Abbott and Abetz on IR: weak as piss

downloadMy regular column in The Australian seemed to go AWOL on the digital version, so I am posting it here.

You really have to laugh when Abbott says he doesn’t want to join the weak government club.  Isn’t he already the captain?

And why would he say that stuff about penalty rates?

Here is the piece:

The government finally got around to sending the reference to the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the workplace relations framework in December last year.  The Coalition had committed to initiate this inquiry during the election campaign.

Indeed, it hadn’t taken long to draft up some terms of reference.  These were floating around in late 2013.  The fact that it took another twelve months for the inquiry to commence can be sheeted home entirely to the Prime Minister – the terms of reference were sitting in his in-tray all that time.

As events turned out, the timing could not have been worse in electoral terms.  Having sent the reference to the PC, it was only ever going to be a short time before an issues paper (in this case, five issues papers) were released.  This release occurred in the middle of the Queensland election campaign.

These papers simply set out the scope of the inquiry, outline the key issues, pose a number of questions and provide information for parties wishing to make a submission.  It is all standard practice.

The important question now is how the government should handle the PC inquiry.  The answer comes in two parts.  It is fundamental that the government gets on the front foot, embracing the inquiry and setting out a overall objective of higher real wages and higher employment.  The government should reinforce the value of the PC’s processes – their transparency, the scope to make submissions, the careful weighing up of evidence.

But the second part to the answer is to refrain from making running commentaries on the inquiry and the submissions the PC receives.  And when the draft report is released, the response should be that the government will wait until the final report is released before formally responding to the recommendations.

Mind you, Tony Abbott hasn’t got off to a good start by providing (misleading) commentary on the issue of penalty rates. “In terms of penalty rates, we have a very well-established system in this country – it began back in about 1903, as I recollect – and under our system it’s the Fair Work Commission which sets these rates, that’s how it is, that’s how it was, that’s how it will be.”

Here’s the thing, the system of penalty rates did not emerge until the 1920s and it was the state systems that were the key rather than the federal system.  State awards were the main drivers of conditions in retail and hospitality where penalty rates are most significant.

And here’s another thing, the penalty rates stipulated in those state awards were much lower or non-existent compared to the nationally determined penalty rates set out in modern awards today.

It is one reason why the shift to a national system, brought about by John Howard and the WorkChoices legislation, has been such a mistake.  The modern awards merged all the state (and federal) awards, moving them to the highest common denominator.

For a state such as Queensland, with its tourism intensive economy, the costs have been substantial since penalty rates in the former state awards were previously low or non-existent.  (And does anyone think that having a single minimum wage is sensible – the one rate for Currumbin and Canberra?)

When penalty rates were introduced they were to deter employers from operating during weekends and public holidays rather than rewarding employees for working in anti-social hours.  It was a time when men worked, women stayed at home, families went to church and students working in part-time jobs were very uncommon.

Tony Abbott has also told us that he does not want to lead a weak government.  But when it comes to workplace relations, the government has been guilty of both cowardice and inaction.  Last year, the ineffective Workplace Relations minister, Eric Abetz, submitted a number of relatively inconsequential and technical amendments of the Fair Work Act to the Senate, but they were rejected.  There was no public explanation of them, no attempt to outline the likely benefits.

With the exception of the reinstatement of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, it is not clear that the amendments really amount to a hill of beans, particularly as there are now very few new greenfields projects to which that amended provision would apply.

The government would point to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption as an example of getting on with the job.  But apart from extending its duration, it is not clear what the government’s messages are on the findings thus far.  Trade unions behaving badly doesn’t really cut it.

To be sure, the government is proposing to establish a Registered Organisations’ Commission, which has been rejected by the Senate at this stage.  It is not clear why the government wouldn’t go the full hog and allow the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to regulate trade unions and employer associations in the same way as listed companies.

And what has happened to the appellate body that will sit on top of the Fair Work Commission?  This was part of the Coalition’s election platform but nothing has happened.  There have been a number of conflicting pieces of legal advice floating around.  But the government has gone completely quiet on the issue.

And what about getting on with some new appointments at the Fair Work Commission to fill some existing vacancies and some coming up?  There is a crying need to rebalance the FWC with some suitable appointments; there is no reason to delay.

The government – or more particularly, Tony Abbott, who has taken charge of industrial relations – looks like a dazed rabbit in the middle of the road staring at the oncoming headlights.

There is a degree of sympathy for the complaints they hear from employers about the inflexibility of the system and its job and investment destroying properties, but that is where it ends. It’s all very well to talk about being a strong government, but on industrial relations, weak is the only possible description.

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86 Responses to Abbott and Abetz on IR: weak as piss

  1. Mike of Marion

    He is hanging on for the PM perks of Office. Spineless Libs won’t call him out

  2. Snoopy

    Thank heavens Heather Sellout has moved on from the AIG. Her continual harping on about inflexibility of the system and its job and investment destroying properties, used to make me sick.

    Oh, wait.

  3. PeterCGoing

    I am always amazed at business leaders calling politicians weak. Within one day of the election in Queensland before the count is finalised the mining industry says they an work with Labor. The ALP in Victoria threaten to tear up a contract and silence from the Business community. The call is always, Liberals risk all for our profits but don’t expect us to risk anything, we might have to work with the ALP. When Boral or a similar company ups stakes and moves out of Victoria, not by stealth but after a public announcement then I believe they are worth fighting for. Business leaders in this country are soft cocks with little to no leadership qualities but will manage anything. If that difference is beyond you then try the RAN leadership school.

  4. GregJ

    Frankly, as a long term Coalition voter, I really don’t know what should be done about Abbott and his government.

    I personally gave up on them while they were in Opposition over 18 months’ ago, and joined the LDP, but I still wished them all the best when they won the election.

    But since then they have lived up to my very low expectations. Immediately upon gaining election they shat on their supporters and their electoral base and attempted to pander to their soft cock opponents on the Left by resiling from previous commitments [s18c comes to mind].

    The LNP said it stood for responsible economic management and bringing the budget in to line. What do we have? An increase in expenditure. It said no surprises. What have we had? Surprise after surprise after surprise – none of which was necessary – and all of which they have had to back down on.

    Did anyone hear Abbott campaigning on increasing the pension age? No? Then why did the fuckwits think they had a mandate to float this particular boat and piss off their pensioner voter base?

    I’m pretty sure I heard Abbott say unequivocally that there would be no cuts to the ABC. Frankly, as far as I’m concerned the ABC should be sold, shot, destroyed at the first possible opportunity, but given that Abbott said before the election that there would be no cuts to it, can anyone please tell me which particular moron advised Abbott that breaking this commitment would be a good idea?

    Why would a conservative government which is supposedly against the AGW mantra, keep that insufferable Warmist Greg Hunt as its environment minister? How could this be so?

    I could go on and on and on. Enough is enough.

    The Coalition needs to sort out this sort of crap right now, or face the same fate as the Coalition governments in Victoria and Queensland.

  5. outsider

    Judith, you appear to be a full fledged, signed up member of the kamikaze Right, a true Abbott hater, lol. The interesting thing is this: why have not the MSM developed critiques and commentary such as yours? Even if they hate the bloke, why does their input stop at personality politics, a base and frankly sophomore ‘us and them’ narrative?

    They could have delved into actual policy commitments and hammered him on inaction of this kind, the ABCC, the failed TURC etc. – if they did not see themselves as key players in their own right with an agenda and a seat at the table, that is. In a sense, only the Non-Left can make the running on these issues, no one else will.

  6. stackja

    And the ALP will do what?

  7. Why not be strong on the big stuff and sentimental on the small?

    For example, all Abbott had to do with his knighthood system was to use it for Queensland’s reforming (if ugly) government. One state reforming is better than one state taking the economy back down to the pub.

    This would only work for Qld, but I think it would work:
    Arise, Sir Alan Border…Arise, Sir Mal Meninga…Arise Dame Cathy Freeman. (Maybe Sir Mal, because he ticks more boxes.)

    If you are going to clash heads, do it over something that matters – and IR will always matter. Imagine paying rent on a take-away only to find that you can’t afford to pay someone to fry a chiko roll before or after the Sunday footy. And that might be the same guy who won’t be able to regas his fridges under a carbon tax, so it’s kind of important that a Coalition government learns to survive.

  8. Adrian

    Sloan, you becoming more hysteric by each post. Even if the govt wanted to reform the fair work act they wouldn’t be able to get it through the senate. in any case I think you will find that penalty rates for casual café staff have been cut and there is likely to be more such rulings in the future by the FW Commission as along as the right people are put on Commission. There is a smart way to reform employment relations and there is the kamikaze way that you seem to be proposing when they don’t have control of the Senate.

  9. Imagine paying rent on a take-away only to find that you can’t afford to pay someone to fry a chiko roll before or after the Sunday footy. And that might be the same guy who won’t be able to regas his fridges under a carbon tax, so it’s kind of important that a Coalition government learns to survive.

    Pretty much the content of several representations I’ve made to the federal party.

    Each time I’ve received a form letter that said (in meaning if not actual content): “Dont’ vote LNP”

  10. Indeed, it hadn’t taken long to draft up some terms of reference. These were floating around in late 2013. The fact that it took another twelve months for the inquiry to commence can be sheeted home entirely to the Prime Minister – the terms of reference were sitting in his in-tray all that time.

    Why hadn’t the business community hired a couple of retired PC boffins to do all this legwork back after Howard was turfed? Then the Lazy party could have rolled it all out on day 1 after the inevitable Trade Union turfing out.

    They could then continue to be as lazy as they want because all the hard work would have been done.

  11. And what has happened to the appellate body that will sit on top of the Fair Work Commission? ….the government has gone completely quiet on the issue.

    Indeed. This would have been all that was required to jar the FWC into line and have commonsense outcomes.

    Abbott is toxic among small business. Hope he isn’t wondering why.

  12. Baldrick

    The new dogma for the Liberal Party:
    Take nothing. Give lots. Be nice. Smile a lot.

  13. blogstrop

    It is one reason why the shift to a national system, brought about by John Howard and the WorkChoices legislation, has been such a mistake. The modern awards merged all the state (and federal) awards, moving them to the highest common denominator.

    The highest common denominator? Is that why the unions and the left generally were so critical? Or was it that they had been sidelined, but now are back, baby, back on site and pulling the levers again?

  14. candy

    With friends like Ms Sloan, the government does not need any more enemies.

    blind freddie can tell you that Work Choices / talk about penalty rates, reducing the minimum wage, is death to the government.

    Even Peter Reith doesn’t mention it now in his “advice”to the government. He knows how toxic it is. It destroyed John Howard’s government.

  15. blogstrop

    When penalty rates were introduced they were to deter employers from operating during weekends and public holidays rather than rewarding employees for working in anti-social hours. It was a time when men worked, women stayed at home, families went to church and students working in part-time jobs were very uncommon.

    I’m not seeing the difference between “operating during weekends and public holidays” and “anti-social working hours”. Or is it the word “rewarding” that counts? Should not both apply, that employers have to add up the benefits of weekend trading or late night, and see if it’s really worth the candle? Or that workers who suffer the stupidly 24/7 hours we now see in so many areas might get some extra for it? Yes, families once had sundays off and quite a few went to church. Some in my family still do. Is that sort of consideration to be swept aside unless you’re a special pleading group, such as muslim? Retail was Saturday morning only, if at all. Seven day trading and late night trading has become the norm for supermarkets and other convenience industries like fuel, but I suspect a lot of commenters here are in comfortably 9-5 mon-fri jobs.

  16. When penalty rates were introduced they were to deter employers from operating during weekends and public holidays

    This plan is beginning to work.

  17. sfw

    Wasn’t it Kennett who gave up Victoria IR system and handed it to the Commonwealth? Why don’t these idiots see what can happen to their ‘Great’ ideas when the other side inevitably gets in power?

  18. wreckage

    Still better than Labor 😀

    But seriously, touching IR means a lost election. Instant. They might as well just resign en masse. The horses are still toey after that Howard incident.

  19. They can dicker with IR a bit, make it so it doesn’t cost businesses quite so much to answer every last baseless claim in a tribunal.

  20. hzhousewife

    This plan is beginning to work.

    Well that is an understatement in my country town – used to have a choice of
    six or more Sunday brunch places, now only two. I consciously buy me one or
    two coffees a week from these places because they clearly LOSE by being open on
    a weekend.

  21. Entropy

    Exactly sfw. If anything, the federal government should be giving up tons of stuff back to the states. Getting it closer to the people. I doubt that centralist bastard OTT would agree though.

  22. wreckage

    It’s pretty bloody obvious that hospitality NEEDS to operate out of hours and on weekends. As providers of recreation, in essence, their only reason to exist is to provide services after hours and on weekends.

    A better bet than actual reform is to start working on creating a consensus for “more sensible and even handed” application of penalty rates to hospitality.

    Alternatively, more, and more lenient, exemptions for very small businesses. Fuck the big end of town, frankly. Howard focused on small business and it always worked for him.

  23. Well that is an understatement in my country town – used to have a choice of
    six or more Sunday brunch places, now only two.

    There are plenty of towns HZ Housewife, where there are now no dining options on Sundays.

  24. Tim Neilson

    GregJ
    #1590632, posted on February 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm
    One of the problems is compulsory voting. The LNP assume that even if we vote for a minor party the preferences will flow back to them, so they can keep fellating the middle class left and kicking us in the head.
    Labor is going to win the next election so that’s our chance to do something constructive. Have a very public campaign among conservatives and libertarians to identify the 5 least wanted LNP members, focussing on ones who’ve got fairly small margins (but who aren’t stone cold certainties to lose anyway). Then in those 5 seats run a vigorous campaign urging conservatives and libertarians to vote informal, writing on their ballots “please hand to Coalition scrutineers – I’ll resume voting for you when you run a candidate who’s interested in representing genuine [insert conservative or libertarian as you wish] ideals”. Hopefully a high informal rate, identifiable as a revolt from the base, will torpedo 5 snout-in-the-trough careers. Maybe then individual LNP politicians will get the message that they may have to get a real job if they don’t placate the base.
    We can keep doing the 5 least wanted at every election till it achieves some results.
    I’d exempt the Senate – there’s a chance that the lottery will install some acceptable candidates so we shouldn’t vote informal there.

  25. exemptions for very small businesses

    How to define “small business”?
    By turnover?
    By number of staff?
    By full time number of staff? or “all heads”?

    The current definition, less than 15, is so stupid as to not matter.

  26. Peter from SA

    There is an obvious commonsense case against the current penalty rates system for tourism and hospitality businesses … i.e. those that don’t have a lot of FT Mon-Fri employees expected to work extra hours.

    This needs to be challenged, but Abbott thinks he is being smart by avoiding IR altogether. Yes, like if there are no IR issues then the unions won’t apply their power on every other issue … hahahahaha.

  27. Lem

    You really have to laugh when Abbott says he doesn’t want to join the weak government club. Isn’t he already the captain?

    Get it right Judith, he’s the president of Australia, doncha know? Apparently he was voted in personally by the voters of Australia! He said so at his pitch to the back bench yesterday at the Press Club.

    Funny that, I don’t remember ticking that box at the last election. I remember voting for a party that promised to cut red tape, shut the borders (thank you Morrison), and get rid of the anti free speech 18c ..heck I even donated to IPA and the Libs for the first time in my life, that’s how convinced I was that we would/could turn around this nascent totalitarian socialist state into something that won’t resemble Greece.

    Listen up big time Liberal (sic) party. One of the problems of running pseudo presidential campaigns in a democracy like ours, is that people don’t in reality get an option to say no to the leader, so instead they say no in the only way they can, by not voting for their local Liberal (sic) member who is apparently these days in the new paradigm, not allowed to object.

    That’s what happened to Newman, and that’s what happened to the LNP in Queensland.

    Abbott must go or there is no chance for a recovery of the Coalition programme. Simple.

  28. H B Bear

    Face it – Howard killed IR for the Liberals for a long, long time with his Work Choices over-reach. Both the unions and the ALP know it. It is going to take a government with a heap of political capital to burn to return to IR and that isn’t Abbott now or any time in the foreseeable future.

    The cost of doing business in Australia is arguably the greatest challenge this country faces and that doesn’t look like changing.

  29. candy

    It is going to take a government with a heap of political capital to burn to return to IR

    Even then. Serf Choices is hated.

  30. wreckage

    SATP: I’d go with number of employees as a rule of thumb, then a consider a special rule for hospitality. And I’d personally make the criteria dead simple and ignore gaming of it; like “15 full time staff and we don’t give a crap how many part time you have.” Make the OTHER guys do the work, reject reform and rationalization as “too difficult” “too complex” etc: make THOSE fuckers do the complex explanations.

    The main point is, fuck reform. Nobody wants it. Everything has to be extra special consideration for extra good people. And it has to be sold hard. Start by asking an industry “did you know?” like “did you know, farmers don’t get protected by tariffs – but they pay them?” Give ’em a list. Let them campaign about it. Then axe the tariffs, and tell the farmers how much money they’re saving.

    Industry by industry, business by business: get a credible list of their gripes and problems. Present it to them. Ask them what they think of it – preferably since it’s THEIR list of gripes they want it dealt with. Consult, shmooze, and bullshit for a month then make your move. Then feed that move back to the people who asked for it.

    Repeat.

  31. wreckage

    Labour cost wouldn’t be as much of an issue if energy was cheap or compliance costs were low. But EVERYTHING is expensive. The only way to make everything cheaper is cheaper energy, end of story.

    (My plan is genius. It’s also consultative and collegiate 😉 But the biggest gains are from cheap energy.)

  32. john constantine

    Had fainefilth on the radio for a few minutes this morning.

    “Simply ghastly”

    Was fainefilths heartfelt feeling when discussing the melbourne that shut at midday saturday and re-opened 9 a.m. monday morning.

    How wonderful that the swampfilth can wallow in cafes and indulge their whims on the weekend.

    Millionaire socialists would barely notice the charges for their weekend wallows.

    Everybody else should just eat cake, is millionaire socialist fainefilth’s opinion.

  33. Bear Necessities

    While FairWork is killing jobs it is not doing what it is intended to do, that is to increase private sector union membership. Union membership is now only 12% of the private sector workforce and will probably fall further as more manufacturing and mining firms close their operations in Australia. Gillard and Shorten in a perverse way have probably quickened the demise of private sector unions.

  34. Ubique

    WA had by far the greatest take-up of WPAs under Work Choices and sandgropers had a firm grasp of how WPA could benefit both employees and employers. Everybody in WA had a family member or a mate on a WPA. As a result the WPA fear-mongering campaign by Labor and the unions fell absolutely flat in the West. Thus in the so-called Ruddslide election in November 2007 WA was the only State in which Labor lost ground. Fear of the unknown spooked gullible voters in other States.

    The Australian character is not what it used to be.

  35. Ubique, that is the most difficult thing, explaining to people that it is possible under an AWA to pay ALL staff more money, and the business be better off.

    The zero-sum-game dimwits can’t work out “how that can be”.

  36. 1234

    You are all chumps. Its taken you almost 18 months to find that Abbott was never to be believed or trusted. Three word slogans, no policies, no ideas and now for you no hope.

  37. Alfonso

    Sorry Judith, the employees won’t wear free market with their micro lives.
    When you live two weeks to two weeks on wages you don’t want to complicate the risks. An unexpected $1000 bill can turn your life to shit, they don’t want more pressure.
    The elites don’t get it.

  38. Economist

    Can’t understand touching IR now with the great recession going on. Especially on penalty rates.

    Mining downturn, means the service sectors got to take the slack. Cut flatlined wages, you cut demand even more. Hence the low business confidence, falling retail demand, etc

    The paid parental leave would have helped business more by taking the costs off business and onto government. But thats thrown on the bonfire as an afterthought so welp.

    Looks like Howard really f#cked us by purging any threats to himself, leaving no hopers like Abbott. :rolleyes

    [Please use a real email address for comments, Sinc]

  39. wreckage

    Abbott was never to be believed or trusted

    When he promised not to touch IR? One of the few things he stuck to like glue.

  40. wreckage

    Sorry Judith, the employees won’t wear free market with their micro lives.
    When you live two weeks to two weeks on wages

    Yeah, but being stuck on casual because the business can’t afford the risk of making you full-time saves you from that… by making you live 24hours to 24 hours.

    Fucking genius.

  41. Motelier

    wreakage at 7:54 pm.

    Industry by industry, business by business: get a credible list of their gripes and problems. Present it to them. Ask them what they think of it – preferably since it’s THEIR list of gripes they want it dealt with. Consult, shmooze, and bullshit for a month then make your move. Then feed that move back to the people who asked for it.

    The problem with this statement is the way industries fold before the government.

    I was on the state board for my industry for 8 years. I tried to push a harder line across to the board.

    The problem with industry associations is that they have always try to generate a close relationship with whatever government is the finance trenches at that time. Unfortunately, this close relationship is not productive for the greater rank and file of those that make up the membership of the industry association.

    To wit. I was told to not promote a particular line about Aus Tourism. So, I packed up my bat and ball and TEAM of supporters.

    Their membership has continued to drop.

    Industry Associations need to be willing to get down and dirty with what ever government is in play at the time. Unions do it. Why not Industry Associations?

  42. Very True Mote. I can attest to every word you wrote.
    I’ve had similar experience with the QHA being too close to the govt, not wanting to rock the boat, and flatly refusing to stand up for members’ interests.

  43. .

    Alfonso
    #1590869, posted on February 3, 2015 at 8:38 pm
    Sorry Judith, the employees won’t wear free market with their micro lives.
    When you live two weeks to two weeks on wages you don’t want to complicate the risks. An unexpected $1000 bill can turn your life to shit, they don’t want more pressure.
    The elites don’t get it.

    Alfonso thinks that ‘tha wukkas’ hate free markets.

    LOL. Look at the RET sham. The scammers are very large firms, not regular joes.

  44. wreckage

    Problem is half the industry reps are career pollies at heart and looking to step into party politics or the senate (on one hand) or overwhelmed with worship of THE BIG PLAYERS on the other.

    Farmers have the same problem. I expect it’s endemic to representative lobby bodies.

  45. Farmers have the same problem. I expect it’s endemic to representative lobby bodies.

    Possibly more so than others.
    Most agri-politicians are near useless on their farm/station.

    The ones who are real politicians, even more so. The “farmers” in politics have are about as in touch with their rural roots as Bill Shorten, Ed Husic, Julia Gillard are.

  46. wreckage

    Dad was in agri-politics for years. Left a bad taste in his mouth.

  47. I know just how he would have felt Wreckage. Mixing with so many smarmy moleskin wearing poonces.

  48. Motelier

    They might well be interested in a career in politics. Perhaps.

    I was on the board of the 4th largest motel chain in Australia. I put a proposal to the board to generate a position for a CEO.

    I wanted the CEO to take charge of marketing, recruiting, and, policy development. I could have done it at night after dinner service.

    The CEO would have to answer to the board, nothing strange there. But the board could not release some of their responsibilities to the CEO. Some of the members of the board had been on the board since it was established.

    The group had a lot of potential. The emphasis is on the word “potential”.

    They no longer exist.

  49. I feel for you Mote. That must have been disheartening.

  50. Chris

    Are weekend and public holiday surcharges at restaurants etc not legal anymore? They used to be pretty common for what I thought was to pay for penalty rates for the workers. The biggest problem here is that all the Chinese restaurants conspire to close on Mondays, but they do open most public holidays and weekends when they have to pay penalty rates!

  51. Are weekend and public holiday surcharges at restaurants etc not legal anymore?

    Yes and No.
    It is illegal to have at the bottom of a menu something along the lines of: “public holiday surcharge 10%”

    An entirely new menu must be produced, with the public holiday (or weekend) price for each menu item written clearly on the menu.

  52. wreckage

    Chris, folks who are open on the weekends are usually using family/business partners to do most of the labour. It’s already common practice in many industries just for the sake of controlling legal risk/ liabilities.

  53. I’m missing the connection to “controlling legal risk” by using family labour of a weekend?

  54. C.L.

    I really wish Judith wouldn’t beat around the bush so much.

    You know?

  55. mareeS

    Chris, Steve, Our daughter is the restaurant manager for a very successful regional pub group, and they no longer offer lunch on Sunday at any of their venues, just bar operations and snack stuff. Sunday evenings offer full dinner, with salaried staff in the bar, restaurant and kitchen, and casuals for 2hrs only for service. Oh, and a “special” menu. That’s how they get out of the surcharge thing.

  56. Yohan

    You are all chumps. Its taken you almost 18 months to find that Abbott was never to be believed or trusted. Three word slogans, no policies, no ideas and now for you no hope.

    Your a new Troll around here 1234, but don’t mistake Catallaxy Files for a traditional conservative supporting blog. This place has been non-stop critical of Abbot since the start of 2014. So actually know what you are talking about instead of just projecting leftist clichés.

  57. rich

    Problem is half the industry reps are career pollies at heart and looking to step into party politics or the senate (on one hand) or overwhelmed with worship of THE BIG PLAYERS on the other.

    Farmers have the same problem. I expect it’s endemic to representative lobby bodies.

    Iron law of bureacracy at work…

    some people work on being farmers, other people work on being bureacrats (politicians) who represent farmers and hence take over the narrative

  58. Blogstrop

    Many things about business can be disheartening. It’s very disheartening to keep your business open on a thursday night or a sunday, even with salaried staff or owners working, and to get not that much extra business for it. If you’re selling a commodity that can be bought any other day, the trade will be much the same for the week as a whole, just spread over more hours of opening.

    Having a business in Australia was never the same again after Keating savaged the taxation system during the mid 80s in a fit of revenge against business owners who he suspected of voting Liberal.

    These days the protected species are Labor mates with well paid positions in unions, on boards, quangos, commissions and so on ad infinitum. Vote them back in and watch it all continue to roll, while small business in particular continues to get rolled.

  59. Blogstrop

    Dot, are you really saying that Flannery’s geothermal stinker and the rusting wave generators are big companies?

  60. Tel

    You are all chumps. Its taken you almost 18 months to find that Abbott was never to be believed or trusted. Three word slogans, no policies, no ideas and now for you no hope.

    If he does nothing more than keep Bill Shorten out of office for a while, it’s still good work and worth doing.

    Could be better, but could be a lot worse.

  61. Alfonso

    By all means go with what will be labelled Work Choices 2 and get touched up by the punters again. There’s admirable courage in a persistent slow learner.
    “but being stuck on casual because the business can’t afford the risk of making you full-time saves you from that…” Sorry, casual is the only way we can run restos and tourism.

  62. rich

    By all means go with what will be labelled Work Choices 2 and get touched up by the punters again. There’s admirable courage in a persistent slow learner.
    “but being stuck on casual because the business can’t afford the risk of making you full-time saves you from that…” Sorry, casual is the only way we can run restos and tourism.

    Do punters have the “right to a job”? It will always be up to the conservatives to shift the narrative to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Legislating job security is ultimately self-defeating, just like a tariff wall is self-inflicted. You trade certainty of a few for stagnation for the whole of society- socialising the damage until it all of it sinks beneath the waves. Trying to legislate away failure is like taking a tilt at a windmill.

  63. Alfonso

    “Legislating job security is ultimately self-defeating, just like a tariff wall is self-inflicted. You trade certainty of a few for stagnation for the whole of society”
    You are correct. Now convince the punters. They can’t see that far. Good luck.

  64. rich

    You are correct. Now convince the punters. They can’t see that far. Good luck.

    So you simply surrender?
    If an Islamist or a Communist tried to “convince” you, how would you react?
    Convincing does nothing. The truth is that this is a culture war, and there are two fronts: the ideas front (IPA) and the politics front (LDP/LNP) which follow. Currently no “convincing” is happening because the progressives have taken over the cultural narrative- Hollywood, political correctness, the media.
    Ironically the way to beat them is to produce better art (film,music,literature) with a more cogent narrative than they do. We have to show that Australia is the best country in the world to live in again because of opportunity, rather than mediocrity.

    Do you actually want to win the punters over, or have you given up? Are you all talk, Alfonso?

  65. .

    Blogstrop
    #1591292, posted on February 4, 2015 at 6:52 am
    Dot, are you really saying that Flannery’s geothermal stinker and the rusting wave generators are big companies?

    They’re not “regular joes”.

    The ASX has a 20 mn minimum capitalisation limit.

  66. Rabz

    One of the problems is compulsory voting. The LNP assume that even if we vote for a minor party the preferences will flow back to them, so they can keep fellating the middle class left and kicking us in the head.

    Those days are gone. I’ll be turning up to get my name checked off and then writing a very clear message on the ballot paper strongly expressing my dissatisfaction about various matters. I also live in one of the safest labor seats in the country, but that may change if I move across the border into NSW before the election. Then I’d be in a marginal seat, which means the loss of my vote would hurt the coalition more.

    Again, I can’t urge disillusioned coalition voters strongly enough – Vote Informal. It is imperative, as not only will labor and the greenfilth not increase their vote, but the coalition will hopefully get it into their thick skulls that dissatisfaction among their constituency is at an all time high. Tim’s plan above makes good sense, but a collapse in the coalition’s primary vote must occur on a uniform national basis to conceivably have any impact. Otherwise we have to go down the UKIP route and go nuclear on the coalition’s arses.

  67. Alfonso

    “Do you actually want to win the punters over” No.
    “or have you given up?” Nah still exactly the same, here to make max returns and increase personal wealth for other purposes, your concern for ‘society’ is touching but futile.

  68. rich

    not only will labor and the greenfilth not increase their vote, but the coalition will hopefully get it into their thick skulls that dissatisfaction among their constituency is at an all time high.

    Okay genius… if you don’t vote for a conservative, minor party doesn’t the proportion of progressive vote increase?

    your concern for ‘society’ is touching but futile.

    No such concern, just my love of debate, testing the mettle of ideas and being right on matters. I hope that your plan to “make max returns and increase personal wealth for other purposes” includes a contingency for when this country becomes Greece or Venezuala. I haven’t had children yet so perhaps changing the narrative of society is a long term goal that has merit to me.

  69. mareeS

    OK, who do you want? Shorten?

    This is the equation: Abbott out, Shorten in, with an interlude for Malcolm.

    You people drive me spare sometimes, but at least there’s space for discussion here before everyone goes off into fine little corners of argument.

    Abbott has stuffed it. Hockey is a crap treasurer. Julie is fine as Foreign Minister. Turnbull is Malcolm and always will be.

    Queensland is saying “Oh, Shit” and Victoria is saying “Come back to bed, darling.”

    So, where do we go, Australia?

    (Speaking personally, Australia, you’re on your own, we’ve got things sorted so that your fingers can’t get into our back pockets).

  70. john constantine

    Plenty of green economy companies listed on the asx with microcapitalisations of low single digit millions of dollars.
    Money to keep the lights on is desperately tight, wonder if green companies running out of money still buy higher priced green electricity?.

  71. Alfonso

    Good luck rich and happy trails.
    An OS contingency is vital…as a youngster you have the advantage of starting your offshore capital reserves early for the long haul, buy the big dips… ideally wait for crashes, don’t avoid tax on the income, understand that in your lifetime Super will be captured. Work for yourself and a strong family is the prime directive.

  72. .

    Again, I can’t urge disillusioned coalition voters strongly enough – Vote Informal. It is imperative, as not only will labor and the greenfilth not increase their vote, but the coalition will hopefully get it into their thick skulls that dissatisfaction among their constituency is at an all time high. Tim’s plan above makes good sense, but a collapse in the coalition’s primary vote must occur on a uniform national basis to conceivably have any impact. Otherwise we have to go down the UKIP route and go nuclear on the coalition’s arses.

    It is already happening. Check the 2013 Federal election data.

  73. Judith Sloan

    I simply expect the Coalition to make an attempt to enact what was proposed in their election platform and to make the case for the changes. This is a pretty low bar and yet Abbott and Abetz stumbled before the hurdle was even in sight.

  74. rich

    An OS contingency is vital…as a youngster you have the advantage of starting your offshore capital reserves early for the long haul, buy the big dips… ideally wait for crashes, don’t avoid tax on the income, understand that in your lifetime Super will be captured. Work for yourself and a strong family is the prime directive.

    Very interesting, thanks! In terms of offshore capital reserve, how do you go about choosing a country/investment type? Right now I’m diverting income to paying down my first home.

    This is the equation: Abbott out, Shorten in, with an interlude for Malcolm.

    I have come to realise by this observation and that with Alfonso that this is a generation/lifetime work. Happy to work on the cultural element for long term change as well as my contingency plan.

  75. Your a new Troll around here 1234, but don’t mistake Catallaxy Files for a traditional conservative supporting blog. This place has been non-stop critical of Abbot since the start of 2014. So actually know what you are talking about instead of just projecting leftist clichés.

    Well before that, actually. WELL before that.

    There were (as it turned out, very accurate) predictions of a Fraser-lite waste of a mandate as far back as 2010.

  76. Driftforge

    writing on their ballots “please hand to Coalition scrutineers

    Can’t do that. If they happen to see the notes, that’s one thing, but they can’t touch the papers and electoral staff actively showing papers like that would be frowned upon very quickly.

  77. Rabz

    if you don’t vote for a conservative, minor party doesn’t the proportion of progressive vote increase?

    I couldn’t give a rodent’s if it does.

    Here’s an instructive little tale for you demonstrating why casting a legitimate vote (at least in the lower house) can be fucking pointless.

    In the 2010 election I was enrolled in Grayndler (Albansleazey’s seat). There were six candidates, all of them nominal leftists bar the liberal candidate.

    I voted for the liberal candidate first, Albansleazey second last and the greenfilth last. The AEC made the run off a two cornered contest between Albansleazey and the greenfilth. As a result, my vote went to Albansleazey, effectively against my will. So I walked out of the polling booth thinking I’d voted liberal, only to later discover I’d voted labor.

    This is not democracy, but its absolute antithesis. Had I known this was going to happen, I would have voted informal. Had I voted informal, the ‘progressive vote’ would have been one less.

    I am not going to allow such an abuse of my participation in the electoral system to occur again.

  78. .

    Good on you rabz

    We need to get rid of compulsory voting, and keep preferential voting, but make it OPTIONAL PREFERENTIAL.

  79. rich

    I couldn’t give a rodent’s if it does…. I am not going to allow such an abuse of my participation in the electoral system to occur again.

    Hmm… so cause and effect doesn’t matter?
    Destroying your vote is worse than progressives getting your vote through preferences, because they get no feedback at all on where to direct their policy preferences. It’s not about it being “one less” it’s about the percentage deciding the winner: in fact your vote dragged the result to the right, towards Albanese over the Greens.
    “I won because of preferences from nice party voters… I should appeal to them by adopting nice party policies…”
    One anecdote doesn’t absolve you of cutting off your nose to spite your face. It’s a free country, you can do as you please. Yet I question the intelligence of acting like a Greenie who puts symbolism over result. I get it that you despise preferential voting because you hate progressives.

    Yet that’s the system we have, so work within the system lest, by destroying your vote, you have no say in the doom incoming. The reason the govt goes after multi-nationals is because they don’t vote.

  80. Driftforge

    As a result, my vote went to Albansleazey, effectively against my will.

    Well no, exactly in accordance with your will as recorded on the vote. You indicated you preferred Alby to the greenfilth, and that’s what you got.

    Single member electorates are a piss poor way of arranging representation by someone of like mind within an area with divergent views; changing the way votes are counted won’t fix that.

  81. rich

    This is a pretty low bar and yet Abbott and Abetz stumbled before the hurdle was even in sight.

    Having attention held captive by the media and focus groups is dragging the agenda to the left. Taking the softly-softly approach, the small target game rather than fighting on principles has turned LNP into Labor-lite.

    For a better approach, see UKIP and John Key.

  82. Bill Clark's nephew

    Judith,

    you’re getting a bit too smart by half these days. You and your mate Sinclair are part of what Nick Cater called the Kamakaze Right – bashing the PM and the Coalition at every opportunity, from your oh so pure libertarian point of view. Good sport, but as they say – be careful what you wish for.

  83. Alfonso

    Rich…
    ” I’m diverting income to paying down my first home”. Good, it’s the only CGT free major you’ll ever own (in OZ). Choose your investment houses well in the popular price green band for quick sale, every location has one. At a place I own spec property on the coast, $490k>$53ok is the sweet spot, gone in 30 days. $630k and you can spend the next 3 years selling it.
    “choosing a country/investment type”. Most important, you must be interested in it for its own sake to get knowledgable. Remember you’re having an adventure. It’s a matter of scale . Avoid tax havens, even if you aren’t you will be assumed to be. Commercial rule of law and ex Pommie colonial cultural indoctrination is good, some hard working Asian quasi democracies are good. Your aim is to get confident enough to trade in markets available from there .You’ll start off with deposits that return little, the aim always is to hold assets where an incipient bankrupt Aust govt can’t give you a haircut or earmark some for “infrastructure” projects. The majority think the very possibility is bizarre.

  84. rich

    You and your mate Sinclair are part of what Nick Cater called the Kamakaze Right – bashing the PM and the Coalition at every opportunity, from your oh so pure libertarian point of view

    The difference between conservatism and progressivism is principle versus tribalism, truth versus relativism.
    So when libertarians and conservatives “bash the right” we have to clearly articulate which principle they are breaking and why they are breaking it. What you are asking is a reversion to tribalism and relativism in order to move to the centre- and I suspect that is the very attitude that has crippled the Abbott government. You may “catch more votes” if you stand in the centre, but ultimately you are poltically soulless- through consensus you stand and fight for nothing except being in the middle and winning votes.

    The majority think the very possibility is bizarre.

    Not bizarre at all… the last stone falls before the avalanche begins. Yes I have to find a way to have money invested overseas without our friendly Statists in Australia, with their insidious scope creep, giving it a haircut: even the LNP have given in and been seduced by it.

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