Joe-Hockey

NOT-SO-SLOPPY JOE

If there was a Most Improved Player award handed out at the end of this parliamentary year, it would have to go to the Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Even though he’s been described as a pale imitation of Peter Costello (who in turn was a pale imitation of Paul Keating), Hockey has been the standout parliamentary performer.

Joe-Hockey

That’s not to say he didn’t start from a low base: the sobriquet ‘Sloppy Joe’ stuck for a reason. Hockey was an ill-disciplined shadow treasurer, not always on top of his brief and very bad at fudging when he didn’t know the answer.

But three months since the ...

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151 Comments

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Janet

    Wishful thinking, Paula.
    Joe’s ability to sell anything depends on the media hacks repeating his spin without questioning it. His rhetoric doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    janes

    Paula – not sure what you are suddenly seeing now that hasn’t been there up till now that makes you think Hockey improved?

    Since becoming Treasurer he has been widely criticised by economists & media for poor media performance, poor decision-making, creative accounting & exaggeration.

    And we all know that’s all Labor’s fault.

    Way back – Joe had a degree of “warm & fuzzy” good will bestowed on him by Aust public – because he appeared to “personally” have a touch of humanity – in stark contrast to most of his colleagues. That “personal” good will & political capital has been flowing away for a while now. Not sure he has much left.

    Not sure people trust or respect Hockey with Aust finances any more than they do Tony Abbott.

    (Any good will was about personality NOT competence)

    • Reply December 18, 2013

      janes

      Sloppy Joe should be Slippery Joe.

      Very hard to pin down for a definitive statement on anything.

      • Reply December 18, 2013

        Kel

        Sloppy, sweaty, slippery Joe. Can’t see how he is suddenly the statesman. He’s still telling porkies but now he has upped the volume.

    • Reply December 18, 2013

      martha

      so is paula rusted lib,
      read this compare what hockey said to
      this
      http://www.alp.org.au/myefo_release?utm_campaign=bowen_myefo&utm_medium=email&utm_source=australianlaborparty

      you all decide and pass on I am not a member of the alp just very worried about what being said and written

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    RhodaD

    Hockey always gives me the impression he hasn’t grown up yet. I’m sure the public perception is of a man who hasn’t a clue. Not that it would stop him being elected leader. The Liberal Party has lost the plot.

    • Reply December 18, 2013

      martha

      is paula pushing for her man to be liked and be PM never, I want forget the way they looked across at ms Gillard sneeringly some people think we have short memories.
      that aside

      why did he give billions to the Reserve bank and they did not ask for it. The gonski report was that ever read by Pyne I seems to me that liberals do not want educated people in our country is that so they can get cheap labour to take the jobs of our people but then on the other had heard one of them say re Holden workers they could go to the mines to work,
      Then we had 22 year old lib saying we should all work till we are 70, and then to come is thePPL which Hockey well looking at the supper of us retired and others re the Franking to get a few more dollars for their rich women’s PPL, in the mean time working mums having babies have lost the Labor stay at home for mums which was moderate compared to what Joe wants, and so so much more expensive. so no mine tax I would remind liberals the dirt belongs to aust, and we the people should be getting a fair return for that.
      I cannot stand to look at any of them and have decided that must hate us their fellow aust, . I have never Paula felt this miserable about MY and OUR country in my whole life.
      What Morrison is doing to the people and small children, If joe is such a nice fellow paula why does he not speak up re Morrison so one can only presume they are all the same.

      No thanks I am desperately trying to work a way of how I and family can keep sane for the next three years I am an artist and creator couture sewist, so when not on twitter I will be trying to put beautiful things in front of me and also the grandchildren help my family , in 70 my husband then boyfriend was called up for national service they put birthday in a barrel pulled it out, you went to Vietnam they have not changed, no care no empathy no love of fellow man just themselves if they did they would of not be hinting of getting rid of NDIS need I say more,, good help us in three years int, will double and expect the unemployment to do same, None of this was necessary our economy was in great shape they have borrowed and borrowed if you are on twitter u see the economists there tweeting what and when they borrow, join twitter if you can you certainly learn about what going on NO rose coloured glasses for me , hockey is still the same as he always was.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Johnsie

    No doubt a wide range of spending cuts will be needed to clean up this appalling mess. Hopefully the wildly generous PPL will be one of the first things to go.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    ro.watson

    Where did the billions go since the election?

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Linda Robinson

    I am waiting to see what else I’m going to lose in this budget.I don’t expect the high income earners will lose much at all. THAT won’t be Labor’s fault though. God help us all if they take any more from health;there aren’t enough nurses now.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    ro

    ro – the billions & the economy have gone the same way as all the Gillard Govt’s progressive initiatives – that were supposed to be “locked in”.

    Creatively re-interpreted by Coalition to disappear.

    • Reply December 18, 2013

      janes

      ro – Above was my comment to you – janes

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Lindy

    Budget cuts,will it be cuts to middle class welfare, no that can’t happen because we should all remember when Labor tried some means testing, the coalition, media and those earning one hundred and ten thousand a year who were having trouble making ends meet were screaming from the roof tops plus the front pages of newspapers…. Oh wait all is not lost they can continue to hit the lowest income earners as they have already been doing, PROBLEM SOLVED

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Tim

    You make a point Paula, out of a poor bunch of pollies he’s maybe the best. Not that being the best of the worst is compliment. Not yet anyway. That will depend on how he handles the NDIS and middle class welfare.

    The one I’m most disappointed in is Turnbull. I thought at least he’ll keep the broadband on track, but he’s currently backflipping out if that.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Mark

    So far, all I’ve seen from Hockey is attempt after attempt to blame everything on Labor – including Coalition spending since the election. He’s also blamed Labor for budget forecasts which were in fact done by Treasury (but it’s so much more politically expedient to blame Labor, eh Joe?) and claimed to be surprised by a ‘black hole’ in the finances handed over by the previous government when in fact Costello’s system of budget honesty at elections makes it no longer possible to play those tricks. But when does the truth count with Hockey?

    The real truth is Hockey and Abbott campaigned relentlessly prior to the election on paying back the debt and bringing in surpluses – they had the nerve to say it was in their ‘DNA’ and anyone who claimed that would be difficult or even risky in the present global financial climate was shouted down by the rusted-on right wing nutters as being economically reckless. Now the Coalition is in government and planning deficits for many years (budget emergency? What budget emergency?), all I see is Hockey trying to wriggle out of the responsibility for what he promised, because he clearly never believed it was possible anyway, at least not until the whole global economy turns around.

    I don’t see economic management – all I see image management.

    If sneaky and dishonest is what this country needs then sure, shower him with praise. But I expect more from a Federal Treasurer.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    RhodaD

    Well I think Labor should take a leaf out of the Coalition book and start campaigning on fiscal responsibility. Promote itself as the party who looks after the economy.

    It was the conservatives that brought down the US and UK economies. Let’s start pointing the finger at the real villains.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    janes

    Andrew Leigh’s article for Fairfax is relevant. “Joe Hockey, it’s your economy now”

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/joe-hockey-its-your-economy-now-20131216-2zgwu.html#ixzz2nmEI6u12

    Leigh questions Hockey’s Mid-Year Economic & Fiscal outlook compared to the Pre-Election Fiscal and Economic Outlook (PEFO).- and Hockey’s economic decisions & lack of vision.

    Leigh gives a wonderful analogy of “a restaurant owner, who had sold his business. The new owners complained that they could not make as much money as he had done”.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    JoanneH

    Poor Hockey, he ran financial confidence down when in opposition, and is still doing it because he inherited a terrible ‘AAA’ rated economy.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    george

    For a man that sleeps with a Simpsons doona cover…he’s not a grown up man at all!!

    He’s a snake oil salesman. .

    Mr Turnball however…..now there’s a leader!!

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    oldfart

    60% 0f the deficit has been generatedin the last 100 days Joe, take ownership of it.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Flick_04

    Joe is and always has been a buffoon! We have had to wait for this MYEFO until Joe had learned his lines! Huffing Puffing Joe is what we have and his decisions so far do not inspire me to expect anything more than steam (which burns everything in its path). The actualising PM Credlin is probably satisfied with this performance but the force of Abbott in opposition raised expectations and political awareness, so Ms Credlin and her star chamber will soon learn.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    momo80

    Joe is as big a liar as Abbott is.

    He is also a bumbling fool who played public chicken with Holden and lost.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Reevo

    You have to love the ALP mentality. The former government under Gillard and Rudd have run up massive amounts of debt and done their best to hide it from the public. Now that the true extent of the damage has been revealed they start throwing around little slogans like ‘the blame game’. And the posts from most of the ALP supporters here just illustrate the complete lack of any economic understanding. This debt is not something that can be corrected in a matter of months (let alone 100 days). This will take years and years to fix. As for janes restaurant analogy . . . what a laugh. Only thing is, it leaves out the most important part of the story and that is the restaurant has been poorly managed for years and is in debt up to it’s eyeballs.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    JoanneH

    Hockey is refusing to guarantee that the NDIS scheme is not going to be cut, which must be bad news for many. No wonder he, along with Abbott and the rest of the then Opposition (apart from 2 or 3) couldn’t be bothered attending Parliament when Julia Gillard was fighting back tears while introducing the Disability Care Legislation. Even though they offered bi-partisan support to guarantee votes, they probably knew they would emasculate the scheme’s roll-out after the election – and blame Labor

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Gwen

    And since when is being “very bad at fudging” such a downfall. What about honesty?

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    JenU

    The NDIS and many other social programs ( icl health, education) will be allowed to run down. The Abbott lead govt will argue that costs savings are needed etc … However what he and Hockey are preparing for is the fire sale of these services and programs. Their view of smaller govt is that all social services are to be paid for by the User (community) and run by the private sector and the role of the govt is to facilitate this.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Tee

    Sloppy need to tell his side kick Corman to keep that silly, i have just hatched a plan smerk off his face when they are delivering bad news.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    pauline A

    This government is scary. I have a bad feeling that the cuts will come from welfare and pensions. Who cares about their vote.

    The middle class welfare is a joke. My DIL received $5000 for having a baby and not working. The PPL should be scrapped and the aged pension increased. Unfortunately this will not happen. If the Libs touch the disability scheme there should be rioting in the streets.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    jane

    reevo, I just love your Liars mentality. The economy under Labor received AAA ratings from all ratings agencies and has been praised by unbiased objective economists world wide.

    I notice you conveniently ignore the fact that this country came through the GFC unscathed due to swift action by the Rudd government.

    However, you have also deliberately ignored the borrowings ($60bn+ since 8/9) under Sloppy’s management and have not commented on the fact that he has been given free rein for unlimited borrowings.

    Sloppy’s pronouncements should be taken with a container load of salt, because like all Liars, the genes for truthfulness, honesty, integrity, compassion and empathy have all been removed and replaced by their complete opposites.

    I can’t agree with your assessment of Sloppy, Paula. He looks and sounds just like the same old shifty, deceitful, lying toerag he has always been.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    diane

    Budget Cuts!! will they cut the politicians wages NO Will the paid maternity leave go: NO, will the unnecessary travel junkets stop? NO. the only cuts will be made the flounding heath system, the understaffed schools, and probably the pensioners, who are a so called burden on the tax payer as the government always say. The health system may not as bad as it is if the governments stop granting private health from increasing there fees every year. They should be giving discounts to people who haven’t made a claim in 18 months, and more people would take up private heath

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Kathy

    Wow, Paula how easily you forget! Hockey is still blaming Labor for everything and it was only last week that he stood in parliament with his boss away, neck veins bulging goading Holden to say whether they were staying or going. Better parliamentary behaviour and a plan would have seen Holden stay at least another 3 years–time the government desperately needs to ameliorate the desperate situation that Hockey and Truss have created regarding the demise of the Automotive industry in Australia. Hockey doesn’t fool most of us. He was handed the removed debt ceiling by the Greens, and won’t give us the details of how he will tackle this “Budget Emergency” for six months (May budget). He is not fooling most of us!

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Alistair

    Lets just hope Joe can deliver when it counts. Cuts to government spending need to be deep and across the board.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Sandy

    He does look truly comfortable in his new role. Apparently that’s what many Australians are concerned about. So long as your friendly neighbourhood snake oil salesman looks confident and speaks with confidence, it doesn’t matter how many lies he spins or how morally bankrupt he is.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Francesca Agosti

    Paula Mathewson, your article could not be further off the mark. Joe Hockey is one of the most incompetent, undignified and openly hostile Treasurer’s this country has ever seen, and routinely on the defensive during interviews. “Comfortable in his new role?” I believe he is anything but this. Mr Hockey is feeling the heat as he squirms, obfuscates and attempts to use slippery language in order to cook the books. And he has good reason to look and sound uncomfortable. Mr Hockey has just announced a deficit of just under $50 billion, a deterioration of $20 billion since this Coalition Gov took office. This deterioration is as a direct result of Mr Hockey and this Government’s reckless spending in just over 100 days of office, and no amount of obfuscation or buck passing can hide this fact from any intelligent observer. Treasury’s independent forecast released during the 2013 election campaign showed the 2013/14 deficit on track for $30.1 billion [Ref link below]. This deficit was incurred due to the then Labor Gov’s spending in order to keep the economy strong during the Global Financial Crisis, an initiative that worked brilliantly as evidenced by our AAA rating at Election 2013, however that’s another discussion. Every penny above this $30.1bn figure is the direct responsiblity of Mr Hockey and the Abbott Gov, reckless spending over a 100 day period. This must be some kind of record. ANZ Chief Economist, Shane Oliver stated on Monday this week that half of the deficit blowout for the 2013/14 financial year was likely due to the $8.8 billion given to the RBA, a move that was bitterly disputed by Labor in Parliament, however Hockey and the Abbott Gov in typical bullying fashion got their way on this. Add to this another $1 billion in additional Gov spending on asylum seeker detention centres on Manus and Christmas Islands respectively, yes, that’s another $1 billion, as a direct result of this Gov’s ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’, this Gov continuing campaign of waging war against asylum seekers, or ‘illegal immigrants’ as Mr Morrison is fond of calling them. Nothing illegal about seeking asylum, however that’s another discussion also. Add to this the Abbott Gov’s overly generous Paid Parental Leave Scheme, essentially more middle class welfare handouts to some of the wealthiest Australians, while this Gov simultaneously slashes modest wage increases to child care workers, and we can definitely identify a patter of reckless, irresponsible spending by this Gov, taxpayer dollars that could be far better utilised in order to benefit the lives of all Australians. And this is the tip of the iceberg. Time and space does not permit me to elaborate further, in particular to this Gov’s slash and burn approach to many important areas of fiscal management, such as the NDIS, Gonski, foreign aid, Climate Commission, CSIRO, the list is endless. This amounts to appalling fiscal irresponsibility, and for this accountability msut be directly attributed to Joe Hockey and the Abbott Gov. If we want an explanation as to why the budget has blown out by over $20 billion dollars we need look no further than the direct actions of Joe Hockey and this incompetent excuse for a Gov. Add to this the impending closure of Holden, where generous assistance packages will need to be paid out to tens of thousand of sacked workers, yet another irresponsible decision by Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott to refuse what would have been a modest aid package of $180 million per year to 2020, a paltry amount in the scheme of things in order to protect what in the final analysis will amount to the loss of up to 100,000 jobs across Australia, not only in Holden manufacturing but also ancillary businesses, hundred of them, and entire communities that are directly reliant on Holden, such as Elizabeth, SA, and you have Gov incompetence on a scale never seen in the political history of this country. Mr Hockey is happy to pay out money to Holden in order to hasten its demise, yet was completely intractable on the issue of providing modest aid to secure Australian manufacturing jobs into the future. Bad report card? This Gov deserves every ounce of criticism it receives, hence the sharp turnaround in recent polls so soon after the last Fed election, a lightning-swift backlash the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country before. “March toward fiscal richeousness”? What a crock. So, Paula Mathewson, how you can state “… Hockey’s the only minister to look truly comfortable in his new role” is beyond me. Did you observe Mr Hockey’s vitriolic attack against Holden in Parliament a few weeks ago? Watch it for yourself. I have attached a link below. A vitriolic and shameful display of goading and taunting of Holden as this Gov continues its war against manufacturing in this country. I suggest you return to your research and do a bit more reading on the failures of this Gov after just over 100 days in office, the most wilfully destructive Gov in our history. Any objective observer can tell you that Mr Hockey is nothing more than a schoolyard bully who likes to push his weight around in a most undignified manner not befitting any Member of Parliament. Your article is way off the mark. “The Budget we had to have”? WRONG. All these poor decisions were absolutely avoidable. Australia is on a collision course with brutal austerity measures which will have dire impact on the quality of life of average Australians, and this is directly due to mismanagement by Mr Joe Hokey and the Abbott Gov. I suggest you go back to the drawing board and come up with a more plausible explanation for Australia’s current woes than this piece of fiction you have produced here.

    • Reply December 18, 2013

      janes

      Great comment Francesca – that is one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the Abbott Govts extremely poor decision-making & economic management.

      The Abbott Govt has only had 100 days to destroy so much. without even flinching. Be very afraid of our future.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Tom Watson

    Seriously, would you buy a second hand car from this guy..?

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      PositionPosition

      Well I certainly don’t think Joe Hockey looks like a shifty used car salesman. He looks more to me like a shifty real estate agent. And about as educated as one.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    PG

    One thing the Government could do to show the electorate some mercy is to place a self-imposed embargo on launching into an anti-Labor diatribe when confronted with any issue. Mr Hockey is the number one offender in this regard.
    Guys (and yes, they are mostly guys), we got it. We voted you in remember? Now is the time to stop the never ending blame game and act like the adults you professed to be. Own the problem. Honestly, at the stage I don’t particularly care who is to blame. What a want to know is what you propose to do about it.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Alistair

    Hi Francesca – see that rectangular button on the right of the keyboard? its the ‘enter’ or ‘return’ button. using it breaks huge blocks of text into paragraphs making stuff easier to read. I encourage you to give it a try.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Francesca Agosti

    Janet, janes, Kel, Martha, RhodaD, Linda Robinson, Lindy, Mark, Joanne H, oldfart, Flick_04, JoanneH, Jen U, PaulineA, Kathy agree with all your great comments.

    Jane and diane, I could not agree more with your persuasive arguments. You both present a compelling case against this incompetent and in fact corrupt Government.

    Reevo, I suggest you start reading a little more widely and watching direct news coverage, including live interviews, and footage of Parliament Question Time freely available on YouTube, and educate yourself as to what is actually going on rather than simply believing the totally ineffective Hockey and Abbott rhetoric, a mindless replay of sloganeering that over the past 100 days has worn very thin indeed. It is fooling no-one. In this age of instant accessibility of information there is no excuse to be ignorant or ill-informed. It would be irresponsible of any Opposition not to expose the truth, and the truth is that the Budget has blown out from $30.1bn to $50bn in a matter of 100 days, and those responsible for the $20bn shortfall are Mr Hockey and the Abbot Gov, and the list of reckless spending cannot be hidden. It has been discussed ad nauseum in the media. Accountability is the hallmark of mature Government and what we have seen is a complete lack of accountability on the part of the Abbot Gov as they choose instead to habitually blame Labor for their own incompetence and mismanagement. The evidence is available for everyone to see regarding where this money has been spent. If you follow daily news reports it has been well documented in SMH, Fin Review, The Australian, The Guardian, Aust Independent Media Network, ABC News, SBS News, The Geelong Advertiser etc, as well as a plethora of online publications and blogs. Criticism of this Gov has also extended to international media, such as the Jakarta Post, The Huffington Post, etc.The list is absolutely endless. The evidence is overwhelming and it is out there for those willing to engage in an objective assessment of it. I suggest you do this rather than repeating parrot fashion the propaganda you have heard out of the mouths of the men responsible for the greatest fiscal mismanagement in the history of this great country of ours.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Francesca Agosti

    Alistair …

    Thanks for the tip.

    I’ll keep this in mind.

    But I would prefer you commented on the content of my post …. rather than its format.

    Cheers
    Francesca :-)

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    JohnI

    Let me fix paragraph 12 for you:

    “No country ever taxed itself to prosperity,” Hockey intoned, quoting, almost verbatim, the American shock-jock Rush Limbaugh. This is Tea-Party-speak for “you know those services that only Government can provide? Well, you’re not going to get them because tax is baaad”. This should come as no surprise to anyone who observed his partner-in-grime Senator Cormann hobnobbing with the likes of Grover Norquist, the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks during a study tour in 2011.

    You’re welcome.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Johnsie

    Oldfart says –

    “60% 0f the deficit has been generatedin the last 100 days Joe, take ownership of it.”

    Dear lord, sometimes it’s just not even worth trying. …..

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Francesca Agosti

    True, Johnsie.

    But it’s also helpful to point out how, when and where. For the sceptics and deniers out there. For the sake of transparency.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Alistair

    Francesca, it makes accessing the content much easier. On that note you say “…the truth is that the Budget has blown out from $30.1bn to $50bn in a matter of 100 days, and those responsible for the $20bn shortfall are Mr Hockey and the Abbot Gov, and the list of reckless spending cannot be hidden. It has been discussed ad nauseum in the media.”

    I see a bit of both MSM and alternate media. I you could indulge me, would it be to much to ask for you to be explicit about specific instances of ‘reckless spending’. Doesn’t have to be in detail, just s list so I know where you’re going.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Lillcat

    “Stand Out Parliamentary Performer” – compared to who??? Anyone can bluff and bluster – and he has certainly been doing that but where is the substance? AND I don’t mean his physique. We have seen/heard NOTHING of any substance in terms of what action is going to be taken, apart from the morally corrupt action of hurting low paid members of the community like child care workers and aged care health workers, to mention a few. AND his performance in Question Time just prior to the Holden announcement was a disgrace.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Izabela

    Oh, please Paula, “comfortable in his role”? Did you not see the profuse sweating? Hockey stressed that “this is an unsustainable fiscal position and the government is committed to taking the hard decisions to live within its means”. One hundred days in government and still shifting the blame? Francesca says it all. She has her facts in order and her head squarely positioned on her shoulders. Her eyes are wide open and superior intelligence switched on.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    hms

    I always liked Joe, he was warm, cuddly and fun on the various shows he went on. It’s a pity he is resorting to the old stand by “the economy is in worse shape than we thought so we can’t keep our promises” line. The LNP released their costings late and so therefore weren’t able to be properly scrutinised before the election. This was a great tactic by the party and now gives them the opportunity to renege.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Mark

    Alistair, here’s an article describing how, to quote the article, “More than 60 per cent of the expected worsening in this year’s deficit is attributed to decisions made by the Abbott government”.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/hard-to-be-impressed-by-this-piece-of-creative-accounting-20131217-2zjbo.html

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    MicheleS

    I think it’s time everyone – especially the media – stopped playing “The Budget Game”.

    The deficit, between 2–3% of GDP, is the government’s equivalent of a home mortgage. How many people’s mortgage is 2–3% of their annual income?

    When viewed in this realistic (adult) manner, all the petty arguments about the size of deficits and surpluses are just that, petty reminders of small boys arguing about whose whatever is biggest and best!

    In my opinion the focus should be on whether the government is fulfilling its role of doing and providing everything it is charged with doing and providing.

    It either is, or it isn’t.

    If it isn’t, what options do we have of doing something about it?

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Alistair

    Thanks Mark.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    ro.watson

    At what rate does the government borrow money when transacting in billions? At what rate does the Reserve Bank pay back money borrowed from the Government? Or is this transaction between the Government and the Bank, a gift made on behalf of taxpayers?

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    miranda

    Good questions Ro!

    And well said MicheleS. Heard another media report yesterday describe the budget outlook as “bleak” then in the next sentence report an economist saying the AAA credit rating is safe.

    Think there’s another game starting up here too – “Let’s See if We Can Find a Leadership Challenge”. I’d like to see Ro’s questions answered instead – what is this transfer to the Reserve Bank all about???

    Plus I can’t see how trashing a mainstay of our manufacturing industry in a bout of parlimentary pique is a good look. And I don’t think the people who lose their jobs will think so either.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Marko

    Seriousy Alistair and Mark. You’re using Ross Gitten’s article as a reference for your 60% fable. Gitten’s is just another part of the left’s cheer squad. The same Ross Gittens also wrote “it becomes standard practice in Australian politics to blame governments for almost every bad thing that happens on their watch, including developments beyond their control. This makes no sense, but since most punters don’t bother to think things through, it goes down well with your rusted-on supporters and the great unwashed” . . . sound familiar. Gitten’s is no dunce, but he does have you lot figured out and he doesn’t appear to think much of your intellectual abilities.

    He’s also the same guy who editorialised that he finds good old community support of bushfire victims “disturbing and distasteful”. Nice

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Alistair

    Looking at the article by Ross Gittins (courtesy of Mark), I still do see a “…list of reckless spending.” To quote Gittins from the end of his piece:

    “More than 60 per cent of the expected worsening in this year’s deficit is attributed to decisions made by the Abbott government, most particularly the capital grant of almost $9 billion to the Reserve Bank.

    It represents a piece of creative accounting, loading up the deficit in the year for which Labor can be blamed so as to improve the deficit in the years for which the Coalition will be responsible.

    But when you look at the expected deterioration over four years, 80 per cent of it is attributable to the worsening outlook for the economy just since the election.

    Hockey is trying to shift the blame for this deterioration onto Labor but, in truth, if it comes to pass it will be caused by factors largely beyond the control of any government.

    Hockey is right in his claim that government spending grew a lot faster under Labor than it tried to have us believe.”

    So there’s a number of distinct ideas there. A 60% increase attributed to bad ideas but only one named.

    There’s creative accounting – we’re talking about government it comes with the territory.

    Then there’s the admission that 80% of the projected red ink is really about a deteriorating economy – correctly noted as being beyond the control of the governments economic levers.

    Finally there’s the reality that spending levels under the previous government were higher than expected.

    In the end, I’m still no clearer about whether or not Joe Hockey is responsible for driving the budget deficit through the ceiling (or is it the floor?).

  • […] Not-so-Sloppy Joe. Regular post for The Hoopla. […]

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Fair Go

    Unlikely that Joe will become popular with too many as he has ensured many people will have a miserable Christmas by cutting funding to so many valuable program’s yesterday including After School Hours Care. Meantime there is no sign of making the wealthy carry a fair load while battlers are made to struggle and the environment is destroyed.

    The poorly funded Environmental Defenders Offices are being shut down so communities subjected to fracking and mining will have no way of getting lawful decisions.

    Class warfare is being waged and we are asked to believe political rubbish from those governing for Sydney’s North Shore.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Dianne

    Francesca – Thankyou for writing such a detailed response.

    I share your concerns.

    I do not think Joe Hockey is a stand-out performer. He looks and sounds evasive.

    When he was in Opposition and plump he was genial Uncle Joe joshing around with Kevin on morning TV. He played the aw-shucks-bashful kind of guy. So irritating.

    Then he had his stomach stapled and the other Joe emerged: Joe the tight wad, hectoring, lecturing Joe. In my opinion he is just another ideologue with no vision just a thumbed copy of a how-to-do-it manual for neo-liberal Treasurers. He will plod on paring back spending on essential services and cutting taxes to the well-off and selling anything left.

    If Hockey looks better than he should it is because Tony Abbott is has absolutely no authority, charisma or charm.

    Where are these people taking us? I don’t think they have a clue.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Hillbilly Skeleton

    No mention in Paula’s bio that she has been a LIBERAL media adviser & lobbyist. Wonder why she wants to keep it a secret? So she can get away with articles like this?

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      Paula Matthewson

      Hillbilly Skeleton – It’s no secret I was a Liberal staffer 20 years go. It’s also no secret that I’ve never worked for them since, never been a member of the Liberal Party, and am as critical of the Libs as I am of other party.

      Character assassination is the last resort of the intellectually bereft.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    ro.watson

    I have just had the crack in an old ceiling ” fixed” in my single storey house~ the term is” lagging” .

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Dianne

    Mr Denmore at the Failed Estate has written a good piece on Hockey and the failure of journalists to sniff rats.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    ro.watson

    And “propping”. Must not forget to prop a ceiling before lagging an old ceiling with a crack?

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Louise G

    What a ridiculous article, I kept waiting for the punchline. I think Hockey is incredibly uncomfortable because he doesn’t believe in what he is saying. His faux tough guy act is truly awful as is the government he is a part of. His bully boy tactics and antics are disgusting.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    DJ

    You got to be kidding. Our work experience Treasury is a joke and doesn’t have a clue.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Dianne

    Another good piece which includes astute criticism of Hockey has been written by Andrew Elder at Politically Homeless.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Johnsie

    Hillbilly, I suggest you peruse the rest of her work here. She has been receiving much hoopla love until now. It is clear that someone who can look at things from both sides is unwelcome and has their credibility called into question.

    Paula, you are probably dead to them now.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Johnsie

    Just love Francesca’s generous appraisal of the 13/14 deficit of the ALP being due to spending keeping Australia protected from the GFC. Wow! They get credit for still spending on something that ended years ago, but the coalition can’t get 100 days leeway after taking over!

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    miranda

    As for Hockey’s “Very Hard Decisions needed to get the budget back into black”: now isn’t the time to be getting the budget back in the black unless he wants to throw people out of work and slow the economy.

    I’m with Francesca too but would add that I can’t quite see Hockey taking the Australian people with him on his program either. For example, Hockey plans to cut before and after school care – but it’s no surprise he doesn’t use it and doesn’t appear to understand the impact it will have on ordinary families. He and his investment banker wife Melissa Babbage prefer a nanny.

    “I tried to use formal childcare but (their son), he was downstairs in the childcare centre screaming and I was upstairs in the loo bawling. So I’ve always had a nanny,” she told the Tele on May 19.

    Most people don’t have that choice.

    see Tele on Hockey and Babbage:
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/shadow-treasurer-joe-hockey-and-wife-melissa-babbage-are-a-true-power-couple/story-fni0cx4q-1226646152478

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Johnsie

    Miranda, why the scaremongering. There is no suggestion that he wants the budget in surplus “now” as you put it. In fact given the dire state they have inherited, they have stated that their earlier planned surplus in 16/17 is off the table.

    But you already know this, but choose to run with the scaremongering anyway. Then close it out with some class warfare. Sad.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    RhodaD

    Thanks from me too, Francesca. You nailed it. I’m at the point of wondering his purpose. There has to be more to it than reckless incompetence.

    Yet when I look to the US the conservatives are being just that.. They seem intent on tearing the heart out of social services by lowering the tax rate to a level that can’t sustain social services.

    In the UK the Tories are clawing back benefits and pensions are next on the hit list. There’s also this.

    “The party chairman, Grant Shapps, had previously suggested that the unemployed should have their child-related benefits capped at two children, but in an article in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Zahawi went further, suggesting that the rule should apply to all parents except those on incomes above £50,000, who no longer qualify for child benefit.”

    There’s an element of craziness to all this I find hard to understand. As though we’re supposed to be under immediate threat. It’s almost like we’re being herded into a trap.

    What the panic’s about. I just don’t get it. It’s not going to get them re-elected.

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Solstate

    > Hockey has been the standout parliamentary performer.

    This article is very generous to Joe Hockey – suspiciously so. Is this the “I will not be intimidated by anyone! Anyone!” Joe Hockey who promptly showed he was intimidated by the Nationals?

    So far all we have seen from him is statements about making hard decisions, but nothing to indicate he has the backbone necessary to actually make them. In fact the only thing he has done is recklessly spend money on the unnecessary and unasked for Reserve Bank payment that was the most blatant act of cooking the books we have seen for decades.

    Expect a budget that hits the poor and dispossessed but magically leaves the wealthy alone…

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    MicheleS

    Further to my earlier post, these are some of the issues that concern me:

    * Continuation of the fuel-tax credits for the mining industry, amounting to an estimated revenue loss of almost $14bn over the next 4 years, is blatant protection of the fossil fuel mining industry. In my opinion, Gonski and the NDIS need and deserve that revenue. Further information http://ab.co/1bPbkRF

    * The deliberate destruction of the NBN by halting the rollout and replacing its expert management with cronies who appear to have been chosen for their ignorance. With our automotive industry in decline, the NBN is vital for establishing “industries of the future”. Further information http://bit.ly/1cApOWJ (technical)

    * This week’s approval of a massive new coal loading terminal at Abbot Point which, apart from the risk of damage to the Great Barrier Reef, ignores the facts that demand for coal by China is falling and Australian mines could end up being mothballed or abandoned in the very near future. Further information http://bit.ly/1k3X9Qs

    * Today’s announcement of the possible scrapping of the Renewable Energy Target which requires energy retailers and large customers to source a proportion of their energy from renewable sources (20% by 2020) due to “significant price pressure” (less than 1% of average household electricity bill) – is blatant protection of the coalmining industry. Further information http://bit.ly/1bOayV7 and http://bit.ly/18yHYfu (technical)

    * Finally, those interested can get a sense of other things this government might be considering by reading “75 radical ideas to transform Australia” at http://bit.ly/IC8eKj

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      MicheleS

      Disclaimer: I am not a member of a political party, nor am I employed by an organisation that has a connection of any kind to any political party.
      I am just one of the many mature, informed and interested Australians who care about their country and its people, and their future together.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    miranda

    Johnsie – I’m not scaremongering. There is already a massive shortage of places in before and after school care. Lots of schools have waiting lists of up to two years. To cut funding to that sort of a service shows a lack of forethought and understanding of ordinary people’s needs. For parents to fully participate in the workforce it is an essential service.

    If you don’t believe me have a look at http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/afterschool-care-crisis-hits-working-parents-20130701-2p7m6.html

    • Reply December 22, 2013

      Doubting Tom

      Johnsie won’t be having a look. He already knows that. I think Johnsie is a very wealthy man and a very bored one too.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Dianne

    Miranda – scaremongering is a key Lib strategy. Those who support this government are blind to it.

    I read somewhere yesterday that Tony Abbott has been leveling accusations of scaremongering somewhere. I do not have the exact quote but he commented that it was the easiest thing in the world to scare people.

    He would know wouldn’t he?

    You are right Miranda, they have no idea. They have the manual. You do this and get this positive economic outcome. Never mind people in the way.

    Meanwhile they serve two short terms and are rewarded with a feather bed for life.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    miranda

    Thanks Dianne. Yes Abbott’s accusing Labor of scaremongering about cuts to the NDIS. But I reckon he and Hockey are committed to the NDIS just the way they are to school funding.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    MicheleS, on fuel tax subsidy, can you explain how it is protectionism of the mining industry? Is it also protectionism of the agriculture sector? Or, is it a subsidy to reflect that the purpose of the tax doesn’t apply to these two industries(among others) therefore it shouldn’t be paid?

    On the NBN, can you support your assertion that the new management of the NBN are ignorant cronies?

    What a disastrous waste that has been to date, failing on every measure. Do you propose to simply let it run in that fashion?

    Can you provide evidence there is the probability of abondonment or mothballing of Abbott point “in the very near future” because China is going stop buying our coal. And can you define very near future?

    Looks like you’ve successfully regurgitated the Greens talking points though. Well done.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Sheilah

    Here is an insight in to Abbott’s thinking and reasoning, quote on corporate support “… we are not here to creates field of dreams…..” and another that shows his understanding of what it will be like on the unemployment benefit of the Holden workers “… some of them might find it hard but most of them will be liberated …” one that is just.

    Countries that do manufacture cars have huge government support, just look at the support in Germany and the USA, they call it investment. Korea call it tariffs Thanks to the government bail out in USA Holden is now opening 100 other manufacturing plants especially reopening Detroit .

    Regarding Hockey performance I can only remember how they set up Mr Godwin Grech and he and Turnbull hung him out to dry, not that he did not put himself in that situation. He should have known better

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      Sheilah

      Oops meant to say GM and not Holden is opening 100 car manufacturing plants, apologies. Also another insight in to Hockey. He stood up in front of a Liberal Party funding raising function and said this “… I should have let him drown ..” he was referring to and incident when he saved Kevin Rudd (when he and Rudd were still “friends”. As my friend would like to say “he smiles with the front teeth and chews you with the back”.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Dianne

    MichelleS – but the age of corporate welfareism is over. TA has just issued a declaration.

    Sound the trumpets!

    I suppose it is all in the wording. See Abbott quote in Corinne’s piece.

    Just suppose Abbott means what he says and turns off the tap!

    Goodness. What will happen?

    I am reminded of those crank parents who occasionally turn up in court for believing their children can exist on water and air as food is poison.

    Zealots make me shiver.

    Is this government in zealous pursuit of free market goals?

    Is it foxing and just performing for zealous masters? Giving an impression. All talk in other words.

    Btw do you think Tony will pack his blue tie when he heads to Paris for Christmas with Margie and the girls?

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      JoanneH

      Only if Peta OK’s it first Dianne?

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    JoanneH

    I’m sure the Holden workers are happy to know that Abbott will be keeping the $16 million promise to the Cadbury chocolate factory which he made on a vote buying trip before the election.
    Cadbury, owned by a multinational giant, had reported a 64% burgeoning in its profit to $74 million last year.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    janes

    Dianne & others – Totally agree.

    To Coalition strategists over recent years – language & the “message” are everything. slogan slogan slogan Repeat repeat repeat

    Is there a genuine difference between corporate “welfare”, Govt handouts, Govt subsidies & industry stimulus? Or does it just depend on who’s talking & who they are talking to? For some they are just labels & slogans used to manipulate their message..

    If given to Mining industry or business in a marginal seat – it is OK & positive & is “stimulus”. If it’s highly political or union-supported it is negative – it’s a “handout” & “welfare”.

    Every Govt chooses to INVEST in its own economy – if they have the means. The choices made are critical & expose so much about the priorities, agenda & competence of the decision-making Govt.

    Keating’s suggestion that Australia could become a Banana Republic is coming closer to reality. At this rate – in our lifetime – we are going to live in a fertile country, import everything, produce nothing for ourselves & be owned by major conglomerates & other countries.

    Labor wanted to re-prioritise the economy away from mining. Investment into other areas of the economy.

    Investment in new technologies, innovation, research, education, training, mitigating major risk – like Climate Change – are all part of that. Disbanding initiatives like research bodies & the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – is so regressive & destructive for our future.

    If only the Coalition would get rid of the ideology, the blinkered inflexible zealots & think about Australia & what is good for Australia. Australia is the people – not the “fantasy” of corporations who may have had their roots here but now have no sense of accountability to Australian people.

    It should be about what is good for Australia.

    Where is the strategic planning for our long-term future – past the next election cycle??

    This Govt is only interested in short-term political crap.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    janes

    Abbott’s response to Holden closure is to give BUSINESSES money – not give WORKERS money. Which is OK in principle but still thinking in terms of trickle down economics.

    Worse still – they are probably going to give it to State Govts without any strings. Can just see that trickling through!!

    Abbott Govt doing policy on the run is a really really scary thing.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Sheilah

    I posted this on a earlier written work. This was from a Senator in the USA

    From the Senator I wish would become President:

    “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
    ― Elizabeth Warren

    I watched question time and can say Joe hockey is no great performer. He is too much (apologies for the language use) Fart and not enough shit. The House is like a play ground for Bronwin Bishop and Christopher Pyne. The scary thing is that MSM media is quietly silent on most important future of Australia. Climate Change NDIS, Education. The main mantra could have been written by the IPA (after having read the link posted by MicheleS, thanks MicheleS).

    And no I am not a public servant nor belong to any polcical Party

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    MicheleS

    This issue makes me utterly ashamed to be an Australian!

    * The Howard, Rudd-Gillard-Rudd and Abbott governments’ despicable attitude to asylum seekers. I simply cannot understand how our politicans, most of whom are married, can hold high standards for their families, especially their children, and the cruellest of standards for asylum seekers! The vast majority are genuine, have had to leave their countries and extended families due to wars and religious persecution, and have then risked their lives on ricketty boats to come to “the great Australia”. Aren’t we are all human beings? http://bit.ly/1cpp9L0

    * I want Australia to allow more refugees like Omidullah to live here! Many of our country towns are dying because their young people leave to work in cities. Re settling genuine refugees would breathe new life into the towns AND make it possible for the new settlers to have a decent life. Need I add the fact that many refugees would add to the government’s coffers by paying tax? Please take the time to read this true story http://ab.co/I3AWDW

    * Axeing the Immigration Health Advisory Group (IHAG) – words simply fail!
    http://ab.co/19LMEty and http://bit.ly/1cKazhs

    * I believe this article offers great insight into why some of our government’s decisions are being made.
    http://bit.ly/1kF2PxT

    Disclaimer: I am not a member of a political party, nor am I employed by an organisation that has a connection of any kind to any political party.
    I am just one of the many mature, informed and interested Australians who care about their country and its people, and their future together.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Sally

    Hear, hear

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Dianne

    Thanks all for helping flesh out my own concerns.

    Sheilah they were very interesting comments by Elizabeth Warren. Nothing radical there, just pure common sense.

    Take her observation that business operators should take note that their success is enhanced considerably by being located in a stable democracy with educated workers and vital infrastructure.

    Well for those reasons above I have never bought the idea that this government had nothing to do with Holden leaving these shores.

    Why would they?

    In Australia they had an educated workforce, infrastructure, political stability and subsidies. The pay off was the skills the car industry provided to the nation and the myriad of small business which depended on vehicle manufacture.

    In my opinion this government broke that accord by denying certainty and financial support.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    MicheleS, we resettle the 2nd most refugees in the world per capita, and the 3rd most in Absolute terms.

    For others, why the tears for GM workers? They’ve got years of notice providing ample time to seek new work or training, and an overly generous redundancy payment waiting for them at the end of it. Who else gets such an outcome. For those here who are employed, think about what your entitlements would be if your employer made you redundant. It would look nothing like the GM workers.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    JoanneH

    Jeff Kennett has advised Abbott to scrap the paid parental leave scheme, and Gonski as well, but to retain the NDIS because of social implications. He said “In my opinion, he (Abbott) needs to come out and say…..all election promises made at the last election by either party are off the board.” I’d love to see Abbott do that!
    I’m sure he would not welcome that advice. It sounds like personal political suicide to me, and I wonder if Kennett meant it that way.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    RhodaD

    Thanks MicheleS for those links and your comments. It’s all starting to look like Abbott’s government is intent on tearing up the social contract just as the extreme right wing Republicans have been trying to do with what’s left of theirs.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Dianne

    The Kennett remark made me laugh Joanne.

    I have a lot of time for Jeff Kennett. He had the courage of his convictions. I did not agree with some of his policies but his government was creative and energetic. They had ideas.

    Abbott’s govt appears timid and sneaky by contrast. I would be rocked off my socks if our leader addressed the nation in the manner Kennett has suggested.

    I do not believe for one minute that Kennett would have allowed Holden to go without making a case and explaining it. He would have had ideas about what would replace manufacturing. Keating would have had the Big Picture scenario at the ready also.

    Where are the new jobs going to come from?

    Just say we were able to build up service industries, medical innovation, tourism, education products, why would we be any better at competing globally than we are now?

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    oldfart

    http://media.theage.com.au/news/national-times/an-abbott-christmas-carol-5018449.html

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    MicheleS

    Johnsie: Your cold, hard and callous one sentence response quoting refugee statistics places you squarely on the far right side of politics! Sadly, your effort was completely irrelevant.

    My remarks were about Australia locking up refugees, my desire for that to cease, and for more genuine refugees to be given permanent residence!

    Re your equally harsh comment about Holden workers, regardless of how much retraining they may have, have you given any thought to which organisations, companies or businesses will be able to absorb thousands of additional employees?

    Disclaimer: I am not a member of a political party, nor am I employed by an organisation that has a connection of any kind to any political party.
    I am just one of the many mature, informed and interested Australians who care about their country and its people, and their future together.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    I’m sad that simple facts are confronting to you MicheleS. As I’ve said in another thread, I too wish we resettled more refugees.

    GM workers have an extraordinary benefit over any other person facing redundancy. Again, simple fact. It is their responsibility to find alternate employment, no one else. And they will have a massive head start compared to any other employees of private enterprise. There is nothing cold hearted about that, it is just they way it is. People lose their jobs everyday without massive golden handshakes, years of notice and support.

    Why do you feel it is the nations responsibility. Proper reasons, not just inane motherhood statements would be welcome.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    H MicheleS, you forgot to respond to my reasonable questions relating to fuel subsidies, NBN and the imminent death of our coal industry.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Dianne

    Where are the jobs Johnsie?

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    Why do you ask Dianne? You think I’m a recruitment consultant?

    Who knows where they will be in a few years down the track? But it will be up to them to find them, just like any other citizen. But at least they will have had plenty of time to look, plenty of retraining and a nice lump of Cash behind them. Something everyone else can only dream of.

    And who knows, maybe they will have to move somewhere else to find a job, just as thousands of other Australians do every year.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Dianne

    Who knows indeed Johnsie.

    Seems to be the position of Your Team as well.

    Maybe they have more to offer us in their new gold star booklet.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    Yeah the scoundrels don’t have a Chrystal ball. They have thrown a very generous further $100m of investment at it though.

    Do you think the govt owes them a job?

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Dianne

    I believe that amount has been estimated at $2000 each. Doesn’t sound too generous now does it.

    Let us leave the Holden workers, some of whom will never work again if the Mitsubishi experience is any guide.

    What about the poor man who built up his car component business from scratch, a small scale operation. He was almost sobbing as he told a radio reporter that he would have to sell his house. What about his workers?

    What about the cafes etc which service the car workers and the small manufacturing outfits.

    This decision, avoidable or not, is going to have repercussions.

    We will have thousands and thousands of people competing for scarce jobs with new arrivals.

    I have absolutely no confidence that this country has the leadership it needs. I would say the same if it were the ALP in power.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    RhodaD

    “Why do you feel it is the nations responsibility. Proper reasons, not just inane motherhood statements would be welcome.” (quote – Johnsie)

    Well there you have the whole problem in a nutshell. The attitude. Who cares. That people don’t know why it’s the nation’s responsibility to provide jobs that give every family, any sort of family, a breadwinner.

    That you, Johnsie don’t know that productivity and economic growth, the creation of wealth, comes from facilitating contracts between employers and employees. Negotiating and regulating these contracts in a fair and balanced way.

    If these men are not employed then they have to go on welfare. They will have families. How does that serve the nation. How does it save us money.

    And instead of placing a value on the working man and woman it undermines and shunts them aside. To go on welfare or to live on the street.

    And who cares.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    MicheleS

    Johnsie: I did not forget to respond to the questions you say are “reasonable”.

    Do you have any sensible, relevant questions?

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    Hey RhodaD, I think you fundamentally misunderstand our economic system. But nice motherhood statement. Ours is not a centrally controlled and planned economy. This was an unviable private enterprise, and fortunately these workers are in a much better position than other workers who also lose the jobs every day. The outcome is absolutely fair and some may say out of balance relative to the economic norms.

    If these men and women cannot find employment (with 2 – 3 years notice) there is a safety net. But given the big lump of Cash that will be in their pocket, it will be quite a while before they are eligible to take advantage of it.

    What a nonsense, all of a sudden these people are on the streets. If that occurs, it will not be the fault if government.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    Dianne, as you well know the money isn’t a payment to the workers, it is for investment into new industry.

    Of course there are flow on repercussions. I along with everyone would of course have preferred that the GM business was commercially viable. Wishing doesn’t make it so though.

    There are plenty of examples of industries that no longer even exist, yet the economy continues to grow and people find employment. The industrial revolution springs to mind….

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    MicheleS

    Dianne, while I think it likely that Holden was already planning to leave in 2016, the government was irresponsible by goading them into announcing it now, given that the government doesn’t have a single clue about what “the industries of the future” will be, much less have even a vague plan to enable them to commence.

    To date, the government’s sole focus is on undoing everything the previous government achieved in 6 years. The furious desire to try and airbrush the ALP government out of the history books suggests we could have a government with a death wish, as even the falling polls haven’t jolted them into reality!

    The country needs building up, not closing down. I believe the full NBN (FttP) is central to establishing new industries. We are a vast country and communication is already king, and will only become more so.

    Disclaimer: I am not a member of a political party, nor am I employed by an organisation that has a connection of any kind to any political party.
    I am just one of the many mature, informed and interested Australians who care about their country and its people, and their future together.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    MicheleS, I accept the questions are difficult for you. But they are there in black and white. Can you tell me why they aren’t sensible.

    You say the fuel rebates are protectionism for miners, yet they apply to other industries. Is it protectionism for agriculture? Why was the excise established? Why were industries correctly exempted in 2001 and what has changed since then to suggest the exemption should be removed. This is not money handed back to business. This is tax not collected because the commonwealth is not entitled to it.

    You say that Abbott point will be mothballed imminently due to lack of demand for our coal from China. I sought evidence for it. That’s pretty big news you know, it should be simple to demonstrate

    You expressed personal views on Switkowski an experienced businessman from the telecomm industry who oversaw the introduction of Telstra bigpond. yet you claim he is ignorant. I sought evidence of this.

    You are not critically analysing the greens talking point memos.

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      MicheleS

      Johnsie: Do you have a vision problem or do you get a kick out of trying to be a slippery little sucker?

      1) I was quite specific about removing the fuel-tax credits for the mining industry.

      2) NBN Co – I did not mention anyone by name.

      3) Abbot Point – you need to re-read what I wrote.

      4) I have not read any Greens memos, or Liberal, Labor, or any others.

      Disclaimer: I am not a member of a political party, nor am I employed by an organisation that has a connection of any kind to any political party.

      I am just one of the many mature, informed and interested Australians who care about their country and its people, and their future together.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Lex

    The demise of Holden (and the subsequent loss of jobs) is not the governments fault nor is it their responsibility. The fault lies with the unions and with Holden’s management. The base salary of these workers ($80K – $100K) is a hell of alot better than many other hard working Australians, and add to that the rest of the perks and productivity restrictions imposed by the unions, it’s no wonder Holden (and every other Australian car manufacturer) are being driven into the wall. Even with $2.2 billion in subsidies, they still couldn’t survive. That’s right, $2.2 billion !! And let’s not forget, those subsidies are not the government’s money. They are the tax dollars of every other mug who isn’t earning $100K a year plus. Of course Bill Shorten and his mates are outraged. They stand to lose several thousand union memberships and several million in union dues. And it would appear they haven’t learnt their lesson as Toyota heads towards the same cliff. If you ask me, Holden workers should be turning to their union reps for a bail out.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    MicheleS

    Johnsie: Nice motherhood statement about wishing that Holden was commercially viable!

    You know very well that almost every car-building nation subsidises its automotive industry. Australia’s assistance was relatively modest in raw dollar and per capita terms!

    The Abbott government had the choice of extending the Holden subsidy of approx $415m a year until 2020 or allowing Holden to walk. It made its choice.

    Disclaimer: I am not a member of a political party, nor am I employed by an organisation that has a connection of any kind to any political party.
    I am just one of the many mature, informed and interested Australians who care about their country and its people, and their future together.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    MicheleS – so your concern with regard to the Govt and GM is that the govt achieved clarity. Lol. As you clearly state they were going, but you would prefer that their employees and suppliers were in the dark. That’s an outstanding way to help them.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Sheilah

    Dianne

    having just listened to the USA PBS news. It seems that the USA is still recovering from the GFC, so is some EU countries. It is interesting non of the “so called Australian experts” saw the GFC coming (I suppose that not even the EU or USA saw it coming). The rising tide certainly left boats stranded on the shore with devastating consequences. The carnage is still continuing and the Banks in EU are (on the Aljazeera news) fighting any legislation, although it did pass the legislation. For Australia to think that is it out of the woods, I think is a mistake. Not sure where the so called expert economist of Australia is getting there information we only have to look at EU and USA. I think that this government is not aware of the carnage the “liberation” of the Holden workers will bring on families. EU and USA social fabric has certainly been tested and some might say it did not survive. Looking at Greece the seat of democracy, that social fabric has been devastated. Pensions have been cut, health has been cut, education have been cut, wages has been cut. Those that least can afford it is paying the price of this rising tide that Hockey is advocating. As a German minister said on the news this afternoon “why do those that can least afford it pay the price of the carnage as opposed to those that created it. They got richer not poorer”, Ms Merckle just sat there stony faced. She did not respond.

    As for the new jobs, well if our education is being gutted health cuts, the NBN going backwards. We are already starting from way back. Cannot understand why Turnbullwho is suppose to be enlightened not speaking up. He has been neutered by Abbott and Hockey.

    To quote Julie Bishop said “we still have three year”. What will have left over of Australia’s social fabric.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Taylor

    @Sheilah – It’s interesting that you make the following comments about Greece. ” Looking at Greece the seat of democracy, that social fabric has been devastated. Pensions have been cut, health has been cut, education have been cut, wages has been cut”

    Do you realise why the Greek economy ended up in crisis. Basically, they spent way more money than they collected. Sound familiar ? They had substantial yet unsustainable increases in public sector wages, low retirement ages and high levels of public benefits. That coupled with falling revenue meant they had to borrow massive amounts of money. Sound familiar ? Massive spending cuts (austerity) was all they could do. Still sound familiar ?

    Whether you draw a parallel with the Australian economy or even Holden, the same logic applies. You can’t keep spending when your revenues are falling. If you do, you end up like Greece (or Holden).

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    Hi MicheleS, no, I have no vision problem. I can see perfectly that you don’t want to address my questions. I don’t blame you.

    Oh, and so now the exit of GM from manufacturing in Australia is the fault of the government??? I can’t keep up with you. One minute it isn’t, then it is – how can a sensible discussion be had in these circumstances.

    Oh well, bigger things to worry about, gotta sell my resource stocks.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    Hi Sheilah, can you provide evidence of education being gutted and health cuts?

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    RhodaD

    It’s you who misunderstands, Johnsie, if you think there is no social contract in our democracy. It was established back a few revolutions ago. You know, the ones where we overthrew kings and emperors and all that malarky. The Constitution, the one our forefathers established more than a hundred years ago to prevent all that happening again.

    Problem is it has. The king was replaced by corporates. Politicians have allowed themselves to be bribed and lobbied and bullied by big business. Their power is such that they now make no attempt to disguise their arrogance.

    That corporates should have such power undermines the Constitution and the Parliament . It is the business of government to regulate corporates in a way that protects the interests of all citizens.

    We need a new dynamic where the government is on the side of workers and corporates are more closely regulated. Which rebuilds the bridge pulled down between haves and have-nots and helps all of us to prosper – not just the few.

    Hope this helps.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Johnsie

    Thanks RhodaD, but you will forgive me if i don’t place much store in your statements. The social compact is alive and kicking. It is part of what makes this country great. No one is left behind here unless the chose to be.

    To simplify everything to worker/good, business/bad is just so lazy. You think it is the role of government to provide employment – to quote your good self “there you have the problem in a nutshell”. Fortunately for our nation and economy, very few people share this mindset.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    janes

    RhodaS & Sheilah – Hear hear for all above

    Sheilah – Thank you for Elizabeth Warren quote.

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      janes

      Meant that to be RhodaD. Apologies

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Sheilah

    RhodaD to paraphrase Karl Marx Governments will become managers of business for the wealthy.

    You are welcome Janes. However, some are arguing that the union movement priced us out of jobs. Maybe inhindsight during the Hawke/Keating years with the Accord, when medicare, Superannuation and Commonwealth Dental Care was introduced. The union movement had to say “wait here, we are going to to priced out of the job market so please peg our wages and conditions to that of the Asia Pacific where the next economic growth will be coming from. We are cannot afford to peg us to the Western world. We will not have jobs if we go west. Pegging us to the West will impoverish us. If we go Asia Pacific we will have a level playing field. Jobs will not be going to China and India or where ever and we able to compete with them because we will be level with their wages and conditions. So Corporate Cartels you cannot say we are too expensive to do business, come up with a better excuse. We have a level playing field. By the way The Commonwealth Dental Care Scheme was dismantled by Peter Costello in his first term. The only reason medicare did not go that way was because the ALP and that pesky union movement fought hard to make sure that it could not be dismantled. It looks like the Super schemes is slowly being dismantled.

    I mean we do not have to look to far, Oktedi, in PNG it would have been useful for the mining union movement peg the conditions to Oktedi or some where in Africa, than the union could not price the mines out of business and than there would not be a wages explosion, as purported. Although my wages has not exploded. I wonder where it went did I miss something. I may have it wrong but the report released not so long ago said wages rise was the lowest in a while. I may be wrong but I think that Mining Corporate Cartels will stay here as it is a little bit more stable and safer than say Africa or PNG or even Brazil. Those pesky Brasilian unions want a fair share of the mining royalties, how dare they. We the Mining Cartels bring the wealth to your country and you want to take more, please give us a break.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Sheilah

    By the way, I forget to mention the temerity of some of those pesky South American union movements now want free education as well. Really how far will they go when we the Mining Cartels are trying to lift them out of poverty. We are the ones that is bring them in to the new world

    Just for the record I am not in any union movement. Others are fighting for my terms and condition. So I think it is time I join but just not yet, wait until others did the work.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    janes

    Sheilah – I have never understood why Coalition are so violently opposed to any form of collective or organisation that is progressive & stands up for their own rights.

    The Left are criticized for generalising about Corporates – yet the Right do the same thing to the extreme with collectives & unions.

    It seems collectives that represent business interests are good & to be trusted – but unions are bad.

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Francesca Agosti

    Alistair, here are the requested articles.

    $8.8bn RBA funding by Hockey.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-18/glenn-stevens-appears-before-economics-committee/5163566

    The data proves that Tony Abbott should change his mind on public transport.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-data-that-proves-tony-abbott-should-change-his-mind-on-public-transport-20130915-2tsrk.html

    Government reverses course on road funding despite expected $50 billion budget deficit.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-16/federal-governments-myefo-statement-to-reveal-budget-blowout/5158116

    RBA grant, another billion for asylum processing contribute to deficit.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-17/myefo-paints-dire-picture-of-economy-deficits/5161466

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    ro.watson

    Yesterday, I heard Julie Bishop, our Foreign Affairs Minister, on radio, saying Australia’s off-shore processing centres for asylum seekers were better than mining camps? Huh?

    • Reply December 20, 2013

      MicheleS

      Ro, I heard that too and was disgusted. I think it should be mandatory for every MP and Senator to spend a week on Christmas Island, Manus or Nauru and treated exactly the same as an asylum seeker. In summer! No rain checks!

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    Dianne

    Michele and Sheilah – I share your concerns.

    I do not think the world is out of finanicial trouble yet. France is wobbling badly now it seems.

    To date this govt seems to be preoccupied with dismantling rather than creating. I find it extraordinarily petty to put it very mildly indeed.

    And Michele, it is a matter of sorrow to me that the NBN seems destined for the scrap heap.

    It has been said before, but the analogy is still telling, that 21st Australia still depends on the extraordinary network of rail built in the 19th century. Where would our major cities, in particular, be today without those essential arteries?

    The ALP had a nation-building vision. Everything on a huge scale has teething problems and cost over-runs which this government exploited in Opposition.

    It is a matter of sorrow to me that Malcolm Turnbull, a man I once respected, appears to have led the NBN to the knackery.
    Foolishly, oh so foolishly, I had thought that he would have shepherded the NBN.

    • Reply December 20, 2013

      MicheleS

      Dianne, Malcolm Turnbull has lost the respect of millions of Australians over the NBN, as have Christopher Pyne over Gonski, Tony Abbott over climate change, Julie Bishop over Foreign Affairs, Joe Hockey over Holden and the budget, and Bronwyn Bishop as Speaker of the House.

      As I mentioned earlier, this government seems to have a death wish. It is one thing for Tony Abbott to rail against Julia Gillard because she won the election he thought was his, but it is an entirely different matter for him to put a wrecking ball through so many of her achievements!

      This government has none of the attributes a government must have, ie intelligence, ability, honesty, vision, common sense, patience, respect, tact and especially compassion for others.

      This is not the Australia I know. I want my old country back!

    • Reply December 21, 2013

      MicheleS

      Sheilah, thank you so much for sharing so much with us!
      I love your sayings:

      * We should not act like water and try and find the lowest level

      * Little drops of water make mighty ocean

      and

      * It is harder to stay strong when you have the cyclone behind you pushing you down, when you are trying to get to the top

      but most of all

      * Do not be hoovered (sucked in) by journos.

      It gives a whole new meaning to housework…and politics!

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    janes

    Ro – Sarah Hansen-Young was on The Drum yesterday (Thus) following her own visit to Nauru. She apparently went through the centre & talked to occupants. (She found it harsh – particularly for children)

    Sarah H-Y also made a point of saying that Julie Bishop DID NOT actually go inside the Centre or talk to asylum seekers – so Bishop did not actually see the conditions she was commenting on.

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    MicheleS

    janes, thank you for that. I usually watch The Drum but missed it yesterday.

    So Julie Bishop saw some buildings and tents laid out in a pattern and thought of a mining camp, which she may, or may not, also never have been inside!

    What an appalling excuse for a human being. What is wrong with Australians that they vote for creatures like her?

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    janes

    MicheleS & Ro – Further info – Fairfax article on SHY & JB’s comments – “Julie Bishop under fire for praising conditions on Nauru”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julie-bishop-under-fire-for-praising-conditions-on-nauru-20131219-2zo5g.html

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    janes

    3rd Guardian article – about Culture Wars & Brandis’ Human Rights appointment – by Katherine Murphy – is worth reading. It is full of ideas & worthy of a whole thread for broad discussion in its own right.

    She suggests that after the year we’ve had – everyone is outraged about something. No-one is happy. The battle-lines are being drawn.

    She also suggests that Abbott Govt has been using the noise from outrage as cover to think & also to hide its own unpreparedness & ineptitude.

    She suggests the appointment of a controversial Human Rights Commissioner is a deliberate ploy by Brandis to create division & distraction & encourage “culture wars”. (Reverting back to a deliberate Howard Govt tactic)

    Coalition have used conflict and fear as a tool & weapon for years as part of their strategy to manipulate the Aust public. Looks like they are reverting back to type by deliberately trying to whip up controversy with culture & class wars.

    So much for Honest Tony’s government. At least this will be no surprise.

    And this is just the softening up process. Can’t wait for the Commission of Audit & the main game.

    .

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    Johnsie

    Interesting article (once you get through the mandatory Guardian Abbott bashing) with some good suggestions for areas for focus.

    The most interesting point which seems common on the hoopla too, is feigned surprise that the Govt is intent on “unravelling the Labor agenda”. That is what they said they would do, because they disagree with the ALP agenda, and people voted for it. The author seems to have issues with democracy.

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    MicheleS

    janes, thank you again! Crikey named Katherine Murphy as Columnist of the Year yesterday, most deservedly IMHO!

    I’m re-reading David Marr & Marian Wilkinson’s “Dark Victory” & there are many interesting parallels Abbott-with-Howard governments. Very interesting!

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    MicheleS

    For those interested here is the Hansard of the Senate NBN Select Committee held in Sydney on Tuesday 17 December 2013
    http://bit.ly/1kZvzSa

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    Dianne

    Janes – thanks for the link but I don’t think Katherine Murphy piece is as illuminating as Andrew Elder ‘s analyses of Australian politics and how it is portrayed by political journalists and commentators.

    I would love to read an Elder column every day. As it is I read the work of very few political journalists in the mainstream media. Laura Tingle is an exception. Actually I think she is the only one whose work I read regularly.

    A couple of things jumped out at me from Murphy’s long piece.

    I find it strange that she seems to believe all Abbott will improve after a holiday. Bolt believes that too.

    A holiday will do him some personal good but will change nothing. Quite simply this government have NO plan. They had NO plan in Opposition apart from using that word a lot to win power. Now they have power they continue to behave like an Opposition.

    Murphy points to people being outraged but really does not ask why?

    Could it be that many people are frustrated that this country is in the process of being fundamentally altered and we do not know where we will all end up.

    Keating was quite correct when he said a leader needed to tell a story so people knew where they were headed.

    This government hid itself away for weeks on end after the election. Even now when Ministers make more appearances, they obfuscate, are evasive or downright aggressive.

    Andrew Elder, whose views I obviously share has written recently of his scorn for the press gallery who first described the information black-out as a clever political tactic and then, when they became restive, started to question the quality of leadership in this country.

    He has written, and again I share his view, that political journalists failed to ask the hard questions of Opposition Leader Abbott. I believe some of them almost carried him into office in a sedan chair.

    If people are outraged as Murphy claims, is it because they have been shocked by the No Surprise Party.

    Some journalists appear to be waking up that’s for sure. The SMH appears to be quite hostile towards the government and that started happening weeks after they put an editorial on the front page calling for the government to change.

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    sue bell

    Ms Bishop’s statement that Nauru is like a mining camp forgets two things, firstly the miners can fly in and they can fly out, they are not forced to live there for the rest of their lives and secondly they are paid an amazing fortune to put up with the conditions, not like our refugees. I am deeply ashamed by our governments behaviour.

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    Sheilah

    Thank you Dianne for the information regarding Andrew Elders, I have just read it.

    In relation to journalist independence. My friends and I adopted the following strategy. During lunch times we go to local News Outlets and super markets during my lunch break and we stand there every time someone buys the News Corp product we ask are they happy to pay Murdoch’s defense against the phone hacking scandal in UK.

    So far we did not have one abusive comment. Many just put the product back and thank us. Also our local community rag is also a News Corp product, so my friends and I collect the all advertising that come in them and bundle them up and send them back to the various companies every two months. Advising them we do not support their product because it is adverting in a news out let we do not support. It costs us some money because sometimes it is a huge bunch but we feel that it is worth the effort. Hopefully one day we will have real independent journalists and news. Not just propaganda.

    We have been doing this for the last 12 months.

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    RhodaD

    Wow Sheilah, I’m impressed. I wish I didn’t live in the bush sometimes. Not that I’m far out but it’s a little more difficult and the local population aren’t up on politics. That’s why I’m here. Saves me going crazy LOL

    I’m an Andrew Elder fan also, Dianne. His is a very measured and intelligent view. And heart-felt. The truth as he sees it. No bluster and bombast. A pleasure to read always.

    Sue, saw a item on the news tonight which mentions that the medical examination of the refugees/asylum seekers/boat people is five minutes. I’m wondering how many doctors are on these islands now.

  • Reply December 21, 2013

    Sheilah

    RhodaD I use to think like that too. That my local community was not up on politics, but I must say and I apologies to them profusely, I did not do them justice. All it needed was for some to open the door as to what it means to be involved, because it is about you, your children and your grandchildren children. The most valuable lesson I learn’t from my mum and Sandiswe was educate the brain and you liberate the mind. It is also something that Sandiswe says to me often. We start with a conversation not with politics but about what is happening in their lives and how do they think government should support the dreams of their children, grandchildren and their own. That politics either improves your life, ie health education, access to services access to technology and opens the door to what it is like to be the other. It says to you yes that is what I want and that is what I want for me as well as the other. It is as my friend Sandiswe say “Ubuntu”, (a very South African word used by Bishop Desmond Tutu) meaning people are people through other people we reflect our humanity through each other. We should not act like water and try and find the lowest level.

    Most people I engage would say to me “I am not in to politics, it is not my thing, they are all crooks and liars” than I open the conversation on what it means to be interested in what is happening in your world, your very self, and what it means to be the other. My final comment than is you put the person and that person is acting on your behalf in everything that is being done. Your action of putting the person there or you take the responsibility to take them out. Your vote is saying I agree with all the things you are going to do to me (health education, access to services, access to technology future of your children and grand children, how you are treated in the workplace etc) and to the other so it is a cop out to say politics is not your thing. Make sure that you tell the person you are voting for that they are acting on your behalf, because what ever they do, they are doing it in your name. They are doing because of you that is what you say you want. They are doing in your name, because you put them their. Incidentally my mum is not very well schooled but she was the most educated person I ever came across. Widely read, Tolstoy, Twain, Aesop, Canterbury Tales (not even I can read this one but am trying), Mandela’s Bio, she loves Bios and she is still going. I was so very arrogant when I finished all my uni degrees I thought I was more educated than my mum (you know arrogance of childhood)., what would she know how wrong I was (apologies mum). Do not under estimate the capacity of your neighbor or community to understand, just liberate the mind. Journos write story as they see it, but not as you see it so do not be hoovered (sucked in) by journos. They have to sell a product and the space they buy is your intellect (especially News Corp, looks like Fairfax is also on its way) try and not let them hoover you. At the moment we do not have free press as we would like to think we have.

  • Reply December 21, 2013

    RhodaD

    Sheilah that is one of the most encouraging posts I’ve ever read on politics. Thank you for that post. It does get me down I must admit.

    My old home town which was further out in the sticks were big on Pauline Hansen. They were gathering round talking politics at that time and I’d never seen this before. But really it was just ‘pub talk’. I made it plain I did not support their enthusiasm rather than stay silent but I was always odd one out in the group. And as I said it was pub talk/shock jock stuff not political discussions as such.

    I’ve no doubt though there were others like me in the community who thought Pauline Hansen had no answers to their problems but we were a very small minority.

    That’s where I’m coming from.

  • Reply December 21, 2013

    Sheilah

    You are welcome and just stay focused, little drops of water make mighty ocean. Also you had Alan Jones and Murdoch against you. It is harder to stay strong when you have the cyclone behind you pushing you down, when you are trying to get to the top. All you than do is to stand fast hold on and not fall, hold on to the rail (friends and community and values) the cyclone will abate than you go up step by step, stronger. Ubuntu is politics no matter where you look. It is not what they are doing to the other, it is what they are and will be doing to you and will continue too. Having watched Mandela’ doco, he said, when the journo said to him “you liberated your people” Mandela response was “no liberated the white man, my people were already liberated”. Fear is the greatest polluter and Jones and Murdoch has the biggest microphone. You can liberate the minds of your community. They are there

    When they come for your school your hospital or tell you that you need to reduce your sot (salary), they are doing it also to there children and grand children ask your representative why is he doing it and do not take his excuse “I did not know the state of affairs” That is no excuse

  • Reply December 21, 2013

    Sheilah

    Ooops I meant you are welcome RhodaD and they are there just go out and meet them. What have you got to lose nothing what have you got to gain a liberated community, because the more they fear the more imprisoned they will be. It will feel like freedom for them. PS I do not think that the journo understood what Mr Mandela meant, just listening to the his conversation. It was lost on him. I did so many spelling mistakes and sentence structure not up to it apologies

  • Reply December 21, 2013

    Sheilah

    MicheleS cannot take credit to for water and rain bit, from my mum. I have friends, before their liberation who use to make very unfortunate (or should I say un-liberated) comments. My Caucasian friend use to make comments about my indigenous friend of mix race about how she was so clever because she had a “white father”, she always beat us in maths. She would not achieved it if it was not for her mix race. My mum would over her glasses and say about not going to the lowest level like water. And how little bit of water make mighty ocean here she was referring to the educate the brain to have mind liberated. As for the hoover thanks to my kids, when I go for something that sounds too good to be true and they would say “mum you have been hoovered”.

  • Reply December 21, 2013

    Sheilah

    As for the cyclone bit I use to complain that my mum that Ruth is so very unkind to my indigenous friend and the rest of the group are doing the same. She would say it so much is easier to get to the bottom of a hill with the cyclone behind you and on your back than trying to get to the top of the hill”. Going down hill you have lot of assistance, uphill you are on your own

  • Reply December 21, 2013

    Johnsie

    Sheilah, you say “At the moment we do not have free press as we would like to think we have.” This is an interesting and multi faceted comment. Can you expand on this point?

    • Reply December 22, 2013

      StillDoubtingTom

      Does Johnsie have a job ? Where does he get time for this or is Johnsie actually on the dole. Maybe he is doing this from his office, maybe he is just a bludger.

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