THE DAY MY WALLET BLEW MY BUM OFF
by Ross Sharp
I am finding it difficult, if not next to nigh on impossible, to write anything intelligent or intelligible about the current Australian government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
There appears to be, all across the World Wide Web, article after article, analysis after analysis, comment upon comment, all attempting to grapple with the reality of a government that appears incapable of grappling with the reality of being a government, and is, instead, behaving more like a high school debating team who will only agree to enter into the debate on condition the other team doesn’t turn up. There is no sense to be found in any of this. That way madness lies.
Their policies seem less like policies and more like coded slogans scratched into toilet doors, adorned with “Breakfast of Champions” style graphics of wide-open beavers and jism-spurting cocks.
They are not policies but rather statements of an intent to think about what a policy might be if only they could figure out what the word meant.
I cannot be expected to take these people seriously.
Their every statement, their every pronouncement on a thing is in direct contradiction to every previous statement. There is no through-line whatsoever to the thought-processes involved because there are no actual thoughts being had …
“A certain level of government spending is necessary and good.” Tony Abbott, World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2014.
There’s a deep intellect hard at work on our behalf. Aren’t we lucky?
Down the Rabbit Hole, Through the Looking Glass, and up the Yellow Brick Road we go (we are all Scarecrows now) to AnecdoteLand, where facts, evidence, expertise, experience, professionalism, pragmatism, and peer-reviewed research matter little, if at all, to our new Grand Wizard and his Band of Merry Munchkins in this Brave New World of Magical Thinking where Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” sits next to Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” on the science shelves in the school library …
From The Independent …
“So contemptuous is he of the science behind climate change – of any science, for that matter – that he has not even bothered appointing a science minister.”
These are not intelligent people. These are not smart people. These are people who “believe” and “feel” and offer “thoughts” on things they know nothing of, and then go about making decisions based on these and these alone …
Guy Rundle from New Matilda …
“Two obvious points come out of the recent months. The first is that the Abbott government has no real game plan, apart from killing the carbon tax, and stopping the boats, and then a footling series of culture war maneouvres. The real stuff — going up against the union movement, etc is going to be hard, and they’re not in shape for that yet. Truth is, they can’t even manage a culture war, tripping over themselves as different and contradictory initiatives fly every which way.”
There is also a tendency – a compulsive tendency – for our Grand Wizard and his Munchkins to just make shit up about things, lie through their teeth when called on it, and talk complete nonsense …
From The Guardian …
[Joe] Hockey said he was told by Toyota Australia’s president, Max Yasuda, in December the company could continue if workers agreed to a new set of conditions.
“The fact is they were very concerned about the conditions that existed at Toyota in Australia,” he told Fairfax radio on Wednesday, adding that this included union “militancy”.
But the company had a different version of events. “Toyota Australia has never blamed the union for its decision to close its manufacturing operations by the end of 2017, neither publicly or in private discussions with any stakeholders,” it said …
… The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said the Toyota statement was a “blow to the government’s credibility”.
“It’s unfortunate that companies should have to continue to correct the government’s slander,” the union said. “The government has to stop blaming workers for their policy failures.”
The workers are the enemy. Die arbeiter have always been the enemy.
Here is Munchkin Abetz talking nonsense about a “30 year war” …
“Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz is warning of a wages breakout if unions and employers do not act responsibly in negotiating new agreements …
… “Employers and unions must be encouraged to take responsibility for the cost of their deals; not just the cost to the affected enterprises but the overall cost in relation to our economy efficiency and the creation of opportunities for others,” he said.
“If this is not done, then we risk seeing something akin to the wages explosion of the pre-accord era when unsustainable wage growth simply pushed thousands of Australians out of work.””
David Peetz, Professor of Employment Relations at Griffith University calls bullshit …
“[D]ata show that wage increases under enterprise agreements are falling. At 3.7%, the growth rate is the lowest in 13 years. It sits below the long-term average, since enterprise bargaining was introduced, of 4.0% from 1992 …
… In other circumstances, strange talk of a wage explosion might have been excused as a rush of blood to the head. But this was no off-the-cuff remark, it was the culmination of a carefully scripted speech. And indeed there is nothing new about unsubstantiated talk of wages explosions. In April 2007, former treasurer Peter Costello warned that amending the Workplace Relations Act would lead to a wage explosion. It didn’t. From 2008 News Limited ran stories and regularly editorialised on a forthcoming wages breakout that never materialised.
The reference in the speech to a wage explosion was no more impromptu than the 12 mentions of war littered throughout it. War seems to be a popular word at the moment. Most references in the speech were to the “30 years war” over industrial relations – a “war” it appears Minister Abetz does not yet see as being over.
People may speculate over who is the target of the war. But one possibility is that part of it is a war on facts.”
Never let a fact get in the way of a good war, especially if it’s one being waged by the righteous warriors of the Right. Just don’t mention Iraq.
Here is a fact, courtesy of The Australia Institute –
“The typical full-time employee in Australia works 70 minutes of unpaid overtime a day. This equates to 33 eight-hour days per year, or six and a half standard working weeks. Something for nothing – unpaid overtime in Australia examines the nature, extent and consequences of Australia’s heavy reliance on unpaid overtime. Across the workforce, the 2.14 billion hours of unpaid overtime worked per year is a $72 billion gift to employers, equivalent to 6 per cent of all economic activity in Australia.”
Work is not, as Joe Hockey and Eric Abetz appear to believe, a form of “national service”, a personal sacrifice we citizens make to secure in perpetuity the prosperity of the Ruling Classes.
It is what we do so that we may live.
“You know, I’ve been around the ruling class all my life, and I’ve been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country.” Gore Vidal – Interview with Paul Jay, The Real News, July 5, 2009.
This is a Government of Hatred, a Government of Contempt for those who dare to question, to challenge, who dare inquire, who dare to think.
It is a government in thrall to cults of “belief”.
We know they are inept, incapable, ignorant. We know they are stupid, shallow, dumb. We know all this.
Not one word of criticism, not one syllable, not a whisper will they hear.
“To a conservative, intuition is as important as reasoning, instinct as important as intellect. A way of life has far more demonstrative power to a conservative than a brilliant argument.” – Tony Abbott, “Battlelines”
“While conservatives may preach the dignity of work, their actual agenda is to deny lower-income workers as much dignity – and personal freedom – as possible” Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate in Economics.
They are beyond good. They are beyond evil. They are beyond ethics. They are beyond morality.
It is Kristallnacht in Australia.
For the worker, for the low-paid, for women, for the infirm, the ill, unions, teachers, public schools, public hospitals, Medicare, industry, science , public broadcasting, the arts, public servants, immigrants, refugees, environmentalists, the environment itself, the land, the water.
The end of dissent. The end of truth. The end of society.
Tony Abbott has now become a God.