The Grinch just wrecked Christmas… again

It’s more than our birthday week at The Pub. It’s Labor’s re-birthday.

William’s Bowe’s inestimable BludgerTrack 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.

Hockey Grinch Base Photo

Michael Pascoe puts it in terms of a family domestic situation. He’s talking about Joe Hockey’s attitude to running the economy here:

The dire threats of what-Daddy’s-going-to-do-with-you-when-he-gets-home (the Commission of Audit) does nothing for confidence, nor does the Gonski flippity-flopping or headlines about cutting childcare workers’ pay. The ceaseless combativeness and talking down of the economy isn’t working with the voters and that, in turn, is not working for our economic prospects.

… 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.

So why is this man smiling?

His name is Paul Zahra, of David Jones “The Carbon Tax ate my homework” fame. He wised up. He just got OUT of retailing as soon as the Coalition got elected.

Meanwhile, 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. It used to drive me nuts, listening to them delude themselves.

What must these people now 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, to take a couple of examples, the NBN was still being built we could all segue over to careers in IT, or service those who did.

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.

  • The NBN has been kyboshed in favour of recycling Telstra’s junk copper network so that it works just fast enough to support Foxtel (but nothing faster).
  • State governments are obstructing wind farm development all over the country, except South Australia, because the state governments own the coal-fired power generators.
  • 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).

In any case, Abbott wouldn’t want anything of Julia Gillard’s legacy to be left intact. This includes the NBN. carbon pricing and now, support for GM Holden.

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.


CNC Factory

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.

If he can seize the moment, the passing of Holden can be Joe Hockey’s equivalent of Paul Keating’s ”banana republic” declaration.

Like Keating’s famous 1986 warning of Australia’s economic decline, it can be a national shock, but also a jolt to national action.

Not to try to perpetuate a World War II-era industrial structure but to create the enterprise culture of a new century.

The test of an economy is not what it can preserve but what it can create; not how much subsidy it can pay but what profitable investment it can generate.

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.

And how does Hartcher explain this, for God’s sake?

It was the text message that sounded the death knell for Holden as a manufacturer in Australia.

”Are you seeing this question time attack on Holden?” read the text message, sent by a company insider.

It was sent by one of the company’s key strategists at 2.30pm on Tuesday, as Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Treasurer Joe Hockey were ripping the car maker to shreds during parliamentary question time.

In a seemingly calculated performance – one designed to flush out GM’s intentions and back the car maker into a corner – the Treasurer said it was time for Holden to ”come clean” and be ”fair dinkum” with the Australian people over its future in the country. ”Either you’re here or you’re not,” Mr Hockey said.

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… industry… enterprise… not ideological purity and holes in the ground. 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.

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…

Once derided as ”Sloppy Joe” and lampooned for his happy-go-lucky Sunrise persona, Hockey has already emerged as the 44th Parliament’s hard man.

His confident performances tagging Labor with a debt blow-out, now expected to exceed half a trillion dollars in the out-years, and his evisceration of Labor for voting against savings measures it had proposed, have impressed.

Hockey, who delivers his first fiscal statement on Tuesday, has quickly found his feet and taken control. Much will turn on the Treasurer’s first budget in May and his explanatory powers as the economy is reconfigured.

That’s a lucky break for Abbott. As long as Hockey doesn’t get too good at it, that is.

Yep, your eyes weren’t deceiving you… Joe Hockey is a lucky break for Abbott and the nation. 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.

True story!

Another true story… Joseph Benedict “Joe” Hockey was named after Joseph Benedict “Ben” Chifley, an irony pointed out recently, as Hockey is presiding over the death of the industry that  Chifley created.

I never knew Ben Chifley. He wasn’t ever a friend of mine. But one thing I do know is this: Joe Hockey is no Ben Chifley.

We should get rid of Hockey. And we should do it soon, before he whinges the nation even further into economic oblivion.


171 thoughts on “The Grinch just wrecked Christmas… again

  1. Section 2 . . .

    Typical of US dog-eat-dog society. Do we want this here?
    Cathy Wilcox has her say on the matter.
    Turnbull is going to have his hands full with Jason Clare methinks. What he produced yesterday was a farrago of misrepresentations and unverified heroic assumptions.
    Fraudband is going to be a train wreck!
    John Birmingham says that pugnacious buffoonery is not the way to run a government.

  2. Section 3 . . .

    Alan Moir on the Coalition’s first disastrous months.
    Andrew Dyson on the revised Holden mantra.
    David Pope rolls out the Skywhale again. This time with Abbott, Brandis and Pell.
    Ron Tandberg on Abbott and Hockey running Holden out of the country.
    A lovely contribution from David Rowe on SSM.

  3. BB
    Thanks so much for that compendium of repentent dogs. Very funny.
    Jasper often hides crestfallen behind a particular flowerpot when he does wrong.

  4. DECEMBER 13, 2013 @ 7:08 AM [EDIT]
    Well the Royal Commission into the decision making re Pink Batts. Not headed by judge but Brisbane Lawyer. After all there were four deaths and all those fires. Shame that the tragedies where fewer than the norm in the industry before that.

    Decision making. What in the hell does that mean. Could not they get any judge to head it. Comes to think of it, the judges are generally retired. Maybe, with all the inquiries this government has set up, there are none available.

    This will be the ninth I know of.

  5. BK,

    Thanks so much for that compendium of repentent dogs. Very funny.
    Jasper often hides crestfallen behind a particular flowerpot when he does wrong.

    When Costa pees on the doona I rarely catch him at it. It’s all based on stealth. I leave the door to the bedroom open for 60 seconds while I fetch something and he’s up, does the deed, and then gets back on the sofa and goes back to sleep.

    I come in and find the wet spot. This means I’ll have to wash the doona AGAIN, straightaway before the you-know-what really sinks in. It’s a major operation.

    I go outside and say, in my deepest most stentorious voice…… “Cosssssss-ta?”

    The guilt is incredible. He flaps his tail slowly, rolls over and shows me his belly (presumably so I can cut out his liver and eat it while he’s still alive, if I’d like to), the ears go flat, the chin touches the ground, the eyes can’t make contact with mine.

    It’s so funny of course that you forgive him instantly.

    As soon as you say, “Quick! In the car!” the guilt is instantly forgotten and he’s his bright, breezy, usual self again.

    They sure know how to beguile their human friends, don’t they? IT seems to be such a common trait among dogs – the ability to APPEAR to be really-really, sorry – that I’m sure it must be part of the reason humans and canines hooked up all those thousands of years ago.

  6. Good morning everyone on a beautiful early summer’s day in Canberra.

    We have had our last night in the house – tonight we go into a serviced apartment so the packers can have a clear run tomorrow. The bedding has been sorted – some comes with us, the rest is to be packed and stored. The last wash is on, and my mother is STILL trying to decide what clothes to take for the next week …

    Framed photographs and small ornaments are next on my list, with the final clearance of the refrigerator happening just before we go to the apartment (lucky it is rubbish AND recycling collection today).

  7. I presume they appointed a lawyer to head the inquiry because it’d be harder to find a judge that will deliver the verdict most satisfying to the Liberal Party – that Peter Garrett and Kevin Rudd are as guilty as sin and should be put behind bars and that the Labor Party will be declared forever unfit to govern for having criminal ministers.

    I don’t know who Ian Hanger is, but that the Liberals put him at the head of the commission makes me wonder what his allegiances are for.

  8. The Daily Telegraph is still bashing Labor (no link)

    This time it’s the old chestnut: travel expenses.

    Apparently Julia Gillard “racked up” airfares travelling to… wait for it… “global leader’s meetings and forums”.

    Clearly, she should have paid her own fares to the G20 etc. Economy class, of course.

    And Greg Combet with “ABC newsreader girlfriend Juanita Phillips” went on a junket too.

    I guess this stuff has a certain negative influence in certain circles. Somewhere, someone will be upset.

    But in the end all it will do is reduce trust in ALL politicians. The Punters won’t want Labor and they won’t want the Coalition. They won’t want anyone to govern them, or seek office, or try to change anything.

    That’s when a bit of fun to curry favour with one side or another, or to promote a favoured politician, becomes a cancer that rips out the heart of democracy.

    That’s when we have anarchy.

  9. Just in case anyone is interested in what my control group is talking about, their attitude to Holden is “Fuck ’em, they were dying anyway.” The counter-argument to it has been pretty feeble so far. I don’t get involved in that sort of stuff with them any more, because long experience has told me attitudes won’t change – a few of them are more than happy to prosecute bizarre and irrelevant talking points if it means they can hang on to their allegiances – and observing behaviour is more useful to me over than than trying to affect it.

    There was a mention of the NBN fiasco, but nobody has run with it.

    I get the feeling, reading over their posts, that people are eventually just going to get used to the daily screw-ups, the useless arrogance, and the economy-wrecking, with a shrug of the shoulders. Those who supported the Coalition up to now will make excuses where they can, on minor things, and try to ignore the rest. And there will be a general apathetic cry of “Labor wouldn’t have done any better.” Polls will settle in at about 52-48 or 53-47 for the ALP, and probably won’t shift at all until the next election. We’ll just all cope stoically, and mumble “good riddance” when Abbott and co get voted out. Right now a lot of people are busy finding ways to live with themselves after voting these morons in – denialism, justification, a bit of nihilism, helplessness.

  10. I’m under the impression that the government effectively appoints the commissioner, although it does it by pretty much telling the GG who to appoint, who then does it officially..

    I gather that by an earlier article that said that Abbott’s Cabinet was in the process of choosing a commissioner.

  11. The Abbott government stripped the national peak body of its $1.6m annual funding last month, but the chief executive, David Templeman, said there was still opportunity for it to reverse the decision made by the assistant minister for health Fiona Nash as part of the deficit reduction strategy.

    Templeman said the government led Adca to believe its funding was simply delayed, until its staff went to a meeting with a representative from Nash’s office who told them they were being defunded immediately.

    “We had a very clear understanding in April that funding had been approved,” he said.

  12. This from the “ash-tray swill” ; Bazz Cazz…”…Tony Abbott has so far by and large resisted their urgings. He appears to understand the value of the sensible centre.”

    Abbott “understands the sensible centre”….it is this sort of absolute BULLSHIT that gives the ABC. it’s bad name!

  13. Parliamentarians’ entitlements claims for the six months from 1 January to 30 June this year have been released.
    Those who enjoy pouring through this stuff to uncover rorts will already be hard at work.

    And yes, Abbott did claim expenses for this year’s Pollie Pedal, $354 a night for seven nights in country towns (gee, their caravan parks must be expensive) plus three nights in Adelaide ahead of the start at $373 a night and two nights in Melbourne at the end for $429 a night. All claimed as ‘official business’ because he did a non-event presser at every single stop-over. He also claimed air fares from Canberra to Adelaide – $776.35 and from Melbourne to Sydney – $599.78. Plus Comcar expenses which are hard to work out as some of them were for alleged ‘official business’ in Adelaide and Melbourne.

    What is so very, very obvious, as it always is in Abbott’s claims, is the sheer stupidity of his travel arrangements. Idiotic, wasteful travel like Hobart one day, Brisbane the next. Or Brisbane one day, Perth the next, for just one night. Surely someone could have worked out an itinerary that ensured a logical, cost-saving travel plan instead of the frantic dashing to and fro across the country he indulged in for the entire time he was LOTO. Most of this travel was simply so Abbott could visit yet another workplace and whinge about the ‘carbon tax’.

    All up Abbott spent $474,707 in that six months. We certainly didn’t get value for our money. Julia Gillard spent $556,377.59, that included her overseas travel.

  14. Re. the Hadley case (where he was found to have defamed a fish-and-chip shop owner), I have it from a “reliable source”:

    1. The jury didn’t find for Hadley on one single point out of a dozen or more.

    2. Eastwood police are mysteriously turning up for no apparent reason at the NEW fish-and-chip shop that the plaintiff and her husband now operate, which is about 20 kilometres from the old one, and completely out of the footprint of Eastwood police station.

    3. The same Eastwood police harassed the shop proprietors when they were located at Carlingford Court in Sydney, which IS in the Eastwood footprint.

    4. Additional harassment occurred, at the old shop, from complete strangers, presumably Hadley listeners and supporters.

    5. Hadley, not able to slag off the wife anymore (the plaintiff in the current case, who won against him), is now slagging-off the husband, on almost a daily basis, during his “show” on 2GB. It wasn’t made clear in the chat I had with my “reliable source” whether he had (again) revealed the location of the (new) shop to his listeners.

    6. The shop proprietors still feel threatened by this unwarranted attention, and they feel their new business is now also suffering.

  15. I just posted this over the road because I’m fed up with people hyperventilating over shipping movements around Christmas Island. I’m as interested as anyone else by what goes on there, and I take some of the blame for alerting people to the marine traffic website, but honestly, it’s all going too far. It’s verging on tin-foil hat stuff from some boat watchers. This is not aimed at anyone in particular, but please people, settle down a bit….

    Another rant about boats, because I’ve had more than enough of the comments about what perfectly innocent ships are doing around Christmas Island.

    The Eline Enterprise is a container ship that makes regular visits to the island. Ships do that, you know, the island is an island, supplies have to be brought in somehow. This particular ship was there a few weeks back, it is scheduled to return after Christmas and again in January. Its job is to deliver stuff, not to tow in asylum seeker boats. We have an armada of navy and customs ships surrounding Christmas Island to do that.

    Have any of you devoted ship commentators bothered to think about why a ship might appear to anchor way off shore, or spend time chugging back and forth before mooring in Flying Fish Cove? Has it ever occurred to anyone that weather conditions might make it impossible to moor close to land for a time, or that moorings and/or the jetty might be in use by Morrison’s armada? Or that there could be some other problem like broken cranes (it happens) that cause a delay? Of course not, it’s so much more fun to assume every tack, every halt, every increase in speed is because a ship is chasing/towing/searching for an asylum seeker boat.

    Did any of you notice the unidentified ship that was briefly visible, stationary between CI and Java on Wednesday night? No? I thought not. THAT could have been something interesting unfolding and was worth a comment or ten. The movements of a cargo ship waiting to unload are not.

  16. Also, if Abbott wants to try this partisan royal commission nonsense, it only opens himself and his ministers up for Labor to launch royal commissions into things like Scott Morrison’s crimes against humanity to asylum seekers and Abbott’s rorting of funds for his pollie pedals when they next come to power.

    I’m sure there’ll be much, much more to inquire about by the time 2016 rolls over of course.

  17. If Abbott wants the gloves off, he better be prepared to wear the pain when the LNP finally loses office.

    There is always plenty an incoming government can potentially investigate about the previous incumbents – and the signs are there that this government will have far more to uncover than any previous ones.

    As Bushfire says, this is stupid, stupid, stupid.

    But what else do we expect from the biggest pack of nongs to ever lead this country.

  18. It seems Pies Akerman believes the ABC’s Peppa Pig is a weird leftie feminist and must be done away with. I refuse to read anything Perce writes, just as I refuse to ever spell his name properly, so I’m relying on comments from others.

    Mark Scott has called for calm –

    Piers Akerman has attacked Peppa Pig. I'm calling for calm before toddlers trash the News Corp headquarters.— Mark Scott (@mscott) December 12, 2013


    Could be traffic congestion around Holt Street, given all the protesters in strollers. #PiersvPeppa— Mark Scott (@mscott) December 12, 2013

  19. Fairfax radio was reporting that Morrison was bitching about Labor not fully funding the Manus Island detention centre.

    It didn’t seem that they sought comment from Labor so it was a one sided report, but it seems the LNP is playing its old tricks for vicious cuts.

  20. There’s nothing to stop Scrot Moribund giving adequate funding to the Manus Island detention centre. He’s in government now, he can do that.

    I’m over this mob whinging about Labor’s funding for whatever. I saw through that ploy even before the election – Wazza Truzzzz gave the plot away – but the government is still trying it on, over and over, every day.

    The funding or whatever Labor had planned is in the budget, it’s all set aside. All the government has to do is spend the freaking money, but they won’t. They have a ‘plan’ and, by God, they are sticking with it. Instead of just getting on with anything that was planned and funded by Labor they tell lies about it. It’s being done in every portfolio, from Regional Development to Education to Immigration. ‘Labor didn’t sign a contract’ or ‘That was just a Labor election promise’ or ‘Budget emergency!!!!’. And then, every time, the funding is miraculously found, whatever project was under threat is graciously allowed to proceed and the government claims all the credit for something that was none of their doing.

    Except for asylum seekers. TIBM is taking immense delight in coming up with new, nastier acts of bastardry every day. His latest are allowing only 500ml of water a day for men trying to cope with the heat on Manus Island, refusing to provide proper footwear and then refusing access to outing on the grounds those who want to go don’t have shoes, issuing food contaminated with flies and maggots and making men queue for hours to get it and giving them exercise equipment that can’t be used because there is no power source to plug it into. It’s all being done to force them into asking to be sent back to whatever hell hole they came from. He seems to find it all immensely funny.

    If I believed in reincarnation I’d say TIBM is Himmler reborn.

  21. leonetwo
    December 13, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    It seems Pies Akerman believes the ABC’s Peppa Pig is a weird leftie feminist and must be done away with.

    He’s worried about the competition?

  22. gorgeousdunny1

    No wonder Pies is worried. Peppa’s Dad’s glasses and beard just scream pinko Marxist..

  23. Yeah, Akerman is probably jealous of Peppa, so if he gets rid of her, the show can be about him and the other Repulsive Pigs as they go on adventures stomping on poor people and minorities.

  24. I wrote this to someone who used to do CNC work for me, but I couldn’t stand his whingeing about the carbon tax and evil unions, so I went elsewhere.

    He wrote me an email this morning blaming everyone and everything EXCEPT the government for the closing down of Holden. It looked like a form email, bounced over to me, as he is on several right-wing mailing lists. You can guess what was in it, lots of ALL CAPS and lots of exclamation marks!!!!!!!

    I know my reply sounds plonking and patronizing, but I’ve had enough of these people who just want to complain and moan, standing by while Abbott f**ks up their businesses… and they cheer him on.


    The point remains: it’s YOUR industry’s funeral, not mine.

    All that guff about penalty rates and loadings etc. in your email back to me belies the fact that Holden did not mention wages as a significant input to their decision. In fact, Holden workers took pay CUTS to help the company, negotiated just this year.

    What prompted them to go ahead and pull the plug when they did was the performance of Joe Hockey in the parliament. It was all in the Herald yesterday. He made it clear he didn’t care whether Holden stayed or went. And GM was watching Question Time on TV. They got the message.

    The Carbon Tax component per car was also officially listed by Holden as $45 which they said they did not pass on. Abbott’s “$400” was a myth. Another one.

    You can sit out there and rage against thieving unions and overpaid workers all you like. I hope it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling as the companies that did Holden work now come after yours.

    Holden could have been saved for at least a few years, up to 10 (2022), but for a couple of hundred millions dollars (although Holden themselves say only $50 million) that the government did not want to spend. As a result, small businesses like yours will close down as they face ferocious competition for work – any work – from the big boys, who used to make diffs and gearboxes for Holden and didn’t want the little jobs. Now they want them. Now they need them.

    If the final demise had been put off we might have been able to manage a more gradual transition to more IT-related jobs, or an alternative energy industry, with better educated kids coming through the school system.

    But no, Abbott got rid of the NBN and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as well. And they’re killing off the Better Schools program, so that The King’s School can go back to their rugby tours of Argentina, funded by the taxpayer. Just like the old days.

    There’s nothing left, Andrew, except flipping burgers at McDonalds, or digging holes in the ground (if there’s anywhere they haven’t already dug the holes yet), or doing each other’s laundry… service industries with nothing actually made, and exported.

    You stood by while Abbott opposed a 2.5% cut in company tax to be funded out of the original (not the watered down) Mining Tax. Abbott promised you that you’d get it anyway. Where is that 2.5%, Andrew? Do you really believe you’re ever going to get it? You sacked most of your workers because you told me you thought the dreaded Carbon Tax would send you broke. It was a pittance wasn’t it, maybe a thousand bucks or so a year, much less than the “poles and wires” charges that outweighed it by 8 to 1 in expense to you… charged by state governments, who (of course) own the electricity generators.

    Stay well, while you can. The baby has been thrown out with the bathwater. But I’m sure Joe Hockey has a plan.

    Pity you’re not part of it.


  25. Of course, you know, the collective right-wing has gone insane…not insane as in the ” white-coat tied at the back in the padded cell” kind of insanity…they still “sound” sane, but they have these “breakout moments” Pliers Ankleman….you know the style : like your’re having a cuppa with an old friend who has recently taken a curious interest in UFO. phenomena…and in the middle of chatter they might suddenly hold their hand up flat to silence you and with a searching, vague look in their eyes they announce..: “They’re transmitting!”….and after a few seconds of intense concentration they resume the conversation.
    There’s nothing you can say, but you have to consider suggesting a short holiday in a cottage by the sea.

  26. BB
    Oh well said! Not that Andrew will take any notice, of course. Not for a while, anyway. When his orders start drying up and he notices everything is costing more because the government has bunged on an extra tax to cover Abbott’s PPL and when he’s paying GST on his fresh fruit and his steak, then he might start to remember what you said.

  27. BB. If there’s one thing that irks me with you is that you take 500 words to say something when a simple two word “suggestion” would suffice! 🙂

  28. BB. If there’s one thing that irks me with you is that you take 500 words to say something when a simple two word “suggestion” would suffice! 🙂

    You’re spot-on there, Jaycee.

    His email to me started out…

    You make me SICK.

    I must admit, it was a good opener.

    Anyway, I guess he’s given up hope of getting me back as a customer, and vice versa for me.

    I can’t tell you how relieved I was not to have to listen to his whingeing about The Carbon Tax, and The Unions.

  29. Abbott is discussing his PPL with the premiers today. He says they will save save hundreds of millions of dollars when their employees use the federal PPL scheme instead of the existing state systems, but he wants them to hand those ‘savings’ over to him. So actually they won’t be saving a cent.

    Abbott is also going to try another pea-and-thimble trick he hopes will fool the premiers. He wants the states to build new infrastructure, especially all those city freeways he promised during the election campaign. To qualify for federal assistance and to pay their share of the cost of all the new stuff the premiers will have to flog off infrastructure the states already own. Trivial stuff they will never miss, just the odd port and power plant, nothing much, really. No mention of what will replace the income these trivialities contribute to state coffers, of course. Then, I suppose, the states can flog off the new stuff to fund newer stuff. Need that new hospital? Well just sell that freeway you built last year…….Honestly, who comes up with these brain farts? Abbott’s dog?

    Paywalled, but you know how to deal with that.

  30. Well, one positive of parliament finishing up is that the Schoolkids Bonus will get one more run – it will be interesting to see if Abbott will ask all those receiving it this time to pay it back!

  31. I have an aquaintance who is a rabid right-winger and he was waxing lyrical about Alan Jones being the ‘well-spring” of all wisdom…until I complimented him on his , up till now unknown, tolerance and sympathy toward Homosexuals opinions!
    “What d’you mean?”
    And I then “pulled the floor out from under him” when I told him about “rent boys” and “cottaging” first he must have thought I was accusing Jones of some sort of fraud involving holidays in Berkshire villages in the English countryside!….But he was gobsmacked he had never known….a sort of Edgar Poe “on the edge of the abyss” moment for him….and I just had to give him that little..nudge..over!….
    How sweet it was!

  32. Delimiter’s editor Renai LeMay admitted yesterday that he was wrong about Turnbull

    Well, I am here today to formally apologise. I was wrong to have faith in Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition on this issue. You were all right, and I was wrong. Turnbull does indeed appear to be attempting to “demolish” the NBN.

    It appears he was another person who simply refused to believe that Abbott and Turnbull would propose something as awful as fraudband.

  33. gigi

    At the Petite Syrah in Nice on the Cote d’Azur a cup of coffee becomes cheaper by adding a simple “Hello” and “please” when ordering.

    How will the busloads of Yanks handle this!

  34. Renai LeMay has been excellent – he truly has striven for unbiased analysis of the the NBN offers. He has had stoushes with Turnbull (and Conroy) but has always given them the benefit of the doubt.

    For him to lay into Turnbull like he has now is a sign of just how bad this policy is. Turnbull has burnt his last bridges with the tech community now.

    As this project now unravels and the costs escalate wildly, it will be Turnbull who takes the blame for destroying what should have been a tool for positive change in Australia.

    But he won’t give a toss.

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