In case you missed it.


In case you missed it, here’s a press release from Tony Abbott in November 2012.

The next Coalition government will create a strong and prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia.

Our policies will deliver more jobs, higher wages and better services for Australian families.  We will achieve this through lower taxes, more efficient government and more productive businesses.

Today, I am committing a future Coalition government to creating one million new jobs within five years and two million new jobs over the next decade.

My confidence in this pledge is based on my confidence in our policies and in the competence and experience of my team.  Sixteen members of the Shadow Cabinet were ministers in the Howard Government which delivered a golden age of prosperity.

The last Coalition government created 2.4 million jobs, oversaw a 21 per cent increase in real wages and resulted in Australian households experiencing a near tripling in net household wealth.

We have done great things for our country in the past and we can do it again.

The next Coalition Government will create one million jobs in five years and two million jobs in ten years by:

–  Abolishing Labor’s job destroying carbon tax.  On the government’s own figures, eliminating the carbon tax would add a cumulative $1 trillion to GDP by 2050;
–  Scrapping the mining tax and restoring Australia’s reputation as a safe place to invest;
–  Removing $1 billion a year of red tape costs from business and implementing our Deregulation Reform Agenda to lift national productivity;
–  Ending Labor’s waste and bringing the Budget back under control, taking needless pressure off taxes and interest rates;
–  Tackling lawlessness in workplaces by restoring the Australian Building and Construction Commission;
–  Removing export bottlenecks by investing in the major infrastructure that Australia needs
–  Establishing a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals;
–  Lifting workforce participation through a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme and reviving work for the dole;
–  Strengthening relationships with the growing Asian region through greater emphasis on foreign languages in schools and a new two way Colombo Plan;
–  Establishing a Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council and ending Labor’s anti-business rhetoric.

In 2013 the Coalition will make further detailed announcements with policies that will strengthen the economy, encourage investment and create jobs.

I have nothing more to say than simply . . . we were conned.

What happened to the Carbon Tax?

From The Australian rossleigh of The AIMN found this interesting quote:

“The Prime Minister said cabinet had today signed off on the legislation to rescind the carbon price, which would ideally occur at the end of the financial year.”

I only have one thing to say: Wasn’t it supposed to be a “carbon tax”? After all, that’s what Tony Abbott had been calling it right up until the election.

Funny how it’s now a price, according to him. Mind you, that’s what we’ve been saying all along.

Carbon tax pledge

Guess who’s doing something to address climate change?

From the moment the Labor Party introduced policies to tackle the ravages of global warming, first with Kevin Rudd’s ETS and then Julia Gillard’s price on carbon, the Coalition have used just about every excuse to oppose them.

Prominent among these are the shallow arguments that Australia’s contribution to the carbon footprint is small, and more lamely, that while the big polluters like China and India sit idle in addressing climate change then why should Australia even bother.

I won’t myself bother with providing any links to their argument. Anybody who has read a newspaper, visited an online news service or listened to news radio would by now be well aware of these claims.

In government for less than a week, we have seen the Coalition try everything possible to send our efforts to address climate change back at least a decade.

Meanwhile, from one of those countries that they claim is doing nothing, India, comes this news: India Plans To Build The Largest Solar Plant In The World. In the Climate Progress online journal Andrew Breiner writes that:

Indian utilities plan to use 23,000 acres of land to build the largest solar power plant in the world, at 4 gigawatts of power, bringing prices and production of solar energy closer to competitiveness with coal.

The plant in Rajasthan is expected to commission its first phase in 2016, providing 1 gigawatt of power, enough to make it India’s largest solar power project ten times over. It will be a joint venture of five government-owned utilities. The other 3GW would be produced in an arrangement determined by the success of the first phase.

The finished plant would be comparable in power production to the four in-progress coal-fired Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPP) under production, at 4 gigawatts of power. But those plants are struggling to hold prices low due to reliance on imported low-carbon coal. The solar plant’s operations won’t be subject to any such constraints.

In addition to cutting carbon, getting off of coal would help India reduce the 100,000+ deaths each year caused by coal plant pollution.

Jasmeet Khurana, of Bridge to India, said that these solar mega projects were intended to reduce the price of solar to INR 5 per kWh (USD 0.08/kWh), bringing it close enough to typical coal prices of INR 3.5/kWh to INR 4.5 kWh for solar to be truly competitive. In fact, coal’s relatively high prices made it so that even India’s largest coal company is turning to solar panels to lower its electric bills.

This comes as IBM and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation finalized a plan to link technological infrastructure in a massive stretch between India’s business and political capitals. Grid improvements will be necessary to fully take advantage of the new solar plant, as India’s often experiences outages and rationing, especially outside of big cities.

Meanwhile, another effort is underway to use solar energy in India in an innovative way. A company called Sarvajal is developing solar-powered “water ATMs” for remote villages, where tens of millions of Indians drink contaminated water on a regular basis. The ATMs would allow entrepreneurs to profitably sell water in smaller villages where transporting bottled water is prohibitively expensive.

As coal and water stress in India drive prices higher, wind is already competitive with new-build coal, and solar parity is getting closer as well, with cost-competitiveness expected sometime between 2016 and 2018. A future of renewable energy may be within reach for India.

Gosh, those people in our government are fairly good at telling lies, aren’t they.

Image courtesy of Associated Press

Image courtesy of Associated Press

Could anything work for Abbott?

For three illustrious years Tony Abbott told us ad nauseum that he’ll stop the boats, destroy the carbon tax, save the country and save our souls. And going by the polls it had worked for him.

Those with an IQ above the idiot level have been highly amused by his antics. We’ve seen him, basically, as an idiot appealing to idiots.

But what has it added up to? Absolutely nothing. Three years of pure madness have been wasted as the playing field has now changed and the polls have thus turned. Yet still he goes on about the boats and electricity prices, while munching on pies and clutching to the pamphlet that will change the world. Same old same old.

Not much has changed in his little world. It has escaped him that nobody cares what he says anymore.

I would have thought that a shift in the polls might have encouraged a shift in the way he plays the game. But no. He’s still relying on his slogans and his scare tactics. No Plan B by the looks of it.

The slogans and the scaring haven’t worked so his response has been to up the ante: even more slogans and even more scaring.

Tony, give it up, mate. It won’t win you the election. The electorate aren’t the idiots you thought they were. The shift in the polls should have told you that.

Try something else. Perhaps show us some guts or show us some policies.

English: Tony Abbott in 2010.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now who is the heat on?

Opinion Poll

OK, I’ll admit it. There’s nothing I’d rather see than Tony Abbott lead the Coalition to an election defeat in September. I want to see the smirk wiped well and truly of his arrogant face. I want to witness the likes of Jones , Ackerman and Bolt unhinging, even more than they are currently unhinged. I want to lap up the greatest dummy spit ever thrust upon us by both the Coalition and their media lap dogs. Yes, it will be sweet.

Up until now they have had a reason to smirk and gloat. Even only a week ago the only way Abbott could lose the election was if he got run over by a bus.

Well I think that bus has come along.

I had giving this post much thought but over at The Political Sword Ad astra summed it up for me and thankfully, robbed me of much more thinking:

We might see parliament recalled to debate legislation to bring forward the date of transition from a price on carbon to an ETS.  If the Greens could be persuaded to go along with this, Slogan-Abbott would lose what he regards as his most important weapon, the carbon tax, as it would already be on the way out.  There is the possibility of the election date being moved into October so as to allow Australia to have highest level representation at the upcoming G20, important because Australia hosts the one after that.

The shift in the polls, the uncertainty about the election date, and the possibility of recalling parliament has to be a worry to Slogan-Abbott and his minders.  Kevin Rudd is already playing with his mind!

Every weapon Abbott has had at his disposal evaporated a few days ago. The man is now vulnerable, especially now that public support is diminishing at a great rate.

If the polls are correct and continue to turn against him and with Rudd the right person to screw with his head, I reckon Abbott might be gone before the election. I couldn’t see a party sticking with a leader who looks like leading that party to an election defeat. Labor made the tough call. Can the Coalition?

A short post, yes, but one where there is so much to consider. What are your thoughts?

When all else fails, blame the Government

Since the introduction of that dastardly imposition on human life, which Tony Abbott calls the ‘carbon tax’ , every job loss across the country has been attributed to it and Tony or his mates are lining up to shout it from the roof tops.  For example, yesterday we read that CSR cuts 150 jobs from its glass business and whilst CSR mentioned not one word that the ‘carbon tax’ was responsible, have a guess who did? No, not Tony, but:

The federal opposition’s industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella said the CSR job cuts proved the carbon tax was exacerbating what was already a difficult time for manufacturing.”

As manufacturing struggles, this is the worst possible time to impose a carbon tax on Australian industry,” Ms Mirabella said in a statement.

“This tax is a reverse tariff on Australian industry and is resulting in a significant loss of competitiveness for those that are trade exposed.”

This is just a continuation of the same old rant. I’ve done a search and have found many more, a sample of which I’ve posted below.

From Greg Bickley, Liberal candidate for Bendigo in Carbon tax sent small business to the wall:

Last weekend, one local business that had served the Kangaroo Flat community for 28 years took its last orders.

With proposed redevelopment of its premises and reduced profitability because of the carbon tax, the business could not afford to relocate. Jobs have been lost and a long-time business has closed.

From Michael Ronaldson, Senator for Corio and Corangamite in the Geelong Advertiser:

At Alcoa, Avalon Airport, Ford and Boral alone, more than 1000 Geelong jobs have been lost or threatened thanks to Labor’s policies, especially the carbon tax based on a lie.

Sophie again, this time on that masthead for human decency, her own website:

Since the announcement of the carbon tax (in February 2011), 41,700 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Australia. This equates to 1 job lost every 15 minutes – this was after manufacturing activity had expanded for 13 of the Howard Governments last 14 months in office.

Sarah Henderson, Liberal for Corangamite on her own website:

Geelong manufacturers are being damaged by Labor’s policies, according to Shadow Industry Minister, Sophie Mirabella, and Liberal candidate for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson.

“Friday’s announcement of over 200 forced redundancies, as part of the loss of 330 jobs at Ford, is another tragedy for Geelong,” Ms Henderson said.

“Local workers believed Prime Minister Gillard when she said in January this year: as a result of us making $34 million available to join with Ford in new investment to keep car manufacturing here, we’ll actually see the number of jobs grow.  There will be an additional 300 jobs as a result.

 “Instead, local jobs are disappearing almost every week under a Labor government that doesn’t seem to have any interest in implementing policies that encourage Australian industries rather than destroy them.

“As an industrial centre, Geelong already faces challenging economic conditions like a high dollar and intense import competition.  Making a bad situation worse is a carbon tax and other out of control costs and regulations being imposed by the Gillard Government.”

For something different, Tony Abbott blames a recent increase in the unemployment rate as being due to the unlikelihood of Labor returning a surplus this year. Even the workers dismissed at Rosella last week are blaming Julia Gillard.

I won’t go on with any further examples. I think you know what I’m saying and besides, you have more than likely read any number of articles over the last year blaming Julia Gillard or Labor for every pink slip handed out to the unlucky worker.

It’s good to know, however, that the Opposition has been trying to warn us how this mongrel tax will ruin the country. Months before it was even introduced, Tony was on the ball:

The Carbon Tax is continuing to claim jobs in Australia’s aluminium industry.

Alcoa is to delay a $3 billion aluminium project in Western Australia while Norsk Hyrdro has warned the future of its Kurri Kurri smelter is unsustainable due to the Carbon Tax.

Alcoa, which has already announced a review of its Point Henry smelter in Victoria where 600 workers’ jobs are at risk, has reportedly delayed a major project in Western Australia until there is certainty about the impact of the Carbon Tax. The project would have created 1,500 construction jobs.

In New South Wales, Norsk Hydro at Kurri Kurri has already announced that more than 150 jobs will go, confirming the future of the entire smelter is under consideration. The closure would have an impact on 2,000 jobs in the region.

These jobs losses will have a significant impact on regional communities.

Well, how nice of Tony to care about job losses and the impact they have on communities. Personally, I think he’s full of shit. Abbott wouldn’t care one bit about job losses . . . anywhere. If he does then you’d expect he’d have a harsh word to his mate up north who recently sacked 10,600 public servants. And how about his own promise to sack between 17-20,000 federal public service jobs if elected later this year? Here’s the thing, quoting Tony Abbott: these jobs losses will have a significant impact on regional communities.

It’s a couple of years old now, but this article in the Newscastle Herald clearly sates the impact of communities that suffer from public service cuts (as was the case when the NSW State Govt shed 5,000 public service jobs):

The case for shedding thousands of public servants has not been made and there’s every reason to expect that fewer public servants will mean diminished public services and other flow-on community impacts. It’s not possible to surgically remove ‘‘back room’’ public servants without impacting on employees engaged in direct (frontline) service delivery.

The most visible public services rely on less visible policy development, financial management, monitoring and enforcement, law making and all the other functions that comprise the public service.

Axing public servants is unlikely to save money or improve the state’s economy. When other governments have abruptly retrenched public servants, the consequences have included redundancy packages, costly reliance on consultants for services previously fulfilled by public servants and the loss of capacity for higher level policy development, analysis and planning.

And of course, there are the immediate consequences for the employees, their families and communities.

Cutting staff to the minimum required to deliver basic services is likely to remove agencies’ capacity to innovate and experiment, to plan how to meet community needs in the future or to prepare for times of crisis and increased demand.

So that is the impact of cutting public service jobs. It has the same impact as any job losses, although on this occasion it is endorsed by the LNP. The LNP are willing to slash jobs at will, which in Tony Abbott’s case is to a fulfill a political and ideological ambition.

But in the meantime he’ll harp on and on that the ‘carbon tax’ kills jobs. He has no alternative to save jobs so he’ll keep attacking the government if jobs are lost. When all else fails, blame the government.







Photo courtesy of Independent Australia

Welcome to the war

Welcome to the war. The media war, that is. Against Julia Gillard.

The way the media reports the results of opinion polls would have one believing that nothing else has happened in the world. Julia Gillard could find a cure for cancer yet we’ll only read about the poor opinion polls against her. I’m not saying that the dissection of the opinion polls are media beat ups, rather, they beat them up out of all proportion at the expense of something newsworthy.

Of course, the media are free to write whatever they want, however, I never see what they write as being in everybody’s best interests.

Nominally, I’d like them to focus more on policies that are important to this country and let the reader make up his or her own mind about how such policies will effect their lives or livelihood. At present they are focusing too much on writing about personalities, such as Gillard versus Abbott. Why not more focus on ALP policies versus LNP policies? And why all the focus on who they are voting against rather than what they are voting for? Their only mentions of policies are that climate change is rubbish and that the price on carbon will ruin us all, and of course, such articles always degenerate into the echo of “it’s all Julia Gillard’s fault”.

In the end it doesn’t matter who is Prime Minister. Sure, some are better than others. Some can be out of touch with ordinary Australians or make fools of themselves on the international stage, but the PM is only a figurehead. What matters more is which party is in Government, not who sits at the head of it.

John Lord provided a list of what electorally significant policies are ignored when readers of the media get sucked into their war against Julia Gillard. While having it hammered into them that Julia Gillard is doomed, and accepting it, they ignore what this Government has provided them and hence:

They overwhelmingly reject the need for a price on carbon. This in spite of the fact that it is bedded down and working well. They are prepared for the opposition to rip it up in favour of a plan that economists and environmentalists say will not work. And they are even prepared to go to a double dissolution.

They overwhelmingly reject the need for a broadband network of the standard the government is building and would be happy with a Mickey Mouse network that the experts say is inferior.

They overwhelmingly reject the need for a better and more equal education system for their children and think that the Gonski report is not worthy of implementation despite it receiving loud applause from academics and the public. Remember the Coalition had said they are happy with the current system.

They overwhelmingly reject the need for an NDIS and are happy with the status quo. Again this policy has received widespread community support. The Coalition while supporting it say it is not in their immediate plans.

They would overwhelmingly forgo any possibility that gay folk would ever achieve marriage equality.

They would overwhelmingly forgo any possibility that Australia might ever become a republic with its own head of state. Not even a plebiscite.

They overwhelmingly think it’s fine for families to lose their school hand outs that help to pay for school fees etc.

They overwhelmingly accept that a large portion of the population (3.6 million and mainly women) will have their taxes increased.

They overwhelmingly say that they are not interested in a 3% increase in their superannuation.

They overwhelming think its fine for the Opposition to rip up the Murray Darling agreement.

They overwhelmingly reject the Government’s handling of the economy which most observers believe to be amongst the best in the world. If not the best.

They overwhelmingly want to get rid of the mining tax despite it having the potential, repeat, potential to spread the wealth of the nation.

They overwhelmingly could not care less that between 13,000 and 20,000 public servants will lose their jobs.

So they have decided overwhelmingly to reject all this even without an Opposition card on the table.

Now I could probably go on and some might also add some other policy areas but these suffice to make my point.

And of course we have a judge finding that members of a political party (The LNP) conspired with James Ashby to use the courts to bring a false claim against the speaker of the house with the eventual intent of bringing down the government. Do I take it that this means nothing to the electorate?

None of those important issues ever make it to the front page, unless the old “it’s all Julia Gillard’s fault” tag can somehow be twisted into the story.

To give you an idea of how focused the media is on the latest poll results, I have been provided with a list of the most viewed articles across the Fairfax media sites. The results speak for themselves.

Most viewed articles on Brisbane Times

  • Beware knives of March
  • Rudd resurrection is no fantasy: just ask Walt
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • PC WCs no wee matter

Most viewed articles on WA Today

  • The discount fuel docket illusion
  • Fighting the stigma of mental illness
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Beware knives of March

Most viewed articles on The Sydney Morning Herald

  • Beware knives of March
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Bully-boy Malaysia immature and Australia’s reaction so limp
  • Rudd resurrection is no fantasy: just ask Walt

Most viewed articles on Canberra Times

  • MP says legal costs no threat to keeping his seat
  • Beware knives of March
  • Obama-style fight ‘could save PM’
  • Stalemate as queen bluffs all
  • Och aye, PM could be on a hiding to nothing

Most viewed articles on The Age

  • Poll dents faith in Gillard
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • Beware knives of March
  • Rudd resurrection is no fantasy: just ask Walt

And that’s just the Fairfax group. Do we dare look at what the Murdoch media are writing about? Probably its usual anti-Gillard tirade with splashings of trivia about a reality TV show or a woman born in Borneo with three nipples.

Where are the important issues? Where is the policy debate? And in regards to the LNP, what are their policies? Can we please see them, or do the media just want to continue their war against Julia Gillard?

There’s something odd about the Nielson Poll

The results of the latest Nielson Poll are devastating for both Julia Gillard and Labor. In summary, the poll:

. . . shows Labor’s primary vote has dropped five points since December to 30 per cent, while the Coalition’s has risen four points to 47 per cent.

After preferences, the Coalition has a thumping election-winning lead of 56 per cent to 44 per cent.

The figures also reveal a dramatic reversal in who voters would prefer as prime minister.

Support for Mr Abbott has jumped nine points to 49 per cent, while Ms Gillard’s support has dropped five points to 45 per cent.

There’s something odd about this. Not the poll itself as the figures don’t lie, but it’s the reasons for the massive drop in support for the Government which I find odd.

To throw some light on this, let’s look at what has happened in politics since December to ascertain where this dissatisfaction may have been generated.

January 5: The Federal Government announced that arrangements were being made to ensure that natural disaster assistance was available to help communities in south eastern Tasmania recover from the devastating bushfires that had hit the region.

January 8: Tony Abbott puts himself on standby with his local fire brigade as NSW awaits the outbreak of new bushfires.

January 11: The International Monetary Fund reports that Australia’s most needlessly wasteful spending took place under the John Howard-led Coalition Government.

January 22: School Education Minister Peter Garrett announced that the Government is investing a further $29.6 million in a new agreement with the Western Australian Government to help boost literacy and numeracy results in the state’s schools.

January 23: The Prime Minister launched Australia’s first National Security Strategy.

January 25: Tony Abbott let’s us all know that he’s a ‘grog monster‘.

January 25: The Westpac Australia Day Report showed that more than two thirds of Australians (67 per cent) are positive about the national economy, while two thirds of those (66 per cent) expected this to continue.

January 24: Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles announced that the Government will provide $2 million to help the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) feed 575,000 refugees in Kenya that have fled war and drought in the region.

January 27: The LNP goes into a ‘mini election mode” with the release of its booklet titled Our plan: real solutions for all Australians. It does not provide any policy details, just plans.

January 29: Nova Peris was been officially pre-selected as Labor’s top Senate candidate for the Northern Territory.

January 29: The first Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments (AGDRP) have been made available to QLD flood victims. Ten Local Govt Areas affected by flooding in Northern NSW also had access to joint-funded national disaster assistance.

January 30: The Prime Minister announced the election date; September 14.

January 31: To allay concerns about the limitation of freedom of speech, Attorney General Nicola Roxon wants the most controversial element of her proposed anti-discrimination laws to be stripped from the bill. Ms Roxon asked her department to draft alternative proposals to sections of the bill that raise freedom of speech concerns, including the removal of section 19(2)(b), which extends the definition of discrimination to include behaviour that might “offend”.

January 31: Members of the NSW fraud squad on Thursday executed an arrest warrant on Craig Thomson on behalf of the Victorian Fraud.

January 31: Tony Abbott addresses the National Press Club and announces/confirms his intentions that in Government the LNP the carbon tax will be gone, the mining tax will be gone, the boats will be stopped and the budget will be back in the black.

January 31: A leaked email from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s inner circle has put pressure on him to come clean about planned budget savings.

February 1: Tony Abbott reiterated a pledge to take the $1.2 billion school kids’ bonus away from families. Introduced last year, the bonus provides eligible families with $410 a year for each child in primary school and $820 for each in high school. This would leave 1.3 million families worse off.

February 1: Tony Abbott has confirmed that the Liberals will cut vital tax breaks for Australia’s more than two million small business men and women if elected in September. Mr Abbott has pledged to scrap the instant asset tax write-off, which allows small businesses to claim a deduction for the full value of each new asset costing up to $6,500 after one year.

February 1: Tony Abbott refused to explain how he will balance the budget while again promising (if elected) to do whatever he can to scrap the ‘carbon tax’, even if it means another election if the Senate is uncooperative.

February 2: Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a major Cabinet reshuffle following the resignations of two senior ministers; Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Senate Leader Chris Evans are stepping down from their portfolios and will quit politics later this year.

February 5: The Australian Federal Police and the Australian Communications and Media Authority signed an agreement to help combat the flow of child abuse materials on the internet.

February 5: Australia recorded a seasonally-adjusted trade deficit of $427 million in December 2012, an 85 per cent improvement on the revised $2.8 billion November deficit.

February 5: The Government announced it is investing a further $6.8 million in a new agreement with the Tasmanian Government to help boost literacy and numeracy results in the state’s schools.

February 5: The RBA leaves interest rates on hold.

February 6: The federal government announced that it would upgrade satellite and wireless services for the 7 per cent of the nation’s population who live in regional and remote areas that will not get access to the national broadband network’s highest-speed “fibre to the home”. Communications and Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy said the upgrade would double the speeds of the NBN’s fixed wireless and satellite internet.

February 7: The Federal Government’s plan to restore the Murray-Darling Basin river system to health is on track after key funding laws were passed by the Senate. MPs approved securing an extra $1.77 billion to pump up to 450 billion litres of additional water back into the basin.

February 7: A story is leaked that Tony Abbott will take to the election a radical plan to reshape Australia by splitting it into different personal tax zones and forcibly shifting tens of thousands of jobs to the Top End. The secret draft economic policy document, entitled Vision 2030, also proposes to carve $800 million from the foreign aid budget to be diverted to a mega-project in northern Australia.

February 8: The average cost of a three-year fixed home loan has fallen to its lowest level in 23 years.

February 9: It is reported that more than 3.6 million people would face tax increases under a Tony Abbott-led government, thanks to his pledge to close off the low-income superannuation concession, which reduces to zero the normal 15 per cent rate applied to super contributions.

February 9: Tony Abbott vetoed his rival Malcolm Turnbull from replacing him on Channel Nine’s Today Show after Abbott dumped his regular spot.

February 9: The Opposition comes under fire for not releasing their costed election policies.

February 9: Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed the mining tax raised just $126 million during its first six months of operation.

February 10: Julia Gillard announced plans to extend Australia’s flexible work laws to mums and dads returning from parental leave. The workplace relations changes also include an extension of the right to request flexible and part time work for mothers returning from maternity leave and protection for workers from rostering changes.

February 10: Julia Gillard announced a deal that will see 150 refugees from Australia resettled in New Zealand each year.

February 10: Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop says if she were to become Foreign Minister, former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would be considered for any role with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, citing that his talents and experience that could land him a diplomatic appointment under a Coalition Government.

February 12: Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten announced that Australians who are bullied at work will be able to get help quickly with a focus on early intervention through the Fair Work Commission. The Government’s response supports measures to adopt a national definition of workplace bullying, to promote education and awareness of what constitutes workplace bullying and to lead the development of national training standards to improve responses to bullying complaints.

February 12: Tony Abbott tells colleagues that overseas travel will be ‘banned’ until after the election.“Be ready, be visible and be in Australia”.

February 13: Tony Abbott comes under attack for lying about how large the Public Service had grown since 2007. His number of 20,000 appears to be something ‘placed out there’ in order to get support for his plan to axe 17,000 Public Service jobs. The number is way off the mark. Since 2007 the number of people employed in the PS increased by a little over 13,000. I have been informed by the CPSU that since 2010 the increase has bee a mere 2,747. A big difference than the 20,000 as claimed by Tony Abbott.

February 14: Minister for School Education Peter Garrett announced that Students and teachers in 1700 schools will benefit from an extra $240 million in funding, aimed at boosting teaching standards, improving literacy and numeracy results and providing extra resources for disadvantaged schools.

February 14: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is reportedly considering building as many as 100 dams across the country as part of a plan to prevent floods, fuel power stations and irrigate food bowls at a cost of $30 billion.

I don’t know what period of time the Neilson Poll was conducted, hence I’ve only included political news up to and including February 14. I’m prepared to accept too that I might have missed a number of announcements from both the major political parties during January and the first half of February. There have also been some major initiatives launched by the Government over the last few days, such as spending more than $70 million on three new centres to research cell therapy, autism, eye care in remote communities and workplace safety, and the $1 billion jobs plan. We’ll know by the next poll whether or not the voters warm to these.

Now, why do I find the poll odd? Well, apart from the Craig Thomson arrest there has been nothing (from the above) to encourage a giant swing against both the Prime Minister and her party. Quite the contrary. If we relied on nothing but press releases or policy announcements it is safe to say that Labor has had a better start to the year than the Opposition, who have offered or achieved close to nothing, apart from a healthy boost in the polls.

I would speculate that there have been two issues to factor in to these results. Firstly, the constant media hype of a Rudd challenge to Julia Gillard may be creating some uncertainty in the electorate. Secondly, and I find this one hard to accept, some people have such a low disregard for the Prime Minister that they’d vote for the LNP no matter what the consequences.

What’s your opinion?

Stop the Abbott

Truth Seeker has kindly allowed us to use another of his great poems about Tony Abbott. With this one, like his others, he really hits the nail on the head. It’s a great read and one that’ll have you nodding in agreement.

Truth Seeker says:

Like many people, I am appalled at the hypocrisy of Tony Abbott and the LNP.

His three word slogans are designed to brainwash, not to inform,  but when he holds up Howard’s time as a golden age and then sloganeers “Stop the waste”, you should know that the man (?) just isn’t serious, and his slogans are just that (slogans) and nothing more!   But taking my lead from Abbott, here is my own three-word slogan: Stop the Abbott.

Stop the Abbott

When Tony Abbott cries “stop the waste”

One wonders on what this call is based

The B E R, he’s labelled a farce

But the facts show he’s talking through his arse

He cites school halls, as wasted cash

His intent, the ALP to bash

But his past proves an inconvenient truth

As his tenure in government proves him a goof

And their best education, infrastructure goals

Were, to supply some schools, with new flagpoles.


Then there’s the pink batts he claims were waste

And a program implemented with too much haste

When the truth is that the Abbott lied

To score some points from a few that died

With workplace health and safety breached

By bad employers, who over reached

Putting profits before their duty of care

To guarantee that they got their share

Of funds to stimulate the economy

And to insulate us from the GFC.


Now waste is quite a hypocritical term

To be used, by that lying, right wing worm

Who’s proved to be a pretty large impost

On the tax payers purse, a very heavy cost

And traveling around to promote his book

When he can’t produce policies, is not a good look

And his volunteer and charity work, is not what it should be

As he claims it on expenses, paid for by you and me

With an expense account greater than the PMs is

“Do as I say, not as I do” is the rule that’s his.


But it’s not only waste he wants to stop

On his list, the carbon tax is on the top

But the truth is, he’ll find it hard to do

Cos the man is full of cattle poo

But he’ll play his games, at the country’s expense

Cos he’s totally lacking common sense

As he’ll blame the “Tax” for everything

From the price of food to his mobiles ring

And if he lays his hands on the keys to the Lodge

It’s one of many commitments that he’ll seek to dodge.


And his other favourite slogan of, “Stop the boats”

Is one policy platform that sinks, instead of floats

Based on Howard’s Pacific solution, and its bad, decaying smell

And the hope that Indonesia won’t tell him to go to hell

And the regional solution, Abbott simply won’t support

Cos he doesn’t want the boats to stop, It’s another LNP rort

Like Ashbygate and Thom(p)son, and Turnbull’s Utegate too

A blight on our democracy from that rabid right wing crew

Who’s born to rule mentality dictates the games they play

Their goal, to win at any cost, and democracy the price to pay.


His hero Johnny Howard is what the Abbott aspires to be

Who ran the most wasteful government in Australia’s history

And it’s not about him stopping boats or that “Toxic Carbon Tax”

It’s about lies and three word slogans, and ignoring all the facts

It’s about his own ambition, and the things that make him tick

Misogynist and Pugilist, he’s a rabid right wing dick

It’s about the ones who’ll pull the strings, Murdoch and Rinehart too

And the billionaires agendas, to do over me and you

It’s about a man, when asked hard questions, takes off like a rabbit

It’s not about waste, or tax, or boats . . . we just have to . . . stop the Abbott.



English: Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Liberal Strategy

542266_561465487196876_588072260_nOf the multitude of political posters flooding social media – humourous or profound – this is one of the better ones. It really does sum up the Liberal Party.

What have we heard of them since 2010? Every policy or piece of legislation introduced by the Gillard Government will either ruin us, blow our town off the map, leave us unemployed, leave us destitute, unable to afford to feed ourselves, frail and unhealthy, pay exorbitant power fees, have our street over-run by illegal boat people, see our mining companies relocate offshore and maybe, see the sky fall in.

But we can all be saved by voting out this incompetent government, to shouts of “hear, hear” from the media fan club. Then they fall silent. They’ve scared us so they’ve done their job.

Tony Abbott’s ‘mandate’ to scare every Australian half to death about the consequences of the ‘carbon tax’ was a classic example. He has visited every business in the country and predicted with fear and smear how the carbon tax would destroy their respective industries and how he was likely to be the last person to walk through their doors. Butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers; there’d be none left after the carbon tax annihilated them.

Whilst Abbott’s performance was annoyingly desperate and overly passionate, it was not unusual behaviour from a Coalition leader.  I have witnessed this code of conduct from Liberal leaders with monotonous regularity over the last couple of decades.

They have generally been powerful enough to win elections for them.

Malcolm Fraser provides an exception.  During the election campaign in 1983 he stridently attacked Labor’s financial integrity suggesting that the banking system would be ruined if the Commie Labor Party was elected and thus peoples’ money would be safer kept under the bed than in a bank.  There was no substance in this claim.  It was a failed attempt to scare the electorate.  In 1983 the electorate wasn’t as ignorant as they would later turn out to be.

Future attempts have been more successful as the average IQ of the electorate plummeted.

Opinion polls in 2001 showed that the Howard Government was facing massive defeat.  The terrorist attacks of September 2001 changed all that, but not enough to Howard’s satisfaction.  He was able to terrorise the gullible electorate into believing that terrorists were hopping onto any rickety old boat heading to Australia and only he could protect us from the murderous intentions of these alleged evildoers.  Abdullah the Butcher and his mates were coming to sacrifice us all.  Oh how different it might have been if an election wasn’t around the corner.  From 1996 to that point of time 221 boatloads of refugees sailed unhindered into Australian waters.  Number 222 – just after the September 2011 attacks –  ran into a bit of trouble and running to its aid was the Norwegian vessel the Tampa.

I’m sure that most readers here will have fresh in their mind the stench surrounding the politicisation of the Tampa incident and how it was the turning point for Howard’s fortunes so I won’t recap it here. Dissecting individual incidents is not the intention of the post but will be welcomed in reader’s comments.

Howard didn’t need any more scare campaigns until 2004, and incidentally, during his calling of an election.  Electing a Labor Government, he warned, would cost you the family home.  Interest rates would go through the roof and as a result his little Aussie battlers would lose the roof over their heads.  He was very effective in pushing this message across, taking aim at Labor’s historic spending patterns and Mark Latham’s record as Mayor of Liverpool, both of which were irrelevant points in this election.  Didn’t he look stupid when he rode us through eleven straight interest rate rises over the next three years?  But it mattered not. We had been saved from the merciless Abdullah and on that point we needed to be reminded.

Dr Haneef helped him.

Howard had to convince the dumbed down electorate that his unpopular counter terrorism legislation was for the good of the country.  It protected us from the likes of the despicable and ill-intentioned Dr Haneef.  It would protect us from every body and every thing that Howard saw as a threat to his battling Aussies.  We were saved by his fridge magnets.  Terrorist alerts were upgraded every five minutes and I have it on good advice that these always coincided with political maneuvers. They were not real. Howard only wanted us to be afraid. Very afraid. The only thing he wanted to protect was his job. The terrorists, to him, were the Labor Party.

So were Aborigines, in particular the Stolen Generation.  Saying sorry to them would send the country broke.  An apology to the Stolen Generations would have legal ramifications and pave the way for huge compensation bills. And that was the unproven basis of his argument, which was rabidly supported from those loyal battlers who didn’t mind the interest rate rises.  It didn’t matter if you lost the family home, just as long as those Aborigines didn’t get any money. During Howard’s gloating about the healthy state of the economy he had the complete morons fearful that we couldn’t afford to pay some Aborigines compensation for the mistreatment they had received at the hands of the State.  You can read about his hypocrisy here.

Now we have prophet Abbott as the pedlar of fear.  Most of it has been over the ‘carbon tax’, which by the time of the election will have been proven to not be as damaging as he had squawked it would. Actually, there has been no damage. He’ll have to move onto something else. Between now and the election what will it be?  My money’s on boat people. It worked for Howard.