Sunday, August 8, 2010

Election 2010: Day 23 (or, yes, this is what it has come to)

Want to know how bad the ALP’s campaign has been; want to know how bad the Rudd Government was at selling anything?  At the Liberal Party campaign launch, the big policy announcement was the plan to introduces mandatory prison sentencing for people who harbour asylum seekers. The policy Abbott was most proud of was announcing the return of the Pacific Solution. r615566_4096889

In 2007 the voters were pretty much of a mind that Pacific Solution was the type of policy only a backward looking, racist and morally bereft nation would employ. Now it is Abbott’s set piece.


He also announced a “Three Month Plan” so absent of anything of substance that it alone should render him unfit for office. Let’s go through it:


- End the threat of the mining tax

Oh good, give back $10.5b in tax revenue to some of the wealthiest companies in the world, even though they have agreed to pay it. That’s real smart. Remember the Mineral’s Council of Australia called the MRRT “a positive outcome for the country”.

- End the threat of the carbon tax

Oh good, let us ignore the market system and pretend incentives can work just like they didn’t in the Soviet Union.

- Invite talks with Nauru's president on re-opening an offshore processing centre

Yep let’s start up a process under which almost every asylum seeker sent to Nauru will eventually come to Australia anyway.

- Act to stop marine parks

Yes let’s overfish the sea so that the next generation of fishermen will have nothing to do.

- Suspend Building the Education Revolution payments to states and redirect the money to school communities

Yes, so you should after all a 97.3% satisfaction ratting is pretty crap, unless you compare it to … well.. any other program ever undertaken by a Government.


- Mr Abbott would chair a National Security Committee meeting with full attendance by ministers

A pathetic swipe at Gillard, but about as weighty in policy as Greg Hunt’s credibility on climate change.

- Establish a debt reduction taskforce

Oh my God yes – because we must quickly pay back a debt which is the smallest in the western world and easily manageable. A debt which has Asutralia struggling with a AAA rating and according to Moody’s": “Australia's strong institutions and low government debt levels mean the country is highly likely to keep its valued triple-A rating for years to come”. Yeah we really need a taskforce…


- Issue an economic statement

You mean like every other incoming Government does?

- Release the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for consultation

You mean like the Government is intending to do?

- Visit the countries in our region

Hang on, you guys criticised Rudd for spending too much time overseas when he became PM! And you’re taking Julie Bishop? Remind her to take along some of those ASIO forged passports she has.

- Implement new arrangements to reimburse householders for insulation batts safety inspections

Yes, you should do that, because otherwise those people who took part in a scheme that increased the safety standards of the insulation industry might get some benefit from it, and hell we wouldn’t want that.

- Recall parliament and introduce legislation to toughen people smuggling penalties and introduce Temporary Protection Visas

Oh my God, you’ll recall parliament!! You mean you weren't planning to take the rest of the year off, instead of sitting for the 8 weeks that are already scheduled? Oh and by the way, good luck getting that TPV Bill past the ALP, the Greens and Nick Xenaphon in the Senate.

- Publish all modelling associated with the Henry Tax Review recommendations

What even the modelling that advocated a mining tax – you know the tax you slaughtered due to political reasons completely at odds with economics?


- Prepare for an emissions reduction fund

A fund? So you’re in favour of big government, and against the free market. How interesting.

- Finalise recruitment arrangements for a green army of environmental workers

Yeah, I can see so many people rushing to work in a green army in this period of low unemployment. Nice idea. Pity the people who would maybe volunteer to do it would prefer a price on carbon

- Start small business reforms

Oh wow. We hold our breath. The Howard Govt was so good at reducing the red tape for small business.

- Establish a national violent gangs squad

Yep, because that’s what has been missing from our nation, now that the Cripps and the Bloods have taken over our once safe streets here in South Central.

- COAG will meet to secure agreement on hospital boards and beds

Yeah, sure they will.

- Visit Afghanistan to support Australian troops and their mission

Oh goody, that will make them feel so much safer.

Geez. What a pathetic list.

Oh and you know Abbott’s policy for disability education that I was so concerned about? They still haven’t submitted it under the Charter for Budget Honesty. Interesting don’t you think, given they have submitted the costing for the National Violent Gangs Squad that was announced a day earlier than his disability policy...



Yesterday I ripped into the press gallery following Gillard for their useless questions. Today I missed seeing her press conference in Darwin but Bernard Keane of Crikey congratulated them for their focus being almost completely on policy – the transcript is here. And their work was much, much better. The journos probed her announcement about “No school; no play”. Here’s a few of the better ones:

JOURNALIST:  Can I just ask how new is this?  My understanding is that this sort of No school No play has been going on in quite a few schools for quite a while and how does a federal government implement this in each and every school and how does it apply just to Darwin across the board?

JOURNALIST:  Is there risk though there that some children may suffer if this, their parents responsibility that they haven’t been attending school?

JOURNALIST:  Prime Minister.  On No School No Play, the funding has been allocated from the Indigenous Education Program.  Is this something for all children or is it targeted at indigenous children?

JOURNALIST:  When you say working together with the sporting codes, I mean, sporting codes get a lot of government grants. Is this going to be one of the conditions abiding to government grants to (inaudible) enforce this?  You can have all the voluntary codes in the world but at the end of the day, as Nick says, you know, some of the country teams would play their best players regardless -

Good stuff. Let’s hope they keep it up when it comes to some more complex policy than the fairly straightforward one on display today. Let’s hope those following Abbott do likewise (and perhaps the media should also make some noise about how Abbott is only answering at most 9 or 10 questions – he is absolutely petrified of policy examination).


Greensborough Growler said...

WTF is 'guided democracy"?

Rationalist said...

"Oh and by the way, good luck getting that TPV Bill past the ALP, the Greens and Nick Xenaphon in the Senate."

The Senate does not change until 1 July 2011 (except for the territories). That means until 1 July 2011, the Coalition + Steve Fielding can pass any legislation in the Senate. This is assuming the Greens do not win a seat in the ACT Senate which is fairly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

I actually watched the Coalition launch too, as painful as that was.I now also feel guilty for the laughs I dervived from Latham's Fin Review pieces. It can only get better from here for the ALP because how in the hell could it get any worse???

Luke VDH

Bleeter said...

Each time I see a party launch, of any party, I'm frequently reminded of what my grandfather would've told me if he hadn't died before I was born.

Rationalist said...

Whoops, add Xenophon to that.

Coalition + Fielding + Xenophon can pass legislation until 1 July 2011.

Bleeter said...

>Greensborough Growler said...
>WTF is 'guided democracy"?

P.M.Newton said...

"- Invite talks with Nauru's president on re-opening an offshore processing centre

Yep let’s start up a process under which almost every asylum seeker sent to Nauru will eventually come to Australia anyway."

Ah yes but they will have suffered first! Can't put a price on that - apparently.

Grog said...

Cheers Rationalist - I thought for a second I had gotten my Senate maths worng - yep they would need Xenophon.

I'm not sure, but I don't think he's a TPV man.

Cheers PM Newton, I knew I had missed something!

Rationalist said...


Exactly. I was in "blocking mode" not "passing mode". The Coalition and Fielding can block whatever they like which is a useful opposition tactic but they need Xenophon to pass legislation if Abbott becomes PM.

Hillbilly Skeleton said...

What was even worse than the Liberal Party Campaign launch, of course, was the fawning coverage of it by the 'Big Guns' of the media. Why, they even found a plane with seats big enough to fit Laurie Oakes into in order to get him to Brisbane so he could say how Prime Ministerial Tony Abbott looked and how, considering the 'disarray' of the ALP campaign(funny, they always look and sound extremely well-organised to me), it's only a matter of time before he moves into the Lodge. Which he won't, of course, because like the duplicitous sleazebag he is, Tony Abbott will want to live Harbourside at Kiribilli House in Sydney, like his Pater Familia, John 'Rodent' Howard.
It's such a tawdry campaign, finessed by a group of sleazy journalists, on behalf of a mendacious political Coalition, that it makes me ashamed to be Australian.
Gee, Rupert Murdoch must have a lot of power.

troy_ski said...

"- Prepare for an emissions reduction fund

A fund? So you’re in favour of big government, and against the free market. How interesting."

So, how is this fund going to be paid for? It is part of their election spending commitments? If not, why not? Is it a levey on households or business? Will it be paid for by a rise in the GST rate? Or let me guess, it's a non-core promise...

Bill said...

Brilliant work again Grog, but I can't begin to tell you how frigging frustrating it is that Labor are not going to come up with a rebuttal to this claptrap that's half as good as yours, and no professional analyst is going to ask similar questions.
(If any of them are reading, prove me wrong - I dare ya!)

While we're on the subject, WTF is a "green army," and is anyone going to mention that they're basically saying they're going to hire 15,000 more public servants?

Jaeger said...

Now that the Coalition have launched their campaign, can the media please start doing some critical analysis of their so-called policies? *crickets*

Darryl Snow said...

To you, Bill, I am wondering where we get a Green Army when we are pretty well experiencing full employment.

I can see that some kids are about to get the shepherds hook which Abbott has already threatened for the under 30's.

Whilst taking 100k off the immigration list.

Whilst accelerating the pace of mining boom without return.

Without workers.

This will be a bloodbath for the young

Kevin Rennie said...

what are the media going to make of the latest Newspoll AlP 52 LNP 48?

Keep up the outstanding work. We St.Kilda supporters know what the point of it all is.

Anonymous said...

I still have not worked out how to do this in persona but I would like to make observations. There are so many worry warts on ALP pro blogs.

The Opposition was behind at the start of the campaign and had to come out with broadsides. Today they came out with their campaign launch: Boats? Boo! Deficit? Boo! Worst managers? Boo!.

The ALP campaign campaign is run by professionals, they know how to win. The campaign is totally scripted: giving the Opposition rope. The ALP is giving their major speech way after the Oppo’s, giving them plenty of time to focus on the deficiencies. Wayne v Joe tomorrow and Julia on QandA will give the pretenders heaps. Will this stuff count with the undecideds? No one knows, not the omniscient BillBowe, nor the omniscient Possum.

For the remaining ten days or so Tony Abbott and his henchmen will be so on the backfoot that they will think that they are facing Ben Hilfenhaus and co, and wishing they were.

You and Bluey make a great tag team.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great blog, Grog. Could this be the point at which the worm turns? John Howard as hero? - SURELY people can remember back less than three years...

SM said...

Another great one, Grog. Why start with policies now. Good to see Tony want's to rehabilitate JWH as a national hero, obviously the last election was rigged.

If the Senate doesn't roll over to Tone, watch him claim mandate all other the place

Anonymous said...

Surely the Libs can't win this on distraction. Great Blog Grog. When will the Aussie people wake up and ask for real answers.

Anonymous said...

its less than 2 weeks away....the final nail in the abbott coffin. at least after that we get to see a real liberal, turnbull, doing the bidding of what was once a real alternative.