Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

May 30, 2014

British Conservatives respond to UKIP win; take leaf out of Aussie Liberal book

Cartoon: By Bill Leak 
During the European elections, the Conservative Party was beaten into third place behind UKIP and Labour.  They have taken this very badly as can be expected, although their response is not the logical one of assessing where things went wrong for them and taking corrective action.
Instead, they have opted for the same as Australians have come to expect of the major party cartel here, with a sleazy, self-serving attack on the democratic process.  In an attempt to manipulate the system, Cameron is inviting European parties that were previously unacceptable to join the Conservative grouping to deny UKIP party status: 
While Cameron’s move might enrage the so-called Tory moderates, Nigel Farage will be enraged, too. He already faces the prospect of another member of his group, the Italian anti-EU Lega Nord, leaving UKIP’s group to join the Front National of Marine Le Pen and the Dutch People’s Party of Geert Wilders, two right-wing, anti-EU parties with whom Farage has said UKIP will not sit. 
Despite UKIP now being the biggest British party at the parliament, unless it can form a political group with members from at least six other EU member states, it will be denied seats on the parliamentary committees that control amendments, scrutinise legislation and question officials from other EU institutions such as the European Commission and European Central Bank. 
Moreover, UKIP will be denied the millions of euros in funding which the parliament hands over to groups to allow them to hire staff, establish a secretariat, carry out research and even set up think tanks. 
For example, in the 2012 budget, UKIP and the MEPs from ten other countries in the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, had an allocation of more than €2.5m, with €881,000 still in the bank carried over from the previous year’s grant. This was on top of all the expenses individual MEPs were given to run their offices, research and travel. 
By contrast, the giant pro-EU powers European People’s Party (EPP), from which Cameron removed the Conservative MEPs in 2009 as a sop to his party’s eurosceptic wing, was allocated €21m. 
If Cameron manages to strip away UKIP’s allies and leave Farage and his MEPs without a group, then Britain’s biggest party and Britain’s only eurosceptic voice in the parliament will be facing the power of the vastly rich EPP, and the almost-as-rich centre-left socialists (€14m), with no cash at all – and no committee seats from which to make political impact as these two mega-groups drive their permanent pro-EU majority through the parliament.
This action is similar to the actions of the Liberal party here, which on noticing the rise in the vote for minor parties has responded by forming a committee of the major party cartel and making recommendations which will prevent voters from electing anyone outside the ‘born to rule’ elite.  Despite around a quarter of voters preferring someone else, these dropkicks comfortably have come up with the conclusion that actually getting someone else is unrepresentative and has to be stopped.
Malcolm Mackerras reports on it here: 
It is not hard to find. Just go to the federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters and its Interim Report on the Inquiry into the Conduct of the 2013 Federal Election: Senate Voting Practices, which was delivered on the morning of Friday, May 9. 
The opening sentence of the foreword reads thus: “The 2013 federal election will long be remembered as a time when our system of Senate voting let voters down.” 
I dissent. I think what will long be remembered are the facts that I outlined a few paragraphs ago. However, there will be some in the political class who remember that election for the official reason. A bit below the above quote from the foreword we have the view that the system of voting “delivered, in some cases, outcomes that distorted the will of the voter”. 
My reaction to that is to ask for names. So I continue to read. Then on page 19 there is this: “Despite this very small percentage of first-preference votes, Senator-elect Muir was elected to the Senate for Victoria in the final vacancy.” 
In fact, there were a dozen senators elected with a smaller percentage of first-preference votes than Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party. However, their preference harvesting was within party groups (very normal and thought to be ethical) whereas Muir was harvesting the votes of other parties. So I can now give a precis of the report. It takes the form of an address to Muir from the rest of the parliament: “You should not be here. To make that quite clear we intend to enact a radical reform of the system. Your type will never again be allowed to enter the Senate.” 
On page 2 of the report we have this: “The final composition of the Senate should reflect the informed decisions of the electorate and it is clear that the Senate from 1 July 2014 will not do that, it will reflect deal-making and preference-swapping.” 
My take is to assert that 36 senators will be sworn in next month, of whom 35 clearly reflect the informed decisions of the electorate. We can agree to disagree about Muir. 
This report is a scholarly work and I encourage people to read it. However, do not be misled by its unanimity. First, three parties only were represented, Labor, Liberal and Greens. Had there been a Nationals member or had John Madigan or Clive Palmer been a member there would have been a dissenting report. 
Second, the three parties represent declining voter support. I have already given the Labor and Liberal figures, so let me give the Greens.   They received 13.1 per cent in 2010 and had six senators elected. Then they received 8.6 per cent in 2013 and had four senators elected. 
Since there is now a unity ticket of three big parties to implement reform, we can safely say there will be changes along the lines unanimously recommended. So let me say something about the present system and the next one. 
I call the present system “the fifth Senate electoral system and the second Single Transferable Vote system”. I call the next system “the sixth Senate electoral system and the third STV system”. 
History will record that the present system operated for 30 years, from 1984 to 2014 inclusive, over 12 elections.  It was a remarkably successful system, not only being popular but also being noted for the consistent fairness of the results it produced. ....
It is odd to hear the Australian government criticizing the coup in Thailand as undemocratic, while at the same time is manipulating the democratic process in order to exclude anyone outside the major party triumvirate that currently rules.

May 29, 2014

Oh dear; Cadburys not Halal

It took a fair bit of checking around to make sure that the following was not satire, in this modern age of victimhood it is often difficult to tell the difference.
Muslim groups in Malaysia are threatening a holy war and lawsuits against chocolate manufacturer, Cadburys over traces of pork found in their products; you just can’t make this stuff up.  Apparently this is seen as likely to weaken Muslim bodies and lead to social ills and apostasy: 
… “They have betrayed us Muslims by putting ‘haram’ elements through the foods we consume in our body, to weaken us Muslims.  “That is why Muslims are weak, divided,” Perkasa Selangor chief Abu Bakar Yahya told reporters. 
Perkid president Ustaz Masridzi Sat said most social ills and apostasy cases in the country involving Muslims stemmed from them consuming food which was not halal. 
“Because the person eats pork it is difficult to guide him to the right path. When the day of judgment comes, that person will be wearing a pig-face because of what he has eaten,” he said. 
“We need to unite, we must declare jihad!” said Masridzi to shouts of “Allahuakbar” (God is great!) from the others in attendance. 
PPIM president Datuk Nadzim Johan said that they have begun discussing matters with Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) and other Malay NGOs on possible legal action.  “But even RM1 billion in compensation won’t be enough. 
“Will Cadbury wash away the tainted blood in our veins? I want to wash away the tainted blood of my children who have consumed the chocolates... how will money even compensate that?” a Malay woman present shouted hysterically. …
If we had made this one up, we could have claimed to have scooped the Onion as a quick check reveals that it hasn’t appeared there yet.
If Cadburys is trying to dispose of the offending products, I will send them my address, as I have no worries about a bit of pork in my food.  Perhaps some of the more laid back Muslims will take it though; a number of Catholics have reported that meat always tasted that bit better on Fridays when it was forbidden.

May 27, 2014

Beef producers give WWF the finger

Beware of Greens bearing gifts, or perhaps;
Nice industry you have there, be a shame if something happened to it.
Various industries have paid a heavy price for listening to the Siren song of environmental groups on sustainability and a cooperative approach to meeting environmental goals in production.
The Tasmanian forestry industry is a case in point where the forests agreement has gutted the timber industry.  This has been so successful from a green perspective that attempts to revive it have been met with claims that it is so small that there is no need to open up more logging areas.
In Queensland, farmers who accepted the Greens support in protecting their land from mining and CSG wells, found that the proposed legislation to ‘protect strategic crop land’ put more restrictions on the farmers themselves than the miners and gas explorers. 
 After moves by the WWF to sucker the beef industry into their global roundtable for sustainable beef, the industry has decided to implement their own, on their own: 
A so-called “square table’’ meeting in Brisbane on Friday, attended by 27 beef industry leaders, agreed to create a new taskforce to develop the sustainability framework independent of WWF. 
The meeting was chaired by former AACo Managing Director David Farley. 
The meeting, pushed by Queensland Nationals Senators Ron Boswell and Barry O’Sullivan came after warnings from trade expert Alan Oxley that the WWF inspired Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef risked tying farmers up in green tape and was a move designed by environmentalists to “control farming’’. 
The industry lead “square-table’’ forum was attended by the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA), Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC), Australian Lot Feeders Association (ALFA), Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), National Farmers Federation (NFF), AgForce, NSW Farmers Association, Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association (NTCA), Animal Medicines Australia (AMA), Hughes Pastoral, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and the Federal Government. 
Red Meat Advisory Council chairman Ross Keane said Australia already had systems in place that were superior to their international competitors. He said the “square table’’ initiative had the backing of the meat industry from processors to retailers. 
The creation of the taskforce placed the control and responsibility of sharing Australian beef’s sustainability credentials squarely in the hands of industry.“As an industry, we need to keep pace — if not stay at the fore of — consumer requirements and community expectations,” Mr Keane said. 
Last month, former trade ambassador and the chairman of the APEC Centre at RMIT University, Mr Oxley, warned beef producers against the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which is formulating “sustainability’’ guidelines for the Australian industry. 
He accused environmental groups of exploiting secondary boycott loopholes to hold a threat over producers that a major customer such as Woolworths or McDonald’s, which is involved in the roundtable talks, will stop buying their beef unless they sign up to the initiative. 
“This is not just green tape, this is green thuggery,’’ Mr Oxley said. 
“With booming Asian demand, Australia’s beef industry has a very rosy future. Farmers are demanding the government free trade and open foreign markets. They should also demand the government free the domestic market from mafia-style market capture.” …
This is a great first step, but the real fight is yet to come.  The WWF and its green henchmen are not going to take this one lying down and will fight back.  The threat of boycotts by major distributors like McDonalds or Woolworths is real.
Another serious threat is the current government.  Abbott has his back to the wall over the proposed budget and will be looking for friends and support to get some of the more contentious measures through parliament.  This is where the Greens can play a part in screwing graziers over.
Senator Ron Boswell has been one of the primary forces in getting the beef industry to reject the advances of big eco, along with senator elect David Leyonhjelm and others. 
Ron is retiring at the end of June and will leave a huge gap in the political credibility of the coalition government.  He is probably the most highly principled member of the current government since Bert Kelly and Bill Wentworth, and has not hesitated in putting his career on the line in pursuit of what is right on a number of occasions in a long and honorable career.
Whether any of those left are prepared to stand up for the industry in the face of deals to get their agenda past the senate is a matter we should not feel totally optimistic about.

May 23, 2014

FIFO workers camps; Queensland Parliament descends into yet more farce

Image:’ Enslaved’ FIFO worker. Courier Mail 
While not the most emotive issue around, Mining camps and fly in fly out workers tend to be up there in a number of circles.  Towns in mining areas tend to feel that they miss out on substantial trade that might have been had workers resided in the area.
Many workers though like doing it this way as it enables them to hold down well paying jobs out in the sticks in relative comfort without the need to relocate their families, who might be a bit harder to please.
Politicians of all persuasions love to go off about it for whatever reasons they come up with for doing so.  Labor’s Jo-Ann Miller has come up with one of the more extreme examples
... Opposition mines spokeswoman Jo-Ann Miller says the "harrowing stories" she has heard from FIFO workers in the mining communities of Moura, Dysart, Middlemount, Blackwater and Moranbah explain why the state's mining towns are suffering. 
"To say that mining companies are engaging in fly-in, fly-out postcode apartheid is no understatement," she told state parliament on Tuesday night. 
"Workers are being kept in what only can be described as mining concentration camps.”Ms Miller said workers were being told not to mix with locals and had to have written permission before being able to leave the camps. …
The premier, Campbell Newman has decided to grandstand the issue with an insistence that this represented some sort of Nazi slur which offended the Jews and the opposition leader’s Polish ancestors. 
It is not understood why concentration camps specifically relate to Germany, who had them but were not the only ones.  The British had them during the Boer War, and they have become a regular feature of history leading to the Soviet Gulags, the Serbian ones during the Balkans conflict, and are still plentiful in North Korea today.
Perhaps he is doing the old Basil Faulty, “Don’t mention the war,” thing.
The initial statement was rather idiotic; conditions and rules vary depending on the company and location involved.  Generally on locations where I have worked, interaction with the locals is encouraged, and there are few restrictions on matters like alcohol consumption, other than having to pass a breathalyzer test with a low level of tolerance prior to going in to work.
The government is grandstanding on the issue, but at least the time taken up with this nonsense is not wasted.  They could be using it to pass more laws based on economic illiteracy, or restrictions on an increasing number of the few freedoms we have left. 

May 20, 2014

Palmer advocates emulating Barack Obama

Cartoon: by R May 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell
It’s always amusing to hear politicians lauding the Australian economy over its AAA credit rating.
While its nice to think it hasn’t dropped below that, it needs to be remembered that this rating is awarded by the same agencies that gave AAA ratings to mortgage backed securities in the US and look how that worked out.  These agencies cannot even be held responsible for their screw-ups, owing to a court decision that their advice is only expression of an opinion and therefore protected under the First Amendment.
Nonetheless, Clive Palmer seems to swallow the Kool-Aid in an interview with Chris Uhlmann on AM
CLIVE PALMER: …third best and we've already got a Triple A credit rating and there's only 13 countries in the world that have got a Triple A credit rating. I think all the other countries of the world would be envious of that position. 

CHRIS UHLMANN: Would you like Australia's debt to GDP ratio to rise to 70 per cent?

CLIVE PALMER: I think we have to, you know, if you look historically it goes up and down and moves within a particular band. And certainly it's never been higher than 20 per cent and that's well below any other country. 

CHRIS UHLMANN: Well, without repair of the budget it will rise and continue to rise, so at what point do you think it should be fixed, how many deficits should Australia run in a row?

CLIVE PALMER: Well, first of all the United States has only had 12 surpluses in 50 years. They're the preeminent power on the planet. 
CHRIS UHLMANN: And France has run deficits since 1974 and all those nations are actually in huge financial strife at the moment, so should Australia try and keep this position or improve it?

CLIVE PALMER: No, they say that but I don't think that's true. You know, if we look at our unemployment rate in Australia of course we're around 5 per cent and the OECD average is 8 per cent. 

If we look at the amount of public spending that we spend on public expenditure, we're about half of what's spent in other countries. So already we're on a very tight budget. And I think really what you've got to look at is stimulating the economy, creating more growth. 

CHRIS UHLMANN: And how would you do that?

CLIVE PALMER: Well, certainly I'd do that personally if I was prime minister by moving the reporting date for provisional tax from the start of the year and stopping companies having to pay their tax before they've made the profit, to the end of the year. Now the forward estimates said that would raise $70 billion be released into the economy. 

CHRIS UHLMANN: In one year. It's a once-off. 

CLIVE PALMER: Yeah, and every time it circulates you get 10 per cent GST. So if it circulates say four times a year, you get $28 billion hit to the budget. Now that's similar to what…

CHRIS UHLMANN: It is a one trick pony. If what you said was true, it is a one trick pony. You can only move the date once. 
CLIVE PALMER: That's right and you need once to restructure the economy and to stimulate things. Look what president Obama's done in the United States. He's no fool. He's injected $85 billion a month into the US economy, created enormous growth and made America much more competitive. 

CHRIS UHLMANN: And the United States will never pay off its debt in its lifetime, in his lifetime. 

CLIVE PALMER: But it'll be the preeminent economic power in the world and… 

CHRIS UHLMANN: That won't be by 2020 when China will pass it. 

CLIVE PALMER: Well, I don't know, you know. The situation, China is not in the OECD so we can only look about comparative countries and we don't have a transparent system in China to compare us with. … 
… CHRIS UHLMANN: It certainly is but as you know without money you can't do the things that you want to do and if you are spending money now that you don't have then you are going to have to pay for it sometime and you're going to have to pay for it with interest and that will be paid for by a future generation. Is that fair?

CLIVE PALMER: That's just propaganda. 

CHRIS UHLMANN: Well, no, that's absolutely true. The smiles on the faces of those children are going to be working for a lot longer and the aged population is getting larger. 
CLIVE PALMER: We've got to ask you, we've got to ask you, our gross domestic product is about $1.5 trillion a year. Our debt at the moment is probably around about $300 billion so that's…

CHRIS UHLMANN: Rising to $600 billion if nothing is done. 
CLIVE PALMER: Let me finish. That's about two months of our activity. Is your personal debts less than two months of your activity? That's what we are as a nation. You know, we've got debts which are less than one year of our total activity. I mean that's not difficult.  
CHRIS UHLMANN: Big difference between the size of the economy and the Government's finances though, as you would know. 

CLIVE PALMER: Well, not really. The Government can manipulate the economy in any way it wants to. …
Clive has no understanding of economics but knows the art of using romantic imagery such as putting smiles on children’s faces being more important than keeping the nation solvent.  The grim reality is, that if we don’t stop pissing our prosperity up against the wall we will be up shit creek without a paddle and those children’s futures will be bleak in twenty years time when our debt is totally unsustainable.
His assertions on the US economy are dubious at best.  More than 20% of the population there is on food stamps, employment growth is mainly in part time low paid jobs and government ones, and any fall in the unemployment rate is mainly due to drops in the workforce participation rate.
Anyone who believes that the way to prosperity is more debt will believe in the tooth fairy or the magic pudding.

May 19, 2014

No double-dissolution; so who’s backed down?

Prime minister, Tony Abbott has backed away from his threat of a double dissolution and now says that the next election will be in 2016.  He claims to be confident that his budget will pass, claiming that the minor parties will understand the need for tough measures.
Either he thinks that the threats he made are certain to work, or he has already put a deal in place.  On the other hand, he may be bluffing 
... He was confident the minor parties and Senate independents would “understand” the harsh measures in his government’s first budget and accept his mandate to govern. 
“Whenever the next election comes, the people will judge us on what we’ve done and before the election we said we’d stop the boats, we’d scrap the carbon tax, we’d build the roads of the twenty-first century, we’d get the budget back under control,” he said in an appearance on ABC’s Insiders program. … 
… Mr Abbott last week warned that some of the incoming Senate crossbenchers — including Palmer United Party, Family First, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party — would be unlikely to keep their seats if there was a new election. 
His comments were widely interpreted as a threat of a double dissolution election to the crossbenchers who might be contemplating voting against some of the budget’s major measures. … 
… “I’m confident that the minor parties and the independents in the Senate will understand that we could not go on living the way we were, we could not go one mortgaging the future. 
“Now if they don’t like what we’re putting up, what are they going to put up as an alternative. …
If it is a matter of pulling the required votes from the minor parties, then some of the incoming senators must have backed down from their stated opposition to key points in the budget.  The DLP senator and Xenophon have been reasonably quiet, so it’s possible that they will vote with the government, but they need another four.
Liberal Democrat, David Leyonhjelm, and FF’s Bob Day are both fiscal conservatives who oppose tax increases as a matter of principle, so it’s unlikely that they have been swayed. Leyonhjelm would be lynched by his party if he were to change his mind on this, so he is out of the equation.
This pretty much leaves the three PUP senators and their bought or rented Motoring Enthusiasts Party guy, Ricky Muir to make up the four.  Given the statements of Clive Palmer, it is difficult to see how this could happen, but Clive has plenty of media operatives around him who would be able to spin the term, “save his skin,” into something meaning the same, but sounding noble and even self-sacrificing.
There is another possibility though.
Since the 1975 ‘dismissal’ oppositions have regarded as almost sacred the idea that the government has a right to have its budget passed.  They kick and scream up till the point of the vote, then back down in the name of convention.  Shorten has been foaming at the mouth since budget night, but the line he has adopted will leave him exposed to the rotten fish smell of the fiscal profligacy of the previous government owing to his assertion that the budget position is strong.
It’s a reasonable bet that the budget will pass with Labor backing.

May 18, 2014

Palmer for talk, Liberal Democrats for action

Some years ago, I was talking to the senior mine geologist about the drilling program when a winder driver asked about a problem she had and wanted to know whether she should talk to the general manager or the underground one.  
The geologist replied, “If you want something done see the underground manager, if you just want to talk about it, the general manager is just the man for it.”
This pretty much equates to the difference between the Liberal Democrats and Palmer.
Palmer is blowing off a bit of froth today about his chances of becoming prime minister if Tony Abbott calls a double dissolution: 
… Mr Palmer has predicted a bold, new direction for Australian politics where his party has a majority in the lower house and he is prime minister. 
The mining magnate has dared Prime Minister Tony Abbott to call a double dissolution election if he cannot pass the budget and says the Palmer United Party will run in every lower house seat and can claim victory.  
“Our members think there should be an election straight away,” Mr Palmer told Fairfax Media.  “They are ready and standing by.” … 
… Asked to explain precisely how he could become prime minister, Mr Palmer predicted that his party could take votes from the Coalition and added: “I think we can get the votes we need to make Australia better.'' 
“I think there will be a new change in the dynamic of Australian politics. In the lower house we will be going out to win it.''  Mr Palmer predicted the PUP could also claim 24 to 30 seats in the Senate. …
If voters want to be sold a pup, then Clive is just their man; he even has the right party name for it.  PUP is a policy free zone; the policy section of their website lists four or five one sentence generic positions that mean as close to nothing as Palmer can get them.
If you want to know more, he refers you to a ‘policy document’ which is actually a long series of press releases, some of them contradictory, and giving no detail of any proposed actions.
PUP mirrors Clive Palmer.  Clive is mainly famous for picking and losing fights, and travelling around the nation bitching about everything going on.  This is fine as far as politics go, but sooner or later, you have to come out with meaningful solutions.
The Liberal Democrats on the other hand feature a full section of detailed policies on pretty much every aspect of matters covered by politics.  Nothing is hidden; there are no surprises if the party is elected.  It is all out in the open.
Nobody knows what Palmer would do if PUP got up.  We all know what he complains about, but there are no solutions offered; his appeal is restricted to low information voters who want to make a protest, assuming that it will all be OK.
Palmer has spent the past week howling to the moon about the budget, saying he will block it, complaining about every aspect of it, but has not had the courage of his convictions (if any) to come up with an alternative. 
The Liberal Democrats on the other hand released a full and detailed budget a day prior to Abbott.  In fact, we were the only party to do so.  It may not appeal to everyone but everyone detests the LNP one.
We all have to step into the big unknown at some stage, but voting for Palmer is a step too far.

May 17, 2014

OK Liberals West Australia, what will you do about it?

 “If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” – Thomas Paine
Liberals WA has a posting (below) up on their Facebook page today complaining of the way in which GST revenue from that state is distributed across the nation.  The reality is that of all revenue raised by this tax in the state, 38c (soon to go down to11c) in the dollar goes back there.  The rest goes to other states. 

Being Liberals, they tend to have a short attention span and have not gone on to check just how badly WA is treated by the tax system as a whole.  The same principle applies across the entire system; it is not just GST, but income, company and every other tax that rips them off.  The figure of $3.6 billion is only a small part of it; the total figure is around $20 billion from all taxes.
This issue was first raised by Liberal Democrat senator elect, David Leyonhjelm in the lead up to the West Australian senate election #2.
This welfare system involves two states – Western Australia and New South Wales – transferring funds to the other states and territories. WA transfers $20 billion a year, equivalent to more than $8,000 a year from each West Australian, while NSW transfers more than $2 billion a year, over $300 per person. 
Out of this system Tasmania and the Northern Territory draw nearly $4 billion a year each. That means each Tasmanian, rich or poor, gets nearly $8,000 per year from the people of WA and NSW while Northern Territorians get more than $16,000. 
The state-to-state welfare system is complicated and to unravel it is no easy task. Some think it simply involves the GST, but that only plays a small part. Of the $8,000 a year that each West Australian transfers to the east, only $600 is a result of paying GST to Canberra.
During the senate rerun, Clive Palmer threw huge resources at the issue and made significant inroads as a result.  We all remember those Youtube videos of Canberra snatching bread from hungry babes.  Clive, of course didn’t actually present a policy on the issue and tell the people what he was going to do about it; there was no need.  The implication that he disapproved of it was enough.
In view of this, it’s no wonder the WA Liberals have now found sufficient voice to bitch about it.
The problem they have with this, is that their version of ‘the world’s greatest treasurer’, Joe Hockey ridiculed Palmer for raising the issue and challenged him to say just what he would do about it, given his senators from Tasmania and Queensland.
So dudes, what are you going to do about it given your federal party believe that you have a duty to support the green obsessions of the Apple Isle?
The truth is that out of all the critics of the system, only the Liberal Democrats have a policy against tax transfers: 
The LDP will seek to: 
                 Limit the federal government to defence, immigration, basic public services (eg passport services, regulation of hazardous materials, air and sea transport regulation), and assistance to the least well off. 
                Stop all transfers from the federal government to other levels of government, including grants from the pool of GST revenues.