It’s Hockey night in Australia

I had great pleasure in watching Joe Hockey’s master class in being Daniel in the Lion’s Den last night. I could detect two, possibly three Liberal voters amongst those who asked the questions – and let’s not even talk about Tony Jones – but for a change it was all the better for it. You have to know your onions to succeed in such an environment, and that is what Hockey did.

But you also have to have something to sell. If the budget were as flimsy and badly constructed as Jones and his cohorts thought, then there would be no defending it. But with all the firepower that the ABC could muster, all the most poisonous questions they could dredge up, they hardly laid a glove on the Treasurer.

So three observations. First, the budget is a nicely constructed balance of fiscal consolidation in a setting where perceived fairness was a prime consideration. For folks such as myself listening to the bleatings of people who are worried about their friend with three young children who might hypothetically become sick all at the same time wondering where they are going to get the money from to go to the doctor, there was an answer, but there was also this sense of if you have three children, whose responsibility is it anyway? At $21 for a visit to a doctor to see three seriously ill children, we have a ridiculously cheap medical service. Shameful, but there was plenty more like it.

But second, the budget, as finely tuned as it was, is a hard sell. I keep a somewhat close eye on these things and knew almost none of the fine detail. The question really does come to mind whether the various bits and pieces are too subtle for a population in which large numbers insist on getting very expensive things for free. The interesting part of the conversation was that in every instance in which some big ticket issue was raised, Joe had an answer that completely took the wind from their sails.

Third, I know that Joe keeps saying that they kept spending up because the economy is so flat and needs the stimulus. I hope that is only rhetoric. If he believes it, or if most of the cabinet believe it, they will never be able to get the budget right since they won’t have thought through completely what needs to be done and why.

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91 Responses to It’s Hockey night in Australia

  1. nic

    Steve, how many shots do they have at making hard structural decisions left in their current term? Why not back the rhetoric with real spending cuts that deal with a real issue? As the Australian economy is likely to slow over the medium term, I think they’ve lost the one opportunity they had.

  2. Poor Old Rafe

    There must be ALP supporters who understand the real situation, maybe when some of them speak up the tide of debate will turn. Plus the real threat to our AAA rating which will take the wind out of the sails of the people who think that our rating is a trump card against the idea that we have a debt problem.

    Long term we have to stop thinking all the time in the language of Keynes.

  3. viva

    There must be ALP supporters who understand the real situation

    Maybe – but defending those perceived to be in struggle street is a reflex action of the left which seems to cancel out rational thought and a sense of perspective. In a time of tough love they will circle the wagons.

  4. tgs

    First, the budget is a nicely constructed balance of fiscal consolidation in a setting where perceived fairness was a prime consideration.

    If by ‘fiscal consolidation’ you mean ‘causing government spending to grow at an ever so slightly lower rate’.

    They inflicted a world of hurt on themselves for almost no materially positive budgetary outcome.

    More shameless partisanship from Steve Kates. News at 11.

  5. MACK1

    I think you’ll find even the State Health ministers are having trouble understanding what’s in the budget. Most journalists and the punters have no hope.
    Read this:

  6. nic

    Long term we have to stop thinking all the time in the language of Keynes.

    Its Fiscal policy. How can Kenesian language be removed?

  7. Bruce

    How long before his ego propels him into challenging Abbott for the leadership? He’s certainly doing a good job of undermining him by overturning as many of Abbott’s pre-election promises as possible, while hypocritically preaching fiscal responsibility. This morning he was at it again. Abbott says he won’t touch superannuation rules before the next election,Hockey says it will be necessary to make changes in this term.The only good thing to come out of all this for Abbott is that the spectacular dive in the polls has totally killed the DD and if he can hold off the fat-fuck he might manage one full term as PM.

  8. manalive

    At $21 for a visit to a doctor to see three seriously ill children, we have a ridiculously cheap medical service. Shameful, but there was plenty more like it …

    Tim Blair put it nicely yesterday about the ‘March in May’ demonstrators:

    “Instead of carrying signs, the marchers – most of them white and wealthy – should have been carrying begging bowls. The sheer lack of dignity at these events was breathtaking”.

  9. egg_

    Bruce
    #1312152, posted on May 20, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Yup.
    Definitely tactics at play and likely at cross-purposes… no wonder everyone is confused, including State Premiers.
    A budget drawn up by a committee (per the camel analogy)?

  10. Gibbo

    You won’t get far with a positive critique of the budget around here Steve. The Cat crowd seem to be just as entitled to have everything they want as the Drum crowd and get just as nasty when they don’t.

  11. whyisitso

    Too true, Gibbo. However the Cat does have sensible posters like Judith Sloan, Henry Ergas and Steve, in contrast to Davidson.

  12. Gab

    Oh dear. so some of us do not agree with the Labor-lite budget and Gibbo and the increasingly rabid Whyisitso say shut up! this place must just nod along to what the government says! Sorry but this isn’t a Liberal blog site and groupthink is not a prerequisite. You’re no different to the ferals that supported the Rudd/gillard regime regardless of anything they did.

  13. H B Bear

    There must be ALP supporters who understand the real situation, maybe when some of them speak up the tide of debate will turn.

    Rafe – Hawke, Keating, Tanner, Ferguson (the good one) all went missing in action for six years of the worst government this country has ever seen. If you expect them to call out Tits and the Clown Posse you will be disappointed.

    For Labor political interest will always trump national interest.

  14. egg_

    How long before his ego propels him into challenging Abbott for the leadership?

    Methinks Staples is Treasurer as he’s less of a threat than Turnbull.

  15. Lem

    The Cat crowd seem to be just as entitled to have everything they want as the Drum crowd

    Not me. They only things I get I work bloody hard for. And I pay top tax rates. And for so generously giving/being held up at gunpoint by the government, I get abused by the liberal party apologists.

    Which is why I’m switching my vote to the LDP.

  16. nic

    Too true, Gibbo. However the Cat does have sensible posters like Judith Sloan, Henry Ergas and Steve, in contrast to Davidson.

    Fancy a Professor of Economics having an opinion and worse, the data to prove it. The hide of the man.

  17. Vicki

    I agree, Steve, it was a virtuoso performance from Joe.

    I was also genuinely surprised that there are carefully built-in safety nets for the “vulnerable” in most of the proposed cuts to health & education payments. I may have missed them, but I can’t recall reading about any of them in the Budget commentaries in the media. Joe’s explanation stopped a lot of criticism stone dead.

    I haven’t been a great fan of Joe’s in the past, but he scored quite a few brownie points last night.

    But then they have a lot of “catch-up” in view of their disastrous “own goals” in respect to the early leaking of increased taxes & broken election commitments.

  18. Rococo Liberal

    A lot of the odium being thrown at the Coalition is based upon mistaken assumptions. People willingly want to ignore the cap on the medicare co-payment. They also want to pretend that the $80 billion of forward spending promised by Labor was actually set in the budget and that the Coalition is therefore taking that money from education health tand the NDIS. I suppose in a way they are doing that.

  19. Ubique

    Cracker article explaining the budget difficulties in simple, direct language by the last man to deliver a budget surplus:

    the ALP budget booby trap

  20. A lot of the odium being thrown at the Coalition is based upon mistaken assumptions.

    I’ve also heard enraged people tell me that the Coalition is going to force single mums on to Newstart, when this was actually a policy decision by the LAST government.

  21. calli

    Yet all of a sudden every parrot in every pet shop is talking about the need to increase the GST.

    Peter Costello…with a nice turn of phrase. Gee I miss him.

  22. tgs

    You won’t get far with a positive critique of the budget around here Steve. The Cat crowd seem to be just as entitled to have everything they want as the Drum crowd and get just as nasty when they don’t.

    It’s cute that you don’t understand what the word ‘entitled’ means.

  23. Baldrick

    I’ve also heard enraged people tell me that the Coalition is going to force single mums on to Newstart, when this was actually a policy decision by the LAST government.

    True Philippa- single parents are already being forced onto Newstart, thanks to the previous Labor government (and rightly so):

    From 1 January 2013, you are no longer eligible for Parenting Payment when your youngest child turns:
    6 years of age if you receive Parenting Payment Partnered, or
    8 years of age if you receive Parenting Payment Single

  24. H B Bear

    They also want to pretend that the $80 billion of forward spending promised by Labor was actually set in the budget and that the Coalition is therefore taking that money from education health and the NDIS.

    Pure Fabianism. Exactly what you would expect from Gillard.

  25. Rabz

    I’ve also heard enraged people tell me that the Coalition is going to force single mums on to Newstart, when this was actually a policy decision by the LAST government.

    Yes, never let the facts get in the way of a good dummy spit.

    Yet all of a sudden every parrot in every pet shop is talking about the need to increase the GST.

    I believe that’s a sly dig at that dunderhead Keating.

  26. Bruce

    Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

    From 1 January 2015, self-funded retirees will need to declare any tax-free super pension income in the means test to qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

    However, current cardholders who have an existing Account-Based Pension as at 1 January 2015 will be exempt from the new rules.

    Existing Health Card holders will also lose the Seniors’ Supplement which the Government will abolish after the June 2014 payment.

    What it means for you:

    If you are nearing retirement, the eligibility changes may increase your cost of living in retirement and these expenses will now have to be met from your pension or other sources of income.

    You may have to review your investment strategy to make sure you can still meet your living costs and maintain your standard of living.

    If you have an existing Account-Based Pension, you will need to be mindful that if you change your arrangements after 1 January 2015, any new pension will be assessed under the new eligibility rules.

    If you are currently receiving the Seniors’ Supplement, the abolition of this payment means you will now need to meet more of your expenses from your own income. Should make a lot of self funded retirees very happy…….NOT.

  27. hammy

    the abolition of this payment means you will now need to meet more of your expenses from your own income

    This is a disgraceful reduction to the legitimate social security of retirees.

  28. Rabz

    Hammburglar, that’s “self funded” retirees.

    They’re not totally dependent vassals of the State so I’m surprised to see you pretending to give a shit about them.

  29. H B Bear

    It’s a shame Alene met her untimely end in the oven. Hammy looks like he might have been quite the catch.

  30. calli

    If you are currently receiving the Seniors’ Supplement, the abolition of this payment means you will now need to meet more of your expenses from your own income.

    Bugger! I was hoping to sponge off the state in my self-funded retirement heaven. I shall have to re-think the additions to the wine cellar, or horror, the length of an overseas trip.

    Will these evil Liberals stop at nothing?

  31. handjive

    I thought Hockey was ‘ok’ last night.
    Cringe-worthy when he admitted they had introduced new taxes & broken promises.

    Peddling the usual excuses, Hockey sounded just like Gillard, and he knew it.
    Some wag might ‘mash’ the two sound bytes together. Sadly, they are in unison.

    Which leads to this link:
    The Death of Representative Government – The Real Conspiracy – Crisis in Democracy

    “We do not accept Presidents for life – we should not accept ANY politician for life at any level.”

    Indeed, it might be time to end the idea of ‘career politicians’.
    There is one way to save squillions & end the age of entitlement for some.

    (apologies if it has been linked before)

  32. Bruce

    I suspect that it won’t be the “abolition of that payment” that will cause the most angst ,but rather “the need to declare any tax-free super pension income in the means test to qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card”. Sounds like the thin of the wedge for other means-testing ,tax increasing opportunities

  33. Bruce

    Politicians aren’t ever likely to facilitate the end of “career politicians” good idea thought it certainly is. It up to the voter and the easiest to achieve it,even though it might go against one’s ideological prejudices,is to always vote against the sitting member.

  34. stackja

    ABC exists. Hockey has to appear on the ABC it is part of the MSM. Whether the ABC or even the MSM should continue to exist at its present size is a debate for another day. In the years ahead we may wonder what the whole exercise was about.

  35. Fibro

    Even the Cat thread is displaying the problem faced by Australia. It’s all about what I get from the government, what the government will do for me, blah blah blah.

    How would we look and feel if the conversation was about what we can do for ourselves to improve our lot and to hell with the government. The ONLY things the government were ever required for, and should ever be required for is Borders, Infrastructure and upholding the Constitution.

    Beyond that it’s all about entitlement and that conversation will never have a happy ending.

  36. JohnA

    For folks such as myself listening to the bleatings of people who are worried about their friend with three young children who might hypothetically become sick all at the same time wondering where they are going to get the money from to go to the doctor, there was an answer

    The answer is a couple of questions back at the “friend”
    a) would you be prepared to pay for your friends multiple visits to the doctor out of your own (generous) pocket?
    b) if not, why do you expect the rest of Australia to do that? After all, Charity begins at home, doesn’t it?

  37. JohnA

    Damn – apostrophe failure: “friend’s”

  38. JohnA

    H B Bear #1312224, posted on May 20, 2014 at 11:55 am

    They also want to pretend that the $80 billion of forward spending promised by Labor was actually set in the budget and that the Coalition is therefore taking that money from education health and the NDIS.

    Pure Fabianismcrocodile tears. Exactly what you would expect from Gillard.

    T,FTFY

  39. hammy

    Hammy looks like he might have been quite the catch.

    I’ve often been described as rather good-looking, Humphrey. However Alene would not have gone for me. I understand she was quite right-wing, and therefore unfortunately we would have had too many disagreements.

  40. I’ve often been described as rather good-looking, Humphrey. However Alene would not have gone for me. I understand she was quite right-wing, and therefore unfortunately we would have had too many disagreements.

    It’s hard to find unreconstructed Stalinist ladies these days. Well, it isn’t, but they’re usually not very attractive.

    Never mind, Hammy. Not every pot has a lid.

  41. egg_

    Fibro
    #1312271, posted on May 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I thought it was about good governance (e.g. our kids’ future)?
    If this lot do a crap job, the other lot will be returned to office pronto (looking very likely).

    I guess TA would have appeared, but he left his balls in Credlin’s other purse?

  42. Ant

    Count me out of the “Cat crowd” who’ve given Abbott and Hockey repeated broadsides.

    My biggest criticism of them is that their pre-election strategy of basically saying “she’ll be right” was idiotic. They should have levelled with voters and told them to expect pain because it was necessary. They wouldn’t have won the kind of landslide they did, but they would have had the political capital behind them to do what they’re doing instead of exposing themselves to the “liars” label.

    My take on the budget is that seeing that it has really fired up both sides of politics, it’s probably about where it needs to be given the state we’re in.

    Can you imagine if some of the good people commenting here had managed to get the budget where they want it to be where the government’s fortunes would be today, given how rabid the left has turned against it?

    Sure, you can say “so what, do what’s right!”, but that I suspect would have simply guaranteed that we have a temporary/partial 3 year course correction before returning to ‘x’ number of years under a Labor machine that is truly insane.

    And an added bonus is that the budget has still managed to flush the loons out into the light where the more reasonable majority can see for themselves what alternatives lie in store for them if they hand power back to Labor.

  43. candy

    Philippa,
    I thought Hammy was married ‘cos I remember him talking about skulling down champagne with his wife over some climate celebration thing or something. Perhaps I’ve confused him with another hammy, but.

  44. Infidel Tiger

    Candy, so as not to offend anyone, Hammy has had his genitalia removed.

  45. eb

    I basically agree with you, Ant.
    However, the rabid left was always going to be hysterical. Maybe the Libs could have at least dialled the cuts up another notch or two.

  46. candy

    Candy, so as not to offend anyone, Hammy has had his genitalia removed.

    Poor Hammy. What a sacrifice he made.

  47. Bruce

    Not at all .He has had it stuffed and now it’s regularly mounted. Hammy has become totally independent.

  48. JC

    Candy, so as not to offend anyone, Hammy has had his genitalia removed.

    Which makes him a lesbian, doesn’t it?I’m not up with the latest gender stuff. Is that right?

    Hammy was once a man ( by definition), he then had sex change to make him a woman and therefore he’s now a lesbian.

  49. ChrisPer

    Hammy does as well here as Joe Hockey on Q&A. I dont know how either of them haven’t spat on their hands, drawn the cutlass, and started slitting throats.

    For Stalinists (if a Stalinista either be), it goes without saying theyare up for it!

  50. candy

    Jc,
    If he became a woman, wouldn’t that mean he always felt like he should have been born a woman, so that means he would want to have relations with men?

  51. Fibro

    Egg, my comment was not directed at either side of politics persay, just oberservation in general.

    The more that the collective ‘we’ encourage the conversation about WIIFM then it just keeps on getting worse.

  52. JC

    Not always, candy. I read somewhere there are Keros of this world who have desire to be female, but also want to have relationships with females. That makes them lesbians…. I think. But as I said I haven’t kept up with this stuff.

  53. JC

    Hammy does as well here as Joe Hockey on Q&A. I dont know how either of them haven’t spat on their hands, drawn the cutlass, and started slitting throats.

    Huh, kero’s a pussy. Let him try…I’d stick his head in a vice and leave him there for a few days.

  54. No no no. You are all wrong.

    Hammy is an unreconstructed Stalinist. They’re very sexist in real life. They have no problems at all with men being men, and women being grateful.

    This could be why the unreconstructed Stalinist females tend to be so unattractive, and also so vitriolic.

    On the other hand, I bet his wife is a big sweetie and makes him lamingtons on Sundays if he’s been good and mowed the lawn. These tough-talking types are always pushovers.

  55. tgs

    Can you imagine if some of the good people commenting here had managed to get the budget where they want it to be where the government’s fortunes would be today, given how rabid the left has turned against it?

    Sure, you can say “so what, do what’s right!”, but that I suspect would have simply guaranteed that we have a temporary/partial 3 year course correction before returning to ‘x’ number of years under a Labor machine that is truly insane.

    The left and others hostile to the Coalition were always going to react this way. Given that the amount of political pain is essentially a given, why not actually achieve something instead of kicking the can down the road?

    Voters will reward you for taking tough choices when you explain why they need to be made and actually follow through. Why do you think Thatcher was so popular for so long?

    Voters will see right through you when you say one thing before an election then do another after being elected. Why do you think Abbott’s credibility, like Julia’s before him, is currently in the toilet?

  56. Eddystone

    The left and others hostile to the Coalition were always going to react this way. Given that the amount of political pain is essentially a given, why not actually achieve something instead of kicking the can down the road?

    I agree. The kiddies were always going to throw a tanty, although I must admit the scale of it surprised me a bit. Then again, they may have been expecting real cuts, were geared up to go full retard, and then couldn’t manage to dial it back to a dull roar.

    The thing is, once the sound and fury has diminished a bit, the average punter is going to be left wondering what all the fuss is about.

  57. egg_

    the rabid left was always going to be hysterical. Maybe the Libs could have at least dialled the cuts up another notch or two.

    +1

  58. johanna

    First Hockey scared the wits out of age pensioners over things they were enever going to do in this term. Result – lose at least half a million votes.

    Now, he is saying that they are going to tinker with people’s super arrangements, despite Abbott having previously said that this is not going to happen.

    Hockey is just a brainless, uncritical conduit for Treasury propaganda. And the authors were hand-picked by Labor.

    The dumbness, gormlessness and naivete that pervades this government is breathtaking.

  59. .

    LOL

    Gibbo and WIIS think “we” have a sense of entitlement because we want an end to handouts and the welfare state/cradle to grave stuff.

    The irony is powerful. Compare “our” point of view with the born to rule chumps the Young Liberals have provided us with in recent decades.

  60. Bruce

    Like I said earlier,the fat fuck is undermining Abbott with either the intention of having a go himself or setting it up for Turnbull. Whatever his plan he’s doing untold damage to Abbott.

  61. nerblnob

    Voters will reward you for taking tough choices when you explain why they need to be made and actually follow through. Why do you think Thatcher was so popular for so long?

    Thatcher was on a five year election cycle, which makes a big difference.
    Her first term included the Falklands war.
    The people had been suffering real pain under Labour, three day weeks, power cuts, nothing like anything Australia has experienced in living memory.
    The unions were stuck in declining industrial heartlands, rather than the trendy public servant enclaves they thrive on now.
    Etc.

  62. tgs

    Fair points, nerblnob.

    Still doesn’t excuse the huge own goal for absolutely no positive budgetary outcome this budget cycle has been so far.

  63. nerblnob

    I guess I should also point out that “ditch the bitch” was a common sign and slogan during Thatcher’s prime ministership and doesn’t seem to have attracted any special comment, then or now.

  64. Bill

    I wouldn’t say there has been no budgetary gain at all. They have thrown 90% of the Greenbait overboard and it is quite a bit of money in aggregate. What they should do is scrap that useless medical slush fund and reinstate some of the small but politically poisonous sacrifices they imposed on everybody.

    “Visionary” slush funds are for the Budget before an election, not after an election.

  65. Craig Mc

    Nice of the Liars Party to paint themselves into a corner with the AAA credit rating just in time for S&P to piss all over their strategy.

  66. Crossie

    At $21 for a visit to a doctor to see three seriously ill children, we have a ridiculously cheap medical service. Shameful, but there was plenty more like it …

    Tim Blair put it nicely yesterday about the ‘March in May’ demonstrators:
    “Instead of carrying signs, the marchers – most of them white and wealthy – should have been carrying begging bowls. The sheer lack of dignity at these events was breathtaking”.

    When the carbon tax came in it added $500 to my power bill and that was just hunky-dory but make people pay a token fee for their doctor’s visits and the world ends.

  67. Crossie

    Like I said earlier,the fat fuck is undermining Abbott with either the intention of having a go himself or setting it up for Turnbull. Whatever his plan he’s doing untold damage to Abbott.

    It wouldn’t surprise me, Hockey saw nothing wrong in appearing with Rudd on Kochie’s program prior to the 2007 election. It did nothing for Coalition fortunes yet improved Rudd’s standing that someone of Hockey’ s stature would associate with him. Thanks for nothing, then and now.

  68. candy

    Joe Hockey is suing Fairfax over “Treasurer for Sale” headline. Good on him. Should be more of it! Fairfax get away with far too much subtle weaseley word comments amounting to defamation. Especially their headlines are totally misleading.

  69. tomix

    Joe Hockey could probably get over himself. He comes over as a totally out of touch, born with a silver spoon in his mouth toff.
    The idea that he could ever be PM is alarming.

  70. Tel

    Gibbo and WIIS think “we” have a sense of entitlement because we want an end to handouts and the welfare state/cradle to grave stuff.

    I want even less than that, I’m only asking for one thing which is that the political class live both personally and collectively under the same rules they expect me to live under. That’s it, that’s all I’m asking.

  71. egg_

    Joe Hockey is suing Fairfax over “Treasurer for Sale” headline.

    Better get used to it, Staples, lest you put both feet in your gob next time.

  72. candy

    Better get used to it, Staples, lest you put both feet in your gob next time.

    Bit harsh, Egg_ … he’s the Treasurer and a major newspaper accused him of being corrupt on the eve of the budget. It’s downright nasty journalism meant to sabotage the government.

  73. egg_

    Comes across as a ‘glass jaw’.

  74. JC

    I’ve been out most of the day, so I wasn’t able to keep up with the discussions here. I have to say I’m really pessimistic about Australia as I think the demand for free stuff from punterland has so encroached the social fabric of this place that we’re fucked.

    Every single question Hockey got last night was someone demanding either more money or more services from da gobinment. It’s really damned depressing.

    Note to pensioners. Look, you demanding dicks, the co-payment for a docs visit is 7 bucks. IT’s not going to send you to the debtors prison. If you weren’t able to save for your retirement then ask your family for the money. Stop groping taxpayer pockets FFS.

  75. chrisl

    JC To put it in perspective, a flat mid-strength beer at the football costs $7.10

  76. tomix

    Remember 1987 when Alan Bond owned Channel 9 and Joh sued them for defamation and settled for $400,000 before the hearing? Not one of those, is it?

  77. wreckage

    “I have a friend with three kids, it might cost her $21, and I’m such an utter mongrel dog that I can’t possibly spot her the $21!”

    “My grandmother is on a pension and I’m sure as fuck not going to give her seven bucks.”

    “My doctor drives an Audi and can’t be expected to take a hit of $7 for someone who’s clearly broke.”

  78. wreckage

    WIIS, et al., Davidson’s critique of the budget was both reasonable and positive. He thought it needed to go further.

  79. wreckage

    ” the Treasurer’s budget measures on welfare are more about cost-cutting than ending the age of entitlement.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-formula-to-really-end-the-age-of-entitlement-20140519-38k0s.html#ixzz32FTZPH4J

    Reducing the welfare spend doesn’t reduce entitlement? Really?

  80. JC

    Have we come to a time where we ought to think about euthanasia for demanding pensioners, the not so disabled, single mothers and young people eternally on the dole? It would save a shit load of welfare. And yes, Stepford would fall into this group.

    Yea I know euthanasia isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, but for fuck sake all Hockey got last night was a barrage of demands for more money. I reckon we’ve reached a point where it could be learning experience if some of these demanding douchbags were given the option of ending it all by perhaps visiting the JC leftie suicide hotline.

  81. Tel

    I reckon we’ve reached a point where it could be learning experience if some of these demanding douchbags were given the option of ending it all by perhaps visiting the JC leftie suicide hotline.

    Well, that was perfectly obvious to me from the first day he arrived here. I wondered then, as I wonder now, if he might not have turned out a very different boy indeed if you had administrated a few fatal beatings earlier.

  82. Robert O.

    The amount of publicity given to the removal of the unfunded $80 billion from education and health down the track belies the difficulty of having a genuine debate about anything fiscal. With falling iron ore and coal prices and diminished industry where would the money come from in the first place? Certainly not generated by the most vocal critics.
    The Treasurer’s budget is a start to reducing the debt by those who now occupy the opposition benches, but if Australia is to get out of this malaise quickly there is only one solution, remove the impediments and constraints that exist on the private sector. Take a leaf out of China’s book; it may not a perfect system, but look at the results. I think the quote was I don’t care whether the cat is white or black as long as it catches the mice, pretty pragmatic for a communist leader.

  83. Joe Goodacre

    Hockey did well.

    The crowd seemed representative of the community.

    Thought – how would Bolt go hosting his own Q & A programme.

    Pretty well I think – pitch for a programme with the Q & A format Bolt!

  84. Yohan

    I’ve been out most of the day, so I wasn’t able to keep up with the discussions here. I have to say I’m really pessimistic about Australia as I think the demand for free stuff from punterland has so encroached the social fabric of this place that we’re fucked.

    Yeah…. combine that with the new social media political climate, where every progressive leftist has instant access to a facebook and twitter rant, and it now seems impossible for any government to make even mild changes without coping almost terminal damage.

  85. Gab

    where every progressive regressive leftist (BIRM) has instant access to a facebook and twitter rant

    and the lamestream media take it all as representative of the nation, factual and newsworthy.

  86. Yohan

    The left and others hostile to the Coalition were always going to react this way. Given that the amount of political pain is essentially a given, why not actually achieve something instead of kicking the can down the road?

    The Liberals could have savagely cut the budget and as you say they would have taken the same amount of political pain. Andrew Bolt always asks why they keep trying to pander to the Left. Its simply because they are trying not to seem ideological.

    Abbott should watch House of Cards, the UK version, and ramp up the division and ideology, its already here.

  87. Yohan

    and the lamestream media take it all as representative of the nation, factual and newsworthy.

    It does give the impression of a groundswell of opinion. We hope it does not leak over into the silent majority, but the feedback I’m getting from the average Joe is Abbott has blown his trust and reputation, which was not high to begin with.

  88. Notafan

    Bolt would have interruption lottos above 200 every week.
    JC back when they were introducing the GST I was saying they had not looked hard enough at all the options. They ignored my recommendaction that only self funded retirees be allowed to.live past 75.
    Think how that would have motivated retirement savings.
    If only Peter had listened.,.,

  89. JABL

    No representation without taxation!

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