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allan907 7th Jun 2012 07:01

"Dr No", "relentless negativity" etc etc. Repeat the mantra and enough will believe in it. And that is why Abbott does not poll big "likeable" figures. But more on that later :E

Abbott is the leader of the Opposition. The definition of opposition?

1. the action of opposing, resisting, or combating.

2. antagonism or hostility.

3. a person or group of people opposing, criticizing, or protesting something, someone, or another group.

4. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) the major political party opposed to the party in power and seeking to replace it.

Now given that Abbott has a duty to oppose what the Opposition perceives to be bad policy I would think that he is doing exactly what he is paid to do and is doing it very admirably.

In fact he is so good at doing this that he caused the downfall of Rudd. And I seem to remember that the mantra from those of the left on this thread was much the same as now. However, they were proved to be wrong then as they are wrong now. Witness the parade of invective from the ALP heavies in decrying Rudd and his abilities. It's nice to know that the prime minister and most of her ministers backed what some of us were saying back in the days of the Cane Toad Wheel.

In pinning the name "Dr No" on Tony Abbott this government are showing just how scared they are of the threat from the Opposition. And everytime that it is trotted out it merely reminds everyone of how bad a government Gillard is running. But perhaps they think that the Opposition's job is simply to agree with the Government on all things and make life very easy for them.

No doubt the ALP will reverse this thinking once they are in opposition (but will that opposition be credible with the reduced numbers in the House?).

The Labor Party were elected in 2007. They have had plenty of time to enact one, just one, decent policy which hasn't turned almost instantly to rat shit. They have had plenty of time to lead and not blame previous Governments. That they have not done so just shows what an incompetent rabble that they are. And please don't trot out the "they saved us from the global recession". There's as much evidence to say that had we done nothing, bugger all, then we would have avoided it. Western Australia and Queensland/NT are keeping this nation afloat at the moment. That was as true in the dark days of 2008 as it is now. China was still buying. The earnings from the boom States are continuing to prop up subsidies to inefficient and dated industries based in the Eastern States.

And, finally, if the thought of "Dr No" at the helm is so frightening then why are 60% of the voters of Australia willing to give them a go??

Andu 7th Jun 2012 07:03

I actually do believe we have it good in Australia compared to over countries
Lex, you're right, but I believe your argument falls flat on its face when you look at the state of damn near EVERY other western industrial nation. Europe and the UK, after 60+ years of differing versions of the Welfare State, are beyond broke. The US is so deeply in debt that the figures beggar description. Are you really saying that just because a succession of inept foreign politicians have led their countries into what amounts to an abyss, we shouldn't feel too badly about our current crop of "leaders" have, in five short years, lead us into a not quite so deep abyss - when five years ago, thanks to the previous mob not following the European and US example, we were in the black?

If I could go back to the early Eighties, when all the 'smart' money was involved in "Bottom of the Harbour" schemes. (Are you old enough to remember them?) Blind Freddie could see were dodgy and clearly illegal, but "greed was good", and more than a few of the well known personalities in the upper levels of the Australian financial (and not just financial) 'Establishment' were up to the earlobes in these schemes, some of which robbed thousands of ordinary people of their retirement savings. (Christopher Skase and Alan Bond are two names that immediately come to mind, but there were many others.)

Your argument is a bit like someone back then saying: "Well, even though it's wrong, everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't I?"

For all their sins, the Liberals under John Howard didn't follow the US and European example and Australia was in the almost unique position of having, not only no national debt, but money in the bank. (I'll agree with you that some of that money definitely should have been spent on establishing infrastructure, but for the sake of brevity, let's leave that to another time.)

In five short years, the Rudd and Gillard governments have done their damnedest to catch up with the rest of the western world in the debt stakes, and on a per capita basis, I believe they've managed to pass quite a few.

It was Charles Dickens' Mr Micawber who said:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
Wise man that Mr Micawber.

Isaac Hunte 7th Jun 2012 10:54

In reality the real danger from illegal arrivals are those who arrive from commercial flights.These at any point number at least 10,000 and are not fleeing persecution or personal danger because of religious persecution or from anything but are definitely here in Australia illegally.

They are mainly from the UK and New Zealand as well as some from Europe but are very much illegal and not refugees but no one seems to bother about them yet they are not only taking Australian jobs but also revenue because they are working on a cash basis.As well as this it is costing the Australian tax payer a small fortune to round up and deport when they are finally caught.

If someone is a genuine refugee then we should be trying to help them but not the tens of thousands who arrived here on commercial flights and stay illegally
This is what Labor would want you to believe.

There is a huge difference between those who overstay and those who jump the queue and arrive illegally from Indonesia. The overstayers are unable to attach themselves to Centrelink for fear of being arrested and deported. Immigration will know who they are and where they're from, because they came in through the front door.

The illegals on the other hand, go to extreme lengths to frustrate Immigration by destroying their travel documents, lying about their age and other circumstances etc. They cost a fortune to keep in detention, and the much the same when released into the community because all or many will be on Centrelink for life.

BTW, Captain Emad, the people smuggler "Kingpin" exposed on Four Corners has fled Australia. Last I heard he was trying to claim asylum in Indonesia. :)

Worrals in the wilds 7th Jun 2012 23:07

FWIW I think david's on the money and I think a lot of traditional Labor voters agree with some or all of his concerns.

Once you set yourself up as a person with no integrity (as Gillard has done) you can't expect people to believe a word you have to say. Happened to Bligh and her government and it's happened to the Canberra mob too.

A lot of Queenslanders didn't actually like Newman all that much (as a lot of Australians don't like Abbott, which is supported by both the polls and plenty of anecdotal evidence) and a lot of Queenslanders have a fundamental distrust of anything involving the National Party, but they still voted for him and his LNP government because they were sick of the BS and incompetence. In fairness I think the federal ALP government is more competent than the previous State ALP government in Qld, but people still see them as a balls up and they certainly see them as BS artists. The impresssions I've heard from a lot of people about the economy reflect that; they think either Swan's fudged the figures or they think the current government are riding on Howard and/or the miners' coat tails. That's the few people who are even talking about it; up here it's being trumped by the footy and the Olympics, which backs up the 'people not listening' theory from some of the press commentators.

When a treasurer can announce that a country is one of a handfull bucking a global trend and people either don't care or disbelieve him, that treasurer (and his government) have an integrity or a credibility problem. The trouble with integrity problems is that they're very hard to shake off, because claims of 'well I lied last time but I'm being truthful this time, honest' are generally met with suspicion, whether in politics or real life. :suspect: The trouble with credibility problems is that once people have decided you don't know what you're doing, even if it's completely untrue it's hard to convince them otherwise. I personally don't mind Swan, but there is a lot of distrust for him out there.

At this stage I think that's what will happen with Abbott. People don't like him but they'll vote for the Libs anyway.

david1300 7th Jun 2012 23:31

Why people don't listen to the Treasurer
As WITW says, "Once you set yourself up as a person with no integrity (as Gillard has done) you can't expect people to believe a word you have to say." Put Government in place of person, and you'll know why.

Swan can trumpet on all he likes about good figures - I have never seen as many empty shops in places I go, like last night in our largest regional shopping centre on the Gold Coast, Robina Town Centre; yesterday in my suburban shopping centre; last week in Helensvale and Southport. We see that, and we know people who are out of work.

Yesterday this was a news report from Sydney:
THE number of company collapses so far this financial year is up 13.6 per cent on the previous one, and many companies are expected to remain under pressure.
Accounting firm Taylor Woodings, which specialises in company restructuring, says that up to the end of April, company collapses totalled 9074.
In April 2012, 869 companies failed, up seven per cent on the number of collapses in April 2011.
However, the number of collapses was 14.3 per cent down on the 1014 company failures in March 2012.
Taylor Woodings said its analysis of data from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) showed that, generally, businesses struggled during April, especially in the retail and construction industries.

Company collapses up 13.6 per cent | Latest Business & Australian Stock market News | thetelegraph.com.au

These are only companies that fail - not those that close their doors and exit quietly having come to arrangements with creditors; and this number does not include partnerships and individual traders and family businesses that suffer the same fate. Take these into account and the losses are huge.

'nuff said, I think.

Clare Prop 8th Jun 2012 00:37

Isn't it a pity that it should matter whether or not people "like" the leader of the party. it's populist politics like this, voting for the one with the cheesiest grin, that gave us Rudd and brought people like Tony Blair to the world stage to spread death and destruction behind the guise of being a "rather nice sort of chap" and pehaps some silly people who voted for Gillard's party "because she is a woman".

Some of the best politicians in history haven t been very " nice" and some of the worst have had huge popularity..at first. This whole 'sleb' culture doesn't belong in politics, keep it for the screaming hordes on TV

Wouldn't it be nice if people looked to their local candidates and what they could offer. My local bloke is just as good when his party are in government or opposition.

I've never seen any evidence of the terrible personality traits Abbot is supposed to have yet Gillard and co prove their pants are on fire every day!

How about that pi$$ weak response from the Feds re letting Capt Emad go back to wherever to carry n his business? Who are they actually working for?

CoodaShooda 8th Jun 2012 00:53

How about that pi$$ weak response from the Feds re letting Capt Emad go back to wherever to carry n his business? Who are they actually working for?
I'm not sure I can trust 4 Corners (or any other media show) to be a judge and jury, Clare.

Remember, Channel 7 convinced a large number of people that Rudd would make a good PM.

david1300 8th Jun 2012 01:06

Originally Posted by CoodaShooda (Post 7232737)
I'm not sure I can trust 4 Corners (or any other media show) to be a judge and jury, Clare.

Remember, Channel 7 convinced a large number of people that Rudd would make a good PM.

Remember too that is was on the back of a 4 Corners Report that the government knee-jerked and banned live cattle exports, causing untold financial hardship on farmers/graziers and that whole industry, and then paid $$ in compensation.

Clare Prop 8th Jun 2012 01:07

I agree, it's not what they did or didn't do so much as the way they presented themselves.

Wasn't this the same lot that went chasing after Haneef over the sim card?

I don't suppose it will matter much to the people smuggling industry which country Emad is in and it will hopefully free up some public housing. Meanwhile there must be a lot of people in high places relieved that he is not here to "spill the beans".

The question I want answered is how he was fast-tracked as a "refugee". How, if he had thrown away all his documents etc he is able to fly out on a passport, presumably Australian, when he has only been here a couple of years?

Worrals in the wilds 8th Jun 2012 01:35

Isn't it a pity that it should matter whether or not people "like" the leader of the party.
I don't think it does, actually. I think it matters to the meeja and a lot of back room people within the ALP (both as an industry and as voters) but I don't think the average person sees likeablility as a key trait. Howard wasn't liked by a lot of people and nor was Keating, but people voted for them because there was a degree of trust.

I think the current ALP movers and shakers are confusing media sentiment for public sentiment, and focussing too much on likeability and too little on integrity. Therefore, painting Abbott as unlikeable falls fairly flat, because people don't care. IMHO it's a flawed strategy.

parabellum 8th Jun 2012 01:39

Joe Hockey could not but say that things were looking good for Australia.This was after the figures for March had come out not more than a day after Dr No said we were in a precarious position.Now with more than a little egg on his face Dr No cannot believe his bad luck and like Joe Hockey is struggling to find something negative to say about our economy.
Lex, please come to Victoria and explain to the thousands who have lost their jobs this year just how good Australia is for them, would you please? I'm sure you will get a very warm welcome. The Australian economy is kept afloat by the mining industry which is good for them and the ancillary businesses they attract, that is it, the rest of Australia is suffering and the ALP can't see it.

You say at least twice words to the effect, "It is generally recognised in Australia that the stimulus package saved the economy", yet the head of the RBA said it was unnecessary and had no effect, (most of it spent on foreign goods, no reduction in rates debt to local councils registered etc.)
Who should we believe, you or the head of the RBA?

RJM 8th Jun 2012 01:51

Wasn't this the same lot that went chasing after Haneef over the sim card?
It's about risk, isn't it? If Haneef had turned out to be a terrorist and we'd let him go foir lack of persuasive evidence, people would be very critical of the govt.

Isn't risk the argument in climate change as well? Even if the evidence is compromised, the risk of taking no precaution is so great that we must act nonetheless.

Ditto our friend the smuggler Captain - surely we had enough to hold him if not actually hang him.

eagle 86 8th Jun 2012 04:35

Stimulus package worked because there were billions of Howard dollars in the bank to give away - now there are billions of dollars of labor debt and if more giveaways are required then more will need to be borrowed. Rest assured if another GFC occurs then Oz will suffer along with the rest of the developed world even when Abbott is in government because years and years will be required to correct the labor financial mess.

Andu 8th Jun 2012 07:09

Another boat today.

Sixth asylum seeker boat in a week

From: AAP June 07, 2012 11:35AM

THE sixth boat in a week carrying suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted off the coast of Western Australian.

Customs vessel Botany Bay rendered assistance to the boat, west-southwest of Ashmore Islands yesterday.

The boat had 23 passengers and two crew on board.

It was initially spotted from a surveillance aircraft.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the passengers were being transferred to Christmas Island for security, health and identity checks.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yet to act on alleged people-smuggling kingpin

by: Ben Packham
From:The Australian
June 08, 20122:35PM

FOUR days after "Captain Emad" was exposed as an alleged people-smuggling kingpin, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen still doesn't know whether he can revoke the man's refugee visa.

Mr Bowen was today under pressure to reveal how long he'd known of the allegations against Iraqi-born refugee Ali al-Abassi, and why he'd failed to cancel his visa before he fled the country.

allan907 8th Jun 2012 08:46

To ensure that he was fully up to date on the "boat people" situation and was fully aware of the implications of government policy Minister Chris Bowen has paid a lightning visit to Ashmore Reef before going to Christmas Island to inspect the facilities.......


Lex Talionis 9th Jun 2012 14:42

I don't know about that Al because with the millpond look of that pic it looks more like lake Burley Griffin than open water and the photo looks like the SS Liberal with Captain No at the helm.It also looks like the rest of the crew have abandoned ship leaving Captain No to run adrift.

It also looks like I'm not the only one to suggest that the doomism that Dr/Captain No keeps bleating is showing Abbott for what he is.

Merchants of doom, beware

"While the US generated 69,000 new jobs in May, Australia generated 38,900. That is, Australia created about half as many jobs in a workforce only one-twelfth the size. The US unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.1 per cent. Australia's rose from 4.9 per cent to 5.1 as more people, encouraged to enter the workforce, started looking for jobs.

And the "wrecking ball" that Abbott and the opposition have warned time and time again is going to smash its way through the economy? There was no sign of it, not yet, anyway. Business investment surged, mainly in the mining sector. Household spending was even stronger.

What happened to the desolate, tumble-weed strewn ghost economy you'd expect as firms and families run for cover in fear of the economic Armageddon so long foretold by the Abbott of Doom?

Certainly, the international business advisory firm of Dun & Bradstreet must have been left off the Coalition's mailing list. Because when it released its Global Risk Indicator a couple of weeks ago it advised its clients that: "Australia is one of the safest trade and foreign investment destinations globally, ranking alongside Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, according to an analysis of 131 countries"

"The problem for the opposition is that the good news demonstrates the limits to its strategy of doomism. Hockey was left with nothing to say except to look hopefully to future doom. What if Armageddon arrives in three weeks, and nothing happens? Because that is the likely outcome. Just like Labor's scare campaign against the Howard government's GST package, it will prove to be largely hollow"

"The Abbott opposition needs to show that it can build, not just destroy. It needs an alternative to doomism, and it needs it soon"

The problem is that after the new taxes have come into effect and Australia is still doing very nicely the credibility of Dr No will not be looking too good because the media will be asking him when the wheels are going to fall off as he predicted?

Tony Abbott has been in shopping centres,butchers shops and just about everywhere predicting everything from a lamb chop to the coal industry will be destroyed.

When that has not happened what will he look like to anyone who thinks?

RJM 9th Jun 2012 15:42

Just interrupting to say that another two boats arrived this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Ian Rintoul, boss of the Refugee Action Alliance, says that peopled smugglers are really humanitarian workers...

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said ABC TV's Four Corners had failed to show Abu Ali al-Kuwaiti -- also known as Abdul Khadem -- had been harshly treated by Howard government policies.

"If Abdul has organised boats from Indonesia, they are boats of asylum-seekers like himself, cruelly treated by mandatory detention," he said. "Assisting asylum-seekers to get to safety in Australia should not be a crime." - Australian, June 7, 2012
Can you imagine what the Refugee Action Alliance is telling the people smugglers, sorry, humanitarian workers, throughout Asia?

In a former life, Rintoul was a big wheel in the International Socialist Alliance, dedicated to the downfall of western democracy in favour of a socialist system and a founding member of the Solidarity group in Sydney.

A member of the Australia's inner-city 'intellectual elite', Mr Rintoul sports the longish hair and goatee beard of the type, and is known to listen to jazz music.

hellsbrink 9th Jun 2012 17:24


Serious question.

How many of these new jobs are only part-time, and how many of these new people moving into the employment market are people who have been "homemakers" (the posh, PC version of "housewife") who are now being forced into part or full time work due to costs rising to the point where only one salary isn't enough for the family to live on at the standards they are used to?

I'm asking because it is something that has been seen elsewhere and your opinion piece (for that is what it is, not actually news or factual reporting but merely the opinion of a columnist) doesn't give any breakdown of the figures.

I'm curious, that's all, as it's the sort of thing that can give a better picture of the state of the economy than the usual dribble that comes out of any government.

allan907 10th Jun 2012 01:55

I don't know about that Al because with the millpond look of that pic it looks more like lake Burley Griffin than open water and the photo looks like the SS Liberal with Captain No at the helm.It also looks like the rest of the crew have abandoned ship leaving Captain No to run adrift.

Crikey Lex! You're absolutely right.

Once I had managed to find a really heavily tinted pair of rose coloured spectacles I could just about see what you are getting at. :8

eagle 86 10th Jun 2012 02:54

Gerry Harvey has a different view of household spending than your references - I know who I would rather believe.

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