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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Abbott Shafts Himself - Confirms position as "Pork King"

Well whatdya know?  Abbott has claimed a coup in opening a new batch of Medicare offices.

"It's the first significant expansion of Medicare offices in more than 10 years," said Abbott.

Well without splitting hairs mate, who has been in power for 8 of those 10 years?  So what he is saying is "we having done bugger all since we came into government".  I couldn't have put it better myself.  Now I wonder if the new offices would happen to be in marginal seats.  I'll have a look at that and get back to you.

Update

OK, here are the new offices and the state of the electorates.  Marginals are in bold:

Leichhardt        Labor 21.3%
Tuggerah         Liberal 0.4%
Cranbourne     Labor  7.9%
Elanorah          Liberal 12.2%
Maroochydore Liberal 9.2%
Joondalup       Liberal 6.0%
Gungahlin        Labour 12.7%
Palmerstone   Country Liberal 0.1%

So only two real marginals there.  But two on the slimmest of margins.  In fact on closer inspection 2 of the top 3 slimmest held seats have magically got a new Medicare offices!  Why did Canning, WA miss out?  I'll watch out for a mysterious new fountain of wealth to appear in Armadale to make up for missing out in the next few weeks. 

Update Again

Lets now look at the electorates positively affected by the higher rebates to bulk billing GPs as released on 16th August.  I need to locate the electorates for a few of theses areas, so help would be appreciated.

Australian Capital Territory         Both Safe Labor Seats
Beaudesert Shire Part A, QLD*        Liberal 7.0%
Darwin City, NT*                     Liberal 0.1% 
East Metropolitan (Perth), WA*       Labor 1.8%
Eastern Outer Melbourne, VIC*        Labor 5.3%
Frankston City, VIC*                 Liberal 5.2%
Gosford-Wyong, NSW*
                  Liberal 7.0%/Liberal 0.4%
Greater Geelong City Part A, VIC*    Labor 8.5%
Greater Townsville                   Liberal 1.5%
Ipswich City, QLD*                   Liberal 6.6%
Litchfield Shire, NT*                Either CLP 0.1% or ALP 5.3%
Melton-Wyndam, VIC*                  Labor 12.1% -
Julia Gillard's seat!
Mornington Peninsula Shire, VIC*     Liberal 5.2%
Newcastle, NSW*                      Labor 6.9%
Palmerston-East Arm, NT*             Liberal 0.1% 
Pine Rivers Shire, QLD*              Liberal 6.0%
Queanbeyan, NSW*                     Liberal 1.7%
Southern Adelaide, SA*
               Liberal 7.4%/Liberal 1.0%
South Eastern Outer Melbourne, VIC*  Liberal 8.4%
South West Metropolitan (Perth), WA* Labor 2.0%
Yarra Ranges Shire Part A, VIC*      Liberal 7.2%/Liberal 3.7%

So topping the charts of  "incentives" from Tony Abbott are Palmerston-Darwin (Solomon) and Dobell.  I think I might vote Liberal this election and try and return my seat to marginal status.  That way my vote will directly benefit me and bugger everyone else.  Hang on, that's the attitude of most Liberal voters.  So far The Daily Flute is proud to award the Mad Monk with the title "Pork King 2004".  Come on Brendan Nelson, show us your cash.

Economic Myth - Part 1

The strong point of the Howard Government is supposed to be economic growth.  Australians are supposed to be better off and have more money.  I want to argue the point that this economic growth has funnelled money to a rich minority and not filtered down the the lower earners.  In other words, the economic growth has done bugger all for most Australians.  The growth has really been the equivalent of the top end of town winning the lottery, with the rest of us making do with a meat tray.  For example the lowest quintile weekly income for 1995-96 was $168.  By 2001 this was a whopping $180.  At the top end of town the weekly income went from $773 to $903.  Now I accept that the top will increase in dollar terms over the bottom, but what I can't accept is the percentage growth difference.  7% increase over 5 years for the lowest, 17% for the highest.  The picture is bleaker once we take into account the CPI rise over the same period, it increased by 12% (for basic living requirements from ABS).  Amazingly only the top quintile earnings grew faster, with the  fourth quintile more or less matching the CPI growth.  Therefore the vast majority of Australians are finding it harder to make ends meet than before Howard came in to power.  Whereas it can be dubious for a government to claim credit over economic growth figures, it certainly is responsible for the distribution of wealth.  In this aspect the Howard government has failed abysmally.  There has been no social program whatsoever for the last eight years.  What is more disturbing is the unquestioning attitude of the mass media, that the ecomomy has been well managed.  The Labor party themselves don't seem to want to challenge this gross misconception.  Is the economy well managed if one Australian receives the growth?  No?  Well then where do you draw the line?  Surely the bare minimum benchmark must be that most Australians benefit, and even on this dodgy measure Howard has failed.  It has been managed to benefit the few, whereas the majority of people have gone backwards.  Regressive measures such as the GST have made the spread of wealth even more inequitable.  And how do we help people climb out of this hole?  Public education, which as I have said before is the number one way to increase the productivity of the country as a whole, has been stripped down.  For more stats and analysis look at Examining Recent Changes in Income Distribution in Australia by Peter Saunders.

Flute Cocks It Right Up - Worth not Draper

Might I say, that based on the advice I was given at the time by my advisers, the evidence pointed to Trish Draper making the "cats and dogs" comment.  As soon as I had contrary advice from Mark, I rewrote history so that my cock up no longer appears.  At no time did I intend to mislead the Australian people, but I cannot apologise for making a statement based on the advice I had at the time.  In order to clear this matter up, I am releasing this photographic evidence, which did not form the basis of the advice, but I will let you decide.  It was of course Trish Worth who dropped the clanger.


Thoughts on voter apathy

In such a sport mad country as Australia, why isn't the election exciting for most.  It has all the ingredients of sport at its highest level.  An election campaign has highs, lows, drama, uncertainty, a thrilling climax, countless amounts of pointless analysis and statistics, biffo, skill and we get to be the referee.  When the result comes in the emotions are joy or absolute depression, much more so than a decent test match.  Maybe Channel 9 need to market the election a bit more footy style.  "Saturday night's a great night for an election" thundering out to a middle of the road rock track.  Drag out hasbeen pollies and get them to dress up as women (now that's comedy).  Get Eddie to host nightly specials, or perhaps a la Channel 7's olympic coverage, repeat the same "win" again and again and again.  Channel Ten are starting on the right foot with their nightly "who won the day" scores from the journos.  Luckily it's all ALP so far.  How about some chants for the parties.  The Liberals could use:

(sung to the tune of Top of the World)

Such a feelin's comin' over me
There is personal gain in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
And no tears in my eyes
Coz I'm living my Christian right Australian dream

I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on the nation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I've found ever since John's been around
Your vote's put me (and not the poofs, bludgers and muslims) at the top of the world

Worth the Humanitarian

I'm a bit late on mentioning this one as it been done be BP and VM already, but the thing that makes me laugh is that more than one government minister (Vanstone for one) has said DraperWorth is the biggest advocate for refugees.  So comparing refugees to cats and dogs is the most caring the Coalition can be?  
DraperWorth then went on to say she should have compared them to animals and plants!  Fuck me, what are the lesser moderates like?  Lock them up for ever in the middle of nowhere? 

Howard Tells The Truth!

This morning on AM, John Howard said we would not sue over the battle of the statutory declarations because he does not in politicians issuing writs.  I actually believe him on this one.  In a adversarial system of politics one or both parties end up telling porkies so the idea of clogging up courts with opinion cases is not on.  However did he pass his thoughts on this principle to Peter Costello when he decided to sue (and won a hefty amount) Bob Ellis?  Comrade Bob came out with a claim that there was a strange bird bloke political party swapping affair while Abbott and Costello were at uni.  It was pretty tame stuff and no one paid it much attention until Costello sued.  One of the grounds to the rather large payout, and Bob's book "Goodbye, Jerusalem" being pulped was the damage to Peter Costello's reputation.  He is the bloody treasurer, number two power broker in the country.  How did this hamper his career?  Is the Ellis claim the basis for which Howard did not quit midterm?  The Costellos got damages of $164,000 and the Abbotts, $113,500.  Bob explains his feelings rather well in "Goodbye, Babylon".

Just a shame Howard didn't pass on his non-suing wisdom, but then I suppose that was a matter of conscience and since Abbott and Costello have none it wouldn't of mattered.


Monday, August 30, 2004

New Zealand Invasion is On

Wahay, I knew that doddering daiquiri dickhead Downer wanted to invade our "cousins".  Now the armed forces are tooling up nicely to accomplish this aim.  I expect to get my conscription notification any second and boy what a party that will be.  I can't wait to whack on a bit of Wagner and bomb the poop out of Wellington.  The first target should of course be Sauron, followed by Saruman and that leftie Sheila, Helen Clark (my mum used to cut my hair like hers when I was 9).  Then we'll fly south and occupy Footrot Flats and commandeer Duncan "Galloping Twat" Kerr to rustle up a hearty combat stew.  We will have to buy some extra surveillance systems or "smart fridges" as they're known to gas any Mainland Colby sized spies lurking around by the butter.

More money pissing out of the country

So if Howard is so keen to claim credit for semi-controllable things such as interest rates, why doesn't he claim this one.  Only claim the good side ay?  Crappy trade deficits not your cup of tea are they dickhead.

Interest Rates Again

Last night Kerry did his best to give Howard a bollocking on the 7:30 Report.  Bob McMullin came out with the only bit of sense on the issue yesterday.  He said (paraphrasing) "interest rates go up and down under all governments".  An as TSSH  rightly points out housing affordability has way outstripped any interest rate savings.  The coalition have got to take part of the responsibility for that.  Giving people $7-14K to buy a house is ridiculous.  This does not merely increase house prices by $7-14K.  The main problem people have in this "historically low" interest rate climate is the bloody deposit, as the banks will throw vast wads of buy now pay later cash at you.  Therefore given that most house purchases involve saving a 20% deposit, this government bung meant that people could now afford a house costing $35-70K more than they originally thought.  Or how about "only 5% deposit required!" then it's $140-280K in affordability.  And guess what?  This short term fix, which is still going strong, is one of the contributing factors that means shelter has sky-rocketed.  Add to this the ridiculous policy of negative gearing and you can't even afford a pothole in a dunny lane.  Get rid of negative gearing!  Phase it out over 20 years making it less effective as time goes on!  Think of all that beautiful revenue that could be gathered and redistributed.  The general population would not give a cracker about the small percentage of people that would lose out because the potential income tax reductions would be ENORMOUS.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Good v Evil

Australia, this is your choice in six weeks time


Howard Campaign Lie #1 - Interest Rates

In a semi regular feature, I hope to highlight the Howard bullshit machine.

To quote Howard from AM this morning:

CATHERINE MCGRATH: Now, you said just then it's a mistake to draw slavishly on historic comparisons, but isn't that what you're doing when you say that interest rates are higher, historically under Labor Governments?
JOHN HOWARD: It's a fact...
CATHERINE MCGRATH:..aren't you drawing there on historic comparisons?
JOHN HOWARD: No, the point I am making... you're drawing a political comparison, because situations are different. And the reality is that Labor Governments over the last 30 years have always delivered higher interest rates.

Well lets look at the fact (from Economagic.com):

Red = Labor government, blue = liberal.  So there you have it.  The 24 carat fact is that in the last 30 years, interest rates were at their highest Ausust 1982 under Fraser at 20.76%.  For crying out loud, even blank cheque Whitlam "kept" them lower than Fraser.  Now Howard cannot hide under "he was not advised of this" as he was the sodding treasurer. There rests the case for the god damn prosecution.  You are a liar little Johnny.

Game On

In the manner befitting the now holds barred approach to coverage during the election campaign, that lying little git has called the election for 9th October.  And as usual, it is a scare campaign from the forces of fear.  Namely, you will lose your home if Labor get in.  Interest rates being low are purely a result of coalition policy and have bugger all to do with international economics.  Why doesn't he go the whole hog and claim kudos for 1% in the US and 4% in the UK?  Unfortunately, Latham's rebuttal (they were both on AM this morning) wasn't as brutal.  The journo interviewing Howard didn't put the boot into his bollocks either.  So here's to popping the cork in six weeks time to celebrate another victory by that divisive twerp.  On the bright side, Aus Idol was a bag of cack.  Can we have a simultaneous final and election result at the opera house?

Update

Did anyone notice the signs of sweat on Howards top lip when he announced the election?  Did anyone hear him on AM this morning.  Perhaps he is getting a bit frayed, perhaps not.  The ALP still need a killer blow on this dude as the journos don't seem to be doing their job.  How about the ALP just make up a load of bollocks and just repeat it in answer to any question going.  "The Liberals fuck furniture" would be a good start.  The language of what the libs say really can betray their philosophy at times.  When did Medicare (the universal public health system) become merely the  "Medicare Safety-Net"?  How is this different to a two tier health system? 

All we are going to hear is "Labor fuck interest rates" for the next six weeks, and it will be enough to sway the fuck-knuckle "I just make my mind up when I vote coz I don't really follow politics" tosser jism jugglers that decide our fate every fucking time.  And then you have wankers like that plumber who did the "Your Shout" spiel on Insiders on Saturday.  What a drop kick fucktard.  "I don't think Howard would lie because he seems like a nice bloke".  Stick to getting the shit out of drains arsehole.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Space Filler

Wow, don't mess with the doods on the Spin starts Here!  Still the dopey plagarising cow did ask for it. What is the point of having a blog filled by someone elses thoughts? I would love to bag Australian Idol on a regular basis, but TSSH does it too well already. Anyway, the issues of the moment in my head are: If Howard supports the free market, then why the hell is he subsidising private health and education. I loved the way the latest inexplicable private health insurance bribe was announced ion front of a strengthening medicare poster. How the fuck does that work? Let's give the old people more money for private health instead of spending the money on public health. When will everybody realise that these tossers are ideolically against state funded anything?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Doddering Daiquiri Dickhead Downer

Downer, oh Downer, why are you such a gold plated twat?  Is the Pacific too stable a place for you at the moment?  Have the big bullies in Beijing been threatening to take away your free trade lunch money again?  It looks like you are pissing people off again. You give people who are picked on at school a bad name, because they usually don't incite it. But you, you puffed up windbag would have deserved every kick in your privileged arse got. Who is next in the region for a tongue lashing? Give Indonesia a bollocking, they've just been sitting there haven't they? How about New fucking Zealand? Lets start a war with the funny speaking bastards, that'll teach them to vote labor. Howard, can you put Alex in his room for a while, he's been very naughty.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The stink grows, and it ain't roses

Today's SMH quotes an anonymous source with a real bombshell. Jordana, the PM's senior advisor was told that the photographs of the children overboard were misleading. If this is true, then both Reith and Howard's staffers knew the truth well before the election. Now can we seriously believe that Howard still was not told? Who is left? Henry the Janitor? Unfortunately the pessimism of one of my earlier posts seems to be borne out. The 7:30 Report last night basically said that people really couldn't give a stuff about this issue. The liberal voters think that it's a smear, labor think that Howard is evil. There doesn't appear to be an effect on that strange species, the swinging voter. How come the government is always decided at the last minute by the 2% of the population that can't make up their bloody minds. One of the downsides of compulsory voting is that there is no silent majority waiting to get pissed off enough to deliver a landslide. Polling is never an exact science, but the unknown of how many people will vote can deliver surprise results. Still, it makes the buggers accountable to everyone doesn't it? Could the swinging vote be an anomaly? Do people really change their minds that much, or is the swing the result of the changing population? If people live to be 100 years old, then there is a 1% change in the living population every year through births and deaths. Over three years, that is 3%, more than enough to change a government. Maybe peoples voting patterns are governed by major influences during there pre-voting years. For instance, seeing mum and dad lose their home because of 17% interest rates under a Labor government (whether it would have been less under Liberal is unknown) could make a life long liberal voter out of someone. Perhaps there are glut of people on the voting market that were 15-17 year olds last time the starters pistol fired, that saw the Tampa for what it was. Enough to make a difference?

A Busy Day

And remember, this is what we're trying to stop.

 
From the ABC, this is Johnny's dubious victory salute in 2001.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Holy Cow, this just gets better!

Howard is now saying that Jenny McKenry (a former Reithy staffer) did not back up what Scrafton said. He seems to be playing on a lawyeristic technicality that the video and not the photographs were discussed. I listened to this interview on AM this morning and it sounded pretty damning to me. Quotes like:

CATHERINE MCGRATH: Mike Scrafton also said that he told the Prime Minister that no one he spoke to in Defence believed the children had been thrown overboard. What about you, did you believe the children had been thrown overboard?
JENNY MCKENRY: I had no evidence to believe that children were thrown overboard.

Sure, she does stress the video, but is this really the point? I don't think Howard can get away with this one. He is trying to change the argument from "you were told that children overboard was shite" to "I was told that the video was inconclusive". Pressure must be mounting on Howard to call an election, however in a half-Senate election, the Senators are free to hang around to mount an inquiry. Howard could have called a double dissolution election but he is now too late! The latest possible election date is 16 April 2005. This may give the Libs some time to regroup, but under whom? If they act now, they may have a chance, but does Costello have the guts? I think not. Perhaps another outcome, however unlikely, is that Howard resigns. Only 2 other prime ministers have freely left the office, and perhaps history will be kinder if he does so, rather than losing an election. No, I'm waffling now, but would Menzies be the icon he is today if he stayed and lost an election? Given that his departure left open the door to the heirs apparent for a bit of a blue made his leadership look all the stronger. A similar picture to the three stooges vying for Howards job. Time to wake up, Howard will stick around, no one will topple him, the election will be held on Christmas day, and everyone will have forgotten what about the whole saga.

Back to November 2001!

In this masterpiece of an interview Tony Jones makes Howard look like an uncaring git. But wait, there's more - Howard repeatedly states that he received unconditional advice from the ONA that children were thrown overboard. We now also know he was given unconditional advice that this was bollocks! And so what is the motivation for disclosing one set of advice (from the ONA on a quick bugger the 30 year rule declassification) and hiding the other from Scrafton? Can someone ask him, I would love to know the answer. Howard also alludes to asylum seekers being terrorists, and how many seekers have since failed security checks? That's right kids - 0. Also have a look at this stumbling performance from Howard on Four Corners (via Back Pages).

Never Ever

While we're on the subject, a nice little article by Alan Ramsey sums up the Howard approach to governance.

Howard caught bullshitting again

I am disheartened by this whole affair. Not by the fact that Howard apparently lied to the public before the last election. Not by his methods of dividing the populus and taking the larger share.  Not by taking us to war under false pretences. But by the fact that I don't think people care anymore about this. I think that the people who voted for Howard on the back of the Tampa want to believe that refugees are willing to sacfrifice their children. Whether Howard lied or not is irrelevant to them. People don't care whether there are weapons of mass destruction or not, or whether we blindly followed the US despite Howard lying when he said that the decision has not been made and that a full parliamentary debate will be held before commiting support. People don't care about the free trade agreement being dodgy. People don't care that Howards policies have systematically reduced women's place in employment. Or that education and health now come at a price. Or that Howard chose the most divisive Governor-General in recent times. Or that he is busily resurrecting the career of Bill Heffernan. So issues involving blacks, muslims, poofs, the bludging poor, wimmin or any other "uncomfortable" section of the community, or any lies told to reinforce the cultural message of Howard carry no punches with voters. What the hell has happened to my country? We are going to get another three years of damage from this man and no one will give a shit.

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