Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Arduous Search for Reality in the Opposition's Rhetoric

The Blowfly is a curious insect and finds some satisfaction searching for the realities in his pitiful life.
For some time now the carbon tax has been on the political agenda and in people’s thoughts.
It first happened during John Howard’s reign over the hearts and minds of Australians.
But it was the ALP who got to run with that hot potato.
Our present PM thought that it was deserving of bipartisan support and that taking it forward without the support of both sides of politics would be divisive and damaging.
She let it be known, after she called the last election, that she stood by that view and her policy was not to proceed with a carbon tax during her time as PM.
However she did not get the majority she sought from the electorate and in order to form a government she had to bargain with the Independents and the Greens.
Out of this process came a changed policy position-----the Greens would only support her if she initiated a carbon tax.
The Opposition Leader, one Tony Abbott, seized on this variation and was able to label her a ‘liar’.
The Blowfly’s Oxford dictionary defines a lie as ‘a statement the speaker knows to be untrue’.
The reality of this situation is that when Julia Gillard set her policy on the table she was committed to no carbon tax during her reign. This would be consistent with her previous views and advice to Kevin Rudd on this matter.See also http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/taxing-the-truth-why-we-must-not-let-abbotts-dogmas-lie-20120706-21mlz.html#ixzz1zzQ5wJd
However, a clever Rhodes Scholar, very familiar with the work of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels since his university days ,was able to turn Gillard’s change of direction into a ‘lie’ and by simply repeating it often enough, many Australians have been encouraged to label Julia Gillard as a liar. And with the assistance of Alan Jones many Australians now taunt her as ‘Juliar’.
Then there is the reality of the promoter of this line.
Tony Abbott has access to a dictionary and would’ve used it on a few occasions during his tertiary study.
It is, by The Blowfly’s reckoning, Tony Abbott who has told the lie and is the liar.
He has either promulgated a statement about Julia Gillard that he knows to be untrue OR he does not know the difference between what is a lie and what is the truth.
If he is a Rhodes Scholar we would need to give him some credit for being able to use a dictionary.
So is it possible that our Opposition Leader does not know the difference between what is a lie and what is the truth?
The Blowfly humbly submits there is some evidence for this.
Let’s return to the carbon tax.
Abbott has maintained that the carbon tax will be the death of our economy. He has visited all manner of businesses around Australia pushing this line. His shock-jock ally Alan Jones has supported this claim.
Abbott has said that Whyalla will be wiped off the map. He has talked in terms of a ‘cobra strike’ and a ‘python squeeze’. His oratory has been indeed colorful.
But all the time he has been saying this we have the Treasury telling us that it is going to be insignificant.
As time goes on it is apparent that the carbon tax will not cause the sky to fall in and that Tony Abbott has been filling our heads with ----dare I say it---lies.
The Treasury estimated the impact of the GST accurately and there is no reason to believe that they would get the carbon tax wrong.
But for some reason Abbott has taken a position at odds with Treasury and has been able to promulgate this view widely in the community---with the help of his shock-jock friends!
If Treasury is wrong then I suppose we could acknowledge that Abbott had not lied to us.
But Treasury appears to possess a better reputation and track record for predicting these things than politicians of either persuasion. Sure Treasury is not perfect, but overall, we would have some level of confidence in them to get these matters right.
So, to my simple brain, the reality seems to be that Abbott has promulgated a lie and may therefore be called a liar.
Abbott has also been known to say that ‘this is the worst government ever’.
He repeats it just as Goebbels would’ve. The theory is that if you repeat it often enough then people might start believing it. His shock-jock friends also repeat it frequently.
But here we have a minority government that has passed approximately 380 pieces of legislation since they came to power!
Now you don’t do that if you are the ‘worst government ever’.
If you had a majority like Campbell Newman, has in Queensland, where getting legislation through is a fait accompli, then you might have all the circumstances necessary to become ‘the worst government ever’.
However when you are a minority government you have to garner the support of members outside your party to get your legislation through the Parliament.
This the Gillard government has done.
Weaving a pathway through the views and interests of the Independents and the Greens means that the legislative program has obtained wider cultural support than a majority government would’ve needed.
The reality is that the process of government has had to be truer to democratic principles than probably ever before in Australia’s history.
And as Steve Bracks has pointed out recently this governmenthas got some significant reforms across the line. These include
·      The establishment of a national broadband network with a view to being a leader in world-wide connectivity
·      Pricing carbon emissions with a view to moving Australia towards a more sustainable economic future
·      Reallocating the proceeds of our mineral wealth around the community
·      Rehashing the mechanisms and formulas for funding education so that Australia might generate the skills it needs for a growing economy
·      Creating a national disability insurance scheme
Now while it is true that not everyone in the community might support these reforms the reality is that they have come into being through a hung parliament.
It is reasonable to say that this government must be quite a reasonable government in that it is able to muster the parliamentary support it needs to pass its legislation.
That is the reality!
Again we might then observe that Tony Abbott is a liar.
He is making statements that he knows to be untrue.
We then revert to the future of our country.
Tony Abbott has continually described our economy as weak ----except when he travelled to the UK.
The reality is that our economy is quite strong.
Now here is the rub.
Abbott is continuing to troll the line that everything the government proposes would ruin our economy but everything the Opposition does will strengthen it.
The Government rightly or wrongly has committed to balancing our budget quickly.
In order to do that it has sought to make some savings in the Defence area.
Abbott has criticized these as not being in the national interest.
Again The Blowfly’s simple brain figures that in the event we are not at war with any nation we might re-allocate some resources to some of the areas where we are otherwise at war----especially economic war!
We need more skills to man our mining industry. We need to find ways of supplying the growing Asian economies. We need to find ways of developing new technologies that we might be able to sell to the rest of the world. And we need to do all this with an ageing economy.
As well we need to be able to deal with the enormous costs of using fossil fuels as our energy needs double and treble and our population increases.
But Abbott last week “committed an Abbott government to restoring defence spending back to 3% real growth per year, subject to improvements in the budget.”
The reality is that his promise does not mean a thing.
The Opposition, in reality, has not got a clue as to how they will fund all the promises Abbott has made.
And in any event he can ditch those promises “should budget circumstances dictate”.
The reality is that Abbott is simply doing and promising what he can to get votes.
He is hoping that Australians are, in the majority, dills.
Abbott is hoping that we are not good at deciding what is reality and what is fantasy.
And now for one of the finest lies of all!
Abbott continually refers to asylum-seekers who come by boat as ‘illegal immigrants’.
Jon Faine on the ABC has challenged him on this. Julian Burnside QC has challenged him on this. But he continues in this vein.
The reality is that it is not illegal to seek asylum.
The Opposition leader also talks about this problem in terms of ‘border protection’.
This term is normally associated with invasion.
Remember the bombing of Darwin. We needed border protection there.
Do these people come bearing arms? No!
So again the reality is that it is the Opposition leader who is promulgating a lie.
And he knows exactly what he is doing.
He is trying to change the perceptions of numerous realities that Australians face in order to get our votes.
We might be a bit dim (as Barry Jones once inferred), but hopefully not that dim!
That reality would indeed be unacceptable.
Even for an insect!


  1. Anonymous10:45 am

    Question is “ It’s time for 2GB to sack Alan Jones”? Already sign this petition with 74, 842 supporters, we only 158 Needed. Hurry up???

  2. Anonymous10:47 am

    ALAN JONES MUST GO!!!!Is this THE most disgraceful article ever published by Daily Telegraph ??? Absolutely disgusting comments by Alen Jones.
    Let’s everybody NEVER FORGET that Alan Jones is one of Abbot’s “go-to” shock-jocks when ever he needs his “EGO” stroking.