Wednesday, February 18, 2015

You scratch my back...

Two more stories today that add to the evidence that politicians and big business look after each other at our expense.

The greyhound live baiting abomination is one because it's given extra, and much needed, publicity to  the bill West Australian Liberal Senator Chris Back introduced into Federal Parliament a few days ago.

It's designed to protect business by making it illegal to do what the animal welfare groups and Four Corners did with the greyhound business - expose what's going on. 

As Siobhan O’Sullivan said in the Sydney Morning Herald, the new law would: "..make it illegal to distribute or broadcast images that have not been surrendered to the police; and create a crime of seeking employment with the aim of exposing animal suffering."    The animal welfare groups used: "...undercover investigators to infiltrate the industry and a range of other critically important investigative techniques; all of which would become heavily penalised under the Coalition's proposed legislation." 

Shoot the whistle blower to protect their mates in big business.

The other is the ongoing saga of the backroom deals being done in relation to the Newcastle revitalisation plan. This includes digging up the rail tracks and replacing parts of it with a tram system.

Confidential Cabinet documents were found in the office of  disgraced former local Liberal MP Tim Owen. (He had to resign from parliament after lying about taking $10,000 cash before the 2011 election from developer and then Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy).

The papers reveal that the NSW government rejected advice from Transport for NSW and went for the option preferred by developers. This could cost up to $100 million extra, be less effective but gives more opportunities to property developers.

From Sydney to the Hunter the MPs had to all stand aside after revelations of what they'd been up to.

It's all about what's best for them and their bank accounts.

You can read the full stories here.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Asleep at the wheel

Yet again another example of organisations not carrying out their basic responsibilities.

ABC's Four Corners programme, using film taken by animal welfare campaigners, has exposed the use of live baiting in greyhound training. Animals such as piglets, rabbits, possums were shown being used as live bait.

The usual excuses were parroted by the state greyhound racing bodies. You know the form - a handful of rogue trainers, a few bad apples, not systemic blah blah blah.

They have either turned a blind eye or they simply haven't been administering their industry.

And the police, the RSPCA, government agencies?

They obviously haven't been doing their job either.

There's already a state parliamentary enquiry going on into the industry. After the Four Corners programme the NSW Premier said "We will get to the bottom of this and we will ensure there is absolutely zero tolerance."

The enquiry needs to look not only at the perpetrators but also at who should have been monitoring what was going on, why they didn't and what penalties should be imposed on them.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A good captain's pick for once

Good to see that Philip Ruddock has been sacked as Chief Whip, so hopefully he's on his way out completely.

So many politicians are on my dislike list but Ruddock tops them all by a long way. A truly awful man.

But his removal is yet another example of Abbott not meaning a word he says. All the bullshit about consulting, listening, no more captain's picks is again shown for what it is. The man is incapable of changing.

Dress codes

I'm pleased to see that Qantas are going to enforce the dress code for their lounges at airports.

Far too many people - men in particular - don't dress appropriately these days. Singlets and football shorts is underwear in my opinion and its not appropriate in a restaurant or on a plane. Unfortunately, an increasing number of men think it is.

On many flights men are wearing only that, then have to wrap themselves in blankets because they get cold.

A few evenings ago we went to dinner in a local restaurant where a family included the father and three young boys wearing nothing but football shorts. The mother was appropriately dressed in a dress. They obviously have no idea of what's appropriate, the fault lies with the restaurant allowing them in

The Sydney Morning Herald story about the Qantas move has an online poll asking "Do you agree with Qantas getting tough on dress standards? Sadly, although it doesn't surprise me, currently 34% of nearly 10,000 respondents say 'no'.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A bad seventeen months

After his humiliation at the leadership spill, with over half his backbenchers voting to get rid of him, a momentarily abashed Abbott made a surprising admission.

"I have changed and the government will change with me. Good government starts today."

That's a clear admission of what the country knows only too well - that under his direction we've had half an electoral term of bad government.

An honest man, a man of integrity, would resign.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Costa Concordia Coalition

As many commentators are pointing out, Dear Leader hardly got a resounding victory.

The majority of backbenchers voted for a leadership spill, only the tradition of the ministry showing solidarity with the leader got him over the line.

He dusted off the old much-used  'I'll change, I'll listen, I won't be arrogant" script, naturally, but as he's proved time and time again, you can't trust a word the man says.

The latest polls as predicted show that 75% of us think he's doing a bad job. I'm amazed that 24% give him their approval.

He's dragging his party further and further away from winning the next election, the anonymous Beige Bill wotsisname just has to do nothing and Labor will walk it.

And still the Libs either don't get it or are simply blindly following the party script

Julie Bishop on radio this morning was still saying the problem is that they haven't been explaining their policies properly. That the policies are patently unfair and have been rejected by the electorate because of it doesn't occur to them.

Dear Leader himself announced that "good government starts today". An acknowledgement that the last seventeen months has been bad government under his direction.

With that acknowledgement but determination to stay he's demonstrating his total lack of integrity.

It's not the captain going down with his ship, it's the Costa Concordia syndrome, the captain sinking his own ship.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Do we really deserve this?

Bloody politicians just don't get it do they.

Self-serving, interested in only themselves, they lie and cheat to get into power, then treat us with contempt by trying to force through policies they said they'd never introduce. And are surprised when we get our own back by voting them out.

Having dinner with friends last evening and they all said they simply wouldn't vote for anybody in the upcoming elections.

I'm sure that's why we have compulsory voting; apart from the fanatics on both sides of politics the vast majority of us wouldn't bother.

There's such disgust in the community that it's rare now for a government to actually be voted in.

What's happening is that people are voting the current lot out, rather than giving a positive vote to the Opposition.  It's the old cliche about democracy - the advantage of it being that you can get rid of governments you don't like.

We're getting it as the standard now. Governments are being thrown out after just one term, something that was rare in the past.

We just saw that in Victoria, with the one-term Coalition thrown out. In Queensland it was even more marked - the Labor government was so unpopular that they were all but destroyed in the last election. They had 51 of the 89 seats but after the election they were left with  just 7.

But it was an anti-government vote rather than the Coalition being voted in. Once again voters realised they didn't like the government they had, so at the election just held they in turn were thrown out, Labor picking up half the available seats.

Federally it's the same. The Coalition wasn't voted in, the shambles that was Labor was voted out. Now the polls say that Abbott, always hugely unpopular with the electorate, would be voted out in a landslide if an election was held now.

A huge percentage of people said he was doing a bad job but what amazed me about the poll was that 29%  said they thought he was doing a good job.

We've just had the idiot Treasurer Smokin' Joe grinning like a fool at the rate reduction, telling us it was the sign of a strong economy - when a rate reduction under Labor was, he told us at the time, the sign of an economy in crisis.

He claimed that business would now go on an investment and hiring spree, ignoring the fact that the reason business is not doing that is lack of any confidence in the government.

The leadership thing is coming to a head, with it just announced there will be a vote on it in the Lib Party Room on Tuesday. Abbott is deperately claiming the people voted him in and only the people can vote him out.

Two problems with that - one, we did not vote him in. He was given the leadership by his own party, by just one vote, not by us. He was always unpopular and the people preferred Malcolm Turnbull as leader but we had no say in it.

Two, we can't vote him out because in spite of all his aggressive bluster that he would, he won't call an early election. The polls are showing quite clearly that we would vote his government out if he gave us the opportunity.