A Right Wing Thinktank II

This is a continuation of the post A rightwing thinktank is running Australia where i covered 1-11, 42-44, 49 and 69 of the Institute of Public Affairs ‘demands’ of the Liberal-National Party Coalition of Australia, a right wing political group currently in power.

After i did the last blog, i found a series of Crikey articles from 2015, where “Freelance journalist Andrei Ghoukassian and former Crikey senior journalist Andrew Crook have sifted through all 100 policies promoted by the Institute of Public Affairs”.Thanks is due the Crikey people who solved a few mysteries for me.

I discovered that pseudo-leftist Labor PM Kevin Rudd was the dickhead who scrapped the  Department of Climate Change (IPA demand #2). He did put it in another department, but that was also abolished.

So where were we?

The IPA’s list of 100 included...

12 Repeal the National curriculum
They just messed with it.

13 Introduce competing private secondary school curriculums
Same, curriculums supposed now to focus more on traditional learning rather than fancy schmancy leftist stuff.

The Arts will be only taught in classrooms without any actual children in them, and ‘Merchant Banking for Fun & Profit’ will be part of the Year 1 syllabus.

14 Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
Didn’t gain much traction, even the TV stations said let’s keep the regulator.
Kyle Sandilands, aka Vile Kyle, a radio celeb who often uses his platform to abuse his ‘enemies’ aka anyone who criticises him, was in favour, but even the LNP didn’t get behind Kyle.

15 Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’
Abandoning this is something far right people advocate at least once a year.
Usually being miffed over someone from centre being allowed to refute all their crazed claims that the Muslims have eaten all the jelly babies, but so far balance is being left alone.

16 abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to common law
 Is considered unlikely.

17 end local content requirements for Australian television stations
Local content rules are the only reason shows are made (and then exported – yes, this is what’s to blame for both Neighbours and Home & Away) in Australia.

Tv stations have been complaining about this since the rules began, and as many of the IPA members own at least bits of TV stations it’s not surprising to see it listed. But there’s no trace of current plans.

18 eliminate family tax benefits
Nearly gone. Abbott did for some (or at least his treasurer, Joe “I enjoy being cruel to people who subsist on 20k a year” Hockey did). Malcolm Turnbull is supposed to disappear the rest. Or not – “However the government will abolish family tax benefit end-of-the-year supplements worth up to $726 a year per child. This will be phased out by 2018.”

19 Abandon the Paid Parental Leave Scheme
Tony Abbott really tried to mess this up, and it’s gone through so many incarnations, with the latest linked here (same article as Family Tax Benefits).

I don’t pretend to understand it. Other than PLP’s probably for 20 weeks and it’s been changed so many times nobody’s really sure wtf is going on.

20 Means–test Medicare
They’ve tried bringing in co-payments for doctors’ visits, ignoring that the poorest already pay something for many tests, at least a token $5.30-6.30 for scripts, and often more than a token for any specialist appointments (memorable was the specialist who charged $550 which about $120 could be refunded from Medicare – and one had to pay up front, not like people with medical insurance).

The sick and unemployed and old are trying to pay for these extra expenses out of a benefit supposed to be enough to live on without extra medical costs because MEDICINE WAS FREE.

The co-payment bombed – even bulk-billing doctors weren’t in favour, though stuck with frozen Medicare fees since 2013 or so (a temporary $ saving put in place by Julia Gillard, then grasped with fervour by the LNP, thinking they could force all doctors to move off Medicare and into only private practice).

So the LNP have chiselled away, taking away Medicare rebates for many tests, putting drugs off the PBS (which means whatever the drug company wants to charge, the end user has to pay) and making the lives of the sick harder.

Stuff like criminalising anyone who uses codeine for pain (have to show your driver’s licence and be on a national register). Also the same for pseudoephedrine, which yes, is used to make meth, but ffs, some of us used it for hayfever, and can’t any more because the intrusive questions at point of sale got too much to bear.

The LNP feel all fuzzy and warm over this harassment, to the point where many of them have had to go buy another investment property just to celebrate.

Next, 21 on…

21 end all corporate welfare & subsidies by closing the Dept of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
“The Coalition dissolved the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, splintering it into the Department of Industry and the Department of the Environment soon after election. However, their functions remain essentially the same.” From Crikey

22 introduce voluntary voting
This hasn’t happened – but it’s being put forward because it would help the Right wing stay in power forever. Australia’s compulsory voting means the Left has a chance. Conservative voters are better organised, more likely to turn out, worldwide – it’s why Margaret Thatcher, for instance, was able to stay in power all those years. She barely got 30% of the actual voters, but because so many didn’t vote at all, she was elected on that. Like Trump in the USA.

23 end mandatory disclosures on political donations
They haven’t managed this, but they’re trying. Malcolm Turnbull donated $1.75 million to the Liberal Party but didn’t disclose it until quite recently – their usual donors got cranky when Abbott was removed as PM, so Turnbull helped out, or ‘bought the prime ministership’ as some people (one of them might have been me) unkindly put it.

GetUp estimates 85% of political donations aren’t declared anyway, being ‘laundered’ through various entities.

24 end media blackout in final days of election campaign
This is probably going to be kept – the LNP announced billions in cuts during the blackout, that nobody heard about until after the 2013 election. Which they won.

25 end public funding to political parties
IPA wanted this, political parties didn’t. Simple.

26 remove anti-dumping laws
Wtf is it? Dumping cheap (below cost) goods in a market, usually with aim of destroying local industry, providing afterwards a captive market for the not quite so cheap any more goods.

Interestingly, Abbott didn’t support it.

However, people like Alan Oxley “an Australian academic, a lobbyist for free trade agreements, a climate change skeptic and trenchant critic of the Kyoto protocol along with being a supporter of cutting down forests in Asia to grow palm oil, keep #26 alive, in articles like this one.

Free trade is their grail – local industries can go fk themselves or move their manufacturing to China.

27 eliminate media ownership restrictions
They’ve achieved this one, or will soon – and Australia, already the most concentrated media ownership in the world, will get worse. Country people will lose out most, as restrictions that stopped one company from owning every outlet in Australia have been dropped completely.

Rupert Murdoch’s name springs immediately to mind, and of course, he’s a member of the IPA – his dad started it. Gina Rinehart also enjoys buying into media outlets and is said to be the one who bought Andrew Bolt his show.

We can only hope Unca Rupe’s enjoying all those LNP tongues up his arse – he’s been wanting this to happen since the 1970’s – possibly before.

28 abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board
We understand why the IPA, who live overseas at least part of the year, are in favour of free markets, free speech, and free money for their mates.

So far, the LNP haven’t been interested.

29 eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency
A victory for Big Tobacco, Big Food, and Big Booze. Supposed to be absorbed into Health, but Crikey say end result is cessation of its good works.

30 cease subsidising the car industry
Done and dusted. Because a few towns outside Tony Abbott’s electorate dying doesn’t matter to him.

Anyway, this is where i think we’re at…. those struck out are done, in BOLD are nearly done or about to be.

THE IPA’S 100 IDEAS TO TRANSFORM AUSTRALIA

  1. repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy but if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefit will be undone
  2. abolish the Dept of Climate Change

  3. abolish the Clean Energy Fund
  4. repeal section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act
  5. abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council
  6. repeal the Renewable Energy Target
  7. return income taxing powers to the states
  8. abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission
  9. abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  10. withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol
  11. introduce fee competition to Australian universities

  12. repeal the National curriculum

  13. introduce competing private secondary school curriculums

  14. abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
  15. eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’
  16. abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to common law
  17. end local content requirements for Australian television stations
  18. eliminate family tax benefits

  19. abandon the Paid Parental Leave Scheme
  20. means–test Medicare
  21. end all corporate welfare & subsidies by closing the dept of industry, innovation, science, research and tertiary education
  1. introduce voluntary voting
  2. end mandatory disclosures on political donations
  3. end media blackout in final days of election campaign
  4. end public funding to political parties
  5. remove anti-dumping laws
  6. eliminate media ownership restrictions

  7. abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board
  8. eliminate the national preventative health agency

  9. cease subsidising the car industry

Only 6 out of this 30 done, and 4 about to happen – 10/30.

Now the rest of the list – research cursory so it’s bound to change. Again those struck out are done, in BOLD are nearly done or about to be. …

  1. formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction
  2. rule out federal funding for 2018 commonwealth games
  3. deregulate the parallel importation of books
  4. end preferences for industry super funds in workplace relations law
  5. legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP
  6. legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of the budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit
  7. force government agencies to put all their spending online in a searchable database
  8. repeal plain packaging for cigarettes & rule it out for all other products, incl alcohol & fast food
  9. reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities
  10. introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools
  11. repeal the alcopops tax
  12. introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including
    a) lower personal income tax for residents
    b) significantly expanded 457 visa program for workers
    c) encourage the construction of dams
  13. repeal the mining tax

  14. devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

  15. introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax free threshold
  16. cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25%

  17. cease funding the Australia Network

  18. privatise Australia Post
  19. privatise Medibank

  20. break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function
    (or cut funding, and put someone sympathetic to the right in charge – tick!)
  21. privatise SBS
  22. reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784
  23. repeal the Fair Work Act
  24. allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them
  25. encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors
  26. abolish the Baby Bonus

  27. abolish the First Home Owners’ Grant
  28. allow the Northern Territory to become a state

  29. halve the size of the coalition from 32 to 16
    (“Abbott’s first cabinet was made up of 19 members, close to the IPA’s ideal number of 16.” This doesn’t count the three or four junior or assistant ministers for every minister. Turnbull’s first cabinet shot up to 26.)
  30. remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade
    (Some done – S Korea, Japan, and China. Trans Pacific Partnership not signed yet, let’s hope US exit makes ours less likely.)
  31. slash top public servant salaries to much lower international standards, like in the USA
  32. end all public subsidies to sport and the arts
    (Arts slashed, sports not so much.)
  33. privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
    (No – even Cory “I started my own RWNJ party” Bernardi  loves the AIS.)
  34. end all hidden protectionist measures, such as preference for local manufacturers in government tendering
    (Officially, not done – but French submarines, Australia?)
  35. abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification
  36. rule out any government-supported or mandated internet classification
  37. means-test tertiary student loans
  38. allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement
    (This one freaked me out – people without pensions, starving in the street – but so far not being done, though super’s been cut.)
  39. immediately halt construction of the national broadband network & privatise any sections that have already been built (See last post for discussion of this. Not yet is the short answer.)
  40. end all government funded nanny state advertising
  41. reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling
  42. privatise the CSIRO
    (Massive funding cuts leading to dreadful staff cuts, often privatisation precursor but so far no.)
  43. defund Harmony Day
    (It was former Liberal PM John Howard’s baby – so no. Perhaps just announce that you’re going to legalise hatespeech ON Harmony Day?)
  44. close the Office for Youth
  45. privatise the Snowy River Scheme

  46. have state premiers appoint high court justices
  47. allow ministers to be appointed from outside parliament
  48. extend the GST to cover all goods and services but return all extra revenue to taxpayers through cutting other taxes
  49. abolish the Federal Department of Health and return health policy to the states
    (Billions ripped from it, but not abolished)
  50. abolish the Federal Department of Education and return education policy to the states
  51. repeal any new mandatory data retention laws
  52. abolish the Human Rights Commission
    (or just persecute Gillian Triggs, now former President of the HRC)
  53. have trade unions regulated like public companies, with ASIC responsible for their oversight
    (or just have Royal Commissions into unions – ignore public outcry for one into banking – and bring in laws to gaol anyone making secret payments to unions for 10 yrs. While allowing your own ministers, and yourself, to rort or ‘not tell the truth on time‘ without penalty.)
  54. end all public funding to unions and employer associations
  55. repeal laws which protect unions from competition, such as the ‘conveniently belong’ rules in the Fair Work Act
  56. extend unrestricted work visas currently granted to New Zealand citizens to citizens of the USA
  57. negotiate and sign free trade agreements with Australia’s largest trading partners, including China, India, Japan and South Korea
  58. restore all fundamental legal rights to all existing Commonwealth legislation such as the right to silence and the presumption of innocence
  59. adhere to section 51 (xxxi) of the constitution by not taking or diminishing anyone’s property without proper compensation
  60. repeal legislative restrictions on the use of nuclear power
  61. allow full competition on all foreign air routes
  62. abolish the Medicare levy surcharge
  63. abolish the luxury car tax
  64. halve the number of days parliament sits to reduce the amount of legislation passed
  65. abolish Tourism Australia and cease subsidising the tourism industry
  66. make all government payments to external parties publically available including the terms and condition of those payments
  67. abandon plans to restrict foreign investment in Australia’s agricultural industry
  68. cease the practice of setting up government funded lobby groups, such as YouMeUnity which uses taxpayer funds to campaign to change the Australian constitution
  69. rule out the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment for electronic gaming machines

  70. abolish the four pillars policy which prevents Australia’s major banks from merging

Another 7 done, 2 pending (NT to become a state in 2018), which brings the totals to 19/100.

Funnily, I can only conclude the IPA is not ruling Australia – who knew? I bet the right wingers in the audience are mortified. The IPA are getting some of what they want, (not quite 20% so far), but the LNP has ruled out a lot of what they want, or has even promised the opposite.

I know political promises are not worth anything, but what i’m seeing is that the IPA are in opposition to the Liberal National Party Coalition on a fair number of points, or the vote loss means the LNP are too canny to consider granting more IPA wishes.

Yet.

What’s happening now? Cuts to company tax, to the rates paid by the rich, and to Sunday pay rates for the poorest of workers. Cutting staff numbers, cutting funding (then “oops it’s not running well, we’d better privatise it”).

All these are the way the Coalition roll.

So let’s be aware, and ready to fight the next big idea the LNP claim is all their own.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

 

 

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A rightwing thinktank is running Australia

So, that’s a headline, eh? Many people now know about the Institute of Public Affairs, a very right wing thinktank, whose 70th birthday (it was formed at the same time and by the same people who formed our very un-liberal Liberal Party) was celebrated by noted Australians including Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Tony Abbott, George Brandis, and Andrew Bolt. Andrew Bolt’s son works for the IPA, just by the by.

Also there was Tony Abbott’s Opus Dei-connected confessor and friend, Cardinal George Pell, now hiding in the Vatican, lecturing on ethics and ignoring Australian police asking to interview him personally over child sexual abuse in the Church. So Australia’s great and good – or rich and snivelling, if you prefer.

The IPA gets a lot of money from its billionaire backers – and it’s linked to right wing thinktanks in the US, like the Heartland Institute, and not just a little bit. People (if we can call climate denialists that), who work for Heartland also work for IPA.

Much of IPA funding probably comes from Gina Rinehart, daughter of a West Australian mining magnate and very bad poet. The inclusion of ‘special economic zone’ status for the North of Oz (#42 on IPA List) comes right (lol) out of the Gina Rinehart Big Wishing Book for Right Wing Billionaires, right before “Rig system so i only pay workers $1 a day”.

The IPA list? Well, they came up with a list of 75 things Tony Abbott should do to transform Australia. He’s the former Liberal-National Coalition Prime Minister – Liberal in Oz meaning right wing, they’re economic liberals, not social ones, and like most rightwing parties, can’t hold government without alliances.

IPA reckoned Tony could be like Gough Whitlam. Gough was a former Labor Prime Minister, leftist, considered radical for things like ‘equal pay for women’. Tony (the IPA reckoned) should be radical for the Right the way Gough had been for the Left in the 1970’s. Sad that actual equal pay for women is still too radical for 2017 except in Iceland.

Then the IPA came up with another 25 more ‘ideas’. 100 all up, which @elliemail has listed here IPA 100 Demands.

During a conversation on Twitter i stupidly foolishly rashly volunteered to see how many of the IPA’s suggestions had been achieved. Tony Abbott of course is not PM any more, instead Malcolm “My Money’s in the Caymans” Turnbull is but the IPA influence continues unabated.

Before he was even PM, Abbott promised the IPA that the following would be done. Info from Barry Tucker‘s blog at The Sniper Takes Aim. These are the 10 Tony said were already agreed: Crossed out like this are already done…

1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.

2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change

3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

4 Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

6 Repeal the renewable energy target

42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including: a) Lower personal income tax for residents b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers c) Encourage the construction of dams

43 Repeal the mining tax

44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

49 Privatise Medibank

69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built

Of course, the moment Tony Abbott won the election he went to work (thank you, Kevin Rudd, for losing an election that when you took over, Labor could have won easily .)

Tony didn’t manage his initial list of 10, but he did manage #1, Repeal the Carbon Tax. Because big polluters should not be penalised, at all. Most people’s energy bills have doubled since he did this, which he said would save everyone money. The Barrier Reef is in such bad shape our government had to throw a major shitfit to stop it being listed as In Danger in the UNESCO listings of World Heritage sites. It’s just in danger of being In Danger, so that’s alright. Already this year, (after last years ‘worst coral bleaching events ever’) the Reef is struggling.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (#2) went (in the UK, right wing PM May abolished hers too, seeing the pattern?), absorbed into the horribly wordy Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. This was abolished less than a year later.

As Wikipedia mentions, “Its functions were principally transferred to the Department of Industry; with its environmental functions transferred to the Department of the Environment

Abbott also shut down the Climate Change Commission (established to provide public information on the effects of and potential solutions to global warming).

The CCC said bugger off, in true Aussie fashion, switched to crowdfunding and became the Climate Council. Concerned Australians keep it going, because even if idiots in the Liberal National Party Coalition and the other right wing idiot fringe (yes, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, we are looking at you) can’t see global warming, the rest of us can.

Tony tried to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (#3) and the Renewable Energy Agency (almost #6), but failed when some of the minority parties in the senate voted with Labor and the Greens. The LNP’re still chipping away, trying to make the money in the CEFC available to coal-fired power stations, providing they’re ‘clean coal’, something that’s a contradiction in terms.

Tony also directly broke pre election promises to not mess with the Renewable Energy Target but didn’t abolish it (#6). The Guardian has a list of Abbott’s worst 10 environmental decisions – truly scary.

Since his fall, the Liberals have continued his work, most recently with attempts to repeal 18C (#4) though they’ve settled this week for trying to pass changing the wording (which had worked fine for 20 years).

#42 – basically ‘make Gina the Queen of Northern Oz’, still being shouted about because without it Gina Rinehart’s money might not keep funnelling into Liberal Party coffers.

#43 – the Mining Tax was repealed after a bit of struggle. Clive Palmer’s PUP voted for it (he’s a mining magnate too) and it’s rather funny to note that while passing that, they passed the Income Support Bonus abolition and the Schoolkids bonus (welfare cuts). CORRECTION – Palmer voted for this on the condition that the Income Support and Schoolkids Bonus were put off. They’re due to zombie this year.

#44 – done – federal protections for the environment circumvented. This is why Queenslanders are now fighting the State government (which is afraid of losing votes if even 1 mining job is lost) over coal mines (the biggest in Australia!) and Barrier Reef destruction (weirdly, they don’t seem to give a crap about tourism, a much bigger provider of jobs – can only imagine Miner Adani’s hospitality must be better than anything offered in Queensland).

This goes with LNP’s federal legislating that the Environment Minister is above the law – giving then Environment Minister Greg Hunt legal immunity against future legal challenges to his decisions on mining projects – and they made it retrospective, which got Labor’s vote to pass the legislation.Yep. Don’t really have words other than horrifying.

“At the same time, State governments are seeking to ‘fast track’ major developments, such as coal mine and coal seam gas projects, reducing public participation and removing legal rights of local communities to mount legal challenges.”

#49 is quite funny – Medibank used to be a not-for-profit health insurer owned by all Australians, until it was sold off. So privatising it, as Abbott did in 2014, is like this huge joke on ALL of Oz. Technically, he was fulfilling a Howard government promise from 2007.

#69 Tony Abbott put now-PM Turnbull on the job of completely fucking up the NBN. Malcolm did an excellent job. It wasn’t stopped, not completely, nor privatised, just gutted, buggered, and ruined.

Malcolm decided that Fibre to the Home was no longer an option (despite him investing in companies delivering FTTH in Europe) but we would have the cheaper Fibre to the Node – which might be come off the optical cable a long way from your home, and be part-carried by the decayed Telstra copper network. Telstra’s been neglecting this for a decade while they waited for the NBN or some other form of cable broadband to come in. This charming article “Nope, copper network still rooted (and maybe worse than first thought)” explains.  So it would be slow. Very very slow.

In fact, Turnbull succeeded so completely that the NBN is in parts slower than Telstra’s rather pathetic ADSL2 (this can be completely destroyed by any errant radio frequency – in my last house, the Adsl2 went down every time neighbour’s badly-wired solar panels kicked in).

It’s also MORE expensive than the original by billions – he literally doubled the cost, then kept going – as this article explains “from $29.5 billion to $41 billion, and then last year to “up to” $56 billion. And instead of delivering 25 Mbps by 2016, now the MTM network isn’t expected to be finished until 2020 – only a year earlier than Labor expected to finish its rollout.”

So today in Oz you might be forced off your decent ADSL2 (if you think 10mbps on a good day is good) onto the NBN, and get LESS speed. Oh – and Turnbull called it the MTM – Multi Technology Mix – but nobody noticed.

People on Twitter still type angry tweets about the NBN. We’ve fallen to 51st in internet speed worldwide.

So. if we look back at the IPA’s list of 100, Tony did 5/10 he promised, we’ve covered 1-4 and 6 of the first 10 and several Tony decided were important. Next on the IPA list were…

  1. abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council

Far as i can tell, this is still ongoing – the bid currently underway (we won a seat on the UNSC back in 2012 for 2 years, when Abbott was still in Opposition) culminates in seats available in 2029. *UPDATE – opposition abandoned when LNP decided being King Dicks at the UN felt good.

  1. return income taxing powers to the states

Kneejerk IPA hatred of Federal powers and their desire to apparently set up tinpot dictatorships in most states notwithstanding, though this has been put forward it hasn’t been made law, and the states don’t seem that keen.

  1. abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission

This is an independent statutory body, that advises the Federal government on aid to the States and Territories. Why IPA wants it gone, i don’t know – except as above ‘tinpot dictatorships’. It’s still there.

  1. abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

This one’s easier to figure out as to why – the ACCC is the only thing standing between most Australians and being ridden over (totes rough-shod) by various businesses or  between businesses as some big Liberal donors set up monopolies or duopolies and get to rort the whole of Oz, something they’ve been happy doing since approximately the First Fleet.

Riding rough-shod over people is a Liberal and IPA right, so they want the ACCC gone. It’s still here.

May God bless the ACCC.

  1. withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

Pollution is ok, says the IPA – now i’m writing slogans for them.

Air to breathe is not a right the IPA want to defend, not like ‘free speech’ that US import that seems to only be for the right when they want to call someone names because of their ethnicity, sex, sexual proclivities, or religion. Breathing doesn’t affect IPA members, most are reptiles who breathe through really cool filters in their skin. (Ok, so i’m not 100% on that, but why else would they try to poison the air and water and earth? Does anyone know?)

Anyway, our commitment to Kyoto was lukewarm and we even had a special land-clearing allowance in it. This meant we could get to meet emissions targets without actually reducing pollution.

As Crikey points out in the article linked to above:

“Which is why at the same time that we’re on track to meet our target, our emissions from electricity and transport had soared by more than 50% and 40%.”

You’d think the IPA would be totes behind keeping Kyoto seeing it’s so easy for us to fulfil, but ALL pollution deserves to run free, and be able to make up false rumours about minorities if it wants to.

  1. introduce fee competition to Australian universities

This was scrapped, then it wasn’t, then it was, then they cut university funding in the 2014 budget that became the 2016 budget, and at time of writing they’re still trying to pass as the 2017 Omnibus.

That’s me done for now – phew. I’ll come back to this in a new post. Which i will of course link from here.

If you have ideas on why the above are so important to the IPA, leave a comment, if it solves a question or corrects the above, i’ll edit to include it.

Next, we will try to do 12-at least 20.

EDIT – Amazed myself – did the full 100 – here, A Right Wing Thinktank II

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Asking for help

It’s not something you expect to have to do in modern Australia. After all, medicine is free for the poor, right?

Not right. Every cheap PBS script is between $5.30 and $6.30 depending on the chemist. Many drugs aren’t on the PBS cheap list. I’ve known people having to pay $70/month or more just for one drug.

Specialists usually charge much more than Medicare will pay, and we poor people have to find the entire fee, pay it, then get fraction back from Medicare, because specialist won’t usually let us pay just the bit Medicare won’t pay.

When it comes to nursing, it can get harder. A friend on twitter pays $24-28 every time they change the plate on his nephrostomy (allows urine to be drained direct from the kidney). It’s not covered by Medicare.

And i’m asking for assistance for him. Simple really. If you’re doing ok, and can afford to sling Shane something, please do. If you can’t help with money, maybe RT him on Twitter, or post this on your own blog/feed. Thanks.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I Tweet Therefore I Am

This started as a letter to my sister, then i realised i hadn’t blogged for ages (since the Trumpocalypse began in 2016!), and sis is time-poor, so it’s here instead. Sis has more net-savvy than this might imply, but it turned into a gonzo guide for anyone attempting Twitter.

My advice to her was to first, get a new email, one you can use for all your twitter stuff, memberships to various sites, and a place to be spammed where you won’t lose your phone bill among Twitter updates and news subscriptions. Sis said sure, she was setting up a Twitter handle, and asked if that was correct terminology.

My Reply…

Omg, not sure… *losing net credibility by the moment* i think handle’s ok.

Also you have 2 names on twitter – the @name which is your handle with an @ in front of it, which appears on the web as in my case www.twitter.com/stinginthetail.

Then there’s your name. Queen NomNomDePlume is mine. (It’s a long story, but you’ll see many Aussies on Twitter still protesting exPrime Minister’s Tony Abbott’s restoration of knighthoods by calling themselves HRH, Majesty, or something similar.)

I was calling myself Sheila, which was a joke because I’m a woman, and sheila is slang for woman. NomNomDePlume replaced Smith. Nom = eating or food (i’m nomming the noms).

Sheila Smith was a nom-de-plume (alias), but many people thought it was my real name, so I changed it. I don’t mind being called Queenie (or even NomNom), when I was in the band they called me Queen of Darkness, Queenie for short (due to my inability to suffer fools, not from any gothic tendencies), so it’s like old times.

Lots of ppl change names often, others use their real names and don’t. I prefer not to use my real name, though i do always remember that if a law enforcement agency wanted to, it would be very easy to trace me, so try to avoid silliness like death threats, no matter how annoyed i am with the government/trolls.

Word of warning – all the abbreviations can get mystifying. Most are common on net, and you can always Google. Google’s got quite good at figuring out all kinds of questions (you can now just ask “what’s a libtard?” and Wikipedia’s become an authority.

Things I might tweet about or ReTweet (in approximate alphabetical order, World first, then Australia)… Continue reading


Few words

Well, Donald Trump is about to be president of the USA – yeah, we might as well all go home, eh? I am trying to find the bright side – the Trans Pacific Partnership will now not be ratified by the US, which pretty much harpoons the TPP and Australia’s politicians’ lily-livered signing away of our nation to rich non-taxpaying corps.

Thankfully we should be spared most of the negative effects of politicians giving international corporations the power to sue local governments if they dare interfere with profit (by having laws against pollution, say), and the TPP’s power to give longer patents to drug companies so drugs would stay high priced longer.

However that’s about all i can think of when it comes to positive aspects to Trump winning the electoral college raffle and a bunch of gerrymandered electorates across America. It’s depressing that a racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic misogynist is now in charge, especially if you’re not an orange puffball who talks like he’s in the middle of an eighties coke inferno at a KKK rally.

So instead, go see First Dog on The Moon – he’s reliably funny and there is always the possibility of the Interpretative Dance Bandicoots, or the Wallaby Laser Death Festival. He even predicted, by accident (it was a joke!) Trump winning.

I feel better after some First Dog – i hope you do too.

copyright 2016 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Plans, plans, and damned plans…

So there i was, trying to get the books edited so i could release them all by Christmas at the latest while moving house. Then moving got cancelled (as i mentioned in the last blog post). Cool, i thought, rerouting of opportunity!

I would get the books out sooner! I blogged it, so of course that plan’s just gone by the wayside. It’s for a damn fine reason though – i may have found a publisher. I’m not going to name them just yet, because i want to be able to say rude things about them if they reject me.  Continue reading


Stasis or Redirection…

Well, i’ve mentioned before plans are ill-advised, which considering my spreadsheet addiction is kinda funny.  Still, spreadsheets have that snazzy built-in elasticity provided by formulae, which is handy, because yet again, my plans have changed. Continue reading


Welcome to the future!

It’s finally happened, after 6 years of serious pining, i’ve got a smartphone. Android, which is what i wanted – i’m just not an i-Person. And it was free – you can’t get better than that unless you’ve been paid to have a phone, in which case yr the kewlest kid of all.

Me, i was about to lose connectivity (my old phone was 10 yrs old and about to be obsolescent) and Telstra gave me a phone – talk about freaking surprised. I’m busy catching up with all those things everyone else has been doing for years – yes, swiping, looking at apps and trying to get my phone to understand my speaking voice. Which it does! Coming in late on tech can be great, you get something that works pretty well right out of the gate.

Continue reading


What?

By the time you read this, i hope a title will have occurred to me. Right now, it’s like someone scooped out my brain and replaced it with blancmange (a wobbly milk dessert). Nothing as on-trend as pannacotta, not in my head.

After surgery, i took home several infections. So my brain-deadery (it’s a word, at least MY mind says so) can be blamed on 8+ weeks of antibiotics and other pills, illness, and sodding convalescence. According to the surgeons (who i haven’t seen since 24 hours after my op 8 weeks ago) convalescence might take 3-4 months. Or more.

I’m sleeping ridiculous amounts of time round the clock – assuming one sleeps 8 hours a night, that leaves 16 hours to fit the rest of your life in – i am trying to fit a normal waking life into about 5 hours, during which time i have breakfast before going to  the doctor, the shops, whatever else needs doing.

I crawl home, fall back to sleep for 3 hours, up for the evening, (when i sort a meal, crash in front of the tv, unable to even focus on a book, let alone editing or the quickwittery of Twitter – yes, that’s a word too, i swear), then to bed for 10-12 hours and the cycle starts again. I don’t know if it’s worse because of my Chronic Fatigue, or normal, but it sucks.

Trying to edit Book 3, I’ve been hampered slightly by the brain-deadery, unable to remember either of the other two books with any kind of clarity. Hell, I can’t remember the previous page. Yeah, this is part of getting better, but it’s driving me nuts. Then Mr Whatsit got a stomach bug and so did i. Two weeks later, we think we’re finally safe more than a quick dash away from a loo.

Did i mention i was supposed to move house before this happened? My house is chaotic (but organised, i have lists!), and full of packed stuff, packing boxes and material for packing, because the lease ended and we were getting ready to move. So moving is next. I can’t do it yet (i still can’t lift much or drive – well, i can try, but pain is a good reminder of my limits), but depending on how nice the landlord is as the year goes on, i may find i just have to start packing.

This week’s been fun. I put my back out, (no idea how) and it’s been heatpacks, liniment, and back on the walking stick indoors. Trying to move at all is almost impossible. (So it’s past lucky that i’m finally over the stomach bug.) I’ve finally finished the antibiotics, and fingers crossed, no more.

Despite the back, I’ve been able to do a bit of exercise on my little X-trainer, down from the 4 kilometres i was doing before the op to 400m at a time (from 2 1/2 miles at a time, to 1/4 of a mile) – which despite being really hard, it does feel so good just to be a little active again.

When i think about it, life is on the up.

copyright 2016 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Expectations

Note, that’s not great expectations. So i had some abdominal surgery (i’m fine, they got the cancer before the bastard developed properly, so we think i’m alright) and i thought cool, i’m alive, and it was all laparoscopic (keyhole surgery x4) so easier on my bod. They kicked me out of hospital just 24 hours after surgery, which was fine, i was high as a kite and thought yes, home! Begin the recovery! And i can finish my editing, maybe even put the books out.

Oh dear. After two weeks of enforced DO NOTHING (enforced by Mr Whatsit, who has been like a recuperation nazi, stopping me from hurting myself, i’m now at the “carefully do tiny things and watch out because you are going to hurt” stage. I can’t lift anything heavier than a kettle (lifting this laptop is beyond my strength). I can close the garage door (thank you gravity), i can’t open it (damn you gravity!). Doesn’t matter, i can’t drive yet anyway. Standing is a short term event, walking likewise.

A new high-seated stool was necessary for the kitchen, or i couldn’t have even made toast. I’ve been more concerned with keeping my bowels moving (we’d like to thank psyllium husk, senna, and an initial diet of mostly fruit) and stopping taking the most awful drug i’ve ever taken – endone, or as it’s known on the street, oxycodone. Disgusting, and nowhere near the fun it’s made out to be.

I came off it as soon as i dared, after only 4 days – i was on anti nausea drugs to stop simply throwing up 24/7. With my doctor’s knowledge, I went back onto the drug most pharmacists get hysterical over, codeine (low dose), and immediately felt better. Within a few days I even stopped hallucinating from the oxycodone.

Mr Whatsit has been a great help, and i can’t really blame him for the toe. Yeah, middle of the night, i got up, remembered Mr W saying, TAKE YOUR WALKING STICK EVERYWHERE so grabbed it (i was very wobbly on my feet, still am). I made it out of the bedroom, then managed to put my walking stick in front of me, walk into it, and break the middle toe on my right foot.

There was much loud swearing and throwing of walking sticks. Mr Whatsit came to see what was happening and didn’t laugh hardly at all, (and fielded the darn walking stick). The toe was very definitely broken, i could feel the bits grinding together.

On the bright side, i was sick enough that sitting quietly with my foot up was no privation.

Yeah, the books are delayed. Life, it’s a weird place. I suggest you don’t make plans.

copyright 2016 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com