The diversion of aid: Carr’s false comparisons

19 Dec

The Gillard government yesterday declared its intention to rob overseas aid of $375 million in order to help pay  the living expenses of asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia by boat.

The money will allegedly go towards supporting the resettlement of asylum seekers who have been released into the community on bridging visas. These asylum seekers need financial support because the government will not allow them to work while their claims are being processed.

They have been condemned to a marginal existence, receiving some 85% of the already meagre Newstart allowance, for some five years, the time it is estimated it will take authorities to process their asylum claims.

It’s not known if the money will also be used to fund off-shore detention centres, particularly the construction of new facilities on Nauru and Manus Island.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr claims this is no big deal, and cites the United States, Canada, Sweden and France as countries that already use overseas aid money for domestic purposes. However, none of those countries have a policy of indefinite and mandatory detention for asylum seekers.

In Sweden it is preferred that asylum seekers work while awaiting a decision on refugee status. In the US the maximum period an asylum seeker must wait before being allowed to work is five months. In most rich countries including Canada, asylum seekers are permitted to work within a matter of months.

However the countries cited by Carr spend their overseas aid money domestically, it is not on supporting asylum seekers for years while they await decisions on their status and are forbidden to work. It is not spent on supporting asylum seekers living in indefinite off-shore mandatory detention. Carr’s comparison of Australia’s asylum seeker policies with those of other countries is entirely false. We have nothing in common with any peer country.

The diverted money is intended for overseas aid and development. If it is to be spent overseas, that will be in our off-shore detention centres. Quite what development will be achieved in that instance is unclear. It’s also unclear how any development might be achieved domestically in denying asylum seekers the right to work, and forcing them into marginal existence paid for by the government for up to five years.

The Opposition, via its mouthpiece Julie Bishop, continue to confidently bray that they will “stop the boats.” As the Gillard government has implemented the most severe conditions we have yet seen, and still the boats arrive, it is difficult to imagine just how Mr Abbott will achieve this goal.

62 Responses to “The diversion of aid: Carr’s false comparisons”

  1. gerard oosterman December 19, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    To support asylum seekers by allowing them to work would show compassion and as we have been very judicious in avoiding that trait, we can’t just out of the goodness of our cold and frozen hearts make such a drastic turn-around. Can we? We must ‘deter and ‘no advantage’ don’t let us forget.
    We are made of sterner stuff than the Swedes, Canadians or other softies.


  2. doug quixote December 19, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Agreed Gerard; after a period of say, five months, the asylum seekers should be allowed to work. Just where and how may be difficult, but many have relatives here already and release into the community would be possible in many cases.


  3. zerograv1 December 19, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Carr might have a political eye on the reaction from Unions if he allows cheap labor from Asylum seekers to undercut Aussie workers wages. It’s hard to say, but it might have been one of the considerations. I think the ALP has decided there are fewer votes in a compassionate approach to asylum so have gone the harder line approach to appease those who arent in favour of taking “boat people” The election isnt that far away now, and if their judgement is correct and Aussies are more anti-asylum seekers than pro, politically it makes sense strategically to neutralise that issue by aligning with the coalition stance and policies….not say I agree with it though


    • gerard oosterman December 19, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      It never makes ‘sense’ to act inhumane. You need to change the needle a bit more often zerogravi1.


      • Hypocritophobe December 19, 2012 at 10:25 am #

        Gerard is right, and zero is right.

        Instead of governments acting according to the way the voters think and feel, the steady trickle towards factional control is now complete.Labor has discovered if you stay on message you can reverse the community expectation.In this case, ‘compassion for others’ is now replaced by ‘border security’.
        In short the government has made the decision, and now we need(and will, and do) fall into lock-step.
        It is a paternalist (Howard perfected it) approach and works well on gullible minds with menial lives.

        “Our lives are at risk folks,thank goodness Bowen and Julia saved us from unemployment,and the evil terror of those dangerous foreigners!”

        File it under………………


      • zerograv1 December 19, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        ….Or stay on message, change junkies tend to fail I notice, its why Gillard is in the pits, flaps around like a flag…, they need to firm up their goals and policy direction, stick to them and deliver, not pander to where the votes are all the time and change at whim because the Australian,SMH or whoever bags what they are doing…..and nothing Ive said above indicates inhumane attitudes, it is just a political analysis of the decision Carr made, I didnt say I agreed with it did I?


        • Hypocritophobe December 19, 2012 at 11:11 am #

          I think we see an overt clash between Carr and ‘significant’ others soon.
          The ‘others’ will likely be factionoides, not seniors front benchers or Ministers.It may come in the form of a Gillard rebuke,because she is the errand *boy*.
          Watch this space.

          Carr has big boots, and Gillard has 2 left feet.Neither are hers.


          • zerograv1 December 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

            Interesting, wonder if Carr could be put forward as a leader prior to the next election Im only speculating though, but if the polls dont improve………hmmmm


            • Hypocritophobe December 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm #



              • zerograv1 December 20, 2012 at 9:27 am #

                With an election not that far away now I thought it might be worth introducing this subject (This might be better posted under a new thread – Jennifer please free to do so if you think it appropriate) but it is worth recounting what “Right” and “Left” wing thinking tends to mean..I freely acknowledge that all the stated tendencies below are generalisaions and hence easily argued against, but the intention of this post is in the last sentence.The “Right” tend to go towards smaller government, balanced or at least funded budgets, less emphasis on social programs, a stronger lean towards military spending, tend to have a closer eye on wealth creation and money as a motivator of people, privitisation of what it sees as inefficient government owned enterprises, favour individuals to take responsibility without relying on government and take care of themselves. (feel free to add more in your reply)…the left tend to be less concerned about balanced budgets preferring to spread government deficits across future populations which generally increase in number (and hence with a larger number of taxpayers), tend to be more committed to social programs, tend to favour the establishment and maintenance of welfare programs of all types – unemployed, disabled, business and art grants, housing subsidies etc, value equality (Disclaimer : I think this is an impossibly high and unrealistic standard to achieve and have yet to see any nation succeed at it), support community groups sometimes without too much care of what the group actually wants, feel it is the governments role to support and care about people. Given the current political environment I would argue that we have become something like USA in that we don’t any longer have a true left wing party, we have a moderate centrist ALP and a Moderate to Right wing Liberal party. The greens are often accused of being watermelon (green on the outside, red at its core – ironically not much removed from the agrarian socialist label stuck on the Nationals) but they dont really fit the paradigm of right/left because there policies appear to be somewhat patchwork, similar to the refloated Australian Democrats – bits of this, bits of that. So is it time for a new Labor Party to redress the imbalance?


                • Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 9:58 am #

                  In the case of Aust politics ‘left’ (as in the 2 majors) means left out of the decision making,policy formation area.
                  The ‘left’ are just burly to the voters, and numbers needed for votes.They probably have a moderate internal victory, on the odd occasion, when the opinion polls drop so low the party will react anyway.That way the actual party gets the kudos.
                  As of Rudds demise the Greens are the only party which develops policies based on ‘leftist’ principles.
                  We currently have two right wing major parties, no matter what the ideologist apologists try to spin.
                  An election will not sort this mess out but it will give them both the chance to revisit their roots, because the damage is likely to be mortal if no action is forthcoming.It will be a watershed moment, and a chance for the barrackers to stare their denial in the face and deal with it.


    • helvityni December 19, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      I can offer you a cleaning job, five hours a week, the local supermarket is offering more hours…there is also a very exciting job as a trolley collector or is it a rescuer…you better hurry up, otherwise the boat people might snap them up…
      How about it zero?

      Sorry about my cleaning job, it’s taken by a eager foreign student, studying to be a doctor.


      • zerograv1 December 19, 2012 at 10:58 am #

        You better try again Helvi, maybe you will be promoted from head cleaner….and you’ve still got no answer I see….weak effort little girl, weak effort


  4. hudsongodfrey December 19, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Okay so let’s be frank about this.

    The argument from bigotry (I won’t even call them the right in fairness to people on the right who are less than stupid), is the old chestnut “they come over here stealing our jobs…”.

    And the fear from many on the left (who shouldn’t feel impugned by anything I’ve to say), is that something like a TPV leaves refugees in a stateless limbo for an indefinite period of time . Refugee advocates would say they were particularly unfair to people trying to raise young families.

    Taking money from foreign aid to cover expenditure on a politically motivated solution to a domestic problem is simply one of the lowest things anyone could have dreamt up. I can’t believe the moral turpitude of anyone who’d actually be so cheap as to do that! There simply isn’t, nor should there be, any way to rationalise this behaviour.

    However I think we can and should, with a little more compassion and in good conscience, rationalise the difference between the arguments for and against allowing asylum seekers to work while their claims are being processed. Nor will I even start on that discussion without saying that five years to process a claim seems to me to be an inordinately excessive amount of time. Something is very broken about that situation that should probably be rectified before we pursue any other solutions.

    In the meantime the meat of this argument seems to be that some of the people who most vociferously declaimed TPV’s now want a kind of bridging visa that would allow asylum seekers to live and work in Australia until their claims could be settled.

    paraphrased from wikipedia:

    [i]TPV holders were only eligible for some of the special settlement services funded by the Commonwealth to assist new arrivals in Australia. Unlike Permanent visa (PV) holders, TPV recipients had no family reunion rights and no right to re-enter the country if they decided to depart Australia. TPV holders did have the right to work and have access to job matching by Centrelink. They were also eligible for Special Benefit, Rent Assistance, Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit, Medicare, Early Health Assessment and Intervention Program, torture and trauma counselling, and English as a Second Language classes.

    After being granted a TPV, refugees were required to reapply three years later, in case conditions had changed in their homeland.[/i]

    Knowing as I do that people being sponsored into Australia are given permanent resident status and made to wait four years before being eligible to apply for citizenship it seems that it would be altogether reasonable to simply do the same with asylum seekers. Instituting every provision of the TPV except for the requirement to reapply would as far as I can see go some way to providing a more sound response that has previously existed.

    And if the government did do so then I can only hope that they wouldn’t call it a TPV as a ruse to placate the bigots among us. They’ve been pandered to quite enough in my view. It’s time our government stood for doing right. Otherwise like many here I’m afraid I simply couldn’t vote for them.


    • Marilyn December 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      No, we do not want long term bridging visas, we want fair and decent assessments where DIAC are not wrong 80% of the time, we want all asylum seekers to be treated the same under the law and according to the many human rights instruments we have helped to write and ratify and we don’t want fucking prisons.

      WE gave the UNHCR $32 million this year to deal with 15 million refugees, we spent $1.3 billion on prisons in Australia with almost all of that to pay SERCO, prison health services and IT, DIAC staff and over time.

      Christmas Island alone cost $113 million for food for a few thousand people.

      Now we will literally steal from the starving children of the world to pay SERCO and G$S to jail people.


      • hudsongodfrey December 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

        None of which I mentioned in connection with this issue, but all of which you’re entitled to raise if it is in support of my basic contention. A contention I’m not quite sure you’re recognising?

        Jennifer says that DFAT and ASIO are fucking about taking five years to process people. Apparently its 18 minutes work, but they just can’t fit it in?

        I’m saying migrants have to wait 4 years to apply for citizenship. And that the old TPV system under Howard wanted asylum seekers to reapply after three.

        So we can either lock them all up, which we all disapprove of, or we can place them in the community with the support I outlined in my post, quoting from Wikipedia, for up to four years which I’m proposing to be the ceiling we should by placing on processing times.

        It really shouldn’t be so hard to come to the view that this is a lot better than what we have now?


        • Marilyn December 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

          Why keep people in limbo for all those years though, would you like to be in limbo for all those years for no reason?


          • hudsongodfrey December 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

            They’d be in limbo for no longer than it takes to process them.

            They wouldn’t be incarcerated!

            And there would be a limit set, which I’m saying might be set at four years, in which the authorities must undertake to perform the required checks. It is no longer than sponsored immigrants are required to wait before applying for citizenship.


            • Marilyn December 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

              While migrants want to come here refugees are different, they have nowhere else to go.

              You cannot just lump them all together and migrants can work and do what they like as permanent residents.

              They just need to wait for citizenship which endows them with precisely nothing.

              ASk Vivian Alvarez and Mamdouh Habib what it is worth.

              Now stop confusing and conflating one group of people here by choice and those who have no choice and no country to return to.


              • hudsongodfrey December 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

                Read the quote from Wikipedia and tell me what is wrong with asylum seekers being allowed to live, work and receive social support in Australia until their refugee status is resolved.

                Please just read it before posting again!


                • Marilyn December 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

                  Their status is resolved within 4 days, they just then need their visas and to get on with things.

                  In Britain the upper limit is 2 weeks, in Canada they have to be approved by courts within 2 days if Canada wants to jail them, in the US they are not jailed for years on end and can work.

                  Why do Australia alone in the world think they can twist and manipulate to suit us?

                  The convention is what it states, not what the moron media and pollies claim it is.

                  Everyone in this country legally has the right to work, to housing and to the courts.

                  End of discussion.

                  4 years? People were killing themselves.


                  • hudsongodfrey December 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

                    You’d have to ask DFAT and ASIO why it takes so long to process claims? Not me!

                    But they’d be out in the community, allowed work and given benefits!

                    Which part of this is giving you so much trouble? Is it reading comprehension or just not getting your own way?


    • Marilyn December 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Wiating for citizenship is not the same as living without rights. Those we resettle under the bogus hoax scheme that has no legal basis at all have services provided for 5 years.


      • hudsongodfrey December 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

        Where in my posts does it suggest that asylum seekers would be denied their rights?

        I have also quoted a passage from Wikipedia that details the benefits to which they might be entitled. Keeping in mind that rights and benefits are different and that they would be afforded both.

        I don’t think anyone (except perhaps you?) realistically expects that people who come with needs genuine or otherwise should expect an automatic right of entry. First there need to be health and basic security checks followed by some form of verification that asylum is warranted. If for reasons that often defy justification the authorities are not able to conduct the final verification phase quickly and efficiently enough then it seems reasonable to extend the benefit of the doubt in the form that I have outlined. It is no less fair or more harsh than that afforded any other migrant and would be untenable if it were.

        Please reconsider your position. It would make a nice change for us all here 🙂


        • Marilyn December 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

          The refugee convention has 34 legally binding rights and obligations, read it and get back to me because you talk about human beings as if they are fucking chess pieces.


          • hudsongodfrey December 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

            “The refugee convention has 34 legally binding rights and obligations”

            None of which I intend to deny!

            Say that I do and point out where?

            Either that or agree that the modest proposal I have made is better than gaoling people!


            • Marilyn December 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

              You are talking about TPV’s quoted from frigging wikipedia – get a grip.


              • hudsongodfrey December 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

                Yes I’m quoting something specific in an historical context because the information I’d like to have, and which frankly might have been more accurate it no longer on government websites because we currently don’t have TPVs. Of all the things not to like about them that were quoted in opposition the main one seemed to be that their status was being left open ended. So I simply propose to remove that provision, replacing it instead with a finite limit on the time allowed for processing in order that we might at least try to simultaneously remove the one main objection to TPVs and with it any rationale for sending them to Nauru and Manus Island or placing them in mandatory detention.

                Too practical for you though I’d imagine!


  5. doug quixote December 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Political Science/Machiavelli 1.01

    A government in a democracy will adopt the policies of the opposition, unless the policies are patently bad or unpopular.

    The reason is that the voters can then be told about the devil they know : an experienced team, doing exactly what is right (after all, our policies are the same as theirs, we just do it better). Why change?

    A political fact of life. Don’t expect anything better from the other side; non-core promises are worth even less than the other ones, unless it is something dear to the pollies’ hearts (ie money or dyed in the wool ideology) .


  6. Hypocritophobe December 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Then we finally agree on a few things.
    * Both parties are equally bad.
    * Labor has openly adopted Howard policies.
    * Politicians of both ilks are not driven by the greater good or altruism, but by the lust to gain and hold power, at all costs.

    I’m a tad ‘rhetorically’ confused as to how extricating our very Nation is not bad or unpopular, though.The only logical answer is that we are surround by apathy and ignorance.
    How could ‘that’ be?(rhetorical)


    • doug quixote December 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      Non sequitur I am afraid, Hypo. Machiavelli is disturbingly accurate, but there are still core differences between Labor and the conservatives. You really don’t need me to spell them out.

      But certainly a politician’s raison d’etre is to achieve and hold power. Very few exceptions – but watch out for them, they are either the very best or the very worst; usually the latter.

      A politician’s behaviour is predictable, at least up until he or she sees no likelihood of re-election.

      Personally, I prefer them predictable.


  7. Hypocritophobe December 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Oh no!

    Someone stole my handsome avatar.

    Have you changed any Wordpus settings today?


    • Hypocritophobe December 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      And now it returns.
      (I missed you Avy)

      Wordpus really is an amazingly unpredictable organ.
      Made on a Friday?


    • Jennifer Wilson December 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      No Hypo, I haven’t but it plays up from time to time. Sometimes it won’t even let me in


  8. paul walter December 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    No, some of you are wrong to pick on zerograv, zerograv is only offering a detached outsider’s view of the politics.
    I see what zerograv sees, zerograv did not say (s)he was in favour of the situation- who can be from a personal point of view- merely described it.
    Hypo at least moved a long way, to consider and accommodate the view on its terms, although no one seems to trace the current Labor response to its adventures of a decade ago at the hands of Howard.
    What’s really sad about this all is Labor’s pitiful attempts to emulate US Cheneyite “toughness”; to “harmonise”Australian values and their expression, to lock step themselves in with thinking that creates messes like the ten Afghani kids killed the other day, allows the continuation of Israel’s disgraceful behaviour to Palestine and happily creates civil wars in places like Syria the basest of motives and even has the US itself run increasingly as the Koch bros dictatorship
    Ruthlessness is “in” and our puppets have to look the part.


    • hudsongodfrey December 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Yes I tend to agree up to a point. And in this context the place where I think that line may be drawn is on whether your interlocutor intends to speak from the left or from the right of the the current Labor position on asylum seekers. It should be clear to all that there are positions of interest on either side of Labor coming from the coalition parties and the Greens. What is equally clear is that the debate is so constructed as to make the place in the middle that Labor have settled on equally unacceptable to all others.

      Lincoln said, “You can please some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

      He probably thought that he didn’t need to mention that sometimes it is possible to comprehensively displease everybody.


      • doug quixote December 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

        Fred Lincoln might have said that; Abraham certainly did not.


        Labor is under attack from all sides on this; by definition, they must be just about in the centre.

        And resurgent in the Polls, as the scare campaigns have run out of puff and the opposition shenanigans laid bare.


        • hudsongodfrey December 20, 2012 at 12:20 am #

          Make no mistake the logic works if your only purpose is to wend your way deftly through an electoral minefield sufficiently skilfully so as to cling to office by the skin of your teeth. If however upon having pulled off that impressive feat one obtains a mandate for not making waves then the opportunity to govern might as well have been forfeit. Better to use your opportunity to lead wisely and persuasively so that people seeing the merit of your policies will get behind you. So that if the only real question has to be, what would a wise policy look like then the mirror we hold up to Julia Gillard on the asylum seeker issue certainly won’t reflect what she’s currently doing.


          • Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 9:49 am #

            Well said.There are way too many people who in the beginning defended Labor based on values and policies,policy potentials.Now that is completely forgotten, and it is just flag waving and personality worship.The whole concept is damaged, and in MO,if ‘you’ were an aspirant to a fair go, Labor can/will no longer represent you.
            They have become consummate opportunists, or as they say in Canberra, ‘run of the mill politicians’.Fiscal f*ckwits.Econic rationalism aspirants.Pride before pragmatism.Power before people.
            This is a tragedy for democracy in Australia.I think the best result for a new parliament may actually be a clear majority for either major.And ,currently, we are certainly headed that way.


            • hudsongodfrey December 20, 2012 at 10:18 am #

              They have government for the best part of another year and should be urged to use the time productively.


            • Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 10:36 am #

              Very EDIT (it should read)

              “I think the best result for a new parliament may actually NOT be a clear majority for either major.And ,currently, we are ……”

              (PS-Sorry about losing half of the word ‘economic’)


            • zerograv1 December 20, 2012 at 11:25 am #

              I remember many years ago arguing the point abot how Demcracy was a very flawed concept but the best we have at present compared to other political models, sometimes the system fails….gerrymanders, parties failing to keep promisies, pressure groups causing changes etc can all mean the will of the people gets subsumed by other forces including influential aid packages and ovseseas brought hegemony. It seems that everyone on the world stage gets the attention but the people get neglected, overlooked, forgotten and left too busy running their lives to speak and steer from the population cities, farms and villages – the silent majority – famous for surprise election results and sudden poll swings. Politicians get 4 years before they need to listen, in the mean time everything else distracts their attention, some valuable, some red herring, some just stunts and some simple “perk of office” indulgences like dubious study trips…..Democracy? Hmmm – its almost like no-ones really running the show while everyone tries to live the dream as per lifestyle shows.


              • Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 11:36 am #

                I have a better model based on sincerity and integrity, hence the reason it would not work on the current 2 majors.
                The next election could actually rescue politics in Australia, and all it takes is voter courage.


      • Marilyn December 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

        The ALP middle is far right of Ghenghis Khan, we are even conspiring with the Pakistan secret police to help with the murder of Hazara in Quetta, same in Sri Lanka to stop people leaving their own homes to be safe.

        Sort of like demanding that people stay home during floods and bushfires rather than bother us.

        103 of the 173 deaths in Victoria in 2009 happened because people were asked to stay and defend their homes.


        • hudsongodfrey December 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

          So what? If you can’t argue a point sensibly you resort to babbling about some kind of conspiracy theory to murder people in their homes.

          Is it really that much easier for you to be inane at this stage of proceedings that to face facts and accept a compromise in terminology to achieve 90% of the desired outcome and a great improvement in reduced suffering for people currently stuck in camps?


  9. Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    We should not be looking forward to the opposition backlash to this.
    This could be the stupidest thing a govt has ever committed to.
    The backlash is now all the treasurers own doing.The surplus promise was a dare from Abbott which they took up like fish in a barrel.Once upon a time the public were not even remotely interested in surpluses.Now it’s tattooed on their frontal lobes, and in no small way via Swan himself.Good luck Wayne.I hope they make ear muffs thick enough for the screeching about to suffocate the ether.


  10. Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Well this admission to failure by Swan now delivers a free kick that Abbott et al could not have dreamed of.He must think Pell and God have organised his resurrection.
    Shows just how the tangled web of deception Labor used would eventually run out of wriggle room.The day is nigh.
    Abbott could have been dead buried and cremated,without the ridiculous addiction to mirroring the coalitions policies.The Slipper affair is now subterranean thanks to yet another Labor self inflicted implosion.No-one,not even DQ on LSD can question the incompetence of this failure.The MRRT and Carbon tax have added FA (in real terms) to the bottom line.Fancy giving handouts to the biggest polluters at the same time as taxing them.
    Get used to the Libs singing “I told you so”
    “They can’t be trusted” etc.

    One green bottle,hanging on the wall….


    • Marilyn December 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      Well one day the morons will understand that there is no legal or constitutional basis for a surplus anyway, it is a pea and thimble trick of theft without services provided.

      The constitution only allows government to raise those taxes essential to provide services.

      I don’t reckon they counted on taxes being raised to jail innocent people and paying foreign prison companies to do it.

      Last year we paid SERCO $700 million, now we want to steal $375 million from the starving to pay for it.


      • Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

        I don’t need too much convincing to see that both sides are the same, and the slaves are paying the big boys way.(It was not always the way)
        I am just bewildered that intellects go into bat for one lying scum bag, hell-bent on delivering the same outcome,over another of the same ilk.
        Maybe it’s the fumes from modern interiors?Too much fluoride?
        On the refugee front, unless we face up fair and square to our responsibilities and do the right thing, pretty soon the choice will be flood of or war with refugees as climate change kicks in.
        Cutting foreign aid is creating EVEN more ‘boats’. Even a rock could see that.
        Swan had failure written all over ‘his’ face today, while Abbott is one green bottle (plus the Christmas rush of boats) away from selling his snake oil to the last fence sitters.Only a change in faux Labor leadership and major makeover can save Labor now.
        The coalition has more fear campaign topics than it can squeeze in one campaign strategy.Kids in a candy store.
        As I keep saying,only the piss weak and desperate, can seriously blame Abbott for something Labor continually does to themselves and their rapidly diminishing supporter base.
        I watched Abbott smug his way through today’s press stop, and you know what, as much as he makes my skin crawl(and I would never let my vote trickle their way) he was spot on in his take on Labor over the commitment made and broken.(One of the many) I can see an avalanche of ‘reminder’ ads for the next election which Bob Hawke in his prime would not survive.
        Some of the faux -Labor cheer squad are going to sleep right through the carnage at the election,no doubt, and come out the other side asking,
        “WTF happened?”

        “One swaggering green bottle held by a tenuous cobweb,hanging precariously on the wall…”


  11. 8 Degrees of Latitude December 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Reblogged this on 8degreesoflatitude and commented:
    A fine argument indeed on the financial cost of moral bankruptcy


  12. 8 Degrees of Latitude December 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Great argument! I’ve reblogged it with a line saying “A fine piece on the financial cost of moral bankruptcy”.


  13. doug quixote December 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Every sensible economic expert has recommended the abandonment of the commitment to a surplus.

    No doubt the Noalition will rant and rave a little, but no votes will be lost over this one.

    Why there might even be some gratitude from the soft left (as if!) 🙂


    • Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

      DQ”Every sensible economic expert has recommended the abandonment of the commitment to a surplus.”
      But all agreed it was too late, and NONE had actually ever believed a surplus would come.
      I suspect the RBA was onto it,too.

      “No doubt the Noalition will rant and rave a little, but no votes will be lost over this one.”
      They will ,and votes will go.Not because of this one incident,but because of the now many combined in a toxic spin, mixed by the Liberal goon squad and gleefully saturated across the airwaves by an onside media.

      Why there might even be some gratitude from the soft left (as if!) 🙂
      If(hahaha) this meant any help for those in need then gratitude would be forthcoming.
      But faux labor won’t deliver anything.Whichever way they move now they are mince.And the mince was brought about by them jump into into the machine, and calling on the string pullers who gutted Rudd, to press the big green button.
      Rissole anyone?


      • doug quixote December 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

        Too late? Why do you think that? We are still many months away from the budget, much less the election.


        • Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

          It’s too late because as all(bar Swan) economists know,their is a lag between what moves you make and what reactions it creates.
          The window of opportunity for getting the best from abandoning the ridiculous surplus concept has been missed.Employment will suffer as will the adjustment of rates to apply mortgage relief.
          Foreign add has been robbed dry.
          But you know all this, so let’s not keep ear pissing.
          This is a major embarrassment and another nail in faux Labor’s coffin.
          (That’s a good thing DQ- a good thing)
          Do you seriously believe that the opposition will not nag the yet unconvinced electorate into disembowelling this failed nouveau-Labor experiment?
          From here on in, No-one will believe anything Swan says before during and after the next budget.(All the main economists have already disregarded his fake forecasts) And you know that is the case.We all know the machinations here.
          Surely you could finally put aside your sado-mascochism and agree that the time has come.
          Over the next few days see how many high end colleagues of swans throw themselves on this fire.They (if any do) are likely to be the weak and piss poor likes of Garret,Wong,Ferguson or Bowen, or someone who is about to retire.
          You’d need to be on a 100% peyote diet to think ‘this’ Labor has a hope in hell.


  14. Hypocritophobe December 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Swan=bird=winged=wing=wing it.

    Wing it

    To do something with in an impromptu manner, improvising, with little preparation.
    * * * * * ** * * ** * * ** * ** * *
    Come home to roost
    Of adverse consequences that had been apparently escaped, to return to the place of origin.


  15. paul walter December 21, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    Hypo-ventilation. The only stupid thing Labor did was not abandon the surplus earlier, it is disgusting neo-liberal ideology justifying the rip-off of society for the 1%.
    Why don’t people get that (government) surplusses are about limiting the money available to communities, in favour of big banking, or see through the despicable farce that is international finance with its ratings agencies and one sided deals in favour of big business?
    Read of the current vaudeville from the USA, where Obama and Pelosi, barely a month after the US election, are cutting welfare for tax cuts for the rich and finally begin to understand that international finance is not some thing nebulous in the background but a real life, real world entity based on a deliberately false ideology driven by watertight articles of faith involving “small” government and the contemptibility of the undeserving poor, comprising trade agreements, defence reciprocity and the like, to justify wholesale theft as “responsible economics”.


    • Hypocritophobe December 21, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      “Why don’t people get that (government) surplusses are about limiting the money available to communities”

      You can spend the rest of eternity explaining why Labor swallowed it hook line and sinker and why Swan was such an egotistical prick he had to out surplus the bully boy sitting opposite.There appears to be no end to the loyalty the faux Labor brigade show.If there was an apology tax on Labors back-flips and ideological abandonment’s, we would have a surplus to rival the $$$ value deficit in America.
      The very fact that every economist and almost every punter thought the surplus was a political dare,which morphed into a political stunt proves once and for all faux Labor have made a laughing stock of laughing stocks.If they ‘had lost their way’, and needed Gillard then their current conditions requires a green dream.
      The only reason supporters of, and FL themselves won’t call an election, is because they suddenly believe in miracles and they will need several to even be ‘in’ the race.
      Swan is a turkey.Abbott’s turkey on a string.
      You can’t see the woods for the woods.


    • zerograv1 December 21, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      The removal of the committment to a surplus has a few effects….some not yet discussed…1. It allows the ALP to pork barrel when the next election approaches – the guaranteed surplus promise left no free cash 2. It adds damage to the credibility of the ALP as economic managers – unfortunately their credibitlity is already a bit tattered and an easy target for opposition ads whether you beleive them or not 3. It causes businesses that rely on government contracts to be a little more hopeful and may cause a mild expansion in employment figures – also pump some government funds into the community in a non welfare way 4. It means Swan might stop spinning from the point of “whats ideal” or wishful thinking to what treasury is actually telling him – ALP Spin doctor estimates for Mining and Carbon tax collections were so far off the mark as to be very difficult to take at face value. I think the electorate would respect a more tough – but honest and fair approach, a little belt tightening but well short of Newman’s slash and burn mentaility in Qld. It would also demonstrate a willingness to have a real go and not just pander to ideology, opinion and pressure group thinking but actually appear to be governing with a clear framework and vision – A firm, determined and steady as she goes commitment to what they claim to stand for (and nowdays who knows what the ALP stands for?) It’s the one thing they havent really tried so far.



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