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Do ya do ya do ya really care?

I make this pledge to you the Australian people.

I will govern for all Australians.

I want to lift everyone’s standard of living.

I want to see wages and benefits rise in line with a growing economy.

I want to see our hospitals and schools improving as we invest the proceeds of a well-run economy into the things that really count.

I won’t let you down.

This is my pledge to you.

-Tony Abbott campaign launch speech, August 25 2013

Nice words but let’s face it – the Abbott government doesn’t give a shit about you. The evidence is overwhelming.

With one in seven Australians living in poverty, we have a Prime Minister who spends hundreds of billions on defence, security, and buying armaments. We have a Prime Minister who is so stage-managed he refuses to face the electorate on Q&A.

Our Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs has overseen the slashing of funding and the abolition of many successful initiatives that were working towards supporting our Indigenous people and closing the gap. But we have truancy officers aplenty, even if most of them are working for the dole.

We have a treasurer who feels those on welfare, the ‘leaners’, should be the ones to clear the country of debt. His justification for this is that he must cut spending and poor families get more money from the government than the rich, whilst steadfastly refusing to consider raising revenue by cracking down on tax avoidance.

He tells the world that our economy is in good shape while whipping up hysteria here about a non-existent emergency.

After coming to power on the promise of reducing the debt, Hockey has been borrowing so fast the net debt has increased from $178.10 billion when he took over to $217.55 billion at the end of August. PEFO numbers had net debt peaking at $219bn (12.7% of GDP) in 2015/16. The gross debt has risen from $290 billion to $345.035 billion – that’s extra borrowing of about one billion a week.

We have an education minister who has reneged on funding reform for schools, wants to make tertiary courses unaffordable, has closed down trades training centres, has insulted teachers, wasted money on a pointless review, and wants to rewrite history as a Christian crusade.

We have a health minister who is busily unwinding universal healthcare and preventative health agencies and who wants to discourage the poor from seeing a doctor.

On one hand we are warned about the alarming increase in obesity and diabetes, on the other we have the assistant minister for health, at the behest of her junk food lobbyist chief of staff, taking down a healthy food website.

Senator Nash insisted the health star site be pulled down a day after it was published in Febuary on the grounds it was published in error, despite freedom of information documents showing the minister was warned it would be published, and the states committing to spend $11 million on it.

In June, a watered down version of the site was reinstated, with the voluntary introduction period extended to five years from two and companies allowed to use the star ratings in conjunction with the industry’s daily intake guide. They also decided to continue voluntary pregnancy warning labels on alcohol, despite poor uptake by mixed drinks and so-called alcopops. Michael Thorn, the chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education, said it was “disgraceful” and put “booze before babies”.

“The alcohol industry will be celebrating that they have been able to successfully avoid introducing a warning label on their products for almost two decades,” he said.

One of the first steps of the minister for social services, Kevin Andrews, was to wind back gambling reform laws despite recommendations made by the Productivity Commission in its 2010 report into Australia’s gambling industry and the Victorian coroner’s report linking 128 suicides in that state directly to gambling..

This is the man who, along with our employment minister (he of breast cancer/abortion link fame), wants to see young unemployed without any income for 6 months of the year, and for the disabled to get out there and get one of those thousands of jobs that are just waiting for them if only they weren’t such bludgers. He also wants to lower the indexation rate of pensions which will cause the gap in standard of living to widen. All this while cutting $44 million from the capital works program of the National Partnership on Homelessness.

We have an environment minister who wants to cut down Tasmanian old growth forests and expand coal ports and dump sediment on the reef. He has wound back environmental protection laws and the right to appeal and gone on a spree of approving record amounts of fossil fuel production. At the same time, he has overseen the destruction of the renewable energy industry. They don’t even send him to world conferences on climate change because, after all, what could he say other than sorry.

Not content with these overt attacks on the environment, the government has quietly initiated a low key, unscheduled review into Australia’s national appliance energy efficiency standards. The only formal explanation offered to date is in the Energy “Anti-” Green Paper, which refers to “opportunities to reduce the red-tape burden on businesses”.

At least they were honest when our communications minister was appointed to “destroy the NBN” and he has done a damn fine job of it. Despite Tony Abbott’s election speech claim that within 100 days “the NBN will have a new business plan to ensure that every household gains five times current broadband speeds – within three years and without digging up almost every street in Australia – for $60 billion less than Labor,” the truth has emerged.

We will be left with a sub-optimal network, a mishmash of technologies, at a time when the world is increasingly going fibre. It will end up taking nearly as long and costing nearly as much as the all-fibre network it is replacing. The industry – and many around Turnbull – is increasingly realising this. But Turnbull will not budge.

Australia is the loser – all because of one man’s pride.

Scott Morrison, our immigration minister, is about as welcoming as a firing squad. He is like Hymie from Get Smart in his robotic determination to stop the boats at any cost. That goal apparently absolves him from any form of scrutiny, criticism, or human decency. He has a blank cheque and not one cent of it will be used to help refugees.

Despite our growing unemployment, he is also front and centre in providing Gina with her 457 visa workers – no rights, no entitlements, and if they complain they get deported.

Our minister for trade is working in secret, getting signatures on free trade agreements at any cost – it’s the announcement before the end of the year that’s important, not pesky details about tariffs and the fact that we no longer have the right to make our own laws without getting sued by global corporations.

Our attorney-general, the highest legal appointment in the land, thinks defending bigots is a priority. When faced with illegal actions by the government, steal the evidence, threaten journalists with gaol time and funding cuts, and introduce laws which remove official accountability. And while you’re at it, let’s bug the entire nation and make people prove themselves innocent. Even if they haven’t done anything wrong I am sure they have had evil thoughts.

Barnaby was last seen trying to hasten the demise of a few endangered species that are standing in the way of his dams.

Warren Truss is run off his feet planning roads, roads and more roads. Luckily they dumped that idea about releasing cost benefit analyses for any expenditure over $100 million. Thank god we got rid of that pesky head of Infrastructure Australia so we could get someone who understands our idea of what ‘independent body’ means. If the people want public transport they can build it themselves.

And how’s our girl doing? She’s looking tired to me. Making a case for a seat on the Human Rights Council whilst torturing refugees, or being sent in to bat at the world leaders’ conference on climate changed armed with nothing other than a rain forest conference, must shake even asbestos Julie’s steely resolve. The Armani suits and death stare can only get you so far. When in doubt, flirt.

I know you would like a mention Jamie Briggs but for the life of me, the only thing that comes to mind is your fawning introductions for our ‘Infrastructure Prime Minister’….

”To introduce our Tony, is what I’m here to do, and it really makes me happy to introduce to you…the indescribable, the incompatible, the unadorable….. Prrrriiiiimmme Minister!”

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  1. Keitha Granville

    All of the above, well said/written. But how on earth can we persuade the vast unwashed electorate to vote them out next time when they will play so heavily on xenophobia, and the supposed mess left by the Labor party ? Scare campaigns work so well, I am deeply fearful that people will just go for the devil thay have. Let’s face it, those who are comfortable don’t care at all about the ones at the bottom of the pile any more than the government does. They are very successfully turning us into little America. 🙁

  2. Anomander

    I read a fantastic article by George Monbiot the other day that perfectly sums-up the undeniable truth facing our society.

    Democracy (if it every truly existed) is long dead and neoliberalist capitalism is on the brink of finally assuming ascendancy.

    With Abbott and Co. in charge, our government has given-up all pretence of governing for the people. It is patently obvious to all that their sole purpose is to sell us out, lock, stock and barrel to our new masters – the corporations; and barring outright revolution, I fear there’s nothing we can do to counter it any longer.

  3. guest

    With massive spending everywhere and increases in debt and deficit, a Budget which does nothing to address the coming “disaster”, commitment costs to a war with no end, increased costs of security based on a scare campaign, increasing unemployment and poverty, commodity prices falling, and policies clearly made ad hoc – is there a case for blocking supply? It worked for someone in the past.

  4. Kaye Lee

    The boys are under pressure to keep their buddies afloat…..

    “The government has been accused of bullying the Australian National University, after Joe Hockey criticised it for divesting from a number of fossil fuel companies.

    In highly unusual remarks about a business’s investment decisions, the treasurer said ANU should reconsider its decision to jettison investment in seven firms – Santos, Iluka Resources, Independence Group, Newcrest Mining, Sandfire Resources, Oil Search and Sirius Resources.

    Hockey is one of several politicians to publicly rebuke ANU over its fossil fuel divestment. The assistant infrastructure minister, Jamie Briggs, said he would write to the ANU vice-chancellor, Ian Young, to ask him to reconsider the blacklisting of coal seam gas company

    Tim Buckley, former head of equity research at Citigroup and now head of the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said ANU was being “bullied” by the government over its stance.

    “I find it absolutely bizarre because, the last time I checked, investment managers have the right to change their portfolios,” he told Guardian Australia.

    “I can’t fathom why Australian politics has stooped as low as this. Joe Hockey should really be concentrating on his day job and try to pass his budget.

    “It makes me really worried about Australia’s’ economic future. Politicians have wedded Australia so strongly to bulk commodity exports that the country has a huge structural risk because the world is moving away from carbon-intensive fuels.

    “The fossil fuel industry may be trying to desperately to put its fingers in the leaking dyke left, right and centre, but that won’t change the fact that Australia will have to face up to a future as a low-carbon economy.””

    “Coal is vital for the future energy needs of the world,” he said. “So let’s have no demonisation of coal. Coal is good for humanity.”

    Abbott said the opening of the $4.2bn Caval Ridge coalmine in Moranbah, operated by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), was “a great day for the world”.

    “The trajectory should be up and up and up in the years and decades to come,” Abbott said.

    “The future for coal is bright and it is the responsibility for government to try to ensure that we are there making it easier for everyone wanting to have a go.

    “It is a great day for the world because this mine will keep so many people employed … it will make so many lives better.

    “This mine epitomises the have-a-go spirit,” he said.”

  5. kerrilmail

    And lets not forget our Health Ministers obsession with pre marital counselling, so that those who are planning to get hitched can make sure they survive the inevitable poverty after the knot is tied. Unless you are gay then you can get the advice but not the marriage.
    To hell in a hand cart springs to mind!

  6. ydarcy

    No ya Dont care

  7. corvus boreus

    Our anointed leader has recently promised to “shirtfront” Mr Putin at G20.
    I wonder what Vlad’s translators will make of that terminology. I hope they don’t misinterpret it as a form of hazing or an antipodean mating ritual.

  8. Don Winther

    Putin will punch Abbott right in the nose at the G20, bad for Australia but Id have to laugh.

    Is Abbott an IDIOT?

  9. stephentardrew

    Comedy Central just keeps on running.
    One minute tragedy and farce the next slap stick and only later tears of remorse when he is thrown onto the rubbish heap of history.
    He makes morons look good.

    Big bad KGB Vlad is shaking in his shoes because Abbott thinks he is really bad.
    Bitting off more than you can chew there Tony.
    Leaders of other countries must be overjoyed at the threat of physical violence after all it makes diplomacy so much more effective.

    Let’s see if we can arrange a boxing ring for the children shall we.
    Abbott has just gone of of sweet little dogmatist rocker.
    As of now we, fellow Australians, we are the laughing stock of the world.
    Will Australians wake up?
    Doubt it.

  10. stephentardrew

    Postcript: I hope Putin dacks him in return.
    Be good to crush those shriveled little prunes.

  11. stephentardrew

    I am getting bitter and twisted aren’t I?

  12. Lorraine Stansfield

    This awful government must go and go soon. Good article.

  13. Ana Milosevic

    We will wake up little bit too late 🙁

  14. Matters Not

    In many ways, Putin is the most powerful individual in the world. While President Obama is the head of the most powerful nation, he is constrained by the Congress and the Supreme Court. At times, his position is ‘titular’.

    Not so with Putin. When he tires of being the Premier, he becomes the President. And when he tires of the that, he reverts. He runs the show, almost unfettered. The guides I met in my travels laughingly told me that Putin has abolished ‘corruption’ at all levels of government, and he has, with the one exception – that being, all attempts to bribe, corrupt, buy favours and the like must go through Putin himself. He’s a one stop shop. All ‘red tape’ abolished. No waiting. No delay. Helps to pay in advance.

    Having said that, the notion that Abbott will ‘shirt front’ Putin is just laughable. And Shorten’s efforts were embarrassing also.

    Diplomats, they’re not. Fcuk wits they are.

  15. Rob031

    Abbott, with the kick of a mouse in carpet slippers, is gonna “Show Putin”. Gawd. Where to start… I know; an adaptation of an old joke aimed, originally, at Hitler. It goes like this:

    Freud, on kicking the bucket, wound up, surprised, at the Pearly Gates with Saint Peter who was wringing his hands in delight. “Thank goodness you have finally arrived” says Peter. Freud is taken aback. Peter goes on to say: “We’ve been waiting quite a while for your arrival here. Thank goodness you’ve finally arrived.”

    Freud is flabbergasted. “Why are you so happy so see me? Most of my life I’ve taught that religion is a mere fantasy wish-fulfillment myth. What’s going on?”

    We have a problem in heaven” says Peter. “A problem in heaven?” queries Freud. “And we need your psychological expertise” adds Peter. “It’s God”. “God? asks Freud”. “Yes” replies Peter. “He’s gone mad and thinks he’s Tony Abbott.”

  16. Kaye Lee

    “I would advise Russia’s President Putin to wash his hands carefully and sterilise them after shaking the paw offered him by Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the forthcoming G20 summit in Brisbane,” thundered a chap from Pravda with the decidedly non-Muscovite name of Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, apparently under the misapprehension that the shirtfront is played by Queensberry Rules.

    “It is not about the Ebola virus disease; it is about the disease called insolence and Australia’s colonial chip on its shoulder.

    “When Australia isn’t busy crawling around the legs of its colonial master, England, or trying to crawl up the anatomy of London’s master, Washington, participating in their wars to pick up a few crumbs thrown Canberra’s way, its politicians are busy kowtowing to Europe and the USA making stupid and unfounded remarks about Russia.”


  17. Kyran

    “…this mine will keep so many people employed…”
    I tend to listen to Radio National these days, as it broadcasts news reports, as opposed to a commentators opinion on the news. The RN report yesterday on this announcement included reference to the company having just undergone a job cutting exercise over all it’s operations resulting in 6-700 jobs being cut. The new mine will employ a couple of hundred. I guess Abbott just forgot that bit.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Another thing Kyran,

    The mine insisted that ALL workers must be FIFO as part of their application. Why on earth would the government agree to that? Why can’t the locals apply for jobs?

    It’s like when I had to listen to Joe Hockey and my local member Lucy Wicks announcing that a new taxation office would be built on the Central Coast, providing about 600 jobs. They neglected to mention, apart from the fact that they haven’t even taken tenders for a new building yet, that the ATO is sacking about 3000 employees and you can bet that any jobs here will be first offered to those who are losing their job in Canberra.

  19. Kyran

    Yes, I did note that Kaye. I immediately assumed all flights in would be call signed 457. Deary me, cynicism in this day and age knows no bounds!

  20. Kaye Lee

    Retweeted Tony Windsor (@TonyHWindsor):

    On TV I see an idiot king hitting a young man nearly killing him then see another idiot wanting to shirtfront another idiot -what message ?

    I miss Tony Windsor 🙁

  21. stephentardrew

    “Why on earth would they agree to that.”

    Simply because that is what their rich mine owner mates want.

    Do not expect any rational deep thinking here.

    The good thing is the pattern is really starting to solidify and coalesce into a nightmarish, masochistic, ghoulish farce.

    I have visions of LNP zombies walking the street eating the very people they are supposed to serve.

    Keep up the good work Frankenstein.

  22. Pudd'nhead

    Kaye, the more I read of your summations on our prevailing anti social, anti progress government the more I get to admire the clarity you bring to public discussion. Pity we don’t have more clear-headed and honest commentators in the MSM. By the way am I the only one reminded of a hyena pack by the photograph that leads Kaye’s contribution ? It is an unusual pack as it seems to lack the female content that we could ordinarily anticipate in a “team” on the hunt.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Thank you Pudd’nhead. The thing that strikes me about that photo is the smugness. WE WON. The trouble is, having won, they have no idea what to do. Another commenter summarised it succinctly “it’s like watching children playing with razor blades.”

    I must once again express my thanks to all contributors here. The comments section is always informative.

  24. Kaye Lee

    From Pravda

    “Once again, we see a country whose political class is divorced from the collective will of its people, yet we see a politician who thinks it is cool to be rude, insolent, insulting, impolite, impertinent, unpolished, gross, unpleasant and downright impudent,”

    Yup, that just about sums it up. Don’t be angry with us Russia, we agree with you. He insults us too. At least you don’t have to live with him. And that quote was BEFORE the “shirt-front” threat

  25. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    Don’t be angry with us Russia, we agree with you. He insults us too. At least you don’t have to live with him. And that quote was BEFORE the “shirt-front” threat

    Not being a proper sporting bloke, I had to google “shirt-front” to find out what it is:

    A “shirt-front” is a head on tackle aimed for the collar of a player where the player is normally in a bent over position reaching for or coming up from collecting the ball. Typically the tackling player will grasp his opponents jumper and aggressively pull and push him trying to make contact with the lower jaw with his fist.


    When an individual resorts to violence (or the threat of violence) against a nation’s leader, with the aim of intimidating them… isn’t that person engaging in an act of terrorism?

  26. Kaye Lee

    I dunno about terrorism but it certainly falls into the category of belligerent stupidity.

  27. Kaye Lee

    “The Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council – which has not been convened since Tony Abbott came into office – is being replaced by a new Commonwealth Science Council, that will meet at least twice a year, with the PM chairing at least one meeting.”

    Oh beaut, Tony is adding Science to his responsibilities for Women, Indigenous Affairs and Infrastructure. At least the roads are getting funding.

  28. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    I dunno about terrorism but it certainly falls into the category of belligerent stupidity.

    I just find it very easy to imagine the wailing and outrage in this country, if a politician in… say… Indonesia… had made a similar threat of violence against our PM.

  29. Kaye Lee

    What other world leader would make such a puerile comment?

  30. corvus boreus

    “I will, at first opportunity, raise these issues with Mr Putin. I will do so directly and unreservedly, using unequivocal and forceful language”.
    There are better ways to express yourself in international diplomacy than employing threats using parochial sporting terms for unlawful and violent conduct, but such sophistication and decency elude the current Prime-minister of our nation, who, by his own language, endorses ‘king-hits’ and low-blows.
    We are a country ‘led’ by a vicious cheat.

  31. Billy moir

    Sorry, Kaye, the man most hidden from view by little billy is possibly the most damaging to our long term future. I hope that it is just because I miss the news reports so often that I have no idea about robb’s activities. It is worrying that we may have already signed cars from Korea, subs from Japan, houses to china and gas to everyone.
    ps the hand washing is required because the rabbott has been at the suppository of knowledge again and has only wiped his hands on his shirtfront

  32. Kaye Lee

    This week is anti-poverty week, not that you would know with the focus on war and shirtfronting, so I thought I would revisit how Tony feels about poverty and homelessness.

    TONY ABBOTT: It’s the responsibility of government to try to put policies in place which over time will allow people to improve their situation. But we can’t abolish poverty because poverty in part is a function of individual behaviour.

    We can’t stop people drinking; we can’t stop people gambling; we can’t stop people having substance problems; we can’t stop people from making mistakes that cause them to be less well-off than they might otherwise be.

    QUESTION: The government have committed to halving homelessness by 2020. Should your Party be elected, would you continue with that commitment?

    ABBOTT: No. We just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice

  33. stephentardrew

    Tony told me the sky is always red.

    Hey every body guess what the sky is red.

  34. lord Forcryingoutloud

    History will Judge this Lot, Every day another Mistake is Made, Usually by the Biggest fool of all T A Trying to tell us all that coal is the Future and is good for us, The world is Gearing up For Clean energy, John Howard shunned this technology when he was in charge, And the Chinese took the Opportunity To Build an Credible and Viable Industry, And Now we have this fool of a PM Looking after His Partys Big donors which they find far more Important than Australias People. We can Only Keep Pushing the Message that this Galah Is very UNAUSTRALIAN,

  35. lawrencewinder

    Economic Vandals. Ethically bereft. Moronic in their adherence to IPA thought bubbles. Wherever you look there is destruction and mayhem. This putrid rabble are a latter day equivalent of Viking “Berserkers.” They need to be thrown out, now!

  36. helenmarg

    Today in the SMH the iraqi people do not want us in their country.This is why there is so much talk of terror here.Our 8 year old grandaughter is feeling anxious about this.This government is appalling cruel and inhumane .Treating the refugees so badly. Thank you.

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