Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Tasmania leads the NATION …

*Pic: of Brian Mitchell, new MP for Lyons, from his website HERE

Tasmania leads the nation, Saturday, in a clean sweep of Liberal-held lower house seats, which sees its three amigos, Eric Hutchinson, Andrew Nikolic and Brett Whiteley, sent packing. In the contest for Tasmania’s 12 Senate seats, the fates of sixth-listed Labor senator Lisa Singh and non-Abbott man listed fifth, Liberal senator Richard Colbeck, may take weeks to be finalised.

Why the clean sweep? Some say the three Abbott loyalists brought it all on themselves by not representing Tasmania’s interests. Others report that Andrew Nikolic was not easy to engage or debate, especially if requests contravened local Liberal Party policy of strictly only two-party debates. None of this, however, can detract from Tasmanian voters’ achievement on Saturday.

Where did we go wrong in Tassie? The Coalition is said to be puzzling- as if it got the rest of the nation right. Hint: beware of believing your own talking points. Most polls put the two parties neck and neck over the eight weeks but Turnbull and his team campaigned as if they had it in the bag. Labor was left to engage with the people; put out real policies.

Was it a Mark Textor tactic to create a bandwagon effect? Exude confidence. Claim the government is ahead in the polls and you can help to put the government ahead in the polls?

“We are polling well in the marginals.” You could tell it was a line just by listening to Julie Bishop – the walking talking point. The Coalition was doing much better in the marginals according to its own polling. Never mind anybody else’s poll.

Once you succumb to self-deception, all manner of delusion becomes possible; it becomes less a question of what went wrong and more how could anything go right? Next thing you know someone will suggest that Tony Abbott would have run a better campaign.

Tassie voters sensibly reject a Coalition campaign which ignores the rights of ordinary people to better healthcare, education, penalty rates and employment, offering, instead, lower taxes for corporations and to those on higher incomes, which ordinary people would subsidise in a not so innovative and astonishingly ill-judged new plan announced by the Federal Treasurer in the last few days of the campaign. Tax cuts for the rich would be funded by doing over the poor.

Not working? Australians on retirement or sickness pensions will not miss out. Their Centrelink claims will be scrutinised by a uniformed Human Services officer in a supportive “better targeting and integrity strengthening process.”

By this means, the Treasurer expects to claw back a lazy $2.3 billion that may have fallen down the back of the sofa, or is sloshing around in Grandma’s handbag making it too heavy to carry or too hard for her to find her betting tickets or her daily half bottle of brandy.

…the $5 billion clamp down on welfare fraud…

Of course, the new clawback is not that new. It’s identical to the $5 billion clamp down on welfare fraud announced a couple of months ago in last May’s Budget. “Sometimes people are overpaid and they don’t even know it,” explains Scott Morrison. His eyes light up at the prospect of privatising debt recovery from pensioners. But not until the election’s settled.

Morrison’s got the Productivity Commission to review all human services “delivered” by government: community services, social housing, prisons, disability services and Medicare.

It goes without saying it’s not a scare campaign, or a threat, this war on the poor to pay the rich. It’s just another treat from the smorgasbord of “efficiency-dividend” and “savings” or “greater flexibility” and choice that Sussan Ley talks about when she means to cut funds or social services or terrorise the elderly by stopping pension payments without notice at all should an overpayment accidentally appear. You’d be mad not to vote for more of it.

Liberal plans to privatise Medicare have taken a bit of stick from the Liberal campaign war machine recently. It’s all a beat up. A critical semantic distinction is commonly overlooked. The PM can deny with an air of wounded innocence that his government has any plans to privatise Medicare because it is already doing it. And Tasmanians know it.

Semantics aside, the government makes a last-minute pitch of strident denials that it has any plans to privatise Medicare. These are augmented with attacks on Labor’s lies and its cruel strategy of ringing old people, who cannot be expected to know what is going, on especially about their own health. The old folk are then terrified to hear the truth second-hand.

Medicare is tricky, too, because there’s been a late change of plan. No longer will the $50 billion fee-collecting business be flogged off to eager private models of integrity such as Telstra – or at least not for the time being. The Prime Minister has promised to keep back-office operations in house, for the time being. But the real issue is the freeze on the GP Medicare rebate .

The biggest privatisation of health ever is already under way in Australia – the co-payment, which our government is forcing on all of us by freezing the GP Medicare rebate. Some practices are already adding this to their fees.

Privatisation involves increasing the proportion of private payment in the health system. We are forced by the freeze to pay, so our GPs can continue to treat us.

…fails to resonate with ordinary Australians …

If privatisation denial is no vote winner, the promise of stability, oddly, also fails to resonate with ordinary Australians, despite coming from a Coalition which knows first hand its worth. It’s had two Prime Ministers, three different tax policies and 17 changes in its Cabinet in the past three years, not to mention its internal rifts such as between its conservative rump and the rest.

Not even a Brexit reference makes Turnbull’s pitch to the nation to behave like good children, sit still, stop wriggling, shut up and vote for him any more compelling. Tasmanians see right through it – despite his finger-wagging and scare tactics.

“The upheaval reminds us there are many things in the global economy over which we have no control … At a time of uncertainty, the last thing we need is a Parliament in disarray,” he lectures the party faithful gathered in Sydney. Tony Abbott, before him had worried us all about the ISIS monsters who were coming to get us – but, not to worry, only Labor runs scare campaigns.

The great big new tax on everything scare, the $100 lamb roast, the wiping of Whyalla off the map and Bronywn Bishop’s tale of the pensioners who had to stay in bed because they couldn’t afford their electric heating bills were all OK when they were part of Tony Abbott’s campaign.

Brexit is a vexed issue for the Liberals. Britain has tried neo-liberalism and rejected it. Brexit is a warning to leaders who believe we are merely consumers bonded by economic ties, born to compete; not communal creatures with misty-eyed notions of nurturing and helping one another.

Brexit may be a warning to our increasingly remote power elite of the alienation, marginalisation and exclusion experienced by those who make up the mass of the modern corporate state. For Turnbull it is a stick to beat us with. So, too the false memory of disarray, the Liberal myth that our last minority government was anything but an astonishing success. Now, disarray is just what the Liberal-National government has delivered. It could last for years.

Of course, others may see it differently, local Liberal powerbroker Eric Abetz is blaming national issues which “swamped the state campaign,” or so he claims in The Mercury Sunday. Abetz believes that the local Liberals ran an exemplary campaign only to be gazumped by “dishonourable and deceptive statements” made about Medicare.

…a highly welfare-dependant state…

“They are genuinely concerned about their well-being and we in Tasmania are a highly welfare-dependent state, and if you are welfare-dependent then Medicare, and those sort of support facilities, are vitally important to you,” he says. Best not mention Medicare, then in case, like democratic choice, it spoils people’s voting intentions.

To Abetz credit he reveals that the party of stability is already baying for its leaders blood. Asked if he has ‘full confidence in Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister’ the senator says: “I always have confidence in the elected Parliamentary leader.”

While vote counting will continue Tuesday in a Federal Election result which may remain unknown for weeks, some things are certain. Malcolm Turnbull, whose errors of judgment include the leasing of the Port of Darwin to a Chinese firm, the Godwin Grech affair, where he was the victim of an outrageous sting, and the appointment of Mal Brough to his Cabinet, may have made his final, fatal error.

Perhaps he is a victim here, too, a plausible stand in, bound to fail, a politician whose untested claims to electoral popularity were oversold by backers desperate to replace a politically-toxic Tony Abbott.

Certainly his gambit has proved an expensive mistake. Despite high praise from Press Gallery backers, (one gurgled, that his double-dissolution plan meant “he ha(d) seized the initiative by the scruff of its neck,”) Turnbull’s punt will cost him and his government dearly. The Guardian’s Lenore Taylor calls it “an unmitigated disaster.”

The PM who promised strong, stable stand-alone government, spends Sunday morning canvassing support from Lower House Independents including Andrew Wilkie who returns to Denison, and Cathy McGowan who returns to Indi.

There was never going to be any deal, says Wilkie, a sentiment echoed by McGowan.

…a bizarre speech of recrimination…

His appeals sit oddly with his public assurances to those of the party faithful who remained to hear him make a bizarre speech of recrimination made after midnight at The Wentworth Hotel.

On election night, the PM is sure a majority is in the bag. He is just as sure that the Labor campaign has been a farrago of lies. He is calling the police on the opposition’s fraudulent scare-mongering. Had the AFP not had its hands full with NBN whistleblowers and the mystery of who had access to Peter Slipper’s diary, it might leap at another non-political investigation.

The PM has lost his double-dissolution-early-election gamble, along with many of the marginal seats his leadership was set up to protect. He has failed, comprehensively, in his bid to achieve a more congenial Senate despite reforming the election process to eliminate micro-parties.

His government will struggle to find support from a new Senate crossbench which includes at least one Pauline Hanson and Fred Nile. It is certain to be at least as challenging as its predecessor while the PM who has failed to deliver stability or security to his own party has lost even more authority and credibility as party leader

Bolshie Senate to one side and leaving the witch-hunt over illegal scare-mongering alone, Labor’s Brian Mitchell expresses something which, sadly is too easy for the complete, modern corporate statesman or party hack to overlook. It goes to the heart of Labor’s Tasmanian victory and may be one key to the post-Brexit Labor success across the nation.

For Mitchell the result is,

“Just an amazing feeling. I’m the son of a school cleaner, my mum cleaned schools, my dad was a factory hand, to think that their son is now in Federal Parliament; that’s the Labor story.”

Of course, there is more to the story than that, especially in a modern Labor Party which post-Hawke is as neo-liberal as its opposite number, a party with more than its fair share of lawyers and party apparatchiks, its consultants, publicists and lobbyists but Mitchell is on to something nonetheless.

*Urban Wronski was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

Peter Martin, Economics Editor, The Age, Fairfax: Election 2016: ‘Mediscare’ campaign worked because voters were already scared Scare campaigns only work when they reinforce or add to what is already known.

Latest analysis from Dr Kevin Bonham …

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Lynne Newington

    July 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    @ 29 I’m sorry Karl of course you’re correct in relation to Howard and Nikolic, my mind has been preocuppied with Andrew Wilkie and the Chilcot findings…….I hope you found something of interest in lieu of what I wrote.
    Regards Lynne Newington

  2. TGC

    July 6, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks #31 then after Get-Up has banished the Liberals they should get stuck inbto the unions which enforce support- via union dues- of the Labor Party with the chiefs of the unions rorting their members to the tune of $millions overall- whilst engaging in corrupt conduct unrelated to their union roles.
    Perhaps a Royal Commission would be good.

  3. William Boeder

    July 6, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    #30 Karl, this comment of yours also touches upon Australia’s security from an international perspective, I mean Australia’s Defence Intelligence department.
    I believe they themselves in the ADI department are rooted into the mindset of the ‘coalition of the willing’ with their abidance to the faulty intelligence which is provided by the American Authorities.
    The blind willingness of the ADI was certainly evident in the Howard war-mongering era.

    One can simply google up the outcome of these then advices supplied to Australia by this American controlled ‘Coalition of the Willing.’

    Both Iraq and the Libya nations have since been gutted and mostly destroyed by this coalition, it is here that Australia and its Howard Liberal government had their share of the responsibility in these 2 separate devastating invasions.

    Let it be said that there was a massive amount of negative intelligence sharing with Australia’s engagement in both these invasions that unfortunately relied upon the incoming nonsense propaganda issued by America, in regard to the ‘claimed intelligence of that era.’

    The same can be said for the NATO Forces member countries that are surrounding the Southern Russia border regions.

    (Google can provide this information in map form.)

    Effectively America is trying to provoke Russia into initiating military engagement, but Putin will no be provoked, he simply stating that Russia could invade all of Europe in a matter of 60 days, then warned all of these NATO Forces to listen carefully to his determined promise.

    Libya was invaded because Colonel Gaddafi was reintroducing the Gold Standard as the support for the Libyan currency of that time.
    This in itself would further distance itself from the fiat money values of American FED currency.
    Today is a time of danger for each of the countries that are tightly allied with America, there is such a high level of created chaos around the World, as well as in America itself, that would suggest we in Australia cannot and must not leave our security in the hands of the chaos creating American Administration.

    Based on the fact that America carries an overspend of $18 or more Trillion dollars (most of it accrued by military agenda-ed foreign invasions and CIA plottings.

    Then there are the unfunded liabilities that America are obligated to, this in itself runs into the hundreds of Trillions.

    America spends more than its annual GDP each succeeding year which is on the decline initially caused by America exporting so much of its manufacture overseas pursuits.
    Currently China are the people engaged to manufacture a great amount of the electronic gadgetry and the many different mother-boards ‘as are sought by the American military as well as the private sector.’

    Can someone advise me how clever this strategy is?

  4. William Boeder

    July 6, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    So many great comments and interesting links that have accompanied them.
    As for the GetUp group, they have provided a service many in this State will be so pleased has occurred.
    Nikolic was a pest from day one when he arrived into his electorate.

    In regard to the curmudgeonly dealings by Erich Abetz, he has more than likely become his own devil through his meddling into the obscure religious-claiming cults and then arranging various levels of Federal funding for these same ‘social caste-offs’ being these mind battered persons that are quite possibly led to believe Erich is their Messiah.

    Now with the Nick Xenophon Team rising in their numbers due to their inspirational Nick Xenophon, he may finally be able to convince the Senate that both the rebadged Exclusive Brethren and the Scientology con-merchants, will finally be investigated into their line of distorting peoples minds that twist and twirl their obedient flocks into a form of blind-eyed Cultist movement.

    Some 7-10 years ago Abetz was able to defeat the call for inquiries into these weird cults, I have often wondered into the why and how of these extreme cults with their anti the Australian way of life, could attract or be recruited as new members as this could only be by actions of deception.

    It is my opinion that the members (as opposed to their leaders and men of influence) become the hard-working salary-denied work-force that must vow their future life to serve their leaders.

    (Might be a case for Workcover to organize a raid on these cult owners and their highly placed executive like management Generals.)

    Having said the above, the criticism toward GetUp being a crowd-sourced funding entity and its members forming up against the evil in the Liberal Party, is no different to Abetz and Co except that Abetz may reach into the Australian government revenue cash register.

    This GetUp organization or as I see it (a general consensus group of well-intentioned people from within our society who desire to stamp out dishonest government) are more deserved of Federal Funding than those in the Eric Abetz fostered and forced slave cults.

    Then that this valuable law-bending advice facility provided by Erich would (in the same matter that lawyers charge for their time) would require invoices stating “fees for Legal Consultant Services” for whatever amounts that Erich would care to nominate.

    The next step I would like to see for GetUp engage in, would be to aim for the revocation of the Liberals as a political party based on the fact that their entire agenda is to serve the corporates and the wealthy but at the direct expense of the Australian taxpayers in the most heavily biased non-democratic fashion.

    These Liberals are certainly not a representing party for the good of Australia.

  5. Karl Stevens

    July 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Lynne Newington 29. To me it’s no surprise John Howard is a vocal supporter of Andrew Nikolic.

    The Chilcot Report slams the ‘coalition of the willing’ for being subservient stooges of fabricated US intelligence.

    Why should people who are unable to interpret faulty intelligence be in a leadership role in Australia?

  6. Lynne Newington

    July 6, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    The bad blood extends to the Conservatives now blaming Malcolm Turbull for the recent Liberal Party’s demise with Cori Bernardi looking to start up another political party.
    “Malcolm Turnbull’s aim not allow the influence of religion affect the government” has been bubbling beneath the surface for some time and it will be interesting to see the outcome of the plebicite on same sex marriage and if he can move around the discriminatory church laws he signed up to, like me who didn’t read the fine print.
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/election-results-abbottbacker-andrew-nikolic-blames-getup-for-swing-that-cost-him-seat-of-bass-20160704-gpy38y.html

  7. Simon Warriner

    July 6, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Pete, Karl, thanks for that, priceless.

    Although, perhaps we should now be calling for the libs to keep Eric in his current position. It serves to highlight the points of difference for the alternatives.

    Now, how many votes does Robin Gray cost the libs when he appears in public? any advance of 475?

  8. GetUp Grub

    July 6, 2016 at 4:07 am

    #21 Abetz said GetUp was “an extreme left-wing front” that had “besmirched” Nikolic’s character and questioned whether the organisation should be eligible for charity status. So the fight has started, to quell another voice of the community.
    According to Crikey today, Nikolic posted this on his Facebook account: “THIS IS WHAT DISHONEST LOOKS LIKE — GETUP SPENT $500,000 AND IMPORTED 90 ACTIVISTS INTO BASS.”
    I spent time handing out “how to vote cards” on a number of polling booths, both prepoll and polling day and engaged in conversation with the Liberals who were similarly engaged. All pleasant chaps. But all from Interstate. Is the Liberal party in Tasmania, so few in number that they do not have the people to support the party at election time? Or as Nikolic says: “THIS IS WHAT DISHONEST LOOKS LIKE!Importing Liberal activists?

    Sadly for Erich, the opportunity to punish GetUP by removing its charity status will not work. As Crikey correctly points out, unlike the IPA, Erich’s favourite “charity”, GetUp does not have charity status.

  9. Pete Godfrey

    July 5, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    #21 Simon here is the link to the article where Robin Grey want Eric to go. It appears that there is a lot of bad blood between those two.

    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4008403/former-premier-says-abetz-has-to-go-labels-party-inept/

  10. Karl Stevens

    July 5, 2016 at 11:18 am

  11. phill Parsons

    July 5, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Politiciana draw this odd conclusion that in the medical system there is overservicing which will be corrected by a price signal whilst at the same time unable to link ignorance about factors contributing to good health and the contribution of poverty to ill health.

    It is then their illogical conclusion to hit those with the least money and possibly the poorest and most ignorant about good health with extra costs to create a spiral to greater illness and higher costs to the health system later.

    One of the dumbest programs you could imagine.

  12. TGC

    July 5, 2016 at 12:29 am

    #20 Speaking of people easy to dislike…Bill Shorten has found another blatant lie- one entirely of his own dreaming; that Malcolm Turnbull is considering calling a fresh election.
    No wonder he wanders around with his hands in his trouser pockets!
    Does this guy know what truth is?

  13. Lynne Newington

    July 4, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    As far as Malcolm Turnbull and Allan Jones is concerned…….
    Jim McClelland doesn’t come up sanitary clean guilty of throwing an odd bit of shit himself.
    Better use a better example.
    http://www.mumble.com.au/published/19991128smhmcguinnessonmclelland.htm

  14. Simon Warriner

    July 4, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Sorry folks but I have to agree with Abetz about Get Up.

    With Shorten as a founding director and seed funding from union sources it looks, walks and smells like a labor duck pretending to be something very different.

    Not sorry Nikolic has been rolled, but Get Up are pretending to be something they very definitely are not, and thus are as much part of the problem as Abetz and the rest of them.

    That aside, can someone please point me to Robin Gray’s comments about Abetz,

  15. Chris

    July 4, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Bye Bye Mal.

    https://redflag.org.au/article/malcolm-turnbull-smooth-salesman-rich

    Turnbull at least makes no bones about this. When asked by shock jock Alan Jones last June whether he supported Hockey’s budget, he said: “I support unreservedly and wholeheartedly every element in the Budget, every single one.”

    In the early 1990s, Turnbull also served as chairman of Axiom Forest Resources, which clear-felled forests in the Solomon Islands, turning a profit of $25 million in less than two years from environmental devastation.

    Appointed minister of the environment in John Howard’s last term in government, this so-called moderate approved the application by Gunns Limited to build a $1.7 billion pulp mill in Tasmania.

    But we would not disagree with Nicholas Whitlam’s description of him as “a prick”, or former Labor Senator Jim McClelland’s comment that Turnbull is “a turd, easy to loathe and a shit”.

  16. Karl Stevens

    July 4, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I also saw the Emma Alberichi post-election interview with Senator Abetz. Eric’s face lit-up like an incandessant light globe when Alberichi asked him about recent comments made by Robin Gray. Apparently they have history going back years.
    I’m fascinated by the Abetz persona. He is the most robotic sounding politician I have ever seen. To me he appears only notionally ‘human’. Tasmania should be marketing this guy as a ‘reptilian android’ tourist attraction in my view. I would be so pleased if Eric also had shapeshifting abilities.
    In a chronically depressed state in the middle of winter, a shapeshifting reptilian android masquerading as a conservative politician is enough to warm any home.
    Can’t sombody at UTAS clone Abetz? The faithful copies could be cryogenically frozen in shipping containers before export to all those places deprived of a reptilian android administration.
    This could usher in a ‘one world government’ of extraterrestrial mechano-bots all originating from Tasmania.

  17. Pete Godfrey

    July 4, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Does anyone else find it odd that Senator Abetz finds Getup odious. The Liberals only get around 38% of the vote in elections, it is only their power sharing arrangement with the Nationals that allows them to ever form a government.
    The Liberals set up so many dodgy schemes to get their hands on public money for their re election. They set up the Parakeelia farce, to funnel public money back to the party, the are handsomely backed by Rupert Murdoch, they get massive funds from tobacco, health providers, miners etc. But somehow it is odious that the public spend their own money on supporting Getup’s campaigns to shine a light on them.
    Methinks that Erich is a tad out of touch.
    Like Urban says they have fallen for the old trap of surrounding themselves with sycophants and have believed in their own spin and right to rule over the unwashed masses.
    I am happy that Getup helped us to bring them down a peg or two.

  18. GetUp Grub

    July 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I had the misfortune to watch Eric Abetz on Lateline stating all of the reasons why the Liberals were wiped out in Tasmania. Three “excellent members” lost through imported activists, such as, “the Grubs from GetUp”. Apparently members of a community based organisation are “grubs” while the IPA, the Murdoch press and all those institutions that support the Liberals, are just fine.

    Eric and his mates are the grubs, as those Tasmanians who attempted to deal with the trio, know.

    Incidentally, his party was in no way to blame for the rout. If you missed Lateline on the 4th, catch it on Iview, but I suggest not after you have eaten some rich food.

    Check out the GetUp site and note the qualifications of the directors. Grubs? I don’t think so.

  19. Phil Lohrey

    July 4, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Didn’t the Fraser government abolish Medibank so that the Hawke government had to re-create a universal health scheme, #13?

  20. Phil Lohrey

    July 4, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    11/12 must be able to afford plenty of private insurance or he and his family must be in the best of health – all joking aside, eh?

  21. Nicholas Way

    July 4, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Perhaps Peter Martin should have delved a little further into history, to 1991, when Bob Hawke and his deputy Brian Howe (from the left no less) introduced a $3.50 co-payment charge in the federal budget. the reason — to send a price signal because of the rising health costs. It’s now history Keating used this co-payment as part of his challenge to Hawke as opposition grew from doctors, the ACTU, caucus, pension groups, etc. Initially it was cut to $2.50 and then abolished after Keating became Prime Minister. It might just be me but I see some delicious irony in Hawke being used to front Labor’s “save Medicare campaign”. The loser, of course, in this latest scare campaign will be the Australian public as any attempt to reform Medicare (no, not privatise) will now join the long list of “political untouchables”

  22. TGC

    July 4, 2016 at 12:54 am

    #9 Quite agree – or not! May need to get the pharmacist to look at it.

  23. TGC

    July 4, 2016 at 12:51 am

    #5 Did Kevin Harkness get elected?

    #6 Totally agree- that “…new MHR Mitchell’s “Just an amazing feeling. I’m the son of a school cleaner, my mum cleaned schools, my dad was a factory hand, to think that their son is now in Federal Parliament; that’s the Labor story” was even mentioned highlights how far removed from Labor ‘values’ – at their core- are most Labor politicians. The new Labor MHR for Lyons is a lawyer- where’s William Shakespeare when we need him? (open to interpretation-particularly by lawyers

  24. Lynne Newington

    July 4, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Robert Mugabe less reprehensible?
    He has the same religious ideology as many here in Australia other than the Liberal Party and Jesuit trained.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-23431534
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SslUGSaAkDk21 Mar 2013 – 3 min – Uploaded by Earthlinggb
    Why does the new Pope bow to a brutal dictator? …

  25. William Boeder

    July 3, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Phil Lohrey, your comment has slashed deep into the flesh of the haves- rather than to let it rest at the cost of the have nots.
    There can be no other concession offered nor given to the non-trustable anti-the-Australian Liberal party other than the disbanding of such a wicked and greed besotted political faction.

    Think long and deep toward the call for a retraction of the faction, or call it a dissolution of one malfeasant Liberal political party that seeks to enslave the Australian people to the whims of multi-national corporatism and the smirking rich folk.
    Australia must never again host such an evil conspiring mob of smarty’s to claim themselves to be a legitimate alternative government political party that will inevitably create the death of Australia, as the former proud independent Nation that Australia had in times earlier become.

    Look to the lowly war-like propaganda-riddled America as the creator of a repugnant government, for this has become the same creed as sought after by the Australian anti-democratic Liberal faction.
    The forces of debt duplicity and destruction must not constitute itself to form up as a political faction.
    Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe are less reprehensible in the context of the ruthless American war-making, world chaos creating, Liberal-minded Clinton, George W then Obama’s in our World.

  26. Phil Lohrey

    July 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    The Peter Martin Age article must be one of the most definitive replies to Coalition accusations of “lies” concerning Medicare. – Something like a dozen attempts to coerce doctors to charge, to introduce co-payments, to freeze rebates, to privatise administration, to slash increases in hospital funding. And all this on top of Coalition pre-election lies in 2013 promising no cuts to health, education, pensions, the ABC or SBS! Thank to Peter Martin for a concise historical summary of sabotage attempts on Medicare over the past Parliamentary term (not to mention previous terms). This article should be bookmarked and the link forwarded to people believing current Coalition accusations of Labor “lies” concerning Medicare.

  27. Lynne Newington

    July 3, 2016 at 7:45 pm

  28. Leonard Colquhoun

    July 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Agree with the new MHR Mitchell’s “Just an amazing feeling. I’m the son of a school cleaner, my mum cleaned schools, my dad was a factory hand, to think that their son is now in Federal Parliament; that’s the Labor story” – but with one significant omission: it is not just a Labor story.

    It goes to the core of what’s gone wrong with our arrangements for representative government: the major parties no longer pre-select children of school cleaners and factory hands, or of suburban solicitors and independent tradies, because those sorts of ‘real’ people with ‘real’ jobs are no longer welcome in those two parties, and their memberships are now dominated by people who don’t lead ‘real’ lives and don’t have ‘real’ jobs – and, frankly, seem to despise those of us who do.

    Their candidates are not PLUs – and they are in no way ‘representative’ of us.

    MHR Mitchell, your mission (or at least one of them, should you wish to accept it) is to get your Party to encourage more people-like-you to offer themselves for election by voters-like-us.

  29. Kevin H

    July 3, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    And then there was the Rec Fishing Party. Won Braddon and Lyons for Labor. It is undeniable.

  30. Lynne Newington

    July 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I think a man with the sensibilities of Andrew Wilkie would much prefer to deal with Malcolm Turnbull than with Tony Abbott.
    What manner of prime minister with the future of their country at stake….. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lap_dog.
    I recommend Nikki Savva’s book, The Road to Ruin before anyone makes a comment if needing further convincing.

  31. phill Parsons

    July 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    “You’d be mad not to vote for more of it.” is a near perfect encapsulation of the failure of the Lieberal campaign to retain all of Howard’s battlers.

    Having worked hard to shore up the neo-con project of globalization where wealth only moves up they failed to recognize that the working poor are in the working and the middle class, people dependent on social justice or who can see they will son be so.

    The Lieberals attempted to address the issues they describe as the worries of the chattering class, climate instability and marriage equality only to be disbelieved, the clearer offers by the Labor Green coalition chaos monster seen as a better option. Eric Abetz go figure.

    Some things about Tasmania are special but it’s parochialism is oft exploited. As Abetz failed to get some Tasmanians cannot afford to be ‘mad’.

    In this hiatus until the Declaration of the Polls much speculation will occur but one thing is certain – Turnbull has made himself a lame duck.

    Portrayed as a toff in a top hat his puffery was not enough when he sacrificed his values to the agenda of the delcons of the IPA and the far right of his Party.

    He may think he is Lazarus with a bypass, heaven knows the ego of the Sydney Grammarian is big enough, but I predict he will not take the same suite of policies for the rich and foreign corporations complete with climate denial and wasteful plebiscites to the people again.

  32. Mark Temby

    July 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

    The only lifeline I’d throw Turnbull is that his Prime Ministership was hogtied by the right wing ideologues in the Liberal Party. Turnbull was not allowed any policies on tax reform except a future GST and a tax cut for multinationals, climate change or renewable energy, SSM or the Republic.

    Turnbull was like Rudd in being largely unaligned with the dominant factions. They each believed they could govern by being inclusive of the factions. They each failed to assert their leadership over the factions. The factions just waited for their opportunity to replace with a vote.

    Put simply, Turnbull lost the election as he was encumbered with the agenda of the conservative right. It was this same agenda that Abbott owned when the Liberal Party ousted him as PM. Abbott wasn’t just unpopular because he was a buffoon but because of his agenda.

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