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. Muddy says:

    The next election is winnable.

    Aahahahaha! Oh, stop it, that’s just too funny!

    What we need is counter-insurgency theory applied in a social/cultural/economic sense. Anything less and you may as well donate your organs now.

  2. . says:

    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.

    Go take a hike.

  3. Robber Baron says:

    Abbott had his chance when he had his hands on the levers of power and did nothing to make Australia “Right” for the common taxpayer. Abbott, we are sick of you. GO AWAY.

  4. Mike of Marion says:

    Have the Liberals enough brains to realise that they are just about a spent/redundant force in Australian politics.

  5. egg_ says:

    The next election is winnable.

    For the ALP!

  6. egg_ says:

    The Black Knight’s book launch?

  7. Pyrmonter says:

    This, from a man who raised taxes and spending, barred foreign investment, undermined freedom of contract, flirted with trade restriction, refused to take any action on IR and now wants to stop immigration, regardless of the benefits the immigrants may bring. An excellently timed intervention – as the Opposition Leader was wobbling – designed to advance the cause of his own career at the expense of millions of coalition supporters.

  8. . says:

    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.

    Tony. That’s called a teaching moment.

  9. Muddy says:

    Oh, and the Putrid Corpse Party is DEAD. Even the maggots have moved on to fresher victims now.

  10. B Shaw says:

    Gary Johns is certainly a terrific person. He’s impressive; he has a lot of good things to say.
    But no. I doubt people can be won back.

    As for Tony Abbott . . . no, no, no.
    Enough is enough.

  11. NewChum says:

    Why is Tony Abbott the book launcher a completely different animal to Tony Abbott the legislator?

  12. Alex Davidson says:

    I’m not sure why that speech was published on a libertarian blog. Statist to the core.

  13. B Shaw says:

    And James Allan is impressive also; anyone who was taught by him would agree.
    They are all good types
    but no

  14. Rabz says:

    Why have any RET, full frigging stop?

    Abbott is still a jellyfish.

  15. Sinclair Davidson says:

    To spark discussion.

  16. BorisG says:

    It is arguably more libertarian than Kates’s alt-right posts (not to mention comments).

  17. BorisG says:

    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.

    Money quote. This was highlighted again during Bibi’s visit.

  18. Tim Neilson says:

    and now wants to stop immigration, regardless of the benefits the immigrants may bring

    Which part of “if we scaled back” immigration is beyond your comprehension?

    It isn’t binary. There are options for immigration policy that are neither zero immigration nor “Australia welcomes all, including terrorists, criminals and freeloaders”. Just because Abbott doesn’t propose open borders lunacy doesn’t mean he wants to “stop” immigration.

  19. teddy bear says:

    Sinc maybe you should create a safe space for those here that the mere mention of Abbott triggers them.

  20. H B Bear says:

    More Lieboral talk. Yawn.

  21. Tekweni says:

    Hopefully Abbott will be back to lead the Liberals at the next election. If not they will lose like Newman did in Qld. Maybe Sinc you can create a safe space for those of us who are Abbott supporters.

  22. Glynn says:

    Abbott did a great job at the “Make Australia Right” book launch this evening. Good book sales too.

  23. Habib says:

    Almost had it right until still favouring “renewables”, instead of clearly stating the con anyone with an IA above room temperature knows it to be. And I don’t think the marginals are bursting with public servants and welfare hoovers; certainly there’s far too many of both, but the coalition has never picked up a single vote by kissing their flabby arses. Grow a pair.

  24. James in Melbourne says:

    Why did he chicken out when he had his chance?
    Why Sir Duke Phil of Edinburgh SA 5111?
    What a goddam waste.
    Leave the stage to someone who will not waste a majority. I don’t know who that is, but you are a massive part of the reason there will never be another one.
    To find the fire in the belly now – Jesus wept.

  25. Razor says:

    Until – (exasperation sigh)
    Until the libs understand that policy comes direct from Ideology, does not undergo panel bending and detail effects applied, they will continue on the down slope to extinction.
    They have to understand that sticking to true liberal policy may result in lost elections (which could be argued they were going to lose anyway and all that is seen is a house of ideology prostituiton).
    If Tony had carried out his committments they would have been seen as fair dinkum. He can only recover by stepping out to the Australian Conservatives and return to the road so far strayed from.

    The libs have failed, badly.
    They now mean nothing in terms of a force for freedom. Every thing they now do is gauged by the desire to maintain power — at any expense of values. The public respond positively to a leadership committed to stated values, doing so with a straight back facing the wind.
    None respond in any manner other than negatively to demonstrated lack of courage. A lack of such reveals of course that belief in virtues such as freedom of expression and minimal government interference in lives is exchangable for the purchase of a voting body by financial bribery.

  26. Caveman says:

    Here is an idea what about just having a fukn P.L.A.N, not just pull an inovation here and agility there and we’ll have one of them luck country thingos and a diversity shit here.

  27. BorisG says:

    Enough is enough.

    I see many commenters saying, Libs are finished etc. So who you are going to vote for? PHON? OK who are you giving preferences to? ALP?

    If you are ALP agents, just say so.

  28. Art Vandelay says:

    Hopefully Abbott will be back to lead the Liberals at the next election.

    And if he does, he’ll pick up where he left off. That is, increasing taxes, expanding childcare subsidies, implementing more generous paid parental leave, sucking up the ABC set, caving in to the HRC, adding to red tape, and adding to record levels of spending and debt.

    The Liberals are part of the problem, not the solution.

  29. Ren Durham says:

    We do not need a weakening of the constitution (not that it would get up in a fit in a referendum) as advocated in this trite piece of self serving nonsense (self serving in the sense that Tony Abbott is blameless it was all that damn Senate’s fault). What we need is a party and a leader that understands that lacking a majority in the Senate (virtually the default position in Federal Government and a situation the drafters of the Constitution appreciated would be the usual situation. Did they think it would render Government impossible?) is a trifle and history is replete with examples of how a Government has run rings around hostile Senate’s in the past. Unfortunately the only person in recent times to understand that the Senate does not have the power it thinks it has was Bob Hawke, He dismantled hostile Senate’s time and time again by being creative and using as his starting point the belief that the Government of the day controls the executive and the purse strings and that the Constitution allows for the Government to work around the Senate if need be (and I don;t mean by clumsy and expensive double dissolutions). To show the Senate up as an ineffectual waste of space was not the desired outcome of the Constitution drafters (they were after all trying to appease nervous states about ceding power to the Feds) but the capacity to completely emasculate the Senate is and was always quietly built into the system because a delusional Senate renders the whole project nugatory if the Senate tail wags the Government dog). Abbott is right about one thing – the Senate has forgotten it;s true role as a house of review with this fantasy that it is actually able to tell the Government how to run things. It is up to an informed and determined PM to show them how irrelevant they truly are as Hawke did when he put them back in their box (cf Tasmanian Dams Case, Abolition of the Arbitration Commission in 1989, use of subordinant legislation to by pass Senate opposition etc etc), It’s all there in the case law because members of the Senate were stupid enough to challenge the Government of the day trying to Govern without their say-so and the High Court supported the power of the Government to Govern over the power of the Senate to obstruct. If you have the numbers in the house you can do virtually anything and the Senate be damned. Pity no one vying for the top job has the faintest clue of history or how to emulate Bob Hawke’s masterful deconstruction of hostile Senates within living memory.

  30. Rob MW says:

    I see many commenters saying, Libs are finished etc. So who you are going to vote for? PHON? OK who are you giving preferences to? ALP?

    Well certainly not 35 years of more of the same (just deplorable eh ?) but as a general rule, being continually fucked by the party that you are compelled to vote for will eventually have intended & unintended consequences and to hell with which way the penny falls. This is to say that I really don’t give a fuck one way or the other whether the socialist liberals or the Marxist laborers are in government.

  31. Chris says:

    I see many commenters saying, Libs are finished etc. So who you are going to vote for? PHON? OK who are you giving preferences to? ALP?

    Why should my vote go to a party that has repeatedly betrayed my values, which I once thought they shared?

  32. egg_ says:

    he’ll pick up where he left off.

    +1

  33. struth says:

    Such a telling rant .
    Abbott is a social conservative but an economic dunce.
    And a soft cock.
    Read through this tripe and you really get an understanding of the basic point lost to liberals, yet proven in history.
    Lowering taxes increases revenue.
    This one point puts all his bullshit about needing to tackle the opposition on cultural issues (social conservative), as the only way to win, because he admits defeat in the ability to cut taxes and spending, because he doesn’t believe that one point, so therefore , just like when he was PM, he is flummoxed.

    Economically missing in action, he came in, got rid of the labor horror carbon tax, and then scratched his head and hid in his office until it was time to ride his bike to the back bench.
    And he is probably the most right wing guy they have!!
    Trump is about to remind him what lowering taxes can achieve.
    Businesses are already leaving our shores to set up in the states at just the promise of less taxation and regulation.
    Businesses that will now pay no tax to Australia at all, but will pay the U S government instead.
    It’s basic, and was a core policy of past liberal parties when they were right wing.
    The liberal party are dead.
    ALA, ACP, PHON, etc will be the people they will be dealing with.

  34. Chris says:

    I can’t help remembering the Hitchhikers Guide defining the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

  35. egg_ says:

    Trump is about to remind him what lowering taxes can achieve.

    Trying to ride on the back of Trump’s success.
    Sad.

  36. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    This is to say that I really don’t give a fuck one way or the other whether the socialist liberals or the Marxist laborers are in government.

    I’m getting to that point, but I’ll bet good money that, in the name of the politics of envy, Bill Shorten will listen to the left wing of the Labor Party, and bring back death duties, and introduce a wealth tax. “It’s only fair, you know!”

  37. BorisG says:

    Bill Shorten will listen to the left wing of the Labor Party, and bring back death duties, and introduce a wealth tax. “It’s only fair, you know!”

    And will recognize Palestine.

  38. Mr Rusty says:

    In the long run, we do indeed need a conservative version of the left’s “long march through the institutions”.

    No, no, no, no, no.
    We need to demolish the institutions so that no party or ideology can commandeer them. 80% of Canberra and the PS are useless tax hoovering black holes devoid of ideas, value or raison d’etre. In almost every area the State is involved in, deregulation or privatisation will deliver far better results for far less cost.
    This is the principle ideological struggle that needs to be understood and hammered home to people. It should not be a competition between two sides who want power but one side who wants power and control (the left) and one side that wishes to diminish the State and allow choice and responsibility to rest with the individual. Liberty vs tyranny should not be a difficult message to sell, unless of course you don’t believe in it.

  39. RobK says:

    Good plan…well, ok plan. But what’s the plan for getting all the executive to sing from the same song sheet. Just how are you planning to drive that buggy through the swamp to the otherside?

  40. RobK says:

    That was directed at Tony.

  41. RobK says:

    I agree with Mr Rusty.

  42. None says:

    The next election is winnable.

    If we stop pandering to denounce climate change theology and freeze remove the RET, shut down the GFC and remove all green subsidies 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), “land shortage” and “high density living” mantars of inner city wankers and champagne socialists who themselves live in McMansions with their hobby farm out of town we can release more land, abolish stamp duty and first home owner grants and take the pressure off home prices.

    If we take our own rhetoric about budget repair seriously If we were really serious and seriously cared about Australia’s future, and avoid all new spending and cut out all frivolous spending, we would CUT spending across the board starting with middle class welfare and 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 but those are just motherhood statements since we are just too gutless to get out of the education and health game altogether given those are state responsibilities. But hey, ain’t penis tucking grand?

    If we stop funding the Human Rights Commission and leave protecting never trust our liberties to the parliament, the courts and a free press where they belong for as long as you live, 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 and never about creating jobs in Adelaide or trawling Oxford street at the Gay Mardi Gras.

  43. BorisG says:

    I agree with nones ideas but not sure it can win votes.

  44. None says:

    I agree with nones ideas but not sure it can win votes.

    Yes the tragedy of today’s Australians are that they have lost their bullshit meters and they will vote themselves lashings of other people’s money. I wonder – and I say this as the offspring of migrants – I wonder how much of that is because of the lashings of migrants. First generation Aussies born of hardworking wog parents are notable socialist thieves (e.g. Koutsantonis, Xenophon, Sinodinos, Merlino, Piccoli etc etc) ; gets worse when you add other cohorts (e.g. Plibersek, Wong etc)

  45. King Koala says:

    John Howard was a cuck who increased muslim immigration while disarming the population. Abet was a wet blanket whose only redeeming characteristic was that mere utterance of his name resulted in leftist apoplexy. If the Libs want to remain relevant then they will have to find the balls to reduce immigration, its the only issue that matters.

  46. Tintarella di Luna says:

    The liberal party are dead.

    I said that to Tony Abbott last night. He thinks the party is changeable from within – I said how can you change a pit full of snakes. He is a good person who was so badly betrayed because he listened to the hisses of of those snakes. A friend asked why didn’t the Liberal party drain the swamp of the leftie bureaucrats like the Labor party does — he said because the Liberals aren’t ruthless — no it’s because there is no difference between Labor and Liberal.

    The Liberal Party is dead.

  47. A Lurker says:

    I said that to Tony Abbott last night. He thinks the party is changeable from within – I said how can you change a pit full of snakes. He is a good person who was so badly betrayed because he listened to the hisses of those snakes. A friend asked why didn’t the Liberal party drain the swamp of the leftie bureaucrats like the Labor party does — he said because the Liberals aren’t ruthless — no it’s because there is no difference between Labor and Liberal.

    The Termites are in control of the Liberal Party and there is no one with the needed skill set to be the Exterminator.

    Better to rebuild from the ground up elsewhere.

  48. Mater says:

    he said because the Liberals aren’t ruthless

    And there you have it!
    As my Grandfather said: ‘Once you start feeling sorry for someone, shortly afterwards you’re likely to start feeling sorry for yourself’.

  49. Mater says:

    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?

    Succinct and deadly accurate.

  50. Tintarella di Luna says:

    ‘Once you start feeling sorry for someone, shortly afterwards you’re likely to start feeling sorry for yourself’.

    Very wise your grandfather, these days many grandfathers are leftists- tenured academics finishing their sinecures by signing up to GetUp re-protesting the good ol’ days for feel young again.

  51. disgusted says:

    Wish Tony Abbott would put his boots on the Ground in Syria. He is the one who brought all the rabbit breeders to Australia and give them free housing, schooling, uniforms, dental and medical and cut Senior Aussie Pensions. Talks about marriage and never with his wife. Covered up the Catholic Church and all the Child Abuse and give those schools millions of dollars as well as the Sallies. Not a decent man at all or one to be believed.

  52. Mater says:

    Exceptionally wise, Tinta.

  53. John Comnenus says:

    In the immortal words of Hank Williams ‘move it on over’ Tony. You had the chance to be the pre Trump, instead your a post Trump chump. Trump has revealed how weak you were.

  54. Tintarella di Luna says:

    Exceptionally wise, Tinta.

    You are very very lucky, never had even one of those.

  55. Entropy says:

    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.

    Every solution is aimed at an increase in power. Here’s an alternative. Why not halve the number of snouters in the Senate? Much more effective.

  56. Malcolm says:

    Tony Abbott? God why do people think he was good. He increased taxes, he backtracked on 18C, he increased the budget deficit. He’s all talk and no action. His government was a shambles and he only has himself to blame. A very disappointing prime ministers amongst very disappointing prime ministers. Bring back John Howard or Peter Costello.

  57. Anonandon says:

    Reading that speech made me so angry. What a waste of an opportunity. We are fucked.

  58. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B. says:

    Bringing back John Howard or Peter Costello may not be such a bad move. What or who else is there?

    Bernardi’s New Conservatives are not off the ground yet, and may never be so.

    In the meantime, imagine a Labor win, and weep.

    I’m not sure why that speech was published on a libertarian blog. Statist to the core.

    Plenty of libertarians (capital L?) posting on this thread, and Sinc has to remind them about free speech!

  59. Rafiki says:

    Tintarella is correct that “many grandfathers are leftists- tenured academics finishing their sinecures by signing up to GetUp re-protesting the good ol’ days for feel young again”, but many are not. It is true that I went through many of my 40 years in academia as a ‘leftist’. But in the last 10 or so I swung around as the results of Labor policies became evident (together with the experience of being in an ALP branch controlled by the Griffith mafia). There are many like me, together with many who were not academics (many of whom have a better understanding of where we are and how we got there). I have been struggling with how I might push change in the direction indicated by Abbott and others. Catallaxy is a vehicle for venting opinions and learning from some. Some others here seem bent on sabotaging an effective alternative.

    A political organisation – sort of like a Get-up that would appeal to oldies (as well as the other generations) – is needed. I hope that Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives will soon get to the point of fostering branches so that the like-minded can not only become better equipped with policy ideas to combat the Labor/Greens alliance but to put bodies out the hustings and booths.

  60. Rafiki says:

    Arrghh. “out on the hustings”.

  61. John NOBEL says:

    Muddy
    #2306250, posted on February 23, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Hmmm, may be start from the point that no society survives going without a meal for more than day?

    I guess good ideas can come from all sorts of quarters, hope it goes further than KRudd7x7’s talkfests.

    Hmmm, for one harking back to British Empire days, or nostalgia, isn’t working.
    Stiff upper lip and all that.
    The days where the loss of the American colonies in 1776, only to lead to the invasion, occupation and colonisation of Australia, are quite some time back.
    Besides Brexit, after Suez, Yalta, Singapore, Dunkirk, Gallipoli, Boer War should have gotten the message?
    Inviting some of the offshore royals onshore would help though (keep Liz/ Charles, send Will or Harry to Canada or Australia), as would removing the colonial Union Jack off the flag.
    And it is not just the BRICs that are challenging the end of WW2 world order, post the end of the Cold War.
    Supposedly WW4 is on with battlegrounds symmetrically dealing (or not) with Syria, Libya, eye-Raq and Afghanistan, if not dealing asymmetrically with a chocolate cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place. (Even if the perp didn’t make it out alive, neither did two hostages, and despite the new wife now being locked up, closure it ain’t.)
    How about having a look at the UN’s in-equality adjusted Human Development Index, on which Anglosaxony has been slipping generally …
    That too hard, focus on infrastructure, be it broadband, power, roads, water …, enable more sea and tree changes.
    Even some no regret moves, with regards to climate variability/ change!
    May be drop Washminster-style repressive democracy and look at more direct democracy, specially New Zealand, Northwestern EUrope, Scandinavia, Singapore or Switzerland?
    Campaign finance reform.
    A federal ICAC.
    And mandatory and binding referendums.
    Where’s the plan to sort opportunities, cost of living, education, healthcare, human rights, infrastructure, and even – for real – public safety and security ?
    Or tackling agriculture, resources, non-value manufacturing whilst looking forward to services, knowledge and experiences.

  62. B Shaw says:

    If the Liberals aren’t ruthless, then I don’t know what you call Tony Abbott . . if his treatment of Pauline Hanson wasn’t ruthless, I’d like to know his word for it.

    Votes should have been withheld.
    Too late now.

  63. Tintarella di Luna says:

    Bringing back John Howard or Peter Costello may not be such a bad move. What or who else is there?

    I don’t think so, from this distance they embarked on political bribery while laying the foundations of rampant entitlement and climate change madness

  64. mosomoso says:

    Defy Big Green and even Turnbull can win. Even Abbott.

  65. Tintarella di Luna says:

    But in the last 10 or so I swung around as the results of Labor policies became evident (together with the experience of being in an ALP branch controlled by the Griffith mafia)

    never too late rafiki – and isn’t it good that whether one chooses to catch up, or not, we nonetheless get a new day every day to change our views, our lives and maybe even our destiny.

  66. B Shaw says:

    Peter Costello, maybe/maybe not

    No. For all his talents, he was shallow.

  67. Rabz says:

    If you are ALP agents, just say so.

    Boris, I’m seriously considering leaving the country if labor win the next election. There is simply too much at stake if they do. Apart from flooding the country with moozleys* (again) they’ll confiscate peoples’ super and impose more and higher taxes, including death duties, wealth taxes and CGT on family homes, as well as abolishing negative gearing – oh and good luck renters, enjoy those massive rent increases, but don’t you dare complain, given that you voted for them.

    A trillion dollar debt government debt will be well within their reach in their first term as they spray OPM and borrowed money around like F1 drivers do with champagne on the victory dais.

    The liberals are such an inexcusable disgrace (irrespective of Abbott’s empty posturing) that labor are a real chance to not only win, but win comfortably.

    I wouldn’t trust Abbott as far as I could throw him – and who’s going to constitute his front bench? The same bunch of softcock leftist imbeciles getting worried about the Waffler leading them to oblivion? “Rising talents” like Kelly O’Duuuuuuhhhh and Josh Frydchickenberger?

    What a joke.

    *And it won’t be 50,000 this time, it will be 500,000, annually. In respect of open borders, labor will make that stasi slag Merkel look like Fatty Trump.

  68. Entropy says:

    Abbott’s attempt at resurrection will be forever hampered by our lived experience when he was previously PM. Even though it is now very clear he was fighting a silent war with a group of despicable and traitorous enemies within, there was still the pathological need to be loved by those who take pleasure in hating him. What a waste of Tim. And self chosen fights like the knighthoods for royalty were just more stupid wastes of oxygen. And combined with Hockey’s bumbling brain farts, probably put the last nail in Newman’s coffin and installed the children currently running the shop in Qld.

    This is a bit of advertising for a product that is already soiled.

  69. B Shaw says:

    It was the last nail in the coffin – children are running the shop in Queensland. No question.

    Entropy’s comment sums it up exactly.

  70. JohnA says:

    Tintarella di Luna #2306496, posted on February 24, 2017, at 5:39 am

    The liberal party are dead.

    I said that to Tony Abbott last night. He thinks the party is changeable from within – I said how can you change a pit full of snakes. He is a good person who was so badly betrayed because he listened to the hisses of of those snakes. A friend asked why didn’t the Liberal party drain the swamp of the leftie bureaucrats like the Labor party does — he said because the Liberals aren’t ruthless — no it’s because there is no difference between Labor and Liberal.

    The Liberal Party is dead.

    Tinta and others on the same theme:

    The reason the Libs are dead is because the Marxists have ALSO marched through their ranks, and taken over the institution from within.

  71. custard says:

    Seems to me that it’s too late for the Liberal party. They massively bled votes at the last election and are about to see what the population is capable of in a few weeks at the WA election.
    This will be followed by QLD in an even bigger flow of votes away from the majors.
    I agree with Lurker and Tinta, better to find another tent and build from there. The Libs are too much a part of the problem to ever be capable of being a solution.
    For me it’s the Australian Conservatives who stand the best chance of offering people a new way forward being cleanskins.

  72. Texas Jack says:

    TA, love you as many of us have tried you only have to listen to this morning’s response to your comments from Pyne and Bishop to work out why the Liberal Party is rightly being measured for a pine-board box. The unfortunate reality is that the party is now heaving with Leftoids dressed as wets, and they’re hell-bent on pushing their own progressive projects on the country, hang whatever hopes the formerly faithful party base may have held.

    But hold. Stay. We’re stronger together I hear you say. Try telling that to those of us who’ve handed out how-to-votes for either the Nats or the Libs (I’ve stupidly done both in State and Federal elections) over many years and who’ve only ended up being taxed more on income and more recently taxed more on our savings and can see only bloated government, waste, duplication, feeble green-left absurdities, and ineptitude coming down the pike.

  73. gabrianga says:

    Perhaps if Turnbull moved to Kiribati rather than Kirribilli the Libs. might get it together?

  74. B Shaw says:

    “But hold. Stay. We’re stronger together I hear you say.”

    I love this sort of writing.

  75. James in Melbourne says:

    He is a good person who was so badly betrayed because he listened to the hisses of of those snakes.

    No he is not, he is a politician who talked a big game and lacked the courage to carry it through. He wimped at the first sign of doing anything “unpopular.”

  76. None says:

    On one point Abbott was right.
    Minors are good for venting spleen or highlighting issues but none have experience in governing. You are left with LNP or Labor. We can force a new coalition I suppose…

  77. Deplorable says:

    Tasmanian Dams Case, Abolition of the Arbitration Commission in 1989, use of subordinant legislation to by pass Senate opposition etc etc), It’s all there in the case law because members of the Senate were stupid enough to challenge the Government of the day trying to Govern without their say-so and the High Court supported the power of the Government to Govern over the power of the Senate to obstruct. If you have the numbers in the house you can do virtually anything and the Senate be damned. Pity no one vying for the top job has the faintest clue of history or how to emulate Bob Hawke’s masterful deconstruction of hostile Senates within living memory.

    Was this because of an activist High Court ???

  78. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “He is a good person who was so badly betrayed because he listened to the hisses of those snakes”. NYET. Abbott quite simply lacked courage and balls. He wimped and waffled here, there and everywhere. He tried to appease his enemies, including the person who knifed him. He knew that Turdbull was undermining him however he turned a blind eye to this. When you appease, you get stabbed, betrayed and everything else that goes with being a wimp. When he was PM, I was hard pressed to hear anything coming out of his mouth that was remotely centre right in policy. He just wanted to be “liked”. Pathetic! Finally, amongst a list of stupidities, I will never, ever forgive him for wimping out of 18C.

  79. H B Bear says:

    While Photios is running the NSW Lieboral Party preselecting dripping wet party timeservers like Zimmerman in safe seats the Lieborals are dead to me. Kroger is doing much the same in Victoriastan, whose last contribution to the national party was Costello over two decades ago.

    Frankly there is nothing in Australian politics to be remotely optimistic about. Like dinosaurs munching away in the swamp Australian’s are just sitting there until international markets to deliver us the economic meteor.

  80. Philby says:

    A political organisation – sort of like a Get-up that would appeal to oldies (as well as the other generations) – is needed. I hope that Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives will soon get to the point of fostering branches so that the like-minded can not only become better equipped with policy ideas to combat the Labor/Greens alliance but to put bodies out the hustings and booths.

    All organisations become corrupted over time. The grass roots(populism) need to be vigilant and be able to stop the corruption dead in its tracks. Usually it is carried out in the dying days of the ruling regime after the corrupt have damaged the organisation beyond what its supporters are prepared to tolerate. A clean sweep is then required. Factions probably cause the corruption to prosper. Abbott did waste a huge mandate but the weakness he displayed was just a reflection of the gutless MP’s that make up the Liberal party and their power brokers. Drain the swamp and give the Liberal Party back to it’s members.

  81. . says:

    Tasmanian Dams. LOL.

    The Attorney General of the Commonwealth, Gareth Evans, sent an F-111 to spy on his legal adversaries.

    Are we overgoverned? Well let’s think about it. Maybe Orwell’s famous novel ought to have been called 1983.

  82. TP says:

    You rock Tone. Abbott was undermined at every step of the way during his Prime Ministership by The Termite, Pyne – moron, Bishop-tosser ( main players ).Abbott would never have spent $50 billion on subs to save Pyne’s career .Hell Abbott cut subsidies to Ford, Holden , Toyota , SPC without blinking. Saved us a fortune. Not one of you Abbott haters would have had the guts to do that. All keyboard experts talking soft cock rubbish. Cut of the off head of the snake, The Termite, & restore the party. At least Abbott is not using a private server to undermine The Termite.

  83. . says:

    Abbott increased spending and debt. He betrayed the base and couldn’t keep his promises. He appointed a totally useless Treasurer and kept the NDIS.

    Us libertarians happily voted for the Liberals in the House in 2013. What did we get? About half of what was promised.

    We are the experts and we vote. You cannot demolish a single argument save for “I really like Tony Abbott”.

    David Leyonhjelm writes here occasionally – maybe a real live MP doesn’t know what he’s talking about either? How is he a “softcock keyboard warrior” – and why aren’t you?

    The Liberal Party is dead. Are you even a member? All conservatives should join the ACP. The Liberal party is dead, swinging in the breeze and no one is willing to cut it down yet. Libertarians of course should join the LDP.

    The idea of changing the double dissolution rules right before the ALP gets elected – dumb beyond belief.

  84. B Shaw says:

    David Leyonhjelm is certainly not a “soft…. keyboard warrior”.
    He cannot be dismissed in that fashion.

  85. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “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”. Ah Tone, hindsight is a wonderful thing. What a wimp.

  86. Jo Smyth says:

    Hopefully Tony Abbott will NOT be the leader at the next election but will be a Minister in Government lead by Peter Dutton. Hope also Hastie is promoted asap.

  87. Empire GTHO Phase III says:

    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.

    This is why he can’t be trusted. There are strong arguments for reviewing our immigration policy. Housing affordability isn’t one of them.

  88. B Shaw says:

    Strong arguments for reviewing our immigration policy?
    Well, yes.

    How long have we been waiting?

  89. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “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”.” So Tone, why didn’t you say any of this?

  90. Neil says:

    he increased the budget deficit.

    The budget deficit is unchanged. Swan ran deficits of $27B, $54B, $47B, $43B, $18B and $ 48B.

    The budget deficits the Coalition are running are similar to what Swan produced. They have not increased.

  91. Tim Neilson says:

    Us libertarians happily voted for the Liberals in the House in 2013. What did we get? About half of what was promised.

    I think you’re being generous saying “half” Dot.

    No, on second thoughts you’re probably pretty close to the mark, because by the end of the election campaign he was already squibbing.

    His first six months was excellent then it all turned to dog shit very quickly.

    Still, by the general standards of Australian politics, six months of good government merits statues of him being erected in every city and major town in the nation.

  92. B Shaw says:

    I couldn’t agree more
    with Cassie of Sydney.

    Why didn’t he?
    Well, as was written upaways, he had a “pathological need to be loved” by those who took pleasure in hating him. A mixed-up man, in some ways. Ruthless . . yet needy.

  93. Infidel Tiger says:

    Poor old Matthias Cormann is flipping his lid about Abbott.

    For an irrelevant backbencher he sure has some pull.

  94. . says:

    The budget deficits the Coalition are running are similar to what Swan produced. They have not increased.

    Considering they promised to pay off the debt – promised savings turning into deficits that blow out on each MYEFO? That is abysmal.

    They have certainly increased far beyond what was promised.

  95. Neil says:

    They have certainly increased far beyond what was promised.

    Perhaps. But what they promised before the election was based on the budget numbers at the time

    http://budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/speech/html/speech.htm

    The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy, resilience of our people, and success of our policies.

    In an uncertain and fast‑changing world, we walk tall — as a nation confidently living within its means.

    This Budget delivers a surplus this coming year, on time, as promised, and surpluses each year after that, strengthening over time.

    Wayne Swan Budget Speech May 2012

    Hockey was just quoting numbers from the 2012 and 2013 budgets. But it is a lie to say the deficits have increased

  96. Texas Jack says:

    Poor old Matthias Cormann is flipping his lid about Abbott.
    For an irrelevant backbencher he sure has some pull.

    Yeap… Cormann and Poodle and Ms Trustworthy’s pronouncements this morning tells us all we need know about the modern Liberal Party.

  97. . says:

    Hockey was just quoting numbers from the 2012 and 2013 budgets. But it is a lie to say the deficits have increased

    WRONG.

    He promised to pay off the debt. That is impossible without savings.

  98. Leo G says:

    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.

    Didn’t the Oracle say whenever a mule rules in the Media, then the chicken-hearted should get on his bike and not think of standing again.

  99. Glynn says:

    Fantastic speech last night by Tony Abbott at the book launch, “Make Australia Right”. Abbott was crucified by Fairfax, Guardian and ABC, in conjuction with being undermined by Turnbull from day one of his Prime Ministership. He also had to contend with Clive Palmer who was out to destroy the Liberals and was courted by the same left wing media to achieve this goal. Abbott would have won the last election with a greater majority of seats than Turnbull mustered. Turnbull has destroyed the Liberal Party and the base will never again return unless Abbott is reinstated as PM.

  100. Neil says:

    WRONG

    No i think i am right. Hockey made his promise before the Coalition won the 2013 election based on the budget numbers at the time.

    You could say Hockey was foolish trusting any numbers in Swans budgets but what else could Hockey do? Also their budget cuts in 2014 were blocked by the Senate. Fact is i think we are doomed. Nobody wants spending cuts so we will have deficits for years

  101. Tim Neilson says:

    Neil
    #2306758, posted on February 24, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Hockey’s first budget had more spending in total than Goose Swansteen’s last budget.
    And yet the imbeciles went around chest beating that they were being tough.

    Net result:
    (a) Labor and the Greens and their media catamites had zero difficulty pushing the “heartless bastards” meme; but
    (b) the reality based community all looked at the true numbers and thought “what a bunch of softcocks”.

    How to self-immolate a government’s credibility in one easy lesson.

  102. Yohan says:

    I’m all for allowing a joint sitting without a double dissolution, or getting rid of the Senate altogether.

    But what about when Labor is in power, you may ask?. Well take a look at reality, when the left is in power they can easily pass their entire policy agenda due to the Greens and populists like Lambie in the Senate. It never, ever, works the other way around.

  103. Rococo Liberal says:

    The problem is that the right has lost its bottle.
    By this I don’t just mean the politicians, but the upper middle classes. Too many people who should be solidly right wing are being seduced by ABC bollocks into being caring and sharing. They have been taught to assume that entrepreneurial endeavour is vulgar. So to cover up their wheeling and dealing they take up the pseudo-intellectual rubbish spouted by the lefty media.
    All the wealthy areas will still vote Liberal, but they won’t give any intellectual backing to solid right wing policy until someone makes it cool to do so.

  104. . says:

    Neil

    How can you pay off debt when each time period has a deficit, and the forecast deficits blow out significantly as well?

    Total spending is also more than Swan’s ever was. Granted the deficits were never as large as Swan (I never made a reference to this) – yet – but if they don’t start cutting in a significant way, the interest payment will be larger than the recent deficits. Also note the NDIS hasn’t kicked in yet. How are we going to get another 20 bn of revenue or savings when we already have ongoing deficits when they’ve promised fiscal rectitude?

    We only have three-five years or so before it gets to the point where the interest payments will exceed even Swan’s deficits. If the US lifts their rates significantly, it could be sooner than later.

    You simply cannot reduce debt if in each period deficits continue on and the mid year outlook reveals bigger forecast deficits than you planned.

  105. . says:

    Yohan
    #2306781, posted on February 24, 2017 at 11:48 am
    I’m all for allowing a joint sitting without a double dissolution, or getting rid of the Senate altogether.

    But what about when Labor is in power, you may ask?. Well take a look at reality, when the left is in power they can easily pass their entire policy agenda due to the Greens and populists like Lambie in the Senate. It never, ever, works the other way around.

    This is an incredibly dumb idea. You have been warned.

  106. Fisky says:

    I fully support the joint sitting idea, except there should be a requirement that each party publish a public schedule of policies before an election, only from which they will be eligible to pass through a joint sitting. That will rule out any Lying Slapper style deception, like promising NOT to ram a CO2 tax through a joint sitting.

  107. rafiki says:

    Is this possible? The LNP limp on to the election as is because they can’t afford to have a split. They win the Reps, maybe with independents help. (Or maybe Turnbull so destroys Shorten that Labor can’t win.) One Nation garners several Senate seats and controls what the LNP can do. Hanson says that she will cooperate, but only if Abbott and others of that ilk are given economic and fiscal portfolios and implement what’s needed.

    Ah, you say, but Hanson’s policies are more like Labor. Yes, but could she be turned? Could someone in the LNP (or indeed someone else, say from the Cat) induce her to change in much the same way that In the Thick of It’s Malcolm Tucker (in that hilarious toilet scene) ordered Ollie Reader to induce his (Ollie’s) recently dumped girlfriend to do something against her interests? Other than this, I can’t of anything apart from a substantial bribe of some kind. Pauline as ambassador to the USA would provide amusement for years.

  108. Fisky says:

    So I’m all for the Senate having the full right to block a policy that was not announced prior to an election, but otherwise they definitely need to have their blocking power curtailed.

  109. rafiki says:

    Yohan – check the role that Brian Harradine played in the Senate. I think he propped up the LNP quite a bit. And maybe the days when Labor and the Greens controlled the Senate are over and never to return.

    Whatever is proposed about reducing Senate power must be passed at referendum. It’s not a palatable thought, but maybe the best chance might be to link restrictions on Senate power to the creation of a republic. It would be irresponsible (as some Labor people like Gareth Evans recognised) to create a President without making much clearer just what the Senate can and can’t do. The two reforms could be sold as a necessary package.

  110. Yohan says:

    This is an incredibly dumb idea. You have been warned.

    Back yourself up with an argument. QLD does not have an upper house and governs itself just as fine as any other state. NZ and UK do not have blocking upper houses like we do, and they are fine.

    This country can too. By having an upper house you limit the ability of the right to implements it’s policy agenda. It’s never the reverse, the left can always implement its agenda easily.

  111. Fisky says:

    It’s never the reverse, the left can always implement its agenda easily.

    That’s a feature for Dotty, not a bug.

  112. Yohan says:

    Also note the NDIS hasn’t kicked in yet. How are we going to get another 20 bn of revenue or savings when we already have ongoing deficits when they’ve promised fiscal rectitude?

    Once its going, the NDIS will consume at least 5% of all Government revenue. A brand new welfare program consuming 5%, and that’s being optimistic. Abbott jumped on it like a bitch on heat. Labor were shocked that the Liberals agreed to it, thinking they were responsible and would oppose.

  113. . says:

    “The UK is just fine”

    No. You can’t be serious. 43% of GDP is government spending. Under a conservative government that can ram though what it likes.

    Fisky
    #2306813, posted on February 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm
    It’s never the reverse, the left can always implement its agenda easily.

    That’s a feature for Dotty, not a bug.

    Spoken like a true surrender monkey. Oh no we’ll never beat the Greens at the ballot box, so we must demand a constitutional change that has buckleys of getting up!

    For a “realist” you are spouting some utter shyte today, boy.

  114. Fisky says:

    The Australian Senate would have blocked any Brexit bill, even after a public vote. No question about it. The purpose of the Senate has always been to defy the will of the people.

  115. . says:

    That’s right Yohan, so that will go straight to debt each year. Three years in and the interest payments in real terms will exceed what Swan ever had as a deficit.

    We need to cut now and cut deep – and possibly scrap the NDIS.

  116. . says:

    Fisky
    #2306826, posted on February 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    The Australian Senate would have blocked any Brexit bill, even after a public vote. No question about it. The purpose of the Senate has always been to defy the will of the people.

    Funny how it represents our first preference votes more accurately than the House.

    You’re just doing political science by proclamation Fisk. This is garbage.

  117. Mr Rusty says:

    Cut of the off head of the snake, The Termite, & restore the party.

    Turnbull does not run the LNP, neither did Tones when he was PM, Michael Photios does. The Libs are essentially NSW and NSW Libs are firmly under the control of Photios who is to the Libs what the Unions are to Labor. You can’t cut his head off and even if you did there are many that would grow back in it’s place. Both major parties have been corrupted beyond belief. Maybe this is just the natural cycle of politics and every now and then you need a Trump to come along and drain the swamp.

    Nobody can reform the LNP, it’s impossible. Leave it to die and make sure whatever replaces it leaves Photios and the other cronies out in the dark, lest it be corrupted again. Abbott cannot come back either, he’s a very decent man but he really blew his opportunity – yes he had a shit Senate but so did Howard for all but 3 years, Abbott should have lined up the legislation and gone early DD along with a referendum to change to Section 57, people were pissed off enough at that stage, the country was ungovernable and it would have passed easily.

    The idea of changing the double dissolution rules right before the ALP gets elected – dumb beyond belief.

    Precisely. As usual the LNP will gift this to their enemies by 2019 when the Senate will be stacked with PHON and ACP Senators that would have been able to block Shorten.

  118. Fisky says:

    Why am I not surprised to see Dotty is fully in favour of the Senate being able to block any non-Leftist program?

  119. H B Bear says:

    It’s never the reverse, the left can always implement its agenda easily.
    That’s a feature for Dotty, not a bug.

    Exactly. The Senate under current voting laws is a lock-step gate to the Left and higher spending. The idea that there will be a Centre-Right coalition of cross benchers at some stage in the future is fanciful.

  120. Fisky says:

    We need to cut now and cut deep – and possibly scrap the NDIS.

    That will never in a zillion years pass the Senate. Impossible.

  121. . says:

    What a load of shit Fisk.

    Name one plebiscite the Senate has blocked.

    They can’t block referendums after they’ve been submitted to the electorate.

    Why am I not surprised to see Dotty is fully in favour of the Senate being able to block any non-Leftist program?

    You are so deliberately stupid that you think the ALP would never abuse its power without a Senate.

    Gough Whitlam with no Senate would have ruined the country, not just damaged the joint.

  122. Fisky says:

    What a load of shit Fisk.

    Name one plebiscite the Senate has blocked.

    I can see we are being very autistic, so I will make my point clearer. If Theresa May had to contend with the Australian Senate (rather than a defanged House of Lords), her Brexit bill would never be passed.

  123. . says:

    God you are talking some real shit here Fisk. It is insulting to everyone’s intelligence. You just ignore the historical reality of Gough Whitlam for an irrelevant hypothetical.

  124. Fisky says:

    Beep boop!

  125. . says:

    You are just being a childish idiot Fisk.

    You don’t have an argument or any evidence.

  126. Mike of Marion says:

    The ABC World Today full bore and both barrels Abbott666

  127. Mr Rusty says:

    Three years in and the interest payments in real terms will exceed what Swan ever had as a deficit.

    Interest payments now are 12bn+. The largest sum Costello ever paid off in one year was 11bn. Barring an economic miracle the likes of which has never been seen our debt will never be paid off.

  128. Fisky says:

    You don’t have an argument or any evidence.

    The Senate has blocked the vast majority of spending reductions proposed by the House. But because a single libertarian Senator snuck in on preferences, you are defending that monstrous institution as a whole.

    I think underlines how libertarianism is a movement of exhibitionism rather than actually getting anything done. Give them a vanity soapbox and they’ll happily rattle on for the next six years and achieve nothing.

  129. Infidel Tiger says:

    “Does not compute!”

  130. Infidel Tiger says:

    I think underlines how libertarianism is a movement of exhibitionism rather than actually getting anything done. Give them a vanity soapbox and they’ll happily rattle on for the next six years and achieve nothing.

    Exactly right. They love spectating.

    I don’t put Leyonhjelm in this boat though. He’s is actually loathed by Australia’s twittering libertarians.

  131. mh says:

    The resignation of Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The backflip on the Feds forcing Qld farmers to sell their prime agricultural land to Singapore is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The Coalition running away from the renewable energy scams is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The public discussion now underway on our outrageous immigration levels is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.

  132. . says:

    The Senate has blocked the vast majority of spending reductions proposed by the House. But because a single libertarian Senator snuck in on preferences, you are defending that monstrous institution as a whole.

    No. I have always been against abolishing the Senate, it is a colossally stupid idea.

    The House charged ahead with Direct Action and PPL – which Leyonhjelm opposed.

    Leyonhjelm won in 2013 on first preferences and he won his seat again because he got enough primary votes before preferences, which were doled out by the electorate last time, not by the parties.

    I think underlines how libertarianism is a movement of exhibitionism rather than actually getting anything done. Give them a vanity soapbox and they’ll happily rattle on for the next six years and achieve nothing.

    Please. Stop bullshitting for once. Leyonhjelm has written an alternative budget every year with significant cuts, savings and fiscal rectitude within an electoral cycle. Most of the cuts are low hanging fruit. The LNP have not taken any recommendations from it. Ever. In fact they’ve been openly hostile about it.

  133. Fisky says:

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

  134. Ren Durham says:

    “….Tasmanian Dams. LOL…..”

    Authority for a fairly simple proposition – namely, that the Feds can acquire specific power in an area not expressly covered by a head of power in the Constitution by appropriate use of the External Affairs power to enter into a treaty or international compact with other countries in relation to the matter at hand. In the Dams Case Hawke signed Australia up to UNESCO World Heritage program and nominated the area to be drowned by the Dam for inclusion in the list. That of itself would not have bound the State of Tasmania but it was sufficient to give the Feds standing to regulate in the area and thereby over ride the State Government on environmental grounds to nix the dam. The Tasmanian State Government (and several other State Governments as well as opposition in the Federal Senate) denounced this “acquisition of power” as a fraud. The High Court (activist or not) found for the Commonwealth. The amazing thing is that this very broad (and subsequently approved) expansion of the External Affairs power has not been used more in the decades since. The best tactic with the Senate today is for the Government to simply use their control of the executive to do what they were elected to do and invite them to challenge you in the High Court (especially now with a much more black letter court (led by the blackest of black letter Judges) than we have had in many a long year). Obama used the issuing of endless Executive Orders to bypass a hostile House. If what he had been doing had been any good that stuff would have stood after his departure. It is the same here – if you are doing things that are actually intended to improve the fundamentals then do it however you can get away with it. If the ideas are any good they will not be unwound and electoral success will follow. The only problem is that we are fast approaching an era when mendicant voters who pay no tax and survive entirely on Government largesse will be a majority of the constituency – and they are unlikely to vote for anyone or anything proposing the required action in relation to public taxation and spending.

  135. . says:

    They passed the omnibus bill last year didn’t they?

  136. Henry2 says:

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

    We’re fucked!

  137. . says:

    The Tasmanian State Government (and several other State Governments as well as opposition in the Federal Senate) denounced this “acquisition of power” as a fraud.

    Indeed it is.

    The Attorney General also sent an F-111 to spy on his political and legal adversaries.

    The police state has existed here for a long time.

  138. Fisky says:

    Let’s go over this again – I would like a list of budget reductions the House has failed to pass on the advice of the Senate. Go!

  139. mh says:

    You can read here what the Huffington Post published – then deleted!

    http://www.infowars.com/huffington-post-deletes-article-admitting-trump-right-about-sweden/

  140. None says:

    I am torn between wanting to see the LNP destroyed (I have no love for the Nats either) and seeing Abbott restored to leadership and winning the election. The media’s Trump derangement will look like euphoria. I think the ideal given the horror of Labot Greens Xenophon indy lunatics might be an LNP minority gov with a Bernardi party but Turnbull is such a malevolent little shit he would not consider it. Upshot : the Libs have no future with Turnbull at the helm or even in parliament.

  141. Fisky says:

    A very quick googling yields the following stories in the past week or two –

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/13bn-hole-blown-in-2017-budget/news-story/a81cbbca27299e28e6853725c534d85d

    The Turnbull government is set to write off more than $13 billion in spending cuts after judging that it may no longer be able to book measures still being blocked in the Senate as savings in the budget.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-14/xenophon-blocks-government-omnibus-bill-childcare-changes/8267644

    The Nick Xenophon Team has announced it will not support the Federal Government’s package of changes to child care and welfare benefits.

    Last week the Coalition introduced a so-called omnibus bill to try to force nearly $4 billion in savings through the Parliament.

  142. Henry2 says:

    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.

    We’re fucked!

  143. . says:

    So now Fisk has changed the goalposts and is now ignoring evidence that he demanded to see.

    The fact is the PM and Treasurer, whoever they have been since 2007, have never cared much for a balanced budget. The cuts they have asked for are dwarfed by planned deficits and mid year blow outs.

  144. Fisky says:

    I’ll answer the question for you dotty, no the Senate has not passed any spending cuts that were subsequently rejected by the House. On the other hand, the House has had tens of billions of dollars in spending cuts blocked by the Senate.

    It’s rather odd then, that you are defending the Senate!

  145. Fisky says:

    I can see Dotty is now trying to pivot to claiming that the Senate is actually more fiscally responsible than the House! Oh dear…

  146. . says:

    Tens of billions? Lordy, we’re nearly 500 bn in debt. Most of that planned for by the incumbent government.

  147. . says:

    Fisky
    #2306920, posted on February 24, 2017 at 1:17 pm
    I can see Dotty is now trying to pivot to claiming that the Senate is actually more fiscally responsible than the House! Oh dear…

    No I’m not. You’re demented.

  148. egg_ says:

    The resignation of Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The backflip on the Feds forcing Qld farmers to sell their prime agricultural land to Singapore is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The Coalition running away from the renewable energy scams is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The public discussion now underway on our outrageous immigration levels is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.

    Sad for the rudderless LNP.

  149. Fisky says:

    Pauline Hanson is a much greater force for small government than the LDP. Sad but true.

  150. . says:

    Maybe they are, I wish them good luck.

  151. Texas Jack says:

    Hanson being Hanson and Barnardi being Bernardi and Abbott being Abbott is a godsend. Imagine the destinations we’d be visiting if Turncoat had no threats coming at him from the right.

  152. . says:

    Exactly correct Jack.

    …Bernardi, Pauline, Roberts, Day (‘s replacement) and Leyonhjelm wouldn’t have a platform without the Senate.

  153. Fisky says:

    I told you, libertarianism has nothing to do with actual results, the whole point of the exercise is simply to have a “platform”.

  154. . says:

    Hmm yes Fisk. You can get results with no legal standing (no seats) or without free media coverage?

    FFS this is Grigory level trolling by you now. Attacking syntax. FFS, give it up.

  155. Fisky says:

    But there is no proposal to abolish the Senate at all. The discussion is about changing the rules of procedure so that the Senate is less able to block budget savings. For some reason, you are fine with the status quo even though it is leading to bigger government.

  156. . says:

    Less able to block anything. Other commenters want to abolish the Senate and you attacked me for wanting to keep it, tacitly supporting its abolition.

    Stop talking shit, Fisk.

  157. Arnost says:

    Agree Jack… Case in point Pissy Chryne this morning:

    Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne also hit back at Mr Abbott on Friday morning, saying his policy proposals would either be a disaster or had failed the first time around…

    …. but we won’t be going down the track of putting a freeze on immigration, for example, which Tony Abbott wants to do, because it would be catastrophic in places like the Northern Territory, Tasmania – most places outside the major cities,” Mr Pyne told the Today show on Channel Nine.

    “We won’t be slashing spending. Tony Abbott tried that in 2014 in the budget during his leadership but of course a whole lot of zombie legislation sat in the Senate unable to be passed.”

    WTF? “We won’t be slashing spending”??? And they wonder why they’re bleeding votes to the right?

    Nobody aside from a few like Bernardi Leyonhjelm or Hanson is a proponent of small and frugal government! So whilst he had his chance and blew it… more power to Abbott to push these issues! He should learn how to use Twitter! [But yes, the Senate idea is batshit crazy!]

  158. A Lurker says:

    The resignation of Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The backflip on the Feds forcing Qld farmers to sell their prime agricultural land to Singapore is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The Coalition running away from the renewable energy scams is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.
    The public discussion now underway on our outrageous immigration levels is due to one person – Pauline Hanson.

    True

    Pauline Hanson is a much greater force for small government than the LDP. Sad but true.

    Also true. For an ex-fish&chip lady she certainly wields a great deal of potestas in the Senate.

  159. Rob MW says:

    Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne also hit back at Mr Abbott on Friday morning, saying his policy proposals would either be a disaster or had failed the first time around…

    …. but we won’t be going down the track of putting a freeze on immigration, for example, which Tony Abbott wants to do, because it would be catastrophic in places like the Northern Territory, Tasmania – most places outside the major cities,” Mr Pyne told the Today show on Channel Nine.

    “We won’t be slashing spending. Tony Abbott tried that in 2014 in the budget during his leadership but of course a whole lot of zombie legislation sat in the Senate unable to be passed.”

    My God…..this sounds like a Fartfax article on Trump……..nearly word for word. Pyne obviously only reads Fartfax which is why SA has run out of wind. He sucks more than he can blow.

  160. . says:

    WTF? “We won’t be slashing spending”??? And they wonder why they’re bleeding votes to the right?

    This is why everyone must choose their preferred party – the LDP, ACP, PHON, ALA and FFP.

    Join up and donate. The Liberals are dead.

  161. . says:

    …. but we won’t be going down the track of putting a freeze on immigration, for example, which Tony Abbott wants to do

    I’m not sure Abbott ever said that…

  162. Arnost says:

    My God…..this sounds like a Fartfax article on Trump

    Sorry… forgot the link. But – you guessed it – it is Fauxfacts!

    SMH Linky

  163. Neil says:

    “We won’t be slashing spending”

    Ok they tried that in 2014and the Senate blocked the cuts. So i guess they have given up. Looks like Australians do not like surplus budgets. This is what happened when Howard cut spending in 1996

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW0yxPbZq40

  164. Tim Neilson says:

    We won’t be slashing spending. Tony Abbott tried that in 2014 in the budget during his leadership …
    Not really. That budget had more total spending than Goose Swansteen’s last budget.

    but of course a whole lot of zombie legislation sat in the Senate unable to be passed.
    Well that’s true.

  165. Arnost says:

    I’m not sure Abbott ever said that…

    Yes… False News / beatup / Abbott666

    Abbott actually did not directly address immigration legal or otherwise… he spoke up about housing and not unreasonably suggested that: some pressure could be taken of housing prices if immigration was scaled back a bit until such time as infrastructure caught up with demand.

  166. Arnost says:

    That budget had more total spending than Goose Swansteen’s last budget

    That’s why Abbott has had his chance. The Trump lesson – and the Howard one from 20 years ago WOW! – is to stand firm and refuse to listen to the Sir Humphreys of the Treasury bureaucracy. Abbott & Hockey were suffering from Stockholm Syndrome very quickly! Even good ideas like the Medicare Co-Payment were turned into bastardised unworkable and useless brain-farts by trying to make them something other than what they were intended to be…

    Too late now though.

    Sinc & others were saying Abbott’s got to be replaced by Turnbull as otherwise the alternative is Shorten. A lot of us said that Turnbull will destroy the Liberal Party. Well – we got Turnbull…

    We can now equally say that the Libs have got to go as that gives us: him, Pyne, Bishop and creeps like Sinodinos! And really, these aren’t any better than Shortend, Burka, Pliebers and Destroyari!

    And that’s why the Senate has to stay unchanged to act as a check. As dot says: if enough LDP, ACP, PHON, ALA and FFP members get up then maybe, just maybe, they can temper the worst excesses of the inevitably incoming Labor govt. And it may have to be for a long time until there is a viable alternative in the lower house…!

  167. memoryvault says:

    some pressure could be taken of housing prices if immigration was scaled back a bit until such time as infrastructure caught up with demand

    So speaketh the man who went out of his way to maintain immigration levels at their existing level, when he was PM and could have actually tried to do something about it.

    And can we get over the “Senate blocked all Abbott’s cost saving legislation” BS. Half of the stuff people are now claiming was blocked, was not in fact ever put to the Senate for a vote, on Abbott’s “perception” that the Senate would reject it.

    A “perception” is not a vote.

  168. memoryvault says:

    Turnbull does not run the LNP, neither did Tones when he was PM, Michael Photios does. The Libs are essentially NSW and NSW Libs are firmly under the control of Photios who is to the Libs what the Unions are to Labor.

    Somebody else who gets it.

  169. egg_ says:

    We won’t be slashing spending.

    Says the 50 Billion dollar man.

    “We all live with Pyne’s submarines, Pyne’s submarines…

  170. Fisky says:

    And can we get over the “Senate blocked all Abbott’s cost saving legislation” BS. Half of the stuff people are now claiming was blocked, was not in fact ever put to the Senate for a vote, on Abbott’s “perception” that the Senate would reject it.

    There was no “perception” at all. He was told directly by the cross-bench that they weren’t going to pass anything.

  171. Mike of Marion says:

    Has “FMD grizzled” Savvas been trotted out yet?

  172. Eddystone says:

    Abbott’s “five point” plan sounds great, doesn’t it?

    Too bad there’s zero chance of the Libs implementing it, even if they made Abbott dictator.

  173. Neil says:

    Half of the stuff people are now claiming was blocked, was not in fact ever put to the Senate for a vote

    What about the other half? I guess Abbott got the message by then

  174. None says:

    NSW Libs are poison. Mostly Gaystapo and fifth estate. Anti’democratic. Abbott as PM had frozen out Photios. Turnbull let him back in.

  175. King Koala says:

    “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”

    Abbott should quit the Libs and join with Bernardi or Hanson.

    The Senate

    Without the Senate we would have no micro-parties acting as a brake on Libs and Labor. We would be in a lot worse position than we are now.

  176. memoryvault says:

    He was told directly by the cross-bench that they weren’t going to pass anything.

    What a bunch of politicians say they’re going to do, is often vastly different to what they actually do when they know their actions will be made public. And what about all the drama surrounding Clive Palmer and the repeal of the Carbon Tax. Regardless of what he said at the time, does anybody really believe he’d have voted against it, immediately incurring a $6.5 million bill?

    It was, as usual, all bread and circuses for the masses, almost certainly cooked up by Palmer and Abbott themselves. It gave Palmer the chance to big note himself centre stage, with Al Gore as the bridesmaid, and Abbott got his trigger for the required, and long planned for Emissions Trading Scheme.

  177. Fisky says:

    It was, as usual, all bread and circuses for the masses, almost certainly cooked up by Palmer and Abbott themselves.

    I think the most likely and straightforward explanation is simply that Palmer does not share Abbott’s political opinions and preferred larger increases in government spending. That was after all what he campaigned on.

  178. Arnost says:

    There was no “perception” at all. He was told directly by the cross-bench that they weren’t going to pass anything.

    And that was not only Palmer Lambie & co. But Leyonhjelm at times too! Stomping around over gay marriage of all things!

  179. . says:

    The Liberals wanted the LDP to be deregistered.

  180. Fisky says:

    And that was not only Palmer Lambie & co. But Leyonhjelm at times too! Stomping around over gay marriage of all things!

    I do remember that Leyonhjelm was going to block all budget savings because the government wouldn’t pass gay marriage. Tut tut!

  181. memoryvault says:

    The Liberals wanted the LDP to be deregistered.

    While I’m sympathetic, Dot, it’s not the sort of thing that should decide how votes are cast. Besides, the LPA’s case never had a hope in hell of succeeding. The LDP should have just let them waste their money on lawyers and legal fees.

  182. . says:

    No he didn’t. You have the memory of a Stalinist show trial.

  183. Arnost says:

    Regardless of what he said at the time, does anybody really believe he’d have voted against it, immediately incurring a $6.5 million bill?

    It was, as usual, all bread and circuses for the masses, almost certainly cooked up by Palmer and Abbott Turnbull

    themselves.

    All arranged at the Wild Duck dinner with them and Martin Parkinson. It was ever Parkinson’s and Turnbull’s ETS – not Abbott’s.

    And at that time – Palmer was voting everything down so that he get more staff or something…

  184. Neil says:

    I think the most likely and straightforward explanation is simply that Palmer does not share Abbott’s political opinions and preferred larger increases in government spending.

    Palmer also said govt debt was not a problem

    https://palmerunited.com/clive-palmers-response-to-the-2015-federal-budget/

    Australian Government debt is one of the world’s lowest.

    In its October 2014 fiscal monitor, the International Monetary Fund estimated that the Australian government’s net debt would be 16.6% of GDP in 2015, well below the 74.1% forecast for advanced economies.

    Actually, it’s only 14% of GDP, less than the 40% under Bob Menzies Government.

  185. TC says:

    All the cross bench had to do was oppose Abbott and they were guaranteed media support .

  186. memoryvault says:

    All arranged at the Wild Duck dinner with them and Martin Parkinson. It was ever Parkinson’s and Turnbull’s ETS – not Abbott’s.

    You’re probably right, Arnost. I’d forgotten about the dinner, and for the entire episode, from the time of KRudd in 2007 to now, Parkinson was in a position to steer the whole thing along.

  187. Fisky says:

    Leyonhjelm demanded the LNP change their own policy on an SSM conscience vote, otherwise he would block all other legislation!

    A new player in same-sex marriage politics, Liberal Democratic Party Senator for NSW, David Leyonhjelm, has introduced a bill into the Senate to allow same-sex, transgender and intersex marriages. There would be no point at all in debating the issue if Coalition members were not allowed a free vote while Labor members were. A massive defeat would be the predictable result. So Leyonhjelm has now upped the ante by threatening to block other government legislation in six months’ time if Liberals (and Nationals) are not allowed a conscience vote.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/david-leyonhjelm-creates-impasse-over-samesex-marriage-conscience-vote-but-why-20141202-11ycao.html

  188. . says:

    Fake news from the SMH.

    At the time Fisk, you were defending Leyonhjelm because he voted for OSB.

  189. Fisky says:

    From 2015 –

    Senator Leyonhjelm’s Freedom to Marry Bill will change the wording of the Marriage Act from “man and a woman” to “the union of two people”.

    Last month SBS reported that Leyonhjelm threatened to block government legislation unless the PM allowed a conscience vote on his bill.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/liberal-democrat-david-leyonhjelm-will-reintroduce-his-same-sex-marriage-bill-next-week-2015-3

  190. Arnost says:

    All the cross bench had to do was oppose Abbott and they were guaranteed media support

    Bingo. High time to drain the swamp!

    I would guess that Trump’s campaign managers looked very closely at the early days of Abbott’s government as there were many lessons to be learnt there. Look what we saw:

    – The media will crucify you whatever you do
    – The media will promote all “good” from your oponents and cover up all “bad”
    – The media will seek to influence your friends to act against you or set them up to embarrass you
    – The media will seek to damage any of your supporters to remove that support

    AND most of all:

    – The media will attempt to delegitimise you to remove your mandate – endless twisting of polling etc is a great example!

    Trump had answers to all these.

  191. memoryvault says:

    I’d forgotten about the dinner, and for the entire episode, from the time of KRudd in 2007 to now, Parkinson was in a position to steer the whole thing along.

    Actually, it turns out Parkinson headed the Climate Change Group in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet early in 2007 under Howard, and was appointed inaugural Secretary of the Department of Climate Change later that year, under KRudd.

    So it’s fairly safe to assume it was Parkinson who first whispered “ETS” into Howard’s ear to get the ball rolling back in 2007, and has been in a position to keep driving it ever since, through eight successive changes of government, even when Abbott binned him.

    And some people still think the politicians run the country.

  192. . says:

    Last month SBS reported

    LOL!

  193. memoryvault says:

    It just gets better and better. Other pies that Parkinson has firmly had a finger in are:

    The Asian Century White Paper (increasing Asian immigration)
    The Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling
    Aged care reform (changes to taxing Super)
    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
    The National Broadband Network (NBN).

    One could argue that Parkinson has almost single-handedly bankrupted this country.

  194. Fisky says:

    So the evidence is overwhelming: David L threatened to block government legislation unless they rammed SSM through the parliament.

  195. Arnost says:

    it turns out Parkinson headed the Climate Change Group in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet early in 2007 under Howard

    Exactly. At the same time as Turnbull was Minister for Environment and Light-bulbs. And Turnbull was ex vampire squid who were into Cap and Trade from the earliest days. Join the dots.

  196. . says:

    Fisk you’re going against your own word at the time and taking the SMH and SBS at face value. This is absurd. Especially from someone who has gone for the “fake news” meme.

    You’re contradicting yourself Fisk, and you’re not telling what actually happened. He wanted a conscience vote – not “ramming through Parliament”, which you want, since you want to make the Senate a powerless appendage, and have attacked me personally for saying the Senate should not only be reformed, but ought not to be abolished.

  197. Delta A says:

    Sorry to go off topic, but I haven’t been able to access the open forum – or main Catallaxy site – all afternoon. It anyone else having trouble, or am I in detention?

  198. Arnost says:

    One could argue that Parkinson has almost single-handedly bankrupted this country

    Indeed. Tony and Peta wanted him Gone Gone Gone. He was infact dismissed as one of Abbott’s first acts.

    Yet for some reason Parkinson was left in charge of the Hockey’s first budget. Just shows what bad judgement Abbott had! [And even if it was Hockey who wanted him – leaving him there was the inevitable first cut in Abbott’s government’s suicide]

  199. Fisky says:

    Anyway, very happy to see Abbott biting at Turnbull’s heels. It’s vitally important that we keep hemming him in so that he can’t indulge his leftist instincts.

  200. Fisky says:

    Abbott has been a very effective brake on Turnbull. More please!

  201. memoryvault says:

    Works for me, Delta.

  202. None says:

    Leyonhjelm demanded the LNP change their own policy on an SSM conscience vote, otherwise he would block all other legislation!

    Yep Leyonhjelm is a time wasting tax hoovering fascist fruitcake. The Senate is a house of review but our senators are tin pot dictators. I am fast warming to the idea of just abolishing the senate. That alone would massively improve the budget bottom line as well.

  203. None says:

    Fair point Fisky.

  204. . says:

    Yep Leyonhjelm is a time wasting tax hoovering fascist fruitcake.

    You must be off your meds love.

    Let me guess: Abbott’s budgets which expanded debt and spending were just fine, and the war on drugs is great?

    Get. A. Fucking. Clue.

  205. Jannie says:

    I endured plenty of ridicule from both left and right, in support of Mr Abbott some 5 years ago. They were smart and I was stupid.

    A coalition victory in the next election would be a worse disaster than the Turnbull teams “victory” in the last election. It would have been much better for the ALP to win and expose itself and its idiocy, while allowing the centre right a space reform itself,

    Things have to get a lot worse before they start to get better.

  206. Arnost says:

    Someone has to drain the dark state swamp of the likes of Parkinson or the “stud of state parliament” Photios. Both are examples of individuals who were invited to leave by a Prime Minister and both were subsequently instrumental in destroying that Prime Minister. But I don’t know if Abbott has the steel will to do so.

    Maybe the Hairy Irishman of legend on this blog would have advice on how to manage this! 🙂

  207. Hydra says:

    Leyonhjelm a fascist lol

  208. Vicki says:

    Gary Johns, as usual, has got it right.

    One voters have become accustomed to over generous benefits, it is well nigh impossible to take them back.

    Thanks to the welfare renaissance set in motion by the Whitlam government in the 1970s, Australians from all sectors of the community have come to expect government financial assistance in some aspect of their lives. It is an insidious and debilitating trend in any society, and it has sapped the once great strength of independence in Australia.

    Although I am not a great fan of Joe Hockey – he was quite correct in his criticism of the Age of Entitlement. And the public did not like it one bit. That was the problem.

    What is needed is a leader of exceptional skills of persuasion and empathy to communicate to the public was an economic and social disaster it will be for this country if we do not accept severe cuts in government spending on extravagant and unaffordable public largesse.

    I haven’t seen that leader yet. But I live in hope.

  209. Faye Busch says:

    If you want Turnbull, you get Photios. Photios, (the lobbyist seen last election, unashamedly touting for votes on the delegates’ floor and rejigging last-minute proxy votes), orchestrated, with others, the assassination of Abbott. So, with Turnbull, Photios is there to stay.
    If Abbott returns, the Howard and Villatori democratic voting for party candidates would be adopted. With Abbott in place, most of the Turnbull lovers will lose their seats at the next election. With Abbott in place, the Senate voting will be more in favour of the Coalition because people would want the Coalition policies to be passed. The voters don’t want what they voted for last time, a ramshackle Senate.

  210. memoryvault says:

    Thanks to the welfare renaissance set in motion by the Whitlam government in the 1970s, Australians from all sectors of the community have come to expect government financial assistance in some aspect of their lives.

    The zombie meme that will not die. Nearly every LNP government since Whitlam has been elected with healthy majorities, on the promise of necessary austerity and budgetary constraint. The fact that not one of them has delivered on it is hardly the fault of the voters.

    What is needed is a leader of exceptional skills of persuasion and empathy to communicate to the public was an economic and social disaster it will be for this country if we do not accept severe cuts in government spending on extravagant and unaffordable public largesse.

    Which is exactly the platform Abbott ran on in 2013, and was rewarded with the second biggest swing and majority since WWII. And he then proceeded to do precisely the opposite. One can argue until the cows come as to whether it was his own fault, the fault of his party, or the fault of an obstinate Senate. The bottom line is, the one group who were utterly blameless in the affair was the voters.

    Stop blaming ordinary Australian voters for our corrupt political system and the lying, corrupt politicians it spawns. Short of armed insurrection, there’s bugger all we can do about it. We’ve tried everything else.

  211. rafiki says:

    Well said Vicki. I sort of addressed this above. I can see only the chance that the LNP will get home in the Reps, and then be able convince One Nation to join in a super razor-gang exercise. Both would have had to hide his from the electorate in the election. Pauline would need to bring enough of her Senators with her. All highly problematic I suppose.

    What I would wish for is Bernardi’s party (which I have joined) would campaign on cutting welfare, get enough Senators to block any government legislation, and then, as the Greens did to Gillard, tell the government to change its policies if they want to get Bills passed.

    All a bit pie-in-the-sky. Maybe we are screwed.

  212. Entropy says:

    One could argue that Parkinson has almost single-handedly bankrupted this country.

    A sleeker version of Nugget Coombs.

  213. Entropy says:

    PHON, like Katter, is all about the politics of complaint. They don’t want to be in the serious business of fixing what’s broke. That sort of adventure costs votes.

  214. . says:

    The zombie meme that will not die. Nearly every LNP government since Whitlam has been elected with healthy majorities, on the promise of necessary austerity and budgetary constraint. The fact that not one of them has delivered on it is hardly the fault of the voters.

    Fraser and Howard had double majorities in Parliament.

    They did nothing, nothing to cut spending.

  215. Tel says:

    The fact that not one of them has delivered on it is hardly the fault of the voters.

    Other than failure to learn from past mistakes, not their fault at all.

    BTW, how many more head bangs do you think will bring this wall down? Starting to sting a bit, but I think I’ve got a few more left in me.

  216. memoryvault says:

    A sleeker version of Nugget Coombs.

    I was wrong, Entropy. He hasn’t been working alone. He is married to Heather Smith, who has, since 1988, been in and out of the Reserve Bank, the Office of National Assessments (our peak intel body), DFAT, and from September 2013, the Deputy Secretary of the Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).

    When hubby became Secretary of the PM&C, on 23 January 2016, Heather became Secretary of the Dept of Communications two days later, and is now overseeing the NBN and the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), which is in the process of implementing our national ID system.

    It’s an exclusive little club, and we aren’t in it. But let’s blame the voters anyway.

  217. . says:

    The fact that not one of them has delivered on it is hardly the fault of the voters.

    Yes it is. We’re a constitutional, democratic federal monarchy.

    In effect we are a crowned republic, but we are more democratic than anything else.

    We’re a representative democracy. Once is failure of the representatives. Anymore is failure by the electors.

  218. Tel says:

    Stop blaming ordinary Australian voters for our corrupt political system and the lying, corrupt politicians it spawns. Short of armed insurrection, there’s bugger all we can do about it. We’ve tried everything else.

    If only there was some sort of minor party that supported liberty?

    If only there was some sort of minor party that was honest conservative?

    People could flock to those parties and make their vote do something. Even if their second or third preference was to the shit mainstream parties, at least those first preferences would get counted and send a message. Just requires people to use the existing system and NOT follow stupid “how to vote” cards.

  219. egg_ says:

    What is needed is a leader of exceptional skills of persuasion and empathy to communicate to the public was an economic and social disaster it will be for this country if we do not accept severe cuts in government spending on extravagant and unaffordable public largesse.

    Abbott was elected on that platform and choked once in office.

  220. Fisky says:

    and is now overseeing the NBN and the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), which is in the process of implementing our national ID system

    Sorry, wasn’t the Deakin Centre supposed to have done this already in the late 80s? It was part of their plot to bring in a dictatorship if I remember correctly.

  221. . says:

    I was wrong, Entropy. He hasn’t been working alone. He is married to Heather Smith, who has, since 1988, been in and out of the Reserve Bank, the Office of National Assessments (our peak intel body), DFAT, and from September 2013, the Deputy Secretary of the Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).

    When hubby became Secretary of the PM&C, on 23 January 2016, Heather became Secretary of the Dept of Communications two days later, and is now overseeing the NBN and the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), which is in the process of implementing our national ID system.

    So she knows about and is an expert regarding: monetary & macroeconomic policy, security policy, administration, foreign affairs & foreign languages digital communications and broadcasting and logistics/mail?

    Fuck off love.

    Yes MV we blame the voters.

    Ultimately, Parliament has the power to eliminate these people’s careers.

    We vote for MPs that don’t do squat.

    Prima facie you are right. What is the solution though? Electing a government that will drain the swamp.

    We’re not going to shame these people into submission and retirement!

  222. . says:

    If only there was some sort of minor party that supported liberty?

    If only there was some sort of minor party that was honest conservative?

    Vote LDP

    Vote ACP

    Vote FFP

    Vote ALA

    Vote PHON

    We might be on the horizon on a shift in political eras and the balance of power. Remember how Tone noted that nearly 40% of the electorate simply didn’t vote for the majors?

  223. memoryvault says:

    Sorry, wasn’t the Deakin Centre supposed to have done this already in the late 80s? It was part of their plot to bring in a dictatorship if I remember correctly.

    Nah, Fisky. You’re getting your conspiracy theories confused.

  224. Fisky says:

    No it was. The Deakin Centre was definitely going to be the central hub of the mass surveillance program, and ID cards would have to feed into that.

  225. Fisky says:

    I have to get this straight, because I am booked to deliver a speech to my local Pentacostal church about national ID cards and the coming surveillance state, and we cannot have any unsubstantiated claims being made.

  226. memoryvault says:

    I have to get this straight, because I am booked to deliver a speech to my local Pentacostal church about national ID cards and the coming surveillance state

    Good luck. With what you’ve spouted so far, you’ll need it.

  227. Fisky says:

    I contend that my right to live as a free individual, in a society of free individuals, is the most important possession I have.

  228. . says:

    Fisk – have you converted – I remember you from a while back so I thought you’d be middle to high Anglican.

    I don’t know if you are taking the piss, but I think what you say you are doing is commendable, except that it (surveillance state) is already here.

  229. Fisky says:

    It is, in truth, the only possession of any real value that I can preserve and pass on to my children, for without it, all else is temporary.

  230. memoryvault says:

    Beautifully expressed, Fisky.
    Are you going to claim copyright on it?

  231. Fisky says:

    I don’t know if you are taking the piss, but I think what you say you are doing is commendable, except that it (surveillance state) is already here.

    Not at all. I will be conducting a national tour of pentacostal churches in order to warn them about the Deakin Centre, as well as a monstrous plot I have recently discovered involving the Bond Corporation.

  232. memoryvault says:

    You’re on a roll, Fisky.
    But I do hope it’s all your own work.
    I’d hate for you to be accused of plagiarism somewhere down the track.

  233. Vicki says:

    We’re not going to shame these people into submission and retirement!

    You are not wrong there!

    The careerist detritus revealed by the AWU/Gillard scandal & their subsequent networking over the years was amazing.

  234. Perfidious Albino says:

    The Liberals are still dead to me, but I have been enjoying the ‘Never Abbott’ ranting in the media and from Turnball et al today that Tone’s speech last night has triggered…

  235. Fisky says:

    You, and all your traitorous ilk will NEVER break the spirit of the true Australian.

  236. memoryvault says:

    except that it (surveillance state) is already here.

    Factcheck = True, Dot. Been here since around 1983.

    Originally known as Echelon, more recently as PRISM.
    Not sure what they’ll call it once voice recognition is fully rolled out.

  237. . says:

    That’s right Vicki. They are shameless.

    Look at the HSU/Fair Work connections/lovers, let alone this gem of an article on the ALP:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/whos-in-bed-with-kristina-keneally/news-story/931c430d0480e4c8273c547304379d5d

    Who’s in bed with Kristina Keneally?

    “TWO female advisers walk into a bar. One’s working on her first state election campaign. The other is an experienced hand, who does all the talking and most of the drinking.
    “This place opened a few weeks ago. I think it used to be a bike shop. Let’s drink to Clover. That barman reminds me of Michael Coutts-Trotter, the director-general of education.

    He worked for Michael Egan, who was treasurer when Bob Carr was premier. I remember Michael from uni when he was a mature-age student at UTS. Totally hot, just like the tutors.

    Turned his life around. He’s married to Tanya Plibersek, federal Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion, who did journalism at UTS like me and half the hacks in the gallery. They’ve got three kids. Gorgeous. Tanya should be in cabinet. You should be taking notes.”

  238. Tel says:

    Fisky, they already run an ID card system. I suppose it never occurred to you that it seems strange so many states were amazingly anxious to convert away from paper tickets over to electronic cards (even though the paper tickets always worked pretty well and replacement cost an insane amount of money).

    People’s bus/train/ferry cards are linked to their names and generally linked to their bank accounts as well. When you go through the gate there’s a camera pointing at every single gate to ensure a facial recognition scan which can be quickly linked to the card, and thus also linked to your name, bank account, and other typical travel destinations. Now, every train/bus/ferry is loaded with cameras, especially around each doorway so they just clock the same facial scan against their existing database and go from there.

    There won’t be any need for an ID card system, all the data is right there.

    How do you think the cops nabbed that granny who complained about head scarves so quickly?

    Mind you, they still can’t catch Somali gangs in Victoria, but then they also failed to get their train cards working, and they are in a rush to dynamite their power stations to prove they are as virtuous as S.A. so it’ unlikely any of this will be working soon… but that’s Victoria, they have opted for anarcho-tyranny rather than techno-tyranny which is kind of swings and roundabouts really.

  239. . says:

    Factcheck = True, Dot. Been here since around 1983.

    I blame Gareth “Biggles” Evans AG QC sending an F-111 down to Tassie during the dams case.

  240. Muddy says:

    John Nobel @ 8:20 a.m.
    Crikey. There’s a lot to take in there, and I admit to being somewhat confused about the essence of your comment. Thanks for your input though.

  241. rafiki says:

    Tel – 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. But his manifesto says the right things. What else is there?

  242. Fisky says:

    We will have some million or so Indonesians in a belt from the Fitzroy River, across West Australia, to the base of the Gulf of Carpentaria, in two years or so.

  243. Oh come on says:

    Oh dear. It looks like some chickens are finally coming home to roost.

  244. memoryvault says:

    Fisky, that’s truly inspiring.
    You are the West’s next Winston Churchill.
    The Pentecostals will love it.
    I hope you’ve reserved a seat for Ron Boswell.

  245. . says:

    rafiki
    #2307371, posted on February 24, 2017 at 8:20 pm
    Tel – 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. But his manifesto says the right things. What else is there?

    You don’t know how much I rate you right now. You might have been the member that gets them enough funding to take on the Liberals. You deserve fireworks and an inspirational 1980s song by Robert Tepper, Kenny Loggins or John Parr.

    For example. Federation didn’t happen because of the elites. It had the backing of the ANA, which was made up of thousands of ordinary people.

    You deserve high fives like at a sales conference after the music ends.

  246. Fisky says:

    We know there is a strong “Marxist” influence on many of the Aboriginal Reserves in this area. When these misguided people are spurred into action, and the killing starts, it will co-incide with similar problems in other parts of Australia. NORFORCE will be wiped out, because, like the rest of our Armed Forces, they simply don’t have any ammunition for their weapons.

  247. Fisky says:

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

  248. Tel says:

    Originally known as Echelon, more recently as PRISM.

    That’s SIGINT which is standard across pretty much the entire developed world. However, generally speaking local police cannot use it, and especially it cannot be deployed for political purposes to attack particular groups. That said, leaks are gradually becoming the new normal, and the spooks are getting spookier than usual (you have young girls running around with VX on their hands, at the same time as you have high level phone calls from Washington to the Kremlin being anonymously leaked to convenient news outlets). The local police keep to themselves about exactly what they do have access to, but you can approximately guess based on their behaviour.

    After that Cheng chap was blasted right at the NSW coppers front doorstep, they suddenly discovered they did have a bunch of reasons to go arresting terror plotters. Seems unlikely they just sat around hoping someone would tell them who to arrest, I’m guessing they do a fair bit of mobile surveillance (not entirely a random guess, given their purchase of stingray equipment).

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