It isn’t hard to find ways to mock Jenny Macklin for her extraordinary claim that she could live on the dole. But to be fair to her, she was only telling the truth. Of course if pushed we all could live on the dole.

Cartoon: Nicholson

In Africa they live on a dollar a day. People adapt. If $35 a day is what you have, then that’s what you have. Obviously if you are used to being on $900 a day as a cabinet minister then it’s going to be a bit more of a step-down for you than it would be for, say, a cleaner, but if you were happy to be the deputy leader of the Labor Party under leaders as diverse as Simon Crean, Mark Latham and Kim Beazley, then clearly flexibility is not a problem.

But that said, it still showed extraordinary political ineptitude.  Let’s go to the transcript, the bit we got, not the embarrassing bit they failed to include.

Asked if she could live on the dole Macklin responded thus:  “What we know is that we needed to fix a difference that was in the system for parenting payment. Back in 2006 the rules were changed and anybody who had their youngest child turn 8 coming on to Parenting Payment who was looking for work went on to unemployment benefits instead. What we’ve done is really just make sure that those people who’ve been on the payment for a longer period of time have the same rules applied to them.”

“Back in 2006” is a way of saying John Howard did this and Labor, the party of fairness and equity, was actually addressing an injustice.

Of course If Labor felt so strongly that it needed to “to fix the difference” it could have moved the women affected by Howard’s changes back on to Parenting Payment.  Instead it has moved tens of thousands of women onto the dole “really just to make sure” the same rules apply to them.

From the way the Government is treating these people you would never have guessed they are bedrock of Labor’s support. But as a Labor official said to me in despair this week: “People living on welfare are our base”.

In political terms, you might say, so what, where are they going to go?  To the Liberals? The Coalition supports the changes. Are they going to start voting for those inner-city hipsters, the Greens? Not likely.

It would seem that the Government is correct in its bet that no matter how much a single mother might hate Government that has cut her income by $110 a week, she is going to keep voting Labor.

But one of the interesting things about the last 20 years is how many people who were once rusted on Labor voters have started voting Liberal in this country. The usual explanations for the rise of what were once called “Howard’s battlers” include the decline of trade unions and a feeling that the middle class operatives of the Labor Party were principally concerned with issues such as the environment that were of little interest to ordinary Australians.

According to this view it took Work Choices – a direct attack on their living conditions - to drive them back to the Labor Party. Looking at the polls around the country today and the seats – particularly in Sydney -  that Tony Abbott will win this year,  it is clear that that while the ALP managed to win a lot of these voters back in 2007, they have utterly failed during the past five years consolidate their allegiance.

The explanations for the electoral tsunami that is going to hit the ALP later this year will keep Australia’s scholars busy for years with necking Kevin Rudd, the waste of the stimulus programmes and other fiascos big and small all set to be given their due.

The real reason in my opinion however is the carbon tax, which while it might have dropped off the radar for certain Canberra journalist is still, in the words of a Labor official “killing us” all around Australia.

What the carbon tax and kicking tens of thousands of women onto the dole both create in the minds of many Australians is the impression that the ALP is not on their side. A tax to fix roads, to pay for hospitals or to defend our borders might have been sellable.

But putting a tax on electricity bills to indulge an obsession of Northcote Age readers makes a lot of people look at their middle-class Labor MPs – who in some cases needed the Melway to find their electorates when they were handed them by the faction bosses – and ask themselves,  is that person really like me?

Similarly, if you are a single-mother worried about being home when your kids get home from school because looking after them properly is the most important thing you can do, you probably look at someone like Tanya Plibersek, who is so wrapped up in her career she went back to work one month after having her son Louis, and wonder if that is someone who shares the same values as you.

Especially as many of the women who are being hit by this move are actually already working.

Likewise, you don’t actually have to be a single-mother to wonder if Jenny Macklin on her $6000 a week salary that our taxes pay, actually lives in the same country wed do. The tsunami is coming.

Comments on this post will close at 6pm AEDT.

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    • Cobbler says:

      09:13am | 06/01/13

      lol.  “It’s the Carbon Tax”

      Pretty long bow there mate.  Pretty long bow.

      All it comes down too is that the LNP is better at playing politics.  They’ve targeted otherwise good policies and made them look like disasters and managed to dig up enough dirt on 2-3 on the other side that they’ve had the public focused off things like “Holy shit, if Tony A gets in then I’m glad I built that bomb shelter and stocked it with beans!” for the past 2 years.

      Unfortunately Labor is going to have to sink to their level to survive.

    • ZSRenn says:

      09:39am | 06/01/13

      More TA bashing. Why are you people constantly doing this. Why not ask Julia Gillard Why?

      You obviously love the Labor Party and would like to see it returned so why not ask the question of her

      ” Why have you gone to such great lengths to destroy our once powerful party by dragging its name into the mud?”

    • Rachel Carson says:

      09:44am | 06/01/13

      The carbon tax has harmed the fight to save the environment in Australia. Why?

      The carbon tax is a fraud imposed on Australia as it achieves no measurable impact on fighting global warming. The naughty nations China and India continue to increase massively the emission of CO2. By 2035 the number of coal powered stations in the world will increase by 50%.

      The carbon tax negative impacts on Australia. Firstly it has turned off many in Australia from real and genuine battles to save the environment and has given the genuine environmental movement a bad name as these people can see the carbon tax achieves nothing. It harms Australia economically.

    • Luke says:

      09:45am | 06/01/13

      Surplus promise - not playing politics?
      No Carbon Tax - not playing politics?
      All the broken promises and back flips by Labor - not playing politics?
      Mysogyny speach - not playing politics?
      Handbag hit squad -  not playing politics?
      Personal insults at Abbott - not playing politics?
      Tent Embassy debacle -  not playing politics?
      Getting rid of Jenkins and installing Slipper - not playing poitics?
      Gillard is so focused on playing politics she can’t see the end of her nose.

    • BS Buster says:

      09:53am | 06/01/13

      So the prolonged character assasination of Abbot by the ALP for years is clean politics? The personal attacks against Abbotts chief of staff clean politics? The deliberate divisive attempt at a race riot last Aust Day by the ALP clean politics?  If the Libs have been able to score points on the ALP its because the ALP have provided the ammunition with repeated policy stuff ups and questionable behavior by some members. If you want to see political venom and dirt in action watch parliamentary question time and you’ll see most of the venom spewing from the ALP benches, not only towards LNP members but also the general public.  The LNP are not innocent when it comes to political dirt but the ALP wrote the manual. Most of the current bunch of ALP reps are totally out of touch and a disgrace to their party and the country.

    • Tomo says:

      10:47am | 06/01/13

      lol.  “It’s the Carbon Tax”

      Mr Cobbler, I have been waiting patiently for over 2 years to have my say on the carbon tax. This year my wait is over, my vote will not be going the way of this present incompetent government.

      The carbon tax increases every year and so too will my power bills, 2013/14=$24-15 a ton, 2014/15=$25-40 a ton. Then in 2014 we have the added bonus of it being applied to heavy road vehicles, will the compensation cover that too?

      Labor are in for the same hiding that they got in QLD and NSW based on the carbon tax alone, contrary to belief, people have not forgot about the carbon tax, it is more like a festering sore. Throw in the corruption and failed policies to top it off and we have a perfect storm on the horizon.

    • Christian Real says:

      11:25am | 06/01/13

      Rachel carson
      The only fraud is people like you calling it A Carbon Tax when it has always been a Carbon Price.
      Julia Gillard promised before the last election to legislate A Price On Carbon and she has done just that She has legislated A Price on Carbon.
      The fact that you Liberal mob misconstrue the truth continually calling it A carbon Tax will never ever make it become the truth for any of you.

    • Mack says:

      11:28am | 06/01/13

      @Cobbler - no doubt we can all look forward to a ‘Tasmania Fire Levy’ once the world’s greatest treasurer gets back to work and Julia does her obligatory tour looking appropriately sad and concerned. Another policy initiative we can expect from your hopeless Labor party.

    • Gianna says:

      11:40am | 06/01/13

      lol.  “It’s the Carbon Tax”
      lol all you like.  lol all the way to the 2013 election, my dear.
      The following is imprinted on our minds forever.

    • TimB says:

      12:03pm | 06/01/13

      ‘lol.  “It’s the Carbon Tax”

      Pretty long bow there mate.  Pretty long bow.’

      Keep telling yourself that mate.

      Then on election eve when the ALP recieves it’s justly deserved shellacking, you can wonder where it all went wrong….Unfortunately you’ll be too deep in denial and blaming the Liberals for your misfortune to see the truth the rest of us did back in 2010.

    • PJ says:

      12:38pm | 06/01/13

      In previous posts about the Gillard Government, Green taxes and Electricity prices i have put forward 3 propositions.


      That after the introduction of the Carbon tax the Gillard Government found itself in a predicament wherein it had to devote considerable sums to keep Australian families and industries afloat.

      That paying sweeteners like carbon tax protection and family entitlements has drained the coffers to such an extent, there’s no money for policies like NDIS or Gronski, which remain in a ‘trial pilot’ status.
      And the Government is so desperate for money it is willing to shame Australia by taking monies back out of the International Poor Box.


      The Gillard Government supported and commissioned the investment of electrical infrastructure and that after requiring this investment, they were wrong, dead wrong, to bring in the extra financial pressure of the carbon taxes on Australian families and businesses.


      the carbon related taxes have been responsible for up 94% of the annual increases on some electricity bills. Previous posts showed Green taxes on bills broken out exactly to show what makes up the Green taxes of our electricity bills. We’ve had zero return for the monies taken.

      In calling for an expensive upgrade of networks and infrastructure and introducing Green taxes at the same time, the Gillard Government has brought hardship on Australia and its people.

      With the Gillard Government hijacked by a Socialist Left Green fringe, Government policy is dangerously set towards taxing out our mining and manufacturing, and over investing in inefficient and expensive Renewable energy programs, that will guarantee huge electricity price rises for the next decade if not stopped, or better still balanced with investment in Nuclear or Gas.

      But like they say, you’ll never know the whole truth of it under a Government they lead.

    • OverIt says:

      02:13pm | 06/01/13

      @Christian Real
      “The only fraud is people like you calling it A Carbon Tax when it has always been a Carbon Price.
      Julia Gillard promised before the last election to legislate A Price On Carbon and she has done just that She has legislated A Price on Carbon.”

      Julia Gillard promised, as is well documented, “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” before going on to add “but I will put a price on carbon”.  Now what exactly is the difference?  Are you suggesting that the price on carbon that she introduced was NOT a tax?  If not, what would you describe it as, and how does it differ from every other tax in Australia? I’m really interested to know, particularly as Gillard herself described it as a tax:

      ‘Ms Gillard responded: “I’ve always believed climate change is real and that it is caused by carbon pollution and we have to reduce the amount we generate. Putting a price on carbon is the cheapest way of reducing that pollution. That’s why I decided we should enact the carbon price. It’s a fixed price for the first three years - effectively a tax - and then an emissions trading scheme with a cap on carbon pollution.” ’ Live blog Herald Sun 5 July 2012

      There’s no getting away from the fact that she stated quite categorically that she would not introduce a carbon tax, and then did so.  Pretending that a carbon price is something entirely different is not fooling any thinking person.

    • ZSRenn says:

      02:31pm | 06/01/13

      @ Christian Real, Semantics at best! Carbon Price lol! Gillard herself called it a tax until the spin doctors got to her.

      This is another question Labor supporters should be asking Gillard and supporters like your self..

      Why do you continue to patronise the Australian voter.? You know that Australians do not like it!

      This Australian is sick of being treated like a fool!

    • Heather Stone says:

      09:29am | 06/01/13

      You said it for me. I was a WELDED on card carrying Branch official and worker ONCE but now I Don’t have a Labor Party and they don’t have either an ethic, an ideology or any concept of social justice. A society is only as good as the way it treats its most vulnerable and disadvantaged members. Labor FAIL

    • PJ says:

      01:02pm | 06/01/13

      The CFMEU is calling for overseas temporary 457 visa workers to be made redundant first instead of Australian citizen and resident workers.

      There was an article in The Australian yesterday.

      This follows a Monash University report that showed the Gillard Government mass immigration policy, which in part uses temporary visas, has meant 53.6% of the 1 million jobs created over the last 5 years had gone to cheaper imported temporary workers.

      A number of agencies specialise in providing 457 workers for Australian domestic jobs, citing business cases that show their ‘Hire overseas temporaries’ model is far cheaper than Australian domestic hires. These Agencies offer an ‘end to end’ service in the supply of workers and googling ‘Agencies 457 workers’ may provide a list of the main players.

      It also seems that Australian domestic jobs are simultaneously advertised in foreign job boards, even though the Gillard Government vehemently denies Australian resources are not losing out in the job market.

      The prize for this cheap labour workforce is residency in an ever overcrowding Australia. The Government also allows temporary visa holders to purchase property, which artificially raises house prices, rents and creates a housing shortage that stresses valuable farmland.

      In light of the above it seems the Gillard Government claim, ‘to be for ordinary Australians’, is not the case. Because it is the youth and lower income bracket worker that is suffering the most under Gillard Government policy here.

      You’ll never know the truth of it under a Government they lead ...

    • chuck says:

      02:53pm | 06/01/13

      Same for me Heather however Tony’s boys and girls would also be happy to see the minions paid $5/hr and beg for tips like they do in the US.

    • Happymonkey says:

      09:33am | 06/01/13

      Pray tell all those good policies, Cobbler.

    • ZSRenn says:

      02:43pm | 06/01/13

      I don’t think he is talking about

      1. How her staff started a race riot
      2.Long term unemployed or Underemployed
      3.Broken Pokie reform promises
      4.Grocery Watch
      5. Fuel Watch
      6. Cash for clunkers
      7. The citizens assembly of real Australians to investigate Climate Change
      8.Pink Batt Scheme
      9.Clean Coal Institute
      10.Her vote against gay marriage
      11. Promise to slash the homeless rate by 50%
      12.Not wanting a big Australia
      13. Asylum Seakers

      After that I cant think what he would be talking about. Maybe he is still hanging in there for a surplus?

      What he should be doing is asking Gillard why so many failures over her term in office?

    • Fred Furkenburger says:

      02:50pm | 06/01/13

      Exactly Happymonkey.  It beggars belief that somehow these “rusted ons” can somehow credit Tony Abbot and the LNP with the failure of all these policies when they are in opposition and have no input whatsoever into their formulation and implementation.  That is soley the governments prerogative.  If these wonderful policies failed they did so under their own steam without any help from anyone else except those in government and the fact that they were bad policies anyway.

    • Liam O'Neill says:

      09:34am | 06/01/13

      Punch, you surly aren’t oblivious to the fact you’re only half right, and therefore completely wrong. Yes its true that Lador, not for the first time, has turned on their voter base. Some might suggest that this is more of a sign of integrity and courage of conviction than a betrayal, but in any case, cutting your nose of despite your base is probably a really stupid thing to do and something that Labor does far too often. As for the stimulus that most reputable economists attest and busines leaders concede saved us from the worst global recession in 80 years, an independent inquiry found that for the most part, the Building Education Revolution was money well spent and after years of neglect under the Howard Government treated most public services with disdain and neglect for a decade,  was desperately needed,

    • Tator says:

      11:52am | 06/01/13

      the neglect, surely it wasn’t from the ALP state governments who governed the states from 2001 onwards as school maintenance is their responsibility.  As for the stimulus, there are two camps of economists, the Keynesians who supported the stimulus and the Hayek/Freiderich/Austrian school supporters who stated that it was too much and that Nobel laureates - Gary Becker, James Buchanan, Robert Lucas, Edward Prescott and Vernon Smith have all expressed views that undermine the ultra-Keynesian policy adopted in Australia.  Tony Makin, a notable Australian Economist stated “It was lower interest rates, a massive fall in the exchange rate, lower petrol prices, China, a breaking of the drought, bank guarantees and, dare we say it, WorkChoices, that insulated the economy and employment from the worst of the GFC.
      Had it been necessary, considerable scope existed for further lowering of interest rates by the Reserve Bank instead of using fiscal stimulus.”
      So the stimulus support is not unanimous.

    • PJ says:

      12:57pm | 06/01/13

      Its no longer just a pressing question of Australian women talent omitted from the job market, but Australians in general too.

      Australians new and old are finding themselves competing with cheaper overseas workers because a 457 visa or Student visa is so easy to get it makes being Australian no advantage at all.

      Under the Gillard Government we have all been fragmented, split into self interest groups along the lines of legitimate concerns. But it is division and it does cause divisiveness.

      I know about Australian womens job concerns, for example if the Labor Government inertia on women’s employment were to continue as it has over the past 5 years, it will take 138 years for women to get parity in the Boardroom.

      Nevertheless we should together, be challenging this Government, because as small separated units, with separate interests, we are more easily manipulated.

      Over the past 5 years, 53.6% of our new jobs have been handed to overseas temporary workers brought in specifically on a temporary visa. (Monash Uni Study).

      To suggest that we do not possess over half the skills needed by our economy is a gross exaggeration beyond anyone’s belief. Yet that is exactly what the Gillard Government would have us believe. No nation is that stupid or that inadequate for its economies needs.

      Australians can see for themselves in overseas newspapers like The Daily Telegraph UK, entry level jobs simultaneously advertised in the UK and Australia. In two overseas newspapers I visited, there were 1000 Australian jobs advertised.

      It beggars belief that with high youth unemployment, entry level jobs, such as Trainee Analysts, Project Coordinators, Junior Business Analysts should show a preference for a temporary worker over an Australian. Yet the existence of these junior level jobs in overseas newspapers shows just that.

      The Gillard Government is mainly responsible for running our Second Tier economy, which is not directly related to Mining. It is a sad indictment on an economy when the biggest employer is McDonalds and 4 million of the 11 million lucky enough to have a job under labor are just part time.

      In his May 2011 Budget, Swan offered $500million for employers to pick up Australian youth. The fast food restaurants, the Supermarkets used this to collect cheap temporary workers in a ferocious feast of employment activity. Hardly any benefit for the intended target. Swan reduced his failed program the following year.

      We owe it to ourselves, to our youth and to our new residents looking for a fresh start, to ensure Australian jobs go to Australians, not to temporary workers feeding the Labor Party asperations for the Big Australia. Our youth are growing up with no experience of the 9 to 5 and lower income citizens and residents are being forced to accept dole instead of jobs.

      Its a huge betrayal of the grass roots Labor support.

    • So hip it hurts says:

      09:42am | 06/01/13

      Those ‘inner city hipsters’ as you deride them, will always get labor over the line.

      Despite this, the government refuses to adopt even the most obvious social policy suggested. If Obama can support equal marriage and win, then so can the ALP. The problem really is the unions hate the greens, quite ridiculously, and labor is powerless to change. Kevin tried.

    • Loxy says:

      10:00am | 06/01/13

      “But putting a tax on electricity bills to indulge an obsession of Northcote Age readers”. Are you serious James? There is a wealth of research and hard evidence out there that shows the planet is warming up and we are contributing to it. If the governments of today all over the world don’t start taking trastic action then the mess we leave the world in for our children and grandchildren will be unfathomable.

      I’m not a Labour or Liberal supporter but rather a swining voter. I don’t like Julia one bit but I support the Carbon Tax and faced with a choice between her and Abbott she will have my vote at the next election because if there is one thing worse than Julia it’s Abbott.

    • TimB says:

      12:17pm | 06/01/13

      You do realise the Carbon tax has and will achieve bugger all?

      Wait you’re still voting, Labor so I guess the answer is no.

      Congratulations, you have the exact lack of common sense that Labor relies on to get votes.

    • DMS says:

      02:31pm | 06/01/13

      There is indeed a wealth of evidence that the planet is warming (I’ll leave out for a minute whether the link to CO2 is as firmly established).

      You realise the carbon price as set up in Australia will not ( indeed cannot) have any influence on that warming, and that fact is not in dispute, right?

      The BS flowing is easy to see - except in Northcote it seems. Everywhere else, the govt is severely on the nose.

    • Mack says:

      03:07pm | 06/01/13

      You can certainly see that you are a ‘swining’ voter if you still vote for Gillard. As if you’d ever vote Liberal anyway…..a liar just like your glorious leader.

      PS - Learn to spell or at least stop drooling over your keyboard as you BS on about ‘the planet warming’. The fact is, it has been cooling for the last 16 years but don’t let that get in the way of your frothing at the mouth hysteria.

    • WayneT says:

      03:17pm | 06/01/13

      ‘swining voter’ - was that a Freudian slip Loxy.  Did you mean you vote depending on the party with the biggest Pork Barrel?

    • OverIt says:

      04:46pm | 06/01/13

      “You do realise the Carbon tax has and will achieve bugger all?”

      Exactly, but for reasons that I cannot understand, the ranga disciples seem to think it will.  Clearly none are mathematicians or they would have to recognise that even if we produced ZERO emissions, as we already only produce less than 1% of the world’s total emissions, the tiny difference would have a less than negligible influence on the total output.

      But no, the earnest ones prefer to ignore this fact and believe that paying money to the government will in some way reduce the earth’s temperature.  Weird.

    • Peteme says:

      10:01am | 06/01/13

      James, you have hit the nail squarely on the head and I can hear the stridency, hysteria and panic settling on Labor now. Not that it will stop them from the kind of behavior they have been indulging in since they came to power, after all we should never forget “Richo’s” immortal words “whatever it takes.”

      As for your comments Cobbler, how many Craig Thompsons, race riot provocations and so on and so on do you think the LNP will have to conjure up before they come within a sniff of the dirt and muck Labor has not only been digging up but actively wallowing in.

      Australians deserve much better than the morons who are “Governing” the country now, they are sick of the lies, corruption, contempt and muck raking they are being handed by this mob.

    • Boatsoldier says:

      10:05am | 06/01/13

      Question to all the wannabe Liberal voters.
      Name 4 things the Liberal party will bring to the Australian public that we don’t currently have.
      Example, we have low interest rates, low inflation, low unemployment and low debt.
      Can’t work out what Australia wants. Visit the internet and have a read if you think Australia has issues

    • Tomo says:

      10:55am | 06/01/13

      A border protection policy that works.

      An honest P.M.

      No carbon tax.

      A surplus after a couple of years.

    • Christian Real says:

      11:16am | 06/01/13

      Julia Gillard promised to legislate A Carbon Price and she has kept that promise by legislating A Carbon price,so why can’t you accept that it is not and never was A Carbon Tax like you and every other imbecile liberal supporter has been continuely banging on about.
      By continuing to misconstrue the truth will not make it the truth for you and all the other Liberal radicals that continue to echo Tony Abbott’s diatribe like a worn out record stuck in the same song.

    • Christian Real says:

      11:19am | 06/01/13

      You won’t have an Honest PM if you vote Abbott in

    • marley says:

      12:07pm | 06/01/13

      @Boatsoldier:  we have low interest rates, low inflation, low unemployment and low debt.  How many of these are attributable to the ALP, and how many to underlying strengths in the economy which have nothing to do with the government at all?

    • TimB says:

      12:13pm | 06/01/13

      ‘Question to all the wannabe Liberal voters. ‘

      What’s a ‘wannabe Liberal voter’? Is this some sort of voter who wants to vote Liberal but cannot? Are they in prison? Some sort of incorporeal spirit? Being menaced by Labor or union heavies into voting ALP? What?

      PS. Low interest rates are not a good thing. Just ask America and Europe. You betray your own ignorance by citing this as an ALP achievement.

    • Mattb says:

      01:02pm | 06/01/13

      Tomo says: 10:55am | 06/01/13
      “A border protection policy that works.”

      Yeah, someone better save us from all those scary boat people!. Seriously, what a pathetic bunch of tossers we have become in this country when political party’s can play on our xenophobia in a shameless grab for votes.

      Oh, and most of TA and the liberal parties boat people policies, except that one he’s to SPINELESS to discuss with the President of Indonesia, have been implemented, yet still the boats come.

      “An honest P.M.”

      Haha, Tony Abbott, honest. You troll. Your delusional, he already admitted that anything he says that isnt written down is a LIE. You just keep clinging on to that fantasy Tomo, and love how he makes you look like a fool. Funny how you can believe a politician is honest when its glaringly obvious you cant even be honest to yourself..

      “No carbon tax.”

      TA won’t roll back the carbon pricing scheme, and your an even sillier fool than you seem if you fall for his lies on this subject. That python is all out of ‘Squeeze’!..

      “A surplus after a couple of years.”

      What??!, after a couple of years??, I thought he was promising you a “surplus in every year of a coalition government”. Now it’s “after a couple of years” is it?. Is that you Mr Hockey?. Wow, I wonder if your outraged at TA about his trashed promise. Be hypocritical of you not to be, right?.

      How does it feel to be so one dimensional Tomo, that you fall for three to four word slogans?. I’d be embarrassed if I were you, I’m embarrassed for you right now..

    • Gianna says:

      02:31pm | 06/01/13

      How does it feel to be so one dimensional ., that you fall for three to four or five or six or seven or…................. Julias?

    • Tomo says:

      02:40pm | 06/01/13

      Christian Real, it’s Tomo and I’m sorry, but as with the majority of people, I call it what it is, a carbon tax. The current PM lied about it before the last election, remember?

      Mattb, one dimensional works for me, just because my opinion differs to yours does not make me a troll.  The personal attacks in your reply come as no surprise, the rest of the dribble you write shows your immaturity.

      Anyways, happy new year to you both, good luck at the election, you will truly need it.

    • Darren says:

      04:27pm | 06/01/13

      The interest rates are low simply because there is a need to kickstart the economy.The Reserve Bank lowered them because the country is basically STUFFED!

    • Paul says:

      10:06am | 06/01/13

      Congratulations on writing one of the most accurate and erudite articles I have read since the ALP DISASTER came to federal power in 2007!
      I hope the % of swing voters who voted for the ALP in 2007 & 2010 are still voting in the next 20 years and that they REMEMBER this ALP DEBACLE of a government!
      Because it is going to take that long to repair the damage that they have done to the Nation of Australia. And history shows that ONLY the Co-Illition are able to do the job.
      That is the problem here in Australia. The ALP stuff up and then the Lib/Nats have to get the repair job done…only to be thrown out of government by another IGNORANT election decision!

      Mind you just like now, you would be hard pressed to find anyone that would admit to your face that they voted for the ALP…but those same voters have no problem complaining about the very disaster that their ill-thought out vote created!!!!

    • D says:

      04:36pm | 06/01/13

      Yes, too may idiots decided it was “time for a change” from Howard as they’d gotten bored with him, pretty immature stuff!

    • Jonno says:

      10:20am | 06/01/13

      Politicians never mind toasting their base when voting is compulsory.  Only about 25% of people ever change their vote.  No pollie gives a rats about pleasing the other 75%, because it will make no difference.  Abolish compulsory voting and/or bring in a 10-question multiple-choice so you get somewhere between zero and one vote (e.g. get 7 questions right you get 70% of a vote) to weed out votes with no knowledge/interest.  The principle that “all votes are of equal value” is plainly false, some people are more knowledgeable than others.  Democracy in Australia is broken. Politicians are talking to 25% of the electorate only, and know that most of those 25% respond to really dumb things.

    • jg says:

      10:22am | 06/01/13

      Where are acrotel and Christian Real when you need them?

      Come on boys, rush to the defence of your beloved party and tell us all how it’s Abbott’s fault!

    • Christian Real says:

      11:41am | 06/01/13

      Unlike you and other Liberal bloggers, I do not stayed glued to the keyboard posting in comments like you and your fellow Liberal bloggers do on a day to day basis from Liberal Party headquarters.
      Oh, seeing that you mentioned it, it is all Tony Abbott’s fault.

    • OverIt says:

      12:26pm | 06/01/13

      Their absence on Punch today so far is probably Abbott’s fault!

    • pa_kelvin says:

      04:03pm | 06/01/13

      jg   Now see what you done…. smile Had to put it there didn’t you….

    • Colin says:

      10:23am | 06/01/13

      The unemployed of Australia constitutes 5.5% of Australia’s total workforce.
      5.5% of approximately 3 quarters of Australia’s population does not constitute the base of any party.
      Sorry, I stopped reading after that ridiculous claim.

    • Barbara says:

      03:39pm | 06/01/13

      Given that most seats are held by a margin of only 1.5 to 5%, it is not so hard to understand.  If you had an average of 5.5% unemployed across all seats in Australia it could be quite a significant base if you add them to the already established Labor voters in those seats - so yeah, it does have an effect.  So keep reading Colin.

    • Tubesteak says:

      10:47am | 06/01/13

      If you want money then get a job and earn it. No-one should be paid to do nothing. If you want someone to support you whilst you raise some sprogs then get a husband. I gave some good advice for doing that on the other thread.

      The dole, or any unemployment benefits, should only ever be a temporary stop-gap measure to provide a small cash injection for unintentional periods of unemployment as you search for another job.

    • tez says:

      12:17pm | 06/01/13

      Tubesteak it is obvious that people should work and the dole be for emergency situations now tell me what do you do with the totaly unemployable.?

    • Flutz says:

      12:38pm | 06/01/13

      Exactly.  The point the majority of people are missing is that no-one is supposed to be able to “live on the dole” for any length of time. It is to help you through a short period of unemployment.  And in this day and age of employment uncertainty it is encumbent upon everyone to live well with in their means whilst employed and to save for the day they may find themselves out of work.  I have been through periods of unemployment twice in my life, once due to the company I worked for going bust and once due to ongoing harrassment and bullying from my boss.  On neither occassion did I get full Newstart support, in fact the most recent time (in 2008) I got nothing - because I had paid off all my debts and had “too much” in savings.  Additionally on each occassion I was only unemployed for about 3 months, because I did what it took to get back into employment, including applying for and accepting jobs that were well beneath my qualifications, experience and skill set; working several casual jobs at the same time; and re-training in order to make myself even more employable.  Again on each occassion I was back into full-time employment in my chosen field of expertise within 6 months - because I refused to just accept/complain about my situation, but actively went about improving it and ensuring I didn’t have to to try and live on welfare.

    • Stained says:

      12:44pm | 06/01/13

      ...and the same goes for public housing!  It should be there for emergencies only.  How ay one capable of work can suck at the public teat for life is beyond me.  These arseholes take holidays every year, some even drive luxury cars.  Kick them out!!

      BTW I’m working class and have brought two decent children up, now adults, tat free and no piercings.  No bastard children either.  It just took reminding them that there are levels in society our family does not subscribe to.  It was hard going but it worked!  And I’m happy that they will bring my grandkids up the same.

    • tez says:

      03:57pm | 06/01/13

      It is all very admirable of you guys that you work and save and bring your kids up well I have done the same , But I still want to know what is to be done for the people who are never going to be suitable enough to be employed by anybody? and I assure you they exist, as an employer I have interviewed more than a few. We can always employ private police force to patrol our street and guard our homes or put bars on our door and windows.

    • Meredith says:

      10:53am | 06/01/13

      Voter base!  What does that constitute I ask you.  It may have been the case aeons ago that the battlers were Labor voters.  I don’t believe that is the case now.  There are too many side issues that people on low incomes, the unemployed, the marginalised, are concerned with. People’s prejudices affect the way they think and unfortunately the Coalition pander to those prejudices.  Witness the asylum seeker debate, the carbon for instance.  So I’m saying don’t be so cocky that Labor is losing its base, because there are a whole different kind of voter out there and they think about very different issues.  You just have to look at what happened in the U.S. elections.  I think the PM and her government are going to give Tony Abbott et al a run for their money.

    • Happymonkey says:

      03:16pm | 06/01/13

      “I think the PM and her government are going to give Tony Abbott et al a run for their money.”

      Bwaaaaaahahahahaha… yes. Sure they are, dear.

      “Witness… the carbon for instance.”

      Yes, just witness all the carbon! By which, I’m sure you mean Carbon Dioxide, that colourless, odourless gas that is being ‘priced’.

    • jolly says:

      10:59am | 06/01/13

      You suggest one ALP official told you that the carbon tax is killing us. How many officials did you actually talk to. I’ve listened to many who would say otherwise. Who is this secret agent you get your (misinformed) info from?
      Also, you are talking out of your hat when you spew uninformed propaganda with a beauty like “issues such as the environment that were of little interest to ordinary Australians.” really, where’s your proof? Are you really suggesting Liberal voters dont care. More facts please and less dreaming thanks.

    • Tricia says:

      11:02am | 06/01/13

      Up until last year I worked for one of Labor’s unions. Last year I was forced to resign in part due to the bullying and intimidation of the local secretary of that union. I also resigned because what I witnessed occurring in that union went against every principle unions and Labor claim to stand by. It was a complete joke that we were handing out bullying diaries for workers to keep tab of bullying they were experiencing, meanwhile we had a dragon of a local secretary who micromanaged everyone inbetween sitting at her desk playing games in her ipad and having “meetings” with ger Labor MP mates at the members expense. There is no doubt in my mind that Labor is corrupted to the core with unionists disregarding members interests and using their positions as union leaders for personal professional and financial advantage. This is why it’s no surprise to me that Labor couldn’t give two sh**s about those that are less fortunate or close to the poverty line. As a former Labor voter the party have literally forced me to vote Liberal next election. They’ve given me no choice. And I’ll tell you something else, every single person I meet and have a conversation with, I tell them about my experience working for a union in the hope that the conversation flows elsewhere so that people know that 1. Unions are a complete scam and nothing but slush funds for Labor and 2. That Labor are no longer the working mans party and have become entirely corrupted. While I was working at the union membership rarely GROWED. There were mass resignations every week, I only hope that continues, even though I know when the local secretary leaves she will just get a nice plushy job elsewhere due to all the arses she’s kissed, I know that karma will eventually catch up to her and I will be smiling when it does.

    • Mack says:

      11:38am | 06/01/13

      @Tricia - thanks for telling it like it is. Unions are corrupt to the core and a Royal Commission is what is needed to sort them out. You are not alone, and many other union members are finally seeing the unions for what they really are - a source of slush funds to fund the Labor party who couldn’t give two hoots about the plight of workers.

    • lordy says:

      11:43am | 06/01/13

      Come on Tricia, do us all a favour and dob in the nasties, become a whistle blower while you can. Surely with the information you have gathered, you alone could change the future of politics. Go to the police (and the punch) and tell ‘em everything so they can start their investigations. Can’t wait for this one Tricia and James Campbell.

    • Stained says:

      12:33pm | 06/01/13

      Yes it amazing that it has taken so long for members to have woken up.  Unions are just a stepping stone to personal corruption and wealth.  Just look at the number of dogs and crims that are seeping out from the cracks these days.
      The Internet is a great place for research into these cockroaches.  NSW is just waking up to why they get into politics, to keep check on the deals to be pounced on and make millions for them selves, ho hum, pure greedy evil bastards!

    • Mattb says:

      01:32pm | 06/01/13

      Wow Tricia, what a scorned little person you are. So full of pent-up hate and anger, you need to let it go, release it and move on in your life or it will eat you up. Must suck being you at the moment.

      Its funny in all my working life I’ve never had drama’s with unions, never experienced bullying from unions or those involved in them, and a lot of the time it was in the construction industry which is ‘apparently’ the worst. I have experienced bullying in the workplace in non-unionised industries so I’m not saying you weren’t bullied but I never took that to mean that all non-unionised workplaces/ companies are bad. The company I work for now has staff that are in a union, I’m in the management side of operations so I’m not, but most of the workers I talk to are happy to involved in the union.

      Maybe you were just unlucky with the people you had to work with, if you worked with a different group of people for a different union you might have a totally different experience. Maybe you will experience bullying in future jobs that have nothing to do with unionism, who knows, but to tar all unions with the same brush just because you had a bad experience with one group of people you worked with in a union seems a bit unhinged to me.

      Anyway, hope you can find some peace within yourself, let go of that hate and anger and find a great group of people to work with in the future.

    • Roger says:

      03:58pm | 06/01/13

      Hi Tricia, wow your story struck cords with me. I am also a former union employee, resigned a few years ago after witnessing bullying and union corruption. Did you work on the admin-side in the union? because its very well known that the Local Secretarys of unions generally bully the admin/clerk help, mainly because the Organisers are treated like gold as they recruit members. I am totally getting how you feel from your post. Eventually you will move on and be happy! Chin up!

      @mattb Do you honestly blame Tricia for being “scorned” and bitter? She went to work for an organisation that claims to fight for workers rights and ended up being bullied and forced out of work. If that happened to me, id be bitter, angry and I would tell every soul to never join a union. As for saying working for another union would have given her a difference experience, you obviously dont know much about the inside workings of a union - you know about the FACADE they put on because thats what they want to show union members and potential members. What you dont see if behind the scenes is how Local Secretarys treat the employees underneath them. They treat them like utter crap, and especially admin/clerk workers are treated as though they are doing menial tasks when in fact they are doing all the work the Local Secretarys are too lazy to do because they are busy wining and dining into their next career or into politics on members fees.

    • tez says:

      04:22pm | 06/01/13

      Tricia: I think I have read this story before It is about time you take your charges to the police and a compensation solicitor there are ones that don’t charge unless they get results and some advise from them may help.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      11:10am | 06/01/13

      Gillard wants to spend taxpayer dollars on an alleged gender pay gap, Abbott wants to throw more taxpayer dollars at IVF. Is there any politician that doesn’t think the the solution to every problem is to throw taxpayer dollars at it? A pox upon both of them, they’re both as bad as each other and both do not deserve to be Prime Minister of Australia. Whichever party gets elected in the 2013 federal election will be bad for Australia.

    • Boatsoldier says:

      11:13am | 06/01/13

      Tomo States;

      Tomo says:10:55am | 06/01/13

      A border protection policy that works.
      An honest P.M.
      No carbon tax.
      A surplus after a couple of years.

      We are a signatory to a convention, we have not been invaded so our policy works.
      The PM has done what she needed to in these economic time, bad luck if you don’t like it.
      Carbon tax has had little to no effect on your life, unlike Tony Abbotts LIES.

      A surplus will make no difference to the average Australian’s day.

      I say again Low unemployment, low inflation, low interest and low debt. Be careful what you wish for. Can Do Cambell??????

    • PJ says:

      03:54pm | 06/01/13

      The undoing of the Gillard Government is their handling of the economy.

      As soon as Australians focus in on the fact that Australia is a two Tier economy, one Managed by the Mining Investors and Customers, the other the Gillard Government, it will be all over.

      The Gillard Government Second Tier economy has been managed badly. It runs at a slower speed and has been shedding jobs and companies abroad on a weekly basis in our newspapers. We’ve all seen it, read it.

      The Gillard Government has survived by taking credit for the Top Tier economy, to which they can really take no credit, because it’s run outside of their hands.

      The Gillard Government has been spending recklessly. But in each consecutive year in our name Swan has borrowed:
      $75 Billion , then $100 Billion, then $200 Billion , then $300 Billion.
      And it’s going to take about 130 odd years for Australians to pay that back.

      The Carbon Tax and Mining tax were Gillard Government efforts to grab some of the dosh from the Top Tier economy. Even though the States had Royalties. The result was Australian Mining, our Top Tier Economy, was damaged:

      - Kloppers told Investors at a Meeting in London, that Mining in Australia was no longer profitable, because of taxes. He referred to the loss of the Olympic Dam project, worth $30 Billion to Australians, many times during his presentation.

      - The local head of US energy giant Chevron, the biggest foreign investor in Australia, has warned $100 billion worth of projects are “hanging in the balance” due to soaring costs and declining confidence in the federal government’s policy settings.

      - Rio Tinto’s managing director for China, Ian Bauert, told the conference Australia had become the most expensive place to do business for Rio after being considered the cheapest five years ago.

      “Unless the focus of future debate is on addressing such issues, my feeling is we are likely to fall behind and seriously under achieve our potential in the Asian Century,” he said.

      If you think the Carbon tax and Mining tax had no effect on you think again:
      “Resources projects in Australia were 40 per cent more expensive than in the US and its workforce was 60 per cent less productive than the US.”
      ANDREW BURRELL: The Australian

      Not delivering a Surplus despite repeated promises over 2 years shows a complete lack of control and understanding of Australia’s economy.

    • The Machiavellian says:

      11:13am | 06/01/13

      It’s not Labor - it’s Gillard. Every time they keep her off TV Labor goes up - put her on and it plummets. She is a toxic waste of space, a liar and incompetent politician. Everything she touches goes belly up. Good Labor people, with values, should leave her to it and form a new party if they appreciate the values and not just the label.

    • Bruce Mullinger says:

      11:26am | 06/01/13

      A very impressive deputy PM has become a very unimpressive PM. There is little doubt this is a very ordinary government which has lost many of those scared back by Work Choices - the policy that revealed John Howards’ true colours.
      Its border non-protection policy is probably the greatest policy farce in our political history and that alone precludes the current Labor government from any consideration of a vote at the next election. But to its credit it at least hasn’t resorted to the treachery of privatisation so disloyally adopted by former Labor governments consisting of intellectual narcissists and economic sophists who so meekly capitulated to corporate coercion and cowboyism to the disgust of its core support base.              The end result is nobody, not even the Labor Party itself, knows what it stands for.

    • jg says:

      11:37am | 06/01/13

      One of the funniest things I think I have seen was when the CPSU, while protesting against recent PS job cuts in Canberra by the ALP, marched on, wait for it, Senator Humphries office.

      For the ALP to rebuild they need to distance themselves from unions as they have become toxic around the country and are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

      Also, get rid of Gillard, nice try, but she’s berift of ideas and doesn’t seem to be able to cut it and with Rudd she mat have put the ALP in opposition for a decade.

    • Stained says:

      12:24pm | 06/01/13

      Poor Jenny Macklin, what she couldn’t tell you all was al the other benefits these people are being dished out!  That fool show ACA where they sent a woman in to buy expensive greasies from the local milk bar and walk out with a monster bottle of tooth rotting coke was a joke!  The bloody $35 was for here and her alone.  She gets plenty in the form of child support, rental relief etc.  Try going on a government site and finding the true figures.  Hard to do unless you are a recipient.  Why?  You’d be protesting in the street as to where your taxes are going.  And they’re mostly spent at the tat parlour, the piercings, the tobacconist, the pokies, the boozer, etc, all the essentials to stop one self being employed!!

      Stick to your guns Jenny on this one!!

    • David V. says:

      12:27pm | 06/01/13

      The problem with socialist and liberal parties is that by embracing every “progressive” idea imaginable including Cultural Marxism and multiculturalism, they’ve hurt the working-class and middle-class constituents they purport to represent. Mass immigration and globalisation hurts the working class the hardest.

    • Jaqui says:

      03:33pm | 06/01/13

      “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. ”
      ? Margaret Thatcher

    • Beck says:

      01:35pm | 06/01/13

      Let me predict Labor’s next election campaign:

      Tony Abbott, Tony Abott, Tony Abbott,  Tony Abbott, Tony Abott, Tony Abbott,  Tony Abbott, Tony Abott, Tony Abbott,  Tony Abbott, Tony Abott, Tony Abbott… hahaha…

      Dear God, please rescue our beautiful country from Labor disaster… we had never seen such a disaster in our history…

    • Mack says:

      03:14pm | 06/01/13

      @Beck - at least it will be fun watching the Liberal ads with Julia saying “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” and Swanny promising on oath that we will have a surplus in 2013. Both LIARS.

    • tez says:

      04:34pm | 06/01/13

      Beck: Are you sure your name isn’t nat.

    • stephen says:

      02:02pm | 06/01/13

      Bob Hawke at a folk festival was great news for the proletariat : if we can learn the guitar, Julia will learn how to govern.

      Labor should stay home when the voters want to go out to play.
      We are sick of her public relations exercizes.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      03:25pm | 06/01/13

      Mr Cambell,. How can you presume that the Abbott Mafia are going to win the next election. You wouldn’t know would you. A lot can happen between now and the election and you know it. It may not all go well for the Liberal Mafia Dons.

      It’s a lot of hoo ha really. Abbott has come across as useless and his Mafia are crowing and barking over the same ole same ole stupid issues of last year. Hey, it’s the new year and the voting public would surely like to know what the Abbott Mafia are going to do to save us all from what, i don’t know.

      Carbon Tax phooey. The Electricity companies are independent of Government and can charge what they like. Love deregulation the Liberals do. Howard deregulated everything and then the prices went up so that the shareholders could make more. Why not a price on pollution.! It should not be passed on. You pollute you pay, not the consumer.

      As far as living on the dole goes, well, it would be very difficult because the rents are so high and the cost of food, education and child minding. There are many who have mortgages who are on the dole. They would be doing it very hard depending on how much they owe the bank Mafia bosses. Go figure. Put brain into gear before opening mouth.

      The fact is that this country is too expensive to live in and i’m sure that if people had the funds they would go overseas to countries that were cheaper. The cost of rents etc. are over the top and out of proportion with the social security bnefits that are paid to the unemployed.

      We need to get rid of the Government Mafia institutions and give it back to the people and open up the fields of endeavour more. Anarchy is always mooted to be a bad thing but it could be a good thing as well. Let the village sort it out that is the best way. You are stupid to assume that the people will vote the Abbott mob in, the born to rule party. What a crock. Abbott is on the way out not in. Totally useless as regards the Australian big picture. Let’s see what happens when the votes are cast and not pre empt the results shall we. I predict that Labor will get back in, may well be a hung parliament again, but get in they will. You can’t presume that a few comments on this Punch from the Liberal Mafia glued ons speaks for the broader community. Remember there are millions of voters out there and they don’t all write in on here. What do they think. Well, we’ll find out in October and if Abbott does win as you presume it will be dark days following. There will be cause to repent the placing of the pen on paper if that happens. People aren’t that stupid are they.?!

    • Geronimo says:

      04:09pm | 06/01/13

      Give the Wacky Abbott and his rarely seen Fiscal Maestro, the one and only L`le Joe a go, all your True Believers will be in the Grip-O-Da-Grape saying I told ya so.


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