The night before Christmas

There is no polling to report, and I have my head buried too deep in my forthcoming federal election to report anything of substance on my own account. But with the announcement of the election universally anticipated on the weekend for either May 11 or May 18, a new open thread is very much in order, so here it is.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

801 comments on “The night before Christmas”

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  1. Bernie Sanders is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party and highly likely to be elected the next President of the United States.

    the candidate who consistently polls first among declared candidates, and who, in the first quarter, raised $18 million from an astounding 900,000 donors. He is the frontrunner for the nomination until someone proves otherwise.

    Other Democrats who are parroting his positions, often in watered-down form, have yet to dent Sanders’s poll numbers, even as more candidates enter the race. This is even true of Warren, whose ambitious policy work has surpassed Sanders’s in detail and scope (if not in radicalism).

    Reports of a decline in enthusiasm among Sanders’s supporters also appear to have been greatly exaggerated. His fundraising and poll numbers disprove the idea that he’s an also-ran. But there are other signs of his continued vitality. Despite his near-universal name recognition, and the media’s overwhelming attention lately to O’Rourke, Biden, and Buttigieg, Sanders has consistently been among the top three Democratic candidates in Google searches, suggesting continued interest in his campaign. Finally, he appears to be broadly liked throughout the party. A Morning Consult poll in February found that he was the second choice for voters who supported the campaigns of Biden, Warren, and O’Rourke, suggesting that support could coalesce around his candidacy as other Democrats drop out.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/153462/bernie-sanders-frontrunner-obviously?fbclid=IwAR0lo7czevyeunZjGl99VpgebN3LuXhUNmcPtXsnbEs6A2QQ4aYjCBhqfE4

  2. The federal government’s policy target on health care should be to make zero out of pocket, publicly funded health care so good that private health insurance is redundant.

    Resource the public system adequately, particularly at the primary care and community-based preventative care end, where you get the most bang for your buck and you reduce the burden on hospitals.

    Doing that, combined with some extra resources for public hospitals, will bring down surgery waiting times for public hospitals and render private health insurance largely obsolete.

    Each year there are about 650,000 medical (non-surgical) patients taking up hospital beds in Australia in circumstances that are completely avoidable if primary care and community-based preventative care are done right. These 650,000 avoidable hospitalizations contribute massively to the long waiting times for surgical patients.

    There is a lot of scope to render private health insurance obsolete. It just requires a commitment to using existing resources more intelligently and to adding supply to some parts of the health care workforce.

    Medicare is much more efficient than a private insurance company. Medicare doesn’t have to market itself, doesn’t have to pay shareholders, doesn’t have to earn a profit, doesn’t have to tolerate exorbitantly paid senior executives. The federal government has immense bargaining power with health care providers and can therefore put downward pressure on the prices that providers are paid.

    I want the federal government to fund counsellors, mental health social workers, and psychologists to the level that would permit universal bulk-billing of these services. It is a gross misallocation of resources for GPs to be expected to provide these types of support.

    My view is that the demarcation issues in the GP, the allied health care, and the medical specialist communities can be decisively overcome by a federal government that is prepared to flex its fiscal muscle as the most important payer for health care services, and as the ultimate rule-maker for the manner in which health care services are provided. The federal government has far more power than any health care lobby. The question is whether it has the vision and resolve to exercise that power to the full.

    In my view the federal government should not be squeamish about laying down the law to highly esteemed and highly paid medical specialists. The federal government has a much higher responsibility than any individual or professional body: to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians to the full extent permitted by our real productive resources.

    A good place to start would be for the federal government to consult, build consensus, and define expectations around what multiple of the full-time minimum wage is appropriate compensation for the services of the various types of professional in the health care system.

    In a monetary production economy it is important to be honest and upfront about financial remuneration.

    People of different levels of skill and responsibility and work ethic deserve different levels of financial remuneration. Our society’s deeply ingrained norm of fairness demands this. The real question is what degree of inequality is necessary and appropriate to reward people for their contributions to society.

    Perhaps a full-time GP should be paid 6 times the full-time minimum wage. Perhaps a surgeon should be paid 9 times the full-time minimum wage.

    It would focus the minds of policymakers and the community to define appropriate remuneration for various roles in terms of multiples of the full-time minimum wage.

    It is my value judgement that no work justifies an annual income that is more than 20 times the full-time minimum wage.

    It is my value judgement that no work justifies a net financial wealth that is more than 200 times the full-time annual minimum wage.

    I believe that our tax system should tax both income and wealth progressively to the point that any annual income above 20 times the full-time minimum wage is taxed away completely, and any net worth above 200 times the full-time minimum wage is taxed way completely.

    That kind of wage structure and wealth structure would provide ample scope to differentiate between different levels of skill, responsibility, and work ethic.

    Out society need not tolerate excessive degrees of inequality of income and wealth.

    Beyond a certain point, inequality of income and wealth undermines trust, social cohesion, shared civic identity, and economic dynamism.

    It is not in the public interest to permit unlimited incomes and unlimited wealth.

    I think that health care and many other public policy domains would benefit from frank and civic-minded discussions about money: how much financial reward is sufficient to recognize specific types of knowledge, skill, and work ethic?

    At present we obscure that issue. We are not sufficiently transparent about our incomes and wealth levels. Employers know how much their employees are paid but employees have very limited knowledge about the going rate for a person in their role. This gives an unfair bargaining advantage to employers.

    In a monetary production economy we cannot afford to be squeamish about money. A certain degree of inequality of income of wealth can be morally justified. But we need to be open about what that degree is. We need to build a well-informed and carefully discussed social consensus on these questions.

  3. Well done again to Shorten on the budget reply. There is now a pretty clear choice between a long term plan for the country and a tax bribe due in 2024.

  4. Still zero news about Australia here in NZ, except for procedural court appearance today for the Australian on mass murder charges.

    Top five stories on The Australian website spinning furiously against Labor’s plans – situation normal.

  5. There will be a lot of private vested interests against the Shorten budget. There will be fewer opportunities for the private sector to exploit if the public sector steps up.

  6. The Daily ToiletPaper stalks Zali Steggal, whilst blandly reports Shorten’s announcement. It was a mistake for Rupert to move his hatchet man Paul ‘The Ratbag’ Whittaker to SkyFoxNews.

  7. Nicholas

    The problem for governments will not be the ageing of the population per se, but as you point out the comorbidities of the baby boomer and subsequent generations. The most efficient way to tackle this is in primary care – I think the Scandinavian countries possibly do this the best.

    Aside from Brexit, the U.K. is in the midst of a primary care crisis, partly due to heavy-handed government control and over-intervention.

    Healthcare spending growth cannot continue to outstrip general economic growth forever, as is even now finally being recognised in the USA.

  8. Dr Stuart Edser @StuartEdser
    10h10 hours ago

    Leigh Sales, after your interview with Bill Shorten, will you on @abc730 be suggesting to Scott Morrison that not many people like him, that he looks smug and sounds insincere? #auspol #budgetreply2019

    I’d like to see that.

    Bill, after facing real people and unfair criticism for years, was able to remain calm.

  9. What a farce. And more money wasted.

    Lenore Taylor @lenoretaylor
    10h10 hours ago

    FFS….Christmas Island: more than 150 staff are guarding zero detainees, senators told

  10. Fraser Anning registers own political party, will run candidates in ‘most’ lower house seats.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/fraser-anning-registers-own-political-party-will-run-candidates-in-most-lower-house-seats-20190404-p51api.html … via @theage

    😆
    Senator Anning said on Thursday that his party would go to the election on a platform including a “predominantly European immigration policy”, the deportation of refugees, the removal of sex education program Safe Schools, and an emphasis on rising energy prices.

    Well, at least the party member register will provide the AFP, Home Affairs, and ASIO with a list of who to keep an eye on.

  11. David Speers…

    With budget week drawing to a close, the guessing game begins over when the Prime Minister will call the election. Here’s a tip: he’ll call it when he thinks he has the best chance of winning. If he waits another week, Scott Morrison can roll out taxpayer-funded ads about how wonderful the Budget is and travel the country on the taxpayer-funded VIP aircraft. But waiting also means another week of Senate estimates and potential embarrassments or bombshells for the government. My best guess is the Prime Minister visits the Governor General to fire the starters’ gun on Sunday morning.

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe declares that the days of tax cut elections are over. It stated five years ago with Shorten’s budget reply speech.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-days-of-tax-cuts-winning-elections-are-over-20190404-p51at4.html
    And he explains Labor’s big promise to cancer sufferers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/you-shouldn-t-have-to-sell-the-roof-over-your-head-labor-pledges-to-slash-cost-of-cancer-treatment-20190404-p51ay0.html
    Katharine Murphy analyses Shorten’s budget reply.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/04/labor-budget-reply-bill-shorten-pledges-23bn-cancer-care-package
    The AFR says that Labor has substantially outbid the Coalition on the cusp of the election promising a $2.3 billion Medicare boost for cancer treatment and bigger tax breaks for low-paid workers.
    https://www.outline.com/gm9Bhs
    You can have a look for yourself at how The Australian is reacting to Shorten’s speech.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/
    What Labor is offering will be attractive to many and one suspects the budget reply was just a down payment on more to come, writes Phillip Coorey.
    https://www.outline.com/TFJe22
    He says it’s going to be a bare-knuckle fight until the finish.
    https://www.outline.com/hULk2A
    Shane Wright reckons Shorten will reject up to $143 billion worth of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s planned income tax cuts, instead weighing up whether to offer middle income earners a last-minute election sweetener or use the billions to pay down Australia’s debt.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-will-throw-out-up-to-143-billion-worth-of-scott-morrison-s-planned-income-tax-cuts-20190404-p51asj.html
    Shorten has reaffirmed Labor’s plan to curb tax concessions for negatively geared investment properties if the party wins the next election, focusing on the concerns of young voters and first-home buyers.
    https://www.domain.com.au/news/federal-budget-2019-labor-leader-bill-shorten-recommits-to-negative-gearing-plan-816139/?utm_campaign=featured-masthead&utm_source=smh&utm_medium=link
    The SMH editorial says that even given the government’s failure to engage intellectually is giving the ALP too easy a ride there are serious questions to be answered.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/alp-climate-policy-requires-serious-scrutiny-20190404-p51au8.html
    The Adelaide Advertiser reckons Shorten has shown why Labor is well and trly in the running to win next month’s election.
    https://www.outline.com/ACrH3k
    Peter Costello has criticised Josh Frydenberg’s maiden budget for promising tax cuts voters won’t see for five years. He said the government’s income tax cuts, which take effect in 2024, were unlikely to be believed by voters.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/voters-unlikely-to-buy-morrison-government-tax-cuts-costello-20190404-p51avu.html
    Abul Rizvi asks if to deliver the forecast surpluses the government demanded, did Treasury have no choice but to assume a much faster rate of population growth, even if this contradicted the Prime Minister’s congestion-busting rhetoric?
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/dodgy-population-assumptions-crucial-to-budget-figuring-20190404-p51ame.html
    Politics professor Carol Johnson is of the opinion that Shorten has used his budget reply speech to reframe the economic debate.
    https://theconversation.com/shorten-uses-budget-reply-speech-to-reframe-the-economic-debate-114607
    Michelle Grattan says that Shorten’s tactical play has foiled Morrison’s budget’s tax pitch
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-bill-shortens-tactical-play-foils-budgets-tax-pitch-114920
    Tony Wright farewells what was a truly weird Parliament.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/farewell-to-what-was-a-truly-weird-parliament-20190404-p51awj.html
    Facebook has announced it will restrict “political” ads from being bought by non-Australians during the election campaign, but will not be rolling out other key political ad transparency features used in other countries until after the election.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/apr/05/australian-election-facebook-restricts-foreign-political-ads-but-resists-further-transparency
    The Australian tells us about a bit of a schism within the Coalition over the Adani project.
    https://www.outline.com/dqF59x
    Kathrine Murphy writes that Julie Bishop headed for the exit as Pyne’s final bow added to parliamentary tragicomedy.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/04/julie-bishop-heads-for-the-exit-as-pynes-final-bow-adds-to-parliamentary-tragicomedy
    Michael Koziol tells us about even more disgusting waste on Christmas Island for the purpose of base political manoeuvre.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/just-one-person-brought-to-australia-under-refugee-medical-transfer-laws-20190404-p51apu.html
    A few short weeks after announcing it would reopen Christmas Island Detention Centre, the Government will now “save” around $1 billion by closing it again. To date, not one asylum seeker has been sent there and this little exercise will still cost taxpayers in the vicinity of $185.2 million. But what’s $185 million between friends and Newstart recipients?
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/christmas-island-the-185-million-unhinged-stunt,12539
    The Morrison government has lost a bid to allow MPs to use taxpayer-funded electoral allowances to pay for TV and radio advertisements during the looming federal election campaign. Late last night – in one of this parliament’s last votes before the election is called – the Senate dumped a government regulation allowing $22 million of public money to be used for political ads in the lead up to May’s federal poll.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/04/04/election-ads-mps-allowances/
    The latest Budget reflects the short-term policies of the LNP Government, while long-term policies such as the NBN are ignored, writes Paul Budde.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/budget-2019-short-term-sugar-hits-without-national-long-term-vision,12538
    Bank lending to small business is sliding, according to analysis of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s credit data. Falling house prices are a key part of the problem.
    https://www.outline.com/mgjt48
    Mike Bruce tells Frydenberg he’s dreamin’ when he says the government will eliminate debt by 2029/30.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2019/04/03/government-paying-off-net-debt/
    Australia is falling behind other countries on a range of economic metrics. Alan Austin reports on Budget 2019 and the country’s performance against its global peers.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/compared-with-the-rest-of-the-world-australias-economy-has-deteriorated-badly-across-the-board/
    Professor of workplace law Anthony Forsyth calls for a zero tolerance approach to wage rip offs.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/our-culture-of-underpayment-must-be-eradicated-20190319-p515e2.html
    A billion more people will be newly exposed to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever as global warming hits its stride over the next 60 years, according to modelling by US researchers.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2019/04/04/dengue-fever-billion-new-cases/
    Greg Barns points out why a public register of child sex offenders will do more harm than good.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-public-register-of-child-sex-offenders-will-do-more-harm-than-good-20190404-p51aox.html
    The tactics used by the Department of Human Services in its debt-recovery scheme are set to land the department in court, with a former chief Crown prosecutor planning to challenge their legal basis in the Federal Court.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/i-thought-it-was-a-hoax-when-centrelink-tells-you-your-son-doesn-t-exist-20190402-p519wx.html
    Adele Ferguson reckons the IOOF changes are not nearly radical enough.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/ioof-changes-not-nearly-radical-enough-20190404-p51aqh.html
    Cole Latimer reports that big power companies and energy experts are saying daily interventions in the grid are a temporary situation and the risks are being managed.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/alert-but-not-alarmed-energy-industry-plays-down-grid-intervention-20190404-p51ao4.html
    Ray Hadley is the subject of a fresh internal investigation at 2GB after a colleague came forward in recent days with new allegations of workplace bullying.
    https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/ray-hadley-under-investigation-for-fresh-bullying-claims-at-2gb-20190404-p51ava.html
    It seems Ethiopian Airlines pilots followed proper guidance in the fatal crash of a Boeing MAX 8 airplane last month.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/preliminary-report-into-ethiopian-airlines-flight-302-crash-released-20190404-p51azh.html

    Cartoon Corner

    With these two efforts David Rowe goes the full Borat.


    David Pope calls time on the 45th parliament.

    Caty Wilcox compares budgetary positions.

    From Matt Golding.




    Simon Letch on election day.

    Jim Pavlidis and budget projections.

    John Shakespeare at the right end of politics.

    Zanetti wheels out Bob Hawke.

    Glen Le Lievre sums up the Coalition budget.

    Sean Leahy with the new Borat.

    Johannes Leak gets right behind The Australian’s front page.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/2c702b3887ce42dd52e01af1cc2e844a?width=480

    From the US.





  13. I like the ALP policy of reducing out of pocket costs for cancer patients.

    I think the goal should be even more ambitious than that: to abolish out of pocket health care costs entirely.

    The federal government’s policy target on health care should be to make zero out of pocket, publicly funded health care so good that private health insurance is redundant.

    Resource the public system adequately, particularly at the primary care and community-based preventative care end, where you get the most bang for your buck.

    Doing that, combined with some extra resources for public hospitals, will bring down surgery waiting times in public hospitals and render private health insurance largely obsolete.

    There were more than 715,000 potentially preventable hospitalisations in 2016–17 if primary care and community-based preventative care had been done right. Around 6% of all hospitalisations were potentially preventable. More than 9% of all hospital bed days were for potentially preventable hospitalisations. These 715,000 avoidable hospitalizations contribute massively to the long waiting times for surgical patients. (Source: Potentially preventable hospitalisations in Australia by small geographic areas. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 4th February 2019)
    https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/primary-health-care/potentially-preventable-hospitalisations/contents/overview

    There is a lot of scope to render private health insurance obsolete. It just requires a commitment to using existing resources more intelligently and to adding supply to some parts of the health care workforce.

    Medicare is much more efficient than a private insurance company. Medicare doesn’t have to market itself, doesn’t have to pay shareholders, doesn’t have to earn a profit, doesn’t have to tolerate exorbitantly paid senior executives. Medicare has overheads of 4% compared with the private health insurance industry’s 14%. (Source: Ian McAuley. page 7 of The Unbearable Weirdness Of Health Care. March 2018.
    http://www.ianmcauley.com/academic/confs/weirdhealthcare.pdf

    The federal government has immense bargaining power with health care providers and can therefore put downward pressure on the prices that providers are paid.

    I want the federal government to fund counsellors, mental health social workers, and psychologists to the level that would permit universal bulk-billing of these services. It is a gross misallocation of resources for GPs to be expected to provide these types of support.

    My view is that the demarcation issues in the GP, the allied health care, and the medical specialist communities can be decisively overcome by a federal government that is prepared to flex its fiscal muscle as the most important payer for health care services, and as the ultimate rule-maker for the manner in which health care services are provided. The federal government has far more power than any health care lobby. The question is whether it has the vision and resolve to exercise that power to the full.

    In my view the federal government should not be squeamish about laying down the law to highly esteemed and highly paid medical specialists. The federal government has a much higher responsibility than any individual or professional body: to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians to the full extent permitted by our real productive resources.

    A good place to start would be for the federal government to consult, build consensus, and define expectations around what multiple of the full-time minimum wage is appropriate compensation for the services of the various types of professional in the health care system.

    In a monetary production economy it is important to be honest and upfront about financial remuneration.

    People of different levels of skill and responsibility and work ethic deserve different levels of financial remuneration. Our society’s deeply ingrained norm of fairness demands this. The real question is what degree of inequality is necessary and appropriate to reward people for their contributions to society.

    Perhaps a full-time GP should be paid 6 times the full-time minimum wage. Perhaps a surgeon should be paid 9 times the full-time minimum wage.

    It would focus the minds of policymakers and the community to define appropriate remuneration for various roles in terms of multiples of the full-time minimum wage.

    It is my value judgement that no work justifies an annual income that is more than 20 times the full-time minimum wage.

    It is my value judgement that no work justifies a net financial wealth that is more than 200 times the full-time annual minimum wage.

    I believe that our tax system should tax both income and wealth progressively to the point that any annual income above 20 times the full-time minimum wage is taxed away completely, and any net worth above 200 times the full-time minimum wage is taxed way completely.

    That kind of wage structure and wealth structure would provide ample scope to differentiate between different levels of skill, responsibility, and work ethic.

    Out society need not tolerate excessive degrees of inequality of income and wealth.

    Beyond a certain point, inequality of income and wealth undermines trust, social cohesion, shared civic identity, and economic dynamism.

    It is not in the public interest to permit unlimited incomes and unlimited wealth.

    I think that health care and many other public policy domains would benefit from frank and civic-minded discussions about money: how much financial reward is sufficient to recognize specific types of knowledge, skill, and work ethic?

    At present we obscure that issue. We are not sufficiently transparent about our incomes and wealth levels. Employers know how much their employees are paid but employees have very limited knowledge about the going rate for a person in their role. This gives an unfair bargaining advantage to employers.

    In a monetary production economy we cannot afford to be squeamish about money. A certain degree of inequality of income of wealth can be morally justified. But we need to be open about what that degree is. We need to build a well-informed and carefully discussed social consensus on these questions.

    The constraint on the federal government’s spending is real resource availability and inflation risk, not solvency risk. The federal government should therefore be the single payer for essential public goods such as health care. Out of pocket costs for health care do not serve a useful purpose. We do not want to deter people from seeking care that they need. Co-payments deter significant percentages of people from seeking care that could prevent more severe and more complex health conditions from emerging. (Source: Jennifer Doggett. Empty Pockets: Why Co-payments Are Not The Solution. March 2014. pages 18-21)

    So I think that zero out of pocket costs for health care services should be the federal government’s policy target. The federal government has a range of options and trade-offs to consider and powerful policy levers at its disposal to achieve that target. The goal is realistic. The federal government should go for it.

  14. Nicholas, can I tell you, as someone who has parents that have paid for and used Private Health all their lives and as someone who has had one procedure and stay in a Private Hospital herself, that there is no way that our Public Hospital system could make the sort of changes that would make every Public Hospital a Private Hospital.

    Every room is a single room. With its own en suite and balcony. Higher nurse to patient ratios and the equivalent of a restaurant kitchen providing all meals freshly-cooked on site. All the therapists you need for your recovery. Including Aromatherapy and Yoga. You get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.

    I don’t think the taxpayers of Australia want their Medicare Levy increased to cover all that.

  15. Morning bludgers

    Dramas aplenty for OH this morning. Warehouse not far from where he was this morning. Forklift had some type of blowout and ignited a fire. The guy on forklift was able to get out including other staff.
    It is a massive fire with heaps of chemicals. Apparently the EPA revoked their licence only other day.

    Heaps of emergency vehicles from my neck of woods made their way too.

  16. “Bernie Sanders is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party and highly likely to be elected the next President of the United States.”

    I was going to say that you are four days late, but realised that every day is April Fools Day for you Nicholas. Carry on.

  17. “And The SmearStralian’s 20,000 subscribers deserve better than this pathetic attempt at KillBill”

    No they don’t.

  18. How should i respond to this from the mother in law. ……PM Arden ( after i said how impressive she has been) should not of worn the scarf on her head as it endorses oppression of women ( please note my mother in law is by no needs someone who usually shows this concern but to me it is an opportunity to be seen to be having a ‘righteous intelligent’ crack) ?????

    All i could say was lets leave that there

  19. Scout

    If that is the take out your mother in law took out of this horrible event, best to say nothing at all. Some people cant be helped

  20. Fran should ask Bill why Napoleon is his personal hero. Considering that Napoleon emerged from a reactionary military junta following the French revolution. Had himself crowned Emperor, invaded most of Europe, install a first rate police state in France and killed millions of people in his quest for power. He was the Hitler of the 19th century. I would be interested in the answer.

  21. Appropriation of public funds for their own benefit continues to run through the varied strata of liberal governments. Last night saw a tv ad saying the program was sponsored by the SA government & then an electioneering list of what they consider their achievements.

  22. C@tmomma @ #2283 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 4:19 am

    Nicholas, can I tell you, as someone who has parents that have paid for and used Private Health all their lives and as someone who has had one procedure and stay in a Private Hospital herself, that there is no way that our Public Hospital system could make the sort of changes that would make every Public Hospital a Private Hospital.

    Every room is a single room. With its own en suite and balcony. Higher nurse to patient ratios and the equivalent of a restaurant kitchen providing all meals freshly-cooked on site. All the therapists you need for your recovery. Including Aromatherapy and Yoga. You get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.

    I don’t know what private hospital you’ve stayed in C@t, that doesn’t generally describe any of the four private hospitals in WA I’ve been a multi night guest of. I’ve been a multi night guest of two public hospitals too.

    Pretty much the only difference is the decor and whether you get a bill at the end or not.

  23. nath beginning the day with more irrelevant bs about Bill Shorten. I know he’s trying to convince the unseen lurkers out there but I hazard a guess they’re laughing at him, not Bill Shorten.

  24. There are some interesting Napoleonic connections with Australia. Josephine was fascinated with Australian fauna and flora, and had a collection of Australian native plants and animals, including kangaroos and black swans.

    There are some exquisite paintings of Australian natives by the famous rose painter, Redoute.

  25. lizzie @ #10 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 3:27 am

    Dr Stuart Edser @StuartEdser
    10h10 hours ago

    Leigh Sales, after your interview with Bill Shorten, will you on @abc730 be suggesting to Scott Morrison that not many people like him, that he looks smug and sounds insincere? #auspol #budgetreply2019

    I’d like to see that.

    Bill, after facing real people and unfair criticism for years, was able to remain calm.

    Millions of hysterical words would ensue from News Limited if this were ever to occur.

  26. C@tmomma
    says:
    Friday, April 5, 2019 at 8:09 am
    nath beginning the day with more irrelevant bs about Bill Shorten. I know he’s trying to convince the unseen lurkers out there but I hazard a guess they’re laughing at him, not Bill Shorten.
    ________________________________________________
    It’s not BS. It has been written about quite a bit. In fact a print of the painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps hung on his office wall from at least 2013 to 2016 and perhaps still does.

    “Not for the first time in these weeks, Shorten talks Napoleon. … But Napoleon is his hero and over coffee he once again cites the Corsican’s maxim: find your enemy’s weakest point and concentrate ” Faction Man: Bill Shorten’s Pursuit of Power by David Marr.

    Napoleon Bonaparte has looked down on Bill Shorten for the entire time he’s been Labor leader. And his horse. Napoleon’s horse, that is.
    Shorten is a big admirer of the little Corsican. When in Paris, he has chosen to dine at Napoleon’s favourite restaurant, Le Procope.
    https://thewest.com.au/opinion/andrew-probyn/shorten-tests-napoleon-tactics-in-federal-elections-final-days-ng-ya-110849

  27. If Shorten shouted as much, smirked as much and avoided questions as much as Morrison just imagine the stuff that would come from The Australian and Sky After Dark!

  28. At least Boeing has admitted they were at fault for the two plane crashes
    No comfort for the families of those who have perished as a result.

  29. Of course it’s not much of a surprise perhaps that a man with the intellectual range of a used car salesman has Napoleon as his hero. There are undoubtedly many hack politicians who probably do too.

  30. sprocket_ @ #15 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 3:40 am

    David Speers…

    With budget week drawing to a close, the guessing game begins over when the Prime Minister will call the election. Here’s a tip: he’ll call it when he thinks he has the best chance of winning. If he waits another week, Scott Morrison can roll out taxpayer-funded ads about how wonderful the Budget is and travel the country on the taxpayer-funded VIP aircraft. But waiting also means another week of Senate estimates and potential embarrassments or bombshells for the government. My best guess is the Prime Minister visits the Governor General to fire the starters’ gun on Sunday morning.

    Mr Spears is suffering from a failure of imagination. Stunt Morrison, like Brian Trumble before him, when presented with several bad options for a proposed course of action, has a track record of dreaming up an even worse one.

    Case in point is the budget in reply speech. Morrison engineered a situation where he gave the Opposition Leader prominent, nationally televised last say going into an election campaign.

  31. nath

    Yeah I’m not gonna be able to sleep at night knowing Shorten has the hots for a long dead Napoleon.
    The inhumanity

  32. C@t I thought you were the soul of working class Sydney. Something about Golden Grove. Yet you portray your parents as quite wealthy. Seems a bit odd.

  33. Victoria @ #44 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 8:17 am

    nath

    Yeah I’m not gonna be able to sleep at night knowing Shorten has the hots for a long dead Napoleon.
    The inhumanity

    Lol. You’re supposed to get angry and disillusioned with Bill Shorten and think of him as a slimy character no longer worthy of your support! How could such a man ever be our PM!?! 😆

  34. grimace, C@t:

    A tale of two hospital says for essentially the same procedure.

    Me: public teaching hospital in Perth – my own room, one week stay, all the pre surgery and post surgical care required whilst admitted (physio, pain management etc).

    A friend’s mother: a private hospital in Mandurah – her own room, same length of stay, none of the pre surgery and post surgical care required whilst admitted (not even a physio pamphlet to take home much less visits with the physio). But she did get a daily newspaper and probably a host of other stuff that was meaningless in terms of her wound care and recovery.

    I would choose to be operated on in public teaching hospitals over private hospitals every time.

  35. Victoria
    says:
    Friday, April 5, 2019 at 8:17 am
    nath
    Yeah I’m not gonna be able to sleep at night knowing Shorten has the hots for a long dead Napoleon.
    The inhumanity
    ___________________________
    Well it is a little odd. Bill is either a fan of Napoleon’s military campaigns or of his political dominance. Assuming that it is politics, 2 quotes from Napoleon seem apt:

    Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.

    If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.

  36. Under the Liberals we have become a can’t do country. We can’t have a world class NBN. We can’t have universal free health. We can’t have a car industry. We can’t combat climate change. We can’t have high speed rail. We can’t move on from coal. (In NSW) We can’t build trains and trams. We can’t process minerals or food. We can’t tackle the inequities of the tax system. We can’t take on multinationals who pay no tax. And on and on.

    If Japan and Korea could rise from being obliterated in war, penniless and occupied, to be powerhouses within 30 years- why can’t a rich, peaceful and free country like Australia have a bit more ambition?
    Fertile ground for Shorten I am sure he will use.

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