The enemy within

A couple of articles have appeared over the last 24 hours that suggest all may not be well in the Liberal National Party. They are reproduced below for your amusement and discussion.

The most recent article – hot off the press – is about John Howard giving the thumbs up to the Australian economy. This, naturally, flies in the face of what Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have been trying to scare us with. Vivienne Kelly, in her article Ex-PM praises strong economy writes:

Former prime minister John Howard believes the Australian economy is in “good shape”, especially in comparison to the rest of the world.

Speaking at the MFAA conference in Sydney on Friday, Mr Howard said that while many people believe the Australian economy is “running on empty at the moment”, it has actually shown an unexpected resilience.

Mr Howard said he is optimistic and bullish about the future of the country.

“When the current prime minister and the treasurer and others tell you that the Australian economy is doing better than most – they are right,” he said.

“We are still fortunate that we have an unemployment rate with a five in front of it. I wouldn’t have thought that was going to be possible a couple of years ago, and I don’t think many people would have. Our unemployment has remained pleasingly quite low.

“And our debt to GDP ratio, the amount of money we owe to the strength of our economy, is still a lot better than most other countries.”

That said, Mr Howard said it was important for Australia to be constantly striving for growth and betterment, so that our competitors don’t overtake us.

“In an international environment, in a globalised world economy, you have people who are in that economic foot race who are trying to get past you. And the problem about slowing down in that footrace, even if you can’t ever get to the finishing line, is that if you slow down, other people are going to go past you,” he said.

“And that is a bit like what’s happening at the present time. We’ve been doing well in that footrace for about 25 years, but we’re now starting to slow down.”

Meanwhile, at the Sydney Morning Herald Paul Sheehan’s piece A Liberal undermining his leader suggests there’s more than one enemy within the LNP. Sheehan writes:

When Julia Gillard called a federal election seven months in advance, her greatest hope of survival was that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would step on a political landmine, or his own party would undermine him. After all, it was a group of NSW Liberal factional obsessives and vengeful ex-Nationals who saved her in 2010.

As if on cue, one of those factional obsessives, Liberal federal backbencher Alex Hawke, has openly confronted Abbott’s credibility and authority in an election year. Last week he portrayed Abbott’s core policy on paid parental leave as ”unaffordable”, ”unsustainable” and ”unnecessary”.

The same can be said about Hawke. His political career is a civil war without end. His obsession with his own self-advancement has in effect destroyed it. He may sit in Federal Parliament, he may hold a safe seat, he may pull factional strings, but in the Canberra caucus he is indelibly marked by episodes of treachery, scorched earth tactics and backbench Siberia.

The first time I met Hawke was during an interview with state Liberal MP David Clarke, in Clarke’s office in the NSW Parliament. Clarke is one of the most eccentric men in politics and Hawke was his right-hand man, his protege. Clarke has since come to despise Hawke, for reasons that are infamous within the party.

On September 30, 2009, Hawke called the police to a branch meeting in his electorate office in Castle Hill. It was a desperate ploy, and a black mark against the party, but Hawke’s local power base was under threat. The Liberal Party later produced a detailed report about the incident. Although the party bans its members from discussing internal matters with the media, the past president of the Mitchell Federal Electoral Council, Tim Abrams, who lodged a complaint about Hawke’s actions, is on the record as stating: ”I have now received the ruling confirming that the behaviour of preventing members from entering the meeting and calling the police was inappropriate … The decision accurately sets the record straight and notes there was no basis or reason to stop the meeting by Alex Hawke MP or indeed his calling for the police to attend.”

I checked with Abrams to make sure his published comments were correct, which does not breach the party’s suppression rule. He confirmed they were accurate: ”Yes, he used the police to close the meeting.” Hawke, too, has claimed the party report vindicates him. I disagree.

This ugly tactic was critical to a wider stealth campaign Hawke was waging to build his factional base and end the career of his mentor, Clarke. Having been elected to Federal Parliament, and having ministerial ambitions, Hawke now regarded Clarke as a liability. Clarke, unaware, had assumed Hawke was an ally, not realising that Hawke had organised a carefully planned attack to have Clarke lose his preselection in 2010 and thus his seat in Parliament in 2011.

On January 28, 2010, Barry O’Farrell wrote to the NSW Liberal Party state director, Mark Neeham, supporting Clarke’s re-endorsement for the upper house ticket, adding: ”I am especially grateful for David’s support in my efforts to reform the NSW Liberal Party and put an end to the antics that have so damaged our electoral prospects in the past.”

Hawke defied his state leader. He moved against Clarke, opening a fissure within the party with exactly the sort of ”antics” O’Farrell was condemning.

On February 4, 2010, Abbott wrote to the NSW state director: ”It’s important for the stability of the NSW Liberal Party, and for the party’s success at the upcoming state and federal elections, that David Clarke remains in the Legislative Council.”

Hawke, in defiance of his federal leader, moved against Clarke, and almost succeeded. On June 28, 2010, Hawke’s key factional ally, Nick Campbell, was forced to resign as president of the NSW Liberal Party, after he tried to stop a vote to curb the frequent use of special powers, a tactic which Campbell, Hawke and another factional warrior, Michael Photios, had used frequently to build their factional numbers.

The use of these special powers, meant to be invoked only in emergencies, had affected the outcomes of numerous preselection contests. Campbell, Hawke and Photios were part of the majority factional alliance in the state executive which failed to have key marginal electorates ready because of factional manoeuvring.

This blew up on July 17, 2010, when Gillard announced a federal election for August 21.

The Liberal preselections for the key marginal seats of Greenway and Parramatta had not even been completed. No candidates were in the field. Preselection for a third crucial marginal seat, Lindsay, had only just been completed. All three seats are expected to fall to the Liberals this year. But in 2010 the Liberals were not ready, Labor held all three seats, and this turned the election.

During the past year, Hawke, with no prospect of advancement under Abbott, has been cultivating Malcolm Turnbull.

Last week, Hawke mounted a frontal attack on Abbott’s authority with a piece for the Institute of Public Affairs calling for Abbott to scrap his paid parental leave scheme. Last Monday he gave a series of radio and TV interviews elaborating on his opposition to this signature Abbott policy. Whatever misgivings Liberals may have about this policy, the place to air them is the party room, not the media.

Having chosen to undermine his leader, again, during an election year, again, Hawke is burnishing an inedible association with division, delusion and disloyalty.

Two very revealing articles. BTW, don’t expect to see them given any oxygen in the Murdoch media. The only place you’ll get a chance to talk about them is on social media sites, such as here.

173 comments on “The enemy within

  1. Problem is that Abbott is still coming up with stunts.

    The ;little red book today. Cannot answer questions on what about what he would spend less on.

    Cannot answer, why he as Opposition Leader, costs us much more than the PM.

    Another, why was it OK for Mr. Howard to spend much more on advertising, than this government since they came to power.

    Not sure whether the alleged coffee machines, cost or save money,.

    I believe he will continue with a stunt a day, but many are becoming bored.
    Look like the “no confidence motion” is another stunt, that will not come to fruition.

  2. Another beautiful election ad for labor. Do those comments suggest a willingness to be unhelpful to Tony Abbott? Hmmmm!

  3. Voyager, you’re an example of why we need Gonski! It’s lose! not loose, as in… You are often loose with the truth!

  4. Good man Voyager, glad to welcome you aboard. So now that you have come to your senses realising just how fortunate we are to have had labour leading us. Having Prime Minister Julia Gillard firming in the betting to win come Sept 14th, Yes you are right of course the LNP are on a looser with Tony Abbott as jockey. lol lol lol

  5. The morning right wing media political polls are all a lot of b/s. The real people are either on their way to work or are heads down, bums up , doing what is necessary. They don’t give a flying continental. They already know the Mad Monk is a whinging no-hoping bull sh..tter

  6. Hmmmmm, don’t think Howard never really “liked” Herr Abbott (despite officially backing him) & his latest honest appraisal of the ALP government’s handling of the economy is more evidence of this. Howard never considered the Mad Monk as of a suitable calibre to be his deputy which is probably why he put up with smarmy Costello, all those years, regardless of their mutual antipathy. I’ll bet Abbott threw a big tanty after hearing of Howard’s speech & ran, blubbering, to Credlin. The blustering buffoon Hockey would have turned purple & raced to the nearest KFC outlet.

    Alex Hawke has always been a frightening prospect. Quite frankly, I am surprised BO’FFA is still Premier of NSW as I had always thought the religious right wingnuts of the NSW Libs, led by Hawke, would kick him out after winning the last election. There is only one person Hawke is concerned about & that is himself. Still, as far as I am concerned, he can continue causing as much grief to the Federal Liberals as he wishes. They, sure as heck, deserve it.

  7. The Liberal Nationals booby-trapped the Budget!

    Federal Budget 2013: Howard-era tax cuts keeping Budget in red, independent modelling shows

    Today’s Federal Budget would be in surplus by at least $25 billion, with an estimated $40 billion in extra revenue, if income tax cuts introduced between 2005-2008 had not been put into place.

  8. Federal Budget 2013: Howard-era tax cuts keeping Budget in red, independent modelling shows

    Well if that article is true the problem is easily solved. Just increase the tax rate. The Greens would go for it so there would be no problem passing the legislation. The article also said this

    In the 2008-09 Budget, the Rudd/Swan government delivered income tax cuts.

    There is also a point which the article missed. The budget would be in better shape if Swan did not spend so much. He budgeted for a whopping 12% increase in revenue and “ONLY” got 7%. Seven percent increase in income is O.K. It is much higher than the inflation rate but Swan is spending it faster than it comes in.

  9. Howard was never a fan of Abbott’s, in fact didn’t think much of him as a person at all. Typically pragmatic Howard knew that he could use Abbott as an attack dog..but one who had to be kept on a short leash lest ego take over and Abbott started undermining his and his party’s own arguments.

  10. Scaper, Abbott was only ever part of Howard’s B Team. Howard’s preference was to keep close personal control – Howard chose the scene and decided how it would be played. Abbott could never be trusted to not come up with something which contradicted his boss. Abbott was therefore used sparingly by Howard. Howard had (or has) far more respect for people such as Turnbull who he knows have a vision for the country. Howard’s preference would always be Turnbull over Abbott.

  11. Min, you do know that scaper would be on Janette Howard’s & Margie Abbott’s Chrissie card list, don’t you? 😉

  12. Mr. Hockey demanded that Swan disclosed how he is going to fund Gonski and NDIS for the next decade. Mr. Hockey is now ridiculing Swan, because that is exactly what he will be doing tonight. With this Opposition, one cannot win.

    I wish they would cease saying that Swan broke his promise in not bringing in a surplus. Sorry, he did not break his words. The situation and the global economy did not deliver as the figures last night indictated. That dollar stayed up against what is the norm.

    No, Swan was unable to deliver what he predicited. Broken promiose, no. To break a promise, one would deliberately have in mind last year, that there would not be a surplus. Swan did believe, but should have been alerted to the fact that most experts at the time, questioned that belief.

    What one should expect from Mr. Hockey and Mr. Abbott, is an explanation of why Swan is wrong, and what they would do instead. That we will not hear.

    What would be of concern, is that all the employer groups have combined to attack the government long before the budget has been bought down.

    This is not the norm. They generally wait until the budget is released. They do not act in unison.

  13. Scaper, I have no idea what Swan will do tonight. Just saying, I wish he would take the bull by the horns, go back to Henry report and bring in some genuine reform. I know that will not happen. It is less likely to happen under Hockey.

    It is time we all grew up, and allowed genuine economic debate to occur.

  14. scaper. I do not claim to be an expert on economics. I can only be guided by the majority of experts out there.

    Few seem to be on the side of Abbott.

    To agree with the Opposition, one has to accept the GFC did not involve Australia.

    One has to deny the high dollar has not caused harm.

    One has to be against taxing companies on super, windfall profits, made from the ore that belong to the people.

    One has to deny man made climate change, remove a the best way of dealing with it, replacing it with the inefficient Direct Action, moving the cost from the polluters to the tax payer.

    One has to agree, that the country is so broke, we cannot afford to invest in the necessary infrastructure, to ensure the future prosperity.

    That investment, includes, NBN, NDIS, Gonski and investment in fixing the road systems of our major cities, which is strangling growth.

    One has to deny how strong the economy is travelling in all areas.

    I cannot bring myself to believe that more handouts to middle upper income earners are necessary. In fact, what they already get, should be clawed back. Not necessary spending,

    Not government can control the economy in or outside the country.

    All a government can do, , is to take steps necessary to survive within the economy that exist.

    scaper, is it too much to ask Hockey and Abbott to outline why Swan is wrong, and what steps they would do, to cope with the economic conditions that exist today.

    To criticise is easy. To put forward alternative plans is more difficult.

  15. Sorry, I believe I did. Not my fault if you do not like the answer.

    I am sure you will give us a running opinion, of why he is so disastrous.

    Maybe you can explain, if Swan is so bad, why do we have the strong economy we now have.

  16. If the economy is so strong how did Swan get this years revenue wrong by over $17B??? Can’t have it both ways.

    Swan has lost control of government finances and will lose his seat and the true state of our finances won’t be known for months after he is gone.

  17. 17 millions out of is it, about 370 odd. Very small percentage, I would say. A long way from being broke. Yes, a small deficit, instead of a small surplus.

    :Low inflation.Low unemployment. Low interest rates. Triple AAA ratings. Manageable debt.

    Investment going ahead for the future.

    Infrastructure being built.

    Improved education facilities. Record bulk billing.

    Improve childcare.

    All you can come up with, is a small deficit, which is manageable.

    We might have lower expenditure, if the government could put the complete Houston Plan into operation. That is up to Abbott, not the PM.

    Yes, not getting as much from MRRT and in the future.CEF. Still that only ever expected to raise four or five billion at the most. Very small part of the national budget.

  18. Seventeen millions??? Didn’t have maths in your time?

    Swan said revenues were smashed by a sledgehammer…you say the economy is strong. Can’t have it both ways.

  19. Yep. scaper, when the budget is at least 370 billion, I do not see 17 billion as that great. Yes, small deficit.

    Still have that triple AAA rating, that the experts say that we are in no danger of losing. Yes, a debt that us much smaller than most other countries.

    Sorry, scaper, I cannot get that excited about the deficit or debt.

    I am more concerned about those structural imbalances that are ensconce in the budget. Yes, those ongoing outlays. The ones that concern me most. are the unnecessary outlays to middle upper income earners. Mr. Abbott is promising to add to the problem.

    We are still open trend to a surplus. Yes, not as quickly as promised.

    Yes, we also still have growth. Listening to Abbott, Hockey and employers, one would also believe that was not true.

    What do we have from Abbott, another stunt, a red book or pamphlet to add to his vacuous green one,.

  20. You dismissing $17B as not so great says it all. I suppose $273B in debt and $240B in unfunded superannuation liabilities is small change too?

    The government is borrowing money to pay off maturing debt and pushing these debts to now be paid by people that are not born yet. But you don’t care, you will be dust by then!

  21. Just heard I have been on the light side. It is a four hundred billion dollar budget. Suggest the deficit might be eleven billion. No way, can one make that any more than small deficit.

    Is there no such thing as good spending?

    I do believe there is. I will go further, there is such thing as essential spending.

  22. Fed up, on funding of Gonski and the NDIS, Hockey wants to know how the government can fund it. I want to know why the Liberals can’t….

  23. Forgot about job growth and productivity under FWA and this government.

    One has to ignore many positive facts to say, the economy is floundering under this PM.

  24. Maybe scaper, you might believe what Mr. Howard has to say.

    “…”When the Prime Minister and the Treasurer and others tell you that the Australian economy is doing better than most – they are right,” Mr Howard said.
    Australia’s low unemployment rate had surprised him, he said.
    ”We are still fortunate that we have an unemployment rate with a five in front of it. I wouldn’t have thought that was going to be possible a few years ago, and I don’t think many people would. Our unemployment has remained pleasingly quite low,” Mr Howard said.
    ”And our debt to GDP ratio, the amount of money, we owe to the strength of our economy, is still a lot better than most other countries.”
    He said Australia’s economy was better than the economies of Japan, the United States and most European countries.
    This is in stark comparison to his protege Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s assessment of doom and gloom on Monday.
    ”The number one priority for an incoming Coalition government has got to be to restore the nation’s finances,” Mr Abbott said.
    ”Labor’s economic failures are not the result of the global financial crisis. They’re the result of Labor’s addiction to spending and its chronic misunderstanding of the essentials for economic success.”
    Mr Swan echoed Mr Howard’s comments about the economy in the post-Global Financial Crisis era at a pre-budget doorstop on Tuesday.
    ”The outcome then was that we came through the global financial crisis and the global recession in the best shape of just about any developed economy in the world,” Mr Swan said.
    He said the budget would respond to the new economic challenges.
    ”Global volatility and a persistently high Australian dollar is putting enormous pressure on our economy, on the profitability of businesses, on the price structure of business inputs right across the economy and that has smashed government revenue,” Mr Swan said.
    He accused the opposition for ignoring the effects of the GFC and dropping global demand………………

    Read more:

  25. Bullshit, scaper. Go tell the shock jock’s ignoramases that one, they’re the only ones, apart from the likes of you, who believe that shit anymore.

    We’ve educated ourselves here; I suggest you have a crack at it.

    And btw, even Howard reckons the government is doing OK and doing a good job with the economy. Read it and weep.

    Fed up, they don’t just cherry pick which facts to ignore; they ignore the lot. It’s just sooo much easier to invent their own facts without the inconvenient truth getting in the way

    As for the CEF, it was not designed to be a permanent revenue raiser. It’s aim was always to encourage big polluters to reduce their emissions-carrot and stick and it’s working.

    And apparently some of the businesses hit by the price are now thanking the government for jolting them out of their complacency.

    By addressing the issue, they’ve implemented strategies which have reduced their emissions below the threshold and have also reduced their power consumption significantly, producing significant savings,

    All it needed was the kick up the bum provided by the carbon price.

  26. jane, most industry has been aware that some type of cost would be put on carbon emissions. Most, or at least the sensible ones have been preparing for decades.
    In fact, alternative power supplies, for many, once the cost of the transfer have been made, are cheaper in the long run.

    Yes cheaper and more efficient. Look at the cost of providing power that has occurred in such places as meat processors. Some are paying nearly nothing.

  27. Obviously something went wrong when you self educated, amongst other things.

    I have been talking government finances and how Swan has blamed not enough revenue due to the economy. Can’t have it both ways, battery girl!

  28. It appears that most asylum seekers are now coming from Iran. They are similar refugee seekers as those from Sri Lanka. Trouble is we cannot fly them back like the Sri Lankans, as Iran will not take them back.

    MPI parliament.

    We cannot send them back to Malaysia, from whence they came, as the Opposition will not past the necessary legalization.

    Descriptions have been given of boats that are being sabotage. Boats being set alight after petrol poured into the hold. Points to the fact, it is not safe to turn boats back. Best option is to fly people back.

  29. Typical tactic by the propaganda unit at the Opposition Leader’s office and the Opposition PR machine in the MSM: start a smear campaign against those criticising Opposition Leader. Alex Hawke is right. The Coalition PPL will be a fiasco for the economy.

  30. Jane, spot on with that one..the revenue from the big polluters was always going to be an item which decreased in time. That was the idea of it, penalties equates with encouragement to do it cleaner and greener. The other beneficiary has been the alternative energies industries which have been huge investments coming their way. Australia used to be at the forefront, let’s hope we can be again.

  31. Fed up, part of Abbott’s method in the madness of turning back the boats is so that any government of his can deny that any claim for asylum ever took place..hence the reason that he would never be a party to the very logical and practical suggestion of flying them back as once they put foot on Australian soil then the people must be given the right to have their claim processed.

  32. Swan has said there is a decrease in revenues. Yes, that is true. Swan is also adjusting spending to meet that decrease. What in the hell is wrong with that,

    That does not mean the country is broke. Does not mean there is an enormous debt. It means that the government acknowledges, that to keep the trend towards a surplus in play, adjustments have to be made. Talking about turning the debt around and not adding to it.

    It means identifying essentials, and making choices of how to pay for them. Yes, cutting back in other areas.

    This is not the austerity that Abbott and Co push.

    It is always about options, and what one wants to achieve.

  33. Yes, Min, Abbott wants to turn boats back to countries that will not accept them back. The PM wants to fly them back to the same place,

    Do we need to spend millions on those drones, to keep an eye on refugees, which will keep coming regardless. That is unless they intend to arm the drones, and shoot them out of the water.

  34. Pyne now on with his usual whine. Upset that Swan may have let some business know ahead of the budget. Not sure that is wrong. Talking about rumours as usual. Swan admitted he has been consulting with business. Is that a crime, I wonder.,

    We have had all day, how bad this government is in consulting with business, now the problem seems to be, they are indeed in consultation.

    Pyne asked Bradbury a question but did not listen to answer.

    Sorry, it is Bradbury not Swan he is after.

  35. scaper, you ignore another fact, this government has been practising the greatest fiscal consolidation this nation has seen. Yes, it has been cutting back on spending, to find space for new spending. The Opposition has opposed all of the cutbacks made by Labor. Yes, everyone of them.

  36. Maybe Pyne should listen to the answer, when he asks a question. This was pointed out to Pyne at the following media get together.

    “.2:58pm: This is the Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury. You might have seen him out and about because the government likes to offer him up as someone it believes is a good communicator of its messages.
    Mr Bradbury is having difficulty communicating his own message as the Opposition probes him as to what he told whom about changes to thin capitalisation rules contained in the budget.
    Mr Bradbury said it was appropriate to consult giving Christopher Pyne room to jump in and accuse him of leaking information ahead of time.
    Anthony Albanese jumps in to defend Mr Bradbury saying he is being “verballed”.
    Mr Bradbury takes a while to point out he did not give any specific information to any individual stakeholder..

    Read more:

  37. What fiscal consolidation??? Come on, explain this fiscal consolidation.

    Tell me that revenue this year is less than last year, I’ll just call you a liar because it is not true.

    Admin: I wouldn’t recommend doing that.

  38. Part 3: Fiscal strategy and outlook

    Tax receipts have been revised down by over $20 billion over the forward estimates, primarily reflecting a weaker global economy and falls in global commodity prices. This substantial write‑down in tax receipts has made the return to surplus more difficult.

    Returning the budget to surplus in 2012‑13 remains appropriate given the current economic conditions, reflecting a targeted approach to savings that minimises the impact of the Government’s fiscal consolidation on the economy. The Australian economy is forecast to grow around trend, the unemployment rate is forecast to remain low and global commodity prices remain high by historical standards.

    The Government’s ongoing commitment to fiscal discipline will ensure that Australia’s public finances remain strong and will sustain confidence in the strength of Australia’s economy at a time of global economic uncertainty.

    It will also leave Australia well placed to withstand external shocks to the economic outlook. This is important given ongoing uncertainty about how key international risks, including the European sovereign debt crisis, will unfold……………

  39. Means testing..the dreaded equality thing, where people who can afford to pay their own way do not receive handouts. How very Socialist of me. 😉

  40. It was what Swan drew back on before Christmas. Yes, he abandoned the fiscal consolidation that was under way. To continue to do so, would lead to unemployment growing.

    Then scaper, ignoring facts is easy to you lot.


    WAYNE Swan’s proudest boast until last December was that his government had put in place “the fastest fiscal consolidation since at least the 1960s”.

    With the future of the government’s return to surplus now in doubt, the best the Treasurer can offer is his comment to ABC Radio yesterday that the government will achieve “a very substantial fiscal consolidation”.

    WAYNE Swan has reached the bottom of his bag of fiscal tricks and is in full retreat from his solemn pledge to return the budget to surplus this year no matter what. This was the Treasurer who, with four of our largest deficits under his belt, promised to get the budget into surplus with the fastest fiscal consolidation in 40 years. With still high terms of trade last year, he found $22 billion of savings but blew $19bn on new spending.

  42. Swan brought spending forward and delayed spending to make this income year look like an attempt at fiscal consolidation yet he has increased the debt by over $30B in one year, thus far.

    His counting chickens economics has created a structural deficit that will take up to a decade to obliterate. He and that thing in the Lodge promised over five hundred times that there would be a surplus and finally came clean under the cover of Xmas.

    Calling lies facts is easy for you lot!

  43. God, you are a nasty piece of work, scaper. How dare you, of all people, call our Prime Minister “that thing in the Lodge”. You are a disgrace.

  44. Not A matter of comeback. Just not prepared to waste anymore time. You are just not worth it.

    Not that interested in scoring points. Just in putting facts forwarded. Others can make up their own minds.

  45. Scaper, would you care to provide us with reasons as to your opinion about the PM and why Tony Abbott is by far her superior…

  46. would you care to provide us with reasons as to your opinion about the PM and why Tony Abbott is by far her superior…

    Well, still waiting for facts, not lies.

    Translation: “Well, no, I can’t think of any right now…… or at all 😦 “

  47. Min, you’ll have to wait until events unfold and that book that was repressed by the ugliest of means is released after the election to understand my disdain for Gillard.

    The last person I called PM was Rudd and if what I hear comes to fruition I would call the next Labor person PM.

    I challenge you to find anywhere praise of Abbott from me and I doubly challenge you to find praise for Howard.

    I’m not interested in this presidential type of political barracking, I’m only interested in the vision that has come a long way in the last six years.

    I laugh at the newbies here that believe because I’m against this government I must be a right winger, I laughed all those years ago because I was against the right apologists that I was branded a lefty.

    Reality sucks for barrackers!

  48. No, scaper, you just love disagreeing with all. Much of what you say, has little meaning.

    No matter what, this PM will be treated well by history.

    I have lived through many incidents of allegations of corruption and such against, mainly Labor PM. Know what, once the Coalition regains power, that is the last one hears of such shocking events.

    Yes, they just disappear into the ether.

    No matter what one says, or how much evidence is produces, you will just reply by discrediting all that is said, often calling all lies, then if that does not work, begin the personal abuse,

    We must be getting close to that stage.

    Matters not, as you give us the opportunity to put facts in front of others. Thank you scaper.

    History has treated Whitlam and Keating well. The same will be true of Gillard.

  49. So, prove to me that this years revenue is less that last years. If not you are being most untruthful and don’t give me shit about abuse. You ain’t seen nothing from me compared to the stuff aimed at me by the pissants here lately.

    It’s OK as it reveals to the readers the “calibre” of some that comment here.

  50. Let you into a big secret. Outgoings. many ongoing from the days of Howard., also go up.

    It is about the inbuilt structural imbalances that one talks about.

    Since when does not a government at budget time, plans spending on the amount they expect to receive. Under Costello they final figure for revenue was always higher than projected. At this time, it is the other way about.

    Yes, the predicted income is never as expected.

    Yes the revenue is down on what was expected. The government is making the necessary adjustments. as governments do throughout history.

    Economies have a life of their own, and in this unstable global economies, is very volatile.

  51. Wouldn’t expect you to understand, scaper. You think Hockey knows what he’s talking about.

    Just glancing through scaper’s increasingly desperate bullshit. Is he beginning to sound more and more like Neil to anyone else?

    Joy @4.40pm, I wouldn’t get too upset. scaper has resorted to the usual Liars barracker’s fall back position of lies and petty, spiteful name calling, when they know they’re losing the argument.

    He knows that if Liealot ever has to face ANY scrutiny, the Liars are gone for all money

    It would be hilarious if the wizened foreigner gets dragged back to the US shortly to face another Levenson style enquiry and found to be unfit to own, operate or have anything to do with any business.

    It would be an opportune moment for the government to do the same here. I wonder where he would find a welcome in that case?

    Bacchus @4.58pm, or alternatively, “Rupert hasn’t given us our script, yet’

  52. Another indictment of the profligacy, waste and poor economic management of the Howard government.

    Just imagine, the surpluses so beloved by the Liars and their barrackers have been kyboshed by the very mob who gibber on endlessly about them and will no longer be able to be used as a stick to beat the government with. 😆 😆 😆

  53. Jane

    That is easy to fix. All Swan has to do is pass the legislation for income tax increases. The Greens would go for it so what is the problem??

    Actually they are Swans tax cuts because that is what they took to the 2007 election.

  54. I wish you people would make up your minds.

    Jane just told me that Howard did not tax enough and now Cuppa tells me they were the highest taxing govt ever.

    Why don’t you lot tell the truth for once. You hate the Coalition, you tell lies about them and nothing they do will make you happy.

  55. I’m only interested in the vision that has come a long way in the last six years

    He’s a scream! Anyone want an (extensive) history of the ‘vision’?
    Or perhaps just a:


    I’ll say it again, he’s in need of professional help.

  56. Thier kind of nonsense is their M.O, 🙄 draw an absurd conclusion, then call yourself a genius for uncovering these egregious lies, It’s so puerile and pseudo-intellectual, I’m not sure if it’s more appropriate to laugh or to cry. It is kind of amazing how much we find ourselves playing whack-a-mole with these trolls, considering they are not interested in learning from their mistakes or what have you. It’s intentional deceit. That’s obvious by now. They are only interested in finding some combination of data that will get them what they want to see. These fools just entertain themselves with confirmation bias and by bathing themselves in the groupthink of conspiracy theories. It. Is. Old.

  57. Damn, I was gunna call my band that…. ‘Marketing strategy for restaurant’….. bugger!! Guess I’ll just have to go with ‘Under Bridge Dwellers on a Spray Spree’ 😀

  58. Cuppa

    I downloaded that report. The Howard govt is not mentioned once. Furthermore it says this on the front page.

    “This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.
    The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate””

    My advice is do not trust anything Peter Martin says.

  59. Neil, that is history. Becoming ancient at that. Why not take a interest in what is happening now.

    No matter what one says, you are not going to agree.

  60. I downloaded that report. The Howard govt is not mentioned once.

    They don’t have to. It’s implied in the findings:

    IMF Review: Howard Administration was Most Wasteful Spender Among Australian Governments in Past 200 Years

    …The IMF (sic) pinpointed two periods of fiscal profligacy in Australia which were both during Mr Howard’s term from 1996 to 2007. The first was in 2003 at the start of the mining boom and the second was during his last two years in office between 2005 and 2007.

    My advice is do not trust anything Peter Martin says.

    Decoded: Neil doesn’t trust anybody who finds fault with the Liberals. Really one-eyed stuff.

    My advice: Do Not trust anything the Liberals say.

  61. Well this is what Henry Ergas says about that IMF report

    (1) The study is actually a staff paper, and the front page (no less) contains an explicit instruction that it not be attributed to the IMF which Alberici simply ignores;
    (2) The study refers to debt issued by all levels of government, not just central government;
    (3) The study refers to gross debt, not net debt, levels;
    (4) For the years referred to by Alberici, all of the increase in gross debt is due to state Labor governments;
    (5) As a result, the inference that the results impugn the Howard government is completely absurd
    . ”

    Point 4 is interesting. We are a Federation. A study looking at govt spending would look at all levels of govt spending, Federal, State and local. As I said the Howard govt is not mentioned in that report. Australia is however.

    If Ergas is right this means this spending was included in the findings

    Use your brains Cappa. Howard govt paid off all debt. The report cannot be referring to the Howard govt

  62. The most wasteful government in the country’s history. The Lieberals will never live this down. 😀

  63. Did you hear about the man who won big at the race track? He paid back a few bucks that he’d borrowed from his mate. He banked ten bucks (that’s the “surplus”). He didn’t buy or build anything useful with the rest of the money; he blew it all on extravagant gifts and bribes to make people “like” him.

  64. The most wasteful government in the country’s history.”

    It is comments like this why I am so anti-labor. I may not be a strong as you think as a Liberal party supporter but i cannot stand dishonesty. And Labor supporters are the most dishonest people i have ever met.

    You know like Howard introduced a new rule. You work one hour/week and you are employed. Load of rubbish. And look at what Labor has done to Queensland.

  65. Poor old Neil, barracker for the most wasteful party in this country’s history, projecting Liberal dishonesty onto other parties.

  66. Do a little digging Neil. What was the government in Queensland spending on during that escalation of debt and why? Why was it necessary to borrow, and what was the level of grants to the states from the federal level for this necessary spending?

    Hint: Think mining boom 😉 What do mining companies need from the state governments to enable them to extract super profits from our mineral wealth?

  67. NoS is being as dishonest as scaper when he claims “I may not be a strong as you think as a Liberal party supporter”

    At,least, cuppa, when he is off surfing the net for his obscure links to “verify” his claims, he isn’t annoying others.

  68. What was the government in Queensland spending on during that escalation of debt and why?

    O.K. Bacchus i get it. When Labor spends money it is wonderful. When Howard spends money it is wasteful.

    Actually it is amazing what Journalists get out of that IMF report which is just a staff paper. The Howard govt is not even mentioned only Australia. And Australia is only listed in the Tables. I could not see anywhere a discussion about Australian govt spending.

    Nevertheless at the link Cappa gave at 7.31AM it says this about Howard govt spending according to the IMF.

    In 2007, the Howard government increased spending for the AusLink national roads programme by $2.3 billion and announced grants for water conservation and water buybacks worth $10 billion over the next decade.”

    The guy cannot win. He spends on infrastructure and he is condemned. He does not spend he is condemned.

    Why don’t you admit you hate Howard and cannot tell the truth about him. Beats me how they got Auslink spending and water buybacks out of an IMF report that does not even mention the Howard govt.

  69. NoS is being as dishonest as scaper when he claims “I may not be a strong as you think as a Liberal party supporter”

    Well I’d be ashamed to admit to being a Liberal supporter too! Think of their situation:

    * The worst economic record in Australian history.
    * The worst record of any party for Ministerial failures/scandals.
    * The most dishonest party, whose leaders make the record book as the dishonest leaders of any party at any time.
    * Their agenda, written for them by mining, media and other big corporate interests, benefits the Big End of Town, and will in fact hurt the majority of Australians
    * Their support base is heavy with anti-science, anti-economics, anti-intellectual, anti-progressive, racist, xenophobic rednecks and misfits.
    * They are utterly reliant for day-to-day political survival on among the most one-sided of any media landscapes of any “democracy” on the planet.

    There’s nothing there to make people stand up and say “I’m proud to be a Liberal!”

  70. Neil, Howard gave away $38bn in tax cuts. If he had left rates as they were, the budget would have had an extra $38bn and would now be in surplus without the government doing a single thing.

    And I believe it was Howard & Costello who claimed they were taxing too high, but instead of using that revenue to fix public infrastructure, they chose to buy votes.

    blockquote>The IMF (sic) pinpointed two periods of fiscal profligacy in Australia which were both during Mr Howard’s term from 1996 to 2007


    You can’t get much more specific than that, Neil. The Liars were in power then.

    And the Liars paid the debt by flogging off public assets. As usual, you are very economical with the truth.

  71. Well if you want to read the paper it is at this link

    It does not even mention the Howard govt. And if you believe the report it says the profligate years were 2003 and 2005-07. Not from 1996-2007. And at the beginning it says this

    This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.
    The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

    If you want to believe it go ahead

    And the Liars paid the debt by flogging off public assets.”

    Not true. It was a combination of asset sales and surplus budgets. And asset sales were not put into the budget as revenue.

    The only person telling lies is you Jane. Like most Labor supporters you tell lies about your fellow Australian citizens who vote differently to you. You really are the most deceitful of people.

  72. Didn’t Howard promise $10billion from the sale, of something or other ,would be spent on protecting the Murray/Darling Basin? What happened there?

    No doubt NoS will ferret around in the damp, dark depths of the net, unearthing links to weird sites, to prove me wrong & tell me so, ad infinitum & ad nauseum, demanding I apologise (what for?) for sullying Howard’s character & name. Ho hum.

  73. Neil, you have the evidence in the links, but choose to ignore it. I’m guessing you refuse to look because you can’t face the truth.

    The proof of what I have said is there so I think you should wear the label of deceitful liar. It should be branded on your forehead.

    By now your pants should be ablaze-lies, deceit, obfuscation, projection, all part of your stock in trade. Typical Liars barracker.

    There is no intrinsic problem with either public or private debt. Both need to be carefully considered to ensure efficient allocations into productive activity. Public debt is not a burden if it is used to produce an income stream to pay down the resulting interest or to enhance productivity, for instance, if invested in infrastructure, health, education, or research. It becomes a problem, however, if used to finance excessive defence spending, bank bailouts, pork-barrel projects and middle-class welfare.

  74. It does not even mention the Howard govt. And if you believe the report it says the profligate years were 2003 and 2005-07. Not from 1996-2007.

    Jesus Christ these Liberals are obtuse. (Maybe intentionally). Who was the government during those years? Labor? The Democrats? No, the Lieberals.

    Did you hear about the man who was charged with speeding? He’d been driving for 10 years, no serious incidents, then out of the blue on a spate of separate occasions he was booked doing 120kph in a 100-zone.

    Now, if you Neil’s Liberal “logic”, well he wasn’t guilty because he had not been booked for speeding every day of his 10-year driving career.

    It’s the same with the IMF report. Just because the report didn’t list every one of the Liberals’ 12 years as being profligate, Neil pretends to dismiss the finding/validity of the report.

    It’s just Spin – one of the things at which the Liberals are highly practiced.

    Suck it up, Nil. An impartial international report finds your mob to have been the most wasteful government in Australia’s 200-year history. All the spinning, lying, goalpost shifting and feigned obtuseness doesn’t alter the fact.

    IMF Review: Howard Administration was Most Wasteful Spender Among Australian Governments in Past 200 Years

    […]The IMF (sic) pinpointed two periods of fiscal profligacy in Australia which were both during Mr Howard’s term from 1996 to 2007. The first was in 2003 at the start of the mining boom and the second was during his last two years in office between 2005 and 2007.

  75. Cuppa

    Your link says this “The study pointed out that number of spending decisions beyond $1 billion went up from one in the first budget during the Howard administration to nine in the last year, while the proportion of savings measure went down from one-third of budget measures to 1.5 per cent at the end.”

    Please show me in the IMF working paper where it says that. It does not even mention the Howard govt. The Journalist is lying.

    Your comments just prove to me once again that Labor supporters have no common sense. That is why a large numbers of Labor policies are failures. Furthermore you deliberately tell lies and falsehoods to trash a persons reputation.

    Common sense tells me that report is not correct. It is most probably talking about this.

    The Howard govt is getting blamed for what Beattie/Bligh did to Queensland and all the other State Labor govts when Howard was in power who were spending wastefully.

  76. The most wasteful government ever. Years and years of conscientious Lieberal propaganda and myth-making shot down in one blow by an impartial international report. 😀

  77. Your link says

    The study pointed out that number of spending decisions beyond $1 billion went up from one in the first budget during the Howard administration to nine in the last year, while the proportion of savings measure went down from one-third of budget measures to 1.5 per cent at the end.

    In 2007, the Howard government increased spending for the AusLink national roads programme by $2.3 billion and announced grants for water conservation and water buybacks worth $10 billion over the next decade.

    Please show me in the IMF report where it said the above. The Journalist (Vittorio Hernandez) appears to be making stuff up.

    And if they were so wasteful why did the two major rating agencies give us our credit rating back?? We lost it under Keating and we got it back under Costello if the report is true we would have never got our credit rating back.

  78. Economic Records of Costello and the Coalition:

    * The most wasteful government in Australia’s history
    * The biggest-taxing government in Australia’s history
    * The biggest trade deficit ever recorded
    * The longest run of successive monthly trade deficits ever recorded
    * Biggest foreign debt in Australia’s history (number 4 in the world in dollar terms)
    * Highest levels of household and business debt ever recorded
    * The lowest value of the AU$ (2001)
    * 94% of the mining boom tax windfall frittered away in just 2.5 years
    * Interest rates consistently above the OECD average (despite lies about delivering “record low” rates)
    * Highest inflation in 16 years
    * In mortgage rates, the highest interest component-to-average income level ever recorded
    * Housing affordability the lowest ever
    * Personal bankruptcies the highest in two decades
    * Government investment in Tertiary Education in reverse

  79. The most wasteful government ever.

    But we lost our credit rating under Keating and we got it back under Costello so that comment could not be true.

    If it was the most wasteful govt our credit rating would have been downgraded. Instead we got an upgrade.

    Actually do you actually care about Australia?? Or do you only care about Labor being in power and do not care what damage Labor does??

  80. Trouble with the tories is their addiction to unreality, as nos and other trolls continually demonstrate.

    Offering nought but lies and delusion, living in a world divorced from the realities of AGW and the GFC, where Abbott is an honourable person and Howard was “honest john” and where Saddam was about to destroy us all, with his WMD’s – not to mention the unspeakable “threats” posed by dreaded refugees.

    Unfortunately for them such a world has little intersection with reality, and as they continually charge at windmills, their failures in dealing with reality, as opposed to their fantasies. will always bring them undone, their unjustified hubris is a sure sign of desperation, as they search for relevance in the realities of the 21st century.

    Those at war with reality will always lose – reality is like that.

  81. I hope your rant makes you feel better.

    By the way I have been posting with some of these people since 2007. We used to meet on Dunlops blog. How long before you stop calling me a troll??

  82. By the way I have been posting with some of these people since 2007. We used to meet on Dunlops blog.

    Here Neil the Liberal Party troll is trying to suggest that a “troll” is defined by how long they’ve been posting.

    In Neil’s Liberal logic, if a person has been trolling for a long time, they’re not a troll.

    Try getting your head around that logic, readers.


    No, Nil, a troll is as a troll does.

    How long before you stop calling me a troll??

    Well, duh, when you stop being a troll, of course.

  83. Neil, most have moved on to new comments over seven years. Most talk about today’s politics.

    Neil, you alone keep repeating three or four comments, all based on incidents, back in the distant past.

    Why not talk about what the PM is doing today.

    A troll is a troll, identified by what they say, not the length of time they have been saying it.

    I will say that I believe you are genuine but very wrong in your beliefs. That is sad indeed..

  84. Seen Howard, ranting on about this PM planning a budget speech to trap dear Tony. What is the PM’s great sin. To present a budget, that addresses the needs of the nation. What is the PM’s agenda. Is it so wrong to expect that Tony tells us how he is going to do better. Is it so wrong in setting the scene, that he has to say how and why, not slogans and motherhood statements.

    Is it so wrong for a PM to attempt to take control of the political agenda, leading up to the elections.

    Are they saying that the field should be left clear for Tony to continue as he has, electioneering for three years, with stunts, slogans and motherhood statements.

    What do we have today, Tony;s mob, out claiming that Labor had presented false treasury information in the budgets papers.

    Of course, they are not guilty of presenting to the people at the last election, of presenting a false audit of their costings. It is the Liberals that have the form in this area. They have rejected the advice of experts in all field.

    From Abbott, I expect explanations of why the PM is wrong. I expect detail, of how he will do better.

  85. This was the PM biggest mistake, allowing herself to become involved in the fallacies that all that counts, is surpluses at all cost. Wanting a surplus was not an economic requirement at no stage. Wanting a surplus is nothing but a political strategy.

    What we now have, is the country coming back to surplus as is the norm after any downturn. Yes, within seven years. There is nought to be gained by speeding up the process. Labor has learnt this the hard way.

    Was last years budget a failure. I say it was a success. Yes, the economy in all areas. Yes, the economy is still travelling well in areas. Yes, the way forwarded has been found for essential investments in the future.

    Yes, there has been some attempts made to fix structural imbalances in the budget.

    Did we reach a surplus, no, but that was a stupid aim.

    …………..Attempting to pull back from a $43.4 billion deficit in 2011-12 to nominal surplus this year was absurd. Dumb economics for silly political purposes, Wayne. It represented an unprecedented fiscal contraction that, if allowed to run its course and if not for some Treasury smoke and mirrors pulling forward and pushing back, could have stalled the economy. As it pans out, the $24 billion contraction achieved by trimming the deficit to $19.4 billion is itself without equal – a $24 billion turnaround, a hefty 1.6 per cent of GDP……………..”

    Read more:

  86. Neil, I see middle upper income welfare to be wasteful. Giving money to those, who have no need, is wasteful spending. It is nothing more than pork barrelling.

    Government is there, in MHO, to support the weak, to create the environment for business to operate, and to invest in the necessary infrastructure for the future.

    The amount of spending tells one nothing, It is how the money is spent that counts.

  87. Neil, no government has the power to control the economy. Governments react to the economical conditions of the time.

    It is how they deal with the ongoing economical environments that count. Yes, Neil, one has to put all the figures you quote in context. That is where you come undone.

    It is not whether the figures you quote are correct or not.

    It is that they generally do not have the meaning you attribute to them.

  88. One who repeatedly misrepresents, through selective quotation from a source provided, the evidence from a link, yet continues to do so, in spite of the numerous corrections provided by the poster, truly warrants the “troll” epithet.

    This behaviour nos, as you have (and continue to) demonstrated at length, ( initially afaiac wrt the “Climategate” beatup) warrants the justifiable use of the term in reference to your efforts

  89. How quickly things change when it comes to the Nation’s economy.

    “…..Aside from this apparent conservatism, the forecasts could already be out of date. In table 1 of Budget Statement 2, Treasury makes the “technical assumption” that the Australian dollar will remain around $US1.03 and 78 cents on a trade weighted basis.

    As Treasurer Wayne Swan was preparing to deliver his budget speech, the Aussie dollar was already trading around 3% lower than this, at a little under $1.00. While this is not enough of a move to make a huge change to the budget forecasts, it is a step in the right direction as far as economic growth, inflation and the budget bottom line are concerned. Another 4-5 cents lower for the Aussie dollar from here and there will indeed be a noticeable impact on the bottom line……..”

  90. ……………………It is quite something to watch how far out of step Australia’s political Budget narrative is with the reality of the current and future role of government spending in the economy.

    The Opposition’s constant attacks, along with the loon pond agenda loose in the MSM business press, has everyone thinking that this Budget is a massive blowout in terms of spending.

    While it’s true that the Budget has missed its revenue forecasts dramatically and it remains in deficit, it is still contractionary (that is, spending less than last year). A note today from Goldman Sachs makes this point very clearly:………….


  91. ““The most wasteful government ever.

    That cannot be true. Here is a Table showing Australia’s credit rating from 1962

    We were downgraded under Labor in 1986 by both major rating agencies. Downgraded again in 1989 under Labor by both majors.

    It then took 6 surplus budgets by Costello to get us upgraded in 1999 and upgraded again to AAA in 2002 and 2003. This is important because it means business can borrow at a lower interest rate. Fitch is not important.

    It Howard was wasteful we would never have got our credit rating back. In fact we would have been downgraded. That IMF report is talking about the wasteful spending of the State Labor govts like Beattie/Bligh.

  92. FU

    Blind freddy could have told Swan that he was not going to get an increase in revenue of 12% which is what they budgeted for. They actually got an increase in revenue of 7% which is good.

    There is something wrong with Treasury.

  93. Howard’s was the most wasteful government ever. More wasteful than any Liberal or Labor government before or since. That’s the finding of a report for the impartial international organsiation the International Monetary Fund.

    Unlike Nil of Sydney the report for the IMF has no imperative to make greasy partisan points.

  94. No, not even blind Freddy made that prediction.

    If you know of one that said that at the time, let us in on the secret.

    The economy behaved in a way, it has never has before. Other parts, in a way that has not occurred for sixty years.

  95. Cuppa

    O.K. then why didn’t we lose our credit rating like we did under Hawke/Keating and recently in Queensland under Beatie/Bligh and in Victoria under Cain/Kirner??

    In fact Howard/Costello got an upgrade to AAA.

    People like you are the reason i am so anti-Labor. Your deceit is amazing

  96. People like you are the reason i am so anti-Labor. Your deceit is amazing

    There is no deceit at this end, Nil of Sydney. As readers can verify, I simply quote articles about the report for the IMF that found the Liberals the most wasteful government we’ve ever had in this country.

    The only deceit comes from the Lieberal side of politics: notorious for Right-Wing Projection, the political tactic of distracting from their faults by ascribing them to others.

    Of course, the other thing the Lieberals are notorious for is wastefulness in government – the most wasteful government this country has ever had, according to a recent report for the IMF.

  97. Did you read the report?? I posted the link many times. It said nothing of the sort. The Howard govt was not even mentioned. It was the interpretation of Peter Martin. The IMF working paper was almost certainly referring to this

    Howard got blamed for the wasteful spending of Beattie/Bligh

  98. Oh jesus christ, Nil, do you have a short term memory problem? We went through this this morning.

    Do you people ever stop spinning?

  99. Joy, not to mention the 120 million dollars the Lieberals wasted spruiking SerfChoices – a radical extremist policy they never breathed a word of before imposing.

  100. Neil,

    Put simply for a simpleton, credit ratings have SFA to do with profligacy! If I go out and buy new cars, expensive jewellery for my mistress, Italian leather shoes, French suits, Belgian shirts etc. it will have no detrimental effect on my credit rating as long as I have the means to service whatever level of debt I happen to carry…

  101. Yes Cuppa, then there were the squillions the Howard government (propaganda machine) spent on TV ads trying to brainwash & scare everyone into joining private health funds. Remember those damned umbrellas??

    Didn’t it turn out that his government spent more on ads than any other?

  102. If however, I spent my money on new equipment to make my business more efficient, maybe solar, wind and co-generation plants for my factories, my spending could not be considered profligate.

    Handing out middle-class welfare and providing long-term affordable tax cuts would however be considered very much profligate by economists analysing spending 😉

  103. Joy,

    Didn’t it turn out that [Howard’s] government spent more on ads than any other?

    The Howard Liberals certainly spent more on advertising than any Australian government before or since.

    That’s despite the Lying Rodent in opposition “promising” they would reduce advertising expenditure.

    They were one of the highest per-capita spenders on state propaganda of any government on earth.

    All contributing to the Liberal Nationals being the most wasteful government in Australia’s history, as per recent report for the IMF.

  104. I suggested you do some research on why government debt blew out in Qld when it did. Obviously you either didn’t bother, or you found facts you didn’t like…

    The spending at the time was for infrastructure requirements brought about by the effects of the mining boom, at a time when the Howard government was drastically reducing grants to the states, mainly to make Labor state governments look bad (very successfully) 🙄

  105. Bacchus,

    Makes me wonder how many times poor old Nil has to be told these things. In one ear, out the other, such is the nature of short-term memory loss (or convenient Liberal forgetfulness).

  106. OK Bacchus, I get your point. But i am not sure that IMF working paper looked at things like that.

    What I find amazing is that whenever a Journalist writes something bad about the Howard govt you automatically believe it. There are lots of working papers which say lots of things. You could pick anyone to spin your point.

    In this link the Journalist said this is wasteful spending

    In 2007, the Howard government increased spending for the AusLink national roads programme by $2.3 billion and announced grants for water conservation and water buybacks worth $10 billion over the next decade

    The truth is you lot hate Howard and facts are irrelevant

  107. Nothing wrong with Treasury. What changed was the economic facts and data.

    We appear to be in a completely new economic era. One where the economy is not behaving as in the past.

    What was stupid, expecting the forecast to be set in stone. What is wrong, is the value most are putting on the predictions.

    I can remember PM’s right back to Menzies, bringing in mini budgets, that were necessary, because the economy did not act as was expected. Many of those mini budgets, had labels, such as “horror”.”.

    Economics is not, and has never been an exact science,.

  108. Infrastructure projects? Like rusty pipes to move water around, derelict desalination plant and a failed dam proposal in the Mary Valley or building a dam to catch water that needed major treating to make it potable but has no infrastructure to put into the grid???????????

    You are so funny!

  109. You should know better than Neil Scaper. It would appear not – just want to spin all the LNP talking points intimating that ALL of the spending was on Traveston dam & water infrastructure that will certainly be needed when we go back to long-term drought conditions.

  110. At the end of the day all the so-called Right has is:

    Right Wing Projection
    Biased media

  111. The journalist isn’t making any comment about that spending Neil, other than that it corresponded with the time period in the IMF working paper…

  112. So Bacchus all that increase in Queensland debt from $20B to $80B was all on needed infrastructure??

  113. As with any large expenditure, whether by governments of any colour, or private enterprise, there will be some “unwise” spending (waste).

  114. Your “derelict destination plant” came in very handy very recently Scaper. Remember the recent Brisbane floods where the Mt Crosby plant couldn’t cope with the turbidity of the river? Your destination plant was working at 100% capacity at the time…

  115. Oh dear, the Traveston Dam? I could tell you how the proposal was defeated. By Greg Hunt and Peter Garrett working in unison to ensure the project never proceeded.

    Same is happening with Tony Burke to rein in the destructive CSG industry. Had a major win a few months ago on that issue. Legislation run through without a murmur to protect the GAB.

    Was set up in a meeting after the convoy.

  116. I am sure all those plants will be welcome in the future. Probably sooner than most realize.

    Yes, Bacchus, they also appear to be handy in times of floods as well. Who would have thought that.

    Of course the couple of years of disasters would not have added to Queensland debt. I suspect, for a state that earns much of it’s income from tourism, would have suffered greatly from the GFC and the high dollar left in its wake.

    One cannot let a few inconvenient facts get in the way of a good yarn.

  117. PS. Queensland. appears to be doing it hard with the weather at this time. From record wet, back into drought at this time.

  118. Yeah yeah. You’re a real wanker mover and shaker; an insider who’s importance knows no bounds 🙄 Well this little black duck, and I’m sure all here, couldn’t give a dead rat’s bottom…

  119. Fu, Scaper and Neil aren’t ones to let facts stand in their way;) Like most conservative “thinkers” – no ability to see beyond the now towards what will be needed in the future. How many times was the Howard government warned of looming problems caused by lack of infrastructure spending?

  120. Only problem is my “sock puppet” over there was obvious – took no nous to figure out it was me. We know ToM is a bit slow, but most of them knew it was me 🙄

  121. Must be something wrong with me. At 71 all I can see a great future this fair land of ours has. Cannot remember MORE EXCITING TIME.

    It will not be handed to us on a silver tray. We have to have the guts to grab that future. and put in place the necessary infrastructure to be out in front.

    I believe we have a PM that also has the imagination and foresight to see, what I do.

  122. Yes Fu, we can already see the stagnation that will be Australia if we’re stupid enough to elect an Abbott government in September.

  123. My old man (85) just said to me after watching Abbott’s ‘after speech’, that ” if people can’t work out that this bloke’s a mungrel and vote for him, then they will get what they deserve and will learn the hard way”…… crikey !!!

  124. Something funny going on. Decided to buy Tele today. Was interested in the headline, but had time to fill in, still like the crosswords.
    Made comment on the headlines of the 4B Carbon carrot. Said in the newsagency, that people better do their own adding up before believing they read.

    Normally one does not get a bite. Today was different. Agreement that something did not make sense, that things did not add up.

    Yes, I believe there are many with the same opinion of your father. Forced to look for the first time, and do not like what they are seeing. Do not believe what is being said.

    The disconnect that has existed, when it comes to how politics has been played, in running into conflict, with the facts they are seeing.

    At the end of the day, people are not as stupid, as Abbott would like us to believe.
    In those polls, there are more than a quarter who are sitting on the fence., The undecided or do not know. It will be interesting which side they come down on.

  125. Will this stunt misfire. One has tried to compare in with the Howard intervention. Sorry, does not wash. Labor has been working on it since the days of Rudd. Shorten was the first to carry the can.

    Add this to the pairing disaster, one can only wonder.

    “History will show Julia Gillard to have been a ground-breaking reformer and legislator, not unlike Gough Whitlam (”The day the steel melted”, May 16). Just like Whitlam, she scares a lot of people and has been treated with a lack of respect by the opposition.
    Her tears on Wednesday over DisabilityCare spoke of just how strong she has had to be in this past term. It is a shame, should Labor lose the election, she will not be succeeded by a Liberal leader of the calibre of Malcolm Fraser, who continued reform in a considered way. This time I feel we will not be so lucky.
    Kristen Skinner Bungendore
    I can’t help but contrast the tears of the Prime Minister at the introduction of the DisabilityCare funding bill with the Herald’s call for Tony Abbott to tighten the eligibility for the disability pension (”Hard choices and an affordable vision: spotlight is on Abbott”, May 16). One views these worthy Australians with dignity, the other with distrust.
    Philip Cooney Wentworth Falls
    I was disgusted to see the empty seats on opposition benches in Parliament on Wednesday. It was an important day for those people with disabilities, and regardless of the reasons for their absence (I heard that Tony Abbott was attending an interview), it did not send a positive message to the public.
    On ABC Radio this morning, opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison’s efforts to call any comment about the Coalition’s absence ”a cheap shot” was outrageous and a fine example of the clever words the opposition use to decry whatever Labor may say. All I can say is god help us if the Coalition wins government.
    Julia Osborne Nambucca Heads
    Paul van Reyk (Letters, May 16) is right to bemoan the absence of opposition members when the disability insurance scheme was introduced to the House, but I think it was largely a case of deliberate political rudeness rather than a display of vacuity. It was also notable that the government whips were able to round up only about a third of government members to be on show for the cameras.
    David M…………………….

    Read more:

  126. “…Other promises were to reinstitute a work-for-the-dole scheme, cut unspecified “red tape” costs to small business by “at least $1 billion a year”, restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, and to reverse Labor’s commitment to expanded humanitarian immigration intake….”

    It is my understanding, work for the dole still exists. I know of one case, were someone reaching retirement age, was told they had to work, or do so many hours voluntary hours each week. Was given a list of charities to approach. It has also come to my notice, that many complain about the treatment of the charities, they do the compulsory work at. Some claim to be treated like they are scrum.

    Yes, Abbott is going to fix another problem that does not exist.

    In fact, Abbott does not not appear to be aware of what this government has done, or is doing. In fact, he is not interested in knowing. Gets in the way of the story he is writing, one of pure fiction. No place for facts in Abbott’s world.

  127. With the dollar falling and other events occurring across the western economies, those figures that Abbott is waiting for, to release details of his policies nearer the election, could just be much better than those released in the budget.

    We know, from treasury figures, released over the last twelve months, there is great volatility in the global economy. Yes, it is just as li9kely for the present budget position to improve, as it is to worsen. After all we have had months of negative figures. Could be time for a change.

    If this occurs, where does that leave Abbott, whose whole campaign is built on gloom and doom. This he needs to win.

    Yes, that obstinate dollar, behaving in a way that it has never before, has led to the present economic conditions. Maybe at last, it is responding to the action taken by the government and the treasury, as it should. One can only hope.

  128. Morrison and his scare the people cut off, to move over to Abbott and Hockey.

    He wants Australia a place that makes things. Talking down government subsidiaries

    Mirabella the star of the show..

    ABC 24

  129. Well the car industry is getting no handouts.

    He will make it flourish, by getting rid of the carbon tax.

  130. Abbott challenge, it appears that Holden says, they need a decision sooner than later.

    Is Abbott putting the Holden agreement at risk.
    Once again, an adult decision.

    It they want to come to him after the election, he will sit down and have an adult conversation with him after the election. Not if I am elected.

    What is this adult conversation he now saying he will act like an adult, or it is, anyone that disagrees with him, is not adult.

    Mirabella stepped in quickly to get Abbott out of his hole.

    Now giving advertisement for Williams boots. All his front bench wear them. Wonder if the are given a discount?

  131. Abbott forced to say what he has in store re IR. Sounds like he is going to swing that pendulum well and truly back to the employers.

  132. Abbott is moving away from saying he will stick with his stagnated shadow front bench. Up to now, he has said, they will all remain in their jobs. Would not guarantee Ms. Bishop the job of FM.

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