I’m not in the habit of reading the Herald Sun’s editorial. Actually, this morning’s was the first one I’ve ever read and I curse the individual who suggested I do so. In future if I want to read what Murdoch’s editors are thinking about I’ll grab a copy of Mein Kampf.
This morning’s editorial was written by a person equally as mad. A clear-thinking person could not have written such bullshit. I will dissect it in parts to support my claim. We begin:
The Gillard Government has finally admitted what Australians have long suspected to be the case. Its promised Budget surplus was nothing more than a political fantasy.
Economic data made it clear Labor’s much promised surplus was unachievable. Yet the Prime Minister and Treasurer belligerently stuck to their mantra in what can only be described as a cynical political ploy.
They should have admitted the inevitable long ego. The economic decision is the right one, as the Herald Sun has consistently advocated in the face of falling revenues and slowing growth.
Let’s see if I understand this. The decision is supported by the editor’s newspaper and more or less expected by the Australian community. Nothing wrong there. Labor are responding to the economic data at hand and, again, I see nothing wrong there either. All of a sudden our editor sees this as a cynical political ploy, which means he does not read Murdoch’s masthead paper, The Australian who almost two months ago wrote that “For a second day, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have refused to directly guarantee a budget surplus in 2012-13“. Sort of admitting the inevitable, in a way.
The editorial continues with:
But the Government ignored all warnings and has damaged consumer confidence in announcing what they should have come to terms with months ago.
People will ask, not unreasonably, if they can ever trust this Government.
Where is the evidence to support this? The evidence I found was the complete contrary to that claim. From Roy Morgan Research we learn that:
The weekly Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating is now at 117.4pts (up 2.4pts over the past week). Consumer Confidence is now a significant 6.2pts higher than a year ago, December 3/4, 2011 — 111.2.
Driving the rise was more confidence in Australia’s economic future and also in personal financial situations compared to a year ago.
Australians are more confident about Australia’s economy over the next twelve months with 32% (up 2%) of Australians expecting ‘good times’ economically compared to 28% (down 3%) that expect ‘bad times’.
Now 33% (up 1%) of Australians say their family is ‘better off’ financially compared to a year ago while 29% (down 4%) say their family is ‘worse off’ financially.
Over the next five years 35% (unchanged) of Australians expect Australia’s economy to have ‘good times’ economically while just 18% (down 3%) expect ‘bad times’ – the lowest since May 12/13, 2012.
Australians are more positive about their personal finances over the next 12 months with 39% (down 1%) saying they expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially while just 18% (up 2%) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially.
Unsurprisingly, the editor took a swipe at Labor’s economic credentials:
. . . ineptitude and political cynicism was behind the promise of a Budget surplus. It was to convince voters Labor was in control of the economy when clearly it was not.
Meanwhile, in the real world outside of the editor’s office:
The OECD’s latest economic survey of Australia released today shows once again that our economy stands tall amongst its peers, with 21 consecutive years of growth, robust economic fundamentals and a positive outlook in the face of acute global challenges.
The OECD finds that, unlike many developed economies, the Australian economy remains resilient, with successful macroeconomic management contributing to solid growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, and strong public finances.
The OECD commends the Government’s “exemplary handling of the global economic and financial crisis” avoiding recession in 2008-09.
Although the OECD notes our economy is not immune from risks in the global economy, the survey notes that “[t]he current monetary and fiscal policy mix is appropriate to sustain recovery, and Australia is in a good position to respond to risks.”
The report also highlights that the Government’s fiscal consolidation is part of a re-balancing of policy which “implies less pressure on interest and exchange rates, thereby alleviating adjustment difficulties for the exposed non-mining sector.”
While we understand that not everyone is doing it easy, this OECD report today is another reminder that Australians have a lot to be proud of and confident about.
Would the Herald Sun editor be bullshitting? Of course he would. Here’s why:
Today, the Herald Sun renews its call for the Prime Minister to call an election in March to allow the Australian people to decide who should govern this country.
Yes, in other words let’s organise a distraction from Tony Abbott’s embarrassing performances and Labor’s jump in the polls.