Tags: minister john howard

23 Oct 2007, Comments Off on Who do you trust to keep interest rates low?

Who do you trust to keep interest rates low?

Author: Helen

Why, J-Ho, of course! He and Peter Costello have been going on and on and … on about how interest rates are lower than they were under Paul Keating and even if interest rates are going up, well, they’re still lower than they would be in some, well, parallel universe where Labor is governing, and, well, did you know that interest rates are lower than they were under Paul Keating?

I’d got used to this as a kind of background noise while I got on with living, blogging and Howard hating, and it’s such a familiar cornerstone of the whole Liberal edifice, that reading this in the AGE made my brain go sproing:

The HIA-Commonwealth Bank Affordability report shows with house prices surging in the September quarter and higher interest rates, affordability fell by 2.1 per cent, and 8.3 per cent over the year.

First home buyers nationally are now spending 31.7 per cent of their income on mortgage repayments, the highest on record, and Melburnians are spending 30.7 per cent.

But Prime Minister John Howard said the affordability problem had eventuated because the cost of housing had risen sharply in recent years “and it’s risen very sharply because we’ve had very low interest rates and … people have been able to borrow a lot more and buy more expensive houses”.

Wh… whaaaa?… You wha…

So, let me get this straight. The proportion of our incomes going to house repayments is due to … those very same low interest rates you’ve been doing such a great job with?

So, in the Liberalverse, one can simulataneously harp on about the virtues of maintaining low interest rates (although everyone must know by now that the government doesn’t control interest rates any more) and blame the housing affordability crisis on those selfsame interest rates?

This is the same Liberalverse where we need to downgrade our wages (and therefore living standards) to third world levels to “become competitive” with third world economies, so we can, er… maintain our status as a first world country…and where all we need to do to develop our economy is to dig up and cut down more stuff, educate as few people as possible and make as few things as possible. All while foreign debt burgeons and everyone’s in it up to their eyeballs, but apparently that’s not a problem.

Do you see why I have trouble accepting this crowd as the party of responsible economic management?

Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

20 Sep 2006, Comments Off on Not over the top at all, really, not at all.

Not over the top at all, really, not at all.

Author: Helen

Declan the Work Experience kid* was on the job today in the ABC online news section:

ABC online news 20 09 2006

I don’t know who organised the Steve Irwin extravaganza funeral, but they seem to be continuing the trend to turning the death of an “ordinary bloke” into a complete schemozzle.

Irwin’s public memorial will take place at Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast from 9:00am AEST and will be telecast both throughout Australia and internationally.

A red carpet will be rolled out to welcome more than 1,000 invited guests and 3,000 people who secured free tickets.

Prime Minister John Howard is expected to begin the hour-long proceedings, which will be attended by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, zoo staff and friends of the Irwin family…

…The service will include a performance by singer John Williamson [BCIB: Hasn’t that family suffered enough?], but the identities of other celebrity guests and details about the order of events have not been confirmed. There will be a burlesque performance by Amanda Vanstone and Alexander Downer, who will don fishnet tights and balloons, encouraging the guests to pop them.

Actually, I made that last sentence up.

A family friend, showing an alarming irony deficiency, was quoted as saying “I think I’d like to keep it as a simple ceremony …”

er, yeah.

*Some people think Declan the Work Experience Kid is a figment of the GG’s imagination. I expect the GG to be on the red carpet, poppin’ them balloons.

Prime Minister John Howard’s office has denied allegations that he took instructions from broadcaster Alan Jones to reappoint Professor David Flint as head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA).
Rival broadcaster John Laws has aired an allegation that Mr Jones told him he had pressured the Prime Minister to have Professor Flint reappointed.
John Laws said on Southern Cross radio in Sydney this morning that he was at a dinner party with Mr Jones and others on November 28, 2000, when Mr Jones warned him not to criticise Professor Flint.
“Alan Jones then went on to say in fact, ‘I was so determined to have David Flint reelected that I personally went to Kirribilli House and instructed John Howard to reappoint David Flint or he would not have the support of Alan Jones in the forthcoming election’,” Mr Laws said.

Chris Sheil is sceptical: after all,

Why in the hell wouldn’t His Darkness want to reappoint ol’ Flinty? What kinda influence do you have to have to bribe Jack to reappoint an elitist, monarchist, conservative, flayer-of-lefty elites, pucker-voiced, aspiring GG, Alston-sympathising, Parrot love-letter writing, pro-government flunky like ol’ Flinty?

True, but the Parrot seems to have done something like this before. (Tsk, trust those nasty Reds to save a Guardian article like this one.)

Michael Costa…
last week replaced Whelan as Police Minister. [November 2001].
Costa’s ascendancy is a variation of a classic ditty: “The working class
can kiss my arse, I’m in the Parliament at last”.
Made a Minister after only 17 days as a Member of the NSW Legislative
Council (Upper House), appointed to replace the retired right winger Johno
Johnson, his unprecedented rise can be attributed primarily to radio
broadcaster Alan Jones.
A week before his ministerial appointment was made public, Costa ó with
the blessing of Premier Carr ó went to the Jones residence and over dinner
had a chat with the radio host and his guests, former detective Tim Priest
and Richard Basham, a Sydney University criminologist. The three have
carried out an on-air campaign against the way the NSW police force is
being run.

This is a sick person, and I’m not talking about Sedgwick.