Wayne Swan and pygmies

Treasurer Wayne Swan is not renown as being a person who is in the least part dramatic. Euromoney magazine on awarding Wayne Swan the title of Finance Minister of the Year described this as, “for his careful stewardship of Australia’s finances and economic performance, both during and since the global financial crisis”. It wouldn’t be too unfair to state that generally, Wayne Swan is seen as rather dull and uninspiring.

As our Treasurer, Swan is somewhat of a mystery. Is he no more that the “careful steward”? Which are the principles that motivate him? These have been little known, however one strong clue comes from Wayne Swan’s recent article in The Monthly magazine. As reported by Tony Eastley and AM:

WAYNE SWAN: Well I wrote the essay because I think the fair go that we all cherish, the fair go that we nurture is at grave risk today because vested interests are on the march. And we’ve seen this just not through our debate on resource taxation. We’ve seen it through carbon pricing and we’ve seen it through the debate about plain packaging of tobacco.

And I’m raising the point, and I hope we do have a very significant national conversation about this, is that we can’t afford to let the vested interests in our society prevent more Australians from sharing in the tremendous opportunities of the Asian century, not just a fortunate few.

On the distortion of public policy by vested interests, specifically Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Twiggy Forrest:

WAYNE SWAN: Well I think we are hearing from a few who have enormous resources and that seeps right through the media. We’ve seen some people in the media skiting about their power in the media, their capacity to deploy shock jocks and so on against government policy.

The above immediately came under attack from the Opposition with Christopher Pyne drawing once again on the accusation originally aimed at Mark Latham: the politics of envy. “Labor always falls back on class warfare and the politics of envy when they have nothing left in the cupboard to talk about of any substance.”

Quite ironically, Pyne added: “It’s about opportunity, in ensuring that Australia remains a country of the fair go.”

Tony Abbott wasn’t far behind with labelling Swan as a “wealth waster”, and stating that Swan’s comments were “half-baked, neo-socialism”.

Whence the “fair go” when vested interests control that which ordinary Australians are permitted to know; when these vested interests are able to distort and manipulate The News. Is this the fair go which Christopher Pyne insists all Australians are entitled to?

Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne both having set the scene, Twiggy Forrest and Clive Palmer were quick to rush in, of course with obligatory sympathetic stories emanating from the media.

From James Madden in The Australian : “WAYNE Swan will escalate his aggressive personal attack on Australia’s richest individuals in a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra today”. (my bold)

And from the Sydney Morning Herald: “Mining barons Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest have taken on the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, the first labelling him an “intellectual pygmy” who does not understand economics and the second launching a national advertising campaign against him.”

Which goes to prove exactly Swan’s point about undue influence. Which other Australians have the money and the media clout to almost instantaneously be able to launch a national advertising campaign against Australia’s Treasurer?

Meanwhile:

“Twiggy Forrest’s legal team has begun its appeal of a Federal Court ruling that the Fortescue Metals chairman and his iron ore company misled financial markets eight years ago”.

And:

“The Fortescue advertisement concedes the nine-year-old company has yet to pay company tax but says it will pay more than $1 billion in taxes, royalties and other charges this year”.

189 comments on “Wayne Swan and pygmies

  1. I’m guessing the rest of ltd news is too busy with promoting palmers drivel than let out any good news for Labor.

    Newspoll – February 23-26

    Industrial Relations: ALP 47 (+8) L/NP 34 (-1)
    Climate Change: ALP 35 (+7) L/NP 26 (-5)
    Unemployment: ALP 42 L/NP 38
    Asylum-seekers: ALP 21 (+4) L/NP 47 (+3)
    Education: ALP 46 (+8) L/NP 33 (-2)
    Health and Medicare: ALP 44 (+7) L/NP 35 (-2)
    Economy: ALP 34 (+6) L/NP 46 (-1)

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/03/01/morgan-face-to-face-52-48-to-coalition-2/comment-page-47/#comment-1186658

    Lot”s of pluses in there 😉

  2. What these mining barons forget is that it was the taxes of the populace, which bailed out the world’s banks when capitalism collapsed four years ago and without such subsidy, their obscene wealth would have collapsed along with their companies. So they have much to be grateful for to the working people who pay taxes and to a government which bailed them out as well as the banks and kept their obscene wealth intact.
    Rather than highly tax their companies, the mining companies should be nationalised and then Australia’s wealth of natural resources could be used for the benefit of all, and not the exclusive use of these individuals to aqccum7ulate money they could never spend in twenty lifetimes. That is the `Socialist’ solution, if they knew anything about political idiology.
    Obviously the primary qualification for becoming a mining magnate is a degree in idiotology.

  3. The excuse will doubtless be that it’s all about “jobs creation” rather than the personal wealth that these people have accumulated. The stats which I have located show that employment in the mining industry accounts for under 5% of Australia’s total employment.

  4. Swan’s Monthly essay: The 0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia

    “But again, it’s that tiny 1%, or even 0.1%, who are trying to drown out the others, who are blind to the national interest, and who pour their considerable personal fortunes into advertising, armies of lobbyists, dodgy modelling and corporate and commercial manoeuvring designed to influence editorial decisions.

    …Politicians have a choice: between exploiting divisions by promoting fear and appealing to the sense of fairness and decency that is the foundation of our middle-class society; between standing up for workers and kneeling down at the feet of the Gina Rineharts and the Clive Palmers.”

    So do voters!

  5. This crap about ‘class warfare’ wouldn’t be so comical if it wasn’t for a billionaire who buys soccer teams (and now leagues) on a whim.

    Or a billionaire who tries to get any talk about her family banned, but anyone on a lower income is fair game.

    class warfare my arse

  6. Hehe he’s still got it

  7. Tom, thank you for that..well said by both Tim and Wayne Swan. I’m very pleased that both likewise immediately honed into the irony of the whole situation, “class warfare” versus full page newspaper ads.

  8. Yes Min. I wonder if this distinction will somehow slip past our ever vigilant media (considering it is they who are on the receiving end of these splashes on their pages)

  9. Tom, and how they can grab such a substantial amount of newspaper space at virtually a moment’s notice is truly astounding.

  10. Even more than “class warfare”, “job creation” annoys me. As few people as possible are employed, payed only what they can gouge out of the employers who dream of the day when it can all be done by a machine & they won’t have to employ anybody. Unless of course wages can be reduced to the point where it becomes cheaper to employ people again rather than machines.

  11. Great and much needed post, Min, though to borrow an expression from jane at TPS yesterday your title is a bit harsh on pygmies, isn’t it? Some of them are big, fat and ugly as well as ignorant.

    Swan’s determination to have a very significant national conversation about this suggests that the government are indeed gearing up to engage in a class war. openly declared on the Australian people and its government some time back when one K. Rudd introduced Henry’s first version of the mining tax. I wrote about it here at the Cafe.

    As I watched Lateline last night
    A big fat man gave me a fright.
    His name they said was Palmer,
    Claimed he’ll be our PM’s karma.
    Say’s he’s got a great big axe
    To cut him down with this new tax.

    First a public execution
    Then a miners’ revolution
    Making Tony Abbott king
    Of absolutely everything
    In Oz, especially the mines
    On which Rudd has designs.

    He’s corpulent and greedy,
    With eyes so cold and beady,
    I shuddered. Then it came to me.
    Surely Labor men will see
    Palmer has been heaven sent.
    A great TV advertisement!

  12. Patricia, those were precisely the pygmies which I had in mind. The accusation that Wayne Swan is an “intellectual pygmy” immediately brought forth the question: Who is it who are the pygmies?

  13. Sorry, Min, very careless of me. Bug eyed and bleary after burning the midnight oil writing about the other Turkeys.

    Do you want me delete that part of my comment? I don’t want to diminish the value of this great post.

  14. Thanks, Min, drawing attention to his abuse of the word is good thing, perhaps. Palmer and his mining mate, Rinehart, are the ones with tiny minds in massively overweight bodies and their megabucks mineral wealth. He reveals his ignorance whenever he opens his mouth.

    BSA Bob, I’m happy to use that term ‘class warfare’ failing a better one. Just as I am happy to encourage our union movement to become militant in fighting it alongside us, ordinary Australians and our families. The Labor Party should be careful in going any further with Rudd’s policy of distancing itself from the unions. Working people, the unions and the ALP, along with others on the left like the Greens must all unite to resist the power of mining and media magnates who cloak their corrupt intent behind talk of shareholders’ benefit and wealth distribution from profits made in their large corporations. As you so rightly say they lie when talk about job creation. They want to unmake jobs and use more machines.

  15. Patricia, I find it quite astounding that whenever equality is mentioned..the undeserving wealthy, not just on the issue but on others such as anything means tested whatsoever, that the Opposition interpret this was being some sort of “envy”.

    When has equality and a just share in our society been indicative of envy.

  16. Tom, this is a good one. I would be fairly certain that the mining magnates will be launching a full on assault on the mining tax..only this time the government has got in first.

    This seems to back up that idea..

    LABOR’S planned mining tax is in the national interest despite what the mining magnates say, according to federal government frontbencher Craig Emerson.

    Fortescue Metals took out full-page ads in newspapers on Monday rejecting recent criticism by Treasurer Wayne Swan of the WA iron ore producer and its chairman Andrew Forrest.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/emerson-backs-swan-against-mining-giants/story-e6frf7jx-1226289318372

  17. patriciawa

    i see by your verse you are a lady ahead of the times.

    min
    i read today that mr and mrs forest have donated $50mil. do they need the kudos along with the tax deduction. now i would like them to declare publicly their income, so the public can determine the proportion of their income that was donated. Also how much income tax they paid as a proportion of income. If they want the kudos then put all facts in the public arena.

  18. Min, the problem is that Palmer has not created many jobs but has managed to upset the economy. It is now a multi-speed one, thank’s to his success.

    That success by the way, is made by digging up ore that belongs not to him, but to us all.

    Mr. Palmer and his cohorts have did little to create those high prices. They are mostly windfall profits.

  19. patricia @ 1.39pm,

    He’s corpulent and greedy,
    With eyes so cold and beady,
    I shuddered. Then it came to me.
    Surely Labor men will see
    Palmer has been heaven sent.
    A great TV advertisement!

    Perfect.

  20. Hockey on ABC24 says Treasurer Swan’s speech was confused and confusing.

    Pots and kettles Joseph!

  21. Pip and Patricia..I dread to think what the pair of them, Gina and Clive might look like on the back of a ute..I fear for the safety of the ute.

  22. Bob, how do they explain the driver-less trucks and trains that are coming on line.

    How do they explain that the job will be taken over from people in cities hundreds of kilometres away, in city offices at much lower paid.

    This, is an industry were the wage bill would be a small amount of their costs.

    This would be true for most industries today. As automation increases, the number of humans required, decreases.

  23. It is class warfare. These handful of people receiving super profits have been practising class warfare for years.

    What else is the attack on their workers and unions about if, not war.

  24. Min @ 4.21pm, I now have a vision of the miner heavyweights being hoisted onto the back of the ute on a front end loader…

  25. I do not believe that the Treasurer is attacking the super rich. I believe he is attacking a handful that are using their money power to undermine the government and country.

    Mr. Swan is correct

  26. I haven’t read any news about Palmer being named a National Treasure but I did spot a comment by Acting Foreign Minister Craig Emerson….

    On the weekend Mr Palmer was added to the list of Living National Treasures. Mr Emerson noted that in his response to Mr Palmer’s comments this morning.

    CRAIG EMERSON: And in any contest between a National Living Treasure and a national living treasurer, I’ll back the treasurer any day.
    The point that Wayne Swan is making is that some people are using their wealth to seek to present their private interests as being in the national interest and what we will always do is govern in the national interest.

    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3445520.htm

  27. Pip @4.37pm on behalf of management and staff I am pleased and proud to announce that your comment was the 60,000th comment at Migs’ Café Whispers.

  28. Min that is a wonderful achievement for the Cafe, and a well deserved credit goes to Miglo and yourself for all your hard work and assistance whenever it’s needed. 😀

  29. Craig also said he did not know about being out greatest Australian living national treasure but he definitely had a lot of out national treasure, or words to that effect.

    Yes, he is indeed in control of much of our national treasure. It seems he does not believe in paying us for the right to dig up our treasurer.

    I for one do not care how much he gives away, as long as it is after he pays his fair taxes and levies.

    Mr. Palmer or no one else in this country decides whether he pays taxes or not.

    It is the government that decides where his tax money goes, not him, or anyone else.

    This is what it is all about.

    As we appear to have a strong economy, one of the best in the world, I do hope that Mr. Swan keeps on doing, whatever he did to bring this about.

    I can do with more of this ruination, pygmy or not.

  30. Hockey was asked why he is standing up for these people. He was asked, are not they big enough for themselves.

  31. Thank you Pip, however I think that most of the credit goes to Migs. It was his vision of citizen journalists, where everyone might be given a voice.

    I know that without Miglo’s enduring perseverance that I would never have had the courage to write even my first topic.

  32. Hockey talking about the politics of division. He said it with a straight face. If we work hard, we can all be a millionaire or billionaire.

    I wonder when Mr. Hockey is going to become one or the other.

    At least Lyndal Curtis is asking some questions. He is still getting away with the answers. Maybe that will come.

    Waging war on miners. It was not the miners that attacked the government and have been promising more attacks.

    Is it a matter of getting in first.

    Increase the PS. Was not that increase in the armed services.

    Lyndal ask were he is getting economic advice from, as they have rejected all advice from the PS up to now.

  33. Perhaps an opportune moment to reflect on what Twiggy Forrest is about.

    Twiggy enjoys putting himself forward as the friend of the Aboriginal people of the Pilbara, but here are the facts.

    One of the mantras of the billionaire is “give a man a fish, he’s fed for a day, teach a man to fish and he’s fed for life,” and he has stayed true to that belief in his offer of $500 000 signing fee, $4 million per year in cash and $6.5 million in housing, jobs, training and business assistance.

    The Yindijibarndi people in the region have slammed the offer and say they want more cash in exchange for the estimated $280 billion worth of iron ore the company expects to extract over the next four decades.

    That’s right, Twiggy intends to take out $280 billion worth of iron ore and the generous soul is prepared to offer $4 million a year plus some jobs, training and business assistance. Gee whizz, ta thank you Twiggy..and may we lick your boots while we’re at it.

  34. “One of the mantras of the billionaire is “give a man a fish, he’s fed for a day, teach a man to fish and he’s fed for life,” and he has stayed true to that belief in”

    Min, do you really believe these people would not be fishing, if there were any fish about.

    I do not know of any people who do not fish where they are available.

    The problem is not being able to fish. The problem is that the environment has been destroyed, and fish no longer exist.

    Mining is one of the industries that lead the world in this.

  35. Min, I believe that the reason the Aboriginals do not welcome the likes on the miners, as they want to preserve their fish.

    What the miners are doing, is bribing some Aboriginals and protecting their own interest, not that of the people who choose to live in the area.

    To rub salt into the wounds, they are not even employed by these mining giants.

  36. Cu, I can guarantee it, that the complete reverse is true, that Migs greatly appreciates every word that you write. You draw not only from life’s experience but give your own unique interpretation of events.

  37. Billionaires court media favours
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/billionaires-court-media-favours-20120305-1ucnj.html

    The Minerals Council spent a mere $7 million or so in an advertising campaign against the government and its mooted mining tax and managed to depose an elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd, in the process.

    Billionaires and billion-dollar companies don’t just have the wherewithal to buy the best-connected lobbyists in Canberra, or phalanxes of PR people to coax the media, they also have the muscle to shut down negative comment.

    They can buy the good comment and they can stifle the negative stuff. And this holds them apart from ordinary Australians. The defamation laws suit the rich and famous. Describe the man in the street as a “boofhead”, no problem. Describe a billionaire as a boofhead? You are unlikely to see that story in the press.

    Twiggy makes sure that his charitable side is broadcast far and wide, yet their is no scrutiny of his other characteristics.

    Abbott continues his rants about the PM, using inflammatory and untruthful descriptions with impunity, and the brown nosed media allow him to get away with it.

    The Prime Minister objected to the rudest journalist, Michael Owen, and was described as “edgy”, and not one bad word written about his behaviour.

    The press and the Coalition have continued to use the “carbon tax lie” to their advantage and even when links are provided to the comments pages, proving that their “lie” meme is itself the lie…. nothing … nada. they don’t care for the truth!

  38. “true to that belief in his offer of $500 000 signing fee, $4 million per year in cash and $6.5 million in housing, jobs, training and business assistance.

    The Yindijibarndi people in the region have slammed the offer and say they want more cash in exchange for the estimated $280 billion worth of iron ore the company expects to extract over the next four decades.”

    Obviously these people are not as stupid as made out. Maybe we should take a leaf out of their books. Maybe the Greens are correct. We are not demanding enough.

    I wonder what percentage the offer is of their future profits.

  39. Cu, I believe that the “skills” and “training” which Forrest has promised the Yingjibarndi people amount to little, these are not life skills, this is cheap labour.

    From the Yingjibarndi people:

    Our most vital task in the months ahead is to travel to the country FMG has not yet destroyed, to record all the knowledge of Yindjibarndi ceremony and tradition, the sacred and archaeological sites, Law and language that make up our heritage and inheritance. These journeys of ceremony and cultural recording will be the last opportunity for Yindjibarndi elders to make a full record which, after FMG’s right to mine ends and they have moved on, can be used by future generations of Yindjibarndi to restore and revive connections with their homelands.

    http://yindjibarndi.org.au/yindjibarndi/

  40. When we have the billionaires, the Opposition and their media backers immediately able to launch advertising campaigns..what hope for the people of the Pilbara?

  41. Pip @5.28 and:

    The Minerals Council spent a mere $7 million or so in an advertising campaign against the government and its mooted mining tax and managed to depose an elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd, in the process.

    $7 million on one advertising campaign being almost double that which was offered to the Yindjibarndi people pa. Additionally, who would trust Twiggy, as per the topic, he seems to believe that contracts and obligations are something to be wriggled and squirmed away from.

  42. I went past the paper shop this morning. It was mostly older people who were buying the Tele.

    I do not think the younger generations bother.

    After buying a copy last week ii is worse that we buy on line. How one gets to these people I do not know.

  43. Catching up,

    What do you think, you and Pip and Sue always have your fingers on the pulse. Do you think that the advertisements are gaining traction. From where I am sitting, it’s all a big yawn and just a bunch of wealthy people having a whinge.

  44. Cu, some the younger generation use Facebook and Twitter and programs like The Project.
    My family, watching the kerfuffles around the Abbott/Bishop/Pyne performances in qt last week, were bouncing on the sofa…”wankers, wankers, wankers!”

  45. I’ve missed something over the last few days, how did Clive Palmer come to be called a National Living Treasure?
    And he’s a Professor too?

  46. Antony, here is a timeline of the Mining Council campaign threats

    Settle tax soon or campaign restarts: miners

    PUBLISHED: 29 Jun 2010 00:05:00
    UPDATED: 30 Jun 2010
    http://afr.com/p/national/settle_tax_soon_or_campaign_restarts_179gni4AI6sCRiuwy0zkXN

    Resources Daily | Miners want a compromise with the Gillard government on its planned resources tax before the election, warning they will revive their campaign against the tax unless they are given more certainty.

    **
    16 August 2011, 2.38pm AEST

    Hearts and minds: how industry ad campaigns work

    http://theconversation.edu.au/hearts-and-minds-how-industry-ad-campaigns-work-2886

    The mining industry, led by the Minerals Council of Australia, has written to members asking for funds to under take a new advertising campaign to attack the carbon tax.

    In his letter to members, Minerals Council chief executive Mitch Hooke says that in current day Australia, major policy battles are fought and won in the media and that miners must spend accordingly.

    ***
    Rock-solid support for Coalition as miners donate their millions

    Peter Martin February 02, 2012

    http://m.smh.com.au/national/rocksolid-support-for-coalition-as-miners-donate-their-millions-20120201-1qtiq.html

    MINING companies and mining industry associations spent more than $8 million on political campaigning during the election year of 2010-11, much of it donated direct to the Liberal and National parties.

    The spending, revealed yesterday by the Australian Electoral Commission, comes on top of $22 million spent the previous financial year on donations and campaigning against the proposed resource super profits tax.

    The Minerals Council of Australia and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies spent a little more than $5 million on what the commission defined as the “broadcast of political matter”.

    They spent another $1 million on the printing, production and publication of political material.

  47. BSA Bob,

    Money talks. Palmer brushed off the criticism saying that it was the public who voted for him.

    I don’t know about you, but I never voted for him. He ranks alongside Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton John apparently.

  48. Anthony, I think the ads are waste of money. One has to but the paper to see them. Who looks at ads, whether this mob or the governments.

    It is the talk backs and other shows that that does the damage,

  49. Bob Brown may hand back award in protest
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8430150/brown-to-hand-back-award-in-protest

    Greens leader Bob Brown will hand back his Living National Treasure certificate if recent recipient Clive Palmer is allowed to build a coalmine in a Queensland nature reserve.

    Senator Brown says the 8000 hectare Bimblebox Nature Refuge in central Queensland is at risk from the planned extraction of 40 mega-tons of coal per year form Mr Palmer’s company Waratah Coal.

  50. The “National Living Treasure” thing is a NSW National Trust invention – apparently you can vote on the Womens Weekly website. I read somewhere today that while the AWW sponsors it and their website is used, the votes cast do not necessarily reflect the results given.

    Sounds like the NSW National Trust is fundraising to me. (The Queensland National Trust owns and operates Currumbin Sanctuary on the Gold Coast).

  51. I don’t quite know why Kylie is a living treasure, Olivier does get my vote for her support of numerous causes. Palmer? I’m with you Pip, he’s clearly chucked a few bob into it.

  52. 2353..thank you for that. Ok, I have that now it’s a Women’s Weekly poll..

    But who the heck who reads Women’s Weekly would vote for Clive Palmer?

  53. Thanks for that. I seen him describe as a professor for first time. I wondered why it was not used previously.

    As for the National Treasure. I think it came from NSW but the National body is not recognising it. Wonder how much he paid.

  54. Bob @ 6.12pm, I think the Professorship is an “honorary” …

    The big steel
    February 28, 2004

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/02/27/1077676967357.html?from=storyrhs

    There is little on the public record to suggest Palmer has any experience actually running a business. But despite this, and despite the lack of formal letters after his name, Deakin University has probably made a good choice of a lecturer to offer its students insight into the intersection of business and the law.

    **
    5 March 2012, 3.50pm AEST

    Sorry Clive Palmer, Wayne Swan’s vision is better for Australia

    http://theconversation.edu.au/sorry-clive-palmer-wayne-swans-vision-is-better-for-australia-5699?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweetbutton&utm_campaign=article-top

    Australians are in a unique place today – we are witnessing our democracy being called to account.

    The nature of Australian democracy is being debated by on the one hand, its Treasurer and on the other, one of its richest men.

  55. No faceless men in the Liberal party. It is terrifying that the moderates are being pushed out.

    The suggestion might run as PM is beyond the realms of common-sense.

    The man is 64 and in the senate. The Opposition stupidity knows no bound. I suppose it sounds good.

    I feel that Abbott will be gone long before the PM.

    Only fools believe their own spin.

    A confident Tony Abbott has declared he will be the next elected prime minister, as the right of the Liberal Party received a boost in a preselection victory.
    Mr Abbott, introduced as ”the next PM” at yesterday’s Queensland Liberal National Party state launch by federal Nationals leader Warren Truss, sought to make mischief by suggesting there might be someone else between Julia Gillard and him.
    ”Stephen Smith and Bill Shorten and now Bob Carr might think that they’re the next prime minister of Australia, but I think I’ll be the next elected prime minister,” he said.
    Advertisement: Story continues below
    His comment came after Patrick Secker, the second-most senior opposition whip in the House of Representatives, was defeated in the weekend’s preselection for his rural South Australian seat of Barker. Mr Secker, 55, has held the seat since 1998.
    He lost 78-164 to Tony Pasin, a Mount Gambier lawyer, with a third candidate getting 40 votes.
    Although originally aligned with the right, Mr Secker had fallen out with it in South Australia and was backed by leading frontbench moderate Christopher Pyne. He also had a strong letter of support from Mr Abbott. When his preselection was in trouble before the 2007 election, he was helped to survive by John Howard and then foreign minister Alexander Downer.
    The right is also set to improve its position in Western Australia, where moderates Mal Washer and Judi Moylan are retiring at the election. Dr Washer’s seat is considered certain to go to Ian Goodenough, who is close to right-wing figures in that state.
    In his Queensland speech Mr Abbott said he had ”a little warning” for Ms Gillard.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/abbott-i-will-be-next-elected-pm-20120304-1ub5f.html#ixzz1oEB5K1fa

  56. Tight budget not at expense of needy: Swan

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/tight-budget-not-at-expense-of-needy-swan-20120305-1ue2z.html

    Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says the government’s determination to bring the budget back to surplus in 2012/13 will not come at the expense of Australians who need a helping hand.

    Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra, Mr Swan expanded on his essay, published in the latest issue of The Monthly magazine, attacking “vested interests” in Australian society, saying inequality isn’t just unfair, “it’s very inefficient”.

    “It makes no moral sense for the battler to subsidise his boss’s private health insurance. It makes no financial sense either,” Mr Swan said.

  57. Cu, your link about Peter Secker losing the support of his party looks the same as the destablising campaign against Peter Slipper in favour of Mal Brough.

  58. Pip, as we know the need to get the budget back into surplus came as a result of an intensive media campaign..mostly because the Abbott opposition didn’t think that the government could do it.

    Back into surplus was against the recommendation of some very notable economists.

    Clearly the message should be, you want the pie in the sky of “a surplus”, then either it must be cuts to services or cuts to middle class welfare.

    The government has chosen the latter, hence the current accusations of “the politics of envy”.

  59. Pip, they still have not found a seat for Mal.

    The way Slipper is going, he might just get back in as a independent. At least he may split the vote.

    Howard is off to Queensland to save the day.

    I surprise in that election would not surprise me.

    Pip, I have a feeling that people, especially the young, are deciding to listen. If they do this, I believe Labor will be OK.

  60. Min, I believe the budget will be bought back to surplus but it will be more on paper, than in reality. That is what about cutting that solar subsidy a few weeks early. It does not go into the next financial year.

    There will be many book keeping entries like this.

    This is a good thing

    The Liberals will call foul, but that is too bad.

  61. Cu, how true..in spite of all Mal Brough’s so called high profile, it seems that there is not an electorate which wants him.

  62. Whose word is law?

    Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop has reaffirmed the party’s commitment to its paid parental leave scheme despite the Coalition’s finance spokesman saying it is not finalised.

    The Opposition’s policy would entitle all new mothers to their full wage for six months, with the benefit capped at $75,000.

    It will be funded by a tax increase on big businesses.

    Coalition finance spokesman Andrew Robb has distanced himself from the scheme, saying the party will have to see how much of the budget the Federal Government spends before finalising any major policies.

    Mr Robb says there is no guarantee the Coalition will implement the plan.

    “We haven’t finalised any of our major policies. We had some that we took to the last election and that’s one of them,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-05/robb-says-parental-leave-plan-not-finalised/3869806

  63. Ms. Bishop has left out one “s” word. The PM has been successful in everything she has set out to do.

    The Opposition, of course, went to town questioning her leadership, her judgement and her character. They had read the same reports.

    Julie Bishop – foreign affairs minister in the Abbott government – called Gillard “silly, slippery, slimy and shifty”. Wonder if it’s still her view? Guess it probably is.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Bob-Carr-pd20120305-S3QRF?OpenDocument&src=sph

  64. el gordo thing can and do change, not always the way we expect.

    She may now been seen as a clever politician who has a measure of steel and resolve. They may see her battling through the media storm that surrounds her.

    It points to that proven old maxim in politics: expect the unexpected.

    Her reshuffle, caused by Rudd’s return to the backbench, is not the story of the week. The story is how she overcame what were seen by the Canberra pack as more bungles, more missteps and turned it into an ‘up yours’.

    She has started to act like a prime minister with authority, finally – behind the scenes, and well as in front of them.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Bob-Carr-pd20120305-S3QRF?OpenDocument&src=sph

  65. The PM can be seen as weak, or that is what the Opposition is working hard on,

    This can back fire, what can happen, the PM could become the underdog. That is dangerous territory for Mr. Abbott.

  66. Jarl @10.09am, careful. Gina, Clive and Twiggy will have you in the dungeons if you keep that kind of talk up! lol

    Tom R, love the tweets from Tim Dunlop, Simon Sheik and Swannie. A good way to get the message out. And I love the way Swannie’s on the attack.

    Hockey on ABC24 says Treasurer Swan’s speech was confused and confusing.

    Well this is Hockey, Pip. Grade one arithmetic has him stumped.

    ……I dread to think what the pair of them, Gina and Clive might look like on the back of a ute..I fear for the safety of the ute.

    Exactly what size ute do you have in mind, Min? I would have thought a 1000 tonne dump truck would be more like it.

    Speaking of “the politics of envy”, I agree with Prissy and Liealot. They and their mega wealthy scaly mates hate the thought that the poor and less well off might, with a little help, be able to improve their position in life.

    They hate the thought that people who aren’t outrageously wealthy might just get access to decent health care. They’re furious that people whose financial resources are meagre might be able to access decent dental care and housing.

    That’s the correct interpretation of their position, isn’t it?

    And speaking of hard work, Rhinohips can hardly claim to have done the hard yards; like the Emperor, and Kerry and James Packer, she inherited her wealth. It’s pretty easy to start at the top.

    I’d like to see her, Palmer and Forrest really start from scratch-without access to enormous borrowings.

    Congratulations on posting #60,000, Pip. And thanks also from me to Migs and Min for cranking CW up and keeping it running smoothly, giving us all a place to discuss and occasionally argue without rancour, pretty much whatever takes our fancy.

    And thanks to Migs for keeping a decent cellar, if he can keep Bacchus out of it! lol

    Min @5.04pm, good old Twiggy, eh?

    CU,I think you’ve nailed it.

  67. Jane, I was thinking that you and I, with the help of Pip, Cu, Sue and the fellas..Bacchus might especially be needed, could sorta hoist ’em up onto the back of the ute.

    That’s nailed it, and absolutely. The politics of envy? Who is envious of whom?

    That people who are not in the top 5 percentile should aspire to equality.

  68. I’ve been around Min – just very busy…

    Migs has a lot of new stock which requires “quality control” 😉

    The discussions here seem to be of very high quality as usual…

  69. I just tweeted the Treasurer! Who next? the Queen? No one will be safe from my 400 (or however many you’re allowed) characters!

    CU & Min, I’d say the Yindjibarndi and other Original Custodians are getting fed up with being shafted, patronised and robbed blind.

    Prissy’s a moderate? WTF is a right winger in that appalling mob? Secker’s no loss. I know nothing about Pasin, but I suspect he’ll be a tosser as well. Goes with the Liars Party territory.

  70. “They hate the thought that people who aren’t outrageously wealthy might just get access to decent health care. They’re furious that people whose financial resources are meagre might be able to access decent dental care and housing.”

    Two of them do not seem to be benefiting from the health care they have access to.

    Now Curves is not that costly. Surely Gina could afford to set her own circuit up.

    Senator Wong, Lateline. Who do we believe, Abbott, Bishop or Robb?

    Wayne Swan on.

    It is definitely a new ball game.

  71. Min, I fear that even if we all bench pressed 100kg each for a year, we wouldn’t have the strength to hoist that pair onto a low step.

    Bacchus, I demand that you stand up and walk in a straight line towards the door. I believe Senior Constabule Miglo is waiting with a bag for you to blow into. 😆

  72. Indonesia is criticising Coalition Policy on turning the boats back.

    Bishop, conversation taken out of context. I do hope that is true, as they are so good at doing it to others.

  73. Thank you Bacchus..just the same as always, just trying to keep things choofin’ on along.

    Jane and Yindjibarndi being sick of being shafted, patronised and robbed blind. Yes, seems to be an obvious conclusion. And who would blame them..lead on by false promises only to have the powers that be telling them “here’s a string of beads” but you fellas, we’ll build ya a coupla houses and we’ll give ya wimmen some jobs cleanin’ out da huts. For some reason, it’s just isn’t good enough any more.

  74. “Yindjibarndi being sick of being shafted, ”

    You know what, I am also sick of being shafted by the lot of them. I know how they feel.

  75. 😯 Call the psychiatrists – I’ve just found myself agreeing with a large portion of what the former immigration minister said on Q&A…

    “I was pleased to increase the intake of Sudanese refugees and we will one day be very happy that we have… this country is an immigration country – unless you’re a full-blooded indegenous Australian, you’ve got migrant blood in your veins.” Amanda Vanstone, Q&A 5/3/2012

  76. Swan asked, do not we owe the three above a voice of thanks. Mr. Swan thought of said they have been very well rewarded.

    Could not agree more. Very well rewarded for digging up our ore.

    The simple fact is the rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer.

  77. Walk in a straight line Jane? Wash your mouth out with soap – straight lines are for wimps 😆

    Yes CU – it’s quite amazing to see what individuals actually believe when they’re removed from the toxic atmosphere of Liberal politics.

  78. Is my memory false, but did not Mr. Forrest and co. not take part in the last mining tax negotiations that took place.

    This idiot is trying to call Swan out. He is doing a good job of returning serve.

    Miss Rhinehart, shy, timid, keeps out of the media,

    Swan has really got the bit in his mouth. Hope he keeps going. I suppose he will have to, seen he has come out so strong.

    Michelle reckons he is going this way because he knows he is on the way out.

    Do not know what the evidence is, does anyone else.

  79. Yet where was Amanda when the hate campaign against the Sudanese was in full swing in Melbourne.

    This is just from memory, but originally the increased intake was so as to point the rude finger to boat people..that these were “real” refugees.

    However, the Sudanese created problems of their own, displaced unaccompanied young men who did what they used to do in the old country..hang out on treet corners

  80. I like this Mr. Swan. Different tax, based on different principals that raises a similar amount of money.

    Swan said that the comments the media are making only show they have not read the article.

    I wish he would ask the interviewer whether she has or not.

  81. Yet where was Amanda when the hate campaign against the Sudanese was in full swing in Melbourne.

    This is just from memory, but originally the increased intake was so as to point the rude finger to boat people..that these were “real” refugees.

    However, the Sudanese created problems of their own, displaced unaccompanied young men who did what they used to do in the old country..hang out on street corners.

  82. Anyone remember that add when they bought in the GST. The one were that chains fall from a man.

    That appears to what has happened from this government in the last ten days.

    They are talking straight and passionate.

  83. Some of that was integration problems Min – fed by the race hate stirred up by the likes of the Boltistas. Here in Brisbane and surrounds, the Sudanese have been doing very well overall, especially in Logan which is very multicultural…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Sudanese immigrants were of the “right” religion for the Howard government, as opposed to those swarthy people from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan…

  84. Bacchus, that was exactly it. The problem was importing large numbers of unaccompanied young men, and given that they are 6 foot tall, deepest of black..for some reason they could not immediately integrate. Something about standing out in the crowd.

    Very multicultural around here too Bacchus. Mind you, I’m just down the road from you.

  85. Maybe the unaccompanied boys was a Melbourne problem Min – add Bolt & Price stirring the local bogans into the mix…

    We have a large number of Sudanese families around here – lovely gentle people…

    The success in Qld that amazed me (having relatives of a red-neck persuasion in that neck of the woods) is Toowoomba.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1828115.htm

    Possibly it worked here because, in a relatively small community as opposed to a large city, the locals can quickly get to see that these tall black people are just people like them, with similar desires to raise their families and provide a good life for them…

  86. Bacchus, a very good friend of mine used to work the Byron Bay, Channon, Nimbin markets the same time as I did. Six foot four inches, black as coal. It’s taken some while for the powers which be to realise that there are some of us who are better off in the country than trying to cope with the complexities of trying to live in the sterile white tile and terra cotta pot surrounds of the yuppie classes.

  87. According to Mr. Abbott’s reckoning, Howard’s government must have been very bad indeed,

    He said the outcome of the upcoming Queensland election, to be held on March 24, was important Australia wide.
    ‘‘The message which has to go loud and clear, from the people of Queensland to the whole of Australia, is that bad governments get punished,’’ he said.

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/i-will-be-pm-tony-abbott-20120304-1uap3.html#ixzz1oFWerT8H

  88. Surely he is not that desperate that he comes back by the senate. Only Gorton was appointed from hers. A lower house seat had to be found quickly.

    NIKI SAVVA From: The Australian March 06, 2012 12:00AM

    VICTORIAN Liberal senator Michael Ronaldson abruptly decides he has, again, had enough of politics and announces he is quitting parliament immediately.

    Without even blinking, the Victorian branch offers the vacancy to Peter Costello, who has let it be known he is desperate to get back into politics.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/for-both-sides-its-no-guts-no-glory/story-fnahw9xv-1226289832112

  89. Cu, i read that and wondered whether Niki Savva was writing a fictional ‘what if’ or whether it’s for real?

    It’s an interesting idea either way.

    By the way…. someone forgot to lock the cellar door 😳

  90. Cu, he’s not really very bright is he …

    ‘‘The message which has to go loud and clear, from the people of Queensland to the whole of Australia, is that bad governments get punished,’’ he said.

    He should know!

  91. Pip. I thought the same. She has been writing much fiction lately.

    It really does not make sense. That is why I mentioned Gorton.

    Of course we have had Mr. Abbott saying the same thing about Carr.

  92. Hockey leaves supermarket regulation off shopping list
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/hockey-leaves-supermarket-regulation-off-shopping-list-20120305-1ueg3.html

    THE shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, will use a speech this week to send a signal to protectionists inside the Coalition that it will not adopt a policy regulating the behaviour of supermarket giants.

    In a speech to be delivered tomorrow, Mr Hockey will reaffirm that in policy development the consumer is sovereign and must remain so in a free market economy.

    Joe Hockey means that the voter is sovereign, and there are no farmers in his electorate.

    That’s not going to help the primary producers who are being squeezed out of business.

    Mr. Abbott is still giving Shadow for Finance Andrew Robb some very big headaches.

    Mr Hockey’s speech will be followed by speeches by the shadow finance minister, Andrew Robb, and the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, in a series designed to bolster the Coalition’s economic credentials.

    Yesterday, however, Mr Robb created uncertainty about Mr Abbott’s $3.3 billion paid parental scheme which Mr Abbott again said, last week, was set in stone.

    ”We’ve not finalised any of our major policies,” Mr Robb said. ”We had some we took to the last election and that’s one of them. Now, the potential for us to spend or not spend will depend on what the government does.”

    Mr Abbott was also under fire yesterday for promising a Coalition government would increase the indexation rate of military pensions. Labor considered the idea but found it to be too expensive. It would cost the budget $1.7 billion over four years and increase the Commonwealth’s unfunded superannuation liability by $6.2 billion.

    There is concern too, inside the Liberal Party, about the promise, given it is trying to identify savings to fund all the promises Mr Abbott has made.

    But Mr Abbott said the policy would be fully costed.

    Let’s see, there’s Joe’s Hockeynomics, plus Andrew Robb trying to balance books somehow, and then there’s Smudgy Bugglers making promises he has no idea how to pay for, without ever putting his brain in gear.

  93. Cu, did you see this on Lateline

    The school prefect mucked up again…

    Indonesia criticises ‘unfair’ Opposition policy
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3446354.htm

    The Federal Opposition has been criticised by Indonesia for an ‘unfair’ asylum seeker policy which involves sending boats back to Indonesia.

    The Federal Opposition has been criticised by Indonesia for an ‘unfair’ asylum seeker policy which involves sending boats back to Indonesia.

    Transcript
    EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: After hounding the Government over asylum seekers, the Opposition’s policy has been criticised by Indonesia as unfair.

    Part of the Opposition’s policy is to turn boats around and send them back to Indonesia.

    In an interview with the ABC’s Australia Network, the country’s ambassador says he’s told the Opposition the policy isn’t fair on Indonesia.

    But he says the Coalition’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop told him not all boats would be turned back.

    PRIMO ALUI JOELIANTO, INDONESIAN AMBASSADOR: And she explained to me that the Coalition will always consult Indonesia in any matter facing both of us.

    EMMA ALBERICI: Julie Bishop says the conversation’s been taken out of context.

    Or maybe, Ms Bishop “mis-spoke” !

  94. Bacchus, straight lines only; or you’ll be right back amongst those bottles. I also have to tell you that I am prepared to offer Senior Constabule Miglo a bribe. I refuse to divulge what the bribe is on account of you will up the ante. Blow in the bag!

    And no appealing to Senior Sergeant Min!

    BTW, I also found myself agreeing with most of what Vanstone had to say on QandA.

    Anyone remember that add when they bought in the GST. The one were that chains fall from a man.

    Certainly do, CU. To the Strains of Joe Cocker singing Unchain My Heart.

  95. enough of that talk about the back of utes. next you will be saying is that palmer and gina were off to a b&s ball and that is a really disturbing image

  96. In the current big miner/treasurer smack down, whose side are you on?

    Wayne Swan 83%
    Clive Palmer 9%
    Neither, it’s ridiculous 8%

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/thedrum/polls/

    Yet ltdnews, in it’s entirety, is on the side of the 8%

    (when, in reality, they shouldn’t be on any side)

    Which links nicely into this 😉

    the backbone of the Murdochracy doesn’t believe in other folks’ fences at all. It believes in destroying them so as to impose itself on the regime, and by proxy, onto the populace. It wishes to gather together the business of government under its aegis. Its redux of the “faceless men” meme is a fabulous example of this. It has appointed itself the contemporary equivalent of the Roman nomenclatura determining the authenticity of every exercise of power by reference to the quality of their treatment by the organs it controls. It alone determines who is lying and who is not, what the public believes and demands and thus who actually has a face. It declares some people “unpeople” and thus unfit to decide on governance, even if they happen to have been elected.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2012/03/05/how-the-pm-could-mend-bridges-with-news-ltd-repost/comment-page-1/#comment-76847

  97. With things not looking so good in Asgrove, the msm better ask Clive if he has any 17 yr old captains ready to lead the state.

  98. Pip

    so to find out what the opposition policy is on “stop the boats” we have to ask the indonesians?

    Headline: Bishop on Skids as Stop the Boats Policy Slips into Troubled Waters

  99. Tom R @9.36am. Interesting link. My suggestion as to how the government could “mend fences” with the Murdochracy is to implement an independent media regulator with enormous fangs which……..oh wait!

  100. Rinehart fails in bid to keep family feud secret

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/rinehart-fails-in-bid-to-keep-family-feud-secret-20120306-1ugm8.html#ixzz1oILZpk5V

    •Adrian Francis’s letter
    Gina Rinehart has lost an 11th-hour attempt to salvage her bid to keep details of her family feud secret, on the basis of fears for her safety.

    In the NSW Supreme Court this morning, Mrs Rinehart’s lawyers attempted to reopen their application for a suppression order after receiving a “so-called threat” to Mrs Rinehart by an anonymous man in Dubai.

    The alleged threat was reported to her lawyers by West Australian security consultant Adrian Francis.

    Justice Michael Ball refused to reopen the application, and he dismissed the application.

    He said the Dubai threat was not “credible, highly probative or not previously obtainable”.

  101. I was wrong. ABC24 was showing a press conference with the PM and the Business council….of course they cut it off before it was finished to go to the NPC with Senator M. Cash …..

  102. PM on ABC24 with representives of the business community.

    Launching new attack on business regulation. They are very supportive of the PM. Something about working through COAG.

    One of the business men said they were not there to talk about the Opposition. He went onto say in effect, that the Opposition had nothing to be proud of.

    Plumber came to fix my hot water. Do not know what else was said. I got a pleasant surprise, he did not charge through the nose. After using four plumbers, it will be his card that stays on my fridge.

  103. Pip, it is nice to know that Gina does not have any more rights to privacy than the rest of us.

  104. Pip, that MC was very worthwhile. ABC24 played the whole lot.

    It was a bout cooperation between the business council, the states and the Federal; government re business regulation. The combined body is to work through COAG.

    The business leaders were supportive of the PM.

    Very positive initiative.

  105. Pip. Senator M. Cash seems to be out on her own. Did not even get support from the first questioner, a male.

  106. Larvatus Prodeo ran that video made by the CFMEU. It inspired me to write a pome even back then, but it’s still relevant to today’s issue i.e. those “Big, big miners fighting the pygmy, Wayne Swan” Crazy isn’t it to think they are still keeping up the argument?

    The Abbott and his Bishop confer for the national good.

    We must help the miners,
    Land Labor some shiners.
    Julie grimaces, Eeeuw!
    The CFMEU?

    No, their directors on boards!
    If they get fewer rewards
    With this new profits tax
    They’ll stop our kick backs.

    It’s affecting their health
    These threats to their wealth.
    Every mining magnate
    Has become overweight.

    They say all this worry
    Is worse than coal slurry.
    I’ve got it – ‘Keep Mining Strong!’
    Let’s promote their theme song!

    That’s what together they did.
    Tony muscled and fit,
    Julie, hair still bouffant,
    Aping ‘Walk Against Want!’

    So, they wore the T shirt,
    Thinking it wouldn’t have hurt,
    If more joined in their pitch
    In their ‘Run For the Rich!’

    They didn’t quite understand
    That to watch their waistband
    Was something quite alien
    To these big Australians.

    June 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

  107. Rabbit, so did I.

    The week before last I paid 180 dollars to get a pipe unplugged. I had open up the sewer on am attempt to do it myself. He used my plunger to start the job off. Put the machine down, all of about three minutes and job done.

    He then left me to clean up and screw the cover back on, 180 dollars lighter.

    Today took much longer and a replacement part. I have paid 140 dollars in the past for same job. This time I feel it has been done properly. Today’s plumber said I was definitely ripped off and thought the man was a louse.

    We are back on Mr. Abbott and government chosen by the people, not faceless men of Labor party. News foe the man, the people did choose her.

    Why does the man look so miserable lately. No smile, no smirk.

  108. ……….she needs a good hairdresser for starters!
    Also a personal trainer….she can afford both…

    And one of each for me, Pip! :8:

  109. Patricia, love that It’s goin’ta ruin us advert. I was just thinking about Swan and the pygmies..and what we were saying the other day. Now Palmer and Gina are hardly pygmies size-wise, so perhaps a pome with an added piece of irony.

  110. Catching up saw this press conference yesterday and her impression tallied with this report:-

    PM brings business in the loop on cutting red tape
    Judith Ireland
    March 6, 2012 –

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/pm-brings-business-in-the-loop-on-cutting-red-tape-20120306-1uh6p.html

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced another forum: this time on deregulation.

    Accompanied by Finance Minister Penny Wong this afternoon, Ms Gillard said the government wanted business input into further regulation reforms.

    Twenty five business representatives will be invited to attend the forum — chaired by Ms Gillard — on April 12, before the next COAG meeting on April 19.

    It comes after Gillard government forums last year on tax and jobs.

    ”We want [businesses] to be at the drawing board as we contemplate the next round of reform,” Ms Gillard said.

    The forum is supported by the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    BCA president Tony Shepherd called the forum a ”great opportunity to reset the agenda”.

    ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson also welcomed the announcement. ”Excessive regulation or poor quality regulation and red tape is a drag on doing business,” he said.

    The Productivity Commission has recently estimated that the 17 remaining deregulation reform priorities could lower business costs by about $4 billion a year and increase GDP by more than $6 billion in the longer term.

  111. Let’s feel sorry for the Ginas and Clives of this world.

    Oppressed by a horde of uppity little groups, and races and culture gangs who, having inconsiderately thrown off my rich, white forefathers’ oppression of their poor, not-so-white forefathers and, er, foremothers, now seem intent on getting some payback.

    I am oppressed by the end of a long, happy history of rich white guys just going out into the world and doing whatever they damn well please. (Well, it was happy for us.)

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/blogs/blunt-instrument/rich-and-white—-and-oppressed-20120307-1uixk.html#ixzz1oN9srfQH

  112. Our modest unassumong Treasurer does have a way with words.

    At his press conference a few minutes ago he said:-

    “Abbott is in policy cul de sac”.

    Finance Minister Penny Wong said in her blog yesterday :-

    http://www.alp.org.au:6020/blogs/alp-blog/march-2012/opposition-deception-on-display-once-again/

    Opposition deception on display once again
    Penny Wong posted Tuesday, 6 March 2012

    Shadow finance spokesperson Andrew Robb is continuing the Opposition’s deception when it comes to their plan for a “Rolls Royce” paid parental leave scheme.

    It’s clear that Mr Robb knows the Opposition doesn’t have the money to pay for Tony Abbott’s extravagant paid parental leave scheme.

    On radio yesterday, Mr Robb said:

    HOST: Is it a good look for the Coalition if there are rivers of gold pouring in that you’re not committing to a National Disability Insurance Scheme but you can commit to a much richer Paid Parental Leave scheme?

    ROBB: “We haven’t finalised any of our major policies. We had some that we took to the last election and that’s one of them as you mentioned. Now the potential for us to spend or not spend next time will depend on this Government’s, you know, what the Government does.”
    ROBB – ABC PM – 5 MARCH 2012

    But Mr Robb has clearly since been brought back into line by Tony Abbott, saying this morning:

    “The point that was being made yesterday was about other future policies, and was not a reference to the Paid Parental Leave policy.”
    ROBB – ABC NEWSRADIO – 6 MARCH 2012

    It’s not fair on Australian families to deliberately mislead them by making promises the Opposition know they can’t deliver.

    Mr Robb’s attempt to “clarify” his admission that the Opposition can’t afford their plan is nothing more than Tony Abbott scrambling for credibility.

    Just three days ago, Tony Abbott was boasting about his plan for a “Rolls Royce” paid parental leave scheme. Now you have his finance spokesperson – the person responsible for finding the money to fund the policy – saying it can’t be done.

    This is yet another display of Tony Abbott’s recklessness – the same recklessness which has led to the Coalition walking away from a budget surplus.

  113. This is what happens continuously – Abbott makes it up as he goes along, not a clue about how the coalition would pay for it all, then in comes either Hockey or Robb having to put forward some sort of attempt at explaining it all. Robb at least has the honesty to look a little embarassed at the attempt, whereas Hockey tends to just try to bluster his way through.

  114. Pip, Mr. Bolt believes that Mr. Swan looks flatten today. That is the word he used, not flat.

    There was a very long interview with Mr. Smith and defence personnel.

    Long one also with the PM. This I believe is the second today.

    Being asked and answering many questions.

    Lectured the media on believing in easy answers.

  115. Talking about plumbers reminded me of this:

    There once was a plumber from Lee
    Who was plumbing his girl by the sea
    She said “Stop your plumbing,
    There’s somebody coming!”
    Said the plumber still plumbing… “It’s me!”

  116. There once was a fellow from Kent
    Whose cock was incredibly bent
    To save any trouble
    He’d stick it in double
    But instead of coming . . . He went.

  117. Rabbit and Migs, I have been short changed. The plumbers I have had the misfortune to deal with have not been that interesting.

  118. Cu, plumbers don’t have to be interesting. All they’re interested in is tapping into your business. Don’t let them force-it.

  119. The bloke from Kent wasn’t a plumber….just had a little problem with his S-bend. Now the bloke from Lee was a real plunger.

  120. Nah, they seem to leave me cold, just like the water I came home to, after being away for the weekend.

  121. Sounds to be a good idea…

    It was a fine day in June
    It must have been mid afternoon
    As time flew by
    I let out a sigh
    And decided to go to the saloon

  122. Before we get carried away by the Opposition scare tactics

    Conclusion

    The trend in the Australian economy is becoming more defined after being upset by the natural disasters earlier in 2011 which made it difficult to interpret exactly where things were.

    The results today show that in the December quarter 2011 the economy is slowing and while Australia is still outperforming many advanced economies, our growth rate is insufficient to make any dent in the massive pool of underutilised labour.

    The worrying sign is that private gross capital formation went backwards. It is clear that the so-called “trickle down” effect of the mining boom (strong volumes and terms of trade) is not occurring.

    The data also shows that the Government contribution remains positive although all the expansion from the infrastructure investment has gone. I consider the government will not be able to achieve its desired budget surplus in the coming fiscal year because growth in tax revenue will be undermined by the sluggish growth.

    The problem is that in trying to achieve this surplus the government will further undermine growth. Now is definitely not the time to be pursuing contractionary fiscal policy.

    Tomorrow is the labour force data which is a more timely indicator of how the economy is travelling.

    And on Friday, I might write about whether Keynes would support the fiscal austerity programs now in place in various nations. The conservatives are trying to play wedge-politics by claiming just that.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=18531&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicoutlook%2FFYvo+%28billy+blog%29

  123. Who are the pygmy’s?

    That’s what Mark Scott said the other day. In her Canberra observed column this week she didn’t hold back:

    There are two possible explanations for how an opposition presenting itself as an alternative government could end up with an $11 billion hole in the cost of its election commitments.

    One is that they are liars, the other is that they are clunkheads. Actually there is a third explanation: they are liars and clunkheads.

    But whatever the combination, they are not fit to govern. (Emphasis added)

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/09/04/liars-clunkheads-or-both/

  124. It is good to recall what was said in the past.

    She says that Treasury and Finance found “what can only be described as a systematic exercise in creative accounting.”

    The picture that emerges from the econocrats’ report is that the opposition very purposely created a dodgy set of numbers which were never expected to withstand any scrutiny and would require the intervention of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission if it was a company.

    They tried to bluff their way through to polling day and are continuing the bluff now. The claim that the bureaucrats’ document proves the budget would be $7 billion better off under them she describes as “complete bullshit”.

    I pause here to mention that Tingle has credentials in economics and in reporting on financial markets. There is a short bio here:

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/09/04/liars-clunkheads-or-both/

  125. A visit to this site is a must. Included is the full transcript of Mr. Robb;s letter, once again talking the economy down.

    Andrew Robb, opposition finance spokesman, Canberra, ACT

    In writing the letter, Mr Robb has only gone to highlight the absurdity and deception of those comments. It shows a deep misunderstanding of public finances and the economy.

    For those who read this before, I apologise for repeating, in full, my analysis of Mr Robb’s comments. It was from my blog posted on 16 January 2012. Every word and number remains correct. Foreign investors should be very worried if this is the sort of economic analysis that the alternative government is discussing at a time when Australia’s fiscal position is the envy of the world.

    http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/

  126. Let’s have a look at some of those “European crisis levels” of net government debt:

    Between 2007 and 2012, net government debt is projected to rise by 53% of GDP in Greece (from 105% to 158%); Portugal 32% of GDP (from 58% to 90%) and Spain 30% of GDP (from 26% to 56%).

    As an aside, according to the same IMF database, net debt in the US is projected to rise by 35% of GDP between 2007 and 2012 (from 42% to 77%); in the UK, the rise is 41% of GDP (from 38% to 79%), while in Italy, is a relatively modest 13% of GDP albeit from a high starting point (from 87% to 100%).

    All of which make’s Mr Robb’s claims completely ridiculous and for him, quite embarrassing.

    http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/

  127. Wayne Swan has done nothing more than stand up and tell the truth about the undue influence of Australia’s wealthy individuals. If telling the truth is class warfare, then it is merely a return salvo in a class war waged against the members of our union – cleaners, aged-care workers and early childhood educators – all of them struggling to survive on minimum wages. If a federal Labor treasurer can’t speak up on their behalf, when are their voices ever going to be heard?

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/hey-rich-list-its-payback-time-20120307-1ukeq.html#ixzz1oU9e1TqD

  128. Despite the hyperbole and myth spun around some of Australia’s wealthiest people, Warren’s argument is compelling: “You built a factory out there? Good for you. But … you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.”
    Individual brilliance, hard work, risk-taking are of themselves insufficient to create fortunes. What should be acknowledged is the decades-long legacy of citizens and governments investing in nation-building and the conscious creation of economic capacity and opportunity.
    Exhorting Australia’s wealthiest to ”pay your fair share” is not simply a moral argument; it is increasingly seen to be an economic necessity.
    Late last year, the OECD released a report acknowledging that growing inequality was undermining economic growth. Divided we Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising found growing numbers of low-paid, part-time, less regulated jobs resulting in more inequality in earnings in 17 of the 22 countries studied. The report warned that the unravelling social contract and consequent rise in inequality, if unattended, “will affect economic performance as a whole”.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/hey-rich-list-its-payback-time-20120307-1ukeq.html#ixzz1oUAembE4

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/hey-rich-list-its-payback-time-20120307-1ukeq.html#ixzz1oUARKf3s

  129. Cu, exactly. Australia differs substantially from the US in that the vast majority of our infrastructure was provided by we the people. This infrastructure, education and investment by governments in it’s turn allows the wealthy to become that way.

  130. Did I hear as I turned the TV on, a comment saying unexpected unemployment rise.

    If so, the person talking must have been one of very few surprised.

    It is good to hear Mr. Smith sticking to his opinion, which I agree with completely, not allowing himself to be bullied by the media and Opposition.

    We have Abbott out there on IWD, defending the armed forces over the victim, a 18 year old girl.

    With the spotlight on the Labor leadership stoush and the Carr-for-Canberra reverse wedgie (© Andrew Probyn), the pressure, to the extent that they’ve been under any pressure since April 2010, should have been off the Coalition. Instead, there’s been a series of fumbles and unforced errors.

    There was Abbott’s “I’ll be prime minister” line, the sort of thing not so much hated by voters as claimed by press to be hated by voters, and covered accordingly. Then there was the reaction to Bob Carr’s appointment, after the Coalition had spent last week basing its entire political attack on the government over his non-appointment; the indefatigable Christopher Pyne was sent onto Lateline on Friday night to perform the alarums and excursions necessary to cover the retreat on that front, only to be forensically dissected by Emma Alberici.

    And then there’s the Coalition’s budget problems. The Coalition is in a deep, deep hole on its budget plans, but judging by the noises coming out of the darkness, they’re still digging.

    As former Gillard adviser Stephen Koukoulas pointed out this week, Joe Hockey, in committing to have a lower tax:GDP ratio than Labor, casually signed up to finding an extra $80 billion-odd in savings over forward estimates. Even if it’s delayed until the first Hockey budget in May 2014, it’ll cost an extra $24 billion.

    Yes, that’s on top of the current $50-70 billion they need to find. If you had some magical combination of Peter Walsh c.1987 as finance minister and Peter Costello c.1996 as treasurer, you’d still be struggling to achieve that level of savings.

    Then there’s paid parental leave, Abbott’s totem for his conversion from a 12th to late 20th century view of women. It’s hard to avoid the impression that Andrew Robb, despite subsequent backtracking, let the cat out of the bag on the scheme this week when he said nothing had been finalised. At the very least, it’s a preview of the stoush likely to happen in ERC and budget cabinet in the lead-up to May 2014.

    The problem for the Coalition scheme isn’t just its huge cost compared to Labor’s scheme, which is based on the national minimum wage: the minimum wage will be the baseline of the Coalition scheme, but anyone earning above that will receive up to $75,000. It’s that the scheme will grow much faster than Labor’s.

    That’s because the national minimum wage grows more slowly than average weekly earnings for women. The minimum wage has grown on average 2.7 per cent per annum since 2008 – although it wasn’t increased at all that year. Full-time adult female earnings grew on average 4.7 per cent per annum over the past five years. In 2007, it grew at 5.4 per cent. The Coalition, correctly indexed the scheme cost at 4.7 per cent on its 2010 costings. On that basis, the scheme will cost $4.7 billion in it first year and total about $20 billion over forward estimates and keep growing rapidly. In years with high jobs growth, faster wages growth will accelerate that growth.

    That $20 billion figure is a lot of money to fix Tony Abbott’s problem with women voters. There are image consultants who’d charge a lot less and, judging by Abbott’s current unpopularity with women voters, do a better job.

    There remains, too, the problem of the Coalition’s costing of its direct action policies on climate change. This is grossly underfunded in terms of the price per tonne of abatement, if we assume the Coalition is at all serious about achieving a 5 per cent reduction target by 2020, let alone any more ambitious targets. The fact that few in the media other than Lenore Taylor have focused on the profound problems of this policy doesn’t mean a Coalition government won’t have a serious funding problem with the policy. For the moment, however, the opposition’s stance on this revolves sticking its collective fingers in ears and chanting “not listening.”

    Joe Hockey is giving an economic speech early this afternoon intended as The Australian Financial Review declared today, to be a “spine stiffener” for the opposition. The real job the Coalition’s economic team needs to do is start giving comfort it’s not totally at sea on its fiscal strategy. Sooner or later reality will hit.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/coalition-fiscal-policy-Abbott-pd20120307-S65FB?opendocument&src=idp&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20248&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=commentary&WELCOME=AUTHENTICATED%20REMEMBER

  131. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-08/interview-with-stephen-smith/3876132

    Mr. Smiths interview. Just her the Opposition spokesman complain that he should have a plan for dealing with the 700 odd complaints. (ABC24). Sorry. I missed the name.

    The interviewer pointed out that they were working through the problem, to see what needs to be done.

    This did not impress the shadow minister. One should know. Maybe crystal balls are in fashion in the Liberal Party.

    What is clear there are allegation of criminal activity. One does not say we are allotting so many millions and that is that.

    Each allegation will have to be investigated and acted on by police. There is no other way to deal with allegations of sexual abuse.

    Sorry, a cap cannot be put on the cost. These people rights under law cannot be circumvented. It will be up to the legal system what happens now.

    The armed forces are not above civil law. That is the message I believe that Mr. Smith is attempting to convey.

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