13
Jul
2014

Abbott Govt Performance; Israel’s Problems; Terrorists from Australia

Abbott Government Performance

When does a crisis in government occur? There is no simple answer to that but, as the editorial in the Week-End Australian and an article by Dennis Shanahan point out, the failures of the Abbott Government certainly suggest a crisis of inability to govern now exists. I don’t agree with some of the points they make but they send a wake-up call and, at the same time, emphasise the importance of continuing to attempt to “repair” the budget.

The mishandling of the  budget strategy to date certainly requires major new initiatives.  One would be a revised budget excluding unnecessary and inconsistent measures PLUS a down to earth explanation of why (the new) reduced spending is justified on both economic and equity grounds, why the measures are moderate and not tough by any honest assessment, and why more measures will be necessary in future budgets. Second, while Abbott has generally made admirable and successful ventures into foreign policy, he now needs to avoid the mistake made by Howard in  becoming too involved in issues addressed and debated by “world leaders” to the neglect of domestic policy. He should now  involve himself much more in handling the budget strategy, including a revised one.

If that requires a change in Treasurer (which the editorial implies), so be it: it is much better to do that now than close to the next election.

The alternative is to have a double dissolution. But to call one on the basis of existing policies would not be successful. First revise the budget.

US-Israel Relations

For the moment at least, Netanyahu seems to have, in effect, rejected Obama’s offer to arbitrate between Israel and the Palestinian/Hamas group. This is not surprising given the continued rocket barrage from Hamas in Gaza (and now from Hezbollah too in the north) and the obvious need to respond. Reports indicate that the terrorists also have a large stockpile of rockets and are being helped by Iran. Indeed, it may well be the case that Israel is now more threatened than it has been in the recent past. While Obama has endorsed the right of Israel to take defensive measures, the US should be making aggressive attacks on terrorism.

It is surely time for Australia also to announce its support for Israel both generally and in its bombings until Hamas/Hezbollah stop their rocket attacks.

Australian Terrorists

It is difficult to imagine a more remarkable   story  than that of an extremist Australian Muslim who was jailed for three and a half years but (somehow) obtained a disability pension and retained it while going on a jihad mission to Syria (see article below). Is this the real world? Well, No! Even more remarkable is the advice by the Minister for Human Services that the pension cannot be stopped!

The good news (sic) is that Brandis has made ISIS illegal. But clearly the government has a lot to do in bringing our terrorists under some kind of control.