May 152012

A Red Letter Day for Radio National Breakfast!  Opposition Leader Tony Abbott finally deigns to make a verbal appearance on a morning radio program he has studiously shunned since becoming Leader. Why, I ask myself, would he finally make this momentous move? Well the answer is patently clear. This week Fran Kelly, the usual presenter and assertive interviewer, isn’t there. She’s having a short break. Abbott’s media advisor, Peta Credlin, obviously doesn’t want her boy being layed open by a particularly artful interlocutor. The stand-in presenter, Phillip Clark, I thought did a good job of handling the negative monotony Abbott has made into an artform. He drew out two important facts. That Abbott has nothing as policy to offer the Australian people even though Clark offered him numerous opportunities to elucidate alternatives to government budgetary measures like the so-called “school kids bonus”; and negativity, fear, loathing and lies are clearly Abbotts only tools of trade. For example, the ‘Carbon Tax is only going to go up and up and up’ which is most definitely NOT the case. What comes into play July 1 is a market pricing mechanism, not a tax. A tax is defined as “a sum of money demanded by a government for its supportor for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.” Wikipedia defines tax as “To tax (from the Latin taxo; “I estimate”) is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a state or the functional equivalent of a state”. I’m a taxpayer, but I’m not subject to this market pricing mechanism, therefore it cannot in any sense of the term be declared a ‘tax’. Further, as a pricing mechanism and as legislated, the price is fixed for the next three years, so by it’s very definition in law, it cannot go “up and up and up”. The latter declaration by Abbott is clearly a lie.

To further the celebration of Radio National’s Red Letter Day, whilst I hardly regard Wayne Swan as the most rivetting of speakers from the government stable on policy matters, it was very refreshing to finally hear the Treasurer spout the line, “we saved this country from recession”. However one decides to argue the validity of that claim, it’s been a hell of a long time coming and needs to be reinforced a lot more. The actions of the Rudd government, in concert with Treasury advice, narrowly avoided a technical recession. If you need to understand what I mean by ‘technical’ then you clearly weren’t paying any attention at the time & don’t deserve any further entertainment from me. These faux arguments about waste of money, ‘pink batts’ and school halls have been proven to be baseless by the audit processes which followed them. The bottom line being that Australia survived the GFC. So did Germany, China, Brazil and India to name a few more, but of all the OECD nation states, Australia survived streets in front of anyone else. That is a feat worthy of feteing. It is a feat the current alternative government, based on their own proposals of the time, could never have matched.

So don’t be flim-flammed by the dummy-spitting of Abbott. He has no basis in fact for ANY of his postulations, about ANY subject. He clearly has no policy agenda, else we’d be seeing it touted as a viable alternative to that of the government. All we ever see, read or hear from Abbott is endless moaning in the ‘we-wuz-robbed’ vein, supported by scare tactics which are baseless and aimed directly at the gullible, politically ignorant sector of Australia’s voter cohort, which coincidentially also happens to be socially conservative in philosophical outlook. I’m not going to claim that all social conservatives are vacant brain-cases ready for the insertion of a suitably programmed organ, but those I see, hear & read who willingly accept without question the lies & rhetoric poured over them from an inept coalition certainly give that impression. Kudos, Auntie, for finally managing to get the clown into the ring for a telling performance. It’s only a pity Fran couldn’t be there to do the slicing & serving.

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