Labor’s vision for Australia misses one huge detail

 

I received this email today:

Michael,

Some time ago I wrote to you asking you to complete a survey so I could see what you believed was Labor’s direction for the future.

Today our party – the oldest organised labour party in the world – is undergoing a process of grassroots reform and revitalisation. That’s why this was such a tremendous opportunity to hear from you.

I wanted to make sure all of you got a chance to see the results of this survey and what our community’s vision for the future of Labor was. Read our report and take your chance to share my favourite part of this job – listening to people about the things that matter most.

Thanks for your support,

George Wright
National Secretary

For whatever reason, I didn’t complete the survey. Nonetheless, I was interested to read the report.

Sadly, it told me little, but I was extremely disappointed with the summary. Here is a part of it:

The policy areas of importance to supporters, namely healthcare, climate change, the NBN & schools funding, were policy areas already championed by the Party.

So why am I disappointed? I’m disappointed because Labor’s vision for the future doesn’t include on-shore processing of asylum seekers. It obviously wasn’t an issue for the respondents. Not surprising when you consider that:

Respondents generally used the internet either every day, regularly consumed media television (68.10%) & radio news (65.18%), as well as Facebook (49.64%) and online newspapers (49.08%).

So there you have it: most respondents still favour mainstream media over social media.

If we want to change Labor’s vision, we first need to change where its members get their news and opinion. Then we can really tell Labor what we think of  off-shore processing of asylum seekers. And maybe they’ll listen.

 

Sorry, but I’ve changed my mind. I was paid to.

In October Malcolm Turnbull announced the appointment of former Tesltra boss Ziggy Switkowski as NBN Co to lead a three-person board overseeing the national broadband network.

In his inaugural appearance at a senate estimates hearing, Switkowski said Telstra’s copper network is ‘robust’ and has been well-maintained for decades. Concerns expressed about the network not being up to being the basis for a FttN NBN, he added, were “misinformed”. He stressed that:

The copper network has been in place for a long time. It’s constantly being maintained, remediated, upgraded.

Readers here will be all to well aware of the criticism of the government’s plan to provide the NBN through Telstra’s copper network; an antiquated alternative to Rudd’s NBN, the future of which is now in doubt.

But it’s remarkable to hear Switkowski’s glowing praise of the copper network when compared to what Telstra had to say about it in 2003 while he was chief of the telco:

Telstra will replace its century-old copper wire phone network with new technology within the next 15 years, saying the ageing lines are now at “five minutes to midnight”.

Telstra executives revealed the problem at a Senate inquiry into broadband services on Wednesday.

Go figure.

I guess it’s easy to change your mind when the government pays you lots of money to do so.

(Thanks to Kaye Lee and Bacchus for this post).

When the reality of an Abbott Government hits home, how will you feel?

So you helped vote Labor out. Here’s something to think about.

How will you feel when the reality of an Abbott Government hits home? How will you feel when it starts to hurt your pocket? How will you feel if the interest rate goes up on your mortgage, bearing in mind that Joe Hockey – during Labor’s term – repeatedly claimed that low interest rates were a bad thing? And how will you feel when the boats won’t stop? And how would you feel . . .

If you have school-aged children…

Under Labor you would have received the Schoolkids Bonus of $410 a year for each child in primary school and $820 a year for each child in secondary school. That’ll be gone. The Coalition will be axing the Schoolkids Bonus.

If you have children in after school care…

Labor would have given $450 million in extra funding to up to 500 schools, so they can introduce or expand on after school care services. Under an Abbott Government that’ll be gone too.

If you want to go to university…

If you are from a disadvantaged background, Labor would have given $50 million in funding to 17 higher education institutions to boost participation. An Abbott Government won’t.

If you’re an apprentice…

Labor would have boosted the completion payment under the Tools For Your Trade initiative from $1500 to $2000. The Abbott Coalition Government will be scrapping those incentives.  Instead they will be providing apprentices with a Trade Support Loan of up to $20,000 over four years during the apprenticeship. It will be repayable.

If you’re a low income earner…

And you earn less than $19,400, from 2015-16 you would not have needed to file a tax return because Labor intended to increase the tax free threshold. An Abbott Government will abolish the low income super contribution, which pays people who earn $37,000 or less per year up to $500 each financial year to help save for their retirement. You lose.

If you’re unemployed…

Labor would have spent $35 million over three years to provide about 8900 disadvantaged job seekers with simulated work experience and training in employability skills such as language, literacy and numeracy. An Abbott Government won’t.

If you work in the public service…

Yours might be on of the 12,000 jobs that go. They say they will be lost through natural attrition. Doesn’t matter: it’s a job lost . . . for someone else.

If you’re a small-business owner…

Labor would have given an upfront tax deduction for small businesses when they buy equipment and assets worth up to $10,000. But not Tony Abbott. Instead, his Government will axe a $6500 instant asset write off for small businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million. They will also axe a tax-loss carry-forward scheme, which allows businesses to claim losses of up to $1 million against tax they have paid in the previous two years.

If you work in health or community services…

Labor would have spent $30.6 million to support more than 5800 workers to be upskilled in sectors such as disability services, aged care and childhood education. These industries will be ignored by an Abbott Government.

If you work in the car industry…

Labor would have given a $500 million boost to the car industry funding to the end of the decade and $300 million a year beyond 2020. Not Tony Abbott: his Government will cut $500 million from the Automotive Transformation Scheme.

If you’re in a same sex relationship…

Labor would have introduced a Bill into the Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage. As long as Tony Abbott is Prime Minister, this will never happen.

If you use the internet…

Labor would have rolled out the National Broadband Network which aimed for speeds of 1000 megabits per second by 2021. Not Tony Abbott: his broadband would aim for at least 25-100 Mbps by 2016 and 50-100 Mbps by 2019. And don’t forget his secret plan to filter the internet. Be careful of what you say – he’ll be listening. Then comes the knock on your door.

If you’re planning on having a baby…

Then I hope you’re on at least $150,000 a year. If not, you’ll be treated as a second class citizen.

If you are an Indigenous Australian…

Labor promised a large number of measures under its Closing the Gap policy, including $777 million over three years to continue the National Partnership Agreement for health and $1.5 billion to provide job seekers in remote communities with local support.

Tony Abbott will be cutting $42 million from Indigenous services. You could talk to him about it when he stays in your community for a week.

If you have a disability…

Labor would have invested more than $14 billion for disability services over seven years for DisabilityCare. Do you really believe an Abbott Government will?

If you require aged care…

Labor would have invested $3.7 billion in aged care reform over five years, including more than 40,000 extra home care packages. Abbott won’t. He’ll blame the budget emergency.

If you’re a victim of assault…

… that is sexual assault or domestic violence related, Labor would have spent $31.2 million to support victims. You can forget that now.

If you have health issues…

Labor would spent $50 million to improve care for stroke sufferers, $10.5 million on emergency asthma training, $3.2 million funding for Arthritis Australia, $21 million for family mental health services and $30 million for STI and blood borne virus prevention. You can say goodbye to that. Abbott’s budget emergency will ensure you’ll receive no help. Rich mothers will though.

If you pay super…

The Coalition will delay increases to the super guarantee. This means it will be frozen at its current rate of 9.25 per cent until July 1, 2016 when it will increase to 9.5 per cent.

I repeat: when the reality of an Abbott Government hits home, how will you feel?

What if . . . ?

We well remember the drama surrounding the 2010 election result. In the end, it came down to Independents Windsor and Oakeshott siding with Labor for two reasons: Labor’s National Broadband Network (NBN) and the promise from Julia Gillard that she would not disrupt Parliament by calling an early election.

Given that a number of Liberal backbenchers were vying for the NBN to come to their electorates and that the government did serve its full term, Winsdor and Oakeshott made the right call.

Some optimists are suggesting that the 2013 election might be a repeat of 2010.

Let’s assume it is. And let’s assume it again comes down to a couple of Independents having the deciding vote.

What would they vote on and why?

I realise it is difficult to answer given that the Coalition have not released much in the way of policies, so we can only go on what we know so far.

Go fo it.

Note: This is a repost of an old post, which today seems more relevent than the time it was originally published.

Maybe Rupert wants to stop the boats

The Murdoch conspiracy has been gaining a bit of traction over the last couple of weeks, being kicked along by Paul Sheehan’s article in The Age Murdoch’s vicious attacks on Rudd: it’s business where Sheehan echoes our earlier claim that:

News Corp hates the government’s National Broadband Network (NBN). The company has formed a view that it poses a threat to the business model of by far its most important asset in Australia, the Foxtel cable TV monopoly it jointly owns with Telstra.

The claim has found its way to the top office in the land, with even Kevin Rudd recognising that:

Murdoch’s views on the election campaign largely mirrored those of conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott, who has promised to downsize the planned broadband network.

“Does he sense it represents a commercial challenge to Foxtel, to the major cash-cow for his company, or not?” asked Rudd, referring to the planned broadband network.

Meanwhile, even the British press has picked up on the story, agreeing that the conspiracy is well and truly hatched and is evident in the destructive attacks the Murdoch media have launched against the government, saying:

The reason for Murdoch’s dramatic intervention in the current election has caused some debate. One interpretation of Murdoch is that he acts only for commercial advantage. Reflecting this, Paul Sheehan in the Sun-Herald argued that Murdoch wants to destroy Rudd and Labor because they are building the National Broadband Network (NBN). The NBN’s capacity to allow the quick downloading of movies and other content would be a threat to Murdoch’s Foxtel TV operation, so the argument goes.

Of course, this is all scoffed at by Tony Abbott.

Maybe Tony Abbott hasn’t been paying attention to the vile attacks on the Australian Government by the Murdoch media. Or from Murdoch himself, who recently tweeted:

So Mr Murdoch believes that Labor has wrecked the country. How wrong could he be? As Alan Austin points out in today’s Independent Australia, “profound falsehoods about Australia’s economy are repeated relentlessly” and the Murdoch media are the ones leading this charge. I’ve been to America a few times in the last couple of years and I am struck by the number of people who comment how envious they are of Australia’s economic position and, in particular, how our government guided us through the global financial crisis. Mr Murdoch is the one American I know of – and the only one publicly – to openly condemn our economic status. He says it’s bad. The evidence shows the contrary.

But unlike other Americans, Mr Murdoch has immense financial interests in this country. Of course he wants to protect them. Even nurture them. Old Rupert can only be supporting the Coalition for no other reason than they offer the best deal in protecting those interests. They simply have no other policy that could possibly attract his fanatical support. It has to be the NBN, or the destruction of it, more’s the point.

Or maybe – and I say this jokingly – he is only behind the Opposition because he wants the boats stopped.

What do you think?

Destroy Rudd, destroy the NBN

Murdoch NBN

Someone in the mainstream media has finally caught on that Rupert Murdoch wants Labor to lose the election because the NBN effects his Australian business interests:

Why Murdoch wants Rudd to lose the coming federal election is not merely political, it is commercial. News Corp hates the government’s National Broadband Network (NBN). The company has formed a view that it poses a threat to the business model of by far its most important asset in Australia, the Foxtel cable TV monopoly it jointly owns with Telstra.

Not surprising, the article has gone viral in social media.

But where did this story first break? In social media itself.

In February we wrote in Revealed! The media conspiracy against the Government that:

“The Murdoch media has been leaning to the right since the Whitlam days but the anti-Labor meme was really ramped up just before the 2010 election. The catalyst was Murdoch’s luncheon with Tony Abbott, where the NBN (National Broadband Network) must have been the main talking point as the very next day Abbott publicly announced that he’d rip up the NBN”.

“He pissed a few of us off by jumping too soon, thinking that people might tie the announcement to the meeting with Murdoch, which luckily they didn’t. The NBN will effect Murdoch’s profits, and let’s be very clear on that, so the reason to back Abbott was clearly motivated by money for the media empire”.

The post raised a few eyebrows as well as attracting a number of sniggers, as one would expect. However, the appearance of this brilliant piece by Kieran Cummings the very next day, Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN got to the heart of the matter. The article kicked off with:

It seems a day doesn’t go by where articles are being posted to News Limited (Murdoch) websites with nothing but negative spin for the NBN. Most, if not all, are founded on poorly constructed arguments that ignore technology & the reality. They all seem to point to one solution: anything the Coalition are saying they’ll deploy.

While this does reek of patent bias amongst Murdoch’s Australian arm, I feel this goes a little deeper than just wanting a Coalition government, but a fear of becoming obsolete in the age of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television).

Within days it was revealed – via social media – that the Abbott/Murdoch relationship was not confined to a simple luncheon where the destruction of the NBN was masterminded, but it was indeed an ongoing process:

Yes, there is some breaking news… Tony Abbott has lunch at News Ltd HQ every week. Incredulous I asked the person to repeat it.

“EVERY week, in private,” to discuss the latest “Get Gillard” strategies. No wonder there’s such a seamless segue between what News writes and what Abbott parrots. He’s dealing with the enemy. They’re writing the script for him.

It’s not a fuck-up. It’s a fucking conspiracy.

I have it on the very highest authority, however, given without hesitation… in fact, volunteered by someone with no ostensible axe to grind, but should should know it to be true. It’s this person’s job to know Abbott’s movements, in detail.

It’s comforting to know that the better elements of the mainstream media have finally seen the light.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live in a democracy than a Murdochracy. It appears that a particular political party would prefer the latter.

So this is what everyone’s been laughing about

The social media has been going viral about “80 years in Tasmania according to Abbott” and I had no idea what anybody was talking about. A quick Google search with a few key words soon enlightened me. Here it is:

In a forum in Launceston last night, Mr Abbott made the ridiculous claim that it would take 80 years for the NBN to be fully rolled out across the state.

Malcolm (Turnbull) reckons that at the current rate of rollout it will take 80 years before the whole of Tasmania has broadband rolled out under this Government.”- Tony Abbott, Sky News Forum, 25/7/2013.

Knowing what it was about, I too can laugh.

Really, where did he get that one from? If he had have said something like five or ten years then I might have found his statement somewhat credible. But 80 years! Come on, who does he think he’s fooling? And where is someone from the media asking him to back up this latest brain fart?

How does that saying go? “In your guts, you know he’s nuts”.

With statements like the one above, how could you possibly argue with that saying?

On the eve of a Coalition policy announcement

The release of the Coalition’s broadband policy is imminent, with some speculation that it may be released as early as tomorrow. That gives the Murdoch media only 24 hours to soften the way by condemning the Government’s NBN with all guns firing.

And haven’t they been busy? What the Coalition’s policy will contain is irrelevant of course. It’s assumed it will be faster, more endurable and of course cheaper than what the Government has provided. Well, cheaper anyway.

Which makes now a good time to go after the cost of the NBN.

Apparently it’s going to cost $90B and this fits nicely into this headline “The Ninety Billion Nightmare – the real cost of the NBN rollout“. We learn that:

The final cost of the NBN rollout could more than double and exceed $90 billion by the time it is finished, according to a new analysis contained in the Coalition’s broadband policy.

So, it’s according to the Opposition.

The Coalition’s estimates of the real capital costs suggested they would be more likely to reach $71 billion, not the $37.4 billion claimed by NBN Co’s most recent estimates. The overall cost to the taxpayer, including overly optimistic revenue targets, would more likely reach $94 billion, the 12-page costing document claims.

What else has the Coalition waffled on about that the Murdoch press has been eager to build a story around? How about this: “Government urged to release ‘true cost of NBN’

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy appears to have made a false claim about the National Broadband Network as he tried to defend the project over allegations it faces massive cost blow outs. Senator Conroy told ABC Radio this morning that the Coalition was a “fact-free zone” but he appears to have wrongly claimed the NBN’s corporate plan was audited by the Auditor-General as he attempted to justify its price tag.

The coalition estimates the final price tag of the NBN could more than double to $90 billion-plus, and that it will take an extra four years to complete.

The claims are made in the coalition’s broadband policy, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, which opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull has promised will be released soon.

Yes, it’s another one of those “the Coalition says  . . .” scoops. Please ignore the fact that it was denied by Senator Conroy, the prime Minister and the Auditor General. Goodness, as if they‘d know.

Meanwhile, Rob Oakeshott, who chaired the Federal Parliament’s committee investigating the NBN has:

. . . lambasted the Coalition for its claim that the real cost of Labor’s National Broadband Network project was likely to be up to $90 billion, pointing out that the treasury and finance departments disagreed with the Coalition’s estimate.

The Coalition has not yet published any document to verify its claim, but this morning the Daily Telegraph reported that using modelling from key telcos and finance industry analysis of the NBN Co’s 2012 corporate plan, the Coalition had estimated the project would take four years longer to finish and potentially cost an extra $45 billion to complete. The newspaper claims to have seen sections of the Coalition’s policy analysis in the area.

However, Rob Oakeshott, the outspoken independent MP whose backing for the NBN helped put the Gillard Government in power back in 2010 and who chaired the Federal Parliament’s committee investigating the project and holding it to account, has a different view. “If today’s Daily Telegraph was true on NBN costing $90 billion, the INDEPENDENT Treasury/Finance boffins would have it on-budget,” Oakeshott said on Twitter this morning. “They don’t.”

Oakeshott further added in comments to some of his followers: ” I am being kind. Let’s see what they produce this week. This is a very big test for Tony Abbott to get his NBN policy right … rate of return, rate of return, rate of return. It is everything in business, and infrastructure – public and private.” And then, referring to the Department of the Treasury: “I’d trust their judgement over politicans/media any day of the week. Apolitical,qualified,and focussed. If not them, then who?”

The Coalition’s $90 billion claim this morning is not the first time it has claimed that the NBN would cost dramatically more than the Federal Government’s estimates. Over the past few months, senior Coalition politicians such as Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull have repeatedly publicly claimed that the NBN could could cost as much as $100 billion to build, despite the company’s own estimates showing that it will require around $37 billion of capital injection from the Government and eventually make a return.

Now why wasn’t that reported in the Murdoch media? Maybe it can be traced back to this:

“The Murdoch media has been leaning to the right since the Whitlam days but the anti-Labor meme was really ramped up just before the 2010 election. The catalyst was Murdoch’s luncheon with Tony Abbott, where the NBN (National Broadband Network) must have been the main talking point as the very next day Abbott publicly announced that he’d rip up the NBN”.

“He pissed a few of us off by jumping too soon, thinking that people might tie the announcement to the meeting with Murdoch, which luckily they didn’t. The NBN will effect Murdoch’s profits, and let’s be very clear on that, so the reason to back Abbott was clearly motivated by money for the media empire”.

How nice to provide us with a bit more evidence and, significantly, on the eve of a Coalition policy announcement.

Conspiracy update

Do you remember “Peter”? For those who don’t:

If you think there’s been a media campaign to discredit the Gillard Government, then you’re on the mark. It has not been your imagination. A source, a senior media executive I cannot name but for the sake of this article I will refer to as ‘Peter’, has revealed the strategies used and the motivation behind them.

“The Murdoch media has been leaning to the right since the Whitlam days but the anti-Labor meme was really ramped up just before the 2010 election. The catalyst was Murdoch’s luncheon with Tony Abbott, where the NBN (National Broadband Network) must have been the main talking point as the very next day Abbott publicly announced that he’d rip up the NBN”.

“He pissed a few of us off by jumping too soon, thinking that people might tie the announcement to the meeting with Murdoch, which luckily they didn’t. The NBN will effect Murdoch’s profits, and let’s be very clear on that, so the reason to back Abbott was clearly motivated by money for the media empire”.

Well it looks like he has some friends also prepared to come out about his employer:

Yes, there is some breaking news… Tony Abbott has lunch at News Ltd HQ every week. Incredulous I asked the person to repeat it.

“EVERY week, in private,” to discuss the latest “Get Gillard” strategies. No wonder there’s such a seamless segue between what News writes and what Abbott parrots. He’s dealing with the enemy. They’re writing the script for him.

It’s not a fuck-up. It’s a fucking conspiracy.

But, sources must remain confidential. I’m not going to tell youse just WHO told us that bit of news.

I have it on the very highest authority, however, given without hesitation… in fact, volunteered by someone with no ostensible axe to grind, but should should know it to be true. It’s this person’s job to know Abbott’s movements, in detail.

It may very well even be “Peter” himself. Regardless of who it was, it’s starting to get very interesting. You just can’t keep a good story down. The delicious irony is that this story links straight back to Murdoch himself.

English: Rupert Murdoch at the Vanity Fair par...

Rupert Murdoch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The conspiracy is well and truly unplugged

Three days ago I posted Revealed! The media conspiracy against the Government, the basis behind this conspiracy being that:

“The Murdoch media has been leaning to the right since the Whitlam days but the anti-Labor meme was really ramped up just before the 2010 election. The catalyst was Murdoch’s luncheon with Tony Abbott, where the NBN (National Broadband Network) must have been the main talking point as the very next day Abbott publicly announced that he’d rip up the NBN”.

My post raised a few eyebrows as well as attracting a number of sniggers, as one would expect. However, the appearance of this brilliant piece by Kieran Cummings the very next day, Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN got to the heart of the matter. The article kicks off with:

It seems a day doesn’t go by where articles are being posted to News Limited (Murdoch) websites with nothing but negative spin for the NBN. Most, if not all, are founded on poorly constructed arguments that ignore technology & the reality. They all seem to point to one solution: anything the Coalition are saying they’ll deploy.

While this does reek of patent bias amongst Murdoch’s Australian arm, I feel this goes a little deeper than just wanting a Coalition government, but a fear of becoming obsolete in the age of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television).

And yesterday evening, anybody listening to Radio Nation’s Drive program would have heard the Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, Malcolm Turnbull say that because of the likelihood of change of Government in September, the NBN Co should not be entering into any further contracts.

It’s all coming together, isn’t it?