Tag Archives: the monthly

Better Late Than Never: Hartcher’s Conscience Jarred

11 Mar

At last, a journalist from the lamestream media spots the galactic hypocrisy in Wayne Swan’s rants against 3 local miners.

Without actually calling it that, of course (emphasis added):

Swan’s pronouncements strike a jarring note, for three reasons. First, the contemporary playbook for “vested interest” campaigning was written not by the miners but by the unions.

It was the ACTU’s campaign against Howard’s Work Choices that established the power of an aggressive third-party thrust into politics. The union movement’s $30 million Your Rights at Work campaign discredited Work Choices, forced the Howard government into retreat and, finally, helped destroy the Coalition government. In the final humiliation, it even contributed to Howard’s loss of his seat of Bennelong. Swan was a beneficiary of this campaign.

Second, the miners that Swan demonised are not the miners that successfully emasculated his original mining tax. It was BHP Billiton, Rio and Xstrata that aggressively campaigned against the tax and funded its $22 million worth of lobbying and advertising, and it was Twiggy Forrest who went into private negotiations with Kevin Rudd to try to reach a compromise on the tax.

It was the three multinationals that helped discredit the Rudd government, accelerated Rudd’s downfall and forced the Gillard government to come to terms. Yet Swan does not mention these three multinationals in his critique of vested interests. Swan does not criticise the “vested interests” to whom he capitulated but the ones who were shut out of the negotiations. He is, in effect, punishing them for continuing to complain about a special deal to which he would not admit them.

The rest of Fairfax political editor Peter Hartcher’s article is well worth reading too. Even if it does continue to refrain from calling a spade a spade.

A little tip, Peter. That “jarring note” you feel, is called your Conscience.

The polar opposition between Wayne’s words, and his actions, pricks the inner sense of right and wrong once known as “morality” that we all possess, but few (especially politicians, and journalists) ever seem to recognise. Much less heed. And even less … act upon.

For the full story on Wayne Swan’s hypocrisy … and treason … not just on the mining tax, but on the carbon dioxide derivatives scam too, see this blog’s writeup of almost a week earlier – The Galactic Hypocrisy Of Wayne Swan.

Swan’s Anti-Australian Rant A Smokescreen For Treason

2 Mar

Treasurer Wayne Swan has written an essay in The Monthly. Doubtless you will hear about it elsewhere.

What you are highly unlikely to hear, is Wayne’s essay being called out for what it really is.

An anti-Australian rant. And a smokescreen for treason.

How so?

Consider Wayne’s definitive paragraph:

But Australia’s fair go is today under threat from a new source. To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy. We see this most obviously in the ferocious and highly misleading campaigns waged in recent years against resource taxation reforms and the pricing of carbon pollution. The infamous billionaires’ protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago. A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest.

Note well.

Wayne uses his essay to single out and publicly attack three (3) Australian citizens.

All wealthy miners.

All … how shall I put this delicately … of ordinary physical appearance.

Or less delicately … fat and ugly.

Here is the photo used for the piece:

Billionaire activists: Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart. © Philip Norrish/Newspix; Greg Wood/AAP; Tony McDonough/AAP

Wayne has singled out this Terrible Three as somehow exemplifying the dangers of “vested interests”, a threat to “democracy” and “equality”.

Conveniently, Wayne neglects to mention a few relevant facts.

A lot of relevant facts, actually.

He neglects to mention that he and Gillard locked these 3 Aussies-made-good out of the behind-closed-doors negotiation of his “mining tax”, and that instead, he negotiated the design of the MRRT exclusively and confidentially with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Xstrata – the Big Three multinational mining companies.

He neglects to mention that the final design of the MRRT favours the foreign-owned multinationalsquelle surprise! – and that it will in reality act as a tax minimisation mechanism that will not “spread the wealth of the mining boom”, but will instead help the multinationals to increase their oligopoly, at the expense of much smaller Aussie locals like Palmer, Forrest, and Rinehart.

(Do you think that just might have something to do with their choosing to become “activists” against this government’s policy agenda?)

And the carbon tax “vested interests”?

Again, Wayne very conveniently neglects to mention a few highly relevant facts.

He neglects to mention that the Green-Labor government’s anointed chief “designer” of the Clean Energy Future legislation, Ross Garnaut, is a career Big Banker and a member of the Trilateral Commission.

He neglects to mention that the choirmaster for the “eminent economists” who publicly sang in favour of the legislation, Saul Eslake, was at the time the director of the BHP Billiton-founded and funded Grattan Institute; the former chief economist for ANZ Bank; and is now employed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch – a major player in the international CO2 derivatives trade.

He neglects to mention that Mr Eslake conceded (right here on this blog) that 7 of the 13 “eminent economists” who co-signed the Open Letter in support of the government’s plan to “price carbon” were current employees of banks; that 3 more were former employees of banks; and that only 3 of the 13 had no past or present associations with banks “as far as I know”.

He neglects to mention that Mr Eslake conceded (right here on this blog) that “..it is true that banks might make money from an emissions trading scheme..”.

He neglects to mention that just 3 days after the announcement of the draft legislation, leading banks were already announcing plans to cash in via a new carbon derivatives market, one specifically allowed by two tiny clauses buried in the 1,000 pages of legislation; a new market whose value (to banks) would, in their words, “dwarf” the value of the underlying market for basic carbon permits.

He neglects to mention other “vested interests” in our society too – like the unions who finance and rule his own party, and the banks who our major political parties rely on for loans to finance their election campaigns. Conflict-of-(vested)-interest, much?

Wayne has cynically picked out three easy targets to attack, in his class warfare-inciting rant.

Three fat, unattractive, wealthy, Australian Tall Poppies*.

Wayne has conveniently neglected to mention his own appalling hypocrisy.

And his treason.

Because when it comes to Green-Labor’s two big “economic reforms”, loudly touted as being in the “interests of all Australians”, the truth is that Wayne is personally culpable for selling out the financial best interests of the Australian people to multinational miners, and Big Finance.

Foreign-owned “vested interests”, whose wealth and power make our homegrown Ms Rinehart, Mr Palmer, and Mr Forrest appear mere paupers by comparison.

Treasurer Wayne Swan is a cynical, dishonest, anti-Australian, treasonous hypocrite of the lowest order. A disgrace to morally sentient beings.

He revolts me.


It is alleged that the Big Three multinationals approved the plot to remove elected PM Kevin Rudd (and with him, the original RSPT):

JULIA Gillard was “given the nod” by the big three mining companies — Xstrata, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton—to challenge Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership, knowing the advertising campaign against the mining tax “would be pulled”.

… The revelations come from an article written by Mr Rudd’s friend and actor Rhys Muldoon, published in the latest issue of The Monthly magazine.

Immediately after the coup, Wayne and new PM Julia went behind closed doors with the Big 3 – and only the Big 3 – and quickly locked in a new deal before the election. One that the Big 3 foreigners are “happy with”.

And yet, Wayne Swan has the unmitigated gall to author a rant singling out and publicly vilifying 3 of our homegrown Aussie miners as the “dangerous” “vested interests” threatening our democracy?!

To paraphrase Thomas Beckett:

Will no one rid me of this turdulent Treasurer?

* My sincere apologies for the use of wholly unfair and brutal artistic licence to Ms Rinehart, Mr Palmer, and Mr Forrest, whom I’ve never met and have no reason to doubt are hard working, decent Australians.

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