Gillard, The Mining Tax and the Coming Election

This week Tony Abbott was reputed to have declared that victory was within his grasp and Julia Gillard grasped it. Tony’s comment was derided as a bit impolite – it being generally conceded that to talk up ones chances beyond the avoidance of failure is in some way untoward. Nevertheless, Tony’s comment was given an endorsement in Gillard’s promotion. The drastic Labor leadership change is an attempt to stymie the steady descent of the government’s prospects at the next election.

The seat shuffling was done in the hope that that odd fascination with novelty on the part of the electorate, that phenomenon that saw people vote out Howard because ‘it was time for another guy to have a go,’ will be assuaged with the introduction of Gillard. But if this remains the only change to occur, it will only succeed on the twin assumptions that if Tony and Julia were in a TV soap, Tony would be seen as the bad guy and that Tony and the Liberal party have no coherent belief in what justice is.

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The Love of Violence Behind Dole Bludger Bashing: A Obvious if Often Overloooked Fact

Dole bludgers are on the nose again but it is unclear for what reason. There have been reports that there are 40,000 young people in neither employment or some form of education there were also reports that Centrelink has slackened its discipline regime somewhat but in the context of growing prosperity the decrease in productivity these figures announce hardly seems disastrous. Nevertheless, Tony Abbott has proposed time limits on unemployment benefits and options for relocation to mining jobs for the under 30s in order to tackle the problem.

Perhaps his motivation lies in the political productivity of bashing the dole bludger or perhaps it is the fear that if these recalcitrants don’t start doing the work in the Pilbara and other remote centres of mineral wealth the admittance of browns, blacks and yellows might be required. And there is always the motivation voiced so well by the Australian newspaper in its editorial on the issue: greater productivity on the part of the population being a good in itself.

The second motivator, racism, seems to fit well with the election campaign being built by Tony Abbott. It fits nicely with policies to contain our migration intake, encourage Aussie mums to push out more little whiteys – Tony’s government funded paternity leave being nothing more than baby bonuses ranging up to $75,000 proportional to income – and policies to tighten border control. The efficiency aspect is a nice little accompanier; it looks good in the context of the government waste campaign he is running with the Australian. But the first motivator, a joy for violence, a joy at bashing the dole bludger, must not be discounted.

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Parental Leave: A Left Wing Turn for the Liberals?

According to media commentary last week our political spectrum has been thrown out of kilter. The liberals are advocating leftist policies of greater magnitude than the left itself.

The confusions arose when Tony Abbott announced he would be granting parental leave to Australians in a scheme to be funded by a great big new tax on great big businesses.

Only adding to my distress was Joe Hockey. It seems he has joined in this left wing turn by making arguments against repressive policing and leaving great big holes in traditional liberal philosophy for great big hash cookies to be driven through. It is all a bit confusing really.
Bob Brown, leader of the party that apparently is the new left, gave a ringing endorsement to Tony Abbott. “Go Tony,” he was reported to have said.

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