I year ago ,this https://pbxmastragics.com/2012/12/11/hello-world/” started our little blog on it’s journey.
Since then we have had just over 1.5 million views and just over 108,000 individual comments.
My thanks go to Fiona & bushfirebill for doing most of the work, and helping me make this little place what it is. Thank you to all the guest authors as well.
I would like to thank c@tmomma for her contributions while she was here.
BK for the dawn patrol links, and CK Watt for doing the raffles deserve special mention as well.
Most of all though, thank you all for your comments,wonderful stories and insights and for taking the time to contribute to , and read “The Pub”
Thanks to the lurkers for looking in . you are appreciated and welcome .
288 thoughts on “Happy 1st Birthday to us.”
Prepare for the last remaining voices critical of the government to be silenced
At the ABC
Also tomorrow’s the day in which the NBN strategic review is going to be released.
I expect that it will agree with every single talking point Turnbull has put out over the last few years about the NBN.
Don’t forget to go through the house and say, ‘thank you and goodbye.’
Two songs for you to choose from depending on your mood.
Puffytmd, it’s nice to know others do that too on leaving a home for the last time.
Happy Birthday Pub. Well done Joe for having the foresight to start it up and Fiona , Bushfire and C for keeping us in line. I like the fact we can all voice an opinion without being abused. I haven’t posted much, due to my wife’s sickness, but I still read all the posts.
My thoughts are with you and Mrs B. drop in on a Friday night for a bit of fun and frivolity. 🙂
Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
Abbott: “If shit doesn’t happen we’ll make it happen!”
I don’t know about “banana moment” but it certainly was a “pompous dickhead moment”.
The outlook is not good – and we have these clowns in charge!
Some troubles in a Liberal incubator.
Section 2 . . .
George Brandis SC A-G DH gets to work.
And the Royal Commission hearings continue today.
It’s official. There is zero practical knowledge of the performance of the lynchpin copper network under FTTN conditions. How can reasonable analysis of establishment and operation cost be done under these circumstances?
Section 3 . . .
Alan Moir calls out Abbott and Hockey on the Holden decision.
David Pope conflates Abbott’s problems with manufacturing and the environment.
And David Rowe does the same.
Ron Tandberg suggests the boats haven’t been stopped.
And from the Land of the Free –
Look at the deceptiveness of this extraordinary praying mantis.
Some cartoons on the Repugs at Christmas.
Pope Francis makes an interesting point – Extreme Christians have “an illness”. It’s only a matter of where the line id drawn.
The incidental bits in Rowe’s cartoons are so good, BK. I liked Morrison doing the ‘going down with his ship’ salute, and Bronny reclining on a floating mattress.
It’s more than our birthday week. It’s Labor’s re-birthday.
William’s Bludgertrak has Labor at 51.2 to 48.8, with these metrics being enough to have Labor in notional government, with 75 seats, plus presumably a Green to tip them over to a working majority.
Although it all seems a bit late, doesn’t it?
Nothing has changed since September, except perception of how big a train wreck the Coalition are today, and (I suspect) always were. It’s what happens when you treat a nation’s progress as a Reality TV show.
The promised confidence resurgence has been subsumed back into the morass of doom and gloom, led, as much by real Reality – Holden, Gonski, wage rises being sucked away, poor international relations with our neighbours, blooming debt from the anti-debt fanatics – as Joe Hockey’s ersatz variety.
Joe can’t stop talking his own economy down. Michael Pascoe puts it in terms of a family domestic situation. He’s talking about Joe Hockey’s attitude to running the economy here:
… to which we might add his gloating in QT a couple of days ago about just how rotten the MYEFO is going to be next Tuesday. The man’s mad if he thinks this is going to make people feel upbeat about their lives.
The pattern emerges… three years of constant trash-talk in Opposition could be (sort-of) half forgiven. The Coalition wanted to make things look as bleak as possible so that they could be seen as the only chance for an uptick. This message got out, especially to talk-back radio, where the constant theme regarding the economy was that the nation’s financial fortunes would boom on Day #1 of the Coalition winning government.
It was a pretty naive expectation, and shown to be so when the “Boom” ended up lasting about a week.
But, with barely a pause to be sworn in, have his picture taken and organize new paintings on his office walls, Joe Hockey got stuck into the economy again as if he was still in Opposition.
Even that could be forgiven, on the “old habits die hard” theory, but it’s been over three months since the election, and he’s still at it., worse than before.
Joe is trashing everything: Labor (to be expected, of course), debt and now GM Holden being among the major moaning topics de jour.
The forgiveness is petering out among the punters. They want to know what the f**k Joe is going to do about the mess he claims we’re in. They want him to quit whingeing, roll up his sleeves, and start working. Give us some ideas to mull around, Joe!
All this garment-renting is a poor excuse for actually doing something. It’s getting to the point where one suspects Joe doesn’t have a clue what to do except seek excuses for his own inaction.
Anyone in business knows there is a very simple equation regarding sales, something like:
Price x Marketability x Availability x Confidence = SALES.
If the price is too high, the quality too low, or the warehouse is empty, there’s no sale. Equally, if confidence is so abysmal that customers don’t bother getting out of bed to go to your shop or pick up the phone to make an order, then it doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world. You still don’t win any business, because there is no business. If any of the major precursors to a sale – including confidence – are zero, or near-zero, then there is no sale.
Joe Hockey seems determined to keep the Confidence input at a minimum.
As I suggested above, my guess is that he doesn’t have a clue what to do differently to Labor. It could also be that he wants to wreck the joint a little more, so that he’ll be all the bigger a hero when (and if) it recovers. In the meantime, we all suffer. Eventually the ratings agencies will notice and downgrade us. Joe will blame Labor. More excuses, more misery.
But the danger of carrying on with heroic negativity like this is that the patient dies from the procedure before he can get a chance to get his strength back.
Same with an economy: You can trash talk an economy for only so long before your slagging-off becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The latest Consumer Confidence figures show that the very people Joe needs to encourage to go out and spend are about to start slashing their wrists in despair, with rusty razor blades.
I personally know a lot of exquisitely talented CNC machinists. They do my mechanical work for me, to fine tolerances. Almost to a man and woman they were looking forward to the Nirvana of a Coalition government to lift them out of the gloom that Joe put them in while ever Labor was in power.
What must these people think about the closure of Holden? Whatever they think about the viability of that firm, or the nothing-to-write-home-about quality of their cars (although a lot of them do have FBT-free Holden utes), or the apparent “common sense” of not subsidizing an ailing multi-national business, they have to be thinking this morning that the pool of potential customers for their skills, talents and expensive machines just got a helluva lot smaller. It’s what happens when our so-called “leaders” and their followers take note more of the economic maniacs writing for The Australian and the AFR (and The Age), than they do of the bleedin’ obvious staring them right in the face.
They must be wondering when the big companies – the ones who made diffs or brake drums or power steering units for Holden – the ones who left the little jobs to their smaller competitors, are going to come after those smaller competitors’ customers, to make up for the lack of work from GM (and soon, Toyota).
They won’t wait for 2017. They’ll be out looking right now. It’s going to be a buyer’s market… if there are any buyers left.
Holden may have been a con. They may have been running an economic protection racket, but we’re soon going to realize that what they were protecting was our jobs. It didn’t take much to do it, either. $18 per head here in Australia.
It’s all gone now, or will be within a few years. And there was Joe in Parliament the other day, positively triumphant about it.
As Joe and his pals in the wrecking gang they (laughingly) call a “government” swan around in Canberra being “in charge”, consider the irony of their new VIP Com Car fleet, BMWs all, specially reinforced against bombs and bullets (could come in handy the way the public mood is souring), made in Germany at a subsidy of $90, compared to the losing bidder, Holden, made in Australia, preserving Australian jobs, and cheap at the $18 subsidy mark.
We can’t just sell each other insurance, or houses, or run coffee shops. The service industry is all well and good, but it needs a manufacturing basis. Apart from the economic aspects of manufacturing there are other vitally important things to consider: having a skills base, preserving corporate memory, national pride. Pfffft! Gone in a puff of smoke and mirrors from the blustering Joe Hockey and his cronies.
Maybe if the NBN was still being built we could all segue over to careers in IT. Or if the Carbon Bank wasn’t just about squashed, we could make windfarm components. We could play to our undoubted national strengths.
But they’re gone too! There’s nothing left. Even mining is in a slump (and Joe celebrates that too, by heckling attempts to tax it on a more equitable level before it goes under and leaves us high and dry).
Economic rationalism has its points. Some of them make sense. But it never makes sense to close down an entire industry because of ideological reasons, some waffle about that industry being “on life support”.
Sure, Holden made not-so-great cars, certainly not ones we were buying in their hundreds of thousands anymore, but that could have been fixed with some hard dealing…. was going to be fixed with newer, smarter models… but only under a government subsidy that amounted to loose change compared to other countries.
Manufacturing involves taking cheap components and, by dint of skills and ingenuity, adding value to them in a way that attracts customers. With the demise of Holden that process is now substantially gone from this nation. We are left with nothing much more than the digging up of those cheap raw materials, and then shipping them off, largely unprocessed to other countries that will make use of them.
Peter Hartcher this morning, (vainly, in my opinion) trying to curry favour with the new government after his three years of misplaced attachment to Kevin Rudd, has come up with another cunning plan: use the end of Holden to shock the nation into action… a new direction! He says it could be Abbott’s “banana republic” moment, referring to Paul Keating’s own moment related to the identical fruit.
Coming from a master of vainglorious spin like Hartcher, this seeming no-brainer of an idea is a bit rich, but it kinda makes sense until you give it a second thought. Taking into account the drongos he’s tasking with “seizing the moment”, Hartcher may as well be pissing in the wind.
What Hartcher doesn’t get is that a banana republic – one where the main economic output is a single raw material or low tech product, be it bananas or red dirt – is what Australia already is, and – this is the clincher – the Coalition’s economic geniuses seem to want to keep it that way, judging by the company they keep, and the political donations they accept: Big Tobacco, Big Mining, Big Gambling and Big Media… lurk merchants and shonks all.
Media is dying, manufacturing is about to die, the high tech telecomms industry is stillborn, creative green manufacturing has just been cancelled. Even mining’s on the skids.
We’re a nation sitting and waiting for mannah from heaven that’s never going to come.
In the meantime we sell each other insurance and buy each other’s houses. Great if you’re a real estate agent or a spivvy financial advisor. Not so great when you don’t – and might not ever – get a job to earn the money so that you have something worth insuring, or up-scaling to a nicer suburb from.
We need something to do… jobs… not ideological purity. And we need the confidence to start out on the long road towards a new economic future. Chopping off one of our economic legs, then some toes, and a hand, then an arm, to get ourselves lean and mean for the journey is not the way to accomplish that. That kind of radical surgery will make us feel good for precisely one day, until the anaesthetic wears off.
And then, when the awful reality hits that we have cut off our noses to spite our face, despair will sink in.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I have just one more “reality” for youse all to consider. Try to digest this tosh from hack-for-hire Mark Kenny without throwing up…
Yep, your eyes weren’t deceiving you… In the looming Coalition leadership wars, it’s hard to believe, but Joe Hockey is actually seen as the Great White Hope for a new future.
Another true story… Joseph Benedict Hockey was named after Joseph Benedict Chifley, an irony pointed out recently, as Joseph Hockey is presiding over the death of the industry that Joseph Chifley created.
I never knew Joseph Chifley. He wasn’t ever a friend of mine. But one thing I do know is this: Joe Hockey is no Joseph Chifley.
We should get rid of Hockey. And we should do it soon, before he whinges the nation into economic oblivion.
Abbott might need to use that bullet and bomb-proof BMW for his next Pollie Pedal. I don’t think he’ll want to be out there on a flimsy bicycle next year. If he’s stil PM by April, that is.
The push for higher wages has been driven largely by the ever-increasing cost of housing, either ownership or renting. This is a supply and demand thing. We have a significant shortage of housing stock, public and private.
There needs to be a long term policy to mobilise Australia into collapsing the demand/pricing of the housing market to take the pressure off the need to maintain reasonable disposable income and therefor offset the need for wages increases. It would also create a labour demand for many years.
The LNP. through the “coaching” from such lobbyists as the IPA. are conducting an exercise in social engeneering via economic management.
By implementing, to the full, the cruel pragmatism of economic rationalism and the “free market” philosophy, the LNP. hopes to change the social structure of the nation.
In essense it is a kind of coercive fascism…at the moment!…if their “persuasive” minimalist govt’ interventionist policies do not convince, you can bet the gloves will come off and Brandis and his thugs will move in for the kill.
I am already supprised the Govt’ hasn’t moved in to silence fifth estate dissent…I see they are moving on the national broadcaster….well..that Speigleman always was a woos!…and it was to the detriment of Labor they didn’t move on Mark Scott years ago…he’s a crawler…always was , always will be…he’ll buckle straight off.
That bastard Rudd and his band of sucks have done untold damage to the Party AND the people of Aust’
Between them and the forth estate MSM.,it really was an act of treason.
The money for Holden was raised in Australia half by the Australian government and half in debentures backed by the Australian government. Menzies sold the governments share back to Detroit.
My grandfather was one of the Australians who took out debentures in Holden, he was paid back in the 1960s, he supplied the paint. Some of my friends fathers built small engineering businesses supplying components to Ford and General Motors and other car makers. One man said that when his only customer was Ford he would skip pages in his invoice book so that Ford wouldn’t get consecutively numbered invoices.
I think early Holdens cost $500 and our new house cost $500, cheaper houses cost $400
where $ means pounds
in fact the walls of my house are painted the same colour as grandfathers FJ Holden but I don’t have red chairs
Nothing about politics this time –
The other day BK linked a video from the Mimi Foundation which I found upsetting so I had a bit of a rant about it.
I know from experience that cancer patients need to laugh and feel happy, but I didn’t think the Mimi Foundation was going about that the right way.
Here’s a man who fully understands the need for a good laugh during treatment and, even better, isn’t afraid to make himself the object of the joke, just so he can make his wife smile and, in doing that, help himself deal with his wife’s illness. Now he’s bringing that happiness to many others, first through his wife sharing his photos with others undergoing treatment and now through a book that is raising funds for breast cancer organisations. He is a truly wonderful man, I hope his wife makes a full and lasting recovery, they both deserve a long and happy life together.
BK – totally agree re the cost of housing, etc. having just returned from Canada and visiting my parents and sister in a new townhouse type home – bought for under $400K – great design, etc on the outskirts of a big city (Toronto). A simple comparison of wages per hour is not appropriate to be used as argument.
I saw this idiocy at the time and commented on it…
Now, it turns out, they got the result they wanted.
Could it have been so stupid as just that Abbott didn’t want anything of Gillard’s legacy – including support for the car industry – to appear to have worked?
If Brandis wants to tinker with our laws then he could start by sorting out the mess that we have made of citizenship. The laws that are supposed to determine whether or not a child born in Australia to parents who are stateless are so vague and incomprehensible that five eminent legal experts could not give a straight answer to these two questions –
1. What citizenship rights does a stateless child born in Australia have?
2. What is the proper legal approach for a country to take when a stateless child is born in that country and asks for protection under the Refugee Convention?
One even said to No 2 ‘I do not know the answer’.
I don’t think Brandis will be rushing to fix this mess. He’s more interested in finding new ways to make life difficult for those of us who are already Australian citizens. When a government like this starts talking about amending laws that encroach on our rights, freedoms and you can be sure the amendments will in fact be taking those away.
I think you just nailed it.
I remember during the Howard era how sinister it all was. Politically, I’d be in fear of an outbreak of competence from them, because it would prolong the damage they were doing to the social fabric of the country. Howard would always be able to pull some crowd-pleaser out to keep the punters on-side. The first of these was his Ministerial Code of Conduct. That he abandoned it after a while wasn’t the point; the point was that he expressed a willingness to act on the behaviour of MPs in Parliament, and gave us something to indicate his commitment to it. That little gesture masked his lack of competence in the policy area. And you can dot-to-dot these little gestures that kept the electorate on-side – while he went about selling things off, and changing the national mood to one of selfishness, bigotry and short-sightedness.
That was what freaked me out about Howard. I could feel him pulling the strings,prolonging his shelf-life as he went about doing horrible things in the background.
I can tell you now, the last thing I’d be expecting from the current mob is an outbreak of competence. It’s not even at the back of my mind. They’ll just carry on blundering as they’re doing now; every week a new horror, a new major gaffe, a new way to get everyone off-side. I don’t think there’s any strategy behind it, unless they’ve got some vague idea of getting the bad news out of the way early. And even that seems unlikely, because they’re not managing to explain what they’re doing and why, and they’re flip-flopping all over the place.
If you look back over what Hockey used to say as Shadow Treasurer, you’ll see there’s no pattern to it, and most of the time he barely had any comprehension of what he was talking about. Most of his ‘ideas’ fell apart in his first presser. There’s no ulterior motive there, no grand plan being put together. He spent most of his energy trying to hide his paperwork from Treasury. And that was only because it allowed him to blather on about whatever he wanted without people pointing at papers and saying “but what about this?” He’s brought that style to his new position, so there’s lots to look forward to there.
With Holden, he just called their bluff, and then realised they weren’t threatening to pull out, they were saying it was their only option. It’s arrogance and stupidity from Hockey and the entire Coalition front bench. But they’re winning the little battles on the floor of Parliament in QT – the uni student slanging matches – and that’s all they care about at the moment.
They’ll come to their senses eventually. But when they do, they’ll realise they don’t have any way of getting out of the mess they’ve put the country in. They’ve got a slim chance of raising their mental age from 12 to 18, but that won’t be nearly enough for them to provide competent governance. They’ll probably go all emo on us.
BMWs will suit this mob as it usually the car of choice of property developer spivs and drug dealers.
The reason the people are cutting spending and buying cheap and nasty in everything from cars to bling is because the Howard govt’ set about to destroy job security and wage certainty. When you don’t have capacity to maintain credit over the long run. or even to GET credit in the first place, your options are limited…the tradie subcontractor in my day had the devil’s own job convincing the bank manager that he had a regular income sufficient to pay back an overdraft.
The upshot of all this economic rationalism will result in the rise of the cash economy…..there’s no stopping it…the building trade is full of it…any labour intensive job can be massaged with cash-in-hand bargaining…….the Italian method..: “and per mei?”…
I will be out today so sent this this morning:
Sent in my Petition today. Only 205 signatories 😦 Guess most misread my petition as being about 4K TV, that I wanted to watch 4K TV. As if! BUT 4K TV sets will be affordable and the latest status symbol by 2016—but no way of receiving any 4K content! It requires way too many megabits, 4 times 1080p video, to be other than streamed via FTTH. I rely on politicians wish to be elected and to be in government—their self interest in other words. Anyway, sent it off this morning:
Nothing stopping any of you from sending in an email to the above addresses and to your local council. Your local council will not be keen on having the responsibility, without funds from Canberra, of course, to remove graffiti from the huge cabinets housing the Nodes. These would need to be made very strong as they contain valuable batteries. This will boost the cost of the whole useless FTTN shebang!
I made a big deal of 4K TV because it will be biting them on the bum (with many other things, like car makers closing etc) and THAT may resonate with politicians! Unfortunately too many saw it as me wanting 4K TV and self righteously pointed out there were many much worthier reasons for getting FTTH. As if I don’t know this, with my busy Facebook page long thread on my board!
The big Petition with 270K signatures IMHO achieved nothing as it sought to pressure a newly elected government who had just won a HUGE majority in the HoR! I tried to be more subtle with mine. Ah well.
Timely pieces on Hockey, BB, and backed up by Aguirre. Over at IA, Michael Galvin sees Hockey as the star of the new Question Time.
None of the posters agree with him, nor do I. But I think it was his overwhelming arrogance that drove me away from QT. It was not that he was scoring points, though perhaps in morale he was with Pyne and Bronny allowing him to get away with anything. But to my mind, it’s all wind-baggery. He’s not making any serious points about economics or government financial management, or, even more important, WTF he’s going to do. All he’s doing is moaning about how terrible Labor was and what a mess they’ve left him. It’s almost as if he can’t move beyond opposition mode, even though he’s enjoying his nya-nya to Swan.
He might find it a bit tougher from here. The media never gave him quite the same free pass they gave Abbott in opposition. Partly, I think, this was because a lot of his media audience are financial and economics reporters who feel they have some responsibilities to investors. If he got out of his depth he’d resort to sweating, shouting and bluster. In the long run that’s not going to impress the business journals.
You did your bit, as did those of us who signed. Who knows, someone intelligent might see the petiton and join a few dots.
That big petition isn’t worth a crumpet. The fool who started it voted Liberal, FFS.
Mr Hockey sweats when he lies.
Mr Hockey sweats a lot.
The absurdity is that we have a working infrustructure in-situ, a trained workforce socially settled and trained in-situ…suppliers in-situ and performing well…the only problem was product…and THAT would have been altered to better suit the market IF the factory was left a functioning unit…..all these cheap-labour economies are short lived anyhow!…give or take a revolution or two!..Holden has been here undisturbed radically for sixty years..you tell me of many other countries that can claim social cohesion enough to allow such continuety of production for so long?
Now….we got zilch, save a “Abbott promise” (and THAT is as good as a Judas kiss!) that he will look after the workers….well!…bend me over and pass the sauce bottle for what THAT’s worth!
There’s a new thread posted… The Grinch just wrecked Christmas… again
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Yes, social engineering is indeed under way. It is the left that is always accused of this, but it is the right, that always carries out the engineering,
Keating at work.
Congratulations for you 1st birthday and for a great site. Keep up the good work.
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