The Fool on the Hill (part 3)

So far in this series Fool on the Hill (aka Tony Abbott, the Fool on Capital Hill) I’ve had the pleasure to demonstrate how Abbott displays the intellect of a moron when it comes to the important political and environmental issue of climate change, and the social issue of gender roles. In both, it appears that he expects the whole country to warm to his outdated ideologies. Fortunately we are a bit more switched on to national and global issues, mainly because we move with the times and aren’t locked in a cocoon. We are willing to embrace change. Tony Abbott wants nothing changed. He wants us to journey in his time tunnel to the long gone era where profits were more important that people, the working class were the servants of the elite, women were the servants of men and the planet was the servant of ruthless industry.

Not everyone has an interest in climate change or gender issues so those people have been spared the indignity of sitting through an Abbott brain fart, however, the issue in this post affects everyone: economics. Here he is a fool too. For a person who has an economics degree Tony Abbott exhibits a fluency in economics akin to a gorilla trying to play a violin. He puts on a woeful performance. With a skill level of zero he can’t be trusted to take the helm of the nation’s economy.

Says who?

Just about anybody who knows how to add up, but more significantly, the nation’s leading economists and analysts.

Here’s a small sample of what they say about Abbott’s economic credibility:

Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey tempting economic Armageddon with petty politicking – Paul Syvret

Credible economic policy is not born of populist sound bites and uncosted opportunism.

Regrettably, as the level of political discourse in this country continues to deteriorate to one of sloganeering and extravagant half-truths, the federal Coalition risks trashing its credibility in the area of economic management – a policy suite where (at least in terms of public perception) it has tended historically to have the upper hand.

Late last week, the Opposition was vowing that as part of its pledge to rescind the mining tax, it would also scrap Labor’s phased increase in the compulsory superannuation contribution from 9 to 12 per cent.

By Sunday, they appeared to have backed away from killing the super increase, realising that the more Australians who can fund their own retirement the better, but were still vowing to abolish the mining tax.

The catch is the mining tax was (in part) going to be used to fund the retirement income reform which will cost an estimated $12 billion by 2020.

Black hole is an overly used term, but the funding gap here is looking damnably dark.

There is similarly questionable logic at work with the Opposition’s stance on the package of tax cuts and other assistance that form part of Labor’s carbon pricing scheme.

The Abbott-Hockey position at this point is to scrap the carbon pricing scheme (and thus forgo the associated revenue), but to press ahead with the tax cuts.

As with the superannuation position, there is no suggestion beyond a vague promise of spending cuts elsewhere as to how this will be funded.

A popular refrain from the Opposition benches is Labor’s alleged propensity to “tax and spend”, but the Coalition, with its string of what appear to be ad hoc responses, risks painting itself into a policy corner of “big spending, little taxing” – ironically just the sort of policy that got the likes of Greece into trouble.

This man shows no sign of dragging us from our discontent – Paddy Gourley

. . . he [Tony Abbott] repeatedly says the Gillard government has ”delivered the four biggest [budget] deficits in Australian history”. Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce, whose understanding of public finance does not appear to be extensive if his silly estimates committee questioning of the secretary of the Department of Regional Australia, etc. is anything to go by, repeats this assertion in The Canberra Times. This is blatantly dishonest. It’s based on an assumption that deficits today can be compared properly, on a nominal cash basis, with those 10, 50 and 100 years ago. It’s saying that $10 today is the same value as $10 in 1970. Duh! Only going back to 1970 and taking budget deficits as a proportion of gross domestic product, the biggest was in 2009-10 under the Rudd government, the next two were under Keating, with Gillard claiming the fourth in 2010-11. And if Abbott had been prime minister in 2008 and had not accepted Treasury advice about large deficits over 2009-11 to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis, he would have increased greatly the risk of recession and higher unemployment.

Tony Abbott: philosopher-prince of the assertion-based community – Bernard Keane

Abbott’s budget reply was, yes, entirely devoid of detail or policy, barring an uncosted, undated thought bubble about Asian literacy, but that was expected. Don’t linger on that. What was more interesting was Abbott’s long list of assertions about the government’s performance and that of the Coalition . . . although he missed my favourite, Abbott’s claim that “the Coalition identified $50 billion in savings before the last election and will do at least as much again before the next one”.

The Coalition’s $50 billion claim ($47.6 billion, but never mind) was a fiction, riddled with double-counting and asset sales, one of the reasons they were tripped up by Treasury and Finance during negotiations with independents in 2010.

But silliest was the claim that “there is no plan for economic growth; nothing whatsoever to promote investment or employment”.

Carbon price: Abbott at odds with economists – Michelle Grattan and Adam Morton

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has taken a swipe at the majority of economists who believe a carbon price is the best way to cut emissions.

Mr Abbott conceded yesterday most economists think a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme the best way to go, but ”maybe that’s a comment on the quality of our economists rather than on the merits of the argument”.

Prominent economist Saul Eslake was quick to return fire, with the Grattan Institute director saying Mr Abbott only made his ”cheap shot” because he couldn’t find a single economist to support his direct action policy.

What is in question, however, is Abbott’s temperament. This is a man who, by his own admissions, gets rattled under questioning and resorts to lying to get out of trouble. His reluctance to actually debate the economy seems to confirm his own fear that he may say something stupid under pressure in debate with the Prime Minister. And one of the key differences between being Opposition leader and Prime Minister is that everything you say as Prime Minister matters economically. Every statement is pored over and parsed by financial markets and foreign investors, and by commentators and analysts. You can’t stick an asterisk next to every statement as Prime Minister with a “to be confirmed” caveat.

And when Abbott says repeatedly — as he has done over the past 24 hours — that Australia is now less safe for investment than tinpot African dictatorships, it’s exactly the sort of statement that has economic ramifications, because markets know he is just a few thousand votes from being Prime Minister. There is little difference between such statements and Barnaby Joyce’s claims that Australia was in danger of defaulting on its borrowings. Both are nonsensical, and both damage Australia’s economic interests.

ABC economics correspondent looks at Tony Abbott’s arguments – Stephen Long

It sounds like magic pudding economics and it probably is – $30 billion in compensation for polluters to encourage them to move away from polluting industries, plus tax cuts.

Now they’re relying on this $50 billion figure that they came up with before the last election, which has had holes picked in it by Treasury and is not seen by many economists as credible. So no I don’t think that they can but it will be an effective line of political argument.

I could go on and on but I think the message is clear. He’s an economic fool who wants to fool around with our economy.

It is a sad reflection on the state of the Murdoch media that they couldn’t put forward any analysis of Abbott’s economic brain farts yet were quite happy to trumpet them at every opportunity. They willingly allow him to talk down the economy, which as Bernard King notes above, will damage Australia’s economic interests.

If he has the power to damage the economy as Opposition leader, just how damaging could he be as Prime Minister?

90 comments on “The Fool on the Hill (part 3)

  1. Can one go to uni, and not learn a thing.

    I believe this to be true.

    I completed a Social Science Degree. This consists of psychology, law, economics, and politics, as well as welfare topics.

    I had completed a Diploma in Welfare before that.

    There were some, that went through with me, that came out at the end, with all the views and opinions they had when they began. Not one new idea had penetrated.

    I was a mature age student, well I began at forty.

    Surprisingly it was some of the young, from conservative, and I should not say, religious backgrounds that resisted change the most.

    To this day, I cannot understand how one can have a mind closed to new ideas and beliefs.

    Many, surprisingly managed to get good marks, they just did not take on board what they were putting in those essays.

    I suspect that Mr. Abbott might belong in this group. he knows the economics but does not accept the ideology.

    He does not appear to have taken on board, anything he learnt. I suspect the same goes for what he studied in religion as well.

    If this is not the case, the only other answer I can come to, he knows what he intends to with the economy but is not willing to let the public share this knowledge. That he is pretending to be economical illiterate.

    Mr. Abbott sees nothing wrong in rejecting all expert advice. It is as if he has no respect for anyone else’s opinions. He knows best.

    During the Howard years there was total rejection and put down of what they called political correctness and the the opinions of anyone from the academia.

    Today, they are going further. The advice and opinions of experts, especially those in the field is being rejected.

    This I do not understand.

    Mr. Abbott appears to live in a world, where he believes he can do as he likes. It appears that for most of his life, this is true.

    I do not know what type of personality he fits into.

    He is an highly intelligent man, that behaves like an idiot.

  2. He is an highly intelligent man, that behaves like an idiot.

    Ditto.

    It’s hard to believe he achieved a university degree based on his public performances.

    You’d expect an intelligent person has the ability to apply logical thought. He fails miserably at it.

  3. I suspect that Mr. Abbott does believe this is a bad PM and government. I suspect he believes the economy is in bad shape, and only he can deliver the golden age.

    It will indeed be golden,if any great improvements occur. He will need the Midas touch, to be much better than we have now.

    He is going to do all this by dismantling everything that Labor has put in place.

    He is going to do it by cutting waste.

    At the same time, no services are going to be lost.

    Countries such as Indonesia are going to fall into line, because he says so.

    If the parliament stops him because he does not have the numbers, he will keep having elections until he does.

    Does he really believe the voters will stick to him why this happens

    He has also said, that he will get his way the first time, because his victory will be so great, Labor will roll over and vote for his bills. They will have no choice.

    That seems to be Abbott’s attitudes to all the stunts he has mounted over the last two years. That the PM has no choice but to give in. This has not occurred up to now, The PM is still standing. Why would his stunts be any more successful in the future. Why would his expectations be anymore reasonable or likely.

    I do hope that Labor stick to their guns, and vote for what is right and in the best interest of the nation. That is what their mandate demands of them.

  4. Cu, I suspect he gets frantic and desperate because he does know this is a government getting results. He has to put the accelerator on his scare campaigns to gain traction with the electorate.

  5. Miglo, surely you came across similar people in your uni days.

    My son in law was at uni with him. Had no time for him, made a comment that the sister was not much better. My son in law was a RC Brother at the time.,who went on get three degrees.

    He seen him as a loud mouth.

    Maybe it is not fair to mention the sister.

  6. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s carbon price sums

    This was Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in full flight on 11 July 2012:

    The carbon tax is already having a significant detrimental impact on the tourism industry. It’s added up to $6 to every airline ticket. The cost of taking a family of four to Perth and back is $48 more thanks to the carbon tax. QANTAS will have $110 million carbon tax bill this year. That’s seven times their half yearly tax bill. Virgin will have a $45 million carbon tax bill. That’s twice their half yearly tax bill.

    This is what Virgin Airlines is actually charging to cover national carbon pricing:

    Zone

    Distance (kms)

    Surcharge

    1

    1 – 900

    AUD$1.50

    2

    901 – 2000

    AUD$3.00

    3

    2001+

    AUD$6.00

    This is Qantas Airlines carbon price schedule for domestic flights:

    Zone

    Distance (km)

    Charge
    AUD including GST per sector

    1

    1 – 700

    $1.82

    2

    701 – 1200

    $2.79

    3

    1201 – 1900

    $4.00

    4

    1901 +

    $6.86

    Jetstar calculated that domestic fares will go up by $5 for fuel and $2.80 for the carbon price for a total of $7.80 on a Melbourne-Sydney flight and by $6 for fuel and $6.86 for the carbon price for a total of $12.86 on a flight to Perth.
    So the only time anyone is likely to pay a $6 or over carbon price component per domestic flight is if they are flying to Perth, West Australia or any other destination in the country which exceeds 19,000kms.

    For millions of travellers each year, the cost impact of the carbon price on their ticket will be less than the cup of coffee they have at the airport.

    At this point in time Abbott’s relentless propaganda has begun to border on childish petulance.

    POSTED BY CLARENCEGIRL AT 00:15

    http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/opposition-leader-tony-abbotts-carbon.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/UtodS+(North+Coast+Voices)

  7. Cu, I’m a classic example. 😦

    In my first degree I received the Chancellor’s Award and the Dean’s Merit Award three years in a row as well as receiving the Golden Key Award (which you have to average Credit or above for the three years). Look at me now and you’d think I’m a dill.

  8. Miglo, are you trying to tell me that you did not grow and increased your knowledge at uni. That I do not believe.

    I suspect, you might be after a little pity. Sorry, you are not going to get it from me. You do not need it.

    If you are genuine in your comment, you are swallowing a little in self pity. By the way, I do not believe you are.

    Abbott does not appears to have grown in any way since he was an adolescent.

    All PM’s take time to grow into the role.. The same is true for Opposition leaders. This is not true for Abbott. He is still where he was two years ago.

    The PM has shown over the last week or so, that she is confident and comfortable as PM.

    The PM has grown in the role.

  9. Cu, I was being silly. But sometimes I do wonder why I can’t recapture the attitude I displayed at uni. Maybe because it was a long time ago and I’ve lost a few brain cells along the way.

  10. Ditto. I think it was the most enjoyable part of my life Maybe because one gets feedback for everything one does.

    Does not happen anywhere else.

  11. This is an excellent and very timely post Migs, I’ll have a proper read tomorrow/today…

    Cu, thanks for the link expalining the ACTUAL charge to cover national carbon pricing.
    If we had a Fairness Doctrine for the news media, like the one in the USA which Pres., Reagan abolished, or a truth in journalism law, such as the one in Canada,
    Abbott and his crew would not be allowed to get away with their lies.

  12. Cu and There were some, that went through with me, that came out at the end, with all the views and opinions they had when they began. Not one new idea had penetrated. Wise words indeed. This was especially true of law, same experience that those coming from private schools fared worst of all with many struggling to gain passes. Mature age students seemed to do best, perhaps because we (and I was older than you Cu when I went back to study) have via experience, not as many fixed opinions.

  13. Migs, you would know not only from studying but from your employment that positive feedback is that which provides the best encouragement..and indeed inspiration.

    This is why “the stick” approach seldom works, or if it does ends up causing resentment and negative feelings which are in their turn destructive.

  14. so as night follows day another bad week for gillard ends and a worse week commences. This week? …. the old reminder of gillard’s “Border Protection Policy” with some more boats arriving..The labor party attacks its partner in government….. Tony lets us know more of the unintended costs of the deceitful Carbon Dioxide Tax…..true to form gillard ignores her failings with the Bart Simpson Defence.
    “I didn’t Do It, I wasn’t There, Nobody saw me do It”…gillard dodging the flack as usual.
    …. the week culminating in a litmus test of the inner city voting intentions …. Craig Thompson affair and gillard’s receipt of stolen union funds are issues warming up on the bench for next week…. and labor lemmings studiously sticking to their death script.
    dickhead government, dickhead minority supporters, corruption, stupididity, fools calling themselves intellectuals… all fat and idle on the public purse.. ….thank God she has to go to the polls…dragged kicking and screaming but heading to the polls anyway.
    Thank God………..

    Take no prisoners Tony.

  15. You know you’ve only scratched the surface on the opposition’s economic incompetence?

    A whole blog could be dedicated to it, there’s that much wrong with their fiscal rationale and economic policy frameworks as they have elucidated them.

    From Joyce to Hockey’s mangling of figures and half-baked policy announcements, there’s much there to examine and discuss, yet sadly at most it gets a cursory slap on the wrist and is forgotten, even though the opposition still have these cockamamie economic ideas as their policies.

    Though the $50 billion has been shown to be fabricated primary school accounting (by schoolkids doing finger-painting), they are still often quoting that figure. Abbott did so just last week.

    Also the trouble is it’s not $50 billion anymore but from the Liberals own figures it’s $70 billion in unfunded liabilities they have committed to, and Abbott added $4 billion to that a couple of weeks ago.

    It’s fantasy stuff and utter nonsense, but they are being allowed to get away with it. Rudd in opposition, and indeed Latham and Beazley before him, had every cent of any proposal along with their shadow budget’s minutely scrutinised and torn apart. The mantra always was they are the “alternate government” and must be held to account as that.

    Not Abbott it seems. The excuse is always made that he is the opposition leader and so doesn’t have to be held to account. His sole job is to oppose.

    So why the double standards now? Especially since when the Liberals lost the election they were touting themselves as an “alternate government”, but soon dropped that line when they were actually asked to explicate their policy positions and couldn’t.

    The media and economic circles should be continuously putting the spotlight on Abbott and the opposition over their monetary policies and position, if they did that to any small degree Abbott would be constantly running away and the opposition would collapse like a shonky house of cards built in a wind tunnel.

  16. If one had an ambition to lead a modern country such as Australia in a world of complexity, it would be imperative to be conversant with the relevant issues affecting not only Australia but the world economy. This goes without saying, of course.

    Not the least of global challenges is Peak Oil. Its implications for the economy and way of life are enormous. Most of us here know what the concept means; I remember reading about it as far back as the 1980s, and I’m sure it was being discussed as a problem even before then.

    Shortly after becoming Opposition Leader, Abbott was asked what HE thought about Peak Oil. His response showed what a clueless and ignorant moron he is.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/12/02/peak-oil/

  17. For years Abbott has spent his time (on our payroll) reciting learned mantras about “wasteful spending”. If he was sincere you’d expect him to be conscientious about scrutinising government spending.

    In 2009 the House of Representatives voted on the government’s second stimulus package. Where was Mr Vigilance on Spending?

    Tony Abbott missed the key economic vote of the new Parliament – the $42 billion fiscal stimulus package – because he fell asleep after a night of drinking witnessed by MPs from both sides of Parliament.

    Mr Abbott told Chief Opposition Whip Alex Somlyay that he missed five divisions on the night of Thursday, February 12 because he fell asleep in his office.

    His nap followed dinner in the Members’ Dining Room with Peter Costello, Kevin Andrews and Peter Dutton, where numerous bottles of wine were consumed

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/abbott-snoozed-through-key-vote/story-e6freuzr-1111119064644

  18. If the media bothered to do their jobs properly, ie pin him down on every little statement he makes, we seriously wouldn’t be in the position. Tony would have been discredited a long time ago and we would unlikely be where it’s ok to be disrespectful of the Prime Minister or threaten the life of the Prime Minister. Even five years ago I would have believed what was written in the rags. Why wouldn’t I? Why would I have any reason to not believe what is written down in black and white?

  19. Yes Cuppa, the man who would be PM. Runaway Rabbott.

    It must so hard for his supporters to blindly stick up for this buffoon, yet they do so, but only by engaging in excuses, lies and distortions for his ludicrous behavior and by completely ignoring his constant brain farts, or mostly by doing “look over there and not our idiot”.

  20. Often, what a person says, is an insight into what sort of person they are. This burst of self-delusion by Tony Abbott (taken from above) tells me that he’s an arrogant, self righteous pig:

    Mr Abbott conceded yesterday most economists think a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme the best way to go, but ”maybe that’s a comment on the quality of our economists rather than on the merits of the argument”.

    Whereas this piece indicates that in real life our ‘guest’ Tweed has evolved little from the Neolithic Age.

    and labor lemmings studiously sticking to their death script.
    dickhead government, dickhead minority supporters, corruption, stupididity, fools calling themselves intellectuals… all fat and idle on the public purse.

  21. Mobius
    I do completely agree that I’ve only scratched the surface. I could have made this post 1,000 larger but I think the message is clear from the small scratches I’ve made: Abbott is a fool.

    Min
    I’ll get to that piece by Gittens over my morning coffee. From the snippet you’ve given us I’m sure it’ll be a read that’ll see me nodding my head in agreement.

    Cuppa
    They too are great links. Ask any kid today about peak oil and he/she will have a grasp of the issue and the seriousness of it. Peak oil wasn’t an issue in the 1950s, hence in Abbott’s mind it doesn’t exist.

    Lynnie
    We of the left are often ridiculed by the right for ‘blaming the media’. Conversely, I think they should be the subject of ridicule for being too stupid to recognise that Abbott is a complete fool and for not having the simple initiative to open their eyes to see the free ride he gets from Murdoch. Maybe simple initiatives are beyond simple people.

  22. We have been told by Abbott himself that he is not a “tech head” and is inclined to shoot off his mouth at random.

    We have seen that his grasp on History is tenuous.

    We know that he studied Law and Economics at University but never practised in these fields professionally.

    He is a failed seminarian so his grasp of metaphysics may be suspect.
    So what can he do?

    He can swim, he can box, he can ride a bicycle. He can stay awake for 36 hours. He can put three words together – though not in sentences.

    By the way, what are his mathematical qualifications?

  23. Migs, nothing much has changed has it. I remember a discussion prior to ’07 that once Labor was elected that following that there must have to some semblance of balance in the msm. After all, that’s what had happened under JWH..Howard received all of the accolades while the then Opposition received 99.9% of the scrutiny…that is, the scrutiny was a consequence of being in opposition.

    However and of course, the opposite occured with Abbott especially coming under almost zero amount of scrutiny. One has to be suspicious as to why the msm has to be so especially protective of “their boy”..Migs’ recent topics provide the answer.

  24. Strangely Migs there seems to be a notable lack of conservative economic opinion in your citations about Tony Abbott….
    Hmm maybe they would not quite suit you narrative the way that left wing opinion does.

  25. Iain, the conservative side of politics tends to avoid Abbott’s policies like the plague. Here’s yet another opinion, this time from Tim Colebatch..

    But on other issues economic opinion is clear cut. Top of the list is whether taxpayers’ money should be spent on big infrastructure projects without an independent publicly released cost-benefit analysis first to check the project stacks up. The survey found 85 per cent of economists want cost-benefit studies to be mandatory. (Who doesn’t? Politicians.)

    Surprisingly, the second most clear-cut response was on climate change: 79 per cent of economists agreed that price-based mechanisms – a carbon tax, subsidies or an emissions trading scheme – are a better way to tackle climate change than using direct regulation.

    Tony Abbott has an economics degree but, being Tony, I doubt that he’s a paid-up member of the union; he probably didn’t take part. But after his insistence that the NBN be subject to a cost-benefit analysis, we might have hoped that he would apply the same rule to his own policies. Alas, not so.

    On Saturday, Abbott pledged to spend $4 billion of our money on three showpiece road projects, with no requirement that they pass a cost-benefit analysis. His Melbourne project was the East-West Link, which failed a cost-benefit analysis when proposed in 2008.

    And..

    A carbon price works because it gives business and individuals an incentive to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the Coalition’s claims, it is not an economy-wide tax – if it were, it would be far bigger. Rather, it is a tax on emissions from electricity, gas and emissions-intensive industries. It will cost households $10 a week, $5 in electricity and gas bills – if we do nothing.

    But the beauty of this tax is that you can avoid it, by using less electricity and gas. Of all the options to cut emissions, it pushes us towards making our use of energy more efficient.

    http://m.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-economists-got-it-right-thats-the-truth-20120702-21d7q.html

  26. Min, from Ross Gittons article

    The conundrum is why so many people could be so dissatisfied when almost all the objective indicators show us travelling well: the economy growing at about its trend rate, low unemployment, low inflation, rising real wages, low government debt – even a low current account deficit.

    And yet the media are full of endless gloom

    So, not all that puzzling really is it 😯

  27. Tom, indeed Gittins was answering his own question. 😈

    There is also this line..

    It’s likely to be less populist in government than it is opposition but, even so, Tony Abbott is no economic reformer.

    Translated the above means that once in government you cannot trust Tony to do anything..at all..

  28. The “serious media”, useless as they are, give him a free pass to mouth his inane spin. But on one occasion a comedy show (The Chaser) did hit him with an unscripted question about his three-syllable mantra, “Stop The Debt”.

    The response is an absolute classic! Watch as this vacuous mumbler stammers like a mad thing before running away, camera on him all the while.

  29. Migs
    with respect that is a cop out!
    You could have at least included one or two of those sources and then critiqued them explaining why you think that they are wrong. Because as it stands this piece is based almost entirely on appealing to the authority of your citations as if they are the only economic opinions out there or in play.

    CU
    Citing a Climate Change believer who endorses emissions trading proves nothing

  30. Iain, perhaps you can lend us a hand then..some links please which provide specifics as to why Abbott’s “vision” for Australia is superior, in the economic sense.

  31. .some links please which provide specifics as to why Abbott’s “vision” for Australia is superior, in the economic sense.

    This should be good. I wonder if he will run with the ‘it just is’ argument favoured by ‘conservatives’ 😉

  32. Bernard Keane, 08 February 2012:

    Abbott can get away with it because there’s an embedded psychology in voters and journalists, that the Coalition are the fiscally disciplined ones. Forgotten is the profligacy of the Howard years, that saw taxes and spending surge, driving interest rates and inflation up. “Whitlamite” is still the by-word for big-taxing, big-spending governments, when the appropriate adjective should be rather more contemporary.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/02/08/coalition-internal-costings-process-and-fiscal-policy/

    Years of spin from the Coalition-media have sold the public the myth of the Coalition’s supposed superior economic management.

    It should be noted also that the Whitlam government set aside a greater percentage of GDP to budget surplus than Costello managed during the height of the 2000s mining boom.

  33. Iain, give us a link to some economists that support Teflon Tony’s economic policies then mate. Shouldn’t be a problem should it? While your there how about a link to some scientists that back his views on climate change (pick any view he has had in the last decade there have been many).

  34. Iain, the country’s economy is doing well, all the indicators are good and the economic experts all agree about Abbotts policies….he’s got nothin’.

  35. Does one notice, we rarely get a comment telling us how and why Mr. Abbott is so good,

    All we get is condemnation of the PM.

    Most of the condemnation based on false facts, or no facts at all.

    It is the loathing and hatred that I cannot understand. Surely it it not warrant, as it seems to be based on the grounds that they do not like her policies.

    I suspect it is more to do with being female. Of course the born to rule, know in their marrow, they are born to rule.

    In the days of the Whitlam, there was much anger and dislike. I do not believe we have the loathing we have now,

    The louder the trolls rant and rave, the more we know the PM is succeeding, They are sure getting angry.

    Opposition members, when now being interview, can hardly retain their anger, and some appear to be on the verge of crying. The whine is becoming so great, it is swamping their messages.

    At the same time, the PM is sounding more confident and stronger, The PM is taking the fight up to her opponent. This is not the way, the bully planned things to happen,. He is the one on the run.

    It was asked over the weekend, if Mr. Abbott could go overseas for ten days and follow protocol not to trash the nation or government while aboard.

  36. “Strangely Migs there seems to be a notable lack of conservative economic opinion in your citations about Tony Abbott….”

    Iain, I take it you will provide what Miglo’s post lacks. That would be interesting.

    While you are at it, find some that support Direct Action or paying mothers their full wage and providing for nannies when they have a baby.

    Maybe they can explain how the levy to be put on employers to pay for this luxury is not a tax.

    Maybe yo can find someone that can explain how Mr. Abbott is to pay for his promises, where he cuts taxes and increases benefits.

  37. Cu and It is the loathing and hatred that I cannot understand.

    I agree absolutely..it’s all based on rumour and innuendo. As for yourself, I likewise wonder why.

    In response all that I hear is she-she-she-she. Perhaps it’s borne of frustration that the “she” is doing so exceptionally well, that the “she” has not caved under pressure but indeed has withstood the worst which the media has thrown her way.

    If Julia appears in a women’s mag, it’s that she’s air-brushed. Her bum is big, her clothes are dowdy, Obama visits and it’s “the audacity of the grope”.

    But there she still stands, against the put-downs, against the backstabbing..still our Prime Minister, a woman of vision who knows that this is her opportunity to make a difference.

  38. Don’t be too sure, Min, I’ve noticed that whenever one of these Abbott adorers are called on to back their position with *facts*, they run a mile!

  39. Marcus, highly noticeable..immediately, the Abbott adorers go strangely missing when asked to provide even a modest amount of factual evidence in support of their leader.

  40. Let’s take the extreme right-wing Judith Sloan as an example for Iain:

    Tony Abbott’s poor grasp of the real principles of economic reform is worrying

  41. From Bushfire Bill over at PB:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/07/14/seat-of-the-week-moreton/comment-page-39/#comment-1343144

    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Monday, July 16, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Also in that Benson-Lews Daily Telegraph article:

    The controversial federal tax, changes to the diesel fuel rebate and a big spike in refrigerant gas costs – all part of the government’s clean energy reforms – have also driven up prices of vegetables, seafood and even pizza boxes.

    Kerry Demos, who runs the Hastings Pizza shop in Victoria with her husband, said the prices of pizza boxes will rise by 2.5 per cent.

    Despite this, they plan to absorb the increases rather than pass them on.

    “If we put up our prices, I would think we would lose customers,” Ms Demos said.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/dumped-with-big-carbon-tax-hike/story-e6freuy9-1226426663448

    So I checked the price of pizza boxes.

    It’s a very competitive industry.

    13-inch pizza boxes from Victoria, printed with decal cost…. $0.27c (range from various suppliers: $0.24c to $0.29c).

    2.5% of $0.27c is…. $0.00675. That’s POINT-7 of ONE cent.

    If Mrs Demos believe that absorbing $0.0063 – point-7 of one cent – into her pizza pricing leaves her in danger of going broke, then she is DEFINITELY in the wrong business.

    Either that, or she should leave off an olive from each pizza (or maybe turn her oven down 1 degree, or perhaps turn some lights off).

    As Ross Gittins put it this monring wtte: why do businesses go out and publicise that their prices are skyrocketing, when they are not?

    It can’t be any good for business.

  42. Tweed @ 7.44am, wrote:- Gillard’s receipt of stolen union funds are issues warming up on the bench for next week

    That is the gist of the rwdb’s emails doing the rounds, and it says much about Tweed, the dickhead, that he has to resort to that base level.

    Remember the Walkleys drunken brawler, Glenn Milne? Where is his career these days?

    His slanderous mischief was removed from the pages of The Yellow Australian

    ****** Monday, 29 August 2011
    Milne debacle: how a 16 year old story was spiked by The Oz
    by Andrew Crook

    Glenn Milne has egg all over his face after the re-hired columnist filed an error-filled op-ed reviving discredited allegations that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had somehow been an accomplice to her one-time partner Bruce Wilson’s alleged fraud.

    The piece rehashed 16-year-old claims — vociferously denied by the Prime Minister whenever they are dredged up — suggesting Gillard had lived in a house with Wilson bought using illegal cash.

    Milne had previously written about the saga in 2007. But this morning the Walkleys brawler went further, stating that “Gillard shared a home in Fitzroy bought by Wilson using the embezzled funds.”

    Crikey understands that this sentence, removed by News Limited lawyers four years ago, is false.

    Now, the entire piece has been deleted from The Australian’s website, with the newspaper forced to issue a grovelling apology acknowledging that the “assertions are untrue”. Damningly, Milne had failed to ring the PM’s office for comment.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/29/milne/

    Where did Milne get his information from? The Libs smear file?

    *******

    All dredged up and nowhere to go

    Michael may have been shrunk, but at least he wasn’t disappeared, as Glenn Milne’s column was from the Australian online last Monday.

    Instead, we got this:

    “THE AUSTRALIAN published today an opinion piece by Glenn Milne which includes assertions about the conduct of the Prime Minister.

    The Australian acknowledges these assertions are untrue …

    — The Australian online, 29th August, 2011”

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3310493.htm

  43. I suspect that Mr. Abbott does believe this is a bad PM and government…..

    CU, I disagree. He knows very well it is not the case, but his gaze is fixed on the prize he covets, the Lodge, and as I suspect he has done since childhood, he will tell any lie, practice any deceit and bully, harrass and destroy anyone who stands between him and the object of his desire.

    Women who have challenged him in the past have been cowed into submission and that’s why he is at the same time infuriated and dumbfounded by the PM.

    Past experience has taught him that bullying and standover tactics have always succeeded in silencing female opponents. You only have to research his boorish and intimidating behaviour towards female students while at uni to understand that.

    That would explain the sneering contempt when he refers to the PM as SHE. He can’t bear to acknowledge that she is an individual with a name, has an intellect equal to or better than his who wields more power and authority than he does and won’t lie down and die so he can be PM, the job Mummy and Archbishop Pell reckon is his by Divine Right!!.

    And to top it all off she has bugger all respect for him and let’s it show.

    Then there’s the list of her other transgressions; she’s an atheist, openly lives in sin, has no interest in having children and won’t hand over the toy he wants!!!!!!

    I’d hazard a guess and say that he also holds the men in the ALP in contempt because they placed a WOMAN in authority over their testosterone. The First Bloke, who is obviously very comfortable with his masculinity, would have to be numbered in their ranks.

    I’d also say that if Penny Wong was in the HoR, she’d be next cab off the rank-clever, witty, gives much better than she gets and a f*cken DYKE!!!!!!!

    I winder if his mother was the one who fostered the idea of his Divine Right to be king. I’d imagine that flunking out of Pope school would have infuriated her and now he looks like failing in her second great task!

    I think it would have been better for him if his sisters had refused to treat him as a demi-god and given him a boot up the bum as happens in most families where the oldest sibling rules the nursery roost. And perhaps a brother or two to share the burden of parental ambition.

    Almost makes me feel sorry for the bugger.

  44. Jane, and as per the link put up this morning by Cuppa, when in the slightest bit challenged Abbott blathers and runs rapidly in t’other direction. It seems that Abbott is good at behind the scenes badmouthing, but cannot cope at all with being challenged directly..especially when it’s a man doing the challenging.

  45. Tweed, you should make sure your own mob is squeaky clean before making a mud pie.

    We have Sen Two Counts of Shoplifting and Assault, Sen Misleading and Deceptive Conduct ($400,000+), Sen Engaged in Private Law Practice while Raking in the Bikkies in the Senate, MP for Breaching the Electoral Act and Dodgy Dealings with a Senior Cit, and the MP for Defamation aka the LOTO.

    Quite an impressive array, you’d have to agree.

    Then we have Craig Thomson, Member for Hasn’t Been Charged with Anything.

    And the hoary old chestnut which saw Glenn Milne having his muck rake dumped, him sacked from their ABCand the OO having to issue a grovel to the PM. It didn’t do a local shock’s career a whole lot of good either, as I recall.

    But let’s ignore all that and look at the facts. We know how irritating it must be to be inconvenienced with such minor details, but let’s have a go anyway.

    Fact: Gillard NEVER shared a house with Bruce Wilson.

    Fact: Gillard was NEVER given any money, embezzled or otherwise, by Bruce Wilson to renovate her house.

    Fact:: Bruce Wilson was NEVER charged, let alone prosecuted for embezzling union funds.

    Now let’s write the story: Julia Gillard worked at Gordon & Salter and went out with Bruce Wilson for a while.

    Jeez, facts are boring, aren’t they?

    As usual, nice try, but no cigar.

  46. Pip, fear not. I just couldn’t go all the way. 😆 😆 😆

    Min @1.53pm, snap! 🙂

    Which reminds me; I didn’t know LIealot’s a wine dot, but it would explain a lot. Raiding the altar wine, perhaps?

    Unfortunately, instead of him suffering from the hangover sh!ts, he gives them to everyone else. Does Sloppy have a similar affliction? I’ve seen a couple of pressers which had me wondering.

  47. Great minds as always, Jane. 🙂

    Hockey hasn’t been in a good mood since he did the Kokoda Trail with Rudd…

  48. Just realised that I’m jumping between threads her (number 2 and 3 in this series).

    Not sure if I’m alone here either.

  49. Titles should be:
    Part 1. The Fool on the Hill
    Part 2. The Fool on the Hill
    Part 3. The Fool on the Hill

    The Part number get’s truncated so you need to open the thread and go to the top to find out which part you are in.

  50. The Part number get’s truncated so you need to open the thread and go to the top to find out which part you are in.

    I’m falling a part 😦

    🙂

  51. This could turn out to be a very long series if we’re going to comprehensively cover all of Abbott’s follies. 😀

  52. no probs patriciawa, btw, am glad to hear that your recuperation is coming along as well as can be expected.

    I hope it continues in that vein, and that you are back on both legs unassisted before too long

  53. Paulwello, so what is Pyne actually saying, from your link..

    The Coalition will call a double dissolution election if it wins government but is prevented by the Senate from getting rid of the carbon tax, says frontbencher Christopher Pyne.

    It’s nonsensical BECAUSE even if TA finds a DD trigger, the likelihood that Australian voters will hand him control of BOTH Houses of Parliament is zip, zilch and zero.

    The reference is always Antony Green at: http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2011/06/what-chance-a-double-dissolution-in-the-next-three-years.html

  54. Migs,
    Another good article which with the subject matter almost wrote itself. Tones still believes the general public (punters) were sleep walking in 2007, again in 2010 and still are today he is just waiting for them to wake up.

    Many have wondered what Rupes and he discussed some time back however we all know the gist of it “say what you like and I will back it up 150%”.

    The CT column by waterhouse recently headed “It’s the economy” but failed to highlight the noalitions abysmal efforts rather said Labor can’t get its message out. All he has to do is actually write it but like the coalition his efforts are also abysmal.

    A thought for your final article would be the “Fools on the Hill” where you could include all the brain farts from tones front bench, bishop squared, pyne, morrison, hunt the list is endless none of whom is worth a capital letter mind you that could take you through to christmas.

  55. Of course the other thing about DD elections is that the government of the day risks losing the election, as has happened in 3 out of the 6 DD elections held so far. (Note, this includes the defeat of the Whitlam government after the extraordinary events of 1975). I believe in all other cases except Bob Hawke in 1987, the government was returned with a reduced majority…

  56. To put the above more simply, in the 6 DD elections held in Australia, 3 have resulted in the defeat of the elected government, 2 resulted in the return of the government with a reduced majority, and 2 resulted in the return of the Hawke government with an increased majority. Maybe the DD isn’t the panacea the Liberals say it is…

  57. Bacchus, all very strange and peculiar. Abbott threatens, but it’s highly unlikely that he will be able to deliver.

    Abbott is a real worry on this one..that which he imagines is going to happen, will happen. And Let Me Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat..Hey Presto, it’s a DD election.. Reality and Tony Abbott often tred different paths…

  58. The thing about any forthcoming DD election is that the Left will all be polarised into preserving their balance of power in the Senate.

  59. Erm, Pyne is not a member of the LNP. The LNP is a Qld party. I despise the LNP as they represent the worst of the right and mark my words…down the track the LNP will bring the future federal coalition government down. More toxic than the NSW Labor party and that’s saying something!

  60. Technically scaper is correct Min. It’s just common usage that sees the Federal coalition referred to as the “LNP.” It probably should be the L+NP coalition…

  61. lol @ scaper.

    I guess it comes down to when he was first elected, he was a National. Same with Barnyard. The interesting question comes for any new candidates elected from now on. Which party room would an LNP member sit in if there was a split in the federal coalition?

  62. The LNP is supposed to be the Qld division of the Liberal Party so it is so confusing. Will get on the blower tomorrow to try to make some sense of the arrangement.

    Funny how the LNP came about…picture a conference room with a dividing partition curtain. The Libs on one side and the Nats on the other side with Springborg going from one side to the other side trying to get a consensus.

    I believe the final stumbling block was the fact that the elected representatives were to maintain their status and support at the next elections…I believe it was called the Grandfather Clause.

    That’s how Slipper got preselection to run again in the federal election. They knew he had form but could not get rid of him.

  63. I’m glad they didn’t get rid of Slipper, He’s going to help get rid of Pyne!! Funny, Labor beat Teflon by following the rules when they put Slipper in as speaker, the Libs, so infuriated by their own ineptitude break the law to get rid of him. Gold, absolute gold. Born to rule attitude at its best.

  64. The Coalition under Abbott treat policy as an afterthought, so that Coalition frontbenchers and even senior business leaders sound like dills when they have nothing with which to press their advantage but half-baked talking points. That’s why Liberal polling is not “a consistent pattern” but a mirage.

    Stunts are all very well, but there must be an agenda behind them or they will have no lasting effect in terms of voting intentions. This is the lesson that Howard taught in 1995-96, but which Abbott has not learned; Howard could pull a stunt as well as anyone but he knew they were nothing without a consistent and substantial idea of what the Coalition would do in office.

    http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/sounding-tom-tom.html

  65. Listening to Drum.

    Though for a minute, I had somehow tuned into Bolt.

    This and that panel for tonight’s Q&Am indicates ift might be a good night to take a rest from the ABC.

  66. Andrew Elder wrote:

    what the Coalition would do in office

    That’s easy. As Boerwar put it on another blog, the Coalition vision: Suck up to the very rich, whack the average Joe, root the environment.

    Assisted by the media, naturally, not the least of which being News Limited and Their ABC.

  67. I see Indonesia has lashed out against the Coalition and Abbott saying the current good relations will be strained under Abbott’s policy.

    In the meantime the Australian government is working with the Indonesians to setup a better cooperative rescue process for boats that get into difficulty, thus taking practical measures to save lives rather than the faux concern from the opposition whilst espousing a policy that would endanger lives, including Australian military lives.

  68. ME, let’s hope the Liars don’t smash the relationship with Indonesia beyond repair if we’re unlucky enough to have a Liars government inflicted on us at the end of next year.

    God knows how many other countries these idiots will offend if they get their paws on government. We’ll be the pariahs of the region.

  69. Every government has its own tone and character. It is a product of the party in government, its values, philosophy, and directions. But it is also a product of the character and values of the person who leads it…………

    What would be the tone and character of an Abbott government? Much attention has been given to the direct, cut-through approach of the Leader of the Opposition in media interviews, parliamentary debates and in question time. But little attention has been given to more significant matters. One is the manner in which he interacts with colleagues, and the other his instinctive values.

    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/setting-the-tone-of-a-tony-abbott-government/

    What type of nation Australia be, if this man become PM.

  70. Should Australian taxpayers be responsible for paying for Mr. Abbott to campaign in the USA on behalf of the Republicans.

    In an exclusive interview with The Australian, and in his keynote speech to the Heritage Foundation, Mr Abbott threw out the foreign policy rulebook and spoke from the heart. It was guaranteed to both delight and shock…………

    .
    …………In a sideswipe at the Obama administration, Mr Abbott said it had “a different view of American greatness” from the Bush administration. “The public in America don’t think their country is great right now,” he said………….
    .Mr Abbott was supported in Washington by his deputy and foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop, along with several other frontbenchers.

    Their visit coincided with the American-Australian Leadership Dialogue, where Labor’s delegation of ministers was headed by Trade Minister Craig Emerson………….

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/abbott-reminds-us-of-forgotten-destiny/story-e6frg74x-1226429436327

  71. http://www.blogotariat.com/node/470640

    As a minister pointed out, the Government does not control how people spend their money. Using the logic of the Opposition, which says that it warned of this outcome, Governments should never provide citizens with any monetary benefit, lest some of it be spent on pokies! So to date, about three weeks into Tony’s Toxic Tax, there’s not much action. The media has largely lost interest, apart from the odd titillating story, such as the pokies one; Tony is overseas and other politicians are on their long winter break and have other things on their mind; people are getting on with their lives; fear of a lamb roast rising to $100 is retreating; citizens of Whyalla are still going to work as their town unexpectedly survives Tony’s Toxic Tax; coal is still being mined as new multi-billion dollar contracts are being signed; and the sky seems to be where it was on 30 June. Now there will be the occasional heart-rending story of the dire effect of the carbon tax, and each will be collected by the Opposition to assail the Government when Question Time resumes; News Limited will feature any story, no matter how trivial, no matter how shonky, to press its ‘toxic tax’ story, and if it’s dubious enough, will use its attack dog Steve (Grech/Ashby) Lewis to write it; and Michelle Grattan will relish every chance to hammer Julia Gillard about her catastrophic tax. But if experience with the GST is any guide, everyone – the media and its consumers – will soon tire of the doom and gloom of Tony’s Toxic Tax, and will go onto more interesting things – the London Olympics and the AFL Finals – by which time the end of the year and holidays will be looming. By 2013, TTT will be long forgotten. Tony’s Toxic Tax will die. His inevitable attempts to resurrect it in QT will fall flat and become a subject of ridicule as he continues to ride his favourite hobby-horse, flailing it wildly until literally he is ‘flogging a dead horse’. The public, largely disinterested in politics, will turn his bleating off as it realizes that Tony’s Toxic Tax was a fraud all along. Tony’s Toxic Tax has gone missing – lost in the tumult of real issues. If anyone finds it, please return it to its owner and deposit it where it hurts him most.

  72. Two weeks after Tony Abbott ruled out Coalition government changes to the GST, Mr Hockey rephrased the answer on the question of altering the tax.
    “If you are going to have a discussion about changing the GST our colleagues in the states have to lead the argument because they are the ones that need the revenue,” Mr Hockey said.
    “They are getting every dollar of the GST; it is effectively their tax.
    “They have got to put a case to the Australian people, and convince the Australian people that the GST needs to be changed.”
    On July 4, the Opposition Leader gave “a categorical no”, when asked if he would raise the GST.
    “We will not change the GST,” he said, however they would put it up given the chance by the states.
    But he suggested it would be considered if the states convinced the community of the need for such a move.

    http://www.goodluckstroke.com/2012/07/future-australian-government-to-lift.html

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