The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Vic Liberals tough on Laura Norder

The Victorian Opposition has emerged from a front bench shake-up with a promise to be tough on law and order. Oh yay. Truly the last resort of a desperate, clueless and cynical political party. Never mind that crime and lawlessness is actually declining.

What next? A war on drugs and education? FFS.

Mr Baillieu says having several law and order spokesmen will put pressure on the Government.
“We have been talking for months, and indeed years about the problem we have with crime and violence in this state, and we want to elevate that focus,” he said.

Opposition shuffles front bench – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Politics,

Won’t you think of the children?

The ACCC’s Unit Man has certainly pressed some buttons for the IPA‘s, Chris Berg – paternalistic nanny statism through to a damning indictment of our school system! It is Cup Day, after all, so it’s a slow news day, I guess.

No, the government doesn’t decide Australians aren’t smart enough to figure out the cheapest way to buy cereal – it decides that duopolistic supermarket chains engaged in price gouging Australian consumers should make it clear how much they are paying for each unit they purchase.

If I go to the supermarket to shop for a family of four and purchase say 50 items, there will be at least 6 choices for every single item – so that’s 300 mental arithmetic calculations for every shopping trip. Yes, I can do them with ease, but it’s much simpler and a more efficient use of my time to read the unit price on each shelf label. And try doing it with toddlers in tow. Let’s face it, even within brands there are size and quantity variations designed for different consumer needs, with opportunities for extra profit margins arising from the confusion.

I’m sure the supermarket duopoly can handle this – the unit prices no doubt ship through the supply chain labelling software so it’s no big deal – they have to print labels anyway. What’s a few extra lines of program code? Or must we protect the rights of supermarkets to confuse customers about pricing?

Perhaps in a future article, Berg could cover the anti-competetive practices of the supermarket duopoly – from manipulating prices paid to suppliers and growers through to restrictive leasing arrangements in shopping malls and precincts.

Good to see Berg back in form and thinking of the supermarkets. I was worried after being in full agreement with him last week on his realistic and reasoned assessment of the asylum seeker issue. There’s a first for time for everything.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Economics, Politics, , ,

Ten Fat Years but not much to show for it

Back in the Hawke-Keating years, Gerard Henderson was a columnist I respected. Obviously conservative, he nevertheless provided a reasoned and informative political critique. During the Howardian era, his think tank, the Sydney Institute became an influential gong-banger for neo-liberal free market dream.

Henderson became one of Howard’s most important foot-soldiers in his war on Political Correctness, while dog-whistling that some cultures and people are better and more valuable than others. When he wasn’t tilting at left wing bias in the ABC, his commentary consisted of polemic rants on the deluded and evil character of ‘The Left’ for their irrational Howard-Hating ways. Howard, the great political genius of the decade could do no wrong. Critics were simply elitists who were out of touch with ordinary Australians and therefore clearly Un-Australian.

Henderson now laments that the new Nick Torrens and Garry Sturgess documentary on the Howardian Era, Liberal Rule, is a shocker and a disgrace. This is from the man who thought The Howard Years showed too much Leftist bias, even though there was no commentary and the story was told by Howard and His Band of Merry Men themselves!

Henderson is concerned that Howard’s Legacy be rightly preserved in our historical heritage (and indeed within the contemporary Liberal Party).  He accuses The Left of denying the good and lasting things that Howard gave us.

In reality, Howard was a man suited to the times – his genius was in using to them to his political advantage. His government was lazy, short-sighted, mean-spirited in public affairs, overly generous in private affairs In Foreign Affairs Howard nailed his colours to the neo-liberal Bush Administration. Howard presided over a decade of robust economic growth fueled by a resources boom and a burgeoning private debt. And that’s about the best you can say for Howard.

Ross Gittins nailed it – we had ten fat years but not much to show for it. So there you have it, Gerard. That’s Howard’s Legacy.

Filed under: Howardians, Politics, ,

Dickhead on display

A Tasmanian AFL player has been suspended for indecently exposing himself on live television.

Footballer suspended for flashing on TV – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Filed under: Politics,

Malcolm in a Muddle V

trufflesLet me see if I’ve got this right. Some car dealer pressures his contacts in the Government concerning his application for funding from a GFC-inspired Car Dealership credit bailout. The application was subject to due process and was unsuccessful as far as I can tell with all the flak flying around.

In parliament today the Opposition taunted the Government with cries of “Patronage!” There’s a word you don’t hear very much these days. If I had to define the Liberals in one word it would be ‘patronage’ – at the level of art form.

$300 million in payments to Saddam Hussein to get him to buy National Party constituency grown wheat while planning to declare war on him – now that’s patronage! And we won’t even mention the Howard’s brother bailout.

Bad call on the email there, Malcolm. Casts a pall over your judgement under pressure, and it ain’t the first time. Not a good look in an aspiring national leader.

Filed under: Politics

Peter Costello is confused

And I have this much credibility.

Peter Costello is both confused and confusing.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Howardians, Politics

How to defeat Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer will speak at the Sydney Writers Festival tonight. Here’s a handy tip for those reactionary commentators, bloggers and letter-writers: anything she has to say about Australia is automatically dismissible and lacking in all credibility because she doesn’t actually live here. QED.

Oh, and she also likes younger men! Take that Germaine!

Filed under: Australian values, History, Humour, Media, Politics

Malcolm in a muddle IV – Budget Edition

trufflesLeader of the Opposition Malcolm Turnbull had an opportunity to score some political points on the Rudd Government’s 2009 Budget but decided to do a Nelson instead by announcing a tobaco tax policy stunt without consulting the Party room. Consequently, the media attention has been shifted from the Government to the Opposition, but not in a good way.

Bronwyn Bishop immediately declares that the tobacco tax is not a good idea. And it wasn’t a good idea, for it raised the contradiction in Turnbull’s stance of blocking the alcopop tax – a revenue-raising strategy that also discourages teenage binge drinking while reducing the cost on public health in the long term. Turnbull is offering a tax on the poor (the majority of tobacco users) to subsidise private health insurance for the wealthy. He then spent the day after his Budget Reply defending his tobacco tax, fending off questions about increasing tax on all alcohol products and his commitment to maintaining Medicare after suggesting that every Australian should have private health insurance! Way to put pressure on the Government Budget Big Spending!

On the other hand, maybe the whole thing was an elaborate strategy to enable Turnbull to back-flip on the alcopops tax and thus reduce the risk of a double dissolution, which no doubt has many back benchers gravely concerned for their parliamentary future. Brilliant! But it leaves the Opposition looking weak, divided, hypocritical and the electorate still confused about what they actually stand for.

Enter the cavalry! The only Liberal giving any idea what the Opposition stands for is former PM John Howard – Work Choices, a payroll tax holiday, more money to the States and less to individuals (well at least the non-wealthy ones). Well that’s cleared that up, then.

This is what happens when a party is internally divided and can’t come up with a policy platform – and ‘we would be tougher’ is not a policy – it’s an attitude that many interpret as screwing the less well off.

Well done Malcolm on a great week, and good luck with winning government in 2010!

The Force may not be with you.

Filed under: Economics, Howardians, Humour, Politics,

Malcolm – strong at the beginning but now gone soft

Fresh from her nomination to the list of Howardian Dead Wood, Bronwyn Bishop, has lashed out at her leader, Malcolm Turnbull. “Malcolm seems to have been strong at the beginning but now he has gone soft.”

Exposing the division within the Coalition over how confrontational the Opposition should be, she said that “quite clearly, people aren’t seeing us as sufficiently strong”.

Um… just saying ‘NO!’ all the time is not a sign of strength.

“I would normally not respond at all to anonymous nonsense but a lot of people have been saying that they are not sure what the Liberals stand for – that we have backed off on policies we believed in before,” Mrs Bishop said.

I think she’s on to something here. Other than a persistent belief that they were born-to-rule, what do the Liberals believe in? Where are the alternative policies? Could it be that they are so hopelessly internally divided that they don’t actually know what to believe in – being too busy maneuvering against each other to have time for policy development?

Once touted as a future Australian Margaret Thatcher, Bronwyn wants to bring back the old policies. Small problem with that – they got them soundly thrown out of office.

Now where’s that chainsaw?

Filed under: Howardians, Politics, ,

Malcolm in a muddle III

trufflesThe pressure on Malcolm Turnbuill to come to the table on the carbon emissions trading scheme begins in earnest.

The head of gas and petrol producer Shell Australia has called on the Opposition to support the Government’s revised emissions trading scheme.

Shell urges Turnbull to pass climate scheme – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

OK, we all understand that Malcolm is not happy with it, so maybe it’s about time he told us exactly what he is not happy with and what his alternative is. The trouble is, I don’t think the Liberals actually know what their policy is. They’ve milked it for all the politics they can get, but the ball is back in their court. If The Liberals don’t come up with something soon, they’ll continue to look like a pathetically disorganised and opportunistic rabble. I doubt Turnbull has the balls for a double dissolution, so he needs to do something, and fast.

So how about it Malcolm?

Filed under: Politics, ,

The Dog’s Bollocks

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The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

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