Home > Economics - General > NSW Labor Headed For Defeat

NSW Labor Headed For Defeat

December 29th, 2010
A nice piece from Rod Tiffen. Equally applicable to Queensland, unfortunately.

Posted via email from John’s posterous

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  1. paul walter
    December 29th, 2010 at 17:48 | #1

    Yes, his (Tiffen’s) sadness percolates through. As has been pointed out here, in many postings, they can deal with many issues in ways that avoid grief, yet always seem to choose the most counterproductive and antagonistic measures.

  2. Fran Barlow
    December 29th, 2010 at 18:28 | #2

    Apparently the ALP’s fund raising has crashed this year by about 2/3 — they are only getting $1.5m as opposed to $4.5m.

    The Opposition is upt to over $5m mostly from the resources industry and registered clubs, AHA etc.

    Good to know … 😉

  3. Ikonoclast
    December 29th, 2010 at 18:53 | #3

    Labor or Liberal it makes no difference. Both parties are in the pockets of corporate capital. Vote Green or some strain of democratic socialist if you want to see any difference.

  4. Tony G
    December 29th, 2010 at 21:38 | #4

    “Equally applicable to Canberra, fortunately. ”

    imminent by-election in Dobell.


    Federal Labour is NSW Labour


  5. December 30th, 2010 at 07:55 | #5

    The phrase “applicable to Queensland, unfortunately” suggests that there is something sad about losing an ALP government to a probably talentless Liberal team. There would be something sad if the ALP were actually good at being in government, they aren’t.

    The Goss government were in the thrall of business interests that they literally threw away their voter base for the sake of a stupid and environmentally irresponsible tollway which did not get built. The Bligh government could stay in power but for the fact that they too are in the pocket of powerful business interests. They bombed badly on the Travesty Dam project (thankfully) and ‘clean coal’ at great expense to the public and now they have gone ahead with a financially, socially and environmentally disastrous sale of Queensland Rail against the wishes of the electorate and with the use of deception and stealth. You will remember John Quiggin’s arguments against the rail privatisation which Anna Bligh refused to discuss and just issued a media thing rubbishing it.

    Why would anyone think the ALP was any better? But wait, people do have more choices if the wish. They could massively vote Green and cause one of the 19C troglodyte parties to form a coalition with the Greens. Then we could see consultative governance and the ‘difficult decisions’ would be properly thought through, rather than bulldozed through. Don’t be sad. You too could have an elegantly hung Parliament – it is gaining in popularity.

  6. December 30th, 2010 at 08:01 | #6

    Fran said of the ALP, was that in Qld or in NSW?: “they are only getting $1.5m as opposed to $4.5m” – the poor darlings! At least the corporate backers know something. We can expect less rubbishy attack-ads on TV. An even better idea would be to ban corporate funding and to cap electoral expenses. Make them knock on doors and explain their corruption and inaction to ordinary voters – it’ll do them good.

    Please sir, can we have an honest election without corporate money tainting the political process.

  7. Fran Barlow
    December 30th, 2010 at 09:14 | #7

    @willy bach

    The NSW ALP …

    Given that the Libs are red-hot favourites to win going away, one has to wonder why any significant corporation would want to donate shareholder or private money to them.

  8. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 09:45 | #8

    John, whilst many will agree with Tiffen’s article there are others who still think the NSW Liberal Party carry a lot of past baggage for associating with Nazis and will not have a barr of them. As for Keneally, well she has my vote for the new Sydney network of high-frequency red Metrobuses is a God send. Thumbs up for Labor.

  9. paul walter
    December 30th, 2010 at 10:06 | #9

    Willy Bach, much time and effort has been spent over recent times trying to get labor or even thelibs to cooperate withthe Greens.
    The worst incident occurred in Tasmania in the late nineties, when Labor and Lib, both sockpuppets for Gunns, responded by gerrymandering the electorate against the Greens.
    At fed level there is often much cooperation against the Greens between the two big formations.
    Re FB’s comment, read somewhere there is a massive swing in donations to the NSW coalition- they have money at the ratio of about three to one, as to current donations and funds. Come to think of it, Fran must have read the same newspaper item, as she reports this an earlier post.

  10. boconnor
    December 30th, 2010 at 15:03 | #10

    NSW ALP:

    – paucity of ideas
    – promotion of mates, not talent
    – dogged implementation of failed ideas
    – focus on “issues management” ie spin, instead of performance improvement in social services

    Not sure that the Libs will be better but their time has come.

  11. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 16:21 | #11

    boconnor, a close examination of seats in the NSW Legislative Assembly reveals Rural Independents have done well over the years at the National’s expense and expect this trend to continue at the next election. No spin just facts.

  12. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 17:10 | #12

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Moshie – your party pf choice is doomed for acting like a bunch of right wing zealots. They have betrayed you, supported capitalistic free markets, sided with pro rich policies to increase inequality, reward the pluticrats who are running the show.

    Moshie – you have been betrayed, as have all of us. Liberals may be no better. The greens are the only decent party Moshie and where their preferences go is a big question. Unfortunately I would vote green but I dont want one whisker of my vote going to the NSW Labor party.

    Bunch of bastards Moshie (and I kinda like you and feel sorry for you that you, and the rest of labor faithful, have been so screwed by the ratty remnants of this party).

  13. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 17:15 | #13

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Thumbs DOWN on Kenneally and Roozendahl (cretins) and thumbs DOWN on NSW labor Moshie – dont delude yourself or Ill have to sign you up to join the other denialists in the insane asylum.

  14. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 17:42 | #14

    Its worth noting that both Labor and Liberal hate the Greens so much because their is the only vote growing that they (liberal and labor) are actually starting to preference each other to exclude the Greens.

    Thats a sure sign they (both Labor and Liberal) are working for a minority of the wealthy and have lost touch badly with the majority in the electorates.

    Time Australia woke up and they both go down (Labor and Liberal).n Im counting on people increasing their Green vote. People whinge on and on about the privatisations, the lack of public spending, the higher user pays charges on everything…but let people get up, wake up and change their votes. The sooner the better.

  15. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:06 | #15

    This Moshie is why NSW Labor needs to go and NSW Liberals need not be voted in either (they are the same). They are both working for the already wealthy and I am fed up with their higher and higher “user pays” charges, the spin re competition from PPS bringing prices down (when in reality its an attempt to give our hard earned taxes to the already wealthy).

    The entire shambles of neo liberal policies of “private better than public” is making me poorer, my kids poorer, the entire middle class and even the upper middle class poorer in Australia because not one in either of these two supposedly “mainstream parties” is implementing policies for the good of the majority in this country.

    This is evidenced by the disgrace that ineqality has become in Australia and other once democratic countries. Im not buying the “you too can be a millionaire with hard work and darwinian survival of the fittest genes” BS expounded and shoved down our throats in a daily diatribe of right wing garbage, by the chief mouthpiece of a wealthy elite, Rupert Murdoch.

    You can vote for these cretins if you like (liberal and labor) but Im voting for a fairer country and some decent policies and unless either of these two parties tell me they are going to raise the taxes on the rich and regulate the hell out of banks and provide some public services again in health and education and roads and transport

    They can dance all they like – they wont get my vote.

    This report put out by Citigroup for its wealthy clients sums it up very well. I put it here again in case anyone is considering voting Labor (NO!) or Liberal (same same).

    Vote to destabilise both of them.


  16. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:13 | #16

    Hello Alice, maybe you should take into account the State’s Business Competitiveness before going off half cocked. Here are a few examples:
    · Big business choose to be based in NSW, with 48 % of the top 500 companies by
    revenue in Australia based here.
    · Sydney is the financial hub of Australia, with 81 % of all foreign and domestic banks
    · NSW is the leading Australian state for business investment ($52 billion in 2009-
    1012) and more than a third13 of all of Australian businesses choose to be in NSW.
    · NSW is the ‘start-up’ State, with more new companies registering in NSW than in
    Victoria and Queensland in the year to June 2010.
    · Almost 123,000 additional jobs were filled in NSW over the year to October 2010
    (seasonally adjusted).
    · Over 57% of the State’s working-age population are tertiary educated, the highest
    proportion of all Australian States.
    · The wide variety of Asian languages spoken in Sydney and NSW has attracted
    international firms looking to establish regional hubs of customer service centres in
    the Asia Pacific.
    · Since 1995 Sydney has won more than 60 domestic and international consumer
    and business awards.
    · Sydney has a good quality of life – Sydney was rated 10th out of 221 cities in the
    Worldwide Quality of Life Index published by Mercer Human Resource Consulting
    in 2010 – an attraction for global companies transferring staff to NSW.
    · Regional NSW offers business opportunities with a more relaxed lifestyle.

  17. December 30th, 2010 at 18:13 | #17

    It’s only a matter of time before the “Coalition” will be a Lab-Lib coalition against the Greens. But it would help if the Greens got some more presentable candidates. And I do get the feeling that although everyone loathes Labor (and the electricity privatisation followed by proroguing parliament really was the last straw) still no-one likes or trusts the Libs. They will win entirely by default and their win will be followed by a wave of revulsion when they in some way demonstrate they are worse than Labor. Anyone care to speculate on what they might do?

  18. December 30th, 2010 at 18:16 | #18

    @Michael of Summerhill
    #16 – None of that means anything to the average punter, it won’t win a single vote, that really is a demonstration of being out of touch. I’m with you Alice.

  19. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:25 | #19

    @Michael of Summerhill
    half cocked? Me? Moshie – you are dreaming. What this party (NSW Labor) of desperadoes of every vice known to man has sunk to…that they take the privatisation of our electricity assets, in the dead of night like some foul smelling nocturnal skunks (Kenneally and Roozendahl0 and they cant get it through because every director resigns in disgust and so Kenneally and Roozendahl alone, under cover of darkness, appoint people from their spin departments to positions as directors of retail energy??

    Jesus Moshie – what are you thinking? A normal placement takes vetting and reference checking and does not happen at midnight with a few signatures and no public service oversight…

    Then to stop a transparent investigation., the yank plant cow (Kenneally) prorogues parliament specifically so that no one can hold an inqiry without fearing their evidence is in breach of what (??Private business protection).

    Get off my case Moshie. Your party is a dupe, a fake, an ideological disaster zone..you just havent woken up yet.

    Then to add insult to injury Roozendahl runs to the US to get a pat on the head from wealthy banks, their ratings agencies and Rupert Murdoch – chief headhunter for post political careers for obedient, compliant, wealthy client serving servants like himself.

    Wake up Mosh and find a new party. One with decent politicians and decent policies.

  20. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:27 | #20

    No Ian Milliss, NSW accounts for about a third of the States Gross Products and in 2008-09, the State’s exports of goods and services were valued at more than $65 billion on a balance of payments basis, representing 23% of national exports. And for your information exports of goods and services grew by 1.6% in real terms in 2008-09, despite the global recession.

  21. paul walter
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:30 | #21

    Mosh at 16, there fore why is it necessary, in this place of milk and honey, to not only to do vulgar electicity privatisation, but under conditions that have caused parliament to be prorogued presumably to prevent scrutiny of the proposal involved, amid allegation thathe esource is being sold forless than its value?

  22. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:40 | #22

    Paul Walter, I not in favor of privatisation for reasons in June this year Treasurer Eric Roozendaal put out a media report claiming the NSW economy has recorded a massive $11.5 billion turnaround in the past year, with Gross State Product forecasts improving by 3 per cent compared to last year’s Budget. And that the NSW Budget has already returned to surplus – two years earlier than forecast in a $1.1 billion turnaround in 2009-10.

  23. December 30th, 2010 at 18:42 | #23

    @Michael of Summerhill
    #20 – You really don’t get it do you? The NSW ALP could deliver a gold bar to every household in the state tomorrow morning and they would still lose the next election. Quoting statistics won’t make an iota of difference.

  24. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:50 | #24

    No Ian Milliss, unless you can prove otherwise the State economy is on the upswing and for a government that is supposed to be on the nose Labor is doing extremely well.

  25. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:55 | #25

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Moshie – I dont give a damn about their budget surplus when they did it by flogging electricity and lots of assets which is going to see price rises for every household, every business in NSW.

    I dont give a damn about their budget surplus. I want the state govt to go into deficit, borrow and fix up the creaking mess they have made of NSW state.

    And they can buy the damn income producing assets back that they sold for a song (lotteries, electricity, roads)

    I want better transport. I want better health and I dont give a damn if they have to borrow to do it – but they should start by raising taxes on the rich by the amount stupid Keating lowered them. Im not talking 1 percent. Im talking twenty percent – maybe 30 percent.

    Then the game is levelled Moshie. Im sick to death of carrying the rich while they get the spoils and profits of our assets we paid for with our hard earned taxes.

    Ripped off and you can stick any NSW budget surplus shortly TBA you know where (up their rapidly resigning rectums). Its all fake book accounting done in the dead of night to cover up the real deficit.

  26. paul walter
    December 30th, 2010 at 18:56 | #26

    22, Glad to read it.
    Given likely that your case probably may have some merit, within its own terms of reference, it makes the rest seem even odder with them?

  27. December 30th, 2010 at 19:00 | #27

    @Michael of Summerhill
    #24 – People do not vote solely on the economy, that is one the dumber fallacies of the right.

    And OTT but speaking of fallacies of the right (and there is no sandpit), has everyone noticed the bunfight that has broken out at Crooked Timber over the “lump of labour fallacy fallacy”, seems I’m not the only one who thinks it is just used by right wingers as a Harry Potter style incantation to banish unwelcome examiners of right wing sacred cows. Esp see comment #79

  28. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:09 | #28

    Alice, I’m all for better public services and given the chance Keneally might just heed your advice if Labor wins the next election.

  29. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:12 | #29

    @Ian Milliss
    You mean the lump pf labour fallacy fallacy – we had that bnunfight here as well Ian. I cant really recall who it was promoting it – Jarrah springs to mind…at this point.

  30. December 30th, 2010 at 19:17 | #30

    Jarrah chanted “lump of labour fallacy” re something then got stuck into me when I suggested that was a fallacy and it went from there, it was a few weeks back.

  31. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:39 | #31

    @Michael of Summerhill
    too little too late Moshie. Keneally is a servant to her pro privatisation masters….

  32. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:45 | #32

    @Ian Milliss
    Have I got a list of right wing sacred cows? (cows now dead and starting to give off an unpleasant ondour).

    Yes I do.


  33. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:51 | #33

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Moshie – I dont get it with you…State Labor act like a bunch of decrepit right wing theives and follow a line righter tha right (that is messing everything up and flaming the flanmes of inequality and discontent…) as well as pursuing hookers, boys, deals and mates rates and drink driving, screaming drunkenly at waiters, more drink driving, making deals on real estate from planning laws and developers, more drink driving, stripping, accosting woemn who arent their wives, beating women

    Jeez Moshie – you must be mad to even turn up for local grassroots party meetings for this lot.
    What do they put in the scones Moshie? LSD?

  34. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:55 | #34

    Moshie – oh I forgot – rorting parliamentary processes and their travel allowances and office allowances (who was that bloke that furnished three investment houses with his office furniture allowance?) we have watched 60% of the party resign to make sure they get their pensions.

    Your crowd are finished and I cant even vouch for the next.

  35. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:57 | #35

    Im so cranky about NSW Labor and their decreptitude I must go off and sink my head in the sandpit to block out the lies.

  36. Michael of Summerhill
    December 30th, 2010 at 20:02 | #36

    Sorry Alice, but the facts speak for themselves for the NSW State economy is growing and credit must be given where credit is due.

  37. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 20:07 | #37

    @Michael of Summerhill
    ha ha ha – try telling it to the voters Mosh. I never realised until now – there really is something dangerous being put into your scones.

  38. December 30th, 2010 at 20:09 | #38

    Comment #11 on that link is brilliant and hilarious, suggesting that with a bit more computer power all financial market trading would become 100% computerised and could therefore be run entirely as a simulation and speeded up to forecast crises while the results are used to create a completely planned economy.

  39. Alice
    December 30th, 2010 at 20:17 | #39

    Ian – you are right – it is a funny post (missed it)

    So here it is = plus Prof sbook even gets a mention in it at end…

    November 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm | #11 Reply | Quote Ha-Joon Chang:

    It’s been reported recently that 70% of financial market trading volume is now due to HFT computers. Doesn’t this indicate that with a modest and realistic increase in computer power, that could become 100% ? If so, instead of being real trading, it could just as easily be simulated, providing input to a centrally planned economic apparatus which would not require any highly-paid and risk-manic bankers or hedgies and who could then be redeployed as labourers or hospital orderlies. Such an economy should perform at least as well as the present neolin-neocon one. With another increase in computing power, it could be simulated into the future and thus forecast its own crises, which might enable crisis avoidance – or even 5-year plans which work.

    Cant think of a better redeployment of hedgies to posts hospital orderlies.

    KK also could do with a stint somewhere (Coles cafeteria and learn the value of a fair exchange?) and Roozendahl…well his placement for post political work experience is a natural…the morgue.

  40. boconnor
    December 31st, 2010 at 05:17 | #40

    Michael of Summerhill :
    Hello Alice, maybe you should take into account the State’s Business Competitiveness before going off half cocked. Here are a few examples:
    · Big business choose to be based in NSW, with 48 % of the top 500 companies by revenue in Australia based here.
    · Sydney is the financial hub of Australia, with 81 % of all foreign and domestic banks

    It’s not sufficient to just quote some economic stats. You need to show the specific actions the NSW government has done that has had a positive impact on the economy that, in their absence, would have resulted in poorer economic performance. I would think that is an empty set.

    Moreover, it’s in areas of direct government service provision (like public transport) where we should judge the NSW government’s performance. For instance, it had 16 years in power – a golden opportunity to really make a difference to people’s lives and the infrastructure that is built for the future. But, rather than expand and upgrade public transport which would have (a) helped the poor in the outer suburbs of Sydney and (b) contributed to reduced pollution and carbon emissions, it favored roads and private toll ways. A disgraceful legacy.

  41. Michael of Summerhill
    December 31st, 2010 at 05:56 | #41

    boconnor, you are correct maybe I should have included some NSW government programs which helped boost economic growth such as the $500 million in transport infrastructure for Country NSW in 2010-11 plus another $90 million in direct support for businesses through the Building the Country Package and the Regional Business Employment Fund, and/or the payroll tax rate cut to 5.5% as an incentive to making NSW more competitive with other Australian states. As for Sydney’s public transport well it is better than O’Farrells one bus policy.

  42. Alice
    December 31st, 2010 at 06:44 | #42

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Perhaps you should suspect a government that conducts privatisation sales in the dead of night and them slams parliament shut so there is no inquiry Moshie.
    Last year, due to ageing electricity infrastructure, Energy Australia and Integral energy customers suffered 8774 blackouts (an average of 24 a day). In some cases businesses endured blackouts lasting up to 64 hours with little hope of compensation.
    Equipment faults caused 1622 plus 1283 power outages across both these entities.
    16 percent of low income earners, most without dishwashers or air conditioning say they are unable to pay their electricity bills now, yet prices are expected to rise 72% between 2008 and 2013. The number of people now traipsing off to the Energy and Water ombudsman over power bills is rising.

    Whats Kristina Kenneally’s answer??

    Flog it and walk away. Prorogue parliament and ignore the Obudsman. This from a government that rode the 1996 to 2008 real estate boom and collected windfall stamp duties and land taxes.

    This is just electricity and says noting about their massive failures to deal with transport or health infrastructure. It says nothing about their shocking wastage of money on plans and reviews and spin. The only thing they do is tender and sell off with no thought whatsoever to the people of the state of NSW, paying the ultimate price for this disgraceful government.

  43. Michael of Summerhill
    December 31st, 2010 at 07:22 | #43

    Alice, my understanding is that the Parliamentary Inquiry will go ahead on the 17 & 18 January 2011 even though there are concerns over specific issues such as commercial-in-confidence matters. Not sure what all the hullaballoo is all about.

  44. Ernestine Gross
    December 31st, 2010 at 08:43 | #44

    ‘Commercial-in-confidence matters’ are part of the problem.

  45. Michael of Summerhill
    December 31st, 2010 at 08:56 | #45

    Totally agree Ernestine Gross for if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear from ICAC.

  46. Liam Lenten
    December 31st, 2010 at 10:07 | #46

    My view on 1996 is that Keating knew he’d walk if he lost, hence he did not care how long the ALP would subsequently be an opposition…yet another blight on his credentials.

  47. Alice
    December 31st, 2010 at 10:21 | #47

    @Ernestine Gross
    Yes they are part of the problem Ernestine. Commercial in confidence provisions in the hands of governments are hiding a multitude of questionable deals done by our governments at every level and they are stopping government dealings being transparent (and they a deliberately deployed to that objective).

  48. may
    December 31st, 2010 at 12:36 | #48

    lib-lab for the corporatocracy (ministers and party officials duties include regular unreported reports to foreign powers and corporate agencies)


    greencountry for the messes,sorry,masses.

    here we already have the minister for monsanto from the dept of monsanto.
    and curtin uni research for monsanto
    and monsanto 20%ownership of publicly owned plant reseach

  49. Ernestine Gross
    December 31st, 2010 at 13:06 | #49

    Michael of Summerhill :Totally agree Ernestine Gross for if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear from ICAC.

    This is one aspect. But it goes deeper: Commercial interests (speak corporate interests) are given priority over the interests of the public (speak democracy).

  50. Fran Barlow
    December 31st, 2010 at 15:02 | #50

    While I am opposed to an indefinite commercial-in-confidence regime, you have to have c-i-c during tender to avoid collusion amongst tenderers.

    Those offering tenders should know that when once a decision is made, that the criteria and evaluation documents for all the applicants will be made public.

  51. Ernestine Gross
    December 31st, 2010 at 17:44 | #51

    Fran Barlow :While I am opposed to an indefinite commercial-in-confidence regime, you have to have c-i-c during tender to avoid collusion amongst tenderers.
    Those offering tenders should know that when once a decision is made, that the criteria and evaluation documents for all the applicants will be made public.

    Before EoY festivities commence, I have a few questions.

    1. Fran, please prove that pair-wise commercial-in-confidence agreements between a government (or its agencies) and private corporations prevent collusion among any of a finite set of private corporations. (I would accept a proof in game theoretic framework with all assumptions being made explicit.)

    2. How would a time limit on confidential information prevent damages to the public interest after a decision has been made, considering that decisions are either non-reversable on technical grounds or expensive in terms of real resources or tax payers’ money?

  52. paul walter
    December 31st, 2010 at 18:39 | #52

    Ernestine Gross, you just said it all, with a vengeance.
    So much for the used care salesman and process mode of politics, even if we all did just come down in the last rain shower.

  53. Michael of Summerhill
    December 31st, 2010 at 20:27 | #53

    Ernestine Gross, unless I am totally wrong party’s to the agreement may be forced to disclose Confidential Information subject to a binding order of any court, government, semi-government authority, administrative or judicial body, or simply a requirement of the stock exchange and/or regulator. Have a happy New Year.

  54. Ernestine Gross
    December 31st, 2010 at 21:04 | #54

    Yes, Michael of Summerhill, you are not totally wrong but the information you provide does not quite address the issue. For now I propose to postpone further discussions until next year.

    Best wishes to All for 2011.

  55. Monkey’s Uncle
    January 1st, 2011 at 14:55 | #55

    A lot of political parties have a tendency to move towards the left (at least on economic issues) when in opposition, while moving to the right (at least on economics) when in government. This has most recently been illustrated by the Liberal Democrats in Britain. It is particularly true of the ALP. Many Labor governments have embraced market-based economic reforms of one kind or another in government, but invariably oppose such policies in opposition. (Indeed, as an undergraduate I recall one tutor dryly observing that Labor’s policy is “social democracy in opposition, economic rationalism in government”).

    The reason for this is simple. Being in government forces people to make tough decisions and confront difficult realities about the limits of what government can do, and the ability of governments to solve everyone’s problems and give everyone what they want. But when one is out of office, it is easy to promise heaven and earth to everyone and not worry about the real difficulties of funding and delivering it. As Mrs Thatcher said, “the facts of life are conservative”. At least on economics, she was mostly right. Although outside of a narrow set of economic questions, conservatives often have more difficulty confronting other difficult facts of life.

    Even the federal Liberals have drifted towards Left economic populism in opposition (witness Tony Abbott’s ridiculously generously paid parental leave promises funded by increased taxes on big business, or Joe Hockey’s bank-bashing Hansonite act). One can only hope that there would be a return to sanity on any return to government by the Coalition. Although I’m not holding my breath.

  56. Alice
    January 1st, 2011 at 16:23 | #56

    @Monkey’s Uncle
    The reason for this is not quite as simple as you suggest MU. The policies of extreme conservatism (call it “economic rationalism” if you like) are just as dangerous. You may also consider the deliberate attacks on unionism which has eroded the voting base of Labor, another reason why it has veered to the right (no need to appeal to union members any more and those post political careers and donations and the perks of office are just too hard to resist?) It is increasingly the wealthy only who are being rewarded by current conservatism in our governments. When donations mostly come from the wealthy – it must be attractive for political parties to have at their disposal, the funds to advertise themselves.
    Yet, that is why Labor is being punished so severely. If you think a conservative government that continues on the same path will be any less punished…think again. Its no accident the greens vote is grrowing and the votes of independents. It may take ordinary Joe a while to wake up, given the fairly regular doses of media murdoch style…but as Murdoch notes himself….it is inevitable that the truth outs itself in the end.
    The facts of life are growing inequality in many once fairer and reasonably healthy nations (now not so healthy like the US) which needs to be addressed.

  57. Ken Fabos
    January 1st, 2011 at 17:28 | #57

    What a depressing situation – we in NSW will get either a Labor or, much more likely, a Coalition government. Unless The Greens somehow end up with the unenviable position of holding the balance of power and having to make a choice of supporting one of them to allow them to form government. For someone who thinks that effective action on climate change is an absolute imperative it’s dismaying to know that Labor gives no more than lip service to this issue whilst it’s fundamental policies entrench the growing use of fossil fuels within NSW and globally and it’s perplexing as well as dismaying to know that the Coalition still find it a struggle to even acknowledge the existence of the problem whilst supporting the growing use of fossil fuels. Of course, the election will not be about this issue but about competence – yet to my mind their respective positions on it speak volumes about their respective levels of incompetence.

  58. Alan
    January 1st, 2011 at 17:41 | #58

    The problem is not the election, where Labor will suffer a horrendous and well-deserved defeat, the [problem is the entrenched ALP nomenklatura which has convinced itself, Heaven alone knows how, that running the party as the mirror-image of the old Soviet parties is a successful strategy. The last time a motion was put to a Labor meeting anywhere without being decided beforehand by the apparatchiks was probably some time in the early 1990s. Since that time both membership and branch numbers have collapsed and the average apparatchik would not know a new idea if one jumped up and bit them. It is no accident that Labor now has a federal leader who seems incapable of communicating in anything but slogans.

  59. Alice
    January 1st, 2011 at 17:42 | #59

    @Ken Fabos
    Ken says
    “For someone who thinks that effective action on climate change is an absolute imperative”

    and for someone who thinks that effective action on reducing inequality is an absolute imperative….also (along with action on climate change).

    I dont exactly know what it is that the ordinary person has to do here – except change their voting habits.

    Sooner or later – they will getcha getcha getcha getcha somehow… or another… sorry guys …just watched “the boat that rocked” (my 18 year old forced me – he said I could watch it in bed on New Years Day and he did all the setting up!!) and if you havent seen it you simply have to…

    We need more conservatives like we need a hole in the head.

  60. Michael of Summerhill
    January 3rd, 2011 at 11:44 | #60

    Alice, it seems like the Upper House inquiry into the controversial deal which is due to start later this month may not be going ahead for today “The Crown Solicitor has again advised (Keneally) that a standing committee of the council cannot sit or transact while the council is prorogued unless it has legislative authority to do so”. I just hope common sense prevails for Labor needs to do more than hide behind a veil of secrecy if it is going to win the next election.

  61. Alice
    January 3rd, 2011 at 12:34 | #61

    @Michael of Summerhill
    NSW State Labor needs to do much much more than that Moshie. What they need to do is fall on their swords and just go, the faster the better.

  62. Alice
    January 3rd, 2011 at 12:35 | #62

    NSW State Labor needs a state funeral.

  63. Michael of Summerhill
    January 3rd, 2011 at 12:42 | #63

    Alice, unlike the NSW Liberal/Nationals nearly all the right-wing deadwood in Labor are going or gone so I cannot say I’m sorry but I do give Keneally my vote for if she is giving it a red hot go.

  64. Michael of Summerhill
    January 3rd, 2011 at 13:46 | #64

    Alice, a close examination of what Mike Baird wrote about NSW Labor’s report card on the 6 December 2010 illustrates just how bad the NSW Liberals are. Much of what is written is distorted and does not stack up with the known facts.

  65. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 06:43 | #65

    @Michael of Summerhill
    I can think of two large pieces of right wing deadwood with no regard whatsoever for the people of NSW they represent, or parliamentary process, that still remain in NSW state Labor, Moshie…
    The same two that conducted the electricity privatisation in the dead of night, appointed spin merchants from their own departments to positions as directors of electricity organisations, without any qualifications or public process or procedural vetting and transparency, when the real directors resigned en masse.
    and without consulting the party or the people of NSW.

    Kenneally and Roozendahl.

    Now tell me again Moshie that “nearly all the right wing deadwood has gone from NSW State Labor”.

    How can it be that you even believe this Mosh? Its so glaringly untrue. Or do you mean by “nearly” everyone except the Premier and the Treasurer?

  66. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 06:47 | #66

    @Michael of Summerhill
    The last person in NSW State Labor to give it a “red hot go” Moshie, is gone. The same is forseen for KK. The electorate is going to give KK the “white hot go” her government deserves.

  67. Michael of Summerhill
    January 4th, 2011 at 07:12 | #67

    Alice, you are wrong about NSW Labor & Keneally. If you want to read one of the best critiques unleashed by Bob Ellis in living memory then read yesterday’s piece entitled ‘How Labor can win in New South Wales’ and you just might see the light of day.

  68. paul walter
    January 4th, 2011 at 07:15 | #68

    No, no, no, Michael.
    You keep avoiding a plausible explanation for the arrogant and pointless privatisation antics.

  69. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 07:23 | #69

    Hang on Moshie

    Everywhere for some decades now, we are getting the advice from Governments both liberal and labor, and the disgusting media, that private markets do things better, privatisation is the way to go, we (the little people) all need to “save more” by working longer years now, we need to “save more” to fund our retirements, markets should be open and globalisation should reign free, labor unions should be smashed for “productivity and flexibility reasons”, casual employment is better than no employment, and if we all work harder we too can be rich…

    And its all a lying lying rotting crock of garbage…. that is only making the rich richer and it is they who arent saving enough and it is they who are responsible for government budget deficits and current account deficits and the political problems and increasing economic burdens that the 80% of the population who are not in the top 20% are now feeling…

    Yet your government (Labor) and the Liberal government have both bought a massive lie and imposing it via policy on to us, that is making the majority poorer and the minority fabulously wealthy Moshie.

    When you wake up Mosh and Bob Ellis wakes up…to whom will you give both your votes?

    Read it and weep.


  70. Michael of Summerhill
    January 4th, 2011 at 07:27 | #70

    Paul Walter, I am not avoiding the privatisation issue for reasons spelt out before, the State of NSW has had seven quarters of economic growth and continues to prosper. In my opinion the Inquiry would give Keneally extra brownie points if everthing is above board. Thumbs up Labor.

  71. may
    January 4th, 2011 at 15:59 | #71

    correction and hang my head,i didn’t check my fact

    not curtin

    but murdoch.

  72. may
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:04 | #72

    small niggle.

    why is selling the publicly owned to corporations called privatisation?

    it is not privatisation it is corporatisation.

  73. boconnor
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:38 | #73

    Michael of Summerhill :
    Alice, unlike the NSW Liberal/Nationals nearly all the right-wing deadwood in Labor are going or gone so I cannot say I’m sorry but I do give Keneally my vote for if she is giving it a red hot go.

    Perhaps I missed it, but what innovative and thoughtful ideas has Ms Keneally come up with for improving the performance of transport, health, education and social services in NSW?

  74. Michael of Summerhill
    January 4th, 2011 at 18:24 | #74

    Boconnor, maybe you should read Kristina Keneally’s 2010 McKell Awards speech to get a better overall picture of what Labor has done since the Liberal/Nationals were last ousted. And whilst I am not entirely happy with some of Labor’s past performance, and/or the State’s nearing $50 billion debt, and/or the development of Barangaroo which will end up being a monstrosity, the State is not in dire straits. And for this very reason Labor will be getting my vote.

  75. Ernestine Gross
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:15 | #75

    may :small niggle.
    why is selling the publicly owned to corporations called privatisation?
    it is not privatisation it is corporatisation.

    I don’t know either.

    I agree selling public assets to corporations is not ‘privatisation’. It is switching from one type of corporation to another one.

  76. Ernestine Gross
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:18 | #76

    No reply from Fran Barlow as yet to my questions @44, p 2. Disappointing.

  77. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:37 | #77

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Moshie – I feel so terribly sorry for you …because you press on supporting NSW Labor as an acceptable aterlantive to the right wing policies of NSW state liberal.
    Moshie – thye are no different at all and you have been fooled into being an advocate for the policies of gross inequality.
    Your party is a sham. Liberal is equally as bad.

  78. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:56 | #78

    @Michael of Summerhill
    And Moshie …I am going to refer you back to my link at 19 and ask you …what rare your comments on the past decade of NSW Labor rule and growing inequality in Australia (same in Canada, UK, US)

    What has your NSW Labor government done to improve it? Nothing. They have followed every enerich the rich policy that has been shoved down our throats as so many huge lies (get rid of unions, privatise all, reduce governments and givernment services, globalise, be competitive, save for yoyr own retirements, work longer, harder, longer, harder, endure price rises in all basic services, put up with oligarchic control over every day necessities, pay GST and learn to love it, pay user pays everywhere for things once free,)

    Your government can go to hell Moshie. If they ever were a “Labour party” they arent any more. Not one bit of them. Not in NSW and not in QLD and only in federal labor because Gillard has been forced to get on with the greens (otherwise they would be any different to liberal there. Gillards undoing of workchoices was pathetic. It wasnt undone.)

    Labor sucks, in fact. So do Liberals. Abbott is desperate to bring in workchoices V8.

    And you Moshie (zombie of NSW labor) never made one comment on my link about the rising inequality. You wont either until they take away your vote.
    Thats the only thing we have that the wealthy who run the show..fear (our vote – one person, one vote).

    But John Howard was after it – he wanted to make voting non compulsory. After they get that, the next change will be a vote percentage according to your “contribution” ie income ie your vote will be worth next to nothing compared to the rich.

    In that way, Moshie, any equality will be lost forever and you better get used to being part of an oppressed underclass (you are now anyway).

  79. Tony G
    January 4th, 2011 at 20:37 | #79

    “Your government can go to hell Moshie”

    “Labor sucks, in fact”

    “And you Moshie (zombie of NSW labor)”

    Alice, I though I was the only one around here who has a cacophonous tendency.

  80. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 20:39 | #80

    @Tony G
    Tony G – you are not alone. Now go to the sandpit where I should be too before I accuse you of being a redneck teleprompter!

  81. Michael of Summerhill
    January 4th, 2011 at 20:45 | #81

    Alice, I have acknowledged Labor made past mistakes but think of what is going to happen to our last remaining State public assets if the NSW Liberal/National’s do get into Office. Already there is talk of a firesale.

  82. Michael of Summerhill
    January 4th, 2011 at 21:28 | #82

    Alice, you don’t have to heed what I say but you might want to take note of what Dr John Kaye thinks about the NSW Liberal/Nationals that ‘The Coalition has a tarnished track record of sell-offs when it was last in office’.

  83. Tony G
    January 4th, 2011 at 21:55 | #83


    Have you contemplated that governments role should be primarily to regulate?

    Wherever possible, government should not compete with an efficient private sector; and that businesses and individuals – not government – are the true creators of wealth and employment.

  84. Jarrah
    January 4th, 2011 at 21:57 | #84

    “‘The Coalition has a tarnished track record of sell-offs when it was last in office’”

    Don’t they all. There are good privatisations and bad privatisations. I’m struggling to think of the last one in NSW that passed a CBA, was well-planned, well-executed, and satisfied its expected KPIs. Alice put it best:

    Labor sucks, in fact. So do Liberals.

    “it is not privatisation it is corporatisation”

    May, the latter is generally used to mean changing the managerial (and often financial) structure to one more in line with a corporate model, in order to emulate the higher efficiency of the private sector (thanks to changing incentives). But I think that’s a bit pointless. You might as well sell or give away the entity and free up the work hours that would otherwise gone into keeping track of the government enterprise.

  85. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 04:58 | #85

    @Michael of Summerhill
    If Dr John Kaye thinks that Mosh ….then my god…who exactly has presided over the privatisation of all things state and the massive impost of user pays over the past ten years???….
    if it was a mudslide to the right…NSW State Labor wins by a dirty mile.

  86. Michael of Summerhill
    January 5th, 2011 at 08:08 | #86

    Alice, politicians like Lee Rhiannon also think campaigns like the Sydney Ferries Safe in Public Hands highlights the need for governments to listen to the community and workers in the industry and to maintain public ownership of Sydney Ferries, and we all know the end result. But when John Kaye commented on O’Farrell’s 2010 budget response speech, he should have said the privatisation of assets like the desalination plant & the ferries are as just for starters. So don’t believe a word of what the NSW Liberal/Nationals are saying. They are all bull.

  87. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 20:54 | #87

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Im giving up arguing with you Mosh. You dont even have a commengt on my link at post 19.

    Yet you still want to play Labor advocate. Zombie Mosh. Its not restricted to the liberals you know.

    You have to think – not just parrot. I dont care how long you have run around and been a worker for the ALP (all the more reason to think).

    I give up Mosh – I really do. I can no longer argue with you. You are a disappointment and part of the political appartachniks unthinking and uncaring machine. You are as much a member of the denialists club as anyone else (so named as being usually right wing) precisely because of your continued devotion to a betrayal and a lost cause..from NSW state Labor (take away the name Mosh – they dont deserve it).

  88. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 20:58 | #88

    @Michael of Summerhill
    As for ferries in safe hands Moshie… Labor presided over appoiting a ferries chief who rorted state funds and paid for his own private expenses and went to court about it and had to pay it back two years later

    Jeez Mosh – if the state govt had been any good at their job – it wouldnt have take two years tro stop him

  89. Michael of Summerhill
    January 5th, 2011 at 22:30 | #89

    Alice, maybe you have forgotten as to why Unions NSW launched the ‘Better Services for a Better State’ campaign in Newcastle but the rest of NSW has not. To refresh your memory, O’Farrell has not ruled out closing schools and hospitals; and widespread sacking of teachers, nurses and police officers. No bull just ask Shadow Treasurer Mike Baird.

  90. Alice
    January 6th, 2011 at 05:22 | #90

    @Michael of Summerhill
    says ” O’Farrell has not ruled out closing schools and hospitals; and widespread sacking of teachers, nurses and police officers”

    Thats rubbish Mosh (OFarrell has not ruled out…he hasnt ruled in either)- anyway what do you think Labor has been doing? The same – selling schools and university and Tafe lands, closing and selling police stations, closing hospitals and sacking the associated staff.

  91. Michael of Summerhill
    January 6th, 2011 at 07:55 | #91

    Alice, when O’Farrell launched the Liberal party’s campaign last March he said the next election will determine the future of new South Wales for decades to come. Well now know better as to what he really meant, screw the unions and screw the whole idea of a ‘Better Services for a Better State’ which is to protect what is left of NSW public service jobs, public assets and public services. No Alice can’t trust those who jump in bed with Nazis.

  92. Michael of Summerhill
    January 6th, 2011 at 09:07 | #92

    Alice, to give you an idea of the screwballs within the Liberal Party one does not have to go further than Marie Ficcara, Member of the Upper House, who in the past made traditional mafia-style throat slitting gestures at Young Liberal President Scott Farlow and Young Liberal Executive Member Simon Fontana, saying “you two are finished!”

  93. boconnor
    January 6th, 2011 at 11:26 | #93

    Michael of Summerhill :
    Boconnor, maybe you should read Kristina Keneally’s 2010 McKell Awards speech to get a better overall picture of what Labor has done since the Liberal/Nationals were last ousted.

    Thanks for the heads-up. I read the speech. It’s in two parts: one looking at the last 15 years, the other at the future. Here is my summary of her list of the NSW ALP’s achievements, with my comments in brackets. Over the last 15 years NSW Labor has:
    – built a bridge (adding to road congestion)
    – built the Sydney Orbital network (as private toll roads, which as JQ has noted, does not allow for the proper management of the road system)
    – built one extension to a railway line (in 15 years!)
    – built two railway duplications (when the plan was for more than this to improve rail system reliability)
    – built a light rail system (which is not integrated with the heavy rail system)
    – put more buses on the road in more suburbs (which are still overcrowded in peak hours)
    – extended pensioner tickets to West and South of Sydney
    – introduced testing of children for hearing problems
    – achieved the highest levels of literacy and numeracy in Australia for school students (except for indigenous students whose results have not improved, and it would be interesting to see the results for non-indigenous students from poor suburbs)
    – shifted old growth forests to sustainable production
    – improved the quality of water at beaches and in the harbour (fair call)
    – created the best police force in the country (hard to judge this – what does “best” mean in this context – the NSW Auditor General has certainly found it is pretty inefficient)
    – reduced property crime
    – improved OH&S protection and the workers comp scheme (hard to judge, has the injury and fatality rate at work fallen over the 15 years?)
    – reduced the rate of Aboriginals dying in custody (but the indigenous incarceration rate is higher now than it was in the past)
    – provided public support for people with a disability (what proportion of those with a disability are being helped? What proportion are missing out?)
    – made a priority for fixing domestic violence (has the domestic violence rate gone up or down during the last 15 years?)
    – delivered a health system with the nation’s best performance in elective surgery and has high client satisfaction (if you combine “good”, “very good” and “excellent” ratings into one figure)

    For the future, the ALP will:

    – commit to the Western Express Line (unless they change their mind – see the list of planned then dropped rail line improvements for details)
    – commit to an extension of the light rail system (ditto)
    – commit to cheaper fares (ditto)

    Fifteen years is a long period of time to bring about change. It’s been time lost and wasted. We could have had, for instance, significant public transport investment instead of toll roads, reduced child sexual and physical abuse (through an overall of a badly performing DOCS system) and real improvements in the health and well being of indigenous people in NSW (through a focus on health, education and reducing the high rates of incarceration).

    But what I find most depressing about the NSW ALP is the lost opportunity over 15 years to improve both the quality of political debate and the quality of services. For instance to suggest and implement innovative ways to keep the poor out of jail rather than the knee jerk “law and order auctions” held each election. Or to make plain what levels of performance is expected for government services and to be honest about where they are going well, where they are going badly, and hence where they need to improve.

    That amount of time was enough to educate people about what the evidence says is needed to fix problems (or is likely to fix them) – not just what prejudice and shock jocks say is needed.

  94. Michael of Summerhill
    January 6th, 2011 at 12:05 | #94

    Boconnor, mistakes have been made and you are correct in regards to ‘lost opportunities’. But how things quickly change for now it is the NSW Liberal/Nationals who are on the wrong foot for refusing to support reforms having an independent umpire cost election promises. O’Farrell is all bull.

  95. Jarrah
    January 6th, 2011 at 13:31 | #95

    “- built a light rail system (which is not integrated with the heavy rail system)”

    They allowed a private operator to build one short light rail line, not a system. They finally caved in to commonsense and started work on extending this one line, including integrating it with heavy rail.

  96. Alice
    January 6th, 2011 at 20:18 | #96

    @Michael of Summerhill
    Moshie – its too late for OFarrell to “screw the unions”. The “screwing of unions started with bloody sell out Hawke (the great ACTU leader), was backed up by sleazy keating and has been followed slavishly by every two bit politician since, left and right. Julia got voted in on a mandate od “done and dusting workchoices”.

    Instead she dusted the edges but didnt move the fundamental constructions.

    I am ripped off. Workers are ripped off. Our kids are being treated like KleeneX tissues in the workplace.

    Not good enogh for me to vote either Labor or Liberal and I guess Ill be a pissed off, turned off voter who will vote marginal until I see something better for me, my kids, my grandkids in the workplace. Casualisation and contracting is an evil abuse amsquerading as somehing useful.

    The bloody academics at MQ are niow picketing open days (along with UNSW). It wont do any good until they can get everyone out sitting on the grass (problem is the causals keep working because the union do jack and they dont join).

    Casualisation via workchoices, Divide and conquer unions. Those scumbags write the laws Mosh and they push people down and they parade their hair dos on voting day and idiots like you runa round and hand out for labor (or liberal).

  97. Alice
    January 6th, 2011 at 20:20 | #97

    @Michael of Summerhill
    State Labor is all bull…why shouldnt we replace it with O’Farrell who is all bull too.

    You get what you deserve.

  98. Alice
    January 6th, 2011 at 20:31 | #98

    @Michael of Summerhill

    “Alice, to give you an idea of the screwballs within the Liberal Party one does not have to go further than Marie Ficcara, Member of the Upper House, who in the past made traditional mafia-style throat slitting gestures at Young Liberal President Scott Farlow and Young Liberal Executive Member Simon Fontana, saying “you two are finished”

    Screwballs absent from State Labor? Now lets see

    Roosendahl (trhe ghoul) presided over a massive sell ooff whilst simteanously profitting on real estate deals ndown Marounbra way while he had inside information.

    Kenneal whos husband stands to make a quid from electric car parking spaces at bangaroo development, after being enticed from his job in cabinet.

    Some Labor politicians son who beneffitted by installing street lights (sorry Obeid or Tripodi?) Big tender, successful winner.

    The great “do you know who I am” by hwatsername who needs anger managemnt classes.

    Rorting office expenses by another. Rorting pay by another female….visiting same sex brothels…….beating up on wives….not declaring all recinary interests.

    Give me a break….give us all a break from your championing the party of sordidness and now you want to throw stones at the libs???. Of course yo do – you my friend Moshie, fight for your party (you are obaviously amoyjthpiece for State Labor) At least give them (new parties or independant) a chance to be sordid, rather than the sordid we already know. A new sordid is better than the old sordid

    or is it (you only get one vote – dont waste it).

  99. Alice
    January 6th, 2011 at 20:49 | #99

    I have bad spelling above but thats a sure sign Im really ticked off with zombie Moshie who gets in here and spreads Labor propaganda around (there are others who spread liberal / libertarian propanganda around).

    Guess I really dont like propaganda no matter the source.

    There is nothing to commend NSW state Labor and theior rotten performance here or for the past 15 years. They stink. If there wasnt an election coming up who here amongst us thinks Kenneally or Roozendahl would have agreed to font up to the privatisation of electricity inquiry???

    Of their own free will??? (come now…..)

    These people (Kenneally and Roozendahl) think accountability and transparency and consultation is something they owe to no-one.

    Its a joke.

  100. Michael of Summerhill
    January 6th, 2011 at 21:16 | #100

    Alice, reaching an enterprise agreement can be frustrating and I feel sorry for those involved but hang in there for time is running out for those few remaing NSW Unis holding out.

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