Monday, February 02, 2015


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG has a suitably gruesome toon on the Queensland election result

Comment on the Qld election from a Toowoomba correspondent

The major theme of the Qld ALP election campaign was not to sell off government assets. But here's some background from a Leftist site in 2009

"On May 21, Ipswich MP and transport minister Rachel Nolan told state parliament that QR was “not for sale”. Twelve days later, on June 2, Bligh announced the sell-off, which she hopes will raise $15 billion to balance the state’s budget. The government will also scrap the eight-cents-a-litre fuel subsidy to save $2.4 billion over four years. The Bligh government is pushing full steam ahead with privatisation with barely a hint of party room dissent. Only two MPs in the 51-strong Labor caucus, Evan Morehead and Jo-Anne Miller, opposed the plans.

Union opposition was so weak that the former Liberal-National Party leader, Lawrence Springborg, who had floated ideas of privatising QR during the election campaign, could make a show of criticising them from the left.

None of the leaders of the railway unions will countenance proposals for industrial action to oppose the sell-off.

Many government assets have been sold since Labor won office in Queensland, with little or no opposition: the SGIO, now Suncorp (1998); the Totalisator Agency Board (1999); the Dalrymple Bay coal loader (2001); the retail arms of the Energex and Ergon electricity companies (2006); the Golden Casket state lottery agency (2007); Cairns, Mackay and Brisbane airports (2008)."

My reaction is utter disgust at the ill informed  Qld voters who have believed the Labor liars and will now have a Premier who didn’t know what the GST percentage was.   She is in the same vacuous mould as the other feminasty frightbat Labor politicians.  Most older voters know that the Socialists have been working on dumbing down the Australian population for over 30 years and they are now getting results.  A dumb, lazy population who cannot see the wood for the trees.  I don’t know why the Coalition politicians don’t call the left wing traitors out for being Communists and why they did not list all of the assets the Bligh & Beattie Governments sold off to pay off their wasteful debts.

However, the Coalition parties need to be able to reach down to these voters because they now have the power to topple Coalition Governments who are working hard to fix up the financial morass those same dumbass Labor Govts have left them. 

The only consolation is that now Qld Labor will have to work out how to pay off the massive $80 billion debt they left behind.  And the dumb voters could not even remember why they kicked them out last time. The media largely ignored these sales.  So the voters even re elected Labor has-beens who contributed to the mess. 

I despair for Australia now.  I am getting ready to compose a vitriolic letter to that old Queen Alan Jones who sold out his conservative audience.   I am going to distribute his e-mail address for others to do the same.

At one stage at our booth in Toowoomba  we had 9 Unionists in their green T shirts standing at the gate handing out those Don’t sell our assets cards.  In fact they took over almost the whole fence with a huge banner saying the same. 

As for the whole left wing media, print and TV -- plus Clive Palmer and Alan Jones -- they are despicable, selling out Australia by aligning with Labor.   The LNP have retained almost all of the seats in South West Qld although there may be a recount in Toowoomba North where we think we will win when postal votes are counted.

I am over TV news – I cannot stand to see the same old Labor traitor faces gloating in conjunction with their commie mates in the media.  As for Tony Abbott I think he is like Mr. Magoo.  I hope his colleagues misplaced loyalty does not translate into the same disaster federally.

If Federal Labor pull the same collusion with all of the other minor parties and win Federally then we can expect the hordes of Islamic boat people to return in their thousands as Labor and the Greens work to completely wreck Australian society as we know it.

How can one party hope to win with every other party plus the left wing TV, ABC, SBS, Ch 7, 9, 10, the print media (the majority of all newspaper) and radio media (ABC and SBS and now Alan Jones and Clive Palmer) conspiring to bring down elected Governments from the day they are elected?  God help my country.

Queensland election: State wakes to new political landscape

A new political landscape will greet Queensland, with Labor set to take back power after just three years.  Three seats, Mansfield, Maryborough and Whitsunday remained undecided on Saturday night, but Labor was expected to pick up enough to form a majority government.

Even if Labor falls short, it is likely to have support of both Katter Australia Party and independent Peter Wellington in a hung parliament.

It was a result no George Street player had predicted, with even Labor insiders conceding a win was almost impossible at the outset of the campaign.

LNP members quickly dubbed Annastacia Palaszczuk the "accidental Premier", noting that not even federal leader Bill Shorten had expected the Inala MP to pull off what has become a political comeback for the history books.

While the LNP looks back at what went wrong, with many pointing to federal issues, potentially signalling the end of Tony Abbott's prime ministership, Labor, which campaigned on a "no asset sales" and "united Queensland" platform, which was light on policy detail, was looking forward.

"One thing is for sure, we won't be moving into the Executive Building within hours of the result," one source said.

"You may have noticed that she [Ms Palaszczuk] said grace, dignity and humility a bit during the campaign.  I think she is on notice that we will have to follow that.  We've seen what happens."

Given the shock result, cabinet positions are still unsure, with Ms Palaszczuk now bound by her promise to reduce the ministry from 19 to 14 spots.

LNP government decisions will now come under review, potentially placing some projects, like Queen's Wharf, in doubt, but Labor insiders were keen to push that no decisions had been made yet.

State sanctioned ceremonies for same-sex couples are expected to be reinstated, while acting head of the Crime and Corruption Commission, Ken Levy, has been put on notice.

Beyond that, Labor will have to walk a tightrope, between their promise to be economically responsible and maintain the LNP's fiscal spending, and improve frontline services, without off-loading the state's assets.

Having run a campaign on "modest"  campaign promises, many are now wondering how Labor will pull it off, without increasing the state's debt.

They have committed to consolidating the state's power assets with no forced redundancies, something which was investigated under the Bligh Government, but ultimately discarded.

"It's going to be tough and we will be feeling our way forward," one Labor staffer, who didn't want to be named said.

"But I think we all know we have to just keep talking to people. A lot of mistakes were made during the last government that we can learn from."

Ms Palaszczuk, speaking to "true believers" in Richlands, part of a move to take Labor back to its roots, said she wanted to "put the past three years behind us".

"Who would have thought three years ago, we would have been making history tonight," she said.


How Victoria's ALP leader made a road rod for his own back

Stuck with undeliverable policies due to dishonest claims and  promises

If there is one lesson to heed from Tony Abbott's ongoing woes, it is that voters have little tolerance for leaders who say one thing and do the opposite.

Daniel Andrews knows this well. In the lead-up to the Victorian election - as Abbott's unpopularity began to rub off on Denis Napthine's campaign - Andrews would occasionally reflect on the public's intolerance for politicians and broken promises.

If elected, the Labor leader declared, an Andrews government would be different. It would "deliver on each and every one of the commitments we've made". It "would not waste even a single day" in office. And it certainly wouldn't follow the path of the embattled Prime Minister, whose latest missteps appear to have trapped him in a downward spiral of his own making.

"I think Tony Abbott is living through the consequences of breaking your promises and I will never provide that sort of leadership, because it's no leadership at all," Andrews told an audience of 100 undecided voters at a debate in Frankston, days out from November's poll. "That's my commitment, that's my bond and that's your choice."

Two months later, Victoria's new premier and cabinet have made a solid start. But by setting such a high benchmark - presenting as a leader of conviction, whose government could deliver on just about everything - Andrews has created a first-term straitjacket with little room to move. The Coalition, now led by a fired-up Matthew Guy, will no doubt exploit this at every opportunity.

Take Labor's transport policies. When Treasurer Tim Pallas admitted the Metro Rail Link would be difficult to deliver in the current economic environment, the opposition accused the government of backing away from one of its signature election policies.

When figures this week suggested an $180 million discrepancy in the costings of Labor's West Gate Distributor, the opposition claimed Andrews had blown out the price tag and lied about the truck project being "shovel ready".

And when Andrews declared on radio that the federal funding for the East West Link ought to be redirected or "we can't remove 50 dangerous congested level crossings, we can't improve public transport and we can't improve a suite of local roads", the opposition said this proved Victorians were misled about Labor's policies being "fully funded and fully costed".

The problem for Andrews is that not only did he talk a big game during the campaign but, by slaying a one-term government, he also showed what is possible when small-target oppositions relentlessly apply the blowtorch of scrutiny against their adversaries.

Now in office, Labor is starting to feel the heat, with its biggest transport promise - abandoning the East West Link - likely to prove the most challenging.

Andrews can't renege on his word and build the road, because doing so would be political suicide, particularly in the inner city where the Greens have already captured two lower-house seats, Melbourne and Prahran.

He also can't afford to spend too much money paying out the consortium, as this would leave the government exposed to ongoing claims it misled voters by insisting "there will be no compensation paid" beyond the initial costs of tendering and preparing the project.

And he can't even take the extraordinary option of legislating to void the contract without the support of the Greens and micro parties in Parliament's new upper house, where Labor has only 14 out 40 seats.

In other words, the government is in a genuine pickle over a contract it repeatedly claimed "isn't the worth the paper it's written on". Its main option is to negotiate a way out of the deal with minimal pain to taxpayers - but even then, the consortium might want more than the public deems palatable for a non-existent road. How much is too much?

Based on a complex formula written into the contract under the former government, compensation could reportedly be up to $1.1 billion - more than half the $2 billion the state would have spent building the first stage of tunnel. And even if the final settlement turns out to be somewhat less (Arnold Bloch Leibler lawyer Leon Zwier and banker John Wylie have been hired by the government to negotiate a deal) it's still likely to be viewed as an outrageous waste of public funds for a project that won't be built.

Abbott wasn't far off the mark when he described the situation as "insane" but both sides of politics ought to share responsibility for the mess we're in. Labor backflipped on the East West countless times before finally opting to abandon contracts in an attempt to wedge the Coalition before the election. The Napthine Government, buoyed by Canberra's support, charged ahead with little regard for the public's right to know whether the road stacked up. As the business case has since revealed, it struggled to stack up at all.

The former government could reasonably argue it had a right to proceed - after all, the 2013 state budget revealed contracts would be signed by October last year, so the timing was hardly a surprise. But what doesn't wash is the secrecy surrounding the project, the way in which voters were duped by spin, and the appalling "side letter" guaranteeing a hefty payout to the consortium if the contract was cancelled. Given that opinion polls suggested for months that the Coalition was likely to lose the election, you can't help but question the motivation of those who sealed the deal.

But that's partly the point. Melbourne's population is soaring, yet the city's transport needs continue to be thwarted by political bickering, reckless decisions, and under-investment. Labor may have won the election, but broader infrastructure challenges remain, and Andrews will be expected to confront them. After all, he promised a lot - and we all know what can happen to first-term governments that over-promise and under-deliver.


A leaflet

The following leaflet was put into letterboxes in Prahran, Melbourne.  Very educational, I think:  How to win enemies and fail to influence people.


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