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Tony Abbott Changes Liberal Foreign Policy

Image source: truepolitik.blogspot.com

Image source: truepolitik.blogspot.com

“Let’s wait until we’ve got all the facts in before we come to hard and fast conclusions. But obviously it is the clear and settled position of the Australian Government that larger countries should not bully smaller ones, that countries should not aid people who are in rebellion against their own government and that international disputes should be settled peacefully in accordance with international law.”

Tony Abbott, 18th July, 2014

 

Waiting for the facts, now there’s a change for a start. Ok, it didn’t stop him directly blaming Russia for this tragedy before the investigations even begin, but that’s a vast improvement from when he interrupted Question Time earlier this year to announce that the missing plane was on the verge of being found.

Still, it’s an excellent move that the Liberals are now adopting the policy that “larger countries should not bully smaller ones”! This will, of course, prevent our future involvement in such events as:

  • The Vietnam War
  • Both Iraq wars
  • Our attempts to screw East Timor on oil
  • The G20
  • Trade agreements with the USA
  • Support for the Japanese effort in World War Two

As for “aiding people who are in rebellion against the their own government” – apart from annoyance at the foreign countries who may have contributed to Clive Palmer’s wealth – this probably stems from the fact that Abbott – being English – is still upset over the American War of Independence where tea was tipped into Boston Harbour, while colonials dressed as Native Americans chanted, “No taxation without representation”. The current Tea Party have drawn their name from this event, but left out the word “Boston” from their name. Similarly, in order to achieve consistency, they’ve also left out the words “without representation” from their slogan.

Now, I know some of you will object to me calling Mr Abbott “English” given that he’s lived here since childhood and that he took out Australian citizenship in his twenties. (And, as Parliamentarians aren’t allowed to be dual citizens, he’s clearly revoked his British citizenship – even though there appears no evidence of that.) However, when I complain about referring to Mr Murdoch as an Australian, I’m told that he’s born here so that makes him Australian, even if he has given up his citizenship. As Terry McCrann put it yesterday:

“In the 1960s Murdoch went to Britain, in the 1970s to the US, in the 1980s to the very different universe of Hollywood; that, and a lot more would, as they say, be and is continuing to be history.

But all through this dizzying roller-coasting cacophony of activity he never left Australia.

That’s obvious in business terms. NewsCorp is now the country’s unequalled private sector media player — bizarrely, challenged and increasingly confronted only by the nominally publicly owned but “their” ABC.

BUT he never “left” Australia in even more core personal terms. He always will be quintessentially Australian.”

So, I guess that Rupert is “Australian”; one might almost say that he’s “the Australian” – well, the only one whose opinion counts. (Who needs scientists when Rupert can tell us that the best way to deal with climate change is to build away from the sea?)  Of course, we just had the celebration of fifty years of “The Australian” – that newspaper which advocates free enterprise and not relying on handouts, while itself not actually making a profit in the fifty years of its existence.

Ah well, yesterday’s front page of another Murdoch Media Misinformation unit, assured me that Bill Shorten just doesn’t get that we have to find billions of dollars worth of savings while simultaneously celebrating the fact that the Carbon Tax is gone and we’ve removed a $9 billion impost on the economy. And we also want to get rid of that Mining Tax. Because if we get rid of taxes then that’s money that the government doesn’t have and Bill Shorten doesn’t seem to get that when you get rid of taxes like that you need to find spending cuts.

(Typical Labor. When it was announced last year that they’d require people to keep log books on their business-related leased cars, they didn’t understand that this would lead to the death of the car industry because apparently most people weren’t using them for business purposes and if you stop a business rort, that’s bad for the economy – stopping rorts by pensioners, parents, the disabled, the unemployed and anyone else who may not have voted Liberal, on the other hand, is a good and just thing. And let’s face it – any money you take from the government is a rort unless you’re someone whose leasing a car.)

Nevertheless, I can’t understand why – even if they still try and remove the spending associated with it – the Liberals are so concerned with removing the Mining Tax, because, after all, it’s raising so little money, it could hardly be a disincentive to investment. And given some of the things that have been cut because of the “dire emergency”, you’d think every bit would count.

36 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    You have to admire Joe Hockey’s chutzpah.

    ”Labor should immediately outline how it will fund all of the spending linked to the mining tax. The government will not accept amendments which support these unfunded spending measures remaining in place.”

    http://www.borderwatch.com.au/story/2427756/senate-digs-in-its-heels-on-mining-tax/?cs=12

    Ummmm….how about keeping the mining tax for starters. Secondly, the schoolkids bonus was not linked to the mining tax – it was introduced to replace the Education tax refund. Thirdly, you are in government and now you see what it is like when the Opposition blocks proposals.

    But let me help…..cancel the order for those ridiculous jets that are hundreds of billions over-budget and 7 years behind schedule. How on earth can you criticise Labor’s performance on the NBN while wasting tens of billions on these lemons.

    Cut subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, wind back tax concessions for superannuation and negative gearing. Forget Tony’ PPL debacle and that silly Direct Action waste of time. If you really want to be sensible, bring back the carbon tax and its associated revenue. How can you argue that you can’t keep the spending from the mining tax without the tax while doing EXACTLY that with the carbon tax?

    See…it’s easy if you really want to save money.

  2. Geoff Andrews

    Labor’s inability to hammer the illogicality of the LNP’s arguments on such things as the mining tax and the price on carbon has contributed to its fall from grace with the public.

  3. David Linehan

    Geoff are you talking past or present tense? pre 2013 I agree, this day,with respect, rubbish.

  4. Dan Rowden

    Not sure that most of this article follows from the headline, but …

    Now, I know some of you will object to me calling Mr Abbott “English” given that he’s lived here since childhood and that he took out Australian citizenship in his twenties.

    Yes, some of us would, and with good reason. Please demonstrate that he “took out” citizenship in his twenties. Show me that such a claim is true. If not, please stop making it. As far as I can tell all he did was get the paperwork necessary to prove to Oxford that he was an Australian citizen (by descent) – and obviously to get a passport.

    I find this attempt to paint Abbott to be somehow “un-Australian” to be, itself, un-Australian, flag waving bullshit. Can you imagine how we’d react to conservatives trying to do this to someone like Penny Wong?

    The question of his relinquishment of his dual citizenship is a more interesting one, given, as you say, no evidence for it seems available. His office has not responded to my requests for information on it.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Hockey is bringing out a biography….where do they find the time to write books when they are supposedly doing a full-time job? One silver lining though…if they lose the next election he says he will quit politics.

    “Abbott’s decision to sack Martin Parkinson without telling his Treasurer before or after the event also surprised Hockey.

    But he says he accepted the dismissal of the Treasury secretary he wanted to keep, as being a “prime minister’s call”, just as Abbott accepted his decision to bar the foreign takeover of GrainCorp as being the Treasurer’s judgment to make.

    And it is sure to stoke a further leadership debate with Hockey – who almost quit politics to take up a job in the US – saying he will not spend another stint in opposition.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/joe-hockey-wont-trust-malcolm-again-wife-says-20140718-zug0r.html#ixzz37s14QGw8

  6. Jan Dobson

    Read to “No taxation without representation”. The current Tea Party have drawn their name from this event, but left out the word “Boston” from their name. Similarly, in order to achieve consistency, they’ve also left out the words “without representation” from their slogan and spat tea all over my laptop.

    Pithy turn of phrase, rossleigh

  7. Kaye Lee

    Dan,

    In fact it was not until over twenty years after the family had arrived in Australia as subsidised assisted migrants that Tony Abbott’s parents applied to register his birth with the Dept. of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and apply for his citizenship, in a document/s dated 19 June 1981.

    This application appears to have been treated as urgent by departmental staff.

    His parents were subsequently informed in a letter dated 1 July 1981 that Anthony John Abbott was now deemed to be an Australian citizen under Section 11 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 which allowed citizenship by descent. You don’t automatically get citizenship by descent…you are eligible but you must apply. They did not apparently do this until 1981.

  8. David Linehan

    Dan, re his citizenship perhaps dare I say, the answer is in the non response from his office. As for how we would we react if it was Penny being tarred with the same unAustralian title. tsk tsk. Penny would never ever place herself in a situation where she could be labelled unAustralian. You do not credit her with common sense, of which she aptly shows has an abundance of, so much there is a surplus for transfer to Abbott.
    Frankly I find many of his lies, crap, attacks on those he targets readily, who have done nothing to warrant such ‘únAustralian’ abuse, the pensioners, sick, unemployed, disabled, non whites of all races, students, workers, families…need any more?
    In my book he is unAustralian, many times over.

  9. Matters Not

    Fairly certain I heard Hockey argue that the budgetary problems were located on the ‘expenditure’ side. There was no mention of the ‘revenue’ shortfalls, which by the way, have compounded since the GFC.

    Taking Hockey at his word, I looked at ‘Tax Expenditures’. There is some ‘fat’ there, but if one looks at the trends, it’s quite clear that the ‘poor’ face contracting support. Worth a read.

    http://www.treasury.gov.au/~/media/Treasury/Publications%20and%20Media/Publications/2014/TES%202013/Documents/PDF/TES-13-Consolidated.ashx

  10. David Linehan

    Kay Lee re Hockey and… One silver lining though…if they lose the next election he says he will quit politics. Oh!! yet more incentive to oust these low life, as if needed!!
    While on that topic..I have written every second day to Labor HQ reminding them, with Pynes’ rating of 13% in his Sturt electorate (Morgan), best they get A into G, ensure a swift selection of a candidate with the necessary credentials to get out there and start campaigning asap. Necessary credentials do not mean, long Union representation full stop.
    Sure if a former or current Union leader is a local, personable, intelligent, already well known in the Sturt community and shown to be accepted as all of the former, open slather. Plus be seen to be open. Back room factional deals are not on ever. Damn it we have been bitten enough by that rubbish.

  11. Möbius Ecko

    “Nevertheless, I can’t understand why – even if they still try and remove the spending associated with it – the Liberals are so concerned with removing the Mining Tax, because, after all, it’s raising so little money, it could hardly be a disincentive to investment.”

    Why the media and Labor haven’t jumped on this, especially Cormann’s dissembling in parliament on it, has me stumped. If Labor had undertaken the same duplicity we would not have heard the end of it.

    So in opposition the Liberals, but especially Hockey and Cormann, made a lot out of the MRRT supposedly not making any revenue and being a dud, and that was the reason it had to go.

    They said the same early in their government.

    Now it has to be gotten rid of because something that doesn’t raise much revenue is apparently a huge impost on our economy, but more than that, as according to the government the now hugely significant revenue is funding all these other services and bonuses they have to go as well. Leave out the contradiction that Cormann said those things are both Labor unfunded policies and being funded by the MRRT, even if in actual fact some are not, they now say they can’t get rid of MRRT without getting rid of the social services and bonuses as well.

    So what is it with the MRRT? Is it a dud that doesn’t raise enough revenue to be viable, which is what the Liberals attacked it on for a long time, or as they are now stating is it raising so much revenue it’s leeching the economy so badly all the policies it pays for have to go along with the tax?

  12. Möbius Ecko

    Russia has responded to Abbott by saying his statements are unacceptable.

    Add another country to the list of those he’s pissed off.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Could I also point out that the MRRT was supposed to be accompanied by a cut in company tax rate from 30 to 28%. Because it raised less than anticipated, the decrease in company tax was put off. Abbott of course wants to go the other way….no MRRT, rather than keeping the benefits paid to people he wants to scrap them and reinstate the cut to company tax. Business wins and low income earners pay the price…yet again.

    HEY TONY….KEEP THE SPENDING WHICH BENEFITS THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST AND DELAY YOUR COMPANY TAX CUT

  14. berlioz1935

    Tony Abbott has no right to speak about humanity, open investigations or informing the public. He treats us like mushrooms. There is, at this very moment, a boat with 153 human beings imprisoned on it, cruising the oceans. It was a sheer act of piracy to stop a boat on the high sea and imprison the people on it. His is not civilized behaviour, something he asked of other government.

    He apportions blame without knowing the facts. The Australian government is not very deplomatic one shouls always leave a door open to change directions.

  15. Matters Not

    To date the MRRT raised little revenue because the mining companies had so many ‘tax deductions’ up their sleeves, but obviously these ‘write offs’ disappear over time. While the MRRT was poorly designed, mainly because Gillard and Swan personally did the negotiations without expert advice from the Public Servants, its best years were on the way.

    The irony is that most Australians support getting a better return from their mineral resources but that support receives little publicity. Again Shorten should be beating that drum and again we are deafened by the silence. The fact that more than 80% of Rio’s profits are sent offshore is obscene.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Even according to Hockey’s propaganda sheet aka MYEFO, the MRRT was supposed to bring in $3.4 billion ($4.4 billion in PEFO). If he has a budget black hole then keep that revenue.

    The reason the MRRT was brought in was that royalties had not kept pace with the huge profits. The argument at the time was

    “In 2001, mining companies paid approximately 40% of their profits as royalties to the state governments. Today they pay less than 20%. Clearly, there is a strong argument that the Australian people deserve to receive a greater share of today’s profits and that’s where the new mining tax comes in.”

  17. Dan Rowden

    Look, Jacqui says the mining tax must be repealed and I accept her argument, because she says it’s bad, because, you know, it does stuff, and not just that, but things as well. I hate it when stuff does things. Bad things, naturally. Bad business things. It might make Clive finally pay some tax, for starters, and other companies as well. So there, basically. Oh, and another thing ………. no, sorry, I’ve forgotten what that other things is, but it was a really important thing because it was all about stuff.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Jacqui uses the “jobs” line. Mining only employs about 2% of the workforce. For it to create jobs HERE the profits need to be spent here or we need to tax them.

    “For the income earned by an industry to generate jobs in Australia, it has to be spent in Australia. And our mining industry is about 80 per cent foreign-owned.

    Got the message yet? For our economy and our workers to benefit adequately from the exploitation of our natural endowment by mainly foreign companies, our government has to ensure it gets a fair whack of the economic rents those foreigners generate.

    This, of course, is the justification for the minerals resource rent tax. And the fact that, so far, the tax has raised tiny amounts of revenue doesn’t mean mining is no longer highly profitable, nor that the tax isn’t worth bothering with.

    Because Labor so foolishly allowed the big three foreign miners to redesign the tax, they chose to get all their deductions up-front. Once those deductions are used up, the tax will become a big earner. Long before then, however, Tony Abbott will have rewarded the Liberal Party’s foreign donors by abolishing the tax.

    This will be an act of major fiscal vandalism, of little or no benefit to the economy and at great cost to job creation.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/ending-mining-tax-will-damage-jobs-20140316-34vh1.html#ixzz37sf6pMaI

  19. corvus boreus

    Will someone shut up that yapping dog? It is pissing off the bears!

  20. RalphG

    So Abbott said “…countries should not aid people who are in rebellion against their own government”

    I wonder if he would still hold that view if, for example, there was a people’s rebellion in North Korea.

  21. jeremy..

    I notice that most media outlets are rightly outraged by the shooting down of MH17 and that Abbot is milking it as much as he can (in order to divert attention no doubt). But this article in the Washington Post points out that it isn’t uncommon and that the US have also shot down a civillian passenger jet. I only mention it because I haven’t heard any other media outlet discuss it and it piss’s me off when everyone jumps on the band wagon against non western countries. A good question for Q&A perhaps

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/07/17/the-terrible-history-of-passenger-planes-getting-shot-out-of-the-sky/

  22. Möbius Ecko

    And employment in the mining industry is undergoing a revolution downwards.

    I have access to a mining magazine, EMJ, and a couple of other sources of information from and for the mining industry. They are unrelated to my work but come to us via regular business sources as a package of magazines and brochures.

    They are showing the way to complete mining automation, where now even the huge dump trucks are autonomous, using similar technologies to airborne and underwater drones. These pilotless trucks and other large mining machinery do a more efficient job than humans and they conveniently remove high paid workers and increase the profits.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if that 2% of the workforce shrunk to 1% in the near future even if there’s no abatement in mining.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Jeremy,

    Tony Abbott mentioned that incident very early after the plane crashed and went on to say that the US paid huge compensation and that Russia should do likewise. This was very early on and I don’t think it is something that should be discussed at a press conference when nothing has been proven. They just brought in laws that journalists can go to jail if they cover stories that are not in the national interest. They are going to have to stop covering press conferences by Coalition politicians, especially Tony and Julie.

  24. mars08

    Oh how marvellous. Now Shorten, the babbling numpty, wants the G20 to confront Russia over flight MH17. It’s becoming a damn pissing contest!!

  25. Gitte

    I don’t know how Australian Rupert Murdoch is since he took out American citizenship in 1985.

  26. Sammi

    Is there no end to the hypocrisy that comes out of his mouth? I can barely read the whole thing.

    “….that countries should not aid people who are in rebellion against their own government…” HIS meaning of that statement, we can almost guarantee ourselves, will be very different to what he wants US to think it means.

    Abbott will use that statement to defend his human rights abuses, using it to accuse ALL refugees who are fleeing for their lives as being “in rebellion against their own government” and as a means of justifying sending them back to their own countries to be slaughtered.

    How does he sleep at night?

    He will also use it to establish justification for shutting down freedom of speech and growing numbers of protests against his tyrannical regime, to ensure (so he thinks) his continued free-form destruction of Australia and all it once stood for, for many years to come. How dumb does he really believe we all are?

    And who is HE to accuse anyone else of criminal activity and murder? Isn’t that a bit like the pot calling the kettle black? What the hell does he THINK happens to the refugees he illegally turns back and sends into the mouth of hell? Oh yes, he has blood on his hands aplenty.

    So when will the United Nations step in and charge him with HIS crimes, given that they’re fully cognizant of the fact that he keeps violating human rights on almost every political way imaginable?

    Tony Abbott – you and your mates disgust me.

  27. Anne Byam

    Well said Sammi. Abbott is a dangerous man, with supreme power uppermost in his mind. History is full of ‘leaders’ like that – and it never turned out at all well. 6 million Jews slaughtered comes to mind. The leader in Germany at the time, is also in history as a ‘supreme power’ seeker – even to the point of attempting selective breeding of a race of people. But we all know about that, don’t we.

    One can only hope that someone, or something, pulls Abbott into line, and changes his dictatorial attitude when he hits that podium. Many of his remarks have been obnoxious, confronting, inflammatory and downright insulting – to Australia as a nation, and to other countries in the world.

  28. corvus boreus

    Anne Byam,
    Is it a sin to transgress Godwin’s law on a Sunday morning?
    Funnily, the word “fascist” derives from the “fasces”, a symbol of Roman republican/imperial authority, carried by the consuls’/emperor’s heavies, later appropriated by Mussolini as suitably pompous and threatening trappings.
    They were a bunch if birch sticks(flog that man!) lashed around an axe(off with his head!).
    Faeces is also from the latin, and refers to shit.
    Faeces and fasces are easily confused.
    A digression on diction.

  29. Anne Byam

    I like that one corvus. Your diction is archly elevated !! And your temporary departure from the main subject – refreshing. I have no idea if it is a sin to transgress Godwin’s law on a Sunday – or on any day ? 🙂 Godwin wrote his ideas somewhere around the early 1990’s. Doesn’t surprise me that faeces and fasces are easily confused. They could be one and the same on many an occasion. !! Not surprising either that the words ” supreme power seeking” often brings about the thought of Nazism. As soon as I typed it, I thought it. Nazism, ( sadly ) is never far away in memory or thought – such was the enormous toll it took on humanity, and on the human condition. Perhaps we should put it all behind us ? But how ? The younger generation most likely will. ( no offence intended to the younger generation ).

    Interesting comments.

  30. corvus boreus

    I, myself, flip Godwin the bird when the parallels are apparent and defensible, Anne.
    Hitler rose to power through the manipulation of public perception of manufactured events.
    We now have a disinterested and easily distracted populace, and an intrusive and omnipresent commercial media with a seeming derision of the accountablity of truth and glee in promoting agendas.
    The science of manipulation, and the darker motives behind them, are an historic evolution based on the ideas of past demagogues, up to the current models.
    The people around us often seem oblivious to the patterns of the plays.
    I do not disparage your comparison, and share your concerns.
    Re the ‘youth’ comments, Orwell wrote 1984 with the hindsight of his foresight of the dangers of fascism’s rise( he fought early fascism as a volunteer in Spain).
    Big Brother, sadly, has acquired a new and trivial connotation.

  31. Rossleighbrisbame

    Godwin – the man himself – said he had no problem with comparing the Abbott Government’s policy on asylum seekers to Hitler’s Germany. His point was about making trivial comparisons, so there’s no need to flip the bird, Corvus.

  32. corvus boreus

    This bird unflips.
    Cheers for the heads-up, Rossleigh.

  33. berlioz1935

    Sammi your are absolutely right. Abbott’s hypocrisy has no limits. In regard to the shooting down of MH 17 he speaks of human decency and justice and then he imprisons 153 asylum seekers on an Australian ship in cabins without windows. And for long he want to carry on like that?

  34. Anne Byam

    Big brother sadly / unfortunately, has waaaay too much to say. Wherever you look – he is there ( and that is not paranoia on my part ). We have all been ruled to a certain degree, it’s what keeps most of us sane and out of jail. But the “Big Brother” act has become increasingly insidious since September 2013 …. dominance, dictatorship, threats ( Hockey and his ” we don’t need legislation to get what [ moneys ] we want ” – not verbatim ) …. and a total irresponsibility when it comes to diplomacy in particular. I repeat – God help us !! Heaven only knows what Julie Bishop might bring to the table in Washington. I hope someone has ‘assisted’ her with her speeches there – she sure needs it.

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