loading animation
Loading

How has it come to this?

loading animation
Loading
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 20:53 by Ad astra
With the election outcome still in limbo, and likely to be so for some time, it might be a good time to reflect on how Labor has come so close to losing power. Many pundits are having a shot at this, but I suspect are approaching it from their own idiosyncratic viewpoint, one that does not take into account the enormous complexity of the political and social system in this country. Anyone who understands the concept of complex adaptive systems will realize how a piecemeal approach will always reveal only part of the truth, with all the distortions that invites. Complex adaptive systems are complex in that they are diverse and made up of multiple interconnected elements, and adaptive in that they have the capacity to change and learn from experience.

Given that the political situation we face is profoundly complex and that attempts are now being made to learn from experience and adapt, any assessment ought to acknowledge that reality and attempt to accommodate it. I trust this and subsequent pieces do so.

With the caveat that this appraisal will necessarily be incomplete, I will try to tease out what I believe have been the most important factors in Labor’s decline, while acknowledging my own biases. As there is probably no factor in this complex mix of interacting variables that is more significant than the Rudd factor, that is where I begin.

The Rudd factor

I have always liked Kevin Rudd. From when he emerged as Foreign Affairs spokesman while in opposition, his superior intellect, extensive knowledge of his subject, and his capacity for articulately arguing his case, stood out. I delighted seeing him on the 7.30 Report, particularly during the AWB affair where he relentlessly pursued the Government and senior ministers. That they were never brought to account could be attributed not to a failure on Rudd’s behalf, but to the restricted terms of reference of the Cole inquiry that made any pursuit of ministers out of the question.

Then when he became Opposition Leader he relentlessly pursued John Howard and set about deposing him. He portrayed himself as ‘Howard-lite’, an ‘economic conservative’ and ‘a safe pair of hands’. He even adopted the slogan ‘this reckless spending must stop’, attacked the high interest rates under the Coalition, and appealed to concern in the electorate about petrol and grocery prices, giving the impression he could do something about them although never making such a commitment. His most quoted words were about global warming: ‘the greatest moral, economic and moral challenge of our time’, which he assured the electorate he would tackle vigorously, and indeed six months before being elected he commissioned the Garnaut inquiry.

All his pre-election rhetoric fostered a belief that he was a reformer who would tackle the big problems of our time. He created high expectations, and the electorate warmly embraced his ideals and his lofty aims and elected him in a landslide against a long-incumbent PM and a long-standing Coalition. The high expectations became a liability as the reality of effecting the changes mooted in the face of trenchant opposition, struck home.

For two years he ran high in the popularity stakes, reaching levels enjoyed only once before, by Bob Hawke. Labor seemed unassailable.

Then stories emerged, mainly in the News Limited media, of a frenetic PM who slept little, who had multiple projects running simultaneously with a tendency to jump from one to the other, who overworked his staff, who asked for papers to be prepared at short notice at odd hours, some of which were never read, who kept important people waiting, and who was often late for meetings and appointments. Increasingly he was accused of regarding himself as the most important person in the room, able to absorb and analyze vast amounts of data, reach conclusions and fashion action better than anyone else. More and more he became a one man band who consulted with just a small group to make important decisions, often the pejoratively-described ‘gang of four’. Although his ministers insisted that he would consult with them over portfolio matters, decision making in Cabinet and the party room became less collaborative. Submissions with recommendations for action were reported as being presented to Cabinet and even to the relevant minister at the very last minute, leaving paltry time for reflection and thorough discussion.

In retrospect, this state of affairs ought not to have come as a surprise. From the outset Kevin Rudd indicated that he would choose his own ministry instead of the caucus doing so, and his disdain for the factions was well known. He had no substantial support base, operated as a loner, and his autocratic behavior gradually became apparent. However, having won the election and riding high in the polls, he was virtually unchallengeable. He did not need friends and any fermenting enmity was kept well suppressed.

Along came the GFC, which saw Kevin Rudd performing at his very best. With Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner, he took the sound advice of Ken Henry ‘to go early, go hard, go households’, and applied his stimulus measures to great effect, avoiding recession, serious unemployment and business failures. Some still argue about the efficacy of the stimulus, but most economists now acknowledge the stimulus package saved the nation, although accepting that several other factors contributed to success. It was Rudd’s finest hour, but in a sense reinforced his feeling of self-sufficiency, his capacity to solve any problem with little help or the need to consult widely.

His tireless efforts to develop climate change policy, instead of being rewarded by an ETS and later a CPRS, were destroyed by a hostile Senate after Tony Abbott’s defeat of Malcolm Turnbull, who had already agreed to a modified CPRS. How one vote can change the course of history! Then a disappointing Copenhagen left Rudd with virtually no international support for immediate action, and the negative ‘Great Big New Tax’ slogan that Abbott used to assail the CPRS resulted in a decline in public support for action, especially if it were to cost the consumer more than a few dollars. Beset with falling support for action in the opinion polls, Rudd took the fateful decision to postpone action on global warming until the expiry of the Kyoto protocol in 2012. That was portrayed in the media and perceived widely in the electorate as a betrayal of principle and a lack of political courage, even as cowardice. It is widely believed that the Sussex Street apparatchiks, the likes of Karl Bitar and Mark Abib, persuaded Rudd to this view. They also persuaded him that going to a double dissolution on the matter would be dangerous in the face of Abbott’s GBNT. For his part, Rudd went on TV with a mea culpa about his Government's 'failings', that many considered a mistake.

From that moment it was all downhill. The reversal of what the electorate saw as Rudd’s sacredly held principle, no matter how strongly it was portrayed as the only pragmatic move that was possible, disillusioned many who had supported him and confirmed the ‘all talk no action’ belief held by his opponents. He never recovered. The polls dipped and the internal polling indicated that Labor would lose heavily at the coming election.

On the heels of the climate change reversal came the release of the Henry Review with over a hundred recommendations, setting out a sound blueprint for reform of the tax and transfer system for the next decade. The item chosen for early action was a tax on mineral resources, the Resources Super Profit Tax with its consequent benefits to business and superannuation. It was a sound proposal but was introduced without providing for adequate discussion with the miners; even the name was somewhat off-putting. Rudd believed it would be popular with the electorate, and if one can judge from the election outcome, it was in the non-mining states of Victoria, SA and Tasmania where Labor increased its vote, but it was immensely unpopular in the mining states, scared witless by the miners’ propaganda and Abbott’s representation of it as a 'GNBT on everything', although the tax was on the miners who later agreed they could afford to pay more tax. The people were the beneficiaries but they were persuaded that they were being taxed. It showed how fear tactics can override logic and even commonsense.

This episode typified the belief of the Rudd Government that sound policy and fine achievements would sell themselves. Rudd is a victim of his own superior intelligence, seemingly believing that if he can understand something, everyone else should and will. Whoever was advising him saw no need to devise an educational program to communicate with the electorate and ‘sell’ the Government’s concepts, policies and actions. I have commented before about this glaring deficit in its public relations program, and in its promotion of its plans and achievements. So there were few positive messages to counter the negative messages that poured from the Coalition. Because negative messages are always more potent, the positive ones needed to be extraordinary to get any traction.

The RSPT added to the discontent with Rudd in at least the mining states and pushed the polls lower still. The party’s powerbrokers, Mark Abib, Bill Shorten, David Feeney and Co, began to see the replacement of Rudd as the only way to save the party from oblivion.

The brutal and precipitous removal of him occurred on the last day of the June parliamentary sitting, judged by the powerbrokers who organized it to be the last opportunity they had. They would now argue the wisdom of their action by pointing out that even in his own safe electorate of Griffith, Rudd’s margin fell by over 4%.

So we have had a highly intelligent PM who fostered high expectations that proved almost impossible to satisfy, who became increasingly a one man band advised by party apparatchiks obsessed with focus groups and opinion polling, who became isolated from his ministers and backbenchers, increasingly non-consultative, more and more disliked by his colleagues and public servants, and even ‘loathed’, according to David Marr in his Quarterly Essay, Power Trip. It is not surprising then that in the face of opinion polls predicting electoral disaster that his colleagues turned against him in such numbers, so much so that he decided not to nominate when the leadership was declared vacant. It is reported that he was unlikely to get more than a quarter of the votes.

The Rudd factor seems to be the most convincing explanation of why it has come to this. There are many others: the Gillard factor, the Queensland factor, the NSW factor, the Abbott factor, the Coalition factor, the media factor, and even more. They are for other pieces.

I still like Kevin Rudd. I believe him to be a fine person of high integrity and lofty ideals who has a splendid vision for this nation, and many policy ideas for improving the lot of its people. It has been the process of implementing policy and communicating with the electorate that has come unstuck and has disappointed so many of us who have supported him throughout. But I for one still admire him and regret it has come to this.

What do you think?

Comments (119) -

August 24. 2010 10:05 PM

Casablanca

Reportedly, the only time that the Rudd Government functioned efficiently was when he was away and Julia Gillard was Acting Prime Minister. Under Kevin Rudd, the government was descending into gridlock.

I grant you that he is intelligent and almost always appeared to be polite and personable. Reports of him being a sort of street angel and (parliament)house devil started to surface very soon after he took over as Opposition Leader.

I am not so sure that he over-promised. His downfall was that he under-delivered due to his micro-management obsessions. You might get away with an autocratic management style in a small office but you cannot run a government that way.

Casablanca

August 24. 2010 10:06 PM

Jason

AA,
  How has it come to this? well may we ask? and I'm sure there will be many that agree as to why as there are who will disagree!
From my point of view living here in Adelaide we have one warlord senator Don Farrell who is from the catholic right and former head or the SA shoppies union and one who helped bring down Rudd.I am convinced the party has lost sight of its grass root supporters.
I go to state council try to bring up issues and they just don't want to know.Even in my own electorate of Makin we told party office to put one of our own in Tony Zappia as the candidate in 2004 a popular local mayor of 20 years they said no put a party hack in the seat she lost,then they were convinced in 2007 so long as he joined the soft left he won and increased his margin to about 8-9% in 2010.
AA from my vantage point the party is riddled with time servers from another age, yes the party has to keep some traditions but it also has to be the progressive party it once was, The Greens are now taking seats from us why? because we cowered to the dog whistle of Howard and Abbott, Karl Bitar must think the Labor party ends at the foot of the blue mountains,just because "boat people" may be a problem in western Sydney focus groups doesn't make it so to the rest of the country.
This last campaign was a joke!Could it have been any more negative? If that's how the Liberals want to go about things let them, the rubbish with the media we knew they are for the libs but if we put out a positive agenda they would be forced to report, at the press conferences if it was a policy release it should have been said we are only answering questions on that, Not that rubbish we saw where every second question was about Rudd.
I think I could go on forever but the bottom line is the party is only as strong as it's weakest link and until the party starts to see if there are problems the Greens may have our seats.

Jason

August 24. 2010 10:57 PM

john

I'm not sure we can really know how the government behaved under Rudd.  There are reports in the Australian that he was autocratic, but these were likely from his factional enemies.  I think we can be sure he didn't listen to the AWU as much as they would like, and they white-anted him by leaking to the media, and then stabbing him in the back with the help of the willing Gillard.

The RSPT was a great policy and he would have won enough farmer's votes to offset the 1% of the workforce that work in the mining industry, many of whom know that the companies they work for are getting rich of their work.

john

August 24. 2010 11:27 PM

Patricia WA

Pretty accurate overview of how the Rudd factor played out as far as one can judge as an outsider.  You've included other major threads - the Abbott factor, a ruthlessly ambitious and experienced political animal, supported by an entrenched right wing media machine and then the good luck of Rudd choosing to take on the mining industry for his re-election platform.  His disdain for ALP factions which he made clear from the start extended to unions whose anti-Work Choices campaign did so much to get him elected in the first place.  I doubt that Kevin '07 would have managed without them. Same applies to rank and file rank and file membership who worked long and hard for him locally.  Rudd was here several times, as was Maxine McKew, to meet and confer with Barnett and other Liberal ministers. No time at all was made to meet ALP opposition figures or us at the grass roots level.

Patricia WA

August 25. 2010 12:51 AM

vote1maxine

AA

A very good precis of Rudd's decline. I think his decline was partly based on flawed political judgment, which for quite awhile was masked by his high popularity.

My admiration for Kevin Rudd took a serious set back with his appointments of Costello to head The Future Fund and Downer as Ambassador to UNESCO. To appoint such talentless individuals was deplorable but such political enemies (an architect of Workchoices & an AWB tainted former Minister)was unforgivable. Many believed these were admirable appointments since they were above politics. But to me they displayed a political naivety. PJ Keating would have never made those appointments nor would he have postponed the CPRS. He would have stuck to his principles like he did with the Mabo Legislation.

Kevin Rudd was a PM of vision and conviction. He would have been a truly magnificient PM had he had better political judgment. I still believe history will judge him as the first great  PM of 21st century. He save the Nation from the GFC. Nothing can detract from that fact.

vote1maxine

August 25. 2010 07:49 AM

Glorfindel

Every government since Hawke has had a swing against them in their second term election. And (with the exception of Keating) those governments  have then gone on to win more elections.

Rudd's last newspoll was 52-48. There hasn't been a government heading into it's second term in such good shape for 20 years. Further Rudd's last newspoll was on an improving trend from it's earlier slump.

I can understand the need to re-write history so that Gillard's ascendancy is justified. I just think it's counter productive.

Dumping Rudd a mere few months out from an election was a piece of political stupidity that it was nearly impossible to recover from. Follow it up with the East Timor detention centre that never-was, the mining tax back flip that so rapidly dissolved, rushing into the election and the “Real Julia” debacle and we should be amazed that Labor received such a good result in the election.  

PS I think this blog owes an apology to Mumble as well. It looks like he was a much better predictor of the future than anybody here.

Also vote1maxine when it came time to fund the NBN out of the future fund you don't think that there would have been an advantage to having Costello endorsing said funding?

Glorfindel

August 25. 2010 07:50 AM

Bilko

AA "For his part, Rudd went on TV with a mea culpa about his Government's 'failings', that many considered a mistake.

From that moment it was all downhill." I made this very point recently on this blog and AA you and a few fellow bloggers had a different view to mine but the general perception backed up by Abbotts attack on Garret was adding fuel to the fire. Where are the 1 million home owners/dwellers come voters who profited from this initiative where did their votes go and the solar panel recipients if all of them had an ounce of integrity they would have seen through the lies etc and labor should have romped home. I still think Julia should have waited a few months and used the time to squash the coalition and increased her own status. Here is where the power brokers willy nillies failed her and were panicked over the boat people. That should have been nailed even using Possums world perception the red and black boxes example. Appointing libs to positions another mistake, scorpians never change its in their nature at least Nelson has kept his head down. The Rudd govn acted in some respects as if they were still the opposition a point I argued many times over the last few years. And even now the lies etc still come from the MSM.

Bilko

August 25. 2010 08:28 AM

Ad astra reply

Casablanca
Welcome to the TPS family, and thank you for your thoughtful addition to the discourse.  You mention ‘under-delivering’.  That has been an issue and has been part of the criticism of the Rudd Government.  But in some ways it is a misnomer.  Take Fuel Watch.  As I recall it, this was defeated in the Senate, so the under-delivery was a legislative block.  Grocery Watch was frustrated by the non-cooperation of retail grocery outlets.  Now at least we have unit pricing to assist selection.  The CPRS was not delivered because it was three time defeated in the Senate.  The Home Insulation Scheme was delivered in spades – one million homes were insulated.  It was the shonky and fraudulent operators who were responsible for the fires and presumably for the deaths.  The Government delivered but was unable to properly supervise the scheme – that was the problem.  Likewise the BER has been delivered and is still being so.  Some states delivered faster than others. The complaints have been about cost overruns and inadequate consultation.

So my point is that the term ‘under-delivery’ is, in many cases, an inaccurate description of what went wrong, but it served the Coalition well as it promoted the ‘all talk not action’ slogan.

I agree with you about Kevin Rudd’s micromanagement style, a phenomenon that arose from his supreme confidence in his own ability which demanded he have a finger in every pie.

Ad astra reply

August 25. 2010 08:34 AM

Ad astra reply

Jason
Your personal experiences with the Labor Party organization makes interesting reading.  Every political party seem to have its apparatchiks, powerbrokers, special pleaders and hangers-on who contaminate the party with their own agendas.

In particular, those in Labor who have responsibility for public relations, campaign organization and communication, seem unusually inept.

Ad astra reply

August 25. 2010 08:37 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

New media to the rescue as election coverage wanes, Grog's Gamut,ABC Unleashed
Grog's Gamut is an amateur blogger who spends too much time every night writing about politics and not enough time watching all the DVDs he buys each weekend. For
some reason he thinks he looks like Ralph Fiennes. He doesn't. His blog can
be found here.
www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2992320.htm

Election 2010: Extra Time : (or, Will you love me tomorrow?) Grog, Grog's GamutTalking like a boyfriend who wants to get back with his ex, he was all about
how he could change – you know, it won’t be like it was last time – I’ll be
better, I promise.
grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...ve-me-tomorrow.html

Spring Cleaning, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless.
This level of self-delusion among the Liberals needs serious examination,
which will yield far bigger stories than is possible by traditional journosphere nonsense like quoting anonymous sources.
andrewelder.blogspot.com/.../...s-should-have.html

A Crises of Legitimacy, JJ Fiasson, The Daily Bludge
Make no mistake, this is Murdoch trying to sway the outcome once again.
Never mind the two party preferred vote in Labor’s favour, or the fact
that the Coalition is actually comprised of up to 5 different parties
(Liberals, Nationals, LNP (Queensland), WA National, CLP
dailybludge.com.au/2010/08/a-crisis-of-legitimacy/

Thoughts on the election, Tony Harris, FIN, Clubb Troppo
Abbott has detected the best way to win voter support is bellicosity,
smear, innuendo and exaggeration, we will all be diminished
.
clubtroppo.com.au/.../

Self Serving Arithmetic, Tim Dunlop, BSides
Tony Abbott knows the truth when it suits him.  Here's what he said after
the South Australian State election:
"Certainly in South Australia we won. We have the most votes;
we have a two-party preferred majority," he said.
http://tjd.posterous.com/self-serving-arithmetic

Mungo MacCallum writes:
Let’s kill the argument about the role of Governor-General Quentin Bryce
before it takes off, and it has nothing to do with her in-laws.,
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Broadband network the one big issue in a desultory campaign, Mungo MacCallum,
National Times
This was a sleeping dog that Labor strategists let lie for
far too long.
www.theage.com.au/.../...paign-20100819-12rzj.html

What would an Abbott minority Government be like? Kim, larvatus Prodeo
an Abbott government would be likely to be “nasty, brutish and short”,
to quote Thomas Hobbes, who’s probably lurking somewhere behind what
passes for Abbott’s political credo.
larvatusprodeo.net/.../

Labor slumps but there's no mandate for Abbott, Solidarity. Net
Abbott has no mandate for his refugee bashing, climate change denial,
or his anti-union policies. A majority of people voted for Labor and
the Greens. If by some quirk of the parliamentary negotiations Abbott
becomes Prime Minister, we will have to fight him even harder than we
fought John Howard.
www.solidarity.net.au/.../

First perspective: Tristan Ewins, Left Focus
Everything Labor did, most of the media put a ‘negative spin’ upon it.
For instance: former PM Kevin Rudd was ‘brought on board
http://leftfocus.blogspot.com:80/2010/08/election-reflections-three-perspectives.html

Interviewing an empty chair, Peter Martin
We cannot accept your request that you choose a substitute panel member for
tonight’s Q&A since this would be a clear breach of the ABC’s editorial
independence. Mr Arbib will be represented by an empty chair at the Q&A desk.
petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...g-empty-chair.html

NBN Co freezes spending, hiring, Delimiter
The future of the NBN policy is currently up in the air, with the Coalition
having pledged to walk away from the project if elected — although the
independents have broadly emphasised their support
http://delimiter.com.au/

The list:Election 2010 edition , Spock, Groupthink
punchable face of Nick Minchin conducting their party room wars. The
sight of an enthusiastic and happy Minchin on election night sent shivers
down my spine.
http://www.groupthink.com.au/

Who won the national vote?, Peter Brent, The Australian
But total votes currently only come to about 10 million; eventually they
will be over 13 million.
blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/.../

Newly Updated Maps, Ben Raue, The Tally Room
I’ve posted the overall maps of seat results in the areas around Sydney,
Melbourne and Brisbane.
http://www.tallyroom.com.au/

Our Friends at the CAFE:

When Abbott Comes A Calling, Nasking, Cafe Whispers
I imagine we’re going to get lumped with an Abbott government.
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

Lyn

August 25. 2010 08:42 AM

Ad astra reply

john
Certainly The Australian were on Rudd’s case very early, and that’s where we first heard of autocratic behaviour.  Subsequent intelligence seemed to confirm this.  

The RSPT was good policy although the MRRT seems better.  Its introduction was a problem and of course the Coalition and the miners jumped on it and soon persuaded the mining states that this was bad for them.

Ad astra reply

August 25. 2010 08:46 AM

Ad astra reply

PatriciaWA
I’ll be dealing with the vicious Coalition campaign in subsequent pieces.  I was interested to read your account of Kevin Rudd’s association, or lack of it, with the unions, factions and party members.

Ad astra reply

August 25. 2010 08:50 AM

Ad astra reply

vote1maxine
Thank you for your comments.  I agree strongly with your last paragraph.

Folks
I have to rush off for a few hours  - back this afternoon.  I’ll post Lyn’s links then.

Ad astra reply

August 25. 2010 09:16 AM

Michael

(the Resources Super Profit Tax collapsing) "showed how fear tactics can override logic and even commonsense.

This episode typified the belief of the Rudd Government that sound policy and fine achievements would sell themselves."

And that is it in a nutshell. 'Fear overrides commonsense; sound policy sells itself'. The twin sides of Australian political life. The Conservatives have always traded in fear in this country, right back to "Reds under the bed", the "yellow peril", and dare one suggest, alive, well and kicking today, "illegal asylum seekers".

I sincerely believe that bubbling just under the surface of every 'democracy' is the urge to fascism, easily located and fostered by Right wing politicians because being there for them is just like being 'at home'. Fascists are, almost by definition, fearful. They hate the 'other', they decry difference, they punish individuality (while pretending it is their raisons d'être), and they laud the brown-shirted bloc. Fascism is the face of cowardice that fascists can only deny in themselves by adopting militarism, overt exaggeration of masculinity, and the pursuit of humiliating triumph over their adversaries (who usually don't know that they are adversaries until the fascist boot kicks in the door).

"No doesn't mean no" to the Fascist mindset.

Why is this just bubbling under the surface of supposed democracies? The 'greatest democracy on Earth', the USA, routinely describes itself through its leaders and its T-shirts as the greatest nation on Earth. It demands for itself primacy, when democracy is supposedly about inclusion.

Of course, every tin-pot (us too, folks) nation on the planet routinely sees itself as the 'greatest country on Earth'. There's something about the claim that engenders automatic cheers from a home audience, cheers that are anodyne enough in a tourism exposition, but can become something far less attractive in times of diplomatic tension, war, or... international sporting events.

The mistake Labor made in pure policy terms was the idea that sound, manifestly advantageous to all policies - NATIONAL Broadband Network, a minerals tax to pass benefits nationwide instead of locked-within State boundaries royalties, NATIONAL curriculum, building school infrastructure, insulating homes to cut power bills, and so on - did not need to be 'sold' to a country because they ARE manifestly advantageous to all.

No brainers.

Well, that was the mistake, because you get politicians prepared to shout fear between the ears of those out there who truly are no-brainers, and sound policy is turned inside out to become an attack on voters' wallets, homes, racial security, claim to unique citizenship (White Australia is long gone, except in the hearts of... many 'untinted' Aussies) and anything at all you probably can't even think of that frightens those out there who Conservatives think of as their 'natural constituency'.

Democracies routinely elect 'powerful' leaders, the person considered most capable of running the country. We place them in power as pseudo-kings, emperors and 'big daddies', and we only bring them down when they start to see themselves that way, too.

But for every Howard tossed out as 'proof' that Australian democracy has checks and balances to control excess, we still look for the person who will save us simply by us making them leader.

Our leader. Our Dear Leader. Der Fuhrer. Small steps, so easily taken.

Michael

August 25. 2010 09:41 AM

janice

I too admired Rudd and still do.  

Looking back, I think he succumbed to the plunge in his popularity ratings when the Insulation and BER projects were attacked.  Copenhagen was immensely devastating for him after he had put in so much effort and in the face of all the bad publicity and unwise advice perhaps, he ditched it.

IMHO, there were always problems within the Labor Party Government (quite apart from the party caucus) from early in the term because Rudd set himself apart from his colleagues and failed to include them in government.  I find it unbelievable that Rudd would not have heard, or felt, the rumblings yet he obviously dismissed them as unimportant or maybe he was so wrapped in his own cocoon that he was oblivious to the fact that his colleagues were becoming more and more unhappy.

The crunch came when Rudd failed to stand up for Minister Garrett and the Insulation Programme.  His mea culpa left the government with no defense whatever and this continued right through the election because Julia and the Labor Party were obliged to admit the scheme as a failure rather than be able to point out its merits.  Then came the Mining Tax and those bloody boats.  Rudd was somehow unable or incapable of putting up any sort of solution to these issues - again, he looked a loner and adrift in stormy seas.  It seems to me he felt there was no reason to explain in simple language how the mining communities would benefit from a Resources Tax and why Australia is not getting fair compensation from Royalties alone.  

Had the Libs been put into the same position over a scheme where problems occurred, and had they found themselves needing to replace their leader, there would not have been any hesitation in choosing to trash the ex-leader in order to defend the policy.  Labor have always had too much conscience and always stop short of absolute destruction so allowed the whole truth of the whole sorry mess to remain under wraps.

In a nutshell, Rudd is a man of high integrity, a man with a good vision for the future of this nation and a man who achieved much in the time he was PM.  What he lacked was political skills and people skills.  He is also somewhat naive in his thinking that being 'nice' to his enemies brings rewards but I'm afraid this is a myth instilled in him by his religious upbringing.  

janice

August 25. 2010 10:40 AM

Country Hick

The Rudd mea culpa has attracted a lot of political interest and condemnation, and no doubt it played into the hands of both the Opposition and a media looking for something to bring this unusually popular PM down to size.
However, I believe there are things more important to Kevin Rudd than politics - or, to put it another way, I believe it was a part of a program of changing the way politics works. For many decades (maybe forever - my memory doesn't go back that far!) politicians have set a premium on never admitting they are wrong, on claiming everything they do is just what's needed, and on maintaining a facade of having the answers to all questions. While Kevin Rudd also played that game at times (he chose to be a politician, after all), I think he was also motivated by a Christian understanding of humility, fallibility and honesty.
These comments may not sit well with the evidence of arrogance and belief in his own intelligence that others see in Rudd's performance. But we are complex creatures.
Similarly, I was neither surprised nor skeptical about his remarks during the election campaign that there is no point giving yourself over to hate. Based on my (limited) understanding of Kevin's world view, I didn't interpret that as a cynical remark.
These examples reflect what I find saddest about the "failure" of Kevin's prime ministership. There was potential for so much good in changing our understanding of power and the political processes in Australia, after so much damage that came out of the Howard prime ministership. But the cynics won, with more than a little help from the ammunition Kevin himself provided.

Country Hick

August 25. 2010 10:57 AM

Nicholas Walmsley

The effect of this one person on the process is not insignificant, but I'm more interested in understanding the deeper systematic causes of the current state of Australian politics. Eg, if you have two political parties that, although being nominally opposed to one another, both use the same internal processes to develop medium-term policy and communication strategies (namely, focus groups) in an attepmt to appeal to the political centre, then you are in effect creating a internal feedback loop whereby the public end up having to choose between two eaqually appealing political parties (as in, when we look in a mirror we do not see two different faces), and thus end up with in effect a 50/50 chance of either gaining power - which tends towards a result of a a hung parliament.

Nicholas Walmsley

August 25. 2010 11:07 AM

Steve1

Its come to this because of the continual negative campaigning by the Greens & the Conservatives against Labor, the disengagement of the ALP machine from its community roots and after claiming the politcal middle ground in Australian politics, the inability of Labor to push out and gain benefits for their successes and their over willingness to accept total responsibiltiy for all failures. The Greens and the Conservatives are successful because they unquestionably follow their leaders, no matter how stupid or short sighted their positions are. Too many Labor people are too eager to line up and criticise the Leader, the Party or their coleagues over some aspect of policy or politics. The Greens and the Conservatives never criticise their own, while the ALP shows both honesty and disunity in public and is therefore punished.

Steve1

August 25. 2010 11:10 AM

George Pike

I think Rudd has an inferiority complex that forces him to take massive risks to prove himself to himself. That feeling is no doubt strengthened by the huge success of his wife who made over a hundred million dollars for doing what must have seemed very trivial compared to the massive tasks associated with running the country.

Abbott on the hand has a massive superiority complex...no doubt strenghtened by the massive support he is getting from the media. Seeing his name in lights every day, no matter how ugly his tactics had become, while simutaneously seeing Rudd and co' dragged through the mud for no good reason, must have made him feel quite the little emporer.

You only have to see the strain on Abbott's face since the election to see that the superiority complex is now taking a battering and he is starting to crack big time. I think he will suffer a nervous breakdown if a Labor-Independent coalition is formed and he is unsuccessful in his attempt to become the new John Howard. I don't think a Liberal-Independent coalition will work for more than a few months or so anyway, because the infighting between Abbott-Turnbull and the independents-Nationals will become too much for them to succeed.

George Pike

August 25. 2010 11:14 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

  Phew! There's a lot of reading to be got through here! Smile

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 25. 2010 11:15 AM

Country Hick

Michael
The word 'fascist' is bandied around as an easy label, and is very objectionable to many people - a lot of people just switch off when we use the word, convinced that what you're offering is simply hatefilled insults that bear no relation to the truth.

Which is a great pity, because what you say is pretty well spot on. There is a huge attraction for the Tough Real Man who encapsulates The Nation, reflects our Destiny, solves our problems, makes us all feel good, gives us Vision.  It doesn't necessarily lead to gas chambers, attacks on neighbours, storm troopers and all the rest that is popularly associated with the term, but it so easy for those seeking power to look for fears, build them up, build a unity around opposition to 'the other'.

It has worried me greatly that the whole political picture the media is painting, and the general trend of at least one of our major political parties, encourage this.

The seeds of fascism are on the wind - always on the wind, but looking for fertile soil.

Country Hick

August 25. 2010 11:22 AM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly


"Start reading", fantastic comments for our Ad Astra's Political Sword isn't it

How are you going?, paced down a bit, after all your wonderful work.

Lyn

August 25. 2010 11:50 AM

Patricia WA

Country Hick [quoteThe seeds of fascism are on the wind - always on the wind, but looking for fertile soil.[/quote]

Agree with much of both your comments but particularly this closing sentence.  Those seeds were as much in evidence in the expectations of Rudd and his own belief that he could go it alone as PM, as if he was a popularly elected president.  That "Kevin 07" slogan should have warned us.

Now we've had an election with huge focus on the leaders, and particularly on Abbott whose adrenalin charged performance was able to completely hide the woeful inadequacy of his policies and the people in his team. "Stop the Boats!" was his banner call.

The cult of personality is alive and well in the Lucky Country!

Patricia WA

August 25. 2010 12:34 PM

NormanK

CRICKET AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES ASHES SQUAD
In a bold new move Cricket Australia has adopted a Citizens’ Panel to select the squad for this year’s upcoming Ashes clash. Galaxy have selected 150 disinterested members of the public from across all demographics to narrow down the list to a band of fifteen high-profile players. Here then is the freshly branded Woolworths Australian Cricket Team.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Tony Abbott - Opening Batsman.
Panel : Fit, strong and aggressive player with leadership potential if he can keep his combative nature in check. Excellent sledger with a comprehensive repertoire of insults for use against international opponents. Relishes the swinging ball. And if anyone is going to steal a quick single, it’ll be Tony.

Mark Arbib - Right Arm Orthodox Spin Bowler.
Panel : Mark’s record speaks for itself. No-one playing the game today spins it like Mark. Dubbed “The Invisible Man”, often opponents don’t even see the ball leave his hand and before they know it, their castle has been knocked over. Feared by players all over the world - including his team-mates.

Ian Chappell - Captain, Middle-order Batsman.
Panel : Ian has become very distinguished with his greying hair and moustache. He is unflappable under pressure and famously unbiased - he is willing to pour scorn on cricketers from any country, including Australia. Ian will even turn on his brothers if that’s what he feels the country needs. He is a role model to whom some of our nation’s leaders might be well-advised to look.

Peter Dutton - Middle-order Batsman.
Panel : Every squad needs a practical joker in the mould of Merv Hughes and Glen McGrath. We feel Peter’s outrageous sense of humour will make a valuable contribution to team morale.

Andrew “Freddy” Flintoff - All-rounder.
Panel : Freddy was automatically in our starting eleven until it was pointed out that he has retired from Test cricket. Undaunted, some of the panel pursued him in the belief that he would bring some glamour and gravitas to the team but his manager was adamant that, should he come out of retirement, he would probably prefer to play for England. Rather ungracious, in the panel’s opinion.

Julia Gillard - Fast Bowler.
Panel : Her backhand fast ball is the envy of bowlers worldwide. We have high hopes for Julia (affectionately know as Phoenix) but when the panel asked her what she felt were the most essential attributes of a well-rounded cricketer, she suggested “ball retention”, “a quick hand-pass” and “the ability to climb over another player for marks”. We’re not sure she plays in the true spirit of the gentleman’s game. Or even the right game. However, inclusion in the national squad will see her rubbing shoulders with many experienced players and may lead her to a better understanding of the off-side rules.

Joe Hockey - Wicketkeeper.
Panel : Nicknamed “The Wall” by his team-mates, not much gets past Joe when he’s awake. A consistent performer even if a bit slow between the wickets. Some would just say slow.

Barnaby Joyce - Specialist Silly Mid-on, Silly Mid-off, Silly Mid-pitch.
Panel : Sledging plays an important and valuable role in professional cricket, undermining the confidence of opposition players. Let’s not forget it was Barnaby who, when confronted by a batsman covered in protective gear, coined the expression “Great Big New Box”. And all that that implies.

Simon Katich - Opening Batsman.
Panel : Simon’s recent good form made him an easy selection. And he is our token middle-European-sounding-name poster boy from NSW. He also insists he has no idea where Sussex Street is located.

Adam Liaw - Masterchef 2010.
Panel : Masterchef 2010.

Ricky Ponting - Top Order Batsman.
Panel : Could have been captain but his eyes are too close together. Ricky has the runs on the board but there is probably no long-term future for him in cricket. Perhaps a career in politics where a shifty untrustworthy appearance would go unnoticed.

Kevin Rudd - Bowling All-rounder.
Panel : No-one plays a dead bat like Kevin, regardless of what is thrown at him. Unfortunately his bowling has become predictable - we believe he will get his flipper back and he will play a major role. We are concerned that he may be carrying a back injury.

Wayne Swan - Bored bowler.
Panel : When Wayne gets a chance to play, it will be a bold new experiment in top-class cricket. Wayne has been practising in the nets (and the dressing room and the bus and at lunch and during drinks and at the bar) to perfect his “bore” ball. Not much new in his execution but he hopes his post-delivery banter will bore the batsmen into making a mistake. The panel understands that this is how he met his wife.

Kyle Sandilands - Medium Pace Bowler.
Panel : Immaculately trimmed beard. Every team needs someone we can all dislike. Think Kim Hughes, Greg Mathews. Trevor Chappell perhaps. Or Shane Warne. Love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, genius, d*ckhead, genius, d*ckhead. D*ckhead! D*ckhead! D*ckhead.! Oy! Oy! Oy! Nothing pulls a free-thinking, multi-cultural, religiously diverse, outward looking, tolerant nation together quite like hate.

Malcolm Turnbull - Batsman Allrounder.
Panel : Solid in the middle order, team player, leadership material and particularly adept at turning adverse conditions to his advantage by adopting a new stance at the crease. Malcolm’s other great advantage is that, when he’s bowling, you just don’t know what he’s going to deliver next. A man for all seasons really.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Some new off-field appointments were also made today.
Coach - M. Luscombe - (Managing Director and CEO - Woolworths)
Bowling Coach - J. Howard (Scourge of India)
Media Liaison - M. Latham & B. Katter - (of Batter, Bash & Katter)
Future-proofing Consultant - T. Smith - (CEO - Keeping the Future at Bay)
National Conciliation Advisor - W. Truss - (Managing Director - NFI)

NormanK

August 25. 2010 01:20 PM

Canbra Dave

Came across this on Youtube. An example of what we might be in for.

www.youtube.com/watch

Canbra Dave

August 25. 2010 01:53 PM

George Pike

Still a long way to go...the AEC have got them at 70 apiece with 4 independents 1 green and 4 undecided as of now...

George Pike

August 25. 2010 01:55 PM

George Pike

Sorry, forgot the CLP, looks like he's going to be a fence sitter anyway.

George Pike

August 25. 2010 02:50 PM

nasking

This episode typified the belief of the Rudd Government that sound policy and fine achievements would sell themselves. Rudd is a victim of his own superior intelligence, seemingly believing that if he can understand something, everyone else should and will. Whoever was advising him saw no need to devise an educational program to communicate with the electorate and ‘sell’ the Government’s concepts, policies and actions. I have commented before about this glaring deficit in its public relations program, and in its promotion of its plans and achievements. So there were few positive messages to counter the negative messages that poured from the Coalition. Because negative messages are always more potent, the positive ones needed to be extraordinary to get any traction.

I couldn't agree more Ad astra. Well said. Something I've commented on for a couple of years now is the Fed & QLD state Labor parties inability to communicate their policies, their reasoning for decisions & their achievements effectively...

something that Qld premier Peter Beattie was very good at. As is Mike Rann. And previously Steve Bracks & Bob Carr. One reason i'd like to see them added to Fed politics...like state governors in America. They combine superb communication skills w/ government management skills.

Now Julia Gillard is highly effective communicator, negotiator too...but was undermined by leaks, media obsession w/ trivial things...and the fact that spelling out the government's achievements was hampered by the fact that any reference to such would ultimately bring to mind the question: "If yer government achieved so much, then why bump off yer leader?". Which arose a number of times when Gillard & Swan finally began to defend the "Stimulus" success. Effectively by Abbott & his team too. Talk about being straight-jacketed by yer own political survival tactics.

Unfortunately, the public never had enuff time to fully absorb the reasoning behind Rudd's fall. In all probability because Gillard's advisors were terrified of the "death by a thousand cuts" phenomena that occurs when the Murdoch empire & its copycats target your leader...and other politicians. As we saw occur to Rudd.

How I see it is, the media riddled Rudd w/ bullets because he was unable to adapt quickly enuff...and as "sensationalists" requiring a story, any backdown or inability to get legislation thru is hyped & distorted by the media...the wolf pack feeds...the audience hooked-in to observe the promised "bloodletting"...

as Rudd & his team weren't able to communicate effectively (as you say Aa) they weren't able to get the focus off the wounded Rudd & offset the negative stories......and once a leader is hit hard...whilst weighed down by pride & hubris based on their previous successes & popularity heights...they become cocooned...and somewhat confused. And dig in. Becomes like trench warfare. Pollie VS the media.

Not good for a functioning democracy. And feeds into the idea perpetuated that this particular leader is "confrontational" & "economically dangerous" rather than a real "uniting negotiator".

And if the media & opposition have been able to create a highly negative perception of other Labor states...and add the "bullying", "angry" Rudd meme to the narrative (an idea I imagine drawn from the long-term attacks on Brown in the UK...not unlike the way the campaign was run by the Murdoch empire as in promote Greeens like Lib Dems in Uk & push for a minority government)...then you've got a Labor party being hit from all sides.

Reminded me somewhat of the experience of the Democratic party under Jimmy Carter. How Reagan got in w/ the help of various attack groups.  

So in those circumstances I'd say that Julia did pretty bloody well...brave lady. And whoever pushed the various groups into "leaking" were bloody fools. Factionalism & revenge & machiavellian strategies gone mad.

And some in the media in relation to the leaks have alot to answer for. Profits, corporate media survival tactics & individual egos before public interest during an election campaign.

And this is not to excuse the Rudd admin's incompetence under pressure at times during the GFC pressures and their naivete in relying on appropriate, efficient state & small business delivery of products & services...and Rudd's habit of kicking his base in the face on a number of occasions in a rather lacklustre attempt at a Clinton-style "triangulation" process in order to deal w/ the rampant Neo-Liberalism & Howardista-infected mindset of the times...

but scrutiny will demonstrate that all is not as "black & white" nor "RED VS BLUE" as some lazy reporters/commentors would have us believe.

And as for the likes of Paul Howes & those so called "faceless men" who are in fact as known as any Liberal front-bencher...scrutiny will reveal that perhaps their intentions were not as ambitious and "machine-like" as some would have us believe. But rather, it's about "survival" in an era of 24 hr news...and a corporate media that acts like a machine gun battery on the cliffs of Normandy.

Cheers...and thnx to the wonderful Lyn & other contributors for valuable links.

N'  

nasking

August 25. 2010 04:08 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

I have been harping about what would happen to the Coalition's fake

budget surplus figures, for 2 days and no-one would answer me.

Now, due to developments today, with the 3 independents asking for budget
costings and promised policies during the election by both parties, the lies
and deception, about leaked costings and why they had to have an independant
accountant because they couldn't trust Treasury, by Abbott, Hockey and Robb
are about to be exposed, wow.

Take a look at this:



This will Strike Terror into the hearts of Abbott and Hockey, Peter Martin

The point is, despite all the talk of auditing, the Coalition's figures were never

designed to withstand scrutiny.


Such scrutiny will show many of the promised savings do not exist.

It'll show Abbott, Hockey and Robb to be anything but the sober, responsible

managers they said they were.


And also a little less than honest.

They will have shot themselves in the foot, once again.

petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...r-into-hearts.html

Lyn

August 25. 2010 04:15 PM

BH

Jason - an excellent response and sound directions for the future in handling the media questions and facing the Coalition's scare tactics front on instead of running from them.

AA - I agree that it is hard to have anything but high regard for Kevin Rudd's intelligence and intellect and his regard for this country.  These attributes have made it hard for him to manage the people skills needed in politics.   It's really a great sadness but perhaps Labor should have insisted on senior advisers being appointed to his office to counteract the younger ones.

BH

August 25. 2010 05:21 PM

George Pike

They look like ending up 72 apiece with 5 independents and 1 green..the ldp guy is staying neutral, the green guy is going the way of the pack...so it looks like labor will have the first crack at government..as Lyn has already pointed out, watch abbott fall to pieces when he is asked to pull out his economic costings!

George Pike

August 25. 2010 05:53 PM

Lyn

Hi George

I can hardly wait.

But, reading the report below in the SMH, where Julia
Gillard is requesting, advice from the secretary of the Department of
Prime Minister, about publicly releasing the costings of Labor and
the coalition’s election promises.
I am guessing Tony Abbott will dispute the advice, and somehow squirm
out of producing his costings.

What about the seven-point plan, the Independents have presented to
Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, be interesting.


Independent trio reveals seven-point plan , SMH
August 25, 2010 - 5:21PM

Ms Gillard said she had requested advice from the secretary of the
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet about publicly releasing
the costings of Labor and the coalition’s election promises.

www.smh.com.au/.../...int-plan-20100825-13rvv.html

Lyn

August 25. 2010 06:07 PM

Jason

George,
      Surely you jest? I saw Robb and hockey tell all who would listen that the only reason their costings didn't go to treasury was they were frightened that labor might copy their work and it was Labors costings that were rubbery!
other than that where is Robb and Hockey? revising their work maybe???

Jason

August 25. 2010 06:34 PM

Jason

Hi Lyn,
      Peter martin has put up the list!
petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...pendents-want.html

Jason

August 25. 2010 06:46 PM

Lyn

Hi Jason

Thankyou so much, interesting times eh!

Ha, ha, this one, hard for Abbott, Coalition has always dodged info.
and change regarding political donations:

7. We seek advice as soon as possible on a timetable and reform plan
for political donations, electoral funding, and truth in advertising
reform, and a timetable


Actually they all look interesting:

What the Independents want, Peter Martin
7 point plan
petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...pendents-want.html

Lyn

August 25. 2010 06:49 PM

john

@Ad astra

I wasn't saying the Australian was out to get him, but the ones who leaked it new allegations every week about Rudd.  Leaks started well before the 3rd week of the campaign.  They were just anti-Rudd, and I'm surprised the leakers, for example Karl Bitar, who is widely reported to have leaked internal polling condemning Rudd to ANDREW BOLT; didn't think there would be a backlash.  

john

August 25. 2010 07:29 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Abbott just stuffed up his shot at the Prime Ministership, Peter Martin
As twittered from 7.00 pm:
.1petermartin


Abbott's chance of being Prime Minister just evaporated #ausvotes #auswaits
less than 20 seconds ago via web
http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

Lyn

August 25. 2010 08:57 PM

Gravel

Another stunning contribution Ad Astra.  Many are the responses are the usual excellent standard and a couple of new contributors I think. I will always admire Kevin for what he did for Australia.

Lyn, from the previous topic, thanks for that. It would be great to have a good face to face with and many of the contributors too, what a wild time we would have.  Maybe on of us could win 'Lotto and shout us all a get together. Smile

Gravel

August 25. 2010 10:17 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Ongoing Coalition costings:

Has Abbott done his dash? Kim, Larvatus Prodeo
back of the envelope polices were the order of the day, where announcements
were illogical, sketchy and constantly changing, and where the Coalition
did everything possible to avoid any scrutiny of either the costs of
their billion dollar a day promises or their dodgy “savings”.

http://larvatusprodeo.net/

Abbott won't commit to costings demand, Sarah Collerton, ABC
Mr Abbott says it is not appropriate for public servants to brief the
independents on the Opposition's policies.
www.abc.net.au/.../2993448.htm?section=justin

Abbott just stuffed up his shot at the Prime Ministership, Peter Martin
As twittered from 7.00 pm:
.1petermartin


Abbott's chance of being Prime Minister just evaporated #ausvotes #auswaits
less than 20 seconds ago via web

http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

This will strike terror into the hearts of Abbott and Hockey, Peter Martin
The point is, despite all the talk of auditing, the Coalition's figures were
never designed to withstand scrutiny.
Such scrutiny will show many of the promised savings do not exist.
It'll show Abbott, Hockey and Robb to be anything but the sober,
responsible managers they said they were.

And also a little less than honest.
They will have shot themselves in the foot, once again.
petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...r-into-hearts.html

What the Independents want, Peter Martin
7 point plan
petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...pendents-want.html

Lyn

August 25. 2010 11:33 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I've just returned to my computer after a whole day occupied by medical appointments, visiting an ill friend, and attending a grand-daughter's concert, to find your brilliant comments, comments that have contributed so tellingly to the discourse.  Thank you for sharing your insights into this rather sorrowful analysis of what went wrong.  It’s late now, so I’ll leave it until tomorrow to respond.

Lyn, I’ll update LYN’S DAILY LINKS for today and tomorrow when I receive tomorrow’s list.  I didn’t have time this morning.

Having just caught Lateline, I suspect Phony Tony has made a serious blunder in declining to have the Coalition’s costings assessed by Treasury.  Tony Jones thinks so, Bob Katter is pretty annoyed and caustic about his refusal, and Nick Xenophon said Abbott was ‘down but not quite out’.  It reinforces the view held by many that the Coalition’s costings were shonky.  If Abbott persists in refusing it will be concluded they are; if he reneges and allows Treasury to cost his proposals he will have lost some skin in the process and likely Treasury will confirm they are shonky – a double whammy.  Interesting days are ahead.

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 12:03 AM

vote1maxine

AA

The LOVE Tone has been exuding towards the Independents & Greens lately appears to have become tainted as he refuses to have his costings submitted to Treasury.

Acerbic Conehead, I can feel "in my waters" a new song coming up along the lines of Tainted Love by Soft Cell

www.youtube.com/watch

Now that Tone has to go and meet Bob's parents at Treasury as the courtship proceeds he feels that he needs to run away ..he needs to get away.

vote1maxine

August 26. 2010 12:42 AM

Acerbic Conehead

AA, in regards to Tony Abbott’s mea culpa to Andrew Wilkie today, it’s another case of “how has it come to this?”  According to Andy, he and Tones had a “very pleasant exchange” earlier.  Going back a few years, you will remember Andy resigned in 2003 from the Office of National Assessments in protest against the Howard government using dodgy claims of Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction.  It seems that today, Tones wanted to apologise to Andy for the way he “was treated by some members of the government at the time”.  So, it’s clear that Tones wants Andy’s support in his drive to get the numero uno position in Canberra.  Therefore, Tones has arranged to meet up with Andy in the front bar of the Denison Arms.  It’s Tones’ big chance to show everyone he’s not known as People Skills for nothing.  Andy walks into the bar and Tones, already there with his rent-a-crowd Rooty Hill mob, stands up to meet him.  Tones puts out his hand and Andy shakes it politely.
Tones: Righto...Andy...let’s not beat about the bush here...When I’m negotiating with the Three Amigos tomorrow, I want you to give me a leg-up by revealing you saw Julia Gillard on Denison groyne giving out little brown envelopes containing $900 stimpac handouts to boatloads of towel-heads anchored offshore...
[however, before Andy can get over the initial shock of such an outlandish scenario, and before he could even begin to articulate a reply, Tones brings his knee up so forcibly into Andy’s groin, he feels his nuts are now competing for lebensraum with his tonsils.  Immediately, however, Tones puts a sympathetic hand on Andy’s shoulder]
Tones: Maaaaate...Sorry...Sorry...I just got a spasm in the old leg there...too much bike-riding, y’know...But, I’ll just put another suggestion to you, mate...when I’m PM, I want you to vote in the House  for my proposed change to Standing Orders...that all the ALP female members have to wear a burqa and the males have to grow a beard...This’ll be proof the lefties are really a Taliban Trojan Horse and we can then pack the lot of them off to Guantanamo Bay where they belong...
[again, before Andy can open his gob to give some sort of a measured reply, Tones grabs a pool cue and pokes him in the eye with it.  Understandably, Andy shrieks in agony.  But, again, Tones shows his Jeckle and Hyde personality by putting his arm reassuringly around Andy’s shoulder]
Tones: Maaaaaaaaate...Sorry again, mate...couldn’t be helped...there was a mozzie about to bite you, but I missed the bugger and got your eye instead...sorry, mate...honestly...
[as you would expect, Andy is feeling a tad sorry for himself, but Tones is far from through with his negotiating ambits]
Tones: Mate...this one’s not too hard...I want you to release a statement tomorrow saying you support my proposal that Barnaby does the costings on my election bribes...errr...promises...That way, Barnaby will make such a balls-up, Joe’s and Robbo’s  ‘calculations’ won’t look that bad...
[again, Tones doesn’t wait for an answer, but delivers a vicious Rabbott punch (his speciality) to Andy’s guts, which, literally, deflates him so much, he looks like Clive Palmer after a six-month hunger strike]
Tones; Maaaaaaate...so sorry...I can’t apologise enough...it won’t happen again – that’s the gospel truth...heh...heh...But seriously, mate, again when I become PM and its a cold winter’s day during Question Time, I want you to ask me if we could turn the air-conditioning right up – we’ve got to get it across once and for all that this global warming bizzo is a load of crap...
[just like before, Tones doesn’t wait for a response from Andy, and immediately delivers a vicious Liverpool Kiss to his face, breaking his nose and removing quite a few of his teeth]
Tones: Aw...maaaaaate...sorry, mate...I just meant to give you a little friendly kiss on the cheek – y’know, the way you poofter greenies like it – and I just went forward too robustly...heh...heh...sorry, mate...
[by this stage, Andy is in a very sorry state.  His goolies feel like they have gone AWOL; his guts have done a loop de loop around his spinal column; and his face looks like Wilson Tuckey has used his iron bar on it in retaliation for getting the elbow in O’Connor.  But, then, the bar door opens and, ever so confidently, in walks Julia Gillard]
Jooles: Oh, there you are, Andy!  I’ve been looking for you everywhere...I was going to offer you a nice Denisonshire Tea with strawberries and cream...But I can see from your dental trauma, I’ll need to put them through the blender first before you can enjoy them...
[Jooles puts a re-assuring arm around Andy and leads him out of the front bar.  One of the Rooty Hill Mob turns to Tones]
Mobster: Huh...mate, if any more of those blokes take up her offer of strawberries and cream, then its your nuts that are going into the blender as well...
[such foreboding  sentiments have an immediate impact on Tones’ psyche.  A feeling of absolute panic and trepidation pervades his very being.  He runs panic-stricken out of the Denison Arms, into the cold, dark street, hollering like a lunatic]
Tones: YIKES...NEVER MIND STOPPING THE BLOODY BOATS – WE GOTTA STOP THE F**KING BLENDERS...

Acerbic Conehead

August 26. 2010 05:47 AM

Paul of Berwick

And now Limited News starts pushing its agenda on the indepedents...

www.news.com.au/.../story-fn5tas5k-1225910138530

Paul of Berwick

August 26. 2010 07:49 AM

janice

Good morning all.

I'm fast coming to the conclusion that the hung parliament situation is not such a dire outcome provided, of course, the rabbit doesn't make it to Kirribilli House Smile

The Independents are taking their position seriously and aren't pushovers for either side or the media.  I love it that they have more or less demanded access to policy costings and the rabbit is not doing himself any good by refusing this scrutiny. All through the election campaign the media allowed Abbott to duck the hard questions and be seen in the best possible light in order to fool the voters.  Now he finds himself up against three independents with finely tuned bullshit meters and more intelligence between them than the whole of the Murdoch media.

Gosh, we might even get to have a debate on the nation's media laws!

janice

August 26. 2010 08:34 AM

George Pike

Just listening to abbott getting a free ride on the ABC as usual...lying his teeth out to try and vindicate his deceitful actions in not putting his costings to treasury for scrutiny for the independents to make a considered decision on their accuracy. Then he dribbled vitriolic contemptuous garbage about Labor in one breath and how nice and kind he's going to be in the new parliament in the next! Not one word from the ABC frauds about the occurrences of last night, how abbott walked out of the press conference when things got tough, as usual, or how utterly farcical his excuses really are.

You would not believe how biased the ABC radio people are down here in Tassie, not to mention the commercial television spivs. What amazes me is how the people of this state were able to see through the lies and spin and vote for Labor anyway...while most of the other regions of the country went the other way...totally sucked in by the biggest pack of lies this country has ever endured from both the media and the Liberal Party hacks. If you could hear the drivel being spouted forth by the likes of Tony Eastley, despite what everyone saw and heard to the contrary on ABC television last night, you would be utterly horrified.

Abbott is pursuing his "leaker" nonsense as an excuse not to put forward his policy costings...and he actually thinks that the independents will fall that garbage, no doubt because he's had a free ride since he became opposition leader. I hope the independents shun the lying cheating fraud like the plague, and I hope they give it to the media in no uncertain terms as well...because that's where the honesty has to start coming from. As long as people like Abbott can be sure the media will spin his lies and deceit to suit his objectives, they'll just keep on pouring it forth.

One thing is for sure, I am now VERY confident that Labor will form the next government, thanks to the fraudulent behaviour of the Liberals. How strange it is that their own fraudulent behaviour would be the very dog that turned around to bite them the hardest!

George Pike

August 26. 2010 08:37 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS


Election 2010: Extra Time(or, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Independents)
Grog, Grog's Gamut
Which is why it is odd Tony Abbott should act like he
is going to take his bat and ball and go home. .

http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

The Old Order debases itself, The Piping Shrike
with calls for a more accountable Parliament ignoring the obstructionist
Senate of the last three years, and demands of a less adversarial politics,
the non-election we have just had.
http://www.pipingshrike.com/

Is Tony Crook, new Nationals MP for O'Connor, a member of the Coalition.
Since election night I have received more than 50 e-mails from members of
the public wanting to know why I have included Tony Crook, the new Nationals
MP for O'Connor, in the total of seats for the Coalition.
blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/08/index.html

Abbott's Plan B?, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo
Tony Abbott’s goal is probably to make any parliament which he cannot
dominate unworkable, with an eye to another election he believes he can win.
larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/25/abbotts-plan-b/

Tony Abbott on the Coalition's political DNA,PAUL BARRATT ,
Australian Observer.
the claim from one of the most combative people in Parliament that
the Coalition he leads could show us the way to “a kinder, gentler polity”
(does he really believe that stuff?), no-one could call Tony Abbott quick
on the uptake on this matter. These preposterous claims
aussieobserver.blogspot.com/.../...itical-dna.html

When voters elect an independent ..., Richard Stanton, On Line Opinion
The mainstream media would do well to take a few moments to research the
websites and recent speeches of Messrs Windsor, Oakeshott and Katter so
they can provide rational assessments.
www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp

A parliamentary land of rainbows and bubblegum, Crikey
“the way the House of Representatives’ question time operated in the last
term was a disgrace.”
www.crikey.com.au/.../#Scene_1

What if Senate papers were ordered according to party vote? Jeremy Sear,
An Ononymous Lefty

parties called “Liberal”. And a whole heap of other smaller parties with
similar names to each other and the bigger parties.
http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/

Ananlysing the informal vote, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics
informal vote that we see at every election can be largely explained by
a handful of variables –.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/


Abbott's refusal on costings does not stack up ,Lenore Taylor, SMH
entirely unconvincing argument that Treasury could not understand
opposition
policy,
www.smh.com.au/.../...stack-up-20100825-13s7z.html

Stability? That's a promise made to be broken , Peter Hartcher, National Times
recent history of Tony Abbott,
But the man who tore down his own leader, who was chosen by his colleagues
for a mission of destruction, who wrecked bipartisan consensus on climate
change, waged a bare-knuckled oppositionism and ended the campaign on an
all-nighter in the pubs of Sydney is now offering himself as the "kinder,
gentler" candidate.
www.watoday.com.au/.../...oken-20100824-13qgu.html



By Us :
25 Aug 2010 8:13:01am

ABC Unleashed: Comment on Grog's Column:

Blogs such as Poll Bludger and The Political Sword are the new sources
for solid analysis and fair reporting.

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/

www.abc.net.au/.../s2992320.htm#comments

Lyn

August 26. 2010 09:16 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 09:22 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

It looks like Julia Gillard’s genteel duchessing of the Indies is paying off.She seems like a lacuna of reasonableness compared to Abbott’s arrogance. I’ll be happy to see him lose, I’m getting sick of his Bushesque jock walk already. Liked a coiled spring about to go off at any moment.
It’s the sort of physically intimidating behaviour you expect from an arrogant bastard.  
So much for the ‘kinder,gentler polity’ from TAbbott. The man’s a shonk and a charlatan. Imagine thinking the Independants would swallow the line that only Liberal MPs and a Liberal Accounting firm are the only ones who can speak to Coalition Costings. The only ones that know their spin, morelike. The only ones that know which costing holes have tissue papered over them. If anyone thinks that the Coalition are fit to govern, then they are dreaming.

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 26. 2010 10:51 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS PART 2

Abbott declines request for costings, Media Wrap, Crikey
Has Abbott got something to hide? Is he concealing some streak-marked
economic underwear tucked inside the budgies?
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Tony Abbott cites Treasury leak for refusal to submit costings for independents ,  10:07AM , Joe Kelly,The Australian
He said the election campaign leak was “in breach of
criminal law” and “an act of utter political bastardry”.
Mr Abbott would not support changes to the caretaker conventions to allow the independents access to briefings.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225910289054  

Lyn

August 26. 2010 10:52 AM

George Pike

Here's a blog from Facebook that may interest you all..it was posted 15 hours ago...

Posted by Andrew Bartlett (Greens candidate for the seat of Brisbane) The first 1000 postal votes counted in the seat of Brisbane favoured Labor over the LNP by 56.48% - 43.52%. IF that trend continues for the remaining 5000+ postals, Arch Bevis will almost certainly win (emphasis on the 'IF')

George Pike

August 26. 2010 10:52 AM

Jason

With Abbott refusing to have his policy's looked at by the treasury, how does this claim of the leaks hold up? when hockey and Robb admitted last week that Howarth had been working on their costings for two and a half months! long before any leak and long before the election was called.

Jason

August 26. 2010 11:30 AM

Michael

The accounting firm the Coalition hired (whenever they actually did hire them) did NOT do an audit on Coalition election promises. They added them up for them, no more. The firm itself has made this point. Abbott is terrified of an accurate audit.

As to the Coaliton's claim that letting the Independents see a Treasury costing of both parties' election promises is untenable:

A Treasury audit of each party's election promises, which should have happened under the Charter of Budget Honesty, while 'late' in this situation of being undertaken at the Independents' request, is most definitely NOT the same as the Red or Blue book scenario of the state of the nation's finances provided by Treasury to an elected, writs-holding, government.

The latter is the financial situation an elected government finds itself with; the former what an election-win seeking political party promises.

The Independents have asked for ratification of what the Labor and Liberal parties said they 'had' money to spend on, not what an elected government actually is confirmed as having available a week or two from today.

Real Tony. REAL Tony. REAL TONY (with optional straight-arm salute) is very much on view now. But do Australian voters who plumped for him last weekend actually see what they are looking at?

Or do they actually like what they see (optional straight-arm salute)?

Michael

August 26. 2010 11:53 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

A good report of the nonsense that is going on, the fake reporting
& fake Galaxy Poll:

Documenting the flawed arguments about a hung parliament,
Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison


We had The Australian trying to make this case with anecdotal evidence. Today the NEWS tabloids are running with a Galaxy poll of 600 voters in the three electorates:,
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

Lyn

August 26. 2010 12:06 PM

George Pike

The poll was obviously taken before Abbott proved he was nothing but lying scheming fraud anyway...

George Pike

August 26. 2010 12:19 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Thank you again for the comments you made yesterday that added so much to the debate about what went wrong.  I’ll attempt to address some of them now.

Glorfindel
The problem with the national polls is that they did not give the full picture.  The falling TPP in Queensland was counterbalanced by rises in Victoria, SA and Tasmania but in terms of seats, the losses in Queensland were much greater than the gains elsewhere and so even a 52/48 national poll turned out to be not predictive of a solid Labor victory.  So it’s very difficult to predict what would have happened if Kevin Rudd had stayed as PM.  Certainly the internal polling was predicting a major loss for Labor.  We will never know.

Bilko
There will be lots of argument about the mea culpa.  You will remember Bushfire Bill was convinced it was a wrong move.  It certainly gave some Labor supporters an uncomfortable feeling yet some felt being upfront with the public might be a good move.  Again we will never know its real effect – no doubt it affected different people in different ways.  The same applies to whether Julia Gillard waiting longer before going to the polls would have produced a different result.  The issues you raise illustrate the extraordinary complexity of the situation and the extreme difficulty inherent in using hindsight to predict what might have been.

Michael
Your comments about fear are on the mark.  We have seen fear used shamelessly in the campaign: fear of boat people, fear of GBNTs, fear of loss of jobs through the MRRT, fear of excessive immigration and overpopulation, particularly in Western Sydney, and fear of the re-introduction of WorkChoices.  It’s a well-tried technique – scare the people and then guarantee to protect them from the threat.

You ask where the beneficiaries of the Home Insulation Program and the BER were during the campaign.  Well, were where they?  Were they so intimidated by all the negativity about these programs that came from the Coalition and particularly from News Limited outlets that they overlooked the benefits, which were scarcely ever given any publicity.  When all that is heard is that the programs were all BAD, despite favourable reports on them, it is a sad fact of life that people give more credence to the negative than the positive.  The Coalition and the media know this and therefore pursue negativity relentlessly.

You and janice are right when you point to the error of believing that good programs automatically sell themselves.

janice
You rightly point to Kevin Rudd’s paucity of people skills, which seemed lacking almost exclusively in relations with those around him, and also the political skill of explaining policy and programs to the electorate.  He was a man of good intent, wide vision and high integrity, but clearly that is not enough to win support.  I thought that it was generous appointing people from the opposition to important posts, but it does not seem to have brought any benefit.  Maybe you’re right.

Country Hick
I agree that Kevin Rudd fostered the hope that the nature of politics might change with openness and honesty, and that is likely why he uttered the mea culpa, but he was up against ruthless opponents and within his party those who thought they knew better.  His religious beliefs seem to influence his thinking and behavior; like you I believe he was genuine when he said he would not harbor hate over what had happened to him.  It makes one wonder if high principle and decent behaviour can survive in the snake pit that is modern politics  

Nicholas Walmsley
I think this might be your first comment on TPS.  Welcome, do come again.

In many ways what the two main parties want to achieve seem similar, but the basic ideology differs.  While Labor shows concern for the worker, the little person and fights against their domination by the bigger, stronger and wealthier players, the Coalition seem to favour the latter.  So it is against taxing the miners and the polluters.  You are right though when you say they use the same internal process to achieve their aims – focus groups, polling and back room apparatchiks who pull the strings.  Those processes are focused solely on retaining or regaining power.

Steve1
If this is your first comment on TPS, welcome, do come again.

Certainly the old adage ‘unity is strength’ applies to all political parties.  We saw disunity disrupt the Coalition for its first two years in opposition, and now it is affecting Labor.  The Greens appear united on the surface, but they have issues that divide their ranks, which they mostly keep hidden.  We are currently seeing disunity in the Coalition which has quarantined Warren Truss and Barnaby Joyce from discussions with the three Country Independents because of old and contemporary enmities between them.  It seems that the pursuit of power and ideology as the prime objectives throw up divisions between politicians that surface from time to time.  It’s the sad reality of politics and most politicians.

George
You are right when you say that Tony Abbott is showing signs of strain, which I see especially in the last 24 hours.  He feels so close to power, yet fears it may slip from his grasp.  Caught with almost certainly shonky costings, he is now mounting a shrill campaign to avoid proper scrutiny.  He was back to his belligerent worst this morning on AM this morning berating the Government for its ‘criminal leak’ of one Coalition costing, and using it as a pathetic excuse for not allowing Treasury to cost its policies.  It’s a very risky strategy that has already attracted the ire of the Independents.  So fear is gripping Abbott and it shows.

NormanK
Clever satire – thanks for the laugh.

nasking
Thank you for your comments, which are apt.  I agree that Julia has done a commendable job in very difficult circumstances that she did not create or invite.

Many of the points you make will be taken up in subsequent episodes of ‘How did it come to this’, particularly the media’s role.

Lyn
It does seem that your diagnosis of the ‘shot in foot’ syndrome is spot on.  Phony Tony’s almost hysterically belligerent performance on AM this morning points to a painful foot.  His refusal of Treasury checking of Coalition’s costings may prove to be a fatal move.  

Thank you for another great set of links which give us such easy access to good intelligence and opinion.

BH
It does seem that Rudd’s young advisers were not up to the job.  I have argued that Labor needs an educational unit to advise its PR section so that simple understandable messages are crafted and communicated effectively.

john
I hope one day the leakers will be exposed and extruded.  No party can afford such behavior.  Just reflect on the damage the Labor leak and the one from Treasury, or wherever, have inflicted on the recent campaign.

Gravel
Thank you for your kind comments.  You’re right, the standard of comment has been very high.

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 12:42 PM

nasking

Ad astra, I look forward to that future post. Smile

Mine today:

The Slow Creep Towards The Outsourcing of Australia’s Government?

cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

The profiteers gain...too oft at taxpayer’s expense. Driving policy. Future-proofing for themselves.

Certainly there will always exist a close relationship between government & business. As there will be for the foreseeable future between religion & the state.  Government cannot be expected to deliver on all goods & services required by the populace. Nor can politicians be expected to leave their long-held beliefs at the doors of parliament.

But how close is too close?


Cheers
N'

nasking

August 26. 2010 02:29 PM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 02:57 PM

Ad astra reply

HS, Lyn
The emerging ‘Coalition costings’ saga is pointing more and more to the deviousness of Tony Abbott and his finance team, which we have suspected have had something to hide in their costings.  Why would he refuse the Independents what they want if he had nothing to hide?  Already he has attracted the rebuke of two of them.  

There is a view in the media, expressed in the SMH by Lenore Taylor, the one who publicized the leak of a Coalition policy pre-election that: “ Tony Abbott knew that if he agreed for Treasury’s costing of his policies to be made public, he ran the strong risk the verdict would be in line with Labor’s estimate - that the policies blow out the budget bottom line by $5 billion over the next four years - rather than the Coalition’s claim that they would improve it by $11 billion.”  www.smh.com.au/.../...stack-up-20100825-13s7z.html
If that were so, it would not look good for Abbott, Hockey and Robb.

The real Phony Tony has emerged again in the last couple of days, and it is as we always knew, nasty.

Jason
You’re right, how come Tony Abbott reveals Howarth has been working on Coalition costings for two months only when the ‘leak’ occurred, giving him an excuse to refuse to let that ‘criminally leaking’ Treasury look at them.  Not only are the figures likely shonky, but also the process of not following the Charter of Budget Honesty that Peter Costello devised.

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 03:06 PM

Ad astra reply

nasking
Your piece The Slow Creep Towards The Outsourcing of Australia’s Government? cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../ is germane.  The Coalition seems quite prepared to outsource its costings without any internal check.  We understand that Howarth confined itself to checking the sums, and took the assumptions for granted.  Yet it is the assumptions that need close scrutiny, because the bottom line depend on their plausibility.

I’m working on the follow-up piece now.

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 05:48 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Excellent piece by Massivespray, A must read for everybody:

Open Letter to the Australian media, Massivespray
Unfortunately, the public didn’t quite fully buy into your narrative
and so we are stuck with a hung parliament instead of the LNP
government you were after.  This means there is still a possibility
the NBN will go ahead, meaning the slow death of your newspaper arms
.

http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/

Lyn

August 26. 2010 06:04 PM

jj

AA,
You should know that costings are just a matter of putting in various variables into a modeling program and getting a figure. The Labor party has been very dishonest in its claims of budget blowouts of the oppostion. One example would be of the Coalition's school tax rebate, where the government claimed there had been a $300 million dollar blowout. Robb & co submitted this policy with an expected take-up rate of 85%; this was compared to Labor's expected take-up rate of its program of 65%, (so they couldnt claim that the take-up rate was underestimated). What the government did, was submit the policy to the same modeling company, but instead asked them to cost it at a 90% take-up rate. Now as Robb said, when the coalition went back and had a look, what they did was cost their program at the 90% figure, and low and behold they got the same $300 million increase the Labor party got. This however does not equate to a costings blowout, rather a change in the main variable. So what i am trying to say is, it is very easy to make a policy blowout by hundreds of millions, just by tweaking the variables by  a few percent. What the coalition expect the treasury to do is forget about the assumptions the coalition has made on its programs and create their own, obviously leading to major changes to the costings...and the public will go AHHH GOTCHA! (as will you guys)but the thing is that the costings probably havent been wrong, rather the assumptions have just been altered.
If the treasury asked for the policies to be costed using the same modeling and Abbott refused, than yes there would be a reason for concern, but seeing as the government are not offering that alternative, i dont blame the opposition for not wanting to submit its policies to treasury.

jj

August 26. 2010 06:10 PM

Jason

jj,
  put up or shut up!  

Jason

August 26. 2010 06:19 PM

George Pike

Amazing how the same party that steadfastly refused to hand over their computer hard drives for scrutiny during the Godwin Grech debacle now state that they can't work with Treasury until the leaker "culprits" have been caught hey...hypocrites. It is a very safe path to follow, when the leaker was more than likely a Liberal hack like Grech anyway...leaking a low damage docco to provide an "excuse" for not having their policy costings scrutinised by the experts was a small price to pay!

George Pike

August 26. 2010 06:35 PM

Jason

George,
      jj et al have been done on their own poor policy's from when they were in government, yes it was good to trap Labor but they never thought they would be in opposition. Now that they are it's blame at 100 paces. Actions speak louder than words!

Jason

August 26. 2010 07:01 PM

Lyn

Hi Jason and George

I think there is going to be more trouble next week or there abouts.

Andrew Robb said on Sky Agenda this afternoon, they will definately
hand over their costings to Treasury, when the Police investigation
is completed.

What happens if the police have finished, say Monday or Tuesday,
what will Abbott use for an excuse then.

The three independents will be at the very, least all of next week
before they make any decision about the Government or the Coalition.

I suppose Phoney (just kidding) could ask the Police, not to complete
the investigation for another week.

This is high risk stuff Abbott is playing with,I can see a cannon shot
in the other foot coming, next week.

What do you guys think?

Coalition will submit costings after police probe, Sarah Collerton, ABC
Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb says the Coalition's stance is
"totally reasonable"."We stand ready to provide all of our policies and
savings to Treasury as soon as the police investigation is satisfactorily
resolved," he said.


www.abc.net.au/.../2994588.htm?section=justin

Lyn

August 26. 2010 08:43 PM

George Pike

If the mole is theirs they will know full well that the police investigation will not be over because they would have hidden the evidence very securely indeed...I'd say the independents will give up on them and side with Labor...as there will be 73 apiece, that's with the greens vote definitely going to Labor, I think they will go with incumbency anyway...as will the governor general if Julia can ensure supply bills will pass and no confidence motions will be blocked.

George Pike

August 26. 2010 08:52 PM

NormanK

I suspect most of you have read this but just in case you haven't. In the Murdoch Press no less.
Treasury costing to test surplus claims
"The biggest policy held back from Treasury costing was the Coalition's $8.8bn paid parental leave proposal. The Department of Finance's budget rules would force the Coalition to count $3bn of investments out of the health and education funds and the Building Australia Fund as spending off the budget bottom line, rather than capital investments, as the Coalition had claimed.

As well as an $800m difference in Treasury's estimate of the interest savings on broadband, the Coalition does not appear to have allowed for the loss of at least $400m in dividends from privatising Medicare Private.

Labor presented the Coalition's education rebate to the University of Canberra's modelling institute, NATSEM, for assessment, which found it was understated by $300m, while Labor claims the Coalition's hospitals policy is understated by $500m."


www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225910114800

Related reading. It's seven days old and tainted by election rhetoric but presumably fairly relevant to current costings argument.

Coalition's surplus claims sunk by attack on 'hollow log'
"The opposition's costings, released late yesterday, came under immediate attack for their reliance on raiding a $2.5bn contingency reserve disputed by senior public sector accountants."
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225907049110
Lyn
The choice of language by Robb regarding the police investigation smacks of standard politicians' behaviour. He might hope he never has to point it out but he did say "satisfactorily resolved". To who's satisfaction? Criminal charges laid? No case to answer? The latter would be "unsatisfactory" to the Coalition and so all bets would be off again.
From what I can make of today's reports, the costings already exist in one form and will only require tweaking to be made available to the Independents. There must be an awful lot of room here for compromise with regard to the format of the costings analysis such that the Opposition could produce a broad document which is not too revealing of policy detail but displays accurate figures. It is very very difficult to imagine an alternate reason for Abbott's reluctance other than that the numbers are extremely dodgy and he knows it.

NormanK

August 26. 2010 09:02 PM

Ad astra reply

jj
I have always said it is the assumptions that are the key elements.  Anyone with a spreadsheet can get the sums right.  As you point out, it is the assumptions that are central to the validity of estimates.  The Coalition needs to justify its assumptions over those made by the Government or Treasury.  Assumptions are the debatable element that the Independents need to examine.  If the Coalition has nothing to hide, if it can justify its assumptions, what has it to fear?  The Coalition is looking devious.  It needs to submit its assumptions to clear its reputation.

My guess is that even when the AFP investigation is complete it will be inconclusive.  If the Coalition persists in its refusal to submit its costings, it will look even more like it is hiding something, something that will not impress the Independents.  The only reason that I can dredge up to explain its reluctance is that it really has got something significant to hide, and that for it, refusal is the less damaging option.

I go along with Lyn, Jason and George.

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 09:13 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
Thank you for the ‘massivespray’ link. sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/.../

The only sentence with which I cannot agree is the last: “N.B.  In case any of you think I’ve totally lost my mind, the above is satire."  It is not satire.

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 09:20 PM

Lyn

Hi Norman K

Thanyou for your interesting link and your excellent opinion on the costing
saga.

You are absoulutely correct, Andrew Robb did say satisfactorily resolved,
and again you are correct, when you say whatever would be unsatisfactory to
the Coalition.

One theory I have read is Abbott is refusing, because he wants another
election, which he thinks he will win.  But that theory can't be right
because this leak setup goes back to far.

Yes, you are right, the numbers are dodgy and Abbott knows, it was a setup

to say they could double the surplus by 2013, an attempt to gain more votes.

cheers

Lyn

August 26. 2010 09:25 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Thank you for your links to the fascinating articles in The Australian.  They make interesting reading. If that paper is writing such material, the Coalition is in trouble.

Ad astra reply

August 26. 2010 09:32 PM

Lyn

Hi George

Thankyou for your theory.

So an arranged leak by the Coalition, that sounds very likely.

In that case there will be no report from the Police.

Therefore, Abbott will have to consider his next move.

If the Independents stick to their request for treasury costings,
Abbott will have to comply, he is not going to let the Prime
Ministership pass his supreme being is he.

Maybe all will be revealed anyway, as far as the dodgy figures
are concerned.

Seems to me, apart from having 2 shot feet, Abbott has backed himself
into a very tight corner indeed.

cheers

Lyn

August 26. 2010 09:36 PM

charles

Rudd didn't like the factions the factions didn't like Rudd. The factions did Rudd in, the voters did the factions in. Democracy  

charles

August 26. 2010 10:17 PM

Lyn

Hi NormanK

David Uren has written another column, on the fake surplus figures
quoted by Abbott.

Just supports what we all have been talking about:

26 August Treasury costing to test surplus claims, David Uren, The Australian

But this claim will be challenged if Treasury is allowed to reveal its secret
costing of about 250 Coalition election promises.


The Coalition claimed during the election campaign that its promises would
deliver a budget surplus $11.5 billion larger than Labor, but it refused to
submit its policies to Treasury for costing after a Treasury assessment of
its broadband savings was leaked
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225910114800

Lyn

August 26. 2010 10:29 PM

Hillbilly Skeleton

  I don't remember the Coalition in government wanting to chase every rabbit down every foxhole, with the AFP in tow, when someone conveniently leaked an ONA report to Andrew Bolt before the Iraq War. As far as I can tell we're still waiting on the AFP report on that matter, such that, if we use that as a time frame, and absent a Kevin Rudd ensuring that a Godwin Grech gets winkled out by the AFP, then I think we could be waiting a very long time for the result of the latest AFP investigation. Which is exactly what the Coalition would want. Then they could continue to use it as a subterfuge as they skate right past accountablity to the Independants and instead rely upon the News Ltd empire to prosecute the case that the electorate needs to return to the polls instead.
  In my feeble opinion, Tony Abbott and the Coalition have already started their next campaign, aided and abetted, yet again, by the Ltd News media organisation.

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 26. 2010 10:49 PM

Hillbilly Skeleton

  I wouldn't be surprised if the Coalition have this whole scenario pre-planned in the eventuality of a hung parliament, which their internal polling would have indicated to them as a more than likely eventuality. They appear to have obviously planned the Costings scenario,having their numbers run past the Court family accounting firm in WA long before the leak from Treasury occurred. So I wouldn't be surprised to find out the Coalition are just following the rest of the script that was written long before the election.

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 07:46 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

The Coalition is scared of scrutiny, Bernard Keane, Crikey
But it appears the Coalition is worried there are bigger problems lurking
in their policies. The fact that they took their costings to a private
accounting firm many weeks before the leak that they allege was the reason
for avoiding Treasury suggests that may indeed be the case.
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Some day this war’s gonna end, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger
The Australian reports the dunce of the Senate, Steve Fielding, is
contemplating adding constitutional vandal to the extensive list of black marks
against his name. Fielding polled all of 2.7
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

Steve Fielding may block Labor rule , Dennis Shanahan, The Australian
Senator Fielding said yesterday there could not be stable government up to
July 1 next year if the Senate was deadlocked.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225910648935

Documenting the flawed arguments about a hung parliament, Tobias Ziegler,
Pure Poison

We had The Australian trying to make this case with anecdotal evidence. Today
the NEWS tabloids are running with a Galaxy poll of 600 voters in the three
electorates:
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#more-6975

Abbott raising spectre of new poll, says Brown, Sarah Collerton, ABC
there's a move starting underway here to get a new election underway, which
is quite unwarranted.
www.abc.net.au/.../2994767.htm?section=justin

Stand up Joe, Andrew  Elder, Politically Homeless
If he wants to be in government, Abbott will have to deal with Treasury at
some point. Relying on the costings of some accounting firm was dodgy tactics
during the election campaign
andrewelder.blogspot.com/.../...arty-costings.html

I did not misunderestimate Tony Abbott – a reply to the Australian Spectator,
Guy Rundle, The Stump

While Abbott draws his strength from the Holy Trinity (Santamaria, George Pell and Christopher Pearson
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

Why aren’t you “grateful” we let you have far less representation than you
earned?, Jeremy Sear, Onymous Lefty

An absolutely cutting response by Tobias over at Pure Poison to a fatuous line of reasoning that the Greens should be “grateful” for being “allowed” by the Liberals to win Melbourne.
anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/.../

All MPs have Independents envy,Tony Smith, Eureka Street
This negative attitude by some elements of the press gallery is most likely
explained by laziness. The 'in-out' nature of the Westminster system is simple to understand and to comment upon.
www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=22978

Abbott isn’t doing himself any favours, Bendigo Advertiser
subsequently lose out not because of the way Australians voted in this election,
but because of the way he refused to co-operate with the independents who have
the power to determine who the next prime minister will be.
www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/.../1924867.aspx

Not all over till the fat lady sings , Mungo MacCallum, Echo
Tony Abbott had never really presented himself as a prime minister: he had
always been the opposition leader, attacking the government from all directions
but offering nothing much in return.
www.tweedecho.com.au/index.php


Allies in uncertainty, Peter Browne, Inside Story
the major news outlets could consider how the sudden rise to influence of these
three MPs (and the Greens and Andrew Wilkie) might influence the way they report national politics in future.
http://inside.org.au/allies-in-uncertainty/

Abbott Reverts to Type, John,True Politik
especially Bob Katter and Tony Windsor, and they will not resile from a
political dog-fight, if that is what Abbott wants. If they hold out and
say 'no deal', Abbott will have to find a way to save face.
Abbott is risking much with this anti-Treasury stance: antagonising the
Independents, and antagonising the very Treasury that he needs,
IF he becomes Prime Minister.
truepolitik.blogspot.com/.../...verts-to-type.html

So much for the “kinder, gentler” Tony Abbott, Saraswati, The Disenchanted Voter
The conclusion that was reached early on by many people is that the Liberals
likely have a gigantic hole somewhere in their costings that they don’t want
the Australian public to find out about.
http://www.thedisenchantedvoter.com/?p=595

LIMBO NATION: Four newly elected Lib MPs could be disqualified, Vex News,
Russell Matheson (Liberal – Macarthur), Natasha Griggs (Country Liberal – Solomon),
Jane Prentice (LNP – Ryan) and George Christensen (LNP – Herbert) were all serving local councillors at the time
www.vexnews.com/.../

Mr Abbott regrets, Tim Dunlop, BSides
What integrity that Tony Abbott has.  No wonder the media is so convinced he has the right stuff for government. Nothing quite says integrity like a private apology to someone you sought to destroy when that someone now happens to hold the fate of your government in his hand.
http://tjd.posterous.com/mr-abbott-regrets

News Limited stoops to New Lows, Reb,Gutter Trash
When it comes to partisan barracking for The Coalition no one else comes close
http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/26/news-limited-stoops-to-new-lows/

Lyn

August 27. 2010 07:57 AM

Bilko

watched abc24 last night, must have rocks in my head,just after the 730 report rerun and a panel discussed the no show fiasco where an ex Costella staffer of asian  background basically said that julia had handed govn to 3 other pm's and looked weak, Abbott can't trust Treasury all leakers  "which indicates we should close it down disband it whatever or bring back grech "our own leaker'my comment". The chair weakly suggested the coaliton had somethink to hide not followed up both myself and the OH, now home from the hospital but wheelchair bound, said I can't watch any more of this crap and switch off. The campaign to reelect Abbott has just continued without stop bugger the election result or any traditional procedures just give the mad monk the keys to kirrabilly no way he will live at the lodge. And outside in the other world the ordinary folk just go about their business as if none of this has happened. Even attended our local ALP branch meeting last monday all low key. the 3 kinds of people are make it happen watch it happen and what happened and I am surrounded by the latter. all so sad  

Bilko

August 27. 2010 08:29 AM

debbiep



Bilko- your not alone in your thoughts...I just wanted to let you know .

debbiep

August 27. 2010 08:40 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

  Let me just lay out a few facts about the story of the day in The Australian, that being Senator Fielding's stated intention to block Labor/Independant/Green legislation coming to the Senate if they form a Minority government and while he is still in that place.
   Firstly, as he stated on AM this morning, he believes that because the ALP had stated they had lost their way, and in his opinion they have not found their way(which is arrant,specious nonsense because that was the whole reason for getting rid of Kevin Rudd, to find their way again before the election), therefore he is going to arrogate unto himself the decision-making power on behalf of the whole country to destabilise that government coalition in order to make it collapse and thus to force the country back to the polls.
  It was his stated opinion on AM today that the momentum was all Tony Abbott's and thus he should be the one to form government. He then advanced the spurious logic that because the tide was running against the Labor Party theey should not therefore be allowed to form a Minority government with the Independants, only Tony Abbott and the Coalition should be gifted that option
  However, what Steve Fielding has ever so casually failed to mention is that there was no overwhelming tidal wave of support in the election for the Coalition, otherwise,m obviously, they would now have the clear majority of seats in the Lower House, and, in fact, in the Senate the tide has flowed away from the Coalition and Family First towards the Greens. So to claim legitimacy for the Coalition due to some ill-conceived notion of an electoral tendency to the Coalition is simply casuistry at its most devious. That is,
excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalize or mislead.
   The fact that he also alluded to a proclivity towards blocking Supply next year, should a Labor Minority government take power(he wouldn't rule it out in his interview on AM this morning), is just the manifestation of the intentions of an electoral vandal.
   The electorate has spoken, and especially in the Senate they have said that they no longer want a Family First Senator(thank goodness), and they do want a Labor/Greens alliance. For Steve Fielding to assume the mantle of Lord High Executioner of a Labor Minority government, in the Senate, is to blatantly go against the most recent expression, less than a week old, of the will of the people.
   If I were the Labor Minority government, I would only allocate the absolute minimum number of Sitting Days to the Senate until July next year when the new Senate takes over and Steve Fielding is sent packing back to the sewer from whence he came.
   Just to reinforce my claims to his lack of legitimacy as a result of the election last weekend, in the large booth that I scrutineered on the night the overwhelming majority of the Family First votes went to the ALP, not the Liberal Party. I was as astonished as the Liberal Scrutineer to see this happen, but happen it did, and I doubt that we would have been the only place in Australia to see this happen. So for Steve Fielding to think that he represents a conservative electoral demographic is pure, unadulterated sophistry and Coalition-serving bastardry.

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 08:46 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

August 27. 2010 08:48 AM

George Pike

Now I KNOW Steve Fielding is as mad as a hatter! Now he reckons he is going to block everything Labor tries to get through the upper house because he reckons they have "lost their way". He just reiterated that point many times when coaxed to do so by the Liberal's ABC insider, Lyndal Curtis. Reckon the independents will fall for that one?

George Pike

August 27. 2010 09:36 AM

Michael

But, Lyn, what do you REALLY think of Steve Fielding?

Michael

August 27. 2010 09:39 AM

Michael

Whoops, make that "But, Hillbilly Skeleton..."

Pacé, Lyn, although I suspect your eyes may be as crossed and your brain hurting as much as HS and mine are over Fielding's antics.

Actually, "antics" is too kind. The man is ascribing to himself eleven months of dictatorship of this country.

Michael

August 27. 2010 09:59 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

Michael,
        It's too important not to be calling a spade a bloody shovel at this point in time. The fork in the road the country has come to shows us two completely divergent directions we could head down in the future, because there is no doubt that the Master's
Apprentice Abbott is far and away the more consumate politician than his mentor Howard. With Howard you could see the seams in the political suit he clothed himself in, but with Abbott his political persona seamlessly cloaks his Machiavellian deviousness and ideological purity and zealotry.

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 10:05 AM

Lyn

Hi Michael


Michael, "what do I think of Steve Fielding", well! cross eyed and flabbergasted.

I have just been reading what opinions, I can find so far, and yes along with

the above problems , my brain really is hurting.

The phony costings had given me an incredible headache, now this.

This is what I have read so far, and I like the last one "Fake Fielding" best,
if we don't laugh we will cry:

Steve Fielding wants a new election too, Tigtog, Larvatus Prodeo
Of course he’s not acknowledging that potentially providing multiple Double-Dissolution triggers over the next 9 months
larvatusprodeo.net/.../

Fielding threatens to block Labor rule , SMH
He said he would not rule out voting against all Labor legislation. Nor
could he guarantee support for government supply bills under a Labor
minority government.
www.smh.com.au/.../...bor-rule-20100827-13ulc.html

Fake Fielding: at least I voted for me, Crikey
I’ve been attempting to make touch with Katter, Oakscott and the other guy so
I can advise them on some out-of-the-box negotiation strategies but nobody’s
returning my calls
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Lyn

August 27. 2010 10:07 AM

George Pike

If Labor get the gong they will just have to run with legislation that will be passed in the senate without question by the Coalition..thereby negating Fielding entirely. Then come next July they can start bringing the contentious policies forward.

If East Timor comes to the party over the asylum seeker processing centre I can't see the Liberals knocking that back in either house. The NBN can continue to be rolled out without hinderance. The ETS has been put on hold until 2013 anyway. Most of the health and education reform agenda has already been passed and what hasn't can be dealt with after July 1 next year.

Fielding should not pose too much of a problem really..it's just a beat up by the media who are trying to get Abbott's wish for a new election up and running. He is a bad loser...it's as simple as that. Let's hope Labor think long and hard before they undertake little experiments such as putting someone like that as their first preference in the future...

George Pike

August 27. 2010 10:08 AM

Bilko

"Bilko- your not alone in your thoughts...I just wanted to let you know .

debbiep"
thanks Debbiep  just like "Mulder says we are not alone" although it feels like it sometimes.

George Pike How is it, that with the labor positives coming out of Tasmania, did Andrew Wilkie for whom I have the highest regard, get such a swing to unseat labor. Was the labor candidate a dud if you have time I would love to know.

AA I posted this elsewhere also deny deny deny, there are no costings, anyway I lost the envelope so we did not bother. If treasury could not be trusted to understand them how could 3 hicks from the sticks understand them why our own accounting firm don’t understand them and neither do I. So there I will not show you mine and as Uncle rupes has assured me none of “his boys” will even raise the subject. so just stfu trust me and make me PM you know you want to. the war goes on.

Bilko

August 27. 2010 10:18 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

  Very interesting last couple of paragraphs in this story:
www.smh.com.au/.../...-gillard-20100826-13uam.html
  It seems that the AFP 'Investigation' the Coalition is basing its recalcitrant arguments on in order to avoid scrutiny, is no such thing.

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 10:22 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

Bilko,
      As I understand it, the ALP did in fact take Denison too much for granted because it seemed like such a safe seat. They chose one of those typical apparatchik candidates to succeed Duncan Kerr, and I think they suffered at the ballot box accordingly.

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 10:23 AM

George Pike

Wilkie ended up with 9,000 odd votes less than the Labor guy Bilko. Preferences from the greens and Liberals did it for him apparently. Someone just alluded to the fact that the Labor chap stated that he was dead against same sex marriage a couple of days before the election, and it is a very progressive seat. Apart from that, and the fact that the Labor rep was a new candidate, I don't really know what happened. It shouldn't have too much affect on the final outcome really though.

It looks like Wilkie will remain independent and vote with what ever he likes..I can't see him joining any no confidence motions or supply blocking measures though. I think Fielding's idiotic rant this morning will push the independents further towards labor if anything...interesting times to say the least hey!

George Pike

August 27. 2010 10:47 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

Very sensible article by Laura Tingle in the Fin Review today:
http://twitpic.com/2ih09y/full

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 11:01 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

  Thank goodness for some rational heads on both sides of politics:
www.smh.com.au/.../...r-supply-20100827-13urc.html

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 11:04 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
A number of you have commented about Stephen Fielding.  He has always been a Coalition supporter, and now is digging in his heels to give them what support he can in his remaining days, and in the process he will try to cripple Labor if it is asked to form a minority government.  His behavior this morning is consistent with past behavior, except that he sounded more sinister than previously.  He is a blot on our legislature, not just because of his bizarre beliefs, but because of his behaviour.  We need balanced politicians not weird characters from Alice in Wonderland.

Bilko, HS, Lyn
The Coalition’s ‘criminal leak’ accusation is a smokescreen to obscure the costings issue – it always has been.  The fact that Howarth was given the costing two months before the election suggests that the Coalition was always going to appeal to that source for validation of its figures as it knew full well that Treasury would have difficulty doing so.  Why?  Because the assumptions were shonky from the outset.  The Coalition set out to show it could do more for less, that it could deliver a fatter budget surplus and faster than Labor so as to foster the belief that under the Coalition things will always cost less, projects will always be finished faster and cheaper, budget surpluses will always be larger, debt will always be lower or absent, interest rates will always be lower, in fact everything will always be much better.

I was interested to read HS that the SMH article concluded ”… an AFP spokeswoman said there was no investigation and that police were ‘still assessing’ the Coalition's complaint.”  Whatever is going on, it is not straightforward.

HS
Thanks for the twitpic of Laura Tingle’s AFR article.  As ever she is sensible and balanced.

George
Thank you for the information on Andrew Wilkie.

Ad astra reply

August 27. 2010 11:12 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Some good news:

Independent backs NBN rollout, ABC
Posted 9 minutes ago
The independent candidate for the Tasmanian seat of Denison,
Andrew Wilkie, has thrown his support behind Labor's National
Broadband Network
www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/27/2995126.htm

Lyn

August 27. 2010 11:30 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Some more great stuff:

Quick thoughts on the interregnum, Tim Dunlop, BSides

Mr Abbott wouldn't debate on his economic program, he wouldn't submit to his own rules about getting them costed, and now he is trashing Treasury.  In a sane world he would be laughed out of contention for the office of prime minister.  His excuses -- there is a leaker, Treasury are incapable of understanding Coalition policies, Treasury can't be trusted -- are immature and dishonest.  If a Labor leader was behaving like this, it would be all over red rover.  Can anyone honestly imagine that the same excuses being made in the media for the Libs would be granted to Labor?  They simply wouldn't

The media: By and large, they are living up to my worst expectations.  The full conservative meltdown might not have occurred yet, but it is only being held in abeyance by the lack of a final outcome.  If Labor get to form a minority government, the hounds will be released.  In the meantime, the "narrative" is being shaped to minimise the chances of a stable Labor minority government.  With the prospect of Labor returned and a bunch of independents in power who do not care at all about the media's opinion of them, The Australian in particular is staring into the abyss of their own irrelevance.  They will not go quietly.
tjd.posterous.com/quick-thoughts-on-the-interregnum


Hung Parliament - Where to From Here?, Antony Green,ABC

Can we go straight to another election.
No. The parliament must meet. The only way we can go straight to another election would be for the parliament to meet and be so deadlocked that no full-time government could be formed.

blogs.abc.net.au/.../...nt-where-to-from-here.html

Lyn

August 27. 2010 11:37 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

   We live in interesting times! Smile

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 11:54 AM

Hillbilly Skeleton

  A lovely overview of Australian 'Hung Parlliaments':
www.smh.com.au/.../...-blossom-20100826-13u38.html

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 12:32 PM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly

Thankyou for the fabulous, interesting piece by  Richard Ackland, SMH

I will put your link up again here because Ad might like to save the

piece for reference.

[quote]What with Godwin Grech, the Liberal Party's Treasury mole, out of the picture it's understandable Abbott might feel a little insecure about the outcome of Treasury advice. As political sage Richard Farmer observed yesterday in relation to Abbott's stance: ''It is hard to think of a more serious attack on the integrity of a group of public servants who are largely the same ones who served the government of John Howard for more than a decade.''


Cut the big parties down to size and reform can blossom , Richard Ackland, SMH
It also says something about Abbott's stability, and the sort of stability he could offer in government.
www.smh.com.au/.../...-blossom-20100826-13u38.html

Lyn

August 27. 2010 01:24 PM

George Pike

Abbott's wilted under fire...has agreed to let the independents get a treasury analysis of the liberal costings...but doesn't want them made public, or the government to see them..what does THAT tell you then!

George Pike

August 27. 2010 01:25 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn, HS
Thanks for the links.  What interesting reading.  Yes, we do live in interesting times, times where Tony Abbott's true colours are on display for all to see, that is for all those who want to see.

Ad astra reply

August 27. 2010 01:30 PM

Ad astra reply

George
To me that confirms that the costings are shonky, and that Phony Tony thinks he can con the Independents into believing they're OK, but knows if they are subject to public gaze, his economic credibility is sunk.

Ad astra reply

August 27. 2010 01:44 PM

Jason

AA,
  From you reporter here in Adelaide,
www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-fn5rhd15-1225910892936

Jason

August 27. 2010 02:07 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Here is the ironman bend, no mention of the Police investigation
into the leaks.

A journalist asked Julia Gillard during her press conference, just now,

"Did Mr Abbott mention the Federal Police investigation into the leaks"
and Julia said no.

Abbott to allow Treasury costing, Business Spectator
Mr Abbott had also raised concerns about where information might go arising
from this process.
What they say publicly about the information obtained is then a matter for them."
www.businessspectator.com.au/.../Abbott-to-allow-Treasury-policy-costing-pd20100827-8Q5MS

Gillard, Abbott reach deal on giving coalition costings to independents , James Massola, The Australian
TONY Abbott has agreed to submit coalition policies for costing on condition
that the information not be made available to the Prime Minister and Treasurer’s offices.
Ms Gillard called on Mr Abbott to make Treasury’s costing of Coalition policies available to all Australians.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225910897677


Lyn

August 27. 2010 02:17 PM

Lyn

Hi Jason


Thanks so much for the link, Wow, wonder the outcome eh!:

Labor makes claims of vote-tampering in Boothby , Daniel Wills, Adelaide Now
"I undertook to seek further information and to speak personally with the scrutineer involved.

"Subsequently, I was informed by the Australian Electoral Commission that following an internal audit, an AEC employee had now admitted to improperly dealing with approximately 3000 ballot papers and that numerous potential breaches of the Commonwealth Electoral Act had occurred."
www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-fn5rhd15-1225910892936

Lyn

August 27. 2010 02:19 PM

vote1maxine

AA

Abbott makes the Lying Rodent look honest. I've always maintained he was unfit for any Public Office.


Abbott August 26th
"made it clear the Coalition would not let Treasury anywhere near its policies.
It would have nothing to do with the idea until it was in office because the Labor government had engaged in ''criminal'' behaviour during the election campaign by leaking earlier Treasury analysis, he said.
"

www.smh.com.au/.../...l-gambit-20100826-13tai.html


”… an AFP spokeswoman said there was no investigation and that police were ‘still assessing’ the Coalition's complaint.”

www.smh.com.au/.../...-gillard-20100826-13uam.html

I can't find the actual quote but Abbott had said wtte that he wouldn't submit Coalition's costings whilst Treasury was under a criminal investigation for the leak that occurred during the election campaign.

Why is Abbott not held to account by the MSM over his blatant lying?? Once again our democracy is being undermined by the 4th Estate abrogating its responsibilities.

BTW, I found this quote relating to Andrew Robb, "[i] Robb has complained to the police about the campaign leak, and the matter is being investigated. He has been told interviews have been conducted and the police hope to be back to him in about a week.[i/]

www.smh.com.au/.../...-motives-20100826-13u6e.html

Yet the AFP have said there is no investigation.


vote1maxine

August 27. 2010 02:36 PM

Hillbilly Skeleton

Here's a very succinct assessment of Tony Abbott's recent behaviour:
aussieobserver.blogspot.com/.../...ony-abbott.html

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 02:44 PM

Hillbilly Skeleton

A brutal election assessment from 'The Economist':
http://www.economist.com/node/16889029

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 03:04 PM

Hillbilly Skeleton

So have Hockey and Robb, and maybe Abbott, committed a criminal offence by referring to the costings of the Coalition election promises an an 'Audit'?
petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...or-as-good-as.html

Hillbilly Skeleton

August 27. 2010 03:10 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Tingle on Friday. Brian Larvatus Prodeo
Laura Tingle’s Friday AFR Canberra observed column is worth the $3 alone

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s approach this week reeks of this, she says.
Armed with the support of News Ltd, which did everything in its power to get the Coalition into power this time around and which is now already campaigning for a fresh election, the Opposition thinks it would be likely to win another election held in the next six months. (Emphasis added)

larvatusprodeo.net/.../#more-16049

Lyn

August 27. 2010 03:15 PM

Michael

First of all Abbott said Treasury can't be trusted, now he says that they are only ones who can be. Is this man seriously considerable to hold ANY sort of office, let alone lead a country?

Gillard, Abbott reach deal on giving coalition costings to independents , James Massola, The Australian
TONY Abbott has agreed to submit coalition policies for costing on condition
that the information not be made available to the Prime Minister and Treasurer’s offices.
Ms Gillard called on Mr Abbott to make Treasury’s costing of Coalition policies available to all Australians.

Michael

August 27. 2010 03:33 PM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly

Thanks so much for the link to Peter Martin wow!

There is so much happening it's almost unbelievable.  Abbott just held
a news conference on Sky news reiterating that the Government cannot
look at their costings.

I am putting up Peter Martin here, for Ad in case he wants to file the piece:

Robb says Perth auditor "as good as Treasury" as investigation begins, Peter Martin
The Coalition has defended the work of the Perth accountancy firm that costed its election promises as the Institute of Chartered Accountants has launched a formal investigation into its conduct.
Horwath had "looked at the veracity" of the Coalition's assumptions and the Coalition would put itself at risk by allowing the Treasury to do the same

petermartin.blogspot.com/.../...or-as-good-as.html

Lyn

August 27. 2010 03:45 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason, Lyn, HS, vote1maxine, michael
Thanks again for your comments and links, and the fascinating reading.  No matter how all this ends, this 'hung' status makes for excitement day after day - now irregular vote counts, in Boothby of all places, where Labor had hoped to make a gain.

Ad astra reply

August 27. 2010 04:18 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

72 each they say:

Coalition can't count on WA National Tony Crook, says Julia Gillard ,2:28PM
James Massola, The Australian
I do note, and these are his words and not mine, that he said today `in every news report and press report we see my number is being allocated in with the Coalition and it shoulnd't be',” Ms Gillard said.
But Mr Crook's declaration of independence would mean the parties tied on 72-all if, as seems likely, the Coalition wins Hasluck and Brisbane and Labor hangs on in Corangamite.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225910945184

Lyn

August 27. 2010 04:37 PM

jj

Brisbane declared! Coalition victory!
Oh and Tony Abbott has agreed to release costings to treasury, as Gillard has signed a deal to promise that once treasury has costed the coalitions policies they will go directly to the independents by-passing PM and cabinet. Looks like all your junk about Abbott hiding something was complete garbage.

jj

August 27. 2010 04:58 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I have just posted More on : How has it come to this? www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...come-to-this.aspx

Ad astra reply

August 27. 2010 05:09 PM

Jason

jj,
  Looks like all your junk about Abbott hiding something was complete garbage

No it doesn't he had to be forced, and when he starts spending coalition money on his policies he can hide whatever he wants. If the taxpayers are funding it we have the right to see it simple as that.

Jason

August 27. 2010 05:11 PM

Ad astra reply

jj
You seem to live in a Coalition-friendly space where everything that happens looks rosy for Tony Abbott and the Coalition.  

So all the talk “…about Abbott hiding something was complete garbage” was it?  Strange how so many MSM journalists and ‘neutral’ politicians thought he was hiding something, strange how he wants only the Independents to see the costings and not the Australian people.  In fact he sees it as a ‘win’ having confined the exposure of his costings to just the Independents. That doesn’t sound to me like an open, honest approach.  Why would he want to withhold his costed plans for an Abbott Government from the public?  If he’s elected PM, surely we are entitled to know about them.

But go on reveling in this great Coalition ‘win’ if it makes you feel good.  The rest of us will wait until the hung parliament is un-hung.  Then we’ll see who is left hanging.

Ad astra reply

August 27. 2010 05:39 PM

Lyn

FOR jj

Spin me right round, baby. The Conscience Vote

On Wednesday, Abbott said he couldn’t give his numbers to Treasury because they could not understand how the Opposition’s numbers were put together.

Twenty-four hours ago, the story changed.

The Independents could see the private audit completed by WHK Horwath, but that was it. (And it’s worth noting that the firm in question is now the subject of a complaint to the Institute of Chartered Accountants). Robb drew a sharp line in the sand

Now, another day further on, the story has changed again.
Suddenly, Treasury is capable of understanding the Opposition’s costings. With a wave of some political magic wand, Abbott has fixed the problem

You only have to read the letters exchanged between Abbott and Gillard to see that the story is very different to what Abbott announced not twenty minutes ago

The condition that the government not be given any access whatsoever to Coalition costings is, frankly, ridiculous – and Gillard’s agreement can be read as nothing more than acquiescence to a pointless demand that has no effect on the government.
consciencevote.wordpress.com/.../

the letters  

Tony Abbott opens books to independents bloc UPDATE 2.35pm:
Matthew Schulz, Herald Sun
Read the blow-by-blow negotiations between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, and the internal briefing to Ms Gillard from Prime Minister and Cabinet below.

PM&C briefing to the PM on the independents' request for information (*.pdf)
PM's letter to Tony Abbott 25 August 2010 (.pdf)
PM's letter to Tony Abbott 26 August 2010 (.pdf)
PM's letter to Tony Abbott 27 August 2010 (.pdf)
Tony Abbott's response to the PM 27 August 2010 (*.pdf)


www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-fn5ko0pw-1225910669329

Lyn

Comments are closed