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Peter Wicks looks at the change in language from Tony Abbott on core policies post-election and discovers even more for Jaymes Diaz to be embarrassed about, including the obnoxious behaviour of one of his campaign volunteers — the son of a NSW state minister.

abbott20
(Caricature by John Graham / johngraham.alphalink.com.au)

WE ARE sure to be hearing a lot about what the election results have told us and it is true they tell us many things.

Things such as

  1. People don’t like a Party where there is infighting going on constantly.
  2. The public don’t like the direction the Right Faction has taken the Labor Party.
  3. Even so, the ALP is still the most popular political party in Australia with the Liberals still having to rely on preferences from the LNP and National Party to form government.
  4. A look at how the senate vote has played out makes it clear that people don’t trust Tony Abbott and don’t trust him or his party with too much control.

The number of primary votes came out like this:


  • Australian Labor Party: 3,596,825 votes

  • Liberal Party: 3,369,726 votes

  • Liberal National Party: 927,826 votes

  • The Greens: 893,964 votes

  • The Nationals: 489,150 votes

Interestingly enough, The Greens, whom the Coalition write-off as a fringe Party, are virtually on par with The Liberal Nationals ‒ whom the Liberals rely on to form government as they are yet to be able to form government in their own right in my lifetime ‒ and more than 80 per cent greater that the Nationals, who also form the Coalition.

 

TONY ABBOTT AND HIS SIX POINT PLAN

Those who had trust issues with Tony Abbott didn’t have to wait long before their suspicions about his ability to spin the gospel truth were confirmed.

Tony Abbott hasn’t even been sworn in yet and already things are looking shaky.

Tony Abbott's “Real Solutions Contract” with Australia (pictured below) has 6 points or promises. As a leader of a Party of fairly simple MP’s and candidates, Tony may indeed be used to scrawling his name on contracts that simple, but none of these are backed up with realistic policies.

Liberals6PointPlan

On the "stronger more diversified economy" experts now say that there will be little difference between the two parties on the economic front with revenue and overall taxes remaining largely the same.

The surplus that we heard so much about is now becoming more like a pipe-dream, with Abbott in his victory speech saying that we will

“...be on track to a believable surplus in three years.”

What does that mean? Believable to who?

Ross Gittins when writing about the Coalitions financial scare campaign for Fairfax put it like this:

“I was never taken in by their [The Coalition's] five years of frightening the fiscally illiterate.”

We have all heard how Australia is now open for business, with Abbott saying that the mining industry will now be free to take off free from all those things that were holding it back, the mining tax, the carbon tax, all the “green tape” and so on.

Maybe Abbott missed it, but one of his biggest cheerleaders from the mining industry, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, CEO of Fortescue last year posted a record profit and paid out their first ever dividend to shareholders. Twiggy's dividend payout was a paltry $102 million, making it clear these miners are not doing it tough as Abbott would have us believe. These record profits, I guess, is what Tony refers to as closed for business?

The “carbon tax gone” was one of the big two promises. Something we have heard about for years and something that Abbott was going to do everything in his power to see scrapped as fast as possible, saying several times that it was his top priority. He was even suggesting a double dissolution election so he could get it through the senate.

Well, what a difference a day makes. In his victory speech (at just past the 4 minute mark) Abbott tells us:

“In three years’ time, the carbon tax will be gone…”

Three years? So, it will be something we need to wait three years to happen? And the double dissolution looks unlikely as it would, with the influx of even more minor parties and fringe candidates, more than likely make it even harder to push changes through the Senate.

If Abbott’s top priority and as fast as possible means waiting three years, I wouldn’t be holding my breath on any “token promises”.

As for "end the waste and debt"  what a grandiose non-specific statement. The only waste that the Liberals specified during the campaign, the ergonomic chairs, turned out to be a lie.

"Build modern roads and improve services" is another grand statement, but all governments build roads, even local governments.

As for improving services, we have already seen what that means with the Coalition Broadband policy. A slower second-rate service that will have a huge chunk leased from Rupert Murdoch and his failing Foxtel network, something that is hideously expensive ongoing.

There were even plans to censor the internet like they do in China and North Korea; we will wait and see when this idea comes back.

"Stopping the boats" was to be a huge priority. Abbott told us many a time how he would be straight on a plane to Indonesia to sit down with the Indonesian government and form a plan to stop the boats.

Well that has now stretched out from being Abbott getting straight on a plane to three years once again. So much for the urgency...

I also don’t remember "proven policies" that included buying boats from people-smugglers with taxpayer dollars. Perhaps Abbott is just keen to give the smugglers a second revenue stream?

As for the "two million new jobs", well, that has stretched out to “within a decade”. Although they misleadingly left that part off the “How To Vote” flyers (above).

AbbottContract
The contract, which is slightly different to that on the "how to vote" cards; note the "within a decade" on the last point.

Within a decade?

We could have had two or three new governments by then. What an utterly irresponsible promise to make and ridiculous thing to claim. In all likelihood, Abbott won’t be in power in ten years to need to explain why this promise was broken.

A lot was also said by the Liberals about a stable and strong government.

Labor achieved a strong government that delivered huge reforms despite a hung parliament, internal infighting, a hung senate, a hostile media and a Global Financial Crisis. We will see how Tony goes with just a couple of these issues.

As for a stable party, we will watch Malcolm Turnbull with much interest; Abbott defeated Turnbull as the leader by a mere one vote.

I even saw John Howard talking about leadership stability and infighting on TV on election night, criticising Labor for its leadership struggles. I have three words for John Howard — Alzheimer’s, Peter and Costello.

Although those who are in the Labor Party may be licking their wounds at the moment there is much to be thankful for.

The bloodbath and night of the long knives predicted by right-wing commentators did not eventuate — not even close to their dire prophecies of doom.

Tony Abbott’s first statement after winning in his speech was that The Labor Party’s vote was at its lowest level in over 100 years. This was a complete and utter lie.

It was Labor’s worst result since 1934, but that is not over 100 years by any calculation. This statement shows that Abbott is extremely comfortable lying — or Joe Hockey did the math again.

(Image courtesy @georgebludger.)
(Image courtesy @georgebludger.)

JAYMES DIAZ, JEROME SMITH AND THE UGLY BATTLE FOR GREENWAY

The wiping out of Labor in Queensland and in Sydney’s West didn’t occur, with key seats targeted by the Liberals ‒ such as Parramatta and Greenway ‒ holding onto their Labor Party members. Greenway in fact, picked up an almost 3 per cent swing towards Michelle Rowland, the sitting member.

The election day in Greenway, however, was marred by one incident of utterly gutless behaviour by the deputy campaign manager of the Jaymes Diaz team (something that he will probably leave off his CV).

The offender arrived at a polling booth in Lalor Park and started screaming at a female volunteer. He then proceeded to tear down signage off the fence whilst continuing to hurl abuse.

The target of this unprovoked outburst was visibly shaken afterwards and was clearly concerned for her own safety at the time. As was a Greens volunteer who was there with a child.

Ben McClellan of the Daily Telegraph pulled up in a car park over the road moments later and chased the offender down the street with his photographer. The offender however refused to say who he was, and other Liberal volunteers refused to comment or name the offender, with one only saying that he had tried to calm him down to no avail.

The target of the assault that almost turned physical had this to say on the matter:

"He started ripping them off the fence like he was going mad, like a bloody psycho.

"I am not here to be abused, it has just upset me. I don't like aggressive men, I am shaking. I've done this for a long time and I don't have to be abused."
ELECTION SEAT - GREENWAY - Ben McClellan
The thug flees the scene (Image courtesy News Ltd)

Once the photo of the perpetrator was released, it was reported by volunteer John Niven that the same man had been over at Metella Road Public School at Toongabbie, also yelling abuse and pulling signs down.

Another campaign volunteer, Michael Riley, remembered him as being rude and aggressive with people at Toongabbie station during the campaign.

However, he saved his biggest outburst and threatening behaviour for a female volunteer who was working a busy entrance on her own — real classy.

As this incident was all about signs, now is a good time to bring up another issue with the Jaymes Diaz campaign that was only confirmed today.

There had been complaints of Diaz’s campaign team erecting signage and hanging corflutes on vacant houses and council property where they are not allowed to be placed.

On Friday 6 September, I noticed signage erected on both street-fronts on the property of Blacktown 7-Eleven, located on one of the areas busiest corners opposite a homemaker centre a McDonalds and a KFC. It had clearly been there for days. I contacted the head office of 7-Eleven, who passed the information on to their regional manager for the area.

The signs were erected without any authorisation or permission, according to 7-Eleven. This means that whoever authorised the putting of signs on 7-Eleven’s private property without authorisation was breaking the law.

Below is a copy of 7-Eleven’s response:
7-Eleven

Could the mystery gutless thug who claimed to be Diaz’s deputy campaign manager have had something to do with this signage?

Unfortunately for this nameless gutless thug, News Ltd’s Ben McClellan did some checking and found out that he does, in fact, have a name, one I’m sure will cause further outrage.

I must also say at this point that I have, at times, been critical of Ben McClellan’s reporting in previous posts, however his reporting and investigative work on that matter have been outstanding, as was his bravery in chasing an angry aggressive thug down the street.

Also unfortunate for the spineless coward is the fact the woman he decided to intimidate was Nicole Scott, a staffer of the Former Premier Nathan Rees who is now the Shadow Police Minister. Someone who is not as easily intimidated as the type of woman he may usually encounter. Nicole has spent her career defending the rights of others and standing up to bullies, as has her boss.

This is not the type of thing that Nicole Scott is likely to let rest.

After some investigative work by Ben McClellan the offenders name turned out to be Jerome Smith — the son of NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith.

DiazAndSmith
Jaymes Diaz and Jerome Smith.

This is the same Greg Smith who vouched for paedophile priests and introduced the recent Victims Of Crime legislation that made it harder for victims of paedophiles to have charges laid, by changing the statute of limitations, as well as slashing the maximum compensation payouts to an obscene level that will save the church millions of dollars in settlements and leave victims feeling as if they have been abused once more.

Greg Smith may sleep soundly after being so generous to child molesters, however now his own son is in the spotlight, I wonder how he is feeling.

Having his own son exposed as a gutless thug and someone who is comfortable intimidating women may make him lose some sleep, as many will wonder where Jerome has picked up this attitude and type of behaviour.

Is Jerome a chip off the old block or the black sheep of the family?

Either way, if he is not banned from all campaigning by the Liberal Party, we should all see it as the Liberals endorsing aggressive and intimidatory behaviour towards women.

Aside from this incident, however, Saturday was a relatively peaceful voting day and this was the only incident in NSW that required the police.

JereomeGregSmithAuction
Jerome Smith (left) with father Greg Smith (right), along with the winning bidder, at an auction at which Jerome was auctioneer.

THE RETURN OF RUDD

The debate will go on as to whether Rudd's installation as leader was a success, or whether Labor should have stood behind Julia Gillard. Not that anybody will ever be able to produce a definitive answer.

My take on it, for what it’s worth, was that Kevin Rudd was like a relative that you haven’t seen in ages. You are all excited and happy to see them when they return, but the longer they stay the more you want to see the back of them as they start to irritate you.

 

LOOKING TOWARDS THE NEXT THREE YEARS

So now, if you believe all the spin we will have a government that:

“Says what it means and means what it says.”

However, when it says “immediately”, it means three years. And when it says “as soon as possible”, that also means three years.

It is no wonder Liberal voters I have spoken to feel duped and betrayed already.

We will now have a government of

“No excuses and no surprises.”

They are right on that part at least; I, for one, am not in the least bit surprised that no excuses are being offered for the sudden three-year stretching of what were core policies the Liberals were elected on.

It is staggering to think that Tony Abbott has started out his term as Prime Minister by publicly stating a lie in his victory speech. It is the only time I can recall a Prime Minister-elect beginning immediately with a blatant lie. It will be no surprise at all to see him continue that trend throughout his term in the PM’s chair.

With a start like that, it is clear when it comes to integrity in politics, the carnival is over.

Well and truly.

Peter Wicks is a Labor Party member and a former NSW state candidate. Read also 'Abbottalypse Now' by George Monbiot.

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