Labor’s Pyrrhic Victory

The Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, is once again in denial complaining that the Abbott government has introduced 17 new taxes. Yet under the previous Labor governments a raft of new taxes were introduced: new taxes on carbon dioxide, coal, iron ore and alcopops; increasing taxes on tobacco, ethanol, LPG, luxury cars, superannuation, etc.

Following is from The Spectator Australia:

“By winning the battle, Labor have managed to lose the war. With such a monumental strategic blunder, Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen have in all likelihood handed the next election to the LNP, and rescued the prime ministership of Tony Abbott.

As we argued at the time, the cleverest course for Labor last year would have been to allow the Coalition’s 2014 Budget to pass through the Senate. In doing so, they would have achieved three important victories. Firstly, they would have removed the Rudd/Gillard/Swan stain of wanton profligacy which, instead, they perversely wear like a badge of honour. Secondly, they would have endowed shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen with some much-need economic credentials of his own – namely, fiscal responsibility. And finally, aiding the Coalition in reforming our economy would have allowed Bill Shorten’s Labor to paint itself as the true heir to the Hawke/Keating legacy; a powerful electoral selling-point.

At the same time, the government would have been forced to wear all the opprobrium for the $7 visits to the doctor, the cuts to the pension, the welfare crackdowns and so on. Labor would have been able to rant about genuine, as opposed to theoretical, examples of Coalition ‘austerity’. Come the next election, Labor would then be in the enviable position of being able to bribe their way back into power with a fistful of tantalising handouts because much of the repair work had been done.

Instead, so brazen and successful has Labor’s obstructionist Senate campaign been, to the point where they’ve blocked cuts they themselves had proposed, that the ensuing gridlock has forced the government to abandon many of its key ideological strongholds. Where last year Joe Hockey offered up sensible economic reforms but forgot that he had to sell them, this year the Treasurer offers up a swag of saleable goodies shorn of all the whiffy bits of reform.

The losers in the long run will be, of course, the Australian taxpayer. But, as has been frequently debated within these pages, a less-than-perfect Coalition is still vastly preferable to the undergraduate socialists currently occupying the opposition benches. Whether Tony Abbott opts for an early election, or to stay the distance and offer up a similarly gentle budget next year, the reality is that this government has abandoned ‘harshness’ for the time being. That it has been forced to do so by Labor and the wanton stupidity of the Independent senators should not be lightly dismissed. Much was made in the frenzied run-up to Budget night about ‘whose Budget is it anyway?’ One could argue that it is as much Labor and the Independent’s Budget as anybody’s, having been designed with the express purpose of getting through the Senate.

The Senate are now faced with either passing it or facing an early, possibly double dissolution, election. The Coalition can argue that they have listened, that they have responded to community concerns, etc. Labor, meanwhile, can argue… what exactly? That they would be tougher in government? Hardly. That they would be even more generous? That would be suicidal.

Yes, this Budget’s measures for small business and growth are to be commended, and the desire to crack down on ‘bludgers’ – be they on welfare or sitting in the boardrooms of multinationals – admirable. The politics of the Budget are perfect, the economics palatable, the selling messages spot on – but clearly the heavy fiscal pruning must wait until the next political winter, or perhaps the one after. As for the ‘entitled’ country, the music will carry on for a bit longer, it appears, albeit slightly subdued. We’ve turned the stereo down to stop the police from knocking at the door, but we’re still partying like it’s 1999.”

Fishing Wars

Good to see the Fremantle Herald making a front page issue about the Dutch owned super trawler, the Margiris, fishing in Australian waters.

As we Australians are limited in what we can catch and this Government imposing marine parks along the coast we see these super trawlers raping our fishing grounds to the tune of 250 tonnes a day.

Combine this with Japanese long liners with lines from 1 mile to 60 miles catching birds, as well as protected species of fish and you can see where our fish are going.

I will quote from theFremantle Herald:

“This week, after 35,000 signed a petition opposing the Margiris and thousands attended rallies, all three parties in the lower house of Tasmania’s state parliament voted to oppose the vessel’s operation in Tasmanian waters.

Federal Labor is splintering on support for the Margiris: Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig appears supportive while Environment Minister Tony Burke has his doubts. Tasmanian senators are actively voicing opposition, as is Ms Parke.”

That is Fremantle member, Melissa Parke who is to commended for her stance on this issue, but poor Joe Ludwig needs condemnation as he  cannot express any opinion other than that of his father.

Our recreational fishermen, or fishers, if you want to be politically correct, look on and despair if they get caught with one too many fish on their small dinghies.

Well done Ms Parke for raising this, and there is a rally on the Esplanade on Saturday that I hope will get strong support.

Illegal Immigrants

Why would the world’s largest car carrier travelling from Fremantle to Singapore pick up a boat load of asylum seekers, 67 in total, that was only 46 nautical miles from Java, Indonesia and take them to Christmas Island?

Because of this Labor Government’s refusal to do anything, and not adopt the policies that worked under the Howard led Government.

Remember the lies about Timor.

But now Julia Gillard and Labor have done a monumental backflip on ayslum seeker policy by correctly adopting the Houston measures.

Paul Kelly writing in The Australian had this to say:

Tony Abbott has won a smashing political victory. Indeed, Abbott says Labor’s new bill is really his bill. Abbott is entitled to claim vindication because Labor, having told him for years that Nauru would not work, is now ringing the President of Nauru and the Prime Minister of PNG. Rarely does vindication come with such embroidery. At question time yesterday Abbott and Scott Morrison rubbed Labor’s nose in the political mud.

Labor is tainted by this reversal precisely because it was the issue where it declared its moral superiority over Howard when it dismantled his policy. Labor’s beliefs have been mugged by reality and abandoned. As the Houston report makes clear, Labor was blind to the power of pull factors. It substituted moral self-righteousness for sound policy. The Australian people will not forgive Labor for elevating its moral vanity before the national interest.

Yesterday Labor’s Michael Danby directed his criticism at the Greens, attacking them for continuing “in their zealotry” to sledge expert panel member and refugee advocate Paris Aristotle and to refuse to compromise.

But where does our Member for Fremantle stand on this issue?

Also from The Australian today:

Speaking ahead of a vote in the House of Representatives later today on legislation that will allow for the reopening of offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island, Ms Parke said she felt a duty to raise a number of concerns held by numerous of members of the Labor Party.

I would not be doing my duty if I did not convey the deep sense of discomfort they and I feel about specific aspects of the path we are embarking on as a parliament,” the left aligned MP said.

“Cruel to be kind is a cliche – but I am not sure it is ever warranted.”

Ms Parke, who has previously expressed concerns about offshore processing, said she was particularly troubled by the Houston report’s recommendation that asylum-seekers who arrive by boat and are processed on Nauru or in Papua new Guinea should be forced to wait as long as refugees who claim asylum through more traditional channels before they are resettled.

“That could well be indefinite,” she said.

The MP for Fremantle said she believed the panel’s core recommendation to pursue a “no-advantage” policy gave a false sense of an orderly queue.

She also expressed concerns about the “devastating” mental health consequences attached with lengthy detention.

But Ms Parke praised the panel’s recommendation to boost Australia’s humanitarian intake, first to 20,000 and eventually to 27,000.

She also lauded the call by Angus Houston and his expert panel members to sever the link between boat arrivals and humanitarian places.

She called on parliamentarians to think of refugees as human beings “not in the abstract”.

“Rather than attempts at deterrence and punishment we need to create the conditions that create safety and hope,” she said.

Ms Parke, what does “not in the abstract” mean?

I think that she should look at the following:


BOATS ARRIVED                  259

PEOPLE ARRIVED               20848

FEARED DROWNED           604



Member for Fremantle

Interesting article in today’s The West Australian regarding the James Price Point gas hub.

Federal Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke has visited Broome twice recently to support the anti gas movement.

But WA Labor Senator Glenn Sterle has attacked his colleague for “sticking her nose” into the furore and said that she should concentrate on issues affecting Fremantle and respect the majority decision of the traditional owners.

Yeah, good one Glenn, since when has our Member for Fremantle done anything at all let alone for Fremantle. Her only publicity concerns her relationship with Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet who tries to defend the insidious Carbon Tax. She is another Labor lackey that was parachuted into the safe electorate from New York.

Glenn, on the other hand is a straight shooter, who I had a bit to do with when he was a TWU official, and have had the odd beer with at the Norfolk Hotel.

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