The Coalition lacks policies. It also lacks charisma. It has no other option but fear, writes Ben Eltham.
Labor has spent years honing and sandbagging its policy platform, which on any sensible judgment is moderate and achievable. In contrast, the Coalition has spent the last three years consumed by its own internal hatreds. Now that the crisis has arrived, the Coalition finds itself without a coherent assault plan to break down Labor’s platform. Time is running out.
$80,million Spent like water (ODT)
Guardian Australia reported this week on the mystery surrounding the reason Joyce chose the companies he did for the buybacks. On Friday, Labor raised specific questions about one of the purchases, worth $80m.
On Saturday, Hanson-Young said she would write to the auditor general requesting an urgent audit.
“The auditor has a responsibility to investigate how $80m of taxpayers money was paid for water that doesn’t exist,” she said in a tweet.
A panel of government-appointed experts has uncovered “integrity issues” with the Coalition’s flagship climate change policy, triggering a warning that some of the emission reductions claimed by Australia may not be genuine.
The findings relate to the Abbott-era Emissions Reduction Fund, established in 2014 to replace Labor’s so-called “carbon tax”. The Morrison government extended the fund in February with a $2 billion injection of taxpayer funds, and renamed it the Climate Solutions Fund.
Morrison seems to have a load of “Bubbles” (ODT)
“I can understand why Ms Liu would want to reject it as ‘fake news’, but I’ve checked the recording. It’s accurate and I represented her views as she put them.”
When contacted for comment the Guardian Australia told the ABC the publication stood by the story and it later published its own follow-up.
Comment has been sought from Ms Liu repeatedly but she had not responded at the time of publishing.
Her opponent Labor candidate, Ms Yang, told the ABC that the behaviour was “appalling” and “hurt a vulnerable group of people in our community”.
“Gladys Liu and Scott Morrison cannot pretend now she did not say or do these things,” she said.
“The people of Chisholm deserve to know what kind of person the Liberals want them to vote for.”
via Liberal Chisholm candidate Gladys Liu caught disparaging LGBTI issues, blames Chinese community – Australia Votes – Federal Election 2019 – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The Government lied on the back of the CSIRO’s scientific denials. Politics over land care. (ODT)
Adani’s key water management plan for its coal mine in Queensland was so flawed its outcomes were unreliable, scientists from the CSIRO warned federal Environment Minister Melissa Price’s department.
The biggest volume car manufacturers world wide are moving to electric and these idiots are calling who stupid and why? Their politics has shoved their heads so far up their clackers they can’t here the electorates and are calling most of their constituents mad. Do they turn the lights on at home? How much cheaper would it be with renewables and a battery. Oh the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow is that a statistical fact in Australia and batteries don’t work? (ODT)
Self-styled “modern Liberals” have ridiculed Labor’s electric vehicle target as a Soviet-style engineering program that will become “Pink Batts all over again”, joining the government’s aggressive campaign despite serious concerns about climate change in their own seats.
Labor used a Senate estimates session on Monday to retaliate, pointing to millions of dollars the government had spent encouraging Australians to use electric vehicles, and highlighting instances of Coalition MPs routinely spruiking the technology.
When Politics fucks the Enviroment (ODT)
Environment Minister Melissa Price has granted federal approval to the controversial Adani coal mine following intense pressure from her Queensland colleagues to sign off on the plan before the federal election.
Ms Price announced on Tuesday that she had approved the groundwater management plans submitted by the Indian mining giant after CSIRO and Geoscience Australia found they met scientific requirements.
The decision means the company has cleared the final federal hurdle for the project and now only requires Queensland Government approvals to proceed.
It wasn’t that long ago when they were maintaining the planet was cooling as well. (ODT)
Morrison is an advertising man and is scaming the public to pay for it when the Liberal Party hasn’t the funds to. Let’s not forget Turnbull funded his own campaigns whe the party was broke. Now ALP voters are funding his. (ODT)
The Morrison government has ramped up its marketing and advertising campaigns to $136 million in contracts since the beginning of this year, according to tender documents that reveal the cost to taxpayers.The government advertising includes $16 million for Treasury to promote tax cuts and $6 million for the Department of Jobs and Small Business to tell voters about assistance for employers.Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of using taxpayer funds for political ends before calling the election, an announcement expected within a week.
AND VOTE THESE BASTARDS AND THEIR FILTHY LEECHING CONSPIRATORS OUT OF OUR LIVES AND OUR PARLIAMENT!
This .. OUR nation has been sold off piecemeal in both body and spirit, heart and soul, in sunshine and shadow by the upper-middle classes for their own and ONLY THEIR OWN benefit. It has NOT been the petty lower-middle classes of the skilled trades, it has NOT been the semi-professional workers or the small agricultural producers and family businesses … We have been betrayed by that class of society that has structured its own higher-echelon network to embrace those most suited to their deviousness and greed and excluded those from their ranks who show the first signs of honour and decency … these upper-middle classes are NOT the employers of Australian workers, rather, they are the “Judas Iscariots” selling the heart of our nation for a paltry thirty pieces of silver … leaving the working poor to be crucified on the cross of penury, sickness and homelessness … instead of honouring our national needs.
LNP organizing the safety of the parliament couldn’t organize a chook raffle (ODT)
A firm given the $14 million job of upgrading critical security at Parliament House in Canberra is in disarray with allegations of cocaine use, a sideline in an Uber-style app for escorts, debts to Russian friends and the intervention of a Morrison government minister.
Almost a year after the $75 million state-of-the art upgrade to protect MPs from acts of terrorism was due to be completed, the marble entrances of Parliament remain shrouded in scaffolding and 400 businesses across Australia are owed $21 million.
Any 28-year-old Australian has grown up in a time racism was quickly ratcheting up in the country’s public culture
What do you do when the polls are against you and you don’t have a climate change policy? Start a fake internal war over coal, that’s what.
THE MEDIA suggests the Coalition is at war with itself over coal.
Advance Australia has raised almost $400,000 it will use to shore up the positions of key Liberal Party conservatives ahead of the federal election – including that of former prime minister Tony Abbott.
The emerging grassroots organisation, which wants to be the conservative answer to left-wing activist group GetUp!, claims 27,500 members and a $395,000 war chest raised from 2000 “mainly small donations”. It will focus on the seats of Dickson, Deakin, Boothby and Warringah – held respectively by Peter Dutton, Michael Sukkar, Nicolle Flint and Mr Abbott.
accused Advance Australia of lying, and pandering to the wealthy member of its “advisory council” which is manned by storage magnate Sam Kennard, doctor David Adler, and former ABC chairman Maurice Newman, among others.
“Advance Australia is spending its secret funding to spread lies and do the dirty work of hard right candidates like Tony Abbott,” Mr Oosting said. “The hard right and their multi-millionaire backers like Maurice Newman have been trying to buy influence for years but what they lack is genuine grassroots people power.”
Morrison is right to say we are not in a recession, but he was also the one who warned this week that “the economy under Labor will be weaker than it is under our government”.
From someone who has presided over an economy that is weakening quite dramatically, that’s a pretty hollow statement which is clearly more about stoking fear of an ALP government than reality.
But as with all fear campaigns, evidence has a way of revealing the truth and destroying the fear. And the GDP figures this week did just that.
They will make the nation suffer to win and promise everything (ODT)
It was just another week of lies from the Morrison Government, kickstarted this week by Energy Minister Angus Taylor.
Ok, free speech and all that. But given the Minister can ban anyone on “character grounds”, do we really need to import another offensive racist bigot when we’ve got more than enough of our own? Jobs for Australians first, I say, and I thought surely Pauline would support me, but no. Pauline called the decision “weak” and “gutless” and lobbied the Immigration Minister, David Whatshisname. who responded with a show of strength and reversed the decision.
Yes, nothing demonstrates the resolve of the Morrison government like their handling of Milo. Honestly, if they were a jockey they’d be up before the stewards to explain why they were running dead…
Actually, when I look at the betting odds on the election and their performance, I do have to wonder if a large number of them haven’t put their money on Labor.
It is highly likely that the March 2019 quarter will be negative. But we won’t know that until the first week of June when, in all likelihood, a new Labor government will have only just been installed.
Once again, Labor will have to inject stimulus money to revive a weak economy and suffer the misfortune of an electorate that believes them to be an inferior economic manager. The irony is gobsmacking.
It happened in 2007, in 1983 and in 1972. It seems to validate the claim that Labor governments have to be twice as good as conservative governments, to be judged their equal.
Falling living standards are always the result of fiscal austerity, something for which conservative governments can pride themselves in excelling. This is what Labor will inherit. Once again, they will have to do the same job all over again.
Presumably, the PR game-plan is to discredit the story – it’s a bit complex – as the work of a “blogger” who has his facts wrong. This is what PR does. Indeed it is also what sources in parliament have confirmed. They need to shut the story down, keep it out of the mainstream media, push it through the FIRB (foreign investment) approval process before the election.
Nothing yet. The main answers are likely to be that the hospital (the bricks and mortar) are not being sold but the future cashflows of the hospital – that is the profits from the patients and health funds – are being sold.Further, the real cost of the transaction is likely to be much higher. It is in the public domain that the hospital cost $600 million to build and there were a further $400 million in costs from roadwork which were borne by the department Roads and Maritime Services.Then there is the $2.1 billion “total payments to the private operator” figure which was confirmed by the former Health Minister. What is this figure? What does it mean? Will the real cost of the transaction be far higher once this business ends up in the Caribbean?
Well, a lot of their critics would be happy to tell you. They know the official unemployment figures understate the true extent of joblessness.
Did you realise, for instance, that the bureau counts you as employed even if you’ve worked for as little as one hour a week?
This means that, as well as the 680,000 people counted as being unemployed, there are another 1.1 million people who are under-employed – those who have a part-time job, but want to work more hours a week than they are.
Those 1.1 million represent 8.3 per cent of the “labour force” (all those with jobs or looking for jobs). Add that 8.3 per cent to the official unemployment rate and you get a total “labour under-utilisation rate” of 13.3 per cent.
What I have listed above just touches on a few lowlights we have discovered about our Government this week. Feel free to add your particular lowlights below.
The Paladin Group is a small company with a shack on Kangaroo Island – until last week – as its head office.
After all the media interest, as well as a PO Box in Singapore, Paladin now has an office in Canberra. The phone might even work.
According to its website, Paladin is ‘… a leading provider of project support services in the Asia-Pacific.’
Contrary to Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton the advice given to the ALP and the Government wasn’t that indicated by either of them or by the Murdoch Press. They in fact twisted the truth a polite way of saying the GOVRENMENT LIED. and intentionally SKEWED and MANIPULATED THE POLLS (ODT)
The political significance of his interventions are twofold — the first is that it makes clear the security establishment does not believe the legislative changes, of themselves, will spark a wave of new boat arrivals.
The second is that, just as Mr Lewis and Mr Pezzullo were sending a clear message to the Government to stop using their advice for political purposes, they are sending a message to Labor — as the alternative new government — that as long as they maintain a tough rhetorical and policy line on border protection, there is no reason to believe that Labor in government is a risk to border policy.
Which of the men runs on the amoral belief the” end justifies the means” and pretends he’s a Christian.It isn’t the leader of the ALP that trashe the Hippocratic Oath doctors take as being a threat that turns medical practitioners into activists and a national threat.
Scott Morrison saw how media enabled of community division and fueled the Cronulla Riots in 2005 and he immediately took it to his local branch of the Party and encouraged the use of ethnic and racial division to raise the fear-meter in order to garner votes. While his rejected the Morrison tactic Tony Abbott haf no qualms in holding back and we’ve seen it applied time and time again. Yes it’s back again now in full force. These good Christians family men like Morrison, Corman and Abbott have began calling the Asylum Seekers “Rapists” “Pedophiles” and worse for the simple purpose of garnering desperate votes.
With the help of Ch9 and News Corp and 2GB their PR machines ready to put profit before reality we have seen the campaign of fear hate begin where hope of “political gain ought not justify the immoral means” being applied to asylum seekers as if they were cockroaches by our current LNP government. A legacy encouraged by Scott Morrison as far back as 2005 (ODT)
Labor workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor said the Prime Minister had chosen to “misrepresent the truth” and “lie to the Australian people” in an attempt to gain political advantage when he should be safeguarding the national interest.
“Most remarkably and outrageously, we’ve seen him announce the opening of Christmas Island. Well if this wasn’t the biggest advertisement to people smugglers, I don’t know what is,” he said.
“To open up a taxpayer funded motel in Christmas Island to basically advertise to people smugglers in the region that indeed business is back – that is a desperate act.”
Former prime minister Tony Abbott said the Labor rules would mean people could “get on a boat, get to Nauru, get sick and get to Australia” – making no mention of the fact the new law did not apply to new boat arrivals.
Labor legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus said Mr Morrison had chosen to “endorse lies”.
Coalition enters ‘death-rattle mode’
By contrast, the sense that the government is now in full death-rattle mode is more of a consensus opinion, to the extent that there was a widespread view as MPs and senators went home on Thursday and Friday that — as was canvassed in this space a few weeks ago — it was just not a viable option for the government to come back and sit out a period until a May election.
In the topsy-turvy Liberal universe, just when the right is trying to tighten its grip on the throat of the party, the Government is haring off to the left, with this week’s legislation to allow it to break up recalcitrant energy companies.
As former deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop — who as a backbencher has become very forthright — said in the Coalition party room on Tuesday, “this is not orthodox Liberal policy”. Ms Bishop canvassed the danger of sovereign risk.
How the encrypted message access laws will affect you
The Government’s new laws force technology companies to let police access encrypted messages. Technology companies, human rights groups, lawyers and others aren’t happy.
To find a rationale for a frolic into what in other circumstances the Liberals would no doubt denounce as “socialism”, one might see it as driven by the veto of the so-called conservatives.
The Morrison government is a strong chance of being defeated in a vote in the House of Representatives, as a powerful crossbench joins Labor in an attempt to deliver the first such loss in almost 90 years.
The historic defeat on legislation is “not necessarily fatal” for the government, but it raises serious questions about the Coalition’s tenure.
Analysis by the Australian Election Study of the 2016 Election found 7% more women voted Labor than men. Essential pollster and Guardian columnist, Peter Lewis, has suggested the gender voting gap explains Labor’s lead over the Coalition since the 2016 Election. He says if it were not for women voters ‘the contest would be line ball’. This is because men are split 50/50 on a two-party preferred basis between Labor and the Coalition while for women the figures are 56% for Labor and 44% for the Coalition.
Take protecting our borders. We can’t have people arriving by boat because we need to protect our borders, we’re told. Compare that with their statements on globalisation and how we need to be part of the world. We need to knock down artificial trade barriers and invite the rest of the world in… even if they want to bring their own workers.
Today, the potential for economic, environmental and humanitarian change lies with workers just as it did after World War I, writes Canberra correspondent John Passant.
History can be a wonderful teacher. For example, in 1939 the U.S. turned back the boat, St Louis, with 939 Jews on board. They were fleeing Hitler and were seeking asylum.
The ship returned to Europe. Estimates are that 254 of the Jews sent back died in the Holocaust.
The “reasoning” from politicians was base and racist:
We are left disillusioned and feeling hopeless because our government is so shackled by ideology that it can scarcely move, so immobilized by fear of contravening its entrenched beliefs that it cannot solve our nation’s problems, so sterile of ideas that it cannot think clearly, plan strategically, or put into action the changes the nation desperately desires and needs.
Is it any wonder voters despair?
Aboriginal leaders say they are dismayed and disappointed by the proposal to appoint Tony Abbott as special envoy on Indigenous affairs to the Federal Government.
Malcolm Turnbull has shown he’s Abbott’s Equal(ODT)
This week, we learned that $443 million of taxpayer funds were gifted to a charitable Foundation heavily supported by the fossil fuel industry without proper due diligence. As political editor Dr Martin Hirst writes, it might not save the Great Barrier Reef, but it might just sink Malcolm (Captain Bligh) Turnbull.
MALCOLM TURNBULL has been MIA for most of the past week, but he emerged on Friday to defend his “captain’s call” decision to grant a business lobby group over $440 million in funds without, it seems, any due diligence at all.
The Prime Minister claims the funding process was above board and transparent, but this has not satisfied anyone outside of the Liberal Party.
MP’s claimed a total of over 8000 years’ worth of Newstart allowance in 2016. The minister responsible for welfare at that time, Alan Tudge, claimed the equivalent of 39 years’ worth of Newstart payments.
In 2016 Tony Abbott’s expense claims were the equivalent of more than 37 years’ worth of Newstart payments, Peter Dutton’s were more than 55 years’ worth, Scott Morrison more than 61 years’ worth and Malcolm Turnbull more than 105 years’ worth!
The biggest claimant for 2016 was Julie Bishop with nearly 113 years’ worth of Newstart payments. Bear in mind, these are expense claims only, they do not include salaries and other allowances.
Labor’s success in the federal by-elections is prompting debate within the Coalition about whether its policy to cut corporate taxes for big businesses should be dumped or changed.
The Opposition retained all of its seats at the weekend polls and the Liberal National Party’s primary vote plummeted to a perilously low level in the marginal Queensland seat of Longman.
America’s Trumpland Politics is arriving in Australia. Public Agencies are being politicized in the manner of the USA (ODT)
Chris Bowen says the government is politicising commonwealth agencies
Chris Bowen has objected to the appointment of former Liberal staffers to the Treasury and the Productivity Commission. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP
Labor has raised concerns about the Turnbull government’s decision to appoint former political staffers to key bureaucratic roles in proximity to the federal election expected either later this year, or in the first half of 2019.
THE ABC EARNS around $100 million a year from its commercial activities (mainly ABC shops). Its annual operating budget is more than a billion dollars.
The organisation would not exist without the triennial funding provided by taxpayers (not by Treasurer Scott Morrison, who this week ludicrously claimed that he funded the ABC). You can’t privatise a business that doesn’t make a profit. So let’s call the demand from last weekend’s Liberal Party conference for what it really is; effectively a proposal to close the ABC and sell off its assets, the prime of which would be its broadcast spectrum.
But even that is hardly practical, or likely. Ironically, while the ABC haters with their ideological objections to public broadcasting would like to see it happen, there would be little or no appetite from the commercial television sector for starters.
The Turnbull government has signed a deal to send refugees on Nauru who need urgent medical care to Taiwan, in an undisclosed arrangement aimed at stopping them from applying to stay in Australia after being treated in local hospitals.Fairfax Media can reveal Australia signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan – which is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention – in September last year that has so far seen about five refugees flown 5500 kilometres to the capital Taipei for high-level care.
‘The more the authorities claim their secrecy is in the “national interest”, the less it’s likely that what they are up to is in the public interest.’
The government’s continued attacks on the ABC make it seem like it’s trying to avoid scrutiny
How popular is the ABC? So popular that the Australia Institute polled voters in the contested seat of Mayo and discovered 74% of respondents think the government should increase ABC funding. So popular that while not a single Liberal at their council meeting spoke against the motion to privatise, within 24 hours of a social media explosion, Josh Frydenberg – government minister – was a-hustle on Sky News, pledging: “It is not going to be sold and it can never be sold.”
Egged on by conservative think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (of which Mitch Fifield just happens to be a member), the Liberal-National mania to destroy independent broadcasting has resulted in 800 job losses and 60% fewer hours of factual programming by the ABC since the Abbott came to power. There’s 20% less drama, 13.5% fewer documentaries. There is no popular will for this. Losing precious, job-creating Australian content is just collateral damage in a Liberal party crusade.
“We won’t privatise the ABC,” Mitch Fifield has now said. Of course, Liberal Senator James Patterson has been calling for the ABC to be privatised since 2014, and Senator James McGrath has demanded the same. Liberal MP Kevin Andrews is a member of a “privatise the ABC” Facebook group, started by Victorian Liberal MP, Bernie Finn. And in 2008, Fifield himself there was “merit” in privatisation proposals.
The reason parliament legislated the independence of the ABC back in 1947 was among post-war realisations that political processes must be transparent or democracy is compromised.
Desperately, the Turnbull government begs the ANU to take on The Ramsay Centre; confer ersatz academic legitimacy on a cheer squad for cultural supremacists. It woos the university for six months but is flatly rejected Thursday.
Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt BS Phys, BS Astro, AM Astro, PhD Astro is polite but firm as he lets Ramsay know it’s on the nose. ANU has “serious concerns about its autonomy”, he says. His objections expose The Ramsay Centre utterly. And by extension they are a trenchant criticism of a Coalition keen to undermine if not silence a free and open society.
Professor Schmidt tells Fairfax Media, Thursday, that the Ramsay Centre had “sought a level of influence over our curriculum and staffing that went beyond what any other donor has been granted, and was inconsistent with academic autonomy”. This would set a precedent that would completely undermine the integrity of the university,” he continues, noting the ANU had declined donations before and “will again”.
As a back-bencher, Turnbull had the guts to predict Direct Action would waste billions of taxpayers’ dollars paying farmers to plant trees so industry could freely pollute, a scam he denounced as “a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale”– akin to his current unfunded corporate tax cuts.
“F…get over it” could be The Liberal Party’s motto if it had one. So much better than “Our Plan will deliver a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.”
“F… get over it” would also be fair warning of the Libs’ abandoning any pretension to be a party of individual freedom when as coalition partner they constantly extend state power over us, be it beefing up surveillance, (Home Affairs plans to expand the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on all citizens), retaining data, censorship, human rights abuse, compulsory ID checks at airports for all, or violating our right to privacy.
The Turnbull government has hoovered up more than $2 billion in inactive superannuation accounts and claimed the revenue as its own, saying it does not trust the superannuation industry to reunite the accounts of millions of Australian workers.