Hating the Abbott government

Last week we saw the ABC report information that embarrassed the government. I have no doubt that the motivation for the spying on Indonesia story was to cruel relationships between Canberra and Jakarta leading to a decline in cooperation on boat people and the collapse of Abbott government policy. So far they have managed to get away with it.

This week we see the ACCC moving to increase petrol prices. Coles and Woolworths will be ‘voluntarily’ capping their petrol dockets – that’s code for caving in to some or other ACCC standover tactic. So just before the big Christmas shop prices will be rising – not due to private decision making, but because some bureaucrat doesn’t like lower prices for consumers.

It’s not the bureaucrat that’s going to wear the consequences though. Quite rightly, the Abbott government will be blamed. When you are the government and out-of-control bureaucrats make decisions like this, it is your decision. So unless the Minister who has oversight of the ACCC picks up the phone and reverses this decision, it will be the Abbott governments problem.

No doubt, next week some other government agency will step up and belt the Abbott government for good measure.

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56 Responses to Hating the Abbott government

  1. Rabz

    When you are the government and out-of-control bureaucrats make decisions like this, it is your decision.

    I’m not convinced the lacklustre mediocrities in the new government are even capable of making the connection.

    Nice of you to point it out for them, Perfessor!

  2. Badjack

    Re write the job description for Dept Heads and make each one re-apply for their position.

  3. SteveC

    I have no doubt that the motivation for the spying on Indonesia story was to cruel relationships between Canberra and Jakarta leading to a decline in cooperation on boat people and the collapse of Abbott government policy.

    Or their motivation was to report events, which is what the media are supposed to do. Would you rather censorship?

  4. RodClarke

    What we are dealing with is a modern day version of the Soviet Nomenklatura system.

  5. twostix

    Or their motivation was to report events, which is what the media are supposed to do. Would you rather censorship?

    lol, next up from the ABC: Phone numbers and home addresses of Australia’s spies.

  6. JC

    Stick to the real topic, steveC, which that a bureaucrat can decide who can and cannot receive a fucking discount.

    This is big test for the Abbott government.

  7. twostix

    Hey SteveC, how’s Bill Shorten going? The ABC are all over those “events” aren’t they?

  8. Makka

    “Or their motivation was to report events”

    Such as the AWU investigation into Gillard? Or that the world is in fact cooling? Or, the utter catastrophe that is the Obama Presdicency? Don’t be a hypocrite Steve, let us hear your criticism of the ABC and other Leftist media.

  9. twostix

    Is there anyone who can say their life has visibly improved thanks to the ACCC?

    What difference have they made?

  10. Makka

    “This is big test for the Abbott government.”

    But will they accept the challenge? I doubt it.

  11. Makka

    “Such as the AWU investigation into Gillard?”

    Edit: Such as the police investigation into the AWU and Gillard.

  12. cohenite

    Would you rather censorship?

    Dickhead.

  13. The Greens’ latest silliness is to call upon Tony Abbott to ban new Coles and Woolworths supermarkets though he has no power or authority to do so; nonetheless, this reveals the Greens’ creed: though their main religion features an irrational worship of the Awesome Majesty of Forests, along with an incoherent belief in Gaia Manifest, the Greens—as is demonstrated by their hysterical calls to blame typhoons, warmth, coolth, fires and previous governments’ incompetences, before of after he became PM, on the current PM—clearly believe that Tony Abbott is a god.

  14. Ralph

    I don’t understand this sometimes. The ALP conducts the Finklestein enquiry and conservatives are up in arms that Labor is trying to muzzle the ‘free press’. At that stage, the freedom of the press is all important and nothing should be done to get in its way. The ALP was upset because they perceived News Ltd to be biased against them. However, when the same free press publishes some information that causes embarassment to the Coalition government, the ABC is highly irresponsible and should be muzzled. The press is either free or it’s not. You can’t be in favour of free press when it suits your political cause but in favour of media restrictions when it doesn’t. That would be called hypocrisy.

    Similarly, statutory authorities, like the ACCC and the RBA, are set up to at least give the impression that decisions are being taken at arms length from the government of the day. Sometimes governments won’t make the tough but necessary decisions because they’ll be unpopular with voters. If it’s judged that something is best given to an ‘independent’ body, politically favourable decisions have to be taken with the bad.

    The RBA is a great case in point. Politicians would be very happy to lower interest rates but very reluctant to increase them, for obvious reasons. Therefore it’s appropriate that the RBA takes the decision out of their hands. Next you’ll be suggesting that the government should step in to overturn interest rate increases that might otherwise tarnish the government’s good name.

  15. Driftforge

    the ABC is highly irresponsible and should be muzzled

    The ABC is not a part of the ‘free press’.

    Next you’ll be suggesting that the government should step in to overturn interest rate increases that might otherwise tarnish the government’s good name.

    Close, but no cigar. If anything they should be stepping in to overrule interest rate decreases.

  16. Sinclair Davidson

    Actually, no. There is a good argument for independent monetary policy. Just as there is a good argument for independent pricing policies. Each retailer should be free to set their own prices without having to obtain government permission.

  17. Empire Strikes Back

    The ALP was upset because they perceived News Ltd to be biased against them. However, when the same free press publishes some information that causes embarassment to the Coalition government, the ABC is highly irresponsible and should be muzzled.

    Ralph, you make some valid points, but I query your motive. The decision of the ABC to publish the Indonesian spy story did more than cause embarrassment to the government of the day, it clearly harmed the national interest. There is no equivalence to any perceived bias by the ALP in relation to News Ltd.

    Should the ABC allow the government of the day to dictate what it publishes? No and I haven’t seen anyone here suggest they should. Should the ABC act responsibly in discharging its obligations to its shareholders (Australian taxpayers)? Yes, always.

    Your argument doesn’t stack up.

  18. egg_

    This is big test for the Abbott government.

    Yup, time to put Sir Humphrey’s tail between his legs.

  19. wreckage

    Yeah, Abbott has inadvertently signaled a “no vengeance, no punishment” approach, so the best interests of the bureaucrats is to attack him, and be seen to do so. It’s a no-cost way to ingratiate themselves to the inevitable next government.

    Abbott needs to understand that.

  20. JC

    Ralph

    The ABC is a government funded corporation. It’s activities have nothing to do with a free press, you dill.

    Furthermore the ABC shouldn’t be acting as the Guardian’s pimp.

    If the guardian wanted to publish that stuff they can do it on their own and they should me free to do so.

  21. struth

    You sad man ralph. The ABC is not free press.
    It is payed for by taxpayers.
    Let us say that once more.
    It is not free press.
    Not once has anyone here said that fairfax should be shut down.
    ABC’s left wing ideology is paid for by taxpayers and it has an obligation by it’s charter to remain non biased.
    Every molecule of the ABC is left wing /green.
    Fair fax is not paid for by taxpayers and therefore it can say whay it likes.
    By rights, to me (just my opinion) any person let alone organisation that openly declares war on Australia’s security and safety, by attacking it’s security system should be treated as traitors.

  22. Pickles

    a “no vengeance, no punishment” approach

    To shoot many crows, first feed them a bit.

  23. struth

    They’ve been well fed for years. If the Abbott government haven’t got a file on our politically corrupt public service by now , they never will have. We can’t afford to wait for any more damage to be done.

  24. Old Salt

    Re the ABC.

    We are now witnessing a decline in the relationship between Australia and Indonesia as a result of the publication of a stolen, classified document. The ABC chose to make the contents of the document public which brings into focus the legality of that action.

    I do not claim any knowledge of the law; however, I am aware of Section 79 of the Crimes Act 1914 – Official Secrets. The act is quite clear when it comes to the handling of classified material. It is an offence to communicate classified material to anyone who is not authorized to receive it and carries an imprisonment sentence.

    I would be grateful to hear others’ views on the legal implications of the ABC’s publication of the material.

  25. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    The press is either free or it’s not. You can’t be in favour of free press when it suits your political cause but in favour of media restrictions when it doesn’t. That would be called hypocrisy.

    The bigger hypocrisy, Ralph, is to be manipulative about what is reported, how it is reported (incompletely) and the timing of the report. That is not a press acting in a ‘free’ or ‘open’ manner. When that happens, it is worth pointing out (that is exercising a true freedom to speak), especially if it is happening on a government-funded medium.

    There is also the little matter of national security that comes into play. D-Notices and legislative restrictions on the press regarding such matters have a long history and a role to play in a free and democratic society. Finkelsteining does not have this role and should not exist or be promoted to exist.

  26. nic

    I can’t see how capping the dockets from two competing firms encourages competition.

  27. egg_

    Y’ole Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 needs reviewing.

  28. Andrew of Randwick

    Therefore it’s appropriate that the RBA takes the decision out of their hands.
    AND
    There is a good argument for independent monetary policy.

    Granted for this specific case. But we in NSW are experiencing an outsourcing of political accountability and responsibility. Every contentious decision now seems to go through a process administered by a tribunal, commission, board, panel, etc. It seems to be driven by ‘we don’t trust politicians” mantra. But if it is taken to the extreme for all decisions, what then is the purpose of the politician? And how are the tribunals held accountable?
    Now I am not saying we go to the opposite Saudi model where every government announcement begins “The King has decided to” build a school, build a road, etc.
    But, what we are seeing now is an erosion of the departmental model which gathers evidence, makes recommendations and a minister decides – for better or worse. Clear accountability is being lost.
    .
    Perhaps the politicians like it because they avoid the bad publicity, perhaps the lawyers and the agitators like it because you must have submissions, and appeals processes etc.
    .
    Oh for the days when a political leader said “I have weighed up the alternatives and I have decided to do X’. For example, anyone for a second Sydney airport at Badgery’s Creek?

  29. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Yeah, Abbott has inadvertently signaled a “no vengeance, no punishment” approach, so the best interests of the bureaucrats is to attack him, and be seen to do so. It’s a no-cost way to ingratiate themselves to the inevitable next government

    +1

    Abbott should start to recall how he was made leader vs. Turnbull. He took them on, all the little green grubs and trough-feeders. They hate him.

    They are still there. Heading up government departments. Running universities. Contaminating schools. Writing with little poisoned pens in the media. Declaiming in the arts. Subverting in the churches. Making edicts in local government. Shagging in the unions (excuse me, can’t help myself there).

    All intent on bringing down capitalism because socialism has been proven to work so well elsewhere.

    As with the carbon tax, we are crying out still for leadership and action against all of this, Tony.

  30. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    blockquote mess, sorry. All below +1 is from me.

  31. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Oh for the days when a political leader said “I have weighed up the alternatives and I have decided to do X’

    And then explained why – as did Maggie T in her great Parliamentary demonstration of all boats rising. Mrs. T never lost sight of her own accountability. Even if, on the poll tax, it took her down.

  32. Rococo Liberal

    You people sound like a lot of marxists. You want everything done at breakneck speed.

    John Howard started slowly and after a year or so when he had found his feet really made some head way against the leftist filth.

    It will be the same with Abbott, except now that time has gone by and government has become for more complex that it was in Howard’s time. That is what the ALP does when it gets into power, it seeds the ground with heaps of qangos, public servants, consultants nad regulations so as to tie up the government in knots.

    I think the best thing we on the right can do is to keep encouraging people we know that the change to fiscal reponsibility and less government is the way to go. We have to lead by example and not expect the government to do it all for us.

  33. twostix

    The press is either free or it’s not. You can’t be in favour of free press when it suits your political cause but in favour of media restrictions when it doesn’t. That would be called hypocrisy.

    The ABC is the government you ignorant clown. That this simple fact is beyond comprehension to leftists who regularly come here saying exactly the same thing over and over and over, conflating state run media with a “free press” displays the complete thoughtlessness of the average leftist.

    So here it is for you in nice easy words: Nobody here cares about what The Guardian publishes.

    We do notice though that the left never, ever find themselves defending Fairfax or The Guardian’s right to publish. But we are constantly having to defend News Ltd’s right simply to do so from the left. So who do the left solely find themselves defending? Their ABC. Funded at the point of a gun, protected by infinitely deep pockets of the Taxpayer, wide open to the sort of corruption that has it’s top political journalists all heavily affiliated with the ALP and engaging in the nations politics on behalf of its now out of power political masters.

  34. stackja

    TA is the PM and will react if he thinks it is necessary.

  35. incoherent rambler

    TA is the PM and will react if he thinks it is necessary.

    He first needs to stop listening to some of his close personal staff.

  36. HK_Brother

    Be patient…Remember the last 6 yrs of knee-jerk, fast response on a dime Govt? Nothing sustainable was achieved. Much of our money wasted. I think I will judge Abbott near the end of his term; to see what he has or has not accomplished. It is the end results I’m more concerned with.

  37. papachango

    Or their motivation was to report events, which is what the media are supposed to do.

    If that was the case, the Guardaian & the Age would have published the story before the election

  38. struth

    Hk you are usually spot on most of the time however I disagree with waiting to see how he goes by the end of the term.
    The noise we make even on blogs like these occasionally even help push things along.
    The responses we are asking for are not knee jerk but for responses from a point of view of integrity, a true belief in ones own ideology, and strength.
    Already by not showing strength and acting like he still has an election to win next week, he has allowed the left to cause more trouble than should have occurred.
    As a citizen of this country, I must fight the leftism killing my country. If Abbott starts going too left, which it seems he already is, he must know there will be repercussions for the coalition.
    In short, no good trying to make friends with an enemy that will never be your friend, and make enemies of your friends while doing so. They are a disease and sickness on Australia and nowhere in history have you been able to defeat them by being nice. You speak of Howard. He still had to get tough (the docks etc) and definitely was a conviction politician. He believed in his politics. Does Abbott?

  39. Steve D

    So Ralph still needs to be reminded it’s his money?

    (Assuming he contributes in some way to the federal tax pool.)

  40. John Roskam gets to the kernel IMO (which is just too hard):
    “… if the ABC is going to have a news and public affairs service, then the spying revelations of the past few weeks are exactly the sort of stories a news service would be expected to run. The question is not whether what the ABC did was irresponsible – the question is why the government owns a news service in the first place …”.

    Far be it from me to correct John Roskam, but I’m about to do just that.

    1) The spying revelations ‘of the past few weeks’ were actually known to the Guardian/ABC well before the September election. They chose to sit on them then, for reasons which we all know, but which they have been rather shy about sharing. And then they chose to publish them in the first 100 days of a hated Abbott government.

    2) This is the second question: why the government owns a news service in the first place.

    He’s right, though, in that this is a bigger argument about how biased the ABCLP is. It’s actually an argument about state ownership of any media, and this might be the crowbar that helps to break the government away from funding this ghastly mess any longer.

  41. Jack

    I sense conspiracy. I think the greens have a cunning plan. Destroy Australian owned Coles and woollies and leave the market wide open for global dominator Aldi to step in and take control of the Australian market as well. Profits wills be repatriated to the fatherland, Germany. Germany is the spiritual home of the modern dayAustralian greens.could there be a connection between the German greens and the Australian greens in all this? Is this all to the bone ?

  42. Either that, Jack, or they’ve all bought shares in IGA and are worried about their retirement fund.

  43. .

    Aldi are killing it anyway. Their meat is superior short of a decent butcher.

  44. Rabz

    2) This is the second question: why the government owns a news service in the first place.

    Which, adding insult to injury, they’re then too honest or stupid to use as a megaphone for their own platforms, unlike their loathsome, sleazey, dishonest opponents.

    Sod this, you gliberal idiots – sack and stack, to paraphrase someone you should not appointing to the newly initialed LNPBC.

    Hint: He’s a dodgey agrarian socialist prone to indulging in non heteronormative activities.

  45. SteveC

    It seems to me the ACCC are simply enforcing the legislation they are responsible for, that is the Competition and Consumer Act, specifically section 46. If you don’t like the legislation, you should be arguing for it to be changed, not that it be not enforced.

  46. Paridell

    Driftforge, the ABC is indeed part of a free press. So is this blog and all other media, regardless of what any of them actually print or publish. A free press includes the freedom to be partisan, and the ABC takes full advantage of it, just like NPR in the States.

    Whether they should be entrusted with so much taxpayers’ money is another matter!

  47. James B

    Government bureaucrats saving me from low prices again.

    And to think this fucking phony Abbott and his bitch Hockey want to give these people more resources!

  48. wreckage

    SteveC; I am arguing that it should not exist, and that the ACCC mandate is largely irrelevant, except when it is counter-productive. Personally I don’t think a competition act as such should even exist; amongst other things it is borderline illegal to talk shop with another businessman, adding to the long list of normal and necessary actions that put every businessperson one audit away from a gaol sentence.

  49. wazsah

    Agree Aldi is a force for competitive prices – where would the majors prices be if Aldi had not come downunder ? Aldi also have some very useful cut price table wines.

  50. Popular Front

    You people sound like a lot of marxists. You want everything done at breakneck speed.

    That is the current leftist attack ploy RL. Screaming for the Abbott administration to repair AT ONCE all the damage they themselves inflicted on Australia 2007-13. I don’t think the public are buying it.

  51. dd

    Hk you are usually spot on most of the time however I disagree with waiting to see how he goes by the end of the term.

    So do I.
    And the reason is that it’s a stupid thing to say.
    Hands up everyone who waited until September 2013 before making a decision about what they thought of the Gillard government. Anyone? hmmm? So will people stop telling me to ‘give them time’ before I decide what I think.

  52. SteveC

    Wreckage,

    Personally I don’t think a competition act as such should even exist;

    In which case it’s quite a valid argument (not that I agree), to repeal the Act, but not a valid argument to stop the ACCC enforcing the Act as it exists. That would be like arguing the police should not enforce laws you don’t agree with (note I’m not suggesting you are arguing that, but that was the apparent argument of the OP).

    Do any party’s policies advocate the abolition of the competition clauses of the Competition and Consumer Act (or other measures such as price fixing/cartels etc)

  53. Zatara

    Old Salt, I concur completely.

    The source document for the leaks had “Top Secret” stamped on it and ABC should have treated it like it was radioactive as soon as they saw that i.e. seal it up, give it back to the owner, and cooperate with the investigation. The CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 79 (Official Secrets) makes it extremely clear that receiving, retaining, and communicating that information, much less the document itself, is a criminal act.

    Why rigorous investigation and prosecution of this crime isn’t being pushed as the primary issue rather than the soft and subjective angle of complaining about the bias of the ABC and the national embarrassment caused is beyond my understanding.

  54. Old Salt

    Thank you Zatara.

    I have written to my local Federal MP on the subject and await a response.

  55. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From incoherent rambler at 4:02 pm:

    ” TA is the PM and will react if he thinks it is necessary.

    He first needs to stop listening to some of his close personal staff.”

    Absent knowledge, devoid of justification, dripping with innuendo – gees that’s a good argument. Repeat it often enough and the dimwits will take it on as fact and demand the Governor General have Congress initiate impeachment action.

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