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Abbott digs himself into deeper Gonski hole

Tony Abbott now faces the familiar issues of trust. AAP/Aman Sharma

Tony Abbott enters the last parliamentary fortnight highly vulnerable on that familiar issue of “trust” – and it is all his own doing.

The Prime Minister today added to the ammunition the opposition has over the government’s breach of promise on the Gonski funding, by going further in trying to whitewash the record.

Appearing on the Ten network, Abbott was asked about a pre-election statement by Christopher Pyne, when the education spokesman said “You can vote Liberal or Labor and you will get exactly the same amount of funding for your school.”

Having had the “grab” played to him, Abbott declared that “I think Christopher said schools would get the same amount of money and schools - plural - will get the same amount of money.”

He then went on: “We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made or the promise that some people might have liked us to make.”

This really is claiming black is white. There are not only Pyne pre-election quotes but pledges from Abbott too, reassuring voters that individual schools would receive the same deal under both Liberal and Labor.

The schools funding row has immense potential to damage the Abbott government in its early days.

In terms of raw politics it dwarfs other problems the new government has.

The Coalition has broken a promise, and Abbott continues to make things worse.

After everything that Abbott said on trust, it is inexplicable that he would have chosen to land himself into this situation.

He could not have picked a more dangerous area. Education is an issue on which voters feel strongly; school funding affects millions of people.

And by buying a row with the states, Abbott finds himself being called out by critics who are politically credible on the issue because they come from his own side – the Coalition governments of NSW and Victoria.

The debt ceiling is not as potent politically as schools, but it is something the government has to resolve in these last parliamentary days. The present $300 billion limit is less than $4 billion away from being reached, and the Senate is refusing to accept the government’s legislation to raise it to $500 billion.

Labor and the Greens amended the bill to make it $400 billion, which the government says is not enough (a buffer is built in for safety). The Coalition does not want to have to return to Parliament later for another increase.

The government is now hoping to break the impasse by a deal with the Greens to scrap the ceiling altogether.

It says it will only accept either $500 billion or no ceiling at all.

After hearing evidence from Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson, who made the case for $500 billion, the Greens said they did not believe that level was urgently needed.

But they are willing to consider scrapping the ceiling in exchange for improved reporting conditions.

Greens leader Christine Milne says the whole debt ceiling debate “is a phoney one imported from America by someone in Canberra who watched too much West Wing.

“Rather than having a debate over the level of debt, we should be talking about what the money is being used to fund and the extent to which debt is being raised to cover a shortfall in revenue,” Milne said.

A spokesman for shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Labor was sticking to its position that the ceiling should be raised to just $400 billion.

The opposition was not willing to consider a higher figure without the government producing updated debt figures. The government says it can’t update the figures before this week’s national accounts are fed into the mid year budget figures.

Labor brought in a ceiling and is not supporting abolishing it.

The Coalition’s legislation to remove the carbon tax is due to come before the Senate in the next few days. It will be voted down.

Join the conversation

174 Comments sorted by

  1. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    What comes next?
    "Dear Tony" to fall on his sword for the good of the nation, party, whatever?
    Will there be a Chinese sub lurking off Manly Beach this summer?

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  2. David Stein

    Businessman

    On August 2, Tony Abbott said:
    "We want to end the uncertainty by guaranteeing that no school will be worse off over the forward estimates period. So we will honor the agreements that Labor has entered into, we will match the offers that Labor has made, we will make sure that no school is worse off.”
    Here is the video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umei1U3GZ_E&t=3m56s

    Schools plural? A deliberate lie. He 'guaranteed' no school singular would be worse off! How on earth does he expect to get away with this? Even the most rusted on conservative has to watch in amazement at these disastrous first months of the Abbott government. And this has nothing to do with anything the opposition has done, these are all self inflicted wounds. Just extraordinary.

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    1. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to David Stein

      Let me also state specifically - Abbott said he would honor Gonski agreements when he said:
      "we will honor the agreements that Labor has made".
      He also said he would honor deals on the table but not yet signed when he said:
      "we will match the offers that Labor has made"
      The video is crystal clear - how can Abbott possibly claim otherwise? His positions now appear to be deliberate lies.

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    2. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Stein

      Pyne's claim that Labor took $1.6 billion out of the education budget is likewise a LIE and he knows it. It is INTENTIONAL disinformation to the people of this nation pure and simple = lying.

      That was "extra" money was earmarked for the NT, WA and Qld should they agree to the better schools plan. They did not. The figures were therefore removed, and Pyne and Abbott and all the LNP know this. The existing school funding under the OLD model was maintained.

      iow NO education funding was removed…

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    3. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Sean Arundell

      PLUS the whole gets deeper ... IF Pyne and Abbott claim that THEY agreed to the total FUNDING envelop promised by labor, and that was $2.8 billion before the election, (but Labor sneekily took $1.2 billion out (sorry ?) THEN ABBOTT Promised THAT figure, and not the $1.6 Billion plus 240 million, and so still it is a Broken promise, because that as the ENVELOP they "believed" they were promising .... $2.8 Billion EXTRA over and above the existing SES level of funding .... oh this is going to be fun.

      One simple issue ... keep counting up the spin, the myths, the misinformation, the disinformation, the bait and switches, and the intentional lies. My abacus is getting dizzy already. What will Monday bring?

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    4. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Sean Arundell

      sorry correction .... Pyne claims Labor pulled $1.20 billion out of $2.8 billion of extra funding

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    5. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Sean Arundell

      Thanks for this post Sean. Yes indeed why do you have to mention these things? I'm glad you did however, stops me thinking I am yet again imagining things. The full truth and not Tony's shyster lawyer's truth is the foundations of our voting choices and the rule of democracy.

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Sean Arundell

      You could get dizzier San but you do need tio remember that Labor has made a complete fiasco of overall government budgetting and obviously changes need to be mad as more and more of reality is discovered amongst the Labor fairytales.

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    7. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Greg North

      "Greg North" Have you any creditable evidence and or a rational argument to support this claim you make that "Labor has made a complete fiasco of ...."?

      Just more handwaving and playing to the partisan divide that your side of politics - whether conservative or libertarian - encourages.

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    8. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg

      Here is your chance to demonstrate that you have the slightest degree of integrity and credibility.

      Will you condemn Tony Abbott for lying and for breaking an election promise?

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    9. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      Julie, just have a look at what deficit/debt is today compared with about six years back.

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    10. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Greg North

      "Greg" Read what the other non-libertarian economists say about debt.

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    11. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg - Abbott is promising more education funds than Labor. Please get your biases straight. This has nothing to do with the budget, it's ideological. The coalition clearly does not think private schools will get enough taxpayer money under Gonski. The only problem is they lied about it before the election. Even worse - Abbott is now telling more lies by attempting to pretend he didn't give the guarantee which is on the record. It's just astonishing.
      No obfuscation can get Abbott out of this problem of his own making.

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    12. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, re " Will you condemn Tony Abbott for lying and for breaking an election promise? " , see my comment below starting with
      " Pyne and Abbott are obviously in damage control and that is always a difficult area to be in, be it education or whatever budgetting stream. "
      I am not about to condemn Tony Abbott despite the difficulties the government will face in decisions to be made.
      From what I've read so far there is still talk of a similar amount of money being allocated over the four year forward…

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    13. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      '.... am not about to condemn Tony Abbott despite the difficulties the government will face in decisions to be made...."

      No Greg - you will never condemn Abbott and co will you, no matter how much they lie. I guess that says more about your integrity than it does about anything else.

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    14. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, the issue was "education funding" not every error or whacko idea tried by labor over the last 6 years. The people supported Gonski, the LNP supported Gonski .... the claim this is a "funding shambles" is a lie mate. It's ideological and it is disingenuous and it's insane and irrational how the LNP is carrying. What labor has done in the past is less relevant now that what OUR current Govt is doing and saying and how they are behaving and insulting the Australian people here, whether one voted LNP or not. .

      Please be more consistent and apply the same standards upon all at least. I don't care who you voted for, that is irrelevant. The issue is our nations children 3.5 million of them. I am not making political party nor ideological points here. So your response is invalid and misguided, imho.

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    15. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Greg North

      Oh Greg, give the ridiculous debt or budget emergency drum beating (without evidence) a rest

      Even if there was something in it, which there is not, Pyne and Abbott's lies are breathtaking about the $1.3 Billion in funding that Labor supposedly withdrew. That was money available to the states which did not in the end, sign up, so the money was withdrawn.

      You may defend Pyne and Abbott's lying duplicity but most of will see through it.

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    16. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      Some of suspect that "Greg North" is actually a team of LNP defenders who attempt to defend the LNP no matter what.

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    17. Darren G

      logged in via email @yahoo.com

      In reply to Greg North

      Yeah? Kind of how the Carbon Tax came about, eh? And look what your side said about that - "lies" "liar" "juliar". So - hilariously - you people even backtrack from your previous standards in order to cover your backtracking from your previous promises.

      That would be funny if it wasn't evidence of what is easily looking like the most dishonest and deceitful government - and prime minister - in Australian history. Worse, this prime minister apparently thinks we're all too stupid to know when he's lied - I haven't heard such excuses since me 5 year old accidently broke a table playing with the dog. Except she only kept up her amusingly inept cover story for about 5 minutes - and that was a table, not a matter of national importance.

      This PM - and his education minister - should resign. Now. And if the liberal party cant see what his continued presence will do to them then so be it. the results will be on them. This guy is worse than Rudd and Gillard combined.

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    18. Robert Tony Brklje
      Robert Tony Brklje is a Friend of The Conversation.

      retired

      In reply to David Stein

      It is becoming pretty obvious. We are years out from another election and yet Abbott is running around campaigning, why? He has become a liability to the Australian Liberal Party and years out from the next election he is already loosing if for them.
      Abbott is desperately trying to keep his position as the Prime Minister, no matter how badly he is performing only months into the role. The Liberals are going to be moving for a clean sweep, tossing out Abbott and all of his cronies and going with another team that is not already setting up the Liberals for a loss at the next election.
      Either Abbott goes or the Liberals might as well not bother to run in the next election, it is already looking to be that bad. Right now many foreign politicians are seeing the blatant weaknesses of Abbott and are already exploiting them and at this crucial time it could do a lot of harm to Australia's future.

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    19. Kerrin O'Rourke

      Vocational Trainer and Learning Facilitator at Workplace Training

      In reply to Greg North

      Dear oh dear Greg, It's not about quantum of funding. Its about the allocation of funding being based on student needs. There has been a need for decades for targeted and accountable funding to ensure that schools (and governments) use money to actually address student needs, instead of delivering rhetoric about it. Students with special needs are in all schools, from the wealthy private schools (where their parents pay a fair whack of their child's cost of education (funding) to Catholic schools…

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    20. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Kerrin O'Rourke

      dear oh, dear Kerrin, its a shame that no one every listened to Tony Abbott's warnings. Who is really to blame?

      Bill Shortens hysteria over Gonski should fall on deaf ears because I'm certain my ears weren't deaf when I heard Tony Abbott warn Gillard that her proposed Gonski scheme would not be valid unless it was a truly national scheme.

      Gillard then tried everything to get all States and territories on board but she failed.

      The extra millions in bribes may have worked for Napthine and…

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  3. Stephen Ralph

    carer at n/a

    In the end TA & LNP have themselves to blame.
    They ranted and raved about Labor's broken promises and poor governance, and yet a month into their term and they have shot themselves in the foot.

    Tony had a big mouth pre-election, and that big foot in firmly in his big mouth.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      You might even perceive Stephen that Labor did govern extremely poorly and a new government realising that changes are necessary and working towards them is not so much of shooting themselves in the foot despite the media wishing to sensationalise rather than rationalise and we see much the same with comments.

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    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Stephen - I love your two metaphors about foot in mouth and shooting themselves in the foot.

      Shooting yourself in the foot when your foot is in your mouth has to be an interesting way to commit (electoral) suicide don't you think?

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  4. Sean Arundell

    Uncommon Common Sense

    re MG says "potential to damage"

    Potential?

    Ummmmm

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  5. Rene Oldenburger

    Haven't got one

    Funny article, who in his/her right minds trusts a politician anyway. They're both equally bad

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    1. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      And that is okay with you is it Rene; that we should just accept that all politicians are bad?

      I think it is clear that some politicians are worse than others and that Tony Abbott and the other privileged private school boys who are currently stuffing up the country are much worse than their predecessors.

      And I think it is clear that everyone who cares about egalitarian values and giving everyone a fair go, values that used to be a characteristic of our country that we were proud of, should…

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    2. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      "They're both equally bad"

      This is the excuse someone makes after they've been sucked in.

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    3. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Sucked into what?

      ps I didn't vote Liberal

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    4. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      So Abbott and the other privileged school boys are worse liars then .......Gillard, Thatcher, Rudd etc etc ?

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    5. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      "....ps I didn't vote Liberal...."

      So Nationals then Rene - or was it LNP? I think you have been giving obscuration lessons to the PM

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    6. Steve Phillips

      Nurse Practitioner

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      Id still rather trust the word of a family man than the alternative, a man under investigation for rape.
      Not much said about that in the media is there.
      One supposed puch on a wall 30 yrs ago gets a media feeding frenzy and a rape investigation gets nothing.

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    7. Kerrin O'Rourke

      Vocational Trainer and Learning Facilitator at Workplace Training

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Whether pollies are as bad as each other or not is a cliche. One side gets to be in government, make the decisions about spending on polices they have but to the electorate, Both sides equally have to be held to account. In this instance, The Libs have completely ignored their pre-election statements of intention, which too many voters took at face value. They are revealed to not only have lied but had NO policies on education before or after the election. Falling back on the weak, postcode education funding policies of the Howard era is not a policy for today but a poor excuse for no policy at all. For those of us who have grappled for years (decades) without targeted funding or specialized resources for learner's with special needs, Gonski was a start. The requirement to base funding on student needs, not postcodes and systems politics, is obvious isn't it? Even retired engineers should be able to grasp that simple, straightforward fact.

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    8. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Kerrin O'Rourke

      Kerrin, don't know about all these education standards that are suddenly become so important - was your education that bad?

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    9. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Really Steve? This is all you can say in response to the issue that is under discussion?

      I thought I'd reply to your irrelevant comment just to let you know I did see it, but I won't bother replying to anything else you offer that is so obviously irrational and just plain nasty. Not even "Greg North" has been as ugly as you. eeeewww

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    10. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene, have you not noticed that the world has changed and there are no longer jobs for people in carpet factories or things like that?

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    11. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      The big difference between now and when I went to school was that the vast bulk of government funds went into government schools. Government funding of non government schools was a pittance and all of that went to parochial schools which were worse off than the state schools.
      What has changed is the flood of funds that were channelled into private non government schools firstly to avoid the charges of religious bias and secondly to subsidise the increasing number of middle class voters who wanted to get their kids out of the state systems for what were essentially social reasons.
      The money had to come from somewhere - from state schools.

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    12. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Family man ?

      many rapes are committed by family men.................

      I for one don't know what you are talking about.

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    13. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Steve, if you have anything to report to the authorities, I suggest you don't muck around with innuendo but let them know what it is you know. Rape is a very serious accusation and is generally taken very seriously by authorities. You do not name Shorten, but your implication is clear. Although generally I think a person's life is their own personal business, if it is a crime committed then the community is necessarily involved. I was able to find the following post: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/alp-figure-faces-80s-rape-claim/story-fn59niix-1226759377948 but no other reputable source has reported this or implicated Shorten.

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    14. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Who is under such investigation?

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    15. Steve Phillips

      Nurse Practitioner

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      You haven't heard? You read the wrong news.
      Tanya Plibesek has asked for a full disclosure/investigation of the allegations.

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    16. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Nope haven't heard a thing

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  6. Ronald Ostrowski

    logged in via Facebook

    Clearly, Abbott believes that most of the electorate is stupid. Who can blame him when he and the media conned them with lies and meaningless three word slogans before the election? Of course, the extent of that stupidity can only be gauged by whether Abbott's most recent rewrite of history is widely accepted. I know the scream radio hate jocks are pumping themselves up to convince their listeners that black is white in their feverish support of this very incompetent, mean spirited and deceitful LNP Government. Australia, why have you done this to yourself?

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      " Clearly, Abbott believes that most of the electorate is stupid. Who can blame him. "
      We need something of a caveat Ronald for I agree who could have blamed Tony at the time so many were sucked into thought bubbles before they burst.
      That he saw a pretty wide spread reaction in 2010 certainly would have had him thinking that it might have been a 50/50 situation and he needed to do more work even with Labor helping him.
      No doubt there will be many in the media, even at IA most definitely and on…

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    2. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Greg North

      There is a consistency about it Greg. I can give you that. It does all sound so familiar somehow :

      "Howard didn't make the same mistake in 1996. He eschewed Fightback! and promised to make Australians "relaxed and comfortable", while in the background his deputy, Peter Costello, ran the "debt truck" with a counter showing how much Australia's foreign debt was growing each second to create the impression that the re-election of Keating would lead to another recession.

      At the time of the election…

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    3. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      ".....Clearly, Abbott believes that most of the electorate is stupid...."

      They are Ronald - they voted for him.

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    4. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, give it up, dear fellow. Your Abbott spent the last few years ranting on about making an honest woman of Julia Gillard and how he, as PM, could be trusted. He lied, pure and simple. He can't be trusted, obviously. I and many here called him a liar before the election. We never believed that he could stop the boats or that there was a budget emergency. He was purely negative and offerred no substance. We always knew he was a habitual liar. Meanwhile, our regional neighbours are moving forward in leaps and bounds in education investment whilst the LNP Government unravels in a mere thought bubble what has taken five years to develop. So, tell me again who is stupid here. I have sent a note to LNP headquarters recommending you for a special award for valiantly attempting to sell the unsaleable. Greg, I always said your were a stalwart chap in thick and thin.

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    5. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, I hate to do this to you, old chap. You defended the line to the best of your abilities, but obviously you did not get the latest memo from LNP Headquarters. It appears that Abbott blinked in the face of national outrage. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-02/abbott-gonski/5129118

      Abbott is now sticking with the four year agreement the states and territories made with previous Labor Government. Apparently we seem to have a backflip over another backflip. Bit like a circus act rather than a LNP Government which claims the adults a back in charge. They have left you holding the bag, Greg. Awkward moment.

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    6. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Ron, Greg backed out some hours ago. One would surmise that he got the flash that a back-flip was imminent, so no longer worthwhile engaging with confused lefties.

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  7. Peter Evans

    Retired

    Doesn't he realise that arguing the point just makes it worse? Its childish as it ignores adult's experience and ability to discern the truth. Keep the Promise

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  8. Geoff Anderson

    Brain Surgeon

    It's ironic that Abbott is trying to say Black is White. For the last 4 years he has described the world in black and white. Simple slogans and inflexible opposition are easy in Opposition. Government requires the ability to adapt and to compromise. Now, having given concrete commitments, he finds himself wanting to abandon his election promises and revert to pandering to the wealthy. And he is arrogant enough to believe he will get away with it. He fails to understand that he did not win power, but Labor threw it away. We will throw him out just as easily if he remains as deceitful and incompetent as he has started.

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  9. Janeen Harris

    chef

    I'm wondering why anyone is surprised.This conservative government are doing what conservative governments have always done, con the majority so they can look after the interests of the privileged minority. The only thing that matters to these phony christian bigots is money, and the underprivileged should just accept that they deserve their lot.

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  10. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    Pyne and Abbott are obviously in damage control and that is always a difficult area to be in, be it education or whatever budgetting stream.
    Sure, there'll be those that are going to be dissapointed and it could equally be asked whether they are themselves in need of greater education including state politicians it seems for nobody seems to know that money does not grow on trees no matter how much it seemed that way with former governments, federal and state.
    Media economony pundits have been to…

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    1. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      If any or all of what you say is true then why didn't Abbott et al say this all before the election. They knew what the Commonwealth had committed to the States, they knew the size of the balance that was held back for those that had not yet signed up.
      It would have been easy "Gronski is not affordable, we are going to scrap it" This is the point of the article that you have not even tried to address.

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    2. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Greg North

      "Greg North"

      The point is that they lied and they told us that they were good people unlike Labor; that Tony has 'character', he raises virgins before marriage, respects women of substance and is so much more trustworthy than that Juliar. That is the point being discussed here.

      Michelle Grattan also told us Abbott - the alpha male - was trustworthy also and no wonder she said , on RN this morning that this decision is 'inexplicable'. Inexplicable lol!

      But Greg in your attempt to divert the…

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    3. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Greg North

      "nobody seems to know that money does not grow on trees". Greg this comment really is not based in reality when you are talking about a currency issuing government.

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    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      What you may not want to address Ken is that despite any opposition's best intentions, an outgoing government always has surprises for an incoming government and you just have to look at Australia's total budgetting dilemma that Labor have created to appreciate that responsible government will many reviews become necessary.
      You might feel the answer is higher taxes and you could even ask why the former government did not arrange for increasing income taxation before they went madly spending revenue that was non existent.
      This new government has initiated an audit that will focus on waste as well as revenue and what ought to be core expenditure. Writing cheques for schools to spend as they like is not a prudent core task approach.

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    5. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Greg North

      To me writing cheques for schools to spend as they like seems a good approach. Takes away a bureaucratic layer, and allows the school to best utilise the cash.

      Each school must have different priorities.

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    6. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg - they lied. They broke a promise. End of story.

      And you are just proving how lacking in credibility you are for defending them - when for years you have been criticising the previous government for exactly the same reasons.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      " You reckon, that's good enough for kids who are unlucky enough to be born into families who cannot invest in their education? That is the attitude of the LNP and it is an attitude that means that all of us Australians miss out on the talent and ability that lies unrecognised in the children of the poor and disadvantaged. "
      That is something of a stretch Julie, even for me who was raised in a single parent family, my mother never having had the opportunity herself to pursue a teaching career though…

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    8. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Well Chris, I would rather have a government that recognised that endless debt and borrowing will lead to currrency issuing and do you really want Australia to go that route.

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    9. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Greg North

      Lucky you 'Greg'! You had one functional parent; not all children do have this advantage. Some parents were themselves so damaged and disadvantaged by the particular combination of genes and environment that formed their personality and abilities and the assumptions they make about what is a good choice, that they do not realise this fact.

      Iis not because these people simply choose to be stupid and lazy and not understand the value of education. In truth, for many it is a risky gamble to invest…

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    10. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      But where is the evidence that the budgetary position now is worse than on 6 Spetember 2013 excluding the measures taken by the current government like the $8 billion given to the Reserve Bank?
      If the budgetary position is unchanged why did Abbotts position need to change. Furthermore as far as can bee seen Pyne has not blamed budgetary position for the change but is saying the model for distributing the funds among schools is a "shambles"

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    11. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Greg North

      I would rather have a currency issuing government than one that is trapped in the EU model. Not being able to issue currency certainly has not stopped them from going into massive debt.

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    12. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      ".... I would rather have a government that recognised that endless debt and borrowing will lead to currrency issuing and do you really want Australia to go that route..."

      So why are you supporting a government that is proposing to keep increasing the national debt by running Budget deficits for years to come?

      You don't even read what you write do you Greg?

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    13. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      " Each school must have different priorities. "
      Of course they will Stephen and that is why you have School management and P&T committees etc. and as much as they will have many desirables, they too will realise that the money trees and bottomless pits of gold are mere myths.
      There is not too much in life that does need managing Stephen and given Australias industrial/employment outlook, spending money on essentials only or not at all ought to be very high on the priority list.

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    14. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      " And you are just proving how lacking in credibility you are for defending them - when for years you have been criticising the previous government for exactly the same reasons. "
      I may explain my own thoughts on the matter Mike and yes you could take that as a form of defense just as you could ask what would you think ought to be criticised more heavily.
      A government saying what they see of education reform/financing as being a bit of a mess still and needing fixing or a government that has recklessly introduced programs for which there is no guaranteed funding with plunging the nation into even further debt, that being what the previous government has done on multiple fronts.

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    15. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Greg North

      Who should be criticized more heavily? Criticism should be unbiased and based on facts and rationality.

      So if education reform/financing is a bit of mess and needs fixing, why are they not explaining how they will fix it and what the problems are? Or have we all missed that bit?

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    16. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Greg North

      Education "a bit of a mess".

      Gonski: Five years of planning by expert panels of professionals.

      Do you think, Greg, that Mr Pyne will come up with an improved system (for all, not just wealthy) children within the next few days?

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    17. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      No Greg - they lied. End of story, full stop. They lied.

      There are no excuses and nothing can be said which can claw back either their credibility or the credibility of people like you who are making feeble attempts to defend them. They lied.

      Tony Abbott promised - and the video and audio is around for everyone to see - that he would honour the commitments the previous government made. He also said that this would be a 'no surprises' government, and that 'the promises made would be kept'.

      Now he and his merry men are backtracking and lying. And to make it worse, he is putting out the most ridiculous of explanations that we supposedly misheard him. I know he is a luddite who doesn''t accept science, but surely he has heard of video recording.

      Stop digging yourself deeper and deeper into a credibility hole and just accept the fact that they lied to you and condemn them for it. Even the coalition premiers are doing it. Why can't you?

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    18. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      Julie, you are entitles to your views though I've said nothing like
      " Again, your prescription that it is parents who are 'at fault' and to be blamed shows that your primary motivation is to judge and blame the people you consider inferior to you and yours, ....."
      nor
      Of course ........you still subscribe to all the outdated and factually wrong arguments that support your premise that the poor and disadvantaged are there because they deserve to be. "
      Of course there will be all levels of disadvantage…

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    19. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Greg North

      "Greg North" team: You are shaky grounds there mates!

      The seeds of the budgetary shortfalls and debt problems were sown by the economically irresponsible Howard and Costello who handed out large and unsustainable tax cuts.

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    20. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Greg North

      Thin on evidence, long on rhetoric!

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    21. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      No Julie, Team "Greg North" is great on long winded but fact free ideological rants which boil down to: Coalition great (no matter what they do or what they say), Labor bad.

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    22. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Greg North

      Lots of waffle there and handwaving about how things will always be this way and not to worry. It was always thus. Never mind all the psychological research about poverty and ability, "Greg North', like Tony Abbott, just knows where the 'right' attitude comes from.

      So how do we get the right attitude? Born with it? Oh born to rule, that's right Tony Abbott was.

      What is the difference between a parent like yours who advocated for your education and one like mine who was so anxious that she wasn't able to come inside the school yard?

      My mum chose to have the wrong 'attitude'? I don't think so but you do?

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    23. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Oh and as others have also observed, at times a rather nasty member of the "Greg North" team is in evidence as he/she becomes quite abusive.

      Must be due to a shift change!

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    24. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Greg North

      Public education is a service provided by government to the children of its electorate. It is a service provided for via taxation. It is also a compulsory occupation of children's time. The electorate has the right to demand top notch education for every child. This means the service must be sufficiently funded, that goal posts must be established for outcomes which meet with the satisfaction of the consumer and financer (the public), and with constant improvement: on-going improvements made in response to technological, social and cultural change. Economically, quality education is required to increase productivity and export quality products and services. For a government to claim it wants to take money out of public school education funding in order to favour private schools (whose outcome superiority has not been demonstrated) is not a rational decision. It's reasons are not based in good service delivery, equity of opportunity or economic outcome.

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    25. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      ".....a government that has recklessly introduced programs for which there is no guaranteed funding with plunging the nation into even further debt, that being what the previous government has done on multiple fronts...."

      Well Greg, looks like you are in a bit of a pickle. You have been all over this thread defending the government for taking money away from the education reforms because the budget was in trouble because of Labor. And now this happens:
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-02/abbott-gonski/5129118

      Looks like the government has backtracked on its backtracking, and will now spend MORE money than Labor on education.

      So......... are they irresponsible for doing so because of the budget crisis, or are you going to perform a double backflip with a half twist and defend the government for doing what you said it was irresponsible to do?

      Oh dear!

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  11. Chris O'Neill

    Retired Way Before 70

    Abbott: “We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made"

    Julia Gillard could have taken a few lessons from Abbott.

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    1. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Gillard's lie was a broken commitment and might be excused because she had a minority government and needed to negotiate and compromise. Abbot's initial lie was also a broken commitment and could have been sold as such, but now with further foot in mouth it has become lieing about a lie.

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    2. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      I am sure the strategy of the Coalition is break many promises early in this term of government so that (hopefully) the voters will have forgotten them all.

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    3. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      But their strategy might rebound. If the government sticks to its program for the repeal of the carbon tax they could have a trigger for a double dissolution by September 2014.
      All this furore might still be fresh in voters minds which would take the dissolution option off the table. In that case, Palmer's price for passing the legislation might be a tad high.

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    4. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Can't see the attraction for a double dissolution for any government. I'm quite sure it was only a dare on Abbott's part to Rudd over the emissions trading scheme. Pretty sure he wouldn't go for one himself.

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  12. Lynne Newington

    Researcher

    I'm sure it's a learn as you go with Tony Abbott and he's a loose canon or maybe a bull in a china shop.
    I can't see him winning another election on his own merits in fact I don't believe he won this one, especially after reading the introduction of the ex priest who applied for membership.

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    1. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Lynne Newington

      There may even be a leadership challenge b/f too long.....he is a dud.

      A great attack dog, but a lousy leader.

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    2. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Stephen, lousy government. Many duds there. If they do or don't win the next election. After it, Malcolm may be the next leader. But they're so far right, anything could happen. I hope they stay the way they are, because they're "unrepresentative swill", and now we can all see the fact.

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    3. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      I think the current govt will avoid a leadership challenge because of what happened to Labor after the coup when KRudd was the prime minister. Labor never recovered from that, with half the Labor voters supporting JG and the other half smarting over the treatment of "their Prime Minister".
      Leadership changes by parties in opposition are more generally tolerated than sacking a prime minister. In his first term!
      A very rare occurrence. Made a lot of voters very angry! (I still feel affronted by the behaviour of the "plotters"; but consoled by the knowledge that Bill Shorten will not be trying to unseat Labor's current leader! )

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    4. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      You're probably right......still I like the idea of bringing it up, cos the LNP made me so sick of their tactics of going over and over and over the whole Labor issue of changing leaders.

      It's nice to give them a taste of their own medicine.
      Still and all - Malcolm sits waiting in the wings!!!

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  13. James Hulse

    health professional

    Why would Abbott start bothering about the truth now? It has never vexed him before. Lies hardly prevented him getting into office - on the contrary. He probably believes lying has helped. Having never been held to account, why wouldn't he?

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  14. john davies
    john davies is a Friend of The Conversation.

    retired engineer

    Yes they lied. Blatantly and deliberately. And it worked.

    And they will get away with it because the media the vast majority access, and that sets the agenda for most others, is a cheersquad.

    And Team Greg become more ridiculous with each contribution, but doing their job.

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  15. Ron Bowden

    Entropy tragic

    To Chris, Julie, Mike, in fact anyone here other than team North.
    This person/group/cabal sees itself as “agent provocateur” and is doing an excellent job of muddying the waters and and diverting the conversation while at the same time as having a good laugh at those who respond to its nonsense, lies and distortions.
    I have to admit that I get sucked in from time to time, but I try not to give it oxygen. Its strategy is pretty effective.
    And, Abbott lied and lies about the lies. Q.E.D.

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    1. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      On the other hand ignoring this "nonsense" is exactly what got us into the problem in the first place . Since the 2010 election Abbott et al engaged in a program of what could politely be called 'misinformation' right up to the election. The media and the public largely let them get away with it by not questioning their statements. 'Greg North' is just continuing the program in another medium. Continual confrontation is the only way of showing up the "nonsense" for what it is.

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    2. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      I would agree with that except that all facts and logic are either ignored or met with garbage.
      This entity is not interested in rational debate. Its function is to anger posters and disrupt any conversation not propitious to the LNP.
      It seems to work pretty well, doesn't it? What are we discussing here?

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    3. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      Actually Ron, the topic of this thread is about the lies and lack of trust being demonstrated by the current government. So on that basis, we have been sticking pretty close to the subject - especially when the usual apologists chime in.

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    4. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Agreed, Ken. I was having a little dig at myself - going off topic, trying to slander Team North.
      Is that a reasonable ambition?

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    5. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      No argument from me! Although Team North is pretty good at slandering itself - we just have to point it out.

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    6. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      Ronny, you are known as a failed porn star, but at least you had a go. I hope you remembered to wave as you would have got a thumbs up no matter how bad it was! Having said that, a really good account of the mess is succinctly summarized as follows. Take a read and really think about your reply.

      Bill Shortens hysteria over Gonski should fall on deaf ears because I'm certain my ears weren't deaf when I heard Tony Abbott warn Gillard that her proposed Gonski scheme would not be valid unless it…

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    7. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Gee, I wish I had your wit and wisdom, Pauline. not.
      Simple question: Did Abbott lie?
      Nother one: Did he lie about his lying?

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    8. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      I think you are creating you're own reality Ronny. Too much time on the porn set perhaps or just another day in the office. I think you need to re-read that summary. You'll need something better to chop into Tony Abbott than blaming him for the last government policy mess. At least they will sort it out. People are not stupid Ronny. Perhaps you can bluff a few readers on here.

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    9. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      That would put you in a precarious position being a failed porn star, if that was the case. I am sure you get the drift. You are the one that is not making sense. Perhaps too much sun in FNQ

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  16. Pat Moore

    gardener

    Of all the long years of relentless conspiracies and lies, the Gonski lie was the cincher that closed the deal and got them home and hosed into power because it tricked the confidence of masses of (easily fooled and inattentive) people. Murdoch's snakeoil salesman did the job he was contracted to do. The dopes/the duped are now being further insulted by their leader with this quasi reminder that it was their mistake, a matter of their failure to read the small print below the insurance policy's…

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  17. Henry Verberne

    Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

    A one term LNP government may be a long shot but their already very chequered record of broken promises, outright lies and playing fast and looseness withe truth makes it not somewhat more likely.

    This is due to Abbott duplicity and inability to admit he is wrong. He just piles lie upon lie.

    The Abbott government must have had the shortest electoral honeymoon in living memory.

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  18. Ken Alderton

    PhD student, former CEO

    Again I wonder where Abbot et al are getting their political advice. Is it coming from the Loughnane/Credlin/Textor group tha ran his campaign or is it all their own work? Where ever it comes from it needs changing - it isn't working. This Pyne strategy isn't working - the bulk of the media are emphasising the backflip just by rebroadcasting pre-election video clips. The Morrison information control strategy isn't working - you only have to read the transcript of the weekly prayer meetings to see that the journos are becoming pretty aggressive. If he stumbles they will beat him severely while he's down. The Greg Hunt - no go to International meetings, quote Wikipedia and no tell about Direct Action environment strategy is not working. Surely they are not so dumb.

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  19. John Pollard

    Casual Observer

    I say let em go as hard as they can! This is a one-term outfit. They believe they are our rightful masters and that any lies and childish namecalling they employ will be forgiven by a grateful and stupid electorate. The Goebbels technique is historically successful and when the lying becomes a mantra we should recognise what is going on, again. As usual, the Tories are wallowing in their propaganda trough. That's how they operate. We need to be vigilant enough to call them out on it at every opportunity.

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  20. Pauline Billingsworth

    Anthropologist at UOL

    Its sad that Michelle Grattan writes this sort of nonsense. At the moment, the LNP are governing quietly for the good of the country. I would be more interested if Michelle Grattan would write a piece about my the last government cut $1.4 billion out of education and dressed up a pig with lipstick and called it Gonski. The money is gonski, that was about it!!!!

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    1. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Pauline, why do you think Michelle Grattan is now writing this sort of 'nonsense'? Has she been recruited by the socialists?

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    2. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      But why Pauline? Why would Michelle do this to Tony? What is your theory?

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    3. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      Pauline if you write of a a government governing quietly for the good of the country, you must not be writing about the LNP government currently in power in Australia. My observation of our present government is one that is being obsessively secretive, and thereby avoiding any accountability. Its certainly not quiet. Overseas it is blundering into irritating our neighbours. Not quiet here at home either because there is a continual ruckus about entitlement theft, broken promises to spend the…

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    4. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      I would have thought the fact that Labor had cut $1.4 billion from education funding is really the issue the LNP are dealing with. I suppose that's lose change for those in academia and living off the public purse. Does that compute??

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    5. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      I suppose when you are fed a diet of spin and thought bubbles by a bunch of incompetent pollies and are now faced with a group governing with their heads down quietly, it makes it difficult to blog. I am sure they have the countries best interests in hand and I dont require a press release of every other fart made by a minister. I would be concerned why Labor hid $1.4billion in education cuts and called its program Gonski. That is far more disturbing.

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    6. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Yeah, how dare a journalist write an article about how the government lied during the election campaign and how they are now breaking an election promise - something they said they would never do.

      The audacity of those journalists! She wouldn't last long in the Murdoch press, would she?

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    7. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Well why don't they say so Pauline? Why are they saying that they didn't say what we all know that they did say?

      It's really funny when you trot out those silly old sayings about those in academia living off the public purse and who are you talking about? Michelle Grattan?

      And no, lol, it doesn't compute and I'm good with computers Pauline so perhaps the problem might be at your end?

      Any way about the missing money; are you sure you have the facts right here? Can you provide a reference to a reliable source for your information?

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    8. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Paranoia setting in...hmmm. Where's Labor's billion plus hidden?? Perhaps let's investigate that assertion... Still banging on about the Murdoch Press...definitely an ALP troll lol

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    9. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Oh Pauline how disappointing your repartee is :( Not nearly in the league of "Greg North".

      Clearly you are not one of Tony's women of substance. I bet you only made it to a state school and you'd never make it to the front bench, not with your sense of style. I can tell that you have no style from here.

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    10. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      Greg North?? Thank you for your critique of my good self. I find it mildly amusing and obviously you have been tapping that keyboard instead of basket weaving or sipping soy chai lattes in Northcote. Have a lovely day.

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    11. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      Julie, wash your mouth out! Pauline is an anthropologist, doncha know.
      She's a key member of team North. It's just her shift now.
      Tony's "women of substance" are all faeces in the middle, like the rest of us.

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    12. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      "....Where's Labor's billion plus hidden??...."

      You will notice - if you read the article for the first time - that this is about Tony Abbott breaking an election promise. Do you have anything to say on the subject, or do you prefer to deflect the conversation in order to avoid admitting something embarassing?

      "....definitely an ALP troll lol...."

      Troll lol? Is that rhyming slang, or do you have a stutter?

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    13. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Dear Pauline,
      The money was set aside for states IF they signed up. Some states did not sign up so the money was not "cut" from education but replaced in consolidated revenue. Had Labor won and had the other states signed up to the reform, their share of the funds would have been allocated to them.
      Just slinging silly accusations around doesn't advance the discussion. Did you think Labor had "hidden" the money under someone's mattress in case it was needed later?

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    14. Kerrin O'Rourke

      Vocational Trainer and Learning Facilitator at Workplace Training

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Pauline, are you deaf? All over the radio and TV - the money deducted from the planned spending on Gonski was deducted quite properly because it had beeen allocated to cover the costs of WA, NT and another state (cant recall). But those the planned Gonski expenditure. states did not join the Gonski program and, quite correctly, the sum was deducted from the planned Gonski expenditure. I'm sure you doknow this and you are just playing cute politics, but the reality is more serious. The special needs of children with extra barriers to learning than your average student will once again be ignored in education planning. The long term costs of doing this are serious - these kids will be the long term unemployed in years to come. The costs on the public purse will be considerable. People who play partisan politics on this issue - Pyne, Abbot, Hockey, you - will be causing this failure of policy and service delivery.

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    15. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Kerrin O'Rourke

      Probably the most accurate assessment of what has occurre Kerrin. Take a read...

      Bill Shortens hysteria over Gonski should fall on deaf ears because I'm certain my ears weren't deaf when I heard Tony Abbott warn Gillard that her proposed Gonski scheme would not be valid unless it was a truly national scheme.

      Gillard then tried everything to get all States and territories on board but she failed.

      The extra millions in bribes may have worked for Napthine and O'Farrell but it disadvantaged…

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    16. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Wrong Pauline! That $1.4 billion was funds ear marked for the states and territories which subsequently chose not to sign. Those funds were then not "cut",they were not taken up.

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    17. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Sorry, take a read of this Henry and why Abbott warned this would happen under Labor's Gonski thought bubble and bungling.

      Bill Shortens hysteria over Gonski should fall on deaf ears because I'm certain my ears weren't deaf when I heard Tony Abbott warn Gillard that her proposed Gonski scheme would not be valid unless it was a truly national scheme.

      Gillard then tried everything to get all States and territories on board but she failed.

      The extra millions in bribes may have worked for Napthine…

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    18. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Here is the best synopsis of the Labor sorry mess, that Abbott warned former Prime Minister Gillard of happening. Why should anyone be surprised?

      Bill Shortens hysteria over Gonski should fall on deaf ears because I'm certain my ears weren't deaf when I heard Tony Abbott warn Gillard that her proposed Gonski scheme would not be valid unless it was a truly national scheme.

      Gillard then tried everything to get all States and territories on board but she failed.

      The extra millions in bribes…

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    19. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      And you have no manners! How rude to do all those posts. Do you have issues with friendships and such in your personal life Pauline?

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    20. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      "....Here is the best synopsis of the Labor sorry mess...."

      The only Labor 'sorry' I can remember were the apologies to the stolen generations.

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    21. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      From today's online Age "This was money that Labor had earmarked for three jurisdictions, but had to withdraw because they did not sign deals with the previous education minister Bill Shorten".

      And your so called "getting on with it quietly Abbott has back flipped again:
      http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/gonski-reversal-tony-abbott-backflips-puts-12b-into-schools-20131202-2yl79.html

      Abbott should take up diving and ditch running; he could do a great back flip with Pyne (sorry Pike).

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    22. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      How cynical is that: "a second polling firm Morgan puts the ALP ahead of the Coalition" (Hugh Rimington, Channel 10 5 o'clock news) and then Abbott back-flips on Gonski? Pauline, your numerous posting of one argument reflects very closely the LNP government's explanation of why it again changed its mind on Gonski. Pauline, I think you have been outed.

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    23. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      To be fair though Julia Gillard made a few bad calls in relation to bad polls, and/or the need to appear populist.

      To me another reason why Labor lost.

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    24. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      What a silly question Chris - why the need to share anything in this forum. Cos we can.

      Can't remember details at this stage....but if push comes to shove someone will remember.

      From memory, ditching the carbon tax was one instance.

      And I bring it up b/c, politics is such a bitchy business, it's easy to gloss over duplicity.

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    25. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Well its kind of bringing up Gillard to hide what Abbott is doing now. It really is past history, like it or not. And when did Gillard ditch the carbon price?

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    26. Lynne Newington

      Researcher

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      I forgot to mention some of Abbotts contoversial speeches have been wiped since the election including the 2009 speech backing the carbon tax and a 2004 speech where he discribes abortion as question of a mothers convenience.
      How could he ever have been elected PM!
      Oh, that's right I've aready said that elsewhere haven't I.
      I bet none of Julia Gillards have, but then she's the atheist without Papal influence.

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    27. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Lynne Newington

      Lynne, I don't quite know what you are on about, but Abbott has ditched his own archives. I'm not sure the Pope could give a fig.

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    28. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Lynne Newington

      Unfortunately, they have been archived by the Pandora project over at the National Library. Perhaps funding for that will be terminated shortly in the interest of budgetry restraint.

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    29. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      You're right - it was Kevin Rudd.

      How can TA/LNP be hidden, they are right up front with their scramble at running the country.

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    30. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Well, its Abbott who is constantly hiding behind Labor. According to Abbott it was Labor who spied upon Indonesia even though he said he does not comment on security matters and never will. He also claimed that Labor was unable to get WA and Qld and the NT included into Gonski even though it was a political decision on their part not to sign up when Labor was in office. He is still pushing the line we are adding 1.2 billion dollars that Labor had withdrawn. And the 1.2 billion dollars will have…

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    31. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      agree completely.

      never liked them...but hoped for a better deal.

      live in hope - die in disappointment.

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    32. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      None of this die in disappointment stuff. It's people like yourself who are endeavouring to make sure that does not happen. As you say the hope is there and the vigilance and vision of people like yourself will make sure it burns eternal.

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  21. Jim KABLE

    teacher

    Tony is not vulnerable - the fact is that there is absolutely no way one might trust him - on anything. It's time for him to be sacked - along with Pyne, Morrison, Bishop - along with all the other rorters - currently trashing our nation - and worse - on the international stage. Lie upon lie - and treating the citizens as idiots! It can't continue!

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  22. Mulyadi Robin

    Researcher

    I am loving this whole debacle! Are we on candid camera? Is this an alternate reality of satires, or did we just all got put to bed and are sharing the same dream? Or did we all get abducted by aliens???

    This is political satire at its best!!!

    I mean - politicians caught with their pants down, left, right, centre.

    We've had the privilege of hearing about thousands if not millions of tax payer dollars go into magazine subscriptions (remember that one?), strip club trips, cabcharge misuse, business and first class tickets, then a few scandallous attempts at shimmying the leadership seats, a few very interesting public gaffes by politicians in the media... "islam is a country".. "jaymez diaz"...

    and Abbott... I mean.. how many of us really did NOT expect this to happen? I'm sure - at the back of our heads, we area already thinking along those lines... Him digging a deeper grave? You mean it can go any deeper?

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    1. Trevor Kerr

      ISTP

      In reply to Mulyadi Robin

      Right with you on that, MR. Can it go deeper? Good question. I hope Labor have realised that, for one thing, QT is a toxic circus and not worth the effort. Maybe they will put their resources into other areas of Parliamentary procedure, and leave the media to do their job.

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    2. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Mulyadi Robin

      Bill Shortens hysteria over Gonski should fall on deaf ears because I'm certain my ears weren't deaf when I heard Tony Abbott warn Gillard that her proposed Gonski scheme would not be valid unless it was a truly national scheme.

      Gillard then tried everything to get all States and territories on board but she failed.

      The extra millions in bribes may have worked for Napthine and O'Farrell but it disadvantaged Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory who had understandably refused…

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  23. Brett Hayes

    Teacher

    Look at your nearest private school and then ponder on this. My son's Brisbane based state school has had to cancel their art program this semester for years 6 and 7 due to insufficient funds for art supplies. Argue the economics and who said what and when, but the bottom line is that Gonski providied a model that would redress the inequity between the haves and have nots.

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  24. Janeen Harris

    chef

    The liberals want to remove the debt ceiling. If they won't pay to improve the education of public school children, what noble purpose do they intend to use the money for? Oh, that's right, they will give it to high paid women to breed the next generation of private school students.

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    1. Pauline Billingsworth

      Anthropologist at UOL

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      Janeen, here's the truth of the matter. Have a read before you next turn a burger in the kitchen.

      Bill Shortens hysteria over Gonski should fall on deaf ears because I'm certain my ears weren't deaf when I heard Tony Abbott warn Gillard that her proposed Gonski scheme would not be valid unless it was a truly national scheme.

      Gillard then tried everything to get all States and territories on board but she failed.

      The extra millions in bribes may have worked for Napthine and O'Farrell but…

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    2. Janeen Harris

      chef

      In reply to Pauline Billingsworth

      Pauline, you and the Libs can carry on until you are blue in the face. A lie is a lie is a lie. Lying about it doesn't change anything. If Abbot and Pyne can't manage the situation why did they say, before the election, that they could? Our economy was supposed to be in safe hands with the LNP. Now all they want is unrestricted access to more debt. Am I the only one who finds this disturbing? Or is it all the fault of the previous government, who prevented us going into recession like the rest of the developed world?

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    1. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      So the adults are in charge are they?

      This is amateur hour. But it is a smart move by Abbott as it should defuse all the justified criticism. The move will hurt Abbott's credibility and Pyne can only whine.

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    2. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Please don't hold your breath, Henry.
      We have another troll on the North team - spouting nonsense and lies but never answering a hard question.

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    3. Troy Howard

      Mechanic at -

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      Just asked it to be pulled down as spam, same thing over and over again - copy paste - copy paste

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  25. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    “We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made or the promise that some people might have liked us to make.”

    Like the fly in the spiderweb, the more it moves, the more it gets tangled up.

    So it is with LIES.

    The more the LNP MPs lie, the more lies other LNP MPs have to tell to get out of the mess they've created.

    Sticky mess this one.

    And what cheek, to blame a $1.2b 'shortfall' on Labor, when the LNP states (WA, NT and…

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