What the truck is he on about?

Does Turnbull really think that rolling out the debt truck will revive his poll ratings?

MALCOLM Turnbull will use a truck _ the Liberal Party’s debt truck _ to take the fight to Labor over its handling of the economy after his disastrous handling of the “Utegate” affair.

The Opposition Leader said the debt truck, to be launched this morning in Perth, would draw attention to the Rudd Government’s reckless spending on cash handouts and school infrastructure projects.

I mean, really, Malcolm, you can do better than this.

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252 Responses

  1. He’s turning into Steve Fielding.

    Next thing, he’ll strip off his shirt and go cavorting with pensioners in the main streets of Bondi.

  2. I am really just amazed at this stunt. Fielding is a doofus, whereas Turnbull does (seem to) have some intelligence.

    The large majority of the deficit is caused by the collapse in revenue – not the extra spending by the government.

  3. Ahhh – Everything old is new again …

    This is just dumb. All they will end up doing is reminding people that Labor are doing things. The debt isn’t without some benefits.

    I wonder if any car dealers will loan them the truck (as occured with the original Howard debt truck) or whether they will rent or buy one themselves.

  4. Who donated the truck?

  5. Should I have called this thread “Roll out the bottom-of-the-barrel”?

  6. Everytime T’bull pulls along side in an old truck it’s a reminder of his stuffing it up re Utegate. Unbelievable! If Turnbull was receiving good advice he wouldn’t be seen within cooee of a truck or a ute.

  7. Min, Is it an old truck? Has it any rust? Who’s (note the possessive apostrophe) driving the truck? How much is it costing? Where is the money coming from? Is it a real truck or a fake truck?

    All these questions will have to be asked when Parliament resumes – mark my words …

    PS I agree – what awful advice – and why Perth? Ah! Liberal Government in power – everybody loves us -see if we can stuff up the only State Government we got – if not, we’ll roll out the same circus on the East coast – duh!

  8. When Turnbull entered politics many saw him as a messiah. From day 1 he was touted as a future leader, and possibly a future Prime Minister.

    Everybody liked him. Even Labor supporters. We thought he was smart, dedicated, and could deliver the goods. We thought our Government could respond to the challenges of a worthwhile opposition leader and we were happy.

    But hasn’t he proved the critics wrong? What we have seen is a bumbling, incompetent human cliche.

    I cannot for the life of me comprehend how he became so successful.

  9. It also gives Labor the perfectly opportunity to highlight the lie of Howard’s debt truck in ’96, which was successful, and the fear campaign that ran alongside it of Australia becoming a Western third world economy because of the current account. All the while the Coalition’s hand on heart promise their highest priority would be to bring down that current account.

    So what happened after the Coalition won the election? The current account continued to balloon to record highs throughout their 11½ years, and this during a time of unprecedented economic prosperity.

    Just a reminder to the people of yet another major broken promise by a Coalition willing to say and do anything to gain power, but with no intention of upholding any of their public promises whilst keeping those private ones to vested interests where hidden agendas like WorkChoices will be instigated.

  10. He became successful based on his “fearless” attitude. Think about it, had his recent gamble paid off – he would have (almost single-handedly) taken down a government’s leadership.

    He still thinks like a merchant banker. They make gambles all the time, big ones when you think of the sums of money involved. They only need a handful of these to pay-off big for the failures to be justified. I was once on friendly terms witha venture capitalist that told me that only perhaps one in ten of his ventures paid off big, maybe three in ten broken even, and the rest were failures. He was regarded as relatively successful.

    What Turnbull hadn’t realised (and may still not realise) is that money is an easily renewable resource for a merchant banker; political capital and public goodwill are much harder to come by for the politician. Big gambles are not “the way things are done” in politics. They may pay out big, but when one fails (as will inevitably happen) that is not something you chalk up to experience. That failure tends to be the end of a political career.

  11. Whose truck is it?

    (Observe – no apostrophe required)

  12. Interesting point to note – WorkChoices was a big gamble. Had it paid off, Labor’s funds & activism base would have been vastly depleted and the Coalition would have been able to easily walk all over them. Industrial Relations would have been cemented into the neo-conservative mould for too long for an eventual Labor government to undo.

    However, it failed in a catastrophic manner. And Howard’s reputation & career… I think we can safely say both are finished as far as the general public are concerned.

  13. The debt truck stunt is the same age as Rudd’s rusty ute…’96. There was some dispute about the term ‘rusty’, however I believe that any ’96 Mazda ute would of course be rusty.

    I agree Migs. Turnbull immediately impressed by coming up with umpteen ways to fix the tax system after entering parliament but since then what has he done? I think that most people were expecting him to come up with interesting/alternative ideas but he has come up with zilch except a couple of stunts.

  14. Miglo, on July 7th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Migs, I have never liked Turncoat since he ruined the chance for us to become a Republic – I believed then, and I believe now, that John Howard & The Private School Bullies offered him the eventual leadership of the Liberal Party if he “failed” the Republican cause!

  15. … and (thanks for triggering the thought process, Ben) the hands that controlled the JH&TPSB Liberal Party machine are still contolling it now …

    … Turncoat, has and always will be a puppet …

  16. Pic of the Debt Truck
    http://twitpic.com/9jylc

    Which actually looks more like a trailer to me. Love some of the Twitter comments in reply – only one vaguely supportive from the looks of it..

  17. Again I’m amazed at the reaction on here. Turnbull was gaining traction on the debt issue with many in the electorate. Therefore, this seems a good idea. I’m not discussing the merits or the facts about the debt, merely the politics.

  18. So why does everyone here decide that it is so much easier to attack a political tactic, rather than engage in some legitimate analysis and discussion about whether the level of debt is sustainable?

    A tactic deployed to encourage public discussion about the consequences of government economic policy is hardly a bad thing, I would have thought.

    But typically the common opinion here is to duck comment about whether a FEW HUNDRED BILLION dollars of debt is in our long term interest. And even if the debt is inevitable, has the government spent our money to best effect?

    The government is the most important part of the political and economic process right now. Not whether the opposition uses a particular tactic to get some attention.

    Short term reaction to a silly headline rather than intelligent discussion about policy is what has characterised the almost all the comments here so far.

  19. Good comment Tom. It will encourage public debate. That is only a good thing, in my opinion. And it will encourage debate on an important issue – the economy.

  20. “I believed then, and I believe now, that John Howard & The Private School Bullies offered him the eventual leadership of the Liberal Party if he “failed” the Republican cause!”

    WOW, the conspiracy theories are running thick on this blog lately!

    Not happy with the fact that Turnbull is useless you have to make stuff up to twist that knife, eh?

    I thought the problem was the question and wasn’t Turnbull the Australian Republican Movement president that was bitter at the result?

    Every state voted ‘no’ in the referendum so accept the decision or is democracy only relevant when you are on the winners side?

  21. Short term reaction to a silly headline rather than intelligent discussion about policy is what has characterised the almost all the comments here so far.

    Well said Tom, well said!!

  22. Thanks for that pic Dave.

    In terms of rhyming slang, did you notice that right underneath the wick, there’s a…..

    …member of parliament..

  23. Tom

    And where has the few hundred billion of debt come from? From the collapse in revenue.

    And if you want to eliminate that fall in revenue causing a deficit, then you need to cut spending by a few hundred billion.

    Where would you like to make the few hundred billion dollars worth of cuts?

  24. Joni, once again you seem to be attributing an opinion to me that I haven’t expressed. It seems to be a habit.

    I think I said “And even if the debt is inevitable, has the government spent our money to best effect?”

    How do you equate this to your response which included – “Where would you like to make the few hundred billion dollars worth of cuts?”

    Do you think that this huge debt is allocated to optimal social and economic effect? If you think it is, please explain your reasons. If you think there is an opportunity for improvement, why have you so far avoided suggesting them?

  25. Joni,

    I understand that around two-thirds of the debt has come from a collapse in revenue due to the global recession. The rest has come from extra government spending.

  26. I understand that around two-thirds of the debt has come from a collapse in revenue due to the global recession. The rest has come from extra government spending.

    And what would have happened to the economy if the Govt hadn’t have injected that money into it?

  27. “has the government spent our money to best effect?”

    No it hasn’t. For example, the schools infrastructure stimulus has turned out to be very flawed. Schools should not be forced to build new facilities that they don’t need. That’s a waste. It’d be better to spend that money on a much needed hospital facility for example. Many reports also suggest that the government has not been paying overpriced amounts for these new buildings.

  28. Tom

    I do not think that any government could have avoided the few hundred billions in debt (you used capitals to labour the point), and so, I do not think that is as bad as some make out. Would it be preferable to not have the debt – of course.

    I do not think that the debt is intended to have a “social and economic effect” – it is a result of the revenue falling because of the GFC. To eliminate the debt (caused by the fall in revenue) the government would need to cut spending. If you think the debt is bad, where would you cut it?

    For Turnbull to labour (sic) the point is (IMHO) fruitless.

  29. “And what would have happened to the economy if the Govt hadn’t have injected that money into it?”

    It would be in a much worse position than it is today. I believe that the government has had the right idea in general, but not the best execution.

  30. Well, good to see you’re back, Tom.

    On the subject you bring up, if you want to debate the subject – I would suggest putting forward something other than the fact the subject is not being discussed.

    I’m going to assume (because I don’t have anything but other posters to back me up on it atm) that two thirds of the fall in revenue is due to the effects of the GFC. This sounds similar to figures I heard being batted around many months ago when the subject was hot.

    So of the third that is left, what would have been better spent. Personally, I think means testing alot more of the welfare that is/was being given out should have been added to legislation. This would have cut a significant sum of money from the Budget (both mine & the government’s I might add) and could easily have been justified.

  31. Tom and Al,

    The point of the thread was the tactic which we were debating. If you wish to debate the level of debt, we can do that as well.

    I would prefer it if we didn’t have to go into debt but with business investment drying up, people working shorter hours (as reflected by the increased underemployment figures), lower company profits etc, there was always going to be a shortfall in revenue. There was also going to be a need for stimulus to the economy through both monetary policy and fiscal policy. To be honest, while we can gripe about what was targetted in the stimulus spending (and I know you will Tom) but the reality is that it has been pretty effective in doing what it was supposed to do so far – the retail sector has remained profitable and hasn’t laid off staff (which is generally the first sector to start doing it), the school infrastructure spending has assisted many many tradies, housing prices have remained pretty stable and new house constructions are looking good for the latter part of this year. Light truck and Ute sales have remained strong, Major infrastructure projects are starting to commence and a lot of houses are getting insulation. There will always be an argument about better bang for buck but so far the stimulus has done a pretty good job of keeping Australia’s unemployment rate low and only rising slowely. Pensioners and Carers got a pension increase as well.

    Even if you argue that parts of the stimuls weren’t warranted or should have been done differently, we are only talking about $20-30Bn of the total debt amount which is around 1-2 years of surplus down the track. To say this amount wasn’t warranted you would need to argue what would have been done differently to either prop up retail or construction in its stead. You would also have to say what school and infrastructure projects should have been carreid out. Realistically the amount we are arguing about is less than 10% of the total debt. We know that the stimulus has had the plaaned effect so far so the counter arguments by the Libs had beeter be good. Simply pointing to the total debt (of which around 70% is due to decreaased revenue as a result of global conditions) is disingeneous. Unless the Libs can say what they wouold have actually done differently (rather than just say that they would have done something differently), the general public is going to look at this stunt for what it is – a sign of a Party devoid of policy.

  32. Yes, the lost revenue excuse is being trotted out yet again.

    The so called ‘lost revenue’ was based on forward estimates of a government who in last years budget was totally focused on inflation believing the good times would last forever!

    I love the excuse that the government did not see the GFC coming as it was plainly evident as far back as the last election but the government ignored the signs and had their heads firmly planted in the sand of populism!

    They have only two methods of reducing the debt, higher taxes and the reduction of middle class welfare and even if they do this we will suffer another economic shock in the interim, we could be back to square one.

    No use in this government playing the ‘blame game’ by accusing the opposition of reckless spending, they hold the ball now so it is time they pulled up their sleeves and work on retiring the debt through increasing revenue through making the hard decisions!

  33. And further to that – I think this is why Turnbull & Co do not want to actually debate the issue, simply raise it and leave it as an unsolved (but Labor-caused) problem.

    No-one in power, Labor or Liberal, has the guts to make the cuts that are required. They know it’ll cost them votes with the swinging voters (most of which are “middle class” and hence would be affected at least somewhat by cuts to said welfare). Both sides are basically waiting for the other to make an announcement in this regard so they can pounce for a short-term gain in the media.

  34. Oh, I forgot to add that the stimulus has also helped out the commemorative plaque industry 😀

  35. “The point of the thread was the tactic which we were debating.” And I put my point of view about that in my first comment on this thread.

  36. commemorative plaque industry!

    LOL!! 🙂

  37. Bloody hell, Dave55! Said it much better than I could 🙂

    I agree 100%. Sure some of the spending could be better targetted, but to make that claim (without being disingenuous) – you need to show how you would have spent it better. If the Coalition were to do this, I’d actually start listening and I think so would some of the public.

    The stunts they are pulling in order to not debate the issue are petty and look that way.

  38. What all you left-leaning, non-wealth crazed pricks fail to realise is that the purpose of Malcolm’s truck is to point out that the Global Financial Crisis would’ve been less critical under a Liberal Government.

    Everybody knows that they are the superior economic managers. What part of this simple logic don’t you understand??

    Geeze, where’s Ugly Bwooce when you need him…

  39. On the debt issue, I believe that more should have been saved during the boom years. That way we’d have a lower level of debt now. Even Joe Hockey admitted that in an interview a few days ago. However, most people understandably will blame the debt only on the current government and that is why I think this stunt will be effective.

    “Sure some of the spending could be better targetted, but to make that claim (without being disingenuous) – you need to show how you would have spent it better.”

    You’re saying that Labor’s position deserves the assumption of being correct unless you can show otherwise. I find that to be totally extraordinary. I don’t share your level of trust in the ability of Labor politicians to make good decisions, or any other type of politician for that matter.

  40. “reb, on July 7th, 2009 at 1:52 pm Said”

    No. Their argument is that Labor’s policies will choke the economy with an interest and debt burden that will slow the recovery.

  41. reb, you are so right – I have been brainwashed by all the KRudd spin andeasy ride the media have given the government.

    To be fair to Al and Tom though, I don’t think either of them think the Opposition would have done any better (I mean how the hell would we know), rather they are being critical of the current Government. Ive got no problem with that but the criticism needs to explain what would have been done differently. Even Tom’s alt proposal for the insulation money still involved spending just as much.

  42. You’re saying that Labor’s position deserves the assumption of being correct unless you can show otherwise.

    Actually, I say that about Labor & Liberal politicians. I don’t trust politicians as far as I can throw them, but that doesn’t mean they are lying all the time. In fact, I find politicians tend to tell most of the truth most of the time. It’s the parts of the truth they don’t tell you and the occasional lies that catch you.

    If we didn’t believe anything politicians said – there would be no point listening to them (which we obviously are, or this discussion wouldn’t be happening!)

    It is standard practice in most social, scientific, and philosophical debates to rest the burden of proof on the one claiming falsehood. Claiming that Labor are lying (as you imply I should be doing) would mean I should (without being disingenuous) provide the reasons/proof showing this.

  43. ” Claiming that Labor are lying (as you imply I should be doing)”

    I think you’ve missed my point. I was not talking about lying. I am talking about just assuming that their policies are good policies. Why should anyone do that without accompaning reasons?

  44. Firstly, I’m interested in why Joni continues to attribute comments and opinions to me that I have not expressed.

    Joni seems to lapse into the laziness of suggesting that it is up to me to suggest changes, rather that hold the government accountable for optimising outcomes from expenditure.

    Joni, where is your evidence that the stimulus and associated additional debt was chosen prudently, for highest economic and/or social impact. If policies of government are not to be assessed on either an economic or political basis, on what basis do you consider that we should assess them?

    Secondly, Dave55, your points are reasonable conjecture. Where are the actual indicators of effect? How much was spent at the casino, how many additional croupiers were employed? Where is the evidence that the spending programs were analysed against other proposals and were assessed for economic effect?

    These are reasonable questions to pose to a forum that prefers to concentrate on the minutiae of the silly twists and turns of low level daily political activity.

  45. Tom of Melbourne, on July 7th, 2009 at 1:22 pm Said:
    I think I said “And even if the debt is inevitable, has the government spent our money to best effect?”

    No, the “stimulus” packages have only delayed the inevitable BUT the infrastructure initiatives would have been necessary anyway because of the last government’s “pork barrelling”, advertising and plain bloody incompetence when it came to anything to do with infrastructure …

    … giving taxes back to people rather than developing the country is like giving your pay packet back to you boss to build up his business as your house collapses around you …

    … one thing some of us do is criticise our chosen party … didn’t see much from the other side … children overboard, Haneef etc ad nauseam …

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    scaper…, on July 7th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    as for your shrieking statement, scaper, I have stated my opinion and the reason I refer to him as Turncoat since long before the last election … just because you waffle from side to side doesn’t mean the rest of us do … its like a discussion with The Mad Monk … as described on another thread …

    … do you have a “ledger” (a la HMAS Sexcess?) and you are just seeing how many of us you can stir up…

    … or maybe its just because its raining and you can’t get out and play …

  46. Tom of Melbourne, on July 7th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Do you think that this huge debt is allocated to optimal social and economic effect?

    No and that would be the case no matter which government was in power.

    Some has gone a fair way to being an optimal social and economic benefit, some has gone to being just a social benefit and other parts economic, and some is just political.

    Optimal when talking about these amounts is like saying perfection, not achievable. All they can do is the best with the available advice and guidance, which is what I believe this government has done.

    The alternative from the opposition was no stimulus and massive tax cuts that in sum total as near as can be reckoned equated to between 10 and 20 billion less over 315 billion in spending than the government. Of course this also means that crumbling infrastructure would continue to crumble and much needed areas of attention would go on being ignored, I guess by blame shifting it onto everyone else’s fault but their own shortfalls.

  47. What comments and opinions have I attributed to you incorrectly?

  48. Al..re the $s socked away during the boom years..even better, invested it in infrastructure rather than tax handouts.

    Just a thought..but the opposition has been plugging away on the debt issue for some time now but it has made absolutely zilch impact via the polls. I don’t think that they’re on a winner with this one.

  49. I completely agree Min. We needed more infrastructure investment, less tax cuts and less middle-class welfare during the boom years. That would’ve resulted in a more productive economy and would have left us with more cash reserves to deal with this global economic downturn.

  50. Al and Min – 100% agree.

  51. TB, you are the one claiming Turnbull was compliant in railroading the republic referendum.

    I believe that to be incorrect but I will retract this if you can supply some proof to back up your allegation.

    Oh, by the way…I hardly ever work during school holidays.

  52. Al, on July 7th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    But that is so easily countered because the opposition have refused to detail how they would not have had any debt and how they would speed up recovery.

    So far every indication is that they would have spent almost as much but steered it into predominately tax cuts.

    It’s easy to throw up a billboard with $315 billion on it but not so easy to explain that more than $250 billion of that is lost revenue that on the most part cannot not have been avoided no matter who is in government. Even a massive slashing of government and neglecting government services would not have made much of a dent into it.

    So what the debt truck should really have on it is ~$65 billion of debt, and the opposition can rightly add another $20 billion of the surplus they handed over, so the debt is ~$85 billion.

    Now it is up to the opposition to explain how they would not have put us into $80+ billion of debt whilst still providing services and building infrastructure as well as handing out their ~$50 billion in tax cuts.

  53. I’ll second joni’s agreement of Al’s agreement 🙂

  54. Min, on July 7th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Not quite true Min (seem to be saying that a little to you lately, sorry).

    Poll Bludger and and think Core Economics have flagged this. Polling and probably internal Liberal Party polls are showing that people are starting to get worried about ballooning debt and it is getting some traction. Admittedly not a lot at the moment, but there is concern there which the opposition are jumping on and attempting to turn into a substantial fear.

    The problem for the opposition is they have to come up with more than the fear of debt by telling the people how they would have no debt at all. Because they have hooked themselves to the $315 billion figure they are intimating that if in government they would have zero debt and even surpluses, an impossibility under the current financial situation.

    So the moment the opposition say they will have less debt instead of no debt and don’t put a hard provable figure to it they are sunk. Turnbull has yet again put all his powder in a one shot blunderbuss with a stampeding heard of elephants charging at him.

  55. Mob Ecko,

    You make good points there. However, many people don’t put two and two together and just blame everything on the current government. Turnbull is looking for those people’s votes.

    The opposition has indicated that they would have had a stimulus package $20-25 Billion less than the government. There have also been substantial increases in spending in other areas by Labor (eg. in education and health – needed IMO) that the Coalition may not have brought about. They may have made other cuts. It would be politically stupid for them to say what they would have been. We will never know what they would have done including how much they would have spent were they still in government.

    By the way, my understanding is that the correct lost revenue figure is $215 Billion.

  56. Joni -then perhaps you should reflect on why you would expect me to justify a few hundred billion dollars worth of spending cuts.

    Adrain – if you aren’t driving a government to oplimisation, you are propagating poor outcomes.

  57. But Tom – where has the deficit come from? Before saying something is bad, you have to understand the reasons for it.

    Once we understand the reasons for it, you can then start to address the issues that can mitigate the deficit.

    Address the cause and not the symptom.

  58. Joni – you seem not to have read my original comment nor my follow up.

    Unsurprising.

  59. Al, Joni, Mobius et al..it’s difficult to work out what was in the previous government’s mind. Tax handouts = retail spending. And it’s not as if the retail trade needed propping up prior to the global meltdown.

  60. I did Tom – and I answered that I think the defict (although not desireable) is unavoidable.

    If I am wrong in interpretting your comments (that we should not have any debt) then I apologise, because to elimiate the deficit the government would have to cut expenditure.

  61. And it’s not as if the retail trade needed propping up prior to the global meltdown.

    Not so sure Min. Remember poor old Gerry Harvey moping on about how some of his stores might have to close due to the recession.

    The $900 cash handout was deliberately designed to keep retail spending bubbling along and by all accounts, despite what the Liberals say, it has been successful in the respect.

  62. Oh – and what did I say in the original post? That Turnbull can do better than a debt truck. And I want him to do better – like talking about how we can get the budget into a better situation.

  63. “like talking about how we can get the budget into a better situation.”

    Why the hell should he?

    Labor never produced any policy until the election was called but now it seems that the left demand a different standard.

    Hey, Labor is in government now and I wish people would get used to it!

    Besides, the PM has never had an original idea since coming to power, he just steals other policy, alters it slightly and calls it his own as evidenced in the proposed tobacco tax increase.

    They don’t call him in Canberra ‘me too’ for nothing.

  64. Why should he? because we need a decent opposition to hold the government to account. Instead of using utegate in the last week of parliament maybe they should have been asking questions on the economy.

  65. Sorry off-topic but this is significant:

    No Rise for Low-Paid Workers

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/07/2619147.htm

    So in other words, the real minimum wage has been cut. That will affect the standard of living for people on the minimum wage. Surely a moderate increase (around the level of inflation) would’ve been reasonable and affordable.

  66. “like talking about how we can get the budget into a better situation.”

    Why the hell should he?

    Because that is the point of the Opposition. To hold the current government to account and be an alternative government that can be voted in to replace Labor should he prove his case. Petty politics may waste time until the next election, but they simply make Turnbull look petty when they don’t have an impact on Labor (which has been the case to date).

    Besides, the PM has never had an original idea since coming to power, he just steals other policy, alters it slightly and calls it his own as evidenced in the proposed tobacco tax increase.

    You know, it shouldn’t matter who has the good ideas so long as they are implemented. If Turnbull were to come up with five good ideas, make a loud noise about them, and they get implemented by Rudd – that helps his case at election by showing that the Coalition’s ideas are what are desired in the new Government.

  67. scaper…, on July 7th, 2009 at 3:19 pm Said:

    Labor never produced any policy until the election was called but now it seems that the left demand a different standard.

    Not true scaper.

    Fact is Labor had their website full of policies, some me-toos but some original as well. Their biggest complaint was that the media would not acknowledge or report their policies.

    Go to the Liberal website now and see how many detailed policies are there.

    By the way, and I know this is going to irk you, Howard went into the ’96 election with not a single policy, not even the skeleton of one. His whole premise was getting rid of the current account and doing better than Keating.

    His was the first time any party had campaigned an election with no policies.

  68. Al, on July 7th, 2009 at 2:38 pm
    Mob Ecko, You make good points there. However, many people don’t put two and two together and just blame everything on the current government. Turnbull is looking for those people’s votes

    Which brings us full circle to the original posts about what a dumb political stunt it will be because the media will be all over it as a debt “truck” … a la “utegate” .. it will remind most people of trucks not debt …

    … which most people are aware we needed to have …

    … most people do put two and two together and most people realise that we need better infrastructure in place for when the “good” times return – and they will return …

    … and no, AI, I don’t think the Pay Rise (or lack of it) is off topic, under different circumstances they would (should) have got it. $25 is a lot of money each week, in many households …

    … protection for The Robber Barons while the serfs suffer is well and truly alive … nothing is new, nothing changes …

  69. Opposing bad government policy is about as much as you will get concerning holding them to account at this stage of the electoral cycle, just like previous oppositions have in the past.

    The performance by both sides in the utegate thing was disgusting in my opinion but it did serve a purpose concerning debate and passing of legislation.

    No DD trigger yet so there is a minute possibility there will be no trigger before the next budget, if this occurs then the government will have to call a house of reps election beforehand to avoid the devastating budget.

  70. Reb..I was talking about prior to the GFC. What was the need for tax cuts then? Surely the $s would have better spent on things such as hospitals, ports, roads when we had the $s to do so. Now, to achieve the same results we have to go into debt. As has often been mentioned, the Howard years are the wasted years..when we had the money to achieve lots but didn’t do so, but instead plowed it into tax cuts and middle class welfare.

  71. “$25 is a lot of money each week, in many households” Yes it is and would’ve been a reasonable increase during good economic times. An increase inline with inflation would’ve only required a $13-14 increase per week. What the “Fair Pay Commission” has given minimum wage workers is effectively a pay cut. I don’t find that to be fair or reasonable.

  72. Adrian, which phase of the electoral cycle was the policy on the web site?

    I remember trying to explain to the right wingers on Matt’s and George’s over at The Australian the reason no policy was released before the appropriate time in the cycle.

    I also thought it was a well known fact that the government of the day gets more than its share of media exposure, but it does not seem to get through to some.

    I have a good laugh when people here say the media is bias to the right then go over to Bolt’s and see the opposite written…it tells me a different story.

  73. Scaper,

    They had an IR policy and a Climate Change policy for years before the election. There were many other policies on the website early in the election year at least.

  74. Al, I agree, the small pay rise equates to around 50 cents an hour which is not a great deal unless greed is the driving influence by the employer.

    I also noticed today the government has been dragging the chain on the homeless too…but that disappeared early and another article spurning action was put up in its place.

    Bloody left leaning Murdoch media…LOL!

  75. Al, you are correct as I remember receiving updates as I am on the mailing list.

    Can you remember the percentage of reduction in CO2 they were proposing?

    It could have been either 40% or 60% if my memory serves me well or was it 80%?

    Ah, opposing Workchoices…that was a strategic policy.

  76. “Can you remember the percentage of reduction in CO2 they were proposing?”

    Yes it was 60% of 1990 levels by 2050.

    Then they quitely changed it to 60% of 2000 levels by 2050. Hardly any one noticed that and I pretty sure that change occured after the election although I can’t remember exactly when.

  77. The Daily Bush Telegraph can reveal that a recent tour of duty in Afghanistain by NLP force leader, Super-Supreme Commando Turnbull, was for the purpose of laying NLP groundwork for delivery of a debt bombshell pamphlet drop. The Daily Bush Telegraph can also reveal that the debt bombshell has been received warmly by local civilians in Afghanistain, some of whom liken the renewed NLP forces campaign for winning hearts and minds to pork pies being dropped from the skies in predominantly Muslim Afghanistain, with or without a fair shake of the source battle. Major Minor, Commander of Australian Special Catering Forces in Afghanistain confirmed recently in The Punch-Up that heavy clashes between the NLP and Government forces over the past few weeks have stretched NLP forces to breaking point and cratered their support base. Major Minor is reported as expecting those skirmishes will continue over the Winter recess and into the Springtime, even as NLP forces regroup in the border regions of the Economic Hills and attempt to re-focus attacks.

  78. Legion,

    LOL!!!

  79. Interest rates held at 3% – and it seems that the RBA likes what the government is doing:

    Fiscal measures are also providing considerable support for demand.

    So the governments spending is working!

  80. “So the governments spending is working!”

    What spending…the handouts?

  81. Hockey on Sky..he sounds semi-hysterical. Panic has set in.

  82. “fiscal measures”… that is what the government does, isn’t it?

  83. Legion, on July 7th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Wow! Humour and I could follow every word!

    Great post L! One of your best, I reckon … 😆

  84. So to those supporters of unfocussed spending, without either lagging or leading indicators to assess success (or otherwise), I’d ask how much of our economic performance is attributable to –

    • Government stimulus?
    • The fact that the economy of China continues to run at 6 or 7% growth?
    • How many mining and expansion projects have been supported by the stimulus?
    • What proportion of the cash handout was spent in casinos?
    • How many jobs were actually created?
    • Were the funds targeted to the best economic and/or social impact?

    I’ve pointed out during this discussion and previously (Joni) that a deficit is unavoidable, the critical element is holding a government accountable for making hard, but effective decisions. For example, breaking an election commitment on tax cuts for high income earners, not just the easy middle class welfare volte-face.

    For clarity, I’m not necessarily advocating this, but is providing high income tax cuts the best economic decision the government can take in the current circumstances?

    Can someone direct me to some hard decisions that the government has taken so far? Cash handouts aren’t exactly taking hard decisions in my opinion.

  85. scaper…, on July 7th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    And maintaining all the usual government expenditures despite a drop-off in revenues, just as the neo-Keynesian theory says they should, to even out the bumps and the potholes of the economic cycle so that the shiny red Ferrari doesn’t crash into a ditch-sized pothole that the lazy shovel-leaners have cunningly camouflaged behind a mobile billboard monument to stupidity as their latest political IED in Perth?

  86. What has happened to the “smileys” on this site?

    Sorry, Tom, just thought that was a bit more important than trying to answer questions that could have as many meanings as the Talmud, Bible and Quoran on any given day …

    What do you think, as a non supporter, that worked (apart from pink batts) and what worked?

  87. Oops … and what didn’t work …

  88. Just catching up due to Chicken Korma duties…that is excellent Legion…as per TB.

  89. I received an email from Master Builders a few weeks ago inquiring if I wanted to do a one day training course to be certified to install insulation.

    Whenever this so called nation building kicks off there will be a shortage of tradesmen and they are wanting us to divert our human resources into installation?

    I hear it is pretty good money.

  90. I note a pleasing response by Julia Gillard to today’s real minimum wage cut:

    news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/wage-decision-disappoints-gillard-20090707-dbjl.html

  91. We had our insulation installed last week (our first handout ever in hubby’s 45yrs of paying taxes on time always). Such nice young blokes..only in their early 20’s and young Luke said that he is fully booked for the next month…wonderful to see young people giving it a go and making the effort to establish their own businesses. Good wishes to them.

  92. Al..sometimes I think that we forget where we are coming from..how this government differs from the attitude of the government ruled by JWH.

    From your link:

    “The government believes that it is important that we maintain a strong safety net in the form of the Federal Minimum Wage and we are disappointed with today’s decision.”

  93. Tom, please correct me if I’m wrong here, but aren’t you advocating that we answer your questions but you refuse to answer ours?

  94. What cracks me up, is that we’ve got people complaining about the Government spending lots of money on tangible initiatives – specifically designed to keep business development and the economy ticking over as well as infrastructure projects for the future.

    And yet we had the Howard Govt quite prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on “national security” advertising campaigns and fridge magnets that delivered absolutely nothing, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the “benefits” of WorkChoices, also delivering nothing, not to mention their $80million dollars plus advertising campaign designed purely to get themselves re-elected.

    I guess it must be unfamiliar territory for the Liberal party to have to contend with a Government that’s actually spending money on economic development rather than just self-preservation.

    And faced with the challenge, what do they come up with?

    A F**king truck!

    It’s laughable!

    But on the other hand “They can and should win the next election” so sayeth Malcolm…

  95. All I am left with wondering now is what will be happening to Joe when he attempts to bring his next show ‘n’ tell prop into Parliamentary House.

  96. No reb, the advertising was good for advertising companies. Ker-ching Ker-ching!

    And scaper – I wonder – is the insulation installation a plan to keep the builders in work until the infrastructure building gets off the ground. Otherwise they would be out of work and claiming benefits?

  97. Parliament*

  98. Perhaps, it also had and has a lot to do with requiring timely stimulus from all inter-connected economies to stop the whole global economic edifice from crashing, and so it’s not just a domestic party-political and/or economic foosball as much as an insular focus plays well to a domestic(ated) audience. Cue the G20 and the IMF, etc. And then again, also, was about maintaining confidence, aggregate demand, and importantly the velocity of money while credit contractions were playing merry havoc with all of those, and threatening cataclysmic depression, not merely benign recession, with the addition of stag-deflation.

  99. In a way, I can understand why all the public servants (excluding Miglo, of course) are all up in arms about Rudd’s exacting work performance standards.

    I suspect, and it may be a completely unfounded suspicion, that Rudd is perhaps running the government as if it were a private enterprise – expecting people to perform their jobs to an acceptable standard and to be held accountable for their performance.

    It must be quite a wake up call for all those that are used to just coasting along, ticking the boxes and crossing the ‘t’s.

    Despite the flak he’s copping for being a bit squeaky clean, I still reckon the Rudd government and its performance to date is dramatically more appealing than the alternative.

  100. BTolputt – what is the question and who is ‘ours’?

  101. Tommy, Tommy, Tommy – “ours’ as against “yours” …

    Y’know (notice the apostrophe?) Ben and I asked if you would answer your own questions and perhaps enlighten us with your monetary and fiscal expertise as to what “should” be done in answer to the questions that you raised at 4.32 pm … and others I can’t be bothered to look back on …

    … with all due respect to “our” my colleague Ben, we are still waiting …

    … the word “obfuscate” springs to mind …

  102. “Great post L! One of your best, I reckon ”

    All of Legion’s posts are hyper-excellent if you take the time necessary to properly understand them.

    Interesting thread.

    GHood to see you back in devastating form Tom… 🙂

  103. reb, on July 7th, 2009 at 6:31 pm Said:
    … ticking the boxes and crossing the ‘t’s …

    Tut, tut, sreb, don’t ….(as in “do not” therefore, apostrophe)… forget applying apostrophes correctly …

  104. All of Legion’s posts are hyper-excellent if you take the time necessary to properly understand them.

    I second that.

  105. Hey Queenslander, I’ll use my apostrophes any which way I choose. (note that apostrophes in this context doesn’t require one, whereas doesn’t does).

  106. Nothing wrong with putting the ‘t’ in inverted comma(s) for emphasis TB – excellent work with the apostrophes reb 😉

  107. And I’m still waiting on my love song dedication!

  108. Yeah reb, I’m a big fan; & I’m not a fan of much.

    Legion has even made me moderate my antireligious opinions on occasion, although that probably doesn’t show up in print (don’t tell anyone, OK).

  109. Thank you Bacchus..

    See TB, SEE!!!

  110. HD, I confess to a very short attention span, therefore reading, Legion’s, (ownership means apostrophe) posts often requires me to read them more than once – hyper is probably a good description, unusual, exceptional and edifying could also be applied.

    However in this ever changing world of constant bombardment of ideas and concepts (and grandchildren on holidays HERE) …I find Legion’s (repeat as above) posts often difficult – to say the least (all respect Legion, as I’m sure you understand) …

    … as an ex instructional designer, I expect information to be simple, easily understood, quickly digested, and applied in a practical way …

    …. but then I’ve seen your music, HD, what am I saying …

  111. sreb and bacchus – missing my point … my fault obviously …

    … public servants don’t (apostrophe) only cross “T’s” (and I agree with your use – although incorrect accoding to N5) but they become obsessed with apostrophes … 🙂

  112. “I expect information to be simple, easily understood,”

    Most people from Queensland wouldn’t (notice correct application of apostrophe) have it any other way..

  113. But we are digressing. Let’s get back to Malcolm and the truck…

  114. Joni, it could be possibly a tactic but the industry up here is not slowing down…new houses being built everywhere in my area but I rarely do that type of work.

    I’m into contemporary refurbs.

    I saw some Bruno shorts on the weekend and I’m still trying to get my head around ‘anal bleaching’.

    Never heard of that before.

  115. baccus – I didn’t mention inverted commas

    sreb – some “technical” difficulties at the mo but I will deliver as promised – big two weeks (music wise) coming up for me …

  116. Sorry TB – missed your meaning in all the fun apostrophe frivolity 😳

  117. Thanks TB, you answered Tom’s obfuscation question quite succinctly.

    In case you missed it, Tom. I refer to the rest of us asking questions of you. I noticed you didn’t answer but went off onto another tangent on this as well.

    Will you answer TB’s questions? Joni asked a few too that you avoided. Is it your position that we should answer your questions before you will answer any of “ours”?

  118. No worries TB, I’m just pulling your leg..

    Paying customers come first!

  119. Tom of Melbourne, on July 7th, 2009 at 4:32 pm Said:

    • What proportion of the cash handout was spent in casinos?
    • How many jobs were actually created?
    • Were the funds targeted to the best economic and/or social impact?

    Tom I claim no expertise when it comes to the ‘dismal science’. But I have some questions of those who claim those insights, either ‘directly’ or ‘indirectly’ via criticisms or suggestions of what constitutes ‘good’ or ‘bad’ behaviour when it comes to stimulating the economy.

    On any number of occasions, you criticise those who spend their money in casinos, and leaving aside the ‘stupidity’ of those who so indulge, can you explain to me why spending $X on a bottle of wine is somehow more stimulatory to the economy than losing it on one throw of the dice.

    My (limited) understanding is along the lines that it was tres important to keep money circulating. And take it from me, going to casinos and the like certainly keeps the money moving. As for:

    How many jobs were actually created?

    Not necessarily the best or indeed the only legitimate question in these times. One could also ask:

    How many jobs were saved?

    I await your ‘relevant’ response.

  120. In a way, I can understand why all the public servants (excluding Miglo, of course) are all up in arms about Rudd’s exacting work performance standards.

    The bar has been lifted to my standards.

  121. Good reply Mig.

  122. TB and Tolputt – I’ve posted extensively in the past about options and efficiencies. I see no need to repeat these comments.

    The questions I’ve posed are entirely reasonable.

    Why avoid answering? Too difficult to exercise the mind?

  123. Tom of Melbourne, on July 7th, 2009 at 8:46 pm Said:

    Why avoid answering? Too difficult to exercise the mind?

    Maybe, but there are others who have questions also. LOL.

  124. Well I don’t think that Mal has been ‘conservative’ enough when it comes to resurrections. What about the ‘forgotten people’ so beloved by Menzies or the need for ‘incentivation’ as advocated by Howard.

    But speaking of ‘resurrections’ maybe Mal could persuade to emerge from ‘retirement’ (again) and be the driver of this new ‘debt truck’. After all, word has it that he’s been practising of late.

  125. Why avoid answering? Too difficult to exercise the mind?

    No. I guess it’s because the answers to your questions have been posted extensively in the past and we see no need to repeat these comments.

  126. Just for TOM …

    Just to prove that the Australian Labor Party can be just a silly but a little more practical as Malcolm Turncoat’s (note the possessive apostrophe) Liberal Party …

    http://www.australia.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12156:launch-of-labors-supporting-jobs-truck&catid=73:politics&Itemid=199

    Your truck, and see you with our truck, kinda negates both trucks but still leaves utegate hanging in the air over, Mal Turncoat …

    … maybe we should re-nickname, MT, as, Ute Turnbull, (just to keep the memory fresh) 😉

  127. B.Tolputt – “I guess it’s because the answers to your questions have been posted extensively in the past and we see no need to repeat these comments.”

    We? Who is we? Are you now posting on behalf of a group? There I was thinking that peopled posted as individuals, but now you are apparently a spokesperson for others! Odd!

    I doubt whether anyone will contest that I’ve posted extensively about the effectiveness of various components of the “stimulus package”. I suspect that most regular contributors would probably be disturbed by the suggestion that I should repeat this critique.

    But you comment suggests that you’ve already provided commentary on the questions that I’ve posed. I’ll suggest that this is not true. Certainly not of you, and if you are suggesting that you are commenting on behalf of others, who exactly?

    You just make things up.

    TB – “Your truck” – mine? Since when?

    N5 – “can you explain to me why spending $X on a bottle of wine is somehow more stimulatory to the economy than losing it on one throw of the dice.”

    It is a matter of the effectiveness of the multiplier. Obviously more jobs are created (or preserved) in labour intensive industries that capital intensive industries. I would have thought this is pretty self evident.

  128. “than in capital intensive industries”

  129. Whether you like it or not, I am not alone on this side of the debate. Obfuscate & divert as much as you like, but the use of “we” to describe that situation is warranted.

    That you take offence when your own post is reflected back at you is amusing & enlightening. The word hypocrisy comes to mind.

    Typical Tom.

  130. No obfuscation of diversion here. Who are you posting on behalf of? Yourself or others? Just name who you represent.

    You duck questions, you misrepresent who you are posting on behalf of. One side of the debate, which exactly? And which side are you suggesting that I’m representing?

    I don’t mind that my comments are returned to me, because the fact is that I’ve posted extensive commentary on the options and effectiveness of the stimulus, I’ve also commented in the past on the effect of our economic relationship with China.

    I’ve posed some questions for others to consider when forming their own views. You’d just prefer to duck them, and launch a personal attack, which is typical form.

    Please provide some justification of your commentary. Otherwise just own up that you make things up.

  131. I can’t see how the debt truck proves anything at all. Tom, I can’t see how the opposition is holding labor accountable for anything when they refuse to offer up any alternative policies themselves. Always the fear and smear but no substance.

    All that turnbull and Co want to do is show a huge $ number which will frighten the pants off those who can only see the Australian govt in terms of ‘the economy’ as if the economy is the be all and end all of our existence.

    Just rolling out a figure is quite illegitimate when you refuse to utter the R word in debate (recession) and refuse to acknowledge the hugely relevant part that ‘laissez faire’ economics played in the GFC (Howard went all the way with this). Don’t think that Australian business hasn’t enjoyed the benefits of the economic cowboys and a de-regulated market structure where consumers, workers and competition have been placed secondary to profits.

    If we are going to have a debate then the opposition need to properly debate the issue, not play around with silly stunts while refusing to acknowledge that they would be doing just the same as labor themselves.

  132. Yes Kittylitter, the issue has caused discussion about the economy and economic policy. So perhaps grabbing a headline can produce a beneficial effect.

    Anyway, I’m off for a couple of hours, so B.Tolput and those that he represents can all take the opportunity to agree with each other.

  133. Look through this thread Tom. At the very least TB has no hassles with me speaking with him (if not exactly for him). You as much as acknowledged that when you addressed a post to both of us with the same line here. You know, the very post I reflected and you took umbrage at.

    Now that I’ve posted my justification are you going to answer any of ours… even if it is simply with a link to your past comments so they can be easily read? Or will you continue to duck the fact you wish us (TB, Nature 5, myself, etc – you seem to need this spelt out) to answer you without providing anything yourself?

  134. Yes Kittylitter, the issue has caused discussion about the economy and economic policy. So perhaps grabbing a headline can produce a beneficial effect.

    I don’t think so tom, to be honest I’m sick and tired of the economy and economic policy being discussed – that’s all the Opposition ever want to bring up (without really discussing it in any meaningful way). There are some of us who want to hear alternative policies offered on running the country, not a one issue, one dimensional fear and smear campaign/stunt. The Liberal party appear to be a single issue party these days.

  135. “The Liberal party appear to be a single issue party these days.”

    And perhaps even that’s over-stating it.

    Rudd & Co have been universally praised over their response to the GFC by economists from around the globe.

    Meawhile all we get from the Opposition is fear and smear.

    Ask them what they would do differently and there’s just a resounding silence…

  136. Ben, when you say “we” I am quite happy for you to include me in that large group.

  137. My Problem with the Debt Truck is simply this.

    The Debt Truck used effectively by John Howard in 1995 was regarding net foreign debt with the Liberal party shouting so loud about our foreign debt at the time that I have no doubt the dead would have heard them. However when they were lected and realised the enormity of the situation the net foreign debt was put down the bottom of the list and slowly forgotten about. In fact it increased.

    So if history is to repeat itself the Liberal Party will drive a truck around complaning about our debt level. Get elected at the next election and then promptly increase the level of debt while wiping it away as non essential.

    That is why I do not like the hypocrisy of Turnbull. While some may call it politics I call it dishonesty after the last truck debt episode.

    See the following story at the Australian

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25749526-5013404,00.html

  138. B.Tolputt – I’m not going through the history of this site to demonstrate that I’ve posted extensively on the stimulus package.

    I’ve suggested that there are a range of factors that have affected our economic performance, and these are hardly limited to the stimulus package of the government. Do you contest that the continuing strong growth of China is a factor that provides economic benefits to Australia that is not as advantageous to other developed countries?

    Are you contesting that I have made these comments previously?

    You’re just time wasting again.

  139. Miglo, on July 8th, 2009 at 11:59 am Said:
    Ben, when you say “we” I am quite happy for you to include me in that large group.

    I tend to be a bit of a loner – but there are occasions when I like a bit of team work …

    … Tom, can be a bit like The Mad Monk too, spray a lot of BS and then blame the other person for the spray …

    … anyway I think its time Blogocrats broke up into mutual factions … grrrrrrr! Hehehe

  140. I think this entire thread just reeks of rank hypocrisy.

  141. shaneinqld, on July 8th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Surely, Shane, that’s just a story repeated often, fashioned from years’ worth of gazing into a crystal bowl ball. Realistically, there is no point in denying, in the zeitgeist of realism, that any well-rounded truth re-birthed caesarian should ring clear, hollow, and shrill when thrust newly-clothed before the assemblage and the clear light of day

  142. Legion

    What on earth does your waffle and Janets crap have to do with my comments ?

  143. TB – “… Tom, can be a bit like The Mad Monk too, spray a lot of BS and then blame the other person for the spray …”

    No TB, I’ve made a range of balanced and independent commentaries about the effectiveness and performance of the economic policies of the government. I’ve even said that the government deserves their current political advantage.

    I’ve commented about lack of precision in spending, lack of lagging and leading performance measures, lack of transparent cost benefit analysis, lack of discussion about options.

    Your comments have previously tended to be along the lines of “the sky is falling in!!! and PANIC NOW”

    Well your predictions haven’t come to fruition so far, we don’t look like experiencing the economic Armageddon that you and your faction have often predicted. So I’m not surprised that you own up to being in a faction of one.

    But I suppose you have at least have had a crack at posting some original thinking. Good for you.

  144. Well your predictions haven’t come to fruition so far, we don’t look like experiencing the economic Armageddon that you and your faction have often predicted..

    Hey! I hope you’re lumbering me and Shane in with the Armageddon “faction”

    We’ve (note apostrophe) been saying for ages that all the predictions of economic catastrophe are way over-hyped.

  145. No reb. I wasn’t referring to you or Shane at all, I was referring to the TB faction with that point.

    Possibly John McP is also in this faction – the “remember that for years I’ve been saying ‘WE’RE DOOMED’ faction”

    From what I can see there are a few other popular factions on this site. They include –
    • The “just mindlessly barrack for the government regardless of the need to hold them accountable faction”
    • The “just provide a daily running commentary on the popularity impact of low level political tactics and stunts faction”.
    • The “don’t think, just parrot faction”

    I’ll take the opportunity to unilaterally allocate contributors to factions as necessary, but only in the event that contributors decline to volunteer their factional affiliation(s).

  146. Hello Tom.

    I belong to all those factions. I believe that up until Nov 07 you did too.

  147. shaneinqld, on July 8th, 2009 at 1:17 p

    Perhaps best not to ask too many questions when in Rome about that golden thread which is said to save a stitch in time, Shane, when appropriately embroidered. Mind you, getting stuck in a rut would seem apt for the times, even if someone still hasn’t read the chiselled memorandum from MMVII re the meaning of two thumbs down.

  148. ~I love the excuse that the government did not see the GFC coming as it was plainly evident as far back as the last election but the government ignored the signs and had their heads firmly planted in the sand of populism!~

    This is why people could not understand why GWH said we’ve never had it so good (where are you John McP) while people were worried about things such as unaffordable housing and the failure to address environmental issues (whether it be related to global warming or not).

    Then Swan had strips torn off him for suggesting that things might be a bit crooker and that we should be prepared for the storm ahead. The response from Cossie was along the lines of, You are running the economy down due to statements of pessimism. Swan was right of course..things did get crook and crooker..called the GFC.

  149. Armageddon – Boooo
    Unions – Boooo 🙂

  150. The “just provide a daily running commentary on the popularity impact of low level political tactics and stunts faction”.

    Can I volunteer for that one? (unless I already in it of course)…

  151. I’ll take the opportunity to unilaterally allocate contributors to factions as necessary, but only in the event that contributors decline to volunteer their factional affiliation(s).

    Note well, young Tom, that there may well be a faction and a party, but this one is not of it; whilst also acknowledging in passing that mutual fictions better serves to describe the ongoing games within games, and fires within fires, of the crucible that is.

  152. And a lot of the masters of the universe did not see the the GFC coming either. Just look for all those financial companies that do not exist anymore.

  153. LOL!

    Wait till next year, Tom … ‘taint over yet … noticed how the “professional” commentators are now saying the method of defining unemployment is giving a false impression … its probably closer to 10% – “underemployment” is the new “term” …

    … and I live off my super – not pretty at the moment …

    … and the retailers won’t have another stimulus to help with profits in the future …

    … and ask some of the mining communities about how China is keeping them in work (not) …

    … and the USA will probably need another stimulus package …

    … and the low income workers denied a pay rise because of the economic situation in Australia … (taking the brunt as usual) … (why don’t businesses reduce profits) …

    … and just how do you think we’d be travelling if governments around the world hadn’t spent our, (taxpayers), money propping up an obviously faulty, “free” market, capitalist system … again …

    … and what if the Government of Australia hadn’t propped up the banks (now ripping off as many small punters as possible!) with a three year (three effing years!) guarantee …

    … and you whinge about pensioners getting free insulation for their homes … GMAB!

  154. Reb

    You and I are in the frilly poofy faction – where you are in the subset of WCP and me in the usual-suspects-rally-attendee subset.

    😀

  155. Tom

    Just because people agree with each other does not make them a faction. I agree and disagree with you on all different topics.

    I would think there are far more parrots on Akermans and Bolts sites than here.

    You will have Die Hard Laborites, Die Hard Liberals and Swingers. Thats what makes life interesting.

    The major thing to remember is that it is SOLELY the swingers that change a government and keep our country democratic. Most Die Harders on both sides forget this.

  156. Re the frilly poofy faction..can I be an honorary member??

  157. Min – Don’t you recall? Once in government the first thing Swan identified as the economic imperative was fighting inflation. Do you think his judgment was correct?

    Miglo, I’ve always been willing to defend my opinions, and up until the election I commented mainly about unions and IR legislation, and a little about indigenous policy. To a significant degree I think the points that I made at the time about IR have been reflected in the current legislation.

    I also don’t think my views about indigenous policy are far off the mark.

    I think you’re in the “just agree with anyone that is disagreeing with TOM faction”. I think you should be a little more discerning about the company you keep.

    AND TB, you are entirely incorrect, I’ve supported far more spending on improving the quality of housing for pensioners, even at the expense of the cash handouts. So I’ll once again look forward to your retraction.

    Also, please be a little more specific, when will the economic Armageddon actually occur? Sometime in the future?

  158. TB..thank you for the reminder. I promised to look up some names for some insulation installers in the Hawthorn area for my mum..old house with high ceilings. True story. An electrician told her that her little (new) heater blew up because she needed the whole house rewired and so now she sits in the lounge room with the gas heater.

  159. when will the economic Armageddon actually occur?

    Simply ask Professor Steve Keens for the answer to that one. He seems to have some insider knowledge on the whole armageddon thing..

  160. Tom

    Didn’t you banter around that under the new IR legislation the Unions would run amok and strikes would be out of control and wages would explode ( or more subtle references to these happenings) ?

  161. joni, on July 8th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Everyone has known for decades, Joni, and especially the serial liars in Government, in Treasury, and in the Federal Reserve…that’s what a dollar hegemony is all about and why the Masters of the Universe were given a free run on building ‘too big to fails’ under the tacit understanding that they were all skimming while the ultimate too big to fail vouchsafing the entire racket would take everyone else down with it if called on the behaviour. And those calls are being made, even if they’re somewhat muted in the hometown MSM, a teensy mention in the fineprint here and there. Most of that argey-bargey about the structural salvage work of welding over the gaping hole and re-balancing the keeling Titanic II Bretton Woods II is still being fabricated behind closed doors and yet to be done despite the makeshift re-float.

  162. TB – “(why don’t businesses reduce profits) …” – Do you think profits haven’t fallen!!??? I know you like in Queensland, but I had thought this was part of planet Earth. Possibly not. Why do you think your super is paying less?

    “and the low income workers denied a pay rise because of the economic situation in Australia” When was it that they got a $21/weeek increase?

    “… and the retailers won’t have another stimulus to help with profits in the future …” So own up! Do you consider the cash handouts to be well directed and effective or not. You seem to want to have it both ways.

    “… and ask some of the mining communities about how China is keeping them in work (not) …” So while 6 or 7% growth may not soak up all the people wanting work in industrialised jobs, it does continue to support much of the Australian mining and resources sector. Or do you disagree with this?

    Own up TB, you are a pessimist about the economy, you implicitly criticise the stimulus as ineffective, but you decline to offer appropriate or pointed criticism.

  163. Tom. I think that both sides of the government would concur that the GFC hit with a much bigger whammy than was expected. After all, if the previous government had a clue about what was going to happen then why would Costello have told everyone to sock all their savings into superannuation.

    John McP and I started off a debate about the problem re inflation. I still think that this could have been a problem re scarcity of goods and services. That is, you want to buy a pair of socks and these aren’t available, therefore the price of a pair of socks quadruples in price. Where was it..a country where people had mega dollars but there were no goods and so it lead to rampant inflation.

    As you know I don’t pretend to be an economist..but just think’in..

  164. Shane, I consider my comments about unions and related activities to be balanced and well informed. Particularly in some of the militant building and construction areas.

    The new right of entry laws have only been in place for a week. The new system is partially implemented, the balance will occur from beginning of 2010.

    There is plenty of informed opinion suggesting that some unions are planning their own “GST” – a “get square time”.

    Time will tell.

  165. Tom

    I don’t see the destruction of business, the rampant wage claims and industrial mayhem yet, as a result of the IR legislation and the power that will go to the unions.

    I see the low paid getting zero wage increase while Management continues on their pay rise merry ways and junkets.

    I consider the handouts an effective stimulus given the circumstances at the time, otherwise there would have been more people losing their jobs just before Christmas and just before Easter, the most essential family holidays of the year. I call it stimulus with a bit of compassion thrown in.

    Mining has always been a victim of its own success and the demand for its commodity overseas. Mines and mining companies have opened and closed for many years and did so 3 times during my career in the CBA alone. Using the mining industry as a guide to job losses as a result of the GFC is a smoke screen.

  166. Tom

    You ask that armageddon doom sayers give us a time frame.

    Given your distaste for unions I ask that you give me a time frame as well based on when the nightmare will happen rather than “time will tell”

  167. Shane – I thin k there will be a concerted campaign on some Western Australian mining sites within a month or so. The objective will be protest and operational disruption, using the new right of entry provisions. It may target some of the companies that WA mining and construction unions think need to be taught a lesson.

    But I don’t know this for sure. Time will tell.

  168. OK, Tom

    …insulationn is “part” of *quality housing* – you spent hours arguing with, Min, over the wastefulness of the government paying for fitting insulation…retraction?

    *Armageddon, sometime in the future?* I have never predicted Armageddon, its not the final battle, just a major (massive) financial crisis – that JMc, I and others predicted was (is) going to be as big or bigger than The Great Depression – in the future? Of course its in the bloody future …?

    My super is paying less because the RBA keeps lowering the bloody interest rates (not the the banks follow it anyway) and shonky businesses failed (continue to fail because of poor managers and decision making) … not all businesses are doing it tough … ask the banks, ask l Woolies and Coles, ask the charlatans like Gerry Harvey … the poor and weak have always taken the brunt of downturns and wars, greedy profit takers and people who would like to be make money…

    … as for cash handouts, you already know that I believe that the cash stimulus handouts are only staving off the inevitable – you’ve read my post in the past – you know that … they were effective in maintaining retail profits and some jobs … the infrastructure packages will be far more effective because of a much more effective and sustainable multiplier effect – you know this because I’ve posted on it before … and the recession will last much longer than people think (prediction) … JMc and I both predicted it would be about five years … this IS year two …

    … as for China – they are stockpiling – they have no markets to sell their products to – Australia is a flyshit as a consumer for China – our biggest trading partner is Japan and they are in more trouble than most countries in the world … and China can just as easily stop developing and revert most of the country to a feudal state – runs the risk of civil unrest – but who has the biggest military force in the world? Australia’s biggest concern with China is Xianpiang and the civil unrest … that could have a major impact on future exports from both us to them and later Chaina to the world …

    … as for being a pessimist or optimist – I’m neither – more a realist – if dickheads want to gamble their money on stupid managed funds run by people you wouldn’t buy a used car off – its not my fault – and Tom, there is no pleasure in telling my family that things look like they are getting worse … I have no control or desire to control how people spend/waste their money … my friend is a financial controller we share ideas … and I did preserve 95% of my capital for the next boom … he didn’t …

    … as all my children are taught – learn the rules and use them to your advantage … (because you can’t control them)

  169. Well said TB, Well said!!

  170. TB – As I’ve said, you at least offer an independent opinion. Others just play games.

    But you said “you spent hours arguing with, Min, over the wastefulness of the government paying for fitting insulation”

    And I’ve never suggested that it ought not be provided to pensioners. I have explicitly and repeatedly stated this. It was always the provision of insulation to those that could afford it that was my point. So wrong again I’m afraid!

    “just a major (massive) financial crisis – that JMc, I and others predicted was (is) going to be as big or bigger than The Great Depression”

    As big or bigger than the great depression? That’s a big statement. I think we’re at about 6% unemployment, only another 20+% to go. You obviously disagree entirely with the economic forecasts of the government, but seem to be reluctant to issue the criticism of what you must see as an irresponsibly optimistic forecast. Why shy away from the criticism that you obviously think is warranted?

    Post some comments that actually reflect your opinions, rather than being stuck in your rusted on traditional political commitment.

  171. Post some comments that actually reflect your opinions, rather than being stuck in your rusted on traditional political commitment.

    Hear Hear!!

  172. Yes Tom..you did agree (eventually ;-)) that insulation should be provided to pensioners. And that it should be provided to people that couldn’t afford it.

    But then as a short term stimulus thingy..it would have been next to impossible to differtiate between the deserving and the non-deserving…that is if you want it to get up and running before 2010.

    Re kids..are children getting clever and clever-er. Little grandie (only 7 months old) took one look at youngest E* at the piano, took one look at the keys and realised that something wonderful happens..hands/keyboard..and this is called music.

  173. No Min, my contention was always that the package should have been primarily directed to improving the quality of ht ehomes of pensioners. This would include insulation, or other improvements.

    For some reason, you seemed to be fixated with the point that it ought ONLY be insulation. I still can’t understand why you had this opinion that pensioners shouldn’t choose whether they wanted insulation, or whether their immediate priority was having their leaking roof repaired (for example). But as I posted earlier, I don’t want to bore people with a repetition of that exchange.

  174. Tom..fair enough. I can’t see that we have an argument at all. You agreed with me that insulation was fair enough for the people who needed it. I suggested that insulation was a good way to go as it would help not only with comfort, but would help with power bills. You said that other help for pensioners should be addressed (eg leaky roofs), but this already is via help from councils.

    I think that we are both headed in the same direction and are agreeing with each other.

  175. Correction: but this is already addressed via help from councils.

  176. There’s certainly been an optimistic view being painted by many in the media recently about the future of the world economy. There’s a lot of data out there that suggests that those optimistic views are not well founded. If the recession is much more prolonged than forecast, then of course our government debt will be higher than forecast. I would then form the opinion that the cash handouts provided only a temporary stimulus with no lasting benefit which caused an extra $20 billion of debt. As for the infrastructure spending in general, it is a very good idea, and gives us a more sustained stimulus with useful infrastructure to assist future productivity and living standards.

    The opposition has not been very constructive about economic stimulus. That has been to the detriment of the country.

  177. Just a small problem i see with insulation and home improvements. With the insulation its easy to find if people are being shonking by the square meters of the house. With the home improvements it sounds good but many will target the pensioners and small jobs will become costly. Same as how the house prises went up that little bit when first home grant came in.
    I think it sounds good but considering how the weather changes drastically up here its a good idea to get most houses up to scratch to lower energy use in those extremes.
    Thats why i liked it when local councils were government run doing all kinds of private work with pensioner discounts.

  178. Tom,

    … if you agree with insulation that’s fine but you took an awful long time to get there and I obviously missed it, well done … I do have a short attention span, particularly with repetitive posts (eg Unions are all bad, managers are all good!)

    ————————————-
    *Post some comments that actually reflect your opinions, rather than being stuck in your rusted on traditional political commitment*

    Duh! and I thought I had a short attention span? One minute I’m not with the “crowd” then I am …

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    sreb,

    *Hear, hear* ?

    Hear f$#@k’n hear! I give yer – Hear f$#@k’n hear!

  179. Hexx..you are absolutely spot on. This is what I said on another thread, that if the government provides $1,600 for insulation then miraculously all quotes, irrespective of the size of the house will be within a couple of dollars of $1,600.

    And this is the reason that from 1st July that all contractors have to supply upfront quotes and then claim back from the government. Wouldn’t it look a bit odd if all quotes somehow came to $1,600… This is obviously to stop the rorting….

    Most councils still have pensioner rebates..but it’s adhoc..as in varies between council and shire and council.

  180. [aside] TB is talking Yorkshireman to a Scot. I suggest duck and cover (with due respect to Migs).

  181. See you TB. If yer nae careful, al take ma hand aff yer face!

  182. For, Thomas, my “prediction” for unemployment in Australia was 10% maybe 12% (not the GD 53%) that won’t (shouldn’t happen in a modern economy) …
    … problem is, the unemployment stats are being manipulated (deliberately or not) because of reduced hours and casual/part timers …

    … having been unemployed for six weeks in my younger years and later setting up a business I can assure I reckon some work is better than no work at all (under the circumstances a better way to go) …

    … I can’t find my posts to that effect but that’s what I still believe (it will be calculated as the equivelent eventually) …

    +==============

    sreb, if ya can get yur ‘ands anyweer neer mi face I’ll thump ya or kick yer in’t’ (notice the double omission apostrophe) bollocks … yer Scottish f@$kin’ Jimmae git…

  183. Unfortunately I cannot catch up on this debate, too much has happened in the time I’ve been out today getting information on a home loan.

    The only things I can respond to without disrupting the discussion too much are:
    a) It would appear I was very much justified in the use of “us” & “we”. Divide & conquer obviously not working in this case 🙂

    b) The following quote was hilarious. It bears repeating for the laugh long-time contributors (aside, of course, from Tom) will get from it.

    Shane, I consider my comments about unions and related activities to be balanced and well informed.

    Yes, Tom actually said that! 😀

  184. Ben and Tom and Migs, as I said earlier I prefer to work alone but sometimes within a team – your personal vendetta(s) is/are just that …

  185. I’m well aware of that TB. Not dragging you into that.

    I am simply pointing out that Tom’s distraction attempt (questioning my use of “us” & “we”) was shown to be invalid. Nothing more than that.

    Claims of “factions” or similar on this blog are simply conspiracy theories (at best). There isn’t enough of us to build up the necessary momentum for such nonsense!

    Besides that – I disagree with you too often 🙂

  186. Yes Tolputt, I noticed that the exchanges today were more informed and orderly. There was little silly, point scoring. Exchanges were reasonably polite and informed. That’s probably because you weren’t participating.

    What exactly do you think you add to a discussion? You don’t seem to have any particularly experienced or valuable observations; you always decline to offer any genuine policy analysis. You offer a daily update on whether a silly headline grabbing political tactic is good for popularity or not.

    This is simply a repetition of an opinion piece in any daily.

    You just waste time with pestering, pointless spoiling.

  187. I’ll also add – completely lacking in humour and irony.

  188. Hello Tom, are you keeping an eye on the cricket?

  189. And Tom comes in with the personal attacks. I wonder if anyone at all is surprised?

    Don’t like my comments on the blog – don’t read them. I personally couldn’t care less about your approval or lack thereof.

  190. Don’t like my comments on the blog – don’t read them. I personally couldn’t care less about your approval or lack thereof.”

    Then why did you comment???

    As for the ALP debt, anybody knows that the ALP is only good at two things

    1. producing debt and
    2. increasing unemployment

    and they are hopeless at anything else.

    By the way leftoids when we hit $500B of govt debt do you people have any idea how we are going to pay this back???

    I heard some leftoids on talkback radio before the last election saying it was easy to pay back debt and making fun of Costello. All you have to do is sell some things. Anybody can do that.

    Well how are we going to pay back Showponys debt???

  191. Personal attacks? Prior to this, the last exchange we had on this site was when you got very confused about the burden of proof between criminal and civil proceedings.

    I pointed out your silly error, to which you responded “F#@& OFF” or similar.

    Bizarre double standards that you always observe.

    A pointless time waster, without any definitive opinions and without any apparent ability to provide independent commentary on actual political policies.

    How about you choose a significant mainstream policy and post your detailed analysis of it? I’ll see how it stands up the standard of commentary that you apply.

  192. Then why did you comment???

    To let Tom know there is a simple and easy solution to his problem 😉 Sometimes the horse needs to be led to water, making them drink is (as always) up to them.

  193. Tom, like you – I feel no need to submit to the demands of anyone on this blog bar joni &/or reb. When they complain, I’ll listen. Until then – you & I are on equal footing.

    And if you are still nursing a childish grudge… That is an indicator on you & you alone.

  194. Tom of Melbourne, on July 8th, 2009 at 3:49 pm Said:

    Shane – I thin k there will be a concerted campaign on some Western Australian mining sites within a month or so. The objective will be protest and operational disruption, using the new right of entry provisions. It may target some of the companies that WA mining and construction unions think need to be taught a lesson.

    But I don’t know this for sure. Time will tell.

    Could that action be because of the increase in deaths at WA mining sites? Health and safety of workers may not be important to the employer but the co-workers and the unions get pretty upset over them.

    Mr Ward’s death ‘shame for WA Labor’

    …Mr Ripper also said Labor would address a shortfall of 30 safety inspectors in the mining industry and introduce a new model for the safety inspectorate to curb the high level of deaths in the industry.

    “In Western Australia the tragic reality is that a workplace death occurs every 17 days,” he said.

    “This year in the mining sector alone there have been five deaths at one company.”

  195. No Tolputt, in participating on this thread I made an initial general comment. A legitimate observation. You chose to recommence the exchange with your continual hectoring and childish, pointless behaviour. I made absolutely no initial direct or indirect comment towards any of your posts.
    So when you suggest “And if you are still nursing a childish grudge… That is an indicator on you & you alone.”, you actually should review the exchanges on this thread and observe exactly who started the direct criticism and exchange.
    . I think you’ll find that it was you.

    And when you make these baseless observations, you should also recall your “F&%$ OFF” comment.

  196. Actually, I asked you to clarify whether you expected us to answer your questions while maintaining that you did not want to answer ours. I did look at the thread. You were the first to take it personal by claiming I “just make things up”.

    My “go f#ckyourself” comment was directed at you calling me (and I quote) a “pedantic tool”.

    But hey, you’ve never let facts get in the way before – why start now?

  197. You pointedly directed several comments to me, I initially chose to ignore them. Other comments were intelligent and engaging. You continued to pester, probably because you crave the attention. Your pestering became more obtrusive.

    Review the commentary of this thread, you’re simply a pest, and your behaviour on this specific thread is the proof.

    And also let me know when you’ve figured out the difference between the criminal and civil burden of proof.

  198. Well Kittylitter, I think there is more to this than safety.

    I think several of the organisations that may be targeted have a good safety record. But unions don’t like the direct engagement model that has been in place with several for a decade and a half. Time will tell.

    I predict that there will be plenty to discuss in the weeks and months ahead.

  199. Tom, you seem to live in a different reality to the rest of us. In this reality, as can be read in the posts above – you made a post asking several questions having refused to answer any questions directed at you by others. I replied (once & only once) to which you replied to me directly. This would contradict your line below:

    You pointedly directed several comments to me, I initially chose to ignore them.

    In other words, in the world of Tom, “pestering” (as described in your post) occurs on the first question asked.

    As to criminal vs civil litigation – that is & was always your issue, not mine. The subject to which you refer was first brought up by you in this post. Prior to this, there was no mention of either. I will gladly retract my comments regarding the removal (not resignation) of Wayne Swan from office when either criminal charges are laid or he is sued (i.e. litigated in civil court). Until then, as always, your words have no weight beyond your own self-importance.

    I’m off to bed now. I’m sure Tom will leave more waffle which is easily disproven by a simple search of the blog. After all, he seems to think making claims about other people’s actions is proof in & of itself.

  200. Yet again you choose to ignore your own comments.
    You said – “And if you are still nursing a childish grudge… That is an indicator on you & you alone.”

    But you now seem to acknowledge that you commenced this exchange. I sought to aviod it. It is the fact you that choose to continue. And you have proved that repeatedly here. For whatever reason, I don’t know.

    And to clarify you said on June 22nd, 2009 at 8:00 pm : “One of the good things about our country is that we don’t sack or jail people on a “might have” or “probably did”.”

    You are clearly confused between criminal and civil burden of proof and the evidence is in your own comment, above I do trust you have informed yourself of the difference over the past couple of weeks.

  201. Just a quick question Tom: Can someone be gaoled in a civil court where the burden of proof is lower than a criminal court?

  202. Min, on July 8th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Min, as I recall these things, John discussed: i) ‘supply shock’ and its implications (the breakdown in local and global supply chains scenarios); and ii) built-in inflation as a consequence of ‘quantitative easing(s)’ (the Duckburg replication-ray scenario). Both of those things remain appreciable risks. Otherwise, in answer to Tom, inflation is a ‘sticky’ and hangover inflation in a red-lined economy only made functional through disguised structural deficit WAS a domestic problem at the time, even as rampant speculation re commodities like oil and food, in the wake of collapse of investor confidence in the overgrown finance sector, was ravaging the global economy and significantly impacting domestic inflation trends.

  203. And buried in the fineprint

    Ahead of the summit, Mr Medvedev’s top foreign policy aide Sergei Prikhodko said Russia would likely reiterate the need for a supra-national currency but Mr Bokarev said that idea had not yet been raised.

    “Today such discussion hasn’t taken place,” he said.

    While he did not rule out the idea might still be discussed, he said that most G8 countries were not ready to commit to any decisions regarding the creation of a new supra-national currency.

  204. As big or bigger than the great depression? That’s a big statement.

    Tom, confer how Bretton Woods was meant to operate re core and periphery (arguably, an ‘advanced’ form of thinly-disguised one-way international feudalism masquerading behind a victorious, but historically transitory, capitalist veneer) and the world which exists today, one in which the ‘core’ demonstrably does not have capacity to perform its ‘surplus’ taking and reallocating role, even if such were desirable. This observer notes that there is little evidence for that ‘core’ admitting: a) it is not fulfilling and cannot fulfil its self-assumed role; or b) given that state of denial, more ‘change’ is required, and not in the direction in which it is presently being undertaken. At some point, sooner or later, that ‘core’ fiction of exceptionalism and entitlement in the capture of capital and directivity of capital flows is going to meet up with the (new) realities, imho, and ‘crash’ will be, by default, an understatement then…unless Bretton Woods III works out better. In the meantime, it is this observer’s opinion that the foreshock of today’s GFC and the outcomes of Bretton Woods II, such as they are, will not be enough to mitigate the potential for cataclysm, especially with respect to a near-horizon, since nearly no work has been undertaken beyond maintaining the existing fiction at considerable cost.

  205. But you now seem to acknowledge that you commenced this exchange.

    I commenced an exchange, yes. I do it with people on this board all the time. Funnily enough, only you ever take it to a personal level. Even scaper & Neil only go so far as to call me a “leftoid”.

    I sought to avoid it.

    Yes, you sought to avoid it by directly answering me, then calling me a liar (unless you have some other definition for “making things up”).

    It is the fact you that choose to continue. And you have proved that repeatedly here. For whatever reason, I don’t know.

    As do you. I continue because you make false allegations against me. I know I’ll never convince you of anything, but I do like to make you bulldust clear to others.

    You quote RE: civil vs criminal litigation shows nothing. The only possible link to “criminal burden of proof” was my reference to sending someone to jail. That is not done on a “might have” or “probably did”. You brought up civil litigation, not I.

    Given you must dig through other threads to make comment on me – whereas I kept my comments directed at those you made here (until you took it personal)… I think it is quite justified in claiming you are nursing a childish grudge. Instead of answering questions or providing debate on topic – you dig into posts made over two weeks ago… quite pathetic really.

  206. Tolputt – “you make things up” – you said you’d already answered the questions I posed. I don’t believe you, and you’ve shown no evidence.

    I repeat, you made this up. Show where you addressed the questions.

    You compulsively pursue a childish exchange without adding a single point of value. Point to an example of value or intelligent input that you have added to this exchange.

    You accuse me of being personal, all I did was point to your history of personal abuse. You always get sooky and childish when I point to your own history.

    IN case you aren’t aware, employment law operates on civil rules of evidence. You were clearly confused about this. Have you resolved your confusion? No amount of obfuscation by you can resolve the evidence of your original confusion. They are in your own words.

    You spoil discussion with your pursuit of your own childish agenda, and you sook when you get a mild version in return. That’s your history.

    The silly discussion with you was over, until you deliberately chose to reignite it with your comment yesterday –

    B.Tolputt, on July 8th, 2009 at 6:51 pm.

    You deliberately cause dissention and distraction, you seek to spoil each thread that I participate in.

    You’re a humorless and hypocritical, time wasting sook.

    Joni, for example, bankrupts are no longer given custodial sentences. It is a civil matter.

  207. Legion, I agree that the common sentiment early in the term of this government was that inflation was the pressing economic issue. “Sticky” inflation is probably a product of structural and institutional limitations.

    A hangover of expectations, that don’t adjust to a rapidly changing economy. As we have recently experienced. In my more non zealotry critical moments, I am willing to acknowledge that government institutions were hardly likely to predict the seriousness of the downturn. But in reality this acknowledgement provides an excuse to the lack of accountability for the modelling/ planning that they are responsible for.

    Providing excuses for government institutions is a recipe for mediocre performance. Governments need to be driven to ever increasing standards.

  208. Sorry Tom – but I am still trying to work out how Ben’s comment that :

    “One of the good things about our country is that we don’t sack or jail people on a “might have” or “probably did”.

    is wrong. Because civil cases (where the burden of proof is at the probable level) will never result in a custodial sentence.

  209. When you can show me an Australian civil case where a politician was taken to court in order to have his ministerial position removed from him (i.e. a need for a civil burden of proof), I will agree with you. The subject was, after all, Swan’s position as Treasurer and the possible removal of him from this post.

    You spoil discussion with your pursuit of your own childish agenda, and you sook when you get a mild version in return. That’s your history.

    Funnily enough, I have no “agenda” – that’s simply your paranoia. You on the other hand cannot engage in debate with me without bringing up past issues.

    The silly discussion with you was over, until you deliberately chose to reignite it with your comment yesterday

    Mate, if you cannot take the heat of someone stating that they have been validated by others on the blog – you need to get out of the kitchen (so to speak).

    If it was about you “fair & informed” comment regarding unions… your rabidly anti-union stance is a well established fact. Just as reb’s position on religion, it is simply a fact we all accept.

    You deliberately cause dissention and distraction, you seek to spoil each thread that I participate in.

    If you seriously think that, you need to get away from the computer and take some deep breaths. You are just not that important.

  210. Joni – people don’t go to gaol because they “might have of probably” did something. The proof has to be “beyond reasonable doubt”

    On the other hand, when there is an investigation into an employment related incident, the required proof is “balance of probability”.

    Take an example of employee theft. There may be insufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution, and even if there is a police investigaton, the police may decide not to proceed for a range of reasons.

    However, if the employer is satisfied “on the balance of probability” that there has been theft or dishonesty, they are entitled to resolve this matter, which may result in separation of emloyment.

    The tribunal system that considers any appeal from the employee also is guided by the “balace of probability” weight of evidence.

    This is where Tolputt was clearly confused when he said – “One of the good things about our country is that we don’t sack or jail people on a “might have” or “probably did”.

    And just by the way, when I sought to correct this, you terminated my access to this site.

  211. B.Tolputt – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction.

  212. <blockquote<B.Tolputt – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction.
    And yet you reply… addressing neither my initial paragraph (on your subject of choice) nor the fact that you are paranoid enough to think I am out to “spoil each thread you participate in”.

  213. Just as reb’s position on religion, it is simply a fact we all accept.

    OBJECTION!

    Permission to speak your honour..

    When have I ever said anything about religion??

  214. B.Tolputt, on July 9th, 2009 at 11:18 am Said

    Summary – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction.

  215. For the record – the quoted post you keep using was meant to be parsed (and can be grammatically) as follows:

    We don’t sack (Action A) or jail(Action B) people on a “might have”(Reason A) or a “probably did”(Reason B).

    Action A -> Reason A
    Action B -> Reason B.

    Or clarified for you given your need to repeatedly bring it up

    One of the good things about our country is that we don’t sack people for a “might have” or jail people on a “probably did”.

    More verbose, but you seem to require it.

  216. Still confused.

    Still adding nothing other than self serving, self important justification for original confusion.

    Summary – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction.

  217. Right. And I’m the one that tries spoiling threads…

  218. Always a compulsion to spoil and have the last word.

    Summary – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction.

  219. Reb, objection overruled.

    This post shows a clear example of your admitted distaste for religion and, in particular, those sanctimonious Christian/Catholic sons of bitches 🙂

    I’ll allow it 🙂

  220. Damn it!

    I knew there might’ve been incriminating evidence lying around somewhere…

  221. Yes reb, it is often awfully inconvenient to have your own previous posts quoted back. Others seem to have experienced similar difficulty resolving this!

  222. Yes, Tom – I’ve noted your discomfort 🙂

  223. Summary – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction.

  224. Oh, it’s okay with me actually Tom..

    I’ve never been one for consistency.

    It’s the last refuge of the unimaginative, as Oscar Wilde once said…

    🙂

  225. Summary – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction.

    Summary – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction. 😀

  226. Hear Hear!!

  227. Yes, plagiarism is a very obvious skill.

    No originality, no value, no independent analysis, just time wasting distraction, and now plagiarism.

  228. Not plagiarism, Tom. I’m not trying to pass it off as my own. I’m pointing out the irony 🙂

  229. Summary – simply more time wasting BS. As always adds absolutely nothing other than distraction

  230. Just in case anyone has missed it:

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/godwin-grech-in-dogs-pokie-mystery-20090708-dder.html

    Godwin Grech in Dogs pokie mystery

  231. Tom

    I enjoy your comments and opinions and if I disagree with them it makes me stop and think why and do a bit more research before I decide whether to stand my ground and debate you or let your comments slide as I agree or disagree with them marginally, or tell you I fully agree.

    Keep posting Tom.

  232. I just can’t fathom the opposition’s tactic on debt, I believe the next election will be fought over the ETS and all they need to concentrate on is an alternative that will achieve same or preferably, a better outcome.

  233. Min, do you know if there is anything more than Godwin Grech’s name in this?

    It’s acknowledged that he was an important public servant for both governments – so his name being on a letter regarding a government grant is not surprising or really newsworthy. Or am I missing something?

  234. I believe the next election will be fought over the ETS

    Not likely! People are more worried about having a job and paying the bills and mortgage than some namby-pamby climate change thingy…

  235. scaper

    I agree, while I acknowledge the previous government did pay off Government debt, our overall foreign debt ballooned to horrific proportions under the coalition, yet they swept that under the carpet after their last Ute episode claiming it was now private debt. In the end we must pay whether it is Govt or Private foreign debt.

    Agree an alternative ETS would be a good start and do a lot of study before bringing the alternative out, don’t jump on a change simply because a public servant gives you a whiff of something.

    Make it valid, worthwhile, effective and accountable and above all stick with the bloody thing.

  236. reb

    It will all depend on how the economy is travelling in the last week of the election campaign.

    1) Economy Good -Election on ETS
    2) Economy Bad – Election on keeping job

  237. I think reb nailed it, both in terms of what I think the election will be fought over & why.

    Economic arguments can be directly translated to whether people will have a job next year and how much they’ll get for it. At the very least, that is how most economic arguments are spun (by both sides) for the election advertising.

    On the other hand, an ETS is a “green” issue. Mixing economic arguments with environment issues is how things are in reality, but not the best method of selling your argument to the public. And, more to the point, if a person was going to vote based on environmental concerns – no economic argument will sway them. If they are going to vote based on the economy – there are much bigger, better arguments to make against the government than the cost of the ETS.

  238. I’ll put it this way…if there is a DD election called it will be over not getting the ETS through the upper house after two attempts.

    The PM will be seeking a mandate by the electorate on an ETS.

    No election is fought on one solitary issue but I believe the ETS will be the major issue, just like the main issue last election was Workchoices.

  239. Ben..just from what is currently via The Age. There was a previous clue that Grech’s beloved Bulldogs might have received a little more than their due. Another link is via crikey at: http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/06/25/godwin-grech-john-howards-go-to-man/

    I believe that the suggestion is that Grech’s Bulldogs were receiving a little more than would normally be expected, but the proviso being that this could be been (although an anomaly contra to Howard’s usual pork-barrelling), a push into working class suburbs.

  240. True, any DD called before the next budget (which is something the Liberals are working hard to prevent) would necessarily be fought based on the ETS. The fact the Liberals are trying to prevent a DD on this issue (by using parliamentary tactics to prevent an up/down vote on the legislation) implies they want to fight this based on the economy… after Labor have had to issue another Budget.

    I can see merits in both sides. The government was voted in based primarily on the anti-WorkChoices sentiment of the public, but (as scaper mentioned) the ETS was also an issue put forward by Labor. The Coalition is preventing them from passing the legislation required to keep their election promise.

    That said, Labor should be held to account for the next Budget they hand down. Calling a double dissolution in order to avoid facing the music for decisions made feels dishonest and, depending on how the Coalition handle it, could adversely affect voters trust.

    I’d like to see the ETS (or preferably, something better like a carbon tax) woven into a greater economic platform pitched by Labor. However, I don’t hold much hope for that.

  241. I think that the government will do an Obama..that climate change = a chance for new businesses = a chance for innovation = jobs.

  242. If I was the PM I would want an election out of the way before next May as I believe the next budget will be a shocker!

    Bligh pulled that stunt up here in Qld and won the election before the real bad news emerged coupled with her blatant deception, they call her ‘Bliar’ now.

  243. I think that that will be a tough sell Min.

    I think when economic times are good, when everyone (that wants to) has a job, then yes, people start to consider environmental concerns, but in the current environment of people losing jobs, worried about job security (if they have one) and worried about their ongoing ability to pay the mortgage, bills, kids school fees etc, then environmental concerns just fly out the window.

    Also, I’m “one of those” that think why should Australia be amongst the first to commit to reductions when other nations like China have much worse polution/emissions etc.

    It’s a hard argument to pursue when you go to places like Beijing or Shanghai where the air quality is appaulling, yet Australia is somehow meant to be leading the charge. For what purpose?

    It will simply cost businesses – and ultimately the consumer more. So it really is a tough sell when things are already tight economically.

    It might sound naive, but I imagine I’m not alone in looking at things in this way.

  244. I recently attended a meetng of the Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA).
    http://www.ceda.com.au/public/index.html

    Oddly I go to these things from time to time.

    The focus of this one was green energy.

    The green energy technology is advancing quite quickly, and the grid proposed to link solar energy generation in North Africa to much of Europe is a E400bn investment. This is obviously very expensive and it will be interesting to see whether there is an appetite to find this, particularly in the current economic conditions.

    The view is that Australia is well placed to develop solar generation; a square in central Australia with sides of 300km would enough energy for Asia or more.

    The problem is storage, as current technology provides only about 7 hours. Base load generation is still required.

    The very serious qualification is that this green energy is only economically viable when the price of carbon is about $60/tonne. This is a very significant price hike.

    However, CEDA is an interesting forum, and perhaps there is a future for green energy after all, regardless of the cause of climate change.

    Solar generation – the saviour of Crapperville.

  245. The view is that Australia is well placed to develop solar generation; a square in central Australia with sides of 300km would enough energy for Asia or more.

    The problem is storage, as current technology provides only about 7 hours. Base load generation is still required.

    This is why I believe solar is best targetted as a method of generating fuels (such as hydrogen), not for providing baseline power to the grid.

    I believe an viable financial argument could be made for using areas in central Australia for the generation of hydrogen fuels for use in transport as fuel-cell driven engines become more mainstream.

  246. I believe that geothermal will make a very good contribution to base load requirements in the future, the largest hot rock zone is north of Tennant Creek but the transmission of this energy into the grid is the biggest hurdle.

    Hopefully the rail link from Mount Isa to Tennant Creek that will be constructed in the next five years will possibly create a logistics corridor to enable the financial viability of such a project.

    Meanwhile Geodynamics is having problems with their Habanero 3 well in the Cooper Basin that was to be proof of concept and to also supply the 1MW Pilot Plant so there are still some bugs to be ironed out.

  247. Geothermal is a good idea where it is available, but this image would indicate there isn’t a much crustal heat that could be used near to Australia’s primary urban areas.

  248. “Habanero 3” – what a great name…. the bf always tries to kill me with all the chillies he puts into his stirfries.

  249. Tolputt, here’s a link that might answer your question.

    If you overlaid the energy grid on the geothermal map you will see a different picture…I’m a proponent of a truly national grid, connecting Western Australia will be very difficult if at all.

  250. Scaper, interesting idea… but it looks like it would need Federal Government intervention to get anywhere.

    I believe that power generation is currently a State govt reponsibility (I may be wrong) and look at how well they work together with regards to water conservation & management!

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