It may not be a case of “it’s the economy, stupid” after all.

The numbers are really the numbers, but what about that carbon tax? Pic: Gary Ramage

Monday saw a Nielsen poll charting Labor’s prickly relationship breakdown with voters.

In short, it remains on speaking terms with just one in four of them. The Nielsen survey snapped Government MPs out of dreams of a nascent recovery based on two previous Newspoll surveys which showed them clawing their way into the low thirties. More to be done but heading in the right direction? They wish.

Tuesday saw the Reserve Bank follow up its aggressive stimulus bias in monetary policy with all the double-edged sword implications such action comes with.

On the plus side, of course, is the promise of extra pocket money for borrowers. But on the negative side is a loss of earnings for self-funded retirees trying to eke out an existence on savings. And then there’s the fact that the central bank only steps in when its assessment is that the economy faces more risks on the downside than on the up.

This was its clear message on Tuesday. Having lowered the cash rate by an unusually high 50 basis points last month, it decided not to wait to see how that played out dialling in another 25 basis point cut this month in a bid to prise open the wallet of the cautious consumer.

Still, mortgage savings are always welcomed by customers - assuming they get them that is. Accordingly, Wednesday started out with the now familiar post rate-cut pantomime.

It goes like this. The big four banks, who together spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year telling customers how much they care, suddenly go all coy and refuse to make eye contact or step into the spotlight.

Their shameful absence in turn leaves the stage free for a well rehearsed chorus of MPs, employer bodies, unions, media, and jilted customers all eager to sing from the same song-sheet about what bastards the banks really are.

It is a formulaic little routine and was just warming up on Wednesday when the Australian Bureau of Statistics stepped in with one of the more attention-grabbing acts yet: First quarter growth figures showing the economy going gangbusters in early 2012 with consumers less cautious than thought, the economy less anaemic than thought, and even the December quarter better than previously thought.

Coming in at 1.3 per cent, the March quarter result was more than twice market predictions leading to annual growth of a remarkably brisk 4.3 per cent.

That’s a whole percentage point above what Treasury calls “trend growth’’ of 3.25 per cent. It is also the fastest rate of expansion achieved here since September 2007 - before the onset of the GFC.

Wayne Swan could hardly contain his delight which is perhaps understandable given (a) the pressure on his budget, (b) the ire of next months’ politically toxic carbon price, and (c) the general siege mentality gripping the Gillard Government.

Doomsayers and doubters had been proved wrong. Australia’s economic performance was indeed the envy of the world and the best of any comparable country.

Joe Hockey was visibly uncomfortable. He had no choice but to promptly front the cameras for to delay would have been noteworthy in itself.

When he did emerge it was close to comical.

“Are you suspicious that this is an economic mirage?’’ asked one reporter.

“Well no, the numbers are the numbers. I totally accept that the numbers are the numbers,’’ Mr Hockey ventured somewhat cumbersomely.

“What Australia wants is stability, certainty, predictability. If we had those factors in play, coming out of Canberra, we’d be doing even better.’‘

Amen to that most voters would say. But then, the lack of stability is hardly the exclusive fault of the Government.

Thursday rounded out the economic-political mis-match with bullish employment data showing the jobless rate at 5.1 per cent in May - up a touch from 4.9 in April admittedly but with 40,000 new full-time jobs created. Leaving aside that economists used to regard a 5 per cent rate as full employment, the figures suggest solid growth continuing in the current quarter contrary to the warnings of some economists in recent days.

Tony Abbott and Mr Hockey have correctly argued that now is the wrong time to introduce a “carbon tax’‘.

But what this week has taught us is that the reason is not so much a weak and vulnerable economy as a weak and vulnerable government.

In other words, it’s the politics stupid.

Most commented


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    • acotrel says:

      06:16am | 08/06/12

      I believe that Joe Hockey is fundamentally a nice guy - but still an ideologue prepared to sing from the same hymn book as the rest of the LNP.  However the back room boys have got a real problem with him - they should never expect him to tell their lies.  He’s a bloody hopeless liar, if he ever played poker he’d lose his trousers like that other Lib pollie so many years ago.
      I love to watch his face change and that trace of a smile appear - he must have been a beautiful baby.

    • Hank says:

      07:35am | 08/06/12

      He might be a hopeless liar acrotel (for a politician).  Maybe be should take lessons from the master herself Julia Gillard.  It would not surprise me if the ALP had a whole secret minisry dedicated to this dark art that all their MP’s have to attend. 
      I love to watch Julia’s face show absolutely no change in expression as she stares into the eyes of millions of her constituents and tells a cold, blatant lie.  Absolutely masterful and breathtaking to watch.  She is the true dojo of deception.

    • Dash says:

      07:56am | 08/06/12

      Could be worse. He could be an ideologue prepared to sing from the same Communist tax manifesto as the rest of the ALP.

      Happy to debate hopeless liars with you acotrel. I think you might lose that one.

    • acotrel says:

      08:17am | 08/06/12

      How old are you ?  I’ve had seventy years of dealing with cheats, liars and the merely disingenuous.  I can see a rabbit move at a kilometre distance.  You learn to recognise the body language, speech patterns, blink rate of liars.  Julia is not a liar !
      Have a look at the interviews with Kathy Jackson and that other HSU official - both shifty - note the blink rate. Depends on whether they found the interview stressful or were stressed becaused they were telling lies.

    • acotrel says:

      08:20am | 08/06/12

      ‘I love to watch Julia’s face show absolutely no change in expression as she stares into the eyes of millions of her constituents and tells a cold, blatant lie.  Absolutely masterful and breathtaking to watch.  She is the true dojo of deception. ‘
      Nobody is that good at telling lies unless they really believe their own bullshit. Could she be possibly telling the truth and you are putting your own construction on it ?

    • acotrel says:

      08:25am | 08/06/12

      Surely no politician can be more arrogant than to tell the Australian public that they often tell lies, and expect that to just be accepted as normal ? :

    • PJ says:

      08:26am | 08/06/12

      Everybody, you need to understand. Despite image and sound manipulation techniques, You tube is the “Ministry of Truth” for the commies. It’s the best medium to turn a lie into a truth.

      Gillard herself said that she changed her mind about not having the carbon tax when she saw the overwhelming evidence for climate change.

      In other words she saw an opportunity to skin us for a few quid.

    • Dash says:

      08:34am | 08/06/12

      Sorry acotrel, i can’t view Youtube at work.

      But I guess it could be Gillard announcing the East Timor Solution, or Gillard on Chanel 10 announcing “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”, Or Gillard saying she “fully supports PM Rudd”, or perhaps Rudd telling us he was “a fiscal conservative” or announcing the coast guard or that the ALP was going to deliver 260 childcare centres???  Am I close?

    • dovif says:

      08:42am | 08/06/12


      At least he is not a complusive liar, who is economically incompetant, who supports liar and thieves

    • Rosie says:

      08:56am | 08/06/12


      A great pity for you, you can’t use the ‘numbers’ to defend the indefensible and lay off the blame game politics. Hockey is Hockey because he is the shadow treasurer and has been handed success, Swan’s job at the Govt’s own doing.

      Hockey as uncomfortable as he was to use the ‘numbers’ to his advantage as yet another reason to point out a weak, vulnerable, dysfunctional govt should have said; ‘imagine how much of a challenge it would have been for the LNP to win govt in the next Elections with these ‘numbers if the Gillard Govt was not a weak, vulnerable, dysfunction govt.’ I don’t think anyone is lying here. Swan & Gillard as the Govt used the numbers to their advantage and naturally Hockey as the shadow treasurer had to say what he said.

      “It maybe the politics stupid” but if the Govt wasn’t on the nose it would’ve been a natural course of events during a mining boom very much welcomed by all Australians except the party in opposition for selfish reasons on the outside but deep down would also have been happy and hoping it remains the same when they win govt. It will pass but the govt will remain on the nose.

      Good article Mark Kenny but you forget to explain that Australia’s position today compared to the countries finding it tough is not because of the Govt’s economic management but because Australia is endowed with mineral resources and have great mining companies mining these resources.

    • Christian Real says:

      09:00am | 08/06/12

      Once again you are right in what you have written,it is a shame that people like Hank and Dash appear to be so narrow-minded and are prone to ongoing tunnel vision that the cannot see past the lies and deceit of Abbott and his LNP Opposition party.
      In fact, I believe that Hockey is too honest a person to be shackled to the Lies,No Policies party that he is involved with.

    • Gus says:

      09:24am | 08/06/12

      I feel sorry for liberals like Hockey that front the cameras everyday and spout the nonsense the Abbott has come up with. Surely Hockey is better than that. Turnbull won’t have a bar of it.

    • PitA says:

      09:27am | 08/06/12

      cannot see past the lies and deceit of Abbott and his LNP Opposition party.

      Christian Real, the unaligned say to you ‘the lies and deceit’ of Gillard and Labor, are what you and the other Labor party members can’t see past.

    • Denny says:

      09:35am | 08/06/12

      acotrel - if you are 70 then you should know better. You prove the old saying that if you dont vote labor when you are young you dont have a heart but if you vote labor when you are older you dont have a brain. Looking at your blind devotion to labor it is very clear that you lack and analytical skills .

      He doesnt have to lie, that is the domain of labor. All Hockey has to do is tell the truth to fire up the left. There is nothing that labor is more afraid of than the truth. They hate it when the deceptions are exposed for all to see.

      I understand why the left hate guys like Andrew Bolt. Its because he is always pointing out labor hypocracy. They hate it when their own words and actions are thrown back in the lying faces.

    • Hank says:

      09:56am | 08/06/12

      Christian.  Are you saying that Julia Gillard is an honest, open politician?  We all know politicians conceal facts, lie or bend the truth at one point or another.  The fact is Gillard has been caught out blatantly on several occassions yet you could sit there with a straight face and say she is honest.  Unbelievable.

    • Dash says:

      10:04am | 08/06/12

      @CReal - yet you are the one who continually makes excuses for the most deceitful, wasteful and inept government this country has ever seen!

      People who support the ALP have not a leg to stand on! The hypocricy of ALP supporters is astounding.

      I’m proud to say I saw past:

      The Coast Guard never delivered
      the cheaper groceries - grocery choice delivered zero
      the cheaper fuel - fuelwatch $21m pissed away
      The east timor announcement made by Gillard when it never existed
      The promise of root and branch tax reform
      The 260 childcare centres promised and never delivered
      The insulation scheme fiasco
      The rorting of taxpayers money under Gillards BER
      the promise that no child would live without a laptop
      The green loans fiasco
      The carbon tax lie
      the private health insurance rebate lie
      the pokies lie
      the more affordable housing promise
      the cheaper better childcare promise
      the citizens assembly lie
      the creation of the climate propaganda institute
      Craig Tompson, union thugs and ALP funding

      These are the lies and deceit that you not only accept but actively support.

      People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

      Get off the ALP gravy train! The only people left voting for these idiots would vote ALP even if Joseph Stalin was the leader!

    • james says:

      10:18am | 08/06/12

      I like Hockey, he is better suited as a leader than a shadow treasurer. He a more reasoned and

      Turnbull should be the shadow treasurer with all his business acumen.

    • DY says:

      10:20am | 08/06/12

      Dash: Communist tax manifesto. Was it not Howard who introduced middle income welfare and is it not one of Tony Abbott’s promises of paying for Nannies. Please both Liberal and Labor are bordering on communism.

    • Mattb says:

      10:53am | 08/06/12

      Dash says: 08:34am | 08/06/12
      “Sorry acotrel, i can’t view Youtube at work.”

      Yeah acotrel, the young liberals propaghanda arm doesnt allow “Youtube”. There’s too many past video’s of Paul Keating wiping the floor with Howard, Downer and Hewson, makes them feel weak and insecure..

    • dovif says:

      11:00am | 08/06/12

      Christian Real

      Glass houses anyone

      I will fix border protection
      I will not stab Rudd in the back, I will just write a victory speech 1 month ago
      “No carbon tax under a government I led”
      I will not change the medicare rebate
      I did not know about the Reinhart deal

      If Julia was pinnochio, her nose would reach the US

    • Thunderoad says:

      11:44am | 08/06/12

      “I understand why the left hate guys like Andrew Bolt. Its because he is always pointing out labor hypocracy. They hate it when their own words and actions are thrown back in the lying faces.”

      I think many, myself included take issue with Bolt because he does exactly the same things that he accuses his idealogical enemies of doing seemingly without even a sceric of self awareness.

    • DOB says:

      02:49pm | 08/06/12

      I like Hockey because every time I see him I am reminded that you dont have to be very bright - or even know what youre talking about - to get to high places in this country. what a great place, eh?

    • Dash says:

      03:21pm | 08/06/12

      @Mattb - good try, but no cigar! Very lame post from you there.

      But thanks for calling me young.

    • Tubesteak says:

      03:32pm | 08/06/12

      I just gotta say, that from the perspective of someone that hates both main political parties equally (for different reasons), that the bickering between you lot is ha-ha-halarious!

      I’d have something on-topic to say but there’s not much meat in this article to really get into

    • n_dude says:

      05:32pm | 08/06/12

      @Dash - didn’t you know those were all “non-core” promises…

    • Lara says:

      09:05pm | 08/06/12

      Calling a person a ‘liar’ has now become a standard, but shameful, political tactic in some quarters.

      A ‘lie’ is “a false statement made with intent to deceive”.

      If one expresses a view or makes a promise believing in it at the relevant time, but then changes that view or doesn’t keep that promise - that is not telling a lie.

      Circumstances change, and people change their minds for a range of reasons. Some reasonable and some not. It is appropriate to critically analyse the change and the reason for it. But yelling out ‘liar’ every time a person takes a different approach, is a deception in itself, and only drags public discourse further into the gutter.

    • acotrel says:

      08:47am | 09/06/12

      ‘I like Hockey because every time I see him I am reminded that you dont have to be very bright - or even know what youre talking about - to get to high places in this country. what a great place, eh? ‘

      You are not in a minority.  I can understand you identifying with Joe Hockey.  Pauline Hanson is not very bright either, however both Howard and Abbott have grabbed onto her racism with both hands, and used it to beat the ALP around the ears -  the asylum seeker issue.  Disgraceful and straight from the lowest common denominator !

    • acotrel says:

      08:49am | 09/06/12

      ‘I understand why the left hate guys like Andrew Bolt. Its because he is always pointing out labor hypocracy. They hate it when their own words and actions are thrown back in the lying faces.’

      You are wrong !  I just hate poisonous bastards !

    • The Silver Fox McScrooge says:

      07:52pm | 09/06/12

      You forgot to find a way to get a mention of Tony’s sluggers in there Alcotrel, or the fact that he is apparently a fascist.

      Here’s one for you - If the polls keep going the way they are going Labor is going to get rammed royally up the jo jo - just like those Labor polies used to do to little boys a few years back. You think that helped the debate? 

      Having said that, I agree with you. Hockey doesn’t seem to be able to spin with the best of them. I don’t think he is really is really cut out for his position to be honest.

    • Nathan says:

      06:24am | 08/06/12

      “Doomsayers and doubters had been proved wrong. Australia’s economic performance was indeed the envy of the world and the best of any comparable country”
      Would be nice if they knew they where wrong but no doubt we will get some theory about how we are actually in serious trouble or how we could be doing better which of course is pure speculation.

      Labor suck at selling their message or even their achievements so i doubt this will have much long term impact anyway.

    • Don King says:

      07:38am | 08/06/12

      Labor sucks period. Any party that doesn’t learn from 11 years of political isolation clearly lack the maturity and ability to govern.

    • Torkona says:

      08:43am | 08/06/12

      Both sides Labor and Liberal suck at the moment.  Makes like hard as a swing voter!

      - tork
      Dad blog

    • PJ says:

      08:45am | 08/06/12

      We have always had a mining boom, this is not news.

      The mis management of the economy relates to the other sectors, where every week in media outlets accessible to all we hear or read of continued job losses.

      In the same period the Gillard Government hails the creation of 125,000 jobs we actually lost 150,000 in manufacturing. This sector slumped to -0.8 growth.

      If we are doing so well how come the Federal Government isn’t super spending all this profit on much needed infrastructure program’s to back up it mass migration policy for the Big Australia?

      Why does the Gillard Government borrow billions some worry we cannot afford? Swan let slip that the cash he’s handing out as MRRT is from loans and we may not see the cash input from mines for another 4 years!

      If we were truly doing so well we would not have a need to supplement Australian incomes with benefits. We are rapidly becoming a Benefit Dependent Nation in what is supposed to be a boom?? How come?

    • PJ says:

      08:58am | 08/06/12

      It used to be that if you had a job you could pay your bills and live a little.

      Under the Gillard Government some 50 percent of Australians are receiving Benefits of one kind or another to make ends meet, even though both parents maybe working.

      Truth is the carbon tax has been rolling out for some months now. No one is leaving it to July to hit the Mugs with all the related costs. My utilities are up 22 percent from this time last year. Check yours you will be shocked!

    • Big Jay says:

      10:22am | 08/06/12

      I have to agree the Australian economy is doing “relatively” well, and the govt should take some of the credit. Further agree, Federal Labour couldn’t water in the desert.

      @Nathan - “no doubt we will get some theory about how we are actually in serious trouble”...I’ll have a crack, household debt per capita in Australia is the highest anywhere on the planet (and a lot of it is foreign sourced). If its not a problem now, it will be eventually.

      @Don King - How do you think the Libs are faring in NSW after 16yrs in opposition?...If you ask me, their ability to govern isn’t flash either, you know the saying “can’t get a job without experience, can’t get experience without a job”.

      @PJ - The ridiculous transfer payment system we have is the legacy of Howard and Costello. If more people are receiving benefits now, its because of the way the system was set-up, not because of the new ALP govt.

    • Mouse says:

      11:04am | 08/06/12

      Swan says consumer spending is up. I would have to agree. I buy the same amount of goceries every week and my spending goes up every week.  I am no longer a doubter!!  lol :o)

    • dovif says:

      11:10am | 08/06/12

      Big Jay

      This government’s waste will need to be paid for again by the next Liberal government. The ALP inherited one of the best economies in the world and stuffed things up by maxively overspending, if not for the repayment of debt and the surpluses of the last Liberal government, Australia would be in big trouble

      Australia had borrowed on a per capita basis more then Greece over the last 4 years.

      The ALP should not take any credit for their dishonesty and their economic inept

    • Don King says:

      11:34am | 08/06/12

      Big Jay the NSW Libs are doing a far better job in comparison to their ALP counterpart at the Federal Level. Gillard hasn’t cleaned up Rudd’s mess and in fact has created a bigger one. The point that has been brough up over the last few days by others and one that I consider very relevant: Why isn’t Gillard and the ALP constantly scoring high in the polls? Clearly what they are achieving isn’t impacting on Australians who have had a gutful. The Coalition will win the next election and they will be in power for a long time. Broken promises have consequences.

    • dovif says:

      12:22pm | 08/06/12

      Big Jay

      The fact that we are going to get some much needed infrastructure in NSW like the ALP’s 8 time promised NW Railline, shows the difference between the ALP and the Liberals. In NSW we finally have a government not just about spin and lies, but one who gets on with business of actual governing, which is a large change from the Bob Carr/Iemma/KKK government

      I still remember Gillard and KKK announcing the NW Railline for the 10th time. eventhrough she announced that the Federal ALP would building the NW railline. In true ALP tradition, it ends after the election and Gillard had again went back on another promise

      As for the transfer payment, you do know that the system have been around for 50-60 years, and things like Medicare, dole etc have much more to do with the ALP then the Liberals

      To use taxpayers money to increase fertility rate in Australia, was approved by the ALP and the Liberals, so when you try to blame this on the Liberals, you are just clutching at straw

      The Fact is this would not be an issue if the ALP did not stuff up the Budget, with their massive waste and failed scheme like the Insulation and green loan rort

    • Mr GG says:

      02:47pm | 08/06/12

      the nation is doign well, but the few rich are taking all the profits and the trickle down effect is a lie. Proven post GFC when the US tried it and Swan did the opposite, our Botoom up method worked, top down was a miserible failure

    • Badjack says:

      06:42am | 08/06/12

      You got this one right Mr Kenny. It’s not just the economy that we judge Govts on and not just this Govt. We judge them across the board, we judged Howard in 07 on his Govts attitude to people’s rights and conditions at work and we found that in this area he and his cohorts were a miserable and mean lot. The fact that the economy was firing,that they had paid of the debt the previous Govt had left us with and put money in the bank as well, that they had increased the amount of lower and middle class welfare meant little. What happened was, that their mean, miserable attitude to workers overrode the great work they had done with the economy and we tossed them out of office.
      It is and will continue to be the same with this Govt. We wont cop politicians who lie to us, we wont cop sleazeball politicians and those that support them, we wont cop politicians who wreck a system of border control that worked, we wont cop politicians who want to take us back to 1950’s class warfare bullshit and we wont cop politicians who are prepared to succumb to, and be dictated to by Union bosses.
      It is not about left or right politics, it’s not just about the economy.
      It’s also about OUR Govt being “decent”. It’s about OUR Govt having a set of morals and values and ethics. It’s about OUR Govt treating ALL Australians as equals,
      no matter which side is in power

    • nathan says:

      07:06am | 08/06/12

      Good point well argued

    • PitA says:

      07:16am | 08/06/12


      Well said Badjack, the party paid up members, can slag off at each other all they want, politics is about governing, not yay my team is winning cause it’s the government.

    • pmcc says:

      07:30am | 08/06/12

      Spot on analysis of the average voter !!!!!

    • pmcc says:

      07:30am | 08/06/12

      Spot on analysis of the average voter !!!!!

    • Zaan says:

      07:43am | 08/06/12

      Well said Badjack.

    • Hank says:

      07:45am | 08/06/12

      Nice speech there mate.  Totally agree with you but I think you are expecting a little too much.  At least you have the decency to recognise flaws on both sides of politics unlike some on this site.  You’re right, the Howard Govt had its problems in the end but I think in relation to Work Choices it just was not sold well (and too unfair to workers) and to the ALP’s credit they pounced on it.  But this current Govts track record is atrocious and can only be described as morbidly incompetent.  They dont only have no idea how to sell a policy, it appears most the time they have no understanding of what they are doing or trying to actually sell.  God help us all if they win the next election.

    • acotrel says:

      08:06am | 08/06/12

      HOward also acted with total disregard for the rights of the asylum see kers .  He denied them access to the courts via a writ of habeas corpus to be shown just cause for their imprisonment. This is a basic right in every western country, and Howard as solicitor must have been very well aware.  The matter was pursued through the High Court by Julian Burnside.  A decision was handed down which gave the asylum seekers their right t o access the courts.  The upshot is that the for Pacific Solution to work, asyuim seekers had to be denied their basic rights.  And however much LNP supporters might pine for the past, it cannot happen again unless the federal laws are changed to permit offshore processing. Abbott stymied the last attempt and shot himself in the foot again !

    • Badjack says:

      08:25am | 08/06/12

      @Hank, thank you for your comments but may I make the following points.
      Having the ability to sell a policy does not make it a good policy. The voters will buy a good policy automatically, they don’t have to be sold it, they wont buy a bad policy no matter how hard or well it is sold. 80% of people who vote are not mugs, they are extremely smart when someone tries to sell them a dog. Am I expecting too much? I don’t think so because we always seem to have the nous to throw out a Govt who takes us for suckers.
      And Hank if you have read my comments over time you would realise I am right of centre in most things but dead set centre when it comes to decency of Govt.

    • acotrel says:

      08:31am | 08/06/12

      ’ But this current Govts track record is atrocious and can only be described as morbidly incompetent.  ‘

      So you are unhappy about the state of the Australian economy ? Just because you say something, it doesn’t make it the truth - ask Tony Abbott, he knows all about that !

    • Badjack says:

      08:31am | 08/06/12

      @ acotrel, Keep on wanking yourself, the longer and more often you do the bigger the margin will be at the next election. it is the comments you make that help turn people against Labor. Well reasoned Labor supporters must cringe when they read your comments.

    • Borderer says:

      09:03am | 08/06/12

      You make a good point Badjack, I voted against Howard for the very reasons you pointed out, if I knew what was coming I would have done differently.
      Our current government got all excited when they made up a bit of ground in the polls after announcing their latest cash handout, it’s since dropped off after the warm fuzzy feeling has worn off. Presently they can’t understand why people are so negative given that the economy is doing so well, given that it is a two speed economy and unemployment is rising you’d think it would be obvious. While they talk it up, people look to what is in front of them and see a massive contradiction. While they think they are trying to be inspirational they only make themselves seem more out of touch with voters. People need to have confidence in their government in order to support them, given the scandals, the incompetance, budget blow outs, political stunts, lies, deception and most importantly the utter inability to govern in their own right, ours needs changing.

    • acotrel says:

      09:30am | 08/06/12

      So you believe in reverse psychology ?  Sorry but I don’t like Abbott or the LNP, I think they are a waste of space.  If you don’t like my comments please put up arguments to refute them.  Tell us how Abbott wasn’t deceitful when he called carbon trading a tax, and painted Julia Gillard as a liar like himself..

    • dovif says:

      11:32am | 08/06/12

      Ace troll

      We know you are a paid up member of the ALP, so we take your comment with a tonne of salt

      I also note you no longer defend the incompetence of this lying, incompetant government, which is good to see

      deep down, I think you know this bunch of union hacks who have never balanced a budget are completelt useless

      So you can only resort to abusing Abbott, who was part of the last competant government Australia had

    • JoniM says:

      11:46am | 08/06/12


      “Tell us how Abbott wasn’t deceitful when he called carbon trading a tax, and painted Julia Gillard as a liar like himself.. “

      What are you talking about ! Abbott correctly calls it what it is !
      Even Gillard herself called it a Carbon Tax ! Why ?
      Because it is a TAX ! We aren’t trading it with anyone !
      Tax will be collected from our major employers and go straight into the government’s consolidated revenue ! And will most probably be used to fund the ALP’s re-election campaign next year !
      Seriously, you ALP flag wavers think if you keep calling black as white long enough, the colour black will actually change to white !

    • Jinx says:

      01:00pm | 08/06/12

      @acotrel “Tell us how Abbott wasn’t deceitful when he called carbon trading a tax, and painted Julia Gillard as a liar like himself.. “

      This is the best your have? Hop onto the ALP website - there are plenty of references to a carbon “tax”

    • Against the Man says:

      06:52am | 08/06/12

      Happy Swan? Still going to lose the election big time smile People don’t care, the ALP will pay a big price for the Gillard lie. Where is Rudd and CT and those asylum boats? hahahaha The ALP have more problems coming up smile

    • Pedro says:

      09:23am | 08/06/12

      She never lied. It’s not a tax. It’s just a re-badged ETS that everyone’s been talking about for years.
      You LNP loons are worse than the pigs in Animal Farm with your one way rhetoric.
      I’m voting Green anyway to make sure there is balance in the parliament whe rabbott swaggers in next year. Swaggers in with no agenda. Should be hilarious.
      Assuming of course the LNP house of cards doesn’t come crashing down with the links revealed between Christopher Whyne and Ashby & Rabbott and kathy jackson/lawler. It’s going to be an ugly 15 or so months in parliament.

    • gobsmack says:

      09:47am | 08/06/12

      You must be severely disappointed by the good news that Australia’s economy is humming along.
      Ruined your good week? wink

    • John P says:

      10:50am | 08/06/12

      gobsmack a good economy needs to translate to something fair dinkum Australians can feel. Many people I know myself included didn’t give a stuff about Swany’s announcement. Right now I’m more concerned on how I’m going to provide for my family. We just gave up our private health insurance because we couldn’t afford it with the latest hike. When you have a child and partner with chronic illness this isn’t good. Good news for the ALP maybe but nothing good for the majority of us in the real world.

    • Old Greg says:

      11:09am | 08/06/12

      Who are the Greens? Are they that party that Bob Brown used to lead? Are they sort of like the Democrats?

    • Against the Man says:

      02:50pm | 08/06/12

      gobsmack, every week Gillard leads is a great week! smile

    • acotrel says:

      08:58am | 09/06/12

      Vote #1: INDEPENDENT
      Empower the individual, and make every vote in parliament a conscience vote !
      You can still chose one with preferences to suit you, so that if your independent doesn’t get up his vote goes to the right place.
      Independents do so much more for their electorates !

    • DrBob says:

      07:30am | 08/06/12

      Well said, Badjack. You hit the nail on the head, but the pollies aren’t smart enough to see that and they’ll keep making the same mistakes.

    • Dash says:

      07:52am | 08/06/12

      Unemployment rate is up to 5.1 percent! Must be the ALP looking after all of the workers. And the carbon tax fraud hasn’t even started yet!

      Cue the fan boys to point out unemployment is higher in Greece.

    • Mattb says:

      08:32am | 08/06/12

      5.1% ??. One economist on the radio, when the figure was released, said “not that long ago 4-5% was considered by most economists as being full employment”. IMO the low 4’s are probably closer, but hey, in times of weak global economic outlooks 5.1% unemployment is pretty damn good and definately nothing to be negative about.

      Unless ofcourse, your a ranting, raving partisan hack.

      Any comments on the other economic data figures released this week Dash?, or are you now to busy clearing out those ‘Red’s under your bed’?.

    • acotrel says:

      08:35am | 08/06/12

      Are you suggesting we should have an election to protest about austerity measures ? We didn’t do the belt tightening the LNP suggested in 2008 when the GFC hit.

    • Christian Real says:

      08:52am | 08/06/12

      The ALP is looking after workers better than your LNP, in New South Wales Barry O’farrell’s government plans to sack 10,000 public servants, in Queensland Campbell Newman has already started his slash and burn of public servants which will in turn create more unemployment.
      The unemployment rate will go up Dash,but it is not because of the ALP or their policies,it is because of the LNP State Governments that could not care less about the workers,their business and mining friends will always come first.
      And it is a carbon price,it has always been promoted as a carbon price by the ALP Government.
      The only fraud is by the Opposition Leader and his LNP government and his supporters that continue to echoes his lies and deceit.

    • PJ says:

      08:52am | 08/06/12

      Unemployment is a lot more than 5 percent. It’s more like 12 as ex workers are living on their retrenchment monies.

    • Ginger Mick says:

      09:31am | 08/06/12

      @ Christian Real

      The reason the two states are cutting costs is because the Labor governments before them racked up massive debts and deficits.

      Somebody has to fix this - bet you would still whinge if Labor did this.

      Don’t know about NSW but Qld debt is way past 80 billion now thanks to nearly 20 years of Labor.  We have FIFO mines that are wrecking the country towns and wonderfull disasters like 1.25 billion Health computer system that will not be fixed real soon and the several hundred million dollars spent on “traviston” dam(n).

      Awesome is it not?  The Qld electors got it right, wait till Assies get to vote next.

      LNP may not be perfect but when it comes to managing money Labor could not manage a two seat outhouse.  That’s easy to beat!


    • Dave says:

      09:34am | 08/06/12

      The unemployment rate went up by 0.2 percent because more people started looking for work. That’s a good thing. In addition to that, 49,000 jobs were added to the economy. That’s even better.

      Not a fan boy… but I’m not a one eyed voter with tunnel vision either. And yes, unemployment is higher in Europe - would you rather be living in Greece / Spain right now, or Australia under a Labor govt? I’m guessing you pick the former?

    • acotrel says:

      09:36am | 08/06/12

      @Christian Real
      Baillieu is a lso doing slash and burn to cut costs while extending the jails.  It appears the LNP has a different approach to handling civil protests if things get really bad.

    • Tator says:

      09:48am | 08/06/12

      Christian Real,
      So the Liberal/LNP governments are going to reduce the bloated public services created by long term ALP state governments, no harm in that, most will be created by either attrition or TSP’s.  Considering that the biggest growth area in state governments between 2001 and 2008 was the Government administration area which increased in size at a rate a lot higher than either health or education meant that the ALP governments were just hiring unproductive bureaucrats which meant they needed more revenue to pay their wages.  In SA, the Auditor General has criticised the Rann ALP government for employing an extra 10000 UNBUDGETED for bureaucrats on top of the 5000 odd extra budgeted for front line staff (doctors/nurses/police/teachers) which costs a minimum of around half a billion dollars a year to pay for.  Not bad now that SA’s budget has gone into a deficit of over $200 million.  So what is the lesser evil, having an unproductive burden on the budget which requires higher taxes on the whole state or reducing the size of the public service to a more efficient level which won’t drive the State budgets into the red and not be a drag on the economy with the extra taxation required to fund it.
      The people of Australia deserve an efficient public service and not one that is a lead balloon around the neck for the rest of the economy.

    • SimonTigey says:

      11:01am | 08/06/12

      acotrel, in hindsight belt tightening would have been the answer rather than rack up $234 billion in debt. The Coalition was absolutley right when they proposed tax cuts and a smaller stimulus. There is absolutely no justification for spending $26 billion leftover surpus, $234 billion accumulated debt and $250 billion extra budget revenue since 2007 totalling more than half a trillion dollars since 2007. We have very little to tangibly show for this half a trillion of money, a private company would be bankrupt now having spent all that money with their company board facing very serious financial negligence and misappropriation charges.

      Lets say the stimulus saved 50,000 jobs, divide that by $500, 000,000,000 and you see that each job saved cost $10,000,000. Thats $10 million for each job saved, would have been 90% cheaper just to let these vulnerable businesses fold and provide financial assistance for these people until the economy improved.

      The money spent has absolutely no justification. Can you imagine if times were tough for yourself, would you go out and borrow another million dollars and spend it on things with nothing tangible to show. No you would not, it would break you, the same principle applies for our economy, it’s no different.

      Massive financial incompetence at it’s best, Gillard should be charged with treason once she gets booted from office.

    • Old Greg says:

      11:19am | 08/06/12

      Acotrel says: ‘Baillieu is a lso doing slash and burn to cut costs while extending the jails.  It appears the LNP has a different approach to handling civil protests if things get really bad. ‘

      This is easily the silliest piece of exaggeration I’ve read in the last few months. You really have a completely outdated view of the political divide.  It’s like you believe that the Liberal Party is still run by the land owning gentry of the 19th century.  At the very least you are still living in the 1960s.

    • Rose says:

      12:23pm | 08/06/12

      But PJ, didn’t you just say that “Under the Gillard Government some 50 percent of Australians are receiving Benefits of one kind or another to make ends meet, even though both parents maybe working.” Now you’re saying that people are living off retrenchment monies….can you please make up your mind?
      Truth is the number of people receiving middle class welfare ballooned during the Howard years, Gillard has just allowed most of it to continue. Areas where she has tried to rein back this dependence on handouts has seen her labelled as engaging in class warfare.
      You seem to be attributing all the ails of the world at Gillard’s feet and you don’t even take into account that Howard was the initiator of many of these policies and trends. That and the fact that Abbott wants to come in, pay some women up to $75,000 in welfare just to have a baby, and pay for nannies for them as well.
      What we need is a politician to stand up and tell Australians to stop being whingeing spoilt brats and to stop expecting handouts. We are one of the most prosperous countries in the world, our living standards are extremely high, although our disadvantaged are not doing too well (and even that is due to gutless politicians who refuse to address the structural causes of Australian poverty) and quite frankly Australians are just getting too damn greedy!

    • Gus says:

      01:22pm | 08/06/12

      @Ginger Mick
      The 1.25 billion figure the LNP is quoting is the total cost of running the health payroll system for seven years, to work out the cost of the heath payroll stuff up you need to subtract from that the cost of operating the system without the problems…......... which is about 1.1 billion…........ or are the tories suggesting they can run heath payroll at zero cost for the next five years, now that would be efficient.

    • Anniebello says:

      01:35am | 10/06/12

      @ Rose.

      ‘Abbott wants to come in, pay some women up to $75,000 in welfare just to have a baby’ ...

      ICB. Paid mat leave for women earning up to $150,000 a year (that’s your $75,000 for 6 months leave) is NOT welfare. Its a benefit of working, you know, where you pay tax and contribute to the community.
      If you’re on $30,000 a year - mat leave is paid at $15,000, at $25,000 it’s $12,500. How many women do you think will be claiming the top dollar mat leave considering how hard/long they would have to be working to command that kind of salary?

      These are the families who we need to have more of. The families who have the means to support their children without the need for yet another government handout. 

      Labor has engaged in ‘class warfare’ by taking ‘benefits’ of working from those who do and handing it out to those who don’t.
      (I have no issue with helping those who can’t.)

    • GreyMatters says:

      07:52am | 08/06/12

      Ltd News has a lot to answer for.
      Pure poison down democracy’s throat.

    • acotrel says:

      08:37am | 08/06/12

      Never mind, in a minute Murdoch will change and support the other side.  It’s how he gets his kicks.

    • RANK FRANK says:

      08:02am | 08/06/12

      Do you have confidence in Wayne Swan as Treasurer?
      I most certainly dont, sadly he still uses his fingers to count.
      The growth figures shocked everyone , most of all any in the Building/Construction Industry which has been in regression for
      20 months. One good number will not ‘Save the Gillard Government’,
      they will have created another disaster tomorrow. Sad joke actually -
      And only having the support of 1 in 4 Australians (23% in Qld ,26% accross

    • acotrel says:

      08:44am | 08/06/12

      History always repeats itself.  In the 30s depression the conservatives brought Otto Niemayer to Australia.  He represented the Bank Of England and recommended belt tightening at a time when a lot of people were on the bones of their arse.  That depression was deeper and lasted longer in Australia than in any other country. And that was the potential offered by the LNPs proposed belt tightening in 2008 when the GFC hit.

    • ibast says:

      09:16am | 08/06/12

      “One good number will not ‘Save the Gillard Government”.

      The thing is it’s not just one good number.  Constantly low interest rates, consistently low unemployment, consistently low inflation, good fiscal recovery in a very difficult time and now another good GDP figure.

      Anyone that argues that Labor can’t manage an economy doesn’t know what they are talking about.

      Badjack (above) is right in that people do judge a government on a range of issues.  I do so myself.  Despite this, economic management is the single biggest decider for me and this government is good at it.

      Not only that, every indication is the current opposition will be bad at it.  Every time they open their mouth on an economic issue they stick their foot in it.

    • PJ says:

      08:19am | 08/06/12

      Everytime figures on the economy are released Swan always acts surprised we have a once in a generation mining boom. Not news to me, I’ve known it for a while.

      I have also remembered that the Australian economy is pinned together by this mining boom and outside of that is the evidence of a mis managed economy.

      Remember, we all acknowledge we are in a boom, that should be creating an economy that is the envy of the world. Managed properly.

      Over the past 6 months the economy has created 125,000 jobs yippie. But thanks in part to the Carbon Tax, we have lost 150,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector alone in the same period. We should all remember that the Retailers are on their knees, spewing workers out into unemployment and last quarter saw a sharp drop in the building sector. We have heard Small Business owners describe how for them every working day is a firefight.

      Personally I’m not celebrating that 40,000 of the 125,000 jobs were created in one month. In statistical terms this jobs figure is known as noise and is set against collosal jobs losses in sectors other than mining. It seems every week we have news of another company shedding workers. You know this to be true, it’s been in your newspapers, radios, hell we have even discussed it here. Those laid off will have more than $3000 to their name at this stage, so we won’t see them statistically for a while.

      Do not forget also, currently the Gillard Government sanctions 40 percent of these new jobs be given to overseas workers on easily obtainable 457 visas. Also that each of our cities records 1200 new arrivals per week under the mass immigration program of the Gillard Government. The import of cheap labour for Aussie jobs has been justified by calling the Australian workforce, skill less, lazy and unwilling to travel. What a reference for you Aussie. Who needs friends when you’ve got the Australian Government behind you.

      The Reserve Bank of Australia does not share the jubilation either, lowering the base rate on two consecutive occasions. And the Banks? Well they are hanging on to their capital this time, because they remember only last month it was released that 25 percent of Australians have credit debt other than mortgages that they cannot pay off. Echoes of 2008 anyone?

      Another little indicator that suddenly everything is not rosy is crime. Very recently figured released showed a sharp rise in personal robbery and domestic assault, as much as 20 percent. This is the perfect barometer that Aussies are under pressure and all is not sunshine and hay.

      My personal experience of where we are haunts. Barely 6 months ago there was no where for my team to sit at a clients site. This week we walk in and had a choice of 50 percent of the desks. Naw I won’t waive a Swan flag in celebration.

      Indeed why would half the population, or is it 70 percent, require the Gillard Governments buffet of benefits to make ends meet if we are “on the pigs back”.

    • Punch Drunk says:

      10:22am | 08/06/12

      Good to see that I’m not the only one that starts drinking early, what are you actually trying to say?  Any chance of an English translation?

    • Josh says:

      08:21am | 08/06/12

      Anyone who think Hockey would be better than Swan is kidding themselves. He is as cluesless as… he and Abbott have to worst off the cuff speakers in Australian politics. For the air time they get, they bumble along like primary school kids anytime they have to go off script. 

      This doesn’t mean I think the ALP are any better; they aren’t. But the Libs, as they are at the moment aren’t the solution. Its a sad state of affairs where we prefer the Opposition but not the Opposition leader; it really sums up the Liberals, post Howard.

    • David says:

      08:39am | 08/06/12

      It is the mining industry which is “saving” the country right now - something Labor does not of course want to acknowledge.  What happens when the resources run out? Labor has no plans for the future.

    • Sarah Goodall says:

      10:07am | 08/06/12

      Labor have a plan? Surely you jest? They can’t even mamage their own internal politics!

    • Mitch says:

      10:36am | 08/06/12

      No plans, except, you know redistributing the wealth of the mining boom to other sectors of the economy via the super-profits tax. It’s almost like they do acknowledge that the mining industry is doing incredibly well and is the reason for all the good numbers and they want to use that to help out the rest of the country.

    • SimonTigey says:

      11:46am | 08/06/12

      Mitch, the mining tax is a destructive tax that hampers investment and moves many mines to a negative NPV. Just like Roxby Downs.

      The mining tax was originally sold as being used for superannuation and infrastructure, it’s now only being used to splash cash at Labor’s voter base to stop them jumping ship once the carbon tax takes effect. The mining tax to Labor was never about spreading the benefits of the mining boom, it was always about vote buying.

      What’s needed is the carbon tax needs to be dumped, along with 20,000 new regulations that are killing productivity and business combined with an archaic and restricive IR policy. This will immediately lift confidence and bring these recessionary pockets out of oblivion.

      Labor is deliberately causing Australias economic woes but hiding behind the very sector that is keeping Australia afloat!!!!

    • Mitch says:

      01:17pm | 08/06/12

      Sorry SimonTigey, but when the WA economy has grown 14.5% in the last year (according to the state Liberal party)  I find it hard to believe that mining is or will be under as much threat as you seem to think it is. Redistributing the wealth from mining is the right thing to do if we want to keep our nation prosperous.

      The policies you talk about implementing will lead us nowhere but into the same mess the US is in right now. A shrinking middle class with stagnating wages, leading to a drop in demand for goods from already struggling manufacturing industries. Its amazing how many times conservative economic thought can go wrong and yet people still blindly cling to it like its some silver bullet that magically creates jobs (even when there is dropping or stagnant demand).

    • james says:

      02:42pm | 08/06/12

      Simon, royalties are more regressive, they are paid before any profit is made.

      Please write a letter to Barnett/Newman/O’Farrell and ask them to reduce the royalties to the level they were before the GFC came along, IF you are so concerned about mining.

    • andye says:

      12:48pm | 09/06/12

      I heard about a socialist state where they have lots of oil. In that state the government forces the oil companies to pay every citizen of the state a couple of thousand dollars a year. The governor of that state even signed off a one time payment of $1200 to every citizen to help with heating bills. Wow, that sounds like communist utopia!

      I remember now, it was called Alaska. The governor was Sarah Palin. She must be a real commie, that one.

    • andye says:

      01:00pm | 09/06/12

      @SimonTigey - If there are borderline operations that would be closed, then so be it. Right now the mining industry is continuing to push to get as much of Australia’s natural assets out of the ground (forever) and sell them as quickly as they can - so a few can do well, very few can do obscenely well, and lots of the money goes overseas.

      Why should the nation of Australia (or the states that own the mineral rights) allow this? Why should they allow their resources to be extracted (like I said, forever) at what is essentially a very cheap price in these kinds of market conditions?

      It is bad business. We are selling cheaply in a boom and all Australians are stakeholders here. Mining companies do not want us to remember this.

      If some of Australia’s resources stay in the ground a little longer and the money benefits our nation more, then surely this is better than a few getting fat off the scrapings from the torrent of money leaving our shores?

    • sim_o says:

      08:42am | 08/06/12

      “Thursday rounded out the economic-political mis-match with bullish employment data showing the jobless rate at 5.1 per cent in May - up a touch from 4.9 in April admittedly but with 40,000 new full-time jobs created.”

      If this statement is correct actually it means that we lost approx 24200 jobs.
      How the economy is “doing well” when we lose jobs?

    • Matt F says:

      10:11am | 08/06/12

      The number rose because more people started looking for work who weren’t previously looking. In other words, people who weren’t looking for work during the last survey, and therefore weren’t included in the last figures, have (for whatever reason) started looking for work now which has pushed the number of people looking for work up, despite the net gain in job creation.

    • acotrel says:

      08:52am | 08/06/12

      The LNP are always prattling on about waste but never seem to consider the consequences of their own actions when they talk down the economy.  Rudd used the stimulus in 2008 to keep the economy bubbling along and boost business confidence.  Abbott, Hockey, Joyce, and Truss have at least negated part of the the effect, making the stimulus effort wasted.  Their political ambitions have got in the road of helping Australia prosper.

    • craig2 says:

      11:37am | 08/06/12

      Acrotel: Can you point out where the LNP is responsible for the number of leases noted around my area and the retailers who are walking out and leaving their stock behind? Too much red tape and very little support from a government hell bent on ramming tax after tax after tax onto them.

    • Terence says:

      08:53am | 08/06/12

      It’s not the Economy, It’s the Politics Stupid!
      Such a broad statement, but I would rather put it as I’ts the deceitful, wasteful, stab in the back, unethical, side of Politics that most of us find distasteful!
      This Labor Government has proved themselves Experts at this style of Government.

    • Brenda's sister says:

      09:01am | 08/06/12

      I think analysts miss some important logic behind the general hatred for this government. For a long while Gillard and Cronies pitched to “working families” until lately someone must have suddenly woke up and recommended their new chant “working Australians”.

      We have retired neighbours who rely on interest from their savings - yet Swan and co. constantly bleat only on behalf of money borrowers, ignoring responsible depositors and their example of self-reliance. When interest rates go down, as Gillard and Swan arm-twist the Reserve Bank followed by blistering attacks on the wisely stable big four, inevitably a percentage of responsible savers are forced to claim taxpayer funded Centrelink benefits.

      The other groups are statistically increasing singles and couples who have no children but are now being forced to subsidise everyone else’s, including “kids” bonuses”, childcare and general give-aways, despite them having decided they can’t afford children or responsibly, would not be good at parenting.

      So Gillard and Swan are effectively sticking their noses in the air at responsible,  long-term self-reliant savers,  singles trying to make financial headway and the childless. A young, hardworking couple told us yesterday, “We are fed up with paying for everyone else’s children and Gillard’s give-aways”.

      Middle-higher income groups probably constitute a large part of the ever diminishing Labor vote, and it’s unlikely that Gillard can satisfy them between now and whenever Labor faces these people, having taken advantage of their contributions while ignoring them - all part of her unpopular style.

    • emel says:

      09:04am | 08/06/12

      Good piece Mark.
      But it also highlights a sad reality. No matter what is written on the Punch, the endless chorus of small-minded bores stating ‘Gillard’s a liar’ and ‘communist manifesto’ will roar on and on through these comment threads.
      Many of the above contributors now seem to rely on The Punch for social contact. It has become a forum for lonely, deluded, psuedo-intellectuals who truly think they are ‘contributing’.
      Arcotrel / Rank Frank / Badjack / Nathan/ Dash Take note…
      You are not journalists - you just do not have enough going on in your life.
      Shut the F…k up for a while.

    • Mattb says:

      09:35am | 08/06/12


      You have a point in that the rantings that go on here don’t change anything, BUT, no one’s forcing you to read them, you can f..k off anytime you like.

    • acotrel says:

      09:40am | 08/06/12

      There is another thread about freedom of speech on this forum.  Why don’t you contribute to it ?

    • sim_o says:

      09:44am | 08/06/12

      What are YOU doing on Punch? If you don’t like, you should go. Otherwise just tell your opinion (if you have one!)
      It does not matter what someone thinks, it’s their right to have an opinion and to publish it wherever their opinion is not censured by moderators of the site. I do not like many of them, but that’s why we like to live in a free county. Regards.

    • Do you see the irony of your post .... says:

      09:55am | 08/06/12

      Poor emel - if lonely, deluded, pseudo-intellectuals are “contributing” to this blog then what are you doing here. Are you in denial or just a delicate little flower? You don’t seem to have much going on in your life if reading the posts bother you enough to mount a personal attack on regular posters. It’s only a blog but it sounds like it keeps you up at night. Calm down and piss off.

    • emel says:

      10:50am | 08/06/12

      Sorry Fellas,
      I wasn’t having a go at your right to express an opinion. I was having a go at the tedious opinions that a lot of you make- day in, day out. Lets face it, everyone knows where everyone else stands on Gillard V Abbott, the mining Tax, the immigration debate, the carbon tax and the rest of it.
      What is your motive for repeatedly expressing the same diatribe every single day?
      This forum could be so much more informative, humerous, enlightening if it wasn’t for the (mostly) right wing ranting that fills it pages.
      I wonder how many people just don’t bother contributing anymore due to the knowledge that it will inevitably come back to the same few jejunian die-hards who love to see their words on the screen, discussing whether or not julia is a liar or not.
      I never said that comments don’t change anything Mattb. So why did you write that I did? Please apply some rigour to your analysis.

    • Do you see the irony of your post says:

      11:33am | 08/06/12

      emel “Please apply some rigour to your analysis.”


    • Jinx says:

      11:36am | 08/06/12

      emel “This forum could be so much more informative, humerous, enlightening if it wasn’t for the (mostly) right wing ranting that fills it pages.”

      Logic would have it that if only 27% of people like this government then this blog is going to be disproportionately filled with what you call “right-wing ranting”. Suck it up.

    • emel says:

      11:57am | 08/06/12

      Fair Point.

    • Mattb says:

      12:33pm | 08/06/12


      “Logic would have it that if only 27% of people like this government then this blog is going to be disproportionately filled with what you call “right-wing ranting”. Suck it up.”

      Logic is definately not your strong point either Jinx. Just because only 27% of the population of this country still believes in labor doesnt automatically mean 73% of the country have instantly become right wing idiots willing to post ridiculous, negative and ignorant rants on the web.

      A good portion of those 73% are liberal voters who are scratching their heads at the size of the jump to the right their once dignified party has taken. A good proportion are greens voters and i’d have to say a proportion will become independant/informal voters come the next election.

      Far right loonies are, thankfully, still a minority in this country…

    • JoniM says:

      12:40pm | 08/06/12


      Seriously, you need to adapt to social media !
      This is how people communicate and have fun these days !
      There is really nothing different from communicating 10 years ago, except that we can’t see your faces or your real names, like we could at a dinner party !
      The pains in the arse that turned up to your birthday party or your pub function now turn up on social media !
      Whilst ever you provide an open forum here at the Punch, you cannot expect it to be dominated by serious meaningful debate on issues, as the party gate crashers will always be there in large numbers looking for their gratification !
      Best you start your own blog and restrict its access to those of your opinion only !

    • emel says:

      02:49pm | 08/06/12

      JoniM, Thanks for your thoughtful advice, but I can’t see where I stated that I was interested in reading like minded opinions. Perhaps I didn’t.
      BTW, any dinner party that involved any of the bigoted and shallow arguments thrust forth from approx. 76% of contributors to this site would be truly awful.
      I would serve a cheese fondue and fruity lexia and hope that they got the message.

    • Jinx says:

      04:44pm | 08/06/12

      MattB - if you read into the nuance of what I wrote I indicated “WHAT YOU CALL “right-wing ranting”” to emel. Not me - him. You following - n-o-t m-e, h-i-m (I’m going slowly so you can keep up).

      I don’t think that the majority of the population has suddening become right-wing - the description was taken directly from emel’s post and I put little quotey-marks around his statement (obviously grammar is not your strong point). Most of the population certainly hate the government and that’s why there are so many anti-government posts - so my logic stands.

      MattB, obviously nuance is “definately” not another strong point of yours (that should be definitely - so spelling bad for you as well).

      “right wing idiots willing to post ridiculous, negative and ignorant rants on the web.” no MattB - that would be people posting their opinions. You view them as ridiculous, negative and ignorant rants simply because you disagree. Obviously you just can’t tolerate differing opinions.

    • Dibatag says:

      09:24am | 08/06/12

      If it was not for the mining boom we would be up that well know creek with out a paddle ,Idiot Swan can crow all he likes about the figures the fact is they are not of his making.

    • Gomez12 says:

      11:16am | 08/06/12

      The mining boom has been ongoing for about 16 years now and has underpinned every set of economic figures since Keating.

      Costello did even less than Swan has had to do to ride on the coat-tails of the mining boom. Both have overseen a huge lost opportunity to do some much needed nation-building.

    • Leo says:

      09:47am | 08/06/12

      Correct me if I am wrong, but under Howard/Costello, the banks always moved their rates in line with the reserve. It changed once Rudd/Swann came on board. The same factors existed about the cost of borrowing then as now. Was it that Costello leaned on people behind the scenes and threatened regulatory changes if they did not comply ?  The banks are making Swann look a total lightweight.

      As for growth, it may be raining prosperity in the mining sector but it sure is tough in almost every other area. Its just meaningless to release national growth and unemployment figures. The numbers need to be broken down by sector and region to show the real picture. The chirpiness of Swann over the growth figure shows just how disconnected he is with what is happening on the ground.

    • craig2 says:

      11:27am | 08/06/12

      Leo: it’s one thing to see the economy thru the eyes of the mining boom, it’s another to see the economy thru those retailers are giving up and leaving their stock behind to the landlord. There are leases everywhere and something is seriously wrong with the economy at the moment and Acrotel and gobsmack and others don’t see that. National unemployment av might be 5.1 national but here on the Gold Coast, it’s 12.3%. Storm is coming and i’m battening down the hatches!

    • ibast says:

      11:33am | 08/06/12

      You are wrong.  They weren’t always in line.  I remember Costello being embarrassed a few times by it.  They were more inclined to pass it on however.

      You must keep in mind that Howard brought about the housing boom by way of handouts and this made the banks very, very rich.

      Times are different now.  They haven’t got people knocking on their doors for loans.

      Also, interest rates were also higher under Howard/Costello, so the banks had more to play with.

      Despite the above argument, I think we do need a bit more re-regulation of the banking industry.  Oligopolies never behave like a true free market.

    • Big Jay says:

      12:32pm | 08/06/12

      @ibast- I largely agree with you. But I think you left out the bit about more competition in the Australian mortgage lending market pre-gfc, thanks the untold squillions of dollars sloshing around world credit markets at the time. But you’re spot, times are different now.

    • Leo says:

      06:41pm | 08/06/12

      @Craig2 you echo my beliefs entirely and @ibast and @Big Jay you raise some good points but Howard’s first home owner scheme was a few thousand dollars, and the property boom has doubled and tripled values around the globe, not just here. The big fall has played out just about everywhere except here and you can buy property in major US, UK & European cities for a fraction of the comparable property here. Big falls must be on the cards, especially on the retail property market, with more consumers shunning the retail sector its just not feasible for high retail rents to be sustainable - look at all the vacant shops. Anyhow Craig2’s prediction of trouble ahead is no doubt correct.

    • The moor says:

      09:58am | 08/06/12

      Voters need to understand explicitly what the two potential governments stand for and at the moment they don’t.  The media let Tony Abbott off the hook big time over his budget reply speech and instead of taking him to lack over the lack of substance in it they allowed themselves to be distracted by the Kroger Cstello affair (in hindsight that was a pretty good tactical move by the Liberals).  After listening to that budget reply speech the only impression you could get is that the Liberals actually don’t know what they are going to do.  If that doesn’t worry the media it should.  They should be demanding that the Liberals spell out in detail what they will do and how it will affect the Australian people.  A good place start would be to ask Tony Abbott why he believes it is acceptable to give the meaningless budget reply speech he did.

    • Mitch says:

      10:10am | 08/06/12

      With the good economic news, and the astounding rate of growth in WA fueled by the mining industry, I’m eagerly awaiting Abbott to come out guns blazing about how its the government isn’t doing enough to ensure the spoils of the mining boom are helping ordinary Australians.

    • Reggieman says:

      10:27am | 08/06/12

      Dear Punch moderators. I have counted 12 comments from Arcotel out of a total of 54 posts on this thread. Over my time here reading the Punch I have had around 15 posts not published, none of them inflammatory, or containing bad language. I guess they simply weren’t deemed “good enough”. My question is, why does Arcotel get his comments published so often? Is his comment deemed more “acceptable” than others, or is there some other agenda happening here? Please understand, I am not on a whinge rant here. I genuinely would like to know. It just seems really, really strange that one person, who just so happens to be on the left (and whose politics alines with most of the journo’s who write for The Punch) can have an incredibly disproportionate amount of comments published. Thank you

    • Billy says:

      11:27am | 08/06/12

      thats becuse you havnt anything interesting to say and acotrel does. suck it up princess.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      12:21pm | 08/06/12

      Yeah right. The Punch is so left-wing. It’s so hard for poor non-Labor/Greem /independent supportes to get their widdle voices heard. *little violin playing*

    • Mitch says:

      12:57pm | 08/06/12

      “The Punch is so left-wing”


    • cynic says:

      10:27am | 08/06/12

      It’s the economoy all right but limited to WA & Qld only due to mining & pull through impact of major investment over the last 2 years or so. Retail, maufacturing, hospitality, tourism, building are struggling badly so the great news is not even and major sectors are hurting. One swallow does not make a summer so wait for the end of 012 when our numbers go down. Hockey & economic experts judge these last numbers with suspicion, not wrong, but unsustainable against the internatinal backdrop.

    • Rick with a silent P says:

      03:51pm | 08/06/12

      @ cynic I’m glad you made the distinction between Hockey and economic experts.

    • Redmond says:

      10:57am | 08/06/12

      Judging by the insults posted by the uneducated here. I have to conclude that Australians are the most stupid people in the world. Having retired from the AEC, and witnessed the fools who think they can vote, I have concluded that people treat elections like a game of football. “Yippee, our side won.” But did you? Look at O’Barrell. Broke every promise he made. Worse than Gillard. And just how stupid are we. We get sick of Labor, so we kick them out and vote Liberal. Then when they are on the nose, we stick Labor back in, and so it goes in the same cycle. Pity we don’t have a third threatening party, it is hard to break the mould. The only time the corrupt Lib/Lab party ever agree, is a pay rise for pollies,and degenerating a third political party, that may be a threat to their cushy lifestyle, to which they have become accustomed. How do you wake up fools?

    • I've had enough says:

      11:41am | 08/06/12

      Big talk from someone without a solution!

      No solution makes you a Gillard!

    • Apathy Rules says:

      01:13pm | 08/06/12

      Redmond - Your conclusion is hard to prove “Australians are the most stupid people in the world” but if I was setting a book, I would have them as 2 to 1 on favourites!

    • Underlow says:

      11:27am | 08/06/12

      Perhaps it is because Acotrel’s comments motivate others to reply to his comments, to which he replies.
      Post another comment, and I’ll tell you if it is “good”

    • Sam says:

      11:29am | 08/06/12

      The fly in the ointment is that some people may me bringing forward discretionery spending in anticipation of the Carbon Tax.  I wonder how much of this is going on???  I think the figues will tell us in a few months.  It wouldnt surprise me if this June is a massive sales moth for some businesses with uncertain consumers deciding perhaps to beat the uncertainly of the price rises asoiciated with the looming Carbon Tax.

    • Paul says:

      12:16pm | 08/06/12

      So, can someone tell me how much extra money Costello had as a result of the mining boom under his watch?

    • jase says:

      12:40pm | 08/06/12

      As much as I do not like to say it, the economy is so far up the creek without a paddle it is not funny. Come July we will be heading full steam ahead into a recession.

      - Mining is slowing down, the big players are scrapping some very big projects. You cannot argue that the mining and carbon tax has not been a factor in this decision.
      - Global economy is not going to improve in the short term.
      - Red tape and regulation is constantly increasing.
      - Sky high labour costs and lowering productivity.

      All the above are factors leading us down a path of utter destruction, we have a demographic of people who are so far in debt, carrying unsustainable wages. When the bubble bursts this is going to cause our very own debt crisis. I do really wish I could say positive things, but the harsh reality exists.

      I am not complaining because my business is riding off of government and mining related contracts. I do feel sorry for the other businesses in the country that are struggling because of the economic mismanagement by this government.

      Taxing however is not the solution to the problem, rewarding innovation and entrepreneurial ventures is. If these businesses are hurting now, what effect do you think the increased costs from the carbon tax will have?

      If somehow you cannot see the negative effect of these on the economy then you are truly delusional, sold on the idea of this magic utopia.

    • Little Chick says:

      05:57pm | 08/06/12

      We’ll all be roooned.
      Squawk ,Squawk , the sky is falling, the sly is falling.
      jase runs around in ever decreasing circles waiting or follow-up material from Cmdr. Abbott.
      Squawk ,Squawk , the sky is falling, the sly is falling.

    • Bob of Perth says:

      01:00pm | 08/06/12

      Just received a letter from my LPG supplier titled ‘The Clean Energy Future Legislation and your Business’ . Here is part ” From July 1 2012 the invoiced price of LPG that we supply to you will include the impact of the future clean energy future legislation. The adjustment to charges will include the price set by the federal government on the carbon embedded in LPG and the increased costs incurred in the LPG supply chain as a result of the introduction of a carbon price to the Australian Market” It then goes on to say that on top of that GST will be added to the increased cost. Now are then any fools out there who still believe that enough compensation is going to be provided to offset this cost - if there are they truely are brain dead. This pathetic government has to turfed out immediately !!

    • O Uch says:

      02:14pm | 08/06/12

      tax on a tax.GST me!  The redistributive effect will be shown soon.
      Macquarie energy - NSW pay one half billion in tax.  Cannot get cleaner coal,& coal not the dirtiest, so where does the 500mill come from? NSW pockets - personal bills & govt dividends.  No change of behaviourr - well I have bought another fleece

    • Mitch says:

      03:29pm | 08/06/12

      Wow Bob, you mean the new legislation is going to mean people will have to start either paying more, or cutting back on their use of fossil fuels? Who’d have thought that would be a result?!

    • Millsy says:

      03:38pm | 08/06/12

      Haha, After reading through all these comments its sounds like Liberal voters are the most pessimistic, dour and miserable people on Earth! “Oh woe and strife are coming, Australia is doomed, doooooomed! Labor are tearing out Australias heart and placing at the altar of Lenins ghost!”

    • mikem says:

      08:15pm | 08/06/12

      Thats not surprising Millsy given the doom and gloom duo they have as shadow leader and treasurer.  Toxic Tony and his sidekick Joe have nothing constructive to offer which means they have little choice but to talk everything down.  Their budget reply responses were pathetic and demonstrated how bereft they are of economic nous and policy.

    • Rick says:

      04:05pm | 08/06/12

      It’s not the economy, it’s the politics, stupid!
      When “shit happens” who’s fault when democracy is under the iron fist of the few?

      Switzerland does not have any oil or good recources it did not participate in most european wars did not do any colonizing but they are richest country in the world is this only because of swiss banks or are there anything else?

      Imagine now if the people were sovereign as in Switzerland with the same legal democratic rights to keep the bastards honest…......??????

    • Tenner says:

      05:59pm | 08/06/12

      The Swiss have megatons of Nazi gold that wasn’t claimed and keeps them ticking over.
      Oh, and they are very good at heroin related industries.

    • stephen says:

      10:56pm | 08/06/12


      Can you make further comments about this ?

    • Nick Firth says:

      02:10am | 10/06/12

      Would all of you just get real about politics?  All politicians “lie” to some extent, and those who seem terribly surprised are the just the same dears who wonder why that nice salesman who appeared at the front door ripped them off so badly.  The shit that Julia Gillard and Co. get lumped with by the oh so cynical media is appalling - take the above piece as an example.  It’s the “correct” time to “not” have a carbon tax.  Oh? this journo is suddenly an expert?  I think not, considering that introducing large new fiscal measures aren’t generally done in economic downturns.  Or “Julia Gillard lied”  as oppposed to ” Tony Abbott has changed tack” .  This week has been a case in point, with Tony Abbott and the Liberals now saying the Carbon Tax is now “not a wrecking ball” it’s a ” python”.  Seen any media stating that “Tony Abbott lied”??  No, Why?  Because the media is now not an even handed, unbiased commentary - It’s a business like any other, so 3/4 of the population don’t like Labor, apparently.  So journalists just become the clowns playing to the galleries…. sad really.  Journalism used to have these things called ethics, it wasn’t a career, it was a calling.  Not any more, it’s just become the carnival of fools….

    • True Blue Ozzie says:

      09:32pm | 11/06/12

      The Labor/Greens cosy beds have brought about, some of the most debilitating policies to the Australian people when the worlds economic’s are fradgile and unstable. The current Government is blindsiding the real issues in Australia, in a bid to be seen on the world stage for reason’s that will not bring true growth and a better way of life of ordinary Australians. We should be more concerned about what Australians think about there country and stuff the wor;d!


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