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Leadership – what do the people want?

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Thursday, 17 February 2011 13:49 by Ad astra
There is a gathering storm about Julia Gillard’s leadership. Pundits express learned opinions about the leadership she exhibits, and more stridently about what they believe she ought to. Some predict that she will never make the grade. Mungo MacCallum believes she is an example of the ‘Peter Principle’, elevated beyond her capabilities. So does retired columnist Alan Ramsay promoting his new book on ABC 774 Melbourne radio this week.

Nothing much has changed since I wrote: The enigma of leadership on 15 August of last year. It is worth re-reading.  

There was another piece on 12 August 2009: Brendan Nelson says leadership is everything - how does Malcolm Turnbull rate?   

Then there was What does Julia Gillard stand for? on 21 November and What does Tony Abbott stand for? on 7 December.  Both focused on leadership.

Still further back there was The media’s specifications for an Australian PM on 14 June that outlined some expectations. I won’t go over that ground again, but it’s as legitimate now as it was when it was written.

Today’s talk about Gillard seems different though. Although ‘vision’ is still mentioned, the focus now seems to be on her appearance, her way of speaking, her demeanour, her face to the world. David Williamson, cashing in on his reputation of Australia’s greatest playwright, seems to be the one who first used ‘wooden’ to describe Julia’s performance through the flood and cyclone crises. He expected her to be more animated, more theatrical (even if artificial), to have projected more empathy when making statements about them, notwithstanding the acknowledged difficulty of playing ‘second fiddle’ to Anna Bligh whose responsibility was to keep Queenslanders informed, a task she performed brilliantly and with feeling. It was never going to be possible for Gillard to match her, a fact most observers acknowledge. Yet she was demeaned for her performance by Tony Abbott and many journalists who quickly picked up on the ‘wooden’ epithet, and repeated it endlessly. In fact the first Q&A for this year devoted a large part of its discussion to this attribute, so much so it became boring with ‘wooden’ repeated over and again. It was the same on the first Insiders for 2011. Groupthink took hold and ‘wooden’ was the ‘word of the day’. Journalists use the word in almost every comment about Gillard’s demeanour.

So what is wrong? What do they expect?

It seems as if they expect more animation, more ‘sincerity’, less ‘political-speak’. Yet her role in the crises was not to explain what was going on, or to utter warnings, but what the federal Government was going to do to alleviate the distress – army support, grants for those bereft of possessions, promises of long term relief and rebuilding, mobilizing all the Government’s resources to tackle the emergency and its aftermath – not exactly a breath-taking role that invited lively animation. So how did they expect her to bring to that task the animation Bligh was so easily able to bring to hers? If they had taken a moment to think, not something many journalists do in this pacy media environment, they would have realized that this was not possible or even appropriate. As one commentator observed, Gillard was under pressure to make accurate statements about what the federal Government had committed itself to do, and so needed to watch every word lest a slip-up occur for which the media and the Opposition would pillory her relentlessly. Indeed many of Gillard’s public statements are in that category, and push her into cautious mode where every word is critical. Try being animated when trying to speak with legalistic precision.

Another criticism of Gillard has been her performance among victims of the disasters. She has not been properly attired, she has lacked empathy, and she has been stilted among those affected, so they say. All this of course is a matter of opinion. For my part, she has seemed to be sincere, helpful, willing to embrace the distressed, able to mix it with emergency personnel. I ask, what else did they expect? Did she do anything different to what Bligh did when she was out and about with the people? Take a look at the footage – don’t accept the perceptions of journalists with their inbuilt biases, afflicted by groupthink, looking for what they hope to see. When attire becomes the critical focus of media attention, what on earth has journalism come to?

Yet despite these criticisms, several commentators agree that her address to the NPC and her Australia Day speech were sound and well presented. They were important speeches, but what have we heard of them? Presumably, in the eyes of the media, they were not able to compensate for her ‘wooden’ ones. When you’re on to a good descriptor, stick to it and flog it to death!

On the first Insiders for the year, Dennis Atkins made a cogent point – that the political context in which Gillard’s speeches are now being made is that of a Government that hasn’t got the authority that most governments do, that she has to negotiate everything through the legislative process, and that as a result she is rather stilted and legalistic. Yet Atkins insisted that if her Government had a solid majority, most of her speeches would be seen as appropriate, even lauded. Context is always important, but how many journalists are even vaguely aware of this?

Lenore Taylor pointed out the difficulties John Howard had in his early days with his shoulder twitch and his eyebrows, elements of his presentations that our superficial media people pathetically thought were of great import. She felt Gillard would grow into her role, especially as she notched up legislative successes.

Then of course there is incessant talk about ‘the real Julia’. Show us ‘the real Julia’ the commentators chorus. Have they considered that ‘the real Julia’ has many parts? Sometimes serious and even legalistic when spelling out her program; sometimes animated when answering questions as she was on Four Corners last week where she performed well, sometimes joking with the interviewer; and assured, smiling, even animated in press conferences. Surely we all govern our behaviour to fit the occasion. Why not Gillard?

If you haven’t seen her condolence address at the commencement of Parliamentary sittings last week, please do so. You will see snippets on TV; the whole address shows ‘the real Julia’: comprehensive, sincere, earnest, articulate and emotional, yes emotional to the point of tears. Some will insist that this is the fake Julia; Williamson would likely say she was well rehearsed like any good play actor. Anyone with a modicum of perspicacity would see the very real Julia with her feelings laid bare for all to see.

Tony Abbott’s condolence speech, while workmanlike, while giving due acknowledgement to the Government’s response and Julia’s presence among the victims, could be classed by comparison as somewhat stilted, even ‘wooden’, like so many of his pronouncements. If you want to see a supremely wooden, and at times mute performance, take a look at his interview with Channel Seven’s Mark Riley over the ‘shit happens’ remark Abbott made on a visit to Afghanistan.

Look at Julia Gillard’s performance in the House last week, which even critics acknowledge was good. Look at her press conference last Friday to announce changes to health reform and you will see someone on the top of her game, across the detail, able to answer any question articulately and accurately. Not the wooden Julia that journalists love to lampoon. Of course she talks slowly, and has a broad Aussie accent, but that is Julia. For goodness sake, let’s get used to it and attend to what she says rather than how she says it.

How much longer will the ‘wooden’ slogan be used? When will the media become tired of it and seek another? I long for the day when they put this tiresome mantra back in its box and strike a more imaginative phrase. It’s boring, inaccurate, inappropriately applied, and serves only to demean and make this pejorative label stick harder, perhaps to the point where it can’t be removed. I suppose though that is what is intended.

So what do the people want? My guess is that they do not fully know. There are vague notions out there about what leaders ought to do, what they ought to look like, what they ought to say, how sincere they ought to look. But ask a hundred people and you will likely get a multitude of answers. So who conditions the people to a way of thinking? Largely it is the media, who through slogans, ten second grabs, poor research and superficial analyses regrettably lead the people up the garden path.

What do you think?

Comments (122) -

February 17. 2011 06:45 PM

2353

I suspect that Gillard's real problem with the media is that she didn't "give them the story" well and truly ahead of time when Rudd was rolled.  She claims she didn't know but that's not good enough for the Canberra Press Pack.  The biggest political story of the year was literally found out only hours prior to its conclusion - I can still hear them muttering "how dare she"!

Thus the media - who believe they run the country - had their plans upset.  First of all Gillard is a woman (not in the script), secondly she calls an election before the media reckoned she should have, third she won (with help) - definitely not in the script.  It was destined that the LNP would have won had Rudd remained (or so they thought).

In a country where males are generally introduced in a newspaper story as "Mr Jones said . . ." while females are usually introduced as "Mrs Jones (32) said. . ." there is still a long way to go before true equality at least in the media. That a woman beat the media a number of times (in their view) means that they really are out to get her.  I suspect if things were different and Julie Bishop was PM, the media would only be slightly softer, because Bishop is also a woman.

Proof is simple - look what it took to get the Queensland media to publish something positive about Anna Bligh (and Beattie handed her power on a plate!).

2353

February 17. 2011 06:47 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
A Prime Minister who looks like Nicole Kidman or George Clooney, speaks like JFK but without the accent and cooks like Matt Preston.
We would also like a 20% pay rise across the board and a halving of the tax thresholds.
We would prefer that immigrants have an Australian accent and a high level of skill in sport (especially cricket at this point in time).
And please oh please could one of our leaders step up to the plate and get this mongrel climate under control.
Oh, and a negative inflation figure for the next five years.
Not too much to ask for is it?

NormanK

February 17. 2011 08:55 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

I am a bit late tonight, I need to say a million
thanks to you for another "show stopper" article
by you this afternoon.  See you spoil us even
when you are so far away.

"Leadership - what do people want"

The way the media carry on, I think they want to
drive whoever is Prime Minister insane, they had Howard
for so long, they just drifted with him, and accepted
anything he said or did as gospel, that goes for a
lot of the Public too.

Largely it is the media, who through slogans, ten second grabs, poor research and superficial analyses regrettably lead the people up the garden path.

I couldn't agree with you more Ad, people don't know what
they want, and most are certainly not grateful for
very much, the whinging and whining, sometimes I
could just throw my wet dirty dishcloth at the tv.

MSM and the Public are  disrespectful towards
their national leaders, Newsreaders, Presenters,
Radio Disk Jockey's, Journalists, everyone has lost
their manners, that's it, gratitude, respect, and manners,
forgotten, sad isn't it.  


Cheers Ad, I hope you and your wife are having a happy visit.

Lyn

February 17. 2011 11:58 PM

D Mick Weir

I would add to NormanKs' list:
* A negative interest rate for all mortage holders on thier home loans.
* An extraordinarily high rate of interest for all self funded retirees on the money they lend to banks to finance above mortages.
* For Julia to personally drop in on every household and explain how she will solve all thier problems and make life easier for all of us. Oh and while you are here Julia would you mind washing the dishes and ironing my shirts.

D Mick Weir

February 18. 2011 12:21 AM

Ad astra reply

2353
You put it so well. The media believes it calls the shots, and is itself 'the story'.

NormanK
And if she provided all that, they would criticize her for being profligate with money.

Hi Lyn
Thank you as ever for your kind remarks.  I agree that the disrespect shown by journalists to our leaders is appalling.  Until that improves we can expect more of the same insolent language from them, yet all they are required to do is  to report on politics, not to control it.  How did we ever get to have such an incompetent and arrogant media - it must have something to do with the proprieters and editors.

D Mick Weir
And she should clean up the yard while she's at it.

I hope the respect shown her in NZ might have some impact on our journos, but i'm not holding my breath!

Ad astra reply

February 18. 2011 09:20 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Two Halves of the Asylum Seeker Debate, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut
Err, wasn’t this the guy you said yesterday had gone too far in his statements on the burial of asylum seekers
http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

A PITY, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
pitiful is "Menzies House", a website run by and for gutless morons. The head office of the Liberal Party in the Canberra suburb of
andrewelder.blogspot.com/.../...-time-to-time.html

Context a reoccurring problem for the Coalition and the ALP, Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery
The Coalition has a context problem. And they should seriously take that into context.
ashghebranious.wordpress.com/.../

A symphony of Dogwhistling, The Conscience Vote.
mealy-mouthed excuse for an apology was praised by Abbott as showing ‘a lot of guts’. And, lest anyone think there was an actual backdown happening,
consciencevote.wordpress.com/.../

Scott Morrison: termite,
The sensitivity and compassion of a termite, Neil's second decade

his mad point-scoring on asylum seekers’ funerals and no, even worse, his willingness to cash in on the most ill-informed and most paranoid attitudes to Muslims in Australia.
neil2decade.wordpress.com/.../

You Can't Keep A Good Man Down, Ben Pobjie, New Matilda Liberals’ key motto: "The Liberal Party — Strong Leadership With Only a Little Bit of Vomit in Your Mouth". And this week he demonstrated it beautifully
newmatilda.com/.../you-cant-keep-good-man-down

it sucks to be a leader, Mat Anslow, Life. re-mixedwhere politicians can no longer do anything without being marauded by the population? If so, what does this do to leadership’s ability to effectively lead a country?
http://liferemixed.net:80/2011/02/17/it-sucks-to-be-a-leader/


Abbott is in bed with One Nation , Trev,Trevs Political Rants
ABBOTT THE PAST IS COMING BACK TO HIT YOU IN THE ASS ” Shit Happens
http://trevspoliticalrants.com:80/2011/02/17/abbott-is-in-bed-with-one-nation/

Abbott's Attempts to Capitalise on Natural Disasters has Failed, Alex Schlotzer, The Angle
the Liberals are looking around for issues to jump on, no matter how ridiculous. It’s a shopping list of disjointed issues; not a considered, well-articulated alternative.
theangle.org/.../

In Government, Abbott would increase muslim immigration?, Trevor Cook
Scott Morrison is a political hard-man. He's willing to exacerbate social problems for political advantage. He's not diverted by soft-arse appeals to our better natures.
trevorcook.typepad.com/.../...lim-immigration.html

The ideology dividing both parties,Bernard Keane,Crikey The Menzies House missile, which variously called Hockey “grandstanding”, “beyond the pale”, “gaffe-prone”, a “circus” and, worst of all, having a “teddy bear-like appearance”,
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Mega Miners Revisited, Min, Cafe Whispers
MSM supports and publicises ever single snippet of negativity they can find on every single given issue as long as it puts Julia in a bad light.  
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../


BHP Billiton – John Howard’s decision comes back to bite us all in the ASS!!!, Bleyzie, The Eye-Ball Opinion
Billiton have devalued BHP’s resource revenue contribution to Australia tax collectors to a fraction of what they would have been had Howard and his Government rejected the Billiton offer.
http://bleyzie.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/16/bhp-billiton-john-howards-decision-comes-back-to-bight-us-all-in-the-ass/

Manipulating the language or the truth?, Coffee with Ruby
When a politician wants the general public to feel aggrieved about government spending, the money suddenly belongs to the taxpayer.
http://coffeewithruby.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/17/manipulating-the-language-or-the-truth/

A message to Tony Abbott, Bob Carr, Unleashed
A message to Tony Abbott, one part of your party is playing with fire.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/44244.html

Labor – Liberal Battlelines drawn over Multiculturalism, Reb, Gutter Trash
In 2006, John Howard famously used his Australia Day address to tell migrants that they were expected to assimilate into Australia’s culture with their “loyalty and patriotism”.
http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/17/labor-liberal-battlelines-drawn-over-multiculturalism/

Beyond asylum seeker funerals, Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street
Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott wondered aloud at the expense of bringing people from Christmas Island to an Australian funeral. They later backed down on the timing – but not the substance – of their comments.
www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=25086

Did Abbott expect the Brigg's breakout?, Rob Burgess, Business Spectator
plays right into the hands of Labor's long running assertion that all the Coalition wants is to "bring back WorkChoices".
www.businessspectator.com.au/.../Tony-Abbott-Briggs-WorkChoices-IR-politics-Gillard-pd20110218-E6RTR

It's a small levy, but a daft idea - McKibbin, Peter Martin
Independent Tony Windor has said he "leaning against" the levy and will be guided by the report.
http://www.petermartin.com.au/

Lyn

February 18. 2011 09:49 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad and Everybody

Some more good News this morning:

It's not Alan Jones party ... but he'll cry if he wants to , Steve Lewis, Daily Telegraph

POWERFUL Sydney radio broadcaster Alan Jones has been dragged into an ugly Liberal Party brawl that threatens to damage Tony Abbott's leadership. Mr Jones, a fan of Mr Abbott's conservative political views, has pointed the finger at South Australian Jamie Briggs and Queenslander Steve Ciobo.
www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-e6freuzr-1226007827729

Cheers

Lyn

February 18. 2011 09:54 AM

janice

Good question, Ad astra.  If 'the people' were not bombarded with anti-labor propaganda, I'm pretty sure they would be more than satisfied with their present leader.  So maybe we should ask what it is the media want as it appears to me to be quite clear they want any leader who is not Labor no matter how excellent that leader might be.  

When you stop and analyse the criticisms of  Prime Minister Julia Guillard there is little there that ought to cause concern to voters.  The fact that her ear lobes are too large, her taste in clothing/fashion is not everyone's cup of tea, her manner of speaking slowly and clearly with hand movements, her Aussie voice/accent or her lack of religious belief and choice to remain single and "barrren", all have nothing whatsoever to do with desirable qualities of leadership.  

A nation's leader needs to possess the qualities of honesty, integrity and compassion.  To also possess an unselfishness that puts the needs of the nation and it's people before self, mates and party.

A nation's leader must have the desire to guide the thoughts and aspirations of the people to the rewards of health, wealth and happiness without trampling upon the less fortunate.   To encourage the people to look out for each other and find harmony in the tolerance of the differences of skin colour and cultures.

There is little, or no, criticism of PM Guillard with respect to the leadership qualities which she possesses in abundance.  The thoughts and perceptions of the people are drowned out and sullied by the strident, selfish, power hungry Coalition Parties, their leaders and a rabid mob of media journalists who lack integrity and don't give a fig for the welfare of the nation and its people.

janice

February 18. 2011 10:57 AM

Feral Skeleton

lyn,
    Just adding to the plate heaped high with juicy links. Smile
thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../...australia.html

Feral Skeleton

February 18. 2011 11:54 AM

Lyn

Good Morning Hillbilly,

Thankyou for the link, as I said every blogg of information
is for our good cause.

I have been really, really busy, (I love it), with all
our blogg owner  friends writing furiously, it's nearly getting impossible to get to them all each morning early, although our good friend Mr Denmore's piece did go up on today's links yesterday morning.

The Miserables exploding, imploding, have set Twitter, and everyone talking, see, even Alan Jones is taking sides,
getting more juicy everyday.

Have a good day  

Lyn

February 18. 2011 12:04 PM

NormanK

I don't believe that I have a special pair of ears which allow me to comprehend things that others do not, to the contrary really. So how is it that this statement from Chris Bowen on The 7.30 Report last night has been given so little attention?
Firstly, it's important to keep that group together. The 21 people who came to the funeral, they were told they would go to the funeral together and they were told they would be taken back to Christmas Island together. It's important we keep our word about that. Secondly, some of those people in that group have expressed a desire, for want of a better word, to go back to the scene of the accident for some closure and look at that one last time, and also importantly, Heather, to say goodbye to the people they've been living with on Christmas Island for two months. Now, I think it's important to allow that.
www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3141867.htm
Now the meaning of "told" could be interpreted as dictatorial but when it is followed up by "keep our word" I don't think it is unreasonable to see its meaning as - they were "assured" that they would return to Christmas Island. For me this was one of the most significant pieces of information to come out of the interview. It turns a good deal of the criticism aimed at Bowen on its head. Has anyone considered the wishes of the 21 asylum seekers? Of course, to be fair they don't have a public voice with which to state their case but even those who have declared themselves to be the voice of the voiceless - the Refugee Action Coalition - are not taking into consideration the wants of this group of people.
The RAC is acting on assumptions. After all, it is not unreasonable to believe that the group would wish to leave incarceration, who wouldn't, but they are making no allowance for the particular circumstances involved here. Even today the RAC is calling for the plane to be turned around.
Call to turn Christmas Island plane around
The coalition's (RAC) Ian Rintoul says all the asylum seekers should return to Sydney immediately.
"Christmas Island is the scene of their worst nightmares, they should simply turn it around and bring them back to Villawood," he said.
Mr Rintoul says the Immigration Department's handling of the group is a disgrace.
He says they have been treated with no dignity and respect.

www.abc.net.au/.../3142167.htm?site=newcastle
Now I'm not criticising the RAC and the good work that they try to do but I'm not sure just who it is that is showing a lack of respect to this group. Nowhere have I seen quotes of just what the asylum seekers wish for in the short-term so Mr Rintoul is speaking in generalities and perhaps echoing the wishes of friends and relatives already based in Australia rather than giving voice to any stated wishes of the people at the centre of this situation. Equally, calls for young Seena's immediate return to relatives in Sydney is based on unsustainable assumptions. As I recall from reports, the uncle and second cousin into whose care he would be placed if the RAC had their way, have been in Australia for 10 years. Seena is 9 years old. They may be blood relatives but they are, to all intents and purposes, strangers. It's easy to conjure up the idea of Seena rushing into the arms of the uncle with whom he used to play football or other warm and fuzzy familial images but he doesn't know these people. Meanwhile he has other relatives actually accompanying him who have been through this trauma with him and they have no doubt bonded in a way which few of us can imagine. A bit like soldiers surviving war together.
The hearts of those in the RAC might be in the right place but they are working to a template which does not necessarily fit this circumstance.
The great shame of course is that it is taken for granted that the immigration department is going to act in a cold unsympathetic manner and that all criticisms can be based on that assumption.

NormanK

February 18. 2011 12:13 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad and Everybody

Is this more bombs landing:

Menzies House website editors quit amid anonymous Joe Hockey article fallout , James Massola, The Australian

TWO editors from conservative website Menzies House have quit during the fallout from an anonymous article that attacked Liberal Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226008092288

Lyn

February 18. 2011 12:27 PM

Augustus

Morning Lyn, thankyou for the last link 'Menzies House website editors quit amid anonymous Joe Hockey article fallout , James Massola, The Australian'

So they were told to pull the article by Senior Liberals namely Abbott and Bernardi and as a result have resigned in protest, those war drums are beginning to beat louder and longer, any takers on how long before a spill.

Augustus

February 18. 2011 12:29 PM

Patricia WA

Thanks, Norman, that was my impression too.  Bowen was speaking in a very nuanced way, not spinning.  He was quite clear that the group had been consulted and their consensus wishes were being respected.
His sort of sincerity is pretty hard to fake.  Wonderful to see how it had a chance to come through in spite of Ewatt's fatuous attempt to be a hard hitting interviewer.

I was impressed that Bowen clearly understands that when it comes to family some feelings cannot be generally aired.  Who knows what the chemistry might be with the Sydney relatives, or what officials know of them?  Listening to some of the opinons of the 'psychologists' not immediately involved and to the human rights lawyers I was tempted to think of 'interfering do-gooders' which is not my usual sort of terminology.

Let's hope the blow back from this has been sufficient for Abbott and Co. not to start questioning the house and other support for for Seena's family.

Patricia WA

February 18. 2011 01:13 PM

tredlgt

With Minister Bowen  handling his portfolio so well lately and the PM constantly doing her job with authority and restraint it's time for a few smiles  and good on yas for the federal Labor Party.
murdochs puppets are still scheming  though and another beat up will soon appear and his highly paid attack dogs and their fellow travellers in tv and radio can once again exaggerate ,lie and distort to prove only the right know best and any one else is just plain stupid and should apologise for doubting their brilliance.
murdochs journos could have explained the mineral tax fairly and the country would have better off, instead they highlighted the owners of the mines complaints so now those poor buggers  are RICHER than ever .Thanks MSM . But that's how murdoch sells adds, just another filthy rich prick protecting his money. So what's in it for abbott and co glory or cash.

tredlgt

February 18. 2011 01:25 PM

NormanK

tredlgt
So what's in it for abbott and co glory or cash.
Power. At any cost it would seem.
Glory and cash are the juicy flow-ons from attaining power.
I agree that we should now be waiting for the next beat-up. Something from Tasmania perhaps?

NormanK

February 18. 2011 01:40 PM

Lyn

Hi Augustus

So glad you enjoyed that link above, I sure did.

those war drums are beginning to beat louder and longer, any takers on how long before a spill.

Talk Turkey should be along soon, he has been warning
us for some time, now the drums are beating, your words
Augustus, this is the beginning,  there will be more.

Cheers

Lyn

February 18. 2011 01:45 PM

BSA Bob

Just a general thought;
It's either in a Sherlock Holmes or Father Brown story (can't remember which one, but they're all worth a read) that a policeman remarks to the hero that detective fiction is the only form of literature where it's assumed as a matter of course that the professionals will get it wrong.
But for a while we've had here a new example of that, as everything this government does is by definition wrong. We have a media doing its best to create history, & then define it retrospectively. It was difficult not to choke the other day, for example, as we were told how much the Government's "backdown" over the RSPT cost the country, a "backdown" the media cheerfully helped to instigate. There are of course other examples that others can supply. No criticism of the Governments opponents in bringing this about- "Mr Abbott, do you know how much your opposition to the RSPT has cost this country?". No, we won't be getting much of that.
I wish I had a great idea as to how to counteract this but I don't. But if this media attitude isn't reined in soon the country will surely suffer before long.

BSA Bob

February 18. 2011 01:54 PM

Lyn

Hi BSA Bob

But if this media attitude isn't reined in soon the country will surely suffer before long.

I believe the country has already suffered, and
going to suffer more because of this media attitude.

I blame them for us having a hung Parliament,
MSM confused Mr and Mrs Public, so much so people
mucked up  their votes. Close to home example, my daughter always voted Labor, August election voted for the Greens,
see she said, that will fix up the major parties.
  Oh Dear! I said.

Lyn

February 18. 2011 01:55 PM

Feral Skeleton

Multiculturalism and Conservatism, Club Troppo:
clubtroppo.com.au/.../#more-14688

Feral Skeleton

February 18. 2011 02:01 PM

Feral Skeleton

Might this be the next furore beaten up by The Austrollian?
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226007841805

Feral Skeleton

February 18. 2011 02:06 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ed Husic, Australia's first Muslim MP on how the Liberals, and Scott Morrison used his religion against him:
www.smh.com.au/.../1129401314365.html

Feral Skeleton

February 18. 2011 02:07 PM

Feral Skeleton

Moir cartoon:
http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/cartoons

Feral Skeleton

February 18. 2011 02:22 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad and Everybody

Very good news for the Government, Andrew Wilkie
has announced he will vote for the Flood Levy.

Just a guess,(hee, hee hee, )but I don't think Mr Abbott will be too happy about this announcement.

Wilkie strikes deal on flood levy6 minutes ago   ABC

Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie has announced he has struck a deal with the Government and will now vote for the levy.
www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/18/3142621.htm

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Lyn

February 18. 2011 03:12 PM

TalkTurkey

Lyn said
"Talk Turkey should be along soon, he has been warning
us for some time, now the drums are beating . . . "

Lyn, M'Dear, dat weren't no warning, dat were a PROMISE!

BSA Bob bewailed the dearth of journalists who would ask, e.g.,

"Mr Abbott, do you know how much your opposition to the RSPT has cost this country?"

Maybe they don't think that far?

Doesn't matter quite so much now anyway. Liberal leakers
and ( * )s -(I know, I know, that's a corollary) have made journos a bit redundant. Journos just have to scramble to catch up with the damage that Liberal intelligentsia (I know, I know, that's an oxymoron) are doing to each other. Regardless of their overall agenda of slagging off everything Labor does, journalists just can't let stories like arch-Christian Grott Morrisscum's interpretation of Jesus' teachings re Gentiles and Samaritans pass without comment, even when they'd rather not, the way your tongue keeps exploring willy-nilly the bloody empty space where you've just had a tooth pulled even when you know you should leave it alone to heal. What a bloody empty space they are at that.

Any humanists near Cremorne, why not break a rule and go to church tomorrow where the unlovely Grott will be happy-clapping and closing his eyes in holy dread and allelujahahahahaing with his fellow devoutees?
- Oh boy, how I'd love to be there!

In Adelaide years ago the Anchor-Pig for the "Stranger Danger" campaign, a high-profile cop, turned out to be a full-on paedophile himself.
In Adelaide years ago a senior fireman turned out to be a fanatical arsonist.

Wasn't it Jesus who railed against "Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites!" ?

Christians are uniquely placed to become hypocrites ever since.
Grott Morrisscum is there to lead the flock in the paths of self-righteousness.

I have changed my mind about Morrisscum's leadership chances.
He's rotten dead meat. If he hopes for resurrection either in this world or his hoped-for next, well, then there was that bit about "Hungry, and ye fed me not . . ."

I can already hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness of perpetual Opposition.

Glad I know a bit of the New Testament. More than Grott anyway.

TalkTurkey

February 18. 2011 03:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn, FS, and all our regulars

What an interesting read you have provided and what intriguing links. Moir's cartoon is apt as Abbott and Morrison struggle to extricate themselves from the tangled web of indiscretion and deceit they have so stupidly spun. Foot in mouth is a perceptive metaphor.  I see even Alan Jones has become tangled too.  Not before time.

Reading TPS and all its linked pieces gives great insight into the contemporary political scene, which local papers here in Cebu don't even mention.

Thank you Hanover for your appraisal of leadership - like everything you write, it is so sensible.

I'm preparing for the conference now - i'll be back later.


Ad astra reply

February 18. 2011 03:23 PM

Ad astra reply

janice
As you may have guessed, 'Hanover' should be 'janice'; I can't imagine how autocorrect on this iPad turned 'janice' into 'Hanover'!

Ad astra reply

February 18. 2011 03:30 PM

Lyn

Hi Talk Turkey and everybody

Everyone should read this article, gosdsip just keeps
coming,this is my biggest, gleeful, delight, today,
hee, hee, hee:  I must say the suspicion was in my
mind anyway.


BLIGH’S BLADE: Scott Morrison pays the price for ratting on Turnbull Vex News

[quote]Turnbull didn’t even do much to hide it, they say, as he is is seen as being very friendly with Fairfax’s clever Lenore Taylor whose sweet disposition is normally enough to coax a few indiscretions from the headstrong ex-leader.

Her opening indicated that someone in the shadow cabinet – with an axe to grand – whose middle names might include Bligh aimed a large naval cannon right at the head of the Coalition Immigration spokesperson:

We love a good piece of revenge pie and this was certainly up there was some of the tastiest.
The aftermath from this story has probably permanently damaged Morrison’s reputation among inner-city elites and the Canberra Press Gallery who have been scandalised at the Coalition’s willingness to embrace racial tensions as a means of obtaining votes. Some think it could even be enough to destabilise Abbott’s leadership irrevocably. More on that later [/quote

www.vexnews.com/.../

Lyn

February 18. 2011 04:04 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad and Everybody

A bit more gossip (keep out of my way Mr d).

Mr Jones upset, Mr Milne upset, Mr Turnbull upset,
Mr Robb upset, Mr Hockey upset, Mr Morrison upset,
Mr Berardi, who else must be someone else:

Liberals undermine Abbott, Glen Milne,  Unleashed ABC

Liberals intent on undermining Tony Abbott’s inner
office have dramatically upped the stakes


Here’s the email sent to The Drum by a Liberal staffer:


just or unjust, the campaign against Loughnan and Credlin, the power couple of Liberal politics in Australian politics, is likely to continue.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/44290.html

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

February 18. 2011 04:47 PM

joe2

NormanK, thankyou for that. I think you covered matters well and your hearing well tuned.  I was listening to Jon Faine when he first raised the matter of the child with Chris Bowen, later read the piece by Barrie Cassidy in The Drum about the interview (where he also absolved Abbott and Morrison of all sins) and watched Heather Ewart on the 7.30 Report.

None of the three seemed in the slightest bit interested in what the minister was saying, so determined were they in pushing their line. All ABC News reports reflected the same animosity with careless regard for facts.

If you were a conspiracy theorist you would think that there main intention was to call attention away from the nasty little racist goings on in the Liberal Party which it seemed to achieve fairly well.

joe2

February 18. 2011 04:53 PM

Augustus

The war has started my friends it will be very bloody and very public.

Popcorn anyone?

Augustus

February 18. 2011 05:06 PM

NormanK

joe2
Cheers. You said : None of the three seemed in the slightest bit interested in what the minister was saying.
I'm trying to get my gerbils (underpaid cog-spinners in my brain) back to work on a short piece investigating that very aspect of contemporary studio interviewing techniques.
Ewart's behaviour with Bowen and as I recall her interview with Joe Hockey recently, both show that she either can't think on her feet (not my preferred opinion) or she is conforming to a model which doesn't work.
Stay tuned.

NormanK

February 18. 2011 05:25 PM

Lyn

Hi Norman K

I thought you might be interested in this link
to "Solidarity Online".

It's wonderful Seena is being released, but there
are now calls for them all to be released, tell me
what you think.  I might be wrong but it seems to
me it doesn't matter what Chris Bowen does, it will
be wrong, poor fellow, Chris has got rules and
regulations to abide by , the other big thing is
how many detainees are on Christmas Island.

Oh! Dear, it's sad, the whole situation, all of it.

Bowen releases Seena - now free them all, Solidarity net.

Bowen had stonewalled for days insisting that Seena must be returned to Christmas Island.
Two days before Minister Bowen announced that Seena would be taken out of detention,

www.solidarity.net.au/.../

Lyn

February 18. 2011 05:35 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
What an exciting time you're having back home with the disorder in the Liberal camp.  It's a pity that someone has leaked to Crikey that the group assessing Labor's election campaign have sheeted home blame to Julia Gillard on several counts - and this is supposed to have been a confidential report.  I guess that's politics, with its propensity for leaks by the disgruntled.

Ad astra reply

February 18. 2011 05:40 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
On another subject, in the few days prior to the conference i've been reading two books in parallel - Tim Flannery's 'Here on Earth - An argument for hope', and Richard Dawkins' 'The Greatest Show on Earth - The evidence for evolution', two great books.  Tim's is essential reading for those concerned about the future of our planet, and Richard's for those interested in neo-Darwinism, of which Dawkins is the greatest living proponent.

The books provide a fascinating contrast - Dawkins takes a reductionist approach and places emphasis on the gene as the determinant of evolution and how we have arrived at where we are.  Flannery takes a holistic approach, subscribing to James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis, a view of Earth as a 'self- regulating system made up of the totality of organisms, the surface rocks, the ocean and the atmosphere tightly coupled as an evolving system that has as its goal the regulation of surface conditions so as always to be as favorable as possible for contemporary life'.  Dawkins believes the hypothesis does not take proper account of evolution by natural selection, with its requirement for competition between organisms.  Flannery believes it is collaboration rather than competition that will achieve the better outcomes for our planet and its people.

I'll develop the themes of these books after my return, but as a foretaste, think about the political implications of these two positions, especially with regard to climate change.  Reflect of which side of politics might favour the collaborative approach, and which side might find the competitive approach more consistent with its ideology.

Ad astra reply

February 18. 2011 06:13 PM

NormanK

Lyn
Thanks for that link. The article is written by Ian Rintoul, the same guy that I quoted from RAC.
Again I should stress that I think their hearts are in the right place but they seem to be refusing to be realistic.
Opening sentence from that article :
A groundswell of community concern has forced Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to back down and announce that Seena, the nine-year old Iranian orphaned in the Christmas Island disaster, will be released from detention on the island.
Why are Bowen's actions a "backdown" (so-described on The 7.30 Report also) rather than a fulfilment of his promise to act as speedily as possible to have Seena and others released? What RAC & Co also don't allow for is the possibility that any one of the many checks the Immigration Department needed to conduct could just as easily have come up with a negative result thereby leaving Seena in limbo and dashing hopes of a speedy resolution.
If the RAC believe that any government in the world is going to take the risk of allowing hundreds of children into the community without stringent safe-guards being in place, then they are kidding themselves. One case of abuse, one case of self-harm, one case of acting out or over-responding to school-yard teasing would, in the first instance, be deplorable and ultimately would probably bring down the government.
Having said that, as an ignorant layman I don't know why these processes take so long.

NormanK

February 18. 2011 06:30 PM

Lyn

Hi Norman K

ummmmm, I agree with you, it seems like 30,000 people
have to approve before one small decision can be made.

There are probably still problems and hurdles
from procedures and red tape Howard put in place,
some rules they can't just change without Parliamentry
approval, Bills, debates, agreeance, obstructive senate
committee's.

Thankyou, for showing me how to do smiley's Norman K

SmileSmileSmileSmile

Cheers

Lyn

February 18. 2011 07:02 PM

NormanK

You're very welcome Lyn. D Mick Weir was the instigator, I was just the conduit. Smile
Speaking of DMW, I'm looking forward to his take on all of this.

NormanK

February 18. 2011 07:32 PM

Jason

I  see today that the mining tax might be the least of Twiggy Forrest's problems!

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg9df-1226008271494

Jason

February 18. 2011 09:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      I hope the Mining Tax is the least of 'Twiggy' Forrest's problems. It was due to his double-dealing with Kevin Rudd, turning around and stabbing him in the back with his anti-RSPT campaign, that made a massive contribution to knocking it off. He made some outrageous claims, which have since been proven to be false, and he helped to organise that ridiculous but effective protest with Gina Rheinhart, plus much more behind the scenes as well, I'm sure, completely disingenuously. I hope he gets the full force of the Karma that is comiing his way as a result of the finding by the Full Bench of the Appeals Court in WA that he was guilty of lying to the Stock Exchange about so-called 'deals' with the Chinese. Of course he's going to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, but I hope they come down on the side of ASIC and the Appeals Court judges.

Feral Skeleton

February 18. 2011 11:35 PM

D Mick Weir

Evening Folks,
I've been out on the road again today and it was a balmy day in Canberra

zzzt - rewind

It was a barmy day in Canberra!

I am having real problems working this out. It seems we have the worst government since federation on the treasury benches. And on the opposition benches? Well it seems we have the worst rabble of an opposition since? Well, since federation!

Where is all this going to lead? Beggared if I know.

It's days like this I can certainly agree with the wit that said: 'The only person to enter parliament with honest intentions was Guy Fawkes'

Hmm ... that cynicism pill I had before dinner seems to kicking in.

D Mick Weir

February 19. 2011 08:31 AM

Lyn

Hi D Mick Weir

Good to see you dropped in last night after a hard
day, all day, don't worry about that pill, we all
take them now and again, not addictive.

Norman K was waiting for you yesterday, he was
interested in your take on something.  You will
have to scroll back.

Julia Gillard is a quiet achiever, she is
certainly withstanding the knocks, good reports
about her negotiating skills.

None of the MSM remind anybody, if  the Coalition
had have won over the independents, they would be in
the same position, I think Abbott with negotiating
skills is unimaginable.

Cheers  

Lyn

February 19. 2011 08:43 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

The Only Way Is Up, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
Gillard has consistently shown herself to be an effective behind-the-scenes negotiator. She knows the value of securing a deal,
newmatilda.com/2011/02/18/the-only-way-is-up


Missing link Friday - diversity, anonymity and libertatian train spotting, Don, Arthur, Club Troppo
Menzies House is also having trouble with people who express their opinions too freely.
clubtroppo.com.au/.../missing-link-friday-diversity-anonymity-and-libertarian-train-spotting

Asylum Seekers and "hospital passes", ken Parish, Club Troppo
the blogosphere should take up the challenge and look at developing a capacity for “televised”
serious debates on policy issues, a bit like the US Bloggingheads.  Interested readers
are invited to get in touch.
clubtroppo.com.au/.../

NBN criticS–final straw clutched, Massivespray,Spray of the Day
the upshot was that faster internet = faster browsing = more sites visited = more chance of malware/viruses….THAT’S IT.
http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/18/nbn-critics-final-straw-clutched/


How dare you fear your eradication.  That's just grubby! Now get back in your box, Pat, M4 MonologueI hope that Alan Jones succeeds in outing the Liberal party leakers. “…the talkback king has privately warned he will “name and shame” tw
m4monologue.wordpress.com/.../

Whew: mining corps, banks, got through okay, Jeremy Sear, An Anymous Lefty
With mining companies (which we’ll call “miners” to make it sound like we’re talking about the workers instead of the investors
http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/

Gough's "nervous Nellies", "Kevin's "panicking Pollies", guest post, larvatus Prodeo
excellent takedown of BER myths) examines how sources can manipulate media coverage – in this case, with uncritical acceptance of “secret polling” data
larvatusprodeo.net/.../


From Ugly Central, John Richardson, Your Democracyseveral colleagues, including the deputy leader, Julie Bishop, and the former immigration minister Philip Ruddock, strongly disagreed with the suggestion,
http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/11724

Lyn

February 19. 2011 11:46 AM

Feral Skeleton

Good morning goilies and boilies! I don't think I had the same potion you did yesterday, DMW, but I woke up this morning with a fire in my belly and an urge to open up the window and yell, "I'm as mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!"
Whereupon, even before I made my breakfast(but after doing the right thing and making my kids breakfast, and no, they don't make their own because I'm a Stay-At-Home Mum/Sucker Smile ), I sat outside in the glorious late summer morning sunshine in Sydney, and wrote my next blog.
   It may not amount to a hill o' beans in the long run, but I felt that I had some things I needed to get off my chest, and you never know in this business, sometimes when you get all fired up, literally, as in the guy in Tunisia, or figuratively, as in the quote from the iconoclastic movie, 'Network', above, then you can move mountains. Smile

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 11:54 AM

Feral Skeleton

   As per usual, just substitute 'Coalition' and 'Prime Minister' for 'Republicans' and 'President':
www.openthefuture.com/.../...s_of_teratocracy.html
  I might also add, that Julia Gillard gets 'empathy and consideration'.

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 12:17 PM

D Mick Weir

Good Morning HS,
interesting, you woke up with 'fire in your belly' an I awoke in a more melancholy and peaceful state.

NormanK,
I am detecting a subtle and small shift in the way the guvmint is doing the immigration/refugee thing. I have some small hope that they have detected a mood swing out there in focus group land and that maybe Morrison has done the country a favour with his 'ill-timed' remarks. His and the Liberal parties hypocrisy have had some of that 'cleansing of sunlight' shone upon thier 'policies' (I used the word policy advisedly as I don't think they really know what thier policy is!)
I am a little sceptical of the speed with which the 'problem' of the young orphan refugee was solved and think that public pressure had a fair bit to do with it. But that is ok sometimes pollies need some public pressure to see the error of thier ways.
What gives me a glimmer of hope is Bowens' speech on "the genius of Australia's multiculturalism" and the reactions too it. An admittedly small sample but in the Oz:
Home-grown values a multicultural triumph - Tim Soutphommasane www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6zo-1226008101159

There is a saying from Asia I think that goes along the lines of 'The first swallow a summer does not make' that comes to mind. It is early days of the 'new paradigm' but maybe, just maybe, there is hope after all.

D Mick Weir

February 19. 2011 12:40 PM

Jason

DMW,
   The Libs can't help themselves,You would have thought that after what Morrison said earlier in the week they might tone it down a bit! No that idiot from where I live in Adelaide says
"Islam's the problems, not Muslims"


www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfkvr-1226008540417

Jason

February 19. 2011 01:07 PM

Lyn

Hi Everybody

February 17, 2011
Sunday morning TV 20 February #auspol
Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews
Full program listing available at: http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/

8.00am  Ch10's Meet the Press
Paul Bongiorno is joined on the Panel by The SMH's Jessica Irvine and Steve Lewis from News Ltd.  Together they interview Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan from Paris with the latest from the G20 meeting.  And the National Director of the grass-roots activist group, GetUP, Simon Sheikh, on the organisation's next big campaign.


8:30am  Sky News 601 Australian Agenda
On Sky News Australian Agenda this week, Australian Workers Union National Secretary Paul Howes is interviewed by Peter Van Onselen and panel Paul Kelly from The Australian and The Daily Telegraph's Piers Akerman.  And Federal Finance Minister and Senator for South Australia Penny Wong.


8:35am  Ch7 Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary
Political editor Mark Riley takes a look at Joe Hockey, the great body politic, and the race to the bottom on immigration.

8:38am  Ch9 Today on Sunday - Laurie Oakes interview
Awaiting confirmation of Laurie Oakes' program guest.


9:00am ABC1 Insiders
On Insiders this Sunday, Barrie Cassidy interviews South Australian Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young.
On the panel, Radio National's Fran Kelly, political writer Glenn Milne and Malcolm Farr from News.com.au
And Mike Bowers talks pictures with Daily Telegraph cartoonist, Warren Brown.


10:00am ABC1 Inside Business & on ABC News 24 @ 5.30pm
This week on Inside Business a feature interview BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers.
Also a look at Telstra's new high speed 4G mobile network and what it means for the NBN.
And business’s critique of the Federal Government’s efforts to reform the Health System
As well there’s the regular update of the latest news from the markets and Alan Kohler’s incisive commentary.

http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/

Lyn

February 19. 2011 01:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Aren't all Muslims Islamic???

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 01:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      The Sarah Palin Political Playbook, 2011 Edition, says that when a Conservative is put into a tight corner, through a mistake of their own making, they must double down and attempt to muddy the waters again! Doncha know? Smile

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 02:04 PM

TalkTurkey

Jason
Yeah
and
Jesus ain't the problem
It's the Christians

TalkTurkey

February 19. 2011 02:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

  I note that Senator Bernardi is absolutely mute about radical Christian cults, extreme Jewish religion and anyone else, under the guise of 'religion' who seeks to turn the clock back on hard fought for social gains made by women, homosexuals, and even scientists and atheists!

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 02:40 PM

Jason

FS,
  Bernardi is your old testament christian nutter who still likes an eye for an eye! unlike your new testament followers who are love thy neighbour types!
And your right while he goes about accusing others about ideology he does exactly the same thing.

Jason

February 19. 2011 02:44 PM

TalkTurkey

Long ago (before the fall of the Berlin Wall) my anthropology lecturer, who had dual citizenship in the USSR and the USA due to having that mix of parentage, and who had spent about a half of his life in each, (and he was early-onset diabetic, and didn't expect to live so very long) said he was going back to live out the rest of his life in Russia, because he said he'd rather live under the semblance (read 'pretence') of totalitarianism than the semblance (ditto) of liberty.
H'mmm,I thought.

Likewise I'd rather have a neighbour who was a Muslim like Waheed Ali than a "Christian" like Bernasty or Morrisscum.

But I gotta tell yous all, I don't want ANY religion 'round me.

I think btw I'm right about Waheed Ali's Islamism, frankly I don't care, as long as he doesn't lay his Islam on me, and as long as he's one of the very few decent unbigoted genuine journalists in this overwhelmingly "Christian" country.

(If I'm wrong about your religious predilections I'm sorry Waheed, anyway I know you're too decent to take offence. Your scrupulous fairness and quality of comments don't go unnoticed.)

TalkTurkey

February 19. 2011 03:30 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Another person of interest who had dual Russian/American citizenship...Ayn Rand!

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 03:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Speaking of Waleed Aly, has anyone thought to ask him for his opinion re the Muslim dog-whistling furore this week? I know that none of the bright sparks on Q&A have thought about putting him on the panel this week with the One Notion Self-Funded Queensland Retiree guy.

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 03:40 PM

NormanK

Lyn
I hope you didn't inhale while you were visiting M4 Monologue. It looks as though Pat (the author) has an enthusiastic following of five other readers named Pat. No doubt he or she is buoyed up by such overwhelming support.
m4monologue.wordpress.com/.../

The deconstructionists here at TPS would have a field day with his (forgive me ladies, it's just easier) arguments. I'll leave that to them.
What his musings do provide is a good launching point for a discussion of culture.
Pat writes : A nation, of its very essence, as I have been saying over and over and over, is “an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages.”
My OED defines "nation" as "a large body of people united by common descent, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory."
This is somewhat different from Pat's dictionary but that's not really the point. Pat is interpreting the dictionary meaning as prescriptive (thou shalt understand the meaning of this word to be ...... for all time) rather than descriptive (in its current usage this word means .....). I can partially sympathise with this interpretation. Up until about 20 years ago I would have been of a similar mindset as I railed against the "Americanisation" of our Australian English and sought refuge in the dictionary as a prescriptive guide to what was right or wrong. It only takes a small mind-shift and a couple of history lessons to understand that English as we know it is the complicated mongrel compilation of words from all over Europe and more recently world-wide. It is a living language which is constantly changing according to usage by its exponents. I still dislike Americanisations (and Twitterise and text abbreviations and anything else that doesn't please my eye) but I no longer denounce it for being wrong but rather simply admit that it doesn't suit me so I choose not to adopt it. However, for Pat the definition of "nation" is fixed and no allowance is made for the idea that in 100 years time, it may have an altogether different definition being more about borders and sovereign governments than ethnicity, culture or language. The English language adapts and morphs in exciting twists and turns which are unpredictable and perhaps at times even lamentable. But it is a living thing which refuses to be frozen in time and according to some experts this explains its longevity and proliferation.
In the same way that Pat clings to his definition of "nation", he is also clinging to his notion of "Australian culture" as though it is something which can be written down and used prescriptively to define all future understanding of what it means. This means Pat has taken a snapshot of what he perceives to be the ideal "way of life" in Australia. Depending on his age and heritage it could have several manifestations but it might include :
Families made up of a man and a woman and 2.4 children
Christian morals centred around a church structure
Freedom to hunt when and where and for whatever he chooses
Barbecues on the weekend
Beer in the fridge
The right to own two cars and a boat
White English-speaking co-workers
Sport as a fanatical pastime
And so on. It's immaterial what his snapshot contains really. He just wants things to stay as they are now or go back to yesterday when the world was perfect.
He would no doubt see no conflict in having pizza for the evening meal on Fridays or enjoying take-away Chinese food for lunch once a week although these things would have been anathema to someone of his attitude fifty years ago.
In saying this : Let them (politicians) know that we hold them personally responsible for their evil policies of race replacement in the guise of “compassion”, or “fairness”, of “diversity” etc., Pat obviously gives no recognition to the fact that white settlers have performed their own brand of race replacement and that if he truly wanted to live out his beliefs he would return to the country of origin of his forebears. So Pat wishes to freeze our society according to a set of ideals and circumstances which best suit him. Organic growth in our culture will not allow this to occur.
No matter how skilful an academic may be, anyone who sits down to write the definition of Australian culture as it is today will have to resign themselves to the fact that by the time their report is published the culture will have moved on into a new phase. Just like the English language, our culture is a living entity which will change according to those things which we adopt and those things which we abandon. And just like English, our values are built on a bedrock of Anglo-Saxon heritage which has evolved to cope with the Australian landscape and the people who inhabit it.
Why mention this now? What the likes of Morrison and Bernardi are encouraging people like Pat to do is to abandon these bedrock foundations of do unto others, freedom of speech, religious freedom, mateship in adversity and a fair go for all in some misguided belief that they are actually defending these very same things. If we want newcomers to this country to adopt these traits and social mores then the best way is to put them on full display for them to appreciate, not hide them under the bed while we beat them about the head with all that we perceive to be wrong with the society they have left behind.

NormanK

February 19. 2011 03:50 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Here's a nice little article for AA to read on his iPad in Cebu about the NBN:
www.theage.com.au/.../...uture-20110218-1azqa.html

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 03:51 PM

Patricia WA

I think it's great having One Nation represented on Q&A.  He can outline and explain the Liberal party policy platform to us and answer questions from the audience.   We need that.

Patricia WA

February 19. 2011 04:27 PM

Feral Skeleton

This has nothing to do with anything political, it's just really,really funny Smile
http://www.27bslash6.com/p2p2.html

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 04:32 PM

Lyn

Hi Norman K

I did hold my breath, when I read Pat's piece, and
must say I was mesmerized in what he/she is trying
to say.
  
After reading the article twice, and now reading
what you say Norman K, my gratitude and thankyou
to you.

Norman K, you have interpreted pure brilliance, out
of Pat's piece, I adore your interpretation & the
way you think.

Pat clings to his definition of "nation", he is also clinging to his notion of "Australian culture" as though it is something which can be written down and used prescriptively to define all future understanding of what it means.

Um, in reference to Pat's supporters, maybe they just all
happen to have the same name. Oh! one is called Cameron.

Norman K your whole dissection of Pat's article is to
be admired by all, that takes the time to read.

Norman K says:

What his musings do provide is a good launching point for a discussion of culture.
Pat writes : A nation, of its very essence, as I have been saying over and over and over, is “an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages.”



Norman K says:

What the likes of Morrison and Bernardi are encouraging people like Pat to do is to abandon these bedrock foundations of do unto others, freedom of speech, religious freedom, mateship in adversity and a fair go for all in some misguided belief that they are actually defending these very same things


Norman K you are crowned with a gold halo for,
"Dissection & Interpretation", just brilliant.
SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

February 19. 2011 04:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

NormanK,
        Your description of Pat and his ilk pretty much defines 'Conservative', as I see it.
  Reflecting upon what people like Pat would like to do to our society, pretty much akin to putting it in Aspic, I have to chuckle to myself when I remember certain 'Inconvenient Truths' that keep surfacing in the lives of these people and the people they wish to influence in the same demographic.
1. It is often the case when you go into the background of these people, you will find a Muslim ancestor, or some other non-white, who has been blended in with the rest of his forebears over time. These people only ever seem to identify with their Anglo ancestors.
2. It's such a pity, when these WASP dog whistlers try so hard to influence their Middle Aged White Men demographic, that that same crowd has been interbreeding happily with Asian women for decades. Although, I admit, they seem to be able to split hairs easily and equate Phillipina bride=good, Muslim woman=bad.
3. Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but, isn't Bernardi a surname of Italian origin? Thus, couldn't it be said that Senator Bernardi is being a wee bit of a hypocrite here? Or, is it OK if I call him a 'Wog' to his face? Smile
4. My security word is 'families'. Lol.(And sorry for the geekspeak, NormanK. Smile )

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 04:45 PM

Feral Skeleton

PatriciaWA,
           I Tweeted that Q&A should have also invited Waleed Aly onto the panel with the One Notion guy this week. Smile

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 05:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Another, NBN=good, Liberal Party Wireless policy=misleading garbage, link:
michaelwyres.com/.../

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 05:37 PM

Feral Skeleton

Augustus,
         It's a war that needs to be fought. I mean, how far Right can a modern day Conservative Party, like Abbott's trying to lead, go before they start getting into National Socialist territory?
   This is the ultimate dichotomy at the heart of the Coalition. It is made up of an increasingly small rump of Small 'l' Liberals, who keep getting disendorsed at subsequent elections and replaced by harder and harder men and women. Now, it is superficially appealing atm to the electorate, hence the poll ratings for the Coalition, and the decision by the moderates to go along with the Hard Asses faction. However, that political elastic can only be pulled so far before it snaps the electorate back to reality. As occurred this week with the Funerals for the Xmas Is. Boat Tragedy victims, and the fate of the little 9yo, Saneen.
   That waas the brilliance of Howard's Pacific Solution. 'They' were 'Out of sight, out of mind". However, that may have been the brilliance of Chris Bowen's move this week to bring the Asylum Seekers to Sydney for the funerals. They became in sight and front of mind. People could no longer ignore the reality of the situation and an adjustment in their attitudes had to occur, or we would have been on the path to another Final Solution methinks.

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 07:45 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
We're now at the conference hotel in Cebu City.  It all begins tomorrow.

I've enjoyed reading your comments.  It seems the Morrison/Abbott foot-in-mouth saga continues.  That's poetic justice.

FS, thank you for your NBN links - reading them brought joy to my heart.  With 88% of Armidale taking up the NBN, in Tony Windsor's electorate, there is no way I can see him abandoning Labor and siding with the party that has promised to 'demolish' the NBN.  If Katherine Murphy, who is not inclined to write supportively of Labor, can bring herself to write what she did, when News Limited is running an anti-NBN line, the case for the NBN must be pretty convincing.

Ad astra reply

February 19. 2011 08:32 PM

D Mick Weir

NormanK,
thankyou for your for your deconstruction of the m4monologue and saving me the trouble of going there and possibly being 'infected'.

I was particularly taken with your use of the examples of English language usage as it 'rang bells' for me. In my wayward yoof I often wrote with (purposful) misspellings and other torturings of 'proper english' and was hounded and berated by my teachers. A small smirk of satisfaction arose in me as I observed txting language and other 'abusive' usage become common currency.

I am waxing and waning on how I see the whole debate around immigration etc. going. A couple of links will illustrate.

Shaun Carney has a perceptive piece that dissects the problems with the 'debate' pretty well:
No positives in plugging into the negatives National Times, February 19, 2011
www.theage.com.au/.../...tives-20110218-1azn4.html

Shaun does a petty good job, IMHO, of summing up the history and dilemas for both sides of the divide. One comment stood out though: 'The low-hanging fruits on the political tree have become Abbott's specialty. The politics of immigration and border security and - let's call it what it is - race and culture playing out on the national stage this week, bore this out.'

Over at Club Troppo Ken Parish has posted Tolerance, acceptance and civility in the immigration debate clubtroppo.com.au/.../ which gives me some heart.
Another sweep across some of the history and a dissection of a post by Chris Uhlmann are the basis of the post but the are some gems in there.

D Mick Weir

February 19. 2011 09:08 PM

NormanK

Lyn
I love bright shiny things so I'll gladly accept the gold halo. Although I'm not sure if it will suit my bad-boy self-image.

FS
The link to the e-mail exchange is one of the funniest things I've read for a while. It's now doing the rounds of family and friends.

D Mick Weir
It becomes clear now that you are one of the enemy in the spelling war. Smile
On the asylum seeker front, I had meant to reply to you today but I got a bee in my bonnet over the other nonsense. Keep the links coming. If you haven't found them, there are more links to Ken Parish musings contained within the article in Lyn's Links today.
clubtroppo.com.au/.../
It is a vexed topic but at least recent developments are baby steps in the right direction.

NormanK

February 19. 2011 09:24 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Has everyone read the Peter Hartcher piece today about the contretemps in the Liberal Party over the last week? That's Peter Hartcher, whose 1st cousin is Chris Hartcher, Liberal Member of the NSW State parliament for the seat of Terrigal, which, for my sins is my seat. Smile And no, I don't vote for him!
   Anyway, here's the link in case you want to read the article:
www.smh.com.au/.../...-baiting-20110218-1azkt.html

   Now, before I read Shaun Carney's piece let me just say that I have been disappointed with his recent work which excuses a lot of malfeasance from the Coalition because of some cockamamie perception of his that Labor, federally, aren't worth two hoots. So, I am hopeful that even he couldn't ignore this past week's bad behaviour by the Coalition.

Feral Skeleton

February 19. 2011 09:37 PM

NormanK

D Mick Weir
Having just read the article in The Age, I had to pop back on to disagree with you. Vehemently.
Where are all these bees coming from?
Carney's evaluation was at best light-weight until we get to this :
He (Bowen) had sent the boy back. For this, he had to be condemned. Would he have won back a single vote from the outraged left-wing base for bringing forward the boy's release? Not at all. The left demands purity and is addicted to punishing its representatives.
To speak of "the left" as though it is a single animal with a head, a stomach and a tail is horse-race journalism at its worst. The animal which is the left, if you are patient and observe it for long enough, is highly predictable in its behaviour. That's what Carney is implying and I take personal affront at the implication. Juvenile stuff.
And then to go on and say that Abbott & Co are half-way onto a winner?
A waste of ink, I'm afraid.

NormanK

February 19. 2011 09:42 PM

Lyn

Hi D Mick Weir

I thought you may be interested in this piece by
"Thewetmale" at Groupthink, it explains a few
questions for me :

John Roskam: W-R-O-N-G on Multiculturalism, Thewetmale, Groupthink
The point about multiculturalism is it emphasises what divides us more than what unites us. It was a term useful when arrivals to Australia were basically from the same culture. Multiculturalism has never encompassed what Australia actually is. Australia is basically one culture. It is a Judeo-Christian liberal democracy.

www.groupthink.com.au/.../

they include a link to the:

Australian Government
The Evolution of Australia’s Multicultural Policy
On this page
Current multicultural policy
Council for Multicultural Australia
Parliamentary statement on racial tolerance
A brief history of multicultural policies

www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/06evolution.htm

Thankyou for your very interesting links

Cheers Lyn

Lyn

February 20. 2011 12:24 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi Nk
as I commented before I am waxing and waning and the Carney piece is one of waning moments. I took more about how the dog whistle still worked from it than the bits about 'the left'. I understand that you might take offence with his 'characterisation' but I find it hard to disagree that no matter what Bowen did he couldn't win over the 'outraged left' which in this case probably included me. Having reread the piece I am, once again, reassessing my position.

P.S. Why is one of my Captcha words for this comment Rage? Hmm I guess it is because sometimes Rage comes with some good music and not because sometimes I get filled Rage!!!!!

D Mick Weir

February 20. 2011 12:34 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi Lyn,
thanks for that link to groupthink. There is a pattern developing on the conservative side. Be careful if you click on this link but 'our friends' at Menzies House have a short piece that has some similarities with what Roskam was saying. Guess there is no surprise in that.
www.menzieshouse.com.au/.../...lticulturalism.html

D Mick Weir

February 20. 2011 03:07 AM

TalkTurkey

A tad belated . . . But didn't it take months for the story to break anyway?

Janice I bet you know this tune:
Barney Bay  (Tune: Galway Bay)

If you ever try to cross a creek in Queensland
In a Gov’ment 4-wheel drive worth $80K
You may watch the water rising up the windscreen
And see the car go down and drift away.

Just to hear again the gurgling down the snorkel
The splashing of the bullbar making spray
Then to sit upon the creek bank in your undies
And watch the salty crocodiles at play.
                  
For the water flowing down the creeks in Queensland
Are swollen by the cyclones as they blow
And the rednecks MacMansions on the floodplains
Are such know-it-alls they just don’t want to know
.
Smartarse uni types from Brisbane placed some markers
Beside the creeks to show how deep they are
But when you’re a gung-ho Aussie bloke like Barney
You know you can drive through them in your car.

And if it proves that you are wrong thereafter
And you come home tired but happy in a cab
You can get a new Landcruiser in the morning
Cos the taxpayers will pick up all the tab.  

TalkTurkey

February 20. 2011 03:11 AM

TalkTurkey

Oops.
The rednecks IN MacMansions . . .

TalkTurkey

February 20. 2011 07:59 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS


Tolerance, acceptance and civility in the immigration debate. Ken Parish, Club Troppo
letting them know where we stand and what we find disagreeable in their opinions… that is the very stuff of vibrant democracy. Without it, tolerance turns into shallow indifference
clubtroppo.com.au/.../

John Roskam: W-R-O-N-G on Multiculturalism, Thewetmale, Groupthink
The point about multiculturalism is it emphasises what divides us more than what unites us. It was a term useful when arrivals to Australia were basically from the same culture. Multiculturalism has never encompassed what Australia actually is. Australia is basically one culture. It is a Judeo-Christian liberal democracy.
www.groupthink.com.au/.../


Islam is NOT the Problem, Neil Cook, The Bannerman regardless of what Abbott’s unspoken thoughts might be on the subject, Bernardi has succeeded yet again to frighten the shit out of his fellow conservatives.
www.waddayano.org/.../islam_is_not_the_problem.php

Messages of intolerance: the slippery slope, Independent Australia
The only thing necessary for evil to the triumph is for good men to do nothing’.
www.independentaustralia.net/.../

A voice of hate, Australian Politics
We now have a federal opposition so shamelessly unprincipled that it will play
the card of racist fear and hatred to claw its way back to power.
australian-politics.blogspot.com/.../...-mike.html

Another call for Morrison to go, clarencegirl, North Coast Voices
A sentiment with which it would be hard to disagree, from the pen of The Daily Examiner Editor David Bancroft on 18 February 2011:
northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/.../...on-to-go.html


Governing Australia by Numbers, a Levy Against Democracy?, Peter, Fact Fiction.
few independent Members of Parliament and one independent Senator certainly adds to the amusement value of parliament, even if not to the value of government of the country.
www.pgw.id.au/.../governing-australia-numbers-levy-against-democracy

Wikileaks – trying to wrest back control, Petermcc
The behaviour of the previous conservative government needs to be examined and the path followed to see who knew, who lied,
http://1petermcc.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/19/wikileaks-trying-to-wrest-back-control/


Newspapers:


Young Turks in line of fire, Stev Lewis & Mark Kenny, Adelaide  Now.
claims the "Young Turks" are trying to destabilise the Opposition Leader.
Senior Liberal sources said Mr Abbott and his office were immediately suspected of briefing Mr Jones and encouraging him to attack the "moderate" MPs on his morning program
www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-fn6bqphm-1226007837411

Liberal power plays hit Tony Abbott , Samantha Maiden, Herald Sun
even predicting the wildcard of an Abbott supporter calling for a spill at Tuesday's Liberal party- room meeting, just to clear the air and rule a line under the silliness.
www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frf7l6-1226008685299

Lyn

February 20. 2011 08:18 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

One important link missing from above,
our friend Ash.

Religious and cultural doom and gloom, Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery
the fact that no comment was released by Tony Abbott’s office post Bernardi airing his views indicate not only does Abbott
http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/20/religious-and-cultural-doom-and-gloom/

Lyn

February 20. 2011 08:37 AM

Feral Skeleton

   All I'll say about the Shaun Carney piece is that I fully expect him to give the Coalition an 'Atta boy!' when they follow his kind suggestion to get their policy house in order because it seems as though condemnation for their vile political strategy of this week is not necessary as far as he is concerned.

Feral Skeleton

February 20. 2011 10:53 AM

TalkTurkey

On Insiders
Re that ( * )worm Bernasty (or was it one of his gang?)
on about how he objects to Halal butchery
Cassidy makes .0001-second comment about Jewish killing likewise
No mention of the word Kosher, that would probably be anti-Semitic in the given context

But ain't it the way

Halal = Moslem = Evil
Kosher = Jewish = Holy

I think both practices weird and quite disgusting.

Just kill the poor bloody critters in the least telegraphed way possible say I, I eat 'em too and they're all Dog's creatures and you bet I have some feeling for their finer feelings, poor sentient prey beings that they are, but there's good old religion again for you, dividing and fragmenting us forever over NOTHING AT ALL, until Humanism reigns. H'mmm.  

BTW Jews and Arabs are both Semites.

TalkTurkey

February 20. 2011 11:08 AM

D Mick Weir

Who or what is a leader? and would we know one if we met them? Defining leadership is not easy as there are many and varied qualities required of a leader.

In simplest terms I suggest that a leader is someone you would 'willingly follow'.

Using that definition as a guide journalists would not know or accept anyone as a leader as they should not willingly follow anyone and we would probably be very suspect of a journalist who just followed the (a) leader! Therefore I don't think they are qualified to pontificate on leadership. That won't stop the all the same!!

We are all leaders in one way or another but often we don't know, or understand it. As an example, HS is, as a mother, is the leader of her family unit; Lyn is a leader in linking and we willingly follow lead by clicking on the links she provides. Ad offers another form of leadership with his clear and well written pieces on politics.

Knowing the little I do about leadership hasn't helped me answer Ads' question what do people want? I figured I needed to investigate further what is leadership? So off to my trusty feed reader database I went to see what was there.

Trent Hamm at the Simple Dollar has helped. Sometime ago he reviewed On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis.

www.thesimpledollar.com/.../

The review comes at it from the point of view of how we as individuals could learn to be a leader but it provides some good info that could also help us undertand what we might expect from a leader.

Knowing how to be a leader – and using that skill from time to time – opens doors. The problem with leadership, though, is that the vast majority of people don’t know how to actually be a leader. For a small number of us, leadership comes easy – a natural extension of who we are. For the rest, though, it’s not obvious at all.

Bennis identifies a pretty large handful of traits one will find in a leader: a guiding vision, passion, self-knowledge, candor, maturity, trust, curiosity, and daring. Bennis argues that most of these traits are not ones people are simply born with ...


There is a lot more good stuff in the review and it is well worth the read.

But back to our leader, the Prime Minister. I suspect that many people don't see any or all of the traits that Bennis listed in Ms Gillard. Two that seem to be missing in the mind (or eye) of many may be trust and daring. After all how can you trust a person that was willing to knife her (former) leader in the back? It may have been daring but is that the sort of daring we want to see?

To answer Ads' question we may have to delve deeper and the discussion will be interesting.

D Mick Weir

February 20. 2011 11:26 AM

Feral Skeleton

Has anyone read,'A Voice of Hate, Australian Politics'? lyn's precis makes it sound as though the guy who writes the blog is decrying the behaviour of Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott. However, that exerpt is just reflecting a quote from this weekend's Mike Carlton column which attacked the Coalition for their behaviour over the Asylum Seekers. The guy who writes the blog is actually an unvarnished Right Wing blogger who launched an attack on Mr Carlton. Who can't even get the construction of his blog right, btw, which is interesting considering he makes much in his profile of how technically savvy he is. Smile

Feral Skeleton

February 20. 2011 11:59 AM

D Mick Weir

Trick Question/s
Did I see footage of our Prime Minister with a handbag in tow?
What will be the comments? About bleedin' time .. poor taste in bags ... I told her to and look now she is?

D Mick Weir

February 20. 2011 12:50 PM

Jason

jj,
  If your still lurking,that well known "Labor" paper "The Land" has this"So far, Armidale seems to like it. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said almost 90 per cent of the 5739 premises eligible to receive the NBN under a trial rollout had opted to connect.

theland.farmonline.com.au/.../2080417.aspx

Jason

February 20. 2011 01:50 PM

2353

And in more media to gladden the LNP's heartstrings a double page article in the Sunday Mail (Qld) edition today about the Islamic schools around the South East of Queensland.  It's a well written favourable piece.  The Principal and some teachers are Christians who enjoy working in the schools environment and even the "Happy clapper" Christian Church next to the Islamic school on the Gold Coast agrees it's a good thing (while suggesting the town planning behind the proximity could have been better.

www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fn6ck45n-1226008719767

2353

February 20. 2011 01:55 PM

2353

Forgot to mention above there is also a considered article on Anna Bligh's resurgence in the polls.

25% popularity in November 60% now.

www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6frerdf-1226008864385

And an article critical of Morrison and Abbott.

www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6frerc6-1226007785148

Is the worm turning?

2353

February 20. 2011 02:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

2353,
     Thank you for the links. I find it hard to go to the Murdoch tabloids for quality journalism, even though it is there sometimes. So good on you for digging it out for me to read. Smile
  Now, I wouldn't for a moment suggest 'the worm was turning' on the Coalition. They have too many journalists still willing them on to victory by offering helpful advice about the mistakes they are making, such as Shaun Carney in The Age, for them to be written-off lightly.
   Also, we had the spectacle today of the ABC broadcasting in full the NSW Liberal Party Campaign Launch with speeches by every man and his dog, such as Tony Abbott, Barry O'Farrell etc. True to form their speeches were heavy on rhetoric and light on substance.

Feral Skeleton

February 20. 2011 02:57 PM

Jason

FS,
  I must say I flicked on news radio and heard Abbott give his speech at the NSW launch, and thought didn't he just dust off last years federal launch speech!

Jason

February 20. 2011 03:06 PM

2353

FS,

I only get the weekend papers at the moment.  Too busy during the week and Rupert gets enough money for some of the slim pickings he produces in Brisvegas  early in the week.

Only happy to help with a few links (sort of) relevant to the current discussion.

2353

February 20. 2011 04:14 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      They say that the NSW Liberals even dusted off last year's federal campaign jingle. Smile
  They are nothing if not living in Conservativeland. Nothing ever changes, and, if it does, you work like the devil to bring it back to the way it was back in the day.

Feral Skeleton

February 20. 2011 04:17 PM

Feral Skeleton

Here's Mr Denmore's commentary on the circle jerk that the Press Gallery engages in:
thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../in-crowd.html

Feral Skeleton

February 20. 2011 04:46 PM

Bilko

I posted this elsewhere but I think it is relevant under this banner also "It is amazing when one has a real neutral media and it just reports the facts and presents them to the electorate instead of spin. Just imagine where labor would be nationally if the same standards applied accross the country.

I hope Anna Bligh builds on this and does not rush into an early election remember WA and NT, and even VIC where a fairly good government was outed."

Bilko

February 20. 2011 05:04 PM

Feral Skeleton

  This guy is my Philosopher hero. He communicates Progressive ideals better than anyone else I know(maybe because that is his job, Professional Communications analyst):
www.huffingtonpost.com/.../...really_b_825504.html

Feral Skeleton

February 20. 2011 06:23 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
This morning I witnessed a scintillating celebration of the Golden Anniversary of the founding of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians in Cebu City.  Over a thousand doctors were greeted by singers and dancers in colorful dress. The Secretary of Health of the Philippines, a transplant surgeon, spoke of the government's programme to bring health care to a large sector of the population that is impoverished, one supported by the Philippines President, 
Benigno S. Aquino III.

Then awards were presented for service and about 150 doctors were awarded fellowships and diplomas.  It was heartening to see so many young doctors graduating as family doctors.

Along with a colleague who is professor of Public Health and Primary Care in the UK, I was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Philippine Academy, a great honour from a group of family doctors whom I have worked among for many years.

So it has been a rewarding start to what promises to be a great conference imbued with the characteristic boundless enthusiasm of the Filipino doctors.  I'll have more news tomorrow.

Ad astra reply

February 20. 2011 06:40 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Wow! Ad, Congratulations, how proud you must be,
we are very proud of you too Ad.

See the best things happen to the best people.

Thankyou for letting us know Ad, as always, it
makes my day to hear from you.

The celebration must have been very enjoyable,
I can imagine, you would have been very excited


I was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Philippine Academy, a great honour from a group of family doctors whom I have worked among for many years.

Best wishes to you and your wife

Lyn

February 20. 2011 08:42 PM

Acerbic Conehead 2

AA, the news mightn’t have reached you yet, but reports are coming in that Ban Morrison is at the moment receiving treatment at the Emergency Department for multiple wounds suffered at the hands of some KKK-types.  Seemingly, Ban was about to attend a Liberal Party fancy-dress shindig dressed in a burqa, when a group of youths, thought to be Young Liberals dressed in bed-sheets, started to attack him with stones.  He has been taken to hospital, but is well enough to re-record an updated version of his classic hit (no pun intended), “And it stoned me”.  Sing along with him, a she is feeling very sorry for himself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX8nAZftZL4
:- (
Half a mile from the fancy-dress
And the stones kept rainin’ down
Woke up in Emergency
In a skimpy hospital gown
Must have taken my burqa off
And laid me on my back
looked a sorry sight for sure
Ev’ry inch of me blue and black
:- (
Oh, the throbbing
Oh, the throbbing
Oh, the throbbing
Need more than two Panadol
:- (
And they stoned me to my soul
The stonin’, it took its toll
And they stoned me
And they stoned me to my soul
Our side scored an own goal
When they stoned me
:- (
Then the nurse came in, ready to tend my wounds
And I started to feel high
She took one look at me and let out one big sigh
Saw the burqa on the floor and wore a mocking grin
And called me a nasty perv
She said for culturally cross-dressing
I had a bloody nerve
:- (
Oh, the throbbing
Oh, the throbbing
Oh, the throbbing
Need more than two Panadol
:- (
Then Tones walked in with a shit-eating grin
And enquired how I was
Then he saw the burqa on the deck
Said it didn’t help my cause
“To have a tranny for a shadow minister
Would cause a great big stench”
Out came his people skills, said “shit happens”, and
Demoted me to the backbench
:- (
Oh, the throbbing
Oh, the throbbing
Oh, the throbbing
Why didn’t those stupid Young Libs realise we were on the same team!

Acerbic Conehead 2

February 20. 2011 08:45 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn

Thank you for your kind words. It was a great honour, all the more so when my wife was invited to come on the stage to share the honour.  She too has worked for years with this great group of family doctors.

Ad astra reply

February 20. 2011 09:40 PM

Augustus

Ad Astra, congratulations on your fellowship from your peers it is the highest of honors.

What do I want in a leader?, What do we want in a leader?.

I can't answer for other's but I can answer for myself, Integrity, with integrity you won't be swayed by what is percieved as the consesus reality but to know and stand by the truth.

                      Ad Astra for PM

Augustus

February 20. 2011 10:18 PM

2353

Congratulations and it seems well deserved AA.

Have a wonderful time celebrating your honour.

2353

February 20. 2011 10:35 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
          You and your lovely wife never cease to amaze me. Smile
You are the epitome of 'The Quiet Achiever'.

Feral Skeleton

February 20. 2011 10:46 PM

TalkTurkey

Congratulations to the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians in Cebu City for awarding Ad astra an Honorary Fellowship of the Philippine Academy.

TalkTurkey

February 21. 2011 06:38 AM

janice


Congratulations to you and your wife, Ad astra. I'm sure The Political Sword family all share the belief that this recognition is well deserved.  

janice

February 21. 2011 08:22 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Accentuate the positive, Andrew Elder Politically Homeless
Liberal MPs may see some mileage in "letting Cory be Cory",
SA Liberals should get rid of this fatuous ***** before
he causes some real trouble
andrewelder.blogspot.com/.../...is-blog-takes.html

The In Crowd, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
the media, their markets shrinking, their authority under challenge, their business models imploding,
thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../in-crowd.html

Menzies House disrespects the Australian Public, again. , Trev, Trev's Political Rants
Menzies house website and founders are promoting HATE , Racism , and also they want the DEATH penalty brought  in to Australia YES thats what the Menzies house want and IF ABBOTT ever got to be PM (WHICH HE WILL NOT) he has Core values just like the red necks at Menzies House.
http://trevspoliticalrants.com:80/2011/02/20/menzies-house-disrespects-the-australian-public-again/

Oz Fail #4, John Quiggin
Oz chief political reporter Matthew Franklin tries for a bit of a beat-up with this story about some platitudinous speeches given by Swan and Gillard
http://johnquiggin.com/

Realigning the New Liberal party, Petermcc's blog Leaving Abbott in charge is seriously damaging the brand if they don’t want to be repositioned out in Barnaby’s
http://1petermcc.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/20/realigning-the-new-liberal-party/

If the media took the pressure off and just went
A “Soft-Shoe Shuffle” …,  bleyzie, The Eye-Ball opinion
about reporting the news – news that important and newsworthy – I am 100% positive that Leaders around the world would begin to make better decisions.
http://bleyzie.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/20/a-soft-shoe-shuffle/

Stolen items–a sticky post,Neil Cook,Neils Second Decade.
Bowen, reflecting on his experiences in Fairfield, offered a robust defence of our diversity.
http://neil2decade.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/20/stolen-items-a-sticky-post/

Morrison:racist — or just a termite?,Neil,Neil's second decade.
People can have issues with multiculturalism without being racists. It is as well to remember that.
neil2decade.wordpress.com/.../

Migration malignancy could kill Abbott, Alister Drysdale, Business Spectator
Fear mongering can work – one only has to listen in to US Fox News commentary to see how the human instinct can be manipulated.
www.businessspectator.com.au/.../immigration-Scott-Morrison-Tony-Abbott-Christmas-I-pd20110221-E9R2P

For those who missed the Insiders:

Insiders Video
www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2011/s3143532.htm

Q and A tonight:

Monday 21 February 2011 at 9:35pm
Anna Bligh - Queensland Premier
Tim Flannery - Newly appointed Australian Climate Commissioner
Barnaby Joyce - The Shadow Minister for Regional Affairs and Water

Gina Castelain - indigenous businesswoman
Ian Nelson - Queensland State Director of One Nation
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/

Lyn

February 21. 2011 09:17 AM

Acerbic Conehead 2

AA, congratulations to you and your wife on the gong.  Looking forward to seeing you receive the knighthood from Betty Windsor, lol.  Seriously though, it is a tremendous recognition of your work.  You and your wife should be suitably chuffed.  Enjoy the rest of your stay in the Philippines and we look forward to your return.

Acerbic Conehead 2

February 21. 2011 09:22 AM

Ad astra reply

Augustus, 2353, FS, TT, Janice
Thank you for your kind and generous remarks, and apologies for my delayed response - last evening was another spectacular welcome to conference delegates from the Governor of Cebu with glittering dances of young people, so full of verve, energy, enthusiasm and happy faces. Filipinos know how to make visitors feel very welcome.

Today is another busy one - I'll report back later.

Ad astra reply

February 21. 2011 09:31 AM

Jason

Redneck radio may be on the way out, at least in the US

Lets hope we see it here as I think it is starting to do at least here in Adelaide.Day also gives some figures for (Sydney) which was the point I was trying to tell Kerry the other week that for all their bluster their reach and audience is small.So I guess the only question that remains is if 86% of the radio (Sydney) market don't listen to the shock jocks why are the pollies scared of them?

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg996-1226009086924

Jason

February 21. 2011 09:32 AM

Ad astra reply

AA
Thank you too for your congratulations, and for yet another 'Ban Morrison' classic.

Ad astra reply

February 21. 2011 09:42 AM

Jason

AA,
  May I also add my congratulations to you and Mrs AA for the  recognition you have recieved!

Jason

February 21. 2011 09:45 AM

TalkTurkey

I thought this was a bit funny. (P.Q.lia)
[From Andrew Elders Politically Homeless, see Lyn's Daily Links]

"Accentuate the positive

This blog takes good journalism for granted
and bags poor journalism hard.
The former can't continue but the latter must."

Erm . . .

But the rest of the article is very decent blogarithm anyways.
Race-baiting, ain't it the pits. Bernasty, Morriscum, Abbortt and THEM, they're out to start a real race war in Oz, one which will fester down through the generations if they have their way. Like Ireland (religion), the Middle East (religion), India/Pakistan (religion), Sri Lanka (religion + ethnicity) Australians will be able to split along lines of ethnicity, religion and RACE as well. Surely that last line ought to be enough to make true-hearted Australians of all kinds both fearful and determined to scotch (no pun, oh well)  this poisonous Coalition and "journalism". They must not win!

Sure is easier to smash than to construct. Let's smash THEM!

TalkTurkey

February 21. 2011 10:06 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Now, while we might rejoice at a lessening of the effect on people of Shock Jock Radio, we must be afraid, very afraid, of Rupert Murdoch's latest move, into the minds of our children(another reason not to lect his tool in Australia, Tony Abbott, because you could see the same thing coming down the pike to an electronic Whiteboard at your child's school if he got into power):
www.dailykos.com/.../-Fox-News-Owner-payoffhalf-a-trillion-of-US-taxpayer-dollars

Feral Skeleton

February 21. 2011 11:06 AM

NormanK

Ad astra
Congratulations to you and your wife for your thoroughly deserved recognition and honour.

NormanK

February 21. 2011 11:08 AM

Ad astra reply

AC
Of course, AA should have been AC!

Jason
Thank you too from me and my wife.

I'll be out of Internet range for quite a while today.

Ad astra reply

February 21. 2011 11:54 AM

Feral Skeleton

This is disgusting:
blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/.../
  Only John Singleton's Radio Network could come up with a radio competition such as this.

Feral Skeleton

February 21. 2011 11:56 AM

Feral Skeleton

It seems as though the Australian media got a handle on the wrong Iranian refugee boy in Sydney last week:
www.greenfest.com.au/.../i_am_jaafer

Feral Skeleton

February 21. 2011 12:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

Fantastic line from George Soros, Progressive Philanthropist and Billionaire:
Soros said he thinks Fox News "has imported the methods of George Orwell, you know, newspeak, where you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them."

Feral Skeleton

February 21. 2011 12:22 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            You have misinterpreted what Andrew Elder was saying. He was merely reiterating that he will continue to let good journalism go through to the keeper, and keep taking bad journalism to task. Smile

Feral Skeleton

February 21. 2011 01:05 PM

Lyn

Hi Hillbilly

You said:

This is disgusting:

blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/.../
  Only John Singleton's Radio Network could come up with a radio competition such as this.


Mark Day says more, but I was interested in the
Alan Jones listeners stats:


Redneck radio may be on the way out,at least in the US,
Mark Day, The Australian.


Redneck, shock-jock radio can be ugly, awful, vulgar, gross, tasteless, repugnant, loathsome, nauseating, abominable and abhorrent, to nominate just a few applicable adjectives. It is also a corrosive force in society, spewing bile from a pulpit of freedom


Alan Jones, the top-rated and most influential of 2GB's broadcasters has less than 5 per cent of the audience under 40, and fewer than one in 10 between 40 and 54. He blitzes his rivals in the 55-plus brackets, pulling 30 per cent of the 65-plus. But that's still 70 per cent of oldies who don't listen to him.

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg996-1226009086924

Lyn

February 21. 2011 01:15 PM

NormanK

It's hot and humid up here in NQ today. Perhaps that explains my crankiness. Frown
In recent months there has been an avalanche of analysis of what is wrong with journalists and how they go about their job. Most of it centres on weighty subjects which offer no immediate answers but only seek to ask more questions.
How about we get back to a few fundamentals.
For example, what is this about?
Labor MPs question Abbott over immigration
Two federal Labor backbenchers have resurrected the issue of immigration and the claims of racism levelled at members of the opposition.
While much of the last week was mired in the comments of opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison, the issue had disappeared by Monday.
Labor backbencher Andrew Leigh on Monday told reporters at Parliament House that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had "a lot to answer", but denied suggestions he was breathing life into a dead issue.

news.ninemsn.com.au/.../labor-mps-question-abbott-over-immigration
Headline news on the previous Friday needs to be "resurrected" on the following Monday? What might have kept the story alive over the weekend - more inflammatory statements from the imbeciles pushing their Muslim barrow? Obviously, someone speaking out against these remarks by members of the Coalition is no longer news. Missed the boat I guess.
According to whom had the issue disappeared by Monday? It hasn't disappeared for me. Has it disappeared for you? The idea that the news week commences with a blank slate and any issue from last week will need to have "life breathed into it" is a fallacy created by the media. It most certainly is not a creation of consumers of news.
If you are a conspiracy theorist, you could argue that ninemsm is playing its part in trying to bury the story but I suspect that it is more indicative of the concept of perpetual present promulgated by media houses and some politicians. "I mean, really Norman, that is just sooo yesterday." To me this is just further proof that the MSM dishes up whatever they want to serve (in a quest for ratings) rather than providing that which their audience desires.
Gripe #2
On Sunday's edition of Insiders - that wonderful programme where journalists who know so much more than we do (because they have the inside running on information, gossip and analysis) share their profound ponderings with the Australian public - we had four professional journalists discussing Minister Bowen's decision to send Seena (among others) back to Christmas Island. These journalists knew well in advance that they would be on the programme and that the funerals/Bowen/Seena issue would be discussed at some point. Why then did NOT ONE of these professionals use his/her finely honed skills and carefully nurtured contacts to ascertain whether there were constraints which tied Bowen's hands and that in fact he may have had little choice but to return the funeral attendees back to detention. Or to the contrary, bring irrefutable proof that the Minister could have used discretionary powers to waive the checks and balances he claimed needed to occur before he could release Seena into the community.
What did they bring? Nothing. Not a bloody thing. More lip pursing and tsk tsking about how Bowen got a judgement call so very wrong. And more baseless opinion. All four of these journalists would have contacts in the public service so why was it that not one of them could offer any more meaningful insight into what happened than what you or I could glean from already published accounts? Because they are lazy overpaid oafs who only react to press releases and e-mails from their "sources" and if it should so happen that no-one contacted them on this issue then too bad.
I wouldn't have cared if their investigations had dug up condemnatory material which cast Bowen in a bad light, provided of course that it was based on fact.
Four senior journalists and yet not one fact. Just more opinions. Get off your bums, you bums. Frown





NormanK

February 21. 2011 01:45 PM

2353

NormanK's post makes me wonder if the "senior journalists" have been spoon fed by the LNP for so long, they can't do it any other way.

No wonder they don't like Gillard - I suspect she doesn't feed 'em.

2353

February 21. 2011 02:15 PM

Lyn

Hi Norman K

Now, you know, I can't give you another gold halo,
yes I know, you deserve another one, but Norman,
we just haven't got the funds.

That said, you will need to settle for my compliments
to you, your well thoughtout comment, stable measured
opinion,  is a delightful read, thankyou so much.

Yes, I can imagine how stinking hot you are today,
because it's stinking hot in Hervey Bay, never mind
won't be for much longer.

Now, you said " It hasn't disappeared for me. Has it disappeared for you?"    no it certainly has not
disappeared for me and from the army of blog site owners
and  their readers it has not disappered from the blogosphere.

You know what gets me cranky, whenever Abbott an co shoot
themselves in the foot, the MSM never fail to say in their
reports:
              "BOTH PARTIES"

it's always both parties, so then you see the public will
think, "Oh well, its both of them".  If any one journalist,
reports something in the Governments favour, there is
always a "but" at the end, and they bring their rarely, reasonably, fair article crashing down.

Love this ("I mean, really Norman, that is just sooo yesterday.")

Cheers  SmileSmileSmile

Lyn

February 21. 2011 05:56 PM

Patricia WA

Well, 'yesterday' I was fuming over Insiders and Barry Cassidy leading with his self justifying attack on the government.  Remember he was foremost in attacking Minister Bowen on the issue of Seena when seemingly desperate for a counterbalance to the awfulness of the Opposition over the funeral issue.  Surely he'd listened to the news  since then, and watched that inept interview by Heather Ewert?
Yet, he used only one excerpt from it which most showed the irrelevance of her questions to a very patient Chris Bowen - her  empty challenge that he had to admit to total failure.  This after having every one of her previous questions answered and her allegations refuted.

That's not laziness that's outright manipulation of the truth.  Cassidy should not be introducing that program.  I've commented elsewhere that even without the crass populism of a Bolt or Ackerman that was the most biassed edition of Insiders yet.

When I despair of Labor and the PM ever having a chance to break through media reporting like this I remind myself that the Right must see Julia Gillard as a very real threat and their own team not up meeting that threat.  They're doing everything they can to prevent the government from making headway.  

Patricia WA

February 21. 2011 06:06 PM

Jason

Q&A will be coming from Brisbane on Monday night at 9.35pm ESST on ABC1.

Tony Jones will be joined by:

Premier Anna Bligh
New Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery
The Coalition’s Barnaby Joyce
Cape York businesswoman Gina Castelain
Queensland state director One Nation Ian Nelson

It airs 9:35pm Monday on ABC1 and live AEDT on ABC News 24.


I can hardly wait!

Jason

February 21. 2011 07:28 PM

NormanK

Patricia WA
I must confess that I cherry-picked the bits of Insiders that I wanted to watch on-line. If I had seen the montage you spoke of, my indignation would have taken a slightly different flavour. But, even so, that only explains Cassidy's and his producers' desire to belittle the government (yet again) but it doesn't excuse the other three from doing a bit of homework. Professionalism? They don't know the meaning of the word.
Good news on the Youth Allowance debate which was threatening to turn into a major headache. Good on ya, Julia!

Lyn
Take care in the storms sweeping over you.

NormanK

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