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Home » AGW and climate change » In the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more

In the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more

They say that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels and I can’t help thinking that political “conventions” about how you talk about your predecessors in overseas media and  forums are one of the great hiding places for ineptitude that the labor party and its facilitators  are trying their darnedest to invoke in a rather shabby  attempt to ignore their own repeated and egregious policy failures both domestically and internationally.  Take the criticism of  Tony Abbott for his robust characterisations of the previous Labor administrations as  “whacko”:

During your campaign you called for a repeal of the carbon tax imposed by the Labor Party. Why are you against this tax?

The carbon tax is bad for the economy and it doesn’t do any good for the environment. Despite a carbon tax of $37 a ton by 2020, Australia’s domestic emissions were going up, not down. The carbon tax was basically socialism masquerading as environmentalism, and that’s why it’s going to get abolished.

It will be abolished this year?

As soon as possible. If the Labor Party wants to give the people of Australia a Christmas present, they will vote to abolish the carbon tax. It was damaging the economy without helping the environment. It was a stupid tax. A misconceived tax.

You said in your victory speech that Australia is once again open for business. Does that mean you believe that the previous government was unfriendly to businesses?

I said Australia is under new management and is once again open for business. The previous government would often say the right thing but it would invariably do the wrong thing when it came to business. There was an explosion in red tape and green tape. There was a whole thicket of new restrictions in the labor market. There were big new taxes. It was a government which thought that there was no problem that more public servants, higher taxes and further regulation couldn’t fix.

So you’re reversing that?

We will do our damnedest to shrink the public service and have a bonfire of red tape and unnecessary taxes.

{…}

Labor wanted a national broadband network?

It’s a government-owned telecommunications infrastructure monopoly, which was proceeding at a scandalous rate without producing any commensurate outcomes. We are changing the objective from fiber to every premise in the country to fiber to distribution points, and then we will use the existing infrastructure to take the broadband to individual premises.

Is that cheaper and more efficient?

Vastly.

But Labor wanted to extend fiber to every household?

Welcome to the wonderful, wacko world of the former government.

So you believe the former government was doing a lot of things that were bad for the country?

I thought it was the most incompetent and untrustworthy government in modern Australian history.

Be more specific.

They made a whole lot of commitments, which they scandalously failed to honor. They did a lot of things that were scandalously wasteful and the actual conduct of government was a circus. They were untrustworthy in terms of the carbon tax. They were incompetent in terms of the national broadband network. They were a scandal when it came to their own internal disunity. They made a whole lot of grubby deals in order to try and perpetuate themselves in power.  It was an embarrassing spectacle, and I think Australians are relieved they are gone.

Source

Of course according to the Age this constitutes a terrible affront to the conventions of international diplomacy and their headline suggests that this interview is a terrible assault on the standing of our country but I can’t help but think that the Luvvies just have no ability to appreciate the importance of frankness and honesty when it comes to the way that our nation will be appreciated on the international stage, further we live in the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more. No discreet little places where the news and politics of a country can be hidden away from global scrutiny and while I can appreciate the desire not to see our dirty laundry aired in public its not as if we can (or should) hide the simple fact that the previous government was utterly incompetent in most areas of its remit. So there really is no reason or excuse for a lack of frankness when it comes to any international media interviews by the current government ministers or by our Prime minister. The ability for anyone anywhere on the planet to find out just what has been said domestically  by our political players means the more important consideration should be that they produce a message that is consistent both domestically and globally.  Tony Abbott has done precisely that in this interview. and I for one think that he should be celebrated for his candour rather than being admonished for it by the Luvvies at the Age who are hoping that Labor’s incompetence can be swiftly forgotten. Sadly for them I think that it will be remembered for a very long time and will keep the Labor party where they so deserve to be, in the in the dry and desert like  political wilderness, after-all, sinners need to become accustomed to the environment where their souls will reside for (nearly) eternity…

Cheers Comrades

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29 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    Obviously Tony Abbott is still stuck in Labor-bashing mode, permanently it seems. It’s the only thing he does well. Come to think of it, it’s the only thing he does, full stop. Someone needs to kick Abbott up the arse and tell him to put up or shut up because, so far, he looks like being anything but an ‘Action Man’.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Oh Ray, I hope that you are wearing your crocodile proof swimming trunks as you swim in the long Egyptian river of de’nile. because you seem to be missing the point of my post which is to point out that there really is no continuing distinction between local and international media any more and to pretend that there is as the luvvies at the Age have been doing does us all a great disservice.

    enjoy

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    There’s certainly a difference in the demographic that reads the media, Iain, and your boy Abbott is proving to be a mighty big embarrassment to us overseas. My point, however, is that Abbott is still stuck in Opposition mode and has spent so long being negative about everything Labor did he forgot to develop any real alternative policies of his own. And it shows – he’s asked a question about scrapping carbon tax and all he can do is revert to the same old negativity instead of explaining what he’s putting in its place. Something about ‘Direct Action’ on climate change, I believe. Whatever the frack that is. Don’t ask Abbott, he doesn’t know or care what he’s spending $3 billion on either. The man’s useless.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    There’s certainly a difference in the demographic that reads the media, Iain, and your boy Abbott is proving to be a mighty big embarrassment to us overseas.

    I see no evidence to support that claim at all

    My point, however, is that Abbott is still stuck in Opposition mode and has spent so long being negative about everything Labor did he forgot to develop any real alternative policies of his own.

    Did you watch the speech he gave that I posted Ray?
    but you forget or ignore the simple fact that when you are replacing a very bad government like the Labor administration you can’t turn things around by ignoring your predecessors crap which means that you can’t just pretend that they were OK when they were anything but that.

    And it shows – he’s asked a question about scrapping carbon tax and all he can do is revert to the same old negativity instead of explaining what he’s putting in its place.

    There is noting at all positive about the Carbon Tax, not one single aspect of that whole edifice has any virtue at all and as such there is no obligation at all to justify its repeal in terms of the direct action policy.

    Something about ‘Direct Action’ on climate change, I believe. Whatever the frack that is. Don’t ask Abbott, he doesn’t know or care what he’s spending $3 billion on either. The man’s useless.

    As you know I am no great fan of the Direct Action Policy however it is still miles ahead of the Labor scheme. In any case the interviewer was not asking what Abbott was going to do about “climate change” she was asking why the carbon tax was to be repealed and I thought Abbott’s answer was succinct and to the point. I suspect that the reason it was not questioned was that, unlike yourself she has not been indoctrinated with the notion that addressing “climate change” is the most terrible threat that requires urgent action even if those actions make no difference to the “Problem” at all like the carbon tax.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, as you know very well, I’m no fan of the carbon tax myself, but Abbott has said he believes in climate change and has committed to reducing our emissions, yet when quizzed on why he was repealling the carbon tax he only focused on what he thought was wrong about it (and even that was very limited and barely scratched the surface), whereas a person with a plan would explain why he thinks his ‘Direct Action’ alternative is better and worth doing. He didn’t. He failed to explain himself.

    The thing is, Iain, that Abbott looks like a fish out of water as PM and is not doing anything. And that’s because he doesn’t have any policies, plans or vision for Australia. He’s a dud, Iain, and you are just making excuses for this empty vessel.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    The thing is, Iain, that Abbott looks like a fish out of water as PM and is not doing anything. And that’s because he doesn’t have any policies, plans or vision for Australia. He’s a dud, Iain, and you are just making excuses for this empty vessel.

    Hyperbole much Ray!

    Abbott is a steady hand on the tiller and for the time being that is enough for most of us. More importantly he will do as he has promised…

  7. GD says:

    Abbott is proving to be a mighty big embarrassment to us overseas.

    Well actually, Ray, it was Rudd who was the big embarrassment to us overseas.

    From the US embassy:

    ”Rudd … undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia’s foreign policy. His performance so far, however, demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly.”

    ”Rudd … has made a number of missteps on foreign policy. Repeatedly, Rudd has made snap announcements without consulting other countries or within the Australian government.”

    ”Significant blunders include … Rudd’s June speech announcing that he would push for the creation of an ‘Asia-Pacific Community’ loosely based on the EU. This was done without advance consultation with either countries or within the Australian government.”

    ”There has been persistent criticism from senior civil servants, journalists and parliamentarians that Rudd is a micro-manager obsessed with managing the media cycle rather than engaging in collaborative decision-making.”

    ”Rudd has appropriated control of foreign-policy formulation and decision-making, leaving his Foreign Minister to perform mundane, ceremonial duties and relegating the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to a backwater.”

    ”Other foreign diplomats, in private conversations with us, have noted how much DFAT seemed to be out of the loop.”

    ”Mistakes that have occurred because of a haphazard, overly secretive decision-making process are likely to continue. Rudd is a centraliser by nature who will only grudgingly share the decision-making on foreign policy.”

    ”Rudd’s self-serving and inaccurate leaking of details of a phone call between President Bush and him cast further doubt on his foreign policy judgment.”

    ”The Israeli ambassador told us that senior DFAT officials are frank in asking him what PM Rudd is up to and admit that they are out of the loop. DFAT morale has plummeted.”

  8. Richard Ryan says:

    IS Abbott’s wife a lesbian? Shalom, Richard Ryan.

  9. […] In the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more (iainhall.wordpress.com) […]

  10. Ray Dixon says:

    Typical GD – defends his no-hoper Coalition PM by referring to Kevin Rudd. Wake up call, GD, Abbott is the PM now and he ain’t cutting it.

  11. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    he may not be playing media games like Rudd and Gillard but don’t confuse that with inaction.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, you guys need to get out of Labor-bashing mode and look at what Abbott isn’t doing. Seriously, this is the same bloke who (right up to the eletion) was saying we had a budgetary and economic crisis, yet here he is doing nothing whatsoever. Amazing.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Feel free to write such a piece Ray but until all of the Labor follies have been repealed or wound back I see no reason at all for me or GD to stop giving those follies the attention they so clearly deserve

  14. Iain Hall says:

    Whitlam and Labor minister Lionel Bowen were ushered through the halls of the Kremlin and into the presence of Alexei Gromyko, the chairman of the Council of Ministers and the second most powerful figure in the entire USSR.
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    The full splendour of what happened next was kept secret and only confided many years later by Bowen to the Labor Party’s historian, Senator John Faulkner, who finally recounted it at Whitlam’s 92nd birthday, five years ago.

    “With the aid of a translator,” Faulkner began, “Kosygin said ‘I’m delighted to meet you. This is the first occasion an Australian prime minister has visited the Kremlin despite the fact we have fought alongside each other in two world wars. Now, let’s do something big to honour the occasion, like a major trade announcement’.”

    Gromyko proposed that the USSR take large amounts of Australia’s wheat and wool, and Australia could reciprocate with landing rights for Aeroflot and the purchase of minerals and ships from the Soviets.

    Whitlam left Gromyko thunderstruck and Bowen aghast by responding, “Comrade, I don’t want to talk with you about mundane things like trade!

    “I want to know what happened to the Grand Duchess Anastasia in 1918!”

    The grand duchess was the daughter of Russia’s last Tsar, Nicholas II. In July, 1918, the Tsar and his whole family were murdered by the Bolshevik secret police, though rumours persisted that Anastasia may have been spared and spirited away, leading to one of the great romantic mysteries of the 20th century.

    Unsurprisingly, no announcement of a trade deal between Australia and the USSR was forthcoming.

    Prime Minister Paul Keating was another master of diplomacy. In 1995, with new opposition leader John Howard barking at his heels, Keating flew off on a grand tour to the reunited Germany and places between and beyond. Thanks to Keating advising Berlin’s city fathers how to rebuild their city, it became known as the “Captain Wacky Goes to Berlin” tour.

    On the way, he stopped into Singapore and was granted a meeting with the prime minister, Goh Chok Tong.

    Keating was fuming about media baron Kerry Packer, back in Australia, having suggested that Howard might make a good prime minister. Keating hijacked a joint media conference with Goh Chok Tong at Singapore’s presidential palace, wording up Australian journalists to ask him about Packer and Howard so he could rant, at great and colourful length, about both of them. The inscrutable Singaporean Prime Minister was left stranded like an unwanted guest at his own garden party as Keating seethed.

    It was about as diplomatic as accusing Malaysia’s Prime Minister, the prickly Dr Mahathir Mohamad, of being “recalcitrant” for not attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum in 1993.

    Keating’s criticism – which sent a lot of observers scurrying for their dictionaries – was as welcome to Mahathir as Bob Hawke’s thrust of 1986, when he described Malaysia’s execution of two Australian drug traffickers as “barbaric”. White Australians, Mahathir shot back, massacred Aborigines, so they had no right to tell Asians what to do.

    John Howard was very pally with George W. Bush and the Republicans, but his great moment in diplomacy guaranteed his relationship with the US administration, had he survived as PM after 2007, would have been entertainingly toxic.

    He outdid every leader before him in US-Australian relations by suggesting Barack Obama was a friend of terrorists because he wanted to pull troops out of Iraq.

    “If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats,” Howard declared in February 2007.

    Obama retorted that he was flattered that one of George W. Bush’s allies had attacked him, adding that unless Howard was “ginned up” to send another 20,000 troops to Iraq, his offering was “just a bunch of empty rhetoric”.

    Wacko?

    Tony Abbott’s an amateur. He has a long distance to travel before he enters the big league of Bunyip Diplomats.

    And no one has a hope of challenging Gough Whitlam.

    *An earlier version of this story mistakenly described Lionel Bowen as Gough Whitlam’s deputy. He only later became deputy prime minister under Bob Hawke in 1983.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbott-well-short-of-wacky-diplomatic-highs-of-previous-pms-20131029-2wdn9.html#ixzz2j6DOXuJF

    Lovely piece from the Age 😀

  15. Ray Dixon says:

    Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and even John Howard may well have all made gaffes on the international scene but they were all leaders of some substance and vision (well, Howard sort of dipped out in the vision side of things). The point I’m making about Rabbott is that he is hollow. An empty vessel. Of no substance. Too bland and one-dimensional to even really be noticed on the world stage let alone do or say something worthy of praise or mockery. He’s a nobody. And worse still, he has no plans to do anything of substance (or need) on the home front either. Ask Tony Abbott what his greatest achievement is and he’ll say, “becoming Prime Minister”. Ask him what he hopes he’ll be remembered for and he’ll give the same answer. The man is a policy and leadership vacuum. Dead wood.

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    to be fair its not an entirely apt comparison to look at leaders past who have done their terms with the current PM who has only just be gun to serve in the job. Even so Abbott has done better on the foreign policy front (like getting Indonesia to accept people rescued at sea in their zone) than Labor did in all of their six years but more importantly he has shifted the locus of the job from supporting the media spin to actually doing the job with care and consideration and very little publicity.
    Sadly I think that you still think that we need a daily press conference about what Labor are Gunna-do rather than a less frequent announcement about what has actually been done and or achieved. Look back at the last six yeas of what Labor was Gunna-do, all announced with great fanfare and then compare it to what they actually achieved you will find an the long list of unfulfilled grand designs. To my mind that is the tragedy of the Labor party, so many (sometimes)good ideas burned out by extravagant plans and promises and such poor ( in many cases) or NO delivery at all.

  17. GD says:

    I don’t know what planet you’re living on Ray.

    Clearly Abbott’s actions so far have been in accord with an incoming government reeling in the excesses of a previous failed government.

    As promised, Abbott is terminating the carbon tax. He is already stopping the boats with a measured and considered plan that will eventually, like Howard did, stop the boats.

    To date, Parliament hasn’t had a sitting, yet Tony has achieved, quietly, without media fanfare, substantial restoration of relations with our nearest neighbour, Indonesia.

    Tony Abbott has had an extraordinarily successful first trip to Indonesia as Prime Minister.

    Even if you look to the Labor Green ABC coverage you can see that he has been successful, despite their attempt to spin it adversely.

    Tony Abbott’s first overseas visit as PM began with talk of a diplomatic feud and ended with discussion of a deep friendship

    As I say, Ray, I don’t know what planet you’re living on other than planet denial.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Abbott is terminating the carbon tax. Yes, and that means:

    1. No one’s energy bills will be reduced (or do you think AGL and the like are going to be magnaminous to their customers? Think again).
    2. No supermarket or any other supplier of goods & services will reduce their prices (eg. I doubt I’ll be putting my tariffs down because “Abbott terminated the carbon tax”. Why would I? My costs won’t change)
    3. As a result the government will lose a large stream of revenue.
    4. Worse still, Abbott plans to spend $3 billion on ‘Direct Action’ to reduce carbon emissions, even though he doesn’t know what it is and doesn’t believe in man-made global warming anyway.
    5. As a result of this regressive step/stunt, Abbott will either have to cut back on other govt programs or increase taxes. Or both.

    Great idea, Tony.

    He is already stopping the boats with a measured and considered plan. Really? And what “plan” would that be? Oh, it’s the Kevin Rudd-introduced PNG solution, the one that had already started to reduce arrivals before the election and is now really kicking in. Giving Abbott credit for that is like giving Bob Hawke credit for ending the drought when it started raining after the 1983 election. Brilliant, GD!

  19. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    there will be a very clear incentive in legislation for power companies to lower their bill by the amount of the carbon tax once it has been repealed and the very clear PR incentive to do so as well. You yourself may feel no desire to pass this on and you may even get away with doing that but don’t project what you want to do with what bigger entities will be obliged to do by both public pressure and legislation.

    On the boats: as helpful as Rudd’s PNG solution is in the overall mix you can not seriously suggest that it is the main reason the boats are slowing to a trickle. For that you need top look to TPGs and people arriving by boat actually being quickly shipped to Nauru and Manus. getting Indonesia to take back rescued chancers is a big part of it as well.

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, the govt cannot pass “legislation” to force energy companies to reduce their prices just because the carbon tax is repealed. And regardless of any “public pressure” the energy companies will just make an excuse not to lower their prices, such as “we’re effectively passing it on by NOT increasing our charges”. You wait, that’s exactly what will happen. And if my costs came down substantially I certainly would look at giving incentive discounts to attract more business because I am in a far more competitive industry than the power companies are.

    And yes, I certainly do suggest that Rudd’s PNG solution is the main reason boat arrivals have slowed. The signs were there before the election and now you’re seeing the result of it. It was a gift to Abbott.

  21. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    Iain, the govt cannot pass “legislation” to force energy companies to reduce their prices just because the carbon tax is repealed.

    Of course the government can require such a price reduction, and energy companies will be happy to oblige/

    And regardless of any “public pressure” the energy companies will just make an excuse not to lower their prices, such as “we’re effectively passing it on by NOT increasing our charges”.

    You do realise that the carbon tax monies that they have been co0llecting have been paid to the government don’t you? They have nothing to gain and heaps to lose were they to act as you suggest furthermore they have to get government approval to raise their prices which would hardly be forthcoming if they are being bad corporate citizens.

    You wait, that’s exactly what will happen. And if my costs came down substantially I certainly would look at giving incentive discounts to attract more business because I am in a far more competitive industry than the power companies are.

    Sometimes I think that you are just too cynical for your own good mate.

    And yes, I certainly do suggest that Rudd’s PNG solution is the main reason boat arrivals have slowed. The signs were there before the election and now you’re seeing the result of it. It was a gift to Abbott.

    The fundamental product that people smugglers were selling was the possibility of permanent settlement or at least work rights in this country Under Labor that still seemed possible but now its TPVs or a return trip to their homeland (and a surprising number are choosing to go home) Now while I acknowledge that the PNG thing has helped you are stretching credulity to think that it has been any sort of ‘magic bullet’ for the problem. I would think that it would struggle to be more than 20% of the reason that boats have substantially slowed. the other eighty percent is down to the LNP having a very tough reputation on the issue and more importantly the policies to do the job.

  22. GD says:

    Ray, so Rudd fixed the boat people problem and Tony Abbott’s actions have had nothing to do with it? It was

    a gift to Abbott?

    But you always said there wasn’t a problem with the numbers of boat people, that Labor was right to open the borders.

    Kevin Rudd opened the borders and created the whole problem. But you didn’t, and won’t, admit that.

    And now you’re giving Rudd total credit for the number of boats decreasing from a deluge to a trickle.

    Contradictory and hypocritical.

    Ray, Bruce Hawker should be worried, because you are a better spinner for Labor than he is.

    For prime enjoyment watch Bruce Hawker struggle from 1:48

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain (please!), the government cannot “require” any energy company (or any other company) to reduce their prices – what on earth gave you that idea? As for needing govt approval to raise their prices, yes they do, but even so, it cannot be used to force them to reduce their prices once the carbon tax is repealed (correction, if it’s repealed). As I said, the energy companies will simply say, “we’re passing it on by not increasing our prices … this time”, or something like that. And because they jacked their prices up so high prior to the carbon tax they can afford to sit on existing prices for a year or so and pocket the money they were previously paying in carbon tax. Same goes for all the other companies paying carbon tax. I repeat: The day that AGL and the like start reducing their prices across the board because “we’re no longer paying carbon tax” is the same day hell freezes over.

    Iain & GD, you can rewrite history as much as you like but the fact is Rudd’s PNG solution is the reason for the slow down in boat arrivals. Yes, he may have been inadvertently responsible for the arrivals peaking (which isn’t as bad a thing as you make out) but you seem to forget that he lost the job as PM in 2010 and therefore had no way of introducing a tougher policy until he was reinstated just a few months ago. There is no doubt in my mind that if Rudd had been PM from 2010 to 2013 he’d have got tougher sooner as a result of the politicising of this issue by the Coalition.

  24. Iain Hall says:

    Iain (please!), the government cannot “require” any energy company (or any other company) to reduce their prices – what on earth gave you that idea? As for needing govt approval to raise their prices, yes they do, but even so, it cannot be used to force them to reduce their prices once the carbon tax is repealed (correction, if it’s repealed).

    The parliament can certainly do as I suggest either by regulation or by the power of a provision in the repeal Bill.

    As I said, the energy companies will simply say, “we’re passing it on by not increasing our prices … this time”, or something like that.

    I don’t think that they can just do that under the current law Ray.

    And because they jacked their prices up so high prior to the carbon tax they can afford to sit on existing prices for a year or so and pocket the money they were previously paying in carbon tax.

    They won’t be allowed to do that.

    Same goes for all the other companies paying carbon tax. I repeat: The day that AGL and the like start reducing their prices across the board because “we’re no longer paying carbon tax” is the same day hell freezes over.

    Don’t you think that the fact that companies will be able to sell their commodities or services cheaper thanks to the demise of the carbon tax would be an element in advertising and promotion in a market that is very price aware? I do

    Iain & GD, you can rewrite history as much as you like but the fact is Rudd’s PNG solution is the reason for the slow down in boat arrivals. Yes, he may have been inadvertently responsible for the arrivals peaking (which isn’t as bad a thing as you make out) but you seem to forget that he lost the job as PM in 2010 and therefore had no way of introducing a tougher policy until he was reinstated just a few months ago.

    Ray you seem to be forgetting how much you used to argue That Rudd was not responsible fro the flood of boats way back when I first started writing about his vain folly in abolishing the Pacific solution. Now you are claiming his actions are almost totally responsible for the substantive decline in the foul people smuggling trade we are now witnessing. The unassailable fact is that we are in this position because Rudd and then Gillard new that they had fucked up but were too gutless to take on the Greens and their own left wing and do what Rudd so belatedly began with the “PNG solution” So while I am quite willing to agree that its been a useful contribution there is no way that I will give Rudd as much credit as you want to do.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if Rudd had been PM from 2010 to 2013 he’d have got tougher sooner as a result of the politicising of this issue by the Coalition.

    Nah he would have been just as paralysed as Gillard was because he has a ego so large that he would have never admitted that he had been wrong in the first place. Furtehr its a bit rich for you to complain about the issue being “politicised” when it was an entirely political decision by Rudd that created the problem in the first place.

  25. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I’m not sure why you seem to think the govt can compel private industries and companies to reduce their prices just because a tax that makes up only a very small (correction, minute) component of their costs is repealed. That would be unconstitutional in my opinion. It’d also surely be in breach of the Trade Practices Act. There are no known cases or exceptions where the govt can regulate over prices charged by private businesses. None. Whatsoever.

    As for energy companies using it as “an element in advertising and promotion” by saying they’ve reduced their prices by the full margin of the carbon tax, they are not in a highly competitive market in the first place and, moreover, would be more inclined to keep their prices the same and pocket the extra revenue that they previously paid as carbon tax. It’s a far more profitable option and they’re not likely to lose customers by simply leaving prices ‘as is’ for a while. This is pretty fundamental business management 101, Iain – you don’t pass on all your cost savings to the consumer, as your aim in reducing your costs is primarily to boost your profits. I repeat : No energy company will reduce their prices as a result of the carbon tax being repealed.

    As for Rudd and the PNG solution it is mere speculation by you (and by me) as to what he might have done if he hadn’t been knifed by Gillard in 2010. Nonetheless, it is indisputable that the PNG solution has worked – because it is so final. It says so: “If you arrive in Australia by boat you won’t be admitted“. That’s why it works. That’s why it’s still working. It might be brutal (and I might not totally agree with it) but the only credit the Coalition can take is that they kicked up such a political stink about refugees that they forced Labor’s hand. You might say that’s a good outcome but I say we didn’t really have a major problem in the first place. Let’s not revisit that one though – what’s done is done.

  26. GD says:

    As for Rudd and the PNG solution it is mere speculation by you (and by me) as to what he might have done if he hadn’t been knifed by Gillard in 2010

    Ray, given his chaotic, shambolic handling of the prime ministership after being resurrected and the lack of forethought into any of his subsequent announcements, it’s probably best that Joolia knifed him.

    Face it, Rudd had a couple of years to formulate a plan on a return to power. However he pursued the power but forgot the plan. Thus we got policy on the run, move the Navy to Brisbane, the Northern Territory tax exclusion zone, just thought bubble after thought bubble.

    And nothing substantial.

    No wonder he lost the election and no wonder Tony Abbott won the election with a greater majority than Whitlam in ’72, Hawke in ’83 and Rudd in ’07.

  27. Richard Ryan says:

    “IT is not the vote that counts, but how the vote is counted” Lost votes—WA

  28. Iain Hall says:

    I agree that the WA senate vote count has been a total debacle Richard it may be this that does something to fix the clear problems with the senate voting system.

    Its probably all the fault of the “evil left” subverting the democratic process.
    that said I can’t help but wonder if there was an error in the original count that added in missing ballots and that the second count contained no such error.
    all jollies aside I’m with Nick Xenophon when he says that given the choice between a conspiracy or a stuff up, back the stuff up every time!

  29. […] In the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more (iainhall.wordpress.com) […]

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