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What does Tony Abbott stand for?

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010 19:05 by Ad astra
As a political exercise, why not begin by jotting down what you are convinced Tony Abbott stands for? It may not take you long.

Don’t feel inadequate if you can muster no more than ‘end the waste, pay back debt, stop new taxes and stop the boats’. But wait, there’s a change in the air. On the last Insiders for the year (which is well worth viewing in full) Tones launched a ‘softer, gentler’ set of slogans: "lower taxes, fairer welfare, better services and stronger borders". Now doesn’t that feel better?

When I wrote a similar piece about Julia Gillard, I looked first at her acceptance speech after election as leader, at her address to the National Press Club and then at her campaign launch speech. I attempted to do the same for Tony Abbott.

First, I searched the Liberal Party of Australia website for his acceptance speech. No matter what search words I used, I couldn’t find it. It must be there, but well hidden.

The best I could manage was an account in the Sydney Morning Herald of December 1 where there was journalist Nadia Jamal’s account of his speech headed I am humbled: Abbott.  Of course newly elected leaders always say they are ‘humbled’, when they are really as pleased as Punch. Read it and see if you can detect the vision Abbott has for this nation; play the video and see if it’s there. Check for the Abbott narrative.

After getting his ‘humbled’ out of the way, he talked about healing wounds, about his ‘stuff-ups’ for which he made a generic apology, and then promised he would be a collegial and consultative leader. He made conciliatory noises about Malcolm Turnbull whom he had just toppled, and then got onto the ETS as this was the raison d'être for his becoming leader, saying ‘‘I think that climate change is real and that man does make a contribution,’’ but added that there was argument about the level of that contribution and what should be done about it. There were several more references to the ETS, the GBNT and Copenhagen, a passing reference to WorkChoices being dead and that while no one would mention it again, Australia needed a ‘free and flexible’ economy, (watch this space!), and still more references to the ETS. He ended with “Oppositions are not there to get legislation through; oppositions are there to hold the Government to account.” The latter reflects his long-held belief in Randolph Churchill’s dictum: “Oppositions should oppose everything, suggest nothing and turf the government out.”

I suppose he was caught by surprise at being elected and that is why his acceptance speech was such a dog’s breakfast, but with his many years in Liberal Party ranks, his supporters might have hoped for passing reference to the Party’s ‘beliefs’. They are there on the website for all to see. To paint a picture of what Tony Abbott might have drawn upon to give his acceptance speech some stature, here they are:

“We Believe...
In the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; and we work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives; and maximises individual and private sector initiative

In government that nurtures and encourages its citizens through incentive, rather than putting limits on people through the punishing disincentives of burdensome taxes and the stifling structures of Labor's corporate state and bureaucratic red tape.

In those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy - the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.

In a just and humane society in which the importance of the family and the role of law and justice is maintained.

In equal opportunity for all Australians; and the encouragement and facilitation of wealth so that all may enjoy the highest possible standards of living, health, education and social justice.

That, wherever possible, government should not compete with an efficient private sector; and that businesses and individuals - not government - are the true creators of wealth and employment.

In preserving Australia's natural beauty and the environment for future generations.

That our nation has a constructive role to play in maintaining world peace and democracy through alliance with other free nations.

In short, we simply believe in individual freedom and free enterprise; and if you share this belief, then ours is the Party for you.”


Note that even in a statement of its beliefs, the Liberals could not resist a derogatory reference to Labor.

Next, let’s look at Abbott’s campaign launch speech

After a couple of backhanders aimed at Labor, he launched his mantra: “I’m asking for your support to end the waste, pay back the debt, stop the big new taxes, stop the boats and help struggling families.” He then went on to say; “Our task is nothing less than to save Australia from the worst government in its history.” After which the well-worn catalogue of Labor crimes and misdemeanours were trotted out, how the government had ‘lost its way’, and I think for the first time he used the word ‘toxic’ to describe Labor, this time in reference to Kevin Rudd.

Then he spoke of the ‘positive’ things he would do: “The public are asking us to do more than just replace a bad government. They are asking us to restore some sense of honour and integrity to Australia’s public life. We must offer the Australian people a better way. So I say again, if elected a Coalition government will end the waste, pay back the debt, stop the big new taxes, stop the boats and help struggling families and we will do that from day one. (We were glad he reminded us of that). From day one under a Coalition government, the mining industry could do again what it does best: creating wealth and employing hundreds of thousands of Australians without the threat of an investment killing, jobs destroying great big new tax. From day one under a Coalition government, everyone who uses energy – that’s pensioners, retirees, farmers, families and young people – could live without the threat of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme that would raise prices, damage industries and cost jobs.”

You will see that all of these reiterate the GBNT theme. Nothing positive there; only countering what he has decided to portray as a negative.

He announced a Debt Reduction Task Force, an economic statement on the Murray-Darling Basin plan, a National Security Meeting to be convened to ‘take back control of Australia’s borders’ along with a call to the President of Nauru, tougher penalties for people smugglers, the reintroduction of TPVs, and a promise to stop school halls ‘rip-offs’ by giving money directly to ‘P&Cs that wouldn’t waste it’.

He talked fleetingly about an emissions reductions fund and a Green Army, business reforms, health reforms, and prudent and responsible stewardship of the nation’s finances. He repeated the mantra: “Under the Coalition, spending will always be less and tax will always be lower than under Labor.”

He then went on to put a little flesh on the bones of his education, health and water policies, said he would reduce bureaucracy, spoke of his PPL scheme, and vowed to break "the cycle of welfare dependency for young indigenous people and others trapped in intergenerational poverty, provided they are prepared to renounce their welfare entitlement in return for a guaranteed job", and promised to "publish all the modelling associated with all the Henry recommendations to foster the tax debate that Australia needs and now must have".

He finished by assuring us that "...no one will accuse the next Coalition government of being all talk and no action", lambasted Labor for a ‘re-election strategy…based on fear and lies’ and an advertising blitz that ‘will be all fear and smear’. For good measure he concluded: “…let’s start, from day one, repaying the debt, stopping the big new taxes, stopping the boats and helping struggling families.”

The party faithful were ecstatic and gave him a standing ovation. In archetypical pugilistic fashion he was taking the fight up to Labor and that’s what they wanted. But where was the vision? Look carefully at what he said and you will see the bulk of it is about fixing what he characterizes as the mess that Labor has created. In other words, he created a straw man, indeed many straw men, and promised to systematically knock them over. He assumes that everyone sees these straw men, agrees that they exist and need knocking down, so he promises to put a bullseye on them all, and knock them over. But if the premise is flawed, so is the reaction.

What does that speech tell you about what Tony Abbott believes in, what he stands for? What sort of Australia is he promising? How inspiring is his vision? Read it and judge for yourself.

Tony Abbott’s pre-election speech on August 17 to the National Press Club also defied discovery on the Liberal Party website, so we have to rely on a report of it in The Australian by James Massola somewhat ambitiously titled Tony Abbott outlines vision for opportunity society.  It is not the whole speech. It contains some of the same material as his campaign launch speech, plenty of condemnation of Labor, and Massola’s idea of vision: “But it was during his unscripted speech, which ran for about 25 minutes, that Mr Abbott was best able to outline his vision for Australia which would help ‘individuals and communities to better realise their better self’. My vision for Australia is not simply that my dreams will be writ large, far from it, my vision is of an Australia where everyone's dreams can be better realised”, he said. “I don't envisage an Australia where people conform to a vision that government has created for them, I envisage an Australia where government helps individuals and communities to better realise their best selves there is a better way.” So there it is, Abbott Vision with a capital V. If this is the extent of his vision, it is not just laughable; it is tragically wanting for a man who would be PM. Yet Massola gave it a tick.

Finally, there was Abbott’s comment after the majority Labor Government was formed, this time taken from the Liberal Party website: “I now rededicate the Coalition to the task of Opposition. I believe that we will be an even more effective Opposition in the coming Parliament than we were in the last one. We want a strong Australia and we want better lives for the Australian people. To the extent that that is what the confirmed government delivers, we will give credit where it’s due. To the extent that it doesn’t, we will hold them ferociously to account because that is what the Australian people will expect of us. I rededicate the Coalition to the task of being a credible alternative government and that will be more important than ever given the inevitable uncertainties of the coming Parliament.” A slight touch of ‘vision’: “…a strong Australia and we want better lives for the Australian people” and more of “ferociously holding the Government to account.”

So that’s it. That’s the vision. That’s what Abbott has in mind for this country.

Abbott’s plan is much, much more about correcting Labor’s so-called mistakes, and replacing Labor’s so-called incompetence with a supremely competent Coalition which of course will always have lower debt and lower taxes.

Try if you will to find a positive Abbott narrative among those public statements; try to indentify what he would do to make ‘a strong Australia’ and ‘better lives for the Australian people’. You’ll have no trouble finding his negativity and obstructionist intent.

Let’s conclude this assessment of what Tony Abbott stands for by focussing on some specific policy areas.

Climate change
George Megalogenis puts it well on page 48 of his recent Quarterly Essay: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era where he says of Tony Abbott’s attitude to climate change. “Abbott had been a supporter of the ETS before he was against it. He said the science was ‘crap’ but still felt the undertow of the polls dragging him towards a gesture on climate change, so his first act as leader was to promise $3.2 billion in hand-outs over four years to buy emissions cuts. He ran three fantastically contradictory lines. He agreed climate change was happening, while questioning the science. He said Rudd’s scheme was a great big new tax on everything, even although it was revenue negative. And he had his own budget-draining plan to buy reductions in carbon pollution from industry and farmers, while simultaneously arguing that only a Coalition Government could pay back debt and end the waste.”

Abbott realized that what he was saying did not have to be consistent or even true. He could say whatever he liked, make it up if necessary, and get away with it so long as a compliant media allowed him.

Economics
Even a generous assessment of the Coalition’s credentials reveal they are flimsy, despite polls showing the community’s confidence in its capacity for economic management. This is a myth left over from the Howard era. Let’s look at the facts:

The ‘economics’ team
By his own admission, Tony Abbott is uninterested in economics and not once has he made a substantial statement on national economics. He pushes that to Joe Hockey or Andrew Robb. Joe Hockey, who was left holding the baby after Abbott’s reply to the 2010 Budget, himself failed to detail during his National Press Club address the savings the Coalition claimed it had made, and passed the baby to Robb, who then, in his characteristically convoluted way tried to explain what was essentially a con job.

The ‘savings’ charade
The supposed $50 billion of savings were always suspect. No self-respecting economist ever confirmed them; economics correspondents who were supportive of the Coalition declined to show how they added up; even The Australian conceded they were ‘massaged’. At least half were political smoke and mirrors illusions. The $50 billion of savings were simply not there. The contortions through which Hockey and Robb went to try to justify their ‘savings’ were a wonder to behold. They were just not believable.

The campaign costings
Again we saw a Hockey/Robb duo – Abbott was AWL – trying to convince the public that an ‘audit’, done by Liberal Party-friendly accountants, which took the Coalition’s assumptions for granted, were accurate and believable, while a Treasury assessment found an ‘$11 billion black hole’ in them. Rob and Hockey, who could argue the leg off an iron pot, reasoned this way and that about assumptions, but convinced only those who wanted and needed to believe. It was another charade – everybody with eyes to see knew it. Most of the media looked the other way and tossed the black hole off as inconsequential, a misdemeanour that was OK for the Opposition but would have lead to crucifixion for the Government.

The bank interest saga
Joe Hockey has the well-honed skill of finding a way to criticize the Government about interest rates if they go up, and as stridently if they stay the same. His genius allows him to convert any interest rate situation into a lose-lose for the Government. He takes convoluted logic to a new level.

He opportunistically seized on the banks raising interest rates beyond the RBA rate rise to propose his nine point plan which he rushed to present and thereby paint himself as a champion of the struggling mortgage holder, and in the process gazump the Wayne Swan plan that was in preparation after lengthy consultations with the banking industry and the ACCC. Hockey got a tick from several economists despite its rushed preparation; will Swan get the same for his careful approach? After all the fire and brimstone, Joe’s plan seems to have faded into the background, like so many of his half-baked ideas.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the Coalition economics team is simply incompetent, and at times willing to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with dubious financial contortions.

Paid Parental Leave
Here is another policy area where inconsistency reigned supreme. When in government, Abbott declared such a scheme would be introduced ‘over the Coalition’s dead body’. Then he had an epiphany and decided it was needed by some female friends with whom he had spoken. He mentioned it in his book Battlelines. After election as leader, despite his post-election assurance that he would be ‘collegial and consultative’, he introduced his PPL out of the blue without consulting the party room, and to everyone’s surprise revealed it was to be funded by a tax on business, having vowed there would be ‘no new taxes’. Caught in a trap of his own making, he then promised to reduce company tax by the same amount.

All of these contortions were regarded as amusing by the media – just another of Tony’s thought bubbles not to be taken too seriously, because, after all, he was only in opposition.

In the face of this and other about-faces he has made, it is breathtaking that he has the temerity to castigate the Government if it changes its mind, when he changes his over and again to catch the prevailing breeze, weathervane-style.

Water policy
Here again we see inconsistency. The Howard Government set up the Murray-Darling Commission (now the Murray-Darling Basin Authority) as an independent body to report on the rivers’ future. The current Government allowed it to complete its work, the Basin Plan, publish it, and hold public meetings to discuss its recommendations with stakeholders, independent of Government. When the report was seen to upset irrigators and rural communities, Abbott leapt on the opportunity to condemn the Gillard Government for carrying out exactly what the Howard Government had set out to achieve – a report for discussion among stakeholders. But did you see the media pointing out Abbott’s inconsistency, hypocrisy and opportunism?

What does Tony Abbott stand for?

So there it is. I searched for evidence of the Abbott vision for this country and found just a few motherhood snippets: “...my vision is of an Australia where everyone's dreams can be better realised”. I searched for the Abbott and Coalition narrative and found mountains of negativity, a tiresome recital of the problems that he insisted Labor had created that he would fix. I looked for his positive plans for the nation should he become PM and found a tiny mound. I looked particularly for his reform agenda for crucial areas such as education, health, industrial relations and foreign affairs and found almost nothing. I examined his contribution to policy matters such as climate change, economic management, paid parental leave and water, and found a confusing set of contradictions and in the case of his ‘savings’ and ‘costings’, ineptitude and deception writ large.

Yet when I sought out the media’s response to this exhibition of monumental incompetence, I could find but a sprinkling of occasions when Abbott was confronted by journalists – in a couple of Neil Mitchell interviews on Melbourne 3AW and in the Kerry O’Brien ‘I don’t always speak the truth’ interview on the ABC's 7.30 Report. The media chose to overlook most of Abbott’s crass statements, preferring simply to echo them as if they were valid beyond doubt – ‘The Opposition leader said this’, or ‘Mr Abbott said that’, or ‘Tony Abbott accused the PM of’ - anything that happened to enter his mind at the time, or ‘The Labor brand has become toxic’ whatever that vacuous statement means. And most, particularly News Limited outlets, pumping for a Coalition defeat of Labor, chose not to highlight the Coalition’s negatives, focusing only on any fragment of positivity they could find, any poll that showed improvement in the Coalition's standiing.

How can this nation be governed responsibly while the media seems unprepared to confront the alternative PM and the alternative government with its inconsistencies, its ineptitude, its deception, its paucity of plans, its lack of a vibrant vision and a coherent narrative, its largely obstructionist and negative behaviour, preferring instead to laugh off all this as the quirks of this sometimes eccentric, but eminently likeable Tony Abbott? It is only too ready to challenge Julia Gillard and her Government, as was evident this week in Kerry O’Brien’s final 7.30 Report interview with her.

When will the media and the public begin to turn around Tony Abbott’s oft-repeated remarks about the incompetence of the Labor Party, insisting with as much vehemence as he does, that the Coalition is the most incompetent alternative government in this nation’s history?

What do you think?

Comments (532) -

December 7. 2010 07:08 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I had said that I had posted my last piece for the year, but Bilko’s suggestion, in response to the piece What does Julia Gillard stand for?, that there should one on what Tony Abbott stands for, after sitting at the back of my mind while on holiday, could sit there no longer after reading George Megalogenis’ Quarterly Essay: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era (which BTW is a good read), and watching Tony Abbott on Insiders.  So here it is What does Tony Abbott stand for?.  I will eagerly await your comments, although I will be unable to respond promptly as from tomorrow morning I will be on the road for the next two days returning to the south coast of Victoria.

Ad astra reply

December 7. 2010 08:55 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, pardon me when I say you don't look like you came down in the last shower so how could you say:

"Note that even in a statement of its beliefs, the Liberals could not resist a derogatory reference to Labor".

Since when have the parties not taken aim at each other? This from the ALP manifesto:

#The Liberal legacy of neglect on climate change

4 For twelve years in government, the Liberal and National Parties remained in denial about the reality of climate change. While other nations were taking action and despite an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community about the urgent need for action, the Coalition Parties continued to attack those who spoke out on the dangers of inaction, leaving Australia's economy and environment vulnerable to the growing climate threat.

5 The Coalition Parties refused etc etc etc.#

While you were at Nowra did you per chance drink from the Lethe River?

Sir Ian Crisp

December 7. 2010 08:59 PM

Feral Skeleton

   What do I think?
I think that this is an absolutely brilliant post to cap off a very strong year, AA.
As you know, when you actually go into the bowels of the Liberal Party(euurrgghh!), via their website(which is all glossy and hard, like the men and women of the Liberal Party themselves), you find, as you do with Mr Abbott, that it is but a shimmering facade. A mile wide, and an inch deep, as the old saying goes. If you go to their policies, some of which haven't even been updated to reflect the new political reality, post election, what you find is pretence, writ large.
   What the website of the Liberal Party thus reflects, and which is mirrored in its senior frontbenchers and its leader, is 'Gesture Politics'. That is,action by a politician for motives of publicity or to influence public opinion. Or, put another way,
any action by a person or organization done for political reasons and intended to attract public attention but having little real effect.
   You have to admit, that the backroom boys that make up 'Team Abbott' are brilliant strategists. They know just what to say on any one day about the topic du jour. However, as you have so forensically pointed out, AA, it is essentially political Fairy Floss when it comes to a positive agenda, or any agenda at all other than 'Destroy the Labor Party by whatever means necessary'.
   I mean, take tonight's syrupy-sweet 'interview'(and I use the term loosely) of Malcolm Turnbull by Kerry O'Brien(and, oh what a stark contrast it was to last night's effort with the PM). Most of the substantial content was, as per usual, contained within the frame of attacking Labor and ducking and weaving and dancing around the inconsistencies of said attacks, especially when it came to trying to attack Labor over the MDB/Water Act placing the environment at the top of considerations, an Act which Turnbull himself drafted. At least O'Brien winkjled out of him that Section 20 is where it says that communities and economic impact must be considered along with the environment. However, when O'Brien pointed out that meant that Turnbull agreed with Tony Burke, he would have none of it. Instead he formulated an attack on the ALP based upon the fact that they haven't wanted to spend billions, that he had provided as Water Minister, giving money to irrigators to cap their irrigation ditches and pay for other water-saving infrastructure. Which I'm glad the ALP haven't done because it was just a big Pork Barrel, at the end of the day, for their National mates. The Farmers should pay for it themselves, then claim the investment back on their tax, like every other business does, with appropriate depreciation, for plant and infrastructure investments.
But no, the Liberal Party aren't living up to that promise to support good policy intiatives by the government when they agree with them, such as in this case today wrt the changed emphasis in the plan for the MDB. Instead it's just 'Attack!Attack!Attack!'
   I don't know if you saw it, but Ash Ghebranious covered Tony Abbott's 'style' after his interview with Barrie Cassidy last Sunday on 'Insiders':
ashghebranious.wordpress.com/.../
   Now, the thing that all of us rational individuals can't seem to understand is, why is it, when all of Tony Abbott's political afflictions are so obviously on show, and the rest of the Coalition seems to be following in his footsteps, is it the case that they are the ones who the polls are showing would win an election now? A political party that lives a lie, day after day, whose policies are a tissue of lies and half-truths, but yet, it is true, have as their one saving grace that they are superior at messaging what they are not actually about? I just don't get it. It's as if the electorate just doesn't care anymore about real political substance or gravitas, just the Reality TV version of it.

Feral Skeleton

December 7. 2010 09:13 PM

Rx

Lying.

Backflipping.

Doubletalk.

WorkChoices.

Climate change denial.

The Vatican.

Religious fundamentalism.

John Howard.

Oppression of women.

Oppression of minorities.

'Guided democracy' (read: incipient fascism).

The foreign policy agenda of the Republican Party.

Making life easier for the wealthy and privileged at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Soup kitchens, workhouses, shanty-towns.

Spin, spin, and more spin. Slogans and more slogans.

Media concentration.

Relentless taxpayer-funded propaganda.

Cutbacks to health and education funding.

Pork-barreling.

Rx

December 7. 2010 09:43 PM

Miglo

Hi Ad astra.  What a great post.  I nodded my head after every sentence, but in particular loved this:

"When will the media and the public begin to turn around Tony Abbott’s oft-repeated remarks about the incompetence of the Labor Party, insisting with as much vehemence as he does, that the Coalition is the most incompetent alternative government in this nation’s history?"

Pure wisdom.

Miglo

December 7. 2010 10:03 PM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
So what is your point – that Labor takes a swipe at the Coalition in its manifesto, as does the Coalition take one at Labor in its?  So what?  Both are statements of fact.  That both parties do the same does not make such behaviour less culpable.  As the River Lethe has dried up around here, I couldn’t partake of its legacy of forgetfulness.  I’m sure there is no River Lethe near you.

FS
Thank you for your kind words, which make worthwhile the effort of putting the piece together in between excursions.

Malcolm Turnbull exhibited his usual ‘smooth as silk’ style tonight as Kerry O’Brien gave him an easy run.  Compare though his plausibility with that of Tony Abbott.  He is light years ahead, yet the Coalition chose Abbott over him!  Compare tonight’s interview with that of Tony Abbott by Barrie Cassidy on Insiders that Ash so forensically analysed.  The contrast is striking and frightening – we have Abbott in charge and Turnbull in the background.  Oh dear!

Rx
You have summed up the situation in a few words.  What have we got in front of us?  More of the same I suppose.  Oh dear!

Miglo
Thank you for the compliment.  The question is germane – when will the public realize that the Coalition is the most incompetent alternative government in this nation’s history?  With the media barracking for Abbott and Co, sadly it may take quite a while.

Ad astra reply

December 7. 2010 10:05 PM

Rx

Feral Skeleton,

That's a most worthy post at Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery about Toxic Abbott - the King of Spin. May there be more and more voices to speak out about this flakey,  dissembling right wing zealot. For someone who invites so much criticism the so-called "mainstream" media are strangely reticent. More power to independent blogs that aren't afraid to publish the truth, including The Political Sword.

Rx

December 7. 2010 10:22 PM

Feral Skeleton

Rx,
   Loved your list! It would make a great lot of t-shirts for ALP supporters to wear. With 'Toxic's' fizzog on the obverse. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 7. 2010 10:46 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
After lunch at Huskisson and a visit to the beach at Vincentia,  I'm ready for bed and an early start from Culburra Beach in the morning, heading for Boydtown.  Good night.

Ad astra reply

December 8. 2010 01:41 AM

TalkTurkey

NormanK
Thank you, and thank you again. You done it! Got my gravatar up. PatriciaWA, thank you for liking my design, but bless NormanK who is solely responsible for its appearance here. Just wanted to say that, next post I'll say more about Abbott and more importantly Julian Assange who has now been arrested. And I'll write down the verse that accompanies the Floral Emblems design. But right now I want to see it come up here!

And again Norman, thanks very much, I feel a lot more at home with my own design to keep my posts company.
  

TalkTurkey

December 8. 2010 07:29 AM

Bilko

AA when I made my tongue in cheek comment I never expected this amazing response. Well done now if we can spread the message via wickieleeks or some such media outlet even better.

I have always maintained that Abbott is unelectable and a policy free zone but sadly only us here seem to realize that.

It amazes me that the polls still show the balance they do when on one side a good government working with the national interest in view and the other side a bunch of no hopers visionless but with a marvelous PR outfit who could make a visit to hell in summer a good thing.

I can only conclude that Joe public has switched off and not responding. When one realizes that we have almost had a 12 month election campaign one can see a parallel with the USA where they go through this every two years no wonder the people there are apathetic and it could end up like that here if we are not careful. Keep up the good work.

Bilko

December 8. 2010 07:37 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

"...that Labor takes a swipe at the Coalition in its manifesto, as does the Coalition take one at Labor in its?"

That's eggzactly the case AA. You still seem to be under the impression that Australian politics somehow can transcend the grubiness, the cheapness, the vileness that is part of big business. Have a look at the characters who are amusingly referred to as MPs. They wouldn't be out of place in a police line-up. It's like I often say...Al Capone must be green with envy. Why didn't he register his crime empire as a political party?

Sir Ian Crisp

December 8. 2010 08:49 AM

Ad astra reply

Bilko
It shows that even a tongue-in-cheek suggestion can bear fruit.  I think you're right - the public has largely switched off.  Polls will be of little value until Christmas/New Year is behind us and the next parliamentary session begins.

Sir Ian
With your cynical attitude to politicians, I wonder why you bother following the political scene at all.

Folks
I'm getting on the road now, so will be out of contact until this evening.

Ad astra reply

December 8. 2010 08:53 AM

Feral Skeleton

  I have just listened to an absolute gem of an interview between Deb Cameron and Tony Windsor on ABC Local Radio in Sydney. If you can track down a podcast, please do so. They talked about the Murray-Darling Basin situation, and the politics around it. He called a spade a shovel, and called out the Coalition in clear and easily understandable language for the way they have cynically politically manipulated the issue.
   If I can find a transcript, I will put it up.

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 09:00 AM

Feral Skeleton

Lol, Bilko:
'the other side a bunch of no hopers visionless but with a marvelous PR outfit who could make a visit to hell in summer a good thing.'
   Also, I take your point about the constant campaigning. Mainly on the Coalition side. You can see it in the constant photo opportunities, more befitting an election campaign, that he is orchestrating, on a daily basis, as he 'engages in a conversation with the community', or, in other words, just keeps campaigning, until he blows the Labor house down!

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 09:06 AM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
              You don't have to look back into the past to see a criminal syndicate that has realised that politics is the way to go if you want to stamp your enterprise with an air of legitimacy. You just have to look over the seas to Italy and Russia.

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 09:08 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I think your Gravatar is absolutely beautiful, as is NormanK, who helps us all get our Gravatar act together. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 09:13 AM

Mobius Ecko

This question of what Tony Abbott stands for and it not being asked or audited by most in the news media has always galled me because when Howard ran his faux election campaign starting it more than 12 months away from the election date, Rudd was continually held up as an alternate PM and questioned on his capability. I lost count of the number of times Howard said "alternate PM" and/or "alternate government".

Yet the same is not being done with Tony Abbott or the current opposition. Worse, they are barely being held to account as a credible opposition let alone as a plausible alternate government.

Abbott only gets away with his blatant contradictions, misdirections and utter nonsense because unlike Labor when they were in opposition, the MSM is not holding him or his party to account in any way, and as you stated report his nonsense statements, almost exclusively negative, as indisputable fact and eminently quotable voxpops.

I don't know what can be done to bring the MSM spotlight onto Abbott and make him and his opposition accountable for their statements and policies but at least I see a widespread online community doing it.

Mobius Ecko

December 8. 2010 09:37 AM

Patricia WA

Do I live in an  alternative universe where no one thinks it strange that Malcolm Turnbull was 'invited' (no expansion on this)to be interviewed by Kerry OBrien last night as balance to the PM interview the previous evening.  Why not Tony Abbott, and if he had refused the oportunity why was there no comment on this.  Have I missed something? I know he had been avoiding his sort of scrutiny for a while, but he had appeared on Insiders on Sunday and surely there was an expectation he would front O'Brien this last time.   Explain to me why I am the only one asking this here and at other sites.  It must be that I have somehow lost touch with political reality.

Patricia WA

December 8. 2010 09:49 AM

Feral Skeleton

PatriciaWA,
           I'll just repeat my response to your similar query on Cafe Whispers. It's quite obvious to me Malcolm was merely the warm-up act for Abbott, who will, I predict, be the ultimate interview at the end of the week. Such is the level of O’Brien’s sucking up to the Coalition at the end of his career. He didn’t survive and prosper during Howard’s reign for nothing.

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 10:36 AM

Patricia WA

FS, O'Brien was quite specific that he had invited Turnbull as balance to the PM.  How could he justify an Abbott response today or tomorrow, without interview with another senior ALP figure?

What surprises me is how little surprise has been expressed here, at Cafe Whispers or at Larvatus Prodeo where attention is focussed almost entirely on Wikileaks and Julian Assange.   Important as that issue is to freedom of expression my own sense is that we are still entitled to clarity and objectivity from the national broadcaster on the willingness of the opposition leader to accept scrutiny.

Patricia WA

December 8. 2010 11:49 AM

NormanK

Ad astra
Thanks for coming out of semi-retirement to pen this article. I can't remember you writing with such fire in your belly and can well imagine that this piece insisted on being written.
To answer the question of what Abbott stands for : two mutually exclusive groups of policy.
Nothing which is currently being handled by the Labor government.
Anything that will increase his electoral chances.
And never the twain shall meet or at least not until he is in power when everything will be up for grabs again.
Example of the first group is the Water Act//MDBA which once had bipartisan support and strictly speaking belongs to the Howard government and the Liberal Party but now that it is being implemented by Labor it no longer deserves his support. Should they so wish, the Coalition could take positive steps to assist in the process of bringing a vexed (nightmarish) policy to fruition. Instead, Abbott & Co would sooner see the whole process go down the drain than have the ALP claim a positive outcome (which incidentally might actually be for the national good).
The second group is best exemplified by Abbott's approach to climate change. We all know that he was famously a weathervane on the subject but what did it take for him to firm up his view. Was it a learned article which clearly spelled out the folly of believing that the science was settled on the subject and that a more cautious approach was required? Was it an inspirational speech by a world-renowned skeptic? Answer to both - no. It was as a result of an experiment he conducted in a small country town to see what the reaction would be if he came out strongly against climate change by declaring the science to be "absolute crap". From the response of the audience he could see that he was on to a winner electorally and as a consequence adopted a stance which displayed a desire to garner votes rather than acknowledge a monumental dilemma facing us all with implications for many generations to come.
I share your anger and dismay that this level of political duplicity is not coming under scrutiny by our (supposed) gatekeepers who have a responsibility to point out the inconsistencies, lies and complete absence of ideas for the future prospects of this nation. (Poor ol' "vision" needs a bit of a rest.)
I hope you had a safe journey.

NormanK

December 8. 2010 12:03 PM

TalkTurkey

This is the verse that accompanies my design Australian Floral Emblems, now deployed by the grace of NormanK as my Gravatar.
You may sing it to the tune of Click Go The Shears.
It’s self-explanatory, but note that each line mentions one flower, its dominant colour/s, and the State which claims it as its own.
The chorus verse concerns our national floral emblem, the Golden Wattle, not included in this version of my design, but which in another version bracket the floral map festively.
The originals, about a meter long, I did painstakingly with coloured pencil on drafting film.

I would love it for eco-sensible schools to start teaching this little ditty, - pipe dream? – It would be a key little bit of awareness, you never know, some little kids catch onto good ideas and enthusiasms with just the right key at just the right time, if there’s anything I’d like to achieve with what’s left of me it’s to raise awareness of the need to protect biodiversity. [ H’m . . .. . .... . . . ... . .]


Anyway Swordsfolk it feels good to have my own design as company for the stuff I write.

Please, if you didn’t already know all the Aussie flowers, (might be a question at Quiz Night, but anyway we should know them, noblesse oblige), then do what the introductory verse tells you, sing it, get it on your mind, sing it again tomorrow, suddenly you’ll have pretty much the same pretty image in your mind’s eye as is herewith. I believe in the power of verse as a mnemonic – (Thirty days hath September . . . etc) and all you have to do is sing it.
Sing it at Crispmesstime. Sing it with your great grandchildren. Sing it to yourself.  

*****************************************************************************************
Australian Floral Emblems

The wildflowers of Australia grow glorious and free:
In each State people chose just one, their emblem for to be;
So rich! – So rare! But - which go where? – Our picture illustrates –
Rehearse our verse, you’ll always know which flowers with which States!

The Cooktown Pink Orchid comes from Queensland’s Gold Coast;
Taswegians love Blue~Gums’ fringed blossom’s Gold the most;
Red-and-Green Kangaroo Paw is the Wonder of the West,
While New South Welsh folk think big Crimson Waratahs the best.

Canberra’s Right-Royal Blue-Bell is such a lovely sight!
Common Pink Heath’s Victorian – So common, yet so bright!
For North- and South-Australians – One surnamed both of these –
Sturt’s Pink Desert Rose, and Red-and Black Sturt Desert Peas!

Chorus:  
Dusty old Acacia, dull Deep-Green;
Plainest of plants on the bushland scene -
But in early Spring, the Wattle is a splendour to behold:
Australia’s emblem, radiant, in Emerald and Gold!

*********************************************************************************  

BTW my offer to send you all, well up to the first 30 shall I say, a free copy of Brucie the Bilby still applies. Only you just have to trust me with your postal address I guess. If this is considered risky, (well Ad let me know your thoughts) well i don’t know what else to suggest, but several people have graced me with a request for one, and some should reach those people today. You can have no idea how good it makes me feel to send them.

Brucie just loves to get his message out to as many as possible. You’ll understand when you get one.

***********************************************************************************

I'm so glad to have a Gravatar at last. Ta NK.

TalkTurkey

December 8. 2010 12:35 PM

Gravel

Ad Astra

"that the Coalition is the most incompetent alternative government in this nation’s history?" also applies when you think of the previous Howard government.  What did they do in 11 1/2 years? What was their mantra, vision.....etc.

I guess the media like a government to do nothing and praise it to the hilt.  There has been a progressive government for three years now, they have done many many good things, the number one being saving Australians from a huge recession when the GFC hit.  I ask what more can Labor do to help Australia.  I often wonder why they are bothering to try.  

TalkTurkey
When I saw your Gravatar I thought we had another commenter, but after a couple of sentences I realised it had to be you and I was right.  After seeing your Gravatar I was  wondering if this was going in some way to be what the Bilby book was going to be like, then on reading your comment I am excited and pleased to find that I may possibly be right.  I will be watching the mail box for the next day or two.

Gravel

December 8. 2010 01:24 PM

nasking

Another excellent & informative piece Ad astra. I'm convinced that Tony Abbott believes he has been CHOSEN by GOD to be the leader of this great country. There is somethin' so FANATICAL about the way he pursues power. And his over-the-top fitness regime.

I think Abbott is another, just like Bush, who will allow the donating corporations & influential corporate aristocrats & dynasties to run roughshod over our democracy...or what's left of it.

I do not believe him when he states that "WorkChoices" is dead & buried. His eyes & tight jaw tell different. As does his allegiance to John Howard & some of the mining & media barons. As does their habit of poppin' up to come to his rescue each time his popularity looks shakier.

I do not trust leaders who have too much GOD in their lives...not during volatile times...where religious wars are bein' conducted...who use religious references either consciously or sub-consciously just about everytime they open their mouths. Recently Abbott commented on Insiders that "The Labor party has lost its soul".

I wouldn't blink if this came from many other leaders...but this man? Worrying.

Bush was just as religious. He took America off the cliff...and allies w/ him.

Mr. Gospel just doesn't sit right w/ me. And no matter how often he changes his tone, mannerisms, policies, smiles, jokes...I can't get beyond seein' a mean-spirited, fanatical opportunist...driven by things we can't even imagine. Nor hear.

N'

nasking

December 8. 2010 01:25 PM

Feral Skeleton

PatriciaWA,
            I think we need to hold our fire against the ABC and Kerry O'Brien wrt an Abbott interview until the end of the week. If by that time Abbott hasn't fronted then we would be well within our rights to question the 'balance' that the ABC has demonstrated in not allowing K O'B to put his blowtorch on, erm, tickle the belly of, Tony Abbott. Still, it would be obvious for all to conclude that Abbott is avoiding proper scrutiny if he doesn't front. Especially if he could be found instead at a picfac setup, or taking softballs at one of his 'Town Hall Meetings' with a stacked crowd of Liberal Party members, oh sorry, local community members. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 01:29 PM

nasking

I have a NEW POST up at the Cafe:

Assange in prison...whilst war-mongers roam freely

cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

The likes of John Pilger, Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky, Julian Burnside, and many others who support Assange & Wikileaks in their endeavours, have been standing up to them for a good long time. And for the rights of the individual. And free speech. The right to know what the hell has been going on in our governments during these war times...these economically wobbly, volatile, too oft mismanaged & rigged times...these days where war criminals roam free...but the speakers for the dead are put behind bars.

Cheers
N'

nasking

December 8. 2010 04:07 PM

adelaidegirl

Patricia, from last blog, I see I used your name wrt "secrets".  Many apologies.  I was confused by roses!  I would hate to be perceived as rude and lumped in with some of the less pleasant contributors to this blog.

TT, lovely lovely gravatar.  I note that you designed it - very talented!

AA, excellent article.  Do you feel though, sometimes, like you're pissing into the wind?  Sometimes I feel quite dispirited and then I can't think of a single thing to say to add to the conversation.  Thanks to everyone for being more eloquent.

adelaidegirl

December 8. 2010 05:16 PM

Feral Skeleton

adelaidegirl,
             You know you're always welcome to say whatever you want. Smile
Sometimes, as with my own contributions, it might lean a little to the light and fluffy side, yet at other times it is deep and meaningful.

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 06:17 PM

2353

Well said AA.  You'd have to wonder how long Abbott can keep up the oppose everything mantra.  Sooner or later everyone has to get fed up with the whinging and carrying on.

2353

December 8. 2010 06:21 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Thank you for your kind comments. I was fired up when I wrote this piece, exasperated with how the media allows such an incompetent potential PM get away with the nonsense he utters every day and the disingenuousness he displays almost every time he opens his mouth.  I could have added more to the piece, about the Coalition’s ineptitude at foreign relations, but it was long enough already.  Take Julie Bishop’s performance.  It was she, along with Malcolm Turnbull, who insisted Kevin Rudd lift the phone and demand the Chinese Premier release Stern Hu immediately, clearly in retrospect the very worst thing that could have been done.  It was she who stupidly spilt the beans over the forging of passports by our authorities, and as recently as yesterday she was demanding Julia Gillard spell out whether her approach to China was the same as Kevin Rudd’s as portrayed in the WikiLeaks revelations.  Grog had an acerbic comment to make about that: ” Seriously do people in the Liberal Party let this person go near sharp knives? Do they let her use scissors without proper adult supervision? What idiocy. Yeah Julie, it really would be a good thing for the Prime Minister of Australia to publicly comment on the use of force against China.” http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/
She failed as Shadow Treasurer and is dangerous as Shadow Foreign Affairs. Here is another sign of gross incompetence in the Coalition.  

Gravel
Judging from the last two years, I believe that we cannot expect the media to exhibit fair play in its assessment of politics.  Most, but not all of the media, is a partisan political player.

nasking
Thank you for the compliment.  I think many may share your apprehension about Tony Abbott’s God connection.  George Bush believed his decisions were consistent with God’s will, and we all know where that landed America, and Australia along with it.

Ad astra reply

December 8. 2010 06:30 PM

Ad astra reply

adelaidegirl
Thank you for your kind comment.  Yes, I do feel sometimes the way you describe, but I am not dispirited, as every time we bloggers expose the Coalition, we chip away at what seems to be an impenetrable wall around it, guarded by most of the media.  Even the Berlin Wall eventually came down.

TT
I do like your new Gravatar.  It’s easy on the eyes, soothing and benign, and beautifully described through your verse.

Ad astra reply

December 8. 2010 06:32 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'm in Boydtown now, near Eden.

I'll be back after dinner.

Ad astra reply

December 8. 2010 06:35 PM

Patricia WA

Sometimes I can understand Sir Ian Crisp and Calligula.  Commentators here are so unfair to Tony Abbott.  Our Mad Monk stands for many things:- Monarchy - Morality - Monsignor Pell- Manliness - Motherhood - Man Made Climate Change.....no, that doesn't work.

Even so, that's a mighty list and if A E Housman were living here today he would be churning out scores of poems in praise of this heroic Australian.  Something like -

An Aussie Lad!

When from Mal to Tony preference turned
The Libs were in much pain.
From north to south,  no longer  spurned
They’re feeling strong again.

Look left, look right, their future’s bright,
As if no loss there’d been.
Tony will win next time, then plight
Our troth to the English Queen.

“God save the Queen” he’ll have us sing,
Our national song not  heard.
Even William could be our king,
Now he’s marrying that bird.

And when the flames of climate change
Burn Australian bush and sod,
Remember, Catholic friends of his
Will intercede with God.

Good girls who know their place a’right,
Whose mothers taught them brave
Will wait until their wedding night,
To do that thing all crave.

They’ll have sons like their fathers got;
Men like him, inspiring awe,
When bronzed and bared for photo shot,
Muscular, without a flaw.

Forget those doubts on policy
That’s a job for anyone.
Or if the party can’t agree.
He can do it, on the run.



Patricia WA

December 8. 2010 09:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

Speaking about Tony Abbott and his Foreign Affairs Shadow(of a human being, lol), Julie Bishop, did anyone else hear Abbott on the News tonight, when he said, "If I was Prime Minister"(in your dreams, Tony, and in our nightmares), "I certainly wouldn't have Kevin Rudd in my Cabinet." Well, apart from the fact that Kevin is a Labor politician, so that would make it virtually impossible for 'Toxic' to have him in his Cabinet, I think he forgot to take his latest line in yammering to its logical conclusion. That is, if not Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister, then...
  Which only leads to one conclusion about the quality of an Abbott Cabinet.

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 09:36 PM

Jason

FS,
  " That is, if not Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister, then..." well may you ask? Mirrabella,Bronny, on second thoughts I can't see much wrong with the burqua?

Jason

December 8. 2010 09:52 PM

NormanK

Patricia WA
Points awarded for sucking me in. I thought you'd been kidnapped by aliens but by the time I'd rustled up a posse the ship had landed and chucked you out. Thank-you for that poem and please take it as read how much I appreciate all of your poems. They really are wonderful.

FS
I hate it when you're right. Kerry O'Brien may have only had the Best Man instead of the Groom last night but what a disgraceful Boys Own Chucklefest it turned out to be. And as light and fluffy as some of your comments. "Light and fluffy?" Good Dog! Jason, what is the right term for that?
The intervention into the Rudd debate by Kurt Campbell, US Assistant Secretary of State was a welcome relief tonight and will no doubt dominate tomorrow's headlines. Or not. Abbott's comments may have had a bit of the shine taken off them.

NormanK

December 8. 2010 09:59 PM

Ad astra reply

Mobius Ecko
I think you are right when you say "I don't know what can be done to bring the MSM spotlight onto Abbott and make him and his opposition accountable for their statements and policies but at least I see a widespread online community doing it."  We just have to keep hacking away.  The MSM is aware of the blogosphere and although it despises much of it, it gets into defensive mode when attacked, which is a good sign that it is noticing and feeling the heat.

nasking
Thank you for the link to your article on Café Whispers which is absorbing reading.  The establishment hates exposure and will kill the messenger when the going gets too hot for it.

2353
Thank you for your kind comment.  Maybe people are tiring of Abbott’s whining, but you’d never know this from the MSM, which paints him largely in a positive light.

Patricia WA
Thank you for An Aussie Lad.

Folks
It’s been a long time on the road today – time for bed.

Ad astra reply

December 8. 2010 10:03 PM

Jason

NormanK,
       "Light and fluffy?" Good Dog! Jason, what is the right term for that?"
Liberal staffer I think you'll find!

      
      

Jason

December 8. 2010 10:48 PM

Feral Skeleton

'Light & Fluffy'=Christopher Pyne, doesn't it? Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 11:01 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        I,too was dismayed at the Chalk and Cheese difference between one night's interview and the next. Surely, Mr Kerry O'Superior Intellect knows that Turnbull will lay on the faux bonhomie in order to smarm and disarm journos?
   I mean, he was back to his worst again tonight in his interview with Kurt Campbell, constantly trying to put his words into Campbell's mouth about Kevin Rudd and what was said about him in the leaked cables. The most salient point, that no journo was smart enough, or willing, to point out, was that the cable in question was written after Kevin Rudd's election, but BEFORE the 2008 US Presidential election. That is, still in the time of George W.Bush, whilst his Ambassador and Consular staff were in Australia. Thus, the whole thing smells awfully fishy to me.
   Hence, if Kerry O'Brien was half the journalist he thinks he is, then he would have picked that point up for his audience's edification. Instead, all we got was kerry's mangy underdog stance(in his chair, if that makes any sense), as he conducted his interview, in order to lure the interviewee into agreeing with the line O'Brien was trying to reel him in on. Thankfully, Kurt Campbell is smarter than that. Which wouldn't be hard, really, to outwit the old dog, O'Brien. Problem is, O'Brien's been living in Mosman too long, with all the other condescending wan*ers.

Feral Skeleton

December 8. 2010 11:06 PM

Feral Skeleton

  A very smart take on the message that Wikileaks is sending us, if only we'd listen:
www.huffingtonpost.com/.../...w-sour_b_792213.html

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 01:14 AM

Jason

AA,
  Way Way of topic but the Mouth Mundine KO'd in the fifth against the fellow who won the TV show! YOU     Beauty!

Jason

December 9. 2010 08:22 AM

Ad astra reply

FS
Thank you for the Huff Post link – it’s salutary reading.

Jason
Perhaps the Mundine episode shows that even big ‘mouths’ can be silenced.

Folks
I'm getting on the road soon on the final leg of out trip.  I'll be back this evening.

Ad astra reply

December 9. 2010 08:25 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Anthony Mundine thinks he's all that and more, and he just isn't!
Anyway, Boxing is bad for your brain health. Frown

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 08:27 AM

Feral Skeleton

  I'm glad kevin Rudd is batting away the Gossip Politics reporters in the media who think that the storm in the teacup that is Wikileaks(well, the Oz end of it), is some big deal. It's not. Well, so far anyway.
   Also, where is the material from the Howard years?  Sounds of crickets chirping...
Stuff from when Kim Beazley was Oppositiion Leader, but nothing about Howard. Why?

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 09:48 AM

Feral Skeleton

Best comment of the day from someone who e-mailed into ABCBreakfast:
'Kevin Rudd may be a Control Freak, but he's our Control Freak.'  Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 10:40 AM

TalkTurkey

What does Tony Abbortt stand for?

PRIVILEGE

He stands for the Queen, God and Tony Abbortt.

In ascending order.

I often find myself thinking about something so trivial I can't help thinking, What a waste of brain space! I do think that of Abbortt. He is a simpleton, and really not worthy of our attention. The only problem is, birds of a feather flock together, and  there are many simpletons who want simple takes on things, and they are all entitled to vote.

For them, it's easy to explain things really: God made the world, and the Queen is the best way of ruling the plebs, and Tony Abbortt is anointed of God and Queen both to fight the good fight on behalf of the Right. Dog he makes me sick.

Yeah I don't really want to spend much time on Abbortt. A waste of space.

But he is going down, gradually it may be, but the whole Coalition NO program is wearing very thin and threadbare, they can keep yapping as much as they like, the more the better, but people are going to want more than Delenda! Delenda! Delenda! eventually. (delenda = destroy btw, in the language Dog prefers)

Here's a nice convertible 3 worder for Abbortt T-shirts:

Just
Say
NO!

For those who find it too complicated it can be abbreviated:

Say
NO!

And ultimately

NO!

**************************************************************************************

I love to see my gravatar come up now. (Narcissississist that I am!)Thanks for you kind words AA and others. Glad you like it, I do think our floral emblems are superb.

BTW NormanK, your gravatar if I'm correct is a Double Delight rose? If so I call 'em Triple Treats instead, 2 colours plus a perfume made in heaven, an argument for Dog if ever there was one. I gave one DD bush to some friends in Sydney who put me up and put up with me for a week or so, the rose has given them endless pleasure. Perhaps the nicest pressie I ever gave.

Reckon Broadband will ever be able to send scents by email? Boronia . . . Freesia . . . Daphne . . .  

*************************************************************************************

Light and fluffy Skelly? Yeah, about as light and fluffy as your gravatar's sword I'd say.  

TalkTurkey

December 9. 2010 10:51 AM

sawdustmick

Sorry Ad, this question required me to use too many of my limited brain cells so I will give it a miss. Happy Holidays to you and all the TPS contributors and keep up the good work.

SDM

sawdustmick

December 9. 2010 10:55 AM

Rx

Speaking of Tshirts, as Feral and Talk Turkey have been ... there are some very insightful and funny mock-up posters about what Abbott 'stands for' here:

http://www.tonyabbottisright.com/gallery.aspx

Rx

December 9. 2010 12:17 PM

nasking

Rx @ December 7. 2010 09:13 PM

Well said!

N'

nasking

December 9. 2010 12:19 PM

nasking

Best comment of the day from someone who e-mailed into ABCBreakfast:
'Kevin Rudd may be a Control Freak, but he's our Control Freak.'


Feral, I dug that too.

N'

nasking

December 9. 2010 01:19 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Yet another disclosure today about the Byzantinesque workings within those dysfunctional organisations known as Australian political parties. Up to six months prior to Rudd being pushed under a bus his 'friends' were issuing the usual "Kevin Rudd is our leader and he has our full support" statements. Little did Kev know that a plot was being hatched which would see him dumped.

I'll bet the yanks loved it when Arbib popped into the US Embassy for a cuppa and scones. "Anything interesting happen in the office today Mark?" At that point Arbib spilled his guts about the machinations going on in the ALP.

Ad Astra, do you still hold that belief that only the finest make it into politics?

Sir Ian Crisp

December 9. 2010 01:36 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I agree with most of what you say, and might I also add that AhhhBut also seems to me to be possessed of, if not a 'God Complex', then a Moses Complex. Listening to NewsRadio this morning, as the ABC feels compelled to report every brain fart that AhhBut gives out to the world, I heard a report of him from his latest Circus Tent/Caravan Sideshow and all-round Holy Roller Experience in Darwin yesterday(wonder if he's still dragging the missus around to 'soften' his appeal?). The ABC breathlessly reported 100-200 turned up, and they had a soundbite of AhhBut answering a question from the audience.
   Now, if anyone has been to darwin lately, they would know that there is an accomodation shortage. Hence the question from the audience about what would AhhBut do about it?
   Well, guess what? Tony has the solution!
   'Stop the Boats!'
   That's it!
   If you just 'Stop the Boats' there'll be less houses needed!
   Not, 'Have I got a Housing program for you!', like the ALP. With all the attendant jobs and infrastructure that would come with it. Nope, Tony is personally going to stand in Darwin Harbour with his hand outstretched, palm up, and, like Moses, he will 'Stop the Boats!'
   Not enough money in the kitty to pay for his wildly overblown(or, should that be 'Fly Blown'?), Paid Parental Leave Scheme?
   'Stop the Boats!'
   The surefire way to get out of 'Debt & Deficit'?
   'Stop the Boats!'
   Ah, it's so easy when you're a 'Policy Free Zone'. Smile
   (Just don't mention the Convicts).

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 02:03 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Here's Grog's final blog of the year:
grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../time-for-break.html

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 02:17 PM

2353

Thinking about this topic over the last few days I've realised that Abbott has mastered something in the past 12 months - the 30 second sound bite.  "Digestible" 30 second sound bites make it to the TV news (and are followed by the press) because the story editor doesn't have to think about where to cut it so it fits the TV News 3 minutes per story formula.

Next time you see him on TV observe the behaviour.  It's also probably why Abbott won't do the 7.30 Report as it's format is not suited to the 30 second answer - as demonstrated by Abbott and his "gospel truth" comments last time he did appear on the ABC.

2353

December 9. 2010 02:31 PM

adelaidegirl

Another interesting Radio National breakfast with Frank Elly interviewing Hugh White, whereupon Hugh speculated on the conversation between Kevin and Hilary re China, in which he invented a little dialogue between then in which she called him "little man"!  Man!  Frank did try and say that this was speculation, but not very convincingly.

adelaidegirl

December 9. 2010 03:30 PM

Grog

I actually gave Insiders a miss. Can't believe I missed the unveiling of the new slogans.

Liked Cassidy's response - "You're, not stopping the boats anymore?"

Grog

December 9. 2010 03:51 PM

Rx

Missed 'Onesiders', Grog? No loss. You'd have to be pretty hard up for entertainment to tune into the Liberal Luvvers session. Same goes for "News"Radio, for that matter. Half-hourly "updates" on Abbott and his brainfarts? - no, thank you very much, I'd rather listen to fingernails down a blackboard.

Rx

December 9. 2010 04:21 PM

Feral Skeleton

   However, when push came to shove, like a naughty little boy, 'Toxic' couldn't resist giving his Darwin audience one more "Stop the Boats!". Sad, pathetic little man.

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 04:38 PM

Feral Skeleton

adelaidegirl,
             That would be Hugh 'Of course there are Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq!' White. The very same Howard lickspittle(my word of the year Smile ), who used to front up repeatedly on The 7.30 Report with the Petit Bourgeoisie Coalition lickspittle host, Kerry O'Brien, and assorted other apologists for Howard's Iraq bloodlust, so that he could bitchily put down from on high, 'the mob', who were out in the streets trying to speak the truth to the anally-retentive camp followers, and so-called 'experts', such as Hugh White, to cool their jets and take another look at the 'evidence' they were basing their conclusions upon. As, goodness knows, Howard was certainly turning his deaf ear to us.
   That would be Hugh White, from the cosy little insiders club, that is the Canberra 'community' of Defence and Foreign Policy analysts, centred around the ANU, and in ASIS, the ONA, the DSD, and ASIO.
   The same Hugh White who was on ABC24, after his turn on 'Frank's' show this morning, retailing his bitchy insights to Melissa Clarke. Oh, but he's an 'expert', so we have to swallow whatever bilgewater he spews forth. Not that any of it has ever been correct. It sure has been Right, though.
   NormanK, that's why I don't trust Kerry O'Brien to do the right thing by his audience any more. I can still remember, as if it was yesterday, how he bent over forwards to facilitate Howard's drumbeat for War in Iraq. His stacked little panels, that were in no way sceptical or inquisatorial, but like the ABC quisling that he is, he was His Master's Voice.

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 04:40 PM

Patricia WA

Feral Skeleton, I'm wondering if you still have your doubts, perhaps not about the motives of Assange, but the value of his Wikileaks work right now.  My own sense is that his fans, mostly from the left, are kicking an own goal right now.  I read at Crikey.com just now that Murdoch with vocal support from Howard has decided to editorialise on his behalf!  At the same time of course they're exploiting the sex scandal for circulation and slanting their political take on the leaks to maximise damage for Labor here.  I know that Nasking at Cafe Whispers and I this once aren't quite singing from the same  song sheet, though of course he deplores the Australian's spin on the material.

Publish and Be Damned?

So, has Julian Assange
Begun to understand
How ‘freedom of the press’
Is now licence to oppress?
News Limited’s “The Times”
Is exploiting his crimes
As an alleged ‘raper.’
With every other paper
They own. These juicy bits
Will get millions of hits;
Does his Wikileaks fame
Give protection from shame?
Will what’s considered a crime
Not be thought one this time?
Is he really at fault
In this case of assault?
Can the Swedish vice squad
Nab this man who played God?
Any hope for this story
To be headlined with glory
By the heir of his hero,
Sir Keith, would be zero,
Except Rupert wants blood
From Obama and Rudd
In his media war
On all they stand for.
Assange should be wishing
All that dirt he’s been dishing
Was leaked – not from a democracy
But from the dark heart of Murdochracy.



Patricia WA

December 9. 2010 04:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

  These are the sort of Wikileaks I've been waiting for:
(which show the utter hypocrisy of the American government not repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' btw).
www.huffingtonpost.com/.../...hat-mi_n_793816.html

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 05:32 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

I would like to warn all people here at TPS to be very guarded in what you say because senator Arbib may be watching.

What I love about this leaking caper is that it confirms what I have been saying: Australian politicians are dysfunctional types without any redeeming features or characteristics whatsoever.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 9. 2010 06:25 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
As a medical man you know it is not good for your general well-being to suppress strong urges and you must eventually give in to the desire to profile Julie Bishop. I look forward to that particular volcano.

Feral Skeleton
Now we are seeing the true worth of Wikileaks, it's just a pity that we had to sit through so much gossip and unnecessary publication of dubious material. To be fair, the media houses responsible for putting some of this stuff into the mainstream have a lot to answer for with regard to public good.
I begin to see why you have such a set on KO'B but unfortunately the times you most recently referred to were 60-80 hour weeks for me (sucking at the government teat as an artsy-fartsy bludger) so I have no clear recollection of that period. Are we running a book on seeing Abbott tonight?
The link you provided to the Huff Post article and the Jay Rosen link which it contained certainly had some interesting comments attached as well as reasoned argument in the main body. If I never read "disconnect" (aaaarrgh) again it will be far too soon.
A bit like a poll question the four stances seem to be :
Unqualified support for Wikileaks.
Qualified support depending on public good.
Qualified condemnation depending on public good.
Unqualified condemnation.

TalkTurkey
Its lovely to see your Gravatar come up. Yes, mine is currently Double Delight. I get bored easily (ADD) so my image will change quite often.

Mark Arbib - light & fluffy? Mmmmm.

NormanK

December 9. 2010 08:22 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
We're back home on the Victorian south coast after a long trip from Boydtown near Eden,  So I'm going to leave responses to your comments until tomorrow.

Ad astra reply

December 9. 2010 08:54 PM

TalkTurkey

NormanK
Ranga . . . ADD . . . You're not a mollydooker like me too?

Rx re that Dec 7 post of yours, I think, like Nasking, you got Abbortt dead to rights. Well sprayed!

Lyn We miss you every day.

The other Swordsfolks are keeping the Sword burnished though.

****************************************************************************

They say it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. I think poor Julian Assange has been a Dogsend for political bloggers, Aussies in particular since the federal politics finally went off the boil. But I'm truly sad and worried for Assange, and pretty suspicious of how the MSM will use the issue to try to limit the Internet. There's the rub. PatriciaWA is right, there could be serious crackdowns by the Right in the future, but in any case I don't see how We can avoid a full-on battle over the issue. It might well be a defining moment in freedom of speech.

I have wondered how far one might have to go to call down a charge of SEDITION on one's head, (didn't sedition get a sabre-rattling from Howard a few years ago?) I'm a bit tempted to actually try taunting THEM somehow, but the Chaser boys pretty well gazzumped anything I might be game to do. Seems to me Freedom closes in like shrinkwrap when people don't constantly push the envelope in all directions, it must be fought for to begin with and it is always in the interest of the Right to reduce freedoms. They know now they can't stop the NBN (or the WBN for that matter) but they are obviously not going to roll over, they will try every way to turn it to their own nefarious purposes.  

TalkTurkey

December 9. 2010 08:54 PM

Feral Skeleton

PatriciaWA,
           The Murdochracy are dirty, double-dealing pond scum. So what's new? Their enemy, as you say, are social democrats. Assange is but a pawn in their larger game, which is to turn the world Conservative blue, or, as Janet Albrectson hopefully opined, to the point where, "We're all Conservatives now." They will stop at nothing to enable their corporate plutocracy to prevail over egalitarianism and the 'Fair Go'.
   Sadly, it seems, Assange has been blinded by a devotion to one Murdoch, whilst being taken advantage of by another. Actually, what I find interesting here is how someone from Assange's generation has bought the Gallipoli myth that Howard retailed for the dozen years he was in government. That is, Assange hasn't cleaved to the futility of war angle, that Gallipoli was a glaring example of, or the abuse of the plebs as cannon fodder for the aristocrats. Instead he has taken the angle of defending and supporting the 'Brave Diggers'...who were cannon fodder for the British aristos...and taken sides with Keith Murdoch who exposed the situation they were in. Whilst not mentioning the futility of the war they were in. That is, he has taken the Howard line that the First World War was a just war to fight, and solving problems militarily is the way to go. When, instead, it was a war, for the Aristos, by the Aristos, and Australians, as part of the Empire, had no choice but to go and lay their bodies on the line for these people.
   Anyway, as Psyops, it's working perfectly. Assange, as the Golden-haired boy defending the right to Free Speech, actually acting as the conduit to both destroy governments of the Centre Left, and finally enable stricter control by governments of the internet.
   No wonder Murdoch and Howard support Assange to the hilt. They couldn't have hoped for a better perfect storm.

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 08:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        Looks like, as PatriciaWA correctly predicted, Abbott slipped the Kerry O'Brien, final week dragnet. Without a word of condemnation from Kerry.
   Abbott is practising the Sarah Palin method. Only do the media you want to do and can control.

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 08:59 PM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
              Another pointless interjection from you. Ho hum. Rather obvious as well. I think you might be losing your touch.

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 09:06 PM

NormanK

Leigh Sales and Chris Uhlmann ... aaaaaaaaagggghhhhh!!!!

NormanK

December 9. 2010 09:21 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        I know, I know. Leigh Sales, or 'Miss Prissy' as I have nicknamed her.
Also, Chris Uhlmann, who is a close runner-up to Abbott when it comes to inserting Biblical references into his work.
   One interesting thing happened tonight. As per usual, after K O'B signed off I rabbited on about how biased he had become. My eldest son would have none of it. He said that, "Isn't it true that Liberal supporters say Kerry O'Brien favours the Labor Party? And you say he favours the Liberal Party. Therefore that must mean that he is actually pretty balanced".
   Oh boy.

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 09:38 PM

Michael

Tony Abbott stands for the national anthem of the United Kingdom. The rest is silence.

Michael

December 9. 2010 09:46 PM

Rx

Abbott is practising the Sarah Palin method. Only do the media you want to do and can control.

He'll be a weekly if not nightly fixture when Uhlmann slips into the chair.

Rx

December 9. 2010 10:27 PM

Feral Skeleton

Rx,
   They can exchange Alter Boy stories. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 10:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Come back Andrew Olle, Matt Price and Richard Carleton, all is forgiven.

Feral Skeleton

December 9. 2010 11:10 PM

NormanK

the Sarah Palin method - that's conjugal sex in the presence of a Mama grizzly bear isn't it? Nothing like a bit of encouragement to get it over and done with. "God said I had to procreate but He didn't say that I had to like it."
I imagine we'll have plenty of opportunity to dissect Uhlmann in the months ahead. To date I haven't got past supercilious, condescending, puritanical and fiercely ambitious but I'm confident that I can find something to dislike about him.
Miss Prissy - do you think she'd let me clean the blackboards?
What a truly wonderful surprise it would be if they both turned out to be competent in their new roles.
Breath, do not expect to be held.

On a more serious note, since it was me who recently criticised SBS news over their handling of "factional war breaking out in the ALP over nuclear power", I'd have to say that it has been a one-of. Their treatment of Rudd/Wikileaks/China was quite fair in my opinion and even tonight they didn't pursue the negative angle of the Arbib thing too far. Dolly Downer to the rescue. I bet he's quaking in his stilettos.

NormanK

December 10. 2010 09:05 AM

2353

SIC said  "I would like to warn all people here at TPS to be very guarded in what you say because senator Arbib may be watching.

What I love about this leaking caper is that it confirms what I have been saying: Australian politicians are dysfunctional types without any redeeming features or characteristics whatsoever.
"

Not only Senator Arbib but his pair in the LNP as well.  You can't tell me the US Government hasn't "infiltrated" the party of Bush's "Man of Steel".

However your 2nd paragraph is probably the first thing I've ever seen you write that I vould agree with.

2353

December 10. 2010 09:50 AM

TalkTurkey

Oh Oh Oh o'Brien. He got the gong but thank Dog he's gone. A disgrace to red hair.

**************************************************************************************

Are the leaked documents only from the last few years? I've seen nothing to incriminate anybody of the Right, well nothing to incriminate anybody really but nothing to even reflect on, like, Downer and Howard.

Or are the leaked documents pre-pre-filtered? Whence and from whom come these records? What is their scope? Why aren't we finding out more about the whole lot? Who's controlling their release? What's the story really?

As I said at the time, Julia shouldna been such an precipitate loudmouth on Assange.
Bloody redheads, fiery tempers . . . (It's a myth . . . I think) . . . but I think she called it 'way wrong. Rudd is handling his exposure very sagely, and firmly too. Julian Burnside, Geoffrey Robertson, (?Michael Kirby?), it's reassuring to have real legal gravitas to support one's initial view. The Government should at least offer Assange assured asylum in Australia, he is an Australian citizen, and the rights of ALL Australian citizens overseas, druggies and child molesters and all, should be defended by the Australian Government. Even if the Government wants any prosecution of Australian nationals to go ahead, it is its responsibility to see that the procedure accords with Australian notions of legal procedure.  

We really do have an interest in this issue, not just for Assange, nor just for the content of the information he has revealed, but for the future of FOI on the Internet.

TalkTurkey

December 10. 2010 10:46 AM

BH

AA - I will reread again over the holidays.  With FS's piece on Gillard and now this one you've both given us a lot to dwell on ready for the onslaught again in 2011.]

Have a relaxing Christmas and New Year.  Cheers to all

BH

December 10. 2010 11:08 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
There has been so much interesting dialogue while I have been in transit that I will need to be selective about the items upon which I comment.

Sir Ian
I don’t recall saying that I believed that only the finest make it into politics; what I have often said is that I believe that most politicians, certainly at a federal level, enter politics hoping to make a positive difference to our nation.  I believe they have good intent, but that is sometimes perverted by adversarial politics, and in some instances self-interest, incompetence and corruption.  We live in an imperfect world.  But I cannot go to the extreme position you take – “Australian politicians are dysfunctional types without any redeeming features or characteristics whatsoever.”

If you are right and I am wrong, what value is there for any of us attending to politics at all?  The ‘types’ you describe would not be amenable to any contrary opinion or view; they would be immune to any suggestions for change, unwilling to do other than what they always intended to do.  Political discourse would be useless; the direction of the ship of state could never be changed, except at election time.  Political commentators in the Fourth and the Fifth Estates would be redundant, except at election time.  Day by day blogs would be valueless.  

I cannot accept that nihilistic attitude to politics and politicians.  The evidence is that no matter how inept some may be, they do notice what people say and write, and do change.  The Political Sword continues on the assumption that this is so.  What astonishes me is that you continue to comment here when you hold such extremely skeptical views about the political system.  What’s the point?

Ad astra reply

December 10. 2010 11:36 AM

Ad astra reply

Rx, Patricia WA, FS, NormanK, TT
The Walkley Awards give us insight into what the journalistic world values: leaks (Laurie Oakes and WikiLeaks style), abrading senior politicians (Kerry O’Brien vs Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott), and in some instances, fine documentaries.

What the future holds with Leigh Sales and Chris Uhlmann on 7.30 remains to be seen.  It seems to me that groupthink and journalistic competition demands that newcomers be as ‘hairy-chested’ as their predecessors; so we may see more of the same.  It’s a pity the vicious circle of abrasive interviews, which in turn cause politicians to be defensive and evasive, seems unlikely to be broken.  Why can’t we have more of the Hugh Riminton approach where courteous interviewing engenders informative statements from politicians? Interviews don’t have to be gladiatorial contests – it’s information and opinion we want, not a fight to entertain the audience where the winner takes all.

Ad astra reply

December 10. 2010 12:51 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, I am in search of a drug that can be used by dentists, doctors, surgeons and other people who need an easy to administer drug that puts people into a trance and while in that trance they feel no pain...they suspend hurt and agony...they are impervious to things which would otherwise present pain and fear. People who are enamored by our politicians and our political 'system' are people who have found this new drug. I am trying to discover what it is.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 10. 2010 12:58 PM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
You still have not answered my question - why do you bother following politics and commenting on it?  Clearly you have not discovered the mind-numbing drug that would anaesthetise the pain politicians give you, so why not remove yourself from the source of the pain by ignoring politics?

Ad astra reply

December 10. 2010 02:41 PM

Rx

Ad Astra,

I'm cynical about Uhlmann's appointment to the 7.30 Report. The perennial, hidebound critics of the ABC from the right will claim that because his wife is a Labor MP he naturally favours Labor, which will be his (and the right wing critics') escape clause for the bias I'm expecting he'll continue to show in favour of Abbott and the Coalition.

Worsening times ahead for the national broadcaster, as the core justification for its existence - news and current affairs - continues to be deligitimised by bias and humbug. Howard's stacking of the Board of Directors with right wing wreckers was like putting a plague of Draculas in charge of the blood bank. And you can bet he knew full well what the upshot of that action would be (and we're seeing it now): the slow degradation of the ABC's credibility, going hand-in-hand with the erosion of public support for it as an organisation. 'How to Whiteant a Priceless Cultural Institution To Which You Are Opposed on Ideological Grounds' - that stinker Howard wrote the book.

Rx

December 10. 2010 04:40 PM

Gravel

Ad Astra

You have hit the nail on the head with regards to 'journalists' and 'journalism'.  After the outing of Grog we all hoped that it may get better but if anything it has got worse.

TalkTurkey

I have just received the copy of Brucie the Bilby, it is just wonderful, I totally recommend it to all who visit here on The Political Sword.

Gravel

December 10. 2010 04:51 PM

NormanK

I meant to post this the other day. An article on Grog.
http://www.citynews.com.au/

NormanK

December 10. 2010 05:15 PM

nasking

Tony is personally going to stand in Darwin Harbour with his hand outstretched, palm up, and, like Moses, he will 'Stop the Boats!'

LOL. Feral, what an image! Be funny to watch a boat sail straight over him. He stands up in the water, drenched...tryin' to speak but lookin' more like a water fountain...a fish emergin' from his gob...a miracle offerin' for his flock perhaps?

BTW, Patricia & Feral...as for Assange...I think he chose to send that piece to The Australian because the Murdoch empire had been so tough on him and he knew they couldn't resist the exposure...especially mentionin' Keith Murdoch. Nice touch.

If he & WikiLeaks were in w/ the Murdoch types then why would most of the leaks go to Fairfax, Reuters & The Guardian?

I'm not discountin' yer theory...it's quite possible this stuff will be used to screw over nought but the Left of politics (if ya can call them that these days)...and yes, I'd like to see more on the Oz Libs & Republicans (it is a bit odd that we've seen stuff all considerin' the years of cables they apparently have)...but I'm thrilled that at least people are gettin' a renewed interest in global affairs...and some who had little or none before.

Enjoyed yer poem Patricia. As ever.

Shame we didn't see Abbott front up to 7:30 Report...turns out he was the chook we thought. Afraid of Kerry. And his own mouth.

Oh Feral, I noticed you were on the Cafe's Summer 3 music blog yesterday...unfortunately I didn't have my wife's laptop to access it (my computer doesn't accept too many vids)...I'll check it out tonite. Enjoy yer contribution. You know a great deal of music. Good stuff!

Best to Ad astra & the rest of the contributors on here. Have a chillaxing time. Smile

N'





nasking

December 10. 2010 05:54 PM

Feral Skeleton

   It's almost enough to make you believe in God, almost, but not quite. That is, was 'He' protecting 'Us' when he organised for another 'Abbott' in the Northern Territory, to come along and stand for the CLP in Solomon, and draw Tony Abbott into an act that would see him expose himself as unfit for high office, again, and see him fall short by this one seat in realising his dream of becoming Prime Minister? Read on:

   'Terry Mills -- a politically dead man walking trashes his own brand
Bob Gosford, blogger at The Northern Myth, writes:

Terry Mills is undoubtedly a nice bloke. But in the Northern Territory, as elsewhere, nice isn’t enough and Mills won’t be leading the NT opposition Country Liberal Party at the next general elections due by August 2012.

And his party knows it -- as one of his backbenchers told me in Darwin last week, Mills is a political "dead man walking". That he will be "knocked" is a matter of when, not if.

Two years ago Terry Mills and the CLP were on a roll. At the August 2008 NT election, Mills led a resurgent CLP back from the political wilderness to take six seats off Labor and come within a few hundred votes of a hung parliament. With four years to the next election and an ordinary-at-best Labor government riven with internal dramas, Mills and the CLP looked set to seize power sooner rather than later.

But over the next year, Mills couldn’t lay any wood on Labor and he and the CLP were little more than spectators while Labor tore itself apart in the crisis of mid-2009 that left a hapless Paul Henderson as leader of a minority government held together with string and gaffer tape and a fragile deal with ex-chook farmer and independent MLA but-don’t-call-me-a-kingmaker Gerry Wood.

But the CLP let Labor off the hook. The Henderson-Woods deal is now stronger that ever and it is the CLP that is suffering its own very public leadership crisis.

The latest miserable chapter in Mills’ political decline has its roots in the March 2010 pre-selection of Leo Abbott as the CLP’s candidate for the federal seat of Lingiari, held by Labor minister Warren Snowdon. Abbott’s candidacy was a rolling train wreck for the CLP.

On Friday August 13, one week before the election, the NT News revealed what was at the time an open secret in Alice Springs -- that in December 2009 Abbott had entered a guilty plea in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court to a breach of a domestic violence order. Following these revelations Mills, backed by Tony Abbott and the CLP’s successful candidate for Solomon, Natasha Griggs, called for Leo Abbott to be disendorsed as candidate for Lingiari.

But the call by Mills and others for Leo Abbott to be dumped got him well offside with the CLP’s executive wing, and more importantly the Alice Springs rump of the party, both of whom supported Abbott’s candidacy.

I interviewed Terry Mills a few days after the NT News broke the Abbott DVO story. He stood by his call for Leo Abbott to be disendorsed and threw out a challenge to his party: "…there was an order of the court and that order was breached. Full stop. That should have been the end of the matter … [A]nd I would never compromise that. I can’t devalue my currency... Someone is going to have to change here and it is not me."

What we now know is that two days before Mills spoke to me he had a conversation with Leo Abbott on substantially different terms.

In mid-November the Alice Springs News ran a brief piece based on information from "well informed sources" that alleged Mills and federal opposition leader Tony Abbott had offered Leo Abbott a government job if he withdrew his candidacy. This offer was, of course, conditional on the Liberal Party winning the federal election.

It soon got worse for Mills, with rumours circulating about a transcript of a telephone conversation between Abbott and Mills in the lead-up to an urgent meeting of the CLP executive on the weekend of August 14-15 to reconsider Abbott’s candidacy.

Yesterday Tony Abbott told the ABC in Darwin that he "had no involvement in this matter". Leo Abbott has said nothing.

And Terry Mills -- for reasons that have just about everyone scratching their heads in wonder and amazement -- kept schtum rather than just saying "Yeah, we offered him a job. So what?"

While Mills stood mute, Labor made merry hell with the issue, first inviting an investigation by the Australian Electoral Commission into possible breaches of federal election law and running fast and loose with speculation about Mills’ political competence and increasingly tenuous grip on the CLP leadership.

A week ago the NT News published what Mills has begrudgingly accepted as an accurate version of his conversation with Leo Abbott. That transcript records Mills telling Abbott that:

    "If you were to step aside ... and then we would come out then, completely in support of you, and say there was nothing to this. This man's good name has been brought low as a result of the dirty tactics of Labor. Now, just bear with me on this. You withdraw. We reinforce your good name and say that is more important than anything...

    "I have polling that shows that Tony Abbott is within reach of winning government. But we have to win Solomon...

    "There are 17 seats and they reckon they are all now in play if we can win Solomon. And Tony Abbott is then the Prime Minister. Tony Abbott says he can't be part of this and he can't condone it in any way. So you got an issue there. However, I have it.

    "I have his word that if he be (sic) the Prime Minister, we will be in a strong position to look after you. In any event, secondly, by having a tactical retreat at this point, your good name being protected."

Feral Skeleton

December 10. 2010 06:25 PM

Miglo

NormanK, thanks for the link to the story about Grog.  I fell off my chair when I saw that he lives in the same suburb as me.  And now that I know what he looks like I'll keep an eye out for him at the local supermarkets.  I'm sure he wouldn't mind a chat.

The article also reminded me of the issue of public servants blogging/reading blogs, especially in working hours.

Many public servants probably do this as part of their jobs.  Looking at reader's comments to news articles or reading blog sites are useful in gauging public opinion to proposed policy changes or government initiatives.  These are public forums that unwittingly provide the government with community feedback.

I have known of initiatives being abandoned well before their intended implication purely because of the online reaction.

Miglo

December 10. 2010 06:39 PM

jj

Great selective quoting, AA, glad you are not an actual journo.

Nobody knew/knows what Kevin Rudd stood for (i have looked through all of his speeches and then have compared his words with his actions and i am perplexed)

Nobody knows what Julia Gillard stands for... what is she, a trade unionist, a left winger, a pragmatist, or a right winger?
She believes in climate change and yet she opposes the governments stand to do anything about it.
She believes in greater equality...helping the poor, and yet she opposes pension increases?
She believes in, "letting the sun shine in" and yet she tries to prevent any attempts for there to be proper scrutiny had of the biggest infrastructure project in the nations history.
She believes in a great education, and yet she is failing to create a workable national curriculum.
She believes in off-shore processing, as long as it is not on Nauru.
She says she has plans for a regional processing center, but cant yet tell us what she defines as our region (the catchment for the center)
WHAT DOES JULIA GILLARD STAND FOR!
You really would have thought that if she wanted to take over the reigns of the Labor leadership she would have had some big policy reasons for doing so?

jj

December 10. 2010 08:17 PM

jj

i see you have all been going on about how biased the 7:30 report is towards the coalition and that things are only going to get worse under the new hosts, i wonder, could you please tell me who you think would be better suited?
Leigh has done a terrific job on Lateline. Can you please point to where, or why she has ever lent towards the conservative side of politics?
Can you give me an example of where Chris Uhlmann has been subjective in his interviews?

You seem to make all of these generalized statements that the ABC is a conservative broadcaster, that The Oz is biased towards the coalition (actually you claim that all News Limited media), that the seven o'clock ABC news always favors the Liberal party; and yet you never have anything to back your claims up.

To most of you the only good journo is a Labor loving journo (David Marr for instance)

jj

December 10. 2010 08:49 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

I'd like to see Uncle Phil host the 7:30 Report.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 10. 2010 08:50 PM

Feral Skeleton

Nas,
    Thankx for the kind words. Smile
I'll suspend judgement about the Murdoch/Assange 'Alliance' until the whole saga has played out. Which could take some time yet, of course.

Feral Skeleton

December 10. 2010 09:00 PM

Ad astra reply

jj
You are predictable.  You say Nobody knows what Julia Gillard stands for.   Wrong.  I do and I quoted several speeches she has made to back that.  Others too know what she stands for - read their comments.  You don't because you don't want to know.  You put up straw men so you can knock them down.  Look at your list - straw men for jj to knock.  Please favour us with some evidence to support your assertions.  For example you say She believes in a great education, and yet she is failing to create a workable national curriculum.  Show us how she is ...failing to create a workable national curriculum.  Let's have some substance instead of hot air.

Ad astra reply

December 10. 2010 09:05 PM

2353

JJ,

Howard believed in a "relaxed and comfortable Australia" yet presided over Workchoices (which like it or not caused a considerable amount of grief and trauma to a lot of Australians), sent Australians to war and treated refugees that arrived here by boat rather than 747 as sub-human.  And don't get me started on Abbott and his 30 second sound bites, "gospel truth" comments, peusdo-religious practices while advocating treatment of the poor and homeless on lesser term than others in our society and so on.

Contradictions can be identified on their opponents by both red and blue tribes.  They are not arguments that may demonstrate to others the need to change their opinions.  In short - they mean nothing.  Some time ago I suggested that you and SIC needed to come up with reasons and justifications for a number of contributors to TPS to (in your view) see the errors of their ways.  Clearly neither of you have done that, or in my view, even made an attempt to do so.  My hope for this blog in 2011 is that both of you actually contribute to the discussion instead of taking cheap shots or playing the person such as the "contributions" of yourself and SIC on this thread.

2353

December 10. 2010 09:07 PM

Feral Skeleton

Migs,
      Canberra IS one big suburb that all you Public Servants live in together. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 10. 2010 09:40 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

2353, read the banner at the top of the page. It says:

The Political Sword
For putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword

Before you take yourself too seriously you should know that the game here is to make observations both real and imagined. Sometimes people might tether their comments to reasons and justifications even though they be mere chimeras. Not all of us are drawn into their fantasy world and we remain free to post our observations and comments.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 11. 2010 12:21 AM

Jason

jj,
  So come near the end of the year? Your like Mundine! Promise the world! deliver an Atlas Yawn! If Talk turkey can out him self and I have never had a problem with who I am!
Whats yours?

Jason

December 11. 2010 12:33 AM

Acerbic Conehead

AA, that was a very courageous attempt to discover the “vision” of Tony Abbott.  You have shown that it is as tangible as a will o’ the wisp.  Your quest also reminded me of the resurrection story when the visitors to the empty tomb were asked, “why do you seek the living among the dead?”  Anyway, I believe that Tones’ vision is a combination of what’s in it for him, and what’s in it for the class which he champions.  A lot like his mentor, John Howard, to whom he still looks up to, even though he claims he is not his “identikit”.  Here is Tones singing his hymn to the things that matter.  It’s to the melodies of the Ben E King classic, “Stand by me”.
www.youtube.com/watch
:- )
When daylight has come, and no longer dark
And the sleep-walkers have found the light to see
No, I won't be afraid, oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
So Johnny, Johnny, stand by me
Oh stand by me
Oh stand, stand by me, stand by me
:- )
If the Indos see the light, and ensure Gillard’s fall
And to Kirribilli’s door, I’m given the key
I won't cry, I won't cry, no, I won't shed a tear
Cos then I’ll be able to pay my mortgage fee
So Johnny, Johnny, stand by me
Oh stand by me
Whoa stand now, stand by me, stand by me
:- )
If the lot of those we look down upon should tumble and fall
When we resurrect WorkChoices with glee
I won't cry, I won't cry, no, I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
And Johnny, Johnny, stand by me
Oh stand by me
Whoa stand now, stand by me, stand by me
:- )
If the shills at the Oz should continue with their spin
And their parrots flap their gums at Their ABC
I won't cry, I won't cry, no, I won't shed a tear
Cos they will always stand, stand by me
So Johnny, Johnny stand by me
Oh stand by me

Acerbic Conehead

December 11. 2010 12:38 AM

Acerbic Conehead

Yeah!!!  Got the ton!!!

Acerbic Conehead

December 11. 2010 10:06 AM

Gravel

AC

You have triumphed again with your wit, it was wonderful.

Feral

Thanks for that link on Grog, it was a great read.

Gravel

December 11. 2010 01:59 PM

Ad astra reply

AC
Thank you for yet another delightful piece of verse.  Tony Abbott and John Howard have had a close relationship for a long time – Abbott was Howard’s attack dog for years, so Howard will always ‘stand by him’.  It’s almost like Howard sees Abbott as a continuation of the Howard dynasty.

Sir Ian
I think I now understand your approach to TPS.  Your cynicism about politics and politicians seems to extend to those of us who comment about them.  You see our attempts at assembling facts and using logical reasoning as ‘mere chimeras’.  You imply that we indulge in impossible, foolish or hard-to-believe fantasies.  While you see what we write as drawn from our fantasy world, you feel free to post your observations and comments, presumably without the need to resort to factual evidence or logical reasoning to support them.  Perhaps your comments are from your fantasy world.  Or is it just our comments that are from ours?

Ad astra reply

December 11. 2010 02:08 PM

Feral Skeleton

Bleedin' Liberal, or 'LNP' politicians, they're like bleedin' cockroaches. When the light shines on them they scurry away into the shadows, and when they think the coast is clear, up they pop again to try and eat our lunch leftovers and regurgitate their excreta all over our property.
   And so it has come to pass that we see another one of them coming out of the hole he had scurried into after having been defeated in the 2007 election because, as I said before, 'They Don't Know the Meaning of Wrong'. Yes, it's Mal 'Practice' Brough, who didn't know a pork barrel that he couldn't get his chompers into. It's not enough that the electors of Longman have repudiated him, as did the electors of Bennelong repudiate John Howard in 2007. No, for the Conservatives of the world these days all that is merely a 'bump in the road'. Of course you know that in the Stockholm Syndrome that manifests itself as politics in the 21st century, wherein you just beat people about the head until they give in and realise the error of their ways and vote for you, the Conservatives are kings and queens.
   I mean, you just have to look here in Australia at the 'Seconds' that are being served up as supposed viable alternatives to Labor. Tony Abbott being chief amongst them.
He has a litany of mistakes and political faux pas that would normally see anyone else laughed out of the building. Same with Joe Hockey, Peter Dutton, Julie Bishop, and the list goes on. However, what he does have is that relentless drive and self-belief, backed up with a bunch of backroom, 'Take No Prisoners' political operatives who craft soundbites like they are going out of fashion, plus, as I showed above, are willing to do 'Whatever It Takes' behind the scenes to stitch together a victory.
   And the Queen, of course, is Sarah Palin. The biggest, most devious, most exploitatative and manipulative politician and expert user of the tools of propaganda available to her, and her backers, since that guy back in the 1930s in Germany.

Feral Skeleton

December 11. 2010 03:41 PM

Gravel

I have just read Andrew Elders blog post about the relationship between journalists and politicians, and I hope I'm doing the link right, if I've done it wrong can someone help please it is really worth a read.  It explains why the 'journalists' can't see anything wrong with what Abbott is doing.

http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/

Gravel

December 11. 2010 06:38 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Thanks Gravel and AA, glad you enjoyed it.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend and, I'm sure you're lurking, lyn, so STOP THE BLUDGING!!!! lol

Acerbic Conehead

December 11. 2010 06:54 PM

Feral Skeleton

Gravel,
        Huzzah! You did it! Perfect link. lyn will be jealous! Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 11. 2010 08:45 PM

Ad astra reply

Gravel
Thank you for the link to Andrew Elder's fascinating piece on political journalism, past and present: andrewelder.blogspot.com/.../...n-if-you-want.html

In his piece there was a link to Tim Dunlop's informative piece A brief history of how new media is transforming old media on The Drum Unleashed dated 10 December 2010. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42018.html  This too is well worth a read.  

Both are so good that I've filed them for future reference.

Ad astra reply

December 11. 2010 09:33 PM

Feral Skeleton

Gravel,
       Thank you from me also. Smile
Andrew's correct when he says that we of the 5th Estate are often better at doing what the journalists are supposed to be doing.
   Maybe it's because our blog guru's are benevolent Buddha's, as opposed to newspaper editors who seem to be close relatives of Tyranosaurus Rex!

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 08:41 AM

Gravel

Well I'm glad that link worked.  Lyn has no worries about her position of head linker, as it was raining here and I was bored I was surfing around and somehow stumbled on Andrew Elder and as it was very pertinent to what most of us has been saying and wondering about, it seemed to have a few answers.

I also read Tim Dunlop's article, I have followed Tim after I discovered blogs and read as much as I can find of his writings, although I don't respond because of nasty responses from some of the commenters.  

I hope TalkTurkey is okay, this seems to be the longest time he has been missing?  Hopefully he is just partying like most people are.

Gravel

December 12. 2010 09:25 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
True to form, even before Wayne Swan has announced his banking reform package, Tiny Abbott has declared it as ‘window dressing’, says he has no confidence in what the Government intends to propose because the banks have never taken any notice of what Wayne Swan has said, and that, sight unseen, the reform is another instance of ‘all talk no action’.

It is yet another example of Coalition negativity, which now extends to condemning any proposal before it has been announced.  It sounds like Joe Hockey’s ‘Labor will never bring in a surplus budget’.  Such dazzling predictive ability, such capacity to divine the future, such genius to be able see things that are as yet invisible, ought to be bottled.  It would sell well among businessmen and climate scientists.

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 09:38 AM

TalkTurkey

Gravel,
Yes I did write a biggish pome but it was anti-religious enough that I sought the advice of wiser heads than my own, and considering that it's Ad's blog not mine, and considering too such unearthly delights as Fatwahs and Mossad and Neo-Cons, I decided to withhold it. It pains me to wimp out of public criticism of religion, which imo deserves a spray to rate with Hercules' diversion of the River Alphaeus to flush the Aegeian Stables, but when insanity of the religious extremist fundamentalist stamp enters considerations, and other people may end up victims of my trenchant criticisms, I have to rethink.  

I do reckon religion is altogether too influential in politics, no that's not strident enough, it's frightful how it is increasingly dominating the legitimate political scene worldwide, including Australia thanks to Abbortt and his ilk. Politics is supposed to be secular, h'mph, it is now driven by religious zealotry, whose advances are unapologetic and intractable, and hateful to me and those who love rational thought, but oh well what do we do. Rail against it, anyway.

But Gravel, thanks for your concern but they ain't got me yet.
Thanks too to the two wise heads whose replies I gratefully acknowledge.  

TalkTurkey

December 12. 2010 10:15 AM

Patricia WA

I loved AC's lyrics too.  Tony Abbott seems to have a lot of currently powerful friends standing by him quite apart from old Has-been Howard.  How on earth did he get away with not appearing on one of Kerry O'Brien's  final interviews in response to Julia Gillard.  And without comment too!   In retrospect, and watching that reprise of O'Brien's career on Friday I wonder if he too hasn't been subject to undue pressure from powerful friends of the right. He can't have joined them?  Though surely he has the stature to object and object strongly!  Of course turning to Malcolm Turnbull to reply may well have been as effective an objection he could make since that surely must have been one in the eye for Abbott.

Who knows?   I'm still perplexed.


PS TT - Glad to see your 'biggish pome' was only withheld and that it will see the light another time you feel is appropriate.  My experience is that some things we write in the heat of a particular situation, but put aside for whatever reason,  will emerge later having evolved into something of even more significance.

Patricia WA

December 12. 2010 10:26 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

FS, don't take yourself too seriously. Unlike the famous housewife from Moonee Ponds fame still remains elusive for you.

Ad Astra, I did notice that Mr Um Err Ahh tipped a bucket of cold water over Mr Swan's planned "Let's get tough with Banks" speech. Mr Um Err Ahh is paid to be oppugnant and he did remind us that Mr Swan has been angry with the banks about 28 times since he became treasurer. I don't know what the level of Mr Swan's anger was; perhaps 'stomping his feet' angry or maybe a mild case of 'putting on my angry face' but whatever it was it hasn't worked with the bankers. When will these changes take place? We are told that June 1 next year is the start date. What about December the 13th 2010?

Sir Ian Crisp

December 12. 2010 10:46 AM

Patricia WA

PS to my comment on Kerry O'Brien and further to my pome on the 'ageing lion' syndrome evident in this 'broadcasting legend.'  One wonders just how much negotiation there was around his retirement from his so powerful and pivotal spot on the daily 7.30 Report and transition to 'respected elder of the fourth estate' and weekly presenter of Four Corners status.  His age might have seemed to him a huge disadvantage if there were indeed major issues between him and ABC management in this last year.

Quite a few of us would have 'been there and done that' in our time!

Patricia WA

December 12. 2010 10:54 AM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
I see you've joined the Abbott Club for Preemptive Unmitigated Negativity.  Why don't you wait to see what Wayne Swan says before passing judgement?

BTW, I'm still waiting to your response to my query in my last reply to a post of yours: "Perhaps your comments are from your fantasy world.  Or is it just our comments that are from ours?"

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 11:15 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Let’s have some predictive amusement guessing what Tiny Abbott will say about Wayne Swan’s banking package when it is announced.  Some are already extant:
It’s just window dressing
It’s too little too late
Why did it take 37 angry remarks to the banks from Wayne Swan before he acted?
The Opposition has been calling for this for years
It’s just a copy of Joe Hockey’s proposal but not as sound or comprehensive
Just more talk, but there will be no action
It won’t come into play for six months
The Government will make a mess of implementing this reform as it always does
This will be just another pink batts debacle
The most incompetent government in Australia’s history is incapable of administering reform
I have no confidence that this Government is capable of implementing this package
The reforms won’t make any difference
The banks will laugh at this Government attempt to get tough.

On the other hand he may say:
The Coalition welcomes this well thought-through and timely reform and will give it full support. (But beware of flying pigs).

You may wish to add to the list.

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 11:18 AM

TalkTurkey

"Oppugnant" eh?
Brilliant word!
One I think I'd
Never heard!
Limpy, seems you and I share it:
That Oppugnant cap, we wear it!

But I wear mine only in reaction to (*) behaviour and attitudes - as yours usually are.

BTW Swordsfolks, (*) is a pictograph, the brackets are cheeks! Just in case you hadn't realized . . .

Then of course there's repugnance . . . I only do that one on special occasions, for very special people like Howard and Reith (Never forget Reith!)

***********************************************************************************

Look I'm really surprised at what a high average opinion a lot of Yous seem to have maintained until recently of Kerry O'Brien. (I seem to think you've finally seen the man clearer just recently.) I think he's pooey. Red hair notwithstanding. I think he was so when Keating stuck it up him as on that retrospective snip clip. He wasn't always one-sided but he was always The Story as far as he was concerned, (Maxine wasn't! BRING BACK MAXINE, you're quite right Bring Back Maxine!), and he was always pretty bloody shallow, snide, interruptive, combative and OPPUGNANT! He was sycophantic with those he wanted to do him the favour of letting him interview, and contemptuous and supercilious and downright bloody rude and pointscoring when interviewing those he viewed with distaste - including Julia. Never forget the immortal line penned by a noted local sage a couple of months ago, about O'B during the election campaign:

"There was sour Red Kez O'Brien, seemingly forever trying
To skewer Julia with some cunning stab . . . "

Adios, O'Brien.

BRING BACK MAXINE!
BRING BACK MAXINE!
BRING BACK MAXINE!
BRING BACK MAXINE!
BRING BACK MAXINE!

TalkTurkey

December 12. 2010 11:30 AM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         What amazes me about Tony Abbott's pre-emptive pronouncements about Wayne Swan's new Banking proposals, that they are going to be mere 'window dressing', and will be 'all talk no action', is the absolutely non-sceptical way, the almost breathless way, that anything he says is reported dutifully by the media, as if holy writ.
   I agree with Talk Turkey that the creeping religiosity of politics, and into everyday life, is disturbing for nations who are supposed to be secular. Fair Dinkum, if I hear "That was truly a miracle", about some medical success, or just about anything that turns out successfully these days, I will scream. For a start, I thought miracles were supposed to be rare and exceptional occurrences, not everyday triumphs over adversity, and secondly, as with everything Abbott insidiously does, it distresses me to hear religious references appear with increasing frequency in our political discourse. However, what can you do when the media appear to be hopping on the sanctimony bandwagon?
Which is all it is really, to borrow a religious metaphor, that politics and the media is now becoming populated with a 'Holier than Thou' set, who are seeking to dictate the strictures of conservative mores onto the wider community, in my opinion, as a form of social control. Which has been made glaringly obvious this week with the release of the Wikileaks cable about the Saudi Arabian Wahabist Royal Family, who wish to denigrate Women's Rights, and proscribe the behaviour of the citizenry in general, yet, behind the closed doors of the palace, their behaviour is as licentious as the most irreligious member of their citizenry. Not that even that is true because you can be irreligious but still be moral and ethical. In fact, you could almost say that it is precisely those who seek to portray themselves as the most religious that usually have the most amoral behaviour.
   Like Tony Abbott. Who just yesterday in WA was extolling the virtues and value to the WA State Parliament of Troy Buswell. Yes, THAT Troy Buswell. The chair-sniffing, adulterous Troy Buswell, who is being brought back to the front bench of the State Liberal government because he is their best attack dog, in the Barnaby Joyce style that the Coalition seem to love so much. Which Abbott himself seems to think is sooo effective. As his remarks about the Labor government's Banking Package show only too clearly.
   Interesting, isn't it, how the media can give so much credence to the views of a man who has no interest in, nor ability or facility with, economics?

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 12:18 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
Tony Abbott's comments yesterday were specifically designed to elevate your blood pressure. What a marvellous boon it must be to never have to justify one's comments beyond a circular argument that an incompetent government will only ever produce lame policy reforms because it is incompetent. Did even one journalist ask Abbott what he was basing his criticism on or how he might have improved the reforms?
Odds-on Toxic Tony will surprise us with a new quip today but in the interest of attempting to pre-empt him, here is my contribution.


What's this reform going to mean for (insert small banks//building societies as applicable)?
Swan would never have started this process without Joe Hockey pushing the agenda.
Interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government because the banks take note of a Treasurer with gravitas, something Wayne Swan is sadly lacking.
Stop the banks! Oops.
Reining in government spending is the only way to lower interest rates. These reforms are just papering over the cracks of a flailing dysfunctional government.
This is a desperate attempt to regain popularity by bashing banks and will do nothing for mortgage holders.
If Labor thought these reforms were a good idea, why didn't they support Joe Hockey's proposals?
Here we are almost at Christmas and Wayne Swan is trying to duck scrutiny of lame reforms from a lame-duck government.
Did the ALP consult with the US before putting these reforms together?
Wayne Swan is flapping around trying to command respect from the financial sector who have nothing but disdain for this weak Treasurer.
My old grandmother has more teeth than these reforms.

NormanK

December 12. 2010 12:27 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
What a spectacular list you have produced!  You are clearly a student of Abbottisms.  Won't it be fascinating to see how many of our predictions come true.

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 12:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        You're really Tony Abbott in a Rose disguise, aren't you? Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 12:30 PM

Feral Skeleton

  'Window dressing', huh?
www.smh.com.au/.../...nnounced-20101212-18trx.html

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 12:58 PM

Acerbic Conehead

AA,how about:

"Does the banking reform cancel my $700,000 mortgage?"

Acerbic Conehead

December 12. 2010 01:00 PM

Bilko

The reason the mad monk did not appear before Red Kerry,s sign off is because his minders want xmas off and not have to spend the period clearing up the debris. In fact Tone is a real SHADOW
Opposition leader, as opposed to his even more shadowy front bench. And his latest achievement is now condeming legislation before it is announced, I wish I had his crystal ball mine is all milky.

Bilko

December 12. 2010 01:06 PM

Acerbic Conehead

"do the reforms bring about LOWER TAXES for the bankers; FAIRER WELFARE for poverty-stricken bankers on less than $1m a fortnight; BETTER SERVICES designed for the bankers to screw their customers even more; STRONGER BORDERS to keep Interpol from arresteing the corrupt bastards".

Acerbic Conehead

December 12. 2010 01:36 PM

Ad astra reply

Bilko, FS
Well a report of the banking reform is in the SMH and now The Australian www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg96f-1225969660748 and a Government pdf file of the whole package is available: resources.news.com.au/.../...2-banking-package.pdf

It looks to be comprehensive reform.  I wonder what Tiny Abbott will have to say about it? Answer – anything he wants to say, however irrelevant, however inaccurate, however misleading, and he knows the MSM will faithfully echo his comments without seeking clarification or without challenge.

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 01:41 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Now that the banking reform package is public, FS will start preparing a piece about it for later in the week.

I'm getting on the road soon for Melbourne.  I will be back this evening.

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 04:22 PM

Gravel

Thanks for the stuff on banking reforms.  I don't understand it and it doesn't have any relevance to me, but I look forward to reading Feral's instructive post.

TalkTurkey
Glad you are back.....I left a note yesterday that I got your Brucie the Bilby  book, it is as wonderful as I was hoping it would be.

Gravel

December 12. 2010 04:34 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, I will post a reply to your question. Please allow me a couple of weeks to go through my files and I will detail why it is you inhabit a fantasy world.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 12. 2010 04:37 PM

Feral Skeleton

'Oppugnant'. That's Tony to a 'T'.

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 04:50 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Well, well, well. Quel surprise! Joe Hockey is not impressed by the Treasurer's Banking package. The government didn't adopt all of his 9 Points! Quel horreur! Quel useless Wayne!
It's 'All spin and no substance.'
   Nice to see the a'holes in the Banks have jumped out of the blocks to say they are going to put Interest Rates up again because of the package abolishing Exit Fees on new mortgages only. That would be Interest rates up on everyone's mortgage because Exit Fees are to be abolished on new mortgages. Hmmm.

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 04:56 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Only.32.Pages.To.Read.
Plus analysis.
Then allow it to go through a final filter in my brain, and away I go! Smile
(Plus squeeze in my Xmas shopping there somewhere).

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 05:07 PM

Patricia WA

Norman K!
Don't be this way!
Telling Tony
What to say!
With you on
Their pay roll
And Julia
Gone AWOL
Dear Mr. Swan
Has to battle on
Against Liberal lies
Which logic defy.
Oh me, oh my!

PS Apologies, Norman K, I know you're not on anyone's payroll. Too much of a delicious lunchtime white wine from friends who own a winery at http://www.fiddlersgreenestate.com.au has me a bit befuddled, and somewhat muddled in my thinking.

I was very interested in what FS had to say about Troy Buswell.  I have been sickened day after day by headline after headline of ABC news here speculating about the possibility of his return to the the front bench of State Government. Ridiculous that so much air space has been taken up by speculation about what everyone knows is a foregone conclusion.  Being somewhat pickled I am now going against my more cautious, and humane, local political judgement and airing my initial response last April to the affaire between Buswell and Carles which ultimately led  to his disgrace and resignation from the front bench.   Since then, of course, Carles has avoided expulsion from the Greens by declaring herself an independent.

Sleeping With The Enemy?

In political terms it's not in keeping
To find one side with the other 'sleeping.'
There's sometimes a merging of red with blue
But crossing the floor makes a hullaballoo.

Still, parties known by the colors they choose,
Sometimes coalesce their various hues.
The Nationals with their green and gold
Have joined the Liberals true blue and bold.
When the Liberal party went for the blue
They thought it stood for all that's best and true.
Of course we know why Labor's flag is red
It tells of all those workers' blood once shed.
It’s clear that Greens stand up for conservation
Of the world’s environment and  vegetation.

But now it seems that’s all been changed
All the colors completely rearranged
Just because a green MP has gone to bed,
Not with an honest Labor party red,
But with a Liberal of repute so 'blue'
At first no one believed the story true.
It's obvious the man his party will retain.
He has survived much more perverse a stain.
But should her party expel the harlot?
Will anyone vote for a Green so scarlet?
  

  

Patricia WA

December 12. 2010 05:30 PM

Jason

FS,
  The only thing that is surprising is how stupid and out of his depth Hockey seems to be.His bluster this afternoon leaves me speechless, this from a man who in a former life was a bank lawyer.
There was hockey saying wtte of access are coming back and interest rates will have to rise!my limited understanding is every fee is now going to be looked at and fees which can't be justified will be made illegal!along with a whole lot of other measures, perhaps Sloppy could read the proposals first the comment.

Jason

December 12. 2010 08:51 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      I'm in noobland when it comes to what 'wtte' stands for. PLease explain? Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 09:02 PM

Jason

FS,
  Words to the effect =wtte

Jason

December 12. 2010 09:12 PM

Acerbic Conehead

AA, the Kerrigan family has sold its holiday home at Bonny Doon and decided to rent a caravan for a month on the coast.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM-GVRvsZrA
One of the sons, Steve, the “ideas man”, has cranked up his lap-top and is scanning the internet, looking for bargains.  However, inadvertently, Steve comes across the WikiLeaks site and is fascinated by what he has discovered.  Suddenly however, his concentration is broken by an increasing hubbub  emanating from the site next door.  He peers out the caravan window and sees a crowd gathering.  Steve turns to Darryl, his dad, who is playing on a miniature pool-table with Sal, his mum.
Steve: Hey, dad...it looks like there could be an auction next door – I’m off to see if I can pick up a bargain or two...
Darrly: Alright, son – but make sure they don’t see you coming...hur...hur...
[Steve exits the caravan and works his way up to the front of the throng gathered on the adjacent site.  When he gets there, he sees that all the attention is focused on a bloke standing there in a pair of bright-red speedos – it’s none other than Tony Abbott himself.  Steve also recognises a few motley members of the Canberra Press gallery rat-pack]
Dennis Shanahan: Erm...Mr Soon-to-be-Prime-Minister...
[loud guffaws emit from the throats of the assembled mob of sycophantic journos]
Dennis: As I was saying, Mr Abbott, would you care to comment on the latest WikiLeaks revelation, from a 1959 cable, which states that Kevin Rudd, then a two-year-old, pooped his pants, took them off, and placed them over his head!
[the adoring crowd of Abbott-loving scribblers breaks out in paroxysms of laughter at Dennis’ none-too-obvious Dorothy Dixer.  Tones raises his hand to still the cacophony, so that he can launch his pre-arranged retort]
Tones: Ladies and gentlemen...ummm...arggghh...you know what this means...we’ve got to...STOP THE SHITHEADS!!!!
[Steve cannot believe what some people find funny, and wonders when the auction is going to start.  But, Tones points instead to Heather Ewart, inviting her to ask him another Dorothy]
Heather: Erm...Mr Prime-Minister-in-Waiting...tee...hee...have you got any comment on the 1964 cable from WikiLeaks which reveals that Julia Gillard, then a three-year-old, played the part of Pinocchio in a children’s pageant...
[cries of, “shame...shame...”, from the crowd]
Tones: Yes, Heather, I heard about that – but we’ve got to remember – once a lying Pinocchio, always a lying Pinocchio!!!!   STOP THE LYING!!!!!
[the loud clapping and cheering from the journalists is so intense, it would make a Nuremburg Rally sound like a Quaker prayer meeting.  Steve is perplexed, but is intrigued at the same time by the mention of the WikiLeaks word.  On their website earlier, he had discovered a few things that he feels worth sharing at this particular time.  He puts up his hand and attracts Tones’ attention, who assumes he is a plant from the Young Liberals]
Tones: Aha!!  A member of the general public, who is fed up with all the leftie shit-heading and lying!! What is your question, my fine sir?
Steve: Well, Mr Abbott...I’ve just been reading WikiLeaks myself, and I was wondering if you would care to comment on the 1967 cable which describes how you, as a ten-year-old altar-boy, were discovered by the priest before Mass skulling a whole bottle of altar-wine and then going out to moon at the congregation...
[as you can imagine, AA, you could have heard a Pioneer Pin drop.  Tones’ complexion takes on a deathly pallor and a dark stain begins to spread across the front of his bright-red speedos]
Tones: Erm...argghhh...ummmm...but...but...but...boys will be boys, y’know...
Steve: And, Mr Abbott...can I also draw your attention to the 1973 WikiLeaks cable which says that you, as a sixteen-year-old economics high-school student, got zero out of a hundred for your answer to the question, “What is Economics?”, which read: “Economics is as boring as bat-shit, but will be useful one day when we use it as a smokescreen for screwing the prole bastards with WorkChoices”.
[upon being reminded of this, Tones turns an even whiter shade of pale, and the stain on the front of his budgies grows even bigger]
Tones: Errrrrr...ummmm....ahhhhh...Y’now, everyone’s a bit of a rebel in their teens, aren’t they...
[Tones has heard more than enough.  He marches over to Steve and grabs him roughly by the front of his tee-shirt lapels.  He whispers menacingly through gritted teeth]
Tones: Now listen here, you loser...I’ve just about had it with your bolshie questions – now piss off!!!
[as Steve is always on the look-out for bargains, the mention of piss gives him an idea.  He whispers back to Tones]
Steve: Righto, mate...I know you’re strapped for cash with your big mortgage...so why don’t you sell me your speedos...
[the mention of the barest possible beginnings to a solution to his personal financial woes ensures that Steve has Tones’ undivided attention]
Tones: Hmmmm...sounds like you’re talking my language, punk...What about 70 bucks?
[Steve suppresses a guffaw at such a derisory value on what is obviously “soiled’ goods]
Steve: 7 bucks, mate...and don’t forget – you’re the one who’s getting the bargain...
[Tones is so badly in need of ready dosh, he agrees immediately.  He wraps his towel around his waist, removes his budgies and hands them over to Steve in exchange for the 7 bucks.  Then, later back at the Kerrigan caravan, Darryl and Sal are keen to hear how Steve did at the “auction”]
Darryl: Any bargains, son?
Steve: Yeah, dad...I got this pair of speedos from a bloke for 7 bucks...Thanks to WikiLeaks, I got a great bargain...
Darryl: 7 bucks?  How much was he looking for them son?
Steve; 70 bucks, dad!!!
Darryl: Good one, son...I hope you told him he was dreamin’...haw...haw...
Steve: Yeah...I reckon I’ll get at least 70 for them on EBay, dad, whaddya reckon?
Darryl: You’ll get that easy, son...but in the meantime, they’ll go straight to the pool-room...heh...heh...
[by this stage, Sal is not looking very impressed and is holding her nose]
Sal: I’ll tell you two something...those smelly things aren’t going anywhere near the pool-room...WikiLeaks, my granny...Smells more like WillyLeaks to me...
[Sal gingerly takes the speedos from Steve and chucks them on the campfire.  Darryl and Steve say nothing.  They know only too well who really wears the trousers in the Kerrigan household]

Acerbic Conehead

December 12. 2010 10:00 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I’ve just finished watching one of my favourite programs for the year – John Foreman’s Schools Spectacular - brilliantly talented, vibrant, colourful, energetic, enthusiastic young people giving us exciting and extravagant entertainment. What promise these kids show in song and dance.  For my part, the two girls who sang ‘Cry me a river’ and ‘One fine day’ were breathtaking stand-outs.  What incredible talent they have; what a stunning future they can anticipate.

By contrast, the response to the bank reform package has been muted and boring.  Joe Hockey was predictably tedious, Nick Xenophon smart-alecky, Tony Abbott mute, and the bankers belligerent. Something must have stung them.  It’s shaping up somewhat like the miners’ reaction to the MRRT.  Perhaps the bankers think they can intimidate the Government as the miners did, but as George Megalogenis says in his Quarterly Essay, when such groups take on a government and threaten to bring it down, as did the miners, we are sailing into dangerous waters.  I suspect the bankers will try to justify their stand on interest rates, but won’t be prepared to really threaten the Government.  They ought not to expect the same support from the Coalition that it gave the miners, although anything could happen with this Opposition.  We will watch their contortions with fascination.

I note this evening that, despite the consensus reached at Cancun which points to the necessity for a carbon tax, Greg Hunt is out saying that the Government cannot use Cancun as ‘an excuse to introduce a carbon tax, and Tony Abbott has vowed that a carbon
tax will not happen!

In the face of all this, it’s good AC that we have you to entertain us with your adventures of the curious man in speedos.

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 10:14 PM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
I am fascinated with your promise to demonstrate to me that I inhabit a fantasy world.  You must be a scholar of psychiatry.  I feel quite normal, but I may have to concede that you know better than me how my mind works, what resides there and my reality.  I await your verdict with trepidation.  Will I be able carry on?

Ad astra reply

December 12. 2010 10:33 PM

Acerbic Conehead

No worries, AA.  You never know who's going to pop into the caravan park over the holidays.  Stay tuned.

Acerbic Conehead

December 12. 2010 10:35 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         The most interesting response to the Banking package has come from ACCI. Their spokesman pointedly stated for the cameras that this package, "Was definately not 'Window dressing' and was a good package."!!! Now, if the Coalition's supposed natural constituency has that to say, and the Coalition are lining up on the side of the Banks, hopefully the general public will make the connection that the Coalition really aren't on their side when push comes to shove, as it has with this package.
   Also, I found it too cute by half that Joe Hockey had the bald-faced temerity to come out and say that Wayne Swan had simply copied his 9 Point Plan, when any of us with more than 2 brain cells to rub together knows the timeline very well, and it actually delineates that Joe Hockey opportunistically jumped onto the bank reform bandwagon when he got wind of what Swan was doing, probably from another mole in Treasury. Thus did he quickly cobble together his rinky-dink '9 Point Plan', and ever since he has been claiming that he was the one who came up with the whole concept first.
   When, the only facet of his proposals that is original in gestation, is his call for a 'Son of Wallis' Financial Services Inquiry. Which would likely be useful as an updating tool, in order to contemporise our knowledge of the system after Hockey, Howard & Costello stuffed it up by letting Financial Planners run rampant, and Self-Managed Super get off the ground to counteract the large, Union-based Super Funds.
   Something else which will also be interesting to watch this week is the Senate Banking Inquiry(all these Coalition inquiries that have been put on the agenda, from a group of politicians who spent all of Kevin Rudd's tenure deriding the inquiries HE set up. Groan).
   I'll see how it goes and whether it needs to be incorporated into my considerations wrt the Banking Package. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 10:37 PM

Feral Skeleton

  I also agree that Nick Xenophon is starting to seem like a closet Liberal crossed with a publicity hound.

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 10:40 PM

Feral Skeleton

  We are truly blessed to have creative contributors of the calibre of Acerbic Conehead, PatriciaWA, Talk Turkey & NormanK.
  All I do in comparison is a fair to decent line in ranting. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 10:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

PatriciaWA,
           I am in awe of your facility with metre combined with politics.

Feral Skeleton

December 12. 2010 10:52 PM

Acerbic Conehead

FS, there is more than one way to skin a cat.  Your commentary and ananysis is always very much appreciated.  Keep 'em comin'!!!

Acerbic Conehead

December 12. 2010 11:17 PM

Miglo

This week's recommended blogs (other than TPS) have been posted at Australian Blog Sites.

http://australianblogsites.com/?page_id=78

Miglo

December 13. 2010 12:01 AM

NormanK

Acerbic Conehead
You're the bomb! (as the young 'uns would say) Your flights of fancy continue to amaze me. One vital facet of a good comic endeavour (imho) is that it be unpredictable and you succeed with high honours. Your songs of late have been telling as well as funny and I appreciate them a great deal. Thank you very much.

Feral Skeleton
You are the hot and spicy sauce without which the TPS meal would be a lesser feast. Ad astra is the meat and Lyn the bread and butter.  My humble contributions are a modest payment for being allowed to dine here among such interesting and diverse company.

NormanK

December 13. 2010 12:04 AM

TalkTurkey


All I do in comparison is a fair to decent line in ranting

Skelly -

Combatively You stand alone,
At the forefront of the fight;
You bare your being to the bone,
With far-flung out-posts day and night,
With pithy comments, swift advice,
And sword and shield with Bat device!
And We true Swordsfolk all applaud
Your sterling service to The Sword.


and that's TRUE!

TalkTurkey

December 13. 2010 12:10 AM

TalkTurkey

Hey is it me, or are these Captcha two words getting 'way easier to read?

I kind of like them now. And they seem to have worked. Well done Ad & Brain Man.

TalkTurkey

December 13. 2010 01:00 AM

Patricia WA

FS, but whatever Joe Hockey says on banking he always sounds hollow, almost as though he doesn't believe what he's saying himself. Well, of course, that's it, he doesn't.  He knows how phony and shallow they all are on policy.  Watching him tonight on the news I wondered how anyone, much less 50% of Australians voters, could think him capable of running the country's finances or economy.

By the way ABC News this evening was unbelievably pro-govt, plenty of time on Swan's announcement re banking and on Cancun with a very fair coverage of Greg Combet's comments re. the Opposition needing to pull finger.  I know that's a very crude expression which Greg Combet would never use, and nor would I normally but re. Abbott I'd dearly love to be a lot ruder and cruder.

PS Re the potery and pomes -  since I've never been a reader of poetry before that has been the oddest thing which just 'happened' to me this year and has been a god-send in my declining years.   Writing discursively at any length is beyond me nowadays. As is reading anything of much length.   I can however focus on those few lines at a time, on a specific topic or person, much as I do on a crossword.  I find it hard to read books any more and journal articles etc. are beyond me too.  So I rely on people like you and Ad Astra here and Miglo and others at CW to keep me abreast of events as they unfold and to interpret them for me in the readable way that you do.  And of course Lyn shows me where to go for more detail or comment too.  I don't know about skinning cats, AC, but keeping up with what's going on in the world and having a chance to partipate in discussions and debate with lots of lively minds every day is an unlooked for joy.  So, yes indeed, FS, Keep 'em comin'!!!

Patricia WA

December 13. 2010 11:16 AM

Jason

AA,
  Yet another instance where the libs are left mumbling & irrelevant as Labor implements its program.

Business is voting with its money now the NBN implementation is gaining steam
www.businessspectator.com.au/.../NBN-Co-Telstra-Vodafone-cloud-computing-pd20101209-BY2YF

Jason

December 13. 2010 11:50 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Apologies for the site being down for a while this morning.  It's all fixed now.

It looks as if the Coalition is struggling to mount a plausible counter to what most seem to see as a sound banking reform package.  Joe Hockey is taking credit for some of the reforms which he says predated the Swan package, conveniently ignoring the fact that the package has been in preparation for several months.  Still, if that means Joe will support the measures he insists he originated, and that seems likely, that will be a plus.

Ad astra reply

December 13. 2010 12:13 PM

TalkTurkey

11.50 am Ad astra said "Joe Hockey is taking credit for some of the reforms which he says predated the Swan package, conveniently ignoring the fact that the package has been in preparation for several months."

Heh heh Seems to me Snotty Joe has wedged himself between a marshmallow and a soft place. If he wants to take the credit as the one who thought of the reform ideas he must obviously support them, and if he wants to oppose them then he's got the record of having supported them and now reneged . . . In Chess that's a classic fork.

***************************************************************************

It's awful when The Sword is sheathed in silent cyberspace. I'm compulsive now. Betcha I'm not an orphan too. But Ad, apologies do not apply. Thanks ever.

TalkTurkey

December 13. 2010 04:38 PM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA
I’ve noticed too that the ABC has been more pro-Government in its approach to Wayne Swan’s banking reform package that is usual for it.  The exception was the ever-acerbic Lyndal Curtis on AM.

Jason
Thank you for the link to the Paul Budde article in Business Spectator which shows how quickly the NBN is travelling.  Unless it changes tack the Coalition will be left in another age.  I would like to know how the Coalition plans to provide cloud computing and medical applications such as image transfer and remote consultations, both of which require fast upload speeds which the Coalition’s plan cannot provide.

TT
I think you’re right – Joe Hockey has wedged himself this time, but he is capable of wriggling out of almost situation with his usual bluster, misinformation and superfluity of information.  No doubt he will get some cues for opposing the Swan package from Michael Stutchbury’s predictably negative take on it in this morning’s The Australian: Package gives policy a bad name www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg9p6-1225969800721 Of course Stutchbury declines to say much about what should have been done – it’s just more characteristically negative stuff.

Ad astra reply

December 13. 2010 05:00 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
No brownie points for any of us with our predictions because we fell into the trap of not realising that Abbott would do the pre-match banter and leave it to Uncle Joe to do the on-field sledging. Wayne will have been disappointed to only get 3 out of 10 for his efforts because I know that he has been swatting up for weeks to pass this test. I wonder if Joe does private tutoring, he certainly gives enough public lessons. I am going to apply for a gold star though for predicting the Greens - "we agree with the reforms but we don't think they go far enough". It won't be the last time we hear that refrain.

Most people have probably already seen it but Christopher Joye wanted to ensure that Mr Hockey (lever puller extraordinaire) got due credit, along with himself, for some of the reforms, in his piece at The Drum Unleashed.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42128.html
It seems Mr Joye was touted as a possible candidate for Turnbull's seat during the period of his Clayton's retirement.

TT
I would suggest that there is no such thing as a wedge for the Opposition at the moment. They will simply change their tune and no-one reporting on it will call them to account for any contradictions.  Abbott could come out tomorrow in favour of the NBN, find a way to justify the acrobatics and the MSM would dutifully report it. Probably even praise it.

NormanK

December 13. 2010 06:50 PM

2353

Its a pity Abbott stayed mute on the Banking Reforms before and after release.  I was hoping for crystal ball comments prior to the release which would have caused me to ask Abbott for the winning Lotto numbers on December 31 ($31 million "jackpot"), and once having won the lot would negate completely my need for a mortgage in the first place!

My other thought is that Abbott finally heard the advice of various "memories of married senior domestic engineers" (to pinch the alternate phrase for "old wives tales" from Dr Karl) and decided to live by the saying "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything".  In which case 2011 will be a really quiet year.

I exit seething in frustration that Abbott won't give me the Lotto numbers Smile

2353

December 13. 2010 09:02 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, I’ll start my catalogue of appalling behaviour by our MPs from the time when two MPs started a small scale smuggling operation by trying to get a colour TV through customs by declaring it to be a black and white set. When caught they tried to ‘heavy’ customs officer Mr Tony Mayhew. Have things improved in Canberra and elsewhere around our nation? No. It’s the same grubby behaviour which sometimes borders on being corrupt. You seem impressed by such behaviour. I’m not.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 13. 2010 09:23 PM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             Even by the example you give have you ever claimed charitable donations on your tax return that were never made? up to $200 I think without proof? or any other claim for that matter? Do you have a "Family Trust'? Most MP'S state and federal have one! why tax avoidance! corruption is everywhere some is legal some isn't.
Why did Kerry Packer ever only earn 30k a year?

Jason

December 13. 2010 09:44 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

No J guy, I have never claimed a donation on my tax return. I don't maintain a family trust. I might add I have not put myself forward as a person who has risen above the pack and consider myself worthy enough to represent the great unwashed. Do you see the difference? These worthless grubs are put in a position of trust. They are above temptation. It's only pastry cooks, crane chasers/drivers and other lesser types like me who are likely to stoop to grubby behaviour.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 13. 2010 10:28 PM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             It's not that your unworthy! we have in this country something that is called the" political class" So it's not that your not "worthy" unless you belong to the "Right" factions in either Labor or Liberal party's or your a political staffer, most people have no hope, To run as an independent costs money! So my advice to you if your state and federal reps I take it you live in safe seat? no longer listen! start getting your friends etc together and become an advocate in your community like you do here on the sword! What have you got to lose?





















Jason

December 13. 2010 11:10 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Christopher Joye is MD of Rismark International.  He writes like an economist, and therefore, by definition, will be at variance with other economists.  They seldom agree, and when they do are often wrong – anticipating interest rate rises is a classic example.  So I take what they say with a grain of salt.  He writes authoritatively, but they all do and still get it wrong.  As Stephen Long often tells us ‘economists make astrologers look respectable’.  Who knows whether his strongly stated assertions are valid?  What is clear though is that his insistence that Wayne Swan has followed Joe Hockey’s lead ignores the fact that the Swan package has been in preparation for months, long before Joe’s utterances.  Why they play this ‘we thought of it first’ game only children could understand.  But this and some of the language he uses suggest his views are, at least in part, partisan.

Ad astra reply

December 13. 2010 11:16 PM

Ad astra reply

2353
It is not as curious as it at first sight might appear for Tiny Abbott to be AWL over the banking package.  He did this over the supposed savings at Budget time, and left Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb to argue the campaign costings.  He is economically illiterate, so he does the usual stirring beforehand, then disappears to let others do the complicated stuff.

Ad astra reply

December 13. 2010 11:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
I can see what's coming - don't forget Paddington Bear.

Ad astra reply

December 13. 2010 11:32 PM

Acerbic Conehead

NormanK, thank you for the kind words last night.  Your stuff is of the highest order and I look forward immensely to reading it.  Have a great evening (or what's left of it!).

Acerbic Conehead

December 13. 2010 11:49 PM

CALLIGULA

Forget Abbott.
Whatizname - Turnbull was on local radio this morning.
Weight off his shoulders and made immensely more sense than anyone the last several months.

A man for all seasons is Turnbull.

Certainly made more sense than you lot of turncoats – if you insist on pretending you support labor.

Why not leave the job up to him in the new year and accept a bit of a leftie liberal in the chair instead of poisoning the lost laborite cause the way you lot have been engineering?

CALLIGULA

December 13. 2010 11:59 PM

CALLIGULA

I cannot work out where your heads are at.
I have mentioned this before.

I’m sure that a declining set of people keep reading thee pages.
I’m reasonably confident they’ve given up believing you are  socialists.
The little core group keeps abusing anyone hollow – those who express anything like, say, a libertarian view.

What do you do with an extremist rightie?
Arrange their demise?

CALLIGULA

December 14. 2010 12:11 AM

CALLIGULA

Paddington Bear? Duh!
Come on M. Waverly.
Do better than that

CALLIGULA

December 14. 2010 12:21 AM

Jason

Calligula,
         I know it's a "socialist" conspiracy.
Get your hat back on!!

http://www.tfhp.org/images/tinfoil-hat.jpg

Jason

December 14. 2010 08:41 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Whacko! I can comment again! My keystrokes weren't registering there for a while this morning. Frown
Ha! You're stuck with me again. Well, sort of. I'm trying to do a million things at once atm. As you do around Xmas.

Feral Skeleton

December 14. 2010 08:57 AM

Jason

FS,
  Good to see you back! I was beginning to think you had been gagged! or abducted by toxic's henchmen!

Jason

December 14. 2010 09:07 AM

Feral Skeleton

Calligula,
          There is hardly anything Libertarian about a desire for patriarchal control of women's bodies and an antagonistic attitude towards the freedom for them to choose what to do with their own bodies, themselves.
  Anyway, to characterise yourself in the same breath as a Libertarian and from the Left, and equate them, is not strictly logical. There is more than one school of Libertarianism.
There is the emerging school of Social Libertarianism, which advocates that taxes should only cover the areas of Defence, Environment, Public Education, Public Health, and Social Security. Thus taxes would be able to be lower, on the whole, and especially for Upper Income earners, but that they would have to pay for their own lifestyle choices, for themselves and their family, such as Private Education and Private Health, also for their own retirement. However, lawmakers would still control social policy. The Courts and social control arms, such as the Police and Child Protection would still be the provence of the States. Then there are the Laissez Faire Libertarians/Ultra Montaine Capitalists, who seek to say, "What's mine is mine, and the State can keep their hands off it." Which is basically just greed dressed up in high-sounding principle. Though when you get down to it, it seems they don't want the State to tell them what to do with their money, nor do they want the State redistributing it to the needy, however their usually ultra-conservative nature seeks to control the social behaviour of everyone else. In other words they are merely greedy hypocrites. A true Libertarian, such as Ron Paul, allows for absolute social choice by the individual, as well as economic choice.
   Then there are the Anarcho-Syndicalist Libertarians, such as you seem to say you are, Calligula. Who, it appears, distrust the State apparatus entirely and wish to advocate for the individual's right to be the master of their own destiny. Which is just nuts because micro communities, which would have to spring up to enable the barter that would be at the heart of such a 'Left Wing Libertarian' system, would soon enough descend into anarchy as the less principled among us sought to exploit the weak and gullible. AS is human nature, undeniably.
   Correct me if I'm wrong, Calligula.
  Oh, and Calligula, how are the site statistics for your blog going? Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 14. 2010 09:33 AM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      Thank you. Smile
I'm trying to get my head around the Banking package, which others appear to have been able to do quicker than me. Still, I'm pressing on. I'm also monitoring, or attempting to, the Senate Banking Inquiry in order to tie it all up with a nice little bow for you all for Xmas. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 14. 2010 09:34 AM

Feral Skeleton

   As no one else appears to have linked to them yet, here's the results of the Wonkley Awards:
http://notionfactory.net/wonkleys/

Feral Skeleton

December 14. 2010 09:38 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Of course Grog won 'Best Amateur Political Blog'. However, I'd like to think we came second. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 14. 2010 10:14 AM

Ad astra reply

CONGRATULATIONS TO GROG’S GAMUT FOR RECEIVING THE WONKLEY AWARD FOR ‘BEST AMATEUR POLITICAL BLOGGER’ AND TO GREG JERICHO (GROG) FOR THE ‘BEST AMATEUR POLITICAL BLOGGER’. VERY WELL DESERVED.

Thank you to The Notion Factory for conducting the contest.

Ad astra reply

December 14. 2010 10:21 AM

TalkTurkey

FS
Thank Dog you're back!
Uluru would disappear in the hole you leave when you're not there.

I'm hoping our Barrier Reef in the form of TweetyBird Lyn surfaces again soon . . .

Congratulations Grog, though I haven't folllowed the event you mention Skelly.
But I reckon Us Mob done pretty damn good too. Proper fire in the belly, Us.

Assange is arraigned or something at 5.30 PM today someone said. There is a meeting on Parlt House steps in Adelaide at 4.30. Dog knows whose time zones apply anyway. I went to the protest meeting there on Sunday, there would have been 300+ people there.

I do wish Julia would get into the habit of asking me before she went off on her little adventures of the condemnatory kind . . . I think she called this one badly wrong, as I said at the time she could have kept her cake hole firmly shut. But as for the Opposition, they are about as pale as Assange's hair anyway, no guts either way.

Hands up all those who believe those two "raped" women . . .

What happens to Assange after he is acquitted of their accusations? Off to Gitmo?
  

TalkTurkey

December 14. 2010 10:33 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Thank you for your kiind words of support. Smile
Yes, that's one thing we have a surfeit of here, 'fire in the belly'. Maybe that's why peeps like Calligula, jj, and Sir Ian can't resist us! They have a neverending desire to pee on us from great heights in order to try and put our fire out!

Feral Skeleton

December 14. 2010 10:35 AM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
       I'll be getting those t-shirts today!

Feral Skeleton

December 14. 2010 11:30 AM

Ad astra reply

CALLIGULA
What intrigues me is why you keep coming back to TPS when you find those who comment here a ‘lot of turncoats’, ‘poisoning the lost laborite cause’, who ‘keep abusing anyone hollow – those who express anything like, say, a libertarian view’, and who ‘arrange the demise’ of ‘extremist righties’.  You cannot work out where our ‘heads are at’. Clearly you have a jaundiced view of other bloggers here, upon whom you pour your bile.  Why do you bother?

BTW, before commenting on the contemporary dialogue between Sir Ian and me, try getting in tune with the context.  Then you might understand my reference to Paddington Bear.

Ad astra reply

December 14. 2010 11:35 AM

Ad astra reply

A correction - Grog's Gamut won the Wonkley Award for 'Best Amateur Political Blog' as well Grog winning 'Best Amateur Political Blogger'.

CONGRATULATIONS TO GROG’S GAMUT FOR RECEIVING THE WONKLEY AWARD FOR ‘BEST AMATEUR POLITICAL BLOG’ AND TO GREG JERICHO (GROG) FOR THE ‘BEST AMATEUR POLITICAL BLOGGER’.

Thank you to The Notion Factory for conducting the contest.

Ad astra reply

December 14. 2010 12:57 PM

Paul of Berwick

Folks,

Haven't seen any media reporting of the Coalition's take on the substantive matters of the Wikileaks issue (not what the Coalition says about labor's response, but what the Coalition thinks about Assange, Wikileaks, free speeach, etc, etc)

Paul

Paul of Berwick

December 14. 2010 01:29 PM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey,  I'm waiting to hear the court verdict on this case.  Both complainants and accused should be given the benefit of doubt until then.

Patricia WA

December 14. 2010 02:22 PM

NormanK

Paul of Berwick
You're right, it has been very very quiet in the Coalition's part of the world on this subject. The only thing I've heard, and indeed the only thing I can find, comes from Brandis on the 7.30 Report last night.
GEORGE BRANDIS, SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: The Opposition's view is that his conduct is morally censurable and reprehensible. But I think having said that, we need to make a clear and sharp distinction in our own minds between that which is morally reprehensible and that which is illegal.
They may be keeping their heads down and powder dry because they know that there is a very real possibility of damaging leaks against the Howard government and the subsequent oppositions (Nelson, Turnbull, Abbott).
By the same token, the ALP are doing quite a good job of pouring muck all over themselves on the issue so why would Abbott & Co want to draw attention to themselves. Say nothing and appear wise.

Ad astra
We haven't heard your views on the topic of Wikileaks. I know you're on holiday but I'm very keen to know what you think.

NormanK

December 14. 2010 02:26 PM

TalkTurkey

Yeah you're right in general I spose Patois, but in this case in particular I don't only not trust the word of 2 women before I don't trust Assange, I also don't trust the authorities, I don't trust any potential jury, and I won't trust the outcome either if it's that he's guilty. You could say that in this case I am pre-judging the issue, but rape, as it was originally bruited, it most certainly was not anyway. Whatever he might be charged with, it cannot possibly be rape as far as I understand. Sex without condoms or something it seems. Crikey. Cause for arrest after voluntarily surrendering himself? For imprisonment, arraignment, possible extradition? Dog have mercy!

TalkTurkey

December 14. 2010 04:29 PM

Jason

December 14 2010, 3:26PM
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is heading to Japan.

Mr Abbott on Tuesday announced he would travel to Japan for four days, from December 14 to 18.

During his visit, he will address the Japanese Institute of International Affairs and meet Japan's Foreign Minister Maehara, Defence Minister Kitazawa and the president of the Liberal Democratic Party Sadakazu Tanigaki.
"Australia has no closer or more longstanding friend in Asia than Japan and I am happy to make this my first overseas visit in the Asia-Pacific region as opposition leader," Mr Abbott said.

The opposition leader will also visit Japan's largest maritime self-defence base at Yokosuka.

Mr Abbott's speech to the International Affairs Institute will address coalition perspectives on Australia and Asia.

Julie Bishop will act as opposition leader in Mr Abbott's absence.

I guess WW2 didn't happen Mr Abbott!




www.tradingroom.com.au/.../...214_152600_7812.html

Jason

December 14. 2010 06:35 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Until now, I have found it difficult to become too exercised about WikiLeaks.  There has been a lot of huffing and puffing around this issue.  But the recent turn of events are worrisome.

If any law has been broken, it would be by whoever obtained the WikiLeaks material from its original source, seemingly illegitimately, and it would be a US law that has been broken.  Julian Assange appears to have not broken any law in any country in publishing the material on his website, any more than have newspapers around the world.

Assange claims to have vetted all material released to ensure that the security of any country has not been breached, although that will undoubtedly be in dispute from the US Government and others.  He has also said that he has checked that no individual named in the material would be thereby endangered.  This too will be disputed, and, with the security issue, is likely to form the basis of any Grand Jury case mounted in the US.

Some feel Julia Gillard erred in claiming initially that Assange had committed an illegal act.  But she did not err in asking Robert McClelland to check whether this was so.  I imagine she weighed up whether making a qualified statement and seeming not to be in lockstep with the US was less in Australia’s interest than coming out as she did and fully endorsing the US position.  Of course the ‘freedom of the press’ folk and human rights advocates have jumped on her, and learned commentators have chastised her for making this ‘silly call’.  There is an angry WikiLeaks demonstration going on in Melbourne right now outside my window.  What the commentators would have done had they been in Gillard’s shoes is conditioned by their attitude to her and the importance to them of the US alliance.  Even those who do value the latter supremely have not suggested a better form of words that she might have used to express her disappointment at Assange’s actions while supporting the dogmatic and unequivocal US position.

So while I would have hoped for a more balanced statement from her, I do understand the dilemma she faced.

As for the matter on which Assange is being arraigned and sent to Sweden, we ought not to prejudge that.  If the reports are correct though that Sweden is prepared to not pursue those matters but instead ship Assange to the US for it to pursue its concern with Assange in a Grand Jury hearing, that would be a matter of great concern.  It would raise doubts not just about the validity the Swedish attribute to the rape charges, but also about whether Assange could receive a fair trial in the US on the touted grounds of espionage, where feelings are running so high, and where some have already insisted that the death penalty should apply.  

Having just listened to Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, I am apprehensive about whether an injustice similar to that which befell Tom Robinson might overwhelm Assange?  Harper Lee described the mockingbird thus: "They don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us."  Could Assange become a latter day mocking bird, ‘killed’ for his song?

Ad astra reply

December 14. 2010 07:29 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
Thanks very much. The threats to Assange's personal safety are indeed the major concern at present. Surely the US wouldn't do anything stupid with so much media attention focussed on him at present. Those calling for his assassination must be flirting with illegal behaviour themselves.

NormanK

December 14. 2010 08:01 PM

Patricia WA

It's not a matter of trusting Assange, Talk Turkey, or even questioning his motives.  In my view he is an an anarchist and answerable to no one.  He is also, it seems to me, a political 'naif' who had no idea how the powerful corporate rightist interests, which he possibly hopes to undermine, would be advantaged and supported by media giants like News Ltd in their selective use of the material he has so far released. Nor how the liberationist left, crying 'freedom for the press,' would now be marching lock-step with those most likely to threaten that freedom.  Whatever their faults western governments are ultimately answerable to their electorates.  To whom are Assange and Wikileaks answerable?

Patricia WA

December 15. 2010 11:36 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Apologies for the comments being closed overnight.  We couldn’t work out why because the ‘Enable comments’ box was checked, until we remembered that when the blog engine was updated a little while ago, we set the comments to close automatically on a given piece seven days after posting, as we have always had a new post within seven days up until now.  As the current piece was posted on 7 December, comments closed automatically at midnight last night on 14 December.

Feral Skeleton is preparing a piece on Wayne Swan’s banking package that will be posted later in the week.  As it will be the last piece for the year, we have extended the automatic comment cut off to fourteen days.

So please resume you comments.

Ad astra reply

December 15. 2010 12:14 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
The overnight news on Julian Assange is somewhat mixed.  Having been granted bail, he was then returned to prison as the bail decision is being appealed by the Swedish prosecutors, who seem determined to get him to Sweden.  Some think they are simply exercising a European Union protocol for extradition in a rather stubborn manner.  However, conspiracy theorists believe the object is more sinister – to get Assange to Sweden so they can hand him over to the US.  After what WikiLeaks has exposed about the behind-the-scenes behaviour of diplomats, it doesn’t take much imagination to construct a conspiracy.

As I mentioned yesterday, I fear what the consequences might be if he is sent to America.  While in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ killing these song birds was taboo, as they “don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us” that is just what Tom Robinson’s hometown citizens did to him – wrongfully convicted him and returned him to goal where he was shot him while trying to escape.  The parallels with Assange are concerning.

Ad astra reply

December 15. 2010 02:16 PM

Patricia WA

Glad the thread is still open - so I can bring this comment back from Cafe Whispers to where it truly belongs. A must read for all of us who believe in Tony Abbott and what he stands for is today's Australian.   In an article penned by his own hand he spells out again very clearly what he stands for.  He also explains how important it is to develop policies which reflect all of that. He reveals too his astounding conclusion that if the Opposition is to hold government then it must have those policies understood by the public and ready for implementation. Indeed he is going to get the Menzies Research Centre help him set up a series of ’round tables’ (sic!) to work on issues like

lower taxes, fairer welfare, better services and stronger borders by showing that they are backed by well-developed policies that could be swiftly and competently implemented

There you have it!  Policy announcement from Mr. Tony Abbott!  If you didn't know what he stood for before this, surely you can't say that now!

Patricia WA

December 15. 2010 02:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

Hmmm.
* 'Lower Taxes'.
  How can that be when he wants a Paid Parental Leave Scheme which is so expensive he originally had a 1% higher Corporate Tax Rate than the ALP government's to pay for it, until he scaled it back in the election? Which only leads to the question, how will he then pay for it?
   Oh, that's right, when you have to quote the conservative mantra of 'Lower Taxes', you leave unsaid what the corollary of that statement is...'Slash Spending'. So, who generally cops it in the neck when that happens? You guessed it, the indigent and voiceless, who don't have enough money to pay off whacking big mortgages and squeal about it. Also the Public Services, of Health, Education and the Public Service itself.
   What also puzzles me about Abbott's 'Lower Taxes' mantra, is how he expects to fund his wildly expensive, taxpayer-funded alternative Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme? I have heard rumours that he had planned to raise the GST if he won government. I also never heard a journo ask him to confirm or deny that rumour during the election campaign or since. Which is typical.
   Finally, does 'Lower Taxes' cover the Liberals favoured use of Clayton's taxes, i.e. Levies? You have to be so careful and seek out the specifics when you are trying to pin down Abbott and his henchmen.

* 'Fairer Welfare'. What's that supposed to mean when it's at home? 'Fairer' for whom? A 'Fairer' deal for the taxpayer, is probably what Abbott means. Which equates to being parsimonious with taxpayer dollars when it comes to handing out welfare. I mean, going on what he was promising to do before the election, 'Fairer Welfare' equalled getting Disability Pensioners onto Newstart and into whatever menial, low paying, WorkChoices-aligned jobs that could be found for them. He was also saying that he wanted to be able to move the unemployed around Australia and away from their families to wherever the work was. Work which would usually be of the unskilled variety because there was no Training component mentioned by Abbott.
   Of course, by 'Fairer Welfare' Abbott means that the electorate would think that it was only being given to those who really 'deserved' it. That's what the Coalition usually means.

* 'Better Services'. Does Abbott mean 'Better Services', if you can afford to pay for them? Like Private Education and Private Health? Or will he commit to as much funding as is necessary to fund all of the nation's Health needs, Public, Private and Mental Health, Rehabilitation Services, Dental Services, Allied Health, Child Health, Community Health? So, does that mean he won't cut into the services that already exist? Has anyone thought to ask him whether these 'Better Services' will be provided by his government, or contracted out to 'Faith-Based' organisations, and other Private providers? Which, of course, his mates will own and run and become very fat off the proceeds of.

* 'Stronger Borders' Does that mean that Mr Abbott will condone turning back boats away from Christmas Island so that they end up in the straitened circumstances at sea that the boat of Asylum Seekers is in today?

Feral Skeleton

December 15. 2010 02:54 PM

Jason

With that boat that was smashed against the rocks at Christmas Island!

      
                        "Blood on their hands"
One year ago, I warned the Labor Government it was luring people to their deaths:
He also goes on to say Julia should resign etc!
I would post a link, but I think it would be a waste of time, and I think most on here can fill in the predictable body of his rant!
On second thoughts I better post a link I would hate to miss quote him!
This is from none other than Andrew Bolt.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/


Jason

December 15. 2010 03:04 PM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA
Thank you for alerting us to Tiny Abbott's article in The Australian.  After ten paragraphs of negativity, two paragraphs that had some semblence of positivity emerged.  The second of these read: "Our task is to use the coming year to establish political ownership over moves towards lower taxes, fairer welfare, better services and stronger borders by showing that they are backed by well-developed policies that could be swiftly and competently implemented. A series of Menzies Research Centre policy round tables will deepen our engagement with academic and practical experts in these fields. This should develop clear pathways to achieving local hospital and school boards, better forms of welfare quarantine, and a less incentive-sapping tax transfer system.  It is no surprise that Coalition policies are still to come.  We await them breathlessly.

Abbott's piece is entirely consistent with what this piece maintains.

Read all about it at: www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6zo-1225971161001

Ad astra reply

December 15. 2010 03:15 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason
I will be astonished if Tony Abbott and the Coalition do not make major political capital from this sad incident. Andrew Bolt’s venom is almost maniacal.  Abbott will likely be more measured but he will be sure to get his pound of flesh.

Ad astra reply

December 15. 2010 03:23 PM

Jason

AA,
  Sky news at the moment are just waiting to cross to Morrison's presser! Abbott from my post yesterday is with "Australia has no closer or more longstanding friend in Asia than Japan and I am happy to make this my first overseas visit in the Asia-Pacific region as opposition leader," Mr Abbott said"
So Abbot MIA and Morrison can do what he does best.
AA I wonder whether technically these people are ‘asylum seekers” or shipwreck victims?

Jason

December 15. 2010 03:51 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason
They will be whatever the Coalition and the media deigns them to be.  Let's see.

Ad astra reply

December 15. 2010 04:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
After all the criticism that has been heaped upon the BER, it is of some comfort to see that the second Orgill report confirms what the interim report said, namely that the BER program has been very successful but with some examples of ‘waste and mismanagement’ as reported today on the ABC’s The World Today: School stimulus worked, despite problems in NSW: “…the report from the Federal Government appointed task force found the vast majority of projects were successful.”  In fact of the twenty-four thousands of projects in 9,500 schools “…there were projects that are not value for money - 17 so far; 13 of those in New South Wales” and most of the rest in Victoria.  So we have 17 projects not value for money out of twenty-four thousand – OMG.

You will be surprised to see that the usually acerbic Lyndal Curtis reported the Orgill report in a reasonably balanced way.  Read her comments at www.abc.net.au/.../s3093682.htm or even better listen to her.

Ad astra reply

December 15. 2010 06:12 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Andrew Bolt is purely and simply the lowest form of life imaginable. Closely followed by Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott. Exploiting a tragedy is right up their rodent-infested alley.

Feral Skeleton

December 15. 2010 06:20 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Since lyn has been enjoying her holiday sipping Mint Juleps somewhere tropical, we have been left to our own devices wrt links to good reading material on other blogs. So, if you haven't read them already, I'll link you to a couple of Mr Denmore's latest:
thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../...mentality.html

thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../...ournalism.html

Feral Skeleton

December 15. 2010 06:35 PM

2353

Has anyone figured out yet how Abbott can reduce taxes while supplying better services and (you would have to assume) increasing the funding to Coastwatch and Defence to enable them to provide stronger borders?  Is fairer welfare a genuine attempt to ensure those that need a hand get it?

The reality probably is reduction in taxes leading to reduction in services, more planes to find those "evil" refugees arriving in Australia by boat and demonising another disadvantaged group in Australia - those that are on welfare - to reduce the cost.

In short, privatise the profits, socialise the losses and run the public sector into the ground.  Bet I don't get an invitation to "the round table"!

2353

December 15. 2010 09:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Of course, Tony Abbott's 'Round Tables' won't be a 'Talkfest'. Only the Labor Party has 'talkfests'.

Feral Skeleton

December 15. 2010 09:19 PM

TalkTurkey

Ad astra,
Thanks for keeping this blogsite running. It certainly costs you a lot of angst, but we all appreciate it.
Just think, somewhere gentle jj and Little Sir Limpy and a certain nag-lovin’ Emperor of Rome are enjoying reading this too!  Doesn’t that make you feel good!

To the matter of Julian Assange:
(Reminder: The other day I expressed my surprise that Swordsfolk had been prepared to give Kerry O'Brien such a very-much-more-charitable assessment than I have been inclined to give him for many years.)                                                
Now I must admit to similar astonishment that commenters here seem so prepared to give sort of 50% credibility to claims made against Assange, when the nefarious agenda of the Right is surely what should be given 99% of the cred. The whole story about Assange’s sexual offences against the two (invisible?) women is so-o-o-o unlikely, not impossible, no, but disappearing into insignificance when compared with the obvious alternative reading of the situation, i.e. that it’s a set-up by those who want him silenced, apparently cleverly exploiting a weird little foible in Swedish ‘rape’ law, in Sweden, a country which I understand has acted as a go-between in the USA’s programme of ‘rendition’ of captives to other countries where civilian laws do not apply. That’s how They work! How come folks don’t think that’s what happening now? Why should we give any credit at all to wrongdoing on Assange's part? It is so easy to allege rape, no evidence needed, and it’s not even what any Australian would call rape in this case, but at very worst fairly minor sexual misdeeds, and even then of an almost unbelievable nature. (Sex with a sleeping woman? WHAT? Have I missed something?) There is apparently a loophole in Swedish law that makes such a thing - if it were possible . . (?!) - ‘rape’ . . . but then, if so, it is at the very minimum end of such an offence, and devalues the meaning of the word, which surely must properly involve force against an unwilling partner, and which is not to my knowledge alleged. Admittedly the facts get stranger day by day - Why is Assange being held in SOLITARY? Incommunicado, why? A flight risk, what, when he gave himself up, the most identifiable face on the planet, and he’s agreed to wearing a wrist gadget, and now he's kept in gaol even after being granted bail?! I never heard of such a thing before! And they want him extradited on such grounds? Gee, Swordsfolk, I’d’a thought you’d be white hot about this, you stand for freedom of speech don’t you? It’s good enough for Geoffrey Robertson and Julian Burnside – and Kevin Rudd - to support Assange vociferously, how come Swordsfolk are so diffident? Am I so much more sceptical than most of Yous? I seem to think that my initial take on Dr Haneef was about right, that my initial belief that Reith’s children overboard was a lie was right, that I was right that WE were lied to by THEM all along about Iraq, about Vietnam, I seem to get most things right just on the basis of believing that the Rotten Right are lying! So why would I believe this, the most unbelievable set of gobblededook of the lot, when the alternative agenda is so bloody obvious? The Occam’s Razor principle surely demands that you give the ‘conspiracy theory’ the cred until something substantial to the contrary is offered. How about innocent until proven otherwise? You wouldn’t want someone kept in custody for weeks or months on such charges in Australia would you? It might be a ‘conspiracy theory’, but all that entails is more of the same, Uncle Sam colluding with quisling Things in Sweden to get Assange ‘rendered’.
I have been to both Wikileaks protest meetings in Adelaide, more than 300 people on Sunday, about 250 yesterday. They could use some of the ginger we used to bring to protests like against the Springboks and conscription though. Still they are a broad section of earnest people, you can talk with any of them. The speakers were quite reasonable too.
There do seem to be a few cross-issues bemuddling the waters here, how the MSM is playing it, who’s really calling the shots if you want to get really conspiratorial, what happens to the Internet as a result of Wikileaks, but why wouldn’t you believe the most obvious explanation, it’s the plot of a thousand cheap Yank movies, viz.,
Ordinary Bloke discovers something criminal in high places, spills some beans, threatens to spill more,
Powerful Baddies seek to silence him by any means, find legal loophole in complicit country, trump up charge to frame bloke, hold him incommunicado, trying to spirit him off to permanent silence . . . Now read on . . .
Why would that tried-and-true old formula seem so unlikely?

I think that if there’s a conspiracy here, it’s on t’other foot, a conspiracy not to believe the bleeding obviously probable.
NormanK said: “Surely the US wouldn't do anything stupid with so much media attention focussed on him at present.” Sorry NK, but Bwahahahahahahahaaaaa, and don’t call me Surely!

TalkTurkey

December 15. 2010 11:29 PM

Miglo

How utterly disgusting of Andrew Bolt.  My Dad 'shot better blokes in the war' he would say.

Miglo

December 16. 2010 02:12 AM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey, my sense is that it's not so much a 50% credibility from people at TPS to Assange on the rape issue but rather us wanting to wait for the court case to be heard before passing judgement once the evidence has been presented.  I have been following the discussion on Assange and the rape issue at Larvatus Prodeo - larvatusprodeo.net/.../  and I have found it very enlightening on the legalities of this case and rape in general in Sweden.

If you have time to follow them there are also some great links to some very interesting articles, one of which you can find at www.guardian.co.uk/.../julian-assange-rape-allegations.   Also interesting on that site are the leads in to Assange's own journals which he publishd to the web for some years. e.g.http://web.archive.org/web/20071020051936/http://iq.org/#Canberra

My reservations about Assange don't only come from what I have read there, but what I see resulting from his actions.  Much is made about 'free speech' and 'freedom to publish' in this Wikileaks saga but there seems to be no realization that the media and the printed press in particular are owned by a few powerful men whose ambitions are as dangerous to our democracy as any military dictator or neo-con American party machine.

This issue is dividing opinion on the left quite seriously and unfairly discrediting our government because of the selectivity and spin put on it by Murdoch and now Fairfax editors.  I hope some resolution is reached soon which will give Gillard and a chance to work effectively on the next election.  Her chances are looking slimmer by the day.

PS I thought Wayne Swann gave a good account of the governemnt on the 7.30 Report today.





Patricia WA

December 16. 2010 06:52 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

I feel for those poor souls who lost their lives as their boat was dashed on the rocks at Christmas Island. The Bird of Paradox must be held responsible for the ALP's policy failure.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 16. 2010 09:46 AM

Patricia WA

My response to Talk Turkey on the Assange issue rather than focussing on the boat people tragedy doesn't reflect my order of priorities.  Rather it's about wanting to clear my mind of how I feel about Wikileaks and Assange so as to leave them to one side. Events will unfold and the media will release material as and how they will. For the moment I don't want to think about them.

The refugee issue is so awful and that accident so terrible and inevitable, our sense of guilt about own responsibility for those poor people so huge that many people, and I include myself here, just don't know quite how to cope with it.  I am sure that members of the government feel the same, just as there are politicians on both sides who are trying to avoid the moral issues and find a way to exploit them to their advantage.

Expressing sorrow isn't enough.  Is it possible that this might focus national attention on finding a solution of sorts, however imperfect, rather than apportioning blame?



Patricia WA

December 16. 2010 10:45 AM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             It's the Pm's fault eh? What next transport ministers responsible for the road toll, health ministers for suicide and drug overdoses? you really are a nob.
Sir Ian we can help bomb Iraq back to the stone age on a Lie "WMD" we then head off to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban who was trained and funded, and turned out to be another failed creation of the USA, and you come on here and say the Pm is to blame for yesterday!
Sir Ian! even by your low standards you have offered nothing but a snippet of what Bolt or Akerman trumpet!

Jason

December 16. 2010 12:36 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

C'mon pasty cook....admit it, it's a policy failure.

As the PM sits at her kitchen table staring at the tea leaves floating on the top of her cuppa I'll bet she can see the young bodies of children floating on the Indian Ocean. Lifeless bodies, their screams for help have been silenced forever.

I wonder if our compassionate PM who said "Australia will never let children drown, we are a compassionate country" can hear those screams for help? I wonder.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 16. 2010 01:08 PM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             I'll do no such thing!Nor will I be lectured by someone who supports a party that had two senior ministers who were nothing more than draft dodgers!

Jason

December 16. 2010 01:10 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Sorry J guy. Looks like I hit a nerve.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 16. 2010 02:22 PM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             It's not that you've hit a nerve! how about we wait until all the facts are in on this tragedy, then I like you will be in a position to make an informed opinion, rather than jumping to conclusions! So really having a war of words based on nothing more than our own ideological prejudice's! will do what?

Jason

December 16. 2010 02:40 PM

jj

Hello all,

It has been raining in bucket loads here in Tamworth.

I have read a few of your comments about what has occurred on Christmas Island and i agree that this is a tragic event for all people involved. But like all tragic events there is always a push to find who or what it was that was responsible for the accident. Julia Gillard has been warned inside the parliament and out that there have been many deaths already on the high seas, of those that have attempted to travel to Australia; and yet her government has done very little to try and make sure people dont take these risks. Some say it is a result of border protection measures being too tough, others say that it is because our border protection measures are not tough enough; but either way you look at it, there has been almost no action by the government in either direction to try and prevent people taking the trip.

I have also pasted below an article i found in THE ECONOMIST about a big development in wireless technology which is set to deliver speeds of well over 100 mb.

Bigger and better than Wi-Fi
Wireless networking: The spectrum released by TV’s switch to digital broadcasting will soon be put to good use
Difference Engine

Dec 9th 2010 | from PRINT EDITION

    *
    *

THOSE old enough to remember television before the age of cable and satellite TV may have wondered why half the channels on old-style analogue TV sets seemed to be missing. Apart from channel two, the rest of the original VHF channels on the dial were usually just the odd numbers from three to 13. Why? In over-the-air VHF broadcasting, the channel between two analogue stations had to be left unused so that it would not interfere with adjacent ones. When UHF broadcasting came along, empty “guard bands” were added to each channel for the same reason. In some places, this “white space” of unused frequencies separating working channels amounted to as much as 70% of the total bandwidth available for television broadcasting.

Mobile-phone operators and other would-be users of wireless spectrum have long lusted after television’s empty airwaves. In America, after two years of wrangling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC, has finally given the go-ahead for white-space frequencies to be put to use.

In 2008 the FCC voted to reallocate the various segments of white space and unused channels between 54MHz and 806MHz (channels two to 69), which would no longer be needed when the last of the country’s analogue television transmitters switched to digital broadcasting in June 2009. Unlike analogue transmissions, digital signals do not “bleed” into one another and can therefore be packed closer together. As a consequence, television broadcasters now need little more than half the spectrum they hogged before switching to digital. That has not stopped them fighting tooth and claw to hang on to their unused white space. Most had grand plans for using such frequencies to sell information services to the public.
In this Technology Quarterly

It was not to be. Instead, the FCC has used the switch to digital as an opportunity to liberate huge swathes of bandwidth for others to use. The most valuable frequencies of all, those in the 700MHz band (channels 52-69), have been auctioned off to mobile-phone operators. Between them, Verizon, AT&T and others paid nearly $20 billion to clinch this prime spectrum. The reason these channels are so valuable—and why they were chosen for terrestrial television in the first place—is that their signals travel for miles, can carry a lot of information, are unaffected by weather and foliage, and go through walls to penetrate all the nooks and crannies within the bowels of buildings.

The white space freed up below 700MHz is to be made available for unlicensed use by the public. By doing this, the FCC hopes to trigger another wireless revolution—one potentially bigger than the wave of innovation unleashed a decade or so ago when Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other wireless technologies embraced the unlicensed 2.4GHz band previously reserved for microwave ovens, baby alarms and remote openers for garage doors.

The difference this time is that the frequencies being released will allow much higher data rates. The latest version of Wi-Fi, called 802.11n, shuttles data at 160-300 megabits a second (Mbps). White-space devices are expected to be able to zip data along at 400-800Mbps. And whereas Wi-Fi signals peter out after 100 metres or so, their white-space equivalents could have ranges of several kilometres.


From hotspots to hotzones

Enthusiasts talk about white-space devices offering a “third pipe” for access to the internet, to rival cable and telephone broadband. Others see them providing an alternative to mobile phones. When wireless zones cover entire university campuses rather than mere coffee shops, anyone with a smartphone running Skype or something similar would be free of usage charges and operators’ restrictions.

Before any of that can happen, though, a lot of technical problems will have to be licked. For one thing, white-space transmitters have to avoid interfering with both local television stations and the wireless microphones used in conference halls, sports arenas, theatres and churches. As a white-space gizmo moves around a city, the channels it can use will change, depending on how close it gets to various transmitters. The central access tower it communicates with may then have to hop from one channel to another—checking with all the other client devices using it to see if they can follow suit. If a newcomer joins the network (client devices will be joining and leaving continuously) and happens to be near a transmitter, the tower and its various clients will have to scramble to find yet another channel they can all use without causing interference. The computational problem is not exactly insignificant.

The prototype white-space devices used in trials had little trouble sensing occupied TV channels, typically picking them up at signal strengths less than a thousandth of that needed to display an image on a TV screen. In other words, they could hop off an occupied channel and onto a vacant one before causing so much as a blip on television sets in the area. Even so, the equipment-makers argue that, though doable, all this sensing palaver makes white-space devices needlessly complicated and expensive.

The FCC seems to agree. At a meeting in September the commissioners voted unanimously to ditch the spectrum-sensing requirement and let device-makers rely solely on interrogating online databases to find vacant channels. Meanwhile, wireless microphones are to be allocated two separate channels of their own.

Having been given the go-ahead, equipment-makers now expect that the chips needed to make the technology work in phones, laptops, tablets and other gadgets will start trickling out over the next year. White-space consumer products could then hit the retail market by late 2012. If Wi-Fi is anything to go by, white-space networking has the potential to change the way people live, work and play. All it needs now is a snappier name.

Hope your Xmas will be better that Julia Gillard's... what a way to end the year for her!

jj

December 16. 2010 02:43 PM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
I see you are again in judgemental mode and have already indentified the guilty party in the Christmas Island boat tragedy.  Never mind the facts, the evidence yet to be gathered, the weighing of it, and formulation of a conclusion, something that will likely take months, you know who is guilty and it’s the Bird of Paradox.

You would have been an ideal juror in Tom Robinson’s trial – mind made up before the trail began; but even those biased jurors took many hours weighing the evidence before their prejudice overwhelmed reason.  Not so for you.

Ad astra reply

December 16. 2010 03:00 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

So have a stab J guy; what happened?

a) a group of presumed asylum seekers and refugees smashed up their boat
b) looking for excitement, the above group steered toward the rocks
c) an Australian Collins Class sub fired on the boat by mistake

Have a go J guy. Is it a, b, or c? Or perhaps the boat was caught in unfavourable weather. Let's not speculate, let's wait for the report.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 16. 2010 03:33 PM

Ad astra reply

TT, Patricia WA
Clearly the Assange issue is a vexed one with opinions coming down on each side of the debate.  At the moment we have theories about why the saga is unfolding in the way it is.  I doubt if we can get far dissecting what might have happened between Assange and the women who allege rape, or analysing the vagaries of Swedish law on this matter.  While some see the rape charges as central, others see them as a distraction from the issue of the leaks.  For my part, I have insufficient evidence to voice an opinion about the charges against Assange.  We need to separate abhorrence of any form of violence against women from the charges against him, about which we have little evidence.  If justice prevails, that will be sorted out in the courts.  What some fear is that justice in this issue will be perverted by the matter of the leaks.

The substance of the WikiLeaks, and its promulgation, seems less important than what the leaks revealed about the behind-the-scenes dialogue that occurs in diplomatic circles.  That it occurs is not so surprising, but that it is so frank and at times unflattering, is, and even more surprising is that it is faithfully recorded and in this instance was so easily accessible by a comparative amateur who walked out of what ought to have been a secure environment with these files on a Lady Gaga CD.  Even more disturbing is the sometime inconsistency between the public statements of diplomats and their private utterances.  The public is being told one thing, while the diplomat often believes something quite different.

Whatever individual judgements are made about the propriety of the leaks or their substance, some good outcomes might be greater transparency in international affairs, greater care in the use of language in diplomacy, greater consistency between what is said in private and to the public, and much, much greater security of files that contain this sensitive information.  The leaks have cast a sinister pall over international diplomacy that will take time to disperse, if indeed that is possible in our time.

Ad astra reply

December 16. 2010 03:33 PM

TalkTurkey

It is the desperation of people that makes them risk everything to cast their fate to the high seas in inadequate boats with uncertain crews - that is what makes them true refugees. They are brave, they are scared, they are committed as we in the Wide Brown Land can only imagine with dread from afar. I honour their spirit and if there are people whom I would be prima facie inclined to trust, it would be people in this situation of ultimate need, rather than those of favoured means who step blithely from Q jets. It is a terrible situation, that humanity comes to this, and it is like heartburn that some are so unfeeling as to wish to make political capital of an event such as this Christmas Island tragedy. C'mon jj, Limpy, join the human race eh? A few minutes' silence to reflect on how Australia might do better would help, perhaps . . .

TalkTurkey

December 16. 2010 03:54 PM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             Why don't we say it as it is?
      

A boat carrying suspected refugees hit the rocks on Christmas Island losing aprox 28 people! Sir Ian Crisp, Bolt and Akerman find cause for celabration and were seen to be going long into the night with one of them heard to of said
No doubt this will get the message across to those barstards who wish to follow!

Jason

December 16. 2010 04:09 PM

jj

Talk Turkey,

I don't see why you took what i said as being humane? Instead of calling me names how about you just point out where i went wrong.

It is not the peoples' attempt to try and come to Australia by boat that makes them true refugees and that has been proven...there are many who make the journey as to improve their families economic circumstances. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with that either, however we do have to preference who can be accepted first and we have made the decision to process and then allow those that are escaping persecution or countries of extreme violence; it is that which makes them genuine refugees not the fact that they came by boat.

Julia Gillard has done nothing since she has become PM to address the issue, that was and is my point... so of course she owns some of the blame. To back up my point Julia Gillard has announced that she wishes for there to be a joint parliamentary committee to have a look at the issue of policy in this area. This is nothing more than an attempt by Gillard to try and hush up those that have questions and try and spread the blame if something further goes wrong. She decided to take government so how about SHE and her MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION take some responsibility and ACT! Talking of playing politics!

jj

December 16. 2010 04:09 PM

jj

sorry that is inhumane

jj

December 16. 2010 04:12 PM

jj

Jason,

Your friends David Marr and Jonathan Green should also get a mention for trying to gain political points out of this tragedy... i know you may have deliberately left them out of your list.

jj

December 16. 2010 04:34 PM

Jason

jj,
  no! didn't deliberately leave anything out! and if Marr and johnaton Green are in on it I add them as well! I was unaware of their comments or otherwise!

Jason

December 16. 2010 06:22 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Until the tragedy has become less acute, until we have the facts surrounding the shipwreck, why do we need to blame anyone?

Those who seek to gain political advantage from this sad event are the ones most heavily into the blame game.

And before anyone else gets into blame, tell us first how the asylum seeker issue could be handled better, with less potentially serious consequences.

Ad astra reply

December 16. 2010 07:56 PM

TalkTurkey

jj said
"I don't see why you took what i said as being humane? . . . Sorry that is inhumane"
>D-uh jj I didn't call you humane nor inhumane.
What I said was: C'mon jj, Limpy, join the human race eh?
D-uh, jj, do try not to misquote.

Instead of calling me names how about you just point out where i went wrong.
> D-uh, I didn't call you anything but jj!
D-uh, jj, do try not to fabricate.

It is not the peoples' attempt to try and come to Australia by boat that makes them true refugees
>D-uh jj, that's not what I said,
I said It is the desperation of people that makes them risk everything to cast their fate to the high seas in inadequate boats with uncertain crews - that is what makes them true refugees.
jj do try very hard to understand my carefully-worded posts.
They're not rocket science, but it's not accidentally worded neither.
  
jj I can see you are seriously logically and verbally challenged, incapable of correct interpretation of simple sentences and even more so of putting sensible sentences together, and quite prepared to misqote if you think it helps your case, but let me point out the subject of that sentence about refugees: desperation. Not means of transport, not destination, but desperation. That's what makes people true refugees. That's everywhere, all the time, not necessarily in boats, not necessarily Australia, but terror, hunger, dispossession - desperation. Perhaps now you have understood that you might be quite, dare I say, humane. Please?

Now look, jj, the rest of your drippy note to me is so bl'b bl'b bl'b, (like Keating with the lips?!), I really can't respond. It's more gobbledegook, suggest you rethink, rewrite, and get back to me eh?

TalkTurkey

December 16. 2010 08:40 PM

Jason

AA,
  Your question on how to best deal with asylum seekers! I say we build the regional processing center here! we have land we have the money and we're not a country that has a problem with corruption.
If those on the right have a problem with that so be it? eventually the opposition have to come up with something!Nauru isn't the answer! it is nothing more than a Guantanamo Bay  out of the reach of our legal system but without the torture!

Jason

December 16. 2010 10:17 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason
You're the first to make a plausible suggestion about how to manage the asylum seeker issue.  Thank you.  Let's see what Sir Ian and jj say.

Ad astra reply

December 17. 2010 07:07 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

If the latest 'leak' is true the bird of paradox has lost her credibility. She was pushing the "JG for PM" barrow about 1 year before her dear friend Kevin was pushed under a bus. All the while she was telling us that Kevin Rudd had her full support and she had no intention of offering herself for the position of PM. It may be that the hacks at News.com have been right all this time.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 17. 2010 08:52 AM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             Even if the story is true, it just shows how impotent Costello was. There he was 11 years and couldn't even get the numbers! Julia done it one lol!

Jason

December 17. 2010 09:22 AM

jj

Jason,

Great attempt at trying to spin the latest cable somehow as a positive for Gillard! The fact is that if what is said in the cable is true (no one has denied it yet), than Julia Gillard lied to the Australian public. So much for being the loyal deputy!

jj

December 17. 2010 09:32 AM

jj

Talk Turkey,

Once again a whole lot of gobble gobble but not much else.

Now just to make sure i will directly quote you this time, "It is the desperation of people that makes them risk everything to cast their fate to the high seas in inadequate boats with uncertain crews - that is what makes them true refugees."... right... got it. Ok and then what i said was that not all those that get on the boat to come to Australia are as desperate as others left in the camps in Indonesia; some leave for economic reasons as an example. Therefore when these asylum seekers arrive at Xmas island they are processed to make sure that they are genuine. Now you obviously disagree on the process. You believe that because they fled on a boat the end justifies the means, but that has been proven to be wrong.

jj

December 17. 2010 09:47 AM

Jason

jj,
  Wasn't trying to spin anything! which bit was wrong? You know as well as I the cacus picks the leader, not the public.Yes no one has denied it as yet and your point being?  
No story here as far as I can see this has gone on with both sides of the political fence for ever!
But jj you also need to know how the Labor party works and where Rudd was in the scheme of things as far as the factions go! He didn't belong to one he also cut off a lot of the power that the faction bosses have so when you piss off enough people on your own side don't be suprised when they come after you!!
As I said no story here!  

Jason

December 17. 2010 10:57 AM

TalkTurkey

jj
D-uh. Over and out.

*******************

Assange now released after 9 days' solitary (SOLITARY and INCOMMUNICADO for Dog's sake!), now with GPS bracelet and under strict conditions of daily appearances to authorities and after finding two hundred thousand pounds surety . . . whilst wearing the most recognizable face in the known universe . . .
Like wearing self-supporting trousers, with braces, and a belt, and still keeping your hands in your pockets . . .

Geoffrey Robertson, surely one of the most amazingly civilized and urbane beings I have ever had the comfort of observing, stood at Assange's left shoulder looking pleased and thoughtful throughout Assange's restrained press statement upon his release.

Assange reflected that in a Victorian prison, in solitary confinement, he had now had opportunity to experience something of the same sort of treatment that is routinely handed out to captives in many places.

Gee Fellow Aussies, I reckon it's just outrageous. This is punishment already! It is intimidation, already! It can't be given back to him, this time, nor can the experience be erased. If Queenie Herself were to beg his forgiveness it would not undo the treatment he's ALREADY had. He stayed in Sweden for a month already, back when the alleged offences were fresh, he answered everything, didn't skip, he was cleared at the time as effectively not having a case to answer . . . Then this! Nine days' solitary, incommunicado, under threat of extradition, to a Swedish kangaroo court on mickey mouse charges - (which they ARE - have You read what they are?!) - and the terror of possible 'rendition' to Guantanamo that ISN'T closed, deserted and condemned by key figures in his own nation's Government, NOT for the alleged sex crimes, note, but because they hate him for the leaks and fear America's vituperation if they don't suckhole them. (Bluntly.)

My Dog, if it were me, I reckon I'd be feeling pretty bloody hard-done-by, and very paranoid about what it was all really about. Wouldn't You?

Lots worse things happen to people all the time - the old saying 'Worse things happen at sea' was never so poignant! - but Friends, nine days' solitary, with huge threats and uncertainties over your head, I reckon that's all pretty frightening - and 'way over the top even if the alleged offences were true in all their marshmallow horror!  

Don't You?

BTW There is a lurking subplot here. It concerns the mostly unspoken suspicion that women's concerns are being trivialised. Not by me. These two women's complaints are trivial. Their triviality devalues genuine cases of serious sexual crime, as that woman wanting $37 million for sexual harassment of the not-very-serious kind from David Jones makes genuine cases less credible. And the thing is it's all a put-up job wrt Assange.  

Oh and the other thing, it's important to keep the issues of sex-crime, the morality/advisability of release of documents, and what the MSM does with the issue, all separate. This letter has only to do with the sex-crime part.

Sorry Swordsfolk about my increasingly strident tone in this matter, but I reckon Julia got it wrong, I think it's outrageous, and if no-one else here gets shrill, I will.  

TalkTurkey

December 17. 2010 11:40 AM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian, jj
While you may prefer to believe the WikiLeak story about Julia that emanated from an obscure SA ‘Labor powerbroker’, as that would build up your anti-Gillard case, like Jason, I believe Julia.  Every time she was asked about her leadership intentions she spoke with authenticity and had an aura of honesty.  If you want to believe otherwise, that’s your right.  But don’t expect us to give your views any credence.

TT
I see your views and agree that the way Assange has been treated by those out to get him, has been appalling.  My views about Julia’s early statements about him were expressed in a previous post.  I haven’t changed my view.

Folks
I’ll be on the road for several hours back to the south coast, and will be back this evening.

Ad astra reply

December 17. 2010 12:13 PM

jj

AA,

So your basing your case for Julia Gillard's truthfulness on the fact that she seemed to speak the truth when asked about the issue in the Australian media!?!? Remember this isnt coming from us as some sort of conspiracy theory, it is contained in classified information that has not been refuted by any of the parties involved.
Now i know that you would rather dismiss what is being said about Gillard, but i would always trust irrefutable fact over the words of a politician as deceptive and mysterious as Gillard.

Jason,

What the hell did the cable have to do with Costello?
What, are you saying that Gillard did the right thing in toppling Kevin Rudd because they were down in the polls; or as the cables state, because she was power hungry?
The problem is Jason that Gillard put hand on heart and proclaimed to the whole of Australia that she had no leadership aspirations whatsoever time after time. Now we find out that she had lied time after time, and then after becoming PM, lied again.
The Howard-Costello years were ones of stable and reliable leadership. The liberal party was not beholden to the polls like the Labor party is today. And Costello never attempted to challenge because all along he knew he did not have the numbers, and if his attempt had failed he would have had to forfeit his position, and would have been looked upon as an egocentric, power hungry politician; not a team player as he is today.

jj

December 17. 2010 12:49 PM

NormanK

jj
Normally I would allow your rhetoric to go through to the keeper but this is just too much. You wish to claim as "irrefutable fact" something written in a cable by a third party who claims to have had a particular conversation with a particular individual on a particular subject. If I say to someone that I think Jason is from Mars and that person whips off a cable to Head Office reporting what I think, does that make it an "irrefutable fact"? Have we just proven that Jason is from Mars?
As to the claims going uncontested, I don't know what your source was this morning but if you read the article in the Herald Sun you'll find this :
Senator Farrell, when contacted by The Australian last night, admitted he had conversations with the US embassy, but said: "I can't recall any conversation along those lines."
www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frf7kx-1225972531824
If at the time of asking, Julia Gillard had no intention of challenging in the foreseeable future, then she wasn't lying. It goes without saying that all deputies harbour leadership ambitions and will consequently regularly monitor their support among their colleagues. Unless they are astute enough to know that deputy is as high as they'll ever get - like Julie Bishop.
Do you seriously believe that Costello didn't crunch the numbers on a regular basis to help him to decide whether or not to challenge? Let me answer that for you in your own words : "And Costello never attempted to challenge because all along he knew he did not have the numbers".
Mal Brough has just been allowed back into the LNP in Queensland and has clearly stated :
The former Queensland MP said he would run for preselection for the federal seat of Fisher, aspired to be a minister in the coalition and harboured ambitions to be the prime minister.
news.theage.com.au/.../...-lnp-20101210-18svu.html
Does this mean then that, should he be re-elected to federal parliament, every time he expresses support for the Coalition leader, he is lying because we "know" that he has leadership aspirations? What nonsense.

As an Australian citizen, I'm a good deal more worried by the fact that our politicians appear to be running to the US and blabbing about our internal politics. In what way does this make my life any better? What national cause is served by letting a foreign power into the loop of domestic politics? The current leaks are about Labor figures but it is only reasonable to assume that all parties are indulging in this talking out of school.
Keep an eye on your In-Box and if this bandwagon turns up, you might want to book a seat. Careful though, Coalition quotes are only a few leaks away.

NormanK

December 17. 2010 01:17 PM

jj

NormanK,

So are you claiming that the US diplomats have lied in their cables about what it is that was said?

The problem is that Julia Gillard constructed a story that she had no intentions about taking over the leadership before the election as to help her election prospects once she became leader, and now we know that that was a falsehood. Sure i dont blame her for not declaring before the election that she did not want to take Kevin's job, however the fact that she played dumb during the election campaign and went along with the, 'spur of the moment decision story', treating us all like idiots i find irksome.

jj

December 17. 2010 01:26 PM

Jason

jj,
  Still no story here!As Normank has said we are only a few leaks away from the eleven and a half years of the Howard government, which I assume will put the internal goings on within the Labor party in the shade, this shabby attempt might be as good as it gets for you!This is but the warm up act to the main event!

Jason

December 17. 2010 02:04 PM

NormanK

jj
Yes, I am suggesting that the US diplomat may have misrepresented what was said. We have no way of knowing what is truth and what is speculation. In fact we don't even know if the cables are genuine. We know nothing on which to base a firm judgement.
Bear in mind that even if X said to Y something about Z, we must question the veracity and motives of X in making the comments in the first place. Then we have to question the veracity and motives of Y reporting this to his masters. Add to that the question of the legitimacy of the cables themselves. Who is the source? What are their motives? No government is confirming these cables are genuine (to be expected) but it does mean they are not completely reliable.
You seem to think the cable "proves" she was planning the over-throw and knew beforehand exactly when she was going to strike. No such proof exists. Yes, she had leadership aspirations. Yes, she would have been monitoring the numbers - nothing unusual there. Yes, she may well have manoeuvred to make sure it didn't turn into a three-way race by keeping other aspirants out in the cold. Normal politics.
But there is nothing except your imagination to say that she planned to move before the election. Far more conceivable that she would have taken an opportunity somewhere in the first half of Labor's second term but "something happened" to change her mind and she resolved to act pre-election.
It doesn't help that you have such an incredibly low opinion of Julia Gillard. This is the only concession I can make to you. Once our opinion of someone has reached a certain point of disdain, there is very little hope of it being restored regardless of what the individual does. Such is my opinion of Tony Abbott but by being aware of this shortcoming in my thinking, I constantly remind myself to judge each of his comments and actions on their individual merits. You are allowing your opinion to colour every single thing you hear from her or hear said about her.
For example you wrote above :
The problem is that Julia Gillard constructed a story that she had no intentions about taking over the leadership before the election as to help her (sic) election prospects once she became leader.
The highlighted phrase is a baseless assumption on your part - it is not an indisputable fact. Or perhaps you know something that I don't.

NormanK

December 17. 2010 02:49 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

As if to compound the notion that there is very little between the PM's ears the Federal Police have now come out and said that WikiLeaks has broken no Australian law. The Bird of Paradox is on record as saying that leaking of confidential cables to Washington from the US Embassy in Canberra was illegal.

Would someone, anyone, throw this poor lame excuse of a PM a lifeline please.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 17. 2010 03:30 PM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             Just like the mad monk who said the other day "Australia has no closer or more longstanding friend in Asia than Japan and I am happy to make this my first overseas visit in the Asia-Pacific region as opposition leader," Mr Abbott said."

WW2 Sir Ian? ring any bells! Japan may choose to forget these events we dont!

Jason

December 17. 2010 04:09 PM

Jason

Sir Ian Crisp,
             I know that you've been busy trying catch the Pm out on such as you latest offering, that you would have been to busy to notice that Dr Haneef was back in the country this time claiming compensation as a result of? Now what law did he break? if comes to you let me know!

Jason

December 17. 2010 05:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

Eeuurrgghh! I'm sick in bed, and have come to a juddering halt. Frown
I have just arisen after many hours either asleep or in another room in the house(no names, no pack drill). Hence, my latest blog has fallen of the cliff with me. So sorry guys. I'm still trying to get it together. Though I admit, with two larger stories than the cautious effort on Banking reform that Wayne Swan put out it has made that particular subject a tad irrelevant. Anyway, I'd appreciate suggestions as to what I should do. Smile
   Suffice to say, that while this cat's been away, the mice(SIC & jj) have been at play.
More on them in my next couple of comments, before I go back to having a throbbing headache and taking to my bed. Frown

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 06:05 PM

NormanK

Feral Skeleton
Sorry to hear that you are not well. Hope you recover quickly.
Your piece on Swan's reforms will still be topical in the New Year. This close to Christmas, I'm sure you have much better things to do once you're back on deck.

NormanK

December 17. 2010 08:16 PM

Ad astra reply

FS
Sorry to read that you are not well.  Getting right is more important than finishing your piece.  Take your time.  There's plenty to comment on at present.  We hope you are soon well again.  Best wishes from us all.

Ad astra reply

December 17. 2010 08:24 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK, Jason
Even if the Archangel Gabriel was to descend from heaven like a dove, alight on Julia's shoulder and say to her - 'You have done well, Good and Faithful Servant', Sir Ian and jj would still consider her to be an incompetent liar who has little between the ears.  Nothing we or anyone else can say in support of her will convince them otherwise.  So why bother?

Ad astra reply

December 17. 2010 08:35 PM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
   Gullible little country hick just 'wishin', 'n hopin', 'n prayin' for that killer blow to smote Julia Gillard and the ALP, huh?
   Did you even read the screed you regurgitated onto the page here? Or, more correctly, did you understand what it was all about? Btw, I notice it was an American load of drivel, with its references to 'lame,gay, churchy' uses for wireless microphones which the 'lame,gay, churchy evangelical preachers use to brainwash their gullible subjects, such as your American counterparts.
   Now, firstly, you still have no answer to the problem of Wireless crowding. As in, if it becomes as widely popular as you hope and pray it will in order to 'demolish' the singular difference between the sloganeering bully boys in the Coalition and the ALP, being the NBN, then, pray tell, how will using the analog whitespace provide the solution to this problem? A piece of the analog spectrum is just that, a piece, and if everyone wishes to jump on it it will suffer the same 'crowding out' problems that any other form of Wireless broadband will.
  Also, as you read the screed some major problems with the whole set up are alluded to:
'Before any of that can happen, though, a lot of technical problems will have to be licked.'
  Oops! Not the messiah technology you had hoped for exactly, is it, jj?
'For one thing, white-space transmitters have to avoid interfering with both local television stations and the wireless microphones used in conference halls, sports arenas, theatres and churches.'
  Now, as soon as all those local halls, theatres, television stations, sports arenas, conference halls and churches go back to using the wired microphones again, everything will be hunky dory for Whitespace Wireless. QED, jj!
   This is just laughable when it comes to reliance on the system jj is advocating as a replacement for fibre optic broadband:
'The central access tower it communicates with may then have to hop from one channel to another—checking with all the other client devices using it to see if they can follow suit. If a newcomer joins the network (client devices will be joining and leaving continuously) and happens to be near a transmitter, the tower and its various clients will have to scramble to find yet another channel they can all use without causing interference. The computational problem is not exactly insignificant.'
   Anyone familiar with mobile phone signal drop out? Well, now it seems we can add Broadband signal dropout to the list. Not to mention the 'crowding out' which is also alluded to above.
   Finally we have the 'wishful thinking' par from jj's screed(Build the chips and devices, and they will come, and the problems will just disappear):
'Having been given the go-ahead, equipment-makers now expect that the chips needed to make the technology work in phones, laptops, tablets and other gadgets will start trickling out over the next year. White-space consumer products could then hit the retail market by late 2012. If Wi-Fi is anything to go by, white-space networking has the potential to change the way people live, work and play. All it needs now is a snappier name.'
  I love the kicker: a 'snappier name' will enable the manufacturers and their marketing departments to successfully suck the rubes in.
  jj, do you really think we are just as gullible as you? We analyse the facts and evidence here at TPS, and base our conclusions on them accordingly.
  Smarmy little screeds sourced from your e-mail Inbox that have been sent to you from your overseas, Right Wing websites which you subscribe to will not survive the valid scrutiny we put such things under here.
   Btw, if that's the best the Conservatives and their adoring minions, such as yourself, can come up with to attempt to 'demolish' the NBN, then all I can say is that Julia Gillard will have a very Merry Xmas indeed.
   Unlike Julie Bishop, for whom the knives are out in earnest in the Coalition.

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 09:05 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Now, for you, Sir Ian Crisp. POssessor of just the sort of elitist, patrician-sounding name that conservative fun boys, such as yourself, like to append to their blog identities. Legends in their own, self-funded retiree Home Offices that they are.
  Could you please delineate, specifically, and with a well-reasoned argument, supported by facts and evidence, as opposed to bald assertion, how exactly it is the fault of the Gillard government's Asylum Seeker policies that has led to the deaths of the Christmas Island-bound refugees?
   Did she create the weather that would cause their boat to founder? As the first woman to rise to be Prime Minister of our country, I grant that she is adept, however, I don't think that she has been able to go that one step further and achieve god-like status just yet.
   Did she push the boat off the shores of the Indonesian coast, irregardless of the weather that would be encountered off Christmas Island? Nope.
   Have People Smugglers just been 'magicked up' by the Rudd/Gillard governments since they came to power? Actually, I think if you go to Ash Ghebranious' blog of yesterday, or the day before, you will find a little graph that shows just how many Asylum Seekers have been put to sea, both in the Howard and the Rudd/Gillard governments. You will also be able to see most graphically that it was the Howard government that holds the record, 2 years running, for the largest number of Boat People arrivals, of over 4500 and 4000. Way more than any total since the Rudd & Gillard governments came to power. But that's a dirty little secret that the bigots in the Coalition, who told the Americans that the Asylum Seeker issue plays well for them in the electorate, will admit to as they peddle their trash.
   Also that it is indeed acknowledged by the UNHCR that the Gillard government's policy of seeking to build a Regional Processing Centre for Refugees in East Timor, which will give the People Smugglers no product to market to the Asylum Seekers, is the best solution to our Refugee problems, other than processing them on the Australian mainland once they get here. Which I don't approve of because I think that it opens them still to perilous journies on the open seas, and breaches our borders in ways I personally don't approve of. Yes, that's right, like the bleating Conservatives in the Coalition, but for different reasons, I do believe in a 'Strong Border' policy.
   Also, I note that we have not heard a peep out of you about the sham arrivals to study bogus courses of students to Australia as an illegitimate back door way to obtain permament residency in Australia. An 'Under the Radar' way of cramming ever-increasing numbers of migrants into Australia that Howard favoured, and which saw good, Australian-grown children thrown onto the unemployment scrap heap who could not afford to get into Tertiary courses that they were flooding into as well. I certainly don't forget the stubbornly high Youth Unemployment rate which persisted throughout the Howard years. Which is now seeking to be rectified by the Gillard government's policies to increase the number of native-born students going onto a Tertiary education.
   There is also the well-documented large cohort of Visa overstayers who lob here by plane. Something which the Right Wing bigots always fail to mention when they attempt to gin-up ire against the Boat arrivals.
   Now, as Julia Gillard is trying to find a way to make order out of this chaotic situation, which she inherited from the Howard government, where irregular(not 'Illegal') Asylum Seeker boat arrivals have had a sorry history of being used as political footballs, while the real problem was allowed to fester and bloom elsewhere, it is my humble opinion that you, Sir Ian Crisp, or whatever the hell foolish, patrician-sounding name you wish to go by here, do not have a leg to stand on when it comes to your negative assertions wrt the Gillard government's Asylum Seeker policies.

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 09:18 PM

NormanK

FS
Feeling a bit better are we?

AA
I do try to resist jj's nonsense but sometimes it just goes beyond the pale.

Jason
In anticipation of tomorrow's headlines outing you as an alien, I do apologise for disclosing your point of origin.

NormanK

December 17. 2010 09:18 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK and Ad Astra,
                     You are both 'Sweetness and Light'. Thank you. Smile
Never fear, before I was stricken with the UTI lurgy, I was deeply reflecting on the Banking Reform package from Wayne Swan, and as you still seem interested to hear my opinion then I will plug on and give it, as and when I can. Long story short, it was a cautious document. Whether it was correct to be behaving that way, and why, will be the subject of further elucidation by me anon.

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 09:42 PM

Feral Skeleton

  It's also been my overriding observation about Julian Assange that we may not be seeing many leaks about Right Wing politicians, which many of us have been waiting for. In fact, if you were to be able to ask him about American politicians such as Ron Paul, and other Right Wing Libertarians, I think you might be surprised at the favourable response you would hear slip from his lips. The chap, Vaughan Smith, that he is staying with at Ellingham Hall in England, is a noted British Right Wing Libertarian. The diametric opposite of The Bloomsbury Set redux in the 21st century some of us imagined him as being part of.

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 09:42 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Gee FS, you still sound consumed by illness. I think you'd best hop back into bed and get over it....and don't forget your medication.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 17. 2010 09:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        Not feeling better, just distracting myself for a while. It makes me feel better even though I am not. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 10:10 PM

NormanK

FS
Unless you are basing your remarks on more than guilt by association, don't be too hasty in judging Assange because of his place of refuge. In an interview to "defend" his stance, Vaughan Smith said that although he and Assange are diametrically opposed politically, he (Smith) is a big supporter of the concept of transparent government and therefore of Assange's ambitions. He was careful not to express support for or condemnation of Wikileaks and its actions.

NormanK

December 17. 2010 10:47 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Gee, SIC, that riposte will make me lose some sleep tonight. Not. Made me feel just a bit more ill. Ta.
  If you like, tomorrow I'll disect all the other claptrap I see you've been coming out with here lately. Wish me a good night's sleep now, so that I may awake refreshed tomorrow, prepared for the task at hand. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 10:59 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        That's good to hear. I also hear he's a big fan of Science Fiction by Harry Harrison and Phillip K.Dick. He's also a fan of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I wonder if he reflected on 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' and this quote from A.S. while he was in solitary?
"In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State."

Feral Skeleton

December 17. 2010 11:27 PM

TalkTurkey

FS
Don't forget you leave that Uluru-size void . . . Get well soon . . .

TalkTurkey

December 17. 2010 11:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Thank you, TT. Off now to a night filled with rigors while I sleep. Yum.

Feral Skeleton

December 18. 2010 01:45 AM

Jason

FS,
   Glad your back! no doubt I'll get called one of the praetorian guard! but who cares?
NormanK being called an alien is rather kind! just had Mrs Jason pick me up from a CFMEU booze up and I don't think she used the word alien! in fact she sounded a bit like Abbott two and three word slogans!  

Jason

December 18. 2010 08:15 AM

2353

Back after a couple of days away for work and I see SIC is trying (along with some "media commentators" apparently) to link Gillard and the tragic demise of a number of people of Christmas Island.

What complete and utter bollocks!!!!!!!!!  Gillard had as much to do with this as Abbott who was a member of the Federal Cabinet that set up the Christmas Island Detention Centre as well as demonising refugees arriving by leaky boat rather than 747 when the reality is a far greater number of people choose the 747 route into Australia and then overstay their Visa - which actually IS illegal.

Also while I was away, I see there is now a document written by a US Diplomat claiming on third party evidence that Gillard was trying for a while to be PM.  If it true (remembering it is hearsay), Gillard did it first time around unlike Costello (who never did it) or Keating who cooled his heels on the back bench for something like 6 months.  I still don't see the problem - how may leaders have the LNP had since the 2007 election and why is it different to roll a leader in Government and Opposition?








The answer to the question above is - 3 and it isn't.

2353

December 18. 2010 09:35 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

Actually and factually 2353 those arriving in Oz via a 747 arrive here legally with some class of visa. If that person has not removed himself or herself from Oz when the visa expires they can then be classified as illegally in Oz. Those arriving in Oz without a visa are illegal entrants.

If the bird of paradox gleefully pushed Kevin under a bus why did she say things like 'Kevin is our PM and he has my total support' and 'I have no plans to oust Kevin, my dear friend'?

Sir Ian Crisp

December 18. 2010 09:47 AM

TalkTurkey

2353, well said on your several points.
SIC (sic!) is SICK!

PatriciaWA, Feral Skeleton,
As far as the matter of what the leaks have revealed, the way the MSM are choosing to play the whole drama and what whose hidden agendas might be, I do have wonderments about them, yes. I don't see much in the way of stuff seriously hurtful to people I'd like to see brought down, Reith, Cheney, Blair, RottenRight (*)s that they are, and I wonder about why; is there a Final Filter, or indeed are there more than one Final Filters? Is there anything of really major importance in the documents at all? How will the CIA and Murdoch turn all the kerfuffle to their advantage in emasculating the 5th Estate? (and how can we gazzump THEM?)

There are other issues related to leaking, not specific to Wikileaks and not related to Julian Assange. Is there a Line over which leakers shouldn't step? (or is it like the Queue that the Boat People jump?) Who is to say? Has a leaker the responsibility of worrying that some people will be victimised by the leaking of certain information?

But in the matter of Assange himself, I cannot but think, (a), he is brave and sincere,
(b), he has been most grievously treated already, and (c) to think that somehow he is a catspaw of THEM, or simply their stooge, one would have to be far more conspiratorially-minded than just to believe THEY're Out To Get Him any way They can, as I do.

Assange is "free" at the moment, (with GPS anklet, having to self-present twice daily, under nightly curfew, Cripes!, "FREE"?!!!) but we should consider what our (5th Estate's) response should be should Assange after all be extradited to Sweden, even in face of expert British opinion that he has effectively no case to answer in relation to his alleged sexual misdoings, and considering that he has been cleared of illegality by Australian Federal Police. Because mark my words, Swordsfolks, the real agenda in getting him to Sweden lies with the Good Ol' USA, and if Assange ends up in Guantanamo, or assassinated, don't be too surprised. He must already be very scared.  

TalkTurkey

December 18. 2010 09:54 AM

Jason

Sir Ian,
       I will remain leader of my party for as long as my party wants me! and while it remains in the liberal partys best interest!
Then when told during APEC 2007 that they didn't want him did the lying rodent go?
Not on your life!
Sir Ian get a life FFS!

Jason

December 18. 2010 10:15 AM

Bilko

Regardless of JJ and SIC diatribes Julia is still more preferable PM to Tones on every count in every poll. Even all the efforts of Murdoch minions have not shifted public perception. The CI incident is a tragedy and unlike SIVX is in full view of the Aus public hopefully it will be a wake up call to the "asylum seeker dilemma" and subsequent paranoia, common sense to prevail??

Bilko

December 18. 2010 10:23 AM

Rx

Feral Skeleton,

December 17. 2010 09:05 PM

Fantastic work flaying Ian Crisp! An enjoyable, and informative, read.

Rx

December 18. 2010 10:37 AM

TalkTurkey

Rudeness Challenge # . . . 6? . . . been a while . . .

Yeah Limpy this modest little verse tribute is for you, in honour of your cleverness and sensitivity in crediting TBOP with the deaths of those queue-jumpin' terrorists.

Lest we forget your contribution to humanity, here's a possible epitaph for you.

"Run for the Doctor, quick, quick, quick!
'Sir' Ian Crisp is 'SIC'!(sic!)- SICK!"
But the Doctor came, he shook his head:
"He's not just sick Folks, he's brain-dead!"

C'mon Limpy, lift yr game, say something funny like me once a while Yeah? You're such a drag . . .


TalkTurkey

December 18. 2010 11:18 AM

TalkTurkey

Here's another possible headstone inscription for you Limpy.

(Not that I'm suggesting that you, like, drown yourself as a Crispmess pleasant for the rest of Us . . . )

'SIR' IAN ("Limpy") CRISP
    (19.. - 20..)

Here lies Sir Ian:
It's no surprise -
Limpy was famous
For his lies!

Jeez I'm nasty eh Limpy? Why don't you say something nasty back to make me feel worse?

"Burn me if you want Brer Fox, beat me to death, hang me, drown me, but please, please Brer fox, don't throw me into that there Briar Bush . . . " Heh heh.

TalkTurkey

December 18. 2010 11:20 AM

Miglo

Sorry to hear your health isn't the best at the moment, FE.  Get well soon.

Miglo

December 18. 2010 11:48 AM

Gravel

Feral Skeleton

I hope you get better really quickly, what an awful time of the year to be unwell.  When you do get better don't lose the tirade you have unleashed last night, I really enjoyed your comments.  I too look forward to your piece on the "Banks" but hey next year is as good a time as any, don't push yourself, I'm sure many of us will wait. Might even be a good idea to wait now until the New Year when everything quietens down.

Jason

How's the head today?

TalkTurkey

I have to say I am disappointed with the Wikileaks leaks, there has been nothing substantial, just the usual nasty gossip.  I was hoping there would be some good facts about misdemeanors committed by the opposition, pre and post 2007/8.  As for the Swedish case, I would rather have more facts before I can comment.  

Gravel

December 18. 2010 11:52 AM

Jason

AA,
  I see the miners aren't happy! and may start another add campaign www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg9df-1225972993719

May I be the first to offer the miners a word of advice, take whats on offer now or sit back and wait until July when the greens have the balance of power in the senate,
If Clive, Twiggy et al have forgoten the greens didn't think mining tax mark 1 went far enough.

Jason

December 18. 2010 12:44 PM

TalkTurkey

Miglo,
Your gravatar stops me in my tracks every time. I think it's great. I always wonder: (That is Daffy Duck isn't it?) Where are they? Who's the other little guy? What are they talking about? What's the situation? Are they on another heavenly body? Why the flags?
Please explain?

Gravel, yes, I wonder if Wikipeople are holding juicy bits about the Right back - or maybe jj and Limpy are telling the truth, the Right has never done nothin' wrong or sleazy or underhanded?

Jason
On ya Bro.

TalkTurkey

December 18. 2010 12:53 PM

jj

Feral,

I never said that this technological advance would take over from the need for fibre, i was just supplying an article written in the well respected, 'The Economist'. If you had of read the article properly you would have realised that the author also says that it could be another technology that could be used to deliver fast broadband where it is too expensive for cable to run to. Actually on the 7:30 report the other night they had a piece on a study the CSIRO has been doing in remote parts of Australia, using this left over analogue 'white space' to deliver 12 mb per second plus broadband services.

Gee i had a laugh when i read this, "We analyse the facts and evidence here at TPS". Yes feral, you just keep on thinking that!

Bilko,

As we have seen from both the federal and Victorian state elections leaders ratings dont particularly matter. Brumby was always more preferred to his opposite and Gillard was always more popular than Abbott; that didnt stop the Labor party from losing both elections. Just in-case you hadnt noticed we do not have a presidential system of government in Australia, or though Gillard and Rudd would have many fooled.

To all,

Reading the papers this morning you would think this government was at the end of a decade in power: 'mining companies to start advertising again after government back track'; 'Labor behind for the first time in Morgan poll'; 'Labor lost at sea over boat policy'; 'Gillard seems lost'; 'AFP contradicts PM'; 'Labor's dazed'; 'Labor shackled by COAG on health'; 'Labor members speak out over calls made by PM towards Assange'; and i could go on and on.
I am going to make a brave prediction that either Gillard or the government will be out of office by this time next year.

Have a nice Saturday.

jj

December 18. 2010 02:26 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

OK TT, here's a bit of humour for you: did you hear about the South Australian with a massive case of cognitive dissonance who loved and cared for wildlife but wanted to see the habitat supporting wildlife knocked down and covered by an endless housing estate?

Sir Ian Crisp

December 18. 2010 02:51 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I've got other things to do today.  It's good to see your vigorous dialogue congtinues.

BTW, you ought to take jj more seriously; he's quoting headlines from News Limited newspapers where truth and accuracy abound and where predictions are spot on.

Ad astra reply

December 18. 2010 03:25 PM

jj

AA,

Im afraid those are both fairfax and news limited papers alike. Last time i checked that is almost the whole of Australia's print media.

jj

December 18. 2010 04:05 PM

Jason

jj,
  This mornings headlines are no different to any other days!
The commentariat should be asking Abbott as he's ready to govern at a minutes notice what does this all mean?
lower taxes, For who and how where is the CBA for this?                                  fairer welfare, What does this really mean? What makes it so unfair now?           better services What services the ones the states provide again jj elaborate      stronger borders Well I know what that means in one word Nauru!

But as to all the rest nothing but motherhood statements! you can criticise labor all you like, Look, I’m not saying everything the government does is perfect or fully justified or wise and sagelike. But there’s no way known that the opposite is true either.

Yet, reading the media you’d never know.

Jason

December 18. 2010 04:13 PM

Miglo

Yes, TalkTurkey, I am indeed that daffy duck.  I am on Planet X to claim if for Planet Earth, whose flag I am holding.  I was opposed by a pesky little Martian.

Miglo

December 18. 2010 04:14 PM

Jason

Sorry not sure what happend!

jj,
  This mornings headlines are no different to any other days!
The commentariat should be asking Abbott as he's ready to govern at a minutes notice what does this all mean?

lower taxes, For who and how where is the CBA for this?
fairer welfare, What does this really mean? What makes it so unfair now?           better services What services the ones the states  provide again jj elaboratestronger borders Well I know what that means in one word Nauru!
But as to all the rest nothing but motherhood statements! you can criticise labor all you like, Look, I’m not saying everything the government does is perfect or fully justified or wise and sagelike. But there’s no way known that the opposite is true either.

Yet, reading the media you’d never know.
  

Jason

December 18. 2010 04:28 PM

Patricia WA

Who would want to be Julia Gillard, right now? My heart goes out to her. She is to be commended for returning from her holiday and not leaving it to Wayne Swann to do all the dirty work on the boat tragedy.  In her 7.30 Report appearance she did as good a job as any one could in the circumstances of expressing official regret, commending the various personnel involved in search and rescue operations and refusing to assign or accept the blame already being hurled around by extremists. I see she has been criticised for smiling once or twice during that interview! I seem to recall that she did smile but only slightly and at appropriate points in the discussion.  That spoke more to me about her gravity being natural and not being determinedly false as we've seen from others on both sides of politics.  

Once the questioning moved to Wikileaks I think she was entitled to a wider range of facial expression anyway.   I was interested that she didn't give ground on her original response on that in spite of offical statements that Assange has not broken any Australian law.  She was clear that she still had strong reservations about what Assange had done.  As do I and many others.  It will be interesting to see if she loses any political capital out there in voter land because she's sticking to her guns.

PS re Wikileaks, Talk Turkey, I don't see any great suffering by Julian Assange on this issue.  Clearly we have an entirely different take on the rape charges.  Mine being that we should await court hearings before casting judgement, or attacking the credibility of the complainants. Yours on the other hand of seeing the charges as trumped up, whether politically by his enemies or by the two women concerned for more personal reasons.

Meanwhile he was safe from harm during his brief time in British custody, not tortured or subject to lengthy questioning, well enough fed and while imprisoned enjoying the kind of celebrity and support only earned by real heroes like Nelson Mandela over many years of stoic suffering.  He was a genuine political prisoner of conscience, not someone briefly on remand pending extradition to face a charge of sexual assault.  

Everything I read about JA confirms my doubts about how him and Wikileaks being a force for good in the world.  I am open to being convinced otherwise if I see some advantage emerging to other than right wing political groups, global corporate interests and media moguls.  There is no real struggle for freedom of information or of the press when the material released is going selectively to particular media groups which then proceed to use, or misuse,  that information to justify their usual bias.  How, if at all, have any major media outlets been sufficiently enlightened by Wikileaks so as to change their stance on any issues?  Rather they are using that material to confirm already strongly promoted points of view.

Meanwhile where is the sympathy, celebrity legal support and public protest on behalf of young Bradley Manning who really is in solitary confinement and under threat of a death sentence as a traitor, back in the United States?    

Patricia WA

December 18. 2010 05:06 PM

Jason

Goodbye Sober world off to the MUA christmas party, where no doubt Mrs Jason will once again practice some of her four letter words when she comes to either bail me out, pick me up or tells me to walk home!
I'll have a drink for each and everyone of you! Two for jj and Sir Ian just to make them interesting lol!

Jason

December 18. 2010 06:10 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Interesting life you have J guy. Don't forget to drink as much as you can, throw up, and turn on a stink. Ahh, the class of card-carrying CFMEU members. How very uplifting.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 18. 2010 09:01 PM

Feral Skeleton

Eeuurrgghh! Frown

Feral Skeleton

December 18. 2010 09:15 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Dragged myself out of bed because I was getting sick of either sleeping or looking out the window at the (healthy, Boo! Hiss!) birds in the bushes outside. Anyway, it's dark now and I can't see anything anymore. So here I am burning up whatever energy I have accumulated through a day full of sleeping.
  Now, Sir Ian. This flight of fancy, which you and jj are sharing about Julia Gillard's supposed plans to oust Kevin Rudd 12 months before the event, needs to be put into context, before you start believing your own propaganda. No one disects canards better than Bernard Keane:
'The Oz and the WikiLeaks crumbs: no news in Farrell's musings
Crikey Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes:

Doubtless mortified at being scooped by Fairfax, The Australian has been alternately downplaying the WikiLeaks Australian cables, attacking Phillip Dorling, criticising Fairfax for failing to release the cables -- ahem, days after Crikey made the same point -- and, once Fairfax obliged by screen-dumping dozens of cables on its website, cut-and-pasting them and trying to turn some crumbs from the Fairfax table into a feast, or at least a tasty morsel, for its readership.

But like Fairfax, News Limited requires a certain suspension of disbelief regarding the cables. To conjure up a story from many of the cables, you have to take US diplomats' often-confused thinking on local politics as accurate, and their reports of comments from local figures, as correct depictions of conversations, rather than recycling of gossip and speculation.

You also have to regard it as unusual that politicians speak to diplomats. In fact in Canberra it’s almost impossible to be a journalist, senior public servant, politician, staffer, trade unionist or business figure and not talk to diplomats, especially at the constant procession of functions held in Parliament House during parliamentary sitting weeks. Thus it was that Canberran ALP figure and former senior staffer Michael Cooney found a conversation with a diplomat eventually transformed by Oz attack Shihtzu James Massola -- temporarily reassigned from attacking bloggers and rival journalists -- into an outing as a "secret US source".

More peculiar though was today’s effort by Patricia Karvelas, about the last of the decent political journalists left at the paper, to turn a single comment by South Australian right-wing (in all senses of the term) power broker Don Farrell into a claim that Julia Gillard "was eyeing off Mr Rudd's job before Tony Abbott replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Coalition leader". The single attributed comment "campaigning for the leadership" (in cable 09CANBERRA545) is ambiguous -- the leadership when?

After Rudd, as the text immediately following it suggests, or immediately? Moreover The Oz’s interpretation is undermined by the observation a sentence later: "At present, the question of a successor to Rudd is probably two elections away."

The peculiarity lies in the failure to spot the more obvious significance of Farrell’s remarks. Farrell always disliked Kevin Rudd because Rudd’s initial popular support and dislike of Labor’s factions was a direct threat to power brokers like him. In 2006 Farrell strongly supported Beazley, who worked within the factional system, over Rudd -- to the extent that one of the reasons Farrell knifed South Australian senator Linda Kirk was her support for Rudd in defiance of his demand she back Beazley.

This issue is specifically addressed in another cable in 2009 (09CANBERRA188) by the Americans: "Two ALP Right factional leaders we have spoken to, AWU President Joe Ludwig and Senator Don Farrell, former head of the SDA in South Australia and the most influential powerbroker in that state, both agreed that Rudd's political power in the ALP is now unchallenged, but they opined that the factions would reassert themselves once Rudd's popularity declines."

That’s about the most accurate observation to emerge from the WikiLeaks material so far. The cables clearly show a factional powerbroker determined to bide his time until he could strike back at Rudd, which is exactly what happened.'
  So I suggest, Sir Ian, while Jason is out on the turps tonight in the time-honoured Aussie End-Of-Year fashion, you might indulge in a dose of reason. Cheers!

Feral Skeleton

December 18. 2010 09:27 PM

TalkTurkey

PatriciaWA,
Seems we will have to argue opposite sides of the Assange affair. (That's quite OK with me btw, proper political process. Just as long as we remain civil and agree to disagree.) But I will still try to bring you to my POV.
Firstly, concerning Julia, she has as much right to an opinion at odds with my own as you or anyone else, I think she's got it wrong but that's my opinion. It doesn't mean I've got a down on her, I haven't, but in this one area I disagree with her.
But at the same time, her opinion might very well have critical ramifications for Assange, up to and including unthinkable consequences at the hands of spooks. My opinion is by contradistinction relatively inconsequential. And an allegation of guilt needs much firmer evidence than a denial. In this case I think she's gone a bridge too far on the leaks issue, and that has been confirmed by the AFP saying Assange has done nothing illegal with regards to the leaks; but in any case her statements have nothing, NOTHING, to do with any allegation of sexual impropriety. That's pretty important, don't you think? What's Assange been in gaol for?  I have argued all along that the issues should be kept separate, you can’t say Oh I think his adventurism will have consequences counter to Leftist agendas, therefore he should be in gaol for sex-crimes! Obviously the USA authorities don’t mind his not helping Leftist agendas though! They care about the third issue here, the leaking. But I am convinced – along, may I say, with the great proportion of other posters on the issue - that he has been persecuted for sex-crimes as a pure pretext to intimidate him from continuing his leaking. That an overwhelming majority (which it is) share my opinion doesn’t exactly make me right but it does mean that if the ‘rape’ allegations ever become charges, which is unlikely now, and if the charges go to court in Sweden, which is still possible, and if a fair jury trial was held based on no more than the evidence to date, then the case wouldn’t have a candle’s chance in a blizzard. The women would not be considered reliable witnesses, - a defence lawyer could and would shred their stories, and bring them into serious disrepute, and for good reason in my belief -  and the charges anyway would be regarded as trivial.
So why is Assange being subjected to treatment ’way beyond the norm for anything he is alleged to have done?  Well again the vast majority of posters on UK and Australian sites believe as I do (and have done from Day One) that it is as simple as it appears, dark forces in the USA want to discredit and if possible silence Assange. Conspiracy? Yes, but the least unlikely conspiracy though, and any other constructions would be conspiracies too anyway.
Now PatriciaWA, you don’t seem to distinguish between the given reasons for his incarceration on the one hand - namely sex-crimes - and what you don’t trust about him.  Having read as much as I reckon reasonable about them I have, yes, decided that their testimony is legally worthless: they didn’t have any complaints until later, one partied with him next morning, the other had consensual sex with him and later reckoned he had sex with her while she was asleep, the two women later colluded, their ‘complaints’ were possibly encouraged by first one lawyer, then dismissed as trivial, then probably encouraged a second time by a second lawyer (that’s ‘legally’ probably, i.e., Assange’s defence lawyer could almost certainly destroy the prosecutor as to that), and they would simply not be believed.  And the more is revealed, the more risible the case against Assange appears. Or it would be risible, if it weren’t so potentially serious for him.
So PatriciaWA, here’s a few direct questions on the matters I have always argued on, never mind your suspicions about hidden agendas, we’re talking about why Assange was really imprisoned.
Do you think it was necessary to imprison Assange in solitary? - Why?
Do you think it was necessary to keep him incommunicado?  - Why?
Do you think he could be charged with sexual offences in Australia for anything he is alleged to have done? - What?
Ditto, in the UK?
Do you NOT think that, having been cleared to leave Sweden after hanging about for a month while the details of the women's accusations were considered, this second threat amounts to double jeopardy?
Below is a point-by-point reply to some of what you have to say, Patois. (It is not meant offensively, it is a technique that I think helps clarify what is being talked about, and I’d do it with CALLIGULA or anyone else.)
“PS re Wikileaks, Talk Turkey, I don't see any great suffering by Julian Assange on this issue.”
  Well as possibly the only one of our posters to have done time (Yes! - Shock! Horror!) for may I say a completely victimless offence, which is a matter of principle too, - (and I’d do it all again, btw, I’m less afraid now than I was then!) - which is now regarded as almost a joke, but wasn’t back then by the SA Liberal burghers and their legal appointees, I can tell you, even a day in solitary can be pretty freaky, a few months’ ordinary incarceration, which is what I served, can scare some men into withdrawal or near-dementia, and under threat of eventual rendering to Guantanamo or worse, Assange would have been scared witless. Even if only for 9 days, but don’t forget, he is still under threat of assassination and of rendering. Suffering enough, for no proven or even charged offence.  
“Clearly we have an entirely different take on the rape charges.  Mine being that we should await court hearings before casting judgement, or attacking the credibility of the complainants. Yours on the other hand of seeing the charges as trumped up, whether politically by his enemies or by the two women concerned for more personal reasons.”
  Yes I do reject them as legally credible. This is not prejudice, it’s based on established facts, and my opinion doesn’t need to wait for a court’s. As I said a few days ago, if a court did convict Assange on their evidence (which is pretty well established, there’s not much more to see light of day), I would regard it as a perverted court. Jealousy, promise of notoriety, perhaps financial or social inducements, perhaps post-event resentment of Assange’s shared attentions, all are possibly reasons for their belated and dubious claims, but in any case triviality would be virtually certain to be fatal to a successful prosecution in Sweden, the UK and Australia – UNLESS the process were bent. Which is what Assange’s supporters universally fear. A jury trial would guarantee an acquittal, but a single judge could be in the pocket of evil forces. I’ve seen that right here in Adelaide. (One is now in gaol for life.) Don’t think it can’t happen.
“Meanwhile he was safe from harm during his brief time in British custody, not tortured or subject to lengthy questioning, well enough fed and while imprisoned enjoying the kind of celebrity and support only earned by real heroes like Nelson Mandela over many years of stoic suffering.  He was a genuine political prisoner of conscience, not someone briefly on remand pending extradition to face a charge of sexual assault.”
  Yeah look, if a landmine blows off your leg, and I only lose my big toe, I’m still bloody injured, right?  Assange’s loss of liberty mightn’t compare with Mandela’s, but it doesn’t mean it’s negligible.
“Everything I read about JA confirms my doubts about how him and Wikileaks being a force for good in the world.”
  Yeah OK but that doesn’t mean he should be in gaol for something completely else!
“I am open to being convinced otherwise if I see some advantage emerging to other than right wing political groups, global corporate interests and media moguls.  There is no real struggle for freedom of information or of the press when the material released is going selectively to particular media groups which then proceed to use, or misuse,  that information to justify their usual bias.  How, if at all, have any major media outlets been sufficiently enlightened by Wikileaks so as to change their stance on any issues?  Rather they are using that material to confirm already strongly promoted points of view. Meanwhile where is the sympathy, celebrity legal support and public protest on behalf of young Bradley Manning who really is in solitary confinement and under threat of a death sentence as a traitor, back in the United States?”  
  Yeah he’s in a bad fix, but he’s a US citizen, he has probably broken laws there and while I feel sad for him and might regard him as a martyr, there’s not anything to be done about him. Still doesn’t impinge on the issue, Assange being pursued for probably spurious reasons on evidently trumped-up charges. Or anyway, that is what most people think, in a situation where what most people think is critical to a conviction. If 80% of the ambient population think him innocent,(just a straw figure, but probably fair), how much chance would a prosecution have of a near-unanimous verdict to convict?  In Australia and the UK, none. In Sweden and the USA, who can say?
As I write Assange is saying that not a single shred of evidence has been offered against him in Sweden, but that he fears the USA’s machinations against him, and even more scarily, he is subject to what amounts to a US-led fatwah against him.

TalkTurkey

December 18. 2010 10:51 PM

NormanK

TalkTurkey
I don't have time for a detailed response right now but because PatriciaWA is in a different time zone, I feel compelled to offer her moral support in this debate. If some of us at TPS are out of sync with the majority of bloggers then I'll take that as a compliment.
Most of your points are centred around emotion and not logic or rule of law. Almost without exception all other points are based on supposition and assumption.
Let me answer a couple of your questions.
Do you think it was necessary to imprison Assange in solitary? - Why?
Possible reasons - either the authorities thought it necessary in order to protect him or he requested it for his own safe-keeping. He has had public death-threats remember and there is almost certainly a very big price on his head given that he claims to have juicy stuff on banks which then implies High Flyers, Big Business, Spooks and Politicians. In his position, I would most certainly not want to be showering with the General Population in a prison.
Do you think it was necessary to keep him incommunicado?  - Why?
Incommunicado in what sense? No access to pen and paper? No access to a telephone? No access to his lawyers? Or just not giving him a laptop? A laptop is not a Human Right.
Do you think he could be charged with sexual offences in Australia for anything he is alleged to have done? - What?
Ditto, in the UK?

Completely and utterly irrelevant. What you or I think of Swedish rape laws has no bearing whatsoever. He was in Sweden - their laws apply to him. Do you think a male foreigner who comes from a country where honour killings are accepted should be allowed to follow his sister to Australia and kill her to clear the family's name? Sorry, he says, back home we don't believe in the Australian laws covering this, you'd better let me go.
This seems to be at the heart of your objections. You don't agree with Sweden's definition of rape therefore Assange is not guilty therefore he should not be incarcerated in the UK and should be set free. I don't agree with Indonesia's mandatory penalties for drug smuggling but I sure as hell wouldn't rely on that as a line of defence if I got caught doing it.
Do you NOT think that, having been cleared to leave Sweden after hanging about for a month while the details of the women's accusations were considered, this second threat amounts to double jeopardy?
Really stretching it now. One prosecutor thought JA may have a case to answer. Her superior thought not - case dropped. Another senior prosecutor held a different view and re-instigated the investigation. Double jeopardy applies to being cleared in a court of law, not just one particular prosecutor deciding that there probably was a low likelihood of a conviction. Does this look highly suss? You bet it does but even Assange could see that the only way to resolve the matter was to hand himself in and agree to be re-interviewed. If Assange can see that this is the most logical course of action to clear things up, why can't you?

NormanK

December 18. 2010 10:52 PM

TalkTurkey

Ya wanna read something hilarious Swordsfolks?
Go to the Sword Home page,
Click on -
2 What do you want from the Sword?

then, scroll down to April 1 2010 at 5.42 pm,
Why, it's our very own Limpy,
(aka Sir Ian Crisp,)
- A Crisp List, indeed!
EVER so sincere,
Bwahahahahahahaaaaaa!

You have got a sense of humour after all Limpy!

TalkTurkey

December 19. 2010 12:06 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Let me just throw in my 2c worth about the Assange Sexual Misconduct allegations(charges have not been laid yet, as I understand it).
1. The sex was consensual in both cases.
   One woman subsequently made a complaint at a later juncture where she alleges the 'consensual' sex occurred while she was asleep. This makes no sense to me. This is where the women's stories become murky. They have either had consensual sex, or they haven't. One has either had sex with Assange when she was asleep, or she hasn't. If it was thus non-consensual and occurred while she was asleep, it would be rape, would it not? Assange is not being called up before the courts to answer to allegations of Rape. He is being called up to answer charges of Sexual Misconduct. Which, in Sweden, can be alleged if two adults have sex without the male wearing a condom.
   The second woman has written about sexual entrapment. So, how reliable would that make her accusations wrt Assange? Not very, in my estimation.
   So, absent the palaver going on around forcing him to go back to Sweden to speak to the Swedish investigators, I believe that Assange will, if he finally is forced to face down these charges in Sweden, either receive a fine if it can be proved he didn't wear a condom for the consensual sex with the women, when they wanted him to, or the charges will either be dismissed in court or won't even get to court.
   In which case, absent some egregious dealings between Sweden and America to get him back to the US to face the trumped-up Conspiracy/Espionage charges, Assange will either remain a free man in Britain, or leave Sweden a free man and go back to Britain, where he appears to have safe haven from the US. So far.
   I honestly don't believe he should be indicted on any charges in either Sweden or the US. It's real 'Shoot the Messenger' stuff.
   However, I'm still waiting for cables about Bush/Blair & Howard from Wikileaks. I seem to recall that he released one from 2004 the other day. Though it wasn't about them. Thus I'm still hoping he has enough integrity to finger both sides of politics. Hopeful, but not confident.

Feral Skeleton

December 19. 2010 12:18 AM

Feral Skeleton

Here's a good story from the Sunday papers about the Assange 'Affair':
www.smh.com.au/.../...r-agents-20101218-191ae.html

Feral Skeleton

December 19. 2010 12:35 AM

Patricia WA

Thanks Norman K - I think that we need to wait and see. It's not a matter of refusing to be convinced by TT or trying to get him to see my point of view. You obviously understand that, just as you understand that I am simply suspending judgement on both the rape charges and the Wikileaks saga until we see how that develops in future.

Patricia WA

December 19. 2010 02:43 AM

TalkTurkey

"TalkTurkey
I don't have time for a detailed response right now but because PatriciaWA is in a different time zone, I feel compelled to offer her moral support in this debate. If some of us at TPS are out of sync with the majority of bloggers then I'll take that as a compliment."
> Yes, I acknowledged in my last post that being in the overwhelming majority doesn’t necessarily make me ‘right’, but it sure isn't an argument for being in an underwhelming minority, as you seem to imply! I said, “That an overwhelming majority (which it is) share my opinion doesn’t exactly make me right but it does mean that if the ‘rape’ allegations ever become charges, which is unlikely now, and if the charges go to court in Sweden, which is still possible, and if a fair jury trial was held based on no more than the evidence to date, then the case wouldn’t have a candle’s chance in a blizzard.” Neither btw have I ever been afraid of being in a small minority, but I’m not anyway this time.  I’m claiming that the case wouldn’t stand on the evidence. Majorities aren’t always right, but they do always win defences in jury trials. IMO the only hope prosecutors might have of convicting Assange would be at the hands of a single, crooked judge.

"Most of your points are centred around emotion and not logic or rule of law."
  Well that last one was based on law! So far you’ve only expressed emotion, viz, you feel compelled to offer moral support . . .

"Almost without exception all other points are based on supposition and assumption."
  You will show me them then? I can't see anywhere that you do . . .

"Let me answer a couple of your questions.
Do you think it was necessary to imprison Assange in solitary? - Why?
Possible reasons - either the authorities thought it necessary in order to protect him or he requested it for his own safe-keeping."
  Now NormanK, who’s making assumptions and suppositions? Just those two possibilities, either/or? I would tend on my very real experiences to assume or suppose, - if I made any assumptions or suppositions at all, as you do! - that the Authorities did it on the basis of bastardry and deliberative intimidation - but you could be right – I only posed the question.

"He has had public death-threats remember and there is almost certainly a very big price on his head given that he claims to have juicy stuff on banks which then implies High Flyers, Big Business, Spooks and Politicians. In his position, I would most certainly not want to be showering with the General Population in a prison."
  Yeah well, he is now domiciled in full view and knowledge of the world, constrained to occupy the very public and well-known house of a friend by night, and to turn up daily at known venues, Hoo Boy, that sure sounds like the Authorities care a lot about his safety eh!

"Do you think it was necessary to keep him incommunicado?  - Why?
Incommunicado in what sense? No access to pen and paper?"
  Pen and paper wouldn’t stop him being incommunicado . . . except to himself . . ! . .

"No access to a telephone? No access to his lawyers? Or just not giving him a laptop? A laptop is not a Human Right."
  In nine days he was allowed just three contacts with his lawyer and his mother, as I believe. He was denied access to information concerning the evidence against him. He was not allowed a telephone, which is not a human right either, but it’s telephonically incommunicado q.e.d. His mail was withheld. Remember, he is not convicted of anything, nor even charged, there was no valid reason for any of this common crim stuff.

"Do you think he could be charged with sexual offences in Australia for anything he is alleged to have done? - What?
Ditto, in the UK?
Completely and utterly irrelevant. What you or I think of Swedish rape laws has no bearing whatsoever. He was in Sweden - their laws apply to him. Do you think a male foreigner who comes from a country where honour killings are accepted should be allowed to follow his sister to Australia and kill her to clear the family's name? Sorry, he says, back home we don't believe in the Australian laws covering this, you'd better let me go."
  Completely and utterly DIFFERENT! You want a parallel, it ought to bear comparison. Let’s try harder: Australian is suspected of rape in Iran, where rape is a capital offence; he voluntarily hangs about, and is cleared to leave the country after investigation. He goes to Britain where capital offence does not happen. Months later a (lesser) prosecutor wants him returned to be tried under Shariah Law, whaddya reckon, the UK Government should turn him over? Not on your (well, his!) life! (Imagine the Yanks letting that happen to one of THEIR own!) The Australian would be turned over to the Australian authorities, to be tried under Commonwealth law. He would NOT be returned to a country with laws that are at such great variance with our own. If we could get the Bali Nine back to our shores away from the threat of death we would, as you must know. (Keelty, who set them up, should be behind bars imo.)

"This seems to be at the heart of your objections. You don't agree with Sweden's definition of rape, therefore Assange is not guilty . . ."
  No Dammit, I’m saying that under any reasonable interpretation even of Sweden’s highly controversial rape laws the case against Assange is fatally and multiply flawed. Even under the widest interpretation of their rape laws, he could not be convicted except by a gross perversion of process, and the opinion that he has now virtually no case to answer is widespread throughout the most learned UK counsel, as you must know. I detailed some of the flaws in my last post. Now it seems according to Assange himself that the Swedes are not even offering ANY evidence, but that’s new information. But grok the situation in Sweden anyway, (I’ve said this before but please take it on board): Since 2000 the reported rapes under the new laws have risen >400%, but the convictions are fewer than before! That means that prosecutions in Sweden for rape now have less than 25% of the chance of success that they had prior to 2000! So the Swedish rape laws are bringing Swedish Rape Law into disrepute, and I need hardly say, Swedish law itself is now consequently the subject of ridicule worldwide as a result of this fiasco with Assange. The bad joke is that men now need written permission to have sex even with willing partners. British law has never been subject to ridicule, nor should it be.  British law and our derivative Australian legal system might not be perfect, but they are not risible. Glad I'm not a Swede. My best mate used to be, he's now proudly and gladly an Australian. Lefty, too.

". . . therefore he should not be incarcerated in the UK and should be set free."
  Well yeah I agree with that! But not on your reasoning, but on mine.

"I don't agree with Indonesia's mandatory penalties for drug smuggling but I sure as hell wouldn't rely on that as a line of defence if I got caught doing it.
Do you NOT think that, having been cleared to leave Sweden after hanging about for a month while the details of the women's accusations were considered, this second threat amounts to double jeopardy?
Really stretching it now. One prosecutor thought JA may have a case to answer. Her superior thought not - case dropped. Another senior prosecutor . . ."
  . . . (Junior to the original one, be it noted, btw) . . .

". . . held a different view and re-instigated the investigation. Double jeopardy applies to being cleared in a court of law,"
  Yes, I said, “amounts” to double jeopardy, not in the strictest legal sense but in the strictest grammatical sense. Pretty similar anyway! How many reruns of accusations would you think fair, if not just the one? Five? Eight? Avanuvvago?

"not just one particular prosecutor deciding that there probably was a low likelihood of a conviction. Does this look highly suss?"
  I don’t understand what you mean by that.

"You bet it does but even Assange could see that the only way
[the only way . . . Remember you said that]
to resolve the matter was to hand himself in and agree to be re-interviewed."
  Re-interviewed yes, and that’s what he did, but he had no reason to anticipate that, having voluntarily waited a month in Sweden before being cleared, then in the UK given himself up voluntarily for further questioning, he would be arrested and held without bail, and even when bail was granted, he would not be  allowed to go free! Hey!

"If Assange can see that this is the most logical course of action to clear things up, . . . "
  That’s a great big If! Who says he thinks it is “the most logical way” to clear things up? Five lines up you say yourself “the ONLY way (emphasis mine) to resolve the matter was to hand himself in.” Assange had no choice whatsoever short of fleeing forever, moneyless, obvious and exposed, and virtually stateless due to attitudes in Australia. Well, sure, if it’s the only way it is also necessarily the most logical way, but that’s a bit trite surely?

". . . why can't you?"
Yeah well why can’t YOU accept the opinions of Pilger, Rudd, Geoffrey Robertson, High Court Judge Whoever that turned him loose? Just that they agree with me doesn’t make us right exactly, but NormanK we have the vast weight of majority opinion, lay and legal, on our side, and Assange should not be convicted, not because of the weird Swedish laws but because the case against him is a house of cards. Assange should not be and should not have been subject to the sort of treatment he has been getting, and I have to say I’m bloody astonished that anyone on the Sword apart from one or two obvious unmentionables is any kind of apologist for it. Ad astra isn’t, and if that’s seen as pulling rank I’m pleased to be able to do so.  
Just you remember Folks, if Assange is eventually extradited to Sweden, if the prosecution falls through as it should, and if then he’s grabbed by US spooks and rendered to Guantanamo, as NormanK thinks wouldn’t happen with the eyes of the world on the Yanks but as the rest of the world worries would, then you people that wouldn’t accept his innocence even when Geoffrey Robertson et al did, you will have his incarceration firmly on your conscience. You will be responsible, and don't you forget it.
And I will count myself so too, for not having made you see reason.
And don’t you go thinking it’s alright for Assange to be in gaol for rape because you reckon Wikileaks is no good for the Left, because that sort of reasoning is no good for anyone at all.


TalkTurkey

December 19. 2010 04:17 AM

TalkTurkey

My Dog! It's been only 12 days since this thread was posted! It seems like months!

11 days since NormanK got my gravatar up! Seems like forever almost! (Now we're at e/o with cudgels, but not I trust with Slash and Stab the inhouse duelling blades.)

But I really am astonished with the time lapse. I've been painting the inside of the house . . . Nearly finished . . . Time goes fast when you're having fun, maybe that's why it seems so long.

Madam Skellington, seems like you got the old bones shakin' again, glad you got your pecker back up, speaking of which how is Bruce? He's not the guest you're having for Crispmess Dinner is he?  
It was good to feel you at my back at least partially over Assange. (One day I might write a bit about Wikileaks, but so far I have only written about him and the treatment he is receiving.)
Interesting, this is the first time since I have started posting on this site that there has been a real and spirited debate between individuals who have vastly more in common than by way of sharp difference, but there you are, this is getting almost willing! Well it's good really, shows we are not clones. jj and Limpy, do please note that e.g. I can and do criticize Julia on one matter without condemning her for singlehandedly causing the death of the Universe as you would like to have people think; I am not a party puppet, nor do I think Swordsfolk generally are, whereas you two do appear to jerk around on silly strings. Oh well.  

Oh yeah, anybody, if you want a wee Brucie the Bilby bookie of my eco-rhyme and graphic art, anybody at all but especially you Skelly, anyone who trusts me enough to let me know a postal address, I'd be delighted to send you one. (Free.) Several Swordsfolk have done me that honour, and they have said kind words about little Brucie. You could still have one for Crispmess! Even Limpy & jj! Find me at www.ozzigami.com.au and No I don't stand to get a penny from your looking at it. (But I do like people looking at it.)

Bring back Lyn. And yeah, bring back Maxine.

TalkTurkey

December 19. 2010 10:28 AM

Gravel

Patricia WA

Your comments at 4.28pm yesterday covers most of my hesitations about both Julian Assange and the Wikileaks saga.  

NormanK

I liked your response too.

TalkTurkey

Just maybe have you thought that there could be a couple of reasons that Julian Assange, who said days before he turned himself into the authorities, that he would do just that.  The first reason as NormanK says, to protect himself from being harmed.  The second reason, and I may be way off the planet with this thought, is that maybe he could see more publicity for his cause by doing is.

I liked your last contribution about robust argument amongst people with much more in common than not.  I'm sure most of us are strong enough to cope with reasoned and polite criticism, and I know for sure that with most of us that when things are sorted in both respects that there will be no hahaha I told you so sort of childish behaviour.  

Gravel

December 19. 2010 10:53 AM

TalkTurkey

Close to Crispmess . . . Finished yawning . . .
Nothing happening on the Sword;
Hasn't been a post all morning:
Not a sausage! Dog I'm bored!

(Then Gravel goes and makes this verse untrue . . . )

To me she said:

TalkTurkey

Just maybe have you thought that there could be a couple of reasons that Julian Assange, who said days before he turned himself into the authorities, that he would do just that.

The first reason as NormanK says, to protect himself from being harmed.
> If that were so he'd have wanted to stay behind bars in solitary, yes? Well he desperately doesn't! He is as exposed as he can be. He is constrained to live at one given address and to be there at night and to present at given locations during the day.If the Authorities want him assassinated, they have got the setting right . . .  
  
The second reason, and I may be way off the planet with this thought, is that maybe he could see more publicity for his cause by doing is.
> He certainly got publicity in Spades, but he had no choice whatsoever. He'd have been scared half to death!

TalkTurkey

December 19. 2010 10:57 AM

jj

TT,

You may want to appear as though you are not totally beholden to the Labor party but i think it would be safe to say by all your comments of the past year that, that seems to be the case. I would doubt you would have voted for any other party?

I dont believe that Julia Gillard is the worst PM Australia has had. Nor do i believe that she is destroying the universe. I believe that she is a smart, ferocious politician, but that unfortunately is about all. I am disappointed that she has continued along the same path as Kevin Rudd in both style and substance; and as i believe Kevin Rudd was the worst PM Australia has ever seen, i dont particularly like that path.

jj

December 19. 2010 11:13 AM

TalkTurkey

jj
Your last post seems almost civil, and a little thoughtful.
If this continues I will be desolated!
Not really. I would be delighted actually. "There is more joy in Heaven . . . etc . . ."

I do always vote Labor, but I am quite prepared to criticise policies and positions with which I disagree. As I have demonstrated.

Howard was the worst PM ever. Liar. Lickspittle. Traitor. Horrible man.

TalkTurkey

December 19. 2010 11:23 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

I see you’re still unwell FS/HS. It seems like your fever has inhibited your ability to think clearly. Quoting Bernard Keane is not very clever especially when it concerns the matter of the much-loved and multi-talented Kevin Rudd being pushed under a bus.

This is what scribbler Keane said in the week when Kev met with his accident: “There is no mood for a leadership change”. I think we can safely dismiss Mr Keane as a reliable source.

Back into bed with you FS/HS and remember to take your medication as ordered by your shrink....err, correction...doctor. Episodes of hallucinations demand bed rest. Off you go.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 19. 2010 11:46 AM

NormanK

TalkTurkey
I'm too busy for a long exchange but I must take the time to acknowledge that you haven't painted me as having an extreme position diametrically opposed to your own. Polarisation is a tactic best left to the media and unscrupulous politicians. We may have to agree to disagree on this one for the time being but it certainly doesn't mean I want Assange locked up or Dog forbid, assassinated.
Curiously though, if asked what I thought of Assange's predicament (over a beer, say), I would freely acknowledge that intuitively I think the rape allegations were reinvigorated by pressure from the US in an attempt to smear JA because it is peeved over the leaks.  But could I justify what I feel? No.

I have not read transcripts of the complainants' statements.
I have little, if any, knowledge of Swedish Law, in particular statutes covering rape.
I have no understanding of the extradition agreement between the UK and Sweden.
I have no knowledge of standard operating procedures and protocols for dealing with foreign nationals detained on UK soil under an international warrant.
In short, what I conclusively know about this case is dwarfed by what I don't know and therefore I have no grounds for a public declaration on the subject beyond "presumption of innocence" and the need for the rule of law to be followed without exception.
What I feel is irrelevant. What I know is all that matters.

Every effort must be made by Australia to ensure that JA has access to all of his entitlements as an Australian citizen but that does not extend to prejudging a courtroom outcome or questioning another country's laws (outside of academic or theoretical forums).

NormanK

December 19. 2010 12:39 PM

jj

TT,

It is funny isnt it that the PM who was never really that popular (Howard) ended up being the second longest serving PM in Australia's history. And the PM who had the highest popularity ratings of all time became the second shortest serving PM in history.

Unlike Rudd i believe Howard was more authentic. When Howard spoke i got the feeling that what he was saying he actually believed. Whereas whenever Rudd spoke all i could think of was how dishonest he seemed; and i always wondered why he seemed to act so different publicly to what is said to be the way he behaved privately. By the end of his time in office (Rudd) many of his colleagues hated him, most in the opposition hated him and many in the media were totally perplexed as to who Krudd really was; I had never heard of such a PM, and therefore i became locked in my views that this man was a really weird person to have running our country.

Crisp,

I cant agree more. I often read what Keane has to write on Crikey, and it really is quite amazing how poor his political judgement is. A political commentator whose opinion i do hold with much respect is that of Peter Brent (Mumble blog).

jj

December 19. 2010 01:30 PM

TalkTurkey

Go on then Jason! Triple ton it!

TalkTurkey

December 19. 2010 01:52 PM

Jason

Sir Ian,
       A great night was had by all no fights no arrests a civilised gathering as usual except for the photo's of Howard and Reith on the Urinal,There was no pimms or cucumber sandwiches to be seen either!Just the comrades and not a glass jaw to be seen!


Jason

December 19. 2010 05:35 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I can see that while I’ve been cleaning up the property between showers in preparation for the post-Christmas arrival of the kids for a seaside break, and then watching the demolition of the Poms in Perth, you’ve been having a vigorous conversation.  TT, I hope your yearning this morning for another comment on TPS is now satisfied.  There will not be another post until FS has recovered enough to finish her commentary on Wayne Swan’s banking package that I expect will be this coming week, which will keep us going until after Christmas.

I see Sir Ian that your capacity to insult is unimpaired as you insist FS takes the ‘medication’ ordered by her ‘shrink…err correction, doctor’.  How would you feel if we suggested you abandon your medication, as it seems to be having no effect on whatever psychological condition afflicts you?  Why waste expensive drugs and public money on a hopeless case?

jj, you and Sir Ian clearly have little regard for Julia Gillard and express glee at every vicissitude she has to endure, much as do Dennis Shanahan and Matthew Franklin in The Oz.  jj, you concede that she is smart and ‘ferocious’, but little else, whatever that is supposed to mean.  What I find curious is that notwithstanding all the scorn you heap upon her, I can’t recall either of you ever suggesting an alternative.  Do you want Wayne Swan as PM, or some other Labor minister?  I doubt it.  Do you want Tony Abbott as PM with his Coalition team backing him?  I’ve not seen any hint of that, but it may be your unstated desire.  So why not let us into your thinking.  Tell us what party would be best in power federally, and who would be the best PM.  But don’t stop there, please tell us which policies and plans you want your favoured party and PM to implement and why.  Instead of just monotonously hacking away at Julia and her policies, her style, her strategies, her tactics, or anything else you don’t like about her, enlighten us with your alternatives and why you believe they would be better.

Ad astra reply

December 19. 2010 06:36 PM

Jason

AA,
  The coalition list jj et al would bring back if given the chance
1. work choices
2. Bust all unions that will weaken the labor party
3. Send Asylum Seekers to Nauru after all they are not signatories to the UNHCR,and as far as the good people of faith on the coalition side go that's the right thing to do!
4. Give the Nationals what ever! after all they are bigger socialists than the greens
5. Stop a welfare in all forms the CBA says we can't afford it.
6. Stop the broadband roll out
7. Make sure the miners pay as little tax as possible after all the minerals are renewable.
But the headline I'm wating to see is about Dr Haneef when he gets his compensation payout! no doubt the OZ will go with labor wastes yet more taxpayers money in compo payout!

Jason

December 19. 2010 08:04 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Crap, missed the 300!  Curse you, Jason!!!

AA, Tony ‘Scrooge’ Abbott is back in his beach-side Christmas retreat at Camp Caravan.  With his mates, Alan Jones and Ban Morrison, he has had a cracker of an evening singing along to some of Ban’s musical compositions.  However, the kibosh has been put on their raucous sing-a-long when the Council security patrol rapped on the door and told them to put a sock in it, as the neighbouring campers had complained.  “Bloody bog-Irish Kerrigans, I’ll bet”, complained Scrooge.  “They have it in for me – they’re so left-wing, they’d make Jason and his CFMEU mates look like Sarah Palin and her Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”.  Anyway, AA, Alan and Ban have gone home and Scrooge has hit the hay to get some well-earned kip.  However, just as he was nodding off, he got a strange visitor, who I will tell you about shortly.  In the meantime, here are some of the titles of the Ban Morrison numbers they were belting out earlier.

HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY I LOVE WorkChoices

Kev’s WILD NIGHTS at the Scores Club

There was more WARM LOVE in Jesus’ day

With my weathervane, everyday’s a BRAND NEW DAY

INTO THE MYSTIC with Barnaby’s maths

The Indos must be CRAZY to LOVE Gillard

RAVE ON JOHN DONNE-Howard

Can anyone shed any ENLIGHTENMENT on where our policies are?

Give Assange fourteen years in CONEY ISLAND penitentiary

SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A FATHERLESS CHILD (or bastard for short)

Due to those bloody Indos, my Kirribilli gig is REAL, REAL GONE

Julie Bishop is QUEEN OF THE SLIP (up) STREAM

IT STONED ME to see the boats still comin’ (“the more boats that come the better”)

JACKIE WILSON SAYS he loves my hairy chest (“yikes, I feel threatened!”)

We love you, MADAM GEORGE-Jones

Livin’ at Kirribilli must be as SWEET AS TUPOLO HONEY

I have two PHILOSOPHER’S STONEs, but unfortunately they’re in my budgies

Acerbic Conehead

December 19. 2010 08:10 PM

Acerbic Conehead

So, AA, as I was saying, Scrooge Abbott had to bring down the curtain on the sing-a-long, and send Alan and Ban home.  He put on his night-cap, got into the cot, snuffed out the candle and started to enter the land of nod.  However, suddenly, he awoke with a start, realising there was someone else in the caravan.  Firstly, he presumed it was either Alan or Ban coming back for something they had forgotten.  Then, as there was no reply to his query, “who goes there?” he lit the candle and peered into the semi-darkness of the caravan.  As he got more used to the dimness, Scrooge could make out a figure standing at the foot of his berth.  It was Andy Warhol!!
Scrooge: Shit, Andy!  You scared the living daylights out of me!  Does this visit mean that I am going to get my fifteen minutes of fame at Kirribilli?
“Andy”: It’s not Andy Warhol, you idiot!  Everybody says I look like him...I hate it!  It’s Julian Assange, the Ghost of WikiLeaks Past...I have come to warn you that if you persist with your numbskull three-word sloganeering, you will be eternally doomed...
Scrooge: Huh!  Don’t you believe it, bucko – the Coalition would only depose me as leader over my dead body – it just won’t happen!  Anyway, we’ve got a lot of work to do – like resurrecting WorkChoices after we pretended it was dead, buried and cremated...heh...heh...
Julian: Aha!  Speaking of WorkChoices, Mr Scrooge, you obviously have not learned the errors of your ways...it looks like I have to give you a reminder of the part you played in its past sins...
[the Ghost of WikiLeaks Past cranks up his lap-top and shows Scrooge a cable sent from a piss-up at the US Embassy a number of years ago, quoting Scrooge: “My friends...and Mark Arbib also...heh...heh...it’s clear that our WorkChoices laws aren’t strict enough – we need to change them so that malingerers like Tiny Tim are forced to provide their own hoists so that they can, in spite of their wheelchairs, clean our chimneys properly...haw...haw...]
Julian: Are you not ashamed of yourself, that you have happily inflicted such miseries on such unfortunates as Tiny Tim?
Scrooge: Bah!  Humbug!  As Miseryguts Minchin used to say, “we didn’t go far enough!”
[suddenly, the Ghost of WikiLeaks past disappears and Scrooge slips back into a doze, thinking it had all been a bad dream – “Huh!  More gravitas than grave about that fellow!”  Suddenly, however, Scrooge is awoken by another disturbance in the caravan.  He sits up with a jolt, lights his candle again and recognises that idiot Assange appearing a second time]
Scrooge: You again!  Why don’t you go back and service a few more of those Swedish birds and let me get some sleep?
Julian: The destiny of your eternal soul is at stake here, Mr Scrooge...I am the Ghost of WikiLeaks Present...I need to show you something...
[Julian again cranks up the old lap-top and shows Scrooge another cable – this time a pictorial one – showing a vast panorama of faces.  Scrooge is puzzled to say the least]
Scrooge: But...but...but...what’s this collection of people’s faces got to do with me?
Julian: Why, your Industrial Relations policy is hidden in this Where’s Wally WorkChoices puzzle...and we need you to point it out so that we can extradite it to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity...
Scrooge: Look mate...you know the score – I wouldn’t last two minutes as Opposition Leader if I extraordinarily renditioned  WorkChoices to you...
[at this further display of Scrooge’s recalcitrance, the Ghost of Christmas Present disappears, and silence once again falls over the caravan.  Scrooge goes back to sleep, only to be shortly awoken by another manifestation of supernatural presence]
Scrooge: WTF!  Not you again!  Haven’t you got any more Scandinavian sirens to keep your nether regions occupied?
Julian: I am the Ghost of WikiLeaks Future, Mr Scrooge...I want to show you what the consequences for you personally a resurrection of WorkChoices has...
[Julian turns on his lap-top again, and shows Scrooge a very, very disturbing cable.  Again, it is of the pictorial variety, and shows Scrooge in such a dire predicament, it would make Dante’s Inferno look like Christmas lunch at your granny’s.  Scrooge sees himself chained to a work-bench in Nauru, suffering from permanent, chronic , jet-lag, and is eternally condemned to producing red budgie smugglers on a rickety old Singer sewing machine.  Furthermore, he is imprisoned in an old tin shed (with no pink batt insulation to keep the ferocious heat out) and is whacked continuously by gay, burqa-clad slavedrivers.  To add insult to injury, he has to pay a great new big tax of 99 cents in the dollar on his already pitifully small remuneration.  And, any time he reaches for his boatphone to call for help, it turns into the mocking face of Malcolm Turnbull!]
Scrooge: Errrr...ummmm...ahhhhh...but...but...but...Julian, old friend, old bean...surely this horrible prognostication cannot be allowed to come to pass...
Julian: Indeed it will, Mr Scrooge...only if refuse to give up your evil ways...
Scrooge: Erm...alright – you win!
[Scrooge crosses his fingers behind his back]
Scrooge: Let’s do a deal, mate...I’ll give up WorkChoices, if you agree to deleting all your cables about Iraq and that AWB bizzo...
Julian: Mmmmmm...I might need some time to think about that one...I’ll get back to you...so, in the meantime, just keep your boatphone handy...heh...heh...

Acerbic Conehead

December 19. 2010 09:47 PM

TalkTurkey

AC
Great writing Mate, your Crispmess Carol has climaxed an already dull day on the Sword!

No, joke, it is a lot of fun and you do it well. Very acerbic, you old conehead you!

Tough about missing the triple ton. I set Jason up for it, and he went and didn't even crow about it!

Congrats Swordsfolk for keeping posts coming even in these non-parliamentary times.

Let not the Sword cool in the sheath!

TalkTurkey

December 19. 2010 11:14 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, you can suggest I take my medication or anything else you want to suggest. That sort of stuff rolls off me like water off a duck's back. You will find I am a salamandrine type person so I'm prepared for the cut and thrust of robust debate and heckling.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 20. 2010 08:24 AM

TalkTurkey

Limpy

Salamandrine, YES!

Primitive, poisonous, pre-reptilian!

And So Say All Of Us!

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 08:46 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

I see that feathertail gliders are being pushed out of the Sydney area by.....development, i.e., housing, places to work, systems to transport a growing population and other such things. Care to comment TT on your love of wildlife and your love of an immigration policy?

Gliders being driven out of Sydney
www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-fn6e0s1g-1225973567862

Sir Ian Crisp

December 20. 2010 08:54 AM

TalkTurkey

Rudeness Challenge #7

Thoughts on Limpy Crisp

He styles himself Sir, how absurd!
And 'Salamandrine' (as we've heard) -
He's the invert of Janus -
A two-anused anus!
- And each of his "posts" is a TURD!

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 09:11 AM

TalkTurkey

Heh heh I love it when I talk like that.

"Water off a duck's back"?

I DON'T THINK SO!

Because Limpy, you'll NEVER think of anything clever or nasty enough to come back at me with. (I WISH!)

So it sticks to you like superglue and stings like jellybladders and stinks like Pepe Le Pew, and itches both those annular orifices of yours, and rankles you something awful Limpy don't it, cos you can't think of nothin' clever to hit me with. Ha Ha Ha.

Never desert the Sword Limpy. You make me feel GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!



He's too LOW.

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 09:23 AM

TalkTurkey

Sincere Apology to Sir Ian Crisp

Ad astra said
"I see Sir Ian that your capacity to insult is unimpaired as you insist FS takes the ‘medication’ ordered by her ‘shrink…err correction, doctor’."

He is quite correct Limpy, I retract what I said about your not being clever or nasty enough to come back at me. You are quite nasty enough. Just not clever. Sorry.

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 09:36 AM

Jason

TT,
  I wouldn't worry about Sir Ian! it's a political light weight who has nothing constructive to add,so I would wory about his claim of being up for the cut and thrust of political debate when in reality he could fit all of his ideas on the back of a stamp.

Jason

December 20. 2010 09:59 AM

TalkTurkey

NormanK
A beer would be good.

It would be nice to meet all the Swordsfolk for a tipple eh.

Well I dunno about Limpy. A Mickey Finn maybe. I don't think I'd want to drink with him. Sad.

We could buy Jason a double Pimms!

CALLIGULA might be OK after a downer or two. Or nine or ten.
jj would need to have had radical aromatherapy beforehand.

A Bloody Mary and a big pack of jerky for Feral Skeloton I reckon, put some meat on those bones!

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 10:18 AM

2353

SIC @ 19/12 11:14 pm. I'm prepared for the cut and thrust of robust debate and heckling.   Haven't seen any debate - just heckling.

Did the rest of you see that Wilke is claiming this morning that Abbott promised to DOUBLE refugee intake if Wilke assisted him in gaining the keys to Kirribilli (you don't think he was ever going to live in Canberra do you?).  www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0101219-191ye.html  This is on top of the $1billion for the Hobart Hospital.  Just shows Abbott would have promised and done anything to get power - the same fault he has been claiming Gillard is guilty of.

2353

December 20. 2010 10:43 AM

TalkTurkey

Misspelt your name last post I wrote on:
Prof Skel-e-ton, Not Skel-o-ton.

Fun With Words.

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 10:46 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
As we approach the Season of Goodwill, is it possible that we might approach 2011 with somewhat more charity than we are seeing at present.  Sir Ian, you insist, as you have before, that insults ‘roll off you like water off a duck’s back’.  Do you feel this attribute entitles you to insult others?  Do you assume they possess a similar attribute?  Have you considered others might be offended and upset by your insults?  Can’t you see that once you get into this mode it evokes retaliatory responses from others?  Need we carry on with this schoolyard behaviour when the focus of this blog site is the manner in which this country is being governed and alternative ways of governing?  What does it say about us if someone’s alleged mental condition is more the focus of comment than the crucial political issues that are extant such as asylum seekers, climate change, tax and banking reform, health care reform, water management, population and infrastructure, education initiatives, industrial relations and many others?

So Sir Ian and others who indulge in hurling personal insults, can we call a halt in 2011 and confine ourselves to the issues that count, can we make the case for our position from verifiable facts and well-reasoned argument, can we separate our opinions from the facts so that we know which is which?  If we can’t, or won’t, is there any point in continuing TPS?

Ad astra reply

December 20. 2010 11:08 AM

TalkTurkey

When I was into CB Radio, you'd have a QSO (conversation) going with maybe six or seven people, but there'd always be listeners on the side, Sandbaggers, who would say nothing or very little. Sometimes they would surprise you by coming in with something worthwhile that showed that they had been listening for a long time. That was perfectly cool, as long as they didn't do the reverse, breaking in over the top of the group, when they became Bucketmouths, who were really vile. Fortunately vilians like Limpy can't do that to Us, he can spit his bile with his reptile smile all over his dial but he can't do nothin vile. (And he reminds us how superior is our intellectual "cutting and thrusting"-did you see that puffed-up post of his?! - to his'n. For which we should be truly grateful.)

Anyway, Swordsfolks All, I know there are Readers out there (I'm sure there is a term for Blog Sandbaggers but I can't think of it)- where You are right now - who rarely or almost never become Posters, or haven't for ages, How about checking in once a while, say Hippie Crispmess, just let Lyn and Ad and FS & All know you love em eh?  

Because really in the end that's what it's all about, Politics as a way of trying to make a more caring, yes, more loving society and world.

Hell, I'm not even a Crispian! Dog forbid!

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 11:50 AM

TalkTurkey

Ad astra,
As you will realise I was writing my last post as you were posting yours, so what I mean, see, I really AM a Goodwillian, and as I have told (--------), with whom I've had phone conversations, I don't let Limpy worry me. He is just FUN to me. I do, I sharpen my claws and beak on him, I flaunt my Lyrical tail in his face, but I know my little jibes delight some of the others Swordsfolk who - why wouldn't they? - find his comments despicable.

Only humour and ridicule are antidotal to such horrid venom, and I truly am sorry if anything I say gives you real grief - but let me say loud and clear, it doesn't for a moment detract from the value of the Sword, on the contrary, as pure Sweet is too bland, jj and Limpy add Sour and Bitter (and I seek only to rub Salt into any wounds I can open up in them.) The Sword, oddly enough, would be less without them imo. (Let them preen themselves over THAT!)
Unlike Limpy and jj though, I do also post serious and I hope provocative (in positive sense) material, and btw you might remember, I have made my "forgive even unto 70 x 7 times" attitude clear to them times before. I'm not a hater of humanity. I wouldn't initiate insults either, I only respond. But it's all Fun to me, or nearly.

But I must say I am less than amused about Limpy's sneer about FS and medication. Low. And I know you think so too.

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 12:29 PM

Jason

AA,
  NBN Plan

www.nbnco.com.au/.../...E+Corporate+Plan+Final.pdf

Jason

December 20. 2010 01:05 PM

NormanK

2353
Wilkie surely is burning up goodwill with his revelations - I wonder what he considers as "in confidence" negotiations? Perhaps he agrees with the pundits who reckon he will be a one-term wonder and can throw caution to the winds. Still, I doubt that there will be many people willing to have a "quiet word" with Andrew in the belief that it will stay private.
Having made my assault on the moral high ground, I confess that I would dearly love to know what else was put on the table during those talks, especially with the two southern independents.
Full implementation of the MDBA Plan (sight unseen)? Abbott went close to this promise during the election campaign but, as I recall, worded his statement in such a way as to allow him to get out of it (when the "voice of the people" rose vociferously against it).
More roads? More bridges? More hospitals? More fire-fighting resources? Universities in regional centres?
If only we knew. And had some idea of what was to be cut in order to provide the funds for the pork.

Wilkie has struck a good preemptive blow on the subject of asylum seekers so I guess we should be grateful.

Jason
Thanks for the NBN link - a bit of light reading on a hot summer afternoon.
By the way, if Mrs Jason feels in need of fresh epithets to hurl at her wayward husband, I'm sure that there are a few of us here who would be glad to oblige. Three word slogans, four word slogans and five minute diatribes are our speciality. Special Christmas offers available.

NormanK

December 20. 2010 01:52 PM

Ad astra reply

TT
Thank you for your comments.  I believe I do understand your position and accept that you are a ‘Goodwillian’.  The cut and thrust to which Sir Ian often refers is perfectly acceptable until it becomes personal against those who comment here.  To insult politicians is normal practice in the media and everyday conversations, but to personally insult bloggers who hold a different view is something else.  It is simply a substitute for sound reasoning.  This is so too when insults are hurled at politicians.  Personally, I would prefer to read ‘I believe that politician A is incompetent because of X, Y and Z’; or that ‘politician B is a liar because of these contradictory facts…’; or that ‘politician C seems unable to grasp the situation because of …’; or politician D is the worst PM/Treasurer/Opposition Leader or whatever because of …’.  If reason backed the use of pejoratives, what an improvement we would see in political discourse.

Keep coming to TPS TT, we enjoy your contribution.

Jason
Thank you for the link to the NBN Plan.  I did hear a little of Julia Gillard’s and Stephen Conroy’s press conference until ABC radio decided to cut it and run with a piece on settlements in Jerusalem, which could have waited until the press conference was over.  I did catch that the extent of the Government’s commitment is estimated to be around $27.5 billion, not $43 billion, and certainly not Malcolm Turnbull’s $55 billion estimate.  I hope that ballyhoo will now subside.  The costs seem modest too as displayed on page 101.

Hopefully the Plan will satisfy the industry players.  It will be interesting to see what angle the Opposition will now play, and what News Limited will say.

Ad astra reply

December 20. 2010 02:11 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason
We didn’t have to wait long for News Limited to show its bias.  Looking for a headline, The Oz did not pick the lower than expected cost to the taxpayer, or the reasonable cost to the user, but instead highlighted a comment by Mike Quigley: “NBN Co boss Mike Quigley said the internal rate of return for the business case was lower than might be expected in a commercial business plan” to give it its headline “NBN return to be lower than in a commercial world, business plan shows”.  Of course it will not return what the commercial world would expect, otherwise it would be in there like Flynn doing it.

Another line ran: The cost of the project has climbed $200,000 to $35.9 billion, with $27.5 billion in government equity and another $13.4 billion expected to be leveraged in debt from 2015.  Notice the descriptor ‘climbed’.  Yes it has ‘climbed’ by a whole $0.2 billion, because the ACCC insisted on more than the planned 14 points of interconnect; today’s Plan has 120 PoIs, which is why it costs a little more.

Let’s see what the Coalition says.

Ad astra reply

December 20. 2010 02:31 PM

Jason

AA,
  The Oz have this NBN to repay taxpayers 'with interest'
Fairfax have this NBN broadband priced at $24 a month

Normank thank you for the offer, my ears are still ringing and she doesn't look like running out of epithets anytime soon! I did say do I complain whenever you go shopping!She had no sense of humour I should have just gone straight to bed.

Jason

December 20. 2010 02:41 PM

Jason

AA,
  I think the headlines are going to vary between the different journos! You will have the Gen Y's who understand what it's all about and would be more likely to write a some what positive article, Then you have Gen Blue who in all likely hood will be dead before the end of the roll out so who cares what they write!

Jason

December 20. 2010 03:18 PM

Gravel

Ad Astra

Like many others I hope, I just scroll past the two people who only use invective on this site.  Please don't threaten to take The Political Sword down.......it would create a huge hole in the universe. I think the insult that person made about Feral Skeleton, from what you say, is horrendous.  Is there a way of putting comments of some people in moderation like other blogs do?

TalkTurkey

I am pleased I gave you something to read and respond to yesterday.  I'm not good at putting my opinions but I do appreciate your response even though I may not necessarily agree.  Smile

I was a constant reader here for a few years before I got the courage up to respond, or put my two-bob's-worth into print.  I think for the "lurkers" (i.e. readers only) many are worried like I was that abuse would occur at some time. Thankfully here there has been none of that. I may take a while for others to chip in, and when a topic comes up that they are passionate about I sure they will.

2353

I heard Wilkie on the radio and  can verify that he actually said that about Abbott, with an hour a "spokesperson" denied that is what Abbott actually said!!!!   I agree with what NormanK says about Wilkie, I would be very wary of him and also Oakshott too.  They seem to want to negotiate with the Government through the media. That to me is like someone telling someone else something so that the message will passed on to the recipient, so they can wash their hands of their responsibilities.  

Gravel

December 20. 2010 03:29 PM

Gravel

I watched the press conference with Julia and Conroy.  I couldn't believe the stupid questions that were asked.  I may not understand much about the NBN, but I know enough to know when stupid questions are being asked.  I thought the responses to the questions were excellent.  Having such a low wholesale price surely will make NBN cheaper that all the alternatives on the market at the moment.

Could someone explain to me what the 'points of interconnect' mean please.

Gravel

December 20. 2010 03:49 PM

NormanK

Gravel
Someone else may jump in with a better explanation but simply put, points of interconnection are where the new fibre cable will be joined to older existing networks put down by Optus and Telstra. A "T-junction" if you like which will allow the older cables to be used for a greater length of time and the respective telcos will get a better return for their initial investment (years ago) than if the NBN by-passed these networks. This amounts to more work and greater expense for NBN Co but people like Peter Martin might be a little bit happier because the older (but not necessarily OLD) networks won't immediately become redundant.
As I understand it, the ACCC saw the initial proposal of fewer points of interconnect as uncompetitive behaviour because it forced Cable providers to immediately switch to the new fibre before the old stuff had come to the end of its useful life. The old cable is not as good as the new stuff but still has some life left in it.

NormanK

December 20. 2010 04:07 PM

TalkTurkey

Ad astra said
"The cost of the project has climbed $200,000 to $35.9 billion . . .  Yes it has ‘climbed’ by a whole $0.2 billion . . . "

If the quoted amount and my maths are both correct, that's not $0.2 Billion, that's $0.2 MILLION, = $0.0002 BILLION, OMG DISASTER!!!

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 04:13 PM

TalkTurkey

That should have been OMD not OMG! Dogs I believe in.

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 07:11 PM

TalkTurkey

Grok on this everybody:

'In too deep: Defence anchored by cost of new subs
By Nick Grimm for The 7.30 Report

Updated Tue Mar 9, 2010 5:38pm AEDT

. . . Estimates of the cost of new submarines vary wildly. The Government has indicated it wants another non-nuclear conventional sub [12 subs actually - TT] and it wants it [i.e. them] built, and creating local jobs, at Adelaide's naval dockyards.

The likely price tag would begin at a modest $9 billion for submarines built to an off-the-shelf design. The figure rises towards $40 billion for a model fully customised for Australian conditions, and strategic ambitions.

"A bit of nay-saying needs to be put to one side because we're able to do it," said Peter Horobin, a former Navy submarine commander and now president of the strategic lobby group, the Submarine Institute of Australia.

He argues the more local involvement in the new submarines, the better.'

And you know when the FIRST of this potentially 12 x $40 billion "investment" is expected to be delivered? 2015? 2018? 2022? (Answer below)

BTW that's potentially 12 x $40 BILLION = $480 BILLION = NEARLY HALF A BLOODY TRILLION!*
Has anyone done a cost benefit analysis of this? HA HA HA HA Sob.  

If all goes swimmingly, so to speak, the FIRST might be delivered in 2025. I have no idea when the LAST might be done, and I suspect that neither does the Navy.

*Oh but of course that's before any cost blowouts in the next 15 (FIFTEEN!!!)YEARS !!!!!
Oh but that's only for the first one . . . Could be 2040 before the last . . . or later . . . What bloody insanity!

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 07:17 PM

TalkTurkey

BTW I may have misread the intent of this figuring about the subs. When it says, "The figure rises towards $40 billion for a model fully customised for Australian conditions" it might mean for the whole lot, but the wording is ambiguous. In any case it's outrageous!

TalkTurkey

December 20. 2010 08:25 PM

Ad astra reply

TT
You are right.  I copied directly from The Oz article: The cost of the project has climbed $200,000 to $35.9 billion, with $27.5 billion in government equity and another $13.4 billion expected to be leveraged in debt from 2015..  $200,000 is, as you say, only $0.0002 billion.  Unless The Oz has the figure wrong, why would the article make a point over such a comparatively tiny sum?  You know the answer.

I see the ABC tonight dredged up a dissatisfied Tasmanian to cast doubt on the NBN, and gave exposure to Malcolm Turnbull insisting that the NBN was no Nirvana, but an expensive waste of taxpayers money.  He’s looking more and more lame as the NBN momentum grows.  A chap on ABC 774 radio this afternoon was full of praise for it.  He said he had spoken to farmers who said that they needed the NBN to be competitive.  I suspect the rural areas will be the strongest advocates.

I predict that as the rollout gathers momentum, the NBN will assume juggernaut status that even the most obstructive will be unable to stop.

Gravel
It would take more than Sir Ian to persuade me to take the site down, but I really would like the tone of comments to be more moderate and less personal towards other bloggers.  We really can do without that, while not impairing our capacity to have a vigorous debate on the issues.

Ad astra reply

December 20. 2010 08:26 PM

Jason

AA,
  I saw that woman on the 730 report who complained that the new technology had a few kinks in it and wished she had never taken it up! She probably complained about sex on her wedding night. I would note the ABC failed to find another customer who could have sung the NBN's praises. So nothing more than was expected!
On a separate note I see Morrison on 730 as well! I wish he could have spoken up as he does  about stopping the boats when I and thousands of others were being raped by the catholic church no political gain I guess!

Jason

December 20. 2010 09:43 PM

NormanK

Just watched that 7.30 Report up here in the land that time forgot and I would say, as someone who has spent a lot of time editing video in order to get it to say just what you want it to, that piece could have been a lot worse. Every time our disgruntled customer made a negative comment I was willing the editor "don't cut, don't cut" and they didn't. She offered qualifications to most of her complaints which helped to water them down a bit at least. And they did include, several times, mention of the fact that this is a pilot roll-out to test the system and by definition one must expect glitches and even perhaps complete outages. I shudder to think what ACA would have done with that raw camera footage. All of the negative comments, hard cutting to remove her attempts at diplomacy when she knew that she appeared as though she had passed harsh judgement when in fact she was trying to express disappointment, no mention of it being a trial project and lots of Turnbull using his new word for December - "Nirvana" and the white elephant that we all know and love.
One of my great disappointments with the ABC this year has been the propensity of some producers to construct stories and edit interviews in a manipulative fashion which don't reflect all of the content in its proper context. To be honest, although I was less than happy to see them seek out one unhappy customer, I was very pleased that they didn't put words in her mouth or intent in her words by fudging the edits. It would have been so easy to do.
Same programme, different interview. Ewart versus Morrison. She really is a poor interviewer (at least live anyway). Since the Ashes are in full flight, may I say she bowled some decent balls but nothing that Morrison hasn't spent years practising against in the nets and she was unable to think on her feet when he came up with solid but standard defence. Knowledge of her opponent and a better understanding of the wicket and prevailing conditions would have allowed her to vary her deliveries and get him onto the back foot in defence. As it was, he scored easy runs and his wicket was never threatened.
Bring back Maxine.

FS
Get well soon.

NormanK

December 20. 2010 09:53 PM

NormanK

Bugger. Meant to mention to TT - the figures for the new subs are project figures i.e. 12 subs for between 25 and 40 billion dollars.
The Collins Class were meant to cost about $4 billion each and ended up (at last count) in excess of $6 billion.

NormanK

December 21. 2010 12:12 AM

Acerbic Conehead

TT, thanks for your words of appreciation the other day for my version of Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol”, story.  You might have caught up with Scrooge Abbott’s and Ban Morrison’s press conference earlier.  As a follow-up, Ban has released a new single, which is really a cover-version of the old number by Paul Simon, “50 ways to leave your lover”.  Sing along to this nifty version which is already No 1 on the Nauru charts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVXX6NFpcT8
:- (
The problem is all on Gillard’s head, just believe me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
In our struggle to be free of the refugees
There must be fifty ways to STOP THE BOATIES!
:- (
You are aware of my bad habit to intrude
Furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
But I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways to STOP THE BOATIES!
Fifty ways to STOP THE BOATIES!
:- (
Use Julie’s death-stare, Claire
Read ‘em Battlelines, Heinz
Whack ‘em with the boatphone, Joan
Just hark to my plea
Burn ‘em with pink batts, Pat
Poke ‘em with a weathervane, Jane
Pull faces from the quay, Lee
Turn ‘em back to sea
:- (
It grieves me so to see you bogans in such pain
I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
I can go one better than Pauline Hanson’s, “please explain”
About the fifty ways
:- (
I know you can all sleep tight in your beds tonight
Knowing that in the morning, we will still be on the far-right
So, help me scapegoat the reffos, cos we’re so clueless and policy-lite
There must be fifty ways to STOP THE BOATIES!
Fifty ways to STOP THE BOATIES!
:- (
Use Julie’s death-stare, Claire
Read ‘em Battlelines, Heinz
Whack ‘em with the boatphone, Joan
Just hark to my plea
Burn ‘em with pink batts, Pat
Poke ‘em with a weathervane, Jane
Pull faces from the quay, Lee
Turn ‘em back to sea

Acerbic Conehead

December 21. 2010 08:29 AM

Ad astra reply

Jason, NormanK
The ABC goes from bad to worse over the NBN.  For sheer negativity, if you haven’t already heard it, listen to Lyndal Curtis’ interview of Stephen Conroy on AM this morning.  She surpasses most of her previous performances. Her tone of voice is classic.  She may claim she is being ‘devil’s advocate’, but we know Lyndal of old.  Today’s programme has not yet been posted on the ABC website, but when it is, the link is http://www.abc.net.au/am/

AC
Thank you again for your verse, so apt.  ‘Fifty ways to stop the boaties’ might become the Coalition theme song.

Folks
I’ve several acres of long grass to mow today, so I’ll be away from my computer most of the day.

Ad astra reply

December 21. 2010 08:36 AM

Acerbic Conehead

TT, I am intrigued by your recent offer to share your doggie religion with us.  My mistress says I am a real searcher for THE TRUTH, as I am always digging holes in her garden!  Is your religion fun?  If I join, will I be able to walk on the water, instead of getting drenched in that awful mobile tub my mistress pays an absolute fortune to hire on the first Friday of every month?  Also, if I become a true believer, will I be able to multiply my rations of Pal and Schmackos?  And I just love going for walkies!  But Mecca would be a bit far – with my advanced arthritis, the old legs aren’t the same anymore unfortunately.  Or maybe I could heal myself?  Pick up my litter of pups and walk?  Now wouldn’t that be a miracle, as I got the job done yonks ago!  And what does your religion teach about the afterlife?  Will I get sent to the pound for all of eternity for sniffing the butt of the bitch next door?  I believe!  Help my unbelief!  Can I make the leap of faith, or will I just stay as an agdogstic after all?

Yours, Acerbic Canine.

Acerbic Conehead

December 21. 2010 10:00 AM

TalkTurkey

H'mmm AC Thought I'd better get into that lucrative Nauru music market myself.
So . . . Sorry, "Island in the Sun" . . . Thanks Harry Belafonte . . .

This is my island of Nauru
Built entirely of gannet poo
There is not very much to do here
But ’prison people [Abbott/a boat] sends to here.

[(sing deliberately ambiguously)(like, Ah-bohrt)]

As morning breaks, I scan the sea
Wondrin’ if more boats come to me
Sent ’way back from Australia’s shore
Abbott im say im more and more!

I see woman on bended knee
Begging freedom for family
I see body of child who died
Boat get smashed on the surging tide.

Oh island of Nauru
Built entirely of gannet poo
Man sell bird poo from all around,
Now Nauru just big hole in ground.

But we got now new industry
Makin prison for refugee
It an ill wind that blow no good
This bring jobs to our neighbourhood.

I hope the day will never come
When Aussie Government not send us some
Prisoner peoples from overseas;
Makin jobs for our families.

Makin jobs for our families
Makin jobs for our families


Alternative ending verse!

Me hope someday the day will come
When Australian people soften some
To those boat people refugees
Seeking safety from surging seas.

Seeking safety from surging seas.
Seeking safety from surging seas.

Juices Crisp I just started to cry. Right then.

Too bloody easy to write this. Hatefully easy.
I shouldn't have to be writing this stuff in 2010.

Curse you Abbott Howard Reith and all your sucks
You are the ones who have meant this is a hate-ridden society.

Hey it's nearly Crispmess. Can't you just feel the religious love-fervour-charity all around. (Cynic!)

BTW there might be another verse or so to the above. I sort of hope so, but my tears got in the way. No wonder Yous nearly all thought I was a girl.

Swordfolk you gotta be staunch. We're all we got and we have to win the society back. From the brink.

TalkTurkey

December 21. 2010 10:48 AM

Jason

AA,
  The Abbott Broadcasting Corporation is in a sad state of disrepair it's hard to know where to begin! Starting with last nights 730 report on the NBN, that story would've been more at home on the comercial"current affairs" shows!
Then we get to AM I don't ask much but is it possible for the news director to ask these journos to "bone up" on the subject matter? I don't want what ifs, although to be fair I was listening to Phillip Clark who seem to have Turnbulls measure!

On a lighter note here is a bit of christopher joy giving it to the australian  christopherjoye.blogspot.com/.../...verything.html

Jason

December 21. 2010 11:09 AM

Acerbic Conehead

TT, thanks for the Nauru Nostrum tune.  Keep 'em comin'.  Maybe some hard hearts will be softened over the holiday period.  We live in hope.

Acerbic Conehead

December 21. 2010 11:11 AM

Acerbic Conehead

Thanks, AA.  If "50 Ways to Stop the Boaties" becomes the Coalition's theme song, they'll certainly be singing in the right quay (boom...tish...)

Acerbic Conehead

December 21. 2010 11:12 AM

Acerbic Conehead

Thanks, AA.  If "50 Ways to Stop the Boaties" becomes the Coalition's theme song, they'll certainly be singing in the right quay (boom...tish...)

Acerbic Conehead

December 21. 2010 11:13 AM

Acerbic Conehead

Thanks, AA.  If "50 Ways to Stop the Boaties" becomes the Coalition's theme song, they'll certainly be singing in the right quay (boom...tish...)

Acerbic Conehead

December 21. 2010 11:15 AM

Acerbic Conehead

Crikey!  Apologies for the multiple post.  I thought I got the code wrong and had another couple of goes!

Acerbic Conehead

December 21. 2010 11:22 AM

TalkTurkey

AC said
> TT replied
TT, I am intrigued by your recent offer to share your doggie religion with us.
> Did I do dat? Don't remember. Please refresh?
See it's not Religion, Religion is Dogmatism, Dogs must free themselves of these chains of Dogma! Dogs must not be Dogmatised! Dogs are not mere human Dogmats! Down with all Dogmatic devices! Dog Almighty, can you not smell the sweet nirvana of Freedom?


My mistress says I am a real searcher for THE TRUTH, as I am always digging holes in her garden!
> That's where it is actually.
Is your religion fun?
> More fun than being human. Dogs don't dwell on Death.
> If I join,
> Bro, you already in!
will I be able to walk on the water,
> No, course not you dumb animal, then you couldn't have any wetness fun

instead of getting drenched in that awful mobile tub my mistress pays an absolute fortune to hire on the first Friday of every month?
>So shake over her.
Also, if I become a true believer, will I be able to multiply my rations of Pal and Schmackos?  And I just love going for walkies!  But Mecca would be a bit far – with my advanced arthritis, the old legs aren’t the same anymore unfortunately.  Or maybe I could heal myself?  Pick up my litter of pups and walk?
> ha ha litter of pups I like
Now wouldn’t that be a miracle, as I got the job done yonks ago!  And what does your religion teach about the afterlife?  Will I get sent to the pound for all of eternity for sniffing the butt of the bitch next door?
> No you won't, it's cool, and just think, you could sniff the chair of the bloody Queen and not even lose your job! Dog Power! Dog, now I'm in tears again, laughing at my own perspicacity.  
I believe!  Help my unbelief!
> Er now listen Bowser, that don't make sense. You will never make Drug Sniffer if you keep making rudimentary logic mistakes. Or have you been into your human servant's stash yourself?
Can I make the leap of faith,
or will I just stay as an agdogstic after all?
> You are Dog! You have all the rights that entails! Humans have no tails at all!
What you want? You can leap further than they do anyway!

But when the time comes, be sure to connect with Abbort's leg. That is the One Great Aim all Dogs should aspire to.

Yours, Acerbic Canine.

Pat, pat.

TalkTurkey

December 21. 2010 11:37 AM

jj

Here is a little bit of reading for you on the recently released NBN business plan. I will tell you who wrote it after you have all read it because as the saying goes, 'never judge a book by its cover'. It shouldnt matter who wrote it, if it makes sense, well it makes sense.


It'd have to be an absolute breeze to know exactly what's going to happen in telecommunications out 'only' 30 years.

For to quote NBNCo: its shorter-term corporate plan is "an integral part of NBNCo's 30-year business model, which has been developed to assess the long-term viability of the company".

Sure, if you're Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and NBNCo CEO Mike Quigley, you 'know' exactly what's going to happen over that period. After all, we're talking about an industry in which not much changes from decade to decade

Certainly, nothing that's not foreseen and is entirely predictable. Look at how these geniuses predicted Google and Facebook and Twitter and WikiLeaks.

Excuse my sarcasm, but yesterday we got the full 'O' after the cut-down version a few weeks ago. That's, the 'O' from GIGO -- Garbage In Garbage Out, otherwise known as NBNCo's Corporate Plan.

You just gotta love that precision. The earlier cut-down version had the NBN - for those of you who've been living in a bubble, that stands for National Broadband Network - costed at $35.7 billion, give or rather take the odd $10 billion or $12 billion.

The full version now has it at $35.9 billion, with the same give or take. Getting that so precise fills me to overflowing with confidence that these guys have the future, in all its fine detail, locked in a room somewhere. They'll roll it out with the fibre.

Now one could go through the 160-page document, page by page by meaningless extravagant certainty. But let's instead focus on some of the critical points of intersection.

Let's start with that $200 million blow-out. That's because NBNCo wanted only 14 points of interconnect with existing trunk internet infrastructure. The ACCC said that would be 'anti-competitive'. NBNCo will now do a more costly 120, subject to ACCC approval.

Am I the only one that finds it deeply disturbing that the competition regulator is 'inside the tent' of a project that is so fundamentally and irredeemably and so pervasively across the nation, anti-competitive; negotiating - facilitating - the degree of anti-competitiveness?

This goes to the whole exercise. Someone comes to you and say that he wants to give you $43 billion to build something: please tell me, if it makes sense.

What do you know: NBNCo ponders long and deep and concludes that yes, it makes sense; here's our 'analysis' to prove it; and please send the cheque.

Well, actually, it didn't quite get to the NBN making sense.

Even when the beneficiaries of a $43 billion taxpayer cheque, presumably making 'optimistic' assumptions about costs and even more, likely revenues, do the numbers they can't come up with a positive bottom line.

NBNCo estimates the project will generate an internal rate of return of 7 per cent over its life. Actually - there's that precision again - 7.04 per cent was the number.

Trouble is, NBNCo estimates that its 'cost of capital' will average 10-11 per cent - whoops, where'd that precision go? - over the life of the project.

That's to say, it will lose 3 per cent of its average capital cost every year over the entire life of the project. Yet it concludes, it all makes sense. Because of all the external to the project benefits and the unquantifiable uses to which we will put high-speed fixed broadband.

Incidentally if things don't go right, the rate of return could fall to as little as 5.3 per cent. That would mean the NBN losing money even on a cash basis, funded by the government borrowing the money with long-term Commonwealth bonds.

Some people might think we are mostly going to use it for downloading movies and other 'entertainment'. Of course not; it's mostly going to be used for education-in-the-home; self-diagnostic interaction with doctors; and the odd opera for light relief.

Remember what the government had to do to enable NBNCo to get to even these 'optimistic' numbers: that the NBN will only lose in real terms $1 billion or so a year, every year of its life.

It's had to mandate a monopoly. And it's had to mandate that NBNCo can charge most of its customers more than the real economic cost of the service - a good comparison would be the government legislating to force you to pay $1 every time you used even your own bank's ATM.

And the geniuses haven't got a clue at how that must undermine the entire foundation of the NBN. And just quietly, the NBNCo's numbers.

Telstra will be stopped from 'cherry-picking' the bulk of capital city customers by this government's signature brand of combined threat and bribe.

But that's, stopped from 'cherry-picking' - otherwise known as charging a fair, considerably lower, price - by using fixed broadband infrastructure, and only fixed infrastructure. Telstra's existing copper wire network and its HFC cable.

There's nothing to stop Telstra and indeed anyone 'cherry-picking' by using mobile broadband. Precisely, when more and more - most? - people are going to find mobile broadband not simply more than adequate but indeed desirable.

And because NBNCo will be overcharging most of its customers, it will positively encourage mobile broadband to compete. Or cost the taxpayer billions of dollars more.

Mobile broadband will never be fast enough, these owners of the future Conroy and Quigley will respond. And we've got a $43 billion punt with taxpayer money on that.

The laughing should start right now, and not let up until Conroy and Quigley and their NBN are - figuratively - tarred and feathered and run out of town like the all snake oil salesmen.

jj

December 21. 2010 12:19 PM

Jason

jj,
  So who is the author of this that will embarrass us! and thus stop work on the NBN as we speak?

Jason

December 21. 2010 01:03 PM

jj

Ken Henry.

jj

December 21. 2010 01:10 PM

jj































Just kidding...it is your good mate Terry from the business section of News Limited.

jj

December 21. 2010 01:14 PM

Jason

jj,
  I see Ken Henry is about to retire next year!
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59nsif-1225974318985

Jason

December 21. 2010 01:50 PM

Jason

jj,
  Alan Kholer that well known friend of the left has this to say unlike that rant from Terry!

Kohler: now THAT’s a broadband business plan

www.crikey.com.au/.../

Jason

December 21. 2010 02:23 PM

NormanK

Jason
Thanks for the Kholer link. Do you know, I actually followed the link back to the original publisher just to make sure Kholer had written the piece. As you say, he is no friend of the left and this certainly is a glowing endorsement.
What’s more the revenue plan looks absurdly conservative. It seems to be based on the idea that the growth rate of broadband internet traffic is about to collapse, when in fact it is just beginning to take off thanks to the development of online video on demand and IPTV
Put a negative spin on that, Terry.

NormanK

December 21. 2010 02:54 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
With rain interruptions, and now a broken mower, I’m back at my computer for a bit.

jj
I see you have a sense of humour, but you really should warn us when you foist a Terry McCrann piece on us.  I read all of it, something I would never do if I had known its author.  With his long past history of mistaken predictions, McCrann must rank as the most incompetent commentator on economics and the most unreliable forecaster that gets into print in this country.  Because he is quite without shame, he continues to pour out his nonsense unconcerned at how often he is wrong.  It’s a wonder the Herald Sun allows him, but then it also has Andrew Bolt, so anything goes.

I note that McCrann highlights the $200 million ‘blowout’, as if that is significant in a project of that size.  It amounts to just $0.2 billion.  

(So TT, The Oz had the figure wrong at $200,000, but your calculations were right.)

Jason
Thank you for the link to the Kohler piece.  What a contrast to McCrann!  Now whom would you believe – Kohler or McCrann?  It’s not really a contest is it?

Ad astra reply

December 21. 2010 03:38 PM

jj

AA,

Did you read Kohler's piece yesterday on the drum?

Jason,

Henry was always expected to retire. I would as well if i were him...next year is going to be a shocker for treasury!

jj

December 21. 2010 03:54 PM

Jason

jj,
  Tony Abbott leapt on the release of the business case to dub the NBN "the nationalised broadcasting network".

"It's pretty obvious that the main usage for the NBN is going to be internet-based television, video entertainment and gaming," the Opposition Leader said.

"Now as far as the Coalition is concerned, there's nothing wrong with any of this, but given all of the infrastructure needs facing Australia - roads, railways, ports, health, education, let alone the problems with voice telephony - it's far from clear that this really is a sensible investment

Lucky for Abbott he never had a chance to address any of these needs! jj can you let Abbott know the NBN will look after voice telephony as well!
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225974169098

Jason

December 21. 2010 05:00 PM

Jason

Just think in years to come Mr Abbott's Ideas on the NBN will make this list

listverse.com/.../

Jason

December 21. 2010 05:09 PM

Gravel

NormanK

Thanks for you very clear explanation of my query.  I like the analogy you used.

AC

I am still grinning from ear to ear, you are very clever.

Ad Astra

Sorry to hear about your lawn mower, maybe it got water in it from the rain.

Can I take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy time for the next week or so.  I have son and grandsons coming so will probably won't get on the computer, the grandsons will probably be on it a bit though.

Gravel

December 21. 2010 05:36 PM

Ad astra reply

jj
What a difference a day makes: Kohler yesterday versus Kohler today.  He may be right about video being a major use of the NBN.  That’s all that Tones seems to acknowledge. So what?  There’s nothing wrong with fast video downloads.  But it’s the other applications that require very fast synchronous broadband with upload speeds as fast as download ones that will count.  These will apply in medicine, education and business particularly.  They will bring unimaginable benefits to productivity, to people and to communities, particularly in regional and rural areas.

The aspect of the NBN debate that I find most distressing is that those who oppose it seem bereft of imagination and foresight; they seem incapable of moving outside the existing communications paradigm.  Tones for example thinks that as the existing broadband is OK for his email and his girls downloading movies, there’s nothing more out there.  I can understand this from a man who confessed to not being a ‘tech-head’, but not from Malcolm, who knows better.  He persists with his line that most people are satisfied with their Internet connection (which is untrue) and that his patchwork alternative will provide all we need.  He must know that is nonsense.

This resistance to the NBN, and the campaign to knock it at every step, reminds me of the resistance to the iron horse when breathing horses were thought by some to be all that were needed, and of the US Army General who could see no use for the new-fangled airplane in military encounters, and the patents officer who declared at the turn of the century that everything that could be invented had already been invented.  Progress with computers and with telephony in the last ten years ought to alert even the skeptical to the fact that unimaginable developments are likely to occur.  But even if those with limited vision cannot see what the NBN might offer in the decade ahead, at least they should not inhibit those who can, and hold back one of the most significant technological developments for many, many years.  But they do so confident that because they can’t see, there must be nothing out there to see at all.  There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Ad astra reply

December 21. 2010 05:43 PM

Ad astra reply

Gravel
I wish it was just the rain that stopped the mower, but it looks more sinister - probably a seized wheel bearing.  With five acres to mow, with the grass often knee height, it has had a lot of hard work over the last ten years - it's entitled to show its age!

Thank you for your good wishes - I hope you and your family have a joyous Christmas together.

Ad astra reply

December 21. 2010 05:50 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason
What a magnificent list - it trumps the few examples I gave.  All skeptics should read it - several times!

jj
Please do take a look at Jason's list.

Ad astra reply

December 21. 2010 07:05 PM

Patricia WA

Great list, Jason.  Could be a pome there!  I'll think about it on my walk with Tacker.

Re Turnbull and the NBN - what a fool!  He knows he's talking rubbish.  How can anyone now willing to toe the party line on this and play second fiddle to the tune of a an ignorant and populist fanatic like Abbott ever hope to lead his party or run a country?  He should stand his ground on this, on the carbon tax and on his original Murray Darling Basin policy.  He'll be seen as a man of principle and far more likely to get the support of Greens and Independents should he need them to form government.  A hung Parliament can go both ways, I imagine, given changing circumstances and timing.


Off track, I know, but we are among friends.  My family next door with two young boys will be having a new puppy on Christmas Day.  We have deliberately chosen a small dog - cross Shitsu/King Charles Cavalier - and he won't be bigger than Tacker.   Any advice from dog lovers out there about ensuring that Tacker (who is a bit aloof from other dogs, anyway - seems to think he's a human!) really takes to him instead of getting jealous?
  

Patricia WA

December 21. 2010 07:47 PM

Jason

Gravel may you and yours have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Patricia WA, a poem would be nice! on the Subject of Turnbull  and far be it for me to give the libs advice! If Turnbull ever gets the numbers and put a front bench together not based on yesteryear Labor would be in more trouble now and a biased media would be the least of their problems!
Andrews,Bronny,Ruddock Have Howard failures writ large! To the back bench I say
Andrew Robb might have been a good director of the party has a much personality as Ted Bundy!
Hockey and Mirrabella parliamentry secretaries at best
Morrison Ambassador for Afghanistan.
Greg Hunt with a voice like his a Choir

All in all if you look at the coalition back benches the have some talent there that under Abbott will never be tapped! Thank a god of your choice for that!

PS
I forgot Julie bishop there is always pole dancing!

Jason

December 21. 2010 09:00 PM

NormanK

Patricia WA
Regarding the new puppy, giving advice is always fraught with danger in case something goes wrong. The best thing is to just leave them to it and let nature take its course. Almost certainly Tacker will knock the puppy down a few times just to establish the pecking order and it would be a bad move to chastise him for doing it. He could end up associating the pup with getting in trouble. Provided it doesn't look like becoming too serious (i.e. Tacker should knock pup down, puppy surrenders, Tacker walks way is normal) just leave them alone, don't intervene.
There is no easy way to guarantee they will be friends. As you know, each dog has its own personality and that includes with whom it is going to be friends. Try to leave them in what they think is unsupervised interaction while surreptitiously keeping an eye on them.
If you are a library type person, seek out Konrad Lorenz's "On Aggression" for some good background on dog behaviour.

Gravel
Have a great festive season.

NormanK

December 21. 2010 10:42 PM

TalkTurkey

Patricia WA, NormanK, Acerbic Conehead,

Believe in the power of the love of Dog.

(I was never sincerer in my life!)

The family that walks and talks with Dog every day
Is a family that walks and talks better in every way

In the Beginning was the Word . . .
and the word was Dog!

You can to talk to Dog in any language.

You'll never walk alone when you walk with Dog






TalkTurkey

December 21. 2010 11:27 PM

TalkTurkey

I touched Enter accidentally last post, and Doggone it! Literally.
That's it sort of unfinishedy-looking above at 10.42.

I do indeed think Dogs are very very special. If even beyond other forms of the magically-sparkling force we call Life we Humans are very very particularly special, as I think 'way understates the case, then Dogs are with us all the way. We would never have made it thus far without them, and Dog forbid that we ever become Dogless.
(I am physically Dogless now, but I carry the Love of Dog always in my heart. True.)

No tribute to Dog could ever overstate the bond between our species.

I think Dogs' true talents are only just starting to come to light. Seems they can predict imminent myocardial infarctions, and other conditions including incipient cancers . . . Only a Dog?! We haven't ever listened as hard to Dog as Dog has to us, and we have much to learn from Him. (Dog being masculine, I guess that's OK to use the masculine pronoun. Can't use She/Her, nor It, Dog is not genderless even when desexed.)  

How to treat the new puppy? With love, yes, but beyond pure puppy love, it is really important if you want a "Good" Dog, for all the humans to establish with the other family members what goes and what doesn't. It's an awful thing to do to a Dog to have it continually confused by humans. Just be consistent.

Dogs need lots of RAW MEATY BONES. You may find a book by a WA vet called just that.
Canned Dogfood, would you eat it? Little Dogs, with a whole family to themselves, probably don't need anything else but raw meaty bones and your leavings. (Yum.)
Remember, canned Dogfood is terrible stuff. If you wouldn't eat it yourself, . . ! .    

And Tacker, e b OK. Don't You Worry About That.

The Love of Dog be with You all. Ahhh, Women!

TalkTurkey

December 22. 2010 11:24 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Jason alerted me to the fact that the comments were closed again, and as he predicted, the time since the last post has now exceeded the recent change of setting to fourteen days.  So I've changed it again, to twenty-one days, and the comments are open again.  When FS's piece arrives I will change the settings back to where they were.

Thank you Jason.

Ad astra reply

December 22. 2010 11:33 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Lyndal Curtis’ interview of Stephen Conroy about the NBN on Tuesday that I mentioned in a recent post, is now available on the AM website at http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2010/s3098079.htm

To give you an idea of her even more than usually acerbic approach to this interview, here is her opening question: “ Stephen Conroy, you don't know if Telstra shareholders will approve the deal with the NBN. You don't know if the necessary legislation will get through the Parliament, if investors will stump up the money or if something better will come along and this technology won't be needed. 

Aren't you operating in the world of the imagined and the assumed?”

The rest is more of the same.

Ad astra reply

December 22. 2010 11:43 AM

TalkTurkey

Clever Jason, patient Ad astra, thanks both for dragging the Sword from the Stone again.*


Remember the $20 million "blowout" for the NBN that was minified down to $20000?
Today there's this on the ABC News page -  
"News Corp wants to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB it does not already own for 7.8 billion pounds ($12.1 million) to consolidate the business it helped build."

Gee it's hard to tell those billions from millions eh! They look so much alike! It's all so confusing! You mean, a billion is a bit different from a million? Crikey, then there's those thousand things, aren't they different again? Why don't we just say they're all the same so we don't get mixed up any more?

* Do Yous know the true story of Swords in the Stone, as in Excalibur? There is a truth to it, and if someone asks me about it I'll tell you. It's fascinating.

TalkTurkey

December 22. 2010 12:30 PM

Patricia WA

Well Done Jason! You really are an inspiration
In many more ways than one. You've given me a lot of fun.
Coalition career enhancing?  Julie Bishop off pole dancing?
How about......

Julie Bishop's New Career

Julie Bishop seems born to be
A latter day Mata Hari.
She’s in the wrong vocation
In that Canberra location.
Just look at those eyes!
Someone should advise
Her to don the burqa,
Become an undercover worker.

Yes!  She could go to Israel.
There surely she wouldn’t fail
To find herself the ideal job
Working with the Mossad mob.
They’re always looking out for spies
To work undercover in disguise.
It helps, of course, if they have brought
Along with them an Oz passport.

They might use her in Afghanistan
More likely though in Pakistan.
There the unspeakable Osama,
Posing as a quasi Dalai Lama,
Is plotting Judaism’s demise
With every evil plan he can devise.
He is hiding there in caves
With followers he treats like slaves.

Although Julie is Caucasian,
Her Aussie tan looks somewhat Asian.
Once the camp is infiltrated
She’d have Osama captivated.
Her piercing glances from those eyes
Could a whole army mesmerize.
No need for lewd or crude undress,
She’d weave her spell with real finesse.


Yes! Could be that Julie Bishop’s legendary eyes
Will achieve at last for her that glittering prize
Of happiness! Leaving behind a life of Coalition lies
She could dwell behind the veil, where eyes are valued more than thighs.




Patricia WA

December 22. 2010 01:34 PM

Jason

Good news!

Abbott resigned to life in Opposition
Updated 18 minutes ago

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he cannot see the Coalition seizing power from the Gillard Government any time soon.
www.abc.net.au/.../3099393.htm?section=justin

Jason

December 22. 2010 02:08 PM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA
I’m glad restoring ‘comments’ has allowed you to treat us to another of your clever verses. We won’t ever forget what Julie’s stare did to the gnome on The Chasers, or whatever it was called at the time.

TT
The pesky decimal system is the problem.   Shift the decimal point and all your sums are mucked up.  Maybe News Limited needs a simpler system, one that is said to be used by some PNG tribes: one, two and more than two.  Maybe that would help them get their sums right.

Please remind us of the story of King Arthur’s sword - Excalibur.

Jason
After the election, Tones said that he might become the ‘best Opposition Leader never to become PM’.  It looks like he still believes that.

Ad astra reply

December 22. 2010 02:45 PM

TalkTurkey

Ad,
It's that damn ZERO! First they tell us it's worth NOTHING, then they try to tell us that 10 is worth a lot more than 1! And 100 is worth a lot more again! After that I lose track, and so do the ABC economists and Snotty Joe and Abbortt.

Excalibur and all the other legendary blades, of which there were quite a few, some of which I believe still exist, were brought here by extraterrestrials! (Now you'll think I'm crazy! Nope! . . . Well, not in this belief anyway.) I'll let Yous (not just you, Ad) stew on these strange words a little longer . . .

Anyone want to jump in and explain before I do . . ? . . Welcome . . .

TalkTurkey

December 22. 2010 03:26 PM

Patricia WA

Jason!   I almost had a cerebral orgasm there!  Abbott resigned....but then I read on.

That's still pretty good news though.  But let's not fool ourselves he'll be dreaming up new ways to continue his attack on Gillard.  Let's wait and see what the New Year brings.   I'm surprised they haven't yet come up with another slogan on the Green Loans waste theme.  

Patricia WA

December 22. 2010 03:42 PM

Jason

Patricia WA,
           I had to leave one off my list as I'm unsure post politics what that loathsome member for Sturt Chrissy Pyne could actually do?
Send him down to a building site with me, we'll make a man of him!

Jason

December 22. 2010 06:13 PM

TalkTurkey

Jas,
Make a man out of Chrissie Pyne? Easier to make a Cadillac out of a crumpet I reckon.
Why not take him to TAFE and turn him into cream puffs? He's made of The Right Stuff!

TalkTurkey

December 22. 2010 06:19 PM

Jason

AA,
  What has happend to George Pike and is the Feral Skeleton still on her death bed? I also notice jj has become mute now that the tory media are on board with the NBN!
Sir Ian Crisp where are you old boy?

Jason

December 23. 2010 12:19 AM

TalkTurkey

OK now I have a lil while to talk, I tell you about the gist of the I-believe true story of Legendary Blades. I hadn't read anything about them in many years even when I wrote that stuff this arvo and I've now read only 2 minutes' worth, but the legend of Excalibur, King Arthur's magical Sword, drawn by he who would be King of Camelot when none other could draw it out, has one true aspect: the fact that it was drawn from a stone.
No ordinary stone though. What stone is made of near-pure iron, plus nickel, titanium, rare earths, chromium, and other elements used in various proportions in different types of high-grade steel? Where would such a stone be found? And what would be its genesis?

By the way, some of these blades are thought to be VERY old,I think some are more than 3000 years old. There was no technology for making high-grade alloy steels at all then.

The stones were meteorites. As I said before - extraterrestrials. As largish doomed lumps of cosmos race earthwards in their final blaze of glory, nearly everything is burnt up in the atmosphere, and only those elements of which high-strength steel is made remain, though with impurities and in uncertain proportions.

When a large meteorite was found - a very rare event, but far from unknown - your local potentate on hearing the news would get very excited, and commission a small team of blokes (coulda bin sheilas, just as likely) and in pairs, what they'd do, day and night, for years and years, is, they'd sit facing one another across the Rock, and with a piece of repeatedly-waxed thread dipped repeatedly in abrasive sand, they would begin to push-pull-cut a groove in it . . .
zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzzz- and so on.
And on.

And on.

And on . . .


Some

Considerable

Time

Later,

they'd have cut a slice off the Stone.

Now at last they could see the surface . . .

You may see meteorites with slices cut off them in most museums. Metallic, shiny, often with crystalline-looking areas of yellowish metals. Quite arresting to contemplate, these rare special dropins from the endless vastnesses of utter space . . .  

Anyway,
By slicing smaller pieces of the Stone off
(we're jumping quite a bit of time here)
they would eventually have a usable bit in the shape of a crude blade,
which then they could test for its properties.

Mostly the steel was too brittle, so you'd test it on a lump of iron chain, first time, SMASH! Dear oh dear, Dad and Dave who worked on it man and boy for thirty-eight years would not have been best pleased eh!

Or it wouldn't take an edge, or it was too soft, or something.

But just the very, very rare meteorites have near-perfect ingredients for high-strength steels, though I think they always lack carbon, limiting their properties in some ways. Nevertheless from these few alien visitors were made blades which easily sliced through bronze and ordinary iron armour, and of course the legends would reliably have been burnished and embellished over succeeding generations to become ever more heroic.    

So these Swords were indeed 'drawn' from a stone, and they did truly have the amazing properties only alloys of steel have, but far from being drawn with ease as by the young Arthur, they were the result of the labours of all those who had put thousands of hours into slicing the stone. Arthur was lucky is all. He was just there at the right time.  




Excalibur!













TalkTurkey

December 23. 2010 09:46 AM

Ad astra reply

Jason
I'm trying to get in touch with FS.  I hope to hear from her soon.  I suppose some of our regulars are preparing for the Festive Season and so are not blogging here at present.

I'm getting on the road now for Melbourne and won't be back on line until this evening.


Ad astra reply

December 23. 2010 10:01 AM

Feral Skeleton

For Sir Ian Crisp's edification, I have been in hospital, actually, and not the Psych Ward(nasty piece of trash that he is for suggesting such a thing, hiding behind his archaic nom de plume). I was taken away with severe Pyelonephritis, and am finally at home recovering. Well, I've been at home a couple of days, actually, but haven't had the strength to get out of bed, or think.
   There is absolutely no way now that I will be able to analyse the Banking Package of Wayne Swan. Sorry, guys!
   Have a Merry Christmas everybody! (Except SIC because he appears to have gone overboard on the Absinthe & Nasty Pills). So, even jj and her/his jaundiced eye for everything ALP(I remember their type well from the Hawke/Keating era, everything they did was going to bring about the end of Australia as we knew it, until 10 years into Howard's reign when he finally admitted how epochal their reforms were, so now all the Liberal lapdogs readily admit to it with the proviso that Il Papa Howard supported it. Sniff! Yeah, but he never had the balls to do it as Treasurer, did he? That nasty Mr Fraser stopped him. Forever and always a lickspittle to domineering men, our man Howard.)
Also, Calligulla, wherever you Anarcho-Syndicalist spirit(hic!) has gone.
   Boy, it hurt to type that. Frown
  It's just that a few days of watching daytime TV has driven me back here pain 'n all, because the pain of watching it is greater!
   I'll be reading everything, but can't really think too straight atm(wow, you don't know the hallucinations that a full-blown infection, rigors and raging temperature can cause! Who needs medication? Bacteria do it so much better.) There, that should give Mr Nastypants a cue to kick a girl while she is down.
   Final thing. Isn't it great how President Obama has kicked some mighty goals in the so-called 'Lame Duck' session of Congress? Before the Fruity Tea Baggers get their mitts on the joint.
   Hopefully our Julia will also be able to kick the Coalition to the kerb next year, mendacious bunch of opportunistic lowlifes that they are. There's no way they could run things any better. Don't believe the hype(as the great Public Enemy used to sing). Because that's all they are better at at the end of the day-hype. The Croquembouche of Australian politics, all hard glazed exterior, insubstantial interior of mush.
   Eat some good food for me guys on Xmas Day. I'll be lucky to be able to keep down a bowl of Steamed Rice with Soy Sauce(my staple since I got back home). Jeez, I wanted to lose some weight, but I don't think I'll try this method again. Frown
   And, as our Philosopher King, AA, says, don't forget the 'Peace, Love and Undersatnding' in 2011.
  

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 10:27 AM

Acerbic Conehead

FS, sorry to hear about your medical troubles.  Hopefully you will make a quick recovery and will be back on your feet again soon.  Take care and we look forward to hearing from you when you are feeling stronger.

Acerbic Conehead

December 23. 2010 10:35 AM

Gravel

Feral Skeleton

The last thing you need to worry about is writing a post.  Just concentrate on getting well.  I hope you have good support around you to help while you recover.  Obviously your previous problems were a build up to this.  May the New Year be good to you and your family. Smile

TalkTurkey

Thank you for your information on how the Excalibur sword originated.  I can see how a special discovery of something that can be turned into a good story over a period of time.  Now back to the preparations, just popped in to give myself a break while slaving over a hot stove.

Gravel

December 23. 2010 10:57 AM

NormanK

Feral Skeleton
Sorry to hear of your illness. Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

Swordfolk
Have a great festive season and may it be all that you wish it to be.

NormanK

December 23. 2010 12:34 PM

TalkTurkey

Feral, Dear,
I don't know how wishes compare with prayers as a curative stratagem but you sure got my blown kisses of healing across the Web. And many others will say Ahhh Women to that.

Then there's Limpy, "Sir" Ian Crisp. It's really hard to work out what Limpy must be like in real life. He ain't no nobleman that's for sure, maybe he's only kidding us that he's such an ( * )? I don't think so though, no. I think it would take the genuine article ( * ) to say the things he does. Is he, like, the half-grown-up version of beer-bottle-throwing, graffiti-painting rotten little monsters? How would you like to have him as a 'neighbour'? NOT!

Get well soon FS. Don't let that venomous toad get to you, the only thing he seems any good at at all is nastiness, he just ain't worth our time. If he had any decency whatsoever he'd apologise to you. Don't hold your breath.

But he does remind us how much more civilized in the genuine sense are we than he.

TalkTurkey

December 23. 2010 12:40 PM

Ad astra reply

FS
So glad to hear from you again.  What an awful time you have had. Pyelonephritis is a nasty infection.  I'm so glad to see you are recovering.  Let's forget the Wayne Swan banking package piece until next year.  Just concentrate on getting well again.

I'm still in transit and in a doctor's waiting room and commenting from an iPad.  I'll email you when I get back to my computer this evening.

Welcome back to TPS from all your followers and admirers.

Ad astra reply

December 23. 2010 02:18 PM

Jason

FS,
  Sorry to hear of your illness! but may you have a speedy recovery,if you would like I could indulge for you on Christmas day with food and drink?

Jason

December 23. 2010 02:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

Thank you all. You are very sweet and kind. Smile
Talk Turkey: it worked!

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 02:23 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Interesting to hear that the outgoing Head of the Welfare Department has said that the Labor government must do more to get the Disability Pensioners, Long-Term Unemployed and older Australians back into work. I agree. But in a nice, kind way, of course. Not the Coalition way.

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 02:36 PM

Feral Skeleton

  I bet we end up with over 400 posts by Christmas. Take that Andrew Bolt!
Speaking of nasty pieces of work from the Right. When will a journo get over their fear of the Coalition and ask Scott Morrison or Tony Abbott the obvious question?
  "How will you 'Stop the Boats'?"
  Persist until you get a detailed, specific answer. Then assess whether it is either rational, doable, or even plausible.
   I mean, TA can't get on the Boatphone to Indonesia and demand they stop boats setting off for Oz(well, not without a lot of 'Aid' going under the table, but then the Libs are good at that, just ask AWB).
   So, if the boats still keep setting off and can't be stopped in Indo waters then they will have to be 'Stopped' in Australian waters, as they are now. Except further away using the old 'Mushroom Technique' the Coalition thrived on before, ie keep the Asylum Seekers out of mind and out of sight of the electorate and tell the electorate nada about what's happening. Then I suppose they'd just get the Navy to do their dirty work for them and tow the boats to Nauru or Manus Island. Again, 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind'.
Except I don't think it'll be so easy this time. We're onto them and their political sleights of hand, and forked tongues.

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 04:10 PM

Miglo

Get well soon, Feral. I'll be thinking of you.

Miglo

December 23. 2010 05:21 PM

nasking

Feral, sending ya good wishes & top karma...get well soon. I'll play a song & have a drink for ya over the hols.

Sanqween & I would like to wish everybody on this great site a superb hols...and a bloody good Chrissy (if yer into it).

Thnx for all the superb & insightful posts Ad astra, Feral...and Lyn for all her superb linking. Same to other great contributors. You help keep the blog ball rollin'.

Cheers
N'  

nasking

December 23. 2010 06:12 PM

2353

FS - get well soon

AA - thank you for the opportunity

Everyone else - thanks for the input

Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2011 everyone.

And just remember if you do see a fat bloke in a red suit being transported across the sky in a sleigh pulled by 8 reindeer - you've probably had a few too many.  Weather permitting we are going to Central Queensland for the period between Christmas and New Year - without the  computer - so if you see me here it'll be a bit soggy 'round these parts..

2353

December 23. 2010 06:33 PM

TalkTurkey

TT said
Feral, Dear,
I don't know how wishes compare with prayers as a curative stratagem but you sure got my blown kisses of healing across the Web. And many others will say Ahhh Women to that.

Feral Skeleton replied:
Talk Turkey: it worked!

FS you are reinforcing my faith in the power of Dog. I have been trying to enunciate the principles of Dogxology for AC and Patricia WA, and I am glad to see I'm not barking up the wrong tree.

Seriously, you have to look after yourself really carefully, the kidneys are elegant but fragile organs, and we don't want you having to write blogs while you're on dialysis. Be very very good, and also, check what the doctor prescribes you. Know your condition. As the www allows us to do these days.

Come back Lyn.

Bring back Maxine.  

TalkTurkey

December 23. 2010 07:06 PM

Bilko

AA  My best wishes of good cheer to ALL our readers and contributers and likewise hope FS gets better soon. Another year gone where does the time go?? Roll on the NBN and bring us alltogether faster.

Also how about a numbering system with the massive responses now rivalling Grogs site it is a must. I hope your inhouse Guru can fix.

Bilko

December 23. 2010 08:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

Migs, Nas and 2353,
     Good Vibes will always help you get well real quick(and, no, I don't mean the Captain). ;)
   I think it was the fact that I had two handsome young Male Nurses looking after me. Who knew that my sons could morph so quickly and so well. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 08:46 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      Please be my guest. Smile
I'll just stare at the Plum Pudding soaked in Brandy and Champagne all day sitting on my kitchen table, and think of what might have been with a big dollop of Double Cream.
  No, actually, I'm hoping to be able to come at a Prawn Stir Fry with Ginger and Shallots on the day. We have some of the best fishing grounds in Australia around here, so the produce is v.fresh. You can stand on the bridge near my place and watch the little buggers feeding in the waters down below. Heaps of them! That's the Estuarine fish. Then there's the superlative Beach fishing and Ocean fishing too! Oh, I forgot the Oysters which are grown down the road and sold fresh at the Co-Op.
  Hmmm, I think I might be getting my appetite back. Hope so. Not up to it yet but the thought is there. I couldn't even stand the thought of food yesterday. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 08:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Speaking about journos on Kidney Dialysis, I don't know how Mark Colvin does it. However, his kidneys aren't infected, just stuffed. I'm not sure what qualitative difference that makes, but he always manages to maintain a smiling demeanour. I could not find the energy to smile, nor did I feel I had reason to. The hallucinations and nightmares I had, as I slept and slept, were THE most vivid, terrifying and imaginative that I have ever watched pass through my mind. I'd give Stephen King or Clive Barker a run for their money if only I could remember them. Well, some I'll never forget, so horrible were they. Also, when I closed my eyes an endless parade of ghouls would manifest under my eyelids and wink mischievosly at me or grin and open their mouths so wide you could see a pit of vipers in there!
  Oh dear, now I've probably given SIC evidence to say I am mad after all. ;)

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 09:16 PM

TalkTurkey

FS
Sounds to me like they gave you morphine. I said exactly the same sort thing of the dreams I had under its influence when I had fairly big surgery.  I thought morphine dreams were supposed to be heavenly but they were terrifying, the freakiest ever.
Don't fret, just blame it on the drugs and try to put it aside. But you are not crazy.  

TalkTurkey

December 23. 2010 10:12 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            They only gave me Fentanyl and Endone. But the hallucinatory state continued long after the last of the big gun pain relief. I think it was more likely due to my temperature, which reached a whopping 38.5 degrees and took days to come down to normal. Like till today. They say high temps can make you delirious, you know, 'feverish'. You're supposed to see and say things completely without logical basis. Well, it's true. I was comparing my friend's daughter to Mimi from La Boheme because I heard she had a cough!

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 10:14 PM

Feral Skeleton

Oh gawd, I forgot the obvious joke...They gave 'Hillbilly Heroin' to the 'Hillbilly Skeleton'. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 10:16 PM

Ad astra reply

FS
It is good to see you active on TPS again and showing signs of recovery - an improving appetite is a good sign.  Keep improving. We're all thinking of you. I have sent you an email this evening.

Thanks Folks for all your comments today and your good wishes.

I've been busy with medical and dental appointments today and attending to illness in the family this evening, so I'll pack it in for the night and will comment again tomorrow.

Ad astra reply

December 23. 2010 10:17 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Can we hold back on comment #400 as a Xmas present for Acerbic Conehead?
  Acerbic C, are you feeling lucky punk?

Feral Skeleton

December 23. 2010 10:56 PM

Acerbic Conehead

FS, I've just tuned in and notice you got the 400th!!  Seeing you're not well, I'll not fight you over it!!  As long as Jason didn't get it - from memory he got the 300 (with TT's help)!!

Best wishes everyone for the festive season. And special thanks to AA, for making this the best blog around (and not forgetting FS and lyn in their supporting roles).

Acerbic Conehead

December 23. 2010 11:41 PM

TalkTurkey

FS this post was @ #403 when I started, it was YOU who were #400 !
Tough on AC but cool 4 U. 400 eh! 'on ya Swordsfolk.

Endone! That's the bloody stuff! I was given a supply of it while I was convalescing but I durst not use it after the first couple of times. Those dreams, full-on ghastly hallucinations, beyond nightmares, were the most horrific and terrifying experiences of my life - just as for you FS. I was scared stiff, literally, while I was half-awake, and thereafter terrified to go back to sleep for fear of meeting the demons from my id again. You are not the first to have to run that gauntlet of monsters. That might help to reassure you that it's all cool after all.  

FS, How does Brucie the Bilby make the big hop to meet Bruce the Brush Turkey?
He's really looking forward to it but he doesn't know the way.
(Whereas he reckons you can always find him if you wish.)  

TalkTurkey

December 24. 2010 09:55 AM

TalkTurkey

Swordsfolk,
You might by now have gleaned the notion that I'm not real fond on Religion, since the notion of secularism is not even a bad joke. Religion is a foul perverter of the political process everywhere, as far as the I can see, and it is the basis for irrational hatreds and continuing ill-will, leading to persecutions and wars and every kind of nastiness. Weirdly, those at the core, the priests by any other name, manage to continue to convince their flock (is good!) that they are the Goodies, the holier-than-thous, when it is they who foment the intersectarian bitterness at every op. (I reckon Limpy must've had a real proper religious upbringing, to be as rancid as he is.)

So, as we are bombarded by Ghosts of Crispmess Past and threatened with those of Crispmess Future, I reckon it's just fair to strike a little blow back against Religious Fanaticism by Rational Humanism. I'm fed up with priests by any name being treated as holier than anyone else, they're not, they're just People Like Us, and they got no more idea of what the Far Side holds than anyone else, and they don't even know the mind of Dog, no better than I do anyway, let alone knowing the mind of an OOB-thing figment of their own imagining. (OOB: "omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent" - though why  'benevolent' in the judaeo-Christian OOB's case is beyond me!)
It'd be OK if religion didn't impinge on Politics, but it does, insidiously and incessantly, and just look at Abbortt, at Holy Jo B-J, ohhh, name any political ( * ), I bet religiosity is a big part of the mix. OZ and everywhere. They believe in miracles and saints and holy ghosts for Dog's sake!

So here is my Crispmess Cackle. I have excised a couple of the most abrasive verses, - (didn't want to bring down a fatwah or a Neo-Con vengeance attack or a Mossad raid, NO JOKE!)- So this modest little bit of restrained criticism should go down alright with the Crispmess Pud.   Messy Crispmess anyway.

"Dog Bless Us, Every One!"

I wrote the verse below in response to an utterly disgusting icky religious email also parodying Night Before Chr . . . Chri . . . Chr-r-r-r-r ... Gee I can't get the word out.

Fortunately someone wrote the first line for me long ago so that awful word I can't write is already there.

’Tis the night before Christmas, and all round the Earth
The “Christians” are fighting for all they are worth,
And so are the Moslems, and so are Hindus,
And so are the Buddhists, and so are the Jews.

The works of the holy are everywhere seen:
In Ireland there’s hatred ’twixt Orange and Green;
While “Christians” bomb Afghans (with help from above),
And Jews shower Arabs with napalm and love.

Each other religion is always at odds
With anyone worshipping different gods;
They all reckon their god’s the one god that’s right,
So for permanent peace, they eternally fight!

Some folks say of Evil that Money’s the root
But Religion’s its seed, and Blind Hatred’s its fruit
And as for that Evil, it’s religion’s own word!
And the “Christians” claim Love’s what they spread! How absurd!

[Please observe that I only use “parentheseses”
Around those who claim to be followers of Jesus,
For as he observed truly, as plain as can be,
The worst of transgressions is Hypocrisy.]

You can’t blame folks for ignorance, if they’ve had no teaching
Of the brotherly love that was Jesus’ main preaching;
But find me true Christians so gentle and meek
That genuinely do turn their own other cheek . . ? . .

O sure, Jesus’ teachings would be very good
If anyone practised them – if anyone could!
But here in the real world, where saints don’t exist,
A slap on the cheek’s mostly met with a fist.

The parable of the good neighbour was Jesus’s,
(’Course, he wasn’t “Christian” in parentheseseses!)
You don’t need religion to be a good neighbour:
Good Samaritanism's just Labor behaviour!

TalkTurkey

December 24. 2010 10:05 AM

TalkTurkey

Yeah so Swordsfolk,

In the immortal words of Lara Bingle -

"So where the bloody hell are you?"

How we gonna hit 500 this way?

TalkTurkey

December 24. 2010 10:06 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
It’s Christmas eve – time to thank all who have made TPS such a lively blog through 2010.  First, heartfelt thanks to my co-authors.  Feral Skeleton, you have been a power of strength during the year with your thoughtful and thorough pieces that have attracted much comment, and which you have followed through with detailed responses to those who commented on them.  Thank you so much.  We look forward to your return in 2011.  Bushfire Bill, we enjoyed your sparkling contributions many times through the year and hope you will be able to return in 2011 once your business commitments, which have so consumed your time in recent months, have reached a satisfying conclusion.

Next, thank you Lyn for the many thousands of links you have provided for us since you began this outstanding service in April.  This is an extraordinary daily feature of TPS which attracts thousands of visitors who come specifically to enjoy your links.  You have saved us countless hours searching for these important pointers to significant political comment.  We hope you are having a relaxing time while you take a spell from posting your links.  We look forward to their resumption in February.  Thank you so much.

Next, thank you to the wonderful coterie of contributors who comment here, some almost every day, some occasionally.  Your thoughtful comments enrich the blog and attract further comment.  It is noticeable that comments on the current piece are always extended to other contemporary political issues so that the dialogue continues unabated; indeed the current piece has now attracted over four hundred comments, a record.  Some of you are poets.  We enjoy your clever and witty verse, often skilfully linked to tunes we all know well.  Some contributors have a different political perspective from many other bloggers here, but such differences add spice to the dialogue.  All we ask is that assertions are backed by facts and sound reasoning and that courtesy is shown to all.

Finally, I thank you for the good wishes you have expressed these last few days leading up to the Festive Season, and for the kind comments you have made about TPS.  It is immensely pleasing to see that TPS means so much to so many of you.  Every effort will be made to maintain the standard set by all who contribute here as we move into 2011.  I will leave this thread open for the time being as I know many of you wished for that.  January will be a quiet month but we will resume normal activity in February.

May I send you all Season’s Greetings and wish you a Happy Christmas and New Year and a productive and satisfying 2011.

Ad astra reply

December 24. 2010 10:16 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Sorry, AcerbicC., I didn't know you were lurking! You deserve it for all that you add to TPS. In all our little ways we add to the rich tapestry that has become 'The Political Sword'. The Best Little Blog in the Netiverse! Maybe it's because we don't tolerate the sort of rancour that poisons other blogs. However, if it rears its ugly head, we try to reason it down with a factual argument. Always the best way.
   Anyway, as we turn to our families for Xmas, let's cherish their very existence and the sustaining power they have on our own reason for being. They are so precious, and it's only times like this that we pause our lives and take that time to reflect on it. I realise that I could have so easily not been with my famiily this Xmas, and to know that I will be is the greatest present of all. And to be able to be with my TPS 'family', a true Joyeux Noel.
Onwards to 2011. All I know is if I can rid the poison from my system it is possible to rid the poison that is threatening to overwhelmingly infect the political system in Australia and return us back to the 'Mean and Tricky' and bitter and underhanded days of the Howard era in the form of Howard in lycra himself, Tony Abbott.
  I wouldn't like that to happen. Would you?
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Feral Skeleton

December 24. 2010 10:25 AM

TalkTurkey

FS those last few words of yours, from "All I know . . ."on, are THE most powerful words I have heard in politics for many years. Such words change minds. Get well soon.

TalkTurkey

December 24. 2010 11:04 AM

Jason

Normank,
       I see your dear leader in the rain sodden state of Q! is now backing calls for Labor to review it stance on Nuclear Power!
I smell a rat there must be some bad news she plans on dropping at 5 o clock this afternoon!

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225975663810

Jason

December 24. 2010 11:33 AM

Jason

FS,
  As a rule I tend to avoid the Daily Telegraph, but this picture with its caption! I know there are no depths limited news won't plunge but really?

www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-e6freuzr-1225975625909

Jason

December 24. 2010 12:00 PM

NormanK

Jason
You're right. Bligh is pretty sneaky and may be using this as a distraction when you consider that she actually said :
Ms Bligh cautioned that any discussion about nuclear power for Australia remained theoretical ........... I think the prospect of one (a nuclear power plant) in an Australian context in the near future is very slim.
We'll have to wait and see what this afternoon's waterlogged news brings.
"Rednecks with gills and webbed feet promote frogs' legs to Southern restaurants."
I saw that Telegraph caption and wondered what level of snarky was too low for them. The photo, if I remember correctly, is one from the election campaign taken a month after the Darwin trip but that's not important is it? A cursory glance at that photo gets the message across that its alright for the PM to get on the turps but not our hard-working Air Force pilots. What a waste of space.

NormanK

December 24. 2010 12:33 PM

Jason

Normank,
       If we crane operators (at the company for which I'm employed) have to be breath tested every day when we turn up for work, I can't see why a pilot could/should be exempt! Would the editor of the Tele prefer his pilot to be drunk and on drugs? As you said what a waste of space.

Jason

December 24. 2010 01:38 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Jason and NormanK, we need wiser counsel than what Anna Bligh is giving.  Sing along to Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s, “Goodbye Yellowbrick Road”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvu2Q4BsE2U
:- (
When will they stop breaking down
When will they plug the leaks
Shoulda kept the stuff in the ground
Renewables are better by heaps
:- (
You know it can’t go on forever
Diggin’ the crap from the ground
It’s not a present fit for the future
We are too young to be singing the blues
:- (
So goodbye yellowcake load
Out of sight and so outa mind
Once part of the toxic madhouse
Effects are hard to unwind
:- (
Mutations in the heavy-water fish tank
Hunting the three-headed toad
When will we finally decide our future lies
Beyond the yellowcake load
:- (
What do you think we should do when
The crazies get hold of the plute
It’ll take just a couple like Mr Burns and Bin Liner
To turn us into clouds of soot
:- (
So let’s look for a replacement
There's plenty more to be found
Like biomass, wind and flatulence
And keep the other gunk in the ground
:- (
So goodbye yellowcake load
Out of sight and so outa mind
Once part of the toxic madhouse
Effects are hard to unwind
:- (
So it’s not until the chain reaction
Of nimbys saying, “not on our road”
We will finally decide our future lies
Beyond the yellowcake load

Acerbic Conehead

December 24. 2010 01:44 PM

Jason

Acerbic Conehead,
                I don't know how you do it but it's great well done!
Guess I'll see you when I post number 500!

Jason

December 24. 2010 02:52 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Thanks Jason.  Keep your posts coming, they're very much appreciated.  To 500, infinity and beyond!!  A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Acerbic Conehead

December 24. 2010 05:55 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'm off to do some Christmas Eve entertaining of some of the children.  I'll be back briefly tomorrow.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve.

Ad astra reply

December 24. 2010 06:50 PM

Feral Skeleton

   What a malevolent piece of work that Tony Abbott is. I've just had to endure his faux concern for the victims of the Christmas Island Asylum Seeker tragedy. You know, the ones he wanted to blast back to Kingdom Come in their boats before the election.
   With furrowed brow and concerned expression, in his too tight suit with whiter than white shirt, he spake:
   "If the policy doesn't change, there'll be more tragedies like this."
  I'm onto the shyster. It appears that his aim is to insert himself into all the political situations he can while the PM is on holidays and has vacated the space, in order to appear before the Australian people as more Prime Ministerial. Whilst at one and the same time peddling his filth to them.
  There is NO way that such a conniving individual should be our leader. He doesn't have the sort of generosity of spirit that great leaders should have. The country would be poorer, not enriched, by his 'leadership'.

Feral Skeleton

December 24. 2010 06:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

To Infinity and Beyond! Reach for the Stars! And while we're up there, can we find our Better Angels, huh? Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 24. 2010 06:55 PM

Feral Skeleton

   For anyone still interested in Julian Assange, here's a lovely interview between JA and Cenk Uyger:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBJOBl1G3Kc

Feral Skeleton

December 24. 2010 07:04 PM

Jason

FS,
  Abbott seems to be a slow learner Howard done all the time! he'd speak in that concerned voice on how dangerous it was to engage with people smugglers, and yet trumpet the free market! you could say the smugglers and the coalition  only have one thing in common MONEY! if people die ah well!

Jason

December 24. 2010 09:09 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      Too right about the commonalities between Abbott and the people smugglers. Too bad no one in the media has the wit to make the connection to his face and ask him to explain the differences then, if there are any.
   Instead, we get drivel from  Steve 'Utegate' Lewis, such as you linked to today.

Feral Skeleton

December 24. 2010 09:17 PM

Feral Skeleton

I just listened to the Julian Assange interview again, and I love the term he has coined for politicians like Sarah Palin...and Tony Abbott:
   'Shock Jock Politicians'.
I'm going to remember that one !

Feral Skeleton

December 24. 2010 10:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

   To paraphrase Tony Abbott:
("Why should people trust Julia Gillard, when Kevin Rudd couldn't?")

"Why should people trust Tony Abbott, when Malcolm Turnbull couldn't?"

Feral Skeleton

December 25. 2010 03:57 AM

Jason

To All my comrades on the political Sword Merry Christmas!

Jason

December 25. 2010 09:54 AM

Feral Skeleton

Jason! 3.57am! And I thought I was pushing the wagon uphill without a shovel dragging my half-dead carcass into bed at 2am after a marathon present wrapping/under bed cleaning and lost present search!
  Now, don't forget to indulge for me.
Me, I'm aiming, hopefully, for Stir Fried Yabbies with Ginger and Shallots. Smile
  MERRY CHRISTMAS! to all the attendees to The Political Sword. Both lurkers and the voluble that just can't help themselves from putting in their 2 penneth-worth.
'I Luvs Ya's All!'

Feral Skeleton

December 25. 2010 09:54 AM

Ad astra reply

FS
It is so good to see you actively blogging again with your thoughtful and incisive comments.  We hope you are recovering well from your recent illness so you can enjoy Christmas with your family.  We look forward to more of your insights in 2011.

Ad astra reply

December 25. 2010 09:55 AM

Ad astra reply

Happy Christmas to my dear colleagues: Lyn, Feral Skeleton and Bushfire Bill, and to all who comment here and visit TPS regularly.

Ad astra reply

December 25. 2010 01:36 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         Not quite right yet. Able to sit in my chair at the computer and type comments.
Getting there. Smile
   Hope to cook dinner for the family tonight for the first time in 10 days. Just a light Stir Fry with Rice. Fingers crossed. However, according to my GP it'll probably take about another week before I'm back to normal(if there ever is such a thing).

Feral Skeleton

December 25. 2010 03:09 PM

2353

Merry Christmas all - and it's still raining in Brisvegas with a cyclone crossing the coast just south of Cairns this morning.

Jason, do I really want to know what you were doing on your computer at 3.57am on Christmas Day?

2353

December 25. 2010 06:59 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Merry Christmas 2353!
I'm just pleased Jason could still type at 3.57AM!
Ah, the young and caperish. I remember that season of my life well. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 25. 2010 09:59 PM

Jason

Well to put you all out of your misery, I was just getting home!And I'm heading out again!

Jason

December 25. 2010 10:22 PM

TalkTurkey

Thank You All, Swordsfolk, presumed lurkers included: to me You are the gift that keeps on giving, and a double-edged gift You are at that - You give me information and opinion and perspective, and You give me a display mound whereon to shake my tail feathers and speak in varied voices like the Liar Bird I am. It's a funny feeling to know that within instants of my sending this, quite a lot of people will read it: it gives me motivation to write (which is something I love doing when there seems a point and someone to write to), and a sense of responsibility in trying to write comment worthy of You all. I think that nearly all Swordsfolk feel exactly as I do in this. It is sort of empowering, and humbling, and just a little ennobling, to feel we all have a little bit of readership.

It's funny to think of Yous out there, all so different, none of you more than a gleaning of a notion in my head, except for, like, Jason (@ 3.57AM !) with his noble physiognomy as his gravatar . . . Many of you silent . . . Reading and writing away . . .

And what makes the Sword unique is that there is a sense of overall purpose to it, to do with the kind of society we live in. And that's what makes it important too.
Thank You All.
  

TalkTurkey

December 25. 2010 10:54 PM

TalkTurkey

"Skellies (or skeletons) are non-player 'pirates' that may be challenged to swordfight brawls, as opposed to zombies which rumble."

I copied the above off some site somewhere a minute ago. It's news to me. Skelly is that what your gravatar and username are all about? Or is this news to you too? Please explain?

I Googled "skellig" and "skellie" because from the corner of my eye I failed exactly to see that word, which is the title of a program coming to ABC1 soon.

Brucie hasn't heard back from you & Bruce.
He loves yabbies.  

TalkTurkey

December 25. 2010 11:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I'm a bare-knuckle brawler allright! (I have no choice but to be, being composed of only skin and bone). Smile
  No, as you say, we here in Swordsville like to take on all comers who challenge what we believe to be the concept of 'Godzone'. Our Philosopher King, Ad Astra, is always aiming for the stars. Which is a damn fine place to aim for, if you ask me. You might find the odd Coalition politician on your way there, but mostly you can be guaranteed that most of 'em will be hanging about with Tony, in Limbo. Like Sisyphus,forever trying to convince the Australian electorate that he is electable as our Prime Minister. Which he isn't. I mean, you just have to compare the Christmas messages of him and Julia today. Julia genuinely spoke about getting together with family and peeling the spuds for Xmas lunch. Tony, in some cramped little office in Sydney, with a couple of flags never far from the picture, did his best to sound an authoritative note, but it fell flatter than a Ring of Saturn, and made the air just as frigid. So bad was it that even the TV News on some stations just flashed his physog and nothing else!
   So desperate is he to become Prime Minister, like the kid at school who was always first in everything but understood nothing, that he didn't even take Christmas Day off from campaigning for the 'Top Job' to be with his loved ones for one whole day. I feel sorry for the man, and his family, I really do. There are some things that he will just never get, I feel. Which is great as far as I'm concerned. The more people see the hollowness at his core, the better.
   Anyway, Talk Turkey, as you would expect, in my absence Bruce has come to believe he rules the roost again. So, when I finally could go further than the bathroom, what do I find but a cacophony of faggots spread from here to tomorrow across my formerly neat backyard! He better enjoy it while he can because he is top of my 'To Do Over' List!
   Sorry to say my yabbies turned to Rubberies, but it tasted soooo good. Smile
  So now we turn our eyes to the fag end of this year, and the lighting up of the New, expectantly.
   All I know is, I'm glad we have a gathering place where we can come and chew the fat.
  It's different, isn't it, The Political Sword? Compared to other Oz political blogs. Some, like Poll Bludger, have a constant thrust and parry that I find exhausting even reading, let alone becoming a part of. Not to mention that they don't go into a subject in depth and contemplate it the way we do here, and then we open ourselves up to whoever feels like having a whack at us. Which, thankfully(and that includes jj, Gorilla, err, Calligula, and Sir Ian Crisp) those from the Right as well as the Left continue to do. Long may they try to convince me of the value of a Coalition government! For without a multi-faceted approach to a subject under discussion we would never learn anything new from different standpoints, to whatever varying degree. Even when someone just throws an insult(but not invective) your way, I like to use it to examine my position again, just in case they may be right.
Usually though it just spurs me to a greater faith in what I believe to be right. However, I will also be the first to admit if I am wrong. But only if eidence is provided 'that would convince the Old Bailey', as some old codger that used to be in politics used to say. Smile
  Anyway, thank you, Talk Turkey for stopping here and building a virtual mound. We are all the better at TPS for it.

Feral Skeleton

December 26. 2010 01:11 AM

Jason

Well Comrades,
             contrary to my belief Mrs Jason has called a Holt to  my bender! apparently 36 hours is enough! but what would she know? new years eve is fast approaching!Lets just call the last few hours training lol!

Jason

December 26. 2010 08:00 AM

Gravel

Happy Boxing Day Political Sworders.

We had a wonderful day yesterday, exhausting but exhilarating at the same time. Gave grandsons aged 15 and 13, who arrived armed with laptop and ipad, a monopoly game, thought they might not have been interested, but got the best surprise ever.  They sat down at 9.30am playing it and had to be dragged away from it to the table for their roast christmas lunch.

I hope everyone had a great day.  Jason will need a couple of gallons of water and a few quiet days to restore after his delightful binge, well done Jason.

HS, you are sounding more chipper by the day, it is a great relief to most of us as we all appreciate how much you and others contribute here.
AC, your humour is too good to miss, thank you.

TalkTurkey
I really enjoy you put your opinion across, it is done so reasonably and logically, even if some don't agree with you, although I must say I do agree with your views on things most times.

I just popped in while the rest of the household is asleep to see what you have all been up to. Keep enjoying this relaxing time.  Oh and keep away from the news, I think that has helped me over the last couple of days.  Will go to ALP website to catch up on political stuff, and hope they have Julia's address on line because I missed it. :-(

Catch you all later.  Smile

Gravel

December 26. 2010 08:03 AM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      If Mrs Jason had truly called a 'Holt' to your bender, you'd be 'swimming with the fishes' by now. Smile
  Now, as for New Year's Eve, I was silly enough, back in the day, to agree to a bunch of 15/60y.o. boys to come and invade my place and use it as a jumping off point to go down to the lookout down the road and watch the Sydney fireworks. Hmmm. Only a few days left to shape up. I hope I can do it.

Feral Skeleton

December 26. 2010 09:18 AM

Feral Skeleton

Gravel,
       Thank you for your kind words.
The recovery is coming along, if slower than I would like.
I hope all that cooking you had done was appreciated. I'm sure it was. What a great Gran your family has. Take care and enjoy the day. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 26. 2010 09:21 AM

TalkTurkey

"flatter than a Ring of Saturn"

"a cacophony of faggots"

"the poison that is threatening to overwhelmingly infect the political system in Australia"

My my Skelly you sure have a dazzling turn of phrase!

Haven't heard much from Gorilligula or juvenile jerk or Limpy for a while . . . Has our acerbic wit proved fatal thinks Yous? Or does all this talk of Goodwillian Dogxology make them ill? I told 'em, I said, We NEEEEED you I said, we manufacture Abbortt antidote from your venom. (Like that image FS?)

Julia manages a grin, never loses her cool, always stays at least equanimitous even when she has about lost patience with idiots and gotchas, she is to Politics as Makybe Diva is to Racing, just shows the girls can be top of the heap, and btw I think the Sword could not be as it is without - BOTH genders! being right in there. But we are blessed with wondrous women. Gravel said "I was a constant reader here for a few years before I got the courage up to respond, or put my two-bob's-worth into print." I think the blogsite is empowering to women, can't bully 'em here. Put up an argument worth something or shut tf up. Even Jerky, well at least she ain't intimidated, even she got no worthwhile argument. I just hope she is not feeling so aciculated she never comes back.

    

TalkTurkey

December 26. 2010 09:29 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            My two favourite tesselations are the Scorpions and the Cockatoos. You know you should make jigsaws out of all of them. They'd go off like a house on fire. Maddening but at the same time satisfying when you finally nut it out. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 26. 2010 09:47 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

"Haven't heard much from Gorilligula or juvenile jerk or Limpy for a while..." Attention AA. Are you there AA. Paging AA. AA, please ring your office. Oh that's right, we only get your paroxysms of 'tut tut' and 'now look here' when it suits you. Nothing much has changed at TPS.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 26. 2010 10:13 AM

Ad astra reply

FS, 2353, Jason, TT, Gravel
What a compliment it is that even the contemporary festivities have not kept you away from TPS.

FS
I see you are back to your brilliant rhetorical best despite still being in convalescence, and that your culinary skills were not found wanting in producing yabbies that tasted sooo good despite morphing into ‘Rubberies’.  My experience of those so-Australian creatures is that ‘rubbery’ is their usual cooked state.  It’s the tasty chewiness that makes them genuine Aussies.  In my mind’s eye I can see Bruce on his mound scattering leaves hither and thither as he takes total control in your absence.  He has better make the most of his unfettered pre-eminence.

As yesterday was a politics-free period, and I was warned off even mentioning that dark art, I didn’t hear Julia’s or Tones’ Christmas addresses.  I suppose they will be waiting at the end of a link to read later.
You comments about the style and substance of TPS capture why many folk keep coming back here.  The thoughtfulness and depth of many of the comments appended here, along with the verse, the humour, the good humour, and the cut and thrust of debate make TPS different from most other political blog sites.  We look forward to your continuing contribution to that uniqueness in 2011 as you recover your vitality after a torrid time.  The invasion of the teenage boys on New Year’s Eve will be a salutary fitness test for you.  In the meantime we just want you to get well, ‘real well’.

TT
You add special spice to TPS.  I appreciate your comment about blogging here: I think that nearly all Swordsfolk feel exactly as I do in this. It is sort of empowering, and humbling, and just a little ennobling, to feel we all have a little bit of readership. and And what makes the Sword unique is that there is a sense of overall purpose to it, to do with the kind of society we live in. And that's what makes it important too.  I agree.  Let it continue to be so.

Jason
Your smiling face and your down-to-earth comments are a continuing delight to us, even when made while we are in the embrace of Morpheus – at 3.57 am!

2353
You come from time to time to encourage us and applaud.  Thank you for your good wishes.  Keep coming back.

Gravel
I was intrigued by your description of how Monopoly occupied your tech-savvy grandsons for so long.  It shows how enduring good things really are.  It’s a wonder Monopoly in not yet an iPad app.  Maybe there’s an opportunity there for an entrepreneur.

I had a great day with the nearby kids, grandchildren and relatives that did not finish until very late and delightful telephone conversations with the others.  Whatever one’s beliefs, this time of year is a wonderful time for families.

Sir Ian
I see that no matter what goodwill pervades the time of year you are still able to muster up some acerbic comment.  Why you keep coming back to mix it with us is a mystery to me, but I suppose you will continue to do so.  You will be welcome, but don’t expect any quarter from us.


Finally, I hope you all enjoy the upcoming holiday period and come back refreshed for battle next year.

Ad astra reply

December 26. 2010 10:32 AM

TalkTurkey

Oh I do like aciculating Limpy!

TalkTurkey

December 26. 2010 01:29 PM

NormanK

*******FIRE SALE*******FIRE SALE*******FIRE SALE*******
_____________ BOXING DAY SPECIALS _____________


Cool crystal-clear Coral Sea rainwater - straight from Mother Nature to you.
Well, from Mother Nature to a tin roof, to a tin bucket and a rinsed-out
plastic milk bottle to you.
Great deals on quantities from one litre to one megalitre.

Rainy days can be cooling and refreshing. They wash away the soot and dust of the sugar cane harvest. They brighten up the garden and give a lift to the crops in the field. They can be sexy. And lazy. They're great for reading a book. Or watching the cricket.
The dams are full, the creeks are bubbling, the rivers are flowing.

But as many people will have discovered yesterday, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. There haven't been the extreme falls predicted prior to Christmas but the world up here is saturated and we could do with a bit of sunshine.
If we have any readers up around Babinda, I hope Tasha wasn't too rough on you.

Feisty Skeleton
Good to see you banging your sword on your shield again.

NormanK

December 26. 2010 03:24 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        It is but a feeble bump atm. However, I have been fortifying myself with some vintage Keating:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=roIeVEf5alk&NR=1
  The water sounds nice, we had quite a bit down this way recently too. All it did was multiply the number of frogs in the pond out the back! I notice that their noise has died down somewhat since it has dried out a bit. Is their life that tenuous I wonder? Anyway, now we have the Cicadas, who are like a battalion of miniature 747s with varying crescendo throughout the day! Still, I wouldn't have it any other way. Way better than traffic noise. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 26. 2010 03:27 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Actually, now that I think about it, it's more of a nudge with the shield and prod with the sword. I couldn't even summon the required intestinal fortitude to see off Mr Nastypants'(SIC's) latest drivel.

Feral Skeleton

December 26. 2010 04:37 PM

NormanK

Unfortunately, there is nothing worthy of rebuke in SIC's last post. Note the date and time for the first occasion on which I've agreed with a comment from Sir Ian.
This juvenile baiting and name-calling is as boring as Abbott's talk of a baton change and equally as pointless.

NormanK

December 26. 2010 06:57 PM

2353

AA,

I like whiling away my time at TPS and a few other blogs.  However reality, in the form of work and attending to the family's needs, comes along to interrupt.  I certainly intend to keep on coming back (and now the trip to Central Queensland has been postponed - the next couple of days look reasonably empty, except for a bit of rectification to the water ingress issue here at Chateau 2353).

Can someone turn this rain off - please?

2353

December 26. 2010 08:41 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

"All we ask is that assertions are backed by facts and sound reasoning and that courtesy is shown to all".

"Haven't heard much from Gorilligula or juvenile jerk or Limpy for a while..."

Has anyone seen AA? He is a gentle man with a white cane who has a tendency to forgive his pets when they do the wrong thing. He can be hard on others less well favoured. AA suffers from selective memory. AA was last seen belting out the usual tosh about being nice to each other but should one of his pets get caught......well, that's OK, all will be forgiven.

Good old TPS; nothing has changed.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 27. 2010 12:55 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Exactly, Sir Ian Crisp, nothing about your modus operandi wrt TPS has changed.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 03:25 AM

TalkTurkey

TT (me) said
"Haven't heard much from Gorilligula or juvenile jerk or Limpy for a while . . ."

NormanK said
"This juvenile baiting and name-calling is as boring as Abbott's talk of a baton change and equally as pointless."

NormanK I am genuinely regretful that you feel my name-calling infra dig for this august site, and well in a way I defer, agree even. Nevertheless I want to point out that it is not importantly offensive, in the sense that the name-calling is only based on blog names anyway, we're not insulting real human beings here! - unless folks are identifying much too closely with their blog identity anyway, I would say. Though I acknowledge that is possible. I would say that my jeering names are to their self-chosen handles much as satirical cartoons are to persons, and carry little personal malice.

But the personal ill-will of Limpy is something else. Fie on him.

Anyway:

In Defence of Name-Calling

Sticks and stones will break my bones
But names will never harm me;
Call him Abbortt, call him Tones,
He'll still be just as barmy;  
A rose by any other name
Would surely smell as sweet,
And feet called roses smell the same
If they are smelly feet.

And as for silly nicknames
Well, they don’t hurt anyone;
I think of them as mental games:
They’re really rather fun!
My brother called me Tamworth
(There's a red-haired Pig called that!)
But I don’t call him Cane Toad
Though he’s ugly, squat and fat . . ! . .

I don’t mean to cause a Fatwah
By each blogname like I tell it on:
PatriciaWA's Patois,
Skelly's Feral Skeleton,
So let me assure you, Swordsfolk, you
Needn’t fear my little jokes:
Quite respectfully I’ll stroke you
If you stroke respectful strokes . . .

But Folks, don’t get hypoxious
Because I try at times
When folks get quite obnoxious
To make pun-names fit their crimes,
Like when James Masturbola’s
Snidely outing Greg as Grog,
I’d gladly sink my molars
In his leg, were I a Dog!

So if you style yourself, like, jj,
Or “Sir” Ian Crisp, or CALLIGULA,
Don’t go getting in a rage, eh,
When I call you something Pigular !
Because of course the things you’ve writ
Are nasty, low and spiteful,
And it’s good to see you biters bit
And my names are Serve-You-Rightful!

"Oh Ad! Limpy called me Gobbler!
My Turkey pride is hurt!"
- Ha! Liar Birds are champions
When it comes to throwing dirt!
Oh, and, if my gentle needling
Has you wheedling, Boo Hoo Hoo!,
You’ll be titillating me
Cos I’m ACICULATING you!


Look, Swordsfolks, I’m actually nicer than the above might suggest! And I'm a bit sorry that here is this subplot to the main game, which no I do not forget btw, the name The Political Sword says it all, whatever CALLIGULA says about it. I’m just fed up with nay-sayers, scorn-spitters, that sort of stuff. I’ve just spent a few hours writing this when I could have gone to bed, or read, it’s just, oh dear, what are we to do with the bigotry and the irrationality and the spite that infests the neighbourhood/ town/ country/ world ?
So I fight it in this my own little way, I write verse, and har har they can't. And I call them (not very) nasty names, oh dear, Sorry. Not! Well maybe just a little . . ? . . No, don't be mad TT . . .

One of these days I might meet some of the people I am saying hard stuff about. I would like to think that we might all be respectful of each other, but I do wonder about why these few are so unpleasant. I don’t believe I have said anything as offensive as, I regret to say, some of “Sir” Ian Crisp’s recently – nor even in the same street. I recognize that it is an issue, whether such comments should even be acknowledged at all, when their intent is plainly and gratuitously malicious - which by the way is where the difference lies between Them and me.

Well, me, I think we ought to answer them, strenuously, arguing from the basic principles of John Stuart Mill and science and logic, all tempered with a commitment to goodwill, however corny that might all sound. The only other option is to ignore them completely, No Way say I. Fight 'em to shame!

Would I go with a vote from most of Yous to desist? H’mmm . . . Anyway I’d argue that we have to confront the Rotten Right, and also just plain pig-ignorance and nastiness, with rational argument and ridicule and humour wherever it rears its ( * ) , well kick it there anyway!  

- Yet I do keep hoping that eventually they will mellow, rather than to putresce further. Can you believe it? I still keep hoping!

But it does seem from his last couple of posts that Limpy is pained by my aciculations.

‘Boo hoo hoo Uncle Ad, nasty Turkey pecking us!’

My heart bleeds, as they say.


Thank you to the several people who said nice things about TalkTurkey today. Actually he's probably a better man than I am Gungadin, or is that the Liar Bird? I'm getting a bit confused . . .

Oh yes and I bet All Yous Swordsfolks have ALL been aciculated by now . . . Am I right?

TalkTurkey

December 27. 2010 08:00 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

TT, don't flatter yourself. I see I'll have to repeat it again (that makes it about ten times now)so once more for those who suffer from necrosis above the shoulders: I don't care what you call me.

What I do care about is the lack of consistency by AA. He bangs on about courtesy yet when one of his pets strays he says: >                <.

So fire away TT. I couldn't give a rat's what you call me. All I ask for is CONSISTENCY.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 27. 2010 08:58 AM

Gravel

Ad Astra

No, please don't let Monopoly go electronic.  This monopoly board is different to the original though.  It has a round board, credit cards instead of money, and a battery powered gadget that you add and subtract the amounts, which start from $1000. The initial amount they start with is   $5 million dollars!!!!. Fortunately the properties are the same, but you have to use the gadget for chance and stuff, you can auction your property or swap it, and still by houses and hotels.

Feral Skeleton

I will be thinking of you New Years Eve with all those teenagers.  Try not to stress, they'll sort themselves out, have plenty of munchies and they'll be fine.

Luckily nobody here is interested in the cricket, sounds like it was an awful game yesterday, sympathies to any one that does follow it.

Gravel

December 27. 2010 09:01 AM

TalkTurkey

Tune: I Do Like To Be Beside The Sea-Side

Oh I do like aciculating Limpy,
He's oppugnant what's a word I never seen,
And now I have found that I'm oppugnant too,
And he says he's salamandrine, what's a thing at the Zoo,
Oh, I do like aciculating Limpy,
Now Limpy's weepy, whimp'ring like a wimp -
Oh I just love Limpy-baiting,
"Sir" Ian Crisp aciculating,
Baiting Crispy, till he goes limp.

(Reckon I might give aciculation a rest after this. Life's too short . . . )

TalkTurkey

December 27. 2010 09:05 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Your 'colourful' phraseology wrt the Righties, or anyone at all(except our Philosopher King, Ad Astra, who must always be respectfully referred to), doesn't bother me in the slightest, as long as it doesn't become debased by vulgarity. I tend to think of it as good old Aussie 'Shiyacking' of the internet sort, really. A bit like the electronic equivalent of yelling out at someone when you don't like the cut of their jib, "Your mother wears Army boots!". It's all good fun to me, and as far as I can tell, except for my calling Calligula an 'Anarcho-Syndicalist', from which he has not returned, most of the Righties appear to take it on the chin and then try and find some new form of articulation of their displeasure with us to throw back at us!
   This blog maintains a basic level of civility and discourse, which is how AA styles it. I don't think he'd mind too much your witty asides. They are not denigrating in the true sense. And don't worry, I'm a cop on the beat about that, as my exchanges with Calligula attest post his misogynistic sprays.
   Anyway, where would we be if we couldn't dream up new and colourful descriptions of Tony Abbott!?!

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:09 AM

Feral Skeleton

Gravel,
        I just hope I can cope with alcohol by New Years Eve! Smile
Still, you're correct about the fact that the young 'uns are doing all the organising themselves. I have even been told that they are bringing their own 2L bottles of soft drink! I'll just buy a heap of Chips and Dips and we should be right.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:12 AM

Feral Skeleton

   OK, and this is a highly conditional maybe, but I might just have that blog out about the Banking Package before the end of the Year! It might even be about other stuff too. I'll see where the road takes me. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:38 AM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
If we are contestants for the accolade of being paramount at ‘banging-on’, I don’t stand a chance.  I cannot match your unremitting banging-on about ‘consistency’.

You come here, hurl insults at fellow bloggers – your advice to FS to take the medication prescribed by her ‘shrink’ is a classic example – I ‘chastise’ you for unnecessary abuse, fellow bloggers retaliate with name-calling directed at you; you then expect me to ‘chastise’ them, and when I don’t, you indignantly accuse me of inconsistency, in capitals for good measure.  

Many times I have asked all who blog here to show courtesy to others.  That means you too.  Has it ever occurred to you that if you showed courtesy, if you declined the opportunity to direct abuse at others, they would find no reason to retaliate and the conversation might assume a less abrasive tone?  Look back and you will see that invective directed at you is almost always in response to invective directed by you at others.  Moreover you may be surprised how seldom your contributions address the subject matter.

This conversation is tiresome and adds nothing positive to the dialogue we want on TPS.

As we approach the time of year when New Year resolutions occur, can we PLEASE put aside this boring to-ing an fro-ing and stick to the main game – the state of politics in this country.

Ad astra reply

December 27. 2010 10:43 AM

TalkTurkey

FS, well yes, that's how I feel, and like, I'm a Ranga, why would I care about a bit of name-calling? But there you are you see, NormanK outed himself a Ranga too, (Rangatoo, ha ha, KangarooXCockatoo!), and he did express a certain degree, I thought, of pique, that The Sword was being put to less-than-noble uses.

'Fact I think, to put it piquantly,
He thinks I do it much too frequently.
He thinks it's quite unpleasant
That I do it so incessant

[Dog I hate it, when everything rhymes.
It happens at indeterminate times.
I can't shake the Rhyming Bear offa my back!
Just Yous Folks hope Yous don't get no Rhyme Bear attack!

Dog I love English. What a toolbox. What a magic rhymiverse. It's a lifelong playground of the mind and any number can play. I'm bloody misty about this language of ours, can you believe. And FS, by the living Dog, thou hast certain the Eye for it too.]

So anyway FS, I don't want to offend NormanK, truly, he's OK by me and he's very helpful to all, and anyway I reckon I've established my credentials as Bull Goose Gobbler when it comes to insults and the like, not much of a claim no but not nothing, any more is overkill, so I might have to back off a little on the aciculation.
But I will miss too much fun to quit entirely.
I guess I'll have to slip some in slyerly!

Yeah misogyny isn't on, nor personal ill-will. It's actually a pretty important subject to sort out on the Sword, as elsewhere, just where we draw lines. J S Mill, rather than
J.C., is the best guide we might ever find.

Ill-will can reach a point where it becomes hatred, and that ain't good. But unpleasant as she has been at times, and sucked in to bad company (sic) too, were jj to lose a baby for example, does anyone think I'd gloat? Because if you do, you're a sicko.

It seems to me that only CALLIGULA and that self-beknighted person have really gone beyond the pale in their bigotry and nastiness, jj's never quite been there, and even Calligula is "only" misogynistic and boorish, as well as boorish and boorish, and overbearing, insulting and boorish, but he MIGHT be an alright bloke in the flesh. Might, I say. H'mmm.

As for sic well sic by name and sick by nature says it all eh. As you said FS, kicking a girl when she's down, hunh, kicking anyone when they're down, hell I'm not sexist, but FS of all people! Don't look for forgiveness from me sic until and unless FS gets a proper apology from you. And you ain't got it in you have you.

It's not bad, Swordsfolk, that there are on this site really so few to input such spite. There's a lot more out there but they don't have much to say on this site. There's so very many more elsewhere, don't get a false sense of security, that's why Limpy and them are so valuable, they're like antigens so we can develop antibodies against viral attacks from like organisms. Like letting kids get dirty, and scratches. Yeah well Turkeys scratch and chuck dirt back. As you FS attest.


Oh Great and All-Powerful Dog!
Stop The Rain!
Ahhh Women.

TalkTurkey

December 27. 2010 11:23 AM

TalkTurkey

FS said
". . . our Philosopher King, Ad Astra, who must always be respectfully referred to . . ."

Not allowed to call him Auld Ashtray then? Ooops . . . Sorry! . . . Sorry! . . .

The Burning Question is now, Will we reach 500 posts by New Year?

And what a strange year it has been, especially and unexpectedly for Aussies . . .
A year that on the international scene saw the sad passing of Paul the Psychic Octopus . . . and at home, the sensational tie in the AFL Grand Final . . . and lesser matters . . .

Who was it said those immortal words, from memory,
To 500, to Infinity, and Beyond?

Get well Skel.
Come back Lyn.
Bring back Maxine.

TalkTurkey

December 27. 2010 02:24 PM

Rx

Another year almost gone and the Liberals are no closer to releasing policies than they were this time last year. They've spent the full 12 months gorging on the public purse, generating lots of noise, endless spin, three-syllable slogans, harping, fibbing, feeling sorry for themselves and angry at the world ... but no substance. All hot air, no balloon. It's no wonder the RWFs who 'contribute' to this site have little to say about what the Mad Monk stands for. There's only so many ways to describe a vacant spot, after all.

Rx

December 27. 2010 03:25 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

There's (sic) only so many ways to describe a vacant spot, after all.

There ARE only so many ways... .

I've been waiting for you to put your foot in it.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 27. 2010 03:59 PM

Rx

Ian Crasp,

Still nothing to say about what the Mad Monk stands for, I see. Another pointless interjection, as Feral put it. You've made plenty of - <ahem> - contributions - to this thread, but I don't think there has been one that addresses the topic. One waste of space avoiding commenting about another waste of space. Noxious gas and no substance. That pretty-well defines the whole so-called "Liberal" Party, in my view.

Rx

December 27. 2010 04:04 PM

TalkTurkey

FS said
"Talk Turkey,
            Your 'colourful' phraseology wrt the Righties, or anyone at all(except our Philosopher King, Ad Astra, who must always be respectfully referred to), doesn't bother me in the slightest, as long as it doesn't become debased by vulgarity. . .  It's all good fun to me . .  .   Anyway, where would we be if we couldn't dream up new and colourful descriptions of Tony Abbott!?!"

Instead of regretting the lowlifeness of this compulsive namecalling, (which must have a technical name which legitimizes it, anyone know it?), how about we have a competition for Best Nyaa-Nyaa Name? That'd be good. The best are very clever. Like the best cartoons. Mincing Poodle, per Julia Gillard, is hard to top! My entry I spose would be Limpy, bit dry, no fun. Abbortt is my take on Lycraman. Gotta've been better ones than that. Suggestions? Every verbal spitball helps!

TalkTurkey

December 27. 2010 04:35 PM

Jason

Rx,
  The mad monk stands for whatever he thinks will get him elected!He has no vision what so ever apart from stopping something and thinking that whatever worked for Howard will work for him.
He has the laziest front bench I've ever seen! who when it's all said and done aren't political giants or deep thinkers just opportunists who think if we look like we can hold it together long enough the public will wake from their slumber and return them to government.

Jason

December 27. 2010 05:13 PM

Jason

SIC,
    I see your brothers over at the Oz still not happy that the NBN is going ahead they now drag out Andrew Robb to waste more time writing about something he has no more knowledge  than I! as though he is some sort of expert, this man had a 11 billion black hole in his own costings yet has no problem lecturing others.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225976421596

Then when that isn't enough Asbestos will be the next big problem FFS!
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225976467495

Jason

December 27. 2010 07:13 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

J guy, stop feeding me ammo which I use to hammer home my point. Robb had an AUD$11 billion black hole in his costings. Rudd/Gillard had an AUD$48.5 billion black hole in their costings. All that does is merely confirm what I say: we have the most vile, inept, idiotic, putrid gang of lackwits masquerading as politicians.

I'm on safe ground when I point out how inept our MPs are.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 27. 2010 07:53 PM

Jason

SIC,
   "I'm on safe ground when I point out how inept our MP's are." As am I when I predict the sun might rise in the morning,So why don't you put your energies into becoming a solution instead of being a spectator always complaining?

Jason

December 27. 2010 08:35 PM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
              Please provide the evidentiary proof that Labor had a '$AUD48.5 Billion black hole in their costings'. It's the first I've heard of it.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 08:56 PM

Ad astra reply

FS
I'm pleased to read that you are feeling another piece coming on - on the Banking Package.  That is a strong sign of improvement.  We look forward to it.  We all wish you a complete recovery.

For my part, I'm taking a spell from regular blogging until end-of-year family reunions are complete.

Ad astra reply

December 27. 2010 09:16 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Here's a very good article about the deliberations by the multi-Party Committee on Climate Change and how our putative new scheme is taking shape:
www.climatespectator.com.au/.../carbon-mechanism-taking-shape

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:18 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         You're not the only one that is pleased about my feeling half way decent enough to put pen to paper again. Smile
   It will be my pleasure to put it up and monitor the resulting inflow(if there is any!).

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:30 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      What about that dingbat, Andrew Robb? 'Costly NBN a super test'. Hmmm, he obviously hasn't read his own party's policy and done the figures(why does that not surprise me?). I think I could safely guarantee that the Coalition's policy would outsrip Labor's in cost by at least an order of magnitude, if they were to follow their policy document to the letter. Which, of course, they would never do. Instead they'd hive it off to the Private Sector to implement. Then we'd be back to the same old, same old situation where the Private sector ISPs cherry-picked the best bits of the market for the provision of broadband with the highest speeds, and the rest of Australia would pick up the crumbs. For a pretty price.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:33 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Yawn. It seems obvious to Blind Freddy that 'The Australian' has decided to make the NBN 2011's cause celebre, in the same way that they blackened the name of the Building the Education Revolution program. Aided and abetted by the man without a clue but with a snappy slogan to encapsulate it, Tony Abbott.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:38 PM

Feral Skeleton

  So let us not lose sight of the fact that the sort of perfect Free Market that the Liberals espouse, for the telecommunications industry, ends up looking like this:
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg9hx-1225976680427

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 09:45 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Never fear, that faithful old retainer, Dennis Shanahan, is back to using Newspoll necromancy to conjure a 'swinging losss' for Labor, should an election be held now, plus he's working on that other conservative track being furrowed out alongside NBN 'failure', that of resentment at our supposed declining Cost of Living. Frankly, from where I stand, I've never had it so good. That Carers Benefit increase has really made life livable, as opposed to the hard scrabble under Howard's measley pittance. I can't imagine that those with a job are doing it that tough, either. Tho they will take on supersized mortgages, and then blame everyone but themselves for the hip-pocket pain it causes.
  If you really must read the DS article:
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225976491885

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2010 10:00 PM

Jason

FS,
  I would say this is who is advising the opposition on it's telecomunications policy!
Plus they sponsor our criket team which also explains a lot!

www.smh.com.au/.../...s-action-20101227-1982f.html

Jason

December 28. 2010 12:22 AM

GrannyAnny

It's great to be old (ish) with a love of history. The cliches are true. The more things change the more they stay the same, and yes, history does repeat.

My old man worked for the PMG. One day he rang his boss to discuss something important and the boss said "let's discuss it when you get back to the yard, Mrs XXXX at the Post Office listens in". An indignent voice came across the line, "I do no such thing".

That is how it was then. If you wanted to ring someone there was no need for a number, you simply told the telephoniste who you wanted. If they weren't home, she would know where they were and put you through to the right place. Country people were great letter writers. You had to be because wouldn't dream of saying anything very private on the phone.

In the 1960's there was a great modernisation and expansion of the network. (Incidently most of the copper installed at the time is still there, is stuffed, but the Libs think it will last for ever) Manual exchanges were replaced by automatic ones. In the town where I lived some prominent people organised a petition to try to stop it. They were the same people who handed out HTV's for the Liberals or Country Party at elections. Like I say, some things never change.

GrannyAnny

December 28. 2010 09:14 AM

TalkTurkey

Poor old Limpy. He has an addled brain.

Here's a few examples he provides to show that he is mentally kerfluncked:

First, to show what he thinks important (he's quoting Rx here): -
"'There's (sic) only so many ways to describe a vacant spot, after all.'

There ARE only so many ways... .

I've been waiting for you to put your foot in it.
Sir Ian Crisp"

Rx replied, rationally:
"Ian Crasp," [I think that should have been Crass. TT]

"Still nothing to say about what the Mad Monk stands for, I see. Another pointless interjection, as Feral put it."

And Limpy, you gloat that you think you've found a deep and meaningful flaw in Rx's post?

Ricardocephaly, that's your problem Limpy.

Then Limpy said to Jason:
"J guy, stop feeding me ammo which I use to hammer home my point."

How many weirdnesses can you fit into one 12-word sentence - Let me count the ways:

1. You tell Jason to STOP doing something you WANT him to do, i.e. "feed me ammo".
2. "which I use to hammer . . " Yeah good idea 4 u to use ammo as a hammer . . . we live in hope . . . heh heh . . .
3. ". . . my point" No you don't, you never have made a point worth a phtt since I've known of you. Let alone hammer it home.  
Neither do you ever answer any point logically.
You are an archetypal Liberal.
Phtt.

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 09:22 AM

2353

On a similar vein to the post above, the gentleman that lived next to my parents for many years worked for the payroll department of a large government department.  He used to supervise six people that sat at a chequewriting machine (remember them??) each day writing out the pay cheques for the department's staff across the state.

So they introduced a computer to write the cheques.  Then there were six people instructing the computer to write the cheques and another six people checking the output.  Technology always saves labour!

2353

December 28. 2010 09:31 AM

Rx

The Mad Abbott swinging in the breeze:

images.theage.com.au/.../svOPED_AUG3-420x0.jpg

Rx

December 28. 2010 09:32 AM

Feral Skeleton

GrannyAnny,
           Thank you so much for delighting us here at TPS with your whimsical tale. Smile Please stop by again next year.
  I had a similar thought around Christmas Day. I was just thinking, after Tony Abbott came back from his totally uneventful trip to Japan, upon which he started to lay into the Asylum Seekers again, that that man would've turned Jesus, Mary & Joseph away from the Inn. I mean, they were swarthy Middle Easterners after all.

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 09:47 AM

Gravel

Feral Skeleton

So please you have your writing juices resurfacing. I for one look forward to your next contribution.

This is fun, being able to write early in the morning, well earlier for me than usual.  The 'kids' are still here, having late nights followed by late mornings so to keep quiet I read the papers on line and then come here to read everyone's contributions.

Rx
I like your description of Abbott as a 'vacant spot', I think you have nailed it.

It has occurred to me that the posters that are so negative seem not to like anything positive.  I do not read their contributions but get a great sense of what they don't say by all your responses to them, and have a great chuckle.  Like Ad Astra's admonition of sic, it was respectful and very kind in the face of the abuse that sic hands out.

I hope none of the 'sworders' are effected by the huge floods that are happening in QLD and NSW and little bits of Vic.  

Gravel

December 28. 2010 09:53 AM

Rx

Jason, Feral and All,

Below is something the Mad Abbott does stand for, inasmuch as he 'stands' for anything...

resources0.news.com.au/.../...udelka-broadband.jpg

TalkTurkey,

You've identified the trap that those who set themselves up as Grammar Nazis can't help but eventually fall into. Some positively march straight on in!

Rx

December 28. 2010 09:55 AM

Feral Skeleton

Rx,
   Brilliant!
   Wasn't it amazing that barely 2 weeks after we weere introduced to the 'kinder, gentler, policy-driven' Abbott, no sooner had a boatload of Asylum Seekers dashed themselves against the rocks of Christmas Is. than the old, mean-spirited Tony returned to 'Stop the Boats'?
   The piece of information that I found enlightening that has come out recently was the fact that when you compare the number of boats coming to Australia for Asylum during the Howard years, and make the appropriate adjustments, exactly the same number went to New Zealand and Canada, who are also UN signitories to the Refugee Convention but who had very different policies to Australia, and Centre Left governments, at that time. Also, after the Oceanic Viking incident, another very large fishing vessel just bypassed Australia and went to Canada. Which sort of disproves the 'Pull Factor' theory. In other words,
1) Asylum Seekers will head to the closest country to their jumping off point.
2) As long as it's a signitory to the Refugee Convention they don't seem to care much which country they go to.

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 09:58 AM

Feral Skeleton

Gravel,
       Guess what? I'm typing up my next blog post right now! I couldn't stand watching TV anymore, and so I finally put pen to paper. Phew!
   I set a goal of trying to get it out before the end of the year, and I just might make it. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 10:00 AM

Feral Skeleton

Rx,
   Hopefully the commentariat are starting to tire of Mr Hairy-Chested?

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 11:21 AM

TalkTurkey

GrannyAnny
As one old(ish) poster to another:
My clever sis Jenny was a very good shorthand/typiste/secretary, she won "Miss Perfect Secretary NSW" in about 1965, worked for Fed Ministers etc. . . (They were Coalition, but she's Labor btw) . . . When word processors and computers were introduced to her place of work she said how wonderful they were, she could now produce a perfectly printed letter in only 10 minutes or so that would have taken her all of two minutes to type perfectly on her Leaping Golf Ball . . .  

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 11:36 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'm enjoying your comments and delighted to see FS that you are back to writing.

I'll be back late afternoon after a family luncheon.

Ad astra reply

December 28. 2010 11:45 AM

TalkTurkey

Skelly said
"I set a goal of trying to get (my next blog post) out before the end of the year, and I just might make it."
But . . . but . . . we're on 490 posts with this one I'm doing . . . Who will be 500?
Gotta happen b4 New Year . . . Probably today! - Let It Be!

Remember - 500 - then Infinity and Beyond!
(Which one of Yous was it that said that? What were the exact words? Well said, whoever.)


TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 11:55 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Don't worry, Talk Turkey, you'll see TPS get to 500 and beyond! before I get my blog out there. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 12:34 PM

TalkTurkey

Rx

ACHTUNG!

ICH bin Oberleutnant Grammarnazi!

Limpy ain't got no rank at all, he just IS rank.

If he wants to score grammatical idiot-points, heheheh let him try out with me.

In his own words a few posts back, I don't give a rat's about perfect grammar in other people, I got past that when I got perfect myself, (yeah, joke - NOBODY is perfect with Mistress English), but I'll take on Limpy anytime!

I do care infinitely that the sense be not impaired by scrambled worms and terds, but if you can't stump-jump typos and centers and mispelings you just ain't litterate.

So Jason screws up the odd speling, Ooooh! - But Limpy has a whole screwed-up brain. Nasty and bent. He was waiting for Rx to put his foot in something? Limpy put his foot into Skelly while she was ill, well he's put a foot seriously wrong as far as I'm concerned, he has no manners and he offers nothing. So I'm-a put my foot into him wherever and whenever I feel, even though he's a soft and stupid and self-inflated target.

Until and unless he apologises to Feral Skeleton.

Oh look, no verb!

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 12:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

   I have a sneaky feeling AcerbicC. will pop up in about 5 posts time. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 01:31 PM

TalkTurkey

(Last post @ #493  !)

Feral Skeleton said
"Talk Turkey,
            My two favourite tesselations are the Scorpions and the Cockatoos. You know you should make jigsaws out of all of them. They'd go off like a house on fire. Maddening but at the same time satisfying when you finally nut it out."

(Abashed I am that you have been to my website.) Thank you Skelly I wonder about the propriety of mentioning anything else than Politics on TPS, especially concerning my own little stuff, but since it's political doldrums time and it's good anyway to see the site power along and at least keep a skeleton presence on deck, ha ha, well why not, it is not as though I make one penny out of it and it's educational and for the good of the planet in the only tiny way I have to offer. (My Gravatar design and the verse that goes with it are all the explanation of what I mean that I should need. Not until people know species by sight and name and habit can they understand and love and treasure them, and it is critical to Life on Earth that they do. That's what Brucie the Bilby is about, and it sort of flavours the rest of my stuff too. That's why I want to send you one Skelly!)

I'd love to have a New Flag Competition. I don't for a moment think I'd win, but we need a new flag! Dog deliver the Republic! and I'd sure be entering. Brucie's Faunal Flag is quite lovely (the Emu~Kangaroo~Uluru / negative-central-space map of Australia design), Brucie's very proud of it and I do love it, but it wouldn't win, the Flag needs simpler. But republicanism is in there with me, and it does infect my art subjects, tessellations included. (I love my Kangaroo designs best of all btw, especially Tworoos and OZZIE the Magic Kangaroo which is surely the ULTIMATE bit of Aussie iconography, and Hands Around Australia, to which the Landcare Logo is so similar, (and Girl is there a story to go with that!)

How would anyone reading this suggest that a New Flag Avanuvvergo Competition might be run? I'm serious. BTW see this ALL comes back to Politics, even I'm talking about tessellations or whatever. I want Australia to be a more enlightened society, Dog help me, (us), the reverse is darkness. Just like Lord of the Rings, no joke whatsoever.

I still haven't commented on your comment about tessellations FS. I haven't time now. But it's pretty good to be reaching 500 now, even if a lot of them are yours'n'mine.

With a deferential nod to the old fellow with the white stick . . .    

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 02:02 PM

TalkTurkey

Skelly said;
"I have a sneaky feeling AcerbicC. will pop up in about 5 posts time."

Yeah I'm not going to try to snatch the big 500 away from him . . . or Jason . . . or whoever  . . . honest . . .

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 02:06 PM

Jason

Normank,
       Or is it now "Noahk" has it stopped raining up your way yet? Adelaide girl the Turkey and I are enjoying a 30' day here with more sun to follow! 40' by New years eve with not much if any rain in sight!

Jason

December 28. 2010 03:45 PM

TalkTurkey

@ # 498  

It's like the Universe is holding its breath . . .
Go on AC , CHEAT!

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 03:52 PM

TalkTurkey

@ #499
Who's it to be then?
I could cheat but I WON'T

I promise.
Remember that.

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 03:56 PM

Jason

Mr Ponting,
          Had better have a look at this!
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../gallery-e6frg6zx-1111119668403

Acerbic C cometh the hour etc

Jason

December 28. 2010 04:22 PM

Jason

Running a poll please vote if you like this Gravatar?

Jason

December 28. 2010 04:27 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Well, there you go. Jason was #500 with a comment about bleedin' Ricky Ponting! What's this blog coming to? Ricky Ponting would have to be the most overpromoted captain of the Australian Cricket Team ever! Bring back Steve Waugh, a good Labor man and he could actually bat and captain the team all at the same time.

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 04:27 PM

Jason

Or this one!

Jason

December 28. 2010 04:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      Yes, I like that Gravatar. It makes you seem like a harmless young puppy...instead of an uncontrollable booze hound! Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 04:41 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Jason, you absolute bounder!  You cad!  A fellow goes for a bit of tiffin and look what happens!  It's just not cricket, y'know! [do you like my Sir Ian Crisp impersonation?]

Oh, and by the way, that cartoon you linked to has got a very serious factual flaw - the Americans don't give a stuff about cricket.

So, as I was saying, and in the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear: "past 500, infinity and beyond!"

Acerbic Conehead

December 28. 2010 04:42 PM

TalkTurkey

Ricky is on a hiding to nothing . . . Meanwhile Jason, you're on 500, well really it's Skelly and the Ashtray's triumph, oh and the Tweet's of course, that we have remained worth reading and writing for over this relatively moribund period. Even though Tweeety-Bird Lyn is not in evidence right now, everybody knows we would not have had the people writing with us that we have were it not for her. Not me for starters. Look out Coalition when realpolitik time comes around again. We will be here. So many good and sincere writers, it's a sunbeam.
'Course Julian Assange came to our rescue, it seems to me, at a critical moment. I am no less concerned about him or what his case means but it is in abeyance at the moment. But he got us over the trough after Parliament went into recess. By such happenstance turns of fate are many or most human affairs decided. Dog I'm deep today.

Sorry Ad astra to do unto your noble nom de blog as I have done unto others, but you may be sure it's affectionate, not like one other one in particular.

500+  

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 04:49 PM

Jason

FS,
  Sorry about Ponting,but it's a slow day the ABC have this  www.abc.net.au/.../3102653.htm?section=justin
But no solutions as usual!
Or you have that dopey senator Ronaldson over at the punch claiming the government is cutting funding to the War Memorialwww.thepunch.com.au/.../lest-we-forget-to-look-after-the-australian-war-memorial

Jason

December 28. 2010 07:08 PM

Bilko

AA you seem to be having an awful lot of lunches these days so keep an eye on the waste line and watch the old Cholesterol something I am personally aware of. So my old comment to you has now passed 500 slightly off topic but who cares it is the festive season and the political vacuum that is the coalition of the unwilling still stumbles along.

An early happy new year to all our contributors. I bought myself a plasma tv today my christmas pressie to me soon I can skype from my lounge chair and my guru grandson will shortly be streaming videos etc to me from his server.

Bilko

December 28. 2010 09:09 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Wow! Bilko. And there I was contemplating whether I should get a Smart Phone or Tablet PC(Android, of course!) next year. You've gone the Full Monty! And a happy New Year to you too!  Btw, I wouldn't have bought a Plasma, but a Full HD TV with HDMI input, and I will dream about same for a year or so yet. One day they will come down to my price point. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 09:12 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      Wasn't it the Coalition, of which Senator Ronaldson was a member of their previous government, who actually cut funding to War Widows and turfed them out of their Defence accomodation? Accomodation which the Rudd government is presently improving the stocks of. However, that's the Coalition for you. They operate on the principle that the electorate has the memory of a Guppy. Generally, they are correct. Sadly.

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 09:14 PM

TalkTurkey

He was a prophet, Andy Warhol, wasn't he, when he said, I think his words were, "From now on everybody's going to be famous for 15 minutes."

Israel's murderous raid on the Palestinian relief flotilla. New Zealand's earthquakes and aftershocks. Wikileaks. The 29 miners lost in NZ. The unknown number lost on Christmas Island. We fret and fume at the time but for how long?

I don't mean to make anyone feel guilty, not at all, we are human and we vote with our whole selves, and if we lose interest in things, well that's our true nature, can't help it. In this age we HEAR and SEE every disaster that we didn't a couple of generations ago, it's Total Information Overload and we really can't deal with it very well, imo. We're just as sympathetic or angry or whatever but then other things crowd in and in the end like A.A.Milne's The Old Sailor My Grandfather Knew (q.v.!) we mostly do nothing at all.

But even blogging is better than nothing at all. Trying to lead opinion, really.

TalkTurkey

December 28. 2010 09:17 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            You're correct about the period of political moribundness. Most sane people are having a bit of a break right now...Which is why we keep seeing the fractured physog of Tony Abbott popping up every 2 ups. Plus we are regaled by his henchmen parlaying 'Think Pieces', written without much thought having gone into them, in the Opposition Organ, aka 'The Australian'. Groan. Still, it provides grist for our mill.

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2010 09:43 PM

Jason

FS,
  Yes Ronaldson is a member of that tawdry outfit known as the coalition!
The thing that suprised me was he had no link to anything! we just had to take his word for it, because he was a senator I assume.


Get ready Labor supporters now that several areas of QLD are now disaster areas (1) the Nationals will have their hand out! (2) No matter what happens it will be Labors fault!
Barnaby should be on tv anytime soon complaining Labor hasn't stopped the rain or the rivers rising!

Jason

December 28. 2010 10:48 PM

Patricia WA

There's no one in this government to harness the power of prayer!   Imagine if just Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce were running the country they alone would have access to generations of  alumni of St Aloysius and Riverview Colleges with all their extended families and church congregations plus extraordinary ecclesiastic and papal power fuelling their heartfelt pleas for divine intervention in our hour of need.

Australia chose instead a godless Prime Minister.  Now look what's happened!  

Patricia WA

December 29. 2010 10:44 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I couldn’t connect last night – thank you Telstra.  I had great difficulty connecting this morning.  Thank you again Telstra.  I noticed that comments were closed again, so have extended the period for comments to thirty days.  My apologies for the closure.

Bilko
Yesterday’s lunch and evening meal were with my elder son and his family, who because they live in the country I see less often.  It was a special day with them, eating healthy food, taking no alcohol and enjoying delightful grandchildren and their parents.  So the waist line is OK.  Other kids will be coming down to our seaside patch over the New Year, so I’ll be in and out of TPS for a while yet.  Of course when FS has her next piece ready, I’ll be around to post it.

Folks, don’t worry too much about what Tones does or says, or the political commentators write for the next month or so.  No one will be noticing as we indulge in the Great Australian Torpor over January.

FS
I have your email and will reply soon, Telstra willing.

Ad astra reply

December 29. 2010 11:20 AM

Jason

Hi all,
      "POLITICAL views may be hard-wired into people, according to a study that suggests those with right-wing views have a larger area of the brain associated with fear."

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg8y6-1225977752796

Jason

December 29. 2010 12:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      Lol. Now is that, the causing of fear in the electorate, or the feeling of fear by Right Wing supporters in the electorate? Hmmm. Both, probably. Smile

   Here's another, more scholarly article that says pretty much the same thing:
nationaljournal.com/.../populists-versus-managers-in-the-gop-race-20101216
   Or, in other words, the less-educated you are, the more likely you are to be a conservative voter. Except for the economic elite conservative voter. No wonder Howard was pleased with low school Year 12 retention rates and had a policy of restricting as much as possible tertiary education to those wealthy families that could afford it. You don't want the proles getting educated and uppity now, do you?

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2010 02:33 PM

Jason

FS,
  I think it's a kind way of saying what most of us already know the right are Neanderthals in every sense of the word!
If it were upto the right we would still live in trees drag our knuckles wouldn't have invented the wheel!

Jason

December 29. 2010 04:35 PM

TalkTurkey

Jason
Just you go easy on Neanderthals. Seems us Rangas might be their descendants. One look at Ling ought to confirm that. And I saw a program the other day showing that Neanderthals were into fire and haute cuisine long before people that call themselves sapiens, so lay off. Pastry cook.

I have never been much of a fan of cricket, I thought it was all right for flannelled fools as long as it was played swiftly and decently according to sports(wo)manlike behaviour. But the rot set in with Bodyline (well yeah before my time, and the Poms started that) but it really did its dash for me with The Grubber. Chappells!

The parallel with The Dismissal seems astonishing to me. Does anybody else relate the two incidents?

I wonder what sort of a look would pass between Grog and Masturbola were they to meet face to face now. Grog grown out of sight like Jack's beanstalk. JM like Gran'pa in my Pocket, for the rest of his journalistic, if that's the word, career. Rotten twerp. I don't care who knows who I am but I'd stand fast for the right of bloggers to anonymity -unless of course criminality and genuine public interest trumped that right, which it manifestly didn't in Grog's case. Many people wouldn't say what they feel or know if they had to identify themselves.

FS Hope you're really on the mend, and grog-proof, no pun intended, by New Year.

TalkTurkey

December 29. 2010 06:44 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I've received another piece from Feral Skeleton What were you expecting – fireworks? which is a stylish assessment of Wayne Swan's banking package.  I will upload it after I receive the files for the images, probably late tomorrow afternoon as I'll be on the road to the south coast in the morning.

FS
I've sent you an email re the files.

Ad astra reply

December 29. 2010 07:55 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         Have not got e-mail in my Hillbilly Skeleton Inbox yet.
Is it not possible to cut and paste the images?

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2010 07:56 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I'm hoping that in a couple of days I will be well enough for a glass of wine to see in the New Year. Atm it's not looking so good. Still on antibiotics. Frown

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2010 08:11 PM

Ad astra reply

FS
I've tried cutting and pasting but it is not working.  If you just email me the image files as attachments to the email, it will be easy to save them to my computer and then insert them in your piece.

I replied to your email of 28 December, which now that I've checked, was sent to your Feral Skeleton address - sorry I should have sent it to the HillbillySkeleton address.  So it's probably in your Feral Skeleton Inbox.

Ad astra reply

December 29. 2010 08:38 PM

Acerbic Conehead

AA, I hope you have been eating healthily over the festive season, especially consuming plenty of fresh fruit.  And talking of fruit, did you hear about those brazen reffo kids at Inverbrackie who jumped the camp fence to gorge themselves on the plums from the neighbouring orchard?  What’ll it be next, AA – getting into white collar crime and opening up Swiss banks accounts?  But, don’t fret, AA, as the fearless local member, Jamie Briggs thinks he has got everything under control.  Jamie and his sidekick, Ban Morrison, have got the tin hats on and are guarding the orchard as we speak.  I haven’t got the latest update, but by the sound of this song they did on their mobile recording studio down at the orchard, things aren’t going exactly to plan.  So, sing along in solidarity, AA, as the situation for Ban and Jamie could be getting a bit jammy.  It sounds like the urchins are eating all the plums and bombarding Captain Mainwaring and Corp Jones with the discarded stones.  Appropriately, the song is based on Ban’s composition, “And it stoned me”.  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX8nAZftZL4
:- (
In Inverbrackie it isn’t fair
As the stones kept pourin’ down
Me and Jamie standin’ there
Lookin’ like two right old clowns
Even with tin hats on our heads
The brats wouldn’t see any sense
We just stood there gettin’ hit
As they poured over the fence
:- (
Oh, the reffos
Oh, the reffos
Oh, the reffos
Hope they get the runs all day
:- (
And they stoned us to our souls
In fits of laughter they’d roll
And they stoned us
And they stoned us to our souls
Drove us up the bloody pole
And they stoned us
:- (
The rain only let up when the buggers got full up
Just as we thought our end was nigh
Almost let a pick-up truck nearly pass us by
So we jumped right in and the driver grinned
Sayin’, “what was all that noise?”
When he heard they took ‘em without payin’, he laughed, sayin’
“Don’t ya know boys will be boys”
:- (
Oh, the reffos
Oh, the reffos
Oh, the reffos
Hope they get the runs all day
:- (
On the way back home we sang this song
When a trailer passed us by
Chockers with plums, peaches and nectarines
We couldn’t believe our eyes
Turned into the reffo place and started to unload
But the brats were having none
Ignoring this event, they again jumped the fence, sayin’
“This is much better fun!”
:- (
Oh, the reffos
Oh, the reffos
Oh, the reffos
When will Gillard start to STOP THE STREAM!

Acerbic Conehead

December 29. 2010 09:24 PM

Jason

Has anyone else had trouble getting on to this page today? or is it just a problem with my primitive exchange?

Jason

December 29. 2010 10:15 PM

Jason

AA,FS,
     And all who sail on the political sword, Tim pretty much sums up what "we" have been trying to say in our own way!
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42608.html

Jason

December 29. 2010 10:43 PM

Ad astra reply

AC
I see you are a big Van Morrison fan.  What a clever use of his ‘And it stoned me’.  Again, thank you.

Jason
Tim’s article went right to the core of federal politics – what a sorry list of fails.

FS
Thank you for the images, which I’ve captured.  I’ve sent you an email in reply – this time to your HillbillySkeleton email address.

Ad astra reply

December 30. 2010 09:26 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I'm about to get on the road back to the south coast so will be away from my computer for several hours.

I anticipate posting Feral Skeleton's latest piece: What were you expecting - fireworks?, her assessment of Wayne Swan's banking package, late afternoon or this evening.

Ad astra reply

December 30. 2010 11:51 AM

TalkTurkey

Jason
You're bloody well right, it's a splendid article. Tim Dunlop writes like an angel, and I don't even believe in angels. Other SwordsFolks, do Tim the deserved honour of a visit.


http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42608.html

Write On Tim. You have nutshelled the year. I agree with virtually everything you say, Regrettably in some cases especially your Number Ten. You have a very sensible sense of proportion in your list. And you say things so well!

[And BTW I know that you will end up reading this, someone will let you know, because this is The Sword!  The Sword and the Pen are being forged into a greater weapon yet.]

Get well Skelly.
Come back Lyn.
Bring back Maxine.
Bring back Bring Back Maxine!

Looking forward to your imminent article Professor Skeleton.

TalkTurkey

December 30. 2010 04:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Gee, the commenters on Tim Dunlop's piece are generally a bunch of raging, Right Wing bullcrap artists. It's almost like waving a red flag at a bull these days, on the more popular blog sites(peeps generally have to try a lot harder to find us!). Someone from the reviled 'Left' writes a reasonable blog, and all of a sudden the Rabid Right try their darndest to go in for the kill. Generally they devalue their arguments with multiple spelling mistakes and poorly-substantiated diatribes straight out of the Coalition's Talking Points Memo for the immediate past month or so. They start from the automatic assumption that anything at all that a 'Lefty' has to say is by its very nature wrong. Of course there's never any analysis of the Coalition's policy alternatives, which, if they were to be honest they should find sorely wanting in very many cases. But no, it's all boilerplate conservative groupthink. Sigh.

Feral Skeleton

December 30. 2010 05:46 PM

TalkTurkey

FS said
"Gee, the commenters on Tim Dunlop's piece are generally a bunch of raging, Right Wing bullcrap artists."

Yes aren't they a horrible lot taken all round! Of the ones I read anyway. I told Yous-All the other day, don't think we own the blogosphere folks (or words to that effect) because there's an awful lot of awfuls out there. On The Sword there's only a very few, but it behooves us at least to know the enemy . . . There's plenty commenting hatefully on Dunlop's article.

TalkTurkey

December 30. 2010 07:02 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I've just posted Feral Skeleton's latest piece What were you expecting - fireworks?, an assessment of Wayne Swan's Banking Package.  Enjoy another scintillating piece from FS.  I'm sure the YouTube movie at the beginning will bring back many memories of the Keating years.

www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...3b-fireworks.aspx

Ad astra reply

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