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March In March marchers can’t be seriously angry

March 17, 2014

17 March 2014

You must wonder if people really are angry, pretend to be angry or just say they are angry to get their heads on TV. As is the well accepted axiom on any political issue or cause, 10% of people are nutjobs. When less than 1% of Melbourne’s 4 million population turns up to that city’s “March in March” rally, it calculates to the nutjobs of the nutjobs.

For the March in March, 30,000 people were apparently “angry with Federal Government policies on a raft of issues including indigenous rights, education, asylum seekers, climate change and the tax system.” So let’s check those off to see if their anger is valid…

1) Indigenous Rights

Tony Abbott and his adviser Warren Mundane are pushing for recognition of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in the constitution. This is the biggest move since the referendum in 1967 that granted regarded Aborigines as Australian citizens. Nothing like this was done under the previous Labor government other than Kevin Rudd’s “Sorry” speech, which did nothing for aboriginal rights and little for reconciliation anyway. The marchers can’t be seriously angry here.

2) Education

The current federal government is matching the funding under the previous Labor government’s “Gonski Review”. More than that, it’s restoring the millions cut from tertiary funding by Labor that was never to be cut under Gonski. The marchers can’t be seriously angry here.

3) Asylum Seekers

Over 1100 dead under Labor. Detention centres over-flowing. It was enough for Rudd to start the “PNG Solution”. That continues under Abbott, along with the occasional boat turned around. Not much has actually changed policy-wise here other than a stronger endeavour of eliminating all deaths at sea and ensuring as few people as possible are in detention centres – as was the case under John Howard. The marchers can’t be seriously angry here.

4) Climate Change

The much deified carbon tax is still in effect under the Coalition Government. Under Labor, the plan was to scrap it anyway, replacing it with an ETS that would have a drastically reduced price than the fixed tax. If you’re not happy that policy was strong enough, that the carbon tax hasn’t stopped wild weather, hasn’t stopped bushfires nor transformed the economy, you are protesting the wrong people and should also have been more diligent at school with basic mathematics to know Australia’s true role in worldwide greenhouse emissions. The marchers can’t be seriously angry here.

5) Taxation

The Gillard government did undertake a tax review, and then promptly ignored nearly all of its recommendations, one of which is to increase the GST. As for the Mining Tax, it raised nothing. Removing it actually removes nothing. The marchers can’t be seriously angry here.

This March In March madness is not about anger. It’s not about serving ideology either, otherwise you’d be out slamming the Gillard government for its weak carbon tax, refusal to pass gay marriage despite it being a platform of the Labor Party, and refusal to enact many social programs like education and disability, preferring to throw these up as announcements in the final months of the electoral term to use as political footballs.

No, this march is not about anything of substance and meaning. It’s about bigotry – of the political type. The “wrong” government is in power, which means all our grievances suddenly have life. The anger manifests into a tantrum of resentment, jealousy and hate. We dare not march against our “own team”, oh no, they are the good guys. They get a pass regardless of their dubious and inept actions. We march because we are sore losers and downright political bigots.


From → Politics

  1. The problem was that people were duped into believing that Abbott could decrease taxes (carbon tax, FBT on company cars used for non-work purposes, mining super-profits tax), increase spending (excessively generous parental leave scheme) and still have a budget surplus.
    Now people are faced with a GP tax, an income tax levy and other costs that make them see how stupid they were to believe what was said. Taxing harmful things (cigarettes, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution) is a much better way to create a fairer, healthier society.

    • I doubt many believe anything that the politicians said. The last election was about finally ridding the nation of Labor.

      Most of those things are already taxed. Petrol is 50% tax, cigarettes probably 80% tax, and GST on just about everything else. Plus you have the basic price on any commodity that already acts as a natural inhibitor against gluttony. I don’t need a tax on electricity to make me use less. It already is expensive. Nothing is free. So all the politicians do is play around the edges and use a moral imperative to justify their tax increases.

  2. Allowing pollies to win elections by lying is hardly the basis of good democracy. Julia promised to introduce an emissions trading scheme but was forced to make it a fixed-price for the first 3 years. Anyone who calls that a lie, needs to embrace a higher standard of behaviour.
    It’s simply not appropriate to claim you can reduce taxes and increase spending and then pretend to find out a few months later that the figures don’t add up!
    Similarly, it’s utterly dishonest to claim that you can reduce GHG emissions by a ‘direct-action’ plan that has nowhere near enough money to achieve the claimed target. These are the actions of an out and out liar, or someone so numerically illiterate the last thing you’d want would be to trust him with the economy.
    Sure, electricity prices skyrocked. The distribution (poles and wires) companies are monopolies. They pocket over half of our electricity bills. The Senate Inquiry into the price of electricity found that ‘perverse regulations’ led to over-investment into electricity networks.
    Senate Inquiry chair, Matt Thistlethwaite, MP says that the inquiry saw many examples of infrastructure being built where it wasn’t needed. ‘We discovered a network business that had invested $30 million in a substation in Newcastle, and I actually visited the substation. It wasn’t connected to the grid!”
    “Network businesses that earned the most profits were the ones that ‘invested’ the most … So there was a perverse incentive in the system for an over-investment in the poles and wires, and that led to dramatic profits for those businesses”. In other words spending money (irrespective of whether there was a need for any new ‘infrastructure’) vastly increased the network companies’ profits, at the expense of the poor old electricity consumer.
    Poor and inadequate regulations created this situation. Voters were duped into thinking it was the carbon tax. What’s Abbott’s current response – to try and abolish the Renewable Energy Target, the only thing that’s helping to reduce the price we pay for electricity in what is a very complex market situation –

    In another post you argue against helmet laws, but forget that helmet law ‘research’ is fraught with the same problems – pretending that helmet laws reduced head injuries, without telling people that this was because of reduced cycling. Head injuries per cyclist appear to have increased both in Aus – – and NZ –
    If anything, March in March tried to draw people’s attention to the lies and spin, something that’s not compatible with good democracy.

    • Try being honest and you get slammed by the opposition. That’s the way it works with the current imbeciles in the house.

      Sorry, Gillard lied and kept lying and would then lie about her lies. It was a direct betrayal and a sinister act to get elected. Even then, with the voters against her lie, she still had the choice to postpone her emissions policy. Three years would not matter, nor would the greens ever force an election. It will be interesting to see if Abbott learns from history and recants his idiotic deficit tax.

      March in March was just the usual rabid partisans and political bigots out. The only surprise it took them 6 months, not 6 weeks. I’m a firm believer in democracy and do my evaluation of governments at election time.

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