4 Feb 2013

Abbott's Figures Don't Add Up

By Ian McAuley
Is it possible to cut company tax, cut the carbon tax, pay out for defence and 'direct action' on climate change - and still balance the budget? It's time to sack Abbott for someone competent, writes Ian McAuley
In announcing an election date almost eight months out the Prime Minister has delivered a tremendous opportunity to the Opposition.

It has given the Liberal Party time to sack Tony Abbott and to appoint people with economic competence to its front bench.

While the Prime Minister has been addressing questions of economic policy, such as structural weaknesses in the tax system and the need for investment in human capital, Abbott, presenting himself as the knockabout bloke with credentials as a football coach, member of a surf patrol and manager of a concrete plant, has been on a Putinesque tour of Australia.

His priority, repeated six times in his National Press Club address on Thursday, is to repeal the carbon tax — an extraordinary promise to make when violent weather, almost certainly a manifestation of climate change, is causing so much destruction and misery.

He sarcastically says that Australia's carbon tax hasn't prevented floods and bushfires, but he fails to acknowledge that, as one of the countries most affected by climate change and as one of the greatest polluters per capita, an Australian retreat on pricing carbon would severely set back any chance of a binding international treaty.

His policy document, "Our Plan: Real Solutions For all Australians", is a litany of contradictions. He acknowledges that a high exchange rate is hurting trade-exposed industries, but he goes on to boast that he will abolish the mining tax and remove "the shackles and burdens holding the [mining] industry back". He will fund personal company tax cuts and "deliver a modest cut in company tax"; then he goes on to sell his generous parental leave scheme, neglecting to mention that it would be funded by an increase in company tax.

The document is replete with graphics in a deceitful style not seen since the days of Soviet propaganda, such as the one below:

The glaring contradiction is in its basic mathematics. An Abbott government would abolish the mining tax and carbon tax, would cut personal and company tax, would spend heavily on road infrastructure (at least $10 billion in the Press Club speech) and on a "direct action" carbon abatement plan, would restore subsidies to the private health insurance industry, would increase pensions, would restore defence spending — and would balance the budget!

Yet Abbott and his colleagues refuse to reveal any costings. They keep saying that they will reveal full costings in time.

It would be unreasonable to expect an opposition to make full and detailed costings before the budget is delivered, but the scope of the contradiction in the Coalition's fiscal statements is such that no realistic change in economic conditions or in budgetary measures could deliver the magic pudding needed for their sums to reconcile.

Unfortunately the media, which should be holding politicians to scrutiny, allows the Coalition the lame excuse that it's too early for any costings. Even the ABC, still the nation's most trusted source for news, refrains from scrutinising the Coalition's economics.

On Thursday, in an interview with Joe Hockey, breakfast host Fran Kelly gave a free pass to his boast that the Coalition "will deliver a surplus in our first year and in every year after that". Nor did she raise an eyebrow at his novel construction of "taxation" to include deficit spending — a ruse to hide the reality that Australia's taxes are among the lowest in the developed world.

Does Hockey mean that a Coalition government would not engage in normal counter-cyclical management? In criticising (and overstating) the Gillard Government's modest debt, do Abbott and Hockey mean that in response to the financial crisis they would have let the economy slip into deep recession just to avoid a deficit? (That really would show up on a graph of long-term unemployment, without any presentational fiddles.)

With the Coalition subject to so little scrutiny, it is little wonder that the public gullibly believe that it is better able to handle the economy than the current Labor Government — a belief shared by few professional economists. Few media cover positive reports from the OECD and IMF on the Government's economic management, or on the ratings agencies' AAA assessment of its fiscal management.

And it is nigh impossible to shake the belief that living costs are out of control, even though incomes have been outstripping inflation right through the difficult period of the financial crisis. As Goebbels said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

Abbott's sums work only if he plans deep cuts, as yet unrevealed. He is unlikely to cut personal transfer payments: if anything he seems committed to restoring Howard's spending on middle class welfare. The only welfare cut he has promised is the "school kids' bonus" — giving a hint of his priorities. The cuts would surely come in education and health.

As an experienced journalist Abbott is skilled in avoiding scrutiny, but he is slowly revealing himself as a conservative such as Australia has not seen since the days of the Lyons government. His conservatism extends even to opposition to technical progress. The National Broadband Network and carbon pricing would transform Australian industry — that's their purpose.

They are disruptive technologies which upset current power structures and social orders — Abbott can see the risks. It's politically much easier to deal with the "old boy" network lobbying to preserve existing firms and industries than to deal with entrepreneurs in a dynamic economy.

Similarly his stance on productivity is in the traditional language of cost reduction, particularly labour costs. This is not the language of entrepreneurs, who voice their concern with productivity in terms of the need for better management, recognition of skills, more use of people's capabilities, and the support of strong public investment in education. Rather it is the language of one who fears change and instills that fear in others.

The Liberal Party has almost eight months months to change its front bench and to present policies appropriate for a country needing to undergo structural adjustment, which provide necessary public goods for a knowledge-based economy, and which promote rather than retard productive enterprise. The Coalition is surely not so devoid of talent that it has to make do with its present front bench.

But perhaps it is besotted with the idea of getting back into office — taking up the party's rightful place on the Treasury benches. Or perhaps, as Tony Sheldon said of the NSW right faction of the Labor Party, the Liberal Party it is simply about jobs for B-grade wannabes.

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CanDoh
Posted Monday, February 4, 2013 - 12:41

I'd be interested in industry's views on the promise to repeal the CPRS. My initial thoughts would be that considering it will have been up and running for over a year with permists paid for, as well as other factors such as it being linked with Europe for example, industry would not appreciate such instability.

This is before we even get started on the complications of a double dissolution.

Those are only my initial thoughts, so I'd love to read more about it or hear where I've gone wrong. I've looked around but it seems it's not even being discussed by any media organisations.

Rx
Posted Monday, February 4, 2013 - 12:46

Rewind to the last federal election, when the Coalition costed JUST ONE PER CENT of its policies...

Sydney Morning Herald, 09 August 2010:

<blockquote>...With four days left before the deadline for submitting policies for costing, the Coalition's running tally of new spending measures and tax cuts is almost $40 billion.

Yet just six measures totalling $288 million - less than 1 per cent of that - have been sent for costing.</blockquote>

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/cocky-coalition-has-costed-just-1...

The one reason they get away with this scandalous contempt of the public is the mainstream media, for the most part, give them a free pass. As this New Matilda article notes.

They got a media free pass last election. They've had a free pass every day since. And the way it's shaping up since the PM announced the election date, they'll get a free pass this coming election also.

The Coalition must be very weak / dishonest if they need that amount of media cover. And there must be something in it for the media to carry the Coalition so obligingly.

CanDoh
Posted Monday, February 4, 2013 - 14:33

Not to forget that the Coalition lied about its figures being audited.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 13:14

As for the ABC, do not forget that despite a new Managing Director, practically all of the Board and Management of the ABC are still the ones appointed by the Howard Government. They are not likely to question the Coalition too hard. In any case, if they did, they would be hit with criticism from the ABC Haters in the Coalition as quick as lightning. It is constant and very directed.
Fran Kelly, it must be remembered, was and still is a fan of John Winston Howard, a very ardent fan, and despite supposed instructions to keep a balance, she nevertheless manages to always give the coalition figures a very good run for our money, and never asks and insists on answers to hard questions.
Christopher Pyne, on Q & A last night, got a bit of a grilling on their un-costed promises from Tony Jones, but was still allowed, red faced and embarrassed as he was, to slide away without a real answer. Pyne was so red faced, I though he was going to burst, or descend into vituperation, but he retained control, with great effort. He is really a nasty bit of work. As so many of the Opposition are.
I listened to ABC Radio National yesterday evening, RN Drive I think it is called, compered by one Waleed Ali, who I think shows racist tendencies. He badgers and bullies his interviewees, and really exceeded himself last evening, talking to a Papua NG person. I try to avoid his two hours, as I do Fran Kelly, which these days does not leave much of the ABC Radio to listen to.
When the ABC says 'In Depth', I really do wonder if they know what the words mean.
All their coverage is aimed at the lowest common denominator listener. Which these days probably means Western Sydney residents. I do wish that some ABC TV programmes would do some In Depth study of alternative economics. I am sick of the continual acceptance of what we have, American Crony Capitalism. Consumerism of the worst kind. The Status Quo. Time we looked for something much better, folks,

Dazza.

jeremiahwuzza
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 15:46

A good article Ian. Trouble is the economic facts are not going to count for anything in this debate. It is the media that is going to pull Australia down. From the relentless dogmatic pursuit of Labor by News Ltd to the vapid dilettantism of Tony Jones and Fran Kelly we will be totally undone.

It is bizarre that the ABC is seen as pro-labor; you only have to watch the Drum to see its not true. Every night they have a blue ribbon liberal on the show - either Reith, or Chikka, or one of the 'young turks' described as a liberal consultant or think tank person. Every debate is turned by these party hacks into a tirade against the government, constantly reiterating the coalition mantra. And I gave up watching Q&A last year for the same reason. It's getting so I hit the mute button every time they give Abbo (or any of his idiot front bench) his 5 minute slot on the news.

It seems that 'keeping a balance' has fallen to the post-modern argument of 'both sides of an argument can be right at the same time'. And of course the ABC must look at the polls and see that the Coalition is more popular than Labor, so they present the viewpoint the majority wants. Which is not really the critical role we need from the media!

The Coalition doesn't really have to do anything. The press will do it for them. Big print negative headlines, flaky opinion polls, rude and ignorant talk show hosts, brainless mainstream TV. What else forms people's opinions? Australia's robust and matey culture is turning rotten from the outside in.

Bazzio101
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 16:34

Rednecks always vote #1 for Redneck politics & policies, hence the focus on industries, suburbs, & towns, that supposedly fit that geo-demo-profile by Abbott.

Question Authority

This user is a New Matilda supporter. laurie4
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 17:04

lau4
Yes, it is becoming painfully obvious that the media,, led by News Ltd, and including many sections of the ABC, is prepared to act as a crutch to help the Coalition onto the government benches.
eg Hockey cannot on one hand say that the Coalition will have a surplus in it's first budget and every budget after that, when he is unable to give costings of any Coalition policies.

Abbott has never been seriously challenged about his dishonesty with his outlandish claims about the Carbon Price and his consistent false depiction of Gillard as a liar when he is demonstrably lying himself.
eg Gillard could well have believed when she said, "no Carbon Tax" that there would be no Carbon Tax, but it is impossible to say that Abbott believed that "Whyalla will be wiped from the map" when he made that statement.
There can be no real democratic process, if the voters are making judgements based on false information fed to them by a supine, unethical media.

fightmumma
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 17:05

Hi Ian - actually Abbott goes one step worse than the "one who fears change and instills that fear in others" - he openly and enthusiastically targets people who are vulnerable, labels them negatively and encourages others/politicians/media to view some people in society this way too...this is worse because it leads to marginalisation, oppression, prejudice and stereotypes, condoned and encouraged by "leaders"...not good for a healthy, diverse, vibrant society. Over history, civilisations that did not invest in education, culture, innovation etc actually witnessed the greatest amount of change/upheaval because the social environment and conditions (poverty, disadvantage, discrimination, exclusion etc) it creates leads to social divisions and conflict...I am sad because my kids are teenagers and what nation will my boys inherit from Abbott's policies?

jrsubs
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 17:19

Abbott has displayed a willingness to destroy that I've never seen in any other Australian politician. His relentless aggression has diverted the Government to such an extent it's a wonder they achieved anything at all, and has diluted many good plans to the point of failure (notably the Mining super-profit tax).

Many of us despair at the probability of Labor losing to this bunch of really, really scary, selfserving, short-sighted hairbrains. Why has politics become so polarised? Why for that matter has politics moved so far to the right, to the point that sensible social policy is completely overwhelmed by the mantra of short term profit before all else? WHat is happening here? How can anyone imagine the country run by Abbott, Pyne and Bishop? It's impossible... isn't it?

I have no answers, except the not-original hope that the plan is for Malcolm to take over and save us. If that's true ... running out of time guys...

"It has given the Liberal Party time to sack Tony Abbott and to appoint people with economic competence to its front bench."

jeremiahwuzza
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 21:53

Go jrsubs.

but how can we stop the steamroller?

Malcolm would be unlikely to be any better. It's an attitude or state-of-mind problem. Right-wing economic competence is no longer the answer. It needs more nuance. We are getting overpopulated. The climate is changing quickly. Entire habitats are becoming extinct. Hidden costs are beginning to outweigh profits, the whole system is becoming unstable. The industrial revolution is over.

It's probably the worst possible time to put in an old fashioned, reactionary government (but I suppose that is always true). It might well make the difference between survival or disaster for Australia in the scary times ahead.

jrsubs
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 22:37

I agree with everything you say jeremiah, but was just trying for the realistic possibility not the impossible one. We'll be lucky to save even the (*^#% economy let alone save this country... or the planet.

Being realistic again, it's not likely we'll actually lose the planet but it IS likely we'll lose a great deal of quality of life, unnecessarily. It more than stinks that we risk our children's lives and happiness for the sake of this passing crop of egos that just must oppose just to wreck just to gain personal power at whatever cost.

Is there one GRAM of far-sightedness, vision, empathy or generosity in this mob?

Betty
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 01:08

Betty
Whenever Tony Abbot or other members of Coalition brag about their surplus in government they never say how they got it - like selling Telstra, ARB gold reserves and other public assets. And being negligent about social services.

jennyn
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 11:24

JennyN
A very good article. Sadly we won't see these questions asked anywhere in the MSM.

gisele
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 12:45

great article. I agree re the ABC bias particularly the Drum, perhaps contributors would consider expressing their concerns by going to the ABC complaints, which by the way is not easy to find on their web page.Go to http://www.abc.net.au, go to bottom of home page, click on Contacts there you will find Lodge a complaint. A barage of complaints may make management take notice! or am I dreaming!!!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 16:09

gisele, any complaints from us about perceived Right Wing bias of the ABC, and I agree that it is very evident in most sections, would be a mere splash against the tidal wave of processed complaints about Left Wing Bias sent in every day by the media unit of the Liberal Party. They intend to made damned sure that ALL MSM, very much including the ABC, stays on song (with the Liberals) ALL the time.
Yes, The Drum is so totally biased against any progressive thought that I wonder that they can stay on air. I gave up watching them along time ago. Got very sick of seeing Peter Reith (should have been in gaol), that ex Liberal female NSW leader, or whatever mostly ex Coalition Representative they could find, plus the seemingly obligatory person from one of the Right Wing Think Tanks, and maybe, just maybe, someone from the Media, maybe Fairfax or Crikey (both ultra Conservative these days). Any discussion was totally predictable. I do not see that they even try to be objective and balanced. Do not even try.
Another one is Late Line. That woman who drinks grapefruit juice before coming on air. Wow!
Just hope that NM does not get hacked and destroyed by 'unknown hackers' in the next few months. I hate to say it, but the Global Mail seems to be trying to float above all reality down on the ground. Some good stories, well researched, but not entirely relevant to the NOW. Well, that one about the American backed global warming deniers setting up organisations in Australia, with one of our Liberal Think Tanks, the IPA, to fight any Wind Farms or Solar Farms, has to be needed reading.
Dazza.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. guywire
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 16:55

I dont know what you are all complaining about.

Despite the changing polls, with Abbott in as Lib Leader the Libs will never get in and we wont have to be surprised by unannounced policy.

With a far more compassionate, considerate and civilised Malcolm, the Libs might actually get in. I'm really happy that Abbott is such a deceptive dork but I think we will see a spill soon and if that happens Kevin might invent a spill of his own, to snatch victory from the jaws of incredulity. Mind you parliament might still be hung.

While Julia is beset by a dog's breakfast of Labor corruptions, she has recovered in the past. Unaddable figures mean less to Joe Blow than his bottom line. Katteresque comments, Hockeynomics, and Julie Bishop's pseudo career are more entertaining anyway and I think we are more entertained than we are engaged with political deception of the Tony variety.

fightmumma
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 17:19

guywire - whatever you're smoking - stop it!!

denise
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 12:31

Never say never guywire - TA may have set up the Australians for Honest Politicians fund but he isn't one of them. But let's hope the Coaltition has the temerity to stick with him.
It's obvious that his surplus (because the Coalition is obsessed with seeing being in Government as being in business) is going to rely on all sorts of nasties that will not be announced until after the election, just like Campbell Newman did in Queensland.
Many public servants will find themselves without a job and we'll head towards a recession which always favours the employers with less jobs and more job seekers in the marketplace.
And no doubt IR laws will be tampered with to favour employers.
We already know the 'school kids' bonus' will be cut, but will the 'baby bonus' be slowly dismantled or scrapped too, to pay for the additional costs for increased maternity leave, which could also be adjusted down after the election.
However, his adamant stance on No Carbon Tax could see him as the shortest term PM in the history of Australian politics, even if he does win in September.

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 13:51

that pic of Abbott with the colourful hair cover cracks me up bigtime - can someone hack NM and draw a big red nose and lips on it please!!!!? You know...like a clown....????

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 18:51

heard on the ABC radio something about G Rinehart wanting to pay Africans $2 a day or hour or something to work in mines, making some special taxation zone with its own labour laws??? Abbott is into it is he? Maybe we could visualise that clown image with GH's hand up a certain orifice?? How is this good for us? Gina and her minimum wage, must be a wet dream having rAbbott in charge of the nation, in a party where the "leader" can pretty much do as he pleases!!! How are the resources of the nation shared amongst its citizens in this scenario? GH invests in what? Private profit and its trickle-down effective...how does that work exactly in this scenario?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. guywire
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 - 13:24

Denise, Adamant stands, baby bonus... everything will change. The state of our 'Democracy' means when Labor is in, they talk down big business when the Libs are in, they talk down social reforms. I presume if ever the Greens get in they'll talk about alternative energy, planting trees and think about saying something on Julian Assange. We need international laws regulating national promises and a determination on whether politics is a science or an art, or even just the fart that guides us.

Mumma, where there's smoke, there is fire.

Gina will never understand that she's a smart poet clown with fat ambitions whose spin doctors will hold down their jobs, only as long as they tell her what they think she wants to hear.

Which brings me back to politically suicidal Tony, at war with the truth, at odds with mathematics and at peace with his puny plan... Fart on, fart on... with hope in your heart, you'll never walk alone.

fightmumma
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 - 14:14

guywire - on second thoughts...can I have some too!!

jackal01
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 - 18:31

Ian McAuley
all we need now is for you to give aussieshrek a few Economic driving lessons. Like, its not an exacting science.

But I note that he does not come to any Articles dealing with things economical, yet he calls himself an an economic commentator.

Their is know doubt that he is a smart man, clever, maybe too clever for his own good. As they say, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands.

At the end of the day his in a different boat to some of us, which is sad, but the problem.

You can see why so many joined up to kill and displace 150 million people in 30 years, just to keep our landed Gentry the third richest and allow them to control 80% of the Nations wealth, while we killed our kids. Dumb!

And Ian.
In the fullness of the original Article was Goebbels refering to German lies, English lies or human beings ability to lie.
Its all about placing it within the proper historical content as opposed to sherry picking sentences to suit once argument, but your right.

As Goebbels said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it".

Many people have listen and learned.

Anyhow, Great Article. Keep the Bastards Honest, its what we pay you for, I hope. Hope you bang the Labour right wing nut jobs too.
We want a Government for all people, not just the Koala's.
We must have a real Democracy not just elected Monarchs or representatives for the Monarchs, our own little Gentry Club.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. guywire
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 01:32

Mumma, While I might take that as a compliment I'm bound to hold you in contempt.

I think its going to get worse before it gets better and even worse Human Rights will be flouted in another wave of secrecy for the sake of some sort of security. I get scared sometimes, that there is no representative ethic among our ruling elite and that the particular ambitionism of Tony is a part of the genome of the Human Race. After all chimps, dinosaurs, dogs and even plants bear the same relentless, evil code that politicians bear.

fightmumma
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 17:55

nar GW you just sounded in first post a bit the opposite of what you usually seem to be, to me at least, so thus the poke that you were under the influence of something suspicious...but your fart prose cracked me up so I decided maybe I could do with seeing the stupid side to something...something that I also find quite disturbing and scary...something I do not understand at all...but never fear I have never taken, nor intend to take mind-altering drugs (I think my mind is quite "altered" all by itself sometimes!!!).

In history, even recently, human abominations like killing off millions of Jews or our own decimation of Aboriginal people was always well hidden with the powers-that-be hiding it and the general population saying "We didn't know it was happening". And here we are again...the situation for asylum seekers is well-hidden...the sanitising of public awareness...I suppose it all depends how hard we look though doesn't it?

jackal01
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 - 05:35

Here a quick one for you Ian Mc.

I roared through the Hunter Region the other night and got to talk to a local.

Apparently, for 30 years local Politicians have lobied Governments to spend Government spending/Infastructure spending in the Hunter Region, to give them the Branxton By Pass. Huter Expressway and jobs for the local community. Apparently this was safe Labour so nobody cared, Now we have the Hunter Expressway Alliance employing nothing but Fly in Fly out Kiwi's, Irish and English workers. The locals still get nothing.

Fulton and Hogan an Infastructure Company, (Kiwi) that makes almost its entire wealth of Government spending which is fed by our mineral rescources only to employ Kiwis who work here for 6 month pay no Tax, fly out work over their for 6 month pay no Tax, take advantage of duty free as they come and go. Yet where is the Government meant to get the Taxes to provide Infastructure spending to feed local communities and small Businesses who relay on consumerism fueled by local Jobs, fueled by Government spending/Infastructure spending.

More to come, have to go and do a few miles.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. guywire
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 - 14:14

I apologise in advance for going off.
Mumma, Your detection powers seem psychic and this might make a difference in a world with a shrinking libertarian ethic. While we demonise everyone but ourselves and perhaps the Yanks we are choosing to somehow swallow a cosmetic, sanitised, mortally entertaining daily pap and an indecent consumption of stuff. Yes, it does help to look hard, but not much. Then they came for the Jews and I did nothing. They don't have to come for us anymore they've already got us where they want us. The Matrix, remotely controlled from a suite in Dubai.

Jackalo, It happens all over the world. It prevents strikes. Makes for less surprises and everyone who matters is happy. Only the locals are unhappy because they didn't control their local, state or federal government very much. But the upshot is happier investors and thats the important thing because it makes for happy CEOs. It's so important to have happy CEOs because it fosters yet more development that they can implement from their remote phone in Dubai. They love the way its all turned out and love makes the world go round.

Who cares if Abbotts figures dont add up as long as business is of the 'as usual' variety... and as long as the locals have something to love something to hate and something to do. The locals are not unhappy and when they come into town, they can complain about the new developments built by the Kiwis this is the something that they do.

People aren't worried about dodgey maths as long as they can use their Credit Card to buy 'gourmet foods' and drink litres of Coke play the pokies to justify their enslavement and ignore the Genocide committed by us all in the Middle East. It's all a part of 'Business As Usual'. So Abbott's happy to watch his back for knives and Promise the earth.

"His priority... is to repeal the carbon tax — an extraordinary promise to make when violent weather, almost certainly a manifestation of climate change, is causing so much destruction and misery". With Monkton the globetrotting denier on his side, its like there is no Climate Crisis. So why would he worry about scientists. He'll only worry if he's in and running short of cash for "destruction and misery".

fightmumma
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 - 21:56

GW - I have this theory, I'm not sure what to call it yet and not sure whether or not someone else has already think it - but the costest I can come to is a "cameleon" trait. I use this to describe the process that I believe is happening across the globe, and has happened across history in a somewhat slower, less grand fashion. I think that social processes, structures, actors and institutions actually change to fit conditions of their environment (in this case social stuff not physical)...so we once had the church as very powerful and influential, very much a glue that binds and creates social cohesion (at least for the dominant group!!)...but as society evolves...no MUTATES...suddenly the church become the State, and now in the 21st century...it has morphed again to corporations...the emotional stuff religion served has transformed into cunsumerism...and on it goes...the nuclear family once wasn't as central a theme as the village or extended family...but we need these big groups, so we have hobby/sports clubs...we thought Black people were subhuman...now asylum seekers are...

It is the mistake people make in their own consciousness to believe that the structurs of their society and life ARE their life and society, rather than that a structure ought to be filled with something substantial...like a gallery filled with art...because we do it each...with the aid of marketing and advertising might I add, we do it collectively as well...these we each reinforce and affirm one another's behaviour/mindset...

But alas I am crapping on and although this relates directly to rAbbott, most people wouldn't see it...

jackal01
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 18:06

Yes fightmumma, your a dinkum aussie, a fighter, but you have something else, smarts, the ability to learn, adabt, move on.

fightmumma
Posted Monday, 11 February 13 at 9:56PM

Thats about it in a nut shell, we could dress it up a bit more. Maybe turn it into a 5000 word essay that'll bore people, but thats about it.

Short and sweet.

fightmumma
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 18:26

one of my shortest ever rants!!!

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 18:10

Maybe a Rant, but a great Rant.

I'd rather listen to someone Ranting to make a point, stand up for those who can't or won't, then to listen to some self centered Ignoramous talk S**&^%$t about something some brain dead relo told him, way back when.

The Nation can be proud of you. Go get them Girl.
Your the other half of the human race so stand up for yourself and be counted.

Betty
Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 00:18

Betty
Interesting that the Coalition acknowledged Bob Hawke as the only leader of ALP who had a surplus - how did that happen? While they themselves sold the before mentioned above Bob and his team sold the Commonwealth Bank of Australia that his predecessors set up as a public facility!!! That is when he lost my vote and I gave my primary one to the Social Democrats at the time!!! Tony Jones at Q & A, as well as leader of Lateline and other commentators and interviewers should remember these things during their cross examinations!! If they are not old enough to remember they should do their homework!!