Labor gave us debt. The LNP gave us Demagogues.
The debt delivered us from the worst of the Global Financial meltdown, leaving Australia with one of the strongest economies in the world, while other OECD nations floundered.
The Demagogues delivered laws that remove and abuse human rights, workers rights and legal rights at federal and state level.
While in opposition Tony Abbott bleated about the 'debt crisis' created by Labor. Now that he is Prime Minister, he is in now hurry to pay down the debt. Why? Because there is no debt crisis, as many of commentators, including Ranting Panda, stated over and over again. Yet the blind believed the lies that Abbott spouted.
Then there was the Slipper and Thompson affairs. Slipper had been accused of misusing Cabcharges and Thompson accused of misusing union funds for his own benefit, including allegedly at brothels. Abbott and his ilk went after both of them relentlessly. And rightly so! IF there was any truth in the accusations, both men should have been held accountable.
Since winning the 2013 election, dozens of LNP politicians, including Abbott himself, have been caught out wrongly claiming expenses. Ironically, Abbott attended Slipper's wedding and claimed the junket on the public purse - not long before he accused Slipper of rorting the public purse. This is unbelievably brazen hypocrisy. What does Abbott want to do about these potentially fraudulent claims that have recently come to light? Nothing. Apparently it is OK if politicians rort the system, as long as the LNP are in power.
Abbott has continued and expanded the human rights abuses of asylum seekers, even sending pregnant women to Nauru where there is limited medical care. He has threatened to 'turn the boats around'. He has there is no compassion for the terrible tragedies that asylum seekers have faced. Yes, Labor was also guilty of this too, with their inhumane PNG solution, but it was the Liberal Party under John Howard that legitimised the racial, xenophobic abuse of asylum seekers. Prior to that, both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party welcomed asylum seekers humanely.
In Queensland, we've seen Premier Campbell Newman sack thousands of public servants, abusing them in the process, stating he was getting the 'pooper scooper' out. These were hard working men and women who proudly served their state, and here their Premier, their boss was essentially saying they were shit. What a great leadership role-model!
In addition to this, one of Newman's first acts was to overturn Labor's civil union legislation as he pandered to religious extremists and the most conservative voters.
Which brings me to his next blatant abuse of human and legal rights. He has presented the Vicious Lawless Disestablishment bill, which has passed in a sad indictment of Queensland parliament. Under the VLAD Act, a person convicted of a violent crime, who is found to be a member of a gang, or an associate of a gang-member, will be automatically sentenced to a further 15 years on their head sentence. If they are also found to be an office-bearer in the gang, an additional 10 years on top of the head sentence and the gang-member sentence . Effectively, a person convicted of a violent assault could be sentenced to five years jail for the assault, but serve up to 30 years if they are a gang member or associate. The time doesn't fit the crime!
Bleije has also introduced a Bill that will prevent injured workers from suing employers whose negligent actions caused the injury. There are no rights for workers in Queensland. Bleije has claimed it is an attack on 'vested interests'. The only 'vested interests' in this are the big businesses that will benefit from this and which Bleije is pandering to.
This follows on from Newman wanting to ban Unions from attending the workplace, cutting unions out of the wage bargaining and forcing them to undertake votes from the membership if spending more than $10,000. He tried to ban Unions from giving money to the Labor Party without express permission of the membership. Yet, given the history of Labor and the Unions, it could have been a condition of membership that members accept the Union will donate to Labor.
Bleije also wants to name and shame juvenile offenders, which will not solve anything.
The reason for Bleije's fascist actions, is not the protection of Queenslanders, but to appear as though the Newman government has achieved something, when it has done nothing but destroy Queensland with asset sales, mass sackings, high unemployment, union bashing, attacking workers rights, and now, a Police State.
Both Newman and Abbott played the 'debt' card during their election campaigns. Neither Queensland, or Australia, were on the brink of the abyss, but both Abbott and Newman ran fear and smear campaigns that impugned the achievements of Labor.
Without the debt, Australia and Queensland would have suffered significantly. When Government stops spending, the economy slows down, causing high unemployment, bankruptcies and loss of sales for business and loss of tax revenue for government.
The LNP has run fear campaigns based on lies which have demonised asylum seekers, unions, debt, the economy and marriage equality. To perpetuate the fear, or more importantly, to make it more difficult to disprove, both Abbott and Newman are suppressing information. Federally, the Government is only providing weekly, and incomplete, briefings regarding asylum seekers, while in Queensland the Government has withheld the publication of the annual statistical review, something the Police were publishing every year under previous governments.
The LNP rules by fear, fascism and censorship.
Labor is not perfect, and could certainly get back to its grass roots, focussing more on workers and human rights. Labor increased the debt, but we did not see the attacks on basic freedoms that we see with the current breed of LNP fascists.
Give us Debt before Demagogues!