Monday 28th of May 2018

not the deal of the century...


I don't know about you, but Barnaby Joyce appears to me as one of the comedians in Australian politics... He has a sense of warped humour that hides a CONservative steel-trap conviction and his deficiency with economic figures... If politics were entertainment... What AM I SAYING? politics is entertainment! Entertainment conducted by sadists. 

But back to Joyce defending his boss' less-than-satisfactory FTA with Japan, mostly designed to sell more beef...

I have a beef with him though. 

Making things cheaper does not imply that people will necessarily buy more. So Joyce this morning on ABC Radio National (I refuse to call it RN) was I guess deliberately regaling the interviewer with the concept of selling more offals and intestines to Japan in exchange for cheaper cars and electronic goods... I was enthralled for him. 

One can also add two and two and easily deduct from this that the Australian government scuttled the car industry in this country to enter in this FTA or "F$#@ This Agreement".

But Aussie farmers are still up in arms that the gizmo so tooted by our Turd Number One, is a crock. Yes, the wine industry might get a leg in, but don't be too cocky here — as the French, the Californians and the South Africans, plus the Chileans and the Spanish or the Italians won't try to get some leverage in Japan as well for their alcoholic beverages.

growing beef quotas....

But Australia’s “front-loaded” tariff advantage, which delivers much of the benefit in the first few years, may be short lived.

Chairman of the Beef Industry’s Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement Taskforce, Lachie Hart, observed that US President Barack Obama is visiting Japan on April 24 to work on the US-Japan bilateral agreement.

“We’re expecting that the Americans won’t be too happy if we have a competitive advantage over them as far as beef is concerned,” Mr Hart said. “It’s a big market for us both.”

If the US-Japan agreement stalls, Australia will enjoy “a fairly significant price advantage” in the first three years. But if Obama is able to conclude something in the next 12 months, then Australia may be back on an equal footing with the US.


What the deal means for beef

JAPAN currently imposes a 38.5 per cent tariff on beef imports.

The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) will mean that annual Australian tariff payments of around $590 million will be cut almost in half.

The provisions include:

The tariff on frozen beef will be cut to 19.5pc on full implementation. There will be significant front-end loading, with an eight percentage point cut in the first year, two in the second year and one in the third year.The tariff on fresh beef will be cut to 23.5pc over 15 years. The tariff will be cut by six percentage points in the first year, followed by two annual one percentage point cuts.For Australia, Japan’s 50pc global snapback tariff will be replaced with a discretionary safeguard.Japan’s imports of Australian beef offal, worth $153 million in 2013, will face reduced tariffs within a growing quota.JAEPA will reduce tariffs on imports of Australian preserved and prepared beef, worth over $20 million in 2013, under a growing quota


piece of cake, my dear watson...


Australia could "go broke" if the budget is not repaired within five years, Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has warned.

Mr Joyce is warning schools and hospitals would need to be closed and has questioned the country's ability to defend itself if Parliament does not approve key budget measures.

"If we don't turn our nation around financially, we are going to go broke - whether its three years, five years or ten years," he said.

"If you keep borrowing more money than you bring in, we know where we are going to end up."

Mr Joyce acknowledged concerns the Government had not properly explained the need for some of its budget measures to the public.

But the Agriculture Minister said everyone would understand the consequences of failing to act.

"If we don't financially turn the show around, in five years time our discussion will be about what hospitals we close, what schools we close, how we defend ourselves as a nation," he said.




Well, my Dear Watson, why don't you tax the miners a bit more on the gross income or the "turnover" not on profit, tax Google or Apple, for example... Kill off all your mates who use offshoring as a way to legally defraud this country, and SUDDENLY THERE IS A SURPLUS and a magic pudding !  My god !... er... I mean my goodness.... Just follow the trail of money...





The families of two Australian tycoons figure prominently in a leaked list of clients belonging to the offshore “wealth management” firm Kleinwort Benson, the Guardian can reveal.

They are the families of the late media boss Bruce Gyngell, and of the late insurance tycoon, Edward Lumley.

In the four years before his death in 2000, Gyngell set up tax-free Jersey trusts for his wife Kathy and his children David, Skye, Adam and Briony according to the files leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) news non-profit in Washington DC and seen by the Guardian in London.

One of Margaret Thatcher's favourite businessmen in London and the founder of TV-AM there, he would nevertheless have avoided British tax on his capital, as a “non-domiciled” Australian.

Gyngell's son David, listed as one of the multi-million-pound beneficiaries, heads Channel Nine in Sydney. He most recently made headlines earlier this year for brawling with James Packer on Bondi Beach.

Bruce's widow, Kathy, remains in London and is politically active. She works for the rightist Centre for Policy Studies. She told the Guardian: "I am choosing not to comment."





fighting for the control of the continent...

Were Tony Abbott to praise Indigenous fighting skill, what would it mean?

When Tony Abbott praised the skill and honour of Japanese soldiers, he was licensing Japan's domestic politics. That's why he won't say the same about the frontier wars

Jeff Sparrow

"The past is never dead. It’s not even past."

William Faulkner’s words came to mind when Tony Abbott admired the "skill and the sense of honour that [Japanese soldiers] brought to their task" during the second world war.

In the abstract, Abbott’s comments might sound innocent but, of course, they were uttered, as the prime minister understands quite well, in a particular context.

For Japan’s rightwing, the second world war still matters immensely. Japanese nationalists – such as Shinzo Abe, the current prime minister – have made the nation’s military history a cause célèbre, part of a campaign to reshape the nation today.

Abe has, for instance, visited the graves of executed war criminals, denied that Japan maintained a puppet state in Manchuria, and belittled the army’s sexual slaves, the so-called comfort women.

If Japan’s past can be rehabilitated, it’s much easier to argue for a militarised future – and so revisionism about the crimes of imperial Japan has gone hand in hand with the reinterpretation of Japan’s "pacifist" constitution, so as to allow Japanese troops to participate in military actions abroad.

That’s why the Chinese media responded so angrily to Abbott’s remarks. But there’s another, less obvious, question raised by Abbott’s praise of Japanese military prowess, one relating to domestic rather than international politics.

How is it that a prime minister can praise Japanese soldiers when the skill and honour of those Indigenous people who resisted white settlement receive no official acknowledgement at all?

In his book Forgotten War, Henry Reynolds notes the clear consensus among military historians: the frontier conflicts between colonists and Indigenous Australians – during which tens of thousands died – constituted a war.

John Connor from the Australian Defence Force Academy says bluntly there can be no doubt "that from the 1790s to the 1920, Australian Aborigines fought British soldiers, police and British-born and Australian-born settlers for the control of the continent".

read more:

"honour" amongst rabid right-wing nutty thieves...


Many Australians are not happy with Tony Abbott's government's sycophantic attitude towards Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

Addressing the Parliament on the visit of Abe, Tony Abbott admired the skill, and the "sense of honour" of Japanese submariners.

RSL president Rear Admiral Ken Doolan said that many RSL soldiers would not agree and would state vociferously that some Japanese forces in WW2 did not at all behave with honour.


I am appalled that the Abbott Government is apparently oblivious to the international reputation of Shinzō Abe, as one who would conveniently sweep history under the carpet.

His attitude is in contrast to that of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has very publicly recognised German war atrocities:

"We have an everlasting responsibility for the crimes of national-socialism, for the victims of World War II, and above all, for the Holocaust."

Australia's international relations are not well served by the way that Abbott has cosied up to Shinzo Abe.

For a start, we might consider Australia's largest trading partner, China.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb, speaking on Sky News’s Australian Agenda on July 14, assured viewers that Australia's new special relationship with Japan is not affecting our relationship with China. This whitewash was definitely sullied on 9 July by China's official newsagency, which described Abbott's praise of Japanese forces in World War 2 as 'appalling' and 'insensible' and 'under a moral bottom line'.

After signing a Free Trade Agreement with Japan, the address to our Parliament about a strategic defence alliance, and with Australia gearing up to buy Japanese defence equipment and technology, we might just  wonder not only about the wisdom of aligning Australia militarily with a newly non-pacifist Japan, but also with a historical revisionist, far rightwing firebrand such as Shinzō Abe.

read more:,6684