Abbott’s agenda


Tony Abbott campaigned extensively on “restoring trust” and “no surprises”.

We will be a no surprises, no excuses government, because you are sick of nasty surprises and lame excuses from people that you have trusted with your future”, he said.

It is fair and reasonable that any government might find the need to refine or to reassess with changing circumstances.  The Abbott government has no such excuse.  Arriving to power with the expectation that a steady hand would be running the country, the promise was an almost immediate return to Howard’s “Golden Age”.

”There will be 2 million more jobs, in manufacturing as well as in agriculture, services, education and a still-buoyant resources sector”.

Tony Abbott did however suffer an awkward moment after a video posted on YouTube about how he’s “delivered on his promise” was taken down for being ‘deceptive content‘.  YouTube then suspended Tony Abbott’s entire account.  Is it any wonder that Abbott detests the alternative media, it’s where his bullsh*t is called to account.

I note that the Abbott government is just about over any pretext of running this country in any way, shape or form in a method resembling their pre-election promises, that is with the notable exception of job losses from the public sector . . . we are seeing plenty of those, and more to come in the near future.

I remember that prior to the election a somewhat wry comment which has become a self-fulfilling prophesy, that why would Abbott need public servants when he has no policies to implement?  And true enough, with all the programs which he has already cut to the bare bone, and no new programs emanating from this Do-Nothing government, you do not need anywhere as many staff to implement The Nothing as would have been needed if you had intended to be actually doing *something*.

Written early December 10, 2013:

In the 84 days since Abbott and his cabinet were sworn in, they have struggled to find a positive vision for the nation, let alone explain it.

. . . And nothing has changed in the ensuing 100 days, except for the worse.  Some clues however might be determined from the “tweeking” performed by the Abbott government, much of it reported on as nothing more than an aside from a clearly bored and jaded mainstream media.

Tony Abbott has signalled that personal benefits could be scaled back in the May budget by declaring that, “everyone” had to live within their means . . .

By “everyone”, I am assuming that excluded will be Tony’s “women of calibre” who are clearly worth every penny of their estimated $75,000 handouts.  After all it’s “all about” encouraging women of “calibre” to have children, thus said Tony Abbott, and goodness knows, women of calibre need loads of encouragement to have babies . . . and more money will clearly do the trick.

Abbott himself of course will be leading by example (sarcasm alert) on Australia’s road to future austerity:

Luxury renovations for Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Kirribilli House.  TONY Abbott has spent more than $120,000 overhauling Kirribilli House since winning the election – including $13,000 on a family room rug.

Well perhaps not leading by example, but at least with a smidgeon of empathy? . . . well perhaps not again, as who could forget Abbott’s year long funk after losing a portion of his salary.

Said Tony Abbott,

“What’s it called? Mortgage stress? The advent of the Rudd Government has caused serious mortgage stress for a section of the Australian community, i.e. former Howard government ministers!” he (Tony Abbott) said at the time.

“You don’t just lose power … you certainly lose income as well, and if you are reliant on your parliamentary salary for your daily living, obviously it makes a big difference.”

Clearly the mortgage in question was causing Tony Abbott so much stress, that promptly forgot about it . . .

LABOR has questioned whether Tony Abbott could manage the Australian economy after he failed to declare a $710,000 mortgage on his family home.

So which of us is likely to be the “everyone” who Abbott says must live within their means?  Who says it better than Mungo MacCallum, with below from his blog, The View From Billinudgel: So which bits is Abbott going to cut?

Well, obviously not parental leave – in fact Tony Abbott’s pet scheme is set to add a few extra billions to the bill. And the government has already promised to scrap the means test on the health insurance rebate, which gives it another hefty boost.

But perhaps we could start with some of the hand outs of the Howard years, the family tax benefits that go mainly to those who don’t really need them, the archetypal middle class welfare? No, perhaps we couldn’t, because that would make an awful of Coalition supporters very unhappy indeed.

So we’ll turn to the pensioners. The obvious targets are the aged pensioners, who cost as much as the rest of them put together. But they are a strong voice, and what’s more they overwhelmingly vote for the Coalition.

So we’ll move on to the powerless, the disabled and the unemployed. Surely they could do more to pull their weight. We can’t actually reduce their pensions, particularly not  for the unemployed (who now include single mothers); they are already scraping along on the poverty line.

But we can make it harder for them to get anything at all.

And the disabled – well, some of them are only a bit disabled.

Does all this have some sort of wry irony?  While Abbott spends, spends and spends and the latest is the cost of the orange lifeboats which now have apparently topped the $7.5 million dollar mark, not to mention Tony’s boys own adventure of $3 billion for drones.  Then there is the $4.3 million worth of research contracts commissions to scrutinise Twitter, Facebook and blogs . . . and all the while pensioners are threatened with having to belt-tighten.

An odd distortion of priorities is something which is coming to epitomise the Abbott government.

Joe the Goose

“Wayne Swan is the most incompetent treasurer in Australian history,” Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said in Sydney today.

Naturally, he is demanding Swan’s resignation after he revealed the mining tax collected just $126 million in its first six months against a budgeted $1B.

This is the same Joe Hockey who moments later promised that a Coalition Government would scrap the tax.

This is the same tax that Joe Hockey predicted two and a half years ago would destroy our mining industry.

Six months ago it was our economy’s wrecking ball. Yep, Joe said it.

Last September he’d spurted that he wants it scrapped.

Way back in August 2011 it was going to raise too much tax.

Last November it was a botched tax and also that month he made the ridiculous claim that the Treasurer knew nothing about the tax. 😯

He even went to London to tell people the tax should be scrapped.

But it’s hard to beat this gem from last month:

The federal opposition says the government should come clean with the public on how much the mining tax raised to date, then immediately move to scrap it.

Joe is a goose. How can you repeatedly call for a tax to be scrapped, arguing that it’ll kill Australia, then turn around with the complant that it hasn’t rasied enough money?

He really has some more egg to wipe off his face.

Tony Abbott Backs A Really Big Australian!

“Big Australian!” What a perfect name
For this woman in her outsized frame!
Relinquished by BHP Billeton
For Gina! She’s now our gigantic one!

Some in Oz have great respect for size,
Particularly of wealth, which leftist eyes
Might find ugly,  distasteful or obscene.
But not worshippers of our Iron Ore Queen.

High Priest leading these is a politician,
Tony Abbott, Leader of our Opposition,
Who thinks preserving giant Gina’s wealth
Is more important than the nation’s health.

That mining taxes burdened her and friends,
That their group prosperity far transcends
Savings for malingerers and shirkers
Who once retired are no longer workers!

Not like the Big Australian and her mates,
Clive and Twiggy. They’re miners all,  not magnates!
Why should they toil all day,  near break their backs,
Now to be burdened by a Carbon Tax!

That’s why Abbott wants us to join with him
To fight for Gina in this battle grim.
He thinks this woman’s cause deserves our votes.
It’s even weightier than stopping boats.

I have found Mr. Denmore’s recent satire on a certain mining magnate ‘changing her frame’ as it were at the The Failed Estate all too real. I have long been alarmed at how increasingly difficult it is becoming for the progressive voice to be heard in Australia, with even moderate good sense and the national interest rapidly losing ground to the extreme right. It was difficult enough with News Ltd and Rupert Murdoch controlling well over sixty per cent of Australia’s media outlets. Now we have stakes in Fairfax Media and Ten Network being brought up by Gina Rinehart, an avowed climate sceptic and fan of radio shock jock Andrew Bolt to whom she has given an even wider audience with his own weekly TV program. Even the Guardian in the UK is commenting on the impact this has had in strengthening Tony Abbott’s anti Carbon Tax campaign. To underline that we have the latest disastrous Morgan Poll phone survey results of 58-42 in favor ofthe Coalition reported and discussed by the Pollbludger in Crikey today.

How can sane thinking ever prevail in this country with such undue influence being exerted over our media by so few wealthy individuals? We now have a situation whereby a good government, albeit in a hung parliament, achieving miraculously steady progress by consensus amongst Labor, the Greens and Independents, seems unappreciated by the public at large. I have almost turned to prayer that our Members of Parliament stay well, and that the next few weeks should bring no unforeseen crisis to bring Julia Gillard down before July 1st, or thereafter offering Tony Abbott the opportunity to call a double dissolution . My sense is that we have only the narrowest of opportunities to save our country from falling into a deep chasm of self destruction, and that undue weight of influence is held by a few powerfully wealthy individuals.

I have never before felt quite so powerless. What can one do, I despaired. I was somehat heartened by reading Bob Brown’s opinion that one should just – “do what you can in an extraordinary circumstance on a planet that is in real trouble….”

Today all I could do was to join Mr. Denmore and others in satirising individuals who threaten our country’s well being.  Any ideas or comments to lift my spirits would  be most welcome!

PS    I am aware that the flattering picture of our Big Australian with the backdrop of our National flag may be seen by some as ironic!   I am sure that some of you can find something more appropriate.