Please find below an opinion piece by Senator Joyce published in The Canberra Times
on 11th October 2012.Labor’s litany of blunders says it all
I wonder why Labor are not polling as well as they would like this week. Could it be that the Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy has announced that having red underpants over his head is appropriately conducive to effective negotiations over the NBN, Australia’s largest infrastructure project? Also, apparently, Minister Conroy, whilst performing this piece of theatre has more rights than the Tsar on a serf’s potato plot.
Could Labor’s problems have something to do with Prime Minister Gillard’s foresight in appointing Peter Slipper to the office of Speaker of our nation’s Parliament when all others were doing their best to quietly remove him from public office? It might be galling to many that Mr Slipper was still receiving the salary of the Speaker of the Australian Parliament despite not attending the chamber for six months and with little prospect of returning to the Speaker’s chair. Despite that, the Labor government continued to support Mr Slipper, presumably hoping that one day we would return to the ludicrous position of bowing to a man in the Chamber then reading lurid details about him on the front page of the paper.
Maybe Labor’s problems emanate from taking our nation to $252 billion in gross debt and now heading toward $300 billion in debt so that the prognostications of serious problems that I made over two years ago are being echoed by the likes of Future Fund Chair, David Murray. There could be some concern by quite a few in the public service that Labor has created the debt that puts their job under pressure.
It could quite possibly be that the public have not yet forgotten about Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch, Green Loans, Ceiling Insulation, the East Timor Solution, the cost blowout of school halls, the “this is the toolbox of the 21st century” every child gets a laptop revolution, the midnight removal of the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the live cattle foreign relations debacle, the instigation of the largest public investment in our nation’s history, the NBN, without a cost-benefit analysis, or maybe that Labor continues to rely on the vote of Craig Thomson, the man who appears to have very little respect for the fact that union member’s funds are for their advancement not his pleasure.
There are just so many things that could quite possibly be affecting the current poor polling that it is difficult to single out one.
The public may have a slight concern about the Labor Party being in a formal governing agreement with the Australian Greens who can at times be a little bit dangerous considering the views held by some, such as Senator Lee Rhiannon. Likewise the public may feel that Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor have deceived their electorate and delivered chaos to the Government in their support of Labor.
One might suggest that the fact the Treasurer will not abide by an instruction of the Senate to explain why the sale of Cubbie Station was not contrary to the national interest suggests he believes it is not in the national interest but has just let it go through because he has not got his eye on the ball. Many might consider that seeing he has lost sight of the sale of the largest farm in Australia to overseas he would never say no to any sale of farming land of any amount anywhere.
Probably of quite some effect is the carbon tax; even though some of the sting may have ebbed in the Parliament’s rhetoric, it has been replaced by the real sting in the latest issue of power bills as many Australians ask the question of whether feeling poorer will freeze the North Polar ice cap.
There is probably quite some conjecture as to whether a tax administered by the same person who has got us into $252 billion in debt can change the temperature of the globe and so when a polling organisation rings up, during dinner, to ask you who you are inclined to vote for, you might feel that you are less inclined to vote for the current arrangements.
So now after vouching via their vote for Peter Slipper to be speaker it took Peter Slipper himself to inform them on the weight of evidence he was not fit for the role. Labor looks foolish and totally hypocritical considering all of their protesting on misogyny. Gillard showed a lack of judgement appointing him and then twice as much not getting rid of him.
Barnaby Joyce is the Nationals’ Senate leader and the opposition spokesman on regional development, local government and water.