Let the (no fun) games begin

Get set for the hard slog.

Federal politicians returned to Canberra today. You know what that means? Electioneering. Yep, we vote (seems like yesterday) again this year.

Malcolm says it will be August, September or November. Wonder of he could be more specific? Then again, that’s Turnbull. He’s quite non-specific (flaky would be my descriptor).

The latest version of the Liberal Government has had time to show its stuff Can’t say it’s much different from the previous Tony Abbott-led version. I think perhaps a little meaner, with increasing attacks on the most vulnerable (cuts to pensions and cutbacks to health to the forefront). Of course, there’s the possible increase in GST, which will also hurt the weakest. I haven’t heard any pledge of how pensions will rise by the same amount.

On the other hand, the wealthy get away with “blue murder”. The hundreds of major companies which don’t pay tax (or very little) in Australia is well documented. In fact, it’s astounding. Among them is News Limited, Rupert Murdoch’s Aussie arm of his global media empire. And Murdoch papers have the temerity to attack people ripping off the welfare system (not that I condone it) – just the hypocrisy of Murdoch.

Back to Malcolm.

The honeymoon is well and truly over. It’s time he stopped the rhetoric (polite word for bullshit) and spelt things out. Where do we stand as a nation? There’s lots of things happening (i.e., gay marriage, the republic, war on terror). But where are we going as a nation, when all I can see are average people struggling to get ahead?

Unemployment is way up, despite “offical” figures saying otherwise. You only have to work for an hour a week to be classed as employed and/or for a job to have been created. Never mind the thousands who have been laid off by the mining, banking and manufacturing sectors (with more to come).

8e691ece55eca46507767bcc36cc2877The smoother veneer Malcolm coats himself in (and that includes a highly-polished Instagram feed – some of the latest trading off the homeless, which have suddenly been deleted) hopefully will receive some scratches as we progress throughout the year.

Let the games begin.

 

Pic: Daily Telegraph

 

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Holden stretches credibility

Australian car manufacturer GHM stretched its credibility somewhat when it announced the third recall of its Commodore model – 86,000 of them, in fact.

 

The V6 vehicles are being recalled due to a potential fuel leak.

 

Company spokesman Ian Butler said it wasn’t unusual for a vehicle to be recalled three times.

 

Really?

 

This blog can also be read at http://www.prlab.com.au 

Words in my mouth

A local AM radio station interviewed me the other day. The 6PR afternoon drive-time host wanted comment on the new Labor government’s missive on telling certain agencies that all media material had to be cleared through the relevant minister’s office.

 

What the shock jock wanted me (being an ‘expert’) to say was that nothing had changed from the previous Liberal government. Cripes, Labor’s only been in power a few weeks and already the media’s beating it up.

 

All I could do was to continually reinforce my key message (developed quickly after his introductory comments and first question) that “it was early days and you had to give the government the benefit of the doubt”.

 

I doubt whether this chap was really listening. He had his agenda, and I really didn’t. After all, I was just there to comment.

 

For me, this interview was a prime example of the media trying to influence opinion, when it should be striving for balanced coverage. How blissfully naive of me – a former daily newspaper journalist.

 

Yes, it asked for an independent person to provide comment, but it becomes hard when the interviewer just doesn’t want to see the other point of view (or even a neutral one). It’s not entertaining radio.

 

All up, it was a pretty amateurish interview (not helped by the cliché of ‘spin’ as an analogy linked to the first cricket Test, which was being played between Australia and India).

 

I didn’t hear the interview, as I don’t listen to talkback radio. One of my surf club mates said he referred to me as Dr Greg Smith, from Curtin University. Well, he got the university wrong, which just proved my point about the amateurism. It was my last interview on 6PR.

 

You can read this blog at http://www.prlab.com.au