Come Monday (Sgt. Barnaby edition)

Welcome to our Monday open thread…I’m filling in for Miglo who is currently as busy as a bee. Feel free to discuss any topic you choose…provided it has nothing to do w/ Tottie Goldsmith, Oprah, Liz Hurley or Shane Watson’s butt.

Anyone watching the ABC news tonight couldn’t fail to miss Senator Barnaby Joyce’s impersonation of a grumpy drill sergeant. We the public, were warned in no uncertain terms to help QLD farmers by not being so picky about blemished fruit & veges. GOT IT!

The ever beetroot-faced Joyless delivered this stern message, eyes blazing, as though he thought he was back in parliament having a go at Sen. Penny Wong over the ETS…or had joined Mal Brough in a “toughen up the ranks…spit polish that Aboriginal Affairs portfolio” demonstration.

A similar message of concern about the welfare of QLD farmers was delivered by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd…the tone less snappy…more thoughtful & concerned…reaching out to the listener…rather than making them recoil. It worked.

Whilst the Opposition Treasurer, Joe Hockey, was shown checking out flood damage & quizzing unfortunates…compelled to express his concern for the “middle class” who didn’t need to be “slugged again” by a possible government flood levy.

Hmmm…I see, best they be “slugged” to pay for wars & invasions…obviously helping to rebuild QLD & parts of Victoria is just not Churchillian a cause enough to warrant a wee bit of sacrifice by the upper middle class & those we see only when they sit in their corporate sports boxes…or flash by in one of their fleet of vintage & luxury cars…or wave at us from their yachts on Australia Day…or walk the red carpet with sh*t-arsed grins and part-wave reminiscent of English aristocracy with sticks up their butts.

It’s a wonderful life. For some.

As you get out yer affordable loaf of bread & discounted slices of whatever in order to prepare tomorrow’s lunch…think of those struggling to find ways to order their next crate of French Champagne & pay for the next trip to Luxury Resort…and pray that the ALP-led government doesn’t spoil their fun with a levy.

What is a Serf without content Masters?

Over to you good people…


104 comments on “Come Monday (Sgt. Barnaby edition)

  1. And just in case ya missed it:

    Vint Cerf Is ‘Envious’ Of The NBN

    By Nick Broughall @ Gizmodoon January 24, 2011

    Vint Cerf is a smart man. He also knows a lot about the Internet, which isn’t surprising considering he helped create it. So when he tells the Internet Society of Australia that he is “envious” of the Government’s push for a national broadband network, it’s probably a voice worth paying attention to.

    More here:


  2. Wonderful descriptors as always Nas’. Love it. From now on when I see yet another replay of a cheesey red carpet award I’ll be thinking “sh*t-arsed grins” 😀

  3. Thnx Min.

    Ya know, I find it kinda amusin’ that the Coalition in this country promotes itself as a party of “choice” that gives the indication it despises big government and wants it off business & iindividual taxpayer’s backs…

    but I don’t recall having much “choice” when it came to the GST, Iraq War, Aboriginal Intervention, the East Timor levy…and the various other levies as outlined by Shane.

    What you read & hear is not always what you get.

    Frankly, I reckon the Coalition are just a bunch of hypocrites, whiners & political opportunists under Mr. Negabore Abbott…just playing a role.


  4. Just added a line or two to the above post to explain why I’m doing the Monday post rather than Migs.


  5. Nas’ @9.02am. I agree absolutely. As you say the Coalition promote themselves as the party of choice but then go about ensuring that the average citizen has “no choice”.

    Run down everything public to such a stage that people have no choice, especially hospitals but including schools.

  6. And the best “choice” of all….drum roll, please…..Ladeez and Gennlmen, I give you WorkChoices! closely followed by BAS reporting; do the ATO’s work for nothing and get fined (is that a levy?) if you don’t.

    Great post, Nas’.

    Well said, Min.

  7. jane @ 10:11 am,

    Indeed…how could I have forgotten those less than wee beauties…placed on the shoulders of many Australians like the carved rocks that tore the ligaments and life away from many a past slave working to build a kooky leader a monument.

    I guess WorkChoices was meant to be another monument to Howard the Great…like the GST. How adored he is for both.


  8. From the latest Essential Poll:

    The poll also inquired into various leaders’ handling of the flood crises, with 77 per cent rating Anna Bligh favourably against 6 per cent poorly; 61 per cent against 4 per cent for Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman; 42 per cent against 23 per cent for Julia Gillard; 19 per cent against 32 per cent for Tony Abbott

    GO TONY!

    Moses he ain’t.


  9. All this stuff needs to be kept in the forefront of people’s memory. I reckon it would keep Smuggles’ ranting down to a dull roar if he had to ‘splain how his party of so-called choice and low taxing was nothing of the sort.

    Off thread, I’m surprised Neil hasn’t made an appearance attempting to push the latest Smuggles Set brain farts!

  10. On a completely different line.

    I went to buy some claratyne at my local chemist and it was $79.95. Needless to say I purchased them in a Caloundra chemist for $42.95.

    While I like to support locals, an 86% markup is just not justifiable.

  11. Yes I forgot what an enormous imposition the BAS is on business jane, whose costs gets rolled down to the consumer, thus a levy by proxy as well as being a levy by having business do the government’s work without being paid for it.

    The company I now work for used to have the boss’s wife with a TAFE certificate in business management doing the finances part time until the BAS came in. She was immediately worked off her feet and we had to outsource accounting at great expense.

    Even that turned out not to be enough and the company had to hire a full time in house accountant, and I’m glad she’s so good and a really nice person to boot. I know Labor simplified the BAS and there’s more to go but it galls me that the GST was sold on being simpler and cheaper for business. An accountant I used to go to for tax returns had the old tax regulations on one side of a book shelf and the new “simpler” GST ones on the other side. The new regulations dwarfed the old by about three volumes to one and each new volume was about three times thicker.

    Costello also said the way they would implement the GST would stop the black market yet it dramatically increased under the GST.

    Whatever the Liberals say will be the case or will do you know that won’t be what will be and do, and purely on ideological grounds they will go ahead and do without recourse or public approval things they know will not be in the public interest or are against public wishes.

  12. Don’t mention the GST to my 86yr old mum..she is still grouching about how pensioners had to start paying tax. From memory wasn’t that the start of one series of Howard-Handouts, the $500 which was supposed to compensate the elderly – for eva’.

  13. The GST is the most regressive tax on the planet. No other tax increases as a result of private enterprise putting up their own prices or charges. As a result it increases no matter what happens to your income.

    In addition it is imposed on most of the most basic essentials such as electricity, communication, transport. How in gods name rural people supported it I don’t know.

  14. While I like to support locals, an 86% markup is just not justifiable.

    Ouch! Shane, I take it yer chemist is one of the town’s more affluent characters. 🙂

    Speaking of supporting locals…as in local manufacturers:

    Don’t Dump on Australia – union conducts poll
    25 January 2011

    A campaign to educate the Australian public about the illegal trade dumping which hurts Australian companies and Australian jobs, will be launched in the next few weeks, the Australian Workers’ Union said today.

    More here:

    Saw Paul Howes on ABC News Breakfast this morn discussin’ this important issue.

    It’s a complex issue. Apparently the Howard government were piss poor at protecting Australia from this kind of practise.

    Is it straight out “protectionism” vs “free trade”?…or is it about creating a more “level playin’ field” as Howes puts it?

    Info on it here:

    W/ Chinese wages bein’ comparatively low compared to ours, are some Chinese companies using their “developing nation” status as an excuse to “trade dump”?…and are some Aussie companies givin’ the nod & wink to Chinese worker exploitation in order to get cheap materials/parts/goods?

    Sadly, I can imagine many out there in business & consumer world are quite relaxed & laissez-faire (let them get on w/ it) when it comes to the Chinese worker bein’ exploited…provided the price of Aussie goods don’t go up…in turn keepin’ inflation lower…possibly interest rates…and so on.

    It’s a dog eat dog world.

    In 2008, a new labor law in China is forcing most companies – including most foreign owned ones – to create an ACFTU chaptered trade union within them.

    Good. Eventually this “free ride” for the developed countries will cost more . Living off the back of the Asian worker…and the Chinese miracle will seem as “dependency creating” & “facade-like” as Howard’s “prosperity era”.

    And then what will Australia do?

    We haven’t been futureproofin’ enuff…so oncoming natural disasters will ensure many of those cheap, affordable goods will just go into the dump…just as they have for those who got flooded…or burnt out.

    As will many of those Aussie homes & businesses built on the Chinese econ. miracle if we don’t get our sh*t together and get over this mad “denial” phase when it comes to climate change.

    That’s why we need to focus on preventative infrastructure as well as effective communication & transport systems.

    And affordable & imaginative healthcare, training & education so people can get on w/ things. It’s about REAL SECURITY.

    For when the sh*t hits the fan.

    China’s just too hot. And when it melts?…as America did in the 30s…

    here comes the flood.

    And we have only bandaids.


  15. I may be wrong but I don’t remember the “levy,taxes for everything” government forming a partnership with australian made and coordinating an advertising campaign as well.

    At the moment we have a buy australian made advertising campaign on television courtesy of the Federal Government. Is Barnaby blind and deaf or is he just politically blind and deaf.

    I am form the land and I still cannot fathom the unbending loyalty to one side of politics no matter what. It still never ceases to amaze me.

  16. Nas

    I think my local chemist is not only affluent but also effluent becuase the last time I placed a prescription, I had to wait because he was on the loo. 🙂

  17. “Don’t mention the GST to my 86yr old mum..she is still grouching about how pensioners had to start paying tax.”

    My father-in-law still gets pissed when the GST is mentioned…and he’s a laid back country town fella who rarely shows his emotions.

    I take it Howard didn’t hit the clubs & pubs & hotels when he was sellin’ the GST…I imagine he woulda got a few pots/middys & schooners of beer dumped on his noggin.


  18. I am form the land and I still cannot fathom the unbending loyalty to one side of politics no matter what. It still never ceases to amaze me.

    Agree 100% with that Shane – most of my rellies still live in regional & rural areas and blindly vote for the local Country (National) party candidate even though they’re voting against their own interests, Many of them are no dummies or “country hicks” either – they just don’t think about politics. “We live in the country, therefore we must vote Country Party.” – Truly mind boggling!

  19. Gald you got a laugh Nas. A true story. Even I was amazed but had to control my own chuckles until the footpath.

  20. Nas’ even though they grizzle about the GST, they still buy the bullsh!t that the Labour government doesn’t do anything for them.

    There should be more hammering the message of the levy which sent so many dairy farmers to the wall as proof of how little they care about the small business person.

  21. Jane, hence a reason that I think that Abbott’s bleating about cancelling the NBN to pay for the flood recovery will go over like a lead balloon in the bush. Rural folk know that BOTH are needed. Those who don’t support the NBN either don’t do business online or don’t have kids.

  22. Agree w/ much of what’s been said above.

    It’s frustratin’ to see so many vote against their own interests. And be taken for granted. Even conned by the odd property tycoon or mining magnate.

    Especially when many rural voters are smart folk. Yet, too oft vote in a predictable fashion…often spurred on by the cranky, cynical town gossips who put “greedy city folk” & “ALP” in the same basket…somehow defining themselves by being the opposite…proudly declaring their “self-sufficiency” whilst ignoring the inconvenient truth about subsidies, social security, emergency assistance and so on.

    Pride…and the fact that humans have always defined themselves & unified by finding common enemies/dislikes…comparing themselves favourably to the “greedy other”. City folk in this instance.

    And let’s face it…it’s bloody tough out there at times…as evidenced by the droughts, floods & locusts. It’s also about building resilience…finding hope in rough, depressing times…

    so, comparin’ oneself or town to those “scared of their own shadow, never done a real day’s work, wouldn’t know a cow from a bull, city folk fed fat on our hard yakka” can be quite self-esteem buildin’ for those lookin’ to find a sense of belongin’, companionship, lookin’ for a way to keep goin’.

    Doesn’t help that many have access to only one state-based paper.

    Havin’ lived in the bush on a number of occasions I know how easy it is to fall into the suspicion of city folk…and parochial thinking.

    However, I do believe that respected individuals can break the mould and get out alternative messages…as evidenced by the Indies.

    It’s hard tho if yer not a local.

    And not part of the town clique. The larger the towns get the more that influence wanes.


  23. I just caught a comment on Sky by Wayne Swan who has neatly pointed out that the $$s to pay for the floods has to come from somewhere, Swan cited cuts..teachers, nurses.

    Two points I think. Back to good old Labor by Swan. Put the blah blah coming from the opposition into practical terms.

    Also VIP is that Swan isn’t buying into Abbott’s argument about not going ahead with the NBN, thereby the government sets the agenda instead of allowing the opposition to do so as they have been doing for some time now.

    Not a journo that I have seen has yet to point out that the NBN is part of the government’s agreement with the indies. Buckley’s and no chance that the government will reneg on this agreement. Yet the journos stand there nodding wisely while Abbott spouts his next you’beaut idea.

  24. Speakin’ of states that have only one major rag…this piece from QLD’s Courier Mail knocked me for six:

    Politics must not muddy levy plan

    by Paul Syvret From: The Courier-Mail January 25, 2011

    No sooner had Prime Minister Julia Gillard rightly and honestly said that the Federal Government was considering all options for paying for the cost of the disaster including a possible temporary levy to raise some extra revenue than our alternative prime minister was off his medication again.

    “Great big new tax, great big new tax.”

    Honestly, the cynicism and political opportunism of the man can give you as bad a headache as the stench still wafting from the mud in some areas of Brisbane and Ipswich.

    And that’s before we get to the rank hypocrisy.

    More here:

    Paul Syvret is one the few News Ltd columnists who doesn’t make my blood boil or get me shakin’ my head w/ despair. He seems quite sane for that organisation. Like George M.

    Read his piece and thought “good stuff…’bout time QLDers heard some truthtellin’ about Abbott” by way of their one & only rag.


    (Thnx to Jason @ The Political Sword for providin’ the link)


  25. Thank you Nas’ and Jason. I must say that I am stunned that Syvret’s article was published by the Courier Mail who have been one of the main Abbott fans.

    This line says it all: “ pay lip-service to supporting those left with shattered homes and shattered lives..”

  26. “Not a journo that I have seen has yet to point out that the NBN is part of the government’s agreement with the indies. Buckley’s and no chance that the government will reneg on this agreement.”

    Good point Min.

    And ain’t it a larf that Abbott, Hockey & Robb fart on about the government’s spending…calling for the end of the NBN & a redirection of stimulus money…when they were willing to throw a million bucketloads of cash at Wilkie & the other Indies in an attempt to buy their vote?

    Their hypocrisy is apparently infinite.


  27. Nas’ And Jason, I’m adding my thanks to Min’s for the link to Paul Syvret’s article. a great read. I noted with interest that, with the exception of Shane’s comment, all the commenters came out with the same tired old LIEberal spin excusing the Rodentochracy’s leeching via levies.

    And the usual mean-spirited whining about humanitarian aid to third world countries. Wouldn’t mind betting they all go off to church every Sunday sure in their tiny, uncharitable spiteful minds that they are great Christians.

    If Christ came back now, they’d crucify him!

  28. Jane, thank you for letting us know that Shane’s comment has been published plus the warning about the comments :). You’re certainly right about Shane’s comment being the one and only.

    Don’t you just love ignorance in it’s purest form, especially the 1st one on Syvret’s article, plus original. Let’s stop giving $$s to other countries (Indonesia being “anon e-mouse’s” example) c’os they’ll just spend it on “new tanks, planes and warships”.

  29. “the same tired old LIEberal spin excusing the Rodentochracy’s leeching via levies.”

    ‘The Drum’ on ABC 24 wasn’t much better today. The panelist who got to most air their views on the possible “flood levy” was a Costello advisor. And negativity dominated.

    It’s the first time I’ve watched The Drum in mths…now I remember why I don’t bother w/ it.


  30. Oh, BTW, the Costello advisor reckoned it would be a different matter if it was a big war or somethin’ similar. Then a levy might be justifiable.

    Freakin’ warmongers.


  31. Hello, everyone, just back and delighted to read Paul Syvret’s article. Just had to comment on the selfish farts who pay $50, 000 a year in tax and don’t want to contribute more! Surely decent people right across the country, and there are plenty of them even on the right, will mark Abbott and Co down on this?

    Isn’t helping each other out a feature of mateship? Where does Abbott think he’s leading his party?

  32. Paul Syvret worked for David Hamill when he was the Treasurer in the Beattie Government, so he’s clearly tainted. LOL. But it’s a good article.

    BTW, I’m not in favour of a ‘levy’. Rather I think the government should forget this nonsense of making a budget surplus its number one priority and just include the extra expense in the Budget..

  33. PatriciaWA,
    Good to see you back safe and sound. 🙂
    Didn’t you know that ‘Mateship’ only extends as far as the other members of the Footy Club? 😉

  34. Hi all

    Yes that was me on the courier mail. When I belive in something I try to get it out there where ever possbile. I am just as amazed as the rest of you that they printed my comment. What I also notice is the silence of comments since I did post a response. Obviously they cannot counter my comments. Nice when facts are actually paraded instead of ideology.

    Now can someone with connections to the ALP please tell Julia to wake up and go back to being the person she was 12 months ago. PM or not she will earn far more respect from us swinging voters if she goes back to being like she was and sacks her script writers.

  35. Shane in Qld.,
    I was just listening to George Megalogenis’ Quarterly Essay today, and he said that there are Labor MPs ready to dump all over certain ‘advisers’ to Julia Gillard in the party but that they can’t do or say anything publically because of the hung parliament. They don’t want to precipitate open warfare or an inconvenient by-election, I suppose.

  36. I followed you, Shane, and they published mine too! Seriously, is no one out there reading Syvret’s article, or getting worked up about the idea of half the country refusing to lend a hand in a national crisis?

  37. “I went to buy some claratyne at my local chemist and it was $79.95.”

    I just had a thought. The chemist not only profits, the government does not do too bad with GST.

    As for BAS, I have two daughters that are able to earn a reasonable income working from home. They are able to stay with their young children and work hours to suit them. This is made easier with ADSL2 broadband.

  38. Peter Costello up for an Australia Day gong for the work he’s done for Australia as Treasurer.

    You have to be kidding?

  39. How unsurprising.

    Peter Costello got a very long highly positive interview on ABC News Breakfast this morning and then the presenters were positively gushing in their praise of him afterwards, going on about how hard he did and the strain in his family during his time in parliament.

    Chief of Army Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie and Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley the other two to receive honours were only mentioned in passing and they deserved an interview and praise far more than Costello did.

    Immediately after the Costello interview they launched into an attack on Gillard over the levy, which Costello in the long interview stated should be paid out of general revenue. Of course the ABC did not question him on all the levies he bought in.

    What Peter? Then why did you bring in so many levies in government at a time you had so much general revenue you couldn’t keep track of it?

  40. Are levies and government charges calculated in the amount of tax we pay as an individual. For that matter is the GST. Mr. Costello wanted to be seen as low taxing. Would this have anything to do with his love of levies.

  41. Are we somehow supposed to be impressed with Costello’s statement that he never attended one single parent/teacher interview. Surely parliament couldn’t have been sitting on each and every occasion over your 20 years in parliament, and even if they were why not organise to have these when you’re home..teachers are pretty good this way.

  42. Welcome back Patricia. Hope you enjoyed your visit to the rellies.

    Now can someone with connections to the ALP please tell Julia to wake up and go back to being the person she was 12 months ago. PM or not she will earn far more respect from us swinging voters if she goes back to being like she was and sacks her script writers.

    Hear! Hear! Shane. She was much better without the constraints imposed by the clowns who ran the appalling election campaign.

  43. “Paul Syvret worked for David Hamill when he was the Treasurer in the Beattie Government, so he’s clearly tainted.”

    Phew! N5, I thought for a second you were gonna say he worked for a Coalition treasurer.

    Shane & Patricia both got published eh?…good stuff…

    one thing that put me off the Murdoch papers/sites was the vile rantings of racists, greed-mongers, ignoramuses, cheapos & right-wing extremists.

    “Hear! Hear! Shane. She was much better without the constraints imposed by the clowns who ran the appalling election campaign.”

    Agree jane…and Shane.

    Let it flow…let it flow…let it flow.


  44. “and even if they were why not organise to have these when you’re home..teachers are pretty good this way.”

    Indeed Min. Sounds ridiculous to me. So much for flexibility eh?

    Peter, we know you did more work on the GST than Howard. We get it!

    Thnx for the First Home Owner’s Grant…but ya shoulda got rid of the Rodent in the early 2000s after the grotesque Tampa response & his Deputy Dawg act. Full stop.

    Thank goodness Ruddy & Gillard did.


  45. I think we should start a list of all the areas in the Budget that would be better places to start with if you want to save money, than cancelling the NBN.
    I nominate a 1 year Capital Gains Tax Holiday as my first suggestion. No one gets it for one year. As no one who claims it really needs it that badly, do they?

  46. “We live in the country, therefore we must vote Country Party.” – Truly mind boggling!

    Spot on, Bacchus. Except for country towns where it’s “We live in a country town therefore we must vote LIEberal.”

    Min, there are a surprising number who have bought into Smuggles’ line about the NBN,

  47. Min, I was shiftworker that often worked two jobs and attend uni full time. I was always able to find time to attend school events when necessary. I must admit I had to give up my canteen work. Would not have Mr Costello’s children attend private schools. Surely they could do what most teachers do and arrange suitable times to attend the school.

  48. A post I made on another site.

    I feel that Labor is more inclined to believe that they have to prove they are capable and have the best ideas to get elected. The Coalition is of the belief that to be elected you have to destroy the opposition. I believe this has been the Coalition behaviour since the days of Whitlam.
    The reality is in my mind, that no matter who is elected, they have to deal with the problems of the day and there is very little scope for idealogy as long as we have a strong government and opposition. My problem is not the Liberal Party as a whole but that I have little respect for some of their leaders.
    I cannot accept that a levy is bad but that cutbacks do not harm some people. The levy if is is as reported at about $5 a week, not enough to buy two coffees would really be an impost on those who would have to pay.
    Many have demanded that we do not give overseas aid. We live in the world and have a responsibilty to assist where needed. We are a wealthy country and can afford to do so. It helps to make the worlds a safer place.
    The alternatives put forwarded by many do not add up. The money saved by housing boatpeople would go no where need meeting the needs of the areas affected by floods. The NBNCo plans are over many years. The abandon of the project would not release much money. Most of stimulus money has been spent or is dedicated to projects that are in the pipeline. I am not in favour of selling Medibank, this would be a backward step that removes any competiton that private medical insurers have and lost of income now received.
    The Labor Governmetn has already committed itself to cutbacks to bring the government back to what I consider unnecessary surplus before the floods. There is no way that additional cutbacks would not be paid for by the taxpayer.
    Taxation is not set in stone nor should it be. I do not understand the modern day thinking that all taxation is bad. I do like to think we have things like schools, hospitals, road and transport among many things that make our country a better place to live.
    Our economy is not constant, it changes as the world economy changes. We are not an economic island that operates without the influence of international economies. What is important is that our taxes are under continual review and are removed or added to as the need demands.
    My last point is that I refused to believe that the Coatition would not be doing the same if in power. History shows that this is how they have responded to similar situations while in power. Why would they behave any different this time?
    What is needed is an Opposition that is constructive, not one that opposes all and only offers negativity. I have concerns that their negativity talks the economy down, The Opposition gives me the impression that they are happy only when bad results are released, that this somehow justifieds their actions.

  49. I have this funny feeling that Mr. Abbott might quickly regret his and his front bench comments of the last couple of weeks. PM Gillard does not have to choose between a levy and cutbacks. It is open to her to do both. PM Gillard, thanks to Mr. Abbott a wonderful opportunity draw back middleclass welfare. PM Gillard is free to ignore Mr. Abbot’s t list and cut many of what has been put in place during Mr. Howard’s reign. The list is endless. Labor is free now to do what they have been reluctant or not has the guts to do in the last four years.

  50. Feral

    Well privately behind closed doors there should be some swift lopping of ego heads and some removals. Julia was so much better under Rudd. They seem to have done to Julia what they did to Kevin.

    It really has become a hornets nest for them. But it also appears to me that many in the Labor Party panicked when Rudd hit a few snags. It also seems there were many who wanted him to go because of his personality and arrogance behind the scenes.

    The problem is no matter what the politics says the electorate believe they elect a PM and the remove a PM and other than retiring a PM should be there for re electing or removing. This benefit was denied to the electorate.

    In addition the Labor Party seem incapable of pointingt out the positives since 2007. It seems they just want to sweep away the Rudd years simply because the band wagon of Abbott and Co harp on and on and on and on over a few mistakes. Throw the bloody statistics out there. State the facts by numbers and percentages, use the figures to your advantage, like you guys seem to do here. The ALP ministers seem unable to state positives for fear of getting a negative or is it for fear of having to mention Kevin Rudd.

    The fear has to stop. Grow some balls and fight back. I fight for the right thing by using facts and reality. This usually ends up with being called names or a leftoid simply becuaue I have facts to counter a biased argument. The ALP needs to do some research grow some balls and come out fighting about achievements.

    I am so sick of this one sided rubbish going on at the moment.

    Mind you I will also bag the ALP when I believe they have done the wrong thing.

    If I can write a comment after doing some research on the “levy for everything government” and prove how shallow and levy happy they were, why can’t the elected members of the ALP. Why doesn’t Julia go on the war path about the old levies to put some bite into their stand.

    What are they afraid of, loss at the next election ?. Let me tell you, if they don’t start something soon they will all lose at the next election because they will be considered to have no direction and no stamina for what they believe.

  51. Shane, you are 100% correct. Now that that Mr. Abbott has set the scene for PM Gillard to act, I hope to see some fireworks. I suggest that the Labor members of parliament get behind PM Gillard and let it rip. PM Gillard has the ability to make a good go of it. Playing it safe leads nowhere, except pleasing no one and annihilation.

  52. Shane in Qld.,
    I actually committed the heresy today, when I was having a convo with another member of the ALP where I am here, of saying that I hope the party gets well and truly routed(which, when you say it sounds a bit different 😉 ) in the upcoming NSW State election so that those elements of the NSW Right get the message that their way is yesterday, and the ALP in NSW needs to be rebuilt from the ground up if they are to ever have any credibility in the eyes of the electorate again.
    These are basically the same people that are infecting the party federally. It is my fervent hope that Julia is smart enough to be waiting for the NSW electorate to sweep away the trash thus depriving them of any shred of legitimacy that they had left. Then she should make her move, and, if I were her I would try one of Howard’s moves when he had a problem within the ranks of the government that he wanted solved, and have a small reshuffle and give so-called ‘Powerbrokers’ like Mark Arbib the old heave-ho. Then, she can follow that up in July, when the Senate changes complexion, with some big, bold, positive policies.
    I live in hope. You have to.

  53. Shane @4.56pm, I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. I have felt so frustrated with the government’s seeming reluctance to come out fighting as the Smuggles Set and their lackeys in the MSM trash everything it has achieved.

    I really want Gillard to start being her natural self again, not that stiff, stilted stranger we keep seeing. There’s no spontaneity or animation about her. She just has to get rid of the idiots with their hands up her back.

  54. I have been reading a bit lately about how Labor have failed to face the public with the fact that having a deficit is not such a bad thing. Apparently, the fact that this fallacy is accepted fact and rooted in our sub-conscious is all their fault too. Even Grog was having a go at them for it the other day. And, to be honest, I also wish that they hadn’t tied themselves into this return to surplus line. But in reality, did they have any other choice?

    The fact that Labor does not argue this point is wrong. They no longer argue it, but in the aftermath of the GFC bailout, they pushed it quite rigorously, only for the media to jump on the oppositions bandwagon and reinforce the fallacy. Grog mentioned that the moment was now, well, sorry, but the moment was two years ago, and we didn’t want a bar of it then, and we won’t now. It is simply political realism that our governments are measured by the size of their surplus. And the government has to (if it wants any chance of being re-elected) work within those boundaries.

    This is what made the decision to go so hard with the GFC such a bold move. I am sure that as it was being mooted within the party, that the lines the opposition would be running were plain for all to see. Yet they made the right move. It makes it harder now to make the right move, but, luckily, I don’t think that anybody will begrudge $5 a week to help out those across Queensland and Victoria who have been affected by the floods. Well, not anyone with an ounce of humanity.

    And also, is trying to return to surplus such a bad thing? One of the myriad of complaints made by the opposition in regards to the stimulus was that we wouldn’t have anything left in case something else went wrong. Well, something did, and, from their own accounts, we still do have something left (kinda shot down their own argument there didn’t they, but hey, nobody’s watching). And from all the sounds the government is making, we will be delving deeper into the government coffers anyway, the levy will just help finance it, not pay for it all. But by applying the levy, we retain room in the budget in case there is anything else on the horizon. Something the opposition do not appear to be concerned about at the moment. But then again, consistency in their arguments definitely isn’t one of their strong points?

    BTW, been enjoying Shane in QLD and Catching Up highlighting this inconsistency over the last few days. It has certainly been amusing watching the Defenders twist and turn in their feeble attempts to justify anything the opposition says. It is all so hypocritical and obviously gutter dwelling political opportunism. I had honestly forgotten the number of levies applied to us by a government already floating in our tax dollars. I mean, tabot even floated his levy AFTER scrapping the NBN already, with an $11 BILLION BLACK HOLE to boot.

    Come to think of what, why doesn’t Gillard use tabots cure all to fund this, and create her own black hole? We’ll just call it a difference of opinion 💡

  55. Tom “I also wish that they hadn’t tied themselves into this return to surplus line. But in reality, did they have any other choice?”

    Thank you, thank last some common sense. Of course Labor had to play Abbott’s game with this or else the MSM would have held it up not just as proof that the goverment couldn’t manage the economy but as a straight out admission that they couldn’t.

  56. The Syvret article certainly lifted a rock to expose some pretty ugly wingnuts. Reading the Murdoch press for me is like poking a dog’s turd with a stick to see what it ate that made it crook.
    Thanks for the link Nask, Shane, or I wouldn’t have seen it.
    The levy though is a problem for me as it rests on solid neo-liberal underpinnings, that is, that the government has to “raise” the money to pay for these natural disasters by taxing or borrowing (ie adding to the deficit).
    Can I ask my dear social democrat friends here at the Cafe to read what Professor Bill Mitchell has to say about the subject:
    ‘Not the time to be cutting spending or raising taxes’

    Even Warwick McKibbin was on the air this morning saying the government should just allow the deficit (albeit “temporarily”) to deal with the costs of the flood.

    Mitchell’s thoughts will turn everything you might have learnt, or think you know, about economics on its head. But to me he makes sense.

  57. “Reading the Murdoch press for me is like poking a dog’s turd with a stick to see what it ate that made it crook.”

    LOL Mangrove Jack. Can relate.

    However, I do think we need the levy…and to get back into surplus as soon as possible. Not only would this government be boiled like a lobster by the “usual suspect” media if they didn’t live up to this…

    but I’m more worried about the global economy than some…particularly China.

    Also, the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia will have a domino effect that will cause more financial pressures.

    2012 is gonna be one hell of a year…and there could be plenty of repercussions for the next decade.

    The less debt this country has…the more stable the financial organisations…the more secure we make our healthcare, education, social security systems…the more efficient, resistant & diverse our communication systems…the more advanced, efficient, flexible our defense systems (Afghanistan is a useful training ground…but time nears for a shift in priorities)…the more innovative & upgraded our manufacturing…and the more flexible our revenue raising system to deal w/ disasters & emergencies…the more secure our superannuation and public funds…and diverse our transport networks…the more self-sufficient in regard to foodstocks & resources…the better.

    Slightly changing the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt:

    “This generation of Australians have a rendezvous with destiny.”
    (June 27, 1936)


  58. Yes, interesting how on one argument, they are complaining how future generations will be paying off Labors debt, and now, they want to cut building infrastructure that will only give future genrations a massive head start in the world. They would rather leave them playing catchup that having an already sustainable infrastructure from which to work from. Seriously they are all over the shop.

  59. Feral

    I hope you are right. The only thing, is that July, is a long way off in politics. If Julia does not change now, it may well be too late after July.

    Guilty or Innocent, mud sticks. She needs ot stop the crap being flung at her now. She needs to og on the attack with logic, reasoning and a bit of history and throw it at Abbott, just like he threw it back at them for 12 years.

    Start with the Milk Levy and go form there. Then go on about no, or almost no, infrastructure during our boom surplus years. Then ask Abbott why they didn’t setr up a disaster fund with the billions of surplus they collected in taxes, rather than tax cuts for the wealthy.

    So many things to choose from. Dont be afraid of pointing to the past. Tony Abbott did it for 12 years against the ALP and point this out if a reporter starts being difficult. Be factual and direct.

  60. “We are overtaxed now, so if Julia brings in this flood levy, their is no doubt she will lose the next federal elections.”


    It’s the government’s policies over the next couple of years…how they are implemented, followed thru & communicated/sold that will partially determine that outcome.

    Also has alot to do w/ unforseen & even predictable events…and how the government responds to them.

    And the state of the Opposition.


  61. Nas

    Thanks for the heads up I will put ABC 24 on computer. Its nice to get these heads up before they happen when I am working as well.

  62. I’ll be interested to see that one Nas’ not only for the things mentioned on this and the Australia Day thread but to see if the criticisms (sadly valid at times) about the ‘wooden Julia’ have been noted. The Julia that I would like to see back is the one that laughed loudly when she fell on her derrier in front of the media prior to the ’07 election plus could give it back as one of Labor’s best parliamentary performers.

  63. No problemo Shane.

    Let’s hope it’s a goodie. It’s an important one.

    And hope we don’t just have the same old toxic negabores askin’ questions. Yawn.

    It’s time like these our democratic leaders need to inspire…and the last thing we need is the media tryin’ to create another train wreck due to bias, grudges &/or profiteering reasons.


  64. Min, I just hope Gillard digs in & finds the reason she ran for parliament in the first place. And expresses it.


  65. Nas

    I have no doubt the Media will be caustic. The thing I am looking for is a refresehed Julia who counters their questions with quick wit and a put down via historical levies of the previous government.

    It seems we can be backward looking when we want to blame the ALP. But when it comes to blaming the Coalition we should not reflect on the past but rather move forward to the future. This si where she should use Tony Abbott as the example of backward looking blame during 1996 to 2007.

  66. The problem with both Mr. Howard and Mr. Costello, they had an obsession to be seen as a low taxing government. When in power, they found this a little impossible. The bottom line for both was that income tax receipts, especially for the middle and upper taxpayers, had to continue to fall, no matter what.
    The solution that they found was in the introduction or rising of fees and charges that had not existed in the past, in other words, the extension of user pay. They introduced levies instead of raising personal and business tax.
    They then created the myth that levies were not taxes. They could still, in their eyes continue to claim they were both a low taxing government and prudent financial mangers.
    Under the Howard government, we experience a massive transfer of money from the workers to the bosses. The Howard government was lucky that the mining bloom during their reign masked how their actions affected the poor and average workers.
    The introduction of the GST enabled Mr. Howard to withdraw funds from the states. Mr. Howard perfected the giving the states money with strings attached. Mr. Howard must take a high percentage of the blame for the deterioration of the services the states administer.
    The GST is supposed to give the states a guaranteed income, which allows them to remove state taxes, levies and fees. The GST is not a guaranteed income. The GST is receipts depend on whether people spend or not. Most of the state income relies on the economy being buoyant. The problem is that most state outlays are constant and hard to pull back.
    Mr. Costello was very clever in cutting all government spending, except for the armed forces to the bone. Mr. Costello and Mr. Howard was then able to claim later on that they were spending more but the reality was that they never returned to the levels when they become government.
    Does anyone know how many of Mr. Howard’s levies were removed by Mr. Rudd when he was PM. I know he removed the milk levy.

  67. Crowey, via Gillard’s address to the National Press Club for someone on $60,000pa it will cost $1.00pw and those in the flood affected areas will pay nothing.

  68. The one off levy for 1 year represents a 4% take back of the tax cuts given to high income earners over the last 10 years.

    Finally Julia is speaking facts and figures and being herself.

    Come on Julia keep it up. She is performing the best she has for ages.

  69. Nask, there’s nothing intrinsically “good” about a surplus.

    It is a fundamental of the national accounts that the public sector MUST be in deficit for there to be a private sector surplus, or the economy goes backwards, unless of course the private sector goes into deficit (as it did during the Howard surpluses), to maintain a consistent level of demand. That assumes of course that the external sector is in deficit, as it usually is.

    When the economy is running hot, with excessive demand putting pressure on the general price level then sure, there’s a place for that kind of fiscal intervention. These days however that’s delegated to the RBA.

    When you say: “The less debt this country has…” and proceed to list a number of undeniably beneficial goals, you have causality exactly backwards. It is public sector deficits that have historically underwritten the development of infrastructure and all those other good things.

    The problem is, the D words trigger within us such a reflexive shudder and it takes a monumental effort to overcome the phobia. Those wily pricks at the big end of town I suspect understand perfectly how the monetary system really works, but it suits their purposes for the rest of us, in our ignorance, to keep the Great Big Deficit phobia working to their advantage.

    I think I can safely say Nask, that when you wrote that post above you hadn’t had a chance to read Bill Mitchell. I do hope you get around to it.

  70. Shane, I thought that it was a job very well done by Julia. Sky’s 1st interview following Julia is Barnaby Joyce. I’m just shaking my head wondering if Barnaby even bothered to listen to Julia’s speech..even the Sky interviewer is looking somewhat stunned interjecting with “But the PM said….”. But Barnaby fluffed on regardless..they wasted money on school halls, blah blah and blab.

  71. “Mitchell’s thoughts will turn everything you might have learnt, or think you know, about economics on its head. But to me he makes sense.”

    Quite a good read, really, and well-recommended. Would prefer the areas Mitchell nominates as remaining iffy or unclear in the analysis to be made more solid; and some treatment given to the potential rolling shock he touches on in identifying high and growing private debt, if said quanta were treated as a rolling injection into an open system alongside government’s purposive injection, and their timings and interactions.

  72. It seems that the young Libs are out in force. Just from observation an Age Poll usually heads the way of Labor but suddenly out of the blue we have 27,886 people of whom 75% are against a flood levy.

  73. That’s not as harsh as’s poll, Min, where 78% are against it. Clearly, whoever runs the site will feel the wrath of Rupert who would demand nothing less that 99%. hasn’t been pushing hard enough at how bad the levy is an dhow good Joe is; 22% failed to get the message.

    But I ask, why weren’t reader’s polls conducted whenever Howard introduced a levy?

  74. I wonder if they are using a landline or boardband on ABC 24 during Mr. Abbot” interview. The quality leaves a lot to be desired. I generally have good reception on this channel.

  75. It was bought from Sydney by broadband. They announced this after the interview finished. I will not waste my time repeating what he said, except he now concerned for the volunteers. I am sure most of them, being closely involved would feel the same way.

  76. It’s interesting that especially are fighting so hard against what amounts to 98cents for someone on $60g. Clearly they think that Gillard is on a winner with this one and looking far too prime ministerial for Rupert’s liking.

  77. Great minds and all that CU 🙂 One journo I think from the OO just had to throw in the line about the pink batts ‘debacle’. I would have liked to see Gillard take him on about that one but obviously she wasn’t about to fall into the trap of being distracted.

  78. Seems a Young Lib may have hit GT as well. The furphy about billions in foreign aid but a pittance for our own aid.

  79. What did Mr, Abbott say the size of the budget was? I think he said over 350 billion. Puts our overseas aid in respective. I thought overseas aid was one were both sides agree. I would advise many not to take notice of whole numbers but look at percentages when comparing what we spend. If Mr. Abbott keeps going down his present path, he will at last have to say what should be cut. That could be embarrassing for him.

  80. The levy to be applied after our worst natural disaster in history.

    Anyone on less than $50,000 per year taxable income pays nothing. So thats a bloody lot of nothings.

    These are the rates per week for only 1 year that those above $50,000 to $100,000 taxable income will pay.

    $ 60,000 96c TOTAL $ 50.00
    $ 70,000 $1.92c TOTAL $100.00
    $ 80,000 $2.88c TOTAL $150.00
    $ 90,000 $3.85c TOTAL $200.00
    $100,000 $4.81c TOTAL $250.00

    Those over $100,000 pay more and so they should. I also have no doubt that many who earn over $100,000 will have their accountants ensure their taxable income is $100,000 and no more.

    Compare this in contrast to the Milk Levy introduced by the “levy for everything government”

    11c on each and every litre of milk to be applied to each and every australian whether rich or poor. Not for infrastructure after a natural disaster but rather an ideology to deregulate the dairy industry.

    An average family of 2 adults and 2 children will consume on average 2 litres of milk per day. Cost 22c per day. Then there is the cost of everything that contains milk. lets say that is 3c per day. Total cost per day 25c total cost per year $91.25 for every person rich or poor, employed or unemployed.

    Levy ran for 9 years total cost = $91.25 x 9 = $821.25

    All this for no infrastrucutre, less farmers, lower price to farmers and higher price to consumer, and domination by Woolies and Coles.

    Silence by media over milk levy. Outcry by media over disiter levy.

    And the coalition has the hide to talk about staples and people affording food.

  81. Min

    I didn’t miss Julia but I did miss Tony due to phone calls.

    Then again I would rather read what he says so I do not have to listen to ummm all the time.

    Is there a transcript so I can read what he said ?

  82. Shane, there isn’t anything up on the Liberal Party website – haven’t anything on Abbott’s immediate response and nothing other than “Flood levy ‘just plain dumb’: opposition” put up on Fairfax at 11 this morning.

  83. Thnx Mangrove for the link to Billy Blog. Just read thru it & need to really mull some points over. Certainly informative. Got the wee grey cells workin’ overtime. 🙂

    I noticed Barnaby Joyless had another go at the NBN after Gillard’s speech.

    In his typical ocker, reductionist, sarcastic, take the piss in turn pissin’ on the wall of in-depth debate approach, Barnaby ridiculed the NBN, describing its purpose as “downloading movies faster”.

    This from Bill Mitchell’s piece:

    This is like saying that the development of the railway system or the national highway system at different points in history was “unnecessary”. The NBN will deliver benefits for many years to businesses, to health professionals (network diagnosis and operations); to educators; to researchers; to consumers and to just about everybody.

    There is no sense that the Government cannot “afford” its planned expenditure to develop the network. The conservatives who are opposing this grand infrastructure scheme are effectively luddites and probably hate the increased democratisation that greater access to high speed networking permits (if used to advance community networking).

    The point is that you do not undermine long-term potential growth to deal with a temporary issue.

    And to think Abbott chose Barnaby to be his first Finance Minister.


  84. Migs, it seems that he’s had to change tactics “great big” would just maybe sound a bit odd when you’re talking about 98c-$5.00. Now it’s going to be “fat” and drawing on the aforementioned according to the brief mention now up on the OO.

    “There is fat in the budget, there is more fat upon which the government should draw,” he told reporters in Sydney.

    “The Prime Minister knows that there’s money there … they know there’s fat in the budget.”

    I wonder if Abbott will ever get around to giving any details about where this “fat” might be..hey sudden thought, isn’t Hockey going to look strange when he talks about “trimming the fat”..sounds like a line from The Biggest Loser, how appropriate 😀

  85. In his typical ocker, reductionist, sarcastic, take the piss in turn pissin’ on the wall of in-depth debate approach, Barnaby ridiculed the NBN, describing its purpose as “downloading movies faster”.

    I can see some great benefits in downloading movies faster, especially if they’re about first aid when your grandpa is lying on the floor after falling down the stairs, legs broken and a couple of busted ribs, suffering from shock, delerious, starts to shit his pants, grandma faints.

    You’d want to know what to do.

    Just lay there grandpa while I download Debbie Does Dallas.

  86. Mr. Abbott also commented that the NBN that only allows faster movie downloads and interactive gambling. I thought it is interactive gaming. Maybe I am wrong. Anyway he can give us what he believes we need much cheaper.

    The reception on 24 was by land line. The picture was almost unwatchable. I was distracted from what he was saying by the lovely brown blotches all over his face and the wonderful faces he seemed to be pulling.

    Yes, the copper wire and broadband we have today is adequate. By the way he was in Sydney, not the middle of Australia.

  87. Miglo, Barnaby and Abbott must be reading from the same scripts. The words are identifiable. It is going to be a very boring few months.

  88. There wasn’t only fat in the “levy for everything” governments budgets there was downright oceans of fillet steak. Yet we still had 6 levies placed on us and on the poor to boot. Honestly will someone throw some of this back at him.

  89. Father jailed over flood relief fraud
    A Brisbane father of three has been jailed for fraudulently claiming disaster relief funding for flood and bushfire victims.
    Ruel Neil Patrick Fogarty has pleaded guilty in the District Court in Brisbane to obtaining and attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception….
    Proof that PM Gillard’s mob are on the ball.

  90. C Street

    This is horrific and alarming, you should listen to it, especially reb/joni and be angered.

    Right wingers like Bolt love to stir the pot on the terrible Muslim extremist treatment of gays but it is a secretive Christian group that is actually undertaking a homophobic genocide in Africa that is spreading. It is scary that this group are in Australia.

  91. Thanks Mobius. I’ll watch it when I get home and no doubt I too will be angered.

    I’m standing in a check out at Woollies and the line is a mile long, as are the other lines. It’s been like this for a week. Close a few check outs to save a few dollars while inconveniencing the customers.

  92. Also posted at GT. The hate sown by the Christian groups comes to this and yet there is absolute silence from the media commentators who never hesitate to highlight any Muslim poor treatment of gays.

    Ugandan ‘hang them’ paper has no regrets after David Kato death

    David Kato had recently won a court case to get an influential tabloid newspaper Rolling Stone to stop posting photos, names and addresses of gays and calling for them to be hanged.

    A direct result of the religious right’s influence in Africa where they are deliberately stirring the pot against gays and Christian Church groups there are calling for the life imprisonment of gays, and even worse in some cases for their execution. African political leaders in the pockets of these mostly US influenced or based Christian groups are now carrying out the groups’ edicts against gays.

    Where is the outrage by the Bolts, Blairs, Ackermans etc. here when they have little hesitation of raising some Muslim’s terrible treatment of gays and tarring all Muslims with that brush?

  93. “Where is the outrage by the Bolts, Blairs, Ackermans etc. here when they have little hesitation of raising some Muslim’s terrible treatment of gays and tarring all Muslims with that brush?”

    There is a sickness out there. A virus of hate & mean-spiritedness that should not exist in 2011.

    I blame the tabloids. And cable news. And radio jocks here & in America. And extreme right-wing blogs & pollies.

    And the mentally ill who run & support religions of hate & discrimination.



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