Joe Hockey

Post #44 – Budgets, Brexits, Battlelines and Briefcases

There is a Civil War brewing. No I’m not referring to Yemen, Ukraine, the U.S or even the upcoming antics of Captain America. I’m referring to a Civil War over a quantitative expression of a plan for a defined period of time – better known as a budget.

Federal budgets are those funny things in politics that have the power to destroy – or further solidify – the career of the Chosen One that hands it down. A memorable budget is usually characterised by an image, a particular event, or a symbol. Take the example of the Abbott Government’s much-maligned 2014 budget, personified so eloquently in the grainy footage of then-Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann huffing down Cuban cigars. He was henceforth disparagingly referred to as ‘Smokin’ Joe‘, and his career prospects tanked along with the budget. The man many thought might be our future Prime Minister was undid by a shitty budget (more…)

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Post #43 – 10 Myths of the Australian Housing Market

Every time I try to suggest to my family and friends that the Australian housing market is in a bubble – the likes of which no developed Western nation has ever seen before – I’m dismissed as a bit of a ‘crackpot’. Amongst the sneers and chuckles, I’m told that the Australian housing market is ‘different’. Yes, different. What makes it ‘different’ is something nobody can really tell me – but here are a few of the excuses I’ve heard:

ARGUMENT 1: WE’VE GOT BIG HOUSESLargest in the world by some counts. According to our former Treasurer Joe Hockey, this means that Australia has a fundamentally different ‘asset’ class. Here’s exactly what he said:

A lot of Australians put a lot of new capital into their homes – renovate their homes, upgrade their homes – and we have the largest homes on average perhaps in the Western World, and the world more generally. So it’s a very different asset class in Australia than in other jurisdictions.

This means, naturally, we have to pay more for our houses – because they’re bigger than everyone else’s.

DEBUNKED: Hockey is correct in saying that a bigger house costs more than a smaller house. However, it doesn’t excuse why a median house price in Sydney is $1 million, whilst in Houston, a city of comparable size and wealth, it’s about $US146,600. Americans tend to challenge us for the title of most obnoxiously big houses in the Western world, so we’d hope to see some correlation there. But we don’t, the maths just simply doesn’t add up.

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Post #34 – GST From the Perspective of a Fluffy, Comfy Pillow

Hi there, I’m a pillow. Mr Comfy McPillow to be exact.

You may know me from mundane life experiences such as sleeping, providing comfort and support for a Netflix binge, or a weapon to whack someone over the head with when on camping trips. However you decide to remember me, I know you reminisce of me fondly. In fact, you may be taking comfort from me right now.

My mates and I come in all shapes and sizes plus a multitude of different designs, forms and levels of softness. Sometimes we’re just for decoration, sometimes we’re ergonomically designed for therapeutic needs. Occasionally we’re stuffed with something called memory foam, or feathers, or possibly latex and we can even assist with circulation and a good nights sleep. So yeah, we do heaps of cool shit.

But what’s the best part about being a pillow? I cater for everybody! ‘Leave no weary head behind!’, I always say. Whether you’re young or old, black or white, male or female, rich or poor – I’m there for you, I’ve got your fucking back. Literally!
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Post #30 – I Want To Apologise For ‘Fat-Shaming’

You might have missed it the other day, but someone in our Parliament’s Question Time actually put two-and-two together and queried something that I thought was painstakingly obvious. Greens Senator Larissa Waters questioned whether our ‘mad monk’ Prime Minister Tony Abbott (and other Catholic ministers like him) should pay attention to their most holy of bae’s when the Pope says it’s their moral duty to act on climate change.

The response to her queries went a little like this:

– Firstly, nobody even attempted to answer her question

– Then Attorney-General George Brandis labelled the question ‘disgusting’ (seemingly ignoring the irony of calling others actions disgusting whilst his own party does it’s own disgusting things like politicise a terrorist attack, or brush off the sexual abuse of children under their care… ya know, that kinda shit)
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Post #29 – The Real Reason Tony Abbott Hates Wind Turbines

Over the summer I drove past the Hazelwood coal-powered plant and adjacent open coal pit on the way to Melbourne. After Clive Palmers defunct Coolum Dinosaur Resort I’d have to say the Hazelwood power-station may just be the most hideous, ugly, obnoxious and downright backwards landmark in Australia. However, there are some amongst us who don’t seem to have a problem with coal-fired power stations at all. They happen to be the ones in control.

So when you think of coal-powered stations, the words ‘ugly’, ‘noisy’ and ‘visually awful’ are usually descriptive terms that spring to mind… unless you’re Tony Abbott. He’d rather apply such language to wind farms. You see, the captain of Team Australia really hates them, forcing commentators to come to the logical conclusions that he’s either in the pockets of Big Coal, a climate change sceptic or just simply an idiot. But the truth is actually a lot more simpler than that. He hates wind turbines for what they stand for, for what they represent. Let me explain… (more…)

Post #23 – Guest Post on UK Elections: Some Countries Do ‘Ave ‘Em

Although one can scarcely believe how the years have flown, it is indeed time for another general election in your founding nation. The last four years have raced by in a flurry of social media faux pas and Boris-baiting, and we once again settle in comfortably to watch the poshest toffs of Britain battle it out for a rather underwhelming island in the North Sea.

Our contenders this year are unsurprisingly the same poor old buggers from the last bout. In the blue corner, dressed head to toe in the tears of unwed mothers is the current big dog, David Cameron. Not content with a mere four years as the overlord of British politics, he’s back for another stab at the top job. This time though, I imagine he’ll attempt to shake off that ineffectual Clegg (who?) and run the gig solo. He’s taken a hell of a bashing in his first term but has impressed with his rubber-like facade and determination to convince us ‘we’re all in this together’. A man so convinced by his ability to connect with the working class, he was even seen wearing jeans in late 2013. His right hand man, George Osbourne, was given a smart phone in 2011 which immediately turned him into the next Cara Delvigne in terms of posting crap pictures no one gives a shit about. His attempts at being ‘down with the kids meets working dad’ saw him post a pic of his working-lunch burger; although at over 15 bucks for the bap (roll in English speak), was met with more snarky remarks than Joe Hockey’s ‘the poor don’t drive’ blasphemy.

In the red corner, weighing in with no discernible opinion whatsoever (more…)

Post #11 – Malcolm Turnbull Is A Wet Pussy

I’m going to start this post with a joke:

Malcolm Turnbull walks up to the bar on the second floor of Parliament House in Canberra. The barman greets Turnbull as he approaches the bar and asks him what drink he would like. Malcolm thinks on this a moment and says he wants to be ‘a little risqué’ and requests a shot. The barman nods in appreciation and requests to know what shot the federal Communications Minister would like. ‘A wet pussy‘, Malcolm purrs.

‘A wise choice sir’, the barman opines, ‘a shot with a name that truly encapsulates your very being, sir’.

I hope you all like my attempt at wit and humour. To those that don’t yet appreciate my whimsical sense of amusement, I’m sure you all at least got a hefty dose of the giggles watching the Liberal Party seemingly fall apart on live national television this morning. What I’ve most enjoyed about the whole saga is how much the Liberal Party seemingly think there are no comparisons to be drawn between what is currently happening to them and what happened to the previous Labor government. But the comparisons are seemingly endless, with factions being the most obvious factor in the highly entertaining #libspill saga. This is no difference to the left-right divisions within the Labor Party that destroyed the careers of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard – (and continues to hang around Bill Shorten like a bad smell) and the divisions within the Liberal Party; both are corrosive.

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