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The Convoluted Convoy

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Friday, 12 August 2011 20:53 by Acerbic Conehead
It was believed by many that the reign of the evil witch-queen, Gillard, would be short-lived.

Hopes in this regard, however, were roundly dashed when the bitch escaped from the chaff bag and swam ashore.

Now, understandably, the peasants are revolting and demanding a new election or at least the reversal of the plan to introduce the dreaded big new gigantic CARBON TAX! BOO! HISS!

And so, the revolting people are making their voices heard by getting together a mighty Convoy that will descend upon Canberra from all parts of the realm. It is THE CONVOY OF NO CONFIDENCE! YEAH!

But, keen to strengthen their forces by seeking allies overseas, the revolting people have asked Cardinal Pell to put out some feelers in his networks. So, to help his friend Tony Abbott, the Cardinal, at a meeting of bishops in Rome, mentions the Convoy idea to that celebrated Irish Episcopal figure, Bishop Brennan. Yes, that Bishop Brennan. The one unfortunate enough to have the parish of Craggy Island in his diocese, with its misfit clerical cast of Frs Ted, Dougal and Jack, plus their loopy housekeeper, Mrs Doyle.

Fans of the quirky comedy will remember that Ted made a big mistake when he agreed to take up the dare of his great rival, Fr Dick Byrne, parish priest of the adjacent “Rugged Island”, to kick Bishop Brennan up the arse. Ever since then, Ted has schemed to get his own back on Dick, but to no avail. For Bishop Brennan, however, the ignominy of getting his arse kicked by a nincompoop such as Fr Ted was the last straw in what he regarded as a campaign of insubordination against his Episcopal authority. The bishop is now determined to get a bit of peace and quiet for a while. He readily volunteers to Cardinal Pell the shonky services of the three wacko Craggy Island priests, emphasising that they are Ireland’s version of the Tea Party and will even bring their own milk-float to join the Convey. Once George hears mention of Tea Party, he’s sold, and agrees immediately to the three wild colonial boys, and even wilder girl, to be transported forthwith.

Click the link to see the YouTube clip of Father Ted – Dougal becomes a milkman


Oh, and by the way readers, the local council on Craggy Island had recently brought in a carbon tax, which bankrupted the whole island’s economy, including the dairy where the late Pat Mustard worked. However, this didn’t worry Fr Jack, as he now had an excuse for pouring Guinness on his cornflakes. So, in a fire-sale, Ted bought a float that Pat himself used to drive, and this is the one they are bringing to Australia with them.

In due course, the Irish Tea Party boards the plane in Dublin, having supervised the loading of the milk-float into the hold of the aircraft. They are no sooner on board, however, when Fr Jack gets up to his usual antics and shouts, “GIRLS!” and “ARSE!”, every time he sees a hostess. And his additional constant refrain of “DRINK!” has them walked off their feet between the galley and his seat in cattle class. Initially he is a bit of a novelty but this soon wears off. By the time the plane is crossing the English Channel, the staff are hiding in the galley, wary of countenancing any further meetings with the inebriated cleric.

And, by the time the plane is nearing Sydney and flying very low, the cabin staff is at their wits end. A deputation has gone to the captain and he orders Jack to be clapped in irons. Then, back in the galley they discuss who will be allocated the death-defying task of getting close enough to Jack to get the hand-cuffs on him. Fortunately for Jack, however, Mrs Doyle had gone up to the galley again to get some more tea to serve to the passengers. She listens outside and sneaks back to warn Jack of his impending arrest.

Jack, however, has had experience of escaping from planes before. He moves to the back and finds two parachutes, one of which he puts on himself and the other on the newly-filled drinks trolley. He opens the emergency door, pushes out the trolley and leaps after it. Not long afterwards, Fr Jack’s description is being circulated across all police stations in the greater Sydney area. He is a wanted man.

Eventually, having disembarked into the chilly Australian winter air, Frs Ted and Dougal and Mrs Doyle set off at four miles per hour in their milk-float to join the Convoy, which is being led by Tony Abbott, somewhere to the south-west of Sydney. In regards to Fr Jack’s fate, however, Ted is rather philosophical. Dougal, in contrast, fears the worst.

Dougal: Ted! Do you think Fr Jack is in heaven, workin’ as a taster in the big brewery they have up there...or is he in hell, gettin’ bossed around by a load of nuns night and day?

Ted: Oh, I don’t think he’s in either of those two places, Dougal...In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see his jolly face coming towards us as we drive along these picturesque Australian streets...

[Then, a few moments later, and speaking of the devil, they hear plaintive cries coming from the leafy branches of a tree close-by. They look up, and there is Fr Jack, still in his parachute harness, swinging, déjà-vu-style, from one of the higher branches, trying futilely to get his grasping hands on the drinks trolley. They cut him down, give him a bottle of whiskey and hide him under the milk-float’s tarp, in case the cops see him.

A few kilometres down the road, parked in an off-road lay-by, the Irish Tea Party finally clamp their eyes on the Revolting People’s Convoy. And what a motley crew they appear to be. As mentioned, their leader has, in typical convoy-speak, dubbed himself, “Rubber Duck” Tony. His mode of transport is a steam locomotive. “Have you ever seen a wind-powered train?” he rhetorically asks his co-revolters. He plans to stoke his engine with copious amounts of coal, just to prove his point.

Following Tones, and again adopting one of those strange convoy “handles” (nicknames) is Barnaby “Creek in the Neck” Joyce, who is driving a brand-new four-wheel-drive, supplied courtesy of the very taxes he purports to hate.

Then comes Joe “Pig-out” Hockey in his pie-van, followed by Lord “Monkey Nuts” Monckton who, in keeping with his aristocratic pedigree, is driving the Australian State Coach.

And just ahead of the Irish Tea Party comes some other international guests – two Mormons on their push-bikes, who want to “bring Jesus back into Canberra!” They are busily swigging from their bottle of Everlasting Life Elixir, which serves the dual purpose of keeping their teeth perennially white and sparkling and ensuring their hair maintains its crew-cut style, which means they never have to visit the barbers.

And last, bringing up the rear, or “raking the leaves” in truckie-talk, is the Irish Tea Party in their milk-float.

So, everyone is champing at the bit to get the Convoy started and push on with the campaign to liberate Canberra from the evil lefties. However, a serious snag occurs which puts the leader, Rubber Ducky Tony out of the running. It seems that he had boasted to the local coal-merchant, a bit of a shyster as it turns out, that carbon is invisible. Realising then that there is indeed one born every minute, the coal merchant proceeded to sell to Rubber Ducky, 50 empty bags of coal. So, his steam engine is going nowhere.

Now, it’s over to Barnaby “Creek in the Neck” to step up to the plate and take over the leadership of the Convoy. However, in a misguided attempt to milk even further his celebrity status after writing off his taxpayer-provided four-wheel-drive earlier in the year in a swollen Queensland creek, Barnaby pulls another one of his stunts by rocking up wearing scuba gear. Unfortunately for him, it was a double stunt, as Creek in the Neck, in an attempt to prove that CO2 is harmless, had his tank filled with the stuff and had been busily sucking on it for the benefit of any media types who were around. By this stage, he is completely gaga and totally incapable of even leading a thirsty horse to drink at a swollen creek, never mind commanding the CONVOY OF NO CONFIDENCE. So, ominously, the Convoy hasn’t moved an inch, and its two leading lights have both succumbed to hubris.

However, never one to miss an opportunity to big-note himself, Joe “Pig-out” Hockey takes control and his pie-van starts to lead the others out onto the highway. Moreover, to help with communication between the members of the Convoy, they have all been issued with a CB radio.]

Pig-out: Okay, good buddies...let’s drop the hammer down...and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for Gillard’s bears who are goin’ to be on the lookout for us...And if I spot any haemorrhoids with a polaroid up ahead, I’ll slow down so we don’t get a great big new speeding ticket from those rotten Carbon Cops...And don’t bumper sticker each other, good buddies, or we’ll have a fender bender...do y’all Julie?

[Incidentally readers, in Australian truckie-speak, they say, “do you Julie”, instead of, “do you copy?”

Fr Dougal, meanwhile, who is the Irish Tea Party’s designated milk-float driver, is going along at the break-neck speed of four miles an hour. However, after listening to Pig-out’s truckie vernacular on the CB radio, he is totally perplexed.]

Dougal: Ted! What’s he sayin’? I think he’s mad!

Ted: I agree, Dougal...you’d think we were in a foreign country, so you would...

[However, having to listen to Pig-out’s gibberish on the CB radio is the least of the worries being experienced by the Irish Tea Party. Mrs Doyle is weeping and wailing because the milk-float reminds her of her sadly-departed ex-lover, the randy milkman of Craggy Island, Pat Mustard. And Fr Jack has already drunk his bottle of whiskey and is vociferously shouting “Arse” and “Feck” at every passer-by. Also, Pig-out, in the faster vehicle, has stormed ahead and has left everyone else behind.

Eventually, however, the remaining participants in the Convoy – the milk-float, the Mormon cyclists, Monkey Nut’s State Coach and an assortment of other Revolting People in their camper-vans – notice that Pig-out has pulled into a lay-by up ahead. They follow in behind him, alight, and walk over to the van to put their orders in for morning tea. However, much to their collective dismay, Pig-out has scoffed all the pies, leaving none for anyone else. He is happily snoring away in the driver’s seat of the van. Mrs Doyle takes advantage of a captive audience to pour out cups of tea for everyone.]

Dougal: Ted! Did you see that, Ted? Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, isn’t it Ted?

Ted: It is, to be sure, Dougal...And I hear this fellow has got a reputation for coming up with great big black holes...After this carry-on, he’s surely got a great big black soul as well...heh...heh...Anyway, folks, we better get a move on and try to reach Canberra before the bottle-shops close, or Fr Jack will have a fit...

[So, the much depleted CONVOY OF NO CONFIDENCE rolls on and Monkey Nuts leads the way in the Australian State Coach. However, they have no sooner gone a few hundred metres up the road, when Smokeys’ sirens are heard and the Carbon Cops, in their new-fangled police-cars with the windmills on the roof, pull up in front of Monkey Nuts, forcing him to stop. Further back, Ted, who has just stuffed Fr Jack back under the tarp, to hide him from the Carbon Cops, can just about hear what’s being said. It is something about Monkey Nuts being under arrest for impersonating a Member of Parliament and stealing the family vehicle of some bloke called Billy Windsor and his sheila Kate Middleton.

As the Convoy has stopped, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast, Ted takes advantage of all the inaction. Due to the copious cups of tea he has drunk, courtesy of Mrs Doyle, he needs to answer a call of nature, so heads off to find a tree to hide behind. This is Fr Jack’s big chance. He springs out from under the tarp, jumps out of the milk-float tray and bolts off down the road, in search of some more alcoholic sustenance.

Coincidentally, the two Mormons had also taken advantage of the break in proceedings and had cycled off to try and proselytise the inhabitants of a nearby mansion. However, they weren’t having much luck, as the occupant wouldn’t open the door and kept hollering out to them, “Go away! We have some already!” The silly buggers didn’t realise they were knocking on the door of Donny Osmond’s Australian holiday home!

Then, suddenly, as the two Mormons are trying to replenish their liquid intake from their hip-flasks of Everlasting Life Elixir, which will automatically maintain their clean-cut Mormon image, along comes Fr Jack, who assumes they have whiskey, or some other interesting, equally alcoholic, liquor therein.]

Fr Jack: Drink! Drink!

[The Mormons can’t believe this horrible apparition that has incarnated itself before them is human. Especially as the first assault on their senses is the smell. You see, Fr Jack hasn’t changed his clothes since he “graduated” from the seminary sixty years beforehand. One of the Mormons reaches into his pack-pack, fishes out a spare white shirt and black strides and chucks them at Jack.]

Mormon 1 (holding his nose): Hell, man, you don’t half stink...Here...change your clothes every once in a while, will ya...

[Jack grabs the proffered items of said clothing and, as it’s winter and he’s feeling a bit chilly, puts them on over his dishevelled and stained clerical garb.]

Jack: Drink! Drink!

Mormon 2: Oh, just go away, old man...the owners will never open the door and listen to our sermon with you hanging around...

[By this stage, Jack’s patience, of which he didn’t have much of in the first place, has run out. He grabs Mormon 2 in a squirrel grip.]

Fr Jack: Drink! Drink!

[Mormon 2 is too busy gasping for air to have enough wits about him to hand over the hip-flask of Everlasting Life Elixir. Jack assumes this lack of a positive response is, in truckie-talk, a definite “negatory”. He gives the squirrel grip a 45-degree twist with pike. This has the desired effect and Mormon 2, purple-faced, hands over the hip-flask. Mormon 1, fearing the same treatment, readily hands his over as well, and quickly helps the now-procreationally-challenged Mormon 2 onto his bike. They both cycle away as fast as their bicycle-clips can carry them. With a grin of satisfaction, Fr Jack thirstily proceeds to throw the contents of each hip-flask down his eager throat.

Meanwhile, Ted has come back from his call of nature and notices that Jack has escaped. He berates Dougal and would have done the same to Mrs Doyle, only she was, again, busily serving cups of tea to the Convoy of Revolting People.

Then, up ahead, he notices Monkey Nuts, in handcuffs, being thrown, unceremoniously, into the back of a solar-powered paddy-wagon.]

Chief Carbon Cop: Right you lot...move along...nothing to see here...go on home...your wives have got your supper ready...your Ovaltine’s getting cold...way past your nigh-nigh-time...

[All the Revolting People take the hint and, one by one, drive off in their camper-vans, back to their farms or senior citizens’ walled villages. The Chief Carbon Cop choofs Ted along also.]

Ted: Erm...to be sure, to be sure, Officer...We’ll just gather up the cups and saucers first, give them a quick wash and we’ll be off too...

Chief Carbon Cop: Yes, make sure you do, padre...When we drive past again in a while, we don’t want to see any of you old fools hanging around here any longer...

[The Carbon Cops get into their environmentally-kosher vehicles and speed off, leaving Ted, Dougal and Mrs Doyle standing there forlornly, wondering if they’ll meet up again, on this visit to Australia, with any of their Revolting People friends. Then, Dougal breaks the silence.]

Dougal: Ted! That man called me old! I think he’s mad!

Mrs Doyle: Oh, don’t you worry your heads about that...Cup of tea, Fathers?

Ted: Yeah...might as well, Mrs Doyle...It’ll help us concentrate, as we think about how we can turn this holiday around, considering all our new “friends” have gone home and didn’t even give us their addresses so we could drop in and visit them...I’m not very impressed with their hospitality, I’ll have you know...

[Suddenly, walking down the road toward them, they spot another one of those white-teethed, crew-cut Mormons approaching.]

Ted (whispering): Pssttt...listen...if he tries to convert us, just ignore him...tell him we’ve got one already...

Mormon: Drink! Drink! Feck! Arse! Girls!

Dougal: Yippee! It’s Fr Jack! He’s back...

[In his usual vocal style of grunts coupled with a few illustrative hand gestures, and to the great amusement of the rest of the Irish Tea Party, Fr Jack relates how he “convinced” the Mormons to hand over their hip-flasks.]

Ted: Yes, very good, Fr Jack...Now, this gives me an idea...I think we’re just about to spend the next leg of our holiday where the real Tea Party hangs out...And Fr Jack will be able to open a few more doors for us over there... And then it’s back to Craggy Island where I know what sort of dare I’ll be putting up to Fr Dick Byrne...If Bishop Brennan transported us for a few weeks to New South Wales for kicking him up the arse, for what I’m going to dare Dick to do, he’ll get a sentence for the term of his natural life...hee...hee...But, for now... Salt Lake City, here we come...yee...ha...


Comments (83) -

August 12. 2011 10:16 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, isn’t it time you presented an article in which Kevin Rudd, Chris Bowen and others offer their apologies to Joyce for his warning about the USA almost defaulting. Wasn’t it Kevin Rudd, financial savant and author of that brilliant treatise on the world’s financial situation who said that a root and branch reform was needed? Mr Rudd expressed himself so eloquently in his 7000-word treatise and he even held out hope that Barack Obama should "reconstitute properly regulated markets and rebuild domestic and global demand". Mr Obama must be a disappointment to Mr Rudd. After all that Mr Rudd revealed how little he knew about financial matters by slapping Joyce after he said the USA might default.

So AA, will you be consumed by magnanimity or will you continue to cleave to the party line?

Sir Ian Crisp

August 12. 2011 10:19 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

DMW, on entering the playpen of TPS I observe the rules. I can also play by the ignore rule.

Sir Ian Crisp

August 13. 2011 07:15 AM

Feral Skeleton

          You are God's gift to TPS.

Feral Skeleton

August 13. 2011 07:26 AM

Möbius Ecko

Interesting. What was mostly caused by the Republicans under Bush is the Democrats fault under Obama. What was stymied and almost defaulted by the Republicans under the influence of the Tea Party is the fault of Obama.

Projection at it's finest.

Möbius Ecko

August 13. 2011 07:38 AM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
              Your argument would be valid save for the fact you are ignoring the American Elephants in the room since Barack Obama became President of the United States. That is, the Republican Party and the Blue Dog Democrats who have frustrated President Obama's every attempt to enact the sort of change you, at least, agree is necessary. And don't come back with the 'they are only the Minority Party'. Getting the Blue Dog Democrats on side has enabled their working majority.
   Now, as to the almost Default and the Uber Bogan Barnaby's magical prescience. Don't make me ROFLMAO. Again, in your pithless comment, which tried very hard to be pithy, but which just pithed me off even more, you have again conveniently ignored the American Elephant in the room-the Republican Party. It was their President, George W.Bush, that pithed Clinton's Surplus up against the wall, and then got the country into two massively expensive Wars. Not only that, at the same time as sane Presidents have asked the country to pay for wars, he and his kleptocrat mates gave themselves a massive tax cut. Guess what? The Deficit ballooned! Putting the country into Structural Deficit. You want to talk about real Sovereign Risk? Thanks to the malevolent machinations of the Republican Party, aided and abetted by their mouthpiece propaganda machine, Fox News, run by one of their own, they've succeeded in convincing the Trailer Park Trash and the Working Poor, plus self-interested dolts like you SIC, to rise up against the party who actually have their best interests at heart who want to find the solutions to the Structural Deficit, the Democratic Party, and blame them for it.
   That Barnaby Joyce may have been privy to the Republican Party's Machiavellian moves and trumpeted their hopes and aspirations here, is no proof of enlightened prescience, just of complicit facilitation. Just doing his bit to destabilise the economies of both countries, I'd say. Every little bit helps those creeps. And, as we can see with the Consumer Confidence numbers and the Unemployment figures in the one country that should be immune from panic, their modus operandi works a treat. I mean, just add up what a supposedly serious and considered Leader of the Opposition going from workplace to workplace and business to business, spreading his message of doom and gloom and fear and panic, does to the economy when you aggregate it all together. No good can come from it and no good has come from it. Yet it seems to me that all you can do, Liberal SICophant, is try and spread the poison through this blog as well.
   Go away and come back when you have something useful to contribute. Your reappearance here again has only served to lower the tone of our discussion at The Political Sword.

Feral Skeleton

August 13. 2011 07:53 AM

Catching up

I enjoyed this.  We all need a little positivity.

As for the dear old USA, maybe they have less problems if they like paying taxes a little more.  

There is not much to be gained by continuing to widen the gap between the rich and poor.  

There is only so much you can take off the poor without the whole country going down the gurgler.

The rich might have no time for the poor, but they need them to survive.  Without the poor, who will clean up after them.

Catching up

August 13. 2011 09:29 AM

D Mick Weir

Good Morning Ad
This is 'curious':

The curious thing about leadership is that it's hard to define but you know it when you see it.

The first line of an article by Shaun Carney in today's National Times

Australia's best-kept secret: we're not doing too badly

I haven't read the article yet but it raises the question; has Carney been reading your blog or our minds?  Smile

D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 09:48 AM

D Mick Weir

Carney ends his piece (linked to above) with this:

Australia in 2011 is an exceptional country but its government does very little - hardly anything really - to impress upon its citizens just how exceptional it is. Imagine what might happen if confidence in ourselves, our institutions and our leaders, rather than fear and uncertainty, was the prevailing sentiment in the national debate.

In various ways I have been saying much the same. I can't claim to be the 'original thinker' on this and, NormanK, you may be right when you suggest that I am just buying the media line BUT, ...

... surely there has to be even the smallest possible grain of truth in this if it is being written about by a number of people.

I agree that Mr Abbott and his band of 'merry' doomsayers are not making it easy for the government to put out the positive message just as some sections of the media are also doing their damndest to paint a picture of doom and gloom BUT, ...

... can you imagine in your wildest dreams that previous Australian Leaders would have let the media and and the opposition get away with it?

D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 11:04 AM

Ad astra reply

D Mick Weir
Isn’t that interesting.  Of course it may be quite coincidental that Shaun Carney’s initial words are similar to yours and mine, but they reinforce our view that the better journalists, the more thoughtful, do visit blog sites and take note.  If that is so, it is encouraging to those who comment on them to realize that they are not lone voices crying in the wilderness.

Shaun’s article was thoughtful and thought provoking.  I may come back to the leadership theme after I have digested his comments and thought the issue through more thoroughly.

Ad astra reply

August 13. 2011 11:10 AM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
You should leave satire to Acerbic Conehead.  It is not your strong suit.

Ad astra reply

August 13. 2011 11:45 AM

D Mick Weir

Be careful what you wish for

In today's reading I came across an opinion piece by Sean Nicholls @ The National Times about a proposal to introduce US-style ''recall'' elections, whereby a government can be dragged to the polls early if enough of the electorate desires it in NSW.

Total recall no instant cure for cranky voters

I think this sort of proposal has long been something the Citizens Electoral Lobby has pushed (I really can't bothered checking out the batpoo crazy stuff that the CEL puts up)

In the article Nicholls refers to a paper by Anne Twomey, a constitutional law expert at the University of Sydney, and mentions ...the bankrolling of petitions by special interest groups, whether such a system would destabilise government and whether they could be used as ''political weapons''. There are ''significant risks'', she concludes: ''A system that allows the rich to buy a new election or political parties to harass each other is unlikely to satisfy the wishes of voters.''  (My emphasis)

I think 'recall elections' would be a very bad idea for this country and can only hope that it doesn't get too much support.

Any government stupid enough to introduce it would most likely live to regret it.

D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 12:00 PM

D Mick Weir

Ad @ 11:04 AM
ditto   Smile

I am about to go off and check the traps and will no doubt ponder as I wend.

D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 12:03 PM


   Here South Australia a former state "Liberal minister" who  has since found god and joined "Family First" suggested the very same thing here just last month.
Our government has the same opinion as you! and the opposition were sort of interested but have since thought better of it.


August 13. 2011 12:10 PM

D Mick Weir

cheers Jason,
confirms my suspicion that reacll election proposals are part of the whacky loony-toon end of the political spectrum.

D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 12:41 PM


Acerbic Conehead

Well done.  Unfortunately I have never watched that series, but you certainly have made the characters come alive on the page.  Thank you again for brightening up my Saturday morning.


August 13. 2011 12:45 PM


Saturday's Bad Abbott

In the midst of all the other snake oil offered up as 'patriotic' wisdom (and doesn't the constant harping on patriotism just stink of Tea Party Down Under?) by Tiny Abbott in his 'I too am a West Australian boy at heart' speech to the WA LIberal Party at lunchtime today, he has reinvented at least one of the laws of physics.

Apparently, if you burn garbage as the Visy company does for electical power at some of its plants, instead of drawing on the coal-fueled electricity supply grid, you actually make a negative contribution to polluting emissions counts.

That's right. Burn something that would otherwise have rotted and produced methane as it did so, and the emissions that are produced as a result of this conflagration are a positive contribution to the atmospheric balance.

Burning reduces, reduces!, our carbon footprint by this method according to Professor Shouldabeen.

Incidentally, I came in at just before mid-day, so I didn't hear the very beginning of his speech, but he seemed to be going to such repeated lengths to "acknowledge" the presence of various Liberal luminaries that he sounded like he was parodying the 'acknowledgement' usually made to traditional owners of the site where he was speaking.

If he did in fact acknowledge traditional owners at the beginning of his speech, then hats off to Tiny. Although, if he did, and then went on with the 'acknowledgements' to Liberal apparatchiks that I was hearing, it still sounded pretty darned parodical to me.

Which is to say, mocking and belittling indigenous people.


August 13. 2011 02:29 PM


DMQ, there have been a few pieces in the media in the last week or so on the "we're really not doing too badly"theme - and not all of them in Fairfax media.

The interesting thing here is the doom and gloom scenario seems to make the front page, the more optimistic seem to get hidden in the middle somewhere.  


August 13. 2011 04:14 PM


D Mick Weir

Where to begin with that Shaun Carney article? How about the very first sentence?
The curious thing about leadership is that it's hard to define but you know it when you see it.
Two things. You know it when you see it when the leader is doing something of which you approve . If they embark on an endeavour, no matter how well thought-out and elucidated, with which you strongly disagree, how can you possibly attribute it to good leadership? Good leadership, as defined by each of our minds, means doing those things of which we approve even in the face of staunch opposition from nay-sayers who are not in our camp. Carping on about a lack of leadership says more about what the speaker wishes were happening than it does about the leader themselves.

Yes, there are examples of poor leadership. Gillard gave us a few during the latter half of 2010 but the Press Gallery seems unwilling to accept that perhaps this minority government, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, no longer fits the template the pundits constructed for them last year.

The other important aspect of evaluating good or strong leadership is that it is done in hindsight.

Let me give an example. Suppose I were a military commander who has devised a bold strategy for how to conduct an upcoming campaign. I have relayed my plans to my officers, in the process even winning over those who were initially sceptical of my vision of how the battle will unfold. I have made sure that my troops are trained to an impossibly high degree, are armed with the best available equipment and stand capable of facing anything the enemy may throw at us. I have addressed my troops and instilled in them a sense of belief in themselves, their officers and my strategy.

When I stand at the edge of the battlefield with my forces skillfully deployed, all knowable contingencies accommodated and my troops primed and ready to follow me into Hell, am I a good leader? It's probably fair to say that I appear to be. However, a sudden unpredictable, freak storm descends on the conflict zone three hours into the operation and my heavy armour is bogged, we are over-run and routed. Will history record me as a great leader even though I lost the battle? I think not. Some purist military strategists might defend my legacy by praising the theory of my tactics but the greater bulk of commentators will depict me as a failure.

When did I go from being a strong competent leader to a failure? Answer - when sufficient time has passed to be able to judge the efficacy of my decisions. In this example it might only be a matter of hours or days. David Cameron is coming under fire for a lack of leadership during the riots within days of the event. That is probably fair since the duration of the event was quite short and any chance of re-shaping outcomes has passed.

When it comes to the bigger ticket items on a politician's agenda however it may take years or even decades before a proper evaluation can be done. Health system reforms will probably take five to ten years before they can be said to have proven themselves one way or the other. The NBN will only be able to be evaluated after about 2020 when the greater bulk of the nation has begun to reap the benefits and the new tech-inspired industries have had a chance to establish themselves.

The MRRT will have some shorter term indicators with regard to small business but even the injection of capital into infrastructure projects may take a decade to bear fruit. The increase in compulsory superannuation won't come into its own for at least twenty years when some statistician can point to the percentage of the federal budget dedicated to pensions and compare it to what it might have been had the increase not been brought in.

It might take thirty years before someone can honestly say that putting a price on carbon in 2012 was the right thing to do for our economy. It might take fifty years before we can work out whether a price on carbon has had the desired effect on emissions. So, in 2060 will commentators be saying that Julia Gillard and her government showed great leadership in the face of considerable opposition by sticking to its plan to price carbon? Let's hope so but the point is we can't do day by day evaluations of the efficacy of long-term plans with any degree of fairness or certainty.

'Great leaders' are decided by history not by this week's polls. A true 'visionary' can only be called such when the test of time has shown them to have been right. Abbott calls his Paid Parental Leave Scheme 'visionary' - what incredible hubris and abuse of the language. Yes, a politician might (indeed should) have a vision for the future but whether that turns out to be 'visionary' only time will tell.

What about Carney's objections? I should tell you that I have just had to take a break because re-reading his trite nonsense has made me more than a little angry. Once again he trots out the established lines of criticism, tells us what he would broadly like to see and then offers no suggestion as to how it might be achieved.

This is the essence of the Gillard government's problem with its carbon pricing scheme, which has just about destroyed the Labor Party: it looks like something the nation can't afford because so many voters don't feel like they can afford anything extra. If there was greater trust, greater belief, in the government, or in the political system in general, it wouldn't be such a problem. (1)

But the government has pretty much vacated the stage when it comes to encouraging Australians to feel optimistic in ways that connect. Faced with a relentlessly hostile political opponent in Tony Abbott, who refuses to acknowledge the government's legitimacy and foretells of doom at every turn, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan play a defensive game. (2)

This is where the issue of real leadership comes in. Abbott's leadership is predicated on the destruction of his political opponent. Gillard's leadership is about talking small and rebutting criticisms.  (3)
Australians want more than that.  (4)

(1) Greater trust, greater belief in the government might be brought about if commentators defended the legitimacy of this government instead of constantly quoting opposition rhetoric to the contrary. Greater belief might be instilled if people like Carney didn't carry on with 'BER fiasco' nonsense. Greater belief in the political system might be engendered if the press did not spend quite so much of its time seeking to ridicule and undermine it.

(2) Pure opinion- not a fact in sight. Abbott has all of the time in the world to embark on his never-ending election campaign (with a lazy, conflict-obsessed media to abet him) while the government has to get on with governing. Look how much closer to normal the last ten days or so have been while Abbott was on holiday. Gillard and Swann have been talking up Australia's economy at every opportunity over the last week and in the last six months they have been trying to engender a sense of an optimistic future but it is in the face of unrelenting daily negativity.

(3) Gillard is talking small? Look at the time-frames of the examples I've listed above. Talking small? Tens and tens of billions of dollars; projects and reforms that will take decades to complete and bear fruit; big picture policies that will change the Australian landscape forever and Carney still wants something different.

(4) What more is it that they want Shaun? A comforting arm around the shoulders and a reassurance that the government will look after them come what may? Tell us all about how you would go about turning around consumer sentiment and voter confidence in the current environment.

About the only thing that I can whole-heartedly agree with Carney on is this statement:

It is too easy to simply diagnose it as being down to the deficiencies, whatever they are, of the leadership groups of the major parties, although they have got take a lot of the responsibility. It's also inside Australian society, or parts of it, at least.

Of course, he then goes on to make no further mention of the other areas of Australian society that are lacking leadership, therefore this is a token remark. An article that explores the lack of leadership from sections of our society which ought to be helping us form our opinions would have been of much more interest to me.

Where are our great thinkers? Where are the business leaders who called for certainty on the pricing carbon question? Now that they have a degree of certainty why are they not slapping Abbott down for throwing it all back up in the air again? Where is the leadership from the authors of opinion pieces who could in fact bring back a sense of confidence, re-assure Australians that the sky is not about to fall? It is not enough to have the likes of Ross Gittens, Rob Burgess and Leanore Taylor writing sensible no-nonsense articles. Where are the documentary makers who can give us fresh insight into the truth behind the headlines, warts and all? Where are the socially-conscious musicians and artists who could be feeding into the national debates on important issues? Where are the satirical comedians who can hold up a mirror to our inconsistencies and absurd fears? I would suggest most of them are doing what Dick Smith did - keeping their heads down for fear of being shot at.

DMW, I will concede that there is a grain of truth in the contention that something is lacking in our political leadership, whether it is shortage of nous or a certain amount of incompetence or whatever. However, it is dangerous to make that concession because at the moment we live in a time of 'absolutes'. I had tried to get something together on this subject for Ad astra's last article but I couldn't get all of my ducks in a row (sorry Ad). Saying there might be grounds for mild criticism of some aspects of our political leadership should not immediately generate a headline that says "Leadership crisis in Australia - no-one at the helm" but that seems to be the way debate is conducted these days.

Journalists who criticise the Coalition are 'lefties'; people who politely question the AGW science are 'deniers'; government-owned enterprises are 'socialist'; anti-immigration protests are the rantings of 'racists' even though they might actually be more concerned about sustainability; water conservationists are anti-farming; food producers defending their access to water are 'environmental vandals'; if you criticise Labor then you must be an 'Abbott acolyte'; if you support the Greens you are 'anti-mining' and want to destroy the livelihoods of thousands and on and on it goes. Polarisation, absolutes and conflict are what dominate the national debate at present and whether it annoys you or not the media has a large part to play in creating this situation and could play a highly significant role in turning it around but they won't because it doesn't sell advertising space.

Shaun Carney could do something about this leadership crisis by showing a bit himself.


August 13. 2011 05:25 PM


D Mick Weir

Here you go. Tell me how this is newsworthy?

Federal Government worst in history: Abbott

The Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has labelled the current Federal Government as the worst Australia has ever had.


The Leader of the Opposition criticises the incumbent government - what's new pussycat?


August 13. 2011 06:08 PM

Feral Skeleton

  No, Tony Abbott is the worst Opposition Leader in Australia's history.

Feral Skeleton

August 13. 2011 06:47 PM


Hi Acerbic Conehead

Thankyou for another delightful article for our weekend reading.

You have excelled again Conehead, with your name up in lights,
in fact your whole article leading on the front page,

The Convoluted Convoy, Blogotariat
The Political Sword - August 12, 2011 - 8:53pm
The whole article, Acerbic Conehead ,Listed Leading all other blogs:


I must tell you, the Libs are poor again, bad Abbott has spent all
their money, overseas holidays I suspect, or frequent around Australia trips.

Libs' president pleads for poll war chest, Rebecca Trigger,  The West Australian.
The Federal Liberal Party president has made an impassioned plea to businesses across Australia for funding for an election that could be held "at any time".

He cited the possibility of an illness or death throwing up the need for a by-election, or dissension in the ranks from Labor backbenchers or independents holding together the Government's slim majority in Federal Parliament.

He also warned of the risk of fracture if the Federal Government decided to remove Prime Minister Julia Gillard as leader.




August 13. 2011 07:45 PM


Just watching ABC News, Abbott obviously under pressure when queried about his remarks re mining yesterday. Not at all the confident sneering Tony we know & love, but a cornered looking individual, eyes darting hither & yon, shifting about on his feet & obviously looking for an escape. Need I say he refused to answer questioning? How this person can be considered a potential PM beggars belief.


August 13. 2011 08:11 PM


Hi BSA Bob

Bad Abbott won't answer any questions because he has caused
another problem for the Liberals:-

Tony Abbott backs farmers over mining access, widening split in LNP over the issue , John Mccarthy, Courier Mail

FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has left Queensland colleagues floundering by backing farmers' rights to lock the gate against coal seam gas and mining companies.

His statements are likely to cause even more tension in the LNP, which is already struggling to deal with the issue.

Abbott backs farmers against miners, Channel Nine
Mr Abbott's call for farmers to have "a right to say no" comes as the main players in the emergent multi-billion-dollar coal-seam gas industry remain split over whether they should barge onto private property without consent

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


August 13. 2011 08:26 PM


   Has there been any word from the "federal Leader for the man on the land" Warren Truss? Or am I to assume Truss's response was/will be "if Tony said it we agree" No wonder Windsor and Oakeshot left such a poor excuse for a political party.


August 13. 2011 08:48 PM

Ad astra reply

What a wonderfully thoughtful comment you have made today about leadership.  There is so much truth and commonsense in what you say.  Thank you for taking the time to write such a long and profound comment.

There has been such a lot of nonsense written about leadership in the MSM, which I suppose is why so many pieces have appeared on the subject on TPS.  I have spent most of the afternoon putting together something further on leadership for posting on Monday.  Your contribution has given me even more food for thought.  Thank you.

Ad astra reply

August 13. 2011 09:05 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn, Jason, BSA Bob
Tony Abbott’s opportunism will catch up with him.  Who will ever be able to believe him?  Even his supporters will eventually desert him as dishonest and inconstant.  The old saying: ‘there is no honour amongst thieves’ may soon apply here.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

Ad astra reply

August 13. 2011 09:07 PM


Hi Jason

There is this :

Truss backs dissolution,Stock and Land

FEDERAL Nationals Leader, Warren Truss, says he would be happy to pass on a petition from the Convoy of No Confidence calling for the Governor General to dissolve parliament.

On the back of dissatisfaction with the government’s Indonesian live exports suspension and proposed carbon tax, the convoy plans to present a petition to the Governor General, Quentin Bryce, calling for an election, when they arrive in Canberra on August 22.


Cheers :SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


August 13. 2011 09:29 PM


Hi Lyn,
      Thanks for that! To think that Mr Truss could be "acting PM" one day is just frightening!
He seems to belong to an era long gone, and handing the GG a petition just wont cut it.But I guess when he and Abbott are the "best" their respective parties can put up as "leaders" it just show the lack of talent on the conservative benches.


August 13. 2011 09:30 PM


Hi NormanK

Your, not a comment, article on Leadership is magnificent, thankyou very much.  

The thoughtful time you have donated to your contribution is
just commendable, I join with Ad Astra in appreciation.

Where did you get that ROSE , can't even think of it's name, could be Princess Margaret is it?  absolutely beautiful.

I have been busy worrying about this convoy of no confidence, converging on Canberra, reports are saying 10,000 trucks, could that be.

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


August 13. 2011 09:43 PM

D Mick Weir

NormanK @ 4:14 PM,
wow, how I enjoy so much, no matter how inadvertantly, that I can I awaken a 'sleeping giant'. What you have written is (bordering?) on absolutely bloody brilliant. Oh, ok, being Saturday night, and I am feeling generous I will withdraw the the tounge in cheek 'bordering' remark.

Taking nothing away from your comment may I humbly suggest you may have misunderstood my comments earlier today.

My first reference to Carney's piece and in particular the first line made no assessment of the piece. I am sort of surprised that you missed it, but it was a reference to my total copout  comment on the previous post where I had written almost the same as Carney had written. (I, just maybe, may have been claiming credit for inspiring Carney's thoughts but, no, not really. I did find it amusing though that I had presaged his words).

In my second comment I admit, without reservation, that I used that age old device of 'selective quoting' to prove the point that I have consistently put, that, the government is too often playing off the back foot rather than the front. Guilty 'yer honour' of attempting to prove that my opinion is the total and absolute correct view of how it is. Smile

My last line:
... can you imagine in your wildest dreams that previous Australian Leaders would have let the media and and the opposition get away with it?  could be be a revealing statement about myself in that this old leftie is pining for the days of yore when Hawke and Keating ran riot over the conservatives and stole their agenda and made it its' own and played the game on the front foot so well that, well, do I need to say more?

I guess some of my criticisms come from a fear that, yet again, I will proved wrong.

I held the view that the Labor Party would be mad to instal Rudd as leader and, if it was so stupid to do so so it would only 'end in tears'. If there had been a 'anyone but Rudd faction' back then I would have been a charter member. My personal preference was for Gillard as leader though I was not sure if she was quite ready for it.

When the party chose Rudd I was very slightly consoled by the fact that Gillard was deputy. There were some personal and other experiences early in Rudd's tenure that suggested I was wrong, but in the end it did come to tears.

My fear now is that I was wrong about Gillard.

D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 09:45 PM

D Mick Weir

NormanK @ 5:25 PM
yes I heard those comments on News Radio reports this afternon and evening.


D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 09:50 PM


   Even if they got 20,000 to the "Canberra rally" and the petition is handed to the GG, that's all that will happen!
It's a symbolic gesture nothing more nothing less.
It will boosts Abbotts rating amongst his base, but his base for the most part are stupid!
If they knew that part of his new found cuts of 70 billion and counting was going to affect them they would be outraged!
But the only interests Abbott will look after is his own!


August 13. 2011 09:50 PM

D Mick Weir

2353 @ 2:29 PM,
yep there has been some positive press. Too little, too late? Let's hope not.

How much it has to do with Abbott being absent or with (as I suggested and if memory serves me correctly you agreed with) Gillard talking about more than the Carban Tax, I don't know yet.

D Mick Weir

August 13. 2011 09:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Combining both strands of today's reporting wrt 'Trouble at Mill' Tony Abbott, I'd hazard a guess that Big Gina and Little Twiggy are unhappy with Tony, and told him so upon his return to WA this weekend, as he hasn't succeeded in bringing down the Gillard government and bringing on a fresh election, he has not forestalled the Carbon Pollution Reduction policy and Price on Carbon pollution, he won't be able to stop the Mining Tax when it comes to parliament, and his Coalition is starting to spring some dangerous leaks which shows he's not running a tight ship at all. I don't think Malcolm, er the leaker, will stop undermining Tony either, now that he has started. Malcolm can see the prize he has wanted all his life, tantalisingly close. I'm sure he believes that, as he has said this past week, that he is the man to harvest Labor voters, not Tony.
   It will be interesting to watch parliament when it resumes. There is a lot of good ammunition that the government could use. Such as the $70 Billion 'Big Black Hole'(thanks, PM, and thanks goes to whoever put the graphic imagery together for her). Or, WA Senator Chris Back's ludicrous suggestion of rape and intimidation in Indonesia on behalf of Animals Australia so as to obtain their animal cruelty footage. Then, on the positive side, the government can speak about it's achievments in obtaining a Health and Hospitals Agreement with the States; a Forstry Agreement in Tasmania; an Aged Care Blueprint; and the Disability Insurance Scheme outline.
   And, what do Tony Abbott and the Opposition have to show for themselves? The lowest Consumer Confidence figures for 3 years and an 0.2% increase in the Unemployment Rate, off the back of going from one side of the country to the other relentlessly scaring the pants off anyone they can lay their hands on. Top job, Tone. A flaccid country. Just think what he could achieve as Prime Minister!

Feral Skeleton

August 13. 2011 10:13 PM

Feral Skeleton

The Convoy of No Confidence is just another political stunt from the Cunning Stuntmaster himself, Mr T., and, of course, the foetid swamp of an Opposition Leader's Office, where it seems that, to get a guernsey, you have to be as mad as a cut snake and twice as Machiavellian. Just like their Dear Leader. I suppose they harvest Menzies House and those swampland blogs of the fevered Right which incubate the crazy. Or, they trawl the CIS and the IPA for 'talent'.
   Put them all together, and you get a group of people, old pros and enthusiastic and energetic BSDs seeking to earn their Conservative stripes and Mein Abbott's approval.
   Pity all their political posturing has absolutely nothing to do with a sound policy foundation.

Feral Skeleton

August 13. 2011 10:56 PM


AC I had a look at the page on the Convoy and noticed that the comments were all by anonymous. Lets hope on the day the participants display their own identity, I may feel like boycotting their companies.


August 13. 2011 11:05 PM


D Mick Weir

And what makes Abbott's remarks newsworthy? Opposition leaders have been bagging incumbents since time immemorial - it ain't news.

And how does a government 'cut through' or 'get the message across' when the public broadcaster (which was once such a reliable source for hard news) is now repeating verbatim and unquestioningly every bit of nonsense that pours out of that fool's mouth.

And how does the government restore the public's confidence when that same public is being bombarded day in and day out with negativity?


August 13. 2011 11:19 PM


Ad astra

Cheers. I hope I haven't stolen a march on you. That Carney article got right up my nose. There are computer programmes out there that could put together a piece with more insight and original thought. I look forward to your new post.

Hi Lyn

I have no idea what the rose is called - Google Image search, I'm afraid. Still, it is very beautiful, is it not? Smile


August 14. 2011 12:29 AM


Well folks I saw Abbortt talking to a tame WA Liberals' meeting today and boy did they sound lack-lustre. You can hear when a crowd is enthusiastic, this one was between hesitant and dubious. They wanted to be enthusiastic but there's some things you just can't force. They have heard it all too many times before and they have started to realize that while they're ranting and the media is covering Abbortt all the time, the Government is getting done its entire agenda. From now on the media will be paying *J*U*L*I*A* more attention and respect, while Abbortt will be more and more subject to searching questioning. It's sure taken a long time for the media to realise that Abbortt's weaknesses are where the story is! But he can't answer the growing mountain of questions and it's going to avalanche down on him soon and oh what a popcorn time that will be!

In just one day today he wedged himself good and proper between farmers and miners. He has more than 700 left to destroy himself. So much for Richo's long-range prediction of a Government loss in 2013. We got lots of time.

Be watching on Monday.  


August 14. 2011 07:48 AM

D Mick Weir

NormanK @ August 13. 2011 11:05 PM
And what makes Abbott's remarks newsworthy?

(shakes head from side to side)

While what Mr Abbott said may not be 'new', it was said at a party conference, an event that one would expect would be reported on.

I guess the report should  have been:
"Mr Abbott gave a speech at today's WA Liberal Party Conference; he repeated the same old negative stuff he has been saying all year.

In other news the Prime Minister today, has been saying the same things she has been saying all year.

We will back in thirty minutes to tell you that nothing has changed."

Sure, that item was not 'ground breaking' news but why does that make it 'news' that should not be reported?

A lot of 'news' is dull, colourless and boring, same old, same old. Tell the same story from 107 different angles.

If the news was was confined to only that which was actually new in politics there would be very few stories.

Maybe that would be a good thing.

D Mick Weir

August 14. 2011 08:15 AM


Laydeez n gennemen, laydeez n gennemen...

Shouldabeen addressed his WA Lib party members as "laydeez n gennemen" so many times in his speech yesterday I was reminded of Burt Lancaster in "The Rainmaker".

And every time Tiny waved his arms ('halleluia, brothers and sisters')* and shifted his feet, I heard the squelch of snake oil from his shoes.

*Let's consider, just for a moment, a future world with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President of the United States, Rick Perry.

"halleluia" just became armageddon out of here, quick!


August 14. 2011 08:19 AM


Hi Ad , Acerbic Conehead, and everybody

I hope you all have time to read this blog, I found the story outstanding, with some very  well thought out suggestions,
about how to deal with Bad Abbott:

Ad I will post the article again in today's links, it's worth filing, for future reference.

Abbott’s Tea Party Theatre Troupe, The Baffled Kettle

With a few exceptions, the solipsistic Canberra press gallery has been uninterested in making an issue of any of this but has instead largely defaulted to “he said, she said” reportage as though a proposition put by one side of politics, no matter how untethered from reality, has the same standing as a proposition put by the other side by virtue of the fact that.. well… it is all balanced. Any serious effort to provide context and assist in interpreting the various competing positions that are put out into the public square by our pollies appear to have fallen by the wayside (again with some notable exceptions).

a few things that the Prime Minister might do to shake things up. Dedicate a staffer to keep a running account of all the

Coalition’s misrepresentations and misinformation (particularly Abbott’s) – a dedicated website, twitterfeed #dailyabbott

etc, daily media release dedicated to the each day’s porky pies, long-bows, silly thought bubbles, plain untruths – never

let a single untruth, lie or misrepresentation remain on the record uncontested




August 14. 2011 08:25 AM

Ad astra reply

No, you haven’t stolen my thunder – you have made it louder.

Ad astra reply

August 14. 2011 08:29 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Do you think the wheels are starting to come off Mr Abbott's bike? Laughing

   Also, I'd like to make the point generally, and there's an opportunity for a good Investigative Journalist(and, yes, I know, that's fast becoming an oxymoron) here, but has anyone thought to question what sort of school in Switzerland Tony Abbott's eldest daughter is a student at? When I used to move in the circles around the seamy side of Sydney as a vivacious young thing(impossible to believe, but yes that was moi), and that was in the electorates of Wentworth, Bradfield and North Sydney (Wink ), it was common practice then, and no doubt still is, to send your children to a Swiss Finishing School, to 'polish off the rough edges' that they aquire here in the Colonies.  I had a boyfriend that I had to break up with, a scion of Frank Lowy's best mate, who was off there.
   Now, and I am only guessing here, but it is an educated guess, rather than the common meme about Tony Abbott being so bad with money that he needed a 2nd Mortgage on his house just to keep the family budget above water, I put it to you that that 2nd Mortgage was used as the payment for the fees for a Swiss Finishing School for Louise Abbott a couple of years ago, and Tony Abbott, the Best Friend the Bogans ever had out there in Western Sydney, was exquisitely conscious of the fact that he would be pegged for the Ultra Elitist that he actually is if the truth came out.
   Now, where's a good journalist with a nose for a story when you need one? A real story, and not the confected outrage against a Labor government that has become their stock in trade these days instead.  You know, I reckon the shifting from foot to foot etc that has been observed since Tony got back from Switzerland, was because he's been waiting for an 'Enterprising Journalist' (lol) to put 2+2 together. Which, is why it'll never happen and he'll skate on by and the so-called journalists will instead preoccupy themselves with another non-story about Boat Arrivals. Sigh.

Feral Skeleton

August 14. 2011 08:36 AM

Ad astra reply

Good morning Lyn
Thank you for your Baffled Kettle link - it makes very good reading.

Enjoy your weekend.

Ad astra reply

August 14. 2011 08:43 AM



What a gorgeous rose, to go with a very hard hitting and insightful comment.  I am one of the few in Australia that didn't believe Howard showed good 'Leadership', precisely as you said, what he did I didn't agree with.  For example, Tampa, going to Iraq, refusal to say sorry to our wonderful Aboriginal people, the GST, the 300million to pay bribes to Iraq for wheat sales......I could go on for hours.  None of that was 'leadership' to me.  The gun buy back was good but only done for a political reason, playing on peoples emotion at the time, and look at the amount of illegal guns now available.

Talk Turkey

Don't get too excited, the media won't change, or if they do it is probably too late.


August 14. 2011 11:17 AM


D Mick Weir

I hope you are being deliberately obtuse.

Here are four headlines covering Abbott's speech in Perth. Three of them are news - one is not. Can you guess which one?

Gillard's proposed mining and carbon taxes target WA prosperity, says Tony Abbott by AAP

In speech to the WA Liberal Party, Mr Abbott said the Gillard government was deliberately attacking WA with the proposed taxes which would damage the state's prosperity.


Government is targeting WA: Abbott by Josh Jerga

The federal government is deliberately attacking Western Australian with its proposed mining and carbon taxes which will damage the state's prosperity, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.


Federal Government worst in history: Abbott

The Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has labelled the current Federal Government as the worst Australia has ever had.


Government is targeting WA - Abbott

Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott has used a speech at West Australian state Liberal conference to continue his attack on the carbon and mining tax.


By contrast, and in keeping with your comment above, a Google search of 'Gillard', 'Perth', 'Forum' yields two results, one of which is a standard 'he said, she said' and the other is an actual news story.

PM's carbon tax sales pitch wins over forum by Daniel Emerson

Prime Minister Julia Gillard managed to sway a majority of voters at Perth Town Hall behind her carbon tax last night in a suggestion her sales pitch on the flagship reform is beginning to resonate with the public.


Thank goodness for The West Australian or we wouldn't have known that the event took place much less that the PM went into the lion's den of Western Australia and came out not just unscathed but having won a significant percentage over to her way of thinking. I'm not necessarily saying that this is anti-Labor or even anti-government but it sure is anti-positive-news. If Ms Gillard had been confronted by serious heckling or a rant or two it would have been splashed all over the place. Editor: "Did anything interesting happen at the Perth forum?"  Journalist: "No, not really. No-one threw an egg at her."

If you can't see that this is unfair coverage by dint of omission then I give up.


August 14. 2011 11:37 AM


Back to the Tiny's Great Big Speech out West.

Shouldabeen's speech to the faithful in West Australia late last week also included a fascinating little section using language he has has used (might I say, "seeded") before.

When he spoke of the upcoming parliamentary vote to pass the pricing of carbon, he mentioned his certainty that "patriots" in the Labor Party would cross the floor to vote against it.

Not just Labor members who opposed the legislation, but "patriots" joining in voting it down.

The clear implication is that those who vote FOR the passing of the legislation are NOT patriots.

They are not supporters of, and fighters for (as a patriot is defined), the nation of Australia. That they might actually be supporters of the science that displays the negative impacts of climate change on this country, or at the very base level, simply prepared as members of the government to support government policy regardless of their private views (something which apparently tests quite a few members of the parliamentary Opposition in terms of Coalition policy without calling into question their loyalty to this nation), is not of importance to Tiny.

"Patriots" vote against carbon pricing, ergo those who vote for the legislation are not completely committed to the nation's wellbeing.

Boil that down, Tiny's telling us that the current Federal Government is acting against Australia, it is betraying the nation, it is knowingly leading this country into a weakened and thus vulnerable state.

Only someone who was the complete antithesis of a patriot, a traitor, could do this.

If its own government is knowingly leading a country into vulnerability and exposing it to potential damage from outsiders taking advantage of the country being in this weakened state, then what is a "patriot" to do?

Joe Hockey was asked this question in so many words the other day at a public forum, including whether citizens might have to take up arms against such a government? To his credit, Joe looked shocked at even the idea, and responded accordingly, still grey around the gills as he did so.

Has Joe listened to Shouldabeen lately, closely, and with particular attention to a vocabulary that is clearly not randomly chosen, and is consciously reiterated by his leader? I think he has. I think many of his fellow Coalition parliamentarians have, too. But I also think they can see how the polls have swung behind them with Shouldabeen out front. I think they can see themselves returned to government, to ministerial offices, to running the country, with Abbott leading them to the next election.

I reckon some of them might even see themselves as patriots in deciding that the bigger picture is all about removing the Labor Party from government, whatever it takes, because of the philosophical and political beliefs they hold.

But I also think that defining a Government parliamentarian who opposes Government policy as therefore displaying a form of patriotism that reflectively defines all other members of the Government as acting traitorously to the nation, that is a definition of "patriot" which takes the word's meaning away from simple love of one's country, and makes it an open invitation to identify the current Government as a legitimate target for removal. By any means that 'traitors' might deserve, or have 'called upon themselves'.

'Whatever it takes' then, has raced away from philosophy and political beliefs and entered into the territory of highest-level politically endorsed action, a call to "patriots" not to sit still, not to fail to rise, not to avoid reaching for an individual and immediate 'solution' that will defeat the 'traitors'.

The Leader of the Opposition has called into question the loyalty of Australian citizens, who, as elected members of the current Federal Government, support the Government's policy.

By doing so, by his description of those amongst them who might act to vote against Government policy as "patriots", he is by manifest extension describing the rest of those elected to Government as traitors.

He is thus inviting other "patriots" to see Government members as traitors to this country.

With full awareness that some amongst Australia's citizenry have already broached the taking up of arms against the Federal Government, full knowledge of 'patriots' all too ready, and already spelling out, how they would deal with 'traitors'.


August 14. 2011 11:50 AM


'The West Australian Liberal party has endorsed a motion to ensure Western Australia is returned at least 75 cents in each dollar of GST revenue.' (from an ABC New Online report)

That's pretty darned nationally patriotic, isn't it?

Oh, I get it. In the two speed economy, with WA so far out ahead of the rest of Australia in economic terms, it's, well, what do you think it is????!!!

The rich making sure the rich get/stay richer.

Take that attitude to running a whole country, I know who the patriots are(n't).


August 14. 2011 02:07 PM


       I think you should email scarney@theage.com.au as he does reply! It would also be interesting to see what his response is.


August 14. 2011 02:41 PM

Feral Skeleton

  An illustrative (Smile ) article by Robert Crumb explaining how the Murdoch media in Australia operate to villify anyone to the left of...Rupert Murdoch:

Feral Skeleton

August 14. 2011 02:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Mr 'Walk Both Sides of the Street' Abbott again:

Feral Skeleton

August 14. 2011 02:46 PM

Feral Skeleton

         How quickly WA has forgotten being carried by the Eastern States financially, for most of the years since Federation I think.

Feral Skeleton

August 14. 2011 02:49 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Laurie Oakes' speech to the Walkley Foundation:

Feral Skeleton

August 14. 2011 03:01 PM


Feral Skeleton

That Robert Crumb incident gives me reason to quote one of my favourite writers - me.

Where are the socially-conscious musicians and artists who could be feeding into the national debates on important issues? ..................... I would suggest most of them are doing what Dick Smith did - keeping their heads down for fear of being shot at.

Although, of course I didn't mean literally shot at.


I'll give it a spin. Smile


August 14. 2011 04:28 PM

Acerbic Conehead 2

Thank you for your kind words.  Hopefully your poor feet have not been walked off you by this stage.  And thanks also for the useful links you have provided.  BTW, I thought Tones’ daughter went to Switzerland to study economics.  Then, at least someone in the family would have a clue about the ‘dismal science’.

Mobius Ecko,
Yes, “projection at its finest”, as you point out.  With a heap of scape-goating thrown in for good measure.

Catching up,
I’m glad you enjoyed The Convoluted Convoy’s roller-coaster ride.
The rich might have no time for the poor, but they need them to survive.  Without the poor, who will clean up after them.
Or be their ‘grave-diggers’ as someone famous once said.

Your dismissal of Sir Ian is a classic, lol.

Thank you again for your supporting words.  You should try to catch some episodes of the Fr Ted series.  It is classic comedy.

That’s an interesting observation you make on Tones’ “acknowledgement of Liberal luminaries” as a parody of the ‘welcome to country’.  I don’t think any dog-whistling gimmick is too low for this bloke.

Thank you for your splendid and full analysis of the Shaun Carney article.  I also notice in an email he sent to “Gary” on Poll Bludger (comment 1586 on link below), where he labels News Ltd as “an out-of-control media organisation”.  They are obviously commercial rivals, but there is obviously no love lost between Fairfax and News Ltd.

Thank you also for your ever-so gracious remarks.  Hopefully the insertion of The Convoluted Convoy on Blogotariat will give even wider recognition to Ad Astra’s wonderful blog.  And thanks also for the Baffled Kettle link.  I wonder do they make as good a cup of tea there as does Mrs Doyle and the Irish Tea Party.

BSA Bob,
As you say, Tones was looking cornered and shifty when his taxi couldn’t arrive quickly enough in Perth.  Maybe the string of free-kicks is drying up and the umpires have had their eyesight checked.

For reading through the comments on that CONVOY OF NO CONFIDENCE mob’s web-site, you deserve the Victoria Cross.  I hope you have recovered from the experience.  But as you say, if any commercial interests show up supporting such clowns, we can vote with our wallets and boycott them.

Acerbic Conehead 2

August 14. 2011 04:29 PM


Lyn quoted this:
"a few things that the Prime Minister might do to shake things up. Dedicate a staffer to keep a running account of all the
Coalition’s misrepresentations and misinformation (particularly Abbott’s) – a dedicated website, twitterfeed #dailyabbott etc, daily media release dedicated to the each day’s porky pies, long-bows, silly thought bubbles, plain
untruths – never let a single untruth, lie or misrepresentation remain on the record uncontested

http://baffledkettle.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/507/ "

Me say
Erm . . . Michael . . ? You busy?  Smile

Feral Skeleton
The wheels are falling off Abbortt's bike
The helium's gone from his blimp
When the questions get tough he just runs from the mike -
A hard man? Huh. Abbortt's a WIMP! Smile

And as for you Gravel,
Now don't you unravel!
Before fall of gavel
We've two years to travel!
And if you know your horses
It's horses for courses -
And Our Ranga Lass, Gravel -
That's where the Force is!

I really think we are looking in better and better shape, and I also reckon Abbortt is now going to come in for real scrutiny - 3 years late, yep, but at last. Heh heh.

[i]And if anyone reckons they're a better pundit than me,
you got Ad astra to argue with!

Because he reckons the same. Smile


August 14. 2011 04:58 PM


D Mick Weir

There might be an argument for recall elections, if the Governor were to seek advice from the Full Bench of the  Supreme Court (of NSW, for example) regarding the  competence &/or "governance". That is, so-called recall elections could not then be manipulated by political parties, special-interest groups or the wealthy.
The problem will be defining "competence" and "governance" to something acceptable to politicians, the Governor, and the Court.

Despite Barry O'Farrell won't want to touch it, despite his promises before and during the election.

Off-topic - just for the  geeks:  am trying OpenSuse Linux 11.4 on an old laptop. Not overly happy with the browsers: Firefox has some troubles rendering text, as does Epiphany, Konquerer seems best so far in limited trial.



August 14. 2011 06:10 PM

D Mick Weir

NormanK @ 11:17 AM
I've been out all day and just now catching up.

Here are four headlines covering Abbott's speech in Perth. Three of them are news - one is not. Can you guess which one?

I don't particularly think any of the headlines are 'news', nor the stories but I will play the game.

Remarkable that three of the four headlines are so similar so one guess would be the one that has a different headline but, being obtuse, I will look further just to see if you are tricking me.

Reading the stories it is remakable how similar the Australian story and the NineMSN story are. One could be forgiven for thinking that one was just a rewrite of the other. Your guess is as good as mine so using the the timestamps on the stories NineMSN - 14:24 AEST Sat Aug 13 2011, Australian - August 13, 2011 2:41PM, and the fact that the journo is by-lined on the NineMSN post I will go with the Oz rewriting Josh Jerga.

As those two stories are almost identical and only one of the four is 'not' news it can't be those two.

Now looking at the very brief stories from Sky and the ABC they too are very similar and basically cover the same points so doesn't disqualify either of them.

This is perplexing, I will have to go with my original thought. It has to be the one that chose to use a different headline to the other three.

Now let's dissect the ABC story:
The Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has labelled the current Federal Government as the worst Australia has ever had.

Mr Abbott made the comment while addressing the State Liberal Party Conference in Western Australia.

This not news, he has said as much before, but hang on the other reports also mentioned the same thing and to the best of knowledge it is not inaccurate reporting as Mr Abbott did say it when and where the reporter wrote that he did.

He told the gathering the Opposition was not overly negative, it was just that the government provided a lot to criticise.

"They've got the Midas touch in reverse," he said.

Again not news Abbott has said as much before. As the others didn't mention this maybe this is the bit that qualifies it however as Abbott said it at the conference it is an accurate report.

Mr Abbott says it is obvious the government's home insulation scheme, school construction projects and its border protection policies have not worked.

Same old tired lines from Abbott but still a report of what he said.

He also used the forum to continue his attacks on the carbon and mining taxes.

Does this (just) cross the line between opinion and reporting? and does that make it 'not news'? No it appears to be reasonable assessment of what Abbott was doing. 'Not news' really though.

"The new taxes are specifically designed to hurt Western Australia," he said.

This might be newsworthy, just, but only in that Abbott is now parroting Barnett. I didn't notice any report saying Abbott is 'copycatting Barnett'.

Mr Abbott repeated his promise to rescind both taxes should the Coalition win the next election.

I presume it is an accurate reporting of what Abbott said and so it is a statement of fact. Only marginally newsworthy in that Abbott repeated his promise.

I can only guess that the problem is that the ABC report chose a different emphasis point to the other stories that makes it the least newsworthy of a not particularly newsworthy bunch of stories.

What I fail to understand is, 'why would anyone get their knickers in a knot over the ABC report alone'?

Is it because it repeated Abbott's lines without questioning them? Why didn't the other reports question them?

Is it because it was on 'our' ABC and they should be better than that? Ok, guess that is sort of a fair criticism.

As to the reports on the PM in WA I have seen and heard some stuff on it today and some of it may be newsworthy to a point as I gather the PM said something along the lines that the US needs to get its' economy back in order so it can continue defending our region'. I may, or may not, follow up on that after some household chores and being obedient to my owners and feed the felines.

D Mick Weir

August 14. 2011 06:22 PM



Thank you for your brilliant post @ 4.14pm.  Shaun Carney's piece had my hackles up as well but there is no-way I could have articulated my thoughts as you have done.  I agree with Jason that you should send your post to Carney.  
btw, I love your new rose gravatar Smile


August 14. 2011 06:43 PM


Michael @ August 14. 2011 11:37 AM

I'm more concerned that 'Patriot' is another nod by Abbott to American politics and right-wing culture. In Australia we may occasionally talk about being patriotic but the word 'patriot' is seldom if ever used in political discourse.

The American Patriots Party (APP) presidential candidate for 2012, Ron Paul came second to the Republican's Michele Bachmann in the Iowa Straw-poll this week-end. In the first of the Presidential primaries Ron Paul propounded the APP themes of sound money, limited government and a saner foreign policy AKA low-taxes, de-regulation and isolationism. Ron Paul also noted that his surging popularity isn’t due to him moving toward the mainstream—but the mainstream moving toward his views.



August 14. 2011 06:48 PM


Hi Janice

I am so pleased to see you, I have been watching out for your
lovely gravatar and comments.



August 14. 2011 07:38 PM


Good evening Lyn.  I've been lurking and keeping an eye on the goings on here. Laughing:


August 14. 2011 07:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

       I was starting to worry about you too. Smile

Feral Skeleton

August 14. 2011 07:46 PM

D Mick Weir

John @ 4:58 PM
if the Governor were to seek advice from the Full Bench of the  Supreme Court (of NSW, for example) regarding the  competence &/or "governance"

Who would raise with, or how would it be raised with a Governor, the competence etc.?

I can't see that the Governor on their own would be able to go to the court raising issues without it being seen as a political move. It seems a very (too?) difficult thing to codify and would probably be too open to manipulation.

I will have to think further but forthe moment can't see that working either.

D Mick Weir

August 14. 2011 08:29 PM

Ad astra reply

I’ve been busy today writing tomorrow’s piece, and out for several hours with the family.  

Tomorrow I’ll post What is political leadership?  Do you know?

I’m turning in now.

Ad astra reply

August 14. 2011 11:07 PM


  As much as I would like to Crow about your loss today modesty prevents me!
Better luck next year.


August 15. 2011 07:47 AM



Tony Abbott and the March of the Miners, Min, Café Whispers
welcome tomorrow to the new Senate and the Greens who Abbott has stated previously that he will not negotiate with. But what about on this issue Tony?

The Galileo gambit movement,  Dave , Dave’s Archives
climate sceptics movement. Its patron is the powerful Sydney radio personality Alan Jones. The Galileo movement
is aiming to kill the carbon tax, and it's aiming to do this through attacking the science of climate change

Insiders: Abbott mixes signals on mining support, Video , Australlian Politics TV
David Marr:  Look Piers he is not a private citizen.  Abbott won’t answer journalists.

Greens to advance Abbott's call for farmers' rights, The Australian Greens
The Australian Greens will bring a bill into the Senate, in the next fortnight, to require the permission of landholders before
companies can explore for, or extract, coal seam gas, Greens Leader Bob Brown announced today.

Abbott's solar plan in hot water,JOSEPH CATANZARO and SHANE WRIGHT, The West Australian
Tony Abbott has admitted his plan to install 274 solar panel roofs or hot water schemes every day for a decade would be policed by either a department he wants to axe or the same bureaucrats who oversaw
the pink batts fiasco

Tony Abbott wedged over mines, Coal Seam Gas News
The managing director of the British-owned Queensland Gas Company, which is developing CSG projects worth $14 billion
this week left open the option of enforcing access rights over the objection of land owners. Catherine Tanna’s evidence to a

Thousands march to protest live animal exports, ABC
More than 1,000 people gathered in Brisbane's CBD to protest, with a similar number in Adelaide.

Abbott’s Tea Party Theatre Troupe, The Baffled Kettle
a few things that the Prime Minister might do to shake things up. Dedicate a staffer to keep a running account of all the
Coalition’s misrepresentations and misinformation (particularly Abbott’s) – a dedicated website, twitterfeed #dailyabbott

Political pugulist Tony Abbott takes the Liberals right down — to his own low level.Barry Everingham Independent Australia
Tony Abbott’s negativity, his out of control arrogance and his banal one liners which get him headlines(shame Murdoch press, shame )have given those mentioned above and others the green light to

The Week In The Coalition, Wixxy’s Blogg
Tony Abbott started by telling some fibs about the economy that he thought were about this big

Morality and democracy: public sovereignty is a simplistic approach to policy, Max Atkinson,  On Line Opinion
This theory of democracy is called ‘populism’. It is a theory which, in the eyes of its critics, encourages politicians to exploit the ignorance of electors and use public opinion to justify a party

Penrith retirees warm to carbon message,CARYN METCALFE, Penrith PressLindsay federal Labor MP David Bradbury eventually won support during the forum with the University of the Third Age members
at Penrith School of Arts through details of the scheme’s remuneration for pensioners.

Disability Reform Will Be A Milestone, Bren Eltham, New Matilda
This will be the largest expansion of the Australian welfare state in decades. It really is a milestone for the way our society provides for its least fortunate

Boat People: Neither Christmas Island nor Manus Island Solve the Problem, Aussie Views News
John Stuyfbergen’s article in The Age says we should give the Malaysian Solution a chance to work. He is concerned
that phrases such as “people trading” slant the debate before we know whether the solution will be “effective in crushing

I believe, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog
He is also, famously, fundamentally religious, a once future priest turned future king’s first minister (also famously a
fundamentalist monarchist, saying that there was something mystical about the monarchy that republicans ).

What was really behind the riots in Britian,  Kurt Rudder,!  Don’t believe the lies, critically analyze
The entire episode points fundamentally to a social unrest which has different dimensions, encompassing unemployment, cut
in the social benefits, deprivations, attitude to the blacks and, last but not the least

Fighting Back in London, Jeff Sparrow, Counter Punch
almost exactly, a re-enactment, on a micro scale, of the conduct of the Murdoch tabloids.You'll recall how the News of
the World editors befriended Sara Payne, the grieving mother of murdered Sarah – and then used the phone they gave
her to eavesdrop on her conversations

The UK conservatives’ response to the riots: Let’s make matters worse!, Jeremy Sear,  An Onymous Lefty
And this army of homeless starving people they’re planning to create? Yeah, I’m sure they’ll settle down and get a job that won’t be offered to them because of their criminal record and they won’t ever bother anyone again

Mama said there’ll be days like this, Dr Tad, Left Flank
That the Tories and the Right are doing the same today comes as no surprise. They cannot accept that it is their policies,
building on many more years of social polarisation and stigmatisation of the poorest that are the condition which has produced today’s riots.


10 questions - Kerry O'Brien , Greg Callaghan , The Australian
KERRY O'Brien, 65, journalist and TV presenter, on the need for a media inquiry, interviewing a tetchy Margaret Thatcher
and being expelled from high school.


August 15. 2011 08:00 AM



Thanks for those great links, it will keep me busy today, I want a clean run so as to watch Question Time tomorrow.

Talk Turkey

Hope you read this, thank for the cute pome you did about me, gave me a giggle this morning.  It lifted my spirits to no end and I  know the TPS's will keep me strong.


August 15. 2011 08:22 AM


AC in todays OZ their is a story on the convoy.
You may be interested to know the leader of the dark blue convoy from Bendigo Victoria is worried about Chinese apples and Penny Wong being a homosexual parent.
The orange balloon leader, from Perth, is leading climate sceptics.
The brown balloon leader has a few issues,live cattle no ban, asylum seekers yes ban and old favorite give the people a mandate.
So look out for these "Real people -- facing the forgotten issues with friendship and a little fun."
They certainly seem to be supporting some of the really fun issues that Tony Abbott likes to front.


August 15. 2011 08:23 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

August 15. 2011 08:56 AM


It would seem at a time when the opposition keeps on banging on about the cost of living and GBNT etc,one of their more useless backbenchers seem to think the working class have had it to good for to long, and to add more outrage because

''We have many examples in our region of coffee shops and the like not trading on weekends because of penalty rates,'' he said.

So to solve this problem in his "region" the only way he can buy coffee on a weekend is to scrap penalty rates and bring back work choices!
Why was Maxine kicked out in favour of this moron?

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...e-revamp-20110814-1isy9.html


August 15. 2011 10:51 AM

Feral Skeleton

  It sounds like a 'Convoy in Support of Mob Rule' to me. Howard did like to call them that though, didn't he? I always thought he was referring to the electorate as a bunch of sheep, when he referred to them as 'the mob'. Now, though, it is tempting to think he may have had the other sort of 'mob' in mind.

Feral Skeleton

August 15. 2011 11:07 AM

Feral Skeleton

      It's just another one of those Opposition artifices where they hang an issue that they want to advance on a red herring. Very smelly indeed!
   The fact of the matter is that the greedy Coffee Shop Owners want to keep as much profit from their business for themselves as possible and they resent having to share it with their employees as a result of paying them a decent wage. It's the old 'they should be happy they have a job at all' mentality that is creating a chasm between the wealthy and the working poor in the United States atm. And there's nothing that business owners in the US love more than exploiting their workers like slave drivers.

Feral Skeleton

August 15. 2011 11:18 AM


  Where he says that you can't get a "coffee" on weekends in his "region" could it be some of these shop owners might want the weekend off? and it's only profitable to trade Monday to Friday?
Here I was thinking the coalition was for letting shop owners open when it suited them!


August 15. 2011 12:32 PM


I had an interesting conversation on the weekend with a friend who is a senior consulting engineer who works in the oil & gas industry.  As you can imagine, his politics fits with this industry & is vehemently anti labor. Notwithstanding this, he is good bloke & I always enjoy his company.  When the conversation veered to politics  and he let fly with a typical labor bash, I asked him which of Tony Abbott's policies that are being promoted he thinks would be implemented in a coalition government.   He gave me a wry smile and said "well none of course".

This is the dilemma we face, Tony can go around speaking populace nonsense to fit whatever audience he is front of in order to get a cheer, the MSM may blush & report the inconsistency but do not take him to task over it.  There may be a limp backtrack if he has gone too far so he has fig leaf of cover.   But no where does he have to face scrutiny for policies or public announcements. Even intelligent liberal supporters  who know its tosh happily standby and will not criticise.  They seem to have this belief (faith) that it is all about winning government & then they will transform into a responsible government with sound, defensible policies.

The danger is obvious and we can see it now taking place in America. That is, they end up with too many loons in the party who really believe the tripe and wont step away from having it enacted.  Once they encourage a large contingent of support to believe there lives will be made better by, "pushing back the boats" by believing Lord Monkton instead of 95 percent of scientists, these people will not be happy if they are denied, having won office.  

America I believe now faces real danger from Tea Party policy becoming reality instead of entertainment.  This will most likely be in the form of economic isolationism and protectionist type policies, stuff that was supposedly put to bed decades ago.  Fanned by right wingers who see an avenue to power this simplistic nonsense may now be unstoppable. The tragedy is, intelligent people within their party know its wrong but it has built such a momentum they cannot turn it around.   I fear we are going down the same road and would implore liberal voters to start questioning where their direction will come from.


August 15. 2011 12:56 PM



I really do wish that you could see the bigger picture. How can Australia hold its head up internationally when in the 21st Century there are still pockets in our community where you can't buy a decent cup of coffee on a Sunday? We are the laughingstock of the civilised world.
All because some snotty-nosed waiter wants to be compensated for working at a time when the vast majority of the rest of the population are enjoying leisure time with family and friends. It's unAustralian and because of it I may never be able to visit Paris again.
It's time that retail and entertainment serfs pulled their heads in and thought about the small business owners' profits and the well-being of shareholders.


August 15. 2011 01:11 PM


Jason said
  As much as I would like to Crow about your loss today modesty prevents me!"

I must agree with you Obelix. The Cats' anxious scraping home against the Crows gives you much to be modest about . . . Smile

We'll get you next time!

AC Sorry not to have acknowledged your Fr Ted post until now, you seem to have an inexhaustible source of alternaive universes in that conical head of yours.

Gee there's been some funny series, looking back . . . You keep bringing them back to mind, besides always giving a serve to Bad Abbortt and his motley crew of no-hopers. The memories are delicious. I must say that I think Yes Minister was the absolute platinum standard of all TV series, I bet a lot of Swordsfolk are with me there. Just goes to show, the best humour is based on plays on language: snide smut (a la unspeakable Carry On crap, remember Frankie Howerd? and Kenneth Williams!) has no part at all in it, slapstick is pretty meh, situation certainly plays a part, but it's funny things people say that makes us laugh mostly.

I seem to think that English-speakers are blessed in this regard, it seems to me that the richness of humour must parallel the richness of the language. We never seem to run out of plays on words. I don't think that can happen so much with lesser languages. I love English, partly because it's so huge. Irony and satire are the part of its big bag of tricks which unmasks fools and exposes foolishness. Our ability to ridicule the enemy is one critical difference which will help win us the day. They can sneer at us, but We can laugh at them.
Thanks AC. Keep 'em coning. Smile

I see that Government polls are on the up at last, things are proceeding as I predicted last year but it's taken longer to gather momentum than I thought, but then, who could have predicted though the extremity of the media hot air that has kept Abbortt's balloon afloat until now! But the hot air is now starting to work to our advantage. The thaw begins with a single drip, but it soon becomes a dribble and then a runnel and a gush. Abbortt is wedged by himself between miners and farmers, poetic justice eh, (or "Right whack" as my lowlife peers put it.) The bare $70 Billion to cut from the fat of Government waste(Joe can you tell us how many 000's that is?  Oh yes, lots! Ta.) Abbortt's stymied by everything. He hasn't had one win. His party is losing faith, and patience. His hoon shock jocks are wavering in their slavering. I am rubbing my hands in glee at the prospects. Gravel, I'm not just putting a brave face on things, I really think we are looking strong. Not hubris, but confidence that the Government's terrific record on behalf of Australia and Abbortt's mad bad habits will ensure Labor staying in power for the foreseeable future.


Oh and Bring Back Maxine!  


August 15. 2011 01:49 PM


Well worth a look on the subject of public service cuts (you know, those bludgers who sit around all day drinking coffee at taxpayers' expense - I wonder if they still get decent coffee on Sundays?).

Study finds cuts to federal public service will put community services at risk by AAP

THE coalition's proposed cuts to the federal public service to return the budget to surplus would put vital community services at risk, an independent study has found.

The Liberal and National parties say the Gillard Labor government has mismanaged the economy, and $70 billion in cuts are needed to get the federal budget under control.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says 12,000 jobs need to go from the "bloated" public service to help control the budget.

A report by the Centre for Policy Development, released today, found the federal public service was no bigger now, per head of population, than it was two decades ago.


A bit of a reminder that the question of pricing carbon to bring about change in the way we generate electricity is a tad bigger than the extra cost of (for example) a cup of coffee.

Solar thermal shoots for the sky by Giles Parkinson

It is generally recognised that solar thermal technology will make a major contribution to Australia’s future energy needs. But its cost structure is said to be around a decade behind that of solar PV – and the roll-out of solar thermal has slowed in some areas because of it.
But new technological developments seem likely to accelerate that fall down the cost curve. John Woolard, the CEO of US-based BrightSource Energy, last week told Greentech Media that the cost of the solar tower technology it has developed will be competitive with solar PV as early as 2014/15, as the second phase of developments are rolled out. That’s way ahead of most expectations.



August 15. 2011 01:55 PM


       This is a serious problem,not some trite matter to poke fun at lol!
He's a revered tennis great you know!
Now where's your post again? ha ha ha ha  


August 15. 2011 02:12 PM


       What if the member for Bennelong lived in Perth? they don't worry about penalty rates there yet!

WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett has announced a ban on Sunday trading right across metropolitan Perth will end if the Liberal Party is re-elected at the next election.
In a speech to the WA Liberal Party conference, Mr Barnett announced he would put the issue of Sunday trading at the centre of the party's election campaign in 2013.



August 15. 2011 02:37 PM



This is a subject for a much larger discussion about mandates but reading that article on Sunday trading it is interesting that Barnett is quoted as saying:
"If the Liberal Party and the National Party are fortunate enough to be returned to government, we will claim a clear mandate as Liberals for Sunday trading."
And yet their coalition partners the WA Nationals are opposed to Sunday trading and would presumably campaign along those lines. If the Nationals form part of the new government, have they not got the right to say "we have a mandate to oppose Sunday trading"?
Mandates are wonderfully flexible things, aren't they?


August 15. 2011 03:57 PM

Ad astra reply

I have just now posted: What is political leadership? Do you know? www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Do-you-know.aspx

Ad astra reply

Comments are closed