Spinning like a top

The spin surrounding the Queensland mid-year budget review was interesting and a bit puzzling. All the initial spin was gloom and doom, in keeping with the government’s claim that the dire state of the budget necessitated asset sales[1]. But it turned out that the deterioration in the budget was entirely due to a couple of fairly arbitrary accounting entries for extraordinary items – a projected loss on land purchased for the failed Traveston Dam project and some federal government money that was not going to come in. The underlying picture was an improvement f $800 million a year. This more than cancelled out the deterioration between the pre-election economic statement in February and the post-election budget in June.

I was set to take this nonsense on but by the next day, Treasurer Andrew Fraser was singing a very different song, saying

Treasurer Andrew Fraser described the losses as a “mask” hiding a raft of stronger indicators, including a forecast of 1 per cent growth this year after the previous negative 0.25 per cent.

It is really hard to make sense of this

fn1. This claim doesn’t make much sense. In general, if privatisation is good (or bad), a change in the budget position won’t affect that. About the only case to the contrary is where public ownership provides services that are not paid for by users. In this case, asset sales are like an expenditure cut. But that doesn’t seem to be applicable in most of the cases we are looking at here,

32 thoughts on “Spinning like a top

  1. Paul, it looks more like some idiot combined the “somewhat opposed” and “very opposed” numbers and listed that as “somewhat opposed” and then ran the very opposed” separately.

    Fox lies a lot, they also make a lto of dumb-ass mistakes.

    So many that it’s sometimes difficulty to deduce whether a particular falsehood is due to malice or incompetence.

  2. @Ian Gould
    You have a point there Ian but regardless whether its due to malice or a dumb ass mistake it always seems to come out in favour of some dubious nutty liberal idea like example above doesnt it?

  3. Anti-privatisation candidate confronts Queensland Treasurer

    As mentioned elsewhere, an exchange between myself and Treasurer Andrew Faraser and myslef on Sunday 20 November. Whilst I made mistakes and allowed Andrew Fraser to get away with what I believed to be dishonest debating ploys that I should have anticipated, the recorded exchange remains the most comprehensive public debate of which I am aware so far. Here it is.

  4. @daggett
    So Andrew Fraser attends a debate on the privatisation (get this) “organised by the local chamber of commerce” at whch 40 people were present and considers this enough public consultation and transparency??

    Am I going mad? Get Fraser out along with NSW Labor. How to is on again – front page SMH – how to sack NSW Labor. Could everyone please sign???? …next Fraser. Do the same in QLD. Enough with the mindless “Chamber of Commerce” supported privatisations. The government should govern for the people – NOT the Chamber of Commerce. Idiots.

    My blood is boiling. Boiling.

  5. The ‘debate’ at the Chamber of Commerce was just a pretend one, as James Sinnamon makes clear in the actual films, which I shot and edited and have just published on you-tube. He was asking for a real one and he got it and I filmed it.

    The first, in three parts, is 30 November debate on privatisation between Andrew Fraser and James Sinnamon, anti-privatisation election candidate for the recent elections who constantly raised the privatisation issue and got the bum’s rush from the mainstream press.

    The films are called, “Privatisation and the Right to Govern”, Parts 1, 2 & 3.
    The third one goes into the link between privatisation and Government encouragement of overpopulation.
    You can view them all here:

    Or you can access these films with an article discussing them at https://candobetter.org/node/1684

    There is also another film of a speech where Sinnamon gives a candidate’s speech and predicts the sell-off of QR. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC4qGs0epUg

    Ironically the speech was recorded before the election, of course, but never released by Dave ZWolenski (of a Dave in the Life – SBS).

    The debate between Fraser and Sinnamon is the only one of its kind and the public has precious little to hang on to and organise around, so please let people who are interested know that there are films now that show that the government has not got the right to sell anything off.

  6. Thanks, Alice and SheilaN.

    I have been more accustomed to my posts attracting little interest on this blog.

    Now, in the last few weeks that they seem have I have been, I have been remiss in not acknowledging those responses.

    (The following is adapted for a post to Larvatus Prodeo.)

    Actually, the Brisbane Inner West Chamber of Commerce is not quite the club of mega-wealthy that that Alice imagined it to be. They seem to be mostly smaller to medium businesses and do not have a huge amount of funds. As one example, they seemed only able to hire a modest venue for the debate and they charged the public $5 to cover costs. They could have organised the debate better, but it seems they acted out of good intentions.

    Nevertheless, apart from that, of course, I agree with your point.

    Those who share that anger should sign the e-petition I mentioned earlier which calls for the resignation of the Queensland Government and new elections.

    I also commend, for NSW residents, a petition, that Alice seemed to allued to, calling for a referendum in NSW that would establish the right of the NSW public to force incompetent and despotic and unpopular governments such as the current Kenneally Labor Government to the polls.

    The article in support of the referendum has flaws, for example:

    The failure to privatise the power industry – an attempt undermined by Labor’s union allies – has kept the budget on the edge of crisis.

    What rubbish! In fact, it is past fire sales that have brought NSW to where it is now.

    Nevertheless, the referendum is well worth supporting.

    If we don’t have the right to get rid of such unpopular and monumentally incompetent Governments as those now ruling in NSW and Queensland, then our country is effectively no better than one of those infamous corrupt Third World tin-pot dictatorships.

    James Sinnamon

    Brisbane Independent for Truth, Democracy,
    the Environment and Economic Justice

    Australian Federal elections, 2010

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