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The musings of Jez Melb Punter
This is a debate that never dies and constantly lingers.  It's a white hot issue with two clearly defined and passionate sides.  Most people have an opinion on jumps racing - industry participant/racing enthusiast or not.  Jumps racing, to be or not to be?  That is the question. 

The sport has been around in this country since 1832.

I'm not an expert on the sport but for what its worth, I'm pro-Jumps racing.  Thats not to say I'm not devastated to see the loss of an animal during a Jumps event and get goose bumps seeing that infamous green tarp being carried across the track as a horse suffers. 

This is a debate with plenty of variables at play.

Those in the racing industry and other supporters of jumps racing point out that horses that are raced over jumps are pampered and nurtured in a professional environment. They are fed, exercised, groomed and sheltered. Supporters maintain that the lives of jumps racers are extended for years, and consequently their quality of life is extended when able to compete in jumps races.

For those against the sport - it is inhumane and unacceptable that it is still conducted in the 21st century. They argue that jumps horses can suffer and die at approximately twenty times the rate of flat race horses there is obviously cause for concern. They also raise the welfare issue when thoroughbreds have finished their racing careers many are left to starve in paddocks and thousands are slaughtered each year for pet food and for human consumption overseas.

What do you think about Jumps Racing?
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The 1st July 2012 will herald the beginning of a carbon tax, due to be implemented by Gillard Labor.  All things going well, an ETS will be introduced in 2015.  Apparently our climate, which has been ever changing, long before we arrived - is apparently suffering due to the alleged, unsubstantiated impact of carbon emissions - and guess what?

It needs a big new tax on everything to rein it in.

Thats right.  A great big new tax on everything will save us.  Apparently.

It's got nothing to do with the ideological achievement of re-distributing wealth or lining the depleted Labor Government coffers with gold or achieving a 2013 surplus - its about the environment, stupid!  This is a furphy of monsterous proportion.  A carbon tax will do absolutely nothing to ease the pressure on the environment.  It's a tax that will reap plenty for the government whilst achieving left wing political goals of redistributing wealth but will serve the environment in no way whatsoever.  You pay more.  And the environment?

The emissions continue.

But we hope and pray that business, out of the kindness of there heart - change there ways.  We're wishing, hoping and praying.  Taking real action on greening up, is just far too hard.  It seems making a real move towards clean, green energy and promoting sustainable living is not viable - it's just all too hard for Labor and The Greens - especially with a tax on the table.

There's a reason why climate based taxation systems have been littered with frauds, bankruptcy and collapse in the United States (Chicago) and in the European Union.  Let me make my own thoughts on climate change clear.  I dispute man made warming.  The evidence, despite the demonisation of sceptics is speculative, at best - and the figures we thought were concrete some months ago, have been proven as fudged and fixed.

I believe our climate has and will continue to change.  It has long before we arrived and since then.  We will continue to experience natural disasters; this is not unusual.  However, I am all for the greening up of our way of living.   I hate to use a political cliche, but I'm for real action.  You know, constructive and genuine ways of cleaning up; the promotion of clean energy, and projects.

There seems to be a belief that larger nations are listening and waiting for us, as an example, investment in clean energy, a discussion on nuclear energy and strong pushes in green initiatives in Australia.  I mean.....Laugh  Seriously.  This tax is too cute by half.  It's a joke.  Australian's have been squeezed tightly enough, financially, under this government - there's not much more left to extract.

Enough's enough. I say no to a carbon tax.

It seems the only way to get this proposterous idea off the table, is to change the government.

Your thoughts?
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What started as a week of opportunity as we strode into the first parliamentary session of the year, with a government struggling to find form and a Prime Minister under siege following poor polling numbers - turned out to be a nightmare of a week for Tony Abbott and indeed the Coalition.

She's a brutal game politics.  As a wise man once said some time ago on the 7:30 Report on the ABC, "Politicians will be judged on everything they say"  The wise man, at the time, who uttered these words - Tony Abbott.  [;)]

I assume that most people will have seen or heard about THAT comment, made by Tony Abbott in Afghanhistan last year during discussions with a US General, which was broadcast during a report by Mark Riley on Channel Seven during the week.

Abbott, whilst discussing the conditions of war and the "apparent" lack of firepower for our troops, basically stated that during times of war, "sometimes.....sh1t happens".  The full vision of the discussion, not aired by Seven, shows the troops surrounding Abbott nodding in agreement and the US General responds, "it certainly does".

In my view, it was gutter journalism.  Drudging up the death of one of our diggers and throwing it into the face of the nation - and into the faces of those who were near and dear to this brave young man - and trying to use it politically damage an Opposition Leader.

Accordingly, many have cast harsh judgement on journalist Mark Riley for his story - late this week, the anger had shifted and seemed aimed wholly at Mark Riley.  I think most acknowledge that Abbott meant no disrespect to the dead soldier - which explains the silent response from Abbott when quizzed by Mark Riley.

Have a think about it!  How would you react if someone suggested you had no respect for a dead Australian soldier?  Anyway, what's done is done.  As I've said, those of us who are political "supporters" will no doubt batton down the hatches in our respective camps - its Mr and Mrs Average who will cast lasting judgement on Tony Abbott.  The fall-out from this continues, until Tuesday week.  When a fresh Newspoll is released for all to examine - no doubt, forensically.  It needs to be acknowledged this incident and this week, will have assisted the government - but I think Gillard Labor's woes far outpace those of the Coalition. 

This issue aside, I believe it is vital, that the Coalition spend the year shoring up policy across all areas.  This hung parliament presents an amazing opportunity.  With a strong year of policy re-working, the Coalition can be ready to handle any potential bounces the government will no doubt receive late this year or early next year.  Opposition is a tough game.  As John Howard made clear during a recent appearance on Q&A - Tony Abbott will have plenty of up's and downs between now and the next election.

One last thing - late this week, disunity appeared, albeit on a small scale, which seemed to fester from a disagreement on foreign aid, between Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop.

Disagreements with people, as in life, is commonplace in politics - its how it's handled that is crucial in politics.  I'm confident many within the Coalition are familar with the phrase: disunity is death.  There may well have been a small push to having Bishop replaced as Deputy Leader, but any push will be extinguished this weekend.  Many within the party are acknowledging the affect any moves would have on Tony Abbott.  It's ironic though, for Labor to suggest superiority on this issue.  Labor have many on the frontbench who hate each other's guts.

One couple come to mind, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. 

Whilst some talk of the pending death of Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader, there are many within Labor who are openly discussing there "options" in terms of leadership.  It's also worthy to note that Bill Shorten has been keen to tell anyone who's willing to listen that he will lead Labor to the next election.

We are in precarious times with a government that hangs on by the thread of a few independents and that is struggling to find its way or deliver strong governance that the public, by way of polling, are clearly yearning for.  These few weeks out of the way, I'm hoping to see the Coalitions foot back on the throat of the government - keeping it to account and crucially, showing the Australian people what a credible alternative Tony Abbott and the Coalition team are.

Your thoughts?

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Let me say something.  I am a massive fan of Cory Bernardi.
His a young, intelligent, grounded, genuine and a modern conservative.

This bloke is the future of the Liberal Party.  Leadership material, no doubt about it.

Politically speaking, reading the musings of Cory from his website blog is a real treat for me.  He articulates my beliefs precisely.

The title of this blog piece is "The Conservative Revolution".
I couldn't help myself but share.  I'm keen for a revolution that Cory speaks of. 

Can't wait to read the book, which is due out shortly.

The Conservative Revolution - Cory Bernardi

There are three types of people in Australia.

The first of these are the Radicals that are trying to tear down our institutions and diminish our historical values because these don’t fit with their own view of how the world should function.

The majority are those who are apathetic to the societal changes going on around them until it affects them personally. This second group is characteristic of those who typically strive for a better life for themselves and their families, free of interference.

The third are the Conservatives that seek to protect and defend the structures and values that have allowed our nation to achieve the freedom and prosperity that we enjoy today.

Conservatives are the natural representatives of the aspirations of the majority and the values and structures they protect are based on principles that are under threat from the dominant ideologies of The Radicals and an increasingly secular and opportunistic society. A society in which concepts of right and wrong have been replaced with a moral relativism; where there are no absolutes – only preferences or choices.  A society where there is an excuse for everything but responsibility for nothing. A society where the wisdom of the ages is being replaced by fads and quick fixes.

That’s why we need a revolution of sorts in this country. A revolution that will restore the principles and values that have successfully guided mankind and our society since the dawn of time.

We need to restore that which is now routinely ignored in the blind pursuit of new agendas that are remarkable, not for their lack of substance, but because they are built on the economic and moral corpses of previous failure.

We need to reacquaint our citizens with the understanding that there are absolute truths that hold true in all places and at all times.

We need to make a radical departure from the growing and all-pervasive acceptance that critical and discerning moral judgment is somehow unfair and an infringement on human rights.

We need to re-establish the notion that responsibility is just as important as freedom of choice.

We need to reaffirm that the family is the most important building block in any society and that the wellbeing of children is the best investment that any society can make.

We need to recognise that our nation has a role to play in international affairs but her primary responsibility is to her citizens.

In short, we need not just any revolution, we need a conservative revolution. One that will re-establish the family, social and economic virtues that have been neglected for at least two generations, yet are as innate within the human spirit today as they ever have been.
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Labor. It's a mess.

13 Feb 11 01:17
Gillard Labor continues to lurch from one problem to the next. Everything Julia Gillard does - on water, new onshore detention arrangements, the unravelling mining tax or the NBN white elephant - ends up in a mess. Julia Gillard promised results - but instead all we are getting is more reckless policy, more incompetence and more disappointment.

Gillard Labor is in a mess of its own making.

Julia Gillard is becoming more and more shrill with her claims about the Coalition “screaming from the sidelines”.  Just a few months ago, Julia Gillard said the Coalition wanted to “let the market rip” but now accuses the Coalition of ‘economic Hansonism’.

Between 1998 and 2007, Julia Gillard opposed every major economic reform introduced by the Howard Government.  She opposed the private health insurance rebate. She opposed tax reform. She opposed waterfront reform. She opposed superannuation reform. She opposed successive Howard Government budget decisions designed to reduce government debt.

Julia Gillard is running the most economically incompetent government in living memory.  Having wasted billions of dollars on overpriced school halls racked up mountains of debt and continuing to borrow $100 million every day, Julia Gillard has zero credibility when she talks about economic reform.

The only economic reform Julia Gillard is interested in is imposing higher electricity prices on Australian families through a carbon tax.  This is an increasingly desperate Prime Minister trying to distract from the seriousness of Labor’s mess.

The Coalition has taken the initiative to prepare legislation requiring publication of a 10-year business case for Labor’s $43 billion spending on broadband.  The Coalition has had to force Labor’s hand, establish the facts and provide Parliament with an appropriate level of understanding by allowing the Productivity Commission to independently assess economic and regulatory issues associated with Labor’s NBN.

Australia’s peak business body, the Business Council of Australia, has called for the NBN to be subjected to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.  While the US Government is spending $7b to support broadband rollout, Labor’s NBN will spend taxpayers’ money at 100 times more per capita without undertaking a cost-benefit analysis.

Water Minister Tony Burke now says he will push the Murray Darling Basin Authority to assess the social and economic impacts of water cuts.  Labor now effectively admits the work leading up to these cuts is flawed.  The Murray Darling Basin report cost $100 million, but only reflects one third of the Act’s requirements. Why did Labor let this go on to this point of anger among the affected communities? The confusion is Labor’s responsibility.

Water cuts mean higher food prices just as Labor breaking its promise on a carbon tax means higher electricity prices.  More water for the environment is important, but Labor's mishandling of this important reform is jeopardising both the river system and river communities.  Gillard Labor has pre-judged the issue by its pre-election commitment to accept all of the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s report.

Labor’s failure to control our borders has seen more than 150 illegal boats carrying more than 5500 people arrive on our shores in 2010.  Gillard Labor’s response is more beds marked by abject lack of consultation with affected communities or the state governments.  More beds won’t stop the boats.  Universal offshore processing is no more and Gillard Labor is nowhere near achieving third country processing.

We’ve seen absurd proposals from Labor such as the temporary asylum freeze, used as an election fix.  Labor still does not have a proposal for one offshore processing centre in East Timor, let alone several in the region.

If the Coalition were in government, Nauru would be open now.  Instead Labor is still only talking about their never never regional processing East Timor plan.

Wherever you look, Gillard Labor is a mess. It has no plan to help make Australia stronger and better. Its only goals are the deals and compromises it needs to make to stay in office.
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