Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shut the fuck up, you spiv!

A certain P.J. Keating had Peter Costello pegged.

“All tip,” he said “and no iceberg”.

Amen to that, comrade.

The man was a dud, a smirking, lazy dud. It really doesn’t take much to run record budget surpluses during the biggest resources boom in thirty years (not that he actually did much with it, other than throw money at strategically targeted groups at election time). Offered the Liberal Party leadership after the 2007 election, his response was basically to say “nup, youse can all get fucked”. Cut off from his public service life-system during elections, he floundered to the extent that even Wayne Swan could wipe the floor with him.

So why is the media pandering to this prick?

Appearances on Lateline, a regular piece in the Age? Fuck that!

This piece in the Age illustrates perfectly why Costello’s sole function in public life should be as a toilet brush at Parliament House.

His response to the Government’s stimulus package is to label it;


Jesus wept; we’re talking about a Government that was voted out of office more than 30 years ago. Nobody gives a fuck about the Whitlam Government anymore, Pete.

What’s next; blaming John Curtin, John Watson, David Lloyd George?

Update: And this fascist cunt can get fucked, as well.


Melba said...

Agreed, agreed and agreed.

Anonymous said...

I have to take issue with your interpretation of Costello's comment, Ramon.

It's clear he was likening the stimulus package to the songs of The Whitlams, not the former Prime Minister.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

What, twee and boring, Boogey?

Lewd Bob said...

Sour grapes from a heartless, spineless and ball-less piece of stinking, smirking shit.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Ramon. I think he was hoping for more stimulus to go towards battling ex-treasurers barely surviving on a back-bencher's salary, and less to go towards supporting Newtown-fixated song-writers.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I like the way you think, Bob.

Boogey, we're just lucky Caz isn't here.

Lewd Bob said...

That wasn't thought Ramon, it was purely instinct.

Anonymous said...

Why's that, Ramon? Big fan of The Whitlams, or even The Whitlam, was she?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the interview he did on Lateline on Tuesday. It looked to me like he's given up on any attempt to be endearing and is now content to just act like a smug, condescending, (bitter?) prick.

I also got a good chuckle out of Malcolm Turnbull's appearances on the 7.30 Report this week. He seems to really resent the idea that being interviewed means having to answer questions.

wari lasi said...

Wari dons the crash helmet. Here goes ...

To be fair, blowing 42 billion without having a really serious think about what you're doing (as indicated by the fact that almost a third of it is a straight cash gift) is "Whitlamesque".

It is exactly what Whitlam would have done, except he would have snuck off to the middle east to borrow the money.

The "rescue package" is not a rescue at all. It is largesse in the extreme. Politically expedient rather than a well thought out policy. Grossly over simplistic and profoundly irresponsible.

I'm no fan of Costello, he's a smug fuck and there's something about him that makes me want to punch him in the face. But Rudd is a pathetic "Yes man" politically, and nothing he or Swan have done since gaining office has given me any confidence that they have the vaguest idea of what represents intelligent fiscal policy.

Throwing money at this aint the answer.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Obama announced a very similar package just the other day.

The opinion of just about every economist I've read is the Rudd package is the best way of tackling a looming recession - see here

And as the paper makes clear today

And Mr Turnbull's claim that the pre-Christmas $10.4 billion package had not worked was undermined by figures showing retail sales jumped 3.8 per cent in December.

wari lasi said...

Obama announced a very similar package just the other day.

I think the US situation is different to ours. It's even worse for them to throw money at the problem. Or rather, bail out an incredibly corrupt banking sector. The directors who received all those obscene bonuses should be thrown in jail. The US banking system has been a basket case for years and they appear to have learnt nothing from the S & L debacle. They're as good at regulating their financial sector as they are at regulating firearms.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with boosting public sector spending during a looming recession. It's the willy nilly way it's being handled that I have a problem with. The school infrastructure spending is excellent (Mrs L is a chalky so I have to say that). How about instead of the cash handout they throw it at health? It needs it. Then we can argue about the state/federal split of responsibility for health spending and how it makes no fucking sense.

Melba said...

It's funny how being likened to Whitlam has become a bad thing. When I was a kid, admittedly growing up in an ALP household, he was seen as the good guy. I remember both parents being so shocked when he was sacked and I think my Dad cried. All the money he spent on schools and the like was seen as a good thing.

Also, Wari, I'm not sure how willy-nilly this whole thing is.

There's always going to be people unhappy about something, but I think if anyone is acting "politically" it's Turnbull, trying to block this, and Costello loitering in the shadows, throwing out a comment here and there trying to test the water. Again.

wari lasi said...

Hey Melba, I'm not supporting Turnbull or Costello, both are behaving badly. I just don't like the way the US or us are handling this "crisis".

And it's willy nilly alright. How, for example, did they arrive at the 950 dollar figure? More structured spending is called for, not populist bullshit.

And I'm a fan of Whitlam the man, the orator. He has some fundamental integrity about him. Which I've said here before. Economically he was a lunatic.

Lewd Bob said...

Mate, Rudd's a good guy cos I'm gettin' a cash bonus which I'll spend, spend, spend on ciggies and beer.

Melba said...

I know Wari, it's just I have a lot of questions, and they can be confronting.

Is $950 too much, too little or just an odd number, Wari? Why do you question it?

Who cares how they came up with the figure. That's their job, I don't want to know.

I don't see it as a political thing, the package. Well, it would have to be a little, but by and large the commentary by people who know about this say it's a good thing, and necessary. Hawke in the early '80s just battened down the hatches and did nothing, which didn't help and possibly made things worse.

I can't remember who was at the helm in '90 but I do remember I had to go overseas to earn a decent wage. An economic migrant, my mother called me.

I just mentioned Turnbull (doing his best to be political) and Costello (ready to lend a political hand, maybe, or maybe not) because you stated that this package is a bit of political massaging on the part of the ALP, and that's all. With no foresight or thought. How do you know?

That's a genuine question. What makes you think it's not been thought out and it's just money being thrown at the problem.

Does government in this country really operate like that?

Puss In Boots said...

I for one am glad 'normal' people are getting a helping hand for once. As a 'single' (in the eyes of the government) non-parent, white working person aged between 18 and 54, I'm tired of being overlooked for all the tax breaks and other things. I'm glad I get something out of it for a change. And trust me, I need it right now. The country I'm in has some of the worst gringo prices I've come across yet. Even the archaeological site I went to today charged tourists 6 times the amount of locals! I'll be happy for the extra money.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, because there must be nothing worse, financially speaking, than to be umarried and childless. Just think of all that financial responsibility you are burdened with for exactly 1.0 persons.

Them greedy handout-seeking people with dependents just don't get it.

Puss In Boots said...

Not what I meant, Boogey, and you know it.

Puss In Boots said...

By which I mean, I never said other groups of people didn't need handouts. I just meant my group might need them too, and we're usually overlooked, or thought about in the vein of being able to just deal with it because we don't have dependents or something. I agree it's harder for those that do have them, but that doesn't mean it's not hard for us as well. I'm just glad to be getting a little bit of help this time, is all.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but you have to admit that "young woman needs money to fund further fun on self-paid holiday around the world" doesn't quite scream "battler", does it?

Not that I'm too worried. It's supposed to be a stimulus package, and realistically, the people most likely to spend it and not horde it are SINKS and DINKS anyway.

Fad MD said...

99% of the people that have been receiving handouts over the last 10 years haven't needed them. Shit, they're nice, but they don't NEED them.

I agree with Wari on this one. I particularly resent legislation being rammed through the Senate, particularly something as populist as this. "How can you hold this up? It's got money for schools?!!"

The infrastructure stuff is good but it really needs to be examined closely before we just give it a big tick.

Also a cash handout like this will keep Travis the Harvey Normal salesman in a job for an extra month, but that's about it. There aren't many local manufacturers of plasma TVs so the cash isn't really going to stay here.

Tax cuts do provide a longer sterm stimulus, but they reduce govtco's income stream for the future (not necessarily a bad thing), so again they need to be better targetted than what the Libs were putting forward.

Having seen how decisions like this can be made, they often do just pull out a figure and make things work around it.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

My understanding is that the stimulus package comes in two parts.

One is money targeted to medium and lower-income earners for both social equity reasons and for the fact that they're more likely to spend the dosh.

The second part is spending on needed infrastructure which will also boost jobs.

So I don't see how Kruddy can be accused of "just throwing money around".

Anonymous said...

It worth noting, Fad, that the current stimulus handouts are actually warranted in the current economic situation, as opposed to the previous government's flagrant pork barrelling around election times, all of which occurred during economic boom times.

Personally, I'd like to see more of the stimulus be spent on government spending to do all those necessary nation-building projects that the previous government neglected, as they will create jobs and get money moving, which is the purpose.

But as Ramon pointed out, there's also the social welfare aspect of giving handouts to people who might genuinely need them. However, there's always the risk with those that the money will be either horded, or spent on necessities (like food or rent), rather than being spent on un-needed luxuries.

Melba said...

Does anyone else think the connection between cash handouts and Plasma tvs is a furphy?

And by the way, twice as many LCD tvs are sold than Plasma. But LCD doesn't have the same effect, does it, because people wouldn't know what it means.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

And I should point out that all members of my socialist death commando unit are paid at the award rate.

Fad MD said...

Plasmas have been around longer and when they started they were over $20k, so they "sound" more expensive. Also it just rolls off the tongue better.

I think Boogey and I are actually in agreement. I really didn't like the way the previous govt handled their cash either, despite being a recipient of some of it. As I said, it's nice, but I don't need it.

Unfortunately what Kruddy is doing is just what Howard did with security, the intervention etc... "If you don't support it then you're on the side of the 'big banks/kidie fiddlers/terrorists" and I hate that. Set out a package, let everyone have a look at it and work together. Never going to happen, but it would be nice.

Fad MD said...

But again, looking at the politics here in the Philippines and you see how bad it can get.

Melba said...

So I'm guessing you're an expat, Fad MD?

How does it work? If you have non-resident status, do you still get these benefits? Sorry if that's too personal. Tell me to get fucked if it is. In a nice way, that is.

WitchOne said...

This may seem unpopular as a recipient of the last hand out and also of this one but....

Rather than hand out money to every tom, dick and harry, buy back our assets such as public transport, electricity companies, water boards and gas companies. Hire the currently unemployed or unemployable to do the things they CAN do and get money moving that way? Job creation, long term wealth strategies, throw some at health care (bring down the bloody dentists prices for a start!) and see how we go when we're all employed and healthy.

Wouldn't that be a better long term strategy? Because really, $950 is what exactly? 3 weeks groceries, 2 weeks rent, a new wardrobe (hardly required for most people), half a lounge suite, a handbag for Puss?

I do like the free insulation though, I really like it, just wish it included double glazing on the windows as well.

Melba said...

Witchone, I agree with everything you said. My 12-year-old said as much this morning - "How much rent would $950 pay for? Then what do people do when it runs out?"

And yes, double glazing!

Louche said...

As I understand it, the $950 is supposed to keep things ticking over so we have another quarter that's not in deficit until the infrastructure programs can kick in.

Sure $950 is only 2 weeks rent, but then landlord has more money to spend on handbags, and the Chinese handbag manufacturer has more cash to buy imported Australian materials, or whatever. It's a pay it forward system. It's not like the money goes into a black hole.

Turnbull is still a smarmy, egotistical prick in my eyes, kicking up a fuss now so he can better position himself next election.

I don't see how tax breaks are a better idea - it's still just cash in pocket to spend on crap, and with no end date in sight in case the govt. needs to claw some money back.

Fad MD said...

Melb - You're lucky. I just told one of my colleagues to get fucked, so I'm all out of those for 10 minutes.

Just working here for a couple of years. whether we get payments depends on the type of payment it is, what our status is in this country, the phase of the moon and the attitude of thwe APS4 processing our claims.

wari lasi said...

Wow, I wish I had time for this.

Until I finish running around playing property magnate for the next hour I just want to say that I'm in no way supporting Turncoat, Costello or Howard. I simply think what they're proposing is simplistic and the cash handout is a blatant populist move whose results are unpredictable at best.

And as an expat I won't get it of course, but Mrs L will and perhaps my eldest. Do second year uni students get it?

Melba said...

Lucky timing, then FadMD?

Louche, tax breaks are a better idea for the stinking rich and big business. I bet they all can't stand seeing "middle Australia" get something for a change. And not just once, but a few times over since Rudd got in. I can hear all those adjustable-height, ergonomic chairs spinning in boardrooms from here.

Melba said...

Wari, it seems that the stimulation that went down before Christmas (now that sounds erotic, doesn't it?) did result in increased spending over that period. So maybe it did work. And maybe this one will help too.

This comment will wait here until you can give it the attention it deserves. It's understanding like that.

Perseus said...

I'm going to spend my $950 on tax (because I got a little behind over Christmas). New girlfriends cost money, and I had two of them in the space of a month.

"Here's $950 Perseus."

"Thank you Kevin. Here it is back."

wari lasi said...

Of course giving people cash will cause an increase in spending. It's unrealistic to think that everyone saves it. To say however that it is definitely good for the economy in the short or long term is drawing a long bow. If the government spent it on infrastructure, say built a few hospitals, the net effect is the same in terms of economic activity. That lovely money goes around and around. It doesn't have to be consumer level spending to be "good".

I'm questioning the whole logic behind the Keynesian concept of spending our way out of recession. There are structural issues here, particularly in the US as I mentioned earlier. Simply spending itself is not the answer. In my humble opinion of course. We keep digressing on to whether Kruddy is a good bloke or whether Costello is a fuckwit. I couldn't care less about any of them. I'm concerned that globally nobody is having a really good look at what went wrong.

I'm a big fan of Adam Smith's invisible hand but there has to be some regulation of the financial sector. The average Jo has no idea how it works despite the fact that his super is being played with. In the UK they put an immediate stop to short selling, which I agreed with, but how many people understood it? What was the deal with the price of oil shooting past 150 dollars a barrel based purely on market speculation and not real underlying demand?

I'm far from being left wing but this is where wealth gets concentrated into a very small elite. The money that was "lost" in the US is in fact in the hands of relatively few "Dirty Rotten CEOs". The tax dollars to bail it out however will come from the average Jo. If the system doesn't change it will simply happen again. While we're on that, where do you think the 950 dollars came from? Or will come from? Where does the government get ALL its money?

Sorry for rambling but these are complex issues which have needed addressing for a long time.

Thank you and good night.

Louche said...

If the government spent it on infrastructure, say built a few hospitals, the net effect is the same in terms of economic activity. That lovely money goes around and around. It doesn't have to be consumer level spending to be "good".

Yes but they are spending on infrastructure as well. Who knows if they have the proportions right, but the infrastructure money will take a while to make an effect while phat cash can be spent today!

Lewd Bob said...

Sorry for rambling...

Perhaps Wari should become a TSFKA contributor. Then he wouldn't have to apologise.

WitchOne said...

Nahhhh, he and Pers will just post about the same stuff and then agree with each other. Or is that Wari and Ramon? :-P

Perseus said...

I think it's me and Wari, especially on topics of girls, and social justice topics where the last sentence is, "...and anyway, someone should kill that cunt."

Speaking of killing, I'm heading off any second to the Mallee Desert to stay at my lady friend's family farm. Apparently, tomorrow, when it's expected to be about 46 degrees in The Mallee, she's taking me shooting. Rabbits, I suppose. Maybe wild pigs. It's not very goth of me, and I'm worried my mascara will run into my eyes and I'll shoot a horse or something.

Seeyers next week.

Melba said...

Do goths wear hats? If so, what type of hat? You must wear a hat out there, Perseus.

I'm going to be worrying all weekend now.

Lewd Bob said...

I can just picture it. Perseus in a black velvet jacket clutching an old, torn, black penguin classic, possibly a Dostoyevsky, in 46 degree heat, holding a gun the wrong way, doing a daffy duck by looking down the barrel, accidentally firing into his face which consequently is black and charred. A blank look on his face follows.

Later, he is beaten up at the local pub by his lady friend's man friends for ordering a glass of merlot.

Lewd Bob said...

Oh and Melba, I don't know about goths, but the only hat I've ever seen Perseus wear is a Richmond beanie.

Melba said...

Exactly, Bob, I'm seeing some sort of Edward Scissorhand-Robert Smith hybrid with very smudged mascara, some sort of striped pants to go with your jacket, but the hat! What hat? Can't be a beanie. Would he wear one of those fedora type of things that we are seeing everywhere? Maybe it'd be a parasol? But black with skulls on it.

Lewd Bob said...

Perhaps a top hat.

squib said...

I think Nick Cave should write the screenplay for this

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

The good, the bad and the goth?

Melba said...

A top hat, of course. But a battered western one a la Deadwood, not a Bing Crosby one.

And he'd have to say 'cocksucker' a lot. I'm sure he could manage that.

wari lasi said...

Nahhhh, he and Pers will just post about the same stuff and then agree with each other.

Witchie, you make me sad, and here's me saying nice things about you all the time!

But you're probably right, I'm a bit too non-confrontational for my liking.

I do like a peaceful life.

and I'm worried my mascara will run into my eyes

I hope you're joking Perseus, I'm definitely not agreeing with make-up on a bloke. But happy shooting anyway.

I'll never forget Michael Jackson's mug shot where he's wearing lipstick. It gave me nightmares.

catlick said...

I see some referring to Peter as "Tip" Costello.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps that could be the name of his new Age column - Tip's Tips by Peter 'Tip' Costello.

Aesophia said...

I have never received any money from the government. I have never been in any of their minuscule eligibility windows, even jobless. I doubt very much I will be receiving 'free' money this time either.

I fall into the SINK (my partner has recently be made redundant) category for those wondering - however I would also like to state that there would be no new handbags for me, my landlord is trying to raise my rent twice in 6 months, a total increase of $230pcm. I am livid about this, however, having returned the form ticking the 'I'm not fucking happy with this' box, I've done all I can for the moment.

I have also been wondering exactly where the government has this money to just throw around. Surely it could be better spent, and not on a new BMW for some politician's 18 year old kid. I like the idea of the job-creation thing either.

Also, I intensely dislike politicians. All of them. I don't care what creed they are. They're right up there with used care salesmen and real estate agents. Dodgy buggers the lot of them. So feel free not to pin any political accusations on me, tyvm :D

Puss In Boots said...

I'd be spending it on rent and bills if I was at home, Boogey, but I'm not, so I'm spending it on rent and bills here. But that doesn't make my statement any less valid. Sure, I might be on a self funded trip around the world at the moment, but I saved a lot of money for a long time to do it - I didn't take out a loan like most people. Also, if I was back home, I really would still need the money, because my investment accounts disappeared in December. Stupid Queensland brokerage firms going under. Investments are like gambling anyway, so I'm not blaming anyone but myself, but the fact remains I would still need the money even if I wasn't over here, and usually people in my 'group' are overlooked. Men moreso than women even, because women still have some affirmative action working for them. Men get nothing. It's just nice to get a little bit of help for a change.

And yes, I totally agree that the other groups need the help more and definitely deserve it. I have never thought they were greedy or anything else. I just thought it was nice to get something for once.

patchouligirl said...

Hello Victoria? Is anyone still there?

Aesophia said...

I did get caught in the Dandenongs while Ferntree Gully was on fire... Which was, well, very nearly a lot more interesting than initially planned. Obviously I eventually made it home safe.

I was a bit worried about Witchie, however she was posting on Facecrack, large as life, on Saturday night, so I'm assuming she's ok... In fact. I'll call her now, just to be sure.