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Politics is officially bunk

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Thursday, 20 May 2010 09:42 by Bushfire Bill

 

 

I regard myself as a pretty hard nut to crack but I have to admit it... today I'm gobsmacked.

Gobsmacked... that yesterday The Australian could introduce an article by Mirko Bagaric - the man who wrote the book on torture - in defence of the ethics of Tony Abbott's lying (they're only white lies, natch), leaving it to Tony's conscience as to whether a lie is in a good cause. I guess we, the Voters, are just supposed to accept Tony's (and The Australian's) decision on the matter.

Gobsmacked... that Joe Hockey had the temerity to front the Press Club... with no policies, no costings and no idea except to demolish anything and everything Labor has set up in the past couple of years.

Gobsmacked... that the Right thought they could get away with these pathetic excuses for participation in the National Discourse.

This is one of those occasions where I don't know how to begin to criticise the last day's worth of politics. It's not that there's nothing to criticise. It's just... where do I start?

The lies, the convolutions, the deliberate idiocies that Joe Hockey told Kerry O'Brien last night on the 7.30 Report were so monumentally galling as to be beyond rational criticism (given restricted bandwidth... which is another Coalition policy, of course... no NBN).

I can only assume that Joe has been told, 'It'll be fixed up in the morning, mate. Don't worry. Get a good night's sleep Joe.'

That he and Robb can claim that retaining 30% company tax is a saving when the very tax they are claiming to axe - Labor's reduced rate of 28% - is based on a law - the Resource Super Profits Tax - they have sworn not to enact is bad enough, but then to say that if Labor is re-elected they'll block it somehow is too much... what I mean is that if Labor is re-elected, and reduces company tax to 28%. how can getting rid of it be a Coalition government savings measure... because the Coalition won't be in government... See? I'm trying to be rational. It's a character fault I have. You can't be rational with monstrous stupidity such as this. So I won't go on trying. Red Kerry himself gave up after six minutes trying to make sense of it. Greg Jennet this morning on ABC radio told listeners, "It's a bit complicated... but please bear with me...". So perhaps I'm in good company.

Either Joe has been advised the media 'fix' is in, or he's even more stupid than even I dared to believe (and his regard for the Voter is even more cynical than I thought possible). Is politics really bunk? Do they actually expect us to believe this claptrap that passes for sober political policy-making?

Yesterday - all of it - was a monument to absolute political and social buffoonery. What can the Coalition expect us to cope with, now that we've seen the absolute worst they can dish up as rational decision making? For once (many may give thanks) I'm stumped for words.

So it seems was Dennis Shanahan, who, in place of his usual hyperbolic paean of praise for anything the Coalition does, says or implies, managed to stump up with just 333 half-hearted words on yesterday's Press Club fiasco (can I use that word... or is it reserved only for Insulation and the BER?). Michelle Grattan only managed 191 words, although six of them were "Policy vacuum a recipe for political disaster".

According to Dennis, Joe Hockey only "left the impression he didn't turn up at the National Press Club with a detailed list of budget cuts and costings for his budget-in-reply speech yesterday." He had it in his hand, didn't he? One single A4 page wasn't it? He waved it around a bit, right? What more did the hostile media crowd in attendance want? Answers to questions? The cheek! 

The silence this morning in the newspapers and on the airwaves is deafening. It's as if the media have collectively sucked in their breath in shock, and no-one wants to be the first to ask 'What the hell happened?'  Things are so quiet, even the birds have stopped singing in the trees outside my office window. So why do I still hear those tom-toms beating in my brain? Oooooh... my head hurts.

Does yours?

 

Comments (142) -

May 20. 2010 10:28 AM

gusface

Bushfire

I thank you for your ability to say it as it is.

Smile

gusface

May 20. 2010 10:45 AM

Chris

Well said Bushfire Bill,
Anyone using Mirko Bagaric to support their case may well have already lost the argument.
I've got concerns that Joe Hockey is being somewhat used by others in the Liberal Party to take some of the heat off Abbott. I can only imagine that he was convinced by others to approach the Press Club address the way he did and that it was not his own idea. Why anyone thought it would be a good idea to hold back the costings is anyone's guess. This makes sense when you realise that Joe Hockey should have been elected leader of the Libs at the last spill and that Tony and his backers might be trying to tarnish his only real opponent in the party. Still, Joe's own fault I say.
Of course, the other way to interpret it is that there is no confidence in Hockey's ability as a potential treasurer, hence the use of Robb to deliver the real message, and the decision to hold back the cuts so as to save Joe any embarresment. Robb would obviously make a better treasurer, but Hockey is seen as more popular with the voters. In other words we are being taken for mugs.

Chris

May 20. 2010 10:47 AM

Amos Keeto

Totally agree BB, it really does sh-t me to tears sometimes.

Amos Keeto

May 20. 2010 12:04 PM

bilgedigger

Taking the appearances by Abbott, Hockey (and to a lesser extent Robb's media "conference") as representative of the attitude of the Liberal Party to the public (including the journos present at the Press Club) it shows a clear and present contempt for voters. Is this attitude being maintained in the belief that they will have the continuing wholehearted support of a large section of the media and the press gallery in the run up to the election so it doesn't matter how they treat us all? As for the weak reportage in the media today I just shake my head in the same way I think I can see you shaking yours.

Wikipedia has a delightful article on "Bizzarro World" and Captain Bizzarro which goes some way to illuminating the political situation the Opposition would have us in.

BB - You know I gave you some advice about taking a Bex and having a good lie-down? Well I'm about to take my own advice and just let it wash all over me until I stop shaking my head and get really angry about the way the public is being treated - not a long time I hope.

bilgedigger

May 20. 2010 12:22 PM

Michael Cusack

In the Soviet army during the Great Patriotic War, they had punishment battalions whose duties included marching through minefields in order to clear them for the following troops. Hockey fulfills that role for the Liberal party. He just has not been told yet.

Michael Cusack

May 20. 2010 12:44 PM

Ad astra reply

BB
Your piece catches the intense feelings of outrage that the Abbott party has engendered in those who look for informed discourse about matters of such importance to our nation as the annual Budget and the reaction of the Opposition to it.  This is not a trivial issue - it is central to the economic health of our country.  Yet Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb, the three key shadow ministers on matters of finance, treat us with arrogant or is it just thoughtless disdain.  Disdain in the address in reply to the Budget, the National Press Club address and in the subsequent media appearances of Hockey and Robb.  As you and bilgedigger say, they treat us as mugs to be ignored, misinformed, and left in the cold.  There is a solution - at the ballot box.

Recognizing that even those who closely observe the political scene can be quite wrong in their predictions, I get the feeling from Joe Hockey’s demeanor and performance in recent days that he might be close to spitting the dummy.  Was he informed beforehand that Abbott was going to give him a hospital pass to reveal the savings?  His face didn’t reflect much joy at that prospect.  Who suggested he decline to reveal the details of the savings in his Press Club speech?  I suspect it was he, wanting as he obviously did to exhibit his economics credentials rather than answer pesky questions about the savings from a room full of journalists.  Why should he be lumbered with them when he could hand-pass them so sweetly to Andrew Robb?  My impression is that he is seriously disillusioned with his leader, his party and with the role with which he has been lumbered.  He likes to be jovial Joe, not hard-nosed Joe spelling out the bad news to demanding, hostile journalists.

Not long ago, shortly after the birth of his son, he was quite upfront about his willingness to substitute for his wife as a home-Dad if her job, which he rated as more important than his, and presumably better paid, demanded that.  Giving up politics seemed not out of the question.

Look at his situation.  His chance to become leader when Malcolm Turnbull was extruded was muffed by him and his sponsor Nick Minchin.  This misadventure renders him unlikely to get another chance, especially with Turnbull hovering in the wings.  So what are his prospects?  Treasurer seems to be the most senior post he could aspire to, and even that is one that recent events show he is not capable of filling.  The only reason he remains in contention for such an important post is the lack of an alternative.  I agree with Chris that Robb would probably do better, and of course Turnbull would if the chance for him to fill that role arose.  But Turnbull wants leadership, and would accept shadow treasurer only if pipped for that top post.  For Joe to have to accept a lesser role than Treasurer would be a comedown he would be unlikely to readily accept.

So the future looks pretty bleak for Joe, and if he gets messed around any more by the Abbott Party leadership and shredded by the media many more times, as is likely given the Opposition’s parlous budget situation, don’t be surprised if you see a dummy spit.  It may not be a monumental one with him leaving parliament, it is more likely to be a sullen rejection of the bad-guy role with which he’s been lumbered by his own party, that will be manifest by an even more casual attitude to his job, and a more cavalier approach to facts and figures in his parliamentary and media appearances.  Watch.

Ad astra reply

May 20. 2010 12:47 PM

Augustus

BB, the coalition's budget response team www.toonpool.com/.../3_wise_monkeys_490165.jpg

Augustus

May 20. 2010 01:08 PM

lyn

Hi Bushfire Bill

Fantastic, brilliant piece, thankyou so much Bushfire for keeping us entertained.

Look where you have travelled this morning, all the way to Townsville, QLd.Thursday, 20 May 2010

It's been a most strange week in conservative politics,  Blogging Townsville.

posted by Island View at 10:46 AM
  
Reprinted in full,because it says it all reallyBy Bushfire Bill in THE POLITICAL SWORD

bloggingtownsville.blogspot.com/.../...eek-in.html
  


lyn

May 20. 2010 01:37 PM

BK

BB
Right on the mone - as entertainingly usua!

A sleeper could be Robb's failure to provide the detailed costings of the Coalition's election promises after very clearly (though not in writing) and publicly undertaking to do so by COB yesterday.

BK

May 20. 2010 01:37 PM

BK

mone = money
Sorry

BK

May 20. 2010 03:00 PM

cybercynic

BK
Robb can't supply the detailed costings because that's Barnaby's job and Andrew has forgotton Barnaby's phone number. Apparantly Tony gave it to Joe who gave it to Andrew who gave it to Julie, who gave it to Bronwyn who gave it to Wilson (who ate it)... Greg Hunt is standing around with a doggy bag awaiting nature to take it's course.

cybercynic

May 20. 2010 03:01 PM

janice

Things are definitely crook in Tullarook, Bushfire.  I'm afraid I got gobsmacked awhile back and came to the conclusion that reading the promotional trash msn were pushing down our throats about Abbott, in particular, and the coalition in general was too much to bear.  I got extremely angry, tired and downright digusted that most of the media apparently prefer a bunch of incompetent imbeciles to run the country rather than admit that, however nerdish and irritating Kevin Rudd might be to them, he is a bloody good Prime Minister and his government is shaping up to be one of the best Australia has had.

Abbott, Hockey and Robb all made a woeful effort this week to present even an inkling that they might have a little economic nous.  Not one of the three who aspire to hold the most important portfolio's in a government have shown over the last twelve months that they could run a corner store, yet our media has been out there persuading voters that they're a better bet than Rudd and his team.  To make it even more astounding, the polling has shown there is a good percentage of voters who either believe the propaganda, or they have got over dirtying their pants when the GFC threatened their jobs and now feel safe enough to return to the selfish ways they learned under Howard.

janice

May 20. 2010 03:06 PM

janice

LOL Cybercynic - I see you're using Tony's twin for your gravatar.

janice

May 20. 2010 03:19 PM

vote1maxine

BB

Another great post! I'm afraid I just get depressed when I see how the MSM support these clowns who believe that they are an alternate government. Worse still are those who would vote for such a shambolic rabble who are a clear and present danger (if elected) to us and our childrens' future. According to the latest polls, almost half my fellow countrymen would vote for these moronic demagogues. I hold my head in shame and despair. Frown

vote1maxine

May 20. 2010 03:21 PM

cybercynic

Janice

It's a very little known fact that Tony was one child in a set of Triplets. There is the two identical ones "Gospell Tony" and "Phoney Tony" (The Yin and Yan of Australian politics) and then there is "Bruce" who's photo adourns my Gravatar. Bruce's job is to scare the children and round up the horses at election time. He is normally kept in the cupboard under the stairs next to Gospell's and Phoney's Tandem Bicycle....Wink

Actually it is one half of a set of Identical Twins that is part of a case study on the effects of in-breeding in the Southern Half of the USA early in the 20th Century (or so I was told)

The photo of the other twin is way to scary for a left leaning blog such as this...

cybercynic

May 20. 2010 03:30 PM

lyn

Hi cybercynic

Great sense of humour, hilarious, your gravatar likeness to Tony Abbott is amazing.

Tell me please cybercynic, how do you know this blogg is left leaning.

lyn

May 20. 2010 03:34 PM

cybercynic

Lyn ... how do I know its left leaning

very very very easy

1. Its factual
2. Its funny
3. Its refreshingly free of "bolters" or "Pies" lunatics

cybercynic

May 20. 2010 03:52 PM

fred

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medibank_Private

Joe and the COALition ["Hey,look, its not nailed down lets privatise it!!!"] reckon they will sell Medibank Private an organization that has, among others, these 3 aims:

To support good health in the Australian community

To provide competition to the privately owned health funds

To generate dividends and profits for the Australian government [which therefore includes the Australian public]. As far as I can see its 'net income' currently is about $100 million per year.

All these aims and benefits will be lost if the COALition does as Howard wanted to do in '07 and privatises a national assett.

Not economically smart.

fred

May 20. 2010 03:56 PM

Michael

The Coalition is mistake-ridden. With Abbott as jockey, it will continue to be.

Did anyone else notice that the national newspapers' 'front pages' portion of ABC News Breakfast this morning displayed the print version of The Australian saying Fortescue Mining "axes" projects, but the online version has the same headline with "stalls" in place of "axes"?

The story online's content backs up 'stall' over 'ax' as what was actually happening?

Could it be that the minions of Murdochinania considered it more important that passers-by on the street see the emotive "axes" on a news-poster/front page, rather than learn by actually reading the story that Fortescue is stalling in order to play politics?

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg9df-1225868899892

Michael

May 20. 2010 04:09 PM

lyn

Hi Fred

Thankyou for commenting on The Politicsl Sword, we have Fred 17, but if you are

  Fred then you have just arrived, we hope you keep coming back, Ad Astra and all of us

will be very pleased.

Fred, sell of assetts is one thing, but what about shelving the NBN, taking all the

computers out of the schools, cancelling the BER, it would have cost millions to install

all those computers, that have been installed to date.

How sad for our Country if they cancel the NBN, or for that matter to cancel any of the

stimulus programs.

The Coalition is so hell bent on saying no to everything, they don't study anything,

just say no, even before the policy is released.

lyn

May 20. 2010 04:20 PM

lyn


TODAY'S LINKS PART 2

"Tony, Tony, is he a Phony?", Chris Owens, Sportolotics
So when members of the media opine that Abbott’s confession makes him more
honest than the rest of the politicians, I ask that they seriously look at Tony Abbott’s
record and the records of other politicians.
http://sportowens.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/20/tony-tony-is-he-a-phony/

Joe Hockey's day from hell!,LAURIE OAKES, VIDEO 2UE
at least Labor actually try and do something to improve the country ,
insulation , school improvements , laptpops , broadband , Liberals don't seem to have any vision what so-ever
www.2ue.com.au/.../20100520-vfvc.html

Mungo MacCallum, Northern Rivers Echothe government’s stimulus measures were far more successful in arresting unemployment than had been predicted,
www.echonews.com.au/.../

Promises, promises…, Reb, Gutter Trash.It was a disaster for Joe, who had clearly miscalculated the opportunity and the expectation.
http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/20/promises-promises/

Budget reply: the battle of the incompetents,Bernard Keane, Crikey
The actual savings figure, in the end, was around $5 billion. Robb coped a hammering from
journalists over the numbers in his press conference, which at times threatened to get out of control. ,
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Coalition caught up in budget speech 'shemozzle',Lyndal Curtis, ABC
The Coalition is claiming as a saving any money that it would not spend from revenue
it would not get that would have been created by a tax it will not implement.
http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/05/20/2904307.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Who Says BER Funding Is A Rort?, Ben Eltham,
New Matilda you’ve glanced at the front page of The
Australian recently, you won’t have missed the vicious
campaign being conducted by News Limited against
the Rudd Government’s schools stimulus spending.
newmatilda.com/.../who-says-ber-funding-rort

Opposition slammed for IT-killing budget reply, David Rami, ARN“It’s disappointing to see the Coalition hasn’t responded in a more positive way,” he said. “An approach
that would’ve been better accepted is if they were to take on the debate about implementation.
www.arnnet.com.au/.../?fp=4&fpid=319049444

It's been a most strange week in conservative politics  Blogging Townsville.
Reprinted in full, because it says it all really. By Bushfire Bill in THE POLITICAL SWORD
bloggingtownsville.blogspot.com/.../...eek-in.html

Handballs instead of kicking goals ,Phillip Hudson,Herald  Sun Abbott nor Hockey had the guts to directly say they would make cuts to health, education,broadband
and environment spending. Yet they criticised Kevin Rudd for his spin and  failure to
have the  courage to announce broken promises and backdowns in recent weeks.,
www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frfhqf-1225868895302

lyn

May 20. 2010 06:10 PM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

May 20. 2010 06:12 PM

HS

Hi guys,
        Someone on Crikey's blog linked to the letter that that supercilious mining miscreant from WA, Andrew Forrest, sent out to his shareholders re the RSPT:
www.fmgl.com.au/.../ShowPage.aspx
The commenter said that the letter heavily relied on scaring shareholders about the number of jobs that would be lost in projects that haven't even been put into motion. (Rolls eyes).

HS

May 20. 2010 06:17 PM

Colen

Hi Lyn,

I don't think the computer at schools programme has achieved anything. My son is still waiting for his computer as are all the children at his school. Thank goodness he goes to a private school where through foresight of the governing body they have a well resourced I.T. department.

It is all well to provide computers but what about all the back office stuff. He forgot about that.
Rather a programme of shrewd implementation but it was just another one of his Dr Feelgood promises .

By the way guy's you have finally been outed by none other than CYBERCYNIC.


Colen

May 20. 2010 06:25 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Our friend Gusface has posted this column "Politics is officially Bunk" on Twitter for us

telling everybody The Political Sword is a must read.

A big thankyou to Gusface.

daGusface
www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...icially-bunk.aspx *** PLEASE RT***** A MUST READ FOR EVERY AUSTRALIAN

http://twitter.com/daGusface

lyn

May 20. 2010 06:46 PM

HS

BB,
   What has left me 'gobsmacked' has been the normally perceptive, Bernard Keane's, take on Hockey's speech yesterday:
*
'Then, yesterday, Joe Hockey found three ways to distract everyone from the message about economic credibility he was trying to get across.

That one of those distractions was intended to actually prevent everyone from being distracted made the whole business comical. It was ridiculously unnecessary and meant what was a solid and interesting Budget reply got lost due to journalistic noses being out of joint.'
*
  Especially the tone of willing Joe on towards success in getting across that 'message about economic credibility' that he was just itching to get out there to the punters, from his 'solid and interesting Budget reply', whose seemingly superlative message 'got lost due to journalistic noses being out of joint'. Que? I thought those journalistic noses had every right to be out of joint after the shabby way that the Coalitiion in the form of Hockey on this day, treated them.

HS

May 20. 2010 06:58 PM

lyn

Hi cybercynic

Thankyou for your comliments, I appreciate the  whole 3

1. Its factual
2. Its funny
3. Its refreshingly free of "bolters" or "Pies" lunatics

Very pleased you comment here, and you like The Political Sword.

lyn

May 20. 2010 07:21 PM

Bushfire Bill

The commentators today have gone out of their way to find good things in Joe's Budget Reply. They'll generally admit that most of it is crap, but seem to have given Joe the benefit of the doubt. They either have to do that or call him a liar. "Balance" does not permit this option.

This is with the exception of the Australian, which has just regurgitated Joe's "message" about $47 billion savings without too much analysis. "Not for them to reason why..."

Bushfire Bill

May 20. 2010 07:26 PM

lyn

Hi Colen

I can't quote the figure but it's "GREAT BIG", there have been thousands of computers set up and thousands more to go, did you think it was going to happen overnight.  Some schools have had connection problems, and others electrical work to be done, a classroom added, it was not just a matter of hiring a truck load of computers to every school and dumping them in the playground.

If your son is still waiting for a computer, it would be a good idea, to see the Principle and find out why. I would say, without a doubt, there would be a very good reason.

This Stinks:

THE school computer program, courses to upgrade teachers' skills, and trade training centres would disappear under spending cuts by a Tony Abbott government.

www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frf7l6-1225868893475

Colen how can the provision of computers be a  Feelgood promise, tell you what! I wish the Government had given me a "tiggy plastic calculater" or even a ruler, we were brought up to appreciate anything the Government did in our school.

Have you had a look at the Government's My School website??

Maybe I am dopey, but could you tell me please what you mean by this sentense:

By the way guy's you have finally been outed by none other than CYBERCYNIC.

lyn

May 20. 2010 08:21 PM

left of the right & right of the left

Hi All,

i've been enjoying this site for the last few months - this is the first time i feel compelled to comment.

i have been stuck by a familar experience to what i see in Abbott/Hockey/et all. i've had the fortune to serve on a number of committees that are responsible for organising various interest, groups, etc. (Note: only in a voluntary basis - i'm an public practice accountant by profession)

it always seems that there are a few people (usually only a very small handfull) that organise, direct, conceive ideas, etc and provide direction to the other members (who usually just turn up to make up the numbers). without the driving force of the key people, who usually have a pretty clear vision of where they (and the group) are going, there is no purpose.

it seems to me the libs (and the almost extinct nats) have expelled those key people who usually did everything and its only now that the "dregs" (apologies - i can't think of a better word) are realising just how difficult the tasks are and how much time is needed.

the only people missing out ultimately are us - the people, this degree of incompentence may be appropriate for a chook raffle but not from those who wish to form goverment.

left of the right & right of the left

May 20. 2010 08:24 PM

HS

  My Year 9 son, at the local Public High School, has just this past month received his school laptop. It is a Lenovo Thinkpad. Very nice. It will come in very handy as he has fine motor control problems with his hands, and thus finds it hard to write legibaly or quickly. Hurrah! for the Rudd government!
  Colen, in your shortsighted rush to criticise the government's 'Education Revolution' Computers In Schools program, because your child has not yet received their laptop, has it even occurred to you that the problem that you complain about with the implementation of this program may be a result of the Independant Schools sector? They are the ones in charge of the rollout to Private Schools, not the Rudd government.
  Also, as you say, the school already has a well-resourced IT department, so don't you think that it's fair to set aside your entitlement mentality for a moment, and allow that it is right to say that Public School children should receive the first laptops as a result of this program, because, it's probably the first laptop that a lot of them have ever had, and more than likely the only one they will ever have access to at school for their schoolwork, other than 1 or 2 hours in a week spent in the Computer Lab?

HS

May 20. 2010 09:03 PM

lyn

Hi left of the right & right of the left

That's nice you have been enjoying the Political Sword for a few months.

Thankyou for posting your comment, your opinion is very important on the Political Sword, we do really want you to keep coming back. Ad Astra will be very pleased.

The Budget reply was sound evidence, the Liberals are lazy, they still think the electorate was sleep -walking in 2007.

They think by just conducting a nasty, personal (go for the juggler)campaign against Kevin Rudd is enough to get them re-elected.  The Liberals can't produce policies, because their party is so divided ,so therefore they can't agree on anything.

Now that Whimpy Budgie has announced he lies, I believe their fate is inevitable, no matter how much the Murdoch army, tries to get them back in power by using slander, lies, inflated, distorted, reporting.

lyn

May 20. 2010 09:34 PM

Daisey May

I share your outrage BB but this crap will go on till the election is called. Then the vultures and hyenas of the press will have to start applying some pressure on the Coalition. I note with some hilarity a report buried in the bowels of the Courier Mail today about the BER. An overwhelming majority of private school principlals were happy with the outcomes and said that the stimulus package had brought forward school building plans by 20 years. Yesterdays SMH reported (rather begrudgingly I might add) that the NSW Director General for Education, Michael Coutts-Trotter had said that overall, NSW had recieved good value for money. Obviously not the sort of thing Murdoch is about to trumpet anytime soon. Curiously (or perhaps not), I could not find this article anywhere on any News Ltd (or ABC) sites at the time of writing. Perhaps the marvellous Lyn could find a link for us all as It was a fairly positive article about the BER. Not totally of course, lol. Incidentally Lyn, you have really blossomed on this site. I think you do an amazing job and your comments are getting bolder. The other really nice thing about this joint is the way newcomers are greeted. HS, BB and Ad (among others) bring passion, acumen and erudition to the political debate. Without these people I would be in a padded cell curled up in the feotal position due to some of the worst journalism I have seen in this country for a very long time.

Daisey May

May 20. 2010 09:50 PM

Ad astra reply

left of the right & right of the left
Welcome to the TPS family. Do come again.

Your observations are germane. In society there are few leaders and many followers. The leaders in the Abbott Party are scarce. John Howard was a powerful and influential leader, so much so that other leaders could not develop and flourish. I believe this is why the party is now so bereft. Tony Abbott is not a natural leader. He is too erratic, too unpredictable, too non-consultative. The only reason he still has a party behind him after his accidental election to leader is that he has improved the party's standing in the polls; while that situation persists he will have followers, but if and when it falters, they will desert him.

The intellectual talent in the party is quite limited, and the leadership talent almost absent. Unless Malcolm Turnbull can re-establish himself as leader and the party get right behind him, I see little future for it in the short term. There is a need for an injection of new intelligence into the party, a party that now consists of also-rans and not very talented youngsters who have little appeal. It will take a generational transition to remedy this. The tragedy for this nation would be a premature return to power of a party that does not have what's needed to govern wisely.

Ad astra reply

May 20. 2010 09:51 PM

lyn

Hi Daisey May,

Thankyou for your compliments, you are a sweetie.

Daisey May this is the nicest blogg I have ever been on, and we so many nice people here

who wouldn't feel comfortable, what about Ad Astra our excellent blogg master and

brilliant writer.

I told Ad Astra 12 months ago, on The Political Sword's 1st anniversary, that he makes

my day and still does.

Is this the article you were looking for:


Catholic schools rubbish building claim ,Anthony Klan, The Australian

In an attempt to justify cost blowouts under the $16.2 billion schools stimulus program, the NSW Department of Education director-general Michael Coutts-Trotter yesterday declared public school projects cost more than those in non-government schools because of the better quality of construction.

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6nf-1225868878488

lyn

May 20. 2010 10:00 PM

Ad astra reply

Daisey May
I agree with you that Lyn's makes a marvellous contribution to TPS day after day.

Thank you for your kind comments about TPS.  There certainly is plenty of passion here and a determination to do whatever we in the Fifth Estate can to counter the not inconsiderable forces in the MSM determined to put the Rudd Government down and replace it with an Abbott Government - a terrifying spectre.

Ad astra reply

May 20. 2010 10:07 PM

gusface

Ad

BTW

I dips me lid agin for your outstanding site

Smile

I hope you dont mind me linking to TPS on my twitter?

gusface

May 20. 2010 10:07 PM

Acerbic Conehead

BB, that wise bit of advice to Joe to, “get a good night’s sleep”, reminded me of a recent episode of the Coalition Waltons.
www.youtube.com/watch
As usual, the family are well tucked up in bed after another fruitless day trying to bag some policies for the pot.  Besides John-Boy in the cot, are Joe, Robbo, and Mal.  Tones and Barnaby, however, are no-where to be seen.
Joe: You awake, John-Boy?
John-Boy: Yeah, can’t sleep for worrying about Tones and Barnaby...they shouldn’t be out skylarkin’ like this – they need a good night’s sleep so that they can help git us some policies tomorrow...
Robbo: Oh, I’ve just remembered, John-Boy – Tones said he would be late back, as he had to attend an extra-long session at his Advanced Delegation Skills evening class...
Mal: Huh, he’s so good at that, he should be takin’ the class by now...haw...haw...
Robbo: Yeah, I wonder do the lectures come scripted or off-the-cuff...heh...heh...
Joe: And I don’t think Barnaby will be back too soon – I heard he’s off tryin’ to get the leg over that check-out chick he was rambling on about the other day...hee...hee...
John-Boy: Keep it clean, you guys – I don’t want any tents gettin’ pitched in here – we can’t afford to get these sheets laundered until at least Christmas...
[John-Boy has just noticed an increasingly foul odour pervading the bed-room.  He turns to Joe]
John-Boy: Hey Joe – what’s that stink?  Have you been storin’ your stale party-pies under your pillow again?
[little did any of the guys know, but Tones’ pet skunk needed a bit of a siesta that afternoon, so had snuck under his bed-clothes while the guys were out hunting policies, and fell asleep.  Unfortunately, when they returned, and as boys do, they got up to some high jinks and jolly japes in the bedroom and Robbo pushed Joe onto Tones’ bed, squishing the skunk.  As everyone knows, a skunk smells bad enough when it’s alive – you certainly don’t want one to assault your olfactory system when it’s a decomposing carcass.  Just at that moment, however, Tones returned and entered the bedroom.  He got his gear off, put on his lycra pj’s, pulled back the bed-clothes, and got the full blast of foul vapours from his now-deceased best-friend]
Tones: OMG!  It’s horrible!  Someone else can have it – here, Joe, it’s all yours...
[Tones chucks the demised/expired skunk at Joe]
Joe; No way, mate!  I’m not touching that with a barge-pole...
[Joe promptly heaves the carcass at Robbo, who quickly transfers it onto Mal’s bed.  Incredibly, Mal starts to caress it and looks like all his Christmases have come at once]
John-Boy: What’s goin’ on, Mal – why aren’t you chuckin’ the skunk back at somebody else?
Mal: Oh, it’s not that bad, John-Boy – in fact, I think I’ll just cook it up and have a feed of it for breakfast – it’ll taste just lovely compared to all the shit sandwiches I’ve had to eat since December last year...So, good-night John-Boy...
John-Boy: Yeah, good-night Mal...and good luck – you’re gonna need it...

Acerbic Conehead

May 20. 2010 10:37 PM

Augustus

Why are they treating like fools or are they just so caught up in their own self importance that they cannot see the most simplest of realities, "there are none so blind as those who cannot see" blinded by their own self delusions, their self indulgences, made worse by the indulgences of the Murdochracy attemping to manipulate the political landscape in Australia, no wonder "our brains hurt", for what!, Power, we are now told by some it is ok to say anything that pops into ours heads whether real or not, truthful or not, just make sure you get it in writing from me first, but of cause that depends on whether it was a "core or Non-core" statement in the first place.

We are about to go to an election, we are told that the current government couldn't even organise a chook raffle and they want us to believe that, but get in writing first remember. I work in a niche part of the mining industry and feel the effects of any down turn instantly including the capital strike by Forrest and that ignoramus Palmer, but as a consequence of this Goverments actions, we, my family of a single income and four children have not suffered, so why should I believe anything they say, because actions always speak louder than words.

Augustus

May 20. 2010 11:04 PM

Daisey May

Thanks Lyn, this is even better but not the one that appeared in the printed version of todays Courier Mail. Why the hell do News Ltd do this? It's infuriating. That it was not reported verbatim by the ABC as per usual for News Ltd items makes my blood boil. Why the hell should I even care? I know that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely (or however that saying goes) so I should not be surprised. Somehow I am though. It horrifies me whenever small minded individuals attain powerful positions in society as they always insist on inflicting that narrow mindedness upon everyone else. The deceit and brazen dishonesty that accompany nearly every political article pumped out of News Ltd papers is so rank and disgusting it is little wonder that journalists are eternally reviled and loathed by every single public survey participant since time immemorial. I long for the days of Stuart Littlemore when he  regularly excoriated halfwit journos on Media Watch, not the sad pantomine it has since become.

Daisey May

May 21. 2010 08:35 AM

Rx

Daisey May,

Wasn't Littlemore fantastic! His stern schoolmaster visage perfectly suited his activity of chiding the wayward of the media.

What a lot of chiding he would have to be doing these days if he were still in the Media Watch chair. The mainstream media are like a sausage factory - churning out daily chunks of groupthink, bias and bile against the Labor government. Singing in chorus, self-referring, mutually-masturbating, bootstrapping scandals out of scraps.

I wonder sometimes what Littlemore would make of today's ABC. Its news and current affairs programming seem to exist simply as a platform for regurgitated Murdoch headlines, Opposition press releases, and gratuitous "commentary" by Opposition Members.

Speaking of politics on the ABC, Swordsmiths should check out the ABC blog, 'The Drum Unleashed'. Practically every day there are "opinion" pieces attacking Labor by Liberal MPs, ex-Liberal staffers and/or spokesmen from Liberal-connected think tanks such as the Institute for Public Affairs. Labor doesn't even get a word in! The blog isn't only about politics, but the political content it does carry has the unmasked aroma of neoconservative tubthumping.

Or, should that be neoconservative "Drum-thumping" ...

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/

Rx

May 21. 2010 09:08 AM

lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

The 'Challenge' begins to fade - an Update, The Piping Shrike
As it turns out, since most of those ‘cuts’ were dropping programs funded by a tax they
opposed anyway, they weren’t really cuts at all.
http://www.pipingshrike.com/

Minister quits over gay sex club visit,ABC
The journalist responsible for breaking the story, Adam Walters, says it was in the public interest to broadcast details of Mr Campbell's personal life.
http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/05/20/2905224.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Channel 7 as bad as Akermanis, Jeremy, Anymous Lefty.
It’s not like divorces automatically destroy ministers; why should “leading a gay double life”?
http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/

The final nail in the NSW ALP coffin?,Media Wrap, Crikey
as an outcome of the latest scandal to hit this Government, it could barely be worse
www.crikey.com.au/.../

The Prime Minister has snuffed it, Bruce Haigh, The Drum, ABC
And Abbott? His ability and skill in taking the issues up to Rudd are appreciated. He is seen as performing the proper role of a leader of the opposition.
He is seen as genuine.
www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2905143.htm

Joe Hockey doesn't understand productivity: Great News for Tony Abbott. Alex White
just shows Hockey’s (and the Liberals’) lazy policy making that they consider this to be a good example.,
alexwhite.org/.../

Abbott to take a hit from Johnson scandal, ABC
"And the question everyone's going to be asking is, is the Liberal Party under Tony Abbott really capable
of being the alternative government?"
www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=21433
www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/21/2905449.htm

Can  Tony Abbott win wth less than 51%?,Aristotle, The Daily Bludge
For the Coalition to win in 2010, based on the current polling, it will need to re-write electoral history.
dailybludge.com.au/.../

Managing a rogue like Abbott,Noel Turnbull, Crikey
In Abbott’s case a bad interview and some ill-chosen words becomes a crisis and unless he’s off
the hook soon he will be “under siege” from people savagely slamming, blasting and confronting him.
www.crikey.com.au/.../ l

Phoney Tony and Sloppy Joe, Leon Delaney
so far Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey haven’t offered anything of substance as an alternative.
leondelaney.blogspot.com/.../...nd-sloppy-joe.html

Asymmetrical class warfare,Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison
Right. Glad to see that the party that introduced Workchoices, is committed to avoiding “Class Warfare”
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comments

Phony Tony and the Liar's Paradox, Tony Smith, Eureka Street.Com.Au
Apparently, he would happily accept electoral support even while knowing that he has deceived the people.
www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=21433

lyn

May 21. 2010 09:25 AM

lyn

Hi Rx

Sorry Rx, about that, have no idea what went wrong with the link, but it has

happened before, from time to time.

The first line has spaced itself out too, after being entered in the comments box,

anyway,

Here it is again:

The Drum rolling, The Prime Minister has snuffed it, Bruce Haigh, The Drum, ABC

http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2905143.htm

lyn

May 21. 2010 09:31 AM

lyn

Hi Rx

Still not working, not working in today's links either, link is going to another story.

Trying one more time, then I will give up.

http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2905143.htm

lyn

May 21. 2010 09:35 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

Good morning Ad, would you be kind enough to delete my first comment to RX 9.16am

Something going wrong with the ABC links.

cheers

lyn

May 21. 2010 09:38 AM

Bilko

Its time for a "Keep Australia (R)Abbott free" bumper sticker. What I also want to know is when is the ABC going to wake up to itself and start reporting the news not Murdoch sound bites/bubble/windfarts or whatever we call them cos NEWS they are certainly not. As I have said before Murdoch must have swallowed Dennis Wheatley's book "Such Power is Dangerous", and  after his failure at 1600 Pennsalvania Ave and a half failure at No 10 is trying for the Lodge rather like "2 out of three aint bad" curtesy of meat loaf something even Shrek cannot digest.

Bilko

May 21. 2010 09:45 AM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
Comment to Rx at 9.16 am deleted as you requested.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 09:50 AM

HillbillySkeleton

lyn,
  Link to eurekastreet article not working. 'Page cannot be found'. Smile

HillbillySkeleton

May 21. 2010 10:17 AM

lyn

Hi Hillbilly

Boy am I in trouble this morning, sorry Hillbilly, her it is again:

Phony Tony and the Liar's Paradox, Tony Smith, Eureka Street.Com.Au
Apparently, he would happily accept electoral support even while knowing that he has deceived the people.

http://www.eurekastreet.com.au:80/article.aspx?aeid=21433

lyn

May 21. 2010 10:18 AM

Miranda Divide

The problem is, they've set the bar so very very low, when they finally show a modicum of competence, they will be lifted high on the dandruff-ridden shoulders of the commentariat.

Miranda Divide

May 21. 2010 10:36 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

HS
eurekastreet link now working.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 11:12 AM

Bushfire Bill

Let's try that ABC link again: www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2905143.htm

That looks better (at least in preview).

A very negative article:

"Respect and Rudd are not words that they would put together. Rudd's lack of belief in anything except his personal ambition has registered. He has blown the well of public goodwill and support, it is draining away, he will not be able to cap it. He is a ventriloquist's dummy walking. His words mean nothing to most people, they switch him off, do the washing up, get a cup of tea when they see him on TV or hear him on the radio.

Forget opinion polls with crafted questions. I am originally from Western Australian and recently spent a week there. From all walks of life I did not hear one good word said about Rudd. The tide has turned, the vain glorious emperor has no clothes. It is too late for Rudd, the country has already made its judgement about him."


... and that's just the warm-up!

Bruce Haigh (famously portrayed by John Hargreaves in Cry Freedom) has been a man who is prepared to "walk the walk" for his convictions, as they say. Now he's talking the talk.

I personally find it hard to believe Rudd could lose by default to Abbott, but then I couldn't believe Howard would get elected, either (or that Gough would lose in 1975 after what they did to him and his government).

But Australians are notorious wowsers. They love to kick a man (or woman) when they are down. The "gay sex scandal" in NSW is a case in point. When you have a choice between an LNP politician involved in a $12,000,000 dirty deal, or a good old-fashioned Minister-in-gay-sex-club story, go for the sex every time. It's juicy, not only because there's still a lot of homophobia out there, not only because Campbell is Labor, but also because a lot of people got caught in a 9-hour traffic jam on the F3 the other week and they want blood. Campbell's will do.

We see the association of effects with cause in recent movements on the stock markets. Some have gone so far as to blame the Rudd government for causing the world-wide stock crash, seeding it with the impertinent idea that, just as mining companies can put up their prices, so can we as the nation they are digging up and flogging off. when the global theorists retreat from their position, their fallback position is that if Rudd is not responsible for global economic disaster, he must be at least responsible for the Australian version of it. Rudd's global responsibility is the ambit claim. Blaming him for all local misery is the real prize. And a lot of heads, according to Haigh (especially in W.A.), nod in unison.

The current fears of a possible GFC-2 must be reminding a lot of voters of just how they felt in 2008, whent he previous dive took place. At that time Stimulus was all the rage. Even the naysayers queued up for their $900 cheques. They would spend it wisely, not just fritter it away on plasma TVs, beer and feeding the one-armed bandits, like the riff-raff would be doing.

Despite the odd disappearance of individual work colleagues, or the unusual behaviour of company owners declining to replace the missing employees, the ones who kept their jobs convinced themselves that they had deserved to do so. They were somehow better than their "disappeared" colleagues. It didn't take long until the more politically charged among them began denying there ever was a GFC at all. Sure, for a while we had Joe Hockey, the Opposition's resident economic savant, tell us all about "The Rudd Recession", but that soon morphed into "The Recession We Never Had". Ergo, the Stimulus was unnecessary above the limits the Opposition would put on their own Stimulus, if they had had the chance to implement one. "Stimulus spending will always be lower under a Coalition government," you could hear them crowing.

This anti-Stimulus position has developed, over the past year, into a dangerous mutated form: any and all stimulus spending is wrong. Over in W.A. where they beg the miners to continue distorting theirs and the nation's economy, ramping up their house and living prices, they believe don't need stimulus. The streets are paved with iron ore, almost literally. Anything that interferes with their right to line their pockets to the detriment of the other states is to be opposed. Haigh has tapped into this and turned it into a nationwide phenomenon, by extrapolation. Western Australians deserve their position of good fortune, and damn the rest of the lazy bludgers in the East.

If a second GFC hits us, I wonder what they naysayers and GFC-1-deniers will have to say for themselves? If the government pours cold (or even cool) water over the idea of a second Stimulus, or a continuation of the first, will the naysayers change into yea-sayers? Or will they stoically put up with impending unemployment, a crash in mining exports and Centrelink-based nationwide penury? Will it be "The Rudd Recession" all over again? In today's mad political juggling act there are too many balls up in the air to know for sure which way they will fall.

In the last few days we have seen supposedly intelligent Coalition politicians and journalistic commentators look straight into the camera (as it were) and declare that Joe Hockey's and Andrew Robb's figures stack up. They've told us that expenditure that would never be foregone because the mining tax would never be collected can be deducted from the national acounts and counted as "savings", while the foregone mining tax that makes them possible does not need to be added to those same accounts. They have told us that computers in schools have morphed from a "bungled" expenditure item (their word), a political catch-cry, into an actual total waste of money. Ditto for a national 100mbps broadband network (it would only be used to download porn and music clips anyway, wouldn't it?) which would be the envy of the world. Ditto for GP super clinics, superannuation concessions and top-ups for low income earners. The hated BER is not on the Coalitions "savings" list. When it comes to pork-barrelling, that's an item too precious to give up. Instead we got some blather about re-directing the spending directly to schools so that local mates can do the job.

The Abbott mantra that the "reckless spending must stop", has been transsubstantiated from a political snark, a meaningless war-cry, into an intention (if Tony can be believed... at best an iffy proposition) to wipe out most of the government's 2007 election platform, and most of the remainder of its GFC Stimulus response.

As the prospect of GFC-2 looms, even if as a for-instance, I wonder whether the Coalition's stated intention of letting the nation slide into unemployment and bankruptcy, mortgage default and misery, is such a good idea, and how well it will be received by a nation suddenly feeling the chill winds of Financial Crisis all over again.

It's a convoluted path the Coalition follows. They have blamed Rudd for a recession and unemployment, then blamed him for us not having a recession and boosting employment, and now they are trying to blame him for a recession all over again. It's easier to rationalise the cognitive dissonance if you're a rusted on Coalition true believer. But what will the ordinary rational voter... the ones caught up in the incessant barrage of negativism from the past two years... think? Will they be prepared to do it tough for the benefit of the miners and their serf-like workforce in Western Australia? Will they send any cheques they receive back to the government marked, "No thanks. Tony, Joe and Twiggy will look after me"? I'm not so sure.

We survived the first GFC so well that millions now deny it ever existed. I wonder how their nerve will hold out if GFC-2 comes about? It's probably Rudd's and Swan's job now to give them a gentle reminder of just how lucky they were to have a government at the time that acted, rather than agonized, or just said, "No."

Bushfire Bill

May 21. 2010 11:48 AM

Bilko

BB well said the real problem it is only on the blogs that the real point is being made which of course brings us to what is the reason for the ABC existence if not to present the REAL facts. The big lie is all the people see and unless the Govt gets up off its fat arse and announce the positives, which the media will have to broadcast, Abbott has a walk into the lodge and woe betide the country then. end of rant.

Bilko

May 21. 2010 12:22 PM

lyn

Hi Bushfire

Thankyou so much for fixing the ABC link,I am so pleased, do you know what was wrong, it's frustrating, when that happens.

The links were working fine from my computer,  I always test them, then as soon
as I post in the comments box, something goes wrong.

Thankyou for your excellent piece on the Bruce Haigh story, ABC, very nasty piece eh!

I believe the Campbell sex-club story, is being promoted by the media to over-shadow Johnson's sleezy dealings.  Wonder if the gay society will come out with a defence.

lyn

May 21. 2010 12:36 PM

Ad astra reply

As the LYN'S DAILY LINKS file was becoming so very long that it was taking ages to upload after updating, it needed to be abbreviated.  But as the links are such a valuable resource they need to be retained and accessible. So I have created an archive for the April links which you will find at the foot of the list under 'site pages' in the right panel.

LYN'S LINKS APRIL 2010 is at www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-LINKS-APRIL.aspx

LYN'S DAILY LINKS for May as usual are at www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 01:12 PM

Ad astra reply

BB
The Haigh piece was particularly nasty.  But what would you expect?  He’s been writing anti-Rudd articles since early 2009 - see the list at www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2499656.htm

The corrosive effects of such articles, filling as they do the MSM day after day, are having their effect.  Today’s Morgan Face-to-Face is at 50.5/49.5, a fall from the last Face-to-Face    a week ago when it was 51.5/48.5.  As it was taken last weekend it included the effect of the Budget and Tony Abbott’s reply, both of which probably had little influence on the poll.  If the next Face-to-Face shows no change or is worse for Labor we can conclude that no matter how hopeless and disingenuous Abbott/Hockey/Robb have been all this week, the public is not noticing or doesn’t care.

All this makes it essential we in the Fifth Estate do all we can to counter the relentless attack the Fourth Estate on the Rudd Government.  The grim picture you paint makes this urgent.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 01:59 PM

bilgedigger

A definite MUST READ(!!) article in New Scientist (Issue 2760 - 20 May) "Living in Denial" which provides great backgrounding to political events as we experience them today. There is also a link through http://www-crikey.com   We have seen all the events referred to in this article as they have unfolded within the Australian landscape for years but it is good to have such a detailed account.  The links provided in the article are also well worth pursuing.
  

bilgedigger

May 21. 2010 02:50 PM

Gravel

Hi Everyone

I have been reading AA's blog since inception.  I have marveled that what most people say here is so true.  I echo Daisy May's sentiments, and BB your last comment is exactly what I was thinking, but then Morgan comes out and I almost feel that we now have no chance at the next election.

AA your last comment (1:12pm) reflects the way I feel.  I hope this blog continues even after the election as it will be one of the very few blogs that I can relate to. I know it is bad to admit defeat before the event but...........

Lyn, thank you millions for you wonderful links, you do an amazing job.

I don't add to the conversation as you all put things more clearly than I can.  I noticed a comment from a new person in the last comment who found this blog and is just over the moon, I have forgotten but I think it may have been "Sally", I hope she continues to contribute to. I don't know how many in blogland that are just readers like me but I suspect there might be quite a few. I love the way this blog has grown and all the new contributors, keep it up everyone, you are my life line too.

Gravel

Gravel

May 21. 2010 02:53 PM

Bushfire Bill

Welcome to TPS, Gravel.  

Don't be shy, or a lurker! Make as many contributions as you like.

Bushfire Bill

May 21. 2010 03:09 PM

cybercynic

A very old Joke, resurected to celebrate this week

Joe Hockey died (at the National Press Club) and went to Heaven. As he stood in front of the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, “What are all those clocks?”



St. Peter answered, “Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone who has ever been on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock move.”



“Oh”, said the man. “Whose clock is that?”



“That's Mother Teresa's”, replied St. Peter. “The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.”



“Incredible”, said the man. “And whose clock is that one?”



St. Peter responded, “That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abraham told only two lies in his entire life.”



“Where's Tony Abbott's clock?” asked the man.



St. Peter replied, “Jesus has it in his office. He uses it as a ceiling fan.”

cybercynic

May 21. 2010 03:32 PM

Ad astra reply

Gravel
Let me too welcome you to TPS.  I hope you will return often and comment from time to time.

What you wrote today gives us great encouragement.  To know there are folk like you enjoying this blog and finding it helpful is highly motivating.  Your support gives us strength.

We know from our stats that there has been an almost threefold increase in visits and pages views since last year.  New contributors this year, Bushfire Bill and HillbillySkeleton, have attracted additional visitors and each new piece is now attracting sometimes as many as 200 comments.

As part of the Fifth Estate, we feel a strong commitment to countering the pernicious influence of so much of the media, especially News Limited, which is running such an unremitting and vicious anti-Rudd Government campaign.  It feels like a David and Goliath contest, but David did triumph.

Don't be too despondent about the polls.  Although they are disheartening at present, especially when the Abbott Party is so disingenuous and opportunistic in its campaigning, take comfort from the fact that while the Government ratings are falling, the Opposition is picking up very little of the Labor losses.  So the people are not flocking from Labor to the Liberals; instead they are going to the Greens.  Abbott and his team will have to do a lot better to attract election-winning voter approval.

Moreover there is still a long while to go to the election - at a minimum three months, but possibly much longer; personally I'd be inclined to leave it until next year if the DD option is ruled out.  That would give the Abbott Party plenty of time to demonstrate how damaging they would be in power with their intention of dropping several health and education initiatives, abandoning company tax relief, increased super payments and infrastructure projects, and reintroducing workplace arrangements reminiscent of WorkChoices.  I suspect that when the Government spells all this out to the electorate, which I suspect at present has not yet absorbed the import of these moves, it will be a different story.  I suspect the polls have just about bottomed-out for Labor and will slowly climb back to an election-winning lead, although not to the unrealistically stratospheric levels they one reached.

We need to battle on in the belief that the good Government we have will be recognised by the people and returned for another term.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 03:37 PM

Ad astra reply

cybercynic
Nice joke.  Pleasant relief from the pall the media casts over the political scene every day.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 03:41 PM

Ad astra reply

We have often commented adversely on TPS about the poor quality of many of our MSM journalists on the grounds of inaccurate or selective reporting, illogical reasoning, and offering opinions not derived from the data, instead being influenced by their own biases.  We have also accused many of them of being arrogant and self-important, believing as they do that they call the shots and that politicians, governments and institutions should jump to their command.

At the National Press Club several journalists expressed their displeasure at not being given Joe Hockey’s speech and particularly the sheet detailing savings, beforehand.  While that is an understandable reaction as they were promised this by Tony Abbott, it does underscore their sense of entitlement and their willingness to publicly berate politicians if they don’t get their own way.  This is not just disrespectful but arrogant as well.  And any politician who bucks what they believe is their entitlement can expect retaliation via their poison pens.

It is of some comfort that others in the media see it like this too.  Writing yesterday in The Australian, Ian Smith in Rogues' gallery of ill-mannered journalists began: ”Watching shadow treasurer Joe Hockey's speech yesterday I was reminded of how disrespectful many journalists within the federal press gallery have become of those who provide them with a living: the politicians.  Politicians frequently are attacked for their excesses, yet those who report on those perceived indulgences, the journalists, are living examples of the cliche ‘all care and no responsibility’.”.  The rest of the article is here: www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6zo-1225868875541

While not excusing Hockey’s performance, why should we excuse the performance of the journalists whose conduct was little better?


Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 03:59 PM

cybercynic

Ad astra

I just hope that the hilarious visage of several stuffed egos throwing a "wobbly" at the NPC due to Joe not "peeling their grapes" prior to his lecture results in a less than intiate relationship between the MSM and the Coalition.

I can only imagine the size of the vented spleens splashed across the news networks if Rudd or Swann had tried that trick

cybercynic

May 21. 2010 04:08 PM

lyn

Hi Gravel

Thankyou for coming inside The Political Sword's door, don't stay outside in the cold
so long, there is always someone around here to talk to or joke with.

Thankyou for your lovely compliment,very much appreciated, I am so pleased you enjoy the
Political Sword and today's links, as Ad said your support gives us strength.

The Political Sword makes my day too, if something nasty is said on tv or radio we always have someone here to whinge to,

Gravel please don't get worried, even if whimpy Budgie, "but", 'but", gets voted in The Political Sword will be still here, then we can all talk about everything he and the miserable liberals do wrong in Government, actually maybe it would be a very interesting wild ride.

Joke, Joke, I'm Bruno "wont' happen", I tried to use Bruno's voice.

lyn

May 21. 2010 04:14 PM

lyn

Hi cybercynic

Hi Cybercynic, you are hilarious, are you a good friend of Acerbic Conehead by any

chance.

Love the  last line, that is exactly where I would love to see Phoney Toney.

cheers

lyn

May 21. 2010 04:15 PM

Michael

Ad Astra, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you just a little on the performance of the reporters at the Hockey Press Club speech. I wrote this to Ian Smith:

"Tony Abbott promised Joe Hockey would deliver detailed numbers. He didn't. He never intended to. Would you, in business, accept a potential commercial partner turning up for a meeting having made a clear promise of intent, and then telling you to talk to another person after the meeting? Get real, friend. I'm not a great fan of the approach Australian journalists are taking to their craft lately, but, as professionals, they had every right to feel dudded by events at the Press Club. "Gentle Joe" obfuscated, waffled, and channeled from the written page most of the spoken (and thus doubtable) policy stabs of his leader. Time was wasted. And so, as it happens, was political opportunity."

On reading your post, I considered that whatever we might think of the currently displayed professionalism and objectivity of so many political reporters (and others!) employed in the mainstream media, the reporters at the Press Club could hardly ask relatively informed questions on a speech they had been told would be one thing when it was another. Perhaps some questions might not have needed cold, hard figures to be framed, but certainly some hint of the 'road-map to Budget surplus' would have been, at the very least, contextual in making such questions pertinent.

If Hockey and Robb had unquestioning confidence in their Budget Reply figures they would have put them into reporters' hands the night before. At the Press Club the speech comes before the questions, so even if forearmed reporters had twelve hours plus to come up with 'zinger' questions, an even more forearmed Shadow Treasurer should have been able to take such questions in his stride.

As has been discussed elsewhere at this blog site, 'entitlement' per se may be the real cancer in Australia's bodies politic and social. I believe it is a cancer that was knowingly crafted and bequeathed as a political tool by John Howard. He made Australia over in his own image, and way too much of that is, as it was always going to be, way too ugly.

Michael

May 21. 2010 04:18 PM

Ad astra reply

There is another article critical of the arrogant and self-important attitude of many MSM journalists.  Based on the Chris Wallace article in The Australian on May 15, which has been alluded to on TPS, Tim Dunlop in Political pawns in a media game on The Drum www.abc.net.au/.../s2903940.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail  says ”...every so often we are reminded just how far from the ideal professional reporting can stray. In fact, sometimes journalists themselves remind us how their own understanding of what they are doing differs radically from any notion we citizens might have of them as an impartial gatherer and distributor of facts. Instead of a profession dedicated to informing the public, an image sometimes emerges of journalists as privileged insiders dispensing opinion and favors independently of anything other than the requirements of their own whims. A case in point is this piece by Chris Wallace that appeared in The Australian on May 15.”   The link to the piece Canberra gallery turns on an ADHD prime minister who has lost his way is here:
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6zo-1225866990110  

Tim ends: ”As I said, the casual arrogance of this public declaration is revealing. It suggests a belief in the unassailability of their position that can only come from an utter faith in their immunity from repercussion. And they are probably right to feel that way. 

“I mean, after all, what are you going to do about it? Write a letter to the editor? You think they will care? Who are you in the greater scheme of things - a mere citizen, a customer - against their self-declared ability to make and break prime ministers?

“Regardless, it is probably worth keeping in mind as the election unfolds, as each story about an alleged leadership challenge arises, or any other story that seeks to damage the prime minister. 

“According to a journalist in the most important newspaper in the land, the press gallery will not be doing the job most of us presume they are there to do. They will not be carefully collating and reporting on the issues of the day as openly and honestly as possible.

“They will instead be working to dislodge a prime minister they no longer like, regardless of anything he says or does. Forget mere reporting. As Wallace says in the article, ‘The reckoning is here’.”

Let’s do all we can to counter the arrogance that Wallace and many other journalists portray.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 04:23 PM

lyn

TODAY'S LINKS PART 2

Campbell Sex Scandal!, REB Gutter Trash
In its callous pursuit for ratings Channel Seven has essentially destroyed Mr Campbells’ career.
http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/

Public amusement not equal to public interest, Jonathan green, The Drum
detail of that intimate life, the nature, even extremity, of its pleasures or deceptions, are a private matter that need not influence public behaviour
www.abc.net.au/.../2905819.htm?site=thedrum

The minister, the gay sauna and a reporter with scores to settle, Andrew Cook, Crikey
Campbell, whose wife is battling cancer, resigned immediately after Walters informed the government that Seven was running with the story last night.
www.crikey.com.au/.../

David Marr or 'Anti=proof bigotry, David Marr,
2UE
www.2ue.com.au/.../20100521-vzyc.html

Look out Anthony Robbins, here comes Kevin Rudd, Motivational Speaker, Chris, Sportolotics
I think Kevin Rudd and his Government have done a pretty good job. I really do
http://sportowens.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/21/look-out-anthony-robbins-here-comes-kevin-rudd-motivational-speaker

lyn

May 21. 2010 04:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Michael
You are right - Hockey should have given them his speech and the figures well beforehand, as promised. And the journalists' anger and frustration in this instance is understandable. My point was simply that journalists feel entitled to be rude and arrogant and demanding as if that is their right. This time the reason for frustration was clear, but too often they don't have to have a good reason - they just work on the principle that they are the ones entitled to call the shots, and they do so in such a contemptuous way, just as Chris Wallace did in her article in The Australian mentioned in the comment above.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 04:32 PM

cybercynic

Lyn

I only know of Acerbic Conehead's collected works, both here at TPS and at Jack the Insider (At the Daily MordocK). I would love to count him as a friend as I am in awe of a lot of his contributions.

Thanks for the compliments and I look forward to lurking and contributing during what pans out to be an unbelievable election year.

cybercynic

May 21. 2010 04:37 PM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 04:40 PM

Ad astra reply

bilgedigger
I couldn't find Living in denial in your Crikey link.

Could you please post the direct link to that article.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 05:19 PM

mick smetafor

as an old codger who remembers the way whitlam was treated by the media in 1975 with a simmering anger and resentment, i consequently  wouldn't like to say where my imagination takes me when it comes to murdoch or his lackeys.for the first time that i can recall, a mirror is seriously being held up to the propaganda merchants initiated by sites such as this and it may just be spreading,or at least i hope so as it is well past time murdoch was called to account.i sometimes wonder what could have been achieved on the global warming issue if murdoch had thrown his considerable power and influence behind efforts to convince people and governments to act,but no he chose to use his power for his own selfish and destructive interests.history will not be kind to him.

mick smetafor

May 21. 2010 05:30 PM

Ad astra reply

mick
You're right - history could not possibly be kind to Murdoch - much has been written about him already, and it is not kind.

We in the Fifth Estate need to keep hammering away - some are listening and more will as time goes by.

Ad astra reply

May 21. 2010 05:31 PM

Bushfire Bill

AA, it's here: www.newscientist.com/special/living-in-denial

I agree with Michael on the specific case of the Press Club meeting with Joe Hockey.

Abbott had made a specific promise indicating that Hockey would have the figures and clearly implied he would be ready for questioning on them. "Implication" is an abused word, but in this case the intent of Abbottr's Budget Reply speech was clear: "Ask Joe next Tuesday."

Hockey failed to provide the goods, only conceding that night and the next day in interviews that "with the benefit of hindsight" he might have given out the paper "half-an-hour earlier".

We can only guess at the reason he did not do so, but it might have had something to do with Joe's apparent lack of basic bookkeeping skills. You can't take something off the ledger without adding something else onto it to balance the equation. Joe only seems to have done subtraction when he was at school and university. Addition remains, it seems, a mystery to him.

The journalists, resorting to Plan B, were left to ask him questions about his shambolic speech, Great Big New Taxes, and a few meta-questions on Abbott's dedication to Truth In Politics. It was a waste of their - and our - time. As mentioned in the main post above, even Shanahan could only muster 300 words or so onthe entire day's proceedings, including the costings. He must have been so embarrassed, having to stump up yet again to cover Abbott's, Hockey's and Robb's deficiencies (as well as that of their "document"... all two pages of it.. which didn't add up anyway).

The journalists might have asked some very pertinent questions about the value the Coalition placed on budgetary honesty, the Coalition's ability to add up a column of figures and the value they placed on computers in schools, the NBN, superannuation reforms, reduced company tax and so on. Instead they were left floundering with nothing but platitudes and Hockey homilies, like the one about Joe's dad going broke in Whitlam's time (when Joe was 10) to ask about.

The Coalition are not a serious Opposition. They still think they can coast back into power on slogans, catch-phrases and buzz-words. They have had some initial success, but up against a serious government that may yet be called upon to resuce the nation from GFC-2, they are a joke. The journalists, on this occasion, were right to be angry.

Bushfire Bill

May 21. 2010 06:10 PM

lyn

Hi Ad,  Bushfire Bill

This must be true because it rings true. What do you think?

PM 'PAY-BACK' TO MURDOCH , Mirror, UK

Labour MPs fear Mr Cameron has agreed to pay him back for
his newspapers' slavish support during the election campaign.

www.mirror.co.uk/.../pm-pay-back-to-murdoch-115875-22273847

lyn

May 21. 2010 06:13 PM

HillbillySkeleton

  Can you believe this as far as biased reporting from the media goes:
SBS just had an update on what would be heading their News Bulletin tonight. The scene was set with some schmiko footage of Tony Abbott in his orange vest atop a Mining Grader at a Coal Mine in the Hunter Valley. The accompanying voiceover stated baldly:
"Rudd Government under seige over Mining Tax".
  How misleading is that? The Rudd government is suffering from a concerted Mining Industry/Coalition disinformation campaign, and by the looks of it, SBS, at least, has hopped on board this train, and instead of reporting in a balanced and factual way, they are attempting to magnify the disingenuous message that the Opposition and the Big Mining Companies are peddling.

HillbillySkeleton

May 21. 2010 06:52 PM

Acerbic Conehead

lyn and cybercynic, thank you very much for your kind words.  Yes, I think this blog and Jack the Insider's are the best going around.  I would also like to echo BB's words of encouragement to lurkers to write in.  We would love to benefit from your contributions.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Acerbic Conehead

May 21. 2010 07:22 PM

HillbillySkeleton

lyn,
    Thank you for that link:
'PM 'PAY-BACK' TO MURDOCH '
It's sad to say, but I have been proven correct, as expected.
  So Murdoch sleazed in through the back door to meet Cameron? Cameron too gutless to let everyone know who's pulling his strings? You bet! I also notice that one of the side-bar stories referred to the fact that Nick Clegg has allowed his party to be spoken for by the Tories in the Commons. It almost sounds like, when you take into account his meteoric rise through the ranks of the Lib-Dems, and his own priveleged upbringing, similar to Cameron's, that he was a plant by the Tories! Of course that's not true, but by the looks of things already, it sure seems like it.
  Now, let us see how fulsomely Mr Murdoch supports the accident-prone Mr Abbott in the run-up to our own election. I'll certainly be keeping a watching brief over it.

HillbillySkeleton

May 21. 2010 07:45 PM

Daisey May

Big thanks to Bill and Mr Conehead (presumably Mr) for making me laugh. The topic to hand lends itself to dourness I know but flashes of humour are often more powerful than ridicule sometimes. For what it is worth I think the ALP will come good and the no-good-nicks will be defeated at the coming election. Unkie Rupes will get his comeuppance eventually and even though that will be a happy time for many there will be another equally grotesque monster waiting in the wings to take his place. This is just how life goes. Although it reflects poorly on me, I am happy that he will know in his heart (if he still has one) that deep down he was always hated, feared, mistrusted and despised not only by kith and kin but by large sections of people on planet earth for most of his existence.

Daisey May

May 21. 2010 09:09 PM

fred

From Lyn's link to the UK Murdoch rag The Daily Mirror

"Prime Minisister David Cameron has secret talks with Rupert Murdoch"

What is a mini-sister?

fred

May 21. 2010 11:34 PM

Steve of Adelaide

I could be completely off the reservation with this thought, and I'm sure you'll tell me if I am, but are some of the Government's woes due to partisanship in the senior ranks of the public service?  I say this because I remember that soon after Howard got in, he had the 'night of the long knives' where he got rid of many senior bureaucrats and replaced them with people loyal to him/his agenda.  Rudd, on the other hand, did not.  I applauded this at the time.  Now, however, I'm not so sure that this was such a good idea.  

If many of Howard's politicised appointees are still there, doesn't it make one wonder where their true loyalties lie?  We have already seen, in Godwin Grech, a public servant who is willing to act as a mole for the Opposition.  Could this be, if not widespread, more prevalent than we realise?  I, of course, do not mean to cast doubt upon the integrity of the vast majority of Australia's public servants. I just had this random thought in my head this afternoon while sunbaking by the pool (I'm currently in Cyprus) and thought I'd bring it up for discussion.  What do you think?

Steve of Adelaide

May 22. 2010 12:08 AM

HillbillySkeleton

Steve of Adelaide,
                  I know that you are right. Well, at least as far as the Defence Forces goes. Lots of like-minded, conservative souls there, ever-grateful for Howard restoring their public profile and increasing their budget. I'd have a stab at Health as well, only for the reason that Howard and Abbott were working on their next term agenda there, before they were defeated by the ALP, so you'd think that a few sympathisers might still be there.
I'm only guessing, but I have heard that that is the best way for Oppositions of any political stripe to get their best lines of attack on the government of the day, that is, from getting information dropping into their laps from sympathisers in the PS.
  Btw, could you not mention how beautiful and warm it is in Cyprus please? It is cold and wet here in Sydney. Smile  Only joking.

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 12:32 AM

Steve of Adelaide

HillbillySkeleton, I just couldn't help myself...lol.  We moved here in February, and it's really starting to warm up here Smile I am a bit homesick though, especially for good Barossa wines and Aussie beef.

The ABC is another case in point.  Surely if Rudd was to appoint some more left-leaning appointments to the board to balance it out, we'd start to see less editorial bias, such as the dreadful decision to publish Haigh's woeful rant.

Containing leaks is not my only concern either.  I also wonder whether having Howard appointees in senior positions in Departments colours some of the advice given to the Government.  IMO, Rudd should have his own cleanout of the PS.  Installing 'yes men' is not what I'm advocating, but getting rid of Coalition sympathisers would be a good start.

Steve of Adelaide

May 22. 2010 09:58 AM

lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Morgan: 50.5 -5 49.5 to Labor, William Bowe, Poll Bludger
As always the poll was conducted over the weekend, and would therefore
not record any effect from recent problems for the opposition.
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

Betting Market Friday, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics,
Not much at all happened on the betting markets this week, as you can see
by our usual weekly change table:,
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/

Battle for votes on a knife-edge ,Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun
if Australians twig to what Abbott was really saying it could well
cement many of the doubts about his character, competence and fitness
for the top job.
www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frfhqf-1225869791679

My Own Pointless Protest, Richard Farmer, Politicalowl
The only scandal was the action of Network Seven. Bring in some fair
dinkum protection of privacy laws is what I say
http://politicalowl.blogspot.com/

Khemlani’s the least of the LNP’s problems,Bernard Keane, Crikey
All this in a party that will be crucial to Tony Abbott’s chances of pulling off a long-shot win later in the year.
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Friday's Love Child, Ant Rogenous, Groupthink
avoid the studio particularly when Piers Akerman is on the panel. There have been reports of increases in unsubstantiated and insane commentary.
,http://www.groupthink.com.au/

David Campbell: Media Shame, JJFiasson, The Daily Bludge
News Limited, they never miss an opportunity to stick the knife into
NSW state Labor (not that it needs much help). “The final nail in NSW
Labor’s coffin” is the editorial line penned by Simon Benson.
,dailybludge.com.au/.../

lyn

May 22. 2010 11:11 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

May 22. 2010 11:27 AM

HillbillySkeleton

Hi guys,
        Another good read from Mike Carlton:
www.smh.com.au/.../...nge-rooms-20100521-w1pj.html

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 11:33 AM

HillbillySkeleton

  Rational article from Peter Hartcher(thinking woman's crumpet Smile ):
www.smh.com.au/.../...ised-land-20100521-w1pd.html

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 12:16 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I have just created a page ABC Watch which you will find at the foot of the list under 'site pages'.  The page is for keeping an account of what the ABC is doing on the political scene.  It will become a repository for evidence that the ABC is biased, or otherwise.  ABC Watch is at www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

The initiative to address the issue of ABC bias directly was that of HillbillySkeleton who wrote the previous piece Their ABC that argued that the ABC was becoming increasingly influenced by the Murdoch empire.  Around two hundred responses were posted, many of which supported this argument.  Friends of the ABC http://www.fabc.org.au made contact with The Political Sword, drawing attention to a similar article in its Autumn Newsletter.  You may wish to check out the article on the newsletter's front page Global War on Broadcasting.  Go to http://www.fabc.org.au click 'See the latest FABS newsletter' in the right panel, then on the next page click 'Autumn 2010' to go to the front page of the newsletter and the article.  FOR REASONS I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, ONLY THE SECOND INSTANCE OF THE [I]Friends of the ABC[/i] URL IS ACTIVE, SO CLICK THAT ONE.

As it is not possible on this blog engine to add comments to the ABC Watch page, please add any comment you wish to make about the ABC in any contemporary piece. Please label it as a comment you want recorded in ABC Watch, and it will be copied there.

Your collaboration in keeping track of what OUR ABC is doing may contribute to a change of its policies and improvement in its performance as a national broadcaster.

Ad astra reply

May 22. 2010 01:13 PM

Gravel

Thank you all for your welcome.  Unfortunately most of you say what I would have said before I can so unless I can come up with something more insightful I'll will continue to read everyday.

On the media's response to Joe Hockey's non budget reply, I was surprised they didn't just cover it up like they always have for any of the useless opposition. They have worked so hard to denigrate Rudd and Labor, I figured they must have been infuriated that they couldn't go with their prepared "How wonderful Joe Hockey was" schtick. Instead their ego's got a bit of a belting, but it won't change them into reporting more truthfully for Labor.

I hope that made sense.

Gravel

May 22. 2010 01:27 PM

bilgedigger

Ad Astra - The link to the New Scientist article is www.newscientist.com/special/living-in-denial/

HillbillySkeleton - Sorry I did not have computer access to respond to your excellent piece "Their ABC". It well deserves the permanent link AA has given it.

bilgedigger

May 22. 2010 01:37 PM

Lyn

Hi Gravel

That was an excellent comment I am Positive you have many more up your sleeve.

This morning on Sky News, they have been flogging the Coalition and Joe Hockey, like you would not believe.

Apparently, Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott have come up with some hair brained scheme to help the aged population,( I can't be bothered listening, exactly to what they are saying) Sky News is reporting, It hasn't been to cabinet yet (Der).

As Hillblly said, if you were a new arrival in this country, and listened to the News you would think the Opposition is the Government.

This is what I hear, Tony Abbott said this, Joe Hockey said that, The Coalition will do this, The Coalition will do that. DER, DER, DER.

Cheers

Lyn

May 22. 2010 01:52 PM

gusface

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-474424

A MUST READ!

[The so-called super tax will only bring the effective tax rate for miners up from 17% to somewhere between 20 to 25%. All of the crapping on by miners is self interested bulldust.]

gusface

May 22. 2010 02:02 PM

HillbillySkeleton

   'Tony Abbott is the soundbite at the heart of Australian politics.'  Smile

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 02:04 PM

Sally

Hi TPS folks,
This is about the ABC Watch.

Yesterday I posted a couple of comments on the Drum/Unleashed Haigh article. Most questioned the nature of media reporting or asked what is happening at the ABC. My second comment, on the latter issue, had the following reply by 'Helvi':

Quote. Sally, maybe at least on Unleashed we can assume it's the new editor who's making the new policies, who's running the show differently to the previous ones...?

Very often I think I'm on Channel Ten, and not on ABC. End quote.

Does anyone know who the 'new editor' is and his/her political leanings?

cheers

Sally

May 22. 2010 02:07 PM

HillbillySkeleton

Ad Astra,
         Thank you for 'ABC Watch'! I have somethingb that I have been raring to put in there all ready and waiting to go, from Ben Eltham over at New matilda. I hope that's OK to put in references that other writers make to the fact of ABC/News Ltd. hand-holding.
  I'd even like to transcribe the opening coda from each nights News bulletin on the ABC, if I feel that these opening comments reflect unjustly on the R udd government, or puff up the Coalition if they don't deserve it, IMHO.
  I wonder if that Bruce Haigh piece on 'The Drum' will be first cab off the rank? It should be.
  I wish Annabel Crabb would come back off Maternity Leave. She provides much-needed balance with good humour on The Drum.

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 02:29 PM

Ad astra reply

bilgedigger
Thanks for the New Scientist link.  When I used it it took me to a New Scientist index page.  I couldn't see Living in Denial

Ad astra reply

May 22. 2010 02:34 PM

Ad astra reply

gusface
Thanks for the PB link which I'll read alongside the letter I got today from BHP Billiton that says its tax rate will go from 43% to 57%.  There's a lot of misinformation about, and selective use of facts.  What we need is someone, hopefully an intelligent journalist like George Megalogenis, to give us the real facts which we can compare with the confected self-interested material we're being fed by the industry and the Abbott Party.

Ad astra reply

May 22. 2010 02:38 PM

Ad astra reply

sally
I don't know who the editor of The Drum Unleashed is.

If you have any comments to add to ABC Watch please post them in the current piece suitable marked for ABC Watch.

Ad astra reply

May 22. 2010 02:43 PM

Ad astra reply

HS
Please send me anything you want placed on ABC Watch either directly via email or by way of a comment on the current piece.

The items you suggest sound ideal, so please send me the text or the links.

I'll be away from my computer for the rest of the day, but will catch up tomorrow morning.

Ad astra reply

May 22. 2010 02:45 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'll be on the road for a while and away from my computer until tomorrow morning.

Ad astra reply

May 22. 2010 02:58 PM

fred

HillbillySkeleton [and others]

There is a fascinating bit of spin asssociated with that Mike Carlton link you gave above and which I have repeated here.

www.smh.com.au/.../...nge-rooms-20100521-w1pj.html

When I went to the site I noticed a sidebar link to various articles under the banner "Editor's Picks" which included, at that time, a link to an article by Lenore Taylor titled:

"So honest, he happily admits to dishonesty"

Now that is spin, it's misleading.

How does it mislead [even if its sarcasm]?

Well for those who have watched the relevant "7.30 Report" we know that Tony was definity not happy on that programme.
Definitely not happy that he was caught out in having told two totally contradictory stories about taxes.
So unhappy in fact he tried to obfuscate the issue about three times and became even unhappier, visibly and transparently so , as O'brien pursued the matter and refuted the continued Abbott attempts at spin and cover-up.

And clearly unhappy as he, as a last ditch resort, was forced [there was no pretence that this was a voluntary candid open admission] to give his 'excuse' that different things can be said under pressure at different times.

The line, the spin, that he was 'honest' in admitting such, came the next day, and since, by his apologists in his party and the media in an attempt to whitewash and defuse Abbott's unprofessional and unethical standard operating performance.

And the heading to Taylor's article continues that exculpatory line.

And just for emphasis, just to underline the whitewash we have a photo of Tony with the article.
A photo NOT taken from the "7.30 Report" programme.
A photo showing, you guessed it, a happy smiling Tony Abbott.

Now I haven't read Taylor's article.
What I found interesting was the treatment of that article in the sidebar and how it reinforced the line of spin put out by Abbott's apologists in an attempt at damage control.

fred

May 22. 2010 02:59 PM

Sally

ABC WATCH
Hi TPS,
This is old (Nov 09) re the rebirth of the Drum so I don’t know if Catherine Taylor is still editor of Unleashed but it may help those of you in the know. Also don’t know if Jonathon Green is still editor of The Drum. Can’t find much on either of them on the web.

mumbrella.com.au/abc-to-relaunch-opinion-site-unleashed-11971

This line is particularly interesting:
“However, the comment [on Unleashed] is likely to be less free-ranging than its rivals as ABC staff views will still be subject to the organisation’s editorial policies.”
Sally

Sally

May 22. 2010 03:09 PM

Rx

--Hillbilly,

I've just been over to the New Matilda site but didn't find anything on the front page referring to the ABC. Would be highly interested to read it, if you could provide the link please.

--Ad Astra,

Thank you very much for the 'ABC Watch' page. I note that submissions may be sent to your email, so will take you up on that as the need arises.

I shall be paying close attention to the coverage of politics in ABC Radio news bulletins. For example, the placement and ordering of Opposition quotes/press releases in relation to the government's + the ratio between the two.

ABC News Online is also worth watching for the treatment and coverage given to the Parties. And, of course, their blog, 'The Drum-Unleashed' which runs many political pieces. That recent one by Bruce Haigh was one of the most hateful ranting diatribes I have ever seen 'broadcast' by the ABC.

www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2905143.htm

Rx

May 22. 2010 04:16 PM

HillbillySkeleton

Hi Rx,
      Here's the link to the New Matilda story by Ben Eltham:
newmatilda.com/.../who-says-ber-funding-rort
  You'll find the reference to the hand-in-editorial glove connection between News and the ABC in paragraph 10. Smile

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 04:22 PM

HillbillySkeleton

  Actually, this editorial about the RSPT, from our 'friends' at The Australian, in this weekend's edition, is worth spending some of your precious time reading:
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg71x-1225869798271

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 05:10 PM

Rx

Thanks for the link, Hillbilly. I see we at The Political Sword are not the only ones to have noticed the creeping bias and that their ABC is more and more marching to the editorial drum of News Ltd.

As Ad Astra says, we've got to never stop pushing back!

Rx

May 22. 2010 05:11 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Reference: ABC REPORTING

This is what annoys me with Ben Pobjie, he does it all the time, this week,
using Jessica Watson first,as a cover up for what he is really wants to say
and does say.

Does Ben Pobjie think nobody watched  the 7.30pm report, because Pobjie's perception is fairyland stuff, he is away with the fairies.

Making the column look light hearted, to cover up for the nasty stuff, what happens
next,  in goes the boot, kick, whack, thump, belt up Kevin Rudd, Oh!  but Tony Abbott doesn't lie., he is just honest about
not telling the truth

And at least Abbott is honest about not telling the truth, unlike Kevin Rudd, who
is constantly being untruthful about his own dishonesty, which makes him look
mean and tricky next to Abbott's straightforward, muscular style of candid mendacity
.

And perhaps readiness was the real theme of the week. Whether Jessica's readiness to "sail" around the world; Tony's readiness to be honest about his misfiring neurons; Joe's readiness to have Andrew look after the economy;

It was a shame the whole "dishonesty-buck-passing-Andrew Robb-appearing-in-public" fiasco engulfed the Liberals just at the point where they seemed to be gaining the upper hand, with Kevin Rudd's approval numbers plummeting, and leadership speculation swirling around the possibility of Julia Gillard taking over

Weekly wrap: honestly dishonest, Ben Pobjie, ABC, The Drum, Unleashed

Let us be clear here: Abbott was not confessing to being a liar. He was simply
making the rather obvious point that in the heat of discussion, when the
pressure is on,
www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2775461.htm



Lyn

May 22. 2010 05:30 PM

Bushfire Bill

And at least Abbott is honest about not telling the truth, unlike Kevin Rudd, who
is constantly being untruthful about his own dishonesty, which makes him look
mean and tricky next to Abbott's straightforward, muscular style of candid mendacity.


How Jesuetical.

Bushfire Bill

May 22. 2010 05:35 PM

bilgedigger

Ad Astra - I see that Bushfire Bill (21 May) has also posted a link to the New Scientist article (glad to see in some ways that it's taking longer and longer to scroll down through comments here nowadays). I tried Bushfire Bill's link and it works.  The Crikey reference was written in a banner section and was a pointer only to the magazine article.

There is a wealth of information in the article and it provides a good read on why and how denialism operates. While I am hesitant to endorse the statement by Seth Kalichman (a Social Psychologist from Connecticut Uni) regarding linkage to "paranoid personality disorder" (which sound like pop-psychology to me) this may be because I come from a different branch of Psychology to him and don't like what I term "Labelling Theories" and as usual others will make up their own minds on this.

bilgedigger

May 22. 2010 05:50 PM

HillbillySkeleton

  Very, very, very interesting comment from 'Mad Dog', re the RSPT, from over at PollBludgerLand:
Mad Dog
Posted Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

Hi again,

As a Managing Consultant for Coopers and Lybrand Services in 1976-77 I wrote and presented the financial model (written in IFPS), projections and full financial analysis to gain approval from the board of Coal and Allied Operations Ltd (now part of Rio Tinto) for the development of first big open cut mine in the Hunter Valley, namely Hunter Valley No 1. Shortly after, I started my own consultancy, Econsult, and did the same for HV2 and many, many others, in NSW and Queensland, Kalimantan, South Africa and elsewhere. I invented the methodology used in these analyses, which is now pretty well standard in mining projects throughout the world.

I will not attempt to explain the full process here, but it involves calculating, using a very large financial model, the real internal rate of return to the equity (shareholders’) portion of the funds employed, in constant (ie today’s) dollars, taking into account the effects of projected inflation on interest rates and the real value of loan principal borrowed and repaid, exchange rate effects, and the timing of all outgoing and incoming cash flows, including interest, lease payments for major plant, revenues (tonnes by dollars, allowing for exchange rate), expenses (labour, power, fuel, explosives, maintenance) and direct capital expenditure, royalties and taxes.

There are a myriad of assumptions involved in the analysis, every one involving risks that you may be wrong, and an appreciation of the effects of changes in assumptions is normally done using Monte Carlo analysis. Put simply this means running the model umpteen times with differing assumptions about the key variables, to gain a clear understanding of the sensitivity of the project to changes in all of the main drivers.

One key factor, which very few people seem to understand, is the highly beneficial effect that general inflation has on geared investments (those made using, in part, borrowed funds). Inflation has multiple effects, almost all beneficial to companies running highly geared operations which have good intrinsic worth, like coal and iron ore mining. A key effect (of inflation), is that the real interest rate is actually the nominal rate, say 7.5% at present, less the inflation rate, say 4% at present, hence 3% at present, before tax. But a tax deduction is allowed on the nominal rate, at 30% of 7.5% or 2.25%. Hence the real after tax interest rate is 3% – 2.25%, or 0.75%. In 1976 it was just unreal, nominal interest rate 16%, inflation 11%, tax rate 50%, net real rate -3%. You were, quite literally being paid to borrow money. Anyone who had a housing loan then, and could afford to keep up the payments, would know the effect. The government taxes interest earned by net savers as though the nominal rate is real income, except that inflation diminishes the real value (purchasing power) of their savings principal sum by whatever rate it happens to be. As night follows day, net savers are having their saved principal confiscated (in part) as tax, and net borrowers are having their interest bills massively subsidised by those savers.

The second key inflation effect is a general one, related to the appreciation in value of major assets, brought about by their earning power. It is highly beneficial to very capital intensive industries, like mining, particularly when the government allows accelerated and >100% depreciation for tax, as they do.

The point of all of this is that miners have many of the cards stacked in their favour, and this is why they end up paying a laughable 17% of profit as tax. The addition of the so-called super tax to the variables in the analysis models has a surprisingly small effect. I know, I have just finished adding a ’super-tax’ module to the 23 such models I currently maintain, and these are being used by several of the miners in their negotiations. A much, much larger effect is that of the exchange rate. All Australian export contracts for coal and iron ore are denominated in US dollars. The drop from 93 US cents to 83 cents by the $A in the past week has increased the cash received by exporters for every tonne by (93-83)/93*100 = 10.75% which goes straight to the bottom line. Profit increase % is, of course, even higher.

The so-called super tax will only bring the effective tax rate for miners up from 17% to somewhere between 20 to 25%. All of the crapping on by miners is self interested bulldust.

cheers,

Mad Dog

HillbillySkeleton

May 22. 2010 09:58 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Daisey May (May 21. 07:45 pm).  Do you have a birthday this month?   Anyway, I’m glad you had a chuckle at my Coalition Waltons story.  I agree with you that Kev appears, in spite of all the onslaughts, to have everything under control.  In fact, he’s so confident, he’s singing in the shower, to the airs of Van Morrison’s, “Tupelo Honey”.  Shake your sauce-bottle and join in.
www.youtube.com/watch
:- )
You can take all the emails of Grechie
Shake ‘em in a great big sauce bottle for me
Hoon my ute round the seven oceans
Drop ‘em straight into the deep blue sea
:- )
He’s effete, ex-Treasury flunkey
He’s a tosser of the first degree
He’s effete, ex-Treasury flunkey
Like them wasters from the ABC
:- )
You can't stop us on the road to freedom
You can't keep us 'cause our eyes can see
Chicks with insight, guys in granite
Julia, Lindsay and good old Swannie
:- )
He’s effete, ex-Treasury flunkey
He’s a tosser of the first degree
He’s effete, ex-Treasury flunkey
Just like them wasters from the ABC
:- )
You know he’s all Right
As whacko Right as can be
He’s all Right, he’s all Right (fallen angel)
:- )
You can take all the emails of Grechie
Launder ‘em with a great big hair-dryer for me
Spin ‘em all they like, in Limited NewsCorps
Drop ‘em smack dab in the middle of the deep blue sea
:- )
He’s effete, ex-Treasury flunkey
He’s a tosser of the first degree
He’s effete, ex-Treasury flunkey
Just like them wasters on the ABC

Acerbic Conehead

May 23. 2010 01:01 AM

Colen

Hi Folks,
I have just read all your usual carping as they they in the classics What a load of WOFT.

I think you all need to get a life. You obviously don't have anything substantial to do but carry on about Murdoch. Atleast he has achieved something. All you can do is whinge.

AA it is time to rename this site TWF. I leave in grace and the best of wishes. I am sure when Abbott wins the election you will all still be living in the past reflecting on all the good of one KRUDD, the most hopeless P.M. this country has ever produced.

Colen

May 23. 2010 07:42 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Guest post by Mr Denmore: The Failed Estate 11-Gareth's gaffe. Guest poster, Larvatus Prodeo
The Australian – print media nearly always leads the agenda for the more widely consumed mediums of radio and television. So naturally, the News Ltd view tends to get echoed elsewhere, particularly by the ABC.
larvatusprodeo.net/.../

Have we gone overboard for Jessica Watson?, Dominic Knight, The Drum, ABC
The presence of the PM and Kristina Keneally at the Watson Welcome did seem
somewhat tacky, as though they were hoping that some of her immense popularity
would sprinkle some fairy-dust on their election chances.
www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2904186.htm

Leunig: lies + truth, mars08, Online Opinion
The media has traditionally said that it was the watchdog for democracy
that would ensure citizens would have the information they needed to make
their judgments
www.sauer-thompson.com/.../leunig-lies-tru.php

Christopher Pearson, MIKE CARLTON, an elevated debate, and fresh demands for a return to the Latin mass....Dorothy Parker, Loon Pond
When People Skills is about to lie, or to "go a little bit further", to
borrow his own exquisite phrase, a strange thing happens. He flicks his
tongue like a lizard. It's a nervous tic I have noticed often over the
years, and a dead giveaway every time.
loonpond.blogspot.com/.../...rson-mike-carlton.htm


A Global War on Public Service Journalism, Ethical Martini
Murdoch has now set his sights on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
News Limited columnist Mark Day is spear-heading Murdoch’s down under,
low and dirty under the table kneeing in the groin attacks on the ABC.
ethicalmartini.wordpress.com/.../

Rupert's Crazy Idea,Steve Cowan, Against the Current
Clearly the 'economic revival' has ignored dear old Rupert, with News
Corp struggling with declining advertising revenue. This
nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.com/.../...-idea.html

Sidelining Broadcasting,Steve Cowen Against the Current
Murdoch is deliberately portraying public television as a
'niche provider'. Murdoch wants private media corporations
like his to dominate the media affairs of countries like the UK,
Australia and New Zealand.
nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.com/.../...sting.html

ABC is right wing: study ,Cathy Alexander, Sydney Morning Herald Sept. 2009three quarters of newspaper editorials endorsed the coalition.
The Herald Sun and The West Australian newspapers endorsed them
100 per cent of the time.
news.smh.com.au/.../...ng-study-20090902-f83m.html

Lyn

May 23. 2010 08:19 AM

Lyn

Hi Colen

You are annoyed,aren't you, I am perplexed, as to who is doing the whinging.

You said you go with grace, if you decide to return to The Political Sword

which I hope you do.

Gee, it would be nice if you come back with grace.

Lyn

May 23. 2010 08:29 AM

janice

Colen,

What is wrong?  Has it dawned on you that you've been backing a mob of incompetents who will only damage our nation and its economy?  Or is it that you like the idea of Murdoch taking over and using his puppets to run the country?

Whatever, mind that the door doesn't slam your bum on the way out.  

janice

May 23. 2010 08:34 AM

HillbillySkeleton

lyn,
     Lots of reading to do this morning! Thank you! It seems that 'Their ABC' is becoming more and more obvious as the days wear on and we get closer to the election. Interesting to note Murdoch's 1,2 tactic of going for the groin of the ABC via Mark Day, but also surreptitiously wheedling his minions into the organisation via such shows as Insiders, and on the radio with News Ltd. political commentators getting regular guernseys, and, finally, and most obviously, by seeing the open door that is 'The Drum' online ABC presence.
  You know, I think a lot of this comes down to the fact that the ABC hasn't kept up with its hiring of new journalists to fill the content vacuum that has been created by the opening of the internet portal and their new 24/7 NewsCaf channel which is in the pipeline. Hence, News Ltd., which can afford to make a loss on these things, is quite prepared to help them fill that gap for free. Who knows, maybe the Liberal groupers who are in control of 'Their ABC', are quite happy to see that situation continue? Let's keep our eyes on the BBC in the UK to see how Mr Murdoch and Mr Abbott would like to take OUR ABC if Mr Murdoch can engineer that victory here for the LNP Coalition.
  And, yes, Colen, that may sound paranoid. And rightly so, too. Don't forget who snuck in via the back door to visit David Cameron in the first few days of his Prime Ministership. That is a fact, not speculation. No matter how many which ways from Sunday you try to negatively characterise those people who are making the observation.

HillbillySkeleton

May 23. 2010 11:18 AM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly

Thankyou, for your very informative piece yesterday, at May 22. 2010 05:50 PM

I must say the resources tax, is all a bit above me, but nevertheless, I know a

more than I did before I read your piece. Hillbilly, you Ad and Bushfire Bill are

an education, everyday we learn something new.

Did you read on one of the Today's links about Murcdoch and New Zealand, seems since the introduction of bloggs, Murdoch is becoming more and more exposed, people are starting to take notice.

Peter Martin explains some more on the mining tax:

Resources TAX: Australia may be the first, we won't be the last, Peter Martin
"what drives investors is not necessarily that they are going to pay higher or lower tax... but the availability of raw materials".
petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...y-be-first-it.html

Lyn

May 23. 2010 11:23 AM

Lyn

Hi Acerbic Conehead

Thankyou for your entertainment,  May 22. 2010 09:58 PM, last night. You really are clever and so quick witted.

What would we do without you.

Lyn

May 23. 2010 11:29 AM

HillbillySkeleton

lyn,
    Thank you for the compliment. I turn it around and say, without your investigative skills I wouldn't find out a lot that is informing my take on things as they zip by in our ongoing debate on the issues. Smile

HillbillySkeleton

May 23. 2010 11:49 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

And what a marvellous collection you have assembled Lyn for our Sunday reading. especially those related to the ABC.  Thank you.

Ad astra reply

May 23. 2010 12:20 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Lyn, thank you for your kind words.  Yes, we need to have a laugh to release the pressure caused by studying all this serious political business.  And thanks again for your links, as they are invaluable.

Colen, you say that AA should rename this site, "TWF".  I didn't realise you were a rugby fan.  C'arn the Force!

Acerbic Conehead

May 23. 2010 12:21 PM

HillbillySkeleton

lyn,
    Thank you for bringing the 'nzagainst the current' blog to our collective attention. I think it belongs on 'ABC Watch', as even though it is about the NZ Public Broadcaster, it makes reference to our own ABC and the malign influence of Murdoch on the media scene.

HillbillySkeleton

May 23. 2010 12:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Colen
I returned to my computer after an overnight absence to find that you had spat the dummy, and I'm still wondering why.  What are you accusing us of 'carping about'?  Was it the strongly held view that Rupert Murdoch is determined to influence to his advantage the role of public broadcasters here, in the UK and New Zealand?  Your reference to Murdoch at least 'achieving something' suggests our comments about him are the source of your annoyance.  You write like a Murdoch advocate.  If you are, we accept that.  Perhaps you might be generous enough to accept our right to hold a different view of Murdoch.  If you think that such a view is confined to bloggers on TPS, you might care to read LYN'S DAILY LINKS posted today, more than half of which are devoted to journalism and three specifically to the Murdoch influence.  We are not alone.  

If you see no threat to public broadcasting from the Murdoch empire, don't be surprised if others disagree, and please refrain from accusing them of whingeing.  Is exposing facts that you seem to find uncomfortable your definition of whingeing?  And spare us the 'get a life' line.  It's so hackneyed, so tired.   Does 'getting a life' mean thinking like you?

As a lad who first went to school in Nambour in Queensland, you know where sauce bottles get a fair shake, you might not be surprised to know your abbreviations are unfamiliar to me.  I won't ask you to elaborate as they are probably rude.  Why not try using plain but polite English that we sauce bottle shakers can understand?

Finally, I hope you will return with the same grace with which you departed, let us have your factually based opinions, which we will respect, and offer us the same respect in return.

Ad astra reply

May 23. 2010 01:06 PM

Ad astra reply

AC
As ever, you give us light relief in the intense battle that is going on for the hearts and minds of the Australian people.  Thank you.

Lyn
Thank you for the Peter Martin link, which shows that there are views diametrically opposed to those expressed by some in the mining sector.  On Inside Business on ABC TV this morning Ross Garnaut discounted a lot of the hyperbole emanating from the miners (and echoed by the Abbott Party) and indicated, as did the OECD Secretary General, that the RSPT is a desirable tax and that it’s the implementation strategy that needs attention.

After hearing Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, highly respected by the mining industry, this morning on Meet the Press, I feel confident that while the Government says it won’t budget on the 40% tax figure on super profits, it is in the business of getting the implementation and transition arrangements right.  We should not be surprised if some rapprochement is made with the mining industry that makes the new tax acceptable, for most at least.  If that occurs, Tony Abbott may find that his ‘we will oppose this in opposition and rescind it in government’ mantra will leave him way out on a limb.

HS
I will post the relevant links in Lyn’s links on ABC Watch.  Please indicate what other material you would like posted there.

Ad astra reply

May 23. 2010 01:55 PM

Acerbic Conehead

AA, no worries, glad to be here.  I don't find writing a chore and, as I drink very little, don't smoke, and the only bad woman I go out with is the missus, I'm delighted to take the opportunity to write in.  All the hairy chest for now, Ace.

Acerbic Conehead

May 23. 2010 05:14 PM

HillbillySkeleton

   Here's one for the ABC Watch archive. It comes from today's news bulletin re the RSPT. The ABC have chosen to only give one side of the story, the Opposition's side. No mention at all is made of the strong pushback today from Martin Ferguson or Julia Gillard, or the Treasurer's Note from Wayne Swan, which was also about the RSPT.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tszgnQ5rEks

HillbillySkeleton

May 23. 2010 05:55 PM

Rx

--Hillbilly,

You're a legend! Here I was, scratching my head how to word a request to Ad Astra that he / TPS could host recordings of biased ABC news bulletins. But you've beat me to it, and gone one better - thought of putting the files onto YouTube! Excellent idea!

I am monitoring for bias on ABC Radio. There was a similar example to yours this afternoon on NewsRadio. The bulletin opened with an opinion on the proposed Resources Super Profits Tax from the Minerals Council of Australia. There was then a short quote from the Government, followed by a grab of the Opposition deputy leader, Julie Bishop.

As you can see, Labor's representation was marginalised by the combined weight of the Minerals Council's plus the Coalition's opinions.

Surely the Government, as the central player in this proposed tax, should be given equal time in the coverage of discussions about the tax. The way their ABC is covering it, it's as though 'Labor' is almost beside the point, a mere footnote to the discussion. Just not good enough in a supposedly impartial national broadcaster.

Thanks, Hillbilly, keep on fighting the good fight!

Rx

May 23. 2010 06:21 PM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly

The you tube video you posted has been removed by the owner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tszgnQ5rEks

Wonder why, do you know.

Lyn

May 23. 2010 08:33 PM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly,

I have posted this link for you, but not sure if you will think it's applicable for our ABC WATCH list.  I just don't like the idea of Murdoch having anything to do with with the ABC, holding them to ransom or whatever loophole he is using.

Over to you for decision.


Media wars, Gary Sauer, On Line Opinion
The Murdochs and News Ltd don't like, or are hostile to, public broadcasters such as the BBC and the ABC doing their job of providing information to citizens. They see public broadcasters and their free content as a big threat to their media business, and they would like to see public broadcasters kneecapped so that we consumers are forced to buy more of the Murdoch media product. Nothing should be free in their world of paid-for content, with access to information being based on paying for that access.

www.sauer-thompson.com/.../media-wars-3.php

Lyn

May 23. 2010 08:47 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Some interesting Murdoch research:  hope you find it interesting, I sure did.

Mainstream U. s. Media controlled by Conseratives,Trendin Topics

The latest available stats show that most mainstream media is owned
and/or controlled by the conservative lift. Large corporations and
the wealthy are able to weld major political clout because of their
media holdings. In turn they are collectively able to shape government
policy by controlling the slant of the mainstream news.

trendingtopicsblog.com/business/mainstream-u


NEWS CORPORATION LTD. / FOX NETWORKS (Rupert Murdoch)
(donations see bottom note)

Television Holdings:
* Fox Television: includes 22 stations, 50% of US households.
* Fox International: extensive worldwide cable and
satellite networks include British Sky Broadcasting (40%);
VOX, Germany (49. 9%); Canal Fox, Latin America; FOXTEL,
Australia (50%); STAR TV, Asia; IskyB, India; Bahasa Programming Ltd. ,
Indonesia (50%); and News Broadcasting, Japan (80%).
* The Golf Channel (33%).
MEDIA HOLDINGS:
* Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight.
* 132 newspapers (113 in Australia alone) including the New York Post,
the London Times and The Australian.
* 25 magazines including TV Guide and The Weekly Standard.
* HarperCollins books.
OTHER HOLDINGS:
* Sports: LA Dodgers, LA Kings, LA Lakers, National Rugby League.
* Ansett Australia airlines, Ansett New Zealand airlines.
* Rupert Murdoch: Board of Directors, Philip Morris (USA).
*(Phillip Morris donated 2. 9 million to George W Bush in 2000)*
Later data is being collected and is expected to show even more
dominance of the mainstream media by rich and powerful conservatives.
Sources:
http://www. fair. org/index. php?page=2447

go to the “columbia journalism review and click on the
“who owns what” link on the right side of the page

http://www. cjr. org/

The presidential donations for GW can be found at
http://www. boycottbush. net/bgrnd_info. htm#donors

U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission

FRONTLINE: home | PBS


News Corp.’s Other Murdoch: How Dare the British Library Charge for Its Digital Newspaper Archive!, Khabar, Science and Technology
And talking of truth-distortion, Murdoch also confirmed something else during his speech: That News Corp. has actually been in quiet discussions for ages
with Google over the search giant paying for the privilege of
aggregating News Corp.-published news.
khabar24.com/.../

News Corp. flabbergasted anyone could oppose "three strikes,
nate Anderson Rs Technica

Rupert Murdoch's son James runs News Corp.'s sprawling operations in
Europe and Asia, and he's had it with the search engines, consumer electronics companies, and users who want access to his company's content without paying a "fair contribution."
arstechnica.com/.../...ld-oppose-three-strikes.ars

Help hold Fox accountable,Luna-canus.com
Murdoch needs to understand we Americans not Australians.  
If he wants to interfere in politics he should do it in his own country.
www.lunacanus.com/.../

Lyn

May 23. 2010 09:12 PM

gusface

Hi Lyn

you arent worth your weight in gold more like platinum

Smile

ps some good links re the RSPT via my posts on PB

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-475512

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-475515

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-475518

Srsly the MSM suck

ps sorry

gusface

May 23. 2010 09:15 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
Many thanks for your information and links - very interesting.  I will seek HS's guidance about what she wants recorded on ABC Watch.

Finsihing up for the day now - have just finished a piece for tomorrow.

Ad astra reply

May 23. 2010 09:23 PM

Lyn

Hi Gusface

Thanks for the fantastic links, you must be our diamond.

What a nice compliment, thankyou, Gusface, you are our good friend.

But, tell me is platinum worth more than gold.

Lyn

May 23. 2010 09:30 PM

gusface

Lyn

Every word you type is beyond value

Smile

Why quibble over worth when true value is rarly appreciated

I dips me lid to the Lady of TPS

gusface

May 23. 2010 11:10 PM

HillbillySkeleton

Their ABC helping Wilson Tuckey in WA:
www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2010/s2906930.htm

HillbillySkeleton

May 24. 2010 08:39 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Gauleiter Bolter, lays down the law on Jew-aboriginal racemixing,
Guy Rundle, The Stump, Crikey

Bolt’s so eager to have a crack at the left/ABC?Ruddite/freemasons,
that he revives the notion of Judaism as an exclusive, and racial,
category, as last favoured by, erm, ….the Nazis.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/

What's down with the Aussie Dollar, Ronda Jambe, Ambit Gambit
stock trading has become much more fragmented, leading even the
regulators to scratch their heads wondering where the real
nervousness comes from
www.ambitgambit.com/.../

Half hack, half holy man: the two Tony Abbotts,David Penthberthy,
The Punch
.
it turned into an enduring disaster which has the potential to haunt
Abbott until polling day. If it was a tough interview, it was made
Tough not by O’Brien’s questions, but by Abbott’s answers.,
www.thepunch.com.au/.../

It's your fight too, mine giants tell workers ,PHILLIP COOREY
AND PETER MARTIN ,SMH

Fortescue Metals chief executive, Andrew Forrest, told the ABC he had
received a ''note from the Chinese consulate''
not from China but from ''an Australian counsel in China'
www.smh.com.au/.../...l-workers-20100523-w41r.html

Bishop Slams Destructive Labor Party, Video Insiders, ABC.
www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/23/2906993.htm

New political party to fight mining tax,ABC
He says the only way to protect the interests of Western Australians is to have independent senators.
http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/05/23/2906870.htm

Lyn

May 24. 2010 10:46 AM

HillbillySkeleton

Rx and lyn1,
             That is very strange indeed. How is it that the ABC, because it was a video put up onto You Tube by the ABC themselves, can be summarily removed like that? Was it because they monitor this blog, and Poll Bludger, where I was originally alerted to the bias by another commenter, and thus decide we can't have access to their videos to point up their editorial manipulations? Or, was it a simple proprietory decision that we can't use it because it is their property?
  I am intrigued, as I tried to access on You Tube, just this morning, another clip of the Business News from 2 days ago, and it had also been 'removed by the user'.
  Curiouser and curiouser.
  Which only makes me more determined to keep up the scrutiny of the ABC, even if it means that I have to transcribe what is being said on the TV and radio that I listen to in real time, which they can't take away from me. I might even try and access their bulletins from interstate, every now and again, to get a comparative flavour of the editorial leanings from State to State. Or, if someone else could do that for me, if you live outside NSW, and especially in the Mining States of Qld., WA, and SA.
  I'll keep monitoring Poll Bludger too, as they talk about ABC bias frequently, and often provide useful links.

HillbillySkeleton

May 24. 2010 11:21 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN's DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

May 24. 2010 11:25 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I've posted a new piece Why is a good Government down in the polls? a rather long academic appraisal of why the Rudd Government is not polling as well as it was.  I hope you will find it informative.  Your comments will be welcome.

Ad astra reply

May 24. 2010 07:51 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
As we're now attracting only spam, I'm closing comments.

Ad astra reply

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