The Deniers

The Deniers

Do you remember the Series by William Stuart Long called The Australians

It was a series of 12 books starting with “The Exiles” and began in the 1780’s when Australia was first colonised. The titles went onto describe an historic period of Australia up to the 12th book which was “The Imperialists” set at the turn of the 20th century.

Now a hundred years later  and with Vivian Stuart (William Stuart Long’s real name) passed on in 1986, I wonder what she would have called a book about the Abbott government.

It is the 53rd day of the Abbott Government and I am yet to be impressed. Suffice to say I will never be impressed by this mob.

I thought I would write my impression and considered what moniker I could foist upon them and then it came to me – The Deniers.

By word and deed they have done everything they can to deny as much as they can.


Public information


After appearing in the Hi viz vest on a daily basis for the last three years, Tony Abbott is now going to deny people the spectacle of him in public and at press interviews and even dare I say it on Lateline, QandA, and the 7.30 report.

Abbott has been particularly silent on the MP’s rorts scandal. But he wasn’t silent on Peter Slipper’s alleged transgressions when it afforded him a perceived political advantage. He has said he is not convinced of any plan to make them better.

I actually looked at what they say and guess what. They actually are pretty clear. If you read the words and then apply their meaning it is very clear that Tony Abbott is not entitled to claim for sporting events as an Office Holder.

Don Randall has now paid back his trip to Cairns which he said was to have discussions with the then Opposition Chief Whip Warren Entsch. He denied that he wasn’t entitled to the payment but paid it back. That was after he had originally claimed it as Electorate business.

The denial was muted by the return of the money.

Freedom of Information

I was interested in how the FOI disclosure provisions may have changed under this government and went to the following site.

The FOI Act 1982 states:

Australian Government agencies must publish on their websites details of information they release in response to freedom of information requests.

They are required to do so under Subsection 11C(3) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Before the 7th September (The Federal Election date), all documents released are appended to the details in this web page. After that date they are not.

The only thing they say is.

“Documents Available

3 documents were released. Of those, 2 were released with redactions and 1 was released in full.

The documents are available on request to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Section of the department at:


Freedom of Information and Privacy Section
Office of Corporate Counsel
Attorney-General’s Department
3–5 National Circuit

A charge may be imposed to reimburse the department for the cost incurred in copying or reproducing the information or sending it to you. You will be notified if any charge is payable and if a charge is payable, you will be required to pay the charge before the information is provided.”

Before the 7th September, they said the following

“Documents Available

The Attorney-General’s Department is committed to upholding the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Work is underway across the Australian Government to achieve compliance in line with the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy.

Accessible alternative formats to Adobe Acrobat documents or pdf files are currently unavailable. If you would like hardcopies of these documents, help accessing them, or to be notified when accessible versions are published, please contact the FOI Section of this Department at:


FOI and Privacy Section
Attorney General’s Department
3-5 National Circuit


Note well reader– the actual documents released are available in Electronic format.

After 7th September, you will have to pay to see them.

Is this a denial? I think it is.

Climate Change

This is not a difficult issue. The majority of Scientists whose speciality is this discipline recognise that climate change is caused by Humans

The link above goes to one of these scientific bodies, the Government funded CSIRO.

They say there are two types of climate change, Natural and Human induced.

In answer to the Question “What is climate change?” The CSIRO answer like this (part of the answer)

“Human-induced climate change, represents a raft of new challenges for this generation and those to come, through increases in extreme weather events and other changes, such as sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

Climate change will be superimposed on natural climate variability, leading to a change in the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme events.

Climate risk profiles will be altered and adaptation will be necessary to manage these new risks. Adaptation includes new management practices, engineering solutions, improved technologies and behavioural change”

So the words spell out that human induced climate change exists in lock step with natural climate variability.

An earlier part of the answer said this

“Climate change refers to any long-term trends or shifts in climate over many decades, around which climate variability is evident year to year.

Hence, a single warmer or cooler decade on its own is not sufficient evidence to assert climate change is or isn’t occurring, but statistically significant changes in average conditions over many decades do provide evidence of a changing climate.

Australians have learned to live with climate variability such as droughts and flooding rains, or hot and cold years, but our coping capacity is limited.

We are vulnerable to extreme events, as shown by the economic, social and environmental costs of recent fires, floods, heatwaves, droughts and cyclones.”

There is human induced climate change piggybacked on top of natural climate variability, and that leads to extremes of weather events as described above.

So what is the response from the Government of the day? We know that the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott thinks that climate change is absolute crap.

He said so at a public meeting in Beaufort in Victoria. One of the Murdoch News Limited papers, The Australian reported it here.

So he is a climate science denier.

This was reinforced recently during the unseasonal start to the fire season in New South Wales, when he said the following,

“Climate change is real and we should take strong action against it,” Mr Abbott told Fairfax Radio.

“But these fires are certainly not a function of climate change, they are just a function of life in Australia.”

The United Nations Climate Chief, Christiana Figueres pointed to climate change as leading to bushfires being more regular and intense.

Tony Abbott said that she was “talking through her hat.”

So once again he is denying the link between climate science and the likely, but unproven (as yet) fact that there is a link with bush fires.

I might add that he hasn’t done his denying in any scientific way himself, he just appears to use the basest of language, like ‘absolute crap’ and to ridicule a prominent person appointed by a world body, saying she “is talking through her hat.” It is hardly the language of a leader of a country – one who holds the Chair of the Security Council of the UN at the moment.

One of the first actions of the Abbott Conservative Government was to abolish the Climate Commission which had been set up by the former Labor government to provide advice on the science and economics of carbon pricing.

This is another piece of evidence that this Tory Government are deniers. Whilst the whole world struggles toward a climate abatement consensus, Abbott just abolishes and denigrates anyone who says that the link is real.

Asylum Seekers

Have you heard or seen the phrase “Stop the Boats”?

If you haven’t you must be deaf or blind. It was the favourite refrain of the Abbott Tory opposition over the last three years.

Every boat which arrived packed with people seeking asylum from persecution in their country was “Illegal.”

His chief side kick, Scott Morrison, the newly installed Immigration Minister, was a regular spruiker as to how the Labor Government had “lost control of the borders.”

Every boat which arrived was another failure of the Rudd or Gillard government.  Abbott even stood before a poster trumpeting the number of boat arrivals under Labor.

Yet what do we see now, a black out of news on what is happening at our borders and the way that the people seeking Asylum are being treated once they are interdicted by our Customs and Defence Forces.

If it wasn’t so serious, this might be the script for a Monty Python skit. The name is fanciful “Operation Sovereign Borders,” like something out of a Boy’s Own Manual and headed by a three star General, who as soon as he was appointed went on leave for a rest.

The upshot of all of this palaver is that Morrison only wants to tell Australians once a week in scant detail, what has happened the previous week.

He wants to deny Australians the information that they have had for the past 20 years.

Abbott claims that the boats have nearly stopped. Well, that is not correct at all. An intrepid blogger has been gathering data from all sorts of sources which Morrison can’t deny him and his blog highlights Abbott’s claim as an outright lie.

Economic Issues


During the last three years the Liberal/National Coalition have denied that there was a Global Financial Crisis and they tried to deny Australians the stimulus package put in place by Rudd in February of 2009.

The stimulus package which created 534,500 new jobs, and kept Australia out of recession.

The insulation scheme was a great idea, largely spoiled by the antics of the Liberal National Party, claiming that the four deaths which resulted from the scheme were in some way the fault of Kevin Rudd and Peter Garratt.

Denial of the fact, that insulation installers are covered by Acts of the Queensland Parliament. Just to be clear, they are the Electrical Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In Queensland the people who put the installers in the roofs of those buildings were prosecuted under these acts.

The details are in a piece I wrote here.

Abbott’s crass political game playing with the poor families of the deceased boys denies their grieving process and arguably traumatised them anew every time he brings up the subject for political gain.

This is neither a subtle nor a compassionate man.


– Science

Can you imagine a world without Science? I can’t. Science is all around us, it is the bedrock of our society today.  It drives our industry, our health services, and our social interaction. Applied science is the basis of our future.

Why then is it that we don’t have a Minister for Science in the Abbott government?

I think it’s because Abbott doesn’t like it and it scares him. He denies it.

– The NBN

One of the things most impacting on our society today is communication. Since I first bought a personal computer in 1981 they have become our life. The internet has become a global phenomena which has changed the world.

The Australian Labor party had a good idea to install a National Broadband Network for all Australians, using optic fibre cable. This type of cable carries its signal by means of light which transmits the signal. We all know how fast the speed of light is – bloody quick.

Consistent with Labor values, everyone was to get a high speed link to their home or business to replace a decrepit and ancient copper telephone network.

For political advantage, Tony Abbott appointed Malcolm Turnbull as the Shadow for Communications and Turnbull then set out to destroy the future communications structure of Australia.

By many means he tried to destroy firstly the credibility of Labor and then the credibility of the NBN co and the people who worked for it. He was successful in doing so and is now destroying the immediate fibre optic opportunities of Australians and by doing so the opportunities which exist in such a transition.

I have written further about these things here.

By doing what he has done Abbott and his henchman Turnbull have denied Australia and Australians their rightful opportunities in the world. For the moment, I am sure that we will see an Australia with a fully functioning NBN after the likes of Turnbull and Abbott are in their dotage, discussing their past triumphs, whist Australia moves forward into the 21st Century.

I am sorry if I have painted a pretty bleak picture of the next three years under an Abbott Government. But I am sure that the denial theme will continue.

We have seen the start of it in the last couple of days where the Live Sheep trade is the talk of the news. Live sheep are being sold on the streets in the Middle East and slaughtered. A flagrant breach of the rules of this export trade.

The response from the Abbott government is denial.

We have yet to see the results of the numerous enquiries the Abbott government want to conduct and the policies which will flow from them.

I can assure you that they will be denial type policies. To deny workers rights, to deny welfare payments, to deny that people who are sick need help and the list goes on.

God help us all because these buggers won’t.

Update 4th November 2013.

Looking through the Twitter feed this morning I see that on Friday 1st November, the minister for the Environment, The Honourable Greg Hunt MP, approved  the Kevin’s corner mine in the Galilee basin Basin owned by GVK Hancock.

Click to access 20131101%20-%20GVK%20receives%20Federal%20environment%20clearance%20for%20Kevin%27s%20Corner%20Project.pdf

The combined output of the GVK Hancock mines in the Galilee basin will be 80million tonnes per Annum.

Probably the Largest Coal Mine in Australia.

Where was the press release from the minister for the Environment? It was missing in Action.

Once again Australians denied the information about decisions which affect our lives. I am talking here of the amount of carbon dioxide this thermal coal will emit when burned.

We don’t know all the factors to be able to calculate this correctly but here is a document which explains the process of calculation.

This document written in 1994 shows why it is important to move from coal fired power to other sustainable sources of power generation, such as Solar.

As I said before, God help us all because these buggers won’t.


By Vince O'Grady

Vince emigrated to Australia in 1978 from the United Kingdom, where he was a Police Constable in Brierley Hill, on the outskirts of Birmingham in the West Midlands. He saw a great deal of dysfunctional society during his four-and-a-half years’ Police service and realised the necessity of always being truthful, factual and slow to judge others. Deciding to pursue a different career in Australia, he chose telecommunications and has worked in sales, product and marketing management in the public and private sectors. In 1981, he became ill with arthritis and ceased full-time work in 1992, when he became a sessional teacher at TAFE in a number of subjects — mainly related to manufacturing. During the Howard years, he became interested in politics and after “hiding in plain sight” for many years, joined the Labor party in 2010. Vince has many interests, including social justice, inclusion and the good old Australian “fair go” for all. He has policy interests in economics and education. His interest in history shows that we make the same mistakes over and over again and hopes to make a difference to the political debate by clear thinking and analysis rather than by trite sloganeering. In his private life, Vince enjoys woodwork and also is a keen family historian, with a very Irish paternal side and a very French Huguenot maternal side — and is a mixture of a working class and an upper middle class upbringing. He has a Bachelors degree in Business and qualifications in Workplace Training and Assessing. He is also a keen home brewer of fine ales — at least according to his son!


  1. Let’s hope the people of WA (if they go back to the polls again) make the right decision this time. There is need for the Senate to still be the house that keeps the b*****d’s honest. This won’t happen if there is LNP ‘friendly’ newbies are put in by the general public.
    In other words WA – WAKE UP – do the right thing this time!!!!

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