Tagged: Kevin Rudd

The proverbial Joe Hockey

Let’s sing along: Roll out the barrel, ?We'll have a barrel of twaddle
Let’s sing along: Roll out the barrel, We’ll have a barrel of twaddle

Follow us on Facebook 

Thursday 4 July 2013

He is big, he is loud and he has a lot to say, but the substance of what Joe Hockey says has a deafeningly empty resonance. ‘Empty barrels make the most noise’ as the old proverb goes.

At 7.10 on Tuesday evening , knowing that Joe Hockey was going to be interviewed on 7.30, I grabbed a stiff whisky. At 7.20 I decided I needed another one. At 7.30, I felt fortified enough to face 7.30.

And I was not disappointed – well I was disappointed and I expected to be disappointed, so I was not disappointed. It was painful.

I often wish canned laughter could be inserted into these inane interviews where questions are dodged, answers are non-answers, alternative policies are not espoused and twaddle rules with negativity, rhetoric, spin, slogans and gross exaggeration – no substance – just denigration of the other side – rarely backed up rational argument, let alone facts. And that becomes irresponsible, particularly when talking about the economy, which is ultra-sensitive to pessimism.

The question is not whether Joe should become Australia’s next Treasurer, it is whether to laugh, cry or get angry.

If you are brave enough, click here for the ABC 7.30 post (2 July 2013) headed: Joe Hockey says way to help ‘most vulnerable’ is budget surplus

Frustration has got the better of me, so I will take to the 7.30 transcript with RED CAPITALS.

Pass me the Black Douglas will you please?

Deep breath! Here I go …

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Since Kevin Rudd was restored to the Prime Ministership he spent most of the past six days behind closed doors with his colleagues planning how he will run the country and fight the coming election.

The economy will be front and centre of the campaign as both parties wrestle with how to play for multibillion dollar plans, how to restore the budget to surplus and how to dump or rework the carbon tax without plunging the Budget deeper into the red. Today the Reserve Bank kept interest rates on hold in response to volatility in the stock market and lower levels of mining investment.

The Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey, is the man in the hot seat for the Coalition, and he joined me tonight from Canberra.

Mr Hockey, the new Treasurer Chris Bowen, today called out the Opposition for its use of the term ‘fiscal emergency’ to describe Australia’s economic position. And he pointed out that Australia has low interest rates, low inflation and unemployment, solid economic growth and a triple A credit rating. Do you agree that overstating your argument undermines it?

JOE HOCKEY, SHADOW TREASURER: Not at all, Leigh. If everything was going so swimmingly why isn’t Labor delivering a much promised surplus? It is because they don’t know how to live within their means. And that means that we are facing greater challenges in a weakened position. A weakened position because Labor is leaving a legacy of deficits, ongoing deficits and over $340 billion of debt. JOE, YOU “SAID NOT AT ALL” THEN EFFECTIVELY AGREED WITH THE PREMISE OF THE QUESTION BY IRRESPONSIBLY UNDERMINING THE ECONOMY AGAIN. BESIDES, LEADING ECONOMISTS AGREE THAT A BUDGET SURPLUS IS NOT THE BE ALL AND END ALL.

LEIGH SALES: Prime Minister Rudd has invited the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to debate him at the National Press Club on debt and deficit. Why are you scared to do that?

JOE HOCKEY: We’re not scared.

LEIGH SALES: Why don’t you do it?

JOE HOCKEY: This is the same old Kevin. This is the same old Kevin Rudd. A leopard doesn’t change his spots, he won’t tell us what the debt is, he won’t tell us what the deficit is. BUT …

LEIGH SALES: You’ve seen the Budget papers.

JOE HOCKEY: And last Thursday in Parliament, Leigh, Kevin Rudd wouldn’t stand by the Budget. BUT HANG ON …

LEIGH SALES: Well today Chris Bowen, the new Treasurer, has said, “I stand by the Budget predictions that were put out in May, that is the Government’s Budget and all the forecasts in there are the forecasts that we stand by.” ISN’T THAT ENOUGH PROOF FOR YOU, JOE?

JOE HOCKEY: That’s right, it’s taken seven days for them to stand by the Budget. SO WHAT IF IT TOOK SEVEN DAYS? QUICK GET-OUT-OF- GAOL THERE, JOE! But even so Kevin Rudd has not done it himself. BUT YOU SAID “THEM” WHICH WOULD, BY DEFINITION, INCLUDE RUDD. Yet he wants to have a debate about deficit and debt. Well bring it on. He is the master of deficit and debt. CHEAP SHOT. SOUNDS LIKE JOE IS SCARED OF A DEBATE ON DEFICIT AND DEBT – KEVIN MIGHT TAKE THE WIND OUT OF THE OPPOSITION’S BUDGET DEFICIT SCARE CAMPAIGN.

LEIGH SALES: But he has brought it on, so why don’t you go and meet him? If you’re on such strong ground as you say, you must be loving the opportunity to debate him.

JOE HOCKEY: We look forward to it.

LEIGH SALES: In the National Press Club you accept that invitation?

JOE HOCKEY: I’m happy to debate anyone, any time.

LEIGH SALES: Is Tony Abbott happy to lead this debate? So yes that debate’s going to happen?

JOE HOCKEY: Yeah it will happen, HOWEVER, TODAY IT WAS REPORTED THAT TONY ABBOTT HAS REJECTED CALLS FROM LABOR TO HOLD A DEBATE NEXT WEEK AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, CLAIMING KEVIN RUDD WAS INDULGING IN A STUNT BECAUSE HE HAD NO POLICY PLATFORM. BLACK KETTLES ABOUND! but they’ve got to call the election. They’ve got to call the election. COP OUT! HOWEVER, KEVIN RUDD IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH AFR WEEKEND SAID THAT HE WAS NOT AVERSE TO DEBATING HIM [ABBOTT] MORE THAN ONCE WHEN THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN PROPER BEGAN. Labor is creating uncertainty by not giving Australia an election date. We had one a week ago, apparently now we do not have an election date and as the head of the Business Council, Tony Shepherd said today, this uncertainty is destabilising business. It’s undermining business and consumer confidence and I say to Kevin Rudd “if you care for Australia more than you care for yourself call an election now.” AND JUST WHO IS UNDERMINING BUSINESS WITH THE RECKLESS GROSS EXAGGERATION OF ‘FISCAL EMERGENCY”?

Then Leigh Sales went on to “explore some of your policies.”

And the excruciation continued, per se the 7.30 post heading, Joe Hockey says way to help ‘most vulnerable’ is budget surplus, which highlights Joe’s furphy that, “You can only do it by having a surplus and having excess capacity to help those most vulnerable in the community.”

Furphy! That superbly appropriate term was used by Alan Austin in an Independent Australia article back in May, in which Austin lamented that, “it is hoped he who would be Treasurer would display some grasp of economics”.

Click here for Alan Austin’s piece titled: Sloppy Joe Hockey’s 15 biggest Press Club furphies

Written by Bruce Keogh

Julia Gillard – trial by gender. Verdict – exile!

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1000 times more scrutinising of women.

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1,000 times more scrutinising of women — indeed, less critical of men. If Julia Gillard had bat ears, it is unlikely she would have made it to the prime ministership in the first place.

A word of caution: If you happen to be a highly intelligent woman with deep philosophical convictions and passion for the future of Australia, and have aspirations to become prime minister, go for it. But only if you do not have any physical imperfections that make you lesser in appearance to Elle McPherson. But then again, if you are blond, the media will destroy you anyway.

As if looking back on the demise of Julia Gillard, Marilyn Lake wrote a piece for The Age, just one day before Australia’s first female prime minister was ousted by the Labor caucus, in favour of a … you guessed it … a male … who will, odds on, not be sexualised by Australia’s media and wider culture. By Bruce Keogh

An excerpt from Marilyn Lake’s article 25 June 2013:

How could we have foreseen what would befall her? The relentless persecution by senior male journalists, the vilification, the sexist mockery, the personal abuse and the contempt with which she would be treated. Between 2010 and 2013, the full force of Australia’s masculinist political culture would be brought to bear on this path-breaking woman.

It is now a truism that history will prove more sympathetic to Gillard’s prime ministership – and the policies she introduced – than contemporary commentators have been.

What will mostly attract historians’ attention, however, will be how she was treated, the rabid misogyny, the hysteria of men who could not abide the spectacle of a woman in power, who labelled her a bitch, a witch, a liar, a usurper, an illegitimate claimant who refused to bow down before her male rivals.

She has been sexualised in a way no previous prime minister has been sexualised.

In the past three years, obscenity has become a favourite mode of prime ministerial denigration.

Full column by Marilyn Lake who is Professor in History at the University of Melbourne researching the international history of Australian democracy.

Rudd’s ruses for return as Prime Minister

Drop me off at The Lodge for my new incarnation ... please!
Drop me off at The Lodge for my new incarnation … please!

1 November 2012

Stork: So you want to go to The Lodge. Didn’t I drop you off there in 2007?

Baby: That was my last incarnation. I want to go there again. I am a new person as you might have noticed on my recent TV appearances. I’ve been making quite a splash.

Stork: But the nice couple who live there don’t want kids. Besides, the lady of the house helped you get there in the first place and she doesn’t want you back. She is staying put and not moving out for a baby-faced upstart like you.

Baby: I had so much faith in her, but she dumped me and then she moved in.

Stork: But you were very badly behaved weren’t you? All those tantrums!

Baby: Just a minute. Now I know who you are – you are her in disguise.

Stork: Gotcha! You thought you were pulling a swiftie on me. A sneaky way to get to The Lodge. Get ready for your second dumping – from a great height. It won’t be on TV but you will make quite a splash.

Baby: But you are supposed to be a giver of life, not a taker.

Stork: Look! I am just a mythical being disguising the truth about how prime ministers are really born. I also disguise the truth about how they are killed off. As you well know, I am an expert at both.

Baby: I am the rightful Prime Minister and I intend to be re-incarnated no matter what it takes. Could you drop me off in a cabbage patch?

Stork: You are delusional.

 The Drum – Robert Macklin: Can you forgive and forget, Kevin Rudd?