The Greens’ and Labor’s spat!

I wrote this a long time ago and it got lost; the government has now changed but the sentiments still remain true. I therefore thought that it would be worth posting.

—————-

It never stops in our political system; the silliness that goes on never ceases to amaze me. This is the latest lot of idiocy this last week or two.

I had to have a chuckle (Mid Feb 2013) when I listened to the “Spat” between Labor and The Greens over the mining tax and jobs. I first saw it on ABC news 24 the morning after it had occurred.

Here are some of the comments from PM (not The Prime Minister, but ABC PM) that I thought were revealing (some of which I had already heard loooong ago):

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3693853.htm

Christine Milne
CHRISTINE MILNE: By choosing the big miners, the Labor Government is no longer honouring our agreement to work together to promote transparent and accountable government, the public interest, or to address climate change.

My comments: Labor (ALP – Australian Labor party) has never been transparent. When Labor and Liberal parties have massive donations from “Lobbyists”, how can transparency and accountability exist?

Unfortunately what the union membership (the ALP’s principle supporter) doesn’t realise, is that it isn’t being looked after either. But I guess as the union leadership are generally senior members of the Labor Party the union membership doesn’t really have a say – the union leaders direct what will or won’t happen – hardly a democratic or transparent process. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why so few people join unions now days? Anyway back to the topic at hand…

CHRISTINE MILNE (The Greens): The Tarkine decision, the attack on single parents, the unwillingness to act on coal seam gas or the mining tax, and fossil fuel subsidies – all those things send a very clear message that Labor’s priorities lie with powerful mining interests, not with the people and The Greens.

ANTHONY ALBANESE (ALP): The Greens political party also have been shown that they try to have a parasitic relationship with Labor, attempting to gain credit for initiatives which are Labor initiatives when they find it convenient.

Hmmm, well if this were the case, the Carbon Tax must clearly have been entirely Labor’s initiative; they should then be held ENTIRELY responsible for this pathetic legislation that allows emitters to be compensated for their emissions, but consumers forced to pay the tax. Which isn’t the idea of a Carbon Tax.

As an example:

Australia’s highly emitting brown coal power generators will reap $2.3 billion to $5.4 billion in windfall profits from carbon price compensation, an analysis by a leading energy market expert has found.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/coal-bags-carbon-profit-20130219-2eplx.html

PowerstationPolution

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/coal-bags-carbon-profit-20130219-2eplx.html

Can someone please remind me why the taxpayers (who are actually paying the carbon tax) are compensating these power stations for a tax that they are actually passing on to consumers anyway? That would actually mean that we are effectively paying the Carbon Tax twice. A 10% tax on the pollution, plus another tax that subsidises the profits of the power stations. Good grief. Too many dirty backdoor deals by Labor.

…”the analysis suggests they [the brown coal power stations] have so far been able to pass on all of their extra costs of the carbon price – thus turning the compensation into pre-tax profit.”

Can I do something like this with my tax?… Good grief, what morons this Labor government must be!

Then there is the other dirty deal by Labor, the ineffectual Mining Tax.

CHRISTINE MILNE: What is going on when a Prime Minister and a Treasurer get in a back room with three mining companies and stitch up a deal and take it to the Parliament and say that the elected representatives of that country can’t amend that deal because it is a private deal in a back room with a Treasurer and a Prime Minister and three mining companies?

And even Treasury have now said they didn’t know what was stitched up in that room.

If ever there was an answer to your last question, which is the extent to which the Parliament is owned by the mining industry – that’s it.

This is perhaps the most revealing of the dirty and sneaky way in which current Governments in this country seem to operate. Too many dirty deals, too many sneaky operations with vested interests, and NO public input or transparency.

The mining industry, through Gina Rinehart’s $20 million campaign brought down the government of the day, the Rudd Labor Government – (just like her mining magnate father had brought down a government before her). Rudd was ditched for Gillard as replacement PM. The rich and powerful have the power to essentially manipulate government if they so choose, as was seen in this debacle.

I thought this article was very amusing:

MiningTaxOposition

http://theconversation.edu.au/spooking-labor-was-rineharts-smartest-investment-1500

I particularly like this section:

The wealth of those on the rich list increased 23% over the last year – roughly the same increase needed to give community sector workers equal pay for equal work.

Rinehart’s increase in wealth alone – about $5 billion – would pay for an increase in community sector salaries to an equitable level and have plenty left over for public schools and hospitals, for public transport and investment in renewable energy.

The mining tax was meant to raise $2 billion in the first year, but only raised $126 million for the first six months. This is roughly 12.5% of what it should have raised. I don’t actually know what the tax rate was for this mining tax, but as an example let’s look at this.

If I were to be told to expect a 10% windfall from an investment, but only achieved 12.5% of that 10%, I would effectively have an earning of just 1.25%. I bet if an investment firm had that sort of return when 10% was projected, that staff member would be removed very quickly! Yet this is what happened with the mining tax – the dirty stitched up deal with the mining companies, the Prime Minister and Treasurer.

Worse still, if the Liberals get into government at the end of this year and scrap the mining tax (which they have said they will), not only would the miners essentially have not paid any of the mining tax, but the miners will manage to make even larger profits in future, because they have been allowed to write off vast amounts of debt faster than any other company in Australia has ever been allowed to do.

I believe that part of the dirty deal with the mining companies was that it would allow miners to more quickly write off their debts against the mining tax. No other company in Australia has ever been allowed to do this. Perhaps that is where the $2 billion went to.

Also, as Labor has increased the tax-free threshold to $18,000 (with an effective tax cut of ~$1800 for every tax paying Australian), if the Liberals get into government and return the tax-free threshold back to where it was previously (as they have said they will), we will also pay an extra $1800 tax, on top of all of this other bollocks.

We are like little pawns in their pathetic little games!

Wayne Swan feeding the dogs at breakfast

Images combined by myself and taken from:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/linkableblob/3300150/data/wayne-swan-tax-forum-data.jpg
http://media.boreme.com/post_media/2012/dogs-breakfast.jpg

The “Coalition described the [mining] tax as a dog’s breakfast”. That $2 billion breakfast could have fed a lot of dogs though. Perhaps even built a few schools, or left single parents with enough money to feed their kids. But I guess “dogs breakfasts” are more important 🙂

“Ms Gillard defended the policy, saying it was designed to tax minerals in the most efficient way.”

http://thecuriousmail.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/julia-gillard-doll.jpg

I have an idea! Let’s create a mining tax! We’ll tell the people that we will raise lots and lots of money, that we’ll build lots and lots of schools, and what else, oh I guess we can make the hospitals better! ‘Eh what ya think? We’ll get re-elected, but then we won’t actually tax the miners. He he he – that would be funny ‘eh! We could also create a Carbon Tax where we pay the power stations billions to keep polluting and to increase their profits. That would be fun too ‘eh! We have to look after our mates; after all they keep us all elected! 🙂

Well it was certainly efficient, for the miners at least! They have done very very well out of it. It would seem that Rinehardt’s $22 million advertising campaign to overthrow Rudd, paid off nicely.

Anyway back to the spat:

Apparently Paul Howes from the AWU (Australian Workers’ Union – He’s also a National Executive member of the ALP), was also criticised for “his role in lobbying against natural heritage listing for the Tarkine wilderness area in Tasmania”.

PAUL HOWES: This is just a political ploy by Christine Milne because she’s upset that she lost the campaign in northwest Tasmania.

Well, boo hoo.

Another very professional comment from another ALP thug.

It’s not hard to then realise why we have such imbeciles in parliament with comments as per above. Unable to debate, our current politicians seem only able to vilify the other people or positions of other parties, rather than discuss options or policies.

Then there was Wayne Swan’s comment about the upcoming elections:

WAYNE SWAN: Now we can win – we can win, and we have to win.

With that sort of comment, God help us all!

Anyway the other part of this that I found so amusing was that Labor was suggesting that The Greens don’t care about jobs, and that they only care about saving the environment.

I might point out that if we don’t save the environment, we won’t have anything but a polluted dust bowl to live in. Short term gains from mining leave a devastated environment. Take a look at this:

Dee River Mine Polution

Images combined by myself and taken from:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/bb-toxic-041jpg/4512862

ABC Podcasts on mining pollution:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/2013-02-17/4513916
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/toxic-mine-water/4518922

Another ABC item that I found very interesting was a lateline transcript on the matter. It covered a large number of comments by people of the two main parties which, as usual, were just spin and negative campaigning – they were just plain vindictive – surprise surprise.

Here are some of the comments that I liked:

Firstly Tony Jones, the presenter of Lateline, starts off with this:

“Well, a day after the collapse of the Labor/Greens alliance, Julia Gillard has revealed that she had harboured doubts about the deal she signed with the minor party.”

“The Prime Minister now said she always thought the Greens might walk away from the deal because they’re not a party of Government. “

“Meanwhile, the ditching of the deal has given Labor MPs disunited over the leadership an issue to unite on: attacking the Greens.“

As usual Labor tries to blame others, and suggest that their current bad performance is due to The Greens, which has only one sitting member. Labor and Liberal (LNP) have the majority in the house. If we read the transcripts, or watch the news, we will see that these two main parties drive the wheels, and they are entirely to blame for the current mess our country is in.

The first intelligent comment (me being sarcastic) came from Combet with this:

GREG COMBET, MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND INDUSTRY: I’m feeling pretty punchy, I can assure you, and so are my colleagues.

OK… moving on…

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: You’ve got one failure or another failure, and I guess that’s why they’re thinking about a possible third candidate as well.

JULIA GILLARD: Well that’s just more of Mr Abbott’s negativity and what he’s not spending his time doing is producing a plan for jobs, a plan for health, a plan for education.

Who was it above that was blaming The Greens for Labor’s failures, and which party members were united in attacking The Greens? Uhm…

CRAIG EMERSON: Mr Abbott’s relentless negativity is relentless.

More blame, more attacks rather than policy statements. Please can we move on children.

CHRISTINE MILNE, GREENS LEADER: Labor has moved to embrace the miners at the expense of people. They don’t care about people and the environment.

The fact that Labor had closed-door sessions with the three miners, that even Treasury doesn’t know the context of, demonstrates that Labor ONLY cares about the miners and their own skin, and NOT the needs of the people!

GREG COMBET: The Greens make a lot of noise and they do a lot of talking but they don’t do much doing, do they?

Negativity by Combet? In actual fact, if you read the details of what is actually occurring in parliament on a day to day basis, rather than the media focus on the two major parties (or the thugs within them), you will see that The Greens are actually continually trying to initiate changes, like the indipendents. However they are ALWAYS voted down by Labor and/or Liberal.

This is the same situation as the independents suffer. Any initiatives, are voted down by the two major parties, because those initiatives might hurt their vested interests. You just have to look at the poker machine reforms that were put forward by Federal Independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/wilkie-open-to-late-change-in-poker-machine-reform-deal-20111013-1ln7x.html

These were eventually destroyed by Labor and Liberal, and are now almost useless (set to be just an “experiment” in the ACT). The reforms resulted in large campaigns against them by organisations like Clubs Australia and the like.

The powerful vested interest lobby groups forcing government to change policy to suit themselves.

You only need to refer to reports like this article to see why we MUST change gambling habits in this country:

http://www.nickxenophon.com.au/itsabigfatlie/Images/Poker%20Machine%20Reform%20-%20Key%20Points.pdf

JULIA GILLARD: The Greens Party is fundamentally a party of protest rather than a party of government. The Greens Party is fundamentally a party that would prefer to complain about things than get solutions.

Julia Gillard should take her head out of opinion columns of The Age and The Australian once in a while, and actually think before she speaks. As I mentioned above, if you look at the policy initiatives, and the effort The Greens have gone to in order to negotiate and propose policy, you will realise this is just typical rhetoric.

JULIA GILLARD: But I did always anticipate that they would revert to type and they’ve done so.

Is this possibly negativity Julia?

TONY ABBOTT: She embraced the Greens, it has turned out to be a fatal embrace and I don’t do these sorts of deals with people.

He only deals with big corporations, developers, miners, banks etc. the Liberal party’s financiers.

TONY ABBOTT: Within a few months the carbon tax will be gone, within a few months the mining tax will be gone. The boats will be stopped.

Ah Tony, can you verify that NO increases in taxes will occur as a result of the abolition of the Carbon Tax and the Mining Tax. Can you please advise if you are planning to reduce the tax free threshold and therefore increase the tax rate for poorer Australians by $1800? And your party has also been suggesting that the GST should be increased and expanded to cover all fresh food (fresh food is not currently taxed by the GST). This would further increase the tax rate for the poorer Australians by 10%.

I guess we will have to wait and see how he punishes the poor, and helps the rich.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Gillard camp’s character assassination of Kevin Rudd during last year’s leadership battle complicates the path back to the Lodge for the former prime minister. Attention is now being turned to other possible candidates, like Bill Shorten.

Good grief that would be interesting if that were to happen. It would seem that neither Labor nor Liberal have the capacity to act professionally and with transparency; they don’t seem interested in caring about the needs of the people but rather the greed of the big corporations.

But what about Labor’s claims that The Greens don’t like jobs and only care about the environment.

I did a quick search on Google to see what has happened with job losses over the last few years in particular, and I checked out most of the first search page results. What I came up with was the following.

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!

  • According to the Greens, Australia has lost 125,000 jobs in the manufacturing industries in Australia.

http://www.adambandt.com/pm_s_industry_scheme_has_no_guts_no_teeth_bandt

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
  • Telstra to axe 650 staff as jobs go offshore and call centre closes (August 2012):
  • 650 staff lost from Telstra as they move staff offshore in order to cut costs and make bigger profits.
  • Many of these jobs will be lost in regional areas where there are NO other jobs for these people to take up in replacement.
  • They will be forced onto unemployment benefits that are below the poverty line.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/telstra-to-axe-600-staff-as-jobs-go-offshore-a-call-centre-closes/story-e6frf7jo-1226455027074

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
  • Telstra defends local call centre closures (October 2012):
  • About 2000 local call centre jobs were lost in 2011/12 according to the Townsville Bulletin.
  • Apparently many of those jobs were moved to the Philippines – less jobs for Australia, more jobs for asia.

http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2012/10/16/367946_news.html

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
  • Fairfax outsources call centre work (Feb 2013):
  • 30 call centres would be affected throughout Australia.
  • A company restructure would result in an estimated staff loss of 1900 jobs.

http://panpa.org.au/2013/02/15/fairfax-outsources-call-centre-work/

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
  • MORE than 700 Australian jobs will be axed after Telstra cancelled two contracts with call centre companies.

http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/more-than-700-jobs-lost-after-telstra-cancels-call-centre-contracts/story-e6frfm9r-1226017052053

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
From Sydney Morning Herald (Feb 2012):
Job losses announced to-date:

Qantas 500
ANZ Bank 1000
Macquarie (globally) 1000
Westpac 560
Reckitt Benckiser 190
Toyota 350
Telstra/Sensis 200
Norsk Hydro 150
NAB 130
Holden 100
Rio Tinto 100
Suncorp 65
Jobs at risk of elimination:

  • Caltex refineries 700+
  • Alcoa 600
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (Australia) 400

http://www.smh.com.au/business/australian-job-loss-figures-20120215-1t5wb.html

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
  • According to the Austrian Bureau of Statistics, as of late last year there were 873,500 underemployed workers (part-time workers that wanted more hours, but couldn’t find them).
  • This is on top of the 627,500 that were unemployed.
  • Since around the time that Labor came to power in 2007, 191,400 more Australian workers became underemployed.
LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
Stakeholders react to mining job losses (Sept 2012):

  • Mining giant Xstrata has slashed its workforce by 600, half in Queensland mines.
  • BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance has announced it also will be losing workers, around 300 people will be axed.

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2012/s3587621.htm

LABOR doesn’t like jobs! (I am sure Labor would like to blame The Greens for this as it is mining related)
Rural Job Loss Impacts (June 2007):

  • Telstra has announced 500 jobs will go in its faults and communications department as it seeks to consolidate its services. Launceston, Newcastle, and Wollongong losing the bulk of the jobs.
  • In Queensland, Golden Circle has announced falling profits will see the loss of 200 jobs.
  • And in Bendigo, 20 workers will lose their jobs with the closure of a rubber factory.

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/telegraph/content/2006/s1952294.htm

LABOR and LIBERAL don’t like jobs!
Commonwealth Bank posts money profit and job loss (August 2002):

  • One thousand jobs are to go at the Commonwealth Despite the fact that it made a profit of $2.66 Billion.

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s655282.htm

In this instance LIBERALS don’t like jobs!
Union awaitsErgon job loss numbers (October 2012):

  • The energy supplier yesterday announced 500 positions would be cut across Queensland between now and June next year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-18/union-awaits-ergon-job-loss-numbers/4320234

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
Union airs CSIRO job loss fears (September 2010):

  • The CSIRO Staff Association says it is planning an industrial campaign, after a cut in the workforce at research centres in Griffith and Armidale.
  • The association says up to 15 regional laboratories are under pressure.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-09-27/union-airs-csiro-job-loss-fears/2275230

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
Mayors seek more health job loss details (Nov 2012):

  • South-west Queensland mayors say they are in the dark about the impact of job losses on the region’s health services.
  • Last week, the South-West Hospital and Health Board announced it was cutting 30 positions, about half of which are currently vacant.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-30/mayors-seek-more-health-job-loss-details/4400976

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
MP downplays health job loss fears (Aug 2011):

  • The Member for Murray-Darling says the latest health reforms will not mean job losses locally.
  • 300 middle management positions, that the Government announced last week would be cut, are based outside of Broken Hill.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-30/mp-downplays-health-job-loss-fears/2861872

LABOR doesn’t like jobs! (though there was some suggestion in this article that some positions might be made in other areas, though no exact details.)
Forestry Tasmania job loss fears (Jun 2012):

  • The Tasmanian Government will not rule out up to 150 job losses at Forestry Tasmania.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-24/forestry-tasmania-continues-to-face-uncertainty/4089524

LABOR doesn’t like jobs!
  • The pathology company that I work for, that I can’t name, just released its figures indicating that it made a 50% increase in profits over last period. However it sacked a large number of staff, and moved some jobs to India (to add to the already large number there).
  • They did have to employ new people afterwards because they are imbeciles and had no idea that sacking lots of staff would result in not enough employees to cover shifts. That being said, it is easy to dispose of staff that are expensive and employ cheaper younger staff.
  • At least shareholders benefited, even if sacked staff had to live off the pathetically inadequate welfare payments – but I guess India can employ more people now – at least feed them another bowl of lentils for the day!

The fact is that neither the Liberal Party (Liberal National Party – LNP) nor the Labor Party like jobs. They clearly aren’t focussed on the employee at all – Hence John Howard’s anti-worker anti-union laws, and the steady destruction of union and worker rights by both the ALP and the LNP.

If you read all of the bull from both parties, you will see that their primary focus is on the economy. The economy MUST be strong above all else, because, at least in their eyes, if we have a strong economy, we have jobs.

However having a strong economy doesn’t mean that you will keep jobs, in fact as you can see from above, job losses increased during a boom time – contrary to economic rationalist’s continual statements that a strong economy creates jobs. Total BS.

If you have got this far and read a bit of the above, you will see that even though we have a strong economy, in fact one of the strongest in the world, we keep losing jobs. Neither major political party actually care about jobs.

Why is that I wonder?

Is it mostly because the big companies want to make more money for shareholders and can cut staff massively in order to do so; even moving employees offshore?

What are your thoughts?

Bye for now.

Greg.

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About Blog of Greg

I consider myself a thinker and I like to discuss everything in life with those around me. Mostly I am serious, sometimes I am funny, and occasionally I am rude. I like to wear my heart on my sleeve and say what I feel, or think! It is important to me to be honest about how I feel and why! I detest pretense, big egos and self importance. I believe that I am no more important than you, and similarly that you are no more important than me! [apparently I should reflect on this more often] This blog is a way of engaging people in different aspects of life; its goal is to present a different view of life and contribute to a broadening of our awareness. While this blog is essentially my opinion, I also understand that there are other opinions out there. Though I encourage discussion, I may “delete” comments that I find are unhelpful, argumentative, or offensive towards myself or another person. Often I write about politics – apparently that is an interest of mine – but I also like to write about other more personal things that affect us in our day to day lives. Along with this blog, I also write to politicians and newspapers; I often present a commentary on my blog about following comments or decisions. That way everyone understands what they have said – and sometimes of course how big a buffoon they are:) Please feel free to comment on my posts, as I would like to hear what you have to say. After all…. Your opinion is just as valid as mine!
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