You are here

richard.obrien's blog

Guess which MP?

On a not entirely unrelated note, guess which MP in 2018:

Spent $20,000 to travel via a private jet from central Queensland to an ice hockey game in Melbourne, a month after spending $14,000 on a chartered flight to meet Prince Charles at a basketball game in Cairns?

Topped the list of MPs’ travel expenses spending $652,697 on herself and her staff, and spent at least three out of five nights in 2018 staying at hotels, billing taxpayers for more than $1,400 a week?

The Wizard of of Oz

With the governments of the US, Australia and now the UK in the hands of erratically dangerous leaders, much anger has been directed at Rupert Murdoch. I think we give the man too much credit.

It’s tempting to portray Murdoch as a modern day William Randolph Hearst, pulling the strings of government and influencing the minds of the masses with yellow journalism. Murdoch is more than happy to be seen in that light, but I suspect the reality is more pathetic.

Millennials V Baby Boomers

I find the whole Millennials V Baby Boomers thing just another iteration of the divide and conquer strategy of making people fight over their perceived differences instead of working together to achieve their actual common interests.

It’s been fuelled by a none too subtle strain of propaganda prevalent in both mainstream and social media. The way Millennials are portrayed in the media is nothing short of gaslighting. While the portrayal of Baby Boomers as a bunch of self-absorbed, property hoarding, robber barons who think the world owes them a living, is a cartoonish stereotype.

Pissed off with Labor; rightly and wrongly

A lot of people are pissed off at Labor supporting the government's tax cuts, rightly so.

A lot of people are also pissed off at Labor voting against the Greens' motion to increase the Newstart allowance, wrongly so.

Money bills cannot be introduced from the Senate, which means voting for them means voting to waste time and money on a bill that will be ruled out on a point of order when it ends up in the House of Reps.

That's the reason Labor always votes against these types of bills.

Thomas Ley and Peter Dutton

This is Thomas Ley.

In 1925 he ran for the federal seat of Barton for the Nationalists (a precursor to the Liberal Party). Ley attempted to win the seat by offering a £2,000 bribe to his Labor opponent, Fredrick McDonald, to withdraw from the race. McDonald instead publicly revealed the attempted bribe.

True to form, voters elected Ley with a large swing. McDonald challenged the result but mysteriously, and conveniently, disappeared without trace before the investigation could progress.

Grenfell Tower, Plus Two Years

Remember when 72 people burned to death in Grenfell Tower because of inadequate safety regulations? Remember how the survivors were given safe housing without being shunted off to temporary accommodation across the country where many of them might still be today?

Remember the condemnation and punishment of the slum landlords, many of whom once sat in the UK parliament before they were forced to resign in disgrace and lost their ill-gotten fortunes?

A Sign of Reconcilation

Yesterday WA police were being praised for their decision to permanently fly the Indigenous flag at police stations as a sign of reconciliation.

Also yesterday, Kearah Ronan, a six months pregnant Indigenous woman was arrested, strip searched and jailed because she was too sick to attend court and give evidence against her former partner. Kearah Ronan is a cousin of Ms Dhu, a 22 year old Indigenous woman who died in police custody after she was arrested for unpaid fines in 2014.

Attempted Suicides on Manus Island

Since the election about 30 detainees have attempted suicide on Manus Island. They are sent to Lorengau Hospital, who do not have the staff or facilities to cope. They have not seen one cent of the $21.5 million the government claims they spend on medical care for detainees on Manus and no one can explain where the money has gone.

What do you think we can expect now that the government have been given another three years and the man responsible for overseeing this fiasco has been reappointed with increased powers?

Labor and LNP GDP comparisons

Since John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, the Liberal Party and the majority of the Australian media have perpetuated the myth that the Liberals are better economic managers than the Labor Party. This as been the bedrock of every Liberal election campaign since.

Who to trust?

Between 2007 and 2013, under the last Labor government, wages rose on average by 8.9%.

Accounting for inflation and more Australians now working in low paid jobs, since 2013, under the Coalition the average wage decreased by 0.5%.

Trusting this government on the economy has cost Australians 9.4% in wage growth. That's like having to pay the GST twice.

Australia's GDP is currently around $1.85 trillion. So 9.4% lower wage growth means nearly $174 billion less spending money. That's what it costs to trust the government on managing the economy.


Subscribe to RSS - richard.obrien's blog