Political memories 188



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Let’’s get something off my chest before I get stuck into this little piece. I am not a political person, I neither support, nor am I a member of, any political party – as far as I am concerned they are all just as bad as each other! – but I do feel something needs to be said about what’’s going on at present.

I don’’t care what party you choose to support, or what you think of the various leaders we have been subjected to of late, one thing HAS to be accepted. During his period as Treasurer, Costello did a great job, clearing all this country’’s debts and even leaving about a hundred million dollars in the savings, to see us all through any difficult times that might have arisen in the future. Not many countries around the world could match that state of affairs; we were well prepared to survive anything the global economy decided to throw at us. But then the Liberals got themselves thrown out of Government, for no better reason, as far as I can see, than the fact that after ten years in power, the electorate decided they would like to try something else, coupled perhaps, with an unfortunate arrogance displayed by the then leader, John Howard.

So then Labor took over, and within the span of their term in office, they managed to turn all that lovely cash and lack of debt into a thirty-nine billion dollar overdraft, with millions of dollars being added each day, just to cover the interest, quite apart from any further borrowings. Not only that, but the money they spent went on such items as not-required school halls, unsafe roofing insulation and several other highly expensive adventures that didn’t work. It really was very sad to watch the country sink swiftly from healthy black into deep, deep red!

The electorate decided in their wisdom that they had had enough of this and last year they put the Liberals back in charge (just!), who immediately, on finding the situation we were in, instigated tough measures to start sorting it all out, unavoidably having to ditch some of their election promises in the process. It would have been either that, or have the place go bankrupt. ANY party taking over and finding the state of the books would have had to do the same, like it or not. This is just fact, with no party leanings, one way or the other!

And that’’s when things get a bit peculiar! Everyone ignored the financial position we are in and started shouting the Liberals down, calling them promise breakers, liars and idiots. It has been conveniently forgotten that it was the Labor Government that got us into this position, a position considerably helped by the private war between Rudd and Gillard, which did nothing but distract everyone from what was going on downstairs in the Treasury! It was a situation that HAD to be corrected, no matter what the public thought.

Now, whether the Liberals are going about things in the right way is another issue altogether. They unfortunately appear to be taking the required money from the less-able-to-pay members of the community, hence the public reaction to Joe’’s budget, a problem that still hasn’t been sorted out yet! Rather than taking the easy path of simply stealing cash from everyone, I would have thought they could do better, by finding ways of re-invigorating the country’’s economy, create jobs, make it easier for employers to take people on without all the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo they have to put up with at present time. Cut back on the “political correctness” that stifles creative thought and action and as a small piece of public relations, remove some of the immense perks politicians still enjoy, even while the rest of us are doing it hard! But I guess I’’m just being a bit naïve, thinking this might happen!

What do you think of the state of the country? Is it a matter of parties or is it just what needed to happen? Do you agree with Brian’s sentiments? Tell us below.

Brian Lee

  1. So labor didnt create debt and spend too much money on stimulis packs and pure waste. Oh yes they did

    1 REPLY
    • Umm! That’s what I said in the article!

  2. Your opinion is yours Brian, Howard ignored the hundreds of thousands on the streets who opposed work choices at his own peril. He had his own choice to make, listen to The Australian people, or be ousted and ousted he was even in his own seat. The Alp had the GFC and handled it well, we did not suffer like the rest of the world did. The problem with the ALP was infighting, they in effect killed themselves. Now we have Abbott who openly lied on more than on occasions and made many false promises, all of which is to the detriment of poorer Australians, the rich got a gold pass. And Australian’s see it like that. People are disillusioned with democracy..it just does not seem very democratic at the moment. Most families have one or more member affected by this unfair budget..will they forget and trust again..hell no

  3. Trust has been broken with LNP, you can’t believe a word they say and for ordinary people that gives us no confidence. When Politicians of either side openly lie before an election and do the opposite after, it creates lack of faith, but This Government has broken so many promises it is hard to keep count, and each of those promises affects poorer Aussie’s. There will be another budget a week before Christmas and Hockey has promised more cuts and you can bet it won’t be cuts for the rich.. the sooner we can vote them out the better

    4 REPLY
    • ‘Dumb as’ decisions to hit the poorest in the community. That is why I agree with the writer’s comments.

    • Unfortunately people blinded by labours rhetoric are unable to see past their collective noses! You say you can’t trust the LNP, well for goodness sake, you certainly can’t trust labor. They couldn’t run a flaming chook raffle!

    • according to you Dough Burrows but I don’t need you to do my thinking for me, I am more than capable of my making my own mind up

  4. Quite a reasonable summary Brian but…… who listens to common sense where politics are involved. Might I add to your summary my comment that the Abbott government’s plan to contain the debt- perhaps even reduce it- has attracted much public comment and displeasure as it is seen (correctly in my opinion) to impose austerity on the many and leave the wealthier individuals and corporations unscathed.
    Selecting the ‘right’ path towards resolving the debt problem should not be left in the hands of parliamentarians and bureaucrats- both of whom have ‘agendas’ In my opinion what is required is a panel of professionals who can properly assess the problem, free from any political/social or other agenda, develop options and then monitor progress once parliament determines which option best meets the situation.
    Professor Steve Keen might be persuaded to chair such a panel as he is clearly capable of thinking beyond the now discredited Keynesian theory.
    ….but don’t hold your breath while you are waiting for any government to dispense with their political agendas and think only about the national interest.

  5. It’s great to be a popular party by being overly generous with surplus money and eventually accruing a huge debt. However when the purse strings are tightened and times are hard because of this wasteful spending the collection team are criticized? Support their efforts or our grandkids will pay the penalty!

    1 REPLY
  6. Due to actions taken by the Labor Govt we were largely protected from the GFC ( save the $500 k we lost on the stock market). When talking about great treasurers don’t forget Paul Keating.

    4 REPLY
    • Sue, it was the surplus that largely protected us from the GFC ( a surplus created by the previous Liberal Govt.)

    • Had the libs been in power during instead of at the starting of the gfc the main focus would have been the protection of the surplus & future fund which was set up to guarantee political & public service super & pensions

    • Keating a great treasurer ? Surely you jest, interest rates on home loans were 18% & even today he claims that it was he making the decisions for Hawke whilst he was PM. Hawke was the last great Labor leader.

    • You know Wayne Swan did a great job as Treasurer and the measures put in place through the GFC by LNP kept Australia with a AAA rating and an economy that was the envy of other developed countries. His contribution was much underrated and the enormous contribution of legislation passed was overshadowed by their infighting and leadership battles. Julia did an amazing job with a hung Parliament and made us proud to be Australian and female! Cannot say the same for Tony Abbott whose continuous sexist attacks on her as PM were truly appalling. His record as PM makes me ashamed to be Australian.

  7. Mike here-a never ending story, libs in, tax the lower end of the food chain, cut services. Lab in, try to make life a tad easier on the lower end but the all prevailing theme is, leave alone the mega rich. I thought we were starting when Lab wanted to introduce the super profits tax, but alas abbott got his ‘mandate from the plebs’.

  8. Again not happy that Over 60 is being used as a political forum. There are plenty of opportunities on other pages.

    13 REPLY
    • Then don’t comment on it. Scroll past what you don’t like.
      Surely we have the right to discuss whatever subject is classed as current affairs.

      If you can’t understand that we all have a choice to discuss what interests us rather than only discussing what YOU want than this would be a boring site indeed.

    • Mike here-can we please get back to lamington drives & knitting? Things that older people should be interested in.

    • Hi Christine, this isn’t Over 60, this is Starts at 60 🙂 we welcome opinions on all topics by our writers. Brian is an excellent contributor to the site and he varies his topics.

      1 REPLY
      • Not dead yet and surely how our democracy is being crafted for the future of our grandchildren is as important as how to stay young? I for one welcome debates on any issues and it always amazes me that some people want to brush politics under the table as if it doesn’t matter how our Nation is governed!

    • Fairly rude comments on the whole. I am allowed to voice my opinion too. I am quite happy to read about and comment upon individual issues e.g. refugees or petrol tax or university fees. However I am tired of people (not just on this site) running up a list of items they think each government has achieved well. Items are ignored or others are feted but in context with the bigger picture they are minor. People say they do not vote for a particular party but how do we know. This sort of debate just goes back and forth. Hence I would prefer informed detailed debate on individual issues so I have a firm information basis to make up my mind.

    • Mike didn’t mention you in particular Christine, if you consider his reamrk to be particularly rude, you might want to adjust your sensitivity meter.

    • I always say, if you don’t like it don’t read it! And that applies to ANYTHING, anywhere!

    • just as some like “fun and games” there are others in the 60+ community who are interested in other topics – so just as you have a right to the lighter things we also have a right to the “heavier” issues – We still live in a democracy where we can all have a say – and if I don’t like it, I can just push the delete button 🙂

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