can’t.

  82. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What a shame for Neil,

    that I/we give you the chance and you are unable.

    Bad luck, Neil.

  83. mars08

    “Bad luck Neil”

    Probably his nickname in high school…

  84. mars08

    “Bad luck Neil”

    Probably his name in high school…

  85. Neil of Sydney

    that I/we give you the chance and you are unable.

    Sounds very threatening. I gave you my answer to your question- Tony Abbott.

    But perhaps your question was a riddle?

  86. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I apologise Neil for appearing to bait you.

    Nonetheless, I lament that you uphold the abominable Abbott as your saviour.

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