STIMULUS BLOCKED: New love blooms in Senate

mrx The Age’s Katharine Murphy was instructed to do a colour piece on the blocking of the government’s stimulus plan.

So she made it as colourful as possible and left us with a disturbing thought:

The idiosyncratic Tasmanian Liberal Eric Abetz, who had spent much of the morning rambling to no one in particular about Prime Minster Kevin Rudd and heavy machinery, looked at Xenophon — disconcertingly — with something close to man love.

And just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Both of course are happily married men. Although Xenophon sports a fine Zoolander pout and adopts a well honed head tilt of compassion in many photographs.

On a more serious note, the Rudd plan does seem to be oddly similar to the Obama stimulus plan both in relative size and where the money will be spent. School modernisation is very important of course but we wonder about the efficacy of spending endlessly on bricks and mortar in education when those facilities sit empty much of the time. We should have world-class facilities but we also need to focus on world-class education outcomes and accountability.

And in a world where the opportunity to deliver some – not all – education through online delivery exponentially increases, we need to think carefully about how education money is spent.

We also question the timing of the package too, it seems to us – and to most observers – that the Americans are a lot further down the recession road than we are. Strategic government spending on things that could boost our productive capacity is fine with us, but we might come to regret spending too much too soon and spending it on the wrong things.

For all the money being spent on social programmes and hand-outs, we wonder why it couldn’t have been spent on increasing our internet capacity to a world-class standard. That labour intensive and enormous undertaking of delivering fibre to homes and businesses throughout the country could have been a gift that kept on giving for the Australian economy.

This once in a lifetime crisis could have been a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand the nation’s capacity to create wealth. Instead, it seems to us, it’s being spent on a raft of measures calculated to win the next election.

And for all of Malcolm Turnbull’s faux piety about avoiding debt to pass on to Aussie kids, we suspect he’d do much the same.


11.30AM UPDATE: As our ever-accurate sources suggested, the stimulus plan will pass this week after all. Xenophon has relaxed his pout and has done a deal to reduce the $950 hand-out to $900 to give to Murray-Darling river projects championed by the South Australian Senator.



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12 responses to “STIMULUS BLOCKED: New love blooms in Senate

  1. ahem

    back to Beasley’s “University of the Internet” eh Andy? it was good enough to you to get a free education, but you’re a penny pinching bastard when it comes to the generation who come after you


    Free education? HECS was very much in operation in my day, young whipper-snapper.

  3. Anonymous

    11.30AM UPDATE: As our ever-accurate sources suggested, the stimulus plan will pass this week after all.

    That’s a big call coming half-an-hour after Reuters, Dow Jones, AAP, the SMH, the ABC and SKY News reported Xenophon reached a deal.

    VEXNEWS: LOL, in fact he publicly announced it on Sky, to which we were listening in the absence of more compelling entertainment offerings. In our front-page summary of the story published early this morning we asserted the deal would pass and feel quite comfortable thanking our sources for being correct, as they so often are. Socialists can be so nasty.

  4. Anonymous

    Xenophon is OK. Julia Gillard was brilliant last night on Lateline. It is the Liberals who are against the package. Xenophon is realistic and sensible. He is a genuine independent and he plays hard but he is reasonable and he can be negotiated with, and so can Fielding. It’s the Liberals who are so obnoxious.

    Eric Abetz is the nephew of Oto Abetz, the German Ambassador to France (Vichy France that is) during World War 2. Abetz was jailed after the war, and died in a car accident in the 1950s.

  5. Anonymous

    You mean Oto, not Eric. Eric is very much still alive. It was Oto who was jailed and died in a car accident. There are theories that the French resistance arranged to blow up his car.

  6. Anonymous

    Danny Nalliah may not be able to replace Fielding in the unlikely event that he resigns fromt he Senate. Under Malcolm Fraser’s consititional amendment passed in 1977 you have to be a member of the same political party as the Senator whose place became vacant. Family First has had some problems of late and it would require Nalliah to be a member.

    Nalliah is a nut. He would be impossible to negotiate with. He also holds such redneck views. He is also a Costello supporter and believes it is God’s will that the MHR from the electorate where Diane Anderson used to produce Higgins News will become PM. Peter Costello that is, not Diane Anderson.

  7. anon

    Abetz loves it up the rear.

  8. Santa Barbara

    Are they the same “ever-accurate sources” that forecast Phil Ruddock’s departure at the last Federal election?

  9. Anonymous

    “A big-spending debt-inducing huge-ass stimulus plan will be eventually passed in the Senate reasonably soon.”
    Yep, definitive timing to within a millisecond. Was that from Sky News as well?


    LOL, no my Fairfax friend, that was written early this morning. Please get back on your medication.

  11. danny turd

    Nalliah is a fuckin rascist.he manintains that all muslims believe is domestic voilence. Burn the fucker at the stack. There’s not a christian thought in his body. Die danny die!

  12. BBQ Source

    Andy, you need to out Tony Barry as your source. I know he is on the phone to you all the time from when I worked in Senator Ronaldson’s office with him. Golly we did a job on Nelson didn’t we? If only I could get a blow job from Cwis pyne again my life wuld be heavenly.

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