Simpletons …

From the very outset of Gillard’s government, she and her ministers have seen Tony Abbott as an easy target. Let’s face it, he’s stiff and he’s religious, nerdy. It obviously seemed like a good idea to play the man not the ball. Everything was blamed on the AbbottAbbottAbbott. Even the famous misogyny speech was an ad hominem attack … the ball, for those who lost sight of it, was Mr Slipper.

Tony turns out to a bit like an onion. As the attacks took off layer after layer it revealed a fresh, juicy, wholesome interior. Is he a simpleton? How many simpletons were Rhodes Scholars? He graduated with a Master’s degree from Queens College, Oxford. A whole bunch of other things weren’t obvious on the surface, years of voluntary work with aboriginal projects and with the Rural Fire Brigade. He’s the misogynist with a female chief of staff!

You’d think they’d learn. Someone once said “No publicity is bad publicity”, to which Brenda Behan added ” … except your own obituary.” Mr Abbott can thank Julia and Penny for giving him plenty of publicity and as they have done so their standing has fallen and his has done nothing but rise. They are writing their own obituaries.

So desperate are they to land a telling blow on Mr Negative they have not paused for a moment to consider the counter punch. This last jibe is a gift to Abbott, a free kick and fifty meter penalty … Abbott is an economic simpleton, Abbott is a wrecking ball. This from an outfit that had the luxury of being elected with a budget in surplus and have run up a massive debt, and with modestly declining income are determined to spend vastly more. They did promise to get back to surplus and as with all their promises they’ve got nowhere near keeping it.

Do you remember this little interview ... ?

JOURNALIST:  If you don’t make a, get the Budget back in to surplus in 2012-2013, this is a question to both of you, the cameras are on – will you resign?

PM:  (laughs) The Budget is coming back to surplus, no ifs no buts it will happen.

JOURNALIST:  So that’s a ‘yes’?

PM:  Matthew, I know and you know like these questions during campaigns but the Budget’s coming back to surplus.  There’s no credible analysis on our economic plan that it won’t come back to surplus.  I haven’t added a cent to it during this election campaign.  The figures are plain, they’re transparent, they’re from the Budget.  They’re there from the Mid-year Fiscal and Economic Outlook, they’re there from the Pre-Election Fiscal and Economic Outlook.  The figures are there for all to see.  

The figures are there for all to see, simpletons …

No ifs, no buts …

… and no surplus.

A sigh of relief from the business community, grateful that we are not going to stop the economy in its tracks just to make the treasurer look less of an idiot. A sigh of relief turned into praise from the ABC for a treasurer ready to make the tough choices. In reality, though, just further evidence that we are governed by a bunch of raving incompetents, left to them we will end up as financially bankrupt as they are intellectually and morally bankrupt.

Remember that the promise of a return to surplus was made at a time when Labor were throwing money around fresh from the printing press. It’ll be alright we will be delivering a surplus … That promise was made over and over again.

When elected Labor stumbled upon a $20 billion surplus, no net debt and $70 billion in commonwealth net assets. The Treasurer of the year has had nothing but praise for the economy that he has managed ever since, it’s the best money can buy. Even this morning he was boasting of anticipated growth, low unemployment and low interest rates. True commodity prices have slipped back … presently they are only three times higher than they were when Labor got in! They have raised completely new taxes. How did they ever run out of money?

The reason is simple, Labor has done what Labor does – spend. This Labor government has spent very enthusiastically and delivered less in return than even Whitlam’s.

Everything they have actually done has gone wrong … from frying apprentices installing insulation in houses that later burn down to an Education Revolution that has seen us plummet to new levels of illiteracy.

To play safe they have replaced action with unfunded promises – the Gonsky spend, the Disability scheme.

Since it took office a government that promised to take “a meat axe” to an already bloated public service has appointed an extra 10,000 public servants. It has increased spending from $271 billion a year to more than $370 billion.

The debt on the nation’s credit card now stands at $144 billion.

Swanning about …

Mr. Swan was asked about Labor’s dismal position in the polls on ABC radio this morning …

I don’t get concerned about opinion polls on a daily, weekly or monthly basis,” he said,

following up with …

My concern is to make sure we get the economic fundamentals of this country right, particularly given the challenges we face in the global economy and I believe that political support follows that,

This morning my superannuation went backwards at a great rate of knots on the US employment figures and fear of a looming crisis in Europe. The next GFC is just over the horizon, Labor has fired off the stockpile of ammunition left by the previous government. What chance Mr. Swan will get the fundamentals right? What chance that Labor will deliver a surplus?

The reality is that Mr. Swan and I are both hoping for a soft landing … perhaps some strategically placed pink batts will come in handy.