Kim Carr

Toyota bails, car industry now dead across the Tasman, killed by unions

Toyota has finally jacked it in, announcing they are closing their plant in Australia, joining Ford and Holden in halting manufacturing of cars in Australia.

The end of car manufacturing in Australia – confirmed with Toyota’s announcement that it would shut local production in 2017, taking thousands of jobs with it – could tip Victoria and South Australia into recession, industry experts and economists have warned.

The automotive giant’s global boss, Akio Toyoda, travelled to the Altona plant and told 2500 workers their jobs would go in three years. The decision is a massive blow for the Victorian economy in particular, where more than 25,000 jobs are likely to go across the car and automotive components industries. Unions claim 50,000 skilled jobs may be lost nationally. Toyota will follow Ford and Holden out of the country, with all three car makers announcing in the last year that they would cease manufacturing by 2017. All three brands will now import all their vehicles.

Those jobs weren’t real anyway…heavily subsidised, loans, grants and tax breaks for the companies. The unions can hardly complain with the workers heavily unionised and paid far above their actual worth or productivity justified.

That isn’t stopping them from blaming everyone but themselves.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten blamed Toyota’s demise on the Abbott government. ‘‘It’s an unmitigated disaster,’’ he said.

‘‘The car industry has died under the Abbott government. It’s a disgrace.’’   Read more »

The incredible gutlessness and stupidity of Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd has said he will never again challenge for the leadership of the Labor Party. But he barely challenged the last two times such is his gutlessness.

This time round he pushed Simon Crean out in front to take the bullets and as a result Crean is now a political corpse lying at his feet, gunned down by the lack of spine in Kevin Rudd.

Sacked minister Simon Crean, who sparked Labor’s leadership crisis this week, says Kevin Rudd’s camp had fully endorsed his intervention to demand the Prime Minister call a spill.

His account directly contradicts the version of Mr Rudd, who on Friday said he had ”not expected the spontaneous combustion of Mr Crean’s” demand for a ballot, and promised he would never again seek the leadership.

Mr Rudd’s last-minute decision to back out of a challenge has led to bitter recriminations among his supporters, with Mr Crean describing Mr Rudd’s key support group as ”disorganised, unbelievable and shameless”.

“He reneged on our deal, it was gutless,” Mr Crean said. “At no stage did they say to me that Rudd wouldn’t run if he didn’t have the numbers.

A good scorecard

 The Sydney Morning Herald

At 1.59pm sharp Bob Carr came bounding into the red room with his head held high and his chest puffed slightly out.

He had arrived for his first Senate question time with one minute to spare.

Carr hopped down the stairs, onto the floor of the chamber to take his place next to Finance Minister Penny Wong: front row, behind Government Senate Leader Chris Evans.

In terms of Senate real estate, we’re talking location, location, location.

Bob Carr was in the Senate…here is how it was scored:

The Scorecard:

Minutes until Bob Carr was asked a question: 23

Total questions Carr was asked: 2 (6 including supplementaries)

Number of questions the Opposition asked Carr: 0

Number of times Bob Carr and Kim Carr appeared confused about who was being asked the question: 1

Number of Senators kicked out: 0

Number of MPs kicked out in the House’s question time today: 6

A cracker of an internal sledge

Political sledges don’t have to be in your face…they can be subtle:

As well, she had wanted to punt Kim Carr from the junior ministry. Colleagues on both sides of the leadership war pleaded that she spare him. After all, he was a good minister and, as one MP drily noted, ”we only have about three people in the Senate who can read and write, and he is one of them”.

Low bastardry at its best

The Aussie really know how to practice low bastardry in politics:

The internal war has descended into chaos, with threats now being made against MPs from powerbrokers loyal to Ms Gillard.

Several confirmed they had been threatened with losing their preselection at the next election if they did not back Ms Gillard in the ballot.

Manufacturing Minister Kim Carr, who publicly said he would vote for Mr Rudd, said he would not be “intimidated”.

“There’s been all sorts of threats made. There are all sorts of suggestions as to what will happen to people who take a different view,” Mr Carr said.

Stuart Nash should be over in Australia watching and learning.