PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - War in Australia (any Oz Politics): the Original
Old 28th Nov 2013, 13:54
  #9597 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Darwin, NT, Australia
Posts: 737

Just to fill in the silence following Alison's post, I give you Andrew Bolt

Fairfax writer Gareth Hutchens attempt to paint Tony Abbott as a serial promise breaker is beyond parody. All motive, no facts:

But since winning power the Abbott government has lengthened its list of broken promises and policy surprises by more than one a week.

It has? A serious charge. So what’s the proof?

Two days ago, the Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, performed a brazen policy back-flip on school funding, saying he would no longer accept Labor’s funding and overall model despite Tony Abbott making this pre-election promise: “We will honour the agreements that Labor has entered into. We will match the offers that Labor has made. We will make sure that no school is worse off.”

I agree this suggests a broken promise, although the the agreements were allegedly not formally signed, and Labor’s offers will be matched for at least one more year and who knows after that.


A few weeks ago, the Coalition’s pre-election commitment to “turn back the boats” was broken after Immigration Minister Scott Morrison ended a tense standoff with Jakarta - which was refusing to accept a boatload of asylum seekers - by ordering the boat to be taken to Christmas Island.

Hutchens is deceptive. The full Coalition promise was to turn back boats were it was safe to do so. This boat had been disabled. It was not safe to turn around. No promise broken.

Last month, Treasurer Joe Hockey said he wanted to increase the debt ceiling from $300 billion to $500 billion. That was after the Coalition attacked the then Labor government’s decision in May last year to raise Australia’s debt ceiling from $250 billion to $300 billion, which Tony Abbott described at the time as “really extraordinary”.

How is this a broken promise or surprise? The debt Labor left was in PEFO tipped to rise and rise. Labor has conceded a buffer was necessary and that conditions were worsening. The ceiling plainly needed to be lifted and the argument is whether it must eventually go up to, say, $450 billion or $500 billion. What promise was broken? What was so surprising?

Mr Abbott also promised before the election to have a government “which is transparent and open,” saying “the last thing we want to do is to hide anything from the Australian people.”

Since then, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has implemented a highly restrictive regime regarding information on border protection.

What is hidden from the Australian people beyond information that could help people smugglers? The number of boat people arrivals and people in detention are still announced, every Friday. What has been kept hidden that is inconsistent with normal government handling of, say, information about current police, customs or military operations?

The Coalition has also surprised voters by abolishing the portfolio of minister for science, sending no minister to climate talks in Poland, and deciding to only have one female cabinet minister.

None of these represents broken promises, and to start listing what a government does that a reporter did not predict is a measure of what? The reporter’s inexperience? His failure to consider matters beforehand? What a ludicrous standard this government is being held to.

Abbott’s “no surprises” promise - to rational people - clearly referred to taking no action inconsistent with past promises and no major action for which he should have sought a mandate, such as a carbon tax.
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