Friday, August 29, 2014

Another lie exposed

"Carbon Tax is gone! Repeal will save average family $550 a year, Abbott says"

The claim that Abbott's been making since before the election is the main headline at   The Australian Conservative.

Not only a claim, but something that obviously influenced some, uninformed, people to vote for him.

The reality of course is nothing like the claim, as confirmed by the letter I received today from my energy supplier.

I quote: "...this equates to estimated savings for an average New South Wales customer of $158 for electricity and $35 for gas over this 12 month period."

 That's way less than half the amount he untruthfully said we'd save. But don't hold your breath for him to explain himself.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pell true to form again

The appalling Cardinal George Pell proves yet again how unsuitable he is, and all his like-minded colleagues are, for high position in the church.

At the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sex Abuse, appearing via videolink from the Vatican, his comments were true to form.

His church has no responsibility for its employees' (priests) actions he said.

To support that the said: “If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible.”

Not surprisingly, after an inevitable pause as people gaped open-mouthed and had to do a double take to make sure they'd heard correctly, there is outrage.

 Dr Cathy Kezelman from Adults Surviving Child Abuse said the "outrageous" and "appalling" analogy could do a lot of damage.

Nicky Davis from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said: "He shows that he really has absolutely no conception of what is appropriate or inappropriate behaviour and what are appropriate or inappropriate things to say to survivors. It was a highly offensive comparison and showed that, at the end of the day, all he was concerned with was protecting himself and making excuses for behaviour that is inexcusable."

The Australian Trucking Association said Cardinal Pell had insulted every truck driver in Australia.
"There are more than 170,000 professional truck drivers in Australia," the chair of the association, Noelene Watson, said in a statement. "They have families and children. Cardinal Pell's analogy is a deep insult to every one of them."

 It's water off a duck's back of course. He and the heirarchy simply don't get it, don't care and just want what they've always tried to do - sweep it under the carpet.

Further to that, his employers at the Vatican have refused the Royal Commission's request that they hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes.
THE Vatican said the commission's request for documents on each allegation involving an Australian cleric was "neither possible nor appropriate".

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spinning like a top

Premier Mike Baird has popped has head above the parapet, obviously after panicky damage-control meetings of the Lib's heavyweights.

But what a cock-up.

They've decided not to put up candidates for the two by-elections caused in the Hunter by corrupt sitting members having to resign.

The excuse is that it's an act of atonement for letting down the electors.

In reality, of course, it's to avoid the humiliation of a complete rout on polling day, which is too close to the next state election for their comfort.

What it actually tells us is that they can't find honest candidates or trust their faceless men not to repeat the corrupt practices.

And it's hardly democratic, denying rusted-on Liberal voters the opportunity to vote for their preferred party. With our compulsory voting, who are they going to vote for?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back in wintry Oz

Three great weeks in Vienna, twenty-six hours traveling and back to the cold wet weather.

And back to a continuation of the crooked, incompetent, out-of-touch politics we've become used to enduring.

ICAC hearings so far have meant eight NSW government (Coalition) members have had to go, the weak Premier has his head down and won't take a lead, the crooked Lord Mayor of Newcastle is still in his office, there's a plot to try to get rid of popularly elected Sydney Mayor Clover Moore, led by the appalling shock-jock Alan Jones and his mates at the Shooters & Fishers Party, in cohoots with the government.

The plan is to give businesses in Sydney two votes each in elections, the expectation being that their votes will go to the Lib's side and therefore against Clover Moore.

Federally, Joe Hockey confirms time and time again that he's far from being the person we need as Treasurer - only he and his far-right extremist mates think his budget was in any way fair, his latest confirmation that he's out of touch with the real world coming with his defence of the fairness of his proposed petrol tax rise: "The poorest people either don't have cars or actually don't drive very far in many cases." 

He again demonstrated the government's bully-boy attitude when he threatened  'emergency action' saying he would and hand down a Queensland-style austerity budget if his plans such as the $7 GP 'co-payment', fuel tax rise and higher education changes were not passed by the Senate.

The media, or at least the non-Murdoch section of it, is endlessly exposing the fraud we're being exposed to by the so-called financial planning industry. Financial advisers need less training than a hairdresser before they can start working - an eight day course which is being routinely abused. Two of the biggest players, Commonwealth bank and Macquarie Bank are having to contact thousands of their customers who may well have had their life savings decimated by bad advise - given for no other reason than to enrich the advisers. At the same time the government is pressing ahead with its watering down of the laws previously set up to give savers some protection.

The ICAC hearings are mainly about politicians taking bribes from developers - it's unlawful for developers to donate to party funds - and of course all deny that the money is in any way connected to giving the developers any advantage.

The same story is emerging nationally, with the Libs having set up circuitous methods of receiving unlawful donations and funneling them on to their candidates.

The same of course was true of the previous state Labor governments, with ministers like Ian  Macdonald and power-brokers such as Edie Obeid involved in $ millions of cooked deals.

Half a century ago president Eisenhower talked about America's military-industrial complex. Our version is a political-business complex. Politicians working with big business to their mutual advantage and to hell with the rest of us.

A pox on all their houses.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Vienna here we come

We're off to our favourite city , Vienna, tomorrow.

The weather looks good, low thirties celcius daytime and low twenties overnight, which'll be a pleasant change from the cold, windy, wintry stuff we're getting here now.

Here's what we're looking forward to:

Tentative plan is to do some day trips, which we'll book when we're there. Places like Bratislava, Budapest, Salzburg are possibles, plus maybe the Vienna Woods and Danube Valley.

But the majority of the time we'll stay in Vienna, getting to know it better, exploring for new places, trying out new restaurants and cafes. Mostly on foot, so hopefully we'll walk off any over-eating.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bypassing democracy

They just get worse and worse.

Minister for Secrets, the appalling Scott Morrison, refuses to answer legitimate questions in parliament about the asylum seekers reportedly held captive for over two weeks on a customs ship.

Bully boy Treasurer Hockey says if he doesn't get his way with his budget he'll simply by-pass parliament and make cuts anyway.

Two fingers to parliament, democracy and us.

Remember the hairy-chested threat by Abbott to give us a double dissolution if the Senate didn't roll over and do exactly what he wanted? It's what we need, but he knows so well that he'll be thrown out of office by a huge majority if he does that he won't carry out his threat.

Instead he'll continue to do what he vowed never to do - negotiate with minor parties and independents.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Qantas fiasco

The Qantas situation is getting more and more ridiculous.

We have endless whingeing about 'unfair' competition from government owned foreign airlines, appeals from Qantas for government support, a government plan to open the airline up to foreign ownership rejected by the Senate.

They rabbit on about it being Australia's airline, the national carrier, a big employer of Aussies, headquartered in Oz.

Well, it was when it was state-owned. But they decided to privatise it, which changes all of that.

The choice is simple. Either re-nationalise it, so that it is once again truly the national carrier, or remove all the ridiculous obstacles to it being truly privatised, and stop calling it the national carrier.

What we have now is an unworkable mish-mash of the two - a company which is presented as a national asset but which in reality is a private company, but with restrictions on who can buy shares.