Some wisdom from Peter Costello for both sides of politics

Peter Costello made a lot of sense yesterday for Libs:

I was deputy leader of the Liberal Party for 14 years and I didn’t know that we had a right faction and a left faction and, if we did, nobody invited me to join either of them.

One thing you could always unite the Liberal Party around in my time was the economic narrative.

[Turnbull’s] failure to develop the economic narrative that he said he would meant [Liberal’s] defined themselves on social issues.

We can’t deliver in this term so we will make you promises on what we will do three terms from now.

It’s a parallel universe and if anybody believes it you are silly. The only chance of holding a government accountable is something that they will do during their term.

I can promise you anything for 2026. The one thing they know is that they are not going to be in government in 2026.

If you want change, you have to argue for it, and then you have to convince the public about it’

I kept on waiting for the economic narrative to come. I think that is the problem today, I’m not sure what the narrative is among those who are making these decisions for us.

If the International Monetary Fund was to turn to Australia and ask it to share a successful case of reform in the last decade, what story would we tell?

How did Scomo respond?

“I think I’ve set out today, I think very plainly, what we’ve been seeking to achieve,” the Prime Minister said. “And I think we’ve talked a lot over the last three years about what we’ve been doing. And we have. And there have been many achievements.”

The new government, he said, would seek to build on those achievements.

“An economic narrative is about what you believe as well,” he said. “And what I’m seeking to do is connect with Australians about what our government passionately believes in and why we think taxes should be lower.”

In other words he didn’t get the memo. But how can he get it? We know the true economic narrative is a bit hard to sell:

“we’re using quantitative peopling to ensure the necessary post-mining boom deflation is foisted entirely on workers and youth via lower wages, lower public amenity and high house prices”.

It’s not just him. Labor must confront this question too. It never delivered a convincing economic narrative ex-Rudd and mining boom, either.

I doubt fairness will be enough.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. Why can’t these has beens Costello, Keating and Howard just f56k off. Go and play golf or collect antique clocks. What dreary boring people they are. They obviously have no real life post political stardom. The ego and misplaced hubris that reeks from Costello’s ‘turkey neck’ is palpable.

  2. On the topic of Peter Costello, why does Australia have both a sovereign wealth fund (The Future Fund) and a huge government debt?

    Does the Future Fund’s (volatility adjusted) returns exceed the cost of debt?

    Or is it a way of maintaining high levels of debt to prevent politicians borrowing further?

    In which case, why do they then go out and waste money by borrowing – at enormous opportunity cost – using public-private “partnerships”?

    • We’ve got because without it the govt of the day would eventually blow that cash and we would still have the same debt and more importantly the future liabilities the FF is designed to cover (ie future pensions in defined benefit funds). It is a way of protecting us from the in built desire of govts to spend every last available dollar to stay in power while ignoring the future beyond the next term. So on that front. it’s doing a fantastic job.

      As for returns, it’s target is 4% to 5% over CPI with low to medium risk and it’s currently outperforming, 10 year bond rate is 2.7%, so yes I reckon they’re doing all right.

    • FF was to cover unfunded commonwealth superannuation liabilities, pretending it was a general sovereign wealth fund was just latter political sleight of hand.

      • Its actually for the pollies, they just included a few cardies because it made it look a bit more palatable.

  3. This tip without an iceberg is directly responsible for many of the tax lurks that have encouraged the Australian housing bubble in the first place and the Federal government’s structural deficit.

    It’s incredible that MB are giving this bloke the time of day.

  4. The problem is that the GFC broke all the economic models that all the economists that advise governments were using. Can’t have an economic narrative if your model has been proven to be broken and you don’t have anything to replace it.

    • That’s basically why the thing they’ve all been doing is just throwing money at the problem or, in Australia’s case, people.

      • The real issue is that they didn’t do anything when it was clear Australia had dodged the GFC bullet in 2012.

        That’s when they should have stopped SMSF from competing with FHB in the property market but they were too gutless to do it.

  5. ‘Quantitative Peopling’ using a mass immigration intake ‘filter’ of almost exclusively third world, unskilled, amoral, non assimilating and non productive intake.

    – that destroy Australian citizen employment, wages, living standards, education and social quality.

    The failed ‘Australian migrant experiment’ that triggered the Australian economic collapse (housing bubble etc) will be a social and economists case study in years to come.

    1.91 million PR / citizen grants in the last decade.
    79% unskilled third world & high welfare burden.
    86% concentration in Sydney & Melbourne.

    Plus: 2.43 million TR onshore in addition.
    Over 93% adult & unskilled, 80% third world of original origin (eg including non NZ born SCV).
    89% concentration in Sydney & Melbourne.

    🔹1 in 4 in Sydney people is a TR/long stay visitor.
    🔹1 in 5 in Melbourne.

    Plus: 440k Tourist visitors working illegally.
    Again adult, third world, unskilled.

    ➡️ All up an additional 4.7 million third world unskilled migrants onshore since 2008.

    This intake assisted by their Chinese, Indian, Nepalese Bangladeshi, Korean, Taiwanese, Malaysian. Indonesian, Middle Eastern and African government using this as an opportunity in slum & rural poor clearance.

    To actively export & push their urban & rural poor, misfits, socially undesirables, vice workers & criminals off to Australia on frauded or ‘facilitated’ documentation and pretext visas.

    Assisted by ethnically aligned foreign criminal syndicates in each country of origin and onshore in Australia to facilitate this migrant trade and their onshore foreign run migrant guestworker sub economy.

    And the third world use this opportunity to not only exit their social & misfit burden, but also in secondary and later stages of ‘family reunion’ to exit their aged & health care burden.

    To also colonise & gain presence / control of Australia. And its self funding – the undesirable is packaged up, sent off, works illegally, sends back the loan debt repayments, sends back the remittances & and then drags out the rest of the third world social burden all with Australian sourced money funding all that.

    And it creates the framework for the foreign dirty money to also be laundered into a safe haven plus unbelievably high cash returns in migrant cram housing cash in hand subletting, criminal & vice activities, fake education, labour services rackets and other such operations within Australia.

    This exodus of urban slum or rural poor, misfit, unwanted minorities will promise (& typically will) a PR in Australia, to then act as the anchor and drag out the rest of their extended family from the country of origin – all to be a Australia’s burden as an economic & social problem.

    The unskilled third world undesirable do ‘add’ to the Australian GDP in ‘activity’.
    The 2.43 million TR at an estimated $49k each are $133 billion GDP alone – but are almost half the Australian gdp per capita – so the more that come in, they more they m degrade & lower the Australian GDP per capita.
    As we see.

    Same with wages – no real wages growth for years.
    Migrants also add to the indirect (GST etc) tax base, but as they work illegally / cash in hand / lower wages & unemployment for Australia they destroy the direct tax base.

    They also burden the Australian tax base with massive unnecessary taxpayer funded infrastructure projects,

    The 1.91 million PR migrant intake are 78% unskilled and 70% net negative / welfare dependent on tax contribution.

    The 2.43 million TR are 90% adult unskilled. They pay little or no direct tax paid and at least 1.5 million work illegally, so again erode & destroy the Australian tax base & shift that burden onto Australians.

    That the migrant intake, particularly the TR fueled the Sydney/ Melbourne housing price bubble & destroy housing affordability is beyond any doubt.

    Over 600,000 modest Australian dwelling have now been foreign/proxy acquired (mostly with dirty money offshore and now increasingly onshore) to be converted from Australia normal family usage & occupancy into high density sublet cash in hand migrant only bunk & mattress share.

    Throwing some 116,000 Australians out on the streee with another 400,000 seeking affordable housing.

    That they destroyed Australian education, as it prostitutes itself as a migrant guestworker visa alibi is also beyond doubt.
    Fallen 10 places globally. Pushed up costs (not subsided them) for Australian.

    And no jobs for these Australians anyway as the migrant influx undercuts & takes those working illegally.
    1.3 million Australians unemployed.
    1.1 million seeking work.

    And no dream of housing ownership.
    The foreign criminal syndicates now own that dream. To buy modest Australian dwellings & pack them full of cash in hand migrant guestworker renters.

    The migrants choke & destroy health care.
    The PR are poor unskilled high impact health care.
    The TR rort health card with fake ID:Medicare cards.
    The tourist visitors present to emergency services (sold exclusively for this) in a ‘promise to pay’ & never do.

    The migrants, especially the migrant TR guestworkers who are by far the largest intake choke & overload public transport, roads & community infrastructure.

    And social squalor – vast unassimilated migrant & ne slums within our cities as a faithful replica of their Chinese, North or South Asian, Indian, Bangladeshi and African slums of origin.


    We have the largest, most uneconomic & socially destructive migrant importation & migrant guestworker program in the Western world today.

    All on display, any day in Sydney & Melbourne.

    • mike, please keep posting on MB. You’re one of my most respected contributors … and I’m saying this as a foreign born national

  6. TailorTrashMEMBER

    I think one of the reasons there is no economic narrative might be because of the weakening of the puplic service …….in olden days the brains of the government
    were in the long term secure puplic service that had the resources and the abilities to formulate well thought out policies and could like Sir Humphrey steer ministers with a bit more skill .They also had people not as tainted by private or party intrests .
    Today you get politicians making policy announcements on the wing if they think it will get them a good news sound bite or a bump up in the short term polls .
    Just that quote from Scomo says it all ……no deep position to work from or to hold to …so he blathers …..just as Turnbull did ….even if with a little more polish .

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      RE: Quote from ScoMo – yes indeed – he also used a lot of words, but avoided saying anything substantial or meaningful. Pure gibberish. It’s a skill of sorts I guess.

      • If only journalists had the clarity of thought and fearlessness of lady footsore. Whenever I resort to gibberish for cover, or to defend the indefensible, I am quickly reminded of the topic of conversation, past positions held and the nature of reality. Like a tornado it is an awesome sight to behold but not much fun to be caught in.

      • I’m so tired of ScoMo being asked a question and him immediately switching over to saying Labor is bad.

        Labor hasn’t been in power since 2013, frickin’ get over it and accept some responsibility for your actions. Constantly blaming a them is boring and tired.

  7. Maybe Mr Costello, it is not the economy stupid? Maybe we have had a gut full of the bull and realise that it is the community stupid? The community that has been desecrated by yours and keatings crappy policies to sell out our assets, our future income producing assets, our homes and our schools to name but afew?
    Easy to win elections when you keep selling assets and handing out to your baby boomer ‘battler’ while successive governments have had to deal with backlash of taking all those unsustainable handouts back in order to pay the country’s bills.
    Wish I could be in same room as this bloke and Keating. Sadly journos today are either too afraid or dont understand economics to ask right questions.