The barbie bigot looks back on the year


[Editor’s note: the use of ‘septic’ in this article is from the rhyming slang — ‘septic tank’ rhymes with ‘Yank’, so ‘septic’ equals ‘Yank’.]

G’day ev’ryone. Welcome back to the barbie. The big news of the year has been elections, both here in Oz an’ in septic-land.

I’ve been a bit quiet since the election ‘cause, after all, the result was a bit hard to take (an’ it was a bit cool an’ wet for a barbie for a while). Mal scraped in by a seat an’ really spat the dummy in his election night victory speech. It wasn’t really a victory at the time, ’though he claimed it was. Victory speeches are meant to be mag ... magnamus … gracious, but not Mal. He couldn’t understand how he almost lost. All the gloss an’ glitter, an’ the smile, were gone an’ he didn’t seem to know why.

He blamed Labor lies about Medicare. I hate to tell ya Mal but they weren’t lies. You didn’t even call ’em lies until half-way through the campaign — an’ it was a long campaign that bored us sh*tless. You fin’lly had to say you wouldn’t privatise Medicare but ya took a bloody long time to say it! An’ you couldn’t deny you’d frozen the Medicare rebate — right through till 2020. You reckoned you were lookin’ after Medicare but if freezin’ the rebate isn’t a threat to Medicare, I’m not sure what is.

But let’s go back a bit. Early in the year poor Mal an’ his mob were lookin’ pretty perplexed. His mob couldn’t understand how their great white hope had become an albatross ’round their necks. Then Mal had a brilliant idea. He’d recall parliament to vote on that thing about the construction industry watchdog. What a joke that is! If he really thinks there’s corruption in the buildin’ industry, why doesn’t he go after the buildin’ companies? No, it’s the CFMEU his mob is after. Can’t have a strong union tryin’ to save workers’ lives! More than a hundred poor buggers die on construction sites ev’ry year. Imagine if a hundred pollies were dyin’ at work ev’ry year — they’d soon do somethin’ about that, wouldn’ they! Yeh, all right, like some of me laughin’ mates here, you prob’ly think a hundred pollies dyin’ ev’ry year ’ud be a good thing — no-one ’ud miss ’em, right? — but I won’t get side-tracked about that.

Anyway, then he does the double dissolution thing. He thought he’d get rid of people like the Motorists Party and Palmer’s mob. He got rid of them all right but even the blokes an’ sheilas ’round me barbie could’ve told him a full Senate election ’ud lead to more dingbats in the Senate, not less. Too smart by half, poor Mal!

Look what he got instead. The Ranga Redneck made a comeback and got three of her mates with her. What a rabble! One of ‘em thinks climate change is crap, all a plot by scientists — the only thing I’ll say in ’is favour is he’s bonkers enough to put his silly ideas out there. Then there’s the one who nicked the car keys an’ writes funny — as in strange — letters to magistrates. The Ranga Redneck had to remind him that it’s not jus’ the One Nation Party but Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party — she’s the boss! They make Ricky-the-car-nut an’ Glenn-the-brick-bookend look like Einstein.

An’ for the election, Mal had his great slogan — jobs an’ growth. What about jobs an’ growth? — nothin’. Jus’ jobs an’ growth. No plan. No ideas. Did he think jobs an’ growth ’ud magic’ly spring outa the ground jus’ ’cause he kept sayin’ it? It certainly seemed like it. After all, he was the god who’d saved the Liberal mob an’ things should happen just at ‘His Word’: an’ Mal said, ‘let there be jobs’ an’ there was … sweet fanny adams.

He might’ve won the election but you wouldn’t think so. His mob ’ave done bugger all since. They couldn’t organise a chook raffle in a pub. (I did think of another comparison involvin’ a brothel but I can’t use that at a family barbie.) They managed to lose a coupla votes ’cause some of ’em ’ad gone home. They even managed to support a vote that they were useless — which was fair enough when ya think about it but not a good look. An’ at the end of the year, look at the shemozzle they got into with the backpacker tax. 32.5%, 19%, 15%, 10.5%, 13%. Anyone else wanna make a bid? The hammer goes down on 15%! — only ’cause ol’ Ricky-of-christmas did a deal for the Greens, p’rhaps ’cause christmas was comin’. He wanted to play Santa to the farmers who norm’ly aren’t too keen on the Greens.

Mal an’ his mob had a bit of a setback when the PNG court blokes ruled we couldn’t keep the poor buggers on Manus Island any more. They fin’lly announced that they think they’ve done a deal with the septics to take ’em but we’ll hafta wait an’ see. An’ after doin’ that, they’ve sent Oz’s biggest peace time flotilla up north to stop more boats comin’. The blokes sellin’ boat places to Oz will obviously be tellin’ the customers that now you can get sent to septic-land — what a bonanza that is for ’em! An’ the government knows it. Why else send all the extra patrol boats.

An’ then there was the union stuff at the end o’ the year — the double dissolution stuff. First, Mal got the union regulation law through the Senate but have a look at how he did it. He had to get the Xylophone an’ the Beard-with-a-mouth on-side, an’ to do that he gave ’em more protection for whistleblowers. Wha’do ya reckon? — are there more whistleblowers or more unionists who need protectin’? I think you know the answer. One good thing may come of it though when it comes back to bite ‘em on the bum — ’cause one day someone’ll blow the whistle on one of their big corporate mates or even, with a bit o’ luck, on the Libs ’emselves. That’ll be worth waitin’ for.

Then they got the construction watchdog up as well at the las’ minute. Even more giveaways than a teevee show to do that one an’ whether it’ll still be able to bark is anyone’s guess. I’ll admit a coupla things the Xylophone got for his vote aren’t too bad. There’s s’posed to be more gov’ment work for Oz companies an’ they won’t get the work if they don’t pay their subbies on time. A few of me mates like that idea but wish it applied to all buildin’ companies. Was it worth it jus’ to get the watchdog in place? Mal obviously thought so. I think he even managed a smile again an’ reckoned it showed how well he was governin’ — ya reckon? In December we got the news that our economy has gone backwards — that’s good gov’ment for ya! So much for Mal’s great economic plan — you know the one — Mal’s imagin’ry friend.

But you hafta wonder who’s really runnin’ the show? The big St Bernardi barks an’ Mal jumps to attention: eyes Right; by the Right flank turn; yes, sir! Not the Mal people thought they were gettin’ an’ so his popularity has gone down the plug hole.

Of course ol’ pommy Tones is still hangin’ about, snipin’ from the sidelines, tellin’ all an’ sundry he’s still ready for the top job. If you think that could never happen, look at what happened in septic-land. If Trump can get elected there, don’t rule out Tones becomin’ PM again. If we get Tones back, would we also get Credlin back? That’s somethin’ to think about!

That gets me to the septic election. (Nice how I did that, ay?) How did Trump win? The views ’round me barbie are mixed but gen’rally we think the poor ol’ septics had Hobson’s choice — a ranting idiot or a sheila with so much baggage she was lucky she was still standin’ up under the weight. An’ Trump’s as silly as the Ranga Redneck’s mate. He reckons climate change is a Chinese plot. I’d like to see the two of ’em together on Q&A to argue that out — whose plot is sillier, yours or mine?

Me an’ me mates don’t agree with most of what Trump said but he obviously pushed some buttons for the septics — ’specially the white workers, the ones who lived in places where jobs were becomin’ as hard to find as rockin’-horse sh*t. He reckoned he can help ’em but whether he can’ill be another story.

After all the rantin’ an’ bulldust he went on with during their election, I was a bit shocked to hear his victory speech. (You know what I mean by ‘bulldust’ but after the rockin’-horse one me missus jus’ told me I can’t say that again while the nippers are still runnin’ about.) Mal could’ve taken a lesson from ’im. Think about it. Trump rants an’ carries on all through the election then gives a gracious victory speech. Mal is gracious an’ calm for most o’ the election then rants an’ raves in his victory speech. A nice pair o’ polar opposites there. Which approach would you prefer? Prob’ly neither of ’em. Why can’t politicians jus’ be honest? We know most of ’em couldn’t lie straight in bed.

That was one of Hill’ry’s problems apparently. Too many people jus’ didn’t believe her. But they thought the Donald was tellin’ it like it is. I think that jus’ means the septics are gullible but leavin’ that aside, since he was elected he’s been backtrackin’ a bit on some o’ the things he promised. Does that make him jus’ like all the other pollies? — say an’ do anything to get elected an’ then forget most of what they said — an’ yet he was the one sayin’ he wasn’t like other pollies.

Even the deal Mal thinks he’s done on the poor buggers we’ve got on Manus and Nauru could come unstuck with the Donald as president. Him an’ his supporters aren’t too keen on migrants, ’specially Muslim ones.

The Donald promised so much bigoted stuff he’ll put half of septic-land off-side if he carries through. He was so bigoted in his statements that Brandis would’ve been proud. I thought I was bigoted but I’m an amate’r compared to him.

I think the septics are between a rock an’ a hard place. If the Donald delivers what he promised, they’re in for a rough ride. An’ if he doesn’t, it’ll also be a rough ride ‘cause some of his supporters won’t take a lack of action lyin’ down. An’ when ya think about how many crazy septics have got guns an’ how many of the crazies supported the Donald … no, that doesn’t bear thinkin’ about …

The problem is some o’ the problems won’t jus’ stay in septic-land. Many of the Donald’s promises will affect the rest of us ’round the world — it won’t jus’ be the septics gettin’ the rough end o’ the pineapple. If he upsets the Chinese the way he’s promisin’ to do, Oz will get dragged under in the backwash. Here at me barbie, we’re hopin’ he doesn’t carry out ev’ry promise. Not somethin’ you usu’lly think about a polly. Most o’ the time, we wish they’d keep their promises — but not this time!

I s’pose we could say that, at least here in Oz, Mal didn’t make many promises to keep so we can’t be disappointed. An’ even some he did make are gettin’ changed a lot by the Senate — which is mostly a good thing. You might say we almost got the election right. Mal might’ve scraped in by the skin of his teeth but we gave him a parliament that really ties up what he can do.

The septics gave the Donald’s mob control of both their houses of parliament — whatever they call ’em. We know what happens when that happens. We saw it here in Oz when Little Johnny controlled both houses in our parliament. Not a pretty sight for workin’ people. So, if the Donald really wants to change things in septic-land, he prob’ly can. The septics don’t seem to think about that balance like we do. I dunno why. I don’t pretend to understand septics. Some of ’em are nice people but … Well, I’ll say it. In my bigoted view they can be a bit stupid at times.

An’ there was one big difference ’tween the two elections that I’ll say somethin’ about. The passion! Look at the septics an’ the bloody rallies they have. Thousands of ’em screamin’ out for their candidate. An’ then they had those big demonstrations about ‘not my president’. They can be passionate about their elections. On the other hand they don’t hafta vote unless they feel like it. Only half of ’em bothered to. P’rhaps with the Hobson’s choice they had, that’s understandable. So you’ve got half not botherin’, an’ half so passionate. Not a good thing!

Look at Oz. No big rallies — unless ya count those stage-managed election launch things for the party insiders an’ they’re really jus’ done for the telly. People standin’ on street corners handin’ out flyers for the local candidate, includin’ the local candidate. The image of Tones handin’ out flyers on Manly wharf on a rainy day I thought was a classic. People only votin’ ’cause they have to — but mostly ’ud rather be doin’ somethin’ else. An’ when we do get to the polling booth we have a sausage sanger. Very calm and lay-back. Which would you prefer? Me an’ me mates are quite happy with the way we do our elections. We don’t want people rantin’ ev’ry five minutes, stirrin’ up passions ya can’t put back in the bottle. A few years ago at one of me barbies, me an’ me mates decided we could solve the world’s problems — as ya do after a few beers. The answer? Export Oz beer an’ meat pies to the world so that ev’ryone becomes as apathetic as us. Passion is the killer. Passion for a cause or a political party leads to wars an’ riots. Sit back. Have a beer an’ a pie an’ chill out. That’s the Oz way. Pity the rest of the world hasn’t caught on.

Well, that’s me for the year. The best to all of you an’ your families from me an’ mine for the festive season. An’ hope you have a great festive barbie.

What do you think?
Has the barbie bigot captured the essence of the political year?

Let us know in a comment below.

This is the last scheduled article for TPS in 2016; however never say never — so check back with us occasionally. The people behind The Political Sword wish you and all whom you care about a wonderful festive season and a great 2017. Our next scheduled articles will be published on 1 January 2017, then mid January with a return to regular publication from 29 January. Keep well, stay safe and take care.


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Comments (12) -

  • DoodlePoodle

    12/18/2016 6:42:12 PM |

    Thanks Ken, it makes great reading.  I enjoyed it

    If only we could look into the genie's bottle to see what to expect in 2017.  More of the same no doubt!!  I wonder if Mal will still be around come next Christmas.  

    Seasona Greetings everyone.

  • Ken

    12/18/2016 6:56:55 PM |

    thanks DoodlePoodle.  

    Yes, I also think 2017 will be much of the same, at least here in Oz.

    But the appointments Trump are making to his cabinet and government positions are very interesting, dominated by businessmen and generals with some very odd views.

    Seasons greetings also to you and your loved ones.

  • Ad Astra

    12/19/2016 11:57:06 AM |

    Folks
    As we await the MYEFO announcement around midday, we should be aware of the Liberal Rulebook for such announcements that shifts blame for adverse aspects to others, while taking credit for any positives:

    The Coalition comprises a learned collection of grown-up adults who know how to run an economy.

    By contrast, Labor are just kids playing in the sandpit; the Greens are no better, only more irresponsible.

    If MYEFO shows an increasing deficit forecast, that is due to three factors:
    - The legacy of debt and deficit left by Labor four years ago.
    - The intransigence of Labor, the Greens and the crossbench in refusing to pass the Coalition’s punitive expenditure cuts.
    - The economic headwinds that Australia is experiencing, over which the Coalition will insist it has no control.

    If wages growth is slow, that is due to business being unwilling to invest because of internationally uncompetitive company tax rates, which the Coalition will insist highlights the need for its proposed $50 billion tax cuts to company tax.

    If unemployment is growing or static that is due to faltering business confidence that dissuades businesses from investing and creating jobs, again pointing to the need for reducing company tax rates. The Coalition will take credit for any new jobs created.

    If productivity is static, that is due to lack of effort of unions and workers to do more for the same wages or less. They will insist that the passing of the bill reinstating the ABCC will improve productivity, although productivity was higher when the ABCC was suspended, and lower when it was in place.

    Don’t expect the facts and figures to add up economically; don’t expect any reasoning to make sense.

    Contemplate this quote:
    Why bother with science, facts or logic when you have ideology? It’s worked for the Church for 2000 year so why not the Coalition?

    Look for the spin that will cocoon MYEFO.

    Look for the underlying entrenched neoliberal ideology.

    Expect to be exasperated by MYEFO and particularly Scott Morrison’s and Mathias Cormann’s exposition of its details, and the verbal diarrhoea and gobbledygook they use in explaining it away.

  • Ad Astra

    12/19/2016 3:18:18 PM |

    Folks
    As expected, in announcing MYEFO, Morrison blamed Labor for its fiscal woes, and predictably Cormann insisted that the trajectory of debt and deficit would have been worse if Labor had still been in power, one of his constant themes.

    Today, Paul Carp gave this balanced preview of MYEFO in The Guardian in Scott Morrison prepares ground for budget deterioration, blaming Labor

    “Australia Institute says treasurer must tax more, not cut business taxes, in lead-up to mid-year economic update

    Scott Morrison says he is still focused on cutting government spending , despite a new paper saying that increasing the amount of tax collected would be more effective.

    “The treasurer, Scott Morrison, has refused to rule out Monday’s mid-year economic update (Myefo) recording a budget deterioration since May, as experts predict, and blamed Labor for “sabotage” of the budget.

    “Also in the lead up to Myefo, the Australia Institute has released a research paper, that calls on the government to consider further revenue-raising measures because the declining tax take during and after the global financial crisis – not government spending – caused Australia’s string of deficits.
    “Australia’s debt has been labelled an ‘emergency’, a ‘disaster’ and even compared to a fatal melanoma. Now Scott Morrison is whistling a different tune

    “The Taxing Times research paper by the progressive think tank’s senior economist, Matt Grudnoff, finds that if the tax to gross domestic product ratio had stayed at 23.9% (the average between 2000 and 2008), the budget would only have been in deficit for two years before returning to surplus.

    “Instead, tax revenue fell as low as 20.5% in 2010-2011 as income tax, GST and company tax fell due to the downturn.

    “The paper recognised that aim to keep the tax take at 23.9% would have been harmful during the contraction, but suggests a modest increase in tax could now help achieve a budget surplus earlier than the 2020-21 projection.

    “That projection may be further delayed when Morrison releases what he says will be a “responsible, conservative and transparent” mid-year update on Monday.

    “Morrison promised the state of the budget was better today than it was a year ago, three years ago and when the Coalition was elected in 2013, in effect not ruling out a deterioration since the May budget.

    “Morrison, who handed down a $40bn budget deficit in May, the third deficit of the Abbott-Turnbull government, claimed it “continues to ensure that we do not spend more than we save”.

    “He promised the government would deliver all its election promises and “still make an improvement to the bottom line”, in reference to “[continued] progress in getting the growth in government expenditure under control and arresting the growth in commonwealth debt”.

    “The May budget projected government net debt would hit $326bn in 2016-17, higher than at any point in the Rudd-Gillard government, which, Morrison said, had “lost control of the nation’s finances”.

    “Morrison said there was an “air of unreality about the scale of the fiscal challenges” the nation faced.
    He said the update would “once again reinforce the need for the parliament to support the government’s legislation to repair the budget and restore it to balance” and accused Labor of “active and cynical budget sabotage”.

    “In recent weeks Morrison and his finance minister, Mathias Cormann, have said it was only a projection, not the government’s policy to achieve a surplus by 2020-21.

    “On Sunday, Cormann welcomed higher commodity prices since the May budget but warned they were “not enough” to offset the effect of low wage inflation, falling income tax receipts and low growth in company profits.

    “In late November, Deloitte Access Economics warned the federal budget deficit was projected to expand by another $24.3bn over the next four years.

    “Since the election, $21bn of the Coalition’s $40bn of unlegislated “zombie” budget measures have passed parliament, some with Labor support, but others are stubbornly resisted by the opposition.

    “On Sunday, the shadow finance minister, Jim Chalmers, said the government only had itself to blame for adding $100bn to net debt at a time when the country did not face a crisis like the GFC.

    “He said the nation’s triple A credit rating could be secured “at the stroke of a pen” by tearing up the government’s 10-year $48bn company tax cut package.

    “The Australia Institute’s model shows that, if the tax take had stayed at 23.9% during the GFC, Australia would have returned to surplus in 2011, 2012, and 2013 before deficits from 2014 onwards.

    “Between 2009 and 2016 accumulated deficits would be about zero. In fact, after consistent deficits since 2009 accumulated deficits and government debt blew out by $300bn.

    “The current tax to GDP ratio is 22.4%, and is projected to reach 23.9% again in 2021-22, almost coinciding with the 2016 budget’s projection of a surplus in 2020-21.

    “While the treasurer is keen to focus on the spending side of the budget with many proposals to cut spending particularly to low income households, the main cause of the current budget outcome is the fall in revenue,” the paper concluded.

    “Hopefully the treasurer’s recent comments that the budget has an earning problem are a belated recognition of this.”

    “Ben Oquist, the Australia Institute’s executive director, said the numbers clearly show that “when the government cuts its income, it finds it near impossible to run at a surplus”.

    “Despite a strong rhetorical focus about finding expenditure savings, the government’s own forecasts for a credible path back to surplus rely on a return to pre-GFC tax-to-GDP ratios.”

    “Oquist told Guardian Australia the fact the tax to GDP was higher than the 23.9% average in many years before the GFC showed Australia was “nowhere near the level that we could be at”. Australia’s tax to GDP ratio is low by international standards, he added.

    “He said the government had recognised higher revenues would contribute to budget repair through cracking down on over-generous superannuation tax concessions and reindexing fuel excise.

    “But he said if the government was concerned about Australia’s triple A credit rating it should abandon its $48bn over 10 year company tax cut package, agreeing with Labor and the Greens.”


    www.theguardian.com/.../scott-morrison-prepares-ground-for-budget-deterioration-blaming-labor

    Next, the post MYEFO assessment.

  • Golly

    12/20/2016 3:26:49 AM |

    And the quiet old bugger sat  listening to the carry on as his beer warmed and wondered if the static house prices everywhere away from the dandyville in Sydney and the difficulty with wages growth would  lead to continuing record high personal debt and very little spending growth and no refinancing of mortgages .... better get another beer
    Morrison seems intent on following the folly of the 1930's ... I'll drink this one quicker coz who bloody knows with this mob in charge
    No sense tellen em coz no ones bloody listening......

  • Ad Astra

    12/20/2016 2:41:09 PM |

    Folks
    Now the post MYEFO assessment.

    The Conversation today features the opinions of several experts:

    theconversation.com/2016-17-myefo-experts-response-more-of-the-same-is-not-good-enough-70585

    Don’t be surprised that Sinclair Davidson harks back to the halcyon spending days of Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, but you may be surprised how critical this strong Liberal supporter is of Abbott, Hockey, Turnbull and Morrison.

    In the same issue is What’s behind the numbers? MYEFO in seven charts The charts reveal the budget situation more lucidly than words can do.

    You will find the 'zombie' measures awaiting passage through the Senate of interest. There is a lot of money locked up there.

    theconversation.com/whats-behind-the-numbers-myefo-in-seven-charts-70529

    The report card deserves the feared school teacher’s annotation: ‘Could do better’.

  • Ken

    12/20/2016 5:42:39 PM |

    Golly

    Well said.  You raise a coupla things I missed but the piece was gettin' too long as it was.  I'll hafta see what I can do about those other issues next year.

  • Ad Astra

    12/20/2016 5:48:18 PM |

    Folks
    Bernard Keane has this acerbic assessment of MYEFO today in Crikey in Keane: more like MYEFOMG:

    Scott Morrison’s second Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook is his least worst policy document yet, but illustrates the deep hole the Abbott and Turnbull governments have led both the nation’s finances and the broader economy.

    “There are some poor decisions in there – Joe Hockey’s Asset Recycling Fund was his best contribution to public policy in his career, and deserved to continue; the welfare measures that will yield $2 billion over forward estimates are the amazing 100th crackdown in this area under all governments since 1985; instead of directing infrastructure funding to projects that will yield genuine economic value, unallocated funding will be directed to the Coalition’s regional boondoggles announced during the election campaign; and the Australian Federal Police will get still more funding — $60 million – for security theatre.

    “But there are also some “quality saves”, to use a phrase of yore: the Green Army has met its Cannae and a richly deserved end it is, too — the only shame is that its counterpart in Coalition climate crap, the emissions reduction fund, wasn’t junked as well. There’s another chiseling away of middle-class welfare via Family Tax Benefit A, the VET-HELP reforms are overdue and should produce both savings and a better vocational training sector, and a business welfare program has been cut. Morrison also deserves credit for refusing to bank the recent rise in commodity prices across forward estimates.

    “Even so, there’s an element of fakery to the numbers. In particular, the most impressive feature of the document — the cut in government spending as a proportion of GDP from 25.8% to 25.2% this year and in coming years — reflects not hard-earned savings but more than $10 billion worth of adjustments to demand-driven programs in childcare and aged income support. Programs like these are “demand driven” in the sense that if people qualify for them, they get paid — there’s no cap or limit. Instead, the relevant departments and the Department of Finance have to estimate how many people will access the program and budget for that — if a program gets overused, the government has to find the money from somewhere; if the estimate is too high, the government saves money. In this case, the government has decided that previous calculations about childcare and the Income Support for Seniors programs have overstated demand, and the budget has been adjusted downward by $11-odd billion over forward estimates. It’s legit, but a little convenient — and if the new estimates prove undercooked, only the fiscal nerds who bother to check the Final Budget

    “Outcome and subsequent budgets will spot it.

    “Despite that notional windfall, the overall deficit situation has deteriorated yet again, even though this year comes out $600 million better after all the toing and froing. But compare Joe Hockey’s 2014 budget, which predicted a return to surplus in 2017-18 — that’s next year — with yesterday’s document, in which you won’t get much change from a deficit of $30 billion, there’s $95 billion worth of deficit over the coming four years and a virtually non-existent surplus in the year beyond that. The villain, as always, is revenue write-downs — on which the government deserves exactly the amount of common sense understanding that the Coalition gave Wayne Swan when he kept having to postpone the return to surplus, zero. That’s especially the case given Hockey and Mathias Cormann swore repeatedly the days of revenue write-downs were over once the adults were back in charge in 2014. And especially given the Coalition has long called for, and sought via industrial relations laws to achieve, downward pressure on workers’ wages in favour of employers. Now they’ve got all the “wage restraint” they can eat, and their budget is choking on it.

    “While the focus in the last 24 hours has been on whether the ratings agencies — suddenly restored to apparent credibility despite their unpunished culpability for the financial crisis — will downgrade Australia’s rating, thereby establishing that the Coalition has undone the hard fiscal work of Swan, there’s a broader point here. Interest rates have been at record lows for several years, and the Coalition, despite the surpluses apparently present in their DNA, have pumped $114 billion in deficit spending into the economy since coming to office — not including the extra tens of billions they loaded into 2013-14 and blamed on Labor — and the economy has struggled to get out of second gear. In fact, it just went backwards in the September quarter.

    “Abbott and Turnbull have run a sustained deficit of well over 2% of GDP, year in and year out, hand-in-glove with an extraordinarily easy monetary policy, without managing to get the economy consistently performing at trend.
    It’s not just a poor record for the allegedly superior economic managers, it’s an alarming one for Australia.”

  • 2353NM

    12/22/2016 9:59:22 AM |

    Two good articles DoodlePoodle.  Thanks.

    I wonder if Bernardi and Christensen have 'the ticker' (to coin a phrase) to find out how many supporters they really have (rather than those that are just so rusted on to the LNP they would vote for Satan if he was the candidate).  Turnbull certainly won't have 'the ticker' to arrange for their expulsion.

    While Shorten has had a better year than Turnbull, neither of them are a spectacular success in their roles.  Both need to 'discover' how to appeal to disaffected voters (and demonstrate that while talk is easy, there needs to be substance to it - unlike Hanson et al) over the next 6 months or so or the prediction of Sammy J on the Christmas Special Playground Politics (last night on ABCTV) may come true that Shorten is facing Abbott in an election towards the end of 2017 may come true.

Comments are closed