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You don’t stand for me

When Tony Abbot gave his address to the 58th Liberal Federal Council in June he said

“From ‘Menzies’ forgotten people’, to the ‘Howard battlers’ and ‘Tony’s tradies’ – we have always been the party that ‘turned on the lights’; that stood ‘for all of us’; and that seeks ‘hope, reward and opportunity’ for everyone. Today, I can report to you that our plan is working.”

I wonder if the 745,200 unemployed people or the 8.5% of the population who are underemployed or the more than 2.5 million Australians who are living below the poverty line agree.

Tony goes on to tell us that “Since you elected this government, almost 290,000 new jobs have been created.”

Unfortunately, since they were elected, the population has increased by about 600,000 so, if true, this a pretty poor result.

Tony assures us that “Economic growth is now stronger than in most developed nations – and stronger than during the last year of the Rudd Gillard Government.”

In December 2013 we read that “Australia’s economic growth has fallen short of forecasts, with the nation’s gross domestic product edging up by 0.6 per cent in September quarter. The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the annual growth rate is now at 2.3 per cent.”

In June 2015 we read “Bureau of Statistics figures show gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.3 per cent over the year to March, coming in ahead of most economist forecasts.”

The only difference seems to be in expectations.

And as for doing better than the rest of the world, the IMF said that “Global growth in 2014 was a modest 3.4 percent, and is projected to be 3.5 percent in 2015.”

He tells us that “business confidence continues to strengthen” whereas St George chief economist Hans Kunnen said “Despite historically low interest rates, businesses are reluctant to invest and are waiting to see a sustained pick-up in demand. The process has become somewhat of a vicious circle, as lacklustre economic growth and slow wages growth are keeping consumer demand in check.”

Seemingly unable to help himself, Tony tells us that “Projected long-term debt and deficits have been halved because of the difficult, but necessary decisions we made in Joe Hockey’s first Budget.”

That line is so utterly false that it got the golden zombie award for the lie that just won’t die.

According to Tony, “the Budget is finally on a credible path back to surplus – with the deficit projected to fall by half a per cent of GDP every year.”

The Federal budget in 2015 contained the worst cumulative deficits in 60 years.

Australia’s gross Commonwealth government debt-to-GDP ratio is now at the highest level since the ABS’s quarterly records began 27 years ago and exceeds the 22.9 per cent record set in December 1995 after the 1991 contraction.

The household debt-to-income ratio is 154 per cent, which is above its pre-GFC climax because families haven’t deleveraged. Even more toxically, the most heavy household debt levels in history have coincided with the cheapest loan costs borrowers have ever seen, which is fuelling unsustainable credit growth.

Australia suffers, therefore, from a potent combination of unprecedented public sector and household debt.

Of course, national security featured large in Tony’s speech.

“At home, we have provided more resources and more powers to our security and intelligence agencies – because they need whatever it takes to keep you safe.”

The phrase “whatever it takes” comes far too easily to this Prime Minister’s lips. We now have ASIO, ASIS, ASD, AFP, ADF, DIBP, and the newly formed ABF all apparently keeping us safe from a terrorist invasion. But don’t ask what they actually are doing or what they are spending the billions on because it’s a secret that they most definitely will not be talking about on the ABC. If you turn to Skynews however, you will find photos of Tony with departing forces or films of us bombing other countries or the AFP raiding homes, and if you listen to Parliament Tony will read out evidence of any pending court cases.

Interestingly, a recent Senate Estimates hearing was told 15 elite senior staff had left the Immigration Department since new secretary Mike Pezzullo was sworn in late last year. After seeing his responses to Gillian Triggs I am hardly surprised.

Tony says “The foundation of the next quarter century of prosperity won’t be bigger government, higher taxes or more debt and deficits. It will be unleashing the entrepreneurs of our country, particularly our small businesses to have a go.”

The IMF disagrees. In view of the weakness of the Australian economy, it advises the federal and state governments to slow their pace of fiscal consolidation. It advocates a higher rate of public investment, financed by government borrowing, to support aggregate demand. Increased public investment would help support the economy in the short to medium term and, if the projects were genuinely good investments, it also would help raise productivity over the longer run.

But Abbott isn’t interested.

In one of his come-to-be-expected terra nullius statements, Abbott said

“Since the days of the early settlers, through the gold rushes, the wars and successive waves of immigration, Australians have always been willing to work hard, lend a hand to neighbours, make sacrifices for children and look over the horizon to a better future.”

I doubt the asylum seekers incarcerated on Manus and Nauru would agree that current day Australia is following this tradition.

Tony informs us that “Our Budget childcare measures should encourage more than 240,000 families to earn more, including almost 38,000 jobless families.”

Because all they need is encouragement. The fact that there are no jobs seems to escape him.

Families with one stay-at-home parent and a household income of $65,000 or more, will lose all childcare subsidies. Under the new proposals, both parents must do at least eight hours a fortnight of work, training or study to qualify for any childcare payment subsidies. This comes into effect on July 1, 2017. Households with a stay-at-home parent and earning less than $65,000 will still receive 12 hours of subsidised childcare.

As of next year, we will be spending $246 million on a two year pilot programme subsidising nannies who will not be required to have job-specific educational qualifications and will typically have less training than the typical childcare worker.

As suggested in the Conversation “Will we allow long day care centres to hire less qualified workers than they now do, call them “nannies” rather than “childcare workers”, and still have access to subsidies? Subsidising nannies looks more like an appeal to a particular demographic rather than a well-thought out attempt to improve outcomes for children.”

Despite having an appalling track record on these type of statements, Tony said “I have said what we will do – let me also tell you what we won’t do.”

“We won’t increase taxes on superannuation or increase the restrictions on superannuation because your retirement savings belong to you and not the government.

We won’t change the rules on negative gearing because Australians have made decisions based on the rules as they stand – and the last time a government fiddled with negative gearing it caused a crisis in the rental market.

And we won’t be putting a tax on electricity because there are smarter ways of reducing emissions than whacking everyone with a new carbon tax.”

The IMF suggested that tax reform should target superannuation and capital gains tax concessions in order to cut company and personal taxes. While the Fund supported the concept of taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income, Australia needed to ask whether the present 50 per cent discount was “the best use of taxpayers’ money”. By fueling real estate investment, it was helping push up house prices.

Told that the Australian government has ruled out reform of the tax breaks for superannuation and negative gearing, the Fund’s assistant director for Asia and the Pacific, James Daniel, noted that a tax review was underway and said that it was important for the entire system to be considered together.

Which makes one wonder why we are having a tax white paper where “everything is on the table” except all the things Tony is ruling out.

As Tony was building to a close he enthusiastically appealed to the party faithful.

“If you’re a young Australian looking for a good job and working for a deposit on your first home – we’re for you.

If you’re a small business person who wants to employ people – we’re for you.

If you’re a young parent trying to balance work and family – we’re for you.

If you’re a migrant who came the right way to build a better life for your children – we’re for you.

If you want to spend less time stuck in traffic to get to work or to pick up your kids – we’re for you.

If you’re working more to get ahead and to provide the best opportunities for your children – we’re for you.

If you believe superannuation is your money and want certainty in retirement – we’re for you.

If you’re on the land despite the ravages of drought – we’re for you.”

It seems to me that leaves a lot of us out.

But never fear

“The choice is clear.

They’re for boats, we’re for none.

They’re for a carbon tax, we’re for lower tax.

They’re for taxes, we’re for jobs.

They do union bidding.

We stand for all of us. “

Ever the master of reducing complex problems down to slogans.

No Tony, you most definitely do NOT stand for me.

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26 comments

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  1. Keith

    We have reached a point where anybody who believes Abbott is very gullible.

  2. corvus boreus

    “Unleashing the entrepreneurs”.
    shudder.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Even entrepreneurs need customers – a point Tony just doesn’t seem to understand.

  4. Sue-Ellen Smith

    Sorry but I couldn’t read past the quote from Mr Abbott’s June 2015 speech! Really?! Honestly, I expect politicians to fib a bit (read a lot), but this statement by Mr Abbott indicates he is either totally delusional or a pathological liar to say something that is so far removed from what is happening in reality! This is quite troubling

  5. Eva

    Tone really has no concept of how real people live or the issues facing ordinary Australians. He’s working hard to divide and conquer and make out he’s ‘for the people’ – but only the white, elite and conservative. He makes my skin crawl.

  6. Denis

    Government policies, particularly LNP, but also Labor are marginalizing whole sections of society, particularly the young. I don’t know how long they think they can get away with this. They are putting large numbers of people into a position of powerlessness.

    If you make someone powerless and to feel a sense of hopelessness, then it is only a matter of time until they will find some way of empowering themselves. If they cannot find a pro-social way to achieve some sense of power over their lives they will find an anti-social way.

    Our political and monetary system have been hijacked by big business, multinationals and the USA and are totally dysfunctional. People need to start demanding change that empowers everyone and to demand that the wealth of our nation be distributed equitably.

  7. Ted Jackson

    The bastard Abbott and his coongy mob do not .. and never will, stand for me, I am driven to despair the way the main stream media does not, and will not hold these muppets to account, for the lies, deceit and secrecy that is becoming just a part of how they do things. Operational secrecy, data retention, the new border protection legislation, is it just me or is this how fascists get started ..
    If there is a supreme being in the sky please send us an effective opposition, one with decent, humanitarian policy, large testicles and no ‘Marshmallow’ Bill Shorten.

  8. flohri1754

    Agree fully ….. and that includes with all the comments made to this point as well. I shake my head in disbelief every time I hear of another Australian company or corp reducing employees to part-time showing repeatedly that few have learned anything in the last hundred years. Back in 1915 Henry Ford had already hit upon the concept that you pay your employees MORE not LESS so that they can actually become your customers and buy your products. The “circle of life, eh economy” if you will. Similar to the Liberals and their lack of ability to realize that if the jobs don’t exist, people can’t take them up.

  9. Kaye Lee

    The biggest problem with Tony and his followers is that they never start with an aim. They are big on HOW they are going to do things but not on WHY.

    For example, one of their biggest goals and supposedly greatest successes is “STOP THE BOATS”. But why do we want to stop the boats? So people won’t drown at sea. So if we don’t want them to drown why aren’t we picking them up rather than turning them around? Because we don’t want to encourage people smugglers. So why did we just give them tens of thousands of dollars? To make them go away. But what about the asylum seekers? They should come the right way. How do they do that? Get a visa. What if they can’t? Then they should go somewhere they can. Like here? No, not here. How many people get offshore humanitarian visas? We’ve had to cut that back from 20,000 to 13,750 and actually only 11,000 of those are for offshore applications. How many people applied last year? Over 70,000. So each year over 60,000 more people will accumulate in transit countries? Indonesia needs to tighten up its 57,000 km coastline and stop every boat arriving at one of its 17,000 islands. Are children being held in detention as a deterrant to other refugees? No, we wouldn’t do that. So why are they in custody? It’s their parents’ fault.

    Coalition policy gives me a headache.

  10. O'Bleak

    Sir Pository obviously spends hours listening to his Perpetual Bullshit Machine and has now lost what little attachment to reality he ever had. This government runs like an issue of “MAD” magazine. “What? Me Worry?”. Election please. I’d like to get on with life.

  11. jimhaz

    Everyone of the current LNP Munsters prefer Standing On People, not by them.

    I think I saw this quoted here not long ago

    “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
    George Orwel

  12. iggy648

    Good to see Tony doesn’t trust the AFP and ASIO to protect his front bench from the terrifying prospect of going on Q&A. Not surprising really, since the incompetents failed to protect the audience from Zaky Mallah. Will Tony also prevent his front bench from going to supermarkets? Probably not. I guess they get their servants to do the grocery shopping.

  13. lawrencewinder

    Who wrote his speech, Franz Kafka?
    I can just imagine the dull-eyed heads nodding in his audience as their prejudices and fantasies were massaged…Verbal Phenergan!
    And…the Ruling Rabble spitting the dummy over Q&A: another pathetic example of this incompetent cabal running scared of being openly and publicly questioned.
    Great post…too.

  14. Kyran

    Oh bother, our deer leader is off his medication again. Did this august meating of the minds occur in an asylum or a church? I suspect the congregation of the delusional were suitably medicated, hopefully at their cost, and take comfort knowing they were corralled together. Like minded, or feeble minded (clearly absentminded), people are comforted in this way, apparently. They can continue their delusions.
    Always grateful, Ms Lee, but I must take issue with your comment “Coalition policy gives me a headache.” I’ve yet to hear a policy from them. Their modus operandi is a thought bubble, possibly resulting from a focus group, being trialled in the MSM. Depending on the severity of the ‘blow back’, they will challenge any opposition to say if they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the notion. They don’t need to provide a detailed policy, “cause you can trust them”.
    PS. No deer’s were harmed in writing this epitaph to sanity. Take care

  15. Roswell

    He seriously has no idea.

  16. mars08

    …no ideer?

  17. Kaye Lee

    He just feels entitled enough to say anything at all because no-one ever calls him out on his lies. If, on the odd occasion, he is trapped, he just rolls on regardless with pious excuses. The No Cuts speech can be explained away as Labor’s fault or our misunderstanding. Lie with confidence and gusto, repeated by the MSM, and you end up with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. One good thing, young people don’t like him and, since it is their future (and present) most under attack, we need to encourage them to make an informed vote. They could easily make the difference as they get their news online and can spread the word.

  18. mars08

    Quote:
    “…it’s hard to imagine that citizens of a pluralist democracy could have succumbed to such delusions — yet clearly they have.”

  19. kerri

    Your last comment makes the most sense to me Kaye Lee.
    The fact that Abbott lies openly and is not reprimanded by a lazy media appals me. The way he makes Press Statements, because he rarely answers questions and when they get too hard turns on heel and exits rapidly. The fact that he won’t give interviews to anyone not on his side makes for schoolyard tales of gutless bullies!
    And speaking of gutless why won’t the media pursue him? Why is no one pointing out that his refusal to give interviews clearly points to; at best an inability to answer at worst something to hide!
    Last weeks Q&A when that useless twat Freedom Boy turned on Tony Jones because Jones pointed out that he had just contradicted himself says it all. They don’t like the ABC, not because the ABC is left, but because the ABC is right and I mean opposite to wrong. ABC journos, when they are on their game, can easily shoot these lying bully boys down in flames and that is what they are really afraid of. I have read comments by right wing advocates complaining of educated lefties. Their lack of intellect can only be countered by extreme bullying, deception and secrecy.

  20. Bilal

    As a nation we have sunk to new lows under this Tea Party extremism. Who would have thought that in 2015 it would become illegal to report child abuse in offshore camps, legal to use lethal force against camp inmates, possible to subject the ABC Q&A to government inquisition, lose citizenship outside the judicial system and possible for “damaging Commonwealth property”. The compliance of what is supposed to be an Opposition intensifies the effects of this poisonous regime. Just what is the end agenda of this process we are witnessing?

  21. marg1

    He just can’t help but lie can he. Either that or he’s totally delusional. And he sure doesn’t stand for me.

  22. Kaye Lee

    You don’t speak for me by Judy Small (Play the youtube below while you read the words)

    You who scribble on walls with your miniscule minds,
    You who make midnight calls, you who rattle my blinds,
    The violence you preach is the core of your creed,
    Well you don’t speak for me!
    You call yourselves patriots swastika style,
    You feed on the fear of the ignorant child.
    There’s no love of nation or people or land,
    In the hatred behind your smile.
    You don’t speak for me, no you don’t speak for me!
    I’ve seen where you come from, I’ve seen where you lead,
    It’s a poisonous fruit that grows from your seed,
    You stir up the hatred ‘til something explodes,
    Well you don’t speak for me!
    You who slaughter free creatures and then call it sport,
    You proudly display the corpses you’ve shot,
    You talk about freedom, and rights and control,
    But you don’t speak for me!
    You who poison the airwaves with Genghis Khan views,
    You broadcast your bias and call it the news,
    You say that you speak for the millions out there,
    And deny that you’re lighting a dangerous fuse.
    Well you don’t speak for me, no you don’t speak for me!
    You don’t speak for me, you don’t speak for my friends,
    We’ve followed that line, we’ve seen where it ends.
    Intolerance, hatred, division and strife,
    You don’t speak for me!
    You who march in your hundreds of thousands for peace,
    You who work for political prisoners’ release,
    You fight the injustice of women ignored,
    You speak for me!
    You who combat apartheid wherever it’s seen,
    You struggle to keep the unique forests green,
    You fight for the rights of all people in chains,
    You speak for me, yes, you speak for me!
    You speak for me!

  23. crypt0

    Phony stands for the right wing conservatives who voted for him. (50% of voters,2PP)
    I know for a fact that some of them are now squealing about having their pensions reduced, due to their being too wealthy for scomo’s guidelines.
    I don’t believe for a moment that endless lies about debt and deficit disaster et al had anything to do with their unhappiness.
    No. it’s all about me, after all, right?

  24. abbienoiraude

    Great post Kaye. Scary and sad frustrating and awful too.

    Thanks for putting up Judy’s words; “You Don’t Speak for Me”.
    ( We have known each other since we were 12). Still resonates after all this time.

  25. Keith

    The whole non-policy of the COALition on climate change is based on lies. Its something we have known, but fossil fuel companies acknowledged in the 1980s that the science of climate change was right. They sought to undermine scientists as indicated by leaked emails

    “For nearly three decades, many of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to deceive the public about the realities and risks of climate change.

    Their deceptive tactics are now highlighted in this set of seven “deception dossiers”—collections of internal company and trade association documents that have either been leaked to the public, come to light through lawsuits, or been disclosed through Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests.”

    Read more at:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/climate-deception-dossiers-fossil-fuel-industry-memos#.VZ9DzPmqqkp

    “The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago – factoring that knowledge into its decision about an enormous gas field in south-east Asia.”

    Read more at:

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a36337/climate-change-liars/

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