WHY LABOR LOST THE 2013 FEDERAL ELECTION
(Or how they managed to throw themselves out of government)
It took a long time for the Australian Labor Party to lose the election of 2013. It all started way back in 2007, when Kevin Rudd started to dictate the policies and direction of the Australian Labor Party.
Firstly, he dismantled the border protection policies that had kept streams of boat refugees out of Australia. They began to flood into this country and placed a huge burden on Australians because money had to be diverted to build more detention centres and employ more people to process the refugee claims of theses unauthorised arrivals. They were then housed and given unemployment benefits, even when we haven’t been able to solve the 5-6% perennial unemployment problem in Australia. Housing was also subsidised for them.
Australia already takes in a huge number of migrants each year, despite the existing unemployment problem. This is another example of stupid and irresponsible federal government policy by both sides of politics. Both Liberal and Labor are morons on this particular issue. Why bring more people into this country if there aren’t the long term sustainable and secure jobs that they need. People may get a few months or a year’s work in construction and other industries but eventually that employment will disappear and they will be unemployed. Furthermore, a lot of migrant and refugee people are transferring money back to their old country to help support their poor families, instead of spending it here in Australia and boosting our economy. This is another issue that is overlooked by both major political parties.
This particular issue of boat people dominated the media for a long time and was a constant source of criticism against Federal Labor and against Kevin Rudd. Even when Gillard took over, she was too moronic not to realise how important the issue was to the Australian people. It is obvious that most people see it as a burden on the Australian tax payer and would rather see the money spent on increasing the old age pension or unemployment benefits of the existing Australians who are citizens of this country. Both Rudd and Gillard arrogantly ignored the opinions of most Australians and just let the refuges flood in. Later on during Rudd’s second Prime Ministership, some refugees rioted and destroyed detention centre facilities, causing about 60 million dollars worth of damage. This happened because they felt their cases weren’t being processed quickly enough and that they were going to be sent to Papua New Guinea. If Rudd was capable of coming up with some way of stopping them by using this technique, why didn’t he do it sooner. The answer—he is so arrogant and he thought Australia is so wealthy it can afford to spend this type of money on foreigners. But Australia was already over extended money wise. The federal government had borrowed money to pay for economic stimulus programs like the “Pink Batts” scheme. It needed to pay back as much as it could without cutting any other vital areas of federal spending such as health, education etc.
Now we move onto the other area of mismanagement. It is all very fine to stimulate the economy when it needs it but eventually you can’t keep on giving home insulation away to the population for free. The borrowed money has to be paid back, with interest. Rudd and federal Labor did not oversee this roll out of money carefully enough. There were con artists companies out there that put in bogus invoices for massive amounts of alleged work but did not perform the actual installations. Further, three people died on the job because their companies hadn’t trained them properly enough. The whole scheme eventually came to a halt because federal government funding was only planned to last for a certain amount of time. Then all these installers would be unemployed again. For all the money borrowed and allocated to the project, it was not going to produce long term secure jobs. The jobs disappeared when the federal funding ran out.
Instead it would have been better to re-introduce tariffs and quotas on imported products to increase their price to the level of the equivalent Australian made product. But both major parties moronically support so called “Free Trade” policies which stimulate the mining sector but decrease Australia’s manufacturing sector. Overseas countries buy our raw materials like iron ore. Then they sell cheaper made products back to Australia. Our existing manufacturing industries dwindle and eventually are re-located overseas to countries like China, Bangladesh, and India, Pakistan and Indonesia. This creates more unemployment here in Australia. Such policies may create a boom in the mining sector and on the Sydney Stock Exchange, but they destroy job opportunities in the manufacturing sector in Australia. The relatively small amount of jobs, created over the years in the mining sector, is small compared with all the jobs in manufacturing that have been permantly lost to China and other Asian countries. Some of the jobs created in mining are only during the construction phase of infrastructure building and are not long term, secure jobs. They are also located far away from cities, towns and suburbs. Workers are forced to relocate or fly huge distances to visit families. Previously, manufacturing jobs, in contrast, were located in major cities, towns or suburbs. Families were not disrupted or separated so much as with new mining jobs. This is a problem which stretches back even further than when Rudd started to dictate Federal Labor policies. It goes back to the 1980’s, when tariffs and protectionism was dismantled and agreed upon by both Labor and Liberal parties. This has helped to create Australia’s continual unemployment problem of 5-6 % unemployed. And which has never been solved for decades.
Then Rudd had the nerve to concentrate all his ‘intellectual’ powers on crafting a melodramatic “Sorry” to the Australian Aborigines about the lost generation. Get the economics of this country right first Mr Rudd, before you start to preach to the electorate about being sorry for something which happened decades ago. It seems he could afford a lot more attention to this issue than to monitoring invoice statements from companies claiming the “Pink Batt” subsidy. This just demonstrated how incompetent he and the cabinet of the time were when it came to important economic programs. They were more interested in making grandiose speeches and history concerning this “Sorry” statement, than with governing the country properly. That’s why they were criticised for the “Pink Batts’ Scheme. Money was fraudulently claimed by some con artist companies that had sprung into existence due to the generous federal government money available at the time. Rudd and his bunch of “heroes” weren’t looking after the supervision of government money being handed out. They just thought it would all work out nicely and that people would be honest.
Next Rudd pursued this Carbon Tax issue. It is not fair to penalise businesses about carbon emissions which they can’t do anything about. Businesses will emit carbon and as yet, there is no viable alternative to reduce it significantly or eliminate it entirely. Our power stations are coal fired. Thus electricity causes carbon to be emitted into the atmosphere. It cannot be helped. There are some things that can be done and have been done to minimise these emissions. But the tax means that big business just passes it onto the consumers as increased charges to products and services. Then Rudd gave people compensation for this increased cost of living. This meant he had to borrow more money or divert from other existing areas to give to the ordinary citizen. Once again, he was overspending and never going to reduce the deficit quickly enough. It was just growing and getting bigger. Businesses can only do something about carbon emissions when science and technology invents new devices to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions. Also, the Rudd government were focusing too much on climate policies and really sounded like the Greens had infiltrated their ranks. This happened because obviously Labor had done a deal with the Greens in the Senate to support these ridiculous new taxes. We can still reduce carbon emissions with out resorting to punishing businesses by taxing them for emitting carbon.
The trouble is with the Greens is that they think Government is all about the environment and taxing businesses. They will tax anyone and stop any new construction just to preserve the environment. In the 1980’s when the Greens were influential in stopping the Gordon-Franklin dam, Tasmania had the highest unemployment percentage of about 12%. Did the Greens ever apologise about stagnating the economy or keeping so many out of work, in Tasmania? They just think they are heroes because they are protecting the environment. There are fanatical minor parties in Australia that seem to have attained some sort of revered status because they always mention the environment.
Then when the polls started to turn against them, Federal Labor thought they just needed to invent a new front person in the form of a woman—Julia Gillard. But she still had the same idiotic policies that Rudd had put in place—namely the refugee/asylum seeker one which was causing boat loads of refugees to flow into Australia. She also oversaw the introduction of shifting single mother off the single mother’s payment and onto the lower paid unemployment benefit. This was unfair because many would not be able to find work because there was still a lot of unemployment in the country. These people hadn’t worked for a long time and their skills were few. Employers were biased against them because they had not worked for so long. Also, the children suffered because their income was reduced. There just weren’t enough jobs for all the single mothers out there who wanted to work and earn more money to get off government payments. They were penalized and punished by an unsympathetic and out of touch Labor Federal government that seemed as uncaring as a Liberal government. This lost a lot of votes for Labor and turned people against Julia Gillard. Furthermore there were other changes to Disability and Unemployment benefits. Some people now did not qualify for Disability payments and were shoved onto unemployment benefits. Some were so old or partially disabled; no employer was prepared to employ them. Whilst Gillard paraded her new Disability scheme for the severely disabled, she was making it hard for the partially disabled. And further, Centrelink made it more difficult for people to apply for the unemployment benefit by making them wait a long time on the phone and at least a week for an initial interview. Many people needed the money right away. They were genuinely unemployed. The small number of defrauders was nothing to the greater number of people that were genuinely unemployed. Once again, these types of so called reforms seemed like policies the Liberals would devise. All these welfare bashing changes caused people to hate Gillard and the Federal Labor government. How come they could be so generous with money for “Pink Batts” but so miserly towards the unemployed and single mothers? There were already techniques in place to catch fraudsters. The small number they would stop is no reason to penalise the greater majority of unemployed people. Was Gillard trying to reign in the budget deficit or something or just implementing policies to satisfy the middle classes who think the unemployed and single mothers are lazy and deserve to be punished. There was wide spread criticism of Gillard’s changes to welfare for these groups. Labor was being stingy to a powerless sector of the community.
All through her short stay as Prime Minister, Gillard did nothing effective about the arrivals of up teen numbers of refugees. She didn’t think it was that serious an issue. Rudd and Gillard may have done some very good things for the economy and the country but their mistakes were massive and so noticeable. They affected the vulnerable and powerless. Both Gillard and Rudd have now been relegated to obscurity because of their incompetence in government of the economy and social welfare.
One of the biggest stinking policies of both governments was this paid parental scheme. The Liberals want to pay a parent 75% of their yearly income for a period of 6 months. For some highly paid parents, this would equate to $75,000 for six months parental leave. This would also be more than what some others earned in a year or more. Clearly, this Liberal scheme favoured the wealthy. Once again they could find money for the middle classes for middle class welfare but were being stingy towards those who really needed it such as single mothers, aged pensioners and the unemployed. Both Labor and Liberal resemble each other in this respect. The only saving grace for Labor’s scheme was that it was capped at the minimum wage for the length of the leave. Even this was annoying because the middle classes were getting welfare which they really didn’t need. Those families on two incomes which were quite high would have enough savings to go on parental leave without being paid for it by the tax payer. Previously, one parent had stayed off work after the birth of a baby, to spend more time with their new born. Money was being taken away from single mothers and the moderately disabled, whilst at the same time generous payments were going to parents on leave from work. This state of affairs angered a number of people who were victims of these policies. Labor lost a lot of votes on this issue. If they thought they could buy more votes with a paid parental scheme, they were sadly mistaken when the election results were announced. Who were they trying to impress—middle class swinging voters or moderate Liberals. This overly generous welfare payment needs to be stopped and the money re-directed to where it should go—single mothers, moderately disabled people, the unemployed and to increase the aged pension for those with little or no superannuation.
There seems to be a dangerous idea that citizens are not entitled to welfare payments unless they have worked a lot or payed a lot of taxes over the years. Why should the middle class expect and be given welfare when there are more needy people who require it and have had their benefits reduced. These are the issues that angered the electorate and cost Federal Labor votes and electorates in the 2013 Federal Election.