Tuesday 25th of February 2020

I'd request a breathing apparatus


Tony Abbott burns his Speedos

Forget the opposition's immigration and taxation policies, it's those budgie smugglers that have landed Tony Abbott in real hot water.

Mr Abbott attempted to end the swimming briefs controversy that has divided the nation during an appearance on Melbourne breakfast radio on Wednesday.

The opposition leader was co-opted into the ceremonial burning of a pair of rainbow-coloured Speedos under his insistence that occupation health and safety procedures were strictly followed.

"If I was at Davidson rural fire brigade I'd request breathing apparatus - this is awful," he said as the Speedos went on the fire.



Two of Australia's foremost authorities on mental health have welcomed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's $1.5 billion election pledge to boost services.

Mr Abbott promised the money to bolster frontline services around the country and help up to 250,000 more young people with mental health disorders.

He has promised 20 new early psychosis prevention and intervention centres, 60 extra Headspace youth mental health centres and 800 new hospital beds, easing the pressure on public hospital and emergency departments.

"This is a big further step along the path to better mental health services in our country. This will be a big step forward," Mr Abbott said.



Ms Roxon says the Government knows more has to be done to improve mental health services, but she says Mr Abbott's promise is not credible.

"We know that they're under-costed and we know that [Mr Abbott] hasn't kept his word on other commitments," she said.

"He wants to pull out money from GP services and after-hours services that are actually designed to build a strong foundation upon which we can provide further services into the future."



Gus: Tony has never kept any of his promises when he was minister for health...

patient concensus...

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has asked people to be patient with the Government's progress on improving mental health services.

Ms Roxon says she understands people who want better care for sufferers are frustrated.

She says there is a lot more the Government needs to do but progress is hampered by the lack of agreement between the states.

Ms Roxon has told the Sydney Institute tonight that consensus needs to happen first.

"If we don't get some of the foundations right, I do not believe we can tackle some of these really difficult issues in a way that confidently means we'll get care that we all want into the future," she said.

"A plea for some patience doesn't ever go down well with people who committed their lives to a worthy cause, but nevertheless I think we have to do it step at a time."

existential solution...


Tony Abbott has struck a clever pre-emptive blow at one of the government's weak spots with his big mental health initiative.

This was a major gap in Kevin Rudd's health reform package and Labor has come under a lot of criticism ever since.

The Opposition Leader has learnt from the Kevin 07 campaign. By this tactic, he occupies a space where Labor should have been, and gets in ahead of any later government policy.


Gus: Abbott has once again made promises that he couldn't keep or even believe in... And to a great extent, mental health needs more than a few extra beds and head examining centres... Sure we need more of these, especially in the "hardware component" of mental health but in the greater problem of "software component" we need to develop a greater understanding of the "human condition" with relative ethics... And this included the reduction of reliance on religion. With Abbott being a religious nut, who strayed a bit while a young gunner but now back on the narrow path, we would expect a polarisation of services, designed to bury the existential problems by eliminating the only and proper stylistic solution.

This is a philosophical issue — where the burning of jockstraps is entertaining and the money could appear attractive — but an issue that has to be based on a premise of animality and on an understanding of a stylistic curiosity, to be encouraged in an shared ethical environment, rather than a moralistic and religious setup. I cannot trust Tony to do the right thing, even if he says the right thing, as he appears to say the right thing just to be "elected". He lies. We've been there before.

And my apologies to the mental patients out there... I don't mean to denigrate mental sickness by using the word "loony bin" in the cartoon at top. I mean to denigrate Tony. That's my call. And I've been there — in the loony bin — a few times, in my life.


no control group...

From a reader at the SMH


Holes galore in Abbott's mental health proposals

Tony Abbott's latest health policy, like his maternity leave plans, threatens to be another ill-judged and monumentally expensive attempt to gazump the government based solely on a need to win at all costs ("Abbott to spend $1.5b on mental health plan", June 30).

Early psychosis intervention centres sound like a good idea. What right-thinking person could be opposed to helping seriously ill young people? The only problem is that the whole concept of "early intervention" for psychosis is still very much an open question among researchers.

To maximise human and economic value for the taxpayers' dollar, we must follow the precepts of evidence-based medicine. There is far from enough evidence that "early intervention" works.

A recent paper co-written by Patrick McGorry (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, June 2010) concludes: "The relatively positive outcomes are consistent with a beneficial effect of specialised early intervention programs; however, it is premature to draw firm conclusions. There was no control group … Although difficult to conduct, large-scale controlled health services research trials are required to definitively determine the impact and optimal duration of specialised early psychosis programs."

It is far too early to be axing well-supported medical programs, including 23 GP super clinics, a boost to after-hours doctors' services and the development of electronic health services in favour of opening "early psychosis intervention centres" that, as yet, have no solidly established scientific basis.

Dr Hugh Campbell Fraser (ACT)


sugar daddy...

The Federal Opposition says it will spend $35 million towards diabetes research if elected to government.

The investment will be used to fund a clinical trials network for people with type 1 diabetes.

Around 140,000 Australians have type 1 diabetes, while over 800,000 suffer from both forms.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the announcement is not a political ploy. He is urging the Government to match his offer.

"I think this is a good cause. I don't think this is a party political issue, I think this is something all of us want to see progressed," he said.

"I very much hope that despite the fiscal stringency the Government might see its way clear to match this commitment from the Coalition."

A health group is praising the Opposition's move.


Gus: as mentioned many times before, whoever believe Abbott, ought to have their head examined... Even if Tony could find a modest 35 lazy millions somewhere to help your sugar problem, he would savage other parts of your life with a big stick...

see toon at top.