I’d be Lying if I said the Price on Carbon wasn’t Taxing me too

Guest Post by Tom R:

The climate of debate within our country at the moment has degenerated into a slanging match of who can fling the most vitriol towards our first female PM.

We have shock jocks wanting to “Put her in the same chaff bag as Julia Gillard and throw them both out to sea.” Spectators in the Gallery calling her “a lying scrag”,and who can forget the opposition leader appearing in a protest in front of the “Ditch the Witch” and “Bob Browns Bitch” placards. Yes, this is the kind of ‘debate’ we are having in regards to one of the most important legislations to face out country.

And all of this vitriol is apparently based on an alleged lie perpetrated by Gillard on the eve of the election. A lie which, if it were ever to be examined truthfully by our meeja, would be exposed not as a lie, but actually as a PM pursuing, at its core, precisely what was promised on the eve of the election. Our media is simply (and imo deliberately) refusing to acknowledge the reality of this statement, and preferring to perpetuate the ongoing hatred and vehemence this ‘alleged’ lie has exposed.

To begin with, why don’t we examine the statement made by the PM, instead of the cherry picked snippet we are fed daily by the meeja and the opposition. From the oo itself (so they really have no excuse for their subterfuge).

“I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.”

Now, that is pretty clear. She is saying, clearly, that her Government will pursue a Carbon Pricing mechanism, but not a Carbon Tax. There is a reason that the two options are raised in contrast to each other here, I would speculate, in that perhaps she was worried that someone, perhaps through ignorance, or perhaps through ideological grounds, may decide to conflate the two, and try and claim that she had broken an election promise on that basis. Because, simply put, they are very similar proposals in a broad, overarching view of public policy, although largely different in their core implementation. Hence the two can be easily confused, particularly, as it appears in retrospect, if you do not want to look at them too closely; which the media are steadfastly refusing to do. There is a very good, simple and concise explanation over at the The Conversation “Explainer: The difference between a carbon tax and an ETS” that explains this difference in a manner that our broadsheet media appears unable to do.

An ETS works by setting a cap on emissions and requiring emitters to hold a permit for each tonne of CO2 that they emit. The level of the cap determines the number of permits available.

There is no cap on emissions in a tax-based system. People are free to emit as much or as little as they like, but if they do emit, they must pay the tax.

Well, Gillard was very specific, but, in our brave new, unhinged world, conflating issues is the least of the PMs worries. Here, the media as a whole have simply cherry pick the portion of the promise they want to, and (deliberately??) ignored the caveats implicitly stated within that promise. From there, they can run with the whole “No Carbon Tax” meme. So, a few days after the announcement by the Government on its proposed Carbon Reduction Scheme, we had the media noticing that the ‘fixed’ price on the Carbon Credits ‘acts essentially like a tax’. Gillard, for reasons unbeknown, agreed with them, and, no matter how correct the statement is, it was politically damaging. The truth is, if it is fixed or not, an ETS is similar to a tax, as even Malcolm Turnbull accedes to.

You can argue it’s a tax, whether it’s cap-and-trade or a fixed-price.

The trouble is, the media are happy to run with the perception, and actively re-inforce it at every turn. In the same article, the author runs with this line.

Ms Gillard never properly attempted the distinction.

Well, that is entirely untrue. The PM laboured, extensively, and vainly, on attempting to draw the distinction, but was shut down every time by a press who had their story, and were prepared to ignore all evidence to the contrary to pursue it. Grogs Gamut had a post up at the time which details the arguments Gillard (futilely) used to prosecute her case:

PM: …. I have agreed that we would start with a fixed price and then move to the full emissions trading scheme.

HOST: And you have agreed that the fixed price is the same as the carbon tax?

PM: Laurie, I didn’t want to get caught up in what I knew would be one of those semantic word games about whether or not I would say the word ‘tax’. You know how these games are played, Laurie. A politician decides they are not going to say a word, and then media, people like yourself, Laurie, spend weeks trying to make them say it. I wasn’t going to do any of that
Along with

ALEXANDRA KIRK: So your problem is that you’ve had two opposing positions on carbon tax. The fundamental problem is that you broke an election promise. You said before the election there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, and now you’ve shifted your position. So you don’t have a mandate for a carbon tax.

JULIA GILLARD: Alex, we went to the 2007 election saying we had to price carbon and the best way of doing that was an emissions trading scheme where the market sets the price for carbon.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But you went to the last election…

JULIA GILLARD: We went to the 2010 election saying we need to price carbon and the best way of doing that is an emissions trading scheme where the market prices carbon. What will we deliver? An emissions trading scheme where the market prices carbon.

Yes, there will be a period where the price is fixed, effectively like a carbon tax. But we will end up exactly where we promised Australians we would go.

That doesn’t look like somebody who ‘never properly attempted the distinction’. It looks more like somebody banging their head against the brick wall of somebody else who didn’t want to listen. Unfortunately for Labor. It may be too late to change the perception (in fact, I think they gave up on that months ago). Which is a pity, as this isue will dog them forever now.

Another argument that is run a lot in the resultant ‘debate’ is the “it is a tax by definition”. There are cases both for and against this, and, barring a high court decision, we will probably never come to a clear conclusion. I personally lean to the case that it isn’t a tax by definition, based largely on the finding in the Journal of Australian Taxation 391 TAX OR PENALTY? – THE LATEST SEQUEL By Vince Morabito which finds:

The passage above clearly indicates that the concepts of taxes and penalties are mutually exclusive. A given exaction may be either a tax or a penalty, but it cannot be both.[9] Consequently, if the Commonwealth Act under challenge deals with only one exaction which is characterised by the court as a penalty, rather than a tax, then the law is not authorised by the taxation power and will be declared invalid by the court, unless the Commonwealth can place reliance on other heads of legislative power.

Of course, others may bring out other disputing case, but this misses the elephant in the room. The PM did not say that the Government would not be implementing a tax, she said they would not be pursuing a ‘Carbon Tax’, but a ‘Carbon Price’. As seen from Malcolm Turnbulls comments earlier, an ETS can easily be seen as a tax, and may well be defined as a tax in certain respects. It is highly likely that sections of the bills will refer directly to sections of the tax code. Whatever a classification of a ‘tax’ or not a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme holds, it is still the scheme that Gillard took to the election, as opposed to a Carbon Tax scheme. Note the difference here between the generic term of ‘tax’, and a specific ‘Carbon Tax’. A CPRS is still a different concept to a Carbon tax, and, even if the high court deemed it a tax, is still an CPRS, and, therefore, still what was promised prior to the election.

To delve deeper in the moronic nature of the debate, and, assuming that everything I have written here is dismissed for whatever reasons, there still remains one final hurdle to cross, which truly brings in the contradictory nature of the oppositions claims. This fixed price period of the trading scheme is, well, fixed, for three years (initially). Now, while many refer to absolutely anything the Government extracts from a private entity a tax, broadly, regardless of the details, not everyone is as free with the terminology. Here is an example of one such person, who, when presented with a question by joni over at Cafe Whispers, enlightened us on his own interpretation of the intricacies between certain terminologies:

JON HARRIS: Over here. The Opposition will impose a levy on business to fund a paid parental leave. When does a levy become a tax?

JOE HOCKEY: When it becomes permanent.

Of course, these rules only apply to certain political parties, which is all well and good, if you agree that rules for one and rules for another exist. But for the rest of us??

But will this rancid argument over a falsely alleged lie go away, and will we ever be able to actually discuss the actual merits or otherwise of the actual legislation? Going on the opposition’s behavior in parliament who, when presented with this opportunity, then proceeded to walk out en masse, only to appear outside and complain that the bills were being rammed through without any time for debate, I would guess not. And, more importantly, until our media can get back to reporting the facts, clearly and concisely, without picking through morsels to suit their agenda, while ignoring the core of what is said, I largely doubt that.

120 comments on “I’d be Lying if I said the Price on Carbon wasn’t Taxing me too

  1. Tom R

    I was on holidays for a week 2 weeks ago and visited a few friends. One family own a motel and have become quite hostile to the current government and the Carbon Tax.

    Their response was that they will increase their price by more than double the cost of the Carbon Tax and blame the government.

    Whatever happened to honesty and decency in our community. They would rather fleece their customers blind making money for themselves through outright lies and deception.

    There are no degrees of honesty, but it seems to many that stealing from the public while blaming the government is legitimate theft.

    I pointed out that the tax free threshold is being increased massively to compensate, but this just seemed to fall on deaf ears and glazed eyes and responded silence. Seems that only angry and bitter hatred are the norm.

  2. Shane, I think that your friend might have forgotten that Wayne Swan has stated categorically that anyone caught trying to profiteer from the carbon tax will be prosecuted.

    There was the example of a hairdresser who had put her prices up in anticipation of the carbon tax, sorry you cannot do it.

  3. I think that, once the actual implementation comes in, it will not really be a real issue.

    There hasn’t been rioting in the streets over the Flood Levy?

    The problem is, by next year, the perception is simply of a dishonest Government, and, in the minds of voters, perce[tions a realities do not have to align. Perceptions are all that count really, and the media is feeding this perception with their constant inability to face the truth.

    I can understand an opposition doing it, but the way the media have enabled it is the true issue here.

  4. The “truth” is not important for the Liberal Party (and Media) attack on the government. The opposition just has to repeat an issue ad nauseam to score political points.
    As one politician put it when you are sick of repeating the message some voters are hearing it for the first time.
    Is there anyone in Australia who has not heard that Labor’s “Pink Batts” program murdered killed five young Australians. As recently as yesterday on the ABC Capital Hill program, one Liberal drop kick was repeating this propaganda. Thankfully Lyndal Curtis was out getting ready for halloween and the guest presenter did not go on and on about it.

    So the entire Liberal Party platform can be summarised as follows:

    1. Rudd /Gillard leadership (variations on a theme);
    2. Labor economic management ie silly waste of money (Budget Deficit, BER, Pink Batts etc);
    3. Toxic Carbon Tax (to which has been added toxic poker machine tax); and
    4. Xenophobia: turn back the boats (recently they have gone soft on this one).

    That’s it. Everyone in the Opposition knows the script and can repeat it word perfect.

    I find it hard to believe they will get elected with this rubbish.

  5. Grog has an excellent post up (again) which cuts to the core, as he does so well.

    Both the ALP and the Liberal Party are actually in agreement on the reduction target for greenhouse gasses by 2020. Both support a 5 per cent reduction of 2000 levels. Does anyone actually remember the debate over this?


    (my bold)

  6. I won’t say how many times I mucked it before it even got to you then Min 😉

    (or possibly how many ‘muck ups’ are still in it)

  7. I am totally in favour of the Carbon Tax and the passing of Carbon Tax Legislation this month.
    It is going to be a major factor in cleaning up the excessive pollution in our environment.
    The Carbon Tax has been credited for getting rid of Rudd, Gillard (pending) the ALP for about 10 years (WIP) and putting the greens back into their 10% slot.
    Imagine the ALP or any party going to elections any time in the near future promising to bring back the Carbon Dioxide Tax. The climate talkfest in Durban in December will be an expensive carbon footprint joke.

  8. Tom R at 12.38 A “real” skeptic (not the political propaganda kind) would ask if Richard Muller is receiving research funding from a different organization.

  9. The last time we had a guest poster (Pip’s first post) we had over 400 comments. You guest posters are showing the way.

    Naturally I’ll be offering a reward if you can repeat Pip’s great record.

  10. Min

    The main word in your comment @ 11.20 is “Caught”

    I mentioned the inspectors and they said, what are the odds we will get caught. Honestly there will be heaps of businesses ripping off the customers that will not be caught.

  11. “Their response was that they will increase their price by more than double the cost of the Carbon Tax and blame the government.”

    And go broke for lack of customers, bad Labor
    or are in a mining area so why not treble the rent, Good Coal

    Which reminds me of a story of descrimination by a Motel owner in a Mining town in Qld. Rooms always rented, profits soaring but the clientele, there was a problem. Prostitutes wanted to rent the rooms on the flyin/ flyout basis of the miners, the case was with the courts.

  12. nobody will notice

    I noticed!

    to one of the most important legislations to face out country.

    😆 :mrgreen:

    Just joshin’ with ya Tom – I stand in awe of your journalistic talents 🙂

  13. Actually if anyone is interested my business has had new compliance documents introduced as of 1 October by ASIC. Just more pages of absolute useless crap for customers to throw in the bin and I have been trying to mould them into 1 auto populate document to save having to write the same details and names around 40 times.

    Being somewhat challenged (and that is putting it mildly) in the computer and IT departments means it is a slow and frustrating process for me, but I am slowly getting there.

  14. Tom R

    from the new matilda

    ‘News Limited staff are unhappy after being required to pay to read their own content behind The Australian’s new paywall.’

    Now that is a sign of desperation, fancy boosting circulation numbers in this way. And fancy being a journo and having to read the muck to see what you have allegedly written.

    That was the best laugh I have had in a while, mumbles, albrechtsen having to buy their own rubbish. I wonder if they have to pay for it they will expect a better standard.
    The OO journos what a joke and the biggest joke is on them.

  15. Sue, good one. I hadn’t thought of that..it’s all about the numbers. Karmic justice, having to pay to read one’s own drivel.

  16. More laughs, sorry folks but this is just too good to be true, the memo to staff from Hartigan, but didn’t include the bit about them paying

    “All of our research and all the indications are that people will pay for great journalism”.

    But did your research actually think the oo was in that category. ROFL

    No wonder the staff feel jipped, fancy having to pay for crap written by your colleagues.

  17. Just had a person call in, requesting I sign a petition against the Carbon Tax. Politely told him to bugger off as I fully support the legislation.

  18. Shane, apart from the polite suggestion to ‘bugger off’ I hope that you ran by this person that government via petition doesn’t work..it’s already been passed by the House of Reps.

  19. Not Min @ 4.01pm, my thoughts exactly…

    Excellent post Tom, clearly written by someone of insight, intelligence..plus good looks 🙄

  20. So far we have had from Abbott that he is going to rescind the carbon tax, the poker machine tax and the mining tax. It sounds as if he is going to be spending one heck of a lot of time rescinding. I wonder where all the money for all of this rescinding is going to be coming from?

  21. Tom R, a very important post. The label of liar that has been aimed at the PM exists on this one lie.

    I cannot remember so much hate and distrust being based on such a weak allegation.

    This government and the PM is continually accused of getting the message across.

    What is worse the PM is accuse of not having a story, narrative or where Labor is going.

    This is hard to understand that the PM and her ministry tell the public what Labor is doing and proposes to do at every public appearance.

    They do so in a simple, plain language that is to the point and is focus.

    Is the problem that this government is not about spin and three word slogans.

    They have a bigger message to convey, that cannot be said in slogans.

    Slogans tell us nothing and are pure spin.

    The Australian public needs to decide if they only want spin, slogans and mother hood statements that tells us nothing.

    Do they really expect, as Mr. Richardson Criticises the PM for, for not be out on the campaign trail every day with Mr. Abbott, fulling I assume better stunts.

    Do we want our PM addressing Australia’s needs and fulfilling the role of the PM instead.

    Mr. Richardson has not noticed, that the Clean Energy Bill is not the only issue that a PM has to deal with. Wearing out shoe leather is not a luxury she has. There are as many other important matters to deal with.

    MR, Abbott has focus his attention one hundred on the Clean Energy Bill, spreading misinformation through out the Nation.

    Mr. Abbott only takes time off from this mission to say “no’ to every other issue. His whole role in life is to belittle everything the PM does or proposes. He will even do this when he agrees to the policy and is not in his own best interest.

    Mr. Abbott appears to do this, regardless of what his own party thinks.

    There does not seem to be any dialogue with his shadow backbench.

    The PM answers every question put to her.

    Mr. Abbott only answers what he is ficus on. He walks away from the media immediately the questions go off his message.

  22. Howard was always telling us how good he was. Rudd and Gillard should have adopted – within reason – this wearisome trait.

    They certainly share a better record of achievement that Howard.

  23. ” and glazed eyes and responded silence. Seems that only angry and bitter hatred are the norm.

    Yes,Shane, Mr. Howard taught us well.

    It is a shame that Mr. Howard was wrong when he said a new government changes a country. Sadly this has not happened.

    Maybe it is easier to hate than show respect. Sadly, hate lets one only care about ones own pockets and ignore the rights and needs of us.

    We now have a “I am alright Jack” society.

    Maybe Mr. Rudd did not do the country a favour be protecting us from the world wide financial crisis.

    Maybe it is time for some to learn they are not secure, only because of their own efforts. Misfortune can hit us all.

    Maybe they need to learn that one can lose what they have amassed.

    They say we only value what we have when we lose it.

  24. Shane, your friend is going to be disappointed when he realises how little he will make when he put his prices up, even after doubling the extra cost.

    I do hope he realises the support that most get, will enable many to continue to use the facilities at his pub.

    Tom, he is not ripping off the government, he is ripping off his customers.

  25. Luna, the public is only hearing one word. “Liar”. Ask them what the lie is, many cannot tell you. The reply you will get, I don’t care “she lied”.

    Most have tried to communicate with a defiant child. It is a one way street. While you are talking, the child is occupied with working out what they are going to say next. They do not hear. One has to take drastic action to gain their attention.

    What the public shpuld realise that communications is a two way street.

    The listener also has a responisibilty to enable communicatioons to occur.

    If one is unwilling or unable to listen, it is a bit ubfair to blame those who are giving the message.

    It is in my opiniom, the role of the media to assist in communication, not further to muddy the waters.

    One good example was few weeks ago, before question time, the PM made announcement of the Presidents visit.

    Mr. Abbott was so busy concentration on his stunts that he did not hear what she said. The Oppostion immedialtely went into the tidiculing role, making much noise and maxium disruptionh.

    The PM sat down, saying if that is how you feel about the President visit, so be it or words to that effect.

    The penny dropped and Mr. Abbott jumped to his feet, demanding to talk to the announcement. The Speaker was that annoyed, he made Mr. Abbott wait until after Question time.

  26. “I can understand an opposition doing it, but the way the media have enabled it is the true issue here.”

    Tom. I cannot understand the Opposition doing it. Surely there are some in the party that do care how they win.

    The behaviour of this Opposition will come back to haunt them.

    Do we respect those who cheat in sport. Do we give credit to their success. I believe not.

    Surely it is a poor victory to win by telling lies. That is what they are doing.

    Surely it is better to win by having superior policies and demonstration that they can do better.

    If one hinders or harms a opponent in sport, business or any other action, they are disqualified. Why is winning by any means tolerated and condoned in politics.

    It is OK to play a game of football hard, it is not OK to harm other players or cheat.

  27. Cu, the Liberals have a magnificent record when it comes to winning through lying.

    Think of children overboard, lower interest rates.

  28. Min, he is now predicting this is what will happen.

    Does that means, when it comes to breaking promises, he will say I only predicted that, it looks like I was wrong.

    He will probably rescind. Maybe it is a good idea to have a look at what one is against.

  29. Migs, even further back to Reds on the bed and the communist threat. It is the only way they know how to win.

    As for the the old chap, maybe he is left over from De Groots prewar army. The one that armed themselves to take over the Lang government.

  30. Mr. Menzies was little different. He was known for opposing Labors promises during an campaign and then adopt the same policies on retaking office.

    But fear was his main weapon.

  31. Here is what your lady PM is relying on when she says she goes with the consensus of the scientists at the IPCC:- or words to that effect.

    This recently published book is, as you will read, somewhat critical of the IPCC, but it is well researched and documented.

    “The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world’s top climate expert”

    Here is an excerpt : “Having morphed into an obnoxious adolescent, the IPCC is now everyone’s problem. This is because it
    performs one of the most important jobs in the world. Its purpose is to survey the scientific literature regarding climate change, to decide what it all means, and to write an ongoing series of reports. These reports are informally known as the Climate Bible. The Climate Bible is cited by governments around the world. It is the reason carbon taxes are being introduced, heating bills are rising, and costly new regulations are being enacted. It is why everyone thinks carbon dioxide emissions are dangerous. Put simply: the entire planet is in a tizzy because of a UN report. What most of us don’t know is that, rather than being written by a meticulous, upstanding professional in business attire, this report was produced by a slapdash, slovenly teenager who has trouble distinguishing right from wrong.”

    I would like to give you a link for the entire pdf but the author does deserve her USD$4.99.

    I thoroughly recommend you download for yourself.


    Best read I have had in a long while!




  32. CU and others don’t worry all these petty (and they are petty) concerns are about to be overtaken by the Eurpoean debt crisis which is going into it’s penultimate melt down phase.
    This will be global financial road kill with no rescue option. Sure vote for Abbott to make your life better in the unemployment queue.
    Usually people learn a lot when things get really tough.
    Shame about the increasing number of extictions though.

  33. Ah Roger, long time no see. You’ve been busy, I notice, gathering your evidence that the world isn’t getting warmer.

    God knows the evidence is hard to find.

  34. “This will be global financial road kill with no rescue option. Sure vote for Abbott to make your life better in the unemployment queue.”

    Your comment reminded me of the unemployment rate under Labor from 1983-1996. It averaged over 8% with unemployment rates not seen since the great depression. And this record will be hard to beat. Unemployment rates from 1991-1994

    “Sept-Dec 1991- 10.1, 10.0, 10.2, 10.4
    Jan-Dec 1992- 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 11.0, 11.0, 10.8, 10.7, 11.0, 11.0, 11.2
    Jan-Dec1993- 10.9, 11.0, 10.8, 10.7, 10.8, 11.0, 10.8, 11.0, 10.7, 10.9, 10.8, 10.6
    Jan-April 1994- 10.4, 10.3, 10.3, 10.1”

    Lucky you guys were handed unemployment at 4.2% because Labor will never leave office with an unemployment rate lower than it was handed.

  35. “This will be global financial road kill with no rescue option. Sure vote for Abbott to make your life better in the unemployment queue.”

    Your comment reminded me of the unemployment rate under Labor from 1983-1996.

    What incredible thought bubbles you have, Neil.

    I for one fail to see how the statement could remind you of antiquated employment figures.

    The comment has more in common with dead kangaroos on the side of the road than your link.

  36. Slightly off topic, but pertinent to this post (great stuff Tom R), I received an email from NewsStand today asking me to send a submission to the inquiry into the media.

    The body of the email is below:

    Is the Australian media industry perfect? Is it pretty good, but there are a few ways it could be improved? Are there sweeping reforms crying out for attention? Is it so rotten that it needs a complete overhaul?

    Most of us are probably in the middle of that spectrum – but unless you’re Rupert Murdoch, you’d agree there are definitely some changes that need to be made to the way news is made and delivered in Australia.

    Well, now is the time to have those opinions heard. Earlier this year you joined the call for an inquiry into our media; now the inquiry has been delivered and wants to hear from you. Click here to make your submission:


    If you get your information from the media, then you’re qualified to submit. You don’t have to be an expert; if you’re someone who cares about having access to quality information that is free of bias and misinformation, then the inquiry needs to hear from you.

    It doesn’t have to be a post-doctoral thesis either. A couple of paragraphs – about your experiences, your opinions, or the value to you of a free and fair press – will let the Inquiry know the overwhelming support for a better media industry.

    There’s a real chance this Inquiry just becomes a platform for major media outlets to say ‘all is well’, and there is no need for reform. Unless we are there in numbers to suggest things can be improved, nothing will change. Click here to add your voice to the call for reform, by making your own submission today:


    We joined together to call for this Inquiry because we agree our media should be better: more diverse, more accurate, less biased, less sensational. This is our opportunity to help make that vision a reality, by voicing our opinions in the Inquiry we’ve been calling for.

    Thanks for making it happen,
    Ed, for the NewsStand team

    PS – The deadline for submissions is October 31 – if you care about the state of the Australian media industry, make sure you
    make your submission saying so before the Inquiry deadline passes!

  37. Neil, I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

    The unemployment rate Fraser was handed in 1975 was 8.2%. When he departed office in 1983, he handed Hawke an unemployment rate of 10.3%

    Which is lower than the unemployment rate Howard was handed by Keating.

    Nice try but no cigar.

  38. My memory seem to recall 1% or less under Mr. Whitlam.

    All side of politics can deliver high and low unemployment.

    Budgets surpluses and deficits.

    Same for interest rates.

    It has more to do what is going on with the rest of the world.

    This something that Neil does not comprehend.

    This is what is different with Mr. Swan’s effort, we seem to be going against the trend.

    Of course we can revert to what is normal and join the rest of the world.

    The truth is that government can do little but try and alleviate the harm and plan for the future.

    I am afraid that is the Capitalist system. Boom and bust.

  39. I’m not sure I can subscribe to Jericho’s latest quibblings. Trust-me Tony and friends do seem to like reminding average Australians of their long-standing pre-commitment to bipartisanship on any Government meeting pre-agreed climate change targets; of how a tax can be so many things (a price, a tax and a price, a price on a tax, an import-export business expense, an employment agency, a bank, an amazingly complex business regulatory system, an emissions reduction scheme, and a manded bad based on a lie amounting to all pain and no gain); and of how a pretty-resistant-to-criticism direct action policy can time-travel to fulfill its manifest destiny, to complete itself afore any election, yesterday or tomorrow.

  40. “My memory seem to recall 1% or less under Mr. Whitlam.”

    Gough was handed unemployment at 2% in 1972 and quickly doubled it to 4%. It may seem strange to us but back in those days 4% unemployment was regarded as high and dangerous to society.

    All Labors policies just add to business costs and create unemployment. Labor will never leave office with a lower unemployment rate than it was handed.

  41. How many Liberals does it take to change a lightbulb? No-one knows because it has never happened. Liberals hate change and will do anything to avoid it.

  42. Good old Tony. Wants to see 95,000 problem gamblers keep losing their money but he doesn’t want to see a handful of miners pay more tax.

    The average person in this country who are waving placards in support of Abbott need to know that he is not on their side.

  43. (“All Labors policies just add to business costs and create unemployment.”

    I find that highly unlikely, Neil. For instance, just one of Labor’s policies has demonstrably lowered business costs and created a thousand casual positions, in Apprentice Tony’s cameos alone.

    And here is Cameo Tony, now, making up the mask of the heroic clown with a thousand tragic faces, explaining his mimetic contributions to the traveling theatre-workshop industry: “So, I think what the Government is going to find, having published all of this, is that it suffers the death of a thousand cameos as so many people look at these figures and decide that they’re not going to be better off at all.”)

  44. Metatron, I love that one…”making the mask of the heroic clown with a thousand tragic faces”. Great visual image there.

  45. “All Labors policies just add to business costs and create unemployment. Labor will never leave office with a lower unemployment rate than it was handed.”

    We have just had the lowest underlying quarterly inflation result on record at 0.3%. Yes another terrible result by a government that creates unemployment and adds to business costs.

    Honestly Neil.

  46. What Abbott is arguing against is limiting people to losing only $120.00 per hour or if they want to gamble more then they can choose to sign a pre-commitment card. But according Abbott these ‘restrictions’ are going to ruin our social fabric.

  47. But according Abbott these ‘restrictions’ are going to ruin our social fabric

    Like I said, if that is our ‘social fabric’, we bloody well SHOULD ruin it ffs

    A society built on the misery of others, Its such a beautiful thing 😦

  48. Is he serious? And I suppose pokies don’t ruin our social fabric. Everyday that man comes out with something that leaves me shaking my head.

  49. I hate to keep labouring a somewhat off thread point, but have just received the following email from avaaz:

    Dear friends across Australia,

    Murdoch is working to discredit the media inquiry that we fought hard to win. We have just two days to flood the inquiry with public comments supporting media reform, and save this historic chance to clean up our media. Send your message now and forward to everyone:

    Send a message now!
    The media inquiry we fought hard to win is under threat — Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are working to discredit and limit the investigation into his stranglehold on our media. But a flood of public comments from each of us will set an ambitious agenda and save the inquiry.

    Our media is broken. Murdoch owns 70% of Australia’s newspapers and weak regulation lets him manipulate the news we read freely. This media inquiry is a once-in-a-generation chance to fix this and other problems with media independence — it’s why we campaigned tirelessly for months for this moment. One last push can stop Murdoch’s attempt to weaken the investigation for good.

    But we only have two days to act. Send a personal message to the media inquiry and it will be entered into the public record — pushing a wide agenda that includes Murdoch and his media monopoly. Then forward this message to everyone:


    Change is in the air — Murdoch’s power in the UK has collapsed with the phone hacking scandal, and across Australia there is strong public support for reform. This is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for, and Murdoch knows it.

    His papers are working overtime to discredit voices that threaten his power, calling the inquiry the “first step to totalitarianism” and doing what they can to keep the expert panel’s purview as narrow as possible. But if enough of us speak out now, we can make sure the media inquiry makes recommendations to roll back the dangerous concentration of power crushing the diversity of our media.

    Avaaz members worked tirelessly to urge PM Gillard to go ahead with the inquiry. Now, a strong and far-reaching set of recommendations from the expert panel will create the political mandate for the government to save our media. These are within our grasp — but only if they hear from us now. Send your message directly to the panel now, and forward widely:


    Earlier this year, Avaaz members helped win a media inquiry despite Murdoch’s stiff opposition. In the UK, we forced Murdoch to drop his bid for a complete takeover of British broadcaster BSkyB. We’ve been taking on battles no one thought we could win and reclaiming the media space for informed public debate. Together we can make this inquiry a defining victory for press freedom and democracy in Australia and around the world.

    With hope,
    Stephanie, Laura, Brant, Paul, Emma, Ari, Ricken, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

    It seems if we don’t want the Emperor to derail the media inquiry, we have to do everything in our power to derail Ltd News.

    Neil, Whitlam came to power as the economy was going into recession, hence higher unemployment figures. However, your obsession with unemployment figures is just another Liars talking point.

    The Whitlam government dragged this country kicking and screaming into the 20th century with a big reform agenda.

    All the Liars have ever wanted to do is keep us tied to the 19th century, with matches made with by poor girls and women exposed to ghastly cancer inducing phosphorus in their production, poor health and education outcomes.for all but the monied classes.

    And Liealot is cut from that cloth. No concern at all for the families affected by people suffering pokies addiction. Once again his only concern is for the big end of town.

    He doesn’t give a sh!t whether families lose everything because one of their members has an addiction, as long as the fat cats in the pokies industry can keep fleecing these poor suckers. and perhaps you should also check just how much of the pokies profits the clubs actually do put back into the community, before you come that old chestnut.

    Also ask yourself this, how come other states sporting clubs manage to do alright without poker machines? How come they’re not sooking?

  50. Dooleys catholic club $1.3 million distributed to the community, Dooleys revenue from pokie machines $44million.

    And the big talking point, the kiddies/members sporting clubs $61,000. So out of the $1.3 million, only $61,000 for sport, pathetic.

    $44million for $61,000.

  51. I hate to keep labouring a somewhat off thread point

    Actually Sue, I think it is entirely relevant to the thread. Thanks for spreading it 😉

    It is because of our pathetic media that the ‘BER rort’, ‘Government waste’ and now ‘Carbon Tax Lie’ have entered into the publics perceptions. It is an agenda pushed by our papers, who should be pushing facts, not ideologies.

  52. Jane

    I have already sent my email.

    James Packer is against poker machine reform. Could that be becuase his company is a casino junket drunk on the losses of addicted gamblers. If James Packer is against it then it must proceed.

  53. For a short while I was on a committee – originally set up by Howard but continued following the change of government – looking at what strategies would be put in place in the event of a pandemic. At the time the world was worried about the bird flu, hence the need.

    Put simply, we would be in a situation that all activities would be computer based to limit human interaction.

    Could this environment succeed without fast broadband? I think not.

  54. Tom @10.53am..plus Pink Batts ’caused the deaths of 5 young Australians’ when it was 2 deaths caused by the use of metal staples after Minister Garrett had banned them, one chap fell off a roof, another died from heat exhaustion and I don’t know the reason for the 5th death. However according to folk lore all deaths were caused by Pink Batts. I wonder what has happened to Fletcher’s market share?

  55. It is amazing we have the head of the Catholic Church in this country today, saying that he does not agree in climate change. His view is at odds with what the Vatican has announced.

    At the same time, not one word of sympathy for the victims of poker machines, which are unnecessary and adds little to the social fabric.

    I remember a time when one dressed up and visited your local pub for an evening of entertainment. A era that our bands and singing groups had a chance to make their mark.

    One had the chance to dance all night. Well at least to ten or eleven o’clock.

    Not a poker machine in sight.

  56. Jane, our media inquiry should try this….

    a rule that bans lying on broadcast news…..I would add print news media !

    A Law Against Lying on the News
    Why Canada has one and the U.S. doesn’t.


    It’s not often that goings-on in Canada interest the American news media, but a rather small decision by a relatively small government agency—the decision not to revoke a rule that bans lying on broadcast news—in Ottawa has made a pretty big splash.

  57. CU, apparently it does..which is why James Packer is screaming so loudly.

    But from Crown Casino’s CEO we probably come to the truth of the matter, that is they’re worried that people will leave the machines, take a break which of course is the reason that millions of dollars have been spent on outdoor ‘entertainment’ areas once the anti-smoking legislation was brought in. They do not want people to leave the machines because this gives people especially addicts, an opportunity to think about how much they’ve thrown away.

    Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie said the proposal will just defer problem gambling problems, as players who hit their limit will return once their lockout period is over.


  58. Wilkie press conference, Wilkie wanted Packer to tell AGM the other side of Casino profit. W told story of man who was staying at Crown casino, lost all, then went back to his free room and committed suicide.

  59. MIgs @7.38 & 7.39am how true.Unfortunately, the cheerleaders seem to think that families being thrown into penury is fine as long as the money keeps rolling into the pokies kings.

    AntonyG @7.43am, nor was the wheel.

    Min, yes only $120/hour! Who could afford to lose that much a week, let alone an hour, ffs?

    How can anyone with a functioning brain cell or a grain of empathy for the victims of pokies addiction possibly support Liealot’s stated intention to sabotage legislation to limit the amount that can be put through these machines?

    As suggested upthread (by TomR?), Wilkie and supporters of the proposed legislation should start trotting out the innocent victims of this pernicious disease; the families, friends and employers of the addicted.

    I think they should play up the damage done to employers when pokie addicts start to embezzle money. Damage to business may be the only thing which will have an impact on some people.

    I am not trying to minimise its impact; a small business could go broke throwing a lot of people out of work, but alas Liars Party supporters seem only to care about how they personally are affected by legislation.

    So the idea they could lose their job because a workmate suffered a pokie addiction may be a good way of opening their eyes to how destructive it could be to their bottom line.

    Sue @10.29am. More proof, if we needed it, that the biggest whingers about any proposed legislation, while raking in tens of millions of dollars, return so very little to the communities they’re fleecing! Might open a few eyes to the cynicism of the clubs and Liealot!

    So much for Christian ethics as well, but I suppose the CEO and the board need the money to buy a nice house on the North Shore and a new Ferrari. And anyway, gambling is a sin and these sinners need to be punished all the way to the Bankruptcy Courts and gaol.

    Thanks, shane. I also received an email from Avaaz today urging everyone to send submissions because the Evil Empire’s propagandists are doing their level best to derail the inquiry and focus attention away from the monopoly they hold.


    I heartily agree with you on James Packer. Another one who can only see the bottom line on his bank statement.

  60. Jane, and another one pointed out by Xenophon is that the big gamblers who are prepared to gamble and lose more than an average of $120.00 per hour can opt for the pre-commitment where they can gamble and lose up to $3,000 before ‘the lockout period’.

    But of course according to Tony Abbott these restrictions will rip into the very fabric of society.

  61. Min, there are two who have ripped the fabric of our society, John Howard and Tony Abbott, in large measure.

    Abbott accused of turning his back on pokie addicts

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is standing by his comments that if he wins government he will repeal any laws introduced by Labor to place pre-committment limits on poker machine gambling.

    TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is standing by his comments that if the Liberal Party wins government it will repeal any laws introduced by Labor to set pre-commitment limits on poker machine gambling.

    Independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Senator Nick Xenophon are hopeful that Mr Abbott will change his mind and say the Opposition Leader is turning his back on tens of thousands of pokie addicts.

  62. Pip, the damage that Abbott has done to informed debate in this country is immeasurable – we no longer have an opposition but the whole country is now in the hands of shockjocks and opinion polls. Without an astute opposition prepared to work for the benefit of their own electorates and for the benefit of Australia, the government remains unaccountable except for the efforts of the Independents and the Greens.

    If this is Tony Abbott in opposition, then heaven help the country if/when he is Prime Minister. If we all thought that John Howard thought only from his re-election to his own personal next re-election, we are now going to faced with that reptile Abbott.

  63. Pip @1.13pm, an excellent idea. It should cover print and broadcast media, including opinion writers and broadcasters, who would have to preface their rants with something along the lines that what they have to say is lies, distortion and innuendo and that a search for the truth would be completely fruitless even with the aid of an electron microscope.

    An independent regulator would have to be appointed and given some very real, very sharp fangs and the ability to impose very hefty fines and possible loss of licence to broadcast.

    I wonder, could legislation be made retrospective to, oh I don’t know, the commencement of the BER and HIP programs?

    It would be grand to see Anal reach puce on the colour meter and watch the Liars Party blanch and the Murdochracy and its minions crash and burn!

    A webcam watching Shamaham, Albrechtson, Devine and other cheerleaders burning out shredders would be a sight to see.

    And of course our own Liars Party trollop Neil, sobbing into his…..blimey what would Neil drink? Suggestions anyone?

    Min @1.05pm, I remember the Liars Party accusing Peter Garrett of personal responsibility for the deaths! A cry which was echoed by at least one cheerleader who has infested this site.

    Re the death of the young installer who lost his life using banned meatal staples. His co-worker and friend testified that although plastic staples were provided, he and the dead youth had bought and used metal staples, in direct contradiction of their boss’s instructions. The employer was exonerated.

    @1.20pm, marvellous to witness the concern for their patsies customers’ mental and financial health, Min.

    Sue @1.33pm, gruesome and distressing as it is, these are the stories that must be told so that people realise the impact pokie addiction has and the destruction it can wreak not just on the addicted but family, friends, employers and the wider community. How many times has this scenario been played out?

    It’s not a matter of interfering with our rights and liberty; it’s a mental health and exploitation issue which we can only ignore at our peril. The next addict could be one of us or a family member, friend, neighbour, workmate or employer.

    It’s a powerful indictment of the facilitators and their political spruiker and opportunist extrodinaire, Liealot. Aligning himself with them can do him no favours in the eyes of decent people.

  64. Catching up – re a night out at the pub ‘with not a pokie machine in sight’ that’s still possible here in WA. No pokies at all apart from the Casino and our clubs seem to thrive too.

  65. Patricia, I was thinking the same thing. Girlfriend Dianne in Geraldton constantly raves about her nights out at the club, the freshly caught melt in your mouth barra and red emporer while we over here in the east languish with poker machines and the $6.90 roast of the day.

  66. Or a portagaff??

    I’m still trying to work out why Migs’ neighbor didn’t talk to him for 2 years..maybe the empties that he kept chucking over the fence 😀

  67. Pip, @3.51pm, I just can’t think of a drink which would be sufficiently dorky and cheerleader friendly. He doesn’t strike me as a Bundy drinker and I have a hard time picturing him in the front bar having a bet and gargling beer or vodka.

    I just don’t know. In my mind I see a middle aged man wearing a fairisle vest, shorts with long socks and sandals, black rimmed dork glasses, a ratty moustache and a comb over, probably still living with his mum.

  68. No ladies – While it’s true Neil(s) still lives at home with their his Mum, he’s actually still at school. His drink of choice is red cordial (but only when his Mum’s not looking). This may also help explain some of his posts 😆
    Here’s a recent photo:

  69. Harvey Wallbanger. Nah! too trendy. lol

    I’d laugh if he’s a Sean Connery look alike tossing back martinis, shaken not stirred. Sigh, we’ll never know.

  70. Would that be neat cordial?

    Bacchus, I’m sure that was Neil 40 years ago, but he is a slow learner, so he could still be at school, I suppose. And he must have missed years of school with all the brainwashing he has at Liars HQ.

    I understand that they sometimes tear off to an undisclosed location for some outdoor indoctrination. It all takes time.

  71. Min @ 4.36pm,
    I’m still trying to work out why Migs’ neighbor didn’t talk to him for 2 years..maybe the empties that he kept chucking over the fence

    Maybe ….

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