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 Eddie Obeid involved in $ millions of crooked 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.

1 comment:

Abu el Banat said...

Welcome back Seabee. I hope the holiday lived up to expectations.

The political comedy show has continued unabated in your absence.

Looking forward to your measured and incisive reflections in the coming weeks and months