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Contemplate soberly the alternative – an Abbott Government!

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Sunday, 4 July 2010 19:32 by Ad astra

Have you noticed how little scrutiny the MSM has given to the prospect of an Abbott Government?  Why is this so?  With an election soon to occur, and the possibility of a Coalition win, how is it that we have had almost no analysis of what it has to offer and what an Abbott Government would mean for this nation?

We could be excused for attributing this to the preoccupation of the media with the current Government and its recent upheaval, but it seems to go well beyond that.  Anyone with eyes to see must have noticed the intent of some sections of the media, specifically News Limited and especially The Australian, to denigrate Kevin Rudd and his Government, and eventually bring them down.  That has been an around-the-clock commitment for a long while.  Reflect on the countless stories about the Home Insulation Programme and the BER, for which The Australian has an ongoing Schools Watch; consider the publicity given to every boat arrival, to the ETS/CPRS, the RSPT now the MRRT, practically all of it negative; think about all the derogatory articles about Kevin Rudd as PM and as a person, and any doubt you may have had about the intent of this onslaught will dissipate.  The logical extension of attempting to bring down a government is that the alternative is acceptable.  Presumably then, any criticism of it would be counterproductive.  I believe this is why the flaws in the Abbott-led Coalition, obvious to anyone who looks, are seldom exposed by a largely sycophantic Canberra Press Gallery.

Now that the primary mission of removing Rudd has been accomplished, attention is bound to turn to his replacement.  She will be afforded a modest honeymoon – it would be regarded as unseemly to immediately attack her as viciously as they attacked Rudd.  Instead, they have started to niggle with stories such as the cost of running The Lodge while Julia Gillard declines to occupy it, stories seldom heard when John Howard did the same and lived at Kirribilli; a tale about her use of the PM jet to attend a fund-raiser in Brisbane; and ever-so-subtle references to her marital status and beliefs.  She should watch her back once the honeymoon is deemed by the media to be ‘over’.

In the absence of any searching appraisal by the MSM of what an Abbott Government might look like and do, let’s have a go here.

First Tony Abbott

Abbott the pugilist
Long before he became Opposition leader, he showed us his pugilistic nature, an attribute that harks back to his days at Oxford when his prowess at boxing was legend.  I wrote about this in The pugilistic politician in December of last year. 
 Recognizing this, John Howard used him as his attack dog, again and again.  WorkChoices was an area where he excelled.  That pugilistic approach has exacerbated from the very day he defeated Malcolm Turnbull by one vote in a party leadership ballot.  He has incessantly attacked virtually everything the Government has said, done, or attempted to do.  He has been consistently negative and obstructive.  This seems to be partly born of his extreme conservatism, but more significantly of his antagonistic nature.

As an extension of his aggression, he tries to portray himself as ‘Action Man’ with his sporting achievements that he hopes will translate into ‘Political Action Man’ – the man who gets things done!

How can someone so fundamentally aggressive assume the mantle of Prime Minister where conciliation is so essential, where listening is so critical, where a calm approach is crucial?  Can Abbott transform himself into that sort of person?

Abbott the extreme conservative
His position on the political spectrum seems more radical, more extreme than was John Howard’s.  On the IR front he is strongly anti-union, anti-worker and pro-business, when a balanced approach is needed.  Although he says WorkChoices is dead, it is more accurate to say only the term is dead, as he is intent on restoring individual worker-employer contracts and restoring unfair dismissal laws.  He says the Howard Government went too far, but everything he says points to him dragging back many elements of WorkChoices, which in his inner heart he believes was not all that bad and was unfairly maligned.

His extreme conservatism was exposed in the global warming debate with his now infamous ‘absolute crap’ utterance, and his blocking of the ETS.

His conservatism has been exposed again recently with the RSPT (now MRRT) initiative which he vowed, and still vows to oppose and rescind in Government.  By so doing he is refusing to embrace tax reform, is happy to let the miners pay an inappropriately small tax on the nation’s non-renewable minerals, miners he stated already pay too much!  In so doing he is rejecting over $10 billion in revenue over the forward estimates that is targeted towards social benefits – better superannuation; benefits to business – lower company tax; and infrastructure improvements that benefit all.  Can you imagine more extreme conservatism than that?

How can a man who is so extremely conservative that he rejects such large additions to revenue, additions the miners are ready to pay, additions that will bring about such benefits, properly govern this country?

Abbott the untruthful
Perhaps the most damning words to come from Abbott’s mouth were spoken in an interview with Kerry O’Brien where he conceded that words he uttered might not necessarily be his real position, only what he committed to writing was. This will come back to haunt him during the election campaign.  There are many instances of this, the most recent being his declaration in a party room meeting that ‘...the Coalition was within reach of a famous victory’, faithfully reported to the media by always-pedantic George Brandis, subsequently denied by Abbott, but finally admitted to on another O’Brien interview.

Of course the media seems to think that Tony is entitled to have thought bubbles and to change his mind if they unexpectedly burst in his face.  He doesn’t do back-flips, only Kevin Rudd and his ministers did that, and were pilloried every time the media deemed they had.

Despite these conceptual contortions, his advocates, many of whom live in the Canberra Press Gallery where he’s considered a ‘good guy’, insist he is ‘the real deal’, that he’s ‘authentic’ Tony, ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ Tony.  That is nonsense.  What you see is not what you get.  What you get is a man who is shameless about lying when it suits him.

When can you believe this man?  If it’s only when it’s in writing, how can he expect the people to entrust to him the leadership of the country?

Abbott the economics ignoramus
When did you last hear a rational statement about economics come from Abbott’s mouth.  He has a longstanding reputation for being ‘bored’ by economics.  Peter Costello has stated that he would never let Abbott get near an economics portfolio.  Yet he is putting himself forward to run a trillion dollar economy.  I suppose he expects he will delegate that to his finance team, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb, but that is not good enough.  For all the faults that were laid on him, Kevin Rudd clearly had a deep understanding of economics.  Yet even this weekend Abbott exposes his incompetence by saying he can’t understand how in reducing the MRRT tax rate by 25% the loss to revenue is only about 10%, while overlooking the savings that result from deleting other aspects of the scheme where the Government was to subsidize exploration, and ignoring very recent estimates of windfall minerals prices.  He is either being disingenuous and opportunistic in casting doubts in people’s minds, or he just doesn’t understand – possibly both.

How can someone so ignorant and apparently disinterested in economics put himself up as a potential PM?

Abbott the social enigma
On the one hand Abbott opposed the introduction of abortion drug RU486; feels ‘threatened’ by homosexuals, but has lots of friends who are; but on the other is promoting a generous PPL scheme after saying such a scheme would come in over the then ‘government’s dead body’, and wants a ‘stay-at-home-mothers’ scheme, one his shadow cabinet has so far rejected as fiscally irresponsible.

Abbott’s period in a seminary studying for the priesthood has left a lasting impression on him, both good and not-so-good.  He behaves as if asking forgiveness is the remedy to making mistakes, rather than getting it right first time.  He consults with Cardinal Pell.  There is nothing wrong with this, although sometimes he is reluctant to admit that he has consulted his mentor.  Despite his Christian upbringing he takes a hard-nosed approach to asylum seekers, infamously threatening to turn around boats laden with those escaping persecution, hardly a ‘Good Samaritan’ approach.

Who can predict where he will stand on any social issue?  How can this man expect the people of Australia to endorse him when he has not set out his social ‘narrative’?  Rudd was harassed incessantly for his narrative – let’s see what Tony Abbott stands for, let’s hear where he stands on the wide range of social issues this nation faces.

Abbott the dog-whistler (added after a comment by Mobius Ecko)
Like John Howard, Tony Abbott has discovered the political value of dog-whistling.  Howard did it with the Tampa; Abbott is doing it right now with the updating this last weekend of his asylum seeker boat arrival count, displayed on the converted ‘$315 billion debt’ truck Malcolm Turnbull launched so proudly a year ago.  Like Pauline Hanson, he knows there are votes in a hard-nosed approach to refugees arriving by boat. He knows he can, and indeed has heightened fears among some of the population about ‘the influx of boats’ under Labor, and is promising a return of TPVs and other Howard measures.  He insists Howard stopped the boats and so will he, despite the fact that the refugee situation is quite different now with push factors being so much more powerful.  The potency of this latest piece of dog-whistling is evidenced by Julia Gillard’s keenness to address the asylum seeker issue, which it is reported is a negative factor in some Labor electorates.  It will be interesting to see whether Abbott’s loud dog-whistling will push Labor to take a harder line, and match Abbott’s pledge to ‘save’ Australia from this ‘threat’.

Abbott the policy vacuum man
Think for a moment what policy announcements Abbott has made.  There have been a few; we are told we must wait patiently until election time for the others.

A recent one was the mental health initiative.  Seeing an opportunity to wedge the Government, and picking up on discontent in the mental health field, he announced an increase in the number of ‘Head Start’ clinics for youth mental health at a cost of $1.5 billion, but will fund this important initiative by stopping the building of GP super clinics, the idea of which is to provide round-the-clock comprehensive primary care to take the load from hospital emergency departments, which have been chronically overloaded for as long as anyone can remember.  He’s robbing Peter to pay Paul because he thinks that will garner more votes.  He says he will further fund this initiative by carving out chunks of ‘unnecessary bureaucracy’, which would be in sharp contrast to the way it burgeoned under Howard.  Is this believable?  Is this fiscally responsible policy?

This weekend he stated that type 1 diabetes sufferers would be better off under a Coalition government as he will fund a $35 million clinical trials research network.  Sounds like another thought bubble – wait for the details, and how he will fund it.

His so-called health reform consists of creating local boards in Queensland and NSW to replace regional networks, a scheme that sounds similar to the Government’s plan, but of course would be so much lighter on bureaucracy.  There are no more details, no indication of how he will get the states to play ball, no mention of primary care – wait for it.  For a man who reduced health funding by $1 billion when Health Minister, who reduced funds for training doctors and nurses so now they are in very short supply, can you believe anything he says about ‘fixing’ the health and hospitals system?

He floated the idea of a lavish PPL, arguably to trump the Government’s more modest but fiscally responsible scheme that had been worked out after long consultation with stake holders.  His was an opportunistic thought bubble launched without party consultation, with funding coming from a new tax – sorry, temporary levy – on the very sector, big business, he says he’s looking after, and after his ‘no new taxes’ pronouncement.

Another thought bubble was the stay-at-home-mothers’ plan, killed off quickly because it couldn’t be funded.

Then there is the Direct Action Plan for carbon mitigation, a feeble attempt to con people into thinking it would achieve what it said it would.  It’s not without merit, but it’s really a cop-out for a proper plan and having to take hard decisions that affect businesses and householders alike – but after all, global warming is ‘crap’.

Remember the Budget reply speech and the $47 billion ‘savings’ that would fund Coalition initiatives.  Abbott gave us no detail – that was shadow treasurer Joe Hockey’s job, but, anxious to display his economics credentials, Hockey read a ‘learned’ paper to the National Press Club and waited until the end to hand out the list, which in turn was left to Andrew Robb to explain.  That all three included as ‘savings’ the funds that the Government planned to use for infrastructure, reducing company tax and facilitating superannuation funding from 9 to 12% ONLY if and when the RSPT was passed, a measure the Opposition vowed to stop in its tracks, shows their level of illiteracy in economics or simple accounting, or their willingness to deliberately attempt to deceive the public.

Recently Abbott declared the Coalition was ready to govern, and to prove it he presented a 12 point plan.  It’s not worth the space to reproduce here his platitudes – if you want to read them, Andrew Bolt has them listed in Abbott’s 12 points a bit blunt; even he didn’t think much of them.

Can anyone recall policies on tax reform, social services and transfer payments reform, reform of indigenous affairs?  Has he ever said what he would do with the rest of the Henry Tax reforms?  Has he a population policy apart from criticizing every move the Government is making to address the population issue? In fact can anyone recall hearing any coherent statement of his vision for this nation, his narrative for achieving that vision, his determination to tackle the hard reforms that are needed for continuing prosperity?

Yet this man has the hide to present himself to us as potentially the next PM.  But what has the media to say about this, about him, about his policies or lack of them.  Almost nothing, after all, Tony’s a ‘good bloke’.  That’s all that’s needed to escape scrutiny.

What of the rest of the team?

Julie Bishop
What has she done that warrants her position?  She has retained Deputy Leadership across three leaders, mainly because she is a Western Australian.  As shadow treasurer she was incompetent and was replaced.  Then as shadow foreign minister she said all the wrong things over the Stern Hu affair and messed with our national security over the Israeli faked passports episode.  With that record, how could we entrust her to conduct delicate diplomatic discussions?  As chair of a Coalition policy group she seemed to have achieved nothing that can be seen, so it was handed on.

She is a very weak performer.  What could she usefully do in government? 

Warren Truss
As leader of The Nationals, Warren is a nice guy, the antithesis of Abbott’s aggressive approach, but is overshadowed by Barnaby Joyce to the point of being ineffectual.

Joe Hockey
I’ve mentioned his fabricated ‘Budget savings’ already.  It’s been estimated that the Coalition’s real savings are less than a quarter of that claimed, because of the non-existent savings in the MRRT and the fictitious savings by scrapping the NBN.  As Lindsay Tanner put it: “Either Mr Abbott and his colleagues have reached a new level of deceit or . . . the Liberal Party's economic team is even more inept than previously thought."

During the GFC he castigated the Government for ‘reckless spending’ in denial that a recession was coming or had been averted.  He attributed Australia’s avoidance of recession to everything except the Government’s stimulus. This was ridiculous, literally.  He showed no sign of competence regarding financial matters and global economics.

And yet he says repeatedly he wants Wayne Swan’s job!

Andrew Robb
Andrew is to be admired for coming out over his depression and for the way he is coping with it.  But his credentials as shadow finance minister are suspect; he has shared in making the ludicrous statements about the nation’s finances with Abbott and Hockey.  And just this weekend he labelled the Government’s MRRT ‘all smoke and mirrors’, a meaningless mantra that would not escape the lips of one competent in economics and finance.

The Coalition economics/finance team is a motley crew.  How could they be entrusted to run a trillion dollar economy in troubled economic times?

Christopher Pyne
As education spokesman he has done nothing but carp about ‘waste and mismanagement’ in the BER.  Nothing positive about education has escaped his lips.  And as Opposition Manager of Business he has been a serial pest with multiple, spurious time-wasting points of order during parliamentary debates.  He is largely a mouth with no sign of his brain being in gear.

Peter Dutton
This man is almost totally ineffective as shadow health minister and no match for Nicola Roxon.  He may not return after the election.

Scott Morrison
Scott shows some promise but is burdened with Abbott’s intention to return to the ‘successful’ Howard asylum seeker policies that kept the boats from coming – through ineffective TPVs and the inhumane Pacific Solution.

Ian MacFarlane
Ian has had experience and did a commendable job negotiating a revised ETS with Penny Wong; he is one of the better prospects.

Then there are the lesser lights who raise countless points of order in QT such as Bronwyn Bishop, Wilson Tuckey and Kevin Andrews, those who ask occasional questions such as Greg Hunt, Susan Ley, Sophie Mirabella and Steve Ciobo, and those who make up the numbers like Philip Ruddock and Sharman Stone.

Yet sitting on the back bench is Malcolm Turnbull, arguably the most intelligent and talented of all, hoping to return to the front bench, and if Abbott loses comprehensively, maybe to leadership.

In the Senate probably the most gifted Coalition member is Deputy Opposition Leader George Brandis, but surrounded by Eric Abetz of Grech affair fame, Barnaby Joyce who seems more suited to vaudeville with his smart but meaningless quips, Cory ‘Ban the Burqa’ Bernardi, arch-conservatives Mathias Cormann and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and old-timers such as Bill Heffernan and Helen Coonan, there isn’t much talent around to support him.

What has the Coalition to offer the people of Australia?

Looking critically at the leader, his paper thin front bench, his aging back bench and his limited Senate team, there seems to be little that the Coalition has to offer this nation.  Indeed it is outrageous that it has the temerity to offer such a paltry team to the Australian electorate to replace a competent Government that despite some failings has achieved so much and needs more time to complete its reforms.

Even more outrageous is the fact that the MSM has made so little effort to appraise the Coalition, has made almost no critique of its plans, and has allowed Tony Abbott and his key ministers to get away with hyperbole, spin, factual errors and disingenuous behaviour almost without correction.  It has been left to the Fifth Estate and specialist outlets such as Crikey to set the record straight. 

Is the MSM waiting for the election campaign to do that work, or will its desire for a fierce contest and a close result inhibit it doing its proper job – soberly informing the electorate of the stark choice it has at the 2010 Federal Election?

What do you think?

Comments (92) -

July 4. 2010 09:24 PM

vote1maxine

Hi AA

Another brillant piece! Very succinct.
[Abbott the policy vacuum man] imho should also include an insincerity element. As my wife commented today re the mental health initiative and the type 1 diabetes policy, "why didn't he undertake these when he was the Health Minister?" We don't believe that he is really sincere about these.
[Abbott the untruthful] has the unfortunate familiarity of Howard's [core and non-core promises] except that Tone is a less sophisticated liar.
[Even more outrageous is the fact that the MSM has made so little effort to appraise the Coalition] outrageous yes but not surprising. The MSM owners belong to the ruling class in this country who believe that their political wing, the Coalition, have the Divine Right of Government. It is really up to the Fifth Estate to hold the Coalition to account. Citizen Journalists such as yourself, Hillbilly Skeleton and Bushfire Bill, to name a few who regularly post here are part of the vanguard in this uneven battle for ideas for the future of our country.

vote1maxine

July 4. 2010 09:26 PM

vote1maxine

*brilliant

vote1maxine

July 4. 2010 09:44 PM

Jason

AA,
   Once the election is called then the opposition is going to be although not by all sections of the media called to account.
I would say now, that Gillard is PM whatever the Libs had in mind that has turned to compost. The Libs seem to think by way of their leader that what happened at the last election was somehow a mistake!
Hence "what worked under John Howard" will work again. I say it wont for the simple reason John Howard isn't there and if some of them think it will then they have the Morals of a pedophile priest of which "I was subjected to". They need to come up with a new narrative, slogans that only work on the base only appeal to the base, but as I heard on insiders today labor would have been negligent not to dump Rudd because it not the base you want it's those you want to vote labor that matter.

Jason

July 4. 2010 10:44 PM

Ad astra reply

vote1maxine
Thank you for your kind remarks.  You are right.  Opportunism equals insincerity.  It is what Tony Abbott thinks will work for him that counts primarily, not what is for good for the groups he feigns to support.

It is an unequal battle between the Fifth Estate and the Fourth Estate, but fight we must.

Jason
You are correct.  The Coalition has always felt the last election was an aberration, and Kevin Rudd’s departure probably reinforced that feeling.  Since what worked for John Howard did not work for him last time, it would be folly for the Coalition to believe it will work for them this time.  Julia Gillard is formidable, and I believe they know it.  They need a convincing narrative to counter hers.  There is no evidence that Tony Abbott or his team are capable of creating it.

Time to pack it in for the night.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 07:03 AM

BK

AA
You've done it again!
That such an incisive evaluation of the political landscape has not appeared in the MSM is an indictment of them.
This piece of yours I will widely distribute. Thanks.

BK

July 5. 2010 07:24 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Congratulations Ad, a billiant piece and a brilliant topic.

This should give us all a wonderful conversation,

for a couple of days.

Thankyou Ad,

Cheers

Lyn

July 5. 2010 08:08 AM

Glorfindel

As mentioned an Abbott government would take a hard-line approach to asylum seekers. They would probably also put off any real action on climate change indefinitely and cave in to the mining industry at the first chance they get.

So why change when we have a government willing to do all that now?

On a more serious note instinctively I feel that Abbott would be a disaster, hopefully we will never find out. Turnbull v Gillard would be a far different proposition.

Glorfindel

July 5. 2010 08:14 AM

Mobius Ecko

You didn't mention Abbott's ludicrous boat people policy, though to be fair we will have to wait to see what Julia produces, which according to the ABC News Breakfast this morning will be much tougher than their current stance.

You also didn't mention the thought of Abbott and Julie Bishop as Foreign Minister on the world stage as our diplomatic representatives. Shades of the George W Bush joke of the world come to mind. Alexander Downer was a bit of joke on the world stage as well, sometimes being shoved aside in the side/backroom deals or given a bone to shut him up as happened with the increase in carbon pollution allowance he got by whining incessantly.

The very thought of a pugilistic leader who talks like a punch drunk and a stare of death Foreign Minister representing us at global summits and important global events makes me cringe.

Mobius Ecko

July 5. 2010 08:33 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Newspoll: 54 - 46 to Liberal - National in WA
but their two party lead is up from 53-47 to 54-46.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

Is Racism in our DNA, Sandra Mundine, The Daily Bludge
John Howard’s nomination and subsequent rejection by the ICC has stirred
up a whole lot of muck,
dailybludge.com.au/2010/07/is-racism-in-our-dna/

Finishing guide to the Federal Election, Ben Raue, The Tally Room
the fall of four leaders: John Howard, Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull
and Kevin Rudd
http://www.tallyroom.com.au/

Gillard’s Mining Tax U-Turn Echoes Rudd, Rich Bowden, The Angle. Org
It is hardly appropriate that the hard men and woman of the Labor right wing
now support a prime minister who does the same to the mining tax. Again,
spare a thought for Kev.
theangle.org/.../

Gillard mining deal betrays the common good, Michael Mullins, Eureka Street.
The change of plans for the tax represented a truce, which was designed to keep the damaging ads out of sight in the lead up to the election.
www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=22203

Rupert teasing us all, Jeremy Sear, Onymous Lefty.
please, Rupert, could you lock up the Herald Sun and Australian while
you’re at it?
http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/

Spotlight on Spin, Tigtog. Larvatus Prodeo
is it just about winning the news cycle for this week only or is
a longer play building strategic momentum?
http://larvatusprodeo.net/

Commentators at the Oz an action man versus the leader of the gang of four.
Here at the pond it only increases our desire to see The Australian go boldly
where no antipodean rag has yet gone, and put up a paywall.
loonpond.blogspot.com/.../...ique-of-cabalist.html

Lyn

July 5. 2010 09:10 AM

Cavitation

When Rudd was PM I thought the next election would be a rerun of the past - but as Keating vs Latham - Keating being what Rudd's leadership was becoming, and Abbott matching the Latham experience, but for the Liberals rather than Labor. Now with Gillard, it's going to be Hawke vs Latham - Gillard seeming to have the common touch and communication skills with the public that Hawke also managed. Abbott has all the same features that Latham exhibited - the aggression, the attraction to easy populism rather than difficult policy formulation, and the conviction that he was a specially endowed person whose thoughts and actions were all good and favoured by the prevailing conditions and perhaps in Abbott's case by divine beneficence. The results for the next election are clear, if this analogy holds up.

Cavitation

July 5. 2010 09:53 AM

NormanK

Ad astra
Look forward to tonight's 7.30 Report. You may wish to record it. Or not.


ANOTHER PM EXPOSED


Kerry O’Brien :
“Good evening and welcome to the 7.30 Report.
Just when we thought politics had few, if any, surprises left, we were treated to a remarkable series of events this weekend which may well be a new low point in Australian social behaviour.
I will be joined shortly by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard to discuss the surprising events of recent days but first here’s Heather Ee-ooh Art with the background to the story.”
Heather Ee-ooh Art :
(she of the perpetually pursed lips normally associated with lemon-sucking addicts which (we suspect) in her case is primarily caused by her senior newscameraman adopting the current East African fashion of wearing his genitals on the outside of his clothes)
“................................”
Heather Ee-ooh Art :  
(eyes firmly fixed on the auto-cue) (a little glazed)
“............................ Now? ..... Oh ...... On a weekend when Labor SHOULD have been celebrating an historic, pre-election BACKFLIP on resource taxation, Julia GILLARD found herself embroiled in a controversy of an ALL TOGETHER different kind.
It began in an innocent enough way with a video journalist from Nine News collecting vox pops to correctly reflect public opinion against our new UNWED CHILDLESS AETHIEST Prime Minister when he stumbled on a surprising fact.”
(roll vision)
An old-age pensioner, female, complete with wheelie-walker, small dog and that morning’s groceries.
Reporter :
“Good morning. I’m Shotmy Bolt from Channel Nine News. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”
Old Lady :
“Just be quick about it, young man. I’ve got beetroot to boil.”
Shotmy Bolt :
“How do you feel about Australia having it’s first female Prime Minister?”
Old Lady :
“What’s that, son?”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Our first female PM - crashing through the glass ceiling. How do you feel about it?”
Old Lady :
“Glass ceiling? What a stupid idea. Who’s going to clean it? That’s what I want to know. Birds pooping all over it. Planes full of people watching me in the shower. No, thank, you!”
Shotmy Bolt :
“No no. Our first female Prime Minister. What do you think about having an unmarried childless woman in the top job?”
Old Lady :
“What do you mean he’s not married? What about Therese?    And he’s got kids.”
Shotmy Bolt :
“No no. You misunderstand. Julia Gliiard. Our first Godless woman Prime Minister.”
Old Lady :
“Don’t be silly, the Prime Minister is NOT a woman.
Prime.   Minister.  That should give you a clue.
  Prime.   Minister.  Look at the name. It is obviously a man’s name. Young man you really should think before you ask these silly questions. Glass ceilings indeed!”
Shotmy Bolt :
“But ..... but .......ooh. Thank-you. Thank-you very much.”
(cut)
A young woman in her late teens. Bejewelled, bedraggled, tattooed, tanless, punctured and pomaded. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Shotmy Bolt :
“How do you feel about the way the new Prime Minister handled the mining tax issue?”
Young Woman :
“Sawright.”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Would you say she showed gumption in standing up to the big miners?”
Young Woman :
“Yeeaah? Awright. But why do you want ME to say it when YOU already have?”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Mm. Do you think she showed spunk in the way she deposed Kevin Rudd?”
Young Woman :
“Yep. Goodonna.”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Would you agree that it takes balls for her to lead the nation in the way she has this last week?”
Young Woman :
“Yeeaah. I guess so.”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Okay. Now, has it been your experience that most male hairdressers are homosexual?”
Young Woman :
“Yeh. But there ain’t nothing wrong with that.”
Shotmy Bolt :
“No, indeed. So what conclusions might we be able to draw from what you’ve just said?”
Young Woman :
“Whaa? What’d I just say?”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Spunk.     Balls.     Gay hairdresser?”
Young Woman :
“What’re ya tryin’ to say?”
Shotmy Bolt :
“I’M not trying to say anything. I just wondered if we could read anything into what YOU’VE just said about Julia Gillard.   Full of spunk.   Has got balls.   Shacked up with a gay bloke?”
Young Woman :
“What? Like she’s acting like a bloke, like?”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Mmmmm. Or?      Maybe ...... she’s ..... a .......”
Young Woman :
“She’s ........ a .......... Ohmygod, ohmygod.  OH  .....  MY ....... GOD!! She is! She is! She’s a FELLA!!”
Shotmy Bolt :
“Yessss! (punching the air) What are you doing now?”
Young Woman :
“Textin’ me mates! They’re not gonna freakin’ believe this! THE PRIME MINISTER IS A BLOKE!!”
Old Lady :
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell him but he won’t bloody listen.”
(cut)
Heather Ee-ooh Art :
( to cameraman) “Can you at least turn sideways a bit?” (to camera)  “Once social networking sites got hold of the rumour, it went viral over night. The web was full of speculation and it wasn’t long before newspaper headlines added to the furore.
The Age.”
(graphic)

PM’S GP DENIES TESTICLES

“The Sydney Morning Herald.”
(graphic)

JULIA’S JEWELS - WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

“The Sun.”
(graphic)

TRICKY DICK REARS HEAD IN AUSSIE POLITICS

“The Australian.”
(graphic)

HEY JULES - SHOW US YOUR BUDGIE!

Heather Ee-ooh Art :
(to cameraman) “If that thing moves so much as one millimetre, I’m going to shoot it off.” (to camera) “This then is what lead to this afternoon’s summoning of the parliamentary press gallery to assemble on the forecourt of Parliament House.”
(roll vision) (voice over)
“Julia Gillard turned up to the packed press conference dressed in what can only be described as an elaborate dressing gown. Once the pack, mostly made up of men had settled down, she dropped the gown, removing once and for all any speculation about her gender. Citing her promise to be more transparent in her style of governing, Ms Gillard then did a brief circuit of the forecourt to the accompanying sounds of feminine titters, dry retching and mostly male groans of approval.
When Wayne Swan appeared at the french doors in a similar dressing gown we were practically deafened by the sound of lens caps being hastily slammed on to cameras. Fortunately, a passing shower of rain brought proceedings to a premature end. Not the only one, I might add.”
Heather Ee-ooh Art :
(arm folded protectively across her breasts, holding a cold spoon) (lips so pursed in disapproval she can hardly speak) “No doubt tomorrow’s headlines will be full of references to “collars matching cuffs” and jokes about Brazilians. And not the World Cup kind. All in all, another extraordinary day here in Canberra.
It almost never rains in July.”
Kerry O’Brien :
(red faced) “Heather Ee-ooh Art reporting there.
I’m joined now by a fully-clothed (relieved chuckle) Julia Gilliard live from our Canberra studio.
Julia Gillard, thanks for joining us.”
Julia Gillard :
“My pleasure as always, Kerry.”
Kerry O’Brien :
“Prime Minister, that was a truly astonishing display this afternoon. Do you have any regrets about bringing your office into disrepute?
Julia Gillard :
“No Kerry .........”
Kerry O’Brien :
“Or setting a poor example for the many young women who see you as a role model?
Julia Gillard :
“Kerry, I ........”
Kerry O’Brien :
“Don’t you think this was demeaning to you as Prime Minister and as a woman?”
Julia Gillard :
“Are you quite finished, Kerry?”
Kerry O’Brien :
“Very nearly, Prime Minister, VERY nearly.”
Julia Gillard :
“Well, no, I don’t think think it was demeaning Kerry. It was a bit cold but I thought I looked quite nice there in the afternoon light. Very flattering don’t you think?”
Kerry O’Brien :
(bright red) (practically swallowing his tongue) “Yuuuurrrrg.      Baaaarrgh.     Nnnaayaaaah.”
Julia Gillard :
“Now Kerry, do I detect a little hint of jealousy in your voice? (laugh) I’d be more than happy to lend you a bottle of dye if you’re having trouble with a bit of greying around the old family jewels.”
Kerry O’Brien :
“Gluuuuuuuurp.”



In related news : Tony Abbott claims he was only looking for an added advantage in the swim leg of Iron Man contests when he agreed to a full-body wax.

NormanK

July 5. 2010 10:12 AM

Lyn

Hi Cavitation

A big welcome to you, thankyou for your very interesting comment, we hope

you keep coming back here to "The Political Sword"  Ad Astra will be very

pleased.

The comparison between Latham and Abbott is uncanny, have you read Michael

Duffy's book, Latham and Abbott.

  Each is fiercely Aggressive.

In Duffy's introduction " Each man believes his career in politics is a crusade for the soul of the nation: when  the stakes are high, the enemy must be crushed and extreme measures can be justified.  Conflict and drama are assured.

the aggression, the attraction to easy populism rather than difficult policy formulation,

Cavitation, your desciption of Phoney is absolutely correct, also your comparison,

between Latham and Abbott is shared by many.

Lyn

July 5. 2010 10:21 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 11:04 AM

Lyn

Hi Spray of the day


Thankyou for linking "The Political Sword" on your blogg.

Lyn

July 5. 2010 11:11 AM

Gravel

Yes, that is the sort of thing I would like to see reported in all the news media.  Sigh.  We won't see it even during the election.  The dye/die (?) has been cast and I (we) can only hope the the voting people make the right choice at the election.  The snide belittling and denigration has started on Julia already.  The usual presenter on 774 tried to make an issue of Julia visiting the bushfire area here in Victoria.  Not a word did he say against Abbott when he did it a while back.

NormanK, I was unsure just which way you were going in the first two lines of your great satirical sketch, but I ended up having a wonderful chuckle, thank you.

Ad Astra, I just love the bigger font, thank you.

Gravel

July 5. 2010 11:21 AM

Roswell

I don't know if I really can comprehend an Abbott Government.  It's like trying to get my head around Hawking's concept of time and space.

When did time begin?  How did it begin?  Will it ever end?  How can it end?

See what I mean.

Roswell

July 5. 2010 11:22 AM

Ad astra reply

Mobius Ecko
Your comment about dog whistling prompted me to add a paragraph on this subject, after the one: Abbott, the social enigma.  It reads:

Abbott the dog-whistler (added after a comment by Mobius Ecko)
Like John Howard, Tony Abbott has discovered the political value of dog-whistling.  Howard did it with the Tampa; Abbott is doing it right now with the updating this last weekend of his asylum seeker boat arrival count, displayed on the converted ‘$315 billion debt’ truck Malcolm Turnbull launched so proudly a year ago.  Like Pauline Hanson, he knows there are votes in a hard-nosed approach to refugees arriving by boat. He knows he can, and indeed has heightened fears among some of the population about ‘the influx of boats’ under Labor, and is promising a return of TPVs and other Howard measures.  He insists Howard stopped the boats and so will he, despite the fact that the refugee situation is quite different now with push factors being so much more powerful.  The potency of this latest piece of dog-whistling is evidenced by Julia Gillard’s keenness to address the asylum seeker issue, which it is reported is a negative factor in some Labor electorates.  It will be interesting to see whether Abbott’s loud dog-whistling will push Labor to take a harder line, and match Abbott’s pledge to ‘save’ Australia from this ‘threat’.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 11:33 AM

Ad astra reply

BK, Lyn
Thank you for your always-encouraging words.

Glorfindel
As mentioned above, I’ve added a paragraph on asylum seekers.  You’re right about Abbott’s climate change approach – it is really an attempt to appear to be doing something but it will be of marginal use compared with what is really necessary to properly address global warming.

Cavitation
Your comparison of Latham and Abbott is germane.  There is a remarkable similarity – aggression, a high risk approach, and a crash through or crash strategy.  It seems likely to produce the same outcome for Abbott as it did for Latham.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 11:34 AM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Thank you for another piece of delicious satire.  You continue to delight us.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 11:57 AM

Ad astra reply

Gravel
I too noticed the comments about Julia at Marysville yesterday.  They came from Fran Bailey who, miffed at not being included, countered by insisting that Julia was ‘politicizing’ the bushfires.  But as Julia pointed out, she did not organize the event, which was to open a new SES facility.  This approach will continue with every tiny snippet of discontent being enlarged by the media, something it refuses to do to Tony Abbott.

I’m glad you like the bigger font.

Roswell
It is like that, except that Stephen Hawking’s thesis had some internal logic, albeit hard to grasp.  So far the only consistent theme to Abbott’s approach is aggression, obstruction, opposition, pugilism, extreme conservatism and destruction – he even wants to destroy the NBN – to save money!!!  Can you contemplate anything as retrogressive and stupid as that for an advanced nation?  

We need to know what he stands for, what he wants for our nation and how he intends to achieve it.  The media seem unwilling to tackle him on that, so we may never know.  That should make decision-making at the ballot box very easy.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 12:23 PM

Lyn

Hi Norman K

Thankyou for delightful piece of art.

Love your pleasing view  of Heather Ewatt,

Heather Ee-ooh Art :
(she of the perpetually pursed lips normally associated with lemon-sucking addicts

Lyn

July 5. 2010 12:29 PM

janice


Ad Astra,
Thank you for the larger font size - so much easier for me to read your excellent piece.

What I find very interesting is that the media, which spent more than two years stridently pushing their anti-Rudd campaign, are now denying their very big part in the events which led to Labor's leadership change.  I am convinced that neither Abbott nor his media supporters ever countenanced the possibility that Labor would jettison a mortally wounded Rudd and install Julia Guillard so close to the election.  Because the anti-Rudd brigade, and Abbott and his wingnuts in particular, went a mile too far and now face a formidable, articulate, team playing leader in Julia Guillard, they realise the avalanche they caused has consumed them and left them at the bottom of the mountain so they're further than ever away from that "famous victory".

I don't know what Julia has in mind regarding the boats issue, but I have absolute faith in her ability to neutralise the issue one way or the other.  At the very least she will clearly explain the complexity of the issue, the steps taken so far and what steps she and her government will take in the future.  You can bet that whatever is proposed there will be screams and dire predictions, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if she challenges the Opposition to sit down with Labor and the Greens to reach a bi-partisan approach.

janice

July 5. 2010 12:35 PM

Lyn

Hi Roswell

I don't know if I really can comprehend an Abbott Government

How many days and how many times, can we keep sighing with weariness,

& sadness at the prospect of an Abbott Government.

Do you think Julia Gillard calling for debate on the Boat people, will force

Abbott to say what the Coalition's policy is.  I mean how long has this issue

(sigh!) (another boat, another boat) been harped on for, Malcolm Turnbull

started it didn't he, that's a year.

Lyn

July 5. 2010 12:35 PM

BH

AA - I contemplated soberly and got more scared by the alternative.  Thanks and I hope this is the start of more intense scrutiny, not only on the interblogs, but in the MSM.

BH

July 5. 2010 12:58 PM

Ad astra reply

janice
I’m glad the font size is an improvement – I’ll stick to 14 pt.

Like you, I wonder how Tony Abbott feels now – having poked at what he saw as an unstable snow drift, it’s now descending like an avalanche and threatening to overwhelm his campaign.

I believe Julia will come out with a balanced approach, but you can be sure that no matter what she does, it will not suit those who sit at the ends of the asylum-seeker spectrum.


BH
The prospect of an Abbott Government gets scarier by the day – no new policies, only carping criticism and obstruction.  Just today he had the temerity to criticize Julia Gillard for allegedly not taking the deal with the miners to her Cabinet – this coming from someone who has done just that – remember his PPL proposal.  Still hypocrisy is part and parcel of politics.

Folks
I’ll be on the road for the next few hours and back at my computer this evening.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 01:08 PM

Roswell

Hi Lyn,

I don't think Abbott will reveal his policy yet even though he asks the Government to adopt it.

I'm not convinced he has any policies on anything.  He'll keep his ideas on ice until a close as possible to the election to avoid public (but not media) scrutiny.

Roswell

July 5. 2010 03:38 PM

FFreddy

AA I think I saw a classic example of the double standards you have written about in Heather Ewerts summary of the days political events on last Wed.’s 7.30 Report (30th). Towards the end it included a full unedited spray from whynie pynie about how it was outrageous the way PM Gillard had used the executive jet and that she should refund the expense blah, blah, blah. HEwert then gave wp what amounted to a mild rebuke by suggesting that nothing PM Gillard had done was outside of regulations and Coalition members are well aware of these regs. However even though we got this feather-duster ticking off what we didn’t get was any mention of John Howard’s use of the self-same aircraft over a period of ten years during his prime ministership . No mention of the regular flights to and from Sydney  to Canberra when Parliament was sitting, no mention of the dubious nature of his initial reasons ie. the need for his son to remain in school in Sydney, no mention of the fact that however dubious these reasons they had disappeared by his second term and of course no mention of the fact that this would have cost taxpayers 10’s of millions of dollars by the end of his prime ministership. It seems in this bizarro journalism-free ABC when issues are raised about the use of the PM’s jet by the present Labor PM the behaviour of the previous Liberal PM over a period of ten years is irrelevant. Then again perhaps it’s considered an impertinence to criticize John Howard at the ABC these days. That’s certainly the impression I got from the ABC re: John Howard and the ICC Presidency.  

FFreddy

July 5. 2010 04:07 PM

NormanK

FFreddy
You're right. All that report needed was to be reversed i.e point out the regulations, acknowledge the PM had done no wrong and then show the rant from Pyne for what it really was, a beat up. This is cunning stuff because she (of the pursed lips) can't be accused of not reporting all the relevant details but never-the-less the lasting impression could well be that the PM was in the wrong. Naughty naughty girl.

NormanK

July 5. 2010 04:10 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Essential Poll in:

Essential Poll: Tony Abbott “arrogant, out of touch, narrow minded”,Reb, Gutter Trash
the opposition leader is now regarded as more arrogant, more out of touch, more narrow-minded and more complacent and less trustworthy than he was in May,
http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/05/essential-poll-tony-abbott-arrogant-out-of-touch-narrow-minded/

Essential Report - Gillard Attributes, Possum Comitatus
This week’s Essential Report comes in with the primaries running 42/39 to Labor (steady), washing out into a two party preferred of 54/46 the same way – unchanged since last week.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/

Essential Research: 54-46 to LABOR, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger
The second week of Essential Research polling under Julia Gillard has perfectly replicated the first, with Labor and the Coalition steady on 42 per cent and 39 per cent of the primary vote and Labor maintaining its 54-46 two-party lead.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

Lyn

July 5. 2010 04:12 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Our friends at Cafe Whispers are having an interesting chat:

Work Week Fiesta, Roswell, Cafe Whispers
After declaring that the election will be a war on tax, I haven’t heard Tony Abbott mention the tax one more time
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

Lyn

July 5. 2010 05:14 PM

Johnny Button

I have heard that Heather Ee-ooh Art is married to "Can the Cass" so I can understand why she has perpetually pursed lips.

Johnny Button

July 5. 2010 05:47 PM

HS

JB,
   I heard Heather Ewart was married to Alan Ramsey.

HS

July 5. 2010 05:48 PM

NormanK

Gees. You can't win, can you?
Channel 10 Qld has just had an item questioning "why" Julia Gillard is worried about asylum seekers when "at current arrival rates it would take 20 years to fill the SCG. "
They've been reporting every boat as it arrives and giving Opposition spokespeople ample time to bag the government and now they're surprised the subject is on the agenda.
Pure hypocrisy.

NormanK

July 5. 2010 06:22 PM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly

Alan Ramsay is married to Laura Tingle

Wikipedia:

He is a member of the board of the Whitlam Institute, and is married to another journalist from the Fairfax stable, Laura Tingle.

Lyn

July 5. 2010 06:54 PM

janice

Hillbilly,

I think Heather Ewart is married to Barrie Cassidy.  

janice

July 5. 2010 07:21 PM

Lyn

Hi Janice

Heather Ewart is married to Barrie Cassidy,

on checking, here it is for you:

to the ABC to replace Paul Lyneham as host on The 7.30 Report[3] - before he, his daughter and his wife, [b]Heather Ewart[/b], were sent to Brussels as European correspondents.[4]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrie_Cassidy

Lyn

July 5. 2010 07:24 PM

Ad astra reply

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

Today's Essential Research Report makes very interesting reading.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 08:26 PM

Ad astra reply

FFreddy
Heather Ewart does not behave as if she is enamoured of Labor.  She gave a reasonably balanced report this evening on the 7.30 Report about the asylum seeker issue, but I always have the feeling that her acerbic tongue is ready to lash Labor.  

Julia Gillard is walking a tightrope on this issue with some of her backbenchers telling her it is a negative in their electorates, yet Bob Brown and Sarah Hanson-Young are already castigating her for a what they believe will be a 'lurch to the right', and Get-Up is saying 70% of those surveyed want a more relaxed policy to asylum seekers.  She will need the wisdom of Solomon to satisfy the majority,

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 08:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'm off to enjoy my favourite TV night on politics.  Back in the morning.

Ad astra reply

July 5. 2010 09:23 PM

Miglo

Aa, I tips me lid to you.  What a brilliant piece you've come up with.

Lyn, thanks for linking my site.  I've just opened a great red BTW.

Miglo

July 6. 2010 08:16 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

The bifurcated message, Andrew Elder Polically Homeless.
The fact is the mining tax deal was a compromise and that's what
politicians do. If the miners agree to the tax, who is Abbott to
rescind it and why would anyone who has voted Labor vote for that?
http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/

How will Gillard deal with boat people?, Crikey
Yesterday the PM called for an open debate on boat people, .www.crikey.com.au/.../how-will-gillard-deal-with-boat-people

The Asylum Seeker debate, Alex White
The conserative “frame” is one that is variously subtly racist
(generally Liberal MPs or Andrew Bolt) or overtly racist
(anonymous “shit sheets”, or One Nation-types).
alexwhite.org/2010/07/the-asylum-seeker-debate/

The Concocted Crisis, Leon Delaney
The truth is that Australians have been lied to, first by the Howard
Government, and now by the Abbott Opposition, for purposes of political expediency.
http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/

Have we all been pulling our punches in the refugee debate, Andrew Bartlett, The Stump
It also takes much longer to remove poisonous social and public attitudes than
it does to change any laws or policies
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/

Dear Mr Adams, It's a matter of Principles, Stop Murdoch.
But you happily continue to work for the Murdoch machine despite the "thugs" and "cowardly conspiracies"
http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/

Time for a new crusade, Dave gaukroger, Pure Poison
this is the paper that ran Godwin Gretch’s forged ‘ute-gate’ emails and the
fake Pauline Hanson nude photos telling us that it has better judgement than
the NSW Police
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#more-6550

One to keep an eye out for, Miglo, Cafe Whispers
I’m just wondering why the Murdoch media would be prepared to publish the facts about boat people and bemoan that in today’s political arena ‘populism always trumps principle’,
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

We felt well-governed under Rudd?, Peter martin
Until very recently we believed we were exceptionally well-governed under
Rudd. In most other countries the scores are below 50 - Rudd at his
worst fell to 54, Howard to 52.  
http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

Commentators at the Oz an action man versus the leader of the gang of four.
Here at the pond it only increases our desire to see The Australian go boldly
where no antipodean rag has yet gone, and put up a paywall.
loonpond.blogspot.com/.../...ique-of-cabalist.html

Lyn

July 6. 2010 08:34 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 09:57 AM

Michael

Tony Abbott's only political skill is leading a Carp-position. Under the contemporary Coalition in government, Australia would quickly stagger to Third World status, with Abbott PM whinging that it was all because the workers weren't putting in enough.

Michael

July 6. 2010 10:25 AM

NormanK

Ad astra
Thanks for another great article.
Abbott’s confrontational and obstructive style of politicking will hopefully be frowned upon by the great majority of Australians. If it isn’t, it will be an indictment of our culture and we will, sadly, get what we deserve. Your article deserves a wider audience where it would go some way towards combatting our famous political apathy.
How Julie Bishop continues to enjoy favour is beyond me. Ad,of what significance is it that she is a Western Australian? Surely the Liberal Party doesn’t have factions?
While I would agree that it was helpful to the discussion of mental illness in this country when Robb went public with his depression, isn’t it more than a little suspicious that it occurred on the eve of him commencing negotiations with Penny Wong on the ETS? He would have preferred to chew his arm off rather than be seen to be in bed with her or the government on this legislation.
Slightly off topic, I am getting sick of almost all commentators harping about Julia Gillard and her “new” policies. “Where are they? What’s different now from before? “New leader old policies.” And on and on.
This is to be expected from the enemy but at present everyone is following this line.
Unless I have been listening to a different woman named Gillard, there has been nothing in what she has said that would imply policy “reversals” are on the cards or are indeed necessary. Her press conference on that dramatic Thursday morning spoke of “ a good government which had lost its way” and went on to predict a new style of governance and implementation//execution. I am sure that I am not alone in hoping that a great many of the “old” policies remain in place but are brought to fruition in a more satisfactory manner.

NormanK

July 6. 2010 10:41 AM

Ad astra reply

Miglo
Thank you for your kind remarks.  I'm glad you found the piece useful.

Michael
You're right.  Tony Abbott relies on obstruction, aggression and conflict to catch the headlines, knowing that the media thrives on conflict - in fact without it, it cannot sell its products.  His dog-whistling on asylum seekers has heightened today with more stringent requirements, which unfortunately is pushing the debate towards the hard-nosed end of the spectrum.  We await with trepidation to hear what Julia Gillard will do - she has the difficult, if not impossible task of trying to satisfy both ends of the spectrum.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 01:34 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Yes, like you I believe thinking Australians will reject Tony Abbott’s negative obstructionist style – I believe they will go for someone positive over the knocker any day.

I don’t know if there are factions in the West, but Julie Bishop seems to be a protected species in a state where the Coalition holds sway at election time.  They probably feel she brings the Coalition good electoral luck.

I too hope that the many good policies initiated by the Rudd Government will be brought to a conclusion under Julia Gillard.  I have not taken to the phraseology Julia and her ministers have used when they say: ‘a good government has lost its way’ and must ‘get back on track’.  They have never explained in what way it has lost its way and what getting back on track really means.  Those phrases must have been generated in a focus group somewhere.  I feel those sentiments are demeaning.  In trying to guess what they mean, I can only assume they refer to deferring the ETS, or mismanaging the administration of the insulation programme, or mishandling the RSPT negotiations, or perhaps not explaining Government policies well enough, or even not publicizing achievements as well as it might.  I would have preferred these more specific shortcomings to be mentioned rather than the generic ‘lost its way’ and ‘back on track’ sentiments.  But then I’m of scientific bent, and no expert in PR.  I hope they know what they’re doing.

Today was a red-letter day for Julia with her Lowy Institute address, where she clearly outlined a logical way of managing the population and asylum seeker issues.  More of that later.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 01:47 PM

nasking

"Anyone with eyes to see must have noticed the intent of some sections of the media, specifically News Limited and especially The Australian, to denigrate Kevin Rudd and his Government, and eventually bring them down."

I did indeed Ad astra. And they're building up to it again as Miglo observed in his 'One to keep an eye out for' piece over at the Cafe.

I've just popped in whilst on hols w/ the wife...and felt motivated to post the following based on the sickening display of faux sincerity & concern for refugee welfare I've noted across the Coalition & Murdoch empire spectrum of late:

One Nation Under Softly Spoken Scumbags

cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

Superb piece Aa.

N'

nasking

July 6. 2010 02:13 PM

nasking

Peter Dutton
This man is almost totally ineffective as shadow health minister and no match for Nicola Roxon.  He may not return after the election.


Agree. He's a complete dud. No loyalty to his electorate as evidenced by his failed attempt to flee to another seat. Bought mining shares at the worst time for his party. Gives speeches that are as boring as watching paint dry. Personality zero. Would make a good guard at Buckingham Palace.

Thinking about it, he's yer average contemporary Liberal. The walking dead.

N'

nasking

July 6. 2010 02:23 PM

Lyn

Hello Nasking

Would make a good guard at Buckingham Palace.

Excellent Nasking, personality would meet the criteria, no doubt at all.

Lyn

July 6. 2010 02:24 PM

Ad astra reply

Nasking
Thank you for dropping in and for your kind remarks.  I enjoyed reading One Nation Under Softly Spoken Scumbags on Cafe Whispers.  You are so right about Andrew Bolt.  His piece today about Julia Gillard's speech is indeed nauseating, an emetic of great potency.  Enjoy your holiday.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 02:25 PM

nasking

"I wrote about this in The pugilistic politician in December of last year.  Recognizing this, John Howard used him as his attack dog, again and again.  WorkChoices was an area where he excelled.  That pugilistic approach has exacerbated from the very day he defeated Malcolm Turnbull by one vote in a party leadership ballot.  He has incessantly attacked virtually everything the Government has said, done, or attempted to do.  He has been consistently negative and obstructive."

Too true Aa. And if Abbott becomes PM...well we ain't seen nuthin' yet.

The battle w/ the dock workers will be seen as a mere entrée...once this fella has the staff of power in his hands he will stop at nothing to beat down the worker's protectors...and turn us into a FLEXIBLE workforce nation to the point of back breaking work for stuff all pay & holidays...

Abbott is a zealot w/ the drive & energy of a rutting bull...and little will stop him once he's charging...particularly as the Murdoch empire & other corporate media pave the way for him & his draconian policies.

I reckon Howard will be considered a moderate a few decades down the road from a "Tony Abbott the Crusader" experience.

N'

nasking

July 6. 2010 02:29 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
If you didn’t have the opportunity to hear Julia Gillard today addressing the Lowy Institute, do try to view it.  The transcript is at www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frgczf-1225888445622

Even allowing for my pro-Gillard bias, I consider today’s speech to be first class, addressing as it did the sustainable population issue and the asylum seeker matter.  Her logic was impressive, her understanding of people’s feelings profound, and her solutions plausible.  Far from Our ABC's insistence that Tony Abbott trumped Julia Gillard, the reverse is true.  Even The World Today gave it a reasonable run, but 7.30 Report Land might not be so kind.  Let’s see.  

Of course Andrew Bolt is out already with his usual bilious outburst, commenting sarcastically on every aspect of the new plan, and Coalition supporters are out commenting adversely on media reports of her speech.  But what matters is how she resonates in the electorate, especially where there is genuine concern based on overcrowding, especially with migrants, and faltering infrastructure.  

She stole a march on Abbott by announcing the concept of a regional processing centre in East Timor for which there seems to be support in that country and New Zealand and from the UNHCR.  Of course the cynics and opponents have quickly labelled it just another ‘Pacific Solution’ despite the regional nature of the proposal, and the Opposition is saying it is an admission that John Howard’s Pacific Solution was right after all.  We are bound to hear lots of knocking from Coalition supporters, but when even Alexander Downer agreed that it was a reasonable move, it will be hard for opponents to demean it too much.  The Coalition can hardly insist that restoration of its Pacific Solution is superior to regional processing on East Timor, when at the same time accusing Labor of hypocrisy in adopting Coalition policy.

The media commentary will be fascinating to read and will give us a guide as to whether the media will be receptive to Julia, or looking for ways to put her down.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 02:30 PM

nasking

Cheers Lyn & Aa. Keep up the good fight.

It's heartening to read posts & comments produced by those good people such as yerselves who have their EYES WIDE OPEN.

Fortunately there are many out there now who are
NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT.

N'

nasking

July 6. 2010 02:35 PM

Ad astra reply

Nasking
You give us great heart.  The prospect of an Abbott Government lead by a zealot who would be uncompromising if in power, as you describe so colourfully, is truly frightening.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 03:08 PM

Gravel

Ad Astra, I had my heart in my mouth up till Julia announced what she was going to do re:asylum seekers.  Luckily we have Austar and can watch these announcement live with no media misreporting.  I thought she was great. ABC on radio immediately went with the headline as Pacific Solution, but did give a reasonable report.

Now about this commenting gig.  I had promised myself not to do it, but your site just keeps sucking me in. Heelllpppp Smile

Gravel

July 6. 2010 03:31 PM

janice

Thanks you for the transcript link Ad astra.  IMHO we have the makings of a great PM in Julia Guillard.  

janice

July 6. 2010 03:39 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
I'll join the chorus of sighed relief. The anticipatory hype was getting through. Thanks for the link, Gillard sounded reasonable and logical without too much "lurching to the right" (despite what critics say). Whew.

NormanK

July 6. 2010 03:53 PM

Ad astra reply

Gravel
I'm afraid there is no cure for the habitual commenter, for which we who run blogs are grateful.

janice
I too believe we have a great PM in Julia. She is not only balanced in her approach, but communicates so lucidly, an attribute that Kevin did not have to the same extent. Contrast her with the aggressive mantra-laden utterances of a looking-more-scared-by-the-day Tony Abbott - 'if you want to change the (insert name of policy) you have to change the government'. That's what we scared about Tony!

NormanK, Gravel
Many would have been relieved with Julia's performance today. The more we see of her though, the more we can relax in the knowledge that she's very smart, knows exactly what's she's doing, and will do it very well.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 04:13 PM

Lyn

Hi Gravel

Now about this commenting gig.

Good news is, we love your comments, I am pleased you have caught the habit.

Lyn

July 6. 2010 04:48 PM

Min

Excellent work Ad astra.  You have put it all out in one article, all those thoughts of 'cringe' about Abbott.  And thank heavens that there is someone willing to appreciate the difficulties that Gillard is facing..brave girl in my opinion.  

Not a living soul in the MSM willing to put Abbott's policies under any sort of scrutiny.  Turn the boats around?  That is, instead of being prosecuted for people smuggling and having their boats impounded Abbott would set them free.  The Big Boss people smugglers won't care, they have already collected their fees plus under Abbott's scheme they get to keep their crews and their boats.

Min

July 6. 2010 05:07 PM

Ad astra reply

Min
Thank you for your comments.  You make a great point.  If Tony Abbott could turn the boats around (which of course he couldn’t and wouldn’t – that’s just big man talk) he would be setting the smugglers free with their boats and crew, having collected the refugees’ money beforehand.  That would be a great deal for the smugglers.  Whether it would stop the boats coming is debatable, and would depend on how the REAL smugglers, who never get on leaky boats, could go on conning those seeking asylum to part with their money in return for ‘the promised land’.  They have done a pretty effective con job so far.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 05:19 PM

Min

Ad astra, I should mention that I'm a military mum.  Abbott isn't going to turn the boats around it's my son and crewmates that will have to attempt to do the job for him posing substantial additional danger to our personnel.

And as far as the news getting out that asylum seekers will be sent back thus acting as a deterrent..the chance that the people smugglers will alert their human cargo to this fact is???  No, no, no..you pay us, you go to Australia.  

Min

July 6. 2010 05:54 PM

Ad astra reply

Min
You're right - you know the story from the inside.  I'm sure your son and his crew mates don't want to do Abbott's dirty work for him, and to have to wear the consequences of any attempt at sinking the boat and the prospect of men, women and children ending up in the water.

The radio commentary has been quite favourable to Julia, and Julian Burnside has not rejected her proposal.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 08:39 PM

macca

How could anyone contemplate ordering a young Australian serviceman/woman to turn around a boat on the high seas is beyond my comprehension. I assume they would have to use/threaten to use weapons. Has they even considered the mental anguish that would inflict on the personel? Weapons!.....against civilians, possibly women and children, on the high seas.

You can only hope that there would be a journalist somewhere who would have the honesty to ask that question.....loudly and for a long time till the got an answer.

According to the poll results on Possum, pertaining to trust in proffessions, that will be a pretty forlorn hope.

macca

July 6. 2010 09:05 PM

Ad astra reply

macca
Abbott's 'we will turn around the boats' is a hollow slogan, as Julia correctly labelled it.  Abbott is full of wind.  But don't rely on a journalist to challenge him.  As you say, journalists languished fourth from the bottom on Possum's listing for honesty and ethical standards, just above estate agents, advertising people and  car salesmen, a place they thoroughly deserve.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 09:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'm packing it in for the evening. I hope Julia gets a good run on Lateline. On the 7.30 Report even Heather Ewart gave her a decent run. She must be doing something right.

Ad astra reply

July 6. 2010 09:15 PM

Jason

Macca,
     After having a long hard think about Abbott and the opposition I have come to the conclusion they have as much credibility to modern politics as what Anthony Mundine has to modern day boxing nothing,talk is cheap and thats all we get

Jason

July 6. 2010 11:10 PM

Patricia WA


Agreed AA - Heather Ewett was very open in her questioning of Chris Evans which was surprising after the very limited reporting of Gillard's actual speech and then the biassed presentation of other views in the earlier ABC news bulletin.  There much was made of Abbott unsurprisingly upping the ante. And then Sarah H-Y for the Greens who embarked on her own bizarre form of self righteous dog whistling and vote seeking from ‘anti-racists' who can sometimes be as extremist and intolerant as those they attack.

Patricia WA

July 7. 2010 07:23 AM

Glorfindel

Hi Ad,

It's a funny world right now, in regards climate change at least Abbott has policy and a 5% reduction in emissions as a target. Labor doesn't have a policy beyond a vague promise that there should be a price on carbon when there is a consensus - does that mean the old ETS or a new carbon tax or something entirely different dependent on what a consensus means.  

Add to that the Pacific Solution Mark II and things do appear very odd indeed.

It was nice to see though this morning one of the shadow ministers being asked HOW would you turn the boats around on ABC breakfast news. He did not sound overly convincing.  

Glorfindel

July 7. 2010 08:25 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

The Asylum Seeker Dilemma, Grog, Grog's Gamut
“you never lose votes in Australia railing against refugees”, so the temptation
will be to always chase those votes.
http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Voting for the Leader, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
If I and the rest of the Australian public don't vote for the prime minister,
why the hell did Bill what's-his-name and his chums in caucus sack the one we had?
andrewelder.blogspot.com/.../...-very-well-to.html

Let's all forget 2007 - ALP Election, The Piping Shrike
The reality of the asylum seekers is that no government can control the borders
in practice, nor politically can they push them back and watch children drown, .
www.pipingshrike.com/.../...007-labor-edition.html

Dog Whistles, Alex White
Dog whistle politics is about saying something that is interpreted by a
certain section of the population differently to the rest of it.
http://alexwhite.org/2010/07/dog-whistles/

Boats and votes, Peter Browne, Inside Story
As the Sunday Age’s Josh Gordon put it a few days ago, asylum seekers are
“a red-hot political issue, particularly for ‘Howard battlers’ in marginal
electorates
http://inside.org.au/boats-and-votes/

East Timor fix: costly & cruel,  Bernard Keane, Crikey
Language like “we will ensure refugees shoulder the same obligations as Australians generally” is clearly intended to play to the fears of inveterate racists in the communi
www.crikey.com.au/.../the-growing-cost-of-unedifying-asylum-seeker-policy

The East Timor Solution, Leon Delaney
The harsh reality is that there are some politicians who a perfectly happy to
cast aside the welfare of a few thousand foreigners in order to obtain a
political advantage
leondelaney.blogspot.com/.../...imor-solution.html

Gillard, asylum seekers and more appealing rhetoric, Barrie Cassidy, ABC
The 'scapegoats' of sorts were the civil rights lawyer, Julian Burnside QC,
and the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.
www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/07/2946619.htm

Almost as bad as the Liberals, Jeremy Sear, Anonymous Lefty
Greg Barbs asks “Doesn’t Julia Gillard know the law on asylum seekers?”
http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/

One Nation Under Softly Spoken Scumbags, Nasking, Cafe Whispers
“new compassionate man” persona whenever these controversial issues such
as “asylum seekers” arise.
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../


Tipping the next PM, Keris Lahiff, Switzer
As for how far the votes will swing, Mackerras expects a landslide in Labor’s
favour.
www.switzer.com.au/.../


A Pollster who wants it both ways, Charles Richardson, The Stump
use one method to minimise the size of the target, and then in the same paragraph use the contrary method to maximise the likely gain to the opposition.Morgan want to eat their cake and have it too.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/

Henry - It's not as good a tax as it was, Peter Martin
"The companies simply point-blank refused to accept our analysis.
They said that is wrong.
http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

Get Up The 2010 Elections, VIDEO, GETUP
http://theinspirationro,om.com/daily/2010/get-up-the-2010-elections/

Lyn

July 7. 2010 08:27 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

The getup video link again:

http://theinspirationro,om.com/daily/2010/get-up-the-2010-elections/

Lyn

July 7. 2010 08:32 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Trying with getup video again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qub4lWT6GNk

Lyn

July 7. 2010 08:49 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

July 7. 2010 08:52 AM

Ebenezer

FYI Jason.
He (Mundine) is a former two-time WBA Super Middleweight champion boxer and current IBO Middleweight champion. That's 3 world titles by my counting. I would hope Abbott is a lot less successful than this.

Ebenezer

July 7. 2010 09:40 AM

FFreddy

I concur with all that’s been written about the need for the Coalition’s AS policies being held to greater scrutiny by the MSM but I also think there are more fundamental issues in this debate that also require analysis. For instance in the advert the Coalition are running with the five red arrows bearing down on Australia three of those countries have been impacted directly by Coalition policy, in all but one case without bi-partisan support and with polls consistently showing large community opposition. Even though the invasion of Afghanistan had bi-partisan support the withdrawal and diversion of troops and resources at a crucial stage in its recovery to Iraq did not. Of course the invasion of Iraq proved to be based on a pack of lies and a disorganized disaster ( think pink-batts and BER!! ) and destroyed any moral authority we may have had in these endeavours. Finally before the messes in Afghanistan and Iraq we were seeing the emergence over time of more moderate and ‘western-friendly’ governments in Iran but since these disasters the ‘hardliners’ have taken control. If political journalism still existed in the Oz MSM someone somewhere would ask the Coalition if they shouldn’t therefore accept some responsibility for an influx of refugees from these three countries.    

FFreddy

July 7. 2010 04:18 PM

Min

On Abbott's plan to reverse the presumption against refugee status if it can be 'proven' that refugees destroyed their papers.  So it's nothing to do with whether or not you are a genuine refugee, it's all to do with a piece of paper.

Min

July 7. 2010 04:48 PM

Jason

Ebenezer,
        Big fish small pond in the alphabet soup of boxing and your right (3) titles no De La Hoyer, Roy Jones jr he fights bums. As I said Abbott is the "Mundine" of politics  has plenty to say but delivers very little. Just like his dopey deputy who suggested on PM Agenda that John Faulkner might have been tapped on the shoulder by the "Union Bosses" with his decision to head for the back bench.

Jason

July 7. 2010 06:45 PM

Colen

Poor little munchkins being let down by that Julia Gillrudd as she is now being termed.

This "East Timor" solution is not supported by the government there. The leader she spoke to has no authority. They are misleading that this had been planned sometime ago. She has only been in power for 2 weeks.

Does she take the general populus as mugs.

AA it is time for a story on Julia. A bit of even handedness by yourself would be something. This is the "Political Sword" not " The Labor Rag".

Colen

July 7. 2010 06:48 PM

Colen

Just in case

SHE HAS BECOME ANOTHER ME TOO-IST.

There I have given you a idea to prepare another of your worthy articles

Colen

July 7. 2010 06:54 PM

BH

Gravel  -  You said "luckily we have Austar and can watch these announcement live with no media misreporting."

OH and I usually watch the full interviews on A-pac(on Austar) and are usually surprised at the difference between what is said there as against the article written in the MSM or reported on telly/radio.

Pertinent parts of the interview are often omitted which puts a completely different slant on the speech or interview we've watched.    Grog has a good piece today which points that out too.

Lyn has probably already posted it but if she hasn't have a look at
grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...seeker-dilemma.html

BH

July 7. 2010 07:19 PM

Jason

Colen,
    
SHE HAS BECOME ANOTHER ME TOO-IST.

And with your vast expeience I have often wondered why you were never an advisor, now I know you and others of your ilk are convinced it was Howard that invented the wheel and if only everything was done the "Howard way"  well Colen Howard wasn't a god he was an opportunist dog whistler nothing more nothing less. Also while your telling all to provide balance get onto your brothers at Limited News!

Jason

July 7. 2010 07:26 PM

Lyn

Hi Jason

Wasn't that comment by Julie Bishop just absolutely stupid.

But the whole show was about who can take over from Lindsay Tanner

and John Faulkner, it is going to be a big problem for Julia Gillard they said.

Laura Tingle and Samantha Maiden, just didn't know who could take over.

Well dah! I'm telling the TV, take a look, at the line up of available talent

in the Labor Party, did they think they were talking about the Liberal Party.

Phoney has said John Faulkner's resignation is a sign of no confidence in Julia

Gillard, he would say that, wouldn't he.

Lyn

July 7. 2010 07:35 PM

Lyn

Hi BH

Thankyou for linking Grog's column.

I haven't been to Grog's this afternoon so didn't

know there was another interesting column up for us.

Lyn

July 7. 2010 08:17 PM

Ad astra reply

Colen
Please explain to us all why adopting a policy similar to, or containing elements of a policy adopted by one's opponents, which you like to label with that ugly phrase 'me-tooism' is such a serious crime.  Why is it not a compliment to an opponent to do so?

You seem steeped in adversarial politics where everything an opponent does is deemed to be wrong, bad or useless, and that the only acceptable thing to do is the opposite, never something similar.  This is stupid politics - what the sensible middle-of-the-road voters want is a more bipartisan  approach to difficult issues.  What a difference it would make to the asylum seeker debate if all sides of politics could get their heads together and come up with agreed approach.  But with one side dog-whistling the public into a frenzy of fear and apprehension, what hope is there?

So I won't be writing anything on your suggested subject 'me-tooism' as I see nothing wrong with taking the best elements of an opponent's policy and using it.  One side does not have all the wisdom.  What annoys me is that we elect 150 parliamentarians to the House of Representatives and then around one half fight the other half until the next election when the same process starts all over again.  What a waste of time and money!

But with Tony Abbott aggressively opposing and obstructing everything, what hope is there, and then when Julia Gillard adopts a policy that has some elements of Abbott's policy, people like you childishly label it 'me-tooism'.

Rather than me writing something about Julia, why don't you counter my anti-Abbott sentiments and show me why he would make a better PM.  I've read very, very little critique of Abbott in the MSM - why don't you fill us in.




Ad astra reply

July 7. 2010 08:28 PM

Ad astra reply

BH, Jason, Lyn
Grog's article was another great piece. Apropos my reply to Colen, Grog's conclusion is germane: "But the Liberal Party did have one good idea – namely to “increase the number of resettlement places made available through the UNHCR process for off shore applications each year by 1,500 persons, increasing the overall share of these places as part of the overall programme”.

"The ALP should follow suit.

"The Liberal Party could then agree to support Gillard’s policy of the regional processing in East Timor, and we can all go back to worrying about the economy and live in stable equilibrium on the asylum seeker issue.

"Yeah, that’s going to happen."


And pigs will fly.

Ad astra reply

July 7. 2010 11:15 PM

jimbo

hi all just watched today tonight on seven about asylum seekers and things the government dont want us to know, by that gutter reporter front man moron.this story needs to go to media watch by someone who knows how to do this on this site, as this same story was aired on another program a few weeks ago about asylum seekers being housed in four star motels and as usual labor was being blamed for it until it was found that after talking to immigration officials that this situation was not unique but was a practice used by the libs under howard.amazingly they then went on about detainees and what priveleges they receive whilst detained which if they had investigated this load of bullshit they would have found out that anyone detained in government institutions receive the exact same treatment i.e free medical,hospital,dental and forms of entertainment in places such as mens and womens jails,boys and girls homes and when they were around mental hospitals etc, etc.this show also had a piece on orange juice where they were on about honesty in labelling,well maybe we should have some way of getting honesty in journalism,as well as being given the whole story and not just bits and pieces picked out to suit or spin a very bad story.lynn may be able to find the story on today tonight and get a link for it just be reminded that it is utter crap.

jimbo

July 7. 2010 11:22 PM

jimbo

colen havent you got an  andrew bolt lollypop to go and lick because you are piss poor at talking about politics somewhat like mr wingnutt your hero.

jimbo

July 8. 2010 12:31 AM

Simon

thank you, for the great post

Simon

July 8. 2010 07:43 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Gillard the fixer is on a roll – so far,MUNGO MACCALLUM, Echo
Tony Abbott, in a rare attack of consistency, is standing his ground:
it’s still a great big new tax and he’ll abolish it and the election
will be a referendum on tax,
www.echo.net.au/.../gillard-fixer-roll-%E2%80%93-so-far

Abbott's labour pains,  Nicholas Way, Business Spectator
there’s more to their expressions of support for Gillard and her
government than sheer pragmatism. There’s also a realisation that
Gillard and Crean are competent;
www.businessspectator.com.au/.../IR-Tony-Abbott-Julia-Gillard-unions-employment-pd20100706-73V4Q

The Race to the bottom, massivespray, Spray of the day
people not allowed in if they deliberately destroyed identification
(because every asylum seeker boat has a papers monitor who ensures that
no-one destroys their passport),
http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/

Campaign countdown: Gillard’s boat springs a leak,Tory Maguire, The PunchA slightly disheveled-looking PM was grilled by Tony Jones over the details
of her plan for a “regional processing centre”If you missed it you can watch
the interview here.
www.thepunch.com.au/.../

Gillard on migration: how the worm turns, Ben Eltham, Unleashed
Fear and resentment are powerful human emotions. They have always played a role in democratic politics since the time of Pericles
www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2947371.htm

Bolt cherry-picks and dissembles while the world warms, Tobias Ziegler
Andrew Bolt is grabbing at whatever snippets of information he can to try to downplay the evidence of global warming:
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/


A Strong Plan For Australya, Reb, Gutter Trash
Because governing the country is a serious job. Labor is not
serious. We are serious.  See the difference?
http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/07/a-reb-government-13-pint-plan/

Lyn

July 8. 2010 09:04 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

July 8. 2010 10:05 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
HillbillySkeleton's piece; What is the best way to decide who gets a room at our Inn has been posted. www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...m-at-our-Inn.aspx

Enjoy.

Ad astra reply

July 8. 2010 10:07 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'm closing comments here to block the spam.

Ad astra reply

Comments are closed