Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Five weeks of crap coming up

New federal election date. It's now September 7, a week earlier than the last PM said it would be.

Naturally, the hysteria, the lies, the stupidity, the cliches are even worse than the phoney war of the past few months.

According to the man who is probably going to be our next Treasurer, low interest rates mean opposite things depending on the colour of the government.

Under a Coalition government it's a sign that they're managing the economy well. Under a Labor government it means they're managing the economy badly.

Today the RBA reduced the official interest rate to its lowest in half a century. So we were reminded of John Howard's claim that interests rates would always be lower under a Coalition government than a Labor government.

He was even wheeled out to tell us he was right, naturally...interest rates are low now because this government can't manage the economy, while his government had low interest rates in a booming economy. He didn't mention, never does, that the 'booming' economy he presided over reflected what was happening around the world - an unsustainable spending binge funded by easy credit that inevitably came crashing down.

It wasn't a boom, it was a fake boom. It was a mirror image of people giving the appearance of doing well but in reality living on their credit cards. When they max out, they hit the wall. So it was with our economies.

Our probable next Prime Minister tells us he will not form a minority government, he will never do deals with minor parties to become PM.

Yet that's exactly what his 'party' is, a deal between his Liberal party and a minor party, the old Country Party rebranded with the misnomer of National Party.

It's also what he tried so hard to do after the last dead heat election, when he negotiated just as hard as Labor to bribe the independents and minor parties to back him rather than them.

Inevitably, Rupert Murdoch has ordered his news empire here to work for a Coalition victory - Kick This Mob Out' screamed the Sydney Daily Telegraph headline the day after the election was announced.

He's going ever more to the right as he gets older but, as always, it also has a lot to do with his, Murdoch's, business interests, but the readers of his papers won't realise that. Roy Greenslade in the UK's The Guardian has a good, short, piece on it, here.

Stupidly, the two major parties are competing with each other to see who can give us the lowest taxes. Meanwhile the things our taxes pay for are collapsing for a lack of funds. People are up in arms at poor education, poor healthcare, poor policing, lack of childcare facilities.

I'm really not looking forward to the next five weeks. There'll be very little presentation of policies, no vision for the future, just slagging off the other side.

It's obviously going to be closer result than it would have been had Julia Gillard still been leading Labor and as always it will come down to a handful of marginal seats deciding the outcome.

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