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George Brandis: the carbon price killed Fairfax

I’ve seen some long bows drawn and cynical exploitation of others’ misfortune in my time watching federal politics. But today’s effort by Australia’s finest jurist George Brandis in Senate Question Time to link the Fairfax announcement to the carbon price takes some sort of prize for crass opportunism and straight stupidity by an allegedly intelligent politician. Indeed, Brandis goes further than merely linking it, he outright says in his third question that the 1900 Fairfax jobs will be destroyed by the carbon price.

“Have you ever heard of the internet?” interjects Stephen Conroy. Possibly not. Apparently a carbon price that hasn’t even begun yet is responsible for the woes of the newspaper industry. Here’s the full text of the exchange. Penny Wong gets stuck into Brandis, and rightly so. These people are going to be running the country next year?

Carbon Pricing

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:23): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Senator Wong. I refer the minister to the announcement by Fairfax Media today that it plans to slash 1,900 jobs and close its Chullora and Tullamarine printing presses by June 2014. Is the minister aware that every significant stage of the Fairfax production chain, from the cost of power to produce newsprint to the cost of fuel to transport that newsprint, to the cost of electricity to operate the printing plants, to the cost of distribution will be directly affected by the carbon tax? Does the minister accept any responsibility for the loss of yet thousands more Australian jobs as a direct result of this toxic tax based on a lie?

Senator Conroy: Have you ever heard of the internet?

Senator WONG (South Australia—Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (14:24): That is a fairly desperately long bow, to mix my metaphors. I know that the opposition want to believe that pricing carbon is responsible for ending civilisation as we know it, but to seriously suggest that a business decision made by a media company is something to do with a carbon price is a seriously odd thing to do. I am not an expert in this issue and I suspect Senator Conroy could give you a much lengthier discussion than I could—

Senator Fifield: It would be lengthy!

Senator WONG: It would be lengthy and it would be most illuminating for you, Senator Fifield. He could give you a very lengthy discussion about the various pressures driving changes in that sector. I would have thought the internet might have something to do with it. This is just another example of the sort of overblown claims that we saw from the other side.

I saw Mr Abbott in recent times has moved away from the carbon price being a ‘wrecking ball’ to now saying that is actually going to be a ‘python squeeze rather than a cobra strike’, trying to segue away from some of the ridiculous propositions that were put out there as part of the scare campaign, including that a town in my home state of South Australia would be wiped off the map. I tell you what: I reckon it is still going to be there on 2 July.

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:26): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Given the statement made by Fairfax Media in its announcement this morning that the business is ‘already operating in very difficult times’ why has the government made those existing difficulties even worse at the cost of nearly 2,000 jobs by introducing the world’s biggest carbon tax at the worst possible time?

Senator WONG (South Australia—Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (14:26): Unless the senator has got a quote somewhere, I have not noticed anybody suggesting that the carbon price is responsible for the reconfiguration of the media landscape in this country. I suspect that might be occurring for a range of different reasons.

Senator Conroy: Could be!

Senator WONG: It just might be! I think it is another example of an increasingly desperate scare campaign where, to try to make themselves relevant today, the opposition are actually jumping on today’s story and trying to link it somehow to carbon. It is a pretty extraordinary position.

In terms of where the economy is at, because there was some implication about that in the question, I again reiterate what Senator Evans, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, has said: we have low unemployment, we have created over 800,000 jobs since we came to government, we have an economy that is over 10 per cent bigger than when we came to power, we have inflation contained and we have interest rates falling. So the sort of gloom and doom that is behind Senator Brandis’s question— (Time expired)

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:27): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. What is the government’s message to the some 1,900 Fairfax Media employees whose jobs have been destroyed by its carbon tax? Why are they faced with unemployment? Why are their families faced with hardship when Julia Gillard went to the last election promising there would be no carbon tax under the government she leads?

Senator WONG (South Australia—Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (14:28): I would say to them: do not trust Senator Brandis and the opposition in this disgraceful fear campaign. If you really cared about the loss of jobs, Senator, you would not come in here trying to link it to a political scare campaign. If you really cared about the families, you would not come into this chamber and disgracefully use people’s commercial decisions which will impact upon those families for your political purposes. So do not come in here and tell us that we do not care, because I think people who are worried about what is happening in their employment at Fairfax are not going to take too kindly to you rocking up into the Senate chamber and asking ridiculous questions in an attempt to link it to your carbon scare campaign. The reality is that we on this side do care about employment, we care about workers. That is why we put jobs first. That is why 800,000 jobs have been created since we came to government. That is why we got rid of Work Choices, something you still want to bring back. Do not come in here and talk to us about job security, Senator Brandis. (Time expired)

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  • 1
    BH
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Bernard – thanks for that transcript but one point is clear. The Oppn do not deserve to win the next election. How about you change your posts from intimating that they will win to ‘they shouldn’t win’.

    The media has aided Abbott in his campaign to destroy the Govt. so now is the time to turn it back on him and the likes of Brandis. They are not fit to be running the country.

  • 2
    Ootz
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Bernard for posting this, well spotted. It deserves wider exposure, as it is symptomatic of a lingering malaise in our parlament.

    Senator Fifield obviously assumes complex issues can be addressed with just simple slogans. Hang on – his party thinks you can run a country on just slogans and it’s people are cannon fodder to their political ambitions. What a disgrace!

  • 3
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Though I hold progressive political views, I understand that there are people who have different values from me and thus support conservative views.

    What I can’t understand is how any rational person can support politicians such as Brandis.

  • 4
    CliffG
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    It is quite clear that the price on carbon (a tax on a very few polluting companies) has addled Brandis’s exhausted brain (partly from being convoluted on the asylum seeker issue) and taken him down the path of his demented Leader! They’re not fit to sit in parliament let alone one day govern. BH is right. It’s time the media stopped the assumption they’re going to win and occasionally risked mentioning “quite undeservedly”.
    And was the carbon tax responsible for Slippergate?
    See #Brandislogic!

  • 5
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Apparently BH agrees with Keane who agrees with Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH) who agrees with CliffG that a Queens Counsel barrister with a previous successful practice and now a recognised , experience and astute senior politician is an idiot.

    The idiots are plain to see.

    This carbon tax was shoved down the craw of an unwilling electorate without a mandate and all economic ills will be rightly slated to this utterly depraved administration.

    Moreover Fauxfacts business expenses have been negatively impacted by the carbon tax uncertainty and stupid renewable energy policy all from this inept cowboy government.

    Excellent questions from Senator Brandis.

    Fair or unfair we’ll hear plenty more where that came from – most often from the electorate themselves who are busy slapping their baseball bats into their palms itching for the opportunity to swing at this malignant crew and the sickening excuse for journalism that barrack for them.

  • 6
    Zarathrusta
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    It just goes to show that if lawyers were what we needed to lead our country, we’d be in nirvana now and we are not. I want more diversity and different kinds of brains in the parliament.

    As for this Turkey, I want to get rid of Julia Gillard but I will not vote for a government containing such a vile embicile. So he’s just saved Julia from me.

  • 7
    Steve777
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    No wonder Australians are losing respect for the Parliament and politicians when you get this sort of nonsense passing as national debate. George Brandis is not stupid, he can’t possibly believe that carbon pricing caused the need for the restructure of Fairfax. I can only assume that he is making stuff up for sound bites on the evening news. We should always call this for what it is. Making stuff up and propagating stuff that you know is not true is lying.

  • 8
    Hamis Hill
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Senator George Brandis, given his narrow area of expertise, mainly words, would be aware of the
    superior intellectof the late author and playwright George Bernard Shaw, who argued quote: that “The specialist is, in the truest sense, an idiot”.
    Out of his own mouth a QC, with a previous successful practice and now a recognised, experienced and astute senior politician is an idiot.
    Brandis is such an idiot as described above, but he is not as idiotic as those ignorami for whose unquestioning consumption his idiotic statements are made.
    They specialise in ignorance.
    Go on, ask Mr Brandis and his ilk if they know who GBS is.
    You idiots.

  • 9
    John64
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Senator Brandis? The stupidity is strong with this one.

  • 10
    Jake
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    JamesK,

    Brandis is not a Queen’s Counsel.

    I prefer old-fashioned pompous conservatives with a true belief in their inherited class ascendency. I’m afraid you, JamesK, are the modern type – attached to the Tories like a slave to a cart.

  • 11
    lindsayb
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Brandis is not stupid, but knows that his “true believers” will accept what he says without question. So he is a liar, and those who believe his crap do so willingly, because it suits their world view.

  • 12
    Seriously E
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    This ridiculous irrational outburst from Sen Brandis is precisely why the Libs have no electoral credibility.
    They should be romping away at present with the Labor Party missing no opportunities to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory , but they arent because the Libs have been uncontrollably feral since they could not successful bribe the Independents and will clearly stop at nothing to bring public discourse to the degenerate, born to rule schoolboy level at which they operate.

  • 13
    geomac
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Makes one wonder how Fairfax survived the introduction of the GST doesn,t it ? I also wonder if Brandis can explain the demise of long standing newspapers outside Australia that have disappeared because of the internet taking revenue and readership ? Black is white and white is black for the mixed bad of libs , nationals , libnats and the WA nat who is in then out but now in again . Whats a minority government consist of again ?

  • 14
    Dalesman54
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Senator Brandis is probably unaware that all industries are vulnerable to the rising culture of new technologies that require less labour to operate while increasing profits. Does this mean that the CT is retrospectively responsible for the loss of the natural rubber industry (there used to be many rubber plantations), for the loss of jobs in the car industry (robots weld faster and more efficiently than humans), the farming industry (harvesting used to be hugely labour intensive till the introduction of such technological developments as say, combine harvesters). Yes, all historical changes in industry practices can be directly linked to this evil CT!
    Wake up George! The print media is going through a natural evolutionary process aided and abetted by the rapacious greed of people like Rinehart and Murdoch! Profit is God!

  • 15
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Apparently Hamis Hill hasn’t the first clue what a total political pillock GBS made of himself for posterity.

    It’s what stupid leftists have done from time in memorial.

    GBS was the Sean Penn of his day except he had some genuine talent

  • 16
    Burgey
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Brandis is a dolt of the highest order. Just a hack. Truly a monstrous lightweight.

    Always be wary of the lawyer who gets the “SC” appellation eight years after they’ve left practice.

  • 17
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Reading comments from those pushing the Liberal line, such as JamesK above, always leave me puzzled.

    Are they written by people who:

    1 – are paid to post such rubbish? (the cost of this would be very low compared to running the IPA or buying 20% of Fairfax)
    2 – know that what they write is rubbish but feel that by pushing the party line this will help change the government, or
    3 – the most scary option – there really are people who are no so far removed from reality that they really believe that the carbon price killed fairfax.

  • 18
    ShowsOn
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I can only assume that he is making stuff up for sound bites on the evening news. We should always call this for what it is. Making stuff up and propagating stuff that you know is not true is lying.

    He is deputy leader in the senate, which gives him responsibility for coming up with some questions for question time. They broad theme yesterday was to concentrate on the carbon tax, so Brandis came up with whatever he could to talk about that issue, and jumped on job loses.

    It was more a sign of Brandis’ laziness rather than his stupidity.

  • 19
    AJH
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    It might be idiotic from the perspective of truth and logic, but it works.

    If you keep repeating something, no matter how untrue, it will sow the seeds of doubt in voters’ minds.

    Brandis should be congratulated. He’s playing the game perfectly, and the Liberals will win as a result of their perfectly-executed fear campaign.

  • 20
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Lying, lazy, stupid. All good words used above, and the sum up the opposition perfectly!

  • 21
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Reading comments from those pushing the Liberal line, such as JamesK above, always leave me puzzled.

    Are they written by people who:

    1 – are paid to post such rubbish? (the cost of this would be very low compared to running the IPA or buying 20% of Fairfax)
    2 – know that what they write is rubbish but feel that by pushing the party line this will help change the government, or
    3 – the most scary option – there really are people who are no so far removed from reality that they really believe that the carbon price killed fairfax.

    Reading comments from leftists like Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH) reinforces the observation that the Left have only the ad-hominem tactics of Alinsky c/f identify, isolate, freeze and escalate in lieu of debate.

    Does the carbon tax make the Fauxfacts bottom line worse or better?

    Let’s look at this disgusting government:

    1.Used up the Howard/Costello $42B liquid assets

    2.Borrowed $230B+

    3.Took money from the future fund for nuffnuff

    4.Genuflected to the power of the Unions

    5.Destroyed the live cattle industry and thousands of jobs in a region and by people including the aboriginal community that badly need them

    6.Killed people in the infamous Pink Batts scheme

    7.Paid monstrously rorted prices for unneeded school halls and roof insulation

    8.Paid thousands for $20 set top boxes

    On the ‘income’ side:

    1.Introduced a “Carbon” Tax

    2.Brought in a flood levy

    3.Reduced health care rebates.

    4.Introduced an MRRT and immediately spent more than the projected tax take

    There isn’t anybody else but leftists in this echo chamber Michael but me.

    So no need for the inane “those pushing the Liberal line, such as JamesK” drivel

    You’re heavily blinkered, marinated in your own ideological nonsensical kind and overdosed on the Matrix blue pills, Michael.

    If you were an adult, I ‘d suggest you stop being a child

  • 22
    geomac
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    JamesK
    I see you , like Abbott , lack the integrity required to assess a situation that involves death . To use work related deaths to push a political spin is beyond contempt and requires a mind devoid of compassion or rationality . No mention of firms failing to observe both state and federal laws regarding health and safety or said firms being prosecuted . Of course if mention of industrial manslaughter laws are mentioned for breaking H&S laws its beyond the pale for people of your ilk . I see you fail to mention the asset sales of 240 billion to repay an alleged 90 billion debt . What happened to the remaining 150 billion ? Funny thing that the school halls are claimed by you to be unneeded yet I hear and read in the media the exact opposite . Even my local federal member who is a lib relished the chance for photo ops to be shown in front of them . You must represent the 3% that were dissatisfied I take it . Finally it comes as no surprise that you apparently resent a one off flood levy to assist fellow Australians when they need assistance the most . Perhaps like Abbott you would prefer that levy not be used so as to allow coalition voters to tip in to lib party donations ? A one off tax to assist rather than a business tax of unknown length to pay extravagant wages for six months lost pay to someone earning 150 K a year . Doesn,t that strike you as odd ? A person on a healthy wage and presumably of reasonable intelligence is unable to budget for a birth that is expected . Isn,t that the mantra of taking responsibility that is used for people on the dole that your type like to spout , work for the dole etc ? You really are a piece of work and other posters are being quite kind to you .

  • 23
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    geomac you and your woefully thought out ramblings are beneath contempt.

  • 24
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    What have you to say for Gillard and Rudd’s responsibility in the death of 800 at sea (by the governments own calculations) illegal immigrants/ innocent refugees of life threatening oppression?

  • 25
    Julia
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations JamesK, you just proved Geomac’s point.

  • 26
    AJH
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    How are the last four posts related to Carbon Pricing and Fairfax?

    I propose we tow any off-topic posters out to sea, or send them to Nauru.

  • 27
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    How are the last four posts related to Carbon Pricing and Fairfax?

    A lying incompetent ideologically perverse government whose prime policy has been delivered on the back of an outrageously dishonest fear campaign championed by the MSM leftist regime complex and whose insane ideological intransigence and arrogance has layed the foundation for many noncombatant deaths.

    It’s not difficult.

  • 28
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been watching some of Season 4 of Lost.

    Lost is a great roller-coaster ride of ideas, but you need to suspend reality and go with the flow.

    What does it say that a political debate on Crikey makes Lost seem like a rigorous academic report in comparison.

    Can someone please tell me that they know the person behind JamesK and he really is just pretending.

  • 29
    Steve777
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps we should stop feeding the trolls.

  • 30
    geomac
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Apologies for responding to jamie but some assertions are so vile they need a response . I usually limit it to one response if at all . Never get a reasonable or logical rebuttal just some snide remark or a flight off to another off topic theme , Thats why if I feel the need I only do it once , useless to post further with people like jamie , SB et al .

  • 31
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been watching some of Season 4 of Lost.

    Lost is a great roller-coaster ride of ideas, but you need to suspend reality and go with the flow.

    What does it say that a political debate on Crikey makes Lost seem like a rigorous academic report in comparison.

    Can someone please tell me that they know the person behind JamesK and he really is just pretending.

    I see Michael has decided to continue with his comforter delusion and make fun of his opponent rather than face reality and actually do the work to construct a rebuttal let alone a counter-argument.

    It’s the typically inane leftist way.

    Speaking of laziness and inanity ‘The Git’ and ‘Snooty Marr’ have written a public letter to Gina Rinehart demanding editorial independence to continue their leftist rants but the WSJ headline is:

    Sydney Morning Herald, The Age Newspapers Worthless: Deutsche Bank

    ‘Why is Gina Rinehart so greedy?’ asked Marr on QANDA recently after denigrating her looks.

    Way to go.

    I suspect Gina thinks the Senator’s following question highly relevant.

    Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:26): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Given the statement made by Fairfax Media in its announcement this morning that the business is ‘already operating in very difficult times’ why has the government made those existing difficulties even worse at the cost of nearly 2,000 jobs by introducing the world’s biggest carbon tax at the worst possible time?

    When the carbon tax is rescinded her investment will be worth considerably more.

    And after the inane inept leftist crew of Marr, Gittens, Hartcher, Coorey, Grattan, Carleton, Bandana Man, Gordon, Flitton, Katherine Murphy, Horin, La Tingles, the complete ditz Jessica Irvine etc after nauseating etc get their marching orders Fauxfacts will be potentially a viable and worthwhile asset.

  • 32
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Why is someone like JamesK reading Crikey?

    It is like me spending time each day reading a website about wrestling and constantly commenting that wrestling is boring cr*p.

    After Obama won the last USA presidential election with his use of the internet being an advantage for him, the conservatives have learned that they need to ensure that the web is full of their propaganda.

    I’m sure that the Murdoch websites get enough right-wing lunacy not to need much support, but I’m always amazed how many right-wing loonies post on The Drum and Crikey.

    Perhaps on The Drum their rantings influence a few ordinary readers, but I find it hard to imagine that any readers of Crikey could give be influenced by JamesK and the other usual suspects.

    Instead they just disrupt our discussions, which is probably all they are after.

    Perhaps one day we will discover the truth behind JamesK, SB, etc.

  • 33
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Still no rebuttal and still no counter-argument.

    No surprise as Michael is a sleepwalking zombie leftist.

    In the contest of ideas the Left have to point to the shiny object over there, cheat, fear-monger and ad hom

    They have nothing else in lieu of a rationally constructed idea or policy.

    I predict this especially for Not-so-Big Mikey: Obummer will be slaughtered in November.

    It won’t be close.

    He’s a jerk as well as an extreme leftist.

    It could happen to a a nastier guy but hopefully for a change not in our lifetime.

    Which should give a little time for the seas to rise even a teensy

  • 34
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    So why are you reading Crikey JamesK?

    Surely most of the articles would annoy you.

  • 35
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s true the Right read the Left but not the other way around but answering the question doesn’t help you answer any of the challenges I’ve set for here for you and the other ideologically uniform zombies, Michael.

  • 36
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Given that I think that The Age and the ABC are biased towards the right, it would be rather difficult for me to avoid the majority of my reading / viewing being biased to the right.

    As far as challenges goes, the only relevant one for this topic is whether or not the carbon tax had anything to do with the changes at Fairfax. I feel no need to justify the view that the carbon tax had nothing to do with it.

  • 37
    Schnappi
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Abbott and other worthless libs ,going to waste two weeks of taxpayers money on the carbon price he can do nothing about,Stop The Waste abbott.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-plans-carbon-tax-tour-20120619-20lxt.html

  • 38
    JamesK
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Given that I think that The Age and the ABC are biased towards the right

    Wow! That’s actually very depressing.

    It’s akin to writing black is white and 2+2=3.

    It’s difficult to believe that any one free to roam in the community could be so deluded.

    It’s actually near psychiatric level denial, Michael.

    Name one conservative columnist on staff at The Age, Michael.

    After you’ve given up name one conservative presenter of a mainstream news/current events/news analysis show right across ABC or SBS radio/tv/internet international who is a conservative.

    I can think of only one possibility across those three organisations.

    In the Matrix Morpheus said “We have a rule. We never free a mind once it’s reached a certain age”

    I can see no hope for independent thought or analysis from you Michael.

    I take no pleasure in that observation.

    None.

  • 39
    Schnappi
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    My post was meant for PB ,but ended here by mistake,but still about a dopey lib,Shrug

  • 40
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    I find it amusing that on one hand JamesK thinks my views on media bias are “near psychiatric level denial” but on the other he thinks I’m incapable of independent thought.

  • 41
    Chosen_Chaos
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    @JamesK: Ok, you want debate and rebuttal, I’ll oblige.

    With regards to the first two points you raised, regarding national debt: Howard and Costello paid off Australia’s NET foreign debt. Meaning, that the government still owed money overseas, but it was balanced out by money owed to the government by other countries.

    The third and fourth points need a great big Wikipedia-style [CITATION NEEDED] stamp across them.

    Fifth point: it was a suspension of the live export trade, meaning that the trade has restarted.

    Sixth point: blame should be directed where it’s due – namely, at the dodgy contractors who sent out untrained, or only partially-trained, installers so they could score some of those lovely government contracts.

    Seventh point: I guess I should point out that an independent audit of the BER program came back with the result that 95% of schools with a BER project were happy with how it turned out and the costs of said project (source: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/anao-report-on-ber-fact-meets-narrative.html).

    Eighth point: again, [CITATION NEEDED].

    Now let’s take a look at your “income list”:

    1. It’s not a tax in the same vein as income tax. What it is, is the graduated introduction of a pricing system – for the first three years, it’s a fixed price. For the next three years, there will be upper and lower bounds. After that, it will be completely market-driven.

    2. A levy that was put into place to help pay reconstruction costs after one of the worst natural disasters in Australian history, and which expires at the end of this month. By comparison, how many levies did the Howard government introduce? I can think of four off the top of my head – the sugar levy, the milk levy, the Ansett levy and the gun buyback levy.

    3. The private insurance rebate is still 30% – the only change is that it’s now means-tested, with generous limits.

    4. [CITATION NEEDED].

  • 42
    Hamis Hill
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, it seems the JamesK outbreak was caused by a recognition that supporters of George Brandis are idiots when they speak outside their areas of expertise.
    JamesK as a specialist in idiocy is clearly not speaking outside his speciality and takes an
    idiotically lengthy time to prove it.
    And Abbott is an idiot as well as being an economic illiterate and a DLP stooge and “evil”.
    Showing that not all Liberals, Malcolm and Peter in the above case, are idiots.
    And yes Brandis is an idiot, supported by idiots. It is all quite idiotic isn’t it?
    Will someone please save the Liberal party?

  • 43
    Hamis Hill
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    No, seriously, will someone please save the Liberal party!

    The Stooges appear to have blocked up all in the real Liberals in some sort of medieval
    oubliette.
    But some of us have not forgotten them, how about forming a new political party called
    New Liberals with all the self-declared idiots easily blocked from membership.
    Or the stooges could form their own political party instead of stealing it from others.
    Just defect to the DLP, better than being a stooge, more honest but no votes in it eh?

  • 44
    Steve777
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    @Hamis – we used to have such a party. It was called the Australian Democrats. It was founded in the late 1970′s by a genuine liberal who believed there was a role for a real liberal party in Australia. I thought the Democrats were needed more than ever as Howard dragged the ‘Liberals’ to the right and was surprised that instead of growing they shrivelled after the turn of the century. I don’t know how real liberals (e.g. Turnbull) can bear the current leadership of their party. The attraction of power must be so great that they just hold their nose and think of the attractions of high office to come.

  • 45
    JamesK
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    And once again Michael doesn’t answer the (two simple) questions asked…………

    Name a staff conservative columnist at the ‘Right wing AGE’ ( presumably The Telegraph on the Yarra)!!!!!!!!

    Name a conservative presenter at an ABC news, current affairs or political anaysis show.

    You’re a drone Michael.

    A drone is generally understood to be incapable of independent thought.

    You have a truly pathetic delusional belief that the The Phage and ‘their’ ABC are Right wing.

  • 46
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    For JamesK any criticism of the right proves bias to the left. So, for him, Bernard’s article here is biased to the left.

    For those who think that people such as Andrew Bold provide balanced coverage, pretty much all media in Australia would appear biased to the left.

    But how often do you hear the view that to balance the budget, and to provide better government services, big Australian corporations should be taxed more?

    It would be interesting to quantify, but I’m sure that both the ABC and The Age are presenting the view that corporate taxes should be reduced or are at an appropriate level ten, twenty or perhaps more times than the view of an increase in tax for big business.

    The view that taxes should be raised is a real progressive idea (which is very different from the media’s meme that Labor represent the left side of politics – as proven by the fact that Labor are proud that taxation as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it has been for 20 years).

    But the media’s failure to present balanced coverage is not just a failure to give fair coverage to a progressive viewpoint. As Possum’s post on What Australians Believe shows, 67% of people support increased taxes for big corporations.

    So the media bias (of even the ABC and The Age) is guilty of not only of failing to report the views of the progressive side of politics, but failing to adequately present the views of the majority of the population.

  • 47
    JamesK
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    An answer for everything but a genuine response to nothing.

    You’ve repeatedly demonstrated yourself to be incapable of debate Michael you rather sad little leftist drone

  • 48
    Adam Rope
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    JamesK, at the risk of feeding the troll, do you have any idea how childish and pathetic your comments appear to others?

    Insult, after childish insult, after childish insult, directed at anyone who even mildly displays a viewpoint different to your own.

    It appears that you have never managed to leave the sandpit behind, and thus have to resort to simplistic name-calling (“You smell, because you’re a lefty. Ha!”) in order to cover up your apparent lack of cohesive argument.

    And no, that’s not an insult, it’s a layman’s analysis of your writings and your capabilities.

    Have you ever thought of responding to the points raised in the original article itself?

  • 49
    JamesK
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    @Adam Rope: I did and you are a moron.

    Would you like to assert – like the asinine Michael above – that The Phage and ‘their’ ABC are right wing media as well?

  • 50
    monkeywrench
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    JamesK to a T…

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