The Stupidity Of Joe Hockey, An Occasional Series (1)

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, seems unaware of the arithmetical system we used to call Six Degrees Of Separation. By this we learned three decades ago that a Niugini cannibal knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew the Queen Mother, or Marilyn Monroe, or Lee Harvey Oswald.

Joe has not picked up this titbit. And he thinks that if you get the pension this year at sixty-five you won’t worry much if others don’t get it till they’re seventy, in 2035.

But these ‘others’ include your children, your cousins, grand-nieces, neighbours, fellow club members, fellow members of the church choir or the book club and they will tell you, at Christmas parties and family weddings and bingo nights and Sunday School, how unfair this is, and you are likely after a while to change your vote to Labor, whose pension age beginning limit was sixty-seven.

Joe thinks also that single mothers who work part-time as waitresses will be as glad to get ten thousand for having a baby as will married mothers who are company directors and get fifty thousand for having a baby. No, no, it isn’t so, Joe, it isn’t so. They’d rather, like Oliver, have more.

Joe thinks too that young people ‘encouraged’ to leave their home town, where they live rent free with their mum, to seek work in the big city, where they can’t afford the rent of a car boot, will be glad to do so. A few of them might, but their mums will not. Their mums would rather keep their daughters close by, and not see them flung into danger of prostitution, addiction, murder, three hundred miles away, like my sister Margaret who was killed in Leichhardt at 22. These mums might have voted National or Liberal all their lives, but they won’t any more when a Truss-Abbott government takes their daughters from them. You wait and see.

He thinks too that if he and his wife bring home three million a year to their house in Milson Point they are ‘entitled’ to this. But if a borderline-autistic teenager on a disabled pension does not move away from his parents to seek work cleaning lavatories in a capital city he is not ‘entitled’, Joe says, to the twenty thousand he gets now. It does not occur to him that the contrast of the three million, and rising, to which he, Joe, and his wife are ‘entitled’, versus, say, the eighteen thousand, and falling, that the borderline-autistic teenager now gets will be uppermost in his mind and those of his parents when next they vote, for or against Joe’s party; probably against.

This failure to add in this most basic way is breathtaking; but even more breathtaking is Joe’s unflinching illusion that people are so keen on surpluses that they would give up their way of life, their family home, and their adult children’s proximity to get one.

Let us imagine we left the deficit where it is, and paid interest on it this year. That interest would be two billion dollars. That two billion could be found by not spending, this year, that amount on a jet fighter useless in any war, and next year too, and the year after that. Next year when the surplus doubles we could pay the extra two billion by raising the GST to 10.7 percent, and the next year to 11.4 percent.

And this would leave all the things we like — NDIS; Gonski; the CSIRO; SBS; the ABC; the local Medicare centres; the NBN — unimpaired where they are, with nobody sacked, nobody suiciding, nobody beating their wives but awaiting, as nations do, another windfall, another upturn in trade, another fall of the dollar, or a solar industry or cancer cure that goes gangbusters in markets overseas.

Why is this not more preferable? Why tear up, root and branch, the Federation? Why utterly shred and stomp on Australia? So the word ‘surplus’ can be uttered in Budget night 2030? In an Australia nobody wants to live in anymore?

Why such madness? Why smash up civilisation in the name of ‘surplus’? What’s surplus to me, or me to surplus, that I should bleed for her?

Just asking.

Joe has never asked these questions, nor studied the link between the way most parents vote and the foul things he does to their children, and shows such signs of being a damfool that he will not be Treasurer by August (when Palmer demands his dismissal and gets it) or an MP by Christmas when he ruefully opts with vast wet sweaty smiles to spend more time with his wife’s millions and their young family.

He is as idiotic as that.

And as smug as Costello, without the mathematical skills.

And it’s a pity.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Joe Hockey – the amiable, laughing, jolly, inoffensive, warm and caring side of the Liberal Party … more like the smiling assassin:

  2. All Liberal, National voters should wake up that this government is not a peoples government like the Labor governments are. They govern for the people not the big paying backers they have.

  3. Glow Worm.
    Joe Hockey playing with scissors is dumb as that is similar to what a prefect was doing with a file that ruined my life many years ago. It has cost me dearly over my lifetime that much im considering euthanasia before I am to much older.

    • Wasn’t to know that, Ron Barnes – the image was meant to show how much pleasure Joe has in cutting things out of the budget … like a kiddie. Unless you meant it as a joke, in which case, I’d consider several candidates for euthanasia before you.

    • Euthanasia? Never. Do not go gentle into that good night, Ron.

      Keep getting stuck into these bastards.

      Give ‘em hell.

  4. What do you mean ‘occaisonal’?
    There’s material here for you and allthumbs to regale us with indefinitely.

    I’ll start you boys off:
    The only heavy lifting Joe will be doing is with his fork!

  5. Bob, you highlight the fundamental difference between Labor & Liberal principles. It is the difference in responsibility, accountability & self versus family.

    A typical Labor leaning working person will work & worry about family first, feel accountable & responsible to them. He has been brought up by family, in the family home & feels the responsibility to bring his children up in the same way. Any other way is aborrant to him.

    A typical dyed in the wool Liberal capitalist thinks differently. He/she will see self, status & money first. The child is necessary to preserve the dynasty. Responsibility for the child is an inconvenience, solved as a matter of money. The child’s early upbringing is delegated to a nanny; then callously passed to the pederasts at boarding school. “It will make a man of him, make him independent”. Words I have heard many a time from the mouths of self important, self absorbed ‘names’ of standing. In their eyes, at least. The history of the sons of the Packer family are perfect examples; consigned to a boarding school until they are young ‘useful ‘ adults, only two blocks walk from ‘home’.
    This is the difference Joe just doesn’t get. Or perhaps he does & thinks the Liberal vote is so rusted on, they all think of themselves as aspiring Packers.

  6. “Why such madness? Why smash civilisation in the name of ‘surplus’? What’s surplus to me, or me to surplus, that I should bleed for her?”

    Mr. Ellis, in your corner there is Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, writing this week in the New York Times:

    “Most obviously, people whose real goal is dismantling the social safety net have found promoting deficit panic an effective way to push their agenda. And such people have been aided and abetted by the willingness of some economists to come up with analyses that tell powerful people what they want to hear, whether it’s that slashing government spending is actually expansionary, because of confidence, or that government debt somehow has dire effects on economic growth even if interest rates stay low.
    Whatever the reasons that basic economics have got tossed aside, the result has been tragic. Most of the waste and suffering that have afflicted Western economies these past five years was unnecessary.”

  7. Is it correct to call a man a buffoon if the consequences of his action are so dire? Is there a better name for a man who acts as he does? To unstabilise and gut a wonderful country for an abstraction, a concept? Just so he can, as Bob says, utter the word ‘surplus’? Is there a fitting term for such a man, maybe ‘Maniac”?

    • It occurs to me watching this and I commend it to the table, that speechifying and the art of it is a dangerous thing, it is a black art and Ellis should worry for his soul.

      Hockey should worry more about the choice of his tie and the eternity of damnation he will suffer because of it.

      “Milsons Point Fats’” maiden speech,

      • Nice touch, all thumbs – here’s one of the original Minnesota Fats and James Garner, a vastly underrated actor with one of the most finely-tuned comedic timings in US cinema.

      • Allthumbs,
        Babbage patch doll and Milsons Point Fats – in the one day!
        you keep that up and there’s a good chance I’ll ask you out on a date!

        A good line from Roger before midnight and you home free.
        Home free!

        • I think I’m spent Fed,the 2011 Burgenlander OPus Eximium is kicking in, a gift from recent visitors. Roger would at this point take a tab and solve the world.

          • You spent?!?!
            come on allthumbs, it’s me you’re talking to here….
            “When God closes a door, he opens a dress.”

            • (Introducing Duck Phillips and Crab Coulson) “Crab, Duck. Duck, Crab.” (S2, E8)

              • :grin:

                We can do this all night.


                Allthumbs, how goes your vocational….intermission?

                • It does not go well Fedallah, although I have had quite a few offers to re-enter the industry I was so keen to leave.

                  What you find out is what you always suspected and ignored and that is “productivity” (something everybody is crazy about at the moment) is the free marketeers attempt at perpetual motion.

  8. Joe used to be the funny fat bastard of the Coalition.
    Then he wasn’t as fat, then not as funny.
    So what do we have left?…..

    • He is a fat man driven by Gluttony and power. Empty inside except for the hambburger; – there is little left . javascript:grin(‘neutral;’)

  9. Tonys God Just bends over.

  10. :lol: yes us chattering classes find him rather strange that he would think we dont talk to each other,
    in the city here smallish city i crossed the lights with a lady , we chatted as we do in our small capital city,, said quite today ,,yes” people are scared of hockey and abbott, want spend” the other lady piped up and said we have cause to be very very scared, ” went on to say this ……? will cause a recession just with fear and the rest of their actions may be a depression> ” the other one said well ive been depressed since september all nodded our heads” and so it goes we smiled at each other having support for our thoughts,and went to the car
    park .. ‘each hopping for a d d ,, one other remark was no matter who they replace him with, if they do we want forget the faces that are called the LNP

  11. allthumbs,
    Do you care to return, or are you happy to take some more time?


    Not just the free marketeers;

    “One of the curious things about our educational system, I would note, is that the better trained you are in a discipline, the less used to dialectical method you’re likely to be. In fact, young children are very dialectical; they see everything in motion, in contradictions and transformations. We have to put an immense effort into training kids out of being good dialecticians. Marx wants to recover the intuitive power of the dialectical method and put it to work in understanding how everything is in process, everything is in motion. He doesn’t simply talk about labor; he talks about the labor process. Capital is not a thing, but rather a process that exists only in motion. When circulation stops, value disappears and the whole system comes tumbling down.”

    Harvey, “A Companion to Marx’s Capital”


    I have considered your post of last week.
    And after turning it this way and that, after stopping and starting numerous times, checking my language lest it be misconstrued, I have settled on this:

    I don’t argue for the sake of it; I try my very best not to.
    I was trying to open Bob up to his own words so that a discussion could actually take place.
    This isn’t, and can never be, a monologue.

    I was trying to

    …”Seek out from this diminishing crowd a Kent; a counsel of sense,
    “When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;
    And, in thy best consideration, cheque
    This hideous rashness”.

    And I guess this as good a place as any – I know my words above to be true because it was much the same strategy I employed, minus the power to ban, on your good friend and my thorny interlocutor.
    To open up to argument,
    To hold up ‘majesty’,
    To ward off ‘folly’,

    And to seek the amelioration of great conversation and ideas.
    She was more than capable of it…I know that.
    I had known that for years.

    Yeah, probably.

    But true all the same.


    This one’s for you.

  12. Fedallah, I should have added the other side of Hamlet’s case which was something like “to be truly great” is to find argument in an egg shell. I did not mean to imply you were being petty.

    Hamlet was definitely someone who at a stage before we meet him in the midst of his current circumstances would have argued for argument’s sake, that pleasure but not necessarily the art of his expression is taken away from him after seeing the ghost. He fumbles his way through the rest of the play with that dilemma.

    I note that Bob’s enthusiasms especially in regards to Australian film are full of boy like youthful zealotry, as much to support the local industry in particular and the global industry in general. The same level of enthusiasm you have for say, Nick Cave.

    Perhaps Bob with all of his worldly experience and the years he has over and above us and heading towards the pointy end of his span, has a little patience to argue the point but still enough male pride not to concede the argument.

    A conversation in print is difficult at the best of times especially in this media, because of the difficulty in retracting or mitigating a point or argument, which with the flow of spoken conversation is easier to do. Once down in print, to mitigate or deny that is what you meant to say can be a sticking point for nothing more than an egg shell or the veritable sheep station you bet upon.

    Thanks for the clip, one of best ever crafted pieces of TV dialogue and performance ever, I doubt Russell Crowe would have got even close.

    Do you think the one guy wrote Roger’s “quips”, they are so of one whole cloth? He probably had his own office.

    Hockey eh? Ninety percent perspiration ten percent inspiration.

    • To the first,
      “Do you care to return, or are you happy to take some more time?”, was in reference to your work, and not to a reply.


      Bob’s Enthusiasms: Yes, I’m sure you’re correct…though I always thought that the male pride thing was beneath him; beneath the arguments he was making.

      What pride when you spray with an irrepressible verve; a fiery spunk of wit, self confidence, bombast, argument & logic, cajoling, threatening, demanding/pleading play of an old time carnival hawker – boater, cane, striped vest, moustache (pic please Glow)??

      I’m sure you’re right…it’s just that it doesn’t sit right with me.

      No big deal, I guess.


      Nick Cave…there were some concerts allthumbs, between 84 and 92, that were a thing to behold – a drug fueled rampage through some hellish backwater…where, if memory serves, Selina’s Coogee Bay or Brixton??, I made a shirtless appeal (my Bad Seeds jacket, vest and shirt lost in an earlier fray)to Byzantine edicts, Hebrew parables, Jeffersonian declarations….
      I called upon manifestos from each and every Luddite, Bedlamite, and Sodomite,
      Bismarckian, Balfourian, and Heretics of all denominations and madnesses.
      I sought treatise from Gaulist polemicists,
      and arbitration from Mongolian steppe warriors,
      I sought counsel from Hannibal, Charlemagne, and Constantine
      and mystical meditations from 11th century Benedictine monks,
      I sought those knowledgeable in the ways of the Cerdonians, Orthodox Calendarists, and Valentians.
      And called forth the Nazari, Chishti, Bektashi and the Druze.

      But to no avail….

      and alone in a heaving sea of flesh and sweat caught a glimpse of something wondrous in the Mercy Seat.

      start at about the 2.45 mark…I found it in the mantra chorus.

      (Don alludes to something similar in the clip I sent earlier.)


      Roger – what can I say allthumbs? The man is an oracle. Can you recall any character having such license? I can’t.

      “What, did she just put it there and forget about it?”

      I’m laughing just writing it!

      Who wrote his lines? Beats me but if ever you find him it’s time to have that drink at Felix’s.
      My shout, Old Fashioned.

  13. But Fedallah, you do love an argument for argument’s sake. To poke and prod at another’s sensibilities, if at all possible. This blog attracts the argumentative, often those of the dark side, looking for a reaction. “Let us prod the beast in its den, and see if we can get a bite!”

    I’m not saying that you are one of those, but it is sometimes hard to tell the difference.

    And if we argue with idiots, it is often difficult for onlookers to tell which is which, as the idiots lead us down to their level and defeat us with their greater experience.

    BTW what is this obsession with Mad Men? I’ve never “gotten into it”, as the saying goes.

    • Doug, Madmen for me was a slow burn and I have only watched it once all the way through. I will watch it again.

      The clip above, I have watched it three times now and am convinced that the veracity and depth of feeling that is inherent in that clip,(and you can watch it out of context makes no never mind) is in the set of snaps. They are so perfectly done, so of the time, so familiar and universal, the detail, lighting, colour, framing, the poses, perfect. So apt. As good as Heath Ledger’s Joker make-up in Batman, or the way Gregory Peck tries to push his horn rimmed glasses up on his forehead before taking a shot at the rabid dog.

      Mad Men is full of such tiny perfect details.

      • And if Shakespeare were alive today he would remodel Falstaff completely on Roger Sterling, between the two Roger in my humble opinion is not only funnier but greater.

        • ‘Madmen’ is a masterpiece that, along with the ‘Sopranos’ ‘Six Feet Under’ and a handful of others, will be seen as a golden age of television in America, as polar opposite to ‘Leave it to Beaver’ as it is possible to go.

          I urge you to see it, in all its subdued, ashen colour, DQ.

    • A sunday treat for you Doug. You were on my mind earlier, as Books Plus on RN featured The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, it was most interesting, a tale of madness and a good man.

      What I wanted to draw your attention to though, the treat, is this yarn from LNL the other night. Did you catch it? William Shakespeare – the neighbour from hell.

      • Don Quixote is fiction, you know.

        As for the Shakespeare thingy, they really do try hard to persevere with this stuff, don’t they! Adams is altogether wrong on this issue.

        Take whatever facts they can glean, and fit them into their narrative. Disregard anything that doesn’t fit, of course.

        • Re Shakespeare, Again:
          You may prefer the gravitas-seeking hysterics on offer by Emmerich, in between outtakes of exploding cars, frivolous plot lines, and ersatz dialogue: where alleged academic rigour arrives from the pen of a man who, it would appear, is motivated by Hollywood gross takings and the titillation of teenage boys.

          I, on the other hand, do not.

          Rigour comes from those who have spent the better part of their adult lives, if not their whole lives, in the study of history, language, drama, and criticism: men like Hazlitt, Lamb, Coleridge, Lessing, Dryden, Malone, Chambers, Adams, Rowse, Bradley, Latham, Vickers, Nichol, Cox, Nuttal, Wells, Kermode, Bloom, Greenblatt, Shapiro, Wilson, and Bate.

          It is entirely possible that Oxford wrote Shakespeare – but until the day comes where an incontrovertible molecule of evidence arrives as material proof the Oxford question remains where it belongs; mired in undergraduate speculation.
          Leave it there.
          Or we’ll have to resume our “no mention of the Gunpowder Plot of its day” line of inquiry.

          • Of course it is mired. De Vere wanted no publicity, no attachment of his name to the works.

            He succeeded very well.

            And it is “no mention of the 9/11 of its day”.

            One might wonder why there were no amendments, corrections, notations to any script after 1604. One might wonder why, when plays, poems and scripts were apparently banned and proscribed, and playwrights spent time in prison for their misdemeanours, no one bothered to round up the Man from Stratford.

            The man who according to the Stratfordians continued to write plays often in concert with other playwrights, never made a correction or amendment, ‘never blotted a line’ as Jonson reported.

            But of course it is all speculation.

            What evidence would now be needed to overturn centuries of orthodoxy, with scholastic reputations lying in ruins as a result?

            The mind boggles.

            • Doug, it’s clear you’ve misunderstood the meaning of Jonson’s words.
              And inadvertently highlighted a central argumentative failing on the part of the Oxford apologists.


              No academic reputations would suffer as a result of Oxfordian evidence.
              As a matter of fact such a discovery would simply result in an explosion of new Amazon titles for us to buy. A second life for crusty old Eng Lit professors otherwise waiting for retirement and the possibility, the hope, the desire…..of a DLitt or an ad eundem degree.

              Imagine that – the Real Shakespeare Unearthed – and THIS time by bona fide academics instead of ambulance chasing charlatans like Sobran.

              The mind boggles.

              It surely does.

              • doug quixote

                Clear, is it? Jonson requoted from others; it was Jonson who deliberately muddied the meaning.

                Do you really expect us to believe that if clear persuasive evidence were to be published tomorrow that De Vere was Shakespeare, there would not be a pogrom, and a mass suicide amongst the rusted-on Stratfordians?

                It more than boggles. :smile:

                • Yes Doug; it’s clear you’ve misunderstood Jonson’s meaning.
                  Look at what you wrote:
                  “The man who according to the Stratfordians continued to write plays often in concert with other playwrights, never made a correction or amendment, ‘never blotted a line’ as Jonson reported.”

                  The suggestion here is that Shakespeare never amended his work and that Jonson’s line serves to corroborate that claim.
                  That however is a misreading of Jonson’s words, or if not a misreading, a manipulative reinterpretation to support the original claim.


                  “Do you really expect us to believe”

                  I do.

                  Pogroms and mass suicides when book deals, new reputations, research funding, and scholarship grants are on offer?!?!

                  Come on Doug.

                  Let me put it another way: I’d support Abbott’s plan to charge for GP visits (for taxpayers) if and only if he reduced the Fuel Excise, or introduced the original Mining Tax, or took all of the PPL money and shuffled it toward (free) day care.

                  I’d vouch there’s no “No mass suicide or pogrom” from the Left.

    • “But Fedallah, you do love an argument for argument’s sake.”

      I bloody well do not!


      “To poke and prod at another’s sensibilities”

      I bloody well do so!

    • Sorry Doug, but if you can’t quote whole slabs of dialogue then you’re missing something special.
      Mad Men will be spoken about around campfires – stories will be told about its characters and thread lines……
      This is one of those things that men pass down to son’s, and then onto grandson’s.
      A gift for all generations.
      Where were you when Kennedy was shot?
      Remember Princess Di car crash?
      It will be like this: remember when Betty took out the neighbours pigeons, or Lois riding the lawnmower, or Don…or Roger…

      An almanac Doug, of things in their time, and of things beyond time.

  14. Daniel Jenkins

    Shorten has to attack, head on, the false idea that there’s a ‘deficit crisis’ in Australia. The Libs are going to use this patently untrue, shameless lie to justify every regressive thing that they do.

    And they may well get away with it…

  15. Where is this list of Liberals to go to the gas chamber with me.

  16. with such a “deficit crisis” and ” everybody has to feel the pain” then the politicians should be leading the way,showing by example how we all must suffer. cutting their salaries, stopping retired politicians from having free office,secretary and car for life, Making them wait until 65 to get their pension,only then can we believe their rhetoric and be all be in this together, coz i really dont see any rich, or powerful in this mix of suffering.

    greedy politicians, the first against the wall when the revolution comes

  17. The Stupidity of Joe Hockey; episode 3,718, the longest running series since “Mass for you at home”.

    After a long day at the office Joe comes home to find Melissa has re-arranged their finances, hi-jinx and mayhem follow as Joe realizes Melissa has re-arranged his Federal Budget and not the household expenses. Tony drops in and asks if he can stay a few days while pretending to be in Indonesia and Amanda refuses to come out of the bathroom until her new hair color has grown out.

    Rated G, Repeat.

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