Howard Comes Out Fighting as His Legacy Comes Under Threat

Rudd articulates his ideology on why he believes the current crisis has occurred (don’t mention neo-liberalism) and after bitter disputes among the coalition, JWH, has come out fighting.  Entertaining stuff.

John Howard: Five great reforms an essential legacy.

  • John Howard
  • February 20, 2009

The legacy of the former Liberal government is one that we should all want to own. Australia was a stronger, prouder and more prosperous nation in November 2007 than it had been in March 1996. Yet attempts have been made to discount the contributions of competitive capitalism and more open markets to the remarkable economic growth, in many nations, during these past 30 years.

This is one article I have no problem not posting in its entirety.  A bloody good laugh though. It smacks of desperation.

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86 Responses

  1. Australia was a stronger, prouder and more prosperous nation in November 2007 than it had been in March 1996

    Trust the rat to go for he symbolic, while skipping the tangible.

    In Novemeber 2007:

    Australia had one of the most extreme Industrial regimes in the western world: with downward pressure on pay, conditions and job security.

    Household, business and foreign debt had never been higher.

    Debt levels among the highest per-capita in the world.

    Current Account deficit had never been higher. The fourth biggest in the world in dollar terms.

    Inflation was the highest in 16 years, among the highest of any western country.

    Interest rates were the highest in a decade, second-highest in the developed world, had been consistently above the OECD average for years.

    House prices were the world’s most unaffordable relative to average income.

    Levels of household saving practically zero.

    Highest rate of bankruptcies in almost 20 years.

    Around 2 million Australians were living in poverty.

  2. Mark Davis got it right:

    “The recent collapses are catastrophic instances of market failure. But as I think has been obvious to your average person on the street for quite some time now, markets have been failing everywhere. The free-market approach of the past thirty years, seeded by economists such as Hayek and Friedman, pioneered as policy by politicians such as Thatcher and Reagan, has turned out a bit of a dud. In Australia cutbacks in health and education, the withdrawal of government dental support, the shift in emphasis from government provision of housing for the poor to private investor provision, even the abolition of legal aid, have all lead to market failure.

    Nor did the decades of reform produce what they advertised. Australia’s ‘age of prosperity’, as Peter Costello calls it in his memoirs, has been underwritten by the mining boom (even as manufactured exports stagnated during his tenure) and massive increases in household debt (now more than $1 trillion — about the same as the annual national output), even as the government has wound down its own debt. The national debt has in effect been privatised while, at the same time, risk has been shifted away from government and business onto the shoulders of ordinary people, in the shape of long working hours, casualisation, and the sort of uncertainty that is written in the fact that Australians take the least holidays of any western nation.

    So much for the magic of markets. “

  3. Caney

    The facts keep mounting against our hero. Michael West reveals some interesting debt numbers:

    “Looking at the numbers, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics we have about 21,374,000 or so people living in this country. Our combined national debt (taking all government, personal, private and business debt into account) is $2.32 trillion ($3.4 trillion including equity) as of September last year – and growing. A falling Aussie dollar makes it more expensive to repay, or roll over.

    Each and every Australian then, including babies, accounts for foreign borrowings of nearly $110,500 dollars. If we use the same method to calculate what the cost of Prime Minster Rudd’s “stimulus package” is to the nation, we end up with a cost of nearly $2,000 per head.

    To put it another way, says macroeconomic consultant Mark Beavan, Kevin’s rescue package is increasing the nation’s net debt by little more than 1%.

    ”Malcolm might happily forget that while his former government colleagues were steering the good ship Australia, the nation’s total debt soared from a mere $700 billion in 1997 up to $3.2 trillion by the close of their term. An increase of 387%”.

    Deregulation brought growth alright. But there is a yin for every yang. The Opposition may well brag that it left office with zero debt – zero government debt that is – as the upshot of policy was to lump it onto the consumer.”

  4. “Each and every Australian then, including babies, accounts for foreign borrowings of nearly $110,500 dollars.”

    Psuedo-socialism, deregulated capitalism….I think we just need to get back to economization, and forget the ism’s!!!!!!

  5. Not sure I follow Sparta?

  6. Regardless of the system in place or party (Labor vs. Liberal/Socialism vs. Capitalism), we need to get back to the concept of saving and living within our means! Even if it means going without the quintessential “stuff”! No system can be sustained by the illusion of wealth!

  7. Definitely with you on that one sparta!

    The Rodent just keeps on giving me great reasons to covet his wizened old head above my fireplace.

  8. Where’s Neil? 🙂

  9. Sparta

    Now I follow, exactly! The level of illusionary and real wealth destruction has been astounding, and it’s by no means the end.

    TB

    This will be a tough one for Neil me thinks.

  10. This will be a tough one for Neil me thinks.

    Nah, Neil will take Dr “Honest” John on his word and use the speech as definitive ‘proof’ that what Johnny says is true. The fact that it makes bugger all sense won’t occur to him.

  11. Meh. Neil, being the “thinker” that he is, would just c&p stock standard Liberal Party propaganda bullet-points, namely, for example:

    The Liberals paid off Labor’s debt
    (By asset-stripping the Commonwealth and failing to adequately maintain health, education, aged care etc)

    The Liberals left a $20 billion surplus
    (That’s all they had left over after blowing $390 billion extra revenue from the mining boom.)

    Costello would know what to do
    (Though he prefers to keep his “wisdom” to himself, rocking away in obscure indolence on the backbench.)

    The Labor government is taking us into debt
    (While never admitting that the Liberals would also take us into debt – to the same amount – only over a slightly longer time.)

    Yawn. Zzzzzzzzz.

  12. Where’s Neil?
    TB Queensland, on February 20th, 2009 at 9:16 am Said”

    Unlike you leftoids who live off the dole, I have a job.

    In case you leftoids have forgotten when the ALP was in power from 1983-1996 they created

    1. the highest Federal govt debt in our nations history ($96B – soon to be surpassed by Rudd)

    2. highest unemployment rate since the great depression (11%)

    3. under Keatings watch the leftoid Cain/Kirner govt of Victoria racked up the highest state debt in Australian history with the great state of Victoria almost going bankrupt.

    It is in the DNA of the ALP to produce debt and unemployment

  13. Dishonest John at it again. He is stuck in a time warp isn’t he. He doesn”t think that we can be better off than most countries and that the neo libs of the world , of which he was a leading light, were responsible for the current crises, can be used in the one arguement. Well you idiot, the fact is that Bush done it bigger and better than you, as did a lot of other countries. There is some merit that we were “Public debt free” but that is one of the very reasons in the first place, your type privatised debt, people couldn’t handle it, they borrowed more and more to the point where many loans becoam sub prime in their unendless quest for wealth, and the sub prime lenders went broke, ecause the priver borrowers should never have received those loans in the first place. This false economy fuelled construction and held house prces at inflated prices, fuelled the share market and fuelled peoples aquisition programs. When it all went pear shape, we come back to the real issue, transferring public debt to private debt.

  14. You know there really are a lot of lazy economists, journalists, politicians etc out there. Either they are lazy or, worse, oversimplifying things to push their particular ideology. This crisis was not caused solely by a failure of free market capitalism. It is not a catastrophe. Australia has not simply prospered on the back of a mining boom. It was not caused simply by forced loans to poverty stricken Americans either. It is a combination of everything. Stupid ideological policy in the US led to shitty loans being made to people who couldn’t repay them. The shifty lenders packaged up these loans to make them profitable and to try to spread the risk. Having packaged up the loans they were able to sell them off as “low risk debt products”. Lazy regulators and analysts applied good ratings to these packages on the back of a nice lunch and a good bottle of red. The market eventually did what it does best, and corrected. This is not market failure, it is market success. It just took longer than it should have to to come to its senses. Trying to disguise the bleeding obvious, which is what the government is trying to do with cash handouts and limitless bank deposit guarantees, will only make things worse. The government cannot directly control the market and shouldn’t try, they will fail as they always have. They should use their levers to FACILITATE responsible economic activity, then LEGISLATE to prevent the frauds that have been perpetrated (such as the advertising campaigns of the likes of Australian Capital Reserve and the advice practices of Storm).

    As to the mining boom, yes we have dug up a lot of material but at the same time, this nation has endured one of the worst droughts in its history. I wonder what influence that has had on the nation’s productivity. The Coalition was a good government. In the end, as you do when you have been in power for over a decade, they tried to push their ideology too far, and they paid for it. That, and a market downturn, is no reason to abandon the least bad economic structure we know, in favour of an economic structure which we know is far far worse. It’s a reason to learn from the mistakes. But there is no chance of learning whilst the left continue to deny their part in this mess, and whilst the right continue to deny their part.

    Funny that, you know, the same arguments apply to the bushfires.

  15. The level of illusionary and real wealth destruction has been astounding, and it’s by no means the end.

    …and this is just part of the never ending story… the older I get the more I think we have something terribly wrong in our society (do we have a society) when all we do is “have” to earn money.

    The villages where I grew up were built, and houses rented by, the mill owners during the Industrial Revolution, supposedly to “improve” the living standards of workers…what BS…it was to provide an “open” prison to house the factory (mill) fodder, while the mill owners became multi millionaires.

    The workers – if they were lucky, would survive till 65 and die before 70 – if not they would be maimed, killed or suffer from the chemicals and dusts in the mills.

    Disclaimer: I was born in the Colne Valley in Yorkshire and all the adults in my family (at the time) worked “in ‘t mill” – I lived in two villages during that time and one was Marsden – home of the Luddites.

    The “colour” I distinctly remember is “black” (from ‘t soot)

  16. I don’t think that the previous government was defeated on the basis of its economic management.

    I recall that there was a debate at the time about an issue that was, at the time, regarded as more significant than how the economy was performing.

  17. I am confused by this statement…

    We are a party of the individual rather than of the collective.

    Why is there a party (a collective) if the individual is the measure of all things?

  18. Legion,

    I think what the rodent meant by “party of the individual” was that it’s basically “every man for himself” and “dog eat dog” exemplified by his refusal to step down from the leadership when asked to despite repeatedly promising to do so “if it was in the party’s best interests”

  19. Also, I nearly gagged on my glass of Coonawarra shiraz last night, when I saw footage of the rodent grinning like demented baboon while declaring his support for Talcum as leader of the Liberal party.

    Poor old Tip, they still hate each other to this very day.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Tip just walks into Parliament one day and mowes down the entire Liberal party with an AK47.

  20. Legion, on February 20th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Nations, even aspirational ones, aren’t individuals. Companies aren’t individuals. Governments aren’t individuals. Families, working or otherwise, aren’t individuals. In fact, I am hard-pressed to find an ectopic, stand-alone individual anywhere in a reality consisting of a complex web of social inter-relations. “Where do these ‘individuals’ that John Howard seems to think exist, and around which his policies apparently were constructed come from?”, was perhaps my rhetorical question.

  21. reb

    that is a great image… Costello in Ned Kelly armour wandering into Parliament House.

  22. I would like to mention JWH’s statement of ‘prouder’. Children locked up in desert camps via indefinite detention and the many statements from the likes of Ruddock that children were ‘into’ body piercing – that parents ‘deserved’ to have their children locked up and that this was necessary to serve as a lesson to those evil asylum seekers.

  23. With a stick-on beard too!

  24. With a stick-on beard too!

    You mean under the helmet where we can’t see it? 😉

  25. C’mon, be honest, y’all would like to skip forward to the bit where poor ol’ Ned has his ‘such is life’ moment and is hanged with that smirk wiped off his face.

  26. I was thinking the beard could go on the outside of the helmet.

    Last night I actually came up with an idea for a cartoon.

    It would be a boxing ring with a big banner announcing the Turnbull/Costello bout.

    Turnbull is in the ring ready to fight and a voice from the dressing room says “He’s still not ready yet”.

  27. reb, on February 20th, 2009 at 10:35 am,

    Read this:

    Samantha Maiden, Online political editor, The Australian, 11 September 2008

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24329418-601,00.html

    … The former federal treasurer later emerged from his Melbourne home, where he was angered by media anxious to get comments on his book, details from which have been revealed this week.

    Mr Costello later appeared to narrowly miss a Herald Sun photographer amid thronging media as he drove off in a hurry to another engagement.

    !!!

    PM material? Only a Liberal could think so.

  28. joni

    I was thinking the beard could go on the outside of the helmet.

    I hadn’t thought of that. Actually that would work on a few level, not the least of which it gives the appearance of him being tougher and braver than he actually is. Alternatively it could have a painted sdmirk on the helmet.

    LOL on the cartoon idea.

  29. joni, on February 20th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    LOL!

    “…and in the yellow corner…”

  30. The problem with the Turnbull/Costello bout is that even if Costello wins it via Queensbury rules, Turnbull will continue to lob chairs into the ring at Costello’s rock ‘n’ roll wrestling-style; and we know this, because Turnbull is already throwing midgets from the ring into the seating.

  31. Legion, on February 20th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Your not referring to, Cross Pain, surely?

  32. Legion

    That work’s even better … boxing is real whereas WWE is fake. Just like Costello and Turnbull.

    Could we have the “formidable communicator” as the ring announcer?

    And who would be the girl who announces the next round?

  33. “Where do these ‘individuals’ that John Howard seems to think exist, and around which his policies apparently were constructed come from?”

    What the ‘true believers’ of the Liberal party mean by the party of the individual is that they should not be asked to contribute to the welfare of ‘others’. They also love the ‘user pays’ concept where you have to privatise everything and they get to reap the profits. They hate ‘the common good’ where we all contribute as taxpayers to something of benefit to all, that’s nasty socialism.

    Pretty much means the party of selfish snobbery.

  34. joni, on February 20th, 2009 at 11:00 am Said:
    Legion
    And who would be the girl who announces the next round?

    OK I’ll bite – Julie B of course!

  35. Pretty much means the party of selfish snobbery.

    The Miserable Liberals.

  36. Actually I was thinking of Downer in his fish-nets.

  37. i was at work last night.Did anyone watch Q & A? How did the “formidable communicator” go?

    On another blog I read that Hockey tried too hard to impress, he blustered, while Swanny was calm and in command.

  38. TB Queensland, on February 20th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Yeppers, and her other role is to decide who goes to the naughty corner when it’s tag-team.

  39. kittylitter, on February 20th, 2009 at 11:01 am
    They hate ‘the common good’ where we all contribute as taxpayers to something of benefit to all, that’s nasty socialism.

    LOL! …was talking to my sister today whos a RC/neoLIb of the first order – she said we need to do more for the aging population – but it all seems to be a bout money…

    …bloody hell, L, I said you sound like a socialist…(meaning me!)

    …she – …I don’t see why it has to have a name…

    Stage six of liberal denial – we know its right but if it costs me money its someone elses problem…(ie the ALP government)

  40. joni, on February 20th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Maybe they could take turns wearing the fishnets and holding up the number counts??

  41. Did anyone catch Minchin’s duck and dive interview re the demoted Front Bencher Cory Bernardi (who) on ABC National this morning. Firstly, that we haven’t heard form the prick, means he is plotting something, or maybe he is behind Custard Costello’s Crap lately. lets be fair, Costello wouldn’t have the intestinal fortitude to do anything off his own bat. When asked if he supported Turdball in sacking Bernardi (who), he kept saying he respected his right as a leader to dismiss him from the front bench. When pressed he wouldn’t support the move. I think it’s watch this space for Minchins plotting and scheming undermining the current leadership team in the weeks ahead.

    On Hoss, he was hijacked a littel, being on the panel with a Union Leader, the greens, the ALP, but even the retail lady was against him. To balance that all, the crowd questions seemed to be taken from the Liberals hymn sheet. Crap like a lick of paint in the schools is the thinking of the Libs, what about small business etc. Hoss came across as a side show tout, but the Liberal biased crowd seemed to like him. Interenting he could take Tony Rabbits quote re pension increases, and twist it to something else and got away with it. Tony Jones was asleep at the wheel.

  42. joni

    And who would be the girl who announces the next round?

    TB

    OK I’ll bite – Julie B of course!

    joni

    Actually I was thinking of Downer in his fish-nets.

    I was thinking of little Chrissy Pyne seeing as he seems to be in favour at the moment.

  43. “Actually I was thinking of Downer in his fish-nets.”joni

    ROFLMAO! I’d nearly forgotten about Alexander, there is a place for his head just to the right of the spot for Howard’s, 2 spaces down from Tony Abbott’s & Phillip Ruddock’s.

  44. Thanks david,
    I might go to the abc site and have a look at it.

    Minchin, he’s the one to look out for. The evil one hides in darkness, plotting and scheming. I would not be surprised if he is behind this latest attack from the hard right on big mal.

  45. here’s Minchin today:

    Senior Libs put best face on a bad week

    Senator Minchin said he accepted Mr Turnbull’s decision to sack Senator Bernardi although he predicted a comeback was on the cards for his factional colleague, describing him as one of the rising stars of the Liberal party.

    “But not all political careers go in an upward trajectory – just ask (former prime minister) John Howard.”

    Meaning, ‘foiled for now, but don’t think we won’t be back later to sink the velvet slipper’.

  46. “the velvet slipper”

    LOL!!

    🙂

  47. No doubt, Minchin is a calculating shapeshifter in the shadows.
    Keeping the Coalition in its undead state by breathing evil unlife into the putrid remnants of the Howard/Minchin doctrine for “individuals”…by individuals he of course means greedy opportunists.

  48. Oh, there are ructions going on between the moderates and the conservative nutters of the Liberal Party. The conservatives reckon one of them should have got the position that prissy Pyne was given, Abbott wanted it, they are furious!

    Turnbull racks up the enemies within

    Interesting that the Libs are leaking to the fairfax press these days.

  49. Toiletboss (HD)

    No doubt, Minchin is a calculating shapeshifter in the shadows.
    Keeping the Coalition in its undead state by breathing evil unlife into the putrid remnants of the Howard/Minchin doctrine for “individuals”

    Ah – so that explains Ruddock 😀

  50. I for one am really enjoying watching the Libs continued efforts to publicly disembowel their beloved “party of the individual”.

    Fight, fight, fight! no holds barred!

    Bad for democracy I know, but it’s only a pale imitation of democracy with 2 major parties so I’ll sup on the schadenfreude while it’s going.

  51. “Regardless of the system in place or party (Labor vs. Liberal/Socialism vs. Capitalism), we need to get back to the concept of saving and living within our means! Even if it means going without the quintessential “stuff”! No system can be sustained by the illusion of wealth!”

    Sparta, you are absolutely correct. Many old people I know that lived through the Great Depression preach the very same thing.

    Were you around during the Great depression?

  52. Neil of Sydney

    “Unlike you leftoids who live off the dole, I have a job.”

    You do know Neil, from lurking on Blogocracy and here that those to whom you refer to as “leftoids” do work or are retired. I for one, have never been unemployed in my 37 year working life and I am proud to be branded a “leftoid” if a more equal wealth distribution for the citizens of Australia and indeed the world, amongst other ideals, is what a leftoid stands for.

    Sharing, in the least sense, contributes to our preservation as a species IMHO. Where would we be if all people were driven solely by the notion of “only I should reap the rewards of my efforts”? Individualism, a concept with which your heroes and proponents free market capitalism are intensely imbued.

    As Legion notes:

    Companies aren’t individuals. Governments aren’t individuals. Families, working or otherwise, aren’t individuals. In fact, I am hard-pressed to find an ectopic, stand-alone individual anywhere in a reality consisting of a complex web of social inter-relations.

    As reb pointed out:

    think what the rodent meant by “party of the individual” was that it’s basically “every man for himself” and “dog eat dog” exemplified by his refusal to step down from the leadership when asked to despite repeatedly promising to do so “if it was in the party’s best interests”

    And TB

    The villages where I grew up were built, and houses rented by, the mill owners during the Industrial Revolution, supposedly to “improve” the living standards of workers…what BS…it was to provide an “open” prison to house the factory (mill) fodder, while the mill owners became multi millionaires.

    Lastly kittylitter:

    What the ‘true believers’ of the Liberal party mean by the party of the individual is that they should not be asked to contribute to the welfare of ‘others’. They also love the ‘user pays’ concept where you have to privatise everything and they get to reap the profits. They hate ‘the common good’ where we all contribute as taxpayers to something of benefit to all, that’s nasty socialism.

    These themes rarely change across times irrespective of economic systems. The privileged and powerbrokers maintaining their privileged socio-economic positions at the expense of all other levels of society. And largely due to parasitic behaviours. But it is the disadvantaged who are most powerless.

    The Leftoids here oppose the idea of accumulating wealth with total disregard to society’s disadvantaged. What is wrong with that Neil?

  53. RN, brilliant as always. And I did catch the note that you are indeed the RN from Tim Dunlop’s blog. I had a feeling that you might be. I remember some excellent things that you wrote..when a number were theorising you came up with specific examples.

  54. Dang! RN, absolutely brilliant speech! I agree with Min.

  55. John

    How was the carnival? Was it at the pool where I learnt to swim?

  56. Word RN.

  57. Joni

    Michael Wenden Aquatic Centre, I’m sure that’s the one you learned to swim in. The carnival was excellent and I was glad to see many of those children who were not so good having a go. You can’t help but cheer all the kids on.

  58. John

    Indeed it was! 🙂

  59. Caney, excellent points in comment 1. I find it risible that Hockey was angrily pointing out that a few bats might be made overseas and yet Howard’s crew kowtowed to the Chinese like there was no tomorrow.

    “A bloody good laugh though. It smacks of desperation.”

    You said it John. Howard & his lot slept thru much of the decade +. The fear-mongering media & John Howard on a radio jock loop scared, cajoled & then bored the Nation to tears. They had some good policies…but even those like the First Home Owner’s Grant Scheme were allowed to get out of control. Too much chaos & vote buying as far as I’m concerned.

    How hard is it to create tax incentives for investors to act like their in the Wild West?…or ensure the land is being raped at the speed of gluttony in order to fill the coffers of a few bigwigs?…to satisfy the hunger of foreign nations that are being hijacked by extreme Capitalists verging on dictators who put the long-term well-being of their people last? At least China is now waking up to the safety net needs of its population.

    John Howard took the more balanced approach of the great Paul Keating and opened the floodgates.

    It was a feast out of control…and plenty of small Mom & Pop investors, small businesses & pensioners are paying for it now. The banquet master is now just a doddery old fool drowning in the tsunami that he & his Bushevik mates helped to create when they opened the floodgates.

    N’

  60. ” to act like their in the Wild West”

    “like they’re” obviously.

  61. Crikey’s take on Howards speech

    It’s not pretty!

    Kevin Rudd might be talking crap when he purports to explain how neoliberalism plunged us into recession but John Howard shouldn’t even be given airtime. He was a shabby economic manager and, for that matter, a shabby Liberal, and should be ignored.

  62. “on another blog I read that Hockey tried too hard to impress, he blustered, while Swanny was calm and in command.”

    Kitty, even Shamaham seems to think Hockey won’t be a match for Swan.

  63. Dave55

    I read Rudd’s essay and was actually impressed. Howard’s counter-attack just made me laugh, I mean really laugh.

  64. Stephan

    I’m starting to get your sense of humour. If only I could have seen the smirk on you face when you wrote it. Devious bastard! (Lol)

  65. Damn! Wrong thread!

  66. Just read this thread…

    RN, on February 20th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Welcome back, Comrade!

    That should stir the rightoids up a bit!

    Brilliant repartee…although probably lost on the “stuck ons”…

    …I notice the thread sort of went ddddddddddddd after your post! 😆

  67. Neil of Sydney, on February 20th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    You may read my posts, Neil, but you obviously don’t understand them, or living – I worked, studied and paid taxes for 461/2 years out of my life – how much do you and your kind want – FFS!

    My generation are dropping like flies before they reach 65!

    …and it is MY decision when I retire – not yours, not the governments – no-one else’s – ’cause I am a SELF f***ing FUNDED Retiree!

    …and I earnt it “honestly” not through someone “losing” at my expense..

    No handouts but I still suffer the crap that your beloved Neo-Liberals created, We will survive and continue the fight for equality!

  68. RN, said: “The Leftoids here oppose the idea of accumulating wealth with total disregard to society’s disadvantaged. ”

    Well said RN…the whole comment.

    Neil of Sydney said:
    “Unlike you leftoids who live off the dole, I have a job.”

    What a ridiculously judgemental statement…particularly during an economic downturn. And a complete FICTION.

    I receive no benefits or healthcare card. But if some do I’m glad we live in a society that provides a safety net for the bona-fidely disadvantaged & financially distraught.

    The mass “dole bludger” thing is an old canard that ‘The party for big wig tax avoiders, war-mongers & flooding money upwards’ uses to stir up the work worn & oft distracted by “fear-mongering” public.

    The “halt immigration” debate…& “Left is soft on law & order”…& “Leftoids control us via political correctness” are others. That’s why Rupies NY Post published that controversial cartoon of a chimp being shot by cops. So it can raise the boring old issue of ‘political correctness’. Create more social division…attempt to attack Obama & evolution simultaneously…& attract attention in order to soldify readership base, increase ad revenue for that period… & pay the bills.

    SHOW ME THE MONEY says Rupie…I gotta pay off the Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal purchases.

    So what amazing contribution do you make to the world Neil that ensures you can make such dopey comments?

    N’

  69. “No handouts but I still suffer the crap that your beloved Neo-Liberals created, We will survive and continue the fight for equality!”

    Exactly my sentiments TB. Well said. Kick arse!…:)
    N’

  70. “They also love the ‘user pays’ concept where you have to privatise everything and they get to reap the profits.
    kittylitter, on February 20th, 2009 at 11:01 am Said:”

    Is that so Kittypoo. Well who deregulated the banking industry??? Who sold off the Commonwealth Bank, Qantas/ Australian Airlines, CSR??? Please tell me.

    The NSW Labor govt has just privatised the prisons and wants to privatise the power industry.

    Things like electricity, water, power should be in govt hands

    Obviously the facts do not support your beliefs.

    Who dropped the tariffs destroying most of our manufacturing industry???

    In case you do not this occurred during the Hawke/Keating govt.

    “No handouts but I still suffer the crap that your beloved Neo-Liberals created
    TB Queensland, on February 20th, 2009 at 9:17 pm Said:”

    Hay TB. Your heroes the Labour party are in power in Britain and have been for a long time. How come British banks are also in trouble.

    Are you sure that this world wide problem is a neo-liberal creation??? I have seen reports that this started because Democrat politicans wanted to give low doc loans to democrat voters. This goes all the way back to Jimmy Carter and endorsed by Bill Clinton

    You just say things but you have no idea what you are talking about.

    if you tells lies about people, you do not care.

  71. “I have seen reports that this started because Democrat politicans wanted to give low doc loans to democrat voters. This goes all the way back to Jimmy Carter and endorsed by Bill Clinton”

    Neil, sure some of the Dems inadvertently laid the groundwork for the sub-prime & finance company monopolisation mess…but do you really think this meltdown would’ve occurred under Gore? And would America have spent trillions on an unnecessary war in Iraq?

    It was Bush & his mates that came up w/ the tax cuts for the rich that ensured the system went haywire. It was Republican Phill Gramm & lobbyists that contributed partially to this mess:

    Foreclosure Phil

    Mother Jones, July/August 2008 Issue

    Years before Phil Gramm was a McCain campaign adviser and a lobbyist for a Swiss bank at the center of the housing credit crisis, he pulled a sly maneuver in the Senate that helped create today’s subprime meltdown.
    —By David Corn

    Gramm’s long been a handmaiden to Big Finance. In the 1990s, as chairman of the Senate banking committee, he routinely turned down Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt’s requests for more money to police Wall Street; during this period, the sec’s workload shot up 80 percent, but its staff grew only 20 percent. Gramm also opposed an sec rule that would have prohibited accounting firms from getting too close to the companies they audited—at one point, according to Levitt’s memoir, he warned the sec chairman that if the commission adopted the rule, its funding would be cut. And in 1999, Gramm pushed through a historic banking deregulation bill that decimated Depression-era firewalls between commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and securities firms—setting off a wave of merger mania.

    But Gramm’s most cunning coup on behalf of his friends in the financial services industry—friends who gave him millions over his 24-year congressional career—came on December 15, 2000. It was an especially tense time in Washington. Only two days earlier, the Supreme Court had issued its decision on Bush v. Gore. President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress were locked in a budget showdown. It was the perfect moment for a wily senator to game the system. As Congress and the White House were hurriedly hammering out a $384-billion omnibus spending bill, Gramm slipped in a 262-page measure called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.

    more here:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/05/foreclosure-phil

    And think of the pressure the Clinton administration was under due to the impeachment proceedings. Potential for blackmail I reckon. I still wonder if Clinton would’ve allowed Rubin & others so much leeway if he hadn’t been in that particular headlock.

    N’

  72. “but do you really think this meltdown would’ve occurred under Gore? ”

    Yes i do because sub-prime loans was a Democrat creation

    “And would America have spent trillions on an unnecessary war in Iraq?”

    Yes I do. I like Americans but when push comes to shove they will look after themselves first (as all people do). It is true that they saved us from the Japanese in WW2. But if Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbour they would not have gotten involved. They would have picked up the peaces of the defeated British Empire. The US has always had their beady little eyes on Canada

    “It was Bush & his mates that came up w/ the tax cuts for the rich that ensured the system went haywire. ”

    O.K. I am not an expert on these things but I will agree with you. Bill Clinton was handed a humungus debt by Bush the First. Somehow or other Clinton turned it into a large budget surplus. In fact the surplus budgets that Clinton created would have paid off the US govt debt.

    In comes Bush 2 and the budget surplus becomes a large budget deficit. This is Bush the seconds major failing.

    What is shows is how quickly a budget surplus can become a budget deficit, as we have seen with Kevin Rudd.

    As for the sub-prime thing in the US I think you leftoids are just playing politics. You want to believe that it is Goerge Bush’s fault. Who really knows.

    I personally believe that it is due to human greed.

  73. Ouch! Governor Stevens’s return fire must have hurt Uncle Joe. Not sure about the strength of a recovery but I agree with “The longer you wait, the more ammunition you will end up having to use,” Mr Stevens said. “These things can get a sort of self-fulfilling momentum behind them.”

    Housing will lead economic upturn: RBA
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25085153-2702,00.html
    THE combined impact of rate cuts and the Rudd Government’s stimulus packages will create an economic recovery later this year, according to the Reserve Bank, starting with a revival in housing construction.

    The bank’s governor, Glenn Stevens, endorsed the Government’s economic strategy yesterday, saying its two economic stimulus packages would boost economic growth both this year and next.

    He also said the Government’s actions to guarantee both bank deposits and wholesale funding had preserved confidence in the banking system.

    Appearing before the House of Representatives economics committee yesterday, Mr Stevens said the prompt actions of both the Reserve Bank and the Government would reduce the severity of the downturn.

    “The path of the Australian economy is going to be considerably better than it would otherwise have been, and considerably better than a number of other countries around the world, whom we can see contracting at a very large pace,” Mr Stevens said.

    He disagreed with new Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey that the Government should be saving some of its ammunition in case the downturn was protracted.

    “The longer you wait, the more ammunition you will end up having to use,” Mr Stevens said. “These things can get a sort of self-fulfilling momentum behind them.”

  74. “As for the sub-prime thing in the US I think you leftoids are just playing politics. You want to believe that it is Goerge Bush’s fault. Who really knows.”

    Not at all Neil. Anyone who knows me from RTS can tell you I was as hard on certain Dem politicians as the Republicans. And the corporate media & SEC & financial rating companies did a fairly lousy job of picking the problems up. Some even covered them up. There are some brilliant commentors on the blog site ‘Counterpunch’.

    As for the budget deficit here…I don’t think it is in any way comparable to the American debt. Perhaps on a private, personal level tho. Too much unregulated greed everywhere as far as I’m concerned. ‘The invisible hand’ didn’t work…but not surprising considering the vertical & horizontal integration we’ve seen occur over the past few decades.

    Unfortunately, too many Humans continue to do what they do best…hunt, pillage…& squirrel away the goodies. Hide them in their caves. And allow corporate leaders to control and frighten them w/ lies & superstition…it’s not the wind whistling in the cave…it’s the Gods. Or GOD.
    Cheers
    N’

  75. The NSW Labor govt has just privatised the prisons and wants to privatise the power industry.

    Things like electricity, water, power should be in govt hands

    If it’s stupid policy, it’s stupid no matter who does it, Labor or Liberal, unlike you, I will criticise both sides.

  76. Anyone who knows me from RTS
    nasking, on February 21st, 2009 at 12:56 pm Said:”

    Whats RTS???

  77. Whats RTS???

    It’s a legend that’s what it is!
    We are standing on the shoulders of a giant.

  78. Road to Surfdom. Closed now. A blog created by Tim Dunlop who also ran Blogocracy.

    I might add, in the long run I did passionately support Obama (tho I’ve criticised some of his tactics/policies and I’m still wary of some of his team, particularly on the economic side)…I like to see Democratic change…but I’m disappointed America doesn’t have more diversity in its Senate & Lower House.

    I’m a bit of a Naderite in some ways. And I support some of Kucinich’s & his team’s views…and can understand the fears & arguments of some of the anti-war, wary of ‘Big Brother’ Libertarians and other big government critics.

    The constant conflict between the pursuance of the rights of the individual VS pursuing the common good and collective security can get pretty confusing & complex at times. Sometimes extreme situations call for radical measures…but of course we must always be reassessing the effectiveness of Democratic fail-safes…and be aware of the potential for manufacturing events…and those who will alter perception in order to benefit THE FEW at the expense of THE MANY.

    I’m thinking of the post 9/11 over-reaction & pumping up of the WAR MACHINE…and the linking of Iraq to that event during the buildup to the INVASION.

    I’d like to see more Progressives & Libertarians in there who don’t have too many lobbyist ties.

    I’m not sure that a UNITED America in its present form can survive necessary social transformations & geo-political pressures. Tho I’m willing to give Obama a chance…

    but that doesn’t mean Neil I won’t be critical now & then or link to alternative to Democratic Party opinion pieces.

    N’

  79. “It’s a legend that’s what it is!”

    It certainly is kittylitter…contributions by so many passionate & wise people over the years…and far more diverse than some critics give it credit for. And it catered for commentors across the social strata.

    Tho to be fair, many of us were spurred on by a dislike for the Howard government policies in general…& were in opposition to the Iraq war. But hey, someone had to do a bit of political head-kicking in order to bring about political change.

    That led to accusations of Left-Wing bias and intolerance of other political views…”piling on & such”. Yes, it happened sometimes. But heck, we were fighting injustice & corporate wars. And there was no time to lose.

    Just a shame America didn’t dispose of more of the old guard…particularly the ones w/ corporate lobbyists crawling all over them.

    It was tiring on RTS sometimes, but I had alot of fun & met some interesting mates & informative people. And Tim gave wide latitude. He’s a kind & wide thinker. Disliked censorship of comments.

    Some bloody funny moments on there too. Aussie Bob’s pics derived from a 007 movie depicting the Howard inner-cabinet comes to mind.

    I think the people on here should give themselves a clap too.
    N’

  80. & were in opposition to the Iraq war
    nasking, on February 21st, 2009 at 3:47 pm Said:”

    And please tell me what has changed?? We are still in Iraq and we are still in Afganistan. As far as i know children are still being held in detention.

    The only thing that has changed is that unemployment has increased ( now 4.8%) and instead of having a $20B surplus budget we are going to have a $20B deficit budget.

  81. Neil of Sydney, “nuance” & “slight changes to the political landscape” might be words you want to focus on.

    I never said I was ecstatic…but the slight change towards diplomacy over bulldozing when it comes to ongoing & potential conflicts…and giving more of a sh*t about improving education infrastructure & building affordable homes rather than redistributing income into the hands of the skyscraper & McMansion builders & loopy cults purporting to be educators suits me for now.

    “Nuance” man, NUANCE.

    like the ‘Butterfly effect”…small changes can eventually make a big difference.
    N’

  82. Neil: http://www.chilout.org/ On 29 July 2008, Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, made a speech New Directions in Detention, Restoring Integrity to Australia�s Immigration System. Children will never be held in a detention centre. People who comply with immigration processes and pose no risk to the community will not be detained. Read more on these changes in policy at the A Just Australia website.

    Congratulations to the Minister and the Rudd Government. Congratulations also to all the chilout supporters who worked so hard and so long for reform.

  83. Well said Min.
    N’

  84. And Neil:

    US military probed over $190b Iraq fraud

    ABC news on-line, Wed Feb 18, 2009

    Following years of rumour, senior US military officers are being investigated over the disappearance of up to $US125 billion ($195 billion) that should have been used for the reconstruction of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/18/2494685.htm

    N’

  85. As you know Min i do not trust the ALP. They just say things to get leftoids to vote for them. Have a look at this link

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/781/40268

    “Labor continues to lock up children

    Emma Murphy
    31 January 2009”

  86. Neil

    ‘leftoids’ as opposed to ‘haemerroids’? not sure if that’s how it’s spelt but you know what I mean, those who consider themselves the enemy of the so-called left.

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