Fear Of The Known Unknowns

Our Own Bloody Fault John Hewson?

Good Grief Charlie Brown part II is how Tony Abbott’s Liberals are not releasing their costings until Thursday before the election. I keep thinking this is fraudulent on the part of Abbott, but John Hewson was on radio defending this bit of ‘strategy’ (it hardly seems worthy of the word, but  there you go). Hewson, who was badly burnt in the 1993 un-losable election because he released his policy details sees that as a watershed moment when politicians realised that the electorate is easily scared and if you have policies, you’re better off not telling the electorate during election campaigns. We only have our selves to blame, reasoned Hewson.

You gotta hand it to old John Hewson. He did lose in 1993 well and good and thank bloody goodness for that. Aah, memories of Paul Keating’s “greatest victory of them all”.

I’d have to say while it sounds like some kind of causal link to the state of affairs today, I don’t think Hewson is right in drawing universals from his failed campaign. And all the same, it’s still unprincipled for Tony Abbott to be withholding his costings given that he’s been banging on about government debt and waste for the better part of 3 years and 9 months. Sure it didn’t work for John Hewson, but nobody remembers Hewson as a fraudulent politician. He’s accorded that much respect, which is why he gets asked by the media to commentate.

Tony Abbott on the other hand is firmly working with this notion that he won’t let us know what he’s going to cut to make his dumb figures fit. It’s game, it’s got chutzpah, but it’s an utter lie to suggest that this is anything but deceitful. And you know, this is the same simpleton that spent the last 3years banging on about the Carbon tax being some kind of deception by the ALP when in fact anybody with a brain understood that it was the price the ALP had to pay to form Government with the Greens. characterising at as a deception as Tony Abbott has done for the last 3 years must be one of the biggest con jobs in Australian political history – what little of it there is. So as it is with the completely cockamamie ‘Abbonomics’ or ‘Hockeynomics’ or whatever austerity-tinged idiocy they plan on bringing in, you have this layer of Orwellian lies to keep it all greasy so it goes down easy with the gullible electorate.

If this man wins this Saturday, I guess Australia has got everything that’s coming to it. Good Grief.

Then There’s Gay Marriage

While I’m on this wicket of calling out Tony Abbott and his indecent sense of politics, I want to point out that his defiant “people know where I stand” remark gave me the shits today. I know he’s a social convservative, a Catholic, an ethical midget and a moral munchkin from long ago but really Tony Abbott is copping out from answering why he holds to these socially conservative, Catholic views (views contradicted by the current Pope no less), and why there’s anything good with keeping gay people from having the marriage rights.

I’m not the biggest advocate of Gay Marriage rights. I just quietly support it from the side. Mainly because on a personal moral scale, I’m a libertarian at heart. I don’t think it’s the business of the state to dictate who can form marriage unions with other human beings given what we know of humanity and sexuality and psychology and history. If Tony Abbott is really going to be a standard bearer for these ‘conservative values’, he really ought to man up and spell out why exactly he thinks it’s in the state’s interest to say no to Gay Marriage. Just something that shows his moral reasoning on this is something beyond “because God says it’s wrong according to the Pope.”

What’s Really Going To Piss Me Off About An Abbott Government

I’ll be honest here. What’s really going to piss me off about an Abbott government is how he’s going to sell us this crappy substitute for the NBN. His promise is that the people who’ve already got it can keep it, but the roll out will stop. So if you wanted the NBN, but if it hasn’t rolled out to your area, then stiff shit you’re not going to get it.

I just don’t see how this is even remotely fair or as politicians like to say equitable. To use the Liberal Party’s own logic on this, quite frankly, I paid my taxes, I expect to be treated equally under the law. I don’t see how it is going to be equal for some part of Australia to have 100mbps bandwidth and other parts 10mbps bandwidth just because Tony Abbott says 10mbps should be enough.

Let me put this to you all another way. As good as it sounds, 100mbps only gets us to the level playing field of average around the globe. Google recently trialled 1000mbps =1 Giga-bits-per-second  in Kansas city. 1 Giga Bits Per Second is 100 times faster than what Tony Abbott thinks is ‘enough’. One Hundred Times!!!!

Google put in this network for free, and suddenly all these companies were starting up in Kansas City, trying to take advantage of this speed. Even if Australia got the NBN at 100mbps, it’s still only 1/10th the speed of Google’s 1Ggbps network in Kansas City; and clearly, there’s a well-established correlation between high tech industry growth and internet speed. There’s a tech boom in Kansas City just because Google put in this network. As the ghosts whispered to Kevin Costner in ‘Field of Dreams’, “build it and they will come”.

This is a huge issue if Australia wants to become the financial hub in the Pacific rim. This is a huge issue if Australia wants to move on into the post-mining boom period, looking for next areas of growth. This is a huge issue if we want to have technological relevance and industries that can deliver in a post-industrial economy. We can’t just be mediocre at this stuff, we have to be good to great. And all these things are challenges the RBA and the current ALP Federal Government understand. Does Tony? (Rhetorical. Obviously the answer is ‘no’. *facepalm*)

Thus I find it incredibly hard to stomach the fact that Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party claims to be pro-business but is in fact 3 buckets of Luddite and a sack of stupid when it comes to its internet policy. It’s not surprising given their idiotic stance on climate change, but that is another issue. Yes, I’m pissed off about this more than just about any other aspect of their idiotic, as-yet-un-costed policy platform, and by extension I’m very angry at a middle Australia who want to vote in this lot. As Homer Simpson once asked the Guru on top of the mountains, “I mean, really? Really, really? Really, really, really?”

Seriously folks, if there’s one – and only one – point of differentiation that matters to the future of the Australian industrial landscape, it’s the NBN. Not the Carbon Tax, not Gay Marriage, not Industrial relations and not even the possible hiking of the GST. It’s the NBN.

So save the NBN: Don’t vote for the Libs. Everything else is either slamming the gate after the horse has bolted or fighting the tide of history. The NBN. Remember that when you go to the poll booths.

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