Chutzpah In The House

How can you not be cynical? As the Labor government this week introduces into the House of Representatives the bills legislating the Carbon Tax she swore before the election she’d never countenance, La Gillardine’s courtiers have clearly advised her that her subjects constituents have the collective memory of a goldfish.

Well then, here’s a reminder of the grand-daddy of all broken promises in the history of Australian federal government. The only situation that comes close is John Howard’s promise before the 1996 election to “never, ever” legislate a consumption tax (or Goods and Services Tax as it became known here). Having regained government in that poll, he had a change of heart, and determined to introduce one. But at least he was open about it, and gave the people the opportunity to reject it (and him) in the 1998 poll, before it was introduced in parliament. Gillard makes no such concessions to democracy.

As well in this clip, we have reminders of other failed policies, such as the “cash for clunkers” fiasco, and the “Malaysian Solution” for processing refugees arriving by boat on our shores.

For those unaware of this last one, when Labor in 2007 under Kevin Rudd won government, former PM John Howard left him with just six refugees in mandatory detention. Responding to the explosion of numbers in 2001 following the war in Afghanistan, Howard’s policy of processing refugees offshore on the island of Nauru (an independent but tiny Pacific nation which shares roughly the same relationship to Australia as Guam does to the USA), also known as the “Pacific Solution”, was singularly effective in shutting down the illegal trade of “people smuggling” of those (primarily from Afghanistan and elsewhere in South Asia) who may or may not have been genuine refugees. As almost all of them destroyed their papers before landing in Australia, determining their status was a costly and drawn-out process (Australia being signatory to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, as I detailed back here). Though Howard’s policy was completely effective in shutting this trade down, as this graph demostrates, it was decried by Rudd and Gillard in Opposition as cruel and inhumane, and they committed to reversing this policy.

Refugee Boat arrivals in Australia 1976-2011; click graph for full report

The results were as tragic as they were predictable. Since Labor took office in 2007, over 11,000 people have attempted the voyage by boat, with an estimated 4%, or 440 men, women and children being lost at sea, including an estimated 50 who drowned in a single horrific incident off Christmas Island in December last year. Gillard’s response has been as flailing and pathetic as it has been ineffective. The government has received Departmental briefings to the effect that unless the situation is remedied, within 12 months our immigration detention facilities will be overwhelmed, and Labor will have no option but to release unprocessed arrivals into the general population, with all the social, health, economic and security dangers that that entails.

As this government—together with the Labor movement it supposedly represents—devours itself in its death throes, it is becoming a laughing stock worldwide.

How smart does that look?

This entry was posted in Australia. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Chutzpah In The House

  1. Kitler says:

    Well like all Labour luvvies worldwide they are determined to destroy the countries they live in so we can all live in third world squalor and we can therefore all be victims.

  2. Ozboy says:

    Well, the cracks are appearing in the Labor ranks, as they must eventually. Till this point, the parliamentary party have stood behind Gillard’s Carbon Tax agenda, although it’s been an open secret that many senior ALP members are privately CAGW sceptics. Check out this transcript of an interview the ABC’s Fran Kelly conducted with Labor’s Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy. Particularly towards the end – substitute the phrase “climate change” with “absolute papal authority” and you have some idea of what the Spanish Inquisition must have been like. Talk about thought police!

    A bit like Labor’s Finance Minister, Penny Wong, publicly supporting her government’s opposition to same-sex marriage (her partner is expecting a child shortly). In all fairness, you have to admire their loyalty, and wonder what it’s costing them.

  3. Kitler says:

    Ozboy hopefully their jobs is what it will cost them, but if they pass this law the next government will move like snails to repeal it. This is Joolia’s Obamacare moment.

  4. fenbeagle says:

    I think that Labor’s Communication Minister Stephen Conroy was communicating. And there is absolutely no doubt that he was communicating.

    Well put Fen… exactly – Oz 😆

  5. Dr. Dave says:


    I’m beginning to believe our President is secretly British.

  6. Kitler says:

    Dr Dave which reminds me I and the President share a lot in common.
    We were both born British subjects.

  7. fenbeagle says:

    No definitely American. It say’s so on his passport.

  8. Kitler says:

    Hmmph Dr Dave it’s pistols at dawn you carpetbagging Yankee. That will teach me to make a comment before reading your link.
    Well here is a cross section of America…

  9. Dr. Dave says:

    Heh, heh, heh…I figured that might liven up this thread a bit. It was growing a bit stale. Kitler…smile when you say Yankee.

    To be fair, I’m sure these were just unfortunate camera shots of Obama. It was none other than JD himself who made me think of this. I watched the Heartland video of JD’s last presentation at the climate conference in DC. The audio was horrible. What struck me is that if I didn’t know who he was or could hear him, I would know he was British just by his mannerisms. I tested my theory by asking my GF to watch a portion of his presentation with the sound off. She has no idea who JD is. She watched for about 90 seconds, said “he’s British” and walked out of the room. I’m not saying JD looked effeminate or anything…just “British”.

    It’s sort of a “household sport” to pick up on dialects and mannerisms and guess them. Most of us aren’t even aware we have dialects or mannerisms until we take the time to compare.

    To all my British brethren – I was only kidding. Kitler…you should rethink a pistol challenge. You’d be far better off with hand grenades at sunset.

    Axes at dawn – Oz

  10. Dr. Dave says:

    Geez, Oz…I don’t even do “dawn” all that well, much less axes (unless perhaps you’re referring to the 6-string variety). All I have is a splitting awl…unless chainsaws are an option. If it’s chainsaws, then I’m dead. It takes me a half hour to get the damn thing started and it scares the snot out of me. Give me a nice, tame, lethal semi-automatic rifle or pistol any day!

    Well, I’m not that much of a luddite… I do use chain saws for a lot of felling and sectioning jobs. And I’ve never used an axe in any kind of martial art (which is why I’m able to type this sentence today). Contrary to popular belief, trees do fight back; particularly the bigger ones with inner rot, which we call “widow makers”; my great-great grandfather was dispatched by one of these in the 19th century – Oz

  11. Dr. Dave says:


    That’s the very thing that makes chainsaws so damn dangerous – the trees fight back! I grew up in heavily wooded Michigan. Damn near every year somebody ended up dead or maimed due to a chainsaw mishap. Guns never inspired fear, but motorcycles and chainsaws did. Snowmobiles weren’t too far behind. A lot of folks get cocky and end up getting clothes-lined by fences. My late, ex-father-in-law related a story of a neighbor of his who heard his neighbor out trimming his apple trees with a chainsaw. After a while the guy just heard the chainsaw idling (mind you, mine would never do that!) so he looked over the fence. The saw had bucked back and hit him in the neck. He was dead before the paramedics arrived. My former FIL always used a bow saw and he kept a good 8 cords of wood on hand at the start of every winter – mostly fruit wood. Up here I burn pine which smells good but burns fast. Gotta repair my electric-hydraulic log splitter. The splitting awl is getting old…and so am I.

    Dave, safe chainsaw practice is like safe firearms handling – a matter of training and experience, and you just gotta do it. Down here most of the wood is Tasmanian gum, which is so hard that sometimes even my outsize blocksplitter bounces off it like a rubber ball. So I bought a 25-ton petrol splitter, and fair dinkum it’s saved my back over the past 12 months. I guess I’m getting old too – Oz

  12. Dr. Dave says:

    My Goodness! The folks at Moonbattery are on fire today! Here’s a nod to the land of Oz.

  13. Kitler says:

    Oh you wusses and chainsaws try chopping back shrubs, kudzu and a hidden fence with lots of barbed wire and other assorted metallic objects, just as well it was a cheap chain saw and the worst that happened is the chain got snagged. The trick is to use the tip of the saw. I always enjoyed splitting wood with an axe myself.

  14. fenbeagle says:

    I have a friend that makes authentic swords, and other weapons for the film industry, with traditional blacksmith methods. His weapons being authentic in weight balance etc, are used to better understand the fighting methods used, and teach them to the actors. Who mostly then use mass produced copies of my friends efforts. He has worked on many blockbuster films.

    Having spent many years sport fencing myself, I was privileged to be shown by him, some moves using a Francisca hand axe, and a bowie knife, combination.
    The Bowie knife was a little different to any other I have seen (and I doubted it’s authenticity). It being absolutely huge, not much smaller than a roman gladius. And weighing almost as much as a French officers cavalry saber! This as a result of it being twice as broad, and built up greatly in thickness along the non cutting ‘edge’…It was absolutely fearsome! And I am sure would have cut through bone.

    I needn’t have doubted it’s authenticity, as one of them was stolen from a film set, and turned up later at an American museum, which paid many thousands for it. Having passed examination by their experts, who also dated the iron to the 18th century….(He had used an old iron drainpipe from his girlfriends 18th century town house.) He had to explain this to the police. (I guess it’s a good advert for his work.)

    Anyway, Dr Dave, are you feeling lucky?

  15. Amanda says:

    All this manly talk of saws and things that go BOOM: meh. You haven’t been challenged until you’ve had to fight your way through ten acres of kudzu, which is able to smother everything in its path like a fast-moving glacial onslaught and will not be burned, uprooted, eaten, or otherwise laid waste. Imagine what it would be like to be having a picnic one fine day and then several hundred pounds of fishnet made of chlorophyll and cellulose falls on top of you and you can struggle but you can’t get out…. No, that didn’t happen. Would be scary if it did though, eh? Yes, this is an utterly pointless post. Hell it’s Friday.

    Oz: Glad to hear that my favourite Australian knows how to make chainsaws behave! Watch that back!

  16. Dr. Dave says:


    I’m not feeling THAT lucky…unless I get to bring the proverbial gun to a knife fight.

    I have an interest in knives and have a modest collection. Some are rather interesting. I’ve also made a few of my own knives out of high carbon steel. It’s fun but very tedious and time consuming at times and I’d only do it during the winter months when I’d have a hot fire blazing in the fireplace (my “forge”). It’s very difficult to make a good, well balanced knife.

    I have a question for you (and for Ozboy, too). What is the legal status of switchblade knives in the UK and OZ? Automatic knives are technically illegal in the US although they are readily available via the internet. They are incredibly handy. They were made illegal as a result of the public reaction to the 1961 musical film West Side Story which depicted teenage NYC street gangs using (as I recall) Italian stiletto switchblades. There was no other compelling reason for the legislation other than they “looked dangerous” and “bad kids” will want them. I don’t know, but I’ve been told that automatic knives are commonly available in most of the rest of the world. An old friend of mine spent a year studying in Germany back in the late 70s. He wandered into a shop and bought an exquisitely well built switchblade and it made it past customs when he returned home. It was the best built switchblade I’ve ever seen (German engineering). If you’re willing to pay for it, you can buy a USA Buck 110 folding Hunter converted to automatic via a leaf spring. The knife is extremely well made but it was never designed to be an automatically opening knife. As such, if you have one (I have 3 or 4) you don’t want to use them too much and wear them out. Instead I keep a smaller, cheap, Chinese made knife in my pocket when I’m working in the yard or out in the garage. But it amazes me that these are technically “illegal” when a simple screwdriver would serve as a far more formidable weapon.

    I believe they’re illegal in Australia too, and probably for the same reason. In NSW there was a clampdown on knives generally a few years ago due to rising knife incidents, but in the interests of common sense they gave police a lot of discretion in applying the updated law. So for a particular knife, if police find it being carried down a beach by a 60-year-old man in his fishing tackle box then he obviously isn’t going to interfere. But if it’s being carried in an inner-city back alley at midnight by a 16-year-old gang member in an ankle holster, well…

    Funny, I actually never owned a hunting knife until my Texan BIL gave me a really nice Bowie knife for Christmas the other year (I never knew David Bowie was into knives? 😉 ). He also sends me lots of Dallas Cowboys merchandise, including a really handy flick knife I keep in the glove box of my ute (pickup truck, Dave) – Oz

  17. Dr. Dave says:


    I’ll be darned. I wouldn’t have thought a practical people like Australians would outlaw an incredibly utilitarian tool…and to do so for the same idiotic reason as we did is unbelievable. Fen’s comment piqued my interest when he mentioned using 18th century steel because the Bowie knife was a 19th century invention of Col. Jim Bowie. It was a knife specifically designed for knife fighting (not hunting). I checked it out on Wikipedia and was surprised to learn that many states outlaw the carrying of a Bowie knife. I have a small pseudo-Bowie knife made of stainless steel. It only has a 10 1/2 inch blade and it’s still so damn big I can’t think of any practical use for it other than as a cool thing to have. As Fen mentioned, a “true” Bowie knife is even larger and more like a small broad sword.

    I have always carried a pocket knife since I was a kid. As it turns out, knife laws are as highly variable as gun laws among the various states. Usually you’re safe if the knife blade is 3 1/2 inches or less. This is one reason the Buck 110 folding Hunter is so popular. It has a 3 1/2 inch blade, it’s about 8 1/2 inches when opened and when it locks in place it’s almost as sturdy as a fixed blade knife. But I think many of the same nebulous regulations you mentioned exist here. I have a fixed blade Buck hunting knife with about a 5″ blade. I could walk through the woods all day with it on my hip and no one would bat an eye. Where it into a grocery store and folks would stare and I could possibly be charged if it was deemed to be “concealed”.

    “…now, that’s a knife!”
    Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee.

    Here’s a Bowie knife almost identical to mine. Click the picture to go to the specialist maker’s website – Oz…

  18. Dr. Dave says:


    How long is the blade? Looks like a Lone Star beauty!

    Also…apologies, but I couldn’t help myself…

    How long is the blade? I don’t have a tape measure handy, but eyeballing it, I’d say, oh…

    about half as long as my machete – Oz 😉

  19. Amanda says:

    Blimey, the boys are still talking about how long are their knives.

    I don’t say that my subject is pleasanter, but have a look at the Drudge Report website if you like, before it changes ( (I can’t find a way to paste it, otherwise I would.)

    What the heck is Hillary Clinton doing? What gives with the platinum 1960s schoolgirl hair, and the dreamy scallop-necked somewhat retro top (which I assume in her case is a suit, but it could be simply a dress for Fall, no problem). What is she trying to do, look like Alice in Wonderland? I have seen her in many styles, but as one pundit put it, no one can seriously speak of H. C. as ‘a girl’. Girls are soft and cuddly and sweet and a lot of other things besides. H. C. is a ball-breaker who wants to rule the world. I ask again: What is this Alice-through-the-looking-glass schtick? Who does she think it will fool?

  20. Amanda says:

    Sorry, that didn’t come out right. I meant that I can’t paste the picture of Hillary, which is in the center column just down from the screaming headline.

    By the way, does that woman have a genuinely warm smile, or just that rather smug, self-satisfied simulation of a smile? Just wondering.

    She is the protegé of Saul Alinsky, and that says it all – Oz

  21. Kitler says:

    Amanda it is quite possible (allegedly) that that woman has had inconvenient people removed from the play that is life.

  22. Amanda says:

    Hi Oz and K: I don’t think that she’ll ever be Pres, and I don’t think she ever had a really good shot at being Pres, precisely because her raw-in-tooth-and-claw Alinksy-disciple nature is so close to the surface. You can’t hide that kind of activist commitment unless you’re Obama and the people don’t want to see it. She isn’t Obama and she would come in for much greater scrutiny. And many voters, rightly or wrongly, viewed Obama as charming. I can’t imagine who has ever been thoroughly charmed by Hillary. Even Bill! She’s like Martha Stewart with twice the ambition and all the niceness taken out.

    I remember the moment when I think that both she and I knew she had lost to Obama. (A bit of fancy here, but it seemed like that at the time.) It was in the Democratic candidate debate. Clinton made a comment that was supposed to assert her superior fortune, and then Obama replied ‘thank you, Hillary, and when I’m President I’ll be happy to have you in my cabinet’. Those aren’t his words, but it was something to that effect. And I just thought: yep, that’s probably what will happen. And I think she probably did, too. She had no comeback. It was like the ugly truth staring her right in the face.

    BTW Amanda Suffolkboy over at DT was asking after you – Oz

  23. Amanda says:

    Thanks very much, Ozboy — and hello, Suffolkboy, if you’ve dropped by. Don’t have a Disqus account at the mo and am busy with non-blog things. Writing, reading, and dreaming up dances, which I can almost see in my head. (See the Jukebox for tonight’s captivating sounds!) Waiting and hoping for the Florida temperature to get down to a comfortable zone at long last. My brain wasn’t designed for thinking hard in the subtropic summer, and the air conditioning in this rental stinks!

  24. Dr. Dave says:


    Doubtlessly you’ve seen this already:

    Julia reeks of the same socialism our jug eared ruler puts out. I read recently that this carbon tax may be nearly impossible for y’all to repeal. Kiss your relatively stable and prosperous economy goodbye. I have a hard time believing “most Australians now agree a carbon tax is necessary”. It’s like Obama believing “most Americans love me”.

    Try convincing me that “most Australians now agree” that ANY new tax is necessary! It’s just the same tired old agitprop BS they’ve been peddling all along. They really are getting desperate – Oz

  25. Dr. Dave says:


    To paraphrase the inimitable late LBJ, “Obama is sweatin’ like a whore in church”. In his latest address to a joint session of Congress about jobs and the economy he never once mentioned AGW or “renewable energy”. He knows it is a losing issue with the American public. And now, in addition to the “Fast and Furious” gunrunner scandal, we have the Solyndra scandal and three other bankrupt solar energy enterprises (so far this year) that were propped up with US taxpayer money. Oddly they were all connected to big Democrat and Obama political donors. This SOB makes Nixon look like a saint (and I hate Nixon).

    If the general public ever finds out just how huge a scam wind power and ethanol are there will be even more hell to pay. But in that little 5 minute video Julia calmly states that the debate is over and “most Australians agree” a carbon tax is necessary. I am mildly (albeit mildly) proud that it appears the USA has awakened from its environmentalist stupor before OZ and the UK.

    On an official level, yes; although wait until the next election, when there will be a stampede of Labor politicians claiming to never have believed in Thermageddon, they just went along with it out of party loyalty, all the while fighting against it behind the scenes, blah, blah, blah.

    Unofficially, surveys here show the same as those in the USA: that less than half the people are concerned about CAGW, and the number is dropping by the week. And why shouldn’t they: even if it was all true, it is a putative disaster a century away, while meantime there’s a depression threatening to break out before Christmas.

    On that score, 17 October is the next milestone to mark in your diary; Greece is scheduled to disgorge its next tranche of government debt repayments on that date, and you’d be hard pressed to find a finance commentator who thinks they’ll make it. With Greek default will come the likely failure of many of Europe’s largest banks which are holding Greek debt, and thence the USA – Oz

  26. Kitler says:

    Ozboy and you are an optimist on the financial situation, nope they will pull yet another magic rabbit out of their butts yet again, they are jugglers, juggling chain saws and if they take their eyes off them something nasty will happen, no they have a plan they always do.

  27. Amanda says:

    Those of you reading this will know that when I have posted on James’s blog in the past, I’ve often cited a blog called Contentions, the blog of Commentary magazine. I used to subscribe to the magazine (though I’m not Jewish: the mag is ‘Jewish yet general’ in its areas of concern, and is a great window on domestic politics). Anyway, I love the blog and recommend it if you are looking for something New & Interesting on the international and U. S. politics front.

    Take, for instance, this article by Peter Wehner, ‘Has Obama Learned Anything?’

    If it’s the arts that interest you — the media, opera, literature, music, and the fine arts — then I cannot recommend more highly The New Criterion, which has kept me happy on many a long-distance drive (when a passenger, of course). If you know TNC already, you’ll understand.

  28. fenbeagleblog says:

    :-D……Sorry Oz, just seen the video on Andrew Bolts Blog, that Dr Dave linked to…I thought it was a sort of spoof Australian piss take of mrs Thatcher…..(It wasn’t though was it.)

  29. I see an Australian Drilling company has just discovered large reserves of Shale gas off our coast. Does this mean we will have to pay carbon tax to Gillard for it?

  30. GORE BLIMEY Izen!….You’ve blown my ‘at off, you ‘ave, and no mistake guv…..

  31. meltemian says:

    I knew it – Clockwork’s the answer.
    Brilliant Izen (and Fen’ of course)

  32. izen says:

    Thank you for the complement Fen… but you get the credit, or blame(!), for any imaginative use of the windmill image. It was fun to try and embody in virtual form some of those ideas.
    It was also interesting to speculate how human use of energy resources would change with just a technological development in storage systems. The quantum babble is an attempt to disguise the totally fantastical nature of this idea. But I would contend that this fantasy shows that compared to technological changes to resource use the political malarkey with marginal tax rates on resources or transactions is marginal in effect.

    I was a little wary of indulging in such a unrealistic fantasy, but having recently met someone who holds that the moon landings were faked, but crop circles – sorry, field cryptograms – are real communications from visiting aliens…. I am less apologetic about playing with concepts that are tenuously connected with reality! -Grin-

  33. Dr. Dave says:


    I, too, must add that I was impressed. I sorely regret that I tossed out the 3-D cardboard glasses I received with a copy of Reason magazine.

  34. Ozboy says:

    It’s quite an achievement all right. Great work Izen! I’d say more but like Dave, I don’t have any 3-D glasses around 😀

  35. Amanda says:


    When you hit the big time, perhaps you can hire a voice-over artist that doesn’t have that speech impediment :^0

    Windmills OR wind turbines? They are miles, worlds apart. I would hardly have a picture of Jack and Jill of the South Downs by my bedside otherwise, would I?

  36. Kitler says:

    General Cosgrove – of the Australian Marines was interviewed on the radio recently.
    Read his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children.
    This is one of the best comeback lines of all time.
    It is a portion of an ABC(Australian Broadcasting Company) radio interview between a female broadcaster and General Cosgrove who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military headquarters.


    So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?


    We’re going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.


    Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible, isn’t it?


    I don’t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on the rifle range.


    Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?


    I don’t see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.


    But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.


    Well, Ma’am, you’re equipped to be a prostitute, but you’re not one, are you?

    The radiocast went silent for 46 seconds and when it returned, the interview was over.

  37. meltemian says:

    Love It!!!
    Thanks Kitler.
    Must remember that one……….

  38. Kitler says:

    meltemian well it’s always some stupid lefty that worries about guns not the fact that there use can be taught responsibly from a young age, in fact it would be better if they did except for certain inner city areas where an IQ test might be needed before hand.

  39. Dr. Dave says:


    I think there should be urine testing before buy a firearm. Not to test for drugs…just aim.

  40. meltemian says:

    I think that’s probably sexist – unless I’m the only woman with non-directional equipment?
    (I am trying to resist saying that’s a piss-poor suggestion)

  41. Ozboy says:

    G’day folks. Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while. If you’d like to join me on my current road trip, click here or navigate from the Planet Ozboy menu at the top.

Comments are closed.