Abbott’s green army: it’s time to enlist


Are you an Aborigine?  Are you disabled?  Are you a young person currently unemployed, or even enjoying their Gap Year?  Then Tony has the job for you!

You might be paid only half the minimum wage and not be covered by Commonwealth workplace laws but (and this is especially for the Gap Year kids), you might like to consider it as akin to working on a kibbutz . . . it’s all about the experience isn’t it?

Only Tony Abbott could create a ‘workforce’ where the workers aren’t legally workers and have no workplace rights“: Adam Bandt.

Clearly the intent of this ‘initiative’ is all about killing several birds with one stone, with Tony Abbott clearly expecting to be able to claim that he’s tackling the ‘absolute crap’ of climate change (his promised Green Army) while simultanously artificially bringing down the numbers of youth unemployment; while undercutting the rights of the young employed, and undermining the minimum wage.  And perhaps those Graduates and Aborigines might be the same people whose jobs he cut.

Women, junior workers, graduates and indigenous people will bear the brunt of a federal government order to cut 14,000 temporary workers, an analysis of government workplace statistics shows.

Graduate and indigenous recruitment will be slashed, hiring will be frozen across the bureaucracy and lead science organisation CSIRO will be among the the agencies hardest hit with the jobs of up to 1400 scientists and researchers threatened.

Does anyone else see something quite Dickensian about the vision of ‘an army of’ people with disabilities ‘enlisted’ to do “. . .manual labour, including clearing local creeks and waterways, fencing and tree planting“.  Perhaps it hasn’t entered the minds of Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt that many people with disabilities might struggle to perform tasks such as fencing and clearing local creeks of rubbish, and especially for a compulsory 30 hours per week.

Surely it cannot be possible that a person with a disability such as Downs Syndrome might be shifted onto the lower allowance of NewStart should they prove themselve capable of “manual labour”?

As suspected, Abbott’s so-called Green Army is nothing more than a Work for the Dole scheme which will primarily focus on cleaning up rubbish.  After all it was one of Tony Abbott’s more memorable predictions, that Aborigines should be grateful for what ever job they could get, even if it’s just “picking up rubbish around the community”.  Brilliant in it’s inception, Aborigines get to clean up rubbish alongside those other “dregs of society”, the disabled.  It should be quite an adventure for those graduates and Gap Year kids expecting an environmental, kibbutz-style experience.

Having clearly given up on the pretext that Abbott’s Green Army has anything whatsoever to do with Climate Change action, the real crux of the matter has now finally been admitted – it’s all about tidying up those messy unemployment and Disability Support Pension figures.

From the Daily Telegraph:

JOB snobs who refuse work because it’s too far to travel are in the federal government’s sights under reforms that would also collapse the disability support pension and unemployment benefits into a single universal welfare payment.

(Kevin Andrews is). . . determined to remove the “perverse incentive’’ to claim the disability pension because it is worth an extra $250 a fortnight compared to Newstart. . .

Health and education, when less is more

Photo:  The Daily Telegraph

Photo: The Daily Telegraph

The prime minister said,  “. . . the rate of spending growth in the longer term had to be reduced if good schools and hospitals were to be sustainable“.

What is it that Tony Abbott attempting to state?  An interpretation might be that in order for the quality of schools and hospitals to be maintained, that they need less money spent and that this in turn will enable schools and hospitals to become “sustainable”.  Hell!  It must be time to cut funding to the wealthiest of the private schools; consider the *outstanding* education that they will be able to provide once they’re given less money.

From one blogger over on the ABC:


2:04 PM on 25/02/2014

There appears to be huge gap between the government’s understanding of the health and education experiences of ordinary people and what the government thinks is happening.

“There is too much education spending”. Real experience: my granddaughter’s teacher brings his coffee machine to school and sells coffee to the other teachers to raise money for equipment for his special needs classroom.

“There is too much health spending”. Real experience; there is a two YEAR wait to see a back specialist in the public health system, there is a $25 gap to see a GP, there is a $200 gap to get a simple knee scan at the local, privately owned medical imaging place because the government has privatised the rural medical imaging in South Australia. It costs $900 to get a child diagnosed with autism because the WCH cannot cope with the need for diagnosis in SA.

“Wages are too costly” Real experience; there are thousands of people who are not getting fair wages, let alone raises, there are thousands who are not getting holiday, sick pay or getting their superannuation paid on time.There are thousands of young people doing unpaid internships that last months and months without any wages at all.

“People need to work longer” Real experience: we want to work longer, we are fit as fiddles at 70 but NOBODY wants to employ us. Are you listening Mr Abbott?

ABC’s Insiders program: ”I want to give people this absolute assurance: no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no changes to pensions and no changes to the GST.”, so said Tony Abbott on the 1st September, 2013.

Naturally the Liberals will deny that there is no lie at all as they are not actually going cut funding to health and education, just reduce it.  Weasel words.

On hospitals, and the report below is dated 14th February this year:

  • A NEW report card on public hospitals shows just 68 per cent of urgent, emergency department patients are being seen within the recommended 30 minutes.
  • It also shows the average wait time for elective surgery has not improved since 2010/11, and still sits at about 36 days.
  • The report was released by the The Australian Medical Association, which says more money must be pumped into public hospitals failing to meet key targets on patient care.
  • The report reflects data gathered in the 2012/13 financial year.
  • AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton says the true picture on elective surgery could be far worse, because the official data only captures those who are on waiting lists.
  • Many others were still waiting to see specialists and they weren’t reflected in the figures.
  • The report card also showed there are just 2.6 public hospital beds for every 1000 people — a 43 per cent drop in 10 years.
  • Dr Hambleton said the report showed how vital it was for the federal government to boost hospital funding and abandon $400 million in cuts planned over the next three years.

It’s very disturbing that we’ve got these figures showing our hospitals are under pressure and yet the funding may not be there,’’ Dr Hambleton said.

This is not the time to cut funding.’’

Unlike former prime minister Kevin Rudd, he (Tony Abbott) wouldn’t say the buck stopped with him when it came to making sure health infrastructure was properly funded.

It depends on the particular issue where the particular buck stops,’’ Mr Abbott said.

Did I mention the phrase weasel words?

WorkChoices, you asked for it

In August 2012, former Prime Minister John Howard called for a return to individual employment contracts, however then Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott was quick to end speculation saying, “there will be no going back to the past”.

”If Mr Howard, who was a Liberal prime minister for 12 years, is talking about bringing back WorkChoices, then you can bet your bottom dollar that Mr Abbott is bringing back WorkChoices,” he (Wayne Swan) told reporters in Canberra.

But Mr Abbott said the Coalition would not seek to be ideological in the industrial relations arena.

But perhaps, and in order to find out what Tony Abbott’s honest answer is, then we need to go back to Abbott in Opposition:

  • New federal Liberal leader Tony Abbott has not to ruled out changes to Australia’s industrial relations landscape if he wins power next election.
  • When asked if new Liberal policy would include seeking to re-introduce aspects of the previous Howard government’s WorkChoices regime, which has been rolled back by the Kevin Rudd government, Mr Abbott said Australia needed a “free and flexible economy”.
  • FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wants to scrap penalty rates — to protect the Australian weekend.
  • Retailers and hospitality employers are planning a post-election push for a relaxation of penalty rates after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott signalled potential support for such cases in the workplace tribunal.
  • PETER Reith will demand today that business aggressively pressure Tony Abbott to introduce more radical workplace policy changes if he wins the election, while stepping up his attack on the Coalition’s paid parental leave policy as unaffordable and “wrong in principle”.In a rallying call to resource sector employers in Melbourne, the Howard government workplace relations minister will urge employers to start campaigning in October for substantial changes if Mr Abbott wins the September 14 election.
  • Business says that an Abbott government should go further than what it says in its policy. Unions say that an Abbott government will go further than what it says in its policy. We just can’t know for sure what those further changes will be. But whatever they are, it is unlikely that they would boost productivity, either.

Announced today:

The federal government is finalising plans for a sweeping review of the nation’s workplace laws, and could hand-pick an industrial relations expert from outside the Productivity Commission to help lead it.

Before the election, the government promised a ”genuine and independent review” of the Fair Work laws by the economically dry commission, to consider their impact on productivity, the economy and jobs, with a view to raising flexibility in the workplace.

The review comes as Employment Minister Eric Abetz revealed plans to introduce new laws next week that would allow workers to trade off conditions such as penalty rates in return for more flexible hours.

So what happened to the “review”?  Preempting any “sweeping review” by either the Productivity Commission or Abetz’ and Abbott’s “hand-picked” apologist expert, Abetz and Abbott have announced that Australian workers are going to be permitted to trade away their penalty rates in exchange for . . . whose flexibility?

Senator Abetz confirmed, when asked about the changes, that they would allow workers to trade off penalty rates for family time.

He stressed it would be employees who decided if this trade-off suited them, and not employers dictating that penalty rates be signed away.

I wonder in what reality Senator Abetz lives?  An imaginary place where the lass at the checkout or the young bloke on the factory floor has the ability to say to the big boss, “No sorry, I would rather get paid overtime rather than leave work at lunchtime.”.  “Don’t come in Monday, we don’t need you until later in the week” is already the reality for many of Australia’s workforce, but it is now obvious that in the guise of Abbott being “the best friend the Australian worker ever had” . . . look, think of it this way, you may not be able to pay the bills or put food on the table, but at least you’ll be getting quality time with the family . . . that this is the first step of an ongoing campaign.

From ACTU president Ged Kearney:  ”This is a blatant attempt to cut pay and conditions … despite all the pre-election promises,” she said. ”Minister Abetz talks about imaginary workers that want to give up penalty rates for nothing. We’re yet to find a worker that thinks this is a good deal.”

Read more:f109f69dde002c140aecf7519b6a9039

Abbott: look over there, I see a boat



Since being elected, Tony Abbott has gone into hyperdrive on the asylum seeker issue. Without a doubt irregular maritime arrivals are not the ideal way for those seeking asylum to arrive into Australia, however to all but the most ignorant, logic states that in order to put some order into disorder that a primary goal is the goodwill and cooperation of Indonesia.

In 2009, Kevin Rudd and Indonesia were in close cooperation on the issue:

AUSTRALIA is preparing to dispatch police across Asia to fight people smugglers and expand intelligence and security ties with Indonesia under a landmark deal that could be unveiled within weeks.

From the same link, it was none other than John Howard who recognised that a diplomatic solution was the prime solution:

But the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, said yesterday the so-called Indonesia solution had begun in ”about 2002” under the former prime minister John Howard, who provided millions of dollars to Jakarta to assist with processing refugees and preventing illegal migration.

I wonder where all that cooperation went to? Gone like the wind under hamfisted, egotistical and inept handling by the Abbott-led government.  Completely at odds with his mentor John Howard, one of Tony Abbott’s first actions as Prime Minister was to enact the opposite, and instead of providing “millions of dollars to Jakarta” . . .

Australia will cut $75.4 million from humanitarian, emergency and refugees programs, including $8.5 million from the International Committee of the Red Cross, $4 million from planned donations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and $1 million from the United Nations Peacekeeping Fund.

Therefore with a diplomatic solution effectively thrown in the wastepaper basket by Abbott and Morrison, what remains?  What else but Turn Back the Boats, irrespective of the wishes of the other party, Indonesia.  Some of a more bogan bent might stand on their soapboxes shouting loud “Huzzahs!” that we white fellas are showing those others a thing or two – here Indonesia; you can like it or lump it!

Stopping the boats has rather interesting history, and it took close to a year before anyone in the mainstream media got around to asking the question, “How?” clearly being far too interested in the politics of it all rather than the policy and that policy’s practical application.

December 31, 2009:

…the Opposition Leader declined to say what specific policies the Coalition would implement to stop the boats.

August 16, 2010:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott believes he can ”stop the boats” entering Australian waters within three months of a coalition government being elected on Saturday.

Decisions would be made by Mr Abbott personally and on a case-by-case basis, based on the advice of naval commanders making contact through a hotline to the prime minister’s office.

Although the idea of a Boat phone caused a great deal of mirth, expressed in headlines such as “Holy asylum seekers”, the fact of the matter is that Abbott originally came up with this idea when cornered during an interview. Abbott when asked the question; if or when it did occur that people did die at sea due to his turn back the boats policy whether they be asylum seekers or enlisted personnel, then who is it who is going to be taking responsibility for these deaths? Whose responsibility would it be to turn back the boats? Abbott’s sudden and quite odd explanation is that he would have a Boatphone to the commanders, “In the end it would be a prime ministerial decision,” he said.

So where has this Prime Ministerial responsibility suddenly evaporated to?

Mistakes by sailors blamed for breach of Indonesian water

Senior navy officers and customs officials face possible disciplinary action over six incursions into Indonesian waters while turning back asylum-seeker boats under the government’s border protection regime.

And what might this quotation be construed as meaning?

However some blame was placed on headquarters, which while knowing the importance of respecting Indonesian territory, had ”effectively devolved the obligation to remain outside Indonesian waters to vessel commanders”.

How can respect for another nation’s territorial waters “devolve”, and under what circumstances were orders given, and by whom, that this should devolve?  But of course, this is none of Tony’s business, as after all it’s nothing more than a cricket game or a football match.

During a press conference at Parliament House on Tuesday, the Prime Minister was asked how it could transpire that professionally trained and highly skilled naval personnel could mistakenly sail, more than once, into Indonesian territorial waters.

“Even people who are at the very top of their game… will occasionally make mistakes,” Mr Abbott replied, while praising the skill and professionalism of the Australian navy.

A game?  A match?  Apparently not, it is now a devolution.

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 do you make of this?

From today’s SMH comes this ominous piece of news:

The Abbott government has quietly introduced a hardline code of conduct for ministerial staff, banning political commentary on social media sites including Twitter and Facebook.

The ban also extends to current Coalition staff writing books and newspaper articles and staff seeking “further guidance” on the new rules are referred directly to Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin.

I used the word ‘ominous’ because:

“The Prime Minister’s chief of staff should be consulted for further guidance.”

Though staff have not been banned from using Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites, the move is designed to head off potentially embarrassing commentary for the government.

What do you make of this?


Well said, Barry

Well said, Barry Tucker.

And then there’s this.

Sometimes a picture tells the the whole story and I’m relieved of the task of searching for something to say. And both of these say it all, really. In simple terms, the man is a hypocrite and perhaps, just perhaps, a liar. 😉

WorkChoices, worst choices Abbott’s SPC

1921Ardmona Fruit Products Co-Op Ltd. opens for business.

1921 Ardmona Fruit Products Co-Op Ltd. opens for business.

As Tony’s chances go up, workers’ hopes will go down.  Source:  The Daily Telegraph, July 2012

IN a sure-fire sign that the Liberals have grown incredibly cocky about their electoral prospects at the next federal election, Tony Abbott has once again raised the spectre of WorkChoices.

Despite Tony Abbott’s promise during the 2010 federal election that WorkChoices was “dead, buried, cremated”, “the spirit of WorkChoices rose from the dead again…”.  The pledge back in 2012 was that “if elected”, Tony Abbott would enact laws allowing “greater flexibility for employers“, and promised that he “won’t stop there“.

Only a few days later, Abbott – and the desciption at the time was “bizarrely” declared – that he, Tony Abbott, was the best friend of the Australian worker but that “right now we have got a flexibility problem, we have got a militancy problem, we have got a productivity problem.”

This was, and of course, continues to be absolute rubbish. Compared with decades past there is very, very little industrial unrest in Australia.  Australians continue to work some of the longest hours, with the least job security of any industrialised nation.

Back in 2012, Tony Abbott’s “technique” was described thus:  Does this ring any loud bells?

Once again, Abbott is resorting to his favourite technique, create a problem where one doesn’t exist (“militant unions”), repeat it ad nauseam (“we must stop militant unions”), and hope the public falls for it (“I will stop militant unions”).

After an intial philosophical attack against SPC, and a somewhat snide remarkDavid Gonski ‘is not going to let down the workers of SPC Ardmona’, says PM Tony Abbott – it became exactly the opposite, an attack on the workers and their conditions.

STRUGGLING fruit canner SPC Ardmona today undermined the Government’s blistering attack on its apparently generous working conditions.

Senior government officials had claimed the workforce had nine weeks’ leave a year. The company said the actual figure was 20 days.

The Government said the workers were paid a loading on top of overtime. The company said almost zero overtime is paid. An agreement for cashing in sick leave ended in 2012.

According to the Government the workers received a generous wet allowance. In fact, no wet allowance was paid in 2012.

Dr Stone said it made no sense for the government to support a Tasmanian fish farmer, Huon Aquaculture, by spending $3.5 million in public money to upgrade machinery while rejecting SPC Ardmona’s bid.

She said the government had sought to widen its attack on unions at SPC Ardmona after unrelated reports of corruption in the building industry.

”This seemed to be a convenient way to draw a line in the sand to accuse this company [SPC] of being destroyed by unions and outrageous wages,” she said.

Specific details of the “extraordinary working conditions” which Tony Abbott would have us believe that SPC workers enjoy are:

. . . on Tuesday released financial details and information on its agreement with the AMWU that refuted nearly all of Mr Abbott’s claims. It said the wet allowance, worth just 58¢ an hour, was not paid at all last year. It also said total allowances paid to workers were just $116,427 in 2013; or less than 0.1 per cent of its cost of goods for the year.

It said there was little overtime at SPC Ardmona, and the company had in 2012 reduced redundancy provisions and stopped sick leave from being cashed out.

On Monday, Joe Hockey said that, drought assistance was already available to farmers and declared ”the age of entitlement is over and the age of personal responsibility has begun”.

Perhaps Hockey has missed something, that although climatic conditions are always challenging for rural communities, the company’s current difficulties have nothing whatsoever to do with drought.  From SPC’s Managing Director Peter Kelly:

“Mr Kelly says the major culprit behind SPC’s difficulties is the sustained high Australian dollar, which has led to a flood of cheap imported canned fruit and a “decimation” of the company’s export markets.

“The serious problems that have beset SPCA have not been because of labour costs and certainly not from the allowances, a fact borne out by the Productivity Commission’s recent analysis,” he said.

Returning to Abbott’s “technique”:  create a problem where one doesn’t exist (“militant unions”), repeat it ad nauseam (“we must stop militant unions”), and hope the public falls for it (“I will stop militant unions”).  If it seems nonsensical how a request from SPC could suddenly morph into an attack on a 58 cent per hour wet allowance, here is the answer:  create a problem where one doesn’t exist.

If Tony Abbott thought to entertain the idea that this issue could be the commencement of his undeniable fervent wish to introduce a future clone of WorkChoices, perhaps “succeed” where his mentor John Howard failed, then he has made an unimpressive start to his campaign by attacking the workers of SPC Ardmona and the town of Shepparton.

Photo:  SPC Ardmona - Our Rich History

Photo: SPC Ardmona – Our Rich History

ABC, stay brave

Tony Abbott takes aim at the ABC

Tony Abbott takes aim at the ABC

It is without a doubt that the Abbott Government is intent on curtailing as much scrutiny of itself as possible.  Step 1 is the ABC, with step 2 doubtless being the alternative and social media.  However, for the moment it’s the ABC.  Recent events include:

Tanya Plibersek:

“Tony Abbott’s comments today show he’ll blame everyone – including the media – for the promises he continues to break,” she said.

True enough Ms Plibersek, but more importantly – as broken promises are there for all to see – is the intention to deny the Australian public the chance to form their own opinion.  There shalt be only one opinion and his name shall be Murdoch.

It cannot be denied that the overwhelming bias since 2007 and before, has been pro-conservative and anti-most of everything else.  As an example, such was the success of the anti-Climate Change agenda, that the mainstream media sent Australia back a decade in terms of finding solutions.  A survey at the time (during Kevin Rudd’s 1st year at Prime Minister, but this is just from memory) provided that of all the Murdoch stable, only Melbourne’s Herald Sun provided anything near a balanced approach, and this was around 67%.  For others, the figures were far worse.  A balanced approached?  Unbiased?

Clearly, if you want to get the message out who does Tony Abbott run to?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has fired a verbal warning to Jakarta…

Did he pass on his displeasure to Indonesia? No. Did he do it by way of a media press release? No. Did he pass the job onto his Minister? No.

The article tells us – wait for it – that . . .

Mr Abbott told radio station 2GB.

Specifically, Alan Jones’ Breakfast Show.

Clearly buoyed by his success in “accurately” enunciating his foreign policy intentions via shock-jock radio with a sure certainty that (of course) senior Indonesian officials have similar enthrall with Australian talk-back radio, Abbott has now turned to that other well-known broadcaster Ray Hadley, likewise at 2GB.  At least on this occasion Tony Abbott had at least a miniscule chance that someone/anyone from the media might listen to Ray Hadley, plus take it seriously.

Abbott’s interview with Ray Hadley is quoted below – this one should note, is the same Ray Hadley who was recently ordered to pay a woman $280,000 as compensation in a defamation case. “Acting Justice Henric Nicholas described Mr Hadley’s attack on Carlingford fish and chip shop owner, Kim Ahmed, as an ”unbridled tirade … spat into the microphone for the consumption of the audience”. Note: damages will be paid by the Macquarie Radio Network’s insurer.

“Meanwhile, people’s reputations are under question because of the ABC’s reporting of this matter, so I trust that the ABC will do the right thing.”  Ms J. Bishop was of course not speaking about the victim of Hadley’s defamation case.

However, undeterred by providing this interview to Mr Hadley and whilst knowing of Mr Hadley’s recent conviction of only a little over a month ago (and if not, one should ask why not), Tony Abbott then proceeded to shed crocodile tears about the naughty ABC not being on his side.

“A lot of people feel at the moment that the ABC instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s,” he said in an interview with Ray Hadley on Sydney radio station 2GB.

“I think it dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but its own and I think it is a problem.”

It lacks ”at least some basic affection for the home team”.

Translation: the ABC has criticised me, and is therefore unpatriotic. I am, I am, I am, the Australia.  Tony, your ego is once again on display for all to see.  Tony, there is no home team; Tony Abbott currently heads one of the major political parties and the one which currently happens to be in power.  Tony, you are not “the home team”, Australia and the well-being and benefit of all Australians is the prime concern of all, irrespective of voting preferences.

Does Tony Abbott expect a robust critique of himself by appearing on shock-jock radio talk-back shows?  Or is this avoidance?  A token gesture so that he doesn’t cop the criticism of being entirely invisible.  Look at moi, I’ve been on Ray Hadley . . . duty done regarding “communication”.

Abbott’s crusade continues, to politicise the armed services, who as per the ABC are apolitical and who are sworn to adhere to basic practices.  Abbott’s awkward attempts to cosy up to the Navy in particular is nothing more than political opportunism.  By the way, Abbott if you are so concerned about Navy personnel, why this?

“Navy personnel carrying out border protection were quietly stripped of some workplace safety protections last month . . .”

So much for concern about “the home team” . . .

Well said by Wendy Harmer,

And what of the other national state-funded outfits he (Abbott) is, by inference, comparing with our ABC ? Russia Today, France 24 , those in Laos or the “baddies” North Korea? Their aims are clear: to promote the current government (or regime) in a favourable light and to vilify the opposition. To be a mouthpiece for those in power. To cosy up to governments and vested interests in affectionate embrace.

Is it any coincidence that certain ABC journalists have been threatened with “services no longer required” should they dare write a critique which might be unfavourable to the current ruling classes?

It is no secret that the NBN is being canned due to Murdoch:

The biggest fear for pay TV is advertising dollars being sent elsewhere as online services offer more affordable advertising rates than pay TV or free-to-air TV can offer.

The next stage on the path to control of what we see and what we know is our ABC is control of all dissenting opinions.

Malcolm Turnbull (this comment rapidly taken from the front pages, but still available via this link as I write):

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has strongly defended the ABC’s editorial independence in the face of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attack on the national broadcaster, which he says ”instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s”.

Mr Turnbull defended the Prime Minister’s right to critique the ABC but, in comments that could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott, he said the ABC was rightly accountable to its board of directors, not politicians.

Further from Turnbull:

Mr Abbott told radio 2GB that Australians wanted ”some basic affection for the home team”, but Mr Turnbull said the broadcaster was more constrained by rules around editorial fairness than its competitors in commercial media.

Without putting words in Mr Turnbull’s mouth, this might be interpreted as, “Abbott, what on earth are you raving on about? The ABC is “more constrained” than anything and anyone in the the commercial media.”

Kevin Andrews:

Speaking at Canberra airport on his way to a cabinet meeting, the Social Services Minister said that in a robust democracy, the media should be scrutinised as much as anybody else.

Indeed Mr Andrews, and we all look forward to your critiques of the unsubstantiated rumours, false information, and opinion dressed up as fact as is currently presented to us by the mainstream media.  Surely, if your boss desires to continue to give patronage to such things as shock-jocks, the requirement should be that these persons must come under the same scrutiny as the ABC.

An anonymous constituent:

Coalition senator Ian Macdonald vigorously supported the Prime Minister’s criticism of the ABC on Thursday, noting that constituents asked him, ”when are you going to get rid of the ABC?”

Here we arrive at the crux of the matter, Tony Abbott wants the ABC to be his own personal cheer squad, as if we don’t have enough of that already from the Murdoch media and it’s associates.  However, this is a mere side issue on the road to the silencing of all dissenting opinions, the inability of Australians to read alternative views.  This is of course quite suitable to the Murdoch media who currently languishing behind paywalls,  who wants opposition silenced, or as much as possible in a semi-democratic society – first step, procure excuses to cut the ABC’s funding . . . next step . . .

We are therefore placed with a Prime Minister who believes that “the home team” is the only team that one is allowed to barrack for.  However, when he stated that “Test cricketers occasionally drop catches, great footballers occasionally miss tackles and, regretfully, there were a couple of occasions when this mistake was made – but it won’t happen again.”.

Labor’s communications spokesman Jason Clare said the study was ”all about providing an excuse to cut the ABC’s budget”.

“The night before the election Tony Abbott said there would be ‘no cuts to the ABC,” he said.

“If Tony Abbott cuts the ABC’s budget it will mean he is a liar, simple as that”.

This issue might have conveniently disappeared for the moment, but watch out come budget time, it is likely that B1 and B2 will be hocking their ‘jammies.

When the Institute of Public Affairs starts talking about the irrelevance of Australia having a national broadcaster, then we should be doubly fearful.  I wonder if having nobbled the ABC via budgetry means that there will be any “takers” to fill the shoes of the ABC in providing news transcripts for the blind?  Not much money in that one for Murdoch, so I can’t see it happening.

If there was ever a case for a taxpayer-funded state broadcaster, it doesn’t exist today. Australians have at their fingertips access to more news from more varied sources than ever before. Online, every niche interest and point of view is well covered. And as private media companies continue to struggle with profitability, the continued lavish funding of the ABC only serves to undermine their business model further.

It’s official: Tony Abbott is an idiot!

I join the hundreds of social media writers who have, over the last four years, written about the demonstrated stupidity of our current prime minister, Tony Abbott. Here’s one of my favourites from a year ago, ‘Tony Abbott’s pearls of wisdom‘:

Tony Abbott says some amazingly stupid things. His brain fart comments on gay people, women and climate change are some examples. Strolling around the internet I’ve managed to find some more pearls of wisdom that haven’t had the exposure of his more famous gaffes, and I happily present them here for your enjoyment.

Let’s start with this one:

The Opposition Leader said roads were critical to improving life across all facets of society.

“Better roads means better communities; better roads are good for our economy; they’re good for our society,” he said.

“They’re good for our physical and mental health.

“They’re even good for the environment because cars that are moving spew out far less pollution than cars that are standing still.”

So next time I feel a mental breakdown or the flu coming on I’ll visit a road. They are good for my health. We should all do it. Roads do good things for Australians.

I know what he was really trying to say, but let’s face it, he stuffed it up. This next one is a real gem:

Ever since I was old enough to understand the term, I have regarded myself as a conservationist.  As a child, I used to play in the gullies and creeks surrounding the Lane Cove National Park. I wasn’t as careful then as now about protecting fauna, such as the red-bellied black snake, but I loved the bush for its potential for adventure and sense of solitude.In the valley behind our house, I first learnt to sleep under the stars. On canoeing trips, I learnt to read a map. On student bush walks, I developed a sense of direction.

As I said over at The AIMN, he no longer kills red-bellied black snakes and despises people who keep lights on. No wonder people such as Andrew Bolt rate him more credible than most of the world’s scientists. Scientists spend at least three years studying at university to become knowledgeable in their field. Tony Abbott reads maps. While floating down a river. How could you doubt him? How could you doubt a person who has a sense of direction because he walked in the bush yet needs a map to paddle a canoe?

This one is interesting:

Tony Abbott says he now has the “authority” to keep election promises. He admitted he had broken them in the past but said it was not his fault.

Well whose fault was it? Blame that ‘carbon tax’ I suppose.

I like this one:

Someone who’s earning $50,000 should be encouraged to move to $100,000.

Sounds fair enough to me. Tomorrow we’ll all line up to see the boss and ask for a $50K raise. Just tell him that Tony encouraged it (not that we’d need much encouragement).

This can’t be true:

Look, people should be polite to the Prime Minster. It doesn’t matter what they think of her policies or her government, they should be polite to her. That is the respect that the senior leadership of this country ought to be given and people certainly shouldn’t be disruptive of the Parliament.

Must be the new Tony we keep hearing about.

This is more like the old Tony:

Well, Kochie, I think the people of western Sydney want a plan, not a visit. They want a plan to ease cost of living pressures, a plan to ease traffic congestion and a plan to make the streets and community safer and the Coalition has real solutions to all these issues. We’ll build the WestConnex, we’ll end the carbon tax, we’ll stop the boats, we’ll stop the guns. Now, I think this is a big step forward for the people of Sydney.

Wow! How long have the boats been making it all the way to Western Sydney?

During a visit to Western Sydney (yes, the place where people shouldn’t visit) he said:

“We will bring in more trees and better soils, there will be incentives, not penalties and a green army for our degraded bushland and waterways under pressure”.

Where the hell are they going to pinch the trees from. Bring in from where? Maybe he’ll introduce a policy that all boat people have to bring a tree with them.

And finally:

I’ll be going to the National Press Club tomorrow (31 Jan). I’ll take questions then. Joe Hockey and Christopher Pyne will be taking media queries this afternoon.

History shows us that he ran away from questions asked.

I really don’t think Abbott tries to be an idiot. It just comes naturally.

Now we jump forward to this present day and an article in the Guardian by Katharine Murphy, ‘Navy entered Indonesian waters after wind, tide distractions: Tony Abbott‘. Tony Abbott, I’m afraid to say, has raised the bar of stupidity ever higher. This quote (which gained wide coverage in the social media two days ago) is breathtaking after it was revealed that Australian navy boats had entered Indonesian waters:

“On the high seas all sorts of things happen; there are winds, there are tides, there are other things that they’re focusing on,” he said.

“I have nothing but total respect for the professionalism of our naval personnel, for the professionalism of our customs personnel but, even people who are at the very top of their game, even people who are the very best at their job, will occasionally make mistakes.

“Test cricketers occasionally drop catches, great footballers occasionally miss tackles and, regretfully, there were a couple of occasions when this mistake was made – but it won’t happen again.”

He really comes out with some unbelievable garbage but this one leaves me absolutely speechless, other than to say that is now official: Tony Abbott is an idiot. A stark raving mad lunatic. A total buffoon. As for the first part of his statement, Mobius Echo commented here two days ago that:

No other words for Abbott come to mind. I’ve been in cyclones and hurricanes on warships, and mind you this was pre-GPS, dedicated military satellites, netcentric warfare systems and situational awareness, and we always knew where we were.

I’d believe Mobius over Tony Abbott any day of the week.

And let’s repeat this sentence from Abbott:

“Test cricketers occasionally drop catches, great footballers occasionally miss tackles and, regretfully, there were a couple of occasions when this mistake was made – but it won’t happen again.”

We can now all be relieved that no more catches will be dropped by Test cricketers. 😉