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Voter Directed Learning

I have never been a politician but I have always been big on giving advice. In my opinion, this government has things completely arse up and, being an experienced adviser myself, I blame their advisers.

Many politicians have few qualifications or expertise that can inform them about the intricacies of the departments that they represent. Christopher Pyne, for example, went from President of the Young Liberals to Parliament. At the age of 25, with less than two years’ work as a solicitor under his belt, he entered Federal Parliament and now, over 20 years later, he is being paid by us to make crucial decisions about education that will affect generations of children. He has chosen to ignore the expert advice from the Gonski panel because it is “too expensive”.

Photo by The Office Time Machine

Photo by The Office Time Machine

We hear daily how courageous our government considers itself to be, out there in the trenches “selling” the budget. That terminology really grates on me. The snake oil merchants will say anything to sell their product, as shown by how they played their own colleagues in the National Party by threatening to scrap the diesel fuel rebate to trick them into agreeing to increasing the fuel excise. How clever of them (so they think).

And I wonder who came up with the afterthought of a “medical research” slush fund to sell the co-payment. It of course has the added benefit of reducing the deficit by getting sick people to hand over $20 billion that will just sit there to make Hockey’s numbers look better. Yet this is sold to us as a way to make “medicare more sustainable”? I am sick to death of hearing “nothing is free”. Have they forgotten that we all pay a medicare levy already and were happy to increase that to pay for the NDIS, which they then try to tell us was unfunded?

So….onto my advice to this government. I think they need some voter directed learning.

Get rid of all your current advisers and stop thinking that image and spin and “selling the message” are more important than the message itself. Be advised by experts who do not have political or business conflicts of interest. Respect the knowledge and experience of public servants who have served many masters. Don’t hamstring your real negotiators in favour of dragging round a planeful of businessmen and journalists for photo opportunities.

Once you have cleared the decks of toxic influences like that odious Textor creature, start thinking about what you actually want to achieve. All I hear from this government is “get rid of debt and deficit”. That isn’t a goal. It may be the best means to achieve a goal, though that is questionable, but it is not a goal within itself. They are just numbers on a fiscal statement.

Think how we can improve our society. We need to close the gap for our Indigenous people, we need to educate our children, we need healthcare to remain universally available, we need to protect our environment, we need to keep people employed and lift people from poverty, we need to develop new industries for the future, we need to provide a safety net for those who fall on hard times, and to provide for an aging population both in care and in utilising their skills and experience, we need affordable childcare and housing and public transport. These are the things we should be striving for.

The next step is to work out how to raise the money for the programs to achieve these goals. Obviously it is preferable to increase our income rather than cutting spending. That should be investigated first. After you maximise your income you THEN look at prioritising the expenditure of that income to achieve your goals.

Stop demonising debt. It is just silly. Every successful business and individual uses debt to their advantage. Borrowing to invest in ventures that help you achieve your goals is a normal course of events. One must assess the value of the investment, the possible return it will bring, and one’s ability to service the loan.

Stop selling profitable assets to eliminate debt. The only reason someone sells a profitable business is because they want to invest the money in another more profitable venture, or they want to retire and live off the proceeds of the sale. You don’t get rid of a source of revenue to get rid of a debt. It makes no sense.

Government assets are usually sold for less than their potential value. If it is not a profitable asset then buyers pay very low prices for white elephants unless they have future potential for development. If it is a profitable business, then you can be sure that the buyer thinks they will make a greater profit which will usually be at the expense of services and jobs.

Abbott has had to admit that our economy is in good shape currently so the words crisis and emergency should not be used – they are incorrect. We do not need a fire sale.

I think everyone can see that adjustments need to be made to prepare for the future. That will always be the case in government. You cannot be so set in stone on one course of action when you are at the mercy of volatile world markets. What we need are long term goals with the ability to make short term reactions to even out the effects of changes in the global economy. We are relatively well-placed for the reaction part, but we are sadly lacking in any long term planning.

There are many reasons this budget stinks and why the sheisters are having trouble finding anyone to buy their spin. They are giving up revenue hand over fist to pander to their financial backers while hitting the poorest and most vulnerable to tighten their belts for the sake of the nation and sacrificing many long term projects that are already underway.

There are countless articles showing how billions in revenue could be easily raised, not least of which would be just cutting concessions to the rich and getting them to pay the tax they are supposed to.

Lobbyists for average Australians are being undermined at every turn. The Human Rights Commissioner for the Disabled – sacked. Countless health advisory groups and social welfare groups – disbanded. Indigenous and refugee advocacy groups – defunded. Unions – demonised.

Policies are being dictated by the mining companies, the big polluters, the gambling industry, the big banks, and the big pharmaceutical companies.

Not one of these groups has any motive other than to maximise their profits. They will only consider social cost if regulated to do so. This government is very obviously an arm of big business and is using our money to further their profits and any trivial window dressing will not hide that fact.

March on June 24. We need to remind them that we hold more votes than all their rich backers and lobbyists combined and the resources at their disposal are part of our common wealth.


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  1. Matters Not

    Every successful business and individual uses debt to their advantage.

    Indeed! Truth is we should be borrowing much, much more because the only advantage a AAA rating is that it lowers the cost of borrowing.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Exactly MN. Borrow the money now at low rates, invest in productivity enhancers for the future as well as research and new industries. Keep people employed and spending. They keep saying we are wasting $1 billion a month on interest. In a $1.5 trillion economy with annual revenue of about $400 billion? it’s a paltry sum if it gets us what we need. If Tony gave up his new fighter jets we would be able to pay the interest for two years without touching anything else. (btw they have exaggerated the figure…from memory it was about $8-9 billion in interest)

  3. Matters Not

    Many politicians have few qualifications or expertise that can inform them about the intricacies of the departments that they represent

    Yes! In my experience, that’s a good thing – a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Just imagine if Dennis Jensen, a known climate change denier, became the Minister for Science.

    Generally. politicians are at their best when they confine themselves to being the public face of a Department, which includes the ‘heavy lifting’ when a budget is being formulated. They are at their worst when they claim to ‘know’. It’s why (generally speaking) teachers shouldn’t be Education Ministers and doctors shouldn’t be Health Ministers.

  4. Florence nee Fed up

    What annoys me the most about this mob, not only are they trying to create a myth that our economy is unlike all others. Yes, we rely on borrowing from overseas. It appears no other nation does this.

    The second is that they are attempting to excise all on low incomes as not paying taxes. We are not taxpayers in their eyes.

    Every day, we see Abbott and Co standing up, telling us, this budget is all about saving tax payers money. Take from us, and you are taking from taxpayers.

    All studies show, that those on the bottom rungs of the ladder pay their fair share.

  5. Florence nee Fed up

    One cannot blame advisers. This mob go to great lengths to ensure there is no on standing to give advice.

    They listen to no one. They must know in their guts, they are right. Know what is best for the rest of us.

  6. John921Fraser


    The Americanisation of Australia.

    Slowly, slowly but surely the Australian public is waking up.

    Sadly …….. its too late.

  7. Lee

    Why would they want to listen to other advisors? This government has a blatant social engineering agenda. They have chosen advisors that will help them to achieve those goals. They’re not the slightest bit interested in listening to anyone that we think are suitable advisors as those people will recommend helping disadvantaged groups and decreasing the gaps between rich and poor.

  8. Kaye Lee

    “Ms Wilson acknowledged the department cannot yet say what impact the policy may have on housing stress and homelessness.”

    So let me get this straight. The coalition’s idea is that you introduce a policy and THEN watch what happens? I know they hate modelling of any description but geeze Louise, we are talking about people’s lives here. They have not taken advice from any groups who can assess the impact of the policy – they have just asked some very dodgy business people to tell them how much money it will save them.

    I have a suggestion for the Coalition on a Direct Action Plan that will produce measurable results. If they all stopped breathing it would be a wonderful contribution to the global action on climate change.

  9. Michael Taylor

    It was ironic to see a comment on Facebook that one of the first things people will be likely to do away with when the belt-tightening begins is Foxtel. The irony is that Rupert will miss out.

  10. geoffreyengland

    Kaye, it is always interesting to see that not withstanding bad advice from their advisors, lobbyists, and hangers on this Government’s inbuilt “moral compass” has not kicked in. Is not one person from the LNP going to say hang on a minute, isn’t this a little unfair?

  11. John921Fraser


    @Nuff said


    As Kaye Lee has pointed out in other comment , Kevin Andrews has a lot to answer for.

  12. Truth Seeker

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again “Tony, self praise is no recommendation!”

    And on a related topic, “Tony the Plumber!” my latest poem.

    Tony the Plumber.

    Cheers 🙂

  13. Matters Not

    he is being paid by us to make crucial decisions about education that will affect generations of children. He has chosen to ignore the expert advice from the Gonski panel because it is “too expensive

    The ‘brains’ behind the Gonski Recommendation was Ken Boston, otherwise known as KGB. He was a DG of Education in South Australia and a DG in New South Wales as well as Chief Executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in the United Kingdom. Of course those who were education ‘insiders’ knew what needed to happen and were not surprised when Gonski came out. It was years too late and for that I blame Rudd who was sh@t scared of the private school lobby after his Queensland experiences

    Most people now know that the States will lose $80 billion from the Health and Education Budgets in the ‘out’ years, but many are yet to realise that allocations to private schools will not be effected. The ‘heavy lifting’ will be undertaken by those who can least afford it.

    BTW I will leave aside whether he is paid or not because it matters not. I don’t like to think of the relationship between Members of Parliament and the Citizens they represent as being that of employers and employees. But that’s just me.

  14. John921Fraser


    Everyone might like to listen to some excellent stories here on The Moth :

  15. Kaye Lee

    Over the years Christopher Pyne has been paid several million dollars to do a job. This seems to be the sum total of his contribution in over 20 years:

    As Parliamentary Secretary, he defended the government’s “War on drugs” and established his strong support of illicit drug prohibition, as opposed to harm minimisation.

    He is an advocate for mental health, founding the youth mental health initiative, Headspace during his time as Parliamentary Secretary.

  16. Kaye Lee

    headspace is a great initiative which was a winner in the budget – Chris’s pet project got extra funding. Pity about the rest of the mental health sector.

    “In a largely slashing budget, the government committed funding to a number of new initiatives in mental health, based on its election commitments:
    •$18 million over four years for a national centre for excellence in youth mental health, and
    •$14.9 million over four years for ten new headspace youth mental health centres.

    These are in addition to the $2.5 million for an e-health platform for young people over the next two years.

    But, overall, we have a net loss of funding to mental health programs. This is mainly due to $53.8 million being cut from the Partners in Recovery program. This program supports people with severe and persistent mental illness who have complex needs, and it helps their carers.

    Sector not consulted

    The changes don’t appear to reflect any consultation with the mental health sector including its peak body, the Mental Health Council of Australia, which the government set up in 1997 to represent the sector.

    The council made 20 recommendations in its submission to the government on the budget. Some of these had no cost implications, but not one of them appears to have been adopted.”

  17. DanDark

    IN THE YEAR 2525
    In the year 2525
    If man is still alive
    If woman can survive
    They may find
    In the year 3535
    Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
    Everything you think, do, and say
    Is in the pill you took today

    In the year 4545
    Ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes
    You won’t find a thing to chew
    Nobody’s gonna look at you

    In the year 5555
    Your arms are hanging limp at your sides
    Your legs got nothing to do
    Some machine is doing that for you

    In the year 6565
    Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife
    You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
    From the bottom of a long glass tube’ Whoooa

    In the year 7510
    If God’s a-comin’ he ought to make it by then
    Maybe he’ll look around himself and say
    Guess it’s time for the Judgement day

    In the year 8510
    God is gonna shake his mighty head then
    He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been
    Or tear it down and start again

    In the year 9595
    I’m kinda wondering if man is gonna be alive
    He’s taken everything this old earth can give
    And he ain’t put back nothing

    Now it’s been 10,000 years
    Man has cried a billion tears
    For what he never knew
    Now man’s reign is through
    But through eternal night
    The twinkling of starlight
    So very far away
    Maybe it’s only yesterday

    In the year 2525
    If man is still alive
    If woman can survive
    They may thrive
    In the year 3535
    Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
    Everything you think, do or say
    Is in the pill you took today …
    Zager and Evans 1969

    A prediction that is playing out?

  18. Peter Garcia-Webb

    Sadly the purpose of most Western governments these days, including Australia, (I am from WA after all) is not “voter directed learning” but “voter directed teaching”. I use teaching rather than indoctrination because I’m being polite.
    The idea of spin is to deceive, as in spiders spin: Oh, what a tangled web we weave and all that. But as Walter Scott pointed out, the web is only tangled when first we practice to deceive. After that there are no holds barred and spiders’ silk is one of the strongest materials on a strength to weight basis that exists.
    Tony is being Tony. He is allowing his bias against science (and climate change, and a whole bunch of other things) and his need to appease those large companies that helped him get elected, to dictate what he does.
    Your advice is excellent, but inevitably it will fall on deaf ears, and there are none so blind, etc

  19. Lawrence Winder

    John Roskam, Head, Coot -With-Queer Ideas-from-a Parallel-Universe was just asked which of the privatised public utilities was actually cheaper for users than the Govt. model it replaced. He replied, “Would you rather eat in a Govt. run restaurant or a private one?”
    Someone then pointed out that eating out was a choice, water, gas, electricity etc are not!
    He ( Roskam) had no answer and these charlatans need to be exposed more often.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Welcome Peter,

    Glad you negotiated your way to the new site.

  21. Kaye Lee


    Mike Seccombe’s article on the IPA in the Monthly does a good job of exposing their influence. They have no qualifications or original thought and just parrot tea party rot.

  22. Stephen Tardrew

    Great article Kaye the antithesis of everything they hold dear. Opinion over facts any day. Power over advice and dogma over reason. What a toxic mix. The red in the face performances in parliament are just bully boy and girls tactics not that there are may women (sorry about the girl business) anyway. If kids at school acted like this they would be in big trouble yet we have a bunch of ignorant infantile emotional and morally challenged illiterates running the country. Your act of reason and sensibleness will be lost on the troglodytes as they emasculate any sense of probity and fairness.
    The head long rush to replicate US tea Party ideology is an attack upon free speech and democracy. Its interesting to see the number of linked articles critical of the coalition are growing.
    Matters Not I really liked your post about debt it puts it clearly and simply
    Nice to see today’s comments returning to solid issues base ideas. Some really good food for thought and interesting links.

  23. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye the mental health issue is the way the LNP responds with musical chairs playing pretendies with one hand while discreetly trying to take away more with the other. Deception is so deeply entrenched that they seem to be unable to tell honesty from bare faced lies. It is becoming deeply concerning that they have changed the whole notion of rational and reasonable discourse.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Yes Stephen, like so much of the Gonski debate. Pyne keeps saying they put an extra $1.2 billion into education when they signed up the remaining three states/territory. That money had been offered by Labor and refused so it had rightly gone back into consolidated revenue to show the true state of the books at election time. Pyne just put that money back in, but did not make the states guarantee their share of the funding as the other states had done. Abbott said “when it comes to school funding, there is no difference between Labor and the Coalition. Kevin Rudd and I are on a unity ticket.”…or not!

  25. randalstella

    Under Kaye Lee’s article “Voter Directed Learning”
    Lawrence Winder,
    The IPA are the Liberal Party’s main and major boosters. And the ABC are the IPA’s main and major boosters – as if their opinions and polices are independent.
    The former nexus will not be broken. The second one can and should be. It is clear misrepresentation,fostered by the public, national broadcaster. The ABC needs clear and repeated challenge on this. It knows full well what it is doing.
    “It”- management – assumes that there will be no significant adverse consequences from this; that conscientious members of public will support it anyway. Are they right?
    The infiltration of the secret ‘values’of the IPA into the ABC has a pivotal effect on how the only nominally independent broadcaster presents issues. It was a crucial difference enacted against the last Labor Government. Will the Labor Party do anything about it?

  26. Joe Banks

    Kaye Lee, I don’t believe the LNP do logic and common sense…

  27. Anomander

    Another fantastic article Kaye. I envy you your research skills.

    Christopher Pyne, for example, went from President of the Young Liberals to Parliament. At the age of 25, with less than two years’ work as a solicitor under his belt, he entered Federal Parliament and now, over 20 years later, he is being paid by us to make crucial decisions about education that will affect generations of children.

    It’s funny you know. We expect recruits in far less important jobs to demonstrate their work history and that they possess the skills and commitment necessary to undertake the position, putting them through rigorous assessments, reviews, tests, interviews and evaluations – seeking to find the best possible candidate that will enhance our organisation and our team in doing the best possible job. Buy it seem those same rules don’t apply when it comes to our political representatives.

    Apart from being rather susceptible to bribes and easily influenced by lobbyists or mates, I often wonder what are the essential qualifications for a politician? Does the job have any specific criteria and if not, why not?

    I know our Prime Minister has had an “illustrious” career having availed himself of a private school education before attending university and changing his citizenship at the last minute to secure a free ride to Oxford, but not doing very well – apart from punching people in the head.

    A year later he entered the seminary and trained to be a priest, a task at which he failed I discovered pretty soon that I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole … eventually working out that, I’m afraid, I just didn’t have what it took to be an effective priest

    He then tried his hand at running concrete plant before embarking on a short stint in journalism, no doubt using his private school connections to establish friendships that allowed him to weasel his way into politics as an advisor before scoring the plum ticket into parliament via the Warringah by-election some 20 years ago.

    Not exactly a stellar career in any notable field and certainly not a shining beacon of success, hard work and endeavour one would expect from someone expected to be the leader of our nation.

    There are some interesting stats on the make-up of parliament available through the parliamentary library.

    As someone who is often called upon to undertake personnel recruitment I am quite well versed in assessing individual skills, characteristics, traits and inherent abilities against established job criteria.

    Having seen many of the performances of our representatives in parliament and based on their stilted histories, I doubt I would employ many of these people in such important positions and to be responsible for the running our trillion dollar economy and looking after our people and our society.

    If we are serious about getting the right people in charge, I think we first need to establish some essential job criteria and effective recruitment methods, because the rabble we have at the moment aren’t performing, they are stealing from us, trashing our reputation and destroying our business.

  28. Matters Not

    Will the Labor Party do anything about it?

    Depends on the leader at that time. When Goss came to Government on December 7 1989, there was a ‘night of the long knives’ as it were. In the first four weeks of Goss’s rule, 18 department heads were removed and nine departments abolished. Almost immediately, the public sector became aware of something known as the “gulag” – a room where unwanted public servants were sent to contemplate retirement or resignation. In the gulag, they were given no tasks to perform. It was a strategy that Borbidge copied when he became Premier.

    But that ‘strategy’, caused a severe backlash. So much so Rudd went completely the ‘other’ way. For example, he invited Ken Wiltshire, a well known Liberal supporter to Review the Queensland School Curriculum. When he became Prime Minister, Rudd didn’t sack nearly enough senior public servants. In fact he invited the then head of the PM’s Department to stay on.

    Re the ABC, Rudd wanted appointments to the Board to be non-partisan. Another big mistake because Howard had been ruthless in appointing his own cultural warriors. As well, Mark Scott was a former ‘staffer’.

    Well we perhaps know what Labor should do but it will need to be very, very careful. Besides, by the time Abbott et al are finished with it, perhaps only a shell will remain.

  29. DanDark

    Scott Monster

  30. Lee

    That author is dreaming. The SA branch of the Liberal party has been plagued by infighting for many years.They increased their portion of the vote and actually got the majority of first preference votes at the election earlier this year. Martin Hamilton-Smith has become an independant Liberal, so he is still holding to the same core values as the Liberal party.

    Abbott didn’t announce his policies until 2 days before the election and still managed to con the electorate into voting them in. Labor still doesn’t know how to play these guys. The Liberal party will not be in terminal decline until they do. Abbott and Hockey have announced what is unmistakably a social engineering agenda. What opposing politician has the balls to call them out on it? Liberal hid their agenda behind a mask of debt reduction. The electorate wants debt reduction. It doesn’t matter that they have believed lies. They want debt reduction, so there is no point arguing that we don’t have a budget crisis. Where are the alternative suggestions from Labor to reduce the debt without attacking low income earners? I don’t think they need to fear having their suggestions stolen by the Liberals because the alternative solutions don’t fit in with their real agenda. If Labor can put forward fair alternatives to reduce debt and the Liberal party won’t compromise, they will be gone at the next election regardless of who their leader is. John Howard was right recently when he said that Labor should not expect to be voted back in without any policies.

  31. Matters Not

    The electorate wants debt reduction. It doesn’t matter that they have believed lies. They want debt reduction, so there is no point arguing that we don’t have a budget crisis

    Beg to differ. Labor can ‘go with the flow’ or it can try a little leadership.

    It seems to me there is a necessity in arguing we don’t have a budget crisis. Why would Labor be in conflict with what ever reputable economist argues. We don’t have a debt crisis.

  32. Stephen Tardrew

    Matters Not:

    Agree there needs to be a concerted effort at reeducation. Politics is a total waste of time if you just give in to manufactured public consent. This is dictatorship by default. The problem is deep and systemic and has to be confronted front on. If now is not the right time when the hell will be? Labor should be using respected economists with counter opinions and bash away at the big debt bogy. I know the public is more interested in what they are loosing but that is the best time to have the debt issue ride on the back of Abbott’s lies. Labor needs to suck every bit of advantage out of the situation they can as this may well cause long term damage to the LNP. Its politics and you either attack and survive or whip and go under.

  33. John921Fraser


    Looks like "Lee" is right.

    All Aussies are just dying to get this "debt" down and are willing to pay more taxes.

    Should give Pensioners, children and families some relief.

  34. Florence nee Fed up

    If Abbott believes that D Day is so important to Australia, why has he gone alone. Where is the Opposition Leader? Where is the GG?

    Why did he wait until the last moment to tell us he was going?

  35. Kaye Lee

    “What this means applied to the Australian example is this: what is informing the policy agenda of Abbott’s government is not expertise, experience or research based on comparative modeling. It is not considered opinion, nor consultation with stakeholders. It is not practicality, not economics, not populism (as the post-budget polls clearly show). It is an ideological agenda to punish the poor for being poor, the sick for being sick, addicts for being addicts, and those who who are not rich but wish to learn for having ambitions above their station.

    And the Coalition will pursue this agenda exactly as far as the Australian people allow them to get away with it.”

  36. corvus boreus

    Discipline of message is easy when reading the script of a primary school play, with 3 word lines in simple script. When it comes to policy implementation and amendments, the “grown-ups” squabble like(…searching…), well, other grown-ups.

  37. kobymac

    Kaye Lee – was Peter Garrett well equipped to take on the role for Minister for School Education? Was Bill Shorten? Was Beasley? If a Lawyer is to make a decent politician, does he need to also have an arts degree? If he’s not a lawyer, should he have displayed dissatisfaction in mining through song?

    Is acting now on a future debt issue no different to acting now on a future environment issue? Not to argue which one is more important, just making a point.

    Just because your views sit directly on the left hand side, doesn’t mean a more balanced argument couldn’t be formed. There is a reason Labor isn’t in government at the moment after all….and it aint because Tony was telling fibs. Some of your arguments need a little more context, rather than just being one sided rants.

    “Have they forgotten that we all pay a medicare levy already and were happy to increase that to pay for the NDIS, which they then try to tell us was unfunded?”

    You might remember that Hockey claimed it was unfunded before they introduced this tax hike….so that actually supports his argument, that it was originally unfunded. Perhaps he’s said it since, i’m not sure. However they did find some errors in Labor’s calcs, and added additional money to fill the void. When you say we were all happy to increase it, i’m not sure whether we were actually asked were we? Saying you are happy for one thing and assuming everyone else is, isnt correct. Also, we don’t all pay for a medicare levy. On top of that, tax revenue can go up and down, therefore there’s a very real chance that the money “put aside”, may not eventuate in its full entirety. Meaning it either loses funding, being somewhat unfunded, or it needs to be found elsewhere.

    In terms of “selling the budget” – I agree most of that should be done at election time given this is a first budget, but what about after that? Shorten was smart to put pressure on the government to not use advertising to sell it, but as we know Labor liked to sell things that were not only broken promises, but came after the bills were passed and our voice couldn’t be heard. I think one of the critical issues is it’s not entirely clear for the vast majority. Numbers are being chucked around, no one knows how they were calculated…and they’re given very little context. From both sides. When i see certain numbers used in propaganda, i like to see if I can calculate them or if anyone has already done it. If I can’t find any material discrediting it and i cant do the calc myself, i have to take it at face value. Like the $80/week loss in pension, which is on a Labour poster. It doesn’t mention this is in 2027 – which i believe adds quite a bit of context. If you read the comments that followed that poser, people literally assumed they were losing $80/week within weeks. Thats the sort of scare the poster was designed to create – its bs.

    Do you know of any good sites that do fact checking? Wouldn’t mind checking them out if you do.

  38. Möbius Ecko

    Well you want to know how deep a shit this government is in. More than 40% of Liberal voters want to see measures of this budget thrown out, more than half want to see the opposition block the budget and more than 60% want the most controversial measures blocked and go to an election.

    Liberal voters want this government out.

    Methinks Turnbull is their only hope, and that’s just with Liberal supporters.

  39. Möbius Ecko

    Morgan Poll. Preferred L/NP Leader: Abbott 15 Turnbull 44 Hockey 11

  40. Carol Taylor

    Mobius @8.09pm..and they’re just the ones who are being honest…

    My theory on Turnbull is that it was ‘don’t rock the boat’ until after the election, and pressured to do so. I’ve seen Turnbull ‘about to’ position himself to make a play for the leadership on numerous occasions only to backpedal. Will he follow through this time? I think that we will have to wait until the polls show a consistent failure of the LNP before panic sets in and Turnbull puts himself forward seriously.

  41. Möbius Ecko

    Carol I just went through the #Morgan and there are polls dated back to June 2 that are absolutely disastrous for this government. I think one analysis shows the Abbott government losing 34 seats.

    Now it’s a long way out to another Federal election and I sometimes pooh-poohed polls released during the last government, especially those more than a year out, so my point isn’t on them, but on the totally different media reaction to them as compared to the last government.

    Every bad poll for Labor, even if it was within the margin of error, was splashed across the headlines and by none more so than the ABC. Yet here we have utterly disastrous polls, let alone the fact this government is having the worst polls of any new government in history, and yet you can only find out how bad and the impact online from social media and blogs.

  42. corvus boreus

    Kobymac: “fact check(abc)” is the only current validifying political resource I know of. It has a reasonably user friendly format.
    “Politifact Australia”, a branch of an American service, seems to have suspended due to lack of finance.

  43. Bacchus


    I don’t believe the Liberals will “go for the knife” like Labor did. If there is to be leadership change before the next election, Ms Credlin will be orchestrating an exit for Abbott in favour of the annointed successor. The Liberals cannot afford to have the same leadership problems that they lambasted Labor for. Yes, they’re hypocritical bastards, but more sneaky than Labor…

  44. Florence nee Fed up

    I have been following the estimates very closely. I want to know about the numbers that are being brandied about, I want to know where they come from. Want to see some modelling. Would even like to see some graphs that tell me how they effect different people and groups. I would also like, what had been in budgets since Federation, some comparisons made.

    Yes, I would love to know them things.

    Three weeks later , new things are still emerging. Yes, there is much buried deep in this budget.

    I have watched some very good forensic interviewing from Labor and the Greens, along with Independents.

    You know what, they have had no luck in finding answers.

    Public servants, including departments sit there with stunned looks on their faces. They do not know. Have no input into the budget, Was not ask for advice or modelling. Will have to wait until they see the legalisation before they can give answers.

    Minister do not appear to be able to give answers as well. All one hears from them, is the scripted sprlel that is becoming a little annoying that they have to fix Labor’s mess.

    When asked about were is the data, one hears nothing.

    Saying that, I did have some respect for his intellect. Not any more. after watching him, I have now cam to the conclusion, he is just another Liberal idiot.

    The same goes for the others that appeared.

    All I can say after this week, our future is bleak and depressing.

    They believe their own lies and spin

  45. Nadine

    I am about to finish my Humanities. I am one of the elite or soon will be, not financially because you don’t do a Doctorate for the $, but I have proved I can research, analyse information, show pros and cons, create and interpret surveys, write coherent reports, mentor others, incorporate current affairs into information, look at historical data and extrapolate that information to support or disprove an existing theory.

    People like me often end up in Academia, researching for our interest area and supporting the next generations of PhDs. In my university, my PhD cost the Govt about $80,000 for the total length of time. No scholarship, as I was working full-time too. That $80,000 paid my university which paid my supervisors and covered a few thousand to pay for photocopying, library data and conference travel.
    Almost all of my co students are overseas students, when they get their PhDs they will return to their home countries and become the lecturers, researchers and top public servants of their country. Their country, or Australia (via Ausaid scholarships) pays for them to attend my university and probably all others in Australia (some don’t have a PhD program). There are very few Australian PhD students at my university and in my faculty and even less – of course – in my discipline. Why would an overseas PhD student do research on an Australian subject? Their country expects them to do research related to their own country and to come back will valuable skills.
    So where do I do after my graduation? Well I would love to be an academic, but I would prefer to influence policy, because I know I can research data information and reach viable solutions. But I and my Australian co-students are unlikely to be employed by governments, why? Well we scare the politicians, we don’t know the answers, but we can find them and support them with peer reviewed data. We can provide evidence why a strategy should be take despite the fact no other government has dared to do so, or why that “bright idea” just won’t fly because it is land-bound by problems. We have already been inducted into ethical research you know, ethics which seems to be an irrelevance for many politicians.

    Now the Australian Govt is going to get future PhD candidates to pay for their course – that’s like telling a prisoner he has to pay for his prison accommodation – with interest. This strategy of making stressed and highly focused individuals, the elite students who do post graduate research (Masters by research and PhDs) pay and keep paying will reduce the number who choose to devote their lives to this type of study, and then become the most capable of producing viable policies and strategies for the world and government.
    I know we are a small band, but we are going to get smaller. The article above shows what happens when those whose only tertiary education is law (how to argue that black is white), or economics/business (this year we are trending microeconomics, last year’s trend is so passe). Very few of PhDs would want to be in government, that is not where we would do our best work. Unfortunately, very soon it may only be Doctor of Theology that Australians will be studying because God help us, this LNP government won’t.

  46. Florence nee Fed up

    Bacchus, there are many ways of getting rid of a leader. Abbott would be easy. Has little personal support that I know of. No one would count on him for loyalty. I can think of a couple of leaks from the dirt file, that would destroy the man overnight. They did a clean job with O’Farrell.

    Starting point would be near home

  47. Bacchus

    Yep Florence – that’s what I expect to see before the election. The question becomes “when?”… and “who”?

  48. Florence nee Fed up

    Soon I think. Why has Abbott fled the country for nearly a fortnight at this time, in the parliamentary calendar. It is the GG that should be

    He looks so lonely leaving that plane alone.

    Yes D Day is important but Australians played only a small role in it, Our troops were to busy in the Pacific, That celebration is later in the year.

    Seems to ne, another stunt to keep Abbott out of reach. Happens every time things goes wrong for the government.

    As for the budget, no one can sell a lemon.

  49. Florence nee Fed up

    The behaviour and body language of the government in QT this week was bizarre, especially after Abbott made his departure. The behaviour of the defence minister was beyond belief, Never a more ruder or ignorant man, have I seen.

  50. Florence nee Fed up

    I forgot to mention Brandis and Cash. They are a sight to behold.

  51. Bacchus

    We live in interesting times Florence 🙂 The next month could indeed prove exceptionally interesting…

  52. DanDark

    Florence thanks for updates 🙂
    Brandis, and Cash,
    That would like watching a re-run of an
    old Abbott and Costello movie

  53. Nuff Said


    PhD in Humanities? What the hell is that?

  54. John921Fraser



    You are not alone.

    Hockeys "stinking carcass" of a Budget has hurt the sick, the elderly, those under 30, single parents, motorists, youth, low income and yes …. Uni students and scientific research.

    Latest news is shipbuilding workers are getting it in the neck.

    Nadine I suggest you join other and protest against this government.

  55. Bacchus

    A bit intolerant there “Nuff Said”?

  56. DanDark

    40 jobs a day are being lost in Vic now as we speak
    And Naptime is sleeping
    We instead have the Jeff Shaw show
    The gov here has become in affective
    Lost control and we are sinking quickly here
    Tone’s fudged budget will kill Vic totally
    We will be dead and buried literally

  57. Florence nee Fed up

    Emma on LateLine tonight is a pleasure to watch. Emma pull Frydenberg up more than once.

    It has taken nearly two days for the Israel story to emerge.

  58. Florence nee Fed up

    Something one never earns the income that Pyne believes all do. Studies that look at how people and societies work.

  59. Florence nee Fed up

    Dandark, you insult those great comedians, Funny is not what one c9ould say about this mob.

  60. DanDark

    Florence yes you are right
    I couldn’t think of any B grade comedians
    Abbott an Costello were real stars 🙂
    And very popular 🙂

  61. Florence nee Fed up

    Always loop holes for the rich, Why would one expect anything else. By the way, the 0ffcial appeared to be embarrassed by many of the answers he had to give.

    …………..•Welfare groups warn changes will spark catastrophe
    •It’s official: Australians don’t pay enough tax
    •Rich take advantage of amnesty to declare offshore tax structures

    A Treasury official has admitted a tax loophole will allow the targets of the Abbott government’s deficit tax to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

    The Abbott government will introduce its temporary ”deficit tax” on July 1 for high-income individuals with taxable income over $180,000 a year.

    The tax, which has Labor’s support, is expected to raise $3.1 billion and will run for three years.


    The budget forecasts it will raise $600 million in 2014-15, and $1150 million in 2015-16.

    But when asked in Senate estimates on Thursday why Treasury believed the tax would raise $550 million more in its second year, the head of Treasury’s revenue group, Rob Hefferan, said the ”vast bulk” of the difference was due to a tax loophole.

    As explained, the government’s 2 per cent deficit tax will see the top marginal tax rate increase from 47¢ to 49¢, and to prevent taxpayers from using fringe benefits to avoid the tax, the fringe benefits tax (FBT) rate will also be increased to 49 per cent……….

    Read more:

  62. John921Fraser


    From APN media :

    "THE only students who will not have to pay back their university loan debt will be those who die before the debt is cleared, a paper from Parliamentary Library reports.

    A report on rising Higher Education Loan Program debt from the independent library at Parliament House confirms the prospect that some will die before they pay off their debt.

    While Education Minister Christopher Pyne last week suggested he may consider claiming the unclaimed government debts at death, Prime Minister Tony Abbott quickly put a stop to the idea.

    But a library paper says if that remains the case, some 20% of HELP debt incurred in 2014-15 will not be repaid – with the government to forego $7 billion in revenue.

    "With expected higher debt levels and longer repayment periods, this proportion is expected to increase in future years," it reads.

    "Of the $30.1 billion outstanding debt at June 30 2013, it is estimated that $7.1 billion will not be repaid."

    Among those likely to die without paying off all their study loans were women who took time off work to have children, with surviving partners and children to take the debt write-off as a "windfall".

    "There is no obvious public policy purpose in granting this windfall," the paper reads.

    "It is hard to see why the government recovers overpaid social security benefits from deceased estates yet writes off HELP debts."

  63. Florence nee Fed up

    Did I read somewhere today, that Abbott told Putin he would be welcome at the G20

  64. Nuff Said


    No, just confused. There’s no such thing as a “PhD in Humanities”. The Doctorate has to be in a discipline within that broad category, surely.

  65. Florence nee Fed up

    I wonder, as they seem to act without thinking, why they just did not re-install the poor house concept. That would put thise pesky under 30 year olds in their place.

  66. Florence nee Fed up

    Just learnt something. Italian leader has turned up. Appears the Italians changed sides in 1943. Many Italians joined up, to fight beside England,

  67. Matters Not

    Nadine said:

    Well I would love to be an academic, but I would prefer to influence policy, because I know I can research data information and reach viable solutions

    Yes, once upon a time a PhD was an assured pathway into academia but now PhDs are almost a ‘dime a dozen’. Of very recent times, Glynn Davis from Melbourne University announced a loss of at least 500 positions in the coming years.

    But, can I dig a little deeper into your claims. Apart from the assertion I cited above, you say:

    we don’t know the answers, but we can find them and support them with peer reviewed data

    Nadine, when it comes to ‘politics’, the ‘answers’ are all about the meeting of ideological assumptions and the confirmation of same. Take ‘climate change’ as an example. All the ‘peer reviewed data’ points to a need for urgent action. Yet, there is nothing except a bullshit response.

    Finally. you say:

    Unfortunately, very soon it may only be Doctor of Theology that Australians will be studying because God help us, this LNP government won’t

    Yes Nadine, we really need a ‘God’ to help us. But if that’s your ‘view of the world’ then count me out.

  68. Florence nee Fed up

    The appointments that our Tony tried I get out of.

    THERE was some consternation among bureaucrats in Canberra this week when word spread that Tony Abbott had decided against meeting three of the most important economic policy figures in Washington during his forthcoming visit.

    Arrangements had been made for the Prime Minister to meet Jack Lew, the US Treasury Secretary. He was also scheduled to hold talks with Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.

    The meetings were locked into the diaries of those key officials. Then the arrangements were cast into doubt by Abbott’s office…………

  69. Florence nee Fed up


    …………..The likely cancellations were particularly surprising because Australia is host of this year’s G20 summit. The leaders of the 20 major economies will assemble in Brisbane in November for what is probably the most high-powered international gathering ever held in this country. According to the Budget papers, the whole G20 exercise is costing Australia almost half a billion dollars — $476.7 million to be precise. That is an indication of its importance.

    Lew, Lagarde and Kim are crucial to the summit. Lagarde and Kim are involved in much of the preparatory work and will be there at the table alongside the leaders. And reform of the IMF is one of the items on the summit agenda.

    Lew’s advice will play a major role in how Barack Obama approaches the summit and its success will depend heavily on an engaged US President.

    You might think that Abbott, who will chair the summit, would seize any opportunity to tap into the thinking of those people and use the opportunity, if necessary, to try to influence them towards the outcomes he wants. But, given that the Lagarde and Kim meetings are no longer in his program and the session with Lew is up in the air, that is apparently not the case. Also, given America’s influence on the world economy, previous prime ministers have regarded meeting the US Treasury Secretary as a high priority in a Washington visit.

    It seems extraordinary that there is any equivocation at all about an Abbott-Lew meeting. The puzzlement in Treasury ranks is not hard to imagine. One Canberra hand, who has been involved with such meetings in the past, says this could suggest that Abbott is not taking the G20 summit as seriously as he should “and that’s a worry”.

    There is plenty of room for speculation about the reasons top-level economic meetings seem to be treated as optional in Abbott’s Washington program. Some critics will home in on his 2003 comment that left the then treasurer, Peter Costello, hugely unimpressed.

    Abbott told an interviewer he found economics “a bore” and added, laughing: “I have never been as excited about economics as some of my colleagues. I find economics is not for nothing known as the dismal science.”

  70. DanDark

    That’s what Keating said
    “God help us”
    I am not sure “God” has been listening
    I think Toney stole God’s hearing aid 🙂
    I won’t be holding my breath that’s for sure….

  71. Florence nee Fed up

    It is also nice to be reminded that Russia was also on our side

  72. Florence nee Fed up

    Could this be the reason why. Obama’s carbon emissions plan is nothing like DA.
    Abbott and Hockey have been saying since day one, it would not be on the agenda. It seems that Obama is saying, it has to be discussed, as it is about economics. Maybe he is saying more, that he is not in the mood to be lectured by our Tony, about what budgets should be.

    ………..Now, more information has emerged. The Americans have let it be known that Obama is annoyed because Abbott refuses to allow climate change to be part of the G20 agenda. The PM has argued publicly that discussion of climate change would “clutter” an agenda that should concentrate on economic growth.

    THE President, however, sees climate change as a massively important economic issue, one that is already imposing heavy costs on the US economy. He is expected to press this strongly when he and Abbott get down to brass tacks in the Oval Office.

    Lew would also be bound to lean on Abbott to change his mind. The PM might be reluctant to have the same argument ……….

    Cannot this man do anything, without making a mess of it?

  73. corvus boreus

    It seems economics is too tedious a subject for international discussion, as well as climate change. What a leader!

  74. Nadine

    Oh dear, a hornet’s nest has been kicked. I am pissed off that research degrees are targeted, but I am also pissed off that this ‘Government’ believes it has a mandate to create havoc in people who have lacked the foresight to be born into a wealthy family or become wealthy. Obviously poverty is a crime in the minds and attitudes of some. I am an active agitator,

    Yes, I am in the Humanities Faculty. Duh. In the same way I might have written I was attaining a PhD in Science, or Business, the subsection is irrelevant, the Faculty of Humanities is the important information – I thought as Humanities is the poor relative at most Universities, even though the skills taught are valuable, transferable and play well with others.

    As for the number of Australian students completed PhDs being turned out in Australia, not oversupply, barely replacement.

    As for God, You’re speaking to an Agnostic. Drs of Theology was a derogatory statement

  75. Kaye Lee


    I am not sure how Peter Garrett became involved in a conversation about who is informing this government. I would be a lot happier if they got their advice from experts rather than the Business Council and their doo wop girl Mandy. I would be a lot happier if we had some scientists left.

    “You might remember that Hockey claimed it was unfunded before they introduced this tax hike”
    Ummm, it was his justification for cutting $80 billion from the states – Gonski and NDIS unfunded he said. Crap I say.

    “Saying you are happy for one thing and assuming everyone else is, isnt correct. ”

    NDIS Levy Makes Economic Sense

    Why we’ll happily pay the Medicare levy (just don’t call it a tax)

    Interesting to read this from Abbott

    “If elected to Government, the Coalition would resolve to ensure that the increase to the Medicare levy is a temporary increase, and will be removed when the Budget returns to strong surplus and the NDIS can be funded without it.”

    NDIS Levy Makes Economic Sense

    He really has no idea does he. just goes about making grand statements without giving a fig what’s possible.

  76. ItIsBroke,NeedsFixing

    The only reason someone sells a profitable business is because… or they want to retire and live off the proceeds of the sale.

    You have hit the nail on the head! These career politicians want to do just that. They do not see themselves as part of Australian society, nor any positive future role for government so why bother trying to govern well or improve the nation?

    Neoliberalism is a defeatist ideology that wants to retire the entire government.

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