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RJM 2nd May 2012 16:36

It's occurred to me how tragic it is that during a period for Australia which could be of great advantage to us, with such a well-performing economy while most of the world is in the doldrums to say the least, we nobble ourselves with an incompetent government.

I'm also starting to feel more and more annoyed with Oakeshott and Windsor. It seems to me that they were the last barrier to give way and allow Gillard to work her magic over the parliament and the country.

parabellum 2nd May 2012 22:11

Is the economy that good? I ask because all we hear about in Victoria is lay-offs and businesses closing down and that is before the arrival of a Carbon Tax. Optus - 750 out, motor industry peripheral companies - at least two closing or closed, QANTAS engineering - 400 from Tullamarine, possibly a further 660 from Avalon and so it goes on. The only segment of the economy that is prospering is the mining industry.

All those layoffs happened under Fair Work Australia, not Work Choices though the true believers will probably blame Howard, Work Choices and Abbott anyway!;)

Andu 2nd May 2012 22:46

And another 1000 laid off "with no warning" from First Fleet Transport. Funny, a heard from a truckie neighbour last Sunday that First Fleet were on their last legs and looked like shutting down.

Anyone wanting some light entertainment should go to the Piers Ackerman blog and read some of the comments following his article on Julia's latest brainwave - "adopt a refugee" for $300 a week. Rather than these poor unfortunates going into Anglo suburban households (as so many of the Ackerman respondents are railing against), watch this space as not so recently arrived "refugees" take in borders six to a room and milk the system and the Australian taxpayer even more than they are doing now.

Worrals in the wilds 2nd May 2012 23:33

Is the economy that good?
Not from what I can see. A lot of small businesses are really struggling, particularly in discretionary industries like clothing retail, entertainment and beauty services. I regularly use three big shopping centres and the number of empty shops seems to grow by the week.

People are buying groceries and electronics, but they're not going to the ballet and then out for dinner, getting facials or buying new season outfits nearly as much as they were. The big guys can discount to get people in the door (David Jones seem to have 25% permanently off everything and they're still hurting) but that's difficult for a small shop with limited stock and buying power.

Nor do any of the Carbon bribes apply to small businesses, so everything's going to get more expensive for them.

I'd hate to own a small business at the moment. :(

Dark Knight 3rd May 2012 00:57

Meanwhile; back at the Trough.......
Time bomb ticking on yournational debt

AlanArmsden Herald SunMay 03 (abridged version)

DID you know that you took on a new debt this year? Yes, you borrowed $1622 for every member of your household. Hopefully, you don't have a particularly large family.

This amount will be added to your accumulated borrowings since Labor came to powerin 2007.

The annual interest bill on your national debt of $133 billion will be $256 for every person in your household - every man, woman and child.

That's because the Federal Government is borrowing the money on your behalf and accumulating massive interest rate debts for every family in Australia.

Isn't that kind?

You won't have to pay it back immediately, you'll just have to stump up the interest payments to service the loan.

Isn't that nice?

Let's not drown in a sea of figures, but you should know that your interest bill alone in2012-13 will be $6.8 billion. That's $55 million every month.

The face value of federal borrowings is a staggering $234 billion.

Take a breath to absorb the enormity of this.

Why?Because the feds, on your behalf, are borrowing money at the rate of $100million each and every day. That's astonishing. And enormous. And of grave concern to every Australian.

When the Labor Government took over in 2007, the country was debt-free.

Now am I missing something here?

If I and my family do not have any debt say earning around $150,000 a year then spend all of this plus borrow another $150,000 for holidays, new cars, supporting relatives who just drop in uninvited to stay for an unspecifed period of time then; at the beginning of the next year I know I am going to earn another $150,000 plus pay of some debt:

Do I have a balanced budget?

sisemen 3rd May 2012 01:27

Of course you do!

Using Swanny's logic if the debt is equal to the entire wealth of the nation then that's a balance.

It must be right - he's the world's best treasurer.

Clare Prop 3rd May 2012 01:35

It's no fun running a small aviation business at the moment. We had plenty of challenges from both Keating and Howard government policies but the mature businesses were able to adapt and thrive.

Now all we have is uncertainty and it's hard to plan ahead when you just don't know what's going to happen next, all I know is that if it wasn't for people working in various areas of the mining industry needing to fly I would have already shut up shop.

As for getting $300 a week to put up a boat person, aren't they twisting some scheme that was designed for overseas uni students? How come they aren't putting something in place for homeless Australians?

david1300 3rd May 2012 02:14

What is actually happening regarding 'governing' when all the ALP seem to do is lurch from crisis to crisis. Even the supposedly settled leadership issue is back on the gaenda in full swing. If we in business can only manage to survive until the end of this mess we may have hope. The market we service is firmly in the 'discretionary expenditure' sector. People are just not spending money on discretionary items - they are scared of the pending price increases in utilities; they feel the country is in permanent election mode (specially evident here in Queensland); they believe all the pollies care about is their own survival (ALP, Greens and the independants).

And this is why, when day after day, week after week, these are the events of the day:

Police raids on the Health Services Union have overshadowed speculation about Julia Gillard's leadership.
First off: In another embarrassing blow for federal Labor, the former ALP president Michael Williamson may face criminal charges after allegedly trying to smuggle documents out of the union's headquarters during the raid by Strike Force Carnarvon (The Australian) (SMH). There are allegations the union has been paying a company whose offices can't be located (The Australian), while union boss Kathy Jackson claims she was offered a parliamentary seat in exchange for her silence (Sky News) (The Advertiser).

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten's bid to put the HSU East branch of the union into administration will today be heard in the Federal Court in Sydney .The move is backed by six other branches of the union. Mr Shorten's ally, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, today took aim at current branch officials, telling Channel Nine "We want to sack all of them" to clean up the union.

Source: Cookies must be enabled. | The Australian

Andu 3rd May 2012 02:57

Allow me to delve into a little whimsy here. (Translation: I'm more or less joking, but the emphasis is on the 'more or less', for nothing this mob might spring upon us in the future should surprise us any more.)

There was a census last year. Two of the many questions in that census were:
(1) how many bedrooms are there in your house, and
(2) how many people live in your house.

With the announcement of today's "adopt a refugee plan", with this current shower in power in Canberra, with our living arrangements (and number of spare bedrooms) on file in Canberra, how far are we from being told to 'adopt a refugee(s)'?

'Utterly ridiculous', I hear most who will read this say, 'it will never happen here'.

I'm inclined to agree with the naysayers, but that's what I suspect 99.9% of Russian house owners would have said as late as September 1917. However, anyone who has seen 'Dr Zhivago' will recall that a very short time later, that's exactly what happened to Yuri's wealthy family, who were consigned to one single room of their mansion by their government.

What we saw with the Zhivago family kicked out of all but one room of their house was classic wealth redistribution.

And the carbon tax is...? Pure and simple wealth redistribution.

It's just a question of degree.

I know there will be a lot about an Abbott government that I and many others will not like, but they'll have to be a totally out of control rabid (there's that word again) dictatorship to outdo this current sorry excuse for a government.

parabellum 3rd May 2012 03:42

how far are we from being told to 'adopt a refugee(s)'?
Most of the illegals, (where did this 'refugee' thing come from?), are from the Middle East and from my experience they hate and are afraid of dogs, so just keep a couple of big dogs in the house:E

Plenty of people from the Middle East do keep dogs for hunting or guarding but these people won't be turning up as an illegal in a leaky old boat.

RJM 3rd May 2012 09:11

such a well-performing economy
I'm no economist, but I meant that our level of debt is low in relation to our GDP and our balance of trade is very good compared with many other countries - despite layoffs, and no thanks to Labor.

On emploiyment, I'd like to know where are the '700,000 jobs we've created' as trumpeted by Labor leaders from time to time.

sisemen 3rd May 2012 14:13

On emploiyment, I'd like to know where are the '700,000 jobs we've created' as trumpeted by Labor leaders from time to time.
Dunno, but there's likely to be another minus figure once the defence slash and burn tactics have taken effect. Still....just so long as Swanny gets his surplus - even if it's only a dollar.

It's going to be interesting to see if they can cram an electricity subsidy as an offset to the carbon tax into the budget which is obviously already creaking mightily at the seams.

Pinky the pilot 4th May 2012 03:49

And so it continues, with even Graham Richardson having yet another go at Labor's woes in today's Australian.

A senior caucus member said to me only last week that if Labor again rejects Rudd in a leadership ballot, the electorate will say "you are just not f..king listening." When the public made it obvious they wanted Rudd, the Labor Party kept Gillard. If they were to tear Gillard down for anyone but Rudd, voter resentment can only get worse.
If Labor were to turn to Rudd, the resulting chaos would make the Government an even bigger joke than it is.
I don't know if everyone reading this column remembers what Wayne Swan, Stephen Conroy, Tony Burke, Nicola Roxon and a host of other Gillard supporters had to say about the character of Rudd. You can bet Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party office remember every last word, every phrase, down to the last comma.
Just how you move to Rudd and avoid the chaos I really don't know. Rudd would have to find a way to douse the flames of hatred and I just can't imagine where he could find a big enough hose.
Other candidates are few and far between.
Shorten would see himself running after the next election and I can't believe he would risk the odium of leading Labor to the worst defeat in its history.
A little further into his column he states

Anyone but Rudd and the public will react badly. Pick Rudd and the resulting chaos will make an election campaign well-nigh impossible.
I just wonder if 'the public' really do want Rudd back. No-one I know admits to thinking that way. They all just want an election, preferably a double dissolution.

Andu 4th May 2012 04:30

I think it's about time Labor accepted the fact that the vast majority of us, that's all but the ever diminishing number of absolutely rusted on Labor voters, don't want any of them, so it doesn't matter who they place in the leadership position.

Buster Hyman 4th May 2012 05:32

The funny thing is that, if they just stopped & called an election, they'll have an opportunity to restore the true believers' faith in them.

For example, if Julia said "We've heard you. You don't want this hybrid Labour Govt. that panders to independents & Greens." she may just see a little swing back. The traditional ALP voters would say yes, because this minority Govt. seems to avoid all of Labour's traditional policy thinking. It would rid us of Green lunacy with a hold on power, and trumped up Independents that are punching above their weight.

They'd probably still get slaughtered, but IMHO, what the ALP needs to do is remember where it came from, what it's about, and who it represents! That, would be a very good first step in the right direction.

Worrals in the wilds 4th May 2012 06:18

I think it's about time Labor accepted the fact that the vast majority of us, that's all but the ever diminishing number of absolutely rusted on Labor voters, don't want any of them, so it doesn't matter who they place in the leadership position.
Exactly. They're shuffling deck chairs on the Andrea Doria.

They'd probably still get slaughtered, but IMHO, what the ALP needs to do is remember where it came from, what it's about, and who it represents! That, would be a very good first step in the right direction.
Ooh yeah, but few (if any) of the current idiots could figure out what those values were.

Even if you made them actually experience the mysterious force called 'work' and form their own highway cleaning gang for a month they'd still be :confused:. In fact they'd probably all get squashed by cars within a week, which would be no great loss. :rolleyes:

Clare Prop 4th May 2012 07:02

Did I miss an election in the last few weeks where "the public made it obvious they wanted Rudd" Mr Richardson?

He showed he was not fit for office over the Oceanic Viking debacle.

He and Gillard, two sides of the same worthless coin.

RJM 4th May 2012 15:04

It's been pointed out many times by people a lot smarter than me that a fundamental problem for Labor is that ascending the greasy pole to arrive in the parliamentary Labor party is no guarantee that you know the first thing about policy or governing.

The same aopplies to the Libs but not nearly so widely becayuse the Libs at least have a properly functioning preselection system - candidates for election are chosen from a selection of 'outsiders' as well as party hacks by local branches, whereas preselection for Labor tends to be imposed from above according to factional interests.

Gillard is a perfect example of Labor's method of selection from an inbred few. The 'great negotiator' is apparently brilliant at the parlour games of building alliances in the party room, but she's ignorant of the real world outside the ALP hothouse and lacks the skills to deal with it. Unfortunately the same goes for the people close to her.

Worrals in the wilds 4th May 2012 15:41

Good post, RJM.

SOPS 4th May 2012 15:45

Outside of the Parliment, is there anyway an election can be "forced" ie from "the man on the street"??

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