The Prime Minister is giving us a $20 billion investment fund. So, that’s what those mysterious words “aspirational nationalism” mean. Pork.

A quick look at Amazon this morning turned up a rather nice looking Oxford World Classics edition of Samuel Smile’s Self Help for just nine pounds. Nine quid is about $22 Australian dollars. Make it 25 bucks, to add postage in as well. Right. That will buy 80,000,000 of Mr Smile’s. The government can buy every Australian four copies of the bible on the value of hard work, ingenuity, perseverance and thrift.

John Howard’s tax and spend policies are about that ridiculous.

The Prime Minister bags state governments for borrowing to invest in infrastructure. At the same time, however, he’s boasting about his programs that embody “localism based on grassroots community involvement”.

Whatever happened to community spirit? The Commonwealth, it appears, will pay for us to paint our church hall.

The Prime Minister boasted in his speech yesterday:

This morning I launched a new DVD – Raising Children – which the Government will provide free in a New Parent Kit which every parent of a new born will receive from later this year. It provides the latest research-based information on what parents need to know about the first five years of their child’s life.

Prime Minister, when I become a father the month after next, I’d prefer a tax cut to this patronising, paternalistic piece of pap.

We’ve seen the Mersey Hospital intervention. We saw the Prime Minister in South Australia on the weekend announcing goodies for Hindmarsh – Labor’s most marginal seat in the country – and Kingston – the Liberals’ ditto.

“Our local communities are objects of loyalty and solidarity that transcend the costs and benefits of daily transactions,” the Prime Minister says.

“Commitments to town and team, neighbourhood and network, provide much of the texture of social engagement and what we think of as our quality of life.”

So he’s going to pile them with pork. Or make promises to, anyway. Or maybe not even promises. Commitments. Election commitments.

He’s going to cherry pick projects in the marginals or where the government needs to shore up the vote.

There’s one good thing in this – it the Liberals stay in power. As has been the case in all the Prime Minister’s gratuitous tax and bribe expenditure since his danger days in early 2001, it will be incredibly painful to claw back when the resources boom ends and the surpluses slump.

Even if the Prime Minister isn’t around to have to deal with the mess, there’s a fair chance that the pretender who’s bitched and moaned about it all but been too gutless to challenge or resign will be left to tackle the consequences.