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I have been rather underwhelmed by the current state election campaign up here which I put down to my having read too much of the left wing wishful thinking that imagines there being a return to government of the ALP but just this morning while I was listening the radio I got the strongest feeling “in my water” that the Newman government will indeed be returned and that the ALP’s very negative campaigning will not see them in office. On the other hand the LNP has run a positive and far more professional campaign which is far more inspiring than the negativity and fear mongering from the left and the minor parties.
One factor that always needs to be remembered about Queensland elections is that we have optional preferential voting up here and that requires a conscious decision to locate a second preference to avoid a vote being quickly made irrelevant when you are voting for a minor player, this innovation was introduced by the too clever by half Peter Beattie because he thought that it would give him an advantage against the then separate Liberal and National parties. Now that its the Left that is more fractured the irony that this piece of political gamesmanship is coming back to bite them should amuse my fellow conservatives a fair bit come election night.
At last after seven years of madness the country can draw a line under the Asylum seeker disarray created by Kevin Rudd
I must say that waking up to the news that the government has finally manged to secure the passage of a bill to reintroduce TPVs has really brightened my day.
“The crossbench shouldn’t have been put in this position, but we have,” the Motoring Enthusiast party senator said.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon also wrestled with the decision, but like Muir believed the amendments would give hope to thousands of refugees stuck in detention.
In return for their support – and that of the Palmer United party – the government agreed to quickly process the claims of 30,000 asylum seekers languishing in detention centres across Australia.
PUP leader Clive Palmer said that backing the legislation meant 1,500 asylum seekers – including 468 children – would soon be leaving Christmas Island.
But Labor and the Greens accused the government of using those children as a bargaining chip, arguing that the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, could release them at any time, if he wished.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie – who opposed the legislation – attacked the government for keeping children detained for so long.
“These kids have been sitting there for 15 months, and you want a pat on the back? You’ve got to be kidding yourselves,” she said.
Particular concerns were raised about the return of TPVs, a Howard-era policy condemned by refugee advocates and repealed by the previous Labor government.
The government also agreed to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake of refugees and to give those on bridging visas the right to work.
Now the government can virtually clear the legacy backlog of mendicants that we can thank the Labor party for creating way back at the beginning of the Rudd regime. Long time readers may remember when I correctly predicted the subsequent flood of boats Further despite voting against the bill in the Senate I very much doubt that any future Labor government will be rushing to repeal the legislation because they will not want to endure being thrashed for their stupid position of the issue for another seven years. Any one who looks back on the this part of our political history must surely recognize that the whole problem is a consequence of the Labor party making a bad call and then being political cowards unwilling to undo their mistake or even admit that it was a mistake. All because the Labor party have been trying to court the very loopy left who support the Greens position on the Asylum seeker issues. That sort of thinking from the ALP is of course rather mad because there is no way that a sensible ALP person can possibly sink deep enough into the slime of Green political idea without alienating their center.
The thing that we should always remember is that the measure of the ALP’s position on any issue where it is at odds with the current government is not the posturings of Electricity Bill Shorten and his motley crew but their answer to being asked “will you repeal it if you win office?” and my guess is that The ALP answer will almost without exception fudge it and make excuses and prevaricate because the last thing that they want to do is commit themselves to giving the public a very spiky stick to beat them with for the next seven years.
The thing that so many on the fringes of the political spectrum for get is that politics in this country is a game with a well defined rule book and no matter which side (speaking of the ALP/LNP ) you are part of the way to convince the public to give your side the treasury benches at a general election is by being far better at the day to day battles in the parliament and in the court of public opinion. The simple truth is that Abbott succeeded in opposition and at the last general election not because he was “a wrecker” As Chris Graham insists in his article but because he was a far more effective playing at the game of politics than Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. He would not have had a chance of success however had the ALP government not been so deeply flawed.
In the first instance Rudd was deeply flawed insofar as he was really good at capturing the imagination of the polity during 2006 and he made all of the right noises to convince the voters that he would be “Howard lite” he insisted to those of us concerned that a Labor government would be mad spenders were wrong to worry because he was “an economic conservative”. To the left he promised to be a champion for their environmental bet Noir of climate change and to do something about the then non problem of asylum seekers.
The history of the ALP’s last been much written about by its (cough!) stars (12 books and counting!) but one thing is clear and that the they were the wreckers, making changes that made no improvement to the country, Things like Rudd’s abandoning of the successful suite of policies dealing with boat people and the sorry story of “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” which when it came to the crunch he lacked that cahones to take to a DD election(which most pundits thought he could have won)
Rudd was a wrecker not because of his flawed ideologies but because of his flaws as a leader. A good leader of men is able to delegate and trust those to whom he delegates his authority to. Rudd was almost pathologically incapable of doing this. As an egomaniac and a control freak he managed to destroy the belief and trust of the public servants in his administration wasting both their good will and much of their work effort in his unreasonable demands and a bullying style to both his staff and parliamentary colleagues. Gillard was likewise a wrecker. First and foremost she was tainted with the dripping blood of the plotter’s knife but worse than that she was a political whore willing to say one thing to win office only to change like the wind when she needed the support of the Greens in the hung Parliament. The betrayal of her infamous “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” broken promise wrecked the remaining credibility of the ALP. The sad truth is that had she stood up to the Greens &’indies” and told them she would only agree to a carbon tax after the subsequent election Abbott would not have had his most powerful campaigning slogan.
In government the LNP under Abbott have not been perfect but they have been scrupulous in their determination to be true to their election commitments Against all of the predictions to the contrary the Abbott government has been able “stop the boats” and although this has upset the usual suspects, (hi Marilyn ;o) ) now that there is not the eternal new arrivals into the system the problem can be solved. There is still a large legacy of Rudd’s wrecking in the detention centers but that is being addressed.
Much has been made in this piece about the deployment of ADF people and planes to the fight against ISIS in Iraq but really what is the alternative? Can we really just look the other way and do nothing? Can we, as part of the civilized world ignore the slaughter of Shia people or the treatment of women and girls as prizes of war? Surely even the left must realize that destroying the Islamo-Fascists of ISIL is a moral and justified cause? Sadly too many seem unable to let go of their hatred of the United states for long enough to realize that they are all that stands between the world and the rise of a totalitarian Caliphate with global ambitions.
That said the problem that our own Muslim minority feels somewhat besieged by the tide of events is clearly not of the magnitude that many of the left claim it to be. In fact the number of anti-Muslim incidents has been very small and the panic from Islam apologists has been of far greater magnitude than any criticism of Islam in this country. Even the recent concerns about the Burqa in our parliamentary precincts has not created the sort of anti-Muslim hysteria that so many of the left invoke when ever there is an issue with ISLAM. On this Issue Abbott has been both calm and truthful He was honest about how confronting it is to have people who hide their faces in public yet accepting that we are not a society that wishes to prohibit those who want to do this.
To insist that Abbott Was A Wrecker In Opposition; Who’s Surprised He’s A Wrecker In Office? is to misread both the politics of the period of the last Labor government and to misunderstand the nature of a soundly administered government.
Well now the mother of all by-elections is all over bar the shouting (and counting, assuming that its not stuffed up again) its good to see the leader of the opposition moving to reform the ALP to better reflect the diminished standing of the union movement in Australian society. The requirement that someone who wants to join the Labor party has to also be a financial member of a union is an anachronism that has surely been putting off a lot of people who might otherwise join the party. Now as much as I dislike the ALP as it is currently constituted and the polices that it pursues I do recognise the need for there to be a viable yin to the LNP’s yang and as the Greens are too loopy to be let anywhere near the levers of government a viable ALP is the best option and for them to be viable they need to be more reflective of the people that they purport to represent. So after Ray has picked himself up after discovering me writing something positive about Electricity Bill Shorten I’m sure that we will be in agreement that making Labor party membership easier and cheaper will be a good for the political landscape of this country.
As devastating as it will be for Victoria and south Australia the economic realities of the car industry can no longer be denied by the minions of the left who would have our government pump billions of dollars of borrowed money into keeping the car manufacturing industry alive. The whining from the Labor party about this is as unsurprising as it is self serving. Simply put with the end of car making in this country we will also see significant decline in one of the countries larger unions, and where the unions decline so too does the power base for the ALP. Likewise the rhetoric from the ALP that the closure is the fault of the current government is sill beyond description if you ask me, its actually a bit like blaming the doctor who turns off life support for a road accident victim for that persons death.
Not that I think that Australians are going to reject Toyota cars into the future, many of the best selling models are already fully imported anyway. The thing is after both Ford and General Motors made similar decisions we all knew that Toyota would follow As other far more knowledgeable commentators have pointed out its the scale of our market and our sustained high dollar that has caused this death and there is absolutely nothing that the government could do to change those factors. and that is why we could never compete with the other countries when it comes to making cars. Like that imagined accident victim the time has come to turn off the machine that goes ping, to sing our eulogies and to then move on to the future.
Sad cheers Comrades
I firstly want to apologise for the lack of regular posting of late, sadly my health has been less than grand and I have hardly been up to reading and researching topics to write about. On top of that the medication I have had to take has its limits in terms of just how functional I can be in the other aspects of my life so if something has had to give it has been my contributions here.
Now that the house keeping is over lets get our teeth into the rather meaty issue de Jour, namely the attempt by the ALP to make a big fuss about the travel expense claims made by coalition MPs in the last few years. Being an MP is a tough gig and as I have suggested elsewhere on this issue I personally think that there is no such thing as a truly off the clock moment for those we elect to our parliament so I find the attacks from the ALP and the other minions of the left rather disingenuous. Its rank opportunism of the most base nature and then my businessman bro pointed this piece out to me:
So let me get this entirely clear, the still leaderless ALP is whining about the tiny details of coalition expense claims while they are putting a 200K bite on the public purse so that they can go through an novel method of deciding who among their greatly reduced number will take up the poisoned chalice of opposition leader. Boy oh boy you just could not run that in an episode of “Yes Minister” now could you?
If ever there is an example of rorting of the travel expenses system it just has to have been perpetrated by the ALP in pursuit of the untried system invented by that arch villain of recent past, Kevin Bloody Rudd. How apt though that the man who single handedly launched the decent of the budget into the spiralling decent from surplus to deficit should invent a system of leadership selection that has to be paid for by the public purse at such a high price?
Surely when it comes to the internal machinations of the opposition it should be the members themselves, or their party who pays the travel expenses?
Even if we accept the premise that its legitimate for MP’s travel to a leadership ballot is legitimate why on earth does the ALP have to burden the taxpayer by have a ballot on Thursday to which MPs will come and go and then an announcement on the subsequent Sunday?
Surely they can do the whole piece of theatre on just one day?
Its a very slippery slope once pollies start to finger-point about travel and other expenses and one that can very easily backfire as the ALP is discovering
None the less I am hardly surprised because of there is one thing that characterises the last two terms of government it was the way things very seldom went the way that the ALP expected. The thing is over the last few weeks Labor has been able to focus upon the feel good message of their new leadership process and I can’t help thinking that this whole load of nonsense about expense claims has been a very bad political move for Labor. They have just not thought it through any where near enough and the result will be hardly a scratch on Abbott but Labor covered in soot and embarrassment form their misfire.
My good friend Ray has often expressed the hope that Rudd saving some furniture would give us a shot at us having an effective opposition. On the early soundings I think that was a rather unfulfilled expectation.
- Labor Leadership: #QandA Sets Trap For ALP Members (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Comment: Hey, big spenders (sbs.com.au)
- Quick Post: A leadership ballot could change the image of the ALP #auspol (onlythesangfroid.wordpress.com)
- Labor MP claimed Perisher trip (smh.com.au)
- PM warned: ‘You must set clear standards’ (smh.com.au)
- Labor leadership’s hefty price tag (news.optuszoo.com.au)
- Expenses critic Dreyfus red faced over ski trip (theage.com.au)
- PM one month on: too many excuses, too few surprises (smh.com.au)
With the change of government comes a very big change of role for the Australian Labor Party they must get over their well deserved humiliating defeat and rally themselves to be an effective opposition and try to redeem themselves enough in the eyes of the voters to earn enough ticks on the green papers to once again do the “live at the Lodge” show.
Sadly for the true believers like our mate Ray instead of getting down to it they have hit the ground in a coma rather than even making any forward motion at all. There is only one person to blame and that is Kevin Rudd because his misguided attempt to “reform” the way that the parliamentary leader is chosen will mean that it will be weeks before we know who to laugh at as the ALP tries to look anything but silly.
The fourth estate has largely been made to look as irrelevant as they increasingly are and all that they have had to run on is the lack of vulvas in the Abbott cabinet, like who cares about the contents of the inner ministry’s underpants? I for one don’t want to see anything even approaching “affirmative action” in the way that key ministries are allocated. It has to be all about merit when it comes to picking who can sit on the big chairs or sexism wins. If being a man makes up the biggest qualification for high office its bad then so too is being a woman. Abbott has a good team here and their performance will vindicate his choice and we can leave the whining about the gender of cabinet ministers to the minions of the left.
- Where it all went wrong for Kevin Rudd and the Australian Labor party | Jeff Sparrow (theguardian.com)
- Kevin Rudd concedes defeat in Federal Election (sbs.com.au)
- Australia’s Labor set for party vote (bbc.co.uk)
- Call and Response (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Bill Shorten to contest Australian Labor Party leadership (arunbabyveranakunnel.wordpress.com)
- Election 2013: The Morning After (aliciavrajlal.com)
- Meet Your Candidate: Wayne Swan (Australian Labor Party) (eyesonlilley.wordpress.com)
- PM Kevin Rudd concedes defeat in election (australiantimes.co.uk)
- Kevin Rudd concedes defeat in election (bigpondnews.com)
- Lacklustre Labor Launch, New Liberal TVC (iainhall.wordpress.com)
When even the normally very Labor friendly Fairfax press runs a piece on their front page suggesting that a substantial loss for the ALP might not be such a bad thing for the party you have to accept that things are very crook indeed on planet ALP:
There is some value here for the ALP being comprehensively defeated because if the party were in fact a shrubbery it would be one that is need of some serious pruning to remove a great deal of the old and twisted wood and to make it into something that can be admired by those of us in the middle rather than just the creatures of the ideological left, most importantly the ALP needs to learn how to manage the business of government with competence and sound administration. and until they either learn how to do this or recruit those who can already do this they will never again be a credible government that can be trusted.
- Bob Hawke and crackers (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- The Ghost Who Walks (archiebutterfly.wordpress.com)
- Rudd defends dumping ALP candidate (bigpondnews.com)
- Call and Response (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Rudd fails to rally voters at home (smh.com.au)
- Ghost of Gillard haunts ALP (smh.com.au)
- The ALP’s Achievements (realnewsone.wordpress.com)