The Reagan and Thatcher legacies: Sorting truth from fantasy

My apologies for a long time between new threads. COVID’s fault, of course.

However, I hope you will all appreciate (in the broadest sense of the term) the following analysis by Michael Keating from John Menadue’s brilliant Pearls and Irritations (republished with permission):

Neo-Conservatives want to believe that Reagan and Thatcher achieved smaller government, lower taxes, and a booming economy. The reality, however, is very different.

Recently the Treasurer sort to appease his conservative base by citing the legacies of Reagan and Thatcher. Both are believed to epitomise small government, lower taxes, and improved economic performance. But as will be shown below, both Reagan and Thatcher’s actual record did not live up to the myths that their supporters want to believe.

Size of government and lower taxes
First, taxation did not fall under Reagan or Thatcher. While both leaders cut the amount of taxation paid by the rich, total revenue did not fall.

Instead under Reagan total current receipts represented 30.5 per cent of GDP, when he took office in 1980, and were still at that level when he left in 1988. While in the UK, under Thatcher, receipts increased by one percentage point from 37.7 per cent of GDP in 1979 to 38.7 per cent in 1990.

Furthermore, neither Reagan or Thatcher were able to seriously reduce government expenditure, although there was lots of stinginess and under-funding of government responsibilities. Thus, in the US, total government outlays as a percent of GDP rose from 33.7 per cent of GDP to 36.1 per cent under Reagan. While in the UK, over the lifetime of the Thatcher Government, total government outlays hardly changed; representing 42.6 per cent of GDP in 1979, and still as much as 42.1 per cent at the end in 1990, after peaking at 47.5 per cent in 1981 and 47.3 per cent in 1984.

Reagan also notched up large and continuing budget deficits to pay for his tax cuts to the rich. As a result, there was a massive increase in US gross public debt from 37.7 per cent in 1980 to 52.2 per cent in 1988. This debt was financed by bond sales, where the Chinese became the biggest holders of American bonds. Thus, somewhat ironically, the Chinese helped pay for the handouts to rich Americans. And it was only after the election of a Democrat, Bill Clinton, that the American budget was finally repaired, but the US budget was again plunged into deficit by future Republican Administrations.

Economic performance
Second, the evidence does not sustain the view that the economic strategies followed by either Reagan or Thatcher resulted in a strong economic performance.

In many ways the best way to assess a country’s economic performance is to compare it with that of other countries that have a similar level of development. On that basis, neither the US or the UK stand out as having a strong economic performance during the Reagan or Thatcher years respectively.

In the case of the US, under Reagan the US economy averaged the same annual rate of economic growth – 2.8 per cent – as the average for the other developed countries which were members of the OECD (Table 1). But this moderately good result reflected the fact that US population growth was substantially higher than average, and therefore employment growth also needed to be higher than average.

Table 1. US and UK comparative economic performance in the Reagan and Thatcher years respectively

  US or UK Australia OECD
US The Reagan years 1980 – 1988      
GDP growth % 2.8 3.3 2.8
Employment growth % 1.8 2.0 1.1
Productivity growth % 1.0 1.2 1.7
UK The Thatcher years 1979 – 1990      
GDP growth % 2.0 3.1 2.7
Employment growth % 0.5 2.3 1.1
Productivity growth % 1.5 0.8 1.6

The counterpart, however, is that US productivity growth at an annual average of 1.0 per cent under Reagan was well below the OECD average of 1.7 per cent. Interestingly, when the US economic performance is compared with Australia, which also had a fast rate of population and employment growth, we find that the Australian economic growth rate over the Reagan years was about half a percentage point higher than the US on average, with Australian employment and productivity growth both being higher than in the US. And during most of this period, the relative success of Australia reflected the policies of the Hawke Labor Government.

Turning to the UK under Thatcher, we find that on average annual economic growth was significantly below the average in other similar developed economies (Table 1). The main reason for this was the relatively low rate of increase in employment, and the rate of productivity growth in the UK under Thatcher was about the same on average as in the rest of the OECD.

But even that average economic performance hardly rates as an endorsement of the Thatcher policies. These policies were very divisive and had other longer-term negative consequences which will be discussed below.

Increasing inequality and its longer-term economic consequences

The outstanding feature of both Reagan and Thatcher economic policies was their legacy of increasing inequality.

In fairness, income inequality rose in most developed nations during the 1980’s because of the impact of changing technology and to a lesser extent, globalisation. In many countries, however, governments intervened to assist their workers to adapt to these changes, and they also improved the social wage, so that the increase in inequality was very much mitigated.

By contrast, the fiscal policies adopted by Reagan and Thatcher, which deliberately sought to redistribute income in favour of the rich, made inequality worse both absolutely, and relative to almost all other countries. Furthermore, this rising inequality had very damaging economic consequences for both countries.

In the US, in particular, the negative growth in the typical family’s disposable income over the almost two decades preceding the global financial crisis, was partly offset by these families going deeper into debt. That way the risk of economic stagnation, due to low consumer demand, was postponed.

But postponement was all that could be achieved. Eventually the build-up of poor quality debt in the US became unsustainable. US bankruptcies increased and the property market collapsed to half its value, thus precipitating the global financial crisis.

In sum, the economic record of the Reagan and Thatcher Governments was not only poor during the lifetimes of those governments. The rising inequality that their policies aided and abetted directly led to the global financial crisis, and the continuing economic stagnation that has followed since.

Luckily now, in response to the Covid pandemic, governments are finally repudiating the Reagan and Thatcher heritages.

117 thoughts on “The Reagan and Thatcher legacies: Sorting truth from fantasy

  1. I wonder how mum felt 🙂 Actually a serious reminder of how much kids notice ‘politics’ by osmosis or whatever. As the cases reached zero the NZ equivalent of the CMO and now national icon, Ashley Bloomfield, stopped his daily briefings. A mother wrote in and described how his daily briefings had become a daily must see ritual for their family and how upset her 6 yo son was that Bloomfield was no longer on each day. From comments to the article she was far from being Robinson Crusoe. Heck even I tuned in each day. What a calm , factual , reassuring voice. It made for a wonderful antidote to to the bulldust served here back them.

    Jacinda Ardern ‘preferred mother’ as well as PM

    Jacinda Ardern had almost done her round of the boutique Grey Lynn farmers’ market but there was one little girl yet to meet, Mo Bridgman-Cooper.

    It was a special request because, as Mo’s mother explained, Mo wants the Prime Minister to be her mother.
    Mum, Mindy Pilbrow, of Pt Chevalier, was as amused by her daughter’s wish as Ardern who happily posed with the girl.
    Ardern is used to being preferred Prime Minister, but not preferred mother.
    With a 2-year-old daughter of her own, Ardern seems particularly drawn to mothers with toddlers and they to her.

  2. About time someone got it right.

  3. Emma Alberici dispute with the ABC is escalating fast. Diary has learnt that the ABC’s chief economics correspondent has now taken her gripe with the ABC to the Fair Work Commission.

    A commission spokesman confirmed on Friday that a “preliminary hearing” took place via phone hook-up on Thursday morning, in a case listed as “Alberici v Australian Broadcasting Corporation”.

    The hearing has come after Alberici fired an early shot across the bows over the ABC’s decision to potentially make her position job title redundant. As Diary revealed last week, Alberici sent a letter to the ABC detailing claims of unfair treatment by some of her colleagues.


    SA Senator Rex Patrick will quit Centre Alliance and run as an independent
    Matt Smith, Political Editor, The Advertiser
    August 9, 2020 8:53pm

    Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick will quit the party – a rebranding of the Nick Xenophon Team – and go it alone in a bid to retain his spot in the Australian Parliament at the next election.

    Senator Patrick has described the decision as more of a “marketing” move than a split with fellow Centre Alliance MPs Senator Stirling Griff and Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.

    But Senator Griff said Senator Patrick had been “running his own race for some time”.

    Senator Patrick, who will run as an independent, said Centre Alliance was facing an uphill battle to get a single seat in the next Senate, let alone two, which would be a disaster for South Australia.

    Rex Patrick @Senator_Patrick
    Independent Senator for South Australia. Former RAN submariner, project manager and small business owner. Authorised by R. Patrick, Adelaide SA 5000.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Shaun Carney writes that Victoria’s is a cautionary example of what can happen when a government falters at a time when fear nestles in a corner of every mind and drives public policy. He says the Morrison government has been playing a double game with Victoria ever since Victoria’s infection numbers started to head north, offering public support for Andrews while privately backgrounding against him, his ministers and his health team to selected journalists.
    Anna Patty reports that surveys have found that 20% of doctors and nurses have limited access to equipment including surgical masks – findings that come as the number of active infections among health workers jumped to almost 1000 at the weekend.
    Ethicist Tim Smartt opines that the Morrison government must consider mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations.
    Michael Pascoe says that we have outsourced care – paying people the minimum to do what we ourselves are not prepared to do.
    Amanda Vanstone says that we should stop taking our lead from the US and China.
    Charles Edal explains how the US election winner’s China ties will impact Australia.
    John Lard looks at the painful progression from Abbott to Morrison.
    David Crowe tells us the Adam Bandt is about to push for a $3b boost to aged care and for the royal commission’s terms of reference to be expanded to include the effects of privatisation on service delivery.
    Australia’s politicians have learned that in the era of coronavirus, the future comes at you fast, writes Frank Bongiorno.
    The AFR tells us that the Morrison government has ordered Australia Post to prioritise the delivery of urgent goods after Christine Holgate said the impact of Victoria’s restrictions on deliveries was like the ‘Suez Canal coming down a drainpipe’.
    The SMH editorial urges people to call on the mental health services available and support each other through this unprecedented period. We need all the patience, kindness and presence of mind we can summon.
    Politicians forced into quarantine can expect to be tested for COVID-19 and have police knock on their doors, under plans to protect federal Parliament from a coronavirus outbreak reports Josh Butler.
    An adamant Daniel Andrews is rejecting the concerns of Victorian businesses – and the Morrison government – that too many of the state’s restrictions are neither COVID-safe nor business-safe, writes Jennifer Hewett.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says that a health versus economy trade-off isn’t a solvable equation. He concludes that setting aside the moral questions, sustainable economic growth, even at a pandemic-reduced level, can’t be achieved unless the virus is sustainably contained, whatever the immediate economic cost.
    It’s time we called out Karen, Jim et al for what they are: dangerously irresponsible individuals, flouting the law in a way that literally threatens our health and safety, writes Michelle Pini.,14175
    Ross Gittins says that the RBA has had to drop its mask of brightness as “extreme uncertainty” descends.
    Once again the Auditor-General has exposed the low priority the government gives to issues of public integrity. This time the focus is on the administration of the lobbying code of conduct and the associated register of lobbyists, informs Richard Mulgan.
    Dennis Atkins thinks that the COVID border war is defining the Queensland election.
    The ACCC chairman Rod Sims has suggested that Big Tech giants such as Google and Facebook could be required to pay between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of the cost of journalism at Australian media companies. Max Mason thinks Sims just might have cracked the digital code.
    Issues of freedom of the press and privacy are threatened across the world, but not all hope is lost, writes Leo Rueck.,14186
    Less than a year after the NSW government announced plans to fast-track three dam projects, questions are being asked about whose interests they will serve and at what cost. Writes Harriet Alexander.
    Maybe we shouldn’t rush into a hydrogen economy until we know all the risks to our climate say these two scientists.
    Finance and industry heavyweights are saying investment in health, education, clean energy and urban infrastructure is needed says Mike Foley.
    Now organised crime syndicates are using online companies such as Airtasker to traffic drugs and stolen goods around the country, with federal police making busts in Melbourne and Sydney involving on-demand couriers, reports Anthony Galloway.
    The investigation into allegations against former justice Dyson Heydon has stalled, with no victims coming forward and police saying it was not their policy to contact them.
    A commitment by the French designer of the navy’s new $90 billion fleet of submarines to source at least 60 per cent of components from Australian companies is yet to be locked in, more than six months after it was offered amid complaints local industry is being denied work. The selection of the French bid is proving to be a massive mistake IMHO.
    The pandemic has seriously disrupted the education of more than 1.7 billion young people around the world. But for already disadvantaged students the loss of learning is potentially devastating writes Peter Adams.
    To be charged with 21 offences from one incident surely earns a nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Jim Pavlidis

    Peter Broelman

    John Shakespeare

    Michael Leunig

    Matt Golding

    Glen Le Lievre

    Johannes Leak

    Mark Knight

    From the US

  6. I think we all know the answer to Kon’s question.

  7. Interesting, and a great reason to put all childcare workers back onto JobKeeper.

    Childcare confusion: jobkeeper loophole may give some educators access
    Sole traders offering family daycare services may be eligible for wage subsidy, Australian Tax Office says

    Family daycare educators may continue to be eligible for jobkeeper despite the Australian government’s decision to cut off the childcare sector’s access to the wage subsidy scheme.

    The discovery of the loophole for sole traders providing family daycare has sparked calls for the government to bring all childcare educators back on to jobkeeper, amid concerns the Covid-19 second wave will lengthen the period of disruption. Some operators say they are “desperate”.

    At the same time, the Grattan Institute thinktank is making the case for bigger reforms to the childcare sector, saying the government should spend an extra $5bn a year on subsidies to unlock a $11bn annual boost to the economy from increasing workforce participation

  8. Excellent thread –

  9. As NZ marks its 100th day without a case of community transmission covid 19 this recent headline gets even more LOL.

    US govt warns Americans not to travel to NZ due to its ’23 active cases’

    It places New Zealand at Level 2 on its travel advisory system, which asks its citizens to “exercise increased caution in New Zealand due to Covid-19”.
    Especially with today’s headline.

    19 coronavirus: 100,000 kids in US catch Covid-19 in past two weeks

  10. The CrimeMinister, whatever idiots are ministers for aged care and health, the federal health department and the aged care regulator have just been exposed as the lazy, incompetent fools they really are.

    Today, at the aged care RC –

    No federal COVID plan for aged care

    Earlier, the commission heard neither the federal health department or the aged care regulator developed a COVID-19 plan for aged car.

    In a blistering opening address on a new hearing into coronavirus and aged care, counsel assisting the commission Peter Rozen QC criticised authorities for a lack of preparedness in aged care settings for the pandemic.

    “While there was undoubtedly a great deal done to prepare the Australian health sector more generally for the pandemic, the evidence will reveal that neither the Commonwealth Department of Health nor the aged care regulator developed a COVID-19 plan specifically for the aged care sector,” Mr Rozen said.

    He said the Australian Health Protection Protocol Committee, the joint-state federal body that is the main source of advice about COVID-19, offered no advice for the aged care sector about coronavirus between June 19 and August 3, “a crucial period of six weeks during which the number of new daily infections in Victoria grew from 25 to 413”.

    “There was no advice about how the sector should respond to the risk posed by aged care workers who may be COVID-19 positive yet asymptomatic, particularly those who work in multiple facilities,” Mr Rozen said.

    And he specifically called out aged care quality and safety commissioner Janet Anderson, the sector’s regulator, asking how she had prepared the sector for the virus.

    “The regulator did not have an appropriate aged care sector COVID-19 response plan. Given that it was widely understood that recipients of aged care services were a high risk group, this seems surprising,” Mr Rozen said.

    In his opening address, Mr Rozen described COVID-19 as “the greatest challenge the Australian aged care sector has ever faced”

    The NSW government is not escaping criticism over its handling of the Newmarch House outbreak.

    This week the RC will be looking into the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in aged care, and what can be learned from this experience for responding to future pandemics, infectious disease outbreaks or other emergencies.

    More information plus a link to the live stream –

  11. A strong contender for Arsehole of the Week, maybe even the month –

    Just a few articles about this scammer.

    2014 –
    Dozens of Australians lose money through Jamie McIntyre’s 21st Century Eminis financial education program

    2016 –
    Property spruiker Jamie McIntyre banned for 10 years

    2017 –
    ASIC files bankruptcy proceedings against property spruiker McIntyre

    Property spruiker Jamie McIntyre fires up on Facebook

  12. The below link is paywalled, try opening via the tweet. If you open her tweet, there is also a thread on her attempts to contact the PM about this.

    • He ignores questions on this and refuses to censure Kelly because I think he believes all this rubbish.

      Why do I think that?

      Because –

      He believes all the prosperity gospel nonsense preached by his Pentecostal Horizon church, ideas that have nothing to do with real Christianity. His “faith” is just a pyramid scheme. He is too brainwashed to see that.

      His longtime mate Tim Stewart is an Australian QAnon leader and Tim’s wife is Mrs CrimeMinister’s best friend, going back to when they were schoolgirls.. A more intelligent, less gullible man than the CrimeMinister would not want to be associated with that bunch of idiots.

      He adores Trump, sucks up to him, does whatever he asks while other leaders distance themselves.

      So it is highly likely he also believes all the conspiracy theories about this virus.

  13. “Jordan chats with Pearls and Irritations editor John Menadue about his time working for Rupert Murdoch and Gough Whitlam… The topic of China might come up.”

  14. The prime minister is entirely correct to say political leaders are accountable for their actions or lack of actions during this crisis. Who could possibly argue with that?

    But the point is they are all accountable. Accountability is not situational, or a sliding scale. Some leaders are not more accountable than others to suit the convenience of politics, or because someone needs to create a diversion, or construct a firewall between themselves and a reckoning.

    Morrison told reporters on Monday no one got a leave pass from scrutiny during a crisis.

    Saying that is easy.

    Actually meaning it, of course, is much harder.

  15. This is huge for Afghanistan. Up until now the Taliban had refused to deal directly. The Loya Jirga is the grand tribal council of the Pashtun tribes. Last one I remember made a decision which pretty much sealed the fate of the US mission. The Americans had out stayed their welcome after a couple of years and became seen as an occupier rather than a liberator. A loya jirga was called and decided to through their support behind the Taliban. They were not great fans of the Taliban but the Taliban were the only people still resisting what was becoming seen as an army of occupation.

    Sadly the brave journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad who documented the ins and out of those early years did not live to see this day. Kidnapped and murdered by , it is believed, Pakistan naval intelligence.

    The Taliban is ready to begin intra-Afghan negotiations within a week if the prisoner release is completed, said spokesman Suhail Shaheen in an interview with BBC Pashto.

    His remarks come hours after the Loya Jirga with 3,400 delegates approved the release of 400 high-value Taliban prisoners, a decision that was deemed a key hurdle to the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations.

    The first round of the negotiations is expected to be held in Doha, Qatar.

  16. Only fair to call the Australian Government the Liberal National Party Coalition.

  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Katharine Murphy unpacks the latest essential poll.
    David Crowe and Julie Power report on yesterday’s interesting day at the Aged Care Royal Commission where federal agencies have been accused of failing to prepare for thousands of coronavirus cases in aged care homes at a crucial point when infections surged
    And Crowe tells us how federal officials will be shielded from direct scrutiny at the NSW inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship amid accusations the Morrison government has failed to co-operate with the investigation which is required to report to the Premier by this Friday.
    Meanwhile Matt Coughlan reports that Australia’s top public servant will face a Senate inquiry putting the federal government’s coronavirus response under the microscope. Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Philip Gaetjens is due to appear before the committee today alongside senior departmental officials. Should make for some interesting viewing.
    And Daniel Andrews is set to be grilled over his government’s handling of Victoria’s second coronavirus wave at a parliamentary inquiry. Mr Andrews will be the first witness called at the second sitting of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee’s COVID-19 Inquiry today.
    On the subject of inquiries, these contributors say that it’s time for a royal commission into robodebt. They’re not wrong!
    Retailers getting millions of dollars in JobKeeper program wage subsidies are posting higher profits and paying bigger dividends to their shareholders. The AFR headlines this article with, “JobKeeper becomes DividendKeeper”.
    Anna Patty reports that Catholic Hospitals have urged chemists and other retailers to stop selling hospital-grade masks to the public to prevent a shortage of stock needed to protect the safety of health workers.
    Scott Morrison is giving a masterclass in political malleability over aged care Covid deaths says Katharine Murphy. She is not impressed.
    Outsourcing blame can’t keep working for Scott Morrison says Paul Bongiorno.
    Journalism expert Dennis Muller says that tensions are rising on coronavirus handling as the media take control of the accountability narrative.
    Melbourne’s quarantine nightmare is not over, with fresh revelations that two hotels are battling major problems with security, infection control and tensions between medical staff, police and government officials says The Australian.
    Adrian Piccoli has an interesting idea for the funding of primary schools by governments.
    Shane Wright refers to an ABS study that shows people with higher levels of education and those born overseas are more likely to be taking substantial measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
    Christopher Knaus reports that the Liberal party is attempting to organise at least three fundraising events in Canberra to coincide with the looming resumption of parliament, despite prior health advice warning of the heightened Covid-19 risk posed by sitting periods.
    Plastic surgeon Neela Janakiramanan says that health professionals putting their lives on the line need better back-up.
    Allowing MPs to travel while Canberrans are stuck at the border smacks of double-standards says The Canberra Times’ Katie Burgess.
    Greg Jericho begins this detailed contribution with, “More than anything, the current crisis has revealed the paucity of logic that has dominated economic debate for far too long. The obsession over debt and deficit was always silly, and it sure as heck made for easy analysis: deficit bad, small deficit less bad, surplus amazing. But it needs to be thrown in the bin.”
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that Hong Kong police have arrested billionaire media tycoon Jimmy Lai on national security charges and raided his Apple Daily newspaper headquarters. The choke hold is being applied now.
    Peter Hartcher examines the effect that Beijing’s efforts on censorship and suppression are having around the world and he points to Hollywood as a prime example.
    Australia’s biggest private employer group has warned Australia is now a two-speed economy and more jobs will be lost in Victoria’s critical retail sector if the dole is cut back before the critical Christmas trading season reports Jennifer Duke.
    A contentious NSW gas project is weeks away from approval. The Conversation provides three reasons it should be rejected.
    The Morrison Government is using industry policy in a reverse and perverse fashion that is best understood as a form of predation, writes Dr Tim Thornton.,14190
    Australians don’t have far to look to see governments effectively guiding their economies through the COVID-19 pandemic. Alan Austin surveys successful nations nearby.,14187
    The Future Fund has increased its cash holdings by about $10 billion since March, and new CEO Raphael Arndt says the fund is positioned to take advantage.
    There is every reason to fear another sudden market and economic collapse. But there are a surprising number of silver linings in this storm, writes Jim O’Neill.
    According to Daniel Hurst, Scott Morrison has been urged to avoid policies that trap children in poverty as he weighs up whether to cut unemployment benefits at the end of this year.
    Alexandra Smith points out some interesting employment arrangements involving iCare and Perrottet’s office.
    Scott Morrison’s task of Senate negotiations over budget measures and industrial relations reform has become more complex after key South Australian Senator Rex Patrick quit the Centre Alliance party to become an independent says Andrew Tillett.
    Anthony Galloway reports on the trouble a former AFP deputy commissioner, Ramzi Jabbour, has gotten himself into.
    Nick Bonyhady explains how Tim Wilson has waded into the fight over Daniel Andrews’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the state government has not been scrutinised enough over its response to COVID-19. So it’s scrutiny he wants? Perhaps he should look in his own party’s political backyard.
    Jenna Price has written a nice, timely article on the pressures of office on government ministers. She says the insane pressure being applied to them cannot go on.
    The National Parks Association of NSW and ex-Energy Australia chair Ted Woodley are considering a legal challenge to the $10 billion Snowy 2.0, which they say will push back the transition to renewable energy and destroy thousands of hectares of national park, in light of the fact that the whole project hinges on a 30-year-old report. which is being kept secret writes Callum Foote.
    Applied economist Mark Wooden puts his case for casual employment.
    Mike Pompeo has declared that the Belarus election was not free and fair.

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Cathy Wilcox

    John Shakespeare

    Matt Golding

    John Spooner

    Mark Knight

    From the US

  18. Watching the kangaroo court of libs into Dan Andrews handling so far. I have yet to hear anything different to all the press conferences that I’ve watched Dan in. The questions are being very political and not interested in the truth.

  19. The incredibly thick, attention-seeking backbencher Tim Smith and other Liberal nutjobs scream about Dan Andrews failing to be “transparent” on which nursing homes have the most cases of COVID-19 and on quarantine and the gutter media dutifully hop on board.

    The CrimeMinister breaks his promise to fully cooperate with the Ruby Princess inquiry by blocking the appearance of federal officials and the same so-called “journalists” currently piling shit on Andrews just say “That’s OK, he can do what he likes because he’s wonderful” and ignore that example of blatant lack of transparency.

    Paul Bongiorno points out the facts in his article today –

    In January, the Commonwealth quarantined more than 600 Australians returning from Wuhan on Christmas Island and in a camp near Darwin.

    Why the PM thought hotel or home quarantine was a safe option has still not been explained.

    We now know returning expatriates from Europe or the United States are just as lethal a threat.

    This outsourcing of blame is also behind the Commonwealth’s refusal to fully co-operate with the inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

    The core fact of the matter is that officers from two federal agencies, Border Force and the Department of Agriculture biosecurity section, allowed passengers off the ship.

    That led to 1000 coronavirus infections nationwide and 30 deaths.

    Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton blocked a summons from the inquiry for two key federal witnesses to give evidence.

    Mr Dutton said he wouldn’t allow them “to be besmirched”.

    When asked about the decision, Mr Morrison evaded a direct answer and stated the Commonwealth was co-operating

    Is the CrimeMinister doing this to save his arse by protecting Dutton? Is he really that desperate to avoid a leadership challenge from a furious Dutton, angry about his involvement in spreading the virus across Australia being revealed?

    Shouldn’t the media be asking these questions?

  20. Seth Meyers –

    Stephen Colbert –

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

    Randy Rainbow – (not the best he’s every done)

  21. Well,of course the CrimeMinister’s handpicked commission stacked with coal and gas industry types would do this –

    Covid Commission advised Morrison to underwrite gas pipelines, but ignores green jobs

    The head of Scott Morrison’s handpicked National Covid-19 Commission advisory board has confirmed that it has recommended that the federal government use taxpayer funds to underwrite new gas industry infrastructure while concluding that no support is needed for renewable energy.

    Responding to questions posed by a Senate committee overseeing the Morrison government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday, the chair of the national Covid-19 commission advisory board Nev Power said that the body had “requested support from government” be directed towards the expansion of Australia’s gas industry, including potential agreements to underwrite new gas pipelines.

    The former chief executive of Fortescue Metals Group, Nev Power, who chairs the National Covid-19 commission advisory board, had told an earlier hearing of the Senate committee that the body would not be recommending government support for the gas industry, despite leaked reports produced by its manufacturing working group that showed otherwise.

    Clarifying the situation on Tuesday, Power said that the body would be recommending some forms of support, including where the government may underwrite an expansion to Australia’s gas pipeline infrastructure, by guaranteeing “offtake” agreements for extra pipeline capacity

  22. The Canberra Liberals have dumped their newest candidate after the ABC revealed he described Indigenous Welcome to Country ceremonies as “animistic practices … to be condemned” and ACT Policing as a force influenced by a homosexual agenda.

    On Sunday, Peter McKay was announced as the latest Liberal Party candidate for the inner-city seat of Kurrajong in the upcoming ACT election.

    In his announcement, ACT Liberal leader Alistair Coe said he was “pleased to have such a passionate advocate on our Kurrajong Liberal team”.

    But a 2018 submission by Mr McKay to a federal inquiry into religious freedoms, known as the “Ruddock review”, made several comments the Canberra Liberals today said were out of step with the party.

    In his submission, Mr McKay wrote that Canberra had in recent years “been subjected to religious terrorism”, noting a 2016 incident where a van exploded outside the Australian Christian Lobby headquarters in Canberra.

  23. Won’t be good news 😦 😦 😦

    Covid 19 coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Bloomfield to make announcement tonight

    Especially as earlier today…

    the Village Palms Retirement Community in Shirley had advised family members in a letter that it was in lockdown after residents began displaying symptoms of a respiratory illness.

    “We currently have several residents on our first-floor care unit who are displaying symptoms of a respiratory illness,” the letter says.

    “We have forwarded swabs to the Public Health Department to test for Covid-19.”

    If it is The Plague there will be some tarring and feathering if someone has been am idiot. The public mood is pretty intolerant to idiocy threatening current life.

  24. Nice one, Katharine

    When pressed on renewables, Power said the commission had not “looked at energy in that context” – even though the manufacturing taskforce has evidently made specific recommendations about government underwriting of pipelines to improve the viability of gas to power heavy industry.

    Power suggested renewable projects were looking for “substantial government support”. While the commission is also clearly recommending regulatory changes to boost the supply and transmission of gas to the domestic market, when asked about renewables, he said it was not the role of the commission to “recommend specific projects”.

  25. Yep, a case picked up in Auckland and also a couple of their family members were positive. Auckland going into Level 3 for 3 days in 12 hrs. Rest of NZ level 2 .A ‘keep out’ sign on roads into Auckland. The bad news is they have no idea how the person caught it at the mo. Especially as they mention ‘multiple workplaces’ .

  26. Would it be nasty to hope they all catch The Plague?

    Liberal party plans three $2,500-a-head fundraising events in Canberra amid Covid risk
    Attendees told social distancing will be in force and plans may change if crisis deteriorates

    The Liberal party is attempting to organise at least three fundraising events in Canberra to coincide with the looming resumption of parliament, despite prior health advice warning of the heightened Covid-19 risk posed by sitting periods.

    Guardian Australia understands that the party’s Western Australian division is organising three separate Liberal party fundraising dinners featuring the prime minister’s assistant minister, Ben Morton, for the two-week sitting period starting 24 August.

    The events are planned for 25 August, 26 August and 2 September, and are advertised as featuring appearances from Paul Fletcher, the communications minister, Simon Birmingham, the trade minister, and Anne Ruston, the social services minister, respectively.

    Attendees are being asked to pay $2,500 a head, and told that social distancing will be in force and that the plans may change if the Covid-19 crisis deteriorates further.

    The party’s decision to plan fundraising events in Canberra sits uncomfortably with previous health advice about sitting periods

  27. Kerri-Anne Kennerley to leave Channel 10 as network announces mass job cuts

    She will move straight to Sky, I suppose.

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