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'Australia Rising' ...

... Coalition falling. John Howard's 'vision for 2020' seems from the news reports to have been more about what the future isn't (it isn't about climate change, it isn't about workers rights) than what it will be. Full text below for your comments ...

SMH poll on "Who do you agree with on climate change?" has been fairly consistently running 76% Rudd to 18% Howard, so this looks like another one where the famous Howard political antennae are twitching in the wrong wind.

Nonetheless, you have to see this as an attempt to get a late entry in the "great speeches of our time" polls. Who can resist a rallying cry like: "(in per capita terms) the largest middle class in the world" ... Makes your heart palpitate ...

Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard's address to the Queensland Media Club, Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane

Australia Rising

Queensland is a big part of the Australian success story in the early 21st Century. Perhaps the closest analogy is California’s hold on America’s imagination last century – the magnetic pull of a better life; a place where dreams are realised and trends emerge that alter a nation’s temper.

My speech today is about the future of our nation. It looks ahead to an Australia rising to the challenges of the next decade and beyond – to an Australia within reach.

This is the first in a series of speeches I’ll make in coming months on a wide-ranging future agenda: an agenda that includes further strengthening our economy, education reform, new social policy challenges, climate change and Australia’s APEC agenda this year.

Next month’s Budget will outline a forward-looking strategy to further build Australia’s prosperity. Consistent with the last 11 years, the Government’s core objective is to keep the economy strong and the nation secure so Australians can plan for the future with confidence.

I want to begin by sketching the sort of world Australians are likely to be living in a decade from now; for argument’s sake let’s say by 2020, when most of today’s children will be young adults.

Liberal democracies will flourish, yet their purpose, patience and resolve will continue to be tested. For a country like Australia, there’ll be no holiday from history or from the long struggle against terrorism.

This fight is a different type of war against a different type of enemy. Our interests and ideals demand we stay engaged in the world and in the global battle of ideas.

Australia’s defence forces must be combat ready and well-resourced and our alliances close and strong in 2020.

We will continue to carry a heavy burden for order and stability in this part of the world. One of the most far-reaching national security decisions this Government has taken was to end a posture of benign neglect in the Pacific. There will be no going back from that commitment.

In 2020, policy makers will still be grappling with the great disjunction of our age – between a globalised economic order and a fragmented political one. Australia has a profound interest in a stable, cooperative and market-oriented global system underpinned by stable, cooperative and market-oriented nation states.

No-one should pretend the nation state is going anywhere. People will continue to express their demands for security, economic wellbeing and identity primarily through national politics. And the duty of political leaders will still be protecting and advancing the national interest.

It will be a world where economic and geopolitical power is more evenly distributed; more so perhaps than any time since America’s rise in the late 19th Century.

The human face of globalisation in 2020 will be increasingly Asian and middle class – as our region becomes the epicentre of history’s first truly global middle class.

It will be a world of intense competition for markets and for global talent. Australia must work hard to earn our place in a fiercely competitive global economy. We must ensure Australia retains and attracts our share of the best and brightest – the researchers, scientists, innovators and risk takers who’ll generate the ideas for a rising Australia.

Australia’s workforce will continue to face challenges from demographic change, from technological change and from globalisation. The Treasurer’s Intergenerational Report earlier this month showed that we have made progress in meeting the challenge of an ageing society.

Many families are confronting these pressures directly with the rise, for example, of the so-called sandwich generation. More and more baby boomer women in particular carry heavy responsibilities around caring for ageing parents and for children still at home, while also holding down a job in the paid workforce.

All this points to the need for governments to become even more nimble and responsive to individual needs in the next decade. The old rigid welfare state models have become increasingly obsolete.

It also underlines the need to maintain a strong economy. Despite the challenges we face, there’s no reason why Australia should not be even more prosperous by 2020.

But it means becoming even more competitive through economic reform. It means keeping the size of government and our tax burden down on workers and risk takers. It means keeping downward pressure on inflation and interest rates through budget discipline and a flexible workplace relations system.

It means creating the conditions for growth so business will continue to invest and create jobs. It means ensuring our schools, tech colleges and universities are institutions of excellence. And it means investing in our people so they have the skills required in the 21st Century.

In the late 20th Century, the great genius of our democracy was the ability to reform Australia’s economy while not leaving behind those who felt threatened by economic change. A rising tide that lifts all boats is our abiding national challenge – a calling for our time and for all time.

I spoke about this last year at the National Press Club in Canberra. I talked about the best kept secret of the Australian achievement – our national sense of balance.

This sense of balance is the handmaiden of national growth and renewal. It means we respond creatively to an uncertain world with a sense of proportion.

What helps us keep our balance? To me, it’s no secret. It’s economic growth, leavened always by Australian commonsense.

Priorities matter

Just as we face a global battle of ideas so there is a battle of ideas going on here at home over Australia’s future. A battle over which side of politics has the policies, discipline and experience to foster a rising Australia that can prosper in a fast-changing world.

One side – we in the Coalition – aims to build on what’s been achieved over the last decade. To build on policies that have helped sustain the longest economic expansion in our modern history, created 2 million new jobs, slashed unemployment, cut welfare dependency and given more Australians a stake in our economy.

The other side wants to tear down this achievement. It wants to go back to government by a few mates for a few mates – where favoured groups get a special say in our workplaces, in education policy, in environment policy and in welfare policy. Where the national interest gets squeezed out in favour of noisy sectional interests; and where the quiet voices of those who work hard, pay taxes, take risks and contribute to their communities get drowned out.

It’s critical that Australia not slip back to the ways of the past. It’s especially critical there be no roll-back of the reforms that have kept our economy growing through a turbulent decade.

Any step back will see Australia fall behind in the global economy, reducing our capacity to create jobs, to innovate, to care for the sick and the aged and to help those who need a leg up in today’s competitive world.

This is not simply an economic argument. It lies at the heart of our quest for a better society. Ultimately, it is a moral argument that bears on what I call the human dividend of economic growth.

It’s a moral argument because of what growth means for a fair and decent society. The American economist Benjamin Friedman argues this point at length in his book The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth.

Broadly distributed economic growth, he notes, provides benefits far beyond the material, supporting political and social stability, fostering tolerance and enhancing opportunity. It’s crucial not just to meeting our economic challenges but to meeting our social and environmental challenges as well.

Ladies and Gentlemen, priorities matter in politics. My government’s number one priority is strong growth, greater prosperity and wider opportunity. An Australia rising to new heights while preserving our great traditions of a fair go and pulling together in times of adversity.

An Australia where people have more choice in their daily lives and a strong sense of social cohesion. I’ve never understood or accepted the argument of those who say one detracts from the other.

By raising families, by employing other Australians, by giving back to their community, Australians show every day how the two go together.

I want Australia in 2020 to still be the best country in the world to live, to work, to start a business and to raise a family.

As a Government, we’ve made decisions in the last 11 years that impact directly on the lives of Australians. No doubt we’ve made our mistakes. All governments do.

But we have never lost sight of the big things that affect people’s lives – their jobs, the wellbeing of their families, decent health care, genuine choice in education and a good social safety net. We’ve never lost sight of the human dividend of a strong, growing economy.

We’ve also never lost sight of the need to strike a balance between different interests and objectives. That’s not the same as always seeking consensus and always looking to please.

It often calls for hard choices:

• putting the budget into surplus;

• reforming the tax system and the welfare system; and

• abolishing laws that protect a few jobs but destroy many, many more.

Hard choices imply trade-offs. When these are ignored, when ideology takes over, that’s when costly mistakes are made. It’s when unintended consequences multiply.

Why do I dwell on this? Because my political opponent pretends to have discovered a different brand of politics – a politics without hard choices, without trade-offs and without unintended consequences. A politics of gestures and good intentions and little else.

Mr Rudd argues that in this world Australians face one overriding moral challenge – climate change. I’ll talk more about this challenge in a moment, but let me say where I stand on priorities, on decision-making and on the moral challenge of our time.

Climate change is a serious policy challenge and a major priority of the Government. At the same time, we know independent action by Australia will not materially affect our climate.

No-one – not the IPCC, not Sir Nicholas Stern, not even Al Gore – makes this argument. Australia emits less greenhouse gases in a year than the United States or China emit in a month.

Do we need to lower carbon emissions over time? Of course we do.

But to say that climate change is the overwhelming moral challenge for this generation of Australians is misguided at best; misleading at worst.

It de-legitimises other challenges over which we do have significant control. Other challenges with moral dimensions just as real and pressing as those that surround climate change.

It also obscures the need for balance in government decision-making. It feeds ideological demands for knee-jerk policy reactions that would destroy jobs and the living standards of ordinary Australians.

To me, the moral challenge of our time is not vastly different from the challenge earlier generations faced. It’s to build a prosperous, secure and fair Australia – a confident nation at ease with the world and with itself.

It’s to give every generation of Australians the chance of social mobility. That’s why jobs and economic growth are so important.

Our economic challenge

A generation ago, this challenge revolved squarely around reversing the decline of our economy. This has been the work of both sides of politics in government. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the work of both sides of politics in opposition.

Looking back, broad consensus surrounded the need for five major structural reforms to give Australia a shot at prosperity in the 21st Century. The big five were financial deregulation, tariff reform, privatisation, tax reform and workplace relations reform.

I have always paid credit to the former Labor Government for its reforms regarding financial deregulation and tariffs. The Coalition has gone further with tax reform, privatisation and workplace reform making our economy more flexible and competitive.

Where the Coalition supported all the big reforms undertaken by the former Labor Government, the Labor Party in opposition has fought every major reform we have taken to strengthen our economy.

Labor in 11 years has not developed a coherent alternative plan to keep the economy strong, has totally indulged in the negative and on the eve of its national conference in an election year is still bereft of a credible, forward economic agenda.

Labor has opposed our policies for macroeconomic stability and disciplined fiscal management. By balancing the budget, paying off government debt, establishing the Future Fund and confronting the challenge of an ageing society, we have laid the foundations for a new era of growth, prosperity and opportunity.

But the job is not done. While Australia has lifted its game, so have our competitors.

We must stay the course on economic reform, including workplace reform.

Australia’s workplaces are the arteries of our economy. Clog them up with more and more regulation and you slow our economic pulse. WorkChoices is not just about more jobs and higher wages, compelling as that case is. Its importance extends to the macro-economy.

We all know Queensland is doing well from high commodity prices in the mining sector. In the past, under centralised wage fixing, a terms-of-trade boost like this would have triggered a wages break-out across the economy. Manufacturing would have been decimated.

This time that has not happened because relative wages have reflected industry fundamentals and because overall wages growth has been well-behaved. This is an historic achievement for modern Australia in a time of prosperity. Quite simply, it never happened under the old centralised, union-dominated system.

It’s meant inflation has been contained which in turn has limited upward pressure on interest rates. It’s meant the Reserve Bank hasn’t had to slam on the economic brakes. It’s meant Australia can continue to grow, now for the 16th year in a row.

Crucially, the industrial relations system that Mr Rudd has promised to give us will bring back the worst excesses of centralised wage fixation.

Higher wages paid in very profitable sectors of the economy will flow through to other industries which can’t afford them with adverse economic consequences including job losses.

There’s also a microeconomic case for WorkChoices that often gets overlooked. Flexibility at the workplace creates an environment that encourages innovation, the acceptance of new technology and the development of worker skills.

Without genuine flexibility the underlying dynamism of our economy ebbs away; the spirit of entrepreneurship (especially in small business) is crushed and Keynes’ ‘animal spirits’ become very tame and timid beasts indeed.

A rising Australia needs that entrepreneurial spirit. It needs the enterprise workers in our mines, factories and services firms who’ve transformed our workforce and its aspirations.

Mr Rudd has made his work choice. He has put union power ahead of workers’ jobs.

The risk takers in our economy need to know that they will not have Julia Gillard, Greg Combet and Sharan Burrow looking over their shoulder every time they employ a person or restructure their firm. Not to mention Simon Crean, Martin Ferguson, Jenny George and Bill Shorten.

Mr Rudd can’t have it both ways. He can’t prattle on about productivity while proposing to hand over power to people who have never taken a business risk in their life.

Underlying competitive pressures in our economy remain strong, as illustrated by the rebound in productivity growth in the December quarter. It’s increasingly clear, as noted by Treasury and the Productivity Commission, that the lower productivity growth of earlier periods was the result in part of an established pattern of employment in mining growing well ahead production in the initial phase of a commodities boom.

Labor’s real agenda isn’t productivity. It’s power – and for that it’s prepared to undertake the first major reversal of economic reform in Australia in 25 years.

Continued economic reform remains a vital part of the National Reform Agenda being pursued by the Australian Government together with the states and territories. At the COAG meeting this month we agreed to take forward reforms that will deliver more competitive energy markets, better transport infrastructure and less red tape.

We also agreed to invest more in our people.

Some pretend that structural reform is all that matters for future productivity growth. Others claim that the magic bullet lies in that wonderful technocratic term, ‘human capital’.

In reality, we must do both – press on with ensuring our markets and tax system are competitive and continue to invest in our people.

On human capital, at COAG I put on the table $100 million to tackle diabetes, to be matched collectively by the states.

I believe the Commonwealth should take the lead on an issue like this, where there is a clear policy case for a new initiative to address a critical health issue that affects peoples’ capacity to work and to lead a full life.

The Australian people expect the national government to provide this sort of leadership. But they also expect the Australian Government to look after taxpayers’ dollars.

That’s why I made it clear to Peter Beattie and to the other Premiers at COAG that the Commonwealth will not write open cheques for states and territories when they fail to meet their basic responsibilities.

All levels of government in our Federation must live up to their responsibilities. In the end, this is only long-term answer. The only sustainable federalism is a federalism based on accepting responsibility.

Mr Rudd claims he will end the blame game in the Federation. What he’s really saying is that all criticism of state and territory governments (all of which happen to be Labor) is off limits. The only game he plays is absolving Labor Premiers of any and all responsibility in areas like education, health and water management.

He talks about saving money by getting rid of duplication. Yet all his actions point to more overlap and duplication.

A large slab of his so-called ‘education revolution’ is nothing more than allocating Commonwealth money to things that States have already said they’ll fund or where they have failed to deliver good outcomes.

There’s a particular irony in Mr Rudd saying he’ll reform national education standards given his time in the Queensland Cabinet Office. A scathing assessment of those years by Professor Ken Wiltshire of the University of Queensland points to a litany of failures to implement proper assessment, quality assurance and a core curriculum based on high standards.

Mr Rudd made much of discovering the link between education and the economy earlier this year – a link by the way that would hardly have surprised Adam Smith. Yet he fails the basic test of economic literacy by focusing almost exclusively on inputs into the system rather than the quality of outputs.

The economic literature is very clear about what makes the difference. It’s education quality.

Julie Bishop has outlined a wide-ranging agenda to raise standards and the Australian Government is spending record amounts on education, offering parents more choice than ever before on where they send their children to school. That is the terrain the government is fighting on – choice and quality – an education system that puts the needs of students and parents ahead of education bureaucrats and teachers’ unions.

That is the new frontier of education policy – higher standards, greater national consistency, greater transparency and more power to parents, principals and school communities to shape what happens on the ground.

Climate change

Ladies and gentlemen, I mentioned earlier the important challenge posed by climate change. Climate change is, in essence, a large and highly complex global coordination problem.

It’s a challenge for all nations. Currently, there is a lot of talk about targets in the context of debate over a possible emissions trading system in Australia. I have appointed a joint Government-Business Taskforce which will report on this issue at the end of May.

Of course, Australia already has an emissions target for the period through to 2012. And unlike many of the European countries who regularly lecture us on this issue, we are on track to meet it by our own efforts.

Any decision on a future (post-2012) long-term target will be the most important economic decision Australia takes in the next decade. It will affect every industry and every household. It will change the whole cost structure of our economy.

I want to ensure any decision is made very carefully in a way that takes full account of jobs and investment in Australia, of climate change action by others and of global technology developments. As the Productivity Commission has warned, there are potentially very serious costs to Australia from acting alone and getting this decision wrong.

Australia fully accepts its responsibility to constrain emissions, to improve energy efficiency, to invest in new technology and to further the transfer of clean energy to poorer countries. We have committed more than $2 billion to climate change action involving regulation, economic incentives and voluntary measures.

But I will not subcontract our climate change policy to the European Union.

Indeed, I worry about the consequences for Australian families of Mr Rudd’s policy of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent from 1990 levels. I worry about the impact on jobs in places like Moranbah, Mackay and Gladstone.

Like Michael Chaney of the Business Council, I worry about targets being plucked ‘out of thin air’ without any analysis of the consequences for Australia’s economy. I worry about policies whose main target is a preference deal with Bob Brown and some cheap applause at a Labor Party conference.

My government will continue to place the highest priority on working for an effective global response to climate change, through our global forests initiative and other practical initiatives, especially with our economic partners in the Asia Pacific region.

That’s why I have made this a key topic for discussion by Leaders at APEC this year. Initiatives like the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate and our clean coal partnership with China are focused on what ultimately matters – breaking the nexus between economic growth and greenhouse emissions.

It’s here where the divide over the future is very stark. Mr Rudd made his big pitch as a man of ideas last year railing against ‘the forces of economic liberalism’. He panders to the gesture politics of anti-capitalism. His hand-picked environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, said not so long ago that economic growth ‘almost always’ leads to a worse environment.

Both are wrong. Both start from a false premise. History shows that economic growth and technological change have given mankind not just greater material wealth, but also cleaner air and water.

In the end, it is technological progress funded by economic growth that holds the key to environmental progress. In the end, our environment is too important to be left to the opponents of growth and economic liberalism.

Conclusion

Ladies and Gentlemen, Australia may never be the most powerful nation in the world. But we can be an even greater nation.

We are here in the Asia-Pacific region, a region which will be the cockpit of history in the 21st Century. We have enormous assets with which to meet all the challenges of the next decade.

Many years ago when I was Treasurer, I first met Alan Greenspan before he became head of the US Federal Reserve. He said something to me that I have never forgotten. He said: ‘of course, Mr Treasurer, you come from Australia. That country has (in per capita terms) the largest middle class in the world.’

Eleven years ago, we inherited a country where that great social achievement seemed to have slipped far from reach. And while we still have a way to go, Australia is on the road back.

Today, with effectively full employment and the strongest economy in decades, Australia is again in the top tier of the world’s economies.

My commitment to the Australian people is to work as hard as possible to keep us at the top. To ensure greater social mobility for as many of our fellow citizens as possible in the 21st Century.

To build towards a new era of growth, prosperity and opportunity – a rising Australia; an Australia within reach.

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Rats about to leave Howard's sinking ship.

I am told there are two and possibly three long-serving Howard cabinet ministers who have decided that if by July the polls remain as appalling for the Government as they are now, they will likely tap Howard, and that was their view even before the disastrous Newspoll this week. I am also told these ministers are not Peter Costello acolytes. They're political hardheads. If the pattern in the polls continues to July they know that the annihilation of which Howard has spoken does indeed face them.

But surely the only realistic alternative to Howard is Costello, and wouldn't an election result be even worse under him? Costello is indeed the only realistic alternative because, with Howard gone, he would be essential to the Liberals' credibility on the key issue of economic management, on which it still leads Labor handsomely. And yes, every poll shows that Costello is even more on the nose than Howard.

[Source]

Costello (Michael) has been told liberal party cabinet ministers are ready to give Howard the flick. Wouldn’t it have been better if John had stepped down with grace about a year ago? Now it seems the rats are about to leave the sinking ship.

A quote from Professor Norman Food U.N.S.W.

Even with the Howard Liberal's secrecy and abuse of the Freedom of Information, "You can fool some of the people all the time,  All of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time".

With the Australia "revive with Labor or continue the slide to disaster"  federal election closing in  - It's Time to remind people of that which the "New Order" wants us to forget.

OUR GREAT MENDACIOUS PRIME MINISTER.

"John Wedge Howard is the most successful prime minister of Australia IF we choose to measure success by how well one can fool the Australian peopleThese are his latest wondrous achievements, abetted by a docile press.

  • His ex-minister Peter Reith who was warned by the Australian Navy no less than 14 times that there were no children thrown overboard has now been appointed Australia's representative to the EU Bank admin at a tax-free salary of $250,000 pa.  Reith, of Telecard and Attack Dog fame, claimed that he did not pass on the Australian Navy warnings to Howard during the election.  Well, as a journalist said, for $250,000 pa, most people could be persuaded not to publish their memoirs.  Smells of hush money to me.
  • The SMH, of all the papers (one expects this type of nonsense of the Murdoch "Australian" and "Telegraph") a few days ago had the front page headlines "Howard To Bring Troops Home".  On Saturday, it was revealed that 1,500 of them will actually stay on to help the U.S. occupy Iraq.  Not that we should not do our best to re-habilitate a country so badly f**ked up by the Coalition of the Willing, but our expertise is best provided in the form of public health, education and other infrastructure.  We owe it to the Iraqis, but not by using our troops.  Clever Howard, the specialist in mis-information.
  • Medicare is Dead.  Little by little, Howard killed it by a thousand cuts.  The technique is as simple as it is effective.  First you starve it of funds.  Then you say, "Oh, what a mess it is, how lousy are its services, and it's because it is in public hands".  Then you subsidise its private health fund rivals to the tune of $2.3 billion a year, about the amount it will take to fix up our decrepit hospital system.  Such genius!
  • What he did to Medicare, Howard is now doing to the Universities.  Did you hear the lattes inspiration from his lot?  They are now considering the public funding of private universities so that underperforming socialist hotbeds like UNSW, Sydney, and Wollongong can have the spur of competition!  Gee, I guess we need Harvard/Oxford level institutions like Bond to frighten us into really working rather than be the chardonnay and latte wimps that we so clearly are.
  • But this is nothing very novel, if you had been watching Howard's trick with the Australian school system.  How many of you have seen a local government school close because of "small enrollment". and therefore insufficient Commonwealth funding?  "Small" can be 300.  Then a year after it closes, a new Christian (usually evangelistic and fundamentalist, anti-evolution, right-wing) school opens with an enrolment of 100 -- happily funded by the Commonwealth.  This was fine for many, because the kids who went there were mainly white and yellow.  No brown, no black.  But then other religions got the idea and there are sectarian Muslim schools sprouting up too, also funded by the Commonwealth.  And you know what, some of our Liberal Party chums are getting nervous about them!  Delicious side effect! If you hear any of them complaining at a cocktail party (I don't get invited to those any more, for some unfathomable reason), I suggest you mumble and stammer something about sauces for geese and ganders, that is if you wish to be invited back next time.  They don't take too kindly to laughter -- mumbling and stammering is fine, as this is what the British upper class twits do.
  • This year, the total Commonwealth funds for private schools will exceed the total funds for all universities for the first time.
  • But don't despair.  Democracy, unlike dictatorships, can sometimes force change.  Just look at the Ethanol Affair.  For a good year, despite the urging of the NRMA, GM Holden, Ford, etc., Howard refused to cap the ethanol content in petrol to 10%.  The evidence of engine damage at higher levels than that was overwhelming.  Why his supplier of ethanol is Manildra, a very generous contributor to Liberal Party coffers.  But the rumblings in the marginal seats have now persuaded him to agree to a cap.  If only Australians were as tuned to international politics and social equity as to their hip-pockets!

History repeats and repeats - Howard has been at it again - removing services from our people.

Now, it's election year and he will spin his lies and false promises to the most gullible of our citizens and hope they will get him across the line to perform his coup de grace to a once great egalitarian Nation.

Make no mistake - we are on the edge of the precipice - if we don't turn now our children, and our children's children will suffer for our apathy.

Their is no truth - just the Howard "paid for comment" journalists.

NE OUBLIE.

Australian exports not rising under Howard

There has been a spectacular slowdown in exports, which has pushed net foreign debt out to nearly double its level of 20 years ago. Export volume growth has all but stalled. It expanded by 2.1 per cent a year between 2001 and 2006 after rising by a yearly average of 7.3 per cent in the 1980s and '90s.

About half the decline is attributable to a fall in the growth of mineral, metal and energy exports, in a climate of expanding international demand.

Edwards was reported as saying oil exports last year were half the volume achieved in 2000 and that shipping delays had hampered coal export growth. "The year 2001 proved to be the peak of the export boom. By 2005 export volumes had fallen to just over 17 per cent of gross domestic product, from 19 per cent in 2001. It was the biggest and most sustained fall in export volumes as a share of GDP in 45 years of data.

[The Australian]

Export volume growth has all but stalled under the Howard Government, "the biggest and most sustained fall in export volumes as a share of GDP in 45 years of data". Infrastructure problems are holding our exports back. Howard has no new ideas to solve the problem; time for him to stand down and let leaders with more vision take over.

Howard wasting our hard earned cash!

The Howard Government is planning another huge advertising campaign, spending $23 million to sell its "leadership role" and "balanced voice" on global warming while persuading Australians to cut their power use.

Here.

Howard is wasting more of our hard earned money. What leadership role? Does he mean looking for rabbits to pull out of a hat? He has admitted, he has run out of ideas. If he wants to see what a reasonable and balanced view on global warming is, look no further than Japan.

The world should aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 as part of a new global warming pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.

Abe, who plans to present his idea at the Group of Eight summit in Germany in June, said the proposed climate change treaty must be flexible enough to draw all nations' participation.

Here

Howard's man is destroying the ABC

The ABC has sacked the woman behind the children's hit Bananas in Pajamas, which has made $70 million in profits for the national broadcaster.

ABC TV director Kim Dalton said yesterday he had abolished Claire Henderson's position as head of children's television, a job she had held for 15 years.

The children's television executive was responsible for taking the Play School song and animation Bananas in Pajamas and creating the hit characters B1 and B2. In the 15 years since they were created, the giant fruits in suits have sold more than $1billion in merchandise.

Ms Henderson has produced Play School for more than 20years and was the co-producer of recent ABC children's hits Saddle Club and Blue Water High.

It is understood she clashed with Mr Dalton over issues of corporate governance.

[The Australian]

Howard’s man is sacking the brains behind “Bananas in Pajamas”  Time to sack Howard and his henchman before there is nothing left of our ABC.

Oh dear

John Pratt, so Ms Henderson clashed with Mr Dalton over issues of corporate governance, and lost her job, so what. She can now sit back and reflect that it would have been better to just do her job, and leave the serious stuff to people that know what they are doing.

Australia has only Howard's "New Order" to fear.

G'day John Pratt, this horrible little schoolboy who, up until his agreed supplanting of Alexander Downer in 1995 (without a ballot), was the most despised and arrogant little monster that the Liberal Party had twice tried and ignored.

Even then, he frightened the true Liberals and they thought he was a last resort of a desperate Opposition.

Australia's unlucky star arrived with undermined Keating government introducing the prosperity which should have kept Labor in power for years to come, and the Corporations knew it.

Howard proved himself to be "available" to the foreign Corporations and he cultivated their support with  radical ideas of a total concentration of power and wealth to the already powerful and wealthy.

We have to remember that the unemployment and consumer confidence figures about which the "New Order" has been boasting, are LESS than the records set by the Labor government's Gough Whitlam in 1974.

Labor's Paul Keating's 17% was better than Howard's 21% interest rates in 1982.

It is surely inevitable that IF the people, even in good faith, elect a government of depraved indifference to the needs and entitlements of those very people who elected them - then as Voltaire opined "The government of a people is what they deserve".

The way the foreign owned media in our country behaves should bring to our attention the problems which are being faced now, (and have been in the past), of Women; Muslims; Aborigines; Negroes and  Homosexuals; or for that matter, anyone or any group with perceived "less voting statistics".

When Hitler introduced his "New Order" it was FOR his people.

Howard's "New Order" is NOT for the people of Australia - it is for the exploitation of our workers (White Coolies)  and the maintenance of a government, with all the powers of mis-information, to create a "Utopia" for the least number of the wealthy.

I just want to live long enough to see Australia "Rise like the Phoenix" from this servant third world country for which I did not serve.

There is no truth - just the power of the Corporation's Press.

NE OUBLIE. 

How much

I don't know what Burrows and Combet think, Alan, (and nor do you)...and,  I actually don't give a dying duck (euphemism).   I asked what you think. 

How much brass, how much of my tax,  to enrich Stan Howard and his family?

Versus, er, 58 underpaid employees of Mrs Rudd.  Costs to the taxpayer? - nought.

Now, now, now, Alan.

Now, now, now, Alan.  Careful.  You wouldn't want to bring up memories of the PM's bro, Stan Howard, would you?

Just to refresh your memory:  The Guardian.  16/2/05

Capitalist Hog of the Week:   is Stan Howard.  Stan, the brother of ...John Howard, was so financially destitute that the P.M. had to bail him out via the governments entitlements package when his company went belly-up, leaving the workers owed tens of millions of dollars.    It was consequently revealed that Stan and the directors helped themselves to big bonuses prior to the bankruptcy announcement.   Well, it seems his wife, Mrs Howard, isn't doing too badly.   Mrs Howard and her son have recently purchased the Bowral estates, Walling and Wallingwood...for a whopping $6,175,000.

It makes 58 underpaid employees look a bit piddling, don't you think, Alan?

Southern Highlands real estate, especially at the top end,  has had a bit of a slump.  I do hope that we won't be asked to prop up the Howards again.

Now now

F Kendall, "It makes 58 underpaid employees look a bit piddling"

I don't think Burrows and Combet would think 58 underpaid employees piddling. On the other hand if it shows Rudd up for what he is, a con man, Burrows and Combet will of course keep quiet.

When? When?

I'm reminded, Alan, that you've not spoken of the reaction when you told your more than 50 employees that you will sack them should a Rudd Labor government come in to pick up the pace on the many projects which the "annihilated" Coalition failed to progress.  You did tell them that if the nation votes for change you'll be doing some annihilation of your own, changing their life and that of their families by ceasing their employment, and effectively creating jobs for communist Chinese just because you can't stand Australian unionism, didn't you? You did do it when you said you would, didn't you Alan?

Now

Craig Rowley, I did have a meeting with my workers as promised but someone decided not to publish it, so here it is again.

[Craig R: Alan, I've checked and there is no comment from you on a meeting with your workers that's not been published. Nor is there a "missing" comment (they're all numbered you see), so it appears it wasn't someone deciding not to publish it. It appears you must not have sent it.]

I explained to the staff what I would think of doing should a Labor government get to power. I explained that there was no way I was going to risk what I have worked so hard for, just because Labor and the Unions want to play games again. They agreed that it was my right to protect myself and my family.

80% of the workers said that they thought Labor would not run the economy well, and were quite concerned that a downturn in the economy would cost jobs.

I told them that I would keep on between 8-10 workers that hold key positions with the company. The rest were not all that concerned as there is plenty of work around the area at the moment.

I told them that they will all get their full entitlements when the time comes.

I asked if anyone would like to go and look for another job now, and 2 people decided to, however I must point out that these 2 were unskilled and as far as I am concerned were untrainable.

These 2 have since been replaced.

If it is of any use to the unions, I pass on this message from the workers. They do not want to join a union, and do not want to be forced to join one.

Now some of you can get out into the real world and see what it is all about.

CHANGE IN THE WIND ...

Good lord, Akai-san. If those are your honest opinions, then who are any of us to challenge any mindless prejudices?

Besides, you can get an overflowing gutter full of exceptionally inaccurate, turgid, vulgar muck in any of the Murdoch-Deng group of papers (Corporate motto: "It is glorious to be rich corrupt beasts").

And there's a distinct smell of shit in strides over at the Murdoch-Deng cocky cage carpet flagship, The Australian.

They may have peaked Rudd, and now have to sh*t can his spouse, for back-paying a group of employees of another company which she bought and audited.

Their News objective is to prevent further annihilation of the Marquis of Kirribilli in the polls. Please join in, in any small way you can, Akai-san, old chum.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde

Now

Craig, you could well be right about me not sending it out as clear my Sent Box out every week and have no record of it being sent. I apologise for saying "somebody decided not to publish".

A common failing, The certainty of being good.

Justin Frank again offers a useful psychological insight into Bush's state of mind: "Religion doesn't just replace doubt with certainty; it replaces ambiguity with dualism.... Banishing ambivalence and nuance from his mind, he envisions himself in a belief system as fixed as his fundamentalist faith....

"He cloaks himself in the certainty of being good; absolving the self of responsibility even for destructive acts, disregarding the possibility that he could make a mistake."

The result of this process is what Americans can see on their television every night: that we have a President with a dangerous mental instability. Typical of this instability was the nearly incoherent answer Bush gave to interviewer Tim Russert, when asked about growing international resentment toward the United States due to his unilateralist destruction of Iraq for its non-existent weapons of mass destruction and equally non-existent links to 9/11.

"Heck, I don't know," a puzzled Bush responded. "I think that people—when you do hard things, when you ask hard things of people, it can create tensions. And I—heck, I don't know why people do it. I'll tell you, though, I'm not going to change, see? I'm not trying to accommodate—I won't change my philosophy or my point of view."

Here.

C. Parsons you're right - David Hicks, George Bush, and John Howard all have a belief system that absolves them of responsibility. All believe that the end justifies the means.

Free David Hicks

John Pratt: "Howard gets financial support from an extremist Christian group, seems to me they are not too far away from the Taliban."

The Taliban? Aren't they the outfit David Hicks was with?

Against the totemic thump of the drums of war, dust churns as the bodies of suspected anti-Taliban spies are dragged behind Toyota utes - as many as four at a time.

The severed heads of those who cross the fanatical jihadis are held aloft in cheering, jeering crowds. And in the bazaar, just a few rupees buys one of the hottest selling new DVDs - that's the one in which a 12-year-old boy wields the decapitation knife.

- Paul McGeough Chief Herald Correspondent in Miram Shah on the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Leaders need wisdom as well as courage.

Alexander Downer has come to the defence of US President George W. Bush, describing him as "a person of enormous courage".

Mr. Downer's support came just days after former US President Jimmy Carter described the Bush administration as the "worst in history" for its impact around the world.

Mr. Downer, speaking alongside US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, located on the north-west outskirts of Los Angeles, compared Mr. Bush's war on terror to Reagan's Cold War victory over the Soviet Union.

[The Australian]

Bush’s Iraq plan isn’t doing anything for his personal approval rating either; it’s again stuck at its lowest point in the history of the poll (31 percent). Meanwhile, the new Democratic-controlled Congress is getting relatively high marks. And 55 percent actually trust Congressional Dems on U.S. policy in Iraq, far more than the 32 percent who trust their commander in chief.

[Newsweek]

Bush may be a person of enormous courage, its not courage that’s needed in a president but wisdom! The US voter is showing the collective wisdom of a democracy. Jimmy Carter is right the Bush administration is the worst in history. Unfortunately it coincided with the Howard administration the worst in the history of Australia.

Christian Taliban support Howard!

The Exclusive Brethren sect faces a federal police investigation over its heavy advertising spending in favour of John Howard and the Liberal Party at the last federal election.

The Age believes that the Australian Electoral Commission will announce today it is referring to police questions over whether sect members have lied about their involvement in the campaign.

For 16 months the AEC has been investigating the source of funds used to pay for advertisements and leaflets in Mr Howard's electorate, Bennelong, and in South Australia and Tasmania, worth $370,000, in the days leading up to the election.

All the advertisements were pro-Liberal, pro-John Howard, and anti-Greens.

[The Age

“The activities forbidden for members of the Exclusive Brethren because they are too worldly: watching television, listening to the radio, visiting places of entertainment, reading newspapers, reading fiction, using computers and the internet (they believe that these are being used by 'the man of sin' referred to in the Book of Revelation), using mobile phones - or any other device that uses radio waves owning pets (these rules have been relaxed and some members are now said to own pets) remarrying after divorce, even if they are the innocent party, taking out life assurance, going to university, (this exposes young Brethren to morally unhelpful influences) standing for political office, voting in elections, bearing arms (though Brethren do serve in the non-combatant corps of the armed forces in times of war)”

[BBC

Howard gets financial support from an extremist Christian group, seems to me they are not too far away from the Taliban. The group is not allowed to vote in elections but have no problem supporting the Liberal Party. These people have a strong voice under the Howard government.

Science not science fiction!

ABC science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams, who advised the TV division not to buy the program, yesterday accused the broadcaster of "verging on the irresponsible" over its decision to air something that was "demonstrably wrong".

Mr Williams said that ABC TV director Kim Dalton had intimated in a conversation last month that he was under pressure about the issue from the board, which includes right-wing commentators Janet Albrechtsen and Keith Windschuttle.

Here. Howard’s mates on the ABC board are threatening the integrity of our ABC. The next step will be endorsing Intelligent Design. The science shows will become science fiction.

foolish or audacious?

Subtitle: Read his lips.

Y'had t'laugh this morning, on hearing the ONA spokesperson:

The Office of National Assessments (ONA) says it has done several studies on climate change but to release them to the public would result in "dumbing" them down.

[Intelligence agency refuses to release climate change studies]

In other words, the sheople® are too stupid to be able to understand anything that hasn't been "dumbed down?"

Reminds me of that fella who said that the US had a 'secret plan' to combat terrorism; clearly they have to keep it secret; it'd probably not fool even us simpleton sheople?

Going back to the ONA and 'climate change,' what could be so (secretly) complicated? Either they know it's coming (my tip), or they don't. But why hide it, either way? Remember too, that ONA was doing 'PM briefs' before the war, based on no more than MSM reports, Haw!

Now, the 7.30 report last night. Three 'ripper' stories;

PM has no tricks to halt electoral slide
Prime Minister John Howard has delivered to Coalition MPs his most pessimistic analysis of the Government's electoral chances, as the Labor party's momentum attracted some surprise new recruits.

'Incompetent leadership' drives military lawyer to politics
Australian military lawyer Colonel Mike Kelly, who has served in some of the world's most dangerous locations, says the country's "incompetent leadership" is what has driven him to enter politics as one of the Labor party's star recruits.

Kerry O'Brien speaks with Brendan Nelson
Defence Minister Brendan Nelson responds to criticisms from the Labor party's newest recruit, Australian military lawyer Mike Kelly.

[AusBC/7.30]

Y'have t'read 'em all for yourselves; try to pick when Dr Nelson lies, fudges or dissembles. (Tip: when his lips move.) Again, haw!

Howard: Liar and deceiver to the very end!

Ernest, you were dead right about ‘Howard’s outburst of humility’ – it was indeed only ‘assumed’!

The current headline in the Australian reads: “I won't step down before election, insists Howard”. It seems then that he is willing to risk his own seat as well as losing government – as I said earlier, that would be the ultimate ignominy for Howard.

But it also seems that he is going to insist right to the very end on history remembering him as the quintessential political liar and deceiver. Even as he offers himself up for political sacrifice he can’t help himself but practice some deceit in doing so. Take a look at the fifth para down. He reckons: “I have no desire to do anything other than remain prime minister of my country and leader of my party for as long as the Australian people want that to be the case”.

When Costello was getting up him for not handing over to him, Howard was telling the Australian people that he would remain leader of the party for as long as the PARTY wanted that to be the case – never mind the Australian people.

The right-wing excuses such behaviour simply as ‘politics’. No matter that some of Howard’s other forays into ‘politics’ has cost hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people their lives and caused around four million more to be displaced from their homes.

Howard’s fondness for Australian history is well known and he has deluded himself into believing that he will go down in Australia’s history as having been one of Australia’s great ‘wartime’ leaders. My fervent hope is that lives to a ripe old-age after his retirement – he can then read for himself how historians have really treated this warmongering liar.

Australia should welcome Colonel Kelly.

Recently, the "New Order" Liberal MP for Eden-Monaro, Mr. Gary Nairn, is suddenly reported to be "doing something". 

Amazing how these people disappear in Howard's smokescreens from the beginning to the near end of each term in office.

However, in a rare T/V appearance, Mr. Nairn says that he is not concerned with Colonel Kelly being an endorsed Labor candidate for his seat at the next election - because Mr. Kelly is not well known.

This of course is true.  However, since Mr. Kelly's very acceptable appearance on the ABC 7:30 report, I think that his contribution to more dishonesty by the Howard government and its ministers, will surely be a breath of fresh air.

The Howard Minister for "War", Brendan Nelson thinks that there is a Statute of Limitations to the crimes of the Howard government and, "we should move on"!

I guess that means we should forget the illegal war in Iraq; the abuse of our Pacific neighbours; Work-no-Choices; Medicare: HECs fees; rorts, lies, blunders: incompetencies; Crimes against Humanity; the slow destruction of the Australian Constitution and the protections it provides.

After all, hasn't Howard, Downer, Abbott and Costello all commented that the Constitution and the Federalism rights of each State are "old hat" but, only when the "New Order" is on the government benches.

The only way balance can be brought back into the Australian political arena, is the election of a Rudd Labor government - before it is too late.

NE OUBLIE.

Mistake

Ernest William, "Rudd Family company rips off 58 workers" and not a word from you or Sharan Burrows. Another thing Rudd knew nothing about, how many more cover-ups before the election. How can we seriously trust this man, strewth,fair dinkum.

Howard lost his MoJo

“Quite a few Coalition MPs still have much faith in the PM's ability to pull them through. He's aware of that — which made it notable that he chose to tell them bluntly he didn't have any rabbit to pull out of a hat.”

See Here

Howard finally admits he has run out of ideas. The only way he has clung to power is by magic tricks. No more Tampa’s. The country has drifted along for over ten years. The fortune made from the mining boom has been squandered. Call an election today lets get some fresh faces with ideas. The threats we face are too urgent to wait!

John Howard about to resign!!??

Surprise, surprise!

In news just to hand it seems that John Howard has woken up to himself and told the Parliamentary Coalition parties that the reason why the Coalition are doing so miserably at the polls is because of his presence as their leader.

Why does this come as no surprise? Just a couple of weeks ago a poll was held in his own seat of Bennelong where ex-ABC journalist Maxine McKew is lined up against him for Labor at the next election. Had an election been held on the weekend of that poll Howard would have lost his seat with a massive 6% swing – a seat that needs only a 4% swing for Howard to lose. It seems Howard has seen the writing on the wall – especially in the light of the rumours that abound about Howard being up for Wolfowitz’s old job at the World Bank. The ultimate ignominy for Howard would be to lose not only government, but his own seat. This he could not bear and so now, or at least so it would seem, he is preparing the way for his departure.

As promised, Howard could well hand over the reigns of power to Peter Costello. The problem is; a Liberal Party led by Costello would absolutely guarantee an election loss. Costello has that terrible affliction called negative charisma – that’s worse than having absolutely no charisma at all! I, surprisingly, actually have some friends who are Liberal Party members and they all concede that a Party led by Costello will be doomed for sure at the next election. The alternative is that Howard, possibly being aware of the Costello dilemma, hands power over to someone like Turnbull instead. (Downer, he with a face like a ‘spanked bottom’, would stand no chance either – besides, he had his chance years ago and blew it.)

Stepping down before being beaten at the polls will salvage very little of what history will make of him if, indeed, that is the reason he decides to go now. History will not be kind to Howard regardless of what he does.

Well said Damian.

Howard's burst of assumed humility reminds me of the Japanese custom of sending two men to surrender with their hands in the air.

When close enough to the "trusting" people, one would drop to the ground with a machine gun strapped to his back - and the other would open fine on the unsuspecting decent - but now dead - suckers.

We are dealing here with an inherent political criminal who, no matter what his admirers say, "never ever" keeps his word.

The recent "outsourcing" of the "Future Fund" billions by the six "New Order" appointed custodians, is further proof of the absence of care and responsibility of the Howard government.

These people were appointed - NOT elected - yet they have the power to do whatever they like with billions of OUR dollars.

Why is Costello or any of the other sycophants in Howard's stable considered as "economic" geniuses when they pass on their financial responsibilities to Private Companies.

Especially when Costello is allowing a continuing build up of the $520,000,000,000 foreign debt at a rate of $50 billion a year?

Like the "Spies on Veterans" that Howard has throughout the country to undermine the chances of pension applications being successful.

Like the increasing privatisation of government responsibilities like the "Concentration Camps" - and, when Amanda Vanstone yet again blundered, she blamed the Private Company running the prisons. Fair dinkum.

I was under the impression that, before Howard, our Federal Government was elected to GOVERN - not to sub-let or sub-contract their portfolios.

When will we return to our Democratic past and "make the buck stop at the top end"?

NE OUBLIE.

WASHINGTON DC AND NO PROPER GIRLFRIEND TO $POON

Howard to personally root the World Bank? Geez ... I bet Blair's not well pleased.

Anyway, The Downer don't look like a spanked bottom. He looks like a scone. With, as he says, "curly hair." Which awful people pick on. Or is that "gurly hair?"

Anyway, think of a malformed transvestite scone in fishnets. With a weepy turn of phrase, sulky pout and gurlyman hair.

What does Condoleezza Rump see in him?

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, damper and corned mutton with warrigal greens

A Government without principle or accountability.

The Howard "New Order" continues to be completely convinced that they will again triumph over the odds and, somehow, obtain a victory for fascism over democracy (the Bush marketing ploy).

The REAL history of Howard's debt ridden false economy may only be completely revealed, if the Australian people finally consign all of the "New Order" to the "dark ages file" of Australian political bastardry.

Nevertheless, the arrogance of these people can only be explained IF they have prior knowledge of the ultimate result.  Perspicacious?  I think not. Remember the Bush administration's interference in the 2004 election?  And their Ambassador Scheiffer's blatant "orders" to our voters?

I could never come to terms with the rascist and anti-indigenous "New Order" winning the seat of Wiepa!  Primarily from Koorie voters.

It annoys me that we are still being conned by the Liberal claim that they are better economic managers.

It is inevitable that, if a government simply increases taxes and reduces services to the citizenry - there will be a surplus.

Isn't that exactly what the Howard "New Order" has been doing for the last 11 years? But at what cost to the Australian people?

Health; Education; Taxes; GST blackmail; Work-no-Choices; ignorance of Climate Change; Water shortage; Skills training and Ministerial Code of conduct abuses et al! 

Why would any person, who is complicit in the slow destruction of a century old democracy - be so confident of winning a true and fair election?

We are told by Howard's "reliable" people that our century old constitution is "too old" and yet, before Howard, it has served us so well. 

Howard fails to mention that the American Constitution is 200 years old and yet, he serves it with a passion that only a citizen patriot would be expected to oblige.

If we were to encapsulate all of the "New Order" failures in trust and competencies - one would have to consider WHAT is their ultimate objective?

They have never built - nor tried to build - a basis for an independent Australia to enter into a future of concentrated world power.

Quite the opposite - they have languished under the aegis of the "American Eagle" and complied with every demand made by whatever government the American people deem to elect.

Howard is quoted as saying about the extreme citizens distrust of  his government, (evidenced by the polls) "Ultimately we'll find out whether it's not been, you know, an interesting exercise by the Australian public in its innate sense of humour". Fair dinkum.

Does this typically patronising statement mean that he is sure of the results of any such "free" election?  Or does it mean that he is again depending on the Corporation's media and his U.S. sponsors?

We were once proud of the title "Australian"!  We are being sold to the American idea of a "client state" and, subject to the "powers that be" - may be able to vote for the people who control the Howard "New Order".

And the Americans say "we expect more from our junior partner".

NE OUBLIE.

They will win

Ernest William: "The Howard "New Order" continues to be completely convinced that they will again triumph over the odds and, somehow, obtain a victory".

They will of course; and you know it. The latest polls suggest that the people do not trust Labor with the economy, they only trust them on IR legislation. However, when the people go to cast their votes they will realise that it is no good having Union IR legislation if they do not have jobs, and with Labor running the economy there will be high unemployment. 

There is only Howard's "New Order" to fear.

Should the anti-terrorist laws include the Howard government?  That would get my vote because I fear them more than I do any crafted fear of Muslims.

Watching the supreme arrogance of all of Howard's incompetent rorting government should send a shiver up the back of every fair dinkum Australian.

Certainly I do not have the skills to write a book about the abject failures of every ministry of this government of depraved indifference - but you can be sure that there is a huge amount of evidence to fill one.

So just what has the Howard "New Order" really achieved in those eleven "back to the 50's years"?

He has introduced the same draconian laws about individual contracts which almost caused a revolution in the 19th. Century in Queensland.  Thirteen men were jailed in unbelievable miniature cells which can still be seen along with the facts of THAT disgraceful part of our history in the town of Barcaldine Queensland.

How long do you think it will take Howard to introduce similar laws to destroy democracy in this country of ours? 

Already he has installed a private enterprise Commission of unelected scabs to prosecute Australian Building Workers - like the $28,000 fines in W.A - and the $44,000 against one elderly worker who had the temerity to defend the rights of a young Australian.

Are we really that stupid to re-elect such a fascist government who will not only persist in the destruction of our Constitution and rights as citizens, but will certainly increase the "privatised" prosecutors and the powers that will be given to them.

Howard's government has never achieved anything for people of Australia - he treats all of our citizens as commodities and uses them as such.

Never ever trust Howard's "New Order"!

NE OUBLIE.

Fear

Ernest William, how do you feel about Little Kev saying he would get the Australian Navy to board Japanese whaling ships? This is the sort of irresponsible thing Labor would promise to pick up a few votes. To hell with what it would do to our trading relations with Japan or our tourist industry. Thousands of young Australians would lose their jobs in the hospitality industry, all to satisfy the likes of Sharan Burrows. It really makes you wonder how many more hair-brained schemes they will dream up before the election.

No sushi for you, Alain m'boy

Young Australians don't serve up whale meat to Japanese tourists, Akka-san. It's illegal, you silly boy. Even at Doyles or in Bondi. You'll have to go to Iceland or Norway, also cetacophages. Or Nunavit.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, cetacean-in-chief, HMAS Sydney, 20,000 leagues under the sea, 1941

AUSTRALIA STILL WRITHING: - MEMENTO MORI …

STARRY KNIGHT - GENERAL DISORDER

Last week, the Australian Governor-General, Major-General Michael Jeffrey, awarded Arab American Multi-Star General John Abizaid the Order of Australia. As a Howard suck to Bush over Iraq, this ranks with the best of them.
http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=584784&category=general

In retaliation, but lacking a flight of Apache gunships and the commensurate ethics to inflict a shockin’ ’ore on Kirribilli Palace, the Greens Supremo, Senator Bob Brown, urged that the Howard government also award an Honorary Order of Australia to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

What a joke! He’s never killed anyone! AND he’s a refugee! And China hates, loathes and despises him.

We could do our arse in coal sales. Bob’s evil plot to save the planet from global warming, one suspects.
http://www.bobbrown.org.au/600_media_sub.php?deptItemID=2303

But with David Hicks safely back in Australia, we can not only urge an OAM onto HH the Dalai Lama, but also Australian right wingers’ bête noir, Major Michael Mori, the Pentagon’s very own Hugo Chavez in a jarhead.

Anyone can do it. There’s an on-line nomination form, too. Do one each for all of them, nb, do not let them know – it’s against the rules.

I bet nobody told Abizaid. Howard would have sworn Bush, Cheney et al to utter, utter secrecy.
http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/awards/medals/order_of_australia.cfm#Nomination

Go to it, Margonauts. Swamp Government House, Yarralumla. With copies to HM ERII at the Palace, too, please. Provocation on a grand scale.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde the Argyle Willy Wagtail trikes back

The spin on Work-no-Choice continues.

Howard's "New Order" government continues to boast about THEIR highest consumer confidence in 32 years!  Guess who was in Government at that last record - non other than Labor's Gough Whitlam and our "Lucky Country".

Equally they boast that THEIR 4.4% "unemployment" is the best in 32 years!  Again, the Government with that record of 4% was Labor's Gough Whitlam and our "Lucky Country".

Yet at the last three elections they used that great man's name to libel the Labor Party as incompetent on economy and employment!!! Fair dinkum.

After watching and reading the transcript of Tony Jones' Lateline interview with Joe Hockey on 16/5/2007, I can only add to Joe's incompetence and dishonesty with the opinion that he is given to massive exaggeration.

Well might he be a millionaire because he has the innocent face with a ruthless business man's heart.  Howard has put him there, where he really is a square peg, to hopefully convince Australians that the pending increasing abuse of worker's rights will be "good medicine" for the "Corporation's economy".

Excerpts from the Lateline interview:-

TONY JONES (TJ): You say you will keep listening to Australian people and to their concerns about industrial relations, obviously, since it's you that's listening.  So what are they telling you?

JOE HOCKEY (JH): Well look, they want job security. 

[That's why the Liberals removed the unfair dismissal laws - to INCREASE "job security"?]

We believe that we helped to create job security by keeping the economy strong.  They want the opportunity to have a job.

[Facts are that Howard tricked the Australian people into believing that the removal of the "safety net" laws would help the small businesses of less than 10 - no make it 20 - and with the power in the Senate - 100 employees.  Some small business?]

(TJ):  Let's go to some facts.  On April the 15th, Sunday April the 15th, you were asked, 'Do you rule out further changes to the IR system?"  Your answer in part was, 'We're not for turning on the fundamentals of these laws'.  A few days later you are sitting with the Prime Minister working out a fundamental change to those laws.  Now what change in those few days between when you said that on the Sunday program and when you and the Prime Minister are sitting down, presumably with advisers, working out how to change your IR reforms?

(JH): Well,obviously I had discussions with Cabinet colleagues.  I had discussions with the Prime Minister.  Most significantly, we had discussions with people in the business community.  We had discussions, even more significantly, with workers.

[Are you really fair dinkum Joe? The "New Order" had "discussions" with workers as "significantly" as with the "business community"? The maximum number of Business Unions is 29.] 

(TJ): And in about a period of three or four days?

[The registered Australian Labour Force is currently in the region of some 10 million plus.  Of which, nearly a third, some 3 million, are part time workers.  These work from 1 to 34 hours in the "reference week".  This is a perfect example of "job sharing" - NOT job creation - in other words - more employment figures - not increased jobs.]

(TJ): So your estimate at the time you brought in the fairness test is there about 350,000 people on AWAs.  Is that correct?

(JH): Since the introduction of the new system in March of last year.

(TJ):  Right.  So those 250,000 people now find themselves in a different tier from the 650,000 that y our expect to join up between now and the election?

(JH):  No, there was - obviously, AWAs have been around for 10 years.

[Whether another exaggeration or not - WORKCHOICES has only "been around for just over one year]

(TJ):  But just explain how many people on AWAs, up until you made your change, do not get access to the fairness test?

(JH):  Oh well, the 350,000.

(TJ):  The point is those people do not get access to the fairness test.  So you created a system, have you not, that has two tiers - two classes of workers - those who get access to the fairness test under AWAs and those who do not. 

[At least until after the election - isn't that your real objective Joe?]

This latest Howard con is so complex that even Jolly Joe doesn't understand it.  Simple said Howard - but there is nothing absolutely nothing in any legislative form!

Tony Jones continued to press the point that even if the so called "fairness test" IS an intended method of "temporary fine-tuning", the offensive Work-no-Choices fails miserably.

In my opinion, Joe Hockey failed miserably to convince anyone of this sincerity in a "change" to those draconian laws.

I guess the major consideration about these fascist laws is that, without unfair dismissal laws, there can be NO fairness in the Workplace.

NE OUBLIE.

THE SPIN? TRY TO REMEMBER THE HILTON

Howard’s Australia writhing? APEC 2007 is going to be smashing, ain’t it? A dozy do-nothing PM is in high-revving, engine screaming, poll-driven wheelspin.

APEC is Kirribilli’s show, and GEORGE will be there, smirking and mumbling and conniving. A PM with loads of form for underhand bastardry, usually when gunning for an election, will be looking for his own personal Reichstag fire.

He was in government when the Hilton bombing murders were pulled off (and remain unsolved, after the Feds’ patsy walked). That was at the height of a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sydney.

What “mean and tricky”, “weak and sneaky” show will our immoral PM pull off? The carnage will be horrible. Howard has had his blood lust whetted not only by the SIEV-X killings, but also the invasion of Iraq, which he “led”, according to those good buddies Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. And the Crawford sad sack.

With the opening of his lakeside police memorial in Canberra, J Winston Howard took to arriving on an imperial barge, like Cleopatra. What are the odds that he’ll pull off a stunt on the water, maybe killing a few hundred riding Harbour ferries. Or at the Opera House. Or the Quay.

NSW police are fully geared, their minister proudly and aggressively declaring “police plan to contain demonstrators to areas such as Belmore Park and stop them marching towards Circular Quay or Martin Place.” 

KA-BOOOOOM!!!! 400 killed, as brave cops battle leftist greenie filth demonstrators (Tele headline). Poll uproar. Landslide win to PM. But which one?

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, the Argyle Willy Wagtail

Absolutely brilliant Frere Jihad!

Raising that issue with the Hilton bombings is both timely and interesting.  I agree with your post.

It also caused me to look up the ABC 7:30 report 10/8/2000.

In that report the Howard Government delivered to our Military the controversial powers in domestic emergencies referring to the Sydney Olympics but, also to the Hilton Bombing.

Howard savoured the excuse to broaden his dictatorial powers on the basis of "suspected terrorism".

Several of us have written that the conspiracies of the Howard "New Order" have been consistent and progressively worsening, over the last nine years.

The more rights he removes from the Australian people with his Work-no-Choices; Anti-terrorism and Sedition laws, he increases the possibility of a real "attack" somewhere in Australia. Perhaps he hopes for a similar attack to that in February 1978 - just 2 months after the Fraser Liberal Party re-election in the following year.

And then, as 9/11 occurred in 2001 - just nine months after Bush's inauguration. History has a habit of repeating does it not?

The spiteful little schoolboy needs assistance from his Corporation controllers and, as predicted, he is receiving it via a venal media and - for free.  Rarely does a T/V news bulleton pass by without some Corporation's Union boss screaming that to give workers a "fair go" would cost jobs.  Fair dinkum.

So now, after spending some $50 million of our taxes on lying to the Australian people about: "the rights of workers in WorkChoices are protected by law" - he wants us to forget that and intends to join his Corporation conspirators by spending another $20 million of our taxes to try to convince us of his (false) economic management and his concern for our increasing "working poor"!  Struth.

Back to the Hilton though Frere, Howard has been trying to build up the Military, (especially the Army) to serve the U.S. and, to do so, the umpteenth "New Order" Minister for "War", Brendan Nelson is offering many carrots for that purpose.

Additionally, the AFP is being increased with Howard style "shooting rights" as with the Army.

This, like the false reasons for Anti-terrorist laws, are excuses to apply fascist force in any situation that he decides is "an emergency" or "in the Nation's interests" and, any of the other excuses and euphemisms that his tribe of neocons can conjure up.

As Howard's compliant media often states, "he will do anything to maintain power".  And he will.

Ern G.

NE OUBLIE and cheers Frere.

Fair dinkum.

Like the "200,000 JOBS" that the Work-no-Choices have created and the $100 million the almost destroyed Worker's Unions have plucked from the air to fight for the rights of their workers?

BTW Frere - has any journalist, decent or otherwise, asked "Jolly" Joe Hockey where he get his "Howardistics" from? 

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Workchumps™ is going, going, gone ... along with knuckledragger Hockey.

Mr Hockey, not a clever man, is helpfully persisting with his madly delusional claims that there is a Labor-ACTU multi-trillion dollar fund (presumably backed by Al Quaeda) to put "union bosses" (in hoods) in charge of the army, navy and airforce, government house, the churches, the Reserve Bank (and all the other ones) and Alan Curran's garden shed.

Mr Hockey was then brought down by a tranquilliser dart and loaded into a an unmarked van driven to a secret destination by the entire Kirribilli clan.

Go Akka!!!!!!

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, RG Menzies House

"Never ever" trust the Howard Liberals. Mk 2.

Continuing "We really have seen 10 years of sleaze, deception and manipulation".

"We would be here all night if I had time to list every sorry exploit of the Howard government, but I do not.  A mere sample includes:

National Textiles, the company headed by the Prime Minister's brother, Stan Howard, which was bailed out by the government to the tune of $4 million.

The infamous Peter Reith telecard affair. The lies and deceit of 'children overboard'.

And then this nation being committed to war in Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction while the government claimed that they were not aiming for regime change in Iraq.  But when the government's claims about weapons of mass destruction proved false, of course regime change became the justification for the war in Iraq.  Never before has an Australian government sent our troops to war and lied to the Australian people about the reason for doing so.

We had Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty heavied for doing no more than stating the obvious about the increased terrorist threat in Australia after our involvement in Iraq.

We have had public servants and senior defence officers forced to take the blame over the government's denials about their knowledge of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

We have had an unprecedented amount of public money splurged in advertising campaigns - as the Auditor-General has reported - to promote Liberal Party policies in the leadup to the last three federal elections when the Howard government was in office.

We have even had the government write the name of the Federal Liberal Party into electoral legislation on 33 occasions to strip the Liberal state divisions of public funding. [And like the 'all in the conspiracies' federal Liberals, "New Order" counterparts in the states await their absorbtion into the dictatorship].

They even now use the parliament for their own dirty factional work.

Despite the farcical denials that we have heard about Senator Hill's appointment, he is about to become the 18th for Liberal Party politician to be appointed by the Howard government to a plum diplomatic post.

Mr Howard perverted the accepted definition of an election promise.  He broke promises will-nilly but just redefined those broken promises as 'no-core' promises.

What about the Nixonian leading of a classified document to Andrew Bolt in order to politically assassinate the author, Andrew Wilkie, while not vetoing the leaker from contesting a Liberal Party preselection ballot?

We also had a situation where Mr Howard's government engineered the sleaziest of deals with a former Labor senator, Mal Colston, to promote Colston to the deputy presidency of the Senate in return for Colston's vote on crucial legislation.  How low can you go?

We had the unprecedented gagging of public servants before estimates committees just a week or so ago.

Mr Howard himself, his senior minister, and his entire government have turned a blind eye to kickbacks paid to Saddam Hussein's regime to ensure wheat sales.  At the same time, we had Mr Howard self righteously proclaiming that Saddam Hussein is a 'loathsome dictator'. [Aren't they all - including him?]

Who knows where that money ended up? Who knows what it paid for? [Howard, Downer and Costello lied in concert when they claimed that Hicks COULD have fired at Australians - hello - Saddam Hussein's troops DID - and Howard's AWB supported him]

What we do know is that under the government's own terrorist legislation, if someone acts recklessly and funds turn up in the hands of terrorists, the guilty party is subject to life imprisonment.  You go to jail and they throw away the keys if you recklessly engage in an action under our terrorism laws where financial resources end up in the hands of a terrorist.  Let us see what happens in relation to the Howard government, which has acted as Saddam Hussein's banker. 

 [And why have the AWB "eleven" been prosecuted as required by Howard's shallow "enquiry" - and WHY has gun-toting Flugge avoided the law?  Was it because of his threat to expose Downer in cross-examination if he didn't?]

Of course, all these sins mean nothing to the Howard government.  After all, how can they repent what they cannot recall?

This government, and its handpicked sycophants, suffers from the worst case of collective amnesia in medial and political history.  What are the bywords of the Howard government? 'I cannot recall', I don't recollect.' 'I wasn't informed,' 'I can't remember.' 'I have no recollection of that'.  Best of all, we had Trevor Flugge of AWB fame claiming, as his defence, that he is hard of hearing.

[And they all left that "hearing" satisfied and laughing.]

It seems to me the whole of this government is hard of hearing.  They are certainly deaf to the cries of conscience.

End of total quote.

Let's all Remember and Consider our Future should Howard's "New Order" achieve final destruction of democracy in Australia.

NE OUBLIE.

Never ever trust the Howard Liberals. Mk. 1.

  • The biggest incompetent of them all - Alexander Downer.

Sub-heading 3 - Incompetence and negligence.

Taken from Senator Faulkner's speech in the Senate:

  • Resources minister Warwick Parer had massive share interests in a coalmine and in other resource companies; he stayed, in breach of the ministerial code.
  • Employment minister Mal Brough promoted training courses which were actually Liberal Party fundraisers.
  • Industry minister Ian Macfarlane was involved in a complex scam to rort GST rebates from Liberal Party fundraisers.
  • Aboriginal affairs minister John Herron kept up his practice as a surgeon, in breach of the code.
  • Mr. Howard himself was found to be in breach of his own code when he failed to resign as a director of the Menzies Research Centre.  Mr Howard misled the parliament over meetings he had hjeld with ethanol producer Manildra's boss - massive Liberal Party donor Dick Honan.  It was eventually proved that the meeting did occur, and three weeks later the government increased trade penalties against a Brazilian ethanol porducer.
  • Parliamentary secretary Warren Entsch's concrete company won a massive government contract in breach of the Code. [Warren Entsch also escaped penalty at the last election when he destoryed his opposition's posters]
  • Peter Reith was appointed as a consultant to defence contractor Tenix immediately after resigning as defence minister.
  • Health minister Michael Wooldridge signed a $5 million building deal for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and days later, after resigning as health minister, was employed by the college as a consultant.
  • Senator Helen Coonan, as minister for Revenue, avoided paying a land tax.  She was then exposed and forced to resign as a registered director of an insurance dispute resolution company operating from her own home.
  • Wilson Tuckey, then Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Governmnet, heavied a state police minister on behalf of a family member.
  • Peter Costello, the Treasurer, appointed Liberal Party megadonor Robert erard to the Reserve Bank board despite being told by Mr Gerard that he was involved in a 14-year long tax evasion dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Parliamentary secretary Bill Heffernan was forced to resign over fabricated claims against a High Court judge.

And then more incompetence:

  • The massive pork-barrelling of the $1 billion Federation Fund program.
  • The scandal over the budget leak about MRI machines.
  • The development of a culture of assumption and denial in DIMIA while Mr. Ruddock wasd minister for immigration, which the Comrie rep;ort called failed, catastrophic and dehumanised; the wrongful and scandalous deportation of Australian citizen Vivian Alvarez Solon; the wrongful and scandalous detention of Cornelia Rau at Baxter detention centre. [The unprecedented treatment of David Hicks -and ignoring Sgt. Russell's widow at a wreath laying in his honour - and Brendan Nelson's cheap blunder with Pvte. Kovco's body - and Downer's cheap Garuda tickets to bring Australians to "safety" from East Timor - and DVA Minister Billson's privatised "spies" on service veterans etc.]
  • The utter incompetence of veterans' affairs minister Dana Vale over roadworks at Anzac Cove. [And John Howard's commercialising of that sacred site.]
  • The rorting of the $500 million Regional Partnerships program, with massively disproportionate grants being allocated to coalition seats - not to mention the Tumbi Creek and Beaudesert Rail scandals under the same program.
  • Support for the training of scab labour in Dubai to work on the waterfront; and the use of dogs and security guards in balaclavas during the waterfront dispute, as waterside workers were sacked under the cover of darkness with the loss of all entitlements and, in some cases, personal possessions. [And now there is evidence that Howard and Reith were the "masterminds" behind that illegal act.  I wish that Labor would make an election promise to hold a Royal Commission into that disgrace of abuse of basic human rights]
  • The Prime Minister introduced the GST after promising he never, ever would. [And, a Liberal re-election will see him raise them again because only the Coalition can do that with a Senate majority]
  • The Howard government have sponsored many attacks on the independence of the judiciary and the courts, including repeated slurs by Senator Heffernan in this chamber and in Senate estimates. [One of Howard's "schoolboy bullies"]
  • They scrapped the free Commonwealth dental health scheme for low-income people. 
  • Within days of coming to office the Howard government sacked six departmental secretaries and have since politicised the Public Service so that officials will never offer frank and fearless advice.  In fact, the government have encouraged a culture where advice of any kind from a public servant is not welcome.
  • They have increased government staffing of ministers and parliamentary secretaries from 293 when the came to office to 430 now, many paid above the salary range.
  • They refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol to deal with our greatest global environmental challenge: Climate Change.
  • They sponsored attacks from the former communications minister Richard Alston and from government backbenchers over alleged ABC bias while making partisan appointments to the ABC board.
  • They introduced draconian industrial legislation to strip away the hard-won rights of Australian workers.
  • They introduced the flawed "Pacific Solution"[Shades of Hitler's "final solution"] which has seen detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island remain open without any detainees.
  • There was the billion dollar bungling of major defence upgrade and acquisition projects.  There was the massive blow-out of $2 billion in the Commonwealth's consultancies bill.
  • There was the complete fiasco of the family tax benefit debt trap, which has slugged millions of Australian families with over $1.5 billion in debts.
  • There is the fiasco of child-care shortages and the broken p;romise of the government on the childcare rebate.
  • And of course we have had the Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott, presiding over private health insurance premium hikes, which have totally absorbed the government rebate.  We have also had the plunge in bulk-billing rates and the breaking of the health minbister's promise not to increase the Medicare safety net threshold.

We really have seen 10 years of sleaze, deception and manipulation.

 

End of Mk. 1 "Incompetence and Negligence".

Howard's Vision

As the great Australian dream fades for many first-home buyers, those at the opposite end of the real estate market have a different set of questions.

Does the private library have panoramic views of the city and the Dandenongs? Is there 24-hour room service? And will a 22-seat cinema be big enough?”

 

Is this Howard’s vision of Australia, as the gap widens between the haves and have nots?

Young Australians left out in the cold!

Australian Fellowship of Hairdressing president and Cairns resident Lee Cohen has spoken out on the practices of some employers who recruit against the spirit of foreign worker visa laws.

He says the move leaves young Australians out in the cold.

"There would be some hairdressers in Cairns who flout the law and some young Australians are missing out on jobs," the Reds Salon and Spa owner said.

This is how the Howard Government treats young Australians, who now have to compete with foreign workers. The foreign workers are willing to work for low wages to gain access to Australia.

Global information? I think not.

It appears to be a fact that Howard's Corporation media does, in fact, selectively report world affairs to our people who necessarily subscribe to their businesses.

I cannot think of anything that is more repulsive than a "profit only" media.

I was brought up with the U.S. crap of "freedom of the press" - and  "courageous editors" suffering  beatings and even death - to tell the truth.

The media - especially in America's vassal state of Australia - has so much power that I wonder what is the purpose of an election?

We Australians were once the "lucky people" who were immediately mis-informed by the "powers that be".

Is it better to have a "free press" or is it normal to have a "controlling press"? By despots - dictators - power mad megalomaniacs?

What we currently have is at least a dishonest and incompetent government?

That should be enough.

NE OBLIGE.

An independent opinion of the "New Order".

I quote from an article by Jason Koutsoukis in The Age, May 6, 2007.

John Howard was at it again last week, boasting about his experience.

He explained it this way to viewers of Channel Nine's Sunday program:

When I came to the prime ministership in 1996, I'd been treasurer, I'd been opposition leader for a long time, I'd been kicked out as opposition leader, I'd suffered the swings and roudabouts... of politics as well as some of the successes. I'd been battle-hardened’.
[But not even a Boy Scout?]

Which rules out Peter Costello for another decade or two. The Treasurer has never been opposition leader, he's never suffered the way Howard has, and he keeps running away from battles instead of fighting them.

The Howard dictum is also bad news for the pack of easy riders lining up behind Costello, including Malcolm Turnbull, Brendan Nelson and Julie Bishop.

What does Howard's 'experience' amount to; and, given that his real target is Kevin Rudd, how do the two men's lives compare?

When you look at Howard's background, the only meaningful experiences in his life have been in and around the federal parliamentary Liberal Party and its NSW division.

In the only published biography of the Prime Minister - a weighty, 800-page tome by David Barnett - Howard's life before he entered Parliament (at age 34) is summed up in a scant 19 pages, and most of these deal with his ancestry and how he won Liberal preselection. Read those pages and you will learn Howard was a political savant from about the age of 14 with precious little life experience to speak of.

The "ingredients" that went into making this person over his first 34 years, are described by David Barnett:

"Pride in the service his father and grandfather had given their country on the Western Front, which gave him a sense of distinction, together with a consciousness of his country's history; that sense of being a special person, which comes from being driven by a devoted mother; and the early debating skills which set him apart from his peers. Being named after Winston Churchill was another contribution.”

Koutsoukis continues:

What about is life in politics? After a successful few years as a junior minister in Malcolm Fraser's government, Howard was promoted to treasury, where his five years in the job can only be judged as an unmitigated failure. Take a look at the statistics.

When Howard left the treasury in March 1983, the budget deficit was forecast at $9.6 billion, inflation was 11 per cent, unemployment was 10.2 per cent, the economy was in recession with negative 0.4 per cent growth, and housing interest rates were 13 per cent."
[In 1982 Howard's interest rates were an all time record of 21%.]

"And, despite the 1982-83 recession being the worst since the Great Depression,
[and still has that record] Howard still managed to increase the federal tax take from 25.1 per cent of GDP in 1977 to 27.5 per cent of GDP by 1982-83.

Howard then spent 13 years in opposition, during which - when he wasn't leader himself - he spent a lot of time conspiring against the three leaders he served under: Andrew Peacock, John Hewson and Alexander Downer. What's so admirable about that?

Yet, showing remarkable strength of character, stamina and political cunning, Howard finally became prime minister in 1996. And was it a smooth transition? No.

In Howard's first term, he sacked six ministers plus a handful of parliamentary secretaries; his first two chiefs-of-staff (Nicole Feely and Grahame Morris) also hit the fence; and he showed manifest inexperience in his travels overseas.

From the same article, an independent opinion of Kevin Rudd's life.

He left home at 18 to study international relations at the Australian National University (Howard lived at home until he got married), where he spent four years mastering Chinese language and culture; not a bad investment, given China's increasingly vital importance to Australia's future.

From 1981 to 1988, Rudd served as a career diplomat, with postings to Stockholm and Beijing. At age 31, Rudd joined a political party for the first time and became Wayne Goss' chief-of-staff when Goss was Queensland opposition leader and later premier. Rudd then served as head of the Queensland state public service for a number of years.

There was also a stint with global finance giant KPMG before he entered Federal Parliament in 1998 as a pretty well-rounded sort of a fellow.

What, in Rudd's past, suggests he's not up to the job of being prime minister? As Opposition leader, he has already enjoyed one successful overseas trip - to Washington - and will embark on another, to China, in June.

As for the other alternative prime minister, Peter Costello, what great mountains has he climbed? Costello spent some of his university years flirting with the ALP before joining up with the Liberals and his lifelong buddy Michael Kroger.

Costello then became a lawyer, married into Liberal Party royalty (his father-in-law is Peter Coleman, a former NSW Liberal leader and federal MP) and spent the rest of the 1980's playing political games as he and Kroger terrorised the Liberals' so-called "wet" faction.

As Shaun Carney recounted in his biography of Costello: "In a single stroke [the 'Dollar Sweets' law case] introduced the legend of Costello and Kroger before a wider audience . . . the fact that a more experienced counsel (Alan Goldberg) actually carried the day in court, that the action was paid for by a fighting fund organised by Andrew Hay and the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, and the case was built on a precedent established by Jeff Kennett, did not interfere with the quick-setting legend forming around the two friends.

Another thing Costello keeps bragging about is his stewardship of the Australian economy, declaring that Rudd has no place putting his hand up to run what is now a $1 trillion show.

What was Costello's economic experience before he entered Parliament? Zero. Formal economic training? Zilch. Ever run a business? No. Has a department full of economic gurus behind him, all at his beck and call? Yes.

This is hardly been the forging of an Australian lion.

When Howard boasts about his experience, what he really means is that he's played the game of politics longer than anyone else.

He's like an old conjurer with a bigger bag of tricks to wriggle out of more sticky situations than anyone else. That may yet prove to be the winning advantage, but Howard's jibe about Rudd's inexperience should be seen for what it is: just another canard to distract the voters.

Let's have a good look at John Howard.

The descriptions of this person are many, but not so varied.

He has come from a relatively humble background, but in all his years in politics he has fostered accolades from the rich and powerful as I'm sure he did with the bullies at his public high school.

He has the record for the highest interest rates in Australian history, i.e., 21% in 1982, and was in deficit in the entire four budgets he handed down for Malcolm Fraser. (That was while he was undermining his leader as well.)

Chris Henning of SMH on 4 May 2007 wisely wrote: "John Howard is too good for us".

"But we all know what the Prime Minister really thinks - and that's all that matters. He's a little master, isn't he, our PM? By my calculation, he can go weeks at a time talking 19 to the dozen and never once say a thing he really believes. That shows his true class. We really don't deserve him".

It is without contest that Howard first damned down his federal members; our public servants and by stealth and deceit arranged for control of all government departments and even the High Court.

I do not believe for one second that he did all this by his own planning or ideas. The US military/corporate control of Howard was evident after he should have been defeated in the 1998 election.

Labor received more votes than the Liberals but they were saved by the National Party. And for that, Howard has been forcing them to their knees ever since.

It serves Howard's megalomania to have his party afraid of him and I am sure many of them literally hate his guts. However, in typical "New Order", neo-con fashion, they humble themselves to him because his lies and crimes, protected by the US, have made them personally powerful and wealthy.

Howard continually moves them around - all becoming "entitled" to the term "The Honourable". Talk about euphemisms and misnomers. Fair dinkum.

They have followed him like mangy dogs, keeping his personal ego at ivory tower heights. And now, when hopefully the Australian people are waking up - they realise that to re-elect ANY "Liberal" or "Nationalist" would be their last chance at returning to democracy.

Howard's latest kick in our guts is the claim that he listens to the people. Struth. The polls, however imperfect, are the only indication we get as to what people are thinking.

Some examples are:

  • In 2003, he ignored the 87% of the people who did not want to go to the illegal war in Iraq.

NineMSN Polls:

  • On 8 October 2006, the people were asked; "Should Australia be sending more troops to Afghanistan and Iraq?” 81% voted NO - the troops were sent.
  • 15 October 2006 Q: "Should proposed increases in defence spending be diverted to other projects in Australia such as water management? 64% voted YES. It was ignored.
  • 22 October 2006 Q: "Should Australian troops be brought home from Iraq before Christmas?" 79% voted YES. 

The Age:

  • 24 August 2006: Q: "Do you support the government spending $10 billion expanding the army?" 67% voted NO.
  • 3 September 2006. Q: "Should Medibank Private be floated on the stock exchange? 79% voted NO.
  • 12 September 2006. Q: "Do you believe global warming is the most significant threat facing humankind?" 82% voted YES.
  • Should full-fee university places be abolished?" More than previous ninemsn - 77% voted YES.
  • 28 September 2006. Q: "Are banks lending irresponsibly? 76% voted YES.
  • 15 February 2007. Q: "Should John Howard say how long he wants Australian troops to remain in Iraq?" 96% voted YES.
  • 12 May 2007. Q: "Should the Federal Government wrest control of the universities from the States"? 65% voted NO.

So who listens to the people? Certainly not Howard or his minions.

NE OUBLIE.

Let's all Remember and Consider our Future. Mk.5

REMEMBER HOWARD'S RECORD?

Sub-heading 7 - Mean and Spartan Governance except for Corporations.

  • Buying Water rights from destitute Australian Farmers in the "Food Bowl" to sell to Corporations.
  • Preparing with the Israelis to privatise the Snowy River.
  • Work-no-Choices legislation "Rock Solid Safety Net" scam.
  • Starving the Australian Bureau of Information to further avoid exposure of false statistics.
  • Exorbitant Media advertising to launder money for "paid for comment" articles.  (Remember Liberal Attorney General Darryl Williams and his deal on behalf of the "New Order" to the U.S. company Universal McCann?)
  • Abolishing the Dental Plan.
  • Macquarie Bank reveals that Costello is "squeezing the States" while at the same time collecting record taxes.
  • Despite Howard's promises, Health Funds premiums rising.
  • Howard's 30% rebate goes straight to the Fund Corporations.
  • Signing up Australia to the U.S. "Son of Star Wars" - making us an additional target for terrorists.
  • Increasing U.S. bases and military forces in Australia.
  • Denying their is any Climate Change.
  • Ensuring that the benefits of the mining boom goes to the Corporations who export the proceeds off-shore. 
  • The only benefit to the medium and small businesses in the Boom area is the spending of the "temporary" workers.

AND THE 'NEW ORDER' FUTURE PLANS.

Sub-headings 1 - Already declared or mooted.

  • Increasing the burden on employees with increases in the draconian 19th century Industrial Laws.
  • Financially blackmailing the States to give up their rights which will further increase the dictatorial power of Howard's "New Order".
  • (Howard) Destroying any organised Resistance of the Working people's Unions by using  "WorkChoices" and Corporation power.
  • (Costello) "Eventually ALL employees will come under individual AWA's".  This would include the Unions representing the Police (and AFP), Fire Brigade, Ambulance Attendants and ALL Emergency Service Unions.

Sub-heading 2 - Nuclear Reactors.

  • The exposure of Howard's mates registering a Nuclear Energy Company while the "New Order" denies any such intention.
  • Not-so-secret plans for at least 25 Nuclear Reactors in Australia.
  • While plans are already in concrete, withholding from the people the information as to where the Reactors will be sited.
  • Ignoring the Unsafe but profitable use of Reactors.
  • Lying to the Australian people about the SILEX "incrichment" of Uranium at Lucas Heights.
  • In the same year as he was elected, 1996, Howard signed up with the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), the largest supplier of enrichment services in the world.  The deal involved an immediate payment of U.S.$7.5 million to Silex.
  • In step with the US, Howard has increased his Nuclear plans, kept secret where possible, regardless of the Opposition of Australian citizens. 

Make no mistake about Howard's plans should he be reelected and remember this, Limited scrutiny on nuclear projects by Katharine Murphy, Canberra April 9, 2007 in The Age.

"CONTROVERSIAL [sic] nuclear facilities, such as waste dumps and uranium mines, can be approved by the Federal Government [that's Howard, Downer, Ruddock, Abbott,Costello,Turnbull and all the trusted people in the "New Order"] according to a respected Lawyer.

Stephen Keim, SC, who acts in environmental and planning matters, says nuclear "action", including waste dump;s and new mines, can be given a green light through "conservation agreements" between the minister and the business proposing the development.

Not bad for a government which, according to Gary Nairn of Eden-Monaro "has not made any plans".

The only resistance we have to this government of depraved indifference - is to vote them out of Office before it is too late.

NE OUBLIE.

The crucial next federal election.

One of the many protective democratic items which Howard hates with gusto, is the Constitution. But, with his majority appointee High Court Justices, he has already found a devious way around it to enforce the draconian WorkChoices legislation and to undermine the Freedom of Information.

Sect. 128 explains that the Constitution can only be "changed" by the people in a Referendum. That is their "sovereignty".

But the power to interpret is now with the High Court and no longer with the U.K. Privy Council.  When it happened I was in favour, not realising that a person without principle like Howard could or would do what he has done.

Acknowledging the massive hurdles that Labor has to overcome to achieve another 16 seats; to neutralise the Corporation's media; to try to raise enough money to "fight the good fight" and to overcome the influence of the American dictatorship - it is a hard road!

So, I prefer to think of the next election as a Referendum on Howard's  Australia and its draconian head-in-the-sand denials of reality - with the fresh 21st Century future views of Rudd's Labor and even the Opposition parties.

Notwithstanding the foreign media has bias to conservatism, there is no "open" opportunity for blatant pork-barreling and that has been the tool for the Howard "New Order" since 1996. 

The playing field would be slightly more even although the incumbent, guided by the Corporations and the U.S. Military/Corporate, would still have a significant advantage.

The issues to consider would be mainly, as they should, the past and present behaviour of the incumbent government of 11 years and whether they should be retained.

The people would have to consider the Howard Liberal's record taxes; record lies and half truths; Work-no-Choice legislation; Sedition Laws; Anti-Terrorist Laws; pre-emptive illegal wars; outsourcing our people's personal information; governing and protecting scandals such as the AWB - SEIV X - People Overboard - the Tampa - "Never ever" GST - blackmailing State and Territory governments, and many many more like the depraved indifference and lack of duty of care for Australian citizens.

An example being that, even though the Constitution of Australia supersedes the Sovereign, Howard's seditious intention law in section 30A (3) puts it after the Sovereign.  The Constitution was waiting for someone like Howard - there is no "Human Rights" in it - I guess our Federation Fathers couldn't believe anyone would emasculate it.

The Sedition laws are as ancient in principle and as petrified as the old Navy's charge of insubordination "with a look of silent contempt". Howard is about three centuries too late.

These acts of the Liberals would be the "knowns" in a referendum and would be pitted against the  "unknowns" of the Opposition Parties who have no such blights on their personal governance - because they haven't had an opportunity.

The U.S. style of negative politics (claiming what would happen and character assassinations) always amazes me at the number of people, good people, who swallow the "crystal ball" ravings from Howard and his sycophants about what will happen in their minds - and yet - they are in continual denial of what the experts, in any field, try to tell them.

So, let's think of the next federal election as a referendum to save our Constitution with Labor or watch it go, bit by bit, with the Howard "New Order" Liberals.

And if the Australia wins with Labor, let us at least copy the ACT Labor with a Bill of Rights that will prevent any more Howard's trashing the rights of our citizens.

NE OUBLIE.

Let's all Remember and Consider the Future Mk 4.

REMEMBER HOWARD'S PAST RECORD.

Sub heading 6 - Record Foreign Debt.

Report from ABC's Mark Simkin, 30 August 2000.

In 1995, the then Opposition unveiled its debt truck, a battered vehicle that trundled around the country advertising Australia's high level of foreign debt.  Opposition leader John Howard and Shadow Treasurer Peter Costello said the debt was an indictment of economic mis-management and a key factor in higher interest rates.

Peter Costello added: "We're pleased to put foreign debt on the agenda in this country because we don't want Australians, bit by bit, to watch their productive assets and their productive capacity go into foreign hands.  There's a question of Nation identity about this.  Do we as a country want to be in hock to the rest of the world?

Could this be the final truth to hoist them by their own petard?

I quote also from Kenneth Davidson, March 15, 2007 viz:  "It's about time the economy was managed."

Until the election of the Coalition Government in 1996, all Australian postwar governments were constrained by the balance of payments.  The lessons of the 1890's land boom, and the excessive wasteful state government borrowing during the 1920's and the resulting depressions when agricultural commodity prices fell were that the prime task of economic policy was to keep foreign debt at manageable levels."

..."Peter Costello ran the "debt truck" with a counter showing how much Australia's foreign debt was growing each second to create the impression that the re-election of the Keating government would led to another recession.

At the time of the election, net foreign debt was $193 billion.  The day after the election the debt truck was garaged, never to be seen again....

But the housing bubble will pop if interest rates and/or unemployment rise as a result of foreigners deciding to withdraw the foreign needle.  Our future is no longer in our hands.  In the last decade we have frittered away the savings generated by accumulated budget surpluses and asset sales.

It is scandalous that Telstra has been sold off without a plan in place to roll out a first-world fibre-optic broadband network and that Costello can't see the attack on the public interest generated by the private equity partners in the Qantas takeover, who will appropriate the $200 million a year in tax now paid by the airline to pay the expense on the $9 billion borrowings to finance the deal.  The Government also sees nothing wrong with wasting $100 million or in spending $6 billion on an interim fighter aircraft with dubious strategic value.

The Government can't seed the economic opportunity offered by engaging industry in the new opportunities opened up by climate change.  Instead, it wants to protect the coal industry (our biggest export earner), which is doomed in the long term unless the world is prepared to live with catastrophic climate change.

In fact the Howard Government is operating on autopilot in the hope that something will turn up to save the "lucky country" from a major accident that could rival the events of the 1890's and the 1930's.

After a decade of neglect what is needed now is real leadership.

Isn't it strange that the media has not concerned itself with this political disaster waiting to happen?  Isn't this just another massive indication of a debt laden false economy?

There is nothing that I can find in Costello's speech that addresses the foreign debt of $520 billion (and rising) nor the understanding of climate change - or if it is easier - "warming of the planet".  Howard is still in denial and his sycophants of course have no say in that "New Order" establishment.

NE OUBLIE.

 

"An embarrassment of riches" Ross Gittens.

In the SMH dated 10 May, 2006, Ross wrote an interesting article which highlights the extreme Capitalist attitude of the Howard "New Order".

He particularly considers the approach to the Howard/Costello big budget of 2006, with the opinion that: "It may be a giveaway budget but it's hardly aimed at middle-income families."

And I quote the relevant parts:

There may well be a price to be paid for this all-give-and-no-take budget, but Peter Costello will worry about that later.

And so will we.  In the meantime, let's party.

This is a pre-election budget without the election.  Rarely if ever has a treasurer given away so much money in a non-election year.

Why so generous?  Because this is Mr. Costello's embarrassment-of-riches budget.  His coffers are overflowing at a time when many people are feeling the pinch from record petrol prices and the rise in interest rates....  [Eight since 2002]

But with so many of us feeling hip-pocket pain, how can Mr Costello justify raising $22 billion more in taxes than he needs to cover government spending - especially when, as he keeps boasting, the Government is now debt free?  [Idle boast since net foreign debt was already in excess of $500 billion and, that IS a government debt]

So is Mr. Costello: "Saving it for the pre-election budget"?

Of course, some people have done better than others. While people on $25,000 a year will get a tax cut worth more than $19 a week, anyone earning between $40,000 and $60,000 - which is most wage-earners [before the introduction of the Work-no-choices legislation] will save less than $10 a week.

From this point on, however, the savings really grow, from $26 a week for people on $70,000 to $119 a week (no, it's not a misprint) for those on $150,000 a year. Someone on $500,000 a year gets a saving of $254 a week and someone on $1 million a year gets a paltry $446 a week.

....In other words, when Mr Costello says he's out to help middle-income families, you'd be crazy to believe it.  The modest changes to the family tax benefit and to assistance for child care pale by comparison to tax cut targeted to the well-off.

Mr Costello has yielded to the pressure from those in the business lobbies [Peter Hendy of Peter Reith infamy] demanding "real reform", by which they meant cuts in the tax rate THEY pay - the 47 per cent rate, now cut to 45 per cent and paid by just the top 2 per cent of taxpayers.

Nothing has changed! Tomorrow's budget will just be more of the same, however, the taxes of the "White Coolie" workers will be less than they have been, with strings attached.

This will mean that the "working poor" will have to "beggar" themselves to these foreign "benefactors" who are prepared to lower their dignity to employ - part time of course - these desperate Australians who cannot meet their commitments of a decent life.

The Corporation's media will back the Costello Corporation's budget when it is issued but - remember that this is your Australia that is being sold for the benefit of Globilisation.

NE OUBLIE.

Let's all Remember and Consider the Future. Mk 3.

REMEMBER HOWARD'S PAST RECORD?

Sub heading 4.  Debt ridden false economy.

  • $5000 "bait" to invite people to leave their homes for jobs in W.A. or Queensland.
  • $7000 to Real Estate Agents but for the purpose to "Pinnochio" young people into excessive mortgage debt.
  • $2,500 to install Propane Gas, even with "dubious" dealers.
  • Deregulating Banks and Lending institutions concerning the amount people can borrow without sufficient collateral.
  • Giving Employers the right to sack people without giving a reason - at any time - and AFTER they had committed to a "home of their own".
  • Massive rises in Mortgage and small business bankruptcies continuing to increase monthly.
  • Massive reductions in taxes to benefit the wealthy.
  • $9 Billion in subsidies to the Foreign Mining Corporations.
  • Significant cuts in all Federal services.
  • Privatising areas of governance for which the Howard government is responsible, this also gives the appearance that  "small business" appears to be flourishing.
  • Record costs for unnecessary media advertising appearing to be laundering money to the media Corporations.

Sub heading 5 - Record taxes.

  • Like the Freedom of Information and the emasculation of the Constitution - Liberal provided ABS figures on this subject are sparse and out of date.
  • The last I have been able to discover indicated that the Howard/Costello taxes had increased in excess of 144 since they took office.
  • We all know that by using an outdated tax system, Costello has been able to actually increase the benefits to the wealthy while equally decreasing those to the middle and lower income brackets.
  • We also know that the Howard government has a situation of tax on tax with the petrol excise and "NEVER EVER" GIST.
  • When Costello increases the tax threshold, it is always just short of the actual increases in the cost of living.
  • Giving a tax break of a "dollar" is sickening.

When Lord Haw Haw Costello smirks his way around his "leaked" budget next Tuesday, please remember that he has learned to copy Howard's methods of "tinkering around the edges of the Iceberg" while claiming to be "prudent" but "responsible". Fair dink um.

With every thing the "New Order" does, there is an appearance of "not too bad". Like the $1 billion tsunami relief - not yet paid.  The 2004 allocation of millions for the Murray-Darling has not been spent.

Remember - when Howard promises something which could benefit the citizens of this once great and independent country, it is never delivered in the manner it was claimed.

There are always strings attached and excessive qualifications so that the original pre-election promise is totally unrecognisable and not reported in the venal media.

We could say that to expose the "New Order" false economy and record taxes should be the duty of the Opposition. IF by chance, the Opposition can discover what is happening in the "Ivory Tower" - how would they inform the public?

Don't tell me the media - in what country of planet do you live?

However, Howard has made "New Order" politics almost totally secret and beyond any reasonable transparency.

Howard's Australia failing on defence!

Regional navies are competing in an arms race to build and expand their own submarine fleets. Our navy's ability to hunt submarines has been degraded by years of neglect, and its anti-submarine weapons are barely adequate.

At the same time, Australia's ability to keep its six submarines at sea is eroding as highly skilled crews head for shore for well-paid, family-friendly civilian jobs.”

Another example of Australia failing. Howard’s adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have put huge demands on our Armed Forces. Howard’s government, so proud of its record on defense and security, has failed to maintain our defense capabilities at home.

Australia failing not rising

"The Treasurer’s Intergenerational Report earlier this month showed that we have made progress in meeting the challenge of an ageing society.”

Mr. Pyne (Federal Minister for Aging)

Describing caring for the aged as an "unenviable industry", he went on to tell a Liberal fund-raising breakfast — attended by aged-care providers — that he preferred to avoid aged-care events because he was "young".

Mr. Pyne told the Menzies 200 Club that he would rather not open aged-care facilities or attend meetings about them.

"I'm young, and have a young family, and it's an election year," he said.

Someone should tell Pyne that old people still have the vote!

As a sixty year old aged care worker I find this statement completely offensive. I work every day with the aged and I find them to be some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. They have pioneered this country and have often defended it, so the likes of Pyne can say what he likes and get away with it. To have a man like this in charge of the industry is like putting the fox in charge of the chickens. It shows how far down the liberal party has sunk.

The elderly have a lot to teach us. They have lived through depression and wars, pioneered many of our industries, and often in retirement do volunteer work to keep our under funded community services afloat.

Howard should sack this minister; we should all look at how the aged care industry functions.

Our hospitals are overflowing with the elderly because there are no aged residential care beds available. I have had to ring an ambulance and admit my clients to hospital because there is no other solution. This takes up our emergency services and ties up many hospital beds.

Howard and his crew boost of a multi billion dollar surplus and yet we as a community cannot look after our elderly citizens who have paid taxes all their working lives and now get treated like parasites.

We all know that the “Baby Boomers” are hitting sixty and will soon put an even greater demand on High Care Residential beds this government has no plan to meet this demand.

“In 2051: NSW and Victoria can both anticipate a fivefold increase in the size of the over-85-years age group. By 2051 this will be approximately 871 600 Australians; Queensland, Western Australia, the ACT and NT, the age group is projected to expand to over seven times its current size – a total of 563 000 Australians; there will be over four times the number of South Australians aged 85 or over, as in 2002; and 31 900 Tasmanians will be 85 or over, compared to 7500 in 2002. Across Australia this age group is projected to be over five times larger in 2051 than in 2002 – approximately 1.6 million Australians may need aged care of some description.”

It is an honour and a pleasure to work with the elderly. The young could learn a lot from their wisdom.

This minister is a fool and it shows how out of touch this Howard government has become.

Let's All remember and consider the future. Mk 2.

Thanks to the Management for persevering with my lengthy comments.

REMEMBER HOWARD'S PAST RECORD?

Sub-heading 2.  Duty of Care to Australian Citizens.

  • Abbott's "rock solid and iron clad" promise that Howard's Medicare "Safety Net" would not be raised.
  • Continuing dismantling of Universal Medicare.
  • Freezing benefits of Veteran's Gold Card.
  • Spying on Veterans to avoid pensions.
  • Excessively raising University fees.
  • Lack of care, assistance and human rights for David Hicks, Cornelia Rau, Vivian Alvarez, The Bali Nine.
  • Breaches of Australian Human Rights.
  • Using the term about everything Howard doesn't appreciate like independent thinking and expression
  • Continuing attempts to stop young Australians from voting. 

Sub-heading 3. Domestic incompetence and negligence.

  • John Anderson - Regional rorts.
  • Rorting, incompetence and under threat of prosecution" - Ian Macdonald [sacrifice], Hill, Alton,Vanstone, Santo Santoro, Malcolm Turnbull, Senator Jim Short, Senator Brian Gibson, Senator Bob Woods, Geoff Prosser, David Jull, John Sharp, Peter McGaurin, John Moore, Peter Reith, Malcolm Turnbull and more recent dishonesty with "Rock Solid and Iron Clad" Abbott and Costello, "the people who meet with crooks are forever morally and politically compromised" [including him].  And that is not all of "them" as Costello often states.
  • Howard's Party Mates appointments, as in February 2006 (Source Alan Ramsey SMH 28-2-2006) was London (3), New York (2), Los Angeles (2), Washington, Paris, Chicago, Pretoria, and Dublin/the Holy See (2).  Minor appointments have sent Liberal politicians to Cyprus, Norfolk Island (2) and Christmas Island. 

These of course, are only a relative few - but rising.

Everyone on Webdiary is welcome to add to the list - there is a lot of room.

NE OUBLIE.                    

Additions to incompetence Mk. 1.

  • The biggest incompetent of them all - Alexander Downer.

Sub-heading 3 - Incompetence and negligence.

Taken from Senator Faulkner's speech in the Senate:

  • Resources minister Warwick Parer had massive share interests in a coalmine and in other resource companies; he stayed, in breach of the ministerial code.
  • Employment minister Mal Brough promoted training courses which were actually Liberal Party fundraisers.
  • Industry minister Ian Macfarlane was involved in a complex scam to rort GST rebates from Liberal Party fundraisers.
  • Aboriginal affairs minister John Herron kept up his practice as a surgeon, in breach of the code.
  • Mr. Howard himself was found to be in breach of his own code when he failed to resign as a director of the Menzies Research Centre.  Mr Howard misled the parliament over meetings he had held with ethanol producer Manildra's boss - massive Liberal Party donor Dick Honan.  It was eventually proved that the meeting did occur, and three weeks later the government increased trade penalties against a Brazilian ethanol producer.
  • Parliamentary secretary Warren Entsch's concrete company won a massive government contract in breach of the Code. [Warren Entsch also escaped penalty at the last election when he destroyed his opposition's posters]
  • Peter Reith was appointed as a consultant to defence contractor Tenix immediately after resigning as defence minister.
  • Health minister Michael Wooldridge signed a $5 million building deal for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and days later, after resigning as health minister, was employed by the college as a consultant.
  • Senator Helen Coonan, as minister for Revenue, avoided paying a land tax.  She was then exposed and forced to resign as a registered director of an insurance dispute resolution company operating from her own home.
  • Wilson Tuckey, then Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, heavied a state police minister on behalf of a family member.
  • Peter Costello, the Treasurer, appointed Liberal Party megadonor Robert Gerard to the Reserve Bank board despite being told by Mr Gerard that he was involved in a 14-year long tax evasion dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Parliamentary secretary Bill Heffernan was forced to resign over fabricated claims against a High Court judge.

And then more incompetence:

The massive pork-barrelling of the $1 billion Federation Fund program.

The scandal over the budget leak about MRI machines.

The development of a culture of assumption and denial in DIMIA while Mr. Ruddock was minister for immigration, which the Comrie report called failed, catastrophic and dehumanised; the wrongful and scandalous deportation of Australian citizen Vivian Alvarez Solon; the wrongful and scandalous detention of Cornelia Rau at Baxter detention centre.

[The unprecedented treatment of David Hicks -and ignoring Sgt. Russell's widow at a wreath laying in his honour - and Brendan Nelson's cheap blunder with Pvte. Kovco's body - and Downer's cheap Garuda tickets to bring Australians to "safety" from East Timor - and DVA Minister Billson's privatised "spies" on service veterans etc.]

The utter incompetence of veterans' affairs minister Dana Vale over roadworks at Anzac Cove. [And John Howard's commercialising of that sacred site.]

The rorting of the $500 million Regional Partnerships program, with massively disproportionate grants being allocated to coalition seats - not to mention the Tumbi Creek and Beaudesert Rail scandals under the same program.

Support for the training of scab labour in Dubai to work on the waterfront; and the use of dogs and security guards in balaclavas during the waterfront dispute, as waterside workers were sacked under the cover of darkness with the loss of all entitlements and, in some cases, personal possessions.

[And now there is evidence that Howard and Reith were the "masterminds" behind that illegal act.  I wish that Labor would make an election promise to hold a Royal Commission into that disgrace of abuse of basic human rights]

The Prime Minister introduced the GST after promising he never, ever would. [And, a Liberal re-election will see him raise them again because only the Coalition can do that with a Senate majority]

The Howard government have sponsored many attacks on the independence of the judiciary and the courts, including repeated slurs by Senator Heffernan in this chamber and in Senate estimates. [One of Howard's "schoolboy bullies"]

They scrapped the free Commonwealth dental health scheme for low-income people. 

Within days of coming to office the Howard government sacked six departmental secretaries and have since politicised the Public Service so that officials will never offer frank and fearless advice.  In fact, the government have encouraged a culture where advice of any kind from a public servant is not welcome.

They have increased government staffing of ministers and parliamentary secretaries from 293 when the came to office to 430 now, many paid above the salary range.

They refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol to deal with our greates global environmental challenge: Climate Change.

They sponsored attacks from the former communications minister Richard Alston and from government backbenchers over alleged ABC bias while making partisan appointments to the ABC board.

They introduced draconian industrial legislation to strip away the hard-won rights of Australian workers.

They introduced the flawed "Pacific Solution" [Shades of Hitler's "final solution"] which has seen detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island remain open without any detainees.

There was the billion dollar bungling of major defence upgrade and acquisition projects.  There was the massive blow-out of $2 billion in the Commonwealth's consultancies bill.

There was the complete fiasco of the family tax benefit debt trap, which has slugged millions of Australian families with over $1.5 billion in debts.

There is the fiasco of child-care shortages and the broken promise of the government on the childcare rebate.

And of course we have had the Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott, presiding over private health insurance premium hikes, which have totally absorbed the government rebate.  We have also had the plunge in bulk-billing rates and the breaking of the health minister's promise not to increase the Medicare safety net threshold.

We really have seen 10 years of sleaze, deception and manipulation.

End of Mk. 1 "Incompetence and Negligence".

Food for thought

Ernest "AWB Scandal – Providing material support for terrorists."

 Thank you for jogging my memory.  Yep, that's what we did, and the US Military Commission charge is retrospectively applicable, apparrently no matter what part of the world in which it is perpetrated.  Downer in a Halliburton-Built Guantanamo cell...  now that's food for thought.  At the very least a visit for a round of water-boarding might loosen Alex's tongue pertaining to exactly how much he knew about what was happening.

Any levity aside, it's a wonder that US Wheat have not raised this angle to request the punishment of total denial of international trading rights.


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Akkam could you put in a good word to get a huge WorkChumps Mk II™ BackFlipper ad put into WebD?

I mean, if it's good enough for the rum-sotted swabs and parrots at anyTV, plus News Lrd, Fairfax, and the Rural Press Gang to snout down into taxpayer-funded election campaign money, then surely a few bob to more respectable media is in order after all that placement from the MCU, too.

Keep up the good work, Akka. Work on that focus group stuff a bit harder. Crudely highlight the key phrases with ya Texta™ marker. Because we is friends, I can tell ya, you is becoming noticeably incoherent and repetitive at times. Good enough for The Australian, the HorridSlum and the Toggle-a-graph, but not up to the hyperWorkChumps™ standards of literacy demanded by po' l'il Miz JuJu Bi$$op, High Voodoo Priestess of the mad glassy fixed stare and anti-Maoism in the classroom.

Alternatively Akkam, old sod, try to roar something abusive about Greg Combet and barren childless women. For god's sake Ak, crank up the full Key Points to spittle-flecked white heat, or you're off the payroll.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, prey to government advertising

May Day May Day

Frère Jihad,if I had have known that the Unions May Day March was going to be such a fizzer in Sydney I would have asked my workers to attend. The excuse the Unions have put forward for the poor attendance is lack of publicity, how many years has the May Day March been held in May? I think that Combet is very wise to get out when he is offered a plumb job, he knows that the Unions time is up. I would have thought that with a week of propaganda from Gillard and Burrows, there would have been 250,000 unionists and non-unionists marching.

I will do what you asked for next year, I will get you an Ad for May Day, it might help the halfwit union delegates remember what month it is.

CONTROL TOWER TO VH-AKK

Come in pls, VH-AKK.

Good to see you rejecting and wanting no part of Mr The Rodent's WorkChumps™ backflip ad.

Who can blame ya? But what about just one last shot at the ad thing, online at your beloved WD, founded by go MARGO K?

Go on Akka - just one last try.

All them Costello Spreadaroos slushed in WD, to buck up poor ol' Mr Kirribilli, after the stuff up by Kev l'Android, the stranger than strange Altar Boy from the planet Vernakulon.

Your blokes will know when May comes around. Over and Out.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, God bless 'im

Over and out

Frère Jihad, what the hell are you talking about, and what language are you speaking? You must be the only person who can understand Gillard's gibberish.

Fre're Jihad Jacques OAM n'ee Woodforde and -

....my old friend, Phil Kendall.

G'day to you both.

My Wife and I find so much pleasure and entertainment from the posts from you two.

Even though we both feel a desperate and anxious need for Howard and his minions to be disenfranchised at the next election for the crimes they have committed and intend for the future, we nevertheless enjoy the methods that both of you use in putting your views forward.

On HYS with Phil, and with you both on WD, you get your intelligent messages across with clever and well thought out "mixed metaphors". (My Wife told me that).

We mean that as a compliment, because it makes us read, sometimes over and over, to understand the messages you two are sending.

Making people THINK is the best way to impart truthful information. 

If you make it simple, then it is only obvious to the apathetic voters on whom Howard depends, and they "really don't give a damn".

Along with you people, we have an increasing number of concerned citizens who are totally fed up with the Howard "New Order".

It is sad that Margo's Webdiary is reaching so few of our people.

Cheers Fre're and Phil.  Ern G.

Craig R: G'day Ern, please don't be sad, as Webdiary reaches beyond the numbers who submit comments. "Unique visits" in April this year was higher than in April 2006 and with our articles appearing on Google News listings the future looks promising as far as our reach goes.

Prouder to be Australian

Alan, you’re so right about those Labor electoral shenanigans in the seat of Charlton.

This is a stinker of a story, redolent of the machine politics that saw hard-working Peter King run out of the seat of Wentworth by ... er ... the Liberal silvertail and merchant banker, Malcolm Turnbull.

I’m not sure you’re right that Sharan Burrows will be front-and-centre fighting for the rights of Kelly Hoare, however, as I doubt the latter is a member of a politicians’ union affiliated with the ACTU.

Also, Alan, since you seem to have some affinity with Liberal politics, I’d appreciate your guidance on Mr Howard’s latest backflip initiative of adding a "fairness test" to the provisions covering AWAs.

Doesn't that make Mr Howard "anti-jobs"?

Or an "economic vandal"?

Just wondering what's the correct way to think about this...

Let's all REMEMBER and consider the future. Mk 1.

With the patience and permission of the Management, I believe it is important  to remind our forum of the dangerously increasing dictatorial powers of the Howard “New Order” Liberals.

I would like to put on record, some of the autocratic and arrogant acts of Howard and his minions before they take us to a “bridge too far” from where Australia and our future generations may never return.

REMEMBER HOWARD’S PAST RECORD?

Sub-headings.

  1. International Crimes.
  2. Duty of Care to Australian Citizens.
  3. Domestic incompetence and negligence.
  4. Debt ridden false economy.
  5. Record taxes.
  6. Record Foreign debt.
  7. Mean and Spartan governance except for the Corporations.

AND THE ‘NEW ORDER’ FUTURE PLANS.

Sub-headings.

  1. Already declared or mooted.
  2. Nclear Reactors. 
  3. The world’s Nuclear Waste.
  4. Trashing of the Constitution.
  5. Increasing the GST.
  6. Continue the use of GST funds as blackmail to complete the control of State and Territory governments.
  7. Conscription by devious means. Compulsory National Service to serve overseas on mainly Garrison duties for the U.S. Military Corporate.

INTERNATIONAL CRIMES. (Extensive but not finite)

  1. Refusal to take maritime refugees from the TAMPA.
  2. Ignoring the drowning of 350 helpless refugees on the SIEV X
  3. Lies concerning Babies Overboard claim.
  4. The “Pacific Solution” denying U.N. obligations.
  5. Privatised Concentration camps.
  6. AWB Scandal – Providing material support for terrorists.
  7. Failing to warn Australians about the U.S. intelligence of a Bali attack because it was not “SPECIFIC ENOUGH”.  88 Australians died and one American.
  8. Pre-emptive and illegal invasion of a Sovereign Nation – Iraq.
  9. “Cutting and Running” from, and “Failing to stay the course” in Afghanistan before the “Job was done”.
  10. Undemocratic Sedition Laws to govern by fear and hatred. (Menzies “Onus of Proof” but, by stealth).
  11. Anti-Terrorism Laws to excuse every undemocratic abuses.
  12. Constantly abusing Human Rights.

Consider the un-reported disgust of the International Community and think of the ultimate effect on our Nation should we continue as a client state of the Bush Administration.

And remember that, IF the Democrats take over the Presidency of the U.S. - Howard's 9 years of servility will be for nothing, to him or his conga-line of sycophants.

NE OUBLIE.

One for Ernest's list- Aid Laundering

How much of our new aid expenditure was negotiated with Cheney?  Twenty-two new million bringing the aid total since 2003 to $A173 mil, and nobody knows how much of it being administered by KBR.   In hindsight I believe we will find that we will have directly given a lot of our aid money straight to the US system via this spectaculary wholly US-owned subsidiary.

I bet Downer doesn't know about this either, even if (according to his wife) he had a Vote For  Bush/Cheney sticker on his car.
 

Australia Rising or Australia Assimilated And Pretending ?  Some days it's hard to tell.

"slooowly turning"

With perhaps, a reasonable beginning, the media is also "slooowly turning". However:  Liberal Communications Minister Helen Coonan, has begun "tinkering" to stop "telemarketing"!  Now first, isn't that catchy? Except that it implies a restraint on the massive increases in television advertising which is wrong and misleading.

Nevertheless, her website is inundated with hundreds of thousands of Australians who are somewhat disenchanted with the Afro-Asian Indians ringing their homes at all times of the days and nights.

Of course Howard's policies have put in the hands of the OECD's most corrupt country, through "Outsourcing", all the information that is required to annoy us. But NOT John Howard when he wants to ring our homes, (even those who are on so-called silent numbers), before the election.

And the Minister will stop this one problem, now that it is an election year, and excuse all the rest then probably let it slide again should they be re-elected.

Oh and yes, I have heard from one of Howard's anonymous "reliable sources", that Minister Coonan will help Minister Bishop by STOPPING THE AMERICAN WEBSITE THAT DENIGRATES OUR AUSTRALIAN TEACHERS.

Nah, that would be too Australian for Howard's "New Order"

Then there is:  "Tinkering" by the Minister for Work-no-Choices, Joe Hockey, and his unsubstantiated, plucked from the sky statistics, who supports the little dictator in his "never to happen changes" to the draconian 19th. Century laws. More on that later in this post.

On to: -The "New Order" Minister for the Environment, Malcolm Turnbull who, after signing a not too publicised Document of "Intent" with the Israelis to jointly handle the "water problem" in Australia, is honouring his master by being almost as dishonest.  See "Turnbull's hypocrisy on climate" The Age 4 May 2007.

And let's not forget: That person with an "attitude problem" the "New Order" Minister for Education, Julie Bishop. With the Master's directions given, the Minister will insist on "performance pay " for all PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS, and they will be judged by the parents, pupils, garbage contractors and the "rock spiders" of the Domain. 

Otherwise, copying her compatriot Haw Haw Costello, she will refuse their schools the finance they need to continue.

But - non one, not anyone, has asked this person will - the same stringent and ridiculous blackmail apply to the funds to the Private Schools?

And now, the "tinkering genius" and darling of the Bush Administration - "Dishonest John Howard".

IMHO I have always been of the opinion that Howard has "never ever" (those infamous words) delivered any pre-election promise in the exact fashion as he has made it.

Nevertheless, in this instance, regardless of his legendary lying, half-truths, obfuscation and arrogant, out of touch complacency, decides to start his B/S with a typical "message to the most stupid".

After spelling out "changes" to his draconian laws (called "softening" by the media) he begins to reduce any possible benefit to the employee (but no problem for the employer) by attaching his many strings, hesitating apologies to himself and finishes with the somewhat infirm "Man of Steel" assertion that, NOTHING HAS CHANGED.  And by gum - I agree with him.

There is no danger to the Labor Party in any of these diversions, nor is there any truth in the Peter Hendy claim that it is a return of the "no disadvantage" clause.  Because that is just another Corporation lie.

We Australians have to brace ourselves for the typical "New Order" Liberal gutter-politics so endearing to the heart of Senator "I hate women" Heffernan.

Howard's dear friend who insulted ALL Australian Women, with or without children, because he thinks they are only good for one thing - children.  He was forced to step down when he accused a respected Justice of paedophilia, without any proof, and under parliamentary privilege.  But Abbott, (another male [not a man] who verbals Women) says he is a goood bloke anyway.

But there is an upside to these attacks on Australian Women  - Howard sacked a Minister for "having a twenty minute meeting with a convicted criminal even though he served his time".  Howard stated that that was a serious offence - but he refuses to sack Heffernan for insulting ALL Australian Women.  Now that says a lot about Howard and his "New Order". Definitely a "man of the past".

Already, as predicted, the media is making a lot out of nothing by giving free maximum exposure to the Corporation's mouthpiece, and another of Howard's mates - Peter Hendy.  This also applies to any "let's get a picture on T/V", from Howard and all the way through to his gardener.

 These "New Order" Liberals are more brutal to our Workers than "Old Shicklegruber" ever dreamed of.

There is no truth - from Howard or his Corporations.

NE OUBLIE.

Misuse/abuse of power

There are  myriad stories of both "bad" union action - (anyone remember the "english disease"?) and "bad" bosses.

The problem in both cases is neither the unions nor the bosses, but the misuse/abuse of power. 

As it is in most other issues from bad parenting to international aggression.

State issues

Alan, I'd be interested to know your source for the Newcastle port hassles being due to State Labor "dragging the chain".

Our Mr Howard never misses an opportunity to beat up on Labor state governments, but in this instance he has merely attributed the bottleneck to rotten bad luck. In his own words, "The reality is that our exports are so strong that that is creating the bottleneck."

Now, Alan, how long has port cargo-handling capacity been a burning issue? At least five years, so far as I recall.

Where has Mr Howard been ! ! ! ? ? ?

Asleep at the wheel...

INCOMES GREG,

I’m not so sure you’re really a flaming AWU put-up job, Akka, m’Boy. I reckon you is more likely a CFMEU put-up or maybe a Greens put-one-over … the talk is similar … Iemma rides roughshod to fast-track massive coal loader approval, Greens to move censure motion:

Greens MP and mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon today said that Iemma government's move to approve the third coal loader in Newcastle Harbour leaves the Premier's credibility on climate change in tatters and rides roughshod over due process. "The queues of ships are growing because coal companies are overbooking ships, not because port infrastructure is lacking. "The government hid their cards before the election on whether the coal loader would be approved and the public now know why. "It is disgusting that on the same day that Premier Iemma and other state Premiers meet with Prime Minister John Howard to discuss climate change, Premier Iemma gives the go ahead to a massive expansion of the coal industry in NSW. "The Greens will continue to work for a phase-out of coal and will step up our campaign with communities fighting coal expansion in the Hunter and Gunnedah basin", said Ms Rhiannon.

But… Mine job cuts a result of ship queue, new quota system:

Almost 80 jobs are to be cut at a NSW coal mine because of problems linked to the ship queue off the Newcastle coast. It is estimated the queue of more than 70 ships is costing mining companies around $4 for every tonne of coal they produce, because they have to pay demurrage fees to their customers for any delays. A quota system now in place puts limits on the amount of coal companies can export. The losses are also being compounded by the rising Australian dollar, as export contracts are negotiated in US currency. And meanwhile … (same item) http://www.abc.net.au/news/items/200705/1913379.htm?upperhunter The coal miners' union says it is a joke that local mining jobs are being cut during an international minerals boom. Union president Tony Maher [your bloke, Akka?] says problems at the port could have been avoided and the miners would still have their jobs. "It could have been avoided by a greater determination to expand the Newcastle Port facilities much earlier," he said. "We've been campaigning for a third coal loader for some years now and we were getting resistance from the coal companies. The shame is that they've got a vested interest in keeping Port Waratah to capacity because they own the thing."

But the CFMEU mob are not all bad, are they, Akka? Not if their members’ pay scales are anything to go by:

• Unionised coal miners earn an average of $46.70 per hour. Largely non-union metal ore miners earn $35.10 per hour. Coal miners earn an average of one third more.

• Average working hours are less in unionised coal mining – about 43.8-hours per week – while mostly non-union metal ore mining has workers on around 46.2-hours per week. And that’s just the hours paid for!

Poor old Newie … just as well Greg Combet is on the cards to swing a local seat, possibly ousting a modest ALP member who is on the record (to Mr Kirribilli, no less) as having fired a shot at local coal mining, earning Tony Maher’s SHOCK!!! HORROR!!! CESSNOCK BUS PLUNGE FURY PROBE!!!

Greg could be your local member, Akka. No wonder you is trying so hard. Or would you prefer Tony Maher? Remember what happened to Bryce Gaudry in the face of a put-up job.

Old fashioned digger Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde

And on the sixth day ...?

Alan: "...the first-world business conditions were created by Howard and Costello..."

Good grief, Alan, such an inane assertion, and you expect everyone to believe you're smart enough to run a successful business? The first-world conditions we all enjoy are a result of generations of effort by people from all walks of life.

Your Howard and Costello have had eleven years in the saddle, and yet a major coal exporting port has had to introduce export quotas to try to reduce the shipping bottleneck.

And this at the height of a resources boom ? ? ? ! ! !

On that and so many other issues, your Dynamic Duo have been asleep at the wheel for most of their incumbency.

Coal

Jacob A. Stam, it is my understanding that it is the State Labor mob who have been dragging the chain on this one, with planning permission locked up in red tape.

Demonizing unions

One thing I don't understand about the people arguing the Liberals point of view, is this idea that Unions having power is somehow bad. Unions are organisations of workers, who ensure that the workers don't get exploited. Am I the only one who sees the insanity in attacking them? You might as well just come out and say it, you hate the non-business-owning citizens, who always throw up their arms at the loss of their precious overtime and sick pay.

Individuals don't have power, not without money. It's a concept as old as society. Unions and organisations are vital to democracy. You might as well be saying when you attack unions, that you hate democracy.

I for one, don't want to be a slave. And things might be fine as long as the economy is healthy, but as soon as we hit a depression (which will undoubtedly happen at some stage) and there are no protections for workers, then we'll be back in the 19th century, having to fight again fiercely for the rights our forefathers won.

It's so hypocritical really, attacking Labour for having union influence, when the Liberal party listens just as hard (if not harder) to the business organisations.

I respect those politicians that answer the questions put to them. The last interview I saw of Rudd was that way, but then again he's not in power yet. It could change quite quickly. I get almost physically tired of hearing a question I want answered by a politician get side-tracked. The Liberal Party front bench have almost turned it into an art. A question is merely just an opportunity to spout a short rehearsed speech about their policy, which often has only a loose connection to the question.

Imagine if we all did that in life, nothing would ever get done. "Hey John where did you put the fax I was going to send?"

"This is typical of you people, since my group came to power in the company, the use of the fax machine has increased by 2.4 percent"

urban legends ...

 .. from Fishermen's Bend (XU1) and Zetland ('S') - Aahhh, those were the days - Ooops! - Sorry, but not too sorry.

I actually started out on the stimulus Craig Rowley (g'day!) created with his discussion of Akka's™ "If Labor gets in" tantrum/shenanigans. ("She's leavin' she's leavin' she's on the ship now and leavin' ...)

This: I'd always assigned 'urban legend' status to stories of 'the big end of town' (now, don't go letting your head swell Alan) - the big end of town 'going on strike' under Labor. But blow me down, if it isn't 'our very own' Alan, threatening exactly that - and in public, too.

Not too much to laugh about actually, like Miners rail at Labor's IR policy last night on the 7.30 Report. One really has to wonder: just what these big, fat, already rich beyond the dreams of avarice miners are getting from Howard? Tip: Ern mentioned something about 9Bio. Plus the big unknown of course, the resource-rent rip-off?

Well, well, well (three holes in the ground. Oil wells; just watch out for those mad Yanks' tanks - and B2s, and Kruiz-Ms et al. They'd slay ya. Haw!)

Proud to be with you Phil Kendall. [9 Bio]

G'day Phil, I remember the good times. On HYS I was advised not to use the term "Hi" as it is unAustralian.  And also that I should not commercialise the term "Lest we Forget"?

If I can learn from those constructive criticisms, why can't the younger Howard.  I believe that is because he is really only a "ventriloquist's dummy".

What I thoroughly enjoy about Webdiary is that I can engage with more educated people than myself (or otherwise) and gain some traction from the old Navy term of "Common dogf...k". Animal commonsense that is.

When I try to follow the "moving target of confusion" I may miss the issues that will resonate with the majority of Australians and thereby may not help to win an election.

IMHO, Howard and his minions have made an art out of dishonesty, lying and obfuscation.  So much so that, as an old fashioned Australian, I resent the loss of freedom and mutual respect for which Australia was once so honoured.

I have thought Phil, that the crimes of the Howard Government are many and varied;  have been condemned by the Legal and Medical professions; are contrary to the International Law; the Maritime Laws; the United Nations Charter and even the basic tenets of any Democracy, that I feel their exposure to the voting public would not mean a damn thing. And the Howard mob knows it.

It appears to me that the people who care about "doing the right thing" have been absorbed by the "stuff you Jack I'm inboard" group of selfish "New Order" Liberals.

So, to change a government of so many crimes and depravity, one has to forget honour and pride and get down in the gutter with them.

"Pride goeth before a fall".

With a Corporation's government and media, the relief from the "New Order White Coolie" policies will be an enormous task for Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party. 

Perhaps, without languishing on the crimes already committed by the Howard government, it may be prudent to explain the already mooted  crimes against Australians in their future plans?

The scenario as I see it is - a government without accountability nationally or internationally - is not obliged to be truthful in any issue or debate.  A government controlled by the Corporations they represent only needs the "plebes" support at a time of their choosing (within parameters).

Well might Howard declare "I am not driven by polls" because he only ever respects one - the federal elections. Otherwise the opinions of our people mean naught to him and his controllers. He is and always has been, corrupted legally and morally.

I ramble on Phil.

Cheers Ern G.

Proud to be Australian

Ernest William, what kind of a country do we live in when a hard working person like Kelly Hoare can lose her job and home just because a Union hack wants her job? I expect that when I switch on the telly tonight I will see that Sharon Burrows has stepped in and saved her job, that's what unions are for. As I write this I expect she will be on the phone to Little Kev telling him what to do. I will let you know which TV channel it is on.

POOH-POOHING LIBS' BLANKET COVERAGE

Give us a break, Akka. Until the day before yesterday, neither you nor the Ministerial Co-ordination Unit would give Kelly Hoare the sh*t scrapings off yer blankets.

That is, until the PMO ordered youse to lever it out from under yer finger nails, in time-honoured Opus Dei/New Guard fashion.

Please try harder.

Now go back to slumping before yer idiot box, me ol'Media Monitor.

Old Carrington washerwoman, Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde-Stacy

Bon voyage, Alan

You will be sorely missed - until you are soon replaced by an entrepreneurial type who will be only too happy to contribute to a more prosperous and fairer Australia, while taking advantage of the first-world business conditions that Australia has to offer in abundance.

This country has ample people, both employers and employees, who have a commitment to Advancing Australia Fair. Myopic operators lacking in true entrepreneurial spirit are most welcome to take their race-to-the-bottom to China or wherever.

Don't fear for your discarded employees, they will most likely be happier in another enterprise that will soon emerge, from the void vacated by your ilk, in a re-energised, foward-looking Australia.

And do remember to settle up with the ATO before you leave, there's a good chap...

Truth will out if pressure is applied.

Whatever the public thinks of the Corporation Unions' "outrage" at Labor's policy to give some rights to the Australian workers, at least one point is now very clear.

Howard's "New Order" is controlled by the unelected Corporation Unions! And most of them are foreign owned.

And while we consider that democratic word "Union", please remember that, unlike the appointment of CEO's of Corporation Unions, the Officials of Worker's Unions are elected by the people they represent.

And, if they aspire to State or Federal Governments [which is their right as a citizen] they must be democratically elected by the people they represent.

Juxtapose that, against the Peter Hendy's of the Corporation's Commercial Unions!

Now Howard is giving more R&D tax-breaks to these Corporation unions, even when they are operated "off shore"!  Struth.

To me the fact is that the Howard "New Order" doesn't have any policies for the future, that would in any way, benefit the Australian people. Only to follow the dictates of the Corporations and the US Military/Corporate.

Howard's argument that "any job is better than none for Australian workers" is in direct contrast to Kevin Rudd's policies.

Let's have a "reason and logic" debate.

Does anyone believe that is "unreasonable" to give back Rights in the Workplace to all Australian middle and lower income families - and would that mortally wound the Commodity boom in the mining industry? Of course not.

Would the escalating billions of profit for the Mining Corporation's be drastically cut?  I am sure that it wouldn't.

Would Kevin Rudd's policies "logically" improve the income of Australian families?  I am sure that it would.

So why are the Corporation Unions "getting together" [struth] to create a "fund" to publicly advertise endorsements of Howard's draconian laws? Because to argue AGAINST the Labor led "Rights of Workers" campaign is, of course, an argument for Howard's Master/servant legislation of the mid 19th Century.

It has been reported that individual AWAs cover only some 15% of all wage earners in Australia.  So, what IS the big scream about?

IMHO, it is reasonable and logical to come to the conclusion that the purpose of the exercise is for the unelected Corporations to save the  Government they control, (in both Houses of Parliament) from being supplanted by a Labor government controlled directly by the Australian people that they represent.

The Business Unions' fear is that if Labor wins the federal election, the rights of the States and Territories will again be protected for whichever party they elect to handle the particular circumstances of their State or Territory.

The absolute fact is that, the coming election of the House of Representatives and, half of the Senate, can have only two results:

  1. Since the Senate majority cannot be changed to Labor at this election [IMHO] then the election of a Liberal/National party coalition in the House of Reps, will not change a damn thing. Just an endorsement of another 3 years of increasing autocratic and unelected control of both the House of Reps, and the Senate in Australia, by foreigners and their servile politicians.
  2. The election of a Labor government in the House of Representatives however, will have to deal with the "checks and balances" of a Coalition party controlled Senate.

Surely it doesn't take an Albert Einstein to figure out what must be the best option for all Australians?

It's time to take Australia back.

NE OUBLIE

God

Actually, I lie, Nixon was a Quaker not a methodist, though his father was originally a Methodist and converted once he was married. Neither seem particularly orthodox. Howard has a rather peculiar, subtle kind of religion. I am not entirely sure he believes in God, though I know he believes in de-regulation to the core of his bones. He is an extraordinary evangelist for capitalism. He is not like the mormons, knocking on random doors (though he does, from time to time, do exactly that) but a careful watcher of mood. An eternal opportunist, like all good evangelists should be.

I think the niceties and subtleties of Christianity are worth studying and I certainly learned a lot from the year I spent attending bible study, last year. It taught me how to pray and I cherish that. The Uniting Church was a healthy mix of spectacle, substance and social criticism. Hillsong, bless them, only seems to have the former. The Costello-Howard support for Hillsong reminds me of Andy Warhol and his comment that he was a "deeply superficial" person. All throughout his bizarre life he would attend church and volunteer to help the needy. His work was full of subtle catholic symbolism. It was like a double life but not if you really consider it.There was a certain compassion in him for people as they are and a lack of judgement. It is strange to say but Howard reminds me of all people of Andy Warhol. I can see a philisophical similarity and a similarity in their approach.

If you can get over the idea that Warhol was a Maoist (which he wasn't - he was an Henry Ford style capitalist) then there are remarkable similarities. They have an essential oddness, an iconoclastic drive, a love of things that are usually thought 'cheap', a disdain for 'heroic' elites, their fear of death. Most of all it is their mix of the commercial and the Christian in to one, almost coherent philosophy. It was never quite coherent, containing a certain disturbing dissonant air, personified by Warhol's "Autistic stare" and a litany of unanswered questions.

Warhol, too, was always prodigious and ahead of the game - often misinterpreted but without any truly authoritative interpretation that could be applied. The longer Howard sticks around, the more people are reluctantly revising their opinions of him. I still find him a touch bewildering. His insincerity sounds so much like sincerity, I am not even sure he can tell the difference. Donald Horne wrote in "Looking for leadership" about the ways in which Howard always seems to be putting on an act, wearing a raft of different costumes and postures for wherever he goes. His falsity is part of his charm to the Australian public, I am dead certain of that. They can identify with it. I think it gives the illusion of an over-arching design, of someone behind there pulling the strings, of safety in the familiarity and cheapness of a television clown. What a sportsman.

Anti-democratic agenda exposed

Australia’s businessmens’ unions have exposed their Stalinist credentials with their open and vehement opposition to giving Australian voters the choice between the Howard Government’s WorkChoices regime, and the alternative policy recently unveiled by the Labor Opposition.

The Australian Industry Group’s chief, Heather Ridout, yesterday said companies that did not like Labor’s industrial relations policy should donate cash to the Liberal Party. ...

The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry are considering teaming up to run a paid advertising campaign worth tens of millions of dollars to counter the union movement’s successful anti-WorkChoices campaign.

To be anti-choice is to be anti-democracy. As I said previously: Scratch a unionist, and a Stalinist commissar is revealed just beneath the surface.

Without unions workers become slaves

Alan Curran you say: "... if I have to deal with the Unions again under a Rudd government, you would go offshore with the loss of 55 jobs."

This is why we need unions because the only way you and employers like you seem to negotiate is by threat, strong arm tactics and fear. If you move your business overseas all you are doing is delaying the inevitable because the offshore workers will eventually want unions and increased wages. Workers the world over all want a fair deal.

You fail to see that if all employers moved their business overseas as you suggest the result would be a dead Australian economy. Alan whether you like it or not you are part of that economy. If workers and employers understood they were stake holders in the Australian economy, they would see that higher wages and better conditions are in fact the best way to grow the economy. Guess what; if the average worker has more money he will buy more products, more products more profit for Employers, this is a win, win situation for all.

Unions are the only way a worker can argue for better wages and conditions on an equal footing with employers we need each other and we need unions to help us negotiate.

Without unions workers would quickly become slaves.

Well written Jacob and John.

G'day John and Jacob.

We all think alike regarding an organised body to represent the workers' best interests, just as the Employers Corporations have their Unions to protect their best interests.  Just as the Police, Fire Brigade, AFP and other emergency services have their Unions.  Call them associations, Chambers, Business Councils et al - they are all UNIONS.

The wedging and oppression by the Howard "New Order" has finally been exposed as a truly "Have and Have nots" Corporation's government.

John, you and I as ex Matelots, were also not allowed to have Unions because the Military must be bound by strict conditions to function properly in times of war - no negotiations there but, we really did have a CHOICE without ruining our lives.

History informed the Services to be fair always or you will not have the dedication that is required.

However, I remember that we did have the Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions to protect us.  In that historic Book there were things "in concrete" and REALLY PROTECTED BY LAW, about what our rights were and, if dissatisfied, the "channels" to obtain Military legal service free of charge.

I remember distinctly the removal of the once exploited "Silent Contempt" charge which provided that a Commissioned Officer could consider the facial expression of an enlisted man as contempt.  Fair dinkum.

I do not remember one of us complaining about going to war to genuinely defend out Nation, or the United Nations, but I do remember discontent of the Menzies' "Invited war of choice" in Vietnam and it's "Ballot of Death" conscription.

In fact, our Navy that served in that unwise war did not receive any recognition for their Active Service until Labor's "Bomber" Beasley, as Defence Minister, gave the Navy personnel their full recognition by an "Act of Grace".  Do you remember John?

 In a Nation that we defended to be free and democratic, we are being ordered NOT to have proper organised representation in the workplace.  Make no mistake, talk to people under these individual AWAs and they will (but anonymously), tell you that non-unionism is a integral part of those 19th century documents.

I refuse to accept that Business is concerned about worker's JOBS.  They have to be kidding or just pushing their puppet's line of propaganda.

No business person, big or small, will employ people they DO NOT NEED.  As it was, "employment" was rising due to "Shared Jobs" long before the draconian 19th Century individual contracts were introduced by the Howard "New Order".

There is no such thing as an employer employing workers over and above the absolute MINIMUM economically demanded. Please prove me wrong but - don't do a "Jolly Joe" Hockey and pluck your own figures out of the air.

There is no truth - just the Corporation's Government.

NE OUBLIE.

Union threats

John Pratt:"This is why we need unions because the only way you and employers like you seem to negotiate is by threat, strong arm tactics and fear".

I do not threaten or use strong arm tactics with my workers, I never have and never will. If I wanted to do these things I would become a Union Official.

Never? Really?

Ahem ... Alan, don't you consider your public speculation about whether you will make redundant 55 people employed by the company you control (because you dislike what you suppose might be the situation after the election later this year) a threat to them?

Never, really

Craig Rowley, no I do not consider it a threat to them. The threat is going to come by way of the Union bosses trying to get their power back and the inexperience of "Rudd's Stars". Only today I find out that my local mayor is going to stand against Malcolm Turnbull. This is a man who has almost brought business to its knees in Waverley. Just go and ask the business people around Bondi Beach what they think of this man.

A threat to them

OK Alan, you don't consider your public speculation about whether you'll sack 55 people a threat to those people, but others might. 

Do the 55 workers you would sack think your public speculation about doing it constitutes a threat to their future ability to make mortgage payments, feed, clothe and educate their children, etc?  

Did you discuss your possible mass sacking with the people you would sack before publicly speculating about booting them?

No threat

Craig Rowley, no I did not discuss the possible sackings in my company with the workers, apart from the 8 workers who have been with me for over 20 years. They understand that that if the Unions get their power back it is going to be tough times for all. However, I do not think that I will have to take this drastic action, because as each day goes by we see another gaff by the Labor Stars.

As long as Labor lets Gillard (the darling of the Unions) shoot her foul mouth off (Latham like) like she has done this week, and had to make an embarrasing backdown Labor will lose the election. Then, of course, we have not heard from Wayne Swan yet. I predict once he starts to open his mouth on the Economy that will be the beginning of the end for Little Kev.

No, as each day passes and Labor lurches around following the driving instructions from their Union bosses, they are going to dig a hole for themselves. As long as the loose cannons of the Labor frontbench are out and about, each day is going to be a new experience in pain for Little Kev. Oh Happy Days.

A new experience in pain

Alan, you'd indicated that you employ 63 people and speculated about sacking 55 of them in order take your manufacturing offshore.

That means you'd retain 8 people. 

Were the 8 workers you did inform of your public speculation about a mass layoff (the 8 who've been with you for over 20 years) part of the 55 to be sacked or were they the 8 to be retained? 

And what did they say about your redundancy and offshoring plans?  Did they have any view on the pain it would cause to the people you would sack?

Could Alan Curran be a modern day Quisling?

G'day Craig, I am of the opinion that Alan's latest outburst (about Labor trying to give some rights back to the workers), could be taken as pushing my argument regarding "No employer large or small, would employ more people than the absolute minimum economically required."

Which in turn means, I would suggest, that Alan agrees?

If Alan currently employs 63 people and 8 of those have been with him for over 20 years - then at least his first 9 years would have been under the Hawke/Keating Labor governments? Isn't that in itself a denial of being unable to continue under a Labor Government?

Alan doesn't say when he began to increase his workforce however, surely he hasn't increased his employees from 8 to 63 within just one year of the 19th Century Work-no-Choices laws? Why would he do that?

And if Labor is elected and "takes Australia back to our people", then Alan will sack 55 workers "off hand" and take the 8 over 20 year "loyal workers" overseas?  Wouldn't that be just another TRISTAR method of dodging the benefits due to those "loyal workers"?

Additionally, the spiteful sacking of 55 workers in a "small business" is just more proof that businesses DO INDEED CONTROL the "New Order" Liberals and the "unfair dismissal laws" should be returned, at least to where Howard originally "core" promised - that is - 10 employees.

Surely every decent Australian would welcome the "outsourcing" of these most disagreeable business people?  We have too many of them already.

If I remember correctly, during that "never never" lengthy period of R.G. Menzies, I seem to remember the American GM Company (Holden) threatened Menzies that if he didn't comply with their demands they would shut down the Fisherman's Bend plant completely and sack hundreds of workers.  Do you remember Craig?

The thought came to me because now under the "New Order", the Corporations sacking people all of the place, in the hundreds and thousands (like those little coloured lollies) in one whack, and Howard says nothing.  The Howard/Costello approval for the sale of QANTAS is nothing short of criminal and that WILL see thousands out of work.

The Manufacturing Industry in Australia is all but dead.  It is reported that under Howard 70,000 jobs have been lost.  Now as always too little too late, Howard offers "bikkies", (was it over 10 years) to "address" that situation.  Fair dinkum.

There is no truth - especially in the Corporation's media.

NE OUBLIE.

Things remembered

G'day Ern, down at Fishermen's Bend GM-Holden was turning out the Torana when I was born. So I remember your previous mention of the threat GM made to Menzies, but that's all.

Ern, I find each "outburst" by Alan so completely unconvincing and I don't think he'll ever swing a single vote toward the coalition by continuing on that course.  However, I'm really keen to better understand Alan's point of view, which I sense is representative of a certain small segment of our society.

For example:

Alan said: "All my employees have a sense of security and dignity and it will remain so as long as they obey my rules."

And he's also said: "I did not discuss the possible sackings in my company with the workers ..."

The second statement helps me better understand the true nature of the first statement. 

You see Alan's employees "have a sense of security and dignity" only because he doesn't communicate to them the threat to their job security. That's despite openly discussing the threat to them on the Internet. 

This also means their "sense of dignity" is not something Alan supports.  If he believed in the dignity of the people who work for him he would communicate openly with them what he has stated openly here.

Another example:

Alan says: "If I had to deal with the Unions again I would take my manufacturing off-shore."

And: " ... I am not only surviving, but business is growing ..."

So Alan's saying that he'd base his decision to offshore not just on economic necessity, but rather on his personal distaste for a worker's right. 

But remember just because he doesn't like it, doesn't mean his workers can't legitimately exercise the right to join a union and be representated by that union.

If Alan denies them their right to join a union, or if he sacks them for requiring him to "deal with" their union, then his action is not just "unfair", it's illegal -- even under Howard's laws.

Get it straight

Craig, let's get something straight I am not trying to swing any voters, as Webdiary is not the place to do it with such a small amount of readers.

I am not taking my manufacturing off shore, I will have nothing to do with it, and the product will be made under license and I will just import and distribute it.

I have discussed my plans with the 8 long serving workers and they all agree with what I would do. They really could not care less about the rest of the staff as we have found that they have no real loyalty to the company and come and go on a regular basis. There are plenty of jobs out there at the moment, unlike the Keating years.

None of my workers wish to join a union, and I would not stop them if they did want to.

Yes my decision to go off shore is based on economics, and I have always respected my workers rights.

I do not want to get back to the days when half-wit union officials had entry into my business premises, and wasted my time.

Ernest William, yes I did operate my business during the Hawke/Keating years and through the “recession we had to have” and it was not easy. I employed about 15 people at that time as there was no climate for business to invest money in expanding a business. My business started growing about 8 years ago, not as you suggest 1 year ago.

As usual you have got things wrong, I am not taking any workers off shore they will be employed here on the Central Coast in a warehouse facility. All workers will get all their entitlements, and I take exception to you implying that I would dodge paying them. I know you were a Union Delegate, (that is why you have to survive on $29,000 pa) and used to making those sorts of remarks, but if you said that to my face I would have sat you on your arse.

Jacob, I loved your little quip about the ATO, but why would I have to settle with them if I am not going anywhere. I would have expected that sort of remark from Ernest William and his union mates. I would remind you that the first-world business conditions were created by Howard and Costello and not Burrows and Combet. By the way I saw Combet on the 7-30 Report tonight and he would not answer the questions about his campaign being all about restoring Union power.

Straight

Yes Alan let's get it straight.

You say: " ... I am not trying to swing any voters, as Webdiary is not the place to do it ..."

That's good. So what were you trying to achieve by publicly threatening to sack 55 workers?

Don't forget that on 1 May you said in comment here: "... as I have said previously, if I have to deal with the Unions again under a Rudd governement, I would go offshore with the loss of 55 jobs."

By the way, it's interesting to learn you can say that here, but not go face-to-face with each of the 55, look 'em straight in the eye and say it.

Straight

Craig Rowley, you don't understand do you? It is not a threat it is a promise. I will tell them on Monday morning and let you know what happens.

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