Well its the first of may which means that we are now only a couple of weeks out from another Labor Budget and the softening up propaganda is in full swing, what with Gillard’s announcement the other day that Labor has a 12 billion dollar black hole that we the ever suffering tax payers will have to endure a rise in the Medicare levy to fund “Disability care” (NDIS renamed ) we can expect a never ending barrage of tales of woe to prepare us for a budget that will not be anywhere near as bad as expected for a couple of simple reasons.
Firstly its an election year and that means that the budget will be designed to fit in with Labor pitch to the voters for another term in power so they won’t be keen to get too many people off side by doing much that will be unpopular, they simply don’t have the skill or the time to argue for unpopular changes or truly new schemes so what they will be doing is trying to find way that their keynote “reforms” can have the illusion of being possible even though much of their new schemes have thus far been very poorly designed and even more poorly explained or justified Nothing illustrates this more than the “Gonski” scheme which has been eulogised by endless teacher’s union funded ads on the TV but we still have very little idea of just what it will mean for schools and even less confidence that finding out the details of the scheme will matter because apart from Barry O Farrell proving the adage about State Premiers grabbing for pots of money at least partially correct, none of the other states committed themselves to Gillard’s so called “education reforms” which will mean its failure.
Then there is the way to fund the ” Disability care” scheme, to be honest having it paid for by a rise in the Medicare levy is at least somewhat consistent with the original notion of that tax and I don’t expect that the current opposition will roll back such a change when they get into the treasury benches either. I do however have some issue with this new scheme being rolled out at the same time as the Government (and to a lesser extent the opposition are trying to imply that those of the disabled who have qualified for the DSP are all slackers or frauds. If we are honest we have to realise that the disabled as a group covers a rather wide spectrum of people with an equally wide range of impairment the question that we as a society have to consider is where we draw the line. Likewise its fine to have a principle of encouraging all of the disabled who can do some work to do so but firstly there has to be some work that they can do available for them and employers who are willing to take on the burden. Both are rather thin on the ground yet this government seems very intent upon forcing the disabled to enter the same job seeker churn that it imposes upon receipts of the Newstart allowance. Its fair enough for the able bodied but all the churn will do for the disabled is make them depressed and further lower their self esteem as they struggle over ever more odious bureaucratic hurdles. This farce is only really possible though because of the way that the public perceives disability. To most people a disabled person has to be either holding a white cane or in a wheel chair or they are not even seen as being disabled. However there are many conditions, MS for example, which have very few outward indicators of infirmity even though they would make meaningful (to themselves and an employer) work difficult if not impossible . The repeated implication that many people who qualify as disabled are in one sense or another “scamming the system” does not help matters either because for every fraudster who is caught there are many, many genuine claimants who have to constantly live with the suspicion or even outright accusation that they are “bunging it on”. Its not a good look for a government who are pinning their election campaign on the hopefully positive reception to its NDIS now is it?
If this government was genuine about fixing the 12billion “black hole” then they would do a couple of simple things: Abolish the carbon tax, its associated bureaucracy and its compensation, likewise they should abolish the MRRT mining tax and the pork distribution that is predicated upon that failed tax, If they then actually fixed the asylum seeker issue by restoring the full suite of measures that worked under Howard regime more billions could be saved… Oh, hang on, that prescription sounds awfully like the opposition plan so maybe that is the answer after-all. We need to change the government rather than hoping that this administration can be reformed enough for it to properly serve the nation, really there is no other choice.
I have been arguing for years that carbon trading schemes are virtually Ponzi schemes that are bound to collapse and the European scheme certainly seems to be following the script that I imagined. The fringe benefit of this is clearly watching the Australian Labor Party making even greater fools of themselves every time their “fixed price” Carbon tax rises as it is scheduled to do in June. If our “Carbon price” is already many times the price of European traded value imagine the pain felt by Labor when the carbon tax rises and the European price falls yet again as I think it will.
So I ask again does anyone seriously think that, after the election, any Labor MP or senator will inflict further pain upon the greatly depleted party by opposing the repeal of this ludicrous carbon tax and all of its accompanying administrative apparatus?
The party is a laughing stock now so just imagine how silly it will look standing up for the tax that has utterly destroyed its credibility.
Advocates here insist that the Gillard scheme will be a valuable tool in the fight against the scourge of Anthropogenic Global Warming I have never been convinced that it will do anything that its advocates claim and I have repeatedly suggested that its little more than a scam. This post has but one purpose and that is to point out the folly of “emission trading schemes” and to show just how easily they become little more than a shambolic fraud. One only has top look to the European scheme to see what we can expect from the one created by the Gillard government:
Of course my quote above does not tell the whole story but it is a good example of how these schemes rely upon what can only be described as “clever accounting” to create the pretence of efficacy. To be honest I can see how such an indirect method to change industrial behaviour can ever truly work because it is all based upon the “bigger idiot principal”* and just as that sees the collapse of ponzi schemes it is seeing the collapse of the European emissions trading scheme as well:
Its a far from pretty picture in Europe and the only light in the antipodean climate darkness is that the Coalition have promised to repeal the idiotic regime created to placate the loopy Greens by a desperate Julia Gillard. Now if only the incoming Abbott government would have the courage to also ditch the majority of their own pointless scheme the country would be truly free of the AGW madness .
*the bigger idiot principle is essential in all kinds of derivative trading schemes it is the underlying belief that any commodity can be sold at a profit if only enough people can be convinced to buy into the scheme. It is fine until the supply of idiots runs out.
- Politicians reject call for early shift to emissions trading (abc.net.au)
- EU urged to revive flagging emissions trading scheme (guardian.co.uk)
- Opposition rules out emissions scheme (news.com.au)
- The EU Emissions Trading Scheme under WTO Rules (worldtradelaw.typepad.com)
- What Gillard is up against (theaimn.com)
- Without dignity all is lost for Labor (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- How does Julia sleep? (spectator.co.uk)
- Carbon fat cats are killing the emissions trading mouse | Damian Carrington (guardian.co.uk)
Interesting developments in the death throes of the Gillard regime,as the Fairfax press report that key backers are apparently reconsidering their support for the embattled Ranga. Of great amusement to me is that the . With her bait and switch attempt thanks to Comrade Conroy descended in to utter farce and humiliation as both the idea of this new “oversight” mechanism and the ineptitude of the way that Conroy has tried to ram it through the Parliament backfires badly with all but the out of tune lead singers of the Gillard is running a story denying that there , one of the key players in this end game is wavering in his support for GillardGlee Club realising that this is a doomed project and its going to take Labor with it. We see Labor spin in ever decreasing circles around its own plug hole .
Clearly the impending Gillard implosion may suit the barrackers for the Rundestration push but I personally don’t see how a credible government can be made from the clump of soggy pubic hair that will be dragged out of the drain after the Gillard gurgle has grunted its last graceless gasp. Would even the most dedicated Labor voter have any joy or confidence in the party when faced with that pencil stub and the ballot paper? Oh I know that many dyed in the wool true believers will still vote Labor at the next election they won’t be able to do with their hand that which their heads tell them is necessary but it will be with a bleak resignation rather than any joy or devotion to the party, and that dear friends is the tragedy here that a party formed under a bent gum tree at Barcaldine which and has held the faith of ordinary working people for a century has been slowly committing suicide since 2010. There have been too many errors of judgement, from both Rudd and Gillard and too many times that they have taken the people for granted and even when Gillard’s Coup and the subsequent reduction of Rudd’s sizeable majority into a a whimpering minority government beholden to both the loopy Greens and even loopier “independents” and now as the endgame unfolds all we see is farce played out with a deadly earnestness that demonstrates just how unfit to rule Labor has become.
Will Abbott be better? The Gillard Glee Club have been hyperventilating about every possible scare that they can invoke, from dawn to dusk they have been insisting that the sky will fall and that we will be plunged into a “new dark age” of repressive 1950′s proportions, women will be chained to sinks, and forbidden to either close their legs or wear shoes according unreconstructed Glee club . The Warminista faithful are certain that an Abbott government will condemn us to being fried by Gaia‘s wrath while they sip their Lattes by the beach. The vested interests tremble in fear that their Rolls Royce dreams of the NBN will not be delivered as promised by Gillard ( like, who but the Glee Club believed it anyway?) but people like my neighbour just dream about getting ADSL rather than the wonky satellite broadband they have to put up with because our exchange has only limited ports. Every where you look in the political landscape there is disappointment caused by the grandiose promises mouthed by Labor and the lack of subsequent delivery and its that disappointment that will ensure that the Abbott government which makes much more modest promises endures for far longer than Labor has since 2007. There are certainly things that Abbott is likely to do that I think will not be of benefit to the country, their climate change policy is one of them and I think it could at this point be quietly dropped in its entirety but it won’t be. In the some category is the submarine program and the Joint strike fighter purchase In the age of the drone and the attack helicopter I cant for the life of me see what we need either.
I don’t see Abbott falling for the short-sightedness of rushing to placate the sectional interests of his own party either because its clear to me that he is playing a long game here and that game recognises that rashness and “crash through” thinking creates more problems than it solves. The desire for administrative longevity should see a rather more dull political landscape in the opinion of this humble scribe and after the last five years of “Labor excitement” I think that I am going to be very good with a few years of dull and predictable.
- Gillard is definitely not drunk… or Conroy’s zombie hordes shuffle in time to the beat of his drum (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Cabinet ministers desert Gillard (theage.com.au)
- Gillard can beat Abbott – Shorten (bigpondnews.com)
- Loss of confidence in Gillard (smh.com.au)
- Gillard an ineffectual campaigner (smh.com.au)
- Labor troubles now entrenched (smh.com.au)
- PM facing landslide loss in new poll (bigpondnews.com)
I have repeatedly suggested that when it comes to repealing the carbon tax that the ALP will not be at all obstructive in the upper house because they will have to concede that Tony Abbott will have a mandate to do this. Now I find in today’s Oz the same suggestion from Tony Abbott himself:
My friends from the left have been fooling themselves if they think that the incoming government will not be true to their word, after all being untruthful to the electorate is what will be buying Labor’s very long lease on their wilderness accommodation…
We live in a secular age and in this country we expect that there should be a well defined separation between church and state, however when the government of the day “gets religion” which encourages them to set up a huge edifice to promote the tenets of their faith who would be surprised that the shear cost of the instrumentality and its lack of any immediate benefit for the billions it is costing should lead them to consider shutting it all down to help a budget bottom line that is in a rather perilous state for a plan due to be delivered just prior to the next federal election:
The thing that I find amusing about this is that it actually a wise move politically for the government to contemplate this sort of departmental pruning on a number of different levels.
Firstly the staff in this department will not be missed by the public because the work they do is pointless anyway
Secondly you can bet that as a recently created instrumentality that the majority of the staff are employed on short term contracts which would make them easier to sack/dispense with
Thirdly those public servants have been on notice since the rise of Tony Abbott that they are going to be gone as soon as he gets the lodge so being sacked by Labor won’t be much different to what they were expecting anyway.
Fourthly Most work in Canberra which is a solidly Labor town so their votes would still be mostly delivered to the government anyway because you can bet that most who work in the department are likely to be Greens supporters.
Fifthly it will save lots of money on the expenditure side of the Ledger which is desperately needed to try to balance the budget to recover Wayne Swan’s economic credibility.
Then on the other hand the Coalition must be delighted at the prospect of the Gillard government wearing all of the political pain for doing that which they will be planning as one of their first items of business after September 15. They will be able to achieve the abolition of this monument to leftist hubris with out being blamed or daemonised for doing so during the election campaign. The beauty of it all just sends a shiver down my spine , further it lends a fair bit of weight to my prediction that in a post Gillard parliament a very much chastened ALP will not oppose any bill to dismantle the Carbon Tax et al because they will be so despairing about the issue that they will just want to get it behind them and move on .
As for the Greens, well I expect that they will be rather like that Shakespearean storm, all sound and fury signifying nothing.
Hmm you have got to love those Loopy Greens and their Peons in that Quango invented by Gillard to buy their parliamentary endorsement…
While I certainly do understand the strict letter of the law interpretation of the “caretaker conventions ” its ludicrous that this Quango is prepared to enter into contracts and disperse Largess in the full knowledge that the coalition will close down the Quango at the earliest possible opportunity. Frankly I suspect that those who enter into contracts with this instrumentality would have a very hard time suing for compensation after a change of government because the coalition have made it very clear that that they will wind up this utterly useless sop to Greens ideology and its likely that a judge would agree with the incoming government that any contracts would be void and not liable to compensation. Even if this were not the case its unlikely that the Green cronies would have spent all of the 10 billion by September 14 so all the Greens could hope to do is deprive the treasury of some budgetary savings when this quango is abolished.
Finally what is the bet that all employees of this Quango are on short term contracts?
- Julia Gillard calls September 14 federal election (abc.net.au)
- Richard III, Gillard, Campbell Newman, and Slo-Mo train wrecks (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Kevin Rudd hoses down challenge talk (bigpondnews.com)
- If it looks and smells like a campaign, then it’s a campaign (abc.net.au)
- Oppn takes aim at economy as parly starts (news.theage.com.au)
- Julia Gillard now leads ‘most unpopular Australian government in past 40 years’ (1389blog.com)
- Abbott warns coalition against arrogance (news.theage.com.au)
Its even been rather hot here on our usually slightly cooler mountain abode and like every other sensible person I have sought to get through that less than salubrious weather as best I could. I have not however succumbed to the silly notion that the current heat wave is a sign from on high that we are experiencing the wrath of the deity in the from of “global warming” and thankfully Miranda Devine’s column has a rather timely reminder that such heatwave are far from unprecedented in this country:
Sir John Henniker Heaton kindly recorded it all for us in 1879 in the Australian Dictionary Of Dates, which a reader has provided.
It is an invaluable primary resource, as you will see. (I have translated temperatures from fahrenheit to celsius).
December 27, 1790: “Great heat in Sydney, 39C in the shade. Settlement visited by myriads of flying foxes, birds dropped dead from the trees.”
February 10 and 11, 1791: “On which days the temperature at Sydney stood in the shade at 41C, the heat was so excessive at Parramatta, made worse by the bushfires, that immense numbers of the large fox-bats were seen to drop from the trees into the water, and many dropped dead on the wing.”
Heaton quotes from The Sydney Gazette of November 29, 1826: “The heat and hot wind of Saturday last excelled all that we ever experienced in the colony. On board the Volage man-of-war (a naval vessel), in the shade, the thermometer was 41C, and on the shore it was, in some parts of the town, 38C, and in others 40C.
“To traverse the streets was truly dreadful, the dust rose in thick columns, and the northwest wind, from which quarter our hot winds invariably proceed, was assisted in its heat by the surrounding country being all on fire, so that those who were compelled to travel felt themselves encircled with lambent flames. Sydney was more like the mouth of Vesuvius than anything else.”
Again from The Sydney Gazette, February 21, 1832: “Saturday was one of the hottest days ever remembered. The recent rains having saturated the earth, the atmosphere was impregnated by an aqueous vapour not unlike steam issuing from a boiler, while the sun poured down all the fury of his heat. It was dreadful.
“Man and beast groaned beneath the oppression, and numbers of working oxen dropped down dead on the public roads.”
The bullocks were even worse off on Saturday, March 18, 1832, which The Sydney Gazette reported was “insufferably warm. At 1pm, the thermometer was 54C in the sun. The cattle suffered much. Working bullocks dropped dead.”
Of course it was much hotter in Central Australia.
I am also rather drawn to note that in the northern hemisphere there has been experiencing rather harsh and unpleasant “cold snap” Oh but of course the Warministas will insist that colder winters are “just weather” where as a heatwave is evidence that AGW is real and happening now.
The global climate is extremely variable now if only the Warministas could work out a way of credibly discerning the amount of the human activity signal in the data they might just be more convincing. As it stands I am very firmly of the opinion that when one steps back from the alarmist claims and look at the bigger picture that there is nothing unprecedented about this heat wave at all and certainly not enough evidence to claim that it is anything other than an example of “weather” .