Tony Abbott at the “Making Australia Right” book launch

[Making Australia Right] is an important book because of what it says about our collective state of mind. Many of the people who normally support Coalition governments aren’t happy.

They are publishing their own ways to “make Australia right” because, they think, the government is not up to it.

It’s a cri de coeur from people who think that Labor is moving to the green left and that the Coalition has become Labor lite.

A sense of disappointment and disillusionment pervades these essays: disappointment with the Abbott government and perhaps even despair about the Turnbull government; but what saves it from being a curmudgeon’s lament is the palpable sense, in every contribution, that our party and our country can be better.

To editor Jim Allan and to many of the other authors, the government has done much wrong; and what it’s done right hasn’t been right enough.

These criticisms aren’t always fair. Still, unless we heed the message from people who think that we have let them down, a book like this can become the thinking person’s justification for voting One Nation.

After all, the Making Australia Right authors are not the only ones who are disappointed and disillusioned.

At last year’s election, 24 per cent voted for minor parties and independents, 5 per cent spoiled their ballot papers and 9 per cent didn’t even turn up to vote. That’s nearly 40 per cent of the electorate that couldn’t bring themselves to vote for either of the two parties that have governed us for 100 years.

And it’s worse now. In Queensland, polls have the Coalition vote 8 percentage points down since the election and One Nation 12 percentage points up.

It’s easy enough to see why.

We have the world’s biggest reserves of energy — yet we have some of world’s highest power prices.

We have land in abundance — yet Sydney’s house prices are close to Hong Kong’s.

We have among the-world’s highest labour costs and heaviest regulatory burdens.

Of course, we’re agile and we’re innovative and we’re the world’s most successful immigrant society — but Kazakhstan, apparently, now outranks us in education achievement and we’re no longer the place where everyone wants to invest.

It’s true that to be an Australian — almost any Australian — is to have won the lottery of life but it won’t stay that way unless we lift our game.

And yes, there’s an opposition in denial about the problems it created when in office; there’s a populist senate; there’s a media that often mistakes insider gossip for serious journalism; and there’s a public that demands to enjoy things today but to put off paying for them.

Still, the government’s job is to face up to these challenges and to overcome them. It’s harder than ever but it still has to be done.

So here’s the big question: what should a sensible centre-right government be doing now?

All the contributors to Making Australia Right have useful things to say but perhaps the best description of the centre-right’s dilemma comes from Gary Johns who says:

The Right believes in less taxation and less government interference in people’s lives: in short, liberty. But in a world where more Australians vote for their money than work for it, and the constituency beholden to government for benefits and jobs is expanding, the constituency for winning votes with tax cuts and deregulation is diminishing.

“Selling stringency and insecurity” says Johns, “is not going to win elections”.

Rather, he says, “the Right have to advance a cultural debate in conjunction with the economic one.

The Right have to promote a discussion that has, at worst, no cost to the budget and builds a constituency. It is not a case of ‘bread and circuses’, of creating diversions, but of the necessity to build a constituency that trusts government to be less intrusive. It is a necessity to overcome the shameless bribery that all politicians indulge in, but especially the left”.

Johns says — and as a former Labor minister he should know what the left is up to — that “the pathway to a liberal society will be … to win constituencies without bribing them”. Yet, he says, “to achieve a … society … that is more liberal and governed by contract rather than by ideology will take a cultural revolution”.

In the long run, we do indeed need a conservative version of the left’s “long march through the institutions”. We do need to make it respectable again to be liberal on economic questions and conservative on social ones.

In the short run, though, we have to win the next election. That means finding policy that’s philosophically acceptable, economically responsible and politically saleable.

One of the most timely and important essays is Alan Moran’s on energy policy. He methodically exposes the disastrous muddle successive governments have created.

We are sleepwalking towards what the head of BlueScope said this week was an energy policy “catastrophe”.

My government reduced the renewable energy target from 28 per cent to 23 per cent. It wasn’t enough but it was a step in the right direction and it was the best we could get through the senate at the time.

Now, almost two years on, people are starting to wake up to our danger: due to the 24 hour statewide blackout in South Australia — where traffic lights went out, cash registers didn’t work, people were trapped in lifts and patients were sent home from hospital; and the power failures in other states, like the one that badly damaged the Alcoa smelter and jeopardised 10,000 jobs.

I’m all in favour of renewables, provided they’re economic and provided they don’t jeopardise security of supply; but, at the moment, we have a policy-driven disaster because you just can’t rely on renewable power.

In the absence of better storage, the renewable energy target should be called the intermittent energy target or the unreliable energy target because when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, the power won’t flow.

But it’s not Labor’s even more disastrous 50 per cent renewable target that’s caused the problem — it’s the existing renewable target which the government has no plans to change. Indeed, under the government’s plans, wind generation is supposed to double in the next three years at a capital cost to you the consumer of $10 billion.

The government is now talking about using the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to subsidise a new coal-fired power station; creating, if you like, a base-load target to supplement the renewable target.

We subsidise wind to make coal uneconomic so now we are proposing to subsidise coal to keep the lights on. Go figure. Wouldn’t it be better to abolish subsidies for new renewable generation and let ordinary market forces do the rest?

Of course, that would trigger the mother-of-all-brawls in the senate, but what better way to let voters know that the Coalition wants your power bill down, while Labor wants it up?

The likelihood of defeat in the senate never stopped the Howard government trying to change the unfair dismissal laws. Over forty times we tried and failed and each attempt meant that we burnished our small business credentials and Labor damaged theirs.

We’ve got to face up to the damage being done by green schemes that seemed like a good idea at the time — and we’ve also got to face up to the damage that the senate is doing; how it’s making good government in this country almost impossible.

The senate sabotage of the 2014 budget was blamed on poor salesmanship but my successor’s difficulties with far less sweeping measures show that the problem is less the salesman than the system.

It’s almost impossible for the government of the day to have a senate majority in its own right because it’s almost impossible to get the 57 per cent of the vote needed to win four senators out of six in any state.

This doesn’t matter much for governments that want higher spending, more regulation and heavier taxes (at least on the so-called rich); the senate will always vote for those. But it matters a great deal for governments that want the reverse.

The cross bench is good at grievance but it’s never going to take responsibility for cutting spending, upsetting lobby groups, and reducing taxes on businesses and high income earners.

That’s why the senate has changed from a house of review to a house of rejection. The result is gridlock, not government, and — for our country’s sake — it can’t go on.

John Howard recognised this back in 2003. A government policy paper recommended changing section 57 of the constitution to allow legislation that’s been rejected twice in the senate three months apart to go to a joint sitting without the need for a double dissolution election.

The government didn’t proceed with this reform because it fluked four out of six senators in Queensland in 2004 and, for one term, more-or-less controlled the senate. But it’s now high time to reconsider the Howard proposal.

The government should consider taking this reform to the people simultaneously with the next election. Let’s make the next election about government versus gridlock. That way, if it’s carried, the government will be able to reduce spending, as well as to raise it; to cut taxes, as well as to increase them; and to limit the size of government, as well as to boost it.

That way, the next election will be about the kind of country that we want: one where the government tells you what it’s going to do and does it; or tells you what it’s going to do but doesn’t because the senate won’t let it.

The next election is winnable.

If we stop pandering to climate change theology and freeze the RET, we can take the pressure off power prices.

If we end the “big is best” thinking of the federal Treasury, and scaled back immigration (at least until housing starts and infrastructure have caught up), we can take the pressure off home prices.

If we take our own rhetoric about budget repair seriously and avoid all new spending and cut out all frivolous spending, we will start to get the deficit down.

If we refuse to be the ATM for the states, there might be finally be some micro-economic reform of our public education and public health systems.

If we stop funding the Human Rights Commission and leave protecting our liberties to the parliament, the courts and a free press where they belong, we might start to look like the defenders of western civilisation that we aspire to be.

And of course, we have to keep committed to secure borders, not give up on free trade agreements that give our exporters a fair go, and ensure that our armed forces are about protecting the country not just creating jobs in Adelaide.

In short, why not say to the people of Australia: we’ll cut the RET, to help with your power bills; we’ll cut immigration, to make housing more affordable; we’ll scrap the Human Rights Commission, to stop official bullying; we’ll stop all new spending, to end ripping off our grandkids; and we’ll reform the senate to have government, not gridlock?

Our challenge is to be worth voting for. It’s to win back the people who are giving up on us like the Making Australia Right authors.

It won’t be easy but it must be possible or our country is doomed to a Shorten government that will make a bad situation immeasurably worse.

In or out of government, political parties need a purpose. Our politics can’t be just a contest of toxic egos or someone’s vanity project.

What is worth striving for; how can we make a difference; and what must change if Australians individually and collectively are to come closer to our best selves?

That’s the challenge that our side of politics needs to ponder. There’s much work to be done but the authors of this book, quite rightly, are demanding that we come to grips with it — fast.

Making Australia Right is published by Connor Court.

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361 Responses to Tony Abbott at the “Making Australia Right” book launch

  1. Oh come on

    Oh dear. Someone has been to the Battye Library, it seems.

  2. Oh come on

    After that Cheng chap

    The man’s name was Curtis Cheng. Please reserve the humourously disrespectful ‘that …. chap’ as a misnomer for Penny Wong.

  3. Tel

    Tel – what do you make of Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives.

    Personally I’d be putting LDP as first preference, but given that there’s a realistic risk of LDP losing any given election if Bernardi can find someone to carry his banner in NSW I don’t mind sticking them high up in the preference list… along with the rooting, tooting, and shooting parties of course. There’s no reason I can think of for anyone to put a major party as first preference. Provided voters start to get that concept, we will have some genuine issues getting discussed.

    It really comes down to the personality of Pyne vs Bernardi in South Australia. So Pyne brought home the pork barrel submarines but Bernardi better stands on principle. That’s something for South Australians to think about. There’s a few years before the next election… see what happens.

  4. Oh come on

    Now excuse me, I have a book or two that needs to be removed permanently from the stack collection. Time to cover tracks!

    Fisky, surely those obscure books are still available for purchase from some outlet specialising in the documentation of embarrassing political failures? Imagine if you got your hands on one.

  5. Arnost

    ..: what do you make of Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives. Not much to go on, I know. I have joined but nothing of consequence has happened.

    I too have joined. All I got so far is a request for more money. Hmmm… I kind of hope that there is something more – Corey has to realise that there are some people like me that have been stirred from their usual apathy and may have something to contribute. If only to convince others!

  6. .

    Politics requires ideas, people and money.

    That is the order of scarcity.

    They are needed in the reverse order.

  7. Muddy

    The ANA. Even its full name would be outlawed now, let alone its patriotic purpose. Back when the words ‘active’ and ‘citizens’ used adjacent would not have raised an eyebrow. Respect that you even know about it, Dot.

  8. Oh come on

    One of the books, not the embarrassing political figure, who might enjoy the experiene.

  9. .

    I’m not a historian, but I wanted to be. I am also disgusted by my generation and younger’s lack of knowledge of history. It is tragic and perhaps dangerous.

  10. ..: what do you make of Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives. Not much to go on, I know. I have joined but nothing of consequence has happened.

    Bernardi has already indicated that he sees his conservatives more as a conscience and rudder for the existing Liberals, rather than as competition to them. As a consequence he has also implied his efforts will be aimed strictly at the Senate, rather than contest HoR seats.

  11. Muddy

    If Bernardi takes a flamethrower to the Corpse Party, I’ll be interested. If not …same same. So no. Still WDM until I find something deserving of my vote.

  12. Fisky

    Australia already has its “Gestapo-in-waiting”. In this country today, ready to spring into action, on somebody’s behalf, is one of the most efficiently-managed and limitlessly financed fifth columns ever assembled in the history of modern warfare. It involves sections of the National Safety Council. Their principal base at Sale, in Victoria, is more secure than most Australian military bases. They also have bases up and down the Eastern seaboard, including Brisbane, and North Queensland.

  13. Muddy

    History is only of use as an anvil, Dot. Apparently.

  14. Australia already has its “Gestapo-in-waiting”. In this country today, ready to spring into action, on somebody’s behalf, is one of the most efficiently-managed and limitlessly financed fifth columns ever assembled in the history of modern warfare. It involves sections of the National Safety Council. Their principal base at Sale, in Victoria, is more secure than most Australian military bases. They also have bases up and down the Eastern seaboard, including Brisbane, and North Queensland.

    Thanks for reminding me, Fisky. Soon after that was written, the MSM took an interest in the NSCV, its Principal, John Freidrich did a runner and the organisation imploded, it was discovered the operation was being financed via unsecured loans from the State Bank of Victoria, which promptly went broke, and Freidrich’s doppleganger committed suicide by shooting himself in the back of the head a few times.

    The good ol’ days.

  15. Fisky

    By May 1988 an international peace keeping force would be brought in to bring peace, and take over;
    Our new Parliament House, in Canberra, was not built for ‘a bunch of scruffy Australian politicians’, but for the leaders of the coming World Government, who will initially rule the world from the safety of Canberra, Australia’.

  16. .

    Thanks for reminding me, Fisky. Soon after that was written, the MSM took an interest in the NSCV, its Principal, John Freidrich did a runner and the organisation imploded, it was discovered the operation was being financed via unsecured loans from the State Bank of Victoria, which promptly went broke, and Freidrich’s doppleganger committed suicide by shooting himself in the back of the head a few times.

    Regardless of the veracity of MV’s prognostications – this is seriously weird shit!

  17. Regardless of the veracity of MV’s prognostications – this is seriously weird shit!

    Nothing weird about it, Dot – or secret, either. It was all over the MSM at the time. Of course, some bits were left out. After Freidrich’s disappeared, he was sighted north of Port Augusta. That night I was on the Brian Wilshire show, and stated he was making his way to Meekatharra via the Gun Barrel Highway. The police refused to investigate and instead set up road check points at Ceduna and Norseman.

    A few days later somebody presented to the public as John Freidrichs, but wasn’t, was picked up sitting under a tree at Kalbarri, on the coast from Meekatharra. His car was covered in red bull dust. He was taken back to Victoria and charged. Soon after that he was delivered to his home at Sale. His wife came out, took one look at him, turned to the cops and said “this isn’t my husband”, and stormed back inside, locking the door. It was all live on national TV.

    Soon after that the fake Freidrichs was involved in some kind of survey work for the QLD government, getting around North QLD in helicopters with a couple of Federal Minders. That’s when he topped himself, allegedly.

  18. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Thanks for reminding me, Fisky. Soon after that was written, the MSM took an interest in the NSCV, its Principal, John Freidrich did a runner and the organisation imploded, it was discovered the operation was being financed via unsecured loans from the State Bank of Victoria, which promptly went broke, and Freidrich’s doppleganger committed suicide by shooting himself in the back of the head a few times.

    There’s a name from the past – false name, fake papers, already faked his own death in Germany….

  19. Fun as all this reminiscing is, it’s time to watch the latest episode of “The Blacklist”, and the first episode of the spinoff series, “The Blacklist – Redemption”.

  20. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Regardless of the veracity of MV’s prognostications – this is seriously weird shit!

    Dot, there’s a good chapter on the whole lurk, in Trevor Sykes’ book “The Bold Riders’. At one stage National Safety Council owned or leased 22 helicopters, eight fixed wing aircraft and a mini – submarine….

  21. Fisky

    It’s not surprising that a search and rescue authority came into possession of two dozen helicopters and a number of amphibious craft.

    That doesn’t mean it was likely to be the nucleus of a Gestapo state apparatus, as certain fever swamp cranks seem to believe.

  22. .

    There’s a name from the past – false name, fake papers, already faked his own death in Germany….

    Fisk – explain this away. I take at face value that the NSC was a SAR outfit.

  23. Oh come on

    The NSC under Friedrich was indeed a seriously weird organisation with a highly questionable reason for existing in the form it did – the ruling AK Party in Turkey call Fethullah Gulen’s movement within Turkey’s institutions a ‘parallel structure’, and that’s what Friedrich’s NSC became – consequently, it drew the attention and speculation of conspiracy theorists like shit attracts flies.

    Mr Ockham would suggest a more mundane reason for the rise of the NSC than any of the feverish conspiracy theories purport – Friedrich was simply a highly ambitious empire builder.

  24. .

    Mr Ockham would suggest a more mundane reason for the rise of the NSC than any of the feverish conspiracy theories purport – Friedrich was simply a highly ambitious empire builder.

    Given it looks like he committed major fraud already – that makes sense. OPM!

  25. sdfc

    Freidrich’s doppleganger committed suicide by shooting himself in the back of the head a few times.

    Friedrich is currently running a con on Elvis.

  26. Oh come on

    IIRC, before he was caught, there were reports John Friedrich had been sighted and was in hiding in WA.

  27. Fisky

    The bigger the authority, the more funding and contracts for Friedrich to skim from.

  28. Oh come on

    Freidrich’s doppleganger committed suicide by shooting himself in the back of the head a few times.

    Wow. That’s what I call rare devotion to one’s employment.

  29. Fisky

    The reason Friedrich faked his own death was to avoid being jailed for fraud (and skip the country). That is all.

  30. Oh come on

    Oh, he *was* in WA, according to Wikipedia. Arrested in Perth. For some reason I thought that was a wild goose chase.

  31. Fisky

    Wikipedia is owned by the globalists.

  32. .

    So wait. Is someone alleging that he murdered someone to fake his own death…and the wifey was in on it?

  33. Oh come on

    From Wiki (which needs updating):

    Today NSCA is a membership-based organisation promoting safety awareness and providing occupational safety and health training, consulting and auditing. NSCA have offices throughout Australia, in major capital cities and regional locations such as Gladstone and Newcastle. The patron is Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia.

    Quentin Bryce? Bill Shorten is obviously in on the conspiracy!

  34. Oh come on

    Our next Prime Minister is tainted with this scandal that the press has clearly buried.

  35. Oh come on

    It takes a truly special person to see through the lies.

  36. .

    BREAKING

    Shorten dumps Chloe for Mum, Shorten and Bryce marry and declare themselves as monarchs, NSC goons take over RAAF, Aarmy and RAN bases.

    Reptilians replace state police constables.

  37. BorisG

    Would anyone like to name a single budget cut that has passed the Senate, but not the House? Just one please, take your time!

    Would anyone like to name a single referendum or plebiscite result that was rejected by the Senate. If you can’t then f*ck off.

  38. .

    Army bases even. Unless the Dutch and Indos are involved!

  39. Oh come on

    ANA House is something of a landmark (albeit a pretty crummy one) on Stirling Highway in Cottesloe. Or have they bulldozed it?

    The ANA was one of the patchwork of friendly societies that formed the voluntary social security network that existed before the government imposed its monopoly on the welfare sector and drove all the existing organistions to the wall or into insignificance.

  40. Fisky

    So, was there a link between the NSC’s paramilitary activities and the Bond Corporation’s involvement in the aborted Black Revolution?

  41. Fisky

    Also, the part where the world government was going to be set up in Canberra (!). Was that part of the same treasonous plot or no?

    1988 was a most eventful year, lots of near misses!

  42. Oh come on

    I hear the SAS is forming the backbone of the resistance. Which is reassuring, as the unit could defeat the rest of the ADF overnight. When the squadron of F-35s is finally delivered, the Bryce-Shorten duumvirate – or is it more of a Peronist arrangement? – it will be deployed to bomb the Swanbourne barracks. I wouldn’t like to be on the links at the nearby golf course at that time, which will no doubt take a direct hit (from the planes falling out of the sky).

  43. Oh come on

    That was what the sub was for. Those AK-47s won’t covertly deliver themselves!

  44. Oh come on

    it will be deployed

    will deploy it

  45. Rabz

    “the Deakin Centre”

    LOL.

  46. Entropy

    Oh come on
    #2307509, posted on February 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm
    Our next Prime Minister is tainted with this scandal that the press has clearly buried.

    I think you need to question the role Tony Abbott played in all this.

  47. Had Enough

    In my view in the short term, tha Liberals are a lost cause. The next election is not winnable and they don’t deserve to win.
    In business and life, sometimes you have to take a step back to before being able to take two or three forward. That is where conservative voters are now. Having voted Liberal all my life – 45 years as a voter, I will not vote for them until they return to Liberal Party principles. At the last election, for the first time I did not put them first, but I put them third and they got my vote in the end via preferences.
    Next election, if things don’t change, and I don’t expect they will, they will be LAST. Yes last, below Labor and The Greens. If that results in a Labor government for three or even six years, so be it. No matter the damage done in that time it will not be as much as the long term damage of having two centre left major parties fighting over minor populist issues while the main issues pile up without even decent debate.
    Despite Abbott’s fundamental conservatism and decency, he can’t return. Morrison and Bishop are dills as far as PM and leadership go.
    Dutton perhaps, but he can’t build the profile and support to win the next election. He is better to wait for the inevitable loss then seek to be the renewer and rebuilder.

  48. Oh come on

    If you watch the federal government-produced 1988 bicentennial video Celebration of a Nation, it’s full of subliminal messages – if you know what you’re looking for.

  49. Fisky

    Why on Earth would the global elites set up their world government in Canberra? Horrible venue. They would get bored of it very quickly.

  50. marcus w

    I thought that the NSC was just an Aussie version of the Thunderbirds .

  51. Oh come on

    Abbott is a puppet. He knows nothing. His fate was planned decades ago, and his current existence as a disgruntled former PM is exactly what the puppetmasters intended for him.

  52. Fisky

    Just trying to picture this snoozy backwater playing host to Mikhail Gorbachev, David Rockefeller, Maurice Strong, Dennis Healy and all the other Bildebergers as they figure out how to reduce the world’s population by 3/4.

  53. Oh come on

    It’s true. Shadowy global powerbrokers would find their agenda utterly stymied by the incompetence of the capital’s civil servants.

  54. Oh come on

    Some events are now starting to make more sense. For instance, the AFP took over security of Parliament House as the octogenarian guards who did the job previously were needed to protect the secret headquarters of the global illuminati.

  55. Fisky

    Those guards were actually 100-year old nazi war criminals on life extension medication.

  56. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I thought that the NSC was just an Aussie version of the Thunderbirds .

    John Friedrich liked “big boys toys” and strange uniforms, so you aren’t far wrong.

  57. Rabz

    Why on Earth would the global elites set up their world government in Canberra?

    For the very reason that no one would expect them to.

    They’d also have a captive bunch of presstitutes handy at the nearby National Peanut Gallery.

  58. At one stage National Safety Council owned or leased 22 helicopters, eight fixed wing aircraft and a mini – submarine….

    And lots of patrol boats too. Plus the only deep sea diver rescue unit and decompression chamber in the southern hemisphere at the time. One of the many mistakes I made, Zulu. I thought it was some kind of secret army. As it turns out, it was a secret navy and air force.

  59. Fisky

    One of the many mistakes I made, Zulu.

    The fact that you make the exact same mistake again and again, without ever learning anything from it, is more concerning than the sheer volume of errors.

  60. sdfc

    I heard the double’s wife ran off with Lord Lucan. It was Martin Boreman who shot him though. I can’t confirm Jim Morrison was driving the getaway car, but there are rumours.

  61. Mr Ockham would suggest a more mundane reason for the rise of the NSC than any of the feverish conspiracy theories purport – Friedrich was simply a highly ambitious empire builder.

    Given it looks like he committed major fraud already – that makes sense. OPM!

    Yeah, that would be it, guys. Just an over ambitious empire-building fraud who didn’t exist on paper – not even so much as a driver’s licence, who nonetheless had top secret military clearance and managed to borrow $300 million from the State Bank of Victoria on nothing more than his own non-existent good name.

    Happens all the time.
    Time for Blacklist – The Redemption.

  62. Fisky

    The alternative explanation, which is that the State Bank of Victoria attempted to destroy the Australian government using a search and rescue/paramilitary group as their shock troops, is a lot more believable.

  63. Fisky

    No wonder Australia’s financial system had to be blown out from 1987-1990. It was the only way to cover the tracks of all these banks that had been funding private armies around the country.

  64. dan

    government reduced the renewable energy target from 28 per cent to 23 per cent…

    ..heavier taxes (at least on the so-called rich)

    LOL. The latter cost me about $6000. Wanker.

  65. Rayvic

    If the Government were really serious about minimising the economic damage that is facing Australia as a result of implementing the 23% RET, it immediately would stop further closure of coal- or gas-powered power stations until they were replaced by higher efficiency coal-powered versions.

    There is no scientific or economic justification for installation of intermittent renewables.

    Political correctness, whether practised by Labor or Coalition, is contrary to the national interest.

  66. BorisG

    One of the many mistakes

    Looks like MV only made small mistakes about some details, whereas prediction of aboriginal revolution coordinated by James, sorry, no, Alan Bond was all accurate.

    It least I thought he had been partly cured.

    Hilarious.

  67. Oh come on

    Just an over ambitious empire-building fraud who didn’t exist on paper – not even so much as a driver’s licence, who nonetheless had top secret military clearance and managed to borrow $300 million from the State Bank of Victoria on nothing more than his own non-existent good name.

    Because when the lives of the rich, famous and/or powerful unravel, you never find that they were trusted by people and organisations who really should have known better. Highly successful con artists – they just don’t exist and never have. It’s always all part of a deeper conspiracy.

  68. Oh come on

    Just an over ambitious empire-building fraud who didn’t exist on paper – not even so much as a driver’s licence [as we know thanks to subsequent investigations], who nonetheless had top secret military clearance [due to the status and nature of the organisation he was in charge of] and managed to borrow $300 million from the State Bank of Victoria on nothing more than his own non-existent [as we know thanks to hindsight] good name [which he would have spent years building].

    Actually, he used dodgy-to-worthless collateral to borrow the $300 million. Again, totally unheard of. This kind of fraud never happens.

    See, MV, this is why you are a conspiracy theorist. Your default explanation for unusual events is some outlandish theory for which you provide only supposition and weak circumstantial evidence.

    Someone who is not a conspiracy theorist does not believe conspiracies don’t exist. Of course they do. However, such people presume things like the above happen as a result of individuals allowing the baser elements of human nature to affect their judgement. Greed, lust for power, an overweening ambition, ruthlessness, insincerity; those kinds of things.

  69. BorisG

    Someone who is not a conspiracy theorist does not believe conspiracies don’t exist. Of course they do. However, such people presume things like the above happen as a result of individuals allowing the baser elements of human nature to affect their judgement. Greed, lust for power, an overweening ambition, ruthlessness, insincerity; those kinds of things.

    Exactly.

    The biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they involve large groups of people colluding in some secret conspiracy for long periods of time. This is extremely improbable because over time people tend to disclose secrets and hence real conspiracies involve small groups of people conspiring for a short period of time.

  70. Highly successful con artists – they just don’t exist and never have. It’s always all part of a deeper conspiracy.

    Yeah. That’s why, in the Inquiry into the collapse of the State bank of Victoria, the officer responsible for the loans testified under oath that he was skeptical from the start. However, when he questioned it with his superiors, he was told to “approve the loans no questions asked”. He testified the order came directly from the Board of Directors of the bank.

    This is what happens in real life. A guy so shonky that even a junior loans officer recognises a set up when he sees it, but the Board of Directors steps in to override him.

    Happens all the time.
    Keep going, OCO. You’re digging a lovely well.

  71. Oh come on

    He testified the order came directly from the Board of Directors of the bank.

    This is what happens in real life. A guy so shonky that even a junior loans officer recognises a set up when he sees it, but the Board of Directors steps in to override him.

    Happens all the time.

    Well, yes, yes it does. You’re not familiar with the nexus between big business and the major political parties? Kee-rist, talk about naive.

    So Friedrich cultivated friendships with these powerful finance people. He was backed by his convincing-looking Potemkin Village organisation. It’s not at all hard to see how such an intervention from the top to lend a maaaaaate more money could take place.

  72. The biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they involve large groups of people colluding in some secret conspiracy for long periods of time.

    So, basically what you’re saying Boris, is that a legally non-existent guy without even a driver’s licence, didn’t obtain top secret security clearance to Australian military bases and fraudulently obtain $300 million in loans from the State Bank Victoria, to purchase military equipment, because for him to do so would smack of some kind of conspiracy?

    Even though it did actually happen?

  73. Oh come on

    The 80s is littered with corporate corpses of people who promised way more than they could deliver but they were nevertheless trusted by people who ought to have known better than to do so. In hindsight, it’s very clear to see this.

  74. Oh come on

    MV: in those instances, it’s still far more likely that the ADF’s security procedures were simply sloppily applied – as were the Bank of Victoria’s lending criteria. A highly charismatic individual can talk their way into a surprising number of places.

  75. Well, yes, yes it does. You’re not familiar with the nexus between big business and the major political parties? Kee-rist, talk about naive.

    Keep digging, OCO. $300 million back in 1989 would be at least a billion dollars by now. If you want to believe that sort of money regularly gets farmed out by banks to non-existent people, you go right ahead. I’m pretty sure the casual reader of this site would tend to disagree.

  76. Oh come on

    If you want to believe that sort of money regularly gets farmed out by banks to non-existent people

    Yes, but he *wasn’t* a non-existent person at the time to the people who lent him the money, that’s the whole point! Plus, he provided fraudulent surety to guarantee the loans he received (hint – he was charged with fraud). Like many entities in the 1980s that appeared dynamic and sound as a pound, it was all a charade.

  77. Oh come on

    And do you think he personally applied for the loans, or do you think his organisation did? Do you think it would necessarily have been incumbent upon him to prove his identity at that time?
    Think, MV. Try to resist the urge to assume some heinous global conspiracy was driving the whole thing. Consider the standard reasons why organisations fail.

  78. A highly charismatic individual can talk their way into a surprising number of places.

    A highly charismatic non-existent individual?
    No birth certificate, no citizenship papers, no entry papers, no school records, no passport, no electoral record, no driving licence. No record of a formal existence whatsoever. And yet granted top secret security clearance to all our military bases.

    I know, he must have shouted a high level General to a Zulu-approved single malt Scotch.
    That would do it.

    Keep digging OCO, it’s entertaining, in a sad, perverse sort of way.

  79. Oh come on

    Oh, and military equipment. What would that be, then?

  80. Oh come on

    I have addressed that point already, MV; you just do not wish to engage it. You are either too stupid or too disingenuous to have a rational discussion with. Go back to your goon bag.

  81. Oh come on

    But further revelations of your fascinating career in politics will be forthcoming soon enough. Hold on tight!

  82. And do you think he personally applied for the loans, or do you think his organisation did? Do you think it would necessarily have been incumbent upon him to prove his identity at that time?

    From Wkipedia:

    Friedrich became executive director of NSCA in 1982 and began to transform it into a national search and rescue organisation. He built up the company with loans in which 27 banks agreed to lend millions of dollars with little more surety than Friedrich’s word.

    Little more surety than Freidrich’s word.

    The word of a non-existent person.
    Keep digging, OCO. China can’t be that far.

  83. Oh come on

    I know, he must have shouted a high level General to a Zulu-approved single malt Scotch.
    That would do it.

    That kind of thing, consistently and over time, yes. These days we call it networking.

  84. Oh come on

    From the same Wikipedia article:

    On 21 December 1988, the Victorian Division of NSCA advised the Board that further information was required to complete current year’s audit and would need to modify its audit reports for the previous three years. The board appointed chartered accountants to investigate the Division’s accounting procedures. The accountants reported that many of the financial records were fraudulent.[3]

    There were also concerns about assets reported on the books as “containerised safety equipment” which had been used as surety against multimillion-dollar loans. The accountants discovered that most of the containers on the books did not exist. Those that did exist were of inferior quality, sold by the supplier for use as garden sheds, and empty.[3]

  85. Oh come on

    The word of a non-existent person.

    Have you ever heard of the term ‘confidence trickster’, MV? Or even ‘con man’?

  86. Oh come on

    I’m not digging but you’re floundering so much that you should have opened a fish and chip shop. Would have made a fortune.

  87. BorisG

    Friedrich became executive director of NSCA in 1982 and began to transform it into a national search and rescue organisation. He built up the company with loans in which 27 banks agreed to lend millions of dollars with little more surety than Friedrich’s word.

    If this was such a secret operation, how did he fall from grace?

  88. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I know, he must have shouted a high level General to a Zulu-approved single malt Scotch.
    That would do it.

    Memory Vault, as a corporal of the guard, I had to deal with the angry parents of a fifteen year old girl, pregnant by one of the admin clerks, a very drunk officer who refused to show his identity card….but a general officer looking for a single malt?

  89. BorisG

    You know when I read about some of the stuff MV wrote in 1980s, I thought he did not believe that crap himself, but just wanted to trick his readers and supporters. But now I am discovering that not only he believed that crap himself, he even stands by it now.

    However he still hasn’t answered about aboriginal armed revolution led by Alan Bond.

  90. BorisG

    Keep digging

    No need to dig. It is all in the open.

  91. But further revelations of your fascinating career in politics will be forthcoming soon enough. Hold on tight!

    And you really think discrediting an old has-been like me, by a never-was-and never-will-be like yourself, in any way contributes to the debate? This thread was about Tony Abbott and the future of conservative politics. You and Fisky hijacked the thread, and turned it into a a discussion on the veracity or otherwise, of stuff I wrote 30 years ago. You killed the thread with irrelevance.

    To what purpose? I’m an old has been, and you two are a pair of never wases. I once was, and you two never will be. Learn to live with it. No amount of putting me down for any alleged mistakes 30 years ago will ever elevate either of you to the level of mover and shaker. Neither of you have it within you to ever actually be something.

    Time for bed. We can continue this nonsense tomorrow.
    Nobody’s reading anyway. You killed the original thread.
    Feeling proud?

  92. Fisky

    You know when I read about some of the stuff MV wrote in 1980s, I thought he did not believe that crap himself, but just wanted to trick his readers and supporters. But now I am discovering that not only he believed that crap himself, he even stands by it now.

    BorisG, you haven’t seen all the craziest stuff yet.

  93. Fisky

    No amount of putting me down for any alleged mistakes 30 years ago will ever elevate either of you to the level of mover and shaker.

    Actually, the primary concern is not your off the wall predictions and conspiracy mongering, but the attempts to lie and claim you never made them in the first place (see for instance, the Aboriginal Revolution denial). I’d be very interested to know what else you have been trying to mislead us about.

  94. Oh come on

    Summary: MV is committing a logical fallacy by applying an argument from incredulity of the conventional explanations of how an organisation like the NSCA in the 1980s came to be, and came to fail. He can’t understand how this could have happened, so he concocts lurid alternative explanations.

    Here are the conventional explanations as to how Friedrich and the NSCA managed to get away with what it did for so long before finally unravelling:

    His being a “non-person” (or at least not an Australian) yet was able to call upon many power members of society to assist him – as a highly charismatic man with a good story to tell that involved helping others and didn’t involve profit that appeared kosher, he was able to form close connections with the top end of town, a process that probably took several years

    His organisation’s ability to raise large amounts of capital – the relationships he cultivated, the assumed strength of the organisation he represented, the assumed quality of the assets it claimed to have

    On how such a man could obtain high level military security clearance – the relationships he cultivated, the role and scope of his organisation, shoddy application of security procedures and protocol by the military

    Have I missed anything out? ALL of these explanations of how the NSCA and Friedrich went supernova in the 1980s before collapsing in a heap when he had too many balls in the air are immeasurably more likely to have been responsible for the man and the organisation’s downfall than whatever nonsense MV has dreamt up.

  95. Oh come on

    I’m an old has been, and you two are a pair of never wases. I once was, and you two never will be. Learn to live with it. No amount of putting me down for any alleged mistakes 30 years ago will ever elevate either of you to the level of mover and shaker. Neither of you have it within you to ever actually be something.

    No, you were always a charlatan. Still are. I’d rather lead an ordinary life and be forgotten after I die rather than attempt to become a cult leader and be remembered with disdain by history for my ridiculous wrongology.

  96. Fisky

    Neither of you have it within you to ever actually be something.

    Memoryvault, if the internet had existed in the late 80s, your “career”, such that it was, would not have survived a single news cycle. Obviously your record of fabulism did catch up with you eventually.

  97. Oh come on

    (And oh-so-faintly remembered, at that. But it’s obviously what you cling on to.)

  98. Oh come on

    I’m sure MV, had he achieved the political success of his dreams, would have ultimately turned into a Jim Jones-type demagogue. That or something similar would have been the end of the road for him.

    Unfortunately for MV, as far as demagogues go, he was almost entirely on the bench in little league before being dropped from the team.

  99. BorisG

    Neither of you have it within you to ever actually be something.

    I guess that is the key difference. You somehow think that been known as an infamous publisher of crank conspiracy theories is somehow better than not been known publicly at all. I think not just me but any sane person will think otherwise.

    And this thread (which was already pretty much cold) is as good as any for this discussion.

  100. BorisG

    Memoryvault, if the internet had existed in the late 80s, your “career”, such that it was, would not have survived a single news cycle.

    Sorry I think quite the opposite. Internet makes it much easier (and much cheaper) to propagate all sorts of fantasies and reach all sorts of audiences.

  101. Fisky

    Swings and roundabouts, Boris. Demagogues have greater opportunities, but being sprung for misleading people happens on a much faster cycle.

  102. Oh come on

    If we refuse to be the ATM for the states, there might be finally be some micro-economic reform of our public education and public health systems.

    Does this man have any knowledge of the history of High Court decisions regarding taxation? The Commonwealth *demanded to be* the ATM for the states.

  103. .

    If the Kraut wanted a military force, sure, he had bodies and planes, but where were the firearms, munitions, missiles, bombs…

    Not much use of an army that can get shot to pieces by rednecks and hillbillies, who are probably crack shots because they shoot for fun and because it insures their livelihood.

  104. Oh come on

    MV probably had a list of 372 reasons why the NSCA was an integral part of the New World Order. You know conspiracy theorists love their colossal, impenetrable lists that make them look terribly well-researched and their assertions beyond question.*

    *although a cursory glance through of such lists usually finds a few easily debunked points repeated on multiple occasions, and many other are of ‘their uniforms are a similar colour to my belly button lint’ calibre

  105. Oh come on

    Er, dot. AK-47s. Alan Bond. Laurie Connell. The Australia Day uprising.

    Gee isn’t it a crazy coincidence that these men along with Friedrich plus their respective organisations – the NSCA, Rothwells, Bell Resources/Bond Corp – all went kaput at around the same time? Give or take a year, maybe. Now if you don’t think there’s anything suspicious about that then you clearly aren’t paying attention. What other kinds of event could cause companies to fail and the exposure of their leaders’ dirty dealings? Wheels within wheels, sheeple. Obviously.

  106. Oh come on

    It happened in 2008 as well. And who could forget WTC7? I mean, why would a building that’s only had two colossal towers collapse in unprecedented fashion beside it later follow suit in an unpredictable way? Catastrophic structural damage just makes no sense. I’m not an engineer or anything, but think, sheeple.

  107. JC

    It happened in 2008 as well. And who could forget WTC7? I mean, why would a building that’s only had two colossal towers collapse in unprecedented fashion beside it later follow suit in an unpredictable way? Catastrophic structural damage just makes no sense. I’m not an engineer or anything, but think, sheeple.

    LOl

    Vaultaire was a “was”. He was something in those days, as he himself proclaims. All those predictions finally coming true …. in a parallel universe only two black holes down from the neighboring galaxy.
    Don’t we all wish we were “wases”.

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  109. Oh come on

    A little birdie tells me we’ll be learning a lot more about his past predictions very soon, JC. Stay tuned.

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