Thursday 28th of August 2014

car sick...


car sick

The Abbott Government is signalling that, in order to survive, the lowly plebeian masses must be prepared to return to the ‘dark ages’ and live a Hobbesian life — ‘solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.’

But does it have to be that way? Do we have to live by the slogan alone?

In desperate ‒ budget emergency times ‒ such as these, we are told, we can no longer afford to invest in science, the arts, trees, a liveable climate, public education, universal health care, refugees, alms for the poor sick and elderly, canned fruits or a car industry.

It is a cruel irony that no sooner had Abbott repeated his road pledge at 100 days that two months on, Toyota has announced that it is pulling out of Australia in 2017.

Abbott has declared:

“I want building the roads of the 21st century to be a hallmark of my government.”

We may get roads but we won’t have the cars. At least not a car industry in Australia, nor its associated jobs. Australia might be ‘open for business’, but Ford, Holden and Toyota are all clearing out.

All told, thousands of jobs have been declared as lost from Toyota, Holden and Ardmona. Ford will cease production in October 2016 and Holden and Toyota in 2017. The decision also means the end of a car components industry that employs more than 30,000.,6154


the goose killing the goose...


A leading business group has warned the Abbott government that deep spending cuts in the May budget will hurt the already weak economy.

The treasurer, Joe Hockey, has been preparing the public and the business community for an austere first budget, declaring the “age of entitlement” had been replaced by the “age of responsibility” for both households and industry.

But the Australian Industry Group has cautioned Hockey not to try and return the budget to surplus too fast, saying it should appropriately take the rest of the decade.

It argues the government should increase the commonwealth’s spending on training by 3% by 2025; quarantine key industry and research programs from cuts; and protect funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) – measures it argues will ensure growth and help jobs shift to new industries as the investment phase of the mining boom slows.

“It is critical that the path to fiscal consolidation does not worsen the current patch of slow growth in the economy,” it argues in its budget submission.

“AI Group’s close liaison with a broad cross-section of the business community suggests clearly that the economy is very unlikely to be in a position to withstand big aggregate spending cuts or tax increases in 2014-15 without provoking slower growth and lower revenue collections.

“This is, essentially, a short-term challenge and is about the timing of measures and their near-term impact rather than their extent over the remainder of the decade [which is the appropriate timeframe to plan for a fiscal consolidation of the magnitude that is required].


meanwhile in toyotaland...

Toyota is recalling 1.9 million Hybrids for a small computer "programming" default that could stop the cars while in motion... (source Le Monde 12/2/14)


Tony Abbott says the news that SPC Ardmona has been rescued by a $22m injection from the Victorian state government proves it did not need a handout from the commonwealth.

Two weeks ago the federal government refused to give the fruit processor a $25m grant, which would have been topped up by $25m of state government funds and parent company Coca-Cola Amatil’s own $150m investment.

The prime minister told parliament he was “delighted” at Thursday’s announcement.

“We said SPC Ardmona had a good future and it does,” Abbott said. “We said that it didn’t need $25m from the commonwealth and it doesn’t.”

Abbott said he wanted to thank “all the people ... on this side of the house who have been wishing well this great institution”.

The Victorian government’s money is part of a $100m co-investment with Coca-Cola Amatil that it says will save the Shepparton cannery.

Premier Denis Napthine said saving 2,700 jobs was a “massive boost” for the Goulburn Valley.


Even if I was born under the last shower I would ask the question: Is Victoria going to the polls BEFORE the federal nuts?... So what if when Naphtine went to Canberra to explain his capers, the Prime Minister made a promise of extra cash for the state of Victoria without mentioning a figure of say $25 millions than "were not" earmarked for the rescue of SPC, but some nifty accounting by Naphtine could find some other money in his budget to siphon $25 million to SPC... Am I TOO CYNICAL?...

So little shit Abbott says all's well in the best of shit-space...

fancy dress tours...

'Any government which makes it harder to manufacture cars is making it harder for us to continue to be a first world economy because without cars, without steel, without aluminium, without cement, we don't have these manufacturers in Australia, we are not really a sophisticated economy any more.''

These thoughtful words, taken from the Liberal Party website, were uttered by none other than Tony Abbott after one of his fancy dress tours of the Ford production line at Geelong in 2011.

My, how things change. In his few short months in government, Abbott has seen off the entire Australian car making industry, with the loss of who knows how many tens of thousands of jobs and an even chance of plunging Victoria and South Australia into at least a local recession. There goes his sophisticated economy. It's a unique achievement, unmatched by any incoming government.

Read more:

Did I say that Abbott was a super idiotic idiot?...

meanwhile as joe is blaming the unions for abbott's goofs...

There is delicious irony, along with a generous dollop of hypocrisy, in the desperate efforts of business leaders and free-market conservatives to prevent 1,500 blue-collar workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., from forming a union.

For decades, these same elites have been busy telling American workers about all the benefits they’ll get from more cross-border trade and investment. But now that Volkswagen has overruled its American executives and decided to export its union-friendly German management style to a state that markets itself as a union-free zone, their enthusiasm for globalization has waned. To Bo Watson, the Republican president pro tempore of the Tennessee state senate, it’s downright “un-American.”

For decades, Southern companies have beat back union organizers by denying them access to plants and forcing workers to sit through daily indoctrination sessions for weeks on end as they are instructed on the evils of union “bosses” and the near-certain prospect of losing their jobs if they chose to bargain collectively. But now that Volkswagen has agreed to remain neutral and let the UAW in to make its pitch, the anti-union forces outside the factory gates are suddenly outraged by the lack of equal access. 

Steven Pearlstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist at The Washington Post.

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outside influences...

In a surprise move, US workers have voted against union representation at a Volkswagen car plant in the southern state of Tennessee.

The vote derails efforts by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to organise foreign-owned factories in the southern US.

Experts had expected the ballot to pass in favour of unionising, after Volkswagen tacitly supported the move.

The vote had faced resistance from Republican politicians, who argued it would slow economic growth.

It was the UAW's first attempt in 13 years to unionise a plant not run by one of the three big US carmakers - General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.

Analysts say the result could significantly curtail future organisation efforts and further dent the union's reputation.

Membership is reported to have plummeted 75% since the late 1970s, leaving it with barely 400,000 supporters.

'Outside influence'

Some 1,550 workers began voting at the plant in Chattanooga on Wednesday and rejected the union plan by 712 to 626 with an 89% turnout.

UAW spokesman Gary Casteel said "some outside influence" had been exerted on the poll.

invisible labor...


Brand Labor's lack of persuasion


Ronald Ostrowski • 20 hours ago

Right now no one in Labor is opening their mouths in the media about the healthy economy Abbott inherited and how unnecessary this fake LNP austerity excuse for massive privatisation and cuts to education, health and pensions really is. There are so many things that Shorten could hold a press conference about once or twice a day with good effect. Just ask Abbott how successful that was with his three word slogans alone. Or, Bowen, shortly after the election while acting Opposition Leader.

The only thing that Labor under Shorten offer to the media is a discussion about Labor. After six months of this I for one am totally sick of it, and I doubt that most in the electorate are even mildly interested in how their Labor MPs get there. Even when in Government Labor simply have not got a handle on mastering the public conservation through a biased media.

As for PUP taking Labor votes, I am not too sure. I sense there are many who voted Liberal realising what a mistake that was and are providing PUP with protest votes. My sense is that PUP is taking the conservative votes and the Greens are scooping up those who would have supported Labor if only it had a strong narrative, or even just a negative anti-Abbott one.

I also doubt whether Milne got her decision right as there is now no trigger for budget blowouts to attract public attention, let alone that of the biased media. No trigger at all. The Greens have many ideas I support as well as some top performers like Ludlam, who could give Shorten lessons in how to take it to Abbott. But, the Greens, overall, are too dogmatic in ideology to be political pragmatists in grasping long term incremental strategies. A vote for the ETS back in 2010 would have locked in a carbon price, which the Greens could have built upon. Now, of the 66 countries with a carbon price and a bright prospect for clean energy economy (which Ludlam talks about) Australia and Japan are reneging to their economic peril and disgrace.



One is at a loss to know why, Ronald... As Tony Abbott has tried to humiliate Whatisname (sorry Shorten, I sometimes forget your name) by making his mother-in-law a Dame of all things, one is at a loss to know why Tony's ankles are not bitten daily by Labor.

Of course Labor has had its own share of self-destruction by supporting old men way beyond their used-by-dates — old men who resented a woman as their boss and did all they could to kill her off.

But I think the malaise with Labor is deeper than that. 

One of the engine of modern society is "individualism" with its inevitable narcissism and possibly a dash of sociopathy in the mix. We're all in it "for ourselves"... The sense of community is second rating in this adventure. Though Labor's origins are more inscribed in the community spirit, Labor has had its share of "individualistic" opportunism that has eaten at its core. 

The Liberal (CONservatives) have no shame in being individualistic and opportunistic — and sociopathic on the edges. It's at the core of the Liberal (CONservative) credo. I remind our international readers that the word "Liberal" in Australia has been neatly hijacked by the CONservative party in the late 1940s to show its vision of a free-for-all bum-fight as long as the rich are always on top and workers kept in the mud.

Opposing this concept, Labor is in favour of regulations to make the bum-fight a bit fairer. No one is allowed to jump-start the gun for example — as the rich have done for yonks with privileges. Under Labor, no-one is allowed to sell snake oil without caveat and proper labelling. The rich CONservatives want to sell snake oils without red tape or by calling it hair-growth elixir...

And so it goes on and on...

But in an "individualistic" society, Labor is more incline to do navel gazing to understand why the community spirit has no traction and blames itself for it. In an "individualistic" society, the Liberals (CONservatives) are like pigs in shit. And they lie with brilliance, while the truth always come a poor last.

Thus some of the Labor hard-men, like the Ferguson, are abandoning their Workers Union roots to join the rank of the "bosses", mostly a club of Liberal (CONservative) men.


This is why there has not been any cartoons for about five Gus pages, featuring Labor... And when I do place Whatisname (sorry, Shorten) in a toon it's with a thought bubble rather than a real biter dialogue... See toon at top.

Invisibility, in this climate of voters may be a tactic, but with Dinopalmer becoming more visible day after day after day, one Labor can become too invisible.


And of course the MMMM is disgraceful for its bias...

looking at one's navel is not introspection...


Joe Bullock's fringe views are out of touch with even his own union's members, writes Senator Louise Pratt, who says Labor must stop letting union powerbrokers make grubby deals that destroy the Party's chances.

It might not surprise anyone that I disagree with a few things Labor Senator-elect Joe Bullock has said.

My biggest disagreement is with his statement that Labor can’t be trustedwith looking after the interests of working people and their families.

I know it can. In fact, I know it is the only party that can.

I have seen and been part of delivering massive improvements for ordinary Australians.

Labor has delivered the things on which Australians rely on for quality of life: the aged pension, Medicare, superannuation, better wages and working conditions, education funding, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, commencing the National Broadband Network and taking action on climate change.

To protect this legacy, we must be able to win more seats in Parliament especially here in WA. To win more seats, the Party needs the confidence of voters.

We will never have that confidence while debates about factional carve ups dominate the media instead of the real issues of importance to Western Australian voters. The answer is not to shut down debate, to keep quiet and keep doing business as usual.  The only solution is to tackle our problems, fix our processes, and reform and democratise our party.

Read more:,6394


MOST OF ALL, THE LABOR PARTY SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED (OR IGNORANT) OF ITS OWN SUCCESSES and be able to make the MMMM swallow this pill daily. The rest is only fiddle at the edges... Sure it would be important to get rid of old foggies like Joe Bullock — or at least EDUCATE THEM to the subtlety of nice progressive adaptability BEFORE THEY OPEN THEIR TRAP. The Labor party is caught in a time warp, but it's not terminal. The Liberals are in a far worse shape but they fudge it with brilliance by refusing to look at their navels. Read my comments above.