Friday 21st of June 2019

his accent should disqualify him from parliament as being a dual citizen trying to pass for an accountant...


A spectre is haunting Australian politics – the spectre of communism. All the powers of old conservatism have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre. By which I mean Mathias Cormann and Eric Abetz, responsible for the two legit funniest political pronouncements this week.

Cormann’s announcement to the Sydney Institute Wednesday night claimed the policies of Bill Shorten were “akin to communist East Germany”. The issue is not that Shorten is asking the electorate to vote into existence an Australian Stasi, because he isn’t, or planning to seize all private property, because he won’t, nor building a wall to separate leafy, lefty Melbourne from the rest of the country. Please – as if anyone would want to be trapped in with all those Greens.


It’s that Bill Shorten wants to reform the Australian tax system so Coalition-style $65bn tax exonerations aren’t given to a corporate community whose profits are already up 40% on last year. It’s a situation with which East Germany was, conspicuously, unencumbered.

This is no liquidation of the kulaks. It’s a basic platform of redistributive egalitarianism. And it’s one that the majority of Australian kulaks, proletarians and rational economic agents can get behind. At least, that’s what the polls have been saying for 18 Newspolls in a row. 

It’s those polls that are informing the relentless and personal attacks on Shorten like Cormann’s on Wednesday. The Labor leader’s lacklustre preferred PM polling is all a Coalition beset by missteps, mistakes, mismanagement and majority-threatening fifth-columnist sleeper agents from New Zealand – New Zealand! – has left to seize upon.

But in the established tradition of this government, the strategy seems somewhat clandestine, and unwisely so. The Coalition has spent four years attacking Shorten’s willingness to work with employers when he was a union leader. Turnbull engages in outright mockery of his upstart temerity to maintain relations with the big end of town. Their new initiative of red-baiting Comrade Bill the Workers’ Friend is an effective remedy to the effects of their own propaganda. As much, certainly, as Malcolm Turnbull himself spending the week making political appeals to the same people he condemned Shorten for even knowing.

Turnbull and his benches of blue-tie bunyip bourgeoisie, of course, have never met a mistake they couldn’t make at least twice. Just ask Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash. Or Bronwyn Bishop and Sussan Ley.

I’ve heard somewhere that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Eric Abetz has heard it too, for with the precision of a professional clown, Tasmania’s favourite entertainer doubled down on Cormann’s comments. I shit you not, “Bill Shorten ‘surely knew’ of GetUp! Soviet funding: Eric Abetz” was an actual headline that appeared in the actual Australian actual newspaper on Thursday. Uncle Eric’s concern is the donation of $10,000 made to activist group GetUp! by an organisation called “The USSR Australia Friendship Society”.

2006. A full 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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the libs' spy chief makes a fascist salute...


Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has revealed it was not the Australian spy chief's idea to pose for a controversial photo with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

Key points:
  • A photo shows both Duterte and Warner in the President's trademark fist-pumping pose
  • Bishop says she is "confident" the photo was not Mr Warner's idea
  • Human Rights Watch says the image suggests "tacit support" for extrajudicial killings in the Philippines


ASIS director-general Nick Warner met Mr Duterte at the presidential palace in Manila on Tuesday.

In a photo taken by the President's staff, both are seen with their right hands in a fist — Mr Duterte's trademark fist-pumping pose.

"I understand that the action — the fist pump — was not the director-general's idea. He was responding to a request from the President of the Philippines," Ms Bishop said.

She pointed out Mr Warner had been a guest of the President and said she was "confident" the photo was not Mr Warner's idea.

Ms Bishop made it clear she would prefer the spy chief's activities stayed secret.

"Of course Australia's secret intelligence service is called our secret intelligence service for a reason, so preferably the work that ASIS does is below the surface, but there are instances where it becomes public," she said.

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If my rusty memory of crummy French is still correct, "fume c'est du Belge" means something like "go and get stuffed but enjoy it"... 

cormann is more of a conman...


The finance minister, Mathias Cormann, led the way in a speech to the Sydney Institute in which he suggested Shorten was taking the ALP back to its “failed socialist roots”.

Not to be outdone, the foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, argued Shorten was the most leftwing ALP leader since Gough Whitlam’s predecessor, Arthur Calwell.

But really this is all standard fare.

In 2007, Peter Costello revealed his panic at the likely loss of that year’s election when he said that should Julia Gillard be appointed treasurer she would be “in many respects more extreme” than Whitlam’s treasurer, Jim Cairns.

Costello that year also tried to link the ALP with Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez – something Malcolm Turnbull echoed during his stint as leader of the opposition in 2009 when he told parliament that Kevin Rudd was “in a universe of his own with Hugo Chavez, waging a two-man campaign against neoliberalism.”

It would seem the campaign now has a few more members.

But Cormann, not content with suggesting Shorten is getting away with a “socialist” agenda because 18% of voters were born after the fall of the Berlin Wall, decided to fully rip the hinges off and tweeted a link to an article analysing Karl Marx’s position on inequality. Cormann then asked, “Bill Shorten says he will fight inequality everywhere. Who else used that sort of language?”

And while it is fun to laugh at such stupidity, what are we really talking about? What is this rampant socialism we should be fearful of? Because that is what really shows what the Liberal party is now against.


Helpfully, Cormann listed five Labor policies in his speech that led to this opprobrium.

The first is to keep in place the deficit levy that the Coalition itself brought in, making highest tax rate 49.5%, compared to the 49% that was in place under the Abbott government.

I always thought the gap between Friedrich Hayek and Karl Marx was greater than a 0.5% point top tax rate. I guess I was wrong.

Next up is the ALP’s policy to limit negative gearing. It seems standing alongside Karl Marx has gone from advocating for the end of private property to now just limiting the ability of people to minimise tax under a policy that fuels the housing bubble.

I wonder if Channel 7 executives know that Sunrise host David Koch, who has repeatedly called for changes that restrict negative gearing, is now presumably a “fellow traveller”?

Then Cormann mentions “an attack on self-funded retirees with its planned ban on limited recourse borrowing arrangements”. This ALP policy is aimed at preventing self-managed super funds from borrowing in the super fund to buy property.

An idea of Marx and Engels? No, it was actually a recommendation of the government’s own Murray inquiry into the financial system.

The inquiry argued that banning this practice would help “prevent the unnecessary build-up of risk in the superannuation system and the financial system more broadly”. It is a recommendation advocated by noted non-communist, Robert Gottliebsen writing in The Australian in May.

Now it seems Gottliebsen should be practising his singing of The Internationale.

Cormann of course also mentioned the ALP position on the company tax cut. But rather than talk about the cuts for large businesses, Cormann only mentioned the cut for small business – a cut the ALP has yet to announce whether or not it will reverse.

And finally, Cormann listed the ALP’s policy to tax income from trusts at 30%. This policy is designed to limit income splitting whereby one income earner uses the trust to split income among members of their family and reduce the amount of tax paid.

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cormann loses his cigar...

Mathias Cormann warns of the dangers of Labor's "shift to the left" as Bill Shorten talks of redistribution of wealth, but is socialism on the cards for Australia? John Passant reports.

YOU JUST KNOW a government is desperate when they rabbit on about their meek and mild opponents as "reds under the beds".

That is just what Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann did last week. In a speech to The Sydney Institute on Wednesday, Cormann warned of the dangers of Opposition LeaderBill Shorten’s "politics of envy" and the dangerous overreach in "his shift to the left".  

In a vomit of verisimilitude, Cormann reminded us of the evils of the "communist" regimes. He said:

As [Bill Shorten] looks ahead to the next election, he has made the deliberate and cynical political judgement that enough Australians have forgotten the historical failure of socialism.

The Berlin Wall came down 28 years ago, which means roughly 18 per cent of Australians enrolled to vote were born after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the failure of a system of government that destroyed the economies of Eastern Europe.

Bill Shorten now believes the politics of envy will work for him politically if not economically.

Hey Mathias, it’s getting crowded under the bed. Reds, Cormannites and same sex couples. Bigger beds instead of bigger bombs.

— OZloop (@OZloop) August 24, 2017

It is the sort of rousing anti-communism that will have millions flocking to vote for the Turnbull Government. It is not just that taxing trusts as companies and making minor changes to negative gearing and the capital gains tax are Joseph Stalinwrit large; it is that Australians will reject these sorts of policies because they know they fear a Shorten wall of brutal authoritarianism and dictatorship.

The Red Scare is obviously catching.

In response to some people painting the truth about there being no pride in genocide on statues of mass murderers that the Australian ruling elite celebrate as heroes, Turnbull, echoing Cormann’s neo-McCarthyism, wrote:

But it is also part of a deeply disturbing and totalitarian campaign to not just challenge our history but to deny it and obliterate it.

This is what Stalin did. When he fell out with his henchmen he didn’t just execute them, they were removed from all official photographs — they became non-persons, banished not just from life’s mortal coil but from memory and history itself.

Tearing down or defacing statues of our colonial era explorers and governors is not much better than that.

— staffies4socialism (@boofs4socialism) August 26, 2017

What a sad, pathetic man.

Turnbull is almost right about the statues and Stalinism. The non-persons in Australian society are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The statues themselves reflect a Stalinist-type need to worship the people the rich imagine are heroes of the past. They do this for current political purposes of unity around the fake god of Australian nationalism — and to hide the brutal past.

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a joke...

One of my Belgian friends told me this joke the other day... I don't know if I should tell it as it is denigrating to a fine country of people.... but then it seems to me that it perfectly describes Mathias Cormann's actions in parliament... It goes like this:

A bloke sees this Belgian driving his car in reverse up a hill... He questions the driver who answers that he has been told there were no place to turn around at the top... A while later, the same bloke sees the car coming down hill still in reverse. The bloke asks why he going down hill in reverse. The Belgian driver answers that yes there actually was a place to turn around at the top...


I leave it with you...

belgian cigars...

Q&A capped off its final episode for the year with a skit from the 2018 Wharf Revue. Four old caucasian men dressed as Liberal politician Mathias Cormann, sang to the tune of The Book of Mormon’s opening number Hello, but with lyrics changed to address events in the Australian Senate.

The response on Twitter, that reliable source of unthinking outrage, was an allegation that the sketch was “racist” because it mocked Cormann’s Belgian accent. Some Twitter users have even called it the “equivalent of blackface”. It’s not.

The Wharf Revue is written by a bunch of old white people, aiming to please a predominately white, middle-class, theatre-going audience. The sketch targets a rich, powerful white guy, parodying a musical about white Mormons, created by white comedians and the tweets expressing outrage are written by white internet users. The “offending” skit is not racist because it involves zero people of colour.

How else can I put this? This argument is white people debating white people, on the White People panel at The Festival of White People Ideas, in the allotted time: White‘O Clock to half past White. If this occasion were a boat named via internet poll, it would be called Whitey McWhiteface. If it were a meal it would be a triple-decker bread sandwich with a side of toast.



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It was a very funny sketch, but the best one of the Warf Revue lot was Paul Keating's impressions... Jonathan Biggins (I hope it was him doing the spoof) was at his best imitating our Paul who to say the least was the most important polly and never said a lie in his political life, like our Liarzarus (see advice from liarzarus...) who spewed porkies like a sick dog's breakfasts... 


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